An Orc’s Life, Part 6: Grawnk: Wanderer Part II

It’s a small province, after all.

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

Only in Skyrim would I run into a traveling bard in the middle of nowhere when the last thing I’m trying to do is be reminded of bards. Thanks, Skyrim, you know just how to cheer me up. His name is Talsgar the Wanderer. Well Talsgar, I may not be a bard, but I know a thing or two about wandering. I make conversation with him, and even ask him to train me in the art of speech. He declines, but suggests instead that I seek out someone in the bard’s college. My open palm suddenly feels like wandering into Talsgar’s face, but I resist. He couldn’t know that’s a sore subject for me. Well, since my mind has already turned once more to barding, I might as well request a song from a fellow bard wanderer. I have missed the cheerful sound of song during my travels. He has no instruments, but does a pretty good rendition of that Dragonborn song people seem so fond of. When the song concludes, we both part our wandering ways.

Talsgar has successfully gotten the Dragonborn ditty stuck in my head, so as we continue our westward walk, I belt out the lyrics. Meeko barks along with me, probably in protest of the noise. Sorry, boy. Now you know how it feels when you won’t shut up. We’ve been following signs to a small mining community called Karthwasten, and finally arrive. I’m hoping to gather ore for my blacksmithing hobby/career.

Blah blah, we have problems. Got it.

It seems I have a knack for walking into towns during arguments. Either I have impeccably poor timing, or townspeople in Skyrim are just constantly bickering with each other. And whichever it is, I could care less. I’m just here to take your ore, and leave your mines barren. I walk right through the cluster of people and overhear that a group of mercenaries is barring access to one of these people’s own mines unless they sell their town to some rich dude. Tough break. If I were an adventurer, and also not depressed, I’d probably do something about this injustice…but I’m not, [ Life as an NPC can be so deliciously uncomplicated sometimes. ] so I head first into the mine not controlled by mercenaries. There was only a paltry amount of silver ore, so I decide to press my luck and venture into the mercenary mine.

Make a rude comment if you want me to mine all the ore. Okay, thanks, I will.

Despite their veiled threats and harsh looks, the mercenaries don’t do anything to stop me from cleaning out the mine of all its silver ore. And there is a lot of ore. I can earn a decent amount of gold if I make jewelry out of it. Having exhausted Karthwasten’s supply of ore, I leave town in search of more mines.

Something about the bones, spikes, and decapitated goat head tell me this isn’t a mine.

I find something else, though. I finally have my first encounter with the Forsworn that I have been hearing folks talk about.

The Forsworn: Fierce fighters, but frightening fashion choices. Deer skulls were so last year.

I can see why everyone hates them. Like everything and everyone else in Skyrim, the Forsworn have a penchant for trying to kill you. Luckily, in my depressed/moody state, I’ve been waiting for a good fight. I lay waste to them, which isn’t hard to do. Animal skin does very little to protect its wearer from a heavy steel mace. I follow my ritual of honoring the dead by stripping the bodies of everything valuable they have, and leaving them in the middle of the road. I only wish I could leave signs by the bodies of jerks that messed with me saying: “They messed with Grawnk and paid the price.” Only problem is I’d run out of signs within one day’s time.

Not far from the bodies of the Forsworn is Kolskeggr Mine.

And what a goldmine it is. No, literally, it’s an actual goldmine.

The first thing I notice about the mine is that it’s positively radiating with a glow from all the gold ore around. The second thing I notice is that it’s crawling with Forsworn, and they’re headed right for me. Crap. Meeko and I cut a bloody swath through their ranks, splashing red blood on the gold ore. One of them starts spraying me with flames, which causes me to temporarily retreat, but then I come back and collapse his face. Next, I see a female Forsworn running at me. She’s clearly looking for my mace, so I politely help her find it.

Chivalry isn’t dead, but you sure are.

I run around smashing and bashing until I realize there aren’t anymore Forsworn left. We killed them all. What started as a simple get-rich-quick scheme, turned into a desperate bid for my survival. But I survived, and killed every last one of them. That’s right, Forsworn; don’t mess with Grawnk.

Because if you do, and bring your hate,

Bitch, I won’t even wait,

To take my mace and decapitate,

Your ugly, antlered stupid face,

And put it on a silver plate.

Respect. [ Grawnk drops microphone and walks off stage like a bawss. ]

I call that one “Ode to the Forsworn haters.” This fight has restored a lot of my confidence, not to mention inspired a new composition. Although, I don’t think it’s fit for audiences. I almost walk out of the mine before remembering why I came in in the first place. I excitedly mine every ounce of ore, and leave with close to sixty pieces. All this gold is burning a hole in my pocket. No. Wait. It’s just ripping through them. This stuff is heavy.

As I continue on, I happen upon a small settlement talking about what else, but the Forsworn. They say that someone in town has actually put out a reward for anyone who clears out Kolskeggr Mine of the Forsworn. Excuse me? I’ll be taking that reward, then. My mood just keeps getting better and better. I find the man who is offering the reward, tell him the good news, and walk away with 1200 gold pieces. Hot damn.

And just like that, I have completed my first quest, whether I meant to or not.

I travel a little further and see the great stone city of Markarth rise up before me.

Eat your heart out, Solitude.

Solitude was beautiful in its own way, but I am much more taken by the imposing stone buildings of Markarth. Yes. I think I will stay here for a while. I will no longer be Grawnk: Wanderer. I am now Grawnk: Accidental Adventurer.

I am happy to announce that I will be trying to put out a new post every Wednesday now. That doesn’t mean I’m still not a procrastinator, though. The past two posts I published were very late in the night. For reference, I publish in the US Eastern time zone. I like the weekly format better as it turns out, but to keep it up, it means the posts’ length will be close to the length of this one. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone. My blog now has over 2,000 views, so I want to say a big thanks to everyone still reading. I appreciate you.

Lastly, if you get bored waiting for my posts to come out, I urge you to read this comic: It’s called PREQUEL, and it’s about a female Khajiit named Katia who is trying to start a new life in Cyrodil (it’s set in the Oblivion game). It’s user-driven, and very well done.

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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16 thoughts on “An Orc’s Life, Part 6: Grawnk: Wanderer Part II

  1. WOOOOOOO! New post! Love it, especially the Ode to Forsworn Haters. I find that I don’t really mind a little bit of adventuresome Forsworn slaughtering, as long as Grawnk isn’t killing dragons or whatnot. The schedule of relatively short weekly posts is fine by me, too.

  2. Nice! I see that Grawnk has discovered the only sure fire way to feel better once life gets you down… go down a dark cave or mine with a excessively big or sharp object and slice up/bludgeon to death anything that gets in your way. I know it works for me 🙂

  3. Grats on the 2k views. You must be doing something right XD – It’s weird, I was just at Karthwasten killing spiders lol. I can’t wait to see what direction Skyrim takes Grawnk next. More mundane activities w/ keen/funny observz!

  4. Excellent post as usual. Can’t wait to see what Grawnk does next. I hope Skyrim goes a little bit easier on him, he has had a rough couple of days, though I still think he can be a bard, someone needs to represent orcs better than that shmuck in Morthal.

    If you get a chance check out my page, you have inspired me to follow in your and Christopher’s foot steps.

    • ‘Preciate that. And I couldn’t agree more about the other so-called Orc bard in Morthal. I’m happy to have inspired you. Christopher’s path of the NPC is a fun one to (literally) walk. I have found I don’t have nearly as much fun playing my other Skyrim characters on account of their “immortality.” Knowing you could be wiped out at any second really adds to the gameplay. Thanks for continuing to read.

  5. I think this is your most hilarious post yet. I laughed a man’s laugh at Ode to the Forsworn Haters. I do have one correction. In the sentence, “the Forsworn have a pension for trying to kill you,” I think that you mean “penchant” and not “pension.”

    Sorry! Please don’t hate me now. Remember, I used to teach so…

    • Why thank you! Maybe Grawnk could become a slam poet if this whole bard thing doesn’t work out.

      And what are you talking about? Didn’t you know that the Forsworn pay into a pension that increases the more people they kill? (correction has been made. thank you.)

  6. Hilarious post “Either I have impeccably poor timing, or townspeople in Skyrim are just constantly bickering with each other.” This line in particular made me chuckle, Adrian seems to suffer from a similar phenomenon. I must say however that Grawnk must be the most bad-ass NPC style character I’ve ever read about! “Ode to the Forsworn haters” shall be sang for ages to celebrate his bad-assery, great post.

  7. If Grawnk could be bad-ass on command, he’d have it made. He settles for it mainly happening on accident, though. “Ode to the Forsworn haters” was a lot of fun to write. I am currently working on another composition that focuses on bandits. This post is one of my favorites, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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