Being nice in Skyrim means even to Daedric princes

[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.

Right?

I don’t really know, but I’m ready to find out.

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54 responses to “Being nice in Skyrim means even to Daedric princes

  1. You forgot to consider the priest was a deadra worshiping priest of another deadra.

  2. the priest is worshiping a good daedra. the mace giving daedra is prince of domination and rape

    • “Boethiah is the Daedric prince who rules over deceit, conspiracy, secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority.”

      Seems like a pretty good daedra to me.

      • If I may also add to those who are thinking…I’m a Good guy..and I did as well..but within each Quest no matter who you are siding with…you bond and become apart of a family…lol…even with the dark brotherhood..seems evil but once ya in…even within the evil confines of the dark brotherhood…there is more evil or someone more devilish that makes it seems like what you’re doing is Okay!!..lol

  3. Man, that quest had me so scared at first with the shaking and the disembodied voice. But now I use that mace for EVERYTHING. Kyril doesn’t even care how she got it, because it’s shiny and awesome.

  4. Pingback: The early life and times of an Imperial Dragonborn with an obsession for cheese wheels | Grinding Down

  5. Hey, this is awesome blog and i am looked many your posts!

    I am your fan, hope you make more.

    Thanks!

  6. Yea but it does suck to. I mean my character wouldn’t kill the priest but would try and rescue him. You have NO choice. Or I should say NO options. Very weird for a game so full of options and choices. I refused to call him lord and went and rescued the priest, because that’s what good heroes do, right? Paid him money just to be free even because when you go to free him your so called choices are 1. lie and tell him his god/goddess sent me and off the priest goes to horror house, 2. tell him molag sent me which then puts you in league with molag, 3. pay him gold and tell him it doesn’t matter and he STILL runs to cleanse the house or 5. leave him to die which my heroe would never do. So I pay then follow to help him cuz, I’m the heroe. I go to the house and down to the priest who’s been captured. And my choices are, leave him to rot or kill him. My charcter on this play through would NEVER do either. Soo this sux. Game is awesome. And I never had another non choice like that so far. Level 20 and having fun but this was .. well in my opinion a mistake.

  7. Pingback: Achievements of the Week – The Adept Hero with a Snake Tongue Edition | Grinding Down

  8. Heh, and I’m just trying to find over and over on net how to complete this quest using another way ;P
    Ehh, Im wasting my time cause i want to save some pixels from another pixels in artifical world -.-\

  9. Yeah, I really wish there had been a 3rd option to fight Molag and ultimtley save the priest. I had assumed there would be that type of option, so I went along with it hoping that in the end I could make things right. I too was disappointed that there was an option be the hero and save the day.

  10. whats with u guys. u guys r bitchin bout not saving an evil priest when 1 he’s evil and boethia is the daedric prince of deciving and stuff 2 its an rpg where ucan be saint OR sinner (which by the way being bad feels sooo good ) and 3 its just a game they’re just AI and doesnt AI mean ARTIFICIAL Intelligence

  11. The hero option would be to let him perform his ritual and then leave. I mean, the priest says to molag, “I’ve won this contest before”. I think this is an utterly stupid oversight of whoever wrote the quest.

  12. this quests shows how much of a great rpg skyrim is – because it’s completely linear with no choices at all! great cod-style action game

  13. Molag Bal ->domination and enslavement of mortals

    Boethiah ->deceit, conspiracy, secret plots of murder, assassination, treason, and unlawful overthrow of authority

    …makes me feel a little better beating that worshipper to death lol

  14. Yeah, I’ve found myself disturbingly attached to some of the fake people in the fake land of Skyrim. I reloaded my game last night because my mercenary buddy got killed in a vampire cave, and I felt really bad about it. I haven’t beaten the priest to death yet, but I eventually will, because I’m tired of carrying around 13 pounds of rusty mace dead weight.

  15. I refused to do it. The priest says something like “I’ve been in this position before,” and then Molag Bal says that he has help against the priest this time — me.

    The implication is that if I don’t help Molag Bal, the priest can get out of it.

    I took the mace, left the house, and dropped the accursed weapon in one of the northern oceans.

    • My apologies… That was supposed to say that I planned to drop the accursed weapon.

      Turns out that I can’t, but fortunately quest items don’t count against your weight limit.

  16. You kill the Priest upon freeing him….that makes the quest fail…yes You kill a human but he’s a daedric Priest and Luckilly..I had mutliple save points which I do to retract a blunder.after I killed the priest and got the mace…I left the house and everyone ATTACKED me…immediately….wow..I had to run cause EVERYONE was slicing and dicing…lol…I got away to a safe location and fast traveled to WinterHold which I’m the Arch Mage….Everyone Immediately started attacking me….I do believe its because I’m noticed as a daedric Person now..so I went back and killed the priest..screw the mace…its a nice weapon but Eh…lol…I’m a Arch mage and ex WereWolf now Vampire…but I use my powers to conquer and do good…I became a theif to get the skeleton key…so no door or chest can go un opened….I don’t know what to do about being a darkbrotherhood though..any benefits? Cause I killed the old lady with a punch…lol….I thought If I would punch her she would stop mistreating the kids at the orphanage and she croaked…lol…I mean yes I’m a Level 57 Battle-Mage but c’mon..I didn’t hardly swing…lmao

  17. I loled with the last part of your post mOsArt 😀

  18. ..this quest makes me feel slimey, can I drop it? Even in rpg I don’t want to willingly to the will of an evil dude…makes me feel yuk

    • …nah it doesn’t look like it. Only thing you can do is go to a former save and avoid it. Nah, I agree with the others I don’t like the lack of option C; Bring back some priest of light and have the house exorcised and then burnt to the ground.

  19. It’s a game it doesnt matter kill whenever you feel like it and help people whenever you feel like it. If you have no choice it doesn’t matter your guy was mesmerized by the voice therefore he was forced into soon so. It adds to the plot by your guy going from good to slowly becoming bad. Deal with it the way your guy would.

  20. I went a similar way as Aravir. These are the weaknesses of Skyrim, imo. That you aren’t allowed to finish some quests the way you want your character to play in this world. If you’re saying that you followed the voice and killed the priest because within this quest your interest simply leaned towards the voice, then that’s perfectly fine. That’s just the story of your character then. And sure, having moral ambiguity can be interesting in games. But it should be a choice, if that’s what the game is all about. If your character acted in a way you didn’t want to, because once you started the quest you couldn’t quit it anymore, then that sucks. And it reveals a weakness in the game.

    It’s the reason I always try to save a lot (did the same thing in Fallout 3), so I can go back to the moment before the quest is I triggered. But I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t worry about triggering moments and opening quests in which I find out I am forced to completely change my character’s moral views – unless I want to change them because I was tempted to; but I should have the choice.

    I reloaded this quest many times. I also missed the possible save point where I could back out of starting the quest completely. So what I did was – after playing the entire quest once to see if at some point there is a way to end it as a good guy -, I played till the point where I have to free the priest from the hideout to lure him into Molag’s trap. Then, however, I told him that Molag Bal sent me to get him (which, in my mind, would prepare him for the upcoming fight), and from then on I never went back to the house to assist Molag. I also didn’t want to trigger the moment in which the priest gets captured by Molag’s contraption. And since the priest had defeated him once before, he had a fair chance, and I didn’t do anything that went against the morals of my character. (I know, of course, that the priest isn’t really going to fight Molag. He is, together with that quest, frozen and waiting for me to go back to the house and trigger it. But that’s Bethesda’s fault, not mine.)

  21. So my dude does good. but some things lycan does is bad but it’s for a greater cause. The Daedric prince would kill more people if you didn’t kill that priest

  22. You felt sick too after that one? It wasn’t only the fact that my character beat someone to death (and then beat him to death after he was revived again). It was gut wrenching feeling I got when I heard the old priest give up his undying devotion to his god. He willed out his faith and gave his soul to an entity who would use it as toilet paper. … and then he was beaten to death … for real this time, and then “claimed” to be dragged into oblivion. Oh, and hey, here’s a mediocre one hand weapon for your damnable deed. Hope you like it.

    Honestly, this quest nearly made me stop playing the game. I was that upset. I know it’s only a game and the character was totally fiction, but I FELT like I had done something very wrong. Why was THIS the only outcome to the quest? Did they think we would enjoy it, or did they just want to screw with us? Either way, I want to tell Bethesda the following: “Not cool, dude, NOT cool.”

    Oh, by the way, have you found the quest in Whiterun about the cursed blade behind the whispering door yet? Yeah, that one demands you murder your in game friends to power up a two handed weapon. And it MUST be your friend NPCs, otherwise it won’t count. I swear, sometimes I think the game is trying to turn me into a callous jerk.

    • You don’t have to USE that one, you know. I saw it as an evil influence, took it out of the palace, and tossed it in deep ocean.

    • Yeah – I just freed the priest but I’m not going back to that house since I don’t want to beat him to death. I agree that sometimes games can make you feel like a real jerk. Once playing D&D the other players who were supposed to be “good” massacred women and children goblins and then one guy stomped a goblin baby. I didn’t do any of it since my character (the only one not aligned with good but I wasn’t evil either) isn’t a freaking psychopath. It got really awkward after that.

    • Travis aka Long Fangs

      I won’t kill Lydia for any weapon! She’s sworn to carry my burdens.

  23. I have just started the quest… I’m not finishing it…
    Unless there’s some way to find the guy of the voice and whack him with his own mace.

    But since that isn’t going to happen I’m not going to bother…
    I’ll just pretend my character, Cevelt Harmgrall, tricked that sucker into letting him go…

  24. Does this quest affect any future or other quests? Idc about the “feeling evil” part..I just wanna know if it affects anything..or will the game go on as before..like you didn’t do anything bad?

  25. Also…David aka (mOsArt) The Dark Brotherhood quest renders $24000 plus…so…it’s rewarding…

  26. Yeah, my Character started out as a good guy, light armor, dual daggers and bow. Ever since the mention of the Black star and it’s claiming, my character hads fallen into darkness. I wear everything daedric except the nightingale armor top, I wield a Daedric sword forged in the Skyforge, with max soul trap and life absorb. all enchanted with the Black Star.

  27. I’ve yet to start enchanting like I should….I’ve disenchanted…so I guess I’ll focus on that area next…but I wield no weapons as a Battle Mage though I carry one…lol…I can summon two daedric demon lords at the same time and a follower (Cecaro) who wields the Sanquine Rose and he summons a Daedric Demon Lord…Eh…pretty much makes all quests a sinch …lol except for the finding of whatever it is…

  28. If you want to role play a good character, just abandon the quest. don’t do it. always an option…

  29. you can kill the priest in the cave and at least keep his soul from being claimed, gets rid if the quest too…. I don’t like being forced into something so at least I ruined his fun.

  30. My concern is does completing (or participating in) this quest have any ramifications with the Psijic Order ‘watching’ you? I first completed it then went back to a prior save because I just didn’t feel good about it. Yeah, I was one of those guys with super high Karma in Fallout 3 as well. Also, one of the guards saying ‘Get that mace away from me!’ had me a little concerned. But mostly, even though this is just a game, the quest made me feel a little slimy. So I left the priest in limbo, didn’t go back into the house. It worries me a bit that technically I accepted a task from Molag Bal, even if I didn’t complete it, and I’m wondering if I should go back to an even earlier save and tell him to shove it.

  31. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I am stunned why this accident didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  32. You don’t have to beat him to death. The priest chose to confront Molg Bal and got his stupid self caught, and he doesn’t serve a good daedra in any case.

    So just turn around and leave them to sort it out between themselves, and if he’s trapped in that cage for all eternity it’s his own fault

  33. I do was very disturbed by this quest as well. It is as if Bethesda forgot that this game is all about good/evil choices and roleplaying/building a character to suit each playthrough. I did the whole quest and I basicly just pretend I did not, as the character I am playing would never do what I did. The only good thing is that the weapon is awesome.

  34. Do not worry. There are certain Princes that can be served and you can morally get away with it. Azura and Meridia are considered to be ‘good’, and if you are a Dunmer or Orc, you can get away with revering Boethiah and Malacath, respectively.

    But this is Molag Bal, considered to be the most evil of all the Daedra. The Lord of Rape, the Prince of Corruption, creator of vampires, whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals. He’s essentially the Satan of the Elder Scrolls series. If this was anyone other than the Dovakiin, you’d be on a one-way trip to Coldharbour after your actions.

    I’ve always wondered…after the Dovakiin has become Champion of all the Daedric Princes, and this owes their soul to them, when they die, who gains ownership of it?

    My Dovakiin is a bloody saint, but no one, and I mean no one can resist the smooth evil of Molag Bal’s voice. He…made me do it.

  35. FullmetalHeart20

    Ah…but think of the masochists he pleases!

  36. This quest is really sick. After that I am not having fun with this game. I know it’s just a game but Bethesda has exceeded the limit of good taste of RPG.

  37. Travis aka Long Fangs

    Embrace that dark side and do whatever gets you ahead in the game. And if you get paid in the process, give a coin or two to the beggar in Riften.

  38. i stumbled upon the house…. entered by offering help for the good person i try to be….
    get trapped inside, then challenged to duel the one i’m helping…
    i refuse, get hit by him i retaliate and kill him….
    that gnaws at me but i have to go to the ”reward”….
    i want to tell the guy to shove it but listen…
    i hear about the other priest which is evil a well who he wants dead….
    sure thing, one more evil bastard dead = less dead people in the end although i dont like the idea….
    i find the guy, save him….
    i warn him in advance, get laughed and yelled at then have to pay the guy for whatever reason.
    he runs to the house, i run after him to stop him….
    he gets trapped and spews evil…. other evil responds and gives me the opportunity to kill a evil guy, and since im there ok… why not.
    after doing so the surviving evil goes away for some time to claim the other evil dude soul… why not, as long as you focus your attention on the dead guy and not on the living im happy.
    i get the mace, feel weird and a bit evil for having it but now: my character now happily slays evil characters with it to send other evil souls to that molag bal hell. and while at it protect the good with it…. it’s a weapon you decide if you do evil with it or not… the former event was evil versus evil, any loss in that is a win win imho :D.

  39. Im a good guy, and im playing a good guy in Skyrim. So when i had to beat an old man to death to satisfy the perverted wishes of the Daedric prince of dominion and rape, i was IRL disgusted! The old mans pained cries and weak whimpering as he begged me for mercy was NOT helping! I did NOT want the Mace, and i did NOT want to help Molag Bal! All i could do was to pretend like my hand was forced by Molag Bal, turn of the sound, and drop the mace by the altar when the crime was comitted.

  40. I never doing the house of horror quest after u beat the quest u start to realize its retarted since your the dragonborn and feels wierd about that freeky dude in the back round telling I be waching you when he giv ur reward I decide d to redo the game I know it just a game but I like to play comfortable I was level 14 it took like2 days to reach there Never delect ur old saves cuz if u mess up u can’t reload I was so dumb!!!!!!!

  41. Dale Winnings

    To me, this only proves just how shallow the quest system in Skyrim is. There’s always only one way to finish a quest and it often involves murder. It’s just lazy writing / coding.

  42. Christian Skou

    Once again I have to cite Satan from South Park, Bigger, Longer and Uncut: “🎵without evil, there could be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes🎵”

  43. You are all wrong. You have many choices in that quest. You can for example not go looking for that priest. Why should you? Because an evil daedra has told you to do it? The quest won’t be finished, so what? You won’t get any price, so what? That doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice… You can do what you want. You can’t defeat Molag Bal because he is too powerful.

  44. Finally found a Solution! After browsing the web about this quest to ease my nagging conscience with the game on pause an the priest covering his head cowering in front of the alter…I read this fantastic post an the comments, up until the one where the last line is about hitting an old lady in the mouth who runs an orphanage – which made me chuckle.. an I decided, I really wanted this weapon..but how..an he was evil… but still.. sat back down an suddenly it occurred to me.. Faendal. One time I asked Faendal to pick something up, but I accidentally clicked on a person (attack person command) – He says – NO, I wont do that – Not for you-Not for Anyone – very angrily, an he was pretty mad at me. An one other time I clicked on an abandoned shack, the owner was dead I assumed cause the Forsworn dudes were out front an I had to deal with them – unlocked it an boom – screen says I received a 5 gold bounty added – the only one watching me in the middle of nowhere was… FAENDAL. His moral compass was strong. So I knew since I was conflicted about this decision.. well.. I’d let Faendal decide. Should this guy be executed for his crimes, his blood sacrifices etc? So I ask Faendal, Can you do something for me? Sure he says. Attack this priest. Faendal pulls out Dawnbreaker sword an eagerly delivers quick justice, flames lick over the evildoers body. The mace is transformed. And I feel relieved. This was right. Faendals a saint, he could never be wrong. Still a little pissed about the lockpicking bounty though… now to unpause the game an walk out of this house an try out this weapon… never soultrapped anything before.. Hope anyone whos having this inner conflict see this comment an finds some comfort. ❤

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