Mod of the Week: Gifts of the Outsider, for Skyrim
Perry recently told us about a mod called Gifts of the Outsider that imports the magic powers from Dishonored into Skyrim: Blink, Possession, Bend Time, Devouring Swarm, Wind Blast, and Void Gaze. I decided to the use the mod not just for its powers, but also to reenact the plot of Dishonored in Skyrim: the tale of an honorable man seeking revenge after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit. It’ll be just like Dishonored, only in Skyrim, and starring a furry woman with a tail. Just call me Khorvo.
Don’t worry, this will be supremely light on Dishonored spoilers, I'll cover a few of the activities you perform during the Dishonored campaign, Skyrim style. Let’s get started. What’s the first thing you do in Dishonored?
Play Hide-and-Seek with a Child
I find some kids running around in Solitude, but they don’t want to play hide-and-seek, so we play tag instead. Minette Vinius and I chase each other around, forming a close personal bond that will surely keep me motivated in the dark days to come. I catch her and tag her and then I fast-travel to Whiterun so she’ll never be able to catch me and she'll be “It” forever.
Go To Prison for a Crime I Didn’t Commit
In Whiterun, I use a Frenzy spell on some guy standing around in the city. He goes nuts and starts attacking anyone nearby. The guards run over and arrest me while he is killed in the background. I’m shocked and outraged. I didn’t kill anyone! It was all him! You won’t get away with this! I will have my revenge! Looks like I’ve been... DISHONORED!
Escape from Prison
Not a problem! Pulling a lockpick out of my butt, I open the cell door, sneak through the prison, collect my gear, and slip back out into the streets. You’ll all pay for what you’ve done, I silently vow. All of you. It’s time to reclaim my honor. But how?
Meet the Outsider
Since I’m a wanted woman in Whiterun, I need to get away to plot my revenge. I head out to an abandoned house west of Riften, where I find a book and read it. I appear in Limbo, where everything is floaty and slanty, and meet The Outsider. He gives me the Blink power, which lets me teleport short distances. He tells me there are other powers I can collect by visiting his other shrines. Could these powers be the key to destroying those who wronged me?
Assassinate an Important Religious Figure
There are plenty of religious types in Skyrim, but when I think about one I’d like to assassinate, a particular zealot immediately comes to mind: Heimskr, the Nord Priest of Talos. Even if you don’t know his name, you know him: he’s the dude who stands in the middle of Whiterun and screeches incessantly about Talos, all day, every day. Oh, and is it a coincidence that the spot he stands in is just yards from where I was arrested for my “crime?” Not a chance. His death will mark the beginning of my quest to dis-dishonor myself.
I creep through Whiterun, using my new Blink spell. It’s neat, it really does zip you around, even on top of buildings, though I tend to slowly slide off. I blink onto the statue behind Heimskr, then to the ground behind him, and then I stab him in the back. I blink away onto a rooftop and the guards look around, confused, having no idea where I went. Actually, they don’t seem confused at all. They immediately shoot me with a bunch of arrows. I run away, but only because I'm in a hurry to reclaim my honor.
Now that Heimskr is dead, it’s time to find another Outsider shrine, collect a new power, and choose a new target. In the sewers under Riften, I find the shrine, caress the skull, and acquire the Devouring Swarm rune.
Assassinate Two People in a Brothel
Haelga’s Bunkhouse in Riften isn’t a brothel, but it sort of sounds like it could be. You know there are at least a few inappropriate back-rubs going on in there. I summon up a swarm of rats, and try to kill two people with them.
Okay, the rats sort of killed everyone in the entire building. Those rats are NOT messing around. Having killed a room full of people with rats, a feeling seeps into my heart. I haven’t felt it in a long time, not since earlier today, but I know what that feeling is. It’s honor, slowly returning to me. I collect the Possession rune near the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, and I’m on to my next mission.
Abduct a Doctor on a Bridge
The first step goes well: I head to Dragon Bridge. I run into a bit of a snag here, though, as there do not appear to be any doctors out for a stroll across Dragon Bridge today. For a lesser assassin, that would be a problem, but I’m clever enough to find the owner of a lumber mill sitting nearby. A lumberjack is sort of like a doctor for trees, if doctors killed all of their patients and cut them into pieces, right? (The answer is: right.) He’s not on the bridge, but that can remedied with my new Possession spell. I leap into his mind and run him onto the bridge, where I pop out of the back of his head.
Having gotten him onto to the bridge, it’s time to abduct him off the bridge, which means possessing him again. I steer him off the other side of the bridge and into the wilderness. Abduction accomplished! I figure I’ll just keep possessing him and repossessing him and making him run so far away he’ll never find his way back, thus completing the abduction, but thirty seconds later we run into a bear and the bear kills him.
I’ve just used magic to get a lumber mill owner murdered by a bear. I’m one step closer to regaining my honor. I visit another shrine and collect the Wind Blast rune.
Kill a Fancy Woman at a Fancy Party
There actually is a dinner party quest in Skyrim, but I’ve already completed it, so I need to find another fancy lady at a fancy place and kill her, fancy style. For honor. I know! The Blue Palace at Solitude. It’s the fanciest place I can think of.
Making sure to avoid Minette Vinius (I don’t want to get tagged “It” again!) I run through Solitude and enter The Blue Palace, which is run by Elisif The Fair, a fancy woman. I creep into the throne room, where there are some people hanging around. Looks like a party to me. Sorry I didn’t bring any WINE, I growl from the shadows, but I did bring some WIND!
They don’t seem to get my wine/wind joke, probably because they are being slammed all over the room by magic wind. It’s a great spell: it’s like the Unrelenting Force shout, only you can hold down the button to keep it on, sending everyone flying all over the place until your Magicka is drained. After blowing everyone around the palace for a while, I head to the nearby mountains to collect the Bend Time rune. It’s time to kill the most important person in Skyrim.
It’s Time to Kill The Most Important Person In Skyrim
I figure the Jarl of Whiterun is the most important person in Skyrim, except for maybe me. I sneak into his chambers in the dead of night, slipping past a couple guards after slowing down time. It doesn’t quite work how I want: I was perfectly hidden from them until I cast the spell, which made them aware of me. The spell slows down time just fine, though, and even having seen me, the guards don’t seem to care that I’m creeping around near the Jarl’s bedroom casting time-bending spells in the dead of night.
The Jarl has an honorable, slow-motion death as I hack at his sleeping body. The guards run over to arrest me, and I try telling them that I’d rather die than go to prison, anticipating a fun Blink-filled escape from Whiterun. Unfortunately, Skyrim does that thing where it doesn’t select the line of dialogue I’m pointing at, so I accidentally bribe the guards and they peacefully escort me to the front door. Oh well.
Skip A Big Part of Dishonored’s Story To Avoid Spoilers
My easiest mission yet! I collect the final rune, Void Gaze, so I guess we’re ready for the big finale:
Kill Someone At a Lighthouse
Back in Solitude, I run around the lighthouse long enough discover there’s no one important in the lighthouse or on top of the lighthouse. There’s only Ma’zaka, the lighthouse keeper, but he’s downstairs in his little chambers. I sneak in, and use Void Gaze, which works like Detect Life, letting you see people through walls. I could possess him, run him up to the top of the lighthouse, and Wind Blast him off, but when you’re possessing someone they can’t open doors, so I have no way to get him out of his room. If I want to kill him, I’ll have to kill him right here.
This isn’t quite the grand ending from Dishonored, though. I know that killing people with rats and blasting a fancy woman into her own ceiling and getting a lumberjack bear-mauled were all necessary -- absolutely necessary -- to regain my honor. But killing Ma’zaka, a humble, harmless lighthouse keeper in his own bedroom to end the story... it would just be complete anti-climax, wouldn’t it?
Lesson learned: if you want Dishonored’s story, go play Dishonored. If you want to have fun with Dishonored’s powers in Skyrim, though, this mod works great.
Installation: I installed this with the Nexus Mod Manager, but the mod looks as if it's just a single bsa and esp file. So, if you're doing it manually, just download the files and plop 'em in your Skyrim data folder (Steam > steamapps > common > skyrim > Data). No magic required.
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