Meet the Character: Lady Arabelle

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Originally published 05/17/2022. Original article can be found here.


Soldier, spy, and all-around problem-solver, the enigmatic Lady Arabelle has held many titles in her lifetime. Learn more about Arabelle in this new Meet the Character.

A Conversation with Lady Arabelle Davaux

By Adandora, Chronicler at Large

Once again, I take up quill and ink to try to wrest the truth out of the indomitable Lady Arabelle Davaux. While she can be charming, witty, risqué, and disarming, she also has an annoying habit of not actually answering the questions put forth by this chronicler. Perhaps this time, in this interview, things will be different. Let us see.

First, a bit of background. Arabelle Davaux was born into a noble household in Wayrest in 2E 527. Though her family provided her with the best education and all the advantages that wealth has to offer, it wasn’t enough for young Arabelle. She ran away from home at the age of fifteen and joined a mercenary group to defend High Rock from invaders from the Reach. Eventually, her success as a soldier led her to the Lion Guard, where she earned the rank of captain and commanded a premier squad. King Emeric of Wayrest first took notice of Arabelle at this time, and later, as High King of the Daggerfall Covenant, recruited her into his exclusive spy network, the Daggers.

Lady Arabelle’s adventures read like the most outrageous works of fiction. Indeed, some (including this chronicler) believe that the popular Investigator Vale novels are not only based on Lady Arabelle’s exploits, but that she is in fact the author of those gripping, bawdy tales. From bandits to raiders, rampaging monsters to clandestine cults, she’s defeated them all. And her personal life comes across as scandalous to some. She is reported to have left behind multiple lovers of various races and genders all across Tamriel (including, some say, High King Emeric himself). When she turned fifty, she retired from Emeric’s service and became a lady of leisure, traveling the world as a gadabout and tourist.

This chronicler doesn’t believe that for an instant. Like the hero I believe is her fictionalized alter ego, Lady Arabelle discretely continues to use her various skills to protect the people of Tamriel, as can be clearly demonstrated by her current role as chief of security for the Society of the Steadfast. I caught up with her in Gonfalon Bay, at her home she not-coincidentally refers to as “Mandrake Manor.”

Chronicler: Arabelle Davaux, how good to see you again. Thanks for agreeing to another interview.

Arabelle: My dear, I’m not so certain I agreed so much as I felt I had to do something. You’ve been sitting outside my front door for three days and you look absolutely famished.

Chronicler: There you go again, trying to distract me by changing the subject. My readers want to know why you decided to come out of retirement at this exact moment in time.

Arabelle: Did I change the subject? I hadn’t noticed. Can I offer you a cup of tea and a biscuit, my dear?

Chronicler: You did it again! Lady Arabelle, please! Just answer my question!

Arabelle: Calm yourself, dear. You sound like that harpy whose screeching was driving the people of Camlorn insane. I had to put it down, more’s the pity.

Chronicler: You can’t intimidate me with your not-so-subtle threats, Lady Arabelle. My readers demand answers, and so do I.

Arabelle: Patience, dear. I never won a battle simply by blindly rushing forward. You need to understand the lay of the land, the mind of the enemy. Only then can you overcome a superior force. As for the Society of the Steadfast, I’ve been impressed with their work since the moment they first came to my attention.

Chronicler: Yes, yes. An outstanding organization. Everyone knows about their outreach programs. They provide aid to commonfolk displaced or otherwise affected by the Three Banners War, distribute food and water, and set up healing pavilions to treat the wounded, be they soldiers or civilians caught up in the fighting. But why did they hire you?

Arabelle: As you are so quick to point out, my dear, I have a certain reputation. Lord Bacaro currently has a need for someone of my unique skills and abilities. It’s for a good cause, so I couldn’t say no.

Chronicler: But why does a philanthropic and humanitarian organization require the services of a former soldier, spy, and all-around problem-solver?

Arabelle: Well, my dear, that’s probably more a question for Lord Bacaro than for me.

Chronicler: Yes, Lord Bacaro Volorus, the wealthy noble and philanthropist who created and oversees the Society of the Steadfast. Is it true that he has invited important personages from across Tamriel to a conference on High Isle? And that’s why he hired you? To protect these said personages?

Arabelle: That certainly sounds like something I would have done in my younger days. But I’m retired, my dear. I thought we established that at the outset.

Chronicler: My gods! It’s like going around in circles with you!

Arabelle: Sorry, my dear, but you’re not my type. Which is strange, because everyone is usually my type.

Chronicler: If you won’t reveal your actual job with the Society of the Steadfast, let’s return to another mystery. Admit it. You’re the author of the Investigator Vale novels!

Arabelle: Have you read the latest? A real page turner. And the ending, stupendous!

Chronicler: There you have it! You confessed!

Arabelle: Did I? And what crime did I admit to this time? I really wasn’t paying too much attention.

Chronicler: Lady Arabelle, my readers demand ….

Arabelle: I’m sorry, but that’s all the time I can spare this evening. Write whatever you feel you must, my dear. I’m meeting one of the society’s healers for a late snack. From what I hear, he has an enchanting bedside manner.

Chronicler: There you have it, faithful reader. Yet another series of obfuscations and diversions from the notorious Lady Arabelle Davaux. I promise to continue to hound this woman until she reveals the truth of this so-called conference, as well as her exact connection to the Investigator Vale books. You have my promise!

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