C.O.T.W Chapter 42: The First Shadow Wolf

  • Tulen sat at the table in the Blue Palace for a long time mulling over the possible ways to eliminate two cliffstriders with one arrow;

    namely how to eliminate both Hircine and his repitlian slave, Hasir. unexpectedly the candle situated at the center of the table went

    out and the room became cloaked in darkness. Tulen could barely see the table let alone two feet in front of him. Tulen shrieked in

    horror as the room, and the table, fell away and was replaced with a dreary realm where everything was devoid of life and where

    the floor of the castle had been was a foggy chasm. Tulen uncoiled from his fearful position and stared in wonder at the

    dreary  rocky outcrops and the dull gray sky and began to speculate on where he thought he was. A voice boomed from high above

    rocky mountain the shade of the other rocks.

     

    The Argonian looked up and saw that the voice belonged to a being that looked like a an unholy fusion of a raging bull with glowing

    blue eyes, bat-like nose and a lipless mouth with multiple pointy teeth and a fifty foot tall lizard, perhaps a daedroth. The unholy

    thing came down the mountian, well, he didn't walk down as much as he scaled the rock face. Chunks of rocks fell away as he

    massive claws tore at the rocks. When he finally landed, Tulen could feel the vary plane of Tamriel, well, the antithesis of Tamriel,

    shake. The daedric lord took huge strides and he walks over to the Argonian, who, to Molag Bal, looked as tiny and insegnificant as

    an insect. When the daedric lord reached Tulen, He introduced himself, or herself, it was unclear which proun it chose to go by

    because like the other fifteen daedric lords, the thing had no gender, so you could just pluck a gender pronoun out of the air and you

    would be nnintey nine percent correct. You could still be wrong though.

    Tulen stared as the daedric lord bent down to Tulen's eye level, which had it practically on its knees, and extended a massive clawed

    hand to the Argonian,

    "Greetings mortal." He said, showing a mouthful of pointy yellowish fangs, Tule recoiled a bit as he was unsure whether to take

    that as a smile or not. "I am Molag Bal, lord of doomination, of, well, mortals mostly, as well as," He spread his arms as if

    to ask Tulen something, "The realm of Coldharbour." 

     

    Tulen looked at his, confusion seeped into his brain,

    "Er, excuse me, I don't mean to be rude master, but what is Coldharbour?"

     

    Molag Bal was floored by the Argonians lack of knowledge of his lord's realm,

    "Don't you know? Of course not, you mortals are like babies, always wanting people to tell you how to live your life!"

    He snarled in disgust. He cleared his throat, "Coldharbour is my realm of Oblivion, it is a perfect reflection of me in every

    way, it is as cold as I am." He said as he paced in front of Tulen. "My realm is like a, er, how can I put this gently, er, a

    field that lay under snow, broken, dead and devoid of life, that is my realm." He walked up to Tulen and flicked him on the

    forehead making him fall flat on his back. "Does your tiny, insignificant mortal mind get it now?" Tulen nodded, getting to his

    feet and dusting himself off.  

     

    Tulen nodded, bending low to the ground,

    "Y-Yes, Thank you, my lord."

     

    Molag Bal laughed at this,

    "You think of me as your lord? That a riot. No, I have no servants, I just enjoy watch feeble mortals scuttle about like

    insects for my amusement." He said as he strode over and sat on a rock with his head in his clawed hands

     

    Tulen walked behind him and sat down in the bluish gray dirt,

    "What? If you enjoying fucking with mortals, why have any servants at all? huh?" He yelled at the daedric lord

     

    Molag Bal sighed and directed Tulen's attention to a bluish-gray orb with a claw rock edge around it that extended downwards into

    the cold earth that he created a few feet in front of them,

    "This is what is known as a welkynd stone, with it I can keep a eye on goings on all around Tamriels, keep an eye on

    my enemies and, more importantly, keep close watch on my most loyal servant and see he does my will."

    Tulen's face screwed up in confusion. He did not get it, if he did not want any servants and only saw mortals as play things for his

    own enjoy why would he show him this? He stared at the glowish bluish gray orb and for the longest time the picture inside it did

    not move, it just showed a map of nirn and the all the continets. It did move after several seconds of silence. It seemed to move

    closer to the continent of Tamriel, specifically, the snowy region to the north of Vvardenfell: Skyrim. 

     

    The picture inside the orb kept zooming in until a map of Skyrim could be seen. The camera flew over the map until it came to the

    city of Whiterun and continued its journey over the city. Tulen had not officially been to Whiterun, per se, but he definitely heard

    many a story about that town in a hold equally foriegn to him. He watch in awe as the hologram flew over the fields of Whiterun,

    over the guards towers, the main gate and the buildings, none of which he recognized, until it slowed a bit at the local hall of valor

    in the city. Tulen gasped in awe at the sheer magnificence of the structure with its intricate nordic carved pillars and doors. He

    thought the boat for a roof that the mead hall had going on was a bit odd. The picture again flew overhead until it came to a small,

    but quaint training yard, Tulen growled as he saw his good for nothing baby brother sparing with a burly nord with a sword and

    shield.

     

    The camera paned right and slowly approached an indigo colored khajiit with three old, pink scars adorning his nose. Molag Bal

    snapped his fingers and froze the moving picture,

    "Behold mortal, my most loyal servant." He said, with an evil grin on his face

     

    Tulen squinted,

    "What? behind the khajiit?"

     

    Molag Bal waggled his finger at him,

    "No, you're looking at him, this khajiit was my first servant and still, to this day, is the best servant I had, I need no

    others, just him."

     

    Molag Bal told Tulen of how the khajiit came to Molag Bal to request a favor. Tulen turned and ask what the favor was. Molag Bal told

    him that the khajiit wanted him to spare his brother and parents from being murdered by bandits who ambushed their caravan while

    on an undercover mission for the dark brotherhood, which they happily belonged to. He said he denied the khajiit his request and his

    family did but he was so taken with the khajiit's willingness to serve and do anything if it meant to go see them again that

    he made him into a shadow wolf which he told the Argonian was a prototype for the vampires. He also told Tulen that he made five

    other shadow wolves as well.

     

    Tulen's brow furrowed,

    "Wait...I thought you said and I quote, 'I need no more servants, just him' You said that remember?" He asked, looking at the

    daedric lord like a dog whose bitch had been stolen by another dog.

     

    Molag Bal frowned and shrugged, acting like a stubborn child. He told Tulen that he may have left out a few details and said that it

    hardly matters. Tulen was literally fuming by this point. he stormed off and sat down on a rock six feet from the daedric lord and

    grumbled under his breath about not trusting stupid daedric lords with their stupid agendas.

     

    Tulen stewed like a pot of tea that had steam flowing from ithe spout, making a high pitched screaming noise. After a while, he

    approached the daedric lord with his head hung low. He, after a few minutes, looked the daedric lord in the eyes and apologized for

    his behavior. He then asked the daedric lord to fill him in on how he created the shadow woves and why. Molag Bal stood up and

    cleared his throat.

    Over the next twelve minutes, he told the Argonian, who was hanging on the daedric lord's every word like a dog would his favorite

    chew toy, that when he first established this realm some hundreds of years ago that he needed simple minded mortals that would

    blindly follow directions to guard his realm from any intruder, mortal or daedra, who would set foot on and destroy his realm. He

    decided to up the ante by creating a spell that would create a wolf form devoid of comassion and kindness and use it on those

    simple minded creatures and the spell turned them into shadow wolves, able to sustain a humaniod form during the day but turning

    into a wolf a night. He told Tulen that his wolves were unlike Hircine's because his wolves were actual wolves not bipedal, half wolf,

    half human abomination. 

     

    The daedric lord then told Tulen about how half of the wolves got smart and considered jumping ship. He captured and killed most of

    the would be deserters but six of his wolves created and jumped through a portal to Skyrim, specifically to the city of Whiterun

    where they went under the guise of the companions. He said he sent one shadow wolf still loyal to the shadow wolves. The khajiit

    that is in the orb, to whiterun to sniff out the deserters. He sighed and said that one of the deserters, an Argonian named Hasir,

    must of turned him good somehow after Inigo somehow managaed to unsuccessfully kill him. Molag Bal wondereded whether or not

    Inigo still had his original directive still in his dna. Only time will tell. 

     

    With that formality out of the way, Molag Bal waved his hand dismissively and the portal vanished. The realm vanished also with

    Molag Bal's last words ringing in Tule'sn ears like an annoying, squawking cliffracer,

    "Find him mortal and bring him home." 

     

    Tulen had no time to ponder on what Bal had meant by this because when light returned to the castle, he was, once again, sitting at

    the table by the Pelagius wing. Was I really there or did that whole thing happen in my mind? He tought. He had no time to mull this

    thought over as he had to go to Whiterun and find the khajiit the daedric lord spoke of. He got up, strode over to the main door of

    the palace and quickly slipped outside, 

     In the mid afternoon sun, Tullen expected the streets to be packed with people, to his surprise, however, they went mysterious

    empty. This gave Tulen a more than clean getaway route out of the city. Even if he was not Molag Bal's servant, he was still

    part of his 'wolf pack' as it were. Molag Bal still counted on him even if the daedric lord did not count him among his superior

    officers. Tulen walked non-chalantly to the city gate, his tail swaying along to music only he could hear.

     

    Once outside, The sly serpent found a carriage and hoerrse sitting by the city walls and asked if he could hire the carriage,

    "Excuse me sir," He asked, smiling at the driver, "Can I, erm, hire your carriage?"

     

    The man, named Thaer, looked at him suspiciously, 

    "Why should I do that? You look too shifty to be trusted, what're ya hidin'?"

     

    Tulen tiled his head in confusion, not sure what the imeperial was talking about,

    Excuse me, but I do not understand what you are getting at. I just want to hire you carriage." He pulled out a silver dagger and slid

    it under the man's chin, "We can either do things the easy way or the hard way." The man gulped loudly as he could feel rivulets of

    blood pouring from his neck as the mad Argonian slowly pushed the dagger into the man's throat. 

     

    The man gulped again and closed his free hand on Tulen's scaly hand and trying pushing the dagger away. He got as far as pushing

    the weapon ten inches from his throat when the argonian smirked,

    "The hard way it is then." He said his lips pulled back in a sinister grin and brought the dagger full force into the man's throat.

     

    The man pitched forward in his seat, the ground and the horses' reins became patterned with blood red polka dots, the steady

    stream of blood slowed and finally came to a stop as Thaer breathed his last. After he did his foul deed. The Argonian's eye glistened

    with the oy of taking a life. He 'bought' the carriage, mounted up a snapped the horses to attention with the reins. The reins felt

    slick between the Argonian's hands, he took them off momentarily to wipe the blood that had accumulated on his hands on the

    man's cold, dead corpse.

     

    Tulen was about to turn the horses in the direction of Whiterun when a shadowy figured appeared in the seat next to him, his eyes

    where too  focused on the road to care or even ask who it was that sat next to the argonian. A familiar gruff voice eminated from

    the shadowy figure's lips,

    "Well, well, Tulen we meet again, only this time under different circumstances. I see you have killed someone in cold blood. Not only

    that, but, I can smell that, like me you are a shadowscale," He chuckled and faced Tulen, "Only difference is you trained elsewhere

    for your initiation, Akavir, was it?" Tulen gave a curt nod to acknowledge that he was right

     

    Tulen looked to his left and saw the famliar scaly face of Veezara staring back at him, he was wearing the standard issue red and

    black jumpsuit, standard issue for all dark brotherhood assassins. Tulen asked why Veezara was here. Veezara cleared his throat and

    stated that there is a test all initiates must pass in order to be accepted. Tulen raised a spiky eyebrow at this. Veezara shrugged and

    said it was simple, all he had to do was go to the bannered mare in Whiterun and kill a nord that goes by the name of Majni in cold

    blood. The only caveat was that there be no witnesses. Tulen turned to the assassin and smiled,

    "What great timing, I was about to go to Whiterun anyway, now I can shoot down to cliffracers with one arrow."

     

    He spurred the horses faster toward Whiterun, Veezara pinched his nose and asked Tulen what the rancid smell was. Tulen told his

    that it was some surly carriage driver he had killed and then he had 'carriage-jacked' his carriage. Veezara made to gag because the

    smell of dead flesh was overwhelming. He asked the Argonian driver to go and take care of the bad air problem. The Argonian

    twisted around as if he weere made of rubber, grabbed the deceased carriage driver's head and forcefully threw it to the side like a

    slinky. Once the head was falling to the ground, the rest of his body followed. Tulen frowned slightly because the body slid down the

    mountain, instead of 'slinking' down it. 

     

    With that piece of nasty business taken care of he resume pulling the reins. The wheels crunched over cobblestone as he saw a

    signpost approach, he turned the horses down a cobblestone path to the left as the sign said as he did not want to go to Morthal or

    Falkreath as he had no business in those cities yet. Well, let's just say he had no business in Morthal. He continued over cobblestone

    roads until a city with three levels and a magnificent nordic longhouse, built in the days of old, dominated the city's skyline.

     

    Tulen croossed the two bridges near the city and soon enough, the carriage entered the city's walls. Tulen told Veezara that they

    would have to continue on foot. The assassin shook his head saying that Tulen would have to do this by himself, but he will be

    checking in once the job is done. He bade Tulen farewell, and drove the carriage back to Falkreath, leaving Tulen alone with the

    magnificently huge city and his thoughts.

     The Argonian circumnavigated the winding pathway to the main gates, push and entered the city proper. Tulen sighed as he looked

    skyward and saw the moon starting to rise. By Molag Bal, the carriage ride took THAT long, man times flies when you are talking up

    a storm; He had to shake this thouught of and get down to business. He stared at the bannered mare, which was sitting nice and

    cozy among the 'shopping district' of Whiterun, almost as if daring the tavern to make a move,

    "Sinmir I don't know what you did, maybe I don't want to know, but you will die. You have an unseen enemy...and they are named

    the shadowscales of Argonia."

     

    After saying this, he reached for his belt and unsheathed a poisoned iron dagger that Veezara had given him during their last

    exchange. He crouched down as low as possible, trying to keep to the shadows as much as he could, using the shadowy areas of

    Belethor's and Arcadia's stores as cover. He stealthily approached the tavern from the western side so he would be cloaked in

    shadows during his approach. He moved as swiftly as an eagle in flight up the stairs and slowly eased open the door and slipped

    inside. 

     

    The tavern was most empty, the only bar guests that remained in the bar were either asleep on the upper balcony area the bar had,

    behind the counter serving drinks or sitting at a table near the fire in the bar's side room playing cards. Tulen smiled as he noticed

    the bar was mostly dimly lit except for a few lanterns hanging over the table for the patrons to play by. Tulen switched to his life

    detect vision, nothing seemed to stand out...except for a glowing yellow figure sitting in a chair by a writing desk on the balcony

    level. 

     

    Tulen's spell dissipated and he snuck up to the balcony, careful not to alert the card players to his presence and used the chairs

    along the way to further shield himself from prying eyes. He saw the way to the wooden steps up to the balcony level was clear. He

    stuck to the shadowy areas of the bar as he made his way, slowly up to the balcony level. He could see the man sitting just ten feet

    in front of him, working on something, a letter to a loved one or maybe the emperor,  to whom it was to didn't matter. The Arrgonian

    licked his lips as he neared the person marked for death.

     

    He neared the person, sweat glistening on his brow as he prepared to puncture the man's throat. What he did not realize was that

    the man expected him to come. Tulen was not one to think ahead or to anticipate things as it was not his strong suit; he was more

    an in the moment type of lizard. The man turned towards Tulen, his brown eyes glaring at him,

    "Tulen, how nice of you to, er, show up." The man's lips curled back in a mocking grin, "I was expecting you." He stood up and

    approached the dumbstruck Argonian, "You see, I heard rumor of a...hunter approaching the city so I thought I would stay here and

    fight while my pack, well one of them, turned tail and ran. as for the rest of them, they are here in Whiterun planning to attending a

    serrvice tonight.."

     

    Tulen as what was going on tonight but the man, Majni, keep his mouth shut about the matter. Tulen spotted an opening and

    attacked. He flung himself toward the man, preparing to stab him with the dagger. The man  saw this and deftly jumped back to

    causing Tulen to loose his footing as he nearly dropped the dagger. Tulen swung back around brandinshing the dagger at nothing but

    air. The man stood in front of the Argonian. Tulen gasped as the man started growing gray fur all over his body, his teeth lengthened

    into fangs, his grew in stature and his eyes took on more of a greenish color. Tulen's dropped to the floor and started tranforming

    too. 

     

    His fur, however was black and his eyes the color of the moon itself. The two faced offf, encircling each other as if they were sizing

    up their opposition. The grey werewolf howled like an earthquake and soon after were joined by two more werewolf, one grey and

    one red, both with yellow eyes. The wolf and the werrewolves encircled each other sizing each other up. The black wolf lunged at the

    head werewolf, tearing and biting at it with all its might, but the werewolf got up and batted the wollf into a nearby carved wooden

    column with one paw. The sheer force of the blow shattered the column. Tulen changed back to his reptilian form and crawled out

    from the rubble, stood up and drew his silver dagger with murderous intent in his eyes, his tail slammed down, kicking up dust as he

    flung himself at the head werewolf. The werrewolf did the same as the lizard and met in a flurry of claws, teeth and and Tulen's

    weapon.

     

    The pair crashed to the floor with a resounding THUD as the floor underneath gave way and sent them crashing to the floor below.

    The card playerrs got up from their table to see what was going on and even the bartender looked up from where he was cleaning

    glasses with a dirty rag. Majin and Tulen continued to duel it out almost as though a fall from that height did not phaze them. Tulen

    swiped at Majni's wolf form with his silver dagger. Majni tried to dodged out of the way, but the dagger was too fast for him, slashing

    him on his muscular arm. He let out a howl of pain that was met with growls from his packmates. Tulen flung himself at the wolf and

    stabbed downward with the dagger, catching the werewolf in mid jump. The werewolf's eyes glazed over, it tottered on its back

    paws for a second and fell over with a mighty THUD on the tavern floor, the silver dagger in his heart.

     

    The other werewolves exchanged scared glances and hauled tail out of the tavern back to Jorrvaskr. Tulen stamped on the werewolf's

    jaw, which was hanging open like a dog whose master had died and pulled out out of his teeth for a trophy and as an afterthought

    ripped his silver dagger from the the nord's chest. He wiped it on Majni's armor to purge the blood and resheathed it. He walked

    outside with no one being none the wiser as to what happened. He called out Veezara's name to the shadows and an all too familiar

    voice answered,

    "Yes, Tulen...how may I be of service?" He asked giving Tulen a knowing smile

     

    Tule told him of how he killed the nord as requested. Veezara positively beamed at this and congratulated him and extended to him

    an invitation to join the family, he told Tulen that the base of operations is found deep within the forest of Falkreath by the road and

    a small pond. He even disclosed the secret, known only to assassins, phrase that opened the black door. T=

     

    Tulen huffed in annoyance. Veezara's forehead creased and asked what was wrong,

    "Oh nothing, Veezara, you could've told me that my target was a fucking werewolf, what's the matter with you?" 

     

    Veezara had thought he would be okay with this but Tulen said it was not in the job description, or rather assassination description.

    Tulen unsheathed his silver dagger and stabbed it hard into the cobblestone and told Veezara that he was made the head of an

    organization known as the silver hand, a faction whose job it was to rid Tamriel of the filth known as lycanthropes and he also told

    Veezara that his god, Molag Bal shared that stance on lycanthropes as well as they are seen to be daedra spawn born out of the

    womb of Hircine. 

    Veezara shoo his head and sighed,

    "Forgive me Tulen, the hist did not give me telepathy as it did other hatchlings. I apologize for leading you on without first hearing

    your side of the story."

     

    Tule said it was fine as he knelt down and pried the silver dagger free of the cobblestone and resheathed it onto his belt. The two

    Argonian walked over to Jorrvaskr together so they could see how Molag Bal's chosen one was faring, if he were operating according

    to his prime directive or not.