Pocket Guide to the Empire, Second Edition — Tenders To The Mane: Lleswer

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This post was added to the Return False thread on January 2nd, 2012 by Temple Zero. It was written by Adanorcil, and was one of the first sections completed for the project. The accompanying art was done by The Old Ye Bard, and originally hyperlinked to the text. The second illustration appears to have been lost.

█╪₧HHH.;–?-/–ul-……0. Infrasleeve B6-125: Channel granted.

Though its existence was never questioned, the invisible walls of Empire have kept the above document beyond the reach of the Society for far too long. We thank confrater Elk (extension of the Null Oath to Cervidae pending) for his efforts in safely and discreetly carrying these texts across the Jeralls and for restoring our access to the local infrasleeve thought-anchors.

Now that the Society once again has a foothold in the free North, we would like to celebrate the occasion by transmitting the remainder of the aforementioned unpublished Pocket Guide. Be forewarned that transmission will be fractured at best and may contain inaccuracies introduced by unreliable relays. Apart from the host of thalmorite counter-notions that traditionally monitor our channels, the material itself is subject to various cryptocharms installed in the Septim era, often under-maintained beyond repair. We advise confraters to make written copies as sleeve availability is not guaranteed.

Attached: PGE-kht04fg, key=tamrlc_common, content=manuscript

END: 0

Tenders To The Mane: Lleswer

The province of Lleswer and its heterogeneous catmen have always played a relatively minor role in the history of the Septim Empire or its prefigurations. The khajiit have populated Cyrodic folklore since time immemorial. Even in the earliest depictions of nedic tutelary tattoos they are represented as grotesque feline monsters, thought to be in league with -or indistinguishable from- the large cats that stalked the jungles of ancient Cyrod. However, it was not until the year 302 of the interregnum era that the cats first gathered behind the banner of a unified nation. The newly created state began as a precarious union of the Ne Quin-al desert, conquered single-handedly by the battlecat Dro’Sarrba Keirgo, and the vast estates of sugar queen Esjita in the Pallatiin wetlands.

Negligent observers have often analyzed the short-lived “monarchy” of Esjita and Keirgo as a megalomaniac fantasy of its incompetent joint-rulers, who to sought to ape the Cyrod Empire in outward appearance rather than function. More important still than ignoring how Remanite Tamriel was falling apart at the time, this interpretation also turns a blind eye to the way in which disparateness had always been a way of life for the catfolk. In reality, the khajiit revolted because the union of Anequina and Pellitine required them to pledge allegiance to an abstract entity (the khajiit are capable of abstract thought, but on the whole find it dreadfully boring) and demanded of each of them the will to reconcile individual desires with the interests of the state.

Against all expectations, the resulting ethnic turmoils were soon quelled by the spiritual leader of the catmen. In a remarkable display of administrative acumen, the Mane Rid-T’har-ri’Datta based the fledgling nation and its political groundwork on the moons, a diplomatic arrangement that was welcomed by all parties (see sidebar, The Riddle Thar and the birth of Lleswer). Under the urbane guidance of the Manes the country has since known an exceptional prosperity that made it one of the most tranquil, if secretive, of the provinces of the Septim Empire.

Just like the Khajiit, who appear to foreign observers as endless variations on a single feline theme, the geography of Elsweyr is rife with subtle gradients that perhaps only the catfolk itself can properly distinguish. The province has thus entered popular imagination as a boundless stretch of desolate badlands. This sorry reputation is engendered largely by the fact that any cartographic expedition into Khajiit territory requires either meticulous metamundal vectors to travel by brute force, or the rare Imperial disposition to submit to a deep and prolonged sugar trance.

More daring pioneers, however, report a fascinating landscape of silver sands, bathing in a plethora of colors our own atmosphere cannot permit. The north of the province is typified by powder dune seas, interspersed with crystalline mesas that provide homes for those cats who saw nomadic life as crucial to their definition of a perfect state. In the northeast the terrain gradually gives way to the broad gorge of the Niibna Twin, a river which now lies unused. The oases that dot the prairies in the center of the land are rumored to be among the most splendorous on the lunar surface and curiously retain the same indigo hue in the bright solar seasons, the fleeting shadow of Jode’s monthly passing or the cool slumber of the four month’s night. A remarkable phenomenon can be witnessed in these plains on certain blessed nights, when streams of aetheric refuse spontaneously combust in the pale nirnshine to form phantasms instructing the cats in the meanings of stars.

Sidebar: The Riddle Thar and the birth of Lleswer

So Mane saw that Khajiit was fighting itself more than usual and donned the hairs of his many littermates and his clan and his guards until he could bear no more and then palanquin-raced throughout the lands to repeat these words: “Woah-ho now, mad cat. You fight and fight but if you will give Mane just one moment, he will show something far better, for the Mane has had many hours and fine sugar to think this over. Come now, Palatiit; come now, Ne Quiniit. Together, just this once, Khajiit will stand tall as Alkosh, cat upon cat upon cat. And in doing so, it will climb to the moon as it has been told so many times.”

Khajiit saw reason in these words and so it climbed and climbed, cat upon cat, for a hundred days. Much sugar was brought there to support the climbers and in the end Khajiit climbed high, so very high that it was in fact closer to Jo’Segunda than to Nirni below. At that moment, little Alfiq fell upwards and from there on Khajiit helped Khajiit up, which was down, until all were gathered there. This is where Khajiit intends to stay from now on, for who could know strife when walking sugar and not sand?

Places of Interest

Senchal, a bustling metropolis at the tip of the Quin Rall, is the most mundane of Lleswer’s cities and the commercial hub of the nation. For lack of a better word, the city’s structure can only be described as a heap. To anyone but the nimble khajiit, navigating the heart of Senchal is an unsettling trek across ramshackle bridges and narrow ledges, via ladders and ropes and through dank tunnels, alleys and — more often than not — private residences.

Curiously, where appearances are concerned, Senchal does not live up to its reputation as a port city. Even in seas of their own design, the khajiit are largely adverse to naval enterprises. Instead, traffic between Lleswer and other provinces is primarily managed through the nirnstrand terminus at the very tip of the peninsula. Though sugar-fibril transport is an affordable and safe mode of transportation, non-khajiiti incoming passengers are exceptionally scarce. A popular tall tale in countless skooma dens holds that the only sizable band of Imperial visitors to the city was a delegation of diplomats in the early years of Septim Supreme’s reign. If this account holds even the smallest kernel of truth, it may well have been this event which provided Talos with the dangerous idea of recolonizing the carmine moon.

Torval covers one of the largest crater lagoons on Lleswer’s southern coast. Extending far into the shallow waters of the bay, the city is the focal point of the khajiiti sugar magics. As the dance of the two moons brings in the tide, slow molasses-like waves deposit sugar of a quality unknown or unknowable to our earth on the beach.

The steep crater walls that cradle Torval on all sides merge into the sacchranite walls of the Lesser Palace. This enormous edifice, which sits upon the city like a brilliant crown, houses all of the Mane’s clan along with a host of servants and courtiers. Central in the Palace is the Mane’s private residence, a secluded retreat where he may occasionally dock to shed into a more manageable mortal form and indulge in nourishment or companionship.

The Mane
By ancient tradition, all khajiit would shave off their own manes to tie them into the voluminous crest of their spiritual leader. By the late centuries of the Potentates, this custom had been reduced to a fraction of its original intent as increasing population raised obvious practical problems. After the khajiit had scaled heaven, however, such hindrances fell away and the practice was again extended to all of his two hundred million subjects. In his commonest guise, the Mane is a cilicious sphere of vast dimensions, a third moon among the stars of his Greater Palace. The location of the Satellite Lord changes constantly, orbiting Lleswer along a set but complex and indecipherable trajectory.

The Mane encourages visitors to his sacred self and does not distinguish rank, gender or shape. At any time droves of khajiit, ranging from revered battlecats to modest sugar miners, can be found waiting at Torval’s Audience Tower for the first glimpse of him on the horizon. Many of these join the Mane on his journey for a while and watch as he shapes and reshapes the land. The interior is usually said to be ill-suited to a description in words and varies strongly between accounts. Some guests report a boundless swirl of hair, waving leisurely in pink sucrose vapors like kelp in water. Others recall strange geographies, hallways and inviting furnished rooms, which they never manage to visit more than once. On the Mane’s character opinions are undivided: wise beyond time, comforting, beautiful and perfect in any way imaginable.

In the spirit of exhaustive research, an anonymous representative of the Imperial Geographic Society was sent to visit the Mane. The cat lord could only address her in glossobremia, but it remains unclear whether or not this is normally any different for the khajiit. What little could be recorded is reproduced below in a mere few lines, though our informant ensures us that the exchange lasted for many hours. Most of its meaning -if there is any- remains a mystery.

“Welcome. I am such a fine thread you walk the tibrols ripen early this year beware they will not like the book Hatta-Sro’ cyrod blood runs thin so soon it will be a healthy boy you know the number Nabarr I am has your queen already given up on try to remember null for a banner she will always think of you even now everywhen farewell.”



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