Living in Oblivion

An Arrested Development

Like everyone else in prison, Nondrick is innocent.

I’d been harvesting mushrooms inside Castle Cheydinhal, under full view of the guards, which indicated such activity was legal. It set a precedent, that did. I spotted some flowers on the throne, and figured, hey, free mushrooms, free flowers, right? So, I helped myself. Turns out, these flowers were a token from the Count to his late wife, who died, ahem, falling down the stairs.

This is a clear case of entrapment. One plant can’t be okay to steal and another be verbotten. It just ain’t right.

At any rate, when you’re arrested in Oblivion, you have three options. Resist arrest, which means you fight or flee the guards (usually a combination of both), pay a fine, or serve jail time. In this case, the fine is one gold coin, something I can easily manage.

Problem is, after agreeing to pay the fine, the game crashes to desktop. I reload, and, being the honest sort, pick the same mushooms I’d picked and steal the same flowers I stole. Once more, I’m arrested, agree to pay the fine, and am treated to another crash. Swell.

I try this four or five more times, and each time I try to pay the fine, the game crashes. Looks like that’s just not going to work. I choose to serve time instead, and nary a crash — I’m sent straight to jail. Ah, well, that’s the legal system for you. My crime “spree”, as it was called, has landed me in the clink.

I’m stripped off all my belongings, dressed in tattered rags, and sent to a cell. This is a low-point in Nondrick’s career, to be sure. The lowest. Jailed, humiliated, no possessions, body festering with canine diseases.

I’ve got one lockpick, apparently smuggled in an unnamed Nondrick-hole, but if I break out I’ll probably just get in more trouble. I’ll just serve my time. You know what they say, you only do two days: the day you come in and the day you get out. West siiiiiiiide. Of course, as it turns out, they only hold me a single day anyway.

Serving time isn’t good for you, though. With no rehabilitation program, spending time in a cell will lower one or some of your attributes. Luckily, I only lose one point in my hand-to-hand skill, a skill I’m fairly sure I’ve never once used.

The Count himself has arrived to watch me be released from prison. Despite me stealing his flowers, he’s kind enough to introduce himself.

Sure, throwing a guy in jail for picking up some dead posies, that seems generous and just. I joke with him a bit about mushrooms, throw in some boasts about how I once stole some fabric from a hotel, admire his mohawk, and threaten his life until he trusts me enough to offer me a house for sale. For $15,000. Pretty pricey. I’m hovering around the 1,000 septim mark, and have been since I got here. This just hasn’t been a profitable trip for me so far. I thought, by now, I’d be rolling in loot, but I haven’t been turning much of a profit since I left Imperial City.

I think I’m done with Cheydinhal. Time to move on. I’ve only got two more cities to visit, Leyawin and Bravil, and I think I can hit them both up before returning to Imperial City.

I head back to the hotel, selling my junk before I turn in for the night. Then, I’m roused out of my slumber by a terrifying visage.

It honestly scares the bejesus out of me. I’m sitting there, watching the hours tick by on screen, and am suddenly treated to a jarring crash-zoom of that lady’s scary mug. She forces a note in my pants and leaves.

Apparently, the Thieves Guild has spotted my talent for stealing flowers while in full view of the most powerful man in town, and want to recruit me. Sure, who wouldn’t? I’ve stolen one worthless item and gotten caught doing it. I’m clearly a star. What is the Gray Fox going to say to me? “I’ve seen your moves, kid. The way you walked right up to the throne and grabbed those worthless flowers and went to jail for it? You’re good. You’re real good. With my help, you could be the best.”

I get a couple more hours of rest, and then find Beaker out in the stable. Come on, dude, time to blow this dump. I figure we’ll make straight for Leyawin, following the river along until we reach the road, then hit Bravil on the way back up to north Imperial City. That’s a long-ass ride, though, so hopefully we’ll find a couple stops along the way.

As we gallop along, I’m treated to a nice view of Imperial City and some ruins, get chased by a couple wolves, stop to gather a few ingredients here and there (at one point I actually lost Beaker for about five minutes after leaving him to go pick up some plants). Eventually, I reach the river and follow it out to the road.

The road sucks. I’m chased by imps, wolves, and bandits every hundred yards or so. Luckily, running from a wolf leads me to a bandit, and they fight with each other. Running from another bandit leads me to an imp, and they fight. In each case, I wait until one is dead and the other wounded before cleaning up.

So, I’ve got a couple suits of armor, some weapons, and a few portions of Imp Gall. I explore a bit around the road, gathering herbs, but still have found nothing to cure my barkin’ pnemonia or doggie woggie flu.

As the sun sets, another Khajiit highwayman accosts me as I try to cross a bridge. The whole “Your money or your life” deal again. Just for kicks, I give him 100 gold, then jump off my horse and stab him in the back.

We duke it out. He lands a blow with his axe and I turn green. He’s cleverly draining my fatigue with poison. I retaliate by cleverly draining his health by killing him.

I take his stuff, retrieve my gold, and as I look up from his corpse, I spot something in the fading light.

Is that a boat?

It is indeed, a shipwreck in the river. Cool. Ships have beds, right? This would be a great spot to hole up in for a day or two, if so. I find a huge hole bashed in the side of the ship, and step inside. Granted, the last time I slept on a ship I got into all sorts of trouble, but what’s the chance of that happening twice?

Guh-guh-guh-guh-guh… ghoooooooost!


  1. How’s he gonna get out of this one?? D:

  2. Trenchfeeder says:

    I WIN!

    “I retaliate by cleverly draining his health by killing him.” classic

  3. Trenchfeeder says:


  4. jackrabbit says:

    fu-fu-fu-fu… fuuuuuuuudge!

    or fuck. whichever.

    yay nondrick!

  5. jackrabbit says:

    oh and 1st. never done that before. yay.

  6. 1ST

    Also, Epic Post

  7. jackrabbit says:

    oh hang on my pc fucked up. ah well.

  8. Crap, Someone got there first

  9. DarkKnight says:

    Great as always.

    Ruh roh Raggy!

  10. ALSO- Nonny, you shoulda kept the black water blad. *coughscrewed*

  11. Von Dozier says:


  12. OH HEY GUYS 1ST owait

    You can do it Nonny! Maybe for… a Scooby Snack?

  13. Holy shit, I was first. Crikey. Nondrick hasn’t got any gear for killing ghosts, has he?

  14. Capital!

  15. Paul Moloney says:

    “Apparently, the Thieves Guild has spotted my talent for stealing flowers while in full view of the most powerful man in town, and want to recruit me. Sure, who wouldn’t? ”



  16. It sounds like YOU need Dude Where’s My Horse ™. Never risk losing your hoof-gazing friend again! It’s 3AM in Cyrodiil. Do you know where YOUR horse is? Dude? ™?

    Loved the Gray Fox bit.

  17. Adoring Fan says:

    Oh man, I love the Forlorn Watchman quest!

  18. “I’ve seen your moves, kid. The way you walked right up to the throne and grabbed those worthless flowers and went to jail for it? You’re good. You’re real good. With my help, you could be the best.”

    I laughed out loud at that. =D

    That ship is deadly! I almost died the first time I went in there! I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. Take my advice and get Nondrick out of there, quickly! =)

  19. W00t! I love it.

  20. Snooglebum says:


    Also, awesome!

  21. Samiel Mitchell says:

    Who ya’ gonna call? BE-THES-DA!

  22. jackrabbit says:

    something is going on that holds back all comments until you post. everyone thinks they are first. i did.

  23. ZOINKS!

  24. Newt Pulsifer says:

    Awesome :)

  25. Sexy Epic.<3

    Again, Awesome sauce entry! I wonder what Nondrick is gonna do now.O:

  26. first!

  27. Maximillian Riese says:

    Oh, you’re not Jason Bateman! Still, this is good. Makes me want to play Oblivion if it didn’t freeze up on me on the 360.

  28. austinpwnz says:

    Excellent and hilarious as always.

    Dude you are awesome. I especially liked “cleverly draining his health” and how your computer FORCED Nondrick to stay in jail.


  29. L-O-fucking-L!

  30. MOAR

  31. Ugh. Not fair. Every time I read this, I have to reinstall Oblivion. Keep up the great work!

  32. A Concerned Citizen says:

    Nondricks developing….a soul. He lives, He fights, He feels…. He’s more then your everyday NPC now.

  33. Out Reach says:

    Oh No’s!

  34. Nonomu198 says:

    Tuh-tuh-tuh TOOOOOAST!

  35. Nondrick is SO boned without a magical item.

  36. He could just blast it with spells….right?

  37. Silver weapons can hit guh-guh-ghosts
    and that’s a silver longsword, right?

  38. Brilliantbrilliantbrilliant.
    Definitely a fan of this new scheduling mix-up, and this entry was just incredible.
    I laughed out loud from the note from Gray Fox until the end.

  39. Although an afterthought: You seem to have stopped labeling the entries by day!
    Is there a reason?

  40. Better get out of there, those ghosts are trouble. I wish there were more nice ghosts, they’re just mean, generally.

  41. SyrusRayne says:

    Yeah, that fucking goddamned dark-elf woman scares the shit out of me, too. Every time. One time it was broad daylight and she walked up to me in the middle of the crowded market district and it scared me. Fuuuckkk

  42. SyrusRayne says:

    Not that I’m a pussy, I mean, uh. It’s just unexpected is all.

  43. ““I’ve seen your moves, kid. The way you walked right up to the throne and grabbed those worthless flowers and went to jail for it? You’re good. You’re real good. With my help, you could be the best.”

    Hahahahahaha hilarious.

    As an aside that ship is friggin deadly. I stumbled in there as a relativly high level character and nearly got my ass handed to me. Still, at least Nondrick has that nice silver weapon and maybe ectoplasm has diseise curing properties? I Really can’t remember.

  44. Conor Van Smack says:

    Nondrick looks pretty badass in his new armor. Well, at least he looks as badass as he can look with his fish face. Great post as always!

  45. Nondrick is looking more and more like an adventurer!
    But still great post. Hope Nondrick will make it out alive!

  46. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Seven first people?

  47. Time to make like a tree and GTFO!

    Poor Nondrick, he can’t seem to catch a break. :P

  48. Chris, got a bigger version of the river shot? (

    1024×768 if possible, I’d like to use it as a wallpaper.

  49. Made me really LOL!

    …..and I’m at work…..

  50. Linkless Bob says:


    Looks like you’ve made a huge mistake. You should have stayed home and made cornballs instead.

  51. Brilliant.
    Love this blog, it brightens my day when there’s a new one out.

    I hope that note the woman shoved into your pants didn’t give you a paper cut. That would HURT down there.

  52. HyperKUltra says:


  53. “He’s cleverly draining my fatigue with poison. I retaliate by cleverly draining his health by killing him.”

    Epic, i laughed out loud at that one, also the Gray Fox bit. Very good work, keep it up.

  54. nancymarie says:

    Nonny, Nonny, Nonny.

    *shakes head*

    Maybe Beaker will grab you and run like hell a la Scooby Doo?

  55. OH NOEZ I SURE HOPE U HAZ A WEAPON THAT IS SILVER (or enchanted) OTHERWIZE U WILL BE DEAD (or have to run away… come to think of it most of the ghosts are quite slow on that game… but is Nondrick fast enough to get away?)

  56. Nondrick is becoming quite the brave adventurer! Maybe he should change his name to “Conan”… Well, maybe not (he’s too much of a geeky ugly bastard).

  57. knee slapper

  58. A concerned citizen says:

    Oh no! Unless you got some enchanted weapons (ones you didn’t sell) that I missed, you’re done for!

  59. Giving a highwayman 100 gold and then swording him in the back? Seems a bit un-Nondrick like. Prison must have given him a phew rough edges, eh?

  60. So you ARE going to publish these all as a paperback book, right?

    I’ll totally buy it. :)

  61. Jaded Empath says:

    “This is really nice.”
    >GET OUT<
    “Too bad we can’t stay, baby!”

    Please, PLEASE take Eddie Murphy’s bit to heart; turn and flee from the supernatural spectre like the non-adventuring normal citizen Nondrick is SUPPOSED TO BE.


  62. Wait….. Grey Fox….. GREY FOX!

    Good part. Doesn’t it seem like Nodrick’s still getting into adventures? I mean, first the bandits on the boat and now ghosts. Looks like the game hates player NPCs.

  63. Alexander says:

    Okay, so I was wrong. It WAS a good idea to keep the silver sword (breakable as it is).

    I love highwaymen. Responsability stat of 0 so they don’t seem to care you pickpocketing the cash back.

    To bad my Oblivion crashes whenever I load a game now.

  64. I think the Grey Fox bit might have been the funniest thing I have read on this blog. Great work man!

  65. Well THANKS. Now I’ll have the “Rockin’ Pneumonia” song stuck in my head thanks to the “Barkin’ Pneumonia” line.

    And I know I’m not just paranoid and it is deliberately aimed at me because no one else has mentioned the reference yet.

  66. Nondrick! Ships=bad!!

  67. Love that picture of Bleaker on the stone bridge. Can I second the request for a larger version of it?

    I love the way Oblivion denies you the right to be free. At least being in jail didn’t trip the main quest. As always the blog is fantastic and I can’t wait to hear what Nonny thinks of Leyawin.

  68. Hm…

    I just realized-0 if good ol’ nonny DID trip the mian questr, would he re-load, or go along, despite what he’s said?

  69. Sweet!

    Nice quick updates too!

  70. That chick that gave Nondrick the note from the Grey Fox looks exactly like the alien in the credits of the original Star Trek TV show. Creepy….

  71. I like Leyawiin the most, I can’t wait until Nonny goes there.
    Great job, as always. The Grey Fox bit made me laugh out loud a lot. Just don’t get quolested, ‘kay?

  72. I laughed, and then my friend asked what I had laughed at earlier, so I read it out loud to him and couldn’t stop laughing even the second time through. Really, this is comic genius. Bravo.

  73. Run away! Flee! I can’t live in a world without Nondrick!

  74. Beeker isn’t an Ass, she’s a Paint Horse! So it was a long “horse ride”, heheh! Boats aren’t ships and vice-a-versa. Oh, “The Unit” is on. Time to stop reading again.

  75. first!!!

  76. Okay, “The Unit” is over and “The Bonnie Hunt Show” is on, but for only a few more minutes, then it is time for “Days of Our Lives”. Hmph. Oh, the word hole “implies” damage, regarding the human body, while “orifice” doesn’t. So I hope Nondrick gets that unspecified hole healed soon! Hey! I’ve never tried the quest he just stumbled into from the ending stage. So will he start a quest too early by skipping several stages? I just did that by getting the “Boots of Springheel Jack”, without even being in the “Thieves Guild”. Now my PC is the Grey Fox without having really tried! Also, one can simply get Mehrune’s Razor by entering the lair from the lake, rather that at the old ruined fort and going through all of those stages. So if Nondrick wanted that dagger, if he could manage to hold his breath long enough for a dive….fight a rat, maybe a mudcrab. Sneak into the lair… I’m just saying!

  77. Electronic Samurai says:

    Hey there! I’m a huge fan of this blog, and I spotted a mod that I think would fit right in with the nonadventures of Nondrick. It adds a fully functioning farm, where you can raise various farm animals, grow dozens of different crops, and you can even hire NPCs to do the work for you. You can find the mod here:

  78. Hi, again! I’m watching “Seinfeld” and playing my game too. (It’s a rerun of the episode where Jerry talks about the past seasons becasue they’re about to self-cancel.) Anyway, in the game, my character is trying to sleep in the Arenaand she should be getting a level up to 12, bn instead gets a message telling her that perfection cannot be improved upon, and that her stats are as high as they can go! No biggie. It just meens that icon won’t go away then without using a console command. But after that message Lucien Lachance appears! He talks to her, she refuses to be recruted by him, but now she has two Blades of Woe! She then recruits him for her personal army and enchantes his gear that isn’t already enchanted, then she maked him the Yellow Squad General and send him off to Bravil, where he’ll no doubt be in a lot of fights. I put my character to sleep for another hour, and this time Myvryna Arano wakes her up to deliver the message. My character is already the Grey Fox thanks to exploiting a quest jump by meeting the Earl of Imbel early on. I recruited her just long enough to enchant her gear before dismissing her. My character had Ulrich Leland arrested, then gets arrested for theft, and ends up sharing a cell with him, where he taunts her about what he’lld do to her should he get out. I think this jail time was what prompted the visit from Arano, though I was saving that visit until after doing “Two Sides of the Coin”. Anyway, I guess Nondrick won’t be having none of this as he’s more careful about his actions!

  79. WTB more. :|

  80. Doctor Slack says:

    I note how Nondrick is being gradually, insidiously drawn into a Life of Heroism. The ghost in that final shot ain’t the story: look at Nondrick’s getup. Despite his best intentions, an Adventurer is his very image today.

  81. Seriously Not Chris says:

    You had to serve a full day because the game crashed whenever you tried, instead, to pay a single gold coin? Sucks.

    Consoles don’t have to deal with this shit.

  82. Seriously Not Chris says:

    Crap. After mentally noting vigorously to credit that image, I forgot to credit it to James Pentadact, screenname Francis, whose website, Tom, posted it in “”

    I think I got the name right.

  83. “I retaliate by cleverly draining his health by killing him.” Classic man. That’s made of pure epic win

    ‘“I’ve seen your moves, kid. The way you walked right up to the throne and grabbed those worthless flowers and went to jail for it? You’re good. You’re real good. With my help, you could be the best.”’ Now THAT made me lol-lmaoing. Both made me lmao in real life man. Keep up this great work, as I know you will

  84. is that ship called the mouth of the panther?

  85. Boats seem to be bad luck on this game.

  86. Man, I’ve got familiar with your living in oblivion serie after reading your post on PC Gamer and couldn’t resist reading, So far in three hours I read it to this point and i’m not going to stop now! just wanted to say: FUCKIN’ AWSOME! the gray fox part killed me!