Speaking of orcs. A letter my orc character in Skyrim, Ulg gra-Burogul left for her wife and children, in case the worst should happen when she attends her duties as Listener.
Dear Muiri, Alesan and Sofie.
If you are reading this letter, then it means that I’m most likely dead. Maybe you have sat beside my bed for months. Perhaps you got a letter asking you to open it. Or even worse, I went to do a job in Arkay knows where, and have failed in my attempts to contact you in a month.
If the latter happened, then I may be still alive. Perhaps I am unable to contact you, and trying to get home, and again share the latest song I learned on my travels.
It is however doubtful.
My line of work is very dangerous. I was called to be an assassin because I found it romantic. The stranger heeding the call. Many things can happen, sometimes it goes wrong. When the sanctuary burned, I thought my last hour had come. When I was hidden in the embrace of the Night Mother, I thought of you, Muiri. My resourceful wife, who learned a trade when it all went wrong. My daughter who practices with her dagger every day. Sofie, whose fingers trail the curve of my bow. Alesan, my son who plays the flute ever so sweetly. Alesan, whose eyes go round with wonder whenever you hear Hammerfell accent or tongue.
I kept thinking of how you deserved better than waiting anxiously for my return. So I wrote this letter, and have been making arrangements, in case something similar happens again.
This is my inheritance, the last thing I can leave to you. The last physical thing of me that remains.
My last wishes.
Alesan. You once kept yourself fed by running errands. I was appalled that the inn keeper, whom everyone praised for her compassion did no more than she had too. What kind of adults does not care for the children left behind? Who makes children work twice as hard as adults?
Ramblings aside, I know you are interested in music. How many times haven’t we shared about writing sounds and coming up with lyrics to match? Your song about the sea was especially touching to me. It is a masterpiece. I have instructed Viarmo to have a place for you at the Bard’s College. If you want to pursue the craft either now or later, then it is yours.
Sofie. Once you sold flowers in the city of Windhelm. You really have a knack for brewing potions. But I also know you want to take up the warrior path. Both of these are honorable ways to make a living. I cannot tell you which to follow, but know this.
No matter what you choose, I will be proud.
You can always ask your mother to help you with brewing potions. She is an excellent alchemist. However, I do realize that you do sometimes need to learn from other places. I have spoken to the orcs in the strongholds. If you want to learn alchemy, go to the wisemother. If you want to learn how to fight, go to the first huntwife. Or chief, if that is the strongest one. Drop my name, and they will teach you.
Another thing. Alesan, Sofie. I know you sometimes talk about the war. Quietly, when you think we are asleep or in the basement. Perhaps this war will be over soon, perhaps not. I could not shield you from it, nor am I arrogant enough to believe it ever possible. You are asked about it by adults all the time.
What I want you both to know is this. No matter what side you agree most with, I will not hate you for it. I love you so much. Through hardships and seasons in the sun. That never changed and it never will. No matter how cold my corpse is.
Know this in your heart.
Muiri. The love of my life. Do you remember how we met? In Markarth, the city of stone. You did the black sacrament, and I heeded the call. Your eyes were so wide, an orsimer twice your size telling you that the Nightmother had heard your pleas. You told me I attracted a lot of attention to myself. And it is true. I do. But my questionable stature was soon forgotten when I told you that I could do it, kill Alain Dufont. You even paid me to kill Nilsine Shatter-Shield. This was my first meeting with an actual client. Up until then my targets was given by Nazir, and I obeyed. But now I had risen up to that moment, my first official kill. So what does one do? Tell them it would be done.
And I did. You paid me and that was that.
I never expected to see you again. My first client. The woman who turned her life around when it all went wrong. Blue tattoos on her face. The woman whose heart burned with revenge. But then I did, at that inn. Playing my lute. You bought me a drink, and asked about my accent. It does mark me, doesn’t it? Hammerfell in my tones, with the roughness on syllables that tells I am Orsimer. I indulged. I had been told not to, but who could resist your smile? I told you about how I came to this land, sneaking over the border to attend a school. How it didn’t exactly work out, and now I was trying to make ends meet. Playing at inns to earn bed and board. Occasionally doing the assasin’s work.
I told you of how I had prayed to Malacath. He calls for violence and conflict, patron of the Orsimer. But he is also the deadric prince of the betrayed. I am an orc, one of his children. And I was betrayed when I crossed the border. So he is mine. And he heard my cries, gave me another path. Assassins’ work is violence too.
We kept meeting each other. Eventually we started writing. Then kissing, as we both knew that we had fallen in love. What a feeling this is! And now we have a house and two wonderful children together. And while my duties to the Night Mother have kept me away at times, I have tried spending as much time as possible with you all. I have kept a tight schedule of two weeks on, two weeks off.
But I have now gone off a tangent, haven’t I? My riches have been split in three parts. You all get your share of it. The details about that are in another letter, in my drawer at our bedroom. I hope this will prevent any arguments you may have after my passing. Many orcs would say that it was not the way Malacath would have wanted. And many a orc would scoff at me right now. He calls for conflict and violence. But I cannot bear to think you falling to conflict after my death.
I love you. I love you all with the bottom of my heart. My hope is, above all that the time spent with me have only enriched your lives. That I made you all as happy as you made me. Maybe my passing brings despair as wide as the sea. I hope that the good memories we had together bring you through it. That my love for you touches you even after I’m gone.
May we all meet again after our passing.
Love your mother and wife, Ulg gra-Burogul
Thanks to Embala for the lovely banner! The quote belongs to Scooter.