DAY 2 – Tirdas, 18th of Last Seed
I awake at about six in the morning. It seems as if the days here are about the same length as those on Earth. Having now seen the night sky I’m convinced I’m no longer in the Solar system, let alone on Earth. On leaving my room I notice that everyone who was in the inn when I went to sleep is still inside, and still drinking. These Nords clearly party pretty hard.
Across from my room I see what appears to be a chemistry set, and I head over to play with it. I start by combining bear claw with a blue mountain flower and create what may be the most niche poison imaginable:
So, that’s a poison that stops a mage from regenerating magicka, but make him harder to kill for longer…? Don’t think I’ll ever be using that one. I’m clearly not very good at this alchemy lark just yet. At least it seems to be worth something. I carry on making potions by combining random reagents, most of which fail to produce anything useful, but by the end of it I do have a few potions to sell for gold to go towards my warm clothes budget.
By the end of my alchemical session I have increased my ability and, accompanied by an invisible choir of grunting Nords, gained a level. I increase my health by 10 and take a perk that makes my sneak 20% better. I’ve been spending most of my fights hiding so it seems like the most logical choice based on my actions.
I leave the inn and view Riverwood in daylight for the first time. It seems more than pleasant, and I suddenly feel much safer – when I arrived at night it felt foreboding and the staff in the inn were brusque to say the least, but seeing the town in day is changing my opinion. Wandering the streets I bump into a woman who I somehow deduce is Gerdur, the sister that Ralof asked me to find.
Trying not to mention how badly she really needs to wash her face, I ask her where I can find a place to buy supplies as some proper warm clothes would be vastly preferable to the short sleeves and bare legs of my current outfit. She’s not very helpful:
No, I don’t. I just want a warm coat or something because I’m bloody freezing right now. I’m a little annoyed by her obvious attempt to send me off to her mate Alvor’s forge to buy weapons. It must be because I look like a tourist or something.
I ask her if she has any supplies I can have: her brother did send me to her for help after all. She’s suddenly unexpectedly helpful:
Oh. I feel a bit bad for judging her for trying to get me to buy weapons off her friend now. Especially so after she gives me loads of food, some potions and a lockpick. I’m such a jerk. She also asks a favour of me, to ask the Jarl in Whiterun to send troops in case the dragon returns. I decide that I’ll do it eventually, but I’m neither well-armed nor trained enough to risk a long journey on my own yet. I’m going to stick around Riverwood for a while first.
Feeling bad, I head over to the forge to check it out. It’s the least I can do after Gerdur has been so nice to me and I’ve first misjudged her and then ignored her plea for help. A visit to the forge nowhere near pays back her kindness, but I really don’t want to die. Feeling guilty is better than feeling nothing at all, eh?
The smithy is nearby, and Alvor is quick to tell me about the history of Riverwood. I decide to offer my assistance around the forge, as I feel I have to do something to justify Gerdur’s help. Alvor is quick to get me working, but I soon realise that I’m not actually “assisting” him, but rather I’m entirely doing his job for him – he just stands there and watches. Well, I suppose I did offer…
I make a dagger, a helmet, and cure some leather, and Alvor tells me I can keep them. Everyone in this village is ridiculously nice. This wouldn’t happen where I come from, someone in my situation would probably be living in a cardboard box by now.
I decide that I can make my money by hunting for skins, tanning them, and then forging weapons and armour – I have a bow, and I’ve just learned how to smith. I had heard it takes years of dedicated training to be able to forge quality weapons capable of use in battle, but as it turns out it’s actually really easy! I decide I’m going to go hunting after I check Alvor’s stock for warm clothes. He has hide armour and iron plate. No luck there then… I turn to head off for my hunting trip with a sigh and a shiver.
On my way out of the village I pass another otherwise attractive Nord lass with an unfortunate aversion to washing. I begin to wonder if Skyrim has yet to discover soap and if so how much money could be made by the person to introduce it. If only I’d paid attention during that soap making scene in Fight Club I’d be set. I vaguely remember I need fat, a heat source and something about a chemical that burns the skin… not sure I’ll get very far with that idea. Back to hunting then!
As I leave, Sigrid, the slightly more unwashed (and as it turns out totally conceited) Nord lady decides that I’ve been ogling or leering at her or something and so tells me:
Yeah… it’s really not what you think, missy. I like my girls a wee bit dirty, but not that dirty. And not in that way either. Go wash.
As I leave the village the weather suddenly turns misty, which I hope is excellent hunting weather – I have absolutely no idea if it is. I head up into the hills across the river and I soon spot what looks a deer, but it’s rather far away to be certain. I took a pot shot at one of these yesterday but barely managed to hurt it. I decide to test the spider venom I’ve been carrying around and put some on an arrow and take a bead on the poor, gentle, defenceless creature. I loose the shaft and it slams home hard into the beast’s neck. It runs a few paces before collapsing. Turns out that the spider venom is pretty potent. On closer inspection I realise it’s actually an elk and I skin it, remove some meat, and cut off its antlers.
Pretty soon afterwards I come across an unexpected sight:
Because nobody is around, and because it’ll probably starve otherwise, I take the horse. I also take his clothes and his weapon. Sadly his choice of attire is even more weather inappropriate than mine. I’d probably look like a badass if I too ran around in nothing but a fur skirt, but I’m pretty sure that’s just asking for a case of nipple frostbite. Maybe that’s how he died? I suddenly realise that all my clothes have been taken from dead people, and my desire for an outfit change is redoubled. I’d really like an outfit that doesn’t have arrow holes and blood on it please.
I ride around for a while, jumping off the horse to snipe three wolves before they spotted me, and then later another elk. Unfortunately, both times that I dismounted the horse immediately started to walk away. I don’t think he likes me. When I ride back to Riverwood I can’t find any place to stable to horse, so I decide I’m actually going to head for Whiterun like Gerdur asked while I still have a mount to get me there.
One short, and completely uneventful, ride down the road later (don’t know why I was so worried) I arrive at the Whiterun stables, where I open a stall door and then lock the horse inside. The man on duty doesn’t seem to mind, so I assume he’ll charge me some stable fees when I get back. I’d better make some coin while I’m in town. I head up a long winding approach to the town gate, stopping to talk to some of the Khajiit cat-men just outside. From the one that threatened me with a bow yesterday, and the fact these ones don’t seem to be allowed into the town, I deduce that these guys must be the Jawas of Skyrim. Filthy creatures.
I approach the main gates to go through, but I am approached by a guard who tells me I can’t go in because of the dragons. I tell him I’ve seen one he then lets me pass through the gates with no more questions asked. Terrible guarding if you ask me. That man really needs firing.
Now that I’m inside: where can I find a good clothes shop?