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.


  1. Beaker was riddled with arrows! that was awsome!

  2. Man, beaker’s such a bitch. Attacking its owner, instead of the marksman who’s been at it for around ten minutes straight?


    Meh, good post…. It coulda been longer, but, we got a post, why should i complain?

  4. I didn’t know you encounter Timber Wolves at such a low level! I hate those fucks. Let’s hope Nondrick never has to face mountain lions or grizzly bears. At least for a while.

  5. I’d seriously hate to be an everyday man in oblivion like Nondrick. I mean, if just going about your business as an alchemist means you can shrug off about 10 murders in one day then something is seriously wrong. They should vote a better emperor or something, cut down on the crime in that region.

    Oh and by the way, you forgot to number the day in the title.

  6. Chalkster says:

    Quite nice, Nondrick is looking styling in his new iron and leather armor.
    Those wolves and their deviously similar appearances!

  7. Soundwave says:

    And here marks the first entry that I will be able to read as an official Oblivion player. I salute you, Nondrick. May the rest of your clumsy swings miss your horse.

  8. Super awesome post as usual. Nondrick sure is turning into some badass bandit killer.

  9. Finally!
    The woods are littered with mostly-naked bodies of people…

  10. Newt Pulsifer says:

    Nice screen shots!
    Go go go, Nondrick the brave!

  11. 6 o'clock Cyrodiil News says:

    In other news, alchemist and fish-face Nondrick P. Cairk’tir has been cleared on all ten charges of murder, on the grounds that it was in “self-defense.” This “self-defense” argument has been used before in the court of Cyrodiil, notably in the case of Rena Gossamer, who was acquitted on 780 charges of sticking silverware into animals.

  12. Not An Annoying Person In Line At The DMV says:

    1. quit your job
    2. steal from your neighbor’s fridge as nourishment
    3. steal his valuables as a source of money
    4. steal his girlfriend perhaps?
    5. Update this blog as often as possible

    your stuff is always awesome. I’ve followed you since the beginning of Concerned.

  13. Greggori Ferdinadinor says:

    I think our Nondrick needs a “Mercenary” to help fend off the many bandits that seem to be bent on killing him just for the sport of it. Preferably one that doesn’t need much questing. Like Mazoga the Orc or one of the Battlehorn Guards.

  14. Poor Beaker :(

  15. Acehalo-2 says:

    Great update as always.

    And getting killed by his own horse would be the perfect ending, but I’m glad Nondrick lives for another day of non-adventure.

  16. gentleman jim says:

    First time poster, long time reader, just wondering where Nondrick got the fine new leather cap. Also there’s a mod flaotimg around out there somewhere that can give beaker saddle bags, if he’s gonna act like a bitch, might as well make him carry your bandit leavings like one.

  17. Ah, brilliant! I think this has been my favorite blog yet. I was really worried about Nondrick there, knowing that you would have to end the blog if he died. Although I would have to agree… death by his own horse is perfect. I laughed, I cried, it moved me.

  18. Best one yet!

  19. austinpwnz says:


    Again fantastically written and very entertaining, please continue!

  20. If you’re bumping into timberwolves then good god Nodrick, watch out for the boars!

    Those pigs are even more lethal than the dogs.

  21. “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.”

    This had me in a fit, good thing everyone else at the studio is out to lunch. Bravo, good sir!

  22. @3 It could have been longer? It was 2,242 words! Give the man a break!

    Personally I think smaller posts more frequently could work, but presumably it’s all dependent on when and how much you can play. I liked to stock up a bit of playing time with my diary, so I can write it up in 400-word chunks.

  23. I like the hunter who just. Hates. Deer. Everyone else in Oblivion seems to just. Hate. Horses. Maybe one gave them a bad coupon once.

  24. You really REALLY need to install the “ImmersiveHealthIndication.esp” add-on, if you want to avoid getting low on health without realising it. What it does is make your vision go blurry as you get low on health (which is impossible not notice), and I could not play Oblivion without it!

  25. “A lethal dose of death.” Hilarity. =D

  26. I’m surprised how much I actually care about Nondrick not dying. Its a testament to the writing when a dosage of peril makes me read quicker.

    I do agree with pentadact (master of stealth) that shorter, more frequent posts could work better.

  27. Interimname says:

    Soon the day will come when Nondrick levels far past his depth and minotaur will roam the land. He will then learn the pain of being a non-adventurer in Cyrodiil. But I hope he can survive long enough to visit all the cities, meet all the people, sample all the booze and broads.

    Perhaps purchase a proper residence. But, alas, he will never be famous enough for it.

  28. This gives you a lethal dose of laughter. Keep it up.

  29. this was a great entry, made me laugh a few times.
    good work.

  30. awesome blog…I look forward to each installment.

  31. HareichiSan says:

    I laughed! Thanks for the new post! You should start posting weekly again.

  32. Woot! update. Nonny ftw! Dude, there’s an add on on where you can pick up and slap down bedrolls so you can sleep where ever. If Nondrick is going to be making frequent Business (?) trips, you might want to get it. You might also want to get a companion mod so Nondrick isn’t all by his lonesome self

  33. woot i can’t believe i doubted you chris sorry, anyways that was an awesome post

  34. LokiHades says:

    “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.”
    That just made me laugh soooo hard. The others were funny too, poor Beaker! And why do bandits hate you two so much? Its not like you did anything to them…

    The only nice bandit was the Highway man from nearly a month ago! And even then he betrayed your trust :(.

  35. “Why do people hate Beaker so much? Beaker is cool, man.”

    XD Great update. Glad you finished that quest off. Now never go back to Chorrol because the second part of the quest is waiting.

    10/10. Great job

  36. I laughed all over the place with this entry. Except for the Beaker bits, those made me sad. Don’t forget to get a Heal Other spell for Beaker, too. Poor Beaker.

    Also, I second the Immersive Health Indicator mod. Who wants Nondrick to die? No one! And all the girls want him, more the reason for him to live.

    Good job, Chris. Don’t let Nondrick die!

  37. I agree with getting a companion mod. Maybe there’s one that’ll let you hire bodyguards or something to protect you and Beaker from the horse-hating bandits.

  38. Sweet! Bet Nondrick made a decent amount of gold on that trip! Maybe he’s got enough to buy some more furniture from the brothers. Maybe a table for the silver-ware he ripped from the corpses of poor animals? *Dunno if the house comes with that table, since I’ve always bought everything from the brothers before looking*

  39. As great as this is, you need to start updating Not My Desk again. Even if you’re no longer a temp.

    Just make it up, or something.

  40. bedroll mod: yes if you had to buy it
    companion mod: not likely, especially not a bodyguard THIS IS NONDRICK
    unlimited health?! no takes all the fun out. :P

  41. It seems that Nondrick is getting into an awful lot of adventures of late: killing bandits, riding horses and buying houses. All these things are far too exciting for a regular NPC.

    Bring back boring old ingredients picking!

    Still, awesome update on an awesome blog. Keep it up!

  42. I just found and read all your posts today, just as good as (maybe better than) Concerned; keep it up dood.
    Plus, I think “Ain’t nothin’ generic or common about that caboose, baby!” is going to enter my everyday vernacular.

  43. Questionable Poon says:

    Heh, good stuff here man.

  44. Soliloquy says:

    presume you are going to start heading South, back towards the coast via Bravil & Leyawiin, some pretty scary stuff down those roads, it’s a pity you cannot convince some other NPcs to help out along the way

    ever thought of starting an NPC Guild?

  45. lol Nondrick head of a NPC guild

  46. Being the alchamist he is, Im curious if he will end up joining with the Mages Guild.

    And Nondrick needs his own pet dog. Download the Pets of Chorrol mod!

  47. Great add! I thought you would never write another one. Things just don’t get any easier for poor Nondrick do they? Poor fish faced idiot. In tribute to this amazing blog I named the paint horse I bought so my black horse (Horsie) did die an eigth time “Beaker II” he didn’t die or anything!

  48. Where’s this guy been? It’s been about a month without an update…

  49. I’ve been waiting a month for thi. It was super awessome.

    The bit about timber Wolves being better than normal wolves cracked me the fuck up.

  50. Thank God that Beaker didn’t kill Ol’ Nonny as I think it would have killed me also. I almost choked to death with laughter at the prospect of the blog finishing with a slightly-stomped, arrow-filled Nondrick corpse. You’re gonna have to work really hard to end it on a better note than that….but not anytime soon hopefully ;)

  51. He shouldn’t get a mobile bedroll, because then he’d be sleeping in the unsafe of the wilderness, and it’s far more… realistic to need to find an inn.

  52. You could’ve just eaten the root pulp to cure yourself and get back the speed and agility of legend.

  53. Update?

  54. I love the line “Will I still be able to enjoy my healthy lifestyle?”.

    This blog is great stuff, man.

  55. 15 days with no update? How long can it take to take some photos and write some words? :P

  56. Again, I amNot Chris says:

    Well, Chris likes TF2 and 1fort better than us, I guess. However, if he stops by and reads these comments in his spare time:

    How did you arrange stuff so perfectly in your house? My pitcher’s laying on its side, the silver ware is on the floor, and my scythe that I got because it’s a frikkin’ scythe is laying half-under the table!

  57. Faster, Chris! I’m suffering withdrawal!

  58. Great stuff man.. first time poster, long time reader like other dude said before.. its funny, I remember that i found u blog searching goggle to find out WHY some of the townspeople (or maybe.. townspeople corpses) lie on the roads without a little bit of life in them.. yeah.. DEAD! I think they get killed by wild animals or bandits, or maybe Nodrick in a dispute of ingredients dispatch them! XD.

    So funny man, great job, and plz sorry for my english, im really speak spanish! Greetings from Southamerica! Chile to be more especific!

    Please continue with this, i haven’t so much time, but i always keep an eye on this!

    But in the other hand, Chris are a man! not a “octopus-like thing” with lots of arms and time I suposse.. We all like the Non-adventurer story of Nondrick.. but I think it’s no fair push so hard to Chris.. just lt him go to his own pace.

    Go NOndrick Go!! greetiongs, and once more! great work!

  59. Im another person to just discover this and read it through from the beginning. You’re probably aware of the mention that you got in PCGamer magazine which is what led me here.

    Both me and the wife were laughing so hard we were crying reading through some of these posts. talking about the wizard that was ‘pimp slapped’ makes me laugh just thinking about it.

    Great to see another update, keep them coming this is some of the best reading ive had in a long time :)

  60. Armored_Cheese says:



  62. I wonder if Chris realizes some people might actually cry when Nondrick dies.

  63. I recently found this site and read through all of them, it is fantastic stuff. Keep it coming!

  64. I’d cry if Nondrick died. :(

  65. HareichiSan says:

    Update! Wassa taking you so long? Oh yeah, work and such. Please find time for your fans soon!!!!!

    PS. I would definitely cry if nondrick died. He’s so awesome.

  66. What happened to the adventures of Nondrick? Don’t tell me you’re letting something stupid like, say, real life, get in the way of amusing us! ;p

  67. I too will cry if Nondrick kicks the bucket… :3

    This is so getting fandom!secrets’d :D

  68. That would be absurd Casyle, everyone knows real life is just a myth.

  69. Seriously man… I want more. Please, everyone here agree’s that this thing is too great to fade away without a fitting end. Don’t get bored with it. You are very entertaining! Thanks for everything so far man.

  70. !_! Im getting abit tired of having to wait like 3 weeks for each update. This is how alot of things I really enjoy on the internet have just failed and died.
    Not to be rude but can you just tell us if you’re going to carry on or just finish it. Just don’t leave us hanging. It doesn’t create suspense. It’s just disappointing to come back every day and find nothing.

  71. Damn it Livingston! I have a idea- Spam messages to his steam account!

  72. Failed and died? No, Living in Oblivion is better than that. It succeeded and lives.

  73. Its been about a month now waffles. Can you say that seriously? With not even a post saying “sorry Ill be a while”

  74. Stop playing Spore and give Nondrick some fucking TLC!

  75. usualroutine says:

    This may seem off-topic, but which theme are you using here?

  76. Living in Oblivion has gone longer without updates, but those updates always arrived. I can’t imagine this time will be different.

  77. It’s still annoying that it takes a month+ for an update.

  78. another update PLEASE. i must know what will happen next

  79. my sir, i suggest a trip to imperial city or, cynedril. it could be fun. or just go on a random visit to a raelly further city

  80. I recommend you start doing less non-storytelling, and more asskicking… which in turn is more storytelling.

    JUST DO IT!!!

  81. God, who do you think you are, Chris? Maddox?

  82. Jacob Singer says:

    I’m just hoping the author’s health and personal life are ok. Been a long time with no update.

  83. Chris will update as he always updates. Eventually.

  84. The combination of Spore, the recent release of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 3 on DVD and my overwhelming desire for some quality time with my husband that doesn’t involve gaming is to blame for the lack of updates. Sorry!

    @ Jacob Singer – All is well with health and home. No need for concern, but thank you!

  85. On the one hand the skeptical part of me says O_o faker…

    But the other half says wooooooooooooooo the writer isnt dead.

  86. picz or it didn’t happen lolz

  87. I took a break and I came back to re-read the latest entry. Hurrah! I’m caught up! I remember now what I meant to write when he found the Silver Spoon. Now that is virtual silverware. (I almost used “actual”.) If it isn’t made of silver, it isn’t “silverware” It should be referred to as what ever substance it is made of, be it wood, steel, iron, copper, plastic, et al. Or use substance neutral terms, like “utensils” or “flatware”, et al. “Beaker” looks like a female to me, like the other horses. Under the tail is an anus, and under that is the vulva’s entrance to the vagina. On the underside, are non-lactating teats. So beaker is a mare, not a stallion. As a former horse owner, I know that males are easy to tell part, because even at a few yards distance they are still, well, you know, “hung like a horse”. Oh, I hope Nondrick learns enough about smithing. For the next time he gets some Bound Armor from a Rune Stone, he then can hammer it to 100 or 125. Then that will allow him to enchant it and thus permanently keep it, if he wants 0 weight armor with no sale value though. Along with the rest, I look forward to an update! Very soon I hope it comes.

  88. It’s been over a month since I’ve heard from dear Nondrick. I fear he is dead, or lost in some goblin cave, awaiting rescue. How will I know he is safe? Surely there is news from the other parts of Tamriel!


  89. So, is there ever gonna be another post, or is the gonna be yet another internet story that never gets finished.

  90. Questionable Poon says:

    I heard he was eaten by a Grue.

  91. A Concerned Citizen says:

    seriously the best post on this blog i snorted through most of it calming down then reading the next paragraph and snorting again the best part was the arrow in his back part.

  92. Questionable Poon says:

    Guess it’s time to stick a fork in this one. It’s done.

  93. I don’t want Nondrick to die D:

  94. Honest citizens sleep at night.


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