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A Symphony of Frost and Flame - Character Index / (Re)Introduction




Character Index (You are here!)


Rianne I

Lilith I  

Faielle I

Jon I


So I've been gone since forever, but I haven't forgotten or stopped thinking about any of this stuff!


I do actually have an almost complete final part of Jon's chapter, but it still needs some work and I figured that since I've been absent for almost an year, a little reminder of who was what and such before posting anything else would be nice, especially since there are a lot of characters with all sorts of motivations. I've also always wanted to do a Character Index of sorts anyway, so here we are!


This is not an exhaustive list and is only concerned with people in Solitude and Whiterun for now, which is why Lilith is missing. There are other characters who have not appeared yet who are also not included. So if anyone feels like this lacks a Stormcloak perspective, that will be a thing too, just uh, don't expect them to be the good guys either! We don't have good guys here! \o/


Hopefully I'll be seeing you with the next part sometime soon™!


A Symphony of Frost and Flame - The people of Solitude



As a member of a noble household from the old Alinor monarchy, Rianne's heritage inspires both disdain and hope within the still young Aldmeri Dominion, depending on who one might ask.

While most supporters of the monarchy were purged in the early days of the Thalmor takeover, Rianne's family survived through diplomacy, tact and a willingness to compromise, traits which seem lost to modern Thalmor diplomats, but which she has been carefully groomed for.

Rianne is part of the first generation of elves born after the regime change, leaving her in the unenviable position of not being quite as indoctrinated as those that followed, but also with no actual memory of the more cosmopolitan Elven society that used to be.

While not a true believer in Thalmor ideology, Rianne fought with distinction in the Great War, thirty years prior to Skyrim's Dragon Crisis. She continues to serve in the perhaps naive hope of being a moderating influence on her more ideologically charged peers, but her game is a dangerous one to play, and her hands are by no means clean.

Currently stationed in Solitude as part of the Thalmor Expedition, Rianne volunteered for the unfavourable posting to be with her lover, Faielle. She hopes for a swift conclusion to the Thalmor mission in Skyrim and, hopefully, an end to military service for both of them.  


Faielle has often felt as if she was born in the wrong age. Sensitive and caring at heart, her compassionate demeanour place her at odds with the unforgiving, martial doctrine present even in civillian Thalmor society, to say nothing of the military.

Having also been conscripted into the Thalmor Army, Faielle's first action was during the Great War, during which she learned to her considerable discomfort that she was actually quite good at the things she hated.

Among the collective trauma of the Great War, there was one ray of light - she met Rianne, and the two have been largely inseparable in the decades since.

Despite their equal disdain for the Thalmor regime, Rianne and Faielle are both aware that they would never have met under the old monarchy, considering their different backgrounds. An irony which is not lost on either of them.

Not having the luxury of a noble family to protect her, Faielle was part of the early, clandestine Thalmor operations in Skyrim, during which Elven operatives suffered a high level of casualties, especially during dragon attacks.

While the situation has become a lot less volatile since the end of the Dragon Crisis and the formalization of the Thalmor presence in the province, these events have left a deep mark on Faielle.

A moral compass to Rianne's more pragmatic and impulsive attitudes, Faielle wants nothing more than for their tour of service to end, and for a peaceful return to the Summerset Isles.



The most powerful mage currently present in the province of Skyrim - at least according to himself - Talendil is the dispassionate, politically minded leader of the Thalmor Expedition, after his predecessor Ondolemar's assassination by the Blades.

Unimpressed by the ideology of national and racial pride that the Thalmor espouse, Talendil's concern is singular: Power. Power for himself over anyone else. Everything else is secondary, and any means to reach that goal are acceptable.

This proclivity towards self-serving is nothing new, Talendil is an "elder statesman", as he would fancy himself, and quickly sided with the nascent Thalmor movement 180 years ago when he sensed that they would win the day.

For his crucial contributions in those early days of the Dominion, Talendil became a respected Magister, his family's fortune growing far beyond those of the old nobles who would've looked down on him in his youth.

But this was not enough. The Magister aims for the very top of the Aldmeri power structure, a seat on the Elder Council of Alinor, and perhaps, even more.
Towards this end, he has called in favours to be made the head of the Skyrim Expedition. While popular opinion among Alinor's political class is that the province is a backwater, Talendil believes that Skyrim is key to any future resistance from the Cyrodilic Empire, and if he were responsible for breaking it, he would gain a great deal of political leverage at home.

He is currently headquartered in Solitude, where many consider him to be the one truly in charge, rather than Queen Elisif or General Varus.

Ambitious, ruthless and cynical, Talendil actively works to keep the Skyrim Civil War going, while ostensibly being in the province to help the Imperials end it. His endless thirst for power and narcissism may cause him to underestimate his opponents, but he remains a dangerous and unpredictable actor, to friend and foe alike.


Celendys is the poster child of the Aldmeri Dominion. Few elves, even among the original "revolutionaries" of the Thalmor themselves, embody the ideology of the Dominion better than she does.

A protege and lieutenant of Magister Talendil, Celendys seems to have inherited much of her master's magical talent, but none of his cynicism. Instead, Celendys is a genuine, true believer in the racial supremacist doctrine of the Thalmor, seeing all non-Elves as her objective inferiors, fit to be little more than slaves to a continent-spanning Elven Empire.

As Talendil's enforcer, Celendys has wreaked havoc across Skyrim in the name of hunting various dissidents, such as Stormcloak rebels or Talos worshippers. While there are many of her peers who believe this work is necessary, the glee and enthusiasm with which she torments her victims has made even other 'true believers' uncomfortable. Needless to say, Celendys is not a popular figure, but she does not care to be.

Celendys is particularly critical of the old Alinor monarchy and nobility, believing that they were leading the Altmer race to destruction. With Rianne being the daughter of such nobility, her scorn is often barely contained.

Cruel, heartless and zealous, Celendys wants Skyrim subjugated, the Empire dissolved, and the Elves ascendant, as they were millennia ago. Unlike her master, personal power is not a means unto itself, but genuinely a tool to help the Dominion thrive.

Ironically, Celendys is a godsend to the propagandists of the Stormcloak rebellion and the anti-Aldmeri Imperial factions. Whenever skeptics raise an eyebrow at the caricature of the unfeeling, robotic, black-clad Aldmeri soldier, they only need to point at her.



Tauron is what Aldmeri propaganda would have one believe all of their soldiers are like.

The ideal Aldmeri soldier is from a simple, rural background. Strong, professional, unquestioningly loyal to his homeland, and untainted by the decadence of the urban elites which have led Alinor to ruin - before the Thalmor revolution, of course.

But things are not quite so simple even among the Aldmeri rank and file. Tauron may have believed all of those things at one point, but multiple tours of duty all over Tamriel have lead only to disillusionment. He has seen first hand how the inflexible ideology of the Thalmor alienated potential allies in Hammerfell and galvanized the natives against them, leading to an embarrassing defeat. Or the failure of Alinor to aid the Dunmer of Morrowind and bring them into the fold - all on theological grounds, supposedly.

While he may not be privy to the mysteries and plots of his superiors, he can see that the Third Dominion, while currently ascendant, is not as invincible as they would have him believe, and he is not the only one. The 'simple' and 'honest' farmers of the Summerset Isles might be more perceptive than their masters give them credit for.

With higher patriotic ideals dashed, Tauron fights because service in the military is compulsory, because he cares for the soldiers he serves with, and because his wife and two children depend on him. Any dishonorable actions he is ordered to carry out are just going to have to be his burden to bear, whenever he tries to sleep.

Tauron is in many ways the embodiment of the common Aldmeri soldier, but if the powers that be in Alinor look past the propaganda and a little closer, they may not like what they see.


Sylvia Proudspire is elusive even by the standards of Solitude, a city many Nords deride for its numerous plots and conspiracies.


Ostensibly nothing more than the scion of one of Solitude's wealthier noble families, she has been missing for most of the Civil War, returning only recently from what she claimed was a stay in the Imperial City.

With the rest of her family dead under questionable circumstances during the war, little has been seen of the wealthy heiress since her return. Her opulent manor faces out to Queen's Street, a stone's throw away from the Blue Palace itself, but all of her maids and staff are hired from outside of Solitude, and seem sworn to secrecy. Although there is no shortage of eccentric nobles in the city, this is unusual even by their standards.

While the richest nobles in Solitude are infamous for their house parties, not a single soul seems to have stepped into Proudspire Manor since her return, and rumours abound as to what takes place within its halls.

Even fewer people know of Sylvia's talent for sorcery. A secret kept entirely within Skyrim's Circle of Magi, and which even the infamously effective Aldmeri Intelligence is not privy to.

But while Solitude may be good at creating secrets, it is not good at keeping them. The recent spate of disappearances has forced the ponderous bureaucracy to spring into action, and it would not be long before the secrets of Proudspire Manor are laid bare.


On the throne of Solitude sits Queen Elisif 'the Fair', first of her name, Jarl of Solitude and Haafingar Hold and Queen of all Nords.

The latter title is heavily disputed. While alongside Haafingar Elisif can call upon the bannermen of the Hjaalamarch, of Falkreath, and of The Reach, the Jarls of The Pale, Winterhold and The Rift have declared for Eastmarch - Ulfric Stormcloak's domain. Meanwhle Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun Hold stands in the middle, no doubt hoping to choose the winning side. Elisif's realm has been shattered ever since Ulfric Stormcloak killed the previous King of Skyrim - her husband.

The Queen also enjoys the support of the Imperial City as well as of Alinor, both the Imperials and the Elves having their own reasons to want her in charge, even if just nominally.
How much power the Queen actually has - or even wants - is questionable. General Varus, representing the Imperial Legion, and Magister Talendil of the Thalmor Expedition, both throw their weight around when it comes to the fate of Solitude, and there is little Elisif can do but try to placate both of them.

Elisif does have the advantage of being underestimated. Not being a great warrior nor a powerful sorceress, many may think her of little importance.

But Elisif is a native of Solitude, she knows the city and its people far better than any of these outsiders, she has grown up touring the courts of the Imperial City, of Wayrest, Daggerfall and Sentinel. From the Illiac Bay to the Nibenay Basin and up to the Sea of Ghosts - she has travelled, and listened, while others preferred only to hear themselves speak.

Elisif may seem meek and timid, but when Ulfric treacherously killed her husband, he crushed all of her hopes and dreams. She has resolved to do the same to his.  


Varus Laecinnius has a legacy to contend with. He is the only son of famed orator and Imperial Senator Quintus Laecinnius, a man of immense power and influence within the Imperial Senate and the leader of a controversial, pro-Aldmeri faction.

Varus has spent all of his youth preparing for this command. Now a man grown, he is set to replace the disgraced General Tullius at the head of the Imperial Legion in Skyrim, and intends to bring a swift end to the rebellion, which Tullius failed to deliver.

The general often quarrels with Magister Talendil, but the man and elf are more alike than they care to admit. Varus too, is animated by power and influence most of all.

But unlike Talendil, Varus is also a glory hound. He dreams of taking Ulfric prisoner and delivering him to the Imperial City as the centrepiece of his very own Triumph, an event that has not graced the streets of the city since the one thrown in honor of General Jonna and Decianus, the architects of the Battle of the Red Ring, thirty years prior.

Stormcloak strategists underestimate Varus due to his youth and lack of experience with command on this scale, but they play a dangerous game.

Ambitious, cunning but untested, Varus intends to cement his name in the Imperial Legion's hall of fame early in his career, but the harsh forests and valleys of Skyrim are nothing like the green, rolling hills of Cyrodil. Should Varus not be careful, Skyrim may prove to be the headstone of the Legion, as well as his prestigious family name.


Sybille Stentor's unnaturally youthful appearance has drawn much speculation from Solitude's court, considering she has served for more than thirty years as the Court Wizard.

While Bretons such as Sybille do have longer lifespans, and sorceresses have been known to use glamours to look younger than they actually are, her appearance nonetheless is the source of much gossip.

Some imaginative but very unwise individuals have speculated that Sybille is afflicted with vampirism, however, the raven-haired sorceress is regularly seen basked in sunlight without any noticeable adverse effects.

The more well-read among the unwise gossipmongers have spoken of rare, sunlight resistant strains of vampirism, but such a thing has not been seen since the 2nd Era, or may even have been merely the stuff of folktales. Such rumours flare up every few years, but nothing has been conclusively proven, and nobody seems to want to be the one to step forward with any evidence.

While all nine members of Skyrim's Circle of Magi are officially equals, Sybille is unquestioningly the primary decision maker, the Court Wizards of the other eight Holds regularly deferring to her on the more important matters.

Ostensibly, the Circle was set up as a politically neutral organization through which Mages could cooperate for the good of the realm. Many peace treaties between warring Jarls have been brokered by their Court Wizards, and to the casual observer the Wizards are little more than advisors to their liege lords.

Some would say that the wizards and sorceresses of the Circle hold far more power and influence than most people think. The common folks' fear and distrust of magic and its wielders is often a source of great amusement to the nobles and the educated, but there may be more to their fears than mere rural paranoia.

A powerful and mysterious sorceress, Sybille's true goals remain unknown to all but her eight associates from the other Holds. Every month, they convene to discuss matters of import. No one quite knows what is said, other than that it's all for the good of the realm, of course.



A Symphony of Frost and Flame - The people of Whiterun




Jon Battle-Born is not a coward. In fact, it takes a bravery of its own for a man of Whiterun to stand out for anything other than martial prowess.

While Jon is not completely untalented in those martial pursuits, his passions lie elsewhere, much to his father's chagrin. Always drawn to bards and poetry from a young age, Jon spent much of his childhood ducking out of his sword lessons in favour of the lute and dreaming of enrolling into the prestigious Solitude Bard's College.

Unfortunately, the Civil War, along with his disapproving father, indefinitely put any such plans on hold. Jon, along with the rest of Whiterun, spends most days on edge, anxiously waiting for their Jarl's decision to enter the war.

The only bright light in Jon's life, as far as he's concerned, is Olfina, the daughter of his father's arch-nemesis,  Vignar Grey-Mane. Despite their families differences, the two youth have been pursuing a relationship for at least two years. Their love is somewhat of an open secret, and only time will tell if it is stronger than their families feud.

Strong but sensitive, Jon's world has changed much since the Civil War began, and as all eyes in Skyrim turn to Whiterun, it will only stand to change even more.


Olfrid Battle-Born is the cantankerous patriarch of the Battle-Born family. A veteran of the Great War and the richest man in Whiterun Hold, Olfrid never seems pleased - about anything.

His latest source of displeasure is the Civil War, and Jarl Balgruuf's policy of neutrality. A staunch supporter of the Empire, Olfrid believes that Whiterun should immediately declare for Solitude, drive out any Stormcloak supporters (especially the insidious Grey-Manes) and do their part in putting an end to this 'shameful' uprising.

Of course, what Olfrid usually likes to leave out is that his family would profit greatly from Whiterun's borders being reopened to Cyrodilic trade, and the Imperial soldiers who would no doubt be garrisoned in his city would need all sorts of equipment and goods, which he would be set to provide.

Olfrid is particularly opposed to the Grey-Mane family. Having originally been fast friends and even comrades during the Great War, Olfrid and Vignar find themselves on opposite sides of the Civil War, and they have dragged the rest of their families along with them.

While Balgruuf sits on his throne and vacillates about which side to pick, the two patriarchs pull the city in opposite directions, and it may not be long before the quiet, relatively peaceful streets of Whiterun see blood.

Short-tempered and severe, Olfrid is nonetheless an effective administrator, even if not very well liked. He has already brought more wealth and pride to the Battle-Born name than it has had in generations, and if the current leadership of Whiterun proves incapable... perhaps House Battle-Born can fill that role as well.


Jon's older brother is the son Olfrid actually wants. While even Olfrid may not say it out loud, it is no secret he is his favorite.

Idolaf Battle-Born embodies 'proper' Nord culture - at least in his fathers eyes. He is strong, honorable, an expert swordsman, an inspiring leader of men and a father himself. Idolaf has already taken over many of his fathers duties within House Battle-Born, and is much better liked by their bannermen.

But all is not well with Idolaf. Some would say they've never seen him smile since becoming a widower, and the perceived betrayal of the Grey-Manes felt very personal to him, having been a close friend of Avulstein Grey-Mane, and looking up to Vignar as an embodiment of Nordic virtue.

A perceptive but harsh man, Idolaf mirrors his father in many ways. He aspires to lead House Battle-Born to even greater glories and to instil into his young son Lars the proper attitudes required of a Battle-Born patriarch. With the Civil War knocking at Whiterun's gates, Idolaf believes there will be no shortage of opportunities to do just that.


Had Vignar Grey-Mane been born in the Imperial City, he would have likely been one of the most prominent speakers of his age, not to mention a respectable warrior in his own right.

Alas, Vignar has to make do with the halls of Dragonsreach. For decades, at every Council, the voice of Vignar Grey-Mane was synonymous with reason, a voice truly in favour of the people of Whiterun, and one to which many listened.

An eloquent speaker, Vignar captured the attention of men with words, rather than gold, as the Battle-Borns do. For a time, neither family harboured any true ill will towards the other, the two patriarchs having even served together in the Great War, but since Ulfric's rebellion, opinions on Vignar have been sharply divided.

Reserved and cautious at first, Vignar's rhetoric has become ever more fiery, always just a little short of openly supporting Ulfric's cause. To his erstwhile friends of House Battle-Born, his words are already plainly treason.

With the upcoming 998th Whiterun Council of Lords, rumours are abound that Vignar may openly bid Jarl Baalgruuf to declare for Ulfric. Although Vignar's feelings on the matter are no secret, such an act could still have dire consequences.

Honorable and quick witted, but perhaps somewhat blinded by customs and tradition, Vignar Grey-Mane truly wants what is best for his city. Far too old to be of any use in battle, he hopes to use his voice and reputation to serve it one more time - to set it on what he believes is the right path. As pure as his intentions are, he may unwittingly lead Whiterun to ruin.


Just like his former friend Idolaf, Avulstein Grey-Mane has some big shoes to fill.


The only son of the famed Vignar Grey-Mane, Avulstein has struggled to live up to his fathers name.

Brash and impulsive, he seeks to bring honour to the Grey-Mane name in his own way: By fighting anyone who disagrees with him and, to his credit, often winning. While he is popular among Grey-Mane bannermen, particularly the younger ones who share his hotheadedness, many fear what may happen to House Grey-Mane once Avulstein becomes its head.

The disappearance of his younger brother Thorald last year has been particularly difficult for him, especially as it was he who encouraged him to volunteer to the Stormcloak Army. Avulstein is convinced the hated Battle-Borns had a hand to play in the disappearance, but evidence has not been forthcoming.

For now, Avulstein is content to match Idolaf's acts of bravado, their men often brawling in the streets as tensions in neutral Whiterun continue to rise. While the City Watch has prevented steel from being drawn so far, it may only be a matter of time.

There may soon come a day when the reckless Grey-Mane scion has to prove himself as not only a good swordhand, but a leader of men.


Nord culture champions strength. The concept of the 'shieldmaiden' is often celebrated, from the sagas of previous Eras to these troubled days. But in practicality, such behaviour is heavily discouraged. Exalted though they may be, actual 'Shieldmaidens' are quite rare.

 This has caused Olfina Grey-Mane no shortage of trouble. Independent, somewhat stubborn, but well-spoken, Olfina takes after her father far more than her older brother ever could, but unlike the scheming societies of Cyrodil or the harsh meritocracy of Summerset, she could never hope to supplant her male sibling.

Instead, Olfina has spent her time defying every stereotype of a 'good Nord woman' she could think of, regularly spending her day with swords rather than needles, in pants rather than dresses, and shaming courters by outright denying them before even hearing them out.

Worse yet, Olfina has found a lover in the younger son of her father's rival. Jon Battle-Born is the only man to whom Olfina has shown anything other than her steely exterior, and she seems determined to stand by him regardless of any protests or threats.

As the political situation in Whiterun reaches a boiling point, Olfina cares not. She hopes only to be with Jon. Should her family not support her, she would be distraught, but more than ready to go her own way.



 'Who holds the advantage in the Civil War?', one might ask.

Supporters of both sides would be quick to come up with reasons as to why their side is not only righteous, but also on the cusp of victory.

Jarl Balgruuf has a different answer. He thinks Whiterun is winning.

His careful - and in his mind, wise - policy of neutrality has lead to a deadlock, with neither side able to muster the strength to defeat the other. The city of Whiterun swarms with spies and diplomats both blue and red, all knowing that whoever secures Skyrim's central hold will likely also win the war. None have made a good enough case for their side so far.

Balgruuf's policy is a fragile one, though. As the war drags, both Solitude and Windhelm's patience is running thin, as is that of the two largest landowners in Whiterun Hold - the Grey-Manes and Battle-Borns.

Should Balgruuf continue to do nothing, he may find his vassals taking matters into their own hands, and if they do, his titles will hold no power outside the walls of Dragonsreach.

An adequate politician cursed with an inflated sense of self-importance, Jarl Balgruuf may have made for a reasonable peacetime ruler, but he finds himself out of his depth in the current crisis, whether he cares to admit it or not. Without decisive action, Whiterun may fall into chaos, and with it, the rest of the province.


Every respectable Jarl has a bard in his court, and if she is young, talented and beautiful, it only makes the Jarl's court more prestigious.

Livia is one of the latest graduates from the Imperial City's College of the Arts. Surpassing even Solitude's Bard College in fame, Jarl Balgruuf paid a small fortune to employ her.

However, while genuinely a talented singer, the bard trade is merely Livia's hobby. The one who recommended her to Balgruuf was Farengar 'Secret-Fire', his Court Wizard. Unknown to Balgruuf, the arrangement was a favour from Farengar to the Cyrodilic Circle of Magi.

Secretly a sorceress and an envoy from the larger and more powerful Mage organization to the south, Livia has left the comforts of the Imperial City to create closer ties between the two groups, especially in the face of their far more united Aldmeri counterparts.

Although still relatively inexperienced in magic compared to her peers, Livia has shown cunning far beyond her age, with her sweet, delicate demeanour making her appear far more harmless than she actually is.

While the more cynical may be able to see through the deceptive smile and to the opportunistic schemer underneath, many have been positively charmed, and she loves that almost as much as she loves the power her magical talent grants her.

Perhaps the best case for 'Appearances can be deceiving', Livia appears to have a bright future in the scheming, conspiratorial underworld that is Mage poltiics. For now, she participates in the Skyrim Circle's monthly meetings, acting as Cyrodil's representative. Her ultimate loyalties, however, might just be only to herself.


Not even in her wildest dreams could Lydia imagine the highs and lows that the last two years would take her through.

Assigned by Jarl Balgruuf as housecarl to the by-now legendary Last Dragonborn, Lydia has been with him through thick and thin, from his initial ascent up the treacherous steps of the Throat of the World, to his final and still mysterious confrontation with the World Eater.

Along the way, the two had fallen in love in a way Lydia never thought she would experience. When Lydia took up the sword and shield, she accepted that traditional romance was an unlikely fit for her. With him, however, everything seemed possible.

And yet, their flame was as hot as it was brief. The man who returned from Sovngarde - where she could not follow - was very different from the one who had went in. Haunted and haggard, the one who had once been her rock seemed like a shell of his former self, even as the whole realm celebrated around him.

Then one day, he was just gone. No letter. No explanation as to where he may have went. Not even for her. Lydia has still not gotten over it.

As an associate of the Last Dragonborn and an inductee into what is left of the Blades, Lydia is hunted by Aldmeri Intelligence. Her animosity towards the Thalmor is rivaled only by that of Ulfric and his men. She has spent the last year all over Skyrim searching for her love, to no avail.

A strong and proud warrior now broken, Lydia lacks purpose. Despite her sacrifices, her homeland is still fraught with conflict. Brothers still spill each other's blood while foreigners and elves pick over the province for their own ends. This would all have to stop. Their hard-won victory in the Dragon Crisis could not have been for nothing. Skyrim would be free, or she would die trying.






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