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Mastering an Art II

Started by Grape Drank
Post #86837

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Aldmeri Dominion
In the Service of Elsweyr

Orcrest now represented much more to me than the life it once had. Here lie the opportunity to put my skills to use. It didn't take much to get a post in the city guard, just a quick display of knowledge. Most commanders would need a very good reason not to put a strong cathay on duty as it was. The breed is widely known throughout Elsweyr for being formidable warriors.

I started at the bottom of the chain, keeping the peace in the streets of Orcrest. It is a time that I can only describe as being a glorified bouncer. It offered me few chances to use my knowledge of Rawlith Kahj, as I would never use it on townsfolk. Life wasn't bad for me by any means. I earned enough to purchase a small home and lived comfortably enough there. However I yearned for a higher duty. A post that was more suited to my abilities. I constantly reminded my superiors of that, eventually I was transferred to a detachment of the Orcrest guard. You see, being situated in the relative safety of interior Elsweyr, Orcrest was oft called upon by one of the border cities for aid in battle. The detachment was sent when the call came. Fifty we numbered, and we were the proudest and strongest that the city had to offer. The company had a storied history, and the citizens of the border cities had learned to praise their coming, as it often brought an end to the battle.

I was sent to several skirmishes along the border, during my time with the company. First in the year 566, Rimmen was under siege by Imperial forces from nearby Leyawiin. I was young, just eighteen at the time, though I had already been in the guard for two years. However this event marked my first real action against an enemy force. The journey from Orcrest to, well just about anywhere near the border, took the greater part of a day to complete. We had arrived from the west of Rimmen and took up a vantage point in the cliffs that lay before the city. Many in the company were capable archers, though I could not count myself among them, and they sent arrows into the imperial lines outside the walls with deadly effect. Those of us who did not shoot were charging down the hill at the now scattered imperials. The rush of adrenalin was intense and it guided my actions as our lines clashed. At first swords clashed, but soon the fighting devolved into a brutal melee. Swords were used only for their hilts, to bash at the body of an enemy. Like most, I actually abandoned my sword in the fight. The situation was well suited to Rawlith Kahj, and the other khajiit martial arts. My claws worked their fury on the imperials, who were ill prepared to melee with trained martial artists. It was not long before the chaotic battle began to turn in favor of Rimmen. The gates to the city burst open and troops poured out to aid my company. It served as the breaking point for the imperial troops. They were unable to handle the additional khajiit forces. They broke off into a retreat, I specifically remember my commander not wanting us to pursue them into Cyrodiil. The cowards ran and that was the end of the battle.

One officer of the company, Do'Jahk, began to take a particular interest in my ability after the skirmish at Rimmen. I was transferred to his squad at the officer's request, though I did not know that at the time. Do'Jahk would later tell me that he thought very highly of the young cathay that fought along side him in Rimmen. It was an honor for me, Do'Jahk was considered the best squad leader of the company and his men were hand picked as the best in the whole detachment.

The next call for the Orcrest detachment did not come until the later days of the year 567. In the long days that passed between the requests for aid, the detachment usually was charged with patrolling the long stretches of roads that ran through the northern deserts. The roads were vital, as they linked the four main cities in the area. Supplies needed to be sent along these lines, knowing that they would be safe from robbery. For the most part, securing the roads was not very hard work. The few who were stupid enough to try a robbery while we were on watch, were usually just unorganized isolated incidents. There were however, occasions where a larger criminal had to be dealt with. We had once such occasion at the beginning of 567. Dunmer slave traders had secretly made their way across the border, coming from Black Marsh. They preyed on the merchant caravan wagons that rolled across the lonely landscape. After two caravans disappeared, armed guards were posted to each caravan that left the safety of Orcrest. Do'Jahk volunteered our squad for the first caravan duty of course. There were five wagons, carrying food and other goods to Rimmen. There were roughly twenty merchants and workers in the wagons and the five guards, who walked on foot spread throughout the length of the caravan.

About half way through the trip is when the dunmer made their move. They had been hiding behind the outcropping of rocks that were used as landmarks on a road that could disappear in a sand storm. Fire and lightning lashed out from the rocks and brought the caravan to a halt. The assailants charged the wagons. We gave them hell, and they were not prepared for the resistance. The dunmer thought they were attacking unarmed caravans, which would offer little resistance to them. We gave them a nasty surprise and most fell before our blades. One of them fled and Do'Jahk let him go. The fool led us right to their camp, where we saw the khajiit that had been captured. They were in holding cages, waiting to be carted off to Morrowind. Do'Jahk was furious and soon had us storming the camp. One was sent to bust the cages open, while the remaining four, including Do'Jahk and myself, descended on the camp. They were once again unprepared and many fell to our blades before even getting the chance to stand up. We showed the slave traders no mercy. The remaining traders that were at other camps left after hearing of the guarded caravans, there was easier prey to be found in other provinces.

In the late months of the year 567, Imperial forces were once again threatening a border town of Elsweyr. This time it was Riverhold to the north. I left with the Orcrest detachment immediately and we arrived there in time to help fortify the walls. The enemy arrived only hours after and to our surprise we were not facing imperials, but a strong nord battalion had been sent down to deal with the fierce warriors of Elsweyr. The nords were capable warriors and proved to be much tougher than the imperials. It was a good deal of luck that we had been inside the walls when they came. The nords were formidable on the ground, but they did not prove to be the best with siege weaponry and the walls withstood their attacks well. There was not much action for myself or the others who had no ranged capabilities. We braced the gate as it's strength was tested by the nords. There were a great number of nords, but they weren't able to use their advantage while we held the fortifications. They attempted to block out all supply lines, but were unable to counter the khajiit's innate sight in the dark. It was at night when many khajiit runners were able to sneak supplies into the city. Eventually the nord's own supplies ran out and they had to abandon the siege. Several months had gone by in the meantime, and I was glad to finally be out of the city. Not all battles are won through skill, some are won through endurance and survivability.

The last battle I served with the Orcrest detachment was in 570. In the battle of Dune I served with great distinction to my peers. After fighting back the initial wave, the defenders were caught off guard by a two front battle with Bosmer and Imperial forces. I charged through ranks of imperial soldiers by myself and soon found myself stranded among them. I stood for a time, defying the odds, but soon was overcame by their sheer numbers. It was then that royal cavalry forces arrived, scattering the enemy forces. They rescued me and I was brought back to the city to heal. When my strength had returned, a summons from the Mane came. I was sworn in as one of his personal guards for my acts in the battle of Dune. It was my greatest honor, but it did not last long. In 572 the Knahaten flu was rapidly spreading across Elsweyr. The Mane disbanded his guard and took to a mountain retreat with a select few. I was left with a choice, to leave the devastation of the flu, or to stay and try to stay healthy. It was obvious that I needed to leave, but it was not easy. At that point I still had not left Elsweyr, now I had to leave, not knowing when it would be safe to return.

I kept the armor that had been granted to me from the Mane. I proudly wore it during my travels across Tamriel. In the immediate aftermath, I took little else with from my home. I left with a trade caravan the next morning and it was almost a decade before I would return to my home.

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Do'Shanji - Khajiit warrior
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The following 2 users Like Grape Drank's post:
Thorfinn, Triskele
Post #87062

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Daggerfall Covenant
Very nice recollection, Grape!

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