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.
Those who have played the game will probably know what is coming, those who haven't may get tipped off by the title of this post. It hit me completely unprepared even though the signs were clearly there. Here's the tale:
Martor got up after a night of sleep and I decided that the first thing for us to do was to find an alchemy-store to get rid of all the loot we had acquired yesterday. Martor wanders through the streets of the city a bit until he finds what he’s been looking for and goes into the alchemy-store to sell his stuff. It goes quite well, fetching a price I find quite alright. Now, quite a bit wealthier than before, there are only two places for a warrior to go to. And there are no brothels around in Oblivion, so Martor goes to the local smithy for a shopping-spree. Upon trying on new armor, I notice something odd about Martors face (and we can totally imagine him noticing in a mirror while in a dressing room). That isn't Martors face! What the hell? He looks like crap! Martor appears to have aged decades and has also lost about ten kilograms and all complexion from his face. He looks downright ill. My brain puts two and two together and comes to one conclusion: There must have been a vampire in my room last night, the nightmare was real! Oh god, no. No. Nooooooooooo!
There is something you need to know about Martor: He is a good guy. He slays daedra and their cultists, not for financial gain or for the XP. He does it because they are EVIL. He will help any innocent who asks him for help. He is generally a simple but honest and down to earth guy. A bit dumb, but with his heart in the right spot. He cannot become a vampire. He couldn't suck another humans blood. Never. So it is trying to find a cure or to die trying. I try to keep a cool head about this. Some damn vampire must have sneaked into my room at the tavern and bit me while I was sleeping off the hard work of the previous day. What do I do now? I need an expert in magic, I decide, and head back to the alchemy-store I had just been to. Sadly, there is no conversation-option for asking on how to cure vampirism (which some in-game text at some point told me was a disease in this world, not necessarily a state of being an animated corpse so I feel some hope). The temple! I leave Skingrad as fast as I can and then hit fast-travel to get back into the capital, right to the central temple district. Maybe holy ground will help.
I get into the temple and breathe a sigh of relief that I don't immediately burst into flames upon stepping into the building. There is a priestess/nun/seer present and I talk to her right away. To my amazement Martor has apparently gotten the hint and there is a conversation option helpfully labeled “Cure for Vampirism” which I click right away. To my disappointment, the woman tells me that all they can do for me is pray for me but that won't help but maybe this guy in the university can help me. Alright, to the university it is. Of course, he isn't there right now so I decide to rest and wait. Which brings me another nightmare. Oh crap. Should've waited it out manually.
Looking even crappier than before (I think), Martor talks to the professor in question and he claims that the count (of course it's a fucking count!) of Skingrad may know more as he has a “personal interest” in the matter. The bastard! I hastily conclude that, as my first vision of being bitten happened in Skingrad and this man just told me that the count ruling that town is a vampire too, he must have been the one who did this to me! I fast-travel to Skingrad. Let's talk to him. If he knows what's good for him he'll have a cure ready. If not, he wouldn't be the first vampire Martor has slain. Biting me in my hotel room! He's messing with the wrong unknown champion of the empire!