“Horker loaf: You might as well just inject lard into your face!”™
Slogan may need work.
It’s a filling breakfast though, and it’s free. Today I will scope out the neighbourhood for huntin’, so I head south, towards the spot where I killed those wolves yesterday. When I get there, it’s not a wolf that appears.
What in the… is that a giant?
“Fo fum, I suppose.”
It is! It’s a giant. Giants: they’re quite big!™ When I poke my head out, it becomes clear that he’s not going to give chase. This one seems quite happy to simply wander past, quietly ignoring me. Huh.
I don’t really know much about giants. In Hammerfell they tend to be aggressive, but some will talk to people who speak their language. They’re not exactly friendly though, and I don’t think anyone’s ever lived among them or secured an alliance or trade or anything like that.
I don’t know any Giantish, so I’ll follow suit with this guy and leave him be. A red wolf, on the other hand…
The big bad wolf about to have it shoved, yesterday.
Gets an arrow up the jacksie. Showing unusual intelligence for its kind, the wolf runs away, and almost escapes before I shoot it up the anus again. Sorry wolf dude, but I need your skin.
Then I spend ages sneaking up on a rabbit, which I miss. It’s long gone before I get another chance to shoot. But what’s this?
“I’ve heard others say the etc.”
I saw a mudcrab earlier. Horrible creatures.
Troublingly, it appears to be presenting.
One arrow to the crabface later, I’m up some meat, chitin, and a big ol’ crab shell that I can’t really do anything with, since I don’t have any tools to break it down into something useful. I couldn’t see any for sale in Windhelm, and to be honest I wouldn’t have bought them anyway, I didn’t expect to see mudcrabs so far north. I kill another, even bigger one on my way downriver, which the giant notices and seems to approve of. He’d never say so though, of course. Giants are cool.
In any case, I have lots of meat and animal parts shoved in my bag, so it’s time to head back to the inn. This was a fairly productive morning. Hunting’s not bad around here. There are a lot of dragon’s tongue flowers and jazbay grapes, too, though I can’t seem to sell them.
I’m down to 56 gold, but selling the stacks of wolfmeat and rat tails (which she informs me are called ‘skeevers’ round here) to Iddra helps top that up. She also suggests I talk to a local bum, Roggi Knot-Beard, whose beard is made of knots. Or whose knots are made of beard. She does not say. He’s stuck in some kind of petty debt guilt feedback loop. He owes her money, but she wants him to forget about it and stop moping, and I guess having a hot young thing like me tell him off might do it?
Whatever. He’s right behind me, having some lunch, so I ask him to forget about it, and then tell him to stop being such a bellend.
The result is conclusive: Nord starts a fistfight with a Redguard, gets his backside handed to him on a plate. They really never do learn. Hammerfell, bitches! It’s the future.
Roggi doesn’t hold a grudge, which is fortunate as I kind of like him, and by way of thanks for beating up the guy who owed her money, Iddra hands me some stuff he pawned: a cheap mace and some armour. The three of us then chill out together at the bar along with the grumpy Alterater… Alterer… Alterationist… what the hell do you call an Alteration mage, anyway?
“Hey guys, who wants my crabs?”
No it didn’t.
“Roggi, are you okay?” “Fine, why?” “…no reason.”
I guess maybe I hit him a little too hard? I eavesdrop for a bit as they natter about Morrowind and someone’s kids. Neither is really my area, as I wasn’t in Morrowin for long, and kids are only really useful as a distraction for predators. It’s kind of nice, though. Once it gets boring, I wander off to try out Roggi’s armour, and um. Well.
I don’t think Roggi quite has the cleavage for a cut like this. Hope I’m wrong, although hey, good for you man, you work it honey.
Both the armour and mace are useless, so I sell them and head back outside for more huntin’ and killin’, and totally cut this wolf’s head off.
Okay so the game doesn’t animate beheaded wolves, but come on, look at that follow through. Clean shot straight through the head. And there’s a goat nearby, which I sneak up on and oho! Level four!
And with it, I pick a stamina boost (stamina is SO important for combat now, especially if you block a lot, as I intend to), and the first perk on a modded smithing tree, which allows me to tan hides, and make leather armour, as opposed to just tatty storage bags. Making worthwhile armour is a skill, see, and while an amateur seamstress like me can make passable fur clothes and bags, making anything that protects against more than a cold day takes some investment.
Also significant: most of my skills are still too low to qualify for the perks I need anyway. I definitely need to improve my blocking and archery skills, but need to get more practice in first.
Speaking of which, there’s that goat I was tailing. My first shot injures it, and while I’m jogging after it I hear someone shouting in the forest to my right.
Check out the ninja fireball dodge! Okay so I totally got hit in the face with her second shot, but I was busy taking a screenshot then. Whoever this woman is, she’s pissed off, and even taking an arrow to the collar doesn’t slow her down. I take a slash or two from her dagger before I can switch to my shield and crack her in the chin with it, but my counter is wasted as she runs off and is utterly creamed by a nearby mammoth. Manny totally has my back, yo.
Tusky there calms down once she’s dead, and I drag the corpse away to examine it. She was a tough lady. Granted, the arrow didn’t hit anywhere important, but most people would be proud to take a shot like that and stay standing. She’s carrying nothing useful, but is wearing an enchanted robe.
Okay, so here’s the thing. Two things. One: I don’t like stripping clothes off corpses. It’s tacky and creepy, and I won’t be doing it unless I absolutely need the money or material. But two: Enchanted clothes don’t count. I don’t mean I’ll take them and use them for myself, I mean I will take them and find a way to disenchant them. Why? Well, it’s simple really.
Enchanting is evil. Do you know how things get enchanted? Even common trinkets with a paltry +5 health enchantment? Well, your enchanter will start out with something called a soul gem, and then they’ll go out and cast a spell on some poor living creature called a Soul Trap. Then they’ll kill them, and the spell will trap the soul of the creature in the gem. They then use the trapped soul to enchant a sword or necklace or, in this case, robe.
+5 protection from bathing chillies.
They are trapping the goddamn souls of living things and using them as batteries. They even call it soul trapping, without so much as blinking. Now, I know a lot of Redguards think that Conjuration is evil, and that Illusion magic is wrong – I take some issue with that. But if you can understand what enchanting involves and not consider it absolutely, insanely wrong, there is something deeply wrong with you. And yes, I realise that most people outside Hammerfell will gladly use it without a second thought, but screw that. I’m not having it.
Hell, even most forms of Necromancy are better than that. Necromancers are cast out to live in dank caves outside the protection of the law, and all they do is animate unfeeling, useless hunks of meat and bone. Meanwhile, the guy who imprisons the very essence of a mortal’s being in some trinket to help him piss a little further is the toast of the party. It’s nuts.
So. I will be taking this woman’s robe, and I won’t be using it or selling it. I will instead find a way to free the soul of whatever poor bastard she enslaved in order to make it. And I will do the same for any other enchanted items I find, too.
Man, Ymelda’s really taking on some ambitions lately, huh? Hunter, detective, leatherworker, disenchanter, medicine woman. Maybe one day she’ll even learn to smile.
“I am smiling.”