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The Worn Legacy


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Weighing it out, Yorgan decided that no bears would be inside, and he really needed a break from walking and the cold was starting to bite into his fur clothing.


Traipsing inside, it was dark and narrow, the ground was purely packed snow, and the walls were half ice half snow. As he walked Yorgan could see a bit of ice peeking out of the snowy path leading down. The sound of water drip dropping deeper inside gave a chilling feel to the place. The cave opened from the narrow path to a room, large enough for a pack of horses to fit. Another tunnel led of in another direction, which Yorgan kept an eye on.


Even though the temperature was at the very least, ten degrees, it was a much better alternative to the almost flesh rending wind outside. Being a norseman who knew a good deal about survival, Yorgan had a small stash of reasonable sized branches attached to his backpack. Pulling at them he loosed the leather that held them. He created a small tent of wood, with the smallest in the middle of the tent. Taking out a nobby piece of black flint and a tinderbox he struck the box a few times. A couple of sparks flared and caught. He added the tinder to the tent and soon a small fire was birthed.


Yorgan had been very attuned the sounds within the cave. He was very wary of the underground ice hole. For a moment he thought of an old story, as a young one he was told. A folk tale, if you will, of an old old creature. As the stories, told by countless scopes there was a dark shadow. A grand sight to see. Grand as death, and as calming as the grip of the reaper himself. A creature that held in its heartless hulk, a soul. So decrepit not the light of the gods nor the embrace of any deity evil or good could touch it. Its name was spoken on the whispers of the blowing wind. Not a single man dared to yell it out in vain.


Daudoq it was. Looming as the visage of a flightless dragon. As the story was told, it could assume any form that it had consumed the body of. Its original being a mass of dark clouds and ash, glowing in a purplish ripple. As the drake, it was still as black as the midnight sky, behind its scales came the purple glow. Breath rank with rotten animal, and the size of two wagons. Everywhere it was sighted people died and fell ill with disease.


Of course those were just stories. It was meant to keep the children in line. It was supposedly around during the time before recorded history, the Dark Days. Yorgan smiled to himself for thinking of the story, and he shook his head. The small fire was surprisingly warm to the man. His body was so cold. His movement was slowing. In order to keep his body temperature up he did a couple jumping jacks and some twenty or so push ups to keep his blood flowing. Exercising with plate armor on was no easy feat, even for a warrior of the north. Setting down his pack, Yorgan rummaged around inside to get sizable piece of deer venison, dried to perfection. Also he took out a flask filled with water. Now as he sat and ate, there was a strange feeling of peace inside the cavern. Peacefulness, but also uneasy. Like the feeling of being watched.


Yorgan finished the small meal, set the flask back inside his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. He glanced over to the tunnel leading further down. Out of the corner of his eye, a shadow darted inside the icy corridor.

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Frowning, Yorgan looked again. Hand reaching for his axe, he tiptoed ever so slightly to the tunnel. Being as quiet as someone with armor could be, (not so quiet as Yorgan will find out) he went down the path, hoping it wasn't going to his childhood monster.


The tunnel opened into a wider area, but didn't stop. It turned left, and downwards again. Remming was now fully out and gripped in hand as Yorgan went around the corner.


No sooner had he rounded it, a creature flew out from a large rock and tackled Yorgan to the ground. Quickly his instincts told him to block his face. The thing, whatever it was clawed at him. The armor made horrid scratching noises as the beast attacked. Yorgan kicked with the power of a Nord, it flew into the air and landed on its back. Ferociously Yorgan knelt to the creature and slammed his axe into its neck. In the darkness however, he missed by an inch and the axe went to the chest. Still alive, the creature hissed and sputtered in pain as its sternum practically shattered. With all its strength left, it grabbed the nordic warrior and tried to claw his face out. Unfortunately, its strength failed and Yorgan swung again, this time catching its cheek. The pain blackened the creatures night vision, and it became unconscious from such trauma.


Yorgan sighed. He thought himself foolish to go looking into the dark recesses of this place. He looked upon the face of his foe. It was not a creature or dark minion at all, but a khajiit. With its face badly gored up, Yorgan hard a hard time telling, but he was most certain it was khajiiti. To him, all khajiit are the same, he couldn't tell what type this one was. It had what looked to be a tail, tucked under the body, and long claws, thankfully not sharp enough to go through Yorgan’s steel plate. Its facial fur had markings of brown and black, with a few spots of tan. The furry ears were stuck down, in a hostile looking pose.


Although his heart was racing, Yorgan breathing was not ragged, or fast. He calmly sucked in air as he went back to his campfire. The little tent had fallen, and was almost out. He was going to need to gather more wood, if he was to make a fire like this one, or a better one, in the future.

Edited by TheBrownCow
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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Why would a khajiit be here? Probably looking for shelter. But… the cat people usually don’t venture to Harggroth much less the Craiglands. Yorgan was confused as to why this one was here, in the harsh wastes. The Khajiit hail from another landmass, way to the southeast called Urstubaad. Grasping the wooden poles, he decided to put the tent away as he wasn't going to sleep.


The ashes smoldered just a bit. Getting the fire to start back up was not so hard as making it anew. Yorgan put dry grass on it and blew it back into existence. He put the remaining twigs on the little flame and blew on it some more. About an hour had past when Yorgan Worn was good and warm. His fire was now dying down, and he had no food for the flames. It was time to get moving, if he was to get to the mountain by the end of the fortnight he would need to put on his running shoes. Being figurative of course.

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Dark was the night, blanketing the dry grasses. Tall reeds and lilies lined the banks of a peaceful river. Stars twinkling and the twins orbiting in the sky. Rather opposites than twins. The lands of Urstubaad were a majority of rolling grasslands and desert. Once, it was said the ground used to be lush and tropical. Countless breeds of plant and animal flourished on the continent. The tropics used to range from the north to south. Covering the ground in rich topsoil and copious amounts of rain.


Walking past all the people seeming to head in a uniform direction to the markets, Tyan couldn’t help but to look at all the different faces. All different kinds of the kahjiiti race passed him by. Some looked like men but with furry features. Others had to walk on all fours. Some kahjiit rode on kahjiit! Depending on the moon cycles, many subtypes and varieties of cat could be born. Tyan was the most common type of kahjiit, the Suthay-Raht. Most of whom he passed by were of the same birth type as himself.


Tyan turned and took a less traveled road. At this time of day no one was here. The only souls down this dreary pathway consisted of homeless and an elderly feline, her whiskers kinked and long from age. She had a lot of grey hair over her arms, but her face still held her golden tufts. She looked like a Suthay. Tyan noticed she was sweeping away leaves from her bark porch. The backs of these buildings belonged to two businesses, both of which Tyan had visited. One business being an apothecary and the other a specialty food store. Not many gave the latter business, as none in this part of Erestay had much money to spend on such unnecessary items. Of course most in the slums didn’t know what to use the ingredients in. Tyan was quite a cook and knew a lot of ‘unnecessary’ things could spice up a meal quite nicely.


The Kahjiit had abnormal tastes when it came to food. Abnormal from a human perspective though. To them, the cuisine was quite normal, and actually bland. The people living in the slums ate pretty much all the same things all the time. Usually some sort of fondue, consisting of potatoes, hash, leek, and raw chicken eggs. Occasionally a fruit or two would be bought by the wealthy poor. Sometimes if a sale was posted, more vegetables would be bought. Tyan was in the special business, the secretive collecting of goods, when others were not looking. It could be said he was a thief, but everyone in the slums had to be a thief every now and then. It wasn’t easy living in where he did. Not many lived long enough to see their grandchildren. In any case many slummers did not have legitimate children anyway.

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The brown painted walls of the apothecary where wearing down. The once rich color now more beige, from sunlight and streaks of it had come off, revealing the brown bark of the tree shaped into the building. A strange method was used for building in Erestay. Strange to Tyan anyway, he was no magician.


When the city was founded, some two hundred years ago, it was on the jungle floor. All manner of dangerous animals lived down there, Great Sarcons, Tigers, Untamed Senche, Senche-Raht. Carnivorous birds, the flocks of Hunbura sat in the bottoms of the canopy waiting for prey. Many other things as well, although great deals were herbivores, the predators although somewhat scarce were too vicious to bear. The Sechne Republic, the ruling body of Dunejih at the time brought up a dozen Calico magi. They were the first of the guild of mages in Erestay. They used a magic unknown to most of the world, tree magic. They first transported soil to the tops of the tree canopy and then planted seeds there. The mages grew the trees at unnatural speed and into the shapes of houses and other buildings. Thus the beginning of the city above the jungle and over the years the guild has inducted newer members to build upon the town. The first building to be built was reportedly the Great Hall, which is the biggest structure to ever be built above the trees.


Tyan looked in his bag to make sure he had what he took. He still did. Reaching a curve in the street, he didn’t follow the bend but he looked forward at the structure in front of him. This was his friend’s home. His pride friend, Wujeea was close to Tyan. Their families always had been together. Most families in the slums form bonds with other families and end up living under the same roof, or next to each other. Usually the members of each family marry together, such as a group of young brothers and a sister pairing with another family’s youngest. The close relations between the members of the families didn’t matter much to the kahjiit. It made no difference if your uncle married your mother or if ones cousins’ children paired with one’s litter. Tyan and Wujeea’s family took up residence together in a two story tree. A quite large building for a slumstructure, as they called them. It wasn’t that the people who lived in Erestay looked down on the slums, but they felt bad for them. A few years ago there was an outbreak of desert plague drove a wedge through the slums and the main part of Erestay.


The slumstructure was uniform to the rest on the street, as they all were built at the same time, generally. Walking into the abode, he breathed in the musty dark spice filled air.

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“You still here, Wujeea?” Tyan called in a raspy voice. He cleared his throat from lack of speech. “Wujeea,” He called, walking to the kitchen. She was not one to listen to the outside world, usually absorbed in a book. She was such an intellectual for a kahjiit, usually they do not focus so much on literature, but Wujeea loved it. She would read just about anything. In the bedroom stood a tower of books from all genres, all different authors. All touching on subjects Tyan was not aware of, or he cared little for. He was not an intellectual kahjiit that he was sure of. “I have the sugar, and the pot” He rather mumbled to his partner, she noticed he was in her existence once he put the pot on the red table.


“Ahhh, no soul troubled you?” She flipped a page and looked up at Tyan. “No, no it was alright. I was quick” He half smiled, but he rolled his eyes. She always needed to have her way. “I knew no one would bother you. They don’t care Tyan” She gave him a challenging look. “I know they care, those people are our friends and even our litter. I don’t want them to see me like that.” Her ploys to cheer his thinking up never worked, for her smarts and charm, she never could figure Tyan’s thinking.

“Everyone does it… but no lets not go into arguments. Get it started, shall we?” Wujeea put down the book, and stuffed it under a blanket on a corner table. Clearing a space on the table, Tyan took out a small wood bowl and a bag of whitish yellow powder. Some of the Moon Sugar clumped, it was a sticky substance when wet or moist, if unstirred.


The dish they were making was Zumao Soup, a spicy smooth broth. Mostly Zumao was used as a filler food for making a meal seem more completed. However in the slums, poverty was at large. Not many in the slums had resources to recreate a wholesome meal and have courses. So this was going to be their dinner. Wujeea loved to make soups with spice, she found mixing the flavors just so interesting and she would work for hours to perfect her ingredients. The Moon Sugar they used was a sweet substance common to the Urstubaaden region. Most cultures here used Moon Sugar as a component in food items. To those unaccustomed to the powder it could be considered a drug, or narcotic of sorts. The Kahjiiti race was immune to those effects, as their unique physiology eliminated the toxins responsible for the euphoric effect.


As Wujeea found her select spices she would use for the soup, Tyan set up the fire pit on the other side of the room. He put a log on the already burning logs. “Get the water” Wujeea purred to him. Nodding, he took the pot to the back end of the house, where stood a pump of the earthly liquid. Taking a few long strokes of the handle, Tyan filled the pot around near to the brim, but with some space left. Then took it to the fire pit and rested it on a metal arch to heat the water. Tyan had no knowledge of the spice that Wujeea was using, he knew that it tasted good but he did not ask. She would no doubt go into a speech of epic proportions if he showed an interest. He looked in the cabinet on his left and look out some cabbage as well as leek. He chopped a few using a battered old knife. The particular knife had been in his family for years, bought a decade back when his mother, old and cruel now, but then nicer, had a set of them. This was his last reminder of her. She left due to her outrage at a certain someone becoming involved with Tyan. Fitting, he thought that his last item of hers was a bladed object. Sharp and dangerous, just like her.


Taking the chopped vegetables into the pot he stuffed the knife into his belt holster and looked toward his mate. She was whipping around looking on shelves and drawers. “Hsssss! Not here Tyan, the Igunnu! Why didn’t you tell me” She waved at him and started mixing the rest of her collection into the sugar. “Oh I am supposed to know you needed Igunnu” He raised an eyebrow but sat down and looked at his hands. “I know Ty.. it is fine” She laughed a little and put the mixture into the pot, now boiling. Aroma of the sweetness filled the room, a striking but subtle smell feeling like the summer days, hot and crisp, but sweet and soft made Tyan just about drool on the table. “That is good, did you use the new mixture you told me?”


“Yeah, that’s the one. It had a great smell, but it won’t taste like that. I tried it already on the Hunbura steaks, the ones you finished last night?” She smiled to him.


“Oh, you did it to them? The taste is so different. That’s strange stuff” He was amused she was giving him a soft poke for eating the last of the Hunbura. It was quite a rare meat to get in the slums. Even being a common animal among the trees, they are difficult to hunt giving them a price on their small avian heads.


“Haha yes I know. Mm, on a different note,” She paused “The spoon…” Wujeea took it from Tyan to stir. “...This has been a long wait for the group, I mean, you know it’s been a fortnight-”


Tyan had to cut her off “Oh no it has been a fortnight and a half, and I know, I met Orethimn just before finding my treasure(gesturing to the pot) he told me some things. Important things” Wujeea looked at him, expecting him to keep going, but he looked away and shook his head. “I need to take care of them myself, Wujeea, they aren’t for you to know about.”


“Why do you do things like this. I am as much a part of this rebellion as you, loved one. I do not like degradation of my talents, as I am sure Vak’raka is thinking. I am incapable of working and successfully completing a ‘task,’ but I am” in agitation she flicked her ears back and twitched them. “I see that even within a radical group of free people, females do not get to have their freedoms” She shook her head and stirred angrily. “No, I can’t be completely sure of Vak’Raka’s reasoning, he is not making sense always, but you know he holds no disrespect for women, you should know of all people…” he looked at her from the corner of his feline green eyes.

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As I read and reread parts of this I have edited a lot of what was, and added in some parts that really needed to beefed up. Most of the beginning is different, and the plot as been tweaked. I can't really go and edit all the words I've changed because it's just so much! Fortunately I think I will be fixing it eventually, just not soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

“I am not going to talk about that one. He just needs guidance, I’m sure he isn’t as bad as we say he is” Wujeea still held a bit of anger in her eyes but stopped and looked at him. “Vak’Raka has a lot on his side of the dinner table. He barely ever gets to vent and this time, it seemed he put it on you and not others, that is all. I believe he trusts me the most out of the group” Tyan said.

“Is that why you think he told you I am good for nothing?” Wujeea asked with a breathy undertone. “He did not say you are good for nothing. He said you have your uses and being stealthy is not one of them” Tyan realized at the last minute this was even worse than what she had originally thought, so he quickly added, “Um I mean, it is just Vak’s way of venting, it really is Wujeea. He means nothing.”


“I don’t know what to do then, he is our leader. The leader of free people who are open to do what is right. Yet he himself is not righteous or great in any way. I will overlook it, but not forget” Wujeea looked into the pot and gave it another couple waves of the spoon before leaving it to boil. The dark moody lighting of the wax candles gave shadows an eerie look from Tyan’s view.


He padded to the window and peered out from behind a dingy brown cloth curtain. The sky could just barely be made out from the thick canopy of the jungle. Most of the slumstructures here were single story buildings made of mud and wood all built differently to the whim of whoever built them. Most had dirt or just general filth on them from the recent Running Of Senche, a vocational holiday that had just passed through Erestay. The townspeople, mostly Kahjiit were hustling down the street in a strange manor. Strangers called out from windows to passersby, who all rushed for the town square. Something was happening, a few guardsmen stood resolute at the archway to the town square, refusing to let the people past. The wooden bark street was filling with slummers and merchants. A yammer of languages mixed together, Kahjiiti and Kumal started to grow from its usual hum.

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