I soon see the inside of a dank, dingy cell that I have been put into for some unknown reason. A classic start to any Elder Scrolls game. It appears that all the guards have fled and I am left alone. A statue of Mara stands nearbye, and I start my character creation process.
I decided to go with a Nord again on this playthrough. Mainly because of the frost resistance, as that will help tremendously with Frostfall's mechanics. I also mainly don't want something strange looking, like a cat person (Khajiit) or a lizard person (Argonian). Something simple and basic to sketch the canvas of life on.
So, I have a Nord named Markus.
Isn't he just so rugged?
I've decided that my overal goal is to settle down someplace, and just be a hunter. I'd like to see if I can make a substantial living on hunting and living off the land (with trips into town for necessities). He doesn't have any grand ideas of being famous, or even being an adventurer, he just wants to live his life in basic comfort. Maybe a small house, perhaps a wife. Maybe one kid after that. He's a family guy.
Markus has been sailing for a while on a boat that had raucous sailors and just all sorts of lowlifes. Finally, though, we have reached the city of Windhelm. It is very cold and grungy, and the first thought on my mind is that I want out of here. This is not a good place, it's way too cold for how I'm dressed at the moment. Speaking of clothes, I go ahead and activate Frostfall by opening up the console command and "set FrostFall to 1" to start it off. We're going to be playing on hardcore mode with this mod.
After selecting my difficulty, my clothes are immediately stripped off, and I'm looking very embarrassed in the middle of the floor.
Oops. I quickly put my clothes back on as the nearby woman gasps in disgust at my dirty, and yet, very buff body. At least I didn't go commando, though, there's probably a mod for that.
After warming up by the fire, I go out again to look for merchants to see if I can buy any warmer clothing. This city is just so grungy and hard to look at, the walls are all half broken and not much maintenance seems to be going on.
I found a lady who seems to enjoy her job a bit too much. I think she's the local undertaker. Here she is, standing over a recent burial I assume, though, I was a bit unsure if I should approach. She looked busy:
Finally though, we find the marketplace, and it's every bit as grungy as the rest of the city.
There is a woman walking around the market though, and her daughter had just died recently, which is a little sad. I also overhear a conversation between a woman and a boy:
They have a conversation about a boy who is doing something called a Black Sacrament, apparently used to summon the Dark Brotherhood. I've heard of this group, even as far as I came, they were mere whispers of frightened men and women who said to never cross anyone in the group.
The woman is very adamant about the boy not playing with Aventus, the boy who is doing the Sacrament. I might have to come back later and see if the boy needs help, perhaps just some healthy hunting will get a weight off his chest. Talking with the woman, who's name is Idesa Sadri, she tells me that the boy recently lost his mother and was sent to an orphanage. Though, apparently he has escaped and come back home.
Walking through the town, even the guards seem wary of Aventus's house. They say the entire house is cursed and to stay away. Markus isn't one for dangerous adventure, other than just regular hunting, but he does have a soft spot for children. He might have to help the child out once he gets geared up for such a venture.
I head to the local tavern again to see if there's any place to sell the garnet and silver necklace I have. I run across a lady bard and have a fun time listening to the song she sung without me asking. Markus does like a little entertainment now and again:
So, in Skyrim there's a little bit of a so-called oppression going on. Judging by the song she sung, there is an Empire that is oppressing a group called the Stormcloaks? The song doesn't actually say about who they're oppressing, just "children of Skyrim", though, her little intro says what the song is about. And for that, I'm grateful.
Now, Markus has never been to Skyrim and doesn't know much of the politics of it. He was told that it is good land to settle down on and scrape out a living hunting and possibly doing a bit of smithing. So politics isn't very interesting to him.
So, even though Windhelm has pretty songs and a grungy market with not much selection, I'm not feeling like this is a good place to settle. I have 419 gold to my name, a little over after selling my necklace, ring, and garnet. I head out to Skyrim to see where to head next.
And of course, I can't afford a horse. I was somewhat counting on the horses, and oh hey!
First carriage usage of the game. I need to get to a nice warmer climate, somewhere like...Whiterun. Whiterun is the center of Skyrim according to the map the man so kindly gave me. Being new to Skyrim and all that, I think he took pity on me.
So, after a long travel, I arrive at Whiterun.
My, they do have a grand view from inside the city. They're pretty much surrounded by mountains and forests and, this just looks like a good place to settle down for a while and do some hunting.
When I walk into the city, I overhear another conversation between what looks like the local blacksmith and a soldier.
There's a bit of an argument the two have. Adrianne apparently can't fulfill a huge order of Imperial swords all on her own. Seems there's another blacksmith in town called Eorlund Gray-Mane, though, he doesn't appear to be friendly towards the Imperials, judging by what Idolaf says. She reluctantly takes the job, and then goes off to work at her forge.
In the meantime, sleep is needed, so Markus hits up the local inn/tavern to rent a room (only 10g, rather cheap for such a largish town). I do get a nice view though from my little room balcony:
I am warm and comfortable, so I sleep until about 8am. The next morning, I want to speak with Adrianne some more and see if she needs help filling the orders for the Imperial blades. The barkeeper mentioned something about chopping wood, but she didn't actually offer me a job, so I was slightly dissapointed.
Adrianne is hard at work when I walk up to her:
She greets me pleasantly enough, and I ask her if she needs any help around the forge. She does! She gives me some tools to make an iron dagger, and then sort of guides me through how to upgrade it and temper a helmet and all that. After that, she lets me keep everything and that's it.
Well, not much of a help, but hey, free stuff! I then immediately sell the Hide Helment back to her to make a bit of money. Still holding out for fur armour so I can be warm at night outside. I do manage to make my Iron War Axe better though, so at least I'll be able to defend myself.
Inside her shop (called Warmaiden's), I buy a hunting bow from her husband, Ulfberth War-Bear. He seems like a pleasant fellow, content to stay behind the counter while Adrianne hones her talent out on the forge.
Afterwards, I head back to the tavern to have a nice time. Tomorrow, I think I might head down to Riverwood and see how the hunting is down there and if maybe I can start looking for a nice place to live.
Introduction --- Part Two