U.O.T.W. Chapter 221 Peaches and Peppercorn

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    In Vilemyr Inn, situated in Ivarstead, a few hours after Sotek left a bag of gold on his chair for Vilkas to find, Farkas ordered both Vilkas and himself a few more ales.

    “Four for the road if you please”.

     

    “Certainly, sir, would you like ice with that, the weathers warming up with summer around the corner”. Wilhelm said sarcastically.

     

    Farkas slapped his hand on the surface of the bar and nodded. He was in a jovial mood and curious as to what Vilkas would say.

    “Innkeeper, that’s a splendid idea; yes, ice”. He tossed a few coins on the bar and licked his lips in anticipation.

     

    Vilkas peered in his flask and pulled out the ice before promptly throwing it at Farkas. Once they drank their ales they said goodbye to the maids then set off for Whiterun in high spirits and a high amount of alcoholic lubrication.

     

    As they set off along the path that ran alongside the river, they heard a shout as a farmer came running up the path towards them.

    “Help, help!”

     

    He was too busy looking behind at whatever scared him to pay attention as to where he was going and ran straight into Vilkas. Vilkas was too drunk to move out of his way, either that or he was too drunk to bother moving out of the way. It didn’t matter, the result was the same.

     

    The farmer ran straight into him but being a skinny man he simply bounced straight back from the impact and landed on the path. Vilkas just glanced down at the now petrified man and spoke in a booming voice at the farmer who was now sitting on the ground.

    “Hello”.

     

    The man looked up at the sheer size of Vilkas and Farkas then started stammering.

    “A...a... a... It’s... it’s”.

     

    Farkas got wound up due to his drunken state. He repeated what the man had said in a sarcastic manner.

    “A... a... a. It’s... it’s... it’s what? A stream? A bird? No; it’s a farmer”.

     

    “Troll!! It’s a troll!” the farmer practically screamed as he pointed towards the river.

     

    Farkas drew his sword and shield then grinned gleefully.

    “Great, playtime”.

     

    The Companion headed off towards the direction the farmer had pointed out. Just as he was leaving, Vilkas looked down at the farmer then laughed as he drew his great sword and followed Farkas.

     

    Within a minute they found a short pathway that ran down the bank of the river. There in a rocky outcrop was the troll’s lair. It was smothered in bits of bone and dead bodies, and surprisingly, two dead chickens. “That’s what the farmer was after, now where is our friend?” Vilkas stated.

     

    As if to answer him, a roar cried out from across the stream as the troll came lurching towards them. They both patiently waited for the beast to come to them then with just a few swipes from their swords the troll was cut down.

     

    Farkas reminisced to when he was younger; or at least he tried to.

    “I remember when we struggled with one of these. It’s hard to think back that far”.

     

    “You struggle to remember what you had for breakfast”.

    Vilkas smirked.

     

    “No, I remember exactly what we had”. He thought back then with a silly smirk he replied. “We had ermm... food”.

     

    “Oh well done”. Vilkas said as he slowly clapped in a patronising manner.

     

    “Is, is it dead?” The farmer called out as he peered over the top of the riverbank.

     

    Farkas gave the troll a slight kick and nodded.

    “Yes and so are your chickens”.

     

    Such news seemed to upset the farmer. He looked down at them and sniffled.

    “Oh Peaches and Peppercorn, oh dear”.

     

    Farkas burst out laughing and over emphasised the names.

    “Peaches and Peppercorn? You named your chickens?”

     

    “Oh no, my wife did! She’ll be so upset”.

     

    Vilkas picked them both up then placed them in his pack. He counted out a small pile of coins and offered them to the farmer in a way of compensation.

    “Here, ten gold. Get her new ones; she won’t tell the difference”.

     

    “Ten gold! They cost fifteen gold each”. Then the farmer looked as miserable as sin.

     

    Farkas handed over another twenty gold and shooed the farmer away.

    “Here, take it”.

     

    “Thank you, thank you so much”. The farmer took the coins then went off as fast as he could.

     

    Both Vilkas and Farkas laughed as they watched him disappear. Farkas shook his head laughing as he recited the names over and over again.

    “Peaches and peppercorn! Oh by the nines”.

     

    As they travelled along the path following the stream, they decided to head up the mountain trail. This particular route was harder to traverse but a lot shorter than the main road which followed the base of the mountain. By late afternoon they could hear shouting and small explosions as magical attacks slammed into rocks and armor.

     

    Drawing their swords, they followed the sound to a small alcove. There in the mountain side were three bandits fighting against two mages. Nearby lay the bodies of yet another mage and a bandit who had died fighting one another.

     

    With his head buzzing from excitement and adventure, Farkas shouted out.

    “Great! A free for all!” He drew his sword and shield then charged forwards with Vilkas by his side.

     

    One bandit, who had a bow, kept firing at the first mage but he wasn’t having much success. The mage kept hiding behind a rock just to jump out and cast an ice spear at his attacker. The remaining two bandits struggled to break through the second mage’s ward spell.

     

    The two Companions charged into the melee with little thought as to who would face what target. Vilkas was just a fraction faster than his brother and swung his two handed blade through the air so it would strike the closest bandit just above the knee. The blade almost cut through the entire leg as it smashed through the bone. The rogue screamed as he fell backwards to land on his back. His opportunity to yell a second time was torn from his grasp as he looked up in horror to see the edge of Farkas’s shield as it came crashing down on his neck; ending the bandit’s worthless life.

     

    Vilkas carried on with his momentum and engaged the mage who was under the protection of the ward spell leaving the other Companion free to deal with the mage’s remaining opponent; the third bandit. The bandit tried to strike out with his one handed blade but such a move was easily countered. All Farkas had to do was to lift his bloodied shield up to block the pitiful attack.

     

    Seizing his chance, the bandit pulled out a dagger and lunged at Farkas’s chest. The small iron blade, which was coated in rust, clanged against his armour. Farkas twisted round and kicked out at the bandit’s leg at the side of the knee, breaking the joint with a sickening ‘crack’. He kept up the attack and swung his sword in an overhead arc, slamming into the bandits arm with all his strength. Such a blow at the elbow, sliced off the forearm, coating Farkas in the spray of blood.

     

    Vilkas lashed out at the mage with a pummel of blows. Three times elemental discharge crackled as his sword struck against the magical shield and each time the energies the enemy agent possessed prevented Vilkas from making any head way.

     

    Every time the ward spell protected the mage, it drained his magicka’s reserves. Farkas, upon seeing his brother struggle, called over to him with words of wisdom often unheard of by the brute.

    “Don’t forget what Sotek said; they can’t keep it up”.

     

    Vilkas immediately laughed despite his situation.

    “Aww you poor mages. Can’t you have any fun with the maids?” With renewed strength he hammered the ward spell over and over again. After the seventh hit the mage had to stop the spell due to his magicka running out. Vilkas who had fought with Sotek and his ward spells knew the exact moment when it started to collapse. He thrust his sword straight into the mage’s stomach then span around wildly; his blade cut into the mages neck, decapitating the spell caster in a perfectly executed strike.

    “Thanks Sotek; your training paid off”. Vilkas said as he smiled in gratitude at the Companion’s lessons in countering magical attacks and defences.

     

    By that time Farkas had dealt with the last bandit, the remaining mage who was previously casting ice spells had climbed up on a ledge and started throwing yet more ice spears at the two Companions. Farkas fell to the ground as he was hit in the leg. Vilkas grabbed him by the collar and dragged him under the granite shelf which the mage was standing on but not before Farkas got hit in the chest with a second ice spear.

    “Bloody mages, I hate them. Why do mages have to use magic?” Farkas cursed as he started regaining feeling in his lower limb.

     

    Vilkas cursed as well but this time he cursed at both the mage and at Jorrvaskr’s resident reptile.

    “Because if they used swords then they would be fighters; not spell casters you moron. And damn Sotek for being a cocky bastard”. Then he pulled out his bow and stepped out from cover as he fired off a few arrows at the mage.

     

    Although he didn’t hit his target, he disrupted the mage’s spells. Farkas joined in and started firing off arrows along with his brother. Between the two of them the mage could do little as he had no protective cover. The mage, who was now mortally wounded, fell off the ledge. He tried to crawl away until Farkas walked up to him and plunged his sword into the mages chest.

    “That’s for firing spells at me you bastard”.

     

    After the fight was over, Farkas called out to his brother and asked about his earlier testament.

    “Why did you say that Sotek was a cocky bastard?”

     

    Vilkas laughed as he lifted up his bow.

    “Because the cocky bastard was right. These confounded contraptions came in handy; we were able to fight back”.

     

    They looted the bodies collecting as much as they could; swords, armor, scrolls and even a few gems and potions. All the bits and pieces joined one another as they were gathered up in a pile. Once the two Companions had finished, Farkas looked across the sky towards the setting sun and shrugged his shoulders. He spoke with some authority although they both knew the situation due to the failing light.

    “We’ll camp here tonight”.

     

    Vilkas sighed in agreement. He kicked at the half burned wood which made the bandits campfire then dropped his pack to the ground.

    “Well there’s no way I’m trampling half blind over this rock. I warn you though Farkas; we haven’t got much in the way of food”.

     

    Farkas laughed as he opened a large sack which he found nearby.

    “There’s a bag here with the bandits grub and we have

    Peaches and peppercorn to cook up as well”.

     

    It didn’t take the two Companions long to sort out the camp as most of it was already set up. Once the campfire was a roaring flame, they sat down on two logs and began eating their meal. Farkas began scrutinising the chicken on his plate and he sniffed it suspiciously.

    “I wonder which one was peaches?”

     

    Vilkas shrugged at the question. He thought little of the names except that they were silly.

    “I’ve no idea. Why?”

     

    Farkas took a small bite and tested the taste in his mouth before gulping down the tender white meat.

    “I’m not too keen on peppercorn, that’s all”.

     

    Vilkas rolled his eyes and groaned. He was going to say something sarcastic back to his brother but he decided to throw a chicken bone at him instead.

    “Aela’s right; you’re a moron”.

     

    Farkas glared at him as he swiped the bone away, deflecting it with the back of his hand.

    “Hey!”

     

    When he looked down at the chicken though, he realised what he had said and started laughing.

     

    In the morning they gathered up everything they could carry then set off along the path once more. By midday they were back on the main road albeit on the other side of the mountain. The plains spread out in the distance and just a few hours ahead lay the walls of Whiterun. Due to the burden of all the equipment they were carrying though, the speed of their pace diminished to a slow stroll

     

    Fortunately for them, they heard a carriage travelling along the road behind them. They stood by the road side and flagged it down in the hope of buying passage. The carriage driver recognised them even before he drew alongside. Knowing his passengers wouldn’t mind the extra company, he drew the wagon to a halt.

     

    The carriage hadn’t stopped when a familiar voice called out to them.

    “Sorry, no room for drunken slobs”.

     

    Farkas shouted back at his tormentor.

    “Oh go chew on a deer”.

     

    The only reply he got was fits of laughter from Aela and Sotek. The Argonian jumped off the carriage as he helped Farkas and Vilkas load up the armor and weaponry onto the back.

    “We picked up a few things for you”. Vilkas said as he threw a few swords by Aela’s feet. “Thanks for the tab and the gold”. He suddenly stopped and looked straight at Aela.

     

    Aela grabbed Sotek by the collar and yanked him closer to her.

    “What gold?”

     

    Sotek hastily replied.

    “You know the tab? They obviously took the rest from the innkeeper”.

     

    Aela looked at Sotek trying to work out if he was lying or not; his features made such an ability impossible. In disgust at her lack of proof, she threw him back a foot and gave him a stern warning.

    “One day I will be able to read your face. When I can you’re dead”. She emphasised the point by prodding him in the chest as she shouted out each letter. “D. E. A. D. Dead!!”

     

    Sotek just gulped and wisely backed away.

     

    As the carriage reached the bridge by Whiterun’s farms, three Whiterun guards flagged it down, stopping the wagon. One guard looked in the carriage then shouted out to the others.

    “An Argonian and three Nords. Companions!”

     

    The carriage driver asked the guard what they were doing as such things were out of the ordinary for guards to act in such a manner.

    “Oh we’re looking for poachers! Three of us believe it or not”.

     

    Sotek called out to him sarcastically as he felt their approach was way over the top of what was needed.

    “What did they poach, mammoths?”

     

    “Oh very funny aren’t you! No; two chickens from Ivarstead farm. Apparently a poacher passed them on to two Nords. Have any of you seen two Nords on foot on the road here?”

     

    The carriage driver looked back at Farkas and Vilkas who were both sheepishly hiding their faces. He silently wished he hadn’t picked them up but there was nothing he could do now except deny it.

    “What? No, don’t be daft. Now let me on my way”.

     

    “Ok, ok I had to ask”. The guard said before waving them through.

     

    As soon as they got clear of the checkpoint, Vilkas shook his head and buried his face in shame.

    “I don’t believe it! We paid a guy thirty gold for two chickens which a troll killed”.

     

    Aela looked at him with a big grin on her face. It was easy to tell he and Farkas were the ones the guards were looking for.

    “Where are the chickens now?”

     

    “We ate them” he admitted woefully. “The bastard called them Peaches and Peppercorn. We thought he was a farmer! Thirty bloody gold for two poached chickens”. He couldn’t believe both he and Farkas got stung so badly.

     

    Aela and Sotek both burst out laughing uncontrollably; they were still laughing when the carriage finally reached Whiterun.

     

    Once they arrived at the stables it was late afternoon so the four Companion’s quickly unloaded the wagon, freeing it from their burden so the driver could head back to Riften before night set in. With the other three Companions to help him, Sotek stacked all the weapons and armor by the smelter at the warmaidens for Adrianne to sort out at her leisure.

    “Go through this lot and see what sparks your interest. Put them aside and we’ll haggle over the price. I’ll be back later this afternoon”.

     

    As she responded with a hearty ‘yes’, Adrianne eyed up a few particular items.

    “Yes we will. There’s a few swords there I got my eye on”.

     

    Sotek nodded then headed off to Belathor’s shop. Just outside it he turned to Aela and dismissed her along with Farkas and Vilkas.

    “I’ll sort out your bow but I need two days to do it”.

     

    Aela slumped her shoulders as she watched his shifty tail flick about.

    “You’re going off again?”

     

    He chuckled then gave her a hug to reassure her.

    “No, I’ll be around but I’ll be busy. I’ll be here but first I got to go off for a few hours. I’ll be back tonight, I promise”.

     

    Aela nodded then gave him one of her seductive kisses; the sort of kiss a girl would give to her lover if they were alone and in the dark. Farkas turned around while Vilkas stared back at the stall holder’s, daring them to say anything to him about Aela’s behaviour.

     

    When she broke away from her mate, she had a smile of satisfaction plastered across her face. She was also quick to note the tip of Sotek’s tail had curled around as well. Putting their emotions aside, Aela squeezed his hand and left him with an offer of assistance.

    “If you want help just ask; ok?”

     

    Sotek fought to catch his breath. During this time all he could manage was a low, quiet, hiss.

    “Yess”. Leaving the two Companions and his mate behind, he headed inside the general store but where he was so self conscious due to how Aela had kissed him, and the fact that he knew she was watching him, he tripped over the top step, causing her to laugh.

     

    After an hour of trading with the various shops he collected the money from the Warmaidens then he headed off to Riverwood. He had hoped to hire a horse but there were none available. Leaving the stables behind, and without the ring of Hircine to allow him to change form, Sotek begrudgingly headed off towards Riverwood on foot.

     

    From there he made his way to the house he had Falkreath’s builder construct on his behalf. It overlooked the lake where he and Aela would often swim in when they visited Riverwood. Lakeview Manor he called it. He had been meaning to show it to Aela but with everything going on over the last month or so, he just didn’t have time. It took a few hours to reach it and once he unlocked the main door he stepped inside.

     

    The house certainly looked impressive to look at on the outside but it was generally nothing more than a storage for his extra Items. He had gradually cleared all his gear from Jorrvaskr to here except what he would use all the time. Kodlak had been dropping comments for months as Sotek’s influence and his spare ores, leathers, alchemy gear and everything else started spreading through the Undercroft. Sotek pondered on Kodlak’s breaking limit. Maybe he shouldn’t have used the two shelves in the Harbinger’s study but Kodlak wasn’t using them...

     

    It was all here in boxes and barrels, crates and bags. In one side room was his armory. It consisted of various mannequins and weapon racks which lined the room.

     

    One mannequin had a full set of pre made Dragonscale armor. He took the chest piece off to replace his own broken piece then he went to the mannequin’s counterpart, the nearby weapon rack. Attached to the rack were two Dragonbone bows, a spare Dragonbone axe and a Dragonbone great axe. Sotek took a bow then smiled at himself. He knew making spares would come in handy. It took so long to create the armor and he knew the She-Wolf couldn’t wait around while he painstakingly made her bow.

     

    From there he headed to his alchemy table. He took a potion he made up of fortify enchanting then he headed to his enchanting table. As he gulped down the potion, he smiled as he thought of Farengar.

     

    Farengar often wondered how Sotek could make such potent enchants. He didn’t know that Sotek used his own potions which were fortified in strength from a magical armor set he made up. That armor set was on a mannequin in his armoury as well. The armor increased his alchemy way above the capabilities of most master level alchemists. With the potions he made, his enchanting went past the limits of most enchanters.

     

    He was the top enchanter in Whiterun and the best Alchemist. ‘Poor Arcadia’ he murmured. You’d kill me if you ever found out how much I cheated’. He cringed at the word ‘cheated’ manipulated suited him far better. Cunning like a fox; that was Sotek at least how his sisters described him at any rate.  

     

    The soul he used for the enchant was from a captured ice wolf. He knew Aela wouldn’t be overly impressed with him using a black soul. She was stuck in her ways with the magical side of things and Quentarii, his mother was the same. Sotek had the same issues with using such gems if he was honest. It didn’t sit right with him yet in his mind a few souls deserved such a fate.

     

    He picked up a lather bag and pulled out a Black Soul gem and almost snarled at it. The gem glowed with an evil intelligence from the soul bound within the crystalline prison. Leaving ‘Greymane’ to his fate, Sotek replaced the gem in the bag and put it carefully back.

     

    Leaving thoughts of Aela and her fate behind him, along with a few beads of sweat, Sotek drank an enchanting potion then set about enchanting the bow; once again binding the magical energies of fire and ice to the weapon.

     

    Now he had finished, he closed the rooms up then locked the outer door. Happy that the house was once again secure he headed back off towards Riverwood with Aela’s new bow in hand.

     

     

Comments

6 Comments   |   FlamezSword and 4 others like this.
  • Harrow
    Harrow   ·  May 12
    Ha! A nice hustle, good on the poacher.
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Harrow
      Harrow
      Harrow
      Ha! A nice hustle, good on the poacher.
        ·  May 13
      Thanks Harrow... I doubt Sotek and Aela will let them forget it...
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  May 12
    I'll give this a read through to Aela tonight and see whats going on. With Hircine's blessing this will be fixed tomorrow. 
  • FlamezSword
    FlamezSword   ·  May 12
    I believe on line 68 "a mage" should be "the mage"


    I also noticed that you said in those same groups of lines that there were 2 mages and one was dead as well as a bandit, but then in the next few paragraphs there are still 2 mages (a...  more
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      FlamezSword
      FlamezSword
      FlamezSword
      I believe on line 68 "a mage" should be "the mage"


      I also noticed that you said in those same groups of lines that there were 2 mages and one was dead as well as a bandit, but then in the next few paragraphs there are still 2 mages (a second just kinda...  more
        ·  May 13
      I've made a few tweaks to it so with some luck it all makes sense. I'm going to leave it with the edits for 24 hours then read it through again.
      • FlamezSword
        FlamezSword
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        I've made a few tweaks to it so with some luck it all makes sense. I'm going to leave it with the edits for 24 hours then read it through again.
          ·  May 13
        Looks like its been fixed to me Sotek.. I gave it a reread and it makes considerably more sense :)