Arghus sits and he stares. And when he stares he sees nothing – the way people look out into an unknowable distance but can’t see the person in front of them. There’s no reflection, no light in those rheumy, decaffeinated eyes.
Now Amalee, there should be a sign on her forehead that reads NO VACANCY. The upstairs brain-loft is brimming with random thoughts. The living room, the heart, is so full there are extra platelets crashing on the couch. The downstairs stomach has been rented out to crickets. The butterflies were just way too quiet.
Yet for all their differences, Skyrim is a small world. It’s not unthinkable to suggest Amalee’s father once sought the counsel of the city scryer, wondering when his son would come home. Before he turned cynical, Arghus would tell him the usual platitudes, that patience is faster than worry. Now, having lost his own daughter to an idol of a different kind, the scryer’s words are trapped in a bottle of mead, and if you tap it the sound rings hollow.
So if patience speeds time, Amalee’s father slows it. He worries. He stokes the fire every night in hopes the boy will come home. In turn, Amalee feels the need to lie to her parents, which results in the events that take place in Bards, Beasts, and Beauties.
In the mod there are explicit connections – For example, Jeerah-Nur‘s murdering spree leads to Jerulith‘s ousting, which results in her being there to save Viranya‘s life, which makes the Way of the Nine and Vigilance and Virtue possible. Gromash‘s fear results in his meeting with Jaspar. Al’Hassan‘s connection to Rumarin‘s forger brought him to Skyrim, and as a fake blacksmith, there’s irony in the fact that Jaspar leaves the book with him. These are all intentional.
But I also think there are plenty of ties that are unspoken, brought together not by the words you type but the echo – the ripples of their existence. When I made Arghus a former citizen of Markarth, Amalee was the furthest thing from my mind. And yet there he is, directing the very course of her fate.
It’s enough to make you believe in the effects of butterflies, even if all we hear are the crickets.