991: The Ratways – Oneshot (?)

Title: The Ratways
Author: ShyGuy9630
Media: Video Game
Topic: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
URL: The Ratways (chapter one?)
Critiqued by SC and Contacts

Hello, and welcome back to the Library of the Damned! I’m your host, SC, and this is my second oneshot in my “Until I Get My Riffing List Back” campaign.

Today’s oneshot is a Fantasy/Adventure fic from the Elder Scrolls side of fanfiction.net – Skyrim, naturally – called “The Ratways,” by ShyGuy9630. Because this fic was published YESTERDAY [And by that, I of course mean that it was published the day before I started riffing it a week ago. -SC], it’s very likely that this may end up turning into a full riff, but for now I’m counting it as a oneshot because I’m only riffing the first chapter. If it does turn into a full riff, I’m gonna do the rest of it on my riffing blog as a side thing.

And hey, since it’s likely going to eventually turn into a fic about thieves (the Ratways are home to the Thieves’ Guild in Skyrim), who better to riff with me than…

Than…

INTRODUCE YOURSELF YOU SORRY FUCK!

Contacts: They already know who I am! Get off my ass!

*sigh* Whatever.

So, everybody knows what Skyrim is, right? Fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series?

Right?

No?

Fine, have a quick run-down then:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a single player, action/roleplaying/open world sandbox game, and the fifth (duh) game in the Elder Scrolls series developed and published by Bethesda Game Softworks in 2011 for PC, Xbox 369, and PS3. Better known as simply Skyrim, the game took shelves by storm with critical acclaim and raving praise from critics high and low, and sold a whopping twenty million copies worldwide – and counting!

The plot of Skyrim goes thusly:

Following the devastating Great War waged between the human-dominated and Mede Dynasty-ruled Empire and the Third Aldmeri Dominion – a group of radicals headed by the Altmer’s rulers, the Thalmor, who saw Mer (elves) as superior to all other beings – in regards to the explosive expansion campaign of the Dominion throughout Tamriel, an agreement of peace was reached by the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, in which the Dominion was greatly empowered, and the Empire greatly crippled. Among the legislations of the agreement were three in particular – the disbandment of the Blades, a group of warriors sworn to protect the Imperial Throne; the outlaw of worship of the human-born deity, Talos (formerly known as Emperor Tiber Septim, progenitor of the Septim Dynasty of the Empire); and the freedom of the Dominion to hunt any rebellious Talos worshippers as they please. With either this or complete destruction as their options, the Empire was forced to agree to the terms.

This did not sit well with Skyrim, a major province of the Empire. Skyrim is a heavily religious place, steeped in history and tradition, and also very bloodthirsty, as it is home to the warrior people known as the Nords (read: Vikings). So, when the Nords got word that they couldn’t worship Talos anymore, and in that sense had to reject all of their traditions and religious views for those the Dominion preferred on pain of death, they wanted blood.

And when the Empire refused to act in their present ruinous state, despite their good reasons, the Nords wanted the Empire’s blood.

Well, not all of them – of all the Jarls of nine Holds (Whiterun, Winterhold, Falkreath, Hjaalmarch, Haafingar, the Reach, the Pale, the Rift, and Eastmarch), about half were in support of the Empire, and about half were not, with those who didn’t take a side trying to remain neutral in the matter out of concern for their people’s well being. Making matters worse, Skyrim’s ruler, the High King, was one of the neutral parties – although he was swaying steadily towards rescinding his support from the Empire. This would be bad, as the High King of Skyrim holds a place in the Empire’s Elder Council.

Apparently, he didn’t make up his mind fast enough for a certain someone.

The Jarl of Windhelm, the Eastmaarch Hold’s capital city, once a hero of the Empire during the Great War, became thoroughly disgusted with the Dominion, the races they controlled, and the Empire’s cowardice, and sought to secede from their rule entirely, along with his supporters. He desired to destroy the Dominion, return Skyrim to the Nords, and kick out any other race who tried to set foot in the territory. Unfortunately, the High King was taking his sweet time deciding anything, so the Jarl of Windhelm finally got fed up with waiting and challenged him to a battle for control of the province. The High King lost the fight horrifically, and died by the Windhelm Jarl’s hands, sending the entire province into chaos – those who supported the Empire named the Windhelm Jarl “murderer,” and those who supported the Jarl named him “hero,” raising tensions amongst the citizens. The Empire, in retaliation to the Jarl’s actions, sent the Imperial Legion into Skyrim, and the Jarl raised his own army to meet them – the Stormcloak Rebellion.

Thus began the Imperial Civil War.

Oh yeah, and nobody told these morons about a particular prophecy foretold by the titular Elder Scrolls, wherein the war was the final straw that would bring dragons back to Tamriel, under the command of Alduin the World-Eater, the Nordic Dragon-God of Destruction. Just in case you’re wondering what’s so bad about that (though I haven’t the foggiest idea why you would be): setting aside Alduin being their leader, dragons were once the slavemasters of the world. In order to win their freedom and defeat Alduin the first time, the gods had to grant mortals the power to speak in the tongue of dragons – because the dragon language is literally WEAPONIZED CONVERSATIONS – and from there, mortal kind drove the dragons to near-extinction.

Keep in mind, I said “NEAR.” Two dragons survived – Alduin, because he’s a god (he was thrown through time by one of the Elder Scrolls as a temporary solution), and Paarthurnax, one of Alduin’s supporters-turned-mortal sympathizer.

SO YEAH, THERE’S THAT.

Now then, this is where the plot kicks into gear: you, the player, are Dovakhiin – “Dragonborn” – a heroic being born of the ancient bloodline of the old Nords who were blessed by the gods with the power to speak in the language of dragons, a power known as the Thu’um. At the start of the game, you are returning from the Imperial capital province, Cyrodiil, when you happen across a skirmish between the Legion and Stormcloaks. Mistaken as a Stormcloak spy, you are arrested alongside the Stormcloaks – including their leader, the Jarl of Windhelm – and are taken to Helgen, a heavily-inhabited village in Falkreath Hold that sits on the border of Whiterun Hold and Cyrodiil, where the Legion’s General Tullius and emissaries of the Dominion seek to have you and the Stormcloaks executed before the eyes of the people.

It… Doesn’t pan out.

Just before the headsman drops his axe down on your neck, Alduin shows up and lays waste to the town, in the hopes of killing you along with the rest so that you don’t pose a threat to the return of the dragons. With the help of both the Stormcloaks and Legion (you can choose which side you want to follow), you manage to escape the town, and are then taken to Riverwood, a border town of Whiterun Hold. Learning of the new danger, the residents of Riverwood implore you to inform the Jarl of Whiterun and convince him to send aid to the defenseless town.

And from there, the rest of the story is whatever you decide to do with it. Sure, there’s a main questline for the game’s plot, but you can get to that whenever you feel like it.

The Dragonborn is probably the biggest Mary Sue bait of all time, because from the moment you create your character and escape Helgen, you can:

– become a werewolf
– become a vampire
– obtain weapons of the gods/demons
– fight in (and end) the civil war
– join and become Master of the Thieves’ Guild
– join and become Master of the Companions
– join and become Master of the Dark Brotherhood
– join and become Master of Hogwarts the College of Winterhold
– go to Sovngarde (read: Valhalla) itself and fight Alduin alongside the souls of ancient warriors from the days where dragons ruled the world

And so on and so forth.

And you can do this IN ONE GAME. The only real limiter is the werewolf/vampire thing – you can’t be both at once, you have to switch out one for the other.

So, naturally, badfic authors just LOVE the guy/gal. This author is no different, because this fic starts at the Helgen execution. I won’t spoil anymore of the plot for now.

*Contacts snores loudly*

WAKE UP, FUCKBAG!

Contacts: Gack!

So! Let’s start this thing!

Going by the in-game missions, the author has named this maybe-chapter “Unbound,” which is the prologue of the game.

Contacts: Unimaginative little jerk.

Hey, to be fair, it’s a good chapter title.

First it was blurry. Then nothing. Then clear. I was clearly in a horse drawn carriage.

*Alarms Blare*

I JUST STARTED THE FIC.

Contacts: Shall I?

Nope, sit your ass down. I’ve been taking Thu’um lessons from the Greybeards (Read: Skyrim’s take on magical Buddhist monks).

Contacts: Didn’t you say that power was a blessing from the gods?

Yep. There’s a small group who know the Thu’um, just not as proficiently as the Dragonborn.

Contacts: And you’re part of this small group?

Well, no, but Booky made this little amulet thing that supplements the ability for me, so I can still use it.

[Oh, your power was bestowed by the gods and so I can’t possibly replicate it for common use by any magically-inclined individual? THAT’S ADORABLE. -Book Specs]

Now then:

RAAN MIR TAH!

*A magical shockwave shakes the room from SC’s shout, and out of nowhere a pack of crazed wolves attacks the DRD agents*

Contacts: Wow. You think Booky would make one of those for me?

Don’t count on it. He’d probably use mine against you before that happened.

Contacts: Fuck.

My weary eyes slowly opened and looked around. There was a man dressed in rags, a man in blue garments, and a man with blue robes and a cloth around his mouth.

Uh, quick point of contention here: Ulfric’s garments are NOT BLUE.

Meet Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, ex-hero of the Empire, and leader of the Stormcloak Rebellion. He killed the High King, he wants to secede from the Empire, he’s pretty racist (but has his reasons, which I understand despite not agreeing with them), and his Hold is full of other racists who are highly abusive of non-Nords or Imperial supporters.

But above all else:

O hai, Ulfric!

O hai, Ulfric!

HE DOES NOT WEAR BLUE.

Contacts: So why does the rest of his army?

Because the color of Windhelm’s crest is blue.

EastmarchGuardShield

Contacts: Ah.

His commanders wear bear furs too, which is the other part of the crest. It’s actually quite intimidating.

I’ve basically already told you what Ulfric’s story is, so there’s no need to rehash it here.

The other guys the Dragonborn was describing were Ralof and Lokir, and they are correctly described, so no need to fret.

Lokir is a horse thief from Rorikstead, a small town in the Whiterun area. He gets shot to death by Imperial archers when he tries to run away from his execution. I’ll get to Ralof in a second, when the story focuses more on him, but for now:

As I took another glance at the man in blue, he noticed I was awake.

“Ah, you are finally awake. Walked right into that ambush, same as myself and Jarl Ulfric!”

“Wait, what!?” the man in the rags spoke up, and I forced my tired head to look at him. “We are going to be executed! Ulfiric is the leader of the Rebellion! I’m not a rebel!”

Now that is NOT how the dialogue goes.

(Made sure to find a video with subtitles. Skyrim has some funky directional volume – if you’re not looking square-on at whoever’s talking, they sound like they’re miles away.)

So, yeah, I’m a player on the team of, “stick to the canon dialogue if you’re ripping scenes from the plot,” and I say that the author needs to pay better attention next time.

“You,” The guard driving the carriage spoke up “Shut up back there”

Contacts: *Lokir* “Or maybe you could learn some proper gods-damned grammar?”

*Imperial Legionnaire* “Mocking my disability will get you killed a lot faster.”

The man in rags did what he was told,

The fuck he did. Lokir just kept talking after the guard told him to shut up.

Contacts: Like me!

There’s a reason why the guards who arrest you beat you up, you know.

Contacts: Hey, they can break my jaw all they want, I’m still gonna insult their mothers.

and about a minute later they arrived.

In the time it takes the carriage to reach Helgen, Ralof is able to make this big, depressing speech about how a dying Nord should put his mind towards home before he gets the axe. That’s a bit longer than a minute, if you count it up.

Also, TENSES!

*Another magical shockwave from SC’s voice shakes the room, knocking the screen onto the floor*

Contacts: Um.

God damn it, that’s not a Thu’um! What’s the matter with this thing?!

[Oops. I accidentally calibrated the amulet so that it augments ANY shouting, and not just the dragon language ones. Well, my bad. -Book Specs]

An Imperial soldier was taking a list of who was there.

That would be Hadvar, a resident of Riverwood who fights for the Imperial Legion.

O hai, Hadvar!

O hai, Hadvar!

Hadvar’s plot takes a bit of research, but he’s actually a pretty cool character. More on that in a second.

“Ralof of Riverwood” Ralof got up and walked into the line at the chopping block.

Uh, Ulfric gets called first, dummy. Ralof has a line about how it’s been an honor fighting for him, and everything.

Also:

O hai, Ralof!

O hai, Ralof!

As the fic just said, Ralof is a fellow Riverwood resident. In fact, his family and Hadvar’s are basically neighbors, if you note how close their houses are to each other. And if you look into their respective backstories, they were friends until the war started, and now find themselves on opposing ends of the battle lines due to their beliefs.

Ralof and Hadvar are the first point in the Civil War questline where the path splits. Whichever one you choose to escape from Helgen with plays towards your involvement with their reflective factions later (as in, they have friendlier dialogue if you decide to show up on their team). They still show up if you escape with one but then join the other, and I believe they get rank-ups if you tell their respective generals (Ulfric and Tullius) that they weren’t killed in Helgen, but beyond that I honestly don’t know what happens to their characters. I’ve only ever gone Imperial in that questline, so I only know Hadvar’s side of it. (I don’t like the Stormcloaks, okay?)

Moving on-

Contacts: Whoa, wait, that’s it?

Huh?

Contacts: No huge explanations of the characters?

Nah.

Contacts: That isn’t like you at all!

With oneshots, I like to just get through it quickly. Full riffs are the ones where I REALLY need to study. If this ends up being a full riff in the future, I’ll give this chapter another, more thorough run-through.

Contacts: Well, okay, but I’m still a bit thunderstruck by this.

That ain’t my problem.

“Lokir of Rorikstad”

Lokir then screamed “NO! I’M NOT A REBEL! YOU CAN’T DO THIS!”

He ran.

“HALT!” screamed an Imperial General. “ARCHERS!”

The archers shot down Lokir without mercy.

You remember this part of the dialogue, but not anything else?

Contacts: To be fair, Lokir getting struck down was pretty brutal.

True.

Oh, by the way, that’s the CAPTAIN speaking. The only General in Helgen was Captain Bailey Doc Mitchell General Tullius.

O hai, General Tullius!

O hai, General Tullius!

Yes, the guy who voiced General Tullius was also involved in Mass Effect and Fallout. Big whoop.

General Tullius is the Imperial commander of the Civil War questline. He’s a pretty cool guy, if very strictly business-minded; unless you choose to go Stormcloak, in which case he’s the one who ends up dropping the bomb that the Empire was trying to gather their strength quietly so that they could throw the Dominion out themselves, and Ulfric’s rebellion just shit all over that plan.

Yet another reason why I don’t go Stormcloak.

I drearily walked up to the man.

“You there, who are you?”

I looked myself over. My tied arms were red due to the constraint. My legs were weak, and I hardly had strength to stand.

Contacts: And here Skyrim made it out to be that the Dovakhiin was completely fine after being unconscious and tied up for most of the trip.

Well, Skyrim isn’t the best at displaying bodily weakness due to physical drain. You’re either standing up straight, on one knee in pain, or dead.

“My name is Larsin. I hail from Riften.” It hurt to speak.

Dry throat’ll do that to you.

Contacts: And how. By the way, nice job making it obvious that you named your main character after the crime of larceny, which is, surprise surprise, thievery. I get that this fic is about the Thieves’ Guild, but could you at least try and be a bit more original?

I wouldn’t have caught that if you didn’t point it out.

Contacts: I notice things related to thievery, shockingly enough.

The Imperial

Hadvar’s a Nord, dingus.

And yes, Imperial is a sub-class of humans as well as the denotation of a resident of the Imperial Capital in this game. They’re basically the Roman Empire, if you hadn’t guessed already. The other human sub-classes are Breton –

Breton-Skyrim

– Nord –

SepLnUp_Nord_a1&c1

– and Redguard.

SepLnUp_Redguard_b3&c5

And just to show for obvious the difference between Imperials and Nords are, here’s the Imperial look:

SepLnUp_Imperial_a1&c2

So, yeah, I haven’t got any idea how the author screwed that up.

Contacts: It would’ve been worse if he had somehow pulled that off with the Redguard and Khajiit.

SepLnUp_Khajiit_a1&c1

I don’t even want to think of how that might happen.

looked to the captain. “Captain, what should we do? He’s not on the list,”

*Dovakhiin* “Yeah, how about that? The guy who was JUST COMING HOME FROM CYRODIIL isn’t on your FUCKING EXECUTION LIST!”

“Forget the list, he goes to the block!” the captain replied.

Yep. That’s exactly how they write off their goof in canon – “just kill ’em, I’m sure nobody will miss ’em anyhow.”

Contacts: This has happened to me way too many times to count.

I’m fairly certain they weren’t goofs.

“You picked a bad time to come home to Skyrim, kinsman.”

*Hadvar* “You’ve walked straight into a badfic. Should’ve stayed in Cyrodiil, at least there all you’d have to worry about is being called an Imperial-lover.”

Contacts: And in that moment, the Dovakhiin realized: “Why did I come back to this place, again?”

As I walked up to the block, I watched a man get executed.

All the while insulting the Imperials’ ancestors, which – in Skyrim – is good enough to get you killed even if it’s not an ordered execution.

Contacts: He completely skipped over the part where Tullius gives Ulfric a verbal middle finger before commencing the executions.

Oh, yeah, there is that too. Basically, General Tullius walks up to Ulfric and calls him a murderer, says that he had the execution coming after shouting the High King to death (did I mention that Ulfric is a student of the Thu’um? I feel like that’s an important detail. They had to bind his mouth so that he couldn’t shout the arresting soldiers to death), and then tells the Captain to get on with it already. It’s a big plot point that comes really early in the game for the players, and it’s a bit weird that the author didn’t remember it.

“As fearless in death, as he was in life…” said a Stormcloak

Yeah, Ralof said that. He’s standing right next to you, Larsin. Pay attention, would you?

“Next, the Nord in the rags!” demanded the captain.

*Imperial Captain* “Kill him before he Stus up the joint!”

A sound blared throughout the sky.

“What was that?” asked an Imperial.

“I said, next prisoner!” yelled the captain.

“To the block prisoner, nice and easy,” an Imperial directed.

That’s Hadvar talking to you. Shit, Larsin, could you at least pretend like you know that you’re surrounded by other people?

Contacts: Honestly, if it were me, I would have been wishing a death similar to Artax’s upon their horses.

Aw man, why would you wish that on anybody?! That’s horrible!

Seriously, I still cry at this part.

Seriously, I still cry at this part.

As I suspensefully awaited for what I knew were my last moments, I saw something in the sky, and a roar pounded my ears. The executioner raised his axe.

*Executioner* “Ominous roaring, people shouting and a huge-ass shadow over my head? Don’t give a fuck, I’m still cutting this guy’s head off.”

Contacts: Points for dedication.

I know, right? What a trooper!

The winged beast, which can only be described as a dragon,

*snerk*

Contacts: Yeah, that’s a pretty apt description, buddy.

Except, by this point in the game, all people know about dragons is that they’ve been dead for generations, and the idea of one still being alive is laughable at best. People were basically reduced to screaming, “What the fuck is that thing?!” when Alduin crashed the party. So, you have no business knowing that it’s a dragon right now.

landed on the tower behind him and knocked the executioner off of his feet. I got right up and glanced to my right.

No the fuck you didn’t! Alduin shouts down a God damn meteor shower before that happens, and it temporarily knocks your equilibrium off-kilter!

Jesus, this author didn’t pay attention to the prologue at ALL.

“Kinsman, follow me!” It was Ralof.

Once again: not the dialogue.

Actual dialogue goes like this:

Ralof: Hey, Kinsman!* Get up! Come on, the gods won’t give us another chance!

*Title changes depending on what race you choose to be.

With newfound energy, I hopped to his feet as best I could, a difficult task due to my bounds,

Contacts: Not to mention that those are Ralof’s feet, you weirdo. Also, standing up with your hands bound together isn’t hard, it’s just annoying. Don’t get things twisted.

and followed. We came to a tower, where Ulfiric Stormcloak was waiting.

“Jarl Ulfiric, could the legends be true?” Ralof asked.

“Legends don’t burn down villages,” replied Ulfiric.

*sigh*

At this point, it might just be easier to make a counter for incorrect character dialogue.

It’s like, if the author had wanted to do this off of the game’s script and make his own character interactions, I’d be fine with that. But right now, he’s ripping scenes straight out of the game wholesale, so you’d think that he’d make an effort to stay true to the actual dialogue right?

I don’t fucking know…

“Kinsman, up the tower! Jarl Ulfiric, we will meet you when we can!” Ralof yelled.

As I approached the top of the tower, the dragon burst straight through the wall, rippling currents of dust everywhere. The rubble crushed and killed a stormcloak. I jumped backwards. I felt my heels wavering over the edge and started to fall backwards. Ralof grabbed my hand.

“You won’t die today, not after all this!” he roared.

Die? What? He’d just fall down the stairs and sprain an ankle or something, what are you talking about, Ralof?

Contacts: Unless he’s implying that Larsin is yet another weak pussy of a thief that he would risk possible death from something as simple as falling down the stairs, in which case, thank you so much for continuing to give fuel to the stereotypes, you fucker.

Contacts takes pride in being a strong thief, guys. Maybe not strong enough to brute force shit like Specs or Shades, but strong enough to hold his own if need be.

The new gaping hole in the side of the tower was a convenient exit point for us.

“Come on, Ralof!” I shouted.

“No. I will meet up with you at the keep.” Ralof replied.

I nodded as I jumped out. The impact made my knees buckle and the burned floor began to break apart.

I would like to point out that before you jump through the hole to the building below, Alduin shouts fire into the tower that you have to dodge. So nice going, Larsin, you just barbecued yourself.

I didn’t scream, but I allowed the rubble to consume me.

Contacts: And then he died, the end.

I wish.

The floor finally collapsed and I saw stars. Finally, I managed to crawl out of the inn. My vision was blurred. I strained my eyes and looked to my right and saw the blurry outline of an Imperial Soldier and a boy.

For real, right now?

*Alarms Blare*

Okay, let’s try…

GOL HAH DOV!

*After the magical shockwave subsides, the DRD agents stop dead in their tracks, seemingly locked in a daze*

You’re very sleepy, go take a nap.

*The DRD agents suddenly become very drowsy and wander off to the guest rooms*

Ah, hypnosis.

I staggered in the direction of them as my vision began to clear again.

“Haming , you need to get over her, right now!” yelled the soldier.

Contacts: Yeah man, she ain’t worth it!

All she does is take and never gives in return! You deserve better!

The boy ran behind a scorched house. A man in iron armor

HAD. VAR.

And at this point in the game, all he has is studded leather Imperial armor.

approached the boy and sheltered him. The dragon swooped down and shouted.

Yol. Toor. SHUL!

*SC’s amulet mistakes the text as a spoken shout and releases a magical shockwave; in the wake of the shockwave, a jet of fire explodes from the screen and incinerates Contacts as SC ducks out of the way*

Contacts: AAAGH!!! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST IT BURNS!!! AAAAAGH!!!

Better you then me, pal.

Fire came out of the dragons mouth and landed on the ground in front of him, barely missing the soldier.

“Still alive prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way!” said the soldier.

THIS IS STILL HADVAR SPEAKING, YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

“Gods guide you Hadvar!” the man in iron armor said.

So the soldier was named Hadvar. Okay.

Took you long enough…

I followed Hadvar through a winding path past tons of commotion. I saw a mage shoot two fireballs at the dragon. They merely bounced off of the dragon’s pelt.

Dragons don’t have PELTS, you moron. They have SCALES.

When we approached the keep, Ralof came through another gate.

You mean he came through a collapsed part of the wall? Because the only gate is the one Hadvar leads you through.

“Ralof, you damn traitor. Out of my way!” Hadvar roared.

“We’re escaping Hadvar, you’re not stopping us this time!” Ralof replied.

“No. Not again. Your escape with fuel the war into a point of no return.”

What? The war is already AT a point of no return! It’s literally just a matter of gaining vital territories before going and wiping out the leaders of either army, at this point! Negotiations have long since failed!

With that Hadvar charged. I lunged out of the way. Ralof, now sporting an axe, blocked the attack and stunned Hadvar with the butt of his weapon. Ralof then went in for the kill, slicing Hadvar’s neck, which burst his jugular. Hadvar fell to the ground, bleeding to death, and in shock.

What in the actual fuck?!

Hey, so you remember that thing about Ralof and Hadvar being neighbors? Well, that and the dragon attack basically make them decide to not get in each other’s way, and they escape through their own paths without further confrontation from each other. Hadvar tells Ralof that he hopes Alduin sends the Stormcloaks to Sovngarde (which is kind of a backhanded compliment, since wishing death on another is bad, but Sovngarde is basically Valhalla, and the Nords aspire to one day join the gods in their mead halls in the first place), but that’s about as much as they say to each other!

This fight NEVER. HAPPENS.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shark jump happen in one thousand words or less before.

“Here, follow me and I’ll get your binds off.” Ralof said, shaken, “Hadvar and I used to be good friends. We grew up in Riverwood. That all changed when the war started.”

Well, that didn’t seem to matter much to you when you up and fucking murdered him out of nowhere!

Now, if it were me as the Dragonborn, and I saw this shit go down, there’d be no way in hell that I’d follow Ralof. You just murdered a guy who was helping me escape right in front of my eyes, and I’m supposed to trust you? Hell no! I’ll find my own way out of this mess, I don’t want anything to do with you Stormcloaks! You’re exactly the murderers everybody says you are!

Ralof led me into the keep and cut my bindings, just like he promised.

“Here. I took this armor off of a table before. Put it on over your rags.” Ralof gave my the armor, much like the set he was wearing.

Uh, no. If you go the Stormcloak route, Ralof has you loot the armor off a dead comrade because they clearly don’t need it anymore. There’s no “I put it on a table for you” bullshit.

I put on the chain shirt, and as I was putting on the cloth, a shout came from the right.

There was more than just the chainmail tunic and the Windhelm-blue sash, fool. What about the boots? What about the PANTS? You just gonna let it sway in the breeze?

Oh, and you have plenty of time to get the armor on before the guards show up in-canon. Hell, you have practically all the time in the WORLD if you go Imperial, because it’s all in a chest and you’re the only two people in that part of the Keep.

“Imperials!” Ralof hissed, “Get down!”

I rushed over to the side of the wall, silent as ever. As the Imperials opened the door, Ralof pounced on the Imperials like a Khajiit.

*Khajiit* “YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT J’ZARGO’S WARES!!!”

They were dead before they knew it.

Just like poor Hadvar.

“Why do you have to hate each other like that?” I asked.

“The Imperials are the ones who hate us. Ulfiric Stormcloak, our leader and true high king, killed the former high king, a man named Torygg, to claim his throne. The Imperials were sided with Torygg. They failed to protect him. Then the war started.” Ralof responded,

Pfft. With an explanation as shoddy as that, even if it is technically canon, you’ve just lost even MORE of my trust than killing Hadvar did!

Seriously, the way Ralof just put it, I would have every good reason to side with the Empire. The Stormcloaks put a hell of a lot more effort into glorifying their cause than THAT in-canon, let me tell you.

This author has made it very clear that he supports the Stormcloaks in this fic, but he’s done such a shitty job convincing me that I should support them as well. It’s almost incredible, really.

“Come on, we best get going while there’s time,”

I nodded and followed Ralof through a twisting maze of bricks. We came to a torturer’s chamber, where there were three dead Stormcloaks and one other dead person, presumably the torturer. Ralof showed no emotion and merely continued on.

You’re digging your grave ever deeper with me, Ralof.

The torturer, when you find him, is alive and well, as are the three Stormcloaks and the torturer’s assistant. They’re engaged in a fight when you show up. Depending on who’s side you’re on, you’ll either kill the torturer and his assistant and hook up with your new three Stormcloak buddies, or you’ll kill the Stormcloaks, and the torturer will basically just tell you to fuck off. Whichever way you go, the person guiding you is not “emotionless.”

We went onwards until the stone bricks became a cave, and still they trudged on.

“By the Divines!” I shouted, “Spiders!”

Wow, we’re at the spiders already, huh? No description about how the cave opens up into a chamber covered floor to ceiling with thick webs and egg sacs?

Gee, it sure is cold here in the Void!

There were five gigantic frostbite spiders, approaching fast.

What about the REALLY big one that drops down from the ceiling? (Who I made sure to kill with the fire spell I discovered that I had while I was getting used to the controls, I might add. EAT MAGICAL NAPALM, FUCKER.)

That meant I needed to think faster. I drew my axe and viciously swung, whilst Ralof charged another. I spun around and sliced the spider open. Suddenly I couldn’t see, and searing pain coursed throughout his body. It was the venom. I issued a battle cry and blindly swung. When I could see again, Ralof was in front of me, panting, and there were plenty of dead spiders everywhere.

Worst. Fight scene. Ever.

“What’s next, giant snakes?” Ralof remarked.

Alduin’s already attacking the village, dumbass.

“But, SC-”

Dragons are reptiles, and oftentimes depicted as winged snakes. Don’t ruin my joke, hypothetical voice of the audience.

I chuckled and they continued on. After sneaking past a bear,

Once again, no introduction for the bear or discussion about how to deal with it.

Also, you’re pathetic for sneaking past a bear that isn’t even that hard to fight. If you sneak up on it, you can kill it before it even wakes up. Hell, if you stealth-archery it, you can kill it for up to 3.0x normal damage. By the way, you should have a bow and quiver of arrows by this point, the fact that you don’t means you skipped over the part where the Stormcloaks and Imperials have a minor scuffle in the tunnels. Way to go, dumbass.

we found it. The almighty exit.

It's so beautiful...!

It’s so beautiful…!

“I knew it was here!” Ralof said.

“Indeed it is,” I replied.

No you didn’t. Not according to the canon. You just HOPED there was one and got lucky.

As we walked out the sun shone bright as ever.

It kind of hurts my eyes, to be honest.

“Wait!” Ralof snapped.

Fuck off, this is my riff! I’ll make jokes when I damn well-

I obeyed. The dragon from the old town, Helgen, flew overhead. We dropped to the ground and hoped that we weren’t spotted.

Oh. That. Well, that makes more sense then.

And in that sudden and abrupt end, this oneshot is (for now) finished!

Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! Another oneshot is on the way, more than likely. Not sure which topic I’m gonna tackle this time. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Contacts (who’s probably in the infirmary), I’ll see you next time!

…Now to talk to Booky about getting this amulet fixed…

~LATER, IN ZE INFIRMARY~

So, how’re the burns?

Contacts, wrapped in bandages: I’ve had worse. A full body cast and a thorough coating of burn salve is far from the most horrific outcome for me.

Yeah, sorry about that. Booky didn’t quite have this amulet dialed in properly, so it kept reading every shout as an incantation to be activated. Well, now you know what internet flames would be like if given form!

Contacts: Honestly, they’re about as bad as they already are, once you get past the searing pain.

I know, right?

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57 Comments on “991: The Ratways – Oneshot (?)”

  1. Delta XIII says:

    *Executioner*“Ominous roaring, people shouting and a huge-ass shadow over my head? Don’t give a fuck, I’m still cutting this guy’s head off.”

    Contacts: Points for dedication.

    I know, right? What a trooper!

    Maybe that guy should have been the Dragonborn!

  2. The Crowbar says:

    *Khajiit* “YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT J’ZARGO’S WARES!!!”

    That made me laugh.

    • SC says:

      I was seriously waiting for that fucker to jump out at me on the road like the Dark Brotherhood assassins whenever I went to his shop and just browsed without buying anything.

  3. The Crowbar says:

    Does Khajiit sound like “cat shit” for anyone else, too?

  4. The Crowbar says:

    Those spiders are generally rather weak and flimsy, but by god, you will see nightmares for the rest of your life.

  5. The Crowbar says:

    And Ralof just murders Hadvar without a second thought? Damn, I’d book it first chance I get.

    • SC says:

      That’s what I said too, both here and in the review I left. “You want me to trust your ass after that?! Shit, I’d rather get eaten by the dragon!”

  6. magisking says:

    Oh, great. This is going to be one of those “Stormcloaks are the good guys, justifying everything they do!” kind of stories, isn’t it?

    • The Crowbar says:

      Probably…

      *sigh*

      I actually used to side with the Stormies until I found that letter about Ulfric in the Thalmor embassy… Or his own goddamn castle.

      Can’t exactly remember.

      • SC says:

        I mean, he’s certainly not without SOME good reasons, but on the whole, he and his entire kingdom are just racist fucks.

  7. TacoMagic says:

    That meant I needed to think faster.

    Brane too slow. Use nife instead!

  8. Explodium says:

    *Reads Descritpion*
    Wait…his father is (was) the head of the thieves guild? That wasn’t in the game!

    Also, the old master of the thieves guild, Gallus, was an Imperial. I looked it up!

    • SC says:

      I could tell just by his name. No self-respecting Nord would make their kid with an Imperial name.

      Also, if he’s Gallus’ son, and Gallus was a Nightingale, wouldn’t that mean that Larsin was being trained as one himself? Am I crazy?

      • GhostCat says:

        Isn’t “gallus” the Latin word for chicken?

      • Explodium says:

        *Sound of flipping pages*

        Apparently it means “Rooster”.

        Close enough.

      • SC says:

        Well, the Thieves’ Guild and Nightingale’s whole gig is stealth and not getting caught, so it’s a fitting name.

        (Although, in the actual questline, it doesn’t matter how stealthy you actually are so long as you complete the objectives. I would know, I blasted through the homey farm mission and killed every guard, and nobody gave two rat shits about it because I completed all the objectives.)

      • SC says:

        That’s HONEY farm, actually.

        Although the place was quite homey.

  9. The Crowbar says:

    I just remembered my glory days of Skyrim…

    I was fighting this dragon on top of a mountain on my path to this giant-ass Azura’s statue.

    So the dragon and me both are on our last legs, and I’m about to give him the killing blow…

    Then suddenly out of nowhere, some fucking dark elf runs at me, decapitates me, screams gibberish and runs away.

    • SC says:

      C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!

    • Explodium says:

      Once upon a time I was rampaging through a forsworn camp as a werewolf whereupon I screwed up and got killed. Upon putting their weapons away one of the forsworn told my corpse to put some clothes on.

      More werewolf shenanigans: One time after a fight I was basically dead. As in, the healthbar looked like it was empty. I then ran over a skeleton, whereupon the physics engine farted and launched its ribcage at a wall, which then ricocheted back at my face and spooked me to death. Whoops.

      • SC says:

        Ah, shenanigans.

        Well, I honestly haven’t had any of the silly goofs the game is known for happen to me – somehow – but, I did make it a habit of going to High Hrothgar with any followers I had and shouting them off the top of the mountain for giggles.

        I am Assholekhiin.


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