Living in Oblivion

Day 19 & 20: Fortitude

It’s Turdas morning, Heartfire 13 — man, is it Heartfire 13 already? I’m still writing Heartfire 12 on all my chequetims.

Anyway, I’m up around nine and headed to Fire & Steel to sell the armor and weapons I took off of two dead she-bandits the night before. My own fur armor is in extremely bad shape after being set on fire and electrocuted, so I wind up selling some of the armor I’m wearing and keeping the some of the less battered bandit bits for myself. I also have my weapons repaired and then step back outside into the fresh morning air.

Hm. Is the fresh morning air a little chillier than it was a few minutes ago? Oh. Oh, right.

I forgot than when selling the armor off your back, it’s a good idea to then equip the armor you’re replacing it with. My bad! Sorry, citizens of Chorrol.

It’s a little weird for Nondrick to be so buff, considering what a dork he is. Clearly, all those women he’s been killing have done wonders for his abs. I quickly put on my humble alchemist clothes and head over to the Mage’s Guild. Time to do some grinding. There I meet this intriguing mage. (Notice yet another baldie in the background.)

Woman Gone Wild! I’m actually a big fan of the book. These shady oil painters travel around the coasts of Cyrodiil, getting young, mead-filled maidens to spend a few hours undoing the complicated ties and straps of their undergarments, and then painting portraits of them in the buff. The paintings are meticulously duplicated into smaller versions and then distributed to young males for a reasonable price. My favorite series is Woman Gone Wild, Volume Six: Blotto in Bravil.

Did I beat that joke into the ground enough? Good. Good.

I do my alchemy grind with the counter jockey at the Mage’s Guild, selling my collected haul, buying cheap ingredients, mixing weak, flimsy potions, and selling them back. When I’m done, I’m sitting pretty at 578 septims. Not bad, but it’s no time to rest on my laurels: it’s time to go gather some.

I head east, pickin’ as I go. It’s an extremely uneventful morning, uninterrupted by even a single wolf or rat attack, though I spy a winged imp far off in the trees and give him a wide birth. Eventually, I come upon this welcome sight.

I’ll be honest — walking everywhere and never fast-traveling isn’t… easy. The click of my mouse could instantly transport me to any city in the game. Sprinting would decimate my lengthy travel time. There are long stretches, like today, where I’m not attacked, there are few ingredients to pick, and not much of anything interesting to look at, and I think, man, why the hell am I playing like this?

But at moments like this it somehow feels worth it. In other playings of this game I’ve spent days, weeks even, in Imperial City. I know it inside and out. I barely even look at the city, I just zip there, run to the merchants, unload my junk, and dematerialize to my next location. But playing as Nondrick has restored a good deal of majesty and mystery on Imperial City, and catching a glimpse of it through the trees, seeing it grow closer and larger each time, is a bit of a thrill.

I continue to wander. An imp makes his intentions known, and is hacked out of the air with none of the drama of the last two. Night begins to settle in for the evening, and I realize I’ve wandered pretty far east. Luckily, the road isn’t far north, and luckily again, I find an Imperial solider on horseback is headed in my direction. I walk with him, scurrying off the road here and there to pick ingredients, then hustling back to stump along in the safety of his torchlight. It’s a long, slow trip but I gather a nice collection along the way.

A wolf springs out of the darkness and I don’t even ready a weapon, as the soldier slides off his mount and cuts it down — the wolf, not his horse — leaving me to cut the steaming pelt off its hide. A little further up the road I find a dead Khajiit bandit, perhaps slain by my soldier on his trip down the road earlier. That means free armor for me, though I can’t find his weapon anywhere.

It’s quite late by the time I make it back to Chorrol. I hit up the Mages Guild and the clerks at both inns, selling my haul and grinding out some potions, before stumbling into bed.

My total cash is now up to 926. It seemed an uneventful day, but I almost doubled my money.

I don’t sleep more than a few hours — I’m tired of running out of sunlight and trudging home in the dark — and I bust out early. Heading straight along the road before dawn, past Odiil Farm, pushing east. I reach Fort Ash, which actually straddles the road. I’m met by it’s apparent keeper, a Khajiit highwayman.

As it turns out, I’m really not in the mood to do either. Have at thee, foul cur!

It’s a pitched battle. He’s hampered by the fact that his weapon is two-handed, meaning he telegraphs his attacks and can’t block my blows effectively, and I’m slowed down by the fact that I have to fight in third-person perspective to take these pictures.

Hoping to build up my fighting skills a bit, I refrain from casting spells and just hack at him, blocking when he lunges, swinging when he pauses, and eventually he goes down.

Owie. He really did a number on me. I heal up with Mara’s Gift, then decide to check out the bandit’s crib. Hopefully, he’s got a bedroll I can use — I’m always on the lookout for somewhere I can sleep for free between cities.

Fort Ash has an underground interior, but I’m staying away from that in case it’s full of bandits. I’m all for exploring the crumbling exterior levels, though.

As I climb to the second floor, my spidey-sense goes off: Imp. He’s dispatched with a few arrows and a couple slashes of my sword.

There are some barrels scattered around the second floor of the fort, and I grab an apple from one and a stone cup (to go along with my Adventurer’s Dishware set) from another. Lying on the stone surface I find a Potion of Detect Life, worth 45 gp. Nice! I also find a dead goblin and swipe his rusty iron mace. Looks like there were some tenants here before the Khajiit moved in.

In an unlocked chest I find some iron arrows, and next to it, on a step, a small pile of gems. Oh, I’ll be taking those as well. A topaz, a ruby, and an emerald, the last worth 20 bucks. This is turning into a small, poorly funded gold mine.

On the next level up, another dead goblin is relieved of his sword. I find some more ingredients in a couple barrels and a few bottles of mead, plus four GP in small sack. A skeleton lying next to a chest gives up some bonemeal and — yes! Another pewter fork!

I can’t wait to eat with it. The chest itself holds a silver pitcher, which will also someday find a place of honor on my dinner table. Now if I could just find a dinner table.

A surprising amount of loot. I’m glad it was all outside — I never would have poked around indoors to find it — and I stroll away from Fort Ash with my pockets jingling. I feel a little guilty, because it sort of seems like adventuring, this killing and then plundering, not the sort of thing a soft-headed alchemy major should be engaging in.

Luckily, those thoughts are quickly erased when I come upon this sight.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Hmm. I think, um… I think I ain’t going back to Chorrol. Yeah, I ain’t. I can’t. There’s no way I can turn my back on this view. No way.

It’s getting dark as I press on. I slay an enraged rat who owns a lockpick, and fight off an Imp who flings frost spells at me. It’s pitch black when I reach the doors of the Wawnet Inn, just across the bridge from Imperial City.

The innkeeper has a room for 10 gold, quite affordable for the suburbs. As I head up to my room I encounter a man sitting on the staircase. He’s a salesman, as it turns out, or, more specifically a buysman, as don’t purchase anything but instead unload upon him all the crap I’ve got clogging up my pockets. And, when our transactions have been completed:

Not bad at all. For the first time, I’m in four figures. And I’m on the doorstep of Imperial City. Everything’s comin’ up Nondrick.


  1. Wow, Nondrick is finally making a life for himself! I forget if there are any homes for sale in the Imperial City… oh wait, there’s one in the slums.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Yes, the imperial city is actually the cheapest place to buy a house. If I recall correctly, it just happens to be 1000GP…

  3. maximus says:

    sweet, im looking forward to all the esoteric people in the imperial city.

  4. @Ojive- It’s actually 2000

    How about that Nonny! Maybe you could buy a halfway-house. >.>

  5. good post.keep em commin

  6. piklemeup says:

    I really hope I never have to open up another web page ever again with a picture of a naked Nondrick to greet me.

  7. woo i love this thing three cheers for living in oblivion hip hip

  8. actually the house is around 2,500 if not close than exactly 2,500 and this is a cool thing to read i look forward to reading more of these “journals” of Nondrick

  9. Perhaps Nondrick got that buff because of his face. I’m sure he was picked on a lot as a kid and probably got into fights with the other kids. He lifted weights and trained and eventually made the other kids respect him. As he grew older, his parents and guidance counselors were certain he’d eventually become a dashing Warrior when he graduated from NPC High. His potential girlfriends fantasized about him hunting fell beasts and slaying evil wizards and eventually retiring after saving the empire a few times…

    And then he announced he was going to deliberately pursue a life of mediocrity.

    The people of Nondrick’s home town are now entirely dependent on alcohol to make it through their day…

  10. Nondrick. Homeowner. It seems all too real now, this being the Imperial City. Home of wonder, enchantment, and a bitchin’ real estate market. Now you’ll have a dandy display for your fine collection of pilfered cutlery, pilfered from the corpses of a dizzying array of nasty and likely diseased livestock and beasties. In fact, it’s probably not safe to eat with them at all. After all we and Nonnie have been through, it would be a shame for him to pick up some infection from improperly sanitized utensils. Anti-climactic.

  11. Vintus says:

    Finally, the Imperial City!

    The Black Horse Courier, Gray Fox, rich people walking around, the arena, the palace…this will be interesting.

  12. Interesting is what we hope to avoid here.

  13. 2 rite

  14. haha.. good, nondric will get there. i love it! graet work, again

  15. Nondrick could spectate and bet on matches in the arena. God, i hope he doesnt turn into one of those gambling lunatics…he might have to sell his body…

  16. Crusha_aa says:

    Cant wait till you get a house and can finally prepare a dinner table with all those things you’ve picked up!

    Though im pretty sure houses come with their own cutlery come to think of it…

  17. I’ve been playing pretty solidly for a few weeks, and delayed playing the main quest in favor of adventuring (so basically the opposite of Nondrick). You’re hitting all the right touchpoints though on what makes the game world so absorbing and your comedy timing is flawless.

    Nondrick better be careful he doesn’t get himself arrested in the big city though or there’s no going back!

  18. Pelican says:

    Gambling in the Arena will be much more intense if you can’t re-load after a 100gp loss.

  19. This is a great experiment and a great read. Thanks!

  20. austinpwnz says:

    As usual, awesome. You remind me of so many awesome things about Oblivion. Seeing the IC through the trees like that…truly epic.

  21. Michael says:

    Please dont get arrested! That will be the end of Nondrick’s flower picking adventures!

  22. Alexander says:

    Is it possible to escape jail?

  23. Lets just hope that Nondrick does’nt waste all his hard earned money on gambling at the arena

  24. RC-1290 says:

    I don’t see how getting arrested would mean the end of Nondrick.

  25. The Man says:

    Beacuse then that would start the main quest! Ending his non-adventure!

  26. Alexander Rilee says:

    :O Gasp!

  27. The last screen with the Imerial city over Lake Rumare looks impressive. And Nondrick himself looks almost like…the adventurer-type.

  28. Potatoe says:

    If he is using MOE, he will need to be caught by an imperial guard captain. And why would Nondrick commit any crimes?

  29. I just may name my eldest son Nondrick to pay homage to the legend.

  30. Rriku113 says:

    He should visit the arena! Hope he doesn’t get a gambling addiction

  31. sweet jesus….. be careful Chris, if he gets arrested……….

  32. the dude says:

    sweet man, sweet.


    really sweet.

    damni was gonna say soemthing important and witty but i forgot :/

  33. Razzle Frazzle says:


  34. i love this blog, ans don’t change the way you’re doing it, but it’s more like you’re playing as a real person in cyrodill, not an NPC.

  35. Soliloquy says:

    just stumbled over this, well done Nondrick, hope you have good luck in Imperial City ;)

  36. lemmingman says:

    Yeah Go Nondrick, keep up the blogs

  37. m suffering from a withdrawl. I’ve read and re-read your Concerned Comics with the notes on since the last LIO upate. HURRY!

    And i realized somthing….

    Alot of people are saying ” dont get arrested! it’ll be the end, man!”

    well, i think, if he DOES get arrested somehow, he should keep going. It would be a tad humours to see the emporer speak to nondrick. Besides, when/IF he got out of the sewers, he could continue Non-adventuring.

    and somthing else- Has anyone noticted that Nondricks Initials are N.P.C? Nondrick P. Cariktar

  38. Duncan Frost says:

    Notice how it kinda sounds like Non(drick)-P(layer)-Character? It’s all part of the joke, maaaan.

  39. lemmingman says:

    wow just noticed that N.P.C thing there, oh wait this is my second comment on this page…a
    anyway Go nondrick

  40. What’s happening with Nondrick? Has he gone on a bender in the big city and forgotten to check in? Come on…the suspense is killing me.

  41. Wow, I sure hope he doesn’t get dragged into any quests or anything, the imperial city is big and adventures lurks around every corner! I just have to believe in Nondrick, believe that he can live out his dream of being a totally ordinary fishfaced NPC.

    Looking forward to more entries

  42. I’m glad this is still going. I still enjoy playing a hunter in my own experiment. =)

  43. RandomlyGenericUnoriginalName says:

    I had this sort of thing going once, a while back, ‘cept it was just for me to know about. Quite different to Nondrick, though, and I made it through all the Mages Guild quests without a single death! (Albeit, easiest difficulty setting). The goal wasn’t so much ‘Be an NPC’ as it was ‘Stay Alive’. Fun to do.

  44. Need an update! I need to know what happens!

  45. its been so long please update!

  46. Alexander says:

    Please update! I wish to be once more amused by the non-adventures of Nonny. :)

  47. ok i’m confused – where the heck are you from because you spell armour as armor, i.e the american spelling. yet cheque is the british spelling – the american being check.

    loving this tho.. found it thanks to PC Gamer mag adding a note to the bottom of a reader review in last months mag

  48. Loving this. Im really happy I read PC Gamer reguarly. Or I wouldnt of found this.

  49. Wait a minute! If he buys that house in the IC, he has to do a QUEST to pay for and furnish it!

  50. ….I guess he gave up on this. I mean it has been so long since his last update. Really sad if that is the case. Just hoping it is computer problems.

  51. This was a great series I just hope your not finished :(


    (the only excuse I can think of is that you got a real job writing comics, because this was hilarious!)


  52. anonymous says:

    PLEASE PUT UP ANOTHER BLOG. This is great stuff and its been ages since the last one so…


  53. Another great sentence:

    “Not bad, but it’s no time to rest on my laurels: it’s time to go gather some.”

    And the opening sentence had me rolling in laughter with tears in my eyes!

    What a fantastic body of work! :)

  54. Didn’t notice there was no more. But if this is to end, this is a good place. He is near the Imperial City and lots of business opportunity. He has over 1000 septims, and he has decent armour and weapons.

    He has gone from being a boy to a man and can now hold his own….. Good luck in the big city!

  55. Spirited Treasure says:

    I hope this isn’t the end! I’m eagar to read more of Nondrick! You’ve given me good ideas too… such as removing those annoying quest arrows =L=

    If it is the end then I wish Nondrick much luck =s=

  56. Barbeque says : I absolutely agree with this !

  57. Francis says:

    I thought the house for sale in Imperial City was 1200.

  58. i wonder what sort of work he’ll do here

  59. Hmmm, interesting how Nondrick uses both bow and sword depending on his target’s distance. Kind of like how Link uses both to solve different puzzles in The Legend of Zelda. I usually make my characters either stealthy bow characters or up-close with swords and blunt. Might be something to try.

  60. SovietRazor says:

    “though I spy a winged imp far off in the trees and give him a wide birth”

    Gross. Unless you meant berth.

  61. Heheheheheheheh! By the way, I don’t happen to consider underwear as being “nudity” per se, in that context. But in the context of “naked”, it makes sense. That was like a “Susan” moment from “Desperate Housewives”! Loved the “Girls Gone Wild” puns! Oh, by the way, that third picture down, when clicked on shows him inside the Imperial City, instead of a larger version of what you have showing!

  62. I personally enjoy Girls Gone Wild Vol. III: Loose in Leyawin.

  63. Did anyone else get a bit excited at this part?0