I don't get along well with "writing tropes", but I suppose it lets the developer off the hook easily enough.
Implied urgency is better than fighting a timer, in my opinion, and most games I keep don't have timed missions. If they do I find a way to disable it. Did that in Oblivion. Disabled the "spirit meter" in Mask of the Betrayer, etc. This game's timed mission at the end is annoying, but mostly doable (I had to try it several times before I finally succeeded). I'm rushed all day at work, so I don't like being rushed in games. Implied urgency is just fine because it sets the mood and reminds me of impending doom should I fail, but I don't have to run around like a madman because of it.
Wouldn't be surprised if Grimm is a bug. The game replaced the dragon armor I'd been wearing with completely non-enchanted bone armor (no + skills or anything), which was annoying. In my case, my servants welcomed me back rather than acting like it was our first meeting, so I guess that part worked correctly.