So! Murderface has had a lot of things happen at once to him! Last time, he whacked an orphanage owner on the word of an escaped orphan, discovered how dating and marriage work in Skyrim, and was abducted by the leader of the Skyrim assassins before he had a chance to put it into practice.
Also, this one is extra-long because I’m trying to knock a bunch out. :) BUT YOU CLICKED ON THE CUT SO YOU'RE STUCK READING IT NOW!
Murderface went to bed in an inn in Riften and woke up halfway across Skyrim, in a shack with Astrid, the head of the Dark Brotherhood, looming over him. She explained that the Brotherhood was aware of his killing of Grelod the Kind, but since Aventus Aretino had performed the Black Sacrament, they considered the kill to have been stolen from them (even though they had no intention of answering it).
(Also: Google Docs KNOWS THE SPELLING of most Skyrim terms I use!)
However, they like Murderface’s style and she offered him an opportunity. Across the shack were 3 people, kneeling, bound, and with execution hoods over their heads so they couldn’t see, but could still answer questions. Astrid explained there was a contract on one of their lives, and so Murderface must decide who to kill, and kill them. She retired to perch on top of a bookcase and watch how Murderface reacted to the puzzle.
In order to think hard on it, and because I figured out how to cheese this scenario so that Murderface could level up some of his spellcasting skills, he stalled for a while by repeatedly casting Courage on each of the victims in turn, until I got bored and his Illusion talents were up a few levels.
Then, because he is Murderface and nobody tells Murderface what to do even if she is a woman wearing a sexy black leather outfit because nobody abducts Murderface without asking Murderface’s permission first, he turned around, cast a Fire rune on the floor where he judged she’d jump off the bookcase and set her on fire.
Or attempted to. She remained impassive, which puzzled me until I figured out Murderface needed to be close enough to initiate dialogue with her in order to interact in any way, so he therefore assumed she had fallen asleep during his spellcasting practice, and walked a few feet closer to set her on fire, which finally woke her up and pissed her off enough to jump down, right onto the fire rune Murderface had cast, which caused her a deal of damage. He then went all Murderface on her ass, shooting fire and whaling away with his axe (or was it the mace? I don’t remember) until she collapsed.
With her dying breath, she whispered “Well..done!”
Murderface looted her body and came away in the possession of a nifty new set of sexy, sexy black leathers that inexplicably changed from female-shaped clothing to male-shaped when he put it on. What woman in their right mind can resist THIS vision?
He’s especially fond of the bright red codpiece.
Murderface released the captives from their bonds and they stood around, complaining. He was about to leave the shack, had his hand on the door, when a TERRIBLE PREMONITION came to him! He somehow KNEW that if he left the shack right then to pick his way across the swamp in the moonlight, he’d be attacked by several hostile creatures, including a vampire that would totally outclass him, suck away all his magika, infect him with vampirism, and then kill him.
He opted to heed this premonition and waited in the shack with the complainers until daybreak, then set off, leaving the ungrateful ex-captives behind to fend for themselves among the frostbite spiders and vampires.
The first town he ran into was Morthal. He reported to a town guard that he’d killed Astrid, as the quest marker wanted him to, and was immediately believed--it must have been the effect of that codpiece--and told to report that intelligence to Captain Maro in the village of Dragon Bridge. Murderface lied that he would do it, and went on into town.
It seems that Murderface cannot get away from murder most foul! The talk of the town was the recent deaths of a woman and her young daughter in a house fire, and how the husband moved in with another woman the next day. The Jarl of the area asked Murderface to investigate and of course he said yes because not only was the Jarl a woman, she had a pretty hot daughter. Murderface Holmes rides again!
He commenced his forensic investigation of the smouldering remains of the house and discovered that it was indeed a house which had burned down. He was about to see if there were any other clues elsewhere in town when there came a glimmering in the corner of his eye and the shade of a young girl shimmered into view. She asked him to play hide and seek with her, but only after dark...he had to find her before The Other did. Now, he’d recently tried some grass pods that he’d picked, so he couldn’t be sure if this was real or not, but he agreed anyway.
He spent the time until sunset poking into everyone else’s business. The Jarl’s hot daughter Idgrod the Younger confessed to him that she was worried about her younger brother Joric, who may have inherited their mother’s prophetic powers and who was, Murderface admitted, kind of creepy, and asked if he’d take a letter to a priestess in Whiterun on her behalf. Naturally, he agreed.
He also spent some time upping his Sneak skill by creeping around the second floor of the house, hiding from the guards. And he discovered that if he leapt into the hearth-fire in the Jarl’s hall and went into Sneak, there was one spot at which neither the Jarl nor the guard could see him, according to his Sneak meter. Or at least they were pretending not to see him.
He’s wearing a combo of elven and Brotherhood armor right now because the elven armor is enchanted to give his Magicka regeneration a boost, which he thought he might need in the battle to come.
Murderface also poked around outside and discovered a guard patrolling the lake.
Additionally, Murderface looked under the young Joric’s bed and discovered a copy of The Lusty Argonian Wench. He smiled, remembering one of the better parts of his boyhood, and put it back.
Once night fell, he trekked out to the child’s grave. A vampire attacked! Murderface had been wound up for a good long fight, but she was a weak vampire and he did her in with just a couple of blows of his mace.
The ghost of Helgi, the girl, explained from within her coffin--Murderface is used to hearing things that nobody else does, so it doesn’t phase him--that the vampire was supposed to kill her and her mother by burning the house down, but attempted to turn her instead. The vampirism didn’t take and she died in the fire anyway
Murderface broke into Alva’s house, where Helgi’s dad had moved in. Dad-Bob was there and took exception to this intruder, so Murderface killed him. Down in the cellar he found a coffin and a journal, owned by Alva, in which she monologued at length, explaining that she was a vampire and Dad-Bob was her thrall, and she’d told the other vampire to kill his family so he’d be hers. And the master vampire that turned her was set up in a cave in the mountain, with a plan to turn the population of Morthal into feeding stock for his clan.
Murderface brought the journal to the Jarl and the damn ungrateful wretch refused to pay him, although he had CLEARLY solved the murder. She insisted that he take care of the master vampire first. Well FINE.
He did so--it took a while of sneaking up on vampires and their thralls, shooting, running back to hiding until their suspicion died down, shampoo, rinse, repeat. (that was an entire play session in itself!) Reporting back to the Jarl, she rewarded him with a title!
Oh wait! First he has to do two more good deeds for the people of Morthal so they’ll trust him. Well...you now, a title is sexy as hell to women, isn’t it? Who can resist a titled man? Boy Scout it is! He delivers Idgrod the Younger’s letter, which counts as one deed,a dn then he spends what seems like HOURS running around town trying to get townsfolk to ask him to do something. (and the Challenge Benor to a Fight! option didn’t work, maybe because Murderface accidentally angered a guard while he was fighting Benor.) Eventually he found a mine owner who let him mine some ore and sell it to him, and his quest was complete.
Meet Murderface McKenzie, the new Thane of Hjaalmarch! Er, pretend I have a screenshot here.
Thanehood comes with the ability to purchase property from the Jarl...theoretically, as the steward keeps regarding him suspiciously and won’t offer him any purchase options right now (I didn’t have the Hearthfire DLC installed at this point)...and it comes with Valdimar, this sexy mustachioed stud of a housecarl, to see to the Thane’s every needs should he want a follower or decide to settle down in Hjaalmarch.
Valdimar is extra-sexy because the game forgot to complete his clothing for a while, so he flashed his thigh at Murderface during the dialogue. I was kind of sad when the game noticed and fixed his clothing.
This was the point when I realized that the Hearthfire DLC, which allows you to build houses and to adopt children, wasn’t installed, which might explain why the Jarl’s steward wasn’t having any of Murderface. I got out of the game, installed it, got back in and steered Murderface out of the Jarl’s longhouse (forgetting to ask the steward about property), and a courier from Riften showed up.
The courier handed Murderface a flyer, explaining that Constance, new head of the Riften orphanage (and former assistant to Grelod) had insisted that he hand it directly to Murderface.
Murderface read it. It was a flyer advertising that adoptions were open, and encouraging people to show up and adopt kids.
Maybe that’s what Breezehome, his furnished yet empty home in Whiterun, needed! A child! Someone to look up to him! And love him! And admire him! And chicks dig guys, especially guys with titles, who are good with kids!
And then there was that one girl there who saw him and realized that killing people was always an option. He can’t stop thinking about her.
Murderface immediately teleported to Riften and dropped in at the orphanage, declaring his intentions to Constance. She quizzed him on his job prospects, asking what he did for a living. His options were Adventurer and Mercenary, so he picked Mercenary, thinking that it sounded a bit more respectable than Adventurer. Constance wasn’t that impressed. She asked him about living arrangements, and when he admitted he didn’t have a room for a child to sleep in, she said that he could come back when he had one. Being a Thane just wasn’t enough!
Dejected, he slunk out of the orphanage by the back door and ended up in a backyard that was a fenced-in dead end, so he had to go back inside and slink out the front door instead.
Off to raise the cash to upgrade his house!
Next time: a blacksmith asks Murderface to catch a stray dog for him. This sounds like an easy enough job…
...and then the dog talks to him.
You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. comments at Dreamwidth.