C..O.T.W Chapter 38: A Game of Shadow

  • Far away in Gallows Rock, the silver hand prepared for battle. Their leader Krev the Skinner along with his second in commmand a

    green skinned argonian who was decked out in Imperial armor complete with a closed imperial helmet were sitting at a table nestled

    in the far corner of the silver hand training area making conversation,

    "Molag Bal wants us to exterminate every single lycanthrope, why?" Krev asked, his brow furrowed

     

    The argonian took of his helmet and set it on the table beside him,

    "Krev, I know what you're thinking, but it isn't that." He tented his clawed hands on the table, "This is about revenge." The argonian

    said, staring into Krev's eyes

     

    While they talked, clanging of silver sword and greatswords could be heard. The training area smelt of silver and sparks. There were

    also some silver hand members practicing archery in the far corrner where two archery targets sat ready to take the arrows'

    impacts.

     

    The Argonian, named Tulen, was about to answer but he heard something only he could hear,

    "Tulen, you killed someone in cold blood, very good, come to Falkreath if you want to feel part of a pack again.

     

    The Argonian, sweating profusely, walked over to corner of the fort and thought on what he had just heard of a long while. He did

    not know who the voice belonged to and he was scared that he might never find out. What if it was a trap set up by the lord of

    domination who had nothing to do with the silver hand. Whatever it was, he did not know. He turned back around and saw a shadow

    figure sitting in the chair he had just vacated. He did not know what made him do it, but he found himself being inexorably drawn to

    the mysterious creature. 

     

    Tulen was sweating again, not just his face but his whole body. He sat done next to the creature,

    "Excuse me, who are you?" He asked, neck craned to get a better look

     

    Tulen could feel the cold air as the figure's tail swung rapidly from side to side,

    "I am Veezara, shadowscale from the Dark Brotherhood, surely you have heard of us?

     

    Tulen shook his head; sensing this, Veezara frowned. He lent closer to the table so that Tulen could see his features better,

    "We are an... organization of sorts, a family you might say with common interests," He eyed Tulen with interest, "so, I heard you

    killed someone in cold blood, well done."

    Tuen gawked at Veezara, he did not know how to respond. Veezara laughed as he took in Tulen's bewildered expression and told

    him, in hushed whispers that Tulen could he as loud as someone shouting at full volume, what his organization does and then asked

    if Tulen was interested. He stood out his hand; Tulen took it and sealed his fate. Tulen whooped loudly as he had a reason for being

    again, a place he could call home. 

     

    Veezara said he was delighted to hear it and his said the snactuary will be glad to hear it as well. He told Tulen that they had tenets,

    that if one broke any of them, they would be visited by Sithis shade, but told him they did not do that anymore. Tulen's eye widen

    with fright as he took in this information. Veezara chuckcled,

    "Tulen, you should see your face." He said, giggling, "No we don't abide by the tenets anymore as they are reminders of the past

    and, while we still have them we do not set store by them anymore. Now what we do if someone break a rule in the brotherhood is

    kill that person ourselves or put a bounty on their heads and have the town guard kill them for us."

     

    Tulen balanced the positives of the guild with the negatives and decided belonging somewhere vastly outweighed the negatives.

    Veezara smiled, got up from the table and turned to leave then he remembered something,

    Er, Tulen, one more crucial bit of information before I depart, we now are an extension of the silver hand... that's not a problem is

    it?" He asked turning toward the stunned Argonian

     

    Tulen began to nod but shook his head,

    "Of course not." He lied

     

    As long as I don't have to serve the stupid god of schemes he muttered when Veezara had left.He, however, did not leave the fort

    altogether, he still had to give Tulen directions to the sanctuary. He sighed and reappeared,

    "Tulen, the sanctuary is in the woods of Falreath below the road, don't worry, I will accompany you so you do not get lost. He smiled

    and thanked Veezara

     

     Tulen sat back down at the table and invited Neesh to sit on the chair oppposite him which he gladly ablidged to do. Tulen stared at

     

    Veezara asking him if he was serious in the things he said. Tulen nodded and said he meant every word of it. Veezara eyed his cautiously,

    "Tulen, are you sure? Once you make a deal with the dark brotherhood, it is a binding contract."

     

     

     

    Tulen nodded and Veezara took out a knife, the green Argonian looked at it terrified,

    "Whoa, now what a second, there is no need to kill me, I argeed to the terms," He backed into a corner to get away from the

    advancing Argonian.

     

    Veezara bent down and sliced a hole in Tulen's palm so that red liquid flowed from it. He did the same with his hand. He pressed his hand against Tulen's. Tulen knew that a million or so diseases lived in the bloodstream. He knew this was not sanitary. He squirmed hard to break free of the 'bond',

    "Tulen relax, I am only marking you as a blood brother" He said indignantly

     

    Tulen removed his hand from Veezara's and gazed at it wide eyed. The mad Argonian had cut an inch long incision in his palm. Tulen looked around the fort for some first aid items or at least some mead he could pour on the wound to sterilize it to decrease the chance of him getting an infection,

    "What did you do to me, you... you... fiend, trying to giving me a bloodborne illness?" 

     

    Tulen told him to calm down and said he was free from every disease known on Nirn; Tulen still did not believe him and kept staring,

    socked at his bleeding hand,

    "Again, relax, see? it's already healing." He said as he walked over to Tulen and examined it, smiling 

     

     

     

    Veeezara replaced his knife into his belt,

     

    "This bond serves two purposes, one, it enables us to be blood brothers bonded until the end and two, it seals our deal so if

    anylizard thinks of renigging on their part of the bargain then the other one will have no choice but to kill them."

     

    After a few minutes, Tulen saw that Veezara's hand healed as well. Veezara stood up and headed of the fort door and asked Tulen if

    he was coming. The dark green Argonian nodded and the left the fort altogether. Tulen saw Veezara spin on the spot and vanish.

     

    Tulen went back inside, constructed a small altar to Hircine in the main antechamber. He knelt down in front of it and prayed,

    "Hircine what do I do? I was just offered an invitation to join the dark brotherhood. Hovever, there is a catch, they are a sect of

    werewolf hunt, the silverhand."

     

    The statue was silent for a time and then spoke, it's voice ringing through out the huge room,

    "Hmmm... I don't know much of this 'dark brotherhood' but if they are indeed an organization of silverhand assassins, then I would

    say tread carefully, my hound, also see what information you can get as to what they true purpose is." 

     

    Tulen gulped and asked Hircine how he would go about that. The small skull semmed to be scanning the Argonian's very soul,

    "I don't now, for Oblivion's sake accept this person's offer and infiltrate the organization by making them think you are one of them

    and definitley do not let slip at any time that you are working for me understand?"

     

    Hircine saw that familiar glint in Tulen's eye that he had seen contless times before. Hircine asked him if he had any other questions,

    Tulen nodded,

    "This 'Silverhand' do they serve Molag Bal or are they just werewolf hunters not serving anyone?" He asked the statue

     

    He waited patiently while the god of lycanthropes pondered this,

    "No, they do not serve any daedra, they are just bandits with a common goal, wiping every lycanthrope from the face of Nirn. Their

    favrite Lycanthropes to torment are the companions of Whiterun."

     

    Tulen opened his mouth to ask if the companions are seperate from other werewolf packs found on Nirn but Hircine read him like a

    book,

    "Of course, hound, the Companions are among my most devout followers, one of their number, Aela the huntress prays to me daily

    whenever she hunts pray." Hircine asked if Tulen had anymore qustion, the Argonian shook his head.

     

    The statue went silent, Tulen disassembled the altar and hid the pieces so that a snooping silver hand member would not

    accidentally find the altar. 

    A figure ran from the shadow and headed for the fort door. She did not hear the full conversation, she only heard bits and pieces.

    She got onto her horse, which was right outside the fort grazing on some grass, and sped toward Elysium Estate, she had to warn

    Hasir.

     

    Meanwhile, a few feet away from the silverhand fort, Milsha sped on with her horse towards Elysium Estate, she dared not look back

    because she knew sooner or later her deluded brother would send goons, or worse, himself after her. She kicked up dirt and small

    pebbles as everything blurred together as she wanted to put as much distance as she could between her and what she called

    the portal to Oblivion.

     

    The horse's hooves beat the ground like some kind of tribal drumbeat as she maneuvered the horse through rocky and oftentimes

    uneven terrain as she decided to veer off into the woods so that way she could easily lose her pursuers if Tulen sent them after her.

    Her horse ran full trot towards a location only the rider knew. Milsha spotted a signpost up ahead that had arrows pointing in

    different directions. She slowed a bit to read the signs, when she saw the one she wanted she spurred the horse on once more.

     

    She galloped up the hill and saw Elysium Estate coming into view, she slowed her horse down to a trot and entered the gate. She

    cantered across the ground to the stable at the far end and tied the horse up and dismounted and went inside the estate. She was

    about to enter the estate when she heard a familar reptilian voice drift towards her. She turned and walked towards the source of

    the sound. Her brother was sitting on a stool brushing the hair of a horse she did not know. 

     

    She walked up to him,

    "Hey stranger, long time no see, what's up?

     

    Hasir looked up from his brushwork and beamed madly,

    "What a pleasant surprise, how have you been? Ermm, what bring you here?" He wondered, tilting his head

     

    Milsha ran to him and he embraced her in a tight bear hug, she sobbed happy tears which ran down her leather armor. Hasir

    sobbed a bit too, stating it has been forever since she last saw her, Tulen or Neesh. He released her and his expression changed

    from one of mirth to one of concern,

    "Wait, why have you come here?" He asked studying her as if she were his favorite subject

     

    Milsha sighed and looking solemnly at Hasir,

    "I'm am not doing well at all I'm afraid." She then fixed him with an intense glare. "Hasir, Tulen has gone mad with power, he plans

    to get revenge on Hircine because he thinks you have betrayed our family by taking on a god that is not ours."

     

    Hasir's eyes nearly popped out of his head, he could not believe was he was hearing, 

    "My scales! I cannot believe that my brother changed from a fun loving lizard to a creature of pure hatred and malice. That means if

    he did indeed join the silver hand, than he and his fellow werewolf hunters will soon descend upon Jorrvaskr and hunt down the

    companions, at least the ones who have the beast blood." He held his hands on either side of his head as if he feared his head would

    explode from all of the information his egg sistter is feeding him.

     

    His eyes went wide as an idea just struck him,

    "Oh shit, I have to tell Aela the bad news, but she will be super pissed after I told her that her brothers are tools of Molag Bal, may

    Hircine protect me." 

     

    He gestured for Milsha to follow him as he went inside the house. Hasir was already in the house when Milsha heard a sound in the

    bushes, Milsha's scales went as white as snow because she knew someone was following her, she could smell the intruder's scent on

    the wind. She shrugged it off as she went to go inside the house. An arrow tipped with deadly belladonna- a poison that completely

    negates an argonian's natural poison resistance-shot from the bushes far off in the distance and struck Milsha in the side of her foot

    causing her to stumble to the ground. She screamed for Hasir but her screams fell on deaf ears. She crawled to the window, all the

    while grimacing in pain.

     

    She crouched beneath the window fearing her assailant was close, she lifted herself up whilst leaning her weight on her good foot to

    peer through the window. Again, she called for help, but Her brother was having an animated conversation with his feline companion

    as well as the female nord. She shouted as hard as she could to try to get their attention, she even tried banging the glass. All this

    was to no avail as they did not hear the sound of her banging and her cries for help got weaker and weaker as the poison worked its

    way through her bloodstream. She dropped to the ground in terror as she heard rustling a few yards from were she laying firlmly

    pressed against the brown earth.She could she a reptilian shadow slink from the bushes and appeared, within seconds, behind her. 

     

    He lent closer to her so that any onlookers could not overhear,

    "Dear sister, why are you avoiding me? I thought we understood each other?" He hissed into her ear.

     

    Milsha spat on the ground glaring at him,

    "Sithis damn you." She prised herself up to a standing position wincing while she did so. She dared not put weight on the affected

    limb.

    "Tell me something, why are you kissing Tulen's slimy scales? Hmm? Tell me that."

     

     Neesh looked perplexed,

    "I am, as you say, kissing my brother's scales because I found Molag Bal as a hatchling and do not know any other life." A hint of

    shame was cleaar in his voice. 

     

    Milsha stared into his eyes with her rapidly waning ones,

    "Why for Sithis sake did you poison me then? I thought you had a will of your own." She turned away from him, "I guess not, think

    for yourself don't let Tulen control you." 

     

    Neesh scrathced his head aand thought on what she said, her words had a measure of truth about them. He should think for himself

    for a chance and not let anone push him around. He also had to make his own decisions in life instead of always following people,

    too afraid to take on a leadership role. His eyes turned to the female argonian, who now had fallen to the ground, her breath

    shallow, eyes closed, unconscious. 

     

    He bent down, put her arm around his neck and brought her inside the manor. If Tulen was upset by his change of heart he would

    have to deal with that himself, he must find the courage to stand up for himself,