“The cave is dark and gloomy, its thick atmosphere sending a bone-chattering chill down your spine. As you descend into its depths, the room opens up before you into a dead-end rectangular chamber, its ground tiled with small squares of stone, each little more than a foot in width. The six tiles nearest to you have no apparent binding between them, almost as if they were meant to be…”
“I begin examining the tiles for any modicum of information as to what we are supposed to do with them.”
“Eloquin’s search uncovers that the tiles are square, and tiles. Whatever device is under them is concealed from sight and they look too sturdy to remove.”
“I roll for Arcana. Twenty.”
“The Wizard Scralsk senses no magic coming from the tiles. Whatever mysterious and exciting puzzle device is underneath these six tiles, it is either purely mechanical or its magic is strongly concealed.”
“Maybe you should push one.”
“I push the far left tile in your goddamn puzzle.”
“Screw this, screw you, I’m gonna get wasted,” you grumble.
Thus far, your attempt to distract yourself from some recent events in your life has been an utter failure. Entertainment and human interaction were apparently insufficient for your distraction purposes, so it’s time to fall back to Plan B.
Plan B is just a ton of alcohol.
“Wilbur! Get me fifteen more of those Nord ales.”
“I’m pretty sure that will kill you,” he bitches.
“I’m an Argonian you racist fuckwit. Fifteen is like the bare minimum for ‘pass out on your floor and piss myself’.”
“You’re not putting together a very good case here.”
“Yes, putting together a case is what you’re supposed to be doing. Hop to it.”
“Quill, are you moping?”
“No,” you say.
“Is this about your friend in Chorrol?”
“No,” you lie.
“No, come on, you’re acting like a hatchling. You’ve spent enough time locked up in that box of fruit and booze you call a house. Go play with your friends.”
“I tried that. It’s not helping. It’s booze time now. Boooooze O’clock.”
“Booze O’clock can come when you need Booze O’clock. Right now you need to get up and stop being a mopey, aquatic stick-in-the-mud.
“That’s what she said.”
“Really, Quill? Three bottles of ale and we’re already at ‘that’s what she said’?”
“No, I mean that’s literally what…”
Wilbur sighs deeply. “How about this: if you’re going to mope on my counter and drink alone, at least spring for something you like. We both know those bottled Nord ales are shit. What do you really want?”
“…Maybe a painkiller.”
“What was that?”
He almost smiles. “I’ll have to juice a pineapple, but I can do that.”
“No funny business, though! I’m still not letting go of this counter until I’m too smashed to walk away!”
“Self-righteous Redguard prick.”
You grumble some more vague obscenities under your breath as you watch him head off. You’re not moping, you’re just taking a small and much-deserved break from dealing with the world and your dumb problems therein.
The world can wait. You are clinging to this countertop now. And until you are properly intoxicated, absolutely nothing in the world will get you to let go of it.
“Ffffffuckin’ score! Just found the classy bar.”
“Hhello handsome, there! Guess how many times I’ve had sex in the last twenty minutes. Here’s a hint: it’s a number atween zero and affinity. And it’s not affinity, or necessarily zero.”
“Is there anything I can do for you?” Wilbur asks stoically.
“Why, it’s fortuvenient you asked, my sir good. It woul… it would jut so happen I am in the market for a drink, preferrabbley of the free variety, as this current bottle I was so kindly supplied has nearly reached its empty.”
“I’m afraid everything here costs money, unless I could interest you in a glass of w-”
“Well that’s the cat’s pajamas because I’d also be willing to work for a drink! You just have to find s… something this worthless whore is wood at and Iiiii’ll work that tab away! Here’s a hint: it’s probably sexual favors.”
“Y… you’ll be back. I’m fuckin’ earra-sistipple, and w… we don’t know eachother well enough for you to leave forever yet. You’ll find something you want me to do, and I’ll rock you.”
“You’ll find something I can do. And… I won’t be a complete…”
“OH! You wouldn’t know it looking at me, but I’m actually pretty good with a yoyo.”
“Also penises. Like I just wanted to get that out there, in case it sounded like the yoyo was a metaphor, because it’s not. I’m like legit okay at that.”
“O-oh, well hello there! You look like someone more interesting than mister Bartender Mc… bartending, over here. Could I interest you in a drink? Except I mean the other way around.”
“Is this an intervention?” you ask. “Is this supposed to show me where my life is headed, and scare me into sobriety?
Wilbur shrugs. “No, actually this is completely unplanned. But if it worked… you still want your godawful fruity drink?”
“Depends. Are you still refusing to get me those fifteen bottles of ale?”
Ignoring the whole fact that you’re in kind of a weird, drink-your-problems-away place right now with regard to romance: first of all, she is clearly drunk as hell. Second, you have no idea where that mouth has been. Third, she’s a Khajiit, and you’re sure deep down you’re at least a little racist.
And fourth, you doubt she’d be particularly receptive to your advances, given what she said before and what she’s trying to do to Gorgo right now.
You’re not sure why this line of thought would even come up.
You like and appreciate how this command ignores every piece of reasoning except for the weakest one.
You have no interest, and you’re sure she’d have no interest either.
You almost forgot you could do this, but:
You switch on your gaydar.
Well, that settles that. You can now happily and permanently put to rest every stupid and unlikely scenario in which this random nameless cat ends up in your bed, because it will never happen no matter what.
Really nice acrobatics, though.
“Were you just using your-”
“Just get me my drink.”
“Whoosh! I am now flying OUT of the bar! And flat on their asses! Wait, no, I… I got that joke wrong.”
“Pineapple! That’s… anyone have a pineapple around? I’ve… I’ve this got great party trick, it was a real… real hit back in the last place I fucked everything up, aaaaand everything, but I need a pineapple. It’s great, and… that. Oh! Hello again, ukanorn!”
No, you are perfectly content to stare at this wooden countertop until it’s Gettin’ Plastered Time. You harbor no curiosity regarding the nonsensical sequence of events that have transpired around you. You’re just going to sit here and deal.
Probably. And that doesn’t make you feel any better about confronting the world again, knowing she’s right about you.
So you’re just going to lay here and be a misanthropic stick-in-the-mud, and then later you’ll write a book about people who are more adventurous than you, publish it, and make millions. Again.
You are hurting, argonian. And your friend, I bet, was hurting too when you disagreed with her on whatever. Maybe it is time for a change. If you want things to change for the better, maybe it’s time to stop being a “stick in the mud” Maybe thou must… go a little crazy?
And everything you do will turn to gold.
That sounds cheesy, stupid, and you hate yourself a little for thinking it.
“Quill? Where did you-”
“PINEAPPLE! I have a pineapple!”
“I have a fucking pineapple,” you reiterate, “what were you going to do with it?”
“Oh well it’s pretty great, and I’ve been told it looks almost impossible, but I probably maybe don’t think it’s something you’d be intere-”
“TRY ME. Let’s take this pineapple and go back to the bar because I am taking control of my life, I’ve stopped being a stick-in-the-mud, and I want to see what the hell you could possibly do with a pineapple.”
“Oh well if that’s the case,” the Khajiit says as she accepts your spiky fruit. “But nah, b…buildings are redundant. It’s like, why do we need a second sky, made of wood? Also over here seems like a good place and I can totally make all the friends.”
“Wait, like… over there?” you ask. “There are… a lot of people around here, and-”
You suddenly feel like your attempt at taking control may have only further exacerbated this situation.
Wilbur concedes that, yeah, it is probably Booze O’clock for you now.