Mervar smiled when he saw us approaching.
- Mervar: Since Khajiit are not falling over dead from a plague, this one thinks the Sload is no more, yes?
- Wulf: I didn’t kill it. I let it return to Thras, badly injured and with a warning to other Sload.
- Mervar: If Dovahkiin thinks that was a better solution, this one is not going to argue.
- Wulf: Did your scouts find anything useful?
- Mervar: Yes, and Khulan has the information. That one asked that you go to Priderock hideout. The Witchcat has a surprise for the Dovahkiin.
- Wulf: Who is Khulan?
- Ashni: This one has heard. Khulan is a powerful mage. The Thalmor do not like that one!
- Anahbi: A Khajiit mage that the Thalmor hate must be worth knowing.
- Mervar: Khulan is an essential part of our resistance.
- Wulf: And the surprise?
- Mervar: It is only a surprise if this one does not tell.
- Wulf: Are the Thalmor near Dune?
- Mervar: Yes, with a Justiciar in charge.
- Wulf: Then we had better get going. It will take days to get there.
- Mervar: Dovahkiin will be there in mere hours.
- Kharjo: This one thinks the ‘surprise’ will allow that to be.
- Ashni: Let us go. This one is excited!
I stopped using night vision on the way to Priderock. Headaches after extended use were still an issue.
I turned night vision back on to look at an airship docked at Priderock.
I approached a tall Khajiit. I did not think he was Tojay-Raht.
- Wulf: Good evening, I am Wulf. And you are?
- Skullcat: Ahoy! ‘tis cat just be a simple sailor, my noble sir. Ye may call him… captain. Captain Skullcat at yer service.
- Wulf: If ye be a cap’n, I am the Queen o’ Tamriel!
- Skullcat: Shiver me timbers! Ye be right, captain I ain’t. Yarr! Now, ain’t it a shame? Ye be the Dragonborn then?
- Wulf: Ye be a pure genius! How did ye figure that out wit’ the vast number o’ Scallywags’ that travel these waters?
- Skullcat: Long time ‘go, I had a shipmate by the name, arr, Dogborn, aye. Ugly as a Daedra, I’m tellin’ ye.
- Kharjo: He reminded ye o’ yer mother?
- Wulf: ‘Tis a good’un, Kharjo!
- Skullcat: Hey, ‘tis my story!
- Wulf: Please continue. ‘Tis rivetin’ so far!
- Skullcat: Dogborn, he be dead. Messy way. Skullcat’s very own bloody claws tore him ‘part!
- Wulf: Did ye kiss ’im ‘n then realised Dogborn wasn’t yer mother?
- Ashni: That was a good’un as well!
- Skullcat: He died ’cause he asked too many questions, har har har!
The idiot drew his sword, so I drew mine and caught his in the crossguard. The Sentinels aimed their nocked bows at Skullcat’s head.
- Wulf: If ye don’t wants me t’ slit yer throat, slowly sheath yer cutlass!
- Anahbi: Or we could jus’ fill yer head wit’ arrows.
- Skullcat: Now hang on! Skullcat was jus’ goin’ t’ inspect his cutlass fer rust!
- Kharjo: Ye drew yer cutlass in front o’ the Dovahkiin. Ye be lucky he didn’ simply cut yer head off!
Skullcat slowly sheathed his sword, and I gave the hand signal for The Sentinels to relax.
- Wulf: That is enough of playing pirates. I was told to meet Khulan. Do you know where he is?
- Skullcat: Jungle witchcats, phew! Merrunz burn ‘em all! And ‘tis cripple squid schemer is hidin’ underhatch, o’ c’rse.
- Wulf: Placing a curse of Mehrunes Dagon on your captain sounds like mutiny to me.
- Skullcat: Skullcat be merely complainin’. I am loyal t’ Khulan’ n the cause.
- Kharjo: This one hopes that is so. Or it will be Kharjo who kills Skullcat with his very own bloody claws.
We entered the airship. I was surprised to find a single Khajiit inside. I thought there would be more crew needed.
- Wulf: Are you Khulan?
- Khulan: Ah yes. Khulan welcomes Dovahkiin to the Waning Moon, his personal airship.
- Wulf: You are giving me this airship? Why?
- Khulan: Our new Mane gifts it to you. It may aid in your tasks here and in other places. Thalmor will also likely try to steal it back again if it stays in Elsweyr. With an airship, they can find us easily. It is better if they have to walk through the jungle and desert, no?
- Wulf: Surely, if there is ever an uprising, you would need such airships.
- Khulan: We have the Dwemer plans and experience. We can build more when needed.
- Wulf: I see no controls, so how do you fly it?
- Khulan: This one is a mage who also can read the moonstrings. This airship responds to telepathy. If Khulan has been somewhere beforehand, it takes seconds to get there. All this one has to do is think of the destination.
- Wulf: But I don’t know the magic of Moonpaths and moonstrings. How would I fly it?
- Khulan: Dwemer did not know them either. Khajiit could fit the airship with their devices. Then any mage can fly Waning Moon. But Khajiit need help from somebody with more knowledge of Dwemer.
- Wulf: I will ask Professor Marassi if he is interested. He is probably the most respected authority on Dwemer.
- Khulan: Ahh, I have read books by Marassi. That would be most helpful.
- Wulf: Do the Thalmor know how to modify the other one they took from you?
- Khulan: No, they do not have the Dwemer plans. Thalmor put crude controls in the one they still have. They have to fly in Mundus.
- Wulf: But you can make this entire airship and contents go via the ethereal plane?
- Khulan: Yes, but unlike dragons, it is not natural for a large artificial structure to travel in that plane. It takes Khulan two hours to create a barrier that envelops the airship. The Dwemer machines may be able to do that in seconds.
- Wulf: The airship is only in the ether for a few seconds?
- Khulan: Yes, so only two hours to travel somewhere this one has been to before. Maybe seconds when the other Dwemer parts are added.
- Wulf: How did you get the Waning Moon back from the Thalmor?
- Khulan: Dovahkiin is a mage, no? Stealing is easy when invisible.
- Wulf: Is there anything else that will change when you add other Dwemer parts to Waning Moon?
- Khulan: According to the plans, the inside will be bigger than the outside.
- Wulf: Fourth-dimensional? That is amazing!
- Khulan: The Dwemer were clever but not wise.
- Kharjo: That is why the Dwarves are no longer on Nirn.
- Khulan: Dwemer spent too much time thinking and not enough time understanding.
- Wulf: Have the scouts located the Justiciar?
- Khulan: New Elsweyr spies tracked him close to the city of Dune. That damned Thalmor is raiding our caravan supply posts! He must pay for his crimes!
- Kharjo: This group has called itself New Elsweyr?
- Khulan: Yes. Not very original, but it will do.
- Wulf: I should have destroyed the other airship.
- Ashni: What would the Bruma Den Mother say to that?
- Wulf: She would say that I am not omnipotent and had no way of knowing that would be the best solution.
- Ashni: Then why does that one worry about such things?
- Anahbi: The Dovahkiin is how he is.
- Wulf: We need to eat and rest before heading to the desert.
- Khulan: Then sit and eat with me. We can discuss many things over a meal, yes?
- Wulf: Maybe you can tell me about Skullcat?
- Khulan: Oh yes, that is a good tale.
Ashni and Anahbi quickly created a vegetable dish with a captivating combination of spices. Skullcat did not join us for the meal, but Ashni took a bowl out to him.
After the meal, Khulan explained that he needed to weave protection against the ether around the ship. He sat still and went into a trance. This spell was magic beyond my knowledge. Like the Hist provides magics to Argonian, the Moon Lattice, the ja-Kha’jay, provides magics to Khajiit.
I took the opportunity to speak to Rigmor.
“My beloved, are you too busy risking your life at the party to talk to me?”
“Just give me a second to get rid of this milk-drinking son of a High Rock noble. Why do people think such ‘refined’ gentlemen would be of interest to me?”
By concentrating on Rigmor, I could sense her emotions via our rings. She went from annoyed to amused with a deep sense of satisfaction.
“Okay, what did you do to the poor man?”
“I stuck my finger up my nose while saying, ‘Where are you? I know you are in there!’”
“Then I said, ‘Aha… got you! Let us see what treasure I have uncovered.’ I then held my finger up to the light and exclaimed, ‘Magnificent! I shall add you to my collection.’ I put my finger near his face and asked, ‘What do you think of the shades of green? Superb are they not?’”
“You are evil! What did the victim do?”
“He almost lost his dinner! Suddenly he decided he needed to speak to his cousin over the other side of the ballroom.”
“Another young man who will probably not speak to a woman for months.”
“So, what is happening over there?”
“We are about to head for the desert in my new airship.”
‘Ha, Baa’Ren-Dar beat you with that news.”
“Yes, he is probably the one who convinced the Mane it was a good idea.”
“I have to go. Baa’Ren-Dar is approaching with some other VIPs he wants me to meet.”
“You will join me later?”
“Of course. I love you.”
“I love you too, snot and all!”
“The milk-drinker is still staring at me. I can fix that!”
Rigmor’s amusement level went sky high. I can only imagine what the poor young noble thought.
Almost two hours to the minute, Khulan came out of his trance and stated, “Waning Moon has arrived. If Dovahkiin is wondering, that one did not feel the ether because of Khulan’s barrier.”
A few seconds later, Skullcat stuck his head through the trapdoor and warned, “The Thalmor are attacking the supply post!”
Khulan growled, “Hurry and save the supply post!”
The Sentinels followed me outside.
A squad of Thalmor were in danger of overwhelming two Khajiit. As we rushed to aid them, a large pack of Hyena’s decided to get involved.
The fight did not last long.
I approached one of the Khajiit.
- Wulf: It appears we arrived just in time.
- Jelikirr: This one is Jelikirr. You are the Dovahkiin?
- Wulf: Yes.
- Jelikirr: Many supply posts have fallen to Justiciar Lenial. This one is sure that bastard has already left this area. But there may be more Thalmor nearby. It was not an entire raiding party we just eliminated.
- Wulf: Yes, he seems to drop off the patrols to do their work then picks them up later. He is making a nuisance of himself with the airship.
- Kharjo: We shall hunt him down.
- Jelikirr: Kill them all for what they have done to Elsweyr.
- Wulf: I assume water is one of the most essential things the caravans need in the khaj?
- Jelikirr: Yes. The water is hidden. Shi’ara helps us find new water and is in the room out the back.
- Kharjo: That is an Argonian name!
- Jelikirr: That is good because Shi’ara is Argonian.
- Wulf: We had better search for the rest of the patrol. Then we might visit Shi’ara.
We made our way back to the airship. It seemed that several Hyena had attacked Skullcat. They were dead, and he had some nasty bites on his shins.
- Wulf: You are wounded. Let me heal you.
- Skullcat: Phew! Hang all witchdoctors! Skooma, matey. Skooma will do.
- Wulf: Sorry, I don’t carry Skooma. How about a nice warm saucer of milk instead?
- Skullcat: Milk! Are ye trying t’ poison ole Skullcat?
- Wulf: Wait, and I shall conjure up some Skooma for you.
Skullcat stood with his hand on his hips, expecting Skooma to appear magically. Instead, I cast Grand Healing.
- Skullcat: Ye scurvy witchdoctor! Ye tricked me wit’ all that hand wavin’.
- Ashni: That one should say, ‘Thank ye fer healin’ me Dovahkiin. That was kind o’ ye.’
- Wulf: The Thalmor are dead, and I have spoken to Jelikirr. He said many supply posts had been raided.
- Skullcat: Aye, they have. I’ve to admit; ye be s’pris’n’ly good at killin’ em. Ye fought like a tiger!
- Anahbi: Khajiit could have used some help. There was a whole bunch of Thalmor and Hyena!
- Skullcat: But Skullcat be speaking with ye now, not with ‘em, so ‘tis ain’t that bad, aye? And perhaps ye ain’t that bad as well… grrr!
- Anahbi: That one is tall. Is everything in proportion?
- Skullcat: Thar has ne’er been a beauty complain about the size o’ Skullcat’s cutlass.
- Ashni: Does that one have access to shackles, chains and whips.
- Skullcat: Aye. Skullcat has been a naughty lad’ n needs punishin’.
- Wulf: Whatever you three get up to, do it far away from where I am sleeping. Thanks.
- Anahbi: That tall one will whimper quietly into his mouth gag.
- Skullcat: Where ‘ave ye beauties been hidin’? Can I marry the both o’ ye?
- Wulf: I heard an interesting story about you, Khulan and a rope. Was having your neck stretched for being a pirate the start of your fetish?
- Skullcat: A pirate, say ye? Skullcat ain’t not scurvy pirate! He be the Scourge o’ the Topal Sea! Merrunz in disguise! Bloody legend, I’m tellin’ ye!
- Wulf: So, are you part of New Elsweyr because Khulan saved you as you dangled from gallows or because you believe in the cause?
- Skullcat: Vaba? Can it be? Aye. One li’l story in the ocean o’ life. Time passes over like tides o’ the sea. So do stories, and so do people!
- Wulf: You didn’t answer my question, and that sounded like a threat.
- Skullcat: By the thunder! Smart like a picture, are we?
- Wulf: Are you afraid of heights?
- Skullcat: Are ye squiffy? Skullcat works on the deck o’ an airship. O’ course this one ain’t afeared o’ heights!
I cast Telekinesis on Skullcat and Magelight into my hand. Skullcat squealed as I raised him high.
- Wulf: You say you are Merrunz in disguise. Well, I am a Son of Akatosh. If you remember your history, Akatosh beat the shit out of Mehrunes Dagon. I don’t like that Dark Lord very much either.
- Skullcat: Ole Skullcat was jus’ boastin’. He ain’t Merrunz!
- Wulf: Khulan’s judgment might be flawed. You just threatened an important ally of New Elsweyr.
- Ashni: Don’t kill that one!
- Anahbi: Khajiit were looking forward to some whips and shackles.
- Skullcat: Listen t’ the proud beauties, savvy? Skullcat could’ ave mutinied many times o’er the years. But he be fond o’ Khulan. We be mateys!
- Wulf: And your loyalty to New Elsweyr?
- Skullcat: Skullcat be loyal t’ Khulan’ n New Elsweyr!
- Wulf: Kharjo, do you believe him?
- Kharjo: Give that one the benefit of the doubt. But this one will keep his claws sharpened, just in case.
I lowered Skullcat back to the deck and dismissed Magelight.
- Skullcat: Skullcat apologises fer the disrespect. The past be behind ’im ‘n does nah like t’ be reminded o’ wha’ he was.
- Wulf: I would not have hurt you over an insult or even the threat. I did question your loyalty, but now we are starting anew.
- Kharjo: This one knows that once you become more than one was, the past should not embarrass Khajiit.
- Wulf: We are the sum of our experiences. Khulan has provided the chance to better yourself, but you would never have met him without those shameful events.
- Skullcat: ‘Tis a wise thing bein’ told t’ Skullcat. Kharjo, be ye a victim o’ Skooma?
- Kharjo: No, this one was a gambler and drinker. Good people have helped me overcome that shameful past.
- Wulf: Skullcat, Jelikirr agrees with me. That was more like a scouting party than an entire patrol. Do you know of any other Thalmor in the area?
- Skullcat: Skullcat ain’t no cut-throat if that be no Thalmor camp up thar, aye? ‘Tis cat be smelling their boy-lover perfumes, phew!
Skullcat pointed towards some ruins to the west of the airship.
- Wulf: Forget their perfume. You saw them from the air.
- Skullcat: Aye, that may be the truth as well.
- Kharjo: Thalmor do wear distinctive perfumes. This one can smell them.
- Wulf: We will be back soon. Hopefully, the Justiciar is still there.
The ruins looked like an old Imperial fort of the Second Era. As we got closer to it, we could hear the sounds of fighting.
The first Thalmor we found was dead in a pool of blood. Siligonder was attacking the Thalmor, and he appeared to be a victim.
A few arrows later, I had eliminated the Siligonder and surviving Thalmor.
We searched the bodies but found nothing of use.
The search of the camp also came up empty.
Then I unlocked a chest and found Justiciar Lenial’s logbook inside.
I read the relevant sections to The Sentinels.
“Campaign logbook of Justiciar Lenial. Elsweyr Protectorate.
Tirdas, 2nd Evening Star, 4E 201
I’ve sent out a patrol to Tenmar Forest, a suspected source of the heretical ‘Moon Sugar’ substance. I am awaiting their report.
Fredas, 5th Evening Star, 4E 201
The patrol to Tenmar Forest failed to return, so I suspect the forests are impossible to enter safely. Guerrilla tactics would pose a danger to even the most prepared force.
It appears somebody has stolen the other airship. That will put a strain on my resources.
Loredas, 6th Evening Star, 4E 201
I have decided to contain the moon sugar by raiding caravan supply sites. I believe they will be easy targets and crippling if destroyed.
We sacked and burst several sites in a few hours. The burnt remains of Khajiit and buildings will serve as a stern warning to future smugglers.
Morndas, 8thEvening Star, 4E 201
My scouts report that the stolen airship is inbound. It appeared out of nowhere further down in the canyon.
Our patrol was preparing to attack this supply post when the airship touched down. Khajiit with a foreign mercenary disembarked. I have sent half a patrol to eliminate them.
The partial patrol was easily defeated. My scouts report that whoever it was that disembarked tore through our troops in no time. My forces are meagre, and I will have to make a tactical retreat.
I have ordered the remaining troops to attack once I have left and delay the other airship.
This shame will hang above my family for generations unless I redeem myself by taking the heads of all aboard that airship.
I will leave this journal here so others will know of my shame or my glorious attempt at redemption.”
I said to The Sentinels, “The Justiciar is planning to attack our airship. I think we shall take our time and see if he attacks us on the ground. If he doesn’t, he may try an aerial assault.”
Kharjo replied, “Fighting the sky would be a new experience!”
As we walked back to the oasis, Rigmor contacted me.
“Hey weirdo, do you want some company?”
“Mm… let me think about it.”
“I have a Sweetroll!”
“Do you think the mighty Dragonborn accepts bribes?”
“Okay, but I am not sharing!”
Rigmor appeared, looked around then kissed me.
“I have no Sweetrolls, but I thought the kiss would be sufficient payment.”
“It is more than sufficient!”
“Is that your airship?”
“Yes. It is called the Waning Moon, but I think I will rename it.”
“I will have to think about it.”
Rigmor looked out to the desert then asked, “What in Talos’ name leaves a skeleton that big?”
“A whale. Not the smaller ones you find in Nirn’s waters today. They were once much larger. In Sovngarde, we had to cross a bridge made of similar bones.”
“A whale in a desert?”
“The climates of Nirn change. Atmora was once green and full of forests but is now an icebound wasteland. According to some records, Cyrodiil was once covered in jungles similar to southern Elsweyr.”
“Now I remember. You told me that the climates change to suit the most prominent species in the area.”
“Yes, that is one theory.”
“Gobblygook or science?”
“Most likely science. But when mortals don’t understand the science, they attribute natural phenomena to gods and ancient magics.”
“What are we doing now?”
“I think the Thalmor intend to attack our airship. I was curious to see the oasis, so we will do that as we wait for Justiciar Lenial to commit suicide.”
“He has the other airship?”
“Okay, let’s head to the oasis.”
We entered the oasis, and the first thing I noticed was a weather-worn statue of Dibella.
Shi’ara was inspecting a set of Siligonder armour.
She turned to face us as we approached.
- Wulf: Hello Shi’ara. I am Wulf, and the lady is…
- Shi’ara: Rigmor, the Countess of Bruma. Ameir sent word that you may be visiting New Elsweyr locations. I am honoured to meet you both.
- Rigmor: This is not a natural oasis, is it?
- Shi’ara: You are most observant. I planted this oasis myself. I am here at Ameir’s request and am trying to bring life to the desert.
- Wulf: It is a pleasant surprise to find an Argonian living in such trying conditions and helping Khajiit.
- Shi’ara: Both peoples complain about being treated no better than beasts by Man and Mer. Yet they regard each other as inferior? That makes no sense to me. Many individuals of both are more practical in their outlook, as am I.
- Rigmor: Is it the challenge of the science or hatred of the Thalmor that motivates you?
- Shi’ara: A combination of both. The Thalmor accuse Argonian religion of being heretical and show no respect for us.
- Wulf: I read the logbook of the Justiciar who sent troops to attack this place. I thought the Thalmor objected to Moon Sugar because it is used to make Skooma. Now I know that they object to it because they believe it to be heretical. How idiotic is that? They are dealing with people who worship Aedra and Daedra and spirit Gods that are neither. There are many things they could claim heretical but pick a harmless belief, that Moon Sugar is a solid form of moonlight, to concentrate on. The more I deal with Thalmor, the more they get under my skin. They are certifiable morons!
- Shi’ara: I have heard of your dislike for them.
- Rigmor: We have many reasons to dislike them.
- Shi’ara: I have no doubt.
Behind Shi’ara was a Shrine of Dibella.
- Wulf: Shi’ara, did you uncover the shrine and statue of Lady Dibella when you made the oasis?
- Shi’ara: The statue was here, of course. Look at the size of it! But the shrine is my own. I spent time in Skyrim and became interested in the teachings of Dibella. I undertook some training in Markarth but found my ability to help others was hindered by my gender. So, I went to Black Marsh and returned as a female. I helped far more people after that.
- Rigmor: Huh? What?
- Wulf: I will explain later, Countess.
- Rigmor: Yes, it seems the ‘talk’ my Mum gave me about making babies was inaccurate in some respects.
- Wulf: Shi’ara, was this once the location of an Imperial settlement?
- Shi’ara: Yes, I suspect many of the ones we unearth will probably be of that time.
- Wulf: I have no doubt this desert contains numerous buried cities, towns and military compounds.
- Shi’ara: Yes, and most of them were founded near a natural or artificial oasis. That is why Ameir asked me to work for New Elsweyr. I have valuable skills and have tracked the Siligonder to find several hidden oases.
- Rigmor: How do the Siligonder help you?
- Shi’ara: They nest near water sources. If one is not visible, then a bit of digging usually uncovers an oasis, but ancient rivers may also be discovered this way.
- Wulf: This is very clever and worthwhile work, but how do you survive the Siligonder? They seem to be highly territorial.
- Shi’ara: I make a concoction based on Siligonder eggs to mask myself.
- Rigmor: That is very clever! You are still alive, so it must work well.
- Shi’ara: It does, but my supply is always running low. Due to Thalmor raids, there are no warriors here who can get some eggs for me. The Siligonder are extremely hostile creatures.
- Rigmor: We are also here to aid Ameir. We saw some Siligonder nearby and can get the eggs for you. How many do you need?
- Shi’ara: Half a dozen should tide me over for quite a while. Chitin is also worth harvesting as Khajiit make their traditional armour from it. Dragonborn, you will find a set of armour Jelikirr made for you as a gift on the workbench.
- Wulf: I will take it when we return from the Siligonder. I will thank Jelikirr before we leave the supply depot.
- Shi’ara: Please be careful. I don’t want anybody getting hurt.
We had barely stepped outside the oasis when Rigmor blurted, “Returned as a female? Please explain!”
“The sap of the Hist tree determines an Argonian’s gender. They drink it when hatchlings. It seems if they mature away from the Hist, they are nearly always male. Any Argonian can return to the Hist and perform a ceremony to change their gender.”
“I don’t know whether to be impressed or horrified!”
“I was horrified at the gender imbalances of supposedly civilised Cyrodiil. That is unnatural. The abilities of an Argonian to change gender is not horrific. It is natural.”
“You are right. I should say I am impressed, but it seems strange.”
“Not as strange as Sload losing their genitals completely!”
Rigmor giggled then quipped, “I wonder if that is what happened to Delphine?”
“I still haven’t spoken to them.”
“You should. You need The Blades.”
I quickly dispatched four Siligonder.
Rigmor said, “I hate hunting any animal.”
“So do I, but the Siligonder died for a practical reason. Their eggs and chitin will be used. Birds and Hyena will consume their meat.”
We collected the eggs and chitin then had a quick look at an abandoned ebony mine.
We examined the whale bones on the way back to the oasis.
I noticed the Dwemer technology was being used to pump the water from underground.
- Rigmor: Shi’ara, we have seven pieces of chitin and nine eggs for you!
- Shi’ara: Thank you. Every little bit helps these brave people.
- Wulf: I see you are using Dwemer pumps.
- Shi’ara: The Imperials who once lived here installed them. I just had to repair them.
- Wulf: Not everybody could repair them. You are very brave and skilled!
I am positive Shi’ara blushed at the compliment, which is clever since Argonian can’t blush.
We placed the chitin and eggs on a table then retrieved the Siligonder armour. We exited the oasis and found Jelikirr sitting at a table.
“Jelikirr, I thank you for the gift of the armour.”
“It is the finest set I have ever made. It is crafted to be worn in the desert style, and it provides great protection but remains light and airy.”
“Are their many Khajiit skilled in smithing Siligonder chitin?”
“In the northern part of Elsweyr, there are a few.”
“If somebody wanted to equip their soldiers or guards with Siligonder armour, do you think New Elsweyr could profit from such smithing rather than the Moon Sugar trade?”
“New Elsweyr could equip smaller amounts but not whole armies. But yes, Khajiit could replace some of the Moon Sugar money.”
“The craftsmanship is exemplary. I am truly grateful for the gift.”
“After what Dovahkiin has done for Khajiit, it was an honour to make it for him.”
We headed back to the airship and spoke to Skullcat.
- Wulf: We have recovered the Justiciar’s logbook. Would you like to read it?
- Skullcat: Arr, by the Merrunz’s twice twisted tail, elvish curlicues! Better be captured!
- Rigmor: Ah, Wulf. What did he just say?
- Wulf: Skullcat, me beauty does nah understand yer Khajiit pirate natter.
- Skullcat: The Den Mother was nah wit’ ye afore. More witchdoctor wigglin’ o’ fingers?
- Wulf: Nah witchdoctor magic but that o’ Mara.
- Skullcat: The goddess o’ love! Yer union must be blessed.
- Rigmor: If you two don’t tell me what this hairy buffoon said, I will get mightily pissed off!
- Wulf: Oh, I forgot to introduce you. This fine Khajiit is called Skullcat. He used to be a pirate. Now he is the most exemplary member of Captain Khulan’s crew.
- Skullcat: That be ’cause I am the only crew hand. I am mighty honoured t’ meet ye, Den Mother.
- Rigmor: Aha, the pirate part explains the speech impediment!
- Skullcat: The Den Mother has a sharp tongue ‘n a mighty large cutlass!
- Wulf: Skullcat was expressing his anger at what was in the Justiciar’s logbook.
- Skullcat: Aye, I be that. Show ‘tis t’ squid.
- Wulf: We will not go ethereal but fly normally. I expect the Justiciar will attempt to board us mid-flight.
- Skullcat: Skullcat looks fore t’ scuttlin’ some Thalmor.
- Ashni: That one had better not get injured!
- Anahbi: Khajiit have some disciplining to do!
- Rigmor: Wulf, are they talking about whips and shackles?
- Wulf: Yes, but don’t worry. They will play far enough from us so that we won’t need pillows over our heads.
- Skullcat: Pillows o’er yer heads? Wha’ kind o’ strange matin’ ritual be that?
- Rigmor: I think we better talk to Khulan. Unless you want to explain?
We entered the Waning Moon and approached Khulan.
- Wulf: Khulan, I am pleased to introduce the Countess of Bruma.
- Khulan: Khulan knew Rigmor when she lived with Baa’Ren-Dar. This one is pleased to meet her once more.
- Rigmor: I thought the name was familiar. You used to make me laugh with your magic tricks.
- Khulan: Such as this?
Khulan reached behind Rigmor’s ear and produced a red mountain flower. Rigmor laughed and took it from him before rewarding the beaming Khajiit with a hug.
- Rigmor: I am ashamed I did not recognise you immediately.
- Khulan: Baa’Ren-Dar told this one of what you have experienced. Do not worry about forgetting a name or worn old face!
- Wulf: We retrieved Justiciar Lenial’s logbook. Do you mind if I read the essential parts out as Rigmor has not read it?
- Khulan: Please, do so.
I narrated the logbook and was not surprised that Khulan’s temper grew as I progressed.
- Khulan: Baan Dar! Let us head back to the Tenmar Forest and try to figure out what to do about this, yes? Not enough water around here, just warm sand.
- Wulf: Lenial knows we are here and plans revenge. Do not go via the ether. Let us give him a chance to attack us in the air.
- Khulan: Yes, that is best. That one can’t have many troops left.
- Rigmor: He does not know about New Elsweyr. Wouldn’t killing a justiciar cause many more Thalmor to come snooping?
- Khulan: Lenial must pay for his crimes!
- Wulf: We can’t let him live. I am sure he won’t be the first or last justiciar killed by disgruntled Khajiit. If they find the burnt wreck of his airship far from any Khajiit outpost, who are the Thalmor going to blame?
- Rigmor: Baa’Ren-Dar did express the need to eliminate the Thalmor presence.
- Khulan: Does Skullcat know?
- Wulf: Yes. I am sure he will spot them in plenty of time.
- Rigmor: I suggest we remain hidden. If Lenial sees too many of us on deck, he might not attack.
- Khulan: Excellent idea. I will tell Waning Moon to fly slow and straight so even the clumsy Thalmor can grapple her.
- Wulf: Khulan controls the airship with his mind. It is fascinating magic.
- Rigmor: If it takes brains to fly it, what are you going to do with it?
- Khulan: Rigmor’s sarcasm has improved since a cub!
Khulan went into his trance like state. The ship slowly rose and started moving towards the Tenmar Forest. We waited in silence for the Thalmor.
About fifty minutes into the flight, Skullcat stuck his head through the trapdoor and said, “The Thalmor fly thar ship like the landlubbers they be. Thar be plenty o’ ’em t’ go around. Don’t fear that Skullcat will scuttle ’em all afore ye ‘ave a turn. Wait fer thar bump ‘n grapple.”
A couple of minutes later, the airship shook.
Khulan growled, “Oh good, the Howling Banshee, Justiciar Lenial’s ship.”
“He renamed it the Whitestrake, which is odd. That is an insult to Khajiit but surely more so to the Altmer!”
“This must end now. Go and kill the loathsome coward!”
I said to Rigmor and The Sentinels, “You heard the Captain. Show no mercy, but nobody is to enter the other airship’s cabin but me. Let’s go!”
We streamed onto the deck and across both airships in an unstoppable wave of violence and death.
One of the Thalmor Wizards had set his own airship alight with Fireballs. He then tried to protect himself with the Barkskin spell. I found it amusing when Meeko barked then ripped his throat out.
I said to Rigmor, “Drag the bodies near the hatch. Sheath their weapons. Then we shall place them in the cabin.”
She smiled then said, “Very clever! When they find the charred wreckage and bodies, there will be no evidence of Khajiit violence. Their weapons will not be drawn, and it will look like an unfortunate accident.”
“Yes, and now it is time for me to have a chat with Justiciar Lenial.”
I entered the cabin and found Lenial standing with spells at the ready. He was doomed unless he could talk his way out, so he did not attack immediately.
I smiled, which disturbed him somewhat. Then I said, “Your troops proved to be as pathetic as the hundreds of other Thalmor we have slaughtered.”
“Who are you? Why do you side with these beasts?”
“I am a good friend of Talos. It was his advice that sent me on this trip to help my Khajiit friends. I am The Dragonborn.”
“Friend of a false god. You are as heretical as these beasts and their Moon Sugar!”
“I have spoken to gods. Talos, Azura, Boethia, Meridia and Malacath. Some, including Talos, stood as close as you are now. Yet you stand there sprouting Thalmor lies as if the gods themselves have not told me the truth. We both know why Thalmor fear Talos.”
“So why would you support the Moon Sugar trade? Aren’t you supposed to protect the mortals of this world?”
“I read your logbook. That is how we knew you would attack our airship. It was interesting reading and demonstrated how ignorant you are. I am not supporting the Moon Sugar trade, but I am supporting a rebellion. The best way to protect the Khajiit is to eliminate the Thalmor presence.”
“A perfect example of Thalmor thuggery without understanding the real enemy they face. You are a danger that needs eliminating from every country you have contaminated. You need to be restricted to your island like the Sload. Quoting your logbook, ‘I will leave this journal here so others will know of my shame or my glorious attempt at redemption.’ One day your utter failure will be known. The flying Thalmor who couldn’t see the rebellion below because his stupidity blocked the view.”
“They will know we fought bravely!”
“No, they won’t! My companions are gathering your dead and placing their weapons back in their sheaths. We will then put the dead inside the cabin. When they find the charred remains of this airship, there will be no indication you died fighting as no weapons would be drawn. We wouldn’t want the Khajiit to get blamed for your inability to fly the airship safely, would we?”
Lenial hit me with his best spells. I laughed, stepped forward and cut his throat. He died gurgling as he drowned in his blood.
My Dovah said, “That was a bit vicious for the mortal me.”
“I don’t need the rage of a dragon to be less than kind to the Thalmor.”
“Oh, I am not criticising. I am congratulating you. There is hope for you yet.”
“I will never be like you except on special occasions. Now, if you don’t shut up, I won’t let you watch next time.”
“And they call dragons grumpy!”
I made my way to the deck and started tossing the bodies through the trapdoor.
When the last one was disposed of, we cut the grappling ropes and pushed the other airship away. I then hit it with a couple of Fireballs to make sure it burnt quicker and fell into a remote part of the desert.
I entered the cabin and reported to Khulan.
- Wulf: Justiciar Lenial is dead.
- Khulan: Good! He did as you predicted. He stalked the Waning Moon and launched a desperate attack to avenge his Thalmor pride!
- Kharjo: An attack that failed miserably.
- Khulan: New Elsweyr will have to wait. Khajiit cannot kill a Justiciar without retribution. But for now, the forests and desert will be calm. We will enjoy the peace while it lasts.
- Rigmor: The Thalmor will not suspect that Khajiit caused Lenial’s death.
- Ashni: The Dovahkiin placed the bodies back into the airship with sheathed weapons.
- Anahbi: That one cast Fireballs at the airship. It will soon fall to the ground.
- Kharjo: When found, the Thalmor will think all onboard died in an accident, not a battle.
- Khulan: Yes, that will work. This part of the desert is far from our outposts. No blame could be directed to Khajiit. That was clever, Dovahkiin.
- Rigmor: Is there anything else we can do to help?
- Khulan: Perhaps there is something this old Khajiit could use your help with, hmm? Jo’ran, a senior mage of the New Elsweyr movement, has been captured by Argonian pirates.
- Wulf: Do you know where he is being held?
- Khulan: Jo’ran sent a message by a bird to tell us what happened. At least he did not try to use a toad.
- Rigmor: Use a toad?
- Khulan: Ask Jo’ran about it.
- Wulf: Can we get there in a couple of hours?
- Khulan: Not quite. This one took Jo’ran to an island near the pirate island. As I have been there before, I can get to that island in two hours.
- Rigmor: Then we fly the rest of the way?
- Khulan: Yes, the winds of Khenarthi will carry the Waning Moon to the other island. Once there, you will free Jo’ran from his chains!
- Rigmor: We will be glad to help rescue Jo’ran!
- Kharjo: This one will prepare lunch!
- Rigmor: I don’t think Elsweyr Chowder would be advisable in this closed space.
- Kharjo: No, I will do the spiced vegetables again. Gas free and tasty!
- Khulan: Let me get us moving, yes?
Rigmor helped Kharjo prepare lunch while I read some rare books Khulan had on his shelf. Ashni and Anahbi went on deck to flirt with Skullcat. Meeko curled up and was soon snoring.
When lunch was ready, we chatted and laughed as we ate together. Khulan did not eat but remained in his meditative state.
After two hours, we felt the sails unfurl and knew we were now flying over the Topal Sea.
About thirty minutes later, Khulan opened his eyes then said, “Khulan has landed the ship as quietly as only Khajiit can. Perhaps no one has noticed us?”
Skullcat stuck his head through the trapdoor then reported, “Thar be many Sakhliit witchdoctors castin’ spells at Jo’ran. Skullcat does nah fear anythin’ ‘cept magic. This one will bravely guard the airship against sneaky attacks. Dovahkiin’ n Den Mother can save Jo’ran, savvy?”
“It is time the Dovahkiin flexed his muscles.”
Rigmor asked, “You are going to use your Thu’um?”
“Why not? We are a long way from any Thalmor.”
We climbed on deck, and for the first time that I could remember, my eyes beheld the waters of the Topal Sea.
We could hear explosions and cracks of lightning that signified a battle of mages nearby. We hurried to join it.
It felt liberating to use the Thu’um. I quickly disposed of the pirates.
An elderly Khajiit looked a bit bewildered as I approached him.
- Wulf: Greetings Jo’ran. We have come with Khulan to rescue you.
- Jo’ran: This one heard the Thu’um. You are Dovahkiin, yes?
- Wulf: Yes, I am he.
- Jo’ran: Praise Alkosh, finally. Jo refused to teach pirate mages and was chained to the deck and sometimes put in a cage. Jo was getting bored around here, so this one decided to experiment with flying toads. This one got the idea after seeing Waning Moon fly last week.
- Wulf: So, most of the blood I see is not from dead pirates but poor toads that failed to stay in the air?
- Jo’ran: Jo filled toads with different gases. Some would fly then explode. Some would fly then land hard and explode. Jo can say with certainty that toads are deficient in the art of flying. Worse than Khajiit in swimming, in fact, and that is truly bad.
- Wulf: Did you take into account that as the toads got higher, the gases expand. If you observe the gasbags on the airship, you will see they are flabby on the ground but strain against their ropes as you climb.
- Rigmor: Wulf, you are flabby all the time. Oh, you are not the gasbag in question. My bad!
- Jo’ran: Jo had not thought of that. This one needs gas with more lift and less volume. Maybe helium, but then the toads would sound funny. Jo also needs more toads but thinks they are all dead around here.
- Wulf: The toads need a valve to release the gas to land softly.
- Jo’ran: Ahh, Jo will tell them to fart!
- Rigmor: Why did the pirates let you send a message via a trained homing bird?
- Jo’ran: It was not a trained bird. Jo talked to the bird and explained where to go and what to tell Khulan. The bird agreed to do so in exchange for tasty bugs Jo had caught. Pirates thought Jo was crazy speaking to bird and let us be.
- Wulf: Rigmor, your mouth has popped open, and you look confused.
- Rigmor: Gobblygook. I can tell the answer would be gobblygook.
- Wulf: Not really. It has to do with telepathic abilities and the moonstrings. Some birds can navigate by the moons, and some by the stars. Others have a little magnet in their head that acts as a compass.
- Rigmor: That is gobblygook sounding science.
- Wulf: Jo’ran, we had better get you out of here before the rest of the pirates arrive.
- Jo’ran: There are no more. They have slowly died over the last week from poisons in their food. Jo could not be responsible as Jo was locked in his cage.
- Rigmor: Then how do you know they died of poison?
- Jo’ran: Some flying toads might have had natural poison on their skin and accidentally landed in pirates’ water barrels.
- Wulf: But Argonian do not drink water.
- Jo’ran: Jo knows this. But when the water was used to make stews, the poison entered all meats and vegetables.
- Rigmor: A unfortunate accident!
- Jo’ran: Yes, several unfortunate accidents happened to the not very smart pirates. When toads full of volatile gas landed heavily then exploded on the deck of their ship, it set alight. They cut the burning ship loose from the docks, and it was last seen burning brightly on the horizon.
- Rigmor: You are a devious Khajiit!
- Jo’ran: Dovahkiin, this place has some scent of mystery, and Jo wants to investigate. Perhaps Jo could turn this island into a valuable New Elsweyr stronghold? One that is very hard to find amongst the thousands of little islands in this part of the Topal Sea.
- Wulf: If the bird did not tell Khulan where you were, we might not have found you for a long time.
- Jo’ran: As a kitten, Khulan was my apprentice. That one has some powers beyond Jo. Khulan could have told Waning Moon to travel to Jo and not a destination on a map. Khulan told me he was going to experiment doing such things. So maybe that one didn’t need the bird’s instructions?
- Wulf: What do you want me to tell Khulan.
- Jo’ran: If Khulan returns with my apprentices, craftsman and basic building materials, this place will be cleaned up faster than Dovahkiin can say meow.
- Rigmor: Why did the pirates attack you? Did they finally figure out the poison toads accidentally landing in their water?
- Jo’ran: No, they were not smart, as Jo said before. Jo detected Khulan nearby. This one guessed the airship would want to dock without Argonian fireballs setting it alight. So, Jo attacked pirates to distract them. With my wards up, they could not hurt Jo with spells. Jo would have been in trouble if they used stabby things instead.
- Wulf: I have no doubt you will be safe while Khulan makes a quick trip to gather what is needed.
- Kharjo: This one is curious. How did the pirates capture Jo?
- Jo’ran: Jo went for a walk on the island where Khulan had left him. This one was so busy solving a mathematical equation in his head he did not notice a cliff that had suddenly jumped out in front of Jo.
- Wulf: You have to watch out for those sneaky cliffs!
- Rigmor: That must have been terrifying!
- Jo’ran: The trip down was not bad, and Jo solved for X before hitting the water. Did Jo mention Khajiit are not very good at swimming? Jo knew this, so instead of swimming, he floated on back and let the tide take Khajiit out to sea. That is where the pirates found Jo. They thought this one might be worth some ransom. The circling shark was furious his lunch was stolen!
- Wulf: It is a privilege to meet somebody weirder than me!
- Rigmor: Wulf, we all know that is not possible. Your weirdness is a gift of the gods.
- Wulf: Albatross!
- Jo’ran: That is an excellent word!
- Wulf: Two hours to wherever the other New Elsweyr people are. Maybe an hour to load supplies. Two hours to return here. I think you will see Khulan in five or six hours.
- Jo’ran: Jo will start the clean up by feeding crabs. They told me they like the taste of Argonian.
Rigmor was shaking her head and mumbling about weirdos as we walked to the airship.
Khulan was studying some maps when we entered the cabin.
- Wulf: Jo’ran is safe. He wants to turn this island into a stronghold. I think it is an excellent idea since the Tenmar Forest might be crawling with Thalmor for some time.
- Khulan: The waters are treacherous here. That is why the pirates chose this island for their base. Even if the Thalmor searched for us here, they would have to risk many ships to try and find one island among thousands. I could plot a safe course for our ships to follow. It is a good strategic plan, yes?
- Wulf: I think so. Most of the basic infrastructure is already in place, and that will save you both money and time.
- Rigmor: Jo’ran needs his apprentices, basic building materials and other craftsmen.
- Khulan: This one suggests Dovahkiin and friends stay at Priderock once more. Khulan will gather things and Khajiit for Jo’ran and fly them to the island.
- Wulf: Okay, we will stay one more night to see if we might be needed for anything else.
- Rigmor: I would like to visit the island tomorrow and see the New Elsweyr stronghold once more.
- Anahbi: It is a pretty place but will be even better without dead Argonian pirates!
- Khulan: Then we are set. I will transport you from Priderock in the morning. Let us proceed, yes?
We sat and had a good laugh and chat as Khalan did his Draugr impersonation.
Two hours later, Skullcat announced we had arrived at Priderock and that there was no sign of Thalmor. As we prepared to disembark, Rigmor said, “The ladies have yet to realise that Skullcat will not be available for shackling and whipping.”
“The poor things. Their debauchery will have to wait until they find another naughty Khajiit.”
“I am afraid for us it is the same deal as last time. Cuddling and canoodling but no nooky!”
“I have to wait for my debauchery? Unfair!”
“Can you zap us to the College safehouse tomorrow night?”
“Then your weirdo ideas will have to wait till then.”
“Such sacrifices we make for the good of others.”
“Don’t you dare suggest in your journal that waiting for nooky is a terrible burden!”
“You don’t think so? I bet I could be abstinent longer than you!”
“You are probably right. But only because you have perverted me.”
We spent another pleasant night sleeping under the stars.
The following day the Waning Moon arrived and docked.
As we approached the gangplank, a cheerful Skullcat announced, “The ole Witchcat has found New Elsweyr a fine home. It reminds Skullcat o’ his piratin’ days. Prolly ’cause ’twas made by pirates, har!”
“If we add some gallows, you will feel right at home! You could just hang around.”
“Skullcat was wrong about ye. Nah only do ye fight like a tiger, ye joke like a pirate. This one be glad t’ ‘ave met ye.”
“And I am glad to have met you.”
We entered the Waning Moon then talked to Khulan.
- Rigmor: How is the new encampment going?
- Khulan: The cleaning up is complete, and the construction of the new buildings has started. Jo’ran is pleased you are to see what has been accomplished. That one is rightfully pleased with the resourcefulness of the New Elsweyr Khajiit.
- Wulf: Jo’ran should be proud. Your people are remarkable in many ways.
- Khulan: Apart from the lack of a tail, whiskers, fur and pointy ears, you are a Khajiit!
- Wulf: Well, since Khajiit think Alkosh is a large cat wearing some weird armour and he is my celestial father, I suppose I could be.
- Khulan: Why else would Azura make Dovahkiin her champion?
- Rigmor: Even I know many of Azura’s previous champions were not Khajiit.
- Khulan: Bruma’s Den Mother is Khajiit.
- Rigmor: We both accept our Khajiitiness with pride.
- Wulf: Khajiitiness?
- Rigmor: If you can invent words, so can I!
- Khulan: Listen to the Den Mother. They are good at twisting ears if you don’t.
- Ashni: Rigmor is slowly training Dovahkiin.
- Anahbi: It will not be long before Dovahkiin rolls over for a tummy scratch when Rigmor enters the room.
- Khulan: Let us get underway.
- Ashni: Anahbi and this one will keep Skullcat company.
- Anahbi: Maybe he can visit us soon?
- Kharjo: This one misses Iona and has been faithful on this trip.
- Ashni: Ask her to marry you. That one could do worse.
- Kharjo: Maybe one day.
Ashni and Anahbi made a quick exit through the trapdoor. Khulan entered his coma-like state. Rigmor slept. I read some more of Khulan’s books. Kharjo also read but chose cheap romance novels over anything educational. Iona has him hooked. All she has to do was reel him in.
A couple of hours later, a smiling Ashni entered the cabin and announced we had arrived. I woke the sleepy Rigmor then we headed outside.
Khajiit craftsman were busy at work. I approached a blacksmith and asked, “What do you think of the new stronghold?”
He turned to me and snarled, “If you told me that I was not a cat, and I told you that you were not bothering me, we would both be lying.”
“Can you swim?”
“Of course, not all Khajiit are scared of the water.”
“Good. Enjoy your flight!”
I used the first Word of Unrelenting Force. The rude blacksmith flew through the air and landed with a splash.
He came up spluttering and was greeted with laughter and applause from an appreciative audience.
Another blacksmith said, “We are busy Dovahkiin, but Kesh’jo had no right to be rude. We owe great thanks and respect to you and your friends.”
As we made our way to Jo’ran, it was evident how rapidly the New Elsweyr Khajiit had made the island into a home.
Rigmor exclaimed, “A bar! Stocked with booze! I am happy they have their priorities in the correct order.”
A Khajiit mage ran up to me.
- Rakis: Dovahkiin, I am Rakis. I have found something you may wish to take with you.
- Wulf: I am pleased to meet you, Rakis. What have you found?
- Rakis: Rakis sorted through some of the pirate treasure and discovered this amongst other minor trinkets.
Rakis handed me a staff. It was constructed from a wood I did not recognise, and it had leaves growing out of it. I detected a very strong dweomer. It was a highly potent Staff of Chain Lightning and much more powerful than any I had encountered before. In the hands of a Master of Destruction, it could quickly devastate dozens of enemies with each strike and from a great distance.
- Wulf: Rakis, this is a remarkable discovery!
- Rakis: This one thinks it is the Staff of Indarys.
- Wulf: I agree. It matches the descriptions I have read.
- Rigmor: The name sounds familiar. Does it have something to do with Bruma during the Oblivion Crisis?
- Wulf: Yes, if it is indeed the Staff of Indarys, then the Hero of Kvatch once owned it. It was given to him by the Count of Cheydinhal, Andel Indarys, as a reward for rescuing his son from within an Oblivion Gate. That was a crucial stage in the war against the Daedra as Indarys then provided troops to help break the siege of Bruma.
- Rigmor: The remains of that Oblivion Gate are not far from the front entrance to my city.
I tried to hand the staff back to Rakis, but he refused to take it.
- Rakis: No, Dovahkiin. The Staff of Indarys belongs to Cyrodiil. Besides, if New Elsweyr ever used it against the Thalmor, they would tear our country apart to find it. They are forever seeking relics of such power to aid in their poorly hidden intention of global dominance.
- Wulf: I will ensure it is placed where nobody can obtain it.
- Rigmor: The Dovahkiin has already locked away dozens of powerful weapons and other artefacts.
- Rakis: Ah yes, the new museum in Solitude and Dovahkiin is also Arch-Mage in Winterhold’s College.
- Wulf: Feel free to visit Dragonborn Gallery or the College. I can give you access to the many items in storage if you want to study them.
- Rakis: This one may do that if the opportunity arises.
- Wulf: Azura watch over you.
Jo’ran was sitting and enjoying his lunch.
- Wulf: Jo’ran, New Elsweyr is very efficient at building and repairing. I am very impressed!
- Jo’ran: As Dovahkiin can see, it is a good place for a hideout.
- Rigmor: Do you think the Thalmor will ever find this base?
- Jo’ran: Hmm… for sure the Thalmor will try hard to find us if they hear about us. But there are thousands of tiny islands in the Topal Sea, and every last one of them has its own dirty story.
- Wulf: What would help is some teleports so that ships do not have to risk being followed or the reefs.
- Jo’ran: Like much of Nirn, Khajiit no longer have that knowledge. We were hoping to study the airships capabilities more, but we should keep the airship and Dwemer technology out of Thalmor hands.
- Wulf: I promise that anything we discover about the airship’s ability to use the ethereal plane will be shared with New Elsweyr.
- Jo’ran: Elsweyr will never rejoin The Empire, but we cannot remain part of Aldmeri Dominion. Perhaps ally is what we can aim for, yes?
- Wulf: The Empire has consistently lost its way when sword overrides diplomacy. It has found itself shrinking, not expanding. It needs friends, not more territory, and Emperor Mede II would welcome Elsweyr as a friend and ally. Of that, I am optimistic.
- Jo’ran: Please visit Jo when you have a chance.
- Wulf: I will try, but often where I am is determined by The Divines.
We walked to the airship and found the rude blacksmith waiting for us.
He said, “Dovahkiin and Bruma Den Mother, Kesh’jo humbly asks forgiveness for earlier disrespect.”
“It doesn’t matter if peasant, king or in between, all people deserve respect.”
“Kesh’jo has known that truth since a mewling kitten. This one has no excuse.”
“Do not fret, Kesh’jo. I am certainly not one who claims perfect adherence to manors.”
“Next time visiting, perhaps Dovahkiin can share some wine and tales with Kesh’jo, yes?”
“That is a deal. Until then, Azura bless you.”
Skullcat was nowhere to be seen, so we entered Waning Moon’s cabin to say goodbye to Khulan.
- Wulf: This island will make a fine stronghold for New Elsweyr.
- Khulan: Topal Sea and Tenmar Forest… Jone and Jode smile brightly at the birth of New Elsweyr!
- Rigmor: Emissary Dar will keep us informed if we can provide further help. Together with Kharjo, Ri’saad and a few others, I think we can sort out a safer way to finance your movement.
- Khulan: And Professor Marassi will come to help Khulan and other Khajiit mages?
- Wulf: I am sure he will come even if he has to swim from Solitude! The chance to study this airship will be irresistible. But you will have to keep the existence of New Elsweyr from him. He would understand Khajiit wanting to hide the airship from the Thalmor, but that is all he needs to know.
- Khulan: We will find another island to anchor Waning Moon while we study it. He will not know of New Elsweyr.
- Wulf: We will organise everything via Emissary Dar. Hopefully, you will hear from us soon.
- Khulan: Do you need Khulan to fly you someplace?
- Wulf: There is no need. I wish to try my new teleport spell. Casting it here will be the furthest I have travelled using it. I will then summon my companions.
- Rigmor: I am glad we could help, Khulan.
- Khulan: Khajiit are fortunate to have such friends.
I said to The Sentinels, “Rigmor is teleporting to Baa’Ren-Dar’s house. I am going to teleport to my room at the College. I will summon you, and then we shall travel to Silverpeak Lodge from there.”
Rigmor gave me a quick kiss then vanished.
I cast my spell and spent a couple of seconds freezing in the ether before appearing in front of the Teleport Orb.
I summoned The Sentinels then we made our way home.
Our time in Elsweyr involved killing, but it was part of the goal I was trying to achieve. It was the endless hacking through stupid bandits and random dragons that wore me down. That is why I must concentrate on perfecting portals and teleports. The gift of the Waning Moon will also help us avoid excessive bloodshed.
In a few days, I will investigate the untouched Dwemer ruins Professor Marassi mentioned. I hope to learn more about their teleport and portal technologies.