Back in 2011, starting from the 11th November, i.e. 11.11.11, I had booked a weeks holiday. I planned to travel a brand new world and so I did – for a whole week. Skyrim was released at midnight and I started playing. Over the week, I spend around 75 hours on the game and I had reached a meagre level 25 and got only about a third of the way through the main quest. Playing through and completing a number of games recently got me to thinking about Skyrim and the Illusionist Diaries inspired me to start again.
I was in front of the daedric lord Clavicus Vile and it was all slowly coming to me. I heard Barbas barking away in the background and Jordis the Sword Maiden was her usual self, prancing about.
I looked for a way to get out and got to a closed gate. Seeing now way to open the gate, I took the long way back out the cave. No biggie, it was a good way to re-acquaint myself with the world again.
Once I got out of the cave, I re-prioritised. I had enough of traipsing around doing whatever I fancied. It was time to put an end to the civil war and of course to put a stop to all this dragon malarkey.
It was nice to have to followers – and one of them a pet though it did start to get very annoying when Barbas would just refuse to stop barking. He’d bark at anything. If I moved, he’d bark, if I stayed still, he’d bark, ooohhh there’s a butterfly, woof woof. but I put up with it. More aggravating was his desire to always get in my way – in his own playful way of course, but he always like to come along an lie down in the door way. I could usually jump over him but it did sometimes cause me a bruised head with the doorway deciding to take up the same space as my head..
The three of us, the merry trio, did a lot of good things in Skyrim – defeated a number of dragons, helped a bunch of people do this and that, sold a lot of stuff and made a lot of money and even got up the throat of the world and travelled back in time.
I would often head back to my first home in Whiterun and see Lydia hanging about and while Jordis too complained about being sworn to carry my burdens, she somehow simply did not irritate me as much as Lydia did and I was happy.
I would often run off without waiting for the two of them and on more than one occasion, I would lose them somewhere, but after a while, sure enough, they would find me. Barbas was usually the first (must be his keen olfactory senses) and Jordis wouldn’t be far behind. It usually brought a smile to my face to see Barbas – he always seemed so happy to see me “Where did you go – we’ve been looking everywhere for you”, he seemed to say. I always imagined Jordis probably had a similar expression, but she was wearing a helmet that covered her whole face, so all I could see was cold hard steel – oh well.
After the brief jaunt through history, seeing Barbas still following me around, made my heart sink with sorrow. He was following me around since I promised to find an axe and re-unite him with his master… I hadn’t done that for a very long time. I was level 25 when he started to follow me around and I was now level 31.
I decided it was time to find the axe for Barbas and re-unite him with his master. So I traipsed around a mountain, into a cave, killed a wizard and got the axe. That was easy. I returned to Clavicus Vile with no regard for his nonsense, I left Barbas by his masters side. I took a few moments to say goodbye and was confounded by the door I could not open again. This time though, I was used to world and saw the little chain on the right of the door, pulled it and et voila, I was out.
It was once again, just me and Jordis, the sword-maiden. My heart was heavy with the absence of Barbas but I shrugged it off and carried on. Helped with more the civil war stuff and got to Fort Snowhawk. I found these to be a little more difficult than ordinary missions, partly because, as a mage, I had very little health so it was easy to get injured. More importantly, I always found it difficult to be able to tell who was who and as a ranged combatant, it was even more difficult. I usually kill a few stormcloak troopers by accident but I don’t pay it much mind. After taking over the fort, I did various other things and it was time to take over the next fort. Once I got to that fort, I noticed that Jordis was nowhere to be seen.
I looked around, teleported around, and I still couldn’t find her. It dawned on me that she might have been killed – and that too a while back – so there may be no way to fix this. I went to Proudspire Manor. Waited a while, and no – she did not come home and I was sure that she must have been killed. I had to be sure.
I wanted to know so badly that I resorted to otherwordly magic (I uttered the blasphemous phrase ~player.moveto 000A2C95) and I was in the strangest room I had ever been in. There were four hallways meeting and each of them led to what seemed like eternity. On the ground were a bunch of dead bodies and among them lay Jordis. I was speechless. She was dead! We had spent so much time together and without even a goodbye, she was dead. She was dead and all her armour was taken off, and I saw her face again. Calm and Serene.
I thought about resurrecting her with otherworldly magic but decided that would not be what she would want. I had to do some otherworldly jiggery pokey (load the previous save) to get out of that place since running out the door would just drop me back in the room.
Just a little while ago, I had two companions and within a matter of hours, I was all alone… I knew that if she takes enough damage, she would yield and enemies would not attack her. It occurred to me that the last time I saw her was at Fort Snowhawk and then the realisation dawned on me. It was entirely possible that she was killed not by enemies, or wildebeasts – it was entirely possible that it was me who killed her.
I had recently killed a Boethiah cultist and was considering going to her shrine, where I suspected I would have to kill my companion so had avoided that mission. I had also gotten out of killing Barbas. Was it possible that Boethiah and Clavicus Vile were working their twisted magic to get me to kill my own follower? In any case, it was done! She was dead! and I was the most likely suspect for her murder.
When we finally crushed the Empire and liberated Skyrim form the Thalmor, when Ulfric Stormcloak was praising me, I thought of Jordis and Barbas. Fallen Comrades! Friends!