Crap. The lightning bolt fries the Khajiit, but it doesn't stop. The electricity dances around the room, frying the other two characters. I forgot Chain Lightning did that - I'd only just learned it after using Sparks for most of the game so far.
I return to Astrid expecting to fail the quest, but she actually congratulates me. She says I'm an 'overachiever', and offers me a place in the Dark Brotherhood. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not, but I accept.
I'm now a fully-fledged assassin. I have to say, though - my burly, bearded Nord looks ridiculous in the Brotherhood's trademark Shrouded armour. A man of his girth should never wear body-hugging leather.
I change back into my Dwarven armour, not only because I look like an idiot, but because my light armour skill is incredibly low. I'm going to be the noisiest, clunkiest assassin in all of Tamriel. That can be my MO. Luckily, Astrid doesn't seem to mind when I come striding through the sanctuary wearing my shiny gold armour.
Man's best friend
Nearly 20 hours in, and I'm pretty much devoted to one-handed combat and destruction magic. They're a lot more developed than pretty much every other skill, and I can handle any combat situation without having to block thanks to my heavy armour expertise.
I like slowing enemies down with frost spells - ice storm is a personal favourite at this point - and then battering them with a heavy lump of metal. I found a Dwarven mace in the ruins of Alftand, and it's been serving me well. I even managed to enchant it with a leeching spell, which means that with every strike, my health goes up.
Before I get invested in the Dark Brotherhood, I decided to go wandering. It's easy to get caught up in quests and forget that there's a huge world out there, ready to be explored.
The only major city I haven't visited yet is Falkreath, so I ride there. Turns out it's more of a village than a city, more like Dawnstar or Morthal than Whiterun or the like. I visit the blacksmith, Lod, to level up my smithing, and he mentions a stray dog that loose just outside of town. He wants someone to capture it for him, and I agree. I find the pooch scampering around, and I approach.
"You are exactly what I was looking for!" The dog just talked. The DOG just TALKED.