Living in Oblivion

Hounds From Hell

So, I’ve got a house. Of course, it’s a bit plain, and in case MTV stops by I’d better spruce the place up a bit. The ugly lady in the Office of Imperial Commerce told me I could buy some furnishings for my pad by talking to Sergius Verus at Three Brothers Trade Goods, so I’m off to the Market District.

I find the store, but while his two brothers are manning the counter, Sergius is standing around outside and won’t sell me anything. I wait, watching, as he strolls around aimlessly, but after an hour he still hasn’t gone into the store. I guess it’s his day off.

Well, there’s plenty of ways to kill time. I hit up a few other shops and pubs, buying their ingredients, mixing them up, and selling them back. It’s not long until I’m back up to about 1500 gp again.

Then I’m off to the arena, again, to catch a late match. I watch people in dresses slaughter each other while I bet on them from the safety of the stands. I put a hundred on blue, and I am not disappointed. Add another hundred bucks to my wallet.

The next morning I head back to Three Brothers and catch Serguis behind the counter. He’s selling a lot of upgrades, but they’re around 700 septims each, so I can only buy two: the sitting area and the storage area. I walk back home and my purchases have been delivered. Nice! No assembly required, so they’re already better than IKEA.

There’s now a couple seats around the fireplace and a chest and bureau against the wall. The chest has a bowl and some yarn in it already (I put the bowl on the table), and the bureau has a few outfits neatly folded in it as well. I put on the new clothes, store the old ones, and even place the skull I picked up in Weatherleah on the top of the bureau. This is really becoming a kick-ass pad. Anyone want to come over and watch some fire with me and my skull?

Unfortunately, beng a homeowner carries with it some responsibilities. I’m pretty much broke after buying the home and furnishings, so I think it might be time for a little business trip. Out into the wild, to gather ingredients, something I feel like I haven’t done in ages.

So, no sooner do I have a home that I find I must leave it. At least it will give me a chance to hang out with my other expensive purchase, Beaker the horse.

Beaker is right where I left him, standing in the stables, and soon we’re galloping along the road outside Imperial City, headed south.

The plan is this: make a big southern loop around the city, find an inn somewhere to spend the night (since it’s already around noon), then, in the morning, strike out east for Cheydinhal, where I can stay for a few days while I scour the area for ingredients. I also (unwillingly) agreed to find out who was impersonating Reynald Jemane in Cheydinhal when I was back in Chorrol, so I’ll look into that, only because I’ve already been paid to.

Man, I love Beaker. He just eats up the road. After all the walking I’ve done, it’s nice to be able to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time.

Of course, the first location we reach is the crosshairs of a bandit archer, who opens fire as we’re crossing Old Bridge. I ride past him as a couple arrows strike me, get Beaker to a safe distance, and then dismount and charge.

The bowman, not an idiot, runs as soon as I get close to him. I’m too slow to catch him, but I eventually manage to corner him against some boulders, and he draws a dagger. He drops shortly afterwards, and I take his clothes. As you do.

He also has a steel bow, higher quality than my iron one, so I nab that as well. Meanwhile, I’ve got a few arrows stuck in me.

Including one he somehow shot straight down into the back of my neck. Not sure how he managed that one, or how I can still move my legs with an arrowhead lodged in my spine.

A little further down the road I come across Pell’s Gate, a small community of people who stand around staring into space, walking short distances, staring into space again, and offering rumors to passersby. They don’t have an inn, however, so we continue on.

The sun is starting to set when I spot a wolf or a dog in the distance. I slide off Beaker and take aim with my bow, not especially worried. I’ve been fighting wolves since day one, but if it’s a dog, its master may be close by.

I score a hit and the wolf runs at me. I can’t help but notice that even with a critical hit, the wolf does not appear to be hurt. At all.

I score another arrow as it gets closer. Again, its health barely even registers the strike.

I stupidly don’t get my sword and shield ready until it’s already biting at me. And apparently, it hasn’t been brushing its teeth.

Oh, man. It gave me a disease called Helljoint. Will I still be able to enjoy my active lifestyle?

I notice a couple things all of the sudden. This isn’t just a wolf, this is a Timber Wolf. That’s, like, a better wolf than just a normal wolf, I guess, which would explain why the arrows didn’t do much damage, and why this wolf is attacking much faster than they usually do and is not falling dead after a couple swings of my sword.

I also notice this:

That short red line that is so short it’s almost not a line? That would be my health bar after just a few bites. I’m suddenly, scarily, very close to being much less alive than I’ve been accustomed to.

Luckily, the wolf isn’t doing so great either by this point. Backpedaling, blocking, I finally manage to drop it. Man. That was my closest call yet, and I didn’t even realize it until it was almost too late.

I heal up with Mara’s Word, topping off my health, and take a look at this disease I’ve contracted.

Helljoint is draining my speed and agility? Not my speed and agility! That’s what Nondrick is known for!

Well, I am an alchemist. Maybe I can cure it or something. I have some Root Pulp in my sack, which has curative properties, but nothing else I can match it with. Good thing I’m on an ingredient finding trip. I poke around in the woods as the sky grows dark. I find some ingredients, but nothing with Cure Disease elements. I find an angry woman, however.

She rushes toward me from a nearby fort, brandishing a huge two-handed sword. I guess there’s two types of people in the world: those who gossip about mudcrabs, and those who want to cut you in half.

She has a dog, too, who joins in attacking me. Swell. What a great idea this trip was.

I’m back down to about half-health before she finally falls, and the dog, meanwhile, has begun to attack Beaker, who stands there like a fucking idiot doing nothing. GET AWAY FROM BEAKER, MANGY CUR!!

Luckily, the dog isn’t tough to bring down, plus, he’s carrying some silverware, a knife, which I can add to my dinner table when we get home.

The dead female marauder is wearing some iron armor. Hmm… wonder how that would look on me?

Completely different, that’s how. This certainly is a realm of magic and mystery!

While I’m standing there, I notice two more figures rushing out of the gloom in my direction. Luckily, it’s just a couple of Imperial Legion Foresters, hunting deer. I follow one, who has managed to chase a deer into the river. He finishes it off with a few arrows, then runs off, not even bothering to collect the carcass. I guess he just hates deer. Everyone needs a hobby.

Works for me, though. I help myself to the meat (and the steel arrows stuck in the corpse), and brew up a potion of Restore Health using the venison and some lavender. I fills me back up to 100% within a few seconds.

It’s gotten quite dark out, though it’s a clear night and the stars make it easier to see. Still, I haven’t found an inn, so this may wind up being an all-nighter. I cross another bridge, where yet another Khajiit highwayman demands money in exchange for not killing me.

We square off, and he dies pretty quickly, but no sooner have we crossed the bridge than another bandit runs out of the darkness and attacks Beaker’s butt.


It turns out I’ve got the only thing that will cure this bandit’s hatred of horse buttocks, so I administer a lethal dose. A lethal dose of death.

We come upon a ruined, burned out shack that used to be an alchemist’s (not a good omen, if you ask me), and I find some potions scattered around, and a few gp in a chest. No bed, however, so we press on into the night. Near Fort Magia, directly east of Imperial City, I run into a Legion Guard heading in the same direction. He’s nice enough to clear the path by killing a couple wolves while I watch from my saddle like a big wimp.

As I make the eastward turn toward Cheydinhal, I find a cabin, which is locked. Jeez, I could have sworn there were some inns or camps along this road. If only Nondrick could open one.

We run afoul of yet another bandit, who attacks Beaker. Why do people hate Beaker so much? Beaker is cool, man. Another bandit appears and starts zipping arrows from the treeline, again, at my horse. This trip keeps getting worse.

As the bandit and I hack and slash at each other directly in front of Beaker’s snout, a few of my blows go sadly astray, striking my horse. I know this because as soon as the bandit dies, Beaker attacks me. Well, that’s just great. Dude, I thought you were cool!

As fitting as it would be for the hapless Nondrick to be kicked to death by his own horse (it would be pretty much the perfect way to end the blog, you have to admit), I defuse the situation by running away, then circling around and getting onto Beaker’s back. That seems to calm him down. Meanwhile, arrows keep plunking in from the woods. Beaker doesn’t seem to give a shit about that, for some reason.

Will this night never end? Sighing gustily, I get back off the stupid horse and race into the stupid woods to find the stupid bandit. He flees, but right back into the road, where I cut him down before he can draw a melee weapon.

Poor Beaker is a pin cushion by this point, at less than half health, partially due to my wild, inaccurate swings. I think if we make it to Cheydinhal alive, I’m going to need to buy a Heal Other spell.

At least I’m doing a lot of looting. I’ve got so many sets of dead bandit armor and weapons I can’t even carry it all. I discard the cheapest items I’ve got — clothing, fur boots, some gauntlets, until I’ve lightened the load enough to move.

Finally, I reach Cheydinhal. It’s seven in the morning. I need food and rest. I lead Beaker into the stable, then enter the city. Right by the main gate I stumble upon Newland’s Lodge, rent a room for 10 gold, mix and sell everything I’ve got to the clerk, and head up the steps to bed.

Coming down the stairs at that moment is someone familiar-looking. It looks just like Reynald Jemane, the guy who gave me fifty gold to find out who in Cheydinhal was impersonating him. Looks like I found him.

Turns out, they’re brothers, long-lost, and Reynald dashes off to be with his drunk sibling, inviting me to join them in Chorrol. Think I’ll pass, thanks, I’ve got a long week of near-death experiences and horse abuse lined up.

Well, the unwanted quest is done. That was pretty easy. There’s nothing to this adventuring stuff. Trying to make a living as an alchemist, that’s hard.

It’s 7:45am when I finally make it to bed. Rough night. I lost my clothes, dropped in the road so I could carry more armor. Almost lost my horse to various attacks, including some of mine.

And, almost lost my life. Again. I know I keep saying I’ve got to be more careful, but man, I’ve really got to be more careful.