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Twilight Rites and Hymns

Author: 
Anonymous

On the S'virash Sahaala

The "Chase Away" song is one of the three Dusk-Canticles that fell from the tongue of Azurah in the Dawn Time. Like the Twilight Lady herself, the "Chase Away" song is slippery and unpredictable. It should not be sung unless the need is great.

In ancient times it was used to treat disease and ward off cane-locusts. But then came the Middle-Dawn that twisted the Moon Bishops' tails and made them forgetful. Now it is only used to drive out the dro-m'Athra.

The dro-m'Athra dance to no music but the beating Heart of Lorkhaj. It is a song without song - dark and seductive. The heartbeat is a lie that repeats and repeats until it becomes truth to the cat who hears it. When a Khajiit accepts the will of Lorkhaj as truth, they forget the Riddle'Thar and become Lost Cats. Khajiit that are well and truly bent cannot be saved through song, they can only be banished with knives and moonlight. Cats that still struggle against the Heart, however, can be drawn back from the Darks.

The S'virash Sahaala's strength lies in its elusiveness. The Clan Mothers will tell you to sing no songs in the presence of the dro-m'Athra, and they are wise to do so. Heedless singing will draw you closer to the Heart. Your song will fall in with the beat, your tail will twitch in time, and you will slide into the Maw of Lorkhaj whisker-first. The "Chase Away" song is the only song that can break the Heart's tempo. The notes dance up and down the scale like a mad shadow, confusing the Darks and making the Heart weak and sluggish. Eventually the tempo will break and the corruption will pass.

Even so, those who sing the S'virash Sahaala take a great risk. The dro-m'Athra hate Azurah's hymns and will take great pains to kill any cat who sings them. So take heed, Cantor - if you confront Namiira's dark litter, you must move swiftly and keep your wits. A moment's weakness can end in disaster.

Ruminations on the Lunar Vaults

Author: 
Anonymous

The Khajiit is not a patient creature - Shadhassi-dra knows this from experience. This one has spent a lifetime teaching ja'khajiit to walk the moonlit path. The road to enlightenment is a long one, beset by many terrors, but Jone and Jode grant each of their children gifts to help them along. Some novices are born quick-minded, others are swift and graceful; but in fifty years of teaching, Shadhassi-dra has never seen a ja'khajiit who was born patient.

It is not just the youth who struggle with this craving for immediacy. Even the oldest and wisest cats' tails start to twitch when they are forced to wait too long for something they want. We are born curious, and we die curious. Var var var. For the truth-seeker, such energetic curiosity can be an asset. But when that curiosity gives way to agitation our paws can get tangled up. Only meditation and patience will untie them.

If you seek to calm a restless spirit, this one suggests meditating outside the temple's lunar vault. It is a spotless and holy place, just a few pounces from the Suthay Gate. The vault contains blessed trinkets and our most sacred artifacts, but it only opens in the full light of Jone and Jode or in the darkness of their absence. A true child of the Moons will find great value in the waiting.

Trail and Tide Questions

Author: 
Moon Bishop Hunal

January 23, 2015

“Esteemed Moon Bishop, in the wake of the horrific events in the Reaper's March region, many non-Khajiiti citizens wonder at the true nature of the dro-m'Athra. The majority of your people refuse to speak of these dark spirits, who have long been deemed by scholars to be the inverse of the Khajiit. In a word, they are seen as Daedra. Is the Den of Lorkhaj therefore a realm of Oblivion? How did the Dark Mane become dro-m'Athra, and what did the Tharns hope to gain from trafficking with these forces?” – Legoless, Doyen of the United Explorers of Scholarly Pursuits

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “This subject is dangerous even to speak about, especially on moons-less nights, when the pull of the Darks is strong, and one’s tail twitches to the Bent Dance. I have addressed these matters in this one’s pamphlet entitled ‘Litter-Mates of Darkness,’ but perhaps you have not been afforded an opportunity to read it.

“The Den of Lorkhaj, like everything relating to the Lost Runt, is a thing of the Mundus. Though a true cat’s spirit is bathed in the spirit-light of the moons, every cat also knows the drawing of the Darks, and feels the urge to join the Bent Dance. A true cat who listens too much to the Darks becomes a Bent Cat, whose spirit is carried by Namiira down into the Dark Behind the World, eventually to become dro-m’Athra. This is what happened to the unfortunate so-called Dark Mane.

“As to the motives of the Tharns of Nibenay, this one cannot speak. They are known to traffic with Daedra, however, and seem to find some profit in it. Insofar as ‘Daedra’ means ‘not-Aedra,’ the term can certainly be applied to the dro-m’Athra; perhaps the Tharns hoped to employ them in the same manner as they use the Daedra of Oblivion.”

"Khajiit hold that Masser and Secunda existed before Lorkhaj was born, whereas The Lunar Lorkhan states that they were created after Trinimac the Valiant ripped out Lorkhan's heart. Your people also believe that Lorkhaj's body was flung to the moons, and The Moon Cats and their Dance whisper of a Dead Moon in the Lunar Lattice. Are the moons really Lorkhan's corpse? And what is the 'Dead Moon?'”– Eis Vuur Warden, Wayward and Contract Scholar

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “When true cats commune with the moons and their spirits climb the Lunar Lattice, then can a Khajiit see the Dead Moon sailing behind Jone and Jode. This moon is the corpse of Lorkhaj. After he made the world for Nirni’s children to live in, the Darks in the heart of Lorkhaj also made a prison of the world—for he did not know the First Secret. Thus his heart was cut out and buried in the Dark Behind the World, and his body was hurled on high to follow the moons forever. This all true cats learn from their Clan Mothers.”

“This one greets you, yes? This one has long wondered how the Khajiit view werewolves. This one knows the natural dislike between Canine and Feline, but both are influenced by Jone and Jode. If a Khajiit was, say, a long-time werewolf, would this impact their worship of Jone and Jode any? Bright Moons and Warm Sands, To'raji.”

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Every Khajiiti hunter respects Lord Hircine—and what true cat is not a hunter, at times? But not all the Hungry Cat’s gifts are proper for true cats to accept. The Lunar Lattice grants Khajiiti their skins, and to change those skins for others is impermissible. This one considers the werewolves’ worship of the moons a parody of the true lunar faith.”

“Our scribes are currently working on the transcription of the 'Ri'datta-ssabavezi.' In this story, your people are climbing 'cat upon cat' and finally reach Jone, where they founded something called 'Lleswer.' But we failed to understand the meaning of this. Some at the Guild suggest it has to be taken literally, but it seems impossible. Am I right?" – Iszara the Restless, Singer of the Scenarist Guild

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “It is the nature of myth to be true and yet at the same time mere allegory. Are you ‘right’? In this context, the question is without meaning. But do not be offended, hairless one. Many stories are puzzles with more than one solution.”

“Moon Bishop Hunal, many Khajiit have ingested Skooma, although many nations frown on the consumption of such a substance and forbid it entirely. As a Moon Bishop yourself, what is your opinion of the consumption of Skooma for religious ceremonies?” - J'Kierr Solhir, Simple Khajiit Merchant and Sellsword.

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Skooma is the scourge of our people; its continued usage inevitably leads a Khajiit into the Darks. It is true that it can be used to achieve a state of religious ecstasy, but the visions therefrom are all false and heretical.”

“Many have heard the stories that a Khajiit's form is determined by the cycle of the moons. Would it then be possible for an Alfiq (housecat sized Khajiit) to give birth to a Senche-Raht battlecat, said to be as tall as two Altmer? – TheHumanFloyd

Moon Bishop Hunal says, “Ah, hairless ones. What imaginations they have! The simple answer is yes; it is absolutely true that the ja-Kha’jay determines a Khajiit’s furstock, or ‘breed,’ as some say. However, the extent to which we catfolk vary in size has been exaggerated in certain Imperial sources. During the Reman Conquests, when the Cyrodiils were seeking justification for invasion of the Khajiiti kingdoms, we were tagged with the epithet ‘beast-men,’ and propaganda was spread emphasizing our similarities to our cousins of lesser sentience. For what could be wrong with liberating a fertile land such as ours from lowly ‘beast-men’? Indeed, curious one, there are truly seventeen distinct furstocks of Khajiiti, but do not be taken in by the exaggerations of Imperial propaganda.”

Trail and Tide

Author: 
Moon Bishop Hunal

Every cat sees the Moons, feels the caress of their sweet light as it shines on fur. Every cat feels the tug of the tides, the rhythm of the Two Moons Dance that cannot be ignored.

But not every cat hears the words Jone and Jode whisper as they prowl the celestial barrens between gentle Nirni and the Dark Behind the World, protecting her from the howling in the emptiness. And this is why the Moon-Bishop leads the kittens, trailing the string of secrets as he trots ahead, teaching them of the Motions and the Tides.

A true cat hunts without rest for the Right Trail, trying one after another of the endless paths Jone and Jode dance into the sky even when paws ache and throats cry for milk. They have worn more trails than there are grains of sugar in all the world, and it is easy for a cat to grow bored and abandon the chase. This is why the Moon-Bishop inspires the kittens, sharing stories of the oldest times, nudging them back to the hunt.

Every cat longs for the Sands Behind the Stars, where sugar forms the dunes. Every cat dreams of the Moonlight Chorus, the joyous sound the true cats know.

But not every cat will know Khenarthi's tender embrace at the end of their days, and not every soul will fly beyond to bask in the Warmth Without End. This is why the Moon-Bishop must rebuke the naughty cats, swatting the ones who stray upon their flanks until they return to the paths the Moons weave.

A true cat may stumble, may lose his way among the deep woods and come upon the temptations of a darker dance led by the Frightful Heart. Fear may seize the soul, confuse the mind, and baffle the senses.This is why the Moon-Bishop must be the Loudest Cat, to blow the reeking haze away with the strength of his words.

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.