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.
Fast-travel surprisingly only takes two in-game hours from Redwater Slough to the house of Melisande the witch. I go inside and give her the ingredients for the cure vampirism-potion. She is delighted that I made it and especially impressed with me killing Hindaril, which is weird as I have fought more formidable foes before and I am, after all, only level 7. There must be much tougher guys out there. But then again the game apparently scales enemies to my abilities, which is nice as I can pretty much go anywhere and not instantly die, but it does strain my suspension of disbelief to hear that something Martor has killed at this stage was so impossible to kill. The other problem with the scaling is that it doesn't really matter if I level up, as things seemingly level up with me. Yes, I get more points in, say, strength but it still takes as many hits to kill enemies.
Be that however it may be, the witch says she'll need 24 hours to brew the cure. That means I have to wait out this night and hide another day. I decide to go to one of the towns and try to get lodging. I figure I'll need a rather run-down tavern to actually do business with me so I decide to go to the most run-down part of the Capital, which is the port-area. I'll see if I can get a room in that former ship that is now a tavern. So I fast-travel there.
As I had hoped, the place is run-down enough that the owner lets me sleep there, not even mentioning how crappy my face looks. I go to sleep and decide to rest for long enough to last me to the next night – seventeen hours in total. I go to sleep, excited that this may very well be Martors last night as a vampire.
As I wake up I read a prompt that makes my heart skip a beat. Instead of the regular nightmares that have plagued Martors sleep ever since he turned into a vampire who refuses to drink blood, there is a text saying that apparently someone MOVED the ship OUT ONTO THE SEA. Oh no. Oh no! I was just going to get out of here, fast-travel to the witch and then becoming a human again. What kind of press-ganged side-quest-bullshit is this? I leave my cabin, praying that this doesn't transport me to some stupid island full of adventures. If so, is there a place where I can safely spend the day? This can't be happening.
Right outside my cabin door, there is a guy who is apparently rather confused as to my presence and then wants to kill me. I kill him right back, then free the orcish bouncer of the place, who had been locked up in the hold. He tells me that he wants me to free the owner of the tavern/ship, who has been taken hostage in his room, and also kill the guy who is currently helming the ship, sailing it to parts unknown. That guy also has the key to the owners room. I go up and confront the guy at the helm, quickly dispatching him. Then I go back down and enter the owner's place. There is a woman here, apparently the leader of the pirates, and her hostage who is completely unrestrained. I give her a chance to surrender, which she declines and attacks. She does some kind of magic during the following sword-fight, draining Martors stamina and slamming him down on the ground repeatedly. At the same time I accidentally hit the owner of the tavern, who thought it was a good idea to get in between two people fighting with two-handed swords. He feels insulted and joins the fray, on her side, not mine.
At some point I need to drink some health-potions, which I can luckily do while paused, then I finally, badly wounded, kill the pirate. This doesn't stop the tavern owner from attacking me, so I need to load the game and do the fight again. After the woman is finally dead, her sword apparently having been the source of the magic nearly defeating me, both the owner and his bouncer tell me to rest until we're back in port. Apparently the pirates thought that the owner knew the position of some treasure. Whatever. I go and sleep for an hour.
Leaving the cabin we're back in port. The owner tells me that I probably want to know what he did to the pirate leader. I don't but he says he handed her over to the guards and there was a bounty on her head. He gives me 150 gold pieces and I finally get to leave. Outside there is a group of guards and I lose all quest-items from the quest, leaving my inventory a little less cluttered with keys. I fast-travel back to Melisande and finally get there at 4 am. She has the potion, one for me and a quest-item-one for the count of Skingrad. I immediately drink the potion and am of course, totally overweighted with loot at this point. Crap. I dump a lot of the less worthy equipment, among which was my bow (an accident, of course). Then I go out of the house, human again. Now for the count of Skingrad, so I can finally put this quest to rest.