[For those not in the know, this is an in-character account of my attempt to play a strictly non-combat character in Skyrim. I like a challenge, so my restriction is that my character never fights anything. I wanted to see how much of the game was playable under that restriction. The roleplaying justification is that my character is a confidence man who isn’t so crass as to actually enter combat.
My initial thought had been a character who never carried a weapon, but using a bow to distract guards by pinging an arrow off something is just too useful. So I’ve got a long bow and some iron arrows, but never use them against anything animate.]
I hiked to Whiterun, excited at the prospect of getting in good with
the Jarl. Local leaders are always easy marks, and free with their
coin. Once there, my audience with the Jarl was easily arranged. He
was understandably upset about the idea that dragons might be
returning to Skyrim. He asked me to help his court wizard retrieve
some ancient writings.
Turns out the wizard wants me to go back to Bleak Falls Barrow! Well,
I know the way, so I figure I’ll do this and collect a little more
coin. So back I head, and I sneak in the same way I did the last
time. The king of the undead, or whoever he is, is still there in the
final chamber. I figure ancient writings have to be in the ornate
chest by him, so I hunker down behind some pots and shelves, and make
my way around to the chest.
Inside I do not find ancient writings, but do find a Rink of Sneaking.
Very nice! I put that on and steel myself to pickpocket the King,
thinking he must have the writings on him. Turns out he’s more aware
than I gave him credit for, and not very happy with me! I run for my
life, making my way back through the catacombs, and dive under the
swinging blade traps. He follows me, and it turns out the swinging
blade traps are as deadly to him as to the rest of his kind.
And yes, on his body I find the ancient writings.
I head back to Whiterun, expecting to be well rewarded. Instead, the
court wizard tells me to talk to the Jarl about my reward, and the
Jarl expects me to accompany his soldiers to kill a dragon! To be
honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing a dragon be killed, so I head out with
them to the western watch tower.
The blasted thing was laying in wait for us! The soldiers draw their
weapons and charge. I charge as well, straight into the tower and
safety. I peek out the arrow slits, and nearly get roasted for my
attempt to see what’s going on. Eventually things die down, so I step
out, expecting to find the soldiers posing next to the dragon’s
carcass. Instead I find roasted soldiers all around, and the dragon
coming for me!
I do what I normally do when words fail, I run! I run all the way
back to Whiterun, getting enough ahead of the dragon to be able to
jump in a carriage and head to Solitude. I’d heard about a Bard’s
College there, hopefully they won’t ask me to slay dragons.
From the outside Solitude seems like a proper Imperial city, and makes
me a bit homesick. But then I enter, to find myself witness to a
public beheading! This barbaric land has infected even Imperial
practices. I can’t wait to get back to the delicate and subtle
machinations of Imperial society.
Time for a drink, and to spend the night. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
[Apparently monsters cannot be pickpocketed, which was quite
disappointing. I was able to sneak close enough that I would have
been able to pickpocket if it had been possible. So I had to resort
to luring it into the blade trap, which wasn’t my ideal solution for
this character. A stealthy pickpocket would have been more in
I’d thought Irileth might be able to take the dragon herself, but
apparently not. With me staying mostly out of sight, the dragon took
care of her soldiers pretty quickly. I didn’t see her go down, but
she stopped voicing combat dialogue, so I think she probably did. Not
sure what this will do with the main quest, but I’ll keep going and
see how it all turns out.
I’m level 4, and except for a few points in speechcraft, everything has still come from sneaking.]