Seems like most players like to have houses. They're handy places to stash your stuff while you're off knocking heads together or until you decide just exactly what it is that a particular dingus does. Never let it be said that the devs don't listen to the players because you can now own a house in every town in Cyrodiil and furnish it, too. Not that you're going to have much of a choice on the furniture, though. It's a pre-packaged deal, purchased by the room rather than by the piece. But it usually looks decent enough and provides enough containers to at least stash stuff by category. All of the houses are going to involve varying degrees of expense and/or effort and you're going to have to suck up to the appropriate people, but, hey!, it's a roof over your head. And plan on spending an equally large amoung of cash to get furniture. Here they are, from cheapest to most expensive:

Imperial City (2,000 gold): A small shack behind the Waterfront (it'll have a "For Sale" sign in front). See Vinicia Malissaeia at the Office of Imperial Commerce in the Market District. You can purchase funiture from Sergius Verus at Three Brothers Trade Goods, also in the Market District.

Bravil (4,000 gold): Speak to Count Regulus Terentius (minimum disposition 50). Get furniture from Nilawen at The Fair Deal.

Anvil (5,000 gold): This one involves expense and effort. As you ask around about rumors or listen in on random conversations, you'll hear about Velwyn Benirus, who is trying to unload a house. It's the rather run-down looking mansion near the chapel, but it's got potential.

You'll find Velwyn at the Count's Arms. He'll be most happy to take your 5,000 gold, give you the key and the deed and then he's off (things to see and people to do, I guess). Other than being dark and dusty, there's nothing untoward about the place except for a "Sealed Portal" in the basement that won't open for you. There isn't anything else obviously odd about the place until you try to sleep. At that point, you'll be attacked by three or four Ghosts (and three or four more if you venture down into the basement). After that first fight, your journal will tell you about hearing a crash downstairs and urge you to investigate. Down in the front room, you'll find a broken vase, out of which has fallen a skeletal hand and a diary page. Take the hand (you'll need it later) and read the diary to find out that not only was Velwyn's grandfather a Necromancer, but he was also a kook (as in "tomorrow we take over the world" kind of kook). If you hightail it back to the Count's Arms (unless you feel like working on your skills by fighting infinitely respawning ghosts), you'll find that Velwyn has headed for the Imperial City. You'd be well advised to do the same.

If you'd like to find him legitimately, ask any beggar and you'll be pointed to the Elven Gardens District. Once in the Elven Gardens, you should be able to track him to the King and Queen Tavern (where all of our guests are treated like royalty). Find him, talk to him and he says he will meet you back at the Count's Arms. So it's back to Anvil and the Count's Arms, where you'll need to talk to him again and he'll head for the mansion. Once inside the mansion, you get to fight through the ghosts upstairs and downstairs until you get to the Sealed Portal where Velwyn will open the portal and then skedaddle (again).

Behind the portal is a nice Necromancer's Lab kind of setup with the skeleton of Lorgren Benirus nicely laid out on an altar directly in front of you. Click on the altar to get an "evil villain repenting of his sins" speech and a request to bring his hand back so that he can go to his final rest. Don't believe it for a second, but you'll have to do it in order to advance the quest. Once you click on the skeleton with the hand in your inventory, you'll get an "I was just fooling about that repentance thing" speech, a Lich will materialize behind the altar and you've got another fight on your hands. Take care of business.

After you're done, you've got some goodies to collect. First off, you can collect Lorgen's staff (I got a Staff of Flame, but you mileage may vary). There is a nice bag of loot in the coffin at the far back (gems, jewelry, perhaps an enchanted ring and some gold). There is also a Tome of Undeath on the desk near the front (unreadable, but worth 350 gold). When you go back upstairs you'll find that it's actually a cheerful place now, all of the furniture is straightened up, it's bright and downright homey. Go back to the Count's Arms to talk to Velwyn and complete the quest. Unlike the other houses in the game, you do not need to buy furniture (actually you can't buy any). Perhaps the devs felt that after your encounter with the lich, making you furnish the place was just adding insult to injury.

Leyawin (7,000 gold): See Count Marius Caro (disposition 60) and get furniture from Gundalas at Best Goods and Guarantees.

Bruma (10,000 gold): Talk to the Countess Narina Carvain (disposition 60) to get the key. Get furniture from Suurootan at Novaroma, near the front of the castle. The house is the log house on the north side of the East Gate.

Cheydinhal (15,000 gold): It's a nice two-story house near the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild (nearby Willow Bank is not a bank - it's the name of the house). Talk to Count Andel Indarys (disposition 60) to purchase it and see Borba gra-Uzgash at Borba's Goods and Stores for furnishings. After you trigger the Oblivion Gates events in the Main Quest, you'll have the opportunity to rescue the Count's son from behind it. I don't know whether this affects the price of the house or not because I've never managed to get the little twit to stay alive long enough. Why is it that Knight-types belive that the best tactic is always a frontal assault? Yeah, buddy. I got yer "huzzah" right here.

Chorral (20,000 gold): A very nice two-story house right next door to the Mages Guild. Talk to Countess Arriana Valga (disposition 70 and you'll need a Fame of 13+). If your Fame needs a little work, she has a quest for you about a missing painting. You can get furniture (and advanced Mercantile training) from Seed-Neeus at Northern Goods and Trade (who will also have a quest if you need a little more Fame).

Skingrad (25,000): As a nice change of pace, you don't need to see the Count. You need to see the butler, Shum gro-Yarog (disposition 70 and you'll need a Fame of 15+), who tends to wander around all over the town. For furniture, see Gundar at Colovian Traders. As a small side-quest, when you buy furniture for the "Servants Quarters," Gundar's assistant (Eyja) will ask you about a job. Assuming that you have the 150 gold and want her, she'll move right in and set up housekeeping for you. It's probably well worth the money because once you furnish the kitchen, she'll be able to prepare her secret recipe for shephard's pie (an ingredient wtih Dispel, Fortify Agility, Cure Disease and Shield effects) and fetch you a bottle of Rosethorn mead (Fortify Strength/Endurance, Drain Intelligence/Willpower). You can also hear her sob story if you ask her about "Eyja."