Wow, I had a busy day today, diary!
The sheets must not have been woven from Tidus pubes, as I slept soundly with no nightmares. I almost felt rested this morning, but it’ll take more than one night to make up for all my misadventures and missed sleep over the past few days. The tavern was empty when I went downstairs for breakfast, but Olav shared some of the town gossip with me — apparently a local couple named Arnora and Jorundr were having some type of redneck domestic dispute. Sounds like something I should get right in the middle of. Why do I have a feeling I’m not joking about this?
Ongar, my fence, was nowhere to be found at this bright and early hour, so I decided to explore Bruma in the daytime. I might as well make the most of it, since I put all that effort into getting to this frozen hellhole. The morning was cold and foggy, as expected, which was not a promising start. But things could only get better, right? Right?
I started off my exploration in a methodical fashion along the outer wall of the city. After discovering multiple identical locked houses in a row — and it was too risky for my traditional B&E at this time of day — I finally encountered an unlocked house I could enter without risking arrest. Unfortunately, I recognized the name on the door — or rather, the informational text overlay when I neared the house. This fine wooden shack belonged to Arnora, the redneck lady. I didn’t want to end up in the middle of a chair-throwing, screaming fight, but admittedly, that would be more interesting than anything else in this city so far. So I took a chance and walked in uninvited.
Arnora wasn’t exactly what I was expecting in terms of redneck stereotypes — she wore a nice dress instead of daisy dukes, for example, and if she had a tramp stamp, it was well hidden. But that didn’t mean she was at all classy. On her chest, just below her permanent bitchface, she wore an enormous, tacky blue jewel pendant. I would not be surprised if that thing was a cheap fake from the home shopping network, but she clearly wore it like she wanted people to think it was authentic. For some reason, she spoke in an English accent, a further attempt to appear refined, and she could not wait to tell me how much she liked successful men, particularly…Olav? I feel kind of bad ragging on the guy, since he was perfectly nice to me, but he was definitely not a looker, and he owned a dump of an inn. Shoot for the stars, Arnora.
Although she showed no reluctance in telling me about her tingly feelings for the local innkeeper, she suddenly shut down when I asked her about her “ex-lover” Jorundr. Yet thirty seconds of bad jokes and asskissing on my part was all it took to spill the whole story. Yeah, clearly it was such a difficult subject for her to discuss.
I really don’t feel like recapping the shit-ton of life story exposition she unloaded on me, so here’s the shorter version: Jorundr is a petty thief who started going after riskier and riskier targets until he ended up killing a guard and getting thrown in the dungeon. Arnora is a perfect human being and innocent victim who went along with the thefts but only because Jorundr made her. Oh, and he’s an abusive asshole, too, because her story wouldn’t be sympathetic enough otherwise. Now, wife beaters are obviously horrible and should have their nuts twisted off, but I felt like she was really playing up her lack of culpability in all this. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, diary.
The gist of her story was that Jorundr re-hid their mutual stolen gold before his capture, so now Arnora can’t find it. If I discover where it is, she’ll give me a cut. Now, I wasn’t born yesterday, and it’s pretty likely that this will turn out to be another disappointing fetch quest, but as an aspiring master thief and currently penniless recapper, I agreed to help her out. I’m not claiming any moral high ground here. My first assignment was to talk to Jorundr in the Bruma dungeons, and “convince” him to tell me where he hid the gold. This was sounding uncomfortably like Phoenix convincing Edgeworth to hire him during the Hammond murder case, but hopefully will involve way fewer blowjobs. Arnora told me to “be creative” with my methods, but I’m not that kind of recapper.
I wandered among the other shacks in the neighborhood until I found another unlocked one. When I entered without knocking, I found myself right in the middle of an Anal Attorney-style crime scene. Well, that might be overstating it a bit. Sure, there was a guy’s corpse strewn across the bed and a group of investigating guards, but…they were talking to the grieving widow. Yeah, a female widow. Also, there was a distinct lack of fuchsia or phallic objects. Before I could begin my own incompetent, amateur investigation, a guard named Carius Runellius accosted me and said only some motherfucker named Raynil Dralas is allowed inside. To answer your question, yes, Raynil rhymes with Anal. In addition, the TOTALLY GUILTY murderer had already been caught, but that’s all Carius would share with me, an uninvolved and possibly suspicious stranger. If he were Gumshoe, I would need to bring him some fuchsia silk underwear belonging to Miles Edgeworth and he would tell me whatever I wanted to know.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get him to trust me using my usual combination of threats and filthy jokes, so I left the crime scene without any evidence stuffed into my pockets. Disappointing! Luckily, all I had to do was talk to the nearest townsperson, who just happened to know the entire story. According to this guy whose name I can’t remember, the victim, Bradon Lirrian, was a vampire. This was a total secret until Anal Dralas, completely legit vampire hunter, outed him and then dispatched him with extreme prejudice. So wait, Carius made it sound like they had detained a suspect, but he’s actually buddy-buddy with said murderer to the point of letting him access the crime scene? Are vampire hunters above the law? More importantly, does this mean I’ve stumbled upon an Anal Attorney/Twilight crossover? Somewhere, Miles Edgeworth has the hugest boner.
I eventually reached an area of the city where the houses became larger and less shitty. There were various shops with items I couldn’t afford, and on the upper level of Bruma, I found a moderately large building with a creepy eyeball sign reading “Mages Guild.” Hey, I’m a mage! I went inside, where a tall elf wearing a bright green velvet tunic greeted me enthusiastically. I am really popular with these dudes. When I expressed interest in the guild, the gay elf Volanaro directed me toward the local guildmaster, a Jeanne Frasoric. Another Breton named Jeanne? Well, she had to be awesome. Other Jeanne was manning — womanning? — the front desk, so I approached her and asked about joining the guild.
Unfortunately, Jeanne disqualified herself from becoming my new best friend when she would not stop namedropping Archmage Traven and acting like a huge egotistical butthole. I would never behave that way! Shut up, diary. It turns out that joining the Mages Guild is as easy as saying, “Sure, sign me up!” I mean, I’m glad I didn’t get rejected outright, but really? Not even a test to see if I knew any magic? Have some standards, Mages Guild.
As I talked further with the increasingly annoying Other Jeanne, I discovered that while the local guild would accept any old motherfucker, the Arcane University in the Imperial City was a bit more stringent in its requirements. In order to enter, I would have to get recommendations from all the local guilds. Translation: fetch quests in every city. Fantastic. I decided I might as well get the Bruma Magical Fetch Quest out of the way, and when I asked Other Jeanne about it, she got all giddy and namedropped some guy named Raminus at the Arcane University. I am not kidding, diary. Raminus.
The Magical Fetch Quest that Other Jeanne assigned to me was to find a fellow guild member named J’skar who had been missing for a while. But Other Jeanne was more concerned with how this might reflect on her leadership skills than whether or not this guy was dead in a ditch. Real nice. So as part of this fetch quest, I was supposed to do a round of Talk to Everyone at the guild. My favorite thing!
At that point, I had three possible tasks to undertake in Bruma, and that didn’t even count the original task I came here to do. But the good news is that by joining the Mages Guild, I gained access to the living quarters at the guild as well as most of the items lying around. This included alchemy ingredients and equipment. I have a calcinator now! Whatever the hell that is! Tonight I would sleep on bedding that might have been washed in the last century. This made me wonder why the beggars in the city didn’t just join the Mages Guild to avoid sleeping outside.
All right, diary, this is getting way too long, so I’ll do a quick summary of the boring stuff: I tracked down Ongar and offloaded my stolen goods, earning 757 gold. I followed that up with a round of
meth cooking potion brewing in the Mages Guild alchemy lab, and ended up with 1126 gold. Progress! Kind of.
After that, I went back to the Mages Guild to talk to my new Sassy Gay Elf Friend, Volanaro, about this J’skar business. He spent the first part of the conversation dishing the dirt on Other Jeanne, who, according to him, is an incompetent mage who blowjobbed her way to the guildmaster position. So, kind of like a female Phoenix Wright. It didn’t take too much convincing — non-blowjobby, for the record — to get him to talk about J’skar. I was hoping to try out my detective skills, honed from years of watching murder porn on Investigation Discovery, but it turns out that Volanaro already knew J’skar’s fate, and was willing to tell me as long as I agreed to play a prank on Other Jeanne because she is terrible. Apparently this is one of Volanaro’s favorite hobbies. I can guess the other ones.
So you might be wondering, diary, what kind of amazing pranks someone like Volanaro can come up with, given his impressive range of available spells and his mischievous nature. This should be good, right? Well…he wanted me to steal a book of spells from Other Jeanne’s locked desk drawer. I mean, maybe he really is a wizard of practical jokes, and he just assigned me something lame because he thought I wouldn’t be able to carry out something more advanced. Either way, I was a bit insulted. And then I couldn’t even use the free lockpicking spell he taught me because my Alteration magic really does suck. I was not helping my case here. But Other Jeanne was not in her chambers and she didn’t bother to, like, enchant the lock on her desk drawer or anything. Less than a minute later, I delivered the goods to Volanaro. Not like that.
Even though I had carried out my end of the bargain, silly as it was, Volanaro still wouldn’t tell me more about J’skar. I was starting to feel jerked around. He asked me to meet him in his living quarters after 10PM for more information. Was he going to murder me? I know he wasn’t going to otherwise take advantage. Hoping that I would not end up in the corpse ditch with J’skar, I agreed to return later.
That meant I had even more time to kill. I ended up taking a nap in one of the beds in the Mages Guild living quarters where I gained a level in my sleep. Look out, buff imps, I am going to fuck your shit up.
After 10PM, I went to find Volanaro, hoping he would not skin me to make a woman suit. Actually, my paranoid fears were unfounded, as he just wanted to reveal J’skar, who had been alive and well, but invisible, all along. The invisibility spell was yet another one of their pranks on Other Jeanne — it seemed these two fancied themselves a pair of prankster frat boys. Take that whichever way you like, diary.
J’skar, a furry with hoop earrings, told me I could take credit for finding him in order to earn my recommendation. I guess he was tiring of kinky invisibility sex with his boyfriend, and was ready to find other ways to spice up their relationship. And now I’m wondering how many invisible pervs are lurking around the guild hall and Cyrodiil in general. A new fear.
So I let Other Jeanne know that my Magical Fetch Quest was complete, and she agreed to recommend me to — hee again — Raminus. This means I was able to check that and selling stolen shit to Ongar off my to-do list. Not bad! And I didn’t almost get killed at any point during the day. Maybe Bruma isn’t so bad after all.