I’m up at 4am on Day Three, ready to leave Anvil behind. Look, there are plenty of nice NPCs in town. I’ve gotten to know some of them. I’ve joked with them. I’ve admired them. I’ve boasted to them. Heck, I’ve even coerced them. I don’t even dislike the actual, physical town. It has a nice statue, a lovely lighthouse, some charming buildings, some lunatics, a chapel filled with slaughtered clergy… everything a town should have.
But I can’t live here. A single, over-priced inn, and not enough employment opportunities… it’s not the place for an NPC just starting out. I’ve got to move on before I wind up blowing Penniless Olvus to get my gold piece back.
Thus, the road I shall hit! Hopefully, there’s somewhere nearby I can live on the cheap, and just commute to Anvil when I need to sell my loot or go shopping. I buy some ham (2gp) from the guy in the lobby, then head out of Anvil, north, along the darkened road.
I pass a heavily armored Legion soldier on horseback, which is sort of reassuring. I don’t know what dangers these roads hold, so even a slow-moving cop on horseback is comforting.
A little further up the road, and around a bend, I see a small stone wall and what looks like a diverging path to the northwest. Suddenly, out of the rain dashes a Khajiit armed with an enormous battle axe. He has an interesting proposition for me:
Hmmm. I mull it over. If I choose to give him my life, he’ll probably take my money anyway. On the other hand, I have no money. I decide to tell him that. To my surprise, he mutters something about how times are so bad even an honest highwayman can’t make a living, and wanders away.
Huh. I’m sort of shocked. I thought for sure he’d gut me like a crab and pull a lockpick from my corpse, but he just turns his back and stalks off into the rain. Weird. If I were, say, an adventurer, I’d probably never have tried that approach.
I try to engage him in conversation, but he just tells me, more or less, to piss off. Around then, an actual adventurer, clad in armor and hauling his own giant axe, strolls down the road heading for Anvil. The highwayman doesn’t try to rob him; instead, they just start chit-chatting. Maybe because that Legion soldier is approaching at the same time.
This is about as close as it gets to rush hour in Cyrodiil. I leave the bustling crowd and stay on the main road until I come to a small, fenced in farmhouse with a stable and small garden. My spidey-sense tells me it’s the Brina Cross Inn, which is confirmed by a sign.
I’ll be happy to get out of the rain (I’m starting to think the Gods hate me or my weather mod is broken), but if they don’t have an affordable room, I really won’t be able to stay. But, as it happens, they only charge 10 gold a night for a room! I’m saved! The owner of the inn, Christophe Marane, is even nice enough to buy the few odds and ends I’ve collected on my long, slow walk up the road. I’m back up to 17 gold, my exact starting amount. Hopefully, the ingredient gathering will be a bit more fruitful up here, and with any luck, in a few days I’ll be able to head back into Anvil for some gear.
I head right back out in the pissy weather with a new lease on life. I can make this work! I’m sure of it.
I scour the countryside to the south of the inn, not finding an overwhelming amount of fine pickables, but doing a little better than I have lately. I also find a spot with a nice view of Anvil from up on high. Again, too bad the weather is so gloomy or it’d make a nice picture. Er. A nice memory. I circle back around and hit up the fields to the north of the inn. I spot a deer, but it spots me as well, and dashes off into the undergrowth. Someday I’ll own a bow and at least one arrow. This I so swear!
As I turn my head to watch the deer flee I realize I can see, in the distance, the city of Kvatch. Ah, Kvatch! Long may she stand. I’m sure nothing terrible will ever happen there.
I head back to the inn. On the road, I see the Legion soldier again, dismounted this time. He’s killed a wolf, it seems, and so I hurry over like the pathetic bottom-feeder I am, and skin the carcass. Then it’s back to the inn, where I sell my haul to Christophe. Deduct the price of the room, and I’m still up 32 gp at the end of the day. Not a bad rebound. I eat some bread, cheese, and grapes, then have a chat with an inn resident, the lovely and alluring Arielle Jurard.
Frankly, I can’t remember what we talked about. I’m sure I joked as much as I boasted, and admired as many times as I coerced. But she coerced my heart.