I’m not usually one to call attention to myself, but I’ve done wrong and I will continue to do wrong if somebody doesn’t do something. This is my confession. My cry for help.

I didn’t realize I had a problem until I found myself on the run from the local authorities. Others are doing it, I thought. I won’t get caught; I know what I’m doing, I thought. Then, one fateful eve, I was stalking a local dockworker—spotted him shortly after sunset in the brazier-lit market, haggling prices for supplies. I decided he must be running last-minute errands on behalf of his employer, so I began following him after he stormed off, apparently unable to reach a suitable agreement with the merchant. Whatever he wanted, he did not get, so I knew the coin was still on his person.

Past the tavern and onto the sands by the harbor, we came to a dark alley between two warehouses my victim had ducked into to relieve himself. It was time to make my move. I approached cautiously and quietly from behind and attempted to lift the coin purse from his sash.

“This one has noticed your suspicious behavior.”

He turned on me with an unbridled fury in his eyes. Bearing his claws, he began slashing through the scales of my face and neck. It was fight or flight, and in a surge of adrenaline I drew my dagger and sunk it into his throat. By the Hist, what have I done?

I had been impulsively stalking, pickpocketing, breaking and entering, and robbing for weeks. But now I was a murderer. I didn’t want to kill an innocent, but there I was with another man’s blood dripping from my blade. Exiting the alley, I noticed a guard walking in my direction. Had someone heard the scuffle and alerted the guard? It didn’t matter now. All I knew was I now had a bounty on my head, and I’d be damned if I was going to give up the eight gold and child’s drum I had stolen previously.

I managed to escape the pursuing guard thanks to some movement-speed spell a kind stranger cast upon me. “Behind the temple,” she mouthed, so that’s where I ran. I discovered a sewer grate with a strange symbol painted on it and, with no other option, I entered.

I write now from the very Outlaws Refuge I discovered below the grate. I can hide from the guard here, but I cannot hide from my conscience. I have nowhere to go, no one to turn to, and every moment I struggle with the familiar urge to swipe an iron greatsword and break it down to iron ingots.

I used to be a hearty adventurer. I used to explore dank dungeons and combat those who would harm the innocent. I had a good thing going working on behalf of the Dominion. I had the respect of those around me, and I’ve thrown it all away. I’m no hero, not anymore. I’m just a kleptomaniacal, murderous Argonian. If you know any way to help me fight my urges, to mend my ailing conscience, I implore you to seek me out in the Refuge beneath Vulkhel Guard.

Jesse VanHorn

Jesse VanHorn

Jesse was a member of WIUP-FM, periodically hosting a weekly rock and heavy metal radio show. Now when he’s not working at the beer distributor, he plays video games and writes reviews in his mom’s basement while his guitar and drum set gather dust.
Jesse VanHorn

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