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.