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Troika
OK, this thread will contain any and all stories that are posted on the geocities site and labelled as edited. These babies we don't have to worry about until it actually comes time to stick em in the game.

I will sort out this thread... in other words, please do NOT post up stories yourself... it could lead to multiple copies which could prove problematic later.

Also, please keep posts in this thread to a minimum. This is mainly just a place where people have quick and easy (although not necessarily organised) access to the stories already finished with.
Troika
Section: Arcane Text

Written by Aldrina Dead-Lover (Willybubba)


A Necromancer’s Guide to the Empire

By Aldrina Dead-Lover

Introduction

In the Era of the Third Empire, a necromancer finds its way no easier than in previous days. The ruling body in Cyrodiil, while possessing limited intelligence when it comes to the use of the dead, allows the backward provinces to maintain their archaic beliefs about the dead. With such primitive beliefs hampering a necromancer’s exploration of the art, it seemed only fair that I should level the playing field by providing a guide to practicing this so-called dark magic in the provinces of Tamriel.

A Hidden War

During my three hundred year stint of life in Tamriel, I have come across many secrets. It may shock some beginners of this art to realize that there is in fact a faction that dedicates itself to overcoming Arkay’s Law and Arkay’s Blessing. Yes, you think this is impossible. However, their plan is clever, and does not directly try to overcome these barriers. I suggest you read Arkay the Enemy, and count yourself among the missionaries of the King of Worms, for surely he is the founder of this cult. We have nothing to lose by helping such a mission, and therefore must do so, in order to establish ourselves and overcome the oppression of the provincial cultures.

Black Marsh

The Argonians of Black Marsh are rather tribal, but will take to strangers if you grease their dry, scaly hands with a septim or two. While this is true, it is highly suggested not to venture far from the coast. Often you can acquire a couple bodies through outright murder of the guides you hire to show you around, or by “assisting” clans with their tribal warfare. Though killing one’s guide can only be suggested when one is familiar with the region. Tribal warfare is random at best, and occurs much less after the Empire’s occupation. Apart from the dangers of the dark swamplands, Argonians have been known to spread disease, whether it is accidental or purposeful is yet to be proven. There are also rumors that they will eat outsiders. The acidic waters here provide an excellent source for skeletal bodies. These are some of the easiest creatures to summon, and it simply requires that you leave a dead body for about two weeks time. Upon return a pile of bones will be ready to be engineered into a reliable and hardy minion.

Elsweyr

The Khajiit are actually easier going than the Argonians. In the jungle regions one meets similar problems as in Black Marsh, but the desert is a valuable resource to necromancers. Khajiits mark their graves with simple stones, which are often easy to spot, and seem to care very little if they are dug up. Not only this, but the dry desert preserves bodies naturally, and in a way that rivals that of the best Sload techniques. Not only this, but I myself have purchased bodies at various port towns. The Khajiit may charge a pretty septim for them at times, but often the druggies can be tempted with moon sugar. This is one of the easiest areas to practice necromancy.

Valenwood

The Bosmer are a dreadful little people. Hated by many and with good reason. The filthy wretches, though not performing Arkay’s rituals, often devour their foes. Not only this, but they hate Necromancers. This ignorant behavior makes practicing our art in Valenwood difficult to say the least. Not only that, but the woods of Valenwood provide many dangers and hazards. Coupled with the Bosmer, and it is not worth even a skilled necromancers time to attempt practicing in this region.

Summerset Isle

The Altmer study the bodies of the dead, not to resurrect them, but to extend their own lives. While a rich High Elf may be able to get by with necromancy, any other will suffer great punishment for their occupation. These people are not as primitive as the Bosmer, and perform Arkay’s rituals, making bodies hard to come by. This is another region best avoided unless you are yourself one of the Golden Skinned People.

Hammerfell

Worship of Arkay is strongest, and bodies hard to come by. The terrain is dangerous however, and poorly preserved bodies can be found in remote regions, or after large battles. This is another region that isn’t too promising for necromancers.

Orsinium

It’s been long since I’ve left my chambers, I am not even sure if this is an official province of the Empire. I remember hearing a delegation was sent to try to come to a deal with the Orcs, and I only hope that it was successful. If it was, then we should find an abundance of the durable Orcish corpses so coveted by many necromancers.

High Rock

Northern High Rock offers few corpses due to the cremation of dead bodies, and many in the South are buried following Arkay’s Rituals. However, it was rumored that bodies of criminals in Daggerfall may be donated to necromancy in order to deter pirates in this lawless region. The winter months find bodies rather well preserved, but hard to find. The Breton clans still war with each other, and bodies can be stolen from the battlefield afterwards. If nothing else, discreet murder can serve its purpose in the backwater province.

Skyrim
The cold provides preservation for Nordic dead of exposure or battle, but snow can make them difficult to locate. The weather also contributes to less travel and therefore makes it rather easy to hide in the mountainous terrain. I have dedicated much time of late to a spell to magically detect dead bodies, but have yet to yield promising results.

Morrowind

The Dunmer practice a form of necromancy, but the dirty hypocrites persecute all other forms. However, we find a unique advantage in this province that no other offers. This is the only province in which slavery is legal, and nearly any race of slave can be purchased. As long as one is careful to hide one’s true intent, slaves provide useful live subjects to test spells, and afterwards make wonderful specimens for our art. So long as one is not found out it provides a unique opportunity to study.

Cyrodiil

Necromancy is illegal in Cyrodiil without the owner’s consent. So, if one cannot obtain the bodies of dead criminals, which the Empire donates, one must simply forge a document proclaiming consent of the use of a body. This provides the easiest way to practice necromancy. It is suggested that necromancers study on the Cyrodiil-Elsweyr border. This provides a lot of bodies with few repercussions, if any.

Other Regions

Thras is the land of the Sload. These people likely only practice necromancy on other races. They don’t take well to outsiders, and most Tamrielians hate them just as much. While they are a despicable race of creatures, they have been practicing necromancy unhindered for centuries. It is a shame we cannot somehow spy on them.
Akaviri is a land of beasts that will eat men or mer. Nothing is known of their dead, and I have never heard of one being used after death. It seems to me that they could make powerful servants. Next time they invade we should stand ready to capture their dead.

Closing

This is what I know of the various regions. There are more areas that may provide unique challenges and benefits to necromancers, but I have heard little of them, and spent even less time there. I would leave you with a list of books you may find useful; Book of Life and Service, Corpse Preparation V. I-III, Legions of Dead, N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, and Notes on Racial Phylogeny, among others. I wish you luck in your endeavors, and may this guide serve you well.
1
Troika
Section: Arcane Text

Written by Corryn (Corryn)


Tenusat re Korcius Venrie (The Wild Hunt) – Author Corryn, grandson of the Founder Corryn

At the request of the Librarian I write these words though I would not but for my grandfather after whom I am now named. He would not want knowledge lost, but neither would he would wish such dangerous words spread to corrupt more of our people. For this and other reasons, the entire procedure is not here written in its entirety.

The Wild Hunt is a release of all primal nature, of the horror and insanity of the dark times before order took hold of Mundus, when shape, being, and existence were fragile things. Chaos flowed though the fabric of all things, as it does now, but had no weight with which to balance. Of the Bosmer there were few who upon there final shaping to the forms they wield today still held the memories of the nightmare before-times. In times of desperation they fled to the final extreme of returning to time that is abhorrent to nature and the laws that govern reality. For this they are despised by many Bosmer who hold nature sacred and thus throughout time their number has remained small. Here follows a small measure of that which unleashes Korcius Venrie (the Formless Rebirth) known now as the Wild Hunt.

The Chant:
Sentre ni, Tinke ni, Relouke phe shna lisn’treso. Sute i
(Shape me, Rend me, Remake to flesh dissolved. Loss is

merk, senen len’tensal, weses phe quine somer.
taken, form destroyed, return to time before.)

The final verse is not written here so that none will be tempted to remake.

The Ring:
Those in the ceremony stand in a circle. Many symbols are drawn in the circle as they chant in their hoods. Symbols include Quine (time), Sukran (change),
Len’tenlsa (destruction), Kokra (despair), Res’tensla (creation) and many others not mentioned here to avoid attempts at recreation. The signs are a general cry for a time of dread and fury to avenge their lamenting people, to turn to the unnatural to destroy their suffering and their foes.

The Fire:
Around the circle flames of green lick the room with a dark fragrance in the air. They burn with unnatural heat and continue long after all fuel has been consumed. When the ceremony is complete the flames flow over across their forms, twisting and corrupting. They are created through alchemy with many dozens of ingredients although here I will mention only choke weed, dark emerald dust, and bone meal.

The Rebirth:
The flames recede and burn themselves out. Creatures emerge without flesh or will. They are nothing but bones, spines, claws, and teeth. They are fueled by wrath and slay any that are in their way. They have lost all sense or identity and have become a swarm of rage to flow though the land, until fury burns out and they turn to consume one another.

You scholars now have understanding in part of what few rare souls know. It is not a complete work and has been left so for good reason. I know the thirst for knowledge can be great in such noble minds, but let me lend one last caution:

Do not seek to fill what was not told lest you be lost.
Troika
Section: Arcane Text

Written by Caen Argu (stargate525)


Blasphemous Papers: Theology and Astrology
By Caen Argu

This report has been submitted by I, Master Wizard Argu of the Mages Guild, on alternate theories of Theology and Astrology. In it I shall attempt to disprove commonly held ‘facts’ of these two subjects.



Planets
The planets are the gods. That they appear as spherical heavenly bodies is a visual phenomena caused by mortal mental stress. Since each planet is an infinite mass of infinite size, as yet surrounded by the Void of Oblivion, the mortal eye registers them as bubbles within a space. Planets are magical and impossible. The eight planets correspond to the Eight Divines, with the ninth as the mortal planet, Nirn.

I disapprove of such a casual dismissal of such an interesting occurrence. It has been proven that if one were to levitate high enough, that Nirn takes on the appearance of a curved horizon. I believe that the planets are nothing but other incarnations of our own planet. Furthermore, I believe that if one could levitate long enough and with enough supplies and preparation to survive the trip, one could travel to another of these planets. While I have nothing to positively prove this claim, it is far more logical than the one that current lore provides.



Nirn
Nirn is a finite ball of matter and magic made from all of the god planets at the beginning of time, when Lorkhan tricked/convinced/forced the gods to create the mortal plane. Nirn is the mortal plane and the mortal planet. Its creation upset the cosmic balance; now all souls have a vested interest in Nirn.

I agree that Nirn is indeed a finite ball of matter; if you sail long enough east you will wind up on the west. But the remainder of this definition is nothing but self-promoting babble. It is a ball of earth, same as the other planets.



Masser and Secunda
They are small planets, insofar as one infinite mass of infinite size can be smaller than another. Planets do have orbits, or at least lunar orbits are perceived to happen by mortals. Moons are regarded by various cultures as attendant spirits of their god planet, or minor gods, or foreign gods. The moons of Nirn are Masser and Secunda. Masser and Secunda, the moons of Nirn, are the attendant spirits of the mortal plane. They are like the mortal plane in that they are temporal and subject to the bounds of mortality; in fact of this, the moons are dead and died long ago. The moons used to be pure white and featureless, but today their 'skin' is decaying and withering away. Their planes are likewise dying. Mortals perceive this as the moons being spheres with patches of their 'surfaces' completely eaten away; as the moons spin, they seem to become slivers or ragged crescents. These are not caused by shadows, because you can see stars through the black patches of the lunar spheres.

I propose that Masser and Secunda are smaller spheres of earth, much like the planets, that were somehow ‘slaved’ into their parent planet. While I do not yet know if their connection is physical of magical, I assure you it is THERE. I also contend that the moons are not dead, but have life upon them. Through careful observation through a telescope (a Dwarven magnifying device) of the two planets, I have observed that the planets have ebb and a flow of pieces on their surface. I contend that there is water there, and where there is water, there is life. I believe the slivers and crescents we see are indeed caused by shadows, and that the ‘stars’ seen where the moons should be are in fact cities on Masser and Secunda, which the eyes is not powerful enough to see without surrounding blackness.



Space
Space is the interpretation of Oblivion, which is black and empty and surrounds the mortal plane. Space is infinite, but it acts just like a planet, in that Oblivion is 'surrounded' by Aetherius. You can see Aetherius by the stars.

The lore seems to be correct on this. I believe that space is the absolute nothingness that the planets and the universe are suspended in. It behaves like water in that it has currents, and draws the planets about the sun, and the moons about their planets.



Stars
The stars are the bridges to Aetherius. They are perceived as holes on the inside surface of space. Because they are on the inside of a sphere, all stars are equidistant from Nirn. Larger stars, therefore, are not closer to the mortal plane; they are just larger tears in Oblivion. The largest tear in Oblivion is Magnus, the sun. Shooting stars are bits of matter and magic, either from Oblivion or Aetherius, that sometimes move through the cosmos. The largest shooting stars are really planets with independent orbits, like Baan Dar the Rogue Plane.


This was a theory I was unable to explain until recently. I was experimenting on gasses from Red Mountain when I accidentally sent a shock spell into it. It exploded, nearly leaving me blind. But what I saw was a great sphere of white light, right before the explosion. I now believe that the stars are great pools of that gas, lit on fire by magic. They do eventually begin to burn out and become unstable, falling from the sky in shooting stars. The larger and slower moving ones I have dubbed comeates. They are different in that they were once planets that were consumed by the magic fires, still traveling around in their orbits. To prove my theories, I have successfully created a star from a large quantity of that gas, and it is now in my research facility, being fed a constant stream of gas to keep it from burning out.



Constellations
Constellations are collections of stars. Since each star is a bridge to magic, constellations are very powerful phenomena, and are revered. There are generally accepted to be thirteen constellations. Nine of these are made up completely of stars.

Constellations are powerful events only because they are great bodies of magic in close relation to each other. The effects of these are not yet known.



Magnus
Magnus is the sun, the largest hole in Oblivion, and the gateway to magic. Magnus was present at the creation of the mortal plane, and, in fact, was its architect. Prehistoric Nirn was a magical place, and highly unstable to the first mortals. Magnus then left, some say in disgust, and Oblivion filled in the void with the Void. His escape was not easy, and tatters of Magnus remain in the firmament as stars.

Magnus appears to be the largest pool of magic in space. It is pulling in space in a spiral path, creating the orbits of the planets. If these rotations were to stop, all the planets would fall into Magnus and be consumed. However, since space is in fact nothing, there is no need to worry of its running out, and of a subsequent lack of orbit.



The Sky
The sky is another visual phenomenon caused by mortal mental stress, the night sky in particular. The sky is as impossible as planets; in essence, when you look into the sky, 'you look outside the material plane'. At night, Nirn is surrounded by Oblivion. The day sky is the multicolored elemental cloak of Magnus the sun. It changes colors as elemental influences rise and fall. Thus, when one looks at the day sky, they see into the remnants of Aetherius, and stare at magic. Those phenomena of the spirit realm that inhabitants of Nirn interpret as a universe came into being during the Dawn Era. It was created through magic and myth, and this process is interpreted in a variety of ways too numerous to mention here.

I believe the sky to be an ‘outer skin’ surrounding our planet, and possibly others, from the rigors of the nothingness of space. It is made up of air, with the outer reaches being the gas of stars. During the day, especially at sunrise and sunset, the sun burns off the outer layer of the sky, causing the redness. This act also reduces the insulation we have from space, which is why nights are cold. The blueness of the sky during day is the reflection of the great oceans and bodies of water on Nirn, bouncing back to us from that outer gas. That is also why we see the stars at night, when the gas is diminished and the reflective properties have slackened.
Troika
Section: Biographies & Autobiographies

Written by Sun's-Day (Stargate525)


Autobiography of Sun’s-Day; Vol. 1


I was born in Black Marsh, that is all I know of for certain. In my journeys in and around Black Marsh, the best theory presented to me was that I was either an orphan given up at birth, or an unwanted by-product of an illicit affair.
Though I prefer the one in which I’m the lost heir to the Argonian Royal family the best.
My first memories are ones of my surrogate family. We lived in a small town that bordered the outskirts of a forest. There was also this great tree that... is really a story for another time.
My father was an Imperial smith. He had set up shop here after retiring from the legion. My mother was a Breton. According to her, she had married my father at a very young age, but I always expected something more. She had the most uncanny knack of disappearing whenever unwelcome visitors came to call...
My parents never told me where I had come from when I was young, but when I was older they told me I was bought for fifty septims in a little town called Pelagiad in the province of Morrowind. They took me in and raised me as their own, and such good people I have never seen since.
My parents’ choice of town to settle in was fortunate for me, for I was not the only Argonian in town. I quickly made friends with another Argonian my age; Flamescales, the son of a farming family outside of town. They had moved here from Black Marsh for a better life, but I could always sense that Flamescales wasn’t happy here. We would later become inseparable on our adventures. And he had the most charming sister. Her tail was so agile that... it can wait for another time.
I matured faster than the non-Argonians around me, and was apprenticing in my father’s shop by the time I was five. Flamescales also managed to get an apprenticeship with my father. My father would always say that we were the two laziest apprentices he had ever trained. But we learned quickly nonetheless.
Troika
Section: Diaries & Logbooks

Written by Blade (Lord Blade)


Blade's Journal

[This appears to be a entry in the journal of an Argonian bounty-hunter named Blade. How this section came to be here, you do not know... as for where the remainder of the journal lies...]

Day 1

Freedom!

Blade has been released by the courts of the Imperial seat.
They consented to this because they thought that my skills could prove useful to them. At first, Blade was wary about working for them. The offer to be an Imperial Bounty Hunter, or remain for the rest of Blade's years in prison, it seemed very suspicious.
Caused Blade to suffer such imprisonment! Five of the scum did Blade kill with his own hands. The sixth coward fled to the guards. And while they
But then they told Blade the true purpose... slavers! Those foul maggots who's murder understood that what Blade had done was just... it was still a transgression of Imperial law.

But now... the Empire wishes Blade to do what Blade does best... hunt slavers. The foul practice is outlawed in the Empire. And there are many who try to sleeze past such laws, and hide their activities in the shadows. But not even the darkest shadow shall keep Blade from bringing slaver scum to swift justice.

Blade was told that he might be required to perform other tasks. To hunt down others who have wronged the Empire. Blade agrees to this for now... but will not take on such assignments lightly. Long hours have been spent studying the ways of the dry landers. Blade knows that there is often more of vengeance than of justice in such assignments. And Blade will be the one to decide if the prey is truly deserving of being hunted.

As for slavers... justice, vengeance... they both give Blade ample cause to hunt them down. Back home in the Black Marsh... Blade was titled a Slayer. The finest of the hunters of Blade's clan of the Blue Rock. Now... Blade shall put his skills to use against larger prey. More cunning prey. And the hunt will be good.

For now, Blade will travel south-east. Maybe Blade can find trace of those who first wronged him...

[The journal page is torn off here]
Troika
Section: Domestic Texts & Guides

Written by Uncle Cassius (LoganRah)


Uncle Cassius’s guide to vvardenfell:

Volume I: Uncle Cassius’s travelling cook book.

(The pages of this book are marked with many odd stains and some of the words are hard to read)

Good day friend. I hope you find this book useful in your travels as I have found all these recipes to be easy to make and delicious.

Some of these recipes are not very good for you if you intend to do any fighting or exercise immediately afterwards so I would advise making sure that you don’t eat them in areas where you may be attacked.

Guar tongue soup:

Ingredients:

Four guar tongues
Three stone flower petals
Bread
Sujamma
Water

First, boil the water. Next add in the stoneflower petals and bread and simmer till the bread is almost completely broken down and the stock is nice and thick. While you are doing this fry the guar tongues in a little fat. Add the guar tongues and a splash of sujamma in to the stock and boil till the tongues are very tender.


Bunglers pie:

Ingredients:

Two parts bunglers bane
Stale bread
Saltrice flour
Greef

First, to make the pastry, crush the bread until there are no large pieces, and then mix it with the greef. Stir thoroughly, adding saltrice flour, until the pastry is of a thick muck-like consistency.
Now break the bunglers bane into small pieces. Coat the inside of a bowl with the pastry and put the bunglers bane into it (if you want an extra kick add some heather to the bunglers bane), add a splash of greef and cover the top with some more pastry. Place over hot coals, and cook for three hours. I do not advise doing any exercise for a few hours after eating.

This recipe MUST be prepared exactly to the recipe or eating it may result in death.

(the pages seem to be getting more smudged and some of the words have become completely unreadable)

Hackle-lo eggs:

Ingredients:

• 5 Hackle-lo leafs
• Water
• 2 Large kwama eggs
• 1 c......t (the words hear are smudged with a strange black stain)

First hard boil the k........ eggs then make a large hole in the top of each egg and hollow out the centre. Now chop up ... Hackle-lo leafs. Now soak the c......t (once again the words hear are smudged) in the water for two hours. Finally put the leaf mixture into the eggs and cook until the eggs are going yellow.


...i...... and choke-rice in scamp skin:

Ingredients:

• flin
• chokeweed
• saltrice
• 2 ...... ...kins

this is ...e of my favorites and is great for eating ......t...... First boil the saltrice and cho...weed in the flin for about ............... . Then fry the skamp skins quic..., make sure they are cooked ......ht ...r...... finally place the ...... on the skins a... r...l.

(after this the words are to smudged and stained to read. Obviously who ever last possessed the book used it while they were cooking and didn’t care for it properly)
Troika
Section: Domestic Texts & Guides

Written by Unknown (Venom_X)


The Mage’s Cookbook

In order to do the recipes that I have a person MUST be a powerful mage or have a powerful mage help them. That is because each recipe has a special ingredient to it. A SOUL.

Alit Super Steaks

1 common soul gem with the soul of a Kagouti (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 lb of Alit meat
2 portions of ectoplasma
2 portions of red lichen
2 portions Wickwheat
4 portions of saltrice
4 cups of water (5 cups may be necessary)

Cook the meat to your desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). Add the saltrice halfway through your cooking. When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the Kagouti. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. After the meat is enchanted, boil the water for 5 minutes than add the redlichen, ectoplasma, and wickwheat to the pot (you made need 1 more cup of water if too much has boiled away). Boil the meat in the pot for 6 minutes. Don’t worry about the meat getting cooked any further as the enchantment will protect it against that. Pull the meat out and serve. You need 1 Kagouti soul in a common soul gem for each 1 lb of meat.

Slaughterfish Filet

1 lesser soul gem with the soul of a Kwama Worker (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 slaughterfish filet
2 portions of resin
1 portion of void salts (you may substitute vampire dust if you like a spicy flavor)

Cook the fish to your desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the slaughterfish. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Pour the void salts or vampire dust over the fish and let it sit for 5 minutes on the fire. Put the resin on the other side of the filet and let it sit for 2 minutes on the fire. Once again do not worry about it cooking anymore as the enchantment will protect it.

Scamp Burgers

1 greater soul gem with the soul of a Dremora (any other soul gem leaves a bad taint to the recipe)
1 lb of scamp meat
2 portions of muck
1 portion of black lichen
1 portion shalf resin
5 bittergreen petals
5 cups of water

Pour muck and resin on top of the meat and cook to desired taste (warning undercooked meat is a health hazard and I will not be responsible if you get diseased from it). When the meat is finished cooking you need to have it enchanted with the soul of the Dremora. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Get the water boiling and add the bittergreen petals the black lichen and the meat. Boil for 15 minutes. Once again do not worry about it cooking anymore as the enchantment will protect it.

Winged Twilight Delight

1 wing of a winged twilight
1 grand soul gem with the soul of a golden saint (you can use any soul gem that can contain the golden saint’s soul)
7 portions of scrib jelly
4 portions of bungler’s bane
1 portion of bloat
1 frost spell of 15 to 20 damage for 5 seconds

Enchant the wing with the soul of the golden saint. This is very tricky as there is NO SPELL to enchant the meat with. Take the wing, the jelly, bungler’s bane, and the bloat and grind them until they are thoroughly mixed. This will take a few hours to do and once finished it should look like a cream. Once finished you use the frost spell on the cream. Serves 2 or 3.
Troika
Section: Factual Texts

Writen by Jaeld Alteir (Jaeld Alteir)


"Of Crazy Old Men"
An Essay on the Dangers of Confronting Harmless-Looking Hermits

Written By Jaeld Alteir

If you wander the roadways of Tamriel long enough, you are bound to realize that unassuming old men make up a fair percentage of your fellow travelers, wandering amiably down the road with a typically distracted smile affixed to their features. Perhaps you have given them little thought, or barely even noticed them at all, as is often the case with quiet old men. Or perhaps you paused, and wondered about his errand, or if he had one at all. And your next thought, no doubt, would be to wonder why in the world a helpless-looking old man was traveling alone in the dangerous wilderness of roads that criss-cross our continent, and how he had managed to survive this long at all.

Well, I shall tell you. As a wandering old man myself, I feel I can offer some valuable insight on the subject. But it is no great secret, for every experienced traveler knows that one of the most important rules of the roadway is this: Never underestimate a smiling, harmless-looking old man.

It is a wise and sensible rule, but intriguing in that those unfamiliar with its basis find it difficult to understand and accept. Though I do not have precise statistics, I suspect that the disregard for this rule is responsible for a sizable percentage of all travel-related injuries. And so, in this essay, I shall attempt to outline and explain the derivation and application of this rule.

When given pause for thought, it is simple enough to see precisely why it is so unwise to confront or challenge a smiling old man, and the following items represent but a sampling of the lines of reasoning that can be applied to this issue.

- In this day and age, no sane man travels alone unless he has the fullest confidence in his ability to defend himself. Bandits and wild beasts make this an obvious necessity. Therefore, a man alone is either capable or crazy. If he is capable, it is obviously unwise to challenge him without substantial risk to oneself. If he is crazy, all bets are off. For instance, it may be that he is crazy but still capable after all, which is the worst possible scenario for the would-be assailant. If he is merely crazy, however, the danger is still quite great. Crazy men do not fight as normal men do, and reckless acts of violence can overwhelm even the most skillful assailant--unpredictability is a bewildering weapon. Therefore, since a traveler must be either capable or crazy in order to travel alone, neither option makes him a suitable target.

- Another danger of wandering old men is that they are old. Their days of glory are most likely past, and it is quite possible that they have nothing more to live for. And even the most casual student of war knows that an enemy with nothing left to live for will most likely fight to the bitter end, with reckless abandon. Facing a foe that does not fear death rarely ends well.

- It's not easy to get old. No one lives long enough to become an old man without surviving for quite a bit longer than any young buck that’s likely to be challenging him. So going up against someone who is obviously an old pro at surviving is always a risky proposition.

- Everyone carries a weapon of some sort these days. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean that it's not there. And if it's not anything conventional like a sword or a club, chances are it's just something even worse.

- If he smiles, run. People smile when they're happy and unconcerned. Typically, being waylaid on the highway is cause for concern. So if he's smiling instead, YOU should be concerned.

- Is it not often said that things are not always what they seem? This applies doubly for seemingly helpless old men.

- An old man has had a long time to learn a great many things. You don't live long enough to become a wandering old hermit without a few tricks up your sleeve, after all.

- It is said that "The foolish die young, while the wise and skillful live long." If you are young, and he is old, do you really wish to tempt fate and test the truth of those words?

- You are probably not the first to see this old man. You are probably not the first to think that he seems helpless and unimpressive. You are probably not the first to think that this may make him an easy target. Ask yourself, then, why is he still here, and what of the others who thought to make of him an easy victim?

The young tend to give little credence to the wisdom and strength of the old and weary, but the old have seen and weathered many trials, and there is great power lurking beneath that wrinkled skin. The savvy traveler knows that there is much behind that amiable smile, a slyness that speaks of something he knows that you do not. This friendly, bemused smile is to be feared above all else.

But yes, I suppose there is always the chance that you may find a smiling old man who is merely weak and senile, wandering aimlessly on his way to death's door. Perhaps you may meet one or two in your years of travels who truly are harmless, and no threat at all. But it is unlikely, and a risk that no sensible traveler is foolish enough to take. Better you return his smile with a courteous nod, perhaps a kind word, and be on your way--and let him continue on his, wherever it may take him.
Troika
Section: Factual Texts

Written by Dan Cellot (Stargate525)


Dances of Tamriel; the Cyrodiil Slide
A Collection of Common Dances
By Dan Cellot

Note to the reader: This is a generalized guide to basic dances in Tamriel. It is by no means complete. One must also be aware that the particulars of these dances may be different from region to region.

The Cyrodiil Slide: This dance is most commonly performed in bars and taverns all around Cyrodiil, although it has recently spread to imperial cities in Hammerfell and Summerset Isle. It remains popular due to its simplicity and that it can be done in groups as little as two to as large as two hundred and fifty-three. (The record, set during the Heart’s Day celebration in Anvil, has stood for over fifty years. Due to the clumsiness of Ulrich the Unsteady at this celebration, the emperor has since ordered that all dances of the Cyrodiil slide have a maximum size of eighty.)
Participants form lines up to twenty long. When one line is filled, another one should be formed behind it. The lines continue to stack until all participants are accommodated. The first step is four steps to the left, right foot behind your left. Then sidestep back to your original place, left foot behind right, turning one-quarter turn to the left. The participants take two steps forward, kneeling on their right knee in the process. (When done correctly, this step should look like a slide to your knee, a unique maneuver for which this dance is named.)
The rest of the dance requires practice. (Something Ulrich the Unsteady lacked) While still kneeling, twist a quarter to the right, and then rise to your feet turning around you to the left. To finish the dance, take three steps to your left, right foot behind your left. This should put you in the same relative location you were when you started. This then repeats until the song is finished.
Troika
Section: Foundres' Fates

Written by Corryn (Corryn)


The Final Journey of Corryn

The following are excerpts from the journal of Corryn, a founder of the Tes F’Ruun library detailing the last few days of his life. It was submitted to the library by his grandson Corryn.

Frostfall Fredas 28th

I have located an ancient temple deep in the jungle a few days travel east from Haven. The markings on the outside of the temple indicate an old tribe of Bosmeri that have not been seen in many thousands of years. This is most exciting. I am sure that much lore may be stored in the temple’s ancient vaults. Sadly the temple is deep in a cavern and I cannot climb down very far into the first tunnel by myself. I must return when I have someone to help in the exploration.

Sun’s Dusk Morndus 7th

I have returned to the site with equipment so that me and my colleagues can descend deeper into the catacombs. A few scholars from Haven as well as my grandson, Cor have accompanied me to help me in my research. Cor dreams of adventures and glory but I am afraid he shall find this archaic research rather dull. He looks up to me so much for the journeys of my youth and has even promised to take my name when he is of age. He will learn patience when he is older. I have gone off track; we will begin our descent at first light.

Sun’s Dusk Tirdas 8th

We spent most of the day negotiating our way down the slope. Cor nearly fell down, but he managed to damage his hand badly so the going has been slow. The rest of the team is impatient to begin searching, but the door is sealed on this level and we have no means to open it.
The most amazing thing has occurred; the moonlight has caused the doorway to open. We have placed bracers so that the door will not close again. We decided to skip rest for the night to begin work.

Sun’s Dusk Turdas 10th

Such a wealth of knowledge! There is much here that could earn a place of honor at the library, but so far the greatest discovery was a tome that appears to describe in detail the ritual of the Bosmer Wild Hunt. Certainly some few Bosmer still know the secret, but I have never heard of the practice ever being recorded. From what little I have been able to translate from the book, it is a most unpleasant transformation process. Oh, before I forget I must note that odd noises have been heard at night. Everyone is now required to carry a weapon with them except Cor, who still cannot use his hand.

Sun’s Dusk Fredas 11th

They came so quickly... there... there was nothing we could do. Many of my friends were lost in the first minute. They... they tried to get to Cor. I managed to grab him while fending ‘them’ off, I did not know such skill with a blade was still left to me. Cor and I sealed ourselves in one of the rooms in the back. We could see moonlight through cracks in the stone, but we couldn’t move them.

Sun’s Dusk Loredas 12th

I write this quickly so that my brothers at the Tes F’Ruun Library will know what happened. Those crazed Bosmer in the other room have started chanting. I recognize some lines of the chanting from the tome on the Wild Hunt. It is shameful that any of my brethren would change themselves into the horrific images I saw in [the tome on the Wild Hunt’s pages. I know the door will not hold back those creatures. When they started the ceremony, the trembling caused a stone from the rafters to fall. I have no strength to climb out so I am giving my journal to Cor so that he can escape and bring word of what has happened.
--------
Note from Librarian:
- A hunting party found Cor wandering near Haven. At the time this is all they could get from him.

Cor "He... he pushed me up through the roof. And I waited, but he didn’t follow so I... I... I asked him to... I begged him to climb but he... he just yelled to run, but I... I couldn’t just leave him... and... and then the door broke... and they came at him."

Hunt leader "What did son? Come on speak up lad."

Cor "They... they were just teeth and... and bone and claws, and... and I have never seen such... and... and grandfather, he swung so quickly and... they could not touch him... but there were so many and... and... he yelled to me to run again... so I just ran and ran... and... and oh god I can still see them."

Here Cor broke down sobbing and would say no more..
Troika
Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Re-Lan (Argonians rule)


Autobiography of Re-Lan

It was a cold night when my egg was hatched. As I burst from my egg my, mother picked me up and held me to stop me from freezing. My father was a renowned warrior and led our small tribe of 50 through the hazards of Northern Black Marsh. That night, the night I was born, it happened. A Group of 100 Dunmer slavers attacked our tribe. My father and his warriors fought bravely and killed many a Dunmer, but in the end He went down under sheer numbers. Afterwards all children and women were enslaved. Any too old or to sick to work were brutally slain, that is how my grandparents lost their lives. We were taken to Morrowind, more specifically to Vvardenfall. There we were put to work in an egg mine. We had very little food and water over the next 20 years, and my mother would often take only a mouthful of food and give the rest to me so I could grow strong. On my 20th Birthday She died, no remorse from anyone. She was just an anonymous Argonian slave. I couldn't take it anymore. I picked up my Miner's pick and slew my Dunmer captors in a frenzy. I freed the other slaves and we each went our separate ways. I had only a sword from one of the Dunmer. My mother had said it was my father's and that the Dunmer had taken it when they killed him. I left Morrowind then. I traveled Tamriel righting wrongs, slaying beasts, and having many adventures. I grew tired after some years for I truly just wanted a purpose other than killing and fighting. One day I found an ancient tome in a temple. It was then I discovered the joy of written word. I had found a new purpose in life. So for the next 10 years I journeyed Tamriel collecting tomes and writing books. And so began my writing career. I journeyed Tamriel writing of what I learned and collecting books. Still I kept on adventures some of which were dangerous, like trying to convince a tribe of orcs to allow me to write their history. One day in Cyrodill I chanced upon several other scholars. They wished to found a library that would hold rare books they wrote and collected. I decided to join them with their library. I stayed with them until I began to get older. Then one day, a certain founder and I had a large fight over minor discrepancies in the facts of a certain text. I decided to leave the library for I could no longer stand him. I said my goodbyes to my friends, who I had worked with for years. I continued wandering until one day I found a small cottage in Northern Cyrodill. I purchased it and now live there alone, though I often visit my old friends in the library, having made amends with the aforementioned person. Their numbers dwindle each year. I enjoy reading and writing, though I am too old to adventure anymore. I am writing this so that people will always remember my story and the founding of the library. So if you are adventuring, remember that there is more to life than killing and slaying, just try cracking a book. You'd be surprised what you can learn. I know I was.
Troika
Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Blade (Lord Blade)


The Tale of Blade, the Argonian Bounty Hunter

Blade writes this journal to let others know of origins...

For many years has Blade hunted, working for the Empire as a
Bounty Hunter. Mostly hunting Blade's favorite prey... the foul
slavers, though from time to time Blade has been asked to hunt other
prey. Special prey. Criminals too dangerous for the soldiers to bring
in. Blade has hunted across Tamriel and brought to justice.

And only justice. Not once has Blade accepted the task of hunting prey
which he did not believe was truly deserving of being hunted. Many
times have the greedy and corrupt within the Empire asked Blade to
hunt down those who oppose them, those who have caused them shame, or
those who have interfered with their personal plans for power. These
prey Blade will never hunt. For Blade is no fool.

Blade sits here in this great Library of Tes F'Ruum, writing this
tale. It has been many years since Blade accepted the job as a Bounty
Hunter for the Empire. Slavers by the thousands have fallen to the
blade of Blade. Their fate was written from the moment they enslaved
another. And many others have also been brought to justice. Hundreds
of criminals, outlaws, bandits and others who break the laws or cause
grief and suffering to others. Blade's name has become commonplace in
taverns and inns, whispered in awe by those Blade serves to protect,
and muttered as a curse by those he hunts.

Yes... many have fallen or been brought in for trial at Blade's
hands... but never the ones who Blade has truly hunted all these
years...

Blade came from the Blue Rock clan, a small, but proud clan in the
Black Marsh. At a young age did Blade show much skill at combat, as
well as tracking. And Blade was the youngest of his clan to earn the
title of Slayer, the proud few who lead the hunting parties of the
clan.

One day... while leading a fine party on a hunt through the southern
swamps, Blade and his clanmates were ambushed. The attack came without
warning. The first warning was the blast of frost which chilled
Legs-So-Quick, a young hunter who was little more than a hatchling. Blade was
about to warn the others and seek the aggressors when a blast of fire
flung him from his feet. Blade struck a tree and lost consciousness.

When Blade awoke, he was mostly covered by the swamp, and various bits
of debris. It was about a day after the attack. After taking his
measure of the situation, Blade knew what had happened. Slavers. The
foul vermin had laid in wait. From the signs, they had been there for
some time. Blade knows not how they knew where to await our group. But
they were there, and their attack was very efficient. They captured
Blade's clanmates. But they had made one dire mistake... Blade was
still free.

Blade tracked the slavers through the swamps for several days. They
had a head start, but Blade is not deterred so easily. But the trail
vanished. Never before had Blade seen such a thing. It was as if they
simply disappeared. Now, after much experience, Blade knows that it
was magic which helped them escape. They had teleported away. And this
meant that one of their party had to be a mage of some power.

Blade had little idea of where to go next, so he headed for the
capitol, hoping that there might be some clue as to who the slavers
may have been and some word of his clanmates. Along the way, Blade
had put several other slavers to the sword and helped various
villages Blade passed with tasks large and small. From slaying beasts
that threatened the town, to simple jobs of delivery. Anything to hone
the skills.

After arriving at Cyrodill, Blade began to ask around. Many treated
him as a beast, thinking his manner uncouth. And Blade knew that to
deal with those of "high society" Blade would need to be able to
emulate their ways. So Blade studied long and hard. Letters seemed to
come naturally, when they are normally something of difficulty for
Argonians. Blade learned of etiquette as well as streetwise ways. Soon he
was able to speak with high and low born and blend himself well
to all manner of social standings.

But alas, Blade had little luck, even in the highest positions of the
Empire... he could not find clues to what had happened to the slavers he
sought. And one day, while relaxing in a tavern, Blade heard several
Dunmer at a nearby table talking about slaves they had captured. As
Blade rose to confront the scum, they hurled insults at him, calling
Blade a beast! This was too much, and with nothing but Blade's bare
hands did he lay into the vile slavers. Five did Blade manage to slay,
before the sixth of their group managed to call for the city guard and
then flee.

The guard arrested Blade for murder. But Blade's fate was not to rot
in jail. No, the Empire had a use for his particular skills. They
offered Blade the job of Bounty Hunter in exchange for freedom. Blade
hoped that he would help the Empire curb the rampant slavery that had
become far too common of late. Naturally, Blade accepted...

Well, the bards now sing many songs of Blade's exploits. Though there
are many things which are still unsung, for they happened in the
deepest secrecy. But sadly, Blade has never managed to find the
slavers who attacked him so long ago or find his lost clanmates.

But all has not been in vain. Blade had once been sent to hunt down
one known only as "The Librarian." This one was said to be spreading
heresy. Blade investigated this one and found the truth. It was not
heresy which was spread. This "Librarian" was building a collection of
works from across Tamriel. Lost tales, songs, diaries and other works.
This was a truly noble deed, which brought fear and suspicious to those who
live lives full of lies and treachery. Blade refused to harm this
one... instead, assisting The Librarian in his quest.

Blade spent much time with him, aiding in the construction of the
Library of Tes F'Ruum, in which Blade now writes this tale. Over the
years, Blade made many trips back to the library, always bringing lost
tomes and scraps of parchments long lost and forgotten. Even a section
of a journal once used by Blade is now on the shelves of this place of
learning.

But sadly, even with the knowledge stored here... Blade has never
found those he seeks. Therefore, Blade has decided to set out on one
final hunt. Blade's friends tell him that he is too old now to hunt
again, that his time is past. But if Blade must die, then it will be
hunting the prey, not of old age. Blade now leaves this tale here, for
those who are to come. With luck Blade will return someday, with news
of his destiny complete...
1
Troika
Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Unknown (JulZ)


The Fate of Ra'Jarran

Ra'Jarran the Suthay-Raht was born on the island of Sheogorad, north of the island of Vvardenfell in Morrowind province. He was always an adventurer and a poet at heart. At the age of twenty, he joined the Thieves' Guild. After an incident where Ra'Jarran severely injured another Guild member for calling the famed Imperial poet Succulus Nurus a highly inappropriate name, he was expelled. Bitter and wanting a new life, Ra'Jarran got on a smugglers boat to the mainland (Paying for the journey with gold he stole from the ship's captain).

In Mournhold, he came across a rare book called "The Secret of the Fat Lutes". This book he found very interesting. But fate decided that Ra'Jarran would never finish this book. It was stolen by a Bosmer nightblade, who earlier had tried to buy the book from him. Ra'Jarran followed this Bosmer to the very border of Cyrodiil, but here all traces of the thief vanished.

Ra'Jarran decided to settle in Cyrodiil and continue his search for the book. As it turned out, he met a fellow book-lover. The two became friends, and together with ten others they founded the Library of Tes F'Ruum.

Ra'Jarran collected many rare books for the Library, including the poetries of Hainud Lasamabi, the ashlander poet. But in his heart he knew that the Library wouldn't be complete until it got a copy of "The Secret of the Fat Lutes".

One day Ra'Jarran heard a rumour about a Bosmer nightblade establishing a criminals' hamlet in southern Skyrim. He felt certain that this nightblade was the thief that stole his precious book. He hired a band of mercenaries and went to Skyrim.

No one has heard from Ra'Jarran after that, but it is assumed he was killed by the nightblade's servants.

The End
Troika
Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Various Sources (Jaeld Alteir)


"Many Faces, Many Sides: An Approximation of the One Known as Jaeld Alteir"
A Compilation from Many Sources by Drodicus the Learned

------------

An Introduction
Drodicus the Learned, Editor

This land of ours once was blessed with the presence of an Altmer known by the name of Jaeld Alteir: scholar, wanderer, and friend. Some may say he still roams the wild places in search of knowledge, or perhaps peace, but there is little to substantiate these tales, and I must regrettably choose the more rational conclusion.
But if there was one thing that most intrigued and inspired this great figure, it was the eternal power of the written word, and so it seems fitting to erect a memorial of words to this dear departed friend and mentor. I shall not be alone in this endeavor, however, and have instead compiled a number of works in various forms from those who knew him well, and even from those who met him but once. All shall throw their literary light on the one who was Jaeld Alteir, and perhaps when illuminated from all directions we shall begin to understand the complex and marvelous being that he was.

-----------

Young Elf, Big Future
From the memoirs of Ralhi Olthai

...One can always tell that you're past your prime when your own students can out-think you using only what you've taught them. A strange paradox, it seems, but this young Altmer named Jaeld is running my old mind ragged. He wrings more out of what I tell him than I realized I put in there in the first place, and it's rather spooky when I get to thinking on it. But the worst of it is that he doesn't even seem to realize he's doing it!
Oh sure, I've had plenty of pupils before who were hot stuff and knew it, and they'd try to best their tired old teacher at every turn, but those lads just kept an old man on his toes! This Jaeld just slips modestly past, and it isn't until after he leaves for the day that I realize just how far ahead of me he got in our conversations. It's enough to make me start thinking about retirement.

But, ah, I've got another few decades left in me. The kid's just an exception to the rule--too smart for his own good, but too intent on everyone else's good to get a big head over it. He'll go places, surely...but as for me, I suppose I'll just stay on here at the university for a while longer. Things ought to settle down once Jaeld gets restless and moves on to bigger things...

--------------

Of Dabbling in Bureaucracy
From the correspondence of Disciple Josephus, of the Imperial Cult

Invoker,

I write to you with some concern about Adept Alteir, the High Elf who joined our order not so very long ago. While I cannot say that he has done anything wrong or improper, per se, I still worry about his future with us. Not to say that he isn't a dedicated and hard-working servant of the order, certainly, as his service record will attest. It's just that...well, I'm not convinced as to the depth of his loyalties.

There is little doubt that he is devoted to the work we do, but that's just it. I think he's more devoted to the work than to the hierarchy behind the work. While he is the utmost model of courtesy and respect to his superiors, they report what they can only describe as "an amiable strong will" about him. He has the perplexing ability to always seem to end up doing as he pleases while leaving us convinced that it's precisely what WE please as well. But a careful overview of his activities has led me to conclude that there have been a number of occasions on which he has left to conduct blessings and various acts of mercy on behalf of the Cult that were initially deemed of tertiary importance or prohibitive expense.

I merely express concern that he is simply "dabbling" in the order for his own purposes, and will undoubtedly leave the moment we start to conflict with whatever he deems is right and proper to begin with. It seems almost as if he is using the Cult as a convenient means towards learning and practicing the healing arts, rather than as a lifelong vocation.

Signed,
Disciple Josephus

---------------

Magician of Words
A song by Thalacus Windsong

As I was walking towards forever,
O'er land and sea,
A traveler I met
And can never forget
For he twas a savior to me.

Bandits lept from the shadows
Wicked blades aloft,
And I quivered in fear
Seeing no help was near,
Save a voice from the tree line, quite soft.

"Harm not this lad good sirs,
But rather be on your way.
For none can withstand
A mysterious old man
Who holds arcane magicks in sway."

Now there isn't a bandit
In all of the land
Who is foolish enough
As to try out his luck
On a magicka-wielding old man.

Alteir was his name,
And with words and naught else
He wrought magic that day
And so I shall repay
With a song to his memory and health.

---------------

Fragments from the Journal of Mortimer of Wayrest, Pupil of Jaeld Alteir

3rd Rain's Hand
Master Alteir rarely speaks to me other than to comment on a rare piece of foliage or to tell me to go home and return to my own studies, but I refuse to leave his side. I think he is merely unaccustomed to company, having spent most of his life as a lone wanderer and hermit, moving with the seasons and with his literary interests. But, then again, he has never really tried to enforce his mandate that I return home, and I suspect that he may simply be issuing a disclaimer of sorts: "I appreciate your help, but I wander to strange lands, and do not wish to be responsible for whatever may befall us." But it is difficult to be certain if that is his meaning, for he is by nature a taciturn man, and speaks little.

4th Rain's Hand
We spent most of the afternoon watching tiny insects walking across the surface of a small pond. Master Alteir seemed intrigued by the idea--not so much that it was strange to us to see creatures walking upon the water, but that it was so utterly normal for the creatures themselves. "Would the drama of a life lived on water be so different from one lived on land, if their positions were reversed?" he mused. A discussion of the relativity of one's perceptions ensued.

5th Rain's Hand
Today we stumbled upon an isolated homestead beset by wild beasts. The farmer was trying to fend them off and keep them away from his livestock, but he was a frail old man and the beasts were many. Master Alteir merely grimaced sadly as we crested a hilltop and the scene first become visible, and then he strode boldly yet calmly into the midst of the commotion. The beasts turned and snarled at him, but with a simple gesture he suddenly began to radiate an overwhelmingly powerful aura of calm, and he seemed almost to shine with light as the fervor of the beasts subsided and they began almost instantly to cower silently at his feet. It was an amazing use of the most subtle of powers, and I was humbled by the sheer potency of the power he exuded in that moment. He left the grateful farmer with a simple smile and a copy of a book of poetry. I'm not quite sure that the man can read, as he seemed a bit puzzled by the gift, but I think that's a possibility that rarely occurs to so avid a reader as Master Alteir.

9th Rain's Hand
I could swear that the clouds seem to move aside when we pass, and the flowers bloom more brightly as Master Alteir approaches. But perhaps it is just unseasonably nice weather we are having. Either way, I can't recall having been stuck in a rainstorm yet on this trip, and each night Master Alteir sleeps soundly beneath the stars, with a peaceful expression on his face and no apparent fear of the possibility of rain.

11th Rain's Hand
We spoke of legends today, and of the formative strength that suggestion may have on the mind. Master Alteir is a treasure trove of obscure myths and legends gathered throughout his travels, and he was kind enough to share a number of them for my edification. We spent quite some time discussing where exactly the line between myth and reality might be drawn, especially as the fact of "now" fades into nothingness and becomes the past. I still can't decide if he actually believes any of the bizarre theories and points of view we so often discuss, or if he merely considers them to be amusing intellectual exercises.

-------------

From the personal writings of Jaeld Alteir

"A word is whatever you make it."

-------------

A Letter from Telvanni Wizard Velth Teroth, solicited by the Editor for the purposes of this compilation

Drodicus,

So you ask about Jaeld Alteir, hmm? Fantastic chap, great wizard. Never did enough wizarding, in my opinion, but he was certainly good at it nonetheless. Those stuffed-shirt scholars that always seemed to like clustering around him preferred to think of him as a harmless little botanist who liked to read, and that's true enough, but you should see the fire this kid could spurt if he wanted to.

See, he joined the Telvanni for a time, back on one of his jaunts to Vvardenfell, and made a bit of a name for himself too. Not really cut out for Telvanni politics though, bit too pacifistic and all that, but he got himself a decent foothold and a modest tower to retreat to. But one of the bolder wizards over interpreted that pacifism bit, and decided it'd be fun to push ole Alteir and his entourage out of his tower. Heh. Boy am I glad I was within sight of that. Best fireworks show I've seen in a long time. See, Alteir wasn't necessarily a pacifist per se, he just usually found ways around his problems that didn't require him to BOTHER fighting. But start pushing around the folks he feels are under his protection? Flame on.

Yes, that kid turned into a living column of flame for a moment there at the start of it, once the other uppity Telvanni lad started pushing his luck. (can't remember his name..."Crispy" will suffice for the purposes of this story) The heavens split open above him, and each of Crispy's thugs got a personalized lightning bolt all to themselves. Make no mistake, that Alteir kid was a force to be reckoned with when he needed to be. Could've been quite the wizard if he'd get his nose out of those books. I mean, come on, a wizard needs to be well read and all, but there are limits. At some point you just need to get out there and fry stuff, right? At least that's how I do it, and it works just fine for me.

-VT

----------------

"I learned all I know from Jaeld, and I learned that I know nothing."
~Jeralic, fellow scholar and long-time student of Jaeld Alteir

"Once, I asked him what he would do if there were no books for him to study.
'Write them,' he replied.
At first, I thought he had somewhat missed the point of my question. Later, of course, I realized that it was I who had missed the point."
~Aliga, fellow scholar and occasional student of Jaeld Alteir

"How do you judge a man, I wonder? By his words or by his deeds? And if his words were few, but his deeds were many? Why, then I would call him Jaeld Alteir, and count myself lucky to have known him."
~Melethew, fellow scholar

---------------

From "The Written Word, Master and Slave" by Llothen the Poet
(this passage was found affixed to the wall in Jaeld Alteir's primary hermitage)

Oh the worlds that words have wrought, and that yet lie unbidden beyond the page! Muses, let loose your captives, or else tighten your grip so that we must struggle all the more to free them, and in struggling acquire that which is beyond our grasp! Words we command in droves, and yet they elude us still--we chase them ever onward, and they continue without end. What marvelous magic is this, that none can master yet all can wield! It can strike down kings or create gods, and yet even the simplest peasant can conquer it without fear. Words, that great gift of the gods! May they never fail us, but always surprise us!

---------------

From "Great Quests of Great Mortals"

...the Altmer known as Jaeld Alteir is said to have undertaken a journey of several years in search of an ancient tome written by a little-known order of monks who had devoted themselves to the fusion of knowledge and physical substance.

Alteir apparently took an interest in the subject over the course of numerous discussions with colleagues as to the feasibility of becoming, in essence, a living repository of knowledge far beyond the capabilities of biological organisms. "Just as the written word achieves a sort of immortality," he is said to have written, "Could it be possible for a living being to cross that line as well? To embody the written word so fully and completely as to virtually become it, and therefore become, by extension, beyond the grip of time themselves?"
The pursuit of this theory inspired a number of academic papers on the subject, but it was the search for remnants of that ancient monastic order that occupied him most, for although even their very name had been lost to history, they had been intimately involved in precisely the types of studies in which Alteir himself was now engrossed. His intellectual curiosity burned in him like a hunger, and he pieced together whatever clues he could in search of a copy of their primary holy book, "From Materiality to Memory". But they had been a remote and scattered order, and leads were scarce...

------------

A Letter sent to Jaeld Alteir, from his personal correspondence. Date uncertain.

Dear Sir,

I write to thank you for your extraordinarily generous monetary contribution to our humble, fledgling library. I must confess that I was not aware you were a man of such means, though upon further reflection I suppose that one such as yourself might perchance amass much after he has traveled so widely for so long.

On a hunch, I made some inquiries to sate my own curiosity and discovered that you have been a generous benefactor of a great many libraries and literary collections of all sizes, great and small. I have even heard rumors that you were intimately involved in the founding and funding of the great Library of Tes F'Ruum, which, if I may say so in confidence, I consider to be a very worthy endeavor.

So on behalf of myself and the innumerable others to whom you have helped bring the light of knowledge, I offer my sincerest thanks.

To the pursuit of truth and knowledge,
Borathan

------------

Aye, I remember Jaeld. Tall, slender...moved slow when he could, and fast when he had to. The weight of years rested on that furrowed brow, but his eyes shone more brightly than a newborn babe's. They could light up a room, those eyes...cheer you when you were at your worst, even before he spoke a word in that quiet, level voice of his. Like a soft breeze on a cool summer night, that voice.

He came to our village many a time, secluded though we are. He always seemed to know when he would be needed most, and arrived during drought, or after a poor harvest, or when one of our closest kin was ill. He brought food when there was none, and brewed potions when they were most vital. He offered them freely in trade, and their price was but a quiet chat, and a tale spun from the ancient folklore of our ancestors. A wonderful listener, he was, and not just to the old tales that he soaked up so eagerly. The youngest child among us could sit on his lap and babble on about nothing, or relate his experiences chasing butterflies down by the stream, and Jaeld would sit and listen patiently as if it were the most enthralling story he'd ever heard.
A great man, that Jaeld, but probably too modest to realize it...I suspect he never fully realized just how extraordinary he really was.

-Village Elder, as recorded by Drodicus the Learned for this compilation

------------

Further fragments from the Journal of Mortimer of Wayrest, Pupil of Jaeld Alteir
(Exact year uncertain, but clearly several years after the previous excerpt)

12th Frostfall
Blast it all, Master Alteir left me in the middle of the night! Oh, I've been so foolish to let my guard down--after establishing myself as his traveling companion for the past few years, the frequency of his insistences that I "Go home and not tarry here with a wandering old man" had reduced, and I thought perhaps he would no longer attempt to strike out on his own! And, truly, I still believe that that is much the case. He had grown rather accustomed to my presence, I think, and clearly enjoyed having someone to talk to on the rare occasions that he spoke, so if he left me here that must mean he is quite convinced that the path grows too dangerous ahead! I can write no more--I must hasten in search of his trail!

15th Frostfall
I have found but few scattered signs of the path Master Alteir has taken, and followed them as best I can, but it is uncertain at best. He has traveled this world too long, and can be as cunning as a Bosmer ranger in leaving no mark behind if he so wishes. He has been careless at times, however, and left the occasional track for me to find. Though convenient for me, I fear it means that this quest for the long-forgotten "From Materiality to Memory" has begun to consume him all the more. I pray that he shall not be overly careless in his pursuit, however, as we now travel in forbidding lands...

19th Frostfall
The crags grow more treacherous here, but I am beginning to piece together all that Master Alteir has shared in the past about his study of this extinct order of monks, and I must admit that the clues he has garnered over the years do seem to indicate that I'm on the right track. Alas, he is undoubtedly still far ahead, and I have not seen any sign of his passing for days...these bare stones leave little evidence.

20th Frostfall
I am beginning to despise the monastic practice of dwelling in such insanely secluded locales...
I hear noises in the dark now, too, whenever the moon passes behind the clouds. Beasts lurking in the shadows, no doubt. These mountains are not quite as lifeless as they seem, and unsteady footing is not the only danger now...

22nd Frostfall
I am deep in the mountains now, lost if not for landmarks that I remember from my talks with Master Alteir, signs of a long-forgotten order that he gleaned from other ancient tomes scattered across the land. I must confess that I often wondered if they had truly ever existed. Master Alteir has spoken so often in recent years about the possibilities that this lost book may help him to achieve. He dreams of the chance to meld material flesh and ethereal knowledge, to transcend the limits of mortal existence and transform himself into a living repository of knowledge, purified and limitless, without form or end. And what a gift that would be to the races of this world! A perfect store of knowledge, infinite and incorruptible, never to fall victim to the slow erasure of time. A noble idea, but is it even possible?? But that question, of course, is precisely why he seeks this book...

28th Frostfall
Alas, but I have found poor Master Alteir's walking stick, splintered in two upon the rocks halfway down a mighty cliff! His beloved staff, that traveled with him always before I was even born, its gnarled wood worn smooth over countless journeys! For a time I wept, and dared not glance down into the abyss below...but at last I could resist no more, and was met with the mournful sight of the scattered pages of a shattered book drooped listlessly on the rocks below, and slowly being sent twirling down deeper into the abyss by wailing gusts of wind...

I will return to the hermitage now, and linger here no more. His books must be gathered and delivered into the capable hands of the Librarian at Tes F'ruum...he would like that...yes, he would like that indeed...
Troika
Section: Founders' Fates

Written by Unknown (raithen)


The Known Breton

More specifically known as ‘The Lost Friend’


Raithen Arthat… now there is a name I have not heard for a long time. A curious fellow acted like he was the personal friend of everyone. You could walk into a classy bar, and might call you over, order you a drink, and begin discussing the daily events. Everyone who was someone knew Raithen, well, at least in his mind. He though like that, and although many people in the province of Morrowind knew him, he was often reminded that that is no longer where he was.

I am here to tell you the tale of this fellow, an interesting tale for all those willing to listen. It begins in a small town in High Rock, a town that cannot be named, for Raithen never told any more then this, and most of his family is dead by this time. He wished to become a wizard, and practice the art of magic. So he traveled to Summerset Isle, hoping to enlist in a mage’s guild, or magic school of some sort.

After training and learning from a group of mages, he came to be in the Dunmer province of Morrowind. He nestled down in the city of Vivec, on Vvardenfell, to study the ancient race of the Dwemer. This, evidently, made him rich. He learned a lot from the remains of the Dwarves, even that he should live his life to the fullest, as things will pay off in the end. How he learnt this remains a mystery. (Some say he translated some ancient Dwemer fortune papers, though the evidence is limited.)

Taking the advice of the Dwarves, he traveled to Cyrodiil. And his fortune was fulfilled. The house he bought in the capitol of the province held some mysterious secrets. It looked like a normal manor, extravagant, old, used. But this one was different somehow. One evening, he was strolling to his library for some reading, when he stepped on a lose board in the study. He called for his maid, whom he asked to call for a carpenter. As she left, Raithen looked into the hole. What he saw caught his interest. It was a book; he reached in and grabbed it.

It was a fictional book, of at least one hundred years old. Some say this is what triggered his sanity to finally go over the edge, but not yet. He read the book, it told of tales of a portal. A portal into another world. It also told that this portal could be found in one of the ancient ruins of the long dead race of wild elves. He regarded it with curiosity, and read it over and over again, and he always kept the book in a breast pocket.

Another day came with another happening. A fellow, an odd fellow, odder then Raithen himself, approached him. He asked Raithen to found a library. And after the fellow had given him the entire details of the library he agreed. He then contributed most of the books he had written to the library, he kept some for personal use.

After basking in his own glory for several years, his sanity finally gave out. He told his closest friends that he was going to go for a hike across the empire. He went out alone, with nothing but rations, camping equipment, and his horse. He was gone for two weeks.

He came riding his horse back into town at full trot. Shouting, “I’ve found it! I’ve found it!” He rode his horse into his own stable, and before anybody could shout something at him, he was already inside. He kicked his maid and servant out. Then he locked all his doors and windows, then boarded them over.
He was there for three days, and when his friends tried to talk to him through the door, he just yelled useless ramblings at them.

One night, Raithen finally came out of his house, in darkest night. He had a pack slung over his shoulder, and he made his way to his horse. There was one Imperial guard who saw what was going on, but before he could catch him, Raithen was already trotting into the night. But he dropped something from his hastily put-together pack. The guard, named Celcious Cavreen, picked up the last, tattered remains ever to be found of Raithen. It was the book, the book that caused all this madness.

Raithen was never seen again… Some say he went back to High Rock under the name Nehtiar Tahtra, others say he died alone of natural causes. But the most popular seems to be the most imaginary; he found a new world, a new dimension. Of course, this is completely false, as Raithen Arthat was completely senile when he wrote this in his journals.

Whatever it may be, keep your eyes out for a wizard named Nehtiar Tahtra. That just may be someone you know more then you know…

***Information taken from various journals and diaries of Raithen Arthat.
Many pieces done by Raithen Arthat can be found in the library of F’Ruum. We encourage you to read them.
Troika
Section: Historical Text

Written by Phaen (Phaen)


From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War: Part 1


4 First Seed, 2E862
7:00
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

It was the crack of dawn. Slowly, a trickle of sunlight topped the hills to the east, spilling through the window of the conference room, illuminating the men inside. His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim sat at the conference table with his three advisors. A large map of Tamriel was pinned to the wall.

With a flourish, Tiber Septim pointed at Hammerfell. “Gentlemen,” he said, “you are no doubt, well aware of the civil war currently raging in Hammerfell.”

Atteli Jullalian was the first to reply. “Of course. After the death of King Thassad II earlier this year, the Forebears took the city of Sentinel by force, starting a revolution. Naturally, Crown Prince A’Tor sailed forth from his capital at Stros M’Kai, and started a bloodbath.”

“Of course,” Septim replied. However, in response to the mad Prince’s butchery, the Forebears have signed a treaty with us, allowing us to bring our armies in and crush Hammerfell, once and for all.”

The advisors sat up in shock.

“Now,” Septim continued, “the Forebears have been pushed back so their forces only control Sentinel and the Dragontail Mountains. Now, we need to discuss an important matter: From where shall we invade?”

This time, Albeci Peleius replied first: “As the Forebears control the Dragontail Mountains, we should exploit this opportunity! We should bring an army from Wayrest over, and crush Elinhir from behind!”

“However,” Crassius Quarnia pointed out, “we would need at least several months to prepare the assault. Then, crossing the Dragontail Mountains would take quite a bit of time, and the Forebears could betray us and attack us, bogging us down. Attacking from the northwest is not the right idea.”

“Then,” Albeci retorted, “We should invade from the east, and smash Elinhir once and for all. And then, eastern Hammerfell would be ours and we could smash the rest easily!”

“Why are you so obsessed with Elinhir?” Atteli asked. “It’s only a single city, and unimportant. Our goal is the capital at Stros M’Kai. We should send a fleet over to invade it and capture it.”

“No,” Septim interrupted, staring at the map. “Our objective is not Stros M’Kai; it is the Prince’s army. If we invade Stros M’Kai now, we would win the capital, but not the army. It would slip away into the desert, and harass our forces until we are forced to flee. Our strategy should be to invade from the southeast, capture Rihad, Taneth, and Gilane, and force the Prince to flee to Stros M’Kai. There, we can corner him and defeat him.”

A vote was taken on the plan. Like always, it was unanimous.



From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War, Part 2
19 First Seed, 2E826
12:00
Hegathe, Hammerfell
Crown Prince A’Tor sat in the large throne room. Surrounding him were General Staron, Admiral Domas, and his Archmage Trithik. A large map of Tamriel was pinned to the table they were sitting by, and the walls were covered with fine tapestries.

“Now,” Admiral Domas announced, “I have just received word from our informant in the Imperial City that the backstabbing Forebears have signed a treaty, and the Imperials are about to attack us from the southeast! What do you think shall be done?”

Startled, the Prince asked, “What? How could this be?”

“Nonsense!” Staron declared. “How do we know that this Albeci Peleius informant of yours is reliable? For all we know, he could have been paid by the Imperials to give us false information, and divert our forces from uniting Hammerfell again!”

“I understand your point of view,” Domas replied. “However, if we ignored this information and it turned out that the Imperials are going to invade Rihad, then it would be a disaster! We should at least bring some of our soldiers there and send scouts to see if the Imperial Army really is marching towards our southeastern border.”

“Even if the Imperial Army is going to invade our southeastern border,” Staron retorted, “they would still need at least several months to gather their forces. We would have enough time to crush the Forebears in their mountain strongholds and then bring our armies down to Rihad.”

“How do we know that they will wait to gather their forces?” Trithik asked. “If they sent their armies in a forced march, we wouldn’t know about it until fifteen days later and by then they would have already been halfway to Rihad, and it would be too late to send our armies there.”

“I agree,” Prince A’Tor said . “We will send an army from Hegathe to Rihad right away, and send scouts into Cyrodiil to see if the army is on the march. In the meantime, we will move our headquarters from Hegathe to Gilane, so we may better respond to any threats. Now, about the possibility of hiring Altmer mages as mercenaries you brought up earlier, Trithik…”

7 Rain’s Hand, 2E862
12:00
The Imperial City, Cyrodiil
The footsteps sounded like a continuous clap of thunder in the distance.

Drums beat and trumpets blared. The Imperial Army was on the march.

The reserves had been called up, and soldiers had been marching into the city from the eastern parts of the Empire every day. A regiment from Winterhold, a brigade from Windhelm, and a division from the rainforests of the Nibenay valley. They came from everywhere. Now, the army marched, ready to demonstrate the full might of the Empire. Their sturdy armor gleaming in the sun, and their fine weaponry reflecting the sun’s rays, the Imperial Army was on the march.

A horde of battlemages marched on behind the warriors, and a contingent of elite archers marched behind them.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim himself was with the soldiers, riding a large horse. Behind him, a regiment of elite cavalry trotted on.

“Open the gates!” The cry resounded off the thick sturdy walls.

Grunting and sweating, the gatekeepers wound the large crank, slowly opening the gate.

At last, the gate was fully opened. As the footsteps of the soldiers resounded off the stone-paved road, Yokudan spies peering at the army from outside the Imperial city scribbled down notes on pieces of parchments.

The Imperial Army was on the march.



From Rihad to Hegathe, a history of the Tiber War, part 3

11 Rain’s Hand
8:45
Gilane, Hammerfell
Crown Prince A’Tor angrily stormed into the meeting room. Seeing Admiral Domas there, he asked him, in a quiet and deadly tone: “You said to me a bit less than a month ago that the Imperials were about to invade from the southeast, yes?”

Domas immediately sensed his predicament, but not knowing what the problem was, saw no way to extricate himself from it. Seeing no other possibility, he answered, “Correct.”

“Then why,” A’Tor angrily yelled, “Why would they take the northwestern road out of the Imperial City instead of the southwestern road? If they were to invade at Rihad, it would be much quicker to take the southwestern road! The only possibility I can foresee is that they are about to invade our stronghold at Elinhir!”

“Sir,” Domas replied, desperately trying to save himself, “The Imperials are crafty. For all we know, they intend to force us to bring our armies north, and then march south to invade at Rihad. There is a town midway between Elinhir and Rihad named North Hall. We should station the majority of our armies there, and move them north or south, depending on which path the Imperials take at the intersection.”

Prince A’Tor was about to respond, but he was interrupted, when General Staron walked in.

“So,” Staron inquired, “Have the scouts reported back as to whether the Imperials are marching?”

Domas responded: “Apparently, the Imperials have taken the northwest route out of the Imperial City. Depending on which way they turn at the intersection, they could attack either Elinhir or Rihad. I advise to move our headquarters and the majority of our soldiers to North Hall, which is midway between Elinhir and Rihad. Once the Imperials make their move, we can respond. What do you think?”

Staron replied, “Seems like a fine move to me.”

The Prince gave his consent to the orders, and they began to be carried out.



From Rihad to Hegathe: A history of the Tiber War, Part 5

15 Rain’s Hand
9:47
North Hall, Hammerfell

Prince A’Tor, Admiral Domas, General Staron, and Archmage Trithik sat in the large room. A large map showing their army positions was pinned to the table they were sitting at. The four Redguards were in the middle of a heated discussion on whether or not to hire assassins to assassinate the Emperor, when a messenger walked into the room, gave a message to General Staron, bowed, then left.

After quickly skimming through the message, Staron stood up, and announced, “Remember the discussion we had four days ago about the Imperial army taking the northwest road out of the Imperial City instead of the southwest?”

Confused, A’Tor asked, “Well?”

“Well what?”

“That’s an annoying habit you’ve picked up from somewhere. And what about that discussion we had?”

Staron replied, “Well, my scouts have reported to me why they did that. Apparently, the reserves in High Rock and western Skyrim have been called up, and marched past Falkreath to meet the rest of the army.”

Surprised, Admiral Domas replied, “But that means they now have an army twice the size of ours!”

“Correct,” the Prince replied.
“And as the Forebears control northern Hammerfell, we cannot strike at their vulnerable parts in High Rock and western Skyrim. Our only hope is to give up the cities, and start using guerilla tactics against the Imperials.”

“No,” General Staron replied. “We cannot give up the cities. The best thing we should do is to assemble our forces at Rihad, and outmaneuver them there.”

“No,” Trithik objected. “The risk is too great. They outnumber us two to one!”

“Correct,” Staron retorted. “This is why we should attempt to assassinate Tiber Septim. With the head of the dragon severed, the body will hurt you no more. Similarly, when the army sees that their beloved Emperor is dead, they will flee in terror.”

“Fine,” Trithik replied. “We will attempt to assassinate the Emperor. How do you think we should do this?”

“We have the men who can do it,” Staron reported. “All we need is to get them close enough without anyone noticing.”

“I think I can fulfill that part. I know several High Elves, who can sell us some enchanted items to help us do that.”

With the discussion over, the meeting was called to an end.

20 Rain’s Hand.
17:13
Firsthold, Summerset Isle

Seeing the city of Firsthold, Archmage Trithik sighed in relief. Using a levitation spell, he had flown from North Hall, to Stros M’Kai to replenish his supply of restore magicka potions, and then all the way across the Abecean Sea to the High Elven city of Firsthold. Although he had been afraid that he would run out of magicka and fall into the Abecean Sea, his fears had proven unfounded.

Landing on the shore, the Archmage took a break to catch his breath, and then walked into the city.

The Altmer enchanter Telindil was in his store like normal. Trithik inquired to Telindil if he had any enchanted items that could cast a powerful Chameleon spell over the user for a long duration of time.

Sighing, Telindil replied, “I do have one such item. It is the Amulet of Shadows, a powerful artifact enchanted by the famous enchanter Dalak long ago. It will cast a powerful Chameleon spell over the user for a long duration of time, but it will cost you a lot. I will accept no less than ten thousand pieces of gold for it.”

Trithik could barely hold back his protest at the outrageous price for it. Remembering his lessons for haggling, he simply shook his head and said, “I see, I shall look for similar artifacts at other enchanters stores.”

Telindil smirked. “You may,” he said, “but there is only one Amulet of Shadows, and I have it.”

Trithik soon found that he spoke the truth. In the other stores, the enchanters simply shook their head when he inquired. Sighing, he paid the ten thousand pieces of gold for the Amulet of Shadows, and began the long journey to Rihad with a much lighter purse.

From Rihad to Hegathe: A history of the Tiber War: Part 6
25 Rain's Hand
8:42
Rihad, Hammerfell

A deluge of rain fell from the sky. Merchants in the plaza scrambled to get their wares under cover, children scrambled to get indoors, as the rain poured from the sky.

The headquarters of the Crowns was located in the center of the city. Inside, Crown Prince A'Tor sat listening, while General Staron and Admiral Domas argued on which plan they should use.

"My Prince," General Staron reported. "My scouts report that the Imperial army is encamped southwest of Sutch, a week’s march from Rihad. They outnumber us two to one." Drawing a diagram showing the troop positions, he continued "The vanguard makes up about a fourth of their total forces. It is encamped about two hours march in front of the main army. Although mostly made of light cavalry, there are several companies of archers, mages, light infantry, and heavy cavalry." Pausing, he continued. "Sir, the road leading to Rihad is surrounded by woods on both the north and the south sides. The terrain is also very hilly, with the two tallest hills next to each other over here. I suggest that we hide half of our forces just behind the crest of that hill, concealing them from the enemy. When the Imperial troops arrive at the bottom, we charge down, surprising them. The other half of our forces will be concealed in the woods, and will emerge behind the Imperial soldiers at the crest of the other hill. The Imperials will now be trapped in between the two hills, completely surprised, outnumbered with no where to run. Their only hope would be to surrender. Next, we will continue charging and attack their main force. They will be tired from the march and much smaller due to the fact the elimination of their vanguard. They will not expect an attack so soon, and our skill will triumph over their numbers. They will be cleansed from our lands!”

“I understand your idea, but I must respectfully object." Admiral Domas announced. "Your plan is fraught with risk. The vanguard only needs to hold their lines for two hours, and then the rest of the Imperial army will obliterate us! Any number of things could go wrong. Prince A'Tor, I advise that we use the fortifications at Rihad and hold out against the Imperial invaders. We are outnumbered two to one, and we need every advantage we can get."

"Which explains why we should adopt my idea!" Staron countered "If we can rout their vanguard, than we gain an advantage. Besides, who ever won a war by defense? Nobody."

"The only reason nobody has ever won a war through defense is that nobody has tried yet, due to idiots like you!" Domas retorted. "Our objective is not to invade Cyrodiil, merely to defend our borders from the Imperial Army."

It was at this exact moment that Archmage Trithik stumbled in, exhausted and dripping from the pouring rain outside. Muttering curses, he cast a spell. The water simply slid down off his clothes and into a large puddle around his feet. Next, he sat down at the meeting table.

After staring at the Archmage, Staron asked. "So, did you get the items you were looking for?"

"Do you think I would have come back without it?"

"Good."

"Not for me," Trithik replied. "I spent a fortune on all those restore magicka potions I consumed on the journey to there and back. Besides, I was horribly gouged by the enchanter. Would you believe he made me spend ten thousand pieces of gold on it?

"We can discuss this later." Staron replied. "Domas, if we can hole up in the fortress, then we will just be attacked in the fortress while the rest of the Imperial Army goes on to take over Hammerfell."

While A'Tor had been silent until now, he interrupted the debate.

"I have decided that the best strategy would be to, first, follow Staron's strategy and defeat the vanguard. Then, some of our forces will dig in on the hill. Meanwhile, we will conceal some of our archers and cavalry in the woods to the north of the road. When the Imperials arrive, we will first charge down from the top of the hill, as before. Next, we send the archers and cavalry from the woods and attack them from the north. This will also be the signal for our assassin to assassinate the Emperor. Surprised, the Imperials will shift some of their forces to the north, which allows us to charge down from the hill, routing the Imperials once and for all."

"But-" Staron objected.

"No buts," A'Tor replied. "I have had enough with your bickering already. Now, go with Trithik, and instruct our assassin."

From Rihad to Hegathe: A History of the Tiber War, part 7

25 Rain's Hand
13:43
Rihad, Hammerfall.

Although the rain had subsided, the ground was still flooded with rain several inches deep. Although some of the merchants had returned, most were still in their houses, warm, cozy, and dry.

On the outskirts of the city sat a small dingy hut, the type that nobody would take a second glance at. Inside it, Archmage Trithik instructed the Redguard sword-singer Gancolm, on how to assassinate the Emperor.

"Now," Trithik instructed. "You should position yourself behind the Imperial Army, and use the Amulet of Shadows to avoid detection. Find the Emperor, and make sure you always keep him in sight. When a flaming arrow arcs over from the north that is your signal to attack. I assume that you should be skilled enough to kill the Emperor, and escape in the confusion.”

Gancolm only nodded.

The trap was set; now all they just had to wait for the prey to be caught in it.

2 Second Seed
19:00
Rihad, Hammerfell

Fatigued from marching all day, a sigh of relief was exhaled from the Imperial vanguard as they saw the majestic walls of the mighty fortress of Rihad, from the top of the hill they were standing at. There was only one more hill to climb, and they could stop marching and fortify their positions. The exhausted vanguard plodded forward, relieved that they were almost there.

And then, it happened.

A large group of Redguard archers appeared at the crest of the hill, sending a hail of arrows onto the Imperial vanguard. Then, a swarm of Redguard warriors charged down from the hill. A group of sword-singers spearheaded the charge, their Shehai cleaving through the ebony armor like a sword through butter. Surprised, the Imperial vanguard fell back.

Although the Redguards had the advantage of surprise and skill, the disciplined Imperial soldiers held their ground. The forces were still heavily strained, and Imperial commander Cidius Sosia was forced to send his last reserves into the fray.

Arrows flew wildly from both sides and the clang of sword against sword could be heard far in the distance, as the two armies ground at each other. Although the Imperials were managing to hold their ground, Cidius knew that they were hard-pressed. If anything happened, they would be completely routed. Feeling that his forces were stretched, Cidius ordered his forces to fall back to the crest of the second hill, and use the advantage of height.

Seeing the Imperials retreat to the crest of the hill, General Staron hissed in fury. His forces would emerge from the woods at any moment now, but instead of emerging at the Imperial rear, they would emerge at the Imperial flanks. He had not expected the Imperials to act so cowardly and retreat, rather than stand their ground. Now, there would be the chance for some of the Imperial warriors to escape and warn the main force!

Staron’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted, as his Redguard warriors emerged from the woods on both sides of the Imperial flanks. Charging directly at the Imperial line, the Redguards completely outflanked the Imperials, their swords striking down scores of the Empire’s finest warriors. Finally, seeing that they were almost surrounded, the Imperial warriors broke and retreated. But by then, it was too late for most of them. Regiments and regiments of Imperial warriors were completely surrounded, and forced to surrender. Only the tattered remnants of two Imperial regiments managed to escape the trap, fleeing into the forest. The rest of the Imperial vanguard was either dead or prisoners.

Seeing that there was hope of completely obliterating the vanguard, Staron ordered some of his warriors to pursue the Imperials while he positioned the rest in a position to ambush the Imperial Army. The Redguard warriors chased the Imperials like hounds after a fox, and many of the Imperials perished. Finally, feeling that all of the Imperials were dead, the Redguards returned to their positions, not knowing that two Imperials had managed to elude them.


From Rihad to Hegathe, A History of the Tiber War, Part 8
2 Second Seed
19:54
Rihad, Hammerfell.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim was becoming more confused every minute. He had asked his vanguard commander to send back a messenger every half an hour. But the message that he should have received half an hour ago never came. Pondering the problem, he first decided that Cidius had simply forgotten to send the messenger. But that was unlikely, as Cidius was a good commander and hadn’t forgotten yet. Next, he considered the possibility that the messenger had been captured by enemy forces. However, he concluded that that scenario was unlikely. Outnumbered two to one, the Redguards would probably focus on defending the fortress of Rihad. The possibility that the messenger was lost didn’t hold up either. The road to Rihad had just been paved with stones a year ago, and there were no branches in the past. Frowning, the Emperor decided to wait another seven minutes and see if a messenger came.

The army continued marching, their feet thudding against the ground sounding like distant thunder. As they stood at the crest of the hill, they could see the ramparts of the fortress of Rihad. Sighing, they knew that there was only one hill left in their way.

Suddenly, two men rushed out of the woods to the south. Although their armor was heavily dented and arrows were sticking out of it, the Imperial insignia on the breastplate could still be seen. Gasping for breath, they reached for the Emperor. As his bodyguard restrained them, one of them hoarsely croaked, “It’s a trap!”

As the Emperor and his bodyguard stood there completely surprised, the soldier continued “The entire Redguard army is waiting just in front of you behind the crest of that hill! They slaughtered the rest of the vanguard, we were lucky to get away!”
His mind racing, Septim considered the options. If this was true, that would explain where his vanguard had disappeared to. And it would also mean that his entire army was marching right into a colossal trap. But before he shouted an order, he restrained himself. It was possible that the men were actually paid by Prince A’Tor and dressed in the uniforms so that his army would be slowed down and they could wipe out his vanguard in that time. His mind pondering the options as fast as he could, the Emperor stood there, his mind wracked with indecision. Finally, he decided that the two soldiers were speaking the truth.

Readying his thu’um, his Imperial Majesty commanded his army. “It’s a trap! Halt! Ready weapons-”

But it was too late, as his men stopped where they were standing and were in the process of following the orders, an enormous mass of Redguards charged down the hill at full speed, propelled by their adrenaline rush. As the army fumbled in an effort to unsheathe their weapons, Redguard swords cut down Imperial warriors by the score, their strength allowing them to cleave through the Imperial armor with a single strike. The corpses of Imperial soldiers were so many that after the battle, you could walk from one side of the battlefield to the other without touching the ground.

However, the Imperial Army would not be defeated so easily. Rallying the warriors, the army counterattacked furiously. The sword-singers who led the charge were quickly cut off from the rest of the Redguard army. But they refused to retreat and continued fighting, their gleaming Shehai cutting down rows of Imperials with each swing. But the smaller numbers of the Redguard army began to come into play, as they were forced to fall back.

From Rihad to Hegathe, a History of the Tiber War, Part 8

As the Redguards charged down the hill, Gancolm had activated the enchantment of the amulet and quickly began searching for the Emperor. After half a minute, he recognized the distinct custom adamantium-ebony blend of armor worn by the emperor. Holding a dagger in his hand, he smiled as Imperial soldiers rushed past him as he stood completely invisible to their eyes.

A flaming arrow flew into the sky from the woods to the north, passing over the Imperial army. Before it had touched the ground, a volley of thousands of arrows was fired directly into the crowd of packed Imperials. Next, an army of Redguards charged from the woods directly at the Imperial flank.

Part of the Imperial army began to move to face this new threat. But as soon as they began to move, the other Redguard army counterattacked and charged down the hill at the Imperial army. The armies continued to grind away at each other, determined to fight until the last breath.

As soon as he saw the flaming arrow, Gancolm held his dagger in hand, preparing to throw. Suddenly, he noticed that he was no longer invisible. Cursing, he realized that the enchantment must have worn off and reactivated the amulet. Aiming carefully, the Redguard prepared to throw his dagger…

Sorink was an extremely proud Redguard archer who was part of the ambushing army to the north. As he saw the Emperor standing in the distance, his mind filled with thoughts of the glory he would receive if the succeeded in killing the Emperor. Aiming carefully, he fired.

His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim had been in the process of giving orders when he suddenly saw a Redguard holding a dagger suddenly appear from mid-air, mutter a curse, and vanish. Surprised, he was pondering if he was hallucinating when he saw an arrow flying through the air directly towards him. He raised his large adamantium-ebony shield to block the arrow.

Gancolm cursed in fury. The Emperor had suddenly raised his shield and deflected his dagger! Calming down, he began to approach the Emperor so that he could summon his Shehai and cleave through the Emperor’s armor.

Tiber Septim was completely surprised to see not just the arrow lying on the ground in front of him, but also a large throwing dagger that had seemed to have also been deflected by his shield. As he remembered the vanishing Redguard, he quickly put the pieces of the puzzle together. Readying his magicka, he cast a powerful Dispel spell. The pale green orb expanded into a large sphere a hundred feet wide in diameter. With the dispelling of the Chameleon effect, the Redguard was revealed for all to see.


From Rihad to Hegathe, a History of the Tiber War, Part 9

Seeing that he was visible, Gancolm cursed in fury. He was completely surrounded by Imperial soldiers. He attempted to activate the enchantment again, but the charge was already depleted. The only path out he saw was to kill the Emperor and quickly flee in the chaos that would ensue. Remembering the Ansei who had instructed him, he manifested a Shehai into his hand. With a single swing of it, he cleaved through the armor of two of the Emperor’s bodyguards. As they fell, he stepped forward and prepared to take the life of the Emperor.

Seeing the Shehai in the Ansei’s hand, Tiber Septim drew his sword, (insert sword name). Made out of ebony and adamantium blessed by the Eight Divines, enchanted by the Imperial Battlemage Zurin Arctus, the sword (insert sword name) was truly a work of art. As the Ansei prepared to swing the Shehai, the Emperor raised his sword.

The two swords clashed against each other, the pride of the Redguards pitted against the sword of the Emperor. Surprised that his Shehai had failed to cleave through the Emperor’s blade, Gancolm paused in a millisecond of hesitation.

That hesitation proved to be fatal. Seeing the brief pause, his Imperial Majesty thrust (insert sword name) directly into Gancolm’s stomach. As Gancolm lay on the ground dying, the spirit-sword dissipated.

However, there was no time to inspect the Ansei’s corpse. For the Redguards were counterattacking once more, and the Imperials were falling back. His Imperial Majesty Tiber Septim rode up to his soldiers, cheering them on. Then, he ordered a final counterattack to be launched.

Weary and fatigued, the outnumbered Redguard soldiers were no match for the overwhelming numbers of the Imperial Army. The fresh Imperial soldiers drove back the skilled Redguard warriors. Finally, the Redguards were routed from the field. With Imperial cavalry closely pursuing the routed Redguard armies, General Staron realized that his army was in no shape to defend the fortress at Rihad, and besides, the Imperial cavalry was following too closely. Seeing no other option, he gave the order to evacuate the fortress of Rihad. He then raced after the Redguard army, attempting to rally it.

The General finally managed to rally the army at the town ironically named Chaseguard, northwest of the fortress of Rihad. Although they had managed to drive off the pursuing cavalry, General Staron knew that his army was in no shape to meet the Imperial army in the open. Seeing no other option, he ordered the army to march to the strategic fortress of Taneth. And thus ended the Battle of Rihad, with the victorious Imperials gaining possession of southeastern Hammerfell.
Troika
Section: Historical Text

Written by Unknown (Argonians Rule)


The Origins of Nerevar
By: unknown


The years are countless to the time of Nerevar, so no dates shall be included.


It was a cold day that night. Many people said it was the coldest ever. Galin Inoril was giving birth to a baby boy. The small fishing village of Galath was sleepy enough and only 30 peasants of the Indoril family lived there. Sales had been the boy's father. He was a rogue, wanted for many crimes. He had met Galin while passing through Galath, probably stealing a fisherman's catch. He had fathered the boy after sweet-talking Galin. He was executed by guards the next day for various crimes. On the night the boy was botn his mother died from delivering him all alone and with no healers. For three days her body rotted and the new-born chimer gnawed on her corpse for sustanence. Finally an Indoril tax collector came through town. He discovered the chewed corpse and the infant in her little shack. The tax collector took the boy and gave him to another family of Indoril. The family was not as poor as the previous one because it owned a busy inn, in a large city.

For five years the innkeeper's wife raised the boy with the name Nerevar, a name that would go down in history. On Nerevar's 5th birthday he was put to work as a stable boy, cleaning up the manure of guar left by those who came. Nerevar worked like this for 10 years. On his 15th birthday a man came to the innkeeper's door, he had become aware of an able bodied boy capable of being a soldier. At this point in history every boy in Indoril had to serve 5 years in the army by law. Nerevar knew this was his chance to be something more than a stable boy. He was taken to a large manor, where he and 12 others were to be trained in war.

One day his first challenge came. He and the other 12 were to go on a raid against House Dres. Such raids were common then, but this was his first. A small villa belonging to a Dres councilor was the target. It had 10 guards. Nerevar and the others approached the villa at night. They each wore bonemold and wielded a chitin bow along with a steel longsword. Nerevar's men drew their bows back and picked off to outside sentries. They drew their swords and crept into the villa. The Dres councilor was awake reading, when he saw the 13 warriors. He screamed and all hell broke loose. He ran to get his ebony sword and signaled his guards. They came out and Nerevar's men began battling them. Nerevar himself chased after the councilor who was in his armory. The man lept out and slashed Nerevar's neck. The two parried back and forth, equal foes locked in mortal combat. Nerevar was slowly overpowering the Dres Councilor and had almost bested him, when the councilor swung at Nerevar hitting him in the neck, letting loose a fountain of blood. Nerevar stumbled but quickly regained his strength and swung with his all his might, decapitating the councilor. The guards had been dispatched quickly and effectively by Nerevar's men and they had lost no one. They returned home, heroes. Nerevar had left the battle victorious, but still bore a scar from that battle, his raspy voice.
Nerevar had gained quite a reputation as a tough warrior. One day he was invited to meet the grandmaster of Indoril. Nerevar knew such an invitation was an honor and he took it. The man's name was Seylin Somiek. He was impressive, to Nerevar, but not nearly as impressive as one lady in Somiek's court of nobles. Somiek greeted Nerevar and the two became good friends for over a year. He was given a manor and his own land. One day Somiek asked Nerevar to become a councilor for Indoril. Nerevar quickly agreed and was given this status. Several weeks later, Nerevar asked what the name of the lady he had spotted was. Somiek told him it was Almalexia. Nerevar then went to her and began his courtship. She agreed to marry him only if he had enough power. She wanted a grandmaster. Nerevar agreed. He grew ambitious after this and decided that he should be the new grandmaster. He asked Somiek to step down. Somiek had planned on retiring from his position anyway and considered Nerevar an honorable and worthy successor. He then named Nerevar grandmaster of house Indoril. And the rest is history...
Troika
Section: Jokes & riddles

Written by Unknown (Michael Edwards)


yrodillic Riddles



A collection of riddles from Cyrodiil. Traditionally, when a guest is to stay the night in a home of anyone, courtesy dictates
that the hosts provide an activity for everyone to relax after a (presumably) hard days work. Riddles quickly became the
pastime of choice as they were challenging, and could last all evening easily if one knew enough. Riddles come in all
forms, easy and difficult, and I hope to present an accurate selection of these in this collection.

I am persuasive, yet I use no words.
Thy gold, thy wit, thy wisdom, all these can I steal, yet I am neither man nor beast.
Many call me thief, but I am invited into the homes of all.
What am I?


By day, I am the silent stalker, yet I am banished by night.
I have no voice, yet I announce your presence to all but the blind.
What am I?


Given an hour with love and care, I can attract all,
yet leave me but half an hour longer, and I repulse them.


I am the scabbard for the most deadly of weapons.
All have it, few use it.
What am I?


A great race was to be run, and all of the contestants were lining up. The wizard, the warrior, and the thief were all to take part in it. Five miles were they to run, from the Temple to the foot of the mountain. Each was to be rewarded in their own way; the warrior with a sword, the wizard with a staff, and the thief with his life and freedom. The Wizard boasted of his magical skills, which would allow him to teleport to the end with great speed. The Warrior boasted of his great strength and endurance, which would surely see him to the finish. The thief had no skill in magic or great strength, but had already the gleam of a winner upon his face. The three contestants lined up at noon, and when the race began the wizard instantly teleported to the finish.
Yet the thief still won, how?


Answers:

lohoclA
wodahS A
eriF eht no taeM
llukS A
The wizard indeed reached the end first, but the thief escaped during the course of the five mile race, and won his life and freedom.
Troika
Section: Jokes & Riddles

Written by Pedrias Gasaan (UberJordan)


I have traveled the land hearing many a racial slur, but none more often than that of the Orc.

The amount of jokes about them seems endless.
Here are a few of the many.
I in no way intend this to offend Orcs or those who are connected with them. I am quite fond of the Orcish myself, this is simply a compilation of that which is against them.

- Pedrias Gasaan
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you call a Nord euphoric and infuriated from consuming excess amounts of mazte?

An Orc
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Altmer counts 10, the Argonian counts 10, and the Orc counts 10. What is wrong here?

Orcs cannot count.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you call an Orc who can read and write?

Exceptional
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How do you tell the difference between an Orc male and an Orc female?

You can't!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An Orc ties the straps on his boots. This makes him?

Educated
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I must say, Orcs are good for something. Their armourers are second to none.
At what?

Draining Imperial funding!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why did the Orc die in the wilderness?

He mistook an Ogrim for his wife.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you call an Orc in an Imperial jail?
A problem
What do you call every Orc in Tamriel in Imperial Jail?
Problem solved.
Troika
Section: Jokes & Riddles

Written by Nevral Ter (Oni_Tora_)


A Compilation of Jokes and Racial Phrases
by Nevral Ter


I have traveled a lot in my life, and I have encountered many different types of people. With these meetings, I have heard racial comments, many of which were made at me. I have written down some of the less rude of these. I in no way intend to offend anyone.

What do you call a sober Nord?

Hung-over
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You‘re in more trouble than a Kahjiit in a Dunmer fur company!”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you call an Orc in a tree?

Stuck
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why did the Orc have to walk?

He broke his horse
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you call a Bosmer with nice belongings?

A thief
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why wasn’t the Orc hungry?

He had just visited a farm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why didn’t the Dunmer have any slaves?

He was one
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why did the Nord leave the bar?

He was being escorted out.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“You’re working harder than an Argonian on a plantation!”
Troika
Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Vorian (Perseus)


72 Lessons of Leadership
Written by Vorian (Allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)


A dumb friend is worse than a cunning foe.

A realm, built on power, cannot call upon the love and loyalty that people give to to a regime of ideas and beauty. Enhance your realm with beauty and culture.

A secret is worth most when kept secret. If it remains secret, it needs no evidence to be proved.

A stone is heavy. Sand even more so. But the wrath of a fool is much heavier.

A surplus of knowledge never leads to simple decisions.

All is ruled by four things: the teachings of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the just and the courage of the brave.

Always expecting danger means always being prepared. Only those that are prepared may expect to survive.

An enemy you admire easily strikes fear into your heart.

Any law turned absolute is absolutely invalid.

As with many dishes, revenge is at its best when taken slowly after much preparation.

Bravery is the choice between being a coward for a minute or dead hero forever.

Conquerors despise the conquered because they allowed themselves to be defeated.

Diplomats are chosen for their ability to lie.

Enemies strengthen you. Allies weaken you.

Even the poorest can be rich of loyalty. Loyalty paid through bribery and wages is empty and weak. Loyalty that comes from the heart is stronger than adamantium and more valuable than diamonds.

Every individual is part of a whole.

Every ruler inevitably becomes responsible for his subjects.

Everyone is a possible enemy. Every place a possible battlefield.

Expect the unexpected, but only the unexpected that will take place.

Followers should always consider their leader greater than themselves, why else would they follow?

Good leadership is mostly invisible. If everything goes well, no one will notice the leaders' work. That's why he must give his subjects something to cheer about, something to discuss, something to remember.

History has rarely been kind to those that deserved punishment.

History shows the undeniable. Unfortunately, it shows it too late.

Honor cannot be bought.

Hope is the most powerful weapon the trampled have, though it is the greatest enemy of those that face destruction.

Humiliation is never forgotten.

If things went well and got better, it would be better if things went well again.

If you surrender, you have lost. If you try, regardless of the odds, you at least succeeded in trying.

It is hard to make power beloved. That is the dilemma of every ruler.

It is no secret that we all carry secrets. Though they are not all as secret as we might want them to be.

It's true that someone may become rich by practicing evil. But the power of truth and justice is that they last.

Knowing what you are supposed to do is never enough.

Lack of motion is often mistaken for peace.

Law surpresses the weak and supports the strong.

Leaders generally are fortunate so few of their subjects realize he rules by their approval.

Leaders often do not accept the practical use of imagination and original, new ideas, until it is brought to them by bloody hands.

Memory and history are two sides of the same coin. Over time however, history will turn to a more positive impression of what happened. Memory however has the painful task of preserving the worst aspects.

Military victories mean nothing, unless they represent the wishes of the people. A ruler only exists to unfold these wishes. He executes the will of the people, or will not rule for long.

One cannot hide from history. Or one's nature.

One moment of incapacity can be fatal.

One of the responsibilities of government is punishment. But only if the victim asks for it.

One uses power by holding her loosely. Use it too forcefully and you will fall to it and become its victim.

Only a fool leaves behind witnesses.

Only one form of science exists to man. Dissatisfaction.

Organisational structure is vital to the success of a movement. It is also the first target to be attacked.

Pay your spies well. One good spy is worth more than a thousand soldiers.

Peace is not always the same as stability. Stability is not always harmonic and it is never far from chaos.

Politics is the art of appearing as honost as possible and still being able to hide a great deal.

Power is the least stable goal that can be reached. Belief and power excommunicate eachother.

Renewing and daring actions bring forth heroes. Thoughtlessly following dated rules brings forth only politicians.

Secrets are an important side of power. An effective leader spreads them to control his people.

Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.

Sometimes, doing something wrong is better than doing nothing at all.

Speak the truth, for that is much easier and often the most powerful argument.

Storms cause storms. Revenge causes revenge. War causes war.

Support strength, never weakness.

The enemy that is to be feared most is the one that looks like a friend.

The first fight that cannot be won has yet to take place.

The natural fate of power is fractionation.

The world was shaped by mistakes, accidents and chaos. And so it will be destroyed.

The worst protection is trust. The best protection is suspicion.

There are weapons hands cannot hold. They can only be wielded by the mind.

There is no way to share information without judgement.

Those confronted with a need to act, always have different possibilities. As long as the job gets done.

Those in power inevitably try to turn all new knowledge to their wishes. But knowledge cannot have any wishes. Neither in the past nor in the present.

Truth is a chameleon.

We do what we must. To hell with friendship and trust. We do what we must.

What is a man other than a memory for those that follow him?

What is shown is likely of less importance than all that remains hidden.

What senses do we miss that we cannot see or hear the other world everywhere around us?

When facing a choice, not choosing is just another choice.

When one is exercising vengeance, one must enjoy all moments of expectation because the actual performance usually differs greatly from the original plan.
1
Troika
Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Vorian (Perseus)


72 Lessons of Life
Written by Vorian (allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)

A life is nothing without a goal. Sometimes a goal becomes a man's whole life. But what if that goal is reached? O poor man, then what?

A man can fight his greatest enemy, make the longest journey, survive the severest of injuries, and still be helpless in the arms of the woman he loves.

A man is but a stone cast in a pond. And if a man is but a stone, all of his works cannot be more.

A man, who continues to sneak up on a beast in a place where there is none, can forever wait for results. Persistence while searching is not enough.

A mirror will never see itself.

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. It must be experienced in motion to have meaning.

Behold, o sentient being. You can create life. You take life. But see, you have no choice but to accept life. Therein lies your greatest strength and greatest weakness.

Dreams are as simple or complicated as the dreamer.

Each road that limits future possibilities can become a deadly trap. Men do not merely search their way through a maze, they gaze at a wide horizon full of unique possibilities.

Even the innocent carry their guilt. No one comes through life without paying in some way.

Every man dreams of the future, but it is not shown to us all.

Every path that is followed to its ending leads nowhere. One must climb a mountain far enough to see that it is a mountain, far enough to see where other mountains are. From the top of a mountain you cannot see the mountain.

Everything may seem to be simple, as long as it is still a dream.

Exploring is dangerous. But so is life. Someone unwilling to take risks, will never truly learn, will never grow and never really live.

Facts mean nothing when they are contradicted by phenomena. Never underestimate the power of impression rather than reality.

Fate and hope speak the same language.

Fear guides like a blind man with a stick. With his stick however he avoids holes in the ground.

Four things cannot be hidden: Love, smoke, a pillar of fire, and a man walking through the plains.

Going back the way you came is just another way of moving forward.

Hate is as dangerous a feeling as love. The capacity for one means capability to the other.

How easily can sadness turn to rage and resentment find its roots.

If one can accept his sins, he can live with them. If he cannot, he will suffer unbearable consequences.

If the center of the storm does not seem to move, you are on its path.

If you have examined your fears, they will become less frightening. A part of our bravery comes from gaining knowledge.

If you let go of a ladder, you may fall upwards.

Imperfection can, when lit correctly, be extremely valuable. This is because nothing in the universe is coincidental.

Infinity lures us as a shining ray in the night and blinds us to the abundance it can unleash on the finite.

Is it good to be human or more human to be evil?

It takes a desperate, lonely sort of courage to challenge accepted insights on which society rests.

Look within yourself, and you will see the universe.

Love is the highest reachable goal for all. It is an emotion that captures the full depth of heart, soul, and spirit.

Luck travels everywhere.

Miracles and coincidence are side effects of life and reality.

Nature makes its mistakes. Good and evil are human categories.

Never be in company of those you would not want to die with.

Never underestimate the ability of the mind to believe what it wishes. No matter how the facts differ.

Nothing exists without its opposite.

One cannot drink from a mirage, though one can drown in one.

One looks at the survivors and learns of them.

Paradise on the right, hell on the left and an angel of death behind me.

Reality is always one step ahead of logic.

Rule out the impossible. What remains is the truth.

Sadness travels everywhere.

Specific knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage. If you take it too far, you end up on a road you can no longer explain.

Standing on the top of the mountain will not help you find your feet.

Staying alive is not equal to living.

The best way to keep a secret is to let one believe he already knows the answer.

The day you stop learning, you will die.

The ego is no more than a piece of consciousness that floats in an ocean of darkness. We ourselves are the mystery.

The goal of reasoning is changing the nature of truth.

The greatest problems in life cannot be solved. One can only grow beyond them.

The greatest question in life is: Who am I?

The haughty only build castle walls in which they can hide their doubt and fear.

The highest function of science is understanding consequences.

The individual is always shocked discovering its mortality.

The key to discovering is imagination.

The less we know, the longer the explanation.

The mystery of life is no problem to solve but a reality to experience.

The power to learn is a talent. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.

The ultimate question: Why does life exist? The answer: For life's sake.

The universe is our image. Only naive individuals imagine that it is the way they think it is.

The unknown surrounds us at all times. That is where we turn for knowledge.

There is no reality. Only order you create and force on everything.

Things that never happen will happen. They just take more time.

Thinking and ways in which thoughts are transferred inevitably create a system that is filled with illusion.

Those that laugh alone in the middle of the night are thinking of their own evil.

To every question there are ten new questions but only one answer.

Trust everyone, and you will not live long. Trust no one, and you will not know friendship.

We are trained to believe. Not to know.

Why look for a meaning that does not exist? Would you follow a path that leads you nowhere?

You with fear in your heart, be strong and fear not. See, your god will come, and how! He will come and save you from the blasphemists.

Your mind knows, your soul feels, and your spirit guides. However, you may never know where feelings guide you.



EDITED BY VENOM_X

72 Lessons of Leadership
Written by Vorian (Allegedly a disciple of Sotha Sil)


A dumb friend is worse than a cunning foe.

A realm, built on power, cannot call upon the love and loyalty that people give to a regime of ideas and beauty. Enhance your realm with beauty and culture.

A secret is worth most when kept secret. If it remains secret, it needs no evidence to be proved.

A stone is heavy. Sand even more so. But the wrath of a fool is much heavier.

A surplus of knowledge never leads to simple decisions.

All is ruled by four things: the teachings of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the just and the courage of the brave.

Always expecting danger means always being prepared. Only those that are prepared may expect to survive.

An enemy you admire easily strikes fear into your heart.

Any law turned absolute is absolutely invalid.

As with many dishes, revenge is at its best when taken slowly after much preparation.

Bravery is the choice between being a coward for a minute or dead hero forever.

Conquerors despise the conquered because they allowed themselves to be defeated.

Diplomats are chosen for their ability to lie.

Enemies strengthen you. Allies weaken you.

Even the poorest can be rich of loyalty. Loyalty paid through bribery and wages is empty and weak. Loyalty that comes from the heart is stronger than adamantium and more valuable than diamonds.

Every individual is part of a whole.

Every ruler inevitably becomes responsible for his subjects.

Everyone is a possible enemy. Every place is a possible battlefield.

Expect the unexpected but only the unexpected that will take place.

Followers should always consider their leader greater than themselves, why else would they follow?

Good leadership is mostly invisible. If everything goes well, no one will notice the leaders' work. That's why he must give his subjects something to cheer about, something to discuss, something to remember.

History has rarely been kind to those that deserved punishment.

History shows the undeniable. Unfortunately, it shows it too late.

Honor cannot be bought.

Hope is the most powerful weapon the trampled have, though it is the greatest enemy of those that face destruction.

Humiliation is never forgotten.

If things went well and got better, it would be better if things went well again.

If you surrender, you have lost. If you try, regardless of the odds, you at least succeeded in trying.

It is hard to make power beloved. That is the dilemma of every ruler.

It is no secret that we all carry secrets, though they are not all as secret as we might want them to be.

It's true that someone may become rich by practicing evil. But the power of truth and justice is that they last.

Knowing what you are supposed to do is never enough.

Lack of motion is often mistaken for peace.

Law suppresses the weak and supports the strong.

Leaders generally are fortunate so few of their subjects realize he rules by their approval.

Leaders often do not accept the practical use of imagination and original, new ideas, until it is brought to them by bloody hands.

Memory and history are two sides of the same coin. Over time however, history will turn to a more positive impression of what happened. Memory however has the painful task of preserving the worst aspects.

Military victories mean nothing, unless they represent the wishes of the people. A ruler only exists to unfold these wishes. He executes the will of the people or will not rule for long.

One cannot hide from history or one's nature.

One moment of incapacity can be fatal.

One of the responsibilities of government is punishment but only if the victim asks for it.

One uses power by holding her loosely. Use it too forcefully, and you will fall to it and become its victim.

Only a fool leaves behind witnesses.

Only one form of science exists to man, dissatisfaction.

Organizational structure is vital to the success of a movement. It is also the first target to be attacked.

Pay your spies well. One good spy is worth more than a thousand soldiers.

Peace is not always the same as stability. Stability is not always harmony, and it is never far from chaos.

Politics is the art of appearing as honest as possible and still being able to hide a great deal.

Power is the least stable goal that can be reached. Belief and power excommunicate each other.

Renewing and daring actions bring forth heroes. Thoughtlessly following dated rules brings forth only politicians.

Secrets are an important side of power. An effective leader spreads them to control his people.

Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.

Sometimes, doing something wrong is better than doing nothing at all.

Speak the truth for that is much easier and often the most powerful argument.

Storms cause storms. Revenge causes revenge. War causes war.

Support strength, never weakness.

The enemy that is to be feared most is the one that looks like a friend.

The first fight that cannot be won has yet to take place.

The natural fate of power is fractionation.

The world was shaped by mistakes, accidents, and chaos. And so it will be destroyed.

The worst protection is trust. The best protection is suspicion.

There are weapons hands cannot hold. They can only be wielded by the mind.

There is no way to share information without judgment.

Those confronted with a need to act, always have different possibilities, as long as the job gets done.

Those in power inevitably try to turn all new knowledge to their wishes. But knowledge cannot have any wishes. Neither in the past nor in the present.

Truth is a chameleon.

We do what we must. To hell with friendship and trust, we do what we must.

What is a man other than a memory for those that follow him?

What is shown is likely of less importance than all that remains hidden.

What senses do we miss that we cannot see or hear the other world everywhere around us?

When facing a choice, not choosing is just another choice.

When one is exercising vengeance, one must enjoy all moments of expectation because the actual performance usually differs greatly from the original plan.
1
Troika
Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Unknown (stargate525)


50 Lessons of War
Unknown

1) An enemy of my enemy is a friend,
2) Such friends must not be trusted.

3) A friend of my enemy is also an enemy,
4) Unless he is more powerful than I am.

5) Speed is good,
6) Power is better,
7) Both are best.

8) Know the terrain before you attack it,
9) Know the terrain before you defend it,
10) Know the terrain before you cross it,
11) Know the terrain at all times.

12) A trustworthy friend is more powerful than a legion,
13) Defend them with all your power.

14) When you know your enemy, you hold the key to their defeat.

15) The best methods of war do not use weapons,
16) they use the people,
17) they use fear,
18) they use intimidation,
19) they use confusion.

20) A soldier's courage can be broken,
a sword’s cannot.

21) Train your forces in ranged warfare,
22) for if they can fell an enemy before they arrive,
There is no risk to them.

23) Diversify your forces,
24) So that if the enemy undermines one part of your force,
the entire command does not fall.

25) Know your enemy’s weaknesses,
26) Exploit it when at all possible

27) Show your enemies no mercy,
and they shall show none to you.

28) Show your enemies mercy,
and they shall defeat you.

29) The powerful do not always win,
30) for even the strongest enemy cannot hit what he cannot see.

31) Trust not to someone else,
what you can trust yourself to do.

32) Lose sight of your enemy,
and you may find him with a dagger to your back.

33) Seek the advice of others,
34) But do not trust such advice.

35) When victory is expected,
Defeat is twice as bitter.

36) Expect defeat,
and your victory will be twice as sweet.

37) Wise men are powerful,
38) But not all-powerful men are wise.

39) Expect the unexpected,
40) But do not let the expected surprise you.

41) Victory is a subtle term;
Victory is in the eyes of the beholder.

42) Anything is a weapon,
when used correctly.

43) Sometimes the most direct tactics are the best.

44) Do not let yourself be captured,
45) such a defeat is worse than death.

46) Death is foul,
47) But surrender is far worse.
48) Never have your back to anyone,
49) But do not keep your back to a wall

50) Superiority lies with the one who is best prepared.
Troika
Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by M'Ainp (Venom_X)


The “Truth”

Written by M’Ainp cousin of M’Aiq

In the province of Cyrodiil there are many interesting things to find and see. Here is a list of things that you should look for:

If you start in the exact middle of the capital and walk directly at High Fane’s Office in Vivec for five and a half miles, then you will find the Holy Boots of the Tribunal. These boots will increase all of your abilities by 10%.

There is a man in Skingrad who has a magical lamp that will give you any amount of gold you wish if you can bring it the mythical head of D’Roken.

Anvil was built on an ancient Daedric temple that was destroyed long before man existed. It is said that some of the true weapons of Daedra princes are still present in the temple. Be warned however that Daedra will not take kindly to you attempting to retrieve these weapons.

In Topal Bay there is a Dwemer ruin in which Kagrenac kept his books about his experiments.

There is a troll north of the city of Kyatch that will buy anything you have. He carries much money on him and purchases items at a fair price.

In Pale Pass there is a stone. There is only one key, and it is the star.

The Dwemer are not dead. They are out of phase with our reality.

Sheogorath has a spoon that is well hidden in Cyrodiil.

If you wish to battle while on your stead, then look to the north for the amulet, which is the key.

There is a head vampire in Cyrodiil who can only be killed by a silver throwing knife.

If you can find the true judge of man, then you will see the hammer fall upon the land.

The Tribunal were all vampires.

The Nine Divines stole their powers from their creator Tanoreth.
Troika
Section: Miscellaneous Text

Written by Polonius Rialle (Stargazey)


Oddities and Mysteries
As transcribed by Polonius Rialle and Murkus from an interview with M’Aiq the Liar


You want to know the secrets that M’Aiq knows? Fine. M’Aiq will tell you all he knows about the Oddities and mysteries of Morrowind.



The Mystery of the Dwarves-There is no mystery. M'Aiq knows all. The dwarves were here, and now they are not! They were very short folks... Or perhaps they were not. It all depends on your perspective. I'm sure they thought they were about the right height.


The Talking Mudcrab Merchant-M'Aiq has heard of this. They've got all the money. Mudcrabs taking over everything. They already run Pelagiad."


The Naked Barbarians of Morrowind- M’Aiq has heard of this. Foolish Nords becoming besotted with witches. M’Aiq has no sympathy for them. Serves them right.


Capn’s Guide to the Fishy Stick- M’Aiq has never read this book. However, M’Aiq loves fishy sticks and fishy stick sauce. In fact M’Aiq has some fishy sticks with him right now. Would you like one?


Ra’Gruzgob- M’Aiq has heard of this Orc who believes he is a Khajiit because he likes the sugar so much. This is foolish; all know that Orcs are nothing like Khajiit. M’Aiq thinks that the sugar is both a blessing and a curse.


Weresharks- I have only met one, and he was afraid of the water.

Dragons- Dragons? Oh, they're everywhere! You must fly very high to see most of them, though. The ones nearer the ground are very hard to see, being invisible.


Horses- Horses.... Oh, M'Aiq loves horses! Especially with good cream sauce."


Dual Wielding- Two blades at once? Well of course it is possible. M'Aiq can help you if you let him bite off your thumbs.

Mounted Combat- You want to fight from your horse. Are your feet so lazy that they will not bear you?

Thrown weapons and Crossbows in Cyrodiil- You want a Crossbow and throwing weapons? What is wrong with your bow? Does it not kill things far away? Honestly you young ones can never be satisfied, can you?

Fast Travel- Of course M’Aiq know what fast travel is. It is when M'Aiq has too much moon sugar and the Imperials are grouchy. But M'Aiq does not see what business that is of yours.

Skooma and Moonsugar in Cyrodiil- Well that depends. Do you know any Khajiits in Cyrodiil? Then yes, you can find Skooma and moonsugar.

Cliffracers- M’Aiq hates those damn birds. All they do is fly around and harass M’Aiq. M’Aiq has heard there are none in Cyrodiil. Perhaps M’Aiq will move to Cyrodiil.



Authors Note: My interview with M’Aiq the Liar was very tiring, as many of his answers are questions. The reason for the shortness of this book is my exasperation with M’Aiq.
Troika
Section: Plays

Written by Tis'Nael (Corryn)


T’Seca (Based on a True Story) - Author Tis’nael
(recovered by Corryn)

Act I

“But it’s ridiculous that you did nothing to that horrible Dunmer”

“T’Seca knows this, but there is nothing T’Seca can do”

Tish’Nal falls to her knees, sobbing, “What do you mean? You don’t have to fi..fight him; you did nothing to offend his honor and HE KNOWS IT! Just don’t..just don’t go!”

“T’Seca must fight him and T’Seca must fight by the rules of the duel.”

“But why? You know he just wants to…to hunt you! He always finds a way for a slave to insult him one way or another when he is bored! And...and with that bracer on your arm yo..you can’t fight back. Please, you must escape!”

“T’Seca escapes and his friends will be the ones to suffer. If T’Seca wins perhaps we can find new lives together. If T’Seca loses…please, do not cry.”

Tish’Nal lifts herself unsteadily to her feet.

“You still must..you mu…no, no you wouldn’t leave any of us, would you?”

T’Seca smiles with a great sadness in his eyes.

“No.”

With tears still welling up, she whimpers, “Even though you ca…cannot cast with that thing on your arm.”

T’Seca nods slowly.

“Even then, yes.”

T’Seca rises from his place and begins walking to the door. Tish’Nal hurries after him.

“You cannot follow,” T’Seca says, taking her gently by the shoulders. Smiling sadly, he moves her aside. “T’Seca will return for you; he promises.”

She droops back numbly against the wall and stares after him as his silhouette fades into the distance. “Please, come back,” she weeps toward his receding form.


Act II

T’Seca arrives at the field and sees the Dunmer slaver awaiting his arrival.

“So, Khajiit, you did not turn tail.” The Dunmer laughs, apparently amused by his own wit, then his eye catches an old dagger in T’Seca’s belt. “Oh, I see. I suppose it was too much to ask for a beast to remember the rules of a civilized duel.”

T’Seca ignores him, but stands ready to act.

The Dunmer pauses briefly then, while pacing in a slow circle around T’Seca, and continues with a patronizing grin, “It was my honor, after all, that was offended, Khajiit, and I chose magic to decide this contest. If you strike me with that piece of scrap metal, you forfeit,” the Dunmer scowls abruptly, “And I will see to it that the rest of your pitiful lot suffer greatly for my pains.”

T’Seca growls and lifts the blade in the air.

The Dunmer grins once more. “So much for your innate Khajiiti sense of honor. Very well. If you care so little about their fates then I see no reason to prolong this dispute. Time for me to end this.” Deep blue begins to shine from behind his eyes and the air hisses and pops as energy builds around him into blinding light.

“For Tish’Nal” T’Seca whispers and swiftly drives his blade forward. There is a soft thud and T’Seca cries out in pain.

“What…what did you do?” stammers the Dunmer, taken aback and too surprised to react. T’Seca raises his arm clutching it and gasping in pain. Slowly he slides the bracer past the ruin at the end of his arm. T’Seca rises slowly and begins to growl, moving toward the dismayed slaver.

“You can’t have…you…your own hand!” The Dunmer falteres, but then realizing T’Seca was moving toward him releases a bolt of bright energy from his fingertips in panic. To his dismay it splashes harmlessly around T’Seca as wisps of smoke trail away from the shield surrounding him.

T’Seca raises his intact hand and ethereal flames begin to dance around in his closed grasp, “Such horrible deeds you have wrought, and even now you have no remorse.” He opens his palm as the flames flow outward, and the roar drowns out the shrieking Dunmer’s last words.

T’Seca reaches down to the body and lifts a key on a chain from around the Dunmer’s neck. He places it in a pouch and, wincing, supports his damaged hand. “Now, the others and Tish’Nal need not pay such a high price.” He turns slowly and limps back toward the distant huts where a figure stands in a doorway, weathering the chill of the morning and awaiting his return.
Troika
Section: Plays

Written by Stagerunner (Stargate525)


The Lord’s Mail
A Play in One Act
By Stagerunner

Stage is set with two chairs, a table in between them. Miscellaneous homely furniture and decor can be used also. a little to stage right is a doorway. This is where most of the action takes place. the characters are as follows:

Dargon Lethro: (DL) Dark Elf mailman with a short temper, very committed to his work.
Sucha Methro: (SM) High Elf maid for the Sethra household. Very determined and stubborn, dumb and hard of hearing.
Raynes Sethro: (RS) Lord of the manor
Gildor Sethro: (GS) Raynes’ brother
Lipal Sethro: (LS) Daughter of Raynes Sethro.


(DL comes to the door. he pauses slightly, then knocks. SM hurries over to answer it.)
DL: Cyrodiil postal. I seek a ‘Raynes Sethro’.
SM: Who?
DL: (slightly louder) Raynes Sethro.
SM: What did you say?
DL: (half-shouting) RAYNES SETHRO.
SM: Okay, Alright. No need to shout. You cannot see Lord Sethro.
DL: Why not?
SM: he is currently away to see someone.
DL: May I inquire as to who? This package is very important.
SM: Indie.
DL: Indie? Indie who?
SM: Indie Bas Ment. He said he would go see Indie Bas Ment.
DL: (exasperated) May I come in and wait? I have the Lord’s mail.
GS: (running on stage with a shout) YOU DO?!
DL: Of course I do.
GS: Give it to me! It is an important legacy.
DL: (confused) The Lord’s mail?
GS: Of course it is boy! Haven't you heard the legends? The Lord’s Mail can stop all kind of blows. It’s enchanted!
DL: (Examines the package closely) This? The Lord’s mail can do that?
GS: (confused) what is that? (Realizing the misunderstanding) Oh, you meant...and I thought... (slumps into chair, disappointed) Oh. Sucha, who is this anyway?
SM: This is Daynes Rethso, he wants to see Mr. Sethro... Wait, I’m not married. YOU! (Grabs broom and starts chasing DL.) TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AN OLD WOMAN, YOU LADYCHASER! (Continues to rant and chase DL around the room until LS enters.)
LS: What in all of Tamriel is going on here?!
SM: I am TRYING to get rid of this ladycaser!
LS: Him? He’s the Mailman!
SM: He most certainly is not a frail man; I must have hit him a dozen times by now! (Continues to chase DL until LS snatches broom from SM)
LS: Now Sucha quit harassing this man! (to LS) Why exactly are you here?
DL: I...I... need to deliver this package.
LS: What is it?
DL: (sarcastic) Do I look like a Telvanni? I just deliver the package, not see what it is.
LS: Will you give it to me?
DL: Sorry, but I can only give this to the one it’s addressed to; Lord Sethro.
SM: Then you’re in the wrong place, Lord Kethro’s manor is in Cyrodiil.
RS:(coming up from basement) What’s all the racket?
LS and GS: (in unison) He’s come to deliver the mail.
RS: What male? I am a firm abolitionist. If someone has sent me a slave then I’m afraid I’ll have to...
LS: (soothingly) it’s just a package father.
RS: Oh, well in that case... (Takes package from DL and opens it, pulling out a chain mail shirt) I don’t believe it... it’s the Lord’s Mail!
All except RS: WE KNOW!

end
Troika
Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Corryn (Corryn)


Deep Thoughts of a Bosmer - Author Corryn

A Foreign land will always have a strange feel,
The food is unusual and can make your head reel,
But if you seek good cuisine, I'll make you a deal,
Come to Valenwood where you are the meal.

We Bosmer are often spoken of with dread,
But don't let these rumors go to your head,
If you see us, approach and tell us instead,
Whether you go better together with white wine or red.

But do not fear I have already ate,
Though we may meet at some later date,
And then my hunger will determine your fate,
If you’re a guest at my table, or food on my plate.

I once met a man that thought he could fly,
but no man without magic can soar in the sky,
And though I knew he wouldn't live from so high,
My stomach was grumbling and dinner was nigh.

Remember in life you must seek for the, light
To face the dark horrors and fear of no fright,
And strive to overcome and do what is right,
But right now I'm hungry so put up no fight.

Poetry is wonderful and this has been quite fun,
But it seems our time is up and now I have to run,
You may expect one last joke, alas that I have none,
The time for laughing is over now, the feasting has begun.
Troika
Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Rhense (Corryn)


In Sanity – Author Rhense

A wanderer walked in the wild
Seeking long for an ancient path
He met a man that seemed most riled
And who did shriek “I’m Sheogorath”.

“A god holds scorn for a false claim”
“I am the dam dog or can’t you tell”
“Have you proof you bear his name”
So then the man did loudly yell

“I am Sheogorath I do not die”
And with a blade he stabbed his thigh
The Wanderer said “Please let me try”
And when no darkness cloud his eye
He leapt from his place and aloud did cry
“Oh now I recall that so am I.”

It is good to meet me once again,
But I hesitate to call me friend,
While I must continue on my stroll,
I believe that is my purse I stole.
Troika
Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Unknown (Yipsl)


"Cyrodiil Horseman's Lament":

"My horse he doesn't fight,
yea, you got that right,
and he runs away and hides all day,
when the villain comes in sight.

My horse he doesn't pray,
To the Nine Divines I say!
He casts no spell to help or heal,
But carries me with a hoof and a neigh.

My horse he doesn't steal,
He cannot make a deal.
He picks no locks, just eats the shocks,
And waits in night's gray keel.

My horse, he cannot mix,
Alchemy’s odd tricks.
He just eats the roots,
of plants and their shoots.

My horse he gets me there,
I paid for him quite fair,
He looks so fine in that stable of mine,
And prances without a care!"

The above is an occasionally heard bar room song lamenting how horses really aren't much use to any profession beyond looking nice and getting you where you're going.
Troika
Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Jules (Stargate525)


The Road
by Jules

The road forever does wear on
Running along its way
although it may be used often
or fall into decay.

The road does not care whether it’s used
or whether it falls apart
for it will still travel
the way it has always
Right from the end to the start.

Although it may wither, rot and decay,
the road shall persevere
and a trait so admirable
in an object so common
is a trait that should be revered

the road may be forgotten
in the passing of years
But that doesn't mean it isn’t there
Waiting to be used again
Troika
Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Maloki Frun (Oni_Tora_)


Post-War Sonnet

As I walk through the field of the dead
They lay there, so still, as in a peaceful slumber
Their blood stains the land crimson red
So peaceful is the moonlit night of summer
And I pity those that still struggle and still strive
To hang onto life even as they bleed it away
Just to think of their homes to which they will never arrive
For they came onto this field, and in it they will stay
This is the atrocity of post-war
Lives spent for some un reached goal
Which may never be reached, but still worth dying for
And dead though the body still lives the soul
These soldiers have paid a price they cannot afford
And he who lives by the sword dies by the sword

- Maloki Frun
Troika
[B]Section: Poetry & Song

Written by Common Drunkards (Oni_Tora_)[B]

A Drinking Song
-Some drunkard

As long as there be good ale in me cup,
there’ll be good ale in me belly!
And as long as there be coin in me purse,
there’ll be good ale in me cup!
And when me purse be void of coin,
I shall not go peacefully,
I'll fling a chair and start a bout
and get me self kicked out!
But if me purse remains full
into the wee hours of night,
And last call is passed around
I'll stumble around town
Until me house be found,
And as I throw me self into me bed
I'll think of the morning horrors of me pounding head!
Troika
Section: Race-specific Text

Written by Tillius Hunius (JulZ)


The Sub-races of the Khajiit
By Tillius Hunius

Foreword
This book was written as a guide for Imperial merchants traveling in Elsweyr. The Khajiit are one of Tamriel’s three races of Betmer, or beast races, the other two being the Orcs and the Argonians. However, unlike these two, the Khajiit come in a variety of forms or sub-races. The sub-race of a Khajiit kitten is decided by the moons’ positions when he or she is born. It is important for one who frequently deals with them to be able to tell the difference between the sub-races, and this book should help you in this.
-Tillius Hunius

Ohmes
The Ohmes are the most man-like, or rather, mer-like, Khajiit. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is full, and are very easily mistaken for Wood Elves, but they do not like this comparison at all themselves. Luckily, many Ohmes tattoo their faces to show their true identity. This makes it easier for the untrained eye to recognize an Ohmes Khajiit for what it truly is.

Ohmes-Raht
The Ohmes-Raht look much like the Ohmes, but they have tails, light fur and slightly more feline features. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is waxing.

Suthay
These Khajiit look like bipedal cats with slightly more humanoid limbs. They are nearly the same size as the Ohmes. They are born when both moons are full. They are, perhaps, the ultimate thieves — small, agile, fast, silent and have, like all Khajiit, very good night vision. They are often encountered outside of their homeland. As Khajiit have difficulties understanding the meaning of ‘property’, the Suthay are a sub-race to be feared if you have your possessions dear.

Suthay-Raht
The Suthay-Raht are nearly indistinguishable from the Suthay, except for the fact that they are slightly larger. They are born when Masser is new and Secunda is waning.

Cathay
These Khajiit have leopard-patterned fur, and share some traits with this exotic creature. They are bipedal; their physique reminds of the Suthay and Suthay-Raht. They are born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is full. They have a warrior’s strength, and this is indeed what most Cathay are.

Cathay-Raht
Cathay-Raht are similar to the Cathay, but are even bigger, stronger and more ferocious. They are born when both moons are waxing.

Tojay
My sources know very little of these Khajiit; only that they are born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is new, and that they are resident of the Tenmar jungle.

Tojay-Raht
Again, my sources know little of these. They are, as I have been informed by a somewhat reliable Wood Elf, born when Masser is waxing and Secunda is waning.

Pahmar
These are very similar to tigers. They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is new.

Pahmar-Raht
These look like the Pahmar, only larger and stronger. They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is waning.

Senche
These are similar to the Pahmar-Raht, but stand as tall as a High Elf, and can weigh as much as twenty! They are born when both moons are full, and the more bipedal of the Khajiit forms ride them like horses.

Senche-Raht
These huge creatures are known to most Imperials as “battlecats”, and can be twice the size of a Senche! They share many of these’s physical traits, but have straighter legs and shorter body (Relative to size, of course). They are born when Masser is full and Secunda is waxing, and like the Senche are used as steeds.

Alfiq
These look much like regular domesticated Imperial cats, but can understand human speech (though they are unable to speak it themselves). They are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is new. Some Wood Elves claim they have strong spellcasting abilities, but this is very unlikely.

Alfiq-Raht
Like the Alfiq, but larger, up to the size of a small dog. They are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is waxing. As with the Alfiq, I have been told they have a talent for spellcasting.

Dagi
I have heard of this sub-race, but they likely live in some out-of-the-way part of Elsweyr, perhaps in the Tenmar jungle, if they exist at all, because my sources knew nothing about them. I have read in a Khajiiti lorebook that they are born when Masser is waning and Secunda is new.

Dagi-Raht
These are as mysterious to me as the Dagi, but I believe they are born when both moons are waning.

The Mane
The Mane is believed to be a unique sub-race, consisting of only one individual, namely the Khajiit’s spiritual leader, bearing the name of his sub-race. The Mane is an important character to the Khajiit.

I hope this book can be of aid to any explorers traveling in the Khajiit’s province of Elsweyr.
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Le-Ran (Argonians Rule)


Tale of a Drunken Orc

Written by Re-Lan

Part I

Glishnak sat up in the field he had been sleeping in. The effects of flin had muddled his simple mind. The burly orc sat for a few minutes, trying to recall where he was. Soon, it all came flooding back to memory. He was in Cyrodiil, spending large amounts of gold on alcoholic beverages when a nobleman had approached him. The man had asked him to fetch a case of flin from a nearby town in exchange for fifty pieces of gold. Glishnak had agreed, and had retrieved the flin; unfortunately he proceeded to drink it’s contents while returning to the nobleman. A few minutes later, he had stumbled into the field and had passed out. As this came back to him, Glishnak grew worried. He knew the nobleman would soon wonder what happened to an entire case of expensive flin. Glishnak wandered to the nearest town, cautious, as he suspected that the nobleman had sent someone to retrieve him.

Then, an unfamiliar figure approached Glishnak and said, "Here, orc, I believe you are in need of a case of flin. I can help you. All that you must do is defeat an evil warlock by the name of Galmor."

Glishnak agreed instantly, taking no time to consider this blasphemous offer, but said, "Wait, me have no weapons to fight bad guy."

“Here, take this. It’s called the fork of horripilation," the man answered. Glishnak took the fork and, without another word, set out to the East. He had walked just short of a hundred yards when the man caught up to Glishnak and said, “Wait, orc. It would be wise to look in the West.” And so the half-sober orc walked heroically into the sunset with the fork of horripilation in his hand, with no clue as to where to find Galmor.

Part II

Glishnak soon grew hungry. He had been walking westward for nearly three days, and was now traveling through a deeply wooded area. However, the man had advised him to search in the West, and hadn't mentioned eating or sleeping; Glishnak had interpreted this to mean that he must continue heading westward, and that no eating or sleeping was permitted. Finally, malnourished and exhausted, Glishnak collapsed.

"Oi, I foun’ some’n!"
"Aye, iss one o’ dem orcs."
"Shou’we eat ‘im?"
"Nah, me ol’ mum told me never to eat an orc. That she did."

Glishnak awoke to see two scruffy-looking men standing over him. He didn't notice the obvious signs that they were bandits, and just assumed that they were two travelers.
"Can you help me up?"
"Oi! He's aloive!"
"Le’s kill ‘im!"

Glishnak's minuscule brain began working as he heard those words. First he thought, I'm thirsty. At that moment, he noticed a puddle at his feet. He bent down to drink just as the first bandit’s sword cleaved through the air; however, as he was hunched over, the bandit's sword sliced straight above him and through his partner’s neck, decapitating him. This didn’t stop him, however. He returned with another, vertical slash. At this time, however, Glishnak slipped in the puddle because of his lack of balance. The swipe missed once again. Suddenly, Glishnak’s short attention span shifted in thought, and decided it would be fun to roll in the mud. As he rolled, the bandit’s lunge failed even to graze his skin. The bandit had lunged too far; his blade stuck in the ground, and Glishnak stood up as the bandit attempted to free his blade. Glishnak spotted a pack of food on the bandit's back and thought, me already sleep; no harm in eating. With that he drew the mighty fork and stabbed at an apple in the pack, but due to lack of any kind of skill he missed and got the bandit in the neck, effectively slaying him. Glishnak proceeded to eat all of the food, then lay down and dozed off. When he awoke, he noticed the decapitated bandit had a pack full of stolen brandy. Glishnak drank the entire pack, and then staggered down the path on his quest to kill the warlock and earn himself a case of flin.

Part III

Glishnak was still walking on the path. It had been two days since he had run into the bandits, and nothing eventful had happened. He noticed a trapdoor in the middle of the path, and proceeded to open in and jump inside. Once inside, he noticed it had led to a massive cavern. Deeper in the cavern was a massive Daedric shrine. He continued forward only to hear a voice:

"So someone has finally come. What is your name, orc?"
"Me Glishnak, what you?" replied Glishnak
"I am Galmor," said the voice.
"Oh."

Glishnak strained to remember where he had heard this name before. Then it returned to him.

"Me on quest to kill you," Glishnak replied heartily.
"Indeed..."

At that moment, a tall, gaunt Dunmer emerged from behind a wooden pillar. It was after the Dunmer emerged that Glishnak noticed the large wooden beam supporting the shrine.

"What wooden thing?" asked Glishnak.
"That is a support beam. I am using it to construct my own Daedric shrine. Until it is complete, that beam is the only thing keeping this shrine erect. Now enough questions. Die, filthy orc," exclaimed the warlock.

Galmor summoned a Dremora from Oblivion, which proceeded to attack Glishnak with a massive warhammer of Daedric craft. The hammer hit his skull repeatedly until the summoning’s duration dissipated, and the Dremora returned to Oblivion. However, Glishnak's thick skull took the beating without so much as a crack. Galmor then used sorcery to drain Glishnak’s intelligence, hoping to reduce Glishnak to a babbling mess. This had little effect on Glishnak’s already low mentality. Galmor was growing worried; he decided he wouldn't be able to defeat the orc, and cast a spell of sound to make a quick distraction while he ran. Glishnak had awoken nearly every day of his life with a hangover and thus wasn’t bothered by the sound. He chased Galmor through the shrine, fork in hand, attempting to stab Galmor. Finally, after nearly a quarter of an hour of chasing him, Glishnak grew frustrated. He saw the beam and kicked it in anger, causing the shrine to begin caving in on itself. Using pure instinct, he knew to escape and was able to run out the trapdoor just before the shrine collapsed. Galmor wasn’t as fortunate, his last thoughts being, why in the world didn't I have more than one support beam!?

Glishnak returned to the East along the path, and eventually reached the town in which his quest began. He entered the tavern in which he had met the strange man. At the sight of Glishnak, he smiled and exclaimed, "Ah, my friend, you have returned! It was quite enjoyable, watching your adventures."
"How you watch me?" Glishnak said, with a confused look on his face.
"Why, I am lord Sheogorath. I will now take back the mighty fork and give you your case of flin."

He then vanished into thin air. Glishnak didn't think much of having met a Daedric prince. But then again, he didn't think much at all. Glishnak took the case of flin and instantly drank it, having forgotten why he needed it in the first place. He then stumbled into an alley and passed out, living out the rest of the night in blissful ignorance.

THE END
1
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Xerxys (Troika)


The Nobleman's Daughter

Written by Xerxys

Some years ago, there lived the daughter of a wealthy nobleman, the only child the nobleman had fathered before his wife had died. She was a pretty girl, but found the would-be suitors of her town rough and boorish, and not at all what she, or her proud father, was looking for in a husband.

Time drew steadily on, and, upon the daughter's 21st birthday, her father consulted the local alchemist, to see if there was any way to help along the process of finding his daughter a good husband.

"Take these seeds," said the wise old woman, who was really much more of a witch than an alchemist, "And when the man who is truly right for your young one first enters her life, only then will the seeds grow." The nobleman looked at the handful of small, dried brown seeds doubtfully, but was reminded of how his daughter's youth was quickly fading, and how he still had no heir to his title.

The daughter, most excited at the witch's plan, planted the seeds immediately in a small pot. She then proceeded to carry the pot with her wherever she went. Being the only daughter of a nobleman, she knew not what it was to work, and so her lazy days were spent simply spending time with her friends or looking through the various shops of the town.

One morning, whilst she was in the town's most upper market a clothier, a tall, blond-haired man, whom she'd never seen before, walked in, carrying three large bolts of cloth. The nobleman's daughter thought that he must have been very strong to be able to carry such a large amount of bolts upon his broad shoulders, and once he had left, the nobleman's daughter immediately ran to the young shopkeeper, asking about the blonde-haired man.

"He is the deliverer of much of my stock. Upon the first morning of every month, he delivers whatever stock I need from the city to the North."

The nobleman's daughter continued to press the shopkeeper for information, who could sadly not provide much more than his name - Jargo. But it did not mater, for as soon as she had left the shop, the nobleman's daughter looked down and found that the first green shoot from her magical seeds had begun to poke through the earth.

Jargo was the man who would be her husband.

For the next month, she prepared and waited for the day when Jargo would once again return to the town. When the first day of the new month arrived, he seeds had all sprouted now, and were growing healthily. She made her way hastily to the clothier's shop, and after an hour of waiting and chatting with the shopkeeper, the door opened and in walked Jargo, with two bolts of cloth slung over his shoulder. Immediately, the nobleman's daughter tried her best to charm Jargo, saying good morning and fluttering her eyelashes until she thought she must have been looking as if something was very wrong with her.

Jargo simply returned the good morning, and went about his business, taking the gold from the shopkeeper and hastily leaving. The nobleman's daughter felt a little distraught; she had waited an entire month to once again meet with the man who would make a perfect husband, and he says little more than two words to her.

Needing some time to think about her predicament, she offers to help the shopkeeper put away the bolts of cloth. They were extremely heavy, much heavier than anything she'd had to lift before, but as she spoke with the shopkeeper, she decided to press on resolutely with her pursuit.

"I shall be here on the first day of every month until I have Jargo's heart," she proclaimed to the shopkeeper as she left to go home, her arms aching from all the lifting.

And so she did. Every month she would wait in the shop talking to Armund the clothier as she waited for Jargo to arrive. Every month they would get a little better acquainted, with the nobleman's daughter being as pretty and as charming as she could possibly be. Then each month, after Jargo had once again left, leaving the nobleman's daughter's heart behind with her, she would help in the shop a little, talking to Armund about her predicament.

The young shopkeeper would always agree with her suggestions of what she should do and say next month, nodding his head politely. Each month, the nobleman's daughter would help a little more in the shop, sorting out the spools of thread or organizing the half-completed items of clothing. The time allowed her to think about Jargo, her extremely vexing quarry.

After Jargo had walked out of the shop, without the nobleman's daughter, for the seventh time, she was feeling particularly upset. After helping put away the bolts of cloth (which she was now really quite good at doing), she asked Armund if she could go and lay on his bed upstairs for a while, feeling very sad that Jargo was still not responding to her advances.

Armund showed the nobleman's daughter upstairs, as she'd never been up here before, and offered her his small bed. It was very simple, with just a small table with a pot of red flowers beside it.

"How curious," mused the nobleman's daughter as she sat upon the bed. "I have a pot of the exact same flowers at home, yet they are not ordinary flowers."

"I know," replied Armund, his shyness becoming suddenly stronger. "And I know why you have these flowers. I too bought the enchanted seeds from the old alchemist. And mine sprouted the day you entered my shop." The nobleman's daughter was flustered. She suddenly laid down onto the bed, feeling very giddy.

"But... But, Jargo. My seeds grew for Jargo," she protested, remembering the strong, blonde-haired man whom she's spent no more than twenty minutes with in total over the last seven months.

"Was I too not in the shop that day?" It was of course true. The nobleman's daughter looked over the flowers, growing as strong and as healthily as hers grew at home. She then looked at Armund. He wasn't as handsome or as strapping as Jargo, but he has a kind face, and she enjoyed his company. She then began to laugh to herself.

"What is it?" asked Armund.

"I have waited seven months for my perfect man, and yet he has been here all the time. I really am very foolish."

The End
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


The Cursed Bow

By Forrest


Morning Star 5th : 7 in the morning-


Riften,Skyrim-

Hylf Fork-Beard stepped out into the morning and breathed the fresh air. "Ah,another fine day in Riften." he said to himself. He wondered what he should do today. "I guess I could go hunting again" Hylf said to himself. He stepped back into his house grabbed his bow and quiver of arrows and stepped out again.
He walked across the hills,the trip he made just about every day of his life. Only today something was different. There was a strange feeling in the air. After walking for about five minutes he came across a group of people. Five of them. Hylf knew by the look in there eyes they were up to no good. "Hello there my Nordic friend. I can see that your bow has seen its share of battles. Could I interest you in this high quality Steel Longbow crafted by the finest Bosmer armorer." the young long-haired Bosmer said to Hylf. "My bow has been my friend for years,it was my fathers bow and his fathers. I have no interest in your so-called fine bow." Hylf said proudly.
Showing no further interest in the Bosmer or his friends he began to walk again. Spotting a bear off in a clearing Hylf equipped an arrow,rose his bow and aimed. "If you'll just allow me to demonstrate how well this fine bow works..." He was interupted by Hylf,who shot him a scowling look and put his finger to his lips motioning him to be quiet.
Hylf resumed to hunt his prey only to find the bear to have ambled off somewhere. "Are you happy now?" Hylf said,turning to the Wood Elf. "I guarantee,that if you would have used this bow then you would have got your kill" The Bosmer said defensively. Hylf turned and walked off. "I guess I'll have to demonstrate this weapon the hard way." he said raising the bow and arrow up and aiming it at Hylf. Hylf spun around and dodged the arrow just in time. He put his bow up and un-sheathed his Nordic Longsword.
"You messed with the wrong Nord." Hylf shouted. Racing to the Bosmer he slew him where he stood. The other four,in sheer terror turned and ran. Hylf crouched down to relieve his would-be-killer of his former possessions. He found sixty septims,a key,and a bottle of Cyrodiilic Brandy.
Hylf looted the body,and grabbed the bow,planning on selling it later,and returned home. Hylf thought of what had transpired in the past five minutes. He now realized that the Bosmer and his band of followers were bandits. Arriving at his shack,Hylf placed his bow on his shelf and leaned the looted one against the wall.
He then walked to the tavern to have some mead and chat with his brethren. Sipping away at his mead he told the bartender of his experience that morning. The bartender replied "That's strange,I got a report of a band of six were seen at Pale Pass yesterday. There was a Wood Elf like the one you described,three Bretons,an Argonian and a Khajiit. They were a suspicious looking bunch". Hylf turned this over in his mind a couple of times,dropped it completely from his mind and continued in drinking his mead.

Morning Star 5th : 6 in the evening-

Hylf,getting quite hungry thought he would go hunting again. He grabbed his father's bow and went out. He managed to get his dinner. Hylf returned home after he had slain his prey,when he opened the door there stood the Bosmer who killed earlier on. He was transparent and there was a strange glow about him. Hylf didn't know whetther it was the mead or if what he seeing was real. "You killed me and now I'll have my revenge! At exactly seven o' clock tommorrow morning you will die and your soul will be trapped in this bow unless you dispose of it" The ghostly Bosmer said. Hylf replied "Fine then,I'll throw it into the lake if it pleases you that much. I believe not in your childish superstitions but if it'll make you go away then fine". "Oh no,my Nordic friend you won't be able to!" At that moment a green ball shot forth,hit Hylf and froze hime where he stood. The Ghosth of the Bosmer vanished.
Hylf was getting restless,how many hours had it been? Two? Three? He couldn't tell. It was eating away at him. This was such a horrible way to go for a warrior such as he. When dawn came his fate was sealed,or so he was told. "Nonsense,I must have only injured that elf earlier today. He just cast a spell on me. He's just trying to scare me." He kept thinking to himself,making himself believe it was true.

Morning Star 6th : 6:58 in the morning-

Hylf was going mad,he hadn't been able to move for hours. He could see out his windo the sun slowly creeping up.Hylf looked down,and was horrified. The bow which he'd taken from the Wood Elf had blood stains on it,and was glowing. Hylf's eyes grew wide. He panicked. Suddenly the ghost of the Bosmer returned and said "The time has come,your soul belongs to the bow now!". Hylf,desperately trying to move,was terrified. Not of losing his soul. But of not dying an honorable death.
Hylf felt something pulling at him. Then he went blank. A body bent down and picked up the bow and said "Hmmmmm it's been a few thousand years since I've been a Nord but I'm sure it'll be better than that short Bosmer".

And so if you ever run into a shady person who is trying to sell you a bow then politely refuse and get away from him or who knows...Hylf and your fate could be the same.

The End
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Superum Lucretia Victrix (MadDocSkooma)


Tales of the Hermit Enchantress, Part 1
by
Superum Lucretia Victrix (MadDocSkooma)

This is the story of how I came to be the Hermit Enchantress Superum Lucretia Victrix. Some tales may sound embellished, and others actually are enhanced, as they say, but most are true. My time in the lands of Tamriel are growing short, I am an old woman now. But, if you take pleasure in the adventures of daring do and ne'er do wells then read on.

It all started when I was arrested as a young girl. The war effort had taken its toll on the local farms, and we were being rationed by the military. My family was hungry, and I did not believe the Imperial Guard would arrest a child for lifting a loaf of bread. I was sentenced to three days. Three days! For a loaf of bread? Me, a young imperial girl given three days for simply helping out my family? If ever I meet the Emperor I'd give him a piece of my mind, and more. That is what I had thought then. Oh to be young and brash and full of vigor. I guess the bread did belong to the captain of the guard, but still he had plenty of food.

The guards shoved me into a dark cell deep within the prison tower. It suddenly dawned on me that they had indeed found me guilty! As I was lost in my thoughts of anger, I hadn't noticed there was someone else in the cell with me. As my eyes adjusted I noticed the figure of an old woman sitting on the bed clutching a blanket around herself to stay warm.

I asked the old woman, "Who are you?"

"Just an old woman caught stealing." she said.

Sitting in the cell with the old woman who had been punished much like myself, we could hear a great battle raging outside. I suppose, the price one pays for living near a province not yet under the rule of law. Not having much to do the old woman tried to befriend me, she said she was a great enchantress. All I could believe was that she was a filthy liar and a thief, like me, otherwise why was she caught stealing? But, not having much to do I listen to her, as she prattled on about how to enchant ones shoes to travel faster.

She says to make such an enchantment; one needs a great soul of a demon. I couldn't believe that she could capture the soul of a rat, but still there was something about her that kept me interested.

"Old woman, tell me. Have you done so to your shoes?" I asked.

"Aye, young child I did. But, they have been stolen. Along with my collection of soul gems. Unfortunately, there was a slight problem with the soul I used for the enchantment." she said.

"Problem? What happened?" I was quite intrigued by this, had the great enchantress made a mistake?

"Well, as it turns out the shoes, well actually boots, had a rather nasty habit of making the wearer blind!"

Some enchantress I thought. Still, she had shown me a few tricks to enchanting, and I became more interested in the process. The days went by, the old woman showed me a few more tricks of the trade before we were released, a day later than we had been sentenced. The guards said it was for our own good, and besides it would have been too dangerous for an old woman and a child to be around all the fighting.

As we left the prison tower I noticed a charred patch of land nearby, the place where my families home used to be. I felt an assuring hand placed on my back, I looked up to see the old woman. With a glint of tears welling in her eyes she motioned towards a distant hill where a small shack perched precariously atop it and said, "Come child, you may stay with me."
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Balorduin the Sage (Jaeld Alteir)


Chronicles of the Riftguard, Volume 11
Witnessed and recorded herein by Balorduin the Sage, at the Eighth Coming of the Great Cold

Translated and Edited for the Modern Era by Jaeld Alteir


[Editors Note: Although this work is entitled as the 11th chronicle, no other volumes are currently known to exist, and indeed very well may not. This manuscript was found languishing amongst a stack of forgotten documents in a ruined keep to the far north, and translated from an archaic Nordic dialect by myself for the purposes of the modern audience. A number of pages were missing or decayed beyond recognition, but I have salvaged what I could. The legend of the Riftguard apparently has a long established presence in Nordic folklore, but no new tales seem to have surfaced in the past thousand years or so, and considering the rather unbelievable nature of this tale it seems unlikely that they were ever more than heroic myths bantered about in mead halls.]


...but the omens were not to be ignored, and a call went out from Castle Northfang to the lands of the far north. A great council was assembled, composed of the noblest of the lords of frost and snow, and they gathered in the cavernous halls of the fortress at Riftgate to examine the chasm of the Rift for themselves.

But as the snows blew ever colder and as the frost crept across the surface of the towering Riftwall like cobwebs of ice, it was clear that the shamans had read the signs true. The wolves kept by Lord Northfang howled continually, a mournful sound of impending dread sent up to warn their masters of the coming Cold. The ways of beasts are older than the ways of men, and their warnings are not to be taken lightly. The fear was evident even in the eyes of these greatest predators of the North. They could sense what was stirring deep in the earth.

And so the council ventured out through the iron teeth of the Riftgate; the immense thickness of the base of the Riftwall; the one narrow passage carved in the ancient stones laid by the first wardens of the Rift countless generations before. The Gatekeeper, spear nestled in the pit of his arm, led them through the series of gates that had not been opened for many centuries, and the hinges creaked and groaned in protest. When they reached the outer edge of the wall, the Riftguards eldest shaman bent and spoke an ancient incantation before the enchanted wardstone that served as the most potent seal of the Riftgate between men and Rift.

And so, ringed by thirty of the Riftguard's stoutest defenders, with burning torches held aloft and clutching spears and swords enchanted with flame, the council ventured forth into the Valley of the Rift. To the edge of the great Rift itself they crept, and peered down through miles of fractured ice and earth into the chilling realm of nothingness. The cold here is so great that it froze the very earth itself, and split it asunder. There are ancient magic’s at work in the swirling cold of the Rift, and at a certain depth...things change. Men are said to have ventured into the void and never returned. But one thing is certain: this is the point from which the Cold Ones and their minions spill forth into our world. It is said that the council could hear the unearthly wails and whispers of the Cold Ones themselves carried up on the icy winds that poured forth from the Great Rift, and it was then that the council knew beyond all doubt that They who had long slumbered had finally awakened once more, and that war was coming once more to the realm of all that lived in light and warmth.


...the valiant warriors of the Riftguard had met the first wave of the Cold Ones and their minions with flame and steel, but the relentless tide of icy foes had begun to overwhelm the outer fortifications in the days since. It was not only the formless Cold Ones themselves who led the assault, but also the shaggy Frost Giants summoned up from the depths of the ice and corrupted by the dark hatred emanating from the Cold Ones. Most dreadful of all, however, were the animated corpses of the Riftguard's own slain, twisted by the Cold Ones into lifeless shadows of their former selves, with cold, dead eyes of frozen blue. It was a horrible thing to watch as these brave men of the Riftguard were forced to cut down the defiled remnants of those who had once been their closest comrades, tears mingling with the frozen blood on their blades. It is a credit to the stout hearts of the men and women of the Riftguard that they did not waver from their duty even in this, but it will take many a pint of mead to wash these vile memories from their minds when at last this war is over.


...barnacles cling fast to the hulls of boats sent from the mainland to reinforce us, for they have lain silent in port for several weeks now. Lord Northfang's swiftest ships and ravens summoned them from afar when first the council decided that the Cold Ones were to come again, reviving near-forgotten alliances from ages past. From all quarters they came, for all races remember that when the Cold Ones come, the living must rally to meet them. Their ships shall return home much lighter when this nightmare finally ends, however, for many of the warriors they brought here now lie buried at the foot of the soaring Riftwall. Late at night while on watch at the top of the wall, I have heard men tell of how the ancient heroes of the Riftguard buried their dead in a wide arc around the Great Rift, and that the very Valley of the Rift itself was formed by these heaps of corpses piled up over the ages, when the battles between men and Cold Ones raged almost continually. The Imperial soldiers sent from the mainland, and the Dunmer warriors who came to our aid from Morrowind, laugh at these tales, and consider them too outlandish to be true...until they stand for themselves before the onslaught of the Cold Ones, and face that empty, animated armor of ice for themselves. They are quieter after that, and perhaps they start to believe the old tales...

...The outer bulwarks are crumbling, smashed and overwhelmed by continual assault from our icy foe. Still the Riftguard and their allies try to hold the defenses at the base of the Riftwall, willing to fall back to the mighty wall itself only as a last resort. For although the massive Riftwall towers above the valley almost to the limits of my sight, and seems an indomitable barrier, it is truly the last line of defense between the Great Rift and all that lives beyond. If the Cold Ones were to break through, their plague of ice and darkness would consume the world, plunging all into frozen lifelessness. They cannot be allowed to breach the wall, and so we must not let them reach it--at the very least we must minimize the time they have to pound its huge stones with their icy fists, and dig their frozen blades into its ancient mortar.

But still they come onward, by the gods how they come. In the dark of night they hurl themselves at our defenders, and the night is filled with their unearthly wails and the defiant battle cries of our noble defenders. The battlefield is alight with the dancing flames of torches and the arcing tracks of fire arrows launched from atop the wall, for these demons of cold despise the light and warmth of fire.

The wood elves are our finest archers, a complement of whom arrived from Valenwood no more than a week ago. Even in the heaviest wind and snow, they can be relied upon to hit their mark, and the screams of the Cold Ones attest to this accuracy as the flaming arrows consume them. But there is always more surging out of the Great Rift to replace them.

But the strangest and most unexpected of our allies arrived even before that, on a black and windless night beneath a slender moon. Shadows spread and slithered in his wake as he strode silently up to the towers of Riftgate behind the wall. The lone pair of men set to watch the rear side of the Riftwall shrank warily back as the sound of his voice drifted up to them, like the slow gasp of escaping air from a long-sealed tomb. "I am Vhalithasion, born of night and blood, come to fight on the side of the warm bloods."

For he is nothing less than a Dark Lord, a vampire, ancient and immortal. And yet here he was, strolling boldly into the midst of the living, a blackened longsword slung at his side beneath a blood-red cloak embroidered with arcane runes. Half a dozen suspicious men of the Riftguard escorted him into the presence of Rhojal Icefist, Warden of the Riftwall, and his circle of fellow commanders gathered from across the globe. Most notable among them was Lord Northfang, the lord of Castle Northfang, the only other outpost on this far Northern Isle, whose noble bloodline had founded the Riftguard far back in the distant recesses of history.

They too were naturally suspicious of so unusual an ally, but we were desperate for all the aid we could acquire, and the Riftguard has never placed political squabbles above the defense of the living world...so perhaps that could now be applied to the undead as well. They conversed in private with this Vhalithasion for some time, and when at last they reemerged it was agreed that he should fight alongside the ranks of men and elves, an uneasy truce granted in the interest of greater goals.

At first some of our mortal warriors muttered and cursed about this unnatural beast within our midst, but I must grudgingly confess that the one known as Vhalithasion bore it all with an admirable calm. He had a noble air about him, and I gradually began to understand him as a creature that had...lived? existed? long and knew much...he was not merely a base monster as so many of his kind are known to be. I fear we shall never fully understand his reasons for joining us in this fight, and when I asked him about it he seemed almost amused. As his deep red eyes bore into me, he responded "Perhaps I do not wish for these...Cold Ones...to rob me of the lifeblood of this world. Or perhaps if you had lived as long as I, you would understand that a changing world is all that an immortal has by which to measure his existence...an eternity of cold and darkness does not interest me." He flashed a grim smile then, revealing the gleaming fangs that marked him as no mere Dunmer. "Or perhaps I merely thirst for battle after a long slumber. My reasons are my own, mortal. Simply be glad that I fight with you rather than against you."

And we most certainly did come to be glad of that. The first night after his arrival, he took up a post on the front lines of our defenses. We were still wary of him then, and the defenders shrunk from his presence, holding their torches close. But he seemed hardly to notice their discomfort as the cold night air whipped and coiled around him, setting his cloak aflutter. His red eyes glowed in the flickering firelight as he stared off into the darkness, waiting, poised to strike, yet unmoving against the frigid wind.

We all heard it then, carried on the wind--the now-familiar sound of Cold Ones and Frost Giants clamoring up the sides of the Great Rift, and the scraping of ice as they shuffled up out of the valley. Vhalithasion stepped through the line of wooden stakes that marked our furthest perimeter, and strode alone out into the fresh snow. The only sound was the soft crunching of his footsteps and the distant murmur of the advancing foe, for none of our own soldiers spoke. They watched, transfixed, as the imposing vampire slowly drew his fearsome black blade, more than two dozen strides out in front of the nearest man. The sounds of the Cold Ones grew louder in the darkness, but he did not move. Soon we could make out their shapes advancing through the icy mist, but still the Dark Lord stood firm.
The wailing of the Cold Ones and the roar of the Frost Giants grew louder until it filled the valley, and at last they burst fully into view, a great wall of foes streaming towards us across the floor of the valley. I think Vhalithasion laughed then, but the sound of it was like...like the echo of a dying star, perhaps, is the best it can be described. Even more difficult to define is what happened next, for it seemed that all the sound was sucked out of the valley in an instant, and as its absence throbbed like a heartbeat in the air, Vhalithasion's upraised sword burst into flame and a great ring of fire erupted out of the frozen earth around him, soaring up into the heavens before vanishing in a flare of red light that illuminated the entire battlefield for an instant. The Riftguard and our allies gasped and gaped, and even the legions of ice faltered in their advance at this great display of heat and power, but Vhalithasion merely let out another otherworldly cry and leapt upon his foes, covering a hundred strides in an instant, with his flaming sword flashing in the darkness.

Blazing curtains of flame erupted from his hand as he summoned arcane magics to his aid, and the wails of our foes filled the air as the fury of flame and sword tore into their ranks. Say what you will about these vampires, lords of night and blood, but I merely record what I saw: In battle, Vhalithasion was a god of ferocity and flame, his prowess unmatched by even our most heroic warriors. His charge ignited the courage of our own ranks, and we burst to life out of our stunned stupor--a flight of flaming arrows from atop the wall was first into the fray, followed closely by gouts of flame launched by our own battle mages. And as the blanket of flame subsided and the Cold Ones surged up to the edges of the defenses of the living, the rest of our troops surged into action, and the night was alive with the sounds of battle.

Though many of the men and elves who fought with us never fully trusted the taciturn Vhalithasion, he earned their respect that night, and there was never any doubting that he meant to fight alongside the best of us just as he said he would. He remained one of the greatest warriors of this war, and each night he appeared on watch without fail, always ready to leap into the thickest fighting and help drive back the hordes of foes who assailed us. Regardless of what he may have done before or since, in the annuals of the Riftguard the name of Vhalithasion shall always be remembered as a champion and stalwart defender of the mighty Riftwall, and may his legacy prove to generations hence that aid can come from even the most unexpected corner.
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Bagarn

By Forrest

"Be careful now." was the last thing his friend Nargum said to Yagrum before he
left for the Outer Realms. When Yagrum returned to Druscashti he was surprised
to find no one at home. No one ever left a Dwemer community completely
abandoned. He moved in cautious of what may be hiding in the shadows. He started
shouting the names of his friends. "Snargrim, Nargum? Anyone here?" No answer.
He continued to move through the chambers. A light that used to illuminate the
passages of this small Dwemer laboratory was broken. Yagrum found no living
thing or piece of evidence in Druscashti. He had absolutely no idea as to where all his
old friends were. He decided that he would walk over to Bthungthumz. Bthungthumz
was just a little south-east of Duscashti, and he knew some of the people there.
Yagrum Bagarn traveled to Bthungthumz, and the result was the same, no one was
there. Frustrated, confused, and feeling alone Yagrum traveled to other Dwemer
establishments hoping but failing at each turn. He went to Arkngthand,
Arkngthunch-Sturdumz, Nchurdamz, Almurba-larammi, and many other Dwemer
labs and facilities. He always got the same result. Nothing.
Depressed and alone he began wandering the lands searching for any traces of
his lost race.
He decided that he would explore Red Mountain in hopes of finding any evidence
to what had happened. Upon arriving at the foot of Red Mountain, Yagrum was
down-hearted, confused, and exhausted. This was to be his last effort. Yagrum
walked for hours and searched through all the Dwemer Ruins: Endusal, Tureynulal,
Vemynal, Odrosal, and Bthanchend. He found nothing. While exiting Odrosal he
saw a strange creature. It was oddly disfigured and the left side of its body was
large and misformed. Its head was also disformed, and it lamely limped over Bagarn.
It was a Lame Corprus. Disgusted at what he saw, Yagrum shouted "Get away
sickening creature!", and he rushed at it swinging his Dwarven Mace. After a
long and vigorous fight, Bagarn had finally slain the creature but not without
some sacrifice. Yagrum could tell he was sick. He felt awful. He knew he had Corprus.
Remembering something that one of his scholars had taught him long ago,
Bagarn had some hope left in him. It was a place called Tel Fyr. He knew if he
could find this tower he would be able to get cured.
During his travel to Tel Fyr, he stopped off at a few cities and everywhere that
he went he was cursed and shamed. He avoided civilization as much as possible
from then on. The only thing that kept Yagrum going was the thought of arriving
at Tel Fyr and getting cured. Well, Bagarn traveled for days and nights. One morning
on the sixth day of Sun's Height, he saw a tower looming over the horizon.
The tower grew larger and larger until he had to cross a wide passage of water to
get there. He arrived at the tower and saw a sign waving in the breeze which read
“Tel Fyr.” "Finally" Yagrum said to himself, surprised he still knew language after
not talking for so long (actually it was only years, but to him it felt like centuries).
Beyond the sign was a winding path made of a tree.
When he entered the tower, a young girl was there to greet him. She said
"Hello, are you here to see Master Divayth Fyr? I assume you are afflicted with
Divine Disease?" Yagrum surprised at the young girl’s hospitality replied
"Yes, could you tell me where I could locate him?” “He's down in the
Corprusarium, just take the passage to your left, go down, and the girl there will
give you the rest of the directions" She said to him.
Yagrum walked downwards, recalling something that one of his old colleagues
once told him after visiting the Telvanni, "Those Telvanni, they don't believe
in stairs. Sheer walls, I say. You have to have the powers of levitation to
access anything above you." Once Yagrum was in the Corprusarium, he noted
all the strange creatures. His legs were about to fall out from under him after
all the traveling he had done to get here. He was ready to rest for a long time.
"Hello,I am Divayth Fyr. I assume you seek a cure for Corprus?" A Dunmer
man asked him. Yagrum nodded his head eagerly. "Well,sorry but there is
no cure as of yet. The reason I built the Corprusarium was to find a cure for
Corprus. In fact I have gotten close to finding it, but every subject that has taken
it hasn't lived to tell whether it works or not." Divayth Fyr said. Yagrum was
heart-broken. His last hope, his last single thing to live for was ripped up from
his hands and crushed right before his very eyes.
Divayth Fyr offered to let Yagrum stay in the Corprusarium in exchange for
all he knew about the Disappearance of the Dwarves, which was nothing. But
Fyr did appreciate the Dwemer artifacts the Yagrum gave him.
For years Yagrum thought and thought about all that had transpired since his
return from the Outer Realms. One day Divayth came down from his study, where he
spent most of his days when he wasn't experimenting in the Corprusarium, and told
Yagrum that he thought he had found another way to cure the Corprus. A way
that he thought would not harm the victim. Yagrum watched as Fyr gave the cure
to the Lame Corprus that stood before him. The infected victim gulped down the
formula and nothing happened. "It may take a few days for the disfiguration to
disappear." Fyr told Yagrum. Sure enough, two days passed and the Corprus began
to look more human. Another few days and the victim looked like he had not been
infected at all. He even spoke to Fyr and thanked him. But it was about that
time, while Yagrums hopes were high, when the cured Corprus started wheezing. It
fell to its knees and grabbed its chest and took shallow breaths. All at once the
victims eyes rolled back into its head. The Corprus, the so-called-cured victim died.
Yagrum feeling hopeless began to change. He was slowly becoming deformed. He
was crippled now, but Divayth had constructed a new prosthesis using parts from an
old Centurion Spider found in a Dwemer ruin.
Over the years many scholars and archaeologists heard about this last Dwemer
and searched for him. Yagrum was always happy to share all he knew of the
disappearance of the Dwemer, and he shared some of the knowledge from his race.
His mind, partly deteriorated because of Corprus, could not recall everything
about the Dwemer or his early life, but he always did the best he could.
After a while, Corprus began to really take its toll on Yagrum. He became
bloated, and even though he had prosthesis they were hard to control. So Yagrum
spent most of his time in his study area of the Corprusarium, where he delved
into every book he could get his hands on. Divayth Fyr would send his family out
to retrieve as many rare books as they could for Yagrum. Every night, after most
of the workers were asleep, Divayth would go down to the Corprusarium and talk
for hours with Yagrum about the Dwemer.
Giving up on getting cured and pretty much finding out what happened to his
friends and family, Yagrum continued to live out his days in the Corprusarium,
waiting for life's final hours to come.
Instead of death, something else came. One day a strange person arrived, who
claimed the title Nerevar. This person traveled to the Corprusarium because of Corprus
itself. Divayth Fyr asked this person to retrieve the Dwemer Boots of Flying that Yagrum
had been holding for such a long time. Yagrum gave them up, seeing that there was
no need for them now, because of his condition.
It was a couple of days later when Divayth began talking excitedly about a
new cure for Corprus. Yagrum, of course, was doubtful after seeing all of Divayths
other 'cures'. "But this one works! I saw it for myself. It's been tested, Yagrum
I want you to be the second one to be cured." Divayth said, trying to convince
Yagrum. Finally Yagrum said "I will try it only after I have seen it cure
somebody before my eyes." So Divayth had one of the worker women calm the
Corprus' with her drum and he administered the cure to a Lame Corprus. The
infected victim wheezed, collapsed to the floor, and died. "That must have really
been the Incarnate. The Corprus was meant to fulfill the prophesy and nothing
else." Fyr said.

And so, if you seek the knowledge of this legendary Dwarve, he can still be
found in Tel Fyr in the province of Morrowind, Vvardenfell district. But beware
for within the Corprusarium, you could also contract the Divine Disease.

The End
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Unknown (Avis)


Harnteg Ancestral Tomb

Written by Avis

It was a snowy day on Solstheim. You could hear wolves howling in the forest; bears foraging for food in the brush. Harkflynn Bearclaw was venturing through the vast forests, riding his tamed tusked bristleback, Hragg. Harkflynn was staring at the sky wondering while he was riding. Then he heard a scream, not female but male. It came from his right, so he rode in that direction. He rode for about five minutes when then he came to a tomb. He walked to the door and put his hand on a wolf paw on the door. The bear paw lit up, a shining blue light, Harkflynn jumped back, and the door opened. Harkflynn tied Hragg to a tree, pulled out his Huntsmen axe, and walked in. Harkflynn went down a path that led to the left. He started down very slowly. He started to pick up a little speed every few seconds. Then, he got to a chamber, but it was empty. Then, his eye sight went black, and he saw the Grahls corner a woman. Then, a man came running towards the Grahls with a Stalhrim long sword with the word ‘Harnteg’ scribed into it. One Grahl took a swipe and ended the man’s life. The girl screamed with all of her breath, but then Harnteg began to glow. It then flew into the air and went straight through one of the Grahls’ back. The other Grahl turned to his partner, but then in one quick slash, it was killed. The woman stared at the sword and was shocked, happy, and frightened at the same time. Then the sword lost its glow and landed on the ground, and the Grahls blood just disappeared from the blade. Then Harkflynn could see normally again, but the chamber had changed. There were two Grahl skeletons in the corner, and a Stalhrim long sword on a stone table in the middle of the room. It was stabbed into the table. Harkflynn, very carefully, walked over to the table. He grabbed the sword by the handle and lifted it out with great ease. Then, the sword began to glow. Harkflynn got scared and tried to drop, but he couldn’t. For some reason he just couldn’t. Then the glowing stopped, and the blade now said ‘Harkflynn’. Then, there was a blurry shadow in front of him, and it changed shape into a beautiful Nordic woman, with long blonde hair, and she said, “This sword was used to keep the Skaal village safe, and everyone else. I hope you use it the same.” Then the image disappeared. Harkflynn then heard the sound of feet behind him, and quickly turned around sword in hand. Then he saw it was just Hragg who had gnawed the rope of the tree and came in. Harkflynn walked over and patted Hragg on the back and said, “Well ol’ friend, I guess we have a story to tell tonight at the fire.” With that Harkflynn got on Hragg, and they left the tomb and went back home to the Skaal village. Little did Harkflynn notice, that the tomb door said ‘Harkflynn Ancestral Tomb ’, and there was a bear paw on the door.

The End.
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Keric Du Tahrellian (Nog Robbins)


Service to the Crown

Account recorded by Keric Du Tahrellian - seer, historian and scribe.

Fer’ar Mellarn sat atop his world, looking down on the chaos he had created and the territories he had subdued in his name.
Standing wearily, the aged general ran a blood covered hand through his hair, hair that was lank with the efforts of battle and plastered to his head by his steel helm, a helm that now lay in ruins at his feet. The once proud emblem of his family, the single heirloom passed from father to first born son when they came of age since records began, now a shattered wreck. Sighing he glanced at the fresh blood dripping from his fingers and felt once again in his mind the sword blow that had almost shorn the helmet in two. By law he should have been dead. The blow was clean and cruel. Yet somehow he survived, and his assailant lay dead in a puddle of his own entrails. He had been ripped apart by the general’s closest guardian. Stooping gingerly, he retrieved the ruined item, his calloused fingers first tracing the sharp edges along gash, and then more reverently brushing across the intricate inscriptions that lay on the banding.
Turning to face the trail that had led him to the peak, he acknowledged the presence of his loyal protectors. Only three remained from the twelve that had served him since he reached maturity. Nine lost and soon to be forgotten, for none but their brothers truly knew them.
"This is it" they intoned together, eyes downcast. "Your success is complete. None remain to stand against you as was decreed."
Fer’ar glanced down once at the broken remains of his helm, still held in his bloodied hand. With a shrug he dropped the item to the dirt and turned his back on it. A new symbol for his family would now be drawn up, one to stand for the ages remaining, one to represent his achievements, one to be remembered by all, and one to be viewed with awe.
Striding as majestically as he could in his current state Fer’ar began the trek down the mountain, with visions in his mind of his now elevated position in the land, the tributes due him, and images of a crown placed upon his head in place of the helmet. One hundred paces later the emptiness of being alone seeped through his musings and took foremost place in his conscious thought. Looking back along the trail he could easily perceive his remaining protectors still standing atop the peak, facing each other, but unmoving, their hands clasped behind their backs.
"Am I so safe here I need no protection?" he growled. "Am I so unimportant as to not warrant a procession in my moment of victory?"
The dark shrouded shapes remained as statues. With a rising sense of exasperation at the apparent insubordination of his loyal protectors, Fer’ar strode back to the summit.
"Loyal though you may have proved to be, unswerving in your duties no matter how callous I have demanded you be, you still serve ME!" he roared, standing in the centre of them.
"This is it" they intoned together.
The first raised its head, and red eyes bored into the warrior from beneath the cowl. Bringing its hands from behind its back it revealed half of the shattered helm.
"Your success is complete." the voices intoned.
The second raised it head, and again, red eyes bored into the aged general. Bringing its hands from behind its back it revealed the second half of the broken heirloom.
"None remain to stand against you."
A sharp pain entered the soldier’s side just beneath the ribs, a searing heat flooding his chest. Staggering, he turned to face the last protector, a serrated blade held in its hands.
With blood bubbling in his lungs, Fer’ar stumbled to his knees, a look of shock on his creased features.
"As was decreed" the protectors intoned.
And as the life seeped from Fer’ar, the light fading from his eyes, so to did his protectors fade.
A single word hung on the calm breeze, to be carried away and lost.
"Released..."
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Sedath Dun (weakmasterofunivrerse)


The Worshipper of Boethiah
Part 1
The Truth about the White Katana of High Rock
Sedath Dun


This book of facts starts with the birth of a certain man named Kiu. He was born to paupers working for the local rulers. He grew up living a humble life with two sisters and a brother. But one day, his quiet life was violently interrupted by his house being broken into by Aldmeri assassins. They killed his father, but not before his father told Kiu one last thing: the secret his family had kept for ages.
His father directed him to a strongbox in the corner of the room. Kiu’s father gave him the key, and then the Noble Treserk of Daggerfell, father of Kiu of Daggerfell, died. Kiu dropped the key after he saw his father’s body grow limp. Wishing to fulfill his father’s last wish, Kiu picked the key back up. It took all his confidence and courage he could muster, but he opened the chest to find an old dusty tome with Deadric letters on the front. He opened it to find the letters written in his own tongue, and so he read the peculiar book:
Under Great stress, you will find it;
Under great pressure, you will find it;
The one of them all;
The sacred blade;
Of the one who forged this nation;
You will find the blade of White.
Kiu read this scripture with great interest, wondering what it meant. He read further in the tome to find that it will be found in a renowned area. So Kiu walked out of his house to the street. He thought to himself, “If this Belonged to my father, then my grandfather must know of this story.”
He made it to his Grandfather’s hut in the hills and asked him about the tome. His grandfather took out another tome which looked exactly the same; except, it had almost no ware. Kiu took it happily and took to the road. He opened the Tome to find it with more clues about the ‘Sacred Blade’. The tome mentioned a place that would rival Daggerfell in the future. It also mentioned it being a city by a river; but Kiu had no idea ‘which’ river it was talking about.
He walked back to Daggerfell to find the gates barred shut. “It seems that the attack on father had been reported,” thought Kiu. He walked past the city to the docks and talked to one of the guards there to learn that there was a recent string of assassinations by a group of fervent Malacath worshippers. Kiu walked to the docks to find a boat to take him to the mouth of the Bjoulsae River to start his search there.
His first impression when he got there was that it was a backwater. The city was about as big as his clan’s farm. As he walked through the town, people around him kept giving him stares like he was the enemy. Kiu went into a stone house and saw a man of a different stock, most likely from the tropical rainforests of the godforsaken Cyrodil Region. Kiu walked up to him and asked him,” Do you know of any burial grounds or dungeons around here?” The burly Imperial replied,” Yes, but it is only accessible to those I sanction.”
Then Kiu noticed a book on the desk that had the same markings as his father’s book. His next question was, “Do you know a man by the name of Treserk of Daggerfell?” The man stepped back in surprise, and answered, “Who are you? Why do you ask these questions?”
“I am Kiu of Daggerfell, son of Treserk of Daggerfell. Now it is my turn: what is your name and why do you have that book and how do you know my father?”
The Imperial, which later Kiu found that his name was Qertas Jinter, told him of the order he and Kiu’s father were apart of. They were the protectors of a relic of great power: the White Armour of the Black Marsh and the White Katana of High Rock. These artifacts, if wielded by one person, could shape the continent of Tamriel. He went on about a dungeon of little renown; it was hardly even known to the locals.
“My tome has what is needed. It has the complete map to the dungeon, but the only way into the dungeon is by the blood of the Noble One, the one destined to hold its contents.” Kiu thought on this and remembered a passage from his father’s tome:
The one child of many;
The one child of a Noble forgotten;
The one Child of a Protector;
Shall find the Power;
Lying in himself.

“Qertas, I believe I am the one; read this passage. It works perfectly; I am a child of many, I am a child of Protector, and a child of a Noble forgotten.” Qertas looked at Kiu like he was crazy. But he picked himself up and replied, “Well, it’s worth a try. The dungeon is north of here. I suggest you get some locals to come with you for protection. This book will tell us where the White Katana is but not where the danger is.”
Kiu and Qertas walked out and looked around at the locals and found some younger warriors willing to follow them in their expedition. The walk to the dungeon took them longer then expected, but they still got there before a day went by. Kiu and Qertas noticed that the locals were spooked by the dungeon, for the locals supposedly thought that this place was pure evil and that it was cursed by the gods.
Kiu and Qertas ignored them and proceeded to the door. Qertas recited some text from his tome:
”Only the touch of the one will break the bind;
The bind of stone magic;
For his touch shall warm the stones of the evil;
And lift the burden from the people.”
Kiu extended his hand to the door and touched the ice cold stone. Suddenly, while everyone watched, the door started melting. It started flowing down into a tube made of a peculiar white metal. Kiu was the first to step through and noticed something different about the dungeon; it was not all stone like most were, but made out of hedge and tree roots. He walked on through, with the others following and found a door made of what seemed to be steel.
“Qertas, do you know what this door is made of?”
“I am not sure, but it seems to be made of silver.” He went on to say,” It looks likes it has runes from Snow Elves imbedded in it.”
Kiu proceeded to open, and to his surprise and his companions’ surprise, it was Snow Elf enclave. Kiu walked through to find a local and asked, “What is this place?”
“This is the grove of the White Katana. It is here where the Protectors reside. And for one thing, how did you get here? It is impossible to get here through that way. Unless…..” The man suddenly stopped and called for the guard. Kiu noticed the guards wearing a suit of what seemed polished silver; almost white in the light. The guards took them to the tower overlooking the whole settlement and threw them down in front of a long table of what seemed wise men.
“You, newcomers, how did you find your way in here?” asked the one sitting on the very edge.
“We came through the stone door.”
“You mean the sacred door of Boethiah; the door that is to be only broken through by the chosen one?”
“Yes, I came here to take the White Katana.”
“WHAT!?!?! You must be crazy! That weapon is meant for one person only, the son of Treserk of Daggerfell.” said the stout Wood Elf sitting at the far end of the council table. Kiu replied,” I am the son of Treserk of Daggerfell, for I am Kiu of Daggerfell.” There was great clamor among the counsel members, all wondering if he was telling the truth. Then Qertas spoke up, “This is the man that has been destined to wield the White Katana. He fits in with all the prophecies.” The Counsel jumped back in surprise from these words.” Qertas? We thought that you had died many years ago, but it seems you are alive. Tell me this: why do you put your faith behind this man? Isn’t your tribe enemies of his people?” asked the Head of the Counsel. Qertas replied, “This man has lived up to the prophecies, and he is from a Noble family. I suggest we at least consult Boethiah about this.”
The next morning, after everyone had a good night’s rest, they started to recite the invocations of Boethiah. Within the second invocation, the Lord Boethiah appeared before them.” This man is the one. He is the only being on this continent able to wield the White Katana with my blessing. This is what I ask: That he will be led to the other artifact, the White Armour of the Black Marsh. With these two artifacts, he shall own Tamriel in short time. Now, release him from this place, and bring him to the Path of Destined.”
The Counsel sat back after that and pondered on what she had said. The Head of the Counsel, said to Kiu, “You will be led to the path of destiny by my daughter, Aerdbe. She will lead you to the Path of Destiny, and you will go on your own from there. Here is something that will lead you through the paths, if you are the one.” The Head of Counsel reached out his hand and opened it, showing a sparkling amulet. “It is the Amulet of the White Light. It will guide you to it if you are true.”
After saying goodbye, Kiu and his companions’ set off for the place of meeting for their guide. When they got there, Kiu was amazed to find her to be a fellow Wood Elf. He was dumbstruck by her complexion; he thought of her as being divine. He stumbled with his words, but finally found what he wanted, “Where is this fabled Path?”
Aerdbe instantly noticed that he was staring at her and stumbling. She wondered about this, but came back after hearing his question. “It is this way, past our Grove and into the darkness.” Kiu and his companions followed her as she led them to what seemed like a wall, but when they became closer they noticed the door. “Here is the door to the caverns. But I warn you; the things down there are all out to kill the chosen one. Each one is a test to see if you can handle the responsibility of holding the White Katana.” Kiu looked back at her with confidence and pride in his eyes, and Aerdbe got the sign. She opened the door and Kiu entered. He found himself in a dark cavern, with no light whatsoever. He took out the Amulet the lead Elder had given to him, and it shone as bright as any torch. He looked back, hoping to see his group of Bretons and Qertas, but no one was behind him.
Kiu was a little spooked, but he kept going in deeper to the center of the Path, with his light guiding him. His first test was the most obvious: being able to fend for himself. A Dremora jumped right in front of Kiu while he was walking. Kiu lifted up his light to blind the Dremora and then drew his ebony longsword to do the final blow. He stabbed through its abdomen, instantly killing it. The Dremora turned to dust while falling.
As Kiu walked on, he noticed a shadow behind him, constantly changing. Kiu then unsheathed his weapon and walked back. He was startled by the thing he saw. It was a stout man, with hardly any muscle. “What are you doing here?!?!” asked Kiu in surprise.
“I came here from the Grove and am in need of some assistance. These monsters have been attacking me on and off. Do you have any health potions on you?” Kiu thought about this request, and decided finally to give him his health potion. Right when the stout man took the potion, he turned into an Iron Atronach and instantly swung his fist right at Kiu’s head. Kiu was able to dodge the first blow, but not the second. The Iron Atronach’s fist hit him right in the chest. Kiu went back against the wall, feeling beaten.
But then he saw a light coming; with shadows of what seemed to be men behind it. Kiu mustered the rest of his strength and gave the monster a mortal blow, through the heart. It fell down on its knees dead. But then Kiu went totally blank and fainted.
Kiu woke to find himself in a beautiful palace, full of gold ornaments. “He’s awake, Master Refreh.” Said what seemed to be a Bosmer.
”Where am I? What am I doing here?”
“Don’t worry. This is the Sanctus. We’ll help you from here.”
“But what about the dungeon, and the man and the…..”
“Don’t worry. You have made it through the Path of Destiny. It is now your time to take the White Katana.”
Kiu got up, and instantly noticed his injury from the Iron Atronach, but he kept walking. The Bosmer led him to what seemed to be an oracle of some sorts. She led him down a staircase which led to a garden. In the very center of it was a gleaming white sword. Kiu limped up to it and grabbed the scabbard. He pulled out the sword, and started his destiny.

The End
Troika
Section: Stories

The Worshipper of Boethiah
Part 2
The truth about the White Armour of the Black Marsh
Sedath Dun


It was a cold day in the swamps of Argonia. Kiu of Daggerfell walked up to the road with his companions who had their weapons drawn. Coming at them was a train of men and horses with a carriage in the back. Kiu unsheathed his longbow and shot down the armed guards protecting the carriage. His companions dashed at the other riders while Kiu went for the carriage. Upon opening the carriage, he found a Daedra standing right in front of him. He quickly rolled to the side to dodge the Daedra’s first spell. He found himself at the feet of a guard. The guard came suddenly at his head with a mace, but Kiu was able to dodge it.
He drew his katana and stabbed it through the guard’s ebony cuirass. The Daedra had then come out and took a swing at Kiu with his longsword. Kiu countered with his sword and in the process shattered the Daedra’s longsword. He then stabbed his katana through the Daedra’s heart. His companions were failing in their job of holding off the guards, so Kiu grabbed a single chest on the carriage floor and proceeded into the swamp.
Qertas Jinter, one of Kiu’s longtime friends, saw him take off into the swamp. Qertas followed Kiu while the others held off the rest of the men in the train. Qertas saw Kiu walk off into their lair. Qertas followed him for he was the master locksmith. When Qertas went into the lair, Kiu stood there waiting for him to open it.
“Qertas, come here and open this lock. If Boethiah told us right, then this is what we were looking for.” Kiu said with anticipation. Qertas quickly went to work to open the lock, but he could not. So he took a scroll out of one of the crates and used its incantation to open it. The chest’s lock popped off, to the surprise of Qertas.
As Kiu was watching, he grew greedy and instantly shoved Qertas out of the way to open the chest. When the chest’s lid was opened, he stared down in amazement at the item in it.” Qertas, this is the find of a life time!” Kiu shouted with exuberance. “We will be the new leaders of the continent. This continent will feel our might!”
The pair proceeded to gawk at the contents of the chest. After they had rested, they set off with the chest to the shrine of Boethiah. There, Kiu asked Boethiah to bless this armour with her mighty powers. “You, Boethiah, are our god. I ask you to bless this suit of armour, so that I will have your power flowing through me when I strike down my enemies.”
Boethiah, speaking through the statue, said in reply, “You must trek to my shrine in the wilderness of the west, for this is where I will bless it. But first you must dedicate you life to me.”
Kiu answered instantaneously, “Yes Lord, I will dedicate my life to you.”
[It seems the rest of the text has been ripped out of the book]
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Rain
Part One of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th,Six in the Evening

Alabaster,Elsweyr 2E175

Adanjar sat calmly under her awning, listening to the rain beat on her roof.
It was days like these when she was glad to be wealthy. No need for worrying
about where her money would come from. Just to relax whenever she felt like it.
She watched the people scurry to and fro, trying to get out of the rain. "Pity
the poor fools," she said to herself, "they don't know what true life is like."
Adanjar's father, the wealthiest Khajiit in Alabaster, worked as a slave
at a mining site in Morrowind until he was release by a kind soul. As he escaped,
he managed to smuggle a good bit of raw ebony. Knowing the right people, he
cashed in and from that moment had lived in the lap of luxury. M'nasha, her
father, was a respected man here and had never been questioned as to if he really
smuggled the ebony. There were, of course, rumors, but this meant nothing in a
community of Khajiits.
Deciding she would make an entry in her diary about what a beautiful day it
had been, Adanjar stood up and walked inside. She walked upstairs to her room
and sat down at her desk. Taking quill in hand, she opened her diary and turned
to the next blank page.


Adanjar's Diary

Eighteenth Rain's Hand

What a wonderful day, it has been today. The rain cascades down making a
harmonious sound. It is a shame to see everyone else hurrying about, not taking
time to notice such a wonder of nature. Ever since Qa'Bakha left me, my happiness
has seemed to have been drained right out of me. But today the majesty of the
world is enough to bring pleasure to the grimmest of all souls. Mother says that
when she was my age, suitors would come and go just as would night and day. I
surely hope this is the case with me, for it would not do for me to feel alone
for the rest of my life. I really mustn't speak of such things as they are too
depressing.
Father says that the rains will bring good crops to Alabaster, which will
cause Father to buy more stock at the market. The store will flourish with all
the fresh crops coming in. I have tried to speak with Father about his horrible
habit of gambling but to no avail. It's not like we don't have the money, because we
have the shop and are extremely wealthy in the first place. It still is a habit
worth kicking.
Mother's Florist Shop has been thriving as well. She leaves every morning at
four to gather different kinds of flowers, before it's time to open her shop.
Mother says that with as much money as this family will have in the future, there
will be no need for me or my future-husband to have to work a day in our lives.
Of course, my husband will work in order to retain the family's wealth. Well I'd
better go as mother is preparing dinner and she might need my help.

Adanjar closed her book, placed her quill pen in the inkwell, and walked
downstairs. “Hello,mother. What are we having for dinner tonight?" Adanjar
questioned when she saw her mother standing at the foot of the stairs. "We? We?"
her mother asked, "We aren't having anything. You and I are leaving this forsaken
house." She said in a fit of rage as she charged up the stairs and into the
master bedroom.
She frantically began throwing clothes into a small pack. "Mother, whatever
are you talking about?" Adanjar said slightly frightened at her mother's rage.
"That man! Your...father has done it! He's finally done it! He's gambled us
right into poverty!" Her mother replied. Her voice still alarmingly loud.
"W-what? What do you mean mother? Sure, father gambles, but he's never put our
comfort on the line." Adanjar was very frightened and frustrated at her lack of
knowledge of the situation.
Just about that time the front door slammed. And up the stairs came Adanjar’s
father. "Listen, Ajirab! Put that pack down! I order you to not leave this
house." In a bellowing tone M'nasha replied. "Oh, so now you're ordering me?!
What am I your slave? You gonna bet me too? Huh? I wouldn't put it past you!
You, you, you horrible man!" Adanjar's mother replied. At this time Adanjar
was in tears. She had a faint idea of what was going on, but it wasn't
enough. Her parents were fighting, and she was in the middle of it. “This is
life! You move on when things like this happens. It can't be helped! We're a
family, we'll get through this together!” Her father replied. Ajirab
shouted back in hysterical rage, "No! This isn't life! It can be helped! If you
would have stopped gambling! But noooo, you have to keep on and keep on until we
have nothing left. You figured we'd come out of this together. Well you figured
wrong! You got yourself into this. You get yourself out!" Ajirab shot a look at
Adanjar and said, "Come on Adanjar. We're leaving! I won't let you stay with this
filthy creature!" But before Adanjar could say anything M'nasha spurted out "No
way. You aren't taking my daughter. If you leave the family, Ajirab, then you leave
Adanjar too. Adanjar you're staying here right?"
Adanjar was sobbing hysterically. She wiped the tears from her eyes, and then
looked at both her parents. Her mother with the pack slung over shoulder with
the friendly, loving mother-hood look on her face. Her father stood with the bold,
kind, loving feature. Confused beyond belief, Adanjar turned and ran to her
room. She grabbed her journal and quill pen, and then she shot out the back door. Both
her parents followed her out, but it was dark and the rain kept them from seeing
anything.
"Well I hope you’re happy. You've scared off my daughter!" Ajirab said scowling
at M'nasha. "I did? You were the one going crazy back there! How could she make
a decision like that?" M'nasha said in reply. "If you remember you were the one
who asked her." With that Ajirab slung the pack over her shoulder and walked out
the front door into the rain. "And where will you go?" M'nasha asked. "Wouldn't
you like to know?" Ajirab shouted back. Ajirab slammed the door shut, leaving
M'nasha alone in his soon-to-be-lost home. The rain splashed on the roof and the
thunder rumbled, and for once, in a long time M'nasha was the poorest man alive.

End of Part One
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Dawn
Part Two of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th,Nine at Night

Alabaster, Elsweyr 2E 175

With tears still in her eyes, Adanjar darted through the woods. Her mind was
racing. She still hadn't put all of the pieces together. Okay, her mother came
home and acted very irritated. Her mother told Adanjar that she was leaving. Her father
came in, and they had a big fight about his gambling. They had asked her whether
she wanted to stay with her father or go with her mother. Not knowing exactly
what to do, she had run out into the cold, rainy night. Now she was cold, wet, and
alone. She had no place to sleep.
She figured she would travel to Rimmen. She had an uncle there. No, her
parents would suspect that. They would come for her. Maybe she wanted them to
come for her. She wasn't sure. She decided that she would go to Rimmen and
decide what she would do from there.
It was her first night alone. Sure she was twenty-one, but when you lived as
this particular wealthy Khajiit did, you really had no need to leave home. The
rain shimmered down while the thunder rumbled overhead. Lightning flashed
across the blue, creamy sky.

Rain's Hand 18th, Eleven at Night

Outskirts of Rimmen, Elsweyr

The rain was starting to slacken up a bit, when she saw the outlines of
buildings ahead. The pounding rain had turned into a cooling mist when she
entered the city. She immediately recognized her uncle's house, having made many
trips there with her parents. Her parents...back when they were a family. No!
She couldn't think about them. They weren't a family anymore. Her mother had
given up on her family, so she had done the same.
When she arrived at her uncle's door, she gave it three rapid knocks. No
answer. She knocked again. Still nobody came to the door. She tried opening the
door, only to find it locked. Fatigue took its toll on Adanjar, and she crouched
down on the steps of her uncle's house. The rain shimmered down gently on
Adanjar, and one last rumble of thunder sounded in the sky.

Rain's Hand 19th, Seven in the Morning

Red Tail Inn, Rimmen, Elsweyr

Adanjar awoke to find herself in a bed with a golden-haired Nordic woman
sitting beside her bed. "Good morning." The woman said, "If you don't mind me
asking, what exactly were you doing out so late last night in the rain?" Adanjar
had a slight recollection of what had happened the night before. She arrived in
Rimmen to find that her uncle was not at home. Ignoring the woman's
question, Adanjar asked "Where am I?" "You're in the Red Tail Inn in Rimmen."
The woman replied. "Do you know where I can find my uncle, M'nashan?" Adanjar
said instantaneously. The woman politely replied "You mean the Moon Sugar addict?
Yes, M'nashan left for Camlorn about a year ago." Well that was one place down.
She still could go to Arenthia in Valenwood. Her ex-lover lived there. Qa'Bakha
had left her a half of a year ago after he proposed. Adanjar had accepted but
was unwilling to move away from her parents. He had wanted to go to Valenwood,
but she did not. So he went anyway and left her there.
"Thank you." Adanjar said. "I thank you for your hospitality, but I really
must be going." "Ok, but let me at least make you breakfast." Adanjar politely
accepted. When the girl lef,t she pulled her diary out of her pack and grabbed a
pen.

Adanjar's Diary

Nineteenth Rain's Hand

Let me start with what happened right after my last entry. Mother came in
looking stark mad. She started raving about how father had bet everything and
lost. Then father came in, and they started battling it out right in their
bedroom. Finally mother said she was leaving and asked me whether I wanted to
come with her or stay with father.
I didn't know what to do so I ran. I ran all the way to Uncle M'nashan's
house and found it locked with no one home. Then I passed out in front of Uncle
M'nashan's old house. I awoke this morning at the Red Tail Inn. I asked a woman
here if she knew where I could find my uncle. She said that he had left for High
Rock about a year ago. It is odd that we never heard about it.
So now,I've no where,in Elsweyr,to go. I guess I could go to Valenwood. But
I don't know if Qa'Bakha will take me in or not.
After I eat breakfast I will go to Orcrest and try to figure out what to do
from there. Well, I hear the girl already coming with my breakfast. I better
stop for now. I will write again when I get time.

The young Nordic girl's head popped up from the stairwell. Soon her entire
body emerged with a silver tray in her hands. On the tray was a bowl of soup, a
piece of toast, and a glass of water. "Eat well, and I hope you enjoy." the woman
said, sitting the tray on the desk at which Adanjar was sitting.
Adanjar ate heartily, and when she was finished, she carried the tray
downstairs and gave it to the girl simply saying "It was great thanks. I have to
be going now." And with that Adanjar walked outside in the daylight. Even though
she felt a little remorse for running out on her parents, Adanjar was looking
forward with hopes for the rest of her life when she arrived at Qa'Bakha's
doorstep with news that she was ready to begin a life of her own.

End of Part Two
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Thunder
Part Three of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 18th, Nine at Night

Alabaster, Elsweyr 2E 175

"Come on Adanjar. We're leaving! I won't let you stay with this filthy
creature!" But before Adanjar could say anything M'nasha spurted out "No way. You
aren't taking my daughter. If you leave the family, Ajirab, then you leave Adanjar
too. Adanjar you're staying here right?"
Adanjar was sobbing hysterically. She wiped the tears from her eyes, and then
looked at both her parents. Her mother with the pack slung over shoulder with
the friendly, loving mother-hood look on her face. Her father stood with the bold,
kind, loving feature. Confused beyond belief, Adanjar turned and ran to her
room. She grabbed her journal and quill pen, and then she shot out the back door. Both
her parents followed her out, but it was dark and the rain kept them from seeing
anything.
"Well I hope you’re happy. You've scared off my daughter!" Ajirab said scowling
at M'nasha. "I did? You were the one going crazy back there! How could she make
a decision like that?" M'nasha said in reply. "If you remember you were the one
who asked her." With that Ajirab slung the pack over her shoulder and walked out
the front door into the rain. "And where will you go?" M'nasha asked. "Wouldn't
you like to know?" Ajirab shouted back. Ajirab slammed the door.
The rain was heavy, and Ajirab knew she wouldn't be able to find her daughter
when it was this dark. Adanjar would probably go to her uncle's house. The only thing
was that Adanjar didn't know that M'nashan was a moon sugar addict. He had
gotten himself in debt and left for High Rock. He left his house and belongings where
they were and took off in the middle of the night. So Adanjar would not have
anyone in Rimmen. The only other place for her to go would be Valenwood where
Qa'Bakha lived.
The thunder rumbled and lightning flashed. Ajirab walked to the Topal Bay
docks and got on a boat to Anvil. From there, she could ride horse-back to
Arenthia, where Adanjar was most likely to go.

* * *

The rain splashed on the roof and the thunder rumbled, and for once, in a long
time M'nasha was the poorest man alive. M'nasha had no where to go. He had to
be out of the house by tomorrow morning because had bet everything he owned, the
stores, the house, all his belongings. "I guess I deserved it. Ajirab always told
me that my gambling problem would be the end of us. She was right." he said to
himself quietly.
M'nasha grabbed a piece of paper and wrote on it "Dro'Sakhari, the door is
unlocked. Everything is yours. There is a spare key in the basement. Take good
care of the manor. I'm leaving for Windhelm tonight. I've always wanted to go to
the frigid north." Then he signed it M'nasha. He stepped outside where he shut the door and
pinned the note on the door. He then headed towards the docks, seeing his wife
step onto the boat that would take her to Valenwood.

Rain's Hand 21st, Eight in the Morning

Remains of Arenthia, Valenwood

Adanjar was walking down the pathway when she saw a sign saying “Welcome to
Arenthia.” She had a confused look on her face because she saw no city. After
looking closely at the ground she saw rubble, ash, and nails covering a big area.
All at once she realized that she was in Arenthia. It had burned till there was
only a trace of evidence that there was a city here once before.
Slumping to the ground, Adanjar burst into tears. Qa'Bakha was her last
stronghold. Now she truly had no where to go. Wait. There was still her uncle in
Camlorn. High Rock was far away, but what other choice did she have?
Feeling she had nothing else to do, Adanjar opened her journal and pulled
out her quill pen. She took out her inkwell, pulled the cork out, and dipped her
pen in it.

Adanjar's Diary

Twenty-First Rain's Hand

Well, I arrived at Arenthia full of hopes but found the city in ashes. I
could probably walk to Anvil in Cyrodiil and get a boat there to Camlorn. I
only wish that Qa'Bakha was not in the city when it burned down, but there is
probably a small chance of that having happened.
I wonder where mother and father are. Father probably moved up north to
Skyrim or Solstheim somewhere. Mother would probably come here to Arenth...

Adanjar slammed the book shut as fast as she could. She stuck it in her pack,
and she ran around the remains of Arenthia looking for her mother's rings. She
burst into tears, fearing the worst...that her mother had burned to death. "Maybe
I'm getting ahead of myself, but mother probably never even suspected that I would
come here." she said to herself.
Adanjar sat down on the ground again and pulled out her diary and continued
where she left off.

...ia, where she would suspect I would be. But then again she probably never
came here. She might have gone to Rimme, thinking I would go to Uncle M'nashan's
house.
Well, if I want to make any progress then I need to stop writing and need to
start walking to Anvil.

Adanjar closed her diary and got up. "I have long way to go before I get to
Camlorn, and I better get started." She said to herself, finding a new sense of
pride within her.

* * *

About a mile outside of Anvil she saw a shipwreck on the shore. She ran to
it and hopped on board. She found many dead bodies on and in the ship. Deep inside
the ship she saw her mother's clothes but not her mother. She took them in her hands and
cried her eyes out in them. She could hear thunder rumbling outside and the
pitter patter of the rain hitting the deck of the ship that caused a peaceful
tranquility to come over Adanjar.

End of Part Three
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Wind
Part Four of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 21st, Nine in the Morning

Somewhere Near Stirk, Cyrodiil 2E175

Ajirab was more frightened than she had ever been. The pirates had attacked the boat she was on and took her as a slave. They had stripped her of her clothes, and now she was wearing nothing but a slave bracer. They would probably take her to Morrowind where she could be sold legally. All she could think of was how Adanjar had run out on her and M'nasha that night.
After the Dunmer pirates attacked the ship she was on, they pillaged Arenthia and burned it to the ground. The city of course would rebuild, but what if Adanjar was staying there when it burned. She was probably worrying too much. Adanjar would not have any reason to go there. Qa'Bahka had run out on her, so why would she go to him?
One of the pirates, the one who was guarding her, had taken to her. He'd been talking to her off and on for about three hours. Ajirab thought on this and figured out how she could use this to her advantage. "Where are we going?" Ajirab asked the guard. "Well, we're going to stop off at Stirk. That's when you remain absolutely silent. Then, if all goes well, we'll go to Morrowind. And you can guess the rest" he said solemnly. Ajirab worked it out in her head and figured out that she would escape at Stirk. She would stay there a couple of days until she was sure the pirates were either gone or imprisoned and would then leave for Alabaster.
Ajirab knew that Adanjar would either go to Camlarn or go back to Alabaster. So Ajirab chose to first go to Alabaster.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 21st, One in the Evening

One Mile outside Anvil, Cyrodiil

Adanjar solemnly sombered down the trail from where the shipwreck was. She was still clutching her mother's clothes that she had found inside the ship. A tear was still in her eye. She knew her mother was dead, and there was nothing that she could do. Anvil appeared before he,r and her heart went all to pieces. She remembered her father and mother in Alabaster. She had had such wonderful times in Alabaster. But now those times were over. Her father had lost everything, her mother was dead, and Qa'Bahka was probably dead too. She walked into the city and into the nearest inn that she saw.
"Can I please have a bed for the night?" Adanjar asked the barkeeper. "It's a little early for bed, but yes, I have one. It's ten septims for the night." The bartender replied.
Adanjar walked upstairs and threw down her pack and the clothing she had found on board the ship that she believed her mother had perished on. She collapsed onto the bed, curled into a ball, and cried herself to sleep.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 21st, Nine at Night

Windhelm, Skyrim

M'nasha arrived in Windhelm, the wet, cold snow fell onto his face. He was not used to this harsh climate. Skyrim was not what he had expected. He didn't even have a place to stay; he had no money at all. He lost it all gambling.
"I wonder where Adanjar and Ajirab are right now." M'nasha said to himself. He finally decided that if he did not get used to Skyrim in three days then he would go to Camlorn where his brother lived. He was sure that M'nashan would take him with open arms.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 22nd, Ten in the Morning

Alabaster, Elsweyr

Qa'Bahka gently tapped on the door of Adanjar's estate. It had been months since he had last seen her, and he was bursting with excitement.
The door slowly opened and the face of an old Khajiit appeared. "Who are you and what do you want?" he said. "Is Adanjar here?" Qa'Bahka asked the old man. "You mean M'nasha's daughter? No, the family split up almost five days ago. M'nasha went to Skyrim. Nobody knows where Adanjar and her mother went though. M'nasha said he thought Adanjar probably went to Arenthia, some sort of ex-lover there or something." the old Khajiit said. "Thank you, you've been very helpful." Qa'Bahka said to him, then he closed the door.
Qa'Bahka said to himself silently," Well,this was a wasted trip. Adanjar's might have gone to Arenthia, and here I am in Alabaster." Qa'Bahka then started his trip out of Arenthia.

* * * *

Rain's Hand 22nd, Ten in the Morning

Anvil, Cyrodiil

Adanjar awoke to see the sun shimmering in through the window. She still had tears in her eyes. She'd cried for hours before she had finally fallen asleep last night.
She crawled out of bed, still dressed in her robe that she had been wearing for days now. She opened up her pack and began writing in her diary.

Adanjar's Diary

Twenty-Second Rain's Hand

Mother is dead. I found her clothes within the belly of a ship near Anvil. My heart is bitter. My tears are plenteous. My mother and my lover are both dead. And there is nothing that I can do to bring them back.

Adanjar closed her journal and put it in her pack. She stepped outside and a cold wind blew across her face. The weather was as she was cold and emotionless.

End of Part Four
Troika
Section: Stories

Written by Forrest (Forrest_Roberts)


Dusk
Part Five of Adanjar

By Forrest

Rain's Hand 23rd, Eight in the Morning

Stirk, Cyrodiil 2E 175

Adanjar stepped off the dock onto dry land. She was only making a momentary stop at Stirk while the ship exchanged passengers. She thought she'd look around a bit. Although the nagging that she felt about her mothers death hurt, it had not left her. She thought it'd be best to get out of the ship for a while. Adanjar walked around for a bit, did a little shopping, and started back for the boat. All of a sudden, a Khajiit woman went darting past Adanjar, followed by two Dunmer men. The woman had gone by so fast, she could hardly recognize her. But to Adanjar, it looked as if she were wearing slave bracers. She was in Cyrodiil, where slavery was illegal. Then she saw three Imperial Guards chase after them. Curious and confused, Adanjar began to follow them. They led her and a crowd of people to the ship in which Adanjar was traveling to Camlorn. "Ha! We've been trying to catch you for months now. Think you're pretty clever, sneaking slaves in and out of this port every week. We know what you've been doing; we just haven't been able to get hold of you yet!" The guard said to him. "I don't know what you're talking about?" One of the Dunmer said, "This is my wife!" He continued. "Then why does she parade around here dressed only in what can be described as a 'slave bracer'?" The guard said brandishing his sword in front of the two Dunmer. They gave no reply. "That's what I thought. Come on, we'll hold you until we decide what to do with you." One of the guards said. With that, two of the guards took the Dunmer away. Adanjar could clearly see now that the Khajiit woman was in fact her very own mother. "Are you going to be okay?" The remaining guard asked her. "Yes, I'll be fine. I stole the key from one of those men, and I have it here. That's why they were chasing me. They were afraid I'd take off this bracer. I remember seeing a third Dunmer on the ship the other day." Ajirab said to the officer.
No longer able to contain her emotions, Adanjar leaped forward from among the crowd and into her mothers arms all the while shouting "Mother, mother! You're alive! Alive!" Her mother replied saying "Of course I'm alive. But I thought you probably went to Arenthia and burned to death!" "I did, but it was already destroyed when I got there." Adanjar said to her mother while wiping a tear from her eye. Now she was beginning to feel pretty foolish. The crowd of people stared at her until the guard began shouting "Okay, okay. Nothing to see here! Move along, move along." "What were you thinking, running out into the night like that? You could've been killed or worse. Do you know what kind of men lurk around at night?!?" Ajirab scolded. "Oh please. I can take care of myself. I'm an adult. I had no other choice but to do what I did. Anyway that's all behind us. Let's go to Camlorn. Uncle M'nashan is there, and I'm sure he'd take us in. I was going there anyway." Adanjar replied to her mother, with a new sense of happiness. Adanjar’s mother agreed, and they set out for Camlorn that morning.

Rain's Hand 23rd, Seven in the Morning

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nashan dipped his pen in the inkwell and began to write.

Dear M'nasha,

I do not wish to trouble you, but it has been a while since my last visit. How are things at Topal Bay? I was thinking of taking a visit there pretty soon. I think things in Rimmen may have settled down by now. Besides it's not like I can't come see my own family every once in a while? By the way how are Ajirab and Adanjar? Last I heard young Adanjar was engaged to that nice Qa'Bahka lad. They sure grow up fast don't they? I remember how every week, you and the family would come visit me in Rimmen. We had pretty good times.
Things here are nice. Nothing out of the ordinary. Like I said earlier, I was thinking of making a visit. If it's ok with you, how about I come down next week and stay a month or two? Anyway, it has been a while since I have heard from the family, so I thought that I'd just keep in check.

Your Brother,
M'nashan

M'nashan sealed the letter and put it aside. It had felt like so long since he had last seen them. And now that he only had two months to live, he wanted to spend them among friends.

Rain's Hand 24th, Four in the Morning

Windhelm, Skyrim

M'nasha had decided to leave Skyrim. It was not what he had hoped for. It was cold and wet, nothing like he remembered from when he was a child. He had packed his bags the night before and was ready to leave for High Rock any time he wanted. He had enough of the cold, wet snow. M'nasha left for Camlorn by boat that morning.

Rain's Hand 24th, Eleven in the Morning

Alabaster, Elsweyr

Qa'Bahka had decided to stay in Alabaster the night before and was going to leave for Arenthia this morning. The man who now lived in Adanjar’s house kindly let him stay the night. The man had said that if he wanted to find Adanjar, he should probably look in Camlorn, that's where her uncle lived.
That morning the man, whose name turned out to be Dro'Sakhari, invited Qa'Bahka to have breakfast with him. Qa'Bahka kindly accepted, not having eaten in days. They were enjoying their breakfast when there was a knock at the door. Dro'Sakhari got up from the table and answered the door. When he opened, there was a young Khajiit lad holding a piece of parchment paper. "Can I help you?" Dro'Sakhari asked him. "This came through the Mages Guild yesterday, from High Rock. It said it was to be delivered here." The boy replied handing him the paper. Dro'Sakhari took the letter and shut the door. The letter was written to M'nasha, evidently from his brother M'nashan. "You can finish your breakfast. I have to attend to something upstairs in my study." Dro'Sakhari said to Qa'Bahka. "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather be getting on. I have a good ways ahead of me. I thank you for your hospitality." Qa'Bahka said, getting up. Dro'Sakhari nodded and quietly walked upstairs.
Dro'Sakhari sat down at his desk, grabbed a piece of paper and began writing.

Dear Sir,

I believe you intended this message to be sent to M'nasha. M'nasha no longer lives here. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but M'nasha has moved to Windhelm, Skyrim. Ajirab and Adanjar have run off somewhere. I do not like to be the one to give you this disturbing news, but it seems as if the family has broken up.
Again I am sorry for this inconvenience.

From Dro'Sakhari

* * *

Rain's Hand 24th, Noon

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nashan opened his door to find Ajirab and Adanjar on his doorstep. He was quite surprised to see them. "What are you two doing here? Where is M'nasha?" He asked them. Adanjar looked at her mother distressfully. Ajirab for no reason at all blurted out "He'll be here. He wanted to stay behind, to make sure the house would be okay. We wanted to surprise you!" "Well, you certainly did that! Adanjar, how you've grown since I last saw you! You must be four feet taller!" He shouted. Adanjar slightly smiled at him. M'nashan invited them inside, and they accepted. "We decided to come visit for a few weeks." Ajirab said, while sitting down. "Well, I certainly have no objection to that. Did you get my letter? Oh, I suppose you wouldn't have had time to." M'nashan said cheerily. "Would you like something to eat?" He asked them. They both nodded violently. Ajirab and Adanjar were so hungry they could hardly contain themselves. All Adanjar had had to eat was the food in Rimmen, and that was days ago. Ajirab had some very disgusting slop onboard the slave ship.
That night Adanjar and Ajirab ate heartily and slept soundly.

Rain's Hand 25th, Ten in the Morning

Camlorn, High Rock

M'nasha knocked vigorously on his brothers door. The door opened and there was Ajirab, staring him right in the face. "Who is it, Ajirab?" he could hear M'nashan shout. "Nobody, they have the wrong house." she said as she slammed the door. M'nasha knocked even harder this time. "Are you sure?" M'nashan asked her, as he opened the door for himself. There was an angry-faced M'nasha staring at him. "Well, if it isn't M'nasha! My brother! I tell you it's been so long! How could you mistake your own husband for someone else, Ajirab?" M'nashan said just as cheery as ever. "Yes, Ajirab, how could you not remember your very own husband?" M'nasha asked her, gritting his teeth.
M'nashan invited him in for lunch. Just as they were sitting down, there came another knock at the door. M'nashan stepped away from the table to answer it. "What are you doing here?!" Ajirab whispered angrily. "What am I doing here? This is my brother’s house! What are you doing here?!" he whispered back to her. At this time Adanjar walked sleepily downstairs and into the kitchen where the "silent" argument was taking place. "Father!" Adanjar shouted. For a moment M'nasha forgot his quarrel with Ajirab and embraced his daughter, while tears running down his eyes.
M'nashan returned to the table with a piece of paper in his hand and a confused look on his face. "You broke up?" he said in confusion. "Well, I wouldn't say so much as broke up. Let's just say most of the family abandoned me." M'nasha said. "Then what are you doing here? Together?" M'nashan asked, not quite getting what was going on.
As if M'nashan wasn't already confused enough, a third knock at the door came. He stepped away to answer it and just as soon came back with Qa'Bahka standing beside him. "Qa'Bahka!" Adanjar shouted, leaping into his arms. "I thought you had burned to death!" she said to him. "What are you talking about?" he asked her looking at her longingly. "The fire, Arenthia burned to the ground. But that doesn't matter, what matters is that you're alive and you're here!" she said, tears flowing down her cheeks. "Now, I honestly have no idea what's going here, except that a good marriage has been split apart. Now, I've known you two ever since you were engaged. I never met two happier people. I don't know what it is you're fighting about but can't you just make amends?" He said looking at Ajirab and M'nasha. M'nasha looked at Ajirab and said "Ajirab, honey, I'm sorry I gambled away everything. I still love you. I can understand if you don't want to be with me, but I just want to let you know that if you want to start over, I'd be willing to give up gambling." Ajirab thought this over for a minute and finally said, "I guess we could give it another try. But you'll have to promise me, no more gambling." "I promise." M'nasha said to her proudly. Adanjar burst into tears. Her life was coming back together at last. Just when she thought things couldn't get any better, Qa'Bahka turned to her and said "Adanjar, I asked you to marry me before. And you said no, because you didn't want to leave your parents. Well, considering I have no home in Arenthia to go to, I would like to stay here and take you as my wife. Your parents can live here too, it's not like they have anywhere to go either. What do you say, Adanjar?" Adanjar looked at Qa'Bahka, then her parents, and her uncle and said "I'd love to."
So, Adanjar and Qa'Bahka were married the Twenty-Seventh of Rain's Hand. They rented out a house next to M'nashan’s house, where Adanjar’s parents stayed until they could get back onto their feet.

Three Years Later

Adanjar laid in bed, nursing her newborn baby. M'nashan had passed away, and he had left his home and belongings to M'nasha and Ajirab. And the harmonic pitter patter of the rain sent Adanjar and Anjari to sleep. Thunder rumbled overhead, and the wind blew the trees back and forth into the night.

The End
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