Nondrick's Non-adventure

Day 13-14: Mortar and Pestering

Before I can become an alchemist, I have something to attend to.

I head back to Colovian Traders, and sell my fancy duds back to Gunder. I let my brief success picking flowers go to my head. I’m not some wealthy fancy-pants merchant. I’m a simple dork with a bag of rapidly dwindling gold. I buy a simple brown shirt, some pants, and cowhide shoes to wear around town.

There. Simple, humble, and ready to start my career. I wander around the Mage’s Guild, hoping to buy a few things for my new start-up, but no one is selling anything other than spells. I eventually find my way to a shop called All Things Alchemical, run by the necrophiliac elf I met the other morning. I spend most of the rest of my money on a Novice Albemic and a Novice Calcinator, giving me two more tools with which to practice my new craft. It also leaves me with a mere 29 gold to my name. But, you’ve gotta spend septims to make septims.

I check out the rest of her mechandise, buying an apple, some beef, and a blackberry, all of which share the “Restore Fatigue” property. They each also cost 2 gold, so I’m down to 23. I already have an ear of corn, which I think I bought at the inn for lunch. I mix them all together and voila! I have a potion! That probably tastes horrible! And it’s worth 3gp. Okay, that was a loss.

I try again, with a couple of items I picked yesterday and one purchase from the shop, and mix up two “Restore Intelligence” potions. These are worth 6 gold each. I also decide to start haggling over the prices, and manage to sell each potion for 4 gold. I’m up to 30 again. I buy some Spiddal Stick to match some Nightshade I picked yesterday, which gives me a Damage Health potion, which I sell back at just a slight loss. Down to 29 again.

Well, buying, mixing, and selling doesn’t seem to pay off just yet, and gathering, buying ingredients to match the properties of my gathering, then mixing only works sometimes. I have an idea, though, of how this all might come together, but to put it into action I’m gonna need some cash. Time to hit the fields again.

I armor up and head northwest, finding flax, water hyacinth, peony, sacred lotus, alkanet, and even a couple pearls in some clams in a pond. Plus, I come across a weird stone that wants to give me something.

Sure. Why not.

Magicka bursts forward from the stone, enveloping me. I feel tendrils of unnatural energy claw at my flesh, snake into my veins, and clutch at my heart. I open my mouth to scream and the ancient eldritch power pours into my lungs like blood-red smoke and clouds my eyes with visions of a barren, blasted land ruled by a scowling Daedra Lord perched on a massive throne of charred, splintered bone. When the darkness passes, I find myself clad in brutal black and crimson armor, holding a massive spike of a sword in my two shaking hands.

I continue picking flowers. Yeah, I know I’ve got magical Daedric armor on and am carrying a deadly four-foot double-edged Oblivion-forged blade, but that’s no reason to change my plans for the day.

Not a bad day of collecting, either. It’s dark and raining as I head back into the city gates. (The magical armor and sword have since poofed back out of existence.) I mix up some potions from my collection, get a cheap room at the Two Sisters, and get some sleep.

In the morning, I’m back to the alchemist’s. I sell the potions I’ve made, and all my spare ingredients, and use the profits to buy her out of apples, grapes, onions, blackberries — everything cheap that shares the very common Restore Fatigue property. I mix up a ton of two-ingredient potions, and sell them to her. My alchemy skill goes up several times as a result, and I buy a Novice Retort, the fourth and final instrument of the alchemist.

I think I’m on the right track now. It’s not about profit so much at this point, it’s about becoming a more skilled alchemist. The more skill I have, the better my potions will be, and the more I’ll be able to sell them for. It’s not time to make money, it’s time to grind. Quantity, not quality — only two ingredients per potion instead of three or four.

Plus, all the buying of cheap ingredients and selling of mass amounts of potions will increase my mercantile skills, and boosting merchants’ disposition through conversation will increase my speechcraft skills. I’ll become a better alchemist and salesman, and more likable guy, all at once.

I head over to Colovian Traders, and do the same with Gunder, buying everything cheap he has, mixing up as many weak potions as I can, and selling them back to him.

I dash over to the West Weald Inn, buying them out of carrots, cheese, ham, pears, rice, and everything else they’ve got that I can afford. I slap together a huge amount what must be some truly awful tasting potions, and finally, for real this time, voila!

I’m still pretty broke at this point (54 gp) but I’m an apprentice alchemist! Now each ingredient has two properties I can use, which will make it easier to mix and match ingredients, and it’ll unlock more potent drinks, which will in turn sell for more money.

There are still a lot of questions in Nondrick’s life, but finally one has been answered. I’ve got a real, workable plan. Major in Alchemy, minor in Sales. This is how I shall make my fortune.


  1. Wow, Nondricks actually going to start making a daily profit. Makes me want to start being an NPC, when I get a new computer…and oblivion.

  2. Nondrick’s non-adventure makes me feel better about my own life. Thanks!

  3. Interestingly, the restore fatigue icon showing up in the potion making screen is actually the restore health icon…

  4. I have now downloaded all those mods you use and I will start my own NPC :D

  5. That was quick! I loled when I saw Nondrick with the deadric stuff, brilliant as usual. If it was a book, I would buy it.

  6. Awesome! A good day for Nondrick. He has a good future ahead of him!

  7. Razzle Frazzle says:

    this guy should be rich with potions!
    damb you leveling system in Oblivion!!!

  8. Does using more ingredients make the potion any stronger? My experience led me to believe it did not.

  9. “I continue picking flowers.”


  10. Great descriptions of the magic pouring from the stone! I could almost share in the experience!

  11. I really liked Concerned and I really enjoy your blog here about Oblivion. I wish your work on this or especially Concerned could have hit front page of digg.

  12. Desmond says:

    I love this blog; the only problem with it is the massive amount of fail remakes.

    Deja Vu.

  13. fishface60 says:

    Solo_Phoenix: The reason why the Restore Fatigue Icon is the same as the Restore Health icon is that he hasn’t used a mod which changes the Spell Effect Icons, by default all the restore effects have the same Icon.

  14. Ah, silly me.

  15. Lack_26 says:

    Cool, I love the Oblivion games where you are really struggling to make a living. Far more fun than those where you are rolling it money.

  16. ROFL

    “but that’s no reason to change my plans for the day.”

  17. Mr_Wizard says:

    Heh. It is a great way for young mages to make a living. You are lucky that Alchemy isnt a major skill, because then you would level along with it, while your combat abilities remain back in the new character levels. This has lead to the death of one of my mages, poisons do a lot of damage, but they are too often a little too slow. :D

  18. I was scared that the magical sword and armor were part of an adventure, but luckily they dissapeared. phew!

  19. This is brilliant. How long are you going to make it?
    It makes me wish I could get mods for my ps3 version. stuff frostcrag spire, I want to make an npc character!

  20. I made a Arena NPC dude, for easy money. Using the same mods except the ones that force you to eat and sleep ( however I do sleep almost everyday ).

    Send Nondrick to the arena! That’ll be so funny.

  21. Man, I really want to do something like this in Oblivion. Never thought about it with all the giant rats and freaking demons everywhere, just asking to get slashed at.

  22. maw3193 says:

    I don’t know, man, that sounds too much like a QUEST!

  23. a good post. make more

  24. Oh man this is great. I’m actually growing attached to Nondrick.

    I can’t wait for him to react to being thrown in jail for stealing food. :)

  25. ha, if nondrick started betting on the arena and he made a story about him betting little then a lot and then he lost it all, that would be funny. But he’d find a way back!

  26. GreatDrake says:

    I think it would fit the character if you got a mod so you can have a wife.

  27. Serenaar says:

    I love this blog, very interesting concept of deliberately not involving yourself in Cyrodiil’s many vast quests.

    I wonder if Nondrick will ever find the perfect tomato! Or will he go mad trying and end up a drunk sitting in the Bloated Float wishing he’d made an adventurer of himself…

    Keep up the good work!

  28. Ah, this is so good. Im thinking of doing this too, but I have the X-Box 360 version, so it would be a lot harder. :(

  29. Alexander says:

    I <3 this bloggy. Its a perfect substitute for actually playing Oblivion yourself. Its got twice the humor and adventure with none of the effort.

  30. Von Dozier says:

    Where has Nondrick gone :(

  31. Trey Gorden says:

    Congratulations on being accepted as an apprentice alchemist! I think they give you until the end of the Fall semester to get your GRE scores in, but it’s best to go ahead and get it out of the way.

  32. Razzle Frazzle says:

    i jus realized i should get Oblivion for the computer
    ive been playing on the xbox and i cant get mods

  33. One more post! One more post!

  34. Hey! Don’t let this die, its very entertaining and is on par with your Garrysmod comic, Concerned. Which i was a major fan of and was sad when Mr. Frohman was dead and that there would be no more concerned. But this, is a masterpiece and i must say that its one of your best blogs/comics so far! so don’t give up on making them, you are very talented at these and you will think of something that Nondrick will do.

  35. The next post better be 25 pages long ;-), KO keep it up.

    Traveling from Skingrad to Kvatch gets you loads of ingredients, oh well. The best pic so far was when he had the furry hat on, I laughed out loud.

  36. Chriso123 says:

    I just made a NPC on the ps3 version! It is possible, eat and sleep isnt hard at all. Just run through the sewers picking up a rusty iron dagger, and try to get 20 gold coins, no more but you can have less if you like. Just dont pick up armor, the morter and pestle, lockpicks potions etc. When you get out of the sewers just fast travel to the anvil waterfront like the tutorial never happened.

  37. You should have taken a screenie of Nondrick picking flowers while wearing all that.

  38. I’m going into Nondrick withdrawl…

  39. He hasn’t made a new one for a while did he die or sumthin.

  40. I found out where Nondrick has been these past few weeks –

    He’s in the new Denny’s commercial.

  41. Hurry with a new update! I really love this blog.

  42. so i found this blog today after being bugged by my friend about it for months. I read through the whole thing in less than an hour and i love it!
    can’t wait for the next installment!

  43. I need my Nondrick fix, man… I’m Jonesin’
    You gotta help me out, man…

  44. ThatJoshGuy says:


    Ever wonder why Bethesda never let your character feel the soft touch of silk sheets?

    Because they knew the fans could make it ten times better than they could!

    Behold, a new mod IN BED!


  45. Actually, still on it, the bed that is. Not quite in it yet. To make Nondrick’s life easier and yours, get him the “Ring of Auto-Harvest”! Then he can run and frolic through the fields without having to stop and pick each plant one at a time. Hmm. Maybe some day he can figure out how to get both horns from a Minotaur, not just one! Then he can be famous enough for Skingrad!

  46. No famous. To adventurous. I want ma cookie.

  47. Nondrick will be a hero yet.