Ghosts and Doldrums
I think the adventure of this game is catching up to poor Nondrick.
Today alone, I’ve served time, been recruited by the thieves guild, killed a man over a hundred dollars, found a mysterious shipwreck, and been attacked by a ghost.
Two ghosts, in fact, that inhabit the aforementioned shipwreck. Forgive the lack of screenshots of the ensuing battle, but you do not fuck around taking pictures when ghosts are involved, not when you’re a fifth level potion merchant with most of his skills in Personality.
No point in using my powerful frost spell, as ghosts are immune to frost. No point in poisoning my blade, as ghosts are immune to poison. I have two things working for me, however. I have a silver blade (coincidentally collected the last time I was stupid enough to get on a boat), which is especially handy because ghosts cannot be harmed with conventional weapons, only silver or magical ones. And, while ghosts cast frost spells of their own, as a Nord, I am myself 50% frost resistant.
I hack and slash madly, not even bothering to power up my swings, trying to ignore the other ghost behind me. My spastic attacks don’t do a whole lot of damage but I manage to take down the first ghost, who collapses in a puddle of goo.
I’m worried about my health so I step outside to heal. The second ghost follows me and I wade in, swinging wildly, hacking and slashing and swinging until he, too, melts into a blob of ghost-flavored pudding.
Whew. I actually did okay. My health didn’t even drop to half. Plus, I’ve now got a place to spend the night, as the boat has a couple beds.
As cool as it would be to live in a shipwreck full-time, this is only going to be a temporary stay. I assume the ghosts will respawn after a couple days, and there may be other ghosts on the lower level. I’ll only live here one night, maybe two. I’m also a little concerned about Beaker. While I’m in here sleeping, will he wander off?
To be safe, I mount up, ride onto a rocky hill, and jump Beaker onto the deck of the ship. Hopefully he’ll stay put for the night.
I eat and get some rest, and in the morning, Beaker is still in place. I head out on foot, to the east, along the river, to gather up whatever ingredients I can find. I also switch back to wearing leather armor. The steel and iron is good for protection, but man does Nondrick walk slow when wearing it.
The day is fairly uneventful, save running into an Imperial Legion Hunter, killing a mudcrab, and, oh, very nearly dying after being double-teamed by two imps, one that roasted me with fire and another that shocked me with lightning. At the same time.
Again, not much in the way of screenshots because I was much too busy trying to stay alive. How close a call was this one?
The closest yet. The arrow is pointing to my health bar, or rather, where my health bar should be. It’s so low you can barely even see the end of it. Yoikes. I need some sort of Imp-proof outfit, clearly, because these guys are getting pretty vicious. I might have to invest in some sort of conjuration spell so they don’t gang up on me so badly.
I heal up and head back for the night. In the morning, I try to get Beaker off the boat with mixed results.
I’ll say this for Beaker: he’s got good posture, even when slowly sliding backwards off a shipwreck. Eventually, we’re back on land and heading south again. Tired of getting ambushed by bandits, we follow the river and stay off the road.
I come across Blankenmarch, a small settlement populated by three NPCs who walk back and forth, having stilted conversations when they happen to bump into each other, which is every time they turn around. It’s a pretty tiny town. I leave Beaker behind, and scour the area, still coming up short on curative ingredients. At some nearby ruins, some creature unlucky enough to have noclipped through the stairway growls and claws at me through the stone, but can’t free himself except for one paw.
I’m not sure what it is. A troll, perhaps. I give it a wide berth.
I come across a tomb by the river. It sports a headless statue and some scattered bones.
I take action to correct the problem.
There. Now he has a head.
Later, I find a dead deer.
Hey, look. Those are some pretty big mushrooms.
Yeah, they’re some big mushrooms all right.
Hah. Hah! Take that, game of Oblivion! You think you can force adventure on me? On me? Bring on your haunted ships and mysterious messengers! I’ll respond by inspecting dead deer and noting the size of fungus! Try to entice me into becoming a shady, selfish thief? I just took time out of my day to make sure a statue had a head.
When are you going to learn, Oblivion, game packed with thrills and adventure? You can’t win. You can’t beat me. You can’t beat me because I’m not even playing the same game.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to Leyawiin to sell my mushrooms. Some of them are quite big!