Nondrick's Non-adventure

Day Nine: Man About Town

It’s a lovely yet somewhat hazy morning in a new town.

I stride purposefully through the streets of Skingrad, looking for a place to empty my bulging pockets. It’s been a long, troublesome trip, but it’s about to pay off.

I find Colovian Traders, a shop toward the north end of Skingrad. There I meet Gunder, a plump, leathery merchant, and through a careful combination of joking (“What’s the deal with all the wolves carrying forks, anyway?”) boasting (“Seriously, I’m the guy who found a fork inside a wolf”) threatening (“I will stab you with my wolf-fork!”) and admiring (“With hands like that, I bet you could put a lot of forks inside a lot of wolves”) I manage to make him like me more than he really should. Then, I sell him a bunch of crap.

I’ve got weapons and armor stripped from dead people, I’ve got tons of collected ingredients, a pearl I pried from an oyster, a silver pitcher, wolf pelts, imp-vomit… and he buys up every last bit of it. When we’re done, I’ve got a record 478 septims.

Almost 500 gold! Holy cow. Nondrick’s ship has come in. It hasn’t even been ten days since I stepped of the boat in Anvil with a dagger, a vest, and a couple of coins, and now I’m virtually rolling in dough.

Even better, I don’t have to immediately rush right back out into the wild, braving wolves and wizards, to collect new wages. I can take a few days off. Get to know the city. Make friends with the locals. See what it’s really like to be an NPC.

If I’m going to play the part, though, I think I’d better look the part. I’m a merchant now, a businessman, not some armored brute who makes his living with a blood-stained sword. Luckily, Gunder has a few outfits for the well-to-do merchant out for a casual stroll.

I buy this elegant blue number.

Hmmm… maybe a little too fancy? I don’t want to come off like a snob. So, I purchase this red outfit as well. Damn, I cut a dashing figure!

How Do I Look? Of course, I will have to venture outside the walls again someday, so I also buy an iron bow and arrows, which I’ve wanted since day one, and a fur helmet to match the rest of my stinky fur armor. It’s also pretty damn stylish on its own.

Hello, ladies!

With my purchases, I’ve still got 325 gold, enough for Nondrick to not have to sweat the small stuff for a long, long time. So, let’s strut his stuff on the streets of Skingrad for a bit.

The streets are pretty much empty with the exception of a beggar, so I decide to be proactive and simply start walking into people’s houses. The first home I find with an unlocked door belongs to a fellow named Lazare Milvan, who seems less than thrilled to find a velvet-clad ugly dude in his foyer.

He doesn’t actually throw down, but I decide to leave anyway. In the street I run into a city guardsman. Glarthir, the oddball elf who stopped me in the street last night, comes up as a topic of conversation, as the guard feels that he’s acting a bit strange.

That anachronism aside, I’m a little torn by this whole thing. The Glarthir issue, as you may already know or by now have guessed, is a bit of an… adventure. It’s part of an elaborate “quest” called Paranoia, which can have a number of different outcomes depending on how you handle it. When I played through it with my other character, I seem to recall it ending with, shall we say, the streets running red with the blood of a number of innocent townspeople.

While my other character reveled in the bloodshed (he was not a nice fellow at all), this is something I’m pretty sure Nondrick would like to avoid. Still, I’m trying to be an NPC here, and one things NPCs do a lot of is gossip. About news, about mudcrabs, and especially about other NPCs. It doesn’t really seem like I’m breaking my own rules by engaging in conversation with another NPC about Glarthir. Does it?

I decide to proceed cautiously. If he comes up in conversation, I may talk about him, I may not. But I won’t take any chances. I won’t get involved in anything exciting. This is my promise to you.

I stroll into Hammer and Tongs, have my shortsword and armor repaired for four bucks (a bargain!), and talk to the proprietor, Agnate the Pickled. As she is a drunk woman, I figure I’ll chat her up a bit, which pushes my speechcraft skill up a notch and thus, amazingly, prepares little old Nondrick P. Cairk’tir to gain a level. Level 2! Now I’m wealthy and experienced. Things are definitely going my way today.

I’m so happy I give a coin to the regrettably named Foul Fagus, a beggar, just before meeting a regrettably orange guardsman named Dion.

Uh-huh. Sure. Start out by suggesting I check out the wine and cheese, and then try to slip in some intrigue as to why the Count won’t be seen. Nice try, Dion, but you’ll have to do better than that to get me wrapped up in some adventure.

Then I run into the man who saved me last night, Toutious Sextus.

Well, I dunno. We could probably chat about that wizard you pimp-slapped to death last night in the course of saving my life? Guess not.

At any rate, since I’ve already met the guardsman and the beggar, I take the rest of his advice and visit the cathedral, to see if the priest will be my friend. The priest doesn’t seem to like me much either, and passes me off to a healer named Marie Palielle, who I find asleep in her bedchamber on the lower level.

This isn’t creepy or anything, is it? After staring at her for a while, I wake her up so we can have a chat.

She’s very pleasant to talk to and not as unattractive as most people in the game. She kindly suggests some activities I might partake in that don’t involve me standing over her leering at her while she’s sleeping.

But she’s nice about it, and I think she’s perhaps the friendliest person I’ve met so far in Skingrad. Things do get a little ugly when I end the conversation, wherein she threatens to call the guards if I don’t get out of her room, but as an ugly guy who barges into people’s homes, I’ve got to expect that kind of reaction from time to time.

I continue my wandering, chatting with a few more NPCs I run into, then head back to the Two Sisters Lodge for the evening. It’s a little lonesome for a bit.

Things pick up, though, and how could they not, with a handsome devil like me around? I simply sit motionless in bar for five hours and then the chicks come flocking in. Agnate, the drunk from the weapons store, and a woman from the Colovian Traders, Enja. Plus, the lady orc behind the bar. I’m swimming in girlies.

Drinks are imbibed, conversations are repeated, dispositions are boosted, and midnight finally rolls around, so I retire for the evening. First, though, it’s time to ascend to the second level. This is how it shakes out:

With my face, I’m gonna need as much personality as I can get, and with my fighting skills, I’m gonna need speed. To run away with. I’m not sure why my intelligence is given a boost, but it could be because of all the eating I do. Testing (eating) alchemy ingredients can help you become a better alchemist, and though I’ve only mixed a few potions, I am eating a few times a day, so that may be why it has such a high modifier. I am now more skilled at eating. I am a level two eater! Watch out, cheese!

And with that, I set my internal alarm clock for 8am and drift into satisfied slumber. It was a good day. I made money, I made friends, I gained a level, and I did it all without any excitement or adventure.

Or did I? Because I am awakened much earlier than 8am. In fact, it’s just past four in the morning when my eyes snap open unexpectedly.

There is someone in my room.


  1. If this is that motherfucker Lucien Lachance, I’m going to suggest you break your vow of no adventure in order to smash his face in.

  2. Uh-oh, I smell an adventure afoot.

  3. Oh enticing! I love the blog man, it’s better than Concerned! This unscripted story thing is spectacular. I hope Nondrick prospers, and who can tell if that’ll happen?

  4. Oneperson says:

    Gah! Cursed cliffhangers!

  5. Who did you kill to attract the infamous Lachance?

  6. Perhaps it’s good ol’ Marie to give you some vengeful nap-time reconnaissance, Mr. not-creepy-watching-you-sleep-Nondrick.

  7. Great job! Keep it up!

  8. Rabdsquirlz says:

    I bet that poor man, forced into banditry by economic recession in the empire, the man YOU helped murder along with Toutious Sextus, brought Lucien Lachance down upon your tainted soul. May the Divine take pity on your spirit for this transgression. *shakes head in shame*

  9. Mr_Wizard says:

    Not to be a super spoiler sport dude, but it’s probably Dion. He has a tendency to barge into your room when he learns you were asking around about Glarthir. It happened to one of my Wizard characters too, and when I went to sleep a moment later, I was THEN visited by Lucien Lachance. :P

  10. Oh snap. Here comes adventure!

  11. The first time any of my characters meets Lucien, I always have the same ridiculous thought process: Oh man, who did I murder now? Not that dude in the forest – he was a bandit! That’s not murder. They don’t deserve to live. What about that guy I tricked into attacking the guards? Did that count? Or when I punched that guy and the future emperor of the world killed him for me? With a rusty dagger? Is that murder? WHAT ARE MY STANDARDS HERE?

    Wizard’s probably right though – Dion has as much regard for sleeping people’s privacy as Nondrick.

  12. In soviet Cyrodiil, adventure finds YOU!

  13. Heh the evolving conversation of these topics amuses me (if you can really call it conversation…). I mean honestly, how did we manage to get onto soviet Cyrodiil? =P

    But on a more relevant note, keep up the good work my non-adventurous ingredient-oriented chum! Considering the focus on AVOIDING excitement this is turning out to be amazingly good fun to read! The non-linear element is something that makes this great though, i mean it’s impossible to tell where this is going

  14. Loctavus says:

    Absolutely outstanding. I’ve just read the whole thing, and it’s hilarous.

  15. No one can dare to challenge Nonrdrick now, seeing as he has become enlightened to a state of level two.

    On a serious note though, the next town you should go to is the Capital. If you install the Snail Racing mod, and then start betting, you could have a story that has Nondrick becoming a drunk who only lives for the excitement of the race track.

    • Yes….snails are about Nonrdricks speed of adventure…..but a drunk addidicted to betting? Sounds like a quest related NPC.

  16. Y’know, I just realized that Nondrick’s whole modus operandi is remarkably similar to Rincewind in the Discworld books (particularly The Color of Magic). Although Nondrick seems better at avoiding adventure than Rincewind is, but Terry Pratchett didn’t give Rincwind a choice.

    This also reminds me just a little of my own Portal:HL2 posts wherein I take the wonderfully well-scripted and internally consistent Half Life 2 levels, copy them into my Portal directory, and proceed to use the Portal Gun to completely subvert the intended design of the levels and AI: dropping grenades through a portal, opening portals to normally unreachable places, making comments on all the parts of HL2 that are just completely broken by Portal (no buggy, no sprint, most dialog is broken) and so on. Great fun.

  17. But wait a sec. Most city Npc’s are religious and go to the church. Maybe its time Nondrick has a little chat with the Nine. On the other side, I hope Nondrick comes across some skooma and gets addicted.

  18. ITS toutious! run nondric!

  19. Curse you adventure! Stay away!

    … Honestly, it’s just so impolite.

  20. Skafsgaard says:

    I bet that whoever entered Nondrick’s room and awoke him in the middle of the night, spend a great deal of time just staring at the sleeping Nondrick before waking him up.
    I bet it is the vengeful nun, sister Marie Palielle, who is getting back at poor, creepy, lurking stalker that is Nondrick.

  21. tm.Mr.Sin says:

    Because of this blog I’ve started playing Oblivian again…as if I don’t have enough games to play already!

    The blog is GREAT! It will be a sad day when Nordrick perishes.

  22. Name_Not_to_Be_Known says:

    good work with the blog. It surprises me how so many people ( Including myself) would be so attracted to a story of a ugly man just trying to make it on Nirn. It’s like a book, sorta. ALSO: I had an idea: (Please awnser this in a Comment or in your blog ) I could E-mail a little thing to GameInformer to do a little thing for your blog. Like, say, put all the current Chapters of Nondrick into 1 GameInformer issue. I’d, of course, need your Permisson, so please awnser soon,

  23. Name_Not_to_Be_Known says:


    How’d you level up before you went to sleep? i thought that happened when you awakened.

  24. Ooh. This is thirlling. This is why I love Oblivion. I even actually TRIED to get back into the main questline and I just ended up hating it. Hatred! Being an NPC and not having to worry any? That is indeed the good life.

  25. RPharazon says:

    Break that motherfucker’s face in. Oh yes, that would be nice.

    Oh, and I loved that line “Watch out, Cheese!”.
    Well done.

  26. Great Job!

    This one is the best so far.

  27. I’m loving the non-adventures of Nondrick… post more!

  28. OMG! I’m still laughing with the picture where he wears the fur helmet. “Hello, ladies” is just EPIC

  29. Cheese it! If Joxar the Mighty can have his own theme song, then Nondrick should have one too! On a more serious note: NPC’s that can wake you up, not counting bedroll time outdoors, are: Lucien Lachance, Dion, Wrath of Sithis, messengers for the Grey Fox, and that man’s wife sent looking for you, hoping that you will join that vampire hunter’s faction, I think. Maybe even the messenger from the very last Daedra Shrine Quest. Oh, and what about vampires biting you as you sleep? Doesn’t that happen too?

  30. I know tihs post is old as hell but I just had the most hilarious thing happen to me on oblivion, related. I use a Bedroll mod, and my health wa low while in the Kvatch oblivion gate, so I whip out the bedroll and have a nap. I just woken up by Dion, who tells me to report Glathir if he does anything. The just non-chalantly strolls out of the oblivion gate

  31. “You sleep rather well for a murderer”?!

  32. Toutius Maximus says:

    Don’t be too hard on Toutious Sextus, he really hadn’t met you before. His brother, Toutius Maximus, was the kung fu master from last night.