Madam Firilanya explains some secrets behind apparel and shares insider tips.
You may know her as your well-traveled Clothier hireling. Madam Firilanya has ridden the winds of trade from Auridon to Vvardenfell, supplying you with quality materials and her interesting tales. Find out more by reading two works from her—one public and one quite personal—in today’s article.
In the next Loremaster’s Archive, The Unveiled Azadiyeh, Songbird of Satakalaam. Send your questions on the culture and history of the Alik’r Desert and Hammerfell to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may see your answer in the next edition.
A Trader’s Eye for Fashion
By Madam Firilanya
When you’ve traveled all over Tamriel, especially if you’re an established trader like me, you learn more than you might want to know about clothing. Every province—even every city—has its own tastes, styles, and unspoken rules. Since you’ve wisely chosen to purchase this book, you know fashion is more than just a pastime of the idle rich. Understanding which colors and styles mean what and who wears them can help you blend in, get better deals, or even save your life.
First, the obvious: if you’re traveling in Cyrodiil during the tumultuous time of this writing, be careful what you wear! Only don the colors of one of the warring alliances if you know for sure the status of your destination—towns and keeps change hands so frequently. Why, once I was porting a cart of fine casks of Dream Madeira from Castle Alessia to Sejanus Outpost, knowing the Dominion forces there would appreciate (and pay well for) a good drink, but by the time I arrived, they’d been driven out by the Pact. Already in view of the outpost, I knew I’d been spotted in my brilliant yellow tabard, so I made no move to flee when a band of Pact soldiers began to approach. Luckily for me, the rowdy Nords who led the assault were in a festive mood, and though they commandeered the wine, they let me leave with my life.
You can tell quite a bit about someone by what they wear, of course. The more you know about a potential customer, the better, so pay close attention and you’ll get better deals and have an idea of what someone might be looking for. Did you know that master anglers favor pinkish-purple tones? I’ve been told they wear them because the fish are unable to see that particular shade, making the fishers practically invisible to poor, tasty creatures. Prominent alchemists wear an earthy grey tone supposedly made of a secret Nirnroot concoction that protects the cloth from stains, and high-ranking Mages Guild members wear an unmistakable dusky blue. If you know who you’re dealing with, you know what to sell them!
Another good tip is to keep your eyes open for colors and styles you haven’t seen before. If you find someone wearing a bold, iridescent color and ornate armor or dress, find an excuse to talk to them. Anyone who stands out has a great story to tell at the very least, so buy them a drink or entice them with your rarest goods. I once met a dangerous-looking Khajiit clothed head to toe in a shining bronze color I’d never seen. After some friendly banter and a few mugs of aged sweetmilk, he gave up the locations of several dangerous ruins chock-full of Dwarven relics he couldn’t carry out. Quite profitable, if you have the right connections.
So there you have it: fashion matters. Pay attention to local customs and dress as you travel, learn who wears what, and profit! There’s much more to learn beyond my advice here, but you’ve got a good start now. Keep your eyes open, wear the right thing, and seek out the bold and you’ll improve your margins substantially!
WARNING: The following lore book contains spoilers for the story revealed in Madam Firilanya’s hireling mails in-game.
Dream Journal of Firilanya
3rd Second Seed
I’ve got to start writing these down or I feel I’ll go mad. They have to go somewhere. The Telvanni potions that were supposed to quiet the dreams did no more than make my tongue blue and give me the hiccups. I can almost feel them laughing at my back as we set out on the long journey to Wrothgar. I’ll have to remember to tell Low-Neck to stop all transactions with those untrustworthy wizards.
Last night the song was red. Browned and dried at the edges. Flaking off. They chased me through the halls, always gaining. Great heroes battled them and fell in pools of blood that rang out with sickly chords. Ever-Open Eye. The Terror of Kora-Dur. Son of the Fire Stone. My stomach churns remembering their gibbering, telling me what they would do when they caught up, untold numbers of voices screaming to form their words. I woke sweating and tear-stained, as always.
16th Mid Year
Just when I thought they were over. Another dream. I’d almost turned from the path to Wrothgar and the only lead I have that might be able to stop them, so I suppose it’s a blessing of a twisted sort.
All was green, the green of the wavering bands of Skyrim’s night sky. Only there were no stars, there was no sky and no ground. A star descended towards my head, a grain of sand in a gigantic hourglass. 12 stones ringed my body, floating and colliding with enemies that assaulted me from all sides, lunging from the Aetherial mist. The sound of cracking bones formed the rhythm, the hum of the star growing louder every second. What would happen if it reached my skull? I am relieved I never found out. One of the Nord traders in the caravan heard me sobbing and roused me.
1st Sun’s Height
I wonder how my former employer fares. I hope Low-Neck has kept up the deliveries. I’ve been too sick to travel, too weary. Last night’s was worse than usual. I have to get back on the road.
The darkness was breathing. Hissing against sharpened teeth.
8th Sun’s Height
Purple. An ocean of words telling unimaginable tortures. The innocent crying out for salvation in the void, the curses from Daedric tongues lingering on their flesh, uncured. The heroes again, the last shred of their hope bleeding out as their leader fell. Machines rust beneath the ground—even they cannot escape the decay. There is no protection, no beetle-shell to fend off the growing nothingness. The dead are four and four and four then three, students of the crawling weft and warp left to live. The void looms.