C.O.T.W. Chapter 7: A Fish Out Of Water

  • When Hasir, Ishtansehk and Quinchal stepped out of the portal, they found themselves, once again, in Inigo's cell back in Riften.

    Hasir walked casually over to Rakel,who was sitting on one of the wooden chair while Ingo sat in the other. Hasir cleared his

    throat. Here goes nothing he thought as he walked over and sat in the chair that was next to Rakel. He turned to face Rakel. he also

    told her that he had something to get off his chest.

    "Yes, Hasir, what is it?" She asked with one eyebrow raised.

     

    "Rakel, D-do you want to do dinner tonight?" Hasir asked her. Rakel said she had mass tonight and won't be able to make other 

    plans. Just then, a light bulb ignited in her head. She turned towards him, "Hasir how would you like to come to my church and

    see what it's about. She shrugged, "Who knows, the priest might annoint you a member of the church. If you do decide to come, be

    be wary the members of my church are...different from what you are used to. They might accept when you show them your true

    form." Hasir gave her a worried look. "The church that I belong to is called the church of the wild hunt. 

     

    It is dedicated to our lord, Hircine." She poked him, almost tickling him, with her finger,

    "They will undoubtedly let you in because

    your are one of us."

     

    He gave her that worried look again,

    "One of you?"

     

    Rakel clarified this for him,

    "When you come to our church you will understand."

     

    They did not see Inigo walk behind them as they were busy talking. Hasir turned around to see Inigo standing there. He almost fell

    out of his chair when he saw the Khajiit's smiling face beaming at him. 

    "Argh! Inigo, what the fuck? You scared me, don't sneak up on me like that."

     

    Inigo looked away from Hasir, mostly ashamed of his actions. "Look, Inigo, I didn't mean to scare you." Hasir stood up and started

    pacing the cell, "so, what do you want Inigo?"

     

    Inigo looked at him, worried,

    "I just want to...er," Inigo fished for the perfect words and, once he found them, he tugged at them like a fisherman would a big

    sea bass. "how was Coldharbour? did you find Ma'kara and free her mind?" Hasir stopped pacing and gave him a sullen look.

    "I am very sorry to have to tell you this, but, she is dead."

    At this news, Inigo howled in dismay, "Nooooo, my Ma'kara, why? Who in Oblivion has the ball to cut down a perfectly innocent and

    beautiful young Khajiit? Tell me damnit, who?" To emphasize these last four words, he grabbed Hasir and shook him.

    "Bloodfang killed her, I'm so sorry, now can you please stop shaking me? I am not a bottle of skooma, you blasted cat!" 

     

    Inigo did as Hasir asked. He also told Inigo what Rakel had told him about there being a gathering of werewolves from the pack he

    was brought into when one of their wolves scratched him, transfering the disease. Hasir blanked Ingo mouthing the words 'who, us?'

    "Yes, you dumb fuck us." Hasir told Inigo about how they meet at nine PM every Morndas through Fredas to praise Hircine and

    Kynareth and their creations and to leave offerings of animals that 'Hircine's children' have killed. The two did not notice Quinchal

    standing there, in fact, he was standing there the entire time that Hasir and Inigo were talking.

     

    The lizard looked at the sky,

    "By Hircine, is it almost nine p.m. already?" Hasir said, smacking himself in the forehead with his right hand. eyes wide in disbelief.

    "We have to get a move on, Rakel should already be there with her extended pack." He noted Inigo's and Quinchal's questionable

    looks, He shook his head, "No, we are not the only members of the frostmoon pack, there are others." 

     

    They proceeded to head out in the main cellblock of Riften jail when Iskenaaz stopped them with a clearing of his throat. "Ahem, do

    you know these pack members?" The Argonian were unclear as to what the old lizard was hinting at. So, he repeated his question

    again, "Hasir, do you know these people? We don't know where it is for starters."

     

    Hasir turned around and looked at Iskenaaz like he was going to punch him,

    "Dad, I appreciate your help, but, I am a fully grown lizard, I know what risks I am taking." Istansehk put up his hands as to say

    'look, whatever you do is your business, I'll try and keep out of it.'

     

    Hasir, Istansehk, Inigo and Quinchal left the cellblock and headed

    for the jail's main entrance. Outside, the air was crisp, with a hint of that pre-summer heat. Hasir turned to the crew gathered

    behind him, "Itansehk, as for your question of the church's location, it is in the underforge near Jorrvaskr, which is about ten miles

    east of here", His father gave him a worried look.

     

    Hasir sighed and put a clawed hand on his father's shoulder and gave a reassuring smile,

    "If we hurry we can make it by the time the mass starts." 

     

    The werewolves changed under the moon's influence, which in this case was a waxing gibbous. Itansehk heard what sounded like

    dogs whimpering, he turned to see two wolves; one white with blue eyes and one gray with yellow eyes. Itansehk tried to scream,

    but, the white wolf ran up to the lizard and bite his ankle, accidentally passing on the affliction in the process. 

     

    The male Argonian let out a cry of pain that mingled with the silence between the travelers,

    "ARGH! God damnit, you stupid mutt, that fucking hurt!" Istansehk hissed indignantly.

     

    Kiba stopped after he realized what he had done. He backed up several feet before raising his right front paw and wacked himself

    across the muzzle. "Hasir, that was stupid, you were only supposed to stop him from alerting people, but, noooo, you had to

    'accidentally' create another werewolf?" This thought bounced around in Kiba's head the whole way to Whiterun.

    They climbed a hill that was straddled by rocks on both side, the stables came into view. "Come on." Itansehk shouted out. "We are

    almost here. The two wolves followed, padding over the hill to the plains of white run. the clouds began to move in. The clouds 

    obscured the moon from view. Hasir and Quinchal transformed back into their reptilian forms. Hasir could feel the cool, crisp evening

    air. The three lizards walked over a bridge that had a fresh water river running underneath and walked up the cobblestone path,

    underneath the  arch, over the drawbridge and into the city proper.

     

    When they were in the city, about a foot from the entrance, Hasir put a hand up, they stopped. Hasir sniffed the air, it had that same

    crispness he had felt earlier, but it also had a charged scent. He lowered his head so that it was level with the cobblestone. "It is

    about to storm, we do not want to be stuck out here stuck out here when it does." As soon as he said this, the thunder growled

    overhead and rain began to fall.

     

    They hurried along the cobblestone walkway, their boots splashing on the wet stones as they walked. Hasir could feel his scales on

    the back of his neck turn white as every way he looked, he could feel eyes upon him. Hasir expected to find other Argonian or Khajiit

    here or, at the very least, someone he knew so he would not have to feel like a fish out of water in a town he barely knew. 

     

    Hasir strode passed the gawking outlookers who either stayed and stared stupidly at him or rushed inside their shops oor houses in

    order to avoid this stranger. They did not know what he would do if he approached him, probably hiss indignantly at them. He, on

    the other hand thought it best to ignore this, until the time came when he needed something and then he would introduce himself.

     

    He told the party to go on ahead so he could introduce himself to some of the locals, as he would find it rude not to do so. He

    walked away from the group as they continued toward the chapel without him. as he wallked, he kept in mind his tail position, how

    he carried himself and his facial expression as he knew all these things could either make or break a first impression.

     

    He saw a tiny shop to his right with a male working hard at a long iron-colored table the likes of which Hasir had never seen before,

    (Hasir could smell the stench of sweat already.) He walkedd up to the man, tail swaying behind him. The man looked up; his mouth

    twisted into something like a smirk, at the Argonian's approach,

    "Hello, may I help you?" He asked as he pounded a piece of metal

     

    Hasir took a deep calming breath and offered his hand to the blacksmith who looked at it if was poisonous,

    "Greetings, my name is Hasir, what are you working on?" He asked the man

     

    Ulberth ignored this gesture and continued pounding away at the metal. Frustrated, Hasir's tail thudded to the grounnd, hearing this

    the nord turned around and came face to face with Hasir's face; the man thought the Argonian's smile was a menacing snarl. The

    man yelped with fright and cowered behind his workbench. Hasir walked behind the bench and helped the man to his feet,

    "Er, sorry about that," He said, scratching the back of his neck, "I forgot that other races misinterpret Argonians' facial expressions."

    He cleared his throat, "My name is Hasir by the way."

     

    Ulberth got up and shook the Argonian's hand,

    "Oh right, sorry, erm, may I ask why you came to Whiterun?"

    Hasir said it was because he heard that there was a guild in the city and he was looking to join up. The man, who introduced himself

    as Ulfberth, said he heard the Companions were recruiting as their numbers seem to dwindle by the day. Hasir's brow furrowed as he

    asked who the Companions were.

     

    Ulfberth roared with laughter as he set down the tools he was using to shape the hot metal with and turned to face Hasir,

    "You haven't heard of the companions? They are the oldest band of warriors in Skyrim, maybe even in all of Tamriel. They are led by

    Kodlak Whitemane, or so I hear; I've never been up there myself." He said, scratching the back of his neck.

     

    At that moment, the door to the shop opened annd a female nord walked ovver to where the Argonian andd her husband stood,

    "Ulfberth, who in Oblivion are you talking to?" She asked, hands on her hips

     

    The Nord woman turned and saw an Argonian standing there waving at her, She made a shooing gesture with her hands,

    "We don't have any spare septims to give, go back wherever it is you came from swamptrash." She snarled at the Argonian

     

    Ulfberth smacked her and told her to give the Argonian a chance, for all he knew, The Argonian might be homeless. She sighed and

    decided her husband was right. Hasir asked her why all the imhabitants of the city stared at him as he walked though the city,

    "Well, people are afraid of what is different, that's all, give them time, I am sure they will come around." she said, sighing

     

    She walked over to him and introduced herself,

    "I hear there is a khajiit priestess up in Jorrvaskr, I am sure her first visit was as bad, if not worse, than your first visit is now." She

    smiled, patting him on they shoulder, "if you want, you can go up to the mead hall and ask her about it and maybe she'll have tips

    about how to make the locals see that your not as cold as your blood. 

    Hasir thanked the Nord armorers and walked toward the mead hall they pointed out. He hoped wholeheartedly that she would shed

    some light on his 'fish out of water' predicament. As he walked by the stalls in the Market Distict, he blanked the stares of the stall

    owners as he walked toward he destination.

     

    As he passed a white tree devoid of leaves in the center of the upper level of the city, he glanced up at it. He wondered what it was.

    An Imperial healer walked by at that moment; Hasir turned and asked her what the tree was,

    "This tree," She said gesturing to the gnarled bark, "Is Kynareth's gift to Nirn, a symbol of her innate natural beauty, whenever you

    feel alone or isolated, you can pray to Kynareth." She paused, "that, or you can get in touch with the spirits of nature through the

    tree." She said, smiling. She shrugged, "or you can always try praying to Kynareth's brother Hircine."

     

    Hasir asked her how a person would go about doing this. The Imperial shook her head in disbelief,

    "Where you dropped in the swamp as a hatchling?" She asked incredulously. Hasir shook his head; She sighed and told the Argonian

    that the person wishing to commune with mother nature or the nature spirits would only have to touch the bark with their hand. The

    Argonian cocked his head not sure how to answer or even if he comprehended what the healer told him.

     

    The Imperial took his hand in hers and pressed his hand to the bark. Instantly, Hasir could hear voices that were not his own inside

    his head,

    "Er, excuse me, but, who are you to know so much about nature and its' spirits?" He asked as he retraacted he hand from the bark

     

    The Imperial sniggered as if she found this question amusing, she stuck her hand out along with wearing a kind smile,

    "Sorry, where are my manners, I am Danica, priestess of Kynarth, I run the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun." She said as she

    offered The Argonian her hand." She eyed him, clearly expecting him to reciprocate, "what is your name?" She aske

    Hasir took her hand in return and pumped it up and down,

    "Danica, nice to meet you, my name is Hasir." He said 

     

    Immediately, his eyes returned to the barren tree,

    "Does this tree have a name?" He inquired

     

    Danica nodded and, again, gestured to the tree,

    "Locals just call it the tree of souls, but, its proper name is the Gildergreen."

     

    Hasir looked shocked at this ironic choice of naming,

    "Erm...I'm not sure if you noticed but there aren't any leaves on this tree."

     

    Danica took note of this and sighed,

    "This tree was once full of life but a daedric lord sucked all the life out of it, weakening my link to Kynareth."

     

    Hasir did not know of any daedric prince would could have done this,

    "It seems very unlikely that a daedra did this." He mused

     

    Danica told him that there is a deadric prince that, it is said, could not just steal souls of people but also the soul of nature as well.

    She said his name was Molag Bal and said that he did not care about anything or anyone but only to dominate mortals and to ruins

    millenia old disputes. She said that Molag Bal is seeking to punish Kynareth's brother's children for their ancestor costing Molag Bal

    his perfect vampire purity. He believes by using his servants to poison the Gildergreen, thereby kill all the other trees and plants

    connected to it, effectively killing off all animals in Tamriel and in turn will kill of the werewolves andd thus completeing his revenge.

    Only when the werewolve are defeated will the vampire once again be purebloodl."

     

    Hasir eyed her with unease while he tail lay limp as a dead snake behind him as he stood pondering this,

    "Is this what he calls vampires? Purified souls? Forgive me Danica, but aren't vampires just people whose souls got twisted by him?"

    She nodded and said she had no idea why he would want to kill of werewolves; as that has nothing to do with the She had thought it

    had something to do with thhe betrayal that happened somewhere in the Summerset Isles many years ago. She shook her head and

    let that idea float away on the wind however spot on it may be. Hasir weighed in by saying that he would use the soul energy that

    he steals from living things to create his 'perfect world.' Danica thought on this possiblity,

    "You know, if you really think on it; it does makes sense. By Kynareth we have to stop him before his 'perfect world' is complete."

     

    Hasir nodded in ascent. He cast a concerned glance at the dying tree,

    "Danica, is there a way to reverse this process? I mean, for starters, is there a way to restore the gildergreen?"

     

    Danica said she was not sure; that even with Kynareth's power restored in the city, victory is not assured. Hasir frowned and then

    thought on something,

    "Danica, you may not like it but in order to save Tamriel, we need the daedra's help as well, well not all daedra, I only expect a few

    to help us." He scratched his chin with a clawed finger, "like Hircine, Azura, Hermaeus Mora and Sheogorath." He noted Danica's

    shocked expression, "Er, if we are to save the lycanthropic populations."

     

    Her face screwed up in disgust,

    "I get everyone but Shegorath and Hircine. Why them?"

     

    Hasir smirked and told her that Hircine is Kynareth's brother; he is the yang to the wolflord's yin, they are inseperable, if one starts

    an action, the other finishes it. Hasir told her he had to go to the mead hall and they both said their goodbyes.

     

    Hasir walked up the wooden steps to a building that had shields above the thick wooden doors which were intricately carved with

    nordic symbols, the building's roof was little more than a capsized longboat,

     "If you're here to join the companions, it will have to wait until another time." A female voice said amidst the rain

     

    Hasir strained his eyes against the rain and made out a female shadow with long hair. The figure came towards them.

    "Greetings, my name is Tilma, I am the maid of this mead hall." She extended a hand, Hasir took the hand in his and shook it saying

    he was pleased to meet her.

    Hasir could she that she had shoulder-length grey hair and wore a brown dress with an apron draped over it. Hasir cleared his

    throat,

    "Excuse me ma'am, why did you say come back later may I ask?" His brow furrowed as he said this.

     

    The woman, Tilma said the companions and their guests have gone to the underforge for some kind of ritual. She said that she did

    not get paid enough to find out what lay inside. She also told Hasir that she was not 'one of the circle." Hasir nodded and the 

    two Argonians and khajiit walked around to the back of the mead hall, where they found a porch with chairs and tables that was next

    to a training around. The point they were looking for was hidden to all but for those who knew where to look. 

     

    The rock opened and a young nord in leather armor came out, Hasir could see that she too had a scar; a black claw mark that

    spanned her whole face. She greeted the newcomers, took out a small silver dagger from her leather bag and asked that before they

    enter that she prick them with the silver dagger.

     

    "Whoa, stop right there. lady, we don't know you...and you are going to kill us?" Hasir asked, backing away from the knife, knocking

    his father and Quinchal over. Inigo sniggered and stepped over this impromptu dogpile

     

    The nord woman looked at two Argonians and the tsaesci like they were fallen dominos. "First off, my name is Aela and second," she

    pointed to the dagger. "This is only to test you for sanies lapinus. Hasir got up, helping the other two argonians. Hasir, the argonians

    and Inigo nodded.

     

    "Good, let's begin." Aela took the dagger and pricked inigo and each of the two Argonians, the tsaesci and the khajiit on the finger.

    Everyone passed the test, except for Inigo and Itansehk. Hasir noticed something was wrong and turned around.

    "Dad, why did you not feel severe pain when the dagger pricked you?" Hasir sighed, "My bite did turn you into a wolf right?"

     

    Itansehk explained that he must have a higher disease resistance than normal argonians. He went on to say that the longer an

    argonian is away from their homeland, the lower their disease resistance becomes. As he was still living in Blackmarsh when Molag

    Bal teleported him to the dreaded realm of Coldharbour, his disease resistance is still at one hundred percent. He surmized that Hasir

    had his disease resistance lowered by sixty percent ever since he left Blackmarsh on his quest to become a shadowscale; Hasir did

    not dare tlell him his true purpose for leaving his homeland.

     

    Aela heard the whole thing and let the argonian, tsaesci and khajiit enter, but bade the elder wait outside for he was immune to the

    divine disease. Hasir went over and put his hand on Itansehk's shoulder. His voice was filled with shock when he told his dad that he

    had no idea. His dad said it was okay and to have fun with whatever the nord woman has planned. He then turned and followed

    Quinchal and Aela into the Underforge.

     

    Once inside the underforge, Hasir and Quichal gasped as they beheld a shocking sight, twelve wooden benched were situated to the

    left and right of the stone basin in the center. Five feet from the basin, spread around the outer walls of the underforge were wolf

    statues that were made of the same rock as the underforge's walls were. Hasir had to rip his eyes away because he was so

    impressed by the statues. Equidistant between the three altars set into alcoves in the wall and the first row of benches was a stone

    altar with a wolf's ribcage carved into the top and a wolf skull situated in the middle of the altar's front. Hasir guessed that was an

    altar to Hircine.

     

    Hasir, Aela and Quinchal took their seats. Hasir and Quinchal sat on the third row of benches to the right of the basin, Aela did the

    same but to the left. They made it just in time because the other church-goers arrived, including some people in wolf armor, Hasir

    guessed they were the companions Tilma spoke of. Next came Rakel and the rest of the frostmoon pack. Hasir saw a felinesque

    woman dressed in a grey robe which had Hircine's symbol, a styilzed wolf head, on the front. She also wore a matchiing gray hood.

     

    After her came a purple khajiit who walked up the isle and sat next to Hasir.Hasir turned to him, eyebrows raised. The khajiit ducked

    as the Argonian's tail narrowly missed smacking him in the face,

    "Inigo, what are you doing here?" He asked.

     

    Inigo replied that he came to check the place out and then added, "I don't know about you, but the nord poked me pretty hard with

    her silver dagger." He said, rubbing and flexing his index finger where she had pricked him. Moonman whispered for him to be quiet

    as the worship is about to start.   

     

    Hasir looked around to see the benches were full, he saw the companions sitting next to Aela, he was sure he would be

    introduced to them later. He scanned the room and spotted the woman in gray making his way towards the altar. He spotted Rakel

    with the rest of her pack sitting next to him. a bosmer female sat behind him, whom he did not know, but he was sure he was going

    to be well acquainted with. Next to her sat Moonman.

     

    The priest of Hircine, a black khajiit female that went by the name Vajhira, put something furry on the shrine of Hircine. What was

    placed on the altar was the pelt of a gray wolf. She bent her head and prayed to the wolflord that he may give them a bountiful

    harvest. She raised her head and looked out over the sea of familiar faces, that is when she caught sight of three people who she

    did not know. She walked from the altar to where they sat and invited them up to the altar for them to be introduced to the

    congregation. The three creatures walked to the front and stood behind the altar.

     

    She turned to them, almost whipping them with her tail. She put one paw-like hand on Hasir's shoulder and the other on Quiinchal's

    shoullder and talked in a low voice so only they could hear,

    "Now Hasir, Quinchal, Inigo, what I need from you are four things." She raised four fingers.

    "First, put gray wolf pelts on the altar, thus signifying your new membership to the church." She put the finger down, Second, how

    you became werewolves." Another finger came down, "Third, what your role in Hircine's pack is." A third finger came down. "Finally,

    what type of wolf spirit you chose."

     

    Hasir, Inigo and Quinchal exchanged looks of pure confusion.

                

Comments

2 Comments   |   Sotek likes this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  March 16, 2020
    Types of wolf spirit.  Guess this is where ESO comes in to play.
    Awwwooo  Aela!!
    • Hasir
      Hasir
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Types of wolf spirit.  Guess this is where ESO comes in to play.
      Awwwooo  Aela!!
        ·  March 16, 2020
      well, no, eso came into play in chapters four and five and when  Hasir goes into Coldharbour