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So it's the weekend and I'm playing video games.  I got turned onto Skyrim recently, an elderscrolls game where you just get to ... roam.  It's a vast, open world filled with beauty and magic.  You can do whatever you want however you want to do it.  My roomie is going around like fucking she-conan with a bastard sword messing up everyone.  There are various schools of combat, magic, stealthy arts, arts of the craft, persuasion, you name it.  I decided to take a completely different approach.

I made my kitty-person and started off in the forest.  A wandering monk spreading the word of Dibella peacefully.  Yes, peacefully.  I decided I would do no harm.

I woke in the night to terrifying sounds and found a nearby town attacked by a dragon.  I rescued a poor soldier from the rubble and helped him to the nearest town.  There, I roamed.  I began settling disputes, doing odd-jobs, and becoming a messenger and bard across Tamriel.  Speaking of bards, I even learned a spell that summons an illusory lute-wielding bear.

As my skills developed, I began doing some more interesting tasks.  A band of mercenaries were held up in a cave and had stolen a man's family heirloom sword.  Where the game wants you to storm in and kill them all, I flowed in and out silently.  A few pockets were picked (dirty bandits having only like 5 gold in their pockets), a single chest was empty (the sword), and all the wine was missing from the shelves.  What kind of monk would I be if I wasn't a drunkard like Rumi?

And getting into all kinds of trouble.  I got in a drinking competition with a man from the South.  I woke up in a chapel of Dibella (OF ALL PLACES) and had crashed the joint.  Not remembering anything, I returned to the roads of Tamriel a legendary partysmith.  I had apparently married a goat?  Awesome.

The pacifism thing was working out swimmingly.  There were a few things that I couldn't do though.  I knew I would never be able to become the dragonborn.  In order to learn to shout, I had to find a stone tablet.  The stone tablet is carried by an undead nord... and you cannot retrieve it unless you kill him.  I tried pickpocketing it.  I tried searching for an alternate means, but it's one of those things set in stone.  No worries.  There was more than enough to do in this vast world than shout so loud you earn powers such as teleportation and the ability to send tables and men alike across the room.

Like being a ghostbuster!  The innkeep spoke of a house haunted by ghosts.  Eff yeah, let's roll.  I went in with a local militiaman, Tyranus, as the quest set us up to do.  The doors locked behind us and the warm setting became unsettling as all manner of objects began flying across the room.  A daedra spoke.  Kill or be killed, there are no alternatives.  The militiaman said he had no hard feelings, but I had to die.  I used my illusion magic to scare him into a corner.  I hid.  I searched every barrel.  I poked around every pocket of his pants.  I scouted every corner of that godforsaken house.  That demon had completely locked us in here and after about 20 minutes I was finally found out and the militiaman shocked my energy away.  I could no longer fear him away.  I could no longer hide.  I did what anyone would have done in that situation.  I took arms.  I tore at his flesh and set him to rest on the bed.

I stood there for minutes over his corpse going... fuck.  I tried so hard to be a pacifist and now my combat log will forever show one murder on my hands.

I stopped playing for a while.

Then I realized a fun activity.  Play through the game.  Live the life of the young Dibella monk.  Bring peace where you can, but realize that sometimes you just can't avoid it-- after all, it is a silly video game.  I decided to honor each being I kill with a drawing and/or a blog post.  That way, the weight of death will still lay heavily upon my hands enough to dissuade me from killing a whole family of bandits, yet I won't be so easy to turn away from a quest because I fear there might be some bloodshed involved.

Til next time, yo.

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