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While I have learned a tremendous amount about individual tribes, I feel that I'm still missing some crucial insights on inter-tribal relations. There is a bizarre kind of fraternity here that contradicts almost everything I've seen. Despite the violent raids, the dead-stealing, and the poaching, the Argonians still look upon one another as egg-brothers and egg-sisters. For example, just the other day I saw a family of Miredancers playing teeba-hatsei with a handful of Tum-Taleel raiders. This was only a few hours after a violent clash claimed the life of one of the Tum-Taleel. I've never seen the like. It's as though there's an enforced forgetfulness, or a culture of exceptional forgiveness that defines all inter-tribal relationships.
At least some of this fraternal behavior must be rooted in their shared racial narrative. The tribes of Black Marsh have had to set aside their differences on countless occasions to repel invaders from Morrowind and Cyrodiil. They also seem to understand how much they rely upon one another—far better than most men or mer I've met. The Tum-Taleel recognize that they need other tribes to create homes and goods for them to steal. The Miredancers know that they need the Tum-Taleel to defend their borders and fend off the larger swamp predators. The Black-Tongues know that they need the Hee-Tepsleel to raise the crops they use in their alchemical brews. The Bright-Throats know that they need the Black-Tongues' Shadowscales to enforce "swamp law" upon crooked outsiders who disrupt honest trade. And on and on it goes.
Religion also plays a role. I asked my friend, Eutei, how they could be so forgiving. He made specific reference to their nebulous belief in reincarnation.
"We are all people of the root," he explained. "A Black-Tongue may become a Miredancer in the fullness of time—and a Miredancer a Black-Tongue. Only the Hist knows such things. To hate each other is to hate ourselves. And what profits a Saxhleel to hate himself? Better to forget and move on."
After some contemplation, I can't help but think that we could all use a little forgetfulness every now and again.