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I met Alavesa in Markarth.  Not three months ago, like everyone thinks, but a year and a half ago; just a few months before she joined the College in Winterhold.  After gaining Wyll and Alexia’s confidence, we would make occasional forays to the taverns in the nearby towns.  When we returned from one such adventure, we found the rest of Wyll’s men slaughtered and no clues about had happened.  Things being what they were, we immediately packed up everything we could onto our horses and put as much distance as we possible between them and us before the sun rose.  It could’ve been guards or it could’ve been another Thalmor attack.  We didn’t want to be there if they came back. 

Wyll and Alexia decided to split up, both of them having rather sizable bounties and a Thalmor execution order hanging over their heads.  So, Wyll and I continued to Markarth and Alexia went in the opposite direction.  Wyll was raised in Markarth and decided we’d lay low in the Warrens for a while.  After a couple of weeks there, I left Wyll and snuck off to Understone Keep where I gained an audience with the Thalmor Emissary.  I gave him my report and he assured me he’d send it on to the Embassy in Solitude.  In the meantime, I was to stay close to Wyll until we met up with Alexia again.  They especially wanted to get their hands on her.

When I left the Keep, I made my way through the marketplace and that’s where I first saw her.  Elves are rare in Markarth.  What few there are scrape out a living in the warrens.  So, seeing a Dunmer female who was not only in the city but one of obvious station was especially surprising.  I wasn’t just drawn by her ashen skin and fiery red hair.  I was also drawn by curiosity.  So, I made her acquaintance very quickly.  She was every bit as haughty and pretentious as she is now.   I’ve read that young female Dunmer are promiscuous and she proved it to be true. 

The next morning while I was sitting on the edge of her bed putting on my boots, she asked me what I did.  I told her I was a soldier in the Dominion army.  In the way that she does, she bombarded me with questions and evaded every question I posed to her in response.  Then she sent me on my way without so much as giving me her name.  I wouldn’t earn that privilege for weeks.

We saw each other off and on after that until she left for the College.  Her father was already dead by the time we met and her mother was spending all her time in Solitude.  Wyll thought I was interested in some tavern wench and I let him think it.

After she left for the College, I didn’t see her again until a year later when she arrived in town with Soren and Ray.  I was outside the Silver Blood inn with Wyll when we saw them head up the street to the abandoned house.  After a few minutes, the men that had been in her company came back out without her and headed towards us.  We waited for them to go inside while I filled Wyll in on why I found them so interesting.  Then we followed and took a table close enough so that we could hear them talking.  When we heard them talking about a return trip to Winterhold, we presented ourselves as mercenaries.  Why not?  We needed the money, we had the skill and they presented the opportunity.

When Vesa came into the Inn the next morning with Zanain, they introduced us to her and she pretended we didn’t know each other.  I was happy to follow her lead.  And that was how I met Alavesa Marendal.

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