The final trial of the Rahni’Za school of warriors is to brave the oppressive dark by following the true path. How terrible the darkness of these caverns. It is not simply the absence of light, the darkness somehow tears away at you from your inside, smothering your lungs, and crushing your heart. And with every step the wraiths and thralls seek to pull you off the true path lit by the Guardian spirit. How these caverns reflect the plight of this realm, for is it not on the darkest of nights that the stars shine most brightly… yet not over Craglorn.
Awaiting me at the end of the path is Abelazar the Betrayer. It was no surprise to learn that he is a member of the Scaled Court, the servants of the Celestial Serpent, who tore the very constellations from the skies. Abelazar astounded the schools masters with the ease in which he passed their trials, yet his feats were only achieved through deception and trickery. Of course the most important part of any deception is that the victims must want to believe in it. Have the Redguards become so desperate to rediscover the lost traditions of the Ansei that they are so easily deceived like a Breton maiden to the tavern bards coquetry? Perhaps it is that the desperate are too easily deceived because they are too quick to hope.
The Scaled Court obviously believed the Sword-Disciples to be a threat to their masters plan, so the betrayer was sent to kill the schools masters and turn their students into thralls. Alas that the Sword-Disciples of Rahni’Za are now beyond salvation. The most I can do for them is allow their spirits to find peace. I wrote before I entered this school that I was uncertain whether my motive was one of mercy, vengeance, or vainglory; It turns out in Rahni’Za, school of warriors, they are all the same.
The lessons of the Rahni’Za, School of Warriors can be found in books scattered throughout the school. The trial of martial knowledge has you collect those tomes and return them to their proper place within the library. I guess the lesson here is that a warriors strength comes from the wisdom they gain from knowledge.
But as one would expect in a Redguard warrior school, the real trial is not in words but in actions. For when the bards sing of you, they will sing not of the books you have read, or the diplomas, medals or titles you have earnt. They will sing of your actions, of your deeds done, your battles fought, both lost and won. So it was of no surprise that beyond the library book pedestals awaited Master Abrunul to “Test your knowledge of the art of the blade…”
The Trial of air is a test of faith, but faith in what, the illusion magics of the either dead or corrupted masters of this school? Alas I cannot cross the air between rooftops and rocks without faith that the hidden path revealed by the sands is substantial. The reason a crow can fly is not simply because it has faith, but because it has wings, which I do not.
They say that the pessimist knows too much, whilst an optimist too little. As I know so little of how illusion magic works I guess I have little choice in this predicament but optimism. The optimist would keep their head pointed towards the stars, and their feet moving forward, so I look up and step out in blind faith; it is only now I remember that the sky over Craglorn is empty.
Growing up in Cyrodiil I was inspirited by the epic stories of Imperial heroes such as Queen Alessia, Pelinal Whitestrake and Reman Cyrodiil. But I also remember with fondness the tales sung by the vagabond bards who would occasionally pass through our town on their peregrinations through the heartlands, of the Redguard sword academies trying to keep their ancient traditions alive. It became an ambition to one-day visit these august martial schools.
Alas that not only was I to witness the aftermath of the destruction of the Valley of Blades by a titan pet of the insidious worm king, but also the desecration of Leki’s Blade in the Alikr desert. And now on my first visit to the Rahni’Za, School of Warriors I discover the students and teachers have fallen victim to murderous betrayal. I fear my journal is fast becoming a chronicle of the final days of the Ansei tradition.
The absconded initiate Fada at-Glina tells that the once mighty Sword-Disciples of Rahni-Za have somehow been turned into thralls of the dread Celestial Serpent. If I am to put an end this sully I must first earn my entry to the school by passing the five trials of Rahni’Za. The first is the trial of Fire, where one must find the tombs of the flame-bearers, the spirits of former masters of the school, and lead them to light the braziers along the path to the doors of Rahni’Za.
I must confess that as I begin these trails I am uncertain whether my motive is one of mercy, vengeance, or vainglory.