How realistic can you get? Taking damage.

Explosions catch the eye, as does movement.

Well seeing as realistic games are quite popular, and let's face it, if it's a good game and realistic you sometimes can't help but be sucked into the game and feel like you're taking down helicopters, fighting dragons or feeling the wight of the world on your shoulders as you try to find that last bottle of clean water or a can of food for yourself or someone else, I've decided to try and 'analyse' and try to give examples of how video games are realistic and what they could do top be more realistic. You may not agree with me, so just post what you think would be good to make a game more realistic. In this, we're facing the problem of damage.

How much do you take? How much do your enemies take? How much do other players take? How the fuck did he kill me in one shot?!

The Call of Duty franchise

Call of Duty has gained in popularity over recent years, maybe because the campaigns have gotten better (or worse, I'm not writing this to shit on CoD). CoD4 to CoD8 (or Modern Warfare 3) have been quite fast paced games. While not perfect, or free of some plot holes and inaccuracies, it does make a player sit on the edge of their seat sometimes (or makes me sit on the edge of my seat sometimes). A lot of the games catch the eye by putting in some explosions (again, i'm NOT critiquing the CoD franchise, I'll leave that to you guys), some cool set pieces and some nice ways to tell the story to the player.

The most powerful handgun in the world, it could blow your head clean off... do YOU feel lucky?

The damage in CoD can sometimes be quite messed up. You die in a single shot sometimes, and it doesn't have to be a headshot! But maybe this is accurate? The human body isn't exactly designed for taken bullets, and humans in general are very hardy organisms. A single shot could possibly incapacitate the average human. A shot in the leg will leave you with a nasty limp for probably the rest of your life, a shot in the lung may leave you with breathing problems and a shot in the arm could mean you have to have it amputated. These points aren't exactly features of CoD, or (m)any FPS's, but you can die very quickly on the multiplayer. A couple shots can sometimes kill you, a barret 50cal could kill you in one shot with a shot to the body, a knife seems to be able to kill you instantly. But if we just think about it, if you take a 5 cm bullet to the chest or back and survive, you may not survive for long. You're mid battle, your covert operation has been exposed and you've taken a hit. Do you think you could make it out? Probably not, so maybe these outrageous one shot kills are accurate? They may not kill everyone instantly, but because of CoD's quick gameplay it's probably saving you a lot of time rather than spending a few minutes sitting there bleeding out as you're team gets annihilated. But if we wanted to get really realistic we would bore the players half to death as they die.

Should he die in one shot at close range?

Silencers... It always says it affects the range of the gun. That shouldn't be so bad right? But no. They actually take down the damage of the gun, even at close range it still takes more bullets to kill your enemy than without a silencer. Silencers do reduce the speed/velocity of the bullet slightly in real life, I'm not sure by how much. I'm fine with not doing much damage over long distances with a silencer, but not when I'm firing a million shots into their face. The bullet's speed/velocity doesn't honestly matter if your maybe ten metres away, unless it's so low the bullets bounce of off the other guy's skin. So maybe silencers should have no affect on damage, but that wouldn't lead to a realistic game because you'd be able to kill people from across the map without endangering your position, but that's a whole other kettle of fish that I'm not writing about at the moment. The damage over long distances may not be entirely accurate either. The bullets may not kill the enemy quickly, but firing two magazines into the enemy to kill them is unreasonable and unlikely because most people would sprint off in the other direction. If the bullets are hitting the enemy, and going into them (the X on CoD shows you're doing damage and presumably the bullets are penetrating the skin) then maybe you would kill the enemy. The bullets may not go in too deep, but if there are a few, or even a lot, of bullet wounds the enemy may die anyway. Of course this may be after a few minutes, the end of the round or never if they have access to some sort of medic (which CoD doesn't have). Difficulty selections on the campaign may have to be removed if they really wanted to get the damage right. The same damage multiplier they used for multiplayer, would be used for singleplayer. If they wanted it really realistic and consistent, they would make the campaign so enemies were easy to kill, but you could die just as easily.

Fall damage is another thing, a whole other beast really. You can fall 15 feet and survive, you can fall 30 feet and die. I'm not sure what the exact life/death distance is, but falling 15 feet isn't healthy. You wouldn't be able to sprint right after it as well. Presuming you were well trained, and landed correctly without breaking anything, you would feel like your legs and pelvis had gone up a foot or two, leaving you heavily winded and with sore knees. You may not take much damage, you likely won't die, but you may carry some sort of 'affliction' or 'ailment' for the rest of the match. You could get incapacitated, break an ankle or a leg you won't be very mobile, and may even be left just sitting there if your character reacted to pain realistically. If you break an arm you could walk about, maybe run for short amounts of time but not shoot very well/not at all. Limb damage may need to be added, but the fall damage for limbs and gun shots would have to be different.

Should this kill you in a single hit?

Knives. The ultimate weapon it seems. You can shoot across the map and stab somebody with a knife... ok, maybe not quite, but still it's crazy how your character leaps into somebody with their knife. The multiplayer always shows someone being slit with the knife. This would be very painful, but somebody could get over it. A shallow cut across the stomach would cause bleeding, some pain but if the bleeding was stopped, you wouldn't die. A deep cut could leave you incapacitated, and bleeding to death depending on the angle and size. A slit across the back would be like the shallow cut for the stomach, except a lot less painful and maybe a bit less blood. But a deep cut could kill you. If the 'stabber' was able to cut through the spinal cord by going through the gap in between vertebrae (unlikely, but who knows what could happen?) you would die pretty soon or be left paralysed from the waist or neck down, or go brain dead from the amounts of blood lost. Stabbing is another issue. A stab is a lot more fatal than a 'slashing' because the entire length of the blade can enter the victims body. A stab to the chest could puncture a lung (maybe flooding it with blood) or go through the heart. The stomach is a pretty vital area, a stab their could kill you (it can kill instantly!) or incapacitate (that word again) you for the rest of the match, or until you die. In real life it can leave you unable to eat certain types of food because of the fact there's no where for a certain protein or sugar to be absorbed into, but when was the last time you ate food in a CoD game? This concludes the CoD 'analysing', please leave a comment if you think I've missed something out (I most likely have) or if you have a wrong... different opinion about how the damage can be made more realistic!

Battlefield 3

This could save your life, or not protect you at all.

Say what you want about this game. 'It was great'. 'It was a rushed, buggy piece of shit'. 'I'm indifferent about this game'. There are still hints at realistic combat. I played the Beta and notice that everyone took a good few bullets to kill. I thought it was really unrealistic, but now I look back and I think it is accurate to an extent. All the soldiers fighting were wearing armour. I have no idea what it was... kevlar? Some sort of other super strong polymer? But it made me realise. 'Dem guyz are fightin' with bulletproof armourz!'. Maybe not entirely what I thought, but it 'enlightened' me to thinking, that maybe, ten or twenty shots is in fact realistic to an EXTENT. The bullets wouldn't penetrate the armour in a single shot, maybe a few shots. But they would leave you winded, like a heavy punch to the stomach or chest. They could even make you fall on your ass. It would be interesting to see everyone falling over or sit down to catch their breath after a single spray of LMG fire. But it wouldn't be fun. Not at all. If you were shot at from the side you would be likely unprotected and just die quickly.

To be brutally honest, I'm very tired, and I can't think of much more than that. I guess I did cover a lot of points that would have been in BF3 in the CoD section. Go read that again.

The Elder Scrolls

From First Person Shooter to First Person Sword-magic-mace-axe-shield-fantasy-dragons-FUS-RO-DAH-spears-pauldrons-you-face-is-made-up-of-five-polygons, I will 'analyse' the Elder Scrolls franchise.

Casting it may cause serious harm. Walking through it could cause serious harm. Unless you've got a space suit.

We moved onto guns because they were far more efficient than swords and bows. They had an immense range and were often fatal if they hit you. Of course that was quite a while ago when losing a finger could mean death, or even catching a cold could mean death. But it's still true today. You don't see many people using swords. But swords are much more brutal, axes even more so, maces even more so than axes and flails even more so than maces and axes and swords. So while you cut down a Daedra, an Imperial Guard or a Dragon, you could sustain wounds so deep and bloody you'd probably both die. A sword would leave you with either small gashes or chunks of your body hanging off by a few tendons (sorry for the graphic image, but I had to say it), a mace could leave you with bruises or crushed bones, an axe could do the same a sword and much worse and a flail could leave you with crushed bones. The list goes on in terms of horrible injuries, in real life the list could even be infinite as the wound is dependent on the force put into the attack, the sharpness of the blade, the strength of your bones and muscles and the angle of the swing. That being said, there are still so many more factors. Maybe in Oblivion you should be left with only one arm, maybe you should be able to get infections that require medicine or amputation to cure. Maybe in Morrowind you should just die during your first fight with an enemy... Oh wait... Maybe in Skyrim Dragons should always kill you, myabe they should sever an arm or leg and leave you to crawl back to a city or just die. It may not be fun, but it would be realistic if done right. Magic could often have backlash effects, you could use flames and end up getting third degree burns on your palms, which would soon get infected. Or maybe summoning creatures could cause you migraines or headaches due to the concentration required. Stuff that cause pain without killing you, sucked the breath from your lungs or damage your heart because of the spells you use.

There are a lot of games out there, surprisingly, and I could analyse a lot of them, but I'm tired, you're tired after reading that horrendous block of text and I want you, the reader, to also suggest other points I may have missed out of the games I 'analysed' or a game I didn't even bother mentioning.

Thanks for reading.

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Every Ten Hours: The Twelve Hour Special (Part 4, spoilers)

Intro.

This Twelve Hour 'special' is certainly something. In this part I kill some bad dudes for some bad dudes, get some wolf blood in me, go to Labyrinthian, get the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller and encounter Alduin. I also lose a bit of time... damn autosaves...

Two Hours... Gone.

To fully explain the twelve hour special, I have to start with the . I left the quest hanging after being told to go to an ancient Nord Bard burial hall. Apparently the Nords were famous for there Bardic Warriors. Brave men who fought crushing battles and then survived to write about it. This burial hall contained one of the original King Olaf's Verse, which was crucial on persuading the High Queen that the Burning of King Olaf event was one to tarnish false kings. I made my way to the Nordic cairn and entered. As soon as I was in I saw a strange spirit walking through the corridors. I followed it before it walked straight through a closed gate. Suddenly coffins around the room starting to spew out Restless Draughr, which I quickly killed with my Epic Glass Mace and Sword. A chain hung next to the gate and I pulled, expecting a trap I instinctively stepped backwards. No trap. I continued on through the corridors, killing Draughr after Draughr, until I reached a strange room. The room was compartmentalized, and each compartment was sealed. To get through the room I had to pull a number of chains which moved a giant mechanism, allowing me to move in between the compartments. The 'maze' was infested with draughr, but I still carved my way through them and their ancient traps. I, eventually, made it to a large room with two pits. Locked gates stopped me from falling in, along with a friendly encounter with some frostbite spiders. After killing the spiders I spent a good few minutes (something like 10) looking for a way to open the gate that covered the pit. I found a chain and proceeded to jump into the watery pit. After a few cavernous rooms, I made my way to the end of a long corridor and saw a handle on a rock wall. The wall lowered and revealed the ghost sitting beside a skeleton, Svaknir. I searched the skeleton and got the original verse, however there was a lot of text blacked out... The ghost disappeared, and I looked around trying to figure out what to do next.

I ran back through the corridor and found myself back at a magically sealed door. The ghost was waiting, and then unlocked the door. I ran through and found myself blocked by a puzzle door. I had the dragon claw (must have picked it up from somewhere) and unlocked the door. Behind the door was a large throne room, Draughr sat in thrones in a large circle and the ghost of Svaknir readied for battle. 'Olaf! It is time!' he called out. Suddenly Draughr began to rise from their thrones, but Svaknir killed them quickly. After all the Draughr were dead, Svaknir walked up some steps and then said 'Arise, Olaf! My vengeance is at hand!', a black coffin burst open and Olaf One-eye stepped out. Svaknir attacked Olaf straight away, whereas I ran off to heal after taking a single hit from him. I ran back up and Svaknir had almost killed Olaf. I ran in with my mace and sword and finisher'd Olaf. I looted the Draughr and got a treasury key. I found a dragon wall and got the second word to Whirlwind Sprint. Svaknir disappeared and I left the barrow through a room full of treasure. I fast traveled to Solitude to return to the . I gave the verse to Viramo and he soon complained about how some of it was missing. So we did a bit of improvisation and then made our way to the High Queen in the . After Viramo performed the verse, he told me to go Jorn to tell him that the ceremony was back on.

Painful then. Painful now.

Instead, I went off did a lot of stuff, did some thieves guild jobs, cleared out a couple dungeons and then went to the Bee and in Riften. I asked if there were any jobs available and I was given a note the town guard left in the inn. It was to kill a dragon, easy enough. I made my way to the lair, a small path wound up the mountain. I was only a few meters away from the lair and... BAM, some crazy stick fired out a frost spell and instantly killed me. I was fine with it, all those autosaves I had, every five minutes. I went to load up my last autosave (pretty much just before the insta-kill stick). 'Select save device'. 'Hard Drive'. Two hours... all that thieves guild crap I can't even remember anymore... gone. Why? I saw the damn game autosaving all the time! Where the hell was it saving?! Anyway, after raging out a bit, I decided to complete the quest, partly because I couldn't remember what I did and partly because I couldn't be asked. So I went to the King Burning Ceremony and joined the .

The Last Sanctuary In All of Tamriel

After getting my ass kicked by an inanimate object (both in game and real life), I decided to go see what the Dark Brotherhood was all about. I went back to their sanctuary and saw Astrid. She spoke to me. 'Blah, blah, blah, here's some dark brotherhood armour, speak to some guy' is the basic outline I remember of what Astrid said. I ran through a corridor and found myself in a large cavern. Several of the Dark Brotherhood members were stood around in a circle, chatting about their last assassination. After they dispersed I found a Redguard name Nazir. He instructed me about the basics of how I should turn in my marks, and then gave me three marked people. Narfi, a homeless Nord in Ivarstead, Beitild, the owner of a mining business in Dawnstar and Ennodius Papius, some guy at Anga's Mill. First, I went to Ivarstead. Narfi seemed like an easy target since he lived in the ruins of a house on the outskirts of the village and he was all alone. Second, I had to kill Beitild. She was the ex-wife of a Nord who ran a mining business in Dawnstar, long story short, they split up and she made her own business. I had to kill her. She spent most of her day just standing around outside her mine surrounded by guards and workers. After attempting to kill her a couple times, I decided to speak to her and see if I could get her to attack me. I spoke to her and told her I was from the Dark Bro'hood and she began to fight me. The guards did nothing while I bloodied my mace since it was self defense. Finally, Ennodius Papius. I had already found Anga's Mill and so instantly fast traveled there. For most of the day he just stood around the mill, not doing much. I crouched down about 100 meters away and used my bow. The arrow hit Ennodius in the head and scored a 2x sneak attack. I returned to Nazir, and got my pay.

The Story?

After a while I got bored of doing side-quests I decided to continue with the main story. I had to retrieve the horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Sounded easy enough, except for the fact he was an ancient duder that did something really cool with some dragon shouts (use them for the worship of Akatosh or something). This meant he/his belongings were going to be safely tucked away in a Cairn full of Draughr and traps. And I hadn't discovered the barrow he/his horn was stored in. To say the least, it was a grueling journey. When I made it to the ancient burial hall, I was attacked by skeletons. Not much, one hit each. Nothing compared to some of the monstrously durable skeletons in Oblivon, and Morrowind. I entered Ustengrav and was prompted by a large chasm with a singe waterfall ran down the side. A number of stone bridges completed a path that snaked its way down the chasm. After some skeletons, a bit of underground fort crawling and dying because I jumped down into some shallow water, I saw a Word wall. I went down and absorbed the word, the first word of 'Become Etheral'. It was pretty cool since I couldn't take damage, and then it sucked since I couldn't do damage. After a bit of crawling, I made it to an odd room. Three stones were in the middle of the room and the corridor I had to use was blocked with gates. I stepped past the stones and they lit up red, the gates opened, I stepped back and watched for a minute. They switched back to their faint blue colour. I had to switch them all to red and get through the gates? Interesting. Maybe a shout would help? Within seconds I whirlwind sprinted myself past the stones and through the gates. Next was some crappy fire trap with some spiders. <Skip ahead a few minutes> I'm faced by a bridge and the horn of Jurgen. I step forwar and 4 eagle-head-rune-stone rose out of the water. Somewhere, an Engineer went 'Erectin' some eagle heads'. I went across to the altar/coffin thing and looked at the hand that should of been holding the horn. Instead a note laid in the clutch of the stone hand. 'Meet me at the Sleeping Giant Inn'. And so I was off to Riverwood to meet this mysterious thief. I went into the Sleeping Giant. It was, for some very strange reason, it was the very first time I had ever entered this tavern. My pub crawl was going horribly wrong. I went in and spoke to Delphine, a Nord who had a quest marker over her head. She said something along the lines of 'it's not safe here, follow me'. So I followed her into a secret basement of the Sleeping Giant. It was picked with books, potions and even had an alchemy and enchantment table. I spoke to her and she began questioning me about being the Dovahkiin. After a few minutes of her blathering on and looking at an empty table (stole the map, broke the game) she told me to go to kynesgrove. Apparently some duded had been going aroun resurrecting Dragons from their ancient burial grounds. And this is why the dragons were returning. They didn't come back, apparently the Blades went on a burning, war filled campaign through Skyrim to kill all the dragons. They then buried them in sacred ground so they couldn't come back.

I hadn't discovered kynesgrove, so I went out and sprinted/shouted my way there. When I got there it seemed like a normal village. Then I traveled a bit up a hill and saw I was standing on a mound. All of a sudden, burst of blue stuff started to hit the mound. I turned around and saw Alduin, the world eater. I crapped myself and began to fire all I had at him. When he flew off, that's when I realized I couldn't hurt him, the dragon I had to kill was Sahloknir. He was crawling out of the dirt below my feet. I ran to Kynesgrove and began pelting the dragon with arrows. But its mighty frost breath decimated my health, my healing spells where no match. So I decided to, being a very cheap player, decided to run to Windhelm. It was the closest city there was. I was halfway there when I realized Sahloknir's health bar was going down very slowly, so I ran back. I found him fighting a giant, the giant gave the dragon an early death and I then killed the giant. After looting there corpses and shifting some of the weight to my partner, Delphine appeared and spoke to me. She said something about me really being the Dovahkiin, blah, blah, blah, Sleeping Giant. I go back to Riverwood to meet her and she tells me to go to the Thalmor Embassy. And that is where I left it hanging.

Dicking Around

On my travels I've seen some pretty awesome stuff, but nothing quite compares to some of the glitchy things I've done.

Under 'special' request, I decided to slide a wolf down a mountain. And then I thought 'a wolf? Wolves are for pussies, something much bigger...'. And so I went to a giant camp that was 'quite close' to the edge of a mountain, killed them and looted their mammoth cheese. Next I spent about 20 minutes dragging a giant corpse over to the very edge of the mountain and jumped on to give it a final push. 'Thanks' to some bugs I ended up getting stuck to the giant and, well, snowboarding my way down a mountain. (Minus the death and save that was from around 30 minutes back, it was pretty funny).

Well, that's it, for now. Can't really remember much else for the 'Dicking Around' section.

Stats so Far...

Dragons Killed: 18

All Guilds Joined: Yay

Thalmor Ass Kicked: Nay

Dragons Killed: Kind of lost count...

Guild Questlines completed: 1

Well that's it for today... this week... this month... or however long its been since the last Every Ten Hours.

P.S. At the moment its kind of Controlled Assessment/Exam season at my school, so I'm pretty busy and don't really get much time to myself, and when I do I don't spend too much time writing this. Plus it takes hours to remember and write everything up, plus I don't always write up everything on time (I've done about 54 hours) but I'm forcing myself to write this up before playing any more Skyrim. On the other hand, Saints Row 3 should be here tomorrow and I intend to play it for ages.

I'll be lucky if I write up part 5 before Christmas, sorry for the wait guys, but there's going to be a lot more.

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Every Ten Hours: The Third Ten Hours (Part 3, slight spoilers)

Intro.

Skyrim is still pretty great so far, it's still keeping me on the edge with some sometimes tough combat and a ton of things to do. I decided to finally go back to Winterhold and get some progress with the quest I started and left hanging, I cleared another Dwemer ruin, I joined the Dark Brotherhood, killed more dragons, contracted more diseases, fought a tree, found Mzulft, joined the bards college and I still haven't found Dawnstar, Morthal or Markath, maybe that'll change? Or maybe my memory will get a little better so locations and NPCs are left nameless?

The Eye of Magnus

I returned, eventually to Winterhold to check where I had left the quest. I was supposed to meet Tolfdir outside the ruin of Saarthol. I checked the map and the closest location to it was Winterhold, and still it was a hike and a half. On the way I met ice wraiths, a dragon, some bandits, some necromancers and a couple of sabrecats. When I got to the ruin, severely bloodied, I saw Tolfdir and the other three recruits waiting outside with him. As I approached Tolfdir walked towards me and spoke. He told me they were all ready, and just waiting for me. I told him I was ready and we entered the ancient Nordic burial grounds of Saarthol. We entered a fairly large room with a staircase leading down. After a few minutes of hearing Tolfdir speak, he told me to go and find three magical items. I found two of the items, a couple of rings, but the third item was an amulet. It was hanging on the wall of a small alcove, there was only one way out of it. When I grabbed the necklace a portcullis like gate dropped down, blocking my exit. Tolfdir ran to me and asked what had happened. I told him and he continued on to say the amulet seemed to increase my magical power. He then told me to hit the wall I got the amulet off with a magical attack, I did so and the wall crumbled. I continued through the wall into a room with several standing coffins. A Draughr fight was imminent. When Tolfdir entered the small room, time froze. A new NPC appeared, Quaranir. He spoke to me and said I was the only one capable of stopping the ensuing events, cataclysmic or otherwise. He was a Psijic monk, an ancient and possibly rogue order of wizards who followed their own rules in isolation. Time then geared back into motion and Tolfdir said he felt strange, I told him I saw a Psijic monk and he seemed shocked, and secretive. The Draughrs began to break out of their coffins. It was an easy fight, but one that revealed the path forwards. One of the coffins lead into a tunnel. After some Darughrs, a couple skeletons and a Wight, Tolfdir and I eventually stumbled upon a massive glowing orb covered in runes. But a haze covered it, a wall of magic protected it. A coffin burst open and a Draughr, Jyrik Gauldruson, stepped forward. It was an extremely powerful Draughr, and immune to all types of damage. After a few minutes Tolfdir began to drain energy from the orb and then Jyrik began to burn with a black flame. Jyrik was vulnerable and I began to hack at him with my Skyforge Steel. After a cinematic finisher, I learnt a new word for a Thu'um and a chest full of valuables. Tolfdir told me to go report this to the Arch-Mage. I quickly left the ruins and fast traveled to the . I sprinted to the Arch-Mage's quarters and told him about Saarthol. I was then told to go to Urag gro-Shub, an Orsimer library keeper for the College.

I went down to the Arcanaeum and found Urag. He was the first orc I had ever seen that didn't want to kill me. When I spoke to him he said someone had stolen some books and that one of them had information on the Eye of Magnus. He said an apprentice had impressed some mages, who had recently inhabited a fort, and that he stole some books to give to the mages. I had to go to the fort and get the books back. When I approached the exerior of the fought I was instantly attacked by novice conjurers. I quickly killed them and their atronachs. I entered the fort and cut through a bulk of the mage group, and after a couple of deaths I made it further into the dungeon. The mage that had stolen the books was locked in a cell, Orthorn. I let him out, after getting killed a couple times by some mages. He said he wanted to come with me and my options were (pretty much) 'Get Lost' and 'No'. Orthorn still persisted and then began to follow me. After passing through a library like area I eventually reached the final room of the dungeon. Orthorn had mentioned that the leader of the mages was very powerful, I bricked it and ran into the room she was in. The fight itself was not as hard as it I thought, past encounters with wizards have been frustrating and Super Meat Boy level difficulty, the thing that was hard was she teleported around the room and every time she did, she summoned a fire atronach. After I finally hit the mage's legs and head with a glass mace (finisher'd), I picked up the books that were on pedestals. Orthorn told me he would wait until things cooled down since Urag was a very 'passionate' librarian... I went back to the College and gave the books back to Urag and he gave me five skill books.

I went back to Tolfdir and he said the orb's markings were neither elven nor daedric. Ancano butted in saying a member of the Psijic order was inquiring about me. I followed Anacano and spoke with Quaranir, and again he froze time. I spoke to him and he said the only way to see through the Eye of Magnus without being blinded was to use the Staff of Magnus. Time started again and Ancano started questioning Quaranir, but the Psijic only replied 'Sorry, I shouldn't be here.'. I asked the Arch-Mage, Savos Aren about the Staff of Magnus. He spoke about the Augur of Dulain, an extremely powerful mage who had been around for centuries. He was located in 'The Midden', a supposedly dangerous, but magicka rich area. I went through a trap door to get into the midden, and to my 'surprise' the area only had a couple skeletons and draughr, and then I found the Augur after a navigating a maze like cavern. The Augur was a massive ball of light, and spoke as if it already knew the future. It told me that it was pretty much useless trying to stop the power of the Eye of Magnus and that I need the Eye of Magnus. After leaving the cavern, I spoke to the arch-mage who told me that Mirabelle had recently talked about the Staff. When I went to her, she told me to find Mzulft, a Dwemer ruin. I quickly made my way to the ruin and then left the quest hanging.

We Know

After killing Grelod the Kind, I had no idea what to do next. There seemed to be no possible way to get into the Dark Brotherhood. I began to think of what I hadn't done... Sleep. I ran to the closest I could find and rented a room. I slept in the bed and after a loading screen awoke in a small, messy cabin. A woman named Astrid spoke to me. She told me I had answered the Black Sacrament and in turn stolen a contract and that I must pay the Dark Brotherhood back. I said I wanted to leave the shack and she replied that I wasn't going to leave unless somebody died and that three people were behind me. One was a mercenary, who may have done a few dirty deeds in his time, one was a noble woman, she had children and was very angry (that's all I could tell) and finally a Khajiit. He was calm with the situation, I asked him why someone would want him dead and he quoted his nicknames, notably 'Defiler of Daughters'. He seemed the most likely, but I just went and blasted all of them with a fireball. I spoke to Astrid and she was very happy about my choice, saying 'Three possibilities, one of them has to be the contract. Why take a chance?'. I was able to leave the cabin and shown the location of the last Dark Brotherhood sanctuary in all of Tamriel. But unfortunately I left it hanging there. Until Part 4.

The Bards College

One particular time in Solitude I decided to progress in my Misc. Objective 'Investigate the ' so I did. I went towards the College, walked around it atleast three times trying to find the door, and once I found it I spoke to an Altmer. I asked to join and he replied with, 'many people ask to join, but not many get in'. I didn't really care, it wasn't an important guild anyway. But he then started talking about the burning of king olaf event that took place every year, but the High Queen thought it distasteful due to current affairs. She didn't allow it, and so I was tasked with finding King Olaf's Verse. But, alas, I left it hanging. Yet again, part 4!

The Gildergreen

Within the first ten hours of the game, I was told about asking a Priestess, Danica, about the recently destroyed Gildergreen. The Gildergreen was apparently a magical tree that could never stop growing and even the smallest cutting could turn into a massive tree (like the one in Whiterun). The tree in Whiterun had been hit by lighting, but apparently/according to Danica, it wasn't dead and that if I go and get some sap from the original tree I could restore Whiterun's tree to its former glory. First things first, I had to go to Orphan's Rock to collect a curious weapon called Nettlebane. The closest location to Orphan's Rock was... was Helgen (dramatic pause). I appeared outside the village's gates and didn't see any of the ruins at all. I soon made it to Orphan's Rock and made my way under a fallen tree. Suddenly an explosion of frost decimated (by decimated I mean absolutely destroyed) my health. It was some sort of frost rune and it killed me. I was loaded back at the last autosave, back at Helgen. I made my way over to Orphan's Rock, killing a couple bears in the process, and went a different path. I encountered a few witches, easy stuff, and then my worst nightmares appeared. A Hagraven. Half bird, half witch. She began spamming lighting, that halved my health and my magicka, and ice spells, that destroyed my stamina. I eventually sprinted towards her and began to hack away with my Epic Glass Mace/Sword combo. I eventually killed her and got pretty close to death myself, but I found the Nettlebane. A pretty poor weapon, plus it was a dagger and I've never used daggers in a TES game at all. I returned to Danica, who was being told the Gildergreen was in a terrible state by Maurice Jondrelle and that he had come to Whiterun to pray at that tree. I told her I had retrieved the Nettlebane and she told me the location of the original tree. Maurice overheard me and asked if he could come along, I said yes, despite the fact I didn't really need him. I went to Eldergleam, fought through some caves and made it into a wonderous grassy, forest like area within a cavern. It reminded me a lot of Oasis from Fallout 3, a high vegetation area in the middle of a wasteland. I made my way round the cavern and ran into some giant roots. I got out the nettlebane and hit a root. The dagger caused the root to shrink back, I had hurt a tree that wasn't an ent, or a treent, or treant, or tree spirit or whatever you want to call it. I got up to the tree itself, a large tree with pinky-violet leaves and an ambient glow around it. Maurice said he wanted to pray at/to the tree. After praying, Maurice then gave me a sapling of the original tree. I quickly left and returned to Whiterun, gave the sapling to Danica and got my reward.

Stats So Far...

Companions joined: Yay

Thives Guild joined: Yay

Dark Brotherhood joined: Yay

Dwarven ruins cleared: 3

Dragons killed:14

Diseases contracted: 4 (the same 4 diseases)

Time so far: 30 hours

Until next time, an arrow to the knee puts you into an early retirement

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Every Ten Hours: The Next Ten Hours (Part 2, Slight Spoilers)

Intro.

Well since Part 1 was a load of ass, I've decided to actually try and write this. Part 1 is like the half-assed pilot episode of a daring new series, and now Part 2 is going to be an awesome, effort filled episode that will keep you watching... or reading, hopefully. I felt like I did quite a bit in this ten hour section. I joined the Thieves Guild, The College of Witerhold, cleared out a Dwemer ruin, fought even more awesome dragons and, lets just say, found that special someone.

The College of Winterhold

Oops... this should be in part 3...

If you read part 1, I did eventually get to Windhelm... well kind of, I made it to the stables before I jumped into the back of a cart and traveled to Winterhold. It was deep within the frozen tundra that covers at least half of Skyrim, the city was small, and for good reason. A long time ago 'The Great Collapse' occurred, when the sea battered the cliffs on which Winterhold was situated on. The entire city was gone in a matter of days, leaving only the College still standing. Some blame the mages, but some think it was the eruption of Red Mountain. I continued towards the college, when I approached the bridge that linked the College to Winterhold an Altmer spoke to me. I asked if I could join and she told me to cast a fear spell on the section of flooring in front of her. I didn't have a fear spell, but she, rather conveniently, said she also had the spell I needed and would give it to me for 30 gold. She could have squeezed me for much more, I had around 12k, but she didn't. I cast the spell on the plate which glowed white, and then she said something about something and allowed me into the College. I spoke to a female Breton (I think) and she said I had to be shown around the College (thankfully just the exterior). I was then allowed into the Hall of Elements because Tolfdir, a mage, was giving the newest members a lecture. I joined them and listened to him talk. They began to argue with the mage, saying that they were here to better their magic instead of sit on it. Tolfdir spoke to me, I went with the herd, and said we should be doing semi-dangerous tests. I was volunteered and had to cast a ward spell (a magical shield spell) while Tolfdir fired fire at me. After the little 'training' session, a report of Saarthol came up. Tolfdir said this was a perfect opportunity to give some new recruits a bit of experience. But, unfortunately, Saarthol was an undiscoverd location quite high up in the mountains, I couldn't be asked to go there and so the quest lies dormant... maybe in the next ten hours?

The Thieves Guild and The Black-Brier Family

After exploring the arctic tundra (Mighty Boosh, anyone?), finding a ship wreck and being killed twice by the first Orsimer (Orc) I had ever seen in Skyrim, I returned to Winterhold, sold a crap load of loot and then jumped back into the horse-drawn cart and went to Riften. Skipping straight to the point I met a man named Brynjolf who said I hadn't worked a day in my life for all the gold I had. He was right, dragons didn't take that long to kill. He was implying I had stolen it and offered me a place in the Thieves Guild. All I had to do was steal from some guys Strongbox (from under his crappy little stall), a ring in particular and then reverse-pickpocket it onto another Dunmer. I did it quickly and quietly while Brynjolf tried to sell a potion with Falmer blood in it. I returned to him and he said I had to get to the Ragged Flagon, and if I did, I would be a member of the guild. The Ratways were the only obstacle. A series of old, dis-used (possibly still in use?) sewers that should of been a deadly labyrinth filled with bandits, people who had failed to get into the guild. I got through the Ratways in a minute, it was a straight forward path and the bandits succumbed to a fiery death quickly. I made it in and was greeted by a whole load of initiation crap. I got some thieves guild armour, after a good 10 minutes of looking for Tonilia, and sold a lot of stolen items that were weighing me down. I went back to Brynjolf to see about a job. He said three locals had been ignoring the guild. A local inn keeper and two merchants weren't paying a 'debt' all businesses in Riften payed. Aparently they all had their weaknesses, the local inn-keeper's, an argonian name Keerava, wasn't obvious so I had to speak to her lizard husband (fiancee really). Apparently the rest of her family lived near the Cyrodiil-Morrowind border, I spoke to her and said I knew where the farm was. She caved and gave me the gold. A shop keeper, Bersi Honey-Hand, had a Dwemer urn as a centre piece for his shop. I destroyed it and he gave me the money, then continued to moan that it was priceless. And finally Haelga, her weakness was a golden statuette of Dibella who she worshiped. I said I had the statue and she gave me the money. I returned to the Thieves Guild and was paid quite handsomely. My next quest was to 'send a message' to a former colleague of the guild who had recently cut them out of their dealings.

Maven Black-Brier

Goldenglow estate was pretty much a small island fort with single bridge in and an army of hired mercenaries. First time I swam to the side of the area, jumped up and began to burn down 3 bee-hives. Some mercs noticed me and quickly killed me. The second time I ran straight into the closed gate on the bridge. It opened and released about 7 mercenaries. I soon found my self running around the island in a circle while flaming them and going 'Fus!' (Sonicboom in dragon tongue, or so I heard) to them. I eventually killed them, looted their corpeses and decided I shouldn't leave any evidence. So I dragged their bodies into the river and let them float away, severely traumatizing the next child that saw them in a far off village. I continued to go inside the Goldenglow building and steal a number of business records and correspondence letters. I returned to the Guild and they noticed the letters had a funny symbol on them, perhaps leading to the reason why Goldenglow estate was cutting the Guild off?

Next, I had to speak to Maven Black-Brier, the head of the powerful and rich Black-Brier family (who supposedly controlled Riften). In short, she said 'There's only one rule in Riften; don't fuck with Maven.' (with me going 'We have similar rules then' and jumping back on the Normandy) and that I should go to Honningbrew to eliminate a successful rival buisness. I had already found Honningbrew thanks to my 'rapid-river ride' from Riverwood. I traveled there and told the owner I had come to sort out the skeever (Giant Rat) problem, for good. He gave me a key to access the part of the brewery that had been infested and so I took on a perilous journey to rid Honningbrew of Skeevers. I went through a large series of tunnels, and a large number of deaths (skeevers and frostbite spiders are deadly) I reached the nest. But someone was defending the nest with a powerful dagger and high level frost spells. He killed me twice before I flamed his ass, thu'um-ed him and ran around before repeating. I killed him and found a journal. Apparently he was kicked out of the College for experimenting on live subjects, he then went crazy and tried to create an army of Skeevers using an ingredient from the mead. Carrying on I went into the boiling room of Honningbrew, the tunnel connecting to the room, conveniently for me. I put some of the Skeever poison into the vat of specially made mead for an Imperial captain to prove the owner had sorted out the pest problem (and if he hadn't... don't drop the soap). I returned to the main building and told the owner I had sorted the problem out, he then said I should stay to see what the captain thought of the mead. Long story short, the captain thought it tasted awful and then arrested the owner leaving me to loot his business records and return to Maven. After being rewarded I went back to the Guild, apparently a letter I had looted had the same symbol as another letter. But this time they had given something away, a name was on it and it was an alias that a client had used before. An Argonian name Gulum-Ei. I left the quest hanging there.

The Boy With a Wish For Death

Damn... I knew I should of closed the curtains...

My travels soon took me back to Windhelm where rumours of an orphan boy praying for the Dark Brotherhood to come and assist him, were spreading. I broke into the house and spoke to him, he seemed overjoyed, thinking I was the Dark Brotherhood associate he had been calling for. I went along with it and he asked me to go to his orphanage in Solitude and kill Grelod the Kind. She owned the orphanage, and a few hours later I found out she really wasn't kind. She sent the Orphans to bed, after berating them about being ungrateful douchebags, and it gave me a chance to sneak attack her. A single swing with my Superior (oh yeah, I kind of upgrade all my armour and weapons to superior) Skyforge Steel with a 2x sneak attack and she was down. The orphans instantly woke up and surrounded Grelod. They began to cheer, whereas the assistant began to run around in circles saying 'I submit' and 'I am clearly no match for you!'. After a couple of hours a courier approached me in Riften. He said 'there's a letter for you... here it is... from a man in a black hood, couldn't see his face at all'. I looked at the letter and saw a (The) Black Hand print accompanied with 'We Know...'. Probably those Dark Brotherhood fellas trying to get in touch with me. After that, I approached Mjoll the Lioness and began to talk about Grimsever.

Mjoll's Dilemma

Mjoll the Lioness was the local 'protector' of Riften. Basically she was like the entire town guard in one body. I spoke to her and she had a problem, she had lost her sword, Grimsever, in an ancient Dwemer ruin. I agreed to help and soon made my way into the very heart of the frozen tundra and eventually found the ruin, it was covered in bandits who were camping in the high towers of the ruin. After killing the band of... bandits, I went inside the ruin where more bandits lurked. I killed them, and then a mysterious enemy appeared. Out of a steel tube a sphere popped out. It unfolded into a humanoid machine with wheels. I was pretty amazed by their little spawning animation, it got a few good hits on me. I woke back up and attacked. It appeared all Dwemer automatons were resistant to magic and physical damage. Meaning it took a good deal of damage to kill them. I got through them and went into a larger section of ruin that was inhabited by the ancient and thought-to-be-extinct Falmer. They were pale and beast like, but they were weak. I quickly marched through their home and went back into the Dwemer ruin. The quest marker was close, I walked towards it and saw the machine that almost killed Mjoll. The Dwemer Centurion. It was a massive beast of metal and steam. I got too close to it and it one hitted me into Oblivion. I tried about five times before I kited it up some stairs and then jumped down whilst using a bow. Eventually I killed it and retrieved Grimsever. I returned to Mjoll and collected me reward of gold and a new companion. Unfortunately Faendal was already with me, and I didn't want him to go back the Riverwood since he was carrying a crap-ton of dragon scales and dragon bones.

Froki, The Hunter

Close to the end of my ten hours I found a shack close to the peak of a mountain. I entered and found a cynical old man and a boy who said 'I'm twelve years old and I could take you'. I spoke to the old man and he berated me about my beliefs in the Eight Divines, I said I didn't believe in them and he said the only true god out their was Kyne, the goddess of hunters. I asked if I could prove myself to Kyne and he said I had to kill some animal guardians. I had to kill a Skeever guardian, a wolf guardian and a... mudcrab guardian. I went to the wolf guardian first and went in with my sword. The wolf hit pretty heavily, but I continued to hack away at its ethereal head. After I killed it I went to the Skeever guardian, this time it was very weak, but because I forgot to heal I almost died. Finally I had to kill the Mudcrab Guardian. Following the pattern of the Guardians, it was much bigger than the mudcrab brethren that surrounded it, but what made this particularly noteworthy was the corpse of a gigantic mudcrab (about the same height as the player) next to it. I returned to Froki and told him I had killed the Guardians, he then gave me three more to kill. A bear, a sabrecat and a mammoth. I went to the bear first, but it killed me thrice before I was able to jump onto a ledge it couldn't get up, allowing me to 'pot shot' it. Next was the sabrecat, which had made its den in the frozen tundra. I traveled to Forsaken mine where I was attacked by two Blood Dragons. It's not everyday you encounter the icon of an RPG franchise published by E.A., let alone kill them. I continued on my path and encountered some wisps. They were harmless, but then I encountered the 'wispmother' who proceeded to kick my ass twice, before I decided to just avoid that area entirely. I eventually killed the sabrecat and went to the Mammoth's location. My previous experience was being on hitted by them, or their giant buddies (well, now I'm the first man on the moon, there's a bear here as well!). This time I jumped onto a ledge it couldn't get on (a rather dishonorable way to fight, but getting one hitted 4 times is not fun) and 'pot shot-ed' it. I returned to Froki who then gave me the ultimate task. To kill the Troll Guardian. I traveled to the cave and was instantly attacked by it and its troll friends. After three tries, I didn't want to feed the Troll any more, and just left.

That Special Someone

After I went to High Hrothgar (not much to say, learnt some words and left) I met an Inn Keeper (a male nord) and he said he needed help with a local barrow that was 'haunted'. I checked it out and discovered some douche was using a potion to look like a spirit to keep the local nords away while he searched for the dragon claw that opened the barrow. He eventually went insane, and then I came along and killed him. I went back to the Inn Keeper and he gave me the claw to open the barrow. He then became 'vary friendly' and as I was... skipping lots of dialogue... I...errr... accidentally proposed to him and he accepted... I went to Riften, thinking I asked to marry one of his daughters and when I waited in the church, he walked down the isle. Now, I'm not against civil partnerships, but what really made me annoyed was the fact he was a useless NPC. When you marry someone they can sometimes become your follower as well. This means they can carry stuff and provide actual combat help, whereas this Inn Keeper just stayed in his Inn all day everyday... The most annoying thing was, it was all an accident. Oh well, we all make that first play-through mistake, right?

Stats so far...

Dragons killed: 9

Diseases contracted: 2 (the same disease twice)

Dwemer ruins explored: 1

Dark Brotherhood joined: Nay

College of Winterhold: Yay.

The Companions: Yay.

Man-wives: 1

Until next time, and remember a guard might get nervous when a man approaches with his weapon drawn...

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Every Ten Hours: The First Ten Hours (Part 1, Slight spoilers)

Similar to mine, minus the pale skin, closed eyes and tied back hair.

Skyrim is finally here, and the ten hours I've put into it feel only like an appetiser of what's to come later in the game. My story, as does everybody else's, begins with my character waking up on a horse-drawn cart with three others. Ralof, a high ranking Stormcloak lieutenant, Ulffric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloak rebellion and a Horse Thief, caught by the Imperials in a time of political tension and suspicion. We were approaching Helgen, and our deaths. Ralof beckons me over and tells me the state of Skyrim, why I'm here and why none of should be here. Ralof then scolds the Horse Thief when he says 'What's up with him?' to Ulfric, who was gagged at the time. The cart was unloaded and or names called out by Imperials. The Horse Thief cried 'I shouldn't be here!' and ran off, he was quickly slain by an Imperial arrow. I was called, but they didn't know my name (cue the character creation time). I browsed over the race selection for a few minutes. 'A Nord? Two handed isn't really my thing. An Argonian? They kind of sucked in Morrowind and Oblivion. A Dunmer? The magic in this game seems cool and they're pretty nifty with a sword and bow'. I fiddled around with the face for a while until I made him look battle hardened yet cunning. I wasn't on the list, the man reading the list suggested I be put in a prison, but his hard-ass captain said she wanted all the prisoners executed. A roar came from the distance, the Imperials were confused but carried on. Ulfric was taken by the Imperials towards the executioner after another criminal had seen justice. He resisted and began trying to speak. Another roar sounded, and then I was taken and my neck put on the chopping block. Suddenly a large shadow crashed onto the tower behind the executioner. Alduin roared and began to attack the Imperials. Ralof called me over and said to follow. My hands were tied, Alduin was attacking Helgen and Stormcloak soldiers were attacking the Imperials. I followed Ralof until an Imperial, named Hadvar, confronted him. After a short argument, I had a choice. Follow Hadvar, or follow Ralof. I followed Hadvar into Helgen keep, where my bounds were cut and I began to play properly. We escaped through Helgen Keep and a cavern connected to it. Once we were out Alduin flew overhead, back to his den after a victorious battle. Hadvar suggest that we split up and that I should go meet his uncle, Alvor, in Riverwood. Alvor was Riverwood's smithy.

Alvor, uncle of Hadvar, cousin of some guy, and so on...

I immediately turned right and incinerated some wolves, my destruction magic skill went up and I collected their fur. I made my way back onto the path I was supposed to follow, and found three ritual stones. The Thief, The Mage and The Warrior. I wanted to be a mage, so I picked The Mage. I looked over the edge of a cliff and saw a small camp and an NPC. I exploited my way down to the Redguard hunter and saw she had a bow. Her bow was better than mine, and so I sneak attacked her and finished her off with flames. After looting the body, I 'carried' the body into the river and let the current carry it away. I was also taken by the current and quickly found Riverwood. I quickly linked up with Alvor and he let me take all of his stuff for free (except for a helmet and shield). I had a fairly bad mace, but it did the job. I went to the whetstone and 'upgraded' it, making it a fine mace. I also upgraded my armour, chopped some wood (and then dropped it since I had no use for it) and cooked some food. There was a man named Sven who liked a woman named Camilla, the thing is so did an Elf named Faendal. Sven asked me to give Camilla a letter and say it was from Faendal. I went to Faendal and gave him the letter. Faendal gave me a letter, told me to give it Camilla and say it was from Sven. I did so and earned myself a rather useful companion. Camilla was the sister of the man who owned the general store in Riverwood. There had been a burglary, some bandits had taken a golden dragonclaw and were camped in Bleak Falls Barrow. I said I'd get it back and I went to the ancient Nordic Cairn (burial hall) to retrieve the claw. I did so with valor, my mace crushed the skulls of all my enemies. I eventually found the claw and a large 'puzzle-door' blocked me. I was stuck for a good half an hour. And then I looked at the claw in my inventory and zoomed in on it. The claw had the combination! I got through the door, killed some Draughr (correct?), got the shout 'unrelenting force' and a mysterious quest item called 'Dragonstone'. I turned in and earned a lot of gold.

It's just sleeping...

I then grew bored of peaceful life (i.e. clearing out Embershard mine, kicking animal ass, taking names etc.) and followed the river. I followed it for a long while until I reached Whiterun, the capital of Whiterun Hold. I received a lot of side quests (not important at the moment, but I will mention them) and went to the local tavern. I spoke to a patron. She was fed up of a bard trying to ask her out. She said he said he wanted to conquer her, which reminded me of The Pearl in DA:O 'Vaquish me like the darkspawn, and lay roads in the south' (still makes me smirk). After a minute or two, I beat up the Bard and got paid for my work. I spoke to the Inn keeper, and asked her about any work. Some guards had left a bounty note and gave it to me. They were supposed to clear out a den of bandits, but I took it upon myself to clear them out. It earned a crap-load of gold and an audience with the Jarl of Whiterun. He commended me and word got out about Helgen, he thought it'd be best if I spoke to the court wizard about killing a dragon since I was the most experienced in... avoiding them. I spoke to the wizard and he said he needed something from Bleak Falls Barrow. Rather slickly, I said 'You mean this Dragon stone?' and he paid me and spoke to the Jarl. When I approached the Jarl, a guard interrupted me and said he saw a dragon near the western (I think) watchtower. I was told to go their with a small contingent of guards and sort it out. I left Whiterun and went towards the tower. The map made it look like a very long walk, but it took just under a minute. The place was in ruin and chunks of grass were burning, the small party of guards approached the tower and found a single guard, who said 'It's coming back for another pass!'. The dragon showed itself, its breath burnt the city guards, but they continued to attack the dragon. I just ran around firing arrows and throwing spells at it, until I finally hacked it with my mace. Eventually, the dragon died, but its last breath was 'Dovahkiin! No...'. I continued to absorb its soul and unlocked unrelenting force. The guards saw this, one of them approached me saying 'You're the dragonborn!'. When I returned to Whiterun a thunderous call came from no where. Dovahkiin. I returned to the Jarl and spoke to him about it, and then he explained the sound. It was the Greybeards summoning me. He said i should go visit them since it was an honour.

Instead of progressing with the story, I went and joined The (Fighter's Guild) Companions. After speaking to their Harbinger (leader, but The Companions don't believe in the concept of leadership or orders) I had to fight Vilkas. I hit him once with my mace and blasted him with some flames. 'We don't use magic! Try again.' I tried again and almost killed him, he said to stop and that I was worthy of joining. I then had to run some errands (getting a shield and sharpening a sword) and the I was in. I went back to Eorlund Grey-Mane, in the very impressive Skyforge, and collecting a 'Skyforge Steel'. A special sword for Companion members. I instantly went to the whetstone and upgraded it and used the work bench and forge to make some better steel armour, and then upgrade it further. I was ready for my next task. I was to receive a fragment of Wuthered, an ancient and powerful weapon made to kill all the elves in Skyrim. The Companions had spent years collecting the pieces and still were not done. I was sent to Dustman's Cairn, with Farkas, to retrieve the fragment. A few minutes later, I was stuck in a trap and The Silver Hand surrounded Farkas. He then crouched down and turned into a werewolf, killing his attackers. He ran off and I was free from the trap. He came back as his Nord self and explained that all the members of The Circle (a group of the highest ranking Companions) were made into werewolves. We continued through the Cairn, killing Draughr after Draughr we reached a final room. A number of coffins began to break open and about ten Draughr and Skeletons all spawned. Me and Farkas quickly annihilated them, a final Draughr spawned, a warlord. Farkas tanked him while I stabbed it in the back, I eventually finished it with a cinematic-slo'-mo'-backstab-kill. I received the fragment from a chest and got a shout, fire breath. I returned to Whiterun and was led behind the Jorrvaskr, where I become an official member, also Farkas gave me eternal loyalty.

This is how I will always remember Azura...

My travels soon took me to a high mountain. Azura's shrine was said to be here and I intended on finding it. I got close to the Shrine, but before I could I stumbled upon the bone strewn den of a Dragon. The Dragon soon appeared. The fight was exhilerating, the beast was so much more powerful than me yet I stood a chance. I fired arrows at it and powerful spells, and eventually, it crashed into the ground and began to crawl after me, determined to fight to the bitter end. I ran up to it and finished it off with my sword. My character jumped on its head and stabbed it several times before the dragon died, a Dragon Age-esque finisher. It had a word wall in its den, and I received the thu'um Kyne's peace. I made it to the shrine and spoke to a solitary priestess, she said Azura had made me her champion and I was to locate a powerful artifact, the Dawn Star. But I had to get to Winterhold. I decided the best way to get there was to go through Windhelm. I fast traveled to Forsaken Cave, as I had not yet discovered Windhelm. The second I got there, a dragon flew overhead and began to attack. I was amazed, I had been craving another fight since I finished off the last dragon. Its breath was frost this time, and this one seemed much stronger. I began to kite it towards Windhelm. Faendal, my companion, hurt the dragon enough for it to crash to the ground. I began to hack at the dragon with my sword and finished it off. Using its soul I unlocked Kyne's peace and continued to Windhelm...And that's when I realised I had spent 10 hours in the game. I hadn't yet made it to Windhelm, but I had already killed three dragons. Who knows what will happen next. If I even made it to Windhelm...

Until next time, and remember, keep those Sweet rolls safe.

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The Oblivion Memoirs Part 4: The Arena... (Slight Spoilers)

Hundolin is your man if you want to bet on a match, or if you want some free blood...

The Arena. A place where gamblers come to play with their money and gladiators come to play with their lives. Early on in my Oblivion career, just after getting out of the sewers in fact, my Argonian was a stupidly low level. I must have picked all the wrong star signs and other things. I looked at my map and saw I was just outside the Imperial City. The capitol of Cyrodiil, the capitol of the nexus of creation (according to some book I read in Oblivion). It was the pinnacle of achievement, with the standing in triumph above the city. I wondered the market place, with just a few gems, some gold, a rusty sword and the clothes on my back. I took a risk and sold everything to buy a higher quality sword and a shield. My argonian was down to his handy loin cloth to protect him if any attacks got past the shield. Once again, I looked at the map... 'Temple District' No. 'Market District' I'm in it. '' No. 'Arcane university' Nope. 'The Arena'... I was instantly intrigued by it, and thought my Argonian needed a bit of beefing up in terms of combat skills. I fast traveled and found myself just outside the entrance to the arena. A Bosmer stood next to a chest (full of gold as I found out later), I spoke to him. He asked if I wanted to bet on a match and I said no.

Not exactly what I meant by 'test my might'

I then turned left, towards a door that lead into the 'Bloodworks'. An area where blood often seeped through the large grate in the combat area down onto the walls. I walked down and saw a Blue Dunmer combatant firing arrows in a hay bale and a slightly pale orc, wearing an impressive look Raiment, was slashing a sheet of metal. I went into a room with three more NPCs. A 'Battle Matron' known as Ysabel, a yellow team champion and Owyn, a Redguard 'Blademaster'. I spoke to Owyn and saw the option to join the arena. I joined and skipped some un-important dialogue, mostly him telling my Argonian the rules and whatnot. I then went down and selected 'Rumor' with him promptly saying 'I heard you're an idiot, any truth to that?', which still makes me smile to this day and I hope a piece of dialogue like that makes it into Skyrim... After being told I was an idiot, I decided to test my might in a fight to the death.

The fights themselves weren't much of a challenge, at least the early ones weren't. They mainly just involved me hitting the opponent once, stepping back and avoiding their power attack (that left them very vulnerable), and attacking again. Rinse and repeat and they'd fall fairly quickly. It wasn't until Owyn started giving me advice (I think after like the first 13 fights) it started to get a little challenging. It wasn't so much the fact opponents did some decent damage (I lost a few Heavy Raiments because of the damage I was taking) but the fact they always blocked (except for the mages and archers). Whenever I blocked, they used a power attack that would make me stagger and they would be fine, but whenever they blocked and I did a power attack, I would stagger and they would be fine... But eventually I would prevail, since in between some of the fights I would go out and explore, get bored, and then explore while jumping about while swimming. This made me so much faster and jump so much further, my 'Heal Minor Wounds' was actually good for combat. At least in an arena it was...

The Gray Prince, a bit pale for an orc?

Eventually I became the Champion of the Arena, and only one challenge remained. Agronak gro-Malog (correct?), the Gray Prince. After speaking to Agronak a bit, he told me he was only half orc, he had a superior amount of mettle and strength compared to his opponents. What I wanted to know was: what's the other half? 'Cos it sure ain't human. After speaking to him, and paying him a couple hundred to be my friend, he gave me a quest to find out his true origins. He was apparently born to a Noble of Crowhaven (anyone reminded of Ravenholm by this?), his father was the Noble and his mother was a lowly servant of said Noble. A few dialogue sentences later, I was on my way to Crowhaven with a key Agronak gave me. A crawl through a dungeon filled with skeletons, some rats, a group of vampires and Lord Lovidicus. The Gray Prince's father. I grabbed Lovidicus' journal from... somewhere and returned to Agronak.

When I returned with the journal, Agronak was not pleased. He realised he was part vampire, and then started to feel sorry for himself. I went off, unmoved by what had happened (what was there to be moved by?), with my small fortune of 3000 gold and bought a glass hammer and a chocolate teapot. I bought some better armour (better than the Heavy raiment, which is surprisingly good for the early part of the game) and I was ready to become the Grand Champion. I spoke to Owyn one final time, and then proceeded to challenge Agronak. I challenged a deeply depressed orc to battle, he still had his honour. When the battle started I could hear Agronak asking me to kill him because he was the 'spawn of a filthy evil'. He used some crazy vampire teleporting powers, but didn't survive the two swings from a glass hammer.

With my enemy dead, I looted what I wanted. I knew that the title of Grand Champion would precede me and that the skills I had gained would help me later on in the game. It was early on in the game and I was ready to take on Kvatch's arena... oh wait.

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The Oblivion Memoirs Part 3: The Thieves guild... (Spoilers)

The Doyen, Armand Christophe

Well, now that I am the champion of Cyrodiil and the mad god, Sheogorath, I felt like I was just about finished. But long ago during the story I received a message from a Dunmer, Myvryna Arano, saying I should meet a Doyen in the garden of Dareloth at mid-night. A quest popped up, telling me to go to Dareloth's garden. This quest was ignored ever since I closed the gate at Kvatch until I become Sheogorath. And then I took some interest since the only other guilds I had completed were the Fighters guild (no page exists?) and the Dark Brotherhood. So I went and met this Doyen at mid-night, Armand Christophe, and saw two other potential thieves. Methredhel and Amusei. Apparently, three people trying to get into the guild was extremely unusual, so we were tasked with stealing the diary of Amantius Allectus, whoever got the diary first and brought it back to Armand would be the newest member of the Thieves Guild. Amusei blarted out that Amantius lived in the Elven Gardens district, ran to a bed roll and fell asleep. I counted him as an unreliable douche bag and just followed methredhel. She ran to his house and took his diary before I could pick the lock. She stepped out of the house and I pick pocketed her and took the book, along with some gold.

He's not going to be happy at the end of this.

I returned to Armand, and saw Methredhel had returned before me. She approached me and said I was a thief (herp derp). Ignoring Methredhel, I gave the book to Armand, who then welcomed me into the thieves guild. I was told about fences, people who would finally buy my stolen gear instead of having a single chest in a small, shabby house devour it. I continued to mash A to continue through all the speech I could and finally got onto my first heist (well that is after fencing 50 gold). I was tasked with stealing some tax records from Hieronymus Lex's office. Apparently, the Waterfront was the poverty community of the Imperial City, they owed the city taxes (like all citizens) but the Imperial Legion, the soldiers responsible for collecting taxes, realised they were far too poor to pay these taxes any time soon and just ignored them. That is until Hieronymus Lex ordered a tax collection, half of the taxes had been collected and the other half had been recorded on these tax records, meaning if they 'misplaced' he couldn't collect the taxes easily and would probably have to cancel the whole operation. So I sneaked into his offices only to be shot down by Lex himself, saying I was a 'criminal scum' and forcing me to pay 1 gold. I tried four times and succeeded on the fourth attempt. I took the records and some gold and returned to Armand. He said I could keep the gold, and that all I did was send the Legion a message that they had 'gone too far'.

Traitor? Not cool, duder.

I was then 'promoted' to the level of Footpad and was assigned another heist (after I had fenced 100 gold, of course). I was to steal a bust of an Elven 'maiden'. This bust was in a crypt on top of her coffin. I had to go to Cheydinhal, and ask the ever reliable font(s) of all knowledge. The Beggars. I paid one 15 gold and he told me to go to the Chapel Undercroft. Although this seemed easy, the Bosmer (I think) beggar said that the undercroft used to be free for the public to enter, but now it was restricted to only the guard and Count Indarys. This was because the bust was of the Count's late wife, Lady Llathasa. I continued on and went to the undercroft. I instantly saw an Altmer guard protecting the bust, she was on patrol so I sneaked pas her. I grabbed the bust and quickly ran out before the guard saw me. I returned to the Waterfront, only to find it covered with guards roaring, 'Have you seen Armand Christophe?!'. I was told that Methredhel, the one I yoinked the diary from, wanted to see me. She told me that the Thieves Guild could NOT operate under this intense pressure from the Legion. I was to frame someone so that the Legion would leave the Waterfront. There was a supposed traitor in our midst, one Myvryna Arano, the Dunmer that had told me to got to Dareloth's garden. So I went and planted the evidence, spoke to a guard and got Myvryna arrested. She tried to get me arrested, but Lex was in the uncomfortable position of no power. There was only evidence to arrest here and I went of on my own business, after a warning from Lex. I returned to Armand at midnight and got promoted to Bandit.

This isn't the first time Amusei has gotten his mug onto this blog...

I was told to go to a Khajiit caled S'Krivva. I went to here house to find the door was locked. I pick locked the door and entered, only to be met by a guard who somehow got in before me. I was greeted with the usually 'Halt' or 'Criminal Scum' and fined 1 gold for trespassing. I then waited til day to talk to S'Krivva, she told me of another Khajiit, Ahdarji, who needed my help. I had to speak to a beggar to find out where Ahdarji was. 15 gold and one minute later I was speaking with Ahdarji. She told me that an argonian, Amusei (wait a minute!?), stole a ring that was a family heirloom. I had to locate Amusei through the means of 15 gold and a beggar. I was told he was arrested by Alessia Caro for trying to rip her off (plus she hates Argonians, racist bitch...). So I went to the castle and went to the dungeons, I tried to force my way in and ended up killing half of the Cheydinhal guard, but I ended up owing blood money (according to a quest update). So I reloaded and bribed my way into the dungeons. I talked to Amusei who was reluctant to telling me anything, until I bribed him with one of my few pick locks. He told me everything and I continued with quest. I went into the town of Cheydinhal to do a bit of 'goofing off'. Once I was finished I continued with the mission at hand, to confront an Argonian hater and get some cat-woman's ring back.It was a little less exciting that I described it (if that was really exciting at all!) I went to the Countess and she denied everything. I then found some sort of servent who told me everything after fumbling with the persuasion wheel (mashing Y until her disposition was at max). She told me that Alessia Caro had a secret chamber for torturing Argonians that had come recently from Black marsh (I felt like picking an Argonian was a bad choice, they seemed to be hated by everybody). So I crawled through the dungeon style area and nabbed the ring... after 4 attempts and paying fines. I returned to S'Krivva who paid me and promoted me to Prowler. More of a Khajiit title, but I didn't care.

"' 'ey... how you doin'?"

S'Krivva then promptly gave me another task, after fencing 300 gold (this whole fencing business slowed down the quests quite a lot). I was to find Methredhel. It wasn't as easy as it should of been, but I found her and she said that she had a plan to get the Imperial Legion out of the waterfront. She had planned five major heists to go on at the same time, I was part of one of these heists. This time I had to steal Hrormir's Icestaff which was in the possession of the Archmage. I quickly traveled to the Arcane University, went to the top of the tower and stole the staff very quickly. I was supposed to place a message in the Archmage's Bedside table, which I did... after returning to Methredhel and finding out I had forgotten to do this crucial bit. I then had to spy on Lex. I did so and eventually a Dremora approached him and gargled something, gave him a note and then disappeared. I found the note and it was just Raminus Pollus bitching about how Lex had caused the Mages Guild to lose a valuable artifact. I returned to Methredhel and she told me to return the staff. So I quickly ran to the Arcan University and returned the staff. I messed around with the 'pick up' (LB) mechanic to put it on the table perfectly, so it was in the same position as it was before. I returned to S'Krivva who paid me and promoted me to Catburgler, another Khajiit-like title.

Soon, every single picture I post will be just Amusei.

S'krivva gave me a new mission (after fencing 400 gold). I was to locate a missing thief, Theranis, who had been hired to steal a book. I had to go to Skingrad, make a beggar a little bit richer and find out that Theranis had gone to prison for getting a little bit drunk and bragging about successfully stealing the book. I instantly went to Skingrad's castle and went to the dungeons. I asked the guard to get in, but he said I couldn't go in. He then blarted out something about being an assistant for Skingrad castle's butler, Shum gro-Yarug. I spoke to him and got the job. I was happy being a slop-drudge. The 2 coins a day I got for feeding the prisoners was nothing compared to the 3000-5000 coins I got every week at the arena. That is until I spoke to a nord, Larthjar the Laggard, who spoke of a 'Pale Lady' who would take prisoners away to torture them. After the third 'day out' they were never to be seen of again. Thheranis had been taken and he wasn't seen, but also an argonian had been taken. He put up a fight, apparently, and was bleeding when she took him. I soon followed a blood trail to a hidden chamber with the 'Pale Lady' inside. The chamber was her feeding room... she was a vampire, hence her nickname. I killed her quickly and found the body of Theranis. I found Amusei in a cell (god damn it! Where isn't he?). I freed him and exited the castle through a secret route. Once we were outside he told me the treasure was 'under a bush, behind Nerastarel's house, near a well'. I went to this bush, got the book and returned to S'Krivva. She paid me and (you guessed it)... didn't promote me? Well I'm always open to change.

My next mission (after fencing 500 gold) was to re-assign Hieronymus Lex to the Anvil Guard. This wasn't going to be easy, at least that's what I thought. I, again, approached a beggar and made him that little bit richer. He told me that the desk I needed to get to was in the private section of the castle. Meaning it was restricted. The beggar then suggested I went to Orrin, the castle's black smith. I went to Orrin, he was a fence for the thieves guild operating within castle anvil. He was also a Redguard black smith... get it? Never mind. He showed me to a secret passage that I could take to get to Dairihill's office to steal the recommendations list. I stole the list and took it to a man name 'The Stranger'. He forged the list and I gave it to Countess Umbranox. I returned to S'Krivva who paid me and Promoted me to Shadowfoot.

The Gray Fox, this be he.

I don't remember much about the next few assignments, but I had to go get some special enchanted gem from a temple and give it to the Gray Fox (that's right) and then I have to go and get a special arrow from some rogue mage and get the boots of Springheel jak (a reference to the legend of Springheel Jack, a victorian(I think) mass murderer who was never found and it thought to be just a myth). And then came the Ultimate Heist. Probably my least favourite quest in the Thieves guild quest line. First I had to reverse some mystical sand timer in the mages guild, crawl through the Imperial sewers and break into the imperial palace by repeatedly firing arrows at a statue and eventually (after some more crawling and sneaking) nicking an elder scroll that would free the Gray Fox from his curse. I went to go and meet him at castle anvil and he reversed the curse and made me guild leader.

Well now that I am the Guild leader of the thieves guild, more guilds await my presence.

Until next time.

P.S. if you actually read all that, great-fucking-job, I only just noticed that this could be a small novel.

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The Oblivion Memoirs Part 2: A strange door... (Spoilers)

Well after completing the main story of Oblivion, my Argonian barbarian was just sitting on my hard drive. I once again picked up the controller and entered the continent of Tamriel once again. A strange was awaiting me, and it had been ever since I started playing. In my adventures I had traveled long and far. My journeys were restless (well

...and this
My argonian looked like this...

as restless as a console RPG can get) and yet I still hadn't explored every land I could. On a strange island, strange plants grew around a strange door. A lone guard stood, making sure nothing 'unsavory' came out. After talking to him, I found out the door had been asking for a champion (at least I think it was the guard, could have been the door itself) and that when people entered they returned 'funny'. As I approached the door, a crazed citizen of dementia ran out and started attacking the guard. He was no match for my Daedric hammer.

Little did I know, the Strange door was actually a very special Oblivion gate to Sheogorath's plane. One huge Oblivion plane...

As soon as I entered I was in a very confined room with a bored looking man staring at me. I tried to speak to him and he said something about being civilised and sitting down to talk. As I watched the awkward animation of my full ebony clad lizard barbarian, sitting down after 'sheathing' his two-handed hammer made me wonder what the deal with that was. I'm pretty sure Bethesda must of known that their animations weren't top notch and so they shouldn't have forced the player to show off a pretty bad animation. Plus this was the first time I had ever sat in a chair anyway. Back to the point, I spoke to Haskill. A loyal servant of Lord Sheogorath who was 'always happy to help'. He asked me the all important, crucial question. 'Do you want to enter?' 'Yes' 'No'.

I picked 'No' and he then said something like 'we'll talk later'. So I immediately spoke to him again, mashed A and picked 'Yes'.

The room suddenly turned into many hundreds of moths/butterflies, leaving only me, the chair I was on and a table with stuff on it. I was in an area called the Fringe. A supposed testing area. I walked straight to the first town, fighting a few frog men (grummites) I found a red guard and a dark elf speaking. I spoke to the red guard and

Worse than every headless zombie out there...

knowing this land was crazy I was already laughing within minutes. He said some stuff about some guys fighting the Gatekeeper. He then started criticising my character and then saying nice things about me. Crazy red guards... I followed the dark elf up to the gatekeeper. A small formation of steel clad soldiers were line up. They all seemed fairly normal and must have been new-comers to the dark lands of Sheogorath. Within seconds of them charging the gatekeeper they were dead, all of them. They left me their armour, weapons and gems and I sold them at a high price. An in-game day had passed and so I charged the fearsome guardian with my hammer and some very weak magic. I launched a few 'Flares' at him. Setting it on fire, I then went in to grind my heavy attacks. His health was high and his attacks were actually damaging (including the annoying one where he sends you flying across the map).

I killed it and entered through the gates of madness. I was surprised when I couldn't fast travel to New Sheoth straight away. It was a bit like the new Skyrim feature where you have discovered all the main cities but have to get their without fast travel (e.g. walking, paying for a ride in a wagon etc.). I made it to New Sheoth and was quite awe struck by how the city was laid out as opposed to the relatively flat cities of

"Come again! Or i'll pluck out your eyes! hahaha"

Oblivion, this city was a little less flat and had a areas that required roof jumping to get to. But I didn't have time, I went straight to palace and saw who exactly was in charge. But if anything, Sheogorath was the ultimate power that seemed to have no power... He had some of the greatest dialogue I had heard in quite a while (second to only portal (Portal 2 and Bulletstorm had some pretty good dialogue)) I continued to speak to him, laughing at the odd and often imaginative words that fell from his glorious mouth. He always contradicted himself, and often went off topic and somehow returning to the topic while continuing his story (e.g. saying someone was in danger, reminisce about something funny, link the two together).

The first quest that was memorable was the Xedilian quest. I had to do some shit with some crystals and then speak to some lonely old guy in the tower. But apparently instead of fixing the tower and leaving I could mess up some adventurers. I myself was an adventurer and hated traps, but there's something about doing the thing you hate most to others that makes it amusing. I killed two of them and then sent an orc crazy by making weird holographic zombies attack him. The guy I was helping told me I was free to go and gave me a Dawnfang to boot! And then some duders from Jiggly-lag's army of order attacked me, only to have their crystalline heads cracked into dust. A few minutes later I was reporting to Sheogorath of the news, he said he was expecting it and other 'insightful' information.

I then remember being told to find out more about the way the land works by helping out the dukes of Mania and Dementia. For Mania, the Duke was (no jokes) an actual

They were a nightmare when their limbs glitched out.

stoner who loved to get high on crazy ingredients. But he had lost his chalice of reversal, the one thing that stopped him getting addicted to the drugs. So I had to go to an Elytra (giant bugs that creep the fudge out of me) nest, get high and go looting. Since the only way to enter was to consume Felldew I had to take it, but I only had one dose. And the withdrawal symptoms were fatal once they got bad enough and so I had to keep on taking it. Long story short, crazy bugs kept me high until I found the chalice. I returned to the Duke of Mania promptly and made my way over to dementia.

For Dementia I had to put an end to a conspiracy to kill the Duke of Dementia. I was given access to a torturer who would 'torture' people on my command (some shock magic). I soon found an interesting arena like area on top of one of the roof tops. I approached an imperial who seemed to be addicted to Skooma. I asked her about the conspiracy and she said she didn't know anything. I said, 'LIAR! Herdir, toruture her!'. Herdir took his sweet time but I got an answer out of the Skooma addicted resident of Crucible. Soon the trail led to someone called Muurine who was killed in Dementia's torture area.

A lot of this expansion was a huge blur sadly, the next bit I can remember doing with my Ar-conan-ian was battling a lot of Dark Seducers and lighting a huge flame. And then subsequently lighting a smaller flame in New Sheoth. Once lit, Sheogorath appeared, slowly clapping his hands. He told me a new Duke was needed. I picked to kill Lady Syl, and so I went through a long process of dungeon crawling (a pretty big factor considering the Oblivion gates were dungeon crawls) and easy combat I killed Lady Syl and took her heart so I could do a weird ritual where the heart exploded into a multi-coloured flame and I became the Duke of Dementia. Soon after, Sheogorath appeared and spoke to me about burying clouds, or was it clowns? And then a rotten smell, couldn't have been clouds, clouds don't smell they taste like butter... and tears. Sheogorath was interrupted by Thadon, the Duke of Mania. Syl was apparently his lover and they had been meeting in secret. Since Mani and Dementia don't get along very well, this was against some unwritten law. But the real memorable bit about this conversation was the gibberish Thadon and Sheogorath came out with. Truly delightful dialogue.

A few hours later of some not so memorable quests...

One of my few complaints has to be about the quests of the otherwise amazing Shivering Isles DLC. They were really quite repetitive and a lot of them were dungeon crawls. Instead of mazes though, they were very linear with enemies placed randomly. That one guy that created all the dungeons must have been over-worked or maybe they were poor because he didn't work on them. Some quests stick out as well as a lot of dialogue, but the main quest line is (as my blog clearly shows), rather, not something special.

My memory jumps to Sheogorath turning into Jiggle-bag and Haskill saying I had to become the mad god in order to save the Shivering Isles. But I need some staff made from a crazy shadow tree and someones (charmingly enough for a mad god) eye ball. I had to go to a place called Knifepoint hollow and find a book that had the information

Sheogorath mid transformation into Jyggalag.

in it to create a staff of the mad gods. But upon crawling the smallest dungeon ever, I found a man sitting on his own. He was apparently the keeper of Order's library (Knifepoint hollow) which had a book of formula that could predict every action (using logic and order) that was going to be made/being made/already made. Sheogorath found the library and burnt it saying that 'choice is a form of logic' (very rusty memory) meaning that the library was useless. But sheogorath could not make himself kill the 'librarian' since killing him would destroy his knowledge of almost everything. Instead he imprisoned him in the library and he had been kept their for many eras.

Soon after speaking I am sent on a mission to get a tree branch and someones eye. First thing I got was the branch. I had to crawl through a maze like dungeon and fight a shadow version of myself, get a cool sword and then I had to go on another crawl and kill some leader of a cult to remove her eye. And that's all I want to say about that quest. It was pretty much an everyday crawl. I got the staff made, but it was unfinished. It was only a husk of a mad god's staff. I need it enchanted and blah, blah, blah.

I return to new Sheoth and speak to Haskill. He says in order to complete the staff I need to use a special font behind the throne. But order crystals have dried up the waters of madness which keep the Shivering Isles alive. So I have to enter into the giant tree that is behind the throne and fight through a bunch of Priest's of Order and slowly un-corrupting the Order polluted pools of madness. The last pool was being defended by Thadon who had donned Order in body and mind. He wasn't particularly strong and so I killed him and finished the quest.

I soon got my staff completed when a Golden Saint comes to me and tell's me the Obelisks in the courtyard have activated. I receive quest progress suggesting this may be the start of the final assault by Jyggalag and his forces of Order. I went outside and fought beside my Dark Seducer and Golden Saint guards. Both Obelisks had been

Jyggalag standing in front of the palace... victory was near.

deactivated in valiant battle. I was only half way through the battle though, a huge burst of light killed all my Daedra guards and left me standing in front of Jyggalag. He held a very large crystal claymore in one hand and in one fell swoop he took off half of my health. I resorted to spell casting and make cheeky attacks with my hammer from behind. Eventually I killed him and Jyggalag explained everything...

Well, now that the mysterious door has been investigated and the Shivering Isles saved from destruction, the strange guilds of the land of Tamriel call my presence. The great champion of Cyrodiil is being called by the dark brotherhood and thieves guild...

Until next time, good adventuring.

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My memories of Oblivion... (Spoilers, plus not a walkthrough)

The Elder Scrolls has been a largely successful RPG franchise for many good reasons, and was supposedly the franchise that made Bethesda. But for me the franchise started with Oblivion. I saw it first when I went to see a friend, he created a new character and let me play from there. It felt like a very good game, but then again this was (very shamefully) the first time I played a Bethesda game and the first Elder Scrolls game I played. I didn't know what the hell was going on half the time, but I knew I was kicking ass. I got stuck at the very first Oblivion gate (rushed in at a low leveled, level one) and got my ass kicked by Stunted Scamps, my 'Heal Minor wounds' was no match for their Daedric fire. 
 
After I overstayed my welcome, I just forgot about the game. Mainly because I didn't have an xbox or a good PC (and my PC is still low-end as ever!). About three years later I 

One of the very few GoTYs I own. 
 got an xbox. My first game was Fallout 3, which was great. Pretty soon after I saw the open vault door like Bethesda logo, I instantly remembered Oblivion.  So after a few months of playing and completing Fallout 3, I went out to buy the Elder Scrolls fourth chapter ( excluding Redguard and Battlespire). I  found it within seconds in a local branch of Gamestation, I was however surprised when one of the employees pressured me into buying the GoTY edition, but it was their job. I walked out of the store with Oblivion in my hands and twenty pounds in theirs. I quickly went home and started up a brand new character. 
 
I had zero memory of the character creator, I didn't even remember what race my friend set me up on. I skimmed through the races and saw a crazy lizard guy, I picked him because he looked call at the time and had water breathing and fairly good resistances to disease and poison. Little did I know I would get hundreds of amulets for water breathing in the main story and side quests...  
 This guy looked less bitch like than in the actual game.
I also didn't know Argonians are more inclined towards light armour and stealth rather than heavy armour and using a hammer to crush the skulls of every enemy I could reach/see/talk to. But I endured.  
The magic seemed very cool, but, alas poor argonian, magicka is not the lizard man's friend.  
Fire is their best friend. 
 
I thought my argonian was pretty awesome when I was playing, wolves didn't stand a chance, minotaurs were barely a scratch but the Daedra were nightmares. Especially since my argonian was also, kinda a vampire and I usually I had a very high weakness to fire... it's not like the Daedra liked to use fire based magic? Right? I survived a lot of the Oblivion gates I went into, and earned a lot of fame and 'high level' (level 10 or something) loot.  
 
Although, something happened, I stopped playing Oblivion. A whole load of new games started coming out (things like MW2). Many months passed, maybe about a year  passed before I used my armour clad, barbaric, vampire argonian again and played the main story properly. 
Azura + glowdust= quest progress.
 And by 'properly' I mean rushed-the-fuck-through-it. I presented Azura with glowdust and then some crazy stuff happened and I infiltrated the Mythic Dawn. First time I tried I actually infiltrated them, donned their robes, listened to a sermon, yoinked their holy book and killed them all.  I only reloaded because the chest that should have had all my heavy armour and axes/claymores of douche-baggery were gone. So I reloaded, refused to take off my armour and started to loot and pillage everyone in the Mythic Dawn cavern. I sneaked through a door and got out my only bow and arrow (a Blackbow, looted from my random murder crusades) and sneak attacked Mankar Camoran. I had killed the guy that was responsible for the destruction of Kvatch, but really an arrow to the face with three times damage only knocks him out. After alerting everybody of my presence, I dropped down and killed everything in the room and yoinked the book. I turned around and saw an Argonian tied up waiting to be sacrificed to Mehrunes Dagon
I saved his ass, destroyed a large chunk of the Mythic Dawn and had taken one of their most important books. 
 
Martin told me a bunch of stuff about cryptic clues of legendary items that either didn't really, but did exist items and I went out and got them. Sancre Tor was an absolute nightmare. It was literally a dungeon made by Satan. The one guy that had made every single dungeon in the 
 They looked pretty much like this.
game must've gotten bored and just made it as long and maze like as possible and threw in a bunch of wraiths... And these wraiths screamed when they were moveing, screamed when they attacked and screamed when they got hit. They also had a lot of health for a spectral unit. Once I got all the items, there was one fateful thing to get.  A GOD DAMNED GREAT SIGIL STONE. By now I was very tired of dungeon crawling and Oblivion gates. 
This sigil stone was special though, it was apparently the 'anchor for a Great Gate'. I knew what this meant straight away, a great gate full of boss leveled enemies and a maze like Oblivion plane. I endured through a not very nice assault from the Great Gate, Martin died twice and then I just ran into the gate. I saw my nightmares compiled into that one Oblivion gate. It was pretty much a maze and I had something like fifteen minutes to close the gate otherwise the Siege Crawler would kick Bruma's Nordic ass. I did it after cracking many, many scamp skulls and encountering one fire atronach. ONE! There was no leveled, or boss-leveled enemies, let alone leveled loot. 
 
The next bit was a blur, not particularly memorable, and then I'm in some crazy stoner-forest with demons torturing other demons in it. I went through and killed Mankar Camoran and killed his Xivali bodyguard. I was expelled back to Martin    in Bruma (i think) and then a crisis in the imperial city emerged. Just when I though I had finished I had more to do. It wasn'r so much the lenght of the game that got to me, that shattered my mind, it was the repetitiveness of the 'Allies for Bruma' quest and the multiple dungeon crawls required to get items for Martin. The Imperial City was my safe place, the area I bought and sold all my shit. Stuff like emeralds, diamonds, one-handed swords, staffs. Basically stuff that couldn't crack a rock in real life. But now it was anything but safe. I had to escort Martin through the streets. 
 
The scamps were nothing, none of the daedra caused any harm at all. But then I saw him. Mehrunes Dagon, he wasn't the best looking enemy in the game, the graphics on him seemed even lower than the graphics of his surroundings. His face had no properly defined eyes or nostrils and his mouth was just a chunk taken out of his head. First
All he wants to do is tea bag everything.
 time I saw him I ran up and started to hit his leg. He looked at the probably -1 damage I had done to him and one-hit-killed me with his axe, that was far superior to mine. Second time I skipped past him and got Martin killed. Third time lucky I got Martin into the Temple of the One. The game turned into cinematic mode as I watched Mehrunes crash into the temple, trying to stop Martin. And then the craziest thing happened. I think I must've blacked out and had some crazy dream instead of seeing this. Martin effectively killed himself to become Akatosh and he bit Mehrunes on the shoulder who then exploded into a pool of light. I had completed the game then and there. 
 
I was in a state of Limbo. The game I had played for about 40 hours or so to complete the game. I found it difficult to decide upon a conclusion for what it was like. I liked it because it was very open (dare I say more so than Fallout 3) and the general atmosphere was nice (with some music that was no master piece, but still summed up the mood of your situation). However, teeth were reduce to dust when I had to crawl through the dungeons and when the repetitiveness caught up with me. Overall I liked it, I thought it was honestly a fresh RPG. Send me lots of hate mail if you must, but compared to some RPG fans I might as well be a new comer. 
 
Now that Mehrunes Dagon is done and dusted, the Septim bloodline ended and Tamriel in a state of complete safety from Oblivion gates opening, but still in a sense of panic and fear of what is to come a Strange Door awaits my adventures...  

 Soon I think I'll try and delve deep into the Elder Scrolls. I've already give Bethesda forty pounds for Skyrim (and to arrive on 11.11.11). I want to get Morrowind but I've got enough games to tide me over to Skyrim and Skyrim will tide me over till some time next year. So until next time, have a good adventure guys!
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Every ten hours.

Well I have, like many, pre-ordered Skyrim and I'm now in the painful stage of agonizing excitement and the lows of not getting enough info on Skyrim
This blog will hopefully record every ten hours of my gameplay during the game, through the highs, the lows, the plot twists/spoilers and much more. Just remember, these blogs may or may not contain spoilers, but I will use   
 

 I'm making this because I really can't wait for Skyrim, I've never done something like this and my other blogs are the type that got me a lot of hate mail (don't look them up). This concludes the first part of the blog, now to wait a few months and some serious work will get done.
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