Monthly Archives: November 2011

Border Incident

Breakfast! Man, I need some meat after that dreary ordeal. Honestly, you’d think the guy could mourn his brutally murdered infant daughter somewhere else. Some people are so selfish.

Valga sells me some meat and bread, which I use to invent the sandwich, to universal acclaim. I also buy some more carrots and apples for snacking and invent the disastrous “carapple”, immediately sinking my reputation. What a morning! To cheer myself up, I get chatting to the priest who held the ceremony yesterday. Great job consoling those mourners by the way, guy. That was super effective.

Runil isn’t a bad sort, and chats a bit about the graveyard, which seems to be the happenin’ place round here. Odd really; they keep saying it’s huge and very important and old, but the walls are falling apart, the building looks no different to any other thatched hut, and I’ve seen bigger pubs. Must be a tourist thing. Their economy probably depends on playing up the local traps, so I’ll play along.

Runil asks me to retrieve a journal he dropped in a cave. That all sounds very simple, but I’ve heard this tune before. “Oh, I dropped my special stick, kind stranger. It’s in the ravine of kitten-on-the-pillow. Could you retrieve it for me? I’d be ever so mildly surprised and then instantly forget it.” And then when you get there you realise they ‘forgot’ to tell you about the cracked up team of sherpas who live next door. Screw that. I just got chased off by an angry beekeeper. I’m hardly in a position to go exploring some cave you’re scared to visit.

Speaking of which, it’s time I went shopping. Mornin’, Lod! Yes yes, I know, I won’t find better wares in all of Tamriel, shut up and show me the goods.

Peekaboo!

It is a hide shield. 80 gold or so bags me a line of defence more reliable than hoping any attackers will trip on a root and brain themselves on a rock. Although that did actually work once, to be fair.

I had to have a careful think about what to buy here, because with my limited cash flow, it’s likely that the equipment I buy, and the order I buy it in over the next few days will dictate what skills I’ll need to specialise in later. Whatever my trade, I’ll need to practice a fighting style if I’m going to survive any encounters. I’ll want to pick up a spell or two as well, later.

The shield simply makes sense – I have only one life, so protecting myself is paramount, and a shield blocks far more effectively than any weapon. I might get myself an axe later, but for now I’ll fight defensively – anything I’m likely to beat will fall to my dagger as easily as to an axe, so it’s not worth the money yet.

Secondly, I buy myself a lovely, warm pair of hide boots, and chuck away the ratty old rags I’ve had on my feet all week. They’ll keep the cold out, and offer a little protection for another 80 gold.

That’s much better. Matches the tunic pretty well in fact.

Feeling much more optimistic, I take Ymelda out of town, to the road leading up the mountain to the West. The usual plants are dotted about, plus clusters of mushrooms on the occasional fallen tree or stump. It’s an uneventful trip, although I do run into a suspicious Khajit (cat person) who calls himself M’aiq the Liar.

Is… is that really your name? But then that would mean you’re not a liar, which would mean your name is M’aiq the Liar, which would mean… arghh!

M’aiq weirds me out a little. The combination of his unexplained lurking, confusing non-sequiturs, and a sudden lunge towards me at one point (I got my knife out and he stopped, weirdly) unnerves me too much. I walk on, careful not to turn my back on him.

Next up, I pass another pair of standing stones marking a cave. It’s … well. I consider going inside, maybe doing a little exploring. But I’m not convinced. Call me paranoid, but I don’t really feel like crawling blindly into the bowels of the earth for no obvious reason today.

Instead, I follow the road to its end, which is marked by a gate much like the ones at Falkreath. There I realise that I’ve reached the borders of Skyrim… and Hammerfell. Home! Home is this way!

But… it’s a very long, dangerous trek this way, and I’d starve long before I reached safety. So close, and yet so etc. Sigh. I should turn back, and stab this fox in the back of the head. HYAH!

And to think they tried to ban fox hunting. Ymelda levels! All that buying and selling and alchemy, plus a little stabbing has paid off. As I reach a new level, I can choose to boost my magicka, health, or stamina, and select from a variety of perks to improve my abilities in various areas.

I go for a stamina boost, for running, blocking, and generally out-muscling things, and the “shield wall” perk, which makes my blocking more effective. Unexciting, but progress is progress. As time is wasting and there’s nowhere else to go, I return to the village and visit the barracks, where some guards are casually chomping their dinner, and the child murderer Sinding is awaiting trial.

Sinding tells me that he’s a werewolf, and that he lost a bet with god, who gave him a ring that controlled his werewolfing until he annoyed this god somehow. Insanity plea, huh? Probably a smart move. Which ironically means that you’re likely NOT insane, so you have to go to war. I mean, to prison.

He suggests that if I go and kill some kind of monster for him, his god will be impressed and grant me wishes, which I could use to help him out. Yeah, listen mate, even if I felt like taking on the guard dog of the gods, the last thing I’m going to do with a wish from god is waste it on you. I’d wish myself back at home with a team of hot servants, a million gold and a bottomless flagon of mead.

Good luck with the trial, though! If there’s one thing Nords like more than a child murderer, it’s a dangerous lunatic. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

Me, I’m off to celebrate my newfound blockery with some grilled meat and cabbage, washed down with a bottle of ale. Valga even lets me have my room for free, perhaps in awe of my increased stamina. Or perhaps because of a technicality over a 24 hour rental period, which going to bed now would probably abuse.

Oh well!

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The Mourning Show

Dropping into bed at about midnight, Ymelda uh… sleeps.

Great intro today.

I get up at eight and breakfast on some roasted pheasant, with some grilled leeks and carrots to go with it. Might be a long day. Food is more expensive than I’d expected, and without a ranged weapon I can’t rely on hunting, so I will spend today gathering herbs and such. Necklor will give me 1 coin for each clutch of mountain flower or mushrooms I can bring him, 2 for nightshade, and with luck more for anything else I can find. Yesterday afternoon I made 33 gold from that alone, and that was just what I happened to see. With a full day of searching through the wilderness around town, surely my money problem will disappear.

Valga greets and sells me some bread and carrots for snacking throughout the day, and I head right out of the tavern, passing a local chopping wood.

Nice to see a bit of life about town, even so early in the day. Sounds like the smith is already hard at work, too. If only it weren’t such miserable weather. I head out through the town gates ahead. The guards say hello, and I try to explain that their defensive gate has something of a design flaw.

They don’t seem interested. Bloody hicks.

Not much happens for a few hours, and pickings are steady, but uninteresting. I’m finding a lot of thistles, which are worthless on their own, but I hang onto them anyway in case I get the chance to learn about alchemy any time soon. I know nothing about alchemy, but it can be a good money-spinner – potions are always in demand even in quieter provinces, and a land at war will have plenty of use for poisons, even if I don’t use them. Hopefully the thistles will be an ingredient to something potent, or I can use them to placate an angry Scot.

Climbing up a small rise, I spot a thatched house down below that turns out to be a graveyard, rather than the inn I’d guessed at. One of the old men in the pub last night was harping on about Falkreath’s famous cemetery. Might as well swing by.

Considering it’s such a point of pride for the locals, the graveyard is a bit of a craphole. The walls have fallen apart and many of the graves are overgrown, which is pretty poor considering there are only a few dozen here. Tch. Maybe the gardener’s been drafted or something. I help them out by trimming back some clumps of nightshade. While scouring the grounds, I come across a ceremony in progress, and stand nearby to listen.

I’d be lying if I remembered a word the priest said, but I’m sure it was very holy. The couple he’d been addressing have just lost their daughter to some wandering murderer. Oddly, they have no problem casually chatting to another wandering stranger about it in the middle of what appears to be the world’s smallest funeral for a little girl in a village ever.

One of the dialogue questions is “Is this place always so gloomy?”, which is definitely what I’d ask a grieving parent about the graveyard their daughter’s just been buried in twenty minutes ago. I would also open with “Hey cheer up! It might never happen!”

This whole murder thing sounds blatantly magic-related. I don’t think this was your typical serial killer – I’d bet a sack of spuds that this guy was possessed or compelled by a sinister mage or the like. He’s being held in the local barracks, so I might just go and stick my nose in. Could be interesting.

There’s a small and rather cosy shrine in the nearby chapel. I sit quietly for a while and leave a flower for a blessing before heading off, away from town.

Heading… er… away from town (sorry, I lost track of relative direction today, and the clouds are obscuring the sun), I cut a vague quarter-circle around town via another road, picking as I go, and come to a shallow pool under a ridge just off the path. Inside it is… ooh, is that what I think it is?

Oh. No, it’s not. Thought it looked like nirnroot. That stuff’s fairly prized by alchemists.

Well, it’s still quite a nice little corner. If it weren’t a sure way to freeze to death, I’d go for a quick dip. Maybe on the way back, so I can dry off at the inn.

I cut back to the road and head on. Loads of thistles and mountain flowers here, not much else. Standing stones mark either side of a path off the main road. Hesitantly, I pass between them. Always feel a little nervous walking between two dark, sinister stones. These magical types never mark a difference between stones of Welcome and stones of DIE ALL WHO ENTER HERE. They really ought to standardise that code.

The path leads to some kind of ruined temple among the trees. Looks almost dark elf-ish, so I’d best be careful – those guys mess with some nasty magic. Crouching down, I move up for a closer look, and hear the humming of a beehive. Well, that should be okay, right? If there are bees in here, there probably won’t be anyth-OH CHRIST IT’S NOT A BEEHIVE.

Something glowing green moves out of the ruin and everything turns green. I get barely a glimpse before I leg it back to the road – I think it hit me with some kind of spell. Whatever it is, the bees seem to be … in it? Around it? It has bees in its mouth and when it barks it shoots bees at you? I do not know.

It’s slow, but it’s giving chase. I make like a tree, and run, scrabbling down some rocks. I am not equipped to take on a magical… thingy.

I’m guessing that was a spriggan or wood spirit or something, so it won’t take kindly to a herb gather wandering in and mashing up all its planty mates. I’m not about to try my luck against nature itself with nothing but an iron dagger. Well that’s okay, it’s stopped chasing, so I can just gather somewhere else.

It’s coming up to four in the afternoon, and I’m having a very late lunch, when I see the remains of a tower or mill up along a road that I think leads northwest. It is getting on though, and I’ve gathered quite a crop of ingredients today. It’ll definitely be enough to cover food and then some, so I decide to go home before it gets dark, and explore the village a little more.

A pleasant surprise: There’s an alchemist in town, just behind the smithy, and it’s owned by a Redguard woman. Zaria (for this is her name) gives me some chat about her background and how Falkreath is kind of a theme town, and its theme is death. I hadn’t noticed it, but she has a point – all the shops are references to death and graves and such. Typical. One day here and I manage to blunder into Goth Town.

Zaria even offers to let me play with her alchemy gear in the corner, once I explain that I’m a total novice and just need to know what I’ve got on my hands. No charge, and she even gives me a tip for a health potion recipe. Nice lady.

Pestle pestle, alemb alemb, mola ram, siddu ram. And lo! I done made me some potions, yu huh.

Specifically, I made some resist frost and some damage magicka potions. These ought to really ruin a snowman’s day. Or rather they would, if they were a little more potent. Won’t be much use to me, so I sell them to Zaria for a small pile of cash, the amount of which I’ve forgotten because I didn’t take a picture. I mean, I didn’t count it. Yes, that’ll do.

Unfortunately, if I want to use the lab again I’ll have to pay Zaria 50 gold first. I guess she wouldn’t have much of a business if any idiot could come in and help themselves.

Back at the inn, I pay for another meal and room, and find that the mourning father I spoke to earlier is sitting in my room. Oh god, this is all I need. I show a little polite interest and the poor bastard’s clinging to it like a barnacle. Siiigh. I guess I can spare an hour while I eat.

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Dame of Thrones

Respecting the rights of the hunter and (um) his horse to the spoils, I leave the bones where they fall and continue uneventfully along the road until it comes to a T-junction. Along the way I pick some more flowers, and discover the Grand Theft Auto camera angle.

Now if I can find a crate with a machine gun, I’m in business. Kiiiill frenzy!

Turning right soon takes me to, of all things, a lumber mill. And jolly pretty it is, too. There’s a stone bridge over the river, with a house and a wee barn nearby, complete with a lovely view of the lake. There are even some worthy challengers:

Yeah that’s right, pal. Walk away. Chi… oh. The nearby house is locked, so probably not an inn. I cross the wooden bridge to get a look at the mill in action. It’s operated by one person, which strikes me as either remarkably efficient or highly dangerous. Possibly both.

Hello. If this is a typical Nord woman, I think I’m going to fit right in here. That’s it, miss! You tell that log who’s boss.

The miller introduces herself as Hert, a name I have struggled to make a ‘cycles per second’ pun out of for an hour, and come up with nothing. Clearly I need to grind my Punning skill for a few levels. While I have plenty of time for anyone who singlehandedly operates a lumber mill, Hert doesn’t really have much to say, although she does ask if I’m feeling okay, which is rather sweet.

More usefully, she tells me that her mill supplies her last remaining customers in the nearby town of Falkreath, to the south. I figure any town that can support a mill must be worth visiting, so decide to head back the way I came. Although first I enjoy the scenery for a bit. Yeah, I should really get moving, but come on, this place is just too lovely.

You’d think a watermill would be more careful about blocking the river. Still, all that debris really shows off the water effects. Pausing briefly by the house, I contemplate stealing an egg from the hen’s nest nearby, but decide against it. Speaking of food, I realise it’s getting on, and decide to sit here for a minute and scoff the meat and bread I snatched on my way out out of the mountain pass this morning.

Passing by the fork I came by earlier, I keep walking. The sounds of the forest still make me nervous, and occasionally a sudden or strange noise will make me jump and whirl around, waiting for something to come crashing out of the woods, but nothing ever does. I suppose I’ll get used to it. It’s nice most of the time, though. As I’d guessed, the road turns sharply to the South before long, and starts going downhill. There’s a break in the trees to my left, and I walk over to it, thinking it will give me a good vantage point over what looks like a valley beyond – with mountains all round I’m sure to see where the nearest signs of human life are from up … up…

Hammerfell is huge. Morrowind is famously exotic. Cyrodiil is warm and bright and colourful. But this cold, rough place is spectacular. I don’t even know what to say about it really. So, it looks like I’ve found Falkreath, a little village in a valley, complete with waterfall…

…a lumber mill…

… and a shaggy ol’ cow.

We meet again, my old adversary. Weird about the lumber mill. Maybe I ought to go back and give that mill owner the news that that her last customers have abandoned her: “Who screws you over? Everybody, Hert. Sometimes”.

The operater of this mill is a real barrel of laughs though, immediately scowling and practically spitting at me for being a foreigner. I decide to teach him a lesson.

OH YEAH. COMING OVER HERE, STEALING YOUR WOMEN, MILLING YOUR LUMBER. What do you think of that, Bolund? Maybe all us ‘provincials’ are allowed in Skyrim because we actually work instead of sitting around all day whining about foreigners, huh? Jackass. Screw it, I’m out of here. Your mill is rubbish anyway. You don’t even have any chickens!

The village is not heaving, but there are sounds of life and work even late in the day. I can hear someone hammering away at the South end of the village and head that way after a guard remarks on the crappiness of my weapon. He’s right (and it’s a nice touch that an NPC noticed the material it’s made of), and the banging is bound to be a smith, or perhaps a really terrible minstrel. Sure enough, I come across a man smithing a sword.

Ignoring the unlikelihood of a swordsmith living in a little village and not a castle where he’ll actually be of any use, I say hello, and hear some stuff about Nords being loyal and true and honour and your word is your bond and fealty and ideals and waaaargh god man, do you do swords, or what?

He does everything, it seems. A hunting bow costs 164 gold. A strong iron shield over 300. Arrows are 3 each, and a decent pair of leather boots 80. Interestingly, he doesn’t have any swords for sale, including the one I just saw him making right in front of me. Perhaps that was a novelty toothpick for a local giant. In any case, I have 11 gold, which is enough for three arrows. I don’t think waving arrows around will impress anyone. Although I suppose if I dropped one from high enough, it might do some damage. Perhaps I can play the Nords and their honour and traditions, and convince them that it’s honourable to stand on this exact spot for an hour or two before we duel.

Or perhaps I should try to find an alchemist who’ll buy the non-genital contents of my underwear. The smith won’t, but for all my moaning seems a decent enough sort, so maybe I’ll be back. Further down the road I meet another guard (or possibly the same one – they have full-face helmets on, so who knows), who sounds worried about my health, saying I look terribly ill. Huh. He does know that black people exist, right? I mean, sure, I’ve got that stripey warpaint going on, but I figured Nords more than anyone would know about warpaint. Maybe Skyrims is more insular than I thought.

I pass a tavern – hurrah – and enter a general trader’s shop. The man inside, Solaf, is Bolund the Xenophobe’s brother, but much nicer. Indeed, he badmouths his brother for his attitude, although I suppose this could all be a clever scam. Solaf sells quite a variety of goods, is willing to buy my gatherings, and is over 20% neck.

NECKLOR GREETS THEE.

Necklor doesn’t blink as I produce fistfuls of plants and mushrooms from behind my buttocks and drop them on his counter. Once we’re done trading I have 44 gold, or enough for one boot. Tempting though this is, it’s probably wiser to spend it on foo-arggh!

YOU ENCOUNTER: CHEESE

Thinking quickly with my superior brain, I realise that a safe, warm bed will probably cost a lot more than cheap food, so I ought to see what’s happening in the tavern before I buy anything. Inside a few people are milling around the enormous fire, including a bard who bomps gently on his drum, and jams on some kind of lute while I warm myself up in the most efficient way I know.

The cleaning lady’s breasts greet me several moments before she does, and she makes out that I’m some kind of man-eating puppet master. Well that’s a … I suppose that’s intended as a nice compliment, breasts, but that’s not why I’m here. When I try to engage her in a proper conversation, she tries, I think, to come on to me. Hard to tell. Maybe people around here offer to up sticks and live with you as an icebreaker. I can think of weirder customs.

The owner, Valga, greets me and insists I look ill. Okay, starting to think I might be ill, but there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about that. Maybe I just need sleep. Happily, a room for the night is only 10 coins, which seems pretty reasonable. I take it, along with some bread and vegetables, and follow Volga to my room. It’s large and looks decent, and there’s even a book by the bed. It appears to be nationalist propaganda. Starting to wish the room had a door.

As it’s not too late in the night yet, I sit and eat in the tavern hall, and chat with the other punters. The bard is a bit of a ponce, but pleasant enough, and sings one of the two songs I know for me. Something about a Nord stabbing someone who insulted his beard or got into a fight with a tree or whatever. I was never big into music. The others are old, weary men. Old man pubs are always the best.

One of them tells me all about the local graveyard, apparently the most happening nightspot in town. Good times. Another insists he used to be the Jarl (a local lord, I think, or mayor, or something like it), but was deposed by a conspiracy of them thar forrins. The new guy is, he claims, an Imperial puppet, an asylum seeker, a single mum and a French papperazi. He also killed the queen’s swans, causes cancer, and inflates mortgage prices.

The old guy asks me to steal a letter from a local spy. Against my better judgement, I agree to do it. I’m not sure if I will go ahead though, not least as I’ve already forgotten the name of the spy, and breaking into every house in town might not go down well with the guards.

I step outside, and wander up to the Jarl’s house. I think it’s him I’m supposed to steal from, so I might as well case the joint before I decide. It’s gone 9pm, but the Jarl is still sitting in his Jarl chair, Jarling. A guard and servant are milling about, but they don’t bother me. Hesitantly, I warm my rear end on his fire, as is tradition among my people.

Surprisingly, Jarl Siddgeir seems unbothered by some peasant off the street coming in to say hello. My opinion of him, however, takes a swift dive, as it’s clear that he’s at least two kinds of tosser. Maybe the old drunk was onto something. Siddgeir has work for me, but “demands tribute” first, in the form of a bottle of mead from another town. He calls this “fresh”. I don’t think that a bottle that’s been secreted about my person somehow for however many days it takes to get to Riften is the very definition of “fresh”, but more importantly, I don’t like this guy, and can’t afford to be wasting my time on this kind of nonsense. I decline.

The rest of the building is oddly open to the public, but I find no letter anywhere. Even the war room, bizarrely, is unguarded, but I doubt I’d get away with stealing any of their gear. However, I do spy a big map of Skyrim, complete with major settlements marked. I can’t steal it, but I can get my bearings – I’m in the Southwest, and there’s a settlement in every direction except up the mountains to the South. Works for me!

On my way out, I notice that the Jarl has turned in for the night. Am I going to do this?

I’m definitely going to do this.

Hail your Queen Ymelda, Northern peasants! Bring to me the finest ale, and the most succulent fruit, that you may be spared my wrath!

Ahem. Perhaps it’s time I went to bed before I get into trouble.

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Fisherman’s Friend

The rest of my day starts halfway up a mountain. It looks like it’s coming up to noon, so I’d best get walking if I’m going to find shelter. Heading downhill, I make a start along a dirt path that meanders to the right. This is not the way I want to be going, so when it fails to turn back after a few minutes, I step off the path. Behind some trees I come to some kind of camp. As I can’t see anyone, I approach with care. Could be hunters, could be bandits.

It would be quite stupid for bandits to be camped so close to a road, but then historically, the business strategy of the average bandit has been to don extremely rare and expensive armour and charge directly at world-famous warriors who can kill a troll with their thoughts, hoping to profit by this somehow. I’m probably expecting too much from them.

A loud noise startles me and I run away, like a big scaredo wuss. Or like a completely unskilled, unarmoured nobody with no supplies and no idea what she’s walking into. Either way, nobody gives chase, possibly because they’re too busy laughing. Maybe I should circle around this camp.

Up on the left is a steep rocky incline, but it looks like I could climb around that way and bypass the camp without difficulty. As a bonus, I’ll be able to scope out the terrain properly from up there, too. Up I go.

Oh my. That’s… that’s some view.

They weren’t kidding when they called it rough terrain. No settlements in view, but the stone road is promising. The temple in the distance there looks a little suspicious to me, and that looks like a freshwater lake. “Road plus water” sounds like a much better site for a town than “mountain plus snow”, right? Plus there ought to be more wildlife down there, which means lunch. If I can catch up with it.

This really is a pretty lake. Always did like water, me. I ought to go for a swim, once I can be sure I won’t freeze to death or be eaten by a water grue. It may be cold, but I’m already enjoying this place. Butterflies are flitting about, the water’s rushing pleasantly by, a bird’s nest is sat among the rocks. A fox startles me by dashing across the road, wheezing heavily. A pack of wolves is lurki… oh, hell.

Wolves up ahead. They haven’t seen me, but they look pretty mean.

Now, it so happens that my ah… alternative career choice in Hammerfell granted me a little skill in not being seen by things that want to eat me. Now seems like a good choice to prove this, so I crouch down and try to circle around, using the woods to the left to conceal myself. To my credit, it works – the wolves on the road get wind of me and come to investigate, but this helps me out as they go in the wrong direction, allowing me to push further ahead.

The fact that while doing this, I blunder directly into another pack of wolves hiding in the woods is irrelevant, frankly. Yes, okay, I got attacked by wolves while trying to avoid wolves. But they’re different wolves, so it’s okay. I have taken control of my destiny, and directly influenced precisely which group of wolves within a given area will kill me. That’s not nothing; that is something.

Stab! Slash! Parry! Thrust! Although quite how one parries a set of canine jaws is beyond me, but parry! Thrust!

Ouch. The wolves go down, and I live through the ambush, but they’ve taken quite a few chunks out of me. Really need some armour. And hey, dead wolves mean wolf pelts! I set to skinning them and rest for a short while, catching my breath, and spontaneously regenerating the flesh that the wolves tore off my body. Apparently this is the done thing now. Huh.

(An aside: – Skyrim features regenerating health, along with magicka and stamina. This is sure to cause some outcry, but I can see the case for adding it to the series. The alternative, as used by Oblivion and Morrowind, was to have everyone inevitably become an expert healer, because constantly spamming healing spells was the only other way to patch up after a fight, and going back to town every time a rat gnawed on your toe would get old fast. Plus I can hardly complain, as without it, Ymelda would surely be dead by nightfall.)

Moving on, I get back to the path. The original wolves are sniffing about back where I came from, some bones are lying on the floor, and there’s a tiny island in the lake with a boat and column of smoke. I wonder who’s there.

Might be someone I can trade with. It would certainly be dumb for a bandit to hide out in plain sight like that. But I don’t have much to sell, and again, it looks way too cold to start swimming out here on the off-chance that some stranger will bequeath me his island, even if I give him all my flowers.

Oh, I’ve been picking some wild flowers as I go along, by the way. I’m no alchemist (my measly 12 points in Alchemy mean I know not to drink stuff I find under the sink), but I can recognise some obvious flower types, and most alchemists will buy anything, even in stab-happy, magic-skeptic Skyrim. A handful of coins would be welcome right now.

While I’m contemplating this, a bloody great bandit with a battleaxe comes charging round from behind a rock. Legs, don’t fail me now!

Hellowhatalovelyislandyesitiscoldohyouseembusybye!

Synopsis for the youtube-averse: Rather than commit suicide by fighting Battleaxe and Friend with a rusty knife, I charge into the water and pause on the island, hoping to find that it’s the hermitage of a great kung-fu master. It is not. The innocent fisherman who actually lives there stands up to greet me, then runs to defend his home from the hulking great villains who’ve chased me there. So I er, I dive into the water and leave him to it. Good luck, fish guy! I’ll drop in when you’re not so busy, okay!

He’ll be fine. Fishermen are hardy, right?

Moving swiftly on, I meet a hunter further down the road. Practically naked and sitting astride an enormous horse, he’s a surprisingly friendly sort. Considering my speech skill is comparable to that of a narwhal, his willingness to pay 9 coins for my wolf pelts is remarkable. Sadly I can’t interest him in some mangled wildflower petals that have been crammed into my knickers all morning. Well lah-de-dah. Excuse me, Princess.

Loch Ness stag! Aiieeee! Ho there Nessie! Faur ye headed? Will ye no come back again? Ah’ll no stab ye much.

So much for lunch.

Loch Ness skeleton! AIIEEEE! The closer he gets, the less convincinng my pitiful sword looks, so when he gets within stabbing distance, I get a sudden brainwave.

SAVE ME, PRINCESS!

I run back to the hunter, chased first by one skeleton, then by a second a minute later. Without a word, he dismounts, and shoots one of the skeletons (after hitting his horse once, the dip), while the horse kicks another one to death. To re-death. Whatever.

They slope off together, the hunter teleporting directly back onto the horse from several dozen yards away. Raises the question of why he’s living as a hunter rather than a travelling magician, but that’s none of my business I suppose.

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Filed under Skyrim, Ymelda Scrowles

The Rim of Sky (previously ‘coming soon’)

Today I have been clubbed senseless, carted East of the border, sent for exe-bloody-cution without so much as a word of explanation, let alone a trial, and then watched an ancient mythical creature destroy an entire village. Then some kind of soldier drags me out of there, and then disappears, after telling me he has an uncle in a place and to go there. Well thanks and all, but how am I supposed to know where that is? And do you honestly expect me to remember the names of anyone I met today? Or their faces? “Big guy, rough-looking. Aryan. Beard. Drinks a lot. Quite stabby” is basically a phenotype around here. And it’s not even noon.

It’s bloody freezing up here, too. Sigh. At least it’s not raining.

So. Here I am. Skyrim. Mountainville. Snowdriftistan. Land of the palefaced shoutymen. I can deal with that. I’m a Redguard – we’re basically the same, except we’re technique where they’re power, so this shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock. It’s not like I’m stuck in some backwards-ass dump like Valenwood or down in Cyrodiil. I’m probably still wanted in Cyrodiil. I should never have attacked that Nondrick guy.

I ought to take stock. I have some dirt cheap clothes, a little food and drink, a healing potion, and a cheap iron blade. I’ll need to work on that pretty fast. Won’t last long without some equipment, or anything to trade with, and I’ll need a lot of money to get back to Hammerfell. That won’t come cheap, especially as it sounds like there’s a war on, but I’m not getting caught up in someone else’s fight, especially not with a bloody dragon on the loose. Still not sure whether or not I hope I just imagined all that. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation really. Either I’m insane or the world is doomed. Or maybe I died at the border, and this is all some cruel celestial joke. It would explain the dragon, at least.

Be it a dragon or figment of my imagination, it flew off to my right, so I’m heading left.. There’s a fairly good path here, so maybe I’m in luck and there’s a town nearby. If not… well, I’ll learn to survive, I guess. It’ll probably be fine.

My name? Well. My name is Ymelda.

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Filed under Skyrim, Ymelda Scrowles