Hello TESOF. I have finished the third part of Ja'Rakhar's (Do'Rakk) epic tale, "The Caged Lion." We last left Ja'Rakhar as his mind began to crumble under the guilt he felt for the loss of his mother and father as he is thrown into a world of cruelty and chaos, where our hero is baptised in blood. His adventure reaches it's climax as he defeats, and overcome with fury, savagley murders his toughest opponent, a gigantic Khajiit known simply as "The Tower." This brings us into Part 3. What awaits our hero now?
*Side note: I had originally intended for this to be a 3 part series, but because of teh nature of the story, I didn't feel satisfied leaving so many things unresolved, so to help tie everything up, there will be one more installment after this.* Also, for the convenience of any new readers, here are links provided to both Part 1
, and Part 2
to bring you up to speed. As always, feedback is more than welcome. Featured in The Tamriel Chronicles Issue #31
Thunder roared as the rain fell on the town of Cheydinhal. Outside the town sat a lone wagon driver. “Damn, this storm,” he cursed. He would rather have been sitting in his home and out of the rain, but his he needed the coin. His was a humble occupation. “Hmm?” he muttered. In the distance he spotted a figure through the rain. A weary soul in need of a carriage hopefully.
The figure cautiously approached the wagon. As the figure drew near, the driver could just make out what appeared to be whiskers under the figure’s heavy hood and cloak. “A Khajiit?” he inquired. “You’re certainly a strange sight out here. Isn’t it dangerous for your kind this close to the border?”
“I need transport,” the figure calmly replied.
“Of course, I apologize for my rudeness. Where are you headed in this kind of weather?”
The Khajiit turned his head towards the south. “Elsweyr. I need to go to Elsweyr.”
“Hmm,” the driver started. “That is quite the journey, cat. Sorry to say, but I can’t take you out of Imperial territory. The closest I can take you is Bravil. You’ll have to find your own way beyond there. A journey that distance won’t come cheap though.”
The mysterious Khajiit fished out a coin purse and tossed it to the driver. “Take me there then.”
The driver caught the bag and was slightly surprised when he saw the gold inside. Where had a Khajiit like this found all this coin? The Imperial was caught off guard by a dark stain on the side of the bag. Was this blood? “Where did you get this from?” he asked.
The mysterious Khajiit turned his head toward the old Imperial. “Coin is coin, isn’t it?”
The driver looked at the stained coin purse. He quickly decided it might be best to ignore it. “I suppose you’re right,” he said nervously. “Climb on up.”
The Khajiit found his seat in the back of the wagon and the wagon headed toward Bravil. As the duo traveled, the driver couldn’t keep his mind off the curious Khajiit. “Forgive my intrusion, but what is a Khajiit doing all the way out here?” The driver was met only with silence. “May I ask what business you have in Elsweyr then? Is your family there perhaps?”
The Khajiit lifted his head slightly. “Family…” he muttered. A flash of lightning lit the sky. The Khajiit’s eyes shimmered, revealing bright gold colored eyes in the flash along with a group of scar running down his right eye. “My family is dead…”
Ja’Rakhar was thrown up against the fence, the wind knocked from his lungs. Ja’Rakhar looked up at his opponent. A slight grin appeared on his face. Ja’Rakhar grabbed the Khajiit’s shoulders, digging his claws into his flesh. The Khajiit howled in pain and quickly grabbed Ja’Rakhar’s forearm and dug in with his own claws. Ja’Rakhar roared and pulled the Khajiit closer, and slammed the Khajiit’s forehead with his own. The Khajiit staggered back from the surprise blow. The Khajiit shook off his daze and made another run at Ja’Rakhar.
The crowd roared as the Khajiit swung at Ja’Rakhar. The Khajiit was exhausted and his swings were slow, easily allowing Ja’Rakhar to dodge the strikes. Ja’Rakhar responded with a swift blow to the Khajiit’s ribs. The Khajiit staggered back from the hit, but he was determined to win. With a loud roar, the Khajiit desperately pounced at Ja’Rakhar. “Fool,” Ja’Rakhar sneered as he skillfully sidestepped, grabbed the Khajiit in midair and threw him into the fence.
The Khajiit hit hard and dropped to the ground in a daze. He mustered his strength and managed to raise himself to his knees. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Ja’Rakhar approaching with a grim smile on his face. “No!” he shouted. “I will not lose! I will not die!” The Khajiit swiped his tail across the ground and sent dirt flying into Ja’Rakhar’s eyes. Taking advantage of the small opportunity, the Khajiit pounced again, this time taking Ja’Rakhar to the ground. The Khajiit swung his fist hard, landing a blow to Ja’Rakhar’s face.
Rather than the sound of pain, the Khajiit was met with laughter. Ja’Rakhar glared maliciously at the Khajiit. “Is that all you’ve got?” he shouted. Ja’Rakhar swiped at the Khajiit’s chest baring his claws. He cut deep. The Khajiit howled in pain giving Ja’Rakhar an opportunity to throw the fighter off of him. The Khajiit rolled to his feet and glared at Ja’Rakhar while clutching his chest. “This has been entertaining,” Ja’Rakhar began, “but you’re finished.” With that, Ja’Rakhar sprinted straight at the Khajiit.
“I’m not done yet!” the Khajiit shouted back, and bolted toward Ja’Rakhar. The fighters met and immediately, the Khajiit swung at Ja’Rakhar. As tired as he was, he had found a new burst of energy and nearly caught Ja’Rakhar off guard.
“Still too slow!” Ja’Rakhar shouted. With impossible speed, he ducked under the swing and swiftly caught the Khajiit’s jaw with his fist. The power of the strike was enough to lift the Khajiit off of the ground. Wasting no time, Ja’Rakhar spun and hit the Khajiit in his wounded chest with a powerful back kick. The crowd cheered wildly at the spectacle as the Khajiit went tumbling.
Fueled by his own desire for carnage, Ja’Rakhar launched himself into the air with his sights set on the battered Khajiit. The Khajiit opened his eyes to see Ja’Rakhar barreling towards him. With no time to dodge, the Khajiit screamed in panic. His screams were quickly cut off though, as Ja’Rakhar landed heavily on the Khajiit driving his knee into his chest wounds causing blood to spew from the Khajiit’s mouth. Ja’Rakhar quickly struck the Khajiit in the face with his fist, followed by another strike, and then another still. Without any mercy, Ja’Rakhar continued his assault on the defenseless Khajiit. Finally, the Khajiit’s skull gave way to Ja’Rakhar’s fist. The Khajiit’s face caved in shooting blood everywhere and all over Ja’Rakhar.
The crowd cheered wildly at the gruesome scene. Ja’Rakhar looked down at what little was left of his opponent. A sudden sense of horror shot through him. “Why?” he thought to himself, “Why do I keep losing control like this?” Ja’Rakhar raised his hands to see them soaked in blood. He closed his eyes tightly, wishing for the whole event away as he swam in his own thoughts. “What am I?”
“Are you alright, cat?” Ja’Rakhar’s handler asked him. “You look sick.” Ja’Rakhar did feel sick, disgusted with himself. Thankfully he was out of the ring, but he still felt dizzy. Giving no reply, he shoved passed the elf and dropped to his knees by a nearby bucket of water. He quickly dunked his hands into the cool water and splashed some onto his face. It was refreshing and helped clear his mind while he though back to the fight. He had done it again. He tried to stay in control but again, he completely lost himself. It was getting harder and harder to stop, almost as if someone else was trying to take control of his body. Ja’Rakhar took a seat on the ground to try and clear his head.
A noise? Ja’Rakhar looked up and froze. It was her again. “Mother…” he whispered.
The shade stepped closer, lowering herself onto her knees in front of Ja’Rakhar. Her eyes were full of sorrow as she looked at Ja’Rakhar. “Who is this Khajiit? What have you done with my sweet child?”
Ja’Rakhar shook his head and closed his eyes tight. This wasn’t his mother. After quickly rubbing his face, he opened his eyes to find that his mother had disappeared. “Another illusion,” he thought. This place was driving him insane. How long had he been down here? It was hard to keep track of time in the Lion’s Den, but he assumed it had to have been close to five years now. Five years since being thrown in here, five years since he killed that monster of a Khajiit, five years since the last time he saw his brother.
Ja’Rakhar was suddenly panicked. He had almost forgot about Sasrin, he was supposed to meet her soon. Ja’Rakhar turned his gaze to the small window in the holding area. The sun was already setting on the horizon. He hopped up to his feet and quickly set off.
Ja’Rakhar waited at the gate for what seemed like an eternity. The sun had already vanished and the moons could only provide so much light. “Where is she?” he thought to himself. Had she been caught? It was possible. Sasrin had been passing messages between Ja’Rakhar and his brother since he was first put in the den. It was a miracle that she had gone this long without getting caught. The idea made him begin to worry. Ja’Rakhar nervously reached into his pocket and retrieved a small vial filled with a white powder. Moonsugar. He removed the lid and quickly snorted a little bit of it. Ja’Rakhar hated the stuff, almost as much as he hated needing it.
“Ja’Rakhar!” he heard someone yell. Suddenly, Sasrin appeared around the corner, struggling to catch her breath.
“Sasrin, why are you yelling, do you want to get caught?” he scolded.
“Ja’Rakhar…” her eyes were filled with sadness. Sasrin fell to her knees and began to cry. “I couldn’t… J’urabi…”
Ja’Rakhar was alarmed now. “What about J’urabi?” Sasrin continued to cry. “Sasrin! What happened to my brother?”
“Please! I have children to feed!” a Khajiiti woman begged.
“I don’t care. Lord Solvandi requires that all citizens pay their share in taxes,” the Corinthe guard scowled.
“But we have so little,” she begged, “we’ll starve!”
“Be quiet!” the guard yelled. Frustrated with arguing, the guard slapped the Khajiit and knocked her to the ground. He knelt down beside her and grabbed her meager coin purse that had fallen. “Your payment is gladly accepted.”
The streets of Corinthe had fallen into despair ever since Ra’Sir had named himself Lord of House Solvandi. While the manor itself and the area surrounding had prospered greatly, this area was reserved only for Ra’Sir and those that found favor in his eyes. The other citizens had been taxed into poverty in order to fuel the decadent lifestyle of the wealthy. People were regularly forced to choose between starvation, prison, or fleeing to the southern half of Corinthe.
South Corinthe had always been known as a dangerous place, due to influences from the criminal underworld. In recent years though, South Corinthe had publicly became a major hub in the skooma trade. This was an area where the city’s guards were unwelcome and dared not enter. Although officially it is a part of the city, enforcers in the area had no reservations about killing any who tried to interfere with the flow of money and drugs.
Night drew near and the Khajiit guard quickly reunited with the other members of his patrol as they headed to the gate for their watch. “Did you have to take all of her coin?” one of the guards asked.
The guard smiled. “Well of course I didn’t. But what’s wrong with taking a little extra for myself? These people should be grateful, we are their protectors.”
“I don’t know,” the other guard replied. “It doesn’t seem right.”
“Just think of it as the people thanking us for our service.” The guard laughed as the group reached their post.
On a distant hilltop a mysterious group of Khajiit stood unnoticed as they watched the guards. “This is crazy. We’re so close to the city,” one of the Khajiit said.
“Shut up,” another Khajiit responded. “You watch your tone around our leader. And calling him crazy, and right to his face no less. You disrespectful litte, I should-”
“Stop that,” a third Khajiit interrupted. “He has a right to be concerned. You can’t deny how risky this plan is. A direct attack on the city gate…”
Suddenly, an elderly Khajiit stood up, along with his assistant. The old Khajiit looked at the group as his assistant spoke for him. “We are not to enter the city. Only attack the gate, kill the guards, then we regroup back at the hideout.”
The first Khajiit was still doubtful. “I just don’t see the point in attacking the gate and then running away. What’s the point in that?”
The old Khajiit directed his gaze at the worried bandit, his assistant still speaking for him. “The point? The point is to send a message to House Solvandi itself. Nobody betrays me and gets away with it.” With that, the old Khajiit looked toward the city and lightly touched a grievous scar on his throat.
Ra’Sir angrily hit the table. “This is ridiculous!”
“My Lord, you must understand,” the Khajiiti guard responded. “The post was attacked in the dead of night. They were overwhelmed and the attackers disappeared before we could do anything.”
This only fueled Ra’Sir’s anger even more. “My city was attacked! Attacked! By a rag-tag group of lowly bandits! And you, the Captain of the Guard, mean to tell me that your men were unable to stand up to these thugs! And then they simply vanished!?”
“I assure you, we are doing everything we can to find them my Lord.”
Ra’Sir took a deep breath to try and calm himself. “Fine. Are there any leads as to who is responsible for the attack, Captain?”
“Not yet my Lord, but right now we can’t even be sure that it was an organized attack.”
“Of course it was,” Ra’Sir replied. “They killed the guards, and flee without even entering the city? Someone orchestrated this. Someone is sending us a threat.”
“My lord,” Ra’Sir’s advisor started, “If it was meant as a threat, could it have been the work of Dar’Sien Khabiri? It is no secret that he would like to take control of the whole of Corinthe.”
“Khabiri?” Ra’Sir had an amused look on his face. “Pah! Those supposed crime lords are no more than thugs and common thieves. This isn’t something that coward would do anyways.”
As the group discussed who might be behind the attack, one of the guards poke his head into the room. “Captain,” he began, “I have news.”
The Guard Captain walked over and was shocked. “Forgive me my Lord, I must go. One of the men that were attacked was apparently brought back to the city.”
Ra’Sir looked at his advisor, then back at the Guard Captain. “No,” he answered, “bring him here.” After several minutes of waiting, a young Khajiit was brought into the room. “This is the guard? So young. What is your name?”
The young guard was shocked that the Lord of House Solvandi was speaking to him, but quickly composed himself. “M-my Lord, My name is Fa’Ir.”
“I hear you survived that attack on our gate last night. Tell us what happened. Did you see who attacked us?”
“My Lord. It was strange. They lived like bandits, but fought like trained mercenaries. They attacked us and took me prisoner. They put a bag over my head so I don’t know where they are located, but their leader spoke to me… in a way.”
That last comment confused Ra’Sir. In a way? “What do you mean?” he asked.
“The leader couldn’t speak. He had an assistant who spoke for him. I’m guessing it had something to do with a large scar on his throat. All he wanted was for me to pass a message, and that it was for you. He said he is coming to collect what is owed to him. That was all. After that they put the bag on my head again and delivered me to the gate… I’m not sure what he meant by that my Lord.”
Ra’Sir was in total shock. “Mercenary?” he thought to himself, “Throat scar? Collecting what is owed to him? Could it be? Impossible… and yet.” Ra’Sir stood up from his chair and gave a calm smile to the guard. “Thank you Fa’Ir. I’m sure this information will be of great use. Your service will be rewarded. I will be sure the Captain compensates you for your troubles.” The young Khajiit gave a bow and left, glad to be back in the city. The young guard knew too much now. “Captain,” he whispered, “Kill him.”
“My Lord?” he replied confused. Ra’Sir glared at him. It was best to not question his orders. “Yes my Lord.”
Ra’Sir sat back down and then ordered the Guard Captain and his advisor to leave. As they left, Ra’Sir took a deep breath and looked to the ceiling. “Your move, Qa’Dul.”
“Sasrin!” Ja’Rakhar yelled.
After a couple minutes, Sasrin finally calmed down enough to talk. “J’urabi was trying to escape…”
Sasrin’s tale took them four days into the past. J’urabi, Sasrin and a group of Khajiit had met in secret in the dead of night. They had been meeting there in secret for several nights to discuss plans for escape. One of the Khajiit stood up. “J’uarbi, are you sure that we will be able to imply crawl right passed the guard post like that?”
The years of rain in the pit had managed to dig out a small channel that ran by the wall leading out passed the entrance to the mines. “The channel is perfect. It is just wide enough where we can lay in it, and under the cover of night, they will never see us,” Ja’Rakhar replied.
“Fair enough,” the Khajiit said. “We should still think of some kind of distraction for the guards at the entrance though.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“We can rig up one of the carts to ‘accidently’ roll adrift. A full cart would crash into the watchtower on the other side. The near tower would empty out to make sure their comrades aren’t injured.”
“Will they actually fall for that?”
“A full cart can easily begin to roll by itself. Why do you think they elves make such a fuss about emptying them? This kind of thing happens all the time.”
It sounded good enough, and would provide them extra room to move more quickly without having to worry about moving silently passed the entrance. “Alright, I’ll let you handle the details. If you distraction works, we’ll have a clear shot out of the mines.”
The Kahjiit nodded his head in acknowledgement and turned to his small group to discuss setting up the trap.
“Afterwards, we will meet up west of here near the water,” J’urabi continued. “We will split up until then so we will all have to be quick. My contact outside will only be able to stay until dawn. If you don’t make it, you will be left behind.”
One of the Khajiit looked worried. “Are you sure we can trust this contact? How can you be sure he will even be there, or won’t just turn us in?”
The Khajiit’s doubts weren’t unfounded. The plan was extremely dangerous and the risk was phenomenal. “Honestly, we can’t be sure, but it’s the only chance we have,” J’urabi replied.
“What about the others?” Sasrin asked.
“We can’t save everybody at once. I will continue helping our brothers and sisters escape, but we can’t help them from in here.”
The group had a disappointed look, but they understood. A few had already agreed to stay with J’urabi and help him in his endeavor. Sasrin came close to J’urabi and whispered, “What about your brother?”
J’urabi looked at his hands, still wrestling with the idea of leaving Ja’Rakhar. He had concocted a plan to free him but he couldn’t force anybody to endanger themselves anymore. “My brother is being kept in the Lion’s Den. If everyone agrees, then I would like to make an attempt to rescue him as well.” He knew Sasrin would agree to help. Over the years, she had become the best of friends with J’urabi, and had grown fond of Ja’Rakhar, but He would not send her there by herself to try and pull this off.
After a short pause, one of the Khajiit spoke. “My brother was here. Not all of you understand the bond that brothers share, but if mine were still here, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I escaped and left him here… We should rescue Ja’Rakhar.” The group had a quick discussion but ultimately came to agreement.
“Thank you all, truly.” J’urabi began. “I will only need two, Sasrin will go. She knows the best way to make her way to the Den without being noticed, but she can’t pick the locks…” All the Khajiit looked at each other. Picking locks was not something that any of them were unfamiliar with, but picking those locks required the hand of a master. Finally, all eyes rested on one Khajiit in particular.
“Omir…” Sasrin pleaded, “We need your help. Nobody knows locks like you.”
Omir looked around the group and let out a long sigh. “I’ll go,” he said reluctantly, “Can your contact get me a lockpick?”
The next couple days, the group continued their preparations, all while being careful not to give themselves away to the elves. J’urabi had gotten the lockpick for Omir. He and Sasrin would sneak to the Den in line with her and Ja’Rakhar’s regular meeting time and make their escape with J’urabi and the others. Omir was still worried, but so long as everything stayed quiet, things should go off without any problems.
In the distance, Omir could hear shouting. “What is that?” he wondered. As he made his way over, he witnessed a gruesome sight.
On top of a large rock stood the chief overseer along with a couple of his elves. In front of them was a badly beaten Khajiit. “Let this be a lesson to all who would try to escape!” the overseer shouted. The two elves pushed the Khajiit to his knees and sliced open his midsection. As his innards spilled out, the elves put a noose around his neck. The chief overseer gazed out at the horrified Khajiiti slaves and couldn’t help but grin. The elves hoisted the dying Khajiit into the air and left him there to hang as a sick reminder of what would happen to any who would try and rebel.
Omir was in shock. As he back away from the scene, trying to keep from vomiting, he accidently backed into another overseer that as behind him. “Watch it, cat!” the elves growled. Seeing the sickly look in Omir’s face made the elf chuckle. “What’s wrong? Is a little blood too much for you to stomach?” The elf pushed Omir away and caused him to fall to the ground. A metallic clink caught the attention of the elf.
The elf looked down at Omir and then at the lockpick that he had dropped. In a panic, Omir leaped to his feet and tried to run. “Not so fast!” the overseer shouted. The elf reached out to Omir with his whip, wrapping the end around his throat and stopping the Khajiit in his tracks. Omir clawed at the whip trying to breathe. The overseer came and put a heavy boot on his chest, giving him a menacing smile.
Finally the night of the escape had come. The group had gathered and readied themselves. J’urabi quickly went over the plan again with the group to make sure everyone knew what to do. He looked over to Sasrin and gave a nod. “Are you sure about this, Sasrin?”
“I’ll be fine, Omir and I…” Sasrin cut herself off as he look at the grop and did not see the Kahjiit. The group took notice and began to find out where Omir had gone.
“Where is Omir?” Ja’Rakhar urged.
Suddenly, the door to their hut flew in. The force had taken the door off the weak hinges. A gang of Dunmer overseers rushed into the small shack, blades at the ready. Behind them, the chief overseer walked in, pushing Omir in front of him. The Khajiit was bruised up and had a look of shame in his eyes. “Looks like the cat was telling the truth.” he said.
J’urabi was astonished and look earnestly at Omir. Omir returned the gaze. “I’m so sorry,” he whimpered. “They were going to kill me, but they promised me freedom if I told them.”
The elf looked at J’urabi as an evil grin grew on his lips. “Kill them.”
The elves attacked. Even without weapons, the Khajiit fought back, using their claws and pick axes. Some of the elves fell wounded, but the Khajiit were no match for the elves swords. In desperation, Ja’Rakhar turned and picked up the table they had been sitting at, and threw it at the elves, making a brief exit. “Run!” he shouted. The elves, already keen to his plan, quickly blocked the exit. One of the elves thrust his sword. J’urabi barely dodged, but found opportunity to disarm the elf and take his blade for himself. A few of the other Khajiit followed suit. Chaos ensued in the tiny building.
J’urabi felt a sharp pain in his leg. One of the elves had landed a blow. J’urbai grunted as he fell to a knee. He looked up to see one of the elves with his sword raised above his head, ready to bring the blade down in J’urabi’s skull. Crash! Wood exploded on the elf’s back. The overseer fell giving J’urabi a chance to quickly end the elf’s life. He looked up to see who had saved him. It was Sasrin. She was frozen in fear, but managed to smash a nearby stool on the elf’s back. “Sasrin!” he shouted. “Get out of here!” Sasrin couldn’t move. The bloody scene had petrified her. The room was filled with dead bodies as the living battled on top of them. “Sasrin!” J’urabi shouted again.
Sasrin snapped out of her daze. “I won’t leave you!” she shouted back.
Another elf lunged at J’urabi. J’urabi tried to block, but the elf’s swordplay was too crafty. The blade danced around J’urabi’s and dove deep into his shoulder. J’urabi roared in pain and quickly took his sword and drove the point into the elf’s neck. He shot a glare at Sasrin. “Go!” Another Khajiit grabbed Sasrin by the legs and lifted her up, tossing her out of the window. J’urabi, desperately look across the room to Omir. “Why?” he shouted.
The chief overseer calmly placed his hands of Omir’s shoulders. “You have done us a great service. As promised, you will be set free.” With that, the elf pressed down on Omir’s shoulders and forced him to his knees. Omir gazed at J’urabi, regretful for what he had done as a tear fell from his eye. The elf drew his sword and placed it against Omir’s throat. “Freedom,” the elf whispered, “from this world…”
As Sasrin finished her tragic experience, she fell to her knees as tears began to stream down her cheeks. “I didn’t know what to do...” she cried.
The news crushed Ja’Rakhar. He staggered back, only the wall behind him stopping. As he slid down to the ground, his thoughts filled of memories of his family. He thought back to the day his father died, and how he and his brother had promised to keep each other safe. “My… my brother,” he stuttered.
“Ja’Rakhar,” Sasrin interrupted. “Don’t say it. He could have gotten away.” Her words were empty. Ja’Rakhar could tell she didn’t even believe that. No. Ja’Rakhar knew the truth. His father… his mother… and now his brother were all dead. He had failed them all. Without a word, Ja’Rakhar rose to his feet and began to walk back into the Den.
“What are you going to do now?” Sasrin asked, her voice full of worry.
Ja’Rakhar stopped and glanced back. He wasn’t sure what he would do now, but he knew he had to do something. Failing to find any words, he left Sasrin at the gate, unsure if he would ever see her again.
The next day, Ja’Rakhar stood outside of the ring again. Word had it that one of Zirik’s rivals had brought a promising fighter to challenge Ja’Rakhar. Damned elves. The door rose and the crowd cheered. Ja’Rakhar walked out and could see some of the cheering elves passing coin purses amongst each other. It seemed a lot of money was riding on this match.
With no warning, the Khajiit tackled Ja’Rakhar and took him to the ground. Usually Zirik gave a speech to the people to boost his own ego, so the sudden attack briefly left Ja’Rakhar confused. The Khajiit quickly punched Ja’Rakhar in the face, followed by another strike, knocking one of his teeth loose. No time for explanations now. As another swing came closing in, Ja’Rakhar skillfully blocked the attack and countered, punching the Khajiit in the throat. The Khajiit leaned back briefly gasping for breath. Taking advantage of the opportunity Ja’Rakhar threw the Khajiit off of him and jumped to his feet.
The fighter roared and ran at Ja’Rakhar. Ja’Rakhar rolled out of the way, but the Khajiit was fast. He quickly corrected his course at jumped at Ja’Rakhar with his claws ready. The Khajiit warpped his arms around Ja’Rakhar’s midsection in an attempt to take him down again. Not about to fall for the same trick twice, Ja’Rakhar wrapped his arm around the Khajiits neck and jumped back with the Khajiit’s momentum, taking both of them back and smashing into the fence. Ja’Rakhar had the wind knocked out of him, but quickly rolled away from the Khajiit, only to find that the force had caused the Khajiit’s head to break through the wooden fence, leaving him stuck… right below Zirik’s balcony.
Zirik and Ja’Rakhar’s eyes locked, and without thinking twice, Ja’Rakhar ran at the Khajiit at a full sprint. He jumped up, stepping on the Khajiit’s back and lunged up at Zirik. Time seemed to slow as Ja’Rakhar flew at his elven master. He bared his claws, knowing know what he must do.
As quick as lightning, Zirik grabbed his guest and threw him in front of him. Ja’Rakhars claws sunk deep into the elf’s throat, his life draining out onto Ja’Rakhar’s hands. The crowd screamed in panic as Zirik ran through the cutain and away from the ring. “You won’t escape me!” Ja’Rakhar roared. Fueled by rage, he quickly dodged a sword, spinning around and grabbing the elven guard’s arm and snapped it. The elf screamed and Ja’Rakhar quickly threw his head back, crushing the elf’s face and knocking him unconscious.
Ja’Rakhar closed in on Zirik, but again was stopped by more guards. Ja’Rakhar tackled one of the guards, pulled the dagger from the elf’s side and drove the blade into his throat. Imidiately, Ja’Rakhar took the dagger and threw it at the other guard. The guard managed to dodge the dagger, but it instead flew into a torch on the wall and dropped to the ground. Ja’Rakhar rolled and swept the guards feet from under him and quickly punched the guard in the chest. The strike was so powerful, the guard’s heart stopped. Ja’Rakhar delivered another strike, this time to the guards face, crushing his skull.
The chase continued up through the manor, apparently connected to the Lion’s Den through underground passages. Guard after guard fell to Ja’Rakhar’s fury, he himself being chased by a raging inferno that began to reach every part of the manor. Finally, Ja’Rakhar had reached the door to Zirik’s master bed chambers and kicked the door in, sending splinters flying. Zirik had nowhere left to run.
“Do’Rakk! Top this at once!” Zirik shouted. Ignoring his commands, Ja’Rakhar backhanded the elf, sending him toppling onto his balcony overlooking Caldera. As Ja’Rakhar approached his master, Zirik quickly drew a hidden knife and made a foolish attempt ad Ja’Rakhar. He grabbed the elf’s arm, and crushed his wrist using only his brute strength. Insulted by the attack, Ja’Rakhar swung his fist and landed a powerful strike on the side of Zirik’s head, sending some of his teeth flying out of his mouth.
Zirik responded with pained chuckles. “They will kill you. You’ll never leave here alive, slave.” Ja’Rakhar kicked the elf, making him slide into the railing of the balcony. Zirik forced himself to his feet, coughing blood. “You think killing me will bring your precious little family back to you? You stupid animal!”
“No, they will never be returned to me. I know this.” Ja’Rakhar reached out and grabbed Zirik by the throat and hung him over the balcony as the flames engulfed the rest of the manor and reached out to Ja’Rakhar.
“What then?” Zirik shouted. “What will you accomplish besides ensuring yourself a painful death?”
Memories flooded the Khajiit’s mind. Memories of his happy childhood, and his loving parents. Memories of their brutal and unfair deaths. As Ja’Rakhar reflected on all that was taken from him, still holding Zirik high above the city, his eyes began to well up. Ja’Rakhar's golden eyes glared right into Zirik’s , the anger looking as if it could burn his very soul.
“Justice.” With that, Ja’Rakhar released Zirik ffrom his grip and dropped him to his death onto the streets below.
A dunmer woman screamed as Zirik dropped to the ground, dead on impact. As the elves below looked up at House Telvanni consumed in fire, a thunderous roar echoed through the streets as the manor crumbled.