Prologue: The First Choice

Previously: Dramatis Personae

2nd of Frostfall 201, Fourth Era

Molag's balls, it's fucking cold.

I know my kind claim we don't feel the differences in temperature, but that's not exactly true. I can feel that Skyrim's weather is much frostier than that of, say, Cyrodiil's. I'm simply not hindered by it.

I've been here before of course, many times, for many years at a time. Perhaps it's because of my dubious allegiances, or echoes of sentimentality, but I have to admit...there's always something special about being back in Skyrim.

In culture and refinement, the ancient city of Riften remains lacking. However, she's the first choice for so many of my kind, for it is said that sunny days in Riften are as rare as men of honor.

The question when one arrives to a new place, either for the first time or, as in my case, after a long absence, is what persona we want to take. After all, it's not like we can be ourselves. I have been a widow, a wanderer, a courtesan, and a noblewoman dozens of times over, but if I am to be honest, my favorite will be always be "bard".

When you're a widow, people can't stop asking about your deceased spouse and why you never had children, or if you claim to have children...why aren't they with you now? Wanderers are pestered endlessly for tales of their adventures, courtesans are simultaneously shunned and sought after, while noblewomen are expected to marry whichever lord or lady has need of their coin.

But bards? No one asks too many questions of a bard. Bards are meant to be heard and not seen; their main appeal is that they can be silenced on command.

Playing a bard is also simpler; the props are fewer and the clothes less expensive. My kind do not want for coin, of course, but too much coin draws the wrong kind of attention. And I'm not here for attention.

To be honest, I don't know what I'm here for.


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