C.o.t.W Chapter 92: The Coldest Lie

  • Hasir and Inigo walked into the mead hall behind Aela; looking bewildered as they soon felt the presence of many eyes upon them,

    "Erm, Aela, what are we doing again?"

     

    Aela huffed in annoyance; she couldn't believe Hasir's stupidity,

    "Hasir, we all heard what happened at Fort Fellhammer. We just want to help."

     

    Hasir rounded on Aela; forcing her to cower against the door to the mead hall,

    "I don't want your help-or anyone else's-just..." He hissed a heavy sigh and eyed the nord angrily, his eyes narrowing dangerously,

    "leave me alone ok? Both you and your entourage over there," He gestured to the nords sitting at the horseshoe table, Just... back

    off!" He stomped over to an empty chair at the table and sat down, his head in his hands, and began to sob uncontrollably. 

     

    Inigo walked over to the chair next to the forlorn Argonian, sat down and placed a hand on Hasir's shoulder,

    "It's okay, my friend, tears are a great way to express your feelings." He said, "but, talking is a much better way of doing it. My

    father used to say talking to a friend or loved one about your feelings is better than medicine... or yelling yourself hoarse."

    Hasir raised his head and the khajiit could clearly see the glistening tear on the argonian's scaly face,

    "Inigo, thank you for trying to help me through this tough time." The khajiit said he would always be there to help. This made Hasir

    laugh despite his body not felt it, "again, thank you. I-" He began, staring into his friend's pumpkin eyes, "Yes, my friend? You what,

    let it out. It would be better to talk about it and not let yourself dwell on it and shut down to any outside help."

     

    Hasir gulped and began again; he knew that keep the feeling inside with eventually lead to a headache; or worse,

    "I really miss Tulen, if only you cut that bastard's head off-" He began but Inigo grassped his scaly hand; resting on the wooden

    table surface and shook his head, "My friend, don't beat yourself up. You could focus on negativity all you want but at the end of the

    day, it is best to remember dead friends and family the way they were; when they were alive and healthy instead of focusing on the

    negative." 

     

    Hasir wiped his tears on the leather cloth that the khajiit had given him,

    "I'm sorry, Inigo, you're right. I'll remember Tulen as he was." He smiled and hugged the khajiit

     

    A punch to the argonian's shoulder caused him to turn from Inigo and stare straight into Ael'a furious eyes. She told him to stop

    blubbering and focus. She gestured toward the harbinger who had just taken his seat. Hasir apologized and they all looked at Kodlak

    who, again, had raised his mug that he had filled with mead from the decanter in the center of the table. He waited until everyone

    filled their mugs. He slid the decanter over to Hasir who was busy staring off into space; it toppled off the table and golden liquid

    flowed on his cuirass and iron greaves.

     

    Aela glanced over at Hasir and shook her head,

    "Nice going, mud for brains, now we, meaning Vilkas, the harbinger and I need to go to the Black Briar meadery to get more so we

    can toast the stupid dead lizard." She shot him a nasty look, "Do you think mead grows on trees.? 

     

    To this, Hasir shrugged and did his best attempt at a blank expression,

    "I'm sorry Aela, I wasn't paying attention, I will try to catch it next time."

     

    Aela glared at him; Hasir could've sworn he saw her eyes change from grey to amber as her wolf threatened to take charge,

    "Next time? Next time? There may not be a next time. I have half a mind to go to Kodlak and have you thrown out right now." She

    fumed at him, hardly beleiving anyone could have the reflexes of a dead cat. Just then, an idea struck her, "Since it was your bright

    idea to 'brillianty' misjudge the velocity of the decanter, you'll go into the kitchen and procure more bottles of mead, I would say

    about ten bottles would do. If you come back here and say there's no mead left.... in the entire hall, then you'll accompany Vilkas in

    getting more from the local meadery, got it?" She said, snarling at the Argonian.

     

    He nodded and slunk away, like a cornered animal to the mead hall kitchens in search of more mead.

     Aela burst out laughing while she watched Hasir head to the kitchens, his tail between his legs. Kodlak shot her a sidelong glance,

    "What, may I ask is so funny, young lady?" He asked as if he had not been in on a joke the other circle members had. He turned to

    face her properly and repeated his question as he thought she might've not heard him.

     

    Aela's grin become more broad and conspiratorially; She cowered a bit under the harbinger's owlish glare,

    "Erm... nothing." She said noncomittally

     

    Kodlak pointed to the door at the end of the hall where he could hear drawers being pull out and opening of cupboards,

    "If I am not mistaken, you sent Hasir to perform a task." He crossed his arms across his chest. Aela kept silent. Kodlak saw, out of

    the corner of his eye, a lake of mead next to a discarded decanter on the steps that led to the great barren tree in the middle of the

    cloud district.

     

    The female nord huffed in annoyance. She knew that lying to the harbinger was a foolish endeavor,

    "Very well, if you must know, I sent that stupid lizard to refill the mead decanter he carelessly knocked off of the table."  

     

    Kodlak stood up, strode over to his granddaughter and placed a caring handd on her shoulder,

    "Aela, I'm sorry," He said, sighing, "it was my fault. Why must you always shun those that are different from you? Why can't you

    accept Hasir instead of driving him further away?" 

     

    Aela didn't seem to hear Kodlak's concern for her but continued to think of how Hasir, stupid as he was, continued to search for

    mead when she knew the mead hall's storeroom had plenty of mead, she just invented the 'trip' to the Black Briar meadery as an

    excuse to get Hasir away from her so that she could make fun of him in peace.

    Hasir looked everywhere in the kitchen, under the sink, in cabinet and drawers but found no trace of brown mead bottles anywhere,

    "Well... I guess Vilkas, Aela, the harbinger and I will have to go to the meadery then." He sighed, closing the cabinets and drwars

    and exited the kitchen. He leaned against the doorframe, eyeing Aela with narrowed eyes as he figured out was he was trying to do,

    "You idiot," He snarled, advancing on Aela, "You wanted me out of the way, didn't you? You thought you would get me out of the

    way, why? Hircine only knows." He asked, to no one in particular. He stared angrily at the fiery haired nord, "I must ask though, why

    do you hate me so much?" He asked; his blue eyes bearing into her grey oness as he jabbed Aela in the chest with a pointed black

    claw. 

     

    Aela scoffed as she pull out a chair for Hasir to sit in. She then positioned her own chair so it was facing the angry Argonian,

    "look," She said, tenting her fingers on the table and staring at Hasir, I hate you because... because..." She glanced around the room

    and saw Inigo and Kodlak both stare at he in surprise, "because I just do ok? Geez can you wolves stop clawing at my bacck for one

    minute? Hmph."

     

    Inigo could hear the tell-tale scrapping of a chair against wood as he knew Kodlak was getting up to have a word with Aela. He held

    up a hand to silence Kodlak as he began to speak,

    "Harbinger, if I may, I'd like to speak to her; see if we can get to the root of this 'Argonian hatred'." He began but stopped when he

    heard a sharp exhale of breath from the harbinger.

     

    Kodlak felt that she was his granddaughter and as such, he should speak to her, not some outsider who hardly knows her. Despite

    his fury Kodlak motioned for Inigo to proceed, "Thank you very much, harbinger," He said, beaming. He took out one of the arrows

    from his quiver. 

     

    The furry feline turned back to the troubled Nord,

    "Aela, I want you to focus on this arrow." Aela thought this whole thing was stupid but watched as he swung the arrow from right to

    left, like a makeshift metronome, "Focus on the arrow, you find yourself dropper deeper in sleep. You feel yourself getting more

    relaxed. Focus on the arrow. deeper and deeper. You feel at ease, like you'll obey any suggestion I put to you." Inigo saw Aela's head

    loll to one side, "Good, good, focus on my voice, can you ttell me the Argonian's name?"

     

    Aela nodded and fished in the sea of memories for the exact Argonian causing her trouble,

    "His name was Scouts-Many-Marshes," She buried her head in her hands, "that bastard killed my mother." She said, sobbing

     

    Hasir was about to interrupt; saying he knew Scouts and he would never do something as reckless as that; Inigo turned abruptly

    toward Hasir. His eyes seemed to glow in the firelight,

    "My friend, I am trying to talk, please be quiet and what until I am finished." He said, snarling. He turned back to Aela, "Please,

    continue, sorry for the interruption."

    Aela, smiled and took a cloth from her bag and was busy wiping her eyes,

    Th-thank you Inigo, as I said Scouts-Many-Marshes killed my other. After an earthquake at the dwemer ruin, my mother was in a

    room, exploring, find ancient dwarven artifacts when it happed, a pillar supporting the room's cieling collapsed and fell on her body.

    She called for Scouts to help but instead of helping, he ran back to Windhelm, an act of pur cowardice if I've ever seen one." 

     

    She broke down causing Inigo to go over and comfort her,

    "He could have helped me mother but he chickened out, fucking cowards." She said, spitting on the wooden floor

     

    Aela then turned to Hasir who recoiled at the sight of her grief stricken, anger face,

    "Yeah, you heard me right lizard. Your race in nothing but a bunch of filthy cowards who tucks tail and run whenever someone needs

    help." Hasir was about to say he was different from the other 'cowards' of his race but Aela got up from her chair and strode, angrily

    towards the training yard. "If Kodlak needs me, tell him I'll be taking my frustration out on some training dummies."

     

    With that she left the mead hall. Hasir and Inigo both stared at the door to the training yard in shock. They, much more Hasir than

    Inigo, finally understood the nord's hatred for Argonians. Hasir got up and went to the training yard to try and console Aela but Inigo

    grabbed his arm and shook his head, "Better not, my friend, just... let her stew in her own juices." 

     

    Hasir nodded his head glumly; He shrugged off Inigo's attempt to help him calm down,

    "I know I should give her space but she should know that this Saxhleel is not a coward." He then snarled and said under his breath,

    "unlike those other 'cowards' of my race, or so Aela thinks."

     

    Hasir began to stew once more but Inigo cut across him,

    Just... give her some time and before you know it, she'll open up to you like a flower opens up to a bee waiting to indulge in the

    sweet pollen." He saw the Argonian relaxed at these words. He heard heavy footfalls behind him and knew that the harbinger was

    going to straighten the frustrated nord.

    Affraji entered the room and sat down in the chair behind Inigo. He whirled around. She smiled at him while stroking his furry head,

    "What are male khajiit and Argonian doing here? Why are they looking at the door at the far end of the hall? Inigo told the cheetah

    khajiit that the nord besmirched the good name of Hasir's race: Argonians. Affraji became shocked at this news, though she hadn't

    had her own race besmirched so she did not quite understand the situation fully.

     

    Affraji put her hand on Inigo's arm as he had started to get up and shook her head,

    "Before Argonian and khajiit race after their forlorn friend, this one has some information to impart about her grandfather. You are

    going to the other world, yes?

     

    Inigo and Hasir both nodded and opened their mouths to say they had a pressing matter to get on with but Affraji shook her head

    again,

    "That can wait until later. My grandfather, Red Bramman, a feared Argonian pirate who plundered and pillaged allong the coast of

    Topal Bay, is also another scaly one who does not fit into what fiery-haired nord is categorizing as 'cowards.'

     

    Hasir looked at her with a quizzical expression. He had never heard of an Argonian priate before,

    "Red Bramman? never heard of him," Hasir chuckled, "and beleive me I would've been the first to heard about it, I am, after all, an

    Argonian." He said, mouth opened in a 'smile.' Affraji's expression gre sour as she eyed the ego-driven Argonian "If Hasir can stop

    being so damn smug for a second, he would've recalled this one did tell him of her grandfather's adventures."

     

    Hasir shrugged, shaking his head,

    "Affraji, you only told us about your parents being killed when you were a young kitten."

     

    The cheetah-spotted khajiit sighed and folded her arms,

    "Hrrrm... Affraji did not tell you this? Very well, this one's grandfather, Red Bramman, head of the Renriji Krin, of which this one and

    her parents are members, and self-proclaimed 'pirate king'  and his bandit of n'er-do-wells, bandits, sailed the seas of that region

    plunderring both ship and coastal towns of their valuables and bringing them to sea-side caves to keep them away of prying eyes or

    other pirates." She sighed, "Ultimately though, his brash actions cuaght the eye of the emperor of the time. As you can imagine he

    didn't quite like pirates and brigands operating under the shaveskin's nose so he sent the Imperial navy to assassinate Red

    Bramman." 

     

    Hasir leaned over to comfort the grief-sticken khajiit,

    "What happened after they captured him?" He asked

     

    Affraji thanked Inigo as he lent her his leather cloth for her to wipe her eyes on and clear her nose. She handed the cloth back to

    him, thanked him and said when the Imperial officers found him hiding deep in Black Marsh, they beheaded him and denied his

    return to the hist. His head, meanwhile, was brought back to the emperor and used as a deterant for anyone who wished to follow in

    Bramman's footsteps."

    Hasir gulpped and asked why Affraji did not befall the same fate as Bramman. She smiled at him as though she was important,

    "You ask why this one hasn't be beheaded?" She laughed, tossing her bejeweled dreadlocks through the air, "Ha! Affraji has a better

    head on her shoulder than her thick-headed grandfather." She signed as she eyed Hasir, "When this one saw her parents murdered, I

    vowed not to follow her parents. I vowed never to steal from anyone except those with wealth that far exceeds their means."

     

    Hasir and Inigo advanced toward the door to the porch. Affraji opened her mouth to say that she wasn't done talking but followed

    them to see what all the fuss was about. Hasir opened the door to the porch and followed the khajiit outside and saw Aela busy

    hacking away at a training dummy. 

     

    The argonian saw Kodlak and Affraji sitting at a table and sat beside him. Kodlak turned around to find the argonian smiling at him,

    "Hasir, what an... unexpected surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure?" Hasir told him about how Aela distrusts Argonians and why

    that was. "Harbinger, can you speak to her? I tried but she remained silent and resolute in her mistrust of your race." He took the

    argonians hands in his own, "Please, talk to her; sure she can be hardheaded at times but if you talk to her, she might lower her

    defenses.

     

    Hasir thanked the harbinger and strode down the steps. The argonian saw the khajiit trying to talk Aela down,

    "My friend, what are you doing here?" He asked, shocked. Hasir told him that he'd talked to Kodlak and informed him of Aela's

    backlash at his fellow Saxhleel and he said he should talk to Aela. Inigo thought about this and shook his head, No, my friedn you'd

    better go and sit on the porch." Hasir was about to argue when Inigo held up a clawed hand to silence him, "No arguing, just go sit

    down. Do you really want Aela to mistake you for a training dummy?"

     

    Tail between his legs, Hasir walked back to the wooden picnic table and sat down leaving Inigo alone with the furious nord,

    "Aela, can I talk to you for a minute?" Inigo narrowly avoided having another scar added to his already battered looking face as Aela

    spun around, "Listen khajiit," She said, coldly, "Can't you see that I'm pissed off about something here?" Inigo eyed the training

    dummy, that already had several notches added to its wooden body and head and nodded nervously, "Y-yes, I see that but I was

    wondering if you wanted to talk about it."

     

    Aela turned around and continued beating the dummy with her sword,

    "Go bother someone else, cat." She shrugged, "besides, that swamp scum got what he deserved. He and his race can go stick their

    tails in the hottest realm of Oblivion for all I care, I did not ask Hasir to come here, his race... they just ruin everything they touch."

     

    Inigo grabbed the flat edge of the sword as Aela made to strike again and wrenched it out of her hands. She made a grab for the

    sword, but Inigo sent it skidding along the cobblestone, "Aela, I nkow what you are going through." Aela grunted. Inigo took that as

    denial. He walked over to the halfwaa that spanned the training yard and sat on it. He gestured for Aela to sit beside him, "Aela,

    when I was little, I hated myself for being different from the other khajiit children, but, that's not my point. My point is you should

    welcome those different from you, those with unique veiwpoints on things, not drive them away because you are either scared of

    understanding or just don't want to." Aela cocked her head and screwed her face up in confusion. The khajiit noted this and

    simplified his reasoning, "What I mean by that is My parents looked at how khajiit society shunned me, how much they called me

    names and said other terrible things that i've not the heart to say aloud."

     

    Inigo took a deep breath, "my parents saw this and protected me. They even went all over Elsweyr explaining the reasoning for my

    blue skin and my odd facial markings. When they did this, well khajiit society saw me differently; they even began to see they've

    been wrong to judge a book by its cover and realized it on the inside that counts." 

     

    The nord wiped a tear from her eye, saying that she might give herself time to open up to Hasir; learn about him and his culture

    more. Inigo beamed at this, "In case your haven't heard, my mother was a khajiit and my father was an Argonian, I mean, well-I

    was adopted and as such did not know my real parents, but, I don't care. I would gladly be weird and unique than to try fruitlessly

    to fit in with the rest of society." He smiled at Aela, "So, the moral of my story is... learn the facts before you judge someone, they

    may have a sadder history than you realize."

     

    Aela hopped off the wall, turned back to Inigo and smiled at him. Sure the story might have been cliche but she needed to hear it,

    "Thanks, you smelly blue cat,"

     

    She smiled, shooting him a wink, "I thank you for breaking me out of my fury. I had no idea that you had such a gift for telling

    emotionally moving stories." Inigo blushed hotly, "Also," Aela said, confused, "you never told me your father was an Argonian."She

    sank down to the cobblestone and put her head in her hands, "By Hircine, this really puts my problem into perspective doesn't it? I

    feel like such an idiot." She said, sobbing into her hands

     

    Inigo hopped off of the wall and, striding over to Inigo, kissed him on the cheek, "What in Oblivion was that for?" He asked  and

    asked Aela what she was going to do. The nord said she was going to apologize to Hasir about her behavior over the past few

    months..

     

    The khajiit watched as Aela ascended the stairs and sat at the picnic table where Kodlak and Affraji sat. Inigo strode up the stairs

    and sat at the square table in the corner. He was surprised that Aela would actually go through with this. He'd thought she would let

    his words roll off her shoulders as if they were nothing but harmless drops of water; resuming her cold indifference. 

     

    Aela made a sound that caused Hasir to turn around,

    "My scales! Aela you scared me, erm... what do you want to talk about?"

     

    Aela took a deep sigh; thinking this was the hardest thing she had even done,

    "Argonian, er, Hasir, I've come to apologi-I came to say I'm sorr-" Aela sighed again, "Look, I've came to say I was sorry, alright?"

     

    Hasir looked dead ahead; not looking at her, hurt by her ceaseless jabs at his psyche,

    "Come on, you stupid-er I mean come on Hasir, I have come to pour my soul out to you. The least you can do is be civil and look at

    me." Hasir gave a small grunt and turned to her, his elbow leaning on the table, "Ok, good, anyway, er, I, er, found out, from Inigo

    that I shouldn't make fun of anyone that I do'nt know the background of. So for that, I am sorry." She said, ashamed

     

    Hasir looked at her, nonplused. He did not understand why she changed her attitude so abruptly. He gave her a half-hearted smile,

    "Thanks, Aela, did you say Inigo talked to you? What else did he say?"

     

    The fiery-haired nord said the blue khajiit told her that he had an Argonian father and that being wierd and different was much

    better then to try and fit in with people who would just as soon shun him. Hasir smiled and realized Inigo's innate gift of finding the

    deepest flaws of one's character and bringing them to light was quite admirable and, had he not done this, Aela might still be down

    in the yard, looking sour, hacking away at the training dummy.

     

    Hasir got to his feet and strode over to Inigo,

    "Inigo, this 'straigtening out' was good and all, but we have a job to do."

     

    Inigo nodded at him, got up and went back into the mead hall with Hasir closely following him. Affraji got up and followed soon after.

    Aela got up and turned to Kodlak, "Are you coming, harbinger?" Kodlak shook his head and said he was going to think over

    something and will come in later. Aela smiled and went inside the mead hall after her two comrades.

    Once inside the mead hall, she saw Affraji and Inigo sitting on the bottom step near the fire. She turned, smiled and beckoned over

    to him,

    "Argonian, come, sit with Affraji. She'll tell you the rest of the story of her grandfather." Hasir walked down the steps and sat with

    them, facing the fire, "Affraji make this quick, I have other matters to attend to." Affraji said this would not take long as she and

    Inigo will go on this quest with the argonian. Hasir smiled and gestured for Affraji to continue where she'd left of moments before.

     

    They all stared into the fire and imagined the flames leaping to life and morphing them into images as Affraji told her tale. To Hasir,

    at least, the flames did seem alive and he could clearly see a fiery pirate ship carrying an Argonian captain and his bandit crew

    amidst the flames.

     

    "Long ago, in Blackmarsh," Affraji began, "There lived a most fearsome pirate by the name of Red Bramman, he and his crew

    plundered and pillaged both ships and villages along the region's coast. He operated in the city of Gideon not too far from where he

    first met his crew, A bunch of Argonian lowlives who recieved payment anyway they could.. They stole a ship from black fin

    legionnare Xuzalus; Keshu the black fin's first in command. Her ship was called the Haj-Hewei; or in the common tongue, it

    translates to 'hidden basket.'

     

    Hasir gaped at her while she told the story as if she was actually there instead of just going off of what her relatives told her. She

    also told them that Red Bramman and his which he'd found in the neighboring village of Nutan-Zel which consisted, she said, of

    ne'er-do-wells Olik, Ahdan, Heem-Jas and Nuvui. She went on to tell him that these faithful pirates, along with captain Red

    Bramman sailed the waters of Topal Bay in their ship; terroizing other ship: stealing other ships' cargo, prisoners and treasure.

     

    She stopped suddenly in mid thought and glanced at the cracks in the boat's ceiling,

    "By the moons, it is getting late. If this one does not get her rest then she will be one grumpy khajiit tomorrow morning. We'll leave

    the tale there for now. Now get some rest and tommorow this one will tell you the rest, yes?" 

     

    Hasir and Inigo wanted to hear more but heeded Affraji's words nonetheless and headed down to the undercroft. Once there, they

    both headed down the hall to the room near the bathroom where the broken tub still sat, waiting to be repaired. Hasir slapped his

    forehead as he remembered something,

    "Hircine's claws! I completely forgot, the knob still hasn't be fixed," He yawned hugely, "but, I am so tired, I can barely keep my

    eyes open." Inigo told him if he made a promise than he should keep it. Hasir shook his head, "Sorry Inigo but it will have to wait

    until tomorrow. I can't think when I'm tired... Hsss!" 

     

    Hasirr decided lying to the khajiit was the best course of action; he had no intention of fixing it, he knew it, and he'll even tell Tilma

    that. He walked into the room, his tail dragging and flopped onto the nearest bed he could find. A heavy sigh followed by a muffled

    thud followed by a cry of pain told him that his furry companion misjudged the distance between himself and the bed and collided

    with the wooden frame of the bed.

     

    Hasir fell asleep at once, A single word escaped his lips as he drifted off to sleep,

    "Dumbass." He smiled to himself as he drifted off to sleep.

    Hasir felt water batter his face, he'd thought Inigo was trying to rouse him for some reason. He brought a hand to his face to wipe

    the water away and suceeded and fell back asleep until something dragged him underwater. This shock woke the Argonian, his eyes

    furiously darting to and fro. Hasir tried frantically the find somthing, anything to grab onto to stop the waters of Topal bay carrying

    him to Hircine knows where. He ultimately gave up and let himself drift upon the waves like an otter; his tail propelling him through

    the water.

     

    Around midday, Hasir saw a ship with black sails with a Argonian skull and crossbone on them appears. An argonian pointed in Hasir

    direction and yelled something inaudible. Hasir felt himself being hoisted aboard the ship. He glanced around, looking for his savior.

    A cold, scaly voice emanated from the bridge,

    "Lads, have we taken on water? Why've we stopped?" He asked incredulously

     

    Hasir scrambled to his feet as he heard boots rapidly approaching. He looked at the newcomer and saw he sported the same outfit

    that Affraji wore along wiith the same red tricorned hat. The newcomer's face stretched into a sneer,

    "A stowaway, eh? After our crew feed you and and get drink in you, Olik'll train you in the daily operations here on the ship. If either

    I or the crew deem you worthy enough then you'll join us on some of our raids."

     

    Hasir nodded and follwed Olik into a cabin at the aft end of the ship. Hasir saw a cabin much smaller than the rest of the ship with

    wall length arched windows that looked onto the aftdeck of the ship. Kegs of what Hasir thought was mead or Argonian Ale sat in the

    corner next to some crates with black lettering reading 'East Empire Trading Company' with the image of a ship below the words. In

    the middle of the room was a large ornate table with several chairs surrounding it. 

     

    Olik pushed Hasir forward, pointing to a vacant chair and ordered the Argonian to sit in it. Hasir reluctantly agreed and sank into one

    of the chairs and Olik the one on the Argonian's right side. Olik tunred to the Argonian,

    "So, you wish to help us?" He asked, tenting his fingers, "Very well, follow me."

     

    He led Hasir to a trapdoor hidden in the wooden floor; only decernable by the black handle. Olik bent down and lifted the trapdoor

    and led Hasir down some stairs into a small room on the lower deck of the ship,

    "Well, lizard do you like what Captain Bramman and his crew procured?" He said, smiling toothily

     

    Hasir shrugged; not having any opinion either way,

    "Looks nice, but by no means is it a room in the Tiber Septim hotel." He looked, wide eyed at the two black cages standing in the

    corner of the otherwise bare room. He saw that one of the cages held a small yellow khajiit.

     

    Olik sniggered; thinking on something Hasir did not know. Hasir turned to Olik, eyebrows raised,

    "What, may I asssk, isss ssso funny?" He asked, shocked; as if he didn't already know the answer

     

    Hasir did not have this to protest when the large scaly reptile forcibly shoved him into one of the cage; sneering through the bars at

    him,

    "I hope you enjoy your stay." He said. He laughed as Hasir banged his fists against the black steel cage. He even threw his body

    repeatedly against the bars; nothing worked. Olik spat at the Argonian like a perosn mistrusting a caged animal. Hasir asked Olik,

    through gritted teeth, why he was doing this.

     

    Olik's face broke out in a wide, evil grin. Hasir looked angrily at him and Olik matched that evil glare,

    "Why, I thought you said you needed to help." Hasir made to bite Olik, who shrank back, "You wetskin," He said, laughing

    mirthlessly, "Don't you get it? The captain does not need another Saxhleel to join his crew, especially not a..." He sniffed the caged

    Argonian, "...Werewolf." The lizard snarled. "We will never allow a mangy dog to be on our crew, yes, you may've been useful to us,

    that lycanthropic strength would've done wonders in helping us rob countless towns and villages."

    His snarling face drew nearer to the cage,

    "As you have no doubt seen, we've stolen countless kegs of Argonian Ale and illegally procured crates from the east empire company

    full of provisions needed for our journey." 

     

    Hasir attempted to bite the Argonian jailor again; just like previously, the Argonian leapt back,

    "Enough of this!" Hasir spat, "Why did you stuff me in here and who in Hircine's name is my furry roommate then?" He asked, trying

    to reposition himself into a far more comfortable position.

     

    Olik spread his claws as if he was asking whether this was a good place for a feast,

    "Ah yes, lizard, I neglected to introduce you, my apologies. Argonian may I introduce to you... Leah. We captured her when we

    achored near the small seaside village of Xed-Xelchalix. Her mother and father fought well, but Red killed them both and we took

    Leah along with whatever we could get our filthy hands on. Well," He sighed, looking in the direction of the stairs, "I shall leave you

    alone with your, er, new roommate. I bid you farewell, enjoy your time in here, though, it's doubtful that'll you survive long, hehe."

     

    Hasir groaned to himself as he heard heavy footfalls on the stairs followed by the trapdoor opening and closing. He fell asleep on the

    cage floor. A minute later, he heard the trapdoor open again and heard ragged breath coming closer to when he sat at the thing,

    whatever it was came down the stairs. It glided into the room and Hasir [wearily opened up his eyes, got up to his hands and knee

    and stared at the creature: scabbed flesh decorated its otherwise unremarkable skeleton. Over the rotting flesh were tattered robes

    and upon his head was a blue mask. The being reached up with a scabbed hand and took it off. Hasir screamed in revulsed terror

    as he could see glowing blue eyes and heard that horrible, ragged breath as the being stuck a hand through his cage a grabbed Hasir

    by the throat.

    Hasir's eyes snapped open as he struggled against what he believed to still be the undead priest's rotting hands. He looked up and

    saw Inigo grinning at him,

    "Did you intentionally roll yourself up like a burrito?" He asked, sniggering

     

    The Argonian snarled and hissed in indignation. He tried hard to extricate himself from his furry cocoon; using his claws to try to

    rip the wolf fur away from his scaly skin. He landed with a thud on the hard wooden floor of the mead hall. He hissed in pain as he

    got to his feet, rubbing his sore horns that scraped against the floor when he fell, and looked incredulously at Inigo.

     

    Inigo ignored this and walked over to Hasir and sat on the bed,

    "You must've dreamt something horrible to tangle yourself like that." He said

     

    Hasir told Inigo what he'd dreamed about the night before; in great detail. the blue khajiit looked at him as if he saw something he

    couldn't explain. Inigo was going to say something but Hasir held up a hand and listened hard for something he'd thought Inigo

    hadn't heard. Finally, after several seconds of silence, the Argonian heard heavy footfalls traverse the steps that stretched from the

    main room of the hall to the undercroft and turn right. Inigo heard a knock on the door and leapt, cat-like, onto the bed near where

    the Argonian stood. 

     

    Hasir groaned heavily as he gestured to the door. Inigo did not move as fear had paralyzed him. The argonian yelled at the top of his

    lungs,

    "Nirn to Inigo, the door? Shift yourself you dumb cat!" He hollered. Still, the khajiit did not much but stayed where he was. Hasir

    walked over, grabbed the fur and yanked it out from underneath the khajiit. He crashed to the floor, got up and asked why the

    Argonian did that. "Go and answer the door and never you mind why I did that. My reasons are my own." Inigo crossed the room,

    mumbling under his breath and answered the door.

     

    Kodlak stood framed in the doorway,

    "Khajiit, mind if I come in?" He asked, scanning the room

     

    Inigo closed the door so that a chinque of the outside corridor was visible. Hasir ran over to Inigo and wrenched the door open,

    "Inigo, where are your manners? Erm... morning harbinger. Did Tilma send for you? Sorry if we were making too much noise. We can

    quieten down if you would like." He said, smiling broadly

     

    Hasir ignored this and asked the harbinger why he was here,

    "I am here because Aela informed me that you two were making a lot of noise."

     

    Hasir swore under his breath; he knew that he should've chastized Inigo more quietly; he started to apologize when Koldak held up a

    hand,

    "Wait, I'm not done." He said, entering the room, "You were making a lot of noise and Aela told me you were going to hunt

    dragonpriests? I figured I would impart a rather important fact to you before you set off.  Jarl Balgruuf told me he was talking to

    master Angeir earlier and he learned that Angeir finally finished deciphering that mask that you gave him some time ago."

    Hasir and Inigo both looked apalled as the harbinger sat him on the bed, gesturing for the Argonian and Khajiit to sit on either side

    of him,

    "As I said, Angeir finished deciphering Krosis' mask and found something rather unique about it," He glanced from Hasir to Inigo,

    both there muched open in shock, "I mean other than the enchantment placed upon it." He said. "I heard from Bralgruuf that Angeir

    told him that the mask, maybe all of the eight dragonpriests' masks, or as he calls them 'the priests of domination' have bits of

    Molag Bal hidden inside them. He hid a bit of his soul in each mask for two reasons: so that he might better control his minions and

    to ensure no one gains entry to or finds his temple."

     

    Kodlak looked at Hasir. The Argonian stared back; an eyebrow raised,

    "Erm... thanks harbinger, but I didn't need a history lesson." 

     

    Kodlak quickly apologized and asked Hasir what he would like to talk about then. Hasir opened his mouth but Inigo cut across him.

    He told the harbinger about what he'd thought caused the Argonian to thrash about like a dying fish.

     

    The Argonain hated having other people speak for him. Annoyed, the Argonian eyed the khajiit sardonically,

    "Inigo, if anyone will fill him," He hissed, jerking his head toward the harbinger, "I will. I trust you will respect that and kindly

    remove yourself from a situation that you have little or no information about." He said, his voice dripping with contempt, "unless, of

    course, you wish to continue to tread in dangerouss waterss." He hissed; eyes narrowed dangerously.

     

    Inigo conceded and walked to a nearby bed and sat down. Hasir, satisfied with this, hissed in contentment and turned back to

    Kodlak. He hastily apologized for his incompetent friend's behavior and invited Kodlak inside. The harbinger strode over to a bed

    across from Hasir's own. The Argonian sat on his own bed, tail curled on the bed behind him,

    "Kodlak," Hasir began after moments of awkward silence, "I had a dream, neigh, a nightmare, last night. In the nightmare, I was

    floating in Toal Bay and was soon picked up by the crew of the Argonian pirate, Red Bramman. One of his crew brought me to a table

    in the ship's captain quarts, interviewed me and me being the dumb hatchling that I am, believed I was to be part of the reptilian

    crew." Hasir shook his head, "Sadly, things did not go as planned. I was thrown into a jail cell, my only company being a small

    female khajiit. The jailor left me and, hearing footsteps and thinking he was having seconds thought, I peered out and saw a being

    with scabbed skin and a blue mask gliding towards me."

     

    Kodlak thought about this carefully; he never really knew about Red Bramman until Hasir told him about his nightmare,

    "Hasir... I-er, don't really now about Red Bramman but the dragonpriest does sound indicative of something. Maybe a deep fear or

    something similar you may've long since buried?" He shook his head and laughed, "forgive me for prying but I think this is Inigo's

    avenue of expertise, not mine." He turned toward the blue khajiit with an apologetic look on his aged face. "I do, however, know of

    all the dragonpriests. I, too, have had dreams, or nightmares if you prefer, about the nords breaking into Molag's temple and being

    curse with long life but at a price... to eternally guard the whereabouts of Molag Bal's temple." Hasir sat bolt upright, extremely

    interested in this, "I also, in that same nightmare, saw the same priest you described creating a ninth mask, made for someone

    called... Konahriik."

    Hasir cocked his head in confusion as what Kodlak had said bounced around his mind like a khajiit who had too much skooma,

    "Who is Konahriik?" He asked, furrowing his brow

     

    Kodlak told him that Konahriik was a great nordic warlord who had once led the nord priests into battle against Molag Bal's

    vampires. Hasir could see a great nord outfitted in nordic carved armor and wielded a nordic longsword as Kodlak told his,

    Konahriik's tale. He could see his fellow nords rushing the vampires like waves on an ocean. The priests brandished silver swords,

    light hitting them like as if they were bits of glass and plunged them into the vampires' chests, turning them to ash.

     

    Their leader, Lamae Boelfag unsheathed her dagger-like claws and fangs dripping with the blood of her last kill and leapt at the

    throng of the nord priests, flinging them aside like fleshflies bursting from a fleshpod. Hasir stared at Kodlak with intense interest.

    Kodlak smiled and told him that Knoahriik, or, his nordic name, Newaak Doom-Finger, bellowed with rage as his saw his companions

    hit the bestatued walls with such force that they were knocked unconscious. Lamae crept to one corner and prepared to feed on one

    of the priests. There was a great magical explosion with the priest as the epicenter and the vampiress was knocked off her feet.

     

    Lightning flew from Dagnir's hands as he lifted Lamae into the air and slammed her repeatedly into the stone floor. Newaark sprinted

    behind Lamae and ran her through with his longsword; despite her being puncture like a skewered skeever, no blood pooled on the

    floor. For a moment, Lamae Boelfag stared in disbelief at her body for a moment. Realizing what the nord had done, she screamed

    various obscenities at him. Newaak grinned as the vampiress turned to ash and crumpled to the floor. 

     

    Hasir asked Kodlak how they turned into Molag Bal's undead slaves as he was told a different origins story,

    "Patience, Argonian, I'll get to that. After Newaak killed the vampiress, a terrible voice echoed throughout the temple, threatening to

    raze it to the ground. The voice said 'you fools, how dare you kill my most faithful servants, for that I shall turn you lot into my

    servants." Kodlak described how the priest's skin began to fall off and tattered red robes began bursting from their chests topped

    with bone armor. Masks burst from their skulls like some kind of forced helmet. Newaark look around himself to find eight

    disheveled, fleshy draugr floating before him, wielding staffs of great power and masks of various colors adorning their heads.

     

    Newaark asked the voice what was to become of him. The voice replied that he shall stand guard in Bromjunaar Sanctuary for

    anyone who dares seek entry to the temple. And soon he became just as his followers, except he sported a yellow mask with

    tusks and vanished to a sanctuary lost in time.

     Kodlak finished his tale. Hasir and Inigo stared back at the harbinger with confused looks etched on their faces,

    "Let me guess," Hasir said drumming his claws on a nearby bedstand, "We have to find all nine priests and pprocure their masks

    correct?"  

     

    Kodlak shook his head not knowing anyone who can breath underwater hasn't yet grapsed his meaning,

    "Yes," He quickly changed course due to Hasir's pained expression, "You Inigo and some of the other companion; Aela, Farkas and

    Vilkas come to mind, will dispatch the priests of domination together. Only after you do this can you gain entry to Krovaxis."

     

    Hasir raised an eyebrow,

    "I'm sorry... what?"

     

    Kodlak walked over to the bedside table near two beds sitting in the center of the room, took a map out of his bag, furled it and

    placed it on the it. The map showed all of Tamriel, but had several important locations marked with ten red X's,

    "Hasir and Inigo, can you come here please." Obediently, the Argonian and Khajiit hopped up and walked over to where the

    harbinger stood. Kodlak gestured to the ruins of Valthume, north of Labyrinthian and Ragnvald, a ruin northeast of Markarth and told

    Inigo and Hasir that Vilkas and Farkas will tackle the dragonpriests in those locations while The Argonian and Khajiit and the fiery

    female nord would tackle Forelhorst, east of the city of Riften, a ruin of hidden magics northwest of Whiterun named Labyrinthian

    and Highgate ruins west of Dawnstar. He then cleared his throat and said they must all band together to fight Nahkriin who can be

    found at the Bronjaar sanctuary along with Kohnariik.

     

    Hasir had no objection whatsoever in the assignment he was given but Inigo just stared off into space as some long forgotten secret

    had just recently been brought to light,

    "No harbinger, count me out, get Hasir to kill all of them, I am-" 

     

    Both Hasir and Kodlak looked amusedly at the Khajiit, who went white as a ghost,

    "-Afraid of the undead, Inigo, we know." They said in unison

     

    Hasir brought Inigo aside; he hated seeing his feline friend brought low like this, and whispered,

    "Inigo, relaxxx, you will be fine." After he finished reassuring Inigo, he smiled and patted him on the back

     

    Kodlak took the map, walked out of the room and into another room down the hall. Hasir, with his supernaturally enhanced hearing,

    heard Kodlak showing the same map to the two nord twin brothers. Kodlak returned with Vilkas and Farkas dragging an insolent Aela

    behind them. She yelled and screamed and had wood chips under her fingernails, which told Hasir that she tried fighting her

    brothers off while trying to stop their forward momentum by digging her nails into the wooden doorframe that led to her room.

     

    Aela looked, outraged, from Farkas to Vilkas; her gaze as fiery as he hair,

    "You thick-headed morons, let me go! This isn't a proper mead hall msission, let me go, you gorillas! You buffoons told me that we

    were hunting deer on the plains." She spat in Farkas' face. He wiped the spittle from his face, forwing, "Cute shield sister, real cute,

    now get in there so they," He said, gesturing to Hasir and Inigo, who smiled, "can fill you in proper."This worked its way into her

    rage-filled mind but she paid no heed to this or even thought on it. Her wolf fully enveloped her; making her almost inconsolable in

    her anger. Vilkas and Farkas held Aela's arms tightly as her teeth continued to bite anything within reach.

     

    Farkas and Vilkas stepped into the room just short of where Inigo, Hasir and Kodlak stood. Kodlak eyed Aela's frantic face,

    "Ah, good, I heard Aela have been causing you some trouble. Her mother, Katria, may she hunt in the hunting grounds, taught me a

    trick to quiet Aela." He strode over to Aela and started stroking her nose.

     

    Aela fought and kicked hard as she could; Red growling for release; she stopped growling as soon as Kodlak stopped running his

    finger along her nose,

    "See?" He said, "you just have to know how to calm werewolves. He said. "For some, they calm down on their own. For other, more

    tempramental, more emotional driven ones, like Aela, they take a little more... convincing." He said, smiling as he saw Aela come

    back to herself. 

     

    Aela blinked heavily as she looked at the face smiling at her, through she still struggled against her idiotic bonds,

    "Get off of me, you morons.My wolf is caged, let me go damnit." With surprising strenths, she ripped her arms free of her brothers'

    grasp. She spun arround and shot daggers at them, brandishing her arrow at them, which she'd removed from her quiver slung

    about her back, "You idiots lied to me." She snarled, her yellow eyes shone threw the black 'wolf-claw' like paint, "Do you know what

    I do to liars?" She said, prodding each of her brothers with the business end of her arrow.

     

    Farkas shook his head and fell silent while Vilkas decided to tempt fate a little,

    "Do you forgive all wrongdoings and let him go?" He asked, stupidly

     

    Aela moved closer to him so he could feel her breath on his face-hot as her voice and intensive stare,

    "No, ice-brain, I release Red on them so she can have a bit of fun with them." She said, laughing

     

    Kodlak beckoned all of them-the companions, Hasir and Inigo-to form a circle around him so he could go over how he wants this

    sabotage operation to play out. They all stayed silent as Kodlak was pointing out a method of attack. After a while, Hasir spoke up,

    "Do anyone know of Red Bramman? I had a 'dream' about him last night." For his insolence at discussing a topic not related to the

    dragonpriest, or 'Priests of Domination' he recieved a sharp blow to the back of the head from Inigo,

    "I don't think now's the best time to talk of such things my friend. Best wait until this arduous journey is over with." He then

    motioned for Kodlak to continue. Kodlak nodded in thanks and finished without another intteruption.

    The Harbinger, the companions and the newly appoint whelps filed out of the room and headed up the stairs, out onto the back

    porch of the mead hall,

    "Before we begin, I need to know what each of you is capable of, how much punishment you can take." The companions nodded

    while Hasir and Inigo looked at him confused, "I'm sorry, what? I thought we were just going there and let whatever happens

    happen."

     

    Kodlak rounded on them and smiled as he clasped his hands behind his back,

    "Fine. Let's see how well that works out... at least until one of us." He gestured to himself, Aela, Vilkas and Farkas, "has to bring

    your sad, broken idiotic bodies back here to be buried because you were to foolish enough not to pay attention." 

     

    Hasir gulped, nodded and gestured to the far end of the training yard where Aela, Farkas and Vilkas stood, their backs to a figure the

    Argonian thought he'd seen before. He looked back at Kodlak,

    "Harbinger, I'll be careful and I'm sure Inigo will to but, erm, harbinger who is that?"

     

    Kodlak smiled and led Hasir down the porch steps, over to the unknown visitor,

    "Hasir, " He said gesturing to the male nord, who smiled, "this is Jarl Balgruuf's court wizard, Farengar. He has graciously agreed to

    train you properly before you lot face the real Priests of Domination."

     

    Hasir looked warily at him as if he was scared of being burnt by conjured fire and sniggered a little,

    "Excuse me? What'll he do? Have us dodge ice spikes or firebolts?"

     

    Kodlak laughed and shook his head. He gestured to Farengar, who stood up,

    "No, not exactly. I'll have Farengar show you." He called out to Farengar, "I leave them in your capable hands." He said, tunning

    away and retreating back up to the porch.

     

    A rotting priest with the scabbed skin stretched taunt over its bleached bones. A flowing robe of leather covered the ski along with

    bone armor adorning the leather robe. Hasir gawked at the undead creature, who had a matching hood as the robes, poking out of

    the hood were glowing blue eyes staring out from a blue ancient burial mask.

     

    Hasir backed away in shock, pointing at the creature, horrified,

    "What in, How?" He looked from Aela to Vilkas to Farkas, who just ingored his pleading gaze, "Th-that's the creature I saw in my

    dream. I've three questions. My first question is why was that in my dream? Now for the second question, how in Hircine's name did

    you conjure the creature? The third question is more perplexing to me, do you expect the companions, Inigo and I to do battle with

    that one undead being?"

     Farengar shook his head and said he will be conjuring different dragonpriests for the khajiit, Aela, Farkas and Vilkas to practice on.

    He didn't have time to tell Hasir to prepare himself with whatever method of denfense he preffered as the dragonpriest advanced on

    the Argonian. Thinking quickly Hasir conjured a circle of molten rocks around himself and flung one after another at the

    dragonpriest. The creature faltered a little but kept on coming at the Argonian, its soulless blues eyes sucking all the hope, it

    seemed, from the world as it only had glowing eyes for Hasir, eye set to kill.

     

    Hasir conjure another batch for gravitational fire stone and continued fling them at the being but they had little effect as, even

    though the creature stopped one or twice it never stopped hunting the Argonian. Inigo grew worried and ran up the steps to help his

    friend. Hasir heard a scream and saw Inigo topple backwards down the stairs. He knew now that running wasn't the answer, he had

    to lizard up and fight the undead demon. Hasir unsheathed his flame whip and stood ready to fight, eyes narrowed as the undead

    priest silently glided over the grey-stone proch towards him.

     

    He conjured the circle of flame with an Akaviri banner in the center just as his mentor, Quinchal did all those years ago,

    "Come at me, you undead bitch," He snarled. The aftershock from the banner's impact passed underneath the dragonpriest,

    completely missing it, much to Hasir's disappointment.

     

    The Argonian gripped the whip as tight as he could. The dragonpriest raised a scabbed arm from beneath its robe and light up with

    shock magic. Hasir left the safety of the fire circle, unsheathed his sword and rammed it through the creature's chest. With its free

    hand, it pulled the sword out of it's chest and shot a lightning burst at the Argonian; thinking quickly he dodged this and pulled the

    creature close with his flame chain, or tried to. The undead priest grabbed the white-hot tether and yanked it hard, causing the

    Argonian to tumple head over tail into a nearby wall. Hasir got up and ran straight at the creature, stopping only when he saw, in the

    creature's flaming eyes, a realm devoid of life.

     

    Horrified, the Argonian scuttled across the porch and backed up against the picnic table, 

    "What in Oblivion is this?" He asked, turned to the nord as if asking for help, "and why did I see Coldharbour?"

     

    Farengar walked up the steps; glacing from the unmoving undead creature and the terrified Argonian,

    "This is not a real dragonpriest," The nord said matter-of-factly, "Morokei here is a conjured copy of the real more dangerous threat."

     

    Hasir looked at the Nord as if he taught him a concept that was beyond him and held up his clawed hands,

    "Wait a minute, so you are teling me that that thing... is a copy? What does that mean exactly? Also, how did you know we were

    hunting the Priests of Domination?"

     

    He sat on the picnic table Hasir had recently plastered himself against and smied at the  terrified Argonian,

    "The original Morokei is somewhere in Skyrim resting in a nordic tomb; this is a nordic custom I do not expect you to understand."

    He said reading the Argonian vacant expression.


    Hasir got carefully to his feet as he felt a sudden rush of wind as a purple orb flew 
    over him and sat in the center of the porch. The

    Argonian's eyes widened as the purple orb grew larger until it was the size of one of the mead hall's doors. He watched in awe as the

    summoned Morokei disappeared into the portal.

     

    Hasir looked all around himself for any clues as to where the conjured priest could've gone. Farengar looked at him and smiled,

    "You are wondering where he went I presume? I guess its time I lay all my cards on the table; at least, figuratively speaking. As you

    may've no doubt been aware, I summon Morkei here to train you and Inigo up before you face your priest's." Hasir looked at him

    and then at Aela, Vilkas and Farkas, "They have already proven their worthiness in defeating their summoned Priest of Domination.

    The reason I am singling you and Inigo out is you two have not yet defeated your priests."

     

    Farengar called Inigo over. Inigo heard and walked up the porch steps, sitting near Farengar on the bench. He inquired as to why

    Farengar had called him. The court wizard smiled, raised both hands and summoned both Morokei-well a copy of him at least, and a

    new priest, this one wearing a grey mask sporting the same robes as Morokei. 

     

    Inigo unsheated his ebony bow, Hasir's hand tightened on his iron sword and ran at the slowly appproaching dragonpriests. Again

    Hasir calledd down the banner of flame, only this time the circle encased both the Argonian and Khajjit. As an added measure Hasir

    also cast a spell that made the edge of the orange circle glow a faint yellowish color. 

     

    Confused, Inigo stared at Hasir and ask what the yellow line was. He looked at Inigo and kindly responded,

    "Inigo, it's quite simply really. The creatures are undead so I combined the two things undead cannot stand: fire and a turn undead

    spell that made the faint circle you see before you." Inigo nodded and began firing arrow after arrow at their attackers. The arrows

    knocked the priests back a bit but, relentless as they were, they kept coming. Inigo turned to Hasir and in a high whimpering voice

    like that of a terrified dog asked his reptilian friend what they were going to do. Hasir smiled slyly, took a deep breath,

     

    Youl Toor Shul!

    Chairs andd tables were engulfed by the flame that erupted from the Argonian's mouth. He meant for the fire to burnt only the

    dragonpriests but Farengar was also caught in the blaze. Farengar put out his spontaneous combusted robe with a glance and

    looked, enraged from the Argonian to the dragonpriests, who had crumpled to bluish-white ash.

     

    Farengar approached Hasir as if his gaze would catch the Argoinan, himself, aflame,

    "What in Oblivion was that for?" He gasped, "I thought you were going to kill your own 'dragonpriest' not outright murder Inigo's as

    well." He said, outraged that his creation he had meant for two poeple to battle was quickly fell by one oblivious Argonian. "Just look

    at the state of the porch. I expect Kodlak will have you thrown out for this!" He said, his blood pressure raising with every word he

    spoke.

     

    At that moment, Kodlak came out into the yard, his eyes wide in shock at all the burnt furniture,

    "Alright, what is the meaning of this?" He said, looking from the Argonian to the Nord and Khajiit. "Do you know that Tilma bought

    this furniture with her own money? She will have whoever did this feel her mop." He sniffed the air. It smelled of burnt wood and

    magic. 

     

    Koldak rounded on Hasir, the Argonian backed away from the dagger-like stare of the harbinger, pressing himself up against the rear

    wall of the training yard, between the dummies. Kodlak approached him like a wolf out for blood,

    "Hasir, why did you do this? Well... I'm waiting." He said, his foot tapping incessantly

     

    Hasir gulped and told the harbinger that the court wizard conjured dragonpriests from them to test their abilities against before they

    go after the real thing. The harbinger unsheathed his sword and pressed it against the torso of one of the training dummies,

    "I smell deceit in your voice, are you lying to me, Hasir?" He said pressing the sword even further again the dummy causing bits of

    wood to flake off. Hasir shook his head. Kodlak took his sword and lobbed off the head of the dummy. The argonian cowered where

    he stood as he heard a loud thud.

     

    Kodlak looked at Hasir and again repeated his question,

    "Just be glad it wasn't your head. Now did you or did you not cause the fire?"

     

    Hasir nodded and told Kodlak that he thought the fire could be more controlled than it was. He did not foresee it burning down the

    furniture. Kodlak nodded and thanked him for his honesty,

    "Sso, am I free to go?" He asked, already knowing the answer

     

    Kodlak shook his head and chuckled to himself. Hasir did not know how he could find humor in a such a bleak dire situation, "No, not by a

    long shot, you are going to help Tilma refurnish this porch and you are going to get rid of all the burnt wood before Tilma sees it. Good

    gods boy, did you even practice that shout? Did you know what could happen if someone unpracticed in a shout that destructive shouts it?

    By Oblivion, the entire mead hall could've went up in flames." He jabbed Hasir hard it the chest with his sword, "If that happened, you will

    not only will you have to answer to Tilma but to a horde of angry Companions and whelps as well."

     

    Hasir groaned as the harbinger fixed him with an angry stare. Hasir knew he'd gone to far,

    Now, I have a mind to strip you of your nely gained title, but, I am going to be easy on you."

     

    The argonian hissed a sigh of relief at this,

    Thank you Harbinger, it won't happen again, I promise you."

     

    The Harbinger jabbed his sword at Hasir chest,

    "It'd better not. Two more stunts like that and you are not only stripped of your title, you will be on the streets faster than you can

    say 'Hircine help me' got it? Now go to bed, I am done talking."

     

    Hasir ran into the mead hall and down the steps to the whelps' sleeping quarters. He rolled over and thought of what Kodlak had said

    and how well he would fare out on the streets like many a beggar he passed when he came into town the first time. Hasir looked up

    at the bare wooden ceiling and wondered if any of the companions had ever made any mistakes and how harshly Kodlak birated

    them; if at all. Feeling sleep overtake him he rolled onto his side and fell asleep.