C.O.T.W Chapter 8: The Four Totems

  • Vajhira eyed them nervously, after a while she emerged from behind them and became rather frank with them,

    "look, if you are feeling uncomfortable or otherwise want to back out for any reason, please, tell me and I will let you step aside

    while we continue with the worship." She looked at them concerned.

     

    Hasir and Quinchal shook their heads, together they said, "No way, we came here to become part of the church of the wild hunt and

    by Hircine, that is what we are going to do!" He slammed his fist triumphantly downard onto the altar of Hircine. the pelt fell off the

    altar and lay dirty on the floor. "Sorry about that." Hasir gave Valjira a sheepish grin. "Let me pick it up for you." He bent down and

    felt around for the fallen pelt and picked it up and placed it back in its position on the altar. 

     

    "Well," Vajhira clapped her hands together, "with that out of the way, we can proceed. She looked from one argonian to the other.

    "now Quinchal, Hasir, who will go first?" 

     

    Quinchal raised his hand, the khajiit extended her hand, handing him a pelt and bade him go to the altar and place the pelt down

    upon the altar. Quinchal did as she asked. He placed both hands on the altar.

    "I have chosen to take on the role of hunter in Hircine's pack, my job is to hunt for food and help keep the pack fed. I chose

    Langshen as my wolf spirit." Hasir leaned against one of the three round platforms that jutted out of the wall. "I become a werewolf

    when Hasir came to my home of Akavir and came into my temple and bit me for no reason other than his wolf was hungry." 

    "Very nicely done Quinchal" Said Vajhira "and very informative, next up, Hasir."

     

    Hasir straigtened himself and walked to the altar, he was also nervous, but less so than Quinchal, he put both hands in the

    indentation thatQuinchal had left behind, Hasir smelled his nervousness and fear even before he approached the altar.

    "Let see, where do I begin?" He thought for a second, " My role wasn't chosen by me, my wolf spirit already knew what he wanted

    to be. He is an alpha, a quality that I must say fits my personality perfectly. I was bitten by a werewolf when I was undertaking a 

    task for Molag Bal." Vajhira's head whipped around in his direction.

     

    "That blasphemer Molag Bal? What in Oblivion could you have been doing for him?" Vajhira nearly shouted this at him.

    "I was doing a task that when completed would solidify my entry in to the Whetfang coven, but while on that errand of sorts, I

    became under attack by four nords that transformed into mighty beasts when the moon had shown itself.

    Vajhira was clearly getting bored, which could be evident by her constant yawning. She let her body go limp and slump down on the

    cold stone floor, she used the wall of one of the round ledges as a backrest.

     

    "Skip the extraneous details, get to the point." She hissed through gritted teeth.

    Hasir looked taken aback "Okay, keep your skrt on for Hircine's sake." Hasir took a deep breath and continued, "So there I was,

    facing down four massive wolves, I was able to dispatch three of 'em with my trusty silver katana. The fourth however had me

    splayed out like a grotesque snow angel and then slashed my right eye with his right paw. I still have the scar." He then

    proceeded to show of his clearly visible but faded scar over his left eye."

     

    Vajhira sighed, "For Hircine's sake, can you answer the last question with going on some longwinded tangent?"

    Hasir nodded, "as for who my wolf spirit is? He is a white wolf by the name of Frost, an aspect of Hircine and his role is to

    protect," Vajhira cleared her throat, Hasir turned to look at her, she raised an eyebrow as if to say 'go on, that is some interesting

    shit right there.' She was not the only one who was surprised, a collective gasp tore through the congregation like a wave would an

    ocean. Hasir cleared his throat and continued, "Anyway it is his job to protect Skyrim from Molag Bal and his evil machinations."

    Vallhira stood up and walked to the altar lifted up the two grey wolf pelts and said a prayer that was also an invocation to Hircine for

    his accepting of the Argonian and tsaesci werewolves. She lowered her head while holding the wolf pelts aloft. The congregation also

    bowed their heads.

     

    Wait!" Inigo yelled, "What about me?"

     

    Vajhira sighed, "very well."

     

    Inigo took a deep breath, "Unlike most of you, I have not had a glorious life, I escaped from my home after the guards accused me

    of killing my brother Felix, I got to Skyrim alright, but soon, imperials guards were swarming all of my family like flies and they

    threw me Riften jail for my crimes. he walked over to the right side of the altar, where Hasir was standing, "that was when Hasir

    showed up. 

     

    At first I thought Hasir was a hired assassin who came to end my life." He chuckled a little. "I soon realized that was not

    the case, that Hasir came to save me from my impending doom. So that is why I am here instead of on a chopping block. When he

    finished, Vajhira stood up.

    "Inigo, we wanted to hear how you choose your wolf spirit, your role in the pack and how you contracted the disease, not your entire

    fucking life story!" She fumed.

     

    "Okay, I am sorry." I wonder if her head is as squishy as a spider's? He thought, smiling to himself.

    "Anyway, I became a werewolf when I had Hasir bit me because I wanted my life to be something more than a scared khajiit running

    from his past. My role in Hircine's pack is the delta male, it is my job to spare with and train the young pups and older more

    experienced wolves so that they will be ready for a fight, though, I will still fight for my pack.

     

    He chuckled at himself, leaving everyone else lost for words and wondering why he would be laughing, "No, you should see your

    faces." He said, wiping a tear from his eye, "I am not a wolf as a khajiit would look foolish as a wolf." He waved a dismissive hand,

    "Wow, you church types are so gullible." He inhaled deeply, "I do not wish to be a delta anything." He roared with laughter, "As for a

    pack role, I already have one."

     

    Valhija cocked her head, brows furrowed, "What is your role then?" She pointed a finger at the khajiit, "No bullshit please."

     

    Inigo defensive raised his hand, " No bullshit here, but I felt I was born to be a counselor."

     

    "Finally." Vajhira rolled her eyes and then stood up and approached the altar for the prayer.

    "Lord Hircine, we, your humble servants, beseech you to accept these souls into your embrace and may you, upon these souls'

    deaths accept them into your Hunting Grounds in the great hunt, whenever that may be. All hail the wolflord, may your greatness

    never cease. Praise to you, lord hircine." The congregation, including the newcomers, repeated the mantra

     

    Valhira raised her hands for silence,

    "Church has ended, go and serve Hircine by hunting in the wilderness and as always live the way our Lord Hircine would want us to

    live."

    "What? Why so soon?" Quinchal, Ingo and Hasir asked together

     

    She looked around and brought the two argonians to a secluded part of the underforge. She directed the Argonian, Khajiit and the

    tsaesci argonians to sit on a curved platform that sat nearr the rock wall. Hasir and Quinchal did as she asked.

    "You two still need to go through an initiation." She stated, pointing to both of them.

     

    "I thought the pelts were our initiation." Hasir said, shocked and a bit outraged

     

    She shook her head. "I am afraid you still need to prove yourselves worthy. Now let's see your initiation will be different from other

    worshippers." She scratched her head, hoping an idea would come to her. "You need to go out and kill four of Hircine's aspects and

    return with five totems of Hircine: Alrabeg, the hunter, who carries with him the spear of bitter mercy. Storihbeg, the manbeast, he

    wears the wolf skull totem.

     

    Hasir scratched his chin,

    "Before we go any further, erm, Valjira?"

     

    She turned and smiled at him,

    "Yes Argonian, what may I do for you?"

     

    Hasir scowled at her and stood up angrily, almost knocking the three creatures of the perch they sat on,

    "My name is Hasir not 'Argonian' you got it?" He said, eyes positively blaring with the fires of Oblivion.

     

    Hasir told Hasir to calm down which he did immediately,

    "Sorry about that, er, the nord armorer in town asked me to talk to you."

     

    She asked Hasir what this was about,

    "Sorry? May I ask what this is about? Who sent you, was it Addrianne or Eorlund?"

     

    Hasir cleared his throat impressively,

    "Adrianne sent me, she said you would know what it's like to be a 'fish out of water'."

     

    The brown furred khajiit nodded all while eying him with he lamp-like eyes,

    "Yes, what Adrainne says is true, I came from Cyrodiil after I finished my work for Hircine there." She bowed her head as if

    ashamed of something, "When I arrived in Skyrim, I was alone, not knowing anyone in a land I had only every read about," Hasir

    cocked his head in confusion, "My mother, she would often read me story of her adventures all over Tamriel; she was an adventurer.

    My mom always had a funny way of telling me of her adventures." She said, making a sound somewhere between a chuckle and a

    sob. "Anyway, When I came to Skyrim, I did not have any friends, so I did what any priestess would do spread awareness of the

    daedra from town to town." Hasir asked her what happened. She said she was ousted from almost every town, with the inhabitants

    shouting things like 'demon worshipper' and the divines are better.' Shee told him, though sobs, that every other town shared the

    same mentally until she came to Whiterun were everyone she asked pointed her to Jorrvaskr.

    She dried her eyes and continued her story,

    "It was at Jorrvaskr that I was most welcome, unlike everywhere else that shunned me for my beliefs, the companions of Jorrvaskr

    took me in as one own, giving me food, shelter, a place to sleep and, more importantly, friends who would make me feel accepted."

     

    Hasir asked her how she landed a job as priestess of Hircine in Whiterun, Valjira smiled, 

    "When I told the harbinger of the companions, Kodlak who I was he told me that some people in Jorrvaskr worship and revere

    Hircine more than others, especially him, I did not press this matter further. Instead he directed me toward this place," She smiled

    as she gestured around her, "and I've been here ever since his gesture of kindness to a khajiit outcast."

     

    She turned to Hasir and rested against one of the totems altars,

    "So, my advice to you is to not be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself to the poeple of Whiterun, you may just find that they

    are more than willing to help a fellow fish out of water like yourself." As she said this, her eyes swam with tears. She wiped the tears

    away with a brown furred arm.

     

    Hasir opened his mouth to say something but Valhira put a clawed finger up to silence him and said they have work to do. Hasir shut

    his mouth and nodded. Valhira's mind went back to her thoughts before she had this rather heart wrenching coversation with the

    Argonian

     

    She paused for a breath, explaining to them the aspects and the totems they carry,

    "You also need to kill Uricanbeg, the stag and bring back a drum. You also need to kill Gullibeg, a fox who carries with him a bone

    wand."

     

    She took another breath,

    "Finally, you need to kill Horrikbeg, who carries the totem of claw and fang."

     

    This caught Hasir's attention, He chuckled a little,

    "No need, I already handed the totem to Hircine personally."

     

    Vajhira positively beamed at this, "perfect, you only need to collect the spear and the other three totems then."

     

    The two argonians waved goodbye to the congregation and Vajhira, who handed them a map of each of the four enemies and items'

    locations. For this mission, hasir, I need you to go alone, which means no help from your friends. I have another task ready for

    Quinchal. She turned her head in Inigo's direction, "I have one for you too Hasir. Inigo and Quinchal slumped their shoulders, clearly

    saddened by this.

     

    After a few seconds, Hasir spoke, "Excuse me Vajhira, but, I don't know the terrain, I am not from here. I also have no tracking

    experience."

    The khajiit looked up from the corner of the room were they sat and called over her shoulder to the congregation.

    "Rakel, can you come here please?" She sounded so laid back and calm as she said these words.

    A female nord that had long, brown shoulder length hair dressed in a fur bra, a fur skirt and fur shoes walked up the aisle and sat

    down next to Vajhira, "Yes, what is it?"

     

    Vajhira cleared her throat, "Rakel, I need you to assist Hasir with defeatiing four aspects of Hircine and the acquisition of five of his

    totems, Hasir will share his map with you; you can defeat the aspects and collect the items together." She said this in the same soft

    voice that she had called her over with.

     

    Rakel nodded, all the while Rakel and Vajhira spoke, Hasir couldn't take his eyes off Rakel. He had never seen a more beautiful nord

    in his life. He especially liked her brown eyes and that long earthy toned hair that he longed to touch.

     

    The world seemed to fall away for a moment, as if it was just him and Rakel. Hasir's wandering mind snapped back when Vajhira

    said, "well, don't just stand there mouth agape like an idiot, say something."

     

    "Huh? What?" Hasir looked around nervously as if to check if anyone had seen him during his idiotic 'moment.' No one noticed.

    Vajhira repeated, "I said, introduce yourself, you stupid lizard!" 

     

    Rakel held out a hand to Hasir, "My name is Rakel, good to see we will be working together to obtain the totems."

     

    Hasir looked iinto her beautiful brown eyes, took her hand and firmly pumped it up and down, "Nice to meet you, Rakel, I'm-" He

    began but Rakel merely smiled,

    "Hasir, I know, the congregation won't stop talking about you ever since your speech at the altar."

     

    Hasir rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, feeling a bit embarrased. Rakel said it was nothing to be embarrased about. She

    thought it was intriguing. 

    Vajhira shouted,

    "For the love of Hircine, would you two get moving already, we're burning moonlight, geez."

     

    Hasir and Rakel left the Underforge, Hasir held the map aloft so that they both could see it.

    "Hmm, says here in the notes she wrote that we have to defeat alrabeg the hunter and bring back the spear of bitter mercy.

    Hasir smiled to himself, "what are we wanting for? Let's hunt for those relics." Before Rakel could say a word, he was off.

    "Hey Hasir, what about the map?" She called after him. "What a stubborn reptile." She said, shaking her head.

     

     

    She ran after him. After several seconds of lagging behind, only seeing his tail, she finally caught up with him.

    "Hasir, glad I caught up with you, here," She handed his the rolled up map. "You'll need this to pinpoint exactly where those

    guardians of the totems are."

     

    Hasir thanked her and they looked at the map again to see where the bearer of the first totem, Alrabeg, could be found.

    Rakel pointed to a spot on the map Southwest of Whiterun, "Broken Fang cave, I know that place well, it is where I created my

    first home when I came to Skyrim from Solsthiem, you see. I was and am still accustomed to nature as the thought of sleeping in a

    man-made bed makes my skin crawl." She paused and then added, "Not that sleeping in a man made bed is a bad thing." She

    shrugged, "I'm sure I can manage either way."

     

    "What in Hircine's name does this have to do with finding the totems?" He asked, a bit irritated.

    Rakel apologized and started to head in the direction of Broken Fang cave with Hasir close behind her. As they exited through the

    giant oaken doors, the moon began to rise. Their clothes fell away and they were in their wolf forms. He looked over and saw a silver

    wolf standing mere feet from him. He padded over and sniffed her half expecting to smell a familiar scent, he did not. Instead, he

    smelled snow and pine. He could also hear the beat of her heart, which was slow and steady. His, however, was threatening to burst

    out of his chest. His eyes pupils became bigger and his breathing heavier. His mind struggled to focus on the task at hand. 

     

    The female wolf felt no such attractiion to him, or so she thought.

     

    The wolves ran full pelt over the drawbridge, blanked the exquisitely carved parapet above the drawbrige and the stone walls of the

    watchtower, Their goal was simple: head to Broken Fang Cave, they were not going to let anything stand in their way.

    At around nine o''clock, the werewolves reached a cave that looked like it just sprouted up out of the grassy plains surrounding it.

    The two rocks that the cave face was made up of  looked like they were pressed together using fun tack that has began to peel at

    the highest point of its applictaion, forcing the rocks to lean two different ways. The wolves also saw a lone tree growing on the west

    side of the cave.

     

    The wolves could smell a particularly strong scent of silver coming from inside. Had Vajhira sent them into a trap? The wolves shook

    thia rather absurd idea out of their heads as they went into the cave.

       

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