There is nothing suspicious about this at all

Skyrim report, as I threatened last time: Murderface grinds wheat! Or attempts to grind wheat!

So, in the wandering around he did while I was attempting (and failing) to make sense of the controls, he came upon windmills. And I discovered that if your character got close enough to the windmills, you got a command that said ACTIVATE GRAIN MILL. Awesome! Murderface didn’t have any wheat at the time, but a bit later on he found some wheat (and ate it, naturally), and after I visited Whiterun I decided that Murderface had to go grind some wheat.

He trekked back to the windmill, where he managed to get lined up with the mill after a couple of tries, I hit the X button and...nothing happened. I hit the button a few more times. Nothing. At this point Toby broke out the intertubes device, looked it up, and apparently you can turn three wheat into flour if you’re at a hand-operated mill, but not at a windmill. Why you get the option to activate the mill, I don’t know. SKYRIM WHY MUST YOU PROVOKE ME SO? Murderface is disappoint.

So, because he was annoyed he couldn’t grind any wheat, Murderface tried jumping onto the track the millstone was on and after a few tries, he discovered that if he jumps just so, he makes it, and then when the millstone comes around the track, it gently pushes him off instead of crushing him to a bloody pulp. This entertains him (and me) greatly.

And a while later, back in Whiterun, Murderface accidentally sells his wheat to a woman while chatting her up, so he’s going to have to buy more or go harvest some from a willing farmer if he comes across a hand-operated grain mill.

Anyway! Speaking of Whiterun! Back in the city, Murderface is loitering and talking to passers-by and they keep mentioning Jorrvaskr, the Hall of the Companions. He gathers they’re some sort of warriors.

Let me interrupt for a moment to tell you about my evolving backstory for Murderface. Murderface would fit in well with Glen Cook’s Black Company. Not as an officer, because they require a modicum of smarts, but as part of the rank-and-file. So he used to be in a merc company, but with his penchant for ingesting anything he can get his hands on and accidentally bludgeoning his fellow mercs instead of the people they’re supposed to be pointed at, his CO took him out for a little one on one ‘discussion’ of his habits and his future with the company. They were attacked by a wolf out there, and in the ensuing fracas, his CO got accidentally set on fire or hacked to death, and Murderface had just enough smarts to realize that even if the rest of the company believed him (and honestly, they probably would, given his track record), having killed his CO, his future with the company was about as long as a very very short thing, and so he took off for the wild blue yonder, and then a bit later accidentally walked into the ambush that was set for Ulfric Stormcloak, got arrested, cue the start of the game.

So this means that some sort of warrior company might be something he’d gravitate towards if he had nothing better to do and was feeling kind of lonely, and the Companions sounded promising. Murderface went to visit the hall, and as you get pretty much the same set of questions for every interaction with each member, grilled every member as to what the Companions are and who’s in charge. The answers are conflicting and kind of vague--not that it would phase Murderface that much, honestly--but he gathers that they fight when they want, for who they want, and there’s not really a leader. (Plus there are ladies in the Companions who are not currently trying to kill him and who actually reply when he talks to them, which is a bonus.)

This is, of course, setting off some sort of “there’s something going on here” alarm in MY head, but Murderface is not equipped with that alarm, and thinks it’s just peachy-keen, so talks to the guy who is not a leader and who doesn’t tell people what to do, but who everyone says you need to talk to if you want to join up, and joins up. Well, there’s a couple of FedEx quests (for non-gamers, that’s pretty much what it sounds like--go to a place, get a thing, take it to another place) that he has to do, but he shows that he’s excellent at taking objects from one location to another location, provided you’re okay with him falling into the moat on the way (he caught a couple of salmon while he was down there...no I don’t know why there are salmon in a moat) and is provisionally admitted to the Companions.

I have not Googled to see what’s up with them, but at one point Toby, who likes giving me history and tips, said “I’ll shut up because that would spoil the surprise.” So there may be something in store for Murderface.

Also, the Companion who Murderface was told to report to told Murderface about an encampment of bandits that needed to be cleared out. Now, we’d already cleared out that camp, and I believe gained the bounty from it, but figured what the hell and out Murderface went once again.

Yup, it was the same encampment, although bandits had respawned along with the items that Murderface had looted. The ore veins that Murderface had mined on his previous sneak through the mine were still played out, though.

This turn of events was not viewed as particularly strange by Murderface, as he finds there’s quite a lot of strange things that happen without any reason around him. It does not occur that maybe he’s responsible for that. He attempts to sneak up on the first bandit, but because I forgot which button it was to put you into sneak mode, he actually strides confidently down the passage, sets off an alarm that alerts the closest bandit, who comes running at him, and then he stomps right on a plate set in the floor that triggers an avalanche of rocks from the ceiling.

Because this is Murderface, the rocks miraculously miss him and kill the oncoming bandit. Which is good, because I had finally found the sneak button and was frantically putting him in and out of stealth mode instead of attacking.

He looted the room again, then having straightened out where the stealth button was, snuck down the passage towards the main cavern. I was following Toby’s advice to carefully peer into the room and locate the bandit captain, who was ranting out loud. I asked if that meant if there were more bandits, and Toby explained that lots of Skyrim NPCs (non-player characters, for you non-gamers) talked or sang to themselves, and while he was singing an example song to me, two other bandits rushed Murderface.

After disarming and rearming Murderface and taking some damage, I found the fighting buttons and proceeded to hold down the SET THE PEOPLE ON FIRE IN THIS DIRECTION button while whaling away with the mace and killed both bandits. And also the bandit chief, who’d apparently rushed over to join the fray when I was busy setting the others on fire.

Murderface looted the corpses, and then, because my motion sickness was setting in, I handed the controller to Toby to get him back to the Companion’s Hall in Whiterun. Murderface made it back much more gracefully than usual, and went to turn the bounty in again when the game realized that we’d already done this quest and thus all the NPCs immediately claimed not to know anything about it, so, alas, Murderface didn’t get a double bounty.

Next time: I come home from a dental procedure full of painkillers and tranqs, unsteady on my feet and with a numb mouth, and decide that I surely must feel the way Murderface does on a regular basis, and set him to flirting with the ladies. Well, at the ladies.

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Tags: gaming, skyrim
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