I’m not sure why I bought Hearthfire, except that it was on sale for like a dollar, and I’d already spent several of those earlier at the casino bar, so my judgment was either
2. better than usual
depending on your opinion of me.
Anyway, I did, and soon after received a visit from the Courier. I panicked for a moment until I remembered I wasn’t playing New Vegas, then he handed me a letter asking me to consider the benefits of adoption.
I wasn’t planning on starting a family; my home life was complicated enough, what with my wife having an affair with my housecarl … not to mention my obsession with Lydia. So adding a child into that kind of situation just didn’t seem right.
But, I mean, how could I say no to this face?
Especially when she tells me how her parents died and her dog ran away and her aunt kicked her out on the streets and now she has to work 16 hours a day assembling iPhones. Seriously, your aunt kicked you out? That’s so hardcore, it’s like living in a Dickens novel.
And since they haven’t lifted the restraining order from the last time I asked the biology department what would happen if a cat mated with a monkey, it looks like adoption is the way to go.
Although apparently you have to build a house first, because when I offered to be Lucia’s daddy (is there any way that dialogue could not come off as creepy? Ans: No.) she helpfully informed me I didn’t have a room for her to sleep in.
Because currently, you’re sleeping on cobblestones. I may not be Bob Villa, but even some straw by the fire’s gotta beat rocks, kids. I’m starting to understand why your aunt sent you to the iPhone factory.
But never mind. I’ve got some land over by Falkreath that’s zoned for development. Let’s go build a settlement, since that worked so well in Fallout 4. At least Skyrim has a tutorial:
That seems … less than helpful.
Oh. Wait. Apparently all I have to do is convert an existing room into a child’s room. Ok, I guess since I have the kid and all, I can give up my alchemy lab in Riften. I was only using it to homebrew BlackBriar mead anyway, and now that I’m a daddy, I probably need to stop hanging out with the guys at the Frat House.
And so, all was well with the world.
Well, all was well except Iona had a freakin’ meltdown ’cause it turned out I actually repurposed her room. No, Iona, I didn’t ask you opinion, ’cause you’re not the one who had to pony up the gold for the renovations, ok? Sure, it’s a little crowded now, but whaddya want? You wanna go pick up a hammer and renovate Lakeview Manor yourself? Didn’t think so. So now, I’m off to deal with this Harkon fellow …
Would I like to play a game? Um … I really need to go take care of this vampire lord …
<high powered orphan guilt>
Okay, just one quick game, then I have to go.
So I’m supposed to be playing tag which, considering my sense of direction on the best of days, is probably a bad idea. I started out on the dock of Honeysides, and never did find Lucia. She may have wound up in Afghanistan, for all I know. I ended up swimming somewhere in the lake outside Goldenglow estates. The quest marker said I was done, but I felt kind of bad just fast traveling to Fort Dawnguard leaving Lucia hiding in a barrel someplace, but I knew I’d never find her anyway.
When I finally got back and found she was still alive, and CPS wasn’t waiting for me, I let her have a dog. The next day, she showed up with this:
Um … wait. Lucia? That isn’t a dog, honey, that’s a fox. Vulpes vulpes, I believe. It is not a pet. It is a wild animal. It … watches you while you sleep.
Maybe she would have been safer on the streets.
So now I’ve got Ysolda, Iona, Lucia, and a possibly rabid canid running around a 2-room lakeside shack. I think I need to get some space. Maybe take a vacation. I hear nice things about Solstheim …
No, sorry, Lucia, I really don’t have time to play another game. What’s that? Did I bring you something nice? Lesse … um … I’ve got:
10,000 gold pieces looted from ancestral tombs
enough weaponry to go on a UN watchlist
the severed heads of my enemies
an ancient forbidden tome of magic that melts the eyes of anyone foolish enough to read it
the totemic shield of a plague god.
So … take your pick!
Wazzat? A dolly? Why no, I did not actually happen to come across any dollies while I was looting the tombs of Draugr Deathlords.
<high powered orphan guilt>
Yes, love, Daddy will fetch you a dolly.
I suppose at some point I should do something about this “World Eater” guy, and maybe think about handling all these damn vampires, but for now – where the heck do I find a dolly? I haven’t come across any while raiding Forsworn camps or ancient wizard towers, although really, that sounds like a pretty neat idea. I mean, if I ran across a Master Necromancer who had a stuffed ragdoll named Pookie, I’d beat feet the hell out of that joint. That’s a whole nuther kind of crazy, right there.
Turns out they have them in the shop that I don’t remember the name of, in Solitude, with the super snobby elf lady … oh yeah, Radiant Rainment. So I just popped in there, then spent 10 hours drinking in the tavern because fast travel messes up the game clock worse than jetlag, and then easy as pie, I got …
HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF JESUS WHAT IS THAT THING?!?
Straight from the nightmare factories of the Iron City of Dis to your child’s midnight bed wetting terror – the Dolly Of Ultimate Evil, from Hasbrononono.
Being a kid in Skyrim must suck. You gotta work in the iPhone factory all day and night, get kidnapped by Forsworn cultists, and your only comfort is some demonic entity made from sackcloth, with soul sucking black holes where their eyes should be, that they have the nerve to call a “dolly.”
The way it’s framed there, it almost looks like it’s actual size, like maybe it’s just hanging out in the doorway until they notice it, so it can drag them in the closet and suffocate them. I think I saw that in a horror movie once. You can almost hear the music box playing in the background.
But it’s what Lucia wants, probably to go with the rabid fox, because apparently I adopted Christina Ricci.
Me? I’m gonna give her the Doll of Evil and beat it the hell out of there. She’s Ysolda’s problem. I’m gonna hang out with plague gods and world eating dragons. You know, normal people. Not creepy little kids.