Or... How playing a racist Stormcloak changed my perception of certain characters and quests.Whenever I've tried to play a character that sides with the Stormcloaks, I keep failing to connect with their quest on account of their, "Skyrim is for Nords" policy/attitude. I mean, it's really hard for an Orc to side with a group of people that are basically saying, "you don't belong here and we wish you'd leave". So I thought I'd try playing a Nord, so that I could have her join the Stormcloaks without any pesky complications regarding racial vilification.
I like using Blogs to keep track of what my characters have done and are yet to do. I'm not sure it's incredibly interesting for anyone else, but it helps my gameplay. This time, however, I wanted to document how playing this character (Freja Ice Veins) has changed my perception of certain characters and stories in the game.
It's fascinating how this character is colouring my perception of characters and stories that I've previously held very different opinions on. So far her morality is thus:
- "Skyrim is for Nords" means just that. All foreigners should "go back to where they came from"
- No talking to foreigners unless I can't avoid it
- Only buy things from Nords unless it's absolutely necessary
- Don't intervene if a Non-Nord is getting screwed over
- Don't intervene if a Mer or non-human is getting killed
- Kill Mer when possible
- Nord vs Non-Nord: she will side with the Nord
- Non-Human needs help? Too bad (soooo many side quests are getting ignored this way, which is making for faster and more focused gameplay)
- She won't loot graves, tombs, urns, etc, because that's disrespectful and she's an honourable Nord(zi)
- She won't strip bodies, because that is likewise disrespectful and she's an honourable Nord. No really
- She will take Septims, weapons, helmets, braces, and other items, but she'll leave the bodies of those that attacked her with their boot and clothes on
- Yet to develop thoughts on Vampires, since they're monsters, not human. But under that logic, should she care about the bodies of Mer, Khajiit, and/or Argonians?
For those that care/are curious, below are some details of how her story is unfolding.
Power to the SistahoodIt is strange how playing a character that does not give a damn if a poor sap of a Redguard was being swindled by a Nord changes how you perceive characters (more power to you sista!).
Previously I've seen Sapphire admit that she swindled Shadr and I've helped him out. This time around, I did not give a damn about his position and wanted to high five Sapphire for being so awesome.
When I finally met with Maven Black-Briar my perception of her was completely different to every other time I've encountered her. Previously, she was a corrupt harpy of a woman that should be eradicated from Nirn for the good of society. This time however, I saw a shrewd businesswoman that was getting her own back on men that had been her lover and then tried to screw her over. Suddenly I saw her as role model for Nord women and girls everywhere. Freja is proud to help Maven in any way she can. Go the sistahood! 😍
It's kinda fascinating how my character's morality is evolving. She gives zero [fire trucks] about anyone that is not a Nord, and it means that I'm walking past characters (and thus quests), because my character doesn't want to talk to them unless they are a Nord. If they force their way into talking to Freja, I turn down helping them because they should "Go Back to Where They Came From".
Pity the only way for Maven to take over Riften from Leila is if the Empire invades and takes control of Riften. I guess Maven will have to be content with being the power behind the throne.
Respecting the Dead
Freja entered a Nord tomb and I realise that there is no way that she would loot Burial Urns nor bodies lying in their graves. If they get up and attack her, that's a different story. That's war plunder; they lost their right to their loot when they got out of their grave - which still doesn't mean that she'd strip them naked.
After Freja killed some Imperials I realised that taking their boots and clothes would be disrespectful to worthy opponents, so she took everything that isn't their armour and boot. Braces and helmets are fair game, but she won't take their boots. Stripping a body seems like something she will only do to people that have committed (in her eyes) a heinous crime and deserve to be humiliated posthumously.
Hmmm... Should this courtesy extend to Mer?
You're Not Taking "Skyrim is for Nords" Seriously Enough
So, I've entered Windhelm and watched Rolff Stone-Fist and his friend confront a Dunmer about being spies for the Empire. They talk about going through the Grey Quarter and beating up a few Dark Elves to teach them a lesson, and all I can think is...
- Pussies! "Skyrim is for Nords" means just that. It's for Nords. Not Imperials, and certainly not Mer. If you were *really* devoted to the cause, you'd do more than just beat them up...
I decide that they only true way to support the Stormcloaks' "Skyrim is for Nords" policy is to develop Freja's Pick Pocket skill until she's able to drop poisons into their pockets so that she can ethnically cleanse the Grey Quarter of the Dunmer that reside there.
It's at this point that I realise how the Nazis became a thing. 😱
Not the political party that was elected into power, but how it was that the German people got behind the Nazi Party to the point that they were willing to report their neighbours to the SS and to stand by while German citizens were dragged away, never to be seen again.
It turns out, Freja is willing to do some pretty bloody awful things in the name of Ulfric and the Stormcloaks and to Make Skyrim Great Again. And yet, I'm certain that Freja sees herself as a good person. She wouldn't kill children, she won't loot corpses, and she has what she thinks of as "respect for the dead". I'm pretty sure that she would be completely blind to how her (and the Stormcloak's) ideology is pretty bloody evil really.
- Poor little Altmer child was born here? Too bad. You need to go back to the Summerset Isles. Your parents were persecuted by the Thalmar you say? Too bad, that's their problem. The Nords are too busy looking after their own people to worry about trying to help you.
Brrrrrrr! Damn but that's cold! This ideology kinda makes my skin crawl. Having the Stormcloaks all her Frost Veins . 😳
Thane of Imperial HoldsI feel bad that my character has become Thane of an Imperial hold first, and not Windhelm. However, becoming Thane of Windhelm is a *pain in the arse*, and becoming Thane of Morthal meant that I could get a Nord follower with ranged attacks. Plus, I got to kill vampires. Win-Win.
So far Valdimar seems to be really good at throwing Ice Spikes into Meeko/Vigilence and/or me. No wonder Nords don't trust magic. 😱
Picking Between Two Nords (Agent of Mara)
So, doing this was partly a "this is a quick Quest I can tick off" and partially because of interactions in Riften. Freja ended up getting Klimmek to man up and to tell Fastred how he felt about her. I was torn as to which one of her suitors I was going to encourage. I thought it was an easy pick since I thought Bassianus was an Imperial, but it turned out he's a Nord... with an Imperial name... Hmmmmm... However, once she met Klimmek and he told her that he regularly gives free food to the Monks in High Hrothgar, he became my pick.
Became an Agent of Dibella
While I was in Markarth, I learned how Ulfric tried to exterminate all Forsworn until he was double-crossed by the Jarl of Markarth and his Dad. This triggered two thoughts;
- I should murder every Forsworn I can
- I cannot wait to help Ulfric to get his vengeance on this Jarl
The Silver Bloods (good Nord family) seem to be at odds with the Jarl too. Might have to do what I can to support them. This is something I have never done with any other character. It's interesting how playing a bigot is opening up my perception of characters I previously thought of as "bad people", and new versions of Quests that I've done in the past.
I came across the conflict Karthwasten between some mercenaries hired by the Silver Bloods, and a "native of the Reach" that is not Forsworn. This is tough, since this guy is not a Forsworn, and these guys are not Silver Bloods. Most of the mercenaries are not Nords (only their leader seems to be a Nord). They aren't trying to make a claim for the mine for Silver Bloods, but rather they seem to be making a play for the mine themselves. I'm torn. Bandits are not cool for Skyrim. Especially when most of them are Orcs and Redguards.
Joined the Stormcloaks
I should have gone straight to Windhelm after escaping from Helgen, but I wanted to get a horse first, so I went to Riften, and then things happened. But I'm here now and Freja is joining the Stormcloaks and getting the very apt suffix to her name, "Ice Veins".
Holding off joining the Stormcloaks paid off. I was able to "push" the Jaggered Crown onto Ralof, which means I'll be able to have a cool looking heavy armour helm. Hooray!
Powered through getting both the crown and the siege of Whiterun.
I really wish Stormcloaks had a Heavy Armour version Freja could wear. Light Armor messes with my mojo.
A Place to Call Home - Doh! I Made a Mistake!
So, I've purchased Lakeview because I really need a place to store and organise stuff. I spent most of today getting the materials I needed to fully kit out the home and decided that since Kids seem to actively comment about how pretty Lakeview is, that it would be the place that Freja's kids call home.
It was only after I'd finished furnishing the bedroom that I realised...
- Hang on a second... This place has a Redguard for a Housecarl... Why would I want my children growing up with a Redgard? How are they supposed to learn that "Skyrim is for Nords", when they grow up with a Redgard hanging around? More importantly, why would I entrust the security and safety of my children with a Redguard?! 😫
Damn it all! Time to go back to a save from earlier today. Gah! Stoopid racist character. Stoopid me for not thinking things through *before* I built the room.
Best Follower for a Stormcloak
So, I thought I'd give Erik the Slayer a go, and so far I adore his dialogue. It rocks my world every time he yells, "Skyrim is for Nords".
- "Sing it Bro!"
I'd love for him to be my Steward, except that I can't help but feel that asking him to live with a Redguard would be cruel and against his values. Plus, he's just escaped working on a farm; why would he want to settle down so quickly?
So long as I don't give him a two-handed weapon, he also seems to favour the Bow. Awesome!
So, after some cultists tried to kill me I have ventured to Solstheim with Erik, Serana, Vigilence and Barbas in tow. I may switch out Erik for Valdimar once I start facing off against Ashspawn, but let's see how I go for now.
It's interesting that now that my character is in Raven Rock, that she suddenly has no problem talking to Dunmer. After all, we're not in Skyrim anymore so they are exactly where they belong. I'm pretty sure this allows her to rationalise her morality and a belief that she is not racist/speciesist. After all, she has no problem with Dunmer, so long as they're not in Skyrim. 😱
This is just a list for my own reference so that I can know which ones I've gotten and which ones I'm yet to get.
- Maven Black-Briar's Bedroom
- Laila Law-Giver's Bedroom (do Nords think these give virility or something? What's with keeping them by their bedside table?)
- Court Mage's bedroom in Windhelm
- Jarl's bedroom in Whiterun