An Orc’s Life, Day 3: The Wrath of Grawnk

King Grawnk commands you to bring him the head of every bandit in Skyrim.

Below is my narration for this entry. Hope you enjoy.

I was just having the most wonderful dream. If only I could remember what it was about. I’m fairly certain the bandits from yesterday were in it. No more time to waste in bed, though. I only have one more thing to do in Dawnstar, and that’s to try and find a potion of cure disease for my Rockjoint. I head over to the local potion pub and find that they do have a potion of cure disease…for 244 gold. A little too rich for my Orc blood. I notice there is a recipe to make the same potion, however, so I opt for that instead. It requires Mudcrab Chitin and Vampire Dust. The Vampire Dust is 77 gold, but that still beats 244, so I buy it. If only I hadn’t eaten the Chitin I harvested yesterday. Make that two things I have to do before leaving Dawnstar now. I don my new armor and walk along the coast in the opposite direction from yesterday, trolling for mudcrabs.

I find horkers. Territorial horkers to be more precise.

Really guys?!

I try to walk good-naturedly around the ugly brutes, but apparently like the people in Skyrim, its creatures are just as awful. All three of the large blubber balls stupidly waddle my way and start attacking me with their dumb faces. I have no choice but to kill them all in self-defense.

Drinking game for An Orc’s Life: Drink every time something wantonly attacks Grawnk.                 Good luck with your sobriety.

[Drink 3]

Well, that’s not entirely true. These guys are as slow as slugs, and I could have outdistanced them easily by walking. At this point, I’m just trying to send all of Skyrim a message to leave me the hell alone. If that means I have to put down a few uppity horkers, then so be it. Too upset to continue my search for mudcrabs, I turn to head back to Dawnstar. I’m sure they’ll find me anyway. Everything else does. As I’m turning, I see a tent that I was too busy to notice before. There are two cots inside with flowers sprinkled all over them.There’s also plenty of wine laying about, and not to mention, an Amulet of Mara. Clearly, some bozo’s idea of a romantic date is a tent exposed to the freezing elements, with a scenic view of fat, ugly horkers. Feeling bitter about other’s happiness, I clear out the tent and return to Dawnstar

When I finish eating my lunch, I walk to the edge of town and gaze out into the snowy expanse.

I’m definitely reminded of when Sam takes his first step out of Hobbiton.

It’s time to do this. I take a symbolic, hesitant, first step forward, and just like that, I’m on my way to Solitude.

Despite the frigid temperatures, I’m rather enjoying my journey. The snowy scenery is lovely, my belly is full, the bandits are posing less of a threat, [drink 2] and with each step I take, I’m that much closer to realizing my dream. Maybe I should start composing a song to sing at my coronation, as I’m sure I will be inducted into the SBS (Skyrim Bards Society) immediately. And where else to start than with my courageous defeat of the frost troll?

[ After writing this, I realized it goes pretty well to the tune of Ragnar the Red, so for best results, read it with that in mind. OR, if you feel so inclined, I recorded myself singing it to the best of my ability, which sadly, isn’t saying much. I hope you enjoy it. ]

I’ll sing to you now of a hero once born,

Of frightening good looks, and a heart full of scorn,

For all the things evil that wish people harm,

Grawnk takes up his mace and then swings his great arm.

Bashing and beating and breaking of bones,

He woos all the women, and wins all the thrones.

But now let me tell you a most gripping tale.

One where our hero might not have prevailed.

The Frost Troll of Dawnstar a right savage brute,

Was deadly and ruthless with bad breath to boot.

It had killed twenty men upon that fateful day,

Reduced them to pulp, a most gruesome display.

Too late for the Frost Troll to notice or care,

A green blur went flying, aloft in the air.

Grawnk had arrived, and had surveyed the site,

And now he would show the full force of his might.

Still soaring, suspended, his mace held up high,

Grawnk caved in its face, and the troll it did die.

Well, it’s kind of rough, but I think it’ll do…assuming they don’t ask any questions about its validity. And even if they don’t buy it, it’s not like bards have to be fierce warriors. They just have to sing and write well. But then again, a bard’s notoriety across the land could only improve if people thought he had slayed a troll. All this thinking and composing has made me hungry. That, or the hours of traveling I’ve done so far. I spot a settlement of sorts up ahead, and decide to check it out.

I Couldn’t think of anything clever to put here. Continuation of drinking game: Drink whenever I’m trying to be clever, but fail to be.

Judging by the fact that no one has run up to attack me, I deem this a good place to rest and get something to eat. Having filled up and thawed out by the fire, I walk over to a grindstone and start improving my weapons. Unfortunately, I can’t improve my mace because it’s steel, and all I have are iron ingots. At least my axe and pickaxe are slightly more deadly now. Trees and ore; you better watch out.  Leaving Stonehills, which I found out was the name of this place, I get back on the road and notice an elk just a little ways off. Maybe I can be a hunter to put myself through Bard College. Hmm, I guess you actually have to have talent to be a hunter. My arrow missed the elk’s head, but not its ass. It bounds off before I can get in another shot, but suddenly, it falls dead before my eyes. I look down. Nope, I haven’t fired another arrow. Ah. A frostbite spider crawls out of the bushes and predictably starts spitting spider goo at me, too. [ drink 1 ] Having cleaned my mace of spider brains, I go over to the felled elk and relieve it of its profitable pelt.

I’m reminded quickly why I’m not a real adventurer when I come across a grizzly scene.

The coward in me is telling me to leave, but the opportunist in me is telling me to poke around.

A dead horse lays ravaged on the ground, with dead conjurers strewn about the carriage it was pulling. There is a sinister feeling about the area that gives me the creeps. Even still, I can’t run away when there are potential items of use around. I strip the conjurers of their enchanted robes, and search the carriage, finding a few books and alchemical ingredients. When I’m standing on the carriage, I become aware of an odd hum. The sound of magic still fills the air, almost as if it’s an echo of the magic that killed these people. Having found some good items to sell, I make haste, and put some distance between the carriage and me.

Now that the carriage is out of sight, my heartbeat returns to normal, and I start to feel at ease again. I take a look at the books I found. After reading through one, it starts to feel like the words on the pages are being absorbed through my fingertips, and traveling up into my brain, increasing my knowledge of the spoken word. It’s a very queer feeling; relatable to a slow-moving colony of microscopic ants crawling around in your head. The feeling subsides soon enough, though. If books that magically increase your intelligence exist, I’d like to know why I wasted all that time in school! Yes, I am an educated Orc. You can’t compose ballads if you spent your childhood fighting, competing, and earning your father’s favor. You have to read and study. Although, maybe you could have if you had had magical books.

The hours go by, and it’s starting to get late. I’m also getting concerned about where I’m going to sleep for the night. The snow may look fluffy and inviting, but it’s a chilly deception. I spend the next few minutes walking and thinking about snow pillows and snow beds when I come to a much welcomed sight.

And just when I was starting to “warm up” to the idea of a snow bed.

It seems as though I have stumbled across the city of Morthal. It’s nice to be reminded that good luck exists, too. I saunter stroll promenade perambulate walk down to the city. I think my brain is still adjusting to the recent influx of knowledge. I find the obligatory crowd of upset townsfolk venting their concerns in front of the Jarl’s as soon as I arrive.

Different city, same old mob. My kingdom for a town without baggage.

Knowing it can only be related to some horrible adventurey problem, I pass them by and head straight to what I think is the local inn. Moorside Inn as it turns out. How nice it will be to relax and have a hot meal after spending so much time out in the eleme – Well that’s not what I was expecting to see. As soon as I enter the inn, I am greeted by another Orc. Let me clarify; another Orc who happens to be a bard.

In a different reality, I could have called you friend.

Perhaps I was too generous with the word”bard.” His name is Lurbuk, and he is awful. Like, worse than Karita awful. I talk to Jonna, who owns the inn, and I find out the only reason Lurbuk hasn’t been kicked out is because he still has the gold to pay for lodging. I start to get angry. He’s going to give any Orc trying to become a bard a bad name. Like Orcs don’t have enough stereotypes as it is. My hunger is replaced by frustration, and I storm out the door, no longer in the mood for relaxation or eating.

Lurbuk clearly never had any education, but he became a bard anyway. What kind of injustice is that?! Instead of wasting all my time going to school, I could have been living a normal Orc life, free of mockery and judgment. As I’m fuming, I’m not paying attention to where I’m walking and bump into a local man named Benor. I excuse myself, but in turn, all Benor says is that he is the best warrior in Morthal. Ignoring the fact that he is announcing this claim to a complete stranger, I take the bait and question him further.

In answer to my question, Benor challenges me to a fist fight. Maybe he’s the best warrior in Morthal, but he sure isn’t the best conversationalist. But who am I to judge? Maybe the punch first, answer questions later approach works for him. Well, unsurprisingly, his sudden aggression only exacerbates mine. Angry, and feeling as if I have something to prove, I accept his challenge, and we start exchanging blows. [ Does this count as something wantonly attacking Grawnk? No, probably not, but drink 1 anyway for…well…you can make up a reason. ]

Look at me now, dad! I’m finally doing what you wanted me to: beating up strangers for honor. The fight starts out even, but I soon wear Benor down. After a solid right hook to his cheekbone, Benor falls to the ground in defeat. He stumbles back up, then pays me 100 gold, which seems like a strange practice. I didn’t pay those bandits for wailing on me. Unless you count me crushing in their skulls with my mace. In that case, yes, I did pay them, and I’ll gladly pay the next bandits who attack me. I’ll even throw in a tip. The First National Bank of Grawnk is open for business.

[ I decided to capture Grawnk’s brawl. ]

The fight has served one purpose, though. It’s cooled me down. I’m not so mad at Lurbuk anymore. He can’t help it that he’s terrible no more than I can help that I’m awesome (at barding…and beating up Benor). I’ll just have to count on my skills to impress, and to ward off stereotypes and misconceptions.

As if snapping out of a daydream, I remember that I actually have things I need to do. For starters, I noticed an alchemy store on my way to the inn.  There was some mudcrab chitin among the other ingredients from the carriage, so now all I have to do is craft the potion at an alchemy table. As I’m walking to the alchemy shop, I just happen to glance up at a mountain to notice a giant bird circling around it.

Note to self: Avoid that mountain like the plague. The last thing I need is to wind up as some bird’s breakfast.

Once inside the store, I ignore the shop-owner’s warm  greeting of how I look sick, and head straight for the alchemy table.  I’m not sure how mixing seafood with ashes is supposed to cure diseases, but who am I to distrust a piece of paper? I finish the potion and drink it. BLECH. The consistency of sand combined with the taste of raw crab is enough to make anyone gag. Luckily I keep it down, and just like that, I feel the strength returning to my arms. I guess the piece of paper was right after all.

Skyrim’s own version of a mixologist. I think it’s safe to say that Grawnk will avoid any recipes involving giant’s toe.

I mix up the rest of the ingredients I’d been gathering and sell the completed potions I don’t need to the shop-keeper. My how the time flies when you’re slowly mashing up ingredients in a bowl. By the time I leave the shop, night has settled over Morthal, and hunger and weariness have settled over me. The first day of my journey has passed mostly without event, and I hope to keep the rest that way, too. After all, hope brought me to Skyrim, and it’s bringing me to Solitude now.

Goodnight Moon(s), Goodnight Morthal, Goodnight Benor, Goodnight bed, and goodnight bandits; alive and dead.

Hello everyone. I first want to apologize for how long it’s taken me to get this post out. Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone who has read my blog so far, commented, liked, or subscribed. It may not seem like a lot, but I’ve received over 900 views, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I relish each comment I get because it really is still a novelty having people who are even remotely interested in reading something I wrote. So I ask that if you like what you’re reading, let me know. It’s the feedback from you all that makes me want to keep writing, and if I see that, it makes me want to get off my duffer and write more often. And alternatively, you can tell me how drunk you got for all the times you drank for lack of cleverness.

So this was supposed to be my shortest post, but it turned out being the longest. I’m not sure what happened. I’d like to hear back from you all about the format of this blog. Do you like these longer posts, or would something shorter be a better fit? Lastly, if you enjoy this blog, please share it with your friends. I started writing it because I missed The Elder Strolls, and I know there are others like me out there as well who wish to fill the void with more non-adventuring.

My About section has finally been updated if anyone is interested. Also, My Mods section has been updated to include my (numerous) mods from the Steam Workshop.

Lastly, we here at An Orc’s Life remind you to drink responsibly when reading. Remember: buzzed reading is drunk reading.

Be sure to follow me on twitter, and here on WordPress, to stay up to date with Grawnk and this blog.

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23 thoughts on “An Orc’s Life, Day 3: The Wrath of Grawnk

  1. MOOR. Moor is for moor elements in the blog (the song – good acapella btw – the vid of the fisticuffs, and the suggesh of a drinking game). Just as witty as ever, espesh the captions “Goodnight moon(s) …”. Looking forward to the next installment, as usual.

    PS: Interesting backstory about his father. I pictured him screaming “does this make you happy?!” whilst pounding on the poor village idiot’s face.

    • Thanks for noticing. I enjoyed doing all of those, and will continue to try and introduce new things to the blog. I’m glad you liked the father stuff. You’ll get to find out more about Grawnk’s past as the blog continues.

  2. I’m loving the longer posts. And all the extra stuff. I expect Grawnk will find a lot of mudcrabs between Morthal and Solitude.

  3. Yay! Moar Grawnk!
    Thanks for the update, I’ve been waiting a while for this. An interesting story, coupled with a dash of good pace and a sprinkling of wit makes enjoyable reading.
    Now, for some reason, I feel like starting my own Elder Strolls-y blog… 😮

    • Just a warning A’kizza.it seems as though people don’t realy care about your blog on a topic like this unless your first Or you post every 5 seconds.I wish you luck in the quest we share.but the odds of success arn’t that great

      My blog if interested: http://lifeofkadraan.blogspot.co.nz/

      P.S sorry if this sounds accusing or mean kitdoctor but at the moment it seems to be the truth for my luck at the moment.I have a few views but no comments,which kinda makes me think this.

      P.S.S anyway good luck A’krizza.you’ll Probably need it.

      • 201bones,

        Getting views and comments is awesome, and can help inspire you to continue writing your blog, but it’s important not to focus too much on it. Like anything on the internet, growth will start out slow, but there are steps you can take to cultivate views.

        Social media is your friend. My posts get automatically published to my facebook and twitter, but I usually go and make a second, more personal post on facebook at a time when more of my friends are online as well. Tagging is also very important. The more (applicable) search terms you add to your posts, the better chance people have of finding your blog.

        Promotion is key, and using the appropriate channels to do it is important, too. Also, you should reconsider using wordpress to host your blog. There are more design and format options available to you, and there are a lot of tutorial videos and how-to guides that help you get a handle on the basics. And on that note, WordPress has a pretty helpful list of steps you can take to increase your site traffic:

        http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/how-to-get-more-traffic/

        Don’t lose hope, and remember that writing a blog should be fun, and something you want to do for yourself, and not others.

    • A’krizza,

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the update. I’m sorry it took so long to get out. You should definitely leave a link if you do indeed make a blog. (Threading wasn’t working for your comment)

  4. As long as they stay this awesome, I say take your time getting them out, and make them as long as you want! And when will you be selling t-shirts? 😛

    • Excellent. I’m glad the wait was at least justified. Even still, I’m going to try and post more often. And I am happy to announce that t-shirts are on sale as of now!! Due to the incredible amount of effort spent making the design, I am charging $80 per shirt.

      Here is the link:

      http://imgur.com/cJr7F

  5. I think your blog is getting kind of famous! i’ll make sure to spread the word so it can get even more famous and you will never stop writing.

  6. “Goodnight Moon(s), Goodnight Morthal, Goodnight Benor, Goodnight bed, and goodnight bandits; alive and dead.”

    bwahahahahahahahahahahahaaa….

    I have a toddler, I think I need to change up his bedtime stories.

    • I fully endorse this. Might I suggest Grawnk’s Big Old Book of Bedtime Stories? It’s fictional, hasn’t been written yet, but I know kids will love it.

  7. I was getting ready to cringe at your song but you’re actually a pretty damn good singer! I might have the Ballad of Grawnk and the Frost Troll as my ringtone, can you get a polyphonic version? haha

    • I’m thrilled you liked both the singing and the post. High praise for sure. As far as the polyphonic version? I’ll have to talk to my agent haha. I’m definitely trying to work more original compositions into the story, so hopefully there will be more in coming posts.

  8. Great post, I love that Grawnk was a disappointment to his father, wimpy little singer that he is. I wonder if he’ll ever confront him, perhaps his father comes to Skyrim to stay at one of the orc settlements? That would be an incredible scene.

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