C.O.T.W Chapter 68: Diseases of the Soul

  • Inigo followed the Argonian outside into the courtyard, past the well with the pipe sticking out of it and to the gate. Hasir was just

    about to open the wrought iron gate to break the mountain illusion and return to Skyrim when he heard a metallic sigh behind him,

    he turned around and asked Inigo if there was anything wrong,

    "I, erm, well, I am not one of them, my friend, what if I step outside the barrier and I disintegrate?" He asked stupidly


    Hasir chuckled at this as if it were the most preposterous thing he had ever heard,

    "Inigo, what are you saying? Not one of them? you will fit in just fine."


    Inigo shook his head as if he were ridding himself of some imaginary fleas,

    "Well, if you haveen't noticed I have a dwemer body. I think some people might find that a bit odd, don't you?" He asked, scarcely

    believing the Argonian's ignorance

    Hasir thought on this a bit and faced the dwarven khajiit construct and waved a hand dismissively,

    "You're right Inigo people might stare at a boiler walking around in Morthal." He said, smirking cheekily


    Inigo huffed angrily and the small gramorphone speaker generated sounds that formed into words which Hasir had often wondered

    had come from. He also had no idea how the Sotha Sil graced his children with speech. His face screwed up in disgust whenever he

    thought of the dwemer speaking with nothing but skeletons inside their metal shells.  


    Inigo scoffed at his Argonian friend,

    "I am not a walking boiler, my friend but," He sigh as his tail slumped to the ground behind him, "I will, as you say, remain here as

    people will no doubt stare, I am just a khajiit's soul in a metallic shell." He said waving mournfully as the Argonian gave him a weak

    smile and a wave as he disappeared beyond the gate. 


    When he was back inside Mthe city of Morthal, he stole a quick glance over he shoulder and sighed,

    "I hope Inigo's soul will be alright," He said heaving a heavy sigh, "at least until he gets reunited with his body."


    Hasir went to wipe a tear away with his left arm and yelped in pain as he held his arm gingerly, he was so concerned about Inigo

    that he had forgot that he arm was broken. He gingerly placed it back in the leather slung, turned from the illuusion and took out the

    book. He flipped to the page he needed and scoured the entire page as to the locations of the ingredients. He saw that alll the

    ingredients could found at alchemy shops al across skyrim, most notably Arcana's Cauldron.

    Hasir found his horse near the illusionary rock wall, mounted up and headed toward Whiterun; keeping his eyes peeled for any

    ingredients that would grow in the wild, especially blue mountain floor. Hasir was ffeet from the city when he saw a lone blue

    mountain flower along the roadside surrounded by normal looking flowers-he thought they might be daisies. He know, however, he

    need to keep his mind on task so he slowed his horse to a halt and carefully walked over to it, trying not to crush any of Kynareth's

    beauty underfoot-this was admittedly more difficult than he would care to admit because of all the weaving he had to do. Finally,

    after several long minutes of trial and error, he reached the flower, plucked it from the earth and placed it into his bag. With that

    done, he turned his horse toward Whiterun. 


    Bjorlam sat up straight in his carriage when he heard hooves clattering over cobblestone, He did not expect anyone on the road, so

    seeing Hasir riding with purpose toward the stables startled him a bit. He watched in bewilderment as Hasir's horse whizzed past him

    and approached the stables not to far from him.When the purposeful Argonian was about a few inches from the stables, he


    "Er, hi Skulvar, I er, have to go to the city for...something mind if I leave my horse here for a bit?"" He asked almost out of breath 


    Before the nord could ask Hasir why he was lnot stabling the horse properly or even demand that he pay gold first Hasir was off

    toward the city. Halfway up the road, however, he realized something and walked back to the stables,

    "Skulvar, I am really sorry here's the twenty gold for using the stables." He said while he reached into his bag, pulled out a tan

    pouch and handed it to the stablemaster. Skulvar thank him and led the horse into a stall and give him hay and water. 


    Hasir smiled at the proper care his horse was getting and walked up to the wooden door, pushed them open and heading for

    Arcadia's Cauldron. He found Arcadia behind her desk as usual as he went inside; she asked him why he was there, Hasir said he

    needed ingredients.


    The Imperial stared at him incredulously,

    "Yes I can see that, but what I meant was why are you here." She said, "What is the purpose for your visit?" She asked sweetly

     Hasir did not have time to explain this to Skulvar, he did never understand Hasir's plight, she he avoided the question altogether,

    "I have to, er, go see a friend," He lied, "She is really sick and I, er, want to, er, check up on her." 


    Arcadia eyed the nervous Argoian just like he knewed Kodlak would if he told a lie,

    "Do not lie to me Hasir, I know why you are really here." She said in a threatening voice


    Hasir could feel beads of sweat pouring from his forehead as well as his scaly body,

    "You do? I-I, well I-" He stammered but the stern look in her eyes made him swallowed hard


    Hasir's tail slumped down as hee swore to himself, he hated when people knew better than him,

    "Okay, you caught me, I am here because my friend Inigo's soul is in trouble. A couple days back, a witch trapped his soul and it was

    bound for Coldharbour but someone save it and it got placed inside a metal shell and I fear his soul might deteroirate if it is not

    return soon." He stood there expecting her to laugh, she didn't but remained stone faced behind the counter. 


    Arcadia came out from behind the counter, led the Argonian over to a small table with two chairs by it. She sat in one and Hasir took

    the other. The Imperial alchemist vendor asked how this potion was to be made. Hasir smiled weakly as he reached into his bag,

    which was slung over the back of his chair and pulled out a book, the very same book he had shown Inigo. He opened to the page

    containing the potion ingredients slid it across the table to her. 


    She sat bent over the book reading the ingredients with what looked like feverish speed and keen interest, only when she had

    finished did she look up at the concerned Argonian,

    "I see you have crossed some ingredients of your 'to do' list, as for the rest," She sighed heavily. Hasir hung his head, tail going limp

    because he knew this was bad news. What Hasir did not expected was the Imperial smiling at him,, "Lucky for you, I have all of

    them in my store already."


    She walked all around the shop pulling various ingredients from shelves until she came back with every ingredient in the book. She

    laid them each on the table and smiled more broadly at the gawking and spluttering Argonian,

    "What? How did you-?" He began, but the Imperial just sat there smiling

    She handed Hasir what she had, he smiled, thanked her and set to work grinding the ingredients up, including the ones he had

    found, into a mortar on the alchemy station. After an hour of careful grinding the ingredients to a fine dust, he grabbed a glass tube

    and rubber stopper from his bag and poured the contents into the vial along with some water from his waterskin and stirred it with

    one of his claws. As he stirred his tail flopped around behind his like a dead fish.


    When he was finished, he stoppered the now purplish-blue potion and replaced it into his leather bag. Hasir smiled at Arcadia,

    "Thanks for letting me use the alchemy station, you're a lifesaver." Arcadia blushed and told him he was welcome to use it anytime.

    His tail whipped out of sight before she returned to her duties. Hasir thought about Merchant's Day and was about to buy something

    from one of the stall and then he realized that that events ended days ago.


    Hasir pushed this thought aside as he moved toward the temple of Kynareth. Hasir saw the healer sitting on the bench below the

    barren Gildergreen as if she was waiting for him. Hasir sat next to her on the bench and studied her stone faced expression like a

    hunter studies the movement patterns of its prey. He could see tears streaks running down her face,

    "Danica, hi Long time no see." He glanced at her, "Have you been crying?"


    She wiped her eyes hastily so as to not le Hasir her emotional state,

    "No, I just had something in my eye." She lied


    Hasir saw right through this and told her that saw was, in fact crying and asked her what she was crying about. She broke into fresh

    sobs as she her tears stained Hasir's miner's shirt; Hasir rolled his eyes at this,

    "Have some dignity for howling out loud. Tears should be saved for bigger ponds, not little puddles." He told her as he wrapped his

    arms around her like snake would a mouse.

    Danica nodded, even though she did not know what he meant by 'bigger ponds' or 'little puddles.' She told the Argonian that his

    marsh sister died a couple days after he had visited her the first time. The Argonian felt his body go limp; he had been through

    everything with her and hearing about her death was too much too handle. She also told him that another of his family died from a

    wolf bite of some kind. Hasir shook his head for a few minutes,

    "Danica, is there any chance I can see her, to, er, pay my last respects?" Danica nodded, saying that would be fine. Hasir got up

    and went inside the temple, tail trailing limply behind him.


    Once inside the temple, Hasir broke down as he knelt by Khash's bed. He held her limp clawed hand in his and bowed his head,

    "Ermmm .... I am not sure if I am praying to the Hist or Hircine right now, but whoever is listening please guide her spirit to the

    realm of the hist as I am sure she does not want to become hunter or hunted for all eternity." He chuckled, it came although it

    sounded like it was coming from somewhere other than his mouth.


    He released her hand letting it flop lifelessly on the stone bed,

    "I only knew her for a short time, but even so she has become my best fried, so to have her soul taken from Nirn so soon was

    jarring to say the least, what I am trying to say is may her spirit nourish the rich soil of the earth to create new life to slow or even

    stem Molag Bal's cruel hand ripping nature up by its roots and stealing its soul."


    Hasir raised his head as he heard Danica walk briskly by him as she was busy attending to another of her patients, every so often,

    she would glance over at him and smiled weakly as if she wanted to help him but could not figure out the proper way to do it without

    making him feel worse. When she could take it no longer, she asked Milsha to help her with her patient as she went to see to Hasir

    and his 'fragile' emotional state. 


    When Danica reached him she froze, her legs coaxed her onward but her brain told her not to intervene, to let this play out. She

    ignored this voice in her head and walked over to wear Hasir knelt, hands folded and head bowed. Danica cleared her throat,

    "Hasir, I-well I am sorry for your loos, if it is any consolation. She was brave, she fought all the way until the end, the infection that

    was the wolf beat her, that's all." Danica looked sidelong at Hasir, half expecting to see a tear run down his scaly cheek. He seemed

    resolute in that fact that she will never again hear that raspy voice of hers.


    Danica asked the Argonian what he was thinking about; He turned to Danica and smiled,

    "I was thinking about something my dad told me, how the entire world around us is full of energy and when we are born we siphon

    off some of nature's energy so we can 'become a part of nature' so to speak and when we die, we become one with the earth, our

    boody becomes the grass and dirt and our souls mingle further with the boundless energy of the planet." He turned to Danica and

    smiled weakly, "So in a way, Kynareth's creation has gained two wonderful sources of energy; energy I feel that will help her fight

    against Molag Bal's soul sucking magic."


    Danica sniffed and wiped a tear from her eye that threatened to escape,

    "Hasir, that was beautiful, you put it in such a way that I never could." She told Hasir that she did not say anything nearly as

    beautiful when his father died


    Hasir smiled and motioned for Danica to help him moved Khash but before he could lay a claw on her, Lydia burst in, closely followed

    by Kodlak and the Jarl, a man Hasir had never formally met. They all started talk rapidly, each trying to make their voice heard.

    Kodlak and Lydia fell silent and let the jarl speak first,

    "Oh, er, were you in the middle of mourning, I'll wait." 


    Danica crease her forehead and gestured to the small dead Argonian,

    What, this? No worries, say your business." She told him, chin turned up as if she was daring him to making the first move


    Balgruuf opened and closed his mouth again, clearly at a loss for words. Kodlak stepped up and took over,

    "Hasir, there is a group of bandits in Driftshade Refuge, southwest of the city, they are creating trouble for people on the road you

    must help, but first go and get some proper armor."


    Hasir looked at the harbinger's fear stricken face and did not need a second glance to tell he was certain of the threat. He kissed

    Khash's forhead, hissed something like 'I'll be back' and left the temple and headed for the forge behind Jorrvaskr.


    Hasir followed Kodlak out of the temple; before the two parted ways at the top of the mead hall steps, Hasir stopped dead in his


    "Harbinger, I would love to help you with the bandit problem, I still will but first I have something I have to do." He said matter of



    Kodlak nodded and told Hasir to go up to the skyforge anyway as trouble can pop up at any moment and he has to be preapred

    when it does,

    "Also, remember that a sword fares far better in a fight than a stick does." With those final words of wisdom, he opened the mead

    hall doors and disappeared. 


    The Argonian worked his way around the mead hall to the back where the usual training session was being held. He ingored this for

    the moment and ascended the ramp. Hasir waved at the burly nord male; he made no attempt at reciprocating. Hasir strode over to

    him and tapped him on the shoulder; the man nearly dropped the sword he was sharpening, and turned around,

    "Yes, how may I help you?" The man said gruffly


    Hasir mentioned he wanted to learn how to create weapons and armor and he had hoped that the nord could teach him. The nord

    roared with laughter at this,

    "You want to be a blacksmith? Look at yourself, I doubt you'll even be able to hold a blacksmithing hammer and I highly doubt you

    can stand the intense heat of the forge." He shook his head in contempt, "I give you a week before you are sprawled on your

    backside from heat exhaustion, from the look of you, you'll make a better Alchemist than a Blacksmith." He said laughing

    Hasir scowled at the nord and shrugged,

    "I may be a better blacksmith than you give me credit for, who knows?" Hasir shot back


    The Nord finally gave in and told him that blacksmithing is not as easy as the Argonian lets on and it will likely take weeks of

    gruelling traning before he can make any that is of acceptable quality. The nord smiled and offered the Argonian his hand,

    "By the way, I'm Eorlund Gray-mane, nice to meet you." He said, smiling


    Hasir shook his hand, tail swaying happily behind him,

    "Nice to meet you Eorlund, I'm Hasir."


    Hasir looked at Eorlund skeptically

    so, er, what do you do for the companions exactly?" 


    Eorlund told him that he is the companion's blacksmith, if any of their weapons and armor need repairing, he was the one they

    would come to. Hasir nodded, deep in thought, he glanced around the forge and saw three workstations, he asked Eorlund what they

    were. He gestured to the forge, grindstone and tanning rack and explained to the curious Argonian each one's purpose. 


    Hasir's forehead creased in confusion,

    "Er, Eorlund, I'm not sure I can remember all that."


    Eorlund gestured over to a ledge adjacent to the forge,

    "I am sure you will do fine, now I want you to forge something using that iron ingot."


    He watched Hasir as he melted the ingot at the forge and dunked the iron ingot into the water beside the forge. Frustrated, Eorlund

    walked over to the Argonian,

    "What in Oblivion are you doing? Once the ingot is melting using the forge, you have to shape it using the workbench before place it

    in water otherwise the metal will cool down." He groaned, otherwise when you work on cold metal, i will never hold the shape you

    want, also, if you pound cold metal with ahammer, it will crack meaning that you will have to start the entire process again." 


    Eorlund ripped the cold cracked metal from Hasir's grip and through it onto the forge plaform, where it landed with a clatter,

    "Try again, I will make a compitent Blacksmith of you yet." He said, snarling at the Argonian


    Hasir tried again and again to forge a weapon or some peice of armor but he would always make some mistake. Over the days that

    followed, the pile of discarded metal on the adjacent ledge of the forge piled up like fish from a fisherman's boat, One day, when

    Hasir was sweating over to forge, Eorlund walked over and smiled,

    "Good, you seem to finally be getting the hang of this, better cool the metal and bring the cooled metal over to the workbench to

    shape it.


    Hasir did as Eorlund asked and submerged the metal into the water for a few seconds, just long enough for the metal to cool, went

    over to the workbench and started pounding the metal into a shape he was pleased with, with each strike of the hammer,

    Hasir couldn't help smiling to himself, he like this almost as much, if not more than cooking, though they both were pretty

    rewarding. Eorlund stared at the iron sword and smiled.

    Eorlund smirked as he beheld the Argoina's fine handiwork, he patted the Argonian on the shoulder,

    "A sword is a fine weapon to use against your enemy but, what if the weapon underperforms or breaks in the midst of battle?"



    Hasir shrugged as he had no idea where the blacksmith was going with this. The blacksmith eyed him dangerously,

    "You will be run through because you have no further protection without your sword."


    Hasir looked at him like he was crazy,

    "Divines, this is why I have training apprentices, you lot don't have any sense about you at all."  He said, sighing in annoyance


    Eorlund told him to stop staring at him like a moron and get to work crafting a set of armor, again Eorlund supllies what he would

    need. Hasir thanked the nord and stuck the metal ingots in the forge until they were nice and hot, took them out with the tongs that

    were provided and brought the molten bits of iron over to the workbench and pounded the metal into shape. Eorlund walked over to

    examine the Argonian's work,

    "Good, good, now go over to the tanning rack and make some leather straps to tie to two pieces of armor together." Hasir smiled as

    he relished getting compliments, finished up pound the second bit of metal so it look identical to the first, set them aside and

    tanning some leather that Eorlund had provided. 


    After tanning the leather, Hasir returned to the workbench and unravels the leather strips, measured the lengths and laid them out

    on the workbench. He put the two armor halves on and had Eorlund help him with the leather strips. Hasir smiled and then went to

    work smithing a pair of greaves, boots and a helmet. When he put all the pieces of armor on, he turned to Eorlund and asked what

    he tought.


    The old nord smiled,

    "You look great, you kind of look like a younger me, I mean if you were a nord and not an Argonian." He chuckled a bit, causing

    Hasir to hiss in indignation


    Eorlund held he hands up, taken aback,

    Hey, I meant no disrespect, I only meant-"


    Hasir looked sidelong at him,

    "I know what you meant." He retorted

    Hasir tested his new armor by moving around in it, he did fancy sounding like a tin man, he knew this armor did not suit him, but

    this was his first week as a blacksmith's apprentice after all. He would get better, Eorlund advised him, the longer he kept at it and if

    he gets proficient enough in his craft, he will be able to make more protective suits of armor. Hasir thanked him and headed toward

    the gate of the city, Eorlund sighed with delight as if he was watching one of the companions going off to battle of the first time, but

    he did not know how right he would become on that vision.


    He saw the sword laying on the workbench, picked it up and rushed after Hasir, calling his name as he went. After several feet, the

    blacksmith finally caught up to the Argonian,

    "Hasir, glad I caught you, divines, you walk fast." He said, almost out of breath, "You can't leave without...this." He said, holding out

    the sword like a squire pledging himself of his king's servce.


    The Argonian grinned broadly and took the sword out of Eorlund's hands, dropping it as he did so. The sword, spedd point down

    toward the unaware blacksmith's foot. A small thud told the Argonian that the blacksmith leapt out of the way just in time and the

    sword stuck into the cobble like a sword in the stone. 


    Hasir grimaced in apology and wrenched the sword free of the cobblestone and apologized to the wary blacksmith again. Placed it

    point up, in its sheath and left the city. The Argonian was not a few feet from the gates when Eorlund clearly heard a cry of pain,

    "Idiot, why in Oblivion would he have the sword point up, has his time with the companions taught him nothing?" He mused as he

    went outside the city to help the Argonian who was nursing a shallow wound on his finger. 


    Eorlund wanted to call Danica to take a look at it but Hasir waved him off. Eorlund gasped as new scales formed inside of the

    affected area, when the wound was healed, the blacksmith asked, still gawking at him,

    "How in Oblivion did you do that?"


    The Argonian shrugged and chuckled as he saw the warrior guild's blacksmith's dumbstruck face,

    "It is the extension of our connection with the hist," He said,turning back to the door where Eorlund stood, staring stupidly at him

     Hasir smiled and waved goodbye as he walked along the winding path down to the stables, where he found Skulvar's stablehand

    with a bucket of water beside him and dampened leather cloth in hand, he smiled and waved as Hasir came within sight,

    "Hey, er, what was your name again?" The nord asked, unsure of whether the Argonian had given his name the last time they met


    Hasir, shook his head, sgnaling that Skulvar had not so the nord asked again; the Argonian smiled,

    "My name is Hasir," He stared at Skulvar's nonplused face and laughed, "I am sure I have told you my name before," He said,

    furrowing his brow, "But, then again, given that you asked me, maybe not." 


    The stablehand offered to help the Argonian onto his horse, an ebony horse with a mane of pale blonde hair, but Hasir told he he

    could manage. Once Hasir got onto his horse, he looked to his right and gasped with fright,

    "Skulvar, I thhink you have a, uh lizard problem." Sulvar glanced over to where the Argonian had pointed and, sure enough, there

    was a giant reptilian horse-like creature the likes of which Hasir had never seen before standing near the opposite wall of the stable.


    The creature was two hands tall and six feet long, from scaly snout to tail,

    "Hey Skulvar, do you know who sent this... thing?" He asked as his fface screw up in repulsion

    Skulvar smirked and told Hasir the Kassamae's cousin, Iskenaaz had it shipped to the city of Whiterun all the way from

    Blackmarsh. Hasir's eyebrows narrowed as if he was confused by what he had heard,

    "Hasir, sit down, I will explain everything." He said, beaming at the Argonian


    He dismounted and followed Skulvar to a pair of haybales near where the creeature stood, Hasir sat on one and Skulvar the other,

    "So care to tell me what this is about Skulvar?" He asked, hands croosed across his chest, "what exactly is this creature, where did it

    come from and why did my mother send it to me?"


    Skulvar lent back on his haybale, leaning against the support beam the haybale was near. He told Hasir, who was literally on the

    edge of his seat about the creature,

    "Hasir, this is a Nagahide Welwa Ravager, they are used by almost every tribe of Blackmarsh to help them in tracking and taking

    down large beasts.


    Hasir's forehead creased,

    "Do you mean these things help them track down elk and deer?"


    Skulvar nodded and looked concerned,

    "Yes they are exceptional trackers; their scent of smell is akin to that of a wolf. They can track not only large game, but also small

    game as well, like rabbts and foxes."


    The nord seemed to space out and then he caught his ever fraying rope of thought, 

    "The Nagahide Welwa orinaginate from the hist." Hasir gave the nord a concerned look. The nord nodded, "The hist took a look at

    other provinces of Tamriel. When their gaze fell on Blackmarsh again, they realized something was missingThey tried many different

    things to tried to emulate the hoofed ungalates, failing at every attempt, that is until a Naga warrior named Scales-Like-Sandpaper

    rode into blackmarsh mounted on an Imperial steed

    Hasir lent forward and asked Skulvar what the hist did to the traveler as he knew were this was going, or thought he did,

    "Patience is a virtue Hasir," The argonian apologized and sat back, letting the nord continue, "As I said, Scales-Like-Sandpaper rode

    into Blackmarsh and his horse had to go careful so as to not trip over the many roots that criss-crossed the swampy land like long

    fingers from some unseen hand. He didn't see were he was going, or to more apt, his horse didn't and it found itself tangled in a web

    of long, thick roots." Hasir gasped and asked if either the horse or the rider was killed, Skulvar held a finger to his lips, knowing what

    this gesture meant, he fell quiet once more and let him finish, "The roots dismounted the ride and sent him skidding into the mud.

    He followed the frantic whines to a rather thick trunked tree, known as a hist tree. Scales could hear something talking to him inside

    his head." Hasir asked if all Argonian could understand hist trees in this way.


    Skulvar shot him a dirty look; the Argonian lapsed into silence.

    "The hist tree told him that he was told be a part of an experiment of sorts. Scales-Like-Sandpaper did not know what this meant,

    he saw his horse standing inches from the tree's trunk and lunged for it. Before he could so much as touch the steed, he felt a

    branch brush his back and tear some scales off."


    Hasir gasped as well as sitting closer to Skulvar,

    "the hist tore scales from his body? By Kynareth, that must've hurt."


    Again, Skulvar nodded, not taking his eyes of the Argonian,

    "Yes, but the scales grew back, him being an Argonian as you are, anyway, once the scales touched his steed something grotesque

    yet magical happened, it transformed into the creature you see here." He got up and went over the the Nagahide Welwa, "So, I

    guess you should be happy because your people helped creat this horse-lizard."


    He looked at Hasir who looked like he ate a spicy pepper,

    "Erm, my tribe is the blacktongues I though you know this."


    Skulvar said, shamefully, that he was not made aware. What he meant to say was a certain tribe in Hasir's homeland helped create

    the horse-lizard. Hasir had guess that was where it got the name 'nagahide' from. What Hasir did not kknow, however was where the

    crature got the armor. He gesutred to the creature, tracing it from its jaw all the way to its backside. 


    Skulvar smiled even broad and launched into a tale about the armor,

    "The armor came from many notorius Blackmarsh blacksmiths, they made it nearly impervious to every known element and

    weapons known to every race to Tamriel. Though if the armor falls of or gets worn out, the Nagahide Welwa is more suseptible to

    this it wouldn't be if it had the armor on.

    Hasir asked Skulvar why his mother gave it to him. The nord scratch his chin, apparently lost in some distant memory,

    "Your mother sent me a letter preceding your arrival that said that she wanted to give you this because your brother sister and

    parents left Blackmarsh a few days before your hatching day and accidentally left you behind and as such, never got to give you a

    present of that occasion, so she told me her cousin in Blackmarsh, chief of the Bright-Throat clan would be sending a Nagahide to my

    stable, it arrived three days before you did as a matter of fact."


    The Argonian looked sidelong at the nord,

    "Do I have to use it?" He asked


    The nord concidered this and shook his head,

    "There is no forcing you, I mean you can still use Bjorlam's carriage if that is more comfortable for you." 


    Hasir said he would rather not use the Nagahide unless he really needed to and if there was no other means of transport available,

    but he got onto the beast anyway just to try it out. He smirked to himself as he sat in the saddle which was the color of the stone

    grey the rest of the beast was covered in;he felt the muscled legs and arms of the beast. He never felt more at ease; to him, this felt

    better than riding a horse. He could feel his Argonian ancestors smiling at him as he sat proudly in the saddle. He decided to ignore

    his earlier assumptions and give this a try. 


    He grabbed the reins of the creature and kick it in its side, The reptilian horse turned its head and growled at the Argonian but

    obeyed nonetheless; Hasir had thought this creature would not outrun a horse but he was wrong. The scaly reptililian horse set of for

    Morthal with breathtaking speed; so much speed in fact that Hasir had trouble control it. He had to think fast to avoid plants, rocks

    and tree as he tried to slow the beast down. It took a while before the Argonian became content with his new 'horse.' Hasir bent

    over the reins as he pushed the Nagahide to go even faster.


    At the rate he was going, he surmized he would get to the illusionary entrance of the manor at around midday. He did not have to

    stop and read the wooden signposts because even though he took the route to Morthal only twice, he memorized the way already.

    The Argonian could hear a loud roar coming from close by,

    "Aww crap," He glanced at the rocky grass on the left side side of the cobblestone road and, sure enough, the shadow of a large

    reptile moved over the grass. 

    Hasir leapt of His reptilian steed to face the new threat heading start for him. Readying himself, he unsheathed his iron sword and

    held it aloft before him. The dragon smelled this new threat and move in a wide arc around the Argonian, spraying fire as he circled

    his 'meal.' Hasir waited for the beast to get low enough; when it finally did, he leapt onto the beast's back and stabbed downward,

    he heard the metal bend and break as if it were a mere twig.


    Frustrated but not deterred, he called forth his fiery whip, which he had hoped would fare better than the iron sword, it failed to

    puncture the beast's tough, scaly hide. He ducked just in time as a stream of fire missed singing his hair by inches. He leapt onto his

    steed as it finally joined the battle. The Argonian was amazed that the Nagahide wasn't even phazed by be roasted by a jet of flame

    as it streaked by the dragon. Fiery boulders encircled Hasir as he flung one after the other at the dragon. Roars of pain told Hasir

    that the boulders had met their mark.


    Hasir was about to charge up the spell to use it again when an arrow whizzed by his ear and caught the dragon in its chest. The

    dragon roared with pain as, looking back, Hasir saw Aela, Kodlak, Farkas and Vilkas ride past on their horses to further damage the

    dragon. Farkas and Vilkas chastized him for not being better prepared,

    "You idiot, didn't you come equipped with more than iron armor? you do know that iron burns hot as anything when fire hits it

    right?" Farkas asked him as he turned to Aela, "Tell me why are did this moron come to Jorrvaskr?"


    Kodlak shot daggers at Farkas. Hasir was a bit confused why the old nord was defending him,

    "He came because he neede a family, something I expect he never had until now." He saw smiling at Hasir


    Farkas muttered something under his breath; he obviously did not feel Hasir belonged in Jorrvaskr and he did not want someone

    who could barely fight to join the companions. Aela jerked her Head towards Hasir,

    "Just stay out of our way whelp. This is a job for professionals." She began trnsforming into her wolf form; after a few minutes, the

    transformation was complete and she and her shield brothers, who also transformed, started clawing at the dragon, who roared in

    pain with each claw swipe. Red's eyes went wide as her brothers got to nearl the giant reptile's tail and were batted away like

    discarded toys.  


    Hasir saw what they were doing and started transforming into his wolf form as well; hearing the groans of pain, Red whipped around

    and growled loudly at Twilight, signaling him to back off. It was their prey not his. the black and white wolf shook this off and leapt

    at the dragon teeth and claws poised to strike. He landed on the dragon's snout and started biting and scratching every inch of scale

    he could reach. Red growled as she hated seeing some outsider stealing her thunder and ran and Twilight and smacked him off the

    dragon with a massive paw. Twilight summersaulted through the area to land on his back a few feet away from where Red was trying

    to bite the dragon's head off. 


    Twilight glared angrily at Red and charged toward her, but Kodlak obstructed his path, unsheathing his sword, Soulsliver, he ran at

    the dragon, sword raised and start hacking away at the dragon's scales. Red saw what the harbinger was trying to do and let out a

    shrill howl. Aela unsheathed her bow and aimed it the dragon's soft underbelly once it returned to the skies and fired. The dragon

    gave one last roar of pain and froze in midair, looking like more of a toy dragon than a real one and plummeted toward the earth to

    land withan earth shattering thud.


    Blue and orange light erupted from the dragon's body as it was absorbed not by the companions but by the Argonian standing

    behind them. Aela as well as the other circle members stared at the Argonian,

    "What?" He asked, confused, "Did I spoil your moment?"


    Aela walked to Hasir still shocked,

    "Ermmm... You absorbed...it's soul, h-how?"


    Hasir tried to brush this off but deep down he knew it was a part of what made him special,

    "I know I can, I mean, my Akaviri master could do it too, he said that absorbing dragon's souls is a rare power that very few

    Dragonknights posess." This statement was met with looks blank as a new bit of parchement.

    Aela looked at Hasir confused as the dragon flesh flaked off like dead leaves behind her,

    "What is a dragonknight?" She like tilma and the rest of the Companions had a very limited very of the world around them


    Hasir smiled weakly at hher and told her he would explain later and that he had to deliver a potion to someone, before he went

    however, he bent close to the dragon and rummage in the bones or some salvagable remains from the corpse. He searched it and

    founnd that it had some bone and unburned scales; he took the forest green scales and stuffed them into his bag. He got up,

    mounted his steed and sped of for Morthal.


    He reached the edge of the small town around ten o'clock the next morning. He rode toward the illusion and there, staring him in the

    face was the mansion; he went through the main gates and smiled uneasily as he took in the mansion's majesty. He rode the lizard

    over to a stable situated just outside the main gates, dismounted and walked up the snowridden cobblestone toward the manor. He

    pushed the door open and went inside the manor.


    Lahar, Lemashtu and Inigo were busying dusting the manor as spiderwebs hung like pieces of tattered curtains all around the main

    hall. Hasir yelled out of Inigo to come join him on on the plush floral-patterened sofas. The bronze shell of a khajiit clanked over to

    him and asked what he wanted,

    "Inigo, I have something for you." He said, reaching into his bag.


    Inigo guessed it would not be sweet rolls as he could not eat them in this state as all the frost would shortcircuit his temporary

    body. The Argonian could not see any emotion in the khajiit's optical actuators but he knew his feline friend was happy. He handed

    over the potion he had pulled from his bag and told Inigo to drink it. Inigo poured the contents down the gramorphone speaker the

    formed part of his mouth and immediately he beag to take on a bluish-purple glow. 


    Sensing the potion was working, Hasir took out the Heart's desire key, strode over to the door in the middle of the split staircase and

    inserted the key. he beckoned Inigo to come over, the clanking behind him told him the khajiit was behind him. He turned the key;

    Both Hasir and Inigo gasped as they looked upon the unconscious form of Inigo laying in the temple of Kynareth. The machine with

    Inigo's soul aprroached the door.When it did, the soul erupted from Inigo's gramorphone attachment and flew toward the

    unconscious form on the bed. A thud behind Hasir told him that the skeleton in the metal casing had fallen, devoid of what kept it

    'alive' moments before.


    Hasir smiled when he saw Inigo open his eyes and sit up. Hasir long to see his friend again; he shut the door, removed the key and

    backtracked to where his steed was. He sped off toward Whiterun to share the crazy last few minutes he had been though, with