Also: an ethical dilemma!
Now that Murderface owns a mostly-empty shell of a house (it came with a bed and a chest into which to dump stuff, but nothing else) and 66 remaining gold pieces, which I think are called septims, he needs to hit the road again and loot himself some cash to furnish his house. After all, it’s going to be hard to entice anyone to come home with him when all he can offer them is a bed and a couple of boxes to sit on.
Although he still hasn’t completely forgotten his commission to kill Grelod the Kind, his need for money was more immediate, so he opted to fulfill a FedEx quest he’d picked up at the mining community to deliver a letter to a shopkeeper in Windhelm. Once he’d teleported there, he set out for the shop and a passing priestess of Talos handed him 7 gold and said “I found this and it wouldn’t look good on anyone lesser.” Well, okay then!
Murderface took a shortcut through the graveyard and stumbled over a murder scene. A priestess of Arkay was there, examining the body of a young woman, along with a guardsman and two passers-by. Murderface had been hearing rumors of young women being killed, but had always been too busy doing something else to pay any attention to them. But now that he was confronted with it...well, this just means that his chances of getting laid have gone down slightly overall, and this isn’t something he was too happy about.
The guard standing next to the body noticed what a fine, upstanding citizen Murderface was and asked him to look into the murder.
Murderface is on the case!
He started the investigation by looting the corpse. Then he examined the body carefully and determined that she was in, fact, dead and was, in fact, a woman. The guard (or was it the witnesses? I didn’t note it down and Murderface doesn’t remember) said the she was named Susanna the Wicked, a barmaid at the local pub. That sounded like someone Murderface would have liked to have known, and so he became personally invested in bringing her murderer to justice. He cross-examined the witnesses by remaining silent and listening to what they had to say before they wandered off.
After that, he followed the priestess to the catacombs where she conducted the forensic examination, and told Murderface that the wound looked like it had been inflicted with an embalming tool. And continued to repeat that until he left.
He went back to the murder scene and spent some time attempting to examine the spot where the corpse had lain (that was where the quest marker was, and I was expecting an action option to pop up on the screen) before noting a trail of giant blood spatters leading away, and deducing that if he followed them back to their source, he might find another clue. Note that nobody else in Windhelm has spotted these enormous bloodstains on the snow-covered cobblestones.
The trail led to the house of one of the formerly-murdered women, which was locked up and abandoned by the woman’s parents. Divine knowledge in the form of a quest marker allowed Murderface to track the mother down in a pub. She was, naturally, upset and didn’t want to think about her daughter's death and put Murderface off until he bluntly asked if she wants the guy caught or not (ignoring several more sympathetic conversation options), at which point she handed over the key.
Murderface explored the pub a bit. Upstairs there’s a bard, and I discovered that he can ask her to sing “The Dragonborn Comes,” a song about the Dragonborn hero who is going to arrive and save the world from the evil dragons. She sighed, said “All right,” and began. I just love making her sing that, knowing that the Dragonborn is standing right in front of her and he’s a total fuckup. Man, Skyrim is so screwed.
A random drunk in the inn challenged Murderface to a fight then insulted him, badmouthed elves, and said that if he loved elves he should just get out of town. This annoyed the fool out of Murderface so after saving the game (just in case), he bludgeoned the guy to death with his elven mace to the heroic strains of “The Dragonborn Comes.”
It seems that nobody else much liked the guy, or maybe it’s the sort of place where nobody gets involved in other people’s business, because the only effect was that a bounty of 40 gold pieces magically appeared on Murderface’s head. Like a good citizen, he then made his way out of the inn and paid off the nearest guard, then headed over to the locked-up house.
Inside, after Toby pointed out what thing I needed to examine, Murderface found a bunch of pamphlets about the Butcher, as the townsfolk were calling the killer, and a hidden room that contained a dark altar. The room was strewn with bones and journals by the Butcher, which Murderface picked up after he accidentally tripped over bones and kicked them out of the room. (Hey that elven helmet isn’t that great on the visibility front.) The journals show that someone was experimenting with the dark art of necromancy. He also found a Strange Amulet.
Up at the Jarl’s keep, with Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak droning on in the background about whatever it is he was droning on about*, Murderface consulted the Jarl’s steward about what to do next, as the quest asked him to do. The steward suggested he go talk to this other dude to get the amulet IDed.
*You might remember, if you don’t play Skyrim and you're inexplicably still reading this, that Murderface was captured in an ambush set up for Ulfric at the beginning of the game, and they both escaped execution when a dragon attacked. You’d think Ulfric would be all “Hey! How ya doing? How’d you escape?” but he was instead an asshat to Murderface, who therefore just can't be bothered with him. Maybe later, if I choose to advance that plot.
Murderface met Amulet-Bob in the pub. If I’d done much exploring of Windhelm, I’d have met him previously and learned that he curates a small museum of sorts in his house, full of stuff he thinks is cool. Amulet-Bob examined the amulet and pronounced it necromantic, claiming that it belonged to the Jarl’s court wizard. He offered to buy it from Murderface, who saw no problem with disposing of evidence in this way and who’s got a house to furnish, so he took Amulet-Bob up on the offer.
On the way out of the pub, Murderface bumped into Viola, the author of the Beware the Butcher! Pamphlets and had a few lines of dialogue with her I didn’t bother to note down.
Deducing that this was of course the time to confront the supposed Butcher, Murderface headed back to the Jarl’s keep, to the wizard’s rooms, and once he got the guy in private with no witnesses, accused the guy of being a deadly necromancer. The wizard convinced Murderface of his innocence by explaining that the amulet and journals belonged to someone else. But he wss able to read the journals and figure out where and when the next murder will take place.
Murderface went to the appointed place--the Windhelm market--and loitered as people showed up to start the day. Who should appear but Amulet-Bob! Amulet-Bob took out a knife and started sneaking up on a young woman! Murderface roared into life, chased after Amulet-Bob and…
..well, and accidentally bludgeoned Amulet-Bob’s victim to death.
This was when I was faced with a moral choice: keep roleplaying and roll with it as something Murderface would do, or reload the game and try it again.
Reader, I reloaded. I just couldn’t go that far. :)
ANYWAY. So Murderface had a Premonition of what might happen at the marketplace, and annoyed the fool out of the intended victim by backing up into her and pushing her around the square backwards to ensure that she would not be in front of him when the time came.
Amulet-Bob approached, took out his knife, and promptly dropped dead of fire and mace. Concerned townsfolk gathered around, chattering about it while Murderface looted Amulet-Bob and took the amulet back, then walked over to his favorite merchant--he recently got a speech perk that allowed for 10% better prices with the opposite sex because as soon as I saw that perk I knew he’d want it, and this merchant is a woman--and sold it to her.
He also got the key to Amulet-Bob’s museum/house. His next step was to let himself in and ransack the place. The goods were all marked as stolen, but as nobody saw him go in and the owner was dead by his hand, nobody noticed, and he teleported from place to place and sold them.
Selling stolen goods and evidence provided enough septims to go hit up the steward at Whiterun and outfit Breezehome with actual furnishings, so Murderface bought ALL THE STUFF.
Lookit his house now!
A small seating area by the door:
The kitchen/hearth area:
He’s got a dining area. WITH A THROW RUG:
He’s even got a small study for making potions!
The alchemy study contained a knapsack for storing potion ingredients, and after a couple of tries, he managed to put the ingredients he was carrying into it. Of course, dumbass accidentally ate half his stash because I got mixed up and hit the X button (to eat) rather than the square button (to store).
Continuing on: there’s a small reading nook upstairs:
And up here on the second level is WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS ifyouknowwhatImean. Maybe. Hopefully. Eventually. Murderface remains optimistic:
And this is where we leave Murderface sitting, in full armor with his quiver floating near his back, on a chair by the front door, staring vaguely in the direction of the empty chair across from him and puzzling over the feeling that while his house is now fully furnished it just seems...somehow….that something is...missing.
Next time! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Murderface FINALLY makes it to Riften to confront Grelod the Kind on behalf of a kid under the misapprehension that he’s an assassin!
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