I decided to bite the bullet and just end it all. I eclipsed the 100 hour mark last night and, with that, defeated Alduin in Sovngarde, thus completing the main storyline of Skyrim. It was a harrowing adventure to be sure, and there is still much achievement mining to be had. But I will say this about the last leg of the scripted journey: it’s incredibly hard, then it’s incredibly not. Once you are whisked away to Skuldafn by the dragon you ensnared with your sultry shout, you are met by many leveled Draugr and dragons. Being at level 45, I saw many Draugr Deathlords who take (and give) a pounding. These assholes ate up a ton of my arrows, and despite being a master of Sneak, they knew I was coming every time. There were also several leveled dragons, proving quite the challenge because they usually came with friends. At one point I had an Elder Dragon and Frost Dragon team up on me. These sentries took a lot of trial-and-error before I smote them along the stone ruins. Finally a Dragon Priest was all that stood between me and the portal to the immortal. But fortunately that guy was a fucking pussy, so wiping him out was a cakewalk.
Speaking of cakewalks, once I made my way into the heavenly realm of Sovngarde I was met by fog and wandering souls. I approached a bridge fashioned from some vast beast’s spinal column and rib cage. Say what you will, these fucking Nords were conservationists. Waste not, indeed! At this bridge was a guardian to the glorified Hall of Valor by the name of Tsun. ‘Only the honorable can enter,’ ‘I will test you,’ blah blah blah. This guy gave me fits until I lured him out in the water and shut his self-righteous fucking mouth with a few from my quiver. He relented and gave me access to the Hall. The asshole was lucky I didn’t finish him off, but hey, I was saving my strength for the mighty Alduin. I gathered my three compatriots (the same hardasses that cast Alduin away the first time) and expelled that dragon from paradise with surprising ease. Apparently my level was too much for him; he was dispatched within two minutes. I called it a night there and reflected on my victory.
Minor spoilers aside, I feel as though I have been released from Skyrim’s hold. That’s good, considering I still have Skyward Sword only partially-played, Gears 3 is untouched and I still want to get around to Arkham City-all before I start Mass Effect 3. Even though I have eclipsed 100 hours, I look forward to spending another 5-10 hours polishing off the achievements before I set the game aside. It is somewhat bittersweet that I completed the game, though. We experienced so much together and soon it will be all over. Now I know true loss.