Biography of Barenziah, v 2
Biography of Queen Barenziah
by Stern Gamboge, Imperial Scribe
The first volume of this series told the story of Barenziah's origin, heiress of the throne of Mournhold until her father king rebelled against His Excellency Tiber Septim and brought ruin to the province of Morrowind. Due to the benevolence of the Emperor, the child Barenziah was not destroyed with her parents, but reared by the Baron Sven of Blackmoor. She grew beautiful, pious, and trusting in his care. This trust was exploited by a wicked orphan stable boy at Baron Sven's estate, who with lies, tricked her into fleeing Blackmoor with him. After many adventures on the road, they settled in Rifton, a Skyrim city on the border of Morrowind.
The stable boy Straw was not altogether evil. He did love Barenziah in his own selfish fashion, and the lie was the only way he could think of that he might have her. She, of course, felt only friendship for him, but he was hopeful that she would change her mind. He wanted to buy a small farm and settle down in marriage, but his earnings were barely enough to feed and shelter them.
After only a short time in Rifton, Straw fell in with a bold villian of a Khajiit thief named Therris, who proposed that they rob the Imperial commandant's house. Therris said that he had a client, a traitor to the Empire, who would pay well for the information they would find there. Barenziah happened to overhear this plan and was appalled. She stole from their rooms and walked the streets of Rifton in desperation, torn between loyalty to the Empire and to her friend.
In the end, loyalty to the Empire prevailed over personal friendship, and she approached the commandant's house, revealed her true identity and warned him of her friends' plan. The commandant listened to her tale, praised her courage and assured her that no harm would come to her.
General Symmachus had been scouring the countryside in search of her since her disappearance had just arrived in Rifton, hot in pursuit. He took her into his custody, and informed her that, far from being sold, she was to be instated as Queen of Mournhold as soon as she turned eighteen. Until that time, she was to live with the Imperial family in the new Imperial City, where she would learn something of Imperial government and make the acquaintance of people of importance.
And so it came to pass. In the Imperial City, Barenziah became great friends with Tiber Septim during the last years of his reign; Tiber's heir Pelagius also came to love her as a sister. The ballads of the day praised her beauty, chastity, wit, and learning. On her eighteenth birthday, the entire Imperial City turned out to watch her procession back to Mournhold. Sorrowful as they were at her departure, all knew that she was ready to be the glorious sovereign of the new kingdom of Mournhold.