Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
In our last post Orc Orcersson, Skyrim character extraordinaire, had fallen in with a very bad crowd – the Dark Brotherhood, assassins for hire. Orc quickly got to work revolutionising the field by integrating vertical synergy while delivering customer-first solutions and made the rank of Listener in record time. Taking a break from that, we left off in Morthal.
Morthal has a problem. One of its citizens had his house burn to the ground with his family trapped inside, then he immediately moved in with a new woman. There’s a lot of gossip running around -did HE do it? did SHE do it? was it actually an accident? The Jarl has hired us to uncover the truth and suggests we start by investigating the crime scene.
It seems Sherlorc Holmes has found A Clue! A Clue that can talk! The lil’ ghost girl will tell us who started the fire, as long as we can win a game of hide and seek at night. Orc is extremely good at hide and seek and almost immediately locates….her small coffin. Depressing. Oh, Orc wasn’t the only player in the game, the supposedly dead wife is here too. Actually, I guess there’s nothing “supposed” about it, she’s a vampire and so pretty dang dead, technically. Orc converts her status to “properly dead”. That means if you guessed at the end of last post that the answer to what plagues Morthal is “Vampires”, then well done! Give yourself a prize.
The stuff the vampire wife shouted at us as we put her down plus the ghost kid’s testimony implicates the new lover as being a vampire herself who enthralled the wife into burning down the house. So, we wander over to check out her house. It has a dry cellar, in a swampy region right next to a lake.
That level of waterproofing is super suspicious, far more so than the coffin and journal of meticulously recorded crimes that are inside the cellar. The journal convinces the Jarl that the husband is innocent, enthralled by vampire magics. She also points out that the journal mentions the new lover was in turn enthralled by an ancient, powerful vampire who is plotting to take over the town and asks if Orc plans to do anything about that?
Wiping out a powerful vampire as a secretly even more powerful vampire seems like an appropriate thing to do, so Orc goes ahead and does it. Sadly, we can’t Vampire Lord it up because the Jarl sends in the peasant militia with us, but you can’t have everything. Like the guy from this quest can’t have his house, his family or his new love. Because they’re all dead or burned.
To rub it in for that guy further, this success also prompts the Jarl to allow us to buy land in the Hold, which Orc wastes no time in throwing up another prefab mansion on.
The game awards us the Land Baron and Master Architect achievements for this spooky abode. And no, we’re not going to let the guy who’s lost everything live here. He’d probably just let a vampire take it.
Back to Dark Brotherhood business! In the Sanctuary, Astrid has decided to see if the Night Mother’s words are real and sends Orc to check it out. On arrival in the tomb indicated, yes there is in fact a customer. And he’s got plans. Big plans. He wants us to assassinate the Emperor.
Emperoricide conspiracy selfie! Shame Orc forgot to wear his Official Murder Club outfit…
It’s a tall order, but the guy has the resources to pay the fee and all the other assassins are keen to let the world know that they’re back on form, so Operation: Kill The Emperor is go!
There’s a fairly involved plan for this, step one of which is to kill the Emperor’s cousin at her wedding to a Nord noble. Not only is this a relative, but it could damage Nord-Imperial relations so he has to come deal with fallout personally. Naturally, this is assigned to Orc. It’s a nice day for a red wedding!
It’s Skyrim tradition for the bride to give a speech from a balcony, but that statue above her looks a little loose…be a shame if it were to fall.
Wait, no it wouldn’t, it would be perfect! And Orc doesn’t even have to hope for an accident, he could push it himself! He does and just walks out, the guards don’t really care about the guy in assassin clothes walking away from the murder. Hitman this ain’t.
Completing this quest, “Bound Until Death” gets us the “Bound Until Death” achievement, unsurprisingly.
The second step in the plan is to weaken security. The Emperor’s personal guard, the Penitus Oculatus, are already here assessing the security of the major cities. Killing the head of the Emperor’s personal security detail won’t work too well as a) it’s super suspicious and b) he’ll just be replaced, but one of the Brotherhood has come up with a cunning plan: assassinate that guy’s son and frame him for the Emperor murder conspiracy! The Penitus commander will be distraught and distracted and the Emperor will think the threat has been thwarted!
Here’s Orc posing in full Dark Brotherhood gear next to the target and his dad, both high ranking members of the Emperor’s personal guard who really should know an assassin when they see one, especially one who just nicked a secret Penitus travel schedule in front of them. This step is a solid plan and Orc has no issues executing it.
Sadly, the rest of the Brotherhood aren’t doing as well.
It seems Cicero went a little stab-happy, he’s very upset that Astrid isn’t keen on giving up DB leadership to a dessicated corpse. After some cursory investigation it turns out the Insane Clown has fled to another Sanctuary where he has raised an undead guardian Posse. Astrid sends Orc after him with her personal horse, the unkillable demonic Shadowmere, the best horse in the game.
The best horse in the base game, that is. Remember Arvak here? He’s also unkillable AND can be summoned at will AND looks even cooler, so take that, Losermere. Also, Orc doesn’t bother with any horses.
As promised, Cicero is hiding out in the Dawnstar Sanctuary behind a bunch of ghost guardians. Also in the way is this guy, a little callback to a hidden, super tough boss fight in Oblivion and Morrowind.
He’s not nearly so tough here! Actually, nothing is so Orc cuts through the Sanctuary fast, but on the way finds a jester costume of his own which really removes any need to kill Cicero.
Clown bros! Also he asked nicely not to be killed, so we’ll just say we did and get back to the important stuff.
The final step in the assassination plan is to get close to the Emperor. What better way than to impersonate his personal chef, who is a famous recluse? The Brotherhood knows that the Markarth castle cook is friends with the mysterious Gourmet, and what better person than Orc to get the secret out of him?
No better person, that’s who. Sadly, the cook suffered an accident involving being murdered to death immediately after interrogation. But hey, at least his clothes will make the Gourmet less suspicious of Orc!
Not that that matters. The Gourmet (also an orc, it turns out) is a famous recluse and hardly ever leaves the Inn cellar he lives in. An easy target.
Everything is now set up for the assassination of a lifetime!
Time Elapsed: 25hr 35m
Achievement Progress: 50/75
Next time: Emperor, meet Orc. Knife, meet Emperor. Orc….become Emperor?!?