Galandil added a topic in Civil WarCivil War Story ConceptsConcept:
The Civil War in Skyrim felt very underwhelming, this is why the mod, which at this time is taken down by Apollodown, The Civil War Overhaul mod was so popular. What this mod did was add more sieges, instead of just taking forts, you'd also have to fight for every city and it was possible for the Dragonborn to loose a battle.
I want to implement this as well, but I want to go about it a little differently, incorporating a far more heavy story-driven Civil War Questline with tactical choices. The Dragonborn may start off as a lone soldier in either the Imperial or Stormcloak army but after the battle of Whiterun will have proved himself to be worthy of helping the war effort more tactically. I also want a battle for a Hold to be far more then just one battle, or capture the fort and then join the siege. There should be more battles then that, it should be story-driven to keep it interesting and there should be consequences for making mistakes. Elements such as being captured, rescuing say... Ralof from an Imperial Camp, going undercover, stopping a Stormcloak messenger, using diplomacy to turn the fallout of an engagement and more unique battles such as at sea, and on land. A good example of a land battle could for instance be that the Stormcloaks ambush the Imperials on the road, or just an ordinary battle in the fields.
A downside to having big battles in Skyrim is that the engine cannot tolerate more then a certain number of NPC's in the Dragonborns area at once. I believe in Vanilla Skyrim this limit without an ENBOOST is around 25, and with ENBOOST is 50. With the Special Edition I believe its around 200. Eitherway there is a workaround for this and that is simply to say that there are battles being fought elsewhere, and the Dragonborn happens to be fighting this group. Maybe their army is split up, maybe the Dragonborn arrived just a little late for the fight and most are dead, etc... If its an attack on a fort/city/boats then there are ways to make the battle seem much larger then it really is by using various occlusion planes or triggered spawns of troops. I believe Bethesda themselves also approached the Civil War through this method.
I also want the Dragonborn to have the opportunity to shape the direction the faction he is fighting for will take once the war is over. For instance, say you've just escaped an Imperial ambush and you, Ralof and Ulfric Stormcloak are escaping through an Imperial Fort attempting to avoid capture. There's a pause while Ralof tries to figure out how to unlock a door and you strike up a conversation with Ulfric. Ulfric is a racist piece of SH*T but the opinion of the Dragonborn might resonate with him. Say that the Dragonborn tells him to get his shit togheter and treat the Dunmer better in Windhelm. Or that the Dragonborn tells him to ensure the execution of Elisif the Fair. This makes your part of the Civil War and your choices far more meaningful.
Further more Ralof and Hadvar should have a more active presence in the story. Regardless of who you escaped Helgen with, the other should be actively fighting for the other side, and if you can avoid killing the person, he should re-appear later continuously in the story. There should also be some story elements revolving around the two and their relationship.
There should also be introduced more characters fighting for its faction, giving you more story characters to fight together with. These characters should be part of the Dragonborns circle and fight alongside him, as well have more of a story presence. If you side with say the Empire, then the Stormcloaks characters will be killed off, and vice versa.
Jarls and their opposing potential usurpers should have a more active role in the Civil War, and they should be killable if the Dragonborn makes a choice that allows this to happen. I cannot verify this but I believe the reason from a lore perspective why the Jarls are allowed to wander to the capital of their faction is due to Nordic tradition of allowing safe passage to a surrendered opponent. Its kind of dumb. The only character that I wish to ensure can leave is Jarl Balgruuf who I intend to allow to attempt to take back Whiterun once the Civil War is over, allowing Stormcloak players such as myself a chance to re-instate the Jarl in Whiterun. Other Jarls as say Skald the Elder should be killable. Lets say you've finally taken Dawnstar after many battles and losses. The legionaire commander wants Skald to pay for the deaths he's men caused on the battlefield. Naturally you can allow this to happen or you can stand up to this commander and try to see if you can help Skald leave Dawnstar in one piece. I think the reason Bethesda implemented a system where the Jarls would simply pack up and leave was because the Civil War questline was originally intended to be far more dynamic. Allowing factions to re-take their cities, and subsequently re-instate their factions Jarl. There is also the Peace Summit negotiations, but still... I personally think it becomes far more impactful if a Jarl can die, and the player gets to either make that decision or intervene against such a decision. Naturally at times intervention or demanding an execution is not do-able due to previous decisions during a siege. (Like say... the Stormcloaks hold someone else captive and Legate rikke wishes to make a trade and therefor overrules you, this capture was also your fault so its therefor preventable, another consequence of wrong choices in tactical).
Thanes/Nobles should also have some impact on the Civil War. Gerdur of Riverwood for one makes it very clear that she is a Stormcloak supporter, where as I imagine Thane Rorik of Rorikstead is a staunch Imperial supporter. Their impact on the Civil War should be noticeable. Should the Stormcloaks march into Riverwood then they should be greeted and allowed to raise their banners there. Should the Imperials try to do the same, then say Gerdur betrays you and tries to poison or create an ambush against the legion. There are many ways this can be made more interesting and make the war feel far more fleshed and stretched out.
Instead of a steady progression taking one enemy hold at a time there should be cast in events that forces the player to make decisions. Aside from making tactical decisions before a battle, when its natural to do so I mean, the Dragonborn will get informed that say... the Imperials has sent two ships with legionaire's and mercenaries to Windhelm. The Dragonborn therefor has the choice of going and helping defend Windhelm from this siege or press the battle against for instance.. Falkreath. Tactical decisions during a battle normally involves the Dragonborn deciding which battle he can participate in, as there are naturally more battles going on at once. Will he head to Blackmoor and attempt to suede the Thane there to fight for the Empire, or he will join the battle for Riverwood. In such cases the choice doesn't always guarentee success. The battle for Riverwood may be doomed from the start, or the Thane of Blackmoor may be ideologically opposed to fighting alongside the Empire, or may have terms that the Dragonborn chooses not to accept. Upon finishing the choice the Dragonborn becomes informed of the consequence which may have consequences on the war effort. Each choice has a consequence, much like when its just normal tactical of choosing what battle the Dragonborn will fight, making too many wrong choices changes the progression of the story and can result in a retreat, the enemy gaining an upper-hand forcing a confrontation, or a loss. Its like a game of Risk, make too many wrong decisions and you've lost. Make the right decisions and you'll win.
Naturally the Civil War should have multiple endings. I'd say there should be around 10 loss endings and 10 victory endings for each factions, which rely on the choices you've made through out.
Multiple Endings / Consequences:
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Galandil added a topic in Main QuestStory SynopsisPreface:
The story of the Dragonborn is a story about a man or woman who hunts and kills dragons. The main quest is itself one long dragon hunt for the 'King-pin' Dragon. That is an oversimplification of the main story we received in the game, but if you look at it closely the main story is both complicated and holds major implications that are never addressed in the story. What I want to do here is to overhaul the main story and make it actually address these plots as well as conclude many of the elements that the main quest introduces to the player. If I had to guess I'd say that Bethesda intended the main quest as an introduction to the game, not a conclusion, and I find that greatly problematic in spite of the hope that Bethesda may touch on these plots in future games.
Beyond just addressing I also want the main quest to take on a lot of elements that I greatly enjoyed in other games, such as the cult-element in Oblivion. I find it perplexing that something which was such a big part of Skyrim doesn't even have a handful of followers, especially considering you can see dragons flying overhead. You'd expect there to be people who'd see the return of the dragons as either "The End Times" or start worshiping the dragons, like their ancestors did. This also allows us to introduce humanoid villains who directly oppose the Dragonborn.
I also believe we ought to introduce new area's. Isolated valleys and mountainous regions in the Jerall's, Dragontail and Velothi Mountains. In these regions its either bare but allows for unique landscape, such as a dragon graveyard in the ice, volcanic fissures, etc... or settled where we can introduce isolated Nordic cultures.
The story should also address some rather perplexing details in the story. You are Alduins opposite. Your a mortal humanoid consuming dragon souls, Alduin is a dragon immortal consuming humanoid souls in Sovngarde. Alduin is not a simple dragon, he is Akatosh. He is one fourth of the Time God, the fragment of the time god that embodies 'The End Of Time'. Alduin does through out the story present himself as the 'First-Born of Akatosh', or Bormahu(father) as he is known among the dragons. And while it is easy to take a Christianity-spin on this, "He is the Son but he is also the father" kind of thing. I think it is otherwise implied that of the four fragments, he may have been the first to break apart- hence its rather darker nature, it is also perplexing that Parthunax refers to Alduin as his brother, I doubt Parthunax is anything but a regular "lesser Aedra" of Akatosh but perhaps Alduin was the first fragment to be torn from Akatosh and then the lesser Aedra's the Dragons came to be which Alduin was given lordship over. This is something that should be explored in the story itself which adds a ton of extra pressure and complications on the Dragonborn as he sets off to kill this being. Alduins role is to eat the world so that a new kalpa can begin, kalpa's being sort of a reset button for time which begins a new iteration of the world. Citation needed on the purpose of a reset, it could be as simple as flipping a sand glass in order to continue existence, but it can also be a measure of restarting the world in order to try once again to achieve a perceived goal. I would also like citation on that I've heard that the Shezzarine's; Tiber Septim, Zurin Arctus and Ysmir Wulfharth mantling Lorkhan somehow achieved the said goal and brought an end to the need of future kalpa's.
While the other fragments aren't directly relevant to the story. Auriel being the beginning of time fragment, (aside from visiting a Snow Elven temple dedicated to this fragment and understanding of the deity he has no bearing on the story itself). Akatosh being the embodiment of linear time or the forward progression of time and is said to be the fragment that gifted Alessia with the blood of dragons, one could theorize that Miraak was gifted with the blood before Alessia but I highly suspect he learned how to obtain this gift with the help of Hermaeus Mora, thereby making him a 'False' Dragonborn. Citation needed on this as I'm a little unsure. Alkosh is the final fragment which I am a little unsure what represents, also forward progression?, what is known however is that the Khajiit believes that a Dragonbreak appears when Alkosh is broken, which leads me to believe that he represents how time is subject to change. Tosh raka is also suspected of being a fragment of the Time-god, a creation from one of the tiger folk of Akavir eating a dragon and thereby becoming the dragon. Alkosh is mostly represented and revered by the Khajiit who venerate him as a half-cat half dragon figure, known as the "Dragon King of Cats", which leads me to believe that Tosh raka and Alkosh may be the same fragment. While Akatosh is widely perceived as a good and helpful by the people of Tamriel his attributes: Invincibility, endurance, everlasting legitimacy and promoting virtues such as duty, service and obedience tells me that Alduin's over all behavior in many ways mirrors a darker interpretation of these virtues. He expects people to serve him, unquestionably, he is arrogant in his power and is driven to dominate other beings.
While it may not necessarily need to impact the Main Quest, the fact that Martin Septim turned into an avatar of Akatosh makes me wonder what this really means. Aedric Gods can die, and we see for ourselves that this avatar is turned to stone. While Alduin appears to have very little problems with interreacting with the world of mortals the other Divines are said to be weakened and thus cannot interreact directly with the denizens of Nirn. While I highly doubt this means that a fragment of Akatosh is now dead, gone, it does make me wonder of this could be linked to the towers of Tamriel which the Thalmor want to shut down. If the Amulet of Kings was the key in disabling it, and it somehow allowed Akatosh to appear and banish Merhunes Dagon, could this have any significant impact on the story of the Dragonborn? Perhaps it becomes too much speculation?
While Holds is already at work with adding staged dialogue, which means it should already address you as Dragonborn if your recognized as the Dragonborn (I'd assume the people of Whiterun would know), and we could always add a stage to whoever observes you killing a dragon which also adds this dialogue check to NPC's in other places. I also think characters ought to react a bit more to things. The Greybeards shouting for the Dragonborn on top of the Throat of the World ought to make people turn to face the mountain and stand in awe. The people within Dragonsreach ought to observe the conversation you have with Jarl Balgruuf the Greater in that aftermath instead of (like now) wander about not giving a damn.
Over all I want the story to be centered on your hunt for Alduin, you are a Dragonslayer. I want there to be other elements introduced, as stated above but I also want the story to incorporate various significant appearances of time manipulation that isn't just that one time above the Throat of the World. You carry the blood of a Dragon, you carry the blessing of a god of time, you ought to be able to therefor have some sort of interaction with time itself.
Another plot point I want to address in this story is how. You are the Dragonborn. Skyrim is very much a power-fantasy where you excel simply based off of the fact that you are special. The Elder Scrolls fan favorite approach this as well. You don't become the Nerevarine, you 'Are' Nerevarine. But you need to prove yourself. The Dragonborn grows in power very differently, for one nobody gives a crap or knows who you are, it seems. You learn shouts, you devour dragon souls, you are technically a legitimate candidate as Emperor of Tamriel... You ought to be treated as someone special, but you ought to also be treated as a threat to certain people in power. Whether you want to or not, your mere existence is a threat to the legitimacy of the Mede Dynasty. You are someone people respect simply based off of the stories of previous Dragonborns, and as such people should try hard to get your attention, win your loyalty, but considering the Nordic Culture (Which is greatly muddled in Skyrim), there should be challengers, people who wish to be part of your story.
Is the Dragonborn a Shezzarine?
Something that ought to be explored. A ghost at Hroldan Inn will identify you as Hjalti Early-Beard, a Shezzarine. Many have previously taken this to mean that you literally are "Talos" but considering that previous Shezzarine's have all been individual people who've just been mindful of how they are unique I'd say they could add some nice explanation for 'How' you are Dragonborn and what this means in conjunction to your concluding travel to Sovngarde. I am all up for debating this but: People have often interpreted the Dragonborns story as you being Akatosh's champion who punishes Alduin for bothering all the mortals and not staying dedicated to his role as world-eater. I don't think this really is the case as there was no real Dragonborn for the centuries that Alduin harassed the people of Skyrim except maybe Miraak (Though I believe he wasn't really Dragonborn in the same way that you the Player is), and that was at the end of his reign. I'd like to push the theory that this is really Lorkhan's champion who defeats a fragment of Akatosh who harasses what is Lorkhan's chosen people, Men. Shor found a fondness for men, (Nords) and while other races may also reach Sovngarde it was primarily designed to encompass what a "Nord Paradise" would look like. Essentially a life free of hard toil and endless caskets of mead and partying. Its a Nordic Afterlife and it takes a hard life prevailed through an honorable lifetime to reach it, though other cultures have their own afterlives which also requires an honorable life. Such as the Redguards Far-Shores. (Though honestly.. considering Redguards are just men from a different Kalpa, it is possible that Far Shores is a reference to Sovngarde in a previous Kalpa). Also considering how Alduin dies in Sovngarde and his spirit is consumed by.. something. Not much unlike how Miraak steals your dragonsouls, Alduin's spirit is pulled away from you towards the sky. Is it Shor acquiring power to return? Is it Akatosh taking back Alduin's power? Is it Alduin escaping his physical shell back to Nirn? Honestly its not something I want to speculate about in the quest itself but it adds an interesting dynamic to the story.
We should also address some of the odd choices perpetrated by the main villain in Skyrim. For one, Alduin attacks Helgen. It is highly ironic that Alduin swoops down and rescues you a fracture of a second before your head would be lying in a basket. (I'd imagine the look on his face when he realizes he just saved the one destined to destroy him. Whoops). We can see that Alduin stares at you as he initiates his attack which allows you to escape. Alduin is not an ordinary dragon, he cannot be slain by anyone but the Dragonborn, one could also speculate that the excess jagged scales on his body makes him nearly impenetrable by normal weapons. Dragonrend should play a pivotal role in defeating Alduin, which forces him to accept the concept of mortality for some time - and not just a shout meant to make Dragons land so you can attack them. Taking all of this into perspective it is difficult to believe that Alduin wouldn't instantly fly off and attack whatever settlement he comes across as he revives his dragon brethren. Think about it, he can't be killed, and his goal appears to be to continue his tyrannical reign over the Nords / Or eat the world. He doesn't need an army of dragons to do this, and his arrogance should technically make attacking a village too much of a temptation for him to ignore... Unless there is a reason which we'll get into.
Alduin correctly identifies you as Dragonborn when you later meet him with Delphine near Kynesgrove, in other words he knows who you are. It could be argued that he attacked Helgen to get at 'You', your a threat to this plans, but he doesn't seem as inclined to get at you later on. Considering he didn't kill you at Helgen, he kept throwing his brethren at you and didn't seem too interested in even validating your existence before much later- when obtaining Dragonrend which tells me that your ability to consume his kin's souls doesn't really bother him too much. Its first after you obtain an ability that can directly threaten him that he decides to confront you.
Well the idea I want to go on is that Alduin wishes to utilize you for his own gains. Before his banishment by the Nord heroes, Hakon One-Eye, Felldir the Old, and Gormlaith Golden-Hilt, he was fighting a civil war against the Nords. It should be pointed out that various of his Dragon-priests had shirked their loyalty and devotion to Alduin and did not come to his aid during this final confrontation on the top of the Throat of the World. Despite how powerful Alduin is compared to his brethren there could have been many dragons who questioned his right to reign over them. Remember Dragons by their very nature is meant to dominate, not be subjugated. This is only possible when the Dragon has to realize that it has no other choice. One example of a Dragon who did turn on Alduin was Parthunax, and as much as I want to believe that he did it for the sake of humanity, I have strong doubts. Kyne coerced Parthunax into changing sides and this was 'Wayyyy' before the days of Jurgen Windcaller who taught the way of the Voice which Parthunax keeps attributing as a source for good which could help his brethren in overcoming their ways. If Parthunax turned on Alduin then it is likely there were others, other dragons which Alduin wants punished. Mirmulnir, the first dragon you kill in the main story was not a dragon revived by Alduin but someone who had survived since the Dragon Wars, and so there could be others. And so simply 'Not reviving them' should not be enough to Alduin. A being capable of erasing them from existence, now that is proper, and permanent punishment that I'd think Alduin in his arrogance would want to apply to the traitor dragons.
You are therefor tolerated, for now, by Alduin who will occasionally turn his brethren on you simply to keep his brethren loyal. It would be catastrophic for his reign if his revived dragons turned on him as they learn that he is keeping someone capable of consuming their immortal souls alive and kicking. It could also be made a point of argument that Odahviing tells the Dragonborn that there have been Dragons doubting the legitimacy for Alduin to rule, though this came about first after the Dragonborn defeated him on top of the Throat of the World, it could also be argued that these doubts have been lingering since the Dragon Wars where he was also defeated.
Alduin through out the Main Quest appears as this enemy you can see here and there, hear about, but rarely ever interact with. He should play a more personal role in the story, he should have in stages of the story open dialogue with the Dragonborn, as well as other battles which only play its part in proving how important it is to learn of a way to defeat him. 'Dragonrend'.
The story should have you working a lot more closely with the Blades, who exist as your personal army. Sky-Haven should act as your personal stronghold where you gather your allies to occasionally hunt dragons. Bethesda handled this rather poorly in my opinion. You obtain this stronghold, you can gather companions to serve the blades and even go dragon-hunting, but this all serves as an optional activity. The only purpose it served in the main story was to discover Alduin's Wall and learn that you need a shout to defeat Alduin. By working more closely with the Blades this makes the threat Delphine makes of not working with you anymore unless you kill Parthunax a lot more credible. You've built a private army to kill dragons and keep Skyrim safe. You've also attracted the attention of the Thalmor which I will get into later. While its unknown to you, you go hunt dragons with your blades and discover the locations/prisons of dragons who turned on Alduin and kill them. Here I want to utilize new area's you can discover. You also fight against the dragon-cult which is quickly gaining momentum in Skyrim with the return of the Dragons.
This being just a short synopsis of the story which is not meant to handle the micro-details:
You confront and fight the cult at various instances through out the story and the cult isn't really erased before after you've obtained Dragonrend which leads to a fight with its leader before you head to Skuldafn.
You explore new area's which often has significant history linked to the Dragon Wars or Alduin's ancient tyrannical rule. These area's include mountainous valleys within the Velothi, Jerall and Dragontail Mountains, observing events back in time such as the beginning of the Dragon Wars. Which lends itself into making these heroes, Hakon One-Eye, Felldir the Old, and Gormlaith Golden-Hilt a bit more recognizable when you enter Sovngarde. If we could have you interact with them outside of Sovngarde and Time-travel then that'd be great too. And finally more mainland locations such as caves, sewers, etc...
You gather more allies which join the Dragonborn, likely the Blades. I also want characters which you interact with in the main quest to have more to do with your story, such as Lydia which otherwise only acts as a daft backpack, instead of your loyal Housecarl who accompanies you on your journey.
While I'm not 100% sure if I want to go through with this, I think Parthunax and the Greybeards should die. You are ordered by Delphine to kill Parthunax or the Blades wont serve you, and (duh) you usually can't bring yourself to do this, and find the decision unfair. Why I'm such a fan of the Parthunax Dilemma mod . But considering how you've now had a chance to have your feelings on the subject hardened, nothing could then be worse then having your sworn enemy, Alduin killing Parthunax upon the time of you learning of how Alduin has been using you, it gets even worse considering how you consume the souls of dead dragons, which would then include Parthunax. The Greybeards are themselves seen as loyal followers of Parthunax and it stands to reason that Alduin would want them destroyed as well considering he wants the denizens of Skyrim to serve him, and not anyone else. Destroying the High Hrothgar would also further push the concept that Alduin stands as a very real threat and he has now killed off people who have helped you through out the story. The "I killed your Master" trope. Not to go all Star Wars on this, but this shouldn't necessarily take these characters out of the story. Perhaps you could find a way to commune with the spirits of the Greybeards who will continue to instruct you as you begin to conclude the story. Naturally for this to happen the peace summit at High Hrothgar would have to be fast forwarded to somewhere before the Dragonrend shout is learned, and Parthunax would have to teach you about this shout somehow without or before he is killed off. I highly doubt he could as a dragon soul you have just consumed interact with you. (although you are technically carrying all the souls of the dead dragons within you.. Food for thought).
The Peace Summit itself is held because Jarl Balgruuf refuses to let you cage a dragon in his city with a civil war raging in the land. Obviously this would need to be changed. The Peace Summit could instead be held as the Jarls of Skyrim begin to notice the growing influence and power of the Dragoncult. Fearing this challenge to their power and occasional battles being fought in the streets they all have legitimate reasons to want a truce while they consolidate their power over their own regions- pulling more men back to their cities to keep order- etc...
It could also be a worthwhile suggestion that they learn that Alduin grows stronger by devouring the dead and that the Civil War thereby fuels his power... Personally I prefer the former suggestion more.
Once the High Hrothgar Peace Summit is over, the Thalmor should be taking steps against the Blades. Having a battle at Skyhaven where those you have recruited help you defend the stronghold and can potentially die adds a nice dynamic to the story. A return to the Thalmor Embassy and taking out Elenwen who otherwise vanish from the story after this peace summit would also be a nice way of concluding a characters part in the story. This should not mean the end of the Thalmors presence in Skyrim but it should be significantly weakened by this action.
Now Alduin has fled to Sovngarde where he devours the spirits of slain Warriors. I always kind of liked this aspect of the story as it shows that while Alduin is a fragment of Akatosh, Akatosh being a god who led the other Divines against Lorkhan and killed him, has no problem going into his realm and in a mocking fashion devouring his followers.
Sovngarde should be an expansive area to overcome before reaching the Halls of Valor. Instead of a fork in the road leading to the same destination it should encompass other area's which are hidden in the mist. Forests, caves, even fortresses. We can see in the concept art by Adam Adamowicz that Sovngarde was originally not just this tiny valley but also other area's the Dragonborn would have to overcome to reach his destination. Sovngarde should contain many characters you've interacted with in your playthrough and not just the choice-few that Bethesda assigned to the area. If Delphine dies she should be found there, as should Rogvir who said he'd go there but... was nowhere to be found... Odd. As far as its impact on the story it should really impact you as the end of a long road. This is the final grind and where everything concludes. As you traverse Sovngarde you should find aspects of Alduin now and then, as well as other enemy obstacles that seek to test your merit as you cross the land of the dead. Reaching the Halls of Valor you have your ordinary battle with Tsun, which arguably could be lengthened a bit, and your dialogue with the three heroes, who at this point you've met before. Perhaps up for debate but: There should be other spirits following you to face Alduin, you ought to fight alongside Ysgramor, Olaf One-Eye etc... You've clawed your way to be in a position to fight alongside heroes you've heard about while traveling the land. Perhaps some could be questlocked. Like: If you haven't defeated Olaf One-Eye during the Bards College Quest he wont fight with you, or... If your not Harbringer of the Companions then Ysgramor/Kodlak wont fight with you, etc... I felt the charge to the outside was a bit rushed, you ought to be able to tell the warriors when to head out, and not have them awkwardly run out while your trying to sit in Shor's Throne oblivious of what they are doing.
After you've dispelled the mist you fight Alduin, up for debate: But perhaps Tsun could join the battle?
You fight him for a bit before he takes flight and you and the spirits fighting with you need to find him in the area's you had to traverse to get to the Halls of Valor. You split up; bad idea, and some spirits get eaten, you have to keep finding and fighting him until its only you and Alduin left. When you've defeated him he ought to take flight and land at a secluded area that you need to reach through a separate dungeon. While I personally just want there to be a long stairway, some strange glowing lights and some sort of epic music in the background, I am open for puzzles, or.. enemies or what have you. When you finally reach Alduin he is too wounded to fight back and after a short exchange of words you get the option on how to end this. You can join his side, I want at this point just this to be a narration ending with a quicksave on before-hand. You don't actually get to play afterwords but you get to say "Atleast I got an optional ending?". Or you can kill him, thereby slaying one-fourth of Akatosh. While it is implied that Alduin might return at the end of time I highly doubt this. You don't consume his soul, but if you look closely-- something does. Is it the original Akatosh.. is it Shor? You don't really know but we know that Divines can't really leave Nirn, they are stuck. Alduin could and when you slay him his spirit doesn't really have the rest of Akatosh to unite with. I would wager that Alduin's spirit was either now lost or consumed by something else, either way this means the end of the end and the progression of linear time will now go on indefinitely. Either-way this should be known to you at this point and this should make some impact on your decision. You are effectively ending the possibility of future kalpa's. I also want there to be some sort of explosion upon his death which knocks you out and allows you to in perhaps a white lit environment re-unite with the Greybeards and Parthunax and have some exchange of words. It could be implied that the explosion killed you and that this released all the souls you had devoured but that you might return to life, and it should be heavily implied that Alduin's death also released whatever souls he had devoured. You could therefor have the chance of an extra choice of ending and choose to remain dead and thereby have another narrated ending with a quicksave before the decision. Or you can choose to return to life. This also means we can utilize Parthunax's end dialogue where he doesn't rejoice with Alduin's death as well as speaks of how he will make sure the other Dragons hears of the way of the Voice. This doesn't mean he is alive again but that he has found a way to interact with other dragons from beyond death. (This sounds far fetched but I recall that a girl in Rorikstead speaks of a White Old Dragon who communes with her in her dreams, Parthunax might therefor be special among dragons.... or the girl might just have a convenient imagination).
Upon awaking I think you should awake within the Halls of Valor and when the people cheer in your honor, it... shouldn't just be your rag-tag-group outside the hall. ... That was probably the biggest let down of the entire game, just the failure to act upon the moment and make it more memorable. By being cheered on by all of the spirits in the hall and allowing you to walk about the hall and speak to the dead who celebrate before asking Tsun to send you back ought to be a nice conclusion to the story.
As you return you still get the dragons mourning Alduins defeat and Odahviing swearing his loyalty to you.
Multiple Endings and Their Consequences:
Dragoncult in the Jerall's:
The Dragonborn fails to convince the villagers of turning away from the Dragoncult thereby acquiring a base of operation.
The Dragonborn succeeds in convincing the villagers that the Dragoncult is wicked and needs to be fought.
Ritual of the Dragon:
The Dragonborn fails to convince a fraction of the Dragoncult to switch sides and is forced to slay them.
The Dragonborn succeeds to convince a fraction of the Dragoncult to switch sides and drinks dragon blood as a signing of this pact.
The Dragoncult attacks the village:
The Dragonborn does not slay the Imperial forces.
The Dragonborn slays the Imperial forces prompting Conditional B.
Conditional B(Dragonborn killed the Imperial forces at the village):
The Dragonborn fights his way past the Dragoncult and confronts their leaders alone or alongside Delphine.
The Dragonborn retreats prompting Delphine to stay behind and get killed. This prompts Conditional C.
Imperial Captain Arrival(Conditional: The Dragonborn has the villagers on his side and a fraction of the dragoncult switched sides):
The Dragonborn does turn away the arrivals thereby prompting them to freeze to death (only possible if the villagers are on your side).
The Dragonborn allows the Imperials inside which prompts a massacre.
Imperial Captain Arrival(Conditional: The Dragonborn has the villagers on his side, slayed the fraction of the Dragoncult):
The Dragonborn does turn away the arrivals thereby prompting them to freeze to death (Only possible if the villagers are on your side).
The Dragonborn allows the Imperials inside which makes the village a garrison town.
The Battle with the Cult(Conditional: The Imperial Forces aren't dead):
The Dragonborn fights alongside the Imperials against the Dragoncult.
The Dragonborn flee's prompting Delphine to stay behind and die with the Imperials. This prompts Conditional C.
Conditional C(Delphine died at the village):
The Dragonborn convinces Esbern to help him locate Skyhaven Temple, and infiltrates the Thalmor Embassy without Delphine's Help. No Blades.
The Dragonborn kills Esbern and discovers the location of Skyhaven Temple through a book, and infiltrates the Thalmor Embassy without Delphine's Help. No Blades.
Confrontation with the Cult Leader(Conditional: The Dragonborn didn't retreat):
The Dragonborn kills the Cult Leader.
The Dragonborn sends the Cult Leader with the Imperial Captain for a trial(She is really just executed outright).
The Dragonborn allows the Cult Leader to leave prompting Conditional D.
Imperial Captain(Conditional: The Dragonborn didn't kill the Imperials or retreat and killed the Cult Leader):
The Imperial Captain joins the Dragonborn and Delphine.
The Dragonborn declines the captain's offer and either kills him or allows him to leave.
The Orc Scavanger(Conditional: The Dragonborn didn't retreat):
The Dragonborn kills the Orc Scavanger and his band.
The Dragonborn doesn't fight the Orc Scavanger and doesn't kill him.
The Dragonborn fights and spares the Orc Scavanger.
The Dragonborn allows the Orc Scavanger to join him/her and Delphine.
The Blades(Conditional: Delphine is still alive):
The Dragonborn helps rebuild the Blades by adding companions and others into its ranks.
The Dragonborn refuses to help rebuild the Blades and the Blades struggle to rebuild it themselves.
High Hrothgar Peace Summit:
The Dragonborn helps establish a truce between the Stormcloaks and Imperials at the cost of a few select Jarls loosing their thrones.
The Civil War is over and the Peace Summit is skipped.
The Dragonborn fails establish a truce between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials and must overcome extra quest sections against the Dragoncult.
The Redguard BladeDancer and Bosmer Archer(Conditional: Delphine is alive, Imperial Captain is alive):
The Dragonborn recruits the enthusiasts to the Blades.
The Dragonborn turns them away.
The Dragonborn kills them.
The Nord Challenger.
The Dragonborn kills the Nord Challenger in the Velothi Mountains.
The Dragonborn recruits the Nord Challenger and his band of warriors into the Blades. (Provided Delphine is alive)
The Dragonborn spares the Nord Challenger and sends him away.
The Dragonborn refuses the challenge and earns a reputation of shame and dishonor.
The Altmer insider(Conditional: Recruited the Redguard Bladedancer and Bosmer Archer):
The Dragonborn utilizes the insider to gain access to the dragoncult. (Helps you find your way inside and bypass obstacles)
The Dragonborn kills the insider. (Makes the dragoncult that much harder to bypass and the risk of Frothar dying is that much higher)
The Dragonborn doesn't want to utilize the insider.
The Dragonborn utilizes the insider to gain access to the Dragoncult and then kills him.
The Dragonborn utilizes the insider to gain access to the Dragoncult and then recruits him to the blades. (Provided Delphine is alive)
The Dragonborn fails to rescue Frothar from being sacreficed to the Dragoncult. (Battle with the dragon boss is a lot harder, Balgruuf will be upset)
The Dragonborn manages to rescue and spirit away Frothar from the Dragoncult. (Additional reward from Balgruuf)
The Argonian Assassin(Conditional: Dragonborn recruited the Imperial Captain):
The Dragonborn slays the Argonian Assassin.
The Dragonborn interrogates the Argonian Assassin and then kills her.
The Dragonborn interrogates the Argonian Assassin and then lets her go.
The Dragonborn interrogates the Argonian Assassin and then recruits her.
The Dragonborn interrogates the Argonian Assassin and then imprisons her.
The Imperial Captain Unveiled as Desertor(Conditional: The Dragonborn interrogated the Argonian Assassin and recruited the Imperial Captain):
The Dragonborn executes the Imperial Captain.
The Dragonborn forgives and keeps the Imperial Captain in the Blades.
The Dragonborn exiles the Imperial Captain.
The Dragonborn imprisons the Imperial Captain.
The Dragonborn allows the Argonian Assassin to kill the Imperial Captain.
The Dragonborn sends the Imperial Captain to an Imperial Camp and forces him to confess his crimes which leads to summary execution.
Infiltrating the Dragoncult of the Dragontail Mountains:
The Dragonborn kills the Khajiit thief and Dunmer wizard who offered up information regarding the cult location.
The Dragonborn accepts the information but sends the Khajiit and Dunmer away afterwords.
The Dragonborn recruits the Khajiit thief and Dunmer wizard to the Blades.
The Dragonborn slays Parthunax (Thus do not get a re-union with Parthunax and the Greybeards at the ending. Prompting Conditional E)
The Dragonborn does not kill Parthunax. (Does not win back the Blades. Parthunax and the Greybeards greet the Dragonborn at the ending)
The Dragonborn does not kill Parthunax. (Does win back the Blades. Parthunax and the Greybeards greet the Dragonborn at the ending)
The Redguard Bladedancer's love for the Bosmer Archer(Conditional: You recruited them and both have made friends with both):
The Dragonborn helps the Redguard win the heart of the Bosmer.
The Dragonborn destroys any chance the man has at winning the heart of the Bosmer.
The Dragonborn steals the Bosmer for himself/herself.
The Breton Synod(Conditional: The Dragonborn either killed Parthunax or won back the Blades loyalty):
The Dragonborn recruits the Breton Synod to the Blades.
The Dragonborn slays the Breton Synod.
The Dragonborn sends the Breton Synod away.
Alduin reveals his plan and reasons that the Dragonborn has to die:
The Dragonborn escapes Alduin's wrath at the cost of Parthunax sacreficing himself. (Provided you didn't kill Parthunax)
The Dragonborn escapes Alduin's wrath at the cost of Delphine's life. (Provided you killed Parthunax)
Conditional E(The Dragonborn killed Parthunax):
The Dragonborn does not seek out the spirits of the Greybeards and learns of Dragonrend through a vision in a dream sent forth by Parthunax.
The Dragonborn seeks out the spirits of the Greybeards and is turned away, still learns of Dragonrend through a vision in a dream by Parthunax.
The Visions of Fissurs(The Dragonborn did not kill Parthunax):
The Dragonborn does not seek out the spirits of the Greybeards and learns of Dragonrend through a vision in a dream sent forth by Parthunax.
The Dragonborn seeks out the spirits of the Greybeards and is turned away, still learns of Dragonrend through a vision in a dream by Parthunax.
The Blades Multiple Endings:
The Blades are all killed by the Thalmor. You can find the Blades in Sovngarde.
The Blades defeat the Thalmor invasion.
The Blades defeat the Thalmor invasion and sack the Thalmor Embassy effectively killing off Elenwen.
The Dragonborn helps the Thalmor kill off the Blades- The Thalmor then betrays the Dragonborn forcing you to kill them and Elenwen.
Return to the Thalmor Embeassy(Conditional: The Blades have survived):
The Dragonborn spares Elenwen allowing her to leave Skyrim for Alinor.
The Dragonborn kills Elenwen.
The Dragonborn imprisons Elenwen.
Sovngarde Multiple Endings:
The Dragonborn spares Alduin for the sake of a new Kalpa which encourages Alduin to achieve its purpose and eat the world. (narrated conclusion)
The Dragonborn decides to remain dead upon defeating Alduin and as such ends the story. (narrated conclusion)
The Dragonborn returns to life and to the lands of living and so the Dragonborns adventures continues. (The story continues)
Includes facing off with cults worshiping the Dragons, both loyal and opposed to Alduin.
Includes a confrontation between the Thalmor and the Blades.
Includes 9 custom characters who all represent one race. The Dragonborn is free to turn any of them aside but by keeping them they provide background stories, possible additional quests, marriage and stage conditionals.
Skyhaven Temple should be upgradeble and each upgrade can hold a function when defending the stronghold from the Thalmor.
Includes multiple endings.
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