Nondrick's Non-adventure

Dope On The Water

Having spent the night standing next to my bed, meditating on what I’ve learned about making potions and bragging to Counts, I’m up early to reach Level Six. Cool. I choose to upgrade my Intelligence and Personality, as I use them more than anything else and yet they still feel a bit lacking. I also upgrade my Strength, for those instances when thinking and boasting must give way to slashing and stabbing.


Did the game just call me ignorant? I see it’s been paying attention.

Now, I’m off to track down Varon Vamori, a local who I’ve been told can train me in Speechcraft. I check my map and sure enough, his home is shown, which means I walked by it at some point yesterday and magically harvested his name and address. My map is like a precursor to the Google Street View van.

I arrive at his house just as he’s stepping out his front door. I talk to him, but he doesn’t offer to train me. It’s possible he’s off-duty: not everyone’s services are available 24/7. So, I decide to follow him, shadow him at a distance, slyly, like some sort of detective from another time period with a name like Cole Phelps. (That’s the detective’s name, not the time period’s name. The time period’s name is Frank Walters.)

Vamori walks to the Mage’s Guild and stands at the top of a staircase, staring at a locked door. Hoping to not distract him from his important door-inspecting activities, I crouch directly behind him and wait for a bit. An hour passes, and I speak to him again, but he’s still not offering me any training. Hmph.

Great. I’ve wasted a couple hours staring at some unhelpful dude’s butt. Still, it doesn’t mean the day is a complete loss. I throw on my armor and head out of town to check out the surrounding area. If it looks like a good place to regularly harvest plants, I might just think about settling down here in that affordable dump that’s for sale.

First things first: I check on my faithful, patient horse Beaker. I’m not going to ride him today, I just live in a state of constant, crippling fear that he’ll eventually wander off, and I want to make sure he’s still alive and standing where I parked him.

Sup, Beaks? Who’s a good horsie? You is! Yes, you is!

Oh, right! I nearly forgot. While mixing up potions last night, I discovered I’d made an interesting one: Water Walking. I decided not to sell it, because who could resist the chance to walk on water if they had the chance? Not me, certainly. Since I’m on the waterfront, I chug it down and go for a watersprint, just for kicks.

Wheee! This is actually pretty cool, running around on water. I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried it before, as my other Oblivion character was mostly interested in mixing up poisons and Nondrick is mainly interested in mixing up boring mush made of carrots and bread to sell at a profit.

I’m in the middle of the river when I realize it’s running out, so I hightail it back, reaching shore at the exact instant the effects wear off. I’m greeted by a mudcrab, who demonstrates just how impressed he is with my brief godlike abilities by attacking me. Pff! A crab? I eat enemies like you for breakfast!

That’s not an idle boast, I do literally eat him for breakfast, since I’ve got that mod installed that requires me to eat regularly.

It’s actually quite lovely in the hills surrounding Bravil, but for all the fields of grass and flowers, there’s literally nothing growing that I can pick for potions. Disappointing, to say the least. I stroll around all morning, not finding a single ingredient, unless you count… danger!

Oh yes. Though the hills are barren of plants, it turns out Nondrick is not alone after all. In the near distance, a mysterious figure lurks. His motives unknown, his intentions unclear, this figure stands silently, motionless, his dark gaze fixed with purpose on okay, look, I’m just being over-dramatic to make this encounter seem more exiting. It’s just some dude from town, Jean-Pierre Lemonds.

I’m not sure what he’s doing out here, standing around, but we don’t have much to talk about. I seem to remember from reading the Oblivion Wiki a couple seconds ago that he’s a former Arena champion, now retired, who spends his time drinking in the Bravil pubs and hunting on the weekends. He doesn’t appear to be hunting, though, just standing around staring at grass.

Unlike Jean-Pierre, the local wildlife is getting some exercise. A short while later, a wolf runs up to attack me, and I swing my sword at him. And, um, the fight is over. Wow, a wolf hacked down with one blow. A single blow! That extra strength I invested this morning in is already paying off.

I walk a bit more, getting a nice view of Imperial City and really, nothing else. No plants, no roots, nothing to pick, nothing to make. Hm. Since there isn’t much in the way of ingredients out here near Bravil, and the town itself is kind of a bummer, I think I’ll be heading back to my hovel in the Big IC. No real point in subjecting myself to the depressing, drug-riddled city of Bravil if it’s not going to pay off.

As I head back to Bravil for the night, another wolf approaches, intent on killing me for daring to intrude on nature. Pff! I eat enemies like you for breakfast! Oh, wait, I can’t eat a wolf. I can only sell their pelts. Okay, then: I sell enemies like you to Innkeepers and use the proceeds to buy breakfast! Which I then eat! For breakfast!

My revised (yet still scathingly clever) battle-cry turns out to be inaccurate, however, as this isn’t a wolf, it’s a Timber Wolf, and even with my increased strength it takes several blows to chop him into merchandise.

Not a whole lot else happens for the rest of the day. I find a dead boar, and before I can even threaten to eat him — for breakfast! — I discover someone has already eaten him, possibly for breakfast, as his inventory contains no meat. As it gets darker, there’s some brief excitement as I’m double-teamed by a couple lightning-bolt throwing imps, though my super-heal spell and a some frenzied hacking and slashing whittles them down to their component parts.

That’s it for the day. I re-rent my room at the lodge, planning to get up bright and early so I can invent the rear-view mirror and put this town in it. Tomorrow, I’ll set out for my hovel in Imperial City once again, though this day spent gathering zero ingredients has left me feeling bothered and restless, and I already know I’ll be making a slight detour before I get back home.


  1. So soon! Yay!

  2. Lolsnappo says:

    YAY! you are the best
    and I love Nondrick

  3. Gilead26 says:

    Two updates in less than a week?! Who are you and what have you done with Chris!?!?!?!?

  4. You should try installing a mod called nGCD. It allows for immersive leveling, where you don’t magically gain points over the course of one night but naturally build up your attributes as you play.

  5. Chris, I love you.



  7. Now that sounds like a mod I’d like to try! thanks, sheer! And keep it up, Chris! You’ve got a good rhythm going!

  8. I



  9. Midget52 says:

    We’re all as shocked as you are, Arreh. And delighted! Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

  10. I’ve been following this blog since the day it was born. Well, six months after, but still. I recently got my girlfriend hooked on Oblivion, she’s next to me now (at half past midnight) making excuses about how she’ll come to bed once she finishes walking to Chorrol.

    I couldn’t have been more surprised and excited to see that Nondrick is getting more action! I love your posts Chris. I check here every month or so looking for updates, and now there are!!! Yay!!

    [You won’t post again for six years now, will you?]

  11. I hope it’s not exponential…

  12. Two updates in a week? Someone’s trying to finish the story before Skyrim comes out.

  13. Here, I geninuenly thought, you wouldn’t post for another year or so, but you go and surprise me, i’m speechless, except for the semi-speech I just made.

  14. kantorek says:

    i love this series and im so glad you’ve decided to continue it


  16. Guys, tomorrow I’m catching a train to London, and I’m having sex. A lot.

    It’s been like a month.

    That is my announcement.

    Also liven up, people.

  17. Thank you for sharing, Arreh! Also, yes… the past two days have only yielded a few non-hiatus related comments! This section isn’t here for us to talk about the actual blog, you silly people!

  18. Thank you, Arreh. I… really needed to know that. But in all seriousness (or as close to it as possible), hooray! The blog is back in full swing! We need to throw a party! Someone kill the fatted calf! We have one of those, right?

  19. We could kill a Boar, but boar meat is really expensive. We could get 20 Venison … lumps(?) instead!

  20. Yeah, as long as we use a better archery mod, the venison will be perfectly feasible!

  21. Is the death of the THC, Chris updating?

  22. Midget52 says:

    ’tis simply a new era for us, G. We shall adapt to this unprecedented activity, and grow and mature as a group.

    Or, you know, continue with the randomness. Same difference, really.

  23. Seems about the same. But if it does end up being really different, I give it until the first significant lull in posts for us to fall back into rhythm.

  24. Oh God, this post is great. Like all your posts, Chris.

    Thank you!

    Now, hopefully we’ll see another one before four years have passed.

  25. Guys? Are you dead? This doesn’t bode well. And here I was, being optimistic.

  26. Midget52 says:

    You could try raising a topic of debate. That might spark conversation.

  27. I was busy all weekend. Sorry.

  28. I just now realized I didn’t say yes to email alerts. I wondered why my inbox was silent..

  29. You should have more commitment Dupersude! Like me! No email notifications, still visit!

  30. Heh, I’ve never gotten email alerts. But anyway…

    Topic of debate… topic of debate… I KNOW!

    Favorite TES soundtrack so far. You can include the stuff from Skyrim’s trailer so far. For me, It’s a tossup between morrowind and daggerfall, especially the re-orchestrated version.

  31. The mashup of all themes together, in true Nondrick-fashion!

  32. I like Morrowind. I saw it performed live by an orchestra in Chicago once and it was AWESOME!

  33. BBop, I’m really jealous of that! Which orchestra? Chicago symphony? Because that would just be epic!

  34. I went to the first “Play! A Video Game Symphony.” It was indeed epic. I consider it one of the best nights of my life, and that includes sex, my wedding, and giving birth.

  35. Haha, epic! I wish I could’ve gone. There are a few videos on YouTube, but it’s nothing like hearing it live, I’m sure. Speaking of which, you mentioned it was in Chicago… Do you live in Illinois?

  36. No, I’m in Memphis. I had a friend in Chicago, so I took a road trip and stayed with him. It was amazing. I also went to the Dear Friends concert there a while before that.

  37. Everyone chill, I’m here.

    Also I am reading some Iain M. Banks. Yes.

  38. Michael says:

    Good for you, Arreh.

    BBoP, don’t do this to me. I don’t like jealousy.

  39. Hey Blackbird, I’m in Tennessee too! Way over in Knoxville though.

    I’m starting to get nervous! D:

  40. Michael, you were there with me in spirit.

    And don’t worry, Matt, the only one I’m stalking is Midgie.

  41. Yeah, it’s a great city. It’s just a shame for me I don’t live there anymore. I’m in Ga, now.

  42. My bad Birdie, I meant it’s been over a week, I’m getting nervous he won’t update. I don’t think your stalking me. :)

  43. We don’t consider this a proper hiatus. We don’t bat an eye until it’s been longer than a year.

  44. Midget52 says:

    *backs away slowly*

  45. Atta boy midget, now take off your pants. :D

  46. Michael says:

    Be careful not to back away into that trap do-

    Oh, too late.

  47. Wait… where does that even lead?

    Oh, sweet mother of mercy…

  48. Trap door? When did we get a trap door?

  49. Was the trap door, not a portal to mordor? Or was it to putzy’s basement? I can never remember.

  50. Putzy’s basement!

  51. Wait, Mordor and Putzy’s basement aren’t the same thing? This is news to me.

  52. Yay old time topics.

  53. Heh… I feel like such a a noob. I must’ve been away from the site for a while. I had to skip a few thousand posts to catch up. I vaguely remember whisperings of Putzy’s dreaded basement…

  54. Dreaded? It’s safe and normal, nothing dodgy that goes on there. No sir!

    Anyway, if the trapdoor goes to Putzy’s basement, then where’s the portal to Mordor? :S

  55. I don’t know… which portal did you leave in Mordor last time you were there? Blue or Orange?

  56. Orange. Which reminds me, last time I was there, I left a ring, it’s fairly plain, but i rather like the look of it, so if you see it, give it to me at once, it’s my preciousss…

  57. sssss…. it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it. /stringofrandomnerdypopculturereferences

  58. Oh us; we so random.

  59. Martin Smirl says:

    I miss concerned

  60. Which one of you people would like to be invited or wish to add me on google plus?

  61. I’ll add ya G.

  62. OOH OOH ME! I’ve been trying to find an invite forever, but nobody’s followed through… sadface….

  63. The hell is google plus?
    I can’t sleep.

  64. I’ll invite anyone I can. My email is, send me a message and I’ll invite when it’s open.

  65. Hey, I got in! Finally…

    Oh, dupersude, go here:

    It pretty much explains it.

  66. Jaded Empath says:

    Thank you, Chris.

  67. There be a shit storm a-brewin’…

  68. 69 GET!

    In other news, I’ve realised that I can subscribe to the comments on this page. Huh didn’t know that before.

  69. Midget52 says:

    Given the track record, if you like having an easily scrollable email account, you should REALLY not subscribe.

  70. That’s exactly what I was thinking…

  71. Nahh, i can suscribe to the feed of the comments, so when I go on google reader, there will just be a little number when ever you make a comment. Or a large number if ktr or joey were to return. But easily ignorable, mainly by pressing “mark as read”.

  72. I want google+ me me want me please

  73. I already got it (google plus) from Putzy. XKCD is awesome though.
    For some reason, I’m not getting notifications for this post. Huh…

  74. Only just found this today but after one post I Favorited

  75. I eat these entries…for breakfast!