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The Sixteen Kingdoms

Author: 
Senior Scholastic Hilo Sylla

[A traditional Khajiiti children's chant as collected by Senior Scholastic Hilo Sylla]

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Monarch of Ne-Quin-Al
The nomad clans who follow the herds
The people of Ne-Quin-Al

The King and His Court come down the road
The haughty King of Rimmen
The motley traders of the Rim
The fractious folk of Rimmen

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Queen of Riverhold
The doughty farmers of the north
Planters of Riverhold

The King and His Court come down the road
The Moon Bishop of Dune
The priests and scholars of the past
The dusty sages of Dune

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Sovereign of Orcrest
The desert cats of the baking sand
The windblown rogues of Orcrest

The King and His Court come down the road
The Warrior King of Verkarth
Fierce wielders of the sword and bow
The swift-marching soldiers of Verkarth

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Rum-Potentate of Meirvale
The brewers and distillers bold
The joyous fermenters of Meirvale

The King and His Court come down the road
The Livestock Lord of Helkarn
Wary and sharp-eyed shepherd folk
The herding cats of Helkarn

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
Bard-Queen of Alabaster
The learned poets of the coast
Dramatists of Alabaster

The King and His Court come down the road
The Merchant Prince of Bruk'ra
The river-traders sharp and savvy
The traffickers of Bruk'ra

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Carpenter Queen of Corinthe
The lumber cats of the upland woods
The carvers and joiners of Corinthe

The King and His Court come down the road
The Pious Prince of Pa'alatiin
The arcane adepts of oracular oaths
The prayerful priests of Pa'alatiin

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Jungle Queen of Tenmar
The forest folk of leaf and branch
Tree-dwelling furstocks of Tenmar

The King and His Court come down the road
The Sacred Mane of Torval
Servants of hirsute majesty
The loyal guards of Torval

The Queen and Her Court come down the road
The Countess of Khenarthia
Sugar planters and fishing cats
The wind-kissed folk of Khenarthia

The King and His Court come down the road
The Harbor-Duke of Senchal
Sailors and stevedores of the ports
The nautical knaves of Senchal 

Response To Citizen Inquiries

Author: 
Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination

Esteemed Citizen of the Aldmeri Dominion,

Thank you for expressing your interest in the critical functions performed by the Presidium of Aldmeri Cultural Illumination and Dissemination to further solidify the inter-cultural bonds of our magnificent alliance. We strive to give our ear to any citizen with suggestions, questions, or concerns relating to our tireless efforts to provide the Dominion with education to promote cooperation and understanding between Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit.

Your two (2) requests and one (1) inquiry have been received and processed, and it is our sincere hope that you find the determinations reached by the Presidium satisfactory. Please note that any additional queries related to your submission, which has been assigned the Citizen Inquiry Identifier 3278B-P, must be accompanied by a completed Additional Inquiry Form approved by your district’s Thalmor Representative of Civil Concerns.

Request One (1)

Regarding the inclusion of a broader survey of Khajiiti heroes in a new edition of “Combined History of the Aldmeri Dominion, Vol. 4, Historical Persons of Note”:  Your opinion is valued and important. Though we must limit the number of highlighted historical figures described in this already-significant tome by necessity, your feedback will be taken into consideration. We have noted your observation about the preponderance of Altmeri individuals in the book, and will take it under advisement in the event that a new edition is issued.

Request Two (2)

Regarding celebration of the Khajiiti Festival of Sugar-Singing: Our greatest ambition is to be sensitive to the needs and desires of all citizens. It is, therefore, with the utmost regret that we must inform you that the Sugar-Singing will continue to be prohibited in most major cities due to the disruption of business and domestic peace that has been reported in municipalities where the festival has been provisionally allowed. As with any Thalmor ruling, you may continue to raise specific concerns by visiting your local representative (accompanied, of course, by the proper forms, which may vary depending on the nature of the additional request or complaint).

Inquiry One (1)

Regarding becoming more involved in your local governing body: The Thalmor is always pleased to accommodate and encourage citizens who wish to become more active in promoting cooperation and understanding throughout the Dominion. All Thalmor positions and offices are confirmed by the Illustrious Queen Ayrenn’s own hand, ensuring only individuals with true dedication to the goals of a productive, prosperous, and victorious Dominion reach any office. By undertaking every possible effort to be an outstanding citizen, even you may one day be recognized by Her Majesty!

The Presidium of Aldmeri Cultural Illumination and Dissemination thanks you again for your interest. If you find any of our carefully considered responses to be inadequate, do not hesitate to submit an approved Additional Inquiry Form.

Glory to the Dominion!

These responses endorsed by:

Aicantar of Shimmerene, Sapiarch of Indoctrination

Elsweyr

Author: 
Anonymous

Khajiit of the Aldmeri Dominion

I wept as the ferry passed my home of Bravil, but I could not risk returning there and bringing my curse to the ones I love. Now ensconced in the realm of the cat, my thoughts turned not to their wiles and ways but to the minions of Mannimarco who flit along the periphery of my vision each and every day.

Riverhold's market was particularly crowded. Overladen caravans were readying for Rimmen and Dune, filled with spices, weapons, and drapery. Khajiiti nomads had their herds of guar and goats for trade. Shouts and whistles and the smells of sweetmeats would have coaxed me farther into this bustle, but all I saw were the shaded alleys and shadowy recesses where the black-robed thugs could plan my long and drawn-out death.

Was that one of them? There, by the gemsmith? I hastily searched out a suitably robust Khajiiti specimen who ran the caravan to Dune. I explained my predicament and my finer qualities to him.

"I, Ma'rashirr, welcome such a dignitary to our humble traveling cavalcade."

"Thank--" I started to say.

"Your unclawed nature, ruddy cheeks, and profuse sweaty fragrance is an attraction to the caravan I hadn't bargained for. What a treat to greet the walkers when we arrive at Dune."

As my father told me, "a blow to your pride is easier to take than a blow to your head."

Between the Imperial Niben Valley and Valenwood, the southern sands of Elsweyr are the burial sites for many ancient civilizations, or so the whispered myths would have you believe. Just as the deep red soil relentlessly shifts, so, too, do the transient beastfolk who claim this land as their own -- the wandering Khajiit. It seems they have more of a right than most, as stories tell of cat people dwelling here even before the time of Man and Mer; however, others think of the Khajiit as being simply another descendant of the original Aldmeri settlers. Still others believe the Khajiit's ancestors once walked on four paws but were raised to stand on two feet and become the leading predator of Tamriel's wastes.

The Khajiit homeland was subdivided into a fractious collection of sixteen realms specializing in farming, trade, or fighting; all were interwoven with the waxing and waning of the moons. Passing Alessian and Bosmeri invaders chose to further increase the animosity between these realms, but the Thrassian Plague in 1E 2260 ravaged the cat-folk more than any intruder. Consternation turned to distrust and violence as the wealthy southern state of Pellitine clashed with northern warrior clans of Anequina. The ruin this brought continued until 2E 309, when the marriage of the two states' rulers -- Eshita of Pellitine and Kiergo of Anequina -- finally brought peace to the land, now named Elsweyr after the sardonic Khajiiti proverb "A perfect society is always found elsewhere." [This "joke" has got to go.]

For a race living in the oppressively hot climate of Elsweyr, it is impractical in most cases for them to wear heavy clothing and armor, and the Khajiit's naturally lithe frames and dexterity favor more lightweight protection. The Khajiit abhor restraint and encumbrance, and their craftsfolk are diligent about providing armor to augment their prowling forms. At its lightest, Khajiiti armor is often mistaken for well-appointed (but flamboyant) clothing. Quilted or padded cloth adorns the midriff and vital areas. This is augmented with vivid patterns of color and accented with a loose shawl, ribbons, or trinkets -- an outfit that would result in mocking insults if worn by a race less decadent and hedonistic.

For battles where the Khajiit expect punishment, they favor cloth and leather greaves, gauntlets, and a light helmet; this allows for supremely agile movement without sacrificing speed (or fashion). For this race of acrobats, even the heaviest Khajiiti armor is loose-fitting but actually has lacquered metal plates laced together with leather, under which is an embroidered tunic, completed with a helmet of fluted silver and durable linen. It is only under the most harrowing of conditions that the Khajiit will don full battle armor.

As for weaponry, curved scimitars, sabers and knives, or punch daggers serve as an elongation of the Khajiit's own slashing, clawed hands. Occasionally these claw shapes extend to ritual tridents and the savage points on their longbow arrows or javelins.

I attempted to prove my merit to Ma'rashirr by showing him this sketch of the savanna-land here in northern Elsweyr. The trees are speckled far apart from one another, their branches fanning out wide to capture every drop of moisture. Watering holes, low rock outcrops, and laconic Cat-Men herders are also infrequent sights. The caravan clattered across the most rudimentary of roads. When Ma'rashirr and his kin do meet another Khajiiti traveler or tent, they are greeted with quick throaty shouts in their own tongue, and yapping laughter is directed in my general direction.

The merchants continued plodding across the western savanna, with Dune at least two days away. My attempts to cultivate the caravan's guards (so I may mingle with veteran warriors who may protect me from my fears) had been a middling success. Ra'tassa, a particularly well-built Khajiit, seemed to be in charge of this crew. Early on the second morning, I asked to walk with him.

"You're the beet-faced Imperial Ma'rashirr the Five-Clawed saddled us with, yes?" His brethren smirked as I prepared to test my wits.

"I prefer to think of my complexion as sanguine, as is my disposition," I replied.

Ra'tassa's striped ears perked up and he smiled. "Ra'tassa wonders why you perspire when the sun has hardly crept out of bed. Your Nord clothing pelts smell like a Dungman's hindquarters."

"Ah, but I can take off my fur when the heat becomes uncomfortable. Can you? Although I'd pay good coin to see you shaved."

Had my wordplay become a tad too mocking? Not according to the whoops of approval and derisive laughter of Ra'tassa's gang.

We heard an odd, wheezing horn, along with grim shouts in a primal language. Khajiiti fur rose as a small force of Goblin raiders harried the caravan, charging out from a cluster of red rocks. I counted at least ten of the green-skinned marauders -- and a warchief the size of a Nord -- from my shrewd position behind the guards.

"Muskarse! Ra'tassa will make kebabs of your liver!" His gang was already engaging the Goblins, effortlessly cutting them down with ferocious double-slicing from frighteningly sharp sabers. Ra'tassa had deftly catapulted past enemy bowmen, leaped onto the leader, and drove his twin punch-daggers deep into the warchief's neck. The fellow gurgled and fell to the ground, spurting blood and yellow bile.

Ma'rashirr sat back on his haunches, grinning. His cat-folk had received only minor nicks to their fur while their foes lay lacerated, many in multiple pieces. Ra'tassa took the last Goblin by the nape of the neck and picked it up, shaking it violently. He threw it to a fellow Khajiit, who scraped his claws across the Goblin's sagging form before throwing it back to Ra'tassa. "Spotless!" he shouted, beating it about the face before snapping the Goblin's neck.

I didn't care for this toying spectacle of cruelty.

Imagine the loathsome aspects of the Orc (and there are many). Now believe a scrawny and devious subspecies shares these traits, but with even more base desires and dense stupidity. Little wonder, then, that the Goblin has no aspiration other than barbaric tribal territory squabbles with others of its lot. As they're incapable of mastering the Tamrielic tongue, there is little to say to a Goblin, save to yell in violent joy as you cleave one with your blade. The finest of their pathetic accomplishments is mastery of shamanistic magic and the domestication of their hunting pet, the durzog.

While Ra'tassa and the gang picked through the spoils and clutter, I chose three of the most intact Goblin corpses to paint and inspect (I did not show their numerous savage wounds). Of greater interest is the equipment they carry: It is primarily constructed of wood, bronze, and wrought iron. More fascinating still are the swords, shields, and cleaving weapons stolen from other cultures and remade roughly but effectively.

Ma'rashirr was tucking into a serving of dried sugarmeat with his cohorts. I declined and instead studied the heavy armor a few of the Goblin troops were wearing. I noted scraps of chain mail and iron plates bolted in, with accents of bone, horns, and skulls. The leather was efficiently tanned, but crude. Impressive craftsmanship for such a low and worthless creature.

I accompanied Ra'tassa and a couple of his ilk as they tracked the Goblins back to a small camp in a rocky dell several hundred paces away. The Khajiiti stalkers were expecting trouble but were greeted by pathetic moans and slumped bodies gasping and shriveled in pain. Many green-skins had turned an unhealthy shade of yellow, with buboes blistering around the mouth. I made some quick sketches of this wretched camp and totem, as the Khajiit retreated with haste, leaving the Goblins to succumb to the sun and what was undoubtedly the Knahaten Flu.

I suggested to Ra'tassa that perhaps the Goblin raiding party that was so conclusively defeated was also beginning to succumb to the Knahaten Flu.

"This explains why the raiders were such pushovers," I said, watching Ra'tassa's brow furrow.

"The unclawed one speaks!" he proclaimed, hissing back at me. "But of matters he hasn't the competency to lecture about, yes?"

Undeterred, I continued: "I studied the discharge from the warchief's wounds and mouth. It looked like the flu to me."

Ra'tassa stopped me, placing a muscular claw on my shoulder. "Ra'tassa believes in our own prowess. Flaccus should hold his tongue, lest a Cat get it."

As the Redguard scribes have noted (in sometimes mind-withering detail), when the first of their kind came to claim Hammerfell, they were confronted by an immense Goblin horde, baying and praying to Malooc the Horde King. It is currently felt that this lesser deity may be entwined somehow with the similarly boorish Mauloch (also known as Malacath) of the Orcs. Malooc certainly shares the more graceless aspects, but further research if requested to confirm such speculation.

I seemed to have rubbed Ra'tassa's fur the wrong way and spent the remaining hours in silence until our arrival in Dune, entrenched in the northwestern grasslands where the Baandari Pedlars roam. While the merchants paid their tariffs and excises, I bade a swift farewell and sketched two samples of the faintly exotic Khajiiti architecture. Being in northern Elsweyr, I wasn't expecting the imposing structures of marble or stone found in the south, where Khajiiti culture builds with more permanence. Here in Dune, buildings are less substantial, made from wood, and many have fallen into disrepair. Perhaps this is due to the northern Khajiit favoring a nomadic life, where only tents are necessary.

Expect chaos to greet the Imperial soldier who ventures into the disorderly scrublands of northern Elsweyr. No domain has been ravaged so ruthlessly by the Knahaten Flu, and the downtrodden Cat-Man must seek favor with the superior races to escape the terror that has befallen them.

Even though the Elsweyr Confederacy has been ratified, the gambits of the Nibenese of Rimmen and the Colovians of Skingrad and Arenthia are still unchanged, as the Khajiiti territories continue to squabble. However, it has done some good; the factions have fallen into line under the leadership of the Mane, who holds spiritual sway over the common beasts.

The Khajiit are no strangers to vexation, and from the taint of disease and strife there has emerged a valiant leader, Gharesh-ri, Lord of Torval. He professes to speak for the Mane, with quick wits and quicker claws. He seeks council with the Higher Elves of Summerset, determined to tame the insurrection within his homeland. This is troubling, as a downtrodden Cat on our doorstep is preferable to a dominion with Elvenkind in your back garden.

[What an appalling mixture of metaphors. I shall have to rewrite this section.]

My nerves calmed, I inspected a gift Ma'rashirr handed me as we parted company -- a Zwinthodurrarr, or yellow writing stick. I used it to sketch the bright, elegant entrance, and the decorative doors of Dune, finding my new implement -- and Khajiiti architecture -- most pleasing. While Cat-Men are certainly partial to bright colors, it borders on tasteful rather than garish, with flourishes of creative artisanship.

I walked the streets of Dune in the early afternoon. The painted pavilions and sculptures were intertwined with carvings of glinting golds, reds, and blacks, all beckoning you to take in their beauty and touch. The sandy thoroughfare I strolled upon was mostly dung-free, despite drovers passing, expertly wrangling their herds of cattle and horses.

I slowed as I passed hawkers sweetmeats and stopped to barter for a bag of caramelized goat nibbles. Delicious! There were no menacing shadows lurking at doorways. Instead, the heady aromas of freshly-made nectar bread loafs and honey pudding made my nostrils twitch. I gladly partook of a sample of Tenmar apricot liqueur. Delectable!

Amid the rabble of scurrying couriers, shouting peddlers, and well-to-do robed beast-men reclining in shaded tents and gazing out at the rumpus (the first time I'd witnessed a Khajiit without a task or purpose), I heard the skirling music pipes from the taverns. Intriguing... The Khajiit are sensualists and live to enjoy themselves.

The ambrosial aroma of the Sweet Plethora teahouse drew me in. Amid the finery, intricately woven tapestries of the moons' paths, and the cross-legged Khajiit, I sat down to paint and sample the various syrupy infusions being brewed. The pot of treacle tea was a little too sickly sweet for my palate, so I nibbled on a candied beet and waited for my jar of sorghum sweetmilk. That left a metallic taste in my mouth. I ordered a cup of myrrh-tansy and was enjoying it immensely when I noticed I was being watched.

Across the room, an Imperial woman was staring intently at me. Perhaps and agent wanting the preliminary sketches for my guide? No, she bore no insignia. She dipped her hand below the table and made a gesture I found most unnerving. The clasp of the fingers and spreading of the palm. This was a signal I am certain the Worm Cult used. But she hadn't the robed attire. What, now I couldn't trust anyone? I gulped down my tea and left by the rear door.

She followed. I panicked and ran.

I felt a foot blister burst as I sprinted down exactly the type of alley I'd sworn never to run down again. I turned several corners, weaving away from my pursuer, until I heard the faint sounds of a crowd chattering in the distance. Rushing through a double gate toward the throng, I stumbled and fell headlong into the arms of a tall and angular Khajiit with scars across his arms and face. I looked up, gasping for the breath to let him now my quandary.

"I, Jobasha-do, welcome you to your death."

Handled inappropriately by large paws, I was thrust into a large, sand-covered area where I stumbled about in a tizzy. Circled on all sides by high walls and a baying crowd and stripped of all possessions save a strewn scimitar I'd been thrown, I realized my predicament. A young female Khajiit was running at me. Instinctively, I dropped my weapon to surrender and backed up.

"Zara thinks you may be outmatched in the Thizzrini Arena, Imperial!" she shouted, tossing me back my blade.

The backwoods of Cyrodiil, and indeed any stretch of rarely-traversed common land across Tamriel, may be home to one of Tamriel's basest aberrations, the Ogre. Peek into a den of sticks or the shallow cave of a rocky hillock, and you may not meet a troll or a wolf but a small community of these primitive creatures. Often it is best to leave their hunting land fallow, as they tend to shy away from our thresholds and keep other marauders in check. If an Ogre is presenting you with some difficulty, you are obliged to contact the nearest town guard. For a nominal fee, a raiding party can easily dispatch such a foe.

Ogres have not the intelligence to argue a point and take a primal enjoyment when mashing den intruders into malformed corpses. The hunt for food and gather necessities, and enjoy life on Nirn no more than that, with the exception of when employing their considerable strength to wrench apart foes or lob large rocks at them. Fortunately, the Ogres' ponderous nature enables nimble opponents to avoid such attacks. AS for their coloration, Phrastus of Elinhir's speculation that their blue-gray skin camouflages their tall silhouetted forms against the sky has been conclusively controverted by Lady Cinnabar of Taneth, so we are no closer to solving that riddle: one cannot simply walk up to an Ogre and ask.

"I'm not a pit fighter!" I yelled back, catching the weapon by the correct end.

"Try to pretend, yes?" she replied, motioning to an open gate, out of which bounded a young senche-tiger. I scrabbled in the dirt for a crescent-shaped shield and stood my ground.

The tiger leapt for me. Clutching the handle, I braced as the animal clanged off the shield and onto Zara's impaling spear.

"Flaccus may have some combative boldness, like his brother!" I yelled at Zara with a manic grin. Then I wondered why I'd started to mimic Khajiiti verbal mannerisms.

"Ogre!" Zara shouted, pointing to a second gate. Something huge and blue-gray lumbered out of the cages, tore a section of masonry from the gate arch, and lobbed it across the arena. It thudded inches away from me. I babbled a prayer to Arkay as my bravery left me.

I recall being slightly annoyed at the crowd pelting me with spoiled fruit as I abstained completely from combat. My chest-brand and heart were both burning as I slowed. My vigor spent, I could run no more. With the cobalt beast bearing down on me, I cowered as it raised a massive first for a deathly pummel.

The Ogre bellowed as both its hamstrings were severed by Zara's swift cuts. Blood flew from its knees as it swayed and lurched. Then a Cat was on the Ogre's hunched back, cutting its throat with an expert dissection. The Ogre was dead before it crashed to the ground.

What a team we made.

Stride through any Khajiiti settlement, whether a ramshackle northern encampment or an austere southern town, and you will notice the Two-Moons Temple -- always the most expansive structure. Built to last and utilizing the finest local materials, this place of worship is central to Khajiiti society. Although the Cat-Men deem the Divines as preeminent (and their sanctuary offers prayers to bastardizations of our own Eight), they believe in the Lunar Lattice -- or the movement of Masser and Secunda -- influences all matters of luck, destiny, and happenstance, a belief Venustinius Perquitienus has termed a "hybrid heresy."

Khajiiti dogma reveres the moons as divine, furnishing life into the bodies of the Cat-Men by ingestion of moon-sugar, a sacred ingredient that can also be refined into a hallucinatory contraband. [[Why be coy? Everyone knows it's called Skooma.]] Although used both for culinary and ritualistic purposes, it can be easily blended to form a wretched and illegal narcotic. Such wanton delirium seems to be kept in check by a hierarchy of Moon-Bishops who regulate these ingestions, which play a small part in Khajiiti ceremonies. The clergy mainly concerns itself with conducting services, rounding up fallen followers, and ruling on theological matters. If an impasse is reached, the issue isresolved by the Mane himself.

The absolute rulers of the Lunar Lattice, Manes are the most powerful of the Khajiit outside the clan-chiefs and kings of Elsweyr. They may be a key official to bribe, corrupt, or remove should forthcoming hostilities occur on our southern border. Of further interest is the succession ritual for the Mane; when one expires, a sacred ritual determines his successor. A Moon Herald is appointed to shepherd the potential aspirants on what Khajiiti texts describes as an epic and dangerous quest to the Two Moons themselves, with the sole returning candidate declared the new Mane.

The assumption that the lay Cat travels astrally to our moons is preposterous; Venustinius Perquitienus has termed it "nauseous balderdash," and rightly so.

After profuse apologies by the arena attendant for my panic and inadvertent exposure to the deadlier side of Khajiiti culture, I limped out of the Thizzrini Arena and waited for Zara to collect her winnings. She offered me some coin, which I thought inappropriately gracious of her. I refused, but confessed to my jeopardy and the relentlessness of my enemies, the Daedric cultists. Mercifully, Zara suggested she accompany me.

Being quite devout, Zara was determined to visit the Two-Moons Temple to make an offering. Anxious to see evidence of Khajiiti culture that didn't involve slaughter, I agreed and we made our way to an impressive sanctuary which I was delighted to sketch. Zara donned a ceremonial budi -- or shirt -- fastened with braids down the right side, which does not permit the torso fur to be uncovered, for such is believed to be highly indecorous. She told me she always heads here after a fight to give thanks to Jone, Jode, and Alkosh.

Soon, the hallways echoed with her oaths to partly heretical deities: "Roar of Alkosh!"

I wish I had the fur and whiskers to fully appreciate such a cathedral of the Cat. Although the outer chambers had sustained damage over the centuries (most recently from skirmishes with marauding Khajiiti refugees from the corrupt Senchal region), the inner basilica held a wealth of meticulously carved masonry, including stone idols to minor deities I had no previous knowledge of.

Zara was deep in purring prayer to Alkosh, and I was seated in the cloisters outlining a drawing of an inner pulpit, when I was approached by an older Cat-Man in a ceremonial budi. I got up to leave but was quietly motioned to stay by Moon-Bishop Hunal.

"You run with some speed and dexterity, Shaveskin. You would be formidable if your play with blade matched your genius at evasion. Still, your display in the arena was spotless, I think."

By now, the sly disparagement was starting to grate slightly. But this was no caravan roustabout I was speaking with: I offered a fawning reply and unrolled my Imperial credentials. He waved them back into my satchel.

"We recognize your bona fides, Flaccus Terentius. Judging by your paunch, you enjoy eating? To make amends over your recent discomfort in our arena, you are to dine with myself and Telenger the Artificer, a High Elf envoy from Summerset. You would be honored to accept, I'm sure. We would be accepting of you and your warrior friend's agreement, yes?"

Zara had arrived by my side. It was odd to see her so circumspect -- I'd never seen a Khajiit blush before -- but I took her to one side, mentioned my worries about the Worm Anchorites, and prevailed on her to join me.

Dried sugarmeat for the visitors and jumping rodent morsels for the Khajiit at the table. I requested a dram of two-moon cordial. Than the introductions were made. I was particularly delighted to make the acquaintance of the High Elf Telenger, who, despite his stretched and pinched frame and a predisposition to talk down to everyone at the feast, was my connection to visiting the insular Summerset. After chitchat about the ongoing concord with the Cats, I plucked up the effrontery to ask for an escort to the Isles.

He pulled back his draped hood to reveal a pair of piercing blue eyes and looked me up and down.

"My Swan Ship sails to the Isles on the morrow, Imperial. Leave your protector with her own people. I can guarantee you safe passage."

I accepted most gracefully, although Zara seemed to stare sorrowfully into her plum brandy for a while.

Deities venerated by the Khajiit are almost as numerous as the Eight Divines. Rajhin the Purring Liar is a favorite among storytellers. Magrus the Sun God and Azurah the Goddess of Dusk and Dawn appeal to magicians. Sheggorath the Mad Skooma Cat appears to those soft in the head. Hircine the Skinchanger is worshiped by hunters. Sangiin the God of Death and Secret Murder is prayed to in hushed tones and in forbidden shrines. Namiira the Great Darkness is appeased by
the jealous, angered, and maligned. Lorkhaj the Missing God is reviled, as he trapped them in mortal form; his image is spat upon, not revered.

Perceptive scholars of the Daedra may recognize that these lower spirits have easily identifiable aspects or counterparts in the realms of man, though even the most pious Khajiiti spiritualist would have only a vague notion of the difference between Aedra and Daedra. To a Khajiit, it is only after they seek the power of the Moons that they placate or implore other entities, almost on a whim.

[This agrees with what I saw of the worshipers at Two-Moons Temple.]

 

Sugarbelly

Author: 
Azmu-ra

A Walker's Guide to Happy Senche-Tigers

by Azmu-ra

The mind of the senche-tiger is like its tail, weaving impossible shapes before pouncing on its prey. If you are that prey, too bad for you! But grab hold of the tail and the senche-tiger does exactly as you want, so long as your grip remains firm.

In theory one could lead a senche-tiger about by its tail forever, but Azmu-ra does not recommend it. Senches are quite fast, very strong, and entirely capable of holding a grudge! Much better to sieze the mind, but how to do this?

First understand that, like Khajiit, the senche-tigers have a powerful sweet tooth. They also have fine noses and will track moon-sugar down wherever it hides. In pockets, through walls, in the bellies of close friends—anywhere.

Fortunately, the senche-tiger's appetite for sugar is only so great. By keeping your senche-tiger on a steady diet, you can manage its more aggressive desires with more useful pursuits, like rat-catching. You need only know how much moon-sugar is enough moon-sugar.

This is where it gets tricky. The senche sweet tooth waxes and wanes with the moons, starting with the phase under which it was born and ending with its lunar opposites. Size is a factor, also, as larger senche require more moon-sugar!

Some trainers can determine a senche-tiger's appetite for moon-sugar by consulting the local Two Moons, but Azmu-ra does not recommend this. A priestess is not always on hand, and keeping both the temple and your senche supplied with moon-sugar is an expensive proposition!

Also, senche-tigers grow swiftly. Unless fully grown, their appetites will change. Many would-be trainers have little time to regret a low stock of moon-sugar! The resulting carnage is never pretty.

Better to keep a stockpile of moon-sugar on hand. The senche eats until sated, and what is left can be used to ice the sweet roll, spice the pudding, or make delectable moon candy.

Once full of moon-sugar, a senche-tiger wants only two things: meat to fill its belly and a sunny place to bask. This makes them suited to guarding fields and hunting game, but this is about all they can do without years of training. Even then, training can only go so far.

For example, motivating senches to pull farming equipment is not recommended. If your senche-tiger should deign to endure the harness, it will still be inclined to chase anything larger than a field mouse that it spots across the fields. Save yourself the trouble of collecting scattered plows!

While other trainers have had some success with watch-senche and battle-senche, Azmu-ra would strongly discourage training them to eat people unless you are strong and good at fighting. Even then, this one would not recommend it. A senche-tiger's loyalty reaches only so far as its belly, yes?

Hopefully this guide helped you avoid being eaten by your favorite senche-tiger. If not, well … Azmu-ra made no promises!

The Seven Shadows of Rajhin, pt. 1

Author: 
Anonymous

The Greymanes say the light of both sun and moons shines down upon all the peoples of Nirn equally, but what happens after may not be so clear.

Take the legend of the Seven Shadows of Rajhin. As every cub knows, Rajhin the Purring Liar, the Trickster God, and the Cat Who Walks cares little for stuffy aphorisms. He lives to challenge limits and stretch more than just the truth. To him, one shadow proved too few for his purposes ….

For one day, Rajhin found himself walking in the hot sun. He called out to Khenarthi to blow a breeze through his mane, but the Wind God was otherwise occupied. Rajhin then asked Alkosh to shorten the day and bring cool night. But Alkosh did not steal away the day at the Thief-God's word. None of Rajhin's further appeals brought relief, and so the trickster was left to his own devices.

In time, Rajhin came upon a wealthy merchant in the shade of a tall stone. "My friend," Rajhin said, "kindly share your resting place with this unfortunate one."

But the merchant growled, "There is no room, wanderer. The stone's shade is large enough for one, but not two!"

Rajhin saw the truth in this statement, rude as it was, and did not argue. Instead, he purred, "Did you drop a bag of gold along the path? For this one passed such a treasure not a moment ago."

The merchant's frown turned to surprise. In a moment, the fat one struggled to his feet. "Why, I must have! Pray, tell me where you saw it and I shall leave my shady stone to you!"

Rajhin directed the greedy trader down the path whence he had come and the man hurried off. But as he went, the trickster saw the fat merchant's shadow easily dwarfed that of the stone.

"Why should I settle for the egg when the hen stands before me?" Rajhin mused. With a flick of a hidden knife, the thief-god cut the fat merchant's shadow away so cleanly that the greedy man didn't even notice.

Within moments, he tied the shadow's feet to his own and it spread out before him, opposite his own shadow. This cooled the Trickster God hid him from the burning sun.

Laughing, Rajhin continued down the road, his two shadows dancing before and behind him.

Call to the Faithful

Author: 
Anonymous

Those who revere the light of the Moons! Take heart and hear the words of the lunar clergy. Our research has confirmed the sites of several ruins dating back to the days of the oldest Manes.

— Ja'zennji Siir, or "Jode's Light" in Reaper's March: north of the modern town of S'ren-ja
— Zennrili Keep, near the center of the bend in Topal Bay
— Shaasanath Point, at the mouth of the Xylo River

It is our hope they may once again sing with moonlight. For those with a stout heart and a strong arm, know of these ruin sites and make of them what you can. Perhaps one day the faithful shall shout your name in the halls of the lunar faith!

Bright Moons hang above us all!

The Thief God's Treasures

Author: 
Wafaruz the Veracious Spitter

Rajhin, he who is fleet of foot, the very embodiment of speed, agility, and slyness, has borrowed many treasures from coffers across the lands. No possession is safe from his desire—not even those of the Daedric Princes.

Rajhin's most well-known plunder was the celebrated Ring of Khajiit, named after our people. It was once the Anticipation's Finger, and only found its way to Tamriel because it was stolen from the eighth arm of the Webspinner herself. With the Ring of Khajiit, Rajhin grasped the spark of godhood. It wrapped him in shadow so dark that none could reach him. Not the Anticipation of Vivec; not even the passage of time.

But Rajhin wasn't finished. On his way out, he spied the killing word of the Spider, the black edge of shadow, and claimed it, as well. So swift were these takings that the Anticipation of Vivec was unaware anything went missing. Dark and sharp was the anger that followed, but Rajhin was no longer there. Rajhin is not cruel, or malicious—sometimes, when the Moons fit his mood, he gives them back.

From the Webspinner's threads, Rajhin found his way to a land where all trees have fallen, and the only currency is knowledge. There, Rajhin pillaged the Book that Knows from the one who knows it all and disappeared amongst sheaves in the wind. The lord of that land has never stopped seeking his treasured volume, and, sometimes, when the Moons are right—he finds it. Because, sometimes, Rajhin gives it back.

They say that, eventually, Rajhin took too much, too often, that the Ring of Khajiit tired of his capers. They say that the Ring abandoned Rajhin as he was surrounded by enemies, that it was his undoing. This one knows that Rajhin simply gave the Ring back.

Sugar and Blood: The Cats of the South

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

Map of Elsweyr

It is said that a hundred civilizations are buried beneath the sands of Elsweyr, and it may be unwise to assume our current Empire will forever stand above the shifting sands of the desert province. The Khajiit who occupy the southern land between Black Marsh and Valenwood have always been a restless people, and prove regularly that nothing in Tamriel is immortal.

History

Khajiit are commonly considered one of the beast folks, one of the few survivors of the original inhabitants of Tamriel before the coming of mer and man, and Elsweyr is their home. This tradition is not, of course, accepted by one and all. Alternate theories abound that their origin, based mainly around the fact that one of the breeds of Khajiit, the Ohmes-Raht, so closely resembles the elven folk that they could be cousins. Some believe that the Khajiit are simply descendant of the original Aldmer settlers in Tamriel, who evolved, like the Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, and Orsimer, because of circumstance, ito the cat-like race that walks the dunes of Elsweyr. If so, they are just one more of the alien, sentient species who have made themselves so much a part of Tamriel to be confused for natives.

Khajiit RaceThe more commonly held belief, however, is that they were not foreign intelligent creatures who became cats to survive the hostile, arid land of Elsweyr, but they were indigenous cats whose knack for change allowed them to survive while other native creatures declined and disappeared. It is strange to think that so inhospitable a land, of blistering heat and crop destroying wind, would have been the fecund womb for one of the original predators of Tamriel, but that seems to be the unlikely likelihood.

Topal the Pilot in his peregrinations around Tamriel encountered the Khajiit not in Elsweyr, but far up the Niben River, close to the Imperial City, where they preyed on the native creatures, and caused his crew much distress as they stalked the river banks. We have records too from the Merethic Bosmer that certain parts of Valenwood were to be avoided for fear of the great jungle cat men. It may be comfortably surmised that the Khajiit, though most at home in the deserts, reigned as the dominant culture across southern Tamriel in ancient days.

The Khajiit kingdoms were simply a fact when historian began to put quill to paper and record life for posterity. When the early human settlers in Tamriel were only just beginning to understand what plants grew where under what circumstance, there were already mercantile caravans in modern day Rimmen; when the transplanted natives of Atmora and Aldemeris were vying for dominance in the north, the Khajiit had already developed a sophisticated culture in the south.

In the early First Era, there were sixteen independent realms in Elsweyr. Unlike typical human and elvish kingdoms, these regions did not compete with one another for land and power. Earlier versions of this Guide spoke of tribal conflict, but the truth was quite the opposite in the earliest Khajiit society. Recognizing their own idiosyncratic characters and strengths, each territory specialized in one specific duty, supplying its neighbors with its bounty in exchange for equal measure. Ne Quin-al, where great warriors were born and trained - its Temple of Two-Moons Dance is famous even in our day - might trade its warriors to Torval in exchange for fish and other bounties of the sea. The dominance of each region was checked by the moons. It was said that when both moons were full, Ne Quin-al was in dominance; when both moons were half, Torval; when both moons were new, Senchal. The other regions too had their days of power and influence.

For thousand years this delicate astronomic and political dance was equal to facing every threat posed against the Khajiit. The Alessian Empire chose not to extend its borders too far south, and Bosmer of Valenwood likewise knew how far eastward they dared to extend their kingdom. But the terrible Thrassian Plague of 1E 2260 finally upset this balance forever. Traveling down the trade routes into the heart of Elsweyr, the plague decimated the Khajiit, forcing the survivors into roles they did not choose. Thus was the province turned from sixteen states to only two: Pa'alatiin and Ne Quin-al, more commonly known by their Cyrodilic names of Pellitine and Anequina.

ElsweyrThe two kingdoms, of course, represented the moons at their extremes, but also radically different interpretarions of Khajiit culture, which they adopted from the tribes each had absorbed. The people of Pellitine considered their neighbors in Anequina to be uncouth barbarians, while the Anequinians looked to the south, and saw only decadence and depravity. For many more centuries, the two lands fought, neither gaining appreciable ground. The South had the wealth and could hire mercenaries and withstand sieges, but the North had a warrior culture, and could never be dominated.

When the two united in 309th year of the 2nd Era with the marriage of Kiergo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine, the two rulers fully recognized how historic their pact was, and renamed their land accordingly, to Elsweyr. The derivation of this unusual name has perplexed scholars. One commonly held rationale hinges on a particular Khajiit proverb that "a perfect society is always found elsewhere," suggesting that the new King and Queen had that aim, and that sense of humor. Another is that it is reference to Llesw'er, a paradise promised to the Khajiit by the Riddle'Thar. Either possibility points to an optimism which was not to be matched by reality.

The following centuries into and including the Third Era have been times of intermittent strife among the Khajiit of Elsweyr. Successive spiritual leaders, known as Manes, occasionally brought tenuous peace to the land, but never for long. The Khajiit have found security in being absorbed into the Cyrodilic and then the Septim Empires, only to rebel against both. They have sought solace in their rich literary tradition, finding the tales of Rajhin the Thief to speak to their people, but they have stopped the flow of books into their land, for fear of Imperial propaganda. They have tried to enrich their pockets with drug-trafficking, only to enslave their minds to moonsugar. They have engaged in wars with Valenwood on grounds that have constantly shifted, like the sands of Elsweyr itself.

It may be fair to say that Elsweyr is in crisis. And it may further be accurate to say that such chaos is home.

Current Events

The Five Year War with Valenwood shifted the borders of Elsweyr slightly west, taking both banks of the Xylo River. At the end of the Imperial Simulacrum, a diplomatic attempt was made to return the land to Valenwood, but the Khajiit settlers who had already claimed the land refused to move. The Empire eventually found that it was best to leave the situation as it was, possibly persuaded by legal proof that the land rightly belonged to the Khajiit by ancient treaty, and to keep a dangerous situation from getting worse.

Elsweyr's overall territory, however, has not increased, due to a border arrangement which was not it that nation's favor. In the east, the long disputed border with the Cyrodilic County Leyawiin was recently resolved in Cyrodiil's favor, after an agreement between the current Mane and the Count of Leyawiin. But a group of Khajiit bandits known as the Renrijra Krin has taken up the cause of returning the land to Elsweyr, and the West Niben remains a trouble spot.

The harbor city of Senchal, long considered one of the most dangerous slums in Tamriel, has had a remarkable renaissance, from principle port of the drug trade, to coastal resort for wealthy, powerful Khajiit. That glimmer of good news belies the fact that the moonsugar trade in Elsweyr has increased multifold in the last twenty years. Ya'Tirrje, the Gold Cat, is rumored to even have a luxurious villa in Senchal, and helps pay for the abundant security that keeps the city safe and crime-free, all the while continuing his drug-smuggling business in Torval, Corinthe, and Rimmen.

The Elsweyr Confederacy

Author: 
Imperial Geographical Society

pge01_elsweyr.gif

Elsweyr is the youngest of the modern regions, and the only one to have established itself in the Common Era, nearly six hundred years ago. It is inhabited by a strange race of intelligent beastmen, who call themselves the khajiit in their native tongue. These khajiit are all feline in aspect, some far more than others. A particular family-tribe, or pride, might include a hunting party of males that appear like upright jaguars, a few beautiful youths who could pass for Elves were it not for their swishing tails, an uncle or two that would stalk the perimeters on all fours, and a chief who, depending on the moons of his birth, might have the form of any of the above. The khajiit attribute their improbable biology to the workings of the ja-Kha'jay (the "Moonstrings," or "Lunar Lattice"), a magical and semi-divine phenomena believed to derive from the influence of Tamriel's twin moons, Masser and Secunda. According to the native tradition, a khajiit born while Masser is full and Secunda a thin crescent will grow to be a cathay-raht, one of the aforementioned jaguar-men, while one born under the opposite conditions will be little more than an intelligent house-cat. Even the Senche-tiger, the largest great cat in existence, has proven to be just another form of the khajiit; these massive beasts can often be found serving as steeds for their more humanoid cousins. Over twenty forms have been documented among the catmen of Elsweyr, and, in their own society at least, no one of them is more important or inherently better than another (with the exception of the Mane form, to be described shortly). However, the ohmes, or "man-faced" khajiit, are those most commonly seen outside of the province, as most adventurers and diplomats come from this, the most discreet of the "breeds."

Until relatively recently, the nearly constant insurrection and tribal warfare among the catmen rarely troubled the stage of history. In CE309, however, Keirgo of Anequina and Eshita of Pellitine combined their long-feuding kingdoms to create Elsweyr, sparking a great class struggle that briefly threatened to draw in outside intervention. Power shifted from two separate kingdoms, each with its own central government and allied tribes, to a nobility besieged by those tribes, who felt that both their ruling classes had betrayed them. Chieftains forgot their ancient sugar-vendettas and signed treaties of their own (recorded, incidentally, through facial tattoos), and before long the cities of former Anequina were under constant attack. Keirgo petitioned the Empire for help, but it had just lost its own ruler, Potentate Versidue-Shaie, and was in similar disarray. When the old capital, Ne Quin-al, fell to the rebels, it seemed Elsweyr would soon burst under the weight of its own union. Peace was restored,however when the normally nonpartisan khajiit spiritual leader, the Mane Rid-T'har-ri'Datta, "bestowed to the classes equality under the bi-lunar shadow, dividing their power in accordance with two-moons-dance of the ja-Kha'jay". What this established, in a more understandable sense, was a rotational power base in which both sides of khajiit society, the city-dwellers under the nobility and the nomadic tribes of the desert chieftains, shared alternate control of the region based on the phases of Masser and Secunda; the terms of this measure, the Riddle-T'har, were overseen by the thinly-veiled dictatorship of the Mane himself. Since then, Elsweyr has withdrew itself into a secrecy that has scarcely been breached in five hundred years.

Geographically, Elsweyr is a harsh area of badlands and dry plains. Only near the southern reaches does the soil turn fertile, and the whole of this region is covered in jungle and rainforests, with sugarcane groves clustering against the two main river basins. The old kingdom of Anequina is its northern section, and has historically offered no threat to either the early Cyro-Nords or the later Cyrodiliic Empires. Indeed, Pelinal Whitestrake, Nibenay warlord of the Elven Pogrom, mistook the khajiit for another strain of Aldmeri and killed many of their number before realizing his error1.

Understandably, the ja-Kha'jay makes the culture of Elsweyr very strange and alien. It is a peculiar affliction, which seems, at first glance, to be related to lycanthropy. It is not, however, contagious or temporal in effect like the latter- a khajiit retains the form of his birth throughout his lifespan, and the moons, while they determine that form, do not affect it thereafter. There are no known shapeshifting khajiit. On the whole, the catmen of Elsweyr are a bestial lot, victims of their own preternatural anatomies. They are quick to anger, unpredictable, and dangerous, though singly no match for an Imperial legionnaire. It is also worthwhile to point out that the so-called "human" features found among many of the khajiits are, in fact, distinctly Elven in appearance, no doubt proving once and for all the baser predilections of the Elder Race.

This is not to say that Elsweyr is without some semblance of civilization. The khajiit that do walk erect dress and conduct themselves in a close approximation of a modern, human culture. Their dress is an abundant shawl, commonly of brightly patterned cloth, for defense against the harsh sun and saber-cuts. Their chief attire, the budi, or shirt, is fastened in braids down the right side, not permitting any part of the torso fur to be seen, for such is believed to be highly indecorous. Jewelry and trinkets often adorn the costume, and tattoos are very popular. In some quarters, the latter can even have religious and legal significance. A recent trend among the younger ohmes is the application of feline facial tattoos that make them resemble their more hideous and savage brethren. The obvious weapon of choice among the khajiit are their claws, naturally sharp and retractable. Others, though, have mastered the use of the saber and scimitar, the dagger and the longbow. There is no standing army in Elsweyr, and the catmen have never shown an expansionist inclination. In fact, they have lost territory in the last fifty years with the secession of their rim territories (see Rimmen)*.

 

Tamriel's two moons are inextricably linked to the society of the khajiit, who worship their different phases, and the combination of the phases, as if they were gods. Therefore, each "breed" of khajiit has its own patron deity. Earlier it was believed this practice was just another heathen system of worship common among the beastmen of Tamriel, but recent studies in comparative religion have proven that the lunar gods of Elsweyr are merely the divinities of the Imperial Pantheon (Stendarr, Mara, Kynareth, etc.) in disguise. Similar findings have revealed that the dro-m'Athra, or dark spirits of Elsweyr, which correspond to the inverse phases of Masser and Secunda, to be aspects of the more universal Daedric powers. The khajiit also believe that their gods regularly bestow blessings to their chosen people, in the form of the moon-sugar, a substance native to the Tenmar Forest in southern Elsweyr. This sugar has a variety of uses; it is alternately a seasoning and a magical ingredient, a source of communion with the holy moons and a dangerous and addictive drug. The khajiit understand it to be "crystallized moonlight," caught in the water of the Topal Sea and brought to the sugarcane groves of the Tenmar by the force of the twin tides. By partaking of the sugar, the khajiit believes they are consuming small portions of their gods' eternal souls. This drives them into fits of ecstasy and abandon, and the streets of Elsweyr's major cities are full of catmen shivering in the grip of sugar fits. A particularly hazardous derivative of the moon-sugar, known as skooma, is often smoked in raw form through a water-pipe by the more pathetic khajiit; its victims are addicted for life, and in constant, alternating states of euphoria and lethargy. Nevertheless, moon-sugar is a daily part of khajiit life, and their kingdom's chief export. The food of Elsweyr is invariably sweet; candies, cakes, puddings, and sugarmeats are the staples of the khajiit diet, and travelers to Elsweyr are cautioned against partaking of any of the native food. Humans, it seems, are even more susceptible to the effects of the moon-sugar than the catmen themselves.

Places of Note:

Senchal

This infamous city is the largest port in southern Tamriel. Its sprawl covers the easternmost tip of Elsweyr's Quin'rawl peninsula, a motley assortment of bazaars, taverns, merchant quarters, and open-air markets ringed on three sides by its crowded harbors. Senchal is a favorite stopping point for pirates and sea captains seeking to ply illegal or blackmarket goods, it being far easier to smuggle these goods into and out of the Empire by way of the Topal Sea than to use the well-guarded inland highways. Thieves abound here, as do beggars and pathetic khajiit sugar junkies. The traveler is advised to steer clear of Black Keirgo, Senchal's most squalid and dangerous quarter, when visiting the city. Illicit sugar-dens line the streets here, where beastmen and nobility alike wither away in sucrose fevers. All in all, Senchal is the ugliest city outside of Imperial jurisdiction. The air is humid and full of the chimney-smoke caught in the eddies from the surrounding coasts. Much of the city is abandoned or in ruins. In CE560, a strain of the Knahaten Flu blew across the channel from nearby Argonia and quickly infected the city's population. Whole neighborhoods were razed in some mad effort to cleanse Senchal of the Flu and have never been rebuilt. Visitors to the open-air markets can see these charred skylines on the periphery, as black and jagged as the teeth of the nearest sugar junkie, begging for cake.

Torval

Torval is the city-state of Elsweyr's spiritual and temporal ruler, the Mane. He and his tribe live here in stately and exotic palaces built from massive timbers of Valenwood oak, whose territorial borders are only a few hundred miles away. Symmetrical sugarcane gardens surround these palaces, where the Mane is often seen in day-long meditations atop his palanquin, held up by his inexhaustible cathay-raht servants. As has been said, the moon-sugar of Elsweyr is the holiest of substances to the khajiit. They speak of sugar as we might speak of the soul or the lifeforce. Therefore, humans have been traditionally forbidden to trespass on these estates, and the Warrior Guard enforce this measure as strictly as they do around the Tenmar Forest. An Imperial diplomat was not long ago chased from the premises, even though he had been promised an audience with the khajiit ruler. The panther-like Warrior Guard hissed at his approach, bared their fangs, and threatened him to leave quickly, lest they "leak his sugar" into the sand. Our Glorious Emperor, Tiber Septim, has yet to seek redress from the lawless catmen.

Rimmen*

Though ostensibly its own kingdom, Rimmen still pays tribute to the Mane of Elsweyr, from whose realm it seceded in CE812 during the Interregnum. Earlier, Akaviri refugees had fled persecution when the warlord Attrebus briefly aspired to the Imperial Throne. Attrebus, though he lasted no longer than most of the pretender kings of that period, thought he might rid Cyrodiil of the foreigners who had ruled it for the first half of the Common Era, and he drove the Akaviris past the Empire's borders into Elsweyr. The khajiit granted them asylum in the hills and steppes of northwestern Elsweyr, where they dwelt in relative seclusion until remnants of the Dir-Kamal resurfaced in Cyrodiil, seizing the Throne from Attrebus' successors. The Rimmen (literally, the "Rim Men," as the khajiit called them) joined their brothers to try to rebuild the Empire. This effort was doomed to failure, but not before the khajiit attempted to reclaim their lands in a series of bloody border wars. Currently, since the ascension of Tiber Septim, the hapless Rimmen have once again submitted to the protection of the Mane, with a renewed tribute paying for the Cat Lord's guarantee of their independence, a truly weak reed upon which to lean.


Annotations by YR:

1. Human relations have been minimal in the intervening years, but there is talk that the Elsweyr Confedracy has recently struck treaty with the Aldmeri Dominion (see Places of Note: Torval, for more supporting evidence), a situation that, if true, may force the catmen into another bloody confrontation with the Cyrodilic masters of Tamriel.*


*. This text did not exist in the final version of Pocket Guide from TESA: Redguard.