The tantalizingly brief Skyrim teaser trailer debuted by Bethesda Softworks late last year filled my mind with visions of titanic battles between man and beast; of shining steel bathed in ancient flames; of a champion rising from humble origins, prepared to sacrifice everything for the fate of the world.

After 60+ hours with the game those visions have been fully realized — and rendered largely inconsequential.It's the sort of tale that fuels ancient epics and trashy fantasy novel trilogies alike, certainly sufficient enough to serve as the plot for the average role-playing game. This is not your average role-playing game. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this titanic tale is merely a framing device for a much larger story. My story.

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