ESO: Ekadzati, Dunmer Sorceress (backstory, Origination Into The ESO World)
The books clunked and thumped onto the floor as the weary woman settled into the chair, accidentally disturbing them. “Damn it, Ek, watch what you’re doing!” The Nord who shared rooms with the sorceress huffed resentfully as she sprang from her seat upon the chaise to gather the tomes from the floor and gently place them out of the other woman’s reach.
Ekadzati nodded wearily, “Yeah, yeah, precious books of learning, mustn’t injure them. Maybe you should put them back in the library, where dusty old things belong.” The sharp lines of her face didn’t betray her humor at her roommate’s outraged huffed reply, “They are NOT just dusty, old things!” In the face of the sorceress’s bored look, Cisella almost vibrated with anger and frustration, “There are things in here that you WISH you knew, you self-absorbed heretic!”
The ominous silence that followed was thicker than a spice bread pudding and, when the sorceress did speak, the Nord girl shivered in spite of herself, “I doubt very seriously there is a lesson in some musty old book you dredged up from the stacks other than one demonstrating that, if one wants to live outside the classroom or the temples, one ought not hang around with you…. a lesson as well advised today as it was when I met you, doubly so for your own stupidity in insisting upon continuing to try and convert me.”
Ekadzati’s eye lingered for a moment on the books then slanted to the buxom female now standing by her chair, “But I am bored and you at least hint to something that might alleviate it. What of this ‘something I wish I knew’, dear… let me guess, Anu likes to dress as a woman when no one is looking?” Her grin widened as her statements grew more outlandish, “Sithis is secretly obsessive-compulsive?” She paused a moment and tipped her head to the side, “Oh, I have it…. some molded account of how your mother was in love with an Altimer warrior and abandoned you up to be with him.” The deliberately catty jibe landed as expected, and the sorceress watched Cisella flinch and look at the floor. As she began to turn her attention elsewhere, Cisella whispered, “No, you narcissistic twit. But Herma-Mora take me if I’ll stand by and listen to a cynical, shunned fool such as you once again denigrate the gods. ”
Ekadzati snatched the woman by her exposed elbow, yanking her down and closer, growling into her broad face, “What did you say, skank?” The wisps of flame drifting almost nonchalantly around her body, indicating a deadly temper held under shifting control as she rattled the Nord and ground out, “Say that again, so I can justify burning you into ash…” The Nord grinned wolvishly as she softly repeated, “Your sad, solitary existence is no one’s fault but your own; that you choose the agnostic’s life and forsake the Gods ensures you are both anathema and albatross to all who meet you. Your entire life and all you think you strive for is a lie…. and all the talent and magica in the world won’t change the destiny you are building for yourself.” She looked smug as she shook herself free from the sorceress’s grip and had the gall to actually turn her back to her and reach for one of the books, “But don’t believe me, Ek, check your social calendar.” Cisella swiveled back and pitched a small, leather-bound book at Ekadzati, a thick, velvet red ribbon draping from its pages. She cackled softly and loped from the room, calling over her shoulder as she crossed the threshold, “You really shouldn’t leave this laying about if you don’t want ‘blissful acolytes’ like me to pick it up and read it.”
Hours later, Ekadzati stood by the window overlooking the grounds of the Mage’s Guild, the book laying closed upon the sill. She remembered the quiet determination she had when she arrived at the guild. She remembered thinking that here, where fact and focus were primary, she might find respite from the fanaticism and zealotry. The images of events leading up to her arrival flashed through her mind like a ribbon, unfurling; the feud with her family and the distraught reaction of her mother to her declaration of independence from the cycle of fear and worship that shaped their lives; the quiet encouragement of her sister, for whom such a choice seemed insanity. The fearful anger of her father, presented no less forcefully for the silence with which he handed her the meager case of belongings as he proclaimed her unwelcome.
In a city such as this, teeming with beings, commerce, and cultures, she thought, surely there would be others who shared her mindset. But no, it seemed at every turn, always there was someone who insisted upon chaining themselves to worship; all too eager to condemn any who chose different gods as “lesser”. Of course, it seemed everyone could set aside their differences to heap derision and judgment upon the agnostic. Cisella was right, Ekadzati fumed; once word got out that she practiced independence from deities and dogmas alike, it seemed she had all the time in the world to accelerate her studies, eclipse her peers, and do pretty much anything other than socialize. Her time of requisite study with the Mage’s Guild was over… now what?
Turning to her closet and belongings, a grim smile found its way to her face. There was more to life than being a supplicant, she was certain of it. There had to be others in the world that could see the things she did, who believed and lived as she did. She quietly packed her things and turned her keys in to the guild master. “There is more to experience and know than religious obedience,” She growled to herself as she strode past the altars and merchants towards the city gates, “…and I intend not only to discover it, but to make my life among those who can manage better than building their lives around concepts that, even were they true, speak only to pointless possession and manipulation by beings to whom one could never be as more than ants, pawns, or petitioners.”
She strode through the outer gate and retrieved her horse from the stableman who, upon noting the wisps of flame drifting sporadically from her frame, wisely decided not to comment beyond a courteous flourish as he assisted her in mounting. Ekadzati turned her face to the north-west, to Riften. Perhaps in a land of a High King and consorts, there would be welcome.