Alas, poor Rayya

Last episode, Murderface had built his first house out in the country, installed Valdimar, his first housecarl, shoveled money into his pockets and told him to furnish the place, then took his second housecarl, Rayya, out adventuring. Let’s see what happens this time, shall we?

On my never-ending quest to clear out miscellaneous quests, I sent Murderface and Rayya off to fill a bounty to kill a giant that had set up camp near a well-traveled byway. Murderface spent ages sneaking around, seeking a way to climb up onto the rocky mountainside so he could sit in safety and fire arrows down upon the giants.

I think the responsibility of his daughters and the houses must be beginning to affect him. Or he’s just terrified of giants.

As part of this, the adventurers encountered two old watchtowers connected by a bridge over a waterfall that had been occupied by bandits. Murderface had come upon it before and cleared out the bandits that were occupying it at the time, but you can’t expect prime real estate like this to go without squatters for long. A woman bandit guarding the outer door challenged them and demanded 200 septims as a toll to let them pass. Murderface tried his Intimidate skills on her, and she backed down, agreeing to let them pass. And then the game deducted 200 septims from his inventory anyway, so he got pissed off and set her on fire.

Murderface and Rayya rampaged through the towers and cleared the rest of the bandits so they could stalk the giants without worrying about arrows raining down upon them, then went back outside to continue their quest for a sniper’s roost.

Eventually, Murderface had to admit there was no easy way to get above the giants from the road, so they crept up the side road that ascended to the giant camp, where he discovered that if he climbed rocks up there (i.e. I spammed the Jump button), as quietly as possible so as not to alert the giant, he could get to a great sniping spot, so he’d just wasted hours creeping around below.

And of course once they settled in, they discovered that there were, in fact, two giants, not one. Murderface started plinking arrows at the giants. When he hit them, they’d get angry, shuffle around looking for the thing that hurt them, and then shuffle behind rocks so Murderface couldn’t see them nor could they see him. Then they’d forget he was there and eventually shuffle back out to where they’d been before. He nickle-and-dimed one of the giants to death that way, and had gotten the second one down to half health when Rayya, tremendously bored with this activity, tumbled down the rock face screaming and set to at the giant with her dual-wielding scimitars.

Rayya was not killed by the giant. She made short work of the it, then stood around glaring at Murderface while he picked his way down and looted the camp. They teleported to whatever hold it was to collect the bounty, and then set off on the road again because Murderface needed to kill some animals to fill his soul gems so he could enchant more crap. He was hoping for wolf packs, but they met another giant on the road. This time (because Toby was there giving me advice), Murderface just shot at it a couple of times, then he and Rayya rushed into melee combat with it until it died.

A bit later on, they wandered into a small settlement that mostly consisted of a pub and a small circle of tents. Murderface discovered the pub’s owner was a woman and naturally chatted her up. She was full of complaints about a local who had run up a huge tab. Not for the usual reason, but because she’d long ago accepted that he was never going to be able to pay it off, and yet he wouldn’t shut up about how he was going to pay it off Real Soon Now. She asked Murderface to talk some sense into him.

Murderface found Debt-Bob sleeping in a tent, poked him awake, then threatened the guy with dire but unspecified consequences if he didn’t stop talking about the debt he owed. The guy agreed to do so. Upon Murderface’s return to the pub, the woman thanked him profusely and offloaded some crap on him that Debt-Bob had given her in partial payment once upon a time, then shooed him out the door.

Back to civilization, and another round of smithing, enchanting, and selling later Murderface was rolling in the dough, with 9000+ septims burning a hole in his pocket.

[pauses for everyone to indulge in yelling OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAND!!!]

He teleported back to the lake house and dropped a chunk of the proceeds on expanding his small hunting lodge to an estate house, building an apiary and a small enclosure for animals, and purchasing a cow and the three chickens the game allots to you. He also had Valdimar purchase a carriage (i.e. a wagon), hire a driver, build a small stable and buy a horse, and then set to furnishing the interior.

No photos of the interior yet because it takes a number of in-game days for all the furnishings to appear, presumably because all of the wolves, bandits, and giants roaming the land means delivery schedules are a bit erratic, and I’m going to wait for that and a few other things before doing the Skyrim Home and Gardens feature.

Here is Valdimar cooking dinner in the small house.

And here is the new addition under construction.

Over the course of a few play sessions, Murderface has had various domestic adventures.

At some point in construction--I don’t remember which point because it was something I forgot to put in my notes--Murderface wandered out back to have a look at the lake. The house is up on a rocky bluff, some way away, but it’s a nice view. Looking down at the ground a bit closer to the foot of the bluff, Murderface noted a circle of standing stones--he approved of that, very cultural--which contained an altar with a skeleton laid out on it and a necromancer chanting an arcane rite. Murderface was not down with reanimated corpses running around and making noise all night, so he unslung his bow and shot an arrow at the necromancer, then switched to firebolts until he was dead.

“He would be a bad influence on the girls," he explained to Valdimar when he told Valdimar what happened and asked him to go clean the circle up. “But they can use the altar to play."

During another visit, a giant came tromping by the house. They get aggroed when you go near them, so Murderface decided that the better form of valor was to exterminate it. Plus you get good loot from them. Valdimar had to clean that corpse up, too. Not sure what he did with it, as it was gone when Murderface came back. Perhaps he tipped it into the lake.

Yet another time he visited to see where Valdimar had gotten with the furnishings, and was greeted with the news that there was a lot of scurrying in the basement. So Murderface had to hie himself down the cellar ladder and take care of a skeever infestation.

The work of a homeowner is never done.

During one of the more recent visits, Rayya and Murderface noticed that Valdimar had a few powers that he hadn’t told them about. The nearby rocks serve as a source of quarried stone for construction, and Valdimar had levitated a few feet into the air to get at some of the choicer spots.

Once Valdimar noticed them staring, he sank back down, then wandered over and asked if there was anything he could do for his Thane. Alas, there was no conversation option for “Nothing, just enjoying the view."

Murderface’s pocketbook was getting close to tapped out by now, what with all the construction costs and overruns. He also had his eye on a few expansions for the house, because why be satisfied with what you have when you can go overboard? Back to adventuring!

He had a few bounty letters but really, petty enforcement pays better. So he went to Solitude, where he’d previously met a guy in a pub who owed money to someone else. As it was dark and the debt owner had locked up and gone to bed, he picked the lock on the guy’s house, woke him up, and intimidated him into forgetting about the debt.

Rayya was not killed during this quest either, but glared at him the entire time.

Out on the road again, they ran into a farm run by an elf woman. She asked Murderface to bring her 20 jazbay grapes, to which he assented. She had a sister, after all, and thus he’d double his chances if he helped out.

(As you’d expect, in my play sessions to date Murderface has managed to gather 2 out of the 20, and then he accidentally ate both of them when he was trying to store them in a chest in his house so that he wouldn’t accidentally eat, sell, or use them in potions. Such is life.)

Out on the road heading towards a keep that was infested with bandits, Murderface and Rayya were attacked by a Boethiah Cultist. Raya was not killed by the cultist, who they easily slaughtered.

Murderface consulted the Wiki Gods and discovered that if he chose to follow up on the quest Boethiah’s Calling, which involves the Daedric Prince of deceit, treachery, and sedition, he could obtain a really nice set of Ebony Mail that grants immunity to some common magical attacks. But in order to do so, at some point he’d have to sacrifice a follower, and that didn’t sound particularly appealing. He may accidentally burn followers to death, but he refuses to deliberately sacrifice them. Murderface got standards, yo.

Also, I note that in the world of Skyrim, you mine ebony ore, instead of obtaining it from trees. Yeah, I know.

Upon entering Treva’s Keep to take care of the bandits, Murderface and Rayya were set upon by the inhabitants. It was very confusing for a while, and when it was all over, Murderface stood up for the crouch he’d been stuck in for the entire fight and realized that Rayya was no longer there. After a short search, he found her body. He’s not sure to this day if he accidentally killed her or if she was done in by the bandits. He respectfully looted her body and took back the very nice suit of orcish armor he’d given her. It was worth 1000 septims, and he needed that money for the house. Perhaps he’ll name an extension in her memory.

Really, anyone who rushes to battle in front of a madman who’s spewing out fire in a circle while screaming and whaling away at anything that moves with a very large, very nasty axe ought to reconsider their impulses.

She was kind of judgy, anyway.

Next time! Murderface goes to the library!

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Tags: gaming, skyrim
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