Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fourth Step: Fruity Pajamas, Alchemy, and the Continuing Quest for Dinosaur Sex

It took a couple tries with the rats (Super King, as we mentioned in the first episode, DESPISES rodentia), but eventually we did manage not to kill them. Turns out the lady was keeping them as pets and a mountain lion kept breaking in and attacking them. Well that's all fine and dandy, but I sort of joined up with the corps to do some good in the world and not protect some lady's smelly crap factories.

After I've resolved the mouse problem I move on to the next fighter's guild. They're making me go to the next town over the jerks can't keep me employed in one town for more than two seconds. That's okay, upon entering the front door Super King realizes something that the many treks through that rat infested basement had made him forget:

There's TONS of stuff to steal in the Fighter's Guild. And this place is just ripe for the picking! First stop: display cases.

I broke like fourteen lockpicks to get at this crap. WHY DO YOU TAUNT ME?!

All was not lost. Though the gauntlets and dagger were nothing to write home about, the rest of the gills was stuffed to the rafters with all sorts of interesting doo-dads, as we might've come to expect. More than once Super King exceeds his maximum encumbrance. He chortles to himself, sticking longswords and maces in his pack in plain view of everyone. 'That's what you get for four hundred years of oppression, sucker!!' he shouts, raising a pilfered hunk of venison high into the air. The fighter's guild porter, to whom it was addressed, looks at Super King with a smile and queries whether or not he's got any armor that needs fixin'. The dino-hero stares at him with a sullen face. It's not as fun to steal from people when they don't care...

Anyway! We decide that it's time to balance our Yang with a little Yin, and Super King storms up the stairs to shake hands with the guildmaster. A rough and tumble sort, no doubt! Someone who's been through countless engagements and bears the scars to prove it. A no nonsense man, a strong man, the kind of leader that you'd follow into battle any day! The kind that you'd want your kids to emulate!

Are you kidding me...? YOU'RE my boss?

Super King shakes the orc awake, praying that this is some cruel prank pulled by other members of the guild. He fully expects that when the guildmaster awakens he'll be just as startled as the dino-recruit by his curious choice of sleepwear. "Pajamas?!" he'll exclaim, pausing only to rip them from his burly frame before going on a (naked) rampage through the building, killing every Porter he sees with the unquenched fury of his bare hands.

Such is not the case... and Burz gro-Khash barely bats an eye at his fruity sleepwear. Super King is totally taken aback. "Uh..." he starts, "Uh... Azzan said something about a job?" Unsaid is the closer to that sentence: if it's about rats then you're gonna get BURIED in that fruity get-up. Though Burz is guildmaster and clearly has many years of experience on him, Super King'll be damned if he's gonna let some goddang sissy send him on another rat hunting mission.

No, instead we have to deliver weapons to some rejects in a cave five minutes away who couldn't be bothered to do it themselves. Makes sense to me!! Considering I had to travel halfway across the world to get this reject job, I hope it was totally worth the travel time when all your boys are doing is sitting around by a fire, getting drunk on low quality mead. The dinosaur is starting to get severely weary of this soft-skinned fleshy races, but he accepts the job nonetheless. He needs to keep advancing in rank so once he's guildmaster he can cleanse the halls of all non-dinos and bring in his own new recruits. Once they've converted to an all scaly format things will be better, he just KNOWS it.

But for now...

Alright lady, have fun. See ya later!

Just as he's turning away to leave, Super King is grabbed and told in no uncertain terms that he isn't getting out of this cave until every single one of the goblins is dead. He briefly considers just killing all the softies right there on the spot, as nothing in the job request specifically said he COULDN'T slaughter the guild members after delivering the weapons... but he decides (against his better judgment) to sally forth with the understanding that goblins often die with treasure clutched in their filthy paws. At least he'll be killing -something- sentient. It has to be more fun than rats, right?

Turns out it WAS pretty fun... just not for everyone else.

Oooops... sorry guys.

The sole remaining member of our attack party doesn't seem overly concerned with his companion's deaths, nor does he seem all that concerned that I'm looting their corpses right before his very eyes. Momma-dino didn't raise no fool and, despite being crushed under a pile of logs, that Orc's steel armor is in pretty dang good condition. Weight requirements prevent me from snatching up leader girl's chainmail, but I briefly consider making a trip back. It doesn't seem to have a very good defensive value, but it DOES make me look positively smashing.

All things in good time, I've got business to attend to. Super King trudges his way back to Guildmaster McFruitypants and reports the (relative) success of the hunting party, tugging awkwardly on the collar of his new steel curiass and hoping good ole Burz doesn't recognize his friend's getup.

Freedom! In addition to the pilfered armor and weapons, the dinosaur is handed a not-so-meager reward in the form of a couple hundred gold pieces. Seed money, if you will.

It all started back in the Chorrol fighter's guild, where Super King realized that stealing books was a lightweight and reasonably profitable way to increase his Mercantile skill (apparently no shopkeeper questions someone trying to sell twelve dozen books at one time). As luck would have it, the dinosaur took the time to read a passage or two from the musty old tomes before pawning them for shiny gold pieces and miniscule increases to his skill ranks. In these arcane volumes he picked up a secret or two about Alchemy, the science of mixing ingredients to create potions. Not really the sort of reading material he'd expect to find in the fighter's guild, but whatever. It's better than picking up your fourteenth volume of 'Hairy Nord Babes with Nothing to Lose'. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to try and sell one of THOSE?

Knowledge is power... FOR REAL.

Super King has always been a schemer, and emboldened by his extracurricular activities he gathers up as much rat meat and lettuce as he can and goes to work making just about every potion he can think of. Most of these are colossal failures, but it doesn't matter because even the good ones smell like doggy dung. Super King finally realizes why he's been hauling around 67 pieces of Viper Bugloss (whatever THAT is) and from there on the sky is the limit. Soon he's burdened down with the clanking weight of newfound wealth, ready to make his way to a nearby general store and unload his ill-gotten gains at a reasonable price. By stealing all food from the fighter's guild and convenient farm locations he's basically reduced his overhead to zero, minus opportunity cost inflicted by travel time. The result? PURE PROFIT! As the dollar signs rack up in his head, Super King is confronted by an odd vision...

You don't say...

My excitement runs rampant when I realize that there's some sort of 'perks' system in this game, and I can barely constrain myself from jumping up and down in my seat, and mixing about two dozen more lettuce and wheat 'Restore Fatigue' potions in the hope that I get to see another one of those congratulatory messages. Some time later I give up the ghost with a gentle sigh. Later I'll do some reading on the subject and find out that perks are given out at the 25, 50, 75, and 100 marks. That's not exactly as fast as I would prefer, and I'm sure Super King would agree with me when I say that perks should be given out at the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc... mark, but what do I know? I'm just a lowly computer gamer.

The nearest general store just so happens to be the one owned by that nasty old hag of an Argonian with the hot daughter from last episode. Super King saunters in with his tail up in the air, convinced that he's gonna be 'gettin' some tonight' as soon as tasty lil' Dar-Ma sees his rather impressive collection of 'Poison Self' potion debacles. When he inquires as to the whereabouts of the fine piece of 'tail' the mother just about breaks down in tears, or the dinosaur equivalent of tears anyway. Dinosaurs are so tough that whenever they feel like crying they just turn to someone nearby and floor them with a haymaker punch.

It's awesome, I know.

Super King is ready for this, of course, being not only super strong and totally masculine, but also a really empathetic dude. 'There, there, it's okay' he purrs to the woman as he helps her off the floor, having dodged her haymaker and totally counterpunched her in the jaw. This dinosaur ain't nobody's fool, if you want to take your grief out on someone, grandma, do it to one of the softies outside.

Soon sensation has returned to the woman's mouth and she's able to tell the tale without spitting out any more teeth or an OVERLY copious amount of blood. Super King listens intently, convinced that if he rescues the daughter then he's TOTALLY gonna get some action!

I just need to know one thing... is your daughter a slut?

So emboldened by the promise of reward is Super King that he struts his way off into the wild blue yonder. Apparently Dar-Ma is being held captive in the settlement of Hackdirt just a little ways south of here. Super King readies his sword for battle and approaches the settlement under the cover of night, but sees nothing all that out of the ordinary. Sure the buildings are only halfway completed and the main road into the town appears to be a foul combination of mud and human feces... but isn't this how ALL apes live?

Still, he decides it'd be prudent to use his inborn stealth skills. Clambering his way against the sides of ramshackle huts and brokendown carts, Super King discovers a hidden trapdoor leading to the Hackdirt underground. Once again he breaks about fourteen picks in the process of trying to open the lock, but he blames it on his excitement over the SURELY impending sexual liaison, citing that to be enough to overcome his impressive lockpicking potentcy. 'You really can only be potent at one thing at a time,' he informs me, 'And I think you can see where my attention lies at the moment.'

Indeed I could, though my eyes do so wish that I did NOT. I would've taken your word for it!

Dar-Ma is held up in a cage in the middle of the cave system. She begs for release and Super King considers whether or not he should get something in writing about future carnal encounters before he lets her out. Almost as if on cue, a shirtless human attacks while the dinosaur is distracted. You cad!! How dare you befoul this nice new armor? HAVE AT YOU!

When slain, the filthy creature coughs up the key to the cell and Super King and his new 'ho' are off on their daring escape from the town. The dino-savior is briefly distracted by thoughts of planting explosives in the cave so he can do a really sweet 'action hero runs away from the exploding building' scene, but is again distracted upon realizing that the town has become a beehive of activity. Shirtless humans everywhere!!

Seriously guys, clubs? I'm a FREAKIN' DINOSAUR.

When the town is thoroughly cleansed, and it's clear that Dar-Ma ain't gonna give him none of that "sweet puddin", Super King kicks her to the curb and goes off to do some exploring. The innkeeper is the first not directly hostile person in the town, but the fact that he runs away instead of sitting to chat infuriates Super King to no end, and soon the poor guy's face down in the dirt like everyone else in the town. Super King sits down in one of the rotted out inn rooms and takes a moment to reflect on the events of the day...

It's a good start, but I've got a lot more chairs to sit in if I wanna conquer the world!

Until next time, kids!


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