Living in Oblivion

Day 21 – 23: A Dubious Detour

It’s a very pensive and moody Nondrick P. Cairk’tir who awakens next to his bed in the Wawnet Inn this morning. I’m feeling a bit conflicted about a few things.

First, Chorrol. I have to admit, I didn’t really spend much time there. Part of my goal is to find a home, which, granted, I wouldn’t be able to do in Chorrol, but regardless, I didn’t really give the town its due. I didn’t explore it much or really make an effort to get to know the residents, which is part of the purpose of playing the game like this in the first place. I’ve been a bit too driven toward making money and visiting Imperial City, and so I think I left Chorrol behind a little too early.

Which is why, on my mind this morning, is another city not far from here: Bruma.

Bruma, crouching in the mountains to the north, is a cold, snowy city, and one I’m frankly not overly fond of. Still, Nondrick is a Nord and thus Bruma is his homeland. I know when I enter Imperial City, with all its distractions, it’s going to be hard to leave. I think perhaps I should visit Bruma first.

It’s a tough decision. Extremely tough. Imperial City is a two-minute walk from here and Bruma is a two-day hike, at least, through a barren, frosty landscape. I hate to put Imperial City in my rearview, but I feel obligated to. Besides, I wanted to stroll into Imperial City a success, and while I’m doing pretty well for myself as of late, I’m still not much of an alchemist. I’m not much of anything.

I sullenly sell my hedge clippings to the innkeeper, buy up all of her cheap groceries, mash them into mush in a bowl, and sell them back. I’m up to almost 1200 septims.

Then, reluctantly, I walk north, leaving Imperial City behind.

Sigh. Well, what’s another week, really.

Just up the road I spot a traveler headed in the other direction.

I stop for a moment. Something seems a bit odd about this fellow. I thought at first that he was an Imperial Woodsman, what with the uniform and bow, but that’s not a Legion uniform. Who is this guy? I catch him up and have a chat.

Turns out he’s the Countess’ Bodyguard. The Countess of Leyawiin. Which is hella far south of here. What the heck is he doing way up near Imperial City? As a bodyguard, what the heck is he doing more than two feet from the Countess? Strange. Must be a bug.

The north road turns east, the weather turns gray, and a wolf turns into a dead wolf. A strange wolf at that: he’s not carrying any gold or silverware. Strange. Must be a bug. Nice view up here, though.

I happen upon a small town called Aleswell where neither ale, nor all, is well. The entire populace appears to be… well, quite frankly, they don’t appear at all. They’re invisible.

They relate to me a tale of a wizard who lives nearby, who turned the entire population see-through, and beg for my assistance in releasing them from the curse. Yeah, see, I’m not really into that scene.

As I leave Aleswell, hunger suddenly strikes me. Oops. I forgot to eat today. Not only that, I used all my existing food to make junky potions to sell to the innkeeper. Well, I’ll just push on.

It’s already dark by the time I reach the north fork that will eventually lead me to Bruma. I spot a wolf in the road, which I eventually determine to be a dog, not a wolf, and dogs have owners. This isn’t always a problem, but out in the wild, a dog owner is usually a bandit. On the plus side, a bandit in the wild usually has a bedroll, so I might have a night’s sleep for the low low price of killing a man. And his dog.

Just then, my hunger pains increase. My health begins to drain. Then my agility. Followed by my speed, endurance, fatigue, willpower, and strength. This isn’t good. These are the hunger effects from the mod I installed. If I head to the bandit camp, I’ll have to fight the dog and the bandit with my attributes reduced. The bandit may have food, he may not. He may also have buddies. I shouldn’t be looking for a fight in any case, really, but especially not when I’m in such poor shape.

Backtracking to the Wawnet Inn will take the rest of the night, and I can’t stay in Aleswell because the invisible jerks won’t rent me a room unless I cure their invisibility. Shit. I’m stuck.

My hemming and hawing pay off, however, as I see some distant torchlight approaching from the west. Imperial Guard, on horseback. Saved again!

The dog, showing no more smarts than your average wolf, charges, and the soldier makes short work of him while I watch. The dog’s owner appears, a marauder archer, and begins loosing arrows at the guard. Undeterred, the soldier corners him and makes short work of the lawbreaker, while I pitch in with one or two very carefully placed arrowshots. The last thing I want to do is hit the soldier.

I strip the dead marauder, and the soldier, not satisfied with my post mortem, conducts his own examination of the dead man’s junk. Nothing’s moving.

The bandit was camped at some ruins named Sercen, and poking around in some sacks and barrels, I find enough food to return my attributes to normal. There are also a couple bedrolls, and hoping more bad guys don’t show up during the night, I settle down for a few hours’ sleep.

In the morning, I’m headed north. I kill a few poverty-stricken wolves and a rat as Imperial City slowly recedes behind me. I wander off the road left and right to pick ingredients, but I don’t find a whole lot, and with the steepness of the landscape, I tend to find a lot of unclimbable hills and dangerous looking cliff edges, and wind up having to double back to the road. I do that whole thing where you think you can climb the hill, then you’re walking in place, then you jump around a lot trying to move forward, then you slide backwards, then you come very close to jumping right off a ledge and dying, thus ending your blog in a very stupid way.

I think this trip to Bruma might wind up taking longer than I already thought it would.

It’s mid-afternoon when I find myself peering down at a small settlement. My keen senses deduce it’s Bleaker’s Way. Nice town, as it turns out. Nothing horrible happening here. At least, not at the moment. I even find a free bed in the attic of one of the houses.

Another boring day of trudging uphill awaits me the next morning. You know what? This trip sucks. Nothing is happening, and while I’m generally a big fan of nothing happening, nothing is happening. I regret not just going to Imperial City when I had the chance. And just think, I get to walk all the way back down this stupid trail in a couple of days. I slay a wolf with two gold pieces, and another carrying nothing around but a few bucketfuls of its own blood. Man. Even wantonly murdering animals doesn’t cheer me up.

The landscape turns snowy and I find a strange rock that I decide to touch. It gives me a demonic glove and an eensy evil dagger that I am unable to put to any real use. I’d feel like a tool killing anything with this anyway. It looks like something you’d find sticking out of a club sandwich. Everything sucks up north. Even the interdimensional enchanted weapons.

Amazingly, it’s nighttime again when I finally reach Bruma. Jeez, three entire days to get up here. I got some gathering done, and I’ve got a pocketful of pelts to sell, but what a terrible trip. I head straight for Olav’s Tap and Tack, a dingy inn near the main gate, sell my wares to Olav, and start chatting up the locals.

Ongar the World Weary informs me without prompting that no way is he some sort of shady merchant! Definitely not! Then he proceeds to demonstrate just how unconnected to the Thieves Guild he is by dropping into a crouch and pickpocketing everyone in the room. He’s terrible at it, gets caught, the alarm is raised, a city guard runs in then immediately exits. This happens about five times. Bruma, City of Glitches!

Well, there better be more of interest here than incompetent Thieves Guild fences and snow. It took me three days to get here, and, quite honestly, I’m already ready to leave.


  1. the dude says:

    first comment lol

    wtf am i doing

  2. I’m sorry to hear of Nondrick’s misfortunes, but hopefully things go well in Bruma for him. Are there any ingredients up in the frigid mountains?

  3. some guy who will get this game when he builds his new computer says:

    everything is bad up north, the weather is horrible, the wolves are poor, and the people act like they tried to make themselves smarter by jabbing a fork into their brains and wiggling it around.

  4. some guy who will get this game when he builds his new computer says:

    remember, dont share brain forks, it may save on costs but you can get infected.

  5. I really fell of my chair reading the second to last paragraph. Great job, Chris!

  6. Razzle_Frazzle says:

    Hes right. Bruma sucks. The only thing fun is the microscopicly small town guard ready to be slaughtered by my bow and sword.

  7. Lack_26 says:

    I like Bruma, especially since I use Better cities, which makes every town feel a lot more medieval. Anyway, the counts guard isn’t really a bug, the count of Leyawiin does make a trip north to visit on of the other cities (it might be Cheydinal, I’m not really sure).

  8. TheHunter says:

    I love my house in Bruma!

  9. Mr_Wizard says:

    “Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

    Finally an update
    The Power of Forgiveness”


  10. kibbles says:

    Wow, depressing!

  11. nancymarie says:

    Yup, being up North sucks. Why do you think Nords are in Bruma?

  12. Seems Nondrick has fallen into the classic trap. It’s like meandering around a terrificly large theme park, avoiding all the good rides early in the day to avoid “getting burned out early”. The Imperial City, in all it’s sinful splendor, close enough to lick the outer walls, Nonny says, “Nah, I’ll go there later and save the best for last. It can’t possibly live up the the hype. And besides, look at the line to get in!” And, while I continue to beat my theme park analogy into the dirt, I hope N.P. Cairk’tir has learned his lesson about how utterly boring northern areas are in ANY circumstance. Lookin’ at you, Canada. Though once I remember hearing someone telling me how completely awesome his recent trip to Canada was. Strange. Must be a bug.

    • Snowskeeper says:

      I would swear at you repeatedly right now, but I think that might make you cry. Which, in other circumstances, would be fine, but I’m not in the mood to have to deal with another crying American.

      So I’ll just go with: “Don’t insult Canada, kthxbai.”

  13. man, you should really go back to imperial city, and try get a home for nondric. nondric needs his BASE.

    or at bruna. whichever’s best. yet, i may tell.. my dear pal, its better he gets a home. at imperial city.

    you was so close!

  14. poor nondrick, must be so frustrating not being able to run for fear of your legs falling off. three days(!!!!) to get to bruma!! jeez-us kr-i-st.
    im still laughing at the ‘chequetims’ joke from the last entry.
    pleeeeeeeeeeese do more soon. the last few days were AGONY with no new posts on 1blog or lio.

  15. Annoying nerd says:

    The Countess of Leyawin actually heads to Chorrol the same time every month. The bodygaurd must have lagged behind.

  16. Rriku113 says:

    Wow. That’s pretty sad Ognar! You suck at pickpocketing!

  17. awesome! I check this like a million times a day. Any place to add donations?

  18. austinpwnz says:

    I’ve never seen Ongar fail so bad at pickpocketing. Odd.

    I’m pretty sure the traveling Countess of Leyawiin thing has to do with something where’s she’s the daughter (?) or something of some Count in Chorrol or Cheydinal or somewhere, and travels there everyone once in a while. I remember getting info about her traveling times in a Thieves’ Guild quest, so yeah. Sorry for the lack of specifics.

    Another excellent update! I sympathize with the Bruma-disappointment. It SHOULD be really cool, but it isn’t. At least it’s near Frostcrag Spire.

  19. You should check out Cloud Ruler Temple while you’re up here, man. If you’re crafty enough, you can even snag some sweet Blades gear to sell off!

  20. Keep up the good work

  21. Bruma sucks for Nondrick because it is a step backwards for him.

    Nondrick is a Nord, most likely he grew up in or around Bruma. He obviously didn’t like it in the first place, hence he left. Now he returns and find’s it much the same. Bruma is a step backwards for Nondrick not forwards. He should be out trying to make his mark on the world as a successful alchemist/women killer/flower picker etc. Instead he has returned home and wonders why he is depressed?

    Leave Nondrick! Run while you still can!

  22. Ahahahahah.

    That second last paragraph was just pure win.

  23. I was drawn to Nondrick’s adventures by two mentions in the most recent UK PC Gamer magazine, and I too have been waiting for this latest installment after an entertaining hour or two reading all of the previous entries. Entertaining stuff Chris, especially for someone who has racked up well over 400 hours of playing time in Oblivion – the slightly twisted take on ‘life’ in Oblivion is comic gold.

    Oh, and as to Nondrick originating from Bruma because he is a Nord, surely it is more likely that he started life in Skyrim rather than Cyrodiil??

  24. It seems that Nondrick and I are both in a rut.

  25. “Well, there better be more of interest here than incompetent Thieves Guild fences and snow. It took me three days to get here, and, quite honestly, I’m already ready to leave.”

    Pure material, xD I laughed so hard!

    Well, that bug does annoy me (He got caught, the guard came in, slew him, only for him to rise again, being a “main” npc, followed by an attack by Olaf, and the same guard, its annoying, I find the best way to fix it is to not go to Olaf’s at all, because I notice that it only ever happens in there, in the evening, and once it happens, npcs won’t stop hunting him unless you use console commands, including removing his bounty+stopcombat to make sure they don’t kill each other.).

  26. Oh yeah forgot to mention, but I like Bruma as a town, because its relatively peaceful, and is near Cloud Ruler Temple (I love a highly secured mountain fortress, with easily openable doors xD).

  27. RandomlyGenericUnoriginalName says:

    Finally! I was twitching for my fix of Nondrick, good that you’ve updated it, eventually. Hoping on a new update soon!

    Suggestion: Rush back to the Imperial City, get betting in the Arena, and make big $$$!

    @Mike- Cloud Ruler Temple!? SNAGGING BLADES GEAR!? That’s too much adventure and excitement for Nondrick. Remember, he’s trying to live a dull life, and stealing from Blades is a little risky.

  28. Duncan Frost says:

    Plus, the only way to get it would be either using console cheats to unlock the doors of the temple, attacking the guards, or starting the main quest.

  29. Soliloquy says:

    Cheer Up Nondrick, you know that if you’d gone into Imperial City you’d have been arrested for carry those knicked cloths

    Countess of Leyawin’s bodygaurd is probably on a work-to-rule after that below inflation pay rise…

  30. Lovidicus says:

    I doubt NONDRICK IS from Bruma. If you recall, at the 1st entry of this blog, N9ndrick stepped off in Anvil, off the bost. THERE IS no boat inn BRUMA> Besides, Chris woulda said if this was his hometown/birthplace/place he learned to kill women/ THe art of finding silverware in animsals

  31. lemmingman says:

    Finally another post. All seems rather dull up here for nondrick.
    Alas maybe thats a good thing, or maybe not. Really should of stayed in the IC and lived a very mundane life composed of ingredient gathering and gambling.
    Also on the matter of houses the IC is cheaper overall but getting one will include a short quest. Can Nondrick break his vow of NPC-isnish just to get a place to sleep and store his animal kitchen ware .
    I think the bodyguard was there as i think the countesses of Chorrol and Leyawin are related.Mother and daughter I think. Anyway good luck to Nondrick and his woman N wolf killin way of life.

    P.S. please God let him not get obsessed with the arena gambling i really , REALLY dont want to see Nondrick with no trousers on again , im still having flashbacks…

  32. Mike Anderson says:

    It seems what Nondrick really needs is some kind of role model. Someone who demonstrates that there’s more to life than picking Clouded Funnel Caps and slaying wolves. And as fate would have it, Nondrick can find his childhood hero here in Bruma.

    Namely, that suave and sophisticated Honmund.

    Consider: Honmund is a self described Prospector, a man who goes out into the wilderness for weeks at a time. And while he talks a big game about looking for precious minerals, he spends most of his trek picking plants and harvesting ingredients. But Honmund shows that this way of life works. He lives in a swanky pad next to the Fighters Guild. He’s dating the attractive bard Alga as his “live in partner.” And he earns enough to go drinking every night with his fellow Nords at the Tap & Tack. Sure, he spends his life picking plants and killing wolves. But he does it with *style*.

    Or, maybe not. But if he’s heart set on leaving Bruma, take the unmarked road between Bruma to Cheydinhal. All sorts of good things to see, from Azura’s shrine to those crazy Moth priests.

  33. Thanks for making Nondrick man. It’s wickidly entertaining, although… It’s just to bad Frohman isn’t here to see this *sniffle*

    Anyway, another great post. Keep it up man

  34. This blog focuses on the important things: Tough decisions, ugly-fish faced alchemists and awe-inspiring wit. XD “Everything sucks up north. Even the interdimensional enchanted weapons.” Pure Comedic Gold

  35. RPharazon says:

    You do realize that Bruma is a province and not a city?
    Its northern SHORE is a boundary between WATER and LAND and there’s BOATS coming from it.

    I like how you captured the absurd boringness of Bruma, Chris. I don’t know why they made such a boring city when most of the main quest makes you go back and forth between it. I mean, you get a statue at one point, but that’s it…

  36. Spirited Treasure says:

    Bruma is one of my favorite cities! Give it a chance Nondrick =s=

  37. lovidicus says:

    Rpharazon. ah. but one thing:

    BRuma is a city, not a province. I think It was in the Colovian Highlands

  38. After reading this for FOREVER, I am convinced that Nondrick needs a horse.

    Good thing paint horses are cheap :P.

  39. Myrrhte says:

    Thanks for the update!
    And you could also get the NPC arrest mod, that way he can be arrested. You can even visit him in the prison! I believe the mod is by duggedank.

  40. hey Chris!

    your blog rocks!

    You wrote on one of the pages that you wanted a pet wolf… well the best, least buggy (if any bugs) mods i found is “Cheydinhal Petshop”.
    when installed, you can choose from a Husky, a dog, Panther, Imp, Spectacled Bear, Panda, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, White Akavirian Tiger, Battle Boar, Mudcrab (lol), Cougar, and a Skeleton.
    with the pets you get a deed and a bone, which can be used to summon the pet if it gets lost. and as far as i remember you can tell the dog/husky to “sick-em”! pretty cool ey.

    its coded and designed by Lady Eternity and textures by Proudfoot.
    just letting you know…

  41. The Countess of Leyawiin is the daughter of the Countess of Chorrol and she travels to Chorrol on a regular basis with her bodyguard and her steward. Sometimes they’re on horses. I’ve seen the Countess doing the walking and her servants doing the riding, too.

  42. Reality says:

    Don’t take the Bradon Lirrian quest, it’s too interesting and is based off of a 69 Eyes song. My advice would be to leave immediately, since most people will be talking about the death of that guy.

    I loved Concerned, and this has proven to be just as funny, adventurous and it’s overall a great read. It’s generous of you to waste so much time on such pointless stuff.

  43. add a section where we see your email and a section that we can donate money to please. anything this good deserves my money

  44. Oh, I meant to tell you something earlier, but now I’ve forgotten it. Hey, do “Non Journal Quests” count as beign against your code of ethics? While he’s so close, he could just as well do that barrel & key one to get that magical and helpful ring, and he doesn’t have to do the Countess’s quest to do it either. What about the Nirnroot quest? Since that is what you’re doing anyway, may as well get more credit for it. Besides, I think that guy is also one of the Master Trainers, but with Alchemy! Another incidenatal quest, involves that rare wine, by the way. Talking to every beggar fulfills the needs of yet another Master Trainer Quest, and you’re doing that incidently. It has a bad ending though if a beggar dies.

  45. “Just up the road I spot a traveler headed in the other direction.”

    I thought he was going to the same direction, not the other?

  46. Who knows what mysteries await our non-hero here in Bruma?