[This cream colored parchment is folded and sealed with a dab of black wax. The insignia upon the wax is not immediately recognizable as belonging to any noble family or merchant house; but a clever examiner might notice a striking resemblance to the insignia of the Blades. The words in the letter itself are penned in a flowing, elegant script.]
Jo’Zin feels he must apologize that you’ve not heard from him since the shipwreck. Though he wanted to assure you of his safety, he thought it most wise to wait until he was able to find others loyal to the cause, so as to ensure the security and secrecy of this missive. Per the instructions of our mutual friend, this one will keep you well appraised of the situation as he and his new companions undertake their mission.
Jo’Zin’s first meeting was with the dunmer Liliana Varindes. A warrior with an unorthodox style, but nonetheless no dearth of prowess. We decided to seek out the others together once it became evident that we held the same allegiance, but this one fears that he may have come off as less than friendly to her. Liliana did not bear this khajiit any ill will, but the old memories that a dunmer brandishing a whip brought to the surface was enough to make trusting her difficult – irrational as that may be. Her scent was most strongly that of Cyrodiilian perfume… and not a hint of netch leather. It is more likely that she hailed from the Imperial City than any place in Morrowind itself. Over time, perhaps the suspicion could have been overcome.
Three others make up the remainder of our band. The first, also recently found after the shipwreck, goes by the name of Heirammus. Jo’Zin does not know the remainder of his name, or if he has one, nor his race. Heirammus has mentioned the Summerset Isles, so Jo’Zin would suspect him to be altmer, but he’s too short for that to be true. He smells of things unnatural and unknowable, and while the others may shrug off his claim of being hundreds of years old as the ravings of a madman, this one believes there may be truth to it. Heirammus’ magicks are far more potent than this khajiit’s, and while he now fights alongside us, Jo’Zin questions the stability of the strange one’s mind. Here, Jo’Zin must trust that our mutual friend exercised his usual good judgement when he recruited Heirammus.
Broan gro-Atumhash the orsimer is a devout warrior-priest of the divine Talos… which Jo’Zin was able to discern literally within seconds of meeting him (seconds being the length of time it took for him to begin speaking). Broan is stony-faced and often frowning, and he overwhelmingly smells of old blood; it is strongest upon his decorated spear, and his loud and boastful talk of battle in the name of his god suggests that all of it was drawn by his own hand. His speech is simple and to the point, and Jo’Zin suspects that the intricacies of language are often lost on the orsimer. Broan’s insistence upon ‘fair and honorable’ combat places his methods directly opposite Jo’Zin’s, but this one must admit that the orc’s fervor is inspiring.
Finally, there is a dunmer by the name of Azagoth Valen. Where Broan is boisterous, Azagoth is quiet and reserved. Dangerous. His is the smell of smoke and charred things… and the familiar scent of reagents of destruction magicka. A battlemage by vocation, Jo’Zin thinks it likely that this battlemage strongly prefers the fire magic which is so intrinsic to the dunmer. Jo’Zin has seen his kind before wield steel and spell together with deadly effect, so this khajiit is glad to have Azagoth fighting on our side. The battlemage is not much of a talker, however, so little else could be discerned.
As for Jo’Zin’s activities thus far, most notably his band performed a task in the name of the elite Order of the Raven. This group was tasked with destroying the Butcher Birds; a powerful ring of bandits who had taken camp in the region and were terrorizing the local countryside. The Ravens had discerned their location, and it was our job to eradicate them. From what rumors found their way to Jo’Zin’s ear, these bandits had quite the reputation, and the nine day travel to their camp was one rife with apprehension. Heirammus was his usual mad self, and Broan was elated. Jo’Zin actually believes he caught the orc in a smile when he didn’t think anyone was looking.
Once we reached camp, Jo’Zin-Dar scouted the lay of the land so his companions could best plan the assault. Noting that very few of the bandits were creatures well-suited to the dark (most were breton), the group opted to attack under cover of night. Jo’Zin-Dar disguised himself with magic as one of their number, and he was able to infiltrate the camp with relative ease and position himself while his companions approached from the east. Jo’Zin was not as effective as he hoped, however — only one sleeping bandit was ended in silence before pitched battle was upon the camp. The bandits’ reputation was well-earned — they were skilled and deadly combatants. Two more fell by Jo’Zin-Dar’s hand as his companions endured the brunt of the battle. Most of the Birds hesitated to engage Broan in battle — this one is not certain why, but is sure that divine protection was at work. Liliana fought well, but as the Birds began to surround her with their sheer numbers, she was unable to use her whip to best effect. Heirammus spent much of the fight tangled up in animated vines, and was unable to bring his full power to bear, instead summoning scamps to aid in the battle. Azagoth, while arriving late due to the same animated vines, quickly set to cleaving bandits in two; he is as deadly as Jo’Zin expected – but again, as more and more foes joined the fray, it became difficult for him to fend them all off.
Ultimately, it looked like we had been defeated. Liliana and Heirammus had fallen — along with a dozen of our foes. But still, four Butcher Birds remained. Broan had charged away, after a fleeing Bird, and Azagoth had withdrawn to the south, as two bretons gave chase. Zin-Dar ran to Broan’s side, ready to retreat and plan our next move. But to this khajiit’s surprise, his companions were not broken.
Broan charged back into the battle, heedless of danger. And Azagoth turned back to plow into his foes with a burst of flame. They were outnumbered, and wounded, but determined to save the fallen. Perhaps Jo’Zin had been hit on the head too many times in the fight, but he decided that he must help too. Jo’zin received two arrows for his bravery, and learned his lesson. Still, the battle was won, while he is sad that Liliana did not survive the battle, Jo’Zin is glad that at least one was saved.
Jo’Zin-Dar will learn from this fight, and be more cunning in the future.. Worry not for his safety, for he will return to Joanna.
Eternally Joanna’s friend and grateful apprentice,
Jo’Zin-Dar Thrice Shackled of Morrowind