Old man in Skyrim – Part 8

The Premise

Skyrim is a vast sprawling game, you can pretty much do anything you want, so I decided to live in Skyrim, to see how an old man coped with the harsh environment and bizarre folk that inhabit this land. This is my tale!

The Rules

80 year old man in Skyrim.

Only doing what an average 80 year old can do.

No constantly running, using shouts (special powerful magics), magic or fast travel.

No murder or stealing or anything unethical, should always try to run away from a fight.

Read part seven here – https://radiothax.com/2013/10/25/old-man-in-skyrim-part-7/

Day 9

Yesterday was a terror the likes of which I never want to repeat, I vow to myself I will have absolutely nothing to do with tombs, crypts, graves, zombies or anything of that ilk, I’ll never go into a basement again if I can help it.

As if to act as a literal metaphor for my mood, the weather is cold, dark and brooding out on the moors when we get up, we’re going to head back to Solitude and sell these wares. I head off, passed the bandit camp, the noble man’s horse has disappeared now. The quicker I’m away from here the better!

Then on the road I meet 3 travelers on their way to a wedding, I simply can’t resist a wedding, I’ve never been able to walk passed a wedding and not gate crash, so I tag along, whether they want me to or not. I want to see what happens when they get to the bandits camp, will they fall into a void?

Let's hope they last longer than my last 3 friends
Let’s hope they last longer than my last 3 friends

We reach the bandits camp, a thief runs up behind us, before anyone can unsheathe any weapons, the thief trips over a boulder and falls on the floor dead! And I thought my ankles were weak!

The wedding party slowly amble up the road, the rain doesn’t seem to affect them the way it does me, I’m soaked through and it’s very cold! They start walking slower than I can bear so I walk ahead desperately hoping to find a house or ideally a pub.

20 minutes go by, I can barely focus I’m so cold, I look at the map, there is nothing anywhere near me. No towns, hamlets, villages or heated bus shelters. This is it, I’m done for! The cold wet fog surrounds me, enveloping me in its damp icy grip, all is lost, Meeko is no where to be seen. I am doomed!

So cold, eyes frozen!
So cold, eyes frozen!

Then out of the gloom, a glow appears, what is it? Zombie bandits? Bard ghosts looking for a poetry fix? A pack of pillaging crabs? No, it’s the light of a fire, a fire right by a building! THEBUILDINGSAPUB! I go in and get warm by their fire, without buying a drink, I’m not sure the barman is too happy about me availing myself of his fire without paying him, but i don’t care I’m bloody freezing! A few minutes later I warm up and go outside to check out the town.

I explore Rorikstead, it’s small and communal, the people here all seem to be farmers. I don’t take too long looking round because I’m freezing to death. I’m cold, wet and miserable again. I make my way to the barman, he greets me with a warm welcome, I open my coin purse and realize I’ve amassed over 500 gold coins! I’m relatively well off. I celebrate by drinking two whole bottles of mead. I contemplate the past two days; it’s been awful, I vow never again to do anything like that again, no more tombs, crypts, vaults, grave yards or highly populated forts. But at least now I’m warm, dry and drunk.

Once I’ve warmed up I head out and have a look around the town again. The only thing of note I find is a lone gentleman sitting on his own. I’m sure I heard him throw something on the floor when I walked in, so I search around, and spot some adult literature, the dirty little bugger!

50 shades of green
50 shades of green

Who should walk into town but my three wedding ‘friends’, I walk over and join them, they look cold and thirsty. Unsurprisingly they walk into the pub, hurray, new drinking buddies! We all sit in the inn and no one says a single word to anyone.

Let the good, but utterly silent times roll!
Let the good, but utterly silent times roll!

I feel I might be impinging on their revelry so I go rent a room for the night, thankfully this place is bard free, unfortunately it’s also door free. I sit in my room and can’t help but drink two more bottles of wine; I get drunk which helps me forget Dead Men’s Respite. It helps me forget because I pass out!

Stop watching me while i sleep!
Stop watching me while I sleep!

Day 10

When I wake up I look for the wedding party, they have disappeared, bastards, I knew they didn’t like me. So Mekko and I set back on our way to Solitude to get rid of this damn poem and tell the bards to go stick their barding up their backsides. I signed on for this for the music, not for the hordes of zombies, ghosts and massive spiders.

The walk back to solitude is pleasant, the weather is fine and nothing horrific happens. The only thing of note is that I meet this happy band of god knows what. They tell me to ‘beat it’ so I leave them to it, whatever that might be.

We few, we happy few
We few, we happy few

I arrive at Solitude in the late evening and hand in the poem, the ungrateful bastard doesn’t look happy, apparently the poem is incomplete and mostly unreadable. I call him a swear word and begin to walk away. Then I turn round and ask the man if we can just make it up. He says yes! Yes?! Why did I have to go find the funking poem in the first place if we can just make it all up!? Everything I have done has been a giant waste of time, I swear again!

Here's your god damn poem, it better rhyme!
Here’s your god damn poem, it better rhyme!

The man makes up the poem, it’s dreadful, it doesn’t rhyme and the symbolism is shallow and void of deep meaning. But the pointy chinned fool seems happy and he goes and presents it to the court. He reads it out to the queen or what ever she is, it is very tedious, I didn’t sign on to be a bard to read out bad poetry.

There was a man from Nantucket
There was a man from Nantucket

Then something happens that baffles me, the court love it! What? Why do they like it so much? Meh, either way this festival will go ahead, which is apparently the whole point, which is news to me. At the festival I am going to be initiated into the bards college. I will become a bard, I’m conflicted about this now. Will I have to stand in a pub and annoy people all night?

I go to the bards college and tell them this festival, of which I’ve only just become aware, is now ‘back on’.  Jorn is very happy about this! The party begins at dusk.  Just enough time for me to harvest all the flowers and plants that have grown in the days since my departure.

Dusk comes and the party is in full swing when I get to the college.  There are tables of snacks and food all about, and they’re free to try, I’m not a greedy man so I just sample one of each.

Mmmm boiled cream treat, sounds delicious!
Mmmm boiled cream treat, sounds delicious!

I then go to the main festival attraction.  Good lord it’s grim, haven’t they heard of tinsel and fairy lights? It’s so gloomy it makes Halloween look like Easter!

Bard festival, it's about poems not lights and colour!
Bard festival, it’s about poems not lights and colour!

They set fire to a big straw man and for some reason at the same time announce I’m a bard. Well whoopee shit! This couldn’t feel more anti climatic if it tried.  I have a chat with a few of my fellow bards, and the cheeky gits all ask me to go on deadly missions for them. I return to my ‘go to’ response and simply walk away from them.

Where's Edward Woodward when you need him?
Where’s Edward Woodward when you need him?

I now need to off load all this junk I seem to have acquired on my travels. From it I manage to make a very nice fur lined tent, no more freezing to death for Cecil! Then with the gold I have made, I get completely drunk. Again! It numbs the memories of Dead Men’s Respite! My favorite bard blathers on while I sit in the inn and contemplate my next move. What should I do? I can’t stay here, I may be a bard but there is no bed for me in the college. I can’t make a living from chopping wood, I would die in a week of such hard labour. No, I think a warmer and drier climate is required!

I look at my map, the furthest city south is Riften, it looks nice I suppose, there is a nice big lake there and there seems to be less snow. Yes, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll move to Riften! It’s a mighty undertaking and it means walking across all of Skyrim but if I make it alive I have a feeling I will be very happy there!

I'm moving to Riften
I’m moving to Riften

But first, I drink and listen to this bard one last time!

A booze, my true friend!
A booze, my true friend!

End of Chapter One

Coming next time – There and hopfully not back again, An Old Mans Tale

Coming in a while, when i’ve done it!

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