Day 7: Arkngthand

So, as you might recall, I was currently trapped in my room in Vivec. The foolish innkeeper had locked the door, presumably because I hadn’t payed more than one day’s rent. And then I teleported into it, without any unlocking scrolls or lockpicks. And now I’m stuck.

No worries… I know exactly what to do.

First I took the candle from the stool

Then I took the liquid from the closet

Then I used the liquid on the parchment, and read it by candlelight to get the code

Then I unlocked the chest with the code and got a key

Then I wrapped the note around the key, drew a pentagram on the floor with the remaining liquid, calculated the distance between the sun and the moon at that precise time, sacrificed my dog to Satan, bathed the key in flames, divided by zero and VOILA!

Really, I never understood why people have trouble with escape games. You just have to follow a perfectly logical sequence of events.

After busting out my room, I strolled on over to Aurane Frernis’ shop and delivered the flowers I picked earlier. She rewarded me with a Luck potion. One of them.

That could have helped when, I was, you know, being slaughtered by scamps, but hey it’s cool. Thankfully she has nothing left for me to do so I take my leave without another word.

Still quite a lot of stuff to do in Vivec, but it’s mainly crap in the sewers or stealth related business, so I’ll have to come back later. Not quite sure what these people do all day but apparently it’s not sort out their own problems, so I’m fairly sure they’ll still be patiently waiting when I return.

I take the guild guide to Balmora. I still have a bunch of drugs I need to pawn, so I’ll spend my time looking for a place that will buy them.

Thankfully I find one almost right away. Ra’virr – a khajiit trader who was some interesting “Daedric” weapons. Of course they aren’t really daedric, that would be ridiculous, but they cast a spell which lets you wield a summoned Daedric weapon for a minute.

I put up my drugs, net value of 4000, and he offers me 600 gold. No, shut up. I close the trade window and prepare for some hard negotiating.

BRIBE 100 GOLD

BRIBE 100 GOLD

Ok, now that we understand each other better, let me offer you these drugs again. What? You want to give me 3000 gold for them now? And not only that, I can buy stuff from you for lower prices and sell to you for higher prices for the rest of my life? Wow, thanks!

Idiot.

Unfortunately he only has 600 gold on hand, so I balance out the transaction by purchasing a bit of armour and one of those shiny “Daedric” daggers. Not quite sure what I’ll use em for, but I’m sure I can figure something out. I end up paying 600 gold, but I’m now remarkably better equipped and I’m not carrying around a bunch of drugs, so I’ll call it a profit.

Now, what to do…

As I said, I’m not too thrilled about the idea of walking around Vivec sewers, and the thievery jobs are a bit out of my league. I have a lot of gold now but at the rate I spend it it won’t last all that long. I’ve pretty much cleared the Ascadian Isles, and the other regions are particularly dangerous from what I hear.

At first I consider joining a guild, but in the end I accept that I will always be a lone wolf at heart. Guilds are profitable, sure, but I’m not so good at babysitting NPC’s and listening to their retarded problems.

Then I remember, I already am in a guild, the Blades. Remember that creepy Caius guy? Yeah, he certainly exudes an aura of stay the hell away from me, but he pays well. I’ll head over and see what jobs he has.

I enter his house… no, wait, I knock first. When I hear his voice, I enter. He’s still not wearing a shirt, but thankfully he’s otherwise appropriate. I ask him for orders and he tells me to go speak to a guy named Hasphat, do a job for him and then get information on the Sixth House Cult and the Nerevarine Cult.

Goddamnit Caius, I thought I told you I’m allergic to cults.

Well, anyway. Apparently since this Hasphat guy is a student of Morrowind history, I should get some history lessons. Caius then stuffs a book in my pocket. Yeah, fuck you too man.

I leave and head over to the Fighters Guild. Not quite sure what a history student is doing in there, but anyway. I get the details – I’m to visit a dwarven ruin called Arkngthand, and pick up a little cube called a Dwemer Puzzle Box. Apparently it’s the only one of its kind, and he somehow knows its appearance and measurements as well as location. He also takes the opportunity to stuff another book in my bag.

I leave and begin my preparations. Dwarven ruins, well, they’re full of angry robots. Sometimes full of angry bandits. Even worse, it could be full of angry orcs. So I head over to the Mages Guild.

Now, I have 500 gold left. I have to carefully budget out this thing so that I can get through it with at least as much gold as I had when I went in.

If I spend 300 on healing, 100 on travel, 100 on lockpicking, that will most likely get me thr-

OOOH SPELLS!

Paralysis, dispel, soul trap! New and awesome spells for my awesome repertoire of oh fuck I just spent all my gold.

Well, not ALL my gold. I go and buy a scroll of Ondusi’s Unhinging, which can open locks of up to level 50 (like the locked door in that inn). NOW I’ve spent all my gold.

…Well, I’m sure I’ll be fine with the healing I have with me now. They restore a whopping quarter of my health, and take 8 seconds to do so, but still.

Right, preparations complete, I leave town. I won’t talk about the journey because quite frankly nothing happened. I eventually got to a dwarven bridge, which was the entrance to Arkngthand. There’s a friendly looking Imperial chilling on it. I go over to say hi, and he summons a skeleton and begins attacking me.

Wonderful.

I pull out my dagger and start stabby stabbying his face but unfortunately my aim sucks. Realising the futility I end up spending about half my magicka taking him down.

I loot the crates next to him and discover that he was in fact a smuggler. Not a very GOOD smuggler, he only had like a piece of ebony.

I continue walking and reach Arkngthand. There is no door, but I find a nearby valve. I turn it on impulse, hoping the world doesn’t split apart or something like that.

A nearby oval thing opens. I go in, and find the door. I open the door, go in, and turn around and realise that the oval thing just closed behind me. Fucking wonderful.

Well, can’t be helped. I progress into the ruins and find out just exactly what populates these ruins. Crazed, starved bandits.

A nearby Redguard rushes me.

“Did you bring it? Did you bring the pizza, man!?”

I feel sorry for this guy. I’m tempted to give him a piece of bread, then I realise he’s a fucking bandit and stab him in the face. It’s better this way.

I explore the ruins, leaving a breadcrumb trail of corpses as I go. I eventually come to a chest with a lock value of 5.

…5.

Ondusi’s scroll opens up to 50. In short, if I use the scroll, I will be “wasting” 45 points of unlockage action. But I don’t have any other way to crack this chest open… but I also don’t have gold for more scrolls.

Decisions, decisions…

Well, I’ll pop the scroll and see what happens.

This is what happens.

Amazing. Never again will I underestimate the value of a 5 point locked chest.

I loot it, and discover my feet planted to the ground. A trap!? …No, I’m just overburdened. In short, I have managed to fill up my pockets, just by clearing about a quarter of this dungeon.

Well, at least it came along at a good time. I read a Divine Intervention scroll and appear outside the Moonmoth Legion Fort.

Legion Forts are basically garrisons where Imperial troopers rest, train, get orders and smackdown some heavy justice. It’s filled with 100% identical guards named Guard, and a few unique NPC’s who will sell to you or offer missions. There is one outside each major city – Balmora, Seyda Neen and Ald’Ruhn. Presumably they make sure that the Great Houses don’t go feral and destroy all the outlanders.

They’re also really fucking casual, any old nudist, mass murderer, psychopath, cultist, heretic, WHATEVER, can just stroll right on in. Sure, the vendors backtalk you if you have a bounty or are completely naked, but unless you talk to them the guards just ignore you.

Anyway. I head inside and sell off the loot I’ve made so far. I am also given an extremely tempting offer to join the Imperial Cult, for a mere donation of 50 gold, but I manage to stave off my desires.

After selling the loot I am still weighed down by my ingredients, potions, supplies and gear. Over 100 of my 200 encumbrance points are used up. This is a fort, one of the most secure places on the island. Admittedly that’s not saying all that much, but still, it should be fine for me to leave a few things in a hiding spot here and come back later.

This is my hiding spot. Don’t you think it’s a nice hiding spot?

So after hiding all my worldly possessions in a nearby unoccupied prison sell with a pissbucket and a bedroll in it, I start leaving.

36 encumbrance points still used…

Maybe I should go back and drop off more stuff.

Like this potion. Fortify luck 20 points? How is that gonna help me in a dwarven ruin?

And this robe, it does absolutely nothing besides look incredibly fashionable.

Oh, and these gauntlets. Sure, they protect me, but not that much. My cuirass should offer enough protection, right?

Don’t ask me how it came to this

Well, if I’m wearing shoes I don’t need to worry about the rocky path or the molten floors. Plus the NPC’s won’t give me crap about my nudity.

I leave. It’s raining. I swear, if there is a god in this world, I will find him one day and feed him his organs through a straw.

I run back to the ruins and enter. Carrying on from where I left off, I slaughter the various inhabitants with wildly varying degrees of success. I end up battered and bruised, with no potions left except for a few fatigue ones. I’m sure I’ll manage somehow.

I end up overburdening myself again, but then I’m nailed by a brilliant idea. All I have to do is move every single piece of loot in this entire fucking dungeon to one spot, then pick it all up and teleport out. I will appear outside the fort with my pockets full of loot, drop everything and go sell it all bit by bit.

Brilliant.

For now I shove everything inside a nearby crate, and when it’s full I shove everything else in a different crate.

Only one door left to open. I consider healing up but that would be what a coward does. I stride right on inside.

Now, up until now I’ve been facing mostly unarmoured bandits carrying steel daggers. One particularly dangerous one had an iron spear.

This guy in front of me was wearing iron armour and carrying around a war axe.

Those 6~ odd bandits managed to get me to use every health potion I possess and I STILL ended up with about 1/5 of my max health.

Also, since I ran all the way here I’m dead tired.

The bandit spots me, and I instantly gulp down all 8 of my restore fatigue potions. Yes, they’re called restore fatigue, and yes, they restore my stamina.

I’m sure drinking 8 potions in one gulp can’t be healthy, but I’m sure getting my face plastered by an axe while wearing nothing but my Sunday shoes would be even less healthy.

Thinking quick, I pull out my new paralysis spell and cast it. Thankfully it works. I use the enchantment on my dagger and find myself wielding a one way ticket to hell. I proceed to shove it in his arse.

Job done, ruins cleared. Well, apart from that one locked room that I couldn’t open, even with Ondusi’s scrolls.

I begun the process of carrying all the loot to one room. It only took 3 trips, then I loaded up and cast an intervention scroll.

Here is the result of my efforts

I dropped most of the stuff onto the ground there. I’m sure the guards get a lot of adventurers doing this so they shouldn’t mind terribly. I walk inside, sell what I can and go back for more.

After selling almost everything, all that’s left is 8 dwarven cogs. I pick them up, and realise they weigh about 50 kg each.

Great.

Well, I’m not going to sell them in 3 loads, so I just drag them inside.

OOC: Oblivion players may recognise this. Since Oblivion had a “drag” button that lets you move an object around the game world without picking it up, you could literally walk along holding that button, and carry a heavy item in front of you without it being in your inventory. In Morrowind, which lacks a drag button, or indeed, any sort of engine with which one could use such a button, this was a bit harder. What you had to do was hide all your menus, then go into “menu mode” which allows you to pick up an object from the ground. You would then drop that same object on the floor a little bit away, leave menu mode and move, sort of like playing leapfrog with the item.

I drag all the cogs inside and come to a horrible, horrible realisation. The fucking cultists have no gold left.

Trust a cultist to let you down in your time of need.

Well, it looks like my only choice is to head to Balmora and sell off my cogs there. Thankfully there is an Almsivi Shrine in Balmora, so I’ll just buy an Almsivi Intervention and telepo…

I’ll just…

No, seriously, COME ON. I know you’re a bunch of fucking cultists but you could at the very least stock some Almsivi Interventions.

Well… looks like there’s only one thing left to do. I head to the prison, pick up all my items, dress myself, and start dragging my cogs back to Balmora. Just for fun I screenshotted an interesting line said to me as I walked butt naked to the cell.

Do I even need to put something here?

I leave the fort at 7:00 (real time) and arrive in town at 7:12.

Never let it be said that Rene did not work for his gold.

Gotta wonder what was going through those NPCs minds when they saw a guy rolling a bunch of cogs in front of him, then going to a trader, opening the door, and chucking in all the cogs before walking in himself.

So one hefty sale later, I’m down 8 heavy cogs and up 600 weightless gold coins.

All that’s left is to deliver the box to whatsisface and get my payment from Caius.

I go deliver the box. Apparently this guy can’t tell me about the Nerevarine Cult, because he don’t know jack about it. But he can tell me about the Sixth House cult. It’s pretty interesting so I’ll go ahead and summarise it here.

In the whole of Morrowind there are a total of five great houses, with Hlaalu, Redoran, and Telvanni being the only ones on this island of Vvardenfell. In the mainland there is also House Indoril and House Dres.

House Dagoth is the so called “Sixth House”, but it was destroyed when they betrayed the other Great Houses in the war of the First Council.

The Sixth House Cult is a rumoured group of fanatics who worship the head of House Dagoth, Dagoth Ur, as a god. They call the gods of Morrowind “false gods” and run around wearing loincloths and eating flesh to bring themselves closer to their mighty Dagoth Ur.

He also mentions a few books on the Sixth House but I doubt Caius will pay for them so I ignore that bit.

I head back to Caius and deliver my report. He thanks me but apparently I won’t get payed until I get information on the Nerevarine cult as well.

Lame.

I get the name of this Nerevarine informant person. It’s that same rude orc lady from the Mages Guild. That’s just wonderful.

I leave, and am soon confronted by a strange man who won’t look at me when he’s talking.

Odirniran, home to duplicating skeletons, lazy Hlaalu agents, an anti-sleeping area and one bruised, battered, run down Redguard.

For now I ignore him and go pay for a room in the Eight Plates, which is a respectable inn run by someone who isn’t an old geezer with a pectoral fetish.

I go take a nap but am soon awakened by an annoying messagebox.

Er, annoying dream. Right.

And here’s some screenshots of me dragging a bunch of cogs to Balmora.

This plant seems to be capable of supporting 400 KG of metal on its leaf

Decorate me like one of your Christmas trees

When a cog says float, gravity says OK

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