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.
Should my path carry me to Skingrad again, I'll probably try again to talk to the count but for now I go back on the road towards the capital. I meet a dark-elf woman on the road, confused what she may be doing out here on her own, apparently unarmed. There is a conversation-topic related to some quest from back in Skingrad that she says she doesn't trust me enough to talk about. I decide that this is a point in game where I might try to practice/understand the conversation-minigame that indicates Martor intimidate/suck up on people to get on their better side. I fail the first few tries but gain an understanding on how it works, then I bribe the woman to like me anyways. Not that the information she has is of any value for me. Passing the hellgate I jog towards the capital.
I jog through along the road, fighting kobolds every once in a while, when I reach a crossing where an Imperial legionaire is coming along on his horse. He unmounts and draws his weapon and I nearly freeze as I fear that I have somehow wronged him but he runs right past me and cuts down a wolf that had been following me. Nice to have the law on your side, I guess and both the legionnaire and I go on our seperate ways. I reach the capital and go to Thoronir, trader of cheap wares who meets with his supplier at night in shady backyards. I tell him about the book I found in his suppliers basement while looking for garlic and he pretends to be shocked that the stuff he got cheap in the middle of the night is not legitimate merchandise but comes right from a graverobber. How stupid is he or does he think Martor is. Well Martor apparently IS that stupid as he agrees to go stop the graverobber and forgive Thoronir.
Following the map-prompt, I go to the city graveyard, which completely surrounds the palace in the center of the city. Martor thinks, in a prompt, that he saw the guy and a man he doesn't know start grave-robbing so I search around until I find the entrance to a crypt and go in. Inside there is the grave robber/supplier and a man in heavy armor. The grave robber tells Martor that this is a trap and that he'll just fill a grave now instead of emptying it (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). He and his mercenary are quite a tough fight, as he is using stamina-draining magic similar to what the pirate leader had. In the end, after a long battle, Martor stands in a crypt above two slain foes. I pick up the magic sword the graverobber had and look around. He had a key to the crypt with him which I use to unlock it (when did he lock it?) and go back to Thoronir the dishonest elf trader.
He tells me that I have to go back to get proof for the city guard. What, more proof than his ledger I already found in his basement? Apparently, the shovel is it (a dirty shovel, total and utter proof that some specific guy did grave-robbing – they must have quite the CSI in this city) and I bring it back to him. At this point, the spoken words and the subtitles tell two completely different things. The text says that the sword is proof of graverobbery and the spoken words mention the shovel. The text says I get the sword as a gift, while the spoken words speak of a magic ring, which is what actually appears in my inventory. I still have the sword, so what gives? Thoronir has meanwhile decided to give all the stolen goods and all the money he made off it to the temple and to also join the traders association. That's quite a 180 he pulled there but I'm not going to question it. I go to the trader who hired me to do her dirty work in the first place to see if there is a reward.
She is really pleased with me and surprised but not suspicious about Thoronirs change of character. Anyways, as I try to use the pleasant mood to ask her about another quest, about the crooked cop around here, she gets really angry and basically throws me out of her store. That gratefulness didn't last long, I guess. I go to the Imperial Chamber of Commerce to see if I can use my new ability to play the social-minigame to buy a house in the city. While I don't really need one, it would be nice to be able to store stuff, which would have prevented the loss of a lot of equipment when I was turning back from vampire to human. It works out well but the place is more than I can afford and also, by all means, a slum-shed. While both I in real life and Martor in-game have slept in worse, it's another thing to spend all the money you have saved up on that.
What's next on the agenda? Oh, yeah, I was going to stop that cult from destroying the world by means of Daedra-incursion. Don't worry, world, Martor is back on it again!