C.O.T.W Chapter 15: A Fair Fight

  • Hasir and Rakel exited the underforge with Aela following close behind them along with her brothers in arms Vilkas and Farkas just

    as the morning sun began its ascent in to the sky. Iskenaaz spotted them out of the corner of his eye, got up from the rock he was

    sitting on and followed them. Within minutes, she had caught up to them.

    "Part of Hircine's pack at last, eh? well done." Aela announced proudly, She gave him a jab on the shoulder.

    Hasir was about to ask about his role in the wolflord's pack when Aela put out a hand to silence him. She scowled at them.

     

    She looked both tired and like she had something on her mind that was dying to be let out of its cage,

    "I thought Hircine had finally picked a male and female alpha," she sighed, "ah well, at least you two are a part of the pack now." 

     

    Hasir turned his head abruptly as if he got slapped,

    "Wait, hold on, so, Hircine does not have pack alphas yet? I thought he was decided on the matter."

     

    He thought for a second and added,

    "I had thought Valjira, being a conduit of Hircine's divine energies, would know if lord Hircine made it known yet whether or not he

    had found two pack alphas." Hasir's face screwed up into a mask of pure confusion.

     

    Aela shook her head,

    "It does not work like that, Valjira only knows what Hircine chooses to tell her just as the whelps receive wisdom directly from him

    and Valjira."  

     

    Hasir continued walking with Aela, The huntress stopped a few feet short of the training dummies, causing Hasir and Rakel to stop

    also.

     

    She looked at the pair of them, she took a deep breath, and explained, in a calm manner,

    "Only members of the circle are allowed to receive night visions and the opprotunity to partcipate in hunts directly from the wolf lord

    himself."

     

    She paused and then nudged Hasir in the shoulder and gave him a wink,

    "But you are definitely on Hircine's mind for at least one of the alpha positions, you are his favorite."

     

    Aela turned towards Hasir and gave him a broad grin. She knew Hasir was feeling rather proud of himself. She looked at his face and

    he stared straight ahead, frowning, not looking at her. She knew something was bothering him, she could smell it on his body, see it

    in his body, which was slouched against the rock outside the underforge.

     

    Hasir shook his head, as if to rid himself of some bad memory that began to rear its ugly head,

    "Actually Kiba is his favorite," He put a clawed hand to his chest, "my wolf spirit's name is Frost." He screamed, accompanied by

    his tail thumping in the dirt, causing a dust cloud to rise. Aela and Rakel both looked at each other with unease.

     

    Hasir got up, his tail hung limp and walked to an empty chair that sat by the picnic table on the back porch. He wanted to be alone,

    that much was evident by his adittude. Aela started to get up but a strong female hand was thrust in front of her to prevent her

    from going any further. This hand belong to a nord female as equally strong as Aela, both physically and emotionally. She told Aela

    the she will handle this as Hasir listens better if that person talks calmy to him rather than getting all up in his face about the matter

    at hand. Aela said that she would rather talk to Hasir. Rakel refused to argue the matter.

    Aela got up and walked up the stairs and found a sseat next to the one the argonian sat in. She noticed the chairs were feet from

    each other, so Aela got up from her chair, moved it close to his and sat back down.

     

    She turned to face Hasir

    "Are you going to tell me what the mini explosion was down there?" She asked, 

     

    Hasir did not look at her, he just stared at the ground, He mumbled something her supernaturally enhanced hearing could not picked

    up. She asked him to repeat what he said. He told her that he was sorry and that he is under a lot of pressure being crowned the

    'Savior of Akavir.' Aela's face screwed up in confusion. Hasir noticed this, took a deep breath to calm himself and explained in more

    deatail. 

     

    With a clear head, Hasir told her how he became the savior of Akavir. He told her about how he became a shadowscale on the island

    of Akavir, about him saving the lands of Morrowind and Cyrodiil from destruction and about how he is infected with both Hircine's

    and Molag Bal's wolf forms. The nord female was stunned when he told her about his trouble controling his emotions, that he is a

    loose cannon and about how the black wolf, Bloodfang, latches onto those negative feelings and intends to use him as a weapon to

    lead Molag Bal's army against Hircine as an act on revenge for him turning the gods on him.

     

    Aela looked at him again; this time he looked back,

    "Hasir, how did you find all this fascinating stuff out? He didn't tell you did he?"

     

    Hasir looked at her and said, 

    "Yes actually, he came to me in a dream," He paused and, extending he hand slightly rotated it slightly, "he knew the female nord

    was confused, "what I call dreams, you see them as night visions."

     

    Aela looked gobsmacked, she stared, wide-eyed at him, 

    "Really, oh wow, no whelp has ever received a night vision from him, what did he say? anything important?"

     

    Hasir shrugged,

    "Something about me and Bloodfang being polar opposites."

     

    Hasir and Aela walked over to a picnic table positioned by some pillars with nordic carvings on them. Rakel and Iskenaaz joined

    them sometime after. 

     

    Hasir thanked Aela for listening, she told him not to worry about it. He lent close to Aela,

    "Um, Aela, can I ask a question?" He asked.

     

    She turned to face him,

    'Sure, what's up?"

     

    Hasir asked before his nerves could tell him otherwise,

    "Aela, um, exactly who are the companions? I only ask because I have never heard of them." Aela looked stunned.

     

    Aela, Rakel and Iskenaaz sat down first and helped Hasir into his seat, making sure to leave room so he can prop his leg up. Rakel

    came up soon after and offered to take his crutches and set them against a pillars with nordic patterns carved into it. Hasir turned

    and noticed Iskenaaz was coming up the stairs. Rakel sat on her seat on the bench next to Hasir crutches. Iskenaaz sat next to her.

     

    Aela still was in shock about Hasir's question. She finally found her voice amongst thoughts of just straight up punching Hasir in the

    nose, which she abruptly pushed aside.

    "Whoa, wait, you don't know the companions?" Aela looked like a person who just got zapped by a taser. "By the hunting grounds, I

    thought everyone knew about them."

    Hasir shook his head. Aela sighed, a bit agitated,

    "By Hircine, Have you been living under a rock all this time?" Aela had to take a few deep breaths to calm herself.

    "The companions were descended from the original five hundred companions lead by Ysgramor." She said, not noticing the confused

    faces. She looked at Rakel, "Rakel, your great grandfather, Fenrir, was among that proud number. They were lead by Ysgramor,

    everyone in Tamriel knows that," Hasir shot her a 'then how do I not know about this' stare.

     

    She rectified her previous statement by saying,

    "Ok, everyone in Skyrim." She said, while holding her hands up as if she was a mime stuck in an invisible box. What they have less

    information about is that your grandfather," She pointed a long, thin finger at Hasir, "Terrfyg, was the harbinger after the reign of

    Ysgramor."

     

    This reply shocked Hasir, now he was the one who had the slack-jawed expression on his face. Rakel was shocked as well by this

    news, of course, she was more up to date with her family history than Hasir was. To be honest, she did not entirely know about her

    entranged grandfather, since he and her mother were never really close.

    Rakel and Hasir had questions to ask Aela, they wanted to know more about their distinguished family members. Aela held

    her hands up and said there would be a time for questions but they had to wait after her story, The argonian and the nord lowered

    their hands and let her continue telling her story.

     

    "Anyway, as I way saying, Rakel, your relative was part of the five hundred companions," She sighed, "at least that is what they

    were called when Ysgramor and Fenrir founded the companions, now, though, we are few and far between, numbering only seven

    swords. She sighed again, and as such we do not have the strength we once had; that is why I am would like to ask if you would

    consider joining the companions. Rakel and Hasir thought about this a while and after thirty minutes of deep thought and

    conversation between each other, they said they would join.

     

    Aela looked absolutely delighted,

    "That is great news, go through the doors behind me, go downstairs, find an old man named Kodlak and let him know you are

    interested in joining, I assure you that you won't regret this decision." 

    Hasir and Rakel both said their goodbyes to Aela and Iskenaaz, Rakel retrieved Hasir's crutches, helped him up and proceeded past

    the picnic table.

     

    Hasir stopped and Rakel, too, stopped in her tracks.

    "Hasir, what's up? Is your leg hurting you?" She looked at him concerned.

     

    Hasir said that his leg was fine, however, he did need to ask Aela something. Rakel turned to him, took his face in her hands and

    kissed him,

    "Ok, don't be long, I'll meet you inside." She said softly, looking into his bright blue eyes. With that, she pushed the intricately

    carved door open and disappeared inside the hall.

     

    Hasir turned around and walked to the picnic table, leaned the crutches against the pillar and sat down across from Aela and

    Iskenaaz. Aela was too busy talking to Iskenaaz to notice that Hasir had sat back down. She finallly acknowledged him with a half

    turn of her head and a quick nod.

    "Back so soon, eh? Join the companions proper yet?" She asked, jokingly,

     

    To answer her, Hasir shook his head. Aela looked at him, questioningly, curious as to why he came back. Hasir folded his hands in

    one big fist on the hands wood surface,

    "Aela, what do you know of my grandfather, Terrfyg?" He asked, question marks etched all over his face.

     

    He noted Aela's confused look and then changed his direction,

    "I mean who was he? Tell me his story and what he did to contribute to the companions today?"

    Aela cleared her throat as she began to tell her tale,

    "Terrfyg, hmmm, all I know about him is he was the one responsible of giving us the gift of the beastblood." She got up and 

    proceeded to the wooden doors.

     

    She looked over her shoulder at the argonian,

    "If you want to know about Terrfyg, find the old man, Kodlak, he can tell you more."

     

    Hasir thanked her for giving what information she could. Aela turned away from him once more and pushed open the ornately

    carved wooden doors.

     

    The argonian retrieved his crutches and walked to the pair of wooden doors that seperated the porch from the hall, he opened them

    and went inside. 

     

    Once Hasir stepped inside the building, he descended the stairs and immediately recognized the four brown tables arranged in a

    horseshoe shape with fifteen chairs arranged neatly around it. He looked straight ahead and thought of that night when Rakel had

    hellped him find a pillow for his broken leg, which she would put on a chair, ultimately, she just put his leg on another chair that was

    turned so it faced the chair he slept in.

     

    "Rakel was always helpful and kind and in many ways still is." Hasir thought. 

    Hasir could hear some commution going on in the left corner of the hall near a pair of doors that lead to Tilma's bedroom. He turned

    his head and saw a man and woman fighting. In truth though, it seemed they were training their skills than engaging in a real

    fight. Hasir moved closer and saw that it was a nord and dumner sparring with each other, using nothing but their fists.

     

    Hasir could see a crowd forming around the combatants, he spotted Farkas and Vilkas sitting on a brown bench behind the

    combatants who, just now, were sizing each other up, circling around and trading blows.

     

    He turned to Farkas, he saw profit in the fight at hand.

     "Farkas, what say we spice this fight up a little, let's each throw in, say ten gold each, into this and see who comes out on top?" He

    sat back in his seat, his arms folded across his chest. 

     

    "Poor fool, he'll never win, I always outfox him at this sort of thing." Vilkas thought. Farkas withdrew a leather pouch laden with ten

    gold coins, walked over and placed it on a small desk that sat beside the bench, Vilkas did the same with his pouch.

    Farkas agreed saying he will take the dunmer male and his brother can have the nord female, both newcomers, or whelps, to the

    companions, that honor now falls upon Hasir and Rakel. The argonian hoopped, with the help of his crutches, over to where the two

    brothers were seated on the bench. He sat down next to Farkas,

     

    Hasir put his crutches against a brown pillar next to the bench that had nordic symbol carved into the base and turned to Farkas,

    "E-excuse me, but, why are you betting on them?" He looked at them inquisitively.

     

    the twins were quite taken aback by this obvious air of ignorace,

    "Are you nuts, lizard? it is of the nature of the companions to make coin anyway we can, mercenary work, looting and even betting

    on a fight that is purely for entertainment purposes, they." He motioned to the combatants, "fight for training purposes, while we

    watch for both the entertanment values and, when the oppurtunity presents itself, we bet on a winner of the fight."

     

    Hasir shuddered,

    "By Hircine, you guys are barbaric. do all companions act like this?" He asked, his scaly forehead creased.

     

    Vilkas turned to face him,

    "We do whatever we see as honorable, it has been our code since the days of Ysgramor. We value one's honor about almost

    everything else. Hircine is our other priority, family is of lower priority, but by no means does one beat out the other. They are all of

    equal importance to us." 

     

    He turned back to the fight,

    "Way to hit her, Athis, nice right hook, keep it up, do not let her gain any ground."

     

    as the fight dragged on more and more people came to support the fight, many of the people, including Skjor who just showed up,

    were rooting for Njada Stonearm who seemed to be getting the short end of the stick. Skjor yelled at the nord female to remember

    her footwork, which is very important in a victory.

    Athis' right haymaker was blocked by Njada's right arm while she used her left arm to swing hard at Athis, he fell to the ground like

    a wolf who had been fell by a swing of the sword, Farkas yelled at Athis to get up, but Njada keep wailing on him, even though he

    was down for the count. The fight got so one sided the Skjor had to step in because in his view, the training session was getting out

    of control, he did not want one of his brothers to get knocked unconscious." 

     

    He ran towards the combatants, waving his hands above his head,

    No, Njada stop, what is Hircine's name is wrong with you/" He yelled, standing beteen the combatants as if to shield athis.

     

    Njada ceased her relentless beating,

    "I am sorry, Skjor, it's just that when I get going on something, I find it hard to stop and that often lands me into trouble."

    Skjor scowled at her and pointed to the stairwell leading to the undercroft,

    Take Athis downstairs and put him in one of the spare beds down there and ensure he recovers from the injuries you so carelessly

    inflicted upon him. Feeling defeated, she hung her head and she picked the unconscious dark elf up and brought him down to the

    undercroft. 

     

    Vilkas turned to his brother and smiled broadly,

    "I believe I win, I am now twenty septims richer." He got up, walked over to the small desk and claimed his prize.

     

    Skjor walked to the bench where Hasir sat. He took the seat that Vilkas was sitting in mere seconds before,

    "So, Aela tells me that you and your friend Rakel wil be a valuable asset to the companions, is that true?" He looked at Hasir, his

    facce full of question marks.

     

    Hasir nodded, Skjor said if he wanted to join the companions, he had to go downstairs to see Kodlak as he accepts or denies an

    applicant's request to join the companions. He said he had things to take care of outside of the hall and he left Hasir by himself.

    Hasir asked Skjor if Rakel was already down there. Skjor nodded and said she was, then he disappeared through the double doors to

    the porch. 

     

    Hasir got up slowly, taking care not to put weight on his left leg, retrieved his crutches and went downstairs to see Kodlak. As he

    walked, he looked around the hall at the wolf, deer and sabre tooth tiger pelts that hung on the walls. He also noticed the weapon

    racks with various weapons that stood against the wall, close to that was a stone stand, upon which, Hasir guessed used to stand a

    weapon. He walked down the wooden steps and pushed open the carved doors with nordic symbols.

    The lizard's face lit up as he saw a cavernous undercroft with a stone floor that had a room directly across from the entrance doors

    and a red and yellow carpet that ran down the middle leading north into yet another room that had the same pattern rug except it

    was running from east to west, connecting two. Hasir could also see a bench pushed up agaisnt tthe wall near where he stood.

     

    He turned to his left and saw a small hallway leading to a small bathing area. This must be where the companions bathe every

    morning he thought. He turned back around and heading north along the carpet. He saw three more rooms, one straight ahead of

    him, another to the left of him and a third to his right. He walked forward and pushed open the wooden door and stepped inside a

    room with a display case on a table with a sttrange looking skull that sat next to it situated on right side of the room and chest next

    to an enchanting table along with a bookshelf behind a chair on the right side of the room.

     

    What caught Hasir's attention, However, was a table and three chairs. Sitting in one of the chairs was the old man tat Farkas

    mentioned. The man extended a hand, a motion that Hasir took to mean 'sit down', he did so. He looked to his right and saw Rakel

    sitting in the third chair.

     

    The old man wore strange armor Hasir had never seen before, he had long white hair and a grey beard behind which was an aged

    face along with owlish blue eyes. His armor looked like it had seen many battles. The man also wore battle scars from those

    same battles.

     

    The man smiled warmly at the argonian,

     "Ah yes, you must be Hasir. Aela told me that you would be seeking to join the companions?"

     

    He scanned Hasir from head to toe, Hasir looked pretty normal, as far as argonians go, Kodlak's eyes went wide as he noticed

    Hasir's armor. He asked Hasir where he got the armor, the Argonian told him that he got it from an old friend. Kodlak asked Hasir

    where the friend got the armor. In response, he said that he did not know where she got it from.

     

    The Harbinger forced his mind to stay on the current task,

    "So, Hasir, I do not accept applicants in this hall of warriorswithout first seeing how well they hold up in battle," Kodlak stared at

    Hasir, to his surprise, the lizard did not recoil. Hasir just continued staring in eyes the same shade of blue as his own. His lip pulled

    back to reveal pointy teeth. A low snarl eminated from his mouth,

    "I can handle any test you throw at me." 

     

    The harbinger smiled as he folded his hands in front of him, interlacing his fingers so that they formed a single large fist,

    "Well, it sounds like you are very certain of your victory," He then raised a single finger, "you may either be very brave or very

    foolish." He sat back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest, "Bravery we can use, as it can serve you well in battle," He

    then looked sternly at Hasir, "Bravery is all well and good, but, if used to boost one's own ego instead, it becomes a very dangerous

    and often fatal trait.

     

    He did not break eye contact nor lose that stern look as he asked the lizard if he could do ask he asked,

    "So, are you positive you can fight and not let us down?" The harbinger stuck out his hand.

     

    Hasir stood up, smiled warmly and shook it. Just then, a nord with bulging muscles wearing steel armor came watlzing in to Kodlak's

    quarters. Kodlak extended his hand and introduced Farkas. Kodlak turned to Hasir as Vilkas stood next to him,

    Hasir, may I introduce..." Hasir vaguely waved a handd in the air,

    "Yeah, erm, we already met, he beat Farkas in a fist fight."

     

    The Harbinger's face hardened, looking somewhat dissapointed,

    "I see, well, he will test your willingness to join the companions, go up to the training yard and show him what you've got. If you

    survive, you're named a whelp, if not...well, nothing, you die."

     

    The harbinger chuckled at his own joke, but, Hasir was not laughing, he did not even smile. He thought the joke was in very poor

    taste. Hasir and the nord left the harbinger alone and walked up the stairs to the door which lead to the training yard...well, one of

    them walked.

    Hasir put both crutches under one arm and hopped, a little unsteadily, up the stairs. Once he and Vilkas reached the pair of wooden

    doors, they double teamed the doors and with one big push, they were outside.

     

    Vilkas descended the steps on the liightest of feet,he was starting to grow impatient as he had to wait for Hasir carefullly traverse

    one step after another. Vilkas groaned audibly in his frustration,

    "For the love of the divines, lizard, get down here already!" 

     

    Hasir finally did get down and soon the training duel had started, Vilas swung his big two-handed sword in a low sideways arc. This

    move knocked Hasir to the ground, making him grit his teeth as hot waves of pain coursed through his broken leg.

     

    He got up, retrieved his crutcches that were laying on the ground, and snarled back,

    "Damn it, I wasn't ready, you filthy nord."

     

    Vilkas braced himself for what he was sure to be a weak attemp at the lame lizard's attack, however, he severely miscalculated.

     

    WHAM!

     

    A slimy green tail swung around with enough force that it knock Vilkas off his feet, sending him hurdling towards one of the training

    dummies with the force of a speeding missile. The dummy exploded on contact, causing Vilkas to land amongst bits of wood that

    minutes before were a traing dummy.  Vilkas was bent over gasping for air as most of it got knocked out of him. Hasir walked over

    and lent down to help the winded Vilkas to his feet.

     

    "Man...who knew argonians could fight with their tail?" He panted. "You...will make...a fine companion. Now...let's go back and see

    the old man."

     

    Vilkas got his bearings and walked up the steps and disappeared into the mead hall with Hasir hobbling after him.

                       

Comments

2 Comments   |   Sotek likes this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  January 20, 2020
    Well, it's not Friday but here I am. Nice intro into the Companions. Particularly liked the use of the tail, often they get overlooked which is a shame. I can't wait to see where you go regarding Hircine's two Alphas...  For this I have a path laid o...  more
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  January 14, 2020
    Will have a read on Friday.