Skyrim Stories: 'A Home to Rest My Bones'
by Jeff Mattas, shacknews.com, Nov 23, 2011 10:00AM PST
Shortly after having felled his first dragon in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, my Khajiit thief--known only as McMane--found himself in quite the conundrum. Thankful for assistance in defending his city's westernmost watchtower from scaly, fire-breathing doom, the Nordic Jarl of Whiterun had bestowed the title of Thane upon my unsuspecting feline, along with permission to purchase property within the city walls.
McMane was suspicious of such rewards--given his own conniving nature--and it didn't help matters that a caravan of his Khajiit brethren had been relegated to camping and selling their wares outside the city walls. It was apparent that the citizens of Whiterun didn't want to have much to do with any cats unless one of them happened save them from a giant, flying lizard. Plus, buying a home in Whiterun would cost 5,000 gold, and McMane had only just managed to accumulate about a fifth of that amount.
Still, owning a home in Whiterun could certainly prove useful, at least according to the dragon bones and scales I had collected from my recent kill. You see, dragon parts are really heavy, and though they're also quite valuable, McMane's fledgling craftsman and pack-rat propensities made him quite reluctant to sell the items outright. Surely the bones would have some future use. Obviously, buying a house would have to wait.
Thoughts of a place to call his own still swimming in his head like so many of the fish he'd plucked from Skyrim's rivers and streams, McMane hitched a cart-ride north to the college of Winterhold. Though it would cost him, learning some illusion and alteration spells would certainly be useful to a thief, so that's exactly what he did.
It was while pilfering a few choice items from the Arch-Mage's lavish quarters in Winterhold that McMane had an epiphany. A bit of college-based questing, looting, and selling had increased his gold threshold to over 2,000 pieces. Though his inventory space was still limited by 75 pounds of dragon bits, the objective of amassing enough money to buy a house outright seemed within reach. Surely he could find the Thieves' Guild in the eastern city of Riften, and surely they'd have some profitable work for a larcenous Khajiit. A suspicious gem stolen from one of the Arch-Mage's shelves was begging to be appraised there, anyhow.
McMane's intuition proved correct, though the path to riches, glory, and citizenship was longer than expected. After ingratiating himself with the local thieves, McMane undertook a handful of quests for them. A trio of tasks sent him to the town of Windhelm, freshly clad in the guild's trademark armor. There he stole a jeweled goblet, and forged entries into the Whiterun Stable's ledger while also grabbing as many small, valuable items that he could along the way.
Planting a stolen garnet in Viola Giordano's house proved quite comical. After deftly picking the difficult front-door lock, McMane was surprised to find Viola seated in the living room. Amidst cries of "Get out, or I'll call the guards," the furry thief sprinted upstairs, planted the stolen gem, and then ran right out the front door. It didn't matter to McMane. The guards would never believe her.
Ready to bid Windhelm farewell for another trip back to Riften, McMane encountered another dragon on his way to the stables. A quiver of arrows later, the scaly pin-cushion fell. Still short of his 5,000 house-bounty, McMane scooped the fresh dragon parts into his knapsack. Bones and scales now comprised half of his inventory.
After a long carriage ride back to Riften and fencing what little loot he could still carry, McMane checked his coin-purse: Less than 1,000 gold to go. Confident that he could find the remainder somewhere near Whiterun, he headed back.
As if by providence, a third dragon was waiting for McMane in Whiterun, circling the surrounding farms. Rushing to the aid of the town guards we quickly killed the beast. Though the loot contained on the dragon's smoldering corpse (which included 500 gold) was slightly more than he could carry, but he'd reached his goal. He would soon have a home, but more importantly, it would be a place where he could alleviate his dragon bone burden.
Proventus Avenicci, adviser to the Jarl of Whiterun, happily accepted McMane's payment of 5,000 gold, giving him the deed to a place called Breezehome. Located near the city's main entrance, it's an unassuming house with a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and loft (which is occupied by McMane's housecarl, Lydia.) It's not much, but it's home.
Out of the box, the place could use a visit from a medieval Martha Stewart, but Avenicci is eager to nickel-and-dime new homeowners for upgrades to each room. It's a little early to think about such things, however. McMane's cash-flow has been depleted, but that too, will pass.
After all, the Thieves' Guild has informed McMane that there's some robbing to be done in the city of Solitude, and he's not about to argue.
Game Stories is a new, ongoing feature where editors from Shacknews regale you with their adventures from the latest video game worlds. Skyrim Stories will continue, but anecdotes from other games are planned as well.