Elder Scrolls

Litter-Mates of Darkness

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To speak of the dark gambol of the dro-m'Athra.


When true cats die, their souls are lifted by Khenarthi and flown to the Sands Behind the Stars, to play and prey until the Next Pounce.

When bent cats die, their souls are dragged down by Namiira into the Dark Behind the World, to serve the Heart of Lorkhaj until their tails are straight.


These, then, become the Dancers in the Darks, where they whirl to no music but the beating of the Heart. Sometimes these dancers seep up through the cracks in Nirni to the moonlit world, and walk among us as if made of moonless night. Then we call them dro-m'Athra. And this is a name of fear.

For a true cat to see a dro-m'Athra do the Bent Dance is to feel his tail twitch in time, and feel the pull of the Darks. As each twitch pulls the true cat further from the moons-light, the cat's shadow grows longer and more bent. And if the tide of the Darks grows greater than the tide of the Lights, the true cat is lost, and becomes a bent cat.

Then comes the true peril, for a dro-m'Athra can twist out a bent cat's soul, and send it through the cracks to the Darks. Once it hears the beating of the Heart it, too, will dance bent.

It is hard to stop. One night all the villagers of Lohrn were found dancing the Bent Dance. Now we do not go there.


To banish the dro-m'Athra, there are two ways: the Way of Jone and the Way of Jode.

Warriors use the Way of Jone, which is to unsheathe the claws and strike the darkness until it is no more. And this way is a good way, for everyone who is strong of heart and claw can use it.

Priests use the Way of Jode, which is to bathe the moonless dark in bright lunar light. And this way is a better way, for bent spirits thus banished do not return.


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