The Unwitting Lich of Whiterun

Halloween is on its way and I’ve seen a lot of great spooky posts all over the internet.  I found one in particular that instantly gave me goosebumps, so I immediately insisted Chairman Thomettes read it. (screenshot and link after the break!)

this tumblr post by magpie

So here is the Tumblr post that made me think of a particularly eerie instance during my playthrough of Skyrim.

I loved Oblivion and put more hours into it than I ever have with anything else. I was super excited for Skyrim, but I didn’t want it spoiled. I avoided reading about it and asked my friends not to talk about it until I got a chance to play.

When I start playing I am super casual about it; taking my time, smelling the roses, picking the plants, exploring the area, completing silly quests, stealing items I liked, chatting up the NPCs, walking up to trolls trying to make friends, etc.

I hadn’t murdered anyone, at least not on purpose, so I don’t know how it even happened that assassins were sent after me (although come to think of it, stealing isn’t an innocent act, I guess…). Of course at the time, I’m trying to reason with them, trying to do the shield-argument-cancelling thing of Oblivion, and finally I just start running away. My weapons were garbage, still, and I didn’t think I could hold my own.

As I’m running, they’re trailing behind me swinging and hacking as they go. Several NPCs were hit and also joined the fray.

This gif is from the movie Blazing Saddles, which is owned by Warner Bros.
like this, but with swords

I backpeddaled and a shopkeeper was hit, instead of running she pulls out a dagger and goes after the assassin that hit her. I ran past the blacksmith who also gets hit, gets up from his grindstone, and starts charging with the weapon he was forging. Those who haven’t been hit are running aimlessly, sometimes into corners they can’t get out of.

By this time I’ve accidentally coralled almost the entire town into a keen death conga line, so I decide to seek the guards at the palace for help. Some of them begin fleeing as I run toward them, assassins in tow. Others stand there like they’re bored, and nothing is amiss on this cloudy Tirdas afternoon. Talking to them illicits a response you’d expect for an idle guard on duty.

I decide to cut my losses and flee into the forrest, leaving the frenzy of townsfolk and death behind. I run for ages before the hot-key for waiting stops displaying, “You cannot wait while enemies are nearby.” I fast-travel back to the town thinking all will be well.

Everything was not well, as it so happens. Half the town ended up dead, including a couple of folks for whom I had minor quests still unfinished. Sure the bodies are still there for a couple of days, but I cannot speak to a corpse.

I’m pretty much a completionist and since I can’t continue where I am, I figure I am probably going to have to start over. I take a few days berevement from playing to mourn the loss of my painstakingly acquired curios so it doesn’t suck as much to start over.

I tell my buddy Nova  that I’m about to restart after putting a solid 50 hours into it, and she tells me that there’s no reason to restart, and that I could just “console rez” them. Of course at this point I didn’t even know Skyrim had a console function. She does some magic, and suddenly my townsfolk are good as new. Or so I thought.

Everything is fine at first but everytime I return to the town after a short leave, something else seems a little bit more unsettling.

At first it was just horses wandering around town instead of being in their stables. No big deal, just a little weird. People were scowling at me like I smelled like fish and carried Rockjoint. Again, not too weird, but verging on hurtful.  When I left the town to go adventuring one night at 10pm, the fruit peddler was starting her shift.

I had a particularly extended leave exploring the countryside and when I returned it was like walking into The Twilight Zone.

The half of the town blessed with a second-life no longer required sleep. One guy was facing the edge of a wall for no reason. He would look over his shoulder to talk to me, immediately turning back when our conversation had ended. Many others were in positions that shouldn’t be possible with a standard human bone structure. One woman swam past me as if in water.

Near the palace many townsfolk were standing on roofs of their houses looking into the sky. Some had no emotion, and others would speak without their mouths moving, just hanging agape like drooling zombies. At this point I deleted my haunted save and started over.

tldr; No matter how convenient necromancy may seem at the time, it will probably cost you in the long-run.

If you have any stories about your NPCs losing their souls, whether it’s in a Bethesda game or—? leave a comment below or send us a message! idk, hit me up, i guess

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