Tag: dead men’s respite

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 5

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 four here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/13/old-man-in-skyrim-4/

Day 6

I set off after a breakfast of carrots and guilt. I take the other path, I may have to go over a mountain but it has to be better than monster crabs and bandits in forts who get really violent if you accidentally go near them. After a while I see a man in the distance. He’s seen me but is still just walking so I think I’m safe. He introduces himself, he’s a wandering bard! I cut him off mid-sentence and walk away, damn bards.

Go bard yourself!
Go bard yourself!

Several hours of walking and flower picking I see a dog in the middle of the road, it comes bounding up to me then starts running away woofing. “What is it boy?” I think and follow him. He leads me to a cabin in the woods, inside there is a dead man lying on his bed, a note next to him says he’s dying (now died) of rockjoint. The dog looks at me with its big brown eyes. I do the honourable thing and adopt him! His name is Meeko.

Meet Meeko, he's meek
Meet Meeko, he’s meek

We walk out of the woods and back on the quest for poetry. I don’t bother asking him if he likes human poetry, I suspect he’s not keen. Then again I’m not keen but a bards got to do what a bards got to do, though that’s annoy the hell out of everyone they ever meet apparently.

We walk up the road and spy a fort on the horizon, I know how risky these things are but as long as I keep my distance things should be OK. Things are OK because I see there are actual skeletons walking the ramparts so I take the widest berth possible.

We are fine, the skellingtons don’t get us, everything once again seems ok. We go off road to get to Dead Men’s Respite, off road onto a moor. It’s beautiful! Everything fin OHSHITAHUGEBEAR! Luckily were far enough away that it doesn’t attack us, it does however take fancy to a horse and attacks it to death. Meeko and I run away. The bear does not give chase, that was too close! This world is horrifically deadly. No wonder there are no 80 year olds around here!

Bear Vs horse, Hoof Vs Claw!
Bear Vs horse, Hoof Vs Claw!

Eventually we find the entrance to Dead Men’s Respite! As I stand looking at the ominous door, I contemplate something that’s been troubling me for quite some time, what if there is something deadly in here, what if something needs killing so I can get to this poem? I refuse to kill humans, and if I’m honest I don’t know if I could bring myself to kill an animal. Apart from bastard crabs! So what do I do if there are people in here? Turn and run is my only option! I’ll just pop my head round the door and have a quick peek inside. The poem might just be on the floor by the door.

G g g ghost!
G g g ghost!

I can’t believe what I’m seeing! A ghost! A ghost of a bard! A ghost of a bard playing a lute! It’s not seen me and I’m paralyzed with fear! Meeko nudges me and I stumble forward into the cave, the ghost bard (or bard ghost?) disappears. I eventually pluck up the courage to look around the chamber. There are corpses everywhere, this appears to be some kind of burial chamber, I haven’t made a list of my worst nightmares but this situation would be in the top three! I look around, seeing horrors everywhere. Then I spent an hour stuck in a room because Meeko refused to get out of the door way!

There is a table in the middle of the room with a red thing on, which like an idiot not thinking, I pick up, it’s a red claw. There is a clicking noise and the portcullis to the cave opens, one of my worst fear becomes reality. The corpses come to life! I turn, constantly shout ‘nope, nope, nope’ as I run out!

Why, what beautiful blue eyes you have my dear!
Why, what beautiful blue eyes you have my dear!

They haven’t followed me! Funk you Bards College, no diploma in barding is worth this! Keep your stupid poem! Not a chance in the hell am I going to fight zombie things! I’m a musician not a slayer of the undead. While I’m having a panic attack on the steps outside Dead Men’s Respite, were attacked by a wolf. Meeko makes himself useful and kills it. I’m not happy about the canine on canine murder, but it really was him or us. Good dog! I have the unpleasant task of getting the wolfs pelt and some of its meat, because I’m cold and hungry. Also Meeko probably needs feeding too.

We begin to walk down the hill when we see a little hut by the river. It looks so idyllic from here that we investigate. The owner isn’t too chatty when I say hello, I think about asking her to sell her house to me for 5 gold coins, until I see much bigger house on the hill. It looks even more idyllic. Maybe they will let me camp in their garden for the night.

Idyllic the Hutt
Idyllic the Hutt

We get closer, hang on this place looks familiar. Isn’t this where my only 3 friends were brutally murdered in cold blood for minor trespassing offences? Yes it is! But it looks totally deserted. I accidentally slip down the rocks I was spying from. My ankles are not happy about this. I really need a rest. Then Meeko decides to run away. Typical, I was going to lean on him till I could find a bench. Suddenly I hear some loud shouting, there is a commotion up ahead. I assume Meeko is being violently murdered and soon my own fate will be that of my drinking chums. I stagger over to where the noise is coming from only to witness Meeko killing two of the bandits. Before I can try and drag him away they’re dead, their corpses lay in front of me. I can’t help spy the gold falling out of their pockets. They did murder my 3 best and only friends. I feel I’m owed remunerations for their crime! Yes, death may be retribution but I’m out of pocket three drinking buddys, so I quickly question my morals. Where do I stand on plundering the corpses of the dead. It’s probably not good but they did murder so I think I’m ok to take what they have. So before I change my mind I take their gold, a small bow and some arrows and for good measure I take a set of their warm fur armour.

Munch him down Meeko, he killed my drinking pals!
Munch him down Meeko, he killed my drinking pals!

While I’m taking their things I find a journal by the bandit chief, it turns out that he wanted out and was stock piling gold on an island to the south. The bandit chief is dead now. It seems a waste to let all that gold rot away. It’s free for any wiley old boy to help himself to. Seems like Cecil has a new mission on his hands!

I’m feeling incredibly cocky, so Meeko and I spend the night sleeping in the bandit chief’s hut, in his very own bed. It’s cosy, and we have a damn fine night’s sleep!