After improving his new war axe, Murderface was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. He wandered into the Drunken Hunstman pub to stare forlornly at the space where the late Jenassa used to sit. As he was poking his nose into various parts of the pub, the proprietor, who I think is the most sensible person in Whiterun, kept following him closely and inquiring if he could help him, in that way that really means I HAVE MY EYE ON YOU BUDDY DO NOT TRY ANYTHING, so Murderface gave up on that and left.
As a side note regarding Jenassa, Toby complained that Esme, his mage, couldn’t carry that much and he wasn’t looking forward to plundering the dwemer ruins for scrap metal to smith a bunch of dwarven good. I reminded him that companions could carry stuff. And then Toby found an exploit that allows companions can carry an almost limitless supply of stuff--you don’t hand it to them, you command them to pick it up instead. I watched as he had Esme scour the ruins for metal, and was delighted to see that Jenassa, who seemed to approve of Murderface because of his tendency to adventure, behaved in an almost maliciously compliant manner. Esme would point to a piece of scrap and command her to pick it up, and she would say something vaguely dismissive like “Of course” and then very slowly walk over to pick it up, staring sullenly at you all the time.
Back to Murderface! He wandered back to the Companions’ Hall to see if there was anything going on, and one of the not-a-leaders told him to meet under the Skyforge at night. And kept hissing “No! After nightfall!” every time Murderface tried to talk to him. So Murderface waited until nightfall, then followed the dude to a hidden door below the Skyforge. Once inside, he was confronted with a werewolf, and dude whose name I’ve forgot but will call Beta-Bob because he wasn’t the main not-a-leader, explained that they’ve decided that the Circle needs someone like him (uh….why?) and that if he accepts lycanthropy from Aela the Huntress, one of the Companions who has volunteered to change him, he would be welcome.
Murderface’s fear of commitment overcame his curiosity and he begged off for the time being.
Wanderlust was starting to niggle at him, so he decided to head away from Whiterun and sightsee some more around Skyrim. To give him a vague sense of direction, I activated a quest that had him following rumors of a kid in Windhelm that had been using the Black Sacrament to contact the Dark Brotherhood--the assassins of Skyrim.
Off in the wilds, he managed to shoot a goat that, interestingly. was carrying no goat hide nor goat meat, but which did have 8 gold pieces.
He also fought his way through a troll cave he found when investigating some rocks on a mountainside that looked like they used to be a mine. That’s mostly fun for the floating carnage the trolls had left of the previous inhabitants:
After the troll cave, he killed a bear, which fell into a river and after Murderface chased it down to loot its hide and claws, he watched the current carry it away. That was more entertaining that it really should have been, but Murderface is a simple soul at heart.
Tramping overland through the night, he soon spotted a bridge in the distance. Curious, he headed in that direction but because I’d forgotten to put him back into stealth, which will warn you if you’ve been spotted by someone or something, he was surprised by a khajit (the cat people) rushing at him with intent to kill. Assuming the khajit was a random bandit or highwayman (well, perhaps highwaywoman would be more accurate in this case), he set her on fire and hacked her with the axe and made short work of her.
Looting her corpse, he made a most welcome discovery...evidence that Murderface McKenzie had pissed someone off enough that they took out a hit on him!
Murderface has MADE IT! He is now a murder hobo of CONSEQUENCE! Still not a clue as to who it was that did it, but that’s really just details, and Murderface doesn’t sweat the details. He's not entirely happy that this Astrid is referring to him as a "poor fool," but at least someone is scared enough of him to want him eliminated.
(Upon consulting the wiki, I believe it’s a randomly generated encounter but I don’t have the heart to tell Murderface that, so shhhhh!)
Eventually, after meeting a woman sawmill owner who groused at him that the men had all gone to join the rebellion and left her there with nobody to do the work, and after stealing the eggs from her chickens, he made it to Windhelm, a small city northeast of Whiterun. Talking to a few of the inhabitants, he noted a strong trend of hatred towards the dark elves who lived in that city, which annoyed him for no reason he could really define. A bit later, when he was on the road again after selling some stuff in Windhelm, a khajit highwayman attacked him. Said highwayman, when Murderface looted his corpse shortly after the attack, was wearing an almost full set of elven armor, so Murderface put it on and went back to the city just to wander around as a giant “fuck you” to the populace.
Well, ok, it helped that the armor was better than the stuff he was wearing, but the “fuck you” was a nice bonus. And it gave him a goal: obtain or make an elven weapon and helmet, so he needed to go back out and do some more adventurin’ to get the cash and the raw materials so he could level up his smithing to do elven stuff.
There was a nice nest of mages nearby which served nicely for that. The first two mages were hanging out around a forge, complaining that the others did nothing but drink. Two corpses and a bit of looting and crafting later, Murderface had enough smithing practice to be able to get the Elven Smithing perk. He then hit the rest of the dungeon to get the bankroll to buy the necessary materials for elven objects.
The mages had been up to no good. Murderface set one on fire and bashed his head in, and discovered the guy had been standing in front of a cell that contained the charred corpses of four prisoners, the results of something the mage had been doing.
“These mages are not nice people,” said Murderface to himself as he looted the charred corpses.
He sold his ill-gotten gains back in Windhelm to a not at all shady merchant who insisted that his wares were all perfectly legal and above board. And who, while standing there, discovered a ring in a drawer that he had no idea how it got there because it belonged to someone else and asked Murderface if he would, pretty please, sneak it back into the dresser of the woman to whom it belonged. Murderface shrugged and pocketed the ring.
Upon exiting the shop, he ran into the woman in question and handed her the ring, explaining where he got it. She did not, alas, offer to take him home, but she did give him some gold, so that was better than nothing.
Next time: Murderface breaks into a child’s house! Also he makes himself a nasty-looking weapon!
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