Tienius Delitian gave me the task of finding out who was publishing The Common Tongue and get them to stop printing stuff about the King.  My first stop was at the smith's workshop, mainly to sell off some of the items I had found so far in my adventures in Mournhold.


While Bols Indalen was working on repairing some of the weapons I had to sell, I decided to casually ask about "The Common Tongue".

He just gave me a silly look, as if I was crazy, suggesting that if the person publishing the broadsheet never signed his name, there was no way he would know the person.

After finishing the repairs, he purchased a number of the weapons and shields.

While he was busy counting out the gold for me, I decided to ask his apprentice the same question.


Yagak gro-Gluk was less than helpful.

"Don't know anyone named 'Anonymous'." he said, then after a moment, his other braincell kicked in, and he added "Oh! You mean a guy who writes but doesn't sign his own name."

"That's right." I said. "Do you have any idea who might be writing this sheet?"

"Well, how am I supposed to know who he is if I don't know his real name?" he replied, almost indignant.

He turned and went back to smacking a hammer on to a piece of red-hot steel, grumbling to himself about something.

Bols Indalen handed me the gold for the things he purchased from me, and asked me to please let his assistant finish his work in peace.


I was about to head out the door and start asking around about this strange author, when I noticed a door off to the side. I noticed that there was a small note near it that said "KEEP OUT". Remembering that sometimes the most hidden things are in the most obvious places, I decided to investigate.

I used the Ring of Keys to unlock the door while no one was looking.


Just a perfectly normal storeroom. The usual things on the shelf for a smith's workshop to have. I couldn't understand the reason for the powerful lock used......

Except for this odd trapdoor on the floor.

Yes, let's take a look.     


Ah, I believe this is the place.

Some guy named Trels Varis, seeing me come down the ladder, approached me  in a menacing manner.

"What are you doing here?" he growled. "And may I suggest you make your answer clear, because this office and what we do here is a well-kept-secret. And we wish to keep it a secret, even if it means that you do not leave here alive."

Ah, well, if it was a fight they wanted. A quick glance around the room showed that this was the place where they were printing "The Common Tongue." I could understand his concern.

Still, I didn't want to engage in a fight.  I had my suspicions about King Helseth, and my instructions were clear about using discretion.


"You will stop printing lies about King Helseth." I stated, in my most commanding voice. I hoped the sound of authority would back him down without a fight.

"I haven't printed lies about King Helseth." he replied. "I've only printed the truth. And I intend to keep on printing the truth in 'The Common Tongue' - unless you think you can stop me."

That sounded pretty much like a threat to me.

I knew that a man of dedication, such as this person, would not want to take a bribe in front of his own men, so I decided to give him a softer option.

"I think a donation of 3,000 gold pieces to the Widows and Orphans Fund will stop you." I said, looking him right in the eye, and giving him a knowing wink.

I held out the 3,000 gold pieces. He knew it was a bribe to shut him up, but he also knew I was trying to make it look like a donation in front of his men.

"Hmmm." he muttered, "You are a shrewd judge of character." He took the gold, giving me a small crack of a smile, just enough to let me know he understood what was going on. "I am a man of principle," he said, "and will not hold my common tongue for a payment of gold. But I know what benefits gold can do if it is used in a good cause."

He put the money in his purse. "Very well." he continued, "I will not discuss King Helseth in 'The Common Tongue'. You have my word. And I'll take your 3,000 gold, and will contribute it to the Widows and Orphans Fund. And now, if you'll excuse me, we'll have to relocate immediately, now that the secret of our office is spoiled."

I love it when a mission is simple enough that it can be solved with a little gold.


Tienius was very happy with my report.

"So, Trels Varis is the anonymous writer of 'The Common Tongue'." he said, "And Trels Varis gave you his word that he won't be discussing the king."

"Yes, that's correct." I said. "I did have to contribute 3,000 gold to the Widows and Orphans Fund, but I consider that a small sacrifice in the service of my king."

I certainly hope no one will ever accuse me of brown nosing the King's guard.    


He smiled, and had one of his assistant guards hand him a box.

"We place great trust in your judgement," he said, "and we are very satisfied with your service and sentiments."

He opened the box, continuing, "You shall have 3,000 gold to cover your expenses, and a rich reward and great honor besides." He handed me a two-handed longblade. "I give you a 'King's Oath' blade - exactly like those used by the Royal Guard. Only those sworn to the king's service and tested by great trials may use them. They bear deadly curses that kill thieves and traitors."

I tested the blade; long, not too heavy, with three enchantments on it - one to damage health, one to paralyze for 3 seconds, and a fire damage spell.

"Yes, those deadly curses of the blade will kill thieves and traitors." he said, noting that I could feel the attributes of this weapon. "There is one last official matter I have to give you." he said. "Go to Lady Barenziah. She has asked to speak with you."

"The Queen?" I asked.

"There is no other that I know of." he replied.

He pointed to the door behind the throne.


I found the queen in her chambers. The guard in the room kept a wary eye on me.

"Greetings, Eldorf the Wise." she said. "I have been wanting to speak with you."

When in the presence of a Queen, one is always on one's best behavior. "I place myself humbly at your service, my Queen." I said, giving a generous bow.

"I understand you've been performing some duties for Tienius," she said, "and you've done well. I believe there are other matters you should investigate as well."

"Of course, my Queen." I replied. "What matters would these be?"   


"I will explain." she said. "Mournhold is a town of two minds. One the one hand, there is the monarchy, lead by Helseth, and on the other there is the Temple, and the goddess Almalexia. It is hard to know whom you may trust. While there has been no open hostility between the two, there are always undercurrents that bear watching. I would like you to make yourself known to the Temple. See what you can learn. Speak to Fedris Hler. He is a powerful man in the Temple, a confidant of Almalexia. See if you can get to know him a bit."

"I see." I said. "Do you have a suggestion of whom I should trust? I am, obviously, new to Mournhold, and do not know many people here."

She thought for a moment, then replied "A difficult question, especially in the company of gods and kings. I am always here to answer your questions. My time in the political arena is done, and I will not miss it. I do, however, like to know what is happening to my son, and to his monarchy. I stay interested."

She turned for a moment, shifting her gaze to the guard, who gave her a nod, as if to signify approval of a suggestion she was about to give.

"You should also take the time to speak with Plitinius Mero, a dear friend of mine." she continued. "He is knowledgeable on a great many subjects, and is always interesting to speak with. Apart we two, it is up to you to decide who your friends are."

"Plitinius Mero?" I asked. "I believe I've seen him in the courtyard when I arrived here."

"Ahh, yes." she replied. "He's a dear friend of mine. An author, a man of the people. He's a good source of information. These royal trappings don't allow me to get out as much as I'd like, but I can always count on Plitinius to know how the winds will change. You'll often find him wandering about the Palace Courtyard, as you've no doubt noticed already. Get to know him, Eldorf. His knowledge and judgement are unparalleled."

I asked her about Almalexia.  She indicated that while Almalexia had always represented the motherly virtues of compassion, forgiveness, healing and protection, the recent years of war with Dagoth Ur had changed her into a harsher, more unsympathetic patron. She said that many followers felt that she had changed, and not for the better.

I thanked her for her time, and took my leave to head for the Temple.


I found Plitinius Mero just where I expected him, making some notes on a piece of paper, apparently for another book he was thinking of writing.

I asked him about the fact that I had been told he was an author.

"Ah, well, yes, I supposed I had written one thing you might have read." he replied, with a smile of sheepish pride upon his face. "You see, there was a time I worked as a scribe for a beautiful young queen. I was young and ambitious, perhaps a bit too much of either for my own good. After a great deal of research, I was able to publish a biography."

I asked him the name of the book, half-knowing which one it might be.

"Why, 'The Real Barenziah', of course!" he replied, puffing his chest out with pride. "I felt it my duty to give to history a true and honest account of this remarkable woman. The story I presented, while true, was perceived as scandalous. My exuberance for the tale was left unchecked by wisdom, and I fear I caused some damage to the woman, not to mention the Imperial family."

"I believe I have this book in my library." I said, though not actually certain of this fact. "What kind of damage do you mean?"

"As I've said, the tail was a true one." he replied. "However, the details within should probably not have been divulged as they were. There were details that were felt to be embarrassing to the Septim line, through it was not my intent for them to be so. The work was ordered banned, and I was to be executed. Were it not for the grace of the lady herself, I would long be in my grave."

'Ah, the world of Imperial politics.' I thought quietly to myself.


"How as she able to keep you alive?" I asked, intrigued by this story.

"If you've read the work," he answered, "you'll know that Queen Barenziah is many things - but she is not shy, and she is not ashamed of how her life was lead. She knew my work to be true, and I believe she felt a sense of amusement, if not satisfaction, at the tale's telling. She protected me from the Imperial family, and spread the word of my demise at her guards' hands. Since then, I have traveled with her under this name, acting as her scribe, her advisor, and dare I say...her friend. I could ask for no greater honor.

He leaned a bit closer, so the other people in the courtyard would not hear. "The only thing I would hope for is to one day be able to publish further volumes of the work, to chronicle the Lady's life after her marriage to King Eadwyre. Perhaps one day I will be able to, but I am old, and my time grows short."

He looked up at the sky, adding "Oh, that I could write fiction as great as the plot the Lady Barenziah has lived!"

I advised him about the queen's statement of who one should trust. When I mentioned that she had told me to speak to him as a trusted friend, he smiled, as if a great trust had been bestowed upon him - greater than he had ever thought he would be responsible for.

"If the Queen Mother considers you a friend, so do I." he said. "Her wisdom is vast, and I am eager to help her in any way I can. If you are in need of information on any topics, please feel free to ask. I'll provide you with what limited knowledge I possess."

I asked him about Tienius Delitian. He said that Tienius had been with Helseth since he was a child in the Emperor's court, that he was a career soldier, rising through the ranks quickly. He said that Helseth chose him to lead the Royal Guard because he was a fine warrior, as well as both a savvy politician and an excellent judge of character.

He said that the High Ordinators were much like the ones found in the city of Vivec, but much more dangerous, using weapons of deadly enchantment. He cautioned that provoking their anger was considered an unwise move.

Concerning Gavas Drin, he said that Drin became Lord Archcanon over 10 years ago, after the last one died of old age. Serving Lady Almalexia well, he had been rewarded with great power.

"I have been told to speak with Fedris Hler at the temple." I said. "What can you tell me about him?

Glad that he had some information that was of use to me, he replied quickly. "My research tells me that Hler has been with the Lady Almalexia for many years now, serving in an official capacity as her Steward. What these duties entail is not known to me, but there are rumors that he carries out some of the more, shall we say, 'unpleasant' chores for the goddess."

"And what of Almalexia?" I asked. "What can you tell me of her?"

"Almalexia is a member of the Tribunal." he replied. "You know, she was once the wife of Nerevar, and was considered to be one of his most trusted advisors. She resides here in Mournhold, and is much loved by the people here."

And here, I was Nerevar reborn. Won't that be interesting, once we meet.











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