The Legend of Ajira

By Madame Ergoth

Chapter 1: Zenith Terylin

Authors Note: I was always intrigued by the Khajiit named Ajira in the Balmora Mages Guild, so I wrote a fic about her life, her childhood and her future. The story is set 100 years after Dagoth Ur was defeated, and Ajira's story is being told to a young Khajiit. In the future, by the way, Ajira is something of a legend. You'll soon find out why! And as always I do not own Morrowind, Ajira, or any other characters, places, or ideas. Peace!

Zenith sat in her hammock, resting, on the 1st day of Frostfall. The heavy frost had finally released its grasp on the trees and houses, and as the name of the month suggested, frost was falling everywhere and drenching the ground, making it sodden and wet once more, just after it had finally dried after the long and harsh winter. Zenith was young, even for a Khajiit. She was 10 in human years, but only 3 in Khajiit years. Khajiit age much slower than humans, and though they generally live much longer than humans, they usually only get to be around 30 Khajiit years old before passing away.

Zenith had a long, furry face covered with auburn hair. She had black spots here and there, particularly around her long, pointed ears. She never wore much, save a simple common shirt and pants. Her parents, Riyleen and Mar Terylin were Khajiit thieves; in fact, they were quite famous (or infamous, it depended on whose point of view you were looking from). They were wanted all across Tamriel, yet they had swiftly and easily escaped capture for 15 years. Zenith was not proud of who her parents were, but she was thankful. They provided her with whatever they could make off with, be it a new shirt, some food, or even a small knife or dagger. It was never much, but Zenith had learned to accept that. They lived off the streets, and in homes of the kind and caring, mostly of the homes that were way out in the backcountry, and the people there had no idea of her and her parents reputation. She traveled with her parents, following quietly wherever they went, sleeping with one eye open to watch for attackers. Life on the streets had made Zenith tough, durable, and (strangely) unwaveringly obedient.

She cared not for the Empire that all the Imperials and Redguards were so loyal to. After all, she had heard that the current King, Ulvaras Bwyn II, was in bad health once again with a nasty bout of some new disease. The healers, doctors, and even the medicine man were completely baffled. He had strange and unusual symptoms, and the more the healers tried to cure him the worse he became. "After all," said Zenith again, "Who wants to live under a king that's going to die anyway?" As an afterthought, Zenith added, "Who wants to live under a king anyway?" Realizing she was speaking to the wall, Zenith sighed loudly, and stood up, stretching her long legs and purring with delight at the pleasant tingling sensation it always gave her. She walked out the cloth door and sat around the dancing fire outside, her parents were seated alongside her, one on each side.

Her father, Mar, looked at her with his long slanted eyes. They glowed an unpleasant shade of green, but Zenith felt it rude to look away. Her mother stared at her as well. Zenith shifted in her seat, feeling very uncomfortable. They only did this when they had something important to tell her, like announced another big move, or that they were going out on an extended mission. Her father started to speak. "Zenith..." he said slowly, "There is someone we need to tell you about." Zenith looked confused, and Mar went on, "Her name...is Ajira, and she lived quite a long time ago, before you or I were ever born...And...we feel...it is best..." Zenith's mother cut in because apparently, Mar just could not find the right words to say.

"What we're saying, honey," said Riyleen, Zenith's mother, "Is that there come a time in every Khajiit's life that she needs to learn the great story of Ajira--"

"Who's Ajira?" asked Zenith innocently.

Riyleen and Mar looked at each other with disbelieving faces. "Zen, darling, Ajira was a Khajiit, just like us. She did many things to help our people grow to what we are today. Long ago, in the time of Dagoth Ur -- May the gods help you if you don't know about him -- we Khajiits -- nearly all of us -- were enslaved --"

"Enslaved!"

"--to those wretched Imperials! They had us working the fields, like Argonians! And I've heard they had to wear these horrible magic bracers. If you tried to run away, it would cast Elemental Burst on you!"

"How terrible!"

"But, now, dear..." Riyleen calmed down a bit, her voice trailing off slightly, "The story of Ajira. It all started one hundred or some years ago..."