Tag: skyrim

The old man in Skyrim – Part 15

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 fourteen here – https://radiothax.com/the-old-man-in-skyrim-adventures/old-man-in-skyrim-part-14/

Previously on ‘An old man in Skyrim’

Cecil Had made it to Riften and found a church which gave him an amulet which showed all potential ladies that he was single and wanted to take a wife.

The story continues….

If I’m to go a wooing then I think my whole appearance needs a face life, not just my clothes, but my face too, it’s frightfully saggy! I imagine there are people willing to cut my face up, but far fewer who would be willing to stitch it back together again to make me look 10 years younger. No, my face can stay old but my garments can be changed to something far more sensual! Something low cut to show off my chest and tight enough to snuggly house my old man buttocks!

So a trip to the tailor is required, but a house of fine garments and cloth is no place for a dirty mutt who might wee on some fine leather, so for the first time ever, I order Meeko not to follow me and stay put in the room at the inn, and like the well trained hound he is, he sits down and starts sniffing his bum!

Sit Meeko sit, Good dog
Sit Meeko sit, Good dog

I walk around the town for quite some time before I realise that maybe this town isn’t the upmarket cultural hub I thought it was, none of the shops sell fancy garments, certainly no formal dress wear, only armour!

It’s half past 5 before I decide to give in and buy some semi fancy armour, the one I go for has studs on as it’s subliminal messaging, ladies will see the studs, think “stud” and associate me with studs, thus they will think I’m a stud! I cannot fail!

It's all signals!
It’s all signals!

This is how I now look, as handsome as any man in pointy leather clothes. As soon as I parade around town ladies start to gaze in my direction! Nothing screams sexy like bear arms apparently! I pop on my amulet of marriage and see if I can woo any maidens out of their bras. First stop, bar skanks!

This one is not happy to see me!

 

Typical woman!
Typical woman!

Despite my very best efforts to woo these beautiful ladies of Riften, I find the task quite hard, and but quite hard I mean impossible! I don’t know what it is about me, maybe I’m too sexy for this armour, maybe it’s my fancy hat or wrinkled old man face, but every woman I speak to seems angry at me, they hardly want to talk to me let alone even contemplate the idea of spending the rest of our lives together, which given how old I am, won’t be that long! I don’t want to sound sexist but what a bunch of fridged moo cows!

The constant rejection is getting to me so I decide to go back to the inn, however I get a bit turned around in the odd streets of Riften and find myself at a big castle, I would like to live in a castle! I try my luck chatting up the ladies dwelling within, firstly I talk to this woman who instantly starts talking pure poppycock!

A fine experimentation, I'm sure!
A fine experimentation, I’m sure!

I thought things were going quite well but in the end she just asks me to go on some dangerous quest for some science mumbo jumbo, I get bored by her ramblings and start looking around the room while she waffles on, behind her there is a very rich looking woman so as is my want I walk away from the science lady while she’s in mid-sentence! I try chatting to the rich looking woman; unsurprisingly she wants nothing to do with me! Not even the serving wench is interested in me!

Dejected and rejected I head back to the inn to see how much ale I can drink before I can’t stand up anymore. It’s 14 bottles!

A new day dawns, I sleep in till mid-day then my quest is to talk to every single (or married) woman in this god forsaken town begins! By five o clock I realise that not one of them wants a chunk of Cecil pie. So I swear I shall leave Riften for ever, it’s not the exotic raunchy place it looked on the map! I walk out of the main gates and hire the horse and cart man to drive me away as quickly as possible!

Take me to new and erotic lands!
Take me to new and erotic lands!

Of all the places I’ve been I can only remember Whiterun having a couple of ladies who gave me the time of day, so maybe one of them will marry me. By the time I get there it’s midnight, it doesn’t look as inviting as I remember!

Oh moody! Like all ladies!
Oh moody! Like all ladies!

After a sleep in the inn, I get up relatively early and again speak to every woman I can find in the town. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I have this damn amulet on which apparently shows I want a wife. My clothes are of the finest quality; my face is welcoming and old. I talk to every woman here and accidently agree to do quests for several of them, I’d pretend to do anything to get a wife, and I assume the woman would own her own house too, I realise my chances of getting wed are rapidly dwindling!

My last option is to go back to my home town of solitude and try my luck with the woman of the bards college. Surely if any woman’s going to want me it’s my fellow barding chums!

I take the cart back to Solitude and back to the massive and steep hill, my ankles are once again not happy!

My friend of Solitude!
My friend of Solitude!

I enter the bards collage; it’s gone beyond a joke this! 20 minutes later and I’ve been rejected by every woman there, most won’t even engage me in conversation, let alone marriage!

Screw it, I’m in solitude and it would seem that’s a state I am going to remain in for the rest of my life! Who wants a stupid wife, with their companionship and homely ways!

Grumpy cow sack!
Grumpy cow sack!

I wander round solitude for the afternoon, picking flowers and herbs for old times sake, and also to make some money, these clothes and amulet have almost decimated my gold collection.

I need to make some more money and as I’m near my old work place (the water mill) I decide to take a quick walk back down there to earn some money for a stay at the inn.

I start to walk towards the water mill when I remember the small town of Dragon Bridge, the place where 2 vicious mud crabs killed a man and a woman, there were other people there, I’m going to give it one very last shot at finding a wife!

As I walk the short road to Dragon Bridge, I happen upon this familiar looking pair, a guard and a noble man on horseback, I’m sure it’s the same ones I met just outside the bandit camp, I guess he and his guard reunited and are travelling the roads again, just a noble man and his trusty guard, two chaps on the road together getting up to all kinds of shenanigans!

Horseback mountain
Horseback mountain

I reach Dragon Bridge, it’s been several months since I was last here and the slaughter by the mud crabs, but this faithful dog is still sat by the corpse of his dead master, whimpering for his lost companion. That’s when it hits me, I’ve left Meeko in Riften! He is safe in the inn so there’s no need to rush back to him quite yet, I hope the bar wench is giving him some snacks!

Don't eat his corpse!
Don’t eat his corpse!

The area I’m in is fairly safe, so I decide to walk back to the bandit camp to see if there was any of the loot I left still there, I figure I can sell it also none of the women here want to talk to me either!

I set off to the bandit camp, I come across another old friend, the graffitied cow and its giant owner, I keep my distance, I give the giant a nod and he doesn’t pound me hard into the ground.

Don't mention the farmer!
Don’t mention the farmer!

I get to the bandit camp and all my stuff has gone, it’s my own fault for just leaving it on a table! I decide to head back to Whiterun but do so by going via the woman in the fishing hut just in case she is feeling frisky and wants a quick roll in the hay.

She does not!

She want's to be left alone!
She want’s to be left alone!

I continue on the path, then I’m attacked by two wolves, with no Meeko to protect me I thought I was a goner but I pull out my bow and manage to kill the wolves before they even bite me. Maybe I didn’t need Meeko after all!

With a skip in my step and a feeling of invincibly and manliness I go about picking all the flowers and herbs I can find, I am in a revelry. I might not have a wife but I can protect myself and back home I have Meeko, and he’s all the companionship I need, I can’t wait to get back to the Inn and see his big slobbery face, I’ll give him a big hug and buy us both a goat leg and as much mead as we can drink! Meeko and me for every, we’ll save up and buy a house together and live out our days hunting rabbits and taking in the cool Skyrim air!

Or that’s what I thought, I wasn’t paying attention, I’d gotten sloppy, I was so caught up in picking flowers and thinking about my future that I didn’t think about my present and the dangerous world I was in.

Out of nowhere I felt an intense pain in my side, what caused it, where had it come from? I look round to see the biggest bear in the world swiping at me with its giant paws, I panic, I foolishly try to shoot it with my bow, the arrow hits it in the face yet it still comes charging and swiping at me, it takes a chunk out of my side, I run, I look for somewhere to escape to, the only place is a deep river, my only option is to jump in. I dive in. The current carries me over to a tiny island, I pull out my bow and shoot at the bear, the bear is not affected by the rapid flowing river and it charges me, I try to get another shot in but my arrow catches in the bow and forces me to accidently fire the arrow in the ground to my right, as I spin round to see where my arrow has gone the bear pounces on me, pummelling me with its powerful paws.

I don’t’ have time to think or act, the bear has shattered my back! I spin round, my back is broken, blood pouring from the gash, my sight goes dim. This is the end for me, I’ve had a long life, it’s certainly been eventful. I fall to the ground, my last thoughts are of Meeko, alone in the inn, forever waiting for a master to come home, but a master that never will!

My vision goes dim, the last thing I hear is the rushing sound of water, the rest is silence!

The End

 

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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 10

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/2013/11/05/old-man-in-skyrim-9/

Day 12
I try to leave the inn in Rorikstead, but the son of the inn keeper take me to one side and begs me to ask his father to let him move out! He wants to be an adventurer like me, I try and tell him I’m a bard first and adventurer second, and adventuring is an horrific and violent past time which will very drastically shorten your life’s expectancy. He’s not interested. I get the feeling the term ‘adventurer’ might have a double meaning, I’ve never been very good with the youth and their lingos.

I'll make you an offer you can refuse
I’ll make you an offer you can refuse

I speak to the chaps father only because he’s stood about 12 feet away from us, he tries to give me some sob story about his son not having protection and would I mind buying him a set of armour. The cheeky bastard! I tell him my patronage has given him enough coin to buy his son a fancy hat like mine, he’s not interested. Why does he expect me to fund his kids gap year? Has he never heard of a savings account? In the end the inn keepers story becomes so sob based I give him 75 gold to shut him up, I’m an old softy at heart. I go outside and tell the son he is free to go ‘adventuring’ with whomever he likes, he even has ‘protection’, he asks about the horrible things I’ve seen, so I try and direct him to this blog but he just carries on harvesting cabbages, I’m not sure he’s ever heard of the internet.

Probably be dead in two hours
Probably be dead in two hours

Now I’m leaving, one more step and it will be the furthest I’ve ever been!

Within 2 minutes of my travel I seen another band of guards and a prisoner marching across the land, have these people never heard of cars? In the distance I can see some very interesting rocks, but my ankles are giving me some jip so I ignore them and walk on.

About a mile down the road I start to hear voices, not the usual ones in my head telling me to put on another cardigan, but rather two men and woman arguing, being a true gentleman I feel honour bound to go and make sure the little lady is ok. By the time I stagger over to her the men have left and she’s hiding in a bush, she’s very racist, I leave her and her small minded opinions.

Things I never expected to see on this journey number 1: Racists bush lady!

Only people born in this bush should live in this bush!
Only people born in this bush should live in this bush!

I can see a very tall phallus in the distance. How can I pass up and opportunity to check it out? Well, I couldn’t and what do I find at its base? Not stone testicles, no a sword and a shield, ahh symbolic!
I head back to the road and spot this giant chap lumbering along, he doesn’t seem to want to talk so I leave him be, then further down the road I find this odd cow, it looks like someone’s had too much to drink and gone a graffitiing!

Urban James Herriot
Urban James Herriot

I’m contemplating how the cow could have maybe done this to herself then realise it’s very quiet! Far too quiet, for you see, Meeko is a very noisy doggy, he often barks for no reason, I like this, it lets me know he’s alive, but now no barks are to be heard, I search around for him but to no avail, where’s my Meeko? Then a wolf springs out at me from a bush, is the wolf racist? I’ll never know because as luck would have it another guard/prison group appear and leap to my aid. They dispatch the wolf and walk away. Then Meeko bounds up to me as if nothing’s happened. No indication as to where he’s been, probably chasing rabbits or pooing. I chastise him for leaving me, it was a good job I didn’t have to defend myself because I’m struggling with all this exercise, I’m in my 80’s I really shouldn’t be walking across half the world like this!

Eventually I reach a point where I have a huge decision to make, I can either continue on the path im walking on which will take me through a snowy pass with mountains, or I can take the southern path which has a nice lake but gets even more snowy than the other path. It’s either snow and hills or lake, snow and very steep. I will make camp and sleep on it, a decision this big cannot be made lightly.

It's a sign!
It’s a sign! A sign of things to come! A sign of our time! And so on…

Day 13
I wake up early, around 6am, I lay in my warm fur bed roll for 3 hours contemplating the two paths, this is such a huge decision, one I cannot rush into.

Come 10am I toss a coin to decide my fate.

It’s heads, I go North, I wish I had bought a warm tunic.

I begin down the northern pass and spot the painted cow, it try talking to her, she can’t talk, she’s a cow, I try riding her but she’s too tall and I can’t lift my legs high enough. I join her on her journey, she’s heading my way, with her and Meeko I’m kind of like a Pied piper of Skyrim, I knew being a bard would come in handy.

Out of a bush a lizard man jumps out at me, what is it with people in bushes in these parts? He demands all my monies, how does he know I even have money? Who am I kidding with a hat as fancy as mine, how could I not have wealth? He again demands my money, I try persuading him not to rob me. He isn’t convinced and would be very keen if I handed over the cash asap. I say no, he gets angry, Meeko leaps to my defence, the thief dies! As is my custom, I loot his dead evil corpse, he tried to rob me, it’s only fair I return the favour, he doesn’t put up a fight, I love it when a corpse stays dead!

Mr Lizard, taken too soon because he's a bastard!
Mr Lizard, taken too soon because he’s a bastard!

It’s been a long days walk so I make camp in a nice quiet spot. I make a point of checking all the nearby bushes for people!

Day 14
I wake up early again, I thought I heard a rustling in a nearby bush, but it was just Meeko weeing. In my haste to get some sleep last night, I didn’t notice I had made camp right next to a huge rib cage, I don’t want to meet the creature that is comes from, it’s massive!

Meeko, tent, giant rib cage!
Meeko, tent, giant rib cage!

The air is crisp and clean, the sky is speckled with cloud, birds are singing, the day looks like it’s shaping up to be lovely, so why do I have a grown sense of dread? Probably something to do with being able to see a huge fort in the distance, from my experience they contain either skellingtons or murderous bandits, I sneak forward to have a look.

I climb a small hill then spy another strange collection of stones, they look unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, I sneak forward, there is no one around so I have a little investigate.

Skyrim postcard 4282
Skyrim postcard 4282

There are strange pillars with symbols on and a lever, I can rotate the pillars and pull the lever but nothing happens, I spend five minutes playing around then it dawns on me I might be trespassing, so I quickly hobble back to the road.

I’m instantly set upon by two wolves, Meeko and my arrows make them less alive, I skin them and continue my walk.

In front of me, just lying on the road is a huge dead elk, it seems a shame to let all this meat and fur go to waste, I get my dagger out to skin and take some meat when it dawns on me, someone else may have hunted and killed this, it doesn’t belong to me, what was I doing? My moral compass has gone askew recently, looting thieves, trespassing, playing with pillars and harvesting flesh of dead animals I’ve not hunted. What have I become? No, this isn’t me, no more will I steal from the dead, if I want food or items, I have to buy the, I have to earn my own money by working for it myself and not just picking up what I find, which ironically means I go about picking up what I can find, in that I go picking every wild flower and herb I can see!

No Meeko, you can't eat it!
No Meeko, you can’t eat it!

Later in the day I bump into a farmer who is leading the graphitized cow, I press him for some answers. Apparently the cow is an offering to some giants so they won’t eat his livestock. I can’t resist but to offer my help, he politely tells me to go away.

I don’t go away, I sneak after him so see what happens, how often are you going to see something like this in your life? I follow him, he keeps looking back at me, but doesn’t tell me to go away, we’re basically best friends now. The cow seems hesitant almost as if she knows what fate is about to befall her. When we get to the giant camp there are mammoths! I bet they are the ones with the giant rib cages.

Like meals on wheels, but this meal is on legs!
Like meals on wheels, but this meal is on legs!

The mammoths do not like this farmer’s presence at all, they both trumpet at him angrily, this alerts the giant who comes running over and with one almighty thwack from his club, turns the farmer into a human pizza of guts and smush! Thank god I’m far enough away to not incur the wrath of the giant or mammoths! I look round to check on Meeko. He’s nowhere to be seen, I walk all around the giants camp, I can see 2 wolves in the distance but no Meeko!

You turn to jam in 3..2..1..
You turn to jam in 3..2..1..

I walk near the camp fire to warm up, the graffiti cow has the same idea, I can see the wolves approaching, without my canine protector I am doomed, there is no river to escape into here. I try and hide next to the cow, that’s when I spy Meeko, he’s stood by the mammoths, I try and get closer to make him follow me, but not so close I get turned into human jam by the giant, let’s hope I’m as sneaky as I am old!

Meeko?

Meeko what are you doing?

Meeko no, bad dog!!

No, Meeko stop!!

Meeko, nnnoooooooo!!!

Bad dog!
Bad dog!

Meeko starts a fight with the mammoths, it’s a fight he can never win! Every time I get near him, he runs away to attack the mammoths once more, the only thing I can do it stand in front of him, but no matter how much I try and block him, once he recovers a bit he takes off after the mammoths again. He’s stuck, the blood lust has got the better of him, he is determined to murder the mammoths but they’re so powerful he can’t do any damage to them, they just kick him away and I can’t talk him out of it! Meeko is lost to me!

I have two options
1. Kill both mammoths and the giant
2. Abandon Meeko, leave him to his eternal struggle with the giant beasts, leave him, turn my back on him, my only true friend and protector!

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!

Very bad dog!
Very bad dog!

Next time – Parting is such sweet sorrow

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 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!

Old man in skyrim – Part 4

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 three here – https://radiothax.com/2013/09/09/old-man-in-skyrim-3/

Day 5

I’m up bright and early without a hint of hang over. If anything I feel more refreshed and rested than any sleep I’ve had here. It must be the lack of bards! I get up and have some breakfast of a baked potato and set off on a nice gentle stroll.

Nice walk first thing in the morning
Nice walk first thing in the morning

As I walk down the cobble road, I pick poesy and herbs. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the river roars next to me in a soothing manor, I even find a handy bridge to allow me to cross said river to the main bit of land I need to be on. This is a perfect wonderful day. Nothing can go wrong!

Something went wrong!

Oh god, I’m presented with an horrific scene!

Murder on the Skyrim express
Murder on the Skyrim express

There is a cart here, in front of it, a horse is slumped on the floor, dead! To the rear a woman is also similarly dead! There are arrows all over the floor, cart and corpses. I inappropriately think that ‘The cart and corpses’ is a good name for a pub. The scene is truly horrific, I do the only honorable thing I can do, I walk away from the crime scene without stealing any of their clothes.

A short distance away, as I walk up the road, I see some movement on the horizon. I get closer and can just make out three figures in the heather. Are these the murderers? Will they fill me full of arrows? In the name of justice and curiosity I try and get a little bit closer to them, suddenly two of the three go into a crouched position. I back away, they stand up! I need to go down this road, but to my left are sheer cliffs and to my right is the fast deep river, this seems oddly familiar. I’m literally paralyzed with indecision for two hours, I just can’t decide what to do!

Friend of foe?
Friend of foe?

The only other option I have is to turn around and walk the other way. Unfortunately that other way is over a mountain and I certainly don’t have the clothes or strength for that. No, I must try and sneak passed these people!

I crouch down and crawl behind the bushes and manage to get a bit closer. What are they doing? They look like they’re doing some impromptu mime! I hate mimes more than bards! I stand up and try to walk away, but as soon as I’m erect, one of them rushes over to me! This is it, death! Death by mime! I always knew it would end this way! Please make it swift!

I hope they're not flashers
I hope they’re not flashers

But death does not come swiftly, the only thing that comes swiftly is hospitality and friendship! The man has run over to me to offer me a drink! I of course partake!  The men are having a party or some kind of celebration, the more the merrier they say!

The best way to start the day
The best way to start the day

The party is over, the men wish me well and then begin to walk away. That was their first mistake. You don’t offer Cecil Thax a beverage in a strange hostile land then abandon him. No, he’ll clings onto you like a drunk limpet.  So as the men walk away, I tag along! They seem happy enough with this, assuming their silence is anything to go by. All we need is a tin bath and they could make a rudimentary go kart.

We walk for about 3 minutes when we happen upon a fort. 2 of my new chums go and investigate, before I can figure out what’s happening one of the men runs away with the other shouting “You call yourself a Nord!”. I take a look around the corner to see what the fuss was about, maybe he had sexually propositioned him or asked to touch his wife’s bosom. No, it was the giant man shooting arrows at him that’s caused the upset!

That's not a fort, this is a fort!
That’s not a fort, this is a fort!

Arrows clatter around my feet, I begin to run as fast as my old man legs will carry me, I rejoin my drinking buddies and we all run. Unfortunately we manage to run right into the front gates of this fort and into the swords and arrows of the bandit’s encamped there, very quickly 4 become three then three just become me!

Drinking buddy 1, NNOOOO!!
Drinking buddy 1, NNOOOO!!

The slaughter was horrific and quick. I turn and run in the opposite direction but a woman is hot on my heels and swinging a dagger at me. I try and run but she keeps pace with me easily, she gets too close!

Get away from me you bitch!
Get away from me you bitch!

I run near the river and fall in. I get swept along by the rapid current but luckily get pushed over to the other shore. I’m safe! I take 2 seconds to catch my breath. The stupid cow woman comes running out of the water at me, with her dagger in hand! I try to run but my legs are old and weak.I just make it past the rapids in the river before I stumble and fall back into the water. The current is much slower here, so I swim to the other side and watch as the woman is attacked by two of the biggest crabs I’ve ever seen. They make quick work in murdering her.

I’m finally safe! I take 2 second to OHSHITNO the crabs are coming at me now, they quickly swim over to my side of the river and start chasing me. Luckily they are quite slow, but so am I. I can just keep out of their reach while I walk down the road. I eventually make it back to the dead horse and woman and avail myself on their cart. Crabs can’t climb right?

You can't get me up here!
You can’t get me up here!

I’m somewhat safe, they can’t reach me, though I am trapped. If they made such quick work of that bandit woman, they would kill me in a matter of nano seconds. As I’m contemplating a plan of escape one crafty crab starts climbing up the rock that I climbed up to get in this cart. I back away from it only to get too close to the other which nips my leg. It really really hurt!

Ok, so they can climb, but they can't jump, right?
Ok, so they can climb, but they can’t jump, right?

After a few minutes of moving around the cart to avoid these bastard crabs, I realise I have to make a run for it, though the crabs are slow and so am I, so when I stumble down from the cart the crabs give chase while I walk away, the slowest and deadliest game of tag begins! I back track all the way back to the dragon bridge, surely someone there will be able to dispatch a couple of giant crabs with ease.

Dragon bridge citizens, save me!
Dragon bridge citizens, save me!

The two citizens of Dragons Bridge I meet do indeed leap to my aid. Unfortunately, they are killer crabs, before I can even get my dagger out of my tunic they murder a lady!

Murdering crab bastards!
Murdering crab bastards!

Moments later a man kills one of the crabs, the other crab avenges his crab brethren and kills the man. Crabs 3 – Humans 1.

Fist Vs claw!
Fist Vs claw!

The remaining crab comes at me again, I finally get my dagger in hand and go knife to claw with the crab. Luckily for me the woman had done massive damage to it, so it only takes me two swipes to kill it! 2 citizens of Dragon Bridge, I have avenged you. A small child walks into view, he is the son of the dead woman, he takes a look at his mother, it seems like he can’t comprehend what his tiny child eyes are seeing. He just walks away with his goats.

Clinton Lylvieve, recently orphaned.
Clinton Lylvieve, recently orphaned.

I turn to hear a dog whimpering, it’s laid over its master crying, the dog prods the man with its nose and howls. In a way I feel a little bit responsible!

Which is sadder, orphans or an upset dog?
Which is sadder, orphans or an upset dog?

I walk out of town and vow never to return, I doubt they would take kindly to me. I make camp just over the bridge and have a restless sleep.

Next time – An old mans best friend

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