In my last Skyrim post, Faendal (my companion/follower) had unexpectedly disappeared. I searched high and low for him. I tried fast travelling to see if he would catch up to me. I went back to the last place I could remember being with him. Nothing. No sign of poor Faendal. In Skyrim, companions are immortal… unless you kill your companion (accidental or not) yourself. So, I sadly concluded that Faendal must have stepped in front of one of my firebolts without me noticing. He does that a lot. :-/ Thankfully, I still had an old save I was able to revert back to. I had to redo a bunch of things I lost from reverting, but at least I still had Faendal. 😛
Most people who play Skyrim prefer to have Lydia as their companion… probably because she’s the first companion most people get. Because I like fooling around and talking to the people of Skyrim, I got Faendal as a companion before Lydia (Faendal was involved in a love triangle and felt indebted to me after I exposed the other guy as a scoundrel). One of the great things about Faendal is how helpful and cheerful he is. When you start a trade with Faendal (to give him better gear or have him carry things for you), he politely asks, “What do you want me to carry?” Ask to trade with Lydia, however, and she sighs, rolls her eyes, and grumbles, “I am sworn to carry your burdens…” Regardless, people love Lydia. Someone has even taken the time to drag Lydia’s corpse up to an open casket at the top of a mountain (not an easy task!) after she died.
I have another new friend in Skyrim – a horse I acquired in the southeastern parts of Skyrim. Like companions, horses don’t seem to be that helpful and just end up getting in the way… but one still grows fond of them. Horses can run faster than the player, but it’s not that much of a speed increase, especially because followers can’t join you in riding on the horse, so they quickly fall behind. Another issue is that horses apparently think they’re invulnerable. They have no problem running up to baddies (even dragons) and attempting to stomp them to death. Frost once went into the water, pulled out a fish, brought it onto the land, and stomped on it until it died. Thanks for protecting me from that fish, Frost. 😛