Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Former werewolf but current vampire Orc Orcersson is at a bit of a loose end. Apart from stopping the imminent destruction of the world by an angry dragon god of course, he could always work on that a bit. But what else is out there for an enterprising creature of the night? Which organization could use an employee with a stealthy skillset and their own dagger of murder?
Hmmm, guards do say in hushed tones that the feared Dark Brotherhood lurks around the province. Still, they probably aren’t real. Although… the guards in Windhelm do share the specific rumour that some kid is trying to summon the DB with the Black Sacrament! Kids, eh? Orc drops in on him to straighten out the little scamp.
Uhhhh kid how exactly did you get a human heart and human flesh?? Especially as the guards knew you were trying to do this! …Oh, you think Orc is a Dark Brotherhood member? And you’ll pay him to murder an orphanage owner? Well, this changes everything!
She was a mean orphanage owner, so there’s no consequences whatsoever to this blatant murder. In fact, the new orphanage owner (her in the background) writes to Orc afterwards saying that as an upstanding member of the community, Orc should consider adopting! Very open minded of her…
We get a plate worth basically nothing off the kid- never work with children- and also get another note with a different tone.
In previous games, this note and the DB invitation showed up after you commit your first murder, which if you were playing nicely was usually either some peasant caught in a spell blast or the end of the Arena questline, because that guy was bugged to count as a murder despite being a legal kill. In Skyrim though, you have to do this quest first, which works fairly well given what you find out later.
Anyway, Orc decides to take a quick nap and surprise! wakes up to find he’s been kidnapped. The real Dark Brotherhood found out about our little impersonation (no idea how, maybe it had something to do with those half dozen eyewitnesses?) and are a touch upset. In their eyes, Orc stole a kill and so owes them a kill. The DB leader, Astrid, presents Orc with 3 tied up prisoners and tasks us with interrogating them and killing the one with the contract on their head.
(As a side note, the obvious loophole of “owning the DB a kill” is to ice Astrid and that totally works. It starts the “Destroy the Dark Brotherhood” quest, which is a nice option to have for “good” characters. You can also trigger it without old lady murder. Someone thought about this.)
Ever the logician, Orc hits on a foolproof method to definitely kill the one with a contract.
What’s “collateral damage”? Luckily, Astrid is impressed by Orc’s kill ’em all solution (she calls him an overachiever!) and invites him to the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is behind a big skull cover talking door near Falkreath that I’m sure isn’t at all obvious to passing hunters and the like. Inside, Orc gets issued his secret murder society uniform (again, what’s with these illegal groups and their logo-covered easily identifiable clothes?) and led into the main cave. Achievement acquired: With Friends Like These!
It’s a bit of a dump compared to the vampire castle, but at least it’s compact, easy to get around and isn’t in a literal sewer. The other assassins are alright too, some clichés but at least they have personalities. We also find out the Brotherhood is in a bad way: they don’t have access to the Night Mother and so cannot tell when someone performs the Black Sacrament. What they’ve been doing is waiting to hear rumours that someone is performing the Sacrament then going to them. It’s a hilariously bad system but it worked for us so apparently the residents of Skyrim are quite happy to share that they’re trying to perform a blood rite to have someone murdered?
Anyway, we get our first set of contracts, nothing too taxing for the new guy. There’s a beggar, a hermit and a mine owner in Dawnstar, all of whom are easy to get alone. At some point along the way, the “Thief” achievements for 50 lockpickings and pickpocketings unlocks, yay! When we return to report success, look who’s here.
It’s the clown we helped with a wagon way back when! And he’s the Keeper of the Night Mother! And annoyingly insane! Orc’s expression says it all about that.
Astrid tells us not to worry about Cicero, even though the Night Mother is here, she won’t be talk to anyone except a Listener, which the Sanctuary doesn’t have. Besides, she has our first major contract: someone in Markarth wants a bandit leader and a Windhelm lady dead for fairly dubious reasons! Orc isn’t here to judge, though. The bandit guy and all his bandit friends get torn apart by Orc’s Vampire Lord form, and the Windhelm lady is easy enough to shank in an alley.
Ironically, that’s another murder scene in the background there. Not a safe city, Windhelm.
On our return, Astrid is a little concerned about Cicero the mad killer clown. He’s muttering in the Night Mother’s corpse room a lot and she would quite like to know what he’s saying. Orc volunteers to hide in the coffin and listen.
Why would you volunteer for this, Orc!?
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that once inside, the Night Mother deems Orc “worthy” and begins to talk to him. Yep, 4 kills after starting in the Dark Brotherhood, Orc is now the Listener.
Astrid is none too happy about this- she’s used to being in charge here and isn’t unconvinced Cicero is trying to take over.
While she thinks it over, Orc get sent off on more minor contracts. The first one is a vampire couple in a mill, the second is Skyrim’s worst bard, who is so bad he’s had multiple contracts placed on him. Neither are tricky, but the bard is in Morthal, a small swamp town we haven’t really visited before. It’s the site of the third and final housebuilding….site.
Before the Jarl will sell us the land though, we’re going to have to do some investigating into a gruesome death that may be murder. Something stinks in Morthal….
…besides the swamp gas, I mean.
Time Elapsed: 24hr 13m
Achievement Progress: 47/75
Next time: What plagues Morthal? Place bets now!