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Messages - Cain

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19th of Last Seed

I'm starting to notice a pattern here with wolves and any kind of overgrown off-road area.  On the plus side, I now have even more ingredients for poi-uh, utterly innocuous alchemical mixtures which in no way will instantly kill someone when applied to a blade or arrow.

So, today I decided to make my way to Whiterun, the Hold capital.  Alvor, the blacksmith was quite insistent that with a murderous black dragon flying around, Riverwood was, not to put to fine a point on it, fucked.  And he's quite right.  I mean, they have some walls, but as far as I can see the only person around the village with any viable combat experience is Faendal, and if a dragon happens to attack while he's off stalking the merchant's sister, Camilla Valerius, as he seems wont to do, then everyone is gonna die.

I mean, everyone will probably die anyway.  I doubt that dinky hunter's bow he is using is going to cut it against a giant, heavily armoured lizard.  But he might just distract the dragon long enough for everyone else to jump in the river. 

Where mudcrabs will probably kill them.  Those mudcrabs can be pretty vicious. 

So, I took the path north to Whiterun, narrowly avoiding an Imperial patrol with prisoner in tow.  According to Alvor, Whiterun Hold is neutral in the civil war, but apparently the Legion didn't get that memo.  Anyway, I followed the patrol at a safe distance, so any more wolves would have to fight them instead of me.  Alas, no more appeared, so I made do with current stash and strolled into town.

And it is an actual town.  With all that passes for Nord civilization, such as a tavern, and a shop, and an alchemist.  And some sort of sweetroll based crime-wave, going by what the guards had to say.  And depressingly high prices, a sure sign that you've found yourself in a city.  You would not believe what they're charging here for a room, or hiring a carriage.  It's got to be at least 10 times what it would cost back in Cyrodiil.  Simply scandalous. 

After the Jarl's Dunmer Housecarl very nearly threatened to attack me, I gave the Jarl a...somewhat edited version of events in Helgen which did not include yours truly in chains.  And in return, he gave me a gem.  Which I sold for an abysmally low price because, well, Skyrim.  And then the Jarl introduced me to his "court wizard", a curiously arrogant and monotone individual by the name of Farengar.  Yet another individual who wants me to go delving into this Bleak Falls Barrow place...although, I will say in defence of Lucan and Camilla, they didn't sneer down their nose at me while asking me to do this.

Don't you worry Farenger, I've got some poison of arcane disjunction with your name on it.  And, once applied, we're going to sit down and have a little chat about that "your betters" crack.  Oh yes.

At least the local alchemist has proven useful, when not diagnosing me with everything from ataxia to corprus.  I offloaded quite a few potions on her, and she seems to have plenty more money to spend.

So, everyone seems intent on sending me to this Barrow place.  I guess I should probably do it, since if I don't the Jarl will probably do something horrible to me and hang my corpse as incentive to the next fool he and his pet wizard rope into their schemes.  But I'm going to do it on my terms.  I need people who know something about undead.  Based on my scant knowledge, silver and fire are always useful but the problem is

a) I have no silver, and
b) I'm not a mage

I could chop wood for fifty months straight, and by then I'd probably have the money to purchase a silver weapon, but by then half of Skyrim may well have burnt down.  I have three possible leads I'm considering:

1) Markarth has a silver mine, which is apparently hiring.  Plus side: Markarth is apaprently built in the shell of an old Dwemer city and so, unlike Whiterun, Riverwood or probably most of the rest of Skyrim, not flammable in case of dragon attack.  Downside: apparently a big bandit problem, Breton tribes or something...carrying silver out of the borders will make me a target.

2) Winterhold.  Has a Mage's college.  I did some contract work for the College of Whispers, back in Cyrodiil, "acquiring" unusual alchemical ingredients and similar, no doubt the College of Winterhold is similar.  Downside: mages are insane.  Every last one of them.  Also, it's at the very arse-end of Skyrim away from here.  In a frozen, desolate waste.

3) Riften.  Apparently lots of work, for anyone willing to get their hands dirty.  And since I haven't washed in almost a week, I think I qualify.  On the downside, lots of ways for other people who don't mind getting their hands dirty to profit off your hard work.

I think I may stick around here for a short while, maybe get some supplies to keep my weapons and armour in decent condition, upgrade my iron arrows for steel ones and see if there is any easy work available.  Also a horse, to replace poor, cruelly eaten Horsey.  Yes, that would be a good idea.

You mean the Oathkeepers sworn to protect America from tyrannical government?   :lol:

No, because that implies Arizona's politics make sense.

I'm a little surprised at that.  One of those small kitchen flamethrowers would be easy to conceal-carry on a person, which I would've thought is the only reason Arizona wouldn't allow flamethrowers in the first place - not out of concern for safety, but because they're cumbersome.

Then again, being out of the shade in most of the state probably has the same overall effect as a kitchen flamethrower, so they might have taken that into account.

True, but if you'd also seen the gameplay, then you'd see all the clever little in-jokes I'll be putting in.

As an aside, when I do get the new computer, I will do a full install with as many gameplay and graphical improvement mods as I can manage, including the full Requiem survival experience (hypothermia, dying of thirst/starvation, lack of sleep, realistic hunting) and see how far I get.

It won't be an ironman playthrough, because Requiem is the kinda overhaul where you die in the opening stages of the game, which is actually impossible in vanilla.  No joke, I got taken out three times by a dragon, just running to Helgen Keep.

Yeah, BFB wont be for a while.  I have exactly 1 silver arrow.  I actually know there is a silver weapon in BFB itself, but it took 4 reloads to take those two bandits down.  Once I can clear the Embershard Mines with relative ease, I may be ready for the barrow.

More updates as I play them.

18th of Last Seed

Well, I certainly feel stiff this morning.  All this running around and screaming and dying is clearly unhealthy.

And now I also have to deal with the uncomfortable fact I am on the wrong side of the border.  The Legion confiscated Horsey, my trusty steed, who no doubt made an appetizing snack for that dragon.  Which means I am now trapped.  In Skyrim.  Surrounded by smelly barbarians, who all walk around wearing exceedingly ugly heavy armour, belching and drinking mead and challenging everyone who comes along their path to fistfights.  And singing.  While a civil war is raging.

Oh Eight Divines.  I think I've ended up in some special kind of hell.

First stop was to what passes for a merchant in this podunk village.  Turns out he recently got cleaned out by some bandits or something, but I made do with the little gold he had, depositing the surplus arms I had acquired on my way out of Helgen.  Not that I could carry much...damn Nords, and their preference for iron armour and clunky two-handed weapons.  I also had a chance to look a bit more closely at a little surprise I had stumbled across in my escape from Helgen.  A curiously dark and heavy dagger...I can't be sure, as I've never seen any in person before, but I think this may be ebony.  Very foolish, leaving that lying around where anyone can just take it.  Well, I'll keep that sheathed but closeby...I don't want it drawing undue attention, but at the same time, I'd rather rely on it than a steel sword, should I need to defend myself.

The merchant also mentioned something about a reward for retrieving his stuff from the bandits.  Which sounded vaguely interesting until he mentioned they were in Bleak Falls Barrow.  That ancient, giant, snow-bound temple looking place in the mountains to the west of Riverwood.  The ones Hadvar told me were crawling with draugr, which are apparently some kind of Nord undead.

Now don't get me wrong.  I like abandoned temples as much as the next girl.  They're usually full of interesting antiquities, and decent amounts of unused gold, just begging to be spent.  But undead...and bandits...chances are the bandits ran inside to escape a snow-storm, and were butchered by the nonliving inhabitants.  And yeah, I'm not exactly keen on any plan which involves taking things from unnatural monstrosities.  So I've passed on that.

Asking around, it turns out the local inn has some alchemical equipment, which allowed me to convert a lot of yesterday's more...unusual pickings into an easy source of income.  I'll have to wait a couple of more days to dump the whole lot off on Lucan, as he promises he should have more septims by then. And as that pretty much took up my morning, I decided to check out the local area.

The wildlife of Skyrim is about as charming as its human inhabitants.  Good thing I brought a shield along, as it allowed me to guard my flank, put my back to the river and fend off a very angry and hungry small pack of wolves.  After that, I decided perhaps south of the town was not the best pickings for alchemical ingredients anyway.  I actually wanted some snowberries, so I decided a quick trip up the path east of town could hardly end in disaster.

But no.  This is Skyrim, of course.  While minding my own business, picking snowberries and enjoying the fresh air and sensation of not fighting for my life, I stumbled across a pair of bandits.

Now, understand, I am not normally inclined to violence.  Discretion is the better part of valour, and all that.  As a scout, my job was either to find the enemy position and report back, or find routes allowing our troops to avoid enemies.  While in theory I was a soldier, I did not fight.  I walked through exceedingly nasty weather, got drunk a lot and mostly avoided lifting my blade in anger.  The same as a smuggler. 

But in the last day I've been beaten, threatened with execution, nearly set on fire multiple times, attacked by a variety of soldiers, giant fricking spiders, bears and wolves.  And so, when I see some foul-mouthed bandit shouting obscenities and banging on his shield I may have gotten a little...angry.  And put an arrow between his eyes.  His friend didn't like that much, and tried to charge at me, but I scrabbled down the path and drew my dagger.  As he rushed around the corner, I smashed him with my shield and stuck him with the blade a few times.

That said, this may have actually been worth my time.  Firstly, because no-one likes bandits.  Not even other bandits like bandits.  Jarls and Lords and guards tend to like them even less.  So killing them isn't exactly against the law.  Furthermore, bandits by their nature, tend to hoard gold and precious items.  Going through their camp I found some slim pickings but at this stage, every little helps.  Plus, they were carrying some not insigificant weapons either.  This dagger, for example, appears to be of Altmer design, and is definitely sharper than my steel one, if not as good as the ebony.  And this mace...I'm not even sure what it is.  Dwemer?  There's meant to be Dwemer ruins in Skyrim, or so I've read.  And the first bandit I killed had some very nice scale armour which survived unscathed, because I hit him in the head.  Sure, now I look like a bandit myself, but it's of a better quality than the Imperial leathers I had been wearing.

Anyway, I think that's enough work for today.  I have a plan, which involves drinking all the available alcohol in Alvor and Sigrid's house. 

17th of Last Seed.

It'll be a simple job, they said.  Just some luxury items unfairly taxed by Imperial officials in order to help fund the war effort, they said.  A quick hop across the border, drop the goods off in Falkreath and be back in Bruma before the week is out.  The fighting is all in the north anyway, around Eastmarch and the Pale.

So naturally, by the time I've managed to pick the lock and discover I'm not carrying triple-distilled Cyrodiilic brandy, but actually skooma, I'm already over the border.  And then I get hit by an Imperial Legion ambush which apparently came out of nowhere.  Just my luck I happened to cross the border in roughly the same area the leader of the rebellion, Ulfric Stormcloak, was travelling, along with his entirely too small retinue of soldiers.

And then, just to top things off, the Legion decides that it's not taking any chances with anyone, and that everyone's up for the chopping block.  Yes, even poor, misunderstood and duped skooma smugglers.  I thought this Empire was built on free trade and commerce?  Unfortunately, the captain I tried to explain this to did not entirely agree with my interpretation of the Empire's rise to power, and may have also broken some ribs in explaining her alternate point of view.

I suppose that was a bit embarassing.  I did some time in the Legion, scout company, and can usually guess where you're likely to come across a patrol and so avoid it.  It's a useful skill in this line of work.  But it seems the Stormcloaks have been putting the hurt on the Legion some, and so they're trying out some new ideas.  I can't entirely say I approve of this dangerous capacity for independent thought they're suddenly developing.

So after my, ahem, discussion with the Captain, we were duly thrown on carts and taken to Helgen, where an Imperial garrison with exceedingly sharp axes was waiting for us.  And then, get this...a dragon attacks the town.

Now I'll admit, I may have been wishing a dragon might eat that bitch of a captain whole.  Maybe.  Just a little bit.  But I am fairly sure that, unlike that incident in Chorrol with the fire salts and troll fat in a pressurised container, I was not to blame for this.  Not that I wasn't going to take advantage of the situation, oh no.  I made for the nearest non-flammable building as fast as my legs could carry me.

Things got a bit...confused after that.  Lots of fire, smoke and running.  I somehow ended up beside one of the soldiers who captured me crossing the border.  Hodor, or something.  Anyway, I convinced him that since I was probably going to die anyway, he might as well let me aid in the defence of the city.  Not that I had any intention of attacking the giant, fire-breathing, flying lizard.  But some Imperial armour and weapons certainly wouldn't hurt, once I actually got away from this death trap of a town.

Besides, it was either that or team up with the Nords.  And I'm not so sure that Ulfric and his merry band of Nordic supremacists would necessarily welcome a representative of the hated Cyrodiilic Empire, even if that representative was just about to lose her head to the same Empire's own legion.  Plus I'm not entirely sure that their plan of enforcing the supremacy of white-skinned, mostly blonde and blue-eyed humans is necessarily the sort of program which can have positive outcomes.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we managed to escape the town, though Hagrid did keep on stopping to try and convince the Stormcloaks we should work together to fight the dragon.  This worked about as well as expected...especially on the giant spiders and cave bear in the caves below the dungeon.  Good thing the Empire still makes good steel.  A pair of parrying daggers and a crossbow may not be the most destructive forces in Mundus, but they'll do for now.

With Hadvar(?), I managed to limp my way into the charming-if-unoriginally named village of Riverwood, picking up a small variety of alchemical goods on the way down.  If there was one thing I learnt as a scout, it was how to live off the land and the various properties of various plants, fungi and similar.  At the very least, I may be able to brew something to get drunk.  That sounds really quite appealing right now...

Note: since my laptop is slowly, but surely, dying, it is not having a good time recording gameplay.  When I do end up getting a new computer, if I get the one I want (I'm waiting a month to see if there will be any sales offers, due to students returning to University), I might start doing it again, as it will be significantly more capable. 

In the meantime, I'll be using this journal both to entertain, and to aid myself in roleplaying my character in Skyrim: Requiem, now I have a mostly stable load order which is not overburdening my increasingly incapable computer.  Requiem is intended to be a roleplaying overhaul, but since roleplaying in vanilla Skyrim is completely worthless and unrewarding, I tended to end up powergaming, which is not ideal.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: Yesterday at 09:29:20 am »
That treatment the doctor had would in no way make me enthuasiatic to hand in any other high ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel, if you know what I mean?

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Duh Rugs
« on: Yesterday at 07:56:58 am »
But how can this be?  RWHN assured me, quoting a very impressive study from two RAND Corporation experts that legalising marijuana in the USA would have no impact on the Mexican cartels?

And that the DEA are a bunch of really nice guys, too.


Yeah, it's what I was taught when I did some firearms training with the Royal Engineers, so I expected it was a standard.  Though the Royal Engineers generally don't rely on guns anyway, they have C4 all over the place and a practical approach to mixing chemicals.  Guns are kinda frowned upon.

Fortunately for the rest of us, no country has yet legalised C4 either for self-defence or open carry.

I don't think we've ever had any National Anarchists.  Which is probably just as well, as I'd never stop laughing....

Is that even a thing? If so, how is that possible?

Unfortunately yes.  And by virtue of mashing the values fascists hate in with the state, basically.  Which is a very convenient way to make anything into an anarchist philosophy, for budding theorists out there.  The state supports dolphins, therefore I am a Pro-Human Anarchist.  Etc etc.

Whatever happened to shooting to incapacitate?  Wouldn't a bullet in the lower leg down most people, without killing them?

I believe when you're taught to shoot, they generally teach you to aim for the central body mass, as bullet spread and recoil (and a bunch of other factors besides) can throw off what might otherwise be an on-target shot.  A designated marksman or sniper might be able to take such a shot, but they're generally not useful except in situations where the target is already limited to a small area and usually not presenting an immediate threat (think: bank robbery with hostages, for example).  And even then a headshot is probably easier to carry off, given the size and limited movement in comparison with a limb.

Plus, even if they were shooting at the legs, it could still end up being a fatal shot.  Break a bone, the leg collapses, the bone punctures an artery, the suspect stumbles forward and smashes their skull etc etc.  Guns are generally not useful as nonlethal weapons.

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