C.O.T.W Chapter 24: Wolfsbane

  • The carriage crunched over gravel as it sped past open meadows with deer grazing, some even looked up as the cart rumbeld past

    them. Again, aela could feel the wolf inside of her cry out for food. Pushed it down as she had more pressing matters to worry

    about, her friend was fighting for his life, well, the two emotional halves of himself anyway. Aela couldn't force the hunger down any

    longer and jumped of the carriage.


    Bjorlam looked over his shoulder, eyes wide with both conern and shock,

    "Aela, what are you doing, get back onto the carriage you fool." He yelled, pulling the carriage to a halt.


    Aela did not hear him. She had already disappeared over the side of the carriage. no sooner had her feet hit the ground that she

    broke into a full sprint, ran up a rock beside the deer, jumped and drew back on her bow and released an arrow. The intended

    target was the bit of flesh between the large buck's eyes. The arrow striked true, sending the poor creature sprawling across the

    ground, spraying blood as it went. 


    She put her foot on the deer carcass while she had her hand on the arrow and she wrenched the arrow free. Her foot still on the

    carcass, she began skinning the carcass with the knife she had pulled from her pack that was set beside the now dead deer. When

    she had finished she put the knife back into the bag and stepped off of the deer.

    When she did that, she failed to realize a small bandit encampment not too far from where she now crouched as she did not want to

    drew their attention to herself nor to anyone in the carriage, especially Hasir as, in his current state, he could not defend himself. As

    Aela lay in wait three feet from the camp, bow draw and arrow nocked, she tried to get a good look at the bandits. One was a female

    imperial wearing leather armor. From her hiding spot in the grass, Aela could also make out two of her comrades, one, a male

    redguard in carved nordic armor and the other, a female nord in full plate armor with a longhammer strewn to his belt. He must be

    the leader she thought, I must go carefully. 


    Aela knew that attacking the bandits outright would be utter foolishness, she would be killed before she even slit the first one''s

    throat. She decided to change tactics, from the bushes she called for Ceralyne to come over. The high elf oblidged happily and

    hopped from her seat on the carriage and went over to where Aela lay. She also motioned for Rakel to come over as well. They

    crouched down in the grass besides Aela totally unaware that the two moons, Massar and Secuda, were rising above the horizon.

    Aeka, Rakel and Ceralyne all transformed at once. The wolves leapt from the grass, claws and fangs at the ready. The bandits were

    ready also as they grabbed silver weapons from their main tent and moved into defensive stances. Red and the other wolves

    effortlessly knocked their adversaries to the ground, but were each stung by a silver weapon, Red and Accalia fought on unaffected

    by the silver, Luna, however, was writhing in pain on the ground, not only that, she was also foaming at the mouth.  


    The two wolves stopped and eyed their fallen comrade before turning back to the bandits and, growling with pure hatred for the

    humans and the moon-based metal they wielded, they first swiped at the weapons. The weapons burned their fur, bad enough to

    leave a big ugly scar, but they did not care, their hatred for anyone wielding a silver weapon burned hotter than the stinging metal

    inflicted wounds on their flesh. The two bandits screamed in agony as four sets of giant teeth ripped their throats out.


    The leader stepped up, angered by his fallen comrades and the hatred of the werewolves. She was a muscular nord wielding a huge

    silver longhammer tied to her hip. She unsheathed it and started swinging madly at the wolves, they tried dodging the incredible

    reach of the weapon, but, no matter how they tried, they couuld not outwit the weapon. The weapons spike dug into Accalia's flesh

    while the blunt end smashed into Redd's skull. Red fell onto the ground unnconscious and Luna collapsed from the poison coursing

    through her body.


    A khajiit hunter was preparing to skin a doe he had just killed when he discovered three massive wolves laying in the grass not ten

    feet from him, he wondered how they got there and the looking up saw the bandit leader standing with her foot on both of their

    bodies, closing in for the kill. The khajiit ran as fast as his could to the wolves' position, drew his bow and fired. The arrow soared

    through the air in a graceful but deadly arc and slammed into the bandit chief's chest, flinging the bandit backward to land besides

    her tent.

    The khajiit, named Ri'saad, a caravener from Whiterun kneeled down and looked the bandit in the eyes,

    "Why were you going to kill these wolves, they had done nothing to warrant such rash behavior."


    The Bandit chief gasped for air as her failing eyes stared unblinking into the man who shot her,

    "You stupid fucking cat," She spat at the hunter, "Those aren't...normal wolves, those...are werewolves." With her last words, her

    hammer fell away from her hands, which were now as cold as ice. The khajiit tore his eyes away from the dead woman and

    saw she was telling the truth because, in their injured states, each wolf took on a more human shape. 


    The Khajiit went to leave and saw rwo of them wake up. Rakel had a nasty puncture wound on her side, The khajiit ran over to her

    on the lightest of feet like a prancing deer, helped her up and asked if she needed hany assistance, she shook her head causing her

    long, brown hair to cascade around her. she gestured to the nord woman laying four feet from her,


    "No, thanks, I will be alright, but, that nord over there needs your assistance, she got hit on the head hard and I fear that she may

    have a concussion." The khajiit nodded, smiled and went in the direction she indicated.


    When the khajiit saw her, he went as white as a sheet and almost fainted, fresh blood was pouring from a wound on her head the

    size of a moon crater. Aela could smell his musky scent as he knelt down beside her and pulled medical tape from his pack and

    began patching the wound up. After doing so, Aela awoke.


    "Ahhh! Ow my head." She groaned as the khajiit helped her to her feet. Ri'saad asked the same self check question he had asked

    the brown haired nord. Aela shrugged him off saying she would be fine and did not need a babysitter to watch over her. It was then

    that the khajiit hunter saw a high elf laying quite still in the grass three feet from Aela. He saw that she was punctured through the

    chest with a silver greatsword that was no longer present. White flecks of foam bubbled forth from her mouth, he also saw that he

    eyes were open but frantically darting from side to side as if she was trapped in her own body. The khajiit knelt next to her in

    the grass and put to fingers to her neck. He was releived when he felt a weak but otherwise steady pulse. He guessed she was

    suffering from anaphylaxis as her breaths came in short, rapid bursts.


    The two companions walked through the grass towards their fallen companion,

    "We have to get her back to Whiterun, Kodlak will know what to do." Aela said to the others, they nodded


    As if right on cue, three horses sped towards them. Her heart sank as she realized who it was: Vilkas, Farkas and Kodlak; the

    horses stopped just short of Aela. They dismounted their horse and walked over to Aela, their armor clattering as they did so. Kodlak

    told Farkas and Vilkas to see to the other companions' needs, they nodded and set to their tasks.


    He knelt next to Aela,

    "Aela, what happened? We heard your yelps all the way from Jorrvaskr."


    She told him that they were transporting Hasir to Windhelm so he could go to Akavir to get help for his condition when bandits

    attacked. Kodlak sternly looked at her with his best 'Aela stop bullshitting a bullshitter' stare. She took a deep breath and told him

    the truth, from her leaving a moving carriage to hunt a deer all the way to the battle with bandits and the aftermath that followed. 


    Kodlak scowled at her and adopting his best 'dad' tones, yelled at her,

    "Aela, how dare you three show your wolf forms to an ousider! What in Oblivion were you thinking?" His face looked like it could boil

    an egg.

     "Harbiinger, I apologize, but the bandits were impeding our carriage on its way to Windhelm. What was I supoosed to do? sit there

    and just allow them to attack?" She raised an eyebrow as she spoke.


    He caressed her arm,

    "No, of course not, I would've rather you attack them instead of your wolves," He walked over to Rakel with Aela trailing him, head

    down, "So, whose idea was it to let slip the secret? hmmm? You know which secret I am on about." He looked from Rakel to Aela,

    no one spoke. Aela tapped Kodlak on the shoulder.


    He turned and looked at her,

    "What Aela? Do you have something to say?" His eyes looked like he had come out of the pits of Oblivion.


    She prepared herself for another explosion,

    "Kodlak, there is something you should see before you explode on all of us." 


    She took ten steps back from the harbinger and gestured towards Ceralyne. Kodlak took five strides to cross the grass to where

    she  lay. He knelt down beside the immobile elf and inspected her. He stopped when he noticed the bits of white foam adhereing to

    her lips and it was running down the blue shirt she was wearing.


    This caused Kodlak to looked up at Aela, his face etched with worry and shock,

    "Aela, how has she come to be like this?" he asked, a tone of fear in his voice.


    Aela racked her brain for a thought, any thought that would explain their predicament,

    "Well, Harbinger, when we attacked the bandits, they, turn, attack us with various kinds of silver weapons, Rakel and I were hit with

    a silver longhammer and Ceralyne," She gestured to the unconscious form on the ground, "was stabbed in the chest with a silver

    greatsword." All the while, she played with her hair, this action alone showed just how nervous she was.


    Kodlak sounded panicked when he spoke,

    "Thank the divines, yours and Rakel's injuries were not serious, as for Ceralyne, she requires special medicine, go to Arcadia

    and see if she can make heads or tails of this. If we are lucky, she can also whip up a potion to cure her of silver poisoning because I

    fear it has already worked its way into her bloodstream."


    Aela made to pick the elf up, Kodlak shook his head,

    "Leave Ceralyne here with me, you must hurry to Arcadia as I fear the elf's time is running out."


    "Yes, but-" Aela began


    "Go!" he barked. She took his horse and rode toward Whiterun.

    Aela whizzed past open fields as she sped along the cobblestone road toward Whiterun. As she rode, she could hear the drumbeat of

    the horse's hooves, she ccould feel it breath as it came in hard breaths that exited the horse's nostrils bathing Aela in warm air. Aela

    tore her mind away from the rythmic sound of the horse as she saw Whiterun looming on the horizon. She sped through streams,

    dismounted and left the horse at the stable.


    The stablehand, Skulvar Sable-Hilt tried to work out why she would leave a horse here,

    "Aela, why are you leaving the horse here?"


    Aela turned to him and responded, somewhat out of breath,

    Sorry, Skulvar, Kodlak...sent me, I am on a...mission." She sprinted past him, leaving him to wonder what her misssion was.


    Aela pushed open the great oak door and entered the city proper. Once inside, she headed for the potions shop. She was surprised

    to see Arcadia talking with Belethor, owner of the shop next to hers. Aela politely interrupted and asked if she could borrow Arcadia

    for an hour. Belethor nodded his head. Aela thanked him and went back to his general goods store and wondered what could be

    more important than him talking to Arcadia about business practices. 


    "Aela, what is this about? Belethor and I were having a conversation." She said sternly, hands on her hips.


    Aela quickly apologized,

    "I am very sorry Arcadia but I was wondering if you have any potions that can reverse or even halt the effects of silver poisoning?"


    Arcadia shook her head slowly,

    "I am sorry, I have potions of stamina, health and cure disease,, those are the closest I have, but," She let out a sigh, "I

    unfortunately have no potion for what you seek. Even if you craft a potion, the effect could not give you what you seek." She pointed

    towards the temple of kynareth, "perhaps that temple is your best bet. Danica could whip up a remedy in no time, thing is though."

    She frowned, "I don't know if she has a spell for mending THAT kind of injury. But, why don't you go see for yourself?"


    Aela said she would andwaved goodbye to Arcadia, who smiled, returned the gesture and added, "Good luck."

    Aela looked up at the rather ominous clouds rolling in over the city. She shivered as a cold wind started to blow. She could tell by the

    smell on the wind that it was going to rain. Aela looked down and frowned as she did not have the appropriate gear on for rain. Her

    ancient nordic armor would begin to rust if water so much as touched it. She began to wonder what a torrential downpour would do

    to the state of the armor. 


    She snapped out of her wonder and pulled her thoughts back to the task at hand. She splashed through puddle of water that began

    to form on the cobblestone market street. Rain drop splash off of the steps leading down from the wind district, Aela broke into a

    run, taking the stairs two steps at a time. She reached the top walked to the temple of kynareth and knocked on the door.


    Danica opened it, looking rather weary,

    "Aela, what is it? it's late." She said, yawning.


    "I am sorry for waking you up Danica, but, this is an emergency." She said, iin an apologetic tone.


    Danica yawned again,

    "What is this emergency then?" 


    Aela told here about how she, Rakel and Ceralyne were ambushed by bandits, not wanting to reveal it was she that caused the

    bandits to attack them and about how the bandits used silver weapons on them. Danica raised an eyebrow in disbelief.


    Aela lowered her head so that Danica could see a pink scar in the middle of her head,

    "See? Danica I am not lying her, their leader nearly knocked me senseless with her longhammer."


    Aela then continued with her tale. explaining at length her companions' injuries. She made sure to stop at regular intervals in the

    story so that Danica could catch up. When she and Danica were on the same page about everything that had transpired that

    morning. She invited Aela in, asked her to sit and wait on one of the stone beds so that she could consult her multitude of healing

    speel books and the books of supernatural curealls she had on hand.

    Aela sat on the stone slab, drumming her heels against the front of it. She did not hear Danica call out to her because she was too

    worried about Ceralyne, she hoped she would pull through and be alright. She also thought about Hasir as well and his mysterious

    illness. Danica turned and asked Aela something, she did not hear her.


    Danica tapped her on the shoulder, derailing her train of thought,

    "Huh, What?" Aela asked, strartled,, She spun around to see Danica smiling at her, "Oh, hi Danica, you say something?"


    Danica sighed and nodded,

    "Yes, I have been trying to tell you I may have found a cure for that which affects your friend." She said, a little testily.


    Aela swung her feet around, stood up and walked over to her,

    "Great, uh, what's Argyria?" She asked, confused


    Danica said Argyria is a medical term that means silver poisoning. She told Aela that it is mild to moderate in humans.  In most

    cases, it can cause bluish-gray skin tint but in werewolves, it is a serious, sometimes life-threatening illness that can lead to shock

    and if left untreated, death of the werewolf.


    Danica pulled Aela aside and told her that the cure for Arrgyria is not one so easily found. She handed the nord a sheet of paper with

    ingredients on it:

    1 piece of charcoal, crushed

    3 juniper berries

    1 garlic cluster, crushed

    2 piles of salt


    Aela rolled up the paper, slid it into her pocket, gave Danica her thanks and left the temple.

    Aela plucked the paper from her pocket and looked it over, carefully studying it when she got five feet from the temple. Aela

    guessed she could get the berries, salt pile and garlc at Arcadi'a cauldron but did not know where she could get the charcoal, maybe

    she could find one by pure luck in Belethor's general goods store. She proceeded towards the potion's mistresses shop.


    She entered the building and saw Arcadia out of the corner of her eye. She walked up to the counter,

    "Hi Arcadia," She gave her a warm smile, "Do you have any of these ingredients?" She grabbed the rolled up list with one hand and

    placed it upon the counter. Arcadia unrolled the list, scrutinizing it and walking over and rummaged in her stores for a long time

    before returning to the counter and placed what she had found on it. Aela stared in shock at the ingredients and compared them

    with her list, everything was there not one thing was missing.


    "Damn, Arcadia you really do know what the customer needs." She said with an expression of awe on her face. She grabbed the

    ingredients and put them in her bag, thanked the potions mistress and walked over to the alchemy station in the corner of the

    room. She extracted the ingredients from her bag, lifted a mortar from the shelf above the green table with arcane symbols and set

    to work. 

    She put the charcoal and garlic into the mortar first and crushed them to pieces the same size as a spec of dust and mixed them

    together. When she was satisfied with the crushed garlic and charcoal mixture, she removed a potion vial from her bag, put the

    mixture into the vial and topped the mixture off with a sprinkle of salt from the salt pile she extracted from her bag and put the two

    juniper berries into the vial and found a small stick off to the side of the alchemy table, picked it up and mixed the whole thing

    together. When it was complete the potion took on a sunset golden-orange color.


    Satisfied with her potion making, she thanked Arcadia and left the shop. Aela walked to the whiterun stables with the potion safe in

    her bag. She thanked Skulvar, mounted her horse and was off.


    By late afternoon, she returned to the spot where the elf lay, She spotted Kodlak, Vilkas, Farkas and Rakel sitting on logs around a

    newly made fire in the bandits camp. Aela looked amazing when she saw they had cleaned the place of the dead bandits as well.

    Aela rode over to the bandit camp and dismounted.


    Aela stepped over a log straight to the spot where the elf lay, she turned her head in Kodlak's direction,

    "Kodlak, is Ceralyne...dead?" Aela feared what the hHarbinger might say.


    Finally, after a few minutes of silence, the harbinger spoke,

    "Dead, no, by the gods, of that we are certain, but, her condition has indeed worsened, I'm sorry Aela, nothing can be done."


    Aela took a vial containing golden liquid out of her bag,

    "Will this help?" She asked, holding the vial aloft so everyone could see.


    Farkas jumped up, ran to his shield sibling and gave her a light punch on the arm,

    "Good old Arcadia, we knew we could count on her." They said with a grin. 


    Kodlak was next to congratulate Aela on a job well done,

    "Aela, by the nines, you are a lifesaver." He wrapped his arms around her.


    The female nord went over to the elf, picked her head up, opened her mouth and poured some of the potion down her throat. For a

    time, nothing happened until golden light filled her field of vision. When the light dissipated, her skin had lost its pallor and returned

    to its golden tint. the elf's eyes snapped open and she had begun to wretch, forcing everything including bits of silver from her body.


    Ceralyne sat up and asked how Hasir was doing. The Harbinger put a hand on her shoulder and frowned,

    "Hasir, will be fine, it's you we are all worried about," He gave her a concerned look." Are you sure you are ok?" Ceralyne nodded.


    Satisfied with her answer, the harbinger nodded and went to sit back down on his log by the fire. Vilkas, Farkas and Rakel were all

    too concerned by all that had transpired to sit down and they wanted to know more about the elf's situation. 


    The harbinger got to his feet a signaled to the two whelps and Aela that he would like to talk to them. They got to their feet and

    walked over to the harbinger, who was sitting on a log. He gave them his owl stare, something he had been feared and resprcted

    throughout Tamrieel. The whelps were sure he was looking in their very souls. 


    Kodlak looked first to Aela,

    "Aela I know you were raised better than this, if your mother and father knew about you divulging our secret to an outsider, they

    would be ashamed. Why did you drag these two into this?" He asked, not losing that angry edge to his voice.


    Rakel interrupted saying that it was not her fault. The harbinger fixed her with a scathing look,

    "Was I talking to you? No I wasn't, know your place whelp!" He growled at her. She backed away for him, scared of what he might

    do next. 


    The harbinger was madder than he could ever remember. He had a right to be mad because noone, not to his recollection anyway,

    under his direction as harbinger had ever changed form in front of a human, well lesser beast, before.  They had betrayed the

    number one rulle that the glenmoril witches told Terrfyg when they had blessing him and his children with lycanthropy. That rule

    was 'never transform in front of anyone except those that share the blood of the beast'. 

    The harbinger called over to the two nord brothers,

    "Farkas, Vilkas, come over here."


    The nords dropped their coversation and rushed over to the harbinger,  

    "Yes harbinger? You called?" Farkas asked


    Aela rolled her eyes from her seat six inches from the fire,

    "Of course, he did ice brain, open your ears so you can hear better." Aela turned her gazed back to the fire and watched the flames

    fizzel and pop.


    She looked out a the huge expanse of open grass past the camp and sighed,

    "Why do I even bother with those idiots?" She pout her head on her hands, "I hope Hasir wakes up soon, I don't know

    how much more I can take of this sitting arround, I need to hunt."  


    For Aela, sitting around talking was all well and good, but she needed to be out and about, letting her wolf run wildd and also have

    the freedom to eat the kills that she kill herself and when she is sedentary it drives her wolf insane so much so that she often has to

    fight the urge to yell at anyone she come into contact with.


    Aela was about to get up when Koldak shot her with a disapproving glance,

    "Where exactly do YOU think you're going young lady?"


    "Kodlak, I have to be out there," She pointed to the grassy plain beyond the camp, "I am of no use here, that plus my wolf spirit is

    going insane. 


    The harbinger shook his head, frowning at her,

    "I am sorry Aela, but you are in as much trouble as they are, your mothers and father would think ill of me if I let you off easy. No, I

    must discipline you you." Then Harbinger thought for a mement, "You, Rakel, and Ceralyne and banished from the halls of

    Jorrvaskr...at least until I can clear up this business with the khajiit hunter...what was his name again? ah yes, Mjandru'jo


    Kodlak, Vilkas and Farkas walked past the two nords and the elf and mounted there horses, but before speeding off to Whiterun,

    Kodlak rode over and tossed a book to Aela who caught in as it bounced off her chest. She asked what the book was for. Kodlak said

    it was a parting gift and that it will hopefully help them rethink her actions.

    Quinchal, Inigo and Bjorlam made it to the Windhelm docks, got out and helped load the unconsious Argonian on the Crimson Fang

    which was docked there. Once that was done he walked down the gangway, waved to the cat and the tsaesci and taking hold of the

    reins on his horse sped off to Whiterun. The tsaesci slithered to the shack containing the controls and turned the throttle to full

    speed ahead. The ship's engine whirred to life and they were off to Akavir to hopefully find a cure for Hasir's affliction.


    Hasir lay unconscious on the bench in the back of the boat and was oblivious to everything except what was going on inside his own

    mind. He was once again the gray wolf standing next to Hircine with Sheogorath standing next to the pair of them. They were

    staring mouths agape at Molag Bal, his gilded and shadow wolves. Two of the llooked on with slack-jawed expressions while the wolf

    crouched down, his hackles up in the air and growled at the newcomer and his 'friends.' 


    All of a sudden, the daedric lord of domination disappeared in a puff of black smoke only to be replaced by an attractive young man

    wearing a dark purple suit jacket complete with dark purple pants. 


    The figure turned to them a smiled evilly,

    "Like my pets?" He hissed through pearly white teeth.


    Sheogorath and Hircine were both lost for words, but Azure knew who this intruder was. The wolf growl became deeper Without

    warning the wolf lunged at the high elf. The elf dodged this effortlessly by turning into an intangible mist. The wolf passed through

    the swirl of mist and left a three inch claw scratch in the flower patterned couch. 


    The two daedric lords and the grey wolf looked around around and saw no sign of the high elf Sheogorath spoke out loud, seemingly

    to noone in particular,

    "I thought only Vaerrmina was allowed to enter and influence people's dreams, She is the daedra of dreaming an nightmares after

    all, it's in her job description."

    A voice came out of nowhere as if some invisible mouth were speaking and it reverberated around the mansion,

    "Fool, have you not learned anything? I am an elder vampire, servant of Molag Bal, I have powers beyond any mere 'daedric prince' 


    Sheogorath through up his hands iin disgust,

    "Sure, tell the whole blessed world your plans. It's old hat for a villian" The daedric prince rolled his eyes and then added, "Have

    you  tried beating a dead horse? It's easier and it will save you alot of trouble." He chuckled at his joke.


    The mansion was silent for a long time and then, when Sheogorath thought that they were alone, the mist materialized into the

    same slender elf he had seen before. The elf unsheated a silver longsword that was clearly meant for killing lycanthrope, but he

    though it would work just the same on meddlesome daedric princes, so why not? The high elf rushed at Sheogorath who dodge the

    attack and as an afterthought pulled out his wabbajack.




    The high elf shrieked as his sword had just turned into a black rat. The rat fell into floor and scurried away to a rat hole near the



    Sheogorath angrily advanced on the elf, brandishing his staff at him,

    "I don't think we were properly introduced, I am Shoegorath and who might you be, batbrain?" He smiled at the elf, showing white

    teeth. The elf said his name was Adrian. Sheogorath told Adrian that those two creatures over there, He gestured to the wolf and

    the huntsman, "are Azure and Hircine." Adrian waved halfheartedly in their direction.


    Sheogorath's face grew darker and his yellow eyes bore into Adrian's,

    "With introductions out of the way, we can get down to business,"


    The high elf laughed in the mad god's face,

    "Ha, what are you going to do to me? I can just disappear like that." He snapped his fingers to emphasize his point.

    The mad god scratched his chin,

    "Let's see, I can turn you into cheese and feed you to the rat I turned your sword into or I can send you for a very miserable eternity

    in dementia since that dimension is etched in your mind." He stepped forward and flicked Adrian's head. 


    A blue and black portal opened up behind Adrian. Sheogorath told Adrian that the portal was not for him. He said he had something

    worse in store for him. With that said, Sheogorath Hircine and Azure stepped into the portal and vanished with the portal closing

    behind them. This left Adrian with his thoughts and to wonder what worse could Sheogorath do than turning his sword into a rat?

    He shuddered. 


    After they left, he smirked to himself,

    "What fools, I can teleport anywhere I can think of. As he said this an image of Whiterun appeared in his mind, he teleported,

    leaving the mansion behind.