Nondrick's Non-adventure

Day 12: Shafted

I awaken at 5am. It’s dark, quiet. The wealthy merchants who strut smugly around the city dressed in red or blue velvet are still fast asleep. This… is the time of the hunter.

And I… am a hunter.

Dressing in my armor, I ready my bow and a quiver of arrows, and depart, slipping through the silent streets. Stealthily. Like an oiled snake. Like a hunter. Because I am one. Then, well, I have to hang around the aforementioned silent streets for a few hours because it’s so early, the armor shop isn’t open yet, and I really need to buy armored gloves and leggings.

While I’m loitering around the streets — loitering the way only a hunter can — I notice a female high dark elf named Falanu peeping over a low stone wall around the corner. I go talk to her, like, in a real huntery way.

I don’t, but I do know where she could find an attractive single dead bandit hedge wizard.

The armor shop finally opens, and while they don’t have fur gloves they have fur greaves, which are like armored leggings. I fork over sixteen bucks, but in a way that is very much like a hunter. Finally, at half-past eight, which is a little late for being the time of the hunter but still, and I stress this, the tail end of the time of the hunter, I stroll out the front gate. To, uh, hunt.

I walk east, finding a graveyard or, as Falanu would call it, a singles club. I collect a few ingredients as I’m poking around in the woods, but it’s a few hours later before I spot my first prey, a deer.

Dropping into a crouch, or as I call it, a hunter’s crouch, I nock an arrow, take aim, and send my missile directly into the deer’s face. Even with my surprise attack doing twice the normal amount of damage, the deer springs away. I give chase, peppering the woods with arrows, but never score a second hit.

By noon I’ve traveled pretty far north and east, and haven’t killed anything. I’ve collected some mushrooms, but that’s not very hunter-ish because they’re pretty easy to sneak up on. I slip into a mild depression — call it a hunter’s depression — as I consider just giving up and heading back along the road to Skingrad. This hunter thing doesn’t seem like it’s gonna pan out. Rats.

No, seriously, rats. One leaps out of the grass and attacks me. This must be a rat cranked up on skooma because it’s throwing itself against my shield at a rapid enough rate to increase my block skill. Still, it’s just a rat, and one good swipe of my sword brings it down with a squeak, and I harvest the nearly worthless meat from its corpse. A few minutes later I come across a small pond, where I sneakily dispatch a second rat at range with an arrow. There, that at least made me feel more like a hunter.

I come across a wolf, wound it with a stealth arrow at range and finish it with my sword, then kill another rat, then come across some more deer, which I injure but fail to kill. They are really wily, those deer. And that’s pretty much the day’s hunting. A couple rats and a wolf, and there’s a deer with an arrow in its face somewhere. The ingredients I’ve gathered along the way are worth more than the animals I’ve butchered, and the hunting leaves me a few arrows short and my weapon and armor quality down a few pegs. I suck as a hunter.

Still, the day isn’t a total bust. On my sullen clomp back to the city, I meet another female high dark elf named Undena Orethi. I chat her up and she reveals a little something odd. (And she does have eyes, she’s just in mid-blink in this picture.)

I like stuff like this. There are tons of NPCs in the game and, like the necrophiliac and this tomato hunter, many of them have little personality quirks that keep them from just being another automated drone, walking their predetermined paths and saying their scripted lines. I mean, they are, but at least they have their own lines, and someone took the time to make this NPC stand out a little. It gets me thinking about what makes Nondrick stand out, apart from his giant stupid head. Not much, when you get right down to it.

I check the Oblivion Wiki, which has this to say about Undena: She is not involved in any quests and does not offer any services.

But I say nay to thee, wiki, for she has indeed provided me a service. She has inspired me. She is in search of something, she is on a quest, not one that involves clearing ancient ruins of monsters or finding lost artifacts or slaying vampires, but a personal quest.

While I’m keeping Nondrick away from the game’s formal quests, I think I’d like him to have a personal quest, something outside the boundaries of him just making a living and trying to find a home. Sure, he’d like to get freaky with one of these female NPCs but this isn’t going to happen due to the limits of the game, just as Undena will never find her perfect tomato because all of the tomatoes in the game are the same.

So, I want to come up with a personal quest for Nondrick, one he can accomplish or at least spend his free time pursuing. He needs his own grail. Nothing dramatic or adventurous — something more like a hobby. But, he needs something to go along with his non-adventure. He needs a side-non-adventure.

For now, he heads back to the West Weald, his hunting days over. Even if I do manage to bring down a deer or two, it’s time consuming, their meat doesn’t go for much, and I’ll probably lose several arrows in the process. Rats are easy to kill but their meat isn’t worth a lot, either. Wolf pelts go a decent price, but wolves attack me when I’m out collecting ingredients anyway, so there’s not much point in specifically trying to track them down.

So, a new plan is formed, or rather, a variation on an old plan I gave up on too quickly. The ingredients will be the key to my success, but not merely picking them and selling them. I shall combine them, mushing them up together in a little something the ancients called Iron Chef.

Wait, they called it Alchemy. And it’s time for Nondrick to be come an alchemist. A proper one. It’s time to put down the bow and pick up the beaker. And that’s the most exciting hook I can think of for the end of this post.

Comments

  1. Haha, brilliant as always, keep them coming!

  2. Dam, that was quick! This is great , keep it up.

  3. Brinstar Brew says:

    Someday Undena will, like Ken Watanabe in the last samurai, realise that they’re all perfect.

  4. fishface60 says:

    I compulsively collect ingredients and buy food, early on this helped me get my Alchemy Skill to Mastery before I was even level 5, now it isn’t much use because though I could make lots of money by just turning them into Master level potions I don’t, they just sit in my Alchemy sorter.
    Though they are fairly useful when I expect a difficult boss fight, I can make some pretty epic poisions (paralyze, silence, damage health magicka and fatigue) but the only person worth using them on so far was Mannimarco.

  5. hunting takes way too muh effort, and each hunting trip is kind of like a quest WHICH I THOUGHT WE AGREED YOU WOULDN’T DO! i think this alchemy thing is a turn for the better, and who knows, nondrick might just be able to make some potion to make the ladies not notice how ugly he is.

  6. Stranger says:

    R.O.U.S.s (Rodents Of Unusual Size)? I don’t believe they exist…

  7. At Mr. T, hunting is not a quest in the game if its voluntary, but if he was to do a quest that involves him hunting, and he hunts, then thats a no-no.

    Great entry for today!

  8. Skafsgaard says:

    I like the turn of things – I can’t wait till I find out what will be the hobby, the purpose, the grail of good Nondrick!

  9. I have an idea for a holy grail-> A plastic surgeon. And its not totally inconceivable because I know that there is a console command to bring up the character creation screen at any time, so Nondrick can lose that oh so hilarious fish face in favor of something more….well thats up to you. Great job on this blog by the way, but can anything less be expected from the creator of the best HL2 Comic? Probably not.

  10. I am really enjoying reading this, please keep up the good work, I can’t wait till the next episode!!!

  11. Razzle Frazzle says:

    i wish i had a perfect tomato……..

  12. obscured says:

    Loving this blog, but the pedant within me has to point out… Falanu and Undena aren’t High Elves, they’re Dunmer, aka Dark Elves. Other than that, awesome!

  13. I do find the fact there is a deer gadding about with an arrow jutting from it’s nose sadistically amusing. Perhaps a side-SIDE-adventure of peppering the landscape with various animals with various pointy objects stuck into their fuzzy faces. Except for mubcrabs. Not fuzzy. Anyway, think of it as a way of marking one’s territory, or leaving one’s mark upon the world. You may start an entire new strain or species especially adapted to survive with such an affliction.

  14. Bob0the0mighty says:

    fantastic stuff man. I’ve been a fan since I found concerned. Love this and hope you do a TF2 comic.

  15. Rat on skooma! Lol!

  16. Ohibeans says:

    I saw someone on the tube home from work last night who looked very similar to Nondrick.

    Poor bastard.

    Regrettably he got away before I could take a photo.

  17. I just wanted to point out that those women were NOT High Elves, but Dark Elves. Thats why they are strange.

  18. Mr_Wizard says:

    Eventually everyone who avoids adventure (nobody) would gravitate to alchemy, as it is the only craft skill in the game. They really should have made armourer capable of making weapons and armor, then that would have been a viable alternative. Maybe there is a mod for it.

  19. fear not, im sure you will get a dear one day. wait! that could be your goal! to bag yourself a deer! maybe.

  20. when is it gonna be updated???? i thought this was weekly, i come to check hourly…

  21. “Undena will never find her perfect tomato because all of the tomatoes in the game are the same.”
    I at least know of a tomato that isn’t the same as all the other ones, the SOUL TOMATO

    http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Shivering:Soul_Tomato#Soul_Tomato

    Or aren’t you counting expansions?

  22. Thanks to a mod called MMM, you get more creatures with better AI, maybe a tough wolf would fight, or a starved wolf, but a small weak wolf may run away! Also you get to craft weapons and armour from fur and bone, etc! How cool is that!

  23. “I shall combine them, mushing them up together in a little something the ancients called Iron Chef.” xD! I still don’t get Oblivion. You try to mix tomato, bread, lettuce, and ham, and you get a potion, not a sandwitch! Haha.

    And I also recommend that Mod MMM (Martigen’s Monster Mod) that John talked about. I’m playing the FCOM version, which is like a super heavy MMM, which I won’t recommend, as it ups the difficulty too much (You might even run into a Giant Ogre at level 1, and get pummeled instantly).

  24. Brad Lawrence says:

    This blog is the best thing on the net by an fucking mile.

    Absolutely loving it – Massive Kudos.

    Brad

  25. Oh, reading this makes me wish that Joxar had gotten his own spin-off series! By the way, I read somewhere that the offical backstory concerning Falanu’s question, is that her husband recently died, and as she loves and misses him so, she hopes to use Necromancy to bring him back. So she doesn’t think of herself as a “single widow”, but as a wife with a husband who has a temporay medical condition that she hope to cure soon, even if others disdain her for being a necrophliac. Something she considers to be the “lesser of two evils” considering how the Mage’s Guild feels about Necromancers, even if it is still legal!

  26. What a twist!

  27. a potion to make girls think nondrik is not ugly fish head, it already exists, a khajit baker sells it, it is called skooma drug, it’s only use is making people drunk and horny… so if you give to a girl, she will go in search of sex with whoever is the opposite sex in a 10 ft radius, that normally implies your character, lots of sexual mods, way better than sexlivion i may say

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