Dar’Raksadarg – 04: Liars and Wolves

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Good old nightshade. Poisonous, of course, but it has its uses. You don’t need to sneak up on it either, another benefit of this flower. I’ll just help myself to some of these, then mix them into a drink for J’zargo. A small celebration drink, then I celebrate as he falls dead to the ground. I’ll put an end to this nonsense between our parents. With those flowers in my pockets, I spied a monk on the side of the road.

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“M’aiq wishes you well,” the old cat greeted me upon my approach.

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“M’aiq the Lair. Now ain’t this a surprise.” Probably everyone in Tamriel knows about M’aiq since he arrived in Morrowind by some magical force. I always suspected J’zargo was behind it, but M’aiq did appear before we were born.

“M’aiq saw a mudcrab the other day. Horrible creatures!”

Perhaps I’ll shove this nightshade down his throat and end his mind-reading crimes. How dare he know about me and that mudcrab, then twist it into some tale about seeing one the other day. He’s no liar, he’s a milk-drinking mind-thought-stealer!

“Something strange happens to Khajiit when they arrive in Skyrim.”

“Let me guess. They think they are powerful mages?” I replied as my eyes rolled in disbelief.

“The people of Skyrim are more open-minded about certain things than people in other places.”

I’m not required to like everyone I meet and that does include fellow Khajiits so M’aiq is moving right into the category. “Your point?”

“How does one know there was a city of Winterhold? M’aiq did not see it with his eyes, did you?”

“That’s it!” I shouted as I lunged for his throat only to find myself face first in the ground and M’aiq the Lair nowhere in sight. I’m adding him to my list, I’ll hunt him down to end his silliness once and for all. Naturally Lajjan can’t be with me because M’aiq might try to influence her over to his side. Some dirty deeds are best done alone.

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For now I’m back on track for Whiterun and mad about everything not being free for the taking. You would think a shrine would be willing to give away items to the needy because I need that gold piece. This place is frustrating, night is on fast approach and I’m nowhere near this town called Whiterun.

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I noticed a light to the left of the shrine. Someone put lights on the Standing Stones! I’m picking the Thief because it never hurts to keep those skills maxed out to become a legendary thief. That’s why I’m the best!

Huh? This isn’t a standing stone. I am curious and suspicious at the same time.

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Why is my paw reaching out to touch it? Did I not learn from that lady statue? Look at the colors swirling around my paws and the speed that I pulled my paw back from it. Astonishing.

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I feel strange after touching that stone, like I need to run and fast, too. This is a fine mess I got myself into. I’m drunk on speed, hungry as a bear, thirsty as a Nord warrior and tired as a dog.

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Nothing I can do about it now except run and whoa….slow down feet!

I was flying down the road and barely missed hitting some wood elf skooma dealer on the road. Luckily his ward spell stopped my approach, and then he refused to sell me anything after learning I was using another source for my skooma. Either way, they are both addicting because I’m going back for that stone again. I was running as fast as the sun was setting.  Now reading those road signs is starting to become tricky without any lanterns nearby.

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So I was wrong and that is rare. Wolves do exist in Skyrim. One nearly killed me, which I will only state once. All other versions of the story will be modified to save my pride and prevent ridicule from others. That would have been the worst news ever for my Pa, learning his son was killed by a lone wolf. J’zargo on the other hand would be so happy, and it would be proof right there he was better than me. Well, that wolf is dead and I’m alive so take that, cousin!

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I’m glad my Ma taught me restoration skills. Not a master mind you, but I can manage some healing skills in times of need. What I wanted to learn was how to restore stamina and health at the same time. Now that’s power! No more hauling potions along when you only need to toss up some healing magic. Restoration mages are the best, some of the most confident, sweet, unassuming and trustful individuals you could ever meet. Maybe I’ll take the healing courses at the college.

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Now isn’t that odd, that mountain has a hole in it! Someone is burning up Skyrim! I need to find shelter soon, it gets tiresome only getting to use my night eye vision for sixty seconds once a day. I believe it should be permanent for Khajiits, a gift for being so intelligent and not some ability considered as a lesser power. Now that would be powerful!

With the fire blazing in the distance I better get moving and try to get closer to Whiterun before complete nightfall arrives.

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Another wolf! Two! Good thing I healed up because they look as hungry as I feel. My natural talent and the blessing from the power stone running through me made them no match for my quickness. However, fighting and traveling at night in an unknown land with predators about isn’t always the wisest decision. I will credit myself for thinking ahead about needing shelter so my instincts are truly sharpened. Perhaps a stop in Solitude to request lanterns being built along more of the roads is in order. Even in Riverhold we had Master MannyGT install lanterns in areas that needed them the most. Bet he could do wonders here in Skyrim, it sure is dark here and I have no torch. Always heard about blue torches that are found only in Skyrim, but at this point I would love any color of torch to get some light.

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I discovered a dead bandit. For record purposes, I will only state once the truth of what happened. I stumbled over the body because I didn’t see it laying on the ground.

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What I saw was a horse in the distance that I was sure belonged to me. It was dark, I wanted a horse, no one was around so the finders-keepers rule applied.

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Yes! A free horse and free goodies from the bandit. MILK!! Come to papa! My thirst is about to be fulfilled, all thanks to a dead bandit berserker!

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Blast it! Can’t read the road sign, can’t use my night eye while on the horse and I really need to see that sign. What a waste. I need to get to Whiterun quickly for my own sake. So many things I need. Torches, food, drink, camping gear….

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With my night-eye vision I can see Whiterun is behind me, still on track.

Wait, where is my horse going? That’s not the way to Whiterun! Come back here! Whiterun is the other way!

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THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES…

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Dar’Raksadarg – 02: Murder, Moon Sugar, Thalmor, Oh My!

They never take outsiders to the city dungeons.

Criminals aren’t allowed to see the fine citizens who never do anything wrong. I know this all too well. As one of the cats from Elsweyr, I know the truth: mistrust and mistreatment spreads far and wide within Skyrim.

Those guards pushed and tossed me about, then shoved me into some cell, slamming the door behind me. It was my wisdom that said I am more fortunate to be here than with my mouth taped like that other prisoner in the cart with me. The thought alone brings pain to my whiskers and traumatizes me at the sheer idea of the tape being removed. Hope that man didn’t have a beard! But I still have a problem…

I’m locked away in some empty cell.

Abandoned.

I knew trouble was brewing; we Khajiits can sniff it out faster than a charging bear. So I am most surprised, considering my instinctual skills, to find myself inside a cell with no lockpick to use, a grumbling stomach and an old Lady Mara statue.

Odd place for this temple item.

I studied the statue, considering it was the only thing in the room worth looking at.  A woman’s voice floated in my head to approach her and I looked around sharply. My whiskers twitch. A woman is always trouble.

No one understands the secret behind being curious more than a Khajiit. It was curious that this statue was here, curious how I was drawn to it, but most curious is how she told me that I was a caravan guard when I touched her.

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It is good to be curious, because where one opportunity ends another appears. Today I go from being an undercat to a proud guardsman. I suppose I will check into this Dragonborn nonsense later. For now, I’m off to my new job. Surely a guard is more powerful and superior to a mage. But a dragon guard? Time to work my skills and get some perks from them!

I reach out to the statue a second time…

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That’s the last time I’m ever touching some lady statue!

Where am I? There’s no caravan that I’m guarding, just some empty campsite and butterflies fluttering about. Shame they aren’t birds. I’m hungry and lost with only butterflies that aren’t fit to eat. Don’t let those alchemists fool you, eating alchemy ingredients is not healthy. Jarrin root is never to be eaten first – that’s the oldest wise tale of them all. It’s so rare of a ingredient that no one will ever find one to test out that theory!

But me, I got my trusty nose to sniff out danger and poisonous food. Drink, too. Khajiits do drink and often are known as milk drinkers. Not me, though. Ale and mead are my drinks of choice. Not my mother’s, mind you.

One thing I know is that I’m better than any college mage in Winterhold. My cousin is only kidding himself about who is better. Might as well add our fathers into the mix. This is all their fault. Always trying to beat out the other, often times while swinging J’Zargo or myself back and forth in front of the other’s face. Their son was always better than the nephew and that made their tug-o-power game more ridiculous, using their cub children as weapons.

Over the years my cousin and I were pitted against each other until J’Zargo’s ego got too big for the arena. I drank myself silly for three days after he left for college. Good thing my mother found me, floating down stream on my back while trying to balance four mead bottles on my stomach. She claimed I was sinking and suggested next time to use empty bottles. Ah, mothers are good to have.

I bet J’zargo probably never made it to Skyrim and those letters he sent home were probably filled with venomous nonsense about how evil Skyrim was and they shouldn’t come for a visit for safety reasons–

Ha! That’s it! I’m going to Winterhold to see if my old cousin is really there. Best check around this campsite for anything useful then head to Winterhold. Ah yes, dear cousin….can’t wait to count out your coin when you lose the bet. I am the real Dragonborn and far more powerful than you.

What’s this? Bah! Nothing is free anymore and the tents are filled with items I could use. I want to take it all, I really do… but should I is what tugs at me.

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Hearing footsteps off in the distance, I peer up over a rock to take a peek. There’s a guard on patrol and a city sitting nestled in a mountainside further back.

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What did granny teach me about Skyrim geography….the city of stone. The Khajiits would love it there for its high ledges and lots of room to stretch out among the stones.

Markarth. That’s it…Markarth! Good old Grandpawma would be so proud, this is proof I paid attention to her cartography lessons. Skyrim is small compared to Tamriel so I got lucky that she never quizzed me on the world.

Might as well go check out the city.

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This wasn’t a good idea at all.

That poor woman, killed right in front of me by some Forsworn agent! Those guards didn’t look happy when I inspected the bodies, but they never saw my paws swipe some goods off them. Keys are much better than lockpicks and any key you come across is worth keeping.

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But a note shoved under your nose by some stranger who claims it belongs to you is another matter. Some marked-up young kid named Eltrys wanted to know if I was alright, and asked what I knew about the attack.

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Like I would know? I barely found this town and he thinks I know about the attack?! After politely putting the note into my pocket I left Markarth. Probably a good thing, too. Those guards needed someone to blame and a lone cub on the loose would have made for a fine rug for their barracks.

I spotted a farm on the way out with crops ready for harvesting, and I with a belly to fill.

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An elderly couple fussed at each other, the husband being more stubborn than a mule stuck in mud. If it wasn’t for his sweet wife greeting me warmly, those potatoes would have been mine. The grumpy old man and sweet older woman were more than happy to pay me to harvest their crops.

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My stomach didn’t care much for that idea but I still made the exchange to put some coin into my pocket. Not like Khajiits aren’t excellent hunters, plus I can always purchase food.

Ah..there they are. The caravan members are back and they are completely ignoring me. I must be in trouble for leaving my post. Best not to mention the marketplace incident then.

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“Greetings.”

I acknowledged the Khajiit sitting in the tent. They are the important ones. The caravan leader is the only one permitted to sit while all others must perform duties to maintain the campsite. You only speak to the others after addressing the leader first. It’s not really a rule…more like a guideline for understanding and recognizing rank within the colonies of Khajiits.

“You wish to buy something?” Ri’saad replied as he remained seated under the flap of his tent.

“No, no, just checking in.”

“There is no moon sugar. Come back later.” The reply was short and curt.

Shor’s beard! One can get moon sugar here?

“Huh?” Was the only thing I could think of to say.

Ri’saad looked up and repeated slowly, “There is no moon sugar. Come back later.”

“Oh. Well. I’ll keep that in mind. However, I just was reporting in and ready to assume my guard duties.”

“Huh?” Was the only thing Ri’saad could think of to say.

“Guard duty. I was sent here by Lady Mar..” Somehow when I went to explain myself my instincts felt it just didn’t seem right, so I stopped. “Perhaps you could just point me toward Winterhold?”

“Ah yes, we are so proud of him. Imagine, one of us as a mage? A mage!” Ri’saad fisted his hands and raised them sharply in the air, proudly. “It’s like a dwarf finding a mine! What a golden opportunity and great fortune for the College. Makes them much more powerful indeed.”

So he is here. The worm is already spreading lies about being a powerful mage.

“Know where any dragons are?” My right whiskers began to twitch slightly as I plotted finding the dragon first, then showing up in dragon form! Flying in to land in their courtyard, blocking entry and exit into that rickety old college before requesting to see my cousin. I relish in the thought!

“They say Helgen got hit by a dragon.” Ri’saad replied as if being asked about dragons was an everyday occurrence. “Head to Whiterun across that bridge, it will lead you toward Helgen.”

I certainly will learn to rephrase my questions and avoid asking about dragons from now on. Perhaps I will go to Winterhold first to get my cousin and use him to blow up the dragons! Now that’s power!

“The college is which way?”

“North, stay along the coast but avoid the watchtowers. All sorts of nasty people in them and they will come after you. Can’t miss the College and its long bridge. Path won’t lead you to warm sand.” Ri’saad tossed me a small bag. “One for the road. Use wisely.”

I thanked the old merchant for his directions and bag of moon sugar. It should come in handy when some energy pickup is needed. Time to find my cousin and prove he is outmatched by me. I turned around–

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THALMOR!

Those worthless, liberty-stealing worshipers of non-mortal Gods were stopped right in front of the camp. The lead Thalmor was informing his prisoner that Talos worshiping is not tolerated. Not by Nords. Not by Khajiits. My whiskers were twitching with danger warning signals going haywire within my instincts. That long-eared wizard Thalmor looked over at one female kitty, whom I had noticed earlier.

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Such a beauty…

Sure could use a traveling mate. Maybe I’ll come back for her after I’m a dragon and my cousin is following as my housecat. Don’t need to be powerful, just impressive. She did have a mesmerizing smile that dazzled my young heart… hope they don’t hurt her, otherwise I might need to get mean.

Luckily the Thalmor got no fight from the caravan, and they finally moved on with their prisoner. I really wanted to jump in and free him, but the odds weren’t very much in my favor. Along with the main Thalmor leader were two other Thalmor Justiciars in fine Elven armor. That armor would have looked handsome on me, but the fight to get the attire wasn’t worth it, at least not for my health. I gave my good-byes to the camp and a sweet wink at Lajjan before I departed for my new journey.

It’s official now, I’m definitely coming back for her.

THE STORY CONTINUES…

Dar’Raksadarg – 01: Prelude

“Son, you are now a cub scout!”

Dar’Rakr had his big paw resting on my shoulder, facing me. “Roarhahaha, that’s a joke, Lil’cat. What I mean is, you are now a cub dragon. ROARHAHAHA!”

I stared without expression at my father. I already knew the details; those were given to me by my mother. Through her tears I managed to figure out that my father was sending me to Skyrim. No surprise there. My cousin J’zargo was attending college in Winterhold without any tuition fees plus free room and board, compliments of the Arch Mage. J’zargo was the first Khajiit to attend the College of Winterhold, so special treatment for him, I guess. My fire-red eyes flickered as my whiskers twitched when my father told me a minor detail of the journey. You know, those details that everyone leaves out:

“Dragons have come back to Skyrim. I see in your eyes that you are the real Dragonborn.”

“I’m not sticking around to fight a dragon!” No more!  I yield to my father’s craziness.  I will now begin to search for jarrin root.

“All you need to do is find that finger-wiggling disgrace of a skeever-mage named J’zargo and watch him crumble when he learns you are a dragon!” My father’s tail was wagging so fast from the sheer joy of beating out his brother that I swear it was about to fly off.

“You want me to go Skyrim, become a dragon and tell J’zargo about it?” Never hurts to get the real details so I asked.

“Powerful idea, isn’t it? Roarhahaha!” My father was shoving a backpack into my arms while my mother was frantically trying to fill it with food and drink. “Time to end this little game with my brother! You are the greatest and most powerful of all. But not as a mage! Go forth, cubbyson and show everyone who the real Dragonborn is! Just make sure you prove it to J’zargo and send that whimpering, weak, milk-drinker home! ROARHAHAHA!”

“I don…” My eyes narrowed at him as he shoved some catnip mixed with moon sugar into my mouth. “Wha…” The last thing I remembered was my father pouring ale down my throat.

The next thing I recalled was smiling up at some Imperial guards on patrol. Apparently it is not legal for Khajiits to cross the border without having a caravan license. Minor detail my father overlooked. Nor is it legal anywhere in Skyrim to pass out while under the influence and not know how you got there. So they put me into a wagon filled with other prisoners until some General saw me.

“Get that thing out of my cart! Stendarr’s Mercy, I’m not running a sideshow here!” The General’s horse paced nervously as the officer glared at his men. “Take him to the regular location.”

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Shrine to Mara – where will she send our hero?

Dar’Raksadarg’s adventure continues…