It is the height of the Age of the North Wind. Times are troubled. The palsied hand of the Emperor does not reach far. Plague and famine have decimated the land. You are a maid in the court of the Lord of the Western Marches. He professes allegiance to the Emperor, but for all practical purposes he is an independent sovereign. His life has been hard; he has spent much of his life battling the barbarians. He had but one wife whom he dearly loved; she passed away some years ago and he has never remarried. He has no worry about an heir; he has three able sons.
You count yourself fortunate to be a maid in the court. You are the daughter of a local villager. You can neither read nor write, and you have no great beauty. You know little of the fine things of life, save the work you and other servants must do to make them happen.
One day the lord’s sons come to you. They feel that their father is restless and that he needs a woman in his bed now and then. They suggest to you that from time to time you slip into his bed at night. They offer you gold to do this.
You greatly admire the lord, albeit from a distance. However he is of a station far above your own; you worry that you are not worthy of sharing his bed. Perhaps you should just tell the sons no. On the other hand you can see that the lord is uneasy and restless. Perhaps it is your duty to warm his bed. If you agree, should you accept the proffered gold? What will you do?