C.O.T.W Chapter 78: Treated Like A Mushroom

  • Hasir led the way out of the cabin with Inigo followed close behind; Tigress got up from her seat and ran towards Hasir, grabbing his

    arm to stop him from doing whatever he was thinking of doing and spun him arround to face her,

    "Hasir, what in the name of Tosha Raka do you think you thnik you're doing?" She asked, looking at him skeptically. "You should

    really go and see a healer, there may be some side effects from that sword you were stabbed with." She shook her head for several

    minutes, "By Oblivion, the sword may have shattered upon contact with your scales, as such, there may still be fragmants of silver

    we may have to ddig out of you before they do irreversable damage." 

     

    Hasir looked at her as if she was the one who needed the healer. He smiled at her and patted her shoulder,

    "Tigress, I'm fine, stop worrying about me will you?" He chuckled which confused her even more, "Hircine's claws, I swear you act

    just like my mother sometimes."

     

    Tigress growled softly as he released her,

    "Your mother? Why, what makes you say that?"

     

    Hasir chuckled at this. Tigress fixed him wiith an quizzical look,

    "I don't see anything funny about this. Back to my earlier inquiry, where are you off to in such a hurry?"

     

    Hasir told her that he was off to Gnaar Mok to find out why the Telvanni wrongfully imprisoned his mother and, if possible, to put an

    end to their ill-conceived slavery practices once and for all."

     

    He glanced at Tigress who was looking at him like he was about to beat a dead horse,

    "Hasir," Shee said, drawing a deep sigh, "You poor, niave Argonian, aren't you aware that slavery has been outlawed in Morrowind for

    the last three hundred years?"

     

    Hasir shook his head, saying that she may've been told that but he knew that that was wishful thinking.

    "The truth, you thick tiger-dragon," He said, poking her in the forehead, "is that other provinces abollished slaves whereas

    Morrowind did not, it said so in the Imperial treatise." She looked at he like she had been struck dumb. "The treatise... you know,

    the peice of paper that Morrowind signed with the empire ten or so years ago?"

     

    Tigress glared at the Argonian and punched him in his bad arm.

    "I know what the Imperial treatise is you stupid reptile." She said. Hasir fell to one knee due to the wave of pain rocketing through

    his brain "Believe what you want but my companion and I are going to Gnaar Mok."

     

    He and Inigo left without looking back. He thought Tigress was crazy for saying he would need a healer. He felt perfectly fine and

    what he said was true about the wound that the silver sword had created healing completely. Hasir and Inigo walked out onto the

    main deck of the ship, passed the stone buildings of the dock and proceeded directly to one of the ships they hoped would take them

    to Gnaar Mok. 

    They argued over who would pilot the ship to get there as they knew no self respecting ship's captain would be on duty this late at

    night. They were about to give up and turn in for the night instead when they saw the Crimson Fang bobbing up and down like a cork

    in the water two piers ahead of them. Hasir geestured to Inigo and asked if he had any piloting experience,

    "I'm sorry my friend, I do not know the first thing about piloting a ship," He said, tail hanging limply behind him, He asked Hasir the

    same question. he gave almost the same response as his khajiit friend. They looked up and down the docks looking for a pilot; then

    they saw the answer leaning against the door of Argonian Assemblage at the top of some steps at the north end of the docks.

     

    The Argonian called down to them,

    "Hey, khajiit and fellow Saxhleel, come here." He called, rather shiftily

     

    Both the argonian and khajiit walked toward the steps and began climbing them toward the owner of the voice,

    "Excuse me, who might you be?" Hasir asked, "Have we met before?"

     

    Pardon me where are my manners?" He hissed in a cool voice. "My name is Scouts-Many-Marshes and I daresay you'd be

    hardpressed to find a better pilot than me." He said, smirking slyly. "You two look like your eyelids are about to fall off." He said,

    gaffawing loudly. "You two look tired." He said plainly after being given perplexed looks from both Inigo and Hasir. Scouts gestured to

    the Argonian Assemblage door, "I will ferry you two wherever you wish, but it will have to wait until tomorrow."

     

    Scouts-Many-Marshes asked Inigo and Hasir if they had anywhere to sleep. They shook their heads; Scouts grinned widely,

    "You're in luck, the Argonian Assemblage has two extra beds, those not occupied by the other three Argonians and I, are already

    made up and the beds stand waiting along with a dresser for your belongings, if you want a place to sleep for the night."

     

    Hasir gaped at him, obviously working out what the other Argonian had said.

    "What a minute, you and the other three Argonians? who are these three Argonians?" 

     

    Scouts-Many-Marshes told his eggkin that his wife Shavee, his dockmate Netranaza and Netranaza's brother, Stands-In-Shallows are

    the three Argonians of which he spoke. Scouts shook his head and said they would not object if he and his khajiit friend slept among

    them. Hasir did not want to sleep in a dirty hovel with other slaves or former slaves put there by the dunmer or the nords of the city

    to save them from seeing their kind dirty their city even further.

     

    Hasir asked his fellow Saxhleel why only Argonian dock workers are given a place to sleep whereas the equally scorned khajiit, he

    gestured to his friend for emphasis, are not given anywhere to sleep except for a campsite outside the city limits.

     

    Scouts groaned audibly, screwing his eyes up and shaking his head,

    "You are reading too much into this, eggkin." Hasir cocked his head at him, "Just... go inside and everything will be explained." He

    gestured to the assemblage door again. Hasir and Inigo followed Scouts-Many-Marshes as he went through the door. Hasir's eyes

    went wide as he took in the many columned room with a large fireplace on the northern side of the room, A stone altar with bits of

    cheese and other trinkets lay strewn across it with two cooking pots lay at either end. On the right side was a row of four neatly

    made up beds before which were four brown dressers overflowing with various articles of clothing. On the left was a long, wooden

    counter, behind which stood a beautiful mossy-scaled Argonian female.

    Hasir approached the counter and saw the Argonian that Scouts-Many-Marshes told him about,

    "Greetings, My name is Hasir and you must be Shahvee." She nodded and gestured to the room at large, "This I am sure Scouts

    already told you is the Argonian Assemblage."

     

    Hasir nodded as memories from what he had told Scouts-Many-Marshes moments before came flooding back to him,

    "Isn't this supposed to be a dirty hovel where the shunned Argonians come and live?" He said, looking downcast as he saw the

    female argonian's shocked expression.

     

    Shahvee laughed rather heartily at this and told Hasir that he must be mistaken because she told him that the assemblage is

    actually a delightful place should the occupants give it the opportunity to be. He asked her on a sidenote where his and Inigo's beds

    were located. Shahvee thought about this for a while and pointed up a set of stairs to the right of the large fireplace and said they

    led to a small second floor attic space where two beds, already made up for them, were located.

     

    Hasir thanked her and started walking to the stairs when he looked over and saw the khajiit sitting on one of the empty beds. Hasir

    gestured for Inigo to follow him and they climbed the wooden stairs together. Feeling too tired to do anything, they undressed,

    crawled into their beds and fell asleep. 

     Hasir and Inigo got up early the next morning, Inigo got dressed in his miner's shirt and trousers while Hasir struggled to put on his

    armor. Finally after several minutes of trying, and failing, to tighten the leather straps of his armor, he called the khajiit over to help

    him. After suceeding in getting the leather straps secured, they both went downstairs to find Scouts-Man-y-Marshes and his wife

    sitting at a square table that sat in the corner by the counter. 

     

    Shahvee looked up and smiled, getting up and retrieving two extra chairs,

    "Well, hello there, have a good night's sleep?" She asked, beaming. "Please, join my husband and I at the table. I will get breakfast

    ready."

     

    They nodded and sat on either side of the table in the seats she had indicated while she went over to the large fire, got six egg,

    cracked them over one on the cooking pots, mixed them together and added some mushrooms that Hasir had never seen before into

    the mix, got four wooden plates from the shelf aboove and places the omelettes on each plate. She also got four wooden cups and

    poured what looked like  green slime into each and brought everything over to the table.

     

    They all thanked Shahvee for the meal and ate hungrily. No one spoke throughout the meal, except for Hasir who even then had a

    mouth of the eggs, so the words came out garbeled, 

    "This is really good Shavee, erm... what do you call this?" He asked, gesutring to the omelette. " \Is this a recipe from your

    homeland?"

     

    Shahvee thanked Hasir for his kinds words. She nodded and said that the recipe was something that her mother taught her when 

    she was a hatchling in the city of Giddeon. Her mother said it was called a mushroom omelette and said it was made from Wamasu

    eggs and special mushrooms that only grow in the shady regions of the city.

    Hasir and Inigo finished their meals without so much as a word. Scouts-Many-Marshes looked up, egg halfway to his mouth,

    "Shavee, better get seconds, I think we finally have people that like your cooking," He said, chortling.

     

    Shahvee shot her husband a filthy look; he quickly waved this away,

    "Scouts, when have people that passed through here ever not liked my cooking?" She asked. Scouts raised his hands in defeat,

    choosing not to argue the matter further.

     

    Hasir got up and grinned at Shahvee and her husband,

    Well, as touching as this moment is, I think we should get going."

     

    Shahvee and Scouts-Many-Marshes stopped going at one another and asked the Argonian where he was going. Hasir told them that

    he and Inigo are going to Vvardenfell; the city of Gnaar Mok to be precise. He looked from Shahvee to the dark green-scaled

    Argonian who sat at the end of the table on his left and told Shahvee that he has need of a captain to pilot a ship located outside. He

    looked at Scouts-Man-Marshes, eyes wide,

    "Scouts, will you take us, my friend and I, to Gnaar Mok?"

     

    The dark green-scaled Argonian looked confused at this, eyebrows furrowed,

    "Why? What's at Gnaar Mok? You've not discussed your purpose."

     

    Hasir's eyes bore into his snake-like ones; causing the Argonian to sink into his seat,

    "My reasons for going there are my own. So are you going to take us or not?" He hissed threateningly

     

    Scouts gulped, worried that Hasir might serve him for dinner, He submitted, and followed Hasir and Inigo, who had stood up, outside

    to the docks; Shahvee stood up ccleared the plates and took three apples off of the counter and through one to her husband and the

    two visitors. She smiled and said that is for if they get hungry on their journey. They smiled, thanked her and proceeded to the

    docks. 

    Hasir asked Scouts-Many-Marshes which ship they were to take, gesturing to the Crimson scar. Scouts gestured to his ship, which

    was slighter smaller than the black galleon,

    :I'd feel mucch more secure if we took my ship to Vvardenfell because I know it better and plus I am used to the controls whereas if

    I were to pilot that behemoth, I don't think I can make it safely out of the dock, much less to Gnaar Mok. No, I'd rather take my own

    ship, if that is ok with everyone."

     

    Tehy noodded and piled into Scouts' ship, whcih he told Hasir was called the Tsethat Nushmeeko; in the common tongue, he told

    them, it translates to Floating Reptile. He turn to Hasir and smiled,

    "Egg-kin, this ship," He drew a deep sigh, "I know she is not much to look at. She used to belong to my parents you understand

    and when they died, hist rest their souls, they passed it onto me."

     

    The Argonian just patted his eggkin on the shoudller, gave him a brief smile and seated himself under the canopied section next to

    Inigo. Scouts-Many-Marshes made sure everyone was seated prpoerly before heading to the bow of the 'ship' and grabbing an oar,

    placing it into the crystal clear water and pushed off the dock; causing the craft to drifft backwards. Scouts placed the oar onto the

    deck, placed his tail into the water, positioning the ship soo that it ponted in the direction of Vvardenfell. 

     

    Using his tail as a rudder, they sped toward the far-off continent. During the journey, Scouts turned toward the canopied section,

    "You guys hungry? I pack some food for the journey." Hasir looked from the bulging sack between him and Inigo to the Argonian

    pilot, "Erm, Scouts, how much food have you packed exactly, I don't think the journey would take," He eyed the sack with wide eyes,

    "a week, will it?" Scouts shook his head, saying that they is more than food in the bag. He told the Argonian and the khajiit that he

    also packed furs just in case they got cold on the journey.

     

    Hasir gave him an inquisitive look,

    "What food have you packed exactly?"

     

    Scout-Many-Marshes told the inquisitive Argonian that he packed apples, beetle puffs and cornbread for the journey. He turned back

    to them while his tail directed the boat and smiliing, told them that they shouldn't be running out of food anytime soon.

     

    Inigo turned to Hasir while Scouts-Many-Marshes navigated the boat through the water,

    "My friend, you haven't told me why you are going to Gnaar Mok. We can't be going simply for vacation." He said, craning his neck at

    the Argonian

     

    The Argonian shook his head and bent low, beckoning the khajiit to do the same so not to be overheard,

    "We are going to Gnaar Mok so I can receive Kassamae's side of the story, remember?" The khajiit thought on this a bit and started

    to nod his head but shook it instead. Hasir groaned. "Inigo, you should really change your title from 'smart blue cat' to 'blue cat that

    hasn't got any brains'." He chuckled slightly at this, causing Inigo to eye him darkly, out of the corner of his eye.

    Inigo got to his feet and was about to yell at the impertinent Argoinian but the insult died on his lips when he saw, from a long way

    off, Three Argonians bathing in the water near the dock. They got out, shook water off of their scales and returned to Kassame's

    yurt. 

     

    Scout-Many-Marshes slowed his rudder, leapt out as the vessel began the docking process and instructed Hasir and Inigo to help tie

    the boat to the wooden posts sticking out of the dock. When the boat was sufficiently tied off. He turned and saw his mother

    walking toward him, smiling. 

     

    She held out her scaly arms as if to accept some sort of gift,

    "Hasir, I am pleased that you are here," She said smiling. She looked him up and down, "You are well fed I see, good, good." Her

    face settled into a thoughful expression, "I sense you have something to say to me, perhaps you are troubled about somethimg?"

    She asked as he looked at her stupidly.

     

    Hasir looked at her as she had dicovered his deepest, darkest secret,

    "Well I-" Hasir began but something else occured to him, "Wait... who told you why I wanted to come here?"

     

    Kassamae smiled knowingly and even chuckled a bit,

    "Kynareth told me. She told me that you had concerns about my time as a Telvanni slave."

     

    Both Hasir's and Inigo's faces screwed up in concentration; trying hard to figure out how Hasir's mother had learned this without him

    telling her. Inigo looked from behind Hasir; gasping as he felt a mixture of horror and sadness as he stared into Kassamae's milky

    white eyes, 

    "How did you know this? I mean, you can't see anything." He had expected Kassamae to feel hurt; she instead stood firm, letting

    this roll off of her like water of the scales of an Argonian.

     

    She smiled, showing pointed teeth,

    "I had conversed with the spirit of nature, Kynareth, to find out that he wanted to ask me about the Telvanni."

     

    Inigo shuddered, not knowing how Kassamae had known this. He nudged Hasir,

    "My friend, how could she know all this, is she a spy or something?"

     

    Hasir shook his head and gestured for Inigo to follow Kassamae as she lead them up the wooden dock and into the large yurt that

    stood at the northend of a large indentation in the ground surrounded by logs that seemed to've grown out of the earth. Inigo

    gasped as he saw the three Argonians he had seen earlier. They were huddled close together munching on a fish their mother had

    caught earlier.

     

    Hasir smiled as he saw his father and sat down next to him and asked what Itanshek had been up as he bit into the fish that his

    father had given him,

    "Thanks." He said, smiling. He gestured to the fish, "Is this cyrodiilic whitefish, because if it is, it's really good?" Itansehk nodded.

    Hasir asked how he came to be married to a servant of Kynareth.

     

    Itansehk was about to say something but, realizing he had a mouthful of fish, swallowed and started again, 

    "I met your mother when I was on a job for the Blackmarsh shadowscales in the city of Lilmoth. Sithis instructed a few of my

    shadowscales and I to infiltrate the wooden hut of one of the An-Xileel council members. Once I got there, and saw the beautiful

    Saxhleel, I knew I had to quit the current operation. Some of my dark brotherhood members closed in on the Argonian, albeit

    sticking to the shadows, and drew their carved bone swords and I saw no other recourse than to fight my own guildmates."

     

    Hasir asked him if anyone was left alive and if they ran to warn the guild. Itansehk shook his head, saying he had slaughtered

    everyone he had perceived a threat. The curious Argonian asked what his father did next. He told him that no sooner did he grab the

    female Argonian then dark reptilian figures came running at him from all different directions. I knew I had to get out of there lest the

    shadowy reptiles grabbed me and punished me for killing my own kind.  I grabbed the Argonian, who introduced herself as

    Kassamae, and ran as fast as I could away from the the shadowy Argonians. Out of nowhere, a female Argonian materialized in front

    of me. I immediately knew who that was; her name was Shaleez.

     

    Hasir gasped. He told Itansehk that he had seen Shaleez a few years ago when he was in Cyrodiil. His grandmother, He told him, had

    killed a high-ranking black hand member due to some ill placed deception. Hasir looked at his father and told him the she battled six

    black hand members, including Shaleez, when they found out about Lucien Lachance's death. 

     

    Scouts came into the tent at that moment and joined the circle of Argonians, sitting next to Kassamae. Hasir shot a cursory glance

    along with a slight smile in Scouts's direction and asked his dad what happened next,

    "Well, I did the only thing I could think of, I crossed swords with the mad Argonian to give Kassamae a chance to escape."

     

    Hasir eyed him with interest and asked whether she did as he asked. Itansehk shook his head,

    "No, she drew her own sword and attempted to drive Shaleez away. That sly lizard managed to break through her defense, stabbing

    Kassamae in the head while her back was turned, the coward." Hasir asked him what happened next, "Well, what happened next

    caught me by surprise, turns out Kassamae is a werewolf." He chuckled nervously, "I mean, Werewolves don't scared me, being that

    I am one, but that caught me by surprise." Itansehk looked at his son with wide eyes, "She turned from a sweet Saxhleel to a nine

    foot, blaack furred beast before my very eyes, ripped Shaleez's bodyguards apart one by one as they advanced on her. The damned

    shadowscale, howver, was a lot cleverer than we initially thought. She produced a silver crossbow from beneath her black hand robes

    and shot Kassamae square in the eye, severing her optical nerve, blinding my would-be bride.

     

    Hasir asked if he gotten even with Shaleez somehow; his father looked at him thunderstruck,

    "Wasn't me killing nearly all of the shadow Saxhleel enough? By the hist, Hasir, your egg must've spent too much time in the shade."

     

    Hasir held his hands up and shook his head,

    "Geez, calm down, sorry I asked, anyway what did you do?"

     

    Hasir looked from the long table with plates of fish to his children sitting by the fire, caught Kassamae's blank eyes and sighed,

    "What else could I do? I knew Shaleez would not stop until I was dead, so I took your mother and cast a spell to teleport both of us

    to safety; to Stormhold. 

    Hasir listened somewhat contentedly as Itansehk told him how he had appeared momentarily at the muddy hut, retrieved his

    hatchlings and Hasir's egg and loaded them into the cart along with some of their belongings that they couldn't live without;

    including blankets and food. They had fled Stormhold heading for their new home, at least, four of them did. 

     

    Itansehk got up and strode over to his wife. He squeezed her shoulder; giving her a sweet smile while he looked at Hasir,

    "As you may or may not know, your lone hatching in Blackmarsh was not pllaned, we intended to bring you with us and hatching you

    away from the furious dark brotherhood but, alas, we lost your egg after the cart struck a rock in the road, sending it rolling back

    towards our family home. 

     

    Hasir looked crestfallen; if his parents only told him about the full reason why he was left behind in that hut then he would not have

    felt sick to his stomach. Both Itansehk and Kassamae came over and threw their scaly arms around him. Kassamae felt a tear

    tumble down Hasir's cheek like a drop of water from a leaky faucet.

     

    Kassamae looked down at him and smiled,

    "Do not let this destroy you, my son. Do not think for a second that you had to come with us, your path is not ours. Kynareth

    reminded me of that fact," She said, gesturing around the yurt, "She had told me of this and thus, provided us with shelter when we

    needed it. She toook care of us when our anguish nearly destroyed us over your loss or near loss." She sighed deeply, "It was her

    that informed me of the greater threat-Molag Bal wanting to kill Lycanthropes--that made me become a shaman in the first place.

     

    Hasir cocked his head sideways, not sure her meaning,

    "Wait... How did you-?" He began but stopped when he saw Kassamae's stern gaze.

     

    Kassamae lent back against her bed-a small wooden frame with a mattress with and wooden endboards; a wolf skin blanket

    spanning most of the bed. She told the black-haired Argonian that she is amazed how much he had grown in such a short time. Hasir

    glanced at her,

    "Well, to be honest, I had a little help," He said, chuckling

     

    Kassamae turned and asked what he meant by that. Hasir told her about his sudden growthspurt,

    "When I was in Jorrvaskr, the hall in Whiterun, I was teleported to the realm of the hist where I ingested a little too much of the hist

    sap and started seeing images flash by in a blur all while feeling like I was being drawn and quartered. Moments later, when I came

    to, I glanced into the pool of sap surrounding the tree to find my body had aged twenty one years in a relatively short time."

    There was a collective gasp as the Argonians' heads turned, wide-eyed, toward Hasir. They were all thinking it but Kassamae spoke

    for all of them,

    "Hasir, you shouldn't have done that. You should've just licked the sap not drink the whole tree. By the hist, you could've suffered

    lasting damage, gone insane, by Oblivion, even died." 

     

    Hasir tried to protest the point by saying he was fine but he know it was a fruitless attempt as Saxhleel everywhere frown upon

    take more hist sap than one is allowed at a time. Kassamae told him that there is a reason why mothers of Histborn argonian drink

    hist sap up until they are deemed mature,

    "Hasir." His mother said matter-of-factly, "You stupid idiot. You shouldn't have drunk more than your fill. I daresay none of the

    histborn argonians have done such a stupid and dangerous thing as that." She turned away from him in a huff, "I won't deny you

    look good, but still, that was a boneheaded move." 

     

    Hasir crossed his arms behind his head as he leaned against the bed frame; looking at the ceiling,

    "Well, enough about me." He said, gesturing to himself, "I want to hear the rest of the story."

     

    Kassamae looked at him as if were growing a second head,

    "The rest of-oh right." She sat back against the bedframe and thiought for a moment, "hmmm... you already know about the bits

    Itansehk told you, but there's more to it. We were the ones who sent Wuthilul, An Argonian we had met on the journey from the hut

    to the Lilmoth docks, to see if you were okay after your egg fell from the cart. He found you, crying in one corner of the hut with

    your little tail curled around yourself. We told him to take you to Akavir because we know someone there would train you in the way

    of the shadowscale.

     

    Hasir shook his head for several minutes; trying to reform his thoughts, either that or trying to figure out what he had to say next,

    "Mom, I did go to Akavir but not to train as a shadowscale. The man you sent me there for, Quinchal, he... he... er... trained me to

    be an ancient warrior of Akavirian legend."

     

    Kassamae looked at him as if she had been stabbed, 

    "Are you saying," She said, getting to her feet, that your father and I wasted our time? Hasir, we wanted you to become a

    shadowscale just like your Black Tongue tribe kin. Instead, you became... an Akaviri warrior?"

     

    Hasir sighed, shaking his head again, 

    "No, something better than that. I became a dragonknight." He said, grinning

    "A... what?" She asked, staring at him like he had said something foul. Hasir began explaining what a dragonknight was. Kassamae

    would hear none of it. She drew her sword and held it threatheningly above her head. "How dare you besmirch our family's legacy.

    We have been shadowscales for as far back as I can remember. Yet you go against us and become a dragonknight!"

     

    She moved into a fighting stance, tearfully aware that she had to end any man, mer or beastfolk that besmirched her tribal legacy,

    Hasir, I know you are my son and you know I love you, but tradition stands: going against your the traditions that the Black Tongues

    held for a long time makes your life forfeit, meaning that you have to die."