C.O.T.W Chapter 31: Silver Fury

  • The room Sheogorath and Twilight that stood in was a rotunda with a similarly fashioned limestone floor. Cutting each limestone

    square in half diagonally were seven sandstone pillars extending to an unseen, equally round ceiling. At the center of the room was

    marble altar and upon with was the unconscious nord Sheogorath and Twilight saw minutes before laid upon it. Surrounding the

    nord were two beautiful nord women and three ugly bird-like women.


    The two humaoid women went over to the ugly bird-like women and talked amongst themselves. One of the humanoid women lifted

    her head up and looked over to the unconscious nord, She bent her head low into the forest of hair again,

    "Sister, do you know who this is that lay on the altar?" She whisperred to the hagraven named Melka. the nord female's face

    screwed up in disgust, "What is that...five inches to the left of his heart?"


    Melka lifted her claw and pointed at the nord and whispered, 


    "Sister, his name is Terrfyg...as for the wound by his heart...that is the work of the silver hand." A smirk ran across her ugly face,

    "He was a member of the silver hand and when he failed to kill a werewolf, well...they banished him from the fort of Gallow's Rock

    and instructed him to never come back. They even went so far as to call him." Melka shuddered a bit, 'a shaved mutt.' The nord

    woman, named Lucerene, covered her mouth eyes wide, stifling a gasp, "Gods, that's horrible", Melka nodded, yes sister, it is the

    absoluteworst bit of slander anyone can use to besmirch a werewolf."


    She turned away from the group and sobbed for a good while. Moira, another hagraven, who was even uglier than the first walked

    over to her. Lucerene heard the bird-woman's claws scrape against the limestone tiles while she walked. Moira lifted a claw from her

    feathery black garb and patted Lucerene's shoulder, trying to calm her down.


    "There, there sister, calm yourself. Anyway to continue Terrfyg's tale, "He was so angry about that, erm, disgraceful nickname that

    he ran toward the fort eyes ablaze with the fires of Oblivion, iron sword and shield at the ready. The watchmen spotted him and

    alerted the Silver Hand and they ran out of the fort as if it were a clown car. Terrfyg squared up to them and when they were upon

    him, he swung his sword like mad. He tried to block their arrows and sword blows with his shield but there were too many of them.

    They soon overwhelm him like a wave does a well-built sandcastle. Lucerene's eyes filled with tears, Moira comforted her again. The

    silver hand had left their silver weapons at the fort and instead went for ordinary steel weapons."


    "They ran Terrfyg into the ground, so to speak, and started stabbing him with anything they had on hand. Most of the blows glanced

    off of Terryfg's dragonscale greaves and cuirass, well all but one, the silver hand leader raised his steel sword above a spot five

    inches to the left of his heart. He stabbed downward and to make sure the sword leeches his life from him, drove it in further with a

    well aimed boot." Moira said, miming the action.

    Lucarene broke free from Moira's embrace and walked over to the altar where Terrfyg lay running her long finger along the

    outer-most lip of the altar,

    "Sisters, the silver hand...they were bandits before they started hunting werebeasts correct?"


    She turned her head to look in their direction as if longing for an affirmation from the nord woman or the bird-creatures. The head

    hargaven, Melka, walked over to Lucerene, put a clawed hand on her shoullder and shook her head,

    "No, sister, they are actually grandsons and daughters of the companions who served Ysgramor all those years ago. While there

    were some who remained loyal to him and forsook the beast blood because they thought it was unbecoming of a proud nordic

    warrior, in their mind, a warrior of Jorrvaskr should keep his body pure as Ysgramor had and not besmirch his name by defiling their

    bodies in order to please a daedric prince. To them, they thought that sacrificing one's own will for a 'greater purpose' was

    unimaginably disgusting and break the tradition of the companions,"


    She took a deep breath, hands still on the altar, and continued,

    "The other half of ysgramor's number wanted the power to overwhelm their foes and so, they came to us to grant them



    She walked over to the stone altar, looked down at the unconscious harbinger and spoke, 

    "We did so, but, it came at a terrible price. You see Moira, Isobel and I," A tear trickled down her cheek onto the stone altar,  "We

    were once beautiful nord witches but, then after gifting that terrible curse upon those willing participants, our beauty began to wane

    until we were drained of it altogether, we were reduced to these disgusting monstrosities of half woman, half-bird creatures."


    Melka shed another tear. It feel to the altar just as the first one had,

    "We vowed never to curse another soul and in doing so, we would never have to tear our soul apart ever again." Melka thought on

    this a bit, "Well, except for us bestowing upon them if they ask for it or if they beg for saving from death." 


    Lucerene turned to Melka, 

    "Well this is all well and good but what happened to the other companions? The ones who remained true to Ysgramor?"


    Melka looked as if she wwas just snapped out of a dream,

    "Whaa? Oh right. Well the one hundred companions who did not want to become 'lawless beasts' as they put it, holed up in a

    disused imperial fort called Gallows Rock." 


    Melka drew a rather shaky breath 

    "Before they split, they stole silver weapons from right under Ysgramor's nose without him knowing." 


    "So what happened to give them the name 'the silver hand?' Lucerene inquired


    "Patience child, I will get to that." Melka said, motioning for her to calm down.


    "Erm. sorry, anyway. their leader, a nord named Krev the skinner, grandson of Tulvar the Unmentioned, a harbinger of the

    companions after Ysgamor, despised the companions for stabbiing Ysgramor in the back, in a manner of speaking, and forsaking his

    warning of the beastblood and getting infecting anyway. He appointed four able-bodied men to serve as his bodygaurds to protect

    him from harm." 


    Melka turned back to the female nord, who could see the Hagraven's tear-streaked face. She wiped her face with her wing-like


    "He then armed them with deadly silver weapons if the companions ever decided to come knocking. The silver weapons and the fact

    that there was one elite and four bodyguards are the reason they are named the silver hand. Krev and his followers mercilessly

    hunt down the companions, but especially the inner circle and Kodlak because, to the silver hand, they feel the companions should

    have followed Ysgramor and his teachings and not have bent their knee so subservantly to the daedric prince of the hunt."

    Moira motioned for Lucerene to come with her and reconvene with the other hagraven and nords,

    "Lucerene, now you know the full story of the silver hand, the next question is do we spare the innocent soul there on that altar or

    do we make him a beast like the other companions?" 


    Luceren broke eye contact with the haagraven and look at the pitful form of Terrfyg with his blood-stained armor,

    "Welll I-" She paused, "hold on, why must you have me make the hard decisions?" Her mind raced a mile a minute, she had a

    million questions to put to the hagraven, but she dared not ask them. She turned back to the hagraven and nodded her head, "Do it,

    he is suffering and I cannot bear to see anyone suffer."


    Melka, Moira and Isobel nodded as one, walked over to the altar, placed their claw-like hands on Terrfyg and uttered a spell. Blue

    fire erupted from their knotted fingers. Sheogorath and Twilight couldn't help but stare at the action being performed in front of

    them. Their eyes wide with astonishment. Terrfyg's body began to glow blue as the chest wound healed and the punctured

    armor repaired itself nstantaneously. 


    The blue light faded to a faint edge glow and then silver smoke erupted from their fingers in the same manner the blue flames had,

    but, unlike the blue fame, the silver smoke floated up to Terrfyg's cosed eyes and mouth and solidified into a wolf with silvery-red

    eyes as bright as the moon that is eclipsed by a bloodmoon and howled so loudly that the cavern shook. Some stalactites fell

    crashing to the  limestome floor. No sooner was the wolf there then he was gone. He didn''t disappear, he just broke into millions of

    tiny atoms due to the force of the howl. The atoms flowed towards Terrfyg and entered his nose, mouth, even the pores on his skin

    and settled in his brain and central nervous system.


    Terrfyg awoke minutes later, staring at the cavern ceiling. He looked up at the Hagraven,

    "Erm, where am I. What just happened?" He asked, a little confused.


    Moira walked over to him and offered him a clawed hand, he took it as she helped him to his feet. He got up unsteadily as he had to

    grip the altar in order to stop himself from falling,

    "what happened to me?" He asked agian, though not entirely sure if he wanted an answer. He felt his armor, he felt the place where

    the sword had punctured his armor, it was closed up. He looked at Moira and her sisters with a belildered look, "Did you perform

    black magic on me?" He asked, angrily pointing a finer at them.


    Moira and the witches shrank back from his scathing expression,

    "How dare you accuse us with black magic? We do not, nor have we every dabbled in necromancy. We healed you, along with..." Her

    voiced trailed off to mingle with the awkward silence in the room.


    He advanced on them, never changing his expression or lowering his finger,

    "What did you do to me? I know you crones did something else, you didn't just heal me? I demand to know what the fuck you

    did." All while he was saying this, the witches avoided his finger as if it was a white hot poker.


    "W-We did nothing" the witches lied, sweat glistening upon their knotted skin


    Terrfyg was literally chased them around the altar at this point,

    "Bullshit, you did something, now tell me...what...you...did!" He yelled at them, his voice rising with every word he spoke.


    Moira and Melka told him what he wanted to hear,

    "Okay, okay, came down, we, er, made you a werewolf in order to help with your Silver Hand problem."


    Terrfyg flew into a rage and pointed to himself and then something that the witches could not see,

    "You think...I had a probllem with them? They kicked me out because I failed to fulfill a contract that they put out. I tried to

    apologize, but, one you break a rule in the silver hand, you are out permanently and if you even try to beg for them to let you back

    in, they'll come after you like a mad dog needing to be put down." 


    Terrfyg took a few deep breaths to try and calm himself down,

    "That's exactly what happened and why I lay dead in the fields until my comrades found me and brought me here because they

    know you were powerful healers"


    He shot daggers at Moria and Melka, expecting them to explain. they did. They both lent against the altar's edge and explained the

    'additional' something they had added. They told him that they had infected him with lycanthropy because, in their mind, it would

    not only cause him to heal at a much higher rate from the damage inflicted upon him but also it would enable Terrfyg to overcome

    his enemies. What they did not tell him though was the silver allergy as well as to how poisonous wolfsbane can be to his kind that

    he will have as a werewolf. They also failed to inform him that his descendants will also be inflicted by this. Whether it is a blessing

    or a curse, they said, would be up to the interpretation of the individual. 


    Terryfg looked at Melka confused,

    "So let me get this straight, I am a werewolf now...ermm, okay." He paused for a second, he sensed they were not telling him

    everything, which was, in fact, the case, There has got to be some silver lining to this. It can't be all favorable." The witches bent

    their heads low against the altar, as if in prayer.


    The two witches raised their heads in unison,

    "You are right, young one, we have not told you everything. The life of a werewolf isn't without hardship, you will have a severe

    allergy to silver, a severe allergy to wolfsbane and you will be hated to anyone except your own kind. Also there is the silver hand to

    worry about."

    He found a rock near the stone altar and sat upon it, trying to piece together what the witches had just told him. He had to sort

    through his own feeling of self doubt,

    "I would like to know more of these afflictions to silver and wolfsbane. Why are they so terrible? Can't I offset the weaknesses with

    my accelerated healing?"


    The two witches looked at each other with shocked expressions on their faces. They walked over to the rock that Terrfyg was sitting



    "Terrfyg, do you want werewolves to be some all powerful monsters without weaknesses?" Melka asked, concerned. "Like all

    creatures on Nirn, werewolves need weaknesses in order to balance them out." She paused, apparently deep in thought. "Your

    accelerated healing will do nothing to counteract these and as for the silver and wolfsbane affliction, one will cause you discomfort

    along with a stuffy nose and irritated palms whereas if you were scratched or even ingested silver, your cels would begin to break

    down, because what silver does is it acts as a poison." Melka encirled the confused nord, looking down at him all the while. "I see

    you are confused, let me simplify it for you, silver is, basically, an allergen for wolves. It can cause anaphylaxis," Melka shrugged

    and sighed, searching for the right words as she noticed Terrfyg's blank expression. 


    "Anaphylaxis is just a large word for a really severe allergy to something, like silver." Melka released Terrfyg's shoulder and crossed

    in front of the nord and sat on the edge of the grey altar. "The silver allergy has been around for as long as werewolves have, but,

    getting back on topic, silver can cause the infected lycanthrope's bloodstream to become poisoned and when the blood of the

    infected wolf is poisoned, that is when cells begin to deteriorate." She looked at Terrfyg, who again looked clueless. "Erm, the cells 

    die to put it simply, when your cells die, your body dies with them, so," She shrugged once more, "Basically if you get infected by

    silver, you wrote your own death warrant." She got up and walked around the altar to join her sisters once more. "That is, unless

    you can, of course, brew an antidote before the poison finishes you off."


     Terrfyg turned toward Melka,

    "What is the antidote? I mean what are the ingredients?"


    Melka waves a dismissive hand,

    "They are far too elusive or hard to get, retrieval is a far more arduous process and is not worth the effort," The witch sighed. "Just

    try not to get scratched or stabbed by a silver sword, if you do then, I can't be of much help," I am not a metallurgist."


    Terrfyg lowered his head in shame,

    "That's too bad," He got up from the rock and walked around the atlar. "I was hoping you would have a book that put the silver

    allergy into perspective, but..." His voice trailed off pathetically.


    Melka walked on claw-like feet over to an old, unsued bookcase squished between two green marble columns six feet from the stone

    Terrfyg had occupied earlier,

    "I do have a book similar to one you seek."


    She ran her finger along the shelf, muttering to herself, until she found a brown book and a blue book, tossed them from their home

    on the shelf and they thudded to the floor in a cloud of dust mere inches from where the nord stood.


    She crossed the floor and gestured to the brown book. "That one is called 'Physicalites of Werewolves, she said pointing to the

    dust-colored book. it is an interesting read about experimenting on Werewoolves. "That one is entitled 'Duelling with Werewolves"

    She said, pointing to a blood red book that lay next to the brown book. She traversed the floor and stood behind the nord. "Well,

    there you have it, these books," She gestured to the books behind her, "can explain the powers and weaknesses of a werewolf far

    better than I can." Her hand flew to her mouth as she ran to the bookshelf and snatched a book from the shelf and laid it next to the

    books and pparchement. This book had a silver skeletal hand holding a bloody decapitated werewolf head on a field of

    impenetrable darkness. 


     Terrfyg got up from where he lent against the altar, crossed the marble tiled floor and picked up the books one by one. He turned

    towards the disfigured witch and raised his eyebrow and he saw her descend the ladder and walking over to him. His raised eyebrow

    concerned the hagraven, Melka. 


    Melka approached him and put a hand on his shoulder,

    "Yes, Terrfyg, what is it?"


    Terrfyg eyed her nervously,

    "Melka, erm, what is this silver book with the skeletal silver hand?"


    She looked up and told him that the silver-spined book was a brief history of the Silver hand and she said it also described their pure

    hatred for werewolves. Terrfyg nodded in thanks and went back to the stone he had sat on before and began to read the silver hand

    book, he stuffed the other two books in his leather bag he had set down beside him. He opened the silver backed book named 'A

    History of the Silver Hand' and begun to read,


    A Brief History of the Silver Hand

    Krev the Skinner's personal account of how the splinter faction formed and their hatred of lycanthropes

    "Some hundred years ago, my ancestor Tulvar the Unmentioned, who was the grandson of the current Harbinger of the


    companions, Ysgramor got into a disagreement with him whether or not to accept the beast as part of the companions. One night. In

    Jorrvaskr, Tulvar spotted the harbinger, hands folded on his furred bed, eyes shut tight, praying to, someone, though he did not

    know did not know whom to." 


    Terrfyg licked his finger and turned the page.

    "The red haired male nord approached the bed and cleared his throat. The grey haired, blind-eyed harbinger turned his head a quick

    180 degrees to face the sound's source. Ysgramor looked up and smiled in response to his grandson's questioning look. His grandson

    asked what he was doing.


    Ysgamor responded by stammering over his words, as if he were trying desperately to hide something unpleasant he did not want

    his grandson to know about,

    "Well...I...er...I...was praying," The harbinger managed to get out.


    Tulvar asked to whom he was praying to and he said that noble companions do not need divine guidance. In respone, Ysgramor took

    a deep breath and resigned to his fate, 

    "Fine, you caught me." He said, hands raised, as if to surrender, I was praying to Hircine to give me, well us," He motioned to

    himself and Torvar, "strength in the upcoming war with the snow elves."


    The captain looked at the harbinger,

    "War with snow elves? What are you talking about?" He asked the old man, confused


    The harbinger stood up and turned to the captian,

    "I am talking, of course, about the great war of Saarthal."


    Torvar still wore the confused look,

    "Saarthal? You mean the city that existed as part of the dragon empire?" He asked, shocked


    Ysgramor slowly nodded, 

    "That's the one," He said as he walked over to a small wooden chest positioned by the bed, "The snow elves, who had kept peace

    with us for a long time, had, for whatever reason became belligerent rather recently. "Who knows," He shrugged, an action made

    difficult with him rummaging through the chest. " They might have found some treasures in the depths of the old nordic ruin."


    He finally found what he was looking for. "Here we are," He uplling two full sets of ebony armor along with steel swords. "He handed

    one set of armor plus one of the steel sword to Torvar and motioned to Torvar to follow him as he left the room, the red haired man

    followed closely on his heels. Once outside the room, Ysgramor told Tulvar to round up the other companions as well as the captians.


    Tulvar nodded, but looked apprehensiv,

    "Sir, sounds good but, erm what will you do?" He asked, gesturing to the harbinger


    The harbinger was already halfway down the hall so he did not hear his question. Tulvar went upstairs to rally the captians and

    companions for battle. Ysgramor went upstais also but instead of going to the main dining area, he went to the underforge to be

    alone with Hircine, let alone no peeping toms to interrupt them. 


    Once inside, he beheld a stone basin in the middle and three rased platforms hugging the corners. snuggled between the far raised

    platforms lay a bone strewn stone altar to hircine above which was a deer skull with spindly antlers spreading out of his head like

    tree branches. Ysgramor strode over to the altar and knelt down on the dirt floor, bowed his head and began to pray. Before he was

    through with his prayer, a voiced eminated from the altar. Sound waves bounced around the room like a rubber bouncy ball, making

    it so the voice seemed much louder than it really was.


    When the voice came to fruition, it sounded pissed off for some reason,

    "Who are you to call upoon the god of man-beasts, perveyor of the lycanthropic gift?" Hircine's voice hit Ysgramor like a

    giant's club sending him reeling backwards due to the sheer power of the god's voice. In order to keep himself from tumbling across

    the room, he planted his feet firmly on the ground and tried his hardest to resist the force of god's booming voice. "Well?" Hircine

    asked the mortal in front of the altar,  Speak, I haven't got all day mortal." 


    The terrified Harbinger opened his mouth,

    "Hircine, I, er, I mean, we, the companions and I, need you help in a matter of the gravest importance.


    The voice boomed through the place once again,

    "Help you? Now, why would I do that?"  The wolflord mused


    Ysgramor looked positively miffed at this point,

    "Because we will surely die without some invervention, you fucking idiot!" He yelled at the empty room.


    Now it was the daedric lord's turn to be angry,

    "You try my patience mortal! I suggest you adjust your tone before I decide not to help with your plight!"


    The altar was silent for a time as it waited for the disgruntled harbinger to calm down. It took several minutes, along with several

    deep breathes, for Ysgramor to become level-head once again, but when he did, he prayed again. As before, the voice rang out like

    a stereo turned all the way up,

    "Have you calmed down?  The daedra asked. Ysgramor nodded, lost for words. "Good, now tell me calmy what you require

    of me?" 


    Ysgramor cleared his throat noisily, 

    "Hircine, I need yyou to grant me the strength to overcome my foes. Surely you can do that? Can't you?" He looked up at the altar

    with a concerned look on his face.


    as before, the altar was silent for a while. In fact, it was longer than before. Ysgramor was worried he had further pissed off the

    daedric lord. Ysgramor eyes went wide with fright as the altar glowed a faint silver color, The light formed into a silver wolf with eyes

    like the moon. Then, the light became more solidified.  Ysgramor stared in horror as the silver beast stood up and began to grow

    from a small wolf pup into a nine foot tall werewolf, complete with a viscious-looking muzzle filled with razor-sharp white teeth. 


    The creature lunged towards Ysgramor and slashed at his chest with one massive paw and dissolve with a hearty howl to signify it's

    work was done. Ysgramor lay in the now dead silent underforge waiting for death to envelope him.