So this is a small, quick thing I did because Syl brought up an interesting point. I said I could only really write Aria in first person because self-insert yadda. She posited that it would be a bit unsettling to write as Rei or his ilk. So I had to try and see. I might do more of these from different characters as they come up, I dunno. It’s good practice, I guess, finding people’s voices. I dunno if I really succeeded here, but I’ll leave that up to you. If you hate it, cool, if you don’t, cool.

I’m about to embark on an out-of-town mission to get a standing MRI done. I’m gonna try to get the dress update up by tomorrow like I said. It wouldn’t be a thing except I’ve been a bad girl and have actually been playing instead of modding. lol Erelim is soldiering on. I’m making the race alternatives for the earrings/circlet now. Not literally NOW but you know.

Anyway here’s Rei! 

I’m four hundred and twenty-three years old, give or take, but it seems I’ve lived more in the past few months than I ever have in all this time. Centuries under my belt, and all I can really recount or remark upon with any enthusiasm at all are twenty-five of those years. I did what could be called remarkable things under Clavicus’ watch, things others likely still recount in hushed tones, but what do they matter? What’s to be remarked upon when one feels nothing in either direction? Oh, how desperately I wish I could relive those moments now. I can recall them, of course, and I do derive pleasure that way, but it’s nothing like actually being there, bathed in warm blood.

Sabrael would die if he knew this.

I don’t blame him. I told him when we first met that I’m a deviant. A monster, even. But I’m trying, hard though it is, to suppress my nature. The trial inside Clavicus’ illusion opened my eyes to many things. To the nature of my selfishness, to the nature of real love. Seeing my mother again was like a dagger run through the hollow of my throat. To hear her berate me, to speak to me as she would a small child, right there in front of her noble friends, brought back so many painful memories. And then, when she thought I was nowhere within earshot, that was when she gave me praise. When she thought I was dead, even, according to Tauryon. But my friends – one whom I still barely even know, and one who was inches from murdering me in the interest of Sabrael’s (and the general public’s) safety – stood by me and lifted me up. Me, the mer that committed atrocities he feels ambivalence towards, at best. The mer I doubt anyone ever thought could be so terrified, including himself.

I learned lessons in those days, but a lesson in friendship and compassion doesn’t simply erase primal needs, no matter how abhorrent.

Still, I have ideas, ways to satisfy my needs while serving a greater cause.

When this dragon nonsense began, I was fully prepared to simply collect my reward money for that tablet and leave. I would love so very much to take a holiday in the south of Cyrodiil, away from the cold, just me and my Kirin. It seems, however, that Azura is a much more persuasive presence than Clavicus ever was. It’s refreshing, in a way, free from his theatrics, attractive though they were, coming from him. There’s much to be said for naked directness, though, and She has been guiding me, just as I believe She was when I first got the urge to visit Skyrim.

I’m grateful for it. If I had ignored Her, I never would have discovered this gift. This brilliantly ironic gift. Oh, gods, that power! I know now why Clavicus was so fond of souls, but I daresay no mortal’s soul could bring one this much ecstasy. It’s like being drunk without the heaviness, and I’m almost certain these come with no hangover. The shouting isn’t quite as good, but it is a weapon, and goodness knows Rei Ginsei loves a good weapon.

Perhaps the best thing about it is that I know who I am, now. I feel real again, perhaps for the first time since I gave myself to Clavicus. Really real. I’ve given thought to the things Tauryon and I discussed, things Sabrael hated to hear, but he can’t know or understand our situation. The kelpies off the archipelago weren’t subjugated at the hands of some piece of Dwemeri garbage driven by Septim’s battlemage because the man himself was too cowardly to look the people he was out to conquer in the eye.

Any self-respecting Altmer knows the story and resents the Empire, ruled now by charlatans, on top of everything else. Titus Mede might be sitting on that throne, but he’s no Dragonborn.

But I am, and I doubt it was an accident that Akatosh would bestow this to an Altmer rather than to another inbred member of human royalty. I never harbored much love for the Aedra, let alone those from the outside and much to my parents’ chagrin. It’s amusing to look back upon, though, my indifference to the story of Trinimac. Over and over I heard it as a young boy, from my parents, from elders…from other children’s parents. Oh well. At least I wasn’t turned into excrement. In light of that and this discovery, perhaps I ought to reevaluate my stance.

I digress.

The civil war rages here in Skyrim. Stormcloak soldiers in their ratty armor pitted against the Imperial Legion, and both shadowed and manipulated by the Thalmor. It doesn’t really matter who wins, because, in the end, the Aldmeri Dominion will prevail.

And that, I think, was Azura’s message all along, that this is what Skyrim needs of me. Penitence, perhaps, for the Dunmer giving Tiber Septim that golem? Fair play, I suppose. I’ll visit the Greybeards as Balgruuf suggested and learn of my gift and how to properly harness it. After that, as soon as I’m able, I believe I’ll be paying dear Tauryon a visit. With any luck, the Thalmor will have their own secret weapon, and I will have purpose again.