Day One: Fresh Off The Boat
Huzzah! I arrive in Anvil at around 1:30 in the morning, ready to begin my ordinary life of non-adventure and menial toil!
Anvil is a small harbor city. Docks, a lighthouse, a few homes, presumably shops and inns, and a castle. It’s dark, foggy, rainy, and mostly silent when I walk off the boat to have a look around. The first thing I need to do is scout out a place to live — maybe find a cheap room at an inn — not for right now, but so I don’t have to search later tonight. I’m clothed only in a vest, pants, and moccasins, and my only possessions are a dagger, an apple, and 17 gold pieces. It’s gonna be a rough start.
I spot a small cluster of my fellow NPCs on the dock. An Argonian and Wood Elf are punching each other, an Orc and a human woman are chatting about someone named Velwyn Benirus, who is apparently trying to sell his mansion. See, I’m in town for all of five minutes and the game is already hurling quests at me. Screw you, game that’s packed with literally hundreds of hours of adventure! I ain’t havin’ any!
I talk to the Orc, Krognak gro-Brok, who informs me bluntly that Mirabelle Monet, owner of a local boarding house, is a something of a slutbag. Seems a bit rude of him, since she’s the woman standing right there, listening, but when I talk to her she cheerily confirms it: she loves them sailors, all right. She won’t even rent a room to you if you’re not a sailor. I chat briefly with the two guys punching each other, too. The Argonian is a sailor named Hauls-Ropes-Faster, and the Wood Elf is batshit insane, babbling some nonsense about how he has slugs on his back and how his clothing scares the fish. Too many punches to the head, I guess.
I poke around in Miss Monet’s boarding house, The Fo’c’s’le, for a few minutes, then head for an establishment she recommended, The Flowing Bowl. I’m greeted at the bar by Maenlorn, a short, pleasant, clearly homosexual Wood Elf, who informs me he runs the place with his twin brother. I look over his prices and buy myself some beef (two gold pieces) in case I get hungry later. Oddly, despite lots of booze around the place, he won’t sell me any, nor will he rent me a room. Great. I’ve already found two inns, but neither with a room for rent, unless you’re a seaman crawling with venereal disease.
Maenlorn, and the others I talk to, all tell me about a supposed gang of female thieves who prey on the married men in town. Luckily, I’m single, so hopefully they’ll leave me alone! A few NPCs also mention that joining the Fighter’s Guild is a good way to make money, but that sounds a little too dangerous for my tastes.
So, I’ve got beef but still no bed. I head into Anvil proper, and find my way to a place called The Count’s Arms, which has rooms available… for 25 gold a night! What a rip! There’s gotta be a cheaper place to rest in this city, I can’t afford that.
Near the north gate, I spy a bedroll and some other personal belongings, next to the person they belong to: a beggar named Penniless Olvus. We chat about the female gang, as one does with beggars, and then I decide to give him a coin. Not because I can spare it (I’m down to 14 gp now) but because, frankly, I need the karma. I note that even though Olvus is no longer penniless, he doesn’t change his name to One-Penny Olvus — I guess then he’d have to change all his business cards and stationary.
A few city guards I talk to suggest I join the Fighter’s Guild as well — and I’m starting to sense an agenda here. The Guild wants fresh arrow fodder, so they force the local inns to charge outlandish prices for rooms, which drives the poor, sleepy masses to the Guild to find employment. Nice racket. I spot a supposedly abandoned house, but my hopes are dashed when I find someone named “The Stranger” is already living there — plus, the place doesn’t have a bed anyway.
He’s a stranger, all right. I’d try to get to know him, but hey, dawn is nearly here. Finding a cheap bed will have to wait until tonight– today, I’ve got to make a living.Nondrick's Non-adventure