My education in the arts of love began when I was twenty summers of age under circumstances scandalous and salacious. As I tire of all these dashes across the page, I shall instead preserve my conqueresses’ modesty through the use of pseudonyms – a practice I expect I shall have to resort to many, many times in this narrative. I fear this may lead some scholars to treat my recollections as merest fiction; to them I offer my pity.
When Master B______ chose to leave his home and fortune to Master G_____, he did so by disinheriting a clan of cousins I shall call the Clarettons because I am excessively fond or wordplay and wine (and have perhaps had too much of the latter on this cold winter eve). The Clarettons were, like the B______s, an old and monied family – just less old and less monied than the B______s.
(I must here digress to say that I am unsure how the great hole-biter families came to their wealth and greatness. I have often been asked by curious humans and dwarfs how it is that such a pacific and unconfrontational people as the hole-biters could have a gentry when their own came into being based on ancient traditions of force of arms – the ones with swords and axes bullied the ones who did not into paying them to protect them from goblins and not burn down their farms. I must assume that somewhere in the mists of time there existed a fleeting moment when the first settlers of the County bullied the newer settlers from over the river into paying them a tithe for the use of lands they claimed. Given that my people have never had much in the way of swords, I conjecture they must have stoned a few of the new immigrants to death instead. I am continually amazed by the common people’s readiness to accept such extortion.)