Ulfric Stormcloak, You didn’t care for that battle axe? It was a perfectly good weapon. Hefty. Sharpened. Unworn handle. Bash that axe against the back of some poor bandit’s skull, and you’ll split his head in twain – two bowls big enough to carry around some fresh troll fat. A well-crafted weapon – a masterful piece. Yet, you sent it back. Were you simply stating you were too good for that weapon? Too big and proud and comfortable in those robes of yours for the bludgeoning tool of a warrior? Too much of a Jarl well-practiced in the art of sitting to accept? Whatever your reasoning, your invasion forces were crushed, Ulfric. Like my attempt at Ingun Black-Briar’s purity, your attack failed. Whiterun is a wasteland of death now. A town whose entryway is drenched in bloodshed and whose air is saturated with the final muffled shouts of soldiers stripped of life. More men died here than any living survivor would happily wish to count, averting the eyes away from a sea of red and blue-clad corpses posed in grisly positions. Even the sadists cast their gazes elsewhere, pointing out aloud the random butterfly landing upon an undisturbed flower. Feigning excitement, they voraciously ignore the stench of demise in the air and the sound of flies beginning final approach to the scavenger meals. Were I sober, I would avert my eyes as well. Alas, my spirits run strong with the fill of drink. My sensibilities are dulled. Sandwiched between an oaf of a Stormcloak soldier and an Imperial skirt-wearer, I find myself unable to escape my trap, forced to face the gazes of the deceased. Too much to sip, my vision began to spiral high like a soaring dragon, and I found myself tumbling over the jutting blades and shredded armor of dead brethren. One of your buffoons rolled atop my frame, his belly a mighty rock no muscled stone-chucker could dare toss. Beneath me rests a slain kinsman, his skirt turned upwards and his bare hind flesh pressing against my right cheekbone. Though gone from this world, silence has not yet ensnared this one. His body rumbles. His innards release themselves of pressure. The air he breathed escapes slowly back to the skies. A slit of light filters in like a beacon of freedom, one through which my hands can craft these words before me on a piece of parchment lying in the fields. Though trapped, I sense a kinship between us, Ulfric. You, too, are trapped. Your army is decimated. Your spirit is broken. How long will you hold out? How long will you continue this bitter feud? The Jarl of Whiterun boasts a speech atop his drawbridge. “For Whiterun,” he cries. “For the Empire!” Aye. For the Empire, indeed. My Empire. Do you get it now, Ulfric? Do you understand? This realm is not yours to control. It never was. Fate’s dangling sword has unleashed a fury upon you as the whims of the Divines rally around a new caller, one whose blood boils of dragon and Breton. Dovahkiin. Dragonborn. Though, at the moment, this hero finds himself indisposed between two hulking creatures, one of whom’s final death knell is rumbling awfully loud and close to the cheek. A storm is coming, and from this torrential downpour, there is no escape.
General Tullius, Adventure and heroic duties across Skyrim have led me on many quests as of late, but in these trying hours for the Empire, I unfortunately bring dangerous tidings. While I still have not picked a side in this civil lover’s spat of yours and Ulfric’s, I feel you are capable of helping alleviate this threat from within the countryside. Aye. I speak of the various mountains, tombs, and caves themselves dotted throughout the landscape that may require your attention. Recently, my altruistic duties and diplomatic tours to confirm my name’s place in history texts have taken me to the far reaches of Forsaken Cave, a place aptly named by an illiterate cretin with no sense of imagination when it came to vocabulary and diction. Sent to recover the fabled White Phial, I quelled the rumblings of fear that skittered down my spine at such a foreboding name. Admittedly, a determined look from the fiercely capable Aela the Huntress, my companion in this journey, aided in demeaning my perilous worries. With that said, our beginning trek into this seemingly impenetrable dungeon began with a bout of war against the most fearsome beasts in Skyrim – bears. Aela as my bait, I triumphantly sought the high ground, launching arrows from above with an impeccable aim that would make any fair maiden swoon. Ah yes. I even saw Aela’s tenderness shine through her glimmering eyes as bears mauled from all around her. Like a child ganged up upon by insecure guards looking to scribble lolly-gagging citations, she proved no match to the combined power of these animals. Still, she did not need to, as my quiver’s inventory proved more than capable to deal death to these beasts. Treading deeper into this feared crypt, Aela and I battled a battle-hungry army of Draugr. Corpse after decayed, rotting corpse fell to our blades, but as we walked deeper, more powerful ones ambushed us. Aye, Tullius. These were no mere filthy, stinking Draugr. Death Lords rested here – powerful Draugr with the ability to harness the thu’um of the dov. I wish I could say they were no match for my party, but in doing so I would be made a serpent-tongued liar. Death Lords are a worthy foe even to the Dovahkiin (and sultry sidekick). With their thu’um, they can break wind so powerfully that even a dragonborn finds himself scuttling backward across the stone floor, grasping pillars fearfully four grounding. But Tullius, as an understudy of the dragon tongue, there are other words these beasts may master. There are words that could very well turn tide of who rules Skyrim, casting all of us into a dark damnation with no respite where living flesh is merely a circus act to reanimated husks. Ever hear of Raan Mir Tah? Shout that word with a well-trained thu’um, and the call of the wild will answer. Now think, Tullius. What guardians of this dwelling did I say Aela and I initially faced? Bears. Big ones. Deadly ones. Right within reach of the Death Lords. Should ever two species meet, an alliance can be formed with the language of the dov. It’s simple. Imagine it, General, in your mind’s eye. Imagine one day you’re spending a Sundas morn off in a field of flowers with your youngest daughter. She skips playfully betwixt the blooming meadow, her little fingers plucking that which is beautiful to her innocent eyes. Suddenly, an army of bears storm from behind a rock, their backs supporting the weight of Death Lords clutching reigns. You climb to your feet and draw your sword, but it’s too late. You are overrun, and your daughter is mauled to death, her body shredded in half by a bear’s claws and her head decapitated by a Draugr’s blade. Out of spite, the accursed wretch juggles her skull and then tosses it to you, chuckling a raspy laugh all the while. Before you succumb to his damning judgment, the last thing you glimpse is your daughter’s face resting in your hands like a head of cabbage. A twist of fate jabs deep within your intestines as she still wears a smile – caught in that moment where she was so sweet and peaceful, content at a world that conspired against her. And it was all because you heeded not the power of a Death Lord bear army. What shall we do to prevent this, Tullius? What CAN we do? I know not all the answers, but I do know we need more men. We need soldiers to prevent this nightmarish vision from becoming reality, from bringing about the apocalyptic visions of a Tamriel conquered by the dead. Give me command of your legion, and I shall make sure every crevice is cleared of undead creatures. Give me command, and with my thu’um, I shall offer an olive branch of peace to bears before the Death Lords do. Let us ride strongly into battle upon bears. Think of the consequences if inaction is chosen, Cornelius G. Thundercock
Belethor, I shall not abide another broken mug! ‘Twas last evening, when the clouds blocked out the starry sky and darkness perpetuated an unseen twilight across the landscape, that another one of your lovely products deceived me. I should have known that such ill-fated weather brought with it a dastardly premonition. Aye. The second mug I have purchased from your pitiful shop has broken within my meaty hands, and I hold you, the purveyor of such an atrocious crime, personally responsible. Were it not for my consideration and respect toward all living things, I would have you slain where you stand without a moment’s hesitation. A smoldering pile of ash behind the counter. Yes. Your insolence would be the least of your worries, foul buffoon. Your faulty mug, with an improperly constructed bottom, burst upon me last night whilst I was attending to company in Breezehome. A young maiden, fair, true, and kindling with vigor giggled most heartily at your clever prank. Sitting on my left, her gaping mouth brought forth a resounding crescendo of operatic laughter as all of my mead dumped into my lap. Not since I awoke to find I committed the beast with two backs with a Hagraven (after a night drinking in the company of Sanguine) have I been so embarrassed! “Cornelius hath wet thyself it would seem,” this fair maiden snickered, bringing her hands together in a cynical slow-clap. “Were you just enthralled to see me, or didst thou have an accident? Couldst wee Cornelius not make it to the bucket near the door?” I’ll be the first to tell you, for her accursed words, her dessert was not the sweetness of honey treat or any other glazed pastry. Neither was it death. No, this fair maiden now resides somewhere in between, awakening within these very moments in a den of Draugr with no weapon to improve her chances. She’ll certainly think twice before sullying the name of a hero again, should she survive the swords of vengeful corpses. And you, Belethor, what shall be done with you? The first mug I thought was merely a fluke, but this second one – are you toying with me, sleazy clerk? Be this a game to you? Being a Breton myself, I certainly carry favor for my racial brethren. Similar to the kinship of the Dark Elves, when they pound clenched fists against each other while passing one another on the streets, I feel a similar brotherly bond with you. Though your demeanor is typically one of sarcasm and snarky comment, I wage you feel the same, knowing full well that in a land of prissy Nords we need to band together. Breton power. This is where the sword now dangles above your head. Provide me another drinking vessel, free of charge, and pray it does not break. I can forgo the previous two, but should it prove a false mug, that sword above your head will come striking down, splitting you in twine. Your life dangles by a spider’s thread, my friend. Are we brothers, or are you just another notch upon my belt, another clump of matted organs clinging tenaciously to my scummy boot heel? It’s your funeral, Cornelius G. Thundercock
Muiri, The beautiful lily of my dreams– A ring? That is the extra gift you have for me for slaying your husband and Nilsine Shatter-Shield? Are you aware of the dire situation you are in? You have asked the Dark Brotherhood for assistance. You have involved another person in your murders, inviting blackmail of all kinds. Do you trust a proven, cold-blooded murderer so implicitly to not harken more from this deal, or are you merely suffering from the emotional irrationality that plagues your sex? Yes, he hurt you, but do you wish to so blindly walk into a deal like this, potentially embracing the oppressive thumb of another man? Ah, but my sweet Muiri, I am a forgiving soul when it comes to naivety. Cry not, my dear, for you will return the favor you owe to me in due time, and my steel-plated thumb will bear no weight down upon you. The torrential winds of Skyrim are changing. The course of history is rapidly approaching an impasse, one in which a new ruler shall come to power. This new ruler, my sweet, will need agents across the reaches of Tamriel – smart, strong, delicate, and beautiful agents such as yourself (Well… delicate and beautiful at any rate). I know not the meaning of the makeup you have striped under your eyes and nestling the bridge of your nose, but it only adds to your majestic, swan-like beauty. It’s the final stroke of a signature a painter with Parkinson’s Disease designates on his work of perfection. Artfully drawn, it evokes two sensations in me. One of Nature’s brimming elegance, that of a mountain flower blooming at dawn. The other is the demarcation of tribal leanings, of a hidden drumbeat of animalistic ferocity quivering betwixt your… ahem… orphanage. Are you secretly a flame atronach, Muiri? Do the wildcat ravings of Khajiit high on skooma course through your veins? At any rate, my dearest, foolish vixen, you will be a most endearing asset to my growing organization. I command an army of goggle-eyed bookworms at College of Winterhold. In Whiterun, the phallic-obsessed, sword-thrusting companions offer their boastful, lengthy steel at my mere whim. Under Riften, a murky catacomb of sewage and filth houses an army of touchy-feely sneak-thieves awaiting my call. And soon, my dear… soon the Dark Brotherhood and the Empire will heed the beckoning of the Dragonborn – the destined master of Tamriel uniting crime, government, and legitimate business all under the gauntlets of one controlled, rhythmic enterprise. It’s the perfect arrangement of the most complex musical language Tamriel has ever known, and it all spawns from the Thu’um I master. Rest easy for now, Muiri, but do not allow your emotional weaknesses to consume you again. We wouldn’t want you owing any more favors to any more unsavory characters, would we? After all, I’d hate to see that glimmering smile banished from your dream-like features due to petty subjugation. Besides, the others may not be as giving and lenient as I have been. Just remember, some day, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this Justice as a gift of my own volition. Also, next time I’m back in Markarth, if you could prepare for me a lovely, welcoming evening, I would certainly appreciate it. Your secret is safe, intertwined with my own, Cornelius G. Thundercock P.S. I just stubbed my toe, and the pain rages perilously worse than a third degree burn from a dragon. You know not of any concoctions for this type of devilry? P.P.S. I think the nail now protrudes vertical.
To any would-be vampires into blood-sucking buffoonery, His vision fades. His second life grows dim as he slowly turns to ash. I’ve slain him – the vampire master. Morvarth was his name, and like those pin-headed politicians and Imperial scum, he was a creature of darkness intent on bending an entire town to his self-righteous will. He failed, as vampires are prone to do when gazing into the beaming light of purity that emanates from Cornelius G. Thundercock’s brandished steel, but his failure was only the beginning of a steady streaming of vampire-slaying – heed these words. I have a team now – a small band of rogues to aid me in my quest to wipe this vampire blight from Skyrim. We have weapons, armor, decent shoes and bad attitudes. We even have code names. Thonnir is the first member of the crew. Weighing in at what I’m guessing is 250 pounds of lumber-jacked man muscle, this log-splitter wields an axe like an unruly extra appendage, proving his handiwork by dicing the skulls of fallen vampire thralls with relative ease. A man whose wife was taken by the blood-sucking scum who may read this, he goes by the code name ‘Widower’. Don’t let the name fool you. His heart has been taken, and now all that’s left is his unquenchable thirst for vengeance. Widower will split you like an old piece of firewood. Benor is the second member of the crew. Unlike the others who offered their arms and fled, Benor was beaten into submission, only given rest when his tears and squealing pleas for forgiveness became unbearable. He boastfully wagered he could take down his challenger, which made the loss all the sweeter when I re-shaped his face. Like a mad dog who just defecated on the living room floor, a bop on the nose set this pup right. Giving his warrior spirit and battle-readiness, Benor joined the team with great admiration for its leader. He slew vampires as if they were mere arthritic skeevers, despite all the bloodied bruises and welts from the street brawl previous. For this dedication in spite of the facial discoloration and a swollen mug, his code name is ‘Blueberry’. And now I come to the team leader, speaking of myself. If you have not crossed paths with or heard stories of those who rubbed weaponry against the Thundercock, you have been living under a rock (which, coincidentally, Morvarth was). I am the one who can separate the flow of air with my booming voice and trained tongue. I am the Dragonborn, and for my air-splitting voice, my code name is ‘Windbreaker’. And you, lurkers of a dark underworld of blood and disease – we will hunt you. We will find you. We will break you, and we will make mockeries of your corpses. Bored children like entertainment, and with your dead bodies, we shall make puppet shows out of you, placing sticks up your spines and strings on your fingers. You will dance for us, amusing us with your silly antics as your undead corpses rot before our very eyes. Like children playing with dead animals, we’ll make you kiss and put on passionate shows of tragic plays, sewing your limbs back on should they fall off during production. We’ll also squat-taunt you to our hearts’ content. Mark my words, vampires, and mark them well. My team will hunt every last one of you down. Fear the Milk-Drinkers, for their determined glares will be the last you’ll see before death consumes you once more… this time for eternity. ~Cornelius G Thundercock P.S. Be thee a lady vampire, we may be able to work out a private arrangement. Leave notice at Breezehome in Whiterun.
My sweet rose, Ingun, When I said I wished access to your trunk, I had not meant so literally. I appreciate the ability to plunder your ingredients, but my actions were not merely out of friendship or lack of work. I have plenty to do, and I have plenty of folks across Skyrim to label as friends. Do you not see, my dear, that when a man crosses the far reaches of Skyrim in search of Nirnroot, that it is out of an unquenchable passion? Do you not see this when he repeats these ventures for Deathbell and Nightshade, slaving away to see that glimmer of a smile carve just slightly across your beautiful face? I wish to plunder YOU, Ingun, not your ingredients. Think on this, my angelic vision. I did it for you. I did it ALL for you. The alchemy supplies. That cave bear pelt on by your front door this morning (as I noticed a bit of a chill in the air). Your murdered family (you expressed distaste for them, and you’ll find them taken care of by the time you get home). Every whim or musing you let fly from those pouty lips of yours, I can have arranged. I’m sure you noticed the sweet roll that this was bundled to. Accept that as a token of my affections. The frosting should have a heart with our names carved inside of it. With murderous love, Cornelius G. Thundercock P.S. I’ll try to fix the blood on the floor when I kill your family, so it’ll look like little hearts splattered all over the place.
Dear Dorthe, I recently passed through your quaint hometown of Riverwood, and what should I spy lying on the ground but your father. He was face-down on the side of the road, his head occupying the untrimmed bushes before the Sleeping Giant Inn. Naturally, I assumed your unlady-like virtuosity drove your mother to chatter on and on about you, thereby leadibg him to a night of raucous mead drinking and drunken arse-pinching. Being the good-natured hero that I am, however, I decided to help him to his feet and walk him home. That would be when I noticed a strange quietness to his stiff form. It was an eerie calm and a lack of repugnant mead breath. No rise and fall of the chest. No movement. Nothing. Your father, Alvor, was dead as a fallen tree log, toppled on the roadside like unwanted disease-ridden linens from a whore’s den. How long had he been this way, I asked myself. It had certainly been more than a few hours, judging by the early wafts of a foul scent. While I thought of how he must have come this way, I wondered what your role in all this could have been. I know your mother, Sigrid, was a woman of stalwart character and devotion to her husband, or so she relayed to me off and on. And you, I assumed you loved your dad, no? Were this completely true, perhaps you would have paid attention and wondered where your father had run off to? Would you not check the local tap in search of him, should he be late in arriving home? Did no one at home beg to even pass a thought as to his location or health? Leaving the finding of your father’s corpse to a wandering pilgrim shows a lack of concern from the family. Alvor wasn’t hard to find at all, my dear, as I stumbled across him in the middle of the night. He was lying on the ROAD for Talos’ sake, you careless, selfish, little tart! Have you no sense of honor? No sense of familial pride in your lineage? Your father was a good man, Dorthe, and he would be ashamed to know his family left his corpse lying about like rotted venison for the crows to pick at. While you may consider your own play and smithing to be of higher purpose, I would command it upon yourself to remove his body from the passageways and give him a proper burial. You’ll see his body upright before the Inn with a tankard in hand. That was my doing, as I did not want to arouse early suspicion of his demise before you had a chance to right this wrong. I’ll be back in two days, and if I still see his body lurched against the post like some degenerate drunkard, I swear to you that I will make you cry in ways you cannot possibly fathom. Take care of him, wee guttersnipe, or you’ll know true loss. Oh, and if you could tell your beautiful mother that I am also finding myself single these days, I would greatly appreciate it. Take care, Cornelius G. Thundercock
Marcurio, My dearest friend, you must forgive me. I thought I had lost you several moons ago, as you were flung to some far-off plain from a giant’s well-placed swing. You had died, but your spirit wished not to leave this realm, and that was when it found me, when YOU found me. I had missed you, my lamb. I had missed you dearly. Your smile. Your knowing eyes. Your gentle fingers tickling my sides when we shared a bowl of my famous apple stew, sipping succulently from the each other’s spoons. I thought you gone forever, but It was like a vision one night – so picturesque and beautiful. Remember when you told me of those dreams you had of the Whiterun Jarl? The ones where he flew into the window with open arms? There you were, flying into MY window. Arms raised and face beaming with a boasting air of having defeated death, you landed gently on my floor and walked over to me. For hours we lay wrapped around each other, talking of bandits slain and fond memories shared. I know Camilla tossed and turned, abysmally jealous at the two adventurers, but it was a wondrous reuniting. The first night, at least. Then you visited me again. And again. And again. The hour didn’t matter. Whether or not I was busy didn’t matter.You cared not even when you interrupted Camilla and I rolling about in the midst of our favorite role-playing game. Naturally, the lusty Argonian maid and Crantius Colto may not be a particular game you enjoy, but it’s one Camilla and I enjoy thoroughly – that and another one we simply call “locksmith”. I appreciate the visits, old friend. I truly do. All those hours we spent grinding hagraven claws into a fine powder will not be lost to me, but this is my home. Aye. It’s the place where my wife sleeps. It’s the place where, someday, I often wished my children would be born. And you defile it. You defile it with your disregard for me and your disregard for my wife. You’re dead, Marcurio. In death, I wish you would seek peace. We will always have the memories of the adventures we shared, but waking me up at indecently early hours in the morning to make pottery before the glowering fireplace is no longer welcome. Also, I take personal affront at your accosting of Camilla’s bread loaf kneading tricks. She kneads well, my friend, and your offers to replace these house duties are no longer welcome. I sense you will not understand my meaning or heed my words, so I am writing this to simply apologize to you. I’m sorry, lamb chop. For days, I had terrible visions and terrors paralyzing me whilst I slept, thinking the absolute worst. Now that you’ve returned, however quelling it has been to my nightmares, I feel burdened by your presence. Tonight, I shall bring about your final death. I shall banish your soul to a gem, and you shall haunt me no more. Goodbye Marcurio, Cornelius G. Thundercock
Calcelmo, Where has our friendship gone wrong, my brother? If I recalled correctly, I slew your fearsome spider, I found the journals of your lost expedition, and I helped you enter the prized crevasse of your beloved’s lush, fertile valley. I even taught you a few patented Thundercock maneuvers to help steady the manpower of your sea-going vessel on the night of your consummation. Not everyone is privy to the knowledge of how to successfully achieve a “Wailing Cornelius” or a “Flailing Shiv-Smack” in the throes of lovers’ past time. Yet, still you dare keep secrets from I, the great Dragonborn, the wingman to your escapades? Were it not for yours truly, you’d still be spending your nights alone with a bottle of mead, fiddling with Dwemer artifacts in a most horrifyingly embarrassing manner. With that illustrated, it may (or may not) have come to some surprise to see your personal guard slaughtered wholesale around your museum. As most were mere piles of ash, it should be relatively easy to clean. I didn’t want to kill them, but you left me no choice. I needed entry, and you refused me. Like the unstoppable, egocentric behemoth Camilla Valerius often labels me as, I forcibly barreled my way into your domain to gather the translations that were so dire to my mission. At the same time, as I am a man of honor, I did so without so much as stealing a singular possession (other than a roll of paper and this charcoal, which I have returned to you bundled outside of this message). You may feel the need to inform the Jarl in retaliation to my actions, but shall I remind you again of my deeds to your person? I aided you every which way I could. I gave you intel, killed your monster, and I managed to get you laid. Let that sink into your addled brain for a moment, Calcelmo. You owe ME. The only reason Faleen swoons at your proper execution of the “Riften Ratway Raider” is because of me. I made you what you are, Calcelmo, and if need be, I will destroy you. And truthfully, we shouldn’t have to resort to these forms of blackmail, should we? We’re pals, aren’t we, Calcelmo? Or shall I tell the Jarl what it is you actually do with those Dwemer ruins? It’s your choice – friend or foe. Think about it, Cornelius G. Thundercock P.S. I think I accidentally dropped a sword in one of those ash piles. Could you send it to my house at Whiterun? P.P.S. I tried to eat a Falmer ear in order to derive its alchemical effects. Disgusting. I may or may not have left the half-digested contents of that venture in your laboratory.
Dear Frodnar, You let your guard slip, mate. Just like you quit at playing “hide ‘n’ seek” yesterday. I hid for hours, slightly exposed from behind the bushes outside your home, waiting for your little form to skip by and prove your keen observance. It was only fair you should find me, was it not, after I found you with such relative ease? Shows how much strength and resolve you have, quitter. Aye. You talk a good game, lad, but you walk a piss-poor trail. Well friend, after you let me sit there for hours, I got mad, and I pranked YOU, didn’t I? Don’t worry, he went quietly. One quick stroke, and down he tumbled like a mangy bundle of rags. But fret not, Frodnar. This doggie? He’s only the beginning. You better discover some new hiding spots, as I may have hired some bandits to slaughter your family. You wish to prove your worth as a tough guy? Now’s your chance. If you fail, your dad will be murdered before your eyes, and your mom will go with even less ease. Have a good morning, Cornelius