The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim/Headscratchers

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  • Are the people of Skyrim even acknowledging the Daedra and what they're doing? I play this game all the time and I think to myself "How does no one seem to care that the Daedric Lords can kill everyone that exist in a matter of minutes if they wanted too?"
    • They can't. It was like, the entire plot of the last game. There's a contract with Akatosh, Aedra of Time that prevents Daedra from breaking willy nilly into Nirn. Sotha Sil also made a law that prevents the Princes from manifesting for more than a set period of time. You can still summon them, and they do have some limited influence over Nirn, mostly focusing on their aspects, but they aren't omnipotent within the Arena.
    • Remember that there's only one Daedric Prince who wants to destroy the world, and that is Mehrunes Dagon, and he's got lots of issues with getting into the mortal world these days.
    • The Shivering Isles made it clear that, while still great, the power of the Princes is incredibly reduced in the mortal realm.
  • If you side with Ralof at the beginning of the game, and follow him to his home, he mentions how the ambush that caught him and Ulfric was suspicious. "It's almost like they knew we were coming." Is it ever made clear how exactly the Imperials knew where Ulfric was going to be? Or are we left to assume it was probably just some spy?
    • That or the Imperials are just that good.
    • Tullius apparently set up the entire ambush. He's explicitly described as a military genius.
    • You sort of do have to know the enemy is coming in order to ambush them...
      • Armies have these things called "Scouts" and "Spies" whose job is to figure out such things.
      • Indeed, I wonder if these "scouts" or "spies" could have discovered Ulfric's forces' movements and told Tullius so he could prepare an ambush... Almost as though he knew they were coming...
    • A more pressing question, we are told the ambush took place in Pale Pass, which, if you remember Oblivion, is a Pass that links Cyrodill to Skyrim. Why was Ulfric heading to Cyrodill?
      • Ulfric may have been trying to block the pass to prevent reinforcements from Cyrodiil from reaching Falkreath and working their way west to Markarth or north past Whiterun.
      • With the pass in Falkreath hold, he'd be stuck fighting on both sides if that was the plan. Hardly a winning move to go do a blockade, in person, with a tiny token force.
      • Even with a small token force he could effectively block off the Pass to marching troops, perhaps launching an ambush of his own.
  • its stated that the Imperial caught you crossing the border into skyrim and you get caught up in a fight between the Stormcloaks and Imperials, but its stated by Ralof that they were ambushed near dark water crossing which is no where near the border to any other province. How then do they think you were crossing the border? Unless there was another skirmish somewhere else closer to the border that is not mentioned this makes for a serious case of Fridge Logic
    • The closest area to the border would be toward the southwest of Darkwater Crossing. We don't really know the actual details of the ambush; it is entirely possible that the ambush occurred near Darkwater Crossing but the Imperials had to chase down Ulfric for a bit, and he fled toward the border and the player was snatched up then.
    • Very possibly Ulfric and company were fleeing to the Rift Stormcloak camp, but took a wrong turn (fleeing doesn't really give you an opportunity to get your bearings after all) and went further south, as the player enters Skyrim heading northward from the Autumnwatch Tower area (note the Rift Imperial camp is close to there). Still, it doesn't make much sense, because Darkwater Crossing is IN EASTMARCH and nowhere near the border. The ambush occurring somewhere like Treva's Watch would have made more sense - maybe Ulfric had gone down to check the security of their position in the Rift or something, though it's never made clear why Ulfric left Windhelm in the first place.
  • All draconic names consist of three syllables: each syllable a single word. "Odahviig" is "Snow Hunter Wing," Alduin is "Destroyer Devour Master," and so forth. What is "Akatosh?"
    • Not necessarily a draconic name. Auriel doesn't seem to be, after all, and there is always Alkosh to consider.
    • Alduin is not Akatosh. Akatosh is not a draconic name.
    • What about Dovahkiin? That's three syllables and it's draconic. Also, does that mean he could in theory be summoned by someone?
      • Yeah, the Greybeards. They're pretty loud about it, too.
      • Dovahkiin is A) a term, not a name, and B) a mortal, not a dragon, so s/he cannot be simply summoned. The Dragonborn is perfectly able to respond to a summons by anyone with the Thu'um with a fart and a raised middle finger. Odhaviig can't.
      • Dovahkiin is also not three words, it's two. "Dovah" = "dragon"; "kiin" = "born". Not all draconic words are only one syllable.
        • Actually, Dovahkiin has TWO meanings in Draconic. There's the above, there's also "Dov" = Wyrm, "Ah" = Hunter, "Kiin" = Born, ie: Born hunter of Wyrms. Note that both definitions match what a Dovahkiin really is.
        • Odahviing, if spoken to, makes it clear that he doesn't have to come when you call. He initially comes because he wants to see if you're all that, and afterwards because he respects you. Parthunax and Esbern both say the same thing, shouting a Dragon's name out means they will hear it, but they can ignore it. Esbern says Odahviing will come the first time because your defeat of Alduin is bound to make him curious, and your calling his name in the wake of such a victory is a clear challenge.
    • A related question would be what Naafilargus means - that fellow was a Tamriel-based dragon, so he doesn't have Akatosh's excuse of being a god with twin-mirrors in many cultures (Alkosh, Auri-El, before this game Alduin, and quite possibly still Alduin, if some of the Lore Forum theorizing on what firstborn of Akatosh means is correct[1]).
      • Nafaalilargus is believed to be a corruption of the "Nahfahlaar" mentioned in the Atlas Of Dragons. Now with the words we know we can't perform a complete traslation, but the closest would be: "Fury For ?". That does not mesh well with the naming conventions of dragons, "for" not being at all descriptive. If we consider that his name be "Nahfahliil" we come out with "Fury Elf" which is not much better, being only two words long where all other names are three. Around about then I lost track of all the possible syllabic combinations and get confused.
        • "Nahfahlaar" could be "Nah-fahl-aar", which would be "Fury ? Slave", but that's still suboptimal.
  • It's heavily implied that all Dark Brotherhood members serve Sithis after death. The Thieves Guild questline involves Nocturnal getting claim to your soul as well. Additionally, Hircine gets the souls of deceased werewolves. So... what happens when the lycanthropic Listener and Agent of Nocturnal kicks the bucket?
    • Obviously, they settle things in the manner of all supernatural beings-at-odds: they play poker.
    • The player is the Shezzarine. He can only exist in Mundus because that's where his heart is.
      • Except for you can clearly enter Sovngarde, and depending on where Sanguine's party was, may have entered Oblivion. So much about only existing in Mundus
        • Taking a field trip to Sovngarde may not be all that difficult for a Shezzarine, depending on Sovngarde's exact nature and "location" (especially if it was really established by Shor).
        • Sorry for this (what i assume is stupid) question, but where is it stated that he is Shazzarine? After researching, it seems that a Shezzarine is sent whenever humanity needs a champion, so does that mean that all player characters, by default, are Shezzarine?
          • Not quite: there wouldn't be a need if someone is already on the job (which 'Azura's Pawn', the Nerevarine would be for Morrowind), and Arena and Daggerfall didn't really have threats of such a great scope (Redguard certainly didn't). That, plus it seems the humanity in a Shezzarine's job isn't humanity in the sense of the sapient races, or even of the playable races - it is Mankind, as separate from the Mer and the Beast Races (the Dovahkiin's Shezzarine-long term job may actually not be Alduin, but rather the Thalmor).
    • That and "Serve Sithis" basically means "stop existing in the mortal realm". Sithis is pretty much just a metaphysical representation of nothingness.
    • Since you have the soul of a dragon, I would say that Akatosh gets dibs.
    • Assuming Sithis doesn't immediately annihilate your soul upon death, Nocturnal would probably barter her stake to Hircine for something or other.
    • Maybe the Dovahkiin gets off scott free by paying them off with the many, many dragon souls that were absorbed during life?
    • Personally I like to think you just pulled off a Did You Just Scam Cthulhu? variant that I like to call the Constantine Loophole. By selling your soul to multiple entities, you ensure they have to fight over it, allowing you to walk away free and clear.
    • It's likely that the Dovahkiin will pull something similar to Talos and ascend to godhood after the events of the game. A similar stunt was pulled with the Champion of Cyrodiil becoming Sheogorath, and becoming an Aedra would likely clear you of afterlife debts.
    • There's also the possibility of never dying, due to vampirism. You could very likely cheat all 15 Daedras, 9 Divines and Sithis out of a soul by simply never dying.
  • How come people don't realize that Alduin has returned sooner? When you fight him on the throat of the world, he opens with "My belly is full of the souls of Your fellow Mortal, Dovakhiin" and I assume that either: the nords can tell the difference between their own god of destruction and an ordinary dragon, or that alduin would tell everyone as he swooped in, to instill fear, because he doesn't believe anyone can stop him
    • How is anyone going to tell the difference between Alduin and any other dragon? He doesn't look that different compared with other dragons, especially when everyone who he's attacking is going to have their hands full simply fighting back or fleeing and won't have time to notice the minute differences between him and other dragons and compare them to the limited legendary lore. The only ones who could tell the difference between Alduin and any other dragon would be learned sages or wizards.
    • True, he doesn't really look all that different from other dragons I'll giveyou that, but as I said, knows that the only people who have a snowballs chance in hell of stopping him already knows who he is, so whats to stop him from invoking his identity to instill fear. IDK maybe "Foolish mortal, you face Alduin World eater. Look upon me and tremble for your end is nigh" or some Badass Boast like that. Being chased by an unstoppable mythic killing machine scary. Being chased by the most powerful and evil king of unstoppable mythic killing machines is about ten times worse.
      • Anyone who he did reveal his identity to likely isn't going to be alive long enough to spread word of his presence, and if someone did survive, they've really got no proof that it really is Alduin beyond their own word.
      • Alduin has no reason to instill fear in anyone. He's there to revive the dragons, and will move onto step two of whatever his intentions are once he's got the dragons moving again.
    • Alduin means souls literally. As in the people from Sovngarde he's been eating. Not people in Skyrim.
    • In his first appearance in the game he just went about destroying whatever he saw. At that point you didn't even know dragons were sentient, let alone immortal beings. Alduin likely just never boasted about anything and was hunting the Dragonborn. When Mirmulnir died at your hands, Alduin realized his mistake and now knew exactly who he was after, so he can boast to you as much as he wants now.
  • Whie we're on the subject of Alduin,What exactly is his goal? To elababorate, they pretty much set out two paths a: he will kill devour souls, and go to sovngarde, devour souls of the dead to gain incredible power, and use it to bring about the apocalypse, destroying Tamriel to make way for the next world. or b: I think they said that the first dragon war was a dragon crusade similar in nature to the (tamerilic) modern Thalmor, i.e. dragons are the superior race, and deserve to be kings of the world, with everyone else as slaves. So which is it? destroy world or enslave it? Also, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Alduin claims that when alduin returns in skyrim, he summons with him the souls of dead nords and cloaked said souls in the flesh forms of dragons. where in the name of Talos did they get that idea? I would think that even if you cloaked the soul of a mortal human in the flesh of a dragon, it would radically different from an actual dragon, since a mortal soul probably wouldn't have innate knowledge of dragon shout language.
    • Yeah, that wiki entry should probably be changed(removed). There's no sources linked in it and I don't recall seeing even the slightest hint in the game that would suggest human souls in dragon bodies. It's probably just a misinterpretation of what he does with the souls he eats in Sovngarde.
      • As for Alduin's goal, it could be either one of those. A definitive answer is never given. Paarthurnax seems to suggest that, should Alduin win, the current world will indeed come to an end and a new one will begin. Whether or not he is speaking metaphorically(as in world=civilisation) we don't know for sure.
      • It is entirely possible that Alduin maintains standards for when he starts the world-munching. The kalpa was fairly young in the Merethic Era (which is probably when the Dragon War occured... it certainly did not occur after), so he might simply have been running a world-enslaving gig while waiting for the world to be sufficiently juicy.
    • Most likely he's just trying to reestablish his old draconic imperial dictatorship. Remember that Alduin was sent forward in time from a period where he ruled over Skyrim, so his motivations likely haven't changed in the slightest. Alduin's presence is likely to herald the end times if he's allowed to run amok, as a psychotic dragon-Hitler who wages war in an effort to take over the world for his endless dragon empire is probably going to inflict all manner of apocalyptic hilarity on the world no matter what he does.
    • As I understand it, Alduin's original purpose is to eat the world, to clear it out for the next kalpa. However, he got a bit arrogant in his power and strayed from that purpose. He's kinda like Davey Jones in Pirates of the Carribean. He got cast adrift in time before Akatosh could get a Dragonborn on the scene (IE: beyond the Time God's reach), but by the time Alduin came back, there was a Dragonborn available.
  • Why does everyone say that only the PC can really kill a dragon? I understand that while Alduin is alive during the storyline absorbing the dragon's soul is the only way to keep alduin from resurecting the dragon again, but a fatal wound would still force Alduin to have to ressurect it again. And after he's dead, they can't be ressurected anymore.
    • Because just because he/she/it/schme can't resurrect the dragon doesn't mean something else can't? You're the only one who can ensure they stay gone, and don't wound up being raised by some other force like a sorcerer or something.
    • The issue isn't that the dragon can be dealt a fatal wound. The issue is that a Dragonborn is the only one who can permanently kill a dragon. Otherwise Alduin's just going to show up and bring the downed dragon back to life. Without a Dragonborn, you're pretty much going to be stuck fighting an endless wave of reinforcements as Alduin keeps ressurecting all the dragons you kill.
      • Anyone powerful enough can ruin a dragon's body. But to permanently separate a dragon's soul from the remnants of its body requires another dragon... regardless of what kind of body this other dragon is in. Hence, the Dragonborn's dragonsoul snackin'.
  • Do they actually explain how it is that Dovahkiin is able to kill alduin? I know the wall says its his destiny to slay the world eater, but it is very clearly stated that he is immortal. three of the most awesome heroes in nordic history, warriors who, as shown in the time wound, killed dragons about as easily as Dovahkiin does, and are capable of dragonshouts (though only through training the mortal way) couldn't even touch him, and thus needed to cast him adrift in time with the scroll. Dovahkiin is badass, but is there any real reason that we have the ability to slay a previously immortal creature other than, "because it was carved into an ancient piece of akaviri wall art"
    • The ancients didn't really know how to destroy Alduin. They knew that it'd take somebody with a Dragonborn's abilities, but they couldn't figure out the steps inbetween "find Dragonborn" and "kill immortal dragon god". The best they could do was set down a warning for future generations in hopes that after a few millennia of preparation they'd have something more substantial ready. If they actually knew what to do, they'd have left detailed instructions instead.
    • There's no guarantee that Alduin is permanently gone. After all, you don't absorb his soul. Furthermore, he's not a regular dragon, as he's Akatosh's son. More likely is that you've effectively put off the end of the world for a while, much like the heroes of old did before, but this time without the use of an Elder Scroll to rape the space-time continuum. Now he just has to wait until he can reform, somewhat like Barbas will if you kill him in Clavicus Vile's quest.
      • Odds are that Akatosh will have a few strong words with his wayward son about straying from his duties and going on a power trip with the mortals.
    • It probably has to do with where you kill him. The descriptions about him are to the effect of "Alduin cannot be slain in Mundus" or something similier. But you're not in Mundus when you kill him, you're in Sovngarde (presumably somewhere in Aeithrius or Oblivion). Notice Paarthanax and others encouraging you to go after him before he gets back.
  • Self contraction here. during your introduction to the bard's college, you have to reinstate a festival celebrating the brutal execution of an ancient nord tyrant. That story is backed up by the cave with the Bard ghost where you find Olafs lost verse. according to said passage, the guy was ten different kinds of douchebag. BUT the loading screen calls olaf a hero, since he is the guy from castle dragonreach's name origin. and to top it all off, You meet him in the hall of Valor in Sovengarde! (Nord Heaven) what gives?
    • You don't have to be nice to go to Sovengarde, just die in combat or some kind which is implied to include execution (die by another's weapon). And remember this isn't a Black and White game, characters can be both good and bad, just like a lot of real life historical figures. He was a hero who saved people from a dragon, and a dick tyrant. Being the former does not prevent one from being the latter.
    • Let me get this straight. As long as you die in honorable battle, you go to heaven? What if you had the battle ethic of a nord, and spent your spare time as a mass murdering, child molesting, universally hated villain? Would you still go to sovengarde when you died just to provide one for the good nordic heroes with an enemy to play at war with and keep their skills sharp?
      • Yes. In case you didn't notice, Skyrim is built around real-life Nordic mythology, which pretty much allowed exactly that.
      • You don't go to heaven, you go to Sovngarde. There's a difference. Sovngarde is where Nord warriors who bravely die in battle go.
      • That, or the book was a lie. Considering the type of things that were filled into the crossed out parts, it seems that Olaf's legend has been somewhat twisted by the ages. People apparently love to hear how Olaf never really caught the dragon, even though Paarthurnax confirmed that he did.
      • One of the books (Olaf and the Dragon) that calls Olaf a fraud is actually wrong. It posits that Numinex was old and dying and that's how Olaf caught him (essentially capturing a crippled, almost senile Dragon). Yet Paarthurnax confirms Dragons do not age (in fact, the very existence of Dragonrend confirms this). Also, only Solitude remembers Olaf as a villain. It may be a case of him being an "enemy" (since he conquered them) and being demonized by the locals.
      • If you read Kodlak's journal after completing the Companion's questline, you'll read about a dream he had where he met Ysgramor at the Hall of Valor, and asked the great founder of the Companions what he should do in war because he felt fear. Ysgramor's answer?

Remember this. You are judged not by how you live, but by how you die.

    • Also, remember that this is the TES lore. MANY things are intentionally contradictory. 'Tis the nature of history.
      • Note that the book Olaf and the Dragon is a scholary discussion of the legend, and the author mentions the Solitude bard's version, that Olaf captured a crippled, senile dragon. The author also mentions that there are many variations on the legend, though almost all versions agree on the main points: Olaf and Numinex fight, Olaf wins, Olaf and his Badass Crew transport Numinex somehow to Whiterun and Dragonsreach is built to imprison him. The author lampshades the fact that legends are influenced by their writers, and cheerfully ends by saying that the best way to find out is to experience it for yourself, draw your own conclusions, and have fun.
    • It should be noted that Ragnar the Red is called a hero in a song that portrays him as a douche and treats his being decapitated as a happy ending. "Hero" clearly means a powerful warrior in Skyrim, with no connotation of being good or bad.
      • Or ya know, the song is being sarcastic.
    • Buring of King Olaf is not the recreation of his execution but simply a demonstration of displeasure. King Olaf has been entombed in the lavish crypt as many other respected kings and jarls, so one can assume that he died of natural causes (including death on a battlefield that pretty natural for Nords). Furthermore, it is perfectly possible that there was some bad blood between Olaf (jarl of Whiterun) and Solitude that inspired Svaknir to defame unpopular king.
    • During the quest for the college you have to fight Olaf in Draugr form. Aren't Draugrs all dragon worshippers, who cling to the mortal plane throguh ancient magics? If that is that case how can there both be a Draugr Olaf and a Sovengarde Olaf?
      • It is very likely that being a dragon worshipper is not only one way to become a Draugr. After all, the Solstheim Draugr had an entirely different origin story given, and one Skaal mage managed to become a Draugr (a somewhat lich-like one, in that he kept his mind) through powerful magic for a purpose wholly separate from dragons. As to how there can be both a Draugr Olaf and a Sovngarde Olaf... perhaps the general Draugr doesn't have the spirit of the body it rose from, merely an echo of it? Most Draugr, including Draugr-Olaf, doesn't seem to be fully sapient beings...
  • Bit of a minor thing, but did anyone else notice how incredibly different the spirit of Ysgramor seems in sovengarde from the ridiculously Badass statue from the loading screens. Why?
    • One is a statue. One is the real person.
      • To underline the above: Ysgramor lived in the late Merethic Era. Skyrim takes place nearly four and a half millenia since the Merethic Era. Since Sovngarde isn't a place living people generally get to visit, why would the Nords have a good idea about how Ysgramor looked?
        • One of the in-game books illustrates it. Basically, a battle commander visited Sovgngarde, and the visit instilled him with the words to rally his troops. So, add the two together.
    • All things considered they looked fairly similar to me.
  • All gold coins still bear the face of Tiber Septim on the coin, even though the Septim dynasty is over with. Even the coins found laying about in ancient nordic ruins that haven't been occupied since before Tiber's time have his face on them.
    • The game probably just uses the Septim design because it's the standard currency of the realm. Inventory would probably get a bit clunky if one's gold was seperated into "Imperial Septims", "Draconic currency", and lord knows what else. It would also beg the question of the legitimacy of the currency, exchange rates, the "collector's value" both in-universe and out... better to just use the most common design as the default image. It's not like every piece of iron armour across the land is perfectly identical either.
    • On the same note, the Falmer that you loot almost always carry Septims. Why? If their goal is to destroy the surface culture, then they certainly wouldn't want to trade with it. What use could they possibly have for surface currency?
      • Maybe they're going by the logic of "If we keep their money, they can't use it against us"? Not the most likely tactic for Falmer, I know, but hurting the economy is one way to destroy the surface world.
      • Normally I'd guess that they like shiny objects, but falmer are blind. Maybe they like the sound of coins jingling.
      • I'd guess the Falmer like them because they're made of gold. It's not their face value, but their material value that makes Imperial Septims so appealing to them.
      • The Falmer are blind monster people, the only things they know the feel of is Dwemer metal and Chaurus chitin. They probably loot septims because it's something new and they like the feel of them.
      • In Blackreach, you can find Falmer servants who are members of other races that appear to have been captured and brainwashed into serving them. It's plausible that the Falmer give them the gold so that they can go up to the surface to get supplies and such. Of course, this raises the question of why the Falmer don't have their servants buy them some weaponry and armor.
      • I figured they were supposed to be Dwarven coins that the Falmer had looted from the ruins they live in/around (this goes with the theory that there are many kinds of gold coins, and they're just displayed as Septims for convenience). As for why, the Falmer are just mutant Elves, still intelligent enough to craft tools and build a social structure. They could have an economy within their communities, or could see the coins as potentially useful scrap metal.
    • Though worship of Talos is outlawed, Tiber Septim is still held in high regard; the Mede dynasty rules by saying that it's still the same empire that he built and that his family ruled. Replacing the coin would probably be a very unpopular move.
    • It's been over 200 years since George Washington was president, but we still have his face on the $1 bill. It can be both in the memory of the Septims (they did help close the Oblivion gates after all) and not wanting to mint a ton of fresh coins every time an emperor croaks (which seems to happen quite a bit)
      • Granted, that's pretty much what the Romans did.
  • Why does everyone have lockpicks? From feeble old ladies to captains of industry, virtually everyone has a lockpick on their person, in their chests or cupboards, or somewhere else in their house. Is everyone that afraid of locking themselves out of things?
    • Well, loss of items through pickpocketing certainly isn't uncommon, especially when that mysterious traveller guy decked in armour makes his rounds in town. Realistically though, it's possible that the frequency of finding lockpicks was increased in order to help avoiding a situation where the player runs out of them early on. It was a totally possible occurrence to first-time players of Oblivion who hadn't yet become acquainted with the Thieves Guild.
    • It could also be that the things the player character identifies as "lockpicks" are in reality a tonne of different things (hair clips, pins, scrap metal, etc.) which are simply all represented as proper-looking lockpicks in the inventory for the sake of convenience, much like the gold septims mentioned above. This would also explain why the damn things break so easily if half of them are really just pointy bits of metal you found.
      • Further supported by the in-game book, "Advances in Lockpicking". The author notes carrying several different things, like pre-bent lockpicks and malleable copper for picks.
      • That, good sir (or madam) is pure Brilliance de Fridgé. I vote for Main Page.
      • This is supported by The Wolf Queene, Vol.1, where raises your lockpicking skill. In that book, Potema is depicted picking a lock using the pin of a ruby brooch. And again, it's perception... the common man sees a hair clip... a thief sees a lockpick.
    • They're fairly simple long, flat tools. They probably have a dozen uses to someone who isn't a thief or adventurer, and any smith would have a pile of them lying around their workshop.
    • And why is it that as a Master Smith, you are incapable of forging lockpicks yourself?
  • When the Silver Hand ambush you and Farkas in Dustman's Cairn one of them asks which one of the Circle Farkas is. Another shuts him up by saying that he's wearing the Companion's armour and so he dies, despite Farkas being the only member of the Circle who doesn't wear companion armour.
    • It's likely this was an oversight by the developers, but it's also possible that the Silver Hands recognize Farkas' armor as being Skyforge steel. Euorlund Grey-Mane is a famous smith, after all, and it's common knowledge that he supplies the Companions with weapons and armor.
    • Minor aside; Farkas isn't the only member of the Circle who doesn't wear wolf armor; Aela wears ancient nordic armor.
  • Why is none of the drugs in game have harmful side effects in this version. In fact, shooting up all three drugs in potion form gives a nice buff to all 3 stats (health, stamina and magicka). Kind of counteracts the whole Drugs Are Bad that is with Skooma.
    • With the removal of old attributes, there is nothing that drugs could logically drain (except maybe magicka). Still, they could've implemented some sort of addiction or "comedown" from drugs.
    • Simple, draining certain skills for a period of time and if you are unlucky, permanent skill damage
    • Or you know in the Misc. Obj. Helping Hand in Riften? You give a healing potion to the Argonian to help cure her addiction to skooma, and the PC quaffs those things like no tomorrow, ergo no addictions/crippling comedowns for you.
    • This troper always thought that the lack of negative effects made the player treat it in a more addictive fashion. Admit it, you've pickpocketed/stolen/killed for those lovely health potions, and now you'll want to do it for Skooma, too.
    • Not everyone gets addicted. Contrary to popular belief, there are people who can smoke for years and stop all at once, literally without even noticing they've done it (I did it a few times in college). There are certainly addictive personalities and body chemistries, so there are obviously non-addictive versions of the same, you just don't hear about them much. Also, some drugs have higher addiction rates than others, so maybe the drugs we meet don't have super high addiction rates (and even if they do, to use the cigarette example, nicotine is one of THE most addictive things, and a lucky few still feel no ill effects). QED: maybe the Dragonborn doesn't have the addictive body chemistry, or maybe the addicts we meet are at a particularly low addiction threshold.
      • The game that introduced Skooma made clear that it is quite addictive. Of course, it is also indicated that a simple potion wouldn't help beating the addiction, so all that might have been retconned away.
      • Either that or better healing potions have been invented since then.
      • This. A sidequest in Oblivion had you get ingredients for a Khajiit mage who was searching for a cure for skooma addiction. Maybe he succeeded in the intervening years and the cure became common knowledge. Note that an Argonian you meet in Riften can be cured of skooma addiction with a basic healing potion.
  • So, let me get this straight...What is Esbern's problem with Paarthunax? He hears Paarthunax's name and immediately tells Dovahkiin to kill him. This, despite Paarthunax telling Dovahkiin that he's spent thousands of years redeeming himself and actively helps you in defeating his former master!
    • He's a dragon. Dragons = evil. Its ingrained in their nature. The notion of a dragon not being evil is like a tiger being a vegetarian.
    • Paarthurnax himself says that Esbern is wise not to trust him, and that he himself would not trust another dragon. The "will to power" is part of their very nature. They have something akin to a physical urge to dominate others. Paarthurnax overcame his urge through millennia of meditation, but he understands why Esbern doesn't believe it. Besides, Esbern apparently has a very rigid and uncompromising view of justice. He believes that if you commit a crime you must recieve adequate punishment, no matter what, and Paarthurnax has committed countless unspeakable crimes in his time.
      • On the contrary: Parthurnax didn't overcome the urge in the slightest. He states that, even now, he has to will it into submission on a daily basis. He isn't trying to break a habit from his upbringing: he's continually willing himself to act in spite of what his entire nature screams for him to do.
        • He wills himself not to do what he primally wants to do. Sounds like overcoming to me.
      • Only problem is that adequate punishment and justice are all in Esbern's perspective.
    • It's most likely a mistake to assume that Paarthurnax is completely trustworthy. Yes, he does prove to be a valuable ally until Alduin has been defeated and does act in a grandfatherly manner, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have his own agenda. The time he invested in tending to the Greybeards and that he claims to have been meditating do lend credence to his claims, until you remember that he's an immortal entity and fully capable of investing that amount of time into a plan if necessary. He may want Alduin gone as much as anyone, but what comes after that is what should concern you. After all, all those remaining dragons are going to need a leader...
      • As long as he can teach some of them the way of the voice then thats good for everyone, otherwise you'll be implementing the Final Solution just in case. (He isn't any more powerful than other dragons vs. Alduin who can feed off the dead)
    • The problem I had with the whole Paarthurnax must die thing from the Blades is a certain level of hypocrisy I detected from them. Paarthurnax should die, but, like, Odahviing gets away scott-free? Odahviing only gives you the ability to summon him via Shouts after you a) trap him in Whiterun, leaving him at your mercy (and he gets out of that by claiming he has doubts in Alduin's leadership and agrees to take you to Skuldafn), and then b) kill his current boss. I mean, sure, he gets you to Skuldafn, but then his attitude appears to be one of waiting and seeing who ends up on top, and throwing in with whoever that is. Pretty much everything he does is to save his own skin, yet Delphine and Esbern never take any notice of this, apart from Delphine remarking on the Dragonborn leaving Whiterun on his back, so they know he's around. Odahviing MUST have some crimes under his belt too, especially since he takes over as Alduin's lieutenant after Paarthurnax left, so by Esbern's logic, shouldn't he be killed too? Once that apparent hypocrisy became apparent to me (and Paarthurnax posing that question to me about the nature of good), I really felt I couldn't go through with killing him.
    • I imagine that Odahaviing is tolerated both because of his relatively minor role in the dragon hierarchy (at least compared to Alduin's former second-in-command) and pure utility. Simply put, you need him to continue. Paarthurnax, valuable ally he may be, is not strictly necessary by the point the Blades find out about him. I'm not saying that the Blades are right about Paarthurnax, but they're not entirely wrong about distrusting him. Ultimately, I put supporting either side on the same moral level as supporting either side in the civil war.
    • I would imaging Odahaviing not having a very clean record either, if he was high enough ranked to become the new right hand guy and by his own admission he isn't the passive type. Also only the Rule of Cool is protecting Odahaviing after the main quest technically he probably recently killed a lot of people in unspeakable ways. I would put this as a case of do you want to kill The Atoner just in case? Also the Blades must then be omniscient as to know that he already gave you all you need to save the world.
    • My problem with the quest is that you can't lay down the law with the blades. They aren't there to kill dragons, they're there to protect/serve the Dragonborn. They didn't stop serving every emperor from Tiber to Uriel for not killing Paarthurnax, the hell I'm just gonna standby and let them ditch me. I'm the one giving the orders in this outfit, and until Paarthurnax gives me a reason to kill him, I'm not going to kill him. Now, mind you, I don't expect this course of action to cow them into submission and acceptance, hell, I'd half expect them to draw steel on me then and there. But it would be nice to have the option to put them in their place instead of just ignoring the request and leaving the quest open in the log.
      • Heck, it wasn't as if Paarthurnax was the only dragon they let the old Septim emperors get away with not slaying - Tiber Septim and successors even had dragons serving them in their campaigns (you get to meet - and kill, what with being a Redguard rebel - one in Redguard). Granted, fitting the pre-Skyrim lore dragons to the dragons of Skyrim is... somewhat confusing.
      • I think you're confusing Skyrim's dragons (Jill), who are essentially lesser aedra, with the Akaviri dragons, who were a mortal beast race, albeit dragons. Still, TES lore is confusing at best so it's hard to attribute what to which.
        • Jills are Akatosh's female draconic servants. They meddle around with Time for him. The message Martin Septim leaves for you at the end of Oblivion was 'written back into time by the Jills' afterwards, not delivered directly.
      • That actually raises an important question; would the Blades know or care about the difference between Jills and Akaviri dragons?
      • Akaviri "Dragons" are actually Vampiric Serpents called Tsaesci (there's also a breed of Tiger Dragons in Akavir called Ka Po' Tun). The Akaviri potentates of Tamriel were Tsaesci. They also founded the Dragonguard that became the Blades under the Reman Emperor. So yes. Since the Tsaesci had their own Dragon hunting force, it seems logical that Akavir had Jills there too.
        • The Akaviri Dragons are not Vampiric Serpents. Every source that references the Tsaesci (2920, Mysterious Akavir, Report: Disaster at Ionith, the Champion of Cyrodiil's encounters with the Akaviri invasion force at Pale Pass) indicate that they are more-or-less human sized. The sources are inconsistent about human they are, but that is about things like legs and scales, rather than being, y'know, giant flying lizards (as for Ka Po' Tun, it is not a breed of dragons, but, insofar as it exists [Mysterious Akavir is... not really all that reliable a source], a state of cat-folk ruled by one of them that became a dragon).
      • The way the dragons in Skyrim work is that they're the long-dead bones of Akaviri dragons(who'd migrated to Tamriel after being driven out by the Tsaesci) that were slain long ago and buried given new life by Alduin infusing their bones with the soul of a Jill. So they're Jills, and at the same time NOT Jills.
        • Why would the Akaviri dragons NOT be Jills? Why would the dragonguard come all the way to Tamriel, desperately seeking a Dragonborn they can mysteriously surrender to (As seen on Alduin's Wall, mentioned by Esbern), if their dragons were not Jills (therefore did not have souls a Dragonborn could suck out)? If the Akaviri had no concept of Jills, they would be rather nonplussed by the Dragonborn Reman Emperors. Plus Akavir is on Mundus, so its not like having Aedric spirits there too is out of the ordinary.
        • What evidence is there that says the dragons in Skyrim are Aedra possessing Akaviri dragons? I've played through the main quest and found nothing to indicate it.
      • The fact that the Akaviri dragons migrated to Tamriel after most of them were killed off by the Tscaesi, who were then, in turn, steadily hunted to extinction by the Blades and the Dragonborn. The dragons in this game are explicitly described as darker versions of Akatosh's "Jill" servants. However, they're not summoned to the world; their souls are simply put into preexisting bones, as seen when you find Alduin reviving dragons at the various Dragon Mounds throughout Skyrim.
      • Explicitly described where? I have seen no mention of jills in-game. Searching it on uesp.net does not give any results. Googling for jill skyrim doesn't give any answers either.
    • Well the Dragons encountered serving the Empire are 1. Smaller. 2. Likely too young to have participated in the enslavement of humanity. 3. Lived a long time ago. The Blades could easily have hardened their stance since then (especially since Esbern, while not as Axe Crazy as he could be given the shit he's been through, isn't too stable).
    • Delphine's really the one who's hardlined about it, going so far as to tell the dragonborn that they're either with the Blades or against them on the matter. Again, though, I'm not asking for an option to force the Blades into going along with letting Paarthurnax live. I'm asking for an option to answer Delphine's ultimatum with "against you" instead of just leaving the quest open and ignoring it. I'd like to give the Blades a What the Hell, Hero?; sure Paarthurnax did some bad shit back in the day. He's also the only reason why mortal kind isn't still living as dragon slaves. Far as I'm concerned that balances it out, and I want the option to tell the Blades that, and to tell them they can either accept that and stay with me, or march their asses up the seven thousand steps and explain to the Greybeards why their master has to die, and if they convince them, they're welcome to try and kill him their damn selves. Is that too much to ask?
    • Paarthunax is a dragon, and dragons have an inborn nature that drives them to dominate. He's spent millennia atop the highest mountain in Tamriel, watching the world and thinking about things. He's the leader of the Greybeards, masters of the Thu'um and one of Skyrim's most respected organizations. He knew that Alduin was not truly defeated, as well as where Alduin would eventually reappear. Odahviing says dragons don't lie, but that doesn't necessarily mean they always tell the whole truth. It's not a huge leap of logic to conclude that Paarthunax might have hidden agendas, the game just didn't do a very good job of setting it up.
    • Suspusion is not proof. Sure being a tad weary of Paarthurnax is wise but killing the one guy who offers help without making you jump through hoops and who flat out admits that he sees why you might want to kill him based on his past and nature is rather ungrateful. While he might be an evil mastermind every shred of evidence available in game supports the view that he is a genuine Atoner.
    • The annoying thing is that there was a far better motivation for killing paarthurnax that could have been used. Paarthurnax's way of the voice practices pacifism. With the defeat of Paarthurnax, either the dovahkin or Ohdavig, who serves the dovahkin, becomes the new leader. And, thanks to the aldmeri dominion, the empire is in sore need of an army of dragons. This is a lot better motivation than the one that was used instead.
    • You're all putting way too much thought into this. Esbern said "kill Paarthurnax" after hearing his name, remember. And what does his name mean in the draconic language? Paar Thur Nax = Ambition Overlord Cruelty. Gee, I wonder why you might want to kill a dragon with a name like that?
  • So you start the game waiting to be beheaded because you tried to cross the border? Has anyone actually approached the border? The gate is wide open and the only thing that's stopping you is the game engine. No guards patrolling to ask you what you're up to. No one to even see that you even went near it.
    • You are not being executed simply for trying to cross the border, but because you were trying to cross the border in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's stated in the game's intro that you were caught in the crossfire between the Imperials and Stormcloaks as the former ambushed the latter. You being unknown to the Imperials, they naturally assume you're with their foes, and take you in. If you really need to point fingers, though, you can blame that one Imperial captain for seemingly ordering your death out of spite.
      • What Ralof is essentially saying in the introductory lines of the game is basically "you (the player) weren't with us, you just walked in on us and got mistaken for the enemy, just like the horse thief," which is confirmed by Lokir the horse thief saying "You and me, we shouldn't be here - it's these Stormcloaks the Empire wants." Why Lokir is on the list and you're not is never made clear; it's probably that Lokir has committed more crimes than that single horse theft.
    • There's more than one way to cross the border in Skyrim. And regardless, the crime wasn't "you crossed the border, NOW DIE!" You were simply in the wrong place and got lumped in with the Stormcloaks, just like the horse thief, and they were rushing the execution because the Empire wanted Ulfric dead quickly in a public venue.
  • In Skyrim, there is no correlation at all between the lunar phase of the two moons and their position relative to the sun in the sky. It's possible to see one moon as a sickle, but with the sun at the wrong side! This isn't just a simple plot hole, it's a physical impossibility.
    • There is a book in the game explaining celestial oddities, like stars being visible through the moons' rims at times. I can't remember what the explanation was, but I expect that the moons are actual immaterial magical reflections, or something to that effect.
    • The moons are the remains of Lorkhan's body. They probably emit their own light.
    • The moons are rotting remains of Lorkhan's body. You can see stars through them and the sun doesn't match the dark bits because the dark bits are where his body is rotted away.
      • Yes, this does mean his body periodically rots and regrows. 'tis how gods roll.
    • The Sun and stars are holes punched into the fabric of space, not actual celestial bodies. They don't have to make sense in context of the moon, especially with the above.
  • So almost everyone I know who plays this game reports numerous dragon attacks in Morthal. Is there some sort of priority list for where a dragon would attack, and Morthal is high up on it?
    • You'll have to wait until January for an answer to that question, what with the delayed release of the Creation Kit.
    • Morthal, Falkreath, and Riverwood all suffer a lot of dragon attacks, I think because they sit in overlapping random encounter zones; Morthal is one of the few towns I've noted where guards regularly fight frostbite spiders because they randomly appear so close to the town that they aggro at townsfolk, especially the people at the mill. With that in mind, and remembering that dragon spawn rate shoots up as you progress through both the main quest and go up in levels, it shouldn't be any surprise that Morthal gets hit by a higher-than-average number of dragon attacks.
    • The three settlements are part of the main map, whereas Whiterun, Riften, Markath and Windhelm are all new areas, since a loading screen is needed before you go from the main map into them. Random Encounter Rates also go up the longer you spend in the world map instead of in settlements or houses, and since Morthal and the others are not their own "maps" it could result in higher dragon spawn rates.
  • Why does a dragon attack on Whiterun, the first in dozens of years, only elicit a response of a few men, a stranger, and Irileth?
    • I thought the others were too afraid to act because, well, it's a dragon.
    • If you paid attention during the dialogue, you would have heard that they were being dispatched to investigate the dragon report, not sally forth to slay a beast that they had confirmed was present. Besides, sending the entire garrison out to the watchtower will leave the rest of the city unprotected, which is just begging for a creature with greater mobility and the ability to fly to swoop in and start snacking on the citizenry. Better to send a detachment to investigate and confirm the dragon's presence and leave the rest to protect the city. Besides, Balgruuf is sending Irileth, the most capable warrior in Whiterun and his personal housecarl, to investigate, which is a hefty investment of personal resources.
      • It's also simply a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation. This is the game where about 20 guys constitutes a city sacking army because of engine limitations. 5 guys is a significant investigation force.
    • Also makes you wonder why the Companions weren't called upon to help fight the dragon, or at least to ready themselves in case they needed to defend the city. Irileth ordering a soldier to inform them would be sufficient.
      • The Companions do not answer to Balgruuf or indeed any authority but their own. Notice during the battle of Whiterun they lock their door and stay inside. They are entirely independant and usually require payment. While I'm sure they'd be happy to go fight a dragon free of charge, for the epic-saga factor if nothing else, as noted above it's only a dragon sighting, not a confirmed dragon. Would you go hire an expensive mercenary force to go look at what might be some guard's overactive imagination?
    • Balgruuf probably didn't send out more men for the same reason why he won't let you trap a dragon in his keep later on in the main questline until the civil war is over or the ceasefire is signed- he doesn't want to do anything that would leave the most strategically and economically advantageous hold wide open for an attack. Plus, it happens at a point in the story where most people are skeptical about dragons even existing unless they saw Alduin themselves. Balgruuf believes the threat could be very real so he sends Irileth, the most capable warrior in Whiterun and his personal housecarl, but sending a large detachment to investigate what at that point is essentially the in-universe equivalent of a Bigfoot sighting while the city's under constant threat of invasion would be a bad idea.
  • Parthurnax says that it's "wise not to trust a Dovah", so is there any reason why I should accept the word of Odahviig that I won't be dropped for the height of seven thousand metres en route to Skuldafn? Now he says that there's absolutley no alternative, but why not ask Parthurnax to take you? Sure, they might spot him on the way in, but is that any worse than risking a potential skydiving accident?
    • Paarthurnax would be recognized by the dragons and Draugr defending Skuldafn, and him having to defend himself with you on his back would guarantee you a skydiving incident. Furthermore, even if Odahviig is not on the level, its still in his interest to help you, so that hopefully you and Alduin may kill one another. Lastly, you are sitting on Odahviig's neck with a sword/axe/hammer/spell at your fingertips. If he decided to betray you... while there's no guarantee you couldn't behead him before he managed to throw you off.
    • When he was talking about 'trust,' it was in the context of a discussion over a dragon's nature: an inherent drive to dominate. Odahviig had already acknowledged you as possibly superior to Alduin, and the fact that dragon hierarchy is based on the strength of their Thu'um, that meant you might be his next boss, but Alduin had run away before it could be confirmed. Dragons cannot (by Paarthurnax's words) be trusted to resist their Lawful Evil nature, but if they say that they're going to do something, they're going to do it. Odahviig even says that dragons may not always tell the whole truth, but they do not lie.
  • Having trouble figuring the timeline of original Dragon Wars. So first we have Ysgramor and the Nedic people (ancestors to the Nords and other Men except Redguards) fleeing Atmora to Skyrim - the first men in Tamriel. He was also a survivor of Sarthraal's destruction. Ysgramor's history never mentions him being enslaved by dragons. Quite the opposite, as his tales mention him fighting Mer, especially the Falmer. So then, why is Sarthaal filled with Draugr, who were servants of the Dragons? Frontier, Conquest mentions that there were Nedic immigrants from Atmora long before Ysgramor. Did the Dragon Wars predate Ysgramor, or did it all happen after, since his history makes no mention of Dragons? Skorm Storm-Strider's Journal [dead link], written in 1E139 (During King Harald's reign, who was 13th in Ysgramor's line), shows that people were still well aware of the Dragon Cults and the Dragon Wars, though they thought the former extinct. If the Dragon enslavement of men and the Dragon Wars happened after Ysgramor, wtf were dragons doing while men were spreading as far south as Solsteim? Why did they take so long to decide to go "ooh, slaves!"
    • In-game sources are often intentionally contradictory (see also-the 4 or 5 possible origins of the Night Mother). They call it the First Era for a reason-everything before then happened so long ago that nobody has a clear idea of what happened, just several key points (Alduin's fall, Ysgramor's stand) and several millenia's worth of embellishment and distortion. It's unlikely that Ysgramor was actually in the first wave of immigrants.
    • Also Draugr are not always the result of being dragon's servants, that's just the most widespread one. The Gaulder sons are Draugr and they were from long after the Dragons were not in charge. Ditto Olaf One-Eye.
    • Alduin's wall was carved by Akaviri. The Akaviri war took place in 1E 2703 and ended when they bumped into Reman Cyrodiil. Weren't the dragons long since extinct by then? And if that is the case why build the wall at that point? And how did they even know the details of something that happened so long ago? The wall seems like something that would have been carved as soon as Alduin was killed.
      • The Wall was only carved later, after the Akaviri caught a glimpse of the future through reading an Elder Scroll. The Akaviri Dragonguard knew what had happened because people wrote things down, and the Master who oversaw the construction of the Wall was "unmatched" in draconic lore. According to the Annals of the Dragonguard, the dragons were not extinct by that point either, as the Dragonguard were still hunting some of them down. Atlas of Dragons confirms that at least four dragons had survived into the Second Era.
      • And The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard confirms that at least one dragon survived to the very end of the Second Era (and apparently not being hunted, given that he was working for the then-employer of the Blades).
      • Mirmulnir was noted at being a dragon who never died, having lived peacefully nearby until Alduin's return. It could be possible other dragons survived and were in hiding. However that just raises more questions about how the people of Whiterun denied a Dragon existing despite one living relatively close to them this entire time. Then again, they still thought dragons were fake when the freaking skull of Numinex was mounted in their castle.
  • Why were Paralysis spells moved from the magic school of Illusion to the school of Alteration? They were Illusion spells in both Morrowind and Oblivion, and the old assignment made more sense. It's even contradicted by in-universe books.
    • Probably because they didn't fit with Illusion's theme of only changing your perception of reality.
      • And? Paralysis alters your perception of control over your body.
      • Paralysis spells don't dupe you into thinking you can't move. They render you incapable of movement, in the same sense that the Stoneskin and other such spells don't just trick your opponent into thinking that your skin has become armored.
      • Just like how fireball makes people think they are on fire by the time honored method of actually setting them on fire, Paralysis makes them think they can't move beacuse they actually can't move.
      • According to one of the books the OP references with "contradicted by in-universe books", the ideas that, to quote Incident in Necrom, "Nothing changed in the vampire's fom, except its ability to move". Of course, technically the same could be said of Water Breathing... except paralysis is easier to explain why it would be in Illusion: if you think you can't move, you might not be able to move, whereas thinking that you can breathe water is less liable to make you actually capable of breathing water.
        • Actually, one of the in-universe books contradicts this, saying that believing you can breathe water actually makes the spell more powerful.
        • What on earth implies that paralysis just makes them think they cant move? All that book is saying is that they don't turn to stone or get frozen.
          • Nothing, since there is no explanation for why it works, beyond 'inhibits the ability to move'. It is, however, a possible explanation for how it works, and therefore why it would be in Illusion as the previous games and some books still in Skyrim has, whereas it would not work for Water Breathing.
    • Simple - in the 200 years between Oblivion and Skyrim, spells have changed, so instead of stopping your conscious mind from controlling your body, paralysis now physically grips you in place. This is better in combat because even if your mind cannot control you, flinch reflexes still can.
  • How do shopkeepers know whether the item you're trying to sell them is stolen? And why do they care?
    • Simply put, it's not that the shopkeepers know and care, it's that you know they're stolen, and that you should care a great deal. If you're carrying some "hot" merchandise, the last thing you want to do is try and pass it off to a reputable business. After all, once word gets out that somebody's house was robbed, people are going to be looking for whatever was stolen, and trying to sell said item in a regular store is going to leave an obvious trail for people to follow. Interacting with a shopkeeper means they have a description of you and what you sold, and if the guards show up a while later asking about the jarl's stolen necklace which the shopkeeper just happened to come into possession of recently... well, you can see how that would get messy for you real quick. Selling your stolen goods through a trusted fence ensures you remain anonymous to the authorities, and it's assumed the fence passes the goods through their various connections until they're sold in some far away place where no one cares about where they came from. Granted, none of this actually comes into play in the game, but that's precisely why the "stolen item" mechanic is there: so that the player doesn't have to deal with all the minutiae of professional thievery.
      • And, of course, if they did know many of the shopkeepers would care, either because they genuinely think thievery is a bad thing (they are, after all, shopkeepers) or because they want to keep up a reputation as reputable businesspeople, which is easier to do if it doesn't come out that you've been dealing in stolen goods.
    • Related to the above- you know the item is stolen and you'll likely be caught if the shopkeeper figures it out, so you're nervous about trying to get rid of it because you're afraid of getting caught. The shopkeepers can tell you're nervous, and somebody who's nervous about trying to sell you something usually isn't a good sign, so they turn it down. They don't know for sure, but if they get caught with stolen goods in their shop they'll be in serious trouble, so they're making an assumption to reduce their risk. (How much this explanation works depends on what your character's history is and how good of a thief they are.)
      • That explanation actually works pretty well with how you get the Fence perk. You'll need to advance speech by quite a bit to get the perk, which indicates that you've spent a long time working on being convincing. Once you've learned enough smooth-talking, you can convince the shopkeeper to take the item without suspecting it is stolen.
    • The result of this is actually a plot point in Sadri's personal quest. He bought a ring that turns out was sold to him by a thief, having stolen it from a prominent Nord Noblewoman in Windhelm. Note that you never tell him this, he puts two and two together after you accuse him, by remembering the rumors he heard around town and looking at said object. Given that Hired Thugs can be sent after you, it's possible that the original owners of stolen goods will report it and rumors will spread, so your character himself is afraid to actually show shop owners these items.
  • If Draugrs were created by the Dragon Cults (or from those involved with them), then why are there many Draugr originating from after that period, or of people who opposed the Dragon Cults? (Olaf One-Eye, who fought a dragon, Gauldur's sons, who lived in the first Era, long after the Dragon Wars when the cults were thought extinct according to a journal dating from the same era.)
    • Mikrul and Geirmund retreated to pre-existing crypts that were ancient at the time of Gauldur's death, so they had draugr to start with (and presumably were draugr-ified by a different process). It's also implied that in Ansilvund that (non-dragon priest) draugr can be raised by modern-day casters from mummified corpses, suggesting that the distinction from draugr and skeletons has as much to do with material as it does anything else.
    • Also Draugr featured in Morrowind's expansion Bloodmoon without being anything to do with dragons. Basically they are just a type of undead dragons made extensive use of, not something that only happens as a result of Dragon Cults.
    • Draugrs can also result from people who practice cannibalism, and one of the crypts imply that the Draugr themselves were creating more draugr with fresh corpses. There may be a non-Dragon Cult related method or maybe Skyrim people just call whatever shrivelled corpse that moves a Draugr, regardless of it's origins. While Dragon Cult Draugr are the most common, they're by no means the only ones.
  • Why do Bandits who reside in forts nowhere near snow wear fur gear?
    • Because they're bandits. They have to venture out of their fort to earn their livelihoods, and hoping that particularly stupid trade caravans wander into your dilapidated bandit-fortress isn't a recipe for success.
    • Just because it's not snowing doesn't mean it's not cold.
    • Coz hides is one of the more plentiful resource and it also allows you to get food?
    • In addition to those reasons, most bandits appear to be light skirmisher types; they rush in, use hit and run tactics. They'd prefer lighter armor that would allow them to carry more on their way back and outrun any pursuers. They also likely don't have many skilled smiths in their ranks to make them superior armors than hide and fur.
  • What were Sulla and Umana doing before you showed up in the Alftand Cathedral? Were they just slumped, unconscious, behind those pillars? They must've been in pretty deep comas to not hear and react to your battle with the centurion, or to not have resolved their differences before that moment. It just seems weird to have these characters show up, literally from the stonework, and have them suddenly duel to the death in front of you.
  • If Farengar Secret-Fire is so interested in studying dragons, to the point of trying to take scales and blood from Odahviing, then why does he refuse to buy Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales from you?
    • I guess it just never crossed the Dragonborn's mind to give him the stuff, and he/she likely assumed Farengar wouldn't accept them. Plus, the Dragonborn might want some for him/herself to make Dragon Armor.
  • Why is High King Torygg stuck in the mists of Sorvngarde? He died some time before Alduin returned, so he should've reached the Hall of Valor unimpeded.
    • You have to best Tsun to get into the Hall of Valor. Tsun may be a pushover for the Dragonborn, but that's because you're the goddamn Dragonborn.
      • If that's the case, why aren't the field of Sorvngarde not filled with the ghosts of the dead from the past several thousand years who have failed to beat Tsun? The halls of valor have about only two dozen people in them, so Sorvngarde should have millions of defeated ghosts wandering with Torygg. Only people there are the freshly dead since Alduin's return. That seems to indicate that the souls who don't beat Tsun are destroyed, not left to wander about. If Torygg is there, it means he's not faced Tsun at all, so again, why is he there.
      • Tsun only says you need to prove your valor in a warrior's trial. He never specifies you need to win. Presumably he can let pass people who give a good fight even if they lose (not like they can die again either, unlike the Dragonborn).
      • Nords who fail to best Tsun aren't necessarily destroyed. They could just be shunted back into the dreamsleeve and given another go-around until they meet Shor's standards of a mighty warrior.
    • Maybe Alduin's been back for a little longer than we've realized, few months, maybe a year, but he only reveals himself at the Dragonborn's execution. As for what he's been doing; recovering from being bitchslapped through time by an elder scroll, maybe. Tracking down the dragon graves. Looking for you.
    • Note that Alduin has been devouring the souls of nords in Sovngarde to recharge his strength. It's amazing that Torygg is still there and the areas outside Sovngarde were possibly filled with a ton of people, just that they got snatched up by Alduin long before you arrived. The soul of the guard you meet there clearly is scared of being taken by Alduin.
  • When you show your first stone of Barenziah to Vex, she mentions that she won't buy it because (paraphrased) "They're only of worth if one has the complete set." If people aren't buying them because they're not worth much on their own, then no-one's actively collecting the whole set which is known (at the very least by scholars) to be valuable. Vex's whole evaluation of the gems doesn't seem to make sense.
    • Well, they're glowing pink gems that hover in their own custom-made boxes, but otherwise have no obvious magical benefit or mineral value. Maybe they do fetch a decent-ish price, but some people just think they're cool paperweights while others have them just for the cred. No one has tried to collect them all because it would be really really really hard. Vex might be nudging you into finding the rest because she's a thief, you're a thief and it'd be a pretty awesome thing for the Thieves Guild to have. And it's not that unusual for a complete artifact to be worth a lot more than the sum of its component materials.
    • The Artifact at the end is special to the thieves Guild. Vex is egging you on to collect the gems instead of selling them so they can get the artifact.
      • All that still doesn't explain from a story standpoint why no one else is collecting the stones. Vex can't be the only person in Skyrim that knows what they are, and logically you should run into the other collectors whilst collecting them yourself. You don't. The only logical conclusion is that Vex is the only person in the world that knows about the stones of Barenziah.
    • Vex implies that very few people know what they are and fewer still know there's more than one out there. Perhaps it does fetch a high price to people other than the thieves guild, but most don't know more than one exists, hence no collectors. Vex herself will reveal that she wanted you to collect the stones, not sell them off at the first chance to some random peddler, which explains why she gives you such a low evaluation at first.
  • In the Thieves Guild quest, Karliah claims she couldn't get a clear shot on Frey and shot you instead. How the hell could she NOT have a clear shot? It was a huge ass chamber with a large entry point, and Frey was hardly holding you in front of him like a human shield.
    • Wasn't he? I'm pretty sure he takes his sweet time about entering the chamber. I thought she chose to shoot you because she figured the very moment Mercer suspected you could be a witness, he would have run you through, and she needed someone alive who knows Mercer's a traitor.
    • Karliah's downfall was that shooting you lost any element of surprise or stealth attacks she was riding on. The fact that she makes a HUGE deal about being concerned that the player can't defeat Frey alone later in the quest implies that she couldn't beat Frey one on one herself without that advantage. She also mentioned that the act of saving your life directly ruined her chances, so that also would've played a huge part in the failure.
    • Implies? Mercer says flat-out in that scene 'You never could beat me with a blade, Karliah.' Her plan relied on taking him from ambush because Mercer's a better fighter than she is. Also, Mercer tells you at the beginning of the dungeon that you're walking in front to be his living trap detector, so, yes, he is indeed hanging back and letting you draw fire.
  • Why can't the Dragonborn do anything useful with the Thalmor dossier on Ulfric? Like confront him with it, or make it public? If you supported him, surely you'd want him to have it, and if not, surely it would be useful in discrediting the Stormcloak rebellion (weakening the Empire is just what the Thalmor want, and all that).
    • Presumably it's not firm proof. Could easily just have been faked so it is of no use to anyone because there's nothing marking it as genuine.
    • Still, would have been an interesting conversation when he was confronted with it.
    • The dossier doesn't really say anything to discredit him. The Thalmor have tried talking to him about ... something before and then they tried to arrest him so he won't ever talk to them again. That's pretty much it. Everyone with common sense realises that the civil war continuing is in the Thalmor's favor but they think it's worth fighting anyway and it only drives both sides to try to achieve victory as soon as possible.
      • The Dossier implied that they tricked Ulfric into thinking that he was partly responsible for giving away valuable information to them, and on one occasion they tried to contact him with...less than stellar results. It's implied that Ulfric is more of a pawn than an actual agent of the Thalmor. Confronting him with the info would do little than to anger him, since the Dossier directly says they need to prolong the war for Thalmor interests, and Ulfric certainly wants the war to end. There would have been little plotline difference, since Windhelm guards and Ulfric himself doesn't exactly welcome Thalmors with open arms to begin with.
  • Jyggalag was free of Sheogorath ages ago, but for some reason he doesn't have his own shrine/daedric quest (unlike all the other Princes), despite the fact that we know he has no problem with worshippers (like the knights/priests of Order). Why no love for Jyggalag?
    • Jyggalag has no daedric realm left to him (with Shivering Isles passing back to Sheogorath 2.0), so he might still be busy rebuilding his forces and powerbases after several ages of absence.
    • My personal theory, as related on the elder scrolls wmg page, is that Jyggalag's speech is utter bunk and that he and Sheogorath are simply split personalities of each other, both relating different faces of madness as a whole(Jyggalag is obsessive compulsion, Sheogorath is manic depression). So there'll be another greymarch in a couple thousand years.
      • Unlikely. Word of God confirms Sheogorath and Jyggalag are distinct (see Bethesda's 4th wall breaking interview with both lords' chamberlains).
    • They're probably just saving him for DLC.
    • Another thought: Does Skyrim seem like the sort of place to worship the incarnation of law and order to you?
  • Why can you understand the ancient heroes both when reading the Elder Scroll and when talking to them in Sovngarde, but draugr from that time are incomprehensible?
    • The first time you are using an artefact of timeless knowledge, the second you are in Nordic heaven. It's likely that the ancient heroes aren't speaking a language you recognise, but you understand them anyway thanks to your unique circumstances.
    • Also, and I could be wrong about this, but aren't the draugr speaking draconic?
  • Why the hell did that Imperial Captain in the beginning order your death?
    • Given what little is seen of her, it may be because she is a bloodthirsty Knight Templar. People like that do, sadly, sometimes get into positions of power.
    • Alternatively, she just wanted to get through the executions as quickly as possible. They had Ulfric, and thus could end the war in a matter of minutes. She didn't have the time or patience to bother trying to clear your name. You were caught with the Stormcloaks, thus she assumes you're a Stormcloak as well.
      • Though if that was the case, you'd expect her/them to execute Ulfric first, instead of going for a random Stormcloak and then the main character - who is only a suspected Stormcloak, not a confirmed one.
        • Executing Ulfric's entire army in front of his face while he's unable to do anything but watch and wait for his turn is the most dramatic way possible to rub his defeat in his face. And it'd make a better story. Also, she wasn't planning to start with the random Stormcloak, he knelt down in front of the block in the middle of the last rites, yelled "get on with it," and she obliged. Most likely she was planning to start with you and Lokir, since neither were Stormcloaks, both to build the drama (likely blaming their deaths on Ulfric, further rubbing the situation in his face) and to get rid of people that, from her viewpoint, would more likely than not make the Empire's job harder if something happened and the prisoners escaped, whether by joining the Stormcloaks or just spreading the word about the Empire executing prisoners of war without a trial.
  • Whats with most of the bards in the game being horny douches?
    • Likely playing to the stereotype that guys pursue artistic endeavors(song, poetry) mainly to get laid.
  • Why don't Stormcloaks and Imperials try harder to retake fortresses from bandits and other groups? It seems they just give up on really powerful fortresses in strategic locations (I'm looking at you Valtheim Towers!)
    • Could be they don't want to spread their forces too thin.
    • Or perhaps they're simply waiting for someone to do the job for them. This troper once cleared Fort Greymoor on his own initiative, and was surprised to find that the Legion had moved in when he visited the fort again.
  • Whats with Bandits coming up with the worst trap ideas ever?
    • All available evidence says they're not very smart.
  • Where did Ulfric learn the Thu'um?
    • At one point Ulfric says that he studied with the Greybeards before the great war.
  • Is there a map of Tamriel somewhere that was made after the Great War with the Thalmor?
    • Yes, there is. [dead link] This image on the Elder Scrolls Wiki is fan-made, though; there is no official image detailing the new political lines of the Fourth Era.
  • What the hell is wrong with Madanach, and for that matter, all the guards and Forsworn in Markarth? Madanach has a passage out of the prison literally ten feet from where he sits. It's not concealed. It's not defended by any guards. He has the key to open the gate. I don't know who's stupider; The guards for letting the passage exist, or the Forsworn for not using it until you come along.
    • Madanach's just been biding his time. By the time you come along, Thonar Silver-Blood is on the verge of having Madanach executed just to be safe because he knows the guy is testing the boundaries of his control, and Madanach's prepared for that eventuality. The escape tunnel's not concealed because it's a Dwemer ruin; those are all over the place in Markarth, no one looks at them, and it would be insane trying to explore and block off every single one, particularly because Dwemer ruins tend to be incredibly dangerous. It's possible Madanach or one of his pals broke through into it while mining for silver or he knew it was there from when the Forsworn still occupied the Reach and Markarth. (Also, it is guarded, just not with city guards; a couple of Dwarven Spheres try to murder you halfway down it.) Once you tell Madanach Thonar's on to him and you're loyal-ish to the Forsworn, Madanach figures it's worth gambling everything on an escape and taking out Thonar Silver-Blood, but not before then.
  • If the Dragons have no concept for Mortal, Finite & Temporary (As Paarthunax implies), then why do they have words for all three concepts? Especially if the concepts are such complete brown notes, why have words for them if said words will be harmful to them? In fact, how can dragons not have a concept of finite and temporary? They are finite in size and power, and they experience many temporary things (like being set on fire when they use their thu'ums on one another to greet each other, the fire is temporary). Why would the concept bother them at all?
    • It's not so much that they don't understand those concepts (since they can definitely grasp the idea of mortal beings and temporary things) as they don't understand how those concepts could ever apply to them, specifically. A dragon is a being outside of time that doesn't get born, live or die so much as exist indefinitely; they're at least partially divine or primordial. They're naturally immortal, infinite and eternal. With that in mind, remember that Shouts literally create whatever word it is that you speak. When you Shout Dragonrend at a dragon, you are telling it to be Mortal, Finite and Temporary when by the laws of the universe it can't and still exist; it faceplants from confusion and despair in much the way you would if something successfully, completely convinced you that you don't exist. It's corrected when you take a moment to recall all evidence that you do indeed exist, but during that moment you're vulnerable. And the same goes for dragons convinced that they're mortal. It's a sort of existential horror that only applies to them.
      • Remember that the very first dragon you fight and kill will scream "Dovahkiin nii!" when you slay it. The mere notion of actually dying and no longer being immortal utterly terrifies dragons.
        • Being afraid of dying is unique to dragons? Since when? Pretty sure if I were about to kill you, you might feel the urge to scream a Big No too. Kind of flimsy evidence.
          • The difference is that for mortals, death is part of the natural order. For dragons, it's not. It shouldn't even be physically possible for them to die.
    • The dragons don't have words for those concepts. The Thu'um involving those words was created by humans. Those words were human words that were empowered by the Thu'um. Paarthunax says as much.
    • Dragonrend IS in Draconic. It's WRITTEN IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. Open the menu and look at it. If it were in a mortal language, it would not use their writing. Furhermore, Paarthurnax actually call you a "joor" (mortal, one of the words of Dragonrend) when you greet him with Fire Breath the first time.

"So you have made your way here, to me. No easy task for a Joor... Mortal."
"Your kind, Joorre, Mortals, created it as weapons against the Dov... The Dragons."

      • Ah, thanks for correcting me.
    • Yeah. Those words already existed in the Draconic tongue, and the humans had the idea to turn them against the dragons by empowering them into a Thu'um. A dragon could never even conceive of doing something like that, because they can't grasp the idea of being mortal themselves or that mortality could hold some sort of power. Which is probably why a dragon also can't use the Dragonrend Shout themselves - a mortal would have to give them the knowledge, not another a dragon, and even the idea could potentially cripple them.
    • The dragons have words for such concepts like mortals have "infinity" and "eternity". Like mortals cannot comprehend infinity, the dragons cannot comprehend death. The Shout works by forcing the dragon's mind to comprehend death, which is so alien that it basically causes its brain to short-circuit and shut down.
      • Mortals can't comprehend infinity? Legions of Mathematicians, Physicians and others beg to differ.
        • "Intellectually understand" =/= "comprehend".
          • In what dictionary?
      • River Tam's. "She understands. She doesn't comprehend." They do have different meanings.
            • Reading the Kama Sutra isn't the same thing as getting laid. Knowledge and experience aren't the same thing. Dragons can intellectually understand mortality - figuratively reading the book - but can't experience it - figuratively do the deed.
              • Except Dragons are not Infinite. For one, they have one form of finite dimensions and abilities. Their intelligence, and pretty much everything about them is finite. Even their ability to see in time is finite (as told by Paarthunax). Except for their lifespan (which itself is finite. It has a beginning and extends into the present, which is a finite length of time), they are no more infinite than humans. So the idea that they can't "experience" the concept of Finite is bull.
      • They are definitely "infinite", compared to mortals. They are literally unable to die unless divine intervention reaches through the clouds and hands draconic power to a mortal specifically to allow them to do so. The dragons are themselves partially divine - creatures of Akatosh, who embodies time itself, yes? Their language itself shakes the heavens and earth when spoken. Compared to mortal beings, who can be smeared like insects, whose souls are coins to be bartered among the daedra or fuel to power enchantments, whose language is "guttural" and frail... We don't know what having the perception of a dragon is like, but obviously being forced to grasp the mindset of a mortal is painful for a dragon, and that's what Dragonrend does when it strikes them. Besides, trying to apply the mathematical/physics concept of infinity to a fantasy universe with dragons who are sort of angels is a bit of a bad fit, isn't it? Maybe "finite" is just a rough translation of the original draconic word when a purer translation would be "succumbs to limits imposed by time" or something equally grandiose and long-winded.
        • Bigger =/= Infinite. Being stronger doesn't make you infinite. Dragons have limits. Which makes them Finite. Their lifespan, even if you did not kill them, is a finite length of time, measured from their creation, to the time where you met them. If you measured Paarthunax' age, it would be a finite number. A big one yes. But even the biggest of number is not even close to infinity. Even Alduin is finite. His lifespan extends from his creation by Akatosh, to the point where he was killed. Which is a finite length of time. Having the potential to live forever doesn't make them infinite, because none of them have lived an infinite amount of time.
      • Just because their lifetimes as physical beings are finite doesn't mean their souls are. Anyway, as aforementioned, they're partially divine. They're more than just the flying lizard you can see and the bones and skin they leave behind. Think of the daedra, and how they relate to the world, and the Divines, and how they relate to the world. The dragons are of similar stock.
      • Remember that when you're looking at a dragon, you're looking at more than just a sack of meat and fluids sloshing around inside armored scales that can speak and spit fire. There is a physical body, and that physical body can be killed, but the mind behind it is something much more. The mind of a dragon is something vastly greater and superior to a human's, and said mind is what you're attacking with Dragonrend. You're slapping the dragon in the brain with concepts that run counter to how its mind is fundamentally designed. The dragon has no idea what the fuck and smashes into the ground as a result because it is so confused.
      • I assumed that dragons having words for things like mortal and finite was the result of them interacting with/observing mortals. They needed those words to describe mortals even though, by their nature, they could not truly understand what things like finite and temporary mean. As for ‘Dragons cannot comprehend mortality’ I think it’s a little deeper than just understanding the mechanics of how those things works. To borrow a quote from Mass Effect, imagine trying to describe the color red to a creature without eyes. You might be able to convey the idea, maybe even a working understanding of how light and color works but there’s no way to truly convey what the word means without experiencing it because it’s completely and utterly foreign to them. Dragons can probably understand mortality but only as it relates to mortals, they simply lack the frame of reference needed to truly comprehend the concept. Since dragons are, for all intends and purposes, timeless they don’t understand what it is to be mortal because the only way for them to truly die is to have their soul devoured by a Dovakiin.
    • This very wiki has a page dedicated to Fridge Horrors of real life, including the comprehension of the universe, your soul and various other things. For most people, first time reading through all those and understanding what it means to exist in this universe is utterly terrifying. Like Dragonrend, those are conveyed in our own words with their own meanings that we understand, but to actually comprehend the concept it is what's terrifying. The dragons are feeling something similar, except each time you use Dragonrend, it's like they're experiencing it for the first time again.
      • Exactly. The way I would analogize it is that dragons understand mortality in the same way that someone who's always been wealthy understand poverty. They know poor people exist; they may have even met some. They may have gone "slumming" or pretended to be homeless for a time - but there's a significant difference between doing that, knowing you can end the simulation of poverty at any time, and actually being poor.
      • Except the dragons understand mortality better than humans do, since all of them, except Alduin and Parthunax, have experienced dying. They are being raised from the dead after all. And before someone says "Their spirit wasn't destroyed, only their bodies so they didn't die" I'd point out the same applies to humans who die - their spirit lives on in the afterlife (Sovngarde or whatever form it takes depending on culture). So the analogy above about rich and poor is like a Billionaire born in a rich family who's never experienced running out of money telling hobos what being poor is all about.
  • What's the political environment in High Rock like? Since the Oblivion crisis every other province has succeded from the empire except there and Skyrim. If Skyrim does break free from the empire is High Rock likely to follow suite deciding the Empire has no power left and has no reason to remain alligned with it?
    • Morrowind is still a part of the Empire (oh, reduced, of course, but what is left of it is a part of the Empire). As for the political enviroment of High Rock... I am not certain I understand the headscratcher about it? The Civil War is still undecided when the game starts, and a Stormcloak victory would not instantly cause High Rock's kingdoms to decide on a course, so why would it play a part in Skyrim? A High Rock secession is rather likely if the Stormcloaks win, for the very simple reason that Cyrodiil doesn't have a border to High Rock.
  • "Disrespect the law and you disrespect me." Shouldn't that be the other way around? I mean, wouldn't it be a bigger deal to disrespect the law in general than to just disrespect one guard?
    • If you disrespect the law, you disrespect the guard in his position as a lawman. Disrespecting the guard as a person does not necessarily indicate disrespecting his position as a lawman, however, so why should it be the other way around? It is a bigger deal to disrespect the law than one guard, but that doesn't change which of the two better indicates the other.
    • Also: the law -- as an abstract force -- doesn't have a weapon. The guard does. The implication -- especially in an honor-bound culture like Skyrim where such personal disrespect is taken seriously -- is "disrespect the law, and I will hurt you."
  • Why don't more Nords go to train with the Greybeards? Shouts seem like a pretty useful power to have.
    • High Hrothgar is way the hell on top of the highest mountain in the world and it takes years and years to learn just one Shout living an extremely monastic, meditative life with few distractions (poke around the Greybeards' living quarters; there's not much there. Beds, books and food, that's about it). In addition, they're held very sacred and perhaps even a little feared. The Dovahkiin's a special case, and Ulfric had a very specific motive. It's a big expenditure of effort for a very small gain outside of game terms.
      • Among the restrictions of being a Greybeard, it seems you must leave behind your family and, if you wish to study more than just one harmless word, make a vow of silence. Talk to any greybeard other than Arngir, they will utter the word "dovahkiin" in a hushed voice, but even the smallest of squeaks out of one of them causes the entire temple to shake. Imagine spending years of your life learning the craft, only to be told you can never leave nor speak another word in your life lest you want to destroy the world you originally came up here to protect when you accidentally mutter a curse because you stubbed your toe. Arngir is implied to have received even more training in the arts, so that he may control his voice so that the Greybeards would have at least some form of a liaison with the outside world.
    • Shouts are useful if you can just snack on dragon souls to gain their power. They're much less useful when you literally have to spend decades learning how to do the basics. Ulfric spent a substantial amount of time learning how to Shout and all he got was part of Unrelenting Force. Most of the upper-end draugr you fight only learned parts of Unrelenting Force and Disarm, and those were apparently the most skilled and powerful of the old humans under the dragons. Its a skill that takes a vast amount of time and experience and study and practice to use at all, let alone effectively enough to be useful in battle.
    • Also, keep in mind that the Greybeards do not train everyone who makes the pilgrimage to High Hrothgar. Very few who get up there are accepted by the Greybeards as students of the Way of the Voice, and the Greybeards are apparently very exacting in the training and usage of the Voice. Ulfric was among the last they accepted.
    • If you follow all the dialogue options when you first get to High Hrotghar, you are told that there are a lot of rules and restrictions on being taught the Voice by the Greybeards. You pretty much have to swear to abjure all worldly affairs, give up on seeking power, etc, etc. etc. (Yes, Ulfric Stormcloak is a major apostate for going back on all of this when he left his Greybeard studies). The only reason that you aren't bound by these restrictions is because you are Dragonborn, and so those rules don't apply to you. The Greybeard devotional restrictions ultimately derive from the commands given them by Kynareth when she first blessed mankind with the ability to learn the Voice, and your ass belongs to Akatosh. And it is Akatosh's will that you conquer. This is why prior Emperors like Tiber Septim could go out and use the power of the Dragonborn to dominate the planet, but its an epic sin by Greybeard standards for them or their students to do the same thing. The short version is that nobody goes to High Hrothgar to gain power because power is the exact thing the Greybeards don't want to give anyone. The entire point of the Way of the Voice is that you're a pacifist who doesn't actually use their power.
      • Indeed, the main purpose of the Greybeards seems to be to just keep the knowledge alive down the ages so that when a Dragonborn finally does show up, people will be available to train them.
  • So... why did those loser Imperial Legioners assume the PC was a Steamclock? He was hobbling across the border alone, unarmed, barefoot and in clothes that were fashioned from potato sacks. The actual Stromcrocs are always armed and always wearing easily recognizable Stormcloak armor. The PC had neither weapons nor anything that even remotely resembles the Stemclerks tunics. How do the Legioners fail to see that indiscriminately killing innocent people in cold blood is only giving others a huge incentive to join the rebels? And why would anyone who is not a Nord be with the Stormcloacks anyway?! Especially an Imperial, High Elf, Dark Elf, Orc, Argonian or Khajiit - anyone of those races being involved with the Storecloacks, uhhh that just wouldn't happen. The rebels want all of them dead. If they so badly wanted Ulfric dead ASAP, why did they not kill him first? Why put the random unknown hobo ahead of the most important and potentially dangerous prisoner present? (since he can very skillfully use the Thu'm, the fact that he's gagged doesn't mean they are completely safe..) That doesn't make sense either.
    • As my answer to this Headscratcher is rather long, I've divided it into three paragraphs:
      • The actual circumstances surrounding your capture are deliberately vague, but it is reasonable to assume your capture was a matter of military pragmatism. In the heat of battle, a soldier must treat everyone but his own fellows as a threat or a potential threat, else he stands to get himself or his friends killed. Restraining you was a means of eliminating you as a threat--and the fact that you're still alive shows that that the soldiers weren't necessarily out to spill blood if they could help it. After the ambush is over, the Legionnaires, not recognizing you as one of their own, naturally assume you're one of the rebels they've been sent to capture. It's only later, once you arrive at Helgen, that it becomes clear that you're "not on the list."
      • After that point, all blame rests solely on the shoulders of that one Imperial captain, who clearly exhibits some Blood Knight tendencies. As for her reasons for ordering your death, there are a number of possibilities. It could be simple racism, especially in the case of High Elves, Orcs, and beast races. It could be she wants to eliminate any unfriendly witnesses: she doesn't know your political leanings, and could rightly assume that you will spread word of the Empire executing prisoners of war without proper trial. Or, she might assume that you're a dangerous agent of some unseen force--possibly the Thalmor--in which case she would want you eliminated quickly to prevent you from passing on intel.
      • And finally, for why the captain orders you to the chopping block before Ulfric. In terms of game design, it's so you can get a good, scripted look at Alduin descending from the clouds and ruining Helgen's day. In terms of in-universe logic, she really has no reason to rush things along. No one had any reason whatsoever to assume a dragon, or anything else for that matter, was going to prevent them from executing every one of the prisoners in due time. Ulfric is obviously restrained quite handily, both body and voice, else he most likely would've killed his rival, General Tullius, when the man was standing right in front of him. The captain could be ordering you up first due to any of the reasons noted in the previous paragraph (racism, suspicion, etc.). Regardless, she was probably planning on saving Ulfric for last, just for the sake of theatrics--it'd have much more gravity to execute the traitor king after all of his followers have fallen, after all.
    • Welll IMHO it's more likely, given that the PC was dressed in rags, that they suffered some other misfortune, maybe got robbed and left for dead, and were picked up with the rest of the trash by the Imperial guards doing a sweep of the towns. Wasn't the guy who panicked and ran off only to get shot down by the archers only a thief and not a Stormcloak as well? Ending up on death row in the intro was largely down the Imperial officer of the day having a bad case of PMS. I don't think they could have honestly believed the PC was a Stromcloack, especially if they're an Imperial, and elf or a beast race; the Stormcloacks hate all of those races and would absolutely never accept them into their own ranks (the fact that they accept the player character regardless of race later on is simply gameplay and story segregation; I'm pretty sure there aren't any non-Nord Stormcloack NPCs in the game. Plus it's unlikely players who are not playing as a Nord would want to join the rebels anyway..)
      • No. The fact that they're willing to accept a non-Nord PC as a Stormcloak indicates that at the least they're willing to use non-Nord mercenaries. The Empire most likely assumes that you're a mercenary. Not wearing a Stormcloak uniform or gear could be explained by them as you ditching your gear to seem like you're not associated with them. This is an extremely common tactic. If anything, the Imperials arresting everyone in the area of the ambush makes sense, because that's what every competent military and police force in the world does when detaining suspects or HVI targets inside a specific area, specifically because the badguys like to ditch their gear if they think it will help them escape. They sort things out after the situation has been put under control. Of course, the Imperials didn't do that second part, but Hadvar was notably protesting what was happening.
    • As for why they didn't kill Ulfric first, the biggest reason was probably to exploit the drama of the situation (killing the army in front of him while he's bound and gagged certainly rubs it in his face and makes a better story). But there's also practical reasons- if something were to happen and the prisoners were to escape after the executions started, any that weren't scared into submission would be incredibly pissed off and would have Ulfric's execution without a trial as new motivation and a recruiting tool ("This is how the Empire treats us. Is that what you want?"), plus Galmar Stone-Fist is still alive back in Windhelm and able to take the reins of the rebellion. If Ulfric were to survive, the movement wouldn't have his trial-less execution as motivation, plus he'd now have to contend with a reputation for having led his men into an ambush and to their deaths, which would not make recruiting new followers any easier.
      • But why drag the PC up to the block first when it's pretty clear they're not a Stormcloak and the others have no clue who they are?
        • It's pretty clear they're not a Stormcloak? Based on what information? That you're not wearing a Stormcloak uniform? You could've taken it off at some point to try and escape (as the troper above stated). The Stormcloaks are shown to be willing to hire non-Nords as shown by the fact that non-Nord players can join the Rebellion, and the Stormcloaks not knowing who you are could simply be chalked up to them feigning ignorance. You not being on their lists could simply be chalked up to them being slightly off-count with their numbers. When the Imperials caught you with the Stormcloaks, they made the rather astounding logical leap that, maybe, you were a Stormcloak as well, and apprehended you accordingly.
        • Most likely they were planning on executing you and the horse thief first. If you weren't a Stormcloak (which you weren't but they don't have a way of knowing that) and they let you live, you'd be more likely to join the Stormcloaks since they were the side that didn't arrest you without a chance to explain yourself, and even if you didn't take sides you were still a witness to the Empire performing a mass execution of enemy combatants without a trial. Either way, you'd be more likely to cause them trouble in the future than not. Plus, if they started with the two non-Stormcloaks, the deaths of two people unrelated to the conflict would be on Ulfric's hands, further rubbing the situation in his face and upping the drama. The only reason why they started with that random Stormcloak soldier instead of you was because he knelt down in front of the chopping block and yelled "get on with it!" in the middle of the last rites.
        • It's pretty clear they're not a Stromclock it's utterly absurd to think a non-Nord would be a Stromclock, especially an Elf which these guys clearly only want to exterminate, and the fact that the player had no Stromcork armor and was sitting around mostly naked, and the fact that it's obvious none of the actual Stromclocks has a slightest clue who the hell the player is. Why execute the goddamn player first, again, because if they're trying to be idiots and not just get killing Ulfric over with and want to make it as traumatic as possible, why drag the unknown sucker that nobody else knows instead of lopping the heads off all his top lieutenants first in front of him? It still doesn't make any sense. The player's just an out of place piece of crap loser who very clearly is out of place.
          • especially an Elf which these guys clearly only want to exterminate Incorrect. Only the most extremist of the Nords actually want to exterminate the Elves as a whole. Most others (Ulfric included) simply want the Thalmor and the refugees from Morrowind out of Skyrim, and even if they were trying to exterminate them it isn't absurd to imagine Elves fighting for the Stormcloaks. There are plenty of instances of Slavs and Jews aiding the Nazis in World War II even though Nazi ideology declared them to be inferior. and the fact that the player had no Stromcork armor and was sitting around mostly naked As stated twice before, Soldiers taking off their uniforms to avoid detection is a common tactic in war. What's the first thing that you'd want to ditch in order to not get caught by enemy soldiers? and the fact that it's obvious none of the actual Stromclocks has a slightest clue who the hell the player is. Please point me to the part in the execution scene where one of the Stormcloaks jumps up and says "WAIT, WE DON'T KNOW WHO HE IS!", because I've watched it and I seem to be missing that part. They acknowledge that they don't know him on the ride there, but the only Imperial who could've heard that was the lowly Legionnaire driving their cart, and he probably didn't care an awful lot. why drag the unknown sucker that nobody else knows instead of lopping the heads off all his top lieutenants first in front of him?. Because all his top lieutenants are in Windhelm, all of Ulfric's party at the time was made of low-ranked soldiers. He wasn't exactly expecting to get captured, you know.
          • It's possible to be anti-Stormcloak without being pro-Legion (or anti-Legion without being pro-Stormcloak) - think Balgruuf before you force him to pick a side in the civil war quest. Even if the PC is of a race the Stormcloaks explicitly discriminate against, that doesn't necessarily mean the PC is pro-Empire - consider the Forsworn of the Reach, who have motivation to dislike both factions (not to mention will attack the player even if they're a neutral Breton). Also, it's questionable as to whether the Imperial who orders your execution would know or care about the Stormcloaks' racism, and it's entirely possible she's racist herself.
        • Actually yes, those were his top lieutenants that got caught with him, Hadvar says so if you escape Helgen with him and speak to him about it later. But still, if they want to lop the heads off everyone else first just to make Ulfy suffer, why not kill the people they know to be his favourite pets first? Then he would certainly die with a lot of psychological pain. Why the random oddball weirdo? And if ditching the uniform is a popular tactic in the TES world, not a single other person appeared to think of it... (and about the Elves thing, it seems more than a few Nords are pretty extreme, given how town guards in pretty much every city will adress and elven PC.)
          • I'll admit to being incorrect about the Lieutenants. Perhaps they simply didn't think too far ahead on the matter and refused to get any more elaborate than 'kill his whole party in front of him'? For all we know the entire thing was just thought up on the go by Tulius. I did not say it was a 'popular' tactic in TES, I said it was a common tactic in war when you wanted to evade an enemy, just because nobody else in Ulfric's party did it doesn't mean you weren't capable of it. And Nords harassing elves in the cities =/= Actively wanting to exterminate their population in Skyrim. Saying mean things to you is alot different to, say, organizing lynch mobs to get you and trashing your house every time you're gone.
            • Note also that in the Stormcloak questline, at one point you have to impersonate an Empire courier and if you wear anything other than the Imperial ensemble, you are questioned for being "out of uniform" and have the option of explaining that you "ditched it for this - easier to sneak past the enemy this way." So it's clearly possible; it's just that the "victory or Sovngarde" mentality may mean it doesn't happen very often except possibly in covert operations.
          • Well still, the likelihood of anyone who isn't a Nord being interested or in any way involved in the Stormcloacks intrigues is close to zero, elves and beasts especially since they do clearly dislike them a lot, given how the dark elves in Windhelm are treated, and the Argonians, who aren't even allowed in the city (stuff like that doesn't give a person any motivation to join them). They're only fighting for Skyrim, so anyone who is not from there, would not likely care about the war at all, they'd have no motive. But I still don't believe they actually thought the PC was with them. I think they thought, "Well, this person's here, we don't know who they are but if they're here they must be a bandit or an outlaw of some kind, might as well just kill them anyway." When you talk to Balgruuf or Ulfric about it, they seem to believe that this was the case, like it was with Lokir (Ulfric specifically orders you to keep your "criminal past" in the past).
            • That's also a perfectly fair assumption. After all, the only other guy who was caught in rags was a self-admitted horse thief. At the very least they could have just assumed that you were in cahoots with him or something.
      • There's nothing to state that a non-Nord would be unwilling to work for the Stormcloaks. What if you were a believer in Talos and sympathetic to the Stormcloak cause? The Stormcloaks are perfectly willing to let non-Nords join them, so long as said non-Nord is willing to prove their loyalty to the cause. In fact, if you're not a Nord and working with the Stormcloaks, then that would actually say a lot about your loyalty to them and, by association, your guilt.
    • The PC is entirely innocent, just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Hadvar says as such. It's just some Ax Crazy commander who wants to kill you for going on a walk. Her soldiers clearly don't like it, but there's nothing they can do.
    • Note that the Empire Captain, while a Blood Knight, does have a point. Either you are a Stormcloak or sympathizer who happened to ditch his armor so he can lie his way out of the execution, a local bandit who probably killed people before and can't be counted upon to hold his word, a hired Mercenary that evidently wasn't on your side but somehow was in the combat area (and hence, must have had some motives to be in an active warzone) or a random merchant at the wrong place at the wrong time. Note that all of this is possible from the Captain's point of view, since you could be lying 4 times out of 5, especially since your life is on the line. For her choice, worst case scenario, Skyrim looses a random merchant, best case scenario she kills one of Ulfric's Lieutenants. Given that Merchants die left and right in Skyrim anyhow, she can afford to make one little mistake to make sure no Stormcloak escapes and makes a Martyr of Ulfric.
  • Why did Hadvar just abandon that old guy and small child in Helgen?
    • Because he kind of has to help deal with the dragon. It isn't until he gets to the keep that he realizes just how screwed Helgen is an tells you to run for the keep.
    • Plus, the old man seemed capable of taking care of himself, otherwise Hadvar wouldn't have placed the boy under his charge. It's likely they both got out of Helgen...at least I like to think they did.
    • They did survive. The old man is one of the best hunters in Skyrim, a master with the bow, blessed by Kyne herself. The boy is his grandson and you can find both of them in a hut on the mountainside of the range in the Rift. The reason Hadvar gave the boy to him is that the child's parents were already killed by Alduin and he was his legal guardian.
  • Who are the "Old Gods" the Forsworn worship and name their armour after?
    • The pantheon of Breton gods who are not the Nine Divines, even though there are some similarities. Basically, the list goes; Akatosh, Magnus, Y'ffre, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth • Julianos, Sheor, Phynaster. If you see some members of the Divines, it's because that pantheon is basically Nordic Gods + Elven Gods. And every human pantheon aside from the Redguard one is basically derived from the Nordic one, as the Nords were basically the First Race of Men.
    • It's also tossed in at one point that they worship Daedra, but that could just be an attempt to smear what's viewed as a terrorist group. (Though there are some Daedra-worshipping Bretons living in the Reach, like the leader of the Cult of Namira. There's also the shrine to Molag Bal in the basement of the abandoned house in Markarth, but it's never made clear when it was put there or by whom.)
    • Well, they obviously revere Hagravens and the Hagravens worship the Daedric Princes. (Witches of Glenmorl)
      • Technically, that the remnants of the Glenmoril Witches still have ties to Hircine (not the Princes in general, mind. Just summoning Hircine was kind of the Glenmoril Wyrd's thing in Daggerfall) all these centuries after Daggerfall is not proof that Hagravens in general worship Daedric Princes.
  • When you do the quest to put out the Solitude Lighthouse fire to help the pirates, they invite you to the crashed ship to get your share of the loot. They tell you to go down to the bottom where the pirates 2nd in command attempts to kill you. Why did the pirates do this instead of just mass attacking you the moment you entered the ship? 10 vs 1 is a lot more favorable than 1 v 1
    • Aside from standard-issue Suicidal Overconfidence, the pirates had no reason to believe that you were anything but some random mercenary schmo that they could pin the whole thing on. The Argonians are confident that the sister can kill you and leave your corpse to the Imperial investigators. (yes, its entirely possible that you're waltzing around in daedric armor and wielding a flaming greatsword, followed by a companion with same, but that's standard dumbass for everyone in Skyrim)
    • Note that a thief on the road will still attempt to rob you even if you're named the champion of all 9 divines, 15 Daedric princes, Harbinger of the Companions, Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild, Listener for the Dark Brotherhood, Archmage of Winterhold, Thane of all Holds, wearing the armor of Dragons, known slayer of Alduin, named Dragonborn, leader of the Blades and liberated Skyrim for one of the two Civil War factions. Similarly Bandits will also attack you despite all that. Apparently only civil people read up on current events and everyone else is just Too Dumb to Live.
  • There are some words in the main theme that I've been puzzling over for some time now. Specifically, the chants in the beginning and end. Just after the first few measures of drum beats, the "barbarian choir" begins chanting a three-syllable phrase that continues until the main chorus (Dovakiin, Dovakiin, etc.). Likewise, after the second iteration of the chorus, they chant something else until the soprano comes in at the end. Anyone have any ideas as to what they're saying?
    • You mean "Huh, whoah, huh!" and "Hyah!" that keeps coming up? I'm fairly certain those aren't actual words, but just kind of... I don't know what to call it. Using your voice as an instrument? Singing along without words? Kind of anologuous to what Edwin Starr did. "War! Huah! What is it good for?"
    • Not exactly. This is the translated version of the ending chorus, as well as the original Draconic and a slightly different english version.
    • Um, but we're not discussing the chorus. It's pretty easy to figure out the lyrics for that. What I'm referring to are the parts immediately before the first chorus, and the part immediately after the second chorus. You can hear the raw vocals of the second part at about 2:43 of this video. With regards to the second poster, it certainly sounds like they're using actual words of the dragon language, but I can't figure out exactly which.
    • Ah, right. Wasn't quite sure which part of the song you were refering to. Here you go, full song translated up. Well, into english. Though if you don't understand written english, you should probably be commended for getting to this site.
    • Hmm, perhaps some clarification is needed. I'm not concerned with a translation of the lyrics (though that would help in discerning the draconic wording), I'm trying to understand exactly what words comprise those chanted segments of the main theme. I'm afraid "huah" and "heh" are not words in either draconic or English, so that video is of little help, sorry to say. The closest I've been able to find for the chanted bit at the end of the song would be "Huzrah nu," which would translate as "Hearken now!" But again, I'm not sure if this is really what's being said, and I haven't a clue as to what they're chanting at the beginning.
    • Hmm? Well, if your talking about the chanting from the start of the song to 0:35 and from 2:45 to 2:53, then no. Those aren't words. The second poster pretty much pegged it then.
    • The correct term would be "vocalising." Happens a lot in most singing traditions when you've no words to go here but you want to keep the flow going. How many pop songs do you know that have "oh" in them a lot? Same idea.
  • So, i'm a little confused. Giants. Are they intelligent? i would think so, because i apparently sold a goat to one. And i remember seeing a post outside of a giants camp that pretty much said "The Giant has permission to be here. do not fuck with giant. thanks." or something along those lines. it seems like they have the ability to speak, and yet, speaking to them isn't an option, as i was made painfully aware of. See, in my case, i was trying to talk to this giant, who was a named character and everything, so i could buy a goat back from him. but i couldn't talk to him. i had to kill what might have been an innocent giant to get a goat back. So, what i'm asking is, are they intelligent; if they are, are they intelligent enough to speak and hold a conversation with?
    • Yes, they are intelligent. Theoretically, you can communicate with them. Its just that giants most commonly communicate with their clubs.
    • If you want to take the goat without hurting the giant, interact with the goat, and then when the giant objects (but before he clubs you into orbit), "yield" by lowering your weapon/hands/whatever and "talking" to him. If you haven't harmed him too much he'll more or less shrug and decide it's not worth arguing over. You may then lead the goat back to the farm without him bothering you.
    • Fans of Daggerfall will remember Giants have their own tongue: Giantish. Yes, they are intelligent. You just don't speak their language.
    • In that Case, it really bothers me that none of the Giants have speaking roles (as in, speaking in english, or at the very least, speaking Giantish with it then being translated by someone). hopefully DLC's correct this.
    • There is at least one case (probably randomly occuring) where a giant can be found starring at a recently decensed mammoth that appears to have died crossing one of those sulfur lakes. You can walk right up and touch him and he'll just leave you alone, apparently too sad to bother with you unless you attack him.
    • It's probably less of a matter of Giants not being able to speak as Giants not having anything they feel the need to say. They're the strong silent type.
  • So, the Dark Brotherhood goes to all the trouble of hunting you down, subduing you, and spiriting you away to a secluded location for your "recruitment." And this after possibly having made several attempts on your life via hired thrugs you encounter in the game world. Why don't they take the next logical step and strip you of your armour and all but one weak weapon to perform the killing? Otherwise, it's just laughably easy to bump off the DB member who's supervising the procedings. Worse yet, she registers no surprise or apprehension when you approach her with a warhammer readied. Granted, magica-based players would still be a threat, but still...
    • Stripping you of your equipment would railroad you into one particular method of killing. Astrid isn't just seeing if you have the will to murder someone under orders (though that is her main objective), she also wants to observe exactly how you operate, and therefore what she can expect to put up with once you're integrated into the "family." While it would've been cool if she did react more to the player attacking her (boss fight, anyone?), her final words seem to indicate that, for whatever reason, she accepts her death just as well. Perhaps it's the will of Sithis?
      • Fair point about Astrid's last words. It's just that, under the circumstances, it was like Al Quaeda capturing the crew of a main battle tank and then allowing them to keep their tank while in captivity. Moreover, the game has shown us both a hand-binding mechanic and a Thu`um muffling mechanic (Ulfric being gagged in the opening scene), not to mention NPC behaviour being influenced by drawn weapons. The sequence easily could have been made to feel more dangerous, with the choice to attack the Dark Bortherhood rather than obeying them feeling more consequential and satisfying as a result.
    • Astrid was likely being optimistic and willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, because you pretty much outright said that you wanted to become a member of the Dark Brotherhood when you accepted Aretino's contract. Most people, when confronted with a child who wants to have an assassin murder an old lady would just back out, but you actively sought the kid out, listened to his request, and killed Grelod. Astrid's got a decent reason to think you're interested in joining the Brotherhood and has good reason to let you keep your gear.
      • Well, if that's the case, they must have been pretty desperate to acquire new talent. Enough so, in fact, to set aside concerns about infiltration that plague every clandestine organization at odds with authority. Infiltrating the DB is a valid motivation for a notionally "good" character to bump off Grelod. On the other hand, I guess it could be considered counter-intuitive for the Dragonborn to kill her in a bid to join the Brotherhood, unless of course the player is meta-gaming...
      • Given that it is entirely possible for the Dragonborn to hear of Grelod's cruelty before going to Aretino, it doesn't seem all that strange that a Dragonborn could be roleplayed as sufficiently ruthless and bloodthirsty to kill Grelod for Aretino while also being too moral to work for the Dark Brotherhood (seeing murder as a solution doesn't necessarily mean you are a cruel, murderous bastard, after all).
    • Also on the Dark Brotherhood ending, why did Astrid think that Maro would be totally cool with her as long as she just handed you to him? There doesn't seem to be a good reason for him to really stick to the deal since he'd probably know that she was the one who ordered you to kill his son.
      • It was a pretty stupid move on her part. But the other reason she made the deal was that she wanted you dead and gone too. During her confession, she admitted that she just wanted things to go back to the way they were before Cicero, the Night Mother, and you showed up. She was probably thinking "two birds with one stone".
      • Maro may have already found the sanctuary and was about to strike, and Astrid learned about it. In an attempt to avoid it, she offered to let Maro take revenge on the player (who killed his son) and, probably, to give up on Motierre's contract in exchange for sparing the others. It was still stupid of her to not anticipate getting crossed (indeed, combined with her letting the player keep their gear makes me think that she's way too trusting for a leader of the DB), but I guess it's something.
      • Maro had, indeed, found out about the sanctuary. If you kill Astrid rather than be recruited by her, he tells you where the sanctuary is right on the spot.
      • Maro apparently didn't have much reason to pursue the Dark Brotherhood until you killed Astrid or starting the contract with Motierre. In the former he just learned you killed their leader, leaving the DB disorganized and easy for an assault, while in the latter you killed his son and framed him for treason. The man obviously had his berserk button smashed at that point.
  • So, Emperor Pelagius III outlawed dying while on his deathbed. Did anyone ever get around to repealing that? Can people still be charged for dying? Does this mean Draugrs and Liches are breaking the law?
    • Pelagius III, on his deathbed, was not in power. Empress Katariah (his wife) was given regency during his life . He died the same year, and she became Empress Katariah I (See Brief History of the Empire Vol 2). Even before that, The Madness of Pelagius point out that Pelagius almost never "ruled", the Elder Council and Katariah ruled in his stead even before she became regent.
    • That's too bad. I was hoping to run through the tombs screaming "STOP RIGHT THERE, CRIMINAL SCUM!" at the undead.
  • In the cave under the Thalmor Embassy there is a frickin troll! Do people not check their escape caves often to see if anything dangerous got in? What would happen if the Embassy got attacked and the people had to flee and they met the troll in the escape route!
    • The Troll keeps people from using it to break "into" the embassy. And anyone that "matters" to the Thalmor who might have to break out (Read: Ambassador, Inquisitor, etc...) is a hardened soldier or battlemage.
    • That's not an escape tunnel. The Thalmor use it to dump the bodies of those they've finished interrogating. The troll just takes advantage of the free food.
  • The Thalmor go around taking credit for solving the Oblivion crisis. Obviously the elves want to take credit for this even if they had nothing to do with it, but how many people really believe this? Anyone in the Imperial city would have seen the dragon Martin beat up Dagon.
    • The Imperial City is very far from Summerset Isle -- anybody there talking about Martin's defeat of Dagon in Summerset would have been dealt with by the Thalmor, as described in Rising Threat. Add some isolationism, accuse any witnesses you can't remove of spreading foreign propaganda, and soon, you've got the populace eating your lies.
      • Add that even when they were a part of the Empire, Summerset was rather isolationist. Even then humans were not allowed inside Alinor past the habor.
    • It's not surprising that the people of the Dominion are "encouraged" to beleive what the Thalmor tell them, but what about the people of Skyrim? Morrowind? Hammerfell?
      • It's pretty easy to see that the various races have reached a general consensus on all things Thalmor-related.
      • Also if you were under the impression that those outside the Dominion buy the Thalmor line on the Oblivion Crisis, they don't. The book "The Oblivion Crisis" is pretty common around Skyrim and more or less tells the true story, albeit missing some parts.
  • How did Delphine manage to get through Ustengrav without setting off the traps/Draugr? Especially curious is the fact that one of the traps require the Dragonborn to have a Shout (granted, one that the Greybeards have already given them) to get by. Was there a secret passage that I missed that somehow only she could get through since it seems like there's only one main way through.
    • Delphine is just that damn good. More seriously, that trap could actually very easily be bypassed with a hireling; just have the hireling activate the lights while she stands next to the portcullis, and she runs through.
    • There is a secret passage - the one behind the tomb that you use to exit. Delphine just knew how to open it from the other side.
  • How is the Dominion so damn powerful? They've subjugated the Empire, and are basically winning or tieing with all the other realms. What gives it such military strength?
    • With the Septim dynasty gone and the Medes struggling to both assert their power and gain the approval of the Elder Council, the empire was in near-complete disarray following the Oblivion Crisis, which was only exacerbated by the destruction of Morrowind and secession of Black Marsh, among other things. The Mede dynasty probably had trouble consolidating enough of its power to have much chance of standing against the Dominion.
    • The Dominion isn't really that powerful. they fostered a coup in Valenwood that ended witht hem controlling it, and also seized Elswyer, but their actual power doesn't extend much farther. The Great War cost them a lot of manpower and the Empire actually gave them as good as they got; once the Empire rallied they essentially punted the Dominion armies out of Cyrodiil. Mede signed the White-Gold Concordat to give the Empire some breathing room, but he just didn't factor in the fact that Skyrim would take the ban on Talos worship so violently. It doesn't help that all of Hammerfell was "released" from Imperial control with the southern half ceded to the Dominion (and who subsequently kicked the Dominion out). The Empire is still roughly on a par with the Dominion in territory and power, though Ulfric's rebellion is sapping their resources (exactly as the Dominion prefers). The real area where the Dominion is most effective in is espionage and intelligence operations and operating from the shadows - again, note the coup they fostered in Valenwood and the Stormcloak rebellion. Militarily, they're not actually that powerful, since they couldn't maintain control over Hammerfell and the Empire drove them out of Cyrodiil.
    • Indications are they fought the (Cyrodiil+Skyrim+Hammerfell) Empire to the point where the Emperor believed they were losing, and agreed to the White-Gold Concordat. This was likely premature - Hammerfell fought the Thalmor off in a guerrilla war on their own terrain. The Thalmor need the Nords to kill each other because the terrain in Skyrim is just as, if not more, suited for a guerrilla war as Hammerfell's, hence the fomenting of the civil war and the Thalmor's need for it to keep going. If the Empire wins, then the Imperial Army has no further distractions from the Thalmor. If the Stormcloaks win, then the Imperial Army also has no further distractions from the Thalmor (after Solitude is taken, it would be a waste of time for Cyrodiil to try to regain Skyrim), and you now have to face a Skyrim Nord army, a warrior race fighting on treacherous home turf - the same situation as with the Redguards. Either way, the Empire need no longer send large numbers of troops northward to Skyrim, and can instead send them southward toward Valenwood and Elsweyr.
      • It is also worth noting that just because Skyrim might be independent, it doesn't mean that Skyrim is permanently going to be severed from the Empire. Negotiations could result in Skyrim allying with the Empire against the Thalmor, or eventually even rejoining the Empire, with certain adjustments to their laws. Sure, the Empire wants to avoid war with the Thalmor, but keep in mind that the Dominion ended up getting even more badly mauled by the Great War than the Empire did, and the Hammefell resistance did them no favors. Even as fractured as the Empire is, all of those nations - Hammerfell, the Empire, and Skyrim - do have the single unifying element of being enemies of the Thalmor and would cooperate against their greater foe.
    • The games notes that High King Torygg would have agreed to go with Ulfric had the man just asked. It's likely that Torygg knew that Skyrim was just a diversion for the Dominion and that they needed to cooperate to push out the Thalmor to solve the whole Talos-worship problem. Unfortunately Ulfric screwed the pooch on that one (which is unsurprising considering all signs points to him being manipulated by the Thalmor).
  • The pilgrims in the Eldergleam Sanctuary don't want you to use Nettlebane on the Eldergleam, as the tree is sacred to Kynareth, right? So, why would a priestess of Kynareth ask you to go get the knife and use it on the tree? You obviously have to use it on the tree to get the sap. Even Maurice Jondrelle objects, and he was present when you were asked to do it by the priestess! It isn't like Clavicus Vile asked you to go carve an obscene drawing into it or something...and it isn't like getting some sap drawn or a small cut is going to seriously hurt a tree.
    • Maurice mentions he didn't catch the part about using nettlebane on the Eldergleam, and as he points out, an alternative without harming the Eldergleam was available (He probably figured you were going for something like that - if not exactly whe he decided to do). Maurice also points his way of doing things is closer to Kynareth's teaching. It's likely the princess didn't fully think it through.
    • Present the alternative to the priestess and she will admit that she was more concerned with keeping Kynareth worshippers in the city happy than she was about actually following Kynareth's teachings. That's why she sent you to collect sap from a sacred tree with an evil blade like Nettlebane -- she was desperate to restore the Gildergreen.
  • So "Dragonrend" disorients Dragons because they are immortal beings that can't comprehend mortality. Shouldn't it have a similar effect on the Daedra, who are just as immortal?
    • Indeed. Most likely the dev team just didn't think of it.
    • Alternatively, Dragonrend is purely a metaphysical concept. Other shouts have tangible, physical effects, while Dragonrend has no actual effect beyond your voice carrying over a long range - all that happens is you yell words. It works on dragons because it's in their language, they understand what you're saying but can't comprehend it, but Daedra presumably don't speak the dragon language, so to them you're just shouting gibberish really loudly (which, considering the kinds of things daedra usually deal with, probably isn't an uncommon occurrence).
  • I can't believe I didn't notice this earlier, but how does Ralof (if you follow Hadvar) or Hadvar (if you follow Ralof) escape from Helgen on their own? Or more to the point, why don't you encounter them on the way through the keep? If you follow Hadvar, you soon enter the room where Ralof went - in which both doors are locked - yet neither of the two stormcloaks in there is Ralof. Similarly, if you follow Ralof, two legionnaires come from the same room Hadvar went to, yet Hadvar's not with them. And before you ask, no, neither of them dies if you go with the other; if you switch sides during the civil war questline, they still show up. So, why don't you encounter them? And how did they escape?
    • The room Ralof went in is locked from the inside. He presumably went in, past the other stormcloaks (who locked it behind him) and snuck out through the tunnel, past the bear, spiders and torturers, ahead of Hadvar and the player (if you went for Hadvar, since you had one more room to search). If you went with Ralof, Hadvar presumably just waited things out in the first room, before leaving, not like the keep got destroyed.
      • Okay, you answer for Hadvar's absence makes sense. However, your explanation for Ralof doesn't; he clearly couldn't open either gate (which is why you or him have to loot the key off of the captain). And even if he could open it, there'd be no reason for the other stormcloaks to lock it behind him, unless they went with him. And even if that was what happened, why wouldn't he help his comrades down in the torture room?
    • Ralof likely took a different route to escape than the one you would have taken. He probably didn't even go into the keep at all, or if he did he found he was stuck and turned around to go back outside and find another way out of Helgen.
      • Agreed. If you follow Hadvar, there's no need for Ralof to save you, so he likely goes off to find Ulfric and escapes directly to Windhelm with him, likely going the "back way" through the Rift and never approaching Riverwood. The "Hadvar room" opens into the "Ralof room," and Ralof isn't in the keep when you do that with no possible way of having gone further into the keep; the only logical conclusion is that he must not be in the keep. If you follow Ralof, it's possible Hadvar stays behind in the "Hadvar room" as rear guard, and only emerges well after Ralof and the Dovahkiin have gone onward.
  • So if using Dragonrend is basically a mindscrew by showing the dragon the concept of mortality, why can't a dragon do a similar thing By shouting something along the lines of "Immortal Infinite Eternal"?
    • They kind of don't need to. You need Dragonrend because the dragons are massive, many-tonned flying forces of mayhem and mortal-chomping, whereas you are a small, crunchy mortal. Dragonrend is needed to stun these massive beasts and force them to land, whereas you don't need to fly and can get tossed around by a single Fus. There's no reason for them to bother.
    • There's no guarantee that kind of shout would work on the Dragonborn either. The Dragonborn is mortal and immortal at the same time, being a Dragon in a mortal's body.
    • That and being tossed across the room by a Fus Ro Dah accomplishes the same thing against meatbag mortal. The Dragons likely just never bothered since they don't use Unrelenting Force on you either.
  • Really Amren? The dude couldn't get his sword back from like 5 bandits?
    • I'd like to see you beat five well-armed men single handedly.
    • The Dovahkiin can take on five or more bandits, but the Dovahkiin is a certified magic-wielding, Thu'um shouting, sword swinging badass. Amren is a lone man with studded armor, an iron sword, and a family to think about. Most of the average NPCs in the game would honestly be hard-pressed to take on that many bandits and win; what makes you think Amren is special? Five bandits are, in fact, a serious threat to the individual NPC.
    • It has nothing to do with whether or not he can take them. He's his family's sole breadwinner, and has given up fighting to take care of them. It isn't worth risking his life (and, since they rely on him, his family's lives) to get the sword, but it is worth offering a reward to any passing mercenary who might be able to deliver it.
    • Amren is apparently good enough that the Thieves' Guild put a mark outside his house basically saying "don't mess with this guy." So yeah, it's not so much a case of that he can't do it, but rather he has to think about his family and can't just go running off into danger to retrieve a sword whose value is purely sentimental. This is pretty explicitly stated in the argument between him and his wife that plays when you meet him during your first visit to Whiterun.
    • Did you overhear the initial argument between Amren and his wife? His original plan is to hire one or two extra swords to watch his back, then lead them himself in an attack on the bandit camp. The only reason he doesn't accompany you is because his wife gave him a flat ultimatum -- 'If you leave me to go fight bandits, I won't be here when you get back'.
  • Why would Sven trust a random stranger to deliver a fake letter to the girl he likes? Its just asking for trouble.
    • Meta reason? It's a standard RPG cliche. In-game reason? Riverwood's population is at most, what, sixteen people? Maybe there really wasn't anyone else in Riverwood that he could trust to do it for him. The PC has no real reason not to deliver the letter, seeing as they're gonna get paid to do it.
      • And even if you assume Riverwood's population has been scaled down for gameplay purposes, the village probably would have no more than a few hundred people at most - and that's still "everybody knows everybody" level in the real world.
    • Why wouldn't he? Its not like he's one of those idiot thieves who hands you a powerfully enchanted item and then runs off and says he'll be back for it. He's asking you to take a letter and hand it to the girl next door and will pay you money for it. Realistically, you know what just about anyone would do? Go "Whoo, easy money!" hand the letter over, and get paid.
  • What's with the poor state of the walls of whiterun? I've seen medieval ruins in a better state than them. There are almost no places where the wall is at it's full height, even near the entrance of the city(giving any attackers an easy way to enter). The structure above the gate has completely fallen apart. And judging by the moss, it has been like this for several years, so it probably wasn't due to the stormcloak rebellion.
    • The simplest explanation is that Balgruuf just didn't put money into repairing the walls. Ulfric mentions that the Empire has been taxing Skyrim heavily after the Great War, too, and many of the fortresses throughout Skyrim have also fallen into disrepair or been taken by bandits. Balgruuf may just not have the money to fix the walls properly.
    • if skyrim is heavily taxed, then why don't you get any taxes on the house(s) you own?
      • If you have finished the Civil War, the taxes may be waived in view of your actions and the fact that you don't actually get a salary for your government position. If you haven't, on the other hand...
      • Being a Thane probably also exempts you from taxation, coupled with all the good work you've likely been doing for the Holds, on top of being the Dragonborn and eventually in deep with whoever is ruling Skyrim. Couple that with the fact that taxation will likely only apply to someone making regular income like a farmer or blacksmith, and the sheer amount of gold/goods you're injecting into everyone's economy eveerytime you sell a pile of enchanted superweapons/armor into the local economy. The Dragonborn is likely supporting a substantial part of the entire Skyrim economy through simply supplying so much high-value material, and this goes even further with a high Speech and the Investment perk. Coupled with the guilds you'll end up owning, your political, economic, military, spiritual, and personal influence would likely be so high that no one would dare tax you.
    • But this isn't just simply worn a bit. The damage is absolutely massive. An entire building is missing two of its walls and a roof. The walls before the gate have massive holes. That doesn't just hapen after a few years of disrepair.
    • As noted in the OP, the moss indicates that this damage was done a long time ago. Perhaps... 200 years ago? It's not a stretch to imagine that the major settlements of Skyrim came under siege during the Oblivion Crisis, and with the entire province in disarray after that, Whiterun's funds were probably appropriated for Skyrim as a whole. Factor in the Great War breaking out, and as the above poster noted, the high taxation that came of it, and it seems plausible that Whiterun simply never had the time or resources to fix its outer defenses.
    • I got the impression that Balgruuf and his forebearers were just being lazy about it. Whiterun has enjoyed a long period of peace and there simply wasn't the need to have the walls repaired.
      • Lazy or not, Balgruuf complains about the sorry state of the walls when the Stormcloaks are at his gates (on the Imperial side of the civil war). In addition, the walls are merely really bad, as opposed to completely ineffective (they do require the invaders to charge through a winding path), so maybe his priorities weren't completely off... still, the sort of invasion that justifies having walls happened, and having bad walls made him nervous.
  • If you pick High Elf as your race in the beginning, wouldn't the Imperials be really scared of executing a possible important member of the Thalmor? I mean they're already scared of the Thalmor as is, how would they feel if it turns out they killed an important person of theirs?
    • Don't make any record of your execution, toss your body in a river, and hope the Thalmor think you were killed by bandits. Not the best solution, but they weren't exactly acting logically.
      • Don't forget that there are Thalmor with General Tulius as you're carted into Helgen. If they knew who you were or objected to your execution, they would've let him know.
    • High Elf != Thalmor.
      • For that matter, Altmer != Citizen of the Aldmeri Dominion. More than a few Altmer live outside the borders of the Dominion, so it is entirely possible - indeed, fairly likely - that the Dovahkiin is an Altmer citizen of the Empire.
    • Also, many high-ranking Imperials (General Tullius, Legate Rilke, Hadvar, to name a few) despise Thalmor and the Aldmeri Dominion (and cooperate with them only because they are bound to by the Emperor's will), so they wouldn't pass an occasion to execute potential Thalmor spy. Especially the one thought to cooperate with dangerous rebel. If you listen closely, you'll find that there are even Imperials who think it were Thalmor who orchestrated the Stormcloak rebellion. And they are not far from the truth.
  • So the battle-born clan is rich while the gray-mane clan is poor. The battle-born clan has a farm. The gray-mane clan has one of the best smiths in the world, working a legendary forge. How in oblivion are the gray-mane clan any poorer than the battle-born?
    • Eorlund seems to be in the smithing less for the money and more for the experience. That, and from what we see most of his commissions are doing free repair jobs/giving free starter equipment to the Companions. By the looks of things although he's a better smith, he's being beaten in business by the Warmaiden (They own a store, he has a single stand in the middle of the square). And finally, it's also basically outright stated that Eorlund's been spending a very long time reforging Wuuthrad from dozens and dozens of shards, something that probably would've cost him alot of very rewarding commissions over his lifetime.
    • Aside from Eorlund mainly Doing It for the Art, keep in mind, Space Compression. The Battleborn farmlands probably cover dozens of acres and feed hundreds, if not thousands of people. They apparently export all the way to Cyrodiill, after all. Eorlund is just one guy, and while he could probably do commission pieces for a hell of a lot of money, it still wouldn't equal the steady stream of income that mass food production would.
    • The Battle-Borns own land and also seem to be high ranking members of the Imperial Army, to the point that they can call upon Whiterun's Blacksmith for large orders of weapons and armor. In addition, Eorland and his wife are likely the only source of income for their family, as Eorland's elder son was taken by the Thalmor, and his younger one is terrified of a similar fate and refuses to leave the house (alternatively, after their quest is complete, the Grey-Manes now have lost both sons entirely, so they're just an elderly couple). The Grey-Manes are likely kept afloat by the Companions out of gratitude, and may be considered poor otherwise.
  • How did the shadowscales die out? From what oblivion told us, every argonian born under the sign of the shadow is a shadowscale. How did argonians stop being born under a starsign?
    • They didn't (though it should perhaps be noted that Morrowind implied that not everyone is born under a starsign). Remember, the Shadowscales consisted of Argonians born in Black Marsh under the Shadow and both trained and working with the Dark Brotherhood. The Dark Brotherhood that effectively collapsed outside Skyrim before the start of the game. No Dark Brotherhood in or near Black Marsh=The traditional treatment of a Shadow-born Argonian in Black Marsh is impossible=no Shadowscales... at least, not from the perspective of a traditional Shadowscale.
  • Two questions regarding the greybeards
    • Why are they unable to speak? Shouts only work in draconic, so you'd assume they'd still be capable of speaking other languages.
      • The Greybeards are still fully capable of human speech, it's just that their voices are so powerful, they'd kill anyone they tried to have a conversation with. Arngeir flat-out tells you this is the case if you ask him why he's the only one who'll talk with you. If you do try to interact with any of the other Greybeards, they'll whisper an acknowledgement to you that causes the whole room to quake.
      • But why would their human speech hold any power at all? Even the shouts created by humans (like dragonrend, and possibly that weird target thingie the greybeards summon) are spoken in draconic. But all the greybeards speak in the game is draconic.
      • Hmmm.... You're right. In fact, I just realized that Arngeir is the only one to ever use human tongue. Even when one of the other Greybeards speaks to him during part of the main quest, it's in draconic. Perhaps it's simply that the other Greybeards have spent so long speaking with the Voice that they've forgotten all other languages.
      • Or maybe that's just their means of discipline. Maybe they believe that using human speech interferes with their ability to use Thu'um?
      • We meet their founder in sovngarde, and he still speaks non-draconic. Paarthurnax, who created the teachings for the greybeards apparently also follows them himself, and he speaks as well, so it apparently isn't part of the way of the voice. And its not just length, since Arngeir wouldn't be able to speak human either in that case.
    • Because the power of the Thu'um is not based on the dragon language; the dragon language focuses the Thu'um. Its the difference between a controlled gunpowder reaction in a firearm to direct a bullet, and an uncontrolled gunpowder cookoff. If you spend enough time studying it and understanding it, the Thu'um itself becomes an unconscious part of you. You project power through your voice, and Borri, Wulfgar, and Einarth have simply reached a point where anything they say unconsciously carries the power of the Thu'um. Speaking int he dragon language keeps the Thu'um from going out of control and leveling the entire building, and even then, simply speaking causes the building to shake.
    • Why are there no students? All of the greybeards are fairly advanced in age and it takes a long, long time for someone to learn even the most basic shouts (and paarthunax can hardly go looking for students himself), so with any bad luck, all of 4 of them could die before being able to teach someone the clear weather shout (which would allow him/her to visit paarthunax).
      • Two things: One, their selection methods are extremely strict, and not everyone is willing to live the extremely secluded and meditative life of a Greybeard. Two, they did have one known student (Ya'know, Ulfric), but he not only left, but also used his shout to kill the King of Skyrim. Maybe they're not exactly willing to teach many more people after that.
  • What shout did Ulfric use to kill the High King? Unrelenting Force?
    • He's got Unrelenting Force and the Disarm shout. Elisif, and everyone else in her court aside from Falk, screech endlessly on how Ulfric 'blasted him apart with the Thu'um', but as we all know Disarm is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and Unrelenting is Wreaking Havok, neither of them can blast a man apart. Even so, it's clear he did at least use a Thu'um, so it was likely Unrelenting. Mostly because Ulfric says he knocked Toryyg down and then stabbed him.
    • Also, Unrelenting Force sends people flying and is obviously kinetic in nature, so, judging by the effect, this shouts is a rough equivalent of hitting the target with battering ram or a speeding car. It maybe does not "rip people apart" but is definitely capable of breaking bones and rupturing organs.
    • If you ask Ulfric about it, he'll explain that he used Unrelenting Force to knock the High King down and then stabbed him in the chest.
  • How come that thieves you meet in the wild accost you with traditional "your money or your life" (and they always mean it), even if Thieves Guild is pretty adamant that killing on the job is bad for business? They are members of the Guild because when you are also a member, you can go free by pointing it out. And your assailants still decide to let you go even if it means that you can expose their questionable methods to the Guild leaders.
    • They're robbing people on the road in the first place, in bloody Skyrim. They have to be prepared to kill. The Thieves' Guild frowns on killing on the job, but if you've got to put steel in someone's gut, its better to have a murder than be empty-handed.
    • You could also argue that this is a case of Schrödinger's Gun. If you never bring up the fact that you're in the Guild, then this so-called "Thief" was just some jerk who accosted and tried to kill you. However, if you do bring up the fact that you're in the Guild, then it turns out that he's a member as well, and it could very well be that the whole "Your money or your life" line is just a threat designed to loosen peoples' purse strings as quickly as possible. In short, the player's choice determines which of two mutually exclusive realities manifests itself.
    • Brynolf only discourages killing actual clients, which include people they regularly extort money from, people who hire them for robbery jobs and those important to them, and people who not only have objects of value, but also means to get them. Some random bum traveling Skyrim likely isn't a frequent client of the guild, and probably carries everything of value on his persons. Between dying to the Thief and dying to some random bear attack in the wild only has one difference: both are likely and only one will end up with the thief running off with the loot.
    • Or they're not actually in the Guild, but don't want to cross them. Perhaps most shady types have heard that the Guild has contacts in the Dark Brotherhood (and even if not, getting on their bad side would still be a bad idea; hell, the fact that they have plenty of guards in their pockets means that someone trying to mug a member of the Guild could wind up being framed for enough crimes to draw a massive bounty in all of the holds at once). Acting like they're in with the Guild could mean the two of you sharing a laugh over a little misunderstanding instead of them being robbed of everything they own, thrown in a dungeon, and killed in their sleep.
  • Considering how Nords are so anti-magic how come there aren't stronger attempts to regulate magicians that are outside of the college? Seems like they just let random mages walk around skyrim and set up twisted experiments in abandoned places.
    • Are you going to pick a fight with somebody who can turn you into a newt? They hate mages because they're afraid of what they can do, whether purposefully or by accident.
    • "Doesn't like magic" != "anti-magic regulations." Not to mention most of the Jarls like having a court mage or three around to provide services. Also keep in mind that while a lot of Nords don't like magic, they feel that physical strength and fighting capability are superior to using magic. Banning a form of combat that is inferior to physical martial prowess is just silly from their perspective.
  • Didn't people start asking questions around the fourth time a werewolf came from Jorrvasker and rampaged throughout Whiterun?
    • They don't know exactly where the werewolves keep coming from. The Companions do their thing in the middle of the night when most people are asleep and the guys on guard duty are walking around with torches which limit their vision and make it really hard to tell where something came from. All the guards really know is "Suddenly, a werewolf!"
    • Also, note that there is another passage leading out from under the Skyforge and into the plains surrounding Whiterun. It could be that previous initiates into the circle were herded out this particular tunnel. You just happened to go so wild that the Companions couldn't keep you from running amok through the city.
    • In addition, it doesn't happen that often. There's only five other memebers of the circle, so that's only a half-dozen times in recent memory. Plus from what the other Companions say of yours and Farkas's transformations, the transformation isn't normally so violent; people don't always go beserk on their first transformation.
      • And that's also assuming that you did terrorize the town, instead of just avoiding people until you changed back.
    • Thing is, it's mentioned that the Companions have had a few werewolves in their ranks for a few hundred years now. While it doesn't happen too often, it's been going on for centuries. I'd be surprised if the Jarl of Whiterun wasn't in on it. Vignar is almost certainly aware of it, at least.
  • How come Riverwood doesn't have troops stationed there in the first place, considering how there is a civil war going on?
    • Mainly because it's a backwater area with no real strategic importance to either side. Attacking it would essentially be a waste of time for both sides. A Dragon won't care about it's strategic importance, however.
    • Also, the fortress at Helgen was a relatively short distance away, with a substantial Imperial presence. Since Riverwood is pretty much sitting between Whiterun and Helgen, it is within a relatively short distance of two large and well-equipped garrisons. Fellows of ill intent are unlikely to bother with it.
  • Why is the Emperor so... accepting of death, anyway? Is he remorseful over the banning of Talos worship, is he really just that tired of the world, or does he simply realize that it's impossible to stop you and decides to go along with it peacefully?
    • It is probably a combination of factors - remorse over having had to sign the White-Gold Concordat (not just the banning of Talos parts), realizing that it is impossible to stop you, realizing that whoever got you to do it may simply find another way if you die, being a bit tired of the world from the stresses of running the Empire in a time of extreme crisis...
    • That, and he realizes that with him gone, a more competent heir may take the throne; so you may have actually done him and the Empire a huge favor, and not even realize it.
    • He indicated that he didn't think the Brotherhood would be so easily stopped even before you reached him. He'd probably done his best to get things in order and reach acceptance of what was happening as soon as the first hint of the plot appeared. Once you get to him, you've already dealt with a number of people who are would have had a better chance of stopping you than him. Regardless of any other reason he might have accepted it, there was little reason for him to think he had a way out of it at that point.
  • In the beginning Rolof says the Thalmor helped the Imperials capture Ulfric. Why? Isn't it best for the Thalmor to have the war keep on going?
    • Ralof guesses that the Thalmor had a hand in their capture. That doesn't necessarily mean they did. Assuming they did, the dossier on Ulfric mentions his rebellion is doing just a little bit too well for their liking. They could have decided that it was better to nip it at they bud and come up with another plot to weaken the empire.
    • Ralof says nothing about the Thalmor directly helping with the capture of Ulfric. He says that they might have been involved at some point, but he is not really a knowledgable source regarding how they were captured.
    • The dossier on Ulfric does mention that him winning the war and becoming High King of Skyrim is a very bad thing for the Dominion, so it's likely the Thalmor decided that Ulfric had done enough to weaken the Empire and decided to get rid of him by giving off some intel they had of him to the Empire.
  • So is Dragonborn a race? If the PC had a child with a regular Nord or other would the child be half-dragonborn?
    • Nope. The in-game Book of the Dragonborn says that it's not hereditary.
    • "Dragonborn" is not a race. Dragonborn is a mortal born with the soul of a dragon. That cannot be passed on to one's children.
  • How come those two Alkir weren't allowed into Whiterun? Is Whiterun anti-Alkir or something?
    • My guess is that the guards thought they were troublemakers.
      • Basically this; the Al'akir are a group of foreign police who are storming into Whiterun without any foreword from the men who sent them, and refusing to tell the authorities who they were looking for. The guards had every right to refuse them entry into the city.
    • This is part of the guards' jobs. You don't run into it regularly, but the most important job of the gate guards in any city is to checkout anyone suspicious. The Al'kir definitely count, especially as one of their number was already arrested and thrown in jail for getting caught doing something illegal. The Whiterun guards are doing their jobs by questioning the Al'kir as to what they're up to and throwing them out if they think they're going to cause trouble, which they really are.
    • For the same reason the guards stopped you when you first came to Whiterun: No non-citizens of Whiterun are allowed into the wall with the Dragons about. And considering the two Alik'r show up at the same time as a dragon has been spotted near the western watchtower, the guards are ever more keen to enforce the Jarl's orders.
  • Why is there a thalmor ambassador in the college of winterhold? At the start of the game, the city is stormcloak-aligned, so it is unlikely the government forced the mages. The thalmor has disdain for the magic of the college, so he isn't there to study. All we know is that he is an advisor to the arch-mage, but it is never made clear what he advises on (considering his opinion on the studies at the college, it is unlikely to be related to that.)
    • The College maintains independent ties with Cyrodiil and the Summerset Isles.
    • Furthermore, although they look down upon the magic practiced there, the college is pretty much the only Magical hub in the whole of Skyrim, and they could stumble upon something of interest to the Thalmor (which you do). Not having an ambassador there would just be silly.
    • It does make sense from the perspective of the Thalmor, yes, but why did the college want him there? If you're trying to not piss off the native populace, inviting their worst enemy to live with you is not a very good idea.
    • The College doesn't want him. It's made pretty clear that none of the College's professors trust him at all, but it's more than likely they didn't have a choice in the matter. When a representative of the world's most insidious and ruthless secret police force shows up and says, "I'm going to hang out and... observe things," you don't refuse him if you have anything remotely akin to self-preservation instincts.
  • Why are the Thalmor so hated? They aren't very nice and they are very Nazi-like, but I mean the Stormcloaks are massives racists and the Imperials are kinda excessive in their methods. Why are the Thalmor made out to be such bad guys?
    • The Stormcloaks just want non-humans out of Skyrim, but don't care if they go on about their lives elsewhere. The Thalmor want to erase all non-Altmer races and cultures, especially humans (and even the more cosmopolitan, "imperialized" Altmer), from existence.
    • Are you questioning why people in universe dislike the Thalmor, Or the fanbase? People in-universe hate them because they've banned the worship of Talos (the Jesus-figure in Skyrim), are actively waging a bloody and horrific war against pretty much everyone who isn't Thalmor, and are storming around Imperial-controlled Skyrim as a Gestapo-esque police force unperson-ing people they don't like.. Being a racist and/or 'a bit' excessive is preferable to wanting to exterminate everyone in Tamriel who isn't Thalmor.
    • There's a different between being racists and wanting to commit wholesale genocide. The Nords may hate the non-Nords, but they aren't going to actively kill them all. The Thalmors are doing just that with every non-Thalmor they meet, and that's why the Thalmors are hated.
    • Are you fricking serious? The worst the Stormcloaks do is have a relatively small but vocal minority of racist members and a leader who favors Nords over non-Nords and committed one massacre against a hostile enemy force in Markarth. They don't actively try to purge people they don't like, and some are even quite reasonable. The Thalmor routinely committed mass purges in Valenwood, practice a eugenics program where they kill nine out every ten newborns, launched a war of aggression against the Empire, maintains an active secret police force that hunts down, captures, tortures, and murders anyone worshipping a god they dislike, has made it clear that they're preparing for another war witht he Empire, covertly supported the entire Stormcloak Rebellion to weaken the Empire to that end, is actively attempting to destroy the very idea of humanity in order to lead to the total destruction of the world, and they have silly helmets. Why do you think they get so intensely hated on?
    • If you play as a non-nord looking to join up with the stormcloaks, you can ask Ulfric and Galmar why they're alright with you joining. They explain, more or less, that their issue isn't so much with race(that's a part of it, but by no means the main part) as it is with loyalty. The reason Ulfric's so apathetic towards the plight of the dark elves in his city is because they're not doing anything to help his cause, not simply that they're elves. On the other hand, the Thalmor are hardcore mer supremacist. With the stormcloaks, you get a few racial slurs, sweeping generalizations, but on the whole so long as you prove your worth, they'll treat you with respect. With Thalmor, if you aren't pure bred altmer, you're a tool that will one day outlive its usefulness and be put down.
    • You may as well have asked why people hate the Nazis so bad; because that's essentially what the Thalmor is. Nazi elves.
      • There is one difference between the Nazis and the Thalmor: the Nazis' core idea doesn't have that looming possibility of being partially right. Of course, that doesn't excuse the Thalmor's Altmeri supremacy ideals, and it seems most members of the Thalmor aren't even aware of the whole 'actively attempting to destroy the very idea of humanity in order to lead to the total destruction of the world' thing (for those that don't get why that isn't an unambigiously bad thing, the point of destroying the world for the Thalmor isn't to destroy the world, as Mehrunes Dagon has it, but rather for spirits - all spirits, including those that were Mannish before the idea of Man was destroyed - to get back to how things were before Mundus was created, when they were eternal)
    • The Thalmor are only allowed within Skyrim because of the Imperial presence, whom they don't exactly have a good relationship with either. The Emperor certainly does not like them, since the first time the whole mess started, it ended with the rolling of 100 of the Emperor's finest guards' heads. The Empire also lost the war with them and had to sign a humiliating decree. The difference between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials is really that the Stormcloaks isn't shy about saying it.
      • Actually, if you ask Alvor the blacksmith in Riverrun he'll tell you that the reason the Thalmor are allowed within Skyrim is because some jackass publicly restarted open Talos worship, thus creating an open and notorious treaty violation that gave the Thalmor the diplomatic opening to insist that their own treaty enforcing Inquisitors be allowed free movement in Skyrim, a privilege that the Thalmor did not previously have. And by 'some jackass', I mean this guy called Ulfric Stormcloak.
  • In Markarth, you can meet the local Thalmor Commander Andolemar. You can recieve a quest to prove that a local citizen is worshipping Talos in secret. There's nothing too unusual about this... besides the fact that there's a shrine to Talos in the middle of the city, in rather good maintenence to boot. Is Andolemar being hypocritical or is he just that blind?
    • Well, "root out Talos worship" seems to be code for "Pace around the keep all day and hire strangers who just happen to walk in and are plainly wearing amulets of Talos to do my job for me." So, yea, probably that blind. Or lazy.
    • Seeing as the city already has heavy stormcloak support, shutting down the altar may lead to a revolution (backed by the silver-bloods, who are stormcloak supporters and have their own army). He probably just doesn't want to get torn apart by the angry masses, but still wants to pretend he did something to appease his superiors.
    • Andolemar strikes me as the Wally of the Thalmor. He chills in the keep, chats up the Jarl, eats good food, drinks good booze, writes up a report to Elenwen and periodically hires amoral mercenaries to poke around and find Talos worshippers and pass that off as his quota for the month.
      • Even if you do his quest, nothing happens to the secret Talos worshiper you gather evidence about. Seems possible that he's just pretending to do his job. There's a point where, if you did help him, he'll provide a distraction at the Thalmor embassy just because you ask him to cause a scene without giving him much of a reason. I got the impression that he was with the Thalmor just because pretending to do the job was easier and let him live better than anything else he might have done instead.
    • Another possibility is that he knows about the shrine, but leaves it alone as bait. That way, assuming he has somebody watch it from a distance, he can quickly get the names of everybody visiting it - IE (most likely) Talos-worshippers.
  • The most commonly presented theory regarding the cosmology of Mundus is that the eight planets represent the original eight divines. But how would that work? The eight divines are not a universal constant. Their members used to be part of two completely different, larger pantheons. And, they probably aren't the most widely worshipped either, with valenwood, elseweyr and summerset now revering the elven pantheon, and the akaviri probably having different gods. Why don't Syrabane, Phynaster,Y'ffre, Diagna and others have their own planets? Did the cosmology of the universe suddenly change when the eight divines were founded? But if so, why didn't it change again when they became the nine divines? (and again when they rebecame the eight divines).
    • Long answer coming up, so I've divided it into separate paragraphs:
      • First, a bit of clarification on what exactly the eight planets are. They are the planes of those Aedra who had the most impact in the creation of Nirn, and who continue to exert the most influence over it. According to the series' accepted creation myth, there were actually many more Aedra in the beginning, who were tricked by Lorkhan into giving up their divine power to give birth to the mortal plane. Some fled the creation when they felt their divinity slipping away,[2] while others remained and gave some or all of themselves in fashioning the rest of the world. Those who retained a part of their divinity occupy their own planes of existence in Aetherius, which the mortal mind registers as the eight planets.
      • The identity of which eight Aedra occupy these planes is a subject of in-universe debate. That's exactly why the different pantheons exist. The "Eight Divines" was merely the name St. Alessia came up with for her new religion, which coincidentally coincided with the number of planets around Nirn. Regardless of what names they're given, it's a fact that there are eight Aedra influencing Nirn from above, and they have remained constant, which is why Nirn has always had the elements that is has, such as time,[3] rain,[4] life and death,[5] etc. Those planets have always been there, and have always remained there.
      • The various races each have different philosophical outlooks on the world, and thus ascribe different gods to these elements. Some gods might be redundant, some might be false, and some may even exist within Nirn itself.[6] The key point to take out of all this is that there are eight constant divine forces in Mundus, it's just that people have seen them differently throughout history, sort of like how real-world polytheistic religions attribute different natural occurrences to multiple gods, while a monotheistic religion attributes them to one god. The problem, in short, is simply semantics.
    • According to Varieties of faith, most of the religions have more than eight gods, ranging between 10 and 12.
  • Did Hadavar get promoted for no reason? The first time you see him he wear regular armor, the next time you see him hes wearing Officer's armor. What did he do to get promoted? Escape Helgen and hide out in his uncle's house?
    • IIRC, he didn't change armor. And usually by the time the Dragonborn meets him again in the Legion questline, enough time has passed for him to logically be promoted.
    • Most likely, the reason Hadvar and Ralof get promoted following Helgen is that they managed to get out at all. It's also vaguely implied that they would have been up for promotion sooner or later, anyway.
  • Why is keening still on Tamriel? Unlike most artifacts, keening doesn't have an innate owner-switching ability and it is one of the most legendary artifacts associated with the nerevarine. So why didn't he/she take it with her/him to Akavir?
    • Maybe The Nerevarine took Sunder and Wraithguard instead and just didn't like shortswords. Or maybe the Nerevarine didn't take any of them and the temple took the tools, which were lost during the Argonian invasion.
    • Keening is easily carried, as well as being incredibly powerful, so it seems incredibly short-sighted to not bring it along anyway.
    • Maybe the Nerevarine came back at some point in the last 200 years and didn't tell anyone. Alternatively, given that their actions lead to Morrowind ending up as a smoldering crater, the short sighted explanation works well enough.
  • If the heart of Lorkhan survived the end of morrowind, how did Dagoth lose his powers so quickly? It took the almsivi several hundred years to really start losing notable amounts of power.
    • His connection to the heart was cut off, he lost all the power he was getting from it immediately. The Tribunal also lost whatever remained of their connection at the same time.
  • How is there a telvanni heir? Or, more to the point; do the telvanni even have heirs? In morrowind, they didn't really seem like they had any form of organized government, being just a collection of uber-mages, each with their own tower. In that game, becoming the telvanni leader meant challenging the old one. So, there doesn't really seem to be any room for nobles with inherited titles.
    • Think of it as a family tradition: there is great pressure on the family's daughters and sons to join House Telvanni and excel, as their parents did, and thus they are 'heirs' in an informal if not formal manner.
    • That's supported by House Telvanni not existing anymore. The argonians destroyed it. The descendants of whoever was left would consider themselves heirs to the tradition and legacy.
      • Except it isn't actually proven that House Telvanni was destroyed by the Argonians (they certainly didn't sweep over and kill everyone). The Tenvanni journal was written during Red Year, by someone that obviously did not know all that he was talking about, as Brelyna Maryon is living proof that at least one more heir to House Telvanni survived.
      • Which was in part what confused me. I thought that meant we were to assume that Brelyna was just a member of low rank, while Brandyl was of higher rank ( a descendent of the arch-mage or a(n arch)magister)
  • What is the deal with the midden in college of winterhold? It seems to be the same size of the rest of the college, is decorated with skulls, heavily damaged, infested with the undead and the location of several powerful daedric artifacts(the hand and the atronach forge) to boot. It evidently wasn't destroyed by the flood, as everyone says that the college was practically untouched. It also seems unlikely that it was the augur, as he doesn't seem all that aggressive, and it is doubtful a college of researching mages would just up and abandon something like the atroach forge without good reason.
    • It's a sewer. Like many sewers in video games, it's inhabited entirely by people who don't want to be seen. All the projects down there were secret, probably unapproved by the College. They're still down there because it'd take too much effort to dismantle them.
    • Except that a) it is fairly explicitly a former part of the college and b) the atronach forge was not constructed by the mages of winterhold.
    • Of course it's a former part of the College. It's the College's sewer, likely built when the structure's foundations were first laid. As for the origins of the Atronach Forge, it appears to have some Dwarven components (the doors on the offering box, for example), so make of that what you will.
  • So Ulfric is captured by the Imperials, and is taken to Helgen. In the beginning when you are in the cart, it seems you are coming from Ivarstead. Isn't that entire area Stormcloak territory? How did they manage to sneak Ulfric through such a hostile place? Theres a Stormcloak CAMP literally a mile away.
    • Said camp has only a few people in it. And look around Skyrim while you're wandering around. 90% of the time, there's no one in sight. And this isn't an age of cellphones and text messaging. Even if someone did witness a the ambush, they'd have to run all the way to the nearest Stormcloak camp, the Stormcloaks would have to organize a rescue force, and the rescue force would have to run all the way out there to where the ambush happened. That would take time, and by then the Imperials would be long gone.
  • In Windhelm you find a bunch of Dunmer living in poverty. After hearing about what happened to Morrowind and seeing this, I thought that the Argonian invasion and the fall of the Ministry of Truth had happened pretty recently... but I looked it up on the UESP and it turns out both events happened almost two hundred years ago. I imagine the ecosystem is stuffed because the eruption wouldn't have let the wildlife survive, but surely 200 years is more than enough time for Vvardenfell's flora to reclaim the land? And while it's understandable enough that Morrowind was so devastated by Red Mountain's eruption that it had no army to fight the Argonians with, that doesn't tell us what's going on with Morrowind two hundred years later. When you talk to one of the Dunmer in Windhelm, he implies that moving back to Morrowind IS an option, and he doesn't make any reference to an Argonian occupation making that impossible. So why are there still so many Dunmer refugees in Windhelm and Skyrim two hundred years after the event? What are the Argonians doing, is Morrowind just their territory and they've left the natives otherwise alone or are they keeping Dunmer as slaves, or what?
    • From what I gathered, the argonians basically swept over the land, destroying all major cities, killing the entire population of the house Telvanni, before retreating to the territory of house Dres. They could go back, yes, but they would need to rebuild pretty much everything, as well as being defenseless if the argonians chose to attack again.
  • Can someone please explain to me why there are two Thalmor guards still living in Understone Keep in Markarth after I take the city for the Stormcloak. In the same room with a STORMCLOAK OFFICER? Outside of bugs, anyway. What, are they Prisoners of War or something? On that same note, why is the Emperor's cousin still living in Solitude despite the city being taken for Ulfric? Especially if I've killed of the Dark Brotherhood, and she has no in game reason for being there? She should be kept as a hostage or should be sent back to the Empire! And also, why is Maro still in Dragon's Bridge? The Emperor's personal bodyguard should be dead if the Stormcloaks have won!
    • I'm pretty sure the Thalmor being in Understone is a bug; they were gone when I captured the Reach. As for Maro, you could say him and his group are one of the groups of hold outs Galmar and Ulfric told you about along with the camps dotting the map and that the Stormcloaks are just waiting them out. The real reason, of course, is that he's vital to the Dark Brotherhood questline, which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense the way it's played out if you complete it after winning the Civil War for the Stormcloaks.
    • Okay, that's fine. But if Maro's a hold out, then why didn't they just make it so that he switches position from Dragon's Bridge to the Haafingar Imperial camp or something if the Civil War ends in Stormcloak territory? There are several Stormcloak guards pacing just outside his outpost. Or is he supposed to be a Po W by this point?
    • As the above responder noted, the Dark Brotherhood quest as a whole doesn't make much narrative sense if played out after a Stormcloak victory. You might as well ask why the Emperor deigns to travel right into the heart of a hostile separatist nation, into the very capital which has recently suffered a massively destructive attack by said separatists, seemingly just to have a dinner prepared by a good chef. As for why this is, it's because it would take considerable effort to restructure the quest to accommodate all these different factors. It's far simpler to just leave things as is. That way, there are no discrepancies between quest triggers, you don't need to program new NPC travel paths, record new dialogue, or spend countless hours debugging what is now essentially a wholly different quest.
  • How the hell did NO ONE see Alduin coming? Dude is huge and Helgen is a pretty large town, someone HAD to have seen him.
    • He flew over a mountaintop into the valley where Helgen was located. Anyone on the other side of the ridge wouldn't have been wouldn't be able to outpace a rapidly flying dragon to warn others, so of course he'd surprise everyone there.
    • Alduin my be huge but humans aren't hardwired to look up for threats. He's also fast, and by the time anyone would hve seen him and started to issue a warning, he would have already attacked Helgen. Not to mention everyone is going to either be watching the execution or watching the roads or woods for Stormcloak rescue parties. No one's going to be looking up for a dragon.
    • To underline the above: remember that before Alduin shows up, everyone knows that dragons are long extinct. No one has any reason whatsoever to expect an attack from the skies.
      • Alvor says that he saw something fly by, and even says it looked like a dragon, but didn't believe it until you confirmed it, as Dragons were thought to have been a myth until now.
  • Alduin was obviously a threat to Mundus, and his rampage in Sovngarde made it clear Aetherius was also under threat by him. But would he have chowed on the Planes of Oblivion as well, or would those have been relatively safe refuges from his wrath?
    • Presumably he doesn't want to pick a fight with a divine enemy. He likely picks Sovngarde because it was Shor/Lorkan's realm, and Shor/Lorkan is dead/in no shape to fight a demigod. Each realm of Oblivion, however, is ruled by a very much alive daedric prince who's all too willing to get their hands dirty in direct combat. Mehrunes Dagon put up a damn good fight against the Avatar of Akatosh at the end of the Oblivion Crisis, and in the Isles, Sheogorath demonstrated the ability to throw the planet at people(that's what he's doing when he teleports you, you're not falling). Alduin wants no part of a fight with these guys.
      • This is completely off topic, but... throwing a friggin' planet at you? That's got to be the most badass trick this troper has ever seen, and he's seen quite a few.
  • Why don't dragons use a greater variety of shouts? For the most part, it's fire breath, frost breath, and I'm decently sure I've seen animal aliegance once, not counting Alduin's mist and meteor shouts. Why no storm call, elemental fury, marked for death, slow time, or everybody's favorite, unrelenting force?
    • It's most likely just gameplay balancing. You may disagree, but fighting dragons that can call bolts of electric death down upon you, attack you faster than you can react, negate your armor and health bonuses, or effortlessly blast you off the side of a mountain for a one-hit kill would be a bitch. In-universe, its sort of implied that the more powerful shouts require a more powerful dragon to perform, hence why only Alduin can call down meteoric destruction or resurrect his fallen kin. This also ties in with why dragons such as Odahviing respect the Dragonborn--being able to call upon a lightning storm isn't just impressive to mortals, it's impressive to dragons themselves. Of course, if you really want to tangle with Shout-wielding dragons, there are probably numerous mods that allow for this.
      • OP here. I play on the console so mods are unfortunately out of my reach. And while I get the reasoning and figured that was probably part of it, my mileage is going to vary. One of the most common complaints about the game is that dragons are too easy to take down. Adding a greater variety of shouts would make for a more interesting challenge, show a greater level of intelligence, and do more to show that their dragons aren't just big fire and frost breathing lizards, they're reality warpers who alter existence by yelling at it very loudly.
  • Wait....so if you cause a distraction at the Thalmor party using Brelas (The Servant) and the merchant Nord, she is taken down to the dungeon. But when you get down there shes there BEFORE you. Did the guards drag her down there while ignoring the cries of me slaughtering the other guards?
  • Where did all the Tsaesci go and why are there no clear records on their appearance? Back in the first era, there were enough survivors to have a massive cultural influence, to the point where the tsaesci were the heads of the empire for four hundred years. Even if a war was waged to kill all the tsaesci, there should still be plenty of physical descriptions, as well as statues, paintings, coins and various trinkets in their form(concidering there were tsaesci heads of the empire). Hell, the symbol of the empire is still a dragon, the blades were still around in oblivion and their blades were widely found in morrowind, so any attempt to destroy their culture was clearly unsuccesful.
    • What seems to be the current in-vogue theory on Bethesda's forums is that the Akaviri invasion had only a small contingent of Tsaesci in terms of the race, and a fair number of humans that may have been culturally Tsaesci (IE, insofar as Mysterious Akavir can be trusted, the Tsaesci 'ate' the humans of Akavir in a metaphorical sense: they assimilated them into their culture). That doesn't explain all of it, but it does explain how there could be a massive cultural influence without there being all that many proper Tsaesci.
  • How did Numinex die? In all versions of the story of Olaf, he brings the dragon back to whiterun while it was still alive. Dragons cannot die of old age, and it seems unlikely that the people killed it after spending so much time and trouble building a prison for the thing.
    • Perhaps dragons can die from losing the will to live? We know Paarthurnax visited Numinex and noted he'd gone pretty bonkers while stuck in Dragonsreach, so maybe he just... gave up one day.
      • Or, you know, he could have just committed suicide.
    • Someone probably eventually stabbed Numinex in the face and its corporeal body died.
    • Paarthunax mentions that Numinex eventually started going crazy from years in captivity. Presumably a batshit insane dragon is a little more of a pain in the ass to deal with than a regular dragon, so either Olaf or one of his descendants decided to put him out of their misery.
  • You need to get the attunement sphere from Septimus Signus before you can get to the Blackreach. In there you find a field laboratory of alchemist called Sinderion. How did Sinderion get there without an attunement sphere?
    • There's more than one attunement sphere, and Sinderion had one. You can find it lying right next to his corpse.
  • Speaking of Septimus, another quest he sends you on has you collecting the blood of all known elven races so he can mix it together to create a loose equivalent of dwemer blood to fool a dwemer security system. So he sends you out to get some high elf, dark elf, wood elf, snow elf, and orc blood. All well and good, those are the only elves that appear in the game. However, there is another race of elves in TES lore that is still very much alive, just rather reclusive; maormer, or sea elves. Now I'm not saying they should have included maormer in the game just for this little quest, but if you're going to have it specifically say "a sample from each elven race" then include an item in an alchemy lab at the college of winterhold or something labeled "sea elf blood".
    • Or better yet, if you are an Orc, or a high/dark/wood elf yourself, why aren't you allowed to draw your own blood for the apparatus?
      • Easy. You're the Dragonborn. During the Main Quest, you have to cut your hand to open a door (only the Dragonborn's blood can open it). Therefore, your Dragonblood would not be the same as a normal orc/high/dark/wood elf's blood would be and the security system would 'see' it.
    • Perhaps the Dovakiin is afraid of needles? Also, judging by the size of the Extractor, it sucks up a lot of blood when it takes a "sample." It'd probably be a bad idea to just up and lose that amount of blood when there are other options available. Plus, Septimus pulls the thing out of his pants. Would YOU use such an unsanitary needle?
    • As to the sea elves, they aren't the only still living elven race that he misses.Several books confirm that a handful of Aleyds are still about, now known as wild elves and hiding away from everyone. However presumably what Septimus is doing is extracting whatever elements in those elves blood is similer to Dwarven blood. With five races of elven blood available he's probably got enough of those elements without needing Maormer or Aleyd blood as well.
    • Except that the seperation of the maormer is absolutely ancient, probably dating back to before the first elves even settled on summerset. If any elven race is distinct, it should be them.
      • Also, they're from another continent. It would make sense for them to be removed far enough from the other elves to not require their blood.
    • Septimus specifically said that it was a "close approximate". He likely didn't know there were other elves in existence and was just trying to get as close as possible with those that are nearby. It also kind of helped that he wasn't entirely in his gourd, so to speak.
  • So if dragons are immortal in this game and can only really be killed by another dragon, why is Alduin required to bring them back to life?
    • Their bodies can be destroyed by non-dragons, and they can't just jump to another or rebuild them on their own, they need Alduin for that.
    • Ok, fair enough. But then what is the deal with Skeletal Dragons? The one in Labyrinthian acts just like regular dragon, but has no soul to absorb.
    • That one wasn't a real dragon, per se, but a reanimated skeleton along the same lines as the... well, skeletons you often encounter in dungeons. It was probably brought back to life by Morokei to guard his resting place.
  • Why did the main character have to be framed for the crimes during the Forsworn Conspiracy? If the entire Imperial Legion in the city was corrupt, who would call out the Silver-Bloods?
    • The guard in Markarth might be corrupt, but the rest of the Empire is a different matter.
  • Why are the shrines of Talos still intact if the Imperials take over a city? Wouldn't they be torn down or replaced with a shrine for another divine?
    • Only if the Thalmor get around to doing it. There are many hints that the Imperials despise the outlawing of Talos worship just as much as the Stormcloaks.[7] They just have no choice in the matter, as going against the White-Gold Concordat would mean resuming hostilities with the Aldermi Dominion, which would be suicide both politically and militarily for everyone in Cyrodiil. There's also the matter of the really really loud and annoying Talos preacher in Whiterun who seems to be beneath the notice of the Empire aligned authorities.
  • Why didn't the Imperial Legion take the mass confusion during the Forsworn Prison Riot as a chance to kill the small group of Thalmor breathing over their back?
    • They were busy dealing with the prison riot?
    • Plus, no matter how contrived a story you tell, the death of one or more of their operatives is going to raise some eyebrows at Thalmor HQ. They'll want to know what the hell happened, and given their penchant for intelligence gathering, the risk they'll find out what really transpired is very high.
  • During the "House of Horrors" quest, how come Tyranus was so unprepared for the situation that arose? Does the Vigil not train their members on what to do if you encounter a Daedric Lord?
    • I may be wrong, but I believe that Tyranus believed that he was dealing with a few Daedric worshipers. Against a full Daedric Prince especially Molag Bal, whose sphere is the domination and enslavement of mortals, there is not much that can be done.
      • He was expecting a few Daedric worshippers who might have summoned a few lesser Daedra. He didn't expect to meet one of the most powerful Daedra in existence.
    • As an aside, there really is no training on "what to do if you encounter a Daedric Lord." Either the Prince has some end in mind for you, in which case he'll let you live past the encounter, or you might as well just curl up in a ball and cry, because what do you do when something that powerful wants to kill you?
    • I'm not sure. Daedric lords are powerful, yes, but this wasn't a daedric lord. This was a daedric lord talking through a shrine. I'm going to assume that most daedra cults have a shrine (where else are they going to worship?). So, shouldn't the knights really have some degree of training? And it isn't like it was an overwhelming degree of force. It was flying pans and a locked door.
      • It was more than just a bit of poltergeist-style fun. Tyranus basically has his mind dominated and subsequently overthrown by Molag Bal. Even through shrines, Daedric Princes are extremely powerful.
      • It did not appear like Molag Bal was actually controlling his mind. Molag Bal still had to convince Tyranus, right?
        • He wasn't controlling his mind, per se. He was twisting it and contorting it to the point where Tyranus was convinced that the only solution was to kill the only other person with him, Molag Bal is the Daedric Lord of corruption, remember?
  • Does anyone notice that the Companions are like half the population of Whiterun? Doesn't the Jarl ever get scared that they might just one day overthrow him and take the city for themselves?
    • Inconsistent scaling. Whiterun's population is probably several hundred thousand people (Skyrim was mentioned as having very populous cities), while the companions are a relatively small group, probably no more than a few hundred.
    • Plus, very much not their style. The Companions are an honourable warrior band, rising up and taking over cities would be utterly against their nature.
      • It's not this group of companion's style. Vilkas mentions that over the years(and the companions have been around for nearly five thousand years) the companions have gone through periods of being conquering armies and marauding bandits. There's a book in Kodlak's den that details some of the more notable harbingers of the past, and mentions that they went through at least one period of several dishonorable, corrupt harbingers in a row. It likely comes down to the fact that the companions have always been sellswords; conquering one of your best potential clients isn't exactly good business.
  • Jarl Maven, Riften and the Thieves Guild collectively bug me. They set up a corrupt town run by thieves and corrupt business people with an incompetent Jarl on the throne. I understand that the Thieves Guild is there for people who like playing thieves but some of us want to root out the corruption. Worse, one of the first people you meet is a struggling young heroine looking to do just that and her companion, a young man who managed to turn out idealistic in spite of knowing nothing but Riften. This is the set up for a quest to save Riften from itself but that quest doesn't exist. Your only options with regards to both Maven and the Thieves Guild are to help them become even more powerful. Were they saving this for the DLC?
    • It's probably so Riften for that matter) wouldn't lose its characteristics, meaning they can reference it in later games. Same really goes for Markarth(forsworn vs silverblood) and winterhold(hatred against mages).
    • The Elder Scrolls games tend to lean more toward the cynical side on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Riften is presented as a city so interwoven with crime and corruption that what benefits the corrupt ultimately benefits the city as a whole. Trying to remove the corruption from the city would actually make things worse for everyone in the short term (violence in the streets over filling the power vacuum, etc.), and probably wouldn't benefit anyone in the long run either (whoever eventually takes control is liable to be even worse than those who came before).
    • Part of it also comes down to maintaining the grey and grey morality of the civil war questline; Some of the replacement Jarl's are better than the Jarl's they replace, some are worse, and some are on more or less equal moral footing. One of the things that shows that the empire doesn't necessarily have Skyrim's best interest at hard is that they put Maven Black-Brier in charge of one of their cities.
      • If you chose to support the Legion, but yet initiate the peace conference during the Main Quest, and assuming you chose to give Riften instead of Dawnstar to the Imperials, Tullius makes a remark about Maven being put in charge, something about that arrangement providing the Legion with a nice port and a lot of mead, seeing that she *does* own the best, largest, and most famous meadery in Skyrim.....
  • How the hell has the Vigil of Stendarr not noticed that a large group of one of their worst enemies lives in one place in the Companions Hall in Whiterun?
    • Three reasons
      • Its not a large group, just five people
      • These five people are going out of their way not to alert anyone, unlike most werewolves, daedra and witches.
      • Detection spells in the elder scrolls lore suck. Since werewolves are not undead, they are pretty much undetectable.
        • You can also take into account that accusing the oldest and most sacred society of warriors of being werewolves may not be the best idea in the world. Most won't believe you and, at the very worst, you could start a war with the rest of Skyrim.
    • Considering it's possible for you to summon a pair of Dremora Lords in front of, or possibly inside of the Hall of the Vigilant, and they won't do anything about it, it could be assumed that the Vigil aren't as learned in the ways of Daedra as they'd like to think.

Vigilant of Stendarr: Wherever the Daedra hide, the Vigil of Stendarr will cast them into the light.
Dremora Lord, standing just behind her: YOU ARE WEAK, MORTAL.

  • How the hell did the Argonians manage to kick the Daedras ass so badly? They beat them so badly the Daedra had to close the gates because THEY were being invaded
    • The argonians knew the daedric invasion was coming thanks to their alliance with/worship of the hist, who are the oldest beings on the planet. This gave them the chance to properly prepare for the invasion, as well as having the best intelligence on anything ever at their disposal.
    • Plus, the lore establishes that Black Marsh is pretty much the deadliest environment Tamriel has to offer. Even to a race of immortal demonic super-soldiers fresh from their own version of hell, fighting the Argonians on their home turf must've been close to impossible.
    • Note that Argonia has a much larger population than you'd suspect. Many of the tribes that usually don't travel out of black marsh also bring great tactical advantages, with 'an argonian account'(which is in-universe fiction, so not entirely reliable, though one of the other tribes got mentioned in a historical source as well) suggesting at least one winged breed. Black March actually was powerful enough to hold off the empire, with 'pocket guide to the empire' suggesting large parts of it were never annexed and that the empire has no real say over any of the decisions (like black marsh deciding to take back small bits of territory lost in a war with morrowind during Oblivion) over the territories that they do claim to control. In short, the argonians probably already were one of the greatest military powers on the planet, with the main drawback of not being unified. When the Hist warned them, they finally unified.
    • If you read the "The Infernal City" one of the argonian characters mentions that they pretty much sent wave after wave of troops through the portal and through brute force and lack of caring about survival forced the daedra to close the gates
    • Having not read the ingame book or the novel, my guess would be that Dagon himself either underestimated how much resistance Blackmarsh would offer or didn't consider it to be a high value target. Either way, this would result in him devoting a considerably smaller portion of his forces to the attack than he devoted to Cyrodiil. Also, Oblivion implied that opening oblivion gates, even without the dragon fires burning, required some form of action from Nirn to work, and that Mythic Dawn cultist had to trigger them in some way, at least initially. The Mythic Dawn likely had either a very, very small presence in Blackmarsh, or none at all, thus limiting the support Dagon would have recieved.
  • One of the conflicts in the Dark Brotherhood questline involves Astrid evidently abandoning the Five Tenets for a more standard rule of "Respect the family". The thing is, isn't that what the Five Tenets was all about? Don't do anything to mess with the Brotherhood and be a good little killer who follows Sithis/The Night Mother. Exactly what did Astrid do that was considered heretical?
    • Making a deal with the enemy of the Dark Brotherhood in an effort to kill you comes to mind...
      • The problem is, that wasn't just heretical, it was against the new rule too: you're not respecting your family if you are arranging for a member's death because his joining happened to coincide with a lot of change. Plus, she was supposed to be doing heretical things before that.
    • Astrid had basically declared herself Night Mother. "Respect the family" meant "Respect, obey, and never question my commands because I am the head of this family. The first of the Tenets is Never Dishonor the Night Mother. The second is Never Betray the Dark Brotherhood or it secrets. Astrid broke the two big ones. And likely the rest as well, but off screen.
    • My question is... How did she get burnt? Did she do that herself or...did someone else do it?
    • The black sacrament, the ritual used to invoke the dark brotherhood, involves taking part of the target's body (like nails or fingerclippings) and burning it. In this case, she used her whole body instead.
      • You're also suppose to stab the effigy with a nightshade-coated dagger and chant. Given that she was still very much alive and Nazir and Babette didn't hear her at all, the Night Mother probably took pity on her halfassed black sacrament, and she just got burnt in the sanctuary fire.
      • Also, as the contract giver, she needed to be still alive in order for her to tell the Dark Brotherhood assassin who to kill. Of course, the victim was herself, but I'm not sure the Night Mother cared that much in this case.
  • In the House of Horrors you are asked by a Vigilant of Stendarr to help investigate a potential daedra worshiper site. Things go bad fast, when it turns out that a daedric prince is directly manifesting his power in the house and corrupts the Vigilant into attacking you, then forces you to agree to help kill someone for him before setting you free. My problem - why do you have to go along with this? The Vigilantes of Stendarr have an HQ in Skyrim, you can visit it and chat with their leader. Why can't you warn them about the possessed house and wash your hands of the quest, or even recruit some Vigilantes as backup and go destroy the shrine? It just drives me nuts that the quest starts with what seems like a noble, good request and then railroads you into doing something evil. My good roleplayed character is stuck with this stupid quest in his journal and can't get rid of it.
    • One could call it complaining, but the headscratcher can be formulated thusly: why is House of Horrors the *only* Daedric quest to neither make clear that it is an evil Daedric quest (before moving from the Minor Quests tab) nor to have a good course of action beyond ignoring it? One can compare with Boethiah's and Mehrunes Dagon's quests: for Boethiah's quest, you have to actually go talk to the people at the Shrine of Boethiah to start it, while Mehrunes Dagon's quest allows you to tell Mehrunes Dagon off and spare the one he tells you to kill.
    • While this might be a stretch, perhaps this is the whole point. By doing nothing to further advance the quest, you're actually doing a greater insult to Molag Bal than could possibly be done via any other course of action. Molag Bal is the Daedric Prince of Domination and Slavery (and Rape, but that's neither here nor there) and what greater defiance is there than for a slave to ignore the edicts of its master? You are not being dominated by anyone, and in turn, you're not exerting your own dominating force over the Prince. By ignoring Bal's direct order and forging your own path, you're defying the very concept he embodies.
  • How come sights like the Thalmor agents in Markarth aren't seen all around Skyrim? Why are there no Thalmor in Whiterun, Solitude, etc? Wouldn't the Thalmor want to keep an eye on all of Skyrim?
    • Remember Shavari in Riften? Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume the Thalmor have agents just like her all over the major towns in Skyrim to keep tabs on everything.
      • There are Thalmor Patrols you can meet on the road who do not have prisoners with them. Likely these Thalmor are there to make their rounds and check up on their holds once in a while. Markath probably just has the permanent visitors because of the aforementioned Markath Incident.
    • In addition, they likely send out agents to the hold capitols on occasion to check up and do monthly reports. Solitude, at least, is a relatively short distance from the embassy. Markarth likely gets a permanent appointment because of the Markarth incident; the city openly and officially ignored the treated and allowed open worship of Talos, even if for a short time. That likely put it at the top of the Dominion's shit list, at least for Skyrim. As for why there isn't one in Whiterun specifically because Whiterun was the only hold not to declare for one side or the other and the Thalmor wanted to keep it like that; the war is won or lost at Whiterun. Whoever controls the center controls the outcome. And until Ulfric forced the issue, no one was really sure which side Balgruuf would come down on. Putting Thalmor agents in Whiterun might have pushed him to joining the Stormcloaks outright; such an action without conflict would have spared Ulfric time and men that would have ended the war even sooner.
    • Note that the harder the Thalmor bear down on Talos worshippers, the faster they'll drive resentful Nords and other Talos-worshippers to back up the Stormcloaks, which will give Ulfric an edge. The ones operating in Markarth are also only there specifically because the Jarl is desperately trying to avoid pissing off the Aldmerri; they specifically gave him an ultimatum to either purge the Talos-worshipping presence in the city or they'd send troops to take the city by force. The Thalmor likely can't get away with having an active, armed presence in other holds without severely pissing off the other Jarls. Falkreath and Morthal are too small to bother with, and Elisef's husband was a Talos worshipper and she herself is also, so if the Thalmor came into Solitude, it might push her to action, whether covert or overt. Whiterun hasn't declared, but the giant Talos statue an the screaming priest in front of said statue indicates where Balgruuf stands and how he'd react to any Thalmor presence.
  • Alduin's wall. Wouldn't you want your records that detail the events of the destruction of the world to be a little more clear than some vague pictures? I mean, we know what most of it means, but only because we played the previous elder scrolls games, so we know what to look for. Most people in-universe don't really seem all that educated and don't know exactly what time period every scene is supposed to portray. The oblivion sign is not exactly rare, volcanoes aren't unique and there is more than 1 legendary staff, so the whole time indication is vague too. I get that carving something into a wall lasts longer than paper, but couldn't they also have carved

Hey, is the world being attacked by dragons? Did the staff of chaos get reassembled, has numidium warped the space-time continuum, has red mountain blown up and has Mehrunes Dagon invaded? In that case, you should look for a dragonborn. He can eat dragon souls and gain cool shouting powers. He is the only one who can kill Alduin, who has travelled through time to destroy the world (or enslave it. We're not that sure. Sorry about that.) Tell the dragonborn to go to sovngarde (and not by dying, plz) and team up with the guys who defeated Alduin before, into the wall? That would have made everything a lot clearer.

    • Images mean there's no language barrier. It all happened so long ago that even the same language may have become unrecognizable by now.
    • Except that all the entry puzzels depend on language. You can't even enter the temple without knowing the akaviri symbol for dragonborn, which, even at the time, would be fairly obscure. In addition, we know that beings who live for hundreds of years aren't exactly uncommon in the elder scrolls universe, so language likely doesn't change as quickly. Furthermore, it wouldn't have to replace the wall, just a small extra. They apparently spend years working on the wall, and carving some words shouldn't be that hard.
    • For all we know, there were written records of the prophecy. Esbern was able to piece together the mural's meaning using other knowledge he had assembled during his studies, after all. Most likely, the records as a whole were lost long ago, and the mural is simply an artistic rendering of the prophecy.
    • To put it bluntly, no, the Akaviri wouldn't do something that simple. Its a cultural thing. Esbern himself says this straight out when you reach Alduin's wall.

Esbern: The Akaviri were not a straightforward people. Everything is couched in allegory and mythic symbolism.

    • So, no. The Akaviri wouldn't put down simple text to explain how to stop Alduin in simple terms. Their entire cultural mindset was against doing that.
  • During the negotiations between the stormcloaks and the imperials in the main quest, Ulfric demands the city of Markarth. First of all, its rather silly that he thought he'd get an entire hold just for a temporary cease-fire. Second, why markarth? If no quests in the war storyline have been completed, its surrounded on all sides by imperial territory, with solitude to the north, whiterun to the northeast, falkreath to the east, cyrodiil to the south and high rock to the west. So that means he has no way to resupply the city or get the silver from the city to him. And for markarth, sending extra supplies is absolutely neccesary, as it is under constant threat of the forsworn. Wouldn't asking for falkreath make a lot more sense?
    • Falkreath Hold isn't very strategically important. It's pretty much just a huge tract of alpine forest. That means it'd be difficult to defend, and the holder would gain little war materiel in doing so. By taking Markarth out of Imperial hands, Ulfric is denying them a key resource--the silver mines--and is putting pressure on their right flank. It matters little that Ulfric can't really make use of the silver; as long as he puts troops in and around Markarth, the Imperials have to respond by diverting forces to address him. That inevitably means gaps will open in their lines elsewhere, and that's what Ulfric really wants--to weaken Imperial forces overall so that he can begin his offensive campaign. General Tullius, of course, realizes this and attempts to balance the scales by demanding Riften; by basically pulling the same ploy.
    • Except he has no way to send troops there to put pressure on the imperials. Any re-enforcements he would send would need to pass through imperial territory. So first of all, he couldn't send any troops at all during the temporary truce. And after that has ended he can't reenforce for the same reason he couldn't take markarth earlier: Whiterun and falkreath are in the way.
    • And yet, Stormcloak troops get into the Hold somehow--you can see as much after the truce is made. That's the other thing: the two sides did agree to a cessation of hostilities for a short time. It's entirely possible that Ulfric sent a train of soldiers and supplies to the city during that period. In fact, that was likely one of the provisions the two sides hashed out--agree to let each other occupy their new territory without harassment. Regardless, both Ulfric and Tullius are gambling on their gains in the short term; each simply wants to keep the pressure on the other, not use their new Holds for any real economic advantage.
    • I assumed those soldiers were from the reach stormcloak camp.
    • What I don't understand is why both sides demand new territory at all? We're there to get both sides to agree to a ceasefire because the flippin' world is about to end. The even weirder thing is that both sides will still agree to trade territories even if the trade you suggest is massively unfair to one side. Why doesn't the faction getting cheated just say "the deal's off, let's just stop fighting for a bit without trading territory?"
    • You have to remember that these are sworn enemies. Both Ulfric and Tullius are bringing the war into the peace conference, as it were. The territory demands are essentially military skirmishes, except in diplomatic form: by prodding each other in this manner, they learn just how far the other is willing to bend while still in pursuit of their own gains. Said gains are also the motivation behind the demands even when faced with apocalypse.[8] It's also an exchange of mutual trust. By allowing the other side to occupy new territory unmolested, it shows each is willing to respect the terms of the agreement and to exercise the necessary discipline over their troops to ensure that the ceasefire is upheld.
    • For what it's worth, Whiterun/Balgruuf isn't technically Imperial-aligned if you haven't done any of the civil war quests - it's listed as "Imperial" on the battle map because that's the side it would take, but it's technically neutral until Ulfric forces his hand.
    • It's Personal. The Markarth Incident, which Ulfric spearheaded, was the first major event that led to the Stormcloak Rebellion.
  • So how are the Stormcloaks a threat? Their rebellion seems to made up of a bunch of farmers with pretty low quality equipment and the Imperials are veterans. What do the Stormcloaks have? The fact that they're Nords?
    • They have you
    • They have half of Skyrim and a lot of defected Legionnaires. They can't really take on the Legion's forces head on, but there are other tactics they can use.
    • Galmar mentions that the bulk of Stormcloak forces are former Legion. Meanwhile, various Legion commanders posted at different holds will mention that a lack of resources forces them to recruit locally, so the bulk of the Legion's forces in Skyrim are from the same stock as the Stormcloaks; those who weren't legion already were farmers, merchants, craftsmen, and the like.
    • Their equipment is of comparable quality to the Legion's, and these are Nords. Nord troops have been a major part of the Legion's armies throughout the Empire's history (it was Nord-composed Legions that arrived to drive the Almerri from Cyrodiil in the Great war) and Skyrim is one of the nastiest and most dangerous parts of Tamriel. Nords by nature have to be tough and competent warriors, and they have a strong martial tradition. And they were kicking the Legion's ass until Tullis arrived and turned things around.
    • The Nord troops are veterans too. Many fought in the Great War, and a number fought at Markarth. Even the ones that didn't have been guarding holds, which means patrolling roads populated by bandits and other sundry dangers, and periodically taking the fight to whatever threatens the hold. Plus, the average farmer in Skyrim frequently has to deal with trolls, bears, bandits, and other sundry dangers. Remember, this is the land where the average response to a dragon descending on your city is grab whatever weapon you're carrying and go after that scaly bastard.
    • The Stormcloaks are really analogous to the Germanic and Celtic tribes that the historical Roman Empire fought a lot. One of the defining elements of those Gauls and Picts was their aggression and the ferocity of their attacks; a common, paraphrased saying among the Romans was that the Gauls would break within five minutes of fighting against a disciplined Roman shield line - but the Roman shield line had to survive fight minutes of fighting a Gaul horde. The Stormcloaks wield light armor and assault with heavy two-handed weapons and can, very quickly, kill Legionaries, but if the Legionaries survive the first few swings they can usually kill the lighter-armored and shieldless Stormcloaks. The Gauls were also deadly ambushers and many Roman Legions were destroyed by Gaul armies due to surprise attacks or being outnumbered and flanked. The Stormcloaks fight in a similar fashion, using terrain and surprise attacks to defeat better-equipped Imperial Legionaries. There's also the added point that the Romans were so successful because they were able to mass-produce professional armies with standardized gear, so they could easily replace expended Legions, which is something the Empire of Tamriel can't do so readily. Therefore, the Empire has to be more cautious and conservative, which gives the Stormcloaks an edge.
    • Hmm...an army of mostly farmers taking on an army many, many times their size and strength and actually winning? No, I've never heard of something like this before.
      • That would be because it usually didn't happen very often. Farmers with impromptu weaponry rising up to fight off a larger and better equipped force of professional soldiers almost always results in the farmers getting a terminal case of sword. Successful rebellions like that were extremely rare. The Stormcloaks are professional soldiers who are well-equipped and well-led, and it shows.
  • How is it that in 200 years the Empire has regressed from town guards in full plate to soldiers dressed as romans? Has the need for plate armour just magically disappeared?
    • Not enough metal to go around?
    • The imperial legions were dressed like romans at the time of Elder Scrolls IV(or at least, they were in III, which takes place only 3 years earlier). The difference, however, is that the town guards seen in Oblivion are not legionaries. The actual legions don't show up in that game for some reason. I will however note that its kind of weird that the emperors guards are also wearing roman uniforms. Plate armour requires a lot of maintenance and slows down marches considerably (especially considering horses seem to be a bit rarer in the elder scrolls universe), so its not really all that handy for the legions (One of the greatest advantages of the original romans was that their armies could move very quickly).
    • Which kind of leads to the question of why the guards from Oblivion used plate really.
    • The guards didn't need to march massive distances, just patrol around the cities a bit, and there are blacksmiths with good forge to repair and maintain the armor. The guards were, well, guards, not armies.
    • Remember that the Empire is in decline and a massive war was raging thirty years ago that ravaged the Empire. Is entirely possible that the Empire switched to a type of armor that is easier to mass-produce because of the need to quickly mobilize and outfit more soldiers with gear that is easier to maintain. Plate armor had to be custom-fitted and designed for each wearer, after all, while lorica and other Roman armors were made to be easily-fitted to large numbers of soldiers. Therefore, plate is more suitable for when you've got the discretionary funds to outfit your troops with the best of the best gear, while the Roman armor is more suitable for when you've got to outfit an army swiftly and on a budget.
    • Another thing to remember is terrain. In Skyrim, where there isn't mud there's forest, where there isn't forest there's snow, and where there isn't snow there's marshes, and where there isn't any of that there's giant fuckall huge mountains. This is not terrain suitable for large numbers of soldiers walking around in heavy plate. Dovahkiin and follower get around it by being just one person, but when you've got an army on the move, you don't want a thousand men in plate armor churning up the roads, let alone fighting.
      • The Solitude Smith comments that the first set of armor is free, but subsequent sets will be out of your own pocket. Likely Imperial Legionnaires are not given large allowances, and armor gets broken all the time. It might just be more practical to go with light leather armor, given both the terrain and cheap costs.
    • Mass-production is a hell of a lot easier with lorica-style armor than plate, which has to be individually-fitted. One of the biggest advantages the historical Roman Empire had was that all of their gear was standardized. Lorica was armor that could be easily fitted to any legionary, so they could readily manufacture large numbers of that armor without the expense of fitting it to individuals. That made it very, very useful for an army on the move; damaged components could be easily repaired and new suits could be added to stockpiles to replace damaged ones. In a similar vein, Imperial armor is cheaper and easier to manufacture, uses less expensive materials, and is lighter and easier to move in. Compare a suit of plate to a suit of Imperial heavy armor and note the difference in cost (Plate armor costs 647 septims base, while Imperial heavy armor costs only 100 base), skill level needed to build it (50 for plate with three perks, while steel is only requires one perk and no additional skill points), and ease of manufacturing (plate requiring corundum as well as a lot of steel, with Imperial armor only requiring four steel bars and some leather). Plate is better overall, but the Romanesque Imperial armor is a lot easier to supply to large numbers of infantry.
  • How come more isn't made of Helgen's destruction? It was a large Imperial stronghold, now completely gone. The Stormcloaks have free reign from Falkwreath to Whiterun. But no panic in Solitude?
    • The stormcloaks didn't want to antagonize whiterun and falkreath isn't exactly a top priority on anyone's lists.
    • They didn't want to antagonize Whiterun? Sorry, but that's exactly what Ulfric is planning when you first meet him back in Windhelm. The only reason Whiterun doesn't do anything about it is Story Versus Gameplay Segregation.
    • Ulfric is planning yes, but the civil war makes it clear that Ulfric is still somewhat hopeful that whiterun will join the rebellion. He's going to take whiterun, but he isn't going to do anything against them before his final assault.
    • Any movement by the Stormcloaks into the area around Whiterun will potentially scare Balgruuf right into the Imperial camp, which will result in an Imperial garrison bolstering the Whiterun army. Ulfric has everything to gain by keeping Balgruuf neutral; if he can convince Balgruuf to surrender he gets a critical strategic resource. If he can't, then he'll have an easier time taking Whiterun when it doesn't have Legion troops supporting it.
    • I'm not really talking about attacking Whiterun, I'm talking about the fact that with Helgen gone the Stormcloaks basically gain control of a large portion of the river valley. They can sack Falkwreath, and then keep heading west and hit the cities there.
      • Again, doing so would likely scare Whiterun into the Imperial camp. Falkreath is not a major strategic resource, and if Balgruuf feels threatened by a push right next door to his city, he'll throw in with the Empire, and then the Legion will be able to cut off any force sent into Falkreath. As long as Balgruuf remains neutral, Ulfric can't risk antagonizing him until Whiterun is seized. Once again, the war hinges on Whiterun.
      • Why would taking Falkwreath, a rival of Whiterun, then heading west AWAY from Whiterun make Balgruuf turn to the Imperials?
      • Because in doing so, Ulfric would both gain a stronger strategic position and a better position from whence to strike at Whiterun. If Ulfric controls Falkreath he can hit Whiterun from multiple directions and cut off trade with Cyrodiil - especially important because of Falkreath's otherwise limited strategic value. The only reason to take Falkreath would be to either strike at Whiterun or Markarth, and Markarth is a fair distance away from Ulfric's other strongholds. Were I in Balgruuf's shoes, if Ulfric took Falkreath I'd throw in with the Imperials because taking Falkreath would give the Stormcloaks a direct line to my unprotected backdoor.
      • Ulfric can't get at Falkwreath without taking Whiterun first. Falkwreath and the Rift are separated by rough, treacherous mountains that are difficult and dangerous to march an army through. The best way to get at Falkwreath would be going through Whiterun hold which he can't do without either Balgruuf openly joining the rebellion(which is what Ulfric was hoping for) or taking Whiterun by force.
      • Also, if you look at the map as it stands, and consider Ulfric's forces, holding where he in in the Rift offers him a better position. As it stands, he can block any major Imperial movement into the Rift by blocking the mountain pass, and with Helgen gone it greatly extends enemy lines of supply if they move south into the Rift. Meanwhile, moving into Falkreath would demand that he dispatch significant forces through rough terrain. He'd have to deploy sufficient numbers of troops to cover both the roads running from Whiterun and the ones coming from Markarth. Holding Falkreath would offer further complications due to terrain, as it has the thickest forests in Skyrim and comparatively hilly terrain, perfect for geurilla operations, forcing the Stormcloaks to employ more men to protect the holdings around Falkreath. There's also an Imperial camp close to the mountain pass south of the Throat of the World which would spot any mobilization almost instantly and get runners out well before the Stormcloaks could get anyone through the pass, resulting in a likely Imperial counter-march. Without control of Whiterun to guard his northern flank, Ulfric can't expect to take and hold Falkreath.
      • Because Falkreath Hold in Stormcloak hands would effectively split the Empire into two pieces, taking Falkreath is a strategic imperative - which is why it's the first thing they do after they take Whiterun. But they have to take Whiterun first, because as previous posters have stated, without Whiterun Hold in Stormcloak hands, Falkreath is indefensible - taking it would almost certainly make Balgruuf overtly side Imperial, the Stormcloaks would have to march through that narrow pass in the Rift (and it's not unreasonable to assume an attempt to do just that to take Falkreath was what resulted in the Imperial ambush the player character gets caught up in at the beginning of the game), and the Stormcloaks would be squeezed on both sides. In fact, if Ulfric did this, Legionnaires from Cyrodiil could march northward to retake Falkreath, while Legionnaires from Skyrim march eastward through Whiterun and threaten Eastmarch itself. Controlling Whiterun eliminates this very significant risk, not to mention that because Whiterun is a major economic center and road hub, to control it would severely curtail the Empire's ability to move troops between Cyrodiil and Solitude and make it much easier for the Stormcloaks to take Falkreath. The war really is won or lost at Whiterun; that's not simply an expedient of the game.
  • How is it that Giants have a Greater Soul size while their pet Mammoths have Grand Souls? It's true that in real life elephants are very intelligent animals, but the Giants have their own language, they make their own tools and clothing, they're a possible offshoot of elves, and they domesticated mammoths.
    • The power of a soul isn't just based on how intelligent a being is. A related question would be why the clearly Ehlnofey-related giants haven't got Black souls, but then, neither do the modern Falmer...
  • So The Lusty Argonian Maid is, essentially, a pornographic play[9]. How exactly would that work? Would the actors have sex in front of the audience every time it was performed? Would it not be performed and merely sold as the script? Either way, when there's no means of storing or transmitting images in-universe, the area of porn seems distinctly limited.
    • It is actually supposed to be performed, as the writer in Morrowind was looking for a group of actors to do so. Maybe they perform behind a paper back-lit screen, so only the shadows are visible? That would allow for many of the double entendres to also work visually.
      • Maybe the humor was that it was all to be literally taken and Crassius Curio was a massive troll.
      • It's all about unsubtle innuendo and double entendres, which is pretty much exactly what Roman comedies were. See also Plautus--or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was directly inspired by Plautus.
  • What were the names of the three heoroes who fought and defeated Alduin before? I'm pretty sure they were mentioned, either on Laduin's wall or by Paarthurnax, but I can't recall what thir names were.
    • See the Characters page, under the folder "Heroes of Skyrim."
  • Since when is Talos keeping the world together? I know it's referenced a lot in the page, but can someone explain it to me? I can't find anything on his wiki page on UESP nor the Elder Scrolls wiki.
    • Talos is the embodiment/representative/derivative of Lorkhan. Lorkhan is the foundation of the world itself. To destroy Nirn and return to the chaos before creation, Talos must be destroyed, since he fortifies the Earth Bones, and the Earth Bones must be unravelled. Read this for more detail.
    • So remember, kids: every time you save a Talos worshipper from the Thlamor, you're doing your part to save the world from metaphysical annihilation!
  • I know you never get to reproduce in the game, but what would happen if the Dragonborn were to have kids? Is being Dragonborn hereditary like it was for the Septims? Would the DB's kids be Dragonborn/have "dragonblood" as well?
  • If the player has the soul of a Dragon in a mortal body, does this mean that they were a Dragon once? And does it also mean that somewhere out there is a pile of Dragon Bones that Alduin would be unable to resurrect as the soul has already been resurrected as you?
    • It's not made clear if dragons can reproduce, but I'd guess that every time a dragon is born/created it gets a fresh, never-been-used soul. Same would go for the Dragonborn.
    • Dragons do not reproduce. Dragons simply are. The first Dragonborn were gifted with the souls of dragons by the gods, and while the Septim line were consistently Dragonborn due to divine blessing, most Dragonborn throughout time simply were gifted the dragonblood by the gods. In other words, the Dovahkiin was gifted his/her abilities by Akatosh himself.
  • How are 2-3 Daedric Princes (Nocturnal, Sanguine and maybe Sheogorath) apparently physically on Nirn after "Oblivion"? I'll admit I never played Oblivion, but didn't Martin's sacrifice permanently bar Daedric entry, or is that just Mehrunes Dagon?
    • (Other than that, best I can figure is the Skeleton Key unlocks even Martin's seal, Sanguine is considered just a nuisance, and Sheo was already in Nirn when the seal went up).
      • If Nocturnal's key opens all door, it would presumably open gates to Oblivion that could be sealed (And the quest outright states it opens a passage to her realm allmowing luck to flow into Nirn). Sheogorath is not in Nirn, he's in the mind of a dead, non-undead, human. And dead humans don't remain in Nirn except when turned to undeads (See: Sovngarde). On top of that, Sheogorath comes from Nirn to begin with, since he was human, he may not even be bound to those rules. Sanguine could be using various loopholes, such as adopting a weaker form than his true self (Hence appearing as A human and a Dremora rather than a stomping monstrosity like Mehrunes Dagon. He might also be a mere avatar, as it has been shown before that even with the Dragon Fires lit up, Daedric Princes can project themselves to the material plane to some mortals (As Azura did to the Nerevarine during Morrowind) or cross completely when certain conditions are met (As Hircine does during his wild hunts in Bloodmoon)
  • Throw Voice. So, you need to absorb the powers of dragons and master an ancient art...to taunt people? I could understand if the effect was just a normal incantation in dragon language like any other shout, but no - it causes you to spout weird insults. How is that special?
    • It causes you to spout insults from a different direction than the one you are at. Rather, I causes something ELSE to spout an insult without you being near it.
    • Throw Voice actually involves accurately generating a voice from a completely different location with sufficient volume to actually draw someone's attention and pull them away. The voice itself is magically generated.
  • Do we have any idea who the mysterious "friend" who keeps sending you letters is? I keep feeling like I'm supposed to know.
    • There's some theories. One theory is that it could be the Blades. Another is that it could be the Psijic Order or another group of mysterious agents watching over the Dragonborn. Another theory is that it is Talos himself, covertly acting to support you. And there's the really, really out there idea that its just a few random people in the towns that noticed you Shouting and knew enough about the local landscape and legends to direct you to a Word Wall.

Back to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  1. Firstborn, for instance, could be indicative of Alduin being the first aspect of Akatosh to spin off as its own again
  2. Such as Magnus, whose exit punched the hole in Aetherius otherwise known as the sun
  3. Akatosh
  4. Kynareth
  5. Arkay
  6. Talos, perhaps?
  7. Jarl Elisif asks you to bring a horn to a Talos Shrine, Legate Rikke quietly says "Talos be with you" to Ulfric when you kill him, etc.
  8. "Well, hey, if the world ends, none of this matters, but if the world doesn't end, then I get to reap the benefits of this deal."
  9. albeit one that, when read, is non-graphic through Double Entendre and Sexy Discretion Shot.