When we last left Ja'Rakhar, he and his family had been kidnapped by mercenaries and sold into slavery. After a failed escape attempt, in which his father was killed, Ja'Rakhar, his brother, and mother found themselves struggling to adapt to a life of slavery. In a savage world of slavery, thigns like family have no place, as Ja'Rakhar's mother was brutally executed right before his eyes, her only crime was loving her children. This brings us into Part 2 of "The Caged Lion". For your convenience, here is a link to Part 1
. As always, feed back is welcome. Featured in The Tamriel Chronicles Issue #24
It was nearing nightfall as the small caravan traveled through Morrowind. With so many armed escorts, one might have thought the single wagon was carrying precious cargo, in truth they weren’t exactly wrong.
“Why did he need so many of us just to guard one lowly slave?” one of the guards inquired. “Is this dirty cat so precious that he needs so much protection?”
“The protection isn’t for him,” the wagon driver interrupted. “The protection is for you. If this cat gets out of its cage, I would gather at least half of you would die before subduing it.”
Inside the cage sat a lone Khajiit. The beast was huge, with form ripped with muscles and scars. They had taken precaution to bind him with as many chains as they could find before leaving House Redoran. The Khajiit remained silent, his intimidating appearance being enough to be left alone.
“Well how much farther is it to Caldera? I wasn’t even aware that the Telvanni’s participated in the sport. And while only bring this one mongrel with us?” The guard responded.
The wagon driver let out a small laugh. “That mongrel is the one they call The Tower. You can guess by looking at him why they call him that. Lord Redoran is confident that this one will be enough to put the Telvanni’s to shame. I heard that this cat once ripped another cat in half like paper, and that was after being stabbed. The Telvanni’s new pet won’t stand a chance.”
“New pet? He must be quite something to make Telvanni arrogant enough to challenge us.”
“We have The Tower. We’ll be done there in a day. This new upstart is nothing to worry about. Just some cat who got lucky is all.”
Another guard jumped in on the conversation. “I wouldn’t be too sure. I’ve heard some stories about this one. What was it they called him? Ah yes. The Brawler.”
With blinding speed, a massive arm reached out from the cage and grabbed the elf’s neck. The Khajiit pulled him to the cage and slammed him into the side. The Khajiits arm continued though, pulling the elf’s neck into the cage along with part of his spine.
The wagon driver jumped though he was not particularly surprised. This Khajiit was known to be extremely dangerous. “It looks like our friend here has heard the name before. Perhaps this might be an interesting fight after all.”
Ja’Rakhar was surrounded by a river of blood. Behind him, he heard a voice of one of the ash skins laughing manically. “This is what happens to heroes here!”Ja’Rakhar turned around to find one of the overseers holding his dying mother by the hair as her life spilled out from the gash in her throat, her blood feeding the river they all stood in.
“Ja’Rakhar,” she whimpered, “Why couldn’t you save me?” As the elf continued to laugh, holding his ill-gotten trophy, Ja’Rakhar was overcome with pure rage and hatred. He launched himself straight at his mother’s murderer, wading against the current of his mother’s blood.
“Mother!” he shouted, “I’m coming for you!” Ja’Rakhar continued to his mother, but just as he was about to pounce on the damnable elf, chains shot out from the river and wrapped themselves around his arms and legs. “No!” he roared. With great strain he managed to break on of the chains on his arm. He attempted to break another, but several more chains flew at him. The chains quickly became too numerous, and worse, began to pull him down into the river. The elf continued laughing, slowly becoming more malicious. He seemed to be a demon from Oblivion itself. The chains continued to pull Ja’Rakhar deeper into the bloody grave.
“Ja’Rakh! Wake up!”
Ja’Rakhar’s eyes instantly opened, his only thoughts being that he was free of those chains. With blinding swiftness, he leaped up from his bedroll. Before him stood a blurry figure, which he assumed to be the elf. He grabbed the figure by the face, lifted it up and slammed it into the hard ground below. Now was his chance. Ja’Rakhar quickly mounted the dazed figure and laced his fingers around its throat. With a bloodthirsty roar, Ja’Rakhar slowly tightened his grip, choking the very life from the figure.
“Ja’Rakh!” the figure gasped, struggling to breathe. “It’s me Ja’Rakh! J’urabi!” Ja’Rakhar’s vision suddenly cleared. Realizing what he was doing, he released his death grip on his brother, and staggered away in horror of his own actions.
“J’urabi… I… I…”
“It’s alright,” J’urabi replied, speaking between coughs. He saw the deep sorrow in his brother’s eyes. “You saw mother again, didn’t you?” he asked.
“J’urabi…” Ja’Rakhar lowered his head in shame. “Why couldn’t I save her?”
J’urabi placed his hands on his brother’s shoulders in an attempt to comfort him. “Look at me Ja’Rakh. That was twelve years ago. There wasn’t anything you could have done, we were just children.” After a brief pause, he continued, “You can’t keep doing this to yourself. All that is left for us is surviving. It’s all we can do to honor her death.” Ja’Rakhar nodded in response. “Come on. Let’s go before the elves come looking for us.”
The brothers retrieved their pick axes and headed out of the shack to the wall.
Red Mountain had become a symbol of dominance for the Khajiiti slaves. No matter where one stood, the mountain was there keeping a watchful eye out. It served as a reminder there was no place here for things like hope. In the pit, dreams of homes were consumed by the mountain itself. This was a place where hope went to die.
As Ja’Rakhar gazed upon the menacing mountain, he heard the all too familiar crack of the whip nearby. “Get back to work you worthless cat!” an overseer shouted. A Khajiit had collapsed from fatigue. Crack! The whip tore through the Khajiit’s flesh. The Khajiit howled in pain as the elf continued the lashing.
Ja’Rakhar clenched his fist and dropped his pick to the ground. A hand grabbed his shoulder, stopping his advance. “Ja’Rakh, don’t,” J’urabi pleaded. “Let it go, that has nothing to do with us. Don’t forget what they did to mother, they’ll do the same thing to you.”
“This isn’t right J’urabi. We shouldn’t be forced to live like this.”
“Life isn’t fair, brother. Unfortunately, it is the way of the world.” The weary Khajiit finally managed to get to his feet and limped his way back to his place at the wall. “See? It’s fine. Now come on.” As the pair returned to the wall, Ja’Rakhar and the elf shared a glare, almost daring each other to do something.
As the sun reached its peak, a trio of overseers appeared at the top of the wall. “Feeding time!” the leader yelled. The scraps were dumped into the pit, and the Khajiit began clamoring over each other for the food. As Ja’Rakhar and J’urabi walked toward the scrap pile, one of the Khajiit noticed the duo. He quickly made way for the twins, most of the others niticing and following suit. The brothers had managed to make a reputation for themselves over the years. Any slave that was still in their right state of mind knew better than to challenge then in a fist fight. The newer slaves though had not yet learned this lesson and continued fighting desperately. One of these Khajiit launched his fist straight at Ja’Rakhar’s face. Too slow. Ja’Rakhar skillfully caught the fist in his hand. The Khajiit howled in pain as Ja”Rakhar began to crush his fist with his bare hand. Ja’Rakhar quickly struck the Khajiit in the throat with his free arm, sending the Khajiit staggering, holding his neck and gasping for air.
Meanwhile, J’urabi had come across another Khajiit attempting to hoard the scraps. “Get away,” the Khajiit growled. “This is mine!” J’urabi responded by kicking the Khajiit in the teeth, then easily tossed the dazed Khajit to the side. In a brief moment of clam, the brothers grabbed small portions of the scraps for themselves. As they left the pile, the sounds of battle started back up behind them. J’urabi looked back at the commotion with slight disdain, then to his brother.
“We used to be just like them J’urabi. Only the strong survive here. It’s not fair, but that is the way of the world, right?”
“There you go taking my words again.” The brothers shared a brief laugh. As they walked, they spotted an elderly Khajiit. He had been watching the fight, but his age kept him from joining, and left him waiting to see what was left over. “Wait here,” J’uarbi said. He approached the aged Khajiit and offered him some of his food. The old Khajiit graciously accepted the gift, and J’urabi soon returned to his brother.
“Since when are you so generous?” Ja’Rakhar asked.
“What?” J’urabi replied. “That will be us some day, just hoping for the kindness of those younger than ourselves.” J’urabi gazed at the old Khajiit. “It’s like looking into your own future, don’t you think Ja’Rakh?”
Ja’Rakhar looked up at the mountain. “He is just waiting for death,” he began, “I will not die here.”
The next day was scorching. As Ja’Rakhar worked, he heard the sound of a carriage enter the pit. He had seen new slaves come into the pit quite regularly, but something inside him compelled him to stop and look at this group. As the wagon came to a halt, elves began prodding the Khajiit inside the cage and forcing them out. “Welcome to your new home! Please, enjoy your stay!” one of the elves shouted, giving a powerful laugh afterwards. The Khajiiti prisoners scrambled out of the cage, a Khajiiti woman among them. Females weren’t exactly rare in the pit, but there was something different about this one. She turned her face to meet Ja’Rakhar’s gaze.
Memories suddenly flashed in his mind. Images of his mother, the smell of blood, and sound of screams, the rush was almost too much for Ja’Rakhar to bear.
He quickly turned around and shook his head, attempting the shake the visions from his head. What was that? He needed water. As he walked away from the area, he stole another glance back at the wagon, but the woman was nowhere to be found. Did he imagine her? Was he really losing his mind?
J’urabi noticed the distraught look on Ja’Rakhar’s face as he walked up. “Are you alright?” he asked. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“It’s nothing, I just need some water.” He took a long drink of his water and continued to work the wall. He tried to push the thoughts of what just happened out of his head, but they refused to leave him be.
Hours passed and the sun began its decent to make way for the night. The brothers took up their wagons to empty the contents out. As they walked J’urabi asked Ja’Rakhar, “You’ve been silent all day Ja’Rakh. Are you sure you’re alright?”
“J’urabi,” he replied, “I have a confession….” His gaze shifted to his brother. “You talk too damn much. My ears have been sore all day from having to listen to you.”
“Ha! Of course. I forget that the only way to get any kind of message through that skull is by kicking your arse!”
“You’re more than welcome to try brother.” The brothers shared a laugh and continued on their way.
As they walked, a fight broke out nearby. A group of the new slaves had begun arguing with the overseers. “You can’t do this!” one of the Khajiit shouted, “Do you know who I am?” The elf kicked the Kahjiit down and began beating him with his whip.
“Damn cat! You’re nothing but garbage!” Immediately the argument escalated into a small riot.
Ja’Rakhar and J’urabi watched the fighting unfold. The Khajitt were certainly brave, though they would soon regret their disobedience. As the fighting continued, Ja’Rakhar noticed someone being thrown from the cluster. It was that Khajiit woman again.
Ja’Rakhar’s vision flashed. Chains reached up from the ground and pulled him to his knees. He looked up to see a familiar sight. An overseer was holding up a Khajiit women by the hair laughing manically with a dagger to her throat. It was his mother!
“Ja’Rakh, what’s wrong?” J’urabi asked. Ja’Rakhar couldn’t hear his brother though. As the elf approached the Khajiit woman he unraveled his whip.
“Be strong my children,” Elehana said to Ja’Rakhar. As he tried to free himself of the chains a well of blood opened up beneath him. The chains gripped him tighter and began to drag him down into the well. “No!” he shouted.
J’urabi shook his brother. “Ja’Rakh! What’s wrong with you! Answer me!”
With all of his might, Ja’Rakh snapped the chains binding him and stood up with a loud roar. Hands of blood began to form out of the well trying the grab at the Khajiit.
The elf struck the Khajiit woman with his whip. The loud crack was followed by pained screams that echoed through the pit. Ja’Rakhar shot up. “Ja’Rakhar! Don’t! You don’t even know them!” J’urabi pleaded with his brother.
Ja’Rakhar shoved his brother to the side and began running to the Khajiit woman. “I have to save mother!”
I have to save mother!” Ja’Rakhar roared. He bolted toward the elven overseer as fast as he possibly could. One of the other elves quickly noticed Ja’Rakhar and unraveled his whip in response. The whip came at Ja’Rakhar like a hungry wolf, but Ja’Rakhar was too quick. To the elf’s surprise, Ja’Rakhar caught the end of the whip in his hand and with a roar, pulled the whip with great force launching the overseer towards him. Ja’Rakhar caught the elf by the neck and slammed him head first into the ground knocking him unconscious.
The battle cry of another elf sounded directly behind Ja’Rakhar. Out of the corner of his eye, Ja’Rakhar saw the enraged overseer with his dagger coming for blood. He was too close, leaving Ja’Rakhar no time to react. Suddenly, a fist flew into the side of the elf’s head sending him tumbling to the ground. “You idiot, now look what you’ve got us into!” J’urabi said with a slight smirk on his face. He helped his brother to his feet. “Well, no turning back now. How about we show the elves just how mighty they really are?”
More of the overseers jumped into the pit from the top of the wall, this time with their swords ready. “Stop the damned worthless shits now!” the original overseer shouted, still holding the Khajiit woman hostage. The new arrivals attacked the brothers. One swung his sword at J’urabi, who easily dodged the attack. He grabbed the elf from behind as he stumbled passed and put him in a hold, locking his arms behind his back. Ja’Rakhar seized the opportunity and with lighting speed, pulverized the elf with a series of jabs before delivering a tooth shattering uppercut.
Another elf came running brandishing his blade. He tried to stab Ja’Rakhar in the back, but Ja’Rakhar skillfully twisted his body around the blade smashing the astonished elf’s temple with his elbow. Ja’Rakhar grabbed the dazed elf by the leg and swung him around. Like clockwork, J’urabi jumped at the flailing elf and landing a crushing blow to the elf’s face with his knee sending the elf spiraling to the ground.
Two more elves appeared in an attempt to overpower Ja’Rakhar. One of the attackers swung his sword widely at Ja’Rakhar. He skillfully ducked underneath the blade and punched the elf in the knee cap, shattering it. The elf shouted in pain, while the other elf was forced to block his comrade’s wild swing. While both elves were distracted, Ja’Rakhar grabbed both of them by the hair, and slammed their faces together breaking both of their noses.
While Ja’Rakhar was dealing with that pair, J’urabi had launched himself at the elf holding the Khajiit woman prisoner. The elf threw the Khaiit to the side and managed to dodge J’urabi’s pounce. The elf quickly launched his whip, wrapping the end around J’urabi’s ankle and pulling him to the ground. The elf jumped on J’urabi and slashed him with his dagger.
J’urabi screamed when the blade cut across his chest. Hearing his brother’s screams, Ja’Rakhar tossed an elf away that he had been strangling and rushed to aid his brother. Ja’Rakhar grabbed the elf’s shoulders from behind and slammed the overseer to the ground onto his back. With uncontrollable rage, Ja’Rakhar slammed his foot onto the elf’s chest. The sound of the elf’s screams filled the battle scene, accompanied by the sound of ribs snapping.
“Enough!” An elf appeared at the top of the wall, commanding the immediate attention of everyone in the pit. This wasn’t one of the overseers. Unlike the drab leather armor they wore, this elf was dressed in fine linens and ornate jewelry.
“Lord Telvanni,” one of the overseers began, “These mongrels attacked us without reason. We had to def-“
“I said enough! I am Zirik Telvanni, your Lord, and you will obey me!” the wealthy elf interrupted. “Mongrels you say. Ha! The whole lot of you can’t even control two slaves!”
The chief overseer came to the elf’s side. “Sire, what would you have us do with these two?”
Zirik looked over Ja’Rakhar and his severely wounded brother. “Take that one to have his wounds tended to.”
“And the other?”
A knowing grin appeared on Zirik’s face. “Take him to the Lion’s Den.”
“Get in there cat!” and elf shouted as he pushed Ja’Rakhar into a cage. He looked at the other side and the door he entered shut to see a fenced in circular clearing. The ground in it was stained a dark red. A large gathering of elves sat around the ring cheering lustfully for battle and blood. “Remember cat,” the elf said, “In that ring, it’s kill or be killed.”
“I won’t kill my own people, “Ja’Rakhar replied.
The elf chuckled. “How very noble of you. Perhaps your opponents will share your virtue.”
The door opened and the crowds cheering becoming thunderous as Ja’Rakhar stepped out into the ring. Across form him stood another Khajiit. He had an evil grin on his face, and his eyes hungered for Ja’Rakhar’s blood. “Or perhaps he won’t!” the elf called, “Who knows?”
Up on the balcony above the crowd, curtains opened to make way for Zirik and his steward. Zirik lifted his hands beckoning the crowd’s attention. “My fellow Dunmer! Thank you for attending tonight’s performance! We have some new blood tonight for your entertainment! I do hope you all enjoy the show!” The crowd cheered loudly, eager to see the bloodshed. Zirki raised one arm and looked directly at Ja’Rakhar. “Begin!” he shouted as he threw his arm down.
The Khajiit bolted a Ja’Rakhar with blinding speed. Ja’Rakhar was caught completely by surprise as the Khajiit tackled him to the ground. Without hesitation, the Khajiit punched Ja’Rakhar in the face, knocking his head into the ground again. While blocking more punches, Ja’Rakhar curled his feet up under the Khajiit’s chest and pushed him away. Though slightly dazed, Ja’Rakhar managed to jump to his feet. Ja’Rakhar blocked another punch and countered with his own, driving his fist into the side of the Khajiit’s head and sending him spinning. This Khaiit was clever though. As the Khajiit fell away, he brought his foot up for a surprise kick. Ja’Rakhar managed to block the kick, but it still had enough power to knock him down.
The crowd cheered at the chaos. Ja’Rakhar rolled onto his feet and locked the Khajiit in a grapple. The Khajiit broke his grip and swiped with his claws. The swing caught Ja’Rakhar in the face, nearly taking his eye. Ja’Rakhar fell back, clutching his eye in pain. “Enough,” he muttered. The Khajiit came in for another strike, but Ja’Rakhar swiftly ducked and kicked to Khajitt in the gut. While the Khajiit was hunched over, Ja’Rakhar delivered a final powerful uppercut sending the Khajiit knocking him off of his feet. The Khajiit fell to the ground, his body limp.
“Kill! Kill! Kill!” the crowd began chanting, “Kill! Kill! Kill!”
“No!” Ja’Rakhar shouted, and then looked at Zirik. “I won! Now let me go!”
Zirik stood up and glared back at Ja’Rakhar. “You haven’t won until that Khajiit is dead! Finish it!”
“I won’t do it!” Ja’Rakhar shouted back.
“If you don’t kill him right now, I will kill you instead… and then I will kill your brother!”
Ja’Rakhar was astonished. This is why he had let J’urabi live. To use a leverage. With heavy heart, Ja’Rakhar walked over to the Kahiijt who had started to wake up. At least he could give him a quick and painless death. Ja’Rakhar lifted the Khajiit to his knees and grievously snapped his neck, dropping him to the ground. A wide smile formed on Zirik’s face.
After the fight, Ja’Rakhar was taken up to see Zirik. “Quite a show you put on out there. You certainly show promise.” Ja’Rakhar remained silent. “Don’t beat yourself up. These people come to see somebody die, and it’s your job to fulfill their wish. Rest assured, I have no personal grudge against your people, it is simply business.” Zirik poured himself some wine. “What is your name Khajiit?” Still, Ja’Rakhar remained silent. “Look Khajiit. I graciously spare you and your brother’s little lives, but I could easily recant my decision if you wish. All I ask in return is a little cooperation. Is that so unreasonable?”
Ja”Rakhar finally spoke. “No…”
“Excellent. Now then, your name is?”
“Ja? That’s a noble’s name. You’re a warrior now.” He signaled to his steward. “Remind me, what do the Khajiit call their warriors?”
“Do’ sire.” The elf answered.
“Then it’s decided. You will know be known as Do’Rakk, a name for a true warrior. Do you like that name Khajiit?”
Ja’Rakhar didn’t. He was annoyed at his name being chopped in half by the interruption along with the gross mispronunciation. He had to think of his brother though, and appease this damn elf. “Yes… Master…”
Ja’Rakhar gripped the iron bars that separated him from the outside world. It had been weeks since he had been able to leave to Lion’s Den, weeks since he had seen his brother. A young Khajiit woman cautiously appeared around the corner, that same woman he had saved before he got thrown in here. Sasrin was her name. “There you are, Ja’Rakhar.” She whispered.
“Did anybody see you come here?” he asked.
“Of course not,” she snickered, “rocks are harder to sneak around than these elves.” Sasrin was a crafty one indeed, which worked in her favor. She had been running messages for Ja’Rakhar and his brother as a way to repay them for saving her life. “You brother is worried about you.”
“I’ll be fine Sasrin… have you heard any talk from the guards about him?”
“He is safe, as long as you continue to win.” Ja’Rakhar didn’t particularly trust elves, especially ones that held him in slavery, but Zirik had kept his word so far.
“Sasrin,” he started, “give this to J’urabi, he’ll know what it is.” Ja’Rakhar handed Sasrin a small rounded stone which glimmered subtle purple and blue hues in the sunlight.
“It’s beautiful.” Sasrin replied.
“Tell him to keep it safe for me until I get out of here.”
In the distance, a fine looking carriage pulled up in front of the manor above the pit pulled by graceful white stallions. When the carriage stopped, an obviously wealthy Dunmer stepped out followed by his personal guard. “Who is that?” Ja’Rakhar asked.
“Bradyn of House Redoran,” Sasrin replied. “It would seem your victories down there have captured the attention of the other Houses.” Another Khajiit appeared from behind the carriage with several heavy chains wrapped around him. The Khajiit was a giant, easily standing two feet taller than anybody else and built like a bull. “They call him The Tower, for obvious reasons. He’s Bradyn’s prize fighter.”
The doors of the manor opened and Zirik stepped out to greet his quests. “Welcome to Caldera, Lord Redoran. I hope you journey wasn’t too harsh.”
Without even acknowledging the greeting, Bradyn and his guard marched up the stairs to the manor with the monstrous Khajiit behind them. “This visit to your depressing mine had better be worth it Zirik.” Bradyn sneered. The party disappeared into the manor, the doors shutting behind them.
“This new cat of yours,” Bradyn began, “It seems he has made quite the reputation for himself, and in only a few short months.”
“I’m sure you and your Tower will be thoroughly impressed. He has easily outmatched every opponent he has had thus far. I’m sure your champion will provide a good challenge for him.”
Bradyn stopped and turned to look at Zirik. “Impressed? Unlikely. The public may be impressed, but I see what they do not. Your ring is tiny and your numbers are few. The best of your fighters are merely the best of a couple of untrained miners. Mine, on the other hand, are a gathering of true warriors, all highly trained and experienced in combat. My Tower has killed several hundred Khajiit and has years of experience. Not months like your little pet, years.” He snickered, “I’ll be surprised if your Brawler lasts thirty seconds.”
“Such hurtful words, my Lord,” Zirik retorted, “Though I have to admit that I am relatively new to the sport, my Khajiit are not simply untrained miners. They are all quality warriors and I have spared no expense in their training. Your Tower is certainly a powerful one, but he will quickly fall to the Brawler.”
The Tower’s eyes darted at Zirik. He took a step forward, chains rustlings and stretching as the guards tried to hold him back. “Calm yourself my champion,” Bradyn calmly ordered. He directed his attention back to Zirik. “Perhaps it is best to save our words and wait to see your fighter’s performance.”
“Absolutely,” Zirik replied, “My maids will show you and your companions to their quarters. The journey from Backlight is a long one. I insist that you lay down to rest. My servants will inform you when dinner has been prepared.”
Bradyn and his troop silently retired to their rooms, leaving Zirik and his steward to themselves in the main hall. “Conceited bastard,” he grunted. “Have you learned anything of interest about of guests?”
“Lord Telvanni,” the steward began, “my sources have told me about one of Lord Redoran’s ‘special training programs.’ Apparently, his fighters use moonsugar before a match to increase their strength and heighten their senses.”
“Of course he would do something like that. Very well, two can play at that game. Go find some moonsugar and take it to the den, and be quick about it.”
The steward gave a quick bow and went off on his new task. Zirik sat down and contemplated the upcoming show. This was supposed to help bring him into higher standing in the fighting circle and future profits. Damn Bradyn for bringing his best fighter. No matter, he had Do’Rakk. The Tower would crumble.
The crowd roared with thunderous applause. “Are you ready for this, cat?” Ja’Rakhar’s handler asked. Ja’Rakhar gave the elf a silent stare. The elf gave a slight smirk, and handed a small bowl to Ja’Rakhar. “A gift from Lord Telvanni, you’re going to need it. Breathe.”
“I don’t need any help,” he replied.
“Maybe you don’t, but Lord Telvanni commands…”
Damned elves. “Fine,” Ja’Rakhar sneered. He took the bowl from the elf and breathed its contents in with a deep breath. His lungs felt like they were on fire, and his eyes shot open as the world around him seemed to slow. He gates opened behind him, and he crowed beckoned.
Above the crowd, Zirik stood on his balcony, Bradyn sitting at his side. “Good people of Caldera,” he began” I give you your champion!” The crowd cheering grew louder. Across from Ja’Rakhar, stood the Tower. The Khajiit was even for massive up close. The Khajiit looked down at Ja’Rakhar as if he were an insect.
“The bigger they are…” Ja’Rakhar thought to himself.
Zirki raised a single arm to begin the match. Ja’Rakhar prepared himself. “Begin!”
Without hesitation, Ja’Rakhar ran straight at the gigantic Khajiit and swiftly swung his fist right into his face. The Tower stood fast, only his head turning in response to the blow. The Khajiit chuckled and like a bolt o lighting, struck Ja’Rakhar with the back of his hand and sent him flying into the fence. Ja’Rakhar fell to the ground and tried to catch his breath. It was like he had just been hit with an entire house. Below him, he could feel the ground tremble. Ja’Rakhar quickly jumped to the side, barely dodging the charging Khajiit. An opening. Ja’Rakhar charged at the Khajiit and pounced on his back. Two quick and powerful strike to the side, it should have been enough to down any Khajiit, but this was no ordinary Kahjiit. A huge hand reached back and grabbed Ja’Rakhar, as the Tower effortlessly plucked him off of his back. Ja’Rakhar tried to break free of the grip, but the Tower barely even noticed, and threw Ja’Rakhar to the ground. Ja’Rakhar hit the ground hard enough to bounce and was left in a daze.
Ja’Rakhar struggled, but managed to get to his hands and knees. His eyes darted around the ring in search of the monstrous Khajiit. A thunderous roar came from above. Somehow, the Khajiit had managed to launch his humongous body into the air and was rushing toward the ground where Ja’Rakhar sat. Ja’Rakhar scrambled to escape barely dodging the Khaiit. The impact was tremendous though and the shockwave sent Ja’Rakhar barreling.
“So much for your champion, Zirik.” Bradyn chuckled.
“Do'Rakk hasn't been beaten yet.” Zirik scowled. He stealthily leaned over to his steward, “Bring him here. The Brawler seems to have lost his will to win.”
The extremely one-sided fight rage on. Ja’Rakhar jumped at the Tower, landing several punched to his gut and followed up with a powerful uppercut. The Tower would not budge though. He responded to the attack by plowing his foot ino Ja’Rakhar’s chest, sending him tumbling. Ja’Rakhar landed had on his face. Exhausted, Ja’Rakhar tried to get up, but his attempts were quickly stopped. A giant had wrapped around Ja’Rakhar’s head and the Tower lifted him up into the air, displaying the badly beaten warrior to the crowd. “Tower! Tower! Tower!” the crowd chanted.
Ja’Rakhar looked over the crowd. He had been beaten, and they were ecstatic and hungered for his blood. His attention was caught by a small commotion in the balcony where Zirik sat. A couple of elves emerged from behind the curtain carrying a slightly beat up Khajiit in chains. J’urabi. Kirik stared blankly at Ja’Rakhar as one of the elves drew his sword.
No. Ja’Rakhar would not die today. His eyes snapped open as he felt power surge through every fiber of his body. Was it rage? The powder? Both? It didn’t matter. He quickly grabbed hold of the Tower’s hand and sank his claws deep into his flesh. Ja’Rakhar whirled around and drove his knee into the Tower’s jaw with all of his might. The monstrous Khajiit lost his grip and staggered back. Ja’Rakhar’s weakness had already cost both of his parents their lives, he would not have his brother’s blood on his hands too.
The Tower tackled Ja’Rakhar and went to beat him into the ground. Ja’Rakhar would have no such thing though. The Khajiit had left his midsection open, giving Ja’Rakhar an opening to plunge his claws into the Khajiit’s abdomen. He easily ripped through te Tower’s flesh and managed to rip out some of his innards. The Tower roared in pain while Ja’Rakhar threw the giant off of him.
The massive Khajiit staggered back holding his sides. “No mercy,” Ja’Rakhar whispered harshly. He ran at the tower, doged a punch, and struck the Khajiit twice in the gut. The Tower was overcome with pain and hunched over in pure agony. Ja’Rakhar crouched down and with all of his strength, launched up delivering a powerful double fisted uppercut. The Tower stood straight up, his eyes pointed straight at the ceiling. The corwd fell silent, and after what seemed like an eternity, the Khajiit began to fall back. His massive body hit the ground with a lound thud, and shook the entire room. The Tower had fallen.
As the crowd burst into wild cheering, Ja’Rakhar jumped on the beated Khajiit and mercilessly dug his claws into his chest between his ribs. Ja’Rakhar forced his chest open and exposed his vital organs to the outside world. Overcome with fury and hatred, Ja’Rakhar plunged his hand into the cavity and with a vicious roar, ripped the Khajiit’s heart out. Ja’Rakhar was covered in blood. He displayed the Tower’s heart to the crowd and let loose a bloodthirsty roar. He wanted more. Ja’Rakhar had found his blood lust.
On the balcony above, J’urabi looked down at his brother in horror. “Ja’Rakh,” he whispered, “What have you become?”