Dragonborn Alone

  • What do you do after you save the world?

    Alduin the World-Eater, the all-powerful, the invincible, the immortal; that dread dragon of legend, is dead. I - with a little help from my friends - overpowered him, I beat him, I killed him. The world is saved from his evil hunger.

    I rid the world of that crazy assassins' cult and their 'undead' Mother. Every bandit, ruffian, cutpurse and thug in Skyrim whose foul presence had infected her caves, forts & keeps is now either dead or has fled, at my hand. I vanquished the bloodthirsty vampire cult. Even Daedric Princes have cowered before me: even they ran from my Dragon Soul, my power. 

    Yes, there was the civil war, but that seemed to have been reduced to a series of increasingly tedious negotiations. One side agrees a concession only to lose a similar one the next time. Why they all look to me to mediate their dispute I really don't know. They don't seem to realise that I just don't care; as long as they're not killing each other I am content. I'm a fighter, not a diplomat. And why we all have to trudge up those freezing blizzard-lashed and dangerous 7000 steps to the top of Skyrim's tallest mountain to have our little chats remains a mystery to me. My guess is that Tullius & Ulfric are just trying to 'out-macho' each other: or die trying.

    With no more danger from dragons, vampires, bandits or mad mages - and with Tullius & Ulfric trying to out-talk & out-walk rather than disembowel each other - we seemed to at last have Peace.

    It seemed Skyrim's hero was no longer needed: as Dragonborn I was made redundant. A victim, perhaps, of my own success? Monthly treks up the mountain for relationship counselling notwithstanding, I had nothing to do. 

    So I did what every self-respecting Skyrim man does: I took a wife. Yes, I became the envy of many a man - and mer - when Lydia agreed to be more than just my carl & companion-at-arms. It seemed obvious. She had been constantly at my side in my struggles against the evils that had beset our land, & through it all we had become very close. The immense respect I had come to feel for her became love, and it was reciprocated. 

    Our hearts had been touched by the plight of the poor children orphaned by Skyrim's conflicts, so we adopted two young children from the orphanage in Riften: our lovely little Jorv & Elda. 

    When I wasn't on the mountain I spent my time building us a home: my Windstad Manor, in the frozen marshlands of Hjaalmarch. Our little Breezehome in Whiterun is nice, but small, and after the stresses of recent times I felt the need for solitude, & spending time alone with my new family. 

    I worked hard. It took time and effort, money & travel, but with the help of my housecarl Valdimar before long I had built a mansion fit for a Dragonborn and his family!

    We had our ups and downs, like any family, but we lived and loved and grew together.  I was determined to be a dedicated father: as devoted to my family as I was to Skyrim. And despite all that I had been through it is still one of the hardest things I have ever done! But also at least as rewarding. I showered my children with love & and it was returned to me in abundance. 

    Then the time came: my final trip up the mountain. After years of posturing, arguing & concessions it was finally the time to agree a settlement in the civil war dispute. Don't ask me how we did it because I don't know, but achieve a final agreement between Imperial & Stormcloak we did.

    It was with such relief and joy that I made the long journey back to Windstad, back to my family. It was quiet, but it was winter so that was to be expected. Opening the door it was odd: no-one came to greet me. 

    The place seemed empty. 

    I looked everywhere, and I eventually found two things. The first: Valdimar's horribly mutilated corpse. The second, on our bed: an Ebony Blade.


    I had recently crossed paths with the Daedric Prince of Lies. After I had helped Jarl Balgruuf's troubled son she 'rewarded' me with the gift of her Ebony Sword. There was a catch though. With her there is always a catch!

    In order to charge the weapon I had to use it to kill someone who trusted me. Naturally I refused. It transpired that she had engineered the boy's troubles & the whole situation just to manipulate me into this evil deed! Enraged, she had left, and I thought that the end of the matter. 

    How wrong I was!

    How is a mere sword worth taking a man's whole family? Destroying my life?! The only life I now have, my only reason for living? Probably just the whim of an evil god. They play with us, we mere mortals. We provide relief I suppose from their boredom.

    It seems that even though you may be able to temporarily defeat a Daedric Prince that they will always return.

    How can I fight a God? What am I to do?!

    I, the Dragonborn, conqueror of the mighty dragon Alduin the World-Eater, felt helpless, powerless, and afraid. I hadn't felt like this since that first dragon attack in Helgen all those years ago!

    How cruel a trick fate has played upon me! Dangling the fruit of love in front of me, letting me enjoy its sweetness then - at the very moment when all my conflicts seemed finally to be behind me - taking it all away.  

    "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." I have often wondered what that meant: now I know.

    So what did I do? I the mighty Dragonborn, hero of Sovngarde, maker & breaker of Jarls, saviour of Skyrim? 

    Nothing. I did nothing.

    What could I do?

    I sat. I sat, in my big house. It's a lovely house. A lovely big house. A house that I built.

    I don't even have to clear up poor old, um - what was his name? - Vladimir, or what's left of him. The animals will do that for me, & the rest will freeze and eventually return to the soil from whence he came, as do we all, and as will I.

    I have my books. Lots and lots of books.  I have my little garden, my alchemy lab, my fish farm. I have a cow that I can milk, chickens to feed, my crafting gear. I can play silly games with the squirrels. Plenty of things for me to do here! There is no need to go anywhere else.   

    Do any of these things fill the family-shaped hole in my heart? Of course not! But what can I do?

                       To be continued. Maybe.... 


  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  June 11, 2016
    Thanks Ian! Glad you're enjoying. It's not the most cheerful thing I've ever written.
    Thank you again Phil, brilliantly analytical as ever! I need to point out though that this character is in fact Imperial, although I don't think I mentioned his ra...  more
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  June 8, 2016
    Quietly poignant, humorous in places but not afraid to examine some deep themes and yet presenting them from a very human (Dunmeri) way and free of pretension. 
    Will be following up on this in coming days as I devour the next page. Dragonborn Alone,...  more
  • Tenebrous
    Tenebrous   ·  June 7, 2016
    Having read this just now, I gotta say I love it! Very well made. 
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  January 21, 2016
    Damn: you got me! I probably should tag this "Sponsored"
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  January 21, 2016
    This is really just a commercial for why parents should implant GPS trackers in their kids. You never know when Mephala will come...
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  January 21, 2016
    Thanks Exuro! Yeah, I wanted to write something a bit more grown-up & 'real'. It does lighten up, eventually, a bit. Probably.
    He's in a pickle isn't he? Watch this space...
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  January 21, 2016
    The darkness of this blindsided me, but I like it! How would you even start looking when they may not even be on the same plane anymore? At least he has squirrels
  • Lyall
    Lyall   ·  January 15, 2016
    I'll keep an eye out for it, can't wait to see what happens.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  January 15, 2016
    Thanks Lyall. I scribbled out an outline in the pub last night & I hope to write it up today.
  • Lyall
    Lyall   ·  January 14, 2016
    I can't wait for part two!