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Arms and Armor of the Khajiiti Champion, Zadabal-ra

Author: 
Longinus Attius

Zadabal-ra has little time for the marauding Goblins that plague his homeland. Although he gleefully donned his most spectacular of armor for this quill sketch, his preference is light protection, and the short, sharp savaging of his prey using finger daggers.

Much in the way a Redguard favors a billowing flow of cloth, a Khajiit prefers armor that is both lightweight and hard wearing, due to the swelter of both the Khajiiti homeland and the naturally thick coats they refuse to shave. But the incessantly arid landscapes of Elsweyr tell only part of the story, for the cat folk hiss and spit at coverings that might encumber them, and claw away at armor seen as a restraint to their natural agility. Perhaps the only moment one will spy a Khajiit clad inthe heaviest of protection is just prior to a regimented war, which the cat does not favor.

Devotion to the moons is at the forefront of any embossment or augmentation of Khajiiti attire, and shields and plate armor are no exception. Certain shields are crescent shaped, to aid in both the veneration of Maser and Secunda, and in the swift stabbing motion through the shield's gap favored by the dagger-wielding warrior. Expect what armor that is worn to be made of lacquer& segments, sometimes encrusted with horn and seal onto loose-fitting leather. Some Khajiit shun metal completely, nuzzling instead against quilted and brightly patterned cloth. Striped tunics with fancy embroidery show indigenous skill, which extends to the fluted silver edging of more ceremonial armor pieces. Even the most cumbersome and weighty protection of a Khajiit is particularly unsubstantial in nature when compared to that of a Nord or, especially, an Orc.
   
This is gossamer attire, with only vulnerable elements such as greaves and gauntlets receiving special attention. Instead, expect loose shawls, ribbons, and other trinkets to form decoration. But do not mistake their weapons for anything more than a collection of extremely sharp  and ferocious slashing implements. While longbows and javelins are brought for hunts, the cat folk relish in supplementing their own claws with a wide variety of fiendish blades, ranging from the smallest punch dagger and smaller knives, to the curved scimitar blade. When caressing a Khajiiti weapon of war, one must be careful not to catch oneself on a pointed edge.

It is rare to chance upon a Khajiiti weapon that doesn't feature a curved edge or a symbol of the waxing or waning moon.

Khajiiti Honorifics

Author: 
Anonymous

Southwest Elsweyr Representative to the Thalmor

Have you met Headmaster Tanion? A most polite and correct mer, who was horrified when I informed him that he'd applied a most improper suffix to my name, instead of the appropriate "dra." (To spare him further embarrassment, we shall not go into details—but ask me sometime after I've had a couple of glasses of tawny port.)

So it seemed like a good idea to this one to compile a list of the most common Khajiiti name-titles—at least the proper ones—for the benefit of the College of Aldmeri Propriety, and all our new allies from Summerset and Valenwood.

Feminine Honorifics

"-dra" is a title of respect awarded to one known for her wisdom and wit, or as a consolation to one who has achieved a venerable age. I prefer to think that, in my case, it is the former condition that applies.

"-daro" is for one who has achieved excellence in the nimble manipulation of loose articles, such as small decorative objects and unattached coinage. It may also be awarded to one who is lithe of tongue.

"-do" is for one who has earned renown as a warrior—usually male, but occasionally (too occasionally, in this one's opinion) a female.

"-ko" is an appellation for respected healers, mages, and scholars, and is also sometimes added to the names of learned ancestors. Perhaps, once this one has passed on, her children will refer to her as "Radurra-ko"? …Well, it is a warm thought.

"-la" is an oh-so-fleeting title applied to graceful maidens who are unmarried, or behave as if they were. This one remembers fondly when she was "Radurra-la"—just last year, no?

"-ma" is for a young child of either gender, a term of endearment, except when it is shouted or snarled.

Masculine Honorifics

"-dar" is perhaps the most ancient of all Khajiiti titles, an appellation earned by those who are nimble in fingers and wits, and are both inquisitive and acquisitive. I have heard that it is also sometimes applied to politicians, but such usage would surely be jocular (and never employed by me, sweetness!).

"-do" is an honorific for one who has earned distinction on the field of battle or in personal duels. Beware of those strutting lions who apply the title to themselves, not waiting for others to award it.

"-dro" is a title applied to wise elders, patriarchs, grandfathers, and those who walk too slowly in front of one in the marketplace.

"-jo" is an appellation for respected physicians, scholars, and mages, though it is also frequently adopted by charlatans and mountebanks. I remember a handsome, dark panther in Corinthe who wanted to sell me a string of "enchanted" pearls … but that is a story for another moon.

"-ra" is for an esteemed leader of soldiers, trade, or governance. A cat-ra often has a harem of kitten-las, sometimes ostentatiously so, especially if he is making up for a deficiency in his short-tail.

"-ri" is a title rarely awarded, as it is reserved for great leaders of our people, Speakers, Kings, and Manes—and perhaps for a virile lover whilst wrestling amongst the pillows. Or so I have heard.

This one has also heard that among the faddish youth of Alabaster, it is the fashion to place the honorific before the name, rather than after. Radurra-dra likes to be fashionable, but she fears she cannot approve of this practice, as it will tend to make Khajiiti names sound far too alike. That would be boring—and we do not wish to be boring, yes?

Renrijra Pirates

Author: 
Captain Augustus Relippe

Dearest,

I will not be in port for long, but I do have enough time to spare for a pot of a tea with these friendly Argonians and to draft a few quick letters. When the tide shifts, I will be at sea once more, pursuing those dastardly Renrijra Pirates.

Perfidious Khajiit! I will pursue those pirates to the world's edge, if need be!

You embarrass me with your constant need for declarations of undying love, but rest assured that I echo your sentiments in return.

Lately, I have been preoccupied. The Renrijra raid our shores, trying to claim our lands as their own. I always knew cats were territorial, but those Khajiiti raiders pursue this as an obsession. Those pirates are relentless!

On the rare occasions when we capture one, it is always the same frustrating dialogue. They are quick to speak of territorial rights and political reform, and so on and so forth. But really, I know the truth. They are little more than smugglers and sea-raiders propping up their criminal activities behind a facade of ideals. They lie! And they shall pay!

They scowl, these pirates. They sneer, even when held in bonds. They take pride in their contemptuous nature. In fact, it is reflected in their very name: "Renrijra Krin." I have heard it translated as "the Mercenary's Grin" or "the Smiling Scum." The scum! It suits them well, but I prefer to call a knave a knave. They are smugglers and pirates and thieves to the last filthy cat.

The Renrijra are swaggering fools. Do you know what the so-called "code" of their order is called? "The Foolish Concepts." Fools! I have intercepted their logs and records, and I know their ways. They kill without hesitation. They espouse bravery, yet run away when confronted with justice. They curry favor by giving trinkets to the poor. Then they claim to be benefactors when stealing from those of privilege. A thief is still a thief!

Such insolence! They remind me of that servant we used to employ, the one who deigned to teach you how to dance. Do you remember him? The swarthy fellow who kept trying to meet with you privately? What cheek! Or the gardener who lurked by your bedroom window while I was away? Or the mason who would linger in our salon pretending to work while surreptitiously staring at you? Knaves! The world is full of knaves.

Know that I do this for more than my need to protect you and yours. I do this to protect our kingdom! I do this to secure our High King's domain by sea! Those knavish cats will never prevail.

Forgive me for my digression. My need for justice consumes me. I fear I will be at sea pursuing the Renrijra for several more months, along with the crew of the Wrath of Glenumbra, yet I await the day I shall return to you.

In answer to your last query: yes, we can afford to hire those workers you requested to build an extension on the house. Make sure they aren't shirking their duties. You'll have to watch them closely!

I've nearly drained my teapot and worn out my welcome with these spiritual lizard-folk, so I must be away. Rest assured, those Renrijra Pirates won't escape the relentless efforts of the Breton Navy.

I remain, as always, your affectionate and loving,

—Captain Augustus Relippe, Commander, The Wrath of Glenumbra

 

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!

A Dance in Moonlight

Author: 
Anonymous

Anahbi looked up into the night. Moonlight filled her eyes, and she knew what she must do.

Many months she trained, jumping over hill, then dale, then mountaintop. When she could jump no higher, she nearly flew. Tumbling out into Oblivion, all seemed lost—but the twins saw and caught her in their embrace.

Anahbi picked the light from Jone and leapt once more for Nirn. Seeing what she had taken, the moons followed suit—dancing a spiral across the sky.

When it seemed they might catch her, they collided and moved no more. Seeing the twins entangled so, Anahbi plucked the light from Jode, as well.

As she made to leave, they caught her in their embrace. Anahbi begged them to return her to Quin'rawl—for that was the land of her birth. Under the condition that she never again try to steal their light, they returned her to her homeland.

Since that time, Anahbi's brow has borne fine speckles of stardust—a reminder of her vow never to return to the stars.

Code of the Baandari Pedlars

Author: 
Semsirr-dar of the Road

Do not listen when Town-Biders call you thief, or charlatan, or dishonorable. Such people are ignorant and insular, and know naught of anything beyond the borders of their township. Dishonorable, sooth! One is not dishonorable if one has a code of behavior that one lives by. And this is so for the Baandari.

Abide thus by our code, Baandari, or you will be cast out and no longer dwell among us. Those who break the code and become Cast-Cats may be pitied, but they shall not be readmitted among us. For how will the world trust us if we cannot trust ourselves?

The Baandari Code by which we live consists of both written bylaws and unwritten bylaws. The unwritten bylaws may not be written, for how if written could they be unwritten bylaws? But the written bylaws are as follows:

The Bylaw of Salvage: Sometimes objects are loose and uncontained, being neither in pocket, in drawer, or in hand. Such objects are abandoned and may be lawfully salvaged, for clearly no one cares enough about them to see them properly contained. It is meet and commendable for a Baandari to salvage an object thus abandoned, for a Baandari is thrifty and deplores waste.

The Bylaw of Prophesy: Frequently Town-Biders offer Baandari payment in return for advice and prophesy regarding events yet to come. In this transaction a client must be told that which would be most pleasing to hear, for it is a serious breach of etiquette to offend a client with words that are unkind or unwanted. To prevent such a breach, it is meet and commendable for a Baandari to spend time with sharp ears in the local inn or tavern so as to ascertain what advice might best please potential local clients.

The Bylaw of Guarantees: A true Baandari sells only the finest goods and wares, for the Town-Biders wish to purchase only the finest goods and wares. There is no pride like that of a person who has just spent a deal of money upon a fine, new purchase, and a Baandari wants above all things for a client to be proud of having driven a hard bargain and acquired an item of the highest quality. Therefore it is meet and commendable to provide a client with the highest guarantees of an object's provenance, rarity, and desirability.

Thus the written bylaws of the Baandari Code. These bylaws are in all cases ironclad and incontrovertible—except, of course, when overruled by the unwritten bylaws. Var var var.

Varieties of Faith: The Khajiit

Author: 
Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College

As fits their heterodoxy of form, the Khajiit worship many gods, and few confine themselves to the Imperial Eight.

The Eight:

Alkosh (Dragon King of Cats):
Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anequinine deity. A variation on the Altmeri Auri-El, and thus an Akatosh-as-culture-hero for the earliest Khajiit. His worship was co-opted during the establishment of the Riddle'Thar, and he still enjoys immense popularity in Elsweyr's wasteland regions. He is depicted as a fearsome dragon, a creature the Khajiit say "is just a real big cat." He repelled an early Aldmeri pogrom of Pelinal Whitestrake during mythic times.

Riddle'Thar (Two-Moons Dance):
The cosmic order deity of the Khajiit, the Riddle'Thar was revealed to Elsweyr by the prophet Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, the Mane. The Riddle'Thar is more a set of guidelines by which to live than a single entity, but some of his avatars like to appear as humble messengers of the gods. Also known as the Sugar God.

Jone and Jode (Little Moon God and Big Moon God):
Together, the moons represent duality, fate, and luck. In Khajiiti religion, Jone and Jode are aspects of the Lunar Lattice, or ja-Kha'jay.

Mara (Mother Cat):
Nearly universal goddess. Originally a fertility goddess, the Khajiit associate her with Nir of the "Anuad," the female principle of the cosmos. She is the lover of Alkosh.

S'rendarr (The Runt; God of Mercy):
S'rendarr's sphere includes compassion, charity, and justice. In early Aldmeri legends, S'rendarr is the apologist of Men.

Khenarthi (God of Winds):
Khenarthi is the strongest of the Sky spirits. In some legends, he is the first to agree to Lorkhaj's plan to invent the mortal plane, and provides the space for its creation in the void. He is also associated with rain, a phenomenon said not to occur before the removal of Lorkhaj's divine spark.

Baan Dar (The Bandit God):
In most regions, Baan Dar is a marginal deity, a trickster spirit of thieves and beggars. In Elsweyr he is more important, and is regarded as the Pariah. In this aspect, Baan Dar becomes the cleverness or desperate genius of the long-suffering Khajiit, whose last-minute plans always upset the machinations of their (Elven or Human) enemies. He has also lent his name to the Baandari Pedlars, the traveling Khajiiti merchant tribe.

Additional Deities with Significant Khajiiti Cults:

Magrus (Cat's Eye, Sun God):
Khajiiti version of Magnus, the god of the sun and sorcery, popular with Khajiiti magicians (though less so than Azurah).

Rajhin (The Footpad):
Thief and trickster god, the Purring Liar, much beloved of Khajiiti storytellers. Rajhin grew up in the Black Kiergo section of Senchal. The most famous burglar in Elsweyr's history, Rajhin is said to have stolen a tattoo from the neck of Empress Kintyra as she slept.

Azurah (Goddess of Dusk and Dawn):
Patron of Khajiiti magicians, respected rather than feared for her sometime trickery. In myth she is tied into the origins of Khajiiti out of Aldmeri stock.

Sheggorath (Skooma Cat, the Mad God):
The King of Insanity appeals to the darker side of the Cat-Men, who chafe at the strictures of sanity and responsibility.

Hircine (Hungry Cat):
God of hunting and skinchanging, revered for his fierceness and cunning.

Sangiin (Blood Cat):
God of Death and Secret Murder, Sangiin's worship is hidden from Cat's Eye. "For who can control the urges of blood?"

Namiira (The Great Darkness):
An enemy of the living, to be placated rather than worshiped.

Lorkhaj (Moon Beast):
Pre-ri'Datta Dynasty Anequinine deity, easily identified with the Missing God, Lorkhan. This Creator-Trickster-Tester deity is in every Tamrielic mythic tradition. He convinced or contrived the Original Spirits to bring about the creation of the mortal plane, upsetting the status quo—much like his father Padomay had introduced instability into the universe in the Beginning Place. After the world is materialized, Lorkhaj is separated from his divine center, sometimes involuntarily, and wanders the creation of the et'Ada. He and his metaphysical placement in the "scheme of things" is interpreted a variety of ways. In the legends, he is almost always an enemy of the Aldmer and, therefore, a hero of early Mankind.

The Moon Cats and their Dance

Author: 
Clan Mother Ahnissi (attributed to)

A hairless scholar came from his desert to ours and said, "I want to know the truth about the Khajiit."

And the Clan Mother said, "Only one? You are not very curious, hairless scholar."

The hairless scholar peered at the Clan Mother through little windows on his nose and said, "I want to know about your different breeds. Is it true that what phase of the moons you are born under determines your physical morphology?"

And the Clan Mother said, "Indeed, hairless scholar. I was born as Jode was waxing and Jone was new, so I am an Omhes-raht. My daughter here was born when Jode was waxing and Jone was full, so she is a Senche-raht. Thus we are nothing alike."

The scholar peered at mother and daughter and said, "You look very much the same to me."

And the Clan Mother said, "I have heard that those with round pupils have poor vision. It is a sadness."

The hairless scholar tapped his chin and said, "I want to know about your so-called Lunar Lattice. Is it true that the phases of the moons regulate every aspect of your lives?"

And the Clan Mother said, "Indeed, hairless scholar. Today is Suthay, when Jode is new and Jone is new, and we never stir the stew winter-shines."

The hairless scholar blinked and said, "You mean withershins, or retrograde? But that is exactly the way you're stirring your soup."

And the Clan Mother said, "But only from above. Perhaps your eyes only let you see things from one direction? That is a sadness."

The hairless scholar adjusted his nose-windows and said, "All right. Fine. Tell me of the Two Moons Dance. Is it true you Khajiit dance at the midnight hour to the light of the moons?"

And the Clan Mother said, "Indeed not. We dance the Two Moons Dance in every hour. It is our delight."

The hairless scholar said, "You're not dancing. You're sitting by the fire. Tell me when you're going to dance, so I can join you."

And the Clan Mother said, "My daughter and I dance to the moons at this moment, but you cannot join us, for you do not have a tail. It is a sadness."

The hairless scholar gnawed his knuckle and said, "Very well then. I hear that you have curious beliefs about the moons. Tell me of them."

And the Clan Mother said, "As you wish. When Lorkhaj made a place for Nirni's children, the darkness in his heart made it also a prison. So his heart was cut out and buried deep in Nirni, and his body was hurled to the moons but could not pass them, for it did not know the First Secret. Thus is his body the Dead Moon in the Lunar Lattice. See it, just there?"

The hairless scholar peered at the sky and said, "I see no moons at all—Masser and Secunda are both new. What do you mean?"

And the Clan Mother said, "Hairless scholar, this one forgot again about your eyes." And she sighed, and her tail danced, and she shrugged. And she said, "It is a sadness."

Moon-Sugar for Glossy Fur? Yes!

Author: 
Rathuni-la Dawnwhisker, Daughter of Azurah

This one brings you good news, my cats and kittens, tigers and tigresses—especially for everyone who loves moon-sugar! And that's all of us, isn't it, my lion-hearts, because admit it: nothing makes our tails twitch like a moon-sugar-glazed sweet roll!

If you're like Rathuni, this one knows you were positively reeling last Sun's Dawn at Abbess Mizzi's song-paper, in which she reported that it's not just the vile drug skooma that's bad for you, but our beloved moon-sugar itself! She declared that over-consumption of the Queen of Sweets is responsible for anxiety, droop-ear, sudden weight gain, and even the panting quivers. Imagine!

Her song-paper spread panic across the kitchens of cat-kind, as we all tried to find substitutes for moon-sugar molasses and granule loaves. Prices of moon-sugar-cane plummeted, while sorghum and sweet-beets suddenly vanished from the markets! Personally, this one was beside herself when she was tapped to provide the sweetcake provender for the Riverhold Mid Year festival. Somehow, the petit-paws just weren't the same. So mortifying!

But I promised you good news, didn't I, litter-mates? And here it is: after simply months of alchemical research, generously sponsored by the Canefield Farmers' Alliance, this one is here to tell you of her complete inability to duplicate Abbess Mizzi's results. (One can only conclude that the abbess—who is getting on in her lives, poor dear—made an error in her calculations somewhere.) My research shows that consumption of moon-sugar in normal moderation does not generate any of the dire effects alleged in that scary Sun's Dawn song-paper.

In fact—and here's the best part, though I fear the title of my song-paper has spoiled the surprise, hasn't it?—regular consumption of non-distilled moon-sugar derivatives is actually what gives a Khajiit the gloss in her fur! Yes, my lion-hearts: we can have the sweets we love, as well as shiny, split-end-free coats. (And no wonder my pelt was looking so dull lately!)

So there you have it, kitten darlings! Isn't it Rathuni-la who always brings you the catnip? You know it is, leopard-loves. This one will just leave you with a quick recipe for my clan mother's Moon-Sugar Biscuits. Here it is—and enjoy!

— 3 mugs moon-sugar
— mug of water
— 1 pat suet
— shifted flour
— red wheat flour

Mix the dry ingredients together. Next slowly add the dry mix to the moon-sugar, mixing constantly. Scoop out dough with a spoon and place on a hot rock or in a cooling oven until golden brown. Serves three (… or maybe just you!).

Litter-Mates of Darkness

Author: 
Moon-Bishop Hunal

NEW:
To speak of the dark gambol of the dro-m'Athra.

 

WAX:
When true cats die, their souls are lifted by Khenarthi and flown to the Sands Behind the Stars, to play and prey until the Next Pounce.

When bent cats die, their souls are dragged down by Namiira into the Dark Behind the World, to serve the Heart of Lorkhaj until their tails are straight.

 

FULL:
These, then, become the Dancers in the Darks, where they whirl to no music but the beating of the Heart. Sometimes these dancers seep up through the cracks in Nirni to the moonlit world, and walk among us as if made of moonless night. Then we call them dro-m'Athra. And this is a name of fear.

For a true cat to see a dro-m'Athra do the Bent Dance is to feel his tail twitch in time, and feel the pull of the Darks. As each twitch pulls the true cat further from the moons-light, the cat's shadow grows longer and more bent. And if the tide of the Darks grows greater than the tide of the Lights, the true cat is lost, and becomes a bent cat.

Then comes the true peril, for a dro-m'Athra can twist out a bent cat's soul, and send it through the cracks to the Darks. Once it hears the beating of the Heart it, too, will dance bent.

It is hard to stop. One night all the villagers of Lohrn were found dancing the Bent Dance. Now we do not go there.

 

WANE:
To banish the dro-m'Athra, there are two ways: the Way of Jone and the Way of Jode.

Warriors use the Way of Jone, which is to unsheathe the claws and strike the darkness until it is no more. And this way is a good way, for everyone who is strong of heart and claw can use it.

Priests use the Way of Jode, which is to bathe the moonless dark in bright lunar light. And this way is a better way, for bent spirits thus banished do not return.