“He is... so beautiful,” the woman said. She held a baby in her arms, laying in bed, her back resting on some pillows. She was Dunmer, as was the baby. Dark, gray skin, red eyes, black hair, a pretty face, both of them.
Standing beside the bed was a man, also Dunmer.
“Yes, that he is...” The father looked at his son like a herpetologist looks at a rare flower; tender, but with curiosity and interest. The man's face was sharp and his hands rough, the hands of a man who has worked his entire life.
“What should we call him?” the mother asked. She had some ideas of her own, but she wanted to hear her the names her husband had come up with first.
The mother thought about it. “Name him after your grandfather?” She wasn't entirely pleased with the idea that her lineage would be ignored, but she came up with an idea. “Alright, but we name the next after my grandmother or father.”
The man agreed. “Naaro it is, then.”
A servant came into the room, bowing quickly. “Sir, there's someone to see you outside. It's important.” The features of the man's face hardened, but he nodded and followed the servant. His wife gave him a curious glance, but he didn't see it.
The house they lived in wasn't incredibly huge, but it was quite large. It suited their status: not of high birth, but rich.
It was raining outside. Standing in the rain was a man, who said: “Good to see you, Faern.”
“Can't say I am too pleased to see you though, Ilvo.”
Ilvo was a Nord, not a race the Dunmer trust. He laughed, and said: “I can imagine. Seems you haven't forgotten the deal we struck?”
“No, I haven't,” Faern replied bitterly.
“Good, good,” Ilvo chuckled. “I came here to remind you, but it seems you need no reminder. I hope you will remember when the time is right too, Faern.”
Faern looked away, the muscles in his jaw tense. “You still want this? You still want to ruin the boy's life?”
Ilvo laughed again. “You hoped I had changed my mind? Came to my senses? No, Faern. You agreed with my proposition and now deviating away from it is no option. You can have your time, but after that he'll be mine. Out of interest, have you told your wife yet?”
Faern looked at his feet and shook his head.
Ilvo smiled, but his eyes looked mocking. “Couldn't do it, could you? Shouldn't have agreed to that deal, Faern...”
“You would've killed me, Ilvo! I had no choice, did I?” Faern yelled, angry.
Ilvo shrugged. “Yes, I would've killed you, but you would've spared Irna the loss of her son and your son the life I have planned for him.”
Faern looked Ilvo in the eye with murderous hate. He knew that he couldn't kill Ilvo though. He would be executed, which would be even worse for his wife and son. Besides, Ilvo had friends in high places who would continue his plan nonetheless. It was a whole network, Faern knew that.
“What is your son's name, Faern?”
Faern cursed and spat on the ground, tears brimming in his eyes. “Naaro,” he said softly. The name of his first child that he only had a few years to spend with before it would be taken away into a life of misery and death, or so he believed.
Ilvo chuckled softly. “Ah, Naaro. After your grandfather, isn't it? Yes, a great man. Well, let's hope your son will grow up like him... and not like his father,” Ilvo said.
Faern couldn't help but to agree. He hated himself for what he had done, for not being able to make the necessary sacrifices. He turned around but didn't go back into his house, instead into the wasteland that lay behind it, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Ilvo watched him depart, grinning. He hoisted himself into the saddle on his horse (probably the only horse in Vvarendfell at that time) and drove off, back to where he came from.
Faern sat down on a boulder, staring out at the hills, not far from his house. Across those hills lay Caldera, about a mile away. He relived the events that lead him to make the deal with Ilvo in his mind, biting on his lower lip. He trembled with rage and grief, the tears coming from a seemingly endless source of despair.
Inside the house, Irna whispered sweet words to Naaro, both of them oblivious to Faern and Ilvo's exchange. The cook was readying a meal, the servant cleaning the bedroom. Guests were coming the next day to see the baby and congratulate Faern and Irna.
Faern had always liked to consider the wasteland behind their house their backyard, their 'garden'. Here, life flourished like it should, up until the rolling hills were Caldera started. A cliffracer flew over it, it's cry caught in the sweeping Morrowindian wind. Drying his tears, Faern got up from the boulder, wiping the dust of his pants. Making sure nobody would notice he had cried, he returned to his house, wife and baby, trying to forget everything.
During the meal, Faern didn't say much and neither did Irna. Naaro was sleeping upstairs, his fingers clenched around a blanket, much like they would clench knives later in his life.