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Delphine The Greatest Grandmaster

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:06 AM EDT

    Over the years it has become clear that one or two folks here don't like Delphine that much. I can understand that, I mean she did put the old Dovahkiin in his/her place once or twice and that is sure to ruffle a few jimmies. However, I don't want to go into Delphine's many virtues here, rather I wanted to discuss why those virtues make her the best Grandmaster The Blades could wish for as of 4E 201.

    Humble and smart, the perfect leader. Thanks for this Vazgen!

    It's hard to compare Delphine to Jauffre, the Grandmaster in 3E 433, as the primary role of The Blades came to an abrupt end during The Great War. Yet I think it is safe to say that had Delphine been in charge back then Uriel VII wouldn't have died - no living peacefully as a Monk in some old priory for her, she would have been by Uriel's side until all her enemies lay dead - or simply wouldn't have let any of that nonsense even start to begin with. Secret escape routes in the dungeon? How did it come to this Jauffre? Shame on you.

    No, the topic of this discussion is more about why a woman as bold as Delphine is exactly what The Blades need to survive and rebuild themselves into a force for good in the world. The old Blades of Jauffre's era were the bodyguards of the Dragonborn Emperors and acted as his agents to gather intelligence to keep the Empire safe. A necessary evil for without an Empire or a Dragonborn Emperor sitting on the Ruby Throne, wearing the Chim-El Adabal and lighting The Dragon Fires then there would be no peace at all. Err, nice one Jauffre for bearing that little detail in mind, good job dude.

    However, thanks to the unforeseen consequences of Jauffre's ineptitude a Dragonborn Emperor wasn't necessary after the Oblivion Crisis. The Blades continued their function to keep the Empire safe but that safety no longer had the same importance besides an end to civilisation and all that goes with it. The Great War changed it all, though. The Blades considered the Thalmor the greatest threat to Tamriel and carried out covert ops to prevent their rise to power but it wasn't enough. The White Gold Concordat was handed to the Emperor along with the heads of every Blades agent in the Isles and Valenwood. The remaining Blades were disbanded and forced into hiding. Unfortunately for Tamriel Delphine wasn't in charge back then either.

    Look at her, weight of the world on her shoulders. I'll help you, Delph. Thank you Gol Hah Dov!

    Yet the return of a Dragonborn changed all that and one very brave and strong woman took the initiative, bamboozled all the Thalmor death squads hunting her and basically outsmarted the government of the most intelligent race on Tamriel. She sought the Dragonborn out and determined that the Blade's future lay in exterminating the draconic menace from Skyrim like the Dragonguard of old.

    Now we are getting to the point. Protecting the people of Tamriel from dragons is a good thing and requires a more active Grandmaster, one who isn't afraid of fighting a dragon or standing up to puffed up dragonborns. Delphine is exactly what the Blades and Tamriel need right now and the future of the order hearkens back to the days of the Akaviri Dragonguard and also the more recent functions of their Third Era incarnation. It is a beautiful fusion of the old and new, protecting the Dragonborn in a symbiotic capacity without the need to place him/her above the Order as a whole.

    Thoughts? Dare to disagree? Let us know by replying below.

    Thanks for this Relycs, she really does need help. Paarthurnax must die.

    • 179 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:13 AM EDT

    Thank you. I've always felt like Delphine and to a lesser extent Esbern got more hate than they deserved. I personally don't like killing Paarthurnax either but I can at least see the reasoning behind their thinking. I was actually planning on doing a discussion on why killing Paarthurnax might not be as evil as people make it out to be but never got around to it.

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:15 AM EDT

    Go on dude, do it now  It won't take long and will be a nice double whammy of Blades love going on!

    • 179 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:24 AM EDT

    Eh, maybe tomorrow. Gotta let this discussion have its time in the limelight first, you know? Plus, I'm lazy. 

    • 288 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:28 AM EDT

    I had to think for several seconds to remember exactly who she was in the game

    I wish there was an option to kill her and install a more dragonborn-obedient blades management instead

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:29 AM EDT

    Lol, I'm confident yours will be the minority opinion.

    • 1483 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:31 AM EDT

    I see parallels between Delphine and Astrid. Both face the crisis in their organization and both adapt the organization to the new circumstances. The thing is, Blades have one very noticeable obstacle - they can't kill dragons without the Dragonborn. And given that there is only one Dragonborn around, they don't have much choice but to accept his judgment. They can't afford to lose his support as that will mean the end of the Blades in their historical state. Thus, her treatment of the Dragonborn could've been better and a smart Grandmaster would've realized that 

    What will they do if they lose the Dragonborn's support? I'm almost absolutely sure, they will focus on the Thalmor instead. Except they will no longer be under the Emperor's jurisdiction and given the current state of the Tamriel, it is more than likely that they will end up being hunted both by the Empire and the Thalmor which will eventually lead to the end of the faction. 

    These are the reasons why I don't think that she will be a good fit to lead the faction. 

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:37 AM EDT

    Delphine and Astrid? You're deliberately trolling me Vaz  Not rising to that bait!

    So you think she should be a subservient leader, an Adoring Fan doing her upmost to keep the Dragonborn happy in case he gets all pissy and refuses to do his job? No, she makes it apparent that with or without TLD's help the Blades will fight on.

    Interesting food for thought about what if the Dragonborn gets completely dickish and refuses to kill dragons. I'm not sure I agree she would turn to fight the Dominion - not before gathering a huge amount of resources and personel first. Do you really think she is that thick?

    • 288 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:38 AM EDT

    I remember a lot of people feeling the same in the old discussions. But with all the changes to the site - who knows

    • 320 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:39 AM EDT

    So I'm gonna ignore her "all dragons are evil" side and view her other side for now. I think Delphine is really what symbolizes the Blades as a whole. 

    She has a secret lair in an inn (which is the last place anybody would look for a hidden lair.) and keeps her cloak-and-dagger disguise unlike the Blades of the 3rd Era who just walk around with their Akaviri armor, sticking out in the crowd.

    She has a wide connection even for just one person as she managed to acquire a Thalmor invitation and knows what the Dragonborn was after in Ustengrav.

    Delphine kinda shows more of the Blades stealthier side. Gathers intelligence, waits for the perfect opportunity and strikes without leaving a trail.

    If only she didn't ask the DB to kill Parthy, then I might like her.

    Now that that's over, I must wait for our resident Justiciar to state her comment.

    • 1483 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:46 AM EDT

    In your example, Dragonborn refuses to kill dragons altogether but she is willing to lose his support if he refuses to kill one dragon. A smart Grandmaster would've found a compromise  A manipulative one would've accepted Dragonborn's judgment but manipulate the events so that he would have to confront Paarthurnax and we all know how that will end  

    She will definitely not attack them openly, she's not THAT thick. But I can totally see her performing acts of sabotage and subterfuge. Which will annoy the Thalmor who will push the Empire into hunting them down, which will be even easier than outlawing Talos worship since it affects less people and there is no drawback to the Empire from that.

    She does make it apparent that the Blades can exist with or without Dragonborn's help. Except she misses the part about killing dragons. Without the Dragonborn, Blades can't kill dragons, period. So they have to do something else. Are Blades who are not killing dragons still Blades? When there were no dragons, they were protecting the Dragonborn Emperor. That is not an option either.

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 5:59 AM EDT

    It's a shame the fate of the world rests solely on the shoulders of the dragonborn's ego  But the Blades/Dragonguard have fought and killed dragons before and were hugely successful at it too. It is only Alduin which throws a spanner in the works. Her plan, then, revolves around the Dragonborn getting over his/her butthurt and actually save the world. In the meantime the Blades will just keep putting down the same dragons over and over again. Eventually the Dragonborn will do the right thing and after that he is no longer needed. The dragons won't be permanently dead but they will remain in graves until Alduin next returns.

    Interesting about the Thalmor, dude. Do you think she should actually side with Ulfric? Assuming of course that the war still rages...

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:00 AM EDT

    Nice reply  You know Paarthy is a Dragon, right? 

    • 1483 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:09 AM EDT

    That's the point. Her whole strategy for the faction revolves around a single person going to Sovngarde and defeating Alduin in single combat. And it won't work for long if the Dragonborn does not embark on that suicide mission right away. She is also willing to forgo protection of the Dragonborn which was one of the core principles of the faction, no?

    She is willing to doom the faction because of not being able to overcome her lust for vengeance. 

    She can side with Ulfric, sure, but that will result in the same situation, except with them having a few more allies. The thing is, if she sides with Ulfric, the Thalmor might actually take more action and pressure the Empire to pay more attention to the uprising. 

    • 320 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:09 AM EDT

    Yes, I do.

    I'm just the type of guy who views the good side of someone even though I actually hate him/her.

    Looking at the current state of the Blades reminds me of IMF from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. They got no safe house (except those that they build themselves), assets and every action they do is unsanctioned.

    Delphine just thinks what she does is right,  kinda like how people look at politicians. (Even if that means killing a ten-thousand year old Dragon who helped save Nirn.)

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:22 AM EDT

    Nothing will work for long if the Dovahkiin doesn't. Alduin will eat the world. I just don't think she should compromise what is right or what she believes is right to make it happen faster. An ultimatum is a good strategy, help us or don't, it doesn't matter. She wins with or without the support of the Dragonborn if he slays Alduin. Serving the LD is not a necessity but his protection and shouts would make things easier.

    • 1589 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:25 AM EDT

    What would you suggest she do to gain legitimacy and revive the order?

    • 1483 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:30 AM EDT

    True, but she drops support for the Dragonborn which lowers his chances to succeed. She is too rigid for a leader. Being strict about your beliefs is good, but in the face of a threat such as Alduin, she could've been smarter than presenting an ultimatum to the only person who can save the world. 

    Stopping Alduin should be the priority, not killing Paarthurnax.

    • 320 posts
    March 13, 2016 6:51 AM EDT

    Damn, that question reminds me of a similar question on my exam last week.

    I don't actually have a right answer for legitimacy.

    But in terms of reviving the order, it's a long way before she could finally get the Blades back in full strength. Even if that happens, it would attract the attention of the Thalmor and thus begin another Blades Hunt.

    I think Delphine would taken a more covert approach in recruiting or strengthening their hold. Even without the DB's support, I think she can find her own recruits just like how she found the DB.

    If the DB refuse to kill Paarthy, I think they would return to their predecessors former role as dragon slayers and perhaps have enough manpower and resources to storm High Hrothar and kill Paarthy themselves.

    Which raises the question, what would happen if they decided to kill Paarthy themselves and the Dragonborn tries to stop them. Wouldn't killing the DB be against their role as protectors of the DB?

    On a side note, what did the Dragonguard do during the Interregnum of the 2nd Era? I heard there were some quests given by them in ESO.

    • 393 posts
    March 13, 2016 7:55 AM EDT

    Wow, so much honor for this humble Justiciar)))

    The whole situation with Delphine is pretty ambiguous at least because it depends on a big bunch of various factors, starting from what kind of person is the DB and through the possible conclusions the Thalmor made from all the events and their further strategy.

    As I see it, the only outcome where the Blades have a future as faction is the one where the DB agrees to kill Paarthurnax and is willing to help the Blades as much as s/he can.

    Without the DB's support they won't last for long because, even if Delphine manages to find some recruits, when the Thalmor starts the new Bladehunt (it's when, not if, and even if Stormcloaks win, I don't think that will stop them), it will be a lot harder to protect a whole bunch of people than just her and Esbern. She can't have her lair in the inn anymore.

    And if the DB is really pissed off by Delphine's attitude, s/he might just kill them both, it's not impossible (game mechanics aside).

    • 288 posts
    March 13, 2016 8:04 AM EDT

    Shame or no shame - this is reality. Someone as powerful as the Dragonborn is destined to rule over the lesser men.

    In fact - why is it accepted that the Dragonborn must kill dragons, when he can use Bend Will on them and use them as his personal army.

    • 320 posts
    March 13, 2016 8:12 AM EDT

    INB4 Dragonborn DLC.

    I could imagine an Exuro version Dragonborn if that's the case.

    It also depends on the DB's personality. If he's evil, then he could be the next Miraak. But if he's good, then he might struggle with the temptation just like Paarthy.

    • 273 posts
    March 13, 2016 8:15 AM EDT

    Honestly, I think that the Dragonborn becomes Hermaeus Mora's pawn after the DB DLC.

    • 288 posts
    March 13, 2016 8:20 AM EDT

    If he's good he'll just be a benevolent ruler. Like Tiber Septim.

    • 623 posts
    March 13, 2016 8:20 AM EDT

    Who says he needs to be evil to do like Miraak and bend dragons to his will? He could do so and force them to do good.