Tag: cecil thax

The RadioThax Podcast – Episode 1


The first podcast which details the trials and tribulations of making music for the podcast, in the podcast. It’s all very meta!


Find it on Stitcher

https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=155850&refid=stpr

Find it on iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-radiothax-podcast/id1300882319?i=1000394020158&mt=2

Or search for radiothax and select ‘The RadioThax Podcast’ on your favourate podcast app

 

Old man in Skyrim – Part 11

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 ten here – https://radiothax.com/2013/11/05/old-man-in-skyrim-part-10/

Previously on ‘An old man in Skyrim’
My only friend and protector is locked in mortal combat with two giant mammoths, I can’t stop him fighting them but they cant kill him, he’s stuck in an endless loop of violence.  I had two choices kill both mammoths and their giant protector or abandon Meeko forever, leaving him to fight for ever!

Very bad dog!
Very bad dog!

The story continues….

There is no way on earth or Skyrim I could kill both mammoths and the giant, if Meeko can’t do any damage to it, what chance do I have?

I have to apply some cold hard clinical logic here, I do the only logical thing I can do!

I make camp 20 meters away from the mammoths, it takes 3 days but eventually Meeko snaps out of his blood lust and comes running back to me. Tears fill my old eyes are he jumps into my arms, he is weak and shaking, I take him into my tent and feed him the last of our meat and wrap him up warm while he sleeps. Silly boy, had me scared there!

Bad boy, dirty boy, in your bed!
Bad boy, dirty boy, in your bed!

Day 17
Meeko is once again by my side and we continue our journey. Ahead I see a group of three humans, my heart leaps for a second, I think it’s my original drinking buddies, but it can’t be them, they were beaten to death in front of my eyes. I sneak up close to the new possible new chums, It’s the wedding party! My silent grumpy friends! I re-join them, they totally ignore me, just like old times. Soon the guard disappears again, like last time, I stick with the husband and wife, maybe the guard needed a plop.

Silently walking, the good times are back!
Silently walking, the good times are back!

Minutes later the guard re-joins us, and we continue our slow walk. I’d forgotten just how slowly they walk, I’m 80 and I don’t go this slow, even when I was freezing to death I walked faster than them! We reach the point in the road where I had killed two wolves, the couple stop and look at the wolves then at me, it clearly dawns on them what I am capable of, fear fills their blank faces and they continue on their walk, but now I think they have slightly more respect for me, more respect and a lot more disdain, if that were possible.

Then our path intersects with the happy group of prisoners and guards I met before near solitude, they harvest meat from the dead elk, I knew it would belong to someone! The two groups pass without a word!

Just like that scene in Shaun of the dead! JUST LIKE IT!
Just like that scene in Shaun of the dead! JUST LIKE IT!

The our journey comes to the section I was most afraid of, we’re going passed the fort!
Suddenly there is a deafening noise, a roaring, I look up, fire is filling the sky, smoke and flames tearing over my head, I’m sure I hear a loud scream, then a ball of fire, smoke and light come crashing down out of the sky onto a nearby house, reducing it to a chard burning mess of wood and debris.

Get Bruce Willis quickly!
Get Bruce Willis quickly!

I cannot wait for the wedding party to slowly amble over, I rush ahead (read, walk slightly faster than snail pace) and investigate! I make it to the house, no one from the fort has come out to have a look, there is a pit in the fire place with a twitching white sphere in it, it’s talking! It’s obsessed with ‘space’, there’s lots of space all around, what could it mean? It has an orange glowing eye as if fire has been captured and held within a metallic white sphere. I carry it out of the burning building and show it all the space around, then all our eyes fall upon this huge structure! What is it? Where have we come?

Fireball?
Fireball?

Old man in Skyrim – Part 9

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/2013/10/30/old-man-in-skyrim-8/

Skyrim

Previously on ‘An old man in Skyrim’
I’m an 80 year old man trying to make a life for myself, after finding myself plonked in the middle of nowhere, with no clothes, money or food I’ve had to use my wits, body and brain to make a living for myself, I’m now a fully fledged bard after an horrific ordeal in a cave system riddled with zombies, I only survived because a dog adopted me and has been saving my life ever since.

So old, but such a fancy hat!
So old, but such a fancy hat!

Last night I decided I would move to Riften, a warm looking town, half a world away!

Chapter 2 – The walk to Riften

Day 10
The Road to Rorikstead

I wake up from a sleep that felt like a life time. My back, legs, arms and skin all ache from my recent endeavors. This is no life for an old man, looking around the inn, the faces of the patrons are all haggard and worn, yet they must only be in their mid 30’s, this is a harsh place to live, not many folk make it to 80 and those that do, do not go venturing in caves fighting zombies.

I need to retire and as I decided last night in a drunken stupor, I shall move to the warm looking (it looks warm on the map anyway) town of Riften in the south. Meeko is sitting beside me looking ready for anything, he’s such a good dog, I owe him my life several times over, it’s only right I bring him with me and find us a nice restful home to call our own.

Dog, inn, Bard - A usual night for me
Dog, inn, Bard – A usual night for me

We get up, thank the barman for his bard filled hospitality and leave his establishment!

It’s pissing it down with rain!

We turn 180 degrees and walk back into the pub, I’ve got over 1000 gold, I’m practically a millionaire so I rent the room for another night till the storm passes. I splash out on 3 bottles of booze and some of the mystery meat I have become rather fond of. I make my way back to my usual room, which thankfully has been cleaned now, and I tuck into the foods I bought. The bard strikes up her wondrous enchanting drum music and I drift off to a long relaxing sleep.

Day 11
When I wake and go downstairs a man comes up to me and begs me to find a long lost drum, I tell him ‘not on your nelly old boy’, he tells me it’s priceless, I tell him I don’t give a funk and do my now customary manoeuvre and walk away, but as I do I accidentally ask him to teach me some speech techniques. I’m not sure how I agreed to it and I certainly don’t plan on making any impromptu speeches or sermons, but I accidentally agreed to pay him 250 gold to teach me, so I let him teach me. Minutes later im slightly more confident at public speaking but down 250 gold! Balls!

That's a very nice hat!
That’s a very nice hat!

I go outside, it’s still raining, I decide to leave before I accidentally sign myself up for life drawing classes or an accounting course!

From Solitude there are two main paths to Riften one via a northern pass which is covered by snow, ice and mountains or a southern path which is also covered by snow and mountains but less snow, however the path is much steeper. Both ways have advantages and disadvantages. I don’t have to decide which path to take yet as I have to travel to Rorikstead again as that’s where the road diverges into this north/south dichotomy.

As I walk I pass a few familiar places and faces on the way, the guard outside Solitude then the folks of Dragon bridge, who haven’t come back to life.

Bring out your dead!
Bring out your dead!

This journey is like a walk down literal memory lane, eventually I enter the bandits camp, just to check things are how I left them.

They are!

I will not search this bandit!
I will not search this bandit!

While looking around the camp I spot three strange tall stones in the distance that I’ve never seen before. I figure I’ll never come back here again so I best take every opportunity to see what I can while I’m here.

I make my way to the three stones and look at what they OH GOD!

1, 2, 3! How many corpses can you count children?
1, 2, 3! How many corpses can you count children?

There are three very dead people here, and watching over the very dead corpses is one very large and very alive cat or lion. I don’t waste time checking on its genus. Meeko the brave jumps in and goes paw to claw with it. The cat takes one swipe and sends Meeko about 20 feet through the air, I’m certain he’s dead and as the cat is bounding towards me, I will be following him to the afterlife very shortly.

I turn and fall off a cliff into the fast flowing river that has saved my life before, cats hate water, but this giant bruit doesn’t and dives right in.

That's one wet pussy!
That’s one wet pussy!

I swim over to an island, the cat luckily gets swept slightly further down river to another small island. Then something happens that blows my mind! A crab, a lowly crab pinches the cat with one claw and kills it! It didn’t even break a sweat, but then I don’t think crabs can sweat. The crab goes back to munching down it’s krill lunch and I make my way to shore, avoiding the deep fast flowing parts of the river.

That cat's got crabs
That cat’s got crabs

As soon as I get on land Meeko comes bounding up to meet me, he looks a little battered but mostly fine. I give him the best reward any dog can hope to get from a human, a pat on the head. We then make our way back to the road to Ror OH GOD ANOTHER CAT! Luckily for me Meeko must have done some damage to this one because it dies when I shoot an arrow at it, it probably also helps Meeko is attacking it too!

I go take another look at the scene of death I was looking at before the cats attacked us, yup, it’s horrific! I make my excuses and leave but not before skinning the cat we killed, its skin will make a nice pair of boots and a handbag.

We make it to Rorikstead by early evening and I do the only thing I’m good at, renting a room at the inn and buying meat and booze! I make full use of the facilities and sleep for 14 hours, the cat fight has really taken it out of me, literally, I think I’ve pooed myself!

Rorikstead, picture postcard lovely!
Rorikstead, picture postcard lovely!

Now it’s time to head out, onto the untraveled path, a new adventure awaits and it begins with one small step. I’ll just buy some traveling mead for the road!

Next time – The road less traveled

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!

Old man in Skyrim – Part 7

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 six here – https://radiothax.com/2013/10/18/old-man-in-skyrim-part-6/

Day 8

I’m woken up by the sound of a woman screaming. Meeko and I rush out to search for her. Two hours later we find a dead Stormcloak courier just lying on the road. There are no signs of struggle, she hasn’t been robbed. I of course don’t steal her belongings, she hasn’t done me any harm, I won’t grave rob, unless they have tried to murder me. Maybe she had a heart attack.

How did she die?!
Death by invisible breast pinch?

I take a while to rest and plan my day, then while I’m sitting at a bench eating my mid-morning raw potato, I see a tiny island not 50 feet away from the bandit camp. This is where I was meant to be going all along! So everything I’ve done since finding out about this treasure has been a huge waste of time.

Meeko won’t be able to swim to the island as the current seems very strong, so I order him to stay. I can’t risk my only friend and protector being washed away. The only problem is, if I run into trouble on the island I will have to defend myself.  Though what trouble can I get into on this tiny island? At worst a scraped knee from slipping over maybe.

Sit Meeko sit, good dog!
Sit Meeko sit, good dog!

I can see the chest on the island and use the handy stepping stones to get to it, if I fall I’ll probably get swept into the rocks and crack my skull open. This chest better be full of gold and fancy diamond garments! I get across without hassle and get to the chest. IT’S LOCKED!  I swear for about 5 minutes then realize I have the key in my pocket, it was by the bandit chiefs bed. I look around to see if anyone’s witnessed my sweary outburst. I can’t see anybody, embarrassed I unlock the chest. And the haul? 90 gold, some rubbish boots and a gem worth about 80 gold!

Phwar, look at that booty!
Phwar, look at that booty!

I’ll be honest, it’s hardly a life’s savings, what was the bandit chief going to do with this nest egg? Spend a week in an inn then buy a cardboard box with a view of a sewer?

Well that was worth risking my life for! I meet up with Meeko and realize I’m struggling to carry all the junk I’ve acquired. It’s a long walk back to solitude to sell all the things I’ve plundered so I dump the worthless heavy junk in the nearest chest. After yet another disappointing quest I decide I’m going to just have a look back in Dead Men’s Respite, Meeko might be able to easily defeat these zombies, he’s pretty handy with his teeth and I have a bow and some arrows now, I don’t see anything morally wrong with killing zombies, they’re already dead.

We go in, I can hear some shambling from lower in the chamber. Meeko rushes ahead and take two of them down instantly, I manage to shoot one back to death then the final one is dispatched by a shot from me and a bite from Meeko’s teeth.

Meeko does the damage and I finish them off!
Meeko does the damage and I finish them off! Tag team zombie murder!

I now have the grim task of searching their corpses, they have a modest amount of gold each, how they earned it I’ll never know, zombie bob a job? I also pull my arrows out of their impaled guts. In the next chamber? Oh just giant spiders! Thankfully they only take one arrow to kill, I’m pretty handy with this bow!

The horror!
The horror!

After several chambers of the most horrific thing’s I’ve ever experienced in my life I have to stop and sit down, I’m so terrified, death surrounds me at every turn. This is the stuff of nightmares, this is an horrific dream I can’t seem to wake from.  Still, at least it can’t get worse than zombies and giant spiders.

Oh, it got worse!

There are giant swinging axes! Why are there giant swinging axes? Who built this place? What possible use could a passage of giant swinging axes ever have? Meeko manages to run through without getting hit. I’ve got two big zombies following me, I’ve no choice but to make a run through, this could be the end. I run the gauntlet, luckily the adrenaline of the constant horror keeps me sharp and spry, I make it through, the two zombies following me can only muster a slow shamble and the axes make light work of them. I guess that is the only use a passage of giant swinging axes has!

What possible practical use is this!?
What possible practical use is this!?

In the next chamber the ghost appears and sits next to a corpse holding a book, I can see it’s the poem I’ve been looking for. Will the corpse now read me a passage? Thankfully no. I punch the ghost in the face for putting me through this ordeal

Take that you dead bardstard!
Take that you dead bardstard!

He stands up and beckons me to follow him, I assume for a reward. He leads me to a big door which is opened by the red claw thing I picked up days ago. The giant door slowly opens revealing a room with so many corpses I can’t count them all. They of course all spring to ‘life’ but to my intense happiness they all attack the ghost. He fends them off with Meekos help and I chip in with my arrows from a very safe distance.

Zombie conference, with ghost guest speaker.
Zombie conference, with guest ghost speaker.

We eventually dispatch them all, this sure is some hard core poetry! The ghost breaks out his ghost lute and strums a tune while I search the corpses for gold and the what not. I find a key on a fancy looking zombie, it opens a door and a chest, I take the gold and grab Meeko and hobble out of this hell hole as fast as I can.

Ghost jazz funk
Ghost jazz funk

We make it onto the moors, its night, I’m utterly petrified, I make my tent near the fisher woman’s hut and weep myself to sleep!

You weren’t  there man, you don't know what it was like!
You weren’t there man, you don’t know what it was like!

Old man in Skyrim – Part 6

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 five here – https://radiothax.com/2013/10/17/old-man-in-skyrim-5/

Day 7

Let's look for treasure!
Let’s look for treasure!

I wake up to the sounds of Meeko barking and sniffing loudly, I suspect I have severe night farts. There is certainly a smell that would attest to this. I get up, eat a lump of some food, I’m not sure what exactly, more mystery meat. I check my map and see an island that I suspect the treasure might be on, so we head in that direction. The only problem is that we can’t get round or passed the cliffs, the bandits certainly chose a good impenetrable spot. The only options I can see is either going back the long way around, past fort skellingtons and that angry bear or heading off onto the moors and trying to climb round via that way or heading south and trying to cross the river and come at it from below. I take the last option as I don’t know if I can face either skellingtons or clambering over a steep hill.

We get over a bridge and spy in the distance, a buck being chased by two wolves. Everywhere on this damn world is dangerous. For the first time I unsheathe my bow, before I’ve even figured out how to put an arrow in Meeko has killed the two wolves. It’s a shame to let good fur and meat go to waste so I harvest them. We walk not more than 50 feet when were set upon by three bandits. Why won’t this place give me a break?! Meeko attacks and kills two but the third is coming at me, even though he is punching me into next week I can’t bring myself to raise my bow to him. I run away with him chasing me. Though I’m wily and run towards Meeko, who quickly leaps to my defence. That man really hurt me, he might have broken a rib. I plunder his and his companions pockets for gold, it’s the least they can do for me, they were happy to murder me and my dog, why should their corpses be rich?

Meeko, defender of the elderly!
Meeko, defender of the elderly!

We continue along the road a short way and by the time we’ve met and killed our fifth bandit I decide it’s probably best to turn around and clamber over the moors instead of continuing this way. As we walk towards the moor an unpleasant man tells me to ‘Go home milk drinker’. I’d love to go home and drink some delicious milk, I don’t know why he was so angry at me, so I just walk away from his grumpy bum. I don’t know why this area is so busy but seconds after the grumpy man, I meet a noble man on a horse, he even has a guard with him. A wise idea in these parts. I speak to the noble man, he practically spits at me and rides away. Why can’t these horrible people have been killed instead of my drinking buddies.

A toff and his guard!
A toff and his guard!

Meeko and I walk over the moors, it’s actually easy and quite pleasant, and wolf/bandit free. From up the hill we can see the bandit camp. For some reason, the noble man has gone in and walked his horse onto the bridge. What is he playing at? Inspecting the corpses? Oh god, does he know what my dog has done?! We only acted in self-defence, it was us or them. I can’t see his guard. But on the hill opposite I can see a few figures running this way and that, what is going on round here, is it a bandit conference?

Nobleman on a horse on a bridge!
Nobleman on a horse on a bridge!

I’m well rested and we walk on the moors some more, then we stumble on a bizarre scene, a dead deer and an abandoned war axe. I was thinking about making camp here but decide against it. I plan on camping by the fishing hut, but as I walk towards it I catch a glimpse of the bandit camp again. I can see the horse, but no noble or guard. Is this place some kind of human Bermuda triangle? I walk nearer and find an easy path round to the bandit camp, meaning I have wasted a whole day trying to find a route round over the moors and paths.

The horse looks incredibly shocked, I wish I knew what had happened!

What horrors did it witness?
What horrors did it witness?

I search the entire camp but can’t find any sight of the two gentlemen, where ever they are, I hope they’re happy together. I decide to spend another night in the bandit chefs bed, seems too nice an opportunity to let it go to waste.

Old man in Skyrim – Part 3

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 two here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/06/old-man-in-skyrim-2/

Day 4

Come morning I stagger out of the pub, not because I’m drunk, how could I afford that? No because my legs are numb from sitting all night on that wooden bench.  When I’m rich I’m investing in a chaise longue! I find the stall holder and tell her the wine will arrive shortly. So how does she repay me? Surely she gives me my 62 gold back and an extra 50 for my troubles? Yes? No! She gives me 2 bottles of her wine, worth a whopping 7 gold each. So I’m down 48 gold for helping this woman! I resist the urge to test out my new dagger on her.

Never help this ungrateful woman
Never help this ungrateful woman

It’s now lunch time, what delights shall I satiate my hunger with? Blue cheese soufflé? A rack of slow roast ribs? Smoked salmon? No, two raw potatos! Though while I’m stuffing the last one in my mouth I suddenly know that they restore health, don’t ask me how I know, I just do! This begs the question; do other plants have palliative properties? Maybe this is how these potions are made, dock leaves cure nettle stings, so why shouldn’t a thistle branch give someone a slight resistance to frost, it’s basic chemistry!

So like a beggar in a class room I start frantically mixing together all the plants I’ve found into every possible combination. Bugger all happens! After picking some more plants and accidentally grabbing a few innocent butterfly’s I have a combination that makes a potion that helps someone resist magic. I don’t know how tempting magic is, but hopefully this will stop someone craving it.  I rush to the nearest shop woman and sell this for a whopping 10 gold. 10 gold! For a days work and that’s the only potion I can make, one resist magic potion! Another day utterly wasted!

I’m utterly furious with my lack of progress so I storm out of the shop, out of solitude and head out to get this bloody poem. I march down the hill and reach the saw mill. I’m now not quite so furious and also very cold.  The man asks me again if I will chop some wood. In my anger and frustration I release my pent up energy on 6 very small lumps of wood.

You wood bastard!
You wood bastard!

Then my wrists, arms, shoulder, upper and lower back all give out and I have to stop, I take 10 minutes to get my breath back then sell my firewood for 30 whole coins of gold. I’m utterly flabbergasted! If I were a much younger and fitter man I could do this all day and make a comfortable living wage, but as it stands I’m not young, and can’t stand!  I need a damn good rest, all I have to do is walk up those steep hills again. The thought of going up those hills fills me with a deep rage, the likes of which I’d not felt since I’d been given 2 cheap bottles of wine as payment for a job well done! I decide to funnel this rage into chopping 12 more very small lumps of wood and selling from for 60 gold.

I'll cleave you all!
I’ll cleave you all!

I make my way slowly up the hill, only stopping for half an hour to chat to a farmer, to whom I accidentally sell my last 3 potatos.  By the time I get back to the inn I’m exhausted, but saints be praised the inn is quiet, the bard has gone! Sweet silence! I pay the barman for a room and he very kindly walks me to it. The room is oddly messy, the maid service here is terrible, the en suite bard is top notch, because for some reason known only to herself, the bloody bard is in my room waiting for me. I don’t want singing to sleep!

Mess, Bard, Barman!
Mess, Bard, Barman!

I throw her and the barman out, close the door, mess up the room some more then jump on the bed, I then tuck into the cheese I bought and drink my hard earned two bottles of wine.  I can’t remember what happened the rest of that night!

I'll fight you all, not you though, I love you, you're my best friend
I’ll fight you all, not you though, I love you, you’re my best friend

Day 5

I decide there are not enough plants in this town to let me get enough money to buy enough leather to make a small tent, there aren’t enough honest jobs in this town either so I have to do the only think I know will earn me enough money. I shall become a lumberjack!

After cutting 12 blocks of wood I retire from my long and arduous career as a lumberjack!  This isn’t a job for an old man, and I’m an older man that when I started this job and by god I feel it! But I’ve done my time and as a golden handshake I’m given 90 gold for my wood.  I feel rich! I buy the required leather. I feel poor.

Location, location, location
Location, location, location

I might feel poor but I’m on the property ladder now, I own one fancy new tent and bed roll. Finally a place to call my own, and it’s so tiny there’s no room for any bards. The wanderlust get the better of me and before I can do anything wise like say, stock up on food and warm clothes, I head out on my quest, to find this pesky poem.  My major problem now is finding a way across this huge river.

Old man river
Old man river

There has to be a bridge somewhere, right? Right! Not far down the road I come across a small hamlet and a big scary bridge. That was easy, I think this quest will be simple, relaxing and fun. I decide to celebrate finding this bridge by popping into the local pub and having a nice mug of ale. I enter the darkest pub I’ve ever seen.

An inn in Skyrim at midday.
An inn in Skyrim at midday.

I find my way to the barman, buy a drink and some cooked meat (I’m not sure what animal it’s come from or how fresh it is, but its edible and better than raw potato). The pub is dingy, dirty and dank but it’s shining, redeeming feature is that there isn’t a single bard in the whole building!

After I’ve had my fill of ale and mystery meat, I make my way over the bridge, as it’s getting dark I decide to make camp roughly 50 feet away from the pub, just in case I need to have an emergency mead.

One last wee before bed
One last wee before bed

As I lay in my tent and the sun sets on yet another day, I contemplate my existence in this world. I’m 80, weak, homeless, nearly pennyless, tired and maybe on a quest that will kill me from exhaustion or exposure, but do you know what, as I lay there, my head poking out of the top of this tent, the aurora dancing in the night sky, the moons slowly making their celestial march through space, I decide that I’m enjoying myself, things could be worse. At lease I’m out and about!  This life’s all about getting out and about!

Sky magic
Sky magic

Next time – Booze, friends, death!

Old man in Skyrim – Part 2

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 one here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/03/old-man-in-skyrim-1/

Day 2

Not a fun way to spend a night
Not a fun way to spend a night

Sitting in the open air next to a giant fire is not doing my buttocks any good at all, I need sleep, so if the bards college want me to spend days hiking across the countryside to find a poem for them, they can damn well let me have a kip in one of their beds. So I walk through the college and find the dorms. Not only are all the beds being slept in but when a man gets up in the night to go for a wee I try and sleep in his bed only to be told its owned by him and I’m forbidden from slumbering in it. I hope their songs are better than their hospitality!

In the end I resign myself to spending the night sitting on one of their benches. This wouldn’t be too bad if not for the fact that every conscious bard in the building is singing at the top of their voice. And then a bard guy comes, joins me on my sleeping bench and sings right at me. I hate musicians!

I ‘wake’ up at six (or rather stand up from the bench, I didn’t get a moments sleep in this damn place) then I notice there is a terrifying rumbling sound, like an angry bear or some kind of ferocious otter. I contemplate it for a second and realise it’s my own tummy rumbling, things aren’t going my way. There is food on many of the tables here but I would literally rather die than steal someones food, which the way things are going may very well happen!

Looks so appetizing
Looks so appetizing

I leave the bards college and walk through the town, the fresh morning air smells sweet and warm, I notice there are wild flowers growing out of every nook and cranny here, they are free for any wily old man to harvest, so I take everything that is in the public domain with the hopes of making a delicious broth or soup.

Oh god my hay fever!
Oh god my hay fever!

After an hour of gathering I find out the names of the plants I’ve picked, ‘Deathbell’ and ‘Nightshade’. Not exactly healthy sounding herbs. I forget any notion of eating these and happen upon a shop willing to buy them from me, for an impressive 184 gold, for a day’s work of picking flowers, I consider it a good return.

I spend my gold on some bread and roast chicken boobies. I save some money because my feet are bloody freezing thus shoes or some fashionable clogs are required, so I walk over to a different shop, look around, it’s full of weapons, so I leave quite scared and find a haberdasher. I buy myself some fetching shoes and gloves, and with some money left I treat myself to a very handsome belted tunic.

Sexy and handsome? Why, thank you!
Sexy and handsome? Why, thank you!

As the children say these days ‘I look radical, dude’, if by that they mean I still look like a hobo but now a hobo with warm hands and feet. I have some money left so I head back to the weapon shop and buy myself a little dagger, it’s the only thing I can lift in the shop, my wrists are so weak when I tried to lift a broadsword I fall over and hurt my bum.

I take a mid-morning repose on a bench to think about things, life, the universe and how comfy my bum is. I should probably head out to find this damn poem, so I check my map.

It looks like a long walk
It looks like a long walk

Bastard, it’s half a world away. I take another look through my things, somehow I’ve acquired a human hip bone. How the hell did that get in there? Is it mine? Did it fall out of me when that  broadsword fell over on me? I check my journal. Apparently I’m to return it to the Blue Palace for some reason. The blue palace? That sounds like a sexy and rude palace to me, so quick as my newly shoed feet can carry me, I walk there.

As it turns out I’m meant to return this bone to a sealed off wing in the Palace, to a ghost. So as is now my custom, I turn and walk away, refusing such a ridiculous and terrifying request. My old ticker wouldn’t handle the stress of meeting a ghost.

My ensemble is complete!
My ensemble is complete!

On the way back into town I collect some plants that I missed and funnel the money I make into buying the very finest hat my money can buy. Then as if nature is mocking me, the heavens open, literally tons of freezing cold water begins pouring down on my head and the environs. A thunder storm, is this a bad omen for my poem quest? But surely my hat will protect me.

I decide walking so far in the pouring rain will be the death of me, so with the last few coins I buy some food and a room at the local drinking establishment with the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep. So of course as I make my payment for the room a bloody bard starts beating a drum and singing, what is it with trying to sleep and these bards?!

The soothing sleepy sounds of drums
The soothing sleepy sounds of drums

I get to my room, it’s lovely, there is food and wine laid out for me, I didn’t expect hospitality of this calibre for only ten gold. And as it turns out I don’t get hospitality of this calibre, the food does not belong to me and if I took it, it would be classed as stealing, it must just be display food. What kind of bastard leaves out display carrots?

Day 3

I sleep till 6 am and just because I’ve woken up in a bad mood and because that bloody bard is still playing her drum I wreck the room. It’s still raining! I am not a happy fellow!

Carrot nightmare!
Carrot nightmare!

There’s no way I can walk all the way to this Dead Men’s Respite in the pouring rain, I’d die from exposure. So I have two choices, either walk in the day and hopefully find inns on the way or buy/make a tent and camp on a night. I then look at my money situation. Much as I’d love to slowly walk the wilderness all day and curl up with a mug of ale and a wedge of cheese in a nice bed at night, my funds dictate that I spend my nights in a cold tent, probably lying on a soggy bedroll while spiders nest in my shoes.

So I need to buy enough leather to make a tent, I spend some of the morning picking the remaining public flowers that I missed, but don’t harvest anywhere near enough to buy even one lump of leather. So I ask some of the residents of solitude if they have any odd jobs they need doing. Almost everyone asks me to break the law for them, no wonder this place is called solitude, no one want’s to come here, it’s full of criminals.

Why the long face?
Why the long face?

I finally find a lady who just wants me to pop down to the docks for her and ask for her shipment of wine to be released from the port. A simple messaging service, I can do that. Though it does mean a walk up and down those very steep hills, but it’s got to be easier than trying to give a ghost its hip bone back.

It takes me 40 minutes to get down the hill, but at least the weathers nice, I actually quite enjoy the walk, it gives me time to think, I try writing a song about my time in solitude but can’t think of anything positive to say about bards, so it probably wouldn’t go down very well at the their college.

Not quite the bustling port I expected
Not quite the bustling port I expected

When I get to the docks I meet Vittoria Vici and she has the nerve to charge me 2000 gold coins as a tariff to release the wine from the port. Do I look like I carry that kind of money on me? I know my hat is fancy, but it’s not that fancy.

Her parent's didn't know how to spell Victoria
Her parent’s didn’t know how to spell Victoria

I try to persuade her, I give her my best puppy dog eyes, this falls flat, in fact so flat she stops talking to me and walks away. The only other option I have is to bribe her with my last 62 gold. This she accepts, the nasty cow, I was going to spend that on food, clothing and erotic parchments, she’s just going to spend it on her wedding apparently. I hope it doesn’t last. I snort in derision and leave her to her precious docks.

The stall holder better reimburse me for my gold,or I’ll throw the mother of all hissy fits, though thinking about it I didn’t get a receipt, Damn!

I start the long walk up the steep hills back to solitude, it takes me an hour and 45 minutes. When I get back into town, everyone’s gone to bed! Having had all my money taken I can’t afford another night in the soft warm bed of the inn so I do what any self-respecting homeless penniless 80 year old would do and spend the entire night sitting on a bench in the pub passed out, while yet another bard continually plays throughout the night, I’m used to it now, I don’t think I could sleep without people singing about a dragon born. Can I make a request? Yes, insert that drum in yourself and sod off!

My request is you sod off!
My request is you sod off!

Next time – Great vengeance and furious anger