Mylindra! The most astonishing events have occurred! I can hardly hold my quill – it was so astoundingly astounding – wondrous – thrilling!
As I had mentioned in my last letter, I went out for air and a walk about town before bedding down for the night. Even at the late hour, with dusk just enveloping the city, dozens – possibly hundreds – of people were about. But unlike the Imperial city, so many had creatures in tow! Gloriously winged things out of nightmares – although more likely a Daedric denizen, some poor evil soul bound to a Necromancer or some such nonsense – dogs, cats, bears, panthers, even Guar from my native homeland – and they must have cost a comely coin to import.
I made my way to the largest pack of adventurers – for that is how most were dressed, in the most outlandish colors, brandishing the most fiendish of weapons – elbowing my way through the crowd. No one paid any attention; the Mage disguise worked perfectly.
I found myself inside the smithy, a room vast as Almalexia’s Hall yet I could hardly move, nor take a breath for the stench of sweat and scaled metal. And can you believe not a single artisan sold me a dagger?? The metalsmith primly informed me the weapons he sells are much too complicated for a man of my inclinations (and I can only guess as to those inclinations) and refused me service. Incredible.
Politely I requested the materials to build one myself – do not laugh – and was promptly informed he does not sell the materials. At last he directed me to the Market Square, some ways to the East from the smithy.
400 gold coins. 400!! For a flimsy dagger no thicker than my fingernail. I can hardly cut a potato without fear of it breaking. I shall have to perform a number of well-paid favors for Valaste if I am to survive out here.
Dagger tucked firmly in my belt, I began to retrace my steps back to the Mages Hall. I had just passed the Southern entrance when a large, honey colored dog ran up to me and planted itself firmly in my path, barking and trying to tug on my tunic! You would have instantly noticed its intelligence, my dear Mylindra. This was no dumb mutt, and it clearly had a purpose. It went a little ways ahead on the path and then turned around, as though waiting for me. Of course I followed…
A body, Mylindra! A dead one!
The dog led me to a dead man lying on a small patch of muddy grass in the middle of a pond next to a bridge. He was face down, splayed out as though knocked on the back of the head.
Next to him lay a soggy note, the ink nearly bled clean through but still legible. It read:
Grocer – Three Blood Oranges
Tailor – Crescent Emblem Cloak
Florist – Black Roses with Thorns
Can you believe the luck, Mylindra? Not for the poor dead man of course, but already a Title story!
And yes, before you knit your eyebrows together, I did try to inform the guards. But none would believe me! I assume it was because I am a Dunmer. The woman I spoke to, a green-skinned Orc with an axe to grind (don’t you miss my puns?), was cold and aloof and wrote things down in her notebook without actually looking at it. I am certain she was drawing circles. I could tell she did not trust me, and at one she point mentioned that Mages were a “crafty lot” and I might have murdered him myself.
At that point Mylindra, I realized I, as an outsider, Faction enemy and stranger, would most likely be framed for this man’s murder – so I have no choice but to pursue Truth and Justice on my own.
It is too dark to begin the search now, most of the market stalls will be closed. Though it is bright as dawn here in my room, they have the most marvelous Mage Lights all about this Hall. Candles and torches seem almost archaic in this place of high magic. You would love the lights, Mylindra.
Ah, I cannot sleep! I can see the words now: MURDER IN DAGGERFALL. No, that’s too obvious. A BUSHEL OF DAGGERS. GROCER, TAILOR, FLORST, MURDERER. No…
Use your talent for titles, Mylindra – this story deserves it, I can feel it!
Later that day I wandered, still shoe-less, into the Woodworking and Alchemy building. Lots of noise, saws and toxic smells.
I tried my hand at picking the lock of a small chest on one of the tables, but the alchemist walked by just as I was getting the hang of it and confiscated my lockpick.
I seriously suck at this thieving business.
So I settled for snatching a bird call whistle from a basket. It’s made of silver and very shiny, so probably expensive – score!
Sadly, Miss Vipsania passed away shortly after writing this. As she mentions above, she had stolen a number of items and was caught by Alchemist Justal trying to open the lockbox. The Guards received word of this and, when Miss Vipsania was later pointed out to them by Miss Justal, a Guard pursued.
Miss Vipsania, willing to return all the stolen items but unable to pay the 7 coin bounty nor possessing the muscle mass to intimidate the Guard, was forced to flee into the woods outside the city. She appeared to be making for the river, perhaps in hopes of swimming to safety.
The Guard, however, used a gap spell, pulled Miss Vipsania close and stabbed her through the back (forgive the gruesome description, I wish to be thorough).
Miss Vipsania, known by name only through these papers discovered on her person and without any kin claiming her, was entombed in the Unknown Crypt beneath the Daggerfall Cathedral at dawn this morning. Her personal papers, along with this note, will be buried alongside her should in future anyone come to claim her body.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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–
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.
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.
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.”