It was written as an additional Guide book to The Elder Scrolls Online.
A Meeting with The Chancellor
It was high noon in the Imperial City when I entered the base of the White-Gold Tower. A pair of Knight Paladins uncrossed their swords and allowed me to pass. Hmph - I had expected a little more fanfare. Where were my trumpeters? But the Elder Council Chambers were empty, save for Chancellor Abnur Tharn and his attendants. Tharn had been old when I'd met him as a child, and Tharn seemed no more wizened now. There were whispers about Tharn's pacts with Daedra and dark magic to extend his lifespan, but these were libelous and unfair; the man was clearly of fine breeding and intellect. I shall strike this comment from my journal. My meeting with the most powerful man in Cyrodiil was about to begin.
I showed the chancellor my portrait of him, resplendent in his Imperial Battlemage armor. My chest puffed out a little when he called my work "Reasonably adept." We talked about my move to the Imperial City after my family's fortunes dwindled, my life as a portrait painter, my love for Honoria Lucasta (may she walk in Mara's glow), and my lack of steady income, which displeases her father - Councilor Pheomus Lucasta - greatly.
"My friend Pheumus has a role suited to your bookish talents," Tharn stated. "You are to be Curator of Art in The Imperial Library. Our current curator, Dame Agrippa Gallus, is almost, but not quite, ready to retire. So, in the meantime..." Tharn beckoned an assistant forward, who carried a heavy book.
"Most perceptive," Tharn replied, then tore a leaf from its binding and set the page alight with a snap of his fingers. "But it is badly outdated. You are to create a revised, concise, and illustrated update of this guide for the Imperial Library. Use your own observations for this book's entries to aid you. You are up to the task, as you not?"
I nodded eagerly, without realizing the lie I'd perpetrated.
"Good. I hereby appoint you as Envoy-Scholar to the Empress Regent. Do not fail, Flaccus Terentius. Councilor Lucasta will speak of wedding rituals with his daughter upon your return."
Abnur Tharn's assistant ushered me from the great chamber. As I departed, I thought I saw a dark shadow pass behind the perimeter columns. Not a good portent, but I was too flustered to worry. The forward-thinking chancellor had already sent letters of credit to banks across Tamriel. A Gold Coast Trading Company ship was departing for High Rock the next morn.
I decided I would create a scrapbook of my notes, sketches, and suitable excerpts from the previous Imperial Guide as a rough draft for my new Great Work. I was determined to bring honor and prosperity back to the family Terentius.