C.O.T.W Chapter 46: Tooth and Claw

  • When Hasir stepped inside the mead hall, he found that it to be empty; the fire had long since been put out and the companions

    retired to their rooms. Milsha, Rakel and Neesh had retired to the undercroft long ago. Hasir called out to the room at a large for any

    sign of life; to his surprise, the echo bounced off the walls like a discarded tennis ball thrown from an unseen hand. His face

    dropped, he thrust his hands into the pockets of his trousers and slowly walked to the harbinger's office, tail dragging behind him. 


    He found that the undercroft, too, was empty. He could hear every step that his boots took and the swishing of his tail as it snaked

    on the ground behind him. The only sources of light were pewter candles on the wooden table to his left and stone candellabras that

    stood to either side of the entryway to the various rooms. He walked straight past the candles, heading for the room at the far end

    of the hall.


    Hasir walked into the harbinger's sitting room. He pulled a chair back from the table and sat down and  hummed a tune from his

    birth to himself as he waited for the harbinger. A door banged open to Hasir's right and Kodlak stood there, as angry as a lobster in a

    cooking pot. Hasir smiled and waved at the harbinger, he ignored this and pulled the other chair back and sat down, his eyes fixed

    on Hasir who did not sweat in fear despite how he felt. 


    Kodlak eyed Hasir like a hungry wolf would a cornered little rabbit,

    "Hasir, what in Oblivion were you thinking, strangling Inigo near death? I ought to flay you alive for this!"


    Hasir smiled as if this did not sway his emotions one bit,

    "Okay, flay me alive then, beats having to wait for the alternative." He said with a slight shrug

    Kodlak reached across the table and smacked him,

    "Hasir, stop being a fucking prick." He sighed, collected his thoughts and interlaced his fingers, "What I am talking about, as I'm sure

    you are aware, is your disreputable act in the training yard." His brow furrowed, "My question is why Hasir, why did you do this?"


    The Argonian sighed and lowered his head, mumbling incoherently. The harbinger asked Hasir to speak up. Hasir's voice raised to a

    roar as he yelled back,

    "I had to do something, Inigo wounded my friend, I couldn't just stand idly by, so, go on, punish me because Hircine and Kynerath

    know I deserve it." As an exclamation of his anguish, his arms flew up into the air.


    Kodlak stared at him with his usual owlish stare and told him not to be so cynical. Hasir succumbed to his fate and asked what he

    had to do as punishment ffor his shameful act. Kodlak jumped out of the chair and ccircumnavigated the table to the Argonian. He

    put his hand on Hasir's shoulder and shook his head saying its not him he has to appease but the god of the hunt because whether

    he knew it or not, he was indirectly responsible for Ceralyne's death. Hasir turned and looked into the old man's grey eyes to see if

    he spotted a hint of a joke in them, he did not.


    The color drained from his scales and he stood up and asked the harbinger what his task was,

    "Well," The harbinger mused as he scratched his chin, "You indirectly maimed a member of Hicine's pack; so as punishment for this

    heinous act, I confersed with Hircine and he is making you one of his hounds for a hunt in his hunting grounds...as to who you prey

    will be, that is a different matter." He said as a frown crept across his aged face 


    Hasir did not like the way the harrbinger ended his train of thought, what he hated more than that thought was being made one of

    'Hircine's Hounds' against his will,

    "Harbinger, I don't like where this is going." He said, trembling as Kodlak told him both he and Aela will be hunting Inigo because he

    knowingly and intentionally injured another of Hircine's beloved hounds. 


    Hasir stood there shocked, staring at Kodlak like someone shot an arrow straight through his reptilian heart,

    "But harbinger, I-" Hasir began but Kodlak shot him a look that said quite plainly that he frowned upon whelps who talked back to

    him or severely disagreed with his decision.

    The Argonian nodded glumly and slunk out of the room like a wounded animal and went to the part of the hall where Aela's room

    was. He knocked on the door with two upturned clawed fingers. The door was answered by Aela, who was naked expect for her

    furred bra and loincloth. She yawned, chastized the argonian for interrupting her and asked if he knew what time it was. He smiled

    sheepishly as he apologized for bothering her and turned to walk away. Aela grabbed one of the small spikes atop his head and

    yanked him into her room.


    All the while, the Argonian hissed angrily,

    "Aela, what in Oblivion? Ow, hey that hurtsss, quit it, Aela do you hear me? Hssss!"


    Aela let go, leaving the Argonian to stumble and fall flat on his face on the floor between her and Inigo's beds. He struggled to his

    feet and rubbed his sore head and also made sure the bruised bone spike was still intact. Satisfied, he smirked and walked over to

    Aela and sat on the layed opposite her as he watched her put on her breatplate one leather strip at a time.


    She half turned to him, asking why he was in her room,

    "Aela, Kodlak sent me to be part of the punishment he is sending Inigo on," He thought on this a while, "You know, for the life of me,

    I can't think of what it is or will be. Kodlak did not shed light on the trials or whatever we are about to undertake, he, however, did

    say I was to be one of the wolflord's hounds." He said as he looked up at the ceiling


    Aela glanced at him and she tighted her armor, pulling each leather strap taunt,

    "Well that's good isn't it?" she asked. "Being picked to be one of Hircine's hounds for a great hunt is very honorable, if it were me, I

    would be very excited to take part in an event of such high prestige."


    She looked over at Hasir who was wearing a worried expression while his tail slid between his legs,

    "I am excited...I really am, but the prey Hircine wants me to hunt is Inigo...something about breaking an unspoken rule of

    intentionally doing harm to another of his hounds. He looked at her pitifully, "Aela, do I really have to do this?"


    Aela frowned at him while she tighten the rest of her armor,

    "Leave your personal feelings out of this, okay? Hircine gave you a task to do; best not fail him."


    Before he left, she offered a bit of advice,

    "Hircine always offers a chance of escape  for any and all prey in his hunting grounds, she placed a hand on his shoulder while

    smiling sweetly at him, "It's not much but it is worth thinking about when your prowling about the hunting grounds." 

    Hasir sighed as his eyes swam with tears,

    "Kodlak also told me that you are to take part in this hunt as well." 


    Aela snarled in annoyance as she was already made aware of this,

    "Hircine only told me of this, where've you been? Stuck in the swamp?" She asked as she roared with laughter.


    Hasir cast an annoyed glance at her as he shifted his position on the bed,

    "Very funny, care to take any other jabs at my homeland while you are at it? Hssss."


    Hasir could not help but think of the difficult task before him despite the attempt of diffusing the tension he felt inside him with


    "I still cannot shake the feeling of dread I have at the task that lay before me." He rolled over onto his elbow, hoisted himself to a

    sitting position and spun around the face Aela; His eyes fell toward the fur that made up the bedspread of the small bed. He

    repeated what he had said because Aela said she did not catch what he said the first time.


    He lifted his head to look at the female nord, who say he still had tears in his eyes,

    "Inigo is my friend, I-I don't want to hurt him, but as you said, I shouldn't let my personal feelings interfere." He said smiling 

    sheepishly at her


    Aela smirked as walked over to Hasir and wiped a tear from the worried Argonian's eye and told him not to be so hard on himself;

    Hasir got to his feet, thanked her and left. She continued smiling Hasir was his tail whipping around the corner out of sight.

    She wished Hasir good luck in the hunt. She walked up to the main hall to see what Inigo was doing.

    Inigo turned to her as she entered the hall, smiled, waved at her and offered her a seat in a chair beside him. Aela thanked him and

    sat down. He asked her what was on her mind,

    "Aela, you look worse than my fleas today, what is wrong?" He asked, concerned


    She told him about what Hasir had told her about the upcoming great hunt that was scheduled to happen in Hircine's realm and how

    he was meant to be the 'hare in this particular hunt. He looked at her as if the entire topic went over his head,

    "What is a hare?" He asked confused. "Wait, isn't that something men and mer have on their heads."


    Aela let out a groan of disbelief and punched the khajiit on the shoulder. The khajiit yelped in pain,

    "No, you idiot, hair is something on your body. Hare, h-a-r-e is a alternanative term used for prey that are chosen special for

    Hircine's hunt."


    She saw Inigo's surprised face and knew he was going to ask some stupid question about the possibility of a hare being

    good thing. She frowned at Inigo and punched him in the shoulder again for his cheekiness,

    "No, being a hare is a bad thing, very bad." She cast around for visual aid, "Okay, see this tankard on mead? this is the wolf...and

    this roll," She said as she brandished a roll in front of Inigo's face, "is the hare." She picked up the roll and dunked it into the mead,

    letting it soften before taking it out again, "See what I just did?" She said showing the soggy roll to the khajiit.


    Inigo nodded and chuckled a little bit, earning him another punch to the shoulder,

    "Yes, but I still fail to understand what a soggy roll has to do with the hare," Aela groaned loudly at the dumb question.


    Aela shook her head, mostly at the khajiit's unintelligible question rather than her own inadequecies, 

    "No, the hare is not a soggy bit of bread, erm...perhaps I used the wrong visual aids. Farkas, Vilkas, can you come her please?"


    The two brother got up from their chairs and rushed over to her,

    "Yes, what do you need?" They said in unison


    Aela asked them to explain something to the khajiit. They were struck dumb by this request, Aela groaned,

    "Look, you two morons, I just need you to explain visually what a hare is." The brothers nodded and went about the room on a



    Vilkas outran Farkas the best he could. Farkas finally cornered Vilkas with the later cowering in the corner by the stairs. Farkas

    unsheathed his 'claws' and moved in from the kill. Vilkas made it very convincing as well with the frenzied yelps of fear and pain he

    was making.

     Aela turned all the way to face him now that she was fully armored,

    "I did not have a chance to commune with Hircine on this but I sense something in the moons has shifted."


    She reached across Hasir's chest to smack Inigo,

    "Inigo, stop gawking and shift yourself, damn you." The blue khajiit gave Aela a bashful look


    Aela jumped to her feet and instructed that she, Inigo and Hasir should go to the underforge to hear the plans from Hircine himself

    not from a nord who wants to rid himself of the blessing that Hircine graciously bestowed open them, well at least on Aela and Hasir.

    Aela lead the way out into the training yard. Once they were all outside the hall, they walked to the underforge.


    They were about to open the rock door when Inigo looked up and gestured to the moons with his thumb,

    "I am no astrologist, but the moons look like they are on their period." He laughed at his own joke and turned to the others to see if

    they would laugh as well, to his surprise, they didn't.


    Hasir turned and saw the moons before Aela did. He tapped her on the shoulder,

    "Erm, Aela...the moons are red, is that bad?" He asked her, his brow furrowed.

    Aela looked absolutely star struck, or moonstruck as the case was here. Aela could feel the wolf breaking down the walls of her mind

    trying to get free as Red knew a hunt was near. Both Inigo and Hasir turned to Aela and waved a collective hand across her field of

    vision to see if she was still with them. What she was, in fact, was taken completely by the moon, since she puts much more stock in

    her wolf form than in her nordic form. 


    Hasir grunted with pain as sharp pain tore through him like a scissor would a piece of tissue paper. His entire body was on fire,

    "Gah...Aela, what is happening to me...Argh! I've never felt an intense transformation like this before." He struggled to turn to Aela


    Aela could not hear him as she too was being forcefully transformed, but she treated hers like a pleasant orgasm unlike

    Hasir, who felt like he was being drawn and quartered. When the transformation, whether pleasant or otherwise, was complete, they

    were both in their red and yin yang wolf forms, respectively. A smell, which only Red could smell, came from the sewer grate out

    front of the city near the stables. Red padded over to the stone door of the underforge from where the smell seemed to originate



    Twilight whined as he feared something bad would happen as they neared the underforge. Red clawed at the door, even pressed her

    weight against it, but it would not budge. She turned just as she saw Twilight come running toward the wall full pelt as he rammed

    his one hundred and sixty pound frame against the door; it did not budge. Frustrated, he sat down on a large rock surrounded by

    smaller rocks and the large rock moved downward as if it were powered by hydraulics. As if a hidden switch were flicked, the door

    receded into the stonework surrounding it and slid aside, allowing the two wolves entry. 


    Twilight's eyes went wide with wondrous awe as he beheld the cavernous interior of the underground church. A few feet ahead of

    him, Red grrowled at him while simultaneous tilted her head to the right signalling for him to follow her, Twilight did so. The two

    wolves walked into a crevice just barely big enough for the pair of them. The Red wolf lifting her muzzle to the sky and sniffed; she

    could smell cold air permeating the crevice. Twilight tried also, but smell nothing. As Twilight was a new blood, his senses were not

    as attuned as Red's were. After all, she had had the disease far longer than Hasir had. Not only that, but, in her younger days, her

    and her father would hunt together in the woods further strengthening her already heightened senses.

    She bounded outside, closely followed by the black and white wolf. Cold air filtered in and out of the wolves' nostrils. Red finally

    spotted where the scent was coming from, a sort of musky, earth scent that sent her olifactory senses into overdrive. She padded all

    the rocky edge of the waterfall and leapt down, Twilight thought she was meaning to land on the grass below, but to his surprise

    sshe twisted her body mid leap and clung to the sewer gate with both of her fore paws. With a single pull, she tore the sewer grate

    free of its moorings and tossed it aside as if it were a toy an old dog got tired of playing with and spotted a swirling purple portal in

    the middle of the pipe. Being fearless and ready for anything, even if that meant her own demise, she walked into the portal.


    Twilight crept near the edge and looked down, but the only thing he could see was Red's tail slowly disappearing into the portal.

    Twilight tried to same mid air acrobatics that Red had, however, he miscalculated and slammed headfirst into the stone wall below

    the opening that Red had made seconds before. He landing splayed out like a wolf skin rug on the grassy field below. He got to his

    feet, shook of the pain and embarrassment he felt and padded up to the opening. He dug his foreclaws into the stone on each side of

    the opening and sling shotted himself into the swirling purple void.


    He landed in a field with a gigantic labyrinth staring him in the face, upon further inspection he saw the labyrinth was made of tall

    rows of hedges spanning every which way, some even doubling back on themselves. He wondered what trial this was for and started

    to enter the labyrinth when he heard a growl sound from his right. Red was warning him that it might be a trap. A fair distance away

    a horn sounded and a man taller than most tamrielic races appeared to Twilight's right accompanied by a pack of werewolves, forty

    of them to be exact. 


    The man had on a blue toga that came below his brown furred knees but stopped short of his furr boots. He greeted the wolves to

    his realm. His facegleamed with excitement as he looked to the sky over the maze and saw a bloodmoon,

    "Well, it seems yet another bloodmoon is upon us." He smiled gleefully, or he would have smiled if he had a mouth, "That means a

    hunt is about to begin." He gestured to the maze before them, "In front of you is a maze, which you have, no doubt, seen once your

    arrival here. He turned to his pack of beasts behind him, "The instructions I am about to give goes for you too so you better listen

    well." As he said this, he prodded the leader of the pack in the chest; he then scanned the group of werewolves to see if they all

    underrstood, they nodded in unison.

    The wolflord whipped around to face Twilight and Red, almost smacking the lead werewolf, Swiftclaw, in the face with his antlers.

    the werewolf ducked as the antlers soared by him. Hircine heard Twilight growl in impatience as the wolf was dying to know what the

    trial entailed. 


    Hircine rubbed the back of his, er, head and told the wolf, or wolves as the case was, what they wanted to hear,

    "My hounds, a most daunting task lay ahead of you. A hunter must not underestimate its prey. On the same token, you must not

    underestimate the maze as it holds not only the prey you seek but also many dangers." He let out a small chuckle, "Not the least of

    which is avoiding my more seasoned and loyal supporters."


    At this, Red's lip curled back, showing multiple rows of pointy fangs, hackles raised and licked her fangs continuously in anger,

    "Woah now, hound, no need to go on the offensive, you are in that elite pack no doubt, I was just sizing you up against some of your

    adversaries, that's all."


    Red stepped back, her hackles and muzzle relaxed and Hircine told them more of the creatures they will find inside the grand

    labyrinth. Hircine knelt down and eyed them both,

    "Hounds, not only is the hare, whom I am sure one of you know, in the maze, there are also giant creatures, alien from the ones you

    know on Tamriel, in there as well and you will be competing with them, or against them, depending when and if you turn the hunt

    inside out, to see who can get to the hare first and claim it as their kill." He thought of something and then lowered his skull again,

    "Do this before the bloodmoon falls or else you will be stuck in this realm until the next Bloodmoon."

    He produced a ornate looking horn from one of the many folds of his toga-like drapery, it had symbols of wolves chasing prey

    emblazened in black painted on the polished bone surface and a pair of brown deer antlers perched above the area where the sound

    came out. The wolves recognized it as the horn they had heard ealrlier as it announced the wolflord's coming. Hircine smirked, again

    this is uncertain how he can make such an expression, and below the horn. One singular note echoed thoughout the realm, alerting

    the various inhabitants of the realm to either run and hide or take their positions in the labyrinth. Hircine's most loyal followers heard

    this as well and scrambled to the starting positions. Red and Twilight did this as well.


    Without a warning or second blast from Hircine's horn, they entered the maze and searched frantically for the hare that, somehow,

    Hircine knew that Twilight, or rather, Hasir knew. Twilight shook this rather odd notion out of his head, crouched down, ears flat

    against his head and moved along the edge of the hedge. A second later, his ears perked up as he heard Red yelp in fright. Twilight

    tore off after her and skidded to a halt as he looked up nervously at the large ungulate with fangs. It looked like a deer much larger

    than its counterpart on Nirn. 


    The black and white wolf's eyes followed the path of the beast's stare and found Red cowering against the tall hedge. Twilight froze,

    his arms and legs felt as heavy as ebony ingots; he fixed the beast with menace filled eyes, curled his lips back in a snarl as he

    tried to force his paws to action. He got feeling back in his limbs after a few minutes of inactivity. Twilight leapt at the beast,

    fore and hind claws poised to strike and caught the beast in the neck with sharp claws. The creature, known as a Drashnag,

    screamed in fright as he ran wildly around the maze trying to toss the still clinging wolf to the wayside. Twilight clung as fiercely

    as he eyes fixed on the fanged deer's frightened face as it ran this way and that to try and dislodge the frantic wolf from the wound

    on its neck. The ungulate slowed somewhat five yards from where it started and finally, unable to carry on any more, collapsed.

    Blood poured from the wound as the beast fell to the ground in a puff of grey dust, skidding to a halt before the end of the row of

    hedges. Twilight winced and whimpered as the antler near his position nearly became embedded in the bush.


    The wolf ceased clinging to the cold, dead stag. He padded along the earthen path and peeled right as there was an opening in the

    hedges. His night vision kicked into high gear as the dull brown of the path and green of the hedges became various shades of blues

    and yellows. Enemies were highlighted in bright yellow and the shaken wolf in a hedgerow was highlighted in blue. Everything

    melted away as Twilight ran as fast as he could toward Red. As he ran, his ollifactory sense became overhelmed by the scent of



    His paws tore across the narrow corridor of the maze, beating in time with his frantically beating heart. In no time at all, he reached

    the corner where red was pressed againt the hedge, her eyes bulging out her head. He looked down at her and whined. Her body

    straightened out of her fearful crouch and licked Twilight's face. She glared at him out of the corner of her eye and walked past him

    with a wolfish indifference, whacking him in the muzzle with her tail.


    Twilight's face screwed up in confusion and he licked his muzzle to reduce the fiery pain. He continued on toward the location of the

    prey. A new threat stepped out of the corner of the hedge and the wolf rocketed past him. The new threat, a red-eyed beast with

    black fur and ferocious looking fangs and claws. Grimclaw spotted him and he would be damned if Twilight or Red got to the hare

    before he did. Using his stronger, muscular legs and arms he covered the distance between him and the yin yang wolf in mere



    The wolf stopped as he saw that he had reached a hedgerow that marked a dead end. Twilight howled, one that denoted that a wolf

    was in trouble, and Red, hearing this, hurried to the wolf's position. She nagivated the many twists and turns of the maze with ease.

    At last, she encountered the seven foot werewolf cornering the terrified werewolf, all trances of confidence gone from his eyes. The

    red werrewolf snarled and leapt on the back of the leader of Hircine's pack. The werewolf whipped his head around, narrowed his

    eyes and swiped at the offending creature with a claw full of dagger-like claws. Red flew in the air and slammed into a nearby

    grassy wall.

    Inigo and Argoian Inigo had not meet before had woken up in a world unkown to them. Inigo and the stranger inspected their bodies

    and saw no injuries. They had wondered how they got here and, more importantly, who put them here and what his motivation was.

    A hunting horn made the Khajiit stand up straight as he looked all around him. The visage of the wolf lord shone brightly in the

    purple sky and smiled down and him, rather, the blue khajiit thought he was smiling. He suddenly found himself wishing that he had

    not injured Luna.


    Inigo remained rooted to the spot as he looked up into the skulled daedra's eyes. Inigo's and the panicked Argonian's faces screwed

    up in disgust as he had half expected there to be eyes behind the skull, red or orange eyes. He, however, shuddered as if he were

    dunked into a pool of ice water as he stared with horror at the sunken, dead eyes set deep into the skull below antlers like that of a



    The deer-skulled daedra spoke, its voice reached out to even the shadowy reaches of his realm,

    "Greetings, Inigo of Elsweyr and Istansehk of Blackmarsh, to my realm that is aptly named the hunting grounds." He said beaming

    down at the prey.


    Inigo put his hands on his hips,

    "Eh, needs more spiders."


    Hircine 'frowned' at the khajiit, dissaproving of his jovial manner,

    "Now is not the time for jokes, remember this is your test Inigo." Hircine said


    Inigo quickly apologized. The daedra had forgotten himself and smiled at Inigo, whose neck was beginning to stiffen,

    "My name is Hircine, little hare and my sphere of influence is the thrill of the chase and glory of the hunt." 

    The scarfed blue Khajiit looked perplexedly at Hircine, rolling his head on his shoulders to try to stave off the pain,

    "If I may ask, what is a hare? is that some kind of rabbit?" He asked stupidly


    Hircine chuckled and shook his head,

    "By Oblivion, no. A hare is a mortal that comes to my realm as a plaything of sorts to my followers." Hircine paused for a bit and

    started again, "My followers will not kill it, I mean they will, but they , as will I, will give the prey, the hare, a small chance of



    Fear and horrid realization burrowed deep into the Khajiit's and the Argonian's eyes,

    "You mean you brought us here only to have us killed?" He slumped to the ground in the maze's center, "Oh, Divines help me." He

    moaned as he covered his face. 


    The image of Hircine turned into a fine mist that drifted down in front of the Khajiit and Argonian. It reformed in smaller stature.

    Inigo and the Argonian gawked at the lord of the hunt as he stood before him holding a hunting spear in one hand. An ornate horn

    materialized from the folds of his blue toga and blew it so that two short blasts emanated around the maze's serpentine path. The

    khajiit stood still in shock, not knowing what to do.


    Hircine ran his finger along the maze center's perimeter, eyeing the khajiit with growing impatience,

    "That would be the signal for you to hop along, little hares, the hunt...has begun!" With that, he vanished and materialized in his

    throne room.


    Inigo and the Argonian did not need a second warning, the torey out of the labyrinth's center and ran down a straight hedged

    corridor with tall hedges alongside it like seven foot sentinels. He was not looked out for danger. He just wanted out of the unusual

    and, quite alien, realm. The coverings on their necks stood up as they sensed danger but due to his frantic need to escape

    the expansive labyrinth, he could not see the danger until it was too late.

    A black furred foot stuck out of hedge sending the khajiit and Argonian hares sprawling, engulfing a mouthful of dust and he

    coughed and sputtered he stood up. The being the foot belonged to stepped fully out of the hedge and its muzzle wrinkled as it

    snarled at Inigo. It's cold eyes bore into Iskenaaz's terrified ones. Iskenaaz took to his heels and ran through the many twists and

    turns of the maze, zigzagging back and forth along the hedgerows trying not to look back as he knew the beast, whatever it was;

    was close behind. 


    The beast was soon joined by thirty others as the beasts encircled the khajiit and the Argonian, every which way he looked was a

    wolf. Wolves clung to the wall of the hedges around him and also in front of him. Inigo dropped to his knees and prayed to the

    divines that he would escape this horrific nightmare. As the wolves closed in for the kill, the khajiit waited for his life to end


    Red got up slowly and shook her head. Her ears perked up, scanning for any sound of struggle or fight. She also scanned the

    entirety of the maze with her amber eyes. She heard the rush of paws as she saw a snarling Twilight running after Grimclaw further

    into the maze. Red finally did pick up what sounded like a distant scream, running feet and a sound of huge paws scratching a hedge

    to pieces. She ran hard on all fours toward the series of sounds. She did not notice the hedges as they blurred by because her mind

    was focused on both the sounds and wherever in Oblivion her comrade went. 


    Red ran so fast all while casting around for the wolf that she did not see the dead end. She ran headfirst into the horizontal hedge,

    bounced off of it and landed in a heap a few feet away. Again, she got up, shook her head and renewed her efforts. She used her

    night vision to help her get her bearings. With the newfound light, she ran along the curved hedges toward the center of the maze.

    This was made difficult by the unseen threats hidden behind each curved hedge. At least fifteen black six foot werewolves slowly

    closed in toward her, claws and fangs bared. 


    Red crouched down and her lips pulled back, showing several pointy fangs and leapt at the throngs of werewolves. She pinballed

    between the werewolves, ripping one thraot out, one after another. Some of the wolves saw the danger and fled, either out of terror

    or to save their own fur, it was uncertain. Red ignored the dead corpses of the werewolves strewn across the path. As Red ran full

    pelt after the stray mutts that had broken away from the doomed pack, she had to dodge the bloodied and broken bodies of the

    werewolves. The werewolves dared not look back as they knew Red was still on their furry heels as they heard the wolf's paws

    beating the dirt path flat as she was gaining on them.


    Red ran like a wolf possessed, She tore after the whelps like an angry mother would her children. She eyed them just disappearing

    behind a hedge. She knew they were after the hare and she was determined to beat them to it. She huffed in frustration as she

    reared up onto her hind legs and used them as a springboard to vault herself over a low bearing wall that the wolf hoped would slow

    her down as they would have gained significant ground on her. Alas, this only served as a minor inconveniece as the wolf leapt over

    it and continue the chase. The wolves rounded a corner with the red wolf close behind. Red stopped short as she saw the wolf she

    was chasing was also pursuing the wolfish attack. Twilight leapt into the air and swat a gigantic forepaw at the wolves' leader. He

    blocked it with a paw of his own and batting the wolf to the wayside like he was a piece of meat flying off a ungulate which he had



    The wolf ragdolled through the air and hit the opposite hedge with enough force to knock out a regular human; Twilight, however,

    was not phazed by this, got up, snarled at his attacker and lunged. The leader of the wolves against batted the wolf away as a puppy

    would a ball of some kind. Twilight flung his hind legs out behind him and instead of crashing into the hedge as he did before, he

    pushed off of it with his strong hind legs and launched himself back at Grimclaw, aiming for his heart. He miscalculated and landed

    on his shoulder, which made no difference as he tore into it with such ferocity all the same. Chunks of flesh tore away as the mad

    wolf slashed and bit at every bit of flesh he could reach. So too did droplets of blood fall to the maze floor like rain would on Tamriel.

    To Twilight's surprise, the wound began to rapidly heal; broken bone reformed, skin sewed itself up as if with an invisible seamstress

    were operating the needle and the fur repaired itself as if it was not ripped to shreds minutes before.


    Red's eyes went wide as she saw this and ran to the black and white wolf's aid. She leapt at the savage werewolf who had continued

    his search for the scaly and furry hares. She saw Twilight of to the side climbing up the creature and if it were a tree. She winced

    as his thick black claws dug deep into the wolf's fur and ripped out black bits of matted hair as he climbed up toward his head.

    The gigantic wolf swung around as an unwelcome scent assaulted his nostrils. Red whined in fright as Twilight was losing his grip on

    the manic werewolf. 


    She dived between the unaware wolf's legs as Twilight's claws gave up the fight and her eyes went wide as he began falling toward

    the earthy ground. She propelled herself toward the falling wolf using her muscular hind legs and wagged her tail joyfully as he

    landed on her back, safe from harm. She did not even buckle under his weight as she held him up as effortlessly as a hunter who

    his prized kill. He rolled off of her back onto all fours and both wolves snarled as the faced down the seven foot werewolf. Red turned

    her head and growled at Twilight telling him to go right as she went left as they tried to confuse the black wolf mutt. On her signal,

    they both leapt at Grimclaw, Red on the front and Twilight on the back of the creature. Thier teeth and claws worked in concert as

    they bit and clawed at every bit of fur and flesh they could reach. The yin yang wolf finally tore open a wide enough opening in the

    wolves chest that he reached in with one paw, grabbed the creatures heart, pulled it free of its moorings and bit down on it with his

    massive jaws.


    The creature howled in pain as blood spurted like a fountain from its chest. The great, once menacing beast, now a hollow shell,

    thrashed about for a time before finally crashing to the ground, kicking up a cloud of dust. Red and Twilight saw this and jumped off

    the creature before it hit the ground. Twilight looked through the hole in the creature's chest at Red and twisted his muzzle into

    an expression of disgust. Red shared the disgusting sentiment. With him gone, the other wolves might vacate the area and we may

    finally continue the hunt in peace he thought, wagging his tail in excitement. 


    They where about to continue toward the khajiit, who was curled up in the corner of the maze when Hircine apppeared before

    them. He lifted his head skyward,

    "The Bloodmoon Falls, but, the prey yet lives." He said as he pointed to the horizon where, just as described, the bloodmoon was

    slowly sinking downward. To signal the end of a successful hunt, he reached into his toga, pulled out the horn and blew two powerful

    notes on it. "Until the next hunt, my hounds." Red looked down at the ground, saddened by the failed hunt.


    Hircine knelt down and picked her chin up,

    "You may think that its a bad thing but rest assured it is not. No, I am equally proud that you turned the hunt inside out and turned

    the tables on my wolf pack as I would be if you joined in the hunt with them." He sighed and gave a chuckle, "I thought no wolf or

    man could best the leader of my pack, but you proved me wrong." He stood up and 'beamed' at them, "With him gone, I will be

    needing two strong werewolves to lead my pack and you two are two of the finest hunters I've seen in eons."


    He strode over to Red and Twilight,

    and Twilight and scratched them behind the ears as a kind of reward for a job well done,

    "As such, you two are the top contenders for that honor." He said 'smiling'

    He told the wolves their time will come when he requires their help again, but in the mean time, they had work to do on Tamriel. He

    bent down to Red and whacked her sharply on the nose, "I better not hear anything more about you unintentionally injuring any

    more members of my pack, understand?" She barked in agreement. Hircine stood up again and conjured the spear in his hand and

    twirled it so fast that a purplish wind, like that on the hunting grounds, swirled in front of the wolves and solidified once the spear

    stopped. The two wolves, Inigo and Istansehk, who had rejoined them, stepped through the portal to Whiterun. Hircine called after

    them, "May my sister bless you with winds to speed you on your journey, farewell."