Character Profile – Dagri’lon

When it comes to Dagri’lon, there’s a few things I need to address:

Yes, Dagri’lon is overpowered for a follower.  He was never intended to be one.  He was designed to be a challenging fight in a game devoid of challenges.  It really isn’t his level either.  It’s his spells.  They wreak havoc.

Yes, Dagri’lon has no head.  That was not Jay33721’s original concept.  He was supposed to be a rotting corpse, but at the time, I didn’t know how to make Draugr talk.  So, fiddling around with a pasty Dark Elf, I put a Flame Atronach’s armor in his inventory and voila.  No head.  It started out as a compromise, and it evolved into a story.

Yes, Dagri’lon has a voice that is practically a caricature of all the evil voices in the history of evildom.  However, Dagri’lon is not motivated by evil.  He does not live to see the hero dipped slowly into a pool of boiling acid, while he sits patiently on a throne of skulls making finger steeples.  And while Dagri’lon seeks immortality, he is not a creature of greed.  He is motivated by one thing and one thing only.  The man abhors decay.

If there is an inspiration for Dagri’lon, it comes from the writings of Yukio Mishima, and the Buddhist scriptures on the decay of angels.  There are five signs in total, so if you come across an angel during your next trip to the market, be sure to look for them.  They are as follows:

1. The flowery crown withers.
2. Sweat pours from the armpits.
3. The robe is soiled.
4. They lose self-awareness, or become dissatisfied with their station.
5. The body becomes fetid, ceasing to give off light, and the eyelids tremble.

Yes, the decay of all that’s good and holy is not a new concept.  It’s a common theme quoted in everything from the notebooks of angst-ridden teenagers to grown men forming Fight Clubs.  I want to spoil that which is heavenly, I want to destroy something beautiful.  I am by no means an expert on the author – I’ve only read Confessions of a Mask – but that seems to be the mantra of a lot of Mishima’s characters.  Protagonists who are disgusted with themselves, self-loathers who lash out by perverting the pure.  Yet Dagri’lon is not a whiny teenager.  He harbors no jealousy of things that are beautiful.   He simply recognizes its transience.  He will burn down the Golden Pavilion in a wall of flames, but his intent isn’t to defile its beauty.  It’s to preserve it.

No, Dagri’lon isn’t a destroyer of worlds.  Destruction is a compromise, a last ditch effort to defy that most intractable of taskmasters – time.  Yet in the end, he cannot see fit to destroy himself, and the irony is he’s become the very thing he despises most.  A decaying angel.


26 thoughts on “Character Profile – Dagri’lon

  1. “He simply recognizes its transience. He will burn down the Golden Pavilion in a wall of flames, but his intent isn’t to defile its beauty. It’s to preserve it.”

    Death as preservation… I know, right? To stop beauty in time before the ravages of time prevail. Pure poetry.

  2. I was puzzled at first what to do with Dagri’lon, since he is the three worst sins a writer or rpg gamemaster can commit, rolled into one.

    1. The sin of Mary Sue: A smasher of canon, the Mary Sue is born of the author’s desire to create the most powerful, the most dramatic, the most important character possible, often, but not invariably a proxy for the author, but universally eclipsing the protagonist(s) in their own story. Reminiscent of a poor painter who mistakes bold strokes for skill, the author of the Mary Sue character is unable or unwilling to create drama, pathos, or interest while continuing to color within the lines… he must instead make something bigger, better, bolder, and brighter than anything else the universe (usually not his own) contains.

    2. The sin of GMPC: While the skilled gamemaster creates supporting characters that lend background color to the story, and elevate the experience of the players, the poor gamemaster, wishing too much to speak within the world, or too enamoured of the character he wishes to create to perceive the limitations the story will allow, creates the GMPC. The GMPC is no longer an NPC, but a player character run by a “player” who has root-level access to the game and makes all the rules. Actual PCs are left feeling railroaded at best, and redundant at worst.

    3. The sin of Unobtainium: A skilled gamemaster is clever enough to construct challenges and environments for the PC out of the same caliber and nature of stuff as comprises the PC himself. To build the world of the same cloth in all places. To sauce the goose as the gander is seasoned. But a poor gamemaster, lacking imagination, must build his challenges, his antagonists, or even his bit players, with different legos. They must have knowledge the player cannot learn, backgrounds the player cannot have or see or experience, tools or spells the player cannot learn or use. The unimaginative GM makes his PCs and NPCs play by different rules, transforming the game from a challenge in using the blocks provided to best build a thing, into an arbitrary and often malign game show where the challenge is to interact with the unobtainium in the way the author intended, because Nothing. Else. Will. Work.

    So what to do, with this tripartite insult to the experience of the interactive story? The simple answer would be to ignore him and try to patch one’s suspension of disbelief over the gaping hole left by the experience. The simpler answer would be to uninstall the modification and revoke the author’s “audience privilege”.

    But there is a better answer.

    Ultimately, it is the protagonist who controls the story. Ultimately, he is and must be the most important character in it. Any challenge to his importance and centrality must be not simply removed by refuted, preferably by the same technique that the challenge employed.

    And so I availed myself of a bigger piece of unobtanium, a more powerful character, an entity more woven into the storyline.

    I led Dagri’lon to Boethiah’s pillar of sacrifice, where he was dispatched with a simple knife, by the one he called a mouse with a kitten’s claws.

    From outside the fourth wall, the mod author’s abuse of root access was dispelled with the game designers’ use of root access.

    From inside the fourth wall, Dagri’lon was ultimately shown to the be very sort of unenlightened weakling he mocked… a victim of his belief that magic is power, when the truth is that *power is power*, and in this case, power takes the form of a well chosen lie, the knowledge of one important hidden fact, and a nonmagical sharp edge.

    Let’s all resist the temptation to abuse GM tools… and just write better stories, instead.

    1. 1. Dagri’lon thinks he’s the most powerful mage who ever lived. Spoiler alert: He’s not. Neither is Hjoromir the greatest knight in the history of the world. Stop mistaking NPC boasts for reality.

      2. Dagri’lon can be killed by normal means. The player can surpass his level. I actually dropped it to 75 for the next version. He’s powerful as that’s his backstory, but by no means is he unkillable. Both Olivia and Drelas will actually be stronger than him. As you noticed, he’s not essential, and can be killed by Boethiah or by your own two fists. (But for some reason you seem proud of yourself for “discovering” this fact, which is completely laughable – it never occurred to you if I wanted to make him essential, I would have ticked the box?)

      3. Dagri’lon has some decent level spells. Again, it’s meant to be a challenge to fight him, but you must have a different mod if he’s casting unobtanium. “They must have knowledge the player cannot learn.” Right. The player can’t cast Wall of Storms or Greater Ward. Those spells are impossible to learn and I used my “root access” to make them. Or you could just pick up a freaking spell tome by the same name.

      If you think his level should be lowered more, or if spell X is too powerful, even given his backstory, then state the level you think would be ideal and the specific spell to be removed. Don’t post this horse shit. It’s useless.

      In other words, let’s all resist the temptation to use hyperbolic, specious arguments that aren’t backed up by facts, and just make better suggestions instead.

    2. It’s actually pretty hilarious, if you bring him to Boethiah’s pillar as the sacrifice, after it’s all said and done, he’ll just stand back up and start walking back to Riften like nothing ever happened. I specifically chose him, because he seemed like a character searching for a method to die, and I wanted to give him that wish. I don’t know if it’s a bug or not, but apparently not even a Daedric Prince using his body as a puppet could perma-kill him, and it seemed thematic for him to just brush it off like no big deal. “I KILLED you!” “I got better… or worse… probably both”

    3. The best part about the pseudo-intellectualism to me is that this guy is also quoting Order of the Stick.

      “Power is power”, indeed.


    4. Man this character seems to have suffered quite a bit of criticism i see. I have him following me around and i can’t seem to get him to go back to his rataway deal. Coming to this site i was trying to see if he was apart of one of the mods i installed only to find out he is apart of the interesting npc mod which i simply added to increase content in my game. I think i may just disable him. A more suitable follower should be a bit more subject to death from conflict.

  3. I think Dragi’lon adds some needed flavor to the rest of the cookie cutter followers. I think his spells are a lot fun, and his morbid and cynical commens really put a smile on my face. He’s definitely over-powered for the game, and I ended having him wait outside more often then not when I start clearing out dungeons.

    Perhaps you can set his level to be the same as the rest of the followers, and allow it to auto-increment with the player’s level advancement. It would probably make more sense to make him a quest giver, or somehow specify that he can’t become a follower.

    1. I agree that Dagri is too strong for a follower but given his backstory, setting him to the player’s level would mutilate the suspension of disbelief for everyone who enters the Ratway Warrens Pre Level 40.

      I think the best solution would be to only make him available as a follower to sufficiently powerful Characters. One Idea off the top of my head would be to make him recruitable only for masters of persuasion (Speechcraft 90+) or extremely powerful mages (Level 40+, Mastery, meaning skilllevel 100, of at least one school of magic.)

  4. I was curious why he was “overpowered” for a follower then realized most people probably arn’t using a follower mod that keeps any follower you get at your level.

    I was expecting him to run around one shotting everyone, but he’s “just” a mage follower with awesome dialogue, great back up for my nord warrior who’s two handed preference he even referenced iirc.

  5. This guy only ever seems to use his daedric dagger and ward for me. How do I fix this? I got him as a follower at a relatively low level, do I need to be a higher level for him to use his spells?

  6. What “The Wisper” wrote in the second comment was just about the biggest heap of pompous BS i have ever read in any context, and I regret the 2 minutes I wasted on it.

    Not sure what to make of the Dagri character… As a level 21 dude, I went into the Warrens to fetch Esbern to help with the main quest. First time I saw Dagri I made him my follower, but he nuked everybody whenever he had a chance and caused a bit too much mayhem for my taste. Upon dimissing him, he was slightly peed, said I may not get a second chance :-) On a second playthrough (now), I just ignored him, did not talk to him when fetching Esbern. Let’s see how this will turn out.

    I have NOT delved into many (most!) of the Interesting NPC’s, so I could be wrong with what I am going to say about Dagri (because I don’t know his full story and background and motivations and such).

    But I think it is just too easy to make him a follower. His strength can be exploited too easily. Of course, it is upon the player to use/not use him as follower, but still… I think I like the restrictive idea of being a powerful character oneself before he is willing to follow you.

    His dialogues are rather interesting! His voicing reminds me of the 3 spectral blades we met in Oblivion (was that in Sancre Tor during the main quest?). It’s pretty cool after a short while of getting used to the sound and all.

    1. I’ve considered making his follower based on level, but the problem with that is, Dagri’lon as a super follower is meant to comment on everything in the game. As such, some players want him around for the entire ride. Thus I’ve left it up to the player if/when to recruit.

  7. I’d like to give this fellow a shot, but in a previous comment i read that he might not have enough magicka. Will he use any magicka potions you give to him when he is low, or will they always be considered the player’s property?

    1. You should use ASIS mod for that I believe… but those will not make his magica pool larger,, maybe fortify magica will help..

  8. So I’m having an issue where Dagri will randomly become hostile to NPCs. At the Siege of Whiterun, he starts attacking the Stormcloaks as soon as the battle starts. At College of Magic, he just starts wailing on Arcano. None of these characters are hostile to me, but Dagri’lon just decides to go after them.

  9. Out of all npcs I’ve come across, Dagri’lon has to be the most mysterious in this mod. I find him fascinating, his backstory and association with the psijic monks makes him seem to pack a punch and he really does. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate with future expansions but I would really like more quests around this guy. I can’t help but bring him around with me.
    Plus his focus and goals are just interesting. It’s poetic how he seeks to preserve beauty by destroying decay. I know he was supposed to be a worthy opponent but I’m glad he’s not. I wish there was more to him! The voice-acting is just awesome. I like the Darth Vader kind of tone he has.
    Would be cool to get a quest to learn unique spells or something. Maybe even get an actual compliment from the guy one time. XD
    Great job with making Dagri’lon. I’d hug him but he seems not the hugging type.

  10. Honestly, With Each New Character I Create, I Always End Up Recruting Dagri’Lon. His Dialogue Is So Interesting To Me, And I Love All The Comments He Has Wherever We Go. I Honestly Love Him As A Follower, And I’m Super Impressed By His All Around Character. Fantastic Job!

  11. He is indeed strong, especially for a mage follower, but not as overpower as some comments suggested.

    Actually, most vanilla followers like Vorstag or Ahtar, if properly equipped, can kill him with easy at later levels (assuming that you use mods that adjust followers levels).
    Other than that, he is by far the one I like the most… best comments, best vibe and one of the best voices. Really great.

    But I must admit… the ritual of Boethiah is an ironic yet fitting end for this great character.

  12. Love Dagri, like awesome job and awesome background story, i dont get why people complain about him being overpowered i mean i recon for a master conjurer he should use some stronger summoning, but vanilla skyrim doesnt really have a way too show a powerful mage except getting master spells which no one ever uses… Like someone said before a quest with him would be awesome, but i understand that would be hard with everyone he ever knew being dead and his only problem is something natural for everything. Anyway i think it would be the greatest moment in skyrim after hauling his ass through all the moments ive saved countless lives and i get “foolish or pointless worm” to hear a compliment after his quest :D. Anyway love this mod like epic job favourite mod

  13. I traveled with Dagri’Lon from about level 10 to level 103. From Harkon, to Miraak, to Alduin, and everything in between. I loved his raw, over-the-top comments. I only wish there were more of them. I also wish he had more context specific dialog if the PC was a vampire or werewolf.
    I did not consider him overpowered. He did have an issue early on charging into battles with his dagger while I was lining up a spell or shout. I would shout at the screen “D! You’re not a tank”. Giving him a staff of lightning, fire, or ice solved this. As he leveled up he relied more on his spells and storm atronachs.
    The storyline around the Psijic Monks was interesting. I wish there was more background to discover. I also wish he had a personal quest like Zora.

    My char was a mage and in the early levels I felt a bit like an apprentice to a master. I wish he could have taught some kind of slow time spell as that was part of his back story. Towards the end, I was the archmage and had long since surpassed him, however, it was his comments after the defeat of Alduin that ended the journey. All but the last comment was telling me essentially that my journey as the dragonborn was over and I had nothing to look forward to but decay and loss. I was taken back initially. We went on this grant adventure together and you don’t have one positive thing to say to your former apprentice. It almost seemed like a provocation. I realized (or maybe it’s just the way I interpreted it), that he was talking about himself.

    The last comment to him was essentially ‘…there is just one loose end to tie up…killing you…” My thoughts were that this was what he wanted. He loathes decay, but would not destroy himself. I remembered the first words he said to me: “The Ratway is a grave. Those who dwell here decay”. My interpretation was that he originally went there to die, and despite the journey we took together, the final destination was the same.

    He said he was born in Skyrim so I would infer that he was a Nord. My last act as a companion was to help him find Sovngarde.

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