C.O.T.W Chapter 71: A Wrench in the Gears

  • Hasir awoke in region of the hunting grounds with huge expanses of endless grassy fields surrounded by huge, steep mountains only

    broken by the sparse aspen standing here and there. The weary Argonian got up, rubbed his eyes to make sure they were working

    properly and looked around He heard birds in the tress and the howling of the wind as it brushed the grass by his feet like a child

    whose hair was untidy. 


    The Argonian picked up faint movemement as he could see antlers protruding from one of the trees that spasely dotted the

    landscape. He drew his bow and nocked an arrow. As per the usual, his arm ceaed to be broken when in a dream. He inched closer

    to the tree, seeking cover whenever possible, drew his bow back all the way and was poised to attack when Hircine raised his head.


    Hircine scowled as the Argonian approached him,

    "My hound you have soiled my sacred temple with one who does not share the wolf blood, why?" He asked, calmly


    Hasir was scared that the empty eyes might envelope him so he quickly looked away, his tail sliding between his legs,

    "Inigo is my friend, amidst all the darkness he is still my friend, I will not let you judge him so harshly." He shot back


    Hircine shook his head in disgust,

    "A wolf does not hunt with a swarm of bats, he hunts with his own kind." Hircine retorted calmly

    Hasir looked at the wolflord in disapproval,

    "Well, forgive me lord, but we got ambushed on the way to retrieve your totems." He said, a bit of venom in his voice


    Hircine stood up and angrily strode over to Hasir. He had no time for the sly Argonian's foolish games. He had no idea why in

    Oblivion Hasir would become friends with this unholy creation of Molag Bal. He then chastized Hasir and told him about the marriage

    that happened long ago by one of his creations and one of Molag Bal's unholy beasts.


    All while Hircine was recounting this tale Hasir's eyes were unfocused as if he were in a stupor, after Hircine's tale concluded, Hasir's

    mind returned to reality,

    "Hircine, I've heard this tale before, Molag Bal then sets out to purify his bloodline, blah, blah, blah...hsss!" He said, tired of people

    rehashing the tale. Hircine eyed him fiercely and said he did not have time for hounds who try his patience and that, as he said

    before, Hasir better check his attitude and lose that snarky edge in his voice. Hasir turned beet red and apologized. 


    Hircine looked sternly into Hasir's blue eyes,

    "The hunter often hides among sheep to protect them." He said fiercely


    Hasir screwed his face up and shook his head,

    "Hides among sheep? W-what does that mean? I-I... make sense Hircine." 


    Hircine eyed him rather sharply,

    "You will know soon enough, my hound." His said calmly while Hasir's sword point against his throat, "for now though, know this,

    that you are not alone in what the predator has done."


    Hasir groaned and threw his hands up in the air,

    "Damn it to Oblivion Hircine, why must you always speak in riddles? Out with it! Now!" He snarled as he threatened Hircine with his iron



    Hircine told the irrate lizard to control his temper. Hasir sheathed his weapon but did not completely control his rapid breathing,

    "My hound, I have made you and your pack as normal wovles but a bit bigger so that Molag Bal will hopefully mistake you for normal

    wolves and pass you by in his conquest of supernatural supremacy and his desire to creat a new Coldharbour-to what end though, I am

    not certain." 


    Hasir hissed and  glared angrily at Hircine,

    "So what you're saying is... you thought you would deny us our real bipedal wolves for what? Sheer entertainment on your behalf? Fuck

    you Hircine, you are an asshole. I get you are protecting us from Molag Bal's supremacy and soul sucking bullshit but come on, at least

    give us our true beast forms."


    Hircine shook his head and said he cannot do that, at least until the werewolf traitor, Faolchu and his daedric master are dealt with.

    Hasir scowled at this and asked him why not. The wolflord did not appreciate Hasir's tone and threatened to take the wolf back if Hasir

    did not change his attitude.


    Hasir took multiple deep breaths to try and calm himself down,

    "Hircine, I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me." He said, head bowed


    The wolflord strode over to him and lifted him to his feet,

    "I know why, my hound, you have to either keep your wolf under control or in a cage because you let him out far too often, talk with the

    members of the circle and see how they control their inner wolves." He said calmly


    Hircine lent against a tree his spear rested against and asked the confused Argonian where the bow of the stag prince and the spear he

    had given the Argonian were. Hasir sighed and said the bow he still has but, as for the bow, it was long gone.


    Hasir looked concernedly at Hircine as if to reassure him all is not lost,

    "Yes, the spear is gone, but I salvaged the spear of bitter mercy from a silver hand hideout, so that's got to at least count for

    something right?" He asked, smiling toothily at the wolflord


    Hircine did not answer but continued to look past Hasir toward the orange sky; Hasir asked again, still the wolflord did not answer. Hasir

    tried to ask yet again, but the realm began fading away at a slow but steady rate. Hasir called out to the wolflord who was now nothing

    more than a figure concealed by the rapidly closing tree line of the realm.

    He could feel someone shaking him, the Argonian's eyelids fluttered open and found glowing eyes watching him. He sat up,

    "Oh, hi Inigo, I talked with Hircine and he said you are a bad influence on me." The khajiit stared at him, shocked; Hasir sniggered

    and said he was kidding, "but in all seriousness though, Hircine does not like that I am now friends with a vampire."


    Inigo grinned, show rows of teeth like sharpened daggers,

    "It is okay my friend, we do not pick our friends nor do we pick our friends' noses but I am definitely glad we met." They both

    laughed heartily at the joke.


    In that moment, Inigo grasped his head and groaned, it seemed like his head might explode with the force he was using to hold it

    together. A voice echoed inside his head,

    "Inigo, Inigo where are you? I require your assistance with a matter most dire."


    After five minutes of agony, the voice and the pressure on Inigo's mind faded. Hasir was standing over him, concerned. He helped

    the now white khajiit to his feet,

    "Errrm... Inigo, what was that about?" He asked concerned


    Inigo gulped shakily and said he had no idea but he saw a tower shrouded in a blanket of snow. Hasir said he knew that place; He

    helped Inigo stand up and put his arm around him to prevent him from falling again. Together they left the chapel all while the other

    members resumed their prayer. 


    Once they were outside the chapel, Inigo got on the back of the reptilian senche tiger-like mount and Hasir mounted up after. They

    rode towards Whiterun when Inigo was busy grasping his head as if it were a precious bird egg that would hatch at any moment,

    "My friend, why are we going to Whiterun, this is not the place I saw in my head." He said as held did his best to hold onto the

    rapidly moving reptilian mount. Hasir said that he had something he had to take care of first. When they reached the city stables,

    they both dismounted. 


    The stable owneer was busy washing the horses and giving them hay to munch on. Hasir walked up to her,

    "Lilith? I ddin't expect to see you out today. Isn't Skulvar the one doing the manual labor while you are busying working the sales

    and income?" He asked as his tail rose and fell behind him


    Lilith was so startled by the Argonian's sudden appearance that she almost dropped the bucket of water,

    "By the divines, don't do that." She snapped at him, "Next time announce yourself for Divines' sake." She said, turning around and

    clutching her heaving chest. Hasir quickly apologized and asked where Skular was. "Skulvar?" This caught her a bit offguard, "He

    went to Windhelm for a bit of relaxation, why do you ask?" Hasir said he just wanted to know why she was tending to the horses

    instead of Skulvar.

    Hasir walked back to the reptilian steed, grabbed the reins and led it into the stables, making sure it had enough food and water.

    Lilith got down from the stoll she used to wash horses and stared fixedly at the beast,

    "Ermmm... Hasir where in Oblivion did you get that?" She said pointing at the reptilian creature, "I heard they are viscious killers."

    Not wanting to look at it anymore, she turned her back which Hasir wrapped a scaly arm around. He exhaled loudly and told Lilith

    that there is no need to be frightened because before his mother gave this to the stables, she personally inspected the creature; if

    the creature was in any way dangerous, she would've left it in Blackmarsh.


    Lilith slowly turned to face him and brightened,

    "I didn't know your mother, but she and Skulvar had a nice long exchange while she was plead for the stablehand to keep the reptile

    here. She told him that her son, who is on Skyrim, would appreciate this gift and after said exchange, she left to divines know



    "So Skulvar and my mom knew each other, that is very interesting." He mused while he payed the temporary stablehand the

    required gold and walked off to the city with Inigo close behind. Hasir looked up at the sky and realized night was fast approaching.

    He opened the main gates and the two entered and made a beeline straight for the temple of Kynareth to check on Ceralyne and



    Upon entering the temple they saw that Khash body had been moved and Rakel, her neck healed, standing with Ceralyne over the

    place where the little Argonian had laid a couple days before. Hasir looked past them to see Danica walking towards them holding a

    tray full of medical supplies. When she saw Hasir, she set the wooden tray down on the nearest stone bed and looked sorrowfully

    into Hasir's eyes,

    "If you've come here for Khash's body, she has been moved." Hasir frantically asked her where her body had been moved to. Danica

    shook her head and said she didn't know; she did, however, know that two men came in wearing black robes and asked if they could

    'borrow' her body. For what reason though, she did not know.


    Hasir swore under his breath,

    "Hircine damn it! I was afraid something like this would've happened." He said slamming his fist down on the stone altar


    He strode over to Rakel, gave her a kiss on the cheek saying that he missed her and asked Ceralyne if there was a way to determine

    who though robed figures were,

    "Hmmm... well, there is one way we could find out, grab my hands and together, I'll show you the events so hopely the path ahead

    will become clear as a bright sunny day."


    Hiasir grabbed the elves long, slender hands and suddenly felt strange, as if his entire body was dunked in cold water. Hasi closed his

    eyes just as the elf had done. When he opened his eyes, he found he was in the same temple, but it was somehow different, like he

    had been teleported back in time. Hasir looked down from where he stood a saw Kash's body - she looked so sweet and innocent,

    even in death - When he heard footsteps coming toward the temple and the squeak of the door as it opened.


    Hasir quickly ran to a nearby pillar and hid behind it, not sure if anyone could see him or not. He heard voices as he saw two men

    hooded and cloaked in black, one Imperial and the other a breton. The breton, tall and slender and the Imperial an inch shorter

    than the other, standing before the Imperial healer,

    "Excuse me ma'am, but we are friends of the reptile lying over there." He pointed a long, pale finger towards where Khash lay, "We

    are relatives of hers and were deeply saddened by the news of her death." His head bent low as if in mourning, "we would've gotten

    here sooner but our travel was hindered by volumnous snowfall on the mountains." Danica said she understood because she too had

    to cross snowy mountains on her journey from Cyrodiil to Skyrim.


    The traveler, who was introduced as Cezar said he was grateful for his understanding; he gestured to his cohort who was a tall man

    with shoulder length black hair hidden by his hood, who he introduced as Estorius Black, and said they ought to be getting on with

    paying their respects. Danica said if they needed anything, then they shouldn't hesitate to ask.

    Estorius walked over to the Argonian, cloak trailing behind him, over to where the dead Argonian lay. Cezar turned and saw him no

    longer standing there, excused himself and strode over to The breton, looking at Khash's body. While he looked at her corpse, his

    grey eyes was alight with a malice that his partner had never seen before,

    "Estorius ... er, why are you looking at her like that?" He said, confused


    Hasir looked on from behind the pillar he hid behind and saw the two necromancers exchanging a few words; the shorter one looked

    confused while the tall, slender one laughed maniacally. Hasir knew this could not be good. A bluish-purple portal opened behind

    Estorius who turned around and a booming voice echoed throughout the temple,

    "Well, Estorius, did you procure the corpse?" The Breton knelt down and nodded, "Good." Said the voice, "She will make a superb

    addition to my army." Estorius raised his head and asked Molag Bal if he should get more servants.


    Again, Molag Bal's voice boomed throughout the temple as if done by a voice modulation spell,

    "No, you idiot! I want you to contact the doomstrider and tell him to put the next phase of the plan into action." The necromancer

    was about to ask what the next phase was, "You moron, I am talking about finding the descendants of Inga Wolfheart and Frederick

    Bloodborn." Estorius got up just as the bluish purple door was closing, cast Khash's body in a eerie purple and they and the

    Argonian's body were gone. 


    Hasir blinked three times in quick succession to make sure he was seeing this correctly; he was unaware Molag Bal had

    necromancers in his 'army'-Hasir didn't know what that meant-alongside his usual vampire lackeys as well as the undead werewolf,

    Faolchu. He also began pondering how exactly necromancers and werewolves who be working with a daedric princes whose primary

    focus is his 'vampire children' in the first place. He did not even know the primary aim of the army aside from proclaiming vampires

    the master race and sucking Nirn  dry of her energies. 


    The temple seemed to fast forward in time again as Danica and the temple guests scurried about at a dizzying pace. Hasir didn't

    even have time to process what was still going on when he grabbed his head and screamed aloud,

    "Hasir, I am going to pull your timeshifted self back to the present time. This should only take a few minutes." Hasir wondered who it

    was that spoke and found it to be the elf whose hands he grasped three hours before.


    He gasped it horror as a blue light enveloped his entire body and his he began to become more and more see-through. He held his

    breath as the icy blue particels of the light filled up his body and senses,

    "This is it," He thought, eyes shut tight, teeth gritted, "this is how I die."

    A few Minutes later, his stomach stopped doing somersaults as he heard familar voices. He heard Danica talking with Ceralyne, he

    smelled Inigo's scent on the air. Slowly, he opened his eyes and hissed a sigh of relief; the strange thought of death became a

    distant memory as he saw the healer, Inigo and the elf all staring at him as if he were a ghost. He turned away from them and told

    them he saw the two necromancers take Khash's body somewhere, he did not know the exact location. Ceralyne came over, put her

    hand on Hasir's shoulder,

    "I know where they took Khash, it was in another vision I had," She said causing Hasir to screw his face up in confusion. She

    sniggered as she saw the Argonian's expression.


    Hasir gaped at her,

    "What are you laughing at?" He said angrily


    She straightend up and informed Hasir of a ruined fort near the dragon lair called Ancient's Ascent that she believes the

    necromancers had taken Khash's body to,

    "I guess that's also where the doomstrider and Bal's other servants wait to perform some obscene and grotesque transformatory

    ritual on her. That is where, I believe, you will also find the foul werewolf who is Molag Bal's right hand...wolf." She finished, smiling

    lamely at Hasir


    The Argonian's tail rose and fell with his annoyance at Ceralyne's blatant disregard for seeing the truth,

    "Ceralyne, you must have misunderstood something," He said, walking over and sitting on the stone altar next to her, tail drooping

    over the edge, "Molag Bal wants to eradicate the unholy union altogether, and as such he will never have a werewolf working for

    him." He offered as his eyes seemed to survey the elf's soul. Ceralyne nodded and said Hasir must be right; still, she could not shake

    the suspision that the prince of domination intertwined wanting to purify his bloodline with sucking the planet dry, thereby kill all

    creatures on it.


    She thought on this for a few minutes, she turned to Hasir so fast that the startled Argonian nearly fell off the stone bed,

    "Hasir, I may have stumbled onto something here." The Argonian asked her what it was, in response, she blushed, "Well, my

    understanding is that Molag Bal plans to suck Nirn of its energies ... and Bal's servants are all undead, right?" Hasir nodded and

    stood up, "well, except for the doomstrider, he is a malevolent spirit so they will not be affected when he steals Nirn's life force. To

    that end, after Bal sucks the planet dry, thereby killing Kynareth, and eradicating all the werewolves then the desolate Nirn will

    become just another region of Coldharbour... and an expansive one at that." The look on Hasir's face said it all; he was scared for

    not only himself and his wolf form, but for all the citizens of Nirn and the plantlife as well. He had to get this news to Jorrvaskr and

    tell the Companions.

    He politely excused himself and quietly steeped outside. Hewent up the stone steps by the gildergreen and entered the mead hall.

    Once insde, he found the maan area empty except for the still crackling fire. They must be either training or asleep he thought as he

    first went to check on the porch; he saw no signs of life on the porch, he had no idea where they were, he finally realized they must

    be in the underforge; he dismissed this idea straight away because he had forgotten an Argonian working fior the dark brotherhood

    had burnt it down months ago.


    He went back inside and went down to the undercroft. He first checked the room that Vilkas had said was his room, or at the very

    least, his to rent during his stay at the hall. As he poked his reptilian head inside he saw Farkas standing, his arms folded, leaning

    againt the bedpost of the bed at the far right end of the room.


    Upon seeing him, Farkas looked up,

    "Hasir, er, what brings you back here so soon? Aela told me you went to the chapel."


    The Argonian shook his head and explained the reason for his being there,

    "I was, but I came back be, er...listen, that isn't important right now. I came here to inform you and all of the companions that

    Hircine made us hide our true selves from Molag Bal who plans to suck the land of Tamriel dry to form a second Coldharbour-one

    which he only plans to fill with creatures of his choosing-he nodded as Farkas opened his mouth, "Yes, that means werewolves too."

    He said, shooting daggers at Farkas

    Back at the temple Danica strode over to Inigo, who was once again clutching his head and crying out loud. Danica saw this and

    asked Affraji to look after Rakel and tell her the moment she regains consciousness. The female khajiit nodded and was soon joined

    by Milsha who walked her through what to look for in a conscious patient,

    "Now, Affraji, you have to constantly watch her eye color and skin palor. If they change, say if the eyes take on a jaundiced hue or

    the skin loses much needed nutrients, that is, if it turns ghostly white, you must resusitate her as this is a sign of her heart rate

    dropping dangerously.


    Affraji shot daggers at her and snarled. Despite the tingling feeling Milsha felt on the back of her neck, she remained where she was,

    "Thanks for the vote of confidence Argonian." She said sarcastically, "Now leave Affraji before you make this one more depressed."


    Milsha heeded her and walked over to where the Imperial healer was standing looking dismally at the distraught Argonian. Ceralyne

    looked over her shoulder and walked over to Inigo, knelt down and asked the khajiit if he was alright,

    "Ceralyne, please, my head feels like it is being split open by the headman's axe, someone help me, please." Inigo moaned

    through teary eyes.


    She stood up and gestured ofr Milsha to come and have a look as she was not as well versed medicine as she, She walked over and

    tried to calm the indigo khajiit down,

    "Relax Inigo, I will, er, go to Arcadia to see if she has anythiing for a headache."


    Inigo shot her a rather scathing look while he thumped the flooor with his fist,

    "Relax? My head is being split open and you tell me to relax?" He asked her incredulously, ""Can't you idiots do anything by

    yourselves? Why must you always run off the Arcadia? I am sure you have potions here, you cannot always rely on her, and besides

    this is something potions cannot cure as thiis came with the tainted blood I now posess."


    Affraji shrieked, causing Dancia to turn around,

    "By the divnes, Affraji, I told you to tell me when something is wrong, not shriek like a damned banshee."


    Affraji's tail slunk between her legs as the khajiit's eyes looked downward in shame,

    "Affraji apologizes but, look, she's awake, it's a miracle."


    The Imperial stared at shocked at the Nord's sudden state change,

    ""How...gow can the be!? I...er, her...her wound is...how?" Danica spluttered. Rakel's wound had indeed healed but the main

    question that fell a little flat in Danica's mind was 'how in Oblivion did it heal so quickly?'


    RRakel sat up straight, allowed her eyes to adjusted for a moment and turned to face the Khajiit and the Imperial,

    "Hello, er, how did I get here? How long was I out?"


    Affraji began to answer but Danica interrupted her much to the khajiit's annoyance,

    "Hasir brought you her, er, two questions, how in Oblivion did you heal so fast... and... who did this to you?"


    Rakel groaned a little bit as she rose to her feet and walked around the altar to get feeling in them again,

    "That was nice of Hasir to do that, I thought he would've left me to die to be honest, he's funny like that." She stopped walking when

    she felt strength return to her legs and walked up to Danica, "As for how I got this way, hmmm... let's see, I was ayyack by

    members of the silver hand. I fought most of them off, but one filthy bastard cut me from below my left ear to the base of my neck."

    She shrugged, I dunno, something to do with Faolchu needing my soul for some dark purpose."

    Danica gawked at her,

    "The Silver Hand work for Faolchu? That's impossible."


    Rakel nodded, sat on the stone bed nearest her and told the healer about how Molag Bal drafted the Silver Hand and by extention,

    the dark brotherhood for his army tasked with wiping out lycanthrope and assisting with the devitalization of the planet and

    ultimately the creation of the coldharbour extension."


    Danica frowned at the female nord,

    "How does the extension work exactly?" She looked straight into the nord's eyes, "I mean, Molag Bal wants to drain the continent of

    all life, right?" She asked as she watched the poor blue khajiit continued to cry out. Rakel shook her head, "Yes and no, Molag Bal

    wants to purge the descendants of the two the ill-fated Aldmer couple, he won't do it himself so he tasks an undead werewolf named

    Faolchu to do it for him. As for the world, yes I said World, not continent." She said while Danica gaped at her


    Danica tried hard to concentrate on Rakel's explanation of Molag Bal's plan but couldn't bare Inigo's constant yelling,

    "Divines, Inigo if you keep yelling, we will al have headaches. Now go somewhere please, you are disturbing the calm energy of this

    temple." She yelled, catching Inigo offguard; he had always thought of her as the sweet, gentle type, never yelling at anybody.

    Suffice to say, his expectation of her, false as it may have been, shattered like glass struck by a warhammer.


    Danica pointed to the door, inticating the highly disruptive khajiit to leave them alone. His tail, ears and head drooped as he

    trudged towards the door; mid way there he felt a sharp tug on his arm, he look up to see Affraji standing behind him, 

    "Affraji cannot let Inigo go alone, where he goes she does not know, but take this one with you, yes?" She asked him, smiling widely

    Inigo begrudgingly nodded.


    Overjoyed, Affraji kissed Inigo in full view of the temple. Danica giggled from behind he hand and Rakel fell of the stone bed in

    shock, laughing uncontrollably. Affraji pulled away from the khajiit and turned as red as her trenchcoat. Inigo told her that he loves

    her to but she had better control herself when in public places. Affraji asked why they have to keep their love life a secret. Inigo

    smiled weakly as he dodged Affraji's loving embrace,


    "Affraji, look, there is something I have neglected to tell you until now, how to put this, erm, you see, I already have a

    girlfriend." He expected Affraji to be mad or threaten him with her scimitar, suprisingly, she remained calm as Inigo told her this


    She smirked at him while playing with his whisker, twiling them in her claws,

    "Affraji knew she smelled treachery on the wind, now matter, She will draws swords with this nord sooner or later." She said a sly

    smile curling her lips


    Affraji gave Inigo a little shove toward the door; After he disappeared, Afffraji smirked to herself,

    "Hrmm... Time for some one on one with Inigo's 'mate." She said as she exited the temple after him

    Both Inigo and Affraji ascended the steps to Jorrvaskr and opened the door. Once inside the mead hall, Inigo made a beeline for the

    stairs to the undercroft. He found Viilkas, Farkas and Aela sitting at the table to the right of the entry door. Inigo approached them

    looking panicked. All three nords looking up, everyone except for Aela's mouths were full with food,

    "Ermm... Inigo, can't you see we just sat down to eat, what's up?" She asked, a tone of annoyance in her voice


    Inigo recounted the screwed up tale Affraji had told him a few minutes before. Aela eyes went wide with fright and was about to say

    something when a loud banging came from the door leading to the upper section of the mead hall,

    "Inigo, are you in there? we need to talk." Affrai said, trying her best to keep her voice calm despite the rage she felt inside


    Inigo felt sick to his stomach, he had to do something otherwise Affraji would break down the door and confront Aela. Inigo started

    to panic but instead of running, he held his ground, took a deep breath and said, in an equally calm voice,

    "Yes I am here, do your worst."


    The door flew open as if by a strong wind and the cheetah-like khajiit appeared, teeth grit, pointing at the female nord,

    "How dare you see her behind this one's back." She threatened as she unsheathed her steel cutlass, "You betrayed me for the last

    time Inigo, you must choose...me or her?" The blue khajiit's eyes flitted from Affraji to Aela and back again, "Quickly now, I am not a

    patient khajiit, choose now before she loses her head." She said waspishly., forcing Aela to stand up


    Inigo started sweating; he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, no matter the choice, he knew someone would die. He knew

    the best course was to stay out of this as he had no business here; to his right a door at the far end of the hall burst open and out

    strode Kodlak. He traversed the long hall until he got to where the khajiit had Aela, cutlass just inches from her throat,

    "Alright what is going on here?" He saw as he surveyed the scene. Inigo explained the situation to the best of his ability. He told the

    harbinger that he was trying to stay out of the nord-khajiit conflict by he felt he was roped in no matter how hard he want to not

    exaserbate the situation.


    Kodlak sighed and turned to Aela, fixing her with his owlish stare,

    "I see, Aela, is this true? I would've thought your mother would train you to prevent against such attacks."


    Aela nodded her head as much as the steel cutlass pressed against her trachea would allow. The khajiit released pressure and

    withdrew the blade form her throat,

    "Yes harbinger but my mother is not here, is she?" Aela shot back. She rounded on the khajiit and transformed intantaneously into

    her wolf form. Red dodged the khajiit's wildly swinging cutlass; sensing an opening the wolf lunged, Affraji dodged to the left,

    causing splintering of wood as the wolf collided with the table, sending bits of wood and broken pewter and china spilling across the



    The khajiit pirate smirked as she drew a dagger from from her boot and ran towards the red wolf; smelling the foul scent coming of

    the blade, red dodged this. The harbinger was not so quick to react, he cried out in pain as the dagger cut into his femur. He 

    stumbled a bit and slumped against the bit of the bench that was still intact.


    Red saw this and transformed,

    "Kodlak." She screamed, her eyes swimming with tears, "you fucking monster, why would you do something so heartless?" She

    yelled as she glared hatefully at the khajiit sitting on the other unbroken half of the bench.

     Affraji felt offended, in an attempt to save her skin, she frantically pointed to Kodlak,

    "It's not this one fault he starteed it, and beside, this would''t have happened if the nord just accepted her fate." She yelled as she

    glared into Aela's grey eyes. Aela said for both her and Kodlak to get up to the temple so Danica can check him out. She told Affraji

    if Kodlak suffers for this than the khajiit will be worse off than if he somehow survives.


    Affraji cocked her head as if she were a cub asked a difficult question and she had to process the question and the answer at the

    same time,

    "Why me? Can't Aela go with the harbinger?" She asked, confused


    Aela grabbed her by the collar of her trenchcoat, lifted her into the air as if the khajiit's weight had no bearing on her and slammed

    her against the wall near the exit door,

    "Because you wounded the harbinger." She hissed angrily at the terrified khajiit, "as I said before, if any harm comes to him, I'll be

    using your fur to as a rug." She lowered the scared khajiit to the ground who scurried away from the mad nord. The khajiit, glaring

    at Aela with hate etched into her eyes, helped Kodlak to his feet and she led him up the stairs; all the while, Affraji mumbled

    Elsweyrian threats and swear words under her breath.


    Affraji had to put aside her hatred for Aela as she thought on her main pritority which was to get Kodlak to the temple. Tilma looked

    on in fright as the khajiit began to nudge Kodlak towardd the door; her brow creased as she approached them,

    "Hey! Kodlak, where're you going?" She turned to face the khajjit with a stern expression on her face, "Who might you be? I don't

    recall seeing your face around here before."


    The female khajiit gave the maid a curt nod and, opened the door and proceed toward the temple. Disgruntled, the maid walked

    over to an empty chir at the table, sat down and put her head in her hands. At that moment, she heard three sets of footstep on the

    staris; she turned around and saw Aela, Inigo and Hasir walking towards her. They walked past her to a table against the far wall

    and sat down. Hasir took an apple from the tray in the center of the table and proceeded to munch on it; Aela and Inigo sat next to


    "Why would Affraji want you dead?" Hasir asked the fiery-hair nord, "She didn't seem like that when I first met her."


    Aela cast a side-long glace at him, took a sip of her mead that Tilma placed before her and her companions once she was done

    feeling shuuned by the female Khajiit. The maid said she back to her duties but Aela called out to her,

    "Tilma, why don't you join us?" Tilma accepted her offer and sat down beside Aela, wanting answers for the khajiit's strange



    She grabbed a tankard of mead and pulled it towards her as Aela told her what she could about Affraji's odd behavior. Her

    companions helped her when she got to points of the story she either couldn't remember or had left out either to save the maid's

    sanity or for another reason altogether. Aela's face screwed up as she turned to Hasir,

    "Just wondering, but how did you hear about the confrontation exactly? I mean, you weren't within earshot."


    Hasir chuckled,

    "Of course I was. I waas just inside the whelps' bedroom having a talk with Farkas."


    Aela huffed and crossed her arms across her chest,

    "Oh really? What about?" She asked, with a tone that said she would start cracking skulls if she didn't get an answer soon. The

    Argonian swallowed hard and told her what he and Farkas had talked about before Inigo and Affraji came in.


    Aela looked at the Argonian with a fierece intensity,

    "Oh really?" She said again, Hasir began to sweat, "Then, tell me, if you 'heard the confrontation' as you say, then why in Oblivion

    did you not come out and break it up?"

    Hasir began to answer but stopped when he realized he did not know the reason why he did not come out the moment he held

    raised voices. Aela's eyes bore into his like she was trying to burn his eyes. Hasir cast around wildly from Tilma to Inigo, pleading

    with them for a reprieve from being put on the spot. Relief came as Inigo spoke up,

    "Aela, if Hasir does not want to explain why he did not act, then what is the use of grilling him like he is a piece of chicken?" He



    Aela's eyes remained fixed on Hasir as if she did even hear Inigo's protest. Hasir thought about hiding from Aela but he swallowed

    his prride. Aela repeated the question, this time more forcefully,

    "Aela, I wanted to help... really I did, but, like I said before, I got held up." Hasir shot back


    Aela folded her arms and sat back on her bit of the bench, apparently too mad at Hasir lack of aid,

    "SoAffraji goes for my throat and you don't do anything about it?" Hasir said she pretty much hit the nail on the head but left out

    that he was busy talking with Farkas, "Hmph, a likely story... and I supposed you know about Kodlak being injured then?"


    Hasir gaped at her, the apple an inch from his mouth; he honestly had no idea about this,

    "Aela... I-I never knew. Next time it happens I'll be sure to witness it, ok?:


    The fiery she-wolf leapt across the table and grabbed Hasir by his shirt, lifting him off of his feet. The Argonian smirked, trying to

    hold his composure; he failed as nervous laughter floodedd out of him like a leak on a ship,


    "Kodlak might be dying right now and you think this is funny?" She asked threateningly as he face contorted in rage


    Hasir tried to contain his laughter as Aela snarled at him, disliking his lack of respect for the current situation. After a few minutes,

    Hasir came to his senses and stopped laughing. Aela nodded,

    "That's better," She said as she lowered him to the ground, "if I ever hear you being disrespectful again, I will tan your hide,



    She sat back down and drank her mead with renewed zeal; she hoped Hasir would stick by her warning and she would never have

    to let her wolf out to play, in a manner of speaking. Inigo glanced over at Hasir and asked if there was something he wished to talk

    about. Hasir nodded. They both got up from their seats and walked over to the room att the far end of the hall,

    "Inigo, shut the door, I do not want nosy Aela, or anyone else for that matter, listening in on us." the blue khajiit did as he was

    asked; blocking the door with a bookshelf he had asked Hasir's help with moving.

    Inigo went over to the bed in the corner by some boxes and barrels and sat upon it, staring at Hasir,

    "Well, what is it? What did you want to take to me about?"


    Hasir said he wanted to talk about why Affraji is after his blood and also he wanted to revisit the vision Inigo had a few nights


    "Ingio, first thing's first," Hee said as he brought a chair over from the desk that sat in the opposite side of the room and sat upon it,

    "Do you know why Affaji is mad at you? Mind you I am only going off of what I heard."


    The khajiit shrugged, signaling that even he did not know,

    "Dunno, maybe Affraji does not like my involvement with Aela?" His blue face screwed up in concentrate, trying to fish out the exact

    reason from a sea of incertainty, "I've never taken her as the jealous type, maybe this jealousy is from before I knew her." Hasir told

    Inigo that he should ask her sometimes as to get the real reason instead of just guessing.


    He lent back in his chair with his hands snaked behind his head and assed his second question,

    "Now for my second inquiry, care to enlighten me on who that voice was that you heard in your head a few nights ago at the



    This question caught Inigo offguard; he did not know how to answer, but he tried his best anyway,

    "My friend... that... is a question I wish I knew the answer to." He said sighing, his tail hanging limply off the bed. He covered his

    head with his hands and began sobbing uncontrollabbly.


    Hasir nodded as he eyed the sobbing khajiit on the bed,

    "You think I'm crazy don't you?" He asked between sobs, "you must think of me as a crazed khajiit who has lost his mind don't



    Hasir shook his head saying that he does not think of Inigo that way at all. He walked over to the bed and hugged Inigo, their tails

    touched, causing both of them to back away from each other in embarrassement, but sitting in shocked silence for a moment,

    "Hasir, did our tails just touch?" He asked, a bit embarrassed; equally embarrassed the Argonian nodded and told the khajiit to not

    have the companions catch wind of what happened lest they ceaselessly get mad fun of for it. Inigo nodded saying it would be for

    the best and he and Hasir left the room heading for the main door.