A New Sun Rises
This story covers the daily events in the two years leading up to the Oblivion Crisis. It begins following the life of a semi-typical Khajiit girl who inadvertently finds herself the pawn of a powerful necromancer just as factions and forces begin moving into position.
When motivations are revealed it drives out the secrets of forgotten pasts, and another Khajiit girl whose life was an intertwined mirror of her own till both were altered irrevocably by the same necromancer in whose power they both found themselves.
The diverse paths their lives took merge once again in an explosive revelation that leaves one wondering how much of her skills and personality were ever her own, and the other in a desperate struggle to control her life from being used against Uriel Septim as the crisis that will change Cyrodiil and the rule of Tamriel forever begins.
15 years after her parent's deaths, Sun's Dusk ( 3rd Era, year 432 )
15 years after her parent's deaths, Sun's Dusk ( 3rd Era, year 432 )
Fate is an invincible enemy in a battle you’ll never leave unscathed. It stalks you as prey and strikes regardless of shields or armor. The gods and Daedric Lords can find entertainment in manipulating your path on a whim, but far worse than either are the ancient vampires. They dabble with your mind, alter your life without you even knowing it. Sometimes you don‘t find out till it is too late.
I’d like to blame the gods for where I found myself, but the truth is that somewhere between the void and the Dreamsleeve lies fate; a place where time and space meet, where even the blackness of the void doesn’t reach and the gods make wagers on the outcome of lives caught in the ‘tween.
Wedged into that fold are damned souls, souls that have been marked for paths they can’t change, to destinies they can’t escape.
Ancient eyes see them as beacons, follow them as scents. Their enemies target them for revenge. You find yourself the pawn in a game you don’t even know was being played, with contestants your worst nightmares couldn‘t envision.
That’s where I found myself fifteen years after the game started. That was the day I found out that everything I’d ever known about myself had always been…her. Amiela.
Amiela was a 137 years old demon of a vampire that thrived on destruction and usurped whatever she could from others. She died a century before I was born, but the wars being fought over her didn‘t end with her death. Her soul was marked…and inside me.
For me, fate was my parents bringing me through the heavy forested area of the Gold Road just outside Skingrad at the same time the second worst necromancer of our time was in a battle for the soul of Amiela. And there I was, a convenient hiding spot.
That was the day my parents died. All I ever knew of them was where they died and what killed them. I was twenty years old before I even learned my mother's name. I was twenty years old before I remembered Nisaba. Nissy.
Nissy’s beginning didn’t just match mine, it was mine; though neither of us knew it before we’d both turned twenty years old. That was the year our paths crossed again and we learned the only scraps of our histories anyone was ever able to recover. That's when we learned our destinies were intertwined long before our lives began.
Nissy and I were born within a month of each other en route when our parents traveled together from Vvardenfell to Cyrodiil, but our histories began long before that. From early childhood our parents were owned by Hlormaren, a Dunmer Stronghold on the Bitter Coast of Vvardenfell. Before that they were housed in the same children's slave pen. Maybe our histories began long before that, but that was the furthest back any information went that we were able to find.
Nissy’s father dropped her off at the Imperial Legion Orphanage for the un-adoptable when she was two. Her mother died giving birth to her, Three years later a Legionnaire dropped me off there when my parents were killed in a minotaur attack.
Fate once again found Nissy and me four years later in the middle of the night, right there in our room at that orphanage. Both our destinies were wrenched into the hands of the worst necromancer Tamriel has known since the King of Worms. Both of us have been in his power in one way or another since. Dagoth-Malan.
That was eleven years ago, eleven years that Nissy waited for me to keep a promise to save her. Eleven years that memories of her were stolen from me so I couldn’t. Until fate brought us together again when we both turned twenty.
Nissy and me, we were both in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fate.
The earliest memory of my lifetime begins and ends in the Legion headquarters in the Imperial City, I’ve never been able to remember a single moment of my life before finding myself in that office, not even how I got there. The only thing I ever knew about myself was my name, Ma'Thjizzrini Qa.
As badly as I've wanted to remember my mother, no amount of straining my brain has ever brought up an image of her, not even a glimpse of a moment with her or the sound of her voice.
There were no identifying documents found on either of my parent's bodies. What that meant to me was that I never knew my own mother's name, or any family I may have sought for shelter. No travel papers to say what they were doing in Cyrodiil, although I know they came from another Province. They both bore slave marks, and slavery is banned here in Cyrodiil.
That day in the Legion office though, that I will never forget. The odors of pipe smoke and tobacco, male sweat and steel; they bring the memory of that day as if it just happened.
It has stayed fresh in my mind all these years, but not because I wanted to remember it. It was because of the number of times I’d come to that stopping point in my memory and tried to force beyond it to find something, anything of who I was; of my life before then. Of my mother.
The jeering voices and laughter of those men as they tried to determine what I was, figure out what I was saying. Listening to them discuss what to do with me. All through it my mind burned with trying to figure out who I was and how I got there. I'll never forget that day.
At first I barely understood half what they were saying; strange sounding words spoken so harshly and rapidly that it was impossible to grasp even one to decipher. They couldn’t understand me at all. After several attempts they spoke in front of me freely as if I didn’t exist, and their communication degraded into them miming out what they wanted.
Somewhere deep inside me their words were striking a chord of recognition, a place as unconnected to me as the lost memories of my life before that office. It almost felt like I could speak their Cyrodiilic, but when my mouth opened the words still came out in Ta'agra.
"What is it?"
"Don't know. The get of some beast slaves killed by a minotaur up on the big curve of the Gold Road in County Skingrad. Couldn't tell what they were either. The female was a bloody mess; the male...too big for a cat, and fur so dark it coulda' been covered in coal soot. Can't be Khajiit, the face was like that little white one's." He indicated my flat face.
"No, never heard of a black Khajiit, anyway. Slave tattoos, you say? They're not from here then. No travel papers or identification on either of them?"
The Legionnaire shook his head no. "This travel pack was the only thing salvageable, it was near the female's body." He handed it to the Duty Captain. "This silver dagger was in her hand."
"Probably escaped slaves, then. Spawn of black beast, escaped slave, unknown race." The Duty Captain nodded, writing it down. "How old do you think it is?"
"It's too small to be very old, but it walks. I figure it can't be much more than a couple years old. And mark it as female, it squatted to relieve itself on the road here."
"Albino beast, unknown race. Female. Two years old." The Duty Captain stamped the paper with his official seal.
“I’ll bet it’s got a temper with that red hair!” That was met with raucous laughter by the room in general.
The mocking laughter I understood; and they were actually right. I did have a temper, and could feel it building rapidly in me. Fear and confusion, their mockery, and their rudimentary and primitive gestures to communicate as if I were ape instead of Khajiit. After a while of watching their odd contortions, I realized they were trying to get my name.
“Ma'Thjizzrini Qa.” I kept repeating it, and finally they wrote down “Maxical.”
Years later while eavesdropping I learned that my real name roughly translated meant "What the hell did we do to deserve this child," I never used it again, and from that day on was grateful that by all intents and purposes I was legally renamed Maxical on the day of my parent's death.
Because of the condition of my parent's bodies, and without any forms of identification, my parent's race was listed as "unknown." I learned later that they'd listed me as “Albino beast of unknown race.“
To be fair to them, my face shape and features are not like any other Khajiit I’ve ever seen. Where Khajiit faces mold to kingly snouts, mine is as angular as a human's and almost flat. I have no rich heavy rug of thick fur, mine is as fine as a wisp. Back then I still had the kittenish perpetually bushed fur spiking out. White fur. To this day I've never met anyone who has ever seen another white Khajiit. Growing up I used to rub dirt in my fur to try to look like I fit in with my race.
Maybe that’s why the Legion didn’t know what race to list me as. I've never known why I look different than other Khajiit, but as I grew older the theory hit me that maybe I was the product of a mixed union. It was a lot easier thought to bear than being considered a freak of nature. True or not, I clung to it and claimed it. I wanted it to be true, just to have that explanation for my odd appearance and coloring.
The Legion estimated my age to be two years old due to my size, which even now as an adult is a full head smaller than the average Khajiit.
The Legion made their regulated period of attempts to find an adoptive home for me before I was transferred to the orphanage in the Imperial City Prison Compound. That’s where orphans considered “un-adoptable” were sent.
All the beast races end there, or any human too old to be considered cute. I wasn’t cute, and that “unknown albino beast” stamp on my papers would have scared off anyone who might have thought I was. They could have placed a mudcrab before I would have found a home.
There was a certain look they'd get on their faces before slamming the door, a look I'll never forget. You don't have to understand the language to know rejection when you see it.
The Khajiit spoke in my language, I did understand them. They were the worst. We are a superstitious race, and an albino is considered a jinx. Even passing on the street they'd gasp and move away, muttering “Vaba” under their breath to ward my jinx off them. Translated literally it means, “It is;” but when spoken by itself it means “Bad omen.” Maybe it is true, because bad luck seems to touch a lot of lives connected to mine.
I’m not going to say that didn’t hurt at the time, it did. Eventually anger carried me through that kind of pain; but below the surface, deep inside me the scars remain of that time. Then you eavesdrop at the wrong time and learn the meaning of your given name.
Maybe it distorted my perspective, but sometimes when you hear that kind of label you begin to believe it is true. You either live up to it or get angry. I did both.