You're not proud of what you're about to do, but then again you were never proud of your life as a beet miner either. You nod to the man in the cloak, take off your shirt and trousers, and do your best to invent a tune to the words he provided. "We're merry men of Skyrim, so sturdy and so stout," you begin softly as you move back into the royal chamber. "When the day is done, when it's time for fun, we'll drink and sing and shout."

You look ahead of you to the Court. None of them seem to have noticed you yet. The cloaked man's voice somehow travels into your ear though he's yards behind you. "Louder," it whispers. "More dancing!"

Nervously, you move your feet into a jig as you continue, gaining volume as you draw ever nearer to the throne. "You weak livered milk drinkers, can let your throats run dry. Cause there's just one drink that we will sink until the day we die!" you sing.

Finally, one of the servants busy clearing the long dining table at the center of the room looks over and gasps. She drops a silver tray, and it clangs against the polished floor.

Your voice grows louder. You're finally getting a sense for the tune. "Drinking mead in the halls of Whiterun, the maidens and the men! We swig our brew until we spew, then we fill our mugs again!"

By now you've caught the Court's attention with your naked tomfoolery. The servants are laughing, the Jarl is laughing, even the stuffy court wizard seems to have released one or two guffaws from whatever secret depth he stores them. The only problem is that they aren't laughing with you; it's very clear from their tone that they're laughing at you. The humiliation weighs on your mind like sixteen sets of dragon bones. Each chuckle and chortle brings back every insult, every stinging verbal barb that ever lashed you. You've never felt so miserable, and somehow at the same time, so silly in your life. You close your eyes. The laughter stops.

You open your eyes again a moment later, and find yourself and Herbert in a strange forest you don't recognize. A strange old man stands beside you in bright pink Daedric armor, clapping his hands and smiling.

"Very nice performance!" he exclaims. "Very nice indeed!" He waves the strange stick he holds in his left hand, and a bouquet of red roses appear in your arms.

"Where am I?" you ask sternly, the sting of your naked karaoke still top of mind. "Who are you?"

"I am Sheogorath, of course!" he squeals. "The Prince of something. Yes, yes but of what? Cats, caterpillars, coasters, copulation? No no, not sure why I'm so hung up on the letter C this morning. Oh, I can't remember my princedom at all. I lied! Madness, yes that's it. And this is my glorious realm. I've no time to spare so I'll get right to the point. Why is it that the lands are littered with poor, when any beggar could find his riches in any number of crates and barrels scattered across the streetways? Oh, wait. That wasn't the point at all. Where is that rascally point? Oh, there it is! Caught you, rascally point. The point is that you need access to the library above Whiterun, and I'm going to help you do it. But second, you'll need to bring me one of three necklaces of power. And first, you'll need to hear me ask you to bring me one of three necklaces of power! There are but three in Skyrim, and any one will do. They were given to each of the guild leaders. Okay, ta ta, that is all, goodbye!"

"But-" you stutter. Wait a moment, you're back in Whiterun, fully clothed and standing near the door! Herbert stands to your right with a stoic look plastered across his strange face. He shrugs at you.

All you were able to gather is that you need some sort of necklace from one of Skyrim's Guild Masters. Well, it's more information than you had a few minutes ago.

Best to try the Companions first. They're the closest, and you've always felt most at home among warriors.

Best to try the Thieves' Guild in Riften. You have mounds of experience with theft, after all. It may all be beet theft, but that counts.

Best to try the Mage's College in Winterhold. You always considered yourself more in touch with the universe than most; perhaps you'll find luck among the wizards.

Comments on