21 April 2012

Playing Oblivion: Day 3 part 4 – Another Approach

This is part of an ongoing series. If you want to start at the beginning, go here.

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. 

This time, I wait out the day in the Squandered Mine. For what I am planning, I need it to be dark when I get to the witch house, as I will leave it soon after arriving. I need to steal that soul-gem without angering the witch Melisande by invading her privacy. There might be a way and, once again, it involves my vampire-charm ability. Its effect lasts for sixty real-time seconds. That might be enough. I lay out the plan in my head and finally, after the sun has gone down, leave to actually do it.

Melisande talks to me and I cast my charm on her. She smiles at me and I run to her basement trapdoor. I run through the basement, frantically search for that soul-gem of the right size, run back out and there she stands, still smiling. I tell her that I have five soul-gems and she seems pleased. Then she tells me about phase two of my quest, as these soul-gems seem to be her payment rather than having anything to do with curing my vampirism. „Don't hate her, she's just a quest-giving NPC“ I tell myself as I listen to her telling me things that, from the Wiki I already knew. I need to get her two sprouts of bloodgrass, which luckily I bought in the Capital before everyone started treating me like the monster I could be, six lumps of garlic, of which I have three that I bought, and five flowers of nightshade, which I have never seen before. I also need to stab an Argonian with a dagger she provides me, and kill a vampire named Hindaril, whom no one was able to kill so they could only bury him to keep him trapped. Sounds dangerous. Danger is, however Martors business so I leave the house, happy that I have reached the next stage of the quest without making the witch an enemy.

Thanks to the wiki I know that there is a shrine, related to a different quest, where there are a bunch of people standing around, frozen. This is the place where I will get my Argonian blood, which I need to draw with that magic dagger. Doing that in a city would summon the wrath of the city guard, even though I wouldn't be killing anyone. In a more free environment one might actually talk an Argonian into it, paying them for their blood but this is a video-game so no such shortcuts. I ride to the shrine and it is where the wiki-map told me it would be (so I don't have to tab out of the game, I have actually sketched the important places for the quest on my piece of note-paper, giving me a handy reference map). I get out the dagger and slash the Argonian standing there once. I get a prompt that it was successful and so I saddle back up and then fast-travel to Skingrad.

Skingrad is a place where I have sold a lot of alchemical supplies in the appropriate store. Said store is also the place where I first noticed the signs of Martors vampirism so it's only appropriate that this is the place where I start to look for garlic and nightshade. I go into a guest house but the people there are to scared of me to rent me a room. I have no choice but to wait in the entrance during the day – it's going to be another one of these rushed suicide daytime-shopping-runs. Upon daybreak I get out and run to the alchemists store. The owner refuses to talk to me. I am in trouble now. Wait in her store until it gets dark again. Then I grab some garlic she has hanging behind her and make a run for it. I'll have to find garlic and nightshade and garlic is first on my list. It could be found in some private homes and I know a private home that I have broken in before. Problem is that it's in the Capital so I guess that's my next goal. I decide that I should also check out the kitchen of that small inn just outside the Capital walls and, along the way, look for nightshade, which the witch told me grows in the wild. Once it gets dark, Martor leaves for another night of questing.

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