Nondrick's Non-adventure

Day 26: Gambling Man

I’m standing in the Office of Imperial Commerce in the Market District of Imperial City, listening to a catcher’s mitt tell me that she’s got a house for sale.

A hovel, eh? I’ve worked hard for my money. I’ve picked weeds, I’ve killed wolves and women, and I’ve mushed up questionable potions for over three weeks. Do I really want to blow my wad on a hovel? A dump, maybe. A shack, perhaps. But a hovel?

I decide I’ll think about it a bit. It’s not like I can sell it later if I change my mind.

Part of the reason I’m hesitant is that the waterfront isn’t the most convenient place to live. It’s surrounded by a lake on three sides. I don’t fancy Nondrick much of a swimmer, so anytime he wants to go a-gatherin’, he’ll have to walk all the way up to the bridge and cross it to reach the outside world. And that only gives him access to the area west of the city — if I want to explore to the east I have to circle around the entire city, which takes a while. Most cities have at least two exits, but here there’s only one real way in or out.

I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s take some time to explore the city and see what it has to offer a guy with a full changepurse.

Like, say, gambling. Here in the arena district, you can bet money on the fights (or just watch them for fun). Two combatants, one from the BLU team and one from the RED — er, wait. One from the Blue Team and one from the Yellow Team will square off and fight until one of them is dead. I place 100 bucks on the Yellow Team (representing my own cowardice) and enter the arena.

With Nondrick watching from the balcony seats, the two combatants square off. For Yellow, a female with a two-handed axe. Blue’s champion is a guy weilding a mace. Neither have shields, so they just pummel each other’s faces with their weapons until finally, happily, the Yellow warrior fells the Blue. Nondrick won!

I rush back down to the bookie who gives me 200 gold. I doubled my investment and all it took was a man’s life being brutally and irrevocably taken! I think I’ll make another bet.

This time I bet on Blue, and I’m glad. As the combatants rush each other, I notice the Yellow warrior, a woman again, has no weapon. She’s just using her fists and her complete lack of intelligence in this fight.

[By the way, If you’re wondering how I’m watching from the arena floor while Nondrick is watching from the balcony, there’s a console command, “tfc”, that lets you leave your character and fly your camera around, noclip-like. Wish I’d known this from the beginning.]

Not surprisingly, Blue wins the round easily. I win again, and I’m up 200 gold! Clearly, I have a gift for gambling. I plunk another 100 bucks on Blue.

Immediately, I realize I’ve bet on the wrong horse. They’re both armed with one-handed axes, but the female Yellow gladiator has a shield, and the male Blue does not. Dumbass! Why don’t you have a shield with you? Borrow one from a friend if you have to, your life is on the line! I wish we could see the contestants before the fight, like you can do with racehorses. But then, I also wish racehorses would fight to the death. It’d be the best of both worlds.

The Yellow fighter strides away without even looking back, vanishing like my money just did. Dang it! Gotta win back my money! I don’t have a gambling problem, I swear.

I run back outside and bet on Blue again. This time, I think it’s a good bet. My guy has a huge two-handed hammer, and the Yellow chick has only a one-handed axe and no shield.

Wow! Blue immediately clobbers Yellow so hard she drops her weapon. Boink! While she bends down to pick it back up, he’s got a clear shot at her head! He doesn’t take it, however, perhaps being too much of a gentlemen. It doesn’t matter in the end, though, she ain’t got much game and it only takes a few more swings of his hammer to viciously pound her to death. Then he walks off, stepping on her face in the process.

So, I guess he’s not a gentleman after all. But who cares, he’s my personal hero because I just won another 100 gold! I’m three for four today! And I’ve never even put points into my Luck attribute!

One more match and then I gotta go. I swear. This is the last time I bet on people murdering each other today. I do not have a gambling problem.

I put my money on Yellow this time, feeling they’re due for a win. You can watch the entire fight here on YouTube, including some thoughtful reactions from Nondrick in the booth after the match. I won’t spoil it, but once again, someone thought it would be a good idea to show up without a weapon. Though this same someone appears to teleport during the match, a clever move, the outcome is never truly in doubt.

Okay, that’s all the bloodshed I want to see today (this is a lie: I want to stay and keep gambling). That hovel on the Waterfront seems more appealing now, being so close to the Arena. That was fun. Reminds me of that To The Death feature some guy used to do on some website.

Even outside the Arena, people are getting in on the action, and I watch a lizard and a lady wearing a bra spar for a bit. They tell me they’re busy training. I’d like to suggest they try training with weapons, because fists just aren’t the way to go. I’ve just seen the proof.

I head over to the city’s Arboretum, which is quite lovely [YouTube]. Along with all the lovely statues, trees, plants, and other foliage, I notice a sewer grate in the ground, leading to the tunnels under the city. I decide to take a look. You know, I don’t want to just visit the cheesy tourist traps like the Arboretum, I want to really experience this city! I want to see the grit and the grime, the filth and the stink, the shadowy underworld of this gleaming city. Otherwise It’d be like going to New York and not checking out the subway, or going to San Francisco and not checking out Oakland.

Immediately, I’m attacked by a giant rat. So it is like the New York subway.

Wow, swanky city indeed, even the rats are born with silver spoons in their intestines. It’s so damn classy down here.

I find some other junk in a couple rotting crates — a hand scythe, a couple covered pots, a stone pitcher, a pickaxe… someday these will adorn my home. Possibly some day very soon, if I decide to buy the hovel.

I come across some mudcrabs and dispatch them with fireballs. I come to a door that informs me it leads to Bloodworks, which is directly under the arena. Maybe I could meet some of the gladiators, and thank them for killing people so that I may make fill my pockets with gold.

Or, maybe I should get the hell out of here. One corpse dangles from the ceiling, another appears to be nailed to a wall. In an adjacent room, I hear the creaking of bones and see a skeleton pacing slowly about.

Time to creep back out the way I came.

It’s getting late as I finally make it to the waterfront to check out the hovel firsthand. It doesn’t look like much, but the view is nice.

I’m still not sure if I should buy it. In the meantime, I need to find a place to rest for the night. I stroll along the Waterfront, where some pirates sing to me and rudely insinuate that my pants are, as they put it, “fancy.” A few minutes later I find an inn, called the Bloated Float. It’s actually a boat anchored to the dock that’s been converted to a restaurant and inn. How novel! I’m a tourist after all, I guess.

The rooms are 10 gold for the night, so after a quick meal and a drink, I head down to my bunk for some sleep. In the morning, this message greets me, appearing before my eyes.

Ah, crap. Is this game still trying to make me do quests? Haven’t I made it clear that’s not my scene? Sigh. I’ll just do what I always do, ignore it and carry on with my day.

Then this guy greets me, appearing outside my door. A big ass dude with a big ass sword, wearing some impressive-looking armor. He’s… not going to be easy to ignore.

It looks like adventure finally found me. It looks like my luck’s run out.


  1. RIP Nondrick.

    Well great update, but.. be careful.

  2. Zacmanman says:

    Amazing. This blog continues to prove to me how much I love oblivion and how humorous it really is. Great job Chris, I commend you on your never ending work of genius.

  3. Areisul says:

    Looks like a rule has been broken. D:

  4. I thought you weren’t supposed to explore dungeons and such =0

  5. Rriku113 says:

    No! I hope this doesn’t mean it’s over for him. I mean cmon! How can a inn on a boat not look like adventure to you!

  6. Oh hold on now! A sewer does not a dungeon make! Just because the Imperial Sewer Maintainance division suck at their jobs and leave the place infested with skeletons, goblins, rats, and vampires, doesn’t mean a REASONABLE person (like our Nondrick) would EXPECT that.

    Also, Nondrick is so doomed.

  7. Emo,Guy.Eats.The.Sky. says:

    Hasn’t Chris played this game many times?
    Doesn’t he know about that quest?
    I think he did.

  8. Eathanu says:

    Well, to be fair, I’ve never stumbled on that quest on my own, so there’s a fair chance he wouldn’t know about it. Hell, even after I heard about it I think I slept on the wrong ship eight or nine times.

    Pssst. I made you some fan art, Christ. Sort of. But I don’t know where to send you the link, so plop:

    Needs no introduction

  9. he wasn’t adventuring, he merely was taking a STROLL in the sewers! Sewers are everywhere, under every city, why would they be called a dungeon?! what about the two maintenance fellows that he saw? they werent adventuring, they were doing their job!

    And the boat… he didn’t sleep there for an adventure, boats sail all the time, not just because hes on it! theres a lot of npcs on boats these days, so hes just being like them! all the npcs do it!


  11. Killa-Ewok says:

    Poor Nondrick. Well, if he manages to cowardly go through this quest, there’s a MIGHTY FINE expensive sword waiting for him.

    And, it seems to be legal to steal stuff from the ship in the quest. Ingredients, watch out! HERE COMES NONNY!

  12. Assassinador says:

    Not to pressure you or anything, but don’t die and end te blog in a dumb way.

  13. Hey, chris or anybody else that’s reading this.

    Could you tell me exactly which are the other mods you talked about but didn’t give the link

    PS: to all the guys that think the screen chris posted about the quest is scary, he will have to kill 2 more bandits and a third one with a special sword if he doesn’t talk it out

  14. RandomlyGenericUnoriginalName says:

    Nonny is so dead.

  15. Damn I hate cliffhangers! Can’t wait for the next Nondrick adventure.

  16. NONDRICK! I didn’t even know about this damned quest. DAMN YOU BETHESDA! We don’t want your adventures!

  17. Newt Pulsifer says:

    Oh, man!!
    Bring it on! I’m anxious for the next update. And I feel sorry for Nondrick :(

  18. Matthijs says:

    Well, he’s not dead necessarily. There is a way to do this quest (shudders) without drawing a weapon. If you say all the right lines in conversation you are capable of completing this quest (shudders again) without spilling blood.
    Look it up.

  19. Looks like you are cornered… unless you want to dive off the boat and swim, which could work. But the guy with the big sword might be a problem. You need a paralyze spell/poison or something. Great post and I can’t wait for more.

  20. “unless you want to dive off the boat and swim, which could work”

    No. No, it could not.
    He’s in a separate area, with no land in sight right now. In fact, I don’t think it’s even possible to jump ship.

  21. Killa-Ewok says:

    Yeah, it’s not possible to jump out of the boat. Tried to kill one of the men by paralyzing him off the boat.

  22. I say buy the hovel! Er, if you ever get back to dry land alive. It looks quaint, most befitting a humble NPC who never gets caught up in seafarin’ escapades.

  23. Nondrick can’t die, Chris isn’t the kind of person who kills his beloved main characters.


  24. Artemis says:

    Hehe I just found out about that quest myself like 2-3 weeks ago, and was wondering if Nondrick would accidentally stumble on it while picking out hotels. Maybe you can get through it, I think you have to fight 4 people, one on one for 2 and one on 2 for the last two, and the captain you can talk your way out of the fight by pointing out that you killed all her men single-handedly and knowing all the details of their operation.

    I’d say it’d be fair to bend the rules and say this doesn’t count, since they literally force you into it.

  25. LaZodiac says:

    I agree with Artemis, though with your personality I think you could talk your way out of this forced attack on your NPCness.

  26. Alexander says:

    I’m surprised no one noted this yet.

    The Arena fighters don’t die! I usually go through the wall to congradulate the winner of the fight, and occasionally, in rumors, they talk about how the fighters’ deaths are only staged!

    Other than that, there seems to be an invisible wall blocking you from leaving the boat, and if you go to far out, you just fall off some random pit.

    • Would make sense if it wasn’t for the fact that if you join the arena and get defeated you die. The rumors say its false but they never acrually fought in it.

  27. …Oh no…

  28. Ahh, dang, I doubt ol’ Nonny has the personality he’ll need to talk his way out of this one, and the fights can be a real bear, especially the guy on the deck. Good luck!

  29. Don’t die! Don’t end this like you ended Frohman! I just hope nondrick LISTENS to the conversaations and tries to alk it out with the leader of the gang, if he lives. I fought her at Nonnys level and almost got my ass handed to me.

  30. “Nondrick can’t die, Chris isn’t the kind of person who kills his beloved main characters.



    Seriously dude, please, be very careful how you go about this. If you must draw blade, then do it just for the sake of keeping nondrick alive. *HEADS UP, IMPORTANT* It doesn’t count turning in the quest if you don’t talk to the guy after you reach land. May Nondrick succeed in avoiding death!

  31. Newt Pulsifer says:

    Actually, there is another way around it. Where no blood shall be spilled.
    But you must have the invisibility spell to do so…

    Maybe Chris will make up a nice dialog | chicken-ness and than use some cheats to make his way out, in a Garry-Oblivions-mod style.

  32. This was a good post, but I lol’ed more at the “monkey chow” fan art in these comments.

    Be careful, men on boats are dangerous! Usually!

  33. Mr. Munchlax says:


    You ever become a combatant for the arena? All of those fights are real and the people you kill DO die. And becoming Grand Champion is really easy if you do the quest for agronok or whatever his name is. As for the quest. I did it myself and I’m pretty sure you have to fight at least 3 of them but you may be able to talk your way out of them, I know that you can talk your way out of fighting the last one.

  34. Oh C’MON! I’ve waited this long just for a cliff hanger? When’s the next post, december? Please, you can’t leave us like this. I need my Nonnie-fix more often. I don’t know if I can survive going cold turkey this long again…

  35. Good luck fighting that guy. Try telling him you’re the cook. ;-)

  36. sweet thanks for another great post!

  37. Eathanu says:

    “This was a good post, but I lol’ed more at the “monkey chow” fan art in these comments.”


    Yeah, I’m willing to bet Chris has already played this scenario out, he just hasn’t written it yet.

    I also wonder if he saw my art.

  38. When I read this, and found out that there’s a quest on that boat, I instantly went to my 360 to play Oblivion and check it out. After I started playing, it froze after I walked two feet. I think my disc is scratched or something. Anyways, I’m glad to see another update, Nondrick is the most awesome boring guy ever.

  39. I instantly popped in Oblivion to try this quest out. Unfortunately at my level, the chumps carry glass and Dwarven shit. Still, Nondrick’s pretty low level, so maybe he’ll be able to take them. GO NONDRICK!

  40. Soliloquy says:


    “don’t bend the rules!”

    and a full lsit of MODS can be found in the second post of the blog

  41. Great cliffhanger. I fear.

    BTW, if any of you DO come to Frisco and decide to check out the sewer that is Oakland, don’t miss the Trappist and Cafe Van Kleef. Oakland kicks ass. Frisco is for the weak…

  42. Jacob Singer says:

    Never posted here before, just wanted to quickly say how much I UTTERLY LOATHE YOU for making me fire up Oblivion again. DAMN YOU NONDRICK! DAMN YOU TO HELLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

  43. Francis says:

    I think Chris already knew about this quest because of all the other play-throughs.
    I think Chris got tired of the blog and decided to make Nondrick’s death look like an accident.
    Either that or he actually didn’t know about the quest.

  44. wordsmythe says:

    Swim for it, Nonny!

  45. Killa-Ewok says:


  46. Crowbar says:

    Ooh, the Bloated Float quest. A rookie mistake.

  47. Waffles says:

    I’ll be praying for Nondrick.

  48. Is it true chris do u now hate nonny ?~?!~??!!@?@43534%&^$&#%^#$%^

  49. It looks like Nondrick is the victim of a classic trope:

    and the follow up result of that trope:

    Ah well. Let’s just pray for his saftey, that’s about all we can do now.

  50. Looks like you’ve been Quolested again XD
    I fell into the same trap myself, I never knew about it until after I finished the game.
    And just another notice, maybe you should consider one of those “bigger arena crowds” mods. It just looked so plain and un-epic =(

  51. Artemis says:

    “I think Chris already knew about this quest because of all the other play-throughs.”

    I don’t know, I never knew about this quest until my most recent play through, and I played through Oblivion quite a bit. I think the reason it might slip by unnoticed is because it’s linked to sleeping in a hotel, not talking with anyone, which as far as I’m concerned you really don’t have to do, like ever in the game. Healing potions are easy to make or you can spam healing spells to get your health back to normal (which is actually a better idea since it practices restoration). Then later on you get your own house or you kill someone and get THEIR house.

    So in all the play-throughs of oblivion I had, I only willingly on my own accord slept in a hotel like 4 times. Only reason Chris is using them so much is because he’s supposed to be acting like a NPC and NPCs sleep at night.

  52. Man, after getting out of this one, you’ve GOT to work in a little side trip to Sheogorath’s realm! This is my first time playing the game (GOTY edition on the PS3). I started the game, went exploring and stumbled upon a strange gate with crazy folks… You can guess the rest. After a few months of Shivering Isles time (and apparently no time at all passing in the normal realm) I emerged the new incarnation of Sheogorath with new magical toys to play with and a whole bunch of stealth-related skills.

    After taking a nap and leveling up, I am now a Dark Brotherhood Assassin. At first I thought to just ignore the offer, but the ninja duds are just too badass to pass up. Besides the irony of being the MadGod himself and working for the Night Mother is kind of cute. Currently, I am taking my first dead drop after purifying my crew (and clearing out a random oblivion gate to remind the Daedric scum that mucking about with the Mad Prince isn’t a good idea).

    During an assassination mission, I actually checked on Baurus (still supposed to be a Blade and all that) and he’s chillaxin’ at Luther Broad’s. He’ll wait. When I get back to the main quest, I’ll be an insane Godling with heavy training in assassination (and possibly thievery- might check on that Gray Fox) and a house full of enchanted items and cash.

  53. Eathanu says:

    Which will make it hell to get anything from the churches. Juss sayin’. Actually, you could look into doing the Knights dealie to get rid of the infamy since people tend to hate you when you have a lot of it, which makes life a lot harder.

  54. @Eathanu.

    Not if you have money….

    (and you can get alot by being a thief)

  55. nancymarie says:

    If Nonny lives through this, I’ll kiss his big fishy lips.


  56. Hey there! I have been reading this since I found out about it (you were already about 17 in or so). I am the creator of Septim’s Pride and if you have any questions about screenshot techniques in the game or anything I can help you out.

    A couple things I would like to just point out though:

    1. There are several pose mods that allow you to make your character do an animation. Actors In Charge and Actors In Madness (if you have Shiv Isles) are the two most popular and only add animations found within the game so they would probably be your best fit. It allows you to show the character drinking, eating, sleeping, etc, etc. VERY useful.

    2. The console command TAI. See this video I made.. it should explain it. VERY useful as well.

    LOVE this blog. Keep it up!!!

  57. kibbles says:

    PS. I love your To The Death series and you NEED TO DO MOAR. Or else. Please. Please? :) Thank you.

  58. ….like I said, worth waiting for.

  59. Hint console TGM ;) or Nondrick will be no more!

    I wish you could make a PDF of this love the story :)

  60. By the way, I mean to post before! You can sell your stolen items to the owner of the “Inn of Ill Omen”, and not be in a guild or do a quest! If you decide to ever fence/sell that stolen folded cloth. For “JJFAD”: Heheheh! Now if you do the whole series of Daedric Shrine Quests, which turn out to be a requiste for a major attributes quest with the very last one of them, you will hear Haskill comment about you “talking to yourself”! (Don’t forget the one with the “Staff of Everscamp”!) Anyway, you can only leave the ship via “TCL”, but you get nowhere though. So you are forced to do the quest. unless you have a spell to allow you to teleport out. Or you use, “COC” in the Console. Oh, Nondrick! Don’t forget to empty the “Hidden Sack” in your cabin, of the gems inside it. It’s a irony joke, that there is a hidden treasure on board after all, presumably left there by the previous tenant!

  61. when you gonna update dude

  62. When are you going to update this?

  63. srry bout the double post

  64. Woo-hoo! Reading through archives is what I live for! Nondrick rules!

    And I played through most of the game with a hand-to-hand redguard and he pwns! For some reason I choose light armor instead of heavy so I have to use hit and run tactics….

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  66. This should be intense! :0


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