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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vigilance



"Only five-hundred septims, and the dog is yours." The man told me. The big, shit-eating grin never left his face.

I looked down at the scrawny mutt and tried to figure out how any animal could cost five-hundred septims. Better yet, why the hell was I considering spending my mead money on a travelling companion? In all my adventures, except for that one time with that stupid priest, I've never traveled with anyone in Skyrim, and now I'm going to pay money for a dog to follow me around? I'm a wizard, and wizards don't need backup.

The second thing that was upsetting me was the dog's name:

Vigilance.

Who names a dog Vigilance?

I'll tell you who: Some stuck-up dog breeder who forced this poor animal to learn tricks and crap since he was a pup and never once let the little guy just be a piss-on-the-carpet, eat-the-garbage dog.

And then he gives the animal a stupid fucking name like Vigilance (which isn't even a real name; it's an advertisement!) and tries to sell the dog off because he never gave a shit about him, anyway. It's always been about the money.
The poor thing's probably never had a moment of freedom in his life.


I reached for my money pouch, "Give me the fucking dog."







FUCK YEAH!


I'd never met an animal so bloodthirsty. Once Vig had left the shadow of his former master, the real dog, the true beast, had been unleashed upon Skyrim, and Skyrim was not ready for this wizard/dog super-team.
Any doubts I had about my purchase seemed ridiculous at this point. Me and Vig were instantly best buds.
Best five-hundred septims I ever spent.















We'd been travelling together for about a week when I picked up some mercenary work from the capital city of Solitude. Locals were complaining about Wolf Skull Cave where some strange shit was going on. People disappearing. The usual crap. It all looked normal until me and Vig descended a little further into the cave and entered a scene straight from the final act of a really cool movie.

Ho-ly shit.

Nobody mentioned that Wolf Skull Cave had an entire god-damned castle in it.

And nobody mentioned that the castle was full of necromancers.

And nobody mentioned that the necromancers were just about ready to resurrect the bitch-queen of wolves, Potema herself.


You can find depictions of super-necromancer Potema all over Skyrim. Her name is as feared as any Daedric Lord's.






From our vantage high above the castle, me and Vig took the scene in for the entirety of two seconds.
We knew why we were there. We knew what we had to do.


I didn't bother to save the game and I didn't bother to look for a staircase. Me and my dog fucking ran and jumped onto the ramparts of that castle and unleashed the kind of ass-kicking that would make Todd Howard weep blood.


Their wards weren't strong enough. Their stupid skeleton army wasn't strong enough. They'd spent their entire lives honing their craft, perfecting their spells, training themselves to be powerful, evil wizards and it wasn't enough to stop the magical Armageddon that I brought down upon their heads. When one necromancer died, another would bring his buddy back to life (it's the only trick they're good at), but I'd just kill them all over again.

And Vig? He had my back.
Nothing got past us. Nothing survived.






This isn't a dungeon-crawl. THIS IS DUNGEON-RAPE!














We worked our way through the castle, room by room, tearing down anything that looked threatening with fire and lightning and teeth; but when we finally reached the tower where Potema was manifesting herself, the battle turned ugly.
Turns out, all the necromancers running around the castle were the ones too green to be trusted in performing the resurrection ceremony. The summit tower was where the real necromancers were located, and they were not too happy about postponing their ceremony to deal with some college wizard and his mutt.

The feeling was mutual, but our magic wasn't. Every necromancer on that tower realized pretty fast that if they didn't use everything they had against me then they were all going to join Potema in a very uncomfortable afterlife.

Spells flew in every direction. Wards shattered on both sides. A few scrolls I'd been saving for just this sort of occasion finally got some use. I tossed at least one of those fuckers right off the battlements.

If I'm being honest, then I'll admit that it was close, but ultimately, we won.






It's over, Vig.

Vig?




























Somewhere in the middle of the fight my dog had been killed.
I didn't even realize what had happened until it was all over.

I mean, I understand that we'd just raided a castle full of psycho necromancers, but I still couldn't believe that he was gone.

Maybe if I'd been paying more attention to my buddy I could've tossed him a heal spell. Maybe I could've kept better track of him in the middle of that fray. All this time he'd been watching my back, but I hadn't been watching his.

I would've died down in Wolf Skull Cave if it wasn't for Vig, and I can't even begin to guess how many others would've died if Potema's resurrection had been completed.


When I returned to Solitude I was a hero, but without Vig it didn't mean dick to me. If I'd known before entering Wolf Skull Cave that this was the trade-off I'd have to make to ensure that bitch-queen Potema stayed in her grave, then I would've told Solitude to fuck off.










I'll miss you, buddy.






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