A Plaguebearer in Skyrim: Meet the Dragonborn
Innohunk is the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn. This means he’s got a capital-d Destiny. As such, he’s one of the most talented men in all of Skyrim — nay, all of Tamriel! Everyone wants him to solve their problems. Women want a peek of what’s under his mail skirt, and men want to die by his side. He’s amassed so much treasure that his eventual barrow will be looted for centuries to come. Basically, he’s got everything a red-blooded Nord man could ask for.
So why does Innohunk look so sad?
This is the question that is on the minds of both Innohunk and Illia, his trustworthy traveling partner. Innohunk met Illia while heroically massacring a coven of witches, and they’ve been traveling together ever since. She remembers those days fondly, when Innohunk was happy to ambush hapless giants or poach foxes until dawn, warmed and sheltered and fed by nothing more than glory and honor. But in recent weeks, he’s grown pensive and edgy.
More and more, Illia has found herself quite put off. Recently, while pursuing a beast most foul, Innohunk managed to defuse a potentially brilliant evening.
“Hark, a werewolf!” cried Illia, feeling the rush of the hunt. “Come, let us pursue him deeper into the forest and slay him!”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“What the oblivion is your problem?”
Innohunk tried to shrug, but he found his plate armor restrictive and overly warm. “I don’t know. What has he done? Why should we pursue him?”
“He murdered a little girl! Would you rather we leave that little girl — and her poor family! — unvindicated?”
“I guess not.”
“You guess not?”
“No, no. You’re right. Let’s kill him.”
The next morning, they were heroically murdering their way through a fort overrun with bandits. Illia waited while Innohunk crept up to one of the fort’s many bandits. In the hall, she waited at the ready in case other bandits heard the squishy sound of the man’s demise. When Innohunk reappeared before her, she almost clove him in two with her war-axe.
“Well done!” she congratulated him. “That was your quietest throat-cutting ever! These cowards don’t stand a chance!”
“I… I didn’t do it.”
“What? Why not?”
“Well, he’s talking to himself, and… I don’t know. I don’t think he’s… you know… all there.”
Innohunk stared at her dumbfounded.
“So?” Illia pressed.
“So I don’t think it’s ethical! I mean, he clearly isn’t capable of making rational decisions. It’s not his fault he’s here, and not…” Innohunk paused. “Well, I don’t know where he’d be. But I don’t think he deserves death.”
“He’s big, he has a big weapon, and this fort is threatening the road. He might kill innocent travelers. Is that ethical?”
“Talos, fine!” hissed Innohunk. Back around the corner he went, and a particularly greasy gurgle erupted around the corner. Illia winced. The kill was sloppy, and the whole fort was now alerted. As she readied herself for battle, she consoled herself that at least Innohunk had followed through.
The next day, our heroic duo was bravely exterminating a cavern full of falmer, and stealing the eggs of the chaurus insects they raise. After stealing many dozens of the sticky eggs, they had found a large room filled with falmer, who chattered in their unsettling native tongue. Innohunk prepared to send an arrow through one of the falmer’s eyes while Illia stood guard at the narrow bridge they would have to cross to locate the source of the attack. As she readied her ice magic, she mused on what a brilliant plan it was, and how she was quite looking forward to it.
Illia jumped, almost crying out and giving away their position. “What is it?” she demanded.
“Why are we killing these guys?”
Innohunk took a while to respond, thinking. “Um yeah, them.”
“Didn’t you read the books? We’ve found maybe five talking about how bad they are, and why we should kill them.”
“Can you remind me?”
“You didn’t read the books?”
Innohunk began to turn red. Rather, he turned a redder shade of blue, as everything in the cavern was lit with glowing blue mushrooms. “Why on Nirn would I read books while dungeoning? Just tell me.”
“They’re bad. They want to take over the surface. They hate all surface races because the Dwemer—”
“Never mind. They hate humans, and khajiit, and argonians… they hate everybody on the surface. They want to invade it.”
“I’ve never seen a fal… a fal… I’ve never seen one on the surface. Have you?”
Illia gritted her teeth. “Yes, I once saw a whole band of them attack a nice little town. They ate everyone. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Innohunk’s eyes widened. “For true? That’s terrible!” He paused. “When did you see that? I thought you were raised in that witch coven.”
“I saw it!” Illia said, her voice raising. One of the falmer turned in their direction, its pointy ears twitching.
Innohunk raised his free hand palm-forward and backed away. His shot was precise and the following battle left them both covered in falmer blood and flakes of chaurus chitin, but Illia had to work extra hard to enjoy the slaughter.
Now their adventures have brought them to the “super shady” (Innohunk’s words) town of Riften. The local jarl has been having problems with a dragon, which has been terrorizing towns to the north. Innohunk is reluctant to accept the quest, which embarrasses Illia greatly, so she mumbles acceptance and pushes him out of the hall.
“We’re taking this job,” she tells him. “If we please the jarl, we could be permitted to buy a house here. Real estate in Riften is a buyer’s market!”
Innohunk looks around. “I can’t imagine why,” he says.
Innohunk and Illia head north, and for a while it’s like old times. They talk about that time they accidentally incinerated that old guy and laugh heartily. Illia is so cheerful that she barely notices that as they grow closer to the misty mountain, Innohunk grows ever quieter. Only when they hear the distant dragon-roar does she realize they haven’t spoken in hours. She considers confronting him about it, but she has a sudden premonition. She gets them occasionally, relics from her childhood with her witch-mother in the coven. She senses that before the day is spent, she will have learned the reason for her companion’s funk. She hopes she will also have found the cure.
Continue Innohunk’s adventure and discover what’s bugging him here.