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【书籍搬运】The Wolf Queen, v5 The Wolf Queen, v5 狼心女王 第五部

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原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Wolf_Queen,_v5(PS:本人的原文是从游侠提取的文本翻的,因此开头著者的描述信息略有不同)

狼心女王 第五部

渥金·贾思编著

选自第三纪元第一纪的智者Montocai的手稿

3E 119:

泰姆瑞尔大陆在安提奥卡斯•赛普丁治下已二十年有一。种种迹象表明,除了皇帝本人在生活上的纵欲无度,在其他方面安提奥卡斯倒算得上是相当称职的领袖。皇帝在战场上取得的最辉煌胜利当属夏暮岛之战。第三纪元110年,皇家舰队与夏暮岛的舰队并作一起,凭借着赛伊克修道会的强力魔法,一举摧毁了派安多尼人的入侵舰队。与此同时,皇帝的弟兄姊妹们,不论是里尔莫斯的玛格纳斯国王,吉蓝恩的塞佛鲁斯国王,还是孤寂城的狼女王,在各自领内也可说是成绩斐然。可以这么说,帝国与泰姆瑞尔大陆的各个王国关系已经有了显著的改善。尽管如此,对于许多高岩和天际省的国王们来说,这样的改善不过是他们与帝国长时间的相互冷淡的代名词——大家不过是从敌对到淡漠,而这自然无法抹去两者历史上的仇怨与敌视。

是年,皇帝罕见地探望了他的妹妹和侄子尤里尔。访问期间,本已恶疾在身的安提奥卡斯突然陷入了昏迷,此后数月,皇帝一直在死亡线的边缘徘徊,这让元老院不得不着手考虑皇帝15岁的女儿肯蒂娜的继位问题。

3E 120

“母亲,我可不能娶肯蒂娜,”尤里尔倒不是觉得他被这提议冒犯了,而是很有意思“她是我的堂妹。况且,我相信她已经跟元老院的Modellus领主订婚了。”

“你还真有点难伺候,挑这嫌那。我可告诉你,说话的时候要注意身份和场合。”帕特玛说,“不过关于Modellus,你倒是说对了。我们是不能在这个节骨眼上跟元老院结下梁子。嗯,那么你觉得Rakma公主怎么样?我可知道你在法尔伦的时候,很多时间都跟她呆在一起。”

“她挺不错,”尤里尔说,“问题是你想知道什么?别告诉我你喜欢听那些花边八卦。”

“得了吧,人家姑娘家的那几个地方你自己私下慢慢回味,我可不要听,”帕特玛坏笑道,“我是说,你想不想娶她?”

“还行吧。”

“很好。那我这就去安排你们俩的事,”帕特玛在继续谈话前,郑重地把这事记了下来,“Lleromo国王倒不是一个容易应付的盟友,一个政治婚姻倒是可以保证法尔伦站在我们这边——在关键的时候。话说葬礼定在哪个日子?”

“谁的葬礼?”尤里尔问道,“你是指安提奥卡斯舅舅?”

“当然,”帕特玛叹了口气,“除此之外,还能有谁?”

“在大厅我看到了一群红卫小孩在那跑来跑去,我猜是塞佛鲁斯来了。而玛格纳斯昨天就到宫廷了。这样看来,葬礼可能会随时开始。”

“看来是知会元老会的时候了。”帕特玛笑道。

她选择了一身黑色素装,而不是往日的华服。帕特玛知道,她得看起来像一个悲恸的妹妹,这很重要。在镜子前反复地打量自己,她深深地感到自己已然是一个五十又三的妇人了。一头赤褐色的秀发夹杂着丝丝银发,而那北方寒冷、干燥而又持久的冬天在她的脸庞画上了一条条细细的,如蛛丝一般的皱纹。尽管如此,她知道,她仍然有着打动人心的力量,她的一微笑一皱眉,都能给台下带来激动或者恐惧。这就够了,她想。

不得不说,帕特玛在元老院所作的演讲是到位的,它值得任何一个打算学习公共演讲的学生的参考借鉴。

帕特玛以对元老院的奉承和对本人的自我贬低开场:“我最尊贵而明智的朋友们,元老院的成员们,我,作为一个闭塞的边陲地区的王后,在今天提交的问题,想来不过是睿智的诸位早已深思熟虑、有所定夺了的事务。因此,我只是寻求诸位的建议和开导。”

她继续赞美着刚过世的皇帝,她知道除了皇帝的私生活外,在其他方面他广受人们欢迎:“他是一个真正的赛普丁,一个伟大的战士。帝国正是在他以及在场诸位的协力下,摧毁了派安多尼人的无敌舰队。”

简短的开场白后,她不失时机地切入主题:“然而,令人遗憾的是,Gysilla皇后毫不愿意约束我哥哥那放荡的生活。不仅如此,更让人气愤的是,她!这个女人,居然肆意地爬上他人的床头,任何人的床头!我们在整个帝都,寻遍整个角落,算上每个妓女,你都找不到比她更加放荡的人!如果,如果她愿意忠于我哥哥一点,就那么一点,也许我们今天就不用担心继承人的血统是否纯正,我们也不用担心她/他会是一个智障或者发育畸形的杂种,我们更不用忍受那些杂种们用虚伪的令人作呕的语气在我们面前说,我是皇帝的子女!遗憾的是,我们现在就是为这种担心所困扰。人们常说,那个叫做肯蒂娜的姑娘实际上就是Gysilla跟卫队长的女儿。啊,不,也许可能是Gysilla跟给她清洗浴池的人乱搞的产物。总之,我们永远不能确定,她到底是谁的女儿。也许,有外人会说,她大概真是皇帝的女儿吧!可明智的诸位清楚的很,在这样一种不确定面前,摆着的是我的儿子,赛普丁王朝最年长的孩子,有着赛普丁纯正血统的尤里尔。那可是铁一般的事实!我的领主们!诸位!我记得你们常提醒我,帝国的王子们是无法忍受帝位落到一个杂种手中!”

至于演讲的结尾,则显得平和得多,尽管有着强烈的暗示:“我们的子孙后代们在看着我们。我们知道我们应该做什么,从而骄傲地成为他们的榜样。”

当晚,帕特玛跟她的哥哥嫂嫂们在地图资料室共进晚餐——那是皇宫中她最喜爱的用餐的地方。房间的墙壁画着一层泛白的——当然也许只是因褪色而淡去的整个帝国大陆以及之外的其他地方如阿特莫拉,约库达,阿卡维尔,派安多尼的影像。顶上则是宏伟的由玻璃精心打制的拱顶。透过被雨水浸润的玻璃拱顶,天上的繁星在人们眼里成了一幅奇异的歪斜的画面。而屋子外面的道道闪电,则在墙上化成一幕幕奇异的幻影。

“你们准备什么时候在元老院上发言?”当晚餐端上来的时候,帕特玛问道。

“我都不确定我是否会讲,”玛格纳斯说,“我实在不觉得我有什么好说的。”

“我倒是打算在他们宣布肯蒂娜加冕的时候跟他们谈谈,”塞佛鲁斯说,“当然,其实也没什么,只不过形式上表明我们的态度,即他们有我本人以及整个翰玛非尔的支持。”

“哦?你能代表整个翰玛非尔说话?”帕特玛坏笑着说,“看来那些红卫们一定是爱死你了。”

“事实上,对翰玛非尔来说,我们确实跟帝国有着不一般的关系,”塞佛鲁斯的夫人,Bianki说,“在Stros M’kai协定签署后,我们被承认为帝国的一部分,而不是从属。”

“我知道你已经在元老院上发言了,”玛格纳斯的夫人Hellena的话倒显得尖锐而直截了当。她是一个天生的外交家,但与此同时她也是亚龙人王国的赛瑞迪尔统治者,Hellena知道如何来识别和面对逆境和危机。

“啊,是的,我是说了。”帕特玛没有接着说,而是尝了尝面前的炖肉,“今天下午我在那边做了一个简短的发言,关于加冕的问题。”

“我们的妹妹是一个杰出的公共演说家,”塞佛鲁斯说。

“谢谢”帕特玛笑着,“不过说起演说,我在许多方面更为在行。”

“比如说?”Bianki笑着说。

“我倒是能问一下您在那里到底说了什么吗?”玛格纳斯有些怀疑。

门外传来了敲门声。进来的总管跟帕特玛低声地说着什么,而后者则报以微笑,起身离开桌子。

“我只不过告诉元老院,只要他们的加冕乃是他们的睿智和成熟考量的结果,那么我本人也无保留地站在他们这一边。我不觉得我有什么地方说错了,不是吗?”帕特玛说,带着她的那杯红酒走出了门外。“请原谅我,我的侄女肯蒂娜想要跟我说几句话。”

肯蒂娜正在大厅里面,旁边则站着皇家侍卫。帕特玛原以为肯蒂娜不过是个孩子,但是转念一想,狼王后记得她自己这个岁数的时候,已经嫁给Mantiarco2年了。很快,帕特玛在肯蒂娜身上看到了两个人相像的地方。作为一个年轻的女王,肯蒂娜有着乌黑的眼睛,如大理石般平滑的洁白皮肤。当两人对望的时候,帕特玛可以感受到肯蒂娜的眼中闪烁的怒火。但是让人惊讶的是,这样情感很快就悄然而去,只留下那平静而充满帝王威严的脸庞。

“帕特玛王后。”她静静地说,“我告诉您我的加冕仪式将在2天内举行。届时,您的出席将被视为不合适的。我已经命令您的仆人们为您打理行装。并且我也已经指定好了人手护送您回到您自己的王国。就是这样。再见,姑妈。”

没等帕特玛来得及回答,肯蒂娜跟她的侍卫们转身离去,经由回廊,去往大堂。就这般望着她们离去,好一晌,狼女王才再次回到地图资料室。

“嫂嫂,”帕特玛坏笑地跟Bianki说,略带恶狠狠地,好似要把刚才的怨气一齐发泄一般“您刚才问我,比起演讲来,我更擅长什么。现在答案揭晓了,那就是:战争。”

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

 From the pen of Inzolicus, Second Century Sage and Student of Montocai:
3E 119:
For twenty-one years, The Emperor Antiochus Septim ruled Tamriel, and proved an able leader despite his moral laxity. His greatest victory was in the War of the Isle in the year 110, when the Imperial fleet and the royal navies of Summerset Isle, together with the magical powers of thePsijic Order, succeeded in destroying the Pyandonean invading armada. His siblings, King Magnus ofLilmoth, King Cephorus of Gilane, and Potema, the Wolf Queen of Solitude, ruled well and relations between the Empire and the kingdoms of Tamriel were much improved. Still, centuries of neglect had not repaired all the scars that existed between the Empire and the kings of High Rock and Skyrim.
During a rare visitation from his sister and nephew Uriel, Antiochus, who had suffered from several illnesses over his reign, lapsed into a coma. For months, he lingered in between life and death while the Elder Council prepared for the ascension of his fifteen-year-old daughter Kintyrato the throne.
3E 120:
"Mother, I can't marry Kintyra," said Uriel, more amused by the suggestion than offended. "She's my first cousin. And besides, I believe she's engaged to one of the lords of council, Modellus."
"You're so squeamish. There's a time and a place for propriety," said Potema. "But you're correct at any rate about Modellus, and we shouldn't offend the Elder Council at this critical juncture. How do you feel about Princess Rakma? You spent a good deal of time in her company in Farrun."
"She's all right," said Uriel. "Don't tell me you want to hear all the dirty details."
"Please spare me your study of her anatomy," Potema grimaced. "But would you marry her?"
"I suppose so."
"Very good. I'll make the arrangements then," Potema made a note for herself before continuing. "King Lleromo has been a difficult ally to keep, and a political marriage should keep Farrun on our side. Should we need them. When is the funeral?"
"What funeral?" asked Uriel. "You mean for Uncle Antiochus?"
"Of course," sighed Potema. "Anyone else of note die recently?"
"There were a bunch of little Redguard children running through the halls, so I guess Cephorus has arrived. Magnus arrived at court yesterday, so it ought to be any day now."
"It's time to address the Council then," said Potema, smiling.
She dressed in black, not her usual colorful ensembles. It was important to look the part of the grieving sister. Regarding herself in the mirror, she felt that she looked all of her fifty-three years. A shock of silver wound its way through her auburn hair. The long, cold, dry winters in northern Skyrim had created a map of wrinkles, thin as a spiderweb, all across her face. Still, she knew that when she smiled, she could win hearts, and when she frowned, she could inspire fear. It was enough for her purposes.
Potema's speech to the Elder Council is perhaps helpful to students of public speaking.
She began with flattery and self-abasement: "My most august and wise friends, members of the Elder Council, I am but a provincial queen, and I can only assume to bring to issue what you yourselves must have already pondered."
She continued on to praise the late Emperor, who had been a popular ruler, despite his flaws: "He was a true Septim and a great warrior, destroying -- with your counsel -- the near invincible armada of Pyandonea."
But little time was wasted, before she came to her point: "The Empress Gysilla unfortunately did nothing to temper my brother's lustful spirits. In point of fact, no whore in the slums of the city spread out on more beds than she. Had she attended to her duties in the Imperial bedchamber more faithfully, we would have a true heir to the Empire, not the halfwit, milksop bastards who call themselves the Emperor's children. The girl called Kintyra is popularly believed to be the daughter of Gysilla and the Captain of the Guard. It may be that she is the daughter of Gysilla and the boy who cleans the cistern. We can never know for certain. Not as certainly as we can know the lineage of my son, Uriel. The eldest true son of the Septim Dynasty. My lords, the princes of the Empire will not stand for a bastard on the throne, that I can assure you."
She ended mildly, but with a call to action: "Posterity will judge you. You know what must be done."
That evening, Potema entertained her brothers and their wives in the Map Room, her favorite of the Imperial dining chambers. The walls were splashed with bright, if fading representations of the Empire and all the known lands beyond, AtmoraYokunda [sic]AkavirPyandoneaThras. Overhead the great glass domed ceiling, wet with rain, displayed distorted images of the stars overhead. Lightning flashed every other minute, casting strange phantom shadows on the walls.
"When will you speak to the Council?" asked Potema as dinner was served.
"I don't know if I will," said Magnus. "I don't believe I have anything to say."
"I'll speak to them when they announce the coronation of Kintyra," said Cephorus. "Merely as a formality to show my support and the support of Hammerfell."
"You can speak for all of Hammerfell?" asked Potema, with a teasing smile. "The Redguards must love you very much."
"We have a unique relationship with the Empire in Hammerfell," said Cephorus's wife, Bianki. "Since the treaty of Stros M'kai, it's been understood that we are part of the Empire, but not a subject."
"I understand you've already spoken to the Council," said Magnus's wife, Hellena, pointedly. She was a diplomat by nature, but as the Cyrodilic ruler of an Argonian kingdom, she knew how to recognize and confront adversity.
"Yes, I have," said Potema, pausing to savor a slice of braised jalfbird. "I gave them a short speech about the coronation this afternoon."
"Our sister is an excellent public speaker," said Cephorus.
"You're too kind," said Potema, laughing. "I do many things better than speaking."
"Such as?" asked Bianki, smiling.
"Might I ask what you said in your speech?" asked Magnus, suspiciously.
There was a knock on the chamber door. The head steward whispered something to Potema, who smiled in response and rose from the table.
"I told the Council that I would give my full support to the coronation, provided they proceed with wisdom. What could be sinister about that?" Potema said, and took her glass of wine with her to the door. "If you'll pardon me, my niece Kintyra wishes to have a word with me."
Kintyra stood in the hall with the Imperial Guard. She was but a child, but on reflection, Potema realized that at her age, she was already married two years to Mantiarco. There was a similarity, to be certain. Potema could see Kintyra as the young queen, with dark eyes and pallid skin smooth and resolute like marble. Anger flashed momentarily in Kintyra's eyes on seeing her aunt, but emotion left her, replaced with calm Imperial presence.
"Queen Potema," she said serenely. "I have been informed that my coronation will take place in two days time. Your presence at the ceremony will not be welcome. I have already given orders to your servants to have your belongings packed, and an escort will be accompanying you back to your kingdom tonight. That is all. Goodbye, aunt."
Potema began to reply, but Kintyra and her guard turned and moved back down the corridor to the stateroom. The Wolf Queen watched them go, and then reentered the Map Room.
"Sister-in-Law," said Potema, addressing Bianki with deep malevolence. "You asked what I do better than speaking? The answer is: war."

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