C.O.T.W Chapter 34: Tainted Blood

  • They turned just as reached the gildergreen in front of the temple off Kynareth. Inigo and Rakel gasped as they beheld large stone

    steps in front of the mead hall. Rakel knew this mead hall well, for this was where the argonian and she had come when Hasir was

    injured. Everytime she thought on that day, a tear came to her eye. She tried not to thiink on it because all she could see now was a

    once proud argonian laying broken and poisoned limp on the table back in elysium estate. Rakel sank to a sitting position on the

    step before the main entryway and cradled her head in her hands.


    Inigo came up the stairs behind her and sat down on the top step next to her, 

    "Rakel, I have known you for a while now and, ermm, Inhave never seen you this sad, is there some way I can help?" Inigo asked,



    Inigo turned and saw she was in pain which he guessed stemmedd from the fact that she had indeed developed for the argonian. He

    reached in his leather pouch that was sewn on his armor. Inigo said that it was a bit wrinkle. Rakel said it was fine and gave him a

    weak smile. Rakel blew forcefully into the handkerchief and handed it back to him. He screwed his face up in disgust and held it

    reverentially bewteen his thumb and index finger as if he were afraid to catch whatever bug she had, if she even had one at all. He

    opened the leather flap to the small pouch, placed the handkerchief inside and refastened the leather flap. 


    Rakel lent over and buried her head into Inigo's armor, she was surprised how soft it was. She tilted her head up and asked Inigo

    where he had gotten it. Inigo looked at her with his pumpkin-like eyes and told her that it was a gift from Hasir. Rakel started

    tearing up again and Inigo, taking note of this said not to worry and that he will be ok. He also said that he missed him too. Inigo

    then told her to put him out of her mind for now as they have a task to attend to.

    Inigo got up and helped Rakel to her feet and then they entered the mead hall, which upon entry they found it was devoid of life,

    They blanked this perculiar sight and headed down the stairs to the undercroft. When they stepped inside, Rakel knew this sight all

    to well, but Inigo was like a khajiit in a skooma store with a big, dumb grin on his face.He had never seen anything so beautiful, at

    least in his opinion, in his life. His nose was assaulted by many different smells. To him, the wood and carpet not only smelled

    divine. He could also smell colors too, Glorious reds, yellows and browns. Rakel did not ask because she thought this was

    wierd. How on Tamriel could anyone smell colors? She thought, bewildered. 


    Inigo turned to the nord female and saw her bewildered look,

    "Ermm, Rakel, why the weird look?" He asked


    Rakel sat down on the picnic table near the door to the upstairs  Inigo sat next to her when she offered him with a gesture.

    She turned to him and spilled the beans, for a lack of a better word. Rakel told Inigo how she thought it was weird how he could

    smell colors. Inigo tented his fingers on the table. He told Rakel he had something to tell her.


    Now, it was his turned to lay all his cards on the table,

    "Rakel, the reason is," he sighed heavily, "I...have synethesia. I can not only see colors, but I can also smell them. Whereas one

    color may smell like roses, another color may smell of death and decay."


    Rakel bowed her head in sorrow,

    "Inigo, I am so sorry, I didn't know."


    Inigo waved a dismissive hand

    "Do not worry about it and besides, synethesia is not life threatening." He beamed widely as he said this


    The bench creaked as Inigo got to his feet, 

    "Well, We have a task to attend to. Best get to it"


    Kodlak smiled at their approach and invited them to sit, they did so. Kodlak asked them why they were here. Rakel asked the

    harbinger what he knows of heavy metal poisoning, specifically silver poisoning. Kodlak's forehead creased as he asked why they

    needed to know. He asked her if they had met somewhere before.


    Rakel stared at the harbinger who fixed her with his usual owlish stare,

    "Sir, I was on the grounds, but I was never inside the mead hall," She looked around the room, "Quite a nice place, Jorrvaskr."


    She placed her hands to the table and folded them so her hands looked like a giant fist. 

    "Back to my, our, reason of being here. my, er, friend Hasir, he's, erm, in a bad state right now and we require your knowledge of

    silver to help save him. Arcadia said you would help us out."


    Kodlak sat back in his chair, and held up his hands to signal that he brain needs to process what the khajiit had told him,

    "Hold on a minute. Two things, first, How bad a state is he in? second, wouldn't you be better off going to Arcadia?" Kodlak stared

    intently at Rakel, leaning back in his chair, "after all she is the expert on alchemy, I don't know the first thing about alchemy." 


    Rakel took a deep breath and told them harbinger about how Hasir was punctured by a silver dagger and how every minute they

    don't find a cure is a minute closer to the argonian's painful demise. The old harbinger asked Rakel the same question that Aela had

    when she first encounter the unconscious argonian. 


    Rakel told him that Inigo had punctured Hasir's ankle with the silver weapon while he was in his wolf form. Kodlak thought on this

    for a while, turned to Inigo and asked if what Rakel said was true. Inigo answered him by staring at the floor and mumbling

    something about the shameful act. Kodlak asked him to speak up as he did not hear Inigo the first time. Inigo lifted his head, reset

    his posture and told Kodlak that he was the one who shoved the dagger into Hasir's leg.


    Inigo smiled and stuck his hand out, half expecting the harbinger to take it,

    "Hi, my name is Inigo, pleased to meet you." Kodlak took the khajiit's hand and shook it,  "Nicee to meet you, my name is Kodlak, I

    am the harbingerr for the companions here in Jorrvaskr.


    Kodlak stared at Inigo with disdain and slammed his fist down on the table, his tankard fell over and broke upon the floor, spilling

    mead on the carpet. He asked was the same look Aela had given him paired with the same question,

    "Inigo, why would you do such a thing? Don't you know what silver does to werewolves?"


    Inigo nodded and said that Aela had set him straight on that fact. Inigo then asked if Kodlak has a book or something to set what he

    has done to his argonian friend right again. Kodlak's eyes brighten a bit and he said he did have a certain book that he was saving

    for himself should he ever decide to go through with curing his lycanthropy. He thought the wierd looking khajiit and nord needed it

    more than he did. He went into his bedroom, opened the bottom drawer of the nightstand and pulled out a blood red book with

    yellowing pages.


    Kodlak blew off the thick layer of dust that had accumulated on the cover after so many years in the drawer. The book was entitled

    'magical cure-alls for the lycanthropic inflicted.' Inigo and Rakel were busying talking when Kodlak reappeared with the book in

    hand. He sat back down at the small, round table and slid the book over to Inigo, who caught it like it was a spider he was waiting

    patiently to squash.


    Inigo removed in paw for on top of the book and looked at it in wonder. The book had a blood red cover and yellowing pages. The

    title was printed in black ink. Inigo gently opened the book because it looked shabby and charred like it came into existence around

    one hundred years ago. When he had opened it, he saw that a thick layer of dust had covers all of the pages. He rapidly flipped

    through the pages and as he did so blew off the thick layer of dust on each pages. When all of the dust was cleared, he went page

    to page one and read it aloud. 


    Kodlak's eyes glowed a dull yellow as his temper rose,

    "By the nines, read it to yourself!" He yelled. Then as an afterthough, he added, "Stupid khajiit."


    So Inigo did rread it to himself and he did not stop until he found something pertaining to their earlier discussion,

    "Harbinger, I found a really interesting paragraph that tells of a potential cure for silver poisoning that has been in one's system

    longer than ten hours."


    Rakel brightened, she lent forward in her chair,

    "So, you mean this might be different than the poisoning the Ceralyne sufferd?" She asked, her forehead creased


    Inigo nodded, he scratched his head and frowned,

    "Yes. This recipe, however, is really complex." Inigo cleared his throat, "It says here we need five ingredieents. Thankfully, there is a

    list in this book."


    "Okay, Here we go:

    4 pieces charcoal, preferably crushed (used to scrub the bloodstream clean of silver particles)

    four handfuls purified vampire dust (used as a surface for the silver to adhere to)

    one handful bonemeal (to draw the silver away from the bones)

    2 handfuls of void salts (to expel the silver when all is collected)


    When the indigo colored khajiit fished reading the list, he closed the book carefully so as to not further damage the book and set it

    down in the middle of the table between the three of them. Everyone exchanged bewildered looks. Rakel looked as if she was about

    to cry, tear ran down her cheeks. She promptly wiped them away in view of the others.  She did not want them to see her as weak.


    Kodlak finally broke the silence,

    "Well, enough sitting here staring at each other we have ingredients to, er, when I say we, I of course mean you two." He gestured

    towards Inigo and Rakel.


    They got up to leave the chamber. Inigo was about over the threshold when Kodlak called out to him,

    "Er, Inigo, hang back a moment, will you? I require a word with you."He said, gestured towards Ingo with a beckoning index finger


    Inigo said goodbye to Rakel and walked back to the harbinger,shoulders slumped. He knew he was in for either a good or bad

    surprise, he did not, however, know which. Kodlak resumed his seat at the table and gestured for the khajiit to sit down. The khajiit

    did as he was told. Kodlak folded his hands on top of the table and stared owl-like into his pumpkinish eyes.


    Kodlak sighed deeply,

    "Inigo, do you know why I called you back here?"


    Inigo shook his head, causing his fur to ruffle slightly. Kodlak said it was for two reasons. To emphasize this he raised two fingers.

    Inigo blinked and nodded. Kodlak first asked Inigo what in Oblivion possessed him to attack a whelp of the companions?"


    Inigo took both questions to mind and carefully thought his answers through before speaking. His tail twitched side to side nervously

    as shivers went down his spine, beads of sweat ran across his furry forehead. 

    "I, er, was just defending my honor because Hasir had just put a dagger straight through my pride." He said, thumping his chest

    angrily with his fist.


    He sighed and fixed Kodlak with an angry look the quickly turned apologetic,

    "As for what I did then, well, I defended myself, silver dagger in hand, I whipped around and lashed out with the dagger, expecting

    to find Hasir." He slowly shook his head, "I didn't expect to find a wolf standing there, I was met with an ear-splitting howl as the

    dagger slid silently into his ankle." He sobbed into his arms, which were crossed on front of him on the table. "I did not know what I

    did, I didn't know that it was Hasir I had injured." He said between sobs. "Oh gods, it is my fault he is laying on the table a few

    miles away," He waved a hand at to harbinger, "Can you leave, please? I have to be alone with my sorrow."


    Kodlak vacated the room, leaving Inigo behind to wallow in his own self-pity. Kodlak crossed the threshold. Once outside, he sat on a

    nearby high-backed bench and cradled his head in his hands. Damn, I never got to asked Inigo about his strange colored fur he

    thought. He had to avert his mind to a more pressing matter though, the ingredients to help cure Hasir. He wondered where the

    ingredients could be found. He turned and saw Rakel had taken the vacant seat next to him. 


    She nodded, singaling thaat she had heard him and was wondering the same thing,

    "Kodlak I have no idea where to get the ingredients, we can check Arcadia's Cauldron for most of them. as for bonemeal and the

    vampire dust," she shrugged, "Well, Hircine knows where we can get those."

    Kodlak grinned, showing rows of pearly white teeth,

    Bonemeal and vampire dust? Oh, that's easy we just need to venture into a tomb and find some skeletons." His forehead creased as

    he thought on where to find vampire dust as he knew vampires do not stay in the same place, lest they risk detection. "Well, we can

    find vampires either on the roads at night or in caves and Castle Volkihar during the daylight hours."


    Rakel looked in awe at the harbinger. She had no idea that he knew the goings on outside of his meadhall. Kodlak turned to her and

    gave her a curt nod, smiling. He told her that the only spot they will find both at the same time would be castle Volkihar near the

    thalmor fort on the north shore of the sea of ghosts. He got up and called to Inigo to come join them. The blue cat sprung to his

    feet. He, however, said that the would head to Arcadia's Cauldron for the first set of ingredients and to castle volkihar for the harder

    to find ingredients. Inigo ran for the far end of the room where he hid underneath an enchanting table cowering in fear.


    The harbinger turned to Rakel and asked what Inigo's problem was. Rakel said that he doesn't like the undead. Kodlak asked why

    but Rakel promptly shook her head signalling that the matter should be drop and that it would take a whole afternoon to explain it.

    She also suggested that they all get some sleep as they can work out the ingredients tomorrow.


    The three of them woke early the next morning, eager to get a jump start on finding the ingredients. They went up to the main

    room of the hall, up to  the doors leading to the porch and pushed. the crisp morning air sting as it assaulted their faces. Kodlak

    took point and lead the nord and khajiit to Arcadia's cauldron. He slapped his forehead in annoyance. How in Tamriel could he have

    forgotten that the shop was closed at this hour? Had he rouse them this early for nothing?

    Inigo turned to Kodlak and groaned as he saw that the harbinger was upset. It also affected Rakel, as she too groaned and slid a

    hand down her face. Inigo suggested that they all go to the inn over there to wait until the shop is open. Kodlak wondered when the

    shop would open. Rakel sided with Inigo and said they should go inside the small tavern that lay to the north of the city near the

    alchemy shop. They turned to Kodlak who nodded enthusiastically so they were all on the same page


    They all climbed the nearby steps to the local tavern. they looked around, expecting it to be bustling with life. It was quite the

    opposite, there was no sound except for the crackling of the lit fire in one corner. Kodlak told Inigo and Rakel to get a table while he

    ordered drinks for them. He paused and asked if they wanted food, they both said they weren't hungry.


    He went up to the bartender, whose name was Hulda, and orderred three tankards of mead. He also asked her when Arcadia's

    Cauldron normally opens. He came back soon after with the three tankards and slid them across to Rakel and Inigo. He took his seat

    in the vacaant chair and placed his tankard in front of himself. 


    Both Kodlak and Rakel guzzled their mead greedily. Inigo, however, was unsure if he wanted to drink to weird mixture of alcohol and

    honey. He turned his nose up at the smell, fighting back the urge to vomit. The harbinger stopped halfway through his drink and

    looked at the khajiit, sensing something was wrong. Inigo's green tinted face proved him right. 


    Kodlak reached across the small, square table and grabbed Inigo's clawed hand,

    "Hey, Inigo, you ok?"


    Inigo shook his head and waved a dismissive hand in the air,

    "I-I just...I have never drank alcohol before." He stammered

    Kodlak smiled and nodded. He told Inigo to not guzzle the drink because his liver will be overwhelmed and instructed him instead to

    sip it gingerly and to test the waters and see if he likes it. Inigo smiled and voiced his thanks. He shakily reached his hand out and

    wrapped his fingers around the handle. He carefully brrought the mead to his lips being careful not to spill the contents. 


    Less than half of the mug entered his mouth. Most of the liquid flowed down his chin to form a small golden lake in his lap. Inigo

    looked down and cursed. Kodlak patted him on the shoudler and told him that everyone's first drink of mead is like that. They get

    nervous, try not to spill it but they do anyway. He removed a leather rag from his bag and passed it to Inigo. The khajiit dabbed at

    the liquid, taking care not to rub it into his armor, staining it. When most of the liquid was gone, he tried again and was more

    successful at getting it in his mouth.


    Inigo belched loudly as he polished off his tankard of mead,

    "Thas Grape Shtuff Koklad!" He shouted, so loud that the whole tavern heard him. He grabbed for another mug finding none there,

    he thumped his fist angrily on the table, "Ethcuse me mith, canth you ges me another, erm, mud of made please? mup of mad,

    er, damn, another drink pleath?" He said, alittle too loudly, to Rakel.


    Rakel was about to granted the drunken cat's request when the harbinger grabbed her arm,

    "Erm, that is not such a good idea, he never had alcohol before." He said, shaking his head at her


    Inigo was getting flustered, though whether from anger or the mead no one knew, 

    "Damn you woman! Gef me my damn betherage." He shouted, drunkenly at her. He huffed to himself, "Fine, I will geth it myshelf."

    He stood up rather unsteadily as the chair flew backwards. He took one shaky step towards the bar, lost his footing and fell flat on

    his face,

    "Ow, dit sumeon puth me?" He asked, a bit slurred as he lay sprawled on the floor


    Rakel roared with laughter,

    "Inigo, no one pushed you." She said wiping tears from her eyes. Kodlak frowned at her


    "You'd bether nos hab." He said as he got up shakily and continued towards the bar


    Kodlak stuck his hand out to prevent the khajiit from going any further. Ingo pushed with all his might agaiinst the harbinger's

    bulging muscular arm, 

    "I'm sorry Inigo, but I cannot allow this, now sit down and sober up." He ordered, pointing to Inigo's chair.


    Inigo begrudgingly gave up and sat back in his seat. He sat down at the exact spot the chair was, or thought it was, and fell on his

    backside. Rakel sniggered a little at the khajiit's drunken state,

    "Inigo the chair was a few inches to the left, you missed." she said, laughiing


    Inigo growled at her, which gave her cause to stop laughing,

    "I saye agin, damith you thupis nord."

    Kodlak shot daggers at Rakel and clipped her in the back of the head

    "Inigo's right Rakel, shift yourself and go help the poor cat, will you?" Kodlak said as he took another swig of mead


    Muttering under her breath, Rakel got up from her seat, put her hands under Inigo's armpits and lifted him into his chair,

    "Thans you, fair bar maiden." He said as he bowed to her, almost falling from his chair 


    Rakel rolled her eye at the pathetic creature,

    "Your welcome. Now can you please sober up?" She said as she lightly punched the khajiit in the shoulder.


    Over the next few minutes, he did sober up. He groaned loudly as he held his throbbing head,

    "Oh, my head, owww! what happened?" He asked Rakel as he turned his head towards her


    Rakle told Inigo that the alcohol did not sit well with him and thanked Hircine that he did not act like a giant ass when he was drunk.

    She resumed her seat while the blue khjiit continued asking her questions of what happened during his drunken state. Kodlak

    peered at the cieling and saw the sun was coming up. He nudged Rakel and gestured to the door,

    "Rakel, it's time, we should go and see if Arcadia has her store open."


    The female nord nodded and get up from her chair and lent over the table to relay the same information to Inigo. he got up and told

    Kodlak if he ever gets the urge to drink again, that he, Rakel or whomever is with him should smack him on the back of the head.

    He also said he does not want to look at mead again after what it did to him,

    "Kodlak, I prefer to not drink snymore, it's tastes like skooma gone bad and screws with your head worse than skooma." He said as

    he promptly threw up on Kodlak's boots.


    Kodlak screwed his face up as he looked at his once pristine wolf boots which were now covered in vomit. He stood up with a

    squelching noise and eyed Inigo angrily. The khajiit responded with a sheepish grin. Kodlak walked over to the counter, paid for the

    drinks and gestured to the nord and khajiit to go to the alchemy shop while he goes to Jorrvask to change into some wolf boots that

    don't have vomit on them.