Dragons! They are my favorite mythical creatures (together with griffons). Dragons are clever, sly and manipulative. Stories with dragons are often both epic and tragic. They're good stories. So of course I was excited when I found out that dragons were going to be an important part of Skyrim's story.
So much better!
But ah well, lets return to the Skyrim reality: slaying dragons. Instead of closing some sort of hell gates (Oblivion) as a repetitive feature, you now keep on killing large winged animals. Which is much more exciting, I must say. Not only because they're, well, dragons, but also because you have no idea where they are and might stumble into one by accident.
Dragon in the dark
During one of my assignments, I had to meet a member of a dragon slayer support group (yeah, you have those in Skyrim - make it up and it exists). I couldn't find her, as it was night and a heavy snow storm just burst out. It became apparent that we had a second problem...
...right under our noses, a dragon was reborn! We learned that dragon babies are not friendly, are not actually babies but already fully grown up and can hurt you a lot. An insane fight against flying shadows followed, wherein we luckily had the giveaway of the clearly visible fire it was spitting towards my companion Lydia. It was an exiting fight against a nearly invisible enemy and huge was my relief when we finally made it.
I waited next to the corpse for the morning to dawn and it was only then that I could finally see where I was. A large hole marked the place where the dragon was awakened. I also finally managed to find my dragon slayer groupie and could continue my quest.
I did replay this part later on and waited until dawn before I went to this place, to be able to see what was going on and, of course, to do a dragon photoshoot. I'm not really happy with the result. Somehow, dragons are really exiting and scary when you encounter them in-game, but if you look back at the pictures afterwards, they don't look that impressive after all. It's like when I draw dragons: I'm hardly ever satisfied with the result. I don't think I've found 'the perfect dragon' yet.
There's one thing that embarrasses me a bit, and that's the actual act of dragon slaying itself. It occurs to me that my companion Lydia stands in the fire all the time (which would kill me in one hit) and I just shoot a bit at the beast from a distance. When 'we' kill it, I get to be a famous Dragon Slayer, and all she gets is a a pat on the back for being a good servant. While she did all the dangerous stuff!
Above: Lydia once again getting roasted.
Doing it right?
There's another thing that puzzles me. Sometimes I run into a dragon while traveling to a quest location, and get attacked. I'm forced to kill the beast. Now I've found several dragon shouts that I'm not able to use, so I thought I might need to kill a dragon in order to be able to do so. Indeed, once when I killed a dragon, it said "Dragon Soul absorbed", but the shouts I had collected were still greyed out and there was no way of finding any "dragon souls" back. I just hope I'm not missing something or even messing things up by killing dragons now that are meant to be killed later.
Any advice (please no huge spoilers) is welcome!