At E3 2018 you revealed that you’re making Elder Scrolls VI, a new entry in the much loved Skyrim line of video game product. You showed us next to nothing, but everyone still lost their dang minds. And who could blame them? The *NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ACTUAL GAME* trailer gave fans a brief look at a world they have so much invested in. The rousing orchestral rendition of the Elder Scrolls theme conjured memories of their fondest times with the franchise: filling a room full of cheese wheels, talking to a dog, turning dragons into Macho Man Randy Savage.
What we do know about it comes from Todd Howard himself, and it’s that it’s probably going to be some time until the game is ready for us to play. Howard said it’s “not coming anytime soon” and, “I don’t even know what the world is going to be like when it comes out.”
It might look more like Fallout if we’re not careful, am I right folks?
Anyway, it’s clear the game is still early in development, which means this is the perfect time for us, the gamers–the fans–to get our requests in … Because that’s definitely how game development works.
My request is a simple one and it involves including a character that has become critical to fantasy fiction. A figure that transcends intellectual properties and franchises to become part of the tapestry of the genre, as necessary as swords and shields, magic and mysticism, small cheese wheels and big cheese wheels. I am, of course, talking about the great and powerful Potion Seller.
For those who aren’t keeping up with all the modern greats in the fantasy genre, Potion Seller is a character created by Justin Kuritzkes for his magnum opus, a seminal piece of fantasy fiction titled, “Double U, Double U, Double U Dot YouTube Dot Com Forward Slash Watch Question Mark V Equals R Underscore FQU4KzN7A.” The beloved story focuses on a single conversation between a knight and a merchant selling potions.
Although the scale of the story may be small, what it depicts is still impactful. The knight, preparing to go into battle, asks for the Potion Seller’s “strongest potions,” to which the Potion Seller responds by rebuking his request. His potions, as it turns out, are too strong for the knight, according to the seller, and thus the knight would not be able to handle them.
The knight, exerting whatever authority he has, attempts to press on, demanding that the Potion Seller give him his “strongest potions” once again. “My strongest potions will kill you, traveler, you can’t handle my strongest potions,” he replies. In this moment, the message behind the story becomes clear. You see, in the eyes of the Potion Seller, the knight is just another person, a “traveler.” Whatever accolades the knight has gathered in battle thus far are not important, for the seller, the power of his potions are all that matter and it is his responsibility to ensure that they are only given to those he has confidence in … for their own good.
“YOU BETTER GO TO A SELLER THAT SELLS WEAKER POTIONS,” says Potion Seller, attempting to make the knight see sense.
The knight, taken back by the Potion Sellers unwavering morals and values, arrogantly asserts himself once again. “I’m telling you right now,” he begins, “I’m going into battle, and I need only your strongest potions.” The arrogance of the knight becomes clear. This is a story about hubris and how it can be the undoing of even the most self-assured heroes.
“MY STRONGEST POTIONS WOULD KILL A DRAGON, LET ALONE A MAN,” the Potion Seller clapeth back. “YOU NEED A SELLER, THAT SELLS WEAKER POTIONS … because my potions ARE TOO STRONG.” The knight’s desperate pleas are cast aside, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE MY STRONGEST POTIONS. NO ONE CAN!!!!!!!! MY STRONGEST POTIONS ARE FIT FOR A BEAST LET ALONE A MAN.”
In this moment, it becomes clear that “Double U, Double U, Double U Dot YouTube Dot Com Forward Slash Watch Question Mark V Equals R Underscore FQU4KzN7A” is also the story of how those that the masses would dismiss as a lowly member of society–a mere potion seller–can wield strength even greater than champions of the realm.
He may be branded “a rascal with no respect for knights” but, ultimately, the Potion Seller stuck to his convictions. He respected the power of his potions and, in the face of a would-be hero, he stuck up for himself, begging the question: Who was the real hero?
Answer: It’s the Potion Seller
In The Elder Scrolls VI, whatever it may become, players will inevitably be cast as the hero and go on a journey to save the lands, untangle political turmoil, and become a legendary figure for the peoples of the lands to sing songs about and deify. But there’s also an opportunity to make the little characters count, to remind adventurers that, while they may be on a quest to decide the fates of many, others have their own destinies, be it collecting wheels of cheese or choosing who to sell potions to.
And who better to remind people about this than arguably the most important representation of the little-guy-standing-up-for-himself fantasy archetype, the Potion Seller. He deserves to be in The Elder Scrolls VI. He is too important to fantasy fiction not to be. To that end, we at GameSpot have created a petition to urge Bethesda to reach out to acclaimed author Justin Kuritzkes and bring Potion Seller to The Elder Scrolls VI. Please sign and support this noble cause.
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