Late in the Second Era an heir, a girl child,
Barenziah, was born to the rulers of Mournhold in Morrowind.
She was reared in all the luxury and security befitting a
royal dark elf child until she reached five years of age.
At that time, His Excellency Tiber Septim demanded that the
decadent rulers of Morrowind yield to him and institute Imperial
reforms. Trusting to their vaunted magic, they impudently
refused and much of Morrowind was laid waste in the conflict
The little Princess Barenziah and her nurse
were found among the wreckage. General Symmachus, himself
a dark elf and born in Mournhold, suggested to His Excellency
that the child might someday be valuable, and she was placed
with a loyal supporter who had recently retired from the Imperial
army. On retirement, Sven Advensen had been made Baron of
Blackmoor, a small town in central Skyrim. Baron Sven and
his wife reared her as their own daughter, saw to it that
she was educated appropriately, and more importantly, was
taught the Imperial virtues and piety. In short, she was made
fit to take her place as a member of the new ruling class
The girl Barenziah grew in beauty, grace,
and intelligence. She was very sweet-tempered, a joy to her
adoptive parents and their five young sons, who loved her
as their elder sister. Other than her appearance, she differed
from young girls of her class only in that she had a strong
empathy for the woods and fields, and was wont to escape her
household duties to wander there.
Barenziah was happy and content until her
sixteenth year, when a wicked orphan stable boy whom she had
befriended out of pity told her that he had overheard a conspiracy
of her dear guardian. Baron Sven, said the boy, had dealt
with a Redguard visitor to sell her as a concubine in Rihad,
as no Nord or Breton would marry her on account of her black
skin, and no dark elf would have her because of her foreign
"Whatever shall I do?" the poor
girl wept, trembling, for she had been brought up in innocence
and trust, and it never occured to her that her friend would
lie to her.
The wicked boy, who was called Straw, said
she must run away if she valued her virtue, but he would come
with her and protect her. Sorrowfully, Barenziah agreed to
this plan and that very night, Barenziah disguised herself
as a boy and the pair escaped to the nearby city of Whiterun.
After a few days there, they managed to get places as guards
in a disreputable merchant caravan. The caravan was heading
east by side roads in a dishonest attempt to elude the lawful
tolls charged on the highway. Thus they eluded pursuit until
they reached the city of Rifton, where they ceased their travels.
They felt safe in Rifton, close as they were to the Morrowind
border so dark elves were commonly seen.
The story of how Barenziah finally came to
the throne of Mournhold after this fitful start is told in
Volume II of the Biography of Queen Barenziah.
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