U.O.T.W. Chapter 266 The Dance of Death

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    In the hall of Jorrvaskr, Kodlak was the first to wake up, or at least he thought he was. The moment he climbed the stairway he saw Aela sitting at the main table eating breakfast.

    “Morning Harbinger”.

     

    “Morning, I trust you didn’t stay out too late?”

     

    Aela had a sneaky smile on her face.

    “No… I got back… early”.

     

    Kodlak frowned at her. Aela’s mate was rubbing off on her more ways than one.

    “Ok Sotek, how early?”

     

    Aela looked a bit surprised at his question. She looked to the main doors, half expecting to see Sotek there.

    “Pardon?”

     

    “Oh, sorry Aela. For a minute, I thought I was dealing with Sotek and his mind games. What time did you get back?”

     

    She stared sheepishly at Kodlak’s feet.

    “An hour before dawn”.

     

    The Harbinger shook his head slightly, however he allowed himself a slight smile.

    “Well you both must have talked because you seem far happier than where you found yourself yesterday”.

     

    “Actually no, not really. But we did spend some time together. He’s not doing this because of what I’ve done. He’s going to do something… I’m worried”.

     

    “Yes, he’s playing some sort of game but it looks like there are way more players than we previously thought”. Kodlak said as he mulled over the conversation between Sotek and General Tullius.

     

    Aela sat there still and silent for a minute then she spoke softly. “Yesterday I was so sure it was about my behavior towards him. I’m not doing that to him again, he deserves more than that. Now I got no idea what the hell in oblivion he’s up to, but I trust him. He’s keeping us out the loop for a reason so I’m respecting that and giving him the space he needs. If I can be so bold Harbinger, I would ask that you get the others to do the same? If he needs us, he knows where we are”.

     

    Kodlak nodded.

    “Yes, I’m sure that’s for the best. I haven’t told you lately how proud I am of you Aela”.

     

    “Everyday you correct my path Harbinger, you tell me, even show me how proud you are”. Aela gave him a hug then she headed off outside to the training area.

     

    Shortly afterwards the other Companions made their way upstairs. Farkas looked around the hall for his shield sister.

    “Harbinger, shall I wake Aela up or did you want her to rest a bit longer?”

     

    The Harbinger was going through the plans for the day when he looked up to Farkas.

    “What? Oh no need, she’s outside”.

     

    Vilkas and Farkas both cast a look at each other. Then they both kept a watch on the doors leading to the training area where Aela was still practicing with her bow.

     

    About twenty minutes later Aela re-entered the hall. She took a few steps in the hall then stopped when Farkas’s and Vilkas’s eyes both fell on her. Aela looked at them both for a few seconds before addressing everyone.

    “Can I have everyone’s attention please?” All the whelps stopped their chatting and within seconds everyone was watching her. “I’ve spoken to the Harbinger about Sotek and we both agree he needs space. He has left the Companions at this time but he still deserves the respect of a Companion so you all had damn well give him that respect. Now guard details, Sabre, Sam you’re on the bridge, Kul-et you’re in the lower hall section. Farkas, Vilkas you’re in the main hall, stay alert and mobile. I’ll be at the hall steps... We have important guests coming so all of you stay alert. Oh, one more thing; a reminder. We are on guard duty so stay away from the drink. Harbinger, is there anything you would like to add?”

     

    “No thank you Aela, you’ve covered everything”. With that he gave her a smile, he couldn’t help but feel pleased with the way she was coping with the latest series of events.

     

    Sotek stepped out from Breezehome onto the street. He took in the sights and sounds of the late afternoon. The market was busy as usual, various guards were patrolling the streets and the preparations of the imminent dance in Dragonsreach were in full swing. As he glanced over to the main gate he could see some guests were already arriving. He cast one last look over towards Jorrvaskr then he turned around and went back inside. He walked over to a chest then opened the lid. Inside was a fine cloaked robe. Sotek stripped off all his armor then donned the clothing. Afterwards he put on some black leather boots and stored all his armor and weapons in the chest.

     

    His final act was to sit at the table as he drank a bottle of mead. Inside he felt calm, level headed. His only regret was not being able to explain better to Aela. But that fear was laid to rest when she sneaked into his home.  He sat there and slowly drank the bottle then half hour later he got up and slowly made his way to Dragonsreach.

     

    He walked up the steps to the wind district then paused as he examined the tree. A soft, calming voice spoke to him.

    “It’s a Gildergreen tree”.

     

    He turned to the priestess sitting on the bench then sat next to her and smiled. Sharing a silly moment between them both, he and Danica repeated their first conversation they ever had.

    “It is dead?” Then he quietly laughed for a few seconds.

     

    “Yes and no”. She replied with a smirk.

     

    As he sat there the doors to Jorrvaskr opened then the Whelps, Vilkas, Farkas and Aela left the hall and walked down the steps. Sotek blanked then all, especially Aela. The priestess sat there watching the Companions and Sotek. She couldn’t help herself, she knew something was wrong, it was clearly evident.

    “Sotek, why did you leave the Companions? What happened?”

     

    He turned to her and gently held her cheek.

    “The Companions and I have been through a lot. We wouldn’t have made it this far without your help, for that I thank you. Are you going to the dance?”

     

    “Yes, I’ve been invited. Will I see you there?”

     

    Sotek cast his eyes towards the main gate then slightly smiled. His gaze turned heavy as he leaned over to the priestess and whispered in her ear.

    You are a friend and I am indebted to you for saving my mate’s life so I will tell you this. Heed my words Danica Pure Spring, don’t go. Go back inside the temple, lock the doors and pray for me”.

     

    He then just sat there silent as he watched six guests approach them then walked past and entered Dragonsreach. Sotek held the priestess’s hand and squeezed it gently.

    “It’s time you headed home”. Then he got up and proceeded up the steps towards Dragonsreach.

     

    Sam and Sabre were both checking guests against a list when Sotek approached them. Sabre was the first to see him.

    “Sotek? Ermm it’s a ermm...”

     

    Sam stepped forwards and blocked his path.

    “Sotek, sir… Compan… ermm...... We can’t let you in. It’s a private function”.

     

    Sotek walked right up to him and tutted.

    “Have you checked the list?”

     

    Sabre quickly glanced down the names and gasped.

    “Oh, by the Nine, Sam he’s on it. Sorry Sotek”.

     

    “Don’t worry about it. Who’s inside? Aela, Vilkas and Farkas?” Sotek asked as he tried to peer through the solid wooden doors.

     

    “Yes, and the Harbinger. He’s overseeing the security”.

     

    Sotek’s face drained.

    “The Harbinger's here?” Without even waiting for an answer he opened the doors to Dragonsreach and entered the grand hall.

     

    As soon as he entered the hall, Proventus advised two ushers of Sotek's name. They both called out to the hall announcing his arrival to everyone.

    “Sotek, Dragonborn of Whiterun”.

     

    Sotek cringed. No doubt Proventus and maybe even the Jarl himself was proclaiming to ‘own’ the Dragonborn’. Such a profound figure in your ranks was sure to gain favor and approval from the other holds.

     

    Aela’s heart stopped, she looked down the steps straight at him. Only then did she notice the quality of his garments. He was wearing a long green robe which had fur along the neck line. Aela couldn’t help but think that green was his color. Her mind snapped back to her game, she started scrutinizing him as she would anyone else. She hated people like him when she was on a security detail. Some would try to sneak in weapons; small swords, daggers, just so they could defend themselves if they were attacked. She had confiscated five blades already. The trouble with Sotek was he didn’t need to carry any. She wished they could make guests wear drain mana bands but it was seen as overkill.

     

    Sotek walked up the steps towards her, once he took the final step he stopped. His eyes fixed on hers intently. She gave him a slight smile but he ignored it. His eyes made her feel cold, lifeless. He slowly turned around. Farkas was watching him as well, he was there towards the kitchens. Vilkas was near Farengar’s quarters. He too had his eyes fixed on Sotek. The Harbinger stood near the Jarl, Sotek silently wished Kodlak wasn’t here, but he was. However, it changed nothing. Sotek then looked up at the overhanging balcony; three guards were on duty on each side, he guessed they were archers.

     

    Aela’s eyes fixed on him intently, alarm bells started ringing as she watched him study the layout. As he headed along the hall, Aela called out to Kodlak.

    “Harbinger, can I have a word please? Now?”

     

    The Harbinger headed down to her as Sotek passed him, Sotek whispered a single word as the Harbinger walked past.

    Leave”.

     

    As soon as the Harbinger saw Aela he knew she was concerned, “Harbinger he’s eyed us up, our positions, the guards”.

     

    “Aela, he told me to leave”.

     

    Aela gasped.

    “What? When?”

     

    “As I came over to you”. Kodlak said as he shook his head. There was something wrong, they both knew it. Despite the fragrant smell of flowers places out on display, adorning the main tables, the air stank.

     

    At that moment, there was another announcement from the usher as another guest arrived.

    “Amaund Motierre. White Palace, Cyrodiil”.

     

    Aela looked puzzled as the name plagued her.

    “Motierre? Motierre?”

     

    Kodlak looked at her hard.

    “Aela, what is it?”

     

    “The name, I heard that before. Damn it, so much has bloody happened lately, I’m sorry I can’t think”.

     

    Motierre walked past them both and approached the Jarl. Aela’s eyes darted between Motierre and Sotek, suddenly she grabbed Kodlak’s arm.

    “Oh, by Hircine! Motierre was the one who tried to have the Emperor killed. Oh, bloody hell! It’s a hit! Sotek’s gonna kill him”.

     

    Kodlak’s face drained. As he turned around, Sotek walked over to Motierre. A conjured bow materialized in Sotek’s hands which he fired near point blank range. Chaos broke out as three arrows slammed into Motierre’s chest. The next second Sotek conjured a blade and hacked at Motierre’s neck.

     

    Aela watched in horror as the head rolled across the floor. Most of the guests started running for any doorway which would take them away from the terror and carnage. A few just sat there paralyzed by fear and shock. Aela looked down to see the head roll casually past her feet, then her eyes closed tightly as she heard every bump as the head rolled down the wooden steps.

     

    All the guards from above started to take aim as units from the Penitus Oculatus started running in the room. Sotek discharged the blade and ran to Aela and the Harbinger. Aela stared at him, her eyes were wide with the shock of what he had done. She looked across the room at the guards running towards him.

    Run, run”.

     

    Sotek grabbed her by her collar with both hands and slammed her into a pillar which was just behind her, then hissed in her ear.

    “You are a Companion, ass ssuch you have a duty to Whiterun and the Jarl to enforce the law. Your duty iss clear, arresst him. Now!”

     

    Aela froze, she looked into his eyes expecting to see fear, but they shone with their typical resolve.

    “Aela, now!” Sotek turned around, the Penitus Oculatus were just moments away. Suddenly he felt a hand grip his shoulder and pull him around.

     

    Aela stood there holding him.

    “So… Sotek, you’re under arrest”. She grabbed his hand and moved them behind his back just as the Penitus Oculatus started grabbing his arms. Aela pushed out at one. “Back off I’ve arrested him”.

     

    “Like hell, he’s ours”.

     

    Aela grabbed hold of Sotek's arm and called for aid.

    “Farkas, Vilkas to me. Jarl! He’s under my arrest”.

     

    Jarl Balgruuf walked over to them. Clearly, he was just as surprised as anyone. “Let Aela take him, call off your men”.

     

    The officer refused to back down.

    “He’s under arrest, I’m taking him”.

     

    Aela shoved him a second time.

    “I arrested him, I’m taking him. Farkas, Vilkas take Sotek below”.

     

    The officer called out as more of his men ran inside.

    “Any one of you, anyone dare touch him, or try to stop any of my men will be placed under arrest as a collaborator to his crime. You will hang”.

     

    Kodlak gently held Aela’s arm.

    “Let him go, we can’t do anything here”.

     

    Aela’s arm lost its strength, her hand gently slipped away from Sotek where she had held him.

    Sotek…”

     

    As the officer started dragging Sotek away, Sotek called out to the Jarl.

    “Have you got a cell that can hold me?”

     

    The Jarl groaned and covered his face with his palm.

    “Stop! Sotek, I don’t know why you did this, but I want your oath that you won’t try to escape”.

     

    Sotek smiled evilly he knew the Jarl had bitten on his hook.

    “I swear by Hircine, I’ll do everything in my power to escape. Magic, Dragonborn, Scarface. I’ll use every power at my disposal. I’ll kill anyone who stands in my way. But… I will give Aela my word that I will do nothing if it is she that arrests me and I’m under guard of the Companions”.

     

    The officer hit him in the side of the face.

    “Ridiculous, take him away”.

     

    The Jarl walked up to Sotek, then held his shoulder.

    “You will surrender to Aela fully? You give your word not to escape?”

     

    Sotek turned to Aela and smiled.

    “That’s the only way you’ll get me in a cell”.

     

    Balgruuf called Aela over and removed him from the Penitus Oculatus’s custody.

    “Take him to the cells. Harbinger, it would appear that you have a prisoner to see to. Nothing less than twenty-four-hour guarding is acceptable”.

     

    Aela called Farkas over.

    “Come with me”. She held Sotek by the shoulder then took him downstairs. Once they were out of earshot, Aela pushed Sotek against the wall and grabbed him by the throat.

    “What the hell do you expect me to do?”

     

    He leaned into her, she couldn’t help but feel his emotions were empty.

    “Your duty, that is all. I’m tired, take me to the cells”.

     

    She fought back the anger to hit him, instead she forced him along the passage way. Once they came to the cells she literally threw him inside then slammed the cell door.

    “Farkas, piss off”.

     

    “Aela, I don’t think you should stay here. I’ll watch him”.

     

    She turned to him and grabbed him by the neck.

    “Fuck off”. She watched Farkas leave the prison then she turned her attention to Sotek. “You stupid fucking bastard! What the hell have you done? We’ll never be trusted again! Red, Scarface, why… Tell me why?”

     

    Sotek smirked at her, which only served to riffle her more.

    “Douse the torch on your way out”.

     

    “You smug bastard!” She then saw the Harbinger approach the cells. She pointed to Sotek as she stormed past the Harbinger “That stupid bastard. Talk to the cunt, make him understand what the hell he has done”.

     

    The Harbinger sighed when he rested his hand on the cell bars. Sotek looked at him then cast his gaze to Aela as she went off. “She’s tired, she never slept much last night. See that she gets some sleep. Vilkas and Farkas, get them to watch me today and tonight, Aela can start from tomorrow”.

     

    “I was hoping you would tell me more than your preference on the cell duty roster”. Kodlak stated as he raised his eyebrows.

     

    Sotek smiled, back.

    “Ahh yes, of course. I would like six apples a day. and half a deer every other day, don’t trouble yourself on seeing that its cooked”.

     

    The Harbinger gave a heavy sigh.

     “You’re in trouble, but you knew that when you heard about the dance, that’s why you left. A word of advice, shut your mouth. The Penitus will be watching. I’ll send down Farkas, he’ll watch you first”.

     

    As soon as the Harbinger left three Penitus guards and the officer stepped into view.

    “You bastard, you smarmy lizard scum”. At that moment, the Officer unlocked the cell door then stood back. Sotek immediately lashed out at the first guard who entered the cell, but within seconds he was overpowered. Two guards grabbed his arms while the third punched him several times in the face. All the while the officer watched. Sotek collapsed to the floor under the barrage of blows. The last thing he saw was the officers boot close in on his face.

     

     

Comments

11 Comments   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 3 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 19
    "He has left the [Companions] at this time..."

    “It’s [a] Gildergreen tree”.

    “[The Harbinger's] here?”

    "Proventus advised two ushers of [Sotek's] name."

    "Aela grabbed hold of [Sotek's] ar...  more
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      "He has left the [Companions] at this time..."

      “It’s [a] Gildergreen tree”.

      “[Th...  more
        ·  August 28
      I miss a lot of comments on steam, sorry for that Ebonslayer. 
      • Ebonslayer
        Ebonslayer
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        I miss a lot of comments on steam, sorry for that Ebonslayer. 
          ·  August 28
        No, you actually replied but refused to tell.
        • Sotek
          Sotek
          Ebonslayer
          Ebonslayer
          Ebonslayer
          No, you actually replied but refused to tell.
            ·  August 28
          Me? Refuse to tell or explain? Never!  (6)
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  August 17
    Aaarrrrgh. A little more finesse next time? I am personally offended! Have him poisoned! Or slit his throat while he's isolated!
    • Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      Aaarrrrgh. A little more finesse next time? I am personally offended! Have him poisoned! Or slit his throat while he's isolated!
        ·  August 19
      I agree. As an assassin main that hit was disappointing.
      • Sotek
        Sotek
        Ebonslayer
        Ebonslayer
        Ebonslayer
        I agree. As an assassin main that hit was disappointing.
          ·  August 28
        Next time I'll work on finesse and have something more ermm, interesting.....
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      Aaarrrrgh. A little more finesse next time? I am personally offended! Have him poisoned! Or slit his throat while he's isolated!
        ·  August 18
      Hahaha  nothing like a stealth kill.... ^o)
  • Shy Knight of the Shovel
    Shy Knight of the Shovel   ·  August 8
    man, this is crazy
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      man, this is crazy
        ·  August 8
      Yea..... Crazy good or Crazy bad though?
      • Shy Knight of the Shovel
        Shy Knight of the Shovel
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Yea..... Crazy good or Crazy bad though?
          ·  August 8
        crazy good