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absolute total madness

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  • 1 week

    Coronavirus. Cancelled examinations. Uncertainty. Well, I'm probably going to pack up and travel homeward before they stop my transport. Take this short, hurried fling-out as the start of a hiatus. I will be back at some point. I'll toss out a story I threw together in half-a-day to mark the occasion. Good luck to everyone.

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  • 12 weeks
    A Few Neat Weapons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    And I'm dreading my return to work after a quiet couple of days for New Year, so why not throw up another of these, near-pointless as they are? Sounds alright. Let's do it. 

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  • 13 weeks
    8 Wholesome NPCs in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


    At least one dusty Old English tome begins in more or less the same manner, though I can't recall the word I'm translating roughly as the above. So, by using 'so' as I have (which I'm fairly certain I do mostly anyway), I'm conceding that this tired spiel is a lazy substitute for the well-structured, pertinent introduction I am chronically incapable of providing. And so to business.

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  • 31 weeks
    10 Sad Locations in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [SPOILERS]

    So I'm striking two days in a row, with another ranking list and a Skyrim-themed one at that, which must be a good thing. Writing requires practice, and if I'm in the mood, which I am, why shouldn't I put in the relatively small amount of effort required to come out with something? Taking advantage of inspiration when it strikes sounds about right. And these aren't very structured, so it's hardly

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  • 31 weeks
    5 Most Badass Characters in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [SPOILERS]

    Alright, people, before I even attempt to sift through our vast backlog of candidates, I've got to define what a badass actually is. Which is funny because the term's flexibility is such that, normally, you'd get away with not defining it at all. Because we all know a badass when we see one, don't we. You might disagree all the same when I name names, and say 'WHAT?! HOW?' a bunch.

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10 Sad Locations in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [SPOILERS] · 3:20pm Aug 23rd, 2019

So I'm striking two days in a row, with another ranking list and a Skyrim-themed one at that, which must be a good thing. Writing requires practice, and if I'm in the mood, which I am, why shouldn't I put in the relatively small amount of effort required to come out with something? Taking advantage of inspiration when it strikes sounds about right. And these aren't very structured, so it's hardly much of a challenge in comparison to some of the other things in my to-dos.

Today we're looking for sad locations in Skyrim. Marked locations, albeit there are sad unmarked locations as well. Perhaps I can edit those in as an add-on sometime. Who knows?

The top ten saddest locations in Skyrim, then, because it sounds like a cool idea. Onward.

10. Redwater Den

A Dawnguard addition, but no less welcome for that. It's about time we had someplace skooma besides Cragslane Cavern, particularly one non-hostile (initially) to the Dovahkiin. However, with the addition of a den comes its realities, and a slew of addicts sprawled across dirty beds, one dead, is no pretty sight, serving as a poignant reminder of the dangers of drugs, fictional or otherwise.

9. Gjukar's Monument

A stone monolith in the middle of nowhere easily overlooked until The Book of Love, when we finish up earning Mara's favour. In so doing, we discover it denotes the site of an ancient battle and that the ghost of Ruki still searches for her husband, unaware that he was killed alongside countless others centuries ago.

8. Winterhold

The Great Collapse caused most of it to erode and be washed away. A few empty, broken buildings at the edge of its cliff remind us of a once-power in northern Skyrim.

7. Yngvild

In Toying With The Dead, Vekel sends us to Yngvild to retrieve the works of a madman for a client with strange tastes in literature. While battling through an exclusively female force of ghosts and Draugr to collect these journals, we piece together the full, shocking story. An exiled Altmer named Arondil has been experimenting with the dead in terms of both necromancy and necrophilia. His sickening narrative details the capture of Dawnstar milkmaids, whom he subsequently kills to acquire new 'materials', among other things. The saddest part comes when we stumble across their bodies, stored away in a cold room.

6. Halldir's Cairn

Lurking southwest of Falkreath is this out-of-the-way cave revealed to contain an eerie light emanating from a cairn in its centre, around which three bodies are strewn. On a pedestal is a journal whose contents indicate the cave holds a dark secret. Agrius, its author, writes that he and his companions, bandits, initially sought shelter there. However, the three of them set up camp despite his assertions that the nearby roads are bereft of loot. He writes of his confusion with the subsequently strange behaviour of his comrades and eventually decides to leave but can't seem to get up the nerve. In the end, he describes a death jump onto the cairn at the behest of a mysterious, irresistible voice. That they were criminals notwithstanding, it's a disturbing and upsetting find.

5. Hroggar's House (Morthal)

Upon arriving in Morthal, curiously, there is a burned-down house at its edge, which transpires to be that of one Hroggar, whom the townspeople suspect of starting the fire himself. Further enquiry reveals his wife and daughter perished in the blaze and that Hroggar has moved in with the sultry Alva. But the whole story is even more tragic. Hired by the Jarl in Laid to Rest to investigate, we discover that Alva is a vampire sent to Morthal by another named Movarth to seduce and enslave its guards in an attempt to establish a renewable source of blood. Laelette, a local woman presumed missing, was in fact infected by Alva and tasked with eliminating Hroggar's family. In trying to make their deaths appear accidental, she incriminates Hroggar by mistake, much to Alva's fury. With help from the ghost of Helgi, Hroggar's daughter, the Dovahkiin uncovers the plot and delivers justice by wiping out the vampires hiding in Movarth's Lair. Thereafter, the house remains in its ruined state, a monument to the family whose lives were ended before their time.

4. Calixto's House of Curiosities

Windhelm is subjected to a series of brutal murders, several young women having been found dead and mutilated. The Dovahkiin decides to lend a hand and manages to expose Calixto Corrium, an eccentric shopkeeper, as the infamous Butcher. Although Blood on the Ice ends there, a locked chest in the House of Curiosities contains his journal, which provides a motive hitherto unknown. Secretly maddened by grief at the loss of his beloved sister, Calixto had been harvesting organs to create for her a new form. It changes drastically our perspective on what, at first, appeared to be the work of an ambitious and arrogant necromancer. Now his and his sister's collection is all that remains of either of them.

3. Forgotten Vale

The Snow Elves, before devolving into the hideous, twisted Falmer, boasted a great culture and an advanced society. The Chantry of Auri-El, a vast series of temples within the Vale, existed for pilgrims wishing to attain enlightenment. Centuries later, the Chantry lies deserted and forgotten, a shadow of its former self plagued by Falmer and Chaurus. Traversing it during Touching the Sky, we remember that the universally loathed Falmer were not always as they were, once a proud, noble race capable of emotion beyond hatred and sensitive to beauty.

2. Frostflow Lighthouse

Buying Frostflow Lighthouse was the fulfilled dream of Redguard couple Ramati and Habd, whose home became their final resting place. Irked by noises from the cellar, the family fell victim to a Chaurus infestation encouraged by Falmer, and the giant insects ravaged their home. The Dovahkiin locates the tunnels beneath the ice and purges them of Chaurus and Falmer, discovering Habd's remains in the process and carrying out their owner's dying wish of burning them in the lighthouse flame. Even in victory, there is no happy ending, for every member of the family is dead, one of the children having killed herself, and denied the right to live out their days in peace.

1. Alftand

An archaeological expedition is forced underground by a violent storm without indication of when it will end. Sent to Alftand to retrieve an Elder Scroll, we come across a book named 'Expedition Manifest', which details the unfortunate party. Delving into the glacial ruins, the Dovahkiin encounters J'darr and J'zhar. J'darr has gone insane, and J'zhar lies dead on his bedroll. A journal beside his corpse explains how he joined the expedition to ease his brother off of skooma, but that the storm has prevented him from replenishing his supply brought for the purpose. He notes that J'darr is displaying withdrawal symptoms, hallucinating creatures coming out of the ice, and claims the others suspect him of kidnapping Valie, another member. As we delve deeper into the ruins, it becomes clear that J'darr was not hallucinating. Hidden behind machinery is the body of Endrast. His journal describes the Falmer taking the expedition members in their sleep and locking them in a cell. He manages to pick their lock and escape but is split up from the others. Yag, an Orc hireling, tells him to run while she makes her last stand. He did but was struck by an arrow and crawled to safety, where he died slowly, ashamed of his cowardice. We then discover Yag's body, riddled with arrows, before reaching a Falmer torture chamber, where Valie's remains are shackled. Incredibly, Umana and Sulla, the project leader, have survived the ordeal, but with no means of escape and Sulla's jealous ownership of their discoveries, the pair fight to the death, the survivor hostile to the Dovahkiin on sight. A tragic end to an otherwise intrepid crew of explorers we weren't able to save.

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