C.O.T.W Chapter 86: In the Dragon's Den

  • Hasir nearly fell over as Tosh Raka's voice boomed outwards, echoing around the stone temple so that it sounded louder than it was,

    "Tigress, come forth, I require your aid." A silohuette of a Ka'Po'Tun could be seen stepping through the portal. Once she had cleared

    the portal it vanished.


    Tigress looked from Hasir to Tosh Raka, kneeling before him,

    "Yes, master, what do you require of me?" Tosh Raka's voice returned to its normal volume, "My kin, I need you to train the



    Tigress looked wide-eyed from the dragon to the Argonian,

    "Train him? In what?" She asked nonplused. Again, the dragon chuckled, the force of which threatened to topple the temple, "My

    dear Ka'Po'Tun, if you know what I know than you too would become a tiger-striped orange dragon, as you are now, you cannot hope

    to unseat me; so keep quiet." Hasir thought Tigress' rude remark would anger Tosh Raka and cause him to snap at her but he talked

    to Tigress as if he would a friend, not an enemy.


    Tosh Raka pulled the Ka'Po'Tun aside and talked to her in the Akaviri tonuge; a language Hasir didn't know, not well. Hasir did

    not need to know the language, however, as his deduction of what they were saying was achieved by their gestures and body



    When they'd finished conversing, Tigress approached Hasir, his tail dancing happily behind him,

    "Hasir, Tosh informed me that you need to control your temper. 


    Hasir rolled his eyes at this, tiring of being told this since he was a hatchling,

    "Ya think?" He said annoyed, "So, what did the akaviri dragon tell you? that you have to help me 'control them?' well sorry to burst

    your bubble you crazy tiger, but I'm trying to control them," He poked her in the chest with a clawed finger, "I don't need your

    assistance, much less Tosh Raka's. 


    Tigress snarled at Hasir and positioned her feet and hands in a kung fu stance,

    "I can train you either by teachiing you to delute your temper as a dying ember dwindles on a campfire or by defeating you due to

    your bullheadedness, your choice." 


    Hasir thought about this and decided it would be better to have the Ka'po'tun as a powerful ally rather than a dangerous enemy.

    Tigress nodded and drew her sword, an impressive looking long sword with a black-tinted dragonbone hilt, a black crossguard and a

    red steel blade forged in the cave of the dragon in northwestern Ka'po'tun,

    "Now Hasir, steel yourself, let's find out how your swordplay is." She said glaring at him over Viing Maar; so named because of it

    slaying many winged beasts.

    This caught Hasir offguard, he had no idea how this would help him control his temper,

    "E-excuse me Tigress, but how is this suppose to help?" He asked uncertainly


    Tigress eyed him over her sword; almost daring him to call her bluff,

    "Simple, if you put your emotions into your sword, than you'll have come closer to ever to control your emotions." Hasir cocked his

    head at her, confused, "Erm... let me put it this way, if your emotions are put into the pure feeling of adrenaline you'll block my

    strikes with little effort, if you have admirable swordplay and footwork, that is." She said smirking. "If you just stand there like a dea

    fish, than I will run you through, whether or not you have the proper emotional response." She pointed Viing Maar toward the

    Argonian, "Now ready yourself Argonian."


    Hasir drew his iron sword and mirrored Tigress' sword position. Hasir and Tigress ran at each other, both yelling like madmen. Hasir

    wondered exactly wat the reason was he was doing this, he had passed his trial to become part of the companions of Skyrim so why

    did he have to do this as well? He underrstood that he had to unlock his true werewolf form by controlling his emotions but he

    though crossing sword with the Ka'potun to 'train' was hardly the answer he sought. He wanted to sheath his sword but some sense

    of honor made him run towards the fast approaching Ka'po'tun. It would be dishonorable, he knew, to do otherwise. Tigress would

    veiw this act, if he went through with it, to be as dishonorable as beheading Tosh Raka or befouling the yin yang in some fashion.


    He could hear Tigress' adrenaline filled warrior cry as it echoed through the temple. Hasir instinctively raised his sword as Tigress'

    sword met his. Hasir bobbed and weaved as Tigress' red steel sword arced though the air, 

    "Fight back you bastard!" She screamed through gritted teeth. Hasir ducked under the blade as it soared mere inches from the

    small bone spikes on his head. 


    He dodged out of the way again as Viing Maar cut vertically through the air,

    "Tigrees, I don't want to fight you," He dodged her thrust, "I, er, thought you just want to talk about my emotional troubles, not kill



    Tigress' eyes went wide and said she wanted to monitor his emotions through swordplay; not kill him. She closed in, Hasir thought

    this was to be his end but quick as a flash, his hand darted out and grabbed Tigress' sword and wrenched it from her grasp.

    He threw both swords to the ground and inquired why he has to prove himself to this dragon. He already has to prove himself to

    Hircine as he was the one who 'cursed' him to masquerade as a normal wolf, why must he also prove himself to Tosh Raka? Wasn't

    he already a full-fledged dragonknight due to him training with Quinchal?


    Tigress thought on this and shook her head for several minutes, trying to sort her thoughts from those of Hasir's fogged brain,

    "Hasir, you are being dishonor to my ancestors!" Tigress growled, "Throw me my sword and ready your sword." Hasir did not move.

    Tigress felt a rage overtake her, "Hasir, I will not have an outsider disgrace my ancestors will." She gestured to Hasir's sword and

    ordered him to pick it up and face her. He denied her again. Angrily, the dishonored Ka'Po'Tun flew at the Argonian, claws



    Hasir dodged this just in time as he could hear the scrapping of claws against stone. Tigress ripped her claws from the stone and

    rounded on the Argonian, positively seething with rage,

    "Tosh Raka did not summon me to watch use to goggle at each other. Fight lizard, do so in three minutes and my ancestors will be

    appeased and so will my anger." She moved into a fighting stance once more, "If, when that three minues is up, you still continue to

    resist me or my righteous leader, I will have no choice but to show you the extent of my rage." She said, narrowing her eyes.


    Hasir knew that Tigress was true to her word and would definitely fight him should he not succumb to her wishes, 

    "Tigress, I was already taught the way of the sword in Akavir. I was tested again in Jorrvaskr," He said, looking concernedly at the

    Ka'Po'Tun, "Why should I get tested in something that I have already been tested in?"


    Tigress huffed in anger; running her hand down her face,

    "Hasir, you aren't listening, this test is about controlling your emotions, not mere swordplay."


    Hasir groaned; he was tired of being told he needed to control his emotions; he felt he was doing just fine on his own,

    "I already learned how to control my emotions through meditation and Tai Chi at the temple at the Throat of the Mountain

    remember? Why must everyone say I need to undergo endless trials?"


    He could feel himself getting angrier by the minute, he trying keeping it down but it was like keeping lava inside a concealed lava

    chamber situated deep in Red Mountain; apply too much pressure and the volcano will erupt harsher than naturally intended. He

    could not think when he was like this; he could only go through with his anger. Tigress took shelter behind a pillar as Hasir found a

    rock near where he stood and threw it. 

    The rock smashed into the pillar forcing Tigress gave a shriek of fright covering her heading with her hands. Bits of stone littered

    the temple floor with bits of rock. When she was sure the onslaught was over, she stepped out from the pillar,

    "I see the training really paid off," She said sarcastically. Hasir huffed indignantly and mumbled something that Tigress could not



    Tigress asked Hasir to speak up as she did not hear what he said the first time. Hasir looked at her scathingly,

    "Well, if you had ears to hear properly," Tigress scowled at him, Hasir gulped, tailing sliding between his legs, "Erm... I said 'you

    know nothing of me'. Why must people always assume that they know me or my intentions?


     Tigress sighed, shaking her head in dsigust. She walked over, wrenched a second rock from Hasir's grip before he could do more

    damage and sat him down on the floor with his back resting against the adjacent stone wall. Tigress nodded as soon as she saw

    Hasir's temper start to abate and sat down next to him,

    "Argonian, it is good to see your anger dissipate like mist on the wind," She said, looking at him, "Tell me, why are you so down

    on yourself?" She asked as she ran a striped hand through his black hair


    Hasir looked up at her and took a shuddering breath. He did not want to reveal the turth by he knew he had no choice,

    "Well, I, er, Why do I always have to control my emotions via swordplay? I already mastered my emotions some time ago at the

    monastery at the top of the Throat of the World."


    Tigress looked confusedly at Hasir and she asked him if this is true then why did the argonian nearly flatten her with the huge

    boulder he threw at it. Hasir looked indignantly at her; about to say something, but she held up a hand just as the dragon was about

    to speak. 


    Tosh Raka cleared his throat, slithering through the air towards the argonian and the ka'po'tun. Tosh Raka hovered just above where

    Tigress and Hasir sat, 

    "Hasir, is this true? Did you train at the monastery of the greybeards?" Hasir nodded. The dragon stroked his white beard with an

    orange claw and replied with a booming voice, "interesting, did you also speak with the wise dragon of the west, Paarthurnax?"


    Hasir shook his head. Tigress looked from him to Tosh Raka as if to question his choice of words, 

    "Why is Paarthurnax so important to all of this?" She asked.


    Tosh Raka told Tigress that Paarthurnax is the wisest dragon he has ever know. Paarthurnax explained, Tosh said, how Hasir was

    being taught how to use his vvoice to channel his anger into a shout by Angier, who was his student at a school that taught the

    magic of vocalizing. He also told the eastern dragon about how Hasir had been taught meditation as a means to attempt to control

    his anger.


     Tosh Raka put an orange striped claw on Hasir's shoulder,

    "If  the argonnian has already established that he'd made an attempt to keep his emotions in check than we shall not push the issue.

    We shall not force Hasir to do something that he does not want to do."


    Tigress scoffed at the but softened when Tosh glanced disapprovingly at her. He looked down at Hasir again,

    "Argonian, you do not need retelling of what you did in the past, He made a gesture as if he were swatting an invisible fly, "that is

    over and done with." He frowned, "No, the reason I made you track me all the way to this temple is because your second trial," Hasir

    eyed him reproachfully, "Er, test," He said embarassed, "anyway, before you arrived, I was communing with your late master and he

    told me that you've overcome many hardships on your journey to retain your soul, shattered though it may be."


    Hasir rose to his feet and looked Tosh Raka hard in his yellow eyes and huffed angrily while gritting his pointy teeth,

    "Do not think you can mock me, dragon!" He said inching closer to the dragon's snout, "just tell me how I can regain that which

    Hircine sstole from me and my pack so I can ring Faolchu'ss neck for ditching Hircine for his enemy and only when he iss dead will I

    wrestle my werewolf pelt from hiss cold, dead clawss."


    Tosh Raka's voice became caught in his voice as he saw the infinite realms of Oblivion that burned in Hasir's eyes,

    "Tell me, you sstupid dragon or I will deliver you to Oblivion perssonally!" He hissed through clenched teeth


    Tosh found his voice again and looked at the mad Argonian,

    "Fine," he said, sighing, " Your tasks are to find the temple by harness Hircine's gift of the wolf, which you've already done, harness

    the power of the dragon to combat an equal, and to learn the voice of Kynareth, goddess of nature and do battle with Kynareth's

    past champion."


    Hasir groaned and urged the dragon to speak plainly,

    "Unlike you, I do not speak in riddles, I have reminded Hircine of this fact as well." He siad as he leaned against one of the pillars;

    his tail swaying to and fro behind him. Tosh began to protest but ultimately conceided when he saw that Hasir was addamant in what

    he said about speaking in the common tongue and not one of riddles.


    The dragon perched on top of the pillar that the Argonian leaned against, letting his elongated scaly body coil around the pillar like

    some giant snake suffocating its' dinner.

    "Hasir, to put it plainly, er, you need to, er," The dragon violently shook his head, "It doesn't matter," He snapped, "Riddles, especially

    well thought out ones, make the words flow more eloquently from one's tongue. If I speak in the common tongue and not in riddles,

    I'll just being lowering myself to something less than a dragon. I'll not stoop so that mortals can understand me." Hasir snarled at

    this, "I am sorry Hasir, but we dragons of the east have always spoken in such as fashion since Akavir first came into being and me

    and my brethren were birthed from the spirits of darkness and light."


    Hasir gasped, he had never heard of Akavir's origins, much less spoken so eloquently,

    "Tosh, so, er, what you are saying is the western dragons... are you brothers?"


    The akavirian dragon nodded, flew over to a half dark, half light design on the floor in the center of the stone temple,

    "Yes, here.. .engraved in the temple stone is a symbol of unity. It depicts the very face of nature; she can be gentle at times yet

    terrible. My brethren and I represent both sides of this symbol: the peaceeful Akavirian dragons." He gestured with a claw to the

    white half - the yin. "While the western dragons of mainland Tamriel represent the black half - the yang."

    Hasir scratched his neck absentmindedly, not ssure how to respond,

    "So you are saying my understanding of the yin-yang, my emotions, Hircine, Kynareth... all of it.. comes of this idea of two dragons

    fighting for supremacy?"


    Hasir looked up at the dragon and scoffed at the very absurd idea,

    "Forgive me Tosh but, er, I've been told numerous iterations of the same tale and frankly, I believe them far more that I bellieve

    yours, I mean, two dragons, an eastern one starting an action and just pray that the western dragon, no matter how destructive a

    force that dragon may be, fiinishes said action?" He roared with laughter at the stunned look on the dragon's face, "Why don't you

    just kiss and make up... or better yet, get married and work this little 'problem' out amongst yourselves."


    Tosh uncoiled himself from the pillar and with one claw picked the impudent Argonian up and slammed him into the floor. He had

    never, in his unusually long lifetime, ever witnessed anything as disgusting as this tiny lizard poking fun at the complicated

    relationship that the eastern and western dragons have for each other.


    Hasir struggled to hold his laughter in but, like a damn with cracks forming on the breach, the waters of laughter came rushing out.

    The Akaviri dragon slammed Hasir hard into the stone floor,

    "You think dishonoring my brethren a wise move, Argonian?" The dragon beared his fangs and snorted a plume of air hot as Oblivion

    into Hasir's face, "Maybe training you was a bad move on my part?" He asked, daring the Argonian to mouth off again.


    Hasir stayed silent as the grave as he peered into those burning yellow eyes. "Wise decision to stay quiet." Tosh eye Hasir, seeing if

    he stayed true to his nonverbal word. To his surprise, the Argonian did. "That's better," Tosh said appreciativvely, "Now, Normally,

    Tsaesci and Ka'Po'Tun are bitter enemies," He said, twirling his long white Fu manchu with an orange claw, "Tigress, however,

    informs me that your former teacher, Quinchal is not a bad seed and that he can be trusted." 

    Hasir raised his borw at the dragon's nice words about the Argonian former master. He knew that the Ka'Po'Tun and the tsaesci were

    at odds with one another but he did not expect the hatchett to be buried so quickly between the two races. Hasir stood up and

    strode over to Tigress positioned next to one of the hay targets in the center of the temple,

    "Hasir, as I said Quinchal trusts me to continue your training to defeat the demon in the other world." Hasir and Tigress looked at

    each other with shocked expressions on their faces. 


    Hasir scrutinized Tosh Raka for a second before aa thought breached the waters of his mind,

    'Tosh, er, when you say other world..." His voiced tailed off impressively before he found a new train of thought, "How is it and

    Quinchal connected exactly?"


    The dragon's scaly body unfurled itself from the pillar and floated over to where the Argonian and Ka'Po'Tun stood. He eyed Hasir

    with sheer amazement,

    "Hasir, haven't you heard? It was Quinchal who first discovered the portal to the other world deep in Glenmoril coven in Skyrim. He

    was in awe when he found it. Does it all make sense now? He was training you to go through that portal to fell a beast that bested

    him when he went through all those years ago." He looked at Hasir's face, screwed up in confusion, "So, will you undertake this task,

    will you succeed where your former master could not?"


    Hasir wanted to say he would but something was preventing him from commiting. His brow furrowed as he thought on something,

    "Erm... this is nice and all but what does this have to do with the plot Molag Bal has about killing Kynareth and her creations?"


    Tosh Raka stared Hasir hard in his blue eyes; almost as if surveying his very soul. He laughed and told the Argonian that the golden

    tsaesci, before going to the other world, went to a cave named Runoff caverns. The dragon told the Argonian that Quinchal found a

    curious looking dwemer ruin in there that had a weather machine in the center that held the very seasons in balance so none would

    overcome the other.


    Hasir asked what this machine was called and what it's purpose was. The dragon put up a claw silencing Hasir and he told the

    Argonian to hold all questions until the end of his tale. Tosh said that the golden Tsaesci could see a storm brewing overhead which

    he guessed was how the machine staying in constant balace - a yinyang of nature, if you will. Anyway, Quinchal approached the

    machine and found a figure standing beneath it; a khajiit with fur black as night and eyes red as the blight storms that surround Red


    Quinchal approached the figure, unsheathed his dagger and attempted tto wound the interloper for trying to tamper with forces of

    nature and trying to bend it to his will. When he was about to deliver the killing blow, the khajiit conjured two portals into a wold

    Quinchal did not know; portals into Nirn's past. Two being stepped out of those proals: one tall figure covered in white fur and

    smelling of death, the other a gigantic being with a grotesque face almsot like a daedroth mixed with a daedric lord. 


    Hasir asked what Quinchal did. Tosh told him Quinchal fought bravely against the daedric lord and his undead werewolf servant but

    ultimately had to retreat because of several wounds he had sustained from the battle. Quinchal was not done though; he swore

    revenge on those seeking to use Kynareth's gifts for their own selfish desires.


    Tosh Raka smiled widely at Hasir,

    "That is when he started training you to become a dragonknight."


    Tosh Raka turned to face Hasir as he finished his tale,

    "Hasir, now that you've heard the tale, witnessing it come full circle, are you ready to make your ancestors proud and restore

    balance to a world that is torn asunder?"


    The Argonian nodded, got up, dusted himself off, unsheathed his flame whip and looked menacingly at the dragon,

    "By Hircine and Kynareth, Molag Bal and his undead dog will pay for what they have unleashed upon the world." He gripped the

    flame whip tightly, "I can handle whatever you can throw at me, bring it." He said in a low growl. once again, Tigress did the fighting

    for Tosh Raka, she flew toward Hasir, raising her fists as she aimed punches fast as the wind at the Argonan. he sheathed his flame

    whip, eyed Tigress with a slight sneer and ran at her, using his powerful back legs to catapult him into the air.


    He landed on the other side, unsheathed his flame whip and slashed at her tail. With lighting speed, the Ka'Po'Tun spun around and

    punched her arm through the steady stream of fflame and knocking Hasir backwards into the stone wall next to the throne, creating

    it to crack and a cascade of rubble to fall around the Argonian. 


    Hasir got up, dusted himself off and glared at Tigress; how dare she attack first. A small voice inside his head told him that he

    should've fought back instead of letting him be bested by a resident of Avakir. After all didn't Dragons eat tigers? It was this odd but

    true fact that made him spring to his feet and continue the fight instead of submitting right then and there.  He dispelled the flame

    whip and unsheathed his sword and ran at Tigress delivering blow after bloww but, like a skilled martial artist, she blocked all of

    Hasir's strikes, her fur as tough as the bark of gingko trees. 


    Hasir and Tigress trained this way well into the night; trading blow for blow. Tosh Raka was suprised that Hasir even conjured the

    flame whip and his fire breath agaisnt Tigress at one point in the traing session.


    Tosh floated over to Tigress and placed a clawed hand on her shoulder,

    "Tigress, I think he has proven himself a warrior worthy of Akavir."

    Tigress scrutinized the dragon for a second wide-eyed; looking thoroughly taken aback,

    "Him? An Akaviri warrio? You've got to be kidding me. I mean no disrespect but master, he has of yet failed to land a ssingle hit on

    me. I have not bled, how in Oblivion is that the mark of an true warrior? A warrior must have enough skill and heart to even will his

    or her weapon to taste the blood of his foes." She gestured to Hasir, "Master, he is merely waving that thing around as if it were

    merely a stick. No, let me train some more."


    Tosh Raka looked at the Ka'po'tun so fiercely that she felt if she'd get scorched by staring into those huge eyes for too long,

    "Tigress, you've done enough. It is now my turn to see what the dragonknight knows." Tigress protested more; but the dragons

    blanked her. He turned from Tigress and faced Hasir,

    "Argonian, You may have Kynareth's favor, but does her soul reside in you?" He tapped his bearded chin with a single claw, screwing

    his eyes up in thought, "We shall soon see."


    The dragon eyed the Argonian warily,

    "Show me what you've got, go on, don't hold back!"

    The Argonian took a deep breath and expelled a small gout of flame. Tosh Raka chuckled as he joked at Hasir's expense,

    "You call that a flame breath? Haha! More like a small campfire than an untamed inferno."


    The akavirian dragon laughed again at Hasir's disheartened expression. Tosh took a deep breath and shouted in equal measure,

    perhaps even with greater effort.


    "Yor Shul!"


    A torrent of flame erupted from the dragon's lips with the heat of a dozen fireballs and the size of a huge firewall. Tigress stepped

    behind a pillar to protect herself from the heat. Hasir was directly in the path of the fiery wall moving steadily towards him. He could

    think of nothing, not even escape at the moment; the only thought he had in his brain at that moment was for protection. 


    He conjured the volcanic shell shield around himself. He heard the flame breath shout slammed into his molten rock shield like a

    thousand cliffrace trying to ram a cave to try and get a some frieghtened prey, felt to heat of the flame wall threaten to burn the

    shield all the way through. Hasir dispelled the shield with the fluidity of a master wizard and parroted Tosh Raka's shout. The flame

    breath shout  rushed toward Tosh Raka, who coiled him body about himself so it acted like a scaly barrier.


    The dragon uncoiled himself once he thought the heat had abated and smiled at Hasir,

    "Well done Argonian, you have done well. Better than I'd previously anticipated. I wonder, however, do you know anymore shouts? I

    only ask because the Champion of Kynareth will give you everything he has. I just hope to prepare you so you can match him in his

    immense strength." 

    Over the next few hours, Tosh Raka taught Hasir various other shouts: Drain Vitality, Call Dragon, Dragon Aspect (A well-guarded

    Akaviri secret) and Unrelenting Force. Tosh Raka even taught him how to use the shouts effectively. 


    When the training was concluded, the dragon told Hasir that he has to go to Runoff Cave and once there he must find the machine

    that aids in Molag Bal's plan and find a way to bring it to a halt before he can start the final trail which is to defeat the goddess of

    nature's Champion in all manner of combat he's learn thus far: dragonknight magic, close combat and the use of a Thu'um.


    Tosh conjured two white portals; one for Hasir and one for Tigress. Tigress' led to the ship and it disappeared once she stepped

    through. Hasir's, however stayed open, shimmering with the picture of the cave, as he thought of something,

    "Errm... Tosh, say I stop this 'weather witch' if that is indeed what it is called and the person or being that controls it, will that truly

    stop Molag Bal's plan, or just delay it for a indeterminate amount of time?"


    The dragon twirled his moustache as he thought on this; he'd not thought of the little snag that Molag Bal had surely have a failsafe

    should his previous plan not succceed,

    "I wasn't aware of that fact." The dran gavee the Argonian a curt nodd, "Than you for bringing that to my attention, I will consider it

    wholeheartedly." He made a shooing motion with his claws, "Now go before the portal closes and all is lost."


    Hasir turned to the shimmering image of the cave, heard the melodic hum of the portal, looked back at the dragon who resumed his

    hovering about the throne once more and waved before stepping into the portal.