Day 10 - Middas, 26th of Last Seed
We take a carriage to Solitude. This is the city where Proudspire Manor is, the house that Olaf one day hopes to buy when he raises 25,000 gold. It's a little out of his reach at the moment, but we wander around the capital city looking for work. In a shop called the Radiant Raiment, an Altmer named Taarie asks us to model some of their finest clothes for the city's ruler, Jarl Elisif. Why she chose someone like Olaf, who looks he just rolled out of a hay pile, for this task is a mystery, but hey, it's paid work that doesn't involve exploring haunted ruins.
Olaf looks ridiculous in the fancy, fur-lined robes, but Elisif seems to like it, and the Radiant Raiment pays us 250 gold for advertising their wares. We also get to keep the clothes, but decide to sell them and buy something more practical instead. Hooray! Olaf is no longer dressed in an old sack. He could almost pass for a functioning member of society now. Almost.
Solitude, and the countryside surrounding it, are a lot more pleasant than The Reach. We explore the town a little more, and swing by Proudspire Manor to remind ourselves why we're working so hard. One day that house will be ours. We try and get inside, but the door is locked.
A few people have pointed out that you need to complete a quest for Jarl Elisif to be able to buy the manor, which breaks Olaf's no questing rule. We've thought of a way around this, which you'll see in a later diary. For now, though, it's time for dinner. We grab some seared slaughterfish from the market, then rent a room at the Winking Skeever. This place is way nicer than Markarth.
Day 11 - Turdas, 27th of Last Seed
Yesterday was enjoyable, but that's not why we're playing Skyrim. To punish Olaf, we decide that today is all about hard graft. We're going to spend the whole day toiling in the fields to make back the money we spent on the dog. Outside of Solitude there's a farm and a sawmill, so we roll up our sleeves and get busy while our canine pal runs around barking. He's actually quite annoying.
We yank leeks, potatoes, and wheat from the dirt and sell them to the farmer, Katla, for a pittance. Farming is easily the worst way to make an honest living in Skyrim, but we throw some of the ingredients into a cooking pot and make a bowl of hot vegetable soup. A hearty meal for a hard-working Nord. When we're done, we head down the hill towards the Solitude Sawmill.
For the rest of the day we chop wood. We chop wood for so long that the sun goes down. At the end we have over 80 pieces of firewood: so many, in fact, that we can't run. We walk very slowly to the mill's owner, Hjorunn, and sell the wood for a 440 gold. Combined with the farming and yesterday's modelling, Olaf is now rolling in dough. At least by his standards.