Last Time: I stocked my chambers with all the latest items, hired a helper or two. Read it here.

This Time: I retire to the countryside with my wife, retainers, and small child who whines about mud-crabs and chores. Read it here:

Pro-Tip 1. : We fancied a home overlooking a lake, so construction on Lakeview Manor began promptly. Remember your Housecarl help save any retainers from marauding bandits, giants, or other adversaries that like to wander in.

As if plodding around the landscape of Skyrim, saving villagers, yelling at Dragons, and preventing all-out Civil Wars weren’t enough, there’s also possible time in your busy adventuring schedule to relax and create a modicum of a peaceful life for yourself and your kin. That is, until the next wolf attack. If you own a home (whether it’s one you purchased, or built yourself), you can add a sense of joy/annoyance (delete as appropriate) to your life by adopting one of 23 young whipper-snappers that have no other family to rely on. Parenting may be difficult (or you may simply ignore or dote on the kid), but it’s a way to give your hard life a little more meaning. Lydia was too busy slaying to provide me with a bairn the “usual” way, so we chose to adopt. But who’s on offer?

Pro-Tip 2. : This needy little tyke (Francois Beaufort) can only stay at your abode after you turn one of your existing chambers into a Children’s Bedroon (purchase that from a Hold Steward). For newly-constructed houses, simply add a Main Hall and furnish bedrooms with child beds.

That Revised and Expanded Skyrim Official Guide I keep mentioning is really rather helpful when choosing the boy or girl you want to ruin your life, wait, I mean add meaning to your life. Orphans are adoptable, and come from one of three different locations; the Honorhall Orphanage, a town in Skyrim, or the streets.
Orphanage Orphans can only be adopted once you’ve completed Dark Brotherhood Quest: Innocence Lost, waited for the heat to die down, and completed Constance’s verbal questionnaire at the Orphanage. Or, if Constance felt the sting of your blade too, wait a few days and check the Orphanage out. There are four children to choose here.

Fifteen children are wandering in each of the major settlements in Skyrim (for example, Fordnar is available in Riverwood). However, these children only become available if they’re actually orphans. They have parents, and their folks must die (hopefully by a dragon or bandit attack, and not by your hands, you maniac). Visit Constance and complete her questions once this occurs. If you’re a fan of Dragonborn, Aeta in Skaal Village is a new little cherub you can foster, if you wish.

Finally, there are four kids simply eking an existence out on the streets of Skyrim (for example, Lucia is begging in Whiterun’s plaza).

Pro-Tip 3. : Why bother putting up with this terrible tearaway, and his penchant for bringing in stray dogs (or Mudcrabs)? Because you receive an extra bonus (Father’s/Mother’s Love) after resting; giving you 25% more health after a healing spell or potion for eight hours. Oh, and the joy of parenthood: That too.

Excellent! Now that kid can be put to work! You can apply basic discipline, play games to avoid those inevitable tantrums, and as a special treat, give your kid a gift. The more gifts you give, the more presents you receive upon your return to your house, as the little bundle of joy learns that there are some decent grown-ups living in this land. Expect a variety of chatting topics to come up, as well as the odd hare, mudcrab, or dog to “turn up” as a pet.

Who lives with you in Skyrim? A fine fighting partner? Or some paid-up lackey? How’s your little brat… wait, angel doing? Then why not tell us about it?

Until next time may the Bandits raiding your home be swiftly slain, and your urchin living in your abode abides under a basic set of house rules.

As always, look for the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Revised & Expanded Prima Official Game Guide at a retailer near you!