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Tribes of Murkmire: Ghost People

Emmanubeth Hurrent

I write these words by candlelight. My entourage was on its way to Stormhold when our guide suddenly ordered us to stop. Apparently we strayed too close to "Veeskhleel-Tzel," the home of the so-called "Ghost People." Who or what are the Ghost People? Well, it took a lot of interviewing and questioning, and I had to trade more of my possessions than I would have hoped, but I finally got an answer. The Ghost People are a local tribe of Nagas, and they appear to have a rather horrid reputation, as far as I can tell. I've never actually seen a Naga, mind you, so my knowledge is fairly limited. I can, however, relate the stories I've gathered from local Argonians who were willing to talk about these strange creatures.

Apparently, the Naga are an offshoot of the "Saxhleel" (this is what the Argonians actually call themselves!). They are regarded as distant cousins at best, or abominations at worst, depending on who you talk to. Descriptions vary considerably. Some say that that Nagas resemble serpents, while others describe them as frog-like humanoids of varying shapes and sizes. One of our guides even compared them to cuddlefish. They tend to be taller and leaner than most Argonians, from what I could ascertain. And some supposedly stand a head above the tallest High Elf, or so I have heard it claimed! This could all be more of the typical Argonian exaggeration, though.

So, what does this all have to do with the Ghost People? Well, from what I could piece together, the Veeskhleel are unique among the Nagas in that their flesh is pale to the point of almost translucence. It sounds profoundly disturbing, but I really wish to see one of these Ghost People now!

After all was said and done, here's what I learned about the Veeskhleel. The Ghost People are a reclusive and mysterious group that prefer to dwell in the bleakest and most forbidding bogs of Murkmire. They have a sour reputation as "dead stealers" and kidnappers. I asked our guide why anyone would want to steal corpses. His accent was very thick, so I only caught the gist of his explanation. Apparently, his tribe reveres the dead as vessels to the next incarnation of life. The Ghost People, on the other hand, use these stolen bodies as fertilizer for their Hists—thus robbing the afflicted tribe of the return of a future family member.

The Ghost People's fascination with corpses has also spawned widespread rumors about the Naga tribe. In particular, they are accused of being practitioners of necromancy and other dark magicks. While I haven't seen any zombies in the marsh yet, I have no trouble imagining them rising out of the shallow water, covered in mud and ready to do some dark sorcerer's bidding. Now I'm anxious to leave this part of the swamp. It has an ill look to it. We should be setting out early tomorrow morning—hopefully without meeting any zombies—or Ghost People.