SO I have finished the main questline and am faced with a choice. Kill a certain someone who has been nothing but helpful during the main quest line and have the blades back on side, or leave him alive and keep the Greybeards on side.
Usually when it comes to killing things in game, my moral compass is set to swing axe first, ask questions later. I like killing things, they give you loot rewards and makes you feel like the invicible badass you really are.
When I got the quest, I thought I could talk my way out of it and come out friends with everyone. Alas, this was overly optimistic and I found that I had to one or the other. I decided to do nothing and the Blades barely talk to me, the giant pricks. Once Alduin had met his end, I thought I would just suck it up and see how she went. So a Dragonrend, some wards and a couple axe swings later (and the awesome kill sequence), this (former) helper laid at my feet, dead.
I felt terrible.
Not only had this NPC helped me through my journey to kill the World Eater, he was wise enough to understand the Blades point of view. Even agree with them on a level. It sounded like a well rationalised argument and even the Greybeards more or less said that the Blades were just overzealous dicks. Made them sound like the Thalmor (who I really detest and kill on sight).
I googled this and it seems that the moral dilemma is not unique to my own experience. Many people like this guy and have even gone as far as to say the Blades should die for being ignorant dicks. This is a community who are usually bent towards the "swing axe now, ask questions later" mantra I live by in game. Some even go so far as to mod the children so they can be killed too. Yet this noble NPC has made us pause and consider the kill and think about the morality of it. IF every NPC was as helpful, would it be as fun to clean out an entire town of its occupants??
It really suprised me the depth and the scope of this moral dilemma in a virtual world where killing is the norm and sentiment is rarely seen (except maybe for your favourite axe). On one hand, it makes me want to have more depth in the game so that I can talk out situations like these and form an alliance between the two factions. On the other hand, it is very true to life- some groups are unwavering in their wrong beliefs and those who are the victims of those wrong beliefs want no harm to come to the aggressors. It is just another aspect of this beautiful world that Bethesda have created for us. I can honestly say that I cannot get enough of exploring it. I would have put in 70 or 80 hours over the past month and I have only just finished the two main quest lines. There is a lot to go!
I think I am going to let him live for now. I need to have a really bad day to swing my moral compass towards "serial killer" before I can bring myself to bring my axe down on his head.