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Ah, Christmas.

What better time than Christmas to get a brand new Alienware desktop?

On Christmas day, I was pretty happy when I unwrapped an Alienware and Skyrim for PC.

After doing all of the things my family normally does on Christmas, I immediately set up my new computer and installed Skyrim. I torrented a few other games like Sonic Generations, Garry's Mod, etc., but Skyrim was what I played first.

Now, I already owned Skyrim for the Xbox 360, but it didn't have mods or console commands.

So, after playing Skyrim for a while, I checked for some mods and found something that looked pretty cool. It was called "Skyrim, 1-Upped". I liked the name a little, and I saw that I was the 7th person to download it and that all 6 people before me gave it the highest possible rating.

It said it added a lot of new features, like more customization options, more attacks, more dialogue, more locations, and other things. So...

I downloaded it, and nothing was unusual. File size was fine. Nothing looked suspicious, so I don't blame myself for downloading it. There was a .txt file with it, and NO, it didn't say anything about death or whatever.

It was just a regular text file stating that the mod required you to start a new save. I did, and I have to say, what happens at the beginning WAS (I repeat, WAS) pretty cool, as it serves as a bit of a mysterious prologue.

You start off controlling someone, not your character, talking to a formless voice, inside somewhere completely black. The formless voice was named ???? and he asked, "AND SO, DO YOU FORFEIT YOUR SOUL TO ME?"

The two dialogue options given to me were, "No! I won't stop fighting!" and "Yes... Yes... Just... No more...!"

I picked the first one, and the voice responded by halving my health, and saying:

"I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS. GIVE ME YOUR SOUL OR I WILL TAKE IT FROM YOU."

The two options I were given now were, "A-alright... I... submit..." and "I can... s-s-still... fight..."

I picked the first, and then, the voice laughed maniacally and the character's soul was trapped in a soul gem. I saw 6 other people in the soul gem, the same that had downloaded the game. I thought that was either

A) A coincidence

B) An awesome part of the mod that changes with the # of downloads

Afterwards, it took me to the beginning of the game, and I got to the customization.

The customization options were unbelievable. I'm not going to describe everything in depth, but any type of appearance you may want, you've got it. I’m serious, there were at least 100 new hair and eye options EACH. The mod wasn’t lying when it said it added a lot of customization features.

I played through the game, and there were some pretty cool differences, like a twin-blade Daedric Sword, a few more abandoned buildings, islands outside of Skyrim, and things of that nature. The mod made the game so much more enjoyable. 

After completing the main questline and Civil War questline (Imperials FTW) I decided to start the Dark Brotherhood questline and that, as you may have guessed, is where… shit got creepy.

I did the quest for Aventus Aretino, and after killing Grelod, he said, “Thank you, Rob!” It didn’t even cross my mind that maybe the game knew my name. I thought that the person who made the mod also modded it to where the game recognizes your character’s name and turns it from text-to-voice, which isn’t impossible, since there are iOS apps for that.

I told him no problem, and then slept in a bed and waited for the “We Know” message. I then went to sleep again and then woke up in the abandoned shack, where Astrid said her usual dialogue. 

I was then forced to kill one of the three people, and this creeped me out. The names of the characters were:

Ben Johnson

Jake Deas

Lilly Adams

All 3 people I knew in real life. Now, this could have been done by looking through a Twitter account or something I had linked to Steam, but this couldn’t:

Their voices sounded EXACTLY, and I mean, EXACTLY the same as each of the 3 people did in real life (Ben sounded like Ben, Jake like Jake, and Lilly like Lilly) and that’s when I WTF’d. What they said even matched their personalities perfectly. And so, I was kind of afraid to kill one of them, but as any person in one of these situations would do, I shrugged it all off as a coincidence. I’ve never believed in the supernatural, so why start now? I killed Ben, for no reason other than I had to pick one of them. I then left with the password to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.

I then decided to go to sleep since it was 1:00 AM (in real life, not Skyrim), and the next morning (what do you know), I saw on the news that a Ben Johnson had died. There was no way it was a coincidence. But I still thought of it as one… until they showed my best friend’s face. They said he had a slash across his face and what looked like a stab through the heart. Which is exactly how I killed him in game. 

I STILL (think I’m stubborn yet?) wouldn’t even begin to think that it was really caused by this mod, but I wasn’t going to just get on my computer (my best friend died, did you REALLY expect me to say I got on afterwards to try and solve the mystery?). 

After a while, the cops started searching for evidence, and all they could find were fingerprints on Ben’s body, and I then I heard that the fingerprints returned no match.

I couldn’t deny it anymore.

After two weeks, I was finally ready to get back on that goddamn mod, and I did the rest of the questline for the Dark Brotherhood. I got to the point where Astrid dies, and in the mod, no one else survived. I found a note on Babette’s body, listing the location of a “Third Sanctuary” that can only be accessed through a portal that can only be made through the use of magic. 

I searched through the entire damn sanctuary and found nothing.

I finally found a book called: “Spell Tome: Mysterious Portal” and it had no description. 

I read the book and got a notification saying I learned the spell, and I then used the spell (obviously). The entire back wall of the sanctuary turned into a portal, and I walked through it.

This is where I think I may have died.

Not remembering the prologue, I delved into the sanctuary and was greeted by “????”. 

He gave me directions to restore the sanctuary, and if I did so, he would help me perfect the portal spell to take me anywhere I wanted in game.

How could I refuse?

I did what he asked (the usual type of tedious task for this sort of thing) and then a shrine in the center lit up like the sun and it was there that I finally remembered the prologue. You know why?

Because I ended up… right where I described in the prologue. Only, it took place a little before the events there. ???? asked me if I wanted to live. I responded, “Yes.” He then said, “Then give me your soul.” I responded, “Never!” And he then caused me to erupt into flames.

He then said,  “Don’t resist, and I’ll stop this.”

I chose to remain silent. ???? then said, “Well then… I THINK I SHOULD GET ON WITH THIS.”

Afterwards, I couldn’t control my character anymore. It was like he was under the control of someone else. And he was. That’s what happened in the prologue. When I was controlling someone else at the beginning of the game, I think I was controlling someone else’s Skyrim character. So, since I couldn’t do anything, I checked the download count for the mod, and it was 2,341. And then, I noticed the dialogue was different.

???? then said, “ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE YOUR SO-“

There was a bit of slowdown.

“O-OUL TO ME?”

I think that the guy controlling me (if there WAS someone controlling me) was having some computer lag issues. 

Anyway, this guy was as anxious to get on with this game as I was, so he picked “Y…Yes… just… no…more…”

???? then began one of the stereotypical villain laughs, which caused HUGE slowdown this time. 

It still didn’t stop him though.

The game then played the same animation that it did when I picked the “yes” option (again, with slowdown) and a HUGE pain came over my entire body. Then, what may be the greatest miracle in my entire life EVER happened.

The game froze.

THE GAME FROZE.

So, I was then brought back to my desktop, (the pain stopped immediately) and, as ANY smart person would do in this situation, went to delete the mod from my computer as well as the save file. However…

The files were both corrupt. 

So, since I couldn’t use them anyway (and I didn’t want to, either) I deleted the mod and save file. 

I went to check the news to see if anyone else had this happen to them, and there were EXACTLY 2,341 confirmed cases of “unexplained death in front of a computer” nationwide. Remember how many people I said downloaded the mod? 

2,341.

…..

So I think I was very, very lucky.

I went to go report the mod immediately, and it was no longer there. Neither was the user who uploaded it.

And so, if you’ve encountered the same thing, please tell me… Although I doubt you’d be alive to say anything.

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