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Lore:Chronicles of the Five Companions 4

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The personal recollections of the Five Companions

I am Grand Chancellor Abnur Tharn, Overlord of Nibenay, the head of the Elder Council, advisor to emperors and kings for one hundred and seventeen of the one hundred and sixty-four years that I have been alive. I did not come by my position of influence through luck or nepotism, but rather through extreme discipline, ambition, and cunning. And yet, here I am, conspiring with idiots and fools in a musty hole in the ground. How the mighty have fallen.

The year is 2E 582, but I am unsure of the precise date. I've lost track, given the gravity of the monumental task that is before us. After reading the previous entries in this chronicle, I felt it necessary to offer my side of the story, so that I am not misrepresented by future historians.

We Tharns have held positions of power throughout Cyrodiil since the days of the Potentate. We are prized for our loyalty to the Empire, our deft political machinations, and our ruthless subjugation or elimination of dissenters within Imperial territories. What we do is grim work, but it is necessary if the Empire is to endure.

Do I sound boastful and egotistical? Perhaps I am. But I shall put these words to paper so that you, the reader, might understand my views and my actions and their place in the long view of history.

For nearly thirty years I advised the savage men of the Reach, from Durcorach to Leovic, as their long, brutish dynasty ravaged the Empire. They lasted longer than many of the would-be conquerors that came before them, but their alien nature and low heritage made them unfit to stand in the presence of the true-blooded sons of Colovia or Nibenay. Their most grave insult came when Leovic, youngest of their line, sought the hand of my sixteenth daughter, Clivia, in marriage, that she might rule with him as Empress. Like his grandfather before him, who married Veraxia Tharn, Leovic hoped that our family's connections and pure Nibenese bloodline would somehow legitimize his claim to the Ruby Throne. It was an exercise in futility, and it exasperated me to no end.

So, when Varen Aquilarios, the son of a Colovian Duke and a powerful military leader in his own right, contacted me in secret and sought my assistance to depose those foul strangers from the north, I eagerly agreed. The war was long and bloody, but armed with my knowledge of the Imperial City, Varen eventually led his army of rebels to the palace gates. Varen drove his sword into Leovic's black-blooded heart and watched him die, choking on his own life blood, at the foot of the Ruby Throne, and immediately declared himself to be Emperor. For my loyalty and assistance, he agreed to take my daughter Clivia as his bride.

After Varen's betrayal at Mannimarco's hand, it pained me to hand the reins of the Empire over to another outlander, but The King of Worms is a dangerous enemy. To insure the dominance of necromancy over all other forms of magic, Mannimarco immediately cast the Mages Guild out of the Imperial City, then had all remaining dissenters arrested as enemies of the state. I did not wish for my name to appear on that very long list—which only grew shorter when the executions began—so I pledged my loyalty. In return, I was granted stewardship of the Imperial City. My daughter Clivia, still the Empress Regent, became the titular ruler of the Empire. But Mannimarco remained the power behind the throne.

Of course, Mannimarco turned on me the moment my usefulness was expended. I was marginalized and cloistered away in a tower of bones, and my daughter was turned against me, lured by Mannimarco's promise to teach her the dark arts that would give her mastery over life and death.

But know this, dear reader. I will take the Empire back. I will restore order out of chaos. That is my only ambition, and my ultimate desire. I will strike down any who stand in my way with all the fires of Daedric sorcery I can command, and those who dare to thwart me shall be damned to the pits of Oblivion for all eternity.