Recently, I got back into my Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim game. It's been a long, hard road, let me tell you.
The first game I played when I picked up the game back in November 2011 is no more. Sometime after about 40 hours of playtime, my hard drive decided to, shall we say, resign from its job. On a hilarious side note, this was no more than 2 weeks before Steam enabled the “Steam Cloud” feature for Skyrim that would upload my save games to their servers.
So, I had to start over again. I played a bit before I got burnt out from doing everything all over again. This time I made some better decisions and I did know a few key things before doing them, which helped. I think it's well beyond spoiler territory, so if you're still in the dark, feel free to stop reading.
I decided early on to play the stealthy, ranger-type character. I like to sneak through my dungeons and kill without being seen rather than bulking up in heavy armor and charging in. This is also why I usually bring a follower, though they aren't the stealthiest. As soon as I shoot someone from the darkness they decide they should rush in like a crazy person. Though, on the bright side, they do take all the aggro. I just pick off the enemies from afar.
This time I also didn't kill Lydia, who is most people's first follower. Last game, I didn't know about the fragile moments when she is out-of-combat and kneeling when her health has fallen low. If she is attacked during this time, she dies..for good. I made that mistake last time and killed her with a badly-aimed shout and then proceeded to do some major stuff before saving. So, I decided to mourn her rather than re-load. In this game, she is still with me. I also got married in my last game. I forget who my spouse was, but I imagine it was a beautiful ceremony.
The other night, I finally hit the point in the Thieves Guild quest line that I had just finished last time. I finally took out Mercer, became a Nightingale and returned the Skeleton Key. I may actually be able to use my new found armor, bow, and special abilities this time. All I have left is doing some more side missions to unlock the special missions to become Guild Master.
I may look into the Dark Brotherhood quest line next, as long as it doesn't interfere with my Thieves Guild stuff. I also made it bit further in the main quest line, though that is always the one I ignore. I played Oblivion for hours and hours and honestly don't remember much beyond telling that guy that he was the new emperor. I always got lost in the world and side quests.
I also downloaded the “Hearthfire” DLC during my Steam holiday extravaganza, so I'm also busy building my new mansion over near Lakeview. So far I have the foyer and the main hall built and a nice, quaint garden to grow my ingredients for deadly poisons. I plan to go look for two unlucky children to adopt. I can make them sharpen my weapons. Maybe I'll make Lydia my steward so she can be of some use besides ruining my sneaky plans.
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Oh Lydia.. I killed her myself with a poorly (or well, actually) aimed bow shot as we fought wolves together. I released the arrow as soon as she walked in my POV and let her have it. Woops.