It's early 2012 and I'm playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Why? Because I (finally) can. Join me on my path to glory and the stabilization of the status quo in almost-Tolkien-land.
I haven't gotten far away from the city, in fact, it's right on the other side of the water, when a bandit fires arrows at me from some interesting-looking ruins. I bring up the map and notice that this is a named place – interesting. Martor must get off his horse and charge the bandit. The place is half in the water, features a big statue that is strangely intact in comparison with the rest of the compound. By the dead bandit there are some bottles of dark beer sending a smile on Martors lips. Then I realize that there are stairs with an entrance to some underground dungeon. Adventure here I come! Maybe there is some of that mysterious side-quest-wine down there. Martor chugs down three of his newly looted beers and enters the dungeon.
The dungeon is, as it turns out, some ancient temple/grave in a rather good shape compared to the other dungeon right next to the capital. It is also infested with the undead. Fighting them off is not as hard as it could be, zombies are rather slow and skeletons firing arrows at me aren't all that resistant against getting pummeled to bits. Fearless as Martor is, we clear and explore room after room of interesting architecture lit by magic crystals, some of which have apparently fallen down from their sockets to be looted. I'm sure they're worth something and soon reach Martors carrying capacity. Annoyed I dump some of the less valuable stuff looted from broken skeletons and dead bandits.
Martor practices sneaking around a lot too, the zombies and skeletons don't have too much sight-range so it is a good place to do this. The place is an ancient complex of chambers with ancient but still working mechanisms. It's interesting how this always works out, isn't it? Stonework crumbles but the mysterious mechanics capable of opening doors at the switch of a lever are all in working condition. Most of the chests here, if they can be called that, are locked and I sadly lack the picks to open them. I guess the wine has to wait for a later time if ever. Every couple of fights I have Martor wait for his magical energy to recover in order to use my healing-spell. Then I come to a strange chamber that my gamer-instinct screams “BOSSFIGHT!” at.
A misty apparition hovers towards Martor, slinging some weird ball-lightning spell. The UI informs me that this is, in fact, a ghost. My arrows pass through it and so does my sword. This doesn't really surprise me (and for once I don't panic) as I used to play Warhammer: You need a magic weapon to hurt ghosts. Sadly, I carry no such thing BUT I have something the ghost is going to dislike: My old fireball spell, which I last used in that arena-fight and have forgotten about ever since. After having acquired a bow it hasn't seen much use but now it's the way to go. I retreat through the labyrinth, fleeing from the ghost and hurling fireballs at it whenever my magic has regenerated enough to do so. It's a long-winded, tedious fight.
After backing out of the ruins a couple of times, waiting for my magical strength to return, then going back in to hurl some more mystical fire at my non-corporeal foe, the ghost is finally defeated. It's looting-time and Martor goes through the cleansed dungeon and gather all he can carry. It's a bit of a bummer that I have to leave a lot of lesser loot behind because I can't carry any more and the difference between carrying within capacity and carrying a pound more is that between full mobility and total immobility so I leave some bows and other weapons behind. I do gather up some of the broken light-crystals that litter and light the place and I hope that the alchemists-store will give me a good price for those. As I am now fully loaded with stuff that is in no way relevant to adventuring, I travel back to the city once more, selling almost all of it.
As I leave the shop it is getting dark again. Too lazy to search for a guest-house to spend the night in but also unwilling to travel on at night, I have Martor set up camp right in the middle of the busy urban street and rest for eight hours. At this point I've given up on some of the role-playing aspects of the game such as always sleeping in beds or not fast-traveling. I intend to get on the road to Skingrad again tomorrow morning.