[This post contains spoilers about the quest called The House of Horrors. You’ve been warned.]
Last night, I did something horrible in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, something completely out of character, and for it I was rewarded a crazy new enchanted weapon and the boost to cross over to level 15. Part of me feels bad for the role I played, Lohgahn’s polar opposite of being righteous and nice to everyone, but part of me understands that this is another’s life, a fantasy at that, and living a life is never predictable. I’m rolling with it, and so I’m Lohgahn, Dragonborn and overall nice guy who sometimes steals cheese wheels and does the bidding of a Daedric demon prince. I didn’t want to beat that priest to death; see, the voice above told to me.
Normally, with RPGs that let you be anyone from everyone, I’m one style through and through, with my first playthrough usually devoted to the role of a hero, a smiling lad (with a beard) willing to help out those in trouble, who would do every quest for no money simply because saving the world is truly what matters. My second playthrough is saved for being a jerk, stealing blindly from stores and murdering those that don’t like it. I try not to mix and match, but with that said, I also dislike reloading old saves if things don’t go as perfectly planned–the only time I do that is if I accidentally steal an item by pressing the button too soon before the cursor can hover over the person I want to speak with. That’s not my fault nor my intentions, but if a quest spins me on my head…that’s fine. Just let me know when it’s safe to get off.
I stumbled upon the quest The House of Horrors unknowingly, and after the first bits of it passed by I had a choice. Back away and pretend I never got involved, or follow through, with maybe a hope of turning the tide come the end. With this quest, the Dragonborn is tasked with finding a priest after discovering a Daedric demon haunting a house in Markarth. Molag Bal is all voice and no body, but what a voice he has–this is what drew me into the quest and, alas, kept me there. Mesmerized by his masochistically libidinous tone, I agreed to do his bidding. Anyways, you eventually lure this priest back to the house to pay for his crimes of tainting Molag Bal’s altar, and are then demanded to beat him to death. There were no other options. Beat him. Here, use this rusty mace. Beat him some more. Make him regret life. I did, but I didn’t like it. My reward felt somewhat sickening:
Daedric Influence (10G): Acquire a Daedric Artifact
It’s the unexpected like this that really make Skyrim shine. I mean, what does this mean for Lohgahn now? Is he going to slowly trickle down into darkness? Or is he only going to work harder to be a great dude to make amends? For my time in Skyrim so far, he’s been nothing but upstanding, taking down dragons (four in total), retrieving lost family heirlooms from bandits, and putting little ghost girls to rest. His only crimes so far have been small and unintentional, accidentally setting some guards on fire during a crazy chaotic dragon fight outside Whiterun. He’s not a servant of some cruel Daedric prince. He’s not.
I don’t really know, but I’m ready to find out.