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【书籍搬运】The Wolf Queen, v6 狼心女王 第六部

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3E 120:

15岁的女皇Kintyra Septim二世,Antiochus的女儿, 在初种月第三天加冕. 她的叔叔们,里尔莫斯王Magnus和吉蓝恩王Cephorus都出席仪式, 但是她的姑妈Potema, 孤寂城的狼心女王却被法庭放逐. 一旦回到她的国度, Potema女王开始集结叛乱者, 这被后世称为红钻战争. 所有哪些她的同盟者常年以来都对皇帝和贵族们不满,他们加入了她的反叛武装反对新女皇.

最初对女王的叛乱侵袭非常成功. 遍及整个蓝天之地和北部高岩地区,皇帝的军队发现他们四处受敌. Potema和她的叛乱武装象瘟疫一样扑向Tamriel, 他们所到之处充斥着暴乱和起义. 当年秋天,高岩海岸Glenpoint的一位忠诚的公爵向皇帝的军队发出了紧急增援的请求,于是Kintyra为了鼓舞士气, 亲自带领她的军队抵抗狼心女王.

3E 121:

“我们不知道他们在哪里,” 公爵说道, 极度局促不安. “我送出的探子遍布所有乡村. 我只能假设他们撤退到了北方紧接着在那里等待你的军队到达.”

“我讨厌这么说,但是我期待一场真正的大战役,” Kintyra如是说. “我要把我姑妈的头颅刺在长钉上绕着帝国游行. 她儿子Uriel和他的军队正在靠近帝国领土的边界上徘徊, 嘲弄着我. 是什么让他们获得胜利? 正好是他们精于作战还是我的统治让他们如此恨我?”

在整个秋天和冬天都跋涉在泥泞沼之后她感到非常疲倦.穿过Dragontail山脉,她的军队几乎行军到了一个陷阱里.在一个寻常的温暖天气里一场暴风雪在Dwynnen男爵的领地侵袭了他们,完全让人感到料想不到而且非常严峻,因为这毫无疑问是帕赫姆的一个巫师联盟的杰作.Kintyra无论转向何处她都感受到了她姨妈的触角.事到如今,摆在她面前的形势就是选择直面狼心女王. 这几乎太难以让人负担.

“这就是恐惧,简单而纯粹,” 公爵说. “那是她最强大的武器.”

“我有问题,” Kintyra开口,希望能尽可能地用意志来维持她的音调以不要流露出公爵所说的那种恐惧感. “你见过她的军队.她召唤出不死军队听从她的命令是真的么?”

“不,事实上那并不可靠,但是她的确造就了这个谣传.她的军队在夜晚进攻,一部分是因为军事理由,另一部分就是为了提升这种恐惧. 就我所知她没有任何超自然援军,除了在所有先进的军队里都有首屈一指的战斗法师和夜刃刺客

“始终在夜里,”Kintyra若有所思地说到. “我猜想那是为了掩饰他们的数量.”

"然后在让我们察觉到之前把她的军队移动到恰当的位置"公爵补充到. “她是偷袭大师.当你听见东边有行军声,你可以确信她在你南面的上方. 但是听我说,我们可以明天整个早晨都来讨论这个. 我已经为你准备好城堡里最好的房间来给你和你的军队.”

Kintyra在月光和一只蜡烛的陪伴下坐在她的城堡套间里, 写了一封信给她的未婚夫,回到了帝都的Modellus领主. 她希望在这个夏天于她祖母Quintilla无比热爱的幽蓝宫殿嫁给他,但战争不允许她这么做.在她书写的时候,她注视着窗外庭院的地面和那些叶落的树木以及萦绕心头不去的.两个她的守卫站在城墙上,彼此相距几步之遥.那就像Modellus和Kintyra,她想道,然后继续在她信里暗示将会发生些什么

一阵敲门声打断了她的诗作.

“陛下有您的一封信,Modellus大人寄来的,”年轻的信使说着, 把信递给她.

信很短, 她没等信使告退就迅速看完了它. “我有些一问.这是他什么时候写的?”

“一周以前,”信使说. “他说这很紧急,在他动员军队的同时我尽可能快的把信带来给您.我想他们应该已经离开王城了.”

Kintyra让信使退下. Modellus说收到她的一封信,紧急需要援军支援Glenpoint战役.但是Glenpoint并没有发生战斗,她也仅仅今天才到达这里. 那么是谁用她的笔迹写的信,以及是谁希会希望Modellus带领第二支军队离开帝都进入高岩地区?

感到一阵夜晚的寒意越过窗户,Kintyra走过去关紧窗闩.城墙上那两个守卫已经离开.一颗枯树后被抑住挣扎声让她微微欠腰聆听, 同时她也没有听到门被打开了.

当她转升,她看见Potema女王和Mentin-Glenpoint公爵和许多护卫在房间里.

“你的脚步很安静,姑妈,” 片刻踌躇之后她说.她转向公爵. “是什么让你背叛你对帝国的忠诚? 恐惧?”

“还有金钱,”公爵简单地回答到.

“我的军队怎么了?”Kintyra问到,竭力平稳的看着Potema的脸. “战斗这么快就结束了么?”

“你所有的人都死了,”Potema笑着说. “但是没有战斗发生. 只有死寂和高效率的暗杀.若之前有战斗,和Modellus在龙尾山脉交战以及在城市里和帝国部队残军交战. 我只会让你的军队平添战斗经验.”

“所以现在我不得不待在这里成为你的人质?”Kintyra直接了当地问, 她意识到石塔的坚固性以及房间所处的高度. “你这个混帐, 看着我!我是你的女王!”

“考虑到这一点,我会把你从十五流的统治者变成第一流的殉国者,”Potema眨着眼说. “但是我会谅解即使你不打算因此谢我.”

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

 From the pen of Inzolicus, Second Century Sage:
3E 120:
The fifteen-year-old Empress Kintyra Septim II, daughter of Antiochus, was coroneted [sic] on the 3rd day of First Seed. Her uncles Magnus, King of Lilmoth, and Cephorus, King of Gilane, were in attendance, but her aunt, Potema, the Wolf Queen of Solitude, had been banished from the court. Once back in her kingdom, Queen Potema began assembling the rebellion, which was to be known as theWar of the Red Diamond. All the allies she had made over the years of disgruntled kings and nobles joined forces with her against the new Empress.
The first early strikes against the Empire were entirely successful. Throughout Skyrim and northern High Rock, the Imperial army found themselves under attack. Potema and her forces washed over Tamriel like a plague, inciting riots and insurrections everywhere they touched. In the autumn of the year, the loyal Duke of Glenpoint on the coast of High Rock sent an urgent request for reinforcements from the Imperial Army, and Kintyra, to inspire the resistance to the Wolf Queen, led the army herself.
 
3E 121:
"We don't know where they are," said the Duke, deeply embarrassed. "I've sent scouts out all over the countryside. I can only assume that they've retreated up north upon hearing of your army's arrival."
"I hate to say it, but I was hoping for a battle," said Kintyra. "I'd like to put my aunt's head on a spike and parade it around the Empire. Her son Uriel and his army are right on the border to the Imperial Province, mocking me. How are they able to be so successful? Are they just that good in battle or do my subjects truly hate me?"
She was tired after many months of struggling through the mud of autumn and winter. Crossing theDragontail Mountains, her army nearly marched into an ambush. A blizzard snap in the normally temperate Barony of Dwynnen was so unexpected and severe that it must certainly have been cast by one of Potema's wizard allies. Everywhere she turned, she felt her aunt's touch. And now, her chance of facing the Wolf Queen at last had been thwarted. It was almost too much to bear.
"It is fear, pure and simple," said the Duke. "That is her greatest weapon."
"I need to ask," said Kintyra, hoping that by sheer will she could keep her voice from revealing any of the fear the Duke spoke of. "You've seen the army. Is it true that she has summoned a force of undead warriors to do her bidding?"
"No, as a matter of fact, it's not true, but she certainly fosters that rumor. Her army attacks at night, partly for strategic reasons, and partly to advance fears like that. She has, so far as I know, no supernatural aid other than the standard battlemages and nightblades of any modern army."
"Always at night," said Kintyra thoughtfully. "I suppose that's to disguise their numbers."
"And to move her troops into position before we're aware of them" added the Duke. "She's the master of the sneak attack. When you hear a march to the east, you can be certain she's already on top of you from the south. But listen, we'll discuss this all tomorrow morning. I've prepared the castle's best rooms for you and your men."
Kintyra sat in her tower suite and by the light of the moon and a single tallow candle, she penned a letter to her husband-to-be, Lord Modellus, back in the Imperial City. She hoped to be married to him in the summer at the Blue Palace her grandmother Quintilla had loved so much, but the war may not permit it. As she wrote, she gazed out the window at the courtyard below and the haunted, leafless trees of winter. Two of her guards stood on the battlements, several feet away from one another. Just like Modellus and Kintyra, she thought, and proceeded to expound on the metaphor in her letter.
A knock on the door interrupted her poetry.
"A letter, your majesty, from Lord Modellus," said the young courier, handing the note to her.
It was short, and she read it quickly before the courier had a chance to retire. "I'm confused by something. When did he write this?"
"One week ago," said the courier. "He said it was urgent that I make it here as quickly as possible while he mobilized the army. I imagine they've left the City already."
Kintyra dismissed the courier. Modellus said that he had received a letter from her, urgently calling for reinforcements to the battle at Glenpoint. But there was no battle at Glenpoint, and she had only just arrived today. Then who wrote the letter in her handwriting, and why would they want Modellus to bring a second army out of the Imperial City into High Rock?
Feeling a chill from the night air at the window, Kintyra went to shut the latch. The two guards on the battlements were gone. She leaned over at the sound of a muffled struggle behind one of the barren trees, and did not hear the door open.
When she turned, she saw Queen Potema and Mentin, Duke of Glenpoint, in the room with a host of guards.
"You move quietly, aunt," she said after a moment's pause. She turned to the Duke. "What turned you against your loyalty to the Empire? Fear?"
"And gold," said the Duke simply.
"What happened to my army?" asked Kintyra, trying to look Potema steadily in the face. "Is the battle over so soon?"
"All your men are dead," smiled Potema. "But there was no battle here. Merely quiet and efficient assassination. There will be battles ahead, against Modellus in the Dragontail Mountains and against the remnants of the Imperial Army in the City. I'll send you regular updates on the progress of the war."
"So I am to be kept here as your hostage?" asked Kintyra, flatly, suddenly aware of the solidity of the stones and the great height of her tower room. "Damn you, look at me! I am your Empress!"
"Think of it this way, I'm taking you from being a fifth rate ruler to a first rate martyr," said Potema with a wink. "But I understand if you don't want to thank me for that."

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