The Xit-Xaht Tribe, also merely called Mazzatun was an Argonian organization which historically operated in the city of Mazzatun located in the Shadowfen region of northern Black Marsh. During the Second Era, they were believed to be sickened in the opinion of other Argonians as they were one of the few tribes that continued to build lasting structures if compared to the rest of the race who had adopted a tradition and culture of letting go, something that their own Hist tree did not ask of them.
Although their specific origins are unclear, the Xit-Xaht were already living in the Puzzle City of Mazzatun for centuries, a location that they continued to build and expand, starting at some unknown point when their Tsono-Xuhil Hist tree ordered them to start. Differently from others of their race, the Tribe did not use reed and mud to build their constructions.
To help with the building of their city, they often captured people for months, using them for labor in Mazzatun. The Xit-Xaht rarely talked next to those prisoners, but the members of the tribe were noticed to never stop moving, as they pointed and whipped as if they were mad, with one of the captives believing that the tribe would turn feral without the guidance of their leader. This perspective was shared by other Argonians who believed that something in the heart of their city was terribly wrong and disturbing at a basic and almost organic level.
Attempts to escape from the slavery of the tribe was met with harsh punishment if the ones that tried to go away were caught, as they were later killed and tossed to the wamasu of the tribe as food. This description was given to one of the slaves that was preparing a escape in order to discourage the action for a few days.
After the outbreak of the Knahaten Flu in 2E 560, House Redoran sent a military expedition to Mazzatun, intending to wipe out the Xit-Xaht tribe, whom they suspected to be responsible for the disease. Given the tribe's later activity, the expedition did not achieve this goal.
By the time of the year 2E 582, they were lead by a Tree-Minder mage known as Na-Kesh, who was a cunning alchemist. Na-Kesh was the first of the Tribe to have discovered that the plasm that was accumulating in the roots of their Hist tree was Amber Plasm, a substance that was capable of driving Argonians mad, although she discovered how to harness the power of the liquid with alchemical study and the guidance of the Hist itself to enable her people to become faster and stronger, allowing her to develop objectives of expansion for the city and dominance of Tamriel.
Their problematic actions like slavery eventually called the attention of the Undaunted, who posted pledges for adventures to deal with the Xit-Xaht. The Undaunted asked their members to burn the alchemical notes of Na-Kesh that could allow her and others to create a concoction that would make others mad, but they also asked for the death of Na-Kesh herself.
The Undaunted were not alone in the venture, as a member of the Su-Zaheel Tribe ventured into Mazzatun in order to rescue the members of his tribe who had been captured and forced to work as well. This Su-Zaheel would venture with the Undaunted in Mazzatun and help with the freedom of the slaves of the tribe, killing many of the Xit-Xaht and their animals and stopping a sacrifice the tribe was planning in the process, culminating in the elders of the Su-Zaheel that were to be sacrificed being instead able to calm the Hist tree of the tribe after the death of Na-Kesh.
After their defeat at the hands of the Undaunted, the Xit-Xaht became scattered, leaderless and were believed to no longer be able to bother others for some time even if they survived. As for their Hist, it was believed that with rest and clean water, it might be able to remember its own ways, something that might have allowed for the tribe to change eventually as well.
Their gear in general used panoply of plumes with details of avian and reptilian skulls which was considered particularly garish, but it was said to allow others to easily identify the style.
One of their main exceptions for the use of metal in armors was their swords, which were the favorite for combat, but were also capable of serving as double duty as tools as well. Other uses of the swords included hacking through vegetation and using the teeth on the back edge as a saw.
Another one of their weapons with more than one use was their staves that were likely both ceremonial and for battle, being carved from the fallen branches of their Hist tree. Skulls, both animal and otherwise, were used as decoration for the staves, with the skull selected having some resemblance with the wielder.
In comparison, their maces were simple, with a hardwood sphere mounted on a wooden shaft and studded with steel, those maces resembled birds with bright colors and a steel-shaped “beak”. Another simple weapon was their axes which were made from reclaimed detritus, often being just a repurposed slinter of a sword lashed to a branch by straps, crude but effective against unarmored foes and rebellious captives.
Daggers were rare amongst the tribe and were mainly ceremonial or used to cut vines and scrub, although not always. A similar situation was found in their bows, as most of their missiles were thrown, but the rarer bows were favored by their most keen-eyed warriors, with most bows being made from flexible swamp reeds or wood, with the latter being a distinction among tribal archers.
The primary protective material of the Xin-Xaht is bone which offered protection and flexibility as good as steel scale mail. Layers of bones were used in combination with thick horns and tusks to stop strikes, although their armorers lacked the means to protect the abdomen so their warriors were vulnerable in their bellies.
Bones were specially used to protect the neck, shoulder and sometimes their entire jaw and it was speculated that the use of collars was because of the lack of good armoring techniques. They were also used for their legs, but on a lesser extent, as they did not use greaves, with the main dress of the tribe being loincloths, allowing them to move faster on mucky terrain.
Like their legs, the feet were also not defended, as sandals were favored, if worn, although inflexible materials were often used around the ankles and shins for protection. Another simple defense was seen in their belts which were mostly just sashes of cloth, leather or fibers, with their symbol being seen prominently at the navel.
For their helms, skulls and plumes were used, although the amount of layers of them actually meant the individual's social status, only sometimes possibly being used for defense, but most of their helms instead were made from leather for a hood. Their bracers and armlets also had a leather protection, often being reinforced with bone or steel bands and stone beads for rigidity, those bracers and armlets sometimes contained flint used to ignite alchemical concoctions and oil.
One of their most elaborate creations was their shields which combined wood, reed, stone, bone, cloth, feathers and steel. The face of the object was primarily bone plates stitched together around a central stud, with the reed construction being light and durable, with the horns often being used to jut on throats of their enemies.
- For game-specific information, see the ESO article.
- Crafting Motif 45: Mazzatun Style — Armsman Omeeta, Stormhold Fighters Guildhall
- Events of ESO: Shadows of the Hist
- Heem-Jas's dialogue in ESO: Shadows of the Hist
- Captive's Journal
- ESO: Ruins of Mazzatun loading screen
- Urgent Letter — Junal
- Taken from an Interview with Retired Dark Elf Archaeologist, Drendisa Vedran — Drendisa Vedran
- Na-Kesh's Journal — Tree-Minder Na-Kesh
- Notice: Pledge Duties
- Events of Pledge: Ruins of Mazzatun in ESO
- Events of Sap and Stone in ESO
- Urgarlag Chief-bane's dialogue in ESO
- Naheesh Dakeeto's dialogue in ESO: Shadows of the Hist