C.O.T.W Chapter 11: Cult of The Wolf

  • When Rakel woke up, she yawned and stretched. She looked up at the night sky through the cracks in the boat that served as the

    mead hall's ceiling. It's almost nine o'clock She thought. She then glanced over at Hasir who was still sleeping. She punched him in

    the elbow.

     

     Hasir awoke with a yelp,

    "Ow, what was that for?" He exclaimed, rubbing his elbow.

     

    She bade Hasir look up at the sky, he did so. She looked sternly at the stubborn lizrd, she started tapping her foot in frustration as

    she hoped he would figure the reason she had awoke he so soon.

     

    "So there are stars, big deal." he said, a tad annoyed being woken up this early.

     

    She waved a hand in front of Hasir's face, "Earth to Hasir, it's almost nine o'clock and the Cult of the Wolf will begin their service

    any minute.

    He shot her a suspicious look. "Cult of the Wolf? What is that?"

     

    She hid her face in her hands, Great he has no clue, I thought we talked about this already...wait, we did talk about this, didn't

    we? She thought.

     

     

    He glared at her, "Why are you laughing at me? I have no idea who there are."

     

    Rakel told him they must have undergone a name change when they were absent. Rakel got up from her chair and went over a

    retrieved Hasir's crutches. With lots of effort, he lifted himself out of his chair, wincing all the while because of his throbbing leg and

    hobbled over to where Rakel held the crutches. He put a crutch under both of his scaly green arms and followed Rakel outside to the

    porch containing the training area. Rakel stopped beside Hasir and looked up at the sky and saw a curtain of black dotted with stars

    surrounding a bright moon that looked like a pale cheese wheel in the center.

    Hasir coughed into his hand, which made Rakel lower her head and then look at him.

     

     

    "Do you need a glass of water?" She asked, cocking her head slightly.

     

    Hasir shook his head quickly, "No, I'm fine." He stood there on one leg, scratching his head, "Shouldn't we get going to the

    underforge."

     

     

    This must've caught Rakel by surprise because she turned her head in his direction,

    "Hm? Oh, by Hircine, yes, let's not waste any more time."

     

    Rakel walked from the canopied porch to the underforge with Hasir crutching close behind.

     

    Iskenaaz saw them approaching.

    "How's it going Hasir?"

     

    He scanned him from head to toe and stopped when he saw his hardened leather cast,

    "My son, what happened?" 

    "It's a long story." He growled back. "Look," Hasir sighed, "I don't have time to explain, I am late for a meeting."

    Iskenaaz recoiled a little bit from Hasir and became saddened.

    Hasir glanced at his father,

    "Dad, sorry I-I didn't mean to offend you."

     

    Iskenaaz looked up into his son's eyes and nodded. Hasir looked up and found that Rakel already went inside. Hasir followed her.

    Once inside the underforge, Hasir caught sight of Rakel, dumping the artifacts that she had procured from the cave onto the altar.

     

     

    Hasir stained his ears to catch the conversation,

    "Well done Rakel, you and Hasir have done admirably." Valhira stated, "Now, place the three artifacts of the wolf on the proper stone

    platforms around the chapel." She extended her hand towards each of the three plaforms. "Put the totem of the hunt on the

    platform near the door. "Next, put the totem of brotherhood on the platform that lay five  inches to the northwest of the central

    stone basin. She paused, and then she pointed her arm to a platform that lay to the northeast  of the central stone basin. "Finally,

    put the totem of fear on this platform."

     

    Rakel acknowledged her and put each of the three artifacts on the platforms in order: the thigh bone, the wolfskull, the drum. Rakel noticed one totem was missing.

     

    "Wait!"" She exclaimed, noticing the khajiit was overlooking something,

     

    "What about the spear of bitter mercy?"

     

    she reached into her pack and pulled on a wooden shafted spear with a rather ornately shaped head.

     

    The Khajiit's eyes went wide as she beheld the spear,

    "You actually found Hircine's oldest totem? I did not even know this existed." Valhira gasped and stared opened mouthed at the

    spear, "Where in Hircine's name did you find this?" She asked.

     

    Rakel said it was in the inventory of the silver hand member she, or rather her wolf, had killed.

     

    "Oh, I have a special place for this."

     

    Valhira took the spear from Rakel and hung it on a set of vertically aligned hooks directly above the altar that stood against the back

    wall.

     

    "As Hircine's most prized possession, it is only fitting to have it displayed above his altar.  

     

    Rakel also said Hasir had found an artifact a while ago that he told her about. She went over to Hasir''s leather bag and took out

    anecklace that had two wolves teeth on it.

     

    Valhira's eyes lit up

    "Hircine's mercy! how did you find this?"

    She took the necklace from Rakel. Rakel told Valjira that Hasir found it when he was on a mission on Soltheim. The female khajiit

    held the necklace up for everyone to see. She said that she had the perfect spot for this. She hung it on a peg that was situated to

    the bottom left of the spear of bitter mercy.

    Hasir hobbled back to his seat, before he could get there, though, Valhira stopped him. She looked down at his left leg that had a

    cast of hard leather on it. "Brother Hasir, what happened?" Hasir told her how he fought Bloodfang in the cave, how he

    possessed Hasir, the expulsion and the encounter with the skeleton of his mother and how she broke his leg. She lowered her head

    in shame,

    "I am so sorry Hasir, now this strange mobile skeleton in dwarven armor, did you know her?" She paused for a minute in an attempt

    to gather her thoughts. 

    The khajiit asked her next question, "More importantly, do you know what she was doing there?"

     

    Hasir told Valhira about how Bloodfang killed his mother and that her skeleton was the one inside the Dwarven suit of armor. He,

    however had no answer as to why Bloodfang would have need of an argonian skeleton.

     

    Valhira expressed her deepest apologies for his loss,

    "Thanks Valhira." He said, smiling, "that means so much."

     

    He said he would talk further on the subject but there was a mass to be conducted. Valhira seemed lost in a world of her own. Hasir

    waved a hand in front of her furry face. "oh, right, sorry." She went back behind the altar and put her hands upon the altar.

    "Everyone, back to their seats, it is time for us to start mass. "

    Hasir looked around and everyone was glaring at him, he apologized, though he did not what he had done wrong, and assumed his

    position next to Rakel and Inigo in the third row of benches. When all members were seated, Valhira raised her face and hands to

    the heavens.

     

    "Mighty lord Hircine, two of your loyal hounds, Hasir and Rakel journeyed to Brokenfang cave, defeated many evils and returned

    with your artifacts, may you smile upon them."

     

    Valhira finished and lowered her head and looked straight at Hasir and Rakel,

    "Hasir, Rakel, can you come up her please?" She asked them in a soft tone.

     

    Rakel and Hasir vacated their seats and walked, well one of them walked while the other one hobbled with the help of his crutches,

    past the stone basin in the center of the underforge and up to the altar. They were unsure why Valhira would call upon them.

    Valhira lowered her arms and brought the two members in close, put one arm on both shoulders."You two have survived three silver

    hand members and a power-mad mackenzie valley wolf and a dwemer contruction known as the gilded and brought back all of

    Hircine's totems. That is feat few would have undertaken, let alone survived."

     

    The argonian and the nord smiled,

    "Thanks Valhira, I-" Hasir began but Valjira put up a paw to silence him.

     

    "Hasir, Rakel, Hircine smiles on your bravery in the face of overwhelming odds that you have faced in that cave. He and I agreed to

    make you two full time members of his pack.

     

    They both beamed with delight,

    "Thank you Valjira, for this honor." They said in unison, "we wish do our utmost to please Lord Hircine and hopefully, given our

    service to him, we may rise in the ranks."

     

    Valhira nodded, "Hasir, Rakel, with patience and a strong sense of duty to our Lord Hircine, I know you will."

     

    Minutes later, she turned away from them to face the congregation and asked Hasir to stand to her left and Rakel the same on her

    right.

     

    She cleared her throat,

    "Lycanthropes of tamriel, I give you Hasir and Rakel, the newest wolves to join Hircine's pack, may they bring glory and honor to

    his name." 

    There was a tremendous amount of applause to this news. It sounded as if the roof of the chapel was about to explode with how

    loud the noise level was. Everyone, the companions and the frostmoon pack alike were thrilled to hear this wonderful news.

    Valjira resume the sermon she was delivering before she imparted this wonderful news to the church as a whole.

     

    She raised her hands into the air and recited as if from memory,

    "Lord Hircine, ever are we, your obedient servants, protectors of your mighty forests and the land of your sister Kynareth. Together

    as the divine sky and the dense forests, you and she mantains balance in the lives of all living things. You, with your wolves who

    hunt and kill to ensure that balances stays in  a constant flow of rythm and she, with her ability to create the earth that sweeps by

    beneath our feet as we run both as wolf and a man and mer alike to provide ourselves and you both sport meat we need for our

    wolves to not perish and sport for you to watch in the most divine of places, the ideal afterlife, the hunting grounds. Praise be to

    Hircine."

     

    The congregation, as well as Rakel and Hasir repeated the phrase. 

    Hasir went over to Rakel and he did not know what made him do it, he kissed Rakel. Hasir expected her to pull away or be disgusted

    by it, but, she kissed him back, much to Hasir's surprise. When Hasir finally pulled out of the kiss, Rakel spoke.

     

    "Hasir, what was the for?" She asked, laughing.

     

    Hasir apologized. He said he could not control himself, he wanted to kiss her for a while now, and never got the courage to, until

    today after the news of being officially recognized by Hircine as one of his pack.

     

    Rakel shook her head, 

    "don't apologize, you did absolutely nothing wrong, I was just surprised, that's all."

     

    Valhira just stood there, lost for words. At last, she found her voice afloat on the stream of uncertainty,

     

     

    "Hasir, Rakel," She said, angrily, "I know you are excited about becoming one with our lord, but can you control your hormones and

    act more professional while you are here?" Rakel and Hasir both lowered their heads in shame.

     

    She turned back to the congregation,

    "Ahem, now with that out of the way, we can-" She looked at the wooden clock on the wall above the rock door.

     

    "By Hircine is it that late? We will have to conclude for now because it is already twelve o'clock, I guess my mind just got away from

    me. She waved her hands, signalling for everyone to vacate the premises, except for Moonman, Quinchal and Inigo. She motioned

    to them. Moonman, Inigo, Quinchal, can you come up here please?" She asked, smiling. 

    Moonman, Quinchal and Inigo vacated their seats and proceeded up to the altar where Valjira was standing. 

     

    "yes, mistress, what do you require of us?" Quinchal asked.

     

    The khajiit rasied her head,

    "What I need you three to do is go to Akavir, there are two more totems that Hircine has asked me to retrieve, but to get it you need

    to brave the harsh mountain and enemies of Akavir."

     

    "What about the other argonian? Surely he can retrieve it in our stead?" Inigo asked.

     

    The khajiit shook her head, which causedd her dreadlocksks held back by a headband to sway under her gray hood,

    "No, it has to be you three, Hasir already survived his trial,, no it's your trial."

     

    "Okay, okay, but will there be lots of squishy spiders where we are going? Because if so, count me in." He smiled to himself but then

    frowned, "hopefully there will be no draugrs or other undead. I can't stand the undead." He said, starting to shiver.

     

    Valhira shook her head again,

    "No, Inigo no spiders," The blue khajiit swore. "There might be soome undead that you have to fight to obtain these totems." 

     

    Inigo gulped audibly.

     

    Valjira continued unphazed by the frantic, yet proud khajiit,

    "These two totems particular totems, the savior's hide and the ring of Hircine, were stolen from Hircine by the Tsaesci of Akavir. Be

    careful though, because Hircine thinks Bloodfang will try to impede with his army of 'the gilded.'

     

    Inigo raised his hand, Valjira sighed,

    "Yes Inigo?" 

     

    "Um, what are gilded?" He asked, unsure if he wanted an answer or not.

     

    Valhira cleared her throat,

    "gilded are undead men, mer and beasts fused to dwemer suits. They are kept alive with the help of a small crystalline heart. Now I

    know what you three are thinking, no, it is not a soul gem, it is much more intricate than that." 

     

    Inigo, hearing the word 'undead', hid underneath the altar of Hircine so no one coulld see him shaking like a leaf.

     

    Moonman cleared his throat,

    "Ahem, how are we going to retrieve the totems, we don't even know where it is."

     

    Quinchal said he knew where it was. he told the other two, well, one, because Inigo was still shaking like a coward, where they could

    find the arifacts. 

     

    "The place is called Zhoushin pass, the first artifact, the ring of Hircine, resides inside a cave called Langshun and the other, the

    savior's hide, is in the deep ocean.will tell you more when we get there."

     

    He looked beneath the altar and kicked hard with his boot,

    "Owwww!" Inigo stood up, and rubbed his bruised back.

     

    "What was that for?" He asked.

     

    "That was for you being such a scaredy cat, grow some thicker fur Inigo." 

     

    Iniigo looked taken aback,

    "I am sorry that I'm not as perfect as you, but I had a traumatic experience with zombies." 

     

    The khajiit hid under the altar once more. Quinchal bent down and grabbed Inigo by the collar of his armor and stood the khajiit up 

     

    "Listen you gutless cat, you are going and that's final, end of story, understand?"

     

    Inigo nodded, more out of fear than anything else. The nord, khajiit and tsaesci walked past the altar, the benches and finally the

    door to the chapel until they were breathing the fresh night air. 

     

    Valjira smiled and called out as they left the chapel,

    "Good luck and may Hircine's good fortune go with you."

                     

Comments

1 Comment   |   Sotek likes this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  March 16, 2020
    Ohhhh  Spear of Bitter Mercy.  Old friends she and I....   she will howl again. Have plans for her........