My second chapter in the "Songs of Cinder" series. Excuse my English in advance, and tell me what you think. I hope you'll enjoy.

The second chapter is about a Khajiit slave's life in a plantation on Vvardenfell.

Songs of Cinder, Book II: A Khajiit Without a Tail


Urjorahn opened his eyes. Everything was the same: the same rotten ceiling, which was giving signs of being ready to fall on his head at any time, the lantern so dim one could only see the ceiling it was hanging on, the end table with its shelves open, full of crumpled up pieces of old paper, scribbled and doodled with Daedric letters that Urjorahn made, using charcoal he managed to find under his hay pile. The same Daedric letters as those he only caught a single glimpse of when he was transported to Vvardenfell, those which were on his cage. He felt like it was an eternity, even though only sixteen years had passed. He never really knew what these Daedric letters were supposed to mean, neither did he care.

From a slave's perspective, everything is always the same, and things hardly ever change behind the bars of his cage door. If they do, most react to it as a blessing from above, or a curse. Sadly enough, more as a curse. The other slaves, a Khajiiti bunch transported the same night as young Urjorahn was, were mocking him for his unusual appearance. Urjorahn was considerably taller than them, but so skinny that his dark grey fur couldn't hide the fact that he hasn't eaten in weeks. His nose and left cheek had fairly noticeable marks made with red paint, which was also seen on his skinny arms and neck. Urjorahn never ever erased them; he always believed that this paint may hint at the clan he was born to back in Elsweyr, or at his past in general. His eyes scared even the slavemasters themselves - one could call them glowing white orbs, as they certainly were not those of an average Khajiit. The most bizarre of all his features was his tail, or, more exactly, lack thereof. Everyone was making up the silliest stories about his taillessness, ranging from it being stolen by a skilled thief, or a curse from one of the gods, but no one but Urjorahn himself knew the truth: a terrible wound, clearly indicating that his tail was cut off - a great shame for any Khajiit, even a hopeless slave. But even Urjorahn didn't know who did this, when and for what purpose. He thought he truly was cursed for reasons unknown.

All of these features combined together - and one gets the full image of a sickly, tailless, mad cat, dressed in a dirty and ragged roughspun tunic, that is Urjorahn.

"This one obviously has been having evening meals with Sheggorath the Skooma Cat, eh?" Dro'masha kept saying this to Urjorahn. True, he looked like a skooma addict, or someone who underwent years of Daedric influence.

It is no wonder that everyone treated Urjorahn even worse than them average beastfolk; slavemasters wouldn't miss a single chance to give him some extra work or punishing him twice more. He was, quite literally, an abomination. "Raised a slave - always a slave", these words were forever in his memory.

The sun was only partially lighting the grotto that was used for keeping slaves, and it was difficult to say whether it was midnight or afternoon. Everyone managed to keep track of time due to the guardsmen's daily routine - every morning they took their blades and clubs and hit the bars of every cage door, yelling "Wake up, filthy n'wah!" and thus making a noise that could make even the sleepiest of slaves stand up and be ready for a hard day's work like they've been awake this whole time. This morning was no exception, and when all of the slaves were woken, the cage doors opened one by one. A large, brutish Dunmer, capable of bringing down a Nord warrior by the looks of him, lead the slaves outside, towards the blinding light. Urjorahn rubbed his eyes and opened them one more time once he got used to the sunlight. The same plantation, hugging the edges of a hill just west of Pelagiad, was before him. The hill itself was sticked with villas all over, creating an impression that it was made of those. Perhaps these villas were the only sign of a civilized culture that Urjorahn and the rest of the slaves knew, spending most of their time in a dark grotto. He could see the figure of the slavemaster Tedryn a couple of metres away, enjoying the sight of hundreds of working slaves. The latter took a look at Urjorahn, recognising his old purchase, his heart giving birth to regret, as he indeed came to regret his actions in the Old Kollop that night. Urjorahn, however, made it clear that he isn't going to stay here for longer, his eyes full of confidence Tedryn hadn't seen in years.

"You better get to work, n'wah!" Tedryn shouted, "Or, do you want an another portion of punishment I had prepared for you?"

Urjorahn saw a few guardsmen, clad in bonemold, approaching him.

"We'll see how you change your attitude after a good beating." one of the guardsmen said, slowly unsheathing his short blade and pointing it at the slave. Instead of replying, Urjorahn hissed and got back to work.

As well as being different in appearance, Urjorahn was also notable for disobeying the slavemasters more often than the others did, a feature Tedryn hated deeply. While certainly he wasn't quite the servant, the only thing that kept Tedryn from killing him was Mithorpa Nasyal's words after the deal. Words that terrified even Tedryn himself, a Dunmer who tested his mettle and blade in bloody battle and his tongue for gift for deceit.

Words that Tedryn wished to keep secret.