An Illusionist in Skyrim, part 8: the Pale Lady

Tom Francis at

This is the diary of me attempting to play Skyrim using only Illusion magic: I'm not allowed any weapons, armour, or magical items, and I can't attack anyone directly. The first entry is here, or you can see all entries to date here.

I'm seriously low on health, completely out of mana, and trapped in an awkward corner with a lightning mage bearing down on me.

And at that point, the ghost of an angry wolf leaps at her. What the hell is happening? While she deals with it, Belrand runs up and crushes her with a dramatic swing of his axe.

Once both the mages are dead, the ghost wolf trots to Belrand's side, then collapses in a heap of ash. Oh, OK, I guess that's a thing he can do. That's fine, Belrand. You got your own thing going on there. I guess it's cool if you're going for that 'actually useful' theme. Personally I prefer more of an 'impotent cowardice' motif, but horses for courses if that's what that phrase means.

A passageway leads to Frostmere Depths. Sounds nice.

Whoa. There's a forest in here, an actual coniferous forest. The cave also seems to contain a whole cloud - I can barely see a thing. Little balls of light swerve through the mist with an eerie scraping noise, and somewhere below the earth groans. I wonder if I can somehow buy this place.

There's an altar in the center of this cavern, and a bandit standing at it. As we approach, there's a blast and the Pale Lady appears. It is not Anne Hathaway at all.

The Pale Lady fires Things That Hurt at me, so I run. Belrand charges in, with endearing lack of self-preservation. But the balls of light follow me, and now they hurt too. Screw you, balls of light! I cast Fury at one. It seems to stop hurting me, and I hope it's hurting one of the other balls of light but I can't really tell. God it's been a weird day.

When I heal up and get back to Belrand, he's on his knees and the Pale Lady is barely hurt. My spells don't work on her, but they do work on Belrand. Courage, Belrand! Literally, here's a ball of Courage that forces you to get up and keep hitting her. I'm going to run away again now, catch you later!

I hide in another corner while he does all the hard work, and discover a treasure chest nestled among the ferns. Sweet! While grunts of pain and fleshy impact noises echo through the cave, I set to work picking the lock. Ooh, there's some gems in here! Maybe I can buy a new dress.

I'm attacked by light-balls again, but this time take the wiser course of Calming them until they float off. I don't come out of my hiding place until a message pops up announcing that I have completed the "Vanquish the Pale Lady" quest. Belrand and his ghost dog are standing over a pile of glowing dust. The sword is on the altar, so I nab it. It's not very good. I'll sell it later.

As we leave, I can't help reflecting on the ethics of this quest. A bandit stole this sword back from the other bandits, to bring it to its rightful owner and put the Pale Lady's spirit to rest. We just showed up, killed her and took it. Shame on you, Belrand.

Next:Real Warriors.