Skyrim: Rags to Riches - Part two of Olaf's quest for fortune and glory

Days 5-8: Olaf goes mining, meets a friendly elf, and makes a dangerous mistake

Read and watch the first part of Olaf's adventure here.

Skyrim: Rags to Riches is an ongoing series in which we attempt to earn 25,000 gold in Skyrim with a character who can't go on adventures, cast spells, or kill dragons. He's just a regular guy, and has to somehow earn enough money to buy Proudspire Manor in Solitude before he dies. You can watch our video introduction here.

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Day 5 - Fredas, 22nd of Last Seed

We're lucky to be alive this morning. Yesterday's run-in with the giant almost resulted in Olaf forming a close, romantic relationship with a massive club. But we managed to sprint back to Whiterun with the angry giant in tow and let the city guards handle him. Well, we assume they did. We fled into the safety of the city and left them to it. They're probably fine, right? We made sure to whistle innocently so no one would suspect anything.

Hunting isn't working out. It's fun, but it just isn't bringing in enough money - and arrows are a constant expense. So we scour a map of Skyrim for a mine so we can dig for ore and maybe try crafting some armour and weapons. There's only one nearby, just outside of Riverwood, but there's a problem: it's full of angry, hairy bandits.


While in Riverwood pondering what to do next, we become involved in a love triangle between three locals: Sven, Faendal, and Camilla. We help Faendal win Camilla's affections by giving her an insulting letter forged to look like it was from Sven. We consider letting Sven in on Faendal's trickery, but then we remember hearing his singing in The Sleeping Giant and decide that he deserves everything he gets. Faendal is pleased, and offers to join us on our 'adventure'.

We're suddenly struck with the feeling that we've just done a quest - which is, of course, against the rules - but even a guy like Olaf can handle ferrying a note between two people, right?

Initially we decline, but then we have a flash of inspiration. Olaf can't fight, but that doesn't mean he can't hire others to help him out from time to time. Those bandits must be causing problems for Faendal's town, anyway. So we bring him to the mine and hide in the bushes while he kills them one by one. Soon, the mine is clear. Hooray! We grab a pickaxe and chisel out a few lumps of iron ore. The pick isn't ours, so we leave it behind for the residents of Riverwood when they come back to their mine. We part ways with Faendal and hit the sack.


Day 6 - Loredas, 23rd of Last Seed

We're in pretty good financial shape after yesterday's haul. Olaf has, for the first time, broken the 1000 gold mark. Only 24,000 more to go. We start the day off by smelting our ore at Warmaiden's in Whiterun. We end up with 12 iron ingots, which is more than enough to start forging. But we need leather, and we've already sold all our pelts to Belethor at the general goods store.

We head back out into the plains around Whiterun and do some more hunting. We're getting pretty good with the bow now, and end up bagging three elk and a couple of wolves. As we're creeping around looking for more beasts to fill with arrows, we stumble into a bandit camp and they give chase. Luckily, we're near a watchtower and we lure the bandits into the eyeline of the guards there, who make quick work of them. From now on, this is our tactic if we ever get in danger: run away and lead our pursuers to someone less cowardly.


We head back to Warmaiden's and use the tanning rack to turn the leather into strips. Bam! Olaf is now officially a blacksmith. We craft four iron helmets, then flog them for 80 gold. It's a lot less than we were expecting, but the raw materials were free (with the exception of the cost of the arrows we used to take down the elk). We get a real feeling of satisfaction from having made and sold something with our own bare hands.

It's been a productive day, but we're growing tired of Whiterun. If we don't think of some new ways to make money, we'll be stuck here forever, hunting elk and forging helmets. Olaf is not the adventurous sort, but he does get bored easily. We eat a cabbage and think about the future.

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