-I heavily mod my PC games, and starting up TES4: Oblivion to find that none of the NPCs had eyes didn't come as a surprise to me. I roamed around the Imperial City for a while before getting tired of being able to see straight through the characters’ empty eye sockets. I closed the game and searched the internet for a solution. Sure enough one of my mods was conflicting with another, so I removed it. Opening the game again proved I had solved the problem, however something was still wrong.
There was one NPC, dressed like a beggar, standing beside a gravestone by the Imperial City Palace. His head followed me as I moved my character. Now I know this is normal, if you stand quite close to any NPC they will track your movements, but I was no where near this beggar. I walked up to him to see if he was there for any specific quest. When I reached him I found myself in a state of confusion. I could see the trees and stonework behind him through his empty eye sockets. I was certain I had fixed that issue, all the other NPCs had eyes, why didn't he? I moved my cross hairs over the character's bod. Although no name appeared, I had the option to talk to him. I wanted to find out who he was and why I had never seen him before (I am a member of the thieves guild and I always use the beggars for information). Once I interacted with him, he didn't speak and there were no dialogue options, but the subtitles stated "I HAVE NO GREETING." Once again, I know that this is a known problem with the Shivering Isles DLC for the game, but this only occurs if a Shivering Isles character is taken out of the realm or if they have no specific dialogue at that particular point. This beggar I knew for a fact was not part of that DLC.
I backed out of the interaction with this beggar and continued to where I was headed before I spotted him, but he followed me. He was constantly spinning my character around as he tried to engage in a conversation with me. This got pretty annoying so I reloaded the auto save from before I spoke to him. I looked over to the tombstone he was standing by and I could see him getting closer to me. He was running towards my character although I had reloaded the save… He didn’t do this the first time, I had to walk over to him. Sure enough though he tried to talk to my character, silently saying the same thing every time,"I HAVE NO GREETING."
I closed the game and once again searched the internet for a solution, maybe one of my other mods was playing up and I hadn't noticed this before, but I couldn’t find anything; there was no record of anyone else encountering a strange beggar with no name or eyes. I booted the game up a third time to see if I could remove him with console commands. I clicked on him and first tried the command ‘kill’ to stop him from talking to me every 5 seconds, but he didn't die. He disappeared then reappeared so quickly I barely saw it, and his face changed.
He still had no eyes. Though his expression was neutral to begin with, he now looked pretty angry as his eyebrows were angled downwards and his mouth curled in the same way. He once again tried engaging in conversation with me, this time however saying "YOUR EFFORTS ARE IN VAIN." I stared blankly at my screen for a moment, wondering what to do. I backed out of the conversation and used the ‘disable’ command and, once again he quickly disappeared to reappear just as fast. His face changed again, but this time his eyes changed. It wasn’t the bright green grass of Cyrodiil I could see through to though, it was instead the deep red lava pools of Oblivion.
Okay, now I was insanely confused. Looking through his eyes before, I could see everything that was behind him as if the back of his head was missing too, though when I ran behind him I saw it was still there. I tried to evade this beggar by quickly passing through a door to the Market District of the city. He continued to follow me, so I unsheathed my sword and attacked him. If I couldn't use the console to kill him, I would try the old fashioned way. But again, this didn't work, he was taking no damage whatsoever. He just stood there, the flames of Oblivion raging in his empty skull.
He tried to converse with me again, saying "YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME." I was getting pretty unnerved at this point, I didn’t know anything about him and couldn't find out anything. He equipped a dagger, and unknowing of his strength, I toggled god mode. One swift swing of the dagger killed my character. I was in god mode, how was that possible?! There was a minute or so before the menu came up to reload my save, he stood there, staring at my character’s lifeless body, and for the first time I heard his voice instead of just having to read the text. He laughed. It wasn't the vanilla Oblivion laugh. No, this was a demonic, hysterical laugh. As I watched him waiting for the menu to appear, he turned his head so quickly it just seemed to pop into its new position. He was looking at me, not my character… ME! He was smiling a huge and unnatural smile that bared all his teeth. His head was tilted to the left, so far that he had surely broken his neck. He was frozen in that position while the menu finally popped up.
I reloaded the save hoping that he would be gone, but I knew he wouldn't be. The image of that smile was printed in my mind, accompanied by that horrible laugh. I was shaking in my chair, and as the loading screen vanished, I was greeted by that twisted, smiling face. Something was pouring out of his eyes… not blood, it was the lava from Oblivion. In the way his head was tilted, it streamed across his face to his ear.
I tried to back out of the conversation but it wouldn't let me. I clicked the ‘X’ multiple times while the beggar constantly repeated "YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME," but after clicking for a substantial amount of time, it changed. Only slightly though; he spoke one more word. When I read this, I was paralyzed with fear as again he was talking directly to me. Cracking his neck further to the left so his head was practically upside down, he laughed again, sending shivers down my spine. The text read "YOU CANNOT NOT ESCAPE ME AIMIE," My heart raced and I frantically clicked the ‘X’ to get away from him. But it was no use, he just stood there smiling, laughing louder and louder with each click.
Suddenly, the screen went black and I could hear roaring flames and crackling wood. An image slowly materialized in front of my eyes. It was blurry to begin with and it was hard to tell what was there, but I knew I wasn't in Cyrodiil anymore. As it came into focus, I could see my character in the Oblivion realm, her body was strewn across the floor in an awkward position. Her head wasn't attached though, and the beggar was standing over her. He looked normal again, though his eyes were still missing, but the image of Oblivion in their place was replaced by an image of Cyrodiil. To the left of him was my character's head, fixed to a wooden pike as the flames lapped at her chin from the fire raging below. He remained still, staring at me, then my game crashed.