Skyrim Stories: 'Wanted in Whiterun'

In our first edition of 'Skyrim Stories,' senior editor Xav de Matos details how killing a chicken turned him into one of Tamriel's most wanted men.

22

The value of life in Tamriel is slightly skewed, according to the Imperial Legion; I learned this the hard way while playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Trekking through the world, I stumbled upon a brood of chickens. Due to my proclivity for collecting everything laying about the province of Skyrim, I slayed one of the mighty beasts and removed its raw meat for a stew concoction I had in mind.

Killing that chicken proved to be a grievous error.

The bounty for killing a chicken in Skyrim is 5 pieces of gold. This is a simple payment to make, unless you're like me and didn't realize the price was placed on your head. Pushing forward, past the trail from Riverwood to Whiterun, I came across a band of roving Imperial Legion soldiers. The group walked the dark streets between the two towns to ensure they provided safe passage. Little did they or I know that the death of one small delicious animal would ruin the lives of generations to come.

My second problem--the first being my chicken murder bounty--is that I always walk around with my weapon drawn. After I'd been pierced by the arrow of hidden bandits and nibbled on by raging wolves, I decided to keep my sword at the ready. This is a big no-no in Tamriel, the continent in which all Elder Scrolls games take place. When approached by bounty collectors without a weapon drawn they simply offer a choice: pay the fine, go to jail, or fight to the death.

With a weapon drawn, my choice was made abundantly clear.

Five Imperial Legion officers attacked me from all sides: two held back to snipe with their bows and three rushed to attack. Considering I had decided to side with the Imperials in the beginning of the game, I was taken aback. "Perhaps I forgot to pay my Legion union dues," I thought.

What is a Wood Elf to do? Fueled on hot wings, I burned through the rushing horde with my flames and sliced the archers down to size with my steel sword. This time I noticed the prompt noting my bounty had increased to 80 gold.

One chicken is equal to 5 gold coins. One Imperial Legion soldier is equal to 16 gold coins. That seems horrifying.

Eventually I realized it was my chicken murdering that did me in...when I went back to the farm to kill off the rest of the scattered future nuggets. "Oh, bounty is up five gold," I realized. "That's why the Imperial Legion tried to murder me."

Upon entering the town of Whiterun, I was immediately recognized. Thankfully, I always sheath my sword before passing the walls into civilization. "I know you," a solider told me. I could have sworn I offed all of my witnesses, but tales of my epic battle and love of tenders had traveled far and wide. I paid my bounty. It was the least I could do.

Now I realize the amount of damage I've done in the world of Skyrim. Wives and children have lost husbands and fathers. The Imperial Legion, though eager to rush into battle, have had their lines thinned. All of this chaos because my character, a Wood Elf named Dekkard, wanted some Shake 'n Bake.

Needless to say, Dekkard has gone vegan.


Game Stories is a new, ongoing feature where editors from Shacknews regale you with their adventures from the latest video game worlds. Skyrim Stories will continue, but anecdotes from other games are planned as well.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 14, 2011 1:00 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Skyrim Stories: 'Wanted in Whiterun'.

    In our first edition of 'Skyrim Stories,' senior editor Xav de Matos details how killing a chicken turned him into one of Tamriel's most wanted men.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:09 PM

      I killed a chicken by mistake last night as well. I walked out of a tavern in Riverwood, saw a chicken walking buy and decided to make a chicken patty out of it with my mace. About 2 seconds afterwards, I had everyone in the town chasing me down with pitchforks. Damn, that was one important chicken.

      • reply
        November 14, 2011 1:12 PM

        Chicken in Tamriel must be somehow related to chicken in the Legend of Zelda.

        • reply
          November 14, 2011 4:25 PM

          Kill enough chickens and you will be hunted down by the Servants of Chickith.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:10 PM

      Or you could have just sheathed your weapon when they started attacking...

      • reply
        November 14, 2011 1:13 PM

        Like I wrote, I didn't realize WHY I was being attacked until much later.

        • reply
          November 14, 2011 1:21 PM

          Sheathing your weapon doesn't always work. I've stolen stuff on 3 occurrences where I had no weapons drawn and they killed me anyway.

          • reply
            November 14, 2011 1:54 PM

            If they actually 'saw' you stealing, that would be the cause of that =]

            • reply
              November 14, 2011 4:11 PM

              In my case I assure you I killed the chicken... there were zero witnesses!

              • reply
                November 14, 2011 4:22 PM

                [deleted]

                • reply
                  November 14, 2011 4:29 PM

                  I wonder if they didn't quite completely eliminate the "chickens report you to the cops" bug.

                  • reply
                    November 14, 2011 4:30 PM

                    [deleted]

                    • reply
                      November 14, 2011 4:33 PM

                      Yeah, you're supposed to be able to. I know I've stolen one or two things without witnesses and gotten away with it.

                      In fact, if you are witnessed, you're supposed to be able to kill all the witnesses and lose your bounty.

                      During development, though, they were having a problem with unwitnessed crimes being reported. It turned out the chickens were reporting the crimes.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:14 PM

      How long till the "Ride a dragon"...DLC?. Love the game so far but that would make me love it mooooore

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:19 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:45 PM

      right i have a plan, i am going to steal ALL of the chicken eggs in skyrim.... that'll get those feathery bastards

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:48 PM

      In case you didn't realize, Dekkard is a nod to Rick Deckard.

      Dude is straight-up nerdcore.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 1:56 PM

      wow xav like we really needed another skyrim thread polluting our chatty. ugh.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 2:02 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 4:38 PM

      I will kill EVERY damn animal in this game because of this. I hate that kind of shit. It's a BIRD.

      • reply
        November 14, 2011 4:53 PM

        Some birds are cocks.

      • reply
        November 15, 2011 6:23 AM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        November 15, 2011 11:55 AM

        You seem to be genuinely pissed off that people in the game consider killing the animals they own to be a crime exactly as severe as stealing a wedge of cheese, or 1/4 as severe as stealing a bottle of mead.

        It's buggy that he was apparently caught despite there not being any witnesses to report him, and it's stupid that the guards will fight to the death over a bounty that matches the cost of a single dinner plate. That doesn't seem to be what you're reacting to, though. You seem to hate animals so severely that you're enraged about people in game not allowing you to kill their livestock.

    • reply
      November 14, 2011 5:33 PM

      I had this happen in Riverwood last night showing my some friends some cool things. As soon as I shot the chicken, there were red dots all over the compass pointer. 'Other chickens!' I thought gleefullly, wondering if they'd attack en masse, or... are they fleeing?

      Turns out the red dots were townsfolk out to avenge the poultry. I almost made it out alive. Now I only snipe chickens while hidden, in the dead of dark.

      I never noticed my bounty go up. :(

    • reply
      November 15, 2011 6:17 AM

      I killed a chicken in Whiterun and then brought it back to life with Reanimate Corpse and the guards still got mad at me!

      • reply
        November 15, 2011 6:39 AM

        I used Reanimate Corpse on a Werewolf during the Companions line of quests last night and he tore shit up.

    • reply
      November 15, 2011 11:48 AM

      Love this! I learned the same lesson after slaughtering a cow (hey, I needed the leather!). Can't wait for more Skyrim stories...

    • reply
      November 17, 2011 10:11 PM

      Hey, chicken slayer, little tip for you: if you find yourself in a scuffle with the authorities, sheath your weapon an more often than not they will stop fighting and offer you the 'pay the fine/go to jail/fight to the death' options.

      The more you know...

    • reply
      November 18, 2011 2:33 PM

      You'll get what you deserve, you chicken killer, you. How dare you kill the most innocent of creatures. For shame.

Hello, Meet Lola