This is the backstory of the female Khajiit Magblade who will be my first character into Elsweyr. Some revisions may be required once we actually get the chance to explore Khajiit life and culture in more detail. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
This is a monologue, not just a piece of narrative text. It should be read aloud in the voice and accent of a female Khajiit, at least inside your head. I find that writing mood monologues for my characters like this helps me get into character much more easily.
You may call this one "ko" because she is dead now, and one of the respected ancestors. Even though she is sitting here talking to you, Purahni is sure that this is so.
"How did such a misfortune come to pass?" this one hears you ask. Well, sit awhile my generous friends, and Purahni will tell you the sad yet wonderous tale of her life, her death and her... Well, Purahni is not sure what to call it - her unlife? No. Her rebirth? Hmm. Like her afterlife but not her afterlife... Whatever. You shall see. Purahni-ko will tell all.
Once upon a time, a ja'khajiits's age ago, Purahni was born an orphan beneath the two dark moons, all alone, deep within the tangled jungles of Tenmar. From the very beginning, her life has been a struggle, but Purahni makes the best of it she can.
Purahni never knew her parents, nor even who they were. A seer once told Purahni that her father was a wily Alfiq and her mother a sleeping Senche-raht. It could have been like that. Who knows. Well, if it was so, then Purahni fancies she inherited her mother's caution and her father's ambition, as you will soon discover.
The truth is that very soon after her birth Purahni was discovered, rescued and adopted by a troupe of Dagi mystic entertainers. A travelling circus no less! The mother of the troupe told Purahni that they found her as a tiny new-born. Naked, blind, and curled up fast asleep, in the warmth atop the mountainous fermenting nest of some great megapode fowl. They were hoping for eggs but found little Purahni. What a happy surprise!
The Dagi clan might have been a travelling circus but they were not clowns. Well, alright, so many of them were clowns, but they were not stupid is what this one meant to say. In fact, they were very wise. The masters of mind-boggling illusions and wonderous mysteries. They taught Purahni many arcane and esoteric magics, also many tricks and pranks. How to use the mystic arts to discern the presence of even the smallest coins, and teleport them from there to here, even if they were hidden from view beneath a thimble or, as it were, locked away. And how to levitate small things, sometimes out of the most confined of spaces, like from within the tight pockets of an Imperial perhaps. Best of all they taught Purahni how to sense the limen hidden within the heavy shadows of the world, and how to slip unseen between them, to deliver surprises and custard pieses within the circus ring. Such japes we used to play!
All these light-hearted games were well and good, but the greatest lesson the circus taught Purahni was the Philosopher's illusion. Or maybe it is the Illusionist's philosophy, hmmm. Anyway, the little Dagi clowns would chant it like a mantra. After every painful pratfall, after every stinging pie in the eye, "crying on the outside, laughing on the inside." From her earliest years Purahni took this philosophy to heart. It is the unbreakable centre of her soul. No matter how bad things may seem on the outside, on the inside, sometimes very deep inside, Purahni finds a happy place to be. So many times Purahni has had to do this.
Alas, the time eventually came when it was all too obvious that Purahni had outgrown her adopted clan. Well, they were Dagi after all. Giants in the arts of mysticism and misdirection maybe, but alas no taller than Purahni's furry Suthay navel. And, in fact, it was this one's furry navel that the clan mother addressed when she told Purahni that she was just too outstanding a performer to stay with the troupe, that Purahni's burgeoning talents were putting everyone else in the shade. Literally. And so Purahni and The Laughing Circus parted ways.
You may think this sad, but in truth it was a joyous epiphany. There and then Purahni's whole life was hers to do with as she pleased.
Purahni has always believed that she has a great talent for drama. Indeed, many times the clan mother told this one it was so. And with this in mind Purahni set out upon the road to becoming an actress of high renown.
Purahni's feet took her to Vulkhel Guard in Auridon. There she hoped to meet the great Khajiit actor Hazaznaz. Purahni was sure that she would be able to persuade him to take her on as his apprentice, and maybe one day understudy him in his greatest role – as the eponymous hero of his comedic masterwork "A Tax Inspector Calls". But, alas, it was not to be.
No sooner had this one arrived in Vulkhel Guard than a hooded stranger magically appeared, right in front of Purahni, bringing an offer from a mysterious benefactor. Purahni thought perhaps that her fame had preceded her, and this "benefactor" wanted to be her angel! So, how could she resist...
But that was then and this is now, and Purahni-ko knows she couldn't resist another drink. [coughs]
Hey, where are you all going...
Hmph. Ungrateful rubes.