Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tail of a Tale (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)

I was a fan of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion when it was originally released back in 2006. I spent many hours playing it. when Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released, I eagerly picked that up, and have spend many hours playing it as well. But I always missed Oblivion. Skyrim added new features to gameplay, like the ability to have a companion to help your character fight and carry loot, and the ability to purchase and furnish a private home instead of housing your stuff at a guild. But there was something special about Oblivion. The map territory you could explore seemed more expansive, your character's appearance was more customizable, and the mysterious Ayleid ruins were always appealing to me. 

I thought my opportunity to play Oblivion was lost when we purchased an Xbox One console. When my husband discovered that Oblivion can be played on Xbox One, I was delighted. He downloaded the game (no more disk to keep track of!) and we started playing it right away, just a few days ago. 

My inclination has always been to play elves in Elder scrolls games. I've tried a few other races, but I always end up abandoning those characters and going back to my elves. But last year my husband discovered a YouTube channel featuring the humorous adventures of Kaybe the Dragon-Boxing Khajit, a Skyrim character whose creator had recorded her adventures and supplied in-character narration. Kaybe's speech pattern is very amusing to my husband and I, as well as her cat-like behavior of constantly knocking things off tables wherever she goes. When I started my first new Oblivion character for Xbox One, I decided to make her a Khajit, partly to try something new and partly in honor of Kaybe.

After I'd played the character through the game's tutorial, I found myself thinking about the character's adventures as if she was similar to Kaybe. Khajit aren't common in Cyrodiil, the setting of Oblivion, or in Skyrim. The few Khajit NPCs you meet do have unique accents and speech patterns. There is even a random Khajit NPC you can encounter in Skyrim, M'aiq the Liar, who will say humorous dialogue if you trigger his conversation option. Inspired by Kaybe and M'aiq, I decided to write a short description of my character's first adventure. For color I'm working with the conceit that she doesn't speak the local language well, and that Khajit don't use personal pronouns or definite/indefinite articles. The periodic ending of a sentence with "yes" is openly borrowed from Kaybe.

Tale of a Tail

Ahdani is in prison. Why is Ahdani in prison? She took only small fish. She was hungry. She is still hungry, yes. Cell is cold and damp and there is no food. Across the way is nasty man, nasty elf maybe, yes. He says guards will not feed Ahdani, let her starve. He is not nice. He says guards come to kill Ahdani. Ahdani wants to laugh at him, he is in cell, too, yes. But he speaks truth, guards come. Guards come to Ahdani’s cell. Guards have big swords.

Old man is with guards. Old man has pretty robes. Ahdani likes, yes. Old man says he knows Ahdani, he saw Ahdani before, in dream. He also says he is emperor. Ahdani does not know. Ahdani has not seen emperor before. Maybe old man is mad. But guards say he is emperor too, yes. Old man says he will die soon, says it is destiny Ahdani is in cell. Ahdani thinks he is crazy, but he is nice to Ahdani, yes.

Guards tell Ahdani to get back, then part of stone wall opens up. There is tunnel. Ahdani did not know there was tunnel. If Ahdani knew there was tunnel, Ahdani would leave, yes. Guards and old man go in tunnel. Guards do not close wall, do not tell Ahdani to stay, so Ahdani goes in tunnel too, yes. Too bad Ahdani cannot laugh at mean elf.

Tunnel goes down. Then red men with big swords attack guards. Lady guard dies. Ahdani picks up her sword, yes. Other guards do not care. Guards do not like Ahdani, but old man says he trusts Ahdani. When red men die, their swords disappear. It is very strange to Ahdani. She searches bodies, but red robe men have nothing, only robes. Old man’s guards open door, but do not wait for Ahdani. When door closes it locks. Ahdani cannot open it. Ahdani is alone, yes.

Ahdani sees there is hole in wall, stones fell out. Ahdani goes through hole. Under building, big stone pillars, smells of dirt. Rats try to bite Ahdani. Ahdani stabs them with guard lady’s sword, yes. Ahdani finds chest. It is locked, but Ahdani can open. Good things in chest. Ahdani can sell for gold septims, buy fish, yes.

Ahdani finds wooden door. Dead goblin by door. Goblin has good things too, yes. Door not locked. More pillars beyond, more dirt. Ahdani kills more rats, finds more chests. Ahdani wonders why chests are here, maybe goblin put them there, yes. Ahdani finds nasty, nasty ghoul. Ahdani kills it with magic fire, yes. More tunnels, more rats, more chests. Ahdani has too many things, cannot carry more. She must put down things, so sad, not so many septims for Ahdani.

Tunnels are dirt now, not stone. Ahdani finds more goblins. Ahdani is clever and sneaky, she kills goblins before they see her, kills them with fire. Two goblins stand at bottom of slope, top of slope is stack of logs. Ahdani kicks logs, logs roll down, crush goblins. Goblins are stupid, yes. Goblins have many, many good things, Ahdani cannot carry them all.

Ahdani finds stone wall, wall has hole. Ahdani hears voices through hole. Ahdani jumps through hole, finds guards and old man! Ahdani thinks she is in tunnels long time, how are guards still here? No matter, old man is glad to see Ahdani, yes. Guards think she is helping red robe men, old man says no. Guards go to check ahead, old man talks to Ahdani about stars, which star is Ahdani's star. Ahdani's star is Warrior. This is good, yes.

Ahdani follows guards and old man to room, but door is locked. Guards have no key. Guards hear red robe men coming, one guard goes to fight, one guard stays with old man. Old man comes to Ahdani, tells her he thinks now he dies, gives her amulet. Old man says give amulet to Jauffre man, Jauffre man will give to emperor’s son. Old man is nice to Ahdani, yes, Ahdani takes amulet. Then red robe man comes. Ahdani fights, but red robe man stabs old man. Ahdani is afraid guard will think Ahdani killed old man, but guard does not think this. Guard is not stupid, yes. Guard tells Ahdani to go to Weynon Priory, find Jauffre man, give amulet. Ahdani would like to take old man’s nice robes but guard will not let her. Guard gives Ahdani key to get into sewer. Guard thinks Ahdani is agent, agent of what? Ahdani is clever and quick and agile, yes!

Ahdani is not happy about sewer. Tunnels are already dark and smelly, yes. Sewer will be worse. But sewer is way to get out. Ahdani takes key, unlocks door into sewer. In sewer are more rats and goblins. Ahdani kills them with her sword. There is door, when door opens, Ahdani is outside, yes! Ahdani is free!

It is night. Ahdani sees Ayleid ruin across water. Behind Ahdani are walls, city walls. Ahdani does not want to go into city at night. Maybe city guards will know she escaped prison. Tomorrow she will go, when city people all sad that emperor dies. Then no one will notice Khajit selling things for gold septims. Ahdani will sell things, buy fish and meat that is not rat meat, yes. Now Ahdani will find place to sleep.

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