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History of Senchal: An Overview

Author: 
Sulema

By Sulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin

With love for those who raised this one, who succumbed to the flu. You breathed life into this one's heart before your passing.

For those compiling a history of the city-state of Senchal, we must rise to a series of challenges. The very nature of how Senchal came into being lies heavily within the realm of song and oral history passed among clans of Khajiit. Various calamities compound the difficulties facing a scholar researching this city, such as loss of property during various chaotic periods, which of course affected any written lore. That said, this one has found some resources that provide us with a brief overview of the history of Senchal. Given the nature of these resources, however, approach what follows with the same caution you would use when sneaking past a terror bird.

The Formation of Senchal

The early days of the Khajiit within the province now called Elsweyr saw them separated into sixteen different clans, each of which performed a different function. The location that is now Senchal was originally a favored landing place of the Senchal clan, who were skilled at building ships and sailing them from port to port.

As trade increased, the Khajiit built dwellings and businesses, creating permanent structures. Fires demolished these buildings upon occasion in the early days, which led them to the use of stone. At this time, a class system started forming among the merchants, traders, and raiders. From this, the infamous Black Kiergo section of town was born (the rumored stomping grounds of Rajhin), catering to raiders and thieves, while the rest of the town had its own sections based on social status, including the home of the clan leader.

The Thrassian Plague

The budding city-state of Senchal continued to grow until the Thrassian Plague in 1E 2260. According to a partially burnt journal, author unknown:

"... many dead to this Thrassian Plague, with the rest in a panic. This one thinks it best to flee, but they have closed the gates. The smuggler tunnels burn, trapping those within Black Kiergo. They will die fiery deaths, no doubt. This one hates to think of even the worst of them dying that way. This one also worries that those fires will spread to the remaining wooden structures, and then to the stone buildings. Already, this one cannot breathe due to smoke. Wet cloth over the mouth does only so much. Curse those who set those fires. They will kill those of us who don't fall to...."

Presumably, the author was referring to the plague at the end. And indeed, the fires spread, burning flammable objects and scorching stone. This one doubts any survived. Scattered evidence indicate that Senchal required extensive rebuilding after these fires.

Rebuilding Senchal

Over the next several decades, the city grew back, solidifying its social structure even as its physical structures were rebuilt. Black Kiergo remained a haven for thieves, raiders, and others who operated outside the law. The political structure for the entire region of Pellitine changed after the plague, and now the ruler of the city also ruled the region. Clan identity fell completely away and was replaced by one's role within Senchal's society, a change linked to both Breton and Imperial influence. Most of Pellitine's rulers during this period focused on creating a sense of stability, sometimes at the expense of doing what some would consider to be "fair" or "just."

One ruler stands out due to his ties with the Imperials: King Dro'Zel. In 1E 2920, after hearing a bard tell a tale, he summoned Molag Bal to destroy the town of Gil-Var-Delle. Shortly thereafter, he became one of the new advisors to Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III. Ties to the Imperial throne strengthened until, after Reman III died, Potentate Versidue-Shaie took over the Empire. Additionally, further political change came to Senchal in the form of the marriage of Eshita of Pellitine to Keirgo of Anequina in 2E 309, forming the province of Elsweyr from their separate regions.

Then, in a well-known story, Potentate Versidue-Shaie reportedly died at the hands of an unnamed assassin in 2E 324 in Senchal Palace, where he was residing at the time.

Recent Events

After the death of Versidue-Shaie, another blow landed: Khajiiti rebels slaughtered most of Elsweyr's royal dynasty. The citizens of Senchal fell back on their now-entrenched traditions and social structures to remain resilient, and life didn't look too different for the average person in Senchal until 2E 565, when the Knahaten Flu devastated the city.

According to reports, this illness originated in Black Kiergo, and, as happened with the Thrassian Plague, fire was seen as the ultimate solution. Unknowingly, frightened residents repeated the same act that destroyed Senchal so many years before. Many suffered and died from the smoke and flames as well as the actual illness, and the Senchal of today remains a pale shadow of its former glory.

Now Imperial forces reside within the city, serving as a sort of local militia, while Khajiit work to rebuild yet again. This one looks forward to seeing what comes of this mix of Khajiit and Imperial ingenuity, given the current state of Cyrodiil.

History of Pellitine: An Overview

Author: 
Sulema

By Sulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin

With reverence for the experiences of those who came before us. May any sacrifices you made for the greater good be respected by those who follow.

As this one noted in her introduction to Anequina and Pellitine, we must work with a lot of unconscious biases of the non-Khajiit when it comes to building any historical work on Elsweyr using non-Khajiit sources. When the base language of a people differs from your native tongue, one misses nuance. This one would say the same for herself were she writing a history of, say, Murkmire, using translations of native Argonian lore. No language can be translated on a one-to-one basis given that words represent symbols of a thing, not the thing itself. And symbols often have tonal and emotional color: People fight for symbols; they die for symbols. They do not fight and die for a mere scrap of colored fabric but for what that fabric symbolizes to them.

That noted, this one shall start the history of the area now called Pellitine with the sixteen clans of the Khajiit and their ruler, the Moon-Emperor. During those days, the province now known as Elsweyr was open to all sixteen clans, and many roamed as they needed to perform the function they took on under the Moon-Emperor's auspices. Some functions required stable physical locations, such as ship-building yards and moon-sugar farming, so some clans formed permanent settlements to cater to such activities.

The name Pellitine comes from the clan of Moon-Priests named Pa'alatiin, in Ta'agra. The reasons for this name's rise to prominence over the years vary, but until the Thrassian Plague in 1E 2260, Pa'alatiin was simply a clan name, not the name of a geographical region, as the Moon-Priests lived among the people of all clans. The plague hit so hard, however, that clan structures crumbled in the south. Senchal, which had already started shifting in its social systems due to the influence of the Bretons and Imperials who came to its port, led the way in the aftermath of this illness. How? Simply by example and proximity.

The clans within the south at that time, seeking succor from the devastation of the plague, assembled on Senchal, the largest town at that time. Moon-Priests of Pa'alatiin also congregated in the town, seeking to provide what aid they could. Mix that with the social strata that had formed among those living in Senchal, and everything changed. Senchal's way of living imprinted itself on the Khajiit coming in from other areas, and when order slowly restored itself, these Khajiit returned to their lives changed.

This turning point, where the northern Khajiit adhered even more strongly to their clan ties, while the southern Khajiit started forming a more class-based society, also created a strong division between north and south that we still see today.

Over time, the southern Khajiit rebuilt ruined structures, re-established trade routes with other peoples, and started thriving again. Senchal became the focal point of the south, both as a busy trading port and as the center of all customs and traditions that the southern Khajiit held dear. Additionally, Imperial ties strengthened to the point where the Potentate Versidue-Shaie took up residence in the Senchal Palace. So it came as an unpleasant surprise to some when Eshita, the ruler of Pellitine in 2E 309, married Keirgo of Anequina. Many in Senchal were aghast at the temerity of their civilized ruler marrying a barbarian of the north. The tribes of Anequina felt similarly betrayed. Yet, it happened, and the rulers worked to join their kingdoms together. But it was the Mane, Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, who quelled the unrest and instituted a power-sharing system between the tribes and the nobility based on the phases of the Moons.

Then, in 2E 324, an assassin killed the Potentate while he was in residence at the Senchal Palace, scrawling the words "Morag Tong" in the Versidue-Shaie's own blood on the wall. Some claim that was an effort to mislead, while others believe firmly that the assassin was a member of the Morag Tong. Whatever the case, Imperial ties with the Khajiit became strained.

Tensions mounted until, in 2E 326, Khajiiti rebels slaughtered most of the royal dynasty. At that point, the two lands drew apart again, both writing statements of blame over the incident (see, for reference, the pamphlet entitled "Northern Barbarian Betrayal!" wherein an anonymous author claims the "bloodthirsty" Ne Quin-al clan brought about the demise of the royal line).

Despite this state of matters with their northern neighbors, Pellitine flourished and Senchal grew until another sickness ravaged the land: The Knahaten Flu arrived in 2E 565.

So many died initially, especially in the Black Kiergo slums, that some tried to protect themselves by burning parts of Senchal to stave off the flu. As the fire grew, smoke killed many more in unaffected areas of the city. Many fled, only to die of starvation later as food stores ran low in the outer areas of Pellitine. Other unfortunate acts occurred, including the mysterious closure of the Topal Legionary Academy, and Southern Elsweyr stumbled for a time.

Now, in these troubled days, with an Imperial legion stationed in Senchal to help with restoration and recovery efforts, and a sense of self-preservation overcoming the last of the clan-oriented practices, Southern Elsweyr suffers. Let us hope that the next phase of its story proves less troublesome.

Topal Legionary Academy: A Khajiit's Summary

Author: 
Zargit the Studious

This one has studied the Topal Legionary Academy on and off, sometimes even asking those within (while they still lived) more about the history of the place. Because of the current status of the academy, Zargit does not wish to venture into the area yet. Perhaps some day. For now, though, this one will write what he knows of the place.

Originally a simple base camp for Imperials, the site was perfect for their needs at the time. The Imperials spent several years examining the terrain in the area at the behest of their Emperor, which, forgive this one, would most likely be listed in one of the books in the academy. This one's notes are confusing on that matter. They did not express what goal they had, but this one suspects it had something to do with taking over Khajiiti lands. Empires will be empires, after all.

Time passed, as it does, and the Imperials started building a fortification here for reasons they would not tell Zargit, alas. For a generation or so, it was merely a safehold that allowed for Imperial movement within the area, but one of the leaders decided it would make sense to transition it into a training center for Imperials with potential. And so was born the Topal Legionary Academy.

For several generations, Topal Legionary Academy held a place of honor among the Imperial military families. Several sponsored the place, providing funds for its operation. In the early years, the location continued to serve as a barracks for those Imperials assigned to this area, but as sponsorship and demand for elite training increased, and other factions decided it was not as useful as it once was for troop movement, it transitioned fully into a school.

This tradition of training excellence continued until the Knahaten Flu, when the school's luck regarding sweeping illnesses ran out. (It withstood the Thrassian Plague, after all. The commandant noted to this one that they barricaded themselves inside for that illness, surviving it handily.) Unfortunately, whatever choices they made failed them in the face of the virulence of the flu, and the academy fell.

Now local Khajiit claim that the place is haunted by the spirits of those who fell victim to the flu, though one or two of the more magically inclined state that something else that "feels arcane or cursed" haunts the location. They dare not approach, they state, to determine what this effect is, instead saying, "Why would one ever want to visit a place that is now called the Forsaken Citadel? That is a fool's errand and a death wish."

Despite these warnings, this one wishes to venture into the glorious library and take away some of the books within for further study, but none will accompany him. Zargit finds it exasperating that he did not take better notes, too, and wishes to rectify this mistake. Maybe one day, yes?

The Shields of Senchal

Author: 
Ziri

By Ziri, Chronicler of the Senchal City Council

The Knahaten Flu devastated Pellitine, what the Imperials refer to as Southern Elsweyr. So many Khajiit fell to this terrible disease, including Z'har Tasluz, governor of Senchal and vassal to the royal family of Anequina, as well as most of the nobles of the Pellitine bloodline. For seventeen years, Senchal was cut off from the rest of Tamriel and literally left to its own devices. And those devices, they were not altruistic.

Pirates, smugglers, marauders, and thieves rose to positions of power and influence in order to fill the vacuum left by the death of our legitimate leaders. It was a dark time for Senchal and the surrounding countryside, a time of death, destruction, fire, and oppression. We had to become stronger, wilder, to survive, which was ironic considering we always thought of ourselves as the more refined and cultured half of Elsweyr.

Finally, help arrived in the form of an Imperial Legion. The Thirteenth Legion, to be exact. General Renmus and his legionaries were sent by Emperor Aquilarious shortly after he took the Ruby Throne. It was a noble gesture, but once the emperor disappeared and the empire collapsed, the general and his soldiers were on their own. But they never abandoned their post. They brought back a semblance of order and made Senchal safer than it had been in years. Until the Dragons returned.

General Renmus returned law to our lawless land. He refuses to become a military dictator or oppress our people. Even though we originally met the Imperials with hostility and distrust, we grew to respect them. We even gave them a new name—the Shields of Senchal, for that is what they quickly became. Under their protection, Senchal began to rebuild and return to something resembling the days of old. Criminal elements were driven back into the shadows and a modicum of law was reestablished. The general even helped us form a governing council to better administrate the needs of the city.

They may not be Khajiit, but their hearts are with Senchal and its people. They are our shields, and we appreciate everything they have done and continue to do for us. This one just wishes she believed they can actually save us from the rage of Dragons.

A Sacrament Remains

Author: 
Nazala

Returning to this land has been more difficult than this one imagined. When the Night Mother called Nazala to her service, she had left this place full of disease, death, and fetid waste. Now she returns to complete a contract as old as her absence here. It is possible the target is already dead, but the Sacrament must have an end, and so Nazala must find him.

This one begins her search at the Ashen Scar, one of the many mass burial grounds in Elsweyr. When the flu hit, this one saw them being filled. What many call the Ashen Scar is the first of those. It is strong in spiritual power, even one so base as Nazala can feel it. Her target came here looking for something, but doubtful it was what he found. Undead lurk behind every crumbling ruin, dangerous even for one who walks in shadow as this one does.

This one found no evidence that her target was among those buried here, so she must look further.

Her trail leads south, to a place of stone spires and rickety wooden bridges locals call the Stitches. It was always a place for the less fortunate, the undeserving, and the lawless to find refuge. Nazala first dragged her claws through blood in this place. She remembers a little cub who said he would change things. He would bring hope to this place. Nazala hears that he did for a time, but now he is gone, like the dream he once carried.

This one's target was not here, but she has found those who remember him. He traveled south, alone, with a caravan of nomads trying to escape the flu. Nazala follows.

Cicatrice was once home to a small town along the road from Orcrest to western Elsweyr. Nomads would stop for food and to tell stories. It was a place of rest and warmth and laughter, but the Knahaten Flu destroyed all that. This one has heard rumors that the inhabitants of this place followed an Argonian into an oasis, hoping for help. Nazala found only a cave full of poison and evidence that her quarry left on his own again.

This time he was sick and heading north, to where the scars weep. She knows where that is, but is afraid of what she will find there.

When this one's fur was darker and her claws sharper, she heard tales of the Weeping Scar. There were Khajiit who went down into the dark to feed an addiction of pleasure and blood. Most came back, only to descend once more into the dark. Some, however, stayed.

Nazala's target stayed. She followed him into the dark, where her childish fears manifested into those with fangs and a thirst for blood. They did not attack, though things seemed strained, different. There is a feud going on that this one has no interest in joining. She seeks only her target and these phantoms of her youth provided.

Infected with the flu, he came to the vampires of the Scar and hoped for everlasting life. He wished to destroy one infection with another, and traded the darkness of death for another type of darkness. It did not work, and Nazala's target passed into the Moon's light.

This Khajiit once terrorized a mate and her cub. The skooma and poverty drove him to anger and that anger drove his mate to commit the Sacrament. That cub came here to fulfill her mother's wish, but discovered that her father found his own darkness.

She says goodbye now, the Sacrament satisfied and a daughter left without a need to remain. The Night Mother still softly calls and Nazala answers.

The Frostfall Coup

Author: 
Tandemen

Implications for Elsweyr and the Aldmeri Dominion

By Tandemen, Sapiarch of Foreign Observations

It was in the year 2E 576, four years before the return of Ayrenn and the formation of the Aldmeri Dominion, that Euraxia Tharn murdered the Royal Family of Anequina and illegally claimed the throne of Rimmen. How did this occur and what should the Dominion do about it? Allow me to provide a few pertinent observations.

Earlier that same year, Emperor Leovic legalized the worship of Daedra throughout the Empire of Cyrodiil, which immediately sparked a rebellion. As Varen Aquilarios began his own push to take control of the Empire, Euraxia Tharn was sent on a diplomatic mission to Northern Elsweyr. Taking advantage of the confusion, she hired a massive force of Nibenese mercenaries and marched into Rimmen as a welcomed ally. As part of the Empire, King Hemakar of Rimmen did not think twice about accepting an envoy of the Emperor. That turned out to be a deadly mistake.

Euraxia had King Hemakar and the rest of the Royal Family executed and declared herself Queen of Rimmen. Her mercenaries, now wearing the livery of Euraxians, spread out and quickly conquered all of Northern Elsweyr, claiming the territory from Riverhold to Rimmen. Once in power, Euraxia worked quickly to consolidate her position. She hired additional mercenaries, acquired the services of a cult of necromancers, and established a perimeter of siege weapons to maintain her hold over Rimmen. The Khajiiti people have not fared well under Euraxian rule. In every meaning of the word, her reign has been nothing short of tyrannical.

Once the dust settled and what was happening became clear, the Khajiit formed a militia to combat the Euraxians and attempt to reclaim Anequina. When Queen Ayrenn established the alliance and formed the Dominion, she promised the Khajiiti people that they would have her support in regaining control of Northern Elsweyr. However, before any forces could be mustered in that regard, the Three Banners War broke out. Except for a handful of military advisors and some much-needed gold, the Khajiiti Defense Force has been primarily on its own. Lord Gharesh-ri, Speaker of the Mane, traveled to Anequina to take command of the militia, and under his guidance they are close to liberating the town of Riverhold and most of the territory beyond the walls of Rimmen.

Unfortunately, Rimmen remains a bastion for Euraxia, primarily due to the siege weapons that ring the palace and are aimed directly into the city below. Her threat, which Gharesh-ri has no reason to doubt, is that she will destroy the city if her rule there is challenged in any way. Until those siege weapons are dealt with, I expect Euraxia will maintain hold of the Rimmen throne.

While the Three Banners War rages on, Dominion forces cannot be diverted to deal with the tyrant the Khajiit call the Usurper Queen. We must hope that by providing funds and advisors, the Khajiiti militia can hold out until the alliance conflict comes to an end. Otherwise, the Dominion may wind up facing a threat from within its own borders once the war against the Ebonheart Pact and the Daggerfall Covenant ends. 

Origins of the Khajiiti Martial Tradition

Author: 
Tendwuayne

By Tendwuayne, Sapiarch of Foreign Customs

Despite its status as one of the Elsweyr's most enduring traditions, the origins of Khajiiti martial arts, or "Claw-Dances," remain murky at best. The burning of Corinthe's Grand Archive by Merrunz cultists in 1E 463 destroyed most of the region's Merethic records, making the work of cultural historians like myself very difficult indeed. Luckily, Darloc Brae, the famed conqueror and so-called Golden Beast of Anequina, took great pains to secure what histories remained, placing them in vaults and smaller archives throughout Elsweyr. Gaining access to these archives is no small feat for a High Elf, I can tell you. But years of dogged persistence have borne some meager fruits.

From what I can ascertain, life in Merethic Era Elsweyr was a toilsome affair. At that time, the famed sixteen kingdoms of the Khajiit were little more than competing fiefdoms, ruled by a cruel hunter-aristocracy. Severe droughts and periods of famine struck Anequina with pitiless regularity, and the constant feuding of the hunter-nobles resulted in widespread military conscription–robbing peasant communities of youthful labor and prompting still greater famine across the region. The only check placed on the hunt-lords resided in the Temples of Two-Moons Dance. Khajiiti adepts and other Torval clergy wielded significant cultural influence, and occasionally used it to vex or even overthrow particularly vicious hunt-lords. The aristocracy chafed at these intrusions, but knew better than to challenge the adepts directly.

At some point in the high days of the Merethic Era, a particularly ruthless hunt-lord named Takanzin the Striped Death paid a flock of criminals to set fire to the Rawl'kha Temple. The clergy displaced by the blaze immediately fielded a small army of warrior-adepts to punish those responsible. The details of the conflict are lost to the ages, but the resolution was quite clear: Takanzin's forces quashed the priestly uprising and drove the remaining adepts out of the Kingdom of Dune altogether.

Seizing the opportunity to be done with the adepts' meddling once and for all, the other hunt-lords across the northern tier of what is now Elsweyr instituted a policy of weapon confiscation. They cited the violence in Rawl'kha as evidence of the clergy's treasonous intentions and brutally suppressed any religious order that refused to comply.

After an extended period of deep despondency and contemplation, the adepts turned inward–cutting ties with the politics of the age and focusing entirely on self-perfection. Religious meditation was an essential part of that journey.

In many cultures, meditation is a quiet and motionless activity. Not so for Khajiit. Their nervous energy and focus on raw physicality drove them to adopt a lyrical, dance-like form of meditation. It couldn't have taken long for the adepts' dancing to transform into something akin to a martial art. Smooth, meditative dance gave way to swift claw-strikes and daring leaps. This should come as no surprise, given the Khajiits' predatory instincts. People possessing claws and fangs cannot be expected to remain peaceful forever!

After centuries of isolation, the adepts emerged from their cloisters, bristling with martial skill and wisdom. By this point, the hunter-aristocracy was nearing its end. Disparities in wealth and influence had reached a tipping point, paving the way for a long-overdue public uprising. The adepts wasted no time sharing their hard-earned skills with the beleaguered peasantry. Within the span of a few generations, the adepts' martial arts were completely ubiquitous. All the people needed was a spark.

In the latter days of the Merethic Era, feuding hunt-lords from Meirvale and Helkarn drafted thousands of peasants into military service, bringing about one of the worst famines in Elsweyr's history. After three years of futile conflict, the armies of both lords turned on their masters, toppling the aristocracy in a rain of slashing claws, wind-kicks, and bone-breaking punches.

Before long, peasant uprisings broke out in nearby Riverhold, Orcrest, Verkarth, Bruk'ra, and Ne Quin-al. Within a century, the regal hunter caste that had reigned over Elsweyr for thousands of years fell from power.

We know that the glorious dream of a farming utopia never took hold in Elsweyr. Within a few hundred years, a new brand of landed nobility ascended to the thrones of the sixteen kingdoms. But the people have never forgotten the power they wield. Despite the lack of written records, the rich oral traditions of the Khajiiti clan mothers ensure that the Cat-Folk never forget their struggles and triumphs.

I remain an outsider here, but I cannot help but think that we approach a new tipping point in Elsweyr. The Imperial, Euraxia Tharn, is not so very different from the hunt-lords of millennia past. And if she does not learn from her missteps, she may well share their fate. 

On Those Who Know Baan Dar

Author: 
Ak'an

The first truth: Know that Baan Dar is not about the chickens.

Ak'an does not know why so many speak of the chickens. Yes, the Wood Elves make them explode, and they call this foolishness a celebration. Wood Elves also say it is wrong to eat apples, yet apples are delicious, yes? Wood Elves make mead out of rotting meat and bugs. Do not listen to Wood Elves.

The outsiders say Baan Dar is their Bandit God, their Man of a Thousand Faces. Their Pariah. They do not know Baan Dar as the Khajiit know Baan Dar. Wood Elves play games and tricks in Baan Dar's name, Bretons talk of sneak-thieves and living legends, and bards sing of Baan Dar's exploits like he was some worldly robber.

To the outsiders, Baan Dar is a legend, a story, a joke. Baan Dar is not these things. To the true Khajiit, Baan Dar is how we live. All Khajiit who grasp him, from the chained souls toiling on Dres plantations to the sellswords fighting for gold on the blood-stained fields of Cyrodiil, know how we honor Baan Dar.

When ja'khajiit swipes the sweetmeat off your sill to fill her starving belly, she honors Baan Dar. When the slave with blood-matted hair slips her chains and cuts her slaver's throat, she honors Baan Dar. When the nomad gnaws off his foot to escape the trap you left to enslave him, he honors Baan Dar.

Do you leave your valuables where all can see? Baan Dar will take them. Do you wait for others to break the slaver's chains? Baan Dar will slip away while you mew pitifully in the darkness. Baan Dar will not free you or comfort you or save you, but if you listen for him, Baan Dar will guide you as you save yourself.

Across the warm sands, beneath the warm sun, where those Khajiit not coddled by wood and stone and words prowl freely with blade and bow, Baan Dar asks only three things of all who follow him.

Do not let others take it if you wish to keep it.

Do not let others chain you if you wish to live without chains.

Do not let others fool you if you wish not to be fooled.

Baan Dar does not ask you to praise his name. Baan Dar does not ask you to offer him tribute. Baan Dar asks only that you not be stupid, for the warm sands of Elsweyr have no place for stupid Khajiit. 

Guide to Northern Elsweyr

Author: 
Infrasia Mallius

Of all the far-flung provinces of this great Empire, none may be quite as welcoming as Elsweyr. Don't let their beastly countenance fool you. The Khajiit are, by and large, a friendly and gracious people, eager to host visitors and entice travelers with all manner of goods and services. If you wish to vacation in a land of carefree ease, gentle breezes, and plentiful warmth, look no further!

Should you travel there from Cyrodiil, you'll enter the venerable province of Anequina–one of the two major regions that make up the province of Elsweyr–and find the pastoral town of Riverhold waiting to welcome you.

This bustling border town is a frequent stop for caravanners and travelers passing between Elsweyr and the greater Empire. The spacious town square acts as an open-air market where a wide array of goods are peddled right off the wagon by their enterprising owners, and the offerings vary by the hour as traders depart on their journeys or arrive from them. There's plenty to do other than haggle, of course. The Banished Regrets inn frequently offers a selection of imported libations to ease a parched throat and the quiet atmosphere of the Temple of the Moon's Blessing is sure to give you a moment's peace. There is also a burgeoning House of Histories, which promises to exhibit the long and storied history of the Khajiit upon its completion.

Once you're refreshed and ready to resume your travels, a short caravan ride east of Riverhold will lead you to the capital of Anequina: Rimmen.

On the road to Rimmen, you'll begin to see that the land of Elsweyr is as diverse as the Khajiit themselves. The closer you draw to the flourishing city, the more apparent it becomes that here the arid savannah has been tamed and the dry grassland has given way to lush greenery and flooded steppes of cane paddies. Within Rimmen's high walls, you will see that the misconception that Khajiit have an aversion to water is greatly exaggerated. Here trees and tropical plants thrive along artificial canals that weave throughout the city, supplied by a great aqueduct that spans the entire kingdom. Older than the city itself, it's a wonder constructed in an era long behind us. Lounging along the waterways is a favorite pass-time for residents and visitors alike. Rimmen's year-round warmth and largely clear skies make it a popular destination for vacationers from all around the Empire. Spend one day here and you'll find that Khajiit hospitality is second to none!

If you're feeling adventurous and up for a considerable hike, you can while away your time following the Anequina Aqueduct through the countryside. While you're touring the wonders of Anequina, you simply cannot miss the Scar, quite literally, an expansive canyon carved straight through the middle of the region. The sight of it from above or below is breathtaking in its magnitude and one you won't want to miss. Though you may find the sight of a vast water source that's just out of reach too much to bear in the arid scrub-lands that lie to the west.

Before you endeavor to traverse the winding chasm that is the Scar, it would behoove you to stop by the city of Orcrest. While Riverhold is the gateway to Anequina, and Rimmen the capital, Orcrest is the center of commerce. This ancient, walled city rests along the cliffs of the Scar, outstretching its welcoming arms (its great bridges) to bring the disparate regions of Anequina together. Traders from all over the kingdom, and beyond come here to peddle their goods to their counterparts from neighboring Pellitine, Valenwood, and Cyrodiil. Few things cannot be found for sale here. It's said that Khajiit here will part with their tail for the right price, but I'll admit that my fluency with Ta'agra is not the best.

You may have tired hustle and bustle of city life, there are plenty of quieter places to take in the scenery. Placid moon-sugar farms dot the meadows of Merryvale, where the cane stalks sway along with the songs of cheery harvesters in the cool breeze. Khajiiti temples to the Divines are both numerous and strikingly beautiful. Sunspire in particular dwarfs any cathedral in Kvatch. Though if you want a truly unique Elsweyr experience, spend some time meditating with the monks of one of their adeptoriums and take in the feats of strength, agility, and skill that these dedicated ascetics are capable of.

If my words have brought you this far, I hope you'll take a few steps more and begin your travels to one of the most wondrous provinces in the Empire! 

Anequina and Pellitine: An Introduction

Author: 
Sulema

By Sulema, Initiate Scholar of the Pa'alatiin

With respect to my mentors, who taught me to question everything. May we forever approach lore with raised fur and unsheathed claws.

Much of what scholars take to be true about Elsweyr is filtered through the bias and perceptions of those of Cyrodiil and other non-Khajiit loremasters and scholars. In fact, the geopolitical entities (which were originally Khajiiti clan names) of Ne Quin-al and Pa'alatiin are more commonly known as Anequina and Pellitine, respectively, due to the prevalence of Cyrodilic-based studies, the demotion of importance of native lore by non-Khajiit scholars, and the loss of native-based information. For a people who started out as nomadic clans with static locations only for trade and other social activities, attaching tribal names to locations as if these regions always existed is problematic because it implies ownership over certain terrain when, in fact, the clans originally moved as they needed to across the province now called Elsweyr. Some would note that the names Ne Quin-al and Pa'alatiin are Ta'agra, and while that is an acceptable observation, this one feels it is more accurate to use these names for the people and the Cyrodilic names of Anequina and Pellitine for their respective regions.

Initially, a single Khajiiti Moon-Emperor ruled the region, and he later gave rise to the famous and esteemed Darloc Brae in 1E 461. During these days, sixteen Khajiiti clans roamed the province, and each performed a function. For example, the Ne Quin-al consisted of warriors and trained their members in martial disciplines and battle tactics. Some say that even then these clans belonged to regions or realms, but that is an oversimplification. Khajiit went where they were needed and wanted (or where they wanted to be), more or less. For reference, please examine the lullaby "Hasa Zha'ja" or "The Name Dance," wherein the first known story of how the clans earned their names exists.

As the clans mastered their areas of expertise and as outside pressures started pushing them into roles and more limited geographical areas, the concept of tribal regions coalesced somewhat even within the Khajiiti way of thinking. Thus it becomes more accurate to call both the people and the area Ne Quin-al, but only "more accurate"  not completely accurate. The poem "Zhan Zhab" ("Wind Game"), written by a clanless Khajiit in 1E 2243, shows the transition from clan name to place name as it unfolds, but questions the need for this even as the language shifts within the poem.

Then came the Thrassian Plague in 1E 2260. Due to the sheer number of deaths, tribal function changed lest the Khajiit die out completely due to starvation and other hardships. Sixteen clans became two and separated in ideology as well as into geographical areas. Those of the Ne Quin'al continued to roam and follow tribal customs, and they did so primarily in the arid northern region. Those of the Pa'alatiin stayed in greener, southern region and took on customs from other lands, especially Breton and Cyrodiil, forming political and social structures that closer emulated those peoples.

All of the above provides context for the differences between the Khajiit of Anequina and Pellitine. As those of Anequina continued to follow their tribal traditions in the harsher climes of the north, they looked to the south and saw only laziness, corruption, and weakness. By following the ways of others and abandoning their traditions, the southern Khajiit proved to the north just how weak-minded and feeble-bodied they had become. As for the Pellitine Khajiit, they looked to the north and saw only parched landscapes filled with militaristic barbarians. Rule through might alone was frowned upon by these southerners, and though permanent structures existed in Anequina, the fact that many still followed the paths of homeless nomads only underscored to Pellitine just how unenlightened the northern Khajiit were.

Time passed, and the division between the northern and southern Khajiit grew. It took an act of marriage to start healing this rift. In 2E 309, rulers Keirgo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine married, creating the current province of Elsweyr. Though both peoples felt betrayed at this alliance, railing at the fact that they were now tied to the fortunes of those who seemingly did not share their values, the breach began to mend somewhat at first. Then, the first blows to the province struck: the assassination of Potentate Versidue-Shaie in Senchal in 2E 324, then the sacking of Ne Quin-al and the resulting slaughter of most of the royal dynasty in 2E 326 by Khajiiti rebels. Both these events weakened the fabric of Elsweyr's political structure, creating an opening for further instability to come. See, for further reference, the transcribed oral history of the period entitled "Zha'javan Ka'achin" or "The Dance of Dual Lands."

Perhaps the inherent nature of the Khajiit prevented an immediate collapse of the government. Both those in Anequina and those in Pellitine tend toward independent thinking and adaptability, which makes it harder to completely prevail over them for any amount of time.

But, illness comes to us all, and when the Knahaten Flu struck 2E 565, it further damaged the shaky structure that was the Elsweyr government, creating an opening for the takeover of the city-state of Rimmen and the events that followed.