Jaeger: Chapter Eighteen; Makes-Many-Potions

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    Strong as the Bear
    Swift as the Stag
    Silent as the Wolf
    True as the Eagle
    Such is the way of a Jaeger

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    I woke up the following morning to find a cool breeze washing in through the ajar window. Snow had built up on the windowsill, covering it in a blanket of white powder. I dragged myself out of bed, and tidied the sheets and blankets up so they looked at least semi-made. After sliding my black leather armor on, I strode out through the no-door doorway and out into the inn's main hall. By account of the number of people sitting against the benches or on small wooden stools nestled up against the front of the bar. Hadring could be seen shining a glass, but his beard was clearly shorter than it had been the day before. A trim, most likely. I trodded over to the table we had occupied last night, and sat myself down. I looked to my side. The same Argonian as yesterday sat on the opposite table, in the exact place he had the day before. He sipped from a little vial filled with a toxic-looking blue liquid, and nibbled at a slice of bread. His purple feathers swayed gently behind his head, in time with the wind. Aela, Fenrir, and Tovasi clearly weren't up yet. A sense of curiousity overcame me, and I nudged the not-so-sane Argonian with my shoulder. 'You were here last night, right?' I knew he had been, I just wanted to see whether he could even remember with all of those alchemical wonders swirling around in his head. The Argonian faced me. 'Me? Yes, I was here last night. And the night before, and the night before, and the night before, and the night before, and the night before that night.' An unsettling grin spread across his face. I decided to ignore it, and asked the question that had been taking up my space-of-mind ever since last night. 'What is it you're, well, drinking?' I asked as tenderly as was possible. The Argonian shrugged simply. 'Potions.' he answered, as if he didn't really care. I continued asking. 'Well, that seems obvious, doesn't it?' The Argonian rolled his eyes crazily, sending them spinning in all directions. 'Yes, with the benefit of hindsight, that does make sense.' I groaned, and decided to just spit it out. 'Why are you drinking potions, then?' The Argonian smiled sillily. 'It's traditional, you silly cat-wolf!' This angered me. I considered myself a Nord first. 'All Kota-Vimleel must first try their potions on oneself before inflicting it upon another! Such is why they are such renowned Alchemists! For they are one with the poison, their blood runs with snake-venom! Such is why they are known as the Kota-Vimleel, the Black-Tongues of Argonia!' 

     

     

    The Argonian shifted his head as he began to explain. 'My name - last I checked - is Wih-Ju, but you can simply call me Makes-Many-Potions, like Hadring does! Don't tell him, but he just can't pronounce Wih-Ju right!' he whispered this, but it came out as a hiss. 'It's pronounced Wee-Joo, like sword!' I didn't see the similarity, and not for the first time, I couldn't help but realise how insane Wih-Ju was. He continued, hissing and spitting. 'My tribe, the Kota-Vimleel, or as your kind call them, the Black-Tongues. We are a tribe of Alchemists, a small band of poisoners and potionweavers that make our homes in the trees and musty swamps of Argonia - what your kind calls Black Marsh - as well as on the border of Morrowind. I am that. I am a Kota-Vimleel. A Black Tongue.' He spread his mouth open, as if indicating his black tongue, but it was bright purple, like his feathers, defeating his purpose. 'Yes, I am a Black Tongue.' he seemed to notice his own purple tongue, and corrected, 'A purple-tongued Black Tongue.' he weakly finished, waving his hands as if he was suggesting something. 'My coming to this land of snow, bearded men, and little towns, came with the knowledge of a jarrin root. A reliable source of mine - well, fairly reliable, when he isn't dead drunk - told me of a jarrin root in your frozen province of Skyrim, but that he knew not where it was. Being me, my first decision was to take passage to here. Skyrim. Cold? When I get here, there isn't a jarrin root. Not one I can find, anyway. So I simply rented a room at the closest inn - the one we're in right now!' he smiled hugely, 'And I've been here ever since. Forgot about the jarrin root, actually. It doesn't matter. Cold matters.' Then he took a whiff of a purple liquid, and returned to staring blatantly into space. 

     

     

    Aela crouched in the snow beside me, her fur armor tightly wove around her body. Her bow was readied in her hand, and an arrow was nocked on the sight. The deer stood oblivious in front of us, it's head bowed deeply as it ate away the last remaining remnants of grass that dared to show it's face above the thick blanket of snow. I winked at Aela, and she released the arrow. It thudded into the deer's thigh, a meaty thwack sounding through the little snowy pathway. I felt a superhuman strength course through my muscles, and I sprang forward, and within the space of a second, my hand was closed around the deer's throat and then it fell and there were torrents of blood that pooled from the deer's serrated neck. I hauled the corpse over my shoulder, not even sagging at the weight. Aela grinned. 'Big one, you've got there.'I nodded. 'Yeah.' I replied. We strode inside the inn, and several gasps were drawn from the mouths of the customers. I trudged over to Hadring and dropped the carcass down on the bar. Hadring grinned. 'I didn't know you where hunters.' I shook my head. 'Aela's the very best, actually.' She blushed, and Hadring smiled slyly. 'Definitely. I can see the shot right through the thigh.' She turned a crimson shade of red, now. I butted in. 'We saw it out there as we were eating our breakfast - great breakfast, in fact - and Aela got straight up, left, and returned with her bow. I don't need a bow.' I flicked my fingers, and they weren't fingers anymore, but savage claws. Hadring recoiled slightly, but composed himself. 'That explains the serrated neck, then. Either way, thanks to you. We're almost out of meat. Luckily, Fultheim doesn't like deer and Wih-Ju only eats wierd things he finds outside. They're the only permanent customers, so now we've got another piece of meat for anyone who just wants to stop by.' He popped a bag of coins down on the bench, and I promptly chucked them back to him. 'No, it's fine. Hunting was enough of a reward. I've been holed up to long with the Guard.' Hadring looked gleeful, but answered solemnly, 'Thou is truly divine, Sir.' I expressed my non-understanding. Hadring winked. 'Stole it out of a poetry book.' 

     

     

    Aela looked annoyed. She turned to me, a little scowl on her face. 'I could have used some of that money - got myself some new gear.' I must have looked embarrassed, because Aela changed her tack. 'I'm just joking! Don't beat - or claw - yourself up!' I got myself back under control. 'What's the plan then? Stay another night, or head out tonight? If we leave under darkness, we have no risk of being discovered by Imperial patrols.' Aela smiled. 'Tonight sounds good to me. We'll check with the others, and then we'll see what happens.' I agreed, and suddenly a strange feeling overcame me, and I nudged Aela, and pointed at Makes-Many-Potions. 'I'm thinking, Aela. See him?' She did. 'His name is Wih-Ju, or Makes-Many-Potions if you'd rather. He's an alchemist. Something about the Kota-Vimleel, or the Black Tongues.' this prompted a gasp from Aela. 'A Black Tongue? Are you kidding me?' I shook my head, trying my best to look serious. 'No. He's Kota-Vimleel. Why do you seem so interested?' She nodded ecstatically. 'They're the most renowned alchemists in all of Tamriel! You have to get him to come with us!' She was almost shouting now, and I couldn't help but feel like shouting as well. This was exactly what I wanted. I had just been about to ask the same thing of her, and here she was suggesting it! Perfect! 'Don't worry, I've already decided to do that. Just checking with you. Should we ask him now, or later?' Aela shook her head, frowning. 'Now. We may not have time later. ' I nodded. 'See you.' I whispered, and then strolled over to the Argonian. I patted him on the back. 'Hey, Wih-Ju?' he turned at the sound of his voice. 'Yes, cat-wolf?' I forgot all pretenses of subtlety. 'How would you feel about coming with us?' the Argonian seemed to consider it, and then flatly said: 'No.' I searched desperately for a bargaining chip, and found one. 

    'I know where to find a jarrin root.'

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    Your's truly, Wulf

Comments

1 Comment   |   Paws and 1 other like this.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  August 10
    Wih-Ju is a great character, fascinating stuff Wulf.