Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Sundas, 17th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
It should be noted that I found this blank journal in the possessions of three bandits I found in a camp nearby to where I am now. I killed all three of them with fire and sword and I will note at this time this is the first time I have killed without my hands shaking. I am getting used to the idea of killing those that are not worthy of life. Some might consider such a statement judgmental but given what I have lost to bandits, the Empire and the Thalmor, I think I have the right to have this opinion. But, I am getting ahead of myself and I should start at the beginning.
I was born in a small village in the mountains on the border between Skyrim and Cyrodiil. The trails required to get to this village require a strong pair of legs and a Nord’s resistance to the cold. That made it isolated so we were a village of self-sufficient people – all of us Nords. It was not that we did not have contact with the Empire or the outside world, but it was infrequent and many people in the village preferred it this way as all of us were worshipers of Talos. Talos the man turned god and now part of the Nine Divines. Talos, Skyrim’s native son and patron god. The god whose worship is outlawed by the White-Gold Concordat.
My parents were well aware of the terms of the White-Gold Concordat as they had been there when it was signed between the powers of the Aldmeri Dominion and the Empire to end the Great War between the two powers that had raged for five years. My father had been an Imperial blacksmith and my mother a healer serving the Emperor Titus Mead II. They had met in one of the camps as they both worked to support the Imperial Army. The end of the war and the terms set did not agree with either of them for very different reasons.
My father, a proud Nord warrior, who had during the war not only worked the forge for the army but had been wounded twice fighting the high elves, felt that if the Dominion was still strong they wouldn’t have sued for peace. That seemed to bear itself out as the Redguards of Hammerfell rejected the terms and not only held out against the Dominion but drove them out gaining both independence from the Dominion and the Empire as a result. My father felt this was proof that had the Empire continued to fight they would not only have held their own but the drain would have eventually destroyed the Thalmor and the Dominion. He felt betrayed and when his service concluded he resigned and settled in the village bringing his new love, my mother, with him.
My mother had different reasons and perhaps stronger ones for disliking the terms of the White-Gold Concordant. She was a priestess of Talos. She had come into the light of Talos just before the war broke out and when she saw the need she headed to the army to use her healing skills. She had watched men die despite her best efforts as they cried out for Talos and the desire to enter Sovngarde. The Concordant was a betrayal of all that those men had fought and died for to her. As soon as my father could leave she went with him with, according to her, a curse for the Empire and obscene gesture toward the White-Gold Tower.
The village never had a name as far as I knew, it was simply The Village to us. My father set himself up as the blacksmith and soon gained a reputation that people from surrounding villages began to come to him for quality work. Mother, set up a shrine to Talos in the deep woods secluded from prying eyes. This also drew people as few would dare to defy the Concordant. The village also boasted a Hunter, a Farm and a small trading post.
My mother and father tried for many years to produce a child. My mother prayed to Talos but at first in vain as two years of nothing followed. Then followed one child stillborn and two miscarriages. When she finally got me it had been over nine years since the end of the Great War. According to her when she first felt me kick, she cried before the shrine to Talos for hours. When I was born though, I broke the mold so to speak. My mother after that never had her lunar cycle nor did she ever know the joy of being with child again. She cried before the shrine for that too but also she held me up before the god and offered me to him. With only one child my parents dedicated themselves to raising me up as a Fire-Heart.
Fire-Heart is an old clan name. Not as noble or well known as some, but it had its own pride and traditions. There had always been a smith among the Fire-Heart clan and when the High King called the Fire-Heart’s answered. We are known for being bold passionate warriors as well as smiths.
That said, I cannot say my upbringing was all the forge, axes and armor. My mother and father were actually both people of books. Mostly religion and history, but they both insisted that I learn to read and write. My mother was my tutor but my father read to me at night. In the end I took to reading like a fish to water. My mother insisted that I learn my faith and she taught me to play the flute. When I asked her who taught her to play, she said an old boyfriend but it would be best not to mention that to father. She also taught me a basic healing spell. My father taught me the basics of the forge and his secret for keeping the fires going and making them hot – A flame spell.
He also, once I turned twelve, began my instruction in arms. I learned the basics of how to use a shield, war axe, sword and handle myself in armor. The pride of my training was learning how to not only handle my father’s great sword, but to actually wield it with some effect. All the while, he would instruct me on small unit tactics and talk of battles that he heard about or fought in himself. I took it all in, absorbed it really. The only thing I enjoyed as much was haggling over price of our wares when father let me. For twenty years I knew I had the support of my father and mother and any Fire-Heart I met.
Next: “My Village and Its Destruction”