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Someone help and Egg-Brother out!

    • 168 posts
    January 16, 2018 6:17 PM EST

    Alright so with 2018 here and basically no word of TESVI (that I've heard of at least) + Beth seems content with just rereleasing Skyrim a dozen times, I'd like to ask an outsider opinion of the Civil war (since I'm having trouble deciding myself) of which side my character should/would join. Yep, another one of these bloody Civil War arguments, as if we haven't beat this dead armored horse enough. Don't ya just love em?

    So I've got this file on the ye' olde PS3 with about ~180 hours (at the time of typing this) on it. I've got a heroic Argonian Battlemage (who is just named 'Chris', because of course) who has completed every questline except for Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild (& Blades), Daedric quests and Volkihar Vampires, and did almost all other side quests and things, and has went to great lengths to hop, skip, and jump his way around every bug (with the foresight assisstance of wikis and my own experience) and has even managed to keep every named townsperson (who isnt blatantly evil or killed as part of quests) alive from dragon and vampire attacks. I come back to play this file every so often, usually for a month or two at a time.

    But there's still one thing left that really needs doing, Skyrim's Reunification. Way I see it, it doesnt make much sense for my hero to support either side because he is not a fanatic diehard supporter of either. Originally when I made this file (in 2016 I think?), I had intended to abstain until I saw what TES6 would be like, but after having played other Elder Scrolls games for a while, more and more I feel like it'll end up like the 'Warp In The West' or similarly ambiguous.

    However, he's rather disdainful of the Thalmor, mainly because he is somewhat self-centered and so hates it when the Thalmor try to control people. So when it comes down to it, a Skyrim united is less vulnerable to the Dominion, regardless whether its led by the Emporer or is independant. Less concern about what happens after the events or outside Skyrim, if Skyrim were to end up in another war after the Civil war then my guy would definitely join the fight, unless he'd be fighting fellow Argonians that is. Problem is I can't decide who to side with, and I'd rather not keep avoiding it. (This would all be made much simpler if there was an independant route, like in Fallout New Vegas)

    Regarding the whole racism tirade, well, people are quick to say Stormcloaks are racist, while that may be true, the Imperials are also racist. It's more obvious after having played Oblivion ("You'll make a fine pair of boots, lizard!") as well as some of the other previous ES games. My character is more concerned about the well-being of his fellow Argonians, but the civil war's outcome seems to change little for them.

    Regarding the Jarls, It seems to be mostly even; For Morthal, Winterhold, and Dawnstar I'd favor the Imperial aligned Jarls. For Markarth, Riften and Falkreath neither option is great. For Whiterun and Windhelm, neither seem like bad choices. And for Solitude not much changes. So it's mostly even but with a slight edge in favor of Imperials. Most of the Stormcloak Jarls are just Ulfric supporters, so it's more of a case whether he would support Ulfric or not.

    The question, I think, is whether he'd support Ulfric. On one hand, he wouldn't like Ulfric appointing Jarls for the purpose of some High King crowning scheme. On the other hand, Ulfric is also one of the few people trained in the way of the Thu'um like my character (who, in head-canon, isn't Dragonborn but rather tried really hard for very long and was determined, but does have three shouts to show for it), and he seems a more fleshed-out character than Tullius. What I want to know is, what do the Greybeards think of Ulfric? You can't really ask them in-game but, wouldn't they think Ulfric strayed from the path of wisdom? Or are they indifferent to Ulfric's uprising?

    It'd also be nice to know what the other factions favor, although I think most are probably neutral too. College of Winterhold doesn't care who runs Winterhold as long as they're left to themselves, the Companions (except for Vignar) don't seem to care who runs Whiterun as long as they continue doing what they do. The Skaal, who my guy's a part of due to marriage, obviously wouldn't care what goes down on the mainland. And the Dawngaurd would have no preference as long as Skyrim's not ruled by vampires. I've also looked through wikis and such trying to find if theres any post civil war dialogue for other npcs who're important to my character to see what results they favor, namely Wuunferth the Unliving and Derkeethus, but unfortunatley there doesn't appear to be any.

     

    Oh yeah, and regarding aesthetics for what thats worth, Vikings are cool looking and Romans are hella lame, so there's that I suppose. Stormcloak Officer set is the best out of both of these factions, but I won't be using faction armor anyway so I guess its not too important?

    Fellow denizens of the Tamriel Vault, what are your opinions? Whose side should he assist? And what do you choose for your characters / how do you go about choosing? I'd like to hear it

    • 41 posts
    January 16, 2018 6:27 PM EST
    You can change sides quite a few times, during the course of action. Kind of a double agent thing.
    • 41 posts
    January 16, 2018 6:27 PM EST
    You can change sides quite a few times, during the course of action. Kind of a double agent thing.
    • 168 posts
    January 16, 2018 6:39 PM EST

    Cannon said: You can change sides quite a few times, during the course of action. Kind of a double agent thing.

    No, the only time you can swap sides is during the Jagged Crown quest, which comes before all the hold battles anyway, so it doesn't do much. This argonian's no traitor anyway, he's an honest good guy.

    • 457 posts
    January 16, 2018 6:44 PM EST

    As an Argonian, I could easily envision a scenario where your character might be resentful of Windhelm's treatment of the Argonians living there. If your character has spent any time in Windhelm, or has talked with other Argonians in the Argonian Assemblage, that could be a potential hurdle for joining the Stormcloaks. While the Imperials are no angels (and the Thalmor, whom they grudgingly work with, are certainly no better), I don't believe they have any segregated community for the Argonians like they do in Windhelm.

    However, if the treatment of his race is not a huge issue for Chris' RP, then none of the above really matters all that much. I guess the easiest way to make this decision is to get inside Chris' head and side with the group that upsets him least. My characters tend to lean toward the Imperial side, yet they almost always kill those random Thalmor squads they run across in the wilderness. That should go against the grain for an Imperial sympathizer, yet here we are... xD

    • 168 posts
    January 16, 2018 7:44 PM EST

    Good point ShinJin, that's one of the other reasons I'm leaning a bit towards Imperials. Chris lived in Windhelm for quite a while, he was a mage apprentice under Wuunferth's tutelage, before travelling to Solstheim and adventuring around Skyrim. So he lived within Windhelm's walls rather than on the docks, even frequenting the Palace of Kings.

    But I also kind of sympathize with the Nords. Other provinces are allowed to rule themselves, like Black Marsh, I kinda think it makes sense for all the races to have that. Oh, but the other thing, I think that I must've forgotten to include, was that if I had sided with Ulfric, as an Argonian and been significant in the victory, would that make Ulfric (and Galmar) more accepting of argonians, or would Chris be a lone exception? Unfortunately the game doesn't address this well at all, what happens if a non-Nord aids Ulfric's victory.

    • 274 posts
    January 16, 2018 8:48 PM EST

    At the end of the questline of the Imperial side the new Jarl says he's gonna let Argonians wander the city freely, which was outlawed by Ulfric, in fact it sorta breaks lore that an Argonian player can enter Windhelm because that's illegal, but game mechanics ya know.

    • 41 posts
    January 17, 2018 10:36 AM EST
    There's more to that.
    1) in helgen
    2) join the other force
    3) Jagged crown
    4) season unending

    As you can see, there are at least four occasions to swap sides, possibly more.
    • 457 posts
    January 17, 2018 10:56 AM EST

    Chris H. said:

    Oh, but the other thing, I think that I must've forgotten to include, was that if I had sided with Ulfric, as an Argonian and been significant in the victory, would that make Ulfric (and Galmar) more accepting of argonians, or would Chris be a lone exception? Unfortunately the game doesn't address this well at all, what happens if a non-Nord aids Ulfric's victory.

    That's a good point as well. I played a build once where my Altmer's dissatisfaction with the Thalmor and her family was so great that she joined the Stormcloaks, and put herself at the forefront of the battles to gain greater glory, earn their trust, and stick it to the Thalmor all at the same time. Again, the best answer is to get inside Chris' head and figure out what feels most right for him ;D

    • 274 posts
    January 17, 2018 3:39 PM EST

    Cannon said: There's more to that. 1) in helgen 2) join the other force 3) Jagged crown 4) season unending As you can see, there are at least four occasions to swap sides, possibly more.

    I think he was talking about after you join officially. In Helgen you aren't officially a part of the Stormcloak or Imperial armies, you're just temporarily allied with a single soldier from either side for mutual benefit. As for Season Unending you can't actually switch sides, you can favor the opponent over your own army but you are still a part of your own army and don't just join the other side. After officially joining you only get one chance to leave: The Jagged Crown.

    • 168 posts
    January 17, 2018 3:46 PM EST

    Ebonslayer said:

    At the end of the questline of the Imperial side the new Jarl says he's gonna let Argonians wander the city freely, which was outlawed by Ulfric, in fact it sorta breaks lore that an Argonian player can enter Windhelm because that's illegal, but game mechanics ya know.

    Really? I've never heard Brunwulf say anything like that, maybe it'd be a good idea to make another Dovahkiin to thouroughly scout out the questline first.

    • 274 posts
    January 17, 2018 3:55 PM EST

    Chris H. said:

    Ebonslayer said:

    At the end of the questline of the Imperial side the new Jarl says he's gonna let Argonians wander the city freely, which was outlawed by Ulfric, in fact it sorta breaks lore that an Argonian player can enter Windhelm because that's illegal, but game mechanics ya know.

    Really? I've never heard Brunwulf say anything like that, maybe it'd be a good idea to make another Dovahkiin to thouroughly scout out the questline first.

    From the UESP: Finally, should you ask him if he will let the Argonians into the city, he'll explain why not: "I'd like to, but it's not as simple as that. Most of the folk in the city believe as Ulfric did, that outsiders should not be trusted. Until those people learn to accept the Argonians, they must remain outside, for their own safety. Old habits don't die easily, and we Nords can be as stubborn as stone."

    I was sorta wrong but the fact remains he's taking steps to allow them to walk the city.


    This post was edited by Ebonslayer at January 17, 2018 3:56 PM EST
    • 168 posts
    January 17, 2018 4:20 PM EST

    Hmm well I suppose I'd probably side with the Imperials just because I like Brunwulf and their other Jarls, however Maven is enough to make me consider otherwise.

    Season Unending already happened for this guy, so Markarth is controlled by Stormcloaks and Riften is controlled by Imperials. Which is kinda the worst possible outcome but the only truly neutral one. I can undo one of them if I take sides but that's the issue.

    • 274 posts
    January 17, 2018 5:15 PM EST

    Chris H. said:

    Hmm well I suppose I'd probably side with the Imperials just because I like Brunwulf and their other Jarls, however Maven is enough to make me consider otherwise.

    Season Unending already happened for this guy, so Markarth is controlled by Stormcloaks and Riften is controlled by Imperials. Which is kinda the worst possible outcome but the only truly neutral one. I can undo one of them if I take sides but that's the issue.

    Maven being Jarl actually doesn't matter in reality, it's just a formality. Maven already controls the entirety of Riften, now it's just official.

    • 168 posts
    January 17, 2018 5:54 PM EST

    Ebonslayer said:

    Maven being Jarl actually doesn't matter in reality, it's just a formality. Maven already controls the entirety of Riften, now it's just official.

    Yeah... Riften's a bit of an irredeemable shithole in that regard. Markarth too, but it's at least somewhat justified because the Forsworn are maniacs, but the Silver-Bloods aren't exactly great they just aren't as bad as the Black-Briars.

    TBH if the Theives Guild and Black-Briars weren't marked essential because of quests this argonian would've killed 'em off for being such blatant villains. Maven's influence means it's a little less of Empire vs Ulfric and more Maven vs Ulfric, at least to me.

    Either way, Maven already is Jarl because of the peace treaty, and it's not something within one lizard's ability to change anyway, plus it's not like I hang out in Riften with him often anyway.

    • 1595 posts
    January 19, 2018 4:12 AM EST

    The Civil War is probably the easiest quest with which to start thinking metagame, I sometimes think. We start looking at the end result, or analysing the details, and that takes our perception outside the character's eyes and into a top-down view which spoils a lot of the fun. Neither choice results in perfection, there are going to be jarls we hate no matter which side we choose - and I guess for me that's part of the charm.

    So I think it pays to go with the flow and let the character take action in an organic way. If I couldn't be sure of the consequences of my actions, would I remain passive? If whoever helped me escape Helgen asked me for something, would I do it due to that shared bond or to repay some of the debt? My focus, then, becomes a lot narrower. I might have helped Ralof escape only to find the Stormcloaks fundamentalism distasteful, leading to an interesting moral dilemma as I battle with personal loyalty versus my own morality.

    Conversely, had Hadvar helped me, I may have seen the Legion's fighting tactics as being similar to my tanky Argonian's Shellback strategy, giving the Imperials an edge in what I may favour. When surrounded by so much violence and being in a position with which to help, maaybe that common ground alone would sway me.

    Ultimately, the Stormcloaks offer freedom of religion with restrictions on race, while the Imperials offer equality with dubious religious freedom. Both are pretty sucky choices, but for our characters, those are unknown outcomes.

    • 122 posts
    January 19, 2018 8:35 PM EST

    I’ve only done a few playthroughs on the side of the Stormcloaks. I just don’t like Ulfric very much as a rule. He slaughtered everyone in Marcarth who surrendered to the Forsaken during its occupation. He made Dunmer refugees in his city live in ghettos and made the Argonians sleep in a novel near the docks.

    That being said, I have had two playthroughs in which an Argonian and a Khajiit worked on the side of the Stormcloaks.

    The Argonian was a hatchling shadowscale bought by Ulfric’s father and raised away from the hist. He was brought up to become the hidden dagger of the jarls of Windhelm, a skilled assassin and bodyguard who saw the Jarl’s family as an extension of Talos’s majesty. He was on the cart next to Ulfric Stormcloak by his own machinations. It was his chance to openly pledge himself as an operative to his lord.

    The Khajiit was a skilled Duelist and sellsword who believed might made right, and Ulfric had shown his might legitimately in that duel. For coin and to support his traveling kin, he supported the Stormcloaks and spent everything he earned buying things he had no use for from the Khajiit caravans, then sold them to relieve the local Nords of coin.

    • 295 posts
    January 19, 2018 8:58 PM EST

     

    Cannon said: There's more to that. 1) in helgen 2) join the other force 3) Jagged crown 4) season unending As you can see, there are at least four occasions to swap sides, possibly more.

    I did just this in my Agents of Oegnithr, oh was that just fun. 

    Okay, let me help an egg-brother out. Well, which in these sets of eight people do you prefer? *Spoilers* highlight if you want to know because I divulge the outcome of the war. 

    The Rift: Maven Blackbriar (I) or Laila Lawgiver (SC)?

    The Pale: Skald the Elder (SC) or Brina Merilis (I)

    Falkreath: Siddgeir (I) or his uncle Dengeir of Stuhn (SC)

    Whiterun: Balgruuf the Greater (I) or Vignar Greymane (SC)

    Hjaalmarch: Igrod Raven Crone (I) or Sorli the Builder (SC)

    Eastmarch: Brunwulf Free-Winter (I) or Ulfric Stormcloak (SC)

    The Reach: Thonar Silver-Blood (SC) or Igmund (I)

    Winterhold: Korir (SC) or Kraldar (I)

    What I have listed are all the jarls and who becomes jarl depending on what side of the war you chose. Bold indicates who is jarl at the start of the game. Determine which of the pair for each of the eight holds you like better, whichever side gets the most likes, is the side you pick. Elisef remains jarl of Haafingar regardless of the war outcome. 

     

    • 168 posts
    January 20, 2018 2:01 AM EST

    So I've been going around with a couple other characters who've completed either side of the war, to see and gather opinions of citizens, disregarding any put into power, when their hold changes sides. I've made a list (no particular order, just sorted by city) incase anyone else reading this finds it useful.

    Favors change

    • Leigelf (Dawnstar) "Brina Merilis came in with the whole damn Legion and deposed Skald. Couldn't have happened to a better man."
    • Madena (Dawnstar) is glad that Brina doesn't ever ask her to fight, unlike Skald.
    • Scouts-Many-Marshes (Windhelm) "You have no idea. Did you know it was his decree that forbade the Argonians from living inside the city walls? I hope in his next life, he's reborn as an Argonian forced to live in a slum because of some bigoted Nord dictator. I'm joking, of course, but I'm a lot happier seeing the Empire running things in Windhelm."
    • Ambarys Rendar (Windhelm) "At long last, Windhelm is free. No longer must we suffer persecution at the hands of Ulfric Stormcloak."
    • Malthyr Elenil (Windhelm) remarks how he prefers the Empire in charge.
    • Aval Atheron (Windhelm) "Still, having a just and honorable man like Brunwulf in charge can only be an improvement. Unlike Ulfric, Brunwulf has shown a great willingness to work with the other races and make us feel more at home here. For the first time in a long while, I truly believe that there are brighter days ahead."
    • Revyn Sadri (Windhelm) "Can't say I mind the sight of all the Imperial guards. It's a change for the better."
    • Heimskr (Whiterun) "Praise Talos and all the Divines! Whiterun has been liberated by the true sons of Skyrim!"
    • Fralia Grey-Mane (Whiterun) "At least they appreciate the ways and traditions of the Nord people. Can't say I ever much liked the idea of the Empire telling us what to do an' how to do it."

     

    Dislikes change

    • Ranmir (Winterhold) is the only person in the town who seems to care one way or the other, remarks how the Thalmor will bother Winterhold without the Stormcloaks in charge.
    • Hermir Strong-Heart (Windhelm) will dislike the imperial-aligned player and laments on how Skyrim will never be free now that Ulfric's gone.
    • Oengul War-Anvil (Windhelm) "Can't believe Ulfric's gone. If not for Hermir, I'd have left the city by now."
    • Jora (Windhelm) and Lortheim (Windhelm) are upset about Imperial rule because they are Talos priest/ess, despite the Imperials doing nothing to the temple.
    • Jorgen (Morthal) "The world's going mad, and our Jarl doesn't care. She's only in it for herself. If she's the best Ulfric has to offer, we might've been better off with the Imperials." he's dissatisfied with both Jarls but thinks Idgrod was better (if only a little).
    • Arcadia (Whiterun) says Stormcloaks won't shop, pretty much just because she's an imperial.
    • Adrianne Avenicci (Whiterun) laments on how Stormcloaks don't want to buy because she's an imperial, and only still in business because her husband's a nord.
    • Ulfberth War-Bear (Whiterun) is worried Vignar may be going senile in his old age.
    • Carlotta Valentia (Whiterun) remarks that the Stormcloak soldiers give her just as much attention, but are smellier and disgusting.
    • Bergritte Battle-Born (Whiterun) "It's a miracle these Stormcloaks haven't robbed us blind yet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time." her husband Olfrid believes they are already being robbed.

     

    I didn't list anyone who had neutral dialogue, because most of that was along the lines of 'not much has changed'. Hardly anyone in Markarth, Riften, Falkreath or Solitude even acknowledges the change in leadership, except the steward, housecarl and Jarl. Anyone in Solitude who mentions it basically just says Elisif is a puppet of Ulfric rather than the Empire, or something similar.

    Anyways, I'm pretty sure that's everyone. As you can see, most of its in Whiterun and Windhelm. And its also looks like more citizens prefer the Imperials, the ones that prefer Stormcloaks either were put into power by them, or support them to begin with and their dialogue doesn't change when they take over. Which leads me to think either the game's unfinished or Bethesda also favors the Empire at least a little bit.

    Oh, also people who say they have relatives that joined/died for one side or the other (like Angeline Morrad) don't say anything different when the opposing side completely takes over Skyrim. I expected at least someone to be remorseful that their relative died in vain for their cause, but no, nothing at all.


    This post was edited by Chris H. at January 20, 2018 2:02 AM EST
    • 168 posts
    January 20, 2018 4:45 PM EST

    Oh yeah, other wierd trivia thing. You know that guard in Windhelm's marketplace who's always leaning against the wall by the blacksmiths? After the siege of Windhelm, that guy is phased through some rubble, and the player can walk through some of it too.

    • 168 posts
    February 1, 2018 2:15 PM EST

    So, I gave it a lot of thought as it's a very important decision (Civil War is irreversibly permanent you know) and I've come to the conclusion that Chris the Argonian should join with the Imperials, not because he's loyal to the Empire but rather because he supports the Imperial-aligned Jarls, with the exception of Siddgeir and Maven. In addition, Ulfric Stormcloak is a much more formidable opponent compared to General Tullius. Plus, my guy's likely somewhat envious of Ulfric's praise, because he occaisonaly dips into narcissistic tendencies due to being a rather accomplished veteran adventurer.

    Ultimately, there's more reason for him to ally with the Empire, even if he'd hate helping Maven and Siddgeir being a spoiled brat. Scouts-Many-Marshes in particular, is pleased to see Ulfric gone, and that's reason enough even if not much else changes after the Civil War.

    I also noticed there are a couple notable quests that this character still hasn't completed; Oengul War-Anvil's fetch quest to retreive Queen Freydis' Sword hasn't been completed, and I can save that quest for post-Siege to repair disposition lost (his apprentice will still hate my guts though), and the Forsworn Conspiracy quest, it's buggy as heck and forced upon every playthrough that visits Markarth, I haven't actually opened Eltrys' note but I will do this quest proper before taking up arms in the war.

     

    But I probably won't return to this character until a few weeks, possibly months, so I'll have to keep this in mind.

    Joining the Empire isn't completely perfect either, because unlike the Blue Palace where exiled Jarls are out of sight, in the Palace of Kings they're all in the main room, could potentially become annoying. (also, poor Bulfrek, he's got maybe the saddest story out of all the NPCs and you can't really help the guy)

     

    And maybe someday I'll figure out the whole screenshot thing, because I'd really love to share this Argonian's triumphs and adventures. And if I can ever settle on a more lore-appropriate Argonian name to use for "Chris" then I'd absolutely make an RP profile for him as well.