essay, video games

Party of One

It was in Oblivion, in the land of Cyrodiil, that I was invited to a party in the Summitmist Manor. It was here, after my acceptance into my new family of the Dark Brotherhood, that I was to show my true devotion, my true skill. I was to go to this place, dressed in my newly awarded clothes, and slaughter each guest, one by one, without any of them knowing I had done it. This was a task — finally! — that I could take on and show this new family that I was truly skilled, that I deserved to be one of them.

And it was on a dark and stormy night that I met one of my new brothers at the door. He informed me that there were five guests already there. Once I entered the place, the doors would lock and I would be sealed in until only I was left. However, as I had been told by Ocheeva, the bonus for this mission would only come if I could kill all of them without any of them knowing it was me doing it. This was a classic situation and was going to do it flawlessly.

Did I mention that I was a Master of Illusion? Using the Spell-crafting Alter in the Arch-Mage’s room, I had created a spell that would give me instant charm on anyone with touch. It was excellent for making anyone like me. But it only lasted an instant, that was the cost of using it with such a high charm value. So, after talking to Matilde, I immediately used it on her.

An alliance? Of course. Why not meet me in the basement? Then off she went to our “meeting place”.

Next, I talked to Dovesi. Matilda had warned me that this “young dark elf” was after Primo for his money. Dovesi had said she had seen Primo glancing at her. Who was I to stand in the way of love? I charmed her too. Telling her to take a chance on this love with an older man, I instructed her to wait in his room. I’ll tell him to meet you there. It’ll be romantic, a secret rendezvous for the both of you. I whispered enough to her to get her out of the way too.

I was quick to take out my targets from there. All that way left on the first floor was Primo after Matilda and Dovesi had left. I let him be for now and headed back to my first target. Matilda was waiting for me in the basement as she said she would be. Invisibility and a couple quick thrusts ended her. On down, four more to go.

Nells and Neville were chatting it up on the second floor. I talked to both, did some recon and research. I opted to leave them alone for now. I went for Dovesi in Primo’s room. I opened the door, let myself in and then closed the door. There was no need to have witnesses for what I was about to do to her. Again, a dagger served me well. Two were down with little fight.

Neville caught me coming out of the room. He told me that most of the others had been murdered. Murdered? No! Who is the killer?. To this, he was quick to accuse the loud Nord, Nels. With a quick charm, I told him I agreed. Nels must die! Neville was quick to respond. And so was I. As soon as he killed Nels, I killed him immediately after.

For my quick work of the party, I was given the Night Mother’s Blessing and tasked with “retiring” an officer of the Imperial Legion who is now Leyawiin. This too was quick. I hid, I shot him with the specially made arrow. I cut off his finger and took it to the new office in the Imperial City. With access to the Arch-Mage’s Spellcrafting Alter and being a Master of several skills, I was able to make everything I needed for any breaking and entering job including opening Very Hard locks. Using Illusion and these spells, I left the finger and went unnoticed the whole time. I was back at the Brotherhood’s Sanctuary within an hour.

Once back, I received a message. I was to meet with Lucien Lachance at his place of residence, Fort Farragut. He was proud of my work. He wanted me to take on a very special job that only I could take care of. I had excelled and advanced within the organization, the Dark Mother was pleased. Her gift to me was a special mission of purification. I was to kill everyone in my new family, my new cell. There was a killer among them. A killer of killers. This was bad and Lucien needed to make me a Silencer in order to do it. I was to now break one the five tenants of the Brotherhood and kill other members.

I left his fort in contemplation. I had joined the Mages Guild for reputation, to make a name for myself. They, after getting deep enough in their organization, wanted me to kill people. Every quest, at a certain point, was about killing off people. Well, necromancer. Humanoids at least. People who had once been human. It was for them that I had grown tired of serving, of killing for them. And now, for the very organization that was all about killing, I was forced to turn on my group again. What was wrong with Cyrodiil that so many factions had grown corrupt?

Should I even follow this Dark Mother? Some said she was an old woman, maybe some ghost. Others had said she didn’t exist at all. Lucien certainly believed in her. Was it good enough for me that I was to believe what he believed, even if I had no evidence to follow? She wanted me to kill these certain people. I had already killed others. Some innocent. Some not. Mostly not. Yet, never against a group just because of the say so of the leader. Still, I was member, a beloved sister of this Brotherhood. If I was to stay, I would need to kill them.

I went back to the Cheydinhal Sanctuary. I walked around, watched some members train and exercise. Saw one sleeping. If I was to do this thing, I would go with the sleeper first. Better to feel little pain with the act of betrayal. I started stabbing her, Antoinetta Marie, while she slept and, before she could attack me, she was dead. Gogron must have seen something as he drew his axe against me. I slew him too. Teinaava and his sister Ocheeva took some work. So too did the vampire. He had earlier offered me his “dark gift”, with my dagger I gave him my answer. There was one left. Telaendril was not present. I need to go find her in… the Cheydinhal Bridge Inn.

I had wanted it to be clean but she had attacked me after I told her I was there to kill her. On reflection, that was probably not the best plan but I was where I was and had to deal from there. We fought, blade to blade, in the Inn and then into the streets. I was hoping the guards would attack her — and not me. But she kept coming at me. Then, I had an idea. Not but several buildings over was the Mages Guild. Yes, I would lure her there and have them take care of her for me. I was the was Arch-Mage! They should be able to take care of it for me. I was right.

As soon as she and I entered, they attacked her with spells. She was down in a matter of seconds. I looted her body and then exited the building and waited. Would the guards have a bounty on me for attacking someone? Would I have to pay a fine or go to jail? One city guard approached me… and kept on walking. I was in the clear!

I quickly made my way back to the Sanctuary. It was very empty with just me there. No one was talking of past glories, speaking on the latest rumors. It was all just… quiet. I looted the bodies, cupboards and chests. But I did it quickly. This place used to be so full of people. My… family was here. Now I had a better one, a more privileged one that prized me over the rest of them. They were obviously weak. I gathered my stuff and left. I would not come back here, I was done with this group.

It was time to move up in the Brotherhood. Maybe they could even change the name someday if I remained with them. Brotherhood was so old fashioned. I was a women and we were just as good killers as any others. Better in some situations. Maybe we could change it to something better. Something like… Family. The Dark Family. Yes, I liked that much better. I couldn’t wait to tell Lucien my new ideas. Things had been bad but they would be getting better soon.