Jarl Korir and his son

Jarl Korir and Assur

Dear Mother,

J’Zhirr visits the Jarl’s Longhouse in the morning. Jarl Korir is a typical Nord; deeply suspicious of any magic user. He seems to take delight in blaming everything on them, whether it is the coldness of the day or the Great Collapse which caused half the city to fall off into the sea. Even though the College of Winterhold denies any involvement in that natural calamity, Jarl Korir is certain that it’s their fault that the sea swallowed the city.

Jarl Korir tells his son that the mages do not care about them. They think that they are better than the people of Winterhold, who can be just thrown away. This causes the boy to hate the mages, upon which Jarl Korir praises his son heartily.

Jarl Laila Law-Giver

Jarl Laila Law-Giver

Dear Mother,

Jarl Laila Law-Giver rules over Riften. Her name is ironic, is it not? With Maven Black-Briar and the Thieves Guild running rampant all over town, many of Riften’s residents feel that Jarl Laila has not put in any effort to uphold the law.

Even though The Rift is one of the Holds that supports the Stormcloaks, Jarl Laila seems pretty level-headed about the war between the Empire and the Stormcloaks. While she feels that Jarl Ulfric‘s cause is just, she thinks that his motivations are a bit more self-serving. Jarl Ulfric is using the war as leverage in order to pursue the throne and Jarl Laila doubts that it will be the golden age Jarl Ulfric’s followers expect if Jarl Ulfric is crowned High King.

Jarl Laila’s main concern is for the people of The Rift. She worries about how they can go about living their lives when a crisis is looming over their heads and declares that if she able, she will protect them as she would her own family. J’Zhirr senses that Jarl Laila genuinely cares for her subjects and there is no ring of emptiness in her words.

However, while Jarl Laila’s heart is in the right place, she is too trusting and naive. She puts too much trust in the reports from her advisors and has no real idea of what is going on outside her castle’s walls. She thinks the Thieves Guild is not a big threat and Maven Black-Briar is a model citizen. Thus has the wool been pulled over her eyes.

Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak

Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak

Dear Mother,

J’Zhirr speaks to Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak after Galmar Stone-Fist left. This one feels that he should hear Jarl’s Ulfric side of the story.

It does not begins well. Jarl Ulfric is rather haughty until J’Zhirr reminds him that one on was set free and could have gone anywhere. Jarl Ulfric immediately becomes friendlier and patiently answers J’Zhirr’s many questions about the incident leading up to the civil war.

Jarl Ulfric paints himself as a tragic figure, wrong and betrayed by the people outside Skyrim. He also paints himself as a crusader, a patriot who wants to restore the glory of the Nords. When J’Zhirr asks Jarl Ulfric if he desires to be the High King, he does not answer the question directly. Instead he says that there has not been a true High King for generations and it is time that Skyrim has a High King of their own making.

War discussions in Windhelm

Galmar Stone-Fist and Ulfric Stormcloak

Dear Mother.

J’Zhirr sees Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak deep in conversation with Galmar Stone-Fist. They are so engrossed in their conversation that they did not notice this one standing nearby and listening.

Galmar complains to Jarl Ulfric that Jarl Balgruuf the Greater refuses to give the Stormcloaks a straight answer. He does not share Jarl Ulfric’s optimism as the Empire is putting a great deal of pressure on Whiterun. Galmar says that if Jarl Balgruuf is not with them, he is against them and feels that Jarl Ulfric should send a stronger message to Whiterun, something like shoving a sword through Jarl Balgruuf’s gullet. A typical response from a typical military man who sees the use of force as the only solution to his problems. In fact, he thinks that Jarl Ulfric should take out all their enemies in the same way he took out High King Torygg.

Thankfully, Jarl Ulfric seems more tempered in his response even though he still agrees with Galmar about taking Whiterun. He gives an eloquent speech about fighting for his people, his poor countrymen. But his words feels hollow as if they have been rehearsed too many times. Perhaps Jarl Ulfric is closest to the truth when he says “I fight so that all the fighting I’ve done hasn’t been for nothing. I fight… because I must.”

Of course, that loyal simpleton Galmar treats Jarl Ulfric’s words as the gospel and loudly declares that is why Jarl Ulfric will be the High King.

Jarl Elisif the Fair

Jarl Elisif the Fair and her court

Dear Mother,

J’Zhirr manages to see Jarl Elisif the Fair. She is in her court and accompanied by her housecarl and court wizard. There is talk among her subjects about her age and inexperience. Some feel that she is merely a figurehead and it is General Tullius who runs the city. Jarl Elisif hears her subjects’ concerns but she says that they must trust in General Tullius’ leadership for they have no other choice.

Oh, and Jarl Elisif likes the clothes. She will be putting in a few orders for dresses soon. This one should go back to Taarie for his reward.

Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone

Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone and Gorm

Dear Mother,

The Jarl of Morthal is a little eccentric. She sees visions and the people think she is crazy. Yet when J’Zhirr speaks to her, she seems perfectly sane although rather removed from the affairs of her people, like a wise man who observes world events from the top of his ivory tower.

It is likely that she has a bit of magical talent in her but this is not a good thing in Skyrim. The Nords have always been distrustful of magic, now even more so after the Oblivion Crisis.