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.
It's night in the Imperial Capital. A figure wanders through the streets, from shadow to shadow but without any real aim. It's Martor, the hero, the traveler, the unwilling vampire. The thirst must be killing him by now but his quest has only just begun. At some point, I realize, I must wait until the day. I have come to the capital because I have heard that one can buy a soul gem here. In fact, I know so, because after all I have read the online wiki about how to complete this vampire-cure quest. It turns out that without reading that, I wouldn't have stood a chance. It's hard enough as it is: Martor burns up quickly upon contact with sunlight, which I could help with by drinking someones blood. But Martor has sworn never to do such a thing.
The problem is that the stores are only open during the day. During which Martor will quickly perish when outside. I go into a tavern that is across the street from an alchemistry-shop and rent a room. Sleeping until the morning, Martor has another set of nightmares involving food that rots and is full of maggots. I get up and go to the door, formulating a plan. I ready the heal-spell, which Martor can cast four times before running out of magick, healing him about ten percent of his total health. Not much. I get out of the door and run across the street to the store, blinded by the glaring light and hurt by the sun. Inside it's all right again and I use a batch of heal-spell to heal up. Then I talk to the owner. He doesn't have a soul-gem. He doesn't have any, actually and it dawns on me that I may be in the wrong place. Consulting the map, I realize that there is a wizardry-store too. It's halfway across the district. Well at least the alchemist can sell me bloodgrass and some garlic, which I will need for the second stage of the quest. While I'm here I also stock up on health-potions, which may save my life when I get caught in the open during daytime... Martor waits and heals up over the course of two in-game hours. Then I open the door and run. I had already planned out the route to run, ignoring the people I pass telling me that I look sick, running and casting that pathetic little heal-spell. Martor stumbles into the door with no magick and a total of four health points left. That was incredibly close.
The owner of the store is willing to sell Martor a great soul-gem for less money than I had feared. That's the first out of five. Good thing I know where to find the other four. After healing up, I look at my map again, noticing a place called the Golden Caraffe close by. Assuming it is a tavern I can rent a room at and sleep until it's dark outside again, I leave the door, suffer in the sunlight and run there. It is not a tavern, but a store for whatever. Now Martor has to wait and heal up until the sun goes down. As I don't yet know when exactly that is, I have to try going out every once-in-a-while and see if the outside world is still killing Martor. At some point I have it narrowed-down to about 8 pm. As it gets dark, I leave the place and fast-travel to a place close to where I know that the ruins of Nornal are (which should contain another large soul-gem), to find the place from there.