Note: Flaccus Terentius' notes appear in bracketed italics. Inserts appear in separate boxes.
The [Improved] Emperor's Guide to Tamriel
Being a description in both art and prose of the Provinces of Tamriel --
their people, customs, features of their histories, and other pertinent matter
Dedicated to Honoria Lucasta
You played your lute and sang laments
On Rain's Hand I gave my intent
Bewitching me with blue eyes
Our love soars across the skies
Amid the lavender and flowers
Mara's glow and warmth are ours
You have the rosiest of cheeks
I'll miss them most in the coming weeks
Our Houses are now intertwined
The marriage parchment to be signed
A Bravil noble and a fertile wife? I pledge to you my fealty and life
More divine than all the eight
Soon to return: I pledge you wait?
[Dibella wept, if this sappy triteness won't cause Honoria to flee willingly into another suitor's arms. Torch this dedication and begin anew.]
(Rough draft of my Foreword for the Improved Guide - not sure if I'll get this much space in the final, however.)
Tamriel is embroiled in turmoil and insurrection. Catastrophe and war may be inevitable. The inhabitants
I'd call them savages and foreigners of the Provinces merge into great packs and seek to undermine Cyrodiil, to grab the great bastion of power for their own illegitimate causes. The Empire is in need of heroes and bravery, as well as cartographers, unimpeachable journeymen swift of foot and with wit at the tip of their quills...
Venustinius Perquitienus. Fronto Maecilius. Helgreir Lute-Voice. All seasoned travelers, scribes, and emissaries with multitudinous volumes in the Imperial Library. And now Flaccus Terentius
seeks to join their is added to their elite ranks.
It is with great pride and honor that I was chosen by His Excellency Chancellor Abnur Tharn to provide our leaders with accurate verbal and pictorial evidence of the upheaval across Tamriel. Chancellor Tharn is wise and just, placing his trust in such an unworthy untested academic and granting me the power and title of Envoy-Scholar to the Empress Regent. This is testament to his incorruptible nature. [Perhaps a little to unctuous?]
It is my intention to create a guide both thorough and comprehensive in nature, while at the same time brief and compact so as to be easily accessible, yet also colorful and personalized,
but offering critical and accurate observations.
The Emperor's Guide to Tamriel was a sterling effort for its time, and young Emperor Leovic was justly proud of this gift to his flitting power. Such an undertaking is reflected in this revised and illustrated tome, as the many accurate parts of the original book are placed within their new contemporary context. However, since Leovic's time, Imperial lorekeepers have been frustrated by the more egregious inaccuracies, just as many historians have winced at the outdated anachronisms, demanding a complete revision. Lament no more, all men of learning!
As Stendarr witnesses the tempest of my enthusiasm, my exploration shall gather accurate and recent evidence, written in an unbiased and meticulous manner to surprise and delight. Revelations about Tamriel's denizens and inhabitants will change your entire outlook on Tamriel - that I guarantee you!
The rolling pastures and inferior fortresses of High Rock. The strange customs and seething deserts of Hammerfell. The primitive Orc strongholds and rock screes of Wrothgar and the Reach. The incessant chill and bleak mountains of Skyrim. The choking gray ash and fungal delights of Morrowind. The fetid swamps and deviant lizard-folk of Black Marsh. The plague-ridden savannas of Elsweyr. The ancient audacity and graceful loftiness of Summerset's Altmer. And the fickle forest-dwellers of Valenwood. All the lands of Man, Mer, and more! Any cobblestone, upturned rock, or gnarled tree not mentioned on these divinely inspired pages is not worth knowing about. [These are all inaccurate but educated guesses. I've never been farther from home than Bruma.] The result is a guidebook so superior that previous publications of this nature have but two new uses: to fill the hearths or line the windows of an improperly insulated hovel. It is my heartfelt desire that I dare hope that you, gentle reader, may enjoy this interminable drudgery humble offering and, furthermore, may wish to convey your pleasant satisfaction to the publisher, so that the author's subsequent works may continue to grace the bookshelves of every library, center of learning, and perhaps even tavern of Tamriel. Assuming you peasants can read and aren't content to dribble on the pages while stabbing an excitable but dirty finger at my pristine paintings.
I am but one nobleman and envoy, but I work for the edification of many.
Flaccus Terentius 6th of Rain's Hand, 2E 578, Bravil