Day One, Cont’d: Greedy for Ingredients
As Nondrick, I don’t have a whole lot of job options. I can’t start a shop — no one would ever buy anything. However, I can find things to sell to existing shops. There are some that’ll buy clothing, weapons, armor, jewels, and all sorts of other items, magic or otherwise. And, some will buy food and alchemical ingredients.
Ingredients are my best bet for making a living. I don’t have to steal or kill to get them — they grow in the wild, on farms, and even in cities. It can be dangerous wandering around in the wilderness, but hey, I’ve got a dagger. Today, I’ll explore the area northwest of Anvil and see what I can find.
The sun comes out briefly as I stroll off into the waist-high grass, snagging a couple usable portions of arrowroot and aloe vera leaves from beside the road. I say “stroll” and I mean it — caps lock is off. I won’t be running everywhere like your fearless adventurers tend to, I’ll be walking like your average NPC does. It’s uh… it’s a change of pace. It’s… really incredibly slow. But hey, I figure moving slowly might give me a new appreciation for the game and I’ll see some things I’d have missed if I were sprinting through the landscape full speed.
So, I stroll. My spirits are high but are quickly dampened by 1) the rain that immediately starts falling again, and 2) the first thing I find on my expedition: the skeleton of a dead NPC.
I’m no pessimist, but I’m definitely not taking that as a good sign. The bones are within a stones throw of the city and the unlucky wanderer is carrying one gold piece. I also manage to scrape up some bonemeal from his dead sorry ass (hey, it’s an ingredient).
After some more milling around in the rain, finding jack shit, I spot a shrine in the distance and wander over (turns out to be the Wayshrine of Mara), pray (ie: click on the altar), and get a blessing from Mara (a poof of light) that reinforces my willpower. (I guess if I wanted to diet or something, Mara would help me stick to it. Also a help: I’m broke.)
I also spot some unusual rune-covered rocks with a cluster of ingredients around the base, and start gathering — some fennel seeds, white seed pods, lady’s mantle leaves, and a few others — a nice haul compared to what I’ve got so far. I have to admit, I thought there’d be more to find out here. For all the rain Anvil seems to get, the grass is all dead and yellow and barren of herbs. I decide to head back and try the other side of the road.
On the road again, I spot a wolf!. My first creature encounter! (Unless you count the skeleton.) I quickly duck into a crouch (or crouch into a duck). By slightly bending my knees I am instantly much sneakier and harder to see, despite still being smack dab in the center of the road. It doesn’t matter anyway, the wolf is dead. I can’t tell why — a city guard may have killed it, or a passing adventurer, or perhaps it choked on a bone from the dead guy I found earlier. Either way, I skin it and take the pelt — I can sell that too. Rummaging around in corpses is paying off today!
As I cross the road I spot a farm house, and I psychically deduce that it is called Whitmond Farm. There I run into an angry woman named Maeva the Buxom, who bitches to me about her husband, Bjalfi the Contemptible, who has run off to a fort with an heirloom of hers, a mace called Rockshatter. I sympathize, really, but I’m not going to chase down a guy with a nickname like “The Contemptible” who has a mace with a knack for shattering rocks.
Come on. Look at my face. It’s a face that screams “Please hit me as hard as you can with a magical mace.”
Instead, I wander along the outer wall of Anvil. No ingredients or plants of any kind out here. I don’t feel right robbing Whitmond Farm of its produce, but I’m genuinely starting to worry. Anvil seems like a rotten place to live already. Only one expensive inn and barely any ingredients. I can’t just hope to find stacks of dead wolves every day. What am I going to do?
I spot a weird plant I’ve never seen before… I can tell immediately it has no general resale value and that it’s called a Nirnroot. I certainly am insightful. I also spot a guard patrolling the shallow water outside Castle Anvil. Maybe a mudcrab gang has been causing trouble. I poke around inside the castle for a few minutes, then head back into town. I briefly wonder if I can sleep inside the Chapel, but it sure doesn’t look like a good place to rest.
Outside, I see some weird preacher guy ranting about something or other, but he’s clearly nuts so I don’t bother listening. I also meet a guy with an interesting hobby.
S’cool. S’cool. Everyone gots ta make a livin’. Hey, man, I ain’t judgin’. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to run away very fast.
Out of curiosity, I go see if I can sleep in the beggar’s bedroll, but I can’t because it’s “owned.” Same with a bedroll I spotted out behind the stables. I guess if I really want to sleep, I’ve only got one choice in Anvil. First, though, I cash out — I sell all my collected ingredients (and wolf pelt) to the friendly gay elf in The Flowing Bowl, then head to the Count’s Arms.
After sales, I’ve got 63 gold. Minus 25 for the room at the Arms, I’ve got 38, so my day’s profit stands at 21 gp. Not terrible, but not great either. At least I have enough for an overpriced room tomorrow night.
And, at least the overpriced room is sorta nice. I quickly snatch up the food on the table — a potato, a leek, and apple, some grapes, strawberries, and a bottle of cheap wine. I eat my earlier beef purchase, one of my apples, and drink the entire bottle of wine in a gulp.
Dang, that was a long day. I scoured a pretty large area for ingredients today, and those few I found won’t grow back for a while. I might have to try something different tomorrow, because I can already tell the ingredient plan just isn’t going to work in Anvil.