Guess what happens when some douchebag out in the wilderness asks you to come help his friends because they were beset by bandits.
His friends were actually the bandits and they were stupid enough to try to ambush you.
We head off in the direction of High Hrothgar, nor really sure what this is, but they told us to go there because that’s where people who are really good at things like “summoning the power of dragons through their very voice” go to learn more stuff about things like “summoning the power of dragons through their very voice.”
We find some distressing.
And this dude is too lazy to walk up the “seven thousand steps” — or whatever they call it — so he wants us to bring some food and trinkets up. Seems the monks get monthly gifts of food and supplies.
Pretty good deal.
Too bad they have to be monks to get it.
Along the way we meet some wildlife.
Almost get murdered by wolves.
Super King wonders where the wolves put the gold coins. We both know that’s a common video game complaint, and really if anyone knows it should be him, seeing as how he did loot the things. Maybe it ate them?
The image is too disgusting to bear.
Off, over yonder ridge. A traveler?
No, it’s a goddamn frost troll.
This frost troll guy proves to be my first significant challenge. After a few save-loads It becomes clear that I have only one option:
Pause the game by opening my inventory, and then eat every piece of food I have until my health is full.
Pretty good plan!
The troll is less like a troll and more like a furry evil monkey, though one with a lot of hit points. We do eventually triumph, using the time-honored technique of “walk backwards, apply flamethrower hands”
Seven thousand steps was silly at first, but by the time I reach the top it seems like less of an exaggeration. The monks are pretty serious about their seclusion, we guess. That was a pretty good way to spend fifteen minutes: pretty much just walking and killing one troll.
Pretty ostentatious, for monks.
I drop off the delivery of food and stuff, as promised, then I go inside where the monks stand around talking for about forty years while I doze or, alternatively, look for things to pickpocket. Eventually, finally, they teach us to explode things with our voice.
God, was that so hard?
They also teach us how our voice can make us run really fast? I’m not sure how that works.
Then they feed us the next breadcrumb on the trail. We have to go to some cave across the world, dig up some dumb artifact, and bring it back to them.
Jeez, Monks! That seems like a pretty tough job! We’re gonna have to commit to some pretty serious training if we want to get it done!
In our travels to find the artifact we come across a bandit camp. Long story short, they were using a pit full of spikes to trap and kill travelers and animals alike.
There’s nothing particularly remarkable about this location except that we stumble upon this:
Move over Stieg Larsson, here comes the national #1 bestseller!
We also stumble out of the underbrush and have our first encounter with the Stormcloaks, the group of revolutionaries who are set out to make trouble with the Empire, since the beginning of the game.
Blah blah blah, something about a high king original dude rightful power in the land. They ask if I want to join their cause, or give me a quest, some crap like that.
Yeah, seemes like a pretty good life you guys have out here in the wilderness, eating roasted rat.
I’ll take “joining the cause” under advisement.
We do eventually stop getting side-tracked and make it to the dumb ruins.
Pretty cool spiral staircase. I like it.
I like the evil conjurers less.
Do I wish to summon the Dark Brotherhood? Uh, YES. It’s pretty much the whole reason I’m playing this stupid game.
I don’t have any stuff like an actual body parts. Also it kind of seems like if I have to collect actual body parts, like a real human heart and crap, just to make an effigy just to get some guys to kill someone I don’t like, then I could probably save a lot of time by just getting the heart out of the guy I wanted to kill in the first place, instead of killing some other random guy who in no way could possibly be any less convenient than just killing the guy I wanted to kill before I killed this second guy to scavenge for body parts.
But who are we to question their methods? I mean, it’s not like we were the official boss of The Dark Brotherhood: Cyrodiil branch.
We like the tree in the middle of the cave, too.
What? We can take the time to appreciate beauty when we find it.
The purpose behind the “speed shout” the monks taught us becomes clear.
Gotta run through this crap before the gates close!
Oh, those clever dungeon architects! Not only did they fashion a medieval speed-run puzzle using only crude tools, but it somehow endured for generations!
Lydia proves too slow to get through, but I figure it out (after about a dozen tries).
Lydia’s all like “blah-di-blah-di-blah-I-never-saw-anything-like-this-before.”
We’re like, whatever, just another cave let me at dem STUFFS.
SOMEBODY STOLE MY STUFFS.
It’s okay. The only thing they took was the plot-relevant artifact. The chest-full of magical items and gold bullion right next to the dais remains, thankfully, unlooted.
Hey Lydia, here’s a dumb ring for your trouble!
Super King would probably be prepared just to give it up and enjoy the ring. If the artifact was, say, eaten by rats a hundred years ago, it would be no big deal. But nobody, nobody, steals from the master thief. Not even someone who refers to themselves as “A Friend” which is like, come on. How much more cliche could you possibly be?