If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Skyrim: The Bad Vegetarian

Part 1 of 3-part wibbling

Last week, I played three hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at my leisure and free to go and do whatever I could. I've written a lot of Skyrim previews over the last year, however, so for this one I'm going to present it as a series of anecdotes across the day. Here's the first.

(Disclaimer: I played this on an Xbox 360, as PC code was not available on the day and I am fearful will not be so before the game's release. So, only chance and all that. Damned shame, but there you go.)

I was barely out of character creation (I was playing a female Khajiit, partially because I find the see in the dark racial ability incredibly useful but mostly because I own a female cat) when I saw him. Well, I heard his dog first and thought 'oh, a dog! How cute!' Then I saw the dog's owner, a poacher. I saw his bow raised aloft. I saw the hand released. I saw the arrow fly. I saw the arrow thwack into the side of an already-fleeing fox. And I saw myself, before I entirely knew what I was doing, plunge a knife into Poacher's back.

Why did I do that, I asked myself, already knowing the answer. I did it because I am a lily-livered, animal rights-supporting vegetarian, and my first experience of this wonderful world being someone being a bit of a dick to an animal was rather distressing. On the other hand, I was impressed that the game featured NPC poachers and animals who were frightened of NPC poachers. Still, this was going to be my world, and I wasn't go to stand for that kind of thing. It was in my power to make it a better place, and so I would. Take that, poacher. No more poaching for you, poacher. Yes, I was aware of the irony of being a murderer in order to prevent murder. But this appeared to be the only way I could stop him. So, I felt bad about my dark deed, but good that the world was down one rotter.

Worse irony was to come. As I rummaged through the poacher's pockets, there was a jolt, and the telltale redness of vision that meant I was being attacked. What by? I could have sworn the coast was clear.

Oh, of course. The poacher's dog. The poacher's faithful, loving, loyal dog. And, apparently, avenger.

I tried to get away, really I did. But it followed. I even climbed halfway up a mountain and it somehow scrambled after me. I sighed. I unleashed a stream of flame from my hand. The beast whimpered and fell, its body sliding and bouncing off several rocks before finally coming to a standstill. I felt incredibly bad. This was my first mark on the world: to murder a man for doing his job, then roast his pet dog afterwards. I looked around. No witnesses, at least. So I looted the dog and took its hide - that'd come in useful later.

I didn't bother any more poachers after that. Although I did steal one's horse while she was busy hunting a rabbit. She didn't see me so no bounty was placed on my head, but the horse did run away from me as soon as I got off it. Sigh. Skyrim will let me be a lot of things, but not a vegetarian vigilante.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Contributor

Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Features

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch