My best friend is getting married this year, and he’s asked me to officiate the wedding. The best part about this? Him and I are already happily married… In The Elder Scrolls: Online.
Johnny and I go way back. Freshman-year biology, 2004, we hit it off over our mutual love of video games, and a while ago we made that love official in the sight of gods and men (and probably a few Argonians) in front of the Shrine of Mara in Daggerfall.
Way back before launch, I pre-ordered the “Imperial Edition” of The Elder Scrolls: Online. I mainly did so to give Bethesda more of my money than I normally would since I was so excited for the game, and I thought the digital bonuses were pretty great. I like playing as an Imperial in TES games (they’re the only “Human” race in any RPG that isn’t boring as fuck), and at the time the Imperial Edition granted players the only way to do just that. Also, you got to start with a horse, which was worth the extra couple of bucks in itself.
Fast forward some, and I realized that in all my hours of playing ESO, I had still yet to use the last of my Imperial Edition bonuses – my Rings of Mara. They’d been sitting there in my inventory, all that time, just waiting for that special someone. And coincidentally – Johnny had just told me that very week that he was considering getting back into ESO as well. I told him I had an item that would give us both a pretty diesel experience bonus if we partied together, and so the plan was set.
Now, the biggest thing I need everyone to keep in mind is that at no point in this process (even up until it happened), neither of us had any earthly idea how the Rings of Mara actually worked. As far as I knew, we both would just equip the rings or something and if we were in a party together, we’d get the bonuses, right? Wrong.
So, Johnny and I are both on Skype, and we’re trying to get this process done. Apparently, we needed to find a Shrine of Mara to get the bonuses to activate, so it was off to Daggerfell we went, to pursue the secrets of my Rings of Mara. (For those keeping score on how oblivious we were at home: Mara, in The Elder Scrolls universe, is the goddess of love. Keep reading.)
We’re chit chatting away, totally unaware of what was about to happen, and I’m mindlessly clicking through prompts and dialogue trying to get the rings to work. The Ring of Mara item creates another item – a Pledge of Mara – which then must be used on the target player to “bind them” to yours. It looks like this:
We probably said something like “alright let’s do this”, or “I’m clicking this shit” or perhaps something else equally romantic, but what followed was a burst of radiant holy light, our characters glowing and levitating off the ground (no doubt elevated by the power of the goddess of love herself) and boom. 10% experience bonus. Next thing we knew, every player character in Daggerfall within earshot rushed over to play their lutes, clap, and emote kissing and cheering at us. John yelled into his mic “Holy shit did we just get married?!” and all of a sudden we were in absolute hysterics. I’m pretty sure the neighbors on either end of our computers heard us howling with laughter as our characters gingerly floated back to the ground, newly wed.
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my entire life. And yes, we’re still happily married – thank you very much. Love you, boopie.