More Skyrim talk.

One of the things that Bethesda does well, and I have to be in the right mood for it to appreciate it, so YMMV, is stuff happening in the world around you. They’re not cutscenes, they’re things that occur in-world that you’re 99% likely to look at as soon as you start hearing them. These then provide plot hooks for small (or in some cases, large) story arcs. Sometimes you come across these as you arrive in a new place, other times you come across them unexpectedly as the result of something else you’ve done.

I’ll give you an example. I’ve been spending most of my time in the city of Whiterun so far. There’s been plenty to do there, so I haven’t needed to bust out and go looking for the other cities as yet — my main reason for wandering the fields, fjords and mountains has been to seek out dungeons/caves/bandit hideouts.

As I wandered into the Bannered Mare inn to get a room for the night, a patron happened to hail me as I walked past. I stopped and decided to chat with him for a moment, and he challenged me to a drinking competition.

Three pints of strong Nord ale later, he suggested we moved on to another place where the wine flowed freely.

When I woke up, I was on the floor of a temple in a completely different city, with a very angry priestess chastising me for my loutish behaviour. I cleaned up the mess I’d made and apologised, and she forgave me, as priestesses are wont to do. Leaving the temple, I found myself in an unfamiliar city, struggling to orient myself. Eventually I found my way to the gate but before I could leave town, a fight broke out in the street that ended in the death of an Imperial woman who’d been trying to buy some trinkets from the market. Apparently this was the work of the Forsworn, and thus began a quest to track them down and determine what they were up to. Upon leaving the city, I heard that this wasn’t an isolated incident, with nearby mines also occupied by the Forsworn and in urgent need of some Jedi justice. I obliged, with the assistance of my trusty housecarl Lydia, but I was no closer to understanding the Forsworn’s motives. That is yet to come.