How low can you go?

WHEREIN I still cannot get the controls correct, Murderface fails at white-collar crime, and we meet the Limbo Bandits.

We spent the weekend at my mom’s attending a thing, and when we got home, all I was up for was ineptly steering Murderface around Skyrim, instead of any of the things I actually needed to do. So I popped more ginger pills (a different brand this time: Dramamine has entered the ginger-pill market, see end for results), and booted it up.

I have yet to develop a light touch on the controls--I can operate a trackball with pretty good precision so you’d think I could handle this--so Murderface almost never faces exactly in the direction he’s walking and sidles around Skyrim like Ezio Auditore stalking through Florentine crowds in Assassin’s Creed II:

(This is Ezio. Not Murderface. Ezio has better dress sense.)

Murderface was still farting around Whiterun but getting tired of the place, so determined to clear out two side quests and head out to do some bandit-beating.

Side Quest #1: Go intimidate a bard who was constantly hitting on the lady who sells vegetables in Whiterun’s tiny market.

Murderface headed to the tavern and talked to all the other NPCs there, on the basis that he might get chased out of there before he could talk to them if someone objected to his calling the bard out. In the process of this, he talked to the town drunkard, who begged Murderface to steal a nice bottle of booze for him. Murderface does not necessarily have qualms about stealing, but is pretty sure that the potential penalty isn’t worth whatever the beggar is paying, and just gives him a coin instead. Unexpectedly, this gives him a bonus to his Persuade for an hour, so when he confronts the bard, he tries the Persuade option instead of just hauling off and beating the crap out of him as he’d planned, and much to his surprise, succeeds.

Vegetable lady is grateful to the tune of 250 gold pieces--I note that this is more than double the price the Jarl is awarding for slaughtering groups of bandits and that Murderface is seriously tempted to settled down and become a small-town enforcer for hire. Vegetable lady is not grateful to the tune of a date, alas.

Let me interject here that I know the reason vegetable lady is not up for a date is that in Skyrim, if you want to start a courtship you have to go to the Temple of Mara and get an amulet to wear, then perform a deed for someone, and then hope that the person is grateful enough to open a flirtation, which can then lead to marriage. Murderface is not this savvy and shall remain unlucky in love until I decide it’s time he settled down and enlighten him. I don’t think he’s really a good candidate for marriage yet, what with the substance abuse problems and perhaps accidentally setting his date on fire.

Side quest #2: Go beat up a twelve-year-old girl on the behalf of a ten-year-old boy.

I’m not sure what their respective ages are, really, but I can’t imagine Murderface would be that good at working it out, anyway. He eventually found her after having to wait in one spot for two hours game time (not real time, thank you!) because the game kept insisting the girl was located inside a hill, and she didn’t wander out into the street until later in the morning. When he caught up with her, he loomed over her, claimed to be the boy’s bodyguard, and attempted to intimidate her. She didn’t intimidate easily, but confessed that she bullied the boy because she had a crush on him, and said she’d stop. Murderface is not particularly cognizant of the deep problematical issues with this situation, and decided it was a job well done since he didn’t even have to throw a punch.

Since he can only carry 300 pounds of gear, Murderface stopped by the town’s supercilious merchant on the way out of Whiterun to sell his extra crap off, and because the merchant irritated him yet again, he decided to go upstairs in the shop and poke around. He found the merchant’s ledger, and I noticed that it said I could press X to forge entries. What the hell, I said, and Murderface tried his hand at white-collar crime. To no avail--pressing the X twice did nothing to the ledger, placed a bounty of 10 gold on his head, and as the merchant had followed him up the ladder and witnessed this, promptly got him arrested. (I then looked it up, and forging entries works only for one specific quest if you join the Thieves’ Guild.)

A few in-game minutes later, Murderface paid a fine of 10 gold, and walked out a free man, swearing never to do that again as long as anybody was looking.

Off to kill bandits! Murderface headed out into the wilds to fulfill a bounty he’d heard of over near Silent Moons Camp. He slaughtered six bandits even with the handicap of rarely facing the correct direction--luckily when you set someone on fire, they stay on fire for a bit even when they run around out of your view. Toby then showed me the secret of this spot--the Lunar Forge. This is a place where, if you forge a weapon by moonlight, it gets a bonus enchantment. Toby had Murderface forge a mace which turned out to be perfectly ordinary, and then we realized that the moons weren’t out. Oops. Anyway, it’s marked on the map and one day Murderface will go forge himself a spiffy mace that has extra damage at night.

There were still a few bandits left inside the building, and so Murderface did a credible job of sneaking into the main room, remaining totally undetected because the bandits were in the other room. Once they rushed in, he set them on fire and whaled about with his mace until they died.

And this is why I call them the Limbo Bandits. Ragdoll physics in games can lead to NPCs collapsing into undignified positions when they die, and this was especially funny to me. He’s near-naked because Murderface already looted his corpse.

(Maybe one day I'll do real screenshots, but phone pics are almost as good!)

There was one last bandit at the end of that short passage who hadn’t noticed his chief and a fellow bandit run screaming out of the passage into the other room and get slaughtered. He remained behind, singing to himself, and saying things like “I’ll never go back to prison again!”

Murderface was happy to oblige.

This writeup was about half my game session, but it’s long enough already. Next time, back to Whiterun for training! And another assignment from the Companions! And Murderface hires a lady!

Ginger results: the Dramamine-brand ginger pills lasted almost twice as long as the Ginger Trips I’d been taking before, somewhere in the vicinity of 3.5-4 hours before they abruptly wore off and I felt like I had to hork. Also, the Dramamine brand consisted of powdered ginger in a capsule instead of the Ginger Trips funky-tasting small tablet/biscuit thing. The only issue I had was that the wearing off was so abrupt that I ended up nauseated enough to take half of one of my migraine anti-nausea pills, so I’ll need to keep an eye on the clock next time.

Still wouldn’t use them for a cruise (scopolamine patches FTW!), but good for short-term applications.

Have a bonus pic of a Highland Nordic cow, placidly grazing in a yard next to the open gate without leaving. Murderface must have been a farm boy in his younger years, as this offended him enough that he closed the gate.

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Tags: gaming, skyrim
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