When Windhelm was built, partially by captive snow-elves, Khorgrim, a son of one of Ysgramor's 500 Companions, took pity on one of these creatures, and took him into his home as a house-servant.

Jadrys the snow-elf had never recovered from his last battle with the Nords from Atmora, and was too frail to pose any danger to Khorgrim's family. And besides, they were not unkind to him.

Khorgrim had a magical artefact in his possession. None knew where it had come from, but he prized it greatly. It was called The Book of Fate.

"It is the longest book I have ever seen." Said Khorgrim to Jadrys. "And thus, it is also the best. It is simple mathematical logic."

"What does the book tell you of your fate, Master?" Said the snow-elf.

Khorgrim said, "I said I could count, not read, idiot."

"Then, shall I teach you?" Jadrys said hopefully.

"No." Said the Nord. "And you won't teach my son or my daughters either. And all because of this book. No man should know his Fate. I will not risk knowing my letters."

Jadrys was not a man, but an elf, and so he spent many nights reading of the wonderful things that awaited him if only he ran away from his master.

Khorgrim's eldest daughter, Mildryr, who had celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday in Mid-Year, also did not agree with her father's thoughts on Fate.

Every night, she would take Jadrys to the tavern with her, ply him with strong drink, and then demand to learn her letters.

"I am not a man either, but a woman who would know her Fate, as you do, Jadrys. It is unfair that an elf has read the book first."

" 'A' is for 'Atmora'..." Jadrys continued, wondering how such a lovely woman could smile at him like that.

" 'C' is for Cabbage." The ABC for Barbarians was one of the oldest known publications on Nirn.

"Jadrys, I have written something for you." Said Mildryr, one day.

DEER JADRIS I LOVE YOU VERY MUSH

WILL YOU MARRY MEE

LOVE FROM MILDRYR

Jadrys wanted more than anything to marry Mildryr, who was beautiful and strong, but he feared breaking his master's trust.

When his lust for Mildryr had grown unbearable, Jadrys looked for her name in the Book of Fate alongside his. He did not find it.

Afraid of what this could mean, and cursing the book, he stole away into the night with the book in his knapsack, and escaped the city of Windhelm, the home of his people's subjugation and misery.

He had travelled most of the way to Alftand, where he intended to throw himself upon the mercy of the Dwemer, before he was too weak to walk, and he heard the crack of ice under a steel boot.

"Jadrys!" Mildryr snarled. "Why have you betrayed me and robbed my father's house, after he was so charitable to you? Ungrateful elf! My father is out hunting you with half of Windhelm, and I should bring him your head."

"I did this for your sake, beloved Mildryr. The Book of Fate is not for you to read."

"Give it to me!" Cried Mildryr, wresting the bag from him.

She grew angry and frightened as she tried vainly to read the pages of an empty book

and gave a short cry as the ice she stood on betrayed her more cruelly than any snow-elf could.

"Mildryr, Mildryr! The wonder of my eyes, and the light that guarded me! Why has Fate destroyed one so lovely and so brave?"

He said many other things, but Mildryr spoke no more.

A darkness fell upon Jadrys' soul, and he fled, leaving Mildryr for her people to find, the Book of Fate in her lap.

Khorgrim sealed the book away and never read, or pretended to read, its pages again.

He never believed that Jadrys has murdered his daughter, but nor did he ever find the snow-elf.

The End