"When the Champion returned from the Shivering Isles, he told this one all about the Saints and Seducers," said Tsarrina to the reporter. "So when Nelrene came here, this one told him we simply must have an Aureal as well, to preserve the balance."

"To be honest, she just wanted to find out what one looked like. If that one proved to be a good fit for this establishment, that was pure gravy."

"So you'd best talk to Goldie, next, and you can see for yourself."

Goldie was everything the reporter had expected when he first arrived, but more so. This was his vision of the ultimate whore. A golden image of a perfect woman. Seductive, but aloof and detached. Dazzlingly beautiful, and the smooth gold skin, and glowing golden eyes, made her almost unbearably so. Out of reach, unless you paid for the privilege. And you'd pay anything for Goldie.

She'd had a lot of practice, being immortal, so it wasn't too surprising. She wasn't naked like Prizna, as that would give him an excuse to look away, but her outfit hid only enough to make him want what it concealed. A calculated balance that had been perfected over a long existence.

What he hadn't expected, was that she was not from Sheogorath's realm at all, but from Sanguine's.

"I'm not like the other Aureals," she told him. "It is true that I have little or no respect for males until they earn it, but they can do that in my bed. I'm not too hard to please, either."

The look Tsarrina gave him suggested that was an understatement.

"But how was a man going to get anywhere near me if he hadn't already proven himself?" she asked. "I desperately wanted them, but they were all unproven, and thus unworthy. I was rejecting them all until Sanguine took charge. I bowed to his will, of course. He is a Daedric Prince, after all."

"He told me to be his whore. To simply obey him, and let him choose for me. To start with, I despised the men, but I loved what they did to me, They were as impersonal to me as I was to them, just a means to an end."

"But some were better than the others. They managed to engage more of me, to get me more involved. To find my preferences and exploit them, as I did theirs. Was it a contest, or a partnership? Did they care about me, or just getting good value for what they paid? I was intrigued, as well as stimulated, by Sanguine's game."

"And how did I come to be playing it here? The Champion asked for an Aureal, and Sanguine provided me."

Goldie began her tale of the Champion.

He had come to Sanguine's Shrine here in Cyrodiil to petition the Daedric Prince. Yes, there was an Aureal whore for Gweden if a small task could be performed in exchange. I was summoned and presented to the Champion for his approval. I was on offer if he could succeed. Sanguine didn't have to ask me, he knew I'd jump at this.

A Daedric Prince's task is never as easy as it first appears. Sanguine simply asked him to fetch the undergarments of Ulene Hlervu. What he didn't tell him, of course, was what he'd have to do to get them. The Champion told me all about it when he got back, and Sanguine filled in tha parts he missed out.

He'd met Ulene before, and she'd been quite pleasant on that occasion. She'd told him where to find Azura's Shrine and been very surprised when he'd come back with her Star. She'd always considered worshipping at the shrine a complete waste of time, as you never get anything good from a Daedra Lord. True, he had the Star, but only after a gruelling fight with a cave full of Vampires, so her opinion didn't change much.

But Ulene and the Champion didn't exactly have the kind of relationship that gave him ready access to her underwear. He'd considered his options.

He could attempt to improve her disposition to the point necessary to remove them. Not only might that be beyond his Speechcraft's capabilities, but he was trying to recruit me, not her. Silanu was already at Gweden, so he didn't need another Dunmer.

He could sneak into her room at the castle and steal some. He had the impression that Sanguine didn't want stolen goods, and the ones he wanted were those she was wearing.

He could just tell her the truth, and see if she believed it. She'd been totally straight with him about the Daedric Shrines, so it seemed to be the best alternative. And it was.

Although she was a bit reluctant at first, she admitted that there was a good reason for Sanguine to be interested in her underwear, as he clearly knew all about the Count. The Champion didn't, so she explained further.

The Count had always been a philanderer, even when his late wife was alive. Lysatha didn't seem to mind, most likely because she wasn't entirely faithful herself. She was as young as Ulene, and Ulene understood that.

The Count, however, liked to mark his conquests by collecting souvenirs, specifically undergarments. No, he didn't have any of hers, and she was wearing particularly thick and unsexy flannel ones to help ward him off. They were probably the ones Sanguine wanted, because if she gave those up, it would be proof the Count had been "cured".

When I asked Sanguine about that, he said she'd got it exactly right!

The Champion made some discreet inquiries around town. Some of the answers weren't as discreet as his questions, and they painted a lurid picture of Count Andel Indarys. There were a few women who admitted to being flattered by the Count's attention, but complained that he'd been less interested in the contents of their lace and ribbons than the garments themselves. Others had refused the Count's advances, but found they'd lost items from their laundry afterward.

So if he wasn't doing it to keep a tally. Ulene wondered if the Count was just collecting, or wearing them himself? Which ever it was, she decided, it was time to stop it. If the Champion could steal the Count's collection back, she'd make sure they were all returned to their owners, and let all the women know what happened. Maybe if they all knew, the Count would be embarrassed enough to stop. Meanwhile she was going back to her room to see if anything was missing.

On his way into the Castle, he met Garrus Darelliun, the guard captain. He knew Garrus from an earlier visit, when he'd helped him to expose Ulrich Leland, the prior captain, and his fines racket. He asked Garrus if he knew anything about the Count's panty fetish. No, he didn't, but it he found it particularly odd, because the late Countess never wore any.

Garrus looked the other way when he entered the private apartments, but he used his Ring of Shadows anyway. No point in the other guards getting involved. There was a chest behind the Count's bed containing what he was looking for, but he wasn't expecting the quantity he found!

Ulene was surprised to be talking to an invisible Champion, but he wasn't taking his ring off while he was carrying a huge pile of women's panties! She understood, and led him to where he could put them down. When she saw how many there were, she was even more astounded.

She picked through the heap until she found some she recognized as her own. That confirmed for her that the Count had been stealing! She held up the dainty scrap of lace and asked the Champion if these were the ones Sanguine wanted. She already knew the answer, she just wanted him to know that the ones she was surrendering weren't her usual style.

Ulene slipped into the next room and made the swap. She came back out with a large sack and stuffed the rest of the pile into it. Then she handed him his prize, which was almost as heavy as all the others put together. I saw them when he brought them back to the shrine. They were almost thick enough to wear for armor!

Sanguine wanted me to try them on. He said he wondered if they'd manage to make even me look undesirable. I told him he already knew the answer, so why spoil the Champion's opinion of me?

He laughed, and told me I was free to leave with the Champion if I wished.

I took that as a direct order, because I wanted to. I would inspect this Gweden Lodge on behalf of Sanguine, and see if it would meet with his approval. I wasn't going to let the Champion know that joining him was my own choice, even if I did think he'd done well. He had a bit more persuading to do, I hoped.

The reporter asked her about the name "Goldie". Sanguine had called her that, and it suited her purposes well. It made her anonymous and familiar at the same time. She'd almost forgotten her real name, and he didn't need to know it. Goldie was what she was and who she was now.

"Do you think you'll ever return to Sanguine's realm?" asked the reporter.

"Only when Tamriel runs out of men." she replied.