“Are you comfortable sir?”
I was not and I told him so. This whole project was not my idea. They can pad the chairs all the want, give me a fine meal and lay out for me the finest Alto Wine and I would still be uncomfortable. I told him that too.
“Sorry to hear that, are we ready to begin the dictation?”
The Imperial Library Scribe was young. He seemed pleasant enough for thin young man dressed in robes. I could only see his black beard and smile. I smiled and realized that if both of us were going to be caught in this rat trap, I might as well be pleasant. I asked if he was sure of the Emperor’s instructions.
“Certainly sir. Dictate all significant information regarding your time in the North, particularly during the Skyrim Crisis.”
Skyrim Crisis. Gods it was at least one hundred crises at once. Historians always like to break things down into impressive sounding titles. Helps them sell books. I asked if there was anything else.
“Yes, The Emperor wants all your information regarding what it was like to be Dragonborn during these events. He feels often that such events often don’t have the first hand accounting and wants you to tell the story in your own words so posterity will have your account.”
So they can question it, dissect it and then ignore it to come up with their own alternative theories. I kept that to myself. Titus Mead II owes me a lot, but Emperors tend to see things differently even when you help them. I asked where I should begin.
“Let’s start with some background on you. Your parents, family, education, occupation and so forth. Before you went to Skyrim”
I began my story and the scribe started writing.
My parents were Gerald and Joanna Raven-Blood. Not that my father was a Raven-Blood by birth. He had been adopted by the Raven-Bloods along with two other boys when he was a child. His mother having left him at an orphanage due to poverty. Don’t really know much about my real grandfather, nothing really. My Mother however came from and old farming family who had a large farm in Cyrodiil. Her family name was Steady-Stone. Not a remarkable family but comfortable financially.
The Raven-Bloods were well off as well due mostly to the hard work of my adopted grandfather, but my adopted grandmother was a shrew. She beat the kids unmercifully including my father. Once my father was old enough he joined the Imperial Navy. He wandered for a little while but then return to the Imperial City where he met my mother who was an apprentice alchemist. Both families agreed that this was a good match although based on what my father said, they were already pretty ‘involved’, so they were going to get married regardless.
They married and after a few years I was born on the 18th of First Seed, Year 153, 4th Era. I was an only child. My parents wanted more children but they got me only. I was tall skinny kid who grew up into a tall skinny young man. My hair was a light brown and my eyes remain hazel. My education consisted of my mother teaching and some formal. My dad didn’t read very well but my mother was deep into reading. She taught me and I took to it like a fish to water. By the time my parents hired a tutor, I was already well advanced in reading. I had a tutor for a while then when she concluded I need something better. I found myself in the Imperial Library learning whatever I wanted to learn and the Temple learning about the Nine Divines.
Religion and faith became a big part of my life as I grew older. I was the kid that was always good and got into little trouble. I guess being skinny and awkward will lead you that way. I grew up and was encouraged by people to be a priest and a teacher. I had just become and Acolyte of the Nine and the Great War broke out on the 30th of Frostfall. I prayed and offered comfort for the next few years as well as healing. I became priest when one of the priests went off to war and never came back. During this time I met my first wife. We were married one year before the Imperial City was sacked. That is a day I will ever forget. The Thalmor broke into the city and under Lord Naarifin the most despicable atrocities were committed.
My wife (who was with child) and I were imprisoned. I was told I could go back to the temple if I would renounce Talos. I told them to go to Oblivion and that’s when they used my wife against me. She went into labor in prison and the Thalmor agents tied her legs together so she couldn’t give birth. I was told she could have the baby, if I would renounce Talos. I saw her pain and did renounce the god. They untied her but didn’t keep their promise. Instead they slit her throat right in front of me and threw her naked body into the rubbish heap of bodies. My guess is the child died in her womb. Then they threw me into a dark cell to rot but I survived thanks to the Divines. When the Imperial City was liberated, they found me and freed me. When Lord Naarifin was executed, I cheered.
The White-Gold Concordant was a slap in the face to me, but I was politically savvy enough to know why it needed to be done. With Talos worship outlawed, I helped gather the Talos Shrines in the city and we placed them in hidden locations. including one in a secret room in the basement of my home. After a year I fell in love again with a fiery red-haired Nord lass of deep faith and married her. Our passion was probably pretty evident to all as over the next five years we produced three children – two boys and one girl. The next years were some of the best in my life. I found myself priest and teacher of faith. I had to of course be able to switch from Nine to Eight divines in my public teaching leaving out Talos. At my hidden shrine I kept him in. My children grew and my wife and I loved deeply.
My second wife and I watched as our three children grew up. They all found different occupations and eventually moved out of the Imperial City to other places. My wife and I settled down to a life of loving one another and helping the people of faith.
The reason I left for Skyrim was simple. The Thalmor found out about my Shrine. One of the parishioners had been caught with an amulet of Talos and after interrogation he fingered my wife and I to save his life. I don’t blame him as I understand what the Thalmor can do, so I forgave him. That said the consequences were severe. I was thrown in prison again with my wife. I only saw her alive one time after that. It was when they brought her in front of me to hear her confession but she had fooled them. She had used it as a way to see me one last time She told me she loved me and then told them to take her confession and stick it up their asses. They slit her throat in front of me. The Thalmor apparently have no originality in killing people particularly my wives. I cried that night for a long time in my cell. I knew I was next, so I was comforted in that I would see her again in Sovngarde very soon.
It never happened as in the middle of the night a High Elf agent of the Emperor came and helped me escape. My friends and family had appealed to the Emperor and he had set in motion the process of rescue without implicating himself. I was taken to a secluded place and there I found they had smuggled out my wife’s body as well. In the catacombs we gave her a proper funeral. They then told me I need to leave the city and probably never return. My oldest son was there and after hugging me and crying on my neck, he told me he would tell the other two not to try to contact me but that I was alive. He told me not to tell him where I was heading and after he left, My friends then suggested Skyrim. For a Nord it was the safest place. I had never been there but the thought of seeing my ancestral homeland filled me with joy. It was after all the land of Talos.
I was smuggled out of the Imperial City in a cart and I found myself in Bruma. I had traveled on occasion in Cyrodiil many times but I had only left Cyrodiil once when I traveled to Morrowind just across the border to help with refugees. At that moment, I realized that I had lived a fairly comfortable and easy life. It had been, other than my two times in prison, comfortable and safe. Now, I was an exile and I wanted to use that to my advantage. I would become a wayfarer, a traveler. Time to walk across Skyrim and rediscover my faith and explore the land of Talos.
In Bruma, I rested and recovered in the house of a friend. Once I was well enough, I was given some traveling clothes, a backpack and some food and pointed to the road north. I walked for a couple of days trying to find a way into Skyrim that was not observed by the Thalmor. I found a path less traveled and found myself hiking near Darkwater Crossing. I walked right into the middle of an Imperial Ambush. The Stormcloaks had walked right into it at the same time and in the ensuing chaos I was knocked out. I would not awaken for some time.