Biography of Barenziah, v 3
Biography of Queen Barenziah
by Stern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe
Barenziah was welcomed kindly by the Emperor Tiber Septim and his family, who treated her like a daughter during her stay in the newly built Imperial City. After several happy months there learning her duties as a regent under the Empire, Symmachus escorted her to Mournhold where she took up her duties as Queen of her people, under his wise guidance. Gradually they came to love one another and were married and crowned in a splendid ceremony at which the Emperor himself officiated.
After several hundred years of marriage a son, Helseth, was born to the royal couple, amid rejoicing and prayers to the goddess who had at last blessed their marriage. Although it was not known at the time, it was shortly before this blessed event that the Staff of Chaos was stolen from its hiding place deep in the Mournhold mines by a clever bard known only as Nightingale.
Eight years after Helseth's birth, Barenziah bore a daughter, Morgiah, named for Symmachus' mother and the royal couple's joy was complete. Alas, shortly after that, relations with the Empire mysteriously deteriorated, leading to much civil unrest in Mournhold. After fruitless inquiries and attempts at reconciliation, in desperation Barenziah took her young children and travelled to Imperial City herself to seek the Emperor's ear. Symmachus remained in Mournhold.
During her audience with the Emperor, Barenziah, through her magical arts, came to realize, to her horror and dismay, that the so-called Emperor was an imposter, none other than the Bard Nightingale who had stolen the Staff of Chaos. Exercising great self control she concealed this realization from him. That evening news came that Symmachus had been killed in battle and that Mournhold had been taken by the rebels. Barenziah knew not where to seek help, when a knock sounded at her door. It was Eadwyre, King of Wayrest, and an old friend of Uriel Septim and Symmachus. He comforted her, pledged his friendship and confirmed her suspicions that the Emperor was indeed an impostor, and none other than Jagar Tharn, the Imperial Battlemage. Tharn had supposedly retired from public work and put his assistant, Ria Silmane, in his stead. As it seemed, Tharn had never left the Imperial City. Ria was indeed dead, but her ghost had appeared in Eadwyre's dreams and revealed that the true Emperor had been kidnapped by Tharn and imprisoned in an alternate plane. Tharn had then used the Staff of Chaos to kill her when she attempted to warn the Council of his nefarious plot.
Together, Eadwyre and Barenziah plotted to gain the imposter's confidence and unmask him with the help of another friend of Ria's, who was currently in prison, but to whose dreams she had access, and who possessed great, albeit untapped, potential. Barenziah charmed and befriended the fake Emperor. By reading his secret diary she learned that he had broken the Staff into eight pieces and hidden them. She managed to obtain a copy of the key to Ria's friend's cell and bribed a guard to leave it within the cell, as if by accident. Their Champion, whose name was unknown even to Barenziah and Eadwyre, made his escape through a shift gate Ria had openned in a dark rat infested corner of the prison where the cowardly goblin guards feared to venture. It took Barenziah several months to learn the hiding places of all eight staff pieces through snatches of overheard conversation and rare glimpses of the diary. Once she had the vital information, she and Eadwyre fled to Wayrest where they managed to stave off the sporadic efforts of Tharn's henchmen to obtain revenge. Tharn, whatever else might be said of him, was no one's fool save perhaps Barenziah's, and he concentrated most of his efforts in tracking down and destroying the great Champion.
As all now know, the brave, tireless, and forever nameless Champion was successful in reuniting the Staff of Chaos. With it, he destroyed Tharn and rescued the true Emperor, Uriel Septim VII. Following the Restoration, a grand state memorial service was held for Symmachus in the Imperial City, befitting the man who had served the Septim family so long and so well. Barenziah and good King Eadwyre had come to care deeply for one another, and had married in the year after their flight from Imperial City. Her children remained with her and a regent was appointed to rule Mournhold in her absence. She planned to return after Eadwyre's death. He was elderly when they wed so she knew that event, alas, could not be far off as the elves reckon time.