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Lakewood Times

“Berry Cream”

2nd of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – This morning I spent three hours just lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. I just sat and traced the patters up there… swirling, twisting, meandering. Whenever my mind would begin to wander, back to the patterns I went. It’s not right, though. Every day I spend longer and longer in bed. I can’t be doing this anymore. The only reason I even got up is because my little Khaviir wanted to play. At first I told him to go get his toys, but I couldn’t just let him sit out there alone with trivial little bits of wood. No, no, I got up. When I finally managed to get out of bed, there he was, training sword in hand, slashing against the air. I wonder what he’ll do when grows older. Maybe he’ll turn out like his mother. I certainly hope so, she was a good woman. He has her eyes, not like mine. Mine are blue, but his are emerald, and just like his mother he has the same fire behind them. 

“Dro, may we go to the town tomorrow? I want to visit the market,” he said to me.
I replied, “Of course my son. I would never deny you that. It’s a wonderful place, the market. Lot’s of wares bought and sold, who knows what you’ll find?”

His face lit up. He threw the sword down and hugged my legs. I almost cried.

3rd of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – I took Khaviir out to the market today with the palace staff. The old Kings of Orcrest used to call them servants, but I am no monarch. They take care of the palace, not me, so they are therefore not servants. While we were at market, I could barely keep Khaviir close to me. He was drawn to the stalls, especially to the Baandari caravaneers. He was enamored by their lifestyle, what with all of its traveling. It reminds me of how I used to be. I would stow away with any band just to see the world. I craved adventure, and I certainly found it. Eventually, we ended up going to the confectionary. Us Khajiit do not often eat the baked sweers of the rest of Tamriel, instead preferring our hard candies, but this shop was nonetheless still operating.
“What was mother’s favourite sweet?” Khaviir asked me, pondering his choices in delicious treats.

“Berry Cream Pudding,” I replied. It wasn’t a hard thing to remember. She would down the stuff by the spoonful with a pinch of Moon Sugar. Khaviir looked at me as if to ask for some, but I stopped him, “few places in Anequina have it, it’s more common in Pelletine.”

“Can you take me to get some?” he asked, pleading with his eyes, her eyes.
“You know I can’t say no to you. I promise that the next time I get the chance, I shall take you south and we shall scour the land for this treasure.”

He smiled at me. He loves to pretend that everything is a quest. It reminds me of how she used to be. Fearless, ambitious, inspired, and always diving face-first into the next adventure. I miss her dearly.

4th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – I was visited today by someone I thought I’d never see again. Voryn Saydrith, the Lord Ebonheart, the Ash Demon, the Wanderer, came to me this afternoon. He proposed something I thought was outright foolish, but I cannot shake the feeling that I’ve made the wrong choice. He asked me to join him once more to save the world… yes, the world. Now I’m sure he meant Tamriel, as Akavir and Yokuda are far beyond our concerns, but whatever the case he seemed very serious. He always was the stern one of the group. I told him I couldn’t join him, that I had responsibilities and that I wasn’t a wild teenager anymore who could just afford to go out into the world and travel. By the moons, I feel awful just thinking about that. Have I really gotten so old? No, surely not, I’m only in my late thirties. That’s what I’ll tell myself, at least. I’m not old. I made my decision and Voryn left, but I feel this immense sense of dread in my heart. He mentioned that it’s what she would’ve wanted, but I stopped him before he could say her name. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. I’ve been thinking about her ever since without end. I need to rest.

9th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – Today I took Khaviir down to the bottoms of the Orchaji Cliffs and showed him the great monuments carved into the cliff faces. There we walked through history, seeing such great figures as King Fasad II, Queen Dajana the Great, Prince Ri’saad, and soforth. Khaviir spent much time reading the plaques and asking me questions about each of the figures. By the time we reached the end of the cliffs, it was already sunset. It was there we looked up at two figures. To the left was a young Khajiit mage, his one hand gripping a staff and the other grabbing lightning itself. To the right was an equally-young Khajiit warrior, her sword resting calmly by her side. As the sun was setting, the light gradually faded from the warrior. Eventually, only the mage was lit. However, he too eventually succumbed to the night and let all the light leave his body. The plaque beneath them, caked in dust, simply read, “TWO HEROES OF ORCREST, THE MEMORIES OF WHOM WILL ALWAYS REMAIN IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE PEOPLE.”
“Who are those heroes, Dro?” Khaviir asked me, unaware that the plaque continued well beyond that simple phrase.

I responded with a soft, “There’s more,” before kneeling down to wipe the dirt and sand off the plaque,
Khaviir spun around and looked at me, never having seen the cliffs before and thus unaware of these figures, “You and mother were heroes likes the ones in the stories?”
With a tear in my eye, I replied with a simple nod. We were heroes… once. Now I’m no one and she’s passed on. What a joke I’ve become.

11th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – Today I had the distinct displeasure of being greeted by one of those Thalmor windbags asking again for Orcrest’s “humble joining” with the Aldmeri Dominion. What a preposterous notion that our free nation would even willingly give ourselves up to them in anything more than name. Already those Thalmor bastards take our sons to fight in their ridiculous wars, now they want to steal away the last bits of autonomy we have? I must admit, the more they ask, the more tempted I am to agree. The Aldmer people do not often ask this much, and I fear that soon they shall do something to force my hand.

15th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 –  It happened tonight. While I was meeting with some bankers in the Merchants’ Quarter to discuss city finances, my head was nearly lobbed off by a boulder that crashed through the side of the nearby building. The city was besieged. I feel awful for not making sure anyone was alright, but I had to get back to the palace. I had to make sure my Khaviir was safe. Sure enough, he was. The Orcrest Guard is nothing if not quick. They had sequestered him away to one of the crypts beneath the palace grounds in order for us, and the rest of the palace staff for that matter, to escape into the cliffs and make way to Rimmen. Unfortunately, when I went to follow them, I encountered a gruesome scene. Khaviir was pushed behind one of the guards who so bravely gave himself to the sword of an Aldmeri knight. They knew we’d try to escape this way. When that sword was then raised above my son’s head, it took every fiber of my being not to bring the whole city crashing down on us. My skin crawled with electricity, the static rasing my fur on end. With a flick of my wrist, the Thalmor agent was incinerated; torn apart by a torrent of unyielding thunder. The men who followed put up little resistance after that. They tried, yes, but there is no force greater than that of a father scorned. When all that remained in the corridor was Khaviir, a few surviving guards, the palace staff, and myself, we made haste for the exit of the catacombs. 

16th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – I’ve been thinking about Khaviir ever since what happened last night. No child should ever have to experience such trauma. I wish it were not so, but if I want him to grow up and have a future brighter than the one he faces now, I will have to send him away. It’s not safe to be in my company any longer. Voryn was right, we can’t wait anymore. Time is not something that causes change. If I want a better world for my son, I can’t just sit by and expect that better world to come. Ponder this: what causes the soil to turn to sand? What causes the rock to turn from jagged peaks to rolling hills? Is it time? No, it is the wind and the water. What causes cities to fall and empires to rise? Is time not responsible for that as well? No, it is the work of kings and commoners all. Thus, I’ve decided to leave my son in the care of the Queen of Rimmen. I know her well, or as well as anyone could, and she will take care of Khaviir well. I told him this afternoon while he was laying in my lap at camp.
“Why must you go, Dro? Why can’t I come with you?” he asked, his voice cracked and shrill. It was clear he was trying to hold back tears, to be brave in the face of certain doom, but he couldn’t do it. I felt a single drop fall on my leg.
“I must go so that you can be safe; so that you can see a tomorrow where peace is the order of the day,” I told him, trying to sound as soft and calm as possible.
He looked up at me, his eyes wet and gleaming, “But I don’t want to lose you like mother.”
That nearly broke me, but I persisted, “You won’t, Khaviir. I’ll come back to you,” I promised him, “I will make sure that when it’s all over, we can sit down under the sun and eat all the Berry Cream Pudding we want.”

19th of Hearthfire, 4E 207 – Today I set out to find Voryn. I suspect he’ll locate me before I do him, given all I know about him, but that isn’t important. As long as we’re together, we can fight against this growing tyranny and rebuild the Empire. No longer shall the Aldmeri Dominion dictate the agenda of the era. I used to be afraid of what I was because of what I lost. I thought that the past represented something fleeting, or worse yet something already gone. Maybe that’s true, but I realize now that it’s no excuse to dwell. If you’re looking behind at what’s lost, you can’t look ahead at what you will have, or what you have now. I did that and it nearly cost me my son. Ashudaisha may not be with me anymore, but Khaviir is, and for that I shall always be greatful. Every minute wasted on fear and anxiety over ‘what was’ I will repay in turn with hours of toil to make sure that now is safe, so that now I can assure that the world is happy and prosperous not just for Khaviir, but for all people. If I can make any impact at all, that is reason enough to try, right? I certainly hope so, and hope is all anyone needs.

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