U.O.T.W. Chapter 275 The Final Piece of the Puzzle

  • Chapter 275 The Final Piece of the Puzzle

     

    The mere mention of Kul-et’s name was enough to bring Sotek’s feet to a stop. His eyes closed tightly as he turned around to Sasha so he could ask her about the new Companion member.

    “What about Kul-et?”

     

    “We’ve been keeping an eye on her. Me, Shadow Walker and Huinzi”. 

     

    Both Sotek and Aela cast confusing looks at her. Aela however was the one to voice their curiosity.

    “Why?”

     

    “Because she’s Huinzi’s daughter, that’s why. She’s been trained as a Shadowscale from the moment she hatched”. Sasha said with an irritation in her voice at Aela’s interruption.

     

    Aela’s jaw dropped at the startling revelation.

    “What? A Shadowscale? No way, she isn’t that good in combat”. 

     

    “That may be so but she’s light on her feet and Huinzi is her father... but they ermm... had a dispute”. 

     

    Sotek cast a quick glance at Whiterun which was still on the far distant horizon and he wished for simpler days.

    “No more talking. I’ve got to get my head around some things. Once we get to Whiterun, you two follow me. Now, four paws are quicker than two feet so let’s get a shift on”.

     

    After a brief transformation, Scarface dropped to all fours and flexed his paws. He had barely started moving when Red and the silver werewolf were both on their paws ready to follow. With a kicking of dust, Scarface was away, running hard across the plains. 

     

    Once they neared the outer limits of the city, Scarface slowed down to a crawl. He rose up to his hind legs then changed back. Sotek paused there for a few more seconds while the other two caught up. Once Aela resumed her Nordic form, she walked over to him and began moaning in a ‘leg pulling’ kind of way.

    “Do you have to run that fast?” 

     

    “What are you on about? I didn’t run at all. Scarface did remember?”

     

    Aela couldn’t help but grin wickedly.

    “Ok, does Scarface have to run that fast or is he so desperate for Red to bite his bloody arse?” 

     

    “His arse isn’t bloody”. Sotek said with a chuckle.

     

    “It will be if Red bites him. Slow the hell down”. 

     

    Sotek ignored the glare he was getting from his mate and replied with sarcasm.

    “He wouldn’t have to if Red and... Sasha, what’s your werewolf form called?” Sotek asked as he watched Sasha approach them.

     

    “Quicksilver; she’s called quicksilver”. 

     

    Aela huffed at her reply.

    “She didn’t seem that quick”. 

     

    Sasha smirked back at her.

    “Oh no? It was Red eating her dust as I recall”. 

     

    Sotek groaned and turned away from them both as he proceeded towards Whiterun. Sasha and Aela were squabbling for a few minutes before Aela noticed Sotek was heading off.

    “Hey, wait up”. Sotek didn’t stop but chose to slow down; allowing them to catch up.

     

    When they came alongside him, Sotek smirked at them both.

    “Ok, what’s your excuse this time? Don’t bother answering. Do try to keep up”. With that he headed off along the path that led up to Whiterun’s gate. 

     

    Once they were inside Whiterun, Sotek walked past the Warmaiden’s then stopped at the next building.

    “In here. I need to get some things”.

     

    Aela stared at the house before following him inside.

    “Breezehome? Why? What you up to?”

    “Aela, I would love to explain it all to you but as I’m not entirely sure myself yet, I can’t. When it makes sense to me, I’ll be sure to explain it to you. Come on, get a shift on”. Moments later the three of them headed inside. 

     

    Sotek walked over to the large table then sat down. Using the flat of his boot, he pushed out a chair and offered it to Sasha.

    “Sasha, I’ve a question about Huinzi and Kul-et. This disagreement they had; what was it about?” 

     

    Sasha sat at the table opposite him, ignoring the chair completely.

    “I don’t know. Something about a contract she refused to carry out”. 

     

    Sotek looked across to her slyly.

    “Was it to kill me?”

     

    “Oh by Sithis no”. Sotek couldn’t help but chuckle as she said it, giving her cause to ask about his behaviour. “What’s so funny?” 

     

    “Well, everyone else has set out to kill me so I’m kind of feeling disappointed she wasn’t. Oh well”. Sotek added a depressing shrug, hiding his true feelings behind a cloak of deceit.

     

    Aela slumped herself next to him.

    “This isn’t a joke”. 

     

    “No, it isn’t. And I’m being serious. Sasha, can I really trust you?” Sotek asked as he turned to her. She looked down at his clawed feet for a few moments before making the final decision on where she stood.

     

    “Yes, yes you can”. She stated as she made eye contact with him.

     

    “Why? What changed your mind?” Sotek studied her for a few moments. She seemed sincere and didn’t avert her gaze when he looked at her.

     

    The moment Sasha started answering, Sotek scrutinized every single tell and emotion she made.

    “To be honest, a few things you said. You said I’ll never be alone; you would be there if I needed you. You knew I was lying. Now a Shadowscale would have killed me on the spot but you gave me three chances to own up. When we fought the dragon, you two didn’t fight it to kill it; you fought it to protect each other. Aela’s werewolf? Red? Even she saved me”. 

     

    Aela couldn’t help herself but comment on her actions.

    “Yes, sorry about that”. 

     

    Sotek cast a rather stern look and told her off for her lack of empathy.

    “Quit it”. 

     

    Sasha ignored her but then she drew a deep breath and continued.

    “You gave me a choice and a chance. No one’s ever done that. I’ve seen Aela screw up and the others but you always give them a chance to fix their mistakes. You never hold it against them either; instead you stand beside them and help them sort out their slip-ups. That’s someone I could follow, someone I want... need as a friend. The Shadowscales, they don’t let us quit. I don’t know what had happened with Kul-et, but I know she wanted out”. 

     

    Sotek sat there for a few minutes and then he started moving some cups around the table top. After moving them around for several moments, he would tip one cup over, groan, then go through the whole sequence again. On the third time however he placed an apple on the table next to the cup. This time he pushed the cup forwards and smiled.

    “That’s it, that’s the answer”. 

     

    Aela looked at him like he was insane.

    “What is? An apple?” 

     

    “What? No, do try to keep up. Right, Aela, in the side room is a pouch on my Alchemist table. Get a few good handfuls of ingredients and place them in a sack. Sasha, the large chest there, pick out some armor and weapons from it. Nothing great or fancy, just the sort we’d get from bandits. I’ll fetch some other bits of junk then we can start to play”. 

     

    Sasha looked somewhat confused.

    “Play what?”

     

    “My favourite game; who’s the big bad wolf?” With that he went to a large wooden unit and pulled out a drawer. From that he took a few scrolls and some gems along with some other junk items. Aela got the ingredients like he had asked. While they were busy, Sasha sorted out some basic weapons and armor from the chest like Sotek had instructed her to do. When they were ready to leave, Sotek led them outside and proceeded to walk towards Jorrvaskr. 

     

    Once they reached the Gildergreen tree however, Sotek stopped them once again.

    “Sasha, Aela head to the temple. Sasha, remember you got a wounded leg. It’s healed up but still sore. You need to rest it for a few hours. Aela stay with her, tell the priestess that I require Sasha to rest there. I‘ll let her know when Sasha’s ok”. 

     

    Carrying in his arms all the gear and items they gathered from Breezehome, he watched them head over to the temple then turned his attention to Jorrvaskr. The moment Sotek staggered inside the hall, he called out for the Whelps.

    “Sam, Kul-et, Sabre, I’ve a job for you three”. He then dropped the armor and weapons where he stood, causing an almighty metallic clang.

     

    Huinzi looked over to him, noting the fact that he was alone.

    “Where are Sasha and Aela?”

     

    Sotek blanked him but answered the question to the Harbinger.

    “Sasha’s hurt her leg. I’ve healed her but it’s still somewhat sore. The temple’s taking care of her for a few hours. Ointments and the like I suppose. Aela’s with her at the moment. He then cast a look at the Whelps that had just entered from the training area. “Sam, take the armour and weapons to the Warmaiden’s. Get what you can for them. Sabre you got the junk. Belethor loves a haggle, push him hard and don’t let him rob you. Kul-et, take the sack to Arcadia; she’ll be hard to get a good price as well. Don’t tell them I sent you three; let’s see how well you can barter”. 

     

    As one the three Whelps picked up their perspective items then headed off towards the plains district. Sotek gave the Harbinger an obvious wink, “I’m going to follow them and make sure I don’t get robbed too badly”. He made his way past the Whelps and headed around the back of the houses and then he discretely entered Arcadia’s shop from the backdoor. The moment Kul-et entered the shop, Sotek called her over. “Get your backside over here. Arcadia I’m borrowing your spare room for a minute”.

     

    Arcadia looked somewhat surprised at his sudden appearance but she complied with his request.

    “What are you doing back there? It’s unlocked but don’t you touch anything. What’s going on?”

     

    Sotek ignored her and grasped Kul-et by the arm then began pulling her in the room before promptly shutting the door rather loudly.

    “Start talking Whelp! Who the hell is this Huinzi? And why the hell did you come to Whiterun?” 

     

    Kul-et sat on a barrel, and lurched forwards, almost falling off it. As she talked, Sotek couldn‘t mistake the desperation she was feeling.

    “Oh crap... you know? He’s my father; I’m a Shadowscale. I don’t want to be though, I hate that life. There’s no honor in what they do, it’s blood money. He‘s come to take me back with him. I have to go back”. 

     

    “This dispute you had with him. What was that about?”

    “Oh Hist! How do you know about that? Sasha... damn it, she told you. Don’t get involved. Please, for your sake stay out of it”. 

     

    Sotek hissed at her in disgust.

    “Sstay out of it? How by Kodlak’s beard do I do that when they’re using me like a bloody puppet on a sstring? Do you know once I’ve done their bidding they’re planning to kill me? Sso, tell me Kul-et. How do I sstay out of it?”

     

    “What? No, he wouldn’t dare”. 

     

    “Don’t talk rubbish. He threatened me and Aela while sitting next to the Harbinger. He’ll not only dare to do it, he’ll try to carry it out”. 

     

    Kul-et sat there stunned, her eyes started stinging from the tears forming. Sotek watched her for a minute, then after taking a few deep breaths he resumed his questions.

    “What was the dispute about?” 

     

    “A contract. He ordered me to Kill Veezara. That’s why he left; he tried to hide in a Dark Brotherhood sanctuary until he could try to sort it out”. 

     

    “Ok, but why kill him?” 

     

    “My family are leaders of a large Shadowscale clan. Veezara is just a lowly ranking member, or rather he was”. 

     

    “So he never gained enough promotion or what? Why kill him?” 

     

    “Because of me! Don’t you see? I was supposed to wed a high ranking Shadowscale from a rival clan. We were supposed to join the two clans but I...”

     

    Sotek laughed as he leaned back and watched her.

    “Ssorry, sorry for laughing. You fell in love with Veezara and for that Huinzi ordered you to kill him. Veezara fled and joined the Dark Brotherhood which, in turn, has been ordered to kill me. Oh fan-bloody tastic”. 

     

    “What are you going to do?” 

     

    “That depends on you. Do you want to go back?” 

     

    “No but that’s irrelevant. I must”. 

     

    Sotek slammed his hand down hard making Kul-et jump.

    “I did not ask what you must do; I asked what did you want to?”

     

    “No, I want to stay here, in Jorrvaskr. One day be a full Companion, like you or Aela”. 

     

    Sotek grimaced at the thought.

    “Oh please don’t ever be like Aela; I couldn’t cope with two of her. This Veezara, does he love you?” 

     

    “Yes, we’re partners”. 

     

    “How do you know he loves you? How do you really know?” As Sotek spoke he had an evil glint in his eye. He hoped Kul-et wasn’t blinded by fanciful girly dreams of being ridden away like a fairytale.

     

    Kul-et pulled her neck chain up from beneath her armor. On it was an Argonian wedding band. The ring in itself was silver with two Diamonds. Between them, set in the ring was an Amethyst.

    “We’re married”. 

     

    Sotek held her arms and pulled her to her feet.

    “Next time you come to me. When you knew he was out there, you should have come to me. The next time you have a problem, you get your bloody tail to me. Do I make myself clear?” 

     

    “Y… yes”. 

     

    He gently pulled her close then gave her a tight hug; she burst into tears as she collapsed in his arms.

    “What are we going to do?” 

     

    “You’re going to do what I tell you to do. Kul-et, you need to learn something. You only answer to one person; me”. As an afterthought he grinned at her. “Don’t tell the Harbinger I said that”.

     

    He sat down then drew a map, along with it he wrote a short letter using a piece of parchment which was lying nearby on a crate.

    “Right; everyone’s played me long enough, now it’s my turn. Wait here”. Sotek then approached Arcadia and sat on her counter. “I need a favour. Can you give the Harbinger a message for me?” 

     

    Arcadia looked at him oddly then nodded.

    “Sure, what message?” 

     

    Sotek’s eyes shone with the cunning of a fox.

    “Well, it’s a bit complicated. Here’s what I want you to do”. 

     

    Afterwards, Sotek and Kul-et exited the shop then headed to the Warmaiden’s. Inside the shop he came across Sam and pulled the Whelp away from the counter, leaving the weapons behind.

    “Take this letter to Fort Greymoor. Give it to Rikke. If she isn’t there then you wait. Only give it to Rikke. Get a shift on”. 

     

    Sam left straight away and literally ran across the plains. Within two hours he arrived at the fort. Two archers on the watchtower called out to him as they saw him approach.

    “Halt, identify yourself”. 

     

    “It’s me”. 

     

    “Who in all of Skyrim is ‘Me’?” 

     

    “I am, aren’t I!” 

     

    “Oh for the love of the Eight, it a Whelp from Jorrvaskr. What do you want?”

     

    He pulled out the letter from his pack and waved it at them.

    “I’ve a letter for Legate Rikke”. 

     

    An officer walked over to him and held out his hand.

     ”Well give it to me”. 

     

    “No, I have to give this to her personally”. Sam stated as he gazed around the fort’s grounds.

     

    “Very well, she’s in her quarters. Guard, take him to Legate Rikke”. 

     

    The guard walked over to him then grunted. Within moments they were heading to the rear of the compound. The guard pointed to a door which Sam hammered on. 

     

    “What is it?” Rikke called out. She sounded flustered. 

     

    “Hi Rikke. I’ve a letter from Sotek. I have to give it to you”. 

     

    “Very well, slide it under the door”. 

     

    “No, I have to give it to you personally”. 

     

    Rikke groaned out loud.

    “Oh for the love of... I’ll bloody kill him”. She opened the door but to Sam’s surprise she stood there holding a fur around herself. As he glanced in the room, his eyes opened wide as he saw Vilkas on her bed, covering himself with a second fur. 

     

    Rikke snapped as Sam just stood there with his eyes fixed on Vilkas.

    “Stop gawking, the letter if you don’t mind”. 

     

    “What? Oh yes, sorry. It’s from Sotek”. He handed her the letter which she snatched from his hand. Instantly after she took it she slammed the door. With his task complete and gossip ruining his tongue, Sam headed back to Whiterun, with a single thought going through his mind. ‘The others will never believe this’. 

     

    As soon as Sam left the Warmaiden’s, Arcadia knocked on the doors of Jorrvaskr carrying a basket of ingredients. She stepped inside then headed straight to the Infirmary.

    “Ahh Harbinger. I have those ingredients you asked for earlier. Where did you say to store them?” 

     

    Kodlak, feeling somewhat confused, looked over to her but he guessed Sotek’s hand was at work so he followed her inside. She opened the store cupboard then started whispering to him. “Sotek sent me with a message but I don’t understand it”. 

     

    Kodlak shook his head slightly.

    Yes, that sounds like Sotek alright. We seldom do, until it’s too late...” 

     

    Meanwhile, Sotek and Kul-et headed to the Temple where Aela and Sasha were both waiting inside.

    “Ok, here’s the plan. Aela, Sasha, give me half an hour then head to Jorrvaskr. Tell Huinzi that I’m fulfilling his contract in four days time”. 

     

    Aela held his hand as she rested her head in his chest.

    “What’s the contract?” 

     

    He kissed the top of her head then glanced over to Sasha.

    “Once the half hour is up and you’re both in Jorrvaskr, you can tell Aela and the others what the contract is. Remember, in four days time”. 

     

    Sotek then held Kul-et by the hand.

    “Now Kul-et, are you ready?” 

     

    “Ready for what?” 

     

    “We’re leaving, right now”. 

     

    She cast a quick look at Aela, then back at him.

    “I don’t understand. What are we going to do?” 

     

    Sotek held her in his arms for emotional support. 

    “In four days complete the contract. But, and here’s the bite in the tail, things need time to fall into place. Huinzi won’t allow me that time so now we run. Say goodbye to the others”. 

     

    Aela pulled Sotek’s face towards her and kissed him.

    “Where are you going to go?” 

     

    Sotek thought for a few seconds then nodded to himself.

    “The cave you spent the night chasing the wolf. Sasha, I’m giving you a chance to earn my trust. Don’t tell Huinzi where we’re heading”. 

     

    Sasha rested the palm of her hand on his chest.

    “Sotek you have my word. If he asks I’ll tell him you’ve headed to the lake. There’s an old fort that’s collapsed in the sea, I’ll tell him you’ve headed there. But he’ll keep a watch on you”. 

     

    “I’m counting on it”. Moments later he gave Aela one last kiss then he and Kul-et headed out of the temple and proceeded to walk up the steps of Jorrvaskr. Instead however of heading inside Sotek led her to the secret door which he opened. They both stepped inside then headed towards the hidden exit. Sotek could see Kul-et had questions but he just shook his head. “Later, we don’t have the time”. 

     

    Half hour later, Aela and Sasha entered Jorrvaskr; Huinzi immediately grabbed Sasha by the arms.

    “What the hell happened? What did you talk about?” 

     

    “The contract, he’s carrying it out in four days time”. 

     

    “Where is he now and where is Kul-et?” 

     

    “They have left, they’re running. He’s heading to the lake, there’s some sort of a collapsed fort. He’s heading there with Kul-et”. 

     

    Shadow walker entered from the training yard.

    “Like hell he has, he’s outside in that sanctuary”. 

     

    Aela smirked at him.

    “He’s got an invisibility potion, a few actually. Right now he’s probably at the gate, or at the inn, or in this very hall. You’re a shadow? Oh scary. He’s a ghost, you’re not catching him. Trust me, Farkas, Vilkas and me? We already tried”. 

     

    Huinzi snapped out his orders.

    “Shadow Walker, Sasha, with me”.

     

    But as he got up to head out Sasha called out to him.

    “I’m not coming”. 

     

    He stopped dead then slowly turned.

    “You what?”

     

    “I said I’m not coming with you”. 

     

    Shadow Walker walked right up to her then poked her forehead pushing her head back.

    “You’re with us or against us. Which is it?”

     

    Huinzi shook his head at her.

    “It’s this Sotek, you bloody fancy him don’t you? I thought that was the case earlier. You have a choice, you fight with us or against us there is no grey here. He will die and you’ll alongside him as well as anyone who stands with him. Now decide”. 

     

    Her reply was swift and simple; she punched Shadow Walker in the face sending him to the floor.

    “I’m against. I suggest you get moving his werewolf form is a fast bastard but speeds all he has”. 

     

    Huinzi nodded.

    “Very well, you’ve signed your own contract. Tell me does he love you as well”. 

     

    “Love me?” 

     

    “Yes, you obviously love him”. 

     

    “Yes, I do love him”. 

     

    He walked up to her and stared right in her eyes.

    “But does he love you? I thought he was with this Nord?” As he spoke he pointed to Aela. 

     

    “He is with her and no he doesn’t love me”. 

     

    Huinzi stood back, his confusion was obvious.

    “I don’t understand”. 

     

    “That’s the problem, you never do. Not even with Kul-et. Sotek don’t love me, he never will, but he’ll stand by me”. 

     

    “Stand by you? Ha! He’ll die by you. Goodbye Sasha next time we meet we’ll meet as enemies”. Both he and Shadow Walker left the hall then headed to the gates where he promptly issued out his orders to Shadow Walker. “Start the search, check everywhere, not just the lake. Every stone, under every bridge, find them. Kul-et is to be untouched do I make myself clear?” 

     

    “As you command”. With that Shadow walker headed off to gather their forces. 

     

    The moment they left, Aela grabbed Sasha and slapped her across the face.

    “What the hell do you mean you love him?” 

     

    Sasha retaliated by punching her back as hard as she could. Aela was caught completely off guard and fell sprawling onto the floor.

    “What I mean is, I’ll die for him, but don’t worry Aela; you’ll probably have to die for him as well. Harbinger, the contract. He’s been ordered to destroy the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim”. 

     

    Kodlak pulled Aela up from the floor and then pointed to two chairs.

    “Sit the hell down. How does he hope to achieve this alone?” 

     

    “He told Aela he’ll head to a cave. Aela knows which one. But he’s not alone. Kul-et’s a Shadowscale, she’s with him”. 

     

    The moment Sotek and Kul-et left the cave from under Whiterun Sotek changed his form. Scarface dropped his shoulder allowing Kul-et to climb on. That night in the shelter and safety of the cave he told Aela about, Sotek set up a fire and laid down to rest.

    “Sleep, we’ve got a busy few days ahead of us”. 

     

    As Kul-et laid down on her bedroll, she cast Sotek a glance.

    “What is it you plan to do?” 

     

    Sotek grinned at her.

    “Misbehave”. 

     

     

Comments

5 Comments   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 4 others like this.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  September 11
    Love triangles are good for drama, but I hope it doesn't occupy too much of the story from this point.
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      Love triangles are good for drama, but I hope it doesn't occupy too much of the story from this point.
        ·  September 15
      I'm not going to say too much here about the 'love triangle' but it does give Sasha a wonderful tool to wind up Aela. 
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  September 10
    “Quicksilver; she’s called [Quicksilver]”.

    "[it's] a Whelp from Jorrvaskr."

    "Shadow [Walker] entered from the training yard."

    “I’m against. I suggest you get moving his werewolf form is a fast bastard but...  more
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      “Quicksilver; she’s called [Quicksilver]”.

      "[it's] a Whelp from Jorrvaskr."

      "S...  more
        ·  September 15
      I've so much to add to the Character profile. That is so out of date now. So much to do....
      Will get these errors fixed this weekend. 
  • Shy Knight of the Shovel
    Shy Knight of the Shovel   ·  September 9
    this was AWESOME!!