U.O.T.W. Chapter 210 Lone Wolf

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    Despite being half asleep, Vilkas was aware of movement around the campsite where he lay. Such matters weren’t cause for concern as he knew the other Companions were there with him at the camp; their sounds and smells. Some years before when he hunted with Aela and Red she showed him how to take in their environment. The skill was all but lost to him now but even so a taint still remained. As he focused on his surroundings, his nose started twitching and he sniffed in deeply, salivating on the smell of wolf meat and venison which were cooking on the fire, overwhelming the other scents in the morning air. His pleasurable morning was rudely broken when Farkas kicked him in the leg.

    “Get up! Today’s the day. Make the most of breakfast cause after that it’s off to Whiterun. Then, dear brother; we’re taking Aela out here, may the nines help us”. Then Farkas walked over to the fire and slumped down.

     

    Vilkas pulled himself out from under the furs then went over and sat next to Farkas. He helped himself to a piece of meat and a roll then gazed miserably into the fire.

    “Who’s bloody idea was this anyway?”

     

    Knowing full well who was to blame, Farkas turned away his guilt ridden face. He looked at Ebony then pulled a funny face at her, making her laugh.

    “Ermm that was me”.

     

    Vilkas gave him a shove and replied in disdain.

     “Yes; I know it was”.

     

    Once they had finished their meal, everyone started packing up camp. The three Whelps went about the task happily while both Farkas and Vilkas were dreading the rest of the day.

     

    Much sooner than either Companion would have liked they found themselves staring at the main gate to Whiterun. Farkas, who felt like a condemned man, couldn’t help but make a comment as they passed through the gate.

    “Well the place seems quiet enough”.

     

    Vilkas wasn’t happy; years of experience with his shield siblings caused his gut to turn.

    “Yes, too bloody quiet”.

     

    The group had barely crossed the small stone bridge by the Warmaiden’s when a guard called out to them.

    “That Aela’s a bloody menace”.

     

    Farkas groaned while Vilkas’s eyes slammed shut. He flicked his eyelids open and cursed under his breath.

     “Oh troll’s breath I knew it! Why? What in oblivion has she done now?”

     

    “She only pushed a guard in the water then shouted at her for swimming on duty!” The Nord stated as he pointed to the guard house. “The poor bitch has been hiding in the barracks ever since”. A moment of clarity caused the guard’s bravado to falter. He quickly added; “don’t tell her I said anything” as he glanced nervously over his shoulder.

     

    Vilkas laughed as he pictured Lydia hiding in fear; a feeling they all knew all too well.

    “Oh dear, I bet the Harbinger and the Jarl wasn’t happy about it”.

     

    The guard shook his head in response while he whispered back lest he was overheard by Irileth who had a nasty habit of sneaking around Whiterun.

    “No; but they never said a word to her”.

     

    Farkas slapped Vilkas on the shoulder and presented Whiterun’s Hierarchy; at least how he saw it.

    “See! You see; even the Jarl and Kodlak’s scared of her. You’d think the two of them would stand up to her but oh no… We all live under the tyrannical fear of that bitch…” He then quickly looked around as he gulped; hoping ‘the bitch’ wasn’t nearby.

     

    The three Whelps cast glancing looks at each other, all three of them glad that they weren’t going off to the plains as well. Before any of them could even remotely become involved they briskly walked past the market and finally up the steps to Jorrvaskr.

     

    Ebony headed around the back to the training area where she drew the unwitting and unwanted attention by none other than a rather annoyed Aela. The Whelp had unwittingly got in the Huntress’s way while she was shooting at an archery target.

    “Watch where you’re going damn it”.

     

    “Sorr, sorry” Ebony answered as she scuttled for the relative safety of the porch. She was about to head inside the hall but she then moved back to the tables and chairs. There she sat down watching Aela practice, at least the Whelp thought Aela was practicing, either that or she was simply letting off steam.

     

    Within a minute Aela was getting completely wound up with her, she tried to blot the Whelp out but the more she tried the more impossible such a task became. Eventually she slammed her bow against her hip and yelled across the yard.

    “What the hell are you doing?”

     

    Ebony’s face went white as soon as Aela snapped. She shook her head and turned away while her fingers nervously entangled themselves with one another.

     “Nothing”.

     

    “Yes you are! You’re watching me, why?” By now Aela’s hand was resting on her waist. Her whole posture almost screamed as loudly as her voice with attitude.

     

    “No reason”. That was all the Whelp could muster as a reply. She left the table and started to head inside, all the while Aela stood there staring at her. When she got to the door she stopped, then turned to face Aela once more. “I know how you feel; I’ve a brother in the Imperial army. Often we don’t hear from him. Sometimes, when there’s been a big battle, my mother and I worry. It could be weeks before we would hear from him. Sotek will be ok you know”. She then opened the door and headed inside.

     

    Aela stood there watching her enter Jorrvaskr, moments after the Whelp had entered the hall, an arrow thudded into the door, right where the Whelp stood a few seconds before.

     

    Farkas glanced over his shoulder at the Whelp and quickly introduced her to the Companions.

    “Ah! Here she is; Ebony”.

     

    The Harbinger and Tilma both looked up in surprise at the name as they hadn’t heard it before. They were both half expecting to see a stranger in the hall but all they could see was the Whelp.

    “Here who is?” Asked the Harbinger as he looked past the Whelp at an empty floor.

     

    “Ebony!” Farkas replied excitedly. “When we were heading out to the plains we dealt with some bandits. The Whelps did such a good job that we thought instead of calling them ‘Whelps’, from now on we would give them nicknames instead. It’ll help to separate them from other Whelps who join our ranks”.

     

    The Harbinger looked at ‘Ebony’ hard, like an old dog watching the shadow at a doorway. She nervously gulped under his scrutiny although he soon turned towards the other two Whelps.

    “What names have you decided?”

     

    Vilkas stood up then pointed to the Imperial girl, emphasizing what his brother had said.

    “We thought about their proper names but decided against it. They didn’t seem too keen on them to be honest. She’s Ebony”.

     

    At that point Aela entered the hall and walked over to the table. She grunted at the two brothers in acknowledgement of their safe return.

     

    Vilkas looked at her apprehensively and tried to blot out the She-Wolf’s attitude. A polite ‘cough’ from the Harbinger brought Vilkas’s mind back to its task.

    “Ermm yea, she’s Ebony”. Then he pointed to the Dark Elf; “He’s Saber”.

     

    This caused Farkas to chortle joyfully and he dispelled the somber mood caused by Aela’s entrance by telling the tale of how Saber’s name came to pass.

    “Yes! Vilkas was trying to think of a name for him. He shouted out Saber, meaning a cat was closing in on Vilkas but Vilkas thought he was on about a name for himself. He nearly pooped his loincloth! We decided Saber”. As a final act to show up his brother, Farkas promptly waved at a red cheeked Vilkas.

     

    Vilkas stared at Farkas coldly, wishing for once he had the strength. That way he could wrestle the oaf to the ground and make him beg. Such tumbles were rare for them now; one of their traits left behind in the shadowy cast of youth.

    “Yes, well! Anyway, and he’s Sam”. This caused his embarrassment to be forgotten as he explained Sam’s name to Kodlak. “It’s short for sword and mead”.

     

    The Harbinger gave a short laugh but Aela just sat there screwing her face up. She snapped a retort at the hall in general, breaking the jovial mood once more.

    “Don’t expect me to use your bloody names anytime soon!” She scorned at them all then she turned to Farkas and grumbled at the situation which was cast upon her as if it was a spell of despair. “The Harbinger said we are going out on the plains for the bloody night! When?”

     

    Farkas straightened up instantly, the chuckling smile was wiped off his face so fast it almost stung.

    “Sorry; when?”

     

    The Huntress muttered under her breath as she tried to control her temper. Throwing her hands to her side, she cried out to Kodlak in the hope of a reprieve from the fate bestowed upon her by their Harbinger.

    “By the nines ice brain! When are we going… oh damn it Harbinger I’ll go by myself. I can’t cope with these two jackals today”.

     

    Kodlak rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath. He understood Aela’s reasoning but she wasn’t her best and the Huntress was too distracted to operate effectively. She would hate it but he stood firm and sternly replied.

    “Aela; you will go with Farkas and Vilkas and they will stay with you. Oh, and TRY to keep out of trouble”.

     

    The Huntress cursed out loudly when went over to the doorway where Ebony was standing and shoved her to the wayside.

    “Move Whelp! You’re in my way”.  She then turned to Vilkas and snapped back orders of her own.

    “I’ll see you both on the plains. Try to get lost”. Then she was gone heading towards the yard to retrieve her arrows before setting off to the main gate.

     

    Farkas and Vilkas wasted precious seconds exchanging concerned glances amongst each other, leaving the Harbinger to spur them on.

    “She’s off; you’d better catch her up”.

     

    Vilkas grumbled as he grabbed some food from the table and shoved it roughly in his pack. Farkas picked up a few bottles of mead; hoping the alcohol would make the night more bearable. He placed them carefully into his pack then they headed off to the door.

    “Oh what a great start to the day”. Vilkas stated as he left the Whelps and Kodlak behind.

     

    As soon as they left the main gate they saw Aela a good few paces ahead on the pathway. Without even acknowledging their presence, she dropped to all fours and transformed into Red who promptly bolted forwards. Within moments she was gone running across the plains leaving Farkas and Vilkas way behind.

     

    Vilkas shouted out to her, knowing full well it wouldn’t make a blind bit of a difference.

    “You’re not supposed to change here! Out there; on the plains. Come back!”

     

    Farkas sniggered as his hand fastened itself onto Vilkas’s shoulder. With a hard tug he was pulled back a step to be met with Vilkas’s alarmed scorn.

    “Hey; what are you doing? Don’t call her”.

     

    Vilkas shook his head towards the gate and pointed to the hall of Jorrvaskr which lay within Whiterun’s walls.

    “Fine, you tell the Harbinger we lost her out there. Good luck with that”.

     

    Farkas grumbled once again and fully committed himself to the day ahead by trudging off the pathway as he stepped onto the tundra of the plains.

    “Damned if we don’t find her, clawed to death if we do. Great”.

     

    By midday they reached a particular rocky overhang which Aela and Sotek always used; Greenspring Hollow; Red’s and Scarface’s ‘home’. Unsurprisingly, sitting on the ledge of the overhang staring glumly across the plains, was a miserable looking Aela who was impatiently waiting for the rest of her pack to catch up.

     

    Without saying anything about her running off, Farkas started collecting some wood and then built the fire up while Vilkas laid out three bedrolls. He cast a discrete glance at Aela he saw a single tear run down her cheek, but she quickly wiped it away.

     

    He gave his brother a slight nod, directing his attention to their ‘sister’ but he had already noticed. Without thinking of his own predicament or that of his brother’s, Farkas called out to her.

    “I tell you what. Why don’t we all hunt for dinner? We’ll change and run with you, with Red”.

     

    “You two don’t do that”. Aela snapped scornfully. Many moons ago when they were all younger and more wild they all hunted the plains as a pack. As Vilkas became more and more regretful of his choices, his participation became less and less. Farkas quickly followed suit.

     

    The hunts became a father/daughter affair; just Aela and Skjor hunting under their Harbinger’s nose. Aela thought, at least during those years before, that Kodlak was unaware of their activities but since her father had left for Solstheim, she found in actual fact that Kodlak knew full well what they were doing.

     

    Vilkas came over to her and gave her a reassuring hug.

    “Well we will now, the three of us. It’s been years since the three of us went out hunting”.

     

    Without waiting for Aela to say no Farkas changed into his mottled black werewolf form. It dropped to all fours and growled at the other male Nord. Vilkas followed suit, leaving Aela standing there. She gave both beasts a smile, albeit a forced one and prepared to transform.

    “I appreciate this” then she changed into Red.

     

    Red broke straight into a run. It felt like months since she had the sensation of the plains under her feet but in reality it was little over a week. She turned to the others who were way behind then she sniffed at the air; her maw salivating on the anticipated taste of raw flesh. Turning sharply east she headed straight for a deer and within moments the unfortunate creature was running for its life. Red was faster, her paws empowered with the need to feed. In a single swipe while running at full pelt Red hit the deer’s hind leg bringing it down. Mercilessly she was on top of it tearing into it as she sated her unyielding hunger.

     

    Several long seconds later Vilkas and Farkas’s werewolf forms caught her up. She had already killed a second deer but instead of feeding on it she left it for them.  Farkas’s werewolf slowly prowled towards it as he sniffed. He inhaled a snout full of blood tainted air and screwed his nose up at it while Vilkas just stood back from it not really sure what to do or what was expected from him.

     

    Red, who faced no such qualms or conflict regarding as to who she was, looked at them both then tore into the deer herself. This time she fed hard, chewing on the bones and virtually stripping off any meat she could get. Farkas and Vilkas both changed back and just watched while Red fed on the corpse. Once she finished she transformed back as well. Aela stood there determinedly; absolutely smothered in deer blood. As she watched Vilkas and Farkas she licked a trickle of deer blood off her hand and savored the taste of it in her mouth.

     

    She sighed loudly at the lack of participation although she was far from surprised at the two Companions behavior.

    “I appreciate you both trying for me, I really do, but it’s just not the same”. She then found herself gazing northwards. As she did so she lifted her head up a bit and she sniffed at the air trying desperately for any scent of her mate. Then she took off the Ring of Hircine, she just stood there holding it in her hand, looking at the image of the wolf on the ring. She held it up to the sun, the ring forming a circle around the sun as it shone through the hole.

     

    “Are you ok?” Farkas asked as Aela seemed mesmerized.

     

    “What? Yes, no, oh…… no. No I’m not”. The Huntress fell silent as if she was in deep thought. Everything about the Huntress seemed distant from her posture to even the way she spoke. “Tell the Harbinger I’m sorry. I tried, I really did. Make sure he knows will you?”

     

    Vilkas felt more than a little alarmed with the tone in Aela’s voice. He quickly approached her and tried to get her emotions back on track.

    “What? What do you mean? What are you doing Aela? Think before you react. Hey, we’ve a few bottles of mead at the camp. Come back to camp with us”.

     

    She sadly shook her head then put the ring back on.

    “No. No I’m not coming. Just tell the Harbinger I’m sorry; I tried”. The next second she changed once again. Vilkas ran forwards, not entirely sure what he was going to do even if he managed to grab Red. Fortunately for him, he never got to find out as she was faster anyway. She darted to the left of him, avoiding the lumbering Nord then ran full speed towards the north. Within a few minutes she was practically out of sight; the last they saw of her was her wolf form Red, running up the mountain path well away from them and the plains.

     

    By the time they packed up the camp and got back to Jorrvaskr It was approaching the evening. The Harbinger sat there watching them both and he knew something had happened.

     With a heavy sigh he spoke.

    “Ok, what have you done with her?”

     

    Farkas looked over to him and dropped his pack by the table. With a sense of failure and a tone to match he replied.

    “We’ve screwed up. She’s gone”.

     

    “Gone?” Tilma asked. As she listened to their answer and report she felt her hands tighten around the flask she was drinking from.

     

    Vilkas dropped his pack next to Farkas’s and began retelling the day’s events.

     “Yes. She said to tell you she tried. She was very sincere about that. Then she changed and boom, she was off! We had a hard enough time just watching her run let alone following her”.

     

    The Harbinger motioned them both to sit down so he could question them further.

    “Ok, what happened?”

     

    Farkas tried to explain although all he managed to do was leave the Harbinger with yet more questions.

    “Well, we all changed and went hunting. We couldn’t feed though; we’re not like those two”.

     

    “Wait. You said you all changed?” Kodlak asked. He watched the two Companions intently, looking for any effects of such activities. The last thing he wanted was more werewolves craving a hunt.

     

    “Yes we did, we all changed and hunted”. Vilkas stated. “Or rather Red hunted. We just followed her”.

     

    The Harbinger looked over to the door and inwardly groaned.

    “Let me guess! She headed north and she has that blasted ring from Sotek?”

     

    Farkas reached over and picked up an apple and noisily bit into it before nodding back his response.

    “Yes… Bonus points”. As the sour taste of the fruit filled his mouth, he spat it out into the fire pit. “Yuck! Why the hell does Sotek eat so bloody many of these? All he eats is bloody apples and deer”.

     

    The Harbinger ignored him. His own thoughts fixed onto Aela and Sotek.

    “Now we’ve lost the pair of them. Where in the name of Oblivion are they?”

     

    Vilkas made a suggestion in the hope of helping his Harbinger deal with the situation.

    “Do you want us to hire out some horses and follow her?”

     

    Knowing such things were impossible, Kodlak shook his head.

    “No, she’ll head back if she can’t find him. It might actually help as she will burn off some energy. Besides…” he briskly added; “do you really want to find her in this mood?”

     

    “No not really” Vilkas stated. “But Sotek would want us to”.

     

    “Yes he would” The Harbinger said in agreement. “But I’m not allowing it. No; she’ll return when she is ready”. With that the Harbinger sat at the table and just slowly drank a flask of mead, totally ignoring the plate of food in front of him.

     

     

     

Comments

5 Comments   |   The Wolf Of Atmora and 3 others like this.
  • Aela The Huntress
    Aela The Huntress   ·  May 9
    I am not a 'bloody menace'.....  well maybe I am when the mood takes me.......
  • FlamezSword
    FlamezSword   ·  April 28
    Hey Sotek, i'm FlameLord (well previously) made a new account finally... dont know if you remember me, but i used to help with some grammatical errors and such on your Lone Wolf series. Oh, it's been probably a year (before the overhaul of the page) but g...  more
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      FlamezSword
      FlamezSword
      FlamezSword
      Hey Sotek, i'm FlameLord (well previously) made a new account finally... dont know if you remember me, but i used to help with some grammatical errors and such on your Lone Wolf series. Oh, it's been probably a year (before the overhaul of the page) but g...  more
        ·  April 28
      Awwwwooo FlameLord. Where you been hiding? Great to see you here... Yes I'm still writing away... :)
  • Harrow
    Harrow   ·  April 28
    I'm not worrying overmuch yet. Aela can handle herself.
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Harrow
      Harrow
      Harrow
      I'm not worrying overmuch yet. Aela can handle herself.
        ·  April 28
      Too true. If Kodlak was worried over Aela's well being then he would have sent out the Farkas and Vilkas. Harbinger's more concerned over her mental state...