Saturday, November 12, 2011

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Two: A Cunning Forge-ry


After dropping another armful of loot in the woods, I finally made my way to the village of Riverwood. No sooner had I walked through the gates than did I hear an old woman scream.

Sven's Mother: A dragon! I saw a dragon over the hills!
Sven: Really, Mother! You're just seeing things again.
Me: Uh, actually there was a dragon.
Sven: What, really?
Me: Oh yeah! Giant thing! Black scales! Which I totally killed. Cause I'm awesome.
Sven's Mother: See? Why don't you believe me?
Sven: Well, to be fair, mother you were wrong about the invisible mole-men come to steal your hair to make wigs for their brides.
Sven's Mother: Then explain why my hair keeps disappearing?!
Sven: (whisper) Sorry about this. She hasn't been the same since I dropped out of the militia to go to Bard College.
Me: There's a bard college here in Skyrim?
Sven: Well, how else is one to learn the legends of one's people and sing bawdy drinking songs?
Me: I'd think you could just hang around a bar, listen to people tell stories and sing and then repeat what you learn.
Sven: ...
Me: Something wrong?
Sven: No. No. Just thinking about my student loans... Camilla will never marry me instead of that elf bastard Faendal, I'm so deeply in debt.
Me: And she is?
Sven: The prettiest girl in town. Well, the only girl in town really, but that's besides the point! That elf archer is always hanging around her. I've told him to back off but he won't stay away from her. But I have a plan! I wrote an insulting letter to her and signed his name to it!
Me: That's... that's a plan, alright.
Sven: But I need someone to deliver it to her so she doesn't think it's a fake.
Me: Well, I could do it.
Sven: You would? Oh, thank you! I'll give you all my tips from the bar last night!
Oh, I'd do this in the name of general bastardy.
Sven: So you don't want the money?
Me: I never said that!

Tracking down Camilla was easy enough. She and her brother ran the town's general store. But before I got there, I had one stop to make first... the one place a wandering scoundrel can always unload all that heavy metal armor he doesn't want and can't use - the town forge.

Alvar: Welcome to my humble forge, stranger.
Me: Well, thank you humble smith. Might you be willing to buy some of my excess metal?
Alvar: I might be able to use some of it, aye. I trust you just happened to *ahems* "find" all this Imperial armor in the middle of the woods? Wink-Wink?
Me: Oh yes. Fell off the back of a donkey cart. Wink-Wink.
Alvar: Well, then. Here's your coin. Perhaps I might interest you in some of my wares? Or mayhaps you might want to borrow my forge for a while?
Me: ... seriously?
Alvar: Of course! I have to keep the fires going at all times, but I don't really do much work. Mostly I fix parts for the mill and mend farming tools. Making weapons is much more fun!
Me: It is?
Alvar: My, yes! Here... let me show you how to make a dagger and then you can try it.


Me: I finally got that dagger made, Master Alvar.
Alvar: Yes... that's a good start. But you must sharpen the weapon as well! Use that stone over there and grind this to a fine edge!


Me: There. A fine dagger! Nearly a keen dagger, even!
Alvar: Hmm... yes, yes. Say, while we're at it, would you like to learn how to make a helmet?
Me: Would I?!


Me: Uh, Mister Alvar?
Alvar: I hope you have some reason for coming into my home at dinner time!
Me: You told me to bring you this Fine Hide Helm as soon as I was done refitting it.
Alvar: Oh yes. Hmmm... yes, yes. That's a good start. You're well on your way to becoming a Master Smith yourself. Perhaps you'll remember me when you're forging dragon-scales some day?
Me: Oh, I sure will!
Alvar: Good. Now go away!
Me: But what about the dagger and helm?
Alvar: Eh. Keep them.
Me: But aren't these valu-


Realizing that I'd been patronized, I decided to teach the smith a valuable lesson about locking up your tools. Sven had told me a rumor of how the general store had been robbed the night before... yet the next day everyone was curiously silent as to how all of the steel and iron ingots had been pilfered from the smithy, along with several iron weapons. With dark falling, I decided to head for the local inn and explore the rest of the town tomorrow. When I arrived at the Sleeping Giant Inn, Sven was already in the corner, plying his trade.

I looked around the place and found myself the only patron, apart from a large gentleman who asked what I was looking at when he caught me staring at him. Making a note to pickpocket him later, I struck up a conversation with the barkeep.

Welcome to The Sleeping Giant! Have you come for room, board or to use our alchemy lab?
Me: You have an alchemy lab in the middle of your common room?
Orgnar: Well, it was originally a "Brew Your Own Ale" kiosk.
Me: What happened?
Orgnar: Turns out that expecting drunkards to be able to manage a still after the first round of gutrot was a bad idea. And that's why the place is so empty now.
Me: I had wondered about the smell...

After selling off some of my excess foodstuff and some of the reagents I gathered on the way into town, I found my room and retired for the night.

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