daily prompt / Skyrim

It’s a little silly, but I’ll share anyway

I’m a crybaby by nature. Which means I’m moved to tears (a la the daily prompt) by a lot of things. The mood is ephemeral but the tears are real. For example, this Zillow commercial made me tear up every time I saw it for weeks, even though I knew what was coming.

It’s so sweet!

Anyway, I didn’t bawl like a baby except the first time, but yeah… the commercial is meant to tug at the heartstrings, especially if you have any connection at all to the military, which I do. I’ve been a Navy brat and a Navy wife. I know what the woman in the commercial feels like. So, tears. But that’s not the last time I was moved to tears.

No, the last time I was moved to tears was rather silly. But it happened and I’m gonna share it with you. I mentioned it briefly on my Facebook feed a few weeks back, but I’ll go into more detail here. See, as I mentioned before, I’ve been filling up some of my free time (okay, a lot of my free time) by playing the video game Skyrim.  Yeah, I know it’s an old game, and I know that no one plays it anymore, and there are newer games out there. But you know what? I don’t care. I’ve only played one video game before — Child of Light, on the XBox One we somehow acquired from Amazon — and after thinking long and hard about it, I thought that Skyrim would be a good jumping off point for me.  I was totally right. I love playing this game. It’s not too difficult to get into and the rules are pretty self explanatory. Plus, since I am so late to the game, there are plenty of people who’ve gone before, which means if I have questions, I can always find the answers on the internet somewhere.  There is a method to my madness.

He looked way better in the armor I gave him

Faendal – He looked way better in the armor I gave him

So what does all of this have to do with tears? Well, in the world of Skyrim, your character can acquire followers, just one at a time. They come in the form of (so far as I’ve learned)  “favor followers” “housecarls” and “hired followers”.  The first are people who will accompany you because you’ve done something nice for them in the form of quests. The second are assigned to your character once they’ve proven their worth to a keep by completing so many quests and buying a house in that region. The third are as it says on the tin, your character hires them. So, from what I gathered by reading on the internet, most people use the first housecarl they get, a woman called Lydia.

Now, I used her for a bit too, but I found her to be annoying and obnoxious, so I sent her home after a while.  But she wasn’t my first follower. No, that was some dude called Faendal that I met in a little town called Riverwood. Man, I loved having that guy around. He could shoot arrows like nothing else, and he was handy whenever a dragon showed up. Saved my bacon a time or two because I can’t shoot arrows for shit. I’m a lousy shot, even with the little crosshairs they give us to aim with. Especially at a moving target like a dragon. Pah!  I’m much better just charging in with a shield and sword and chopping things to bits. But, do that to a dragon, and you just get eaten (as I found out). I still try to shoot dragons, but unless they helpfully stand right in front of me, I miss most of the time. Ha! I just left the long range weapons to good ol’ Faendal.

I am the shadow at your back

I am the shadow at your back – Janessa

And then, he died. After all we’d been through together. He just keeled over while we were fighting some bandits. I was all like, “WTF, dude? You’re just gonna die over some measly bandits???” It hit me right in the feels, as they say today. I finished wiping out the bandit nest, looted what I could carry (there’s a weight limit) then sent my character home to just… sit for a moment. I mean, I know he was nothing more than a bit of code in a video game, but to me, it’s the same as reading about a character dying in a book. I’ve cried over that too. I won’t lie. Actually, playing this video game is (to me) like reading one big, interactive novel. Like a choose your own adventure book, which is why I didn’t go back to a previous save and “resurrect” the character as my husband suggested I might do. Because to me, that would have felt like I was doing the story a disservice and rewriting the narrative.  Anyway, I’d grown to like the guy, and I liked having him around whenever I played the game, so his sudden demise kinda made me tear up a little bit. I actually stopped playing for the rest of the night to process the fact that he wasn’t gonna be there anymore. Then I was over it and everything moved forward again.

You are taking us somewhere warm, yes?

You are taking us somewhere warm, I trust? – Kharjo

So there you have it. I teared up over a video game. I call it silly, but I’m not ashamed really. I’ve bawled like a baby over less. Since poor Faendal’s demise, I’ve had two more followers. Janessa, whom I hired, and we did well together for quite a long time. She was also good with a bow, but liked using magic staffs as well. She “talked” more than Faendal did, which was interesting.  She also died fighting bandits (again: WTF, dude? bandits are like the easiest thing to fight!)  I felt a little sad over Janessa’s death, but I tried to send her home before she died, and she kept insisting that I rehire her. She even waived her fee. She was a warrior, she knew there was a chance of death.

And the third (fourth if you count Lydia) was a cat person (called the Khajiit) named Kharjo who wasn’t with me very long before he fell off a bridge to his death while fighting (of all things) falmer. Of all the stupid ways to die.   >_<. Again, I was a little sad by his death, because he was amusing to have around and he seemed a nice enough fellow. He wasn’t with me that long though, and I was saddened more by that fact than by anything else. I wanted to have him with me longer because he was such a good fighter and he was amusing to have around. I think though, that what gets me the most about all of them, is that they were each such inglorious deaths. Seriously. If they’d died fighting dragons, or in boss fights, maybe I wouldn’t have felt as sad, but the enemies that killed them were so… lackluster. It’s just sad. Oh well, at least I didn’t kill them. I have that for comfort. Ha!

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