Yes, my Thane. Of course, my Thane. Anything you wish, my Thane

Last episode we had all sorts of excitement as our murder hobo non-hero got mixed up yet again with Daedric Princes. This episode: miscellaneous quests day!

This game is really Skyrim: Scrabbling Out a Living, as every hour of heroic dungeon crawling is balanced out by what seems to be 2-3 hours of crafting stuff, enchanting it, and selling it so you can get money. So there’s actually quite a bit I’m not telling you, because it would involve lots of stuff like “Murderface went to Claudia Christian’s forge to bang out a bunch of iron daggers to get his Smithing skills up but managed to miscount the number of leather strips he needed and left half his ingots in the chest in his house so he had to run around to three different shops to look for hides he could tan and cut up and more iron ore to smelt into ingots.”

I note that in Witcher 3 there’s still a lot of crafting (thank you Minecraft for convincing game companies that what everyone who plays a heroic monster-slaying game really really wants to micromanage the amount of silver dust and wire they need to build the weapons they use to kill the damn things with), but Witcher 3 does not labor under the delusion that Geralt is a master smith, so you do not make the stuff yourself. Instead, you hunt down the appropriate craftsman (so far, they’re all men) and pay him to make it for you.

Also, at some point Murderface returned to Windhelm and reported back to the kid who commissioned him that Grelod the Kind was dead, but I couldn’t tell you when because I forgot to write it down in my notes. He poked around the Aventus Aretino’s house and pocketed a few more small items in full view of the kid before approaching Aventus and demanding payment. In addition to the kid’s undying gratitude, he got the last remaining Aretino family heirloom, a platter of some sort, which he sold for 50 septims in the market.

Murderface is also suffering from an inability to say No, as he keeps collecting quests. He ran into a batty mage in Riften at the Jarl’s hall, Wylandriah, who is so obsessed with her research that she can think of little else. He attempted to chat her up by inquiring about her research, and she replied "Someone actually interested in what I'm doing? Amazing! Well, allow me to explain. My experimentation involves a magical construct and a reagent that will allow the construct to maintain a field of permanent harmonic energy!"

Given Murderface’s pharmaceutical predilections, in the ensuing conversation I picked the most off-the-wall reply option available each time, assuming that he was probably holding a completely different conversation with her..

"I would use the blue thing."

Wylandriah replied, "The blue thing? But even the simplest harmonic field is composed of entirely... Wait just a moment. The blue thing. Yes, yes, yes! I can see your point. Draw out the necessary energies using a Jarol Apparatus! But wait. What about soul reversal? You must be aware of the consequences when using the apparatus near an open magic field."

Murderface suggested, "How about using calipers?"

"Calipers? That's utterly ridiculous. Maybe long ago, you could just find calipers in every household across Tamriel, but not anymore. Hold on, you've given me a brilliant idea. Just as calipers hold materials in place, a soul siphon can hold magic fields in place. Genius! And I'm sure you've completely worked out how to counteract complete dimensional collapse, right?"

"Easy, it's nine."

"Of course! Nine is the most basic of magical principles. Oh, how stupid of me. That completely takes care of all your basic problems, magicka burn, dimensional collapse and thermic drift! You've done it! Now, if I can only remember what we were originally talking about."

After that, he asked what he could do to help her, being always hopeful that one day the reply will be “I am suffering a curse that can only be broken by your embrace, you big stud! Let’s go!” but today was not that day. Wylandriah explained that she’d left three important items behind in three different places across Skyrim and would he be a dear and go get them for her?

You know what his answer was. It did not occur to him that maybe this was her gracefully turfing him out of her rooms.

The first item was at an inn in Winterhold. (Not Windhelm. I keep mixing them up.) While Murderface was there, he chatted up Haran, who worked there. She complained about the local drunk owing the inn money. Murderface offered to talk to him for her, found him, and intimidated him into agreeing to pay his bill. Returning to Haran, she thanked him, gave him a few items that the drunk had left as payment, and then bothered to mention her husband. Bah.

Husband-Bob said that the town drunk drowned his sorrows in drink after a girl left him, and asked Murderface to find news of her, in the hopes that it would give the dude closure. Murderface agreed to get out of the conversation and immediately forgot about it.

He then came home to Whiterun to improve and enchant two very, very nice daggers that he’d looted on his travels, to check in on his daughters, and to store some random loot when he ran into two glitches that, if you took them at face value, added up to a highly disturbing possibility. You see, if a character is talking to you as you go through a door that involves a loading screen, sometimes the come with you and keep talking.

The Whiterun town drunk, Drunk-Bob (not the same town drunk above), started to speak to Murderface, saying “My favorite drinking buddy!” as he opened the door to Breezehome, and ended up crowding inside with him. Inside Breezehome was Lucia, Murderface’s most recently acquired daughter, experiencing the glitch where her clothes are unequipped and in her loot chest, so she’s hanging out in her underwear.

So. Murderface finds an unclothed daughter and Drunk-Bob--who was the guy that advised Lucia to take up begging when she first arrives in Whiterun, by the way--in his house uninvited. I decided to role-play this situation, so he immediately leapt to the worst possible conclusion and was GOING to axe Drunk-Bob to death, but I stopped to take a photo of the scene first, which allowed Drunk-Bob to finish his sentence and slip back out the door. Murderface rushed out the door very slowly, because the loading screens take FOREVER on the PS3, and by the time he got outside, Drunk-Bob was nowhere to be seen, alas.

Back inside, Murderface got Lucia’s clothes out of the loot chest and presented them to her again, which got her clothed. He then gave her one of the two very, very nice daggers-I don’t remember whether it was the glass one or the elven one--and she immediately rushed to the girls’ room and started attacked their training dummy in such a vicious manner that Murderface could do nothing but stand there and watch, thinking “That’s my girl!”

He tracked Runa down and gave her the other dagger, then headed back out to continue finding Wylandriah’s stuff. He had an encounter with a Frightened Woman out in the mountains, who claimed to have escaped from the ransom-requesting bandits in Mistwatch, and asked Murderface to clear them out. She then took off running down the trail. He ran after her, intending to reassure her that he’d already cleared out the bandits (and had Fjola’s damn ring stuck in his inventory to show for it) and maybe see if she’d like to stick around for dinner now that she had nothing to run from, but for some inexplicable reason she kept running faster than the heavily armored man with a nasty axe chasing her, shouting “No! Wait! Come back!”

A little while later, in another inn that Wylandriah left another thingummy in, Murderface managed to injure himself by tripping over a cauldron.

He collected Wylandriah’s things and turned them in, and in return got a bunch of magic scrolls instead of anything he really wanted.

Next, Murderface turned his mind back on the problem consuming him in the last episode, that of getting some land out in the country to build a house. Now that Falkreath was theoretically werewolf-free, he decided he wanted to build there. The Jarl was a young, louche man that immediately struck Murderface as a douche. Usually, when you hit level 9 and the Hearthfire DLC’s installed, you get a message from the Jarl of Falkreath inviting you to show up and do some stuff for him. That hadn’t happened, and some wiki searching made me realize that, despite the ability of the game to have billions of unfinished quests open, if you had one of a small number of particular quests open, the Jarl of Falkreath didn’t want to talk to you, so Murderface had to go around to several shops until he found a merchant selling an Amulet of Arkay to give to a dude back in Windhelm.

Once that was done, Jarl Douche-Bob was reasonably pleased to talk to Murderface. He asked Murderface to do a really, really important quest for him--obtain a bottle of Blackbriar mead. It took longer to load the scenes (out of the Jarl’s hall, fast-travel to Riften to buy it, fast-travel back, back into the hall) than it did to obtain the bottle. He then sent Murderface off to clear out a nest of bandits who’d stopped paying him off to operate in the Falkreath area.

This impressed the Jarl enough to offer Thanehood to Murderface, provided that Murderface did a few deeds for Falkreath residents because of course Jarl Douche-Bob couldn’t elevate just anybody to Thane, it had to be someone that the residents knew and approved of. I don’t remember what two of the three approved deds were--they weren’t much--but one was of the old Jarl. He’d been relieved of his position because he was paranoid and seeing conspiracies everywhere. He asked Murderface to break into a neighbor’s house and steal a letter he’d seen the guy writing. Murderface obligingly did so, assuming the old Jarl was a nut and the neighbor was innocent, and took a perfectly normal letter asking a merchant to supply the neighbor with goods back to the old Jarl.

That earned enough goodwill for him to be named Thane and to buy his land. Murderface immediately built a small house on it, then traveled up to Morthal and fetched Valdimar, his thigh-flashing, mustachioed housecarl, and installed him in the house with a sackful of septims and told him to furnish it as he saw fit. This seemed to please Valdimar mightily, the way he said “Honor to you, my Thane” and “I am your sword and your shield,” like he meant it.

Such a nice little hunting lodge in the country, isn’t it?

Murderface also got a housecarl from Jarl Douche-Bob, Rayya. Since he wasn’t going to install her in the Lakeview Manor house, he took her as a traveling companion. This might not have been such a good idea, as between her expression and her dialogue--she’s also voiced by Claudia Christian--he felt like he was being judged. Constantly.

“She’s behind me, isn’t she? I can feel her judgement from here.”

Anyone want to take bets on how long her lifespan is going to be?

(I shall point out that her lips are not that obnoxiously white in the game--that’s my camera blowing out those pixels on the TV. She looks like this normally: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Rayya)

Next time: GIANTS. Also, we are now only two play sessions behind with these writeups, and both of those were kind of boring aside from the giants and shoveling money at Valdimar to furnish the estate with farm animals, so I should probably go play more plot-related quests!)

P.S. Anyone out there shipping Murderface/Valdimar?

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Tags: gaming, skyrim
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