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【书籍搬运】The Wolf Queen, v1 狼心女王 第一部

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狼心女王 第一部

渥金·贾思编著

选自第三纪元第一纪的智者Montocai的手稿

3E 63 (第三纪元63年,下类似)

是年秋天,柏拉鸠斯王孙来到卡姆洛恩城邦高岩向国王Vulstaed的女儿求婚。柏拉鸠斯是尤里尔之子,而尤里尔则是泰伯·赛普丁大帝的侄女肯蒂娜女皇的王孙。(译者注:此处疑原文有误。文中将Uriel标为son of the Empress,根据年表,Pelagius的父亲是Uriel二世,应为女皇之孙)国王的女儿Quintilla是Tamriel最美丽的公主,但是可千万不要以为那可爱迷人的少女就是她的全部,她同时还是一个造诣颇高的女巫。

此时的柏拉鸠斯已经鳏居十年有一,带着儿子安提奥卡斯,他进入宫殿准备求婚。在那里,他得知城邦正饱受一个可怕狼人的威胁,人们生活在一片恐惧之中。没有大家,何来小家。柏拉鸠斯与Quintilla决定先把婚事搁下,一齐对付那威胁城市的怪物。与野兽搏斗的细节不得而知,总之,两人仗着各自的利剑和魔法,成功地将它击杀。随后Quintilla施展神秘术将野兽的灵魂锁在一颗宝石之中。柏拉鸠斯把它镶在戒指上,以此作为婚戒娶了Quintilla。

人们说,那狼魂一直伴随着柏拉鸠斯夫妇,直到他们第一个孩子出生。

3E 80

“皇帝陛下,Solitude的大使正在门外等候您的召见”总管俯下身向皇帝低声耳语道。

“现在?吃午饭的时候?”皇帝略有不悦,咕哝着,“告诉他让他一边等着”

“父亲,请等一等。我想也许您真该马上见他。”柏拉鸠斯起身说到,“您总不能让别人空耗半天等来坏消息吧?这显得我们太没礼貌了。”

“好吧,那你先留下别走。礼节辞令的事你比我在行。话说,我们应该…”皇帝——突然意识到这样的午餐时间一家本应该都到场,而现实却不过寥寥数人——问道:“你母亲呢?”

“还不是跟凯娜瑞斯的大牧师鬼混。”柏拉鸠斯心里这么念叨。当然嘴上这么说是不行的,正如他父亲前面说的,要“委婉”一点。于是他说,“母亲在祷告。”

“哦。那你的弟兄姐妹呢?”

“Amiel在Firsthold,与法师行会的大法师会面。说到Galana,她自然是在准备与纳希斯伯爵的婚礼了。当然这一点我们不可能告诉外面的大使,毕竟在他看来,Galana的对象应该是他的头头——Solitude的国王。相反,我们会告诉他,Galana正在温泉疗养,来治疗身上的皮肤病。我想要是这么告诉他,即便他明知这只不过是一个缓兵之计,也一定不会狠命地向我们催婚了。”柏拉鸠斯笑了一笑,“您知道的,诺德人是多么讨厌有肉赘的女人。”

“操!你这么说来说去,说的我真后悔当时没多生几个,弄得我现在看起来像一个活生生的老傻瓜,让我最亲近最疼爱的人看不起!”咆哮着的皇帝此时倒显得颇有自知之明,“好吧。那我儿媳呢?还有我的孙子孙女,他们跑哪儿去了?”

“Quintilla跟塞佛鲁斯还有玛格纳斯在育儿室里。安提奥卡斯不知又跑哪儿勾搭去了。至于帕特玛…我还真不知道她去哪了,也许在书房。我原以为您不喜欢有孩子围在您旁边…”

“我就愿意在发潮的客厅里见这些使节”皇帝叹了口气,“这帮人,有事没事弄出一副文明的腔调来,一脸无辜相。擦……。嗯,Balvus,把那该死的家伙带进来吧”

帕特玛此时正烦心得很。当时帝都正处雨季,整个城市的街道和花园被一片大水漫着,加上冬天刺骨的寒风,烦恼不免更添一分。雨已经下了多时,她都记不得已经下了多久——几天,几个星期,还是几个月?没有太阳的日子也就没有了时间概念,至少盯着皇宫前面忽明忽暗不止不息的火把不行。帕特玛走在大理石铺成的走廊上,听着又大又急的雨声,心中写满了一个字:烦。

帕特玛猜测Asthephe,她的导师,恐怕现在正到处找她。坦白地说帕特玛并不厌学。所谓的学习其实不过是单纯的死记硬背,这对于她来说实在是小菜一碟。事实上当帕特玛穿过空荡荡的舞厅的时候,她一直不停地在自问自答:奥辛纽姆什么时候陷落的?第一纪元980年。谁写了Tamrilean论集?Khosey。泰伯·赛普丁什么时候出生的?第二纪元288年。当前匕落城的国王是谁?Gothlyr的儿子Mortyn。谁是现在的Silvenar?Varbaril的儿子Varbarenth。Lil圣蛾的领主是谁?哈,小心别被领主(lord)一般是男的给误导了:答案是Ioa女士。

我会得到什么呢?如果我好好地做一个不惹麻烦的乖姑娘,老师眼中的好学生?母亲和父亲就会遵守他们的诺言送我一把迪德拉(迪德拉的)武士刀么?切,别做梦了,帕特玛。他们会说,我们没有答应过小帕特玛什么呀。肯定的,他们还会说,对于这样年纪的女儿家,迪德拉刀太花钱也太危险了。

从帝王客厅传来的声音打断了帕特玛的思绪。她认出这些声音一个是她父亲的,一个是她祖父的,还有一个她不知道是谁,一口奇怪的口音,听起来像个诺德人。出于好奇,帕特玛隔着墙壁找准相应客厅里面挂着挂毯的位置,从那里小心地移出一块砖头,然后把耳朵凑了过去。

“皇帝陛下,我们不妨开门见山地说”那个诺德的声音说到。“我的主君,也就是Solitude国王并不在意Galana公主是否长得像一个兽人。他在意的是与皇室的这样一种姻亲关系。更何况这是您以前同意了的。您曾经用您的荣誉担保在您镇压卓瓦尔的Khajiiti暴/乱后,您或者把女儿嫁给我们国王,或者归还我的主君借给您的那…大笔的…钱。”

“我似乎不记得我们有过这样的约定。”帕特玛听到她父亲这样说,“陛下,您呢?”

那年迈的皇帝咕哝了几句,但帕特玛听得并不十分真切。

“那看来我们最好一起到档案室走一趟,也许我的脑子也开始不中用了。”诺德人的声音中带着挖苦。“当然,我是清楚地记得在上锁之前,您在它上面盖上了您的印章。噢,作为一种可能性,我倒不会否认我可能真的记错了。”

“这样,我们让一个侍从去那边把您提到的文书带过来。”她父亲用一种冷冰冰而又缓和的口气说道。帕特玛清楚当父亲准备爽约的时候他总是用这样的口吻说话。她赶紧把石头放回原处,急冲冲地跑出舞厅。她知道替蹒跚的老皇帝跑腿的侍从也总是不紧不慢的,因此她有足够的时间抢先到达那里。

巨大的乌木门像平时一样上着锁。但是她知道应该怎么做。一年前,她母亲的Bos莫侍女曾试图从宫里偷窃首饰,正好被帕特玛逮个正着。通过威逼利诱,帕特玛以保密为条件成地迫使侍女教自己如何撬锁。只见帕特玛麻利地从她的钻石胸针上折下两根别针,把第一根小心地插入锁芯,慢慢地试探内部制栓、沟槽的结构和位置,并且心中默记下它们。

每个锁都有着自己独特的结构。

那个厨房储藏室的锁有着七个制栓和一个对拉螺栓。那七个制栓中,前六个是活动的,最后一个是固定的。帕特玛打开它只不过是为了好玩。但是如果她真想投毒的话,那么嘿嘿,恐怕现在整个屋子里的人都动不了了,她这样想着,嘴上不禁露出微笑。

至于她哥哥安提奥卡斯放有Khajiiti黄色画册的秘密小仓库上的锁,不过带有两个自由制栓以及一个粗劣的毒刺机关——只要一直给机关加上压力就轻松地拆掉它而不触发。

令帕特玛意外的是,在她哥哥那里她倒收获颇丰。帕特玛从没想到像安提奥卡斯那样看上去没脸没皮的人,居然敲诈起来这么简单。尽管对12岁的帕特玛来说,性变态的虎人(cat people)跟性变态的赛瑞迪尔人(赛瑞迪尔s)的区别不过停留在字面上。但是无论如何,安提奥卡斯不得不把自己珍爱的钻石胸针送给了他妹妹。

帕特玛从来没被抓过现行。不论是她偷偷地进入大法师书房偷出最古老的魔法书,抑或她潜入Gilane国王的房间,偷走第二天欢迎仪式上用到的王冠。其实帕特玛的目的只不过是好玩,给自己的家庭难堪一下,但是上面的事情对帕特玛而言实在是太简单了,以至于帕特玛觉得要是拿这些说事,她自己面子上挂不住。现在,机会来了。为着一个重要的谈话,皇帝正派人取一封文书。帕特玛决定抢先把东西搞到手。

但是这一次,门上的锁是她碰到的最难打开的一个。她不得不反复试探——小心地用别针摩擦制栓,轻轻地拨开夹住别针的叉状夹具,再压下对重块。最终,她花了将近半分钟才打开锁进入储藏室,也就是存放上古卷轴的地方。

文书被按着年份、行省、王国有序地存放起来。帕特玛没花多久就找到了她要找的婚书:以神作为见证,泰姆瑞尔的神圣赛瑞迪尔帝国皇帝尤里尔 Septim二世同意他的女儿Galana公主与Solitude王国国王Mantiarco结为连理。她匆匆地把文书取了出来,随后离开档案室,并按原样把门锁上。此时,帕特玛下意识地回头看了一下,连侍从的影子都没看到。

回到舞厅,她又一次地挪开了石块,继续偷听里面的谈话。一开始,里面的是三个人——诺德人、皇帝以及她父亲不过是讨论些天气或者无聊的外交细节。随后她听到有脚步声走进,与之相伴随的是一个年轻的声音——那个侍从回来了。

“皇帝陛下,遵照您的命令鄙人已经仔细地找过了档案室,没有发现您要找的文书。”

“瞧,这你也见到了” 帕特玛的父亲说,“我说过它本来就不存在。”

“但是我见过它!”诺德人的声音有点狂躁,“当时我就在哪儿,当皇帝陛下与我们国王定约的时候我就在哪儿!”

“我希望您这不是在怀疑我父亲——统治整个泰姆瑞尔的帝国皇帝——在撒谎。特别是,在有证据说明您很可能……嗯,您很可能记错了的情况下。” 柏拉鸠斯的声音显得低沉而从满威胁。

“不,不,不,当然不”诺德人明显软了下来, “但是这样的话我没法回去交代。国王既失去了他想要的与皇室的姻亲,又拿不回契约写明的那笔钱——至少是我们理解的那份契约。”

“我们不希望Solitude与帝国有任何的不愉快。”皇帝开口了,声音虽然微弱,但是十分清晰。“这么说吧,我想提议我的孙女作为Mantiarco的王后。”

帕特玛不禁打了一个冷颤,好像一整屋子的寒气一齐倾倒在她头上。

“帕特玛公主?她似乎还是个小姑娘吧?”诺德人问道。

“她已经13岁了,”她父亲说,“这年纪足够谈婚论嫁了”

“她会是你们国王的理想对象,”皇帝说,“我承认,我知道的帕特玛还显得过于羞涩和天真,但是我确定她很快就能适应宫廷生活——毕竟她是Septim家族的人。”

“孙女跟皇帝的关系在血缘上没女儿来的近…”诺德人显得有些悲催而又无奈“但我又实在没有办法拒绝这样的提议。好吧,我会把您的意思向国王转达的。”

“行,那就这样吧。”皇帝说到。随后,帕特玛听到诺德人走出客厅的声音。

眼泪哗地从帕特玛的眼里流了下来。她知道Solitude的国王Mantiarco是什么样的。一个62岁的胖老头。而且她还知道Solitude的所在是多么的偏僻,Solitude的冬天是多么寒冷。她的父亲和祖父把她卖到了那些野蛮的诺德人手里。不管此时帕特玛是怎么想的,屋子里的交谈声仍然继续着。

“干得不错。下去把东西烧掉,记住,一定要亲眼盯着!”她父亲说。

“王子殿下?”侍从的声音充满了疑虑。

“笨蛋,就是烧掉那皇帝与Solitude国王签下的契约。我不希望真有这么一个东西!”

“可…王子殿下…,我刚才说的是实话,档案室里确实找不到那文书。恐怕它是早已经不见了。”

“天那!”她的父亲吼道,“怎么宫里总是弄得乱七八糟的——不是这丢了就是那不见了?赶紧给我回档案室找去,找不到别回来见我!”

帕特玛不禁看了看手里的文书。上面明文写着,如果皇帝不愿意把Galana公主嫁给Solitude国王,那么帝国就要归还给对方一笔巨款。帕特玛寻思,也许她可以把文书送到他父亲手中,作为奖励,也许父亲就不会把她嫁给Mantiarco。当然也许这行不通。但她也可以用它来敲诈一下她的父亲和祖父,比如说弄一笔钱什么的。甚至她可以在她成为Solitude王后的典礼上出示文书,从而迫使他们答应她提出的条件,同时给她买任何她想要的东西。反正不管怎样,让你们出血是一定的。一把迪德拉武士刀?切,会这么便宜你们么?她暗暗想到。

可能性还真多,帕特玛想着。不知不觉,她发现曾经的烦扰着她的东西早已经散去了。

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The Wolf Queen, Book One
by Waughin Jarth
Life of Queen Potema, Book One


From the pen of the first century third era sage Montocai:
3E 63:
In the autumntide of the year, Prince Pelagius, son of Prince Uriel, who is son of the EmpressKintyra, who is niece of the great Emperor Tiber Septim, came to the High Rock city-state ofCamlorn to pay court to the daughter of King Vulstaed. Her name was Quintilla, the most beauteous princess in Tamriel, skilled at all the maidenly skills and an accomplished sorceress.
Eleven years a widower with a young son named Antiochus, Pelagius arrived at court to find that the city-state was being terrorized by a great demon werewolf. Instead of wooing, Pelagius and Quintilla together went out to save the kingdom. With his sword and her sorcery, the beast was slain and by the powers of mysticism, Quintilla chained the beast's soul to a gem. Pelagius had the gem made into a ring and married her.
But it was said that the soul of the wolf stayed with the couple until the birth of their first child.
3E 80
"The ambassador from Solitude has arrived, your majesty," whispered the steward Balvus.
"Right in the middle of dinner?" muttered the Emperor weakly. "Tell him to wait."
"No, father, it's important that you see him," said Pelagius, rising. "You can't make him wait and then give him bad news. It's undiplomatic."
"Don't go then, you're much better at diplomacy than I am. We should have all the family here," Emperor Uriel II added, suddenly aware how few people were present at his dinner table. "Where's your mother?"
"Sleeping with the archpriest of Kynareth," Pelagius would have said, but he was, as his father said, diplomatic. Instead he said, "At prayer."
"And your brother and sister?"
"Amiel is in Firsthold, meeting with the Archmagister of the Mages Guild. And Galana, though we won't be telling this to the ambassador, of course, is preparing for her wedding to the Duke ofNarsis. Since the ambassador expects her to be marrying his patron the King of Solitude instead, we'll tell him that she's at the spa, having a cluster of pestilent boils removed. Tell him that, and he won't press too hard for the marriage, politically expedient though it may be," Pelagius smiled. "You know how queasy Nords are about warty women."
"But dash it, I feel like I should have some family around, so I don't look like some old fool despised by his nearest and dearest," growled the Emperor, correctly suspecting this to be the case. "What about your wife? Where's she and the grandchildren?"
"Quintilla's in the nursery with Cephorus and Magnus. Antiochus is probably whoring around theCity. I don't know where Potema is, probably at her studies. I thought you didn't like children around."
"I do during meetings with ambassadors in damp staterooms," sighed the Emperor. "They lend an air of, I don't know, innocence and civility. Ah, show the blasted ambassador in," he said to Balvus.
Potema was bored. It was the rainy season in the Imperial Province, wintertide, and the streets and the gardens of the City were all flooded. She could not remember a time when it was not raining. Had it been only days, or had it been weeks or months since the sun shone? There was no judging of time any more in the constant flickering torch-light of the palace, and as Potema walked through marble and stone hallways, listening to the pelting of the rain, she could think nothing but that she was bored.
Asthephe, her tutor, would be looking for her now. Ordinarily, she did not mind studying. Rote memorization came easily to her. She quizzed herself as she walked down through the empty ballroom. When did Orsinium fall? 1E 980. Who wrote Tamrilean Tractates? Khosey. When was Tiber Septim born?2E 288 [sic]. Who is the current King of DaggerfallMortyn, son of Gothlyr. Who is the currentSilvenar? Varbarenth, son of Varbaril. Who is the Warlord of Lilmoth? Trick question: it's a lady, Ioa.
What will I get if I'm a good girl, and don't get into any trouble, and my tutor says I'm an excellent student? Mother and father will renege on their promise to buy me a daedric katana of my own, saying they never remembered that promise, and it's far too expensive and dangerous for a girl my age.
There were voices coming from the Emperor's stateroom. Her father, her grandfather, and a man with a strange accent, a Nord. Potema moved a stone she had loosened behind a tapestry and listened in.
"Let us be frank, your imperial majesty," came the Nord's voice. "My sire, the King of Solitude, doesn't care if Princess Galana looked like an orc. He wants an alliance with the Imperial family, and you agreed to give him Galana or give back the millions of gold he gave to you to quell theKhajiiti rebellion in Torval. This was the agreement you swore to honor."
"I remember no such agreement," came her father's voice, "Can you, my liege?"
There was a mumbling noise that Potema took to be her grandfather, the ancient Emperor.
"Perhaps we should take a walk to the Hall of Records, my mind may be going," the Nord's voice sounded sarcastic. "I distinctly remember your seal being placed on the agreement before it was locked away. Of course, I may verily be mistaken."
"We will send a page to the Hall to get the document you refer to," replied her father's voice, with the cruel, soothing quality he used whenever he was about to break a promise. Potema knew it well. She replaced the loose stone and hurried out of the ballroom. She knew well how slowly the pages walked, used to running errands for a doddering emperor. She could make it to the Hall of Records in no time at all.
The massive ebony door was locked, of course, but she knew what to do. A year ago, she caught her mother's Bosmer maid pilfering some jewelry, and in exchange for her silence, forced the young woman to teach her how to . Potema pulled two pins off her red diamond broach and slid the first into the first lock, holding her hand steady, and memorizing the pattern of tumblers and grooves within the mechanism.
Each lock had a geography of its own.
The lock to the kitchen larder: six free tumblers, a frozen seventh, and a counter bolt. She had broken into that just for fun, but if she had been a poisoner, the whole Imperial household would be dead by now, she thought, smiling.
The lock to her brother Antiochus' secret stash of Khajiiti pornography: just two free tumblers and a pathetic poisoned quill trap easily dismantled with pressure on the counterweight. That had been a profitable score. It was strange that Antiochus, who seemed to have no shame, proved so easy to blackmail. She was, after all, only twelve, and the differences between the perversions of the cat people and the perversions of the Cyrodiils seemed pretty academic. Still, Antiochus had to give her the diamond broach, which she treasured.
She had never been caught. Not when she broke into the archmage's study and stole his oldest spellbook. Not when she broke into the guest room of the King of Gilane, and stole his crown the morning before Magnus's official Welcoming ceremony. It had become too easy to torment her family with these little crimes. But here was a document the Emperor wanted, for a very important meeting. She would get it first.
But this, this was the hardest lock she ever opened. Over and over, she massaged the tumblers, gently pushing aside the forked clamp that snatched at her pins, drumming the counterweights. It nearly took her a half a minute to break through the door to the Hall of Records, where the Elder Scrolls were housed.
The documents were well organized by year, province, and kingdom, and it took Potema only a short while to find the Promise of Marriage between Uriel Septim II, by the Grace of the Gods, Emperor of the Holy Cyrodiilic [sic] Empire of Tamriel and his daughter the Princess Galana, and His Majesty King Mantiarco of Solitude. She grabbed her prize and was out of the Hall with the door well-locked before the page was even in sight.
Back in the ball room, she loosened the stone and listened eagerly to the conversation within. For a few minutes, the three men, the Nord, the Emperor, and her father just spoke of the weather and some boring diplomatic details. Then there was the sound of footsteps and a young voice, the page.
"Your Imperial Majesty, I have searched the Hall of Records and cannot find the document you asked for."
"There, you see," came Potema's father's voice. "I told you it didn't exist."
"But I saw it!" The Nord's voice was furious. "I was there when my liege and the emperor signed it! I was there!"
"I hope you aren't doubting the word of my father, the sovereign Emperor of all Tamriel, not when there's now proof that you must have been ... mistaken," Pelagius's voice was low, dangerous.
"Of course not," said the Nord, conceding quickly. "But what will I tell my king? He is to have no connection with the Imperial family, and no gold returned to him, as the agreement — as he and I believed the agreement to be?"
"We don't want any bad feelings between the kingdom of Solitude and us," came the Emperor's voice, rather feeble, but clear enough. "What if we offered King Mantiarco our granddaughter instead?"
Potema felt the chill of the room descend on her.
"The Princess Potema? Is she not too young?" asked the Nord.
"She is thirteen years old," said her father. "That's old enough to wed."
"She would [sic] an ideal mate for your king," said the Emperor. "She is, admittedly, from what I see of her, very shy and innocent, but I'm certain she would quickly grasp the ways of court — she is, after all, a Septim. I think she would be an excellent Queen of Solitude. Not too exciting, but noble."
"The granddaughter of the Emperor is not as close as his daughter," said the Nord, rather miserably. "But I don't see how we can refuse the offer. I will send word to my king."
"You have our leave," said the Emperor, and Potema heard the sound of the Nord leaving the stateroom.
Tears streamed down Potema's eyes. She knew who the King of Solitude was from her studies. Mantiarco. Sixty-two years old, and quite fat. And she knew how far Solitude was, and how cold, in the northernmost clime. Her father and grandfather were abandoning her to the barbaric Nords. The voices in the room continued talking.
"Well-acted, my boy. Now, make sure you burn that document," said her father.
"My Prince?" asked the page's querulous voice.
"The agreement between the Emperor and the King of Solitude, you fool. We don't want its existence known."
"My Prince, I told the truth. I couldn't find the document in the Hall of Records. It seems to be missing."
"By Lorkhan!" roared her father. "Why is everything in this palace always misplaced? Go back to the Hall and keep searching until you find it!"
Potema looked at the document. Millions of gold pieces promised to the kingdom of Solitude in the event of Princess Galana not marrying the king. She could bring it into her father, and perhaps as a reward he would not marry her to Mantiarco. Or perhaps not. She could blackmail her father and the Emperor with it, and make a tidy sum of money. Or she could produce it when she became Queen of Solitude to fill her coffers, and buy anything she wanted. More than a daedric katana, that was for certain.
So many possibilities, Potema thought. And she found herself not bored anymore.

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