The Temple of Two-Moons Dance in Torval has for many hundreds of years been the finest training ground in all Tamriel for warriors of foot and fist. The masters teach students of all ages from all parts of the Empire the most ancient techniques and the most modern variations, and many a former pupil has graduated to great fame. I myself trained there, and as a young child I remember asking my first master, Zoaraym, which former student he felt had best learned the lessons of the Temple.
"I was not a teacher when I met this man, but a student myself," he said, smiling in reminiscence, his great wrinkled face becoming even more like the withered fruit of the bathrum tree. "This was long ago, before your parents were born. For many years I had trained at the Temple, rising to study in more difficult and demanding classes taught by the wisest and most learned Masters of the Two-Moons Dance.
"Gi'Nanth, you will come to understand that the tempering of your body must attend the tempering of your mind, and there is a prescribed order of training we at the Temple have designed over the years in concordance with the way of Riddle'Thar. I had reached the highest level, where my power and skill were such that even by supernatural, magical means, few could ever best me in weaponless combat.
"There was a servant at the Temple at the time, a Dunmer a few years older than myself and those in my class. We had never noticed him but in passing over the years, for he would enter the training chambers quietly, clean for a few minutes' time, and leave without saying a word. Not that we would have listened if he spoke, so enraptured were we in our exercises and lessons.
"When our last Master told some of us, myself included, that the time had come for us to leave the Temple or become teachers, there was a great festival of celebration. The Mane itself deigned to visit and observe our ceremony. As we were and are a Temple of philosophy and combat, there were contests of debate and competitions in the Temple's war arena, not only among the elite few, but open to all students.
"On the first day of the festival, I was examining the gladiatorial roster to see who I would fight with first, when I heard a conversation behind me: the servants speaking to the archpriest of the Temple. It was the first time I heard the Dunmer's voice, and the first time I heard his name.
"'I understand you wish to rejoin your people's struggle in Morrowind, Taren,' the archpriest was saying. 'I am sorry to hear it. You have been an institution here for many, many years, and you will be missed. If there's anything I can do for you, please name it.'
"'Thank you for your kindness,' the Dunmer replied. 'I do have a request, but I fear you would be loath to grant it. Ever since I first came to the Temple, I have been watching the students learn, and practiced myself when my duties allowed for it. I know I am but a servant here, but I would be honored if you would allow me to compete in the war arena.'
"I stifled back my gasp at the mer's impertinence, to even suggest that he would be worthy to fight with those of us who had trained so hard. To my surprise, the archpriest agreed, adding the name Taren Omathan to the roster at the beginners' level. I was eager to whisper the news to my fellow elite students, but my first bout was scheduled to begin in a few minutes' time.
|Master Zoaraym's Tale|
|N/A||Master Zoaraym's Tale, Part 1||Master Zoaraym's Tale, Part 2|