Murkmire Q&A – Part 2

Author: Jee-Lar
Released In:

This loremaster's archive was originally published on November 29th, 2018. You can see the original version here.

Famed Argoinian “historian” Jee-Lar returns to once again answer your Murkmire-themed questions about the Saxhleel people, their culture, and their history. If you missed it, don’t forget to check out part one of this series as well!

Greetings, dryskins and fellow Argonians, Jee-Lar welcomes you again to the inquiry-dance! Studying many things and remembering what I’ve learned is what I do, so I hope once more to be able to answer your many questions, and that’s a fact!

Since it’s established that the Lamia are intelligent sentient creatures capable of fluent speech and verbal communication, why haven't they established more permanent dwellings? They have hands capable of making and using tools, so what's stopping them from advancing? – Arch Mikem

I’m not sure where in Tamriel you hail from, Beeko Arch, but it must be one of those provincial locales where a temporary economic uptick has resulted in a construction boom, which in turn has led the local mortals to conclude that “building” equals “advancement” of some sort. How wry! How fanciful! Really, I love you dryskins. Anyway, as it happens, you have come to the right Saxhleel with your question, for I once met a lamia on the border of Blackwood and had a long conversation with her, during which many subjects were addressed. I came across her in some Barsaebic ruins where she was drowsing in the sun, belly distended and leisurely digesting—well, I didn’t think it would be tactful to ask what. I asked her why lamias so often resided in ruins, and she flicked her tongue and hissed, “Where else? Are there not more civic scars in Tamriel than solid structures? The humans and Elveses, so silly, they set up city after city, surrender to struggle and discord, and succumb to the scourge of strife. The sequel? Expanses of ruins, all set for snatching. It’s simple! Edifice assembly is for suckers.”

This one holds an artisanal bakery of sweet and sugary specialties and has heard stories about a delicious ingredient from Argonia called “daril.” What is it exactly? Do you know of recipes mixing daril and sugar? Surely there are coins to be made, yes? – Hazazhun-dar the Bittersweet

Ah, daril, so much fun-fun! One drop on a Saxhleel tongue, and vossa-satl tangos taste like peppermint prickly pears, and an egg-sibling can dance all night with a torchbug! But rare, not easy to get, oh no, for you must first catch a moon-adder and express its venom, and then ferment it for many swims in a swamp jelly gas bladder. Also, no-no fun for dryskins because it kills them instantly, so if you have some daril, Baker-Beeko, you should not taste it but instead save it for Jee-Lar. Right?

When I was a hatchling, I played amongst places that often were forbidden by the grownup dull-scales. I remember one time I saw drawings that looked old of half-Saxhleel, half-tree creatures. Was this symbolic to show the bond between us and the Hist, or was there a time when we were of a different form? It is also said that even if a human consumes Hist-sap and grows up with it, that they are also Argonian enough. Are the Hist so generous to all? – Hunts-for-Wisdom

Ah, Hunts-for-Wisdom, it sounds like your youthful self stumbled upon some lithographs of the Parable of Becoming, albeit in a crude and ambiguous depiction, which may be why your elders tried to steer you clear of it. You know the story I mean: the allegory of the Hist perceiving humans and Elves, admiring “their walking legs and clever hands,” and then molding and re-molding the swamp’s Useful Lizards until they found they had made Argonians.

As for the effects of Hist sap on dryskins, I have heard that certain ill-advised High Elves tried to experiment with this but were prevented by Others. Probably for the best, right-right?

What is a name of your Province in Jel? Now it is known as Argonia, or worse, Black Marsh. Both names are alien, and both are given by other races, but then why do all guides and scholarly works use alien names for your beautiful and mysterious land? It is unfair! Therefore, I ask you to write a true name, given by Saxhleel! – Maximus Ferras

That is not as easy to answer as you might think, Maximus! First of all, “province” is an Imperial concept that most Argonians struggle with, though I think I’ve finally got it. I mean, why use a single name to describe so much varied difference? An Argonian’s idea of their home place rarely extends beyond their Hist’s farthest root-hairs. I did hear a Gee-Rusleel once use the wide-swamp gesture along with the term “kronka-thatith,” roughly everything-egg, and that may be as close to a province name as you’re going to get in Jel.

This one hopes you can tell him about the general history between Argonian and its Imperial neighbors, and maybe even between Argonian and its Khajiit neighbors. Are relationships overall good? – Recremen

Alas and woe, we are in sad-sad times, Recremen, because the mild illness we called the Half-Swim Sniffles passed out of our marshes and into the lands of the dryskins, who called the illness the Knahaten Flu and did not find it mild at all, oh, no. Your people, the furred ones who live to our west, were struck particularly hard—perhaps you have been traveling? The Khajiiti folk suffered greatly, and blamed us Saxhleel for inflicting the epidemic upon them. Which is so terribly, terribly unfair! We would never wish such a thing upon our friends the furred ones! The Gray Elves, sure, but that’s different, nobody likes them.

Being a priestess of our loving Mother Mara, I’m trying to find as much information on Tamrielic wedding traditions as I can. However, when I tried to learn about Argonian wedding traditions, I was rather confused after discovering a horrible book! It stated that Argonians don’t have weddings at all, and that mating is a simple call to procreation. Moreover, it said mating is a kind of annual trial event – only trial winners are allowed to mate. I always imagined an Argonian wedding as a complex, delicate, and ethereal ritual. Please, let me know the truth, whatever is it, in name of our loving Mother! – Leonidas Tavicus

Oh, yes, well—“weddings.” We don’t have an exact cognate of that word in Jel, probably because the concept of procreational partnership varies so much from tribe to tribe. There’s, let’s see, “uvastuxith,” nest-becoming, and there’s “tumjum,” or house-weaving, which is more allegorical, and “thtithatei,” which is, er, egg-stomach. And so many more! The gloor of its Hist mandates each tribe’s pattern of affection-sharing and egg-quickening. And as Argonians are adaptable-by-induction to their Hist’s gloor, numerous possibilities eventuate! And as for inter-tribal bonding rites, well, anything can happen! You can believe Jee-Lar when he says that no Saxhleel who reaches the age of interfertility is bored. We have even adopted the dryskins’ quaint custom of gifting each other with Rings of Mara, a practice we find surprisingly moving. Anyway, good question, Leonidas, but I sense my Deer-Naza erecting the spine of… um, must go now! Later! Xuth!

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