C.o.t.W Chapter 96: Secrets of Labyrinthian

  • Affraji looked hungrily at the treasure. Inigo saw this and promptly shook his head, frowning at her. Hasir grabbed the elder scroll

    and the map and gave them to Inigo for safe keeping. He had eyes only for the jade piece depicting a two-headed dragon curling

    3around some circle in the center of the jade supporting some pearl-if this was symbolic or not, Hasir did not know. 

     

    Hasir raised the jade piece that was no bigger than a septim and measured one septim wide and three septims thick. He

    had expected to find a reason for it being there inside the green glass, but there was none. Inigo nudged his arm and handed him

    the note.he looked curiously at the note; seeing they were instructions, or something similar.

     

    Inigo walked over to Hasir and glanced over the Argonian's shoulder, reading the letter. Hasir felt an air of unease as he felt Inigo's

    hot breath issuing close to his right tympanic membrane,

    "Inigo, it is quite rude to read over someone's shoulder," He growled, "next time, think before you do something."

     

    Inigo huffed in anger and turned away from him. Hasir cast him an apologetic look and unfolded the letter,

    "Hasir, I've found a curious gem among the rubble here in blackreach. I've no idea what the Falmer would want jade but I picked the

    strange stone and the note accompanying it up and hurried to the tower where I solved the smae puzzle you lot have; it took several

    tries, mind you and hid them inside the strange crystalline cylinder. The jade piece your now hold in your clawed hand is a a well

    known Akaviri legend, I won't give you the boring details but, the short of it is that the two headed dragon, representin everthing

    that is good in this world, is constantly seeking knowledge, the pearl, but that knowledge is always out of the dragon's reach."

     

    Hasir looked confusedly at Inigo and Shaleez; they both looked as nonplused as he did. He continued reading the letter went on to

    explain that on the continent of Long Cheng, the city of the tsaesci in Akavir, jade is seen as a symbol of protection good will,

    something that heals the spirit and brings great luck to the one who wields it, whether it is on their person or worn as a bit of

    jewelry. 

    Hasir reached the end of the letter, pocketed it and the jade and gestured Shaleez and Inigo to follow him as he walked down the

    spiralling stone path back to the lift that would transport them back to the world above. Once they were all in the dwarven elevator,

    the Arrgonian pulled the lever which made the gate clang shut and the lift begin to slowly rise. The two argonians and the blue

    khajiit caught one final glance of the underground cavern before there veiw was ostructed by stone wall on all sides. A few minutes

    later, the lift ground to a halt as another set of metal grated doors flew open and the trio exited to find themselves back in the snowy

    land of Skyrim.

     

    Hasir and his companions found thier steeds waiting for them, mounted up and headed back to Whiterun to see how the circle fared

    with their priests of domination killing spree. After hours of riding and seeing nothing but snow, the blanket lifted and Hasir smiled as

    they neared Whiterun,

    "I wonder if the circle had luck destroying all eight of the priests." He glanced from Inigo to Shaleez who'd stopped on either side of

    him; they shrugged. He spurred the lizard steed to life as they neared the city stables, dismounted and gave their steed clean water

    and hay. Hasir, on the other hand gave his reptilian steed clean water as there were no bugs in sight.

     

    They nodded at Skulvar and went up to the city. When they entered the city, they turned to head up to the mead hall but Inigo

    pointed to the Bannered mare and said he was famished, Hasir said he was too and Shaleez scoffed at them, "Softskins, a proper

    Argonian can go months without food, if anyone needs me, I'll be at the mead hall."

     

    Hasir turned and looked at her curiously,

    "Why? Are you not hungry, come join us for a short while."

     

    Shaleez shook her scaly head in protest,

    "Nice try but, I'm sure I can scavenge for bugs in the mead hall."

     

    Shaleez looked uneasily at Hasir who screwed his face up in revulsion at the words,

    "What? I prefer to eat how my race always has," She cast Hasir an accusatory look, "You should try it. I might even be better for you

    than bar food that a nord cooks. By the gods, I could never trust those cold-hearted people."

     

    Hasir glanced at her imporingly, trying to get her to break out of her hardened exterior,

    "Shaleez, stop being a grave stake in the mud, join us," He shrugged, "Who knows, you might even like the food. Come join us.

    Unlesss you're... chicken."

     

    Shaleez barked a laugh at this,

    "Chicken? HA! I'm am made of sturdier stuff than most." Hasir looked at her like he had just won a bet," Shaleez's hardened exterior

    softened somewhat, "Oh, very well." She said, sighing, "you twisted my tail. Lead on then."

    Thw three whelps walked toward the heavily decorated doors, pushed and stepped inside. Inigo, seeing where they were, made a

    mad dash for the door but Hasir stepped on the khajiit's tail; stopping him in his tracks. Hasir scanning the room and saw an

    Argonian female he'd never seen before.

     

    He walked over to her, his tail swaying happily behind him,

    "Hi, I'm Hasir, and you are?" He asked, furrowing his brow

     

    The female Argonian grasped his clawed hand and shook it, glad to see yet another Saxhleel in the city of Whiterun,

    "Nice to meet you Hasir, I'm Makes-Many-Soups, I make soups," Hasir nodded, "I also make soups from Blackmarsh, if that is more

    your style, er, speaking from one Saxhleel to another." 

     

    Hasir nodded again and called over Shaleez and introduced her to Makes-Many-Soups,

    "Still think that the bannered mare is purely nordic fare?" He asked, eying her amusedly

     

    Shaleez sighed, tail hanging limply between her legs,

    "I erect the spine of apology, marshfriend, I was being stubborn, can you ever forgive me?"

     

    Hasir smiled and nodded,

    "I already have, Shaleez."

     

    They all aprproached Makes-Many-Soup and placed their orders. when that was done, they found an empty table-which wasn't hard

    because of how few patrons the inn had. They waited patiently while Makes-Many-Soups moved to a side room where a small

    kitchenette stood-complete with a cooking pot, stove for breads and doughs and a small counter for cutting up meats and

    vegetables. She made a mental note of what each person wanted and got the ingredients out for each soup and prepare them with

    the skill of the Gourmet, except she was not for High Rock and she saw herrself more as an artist rather than a master chef.

     

    With all the ingredients prepared, she placed all of them-diced meats, fish and vegetables in the pot-seperat ingredients for each

    soup and stir the batches until all the different soups were made. The pungent scent of soup cooking wafted toward Hasir's direction.

    All three of their mouths water, licking their lips in anticipation of tasting the soups.

     

    Back in the kitchen, the female Argonian bent below the counter, extracted three wooden bowls, poured each soup in the three bowls

    and brought them out to the starving trio,

    "Ok, let's see if I got this right." She said, pressing her hands to he temples, "apple and cabbage stew and vegetable soup for the

    two khajiit, Argonian swamp boil for the female Argonian and the coastal clam chowder for the male Argonian, is that correct?" She

    asked brow furrowing

     

    They nodded and she slid each of soups across the table; each one skidding to a halt in front of the people who ordered that soup. in

    front of Shaleez and the one containing coastal clam chowder in front of Hasir. Seems like everyone is happy with what they ordered,

    good." She said, tail thumping on the wooden floor. She clasped her hands in front of her as if in prayer,"Is there anything else I can

    get for you?" They shook their head, staring hungry at the soup in front of them." Soups clapped her hands together, smiling, "Well,

    if there is, please do not hesitate to call upon me and I will make the neccesary alteration, or whatever else you may need." 

    The trio smiled at her and dug it. They had never tasted soup this good before, than again they had never tasted soup before. They

    grabbed their sppon, submerged them in the liquid and tried the soups, they were delicious. Hasir stopped in midslip,

    "Erm... Soups?" He asked turning around in his seat. 

     

    Soups stopped on her way back to the kitchen and turned to face him, brow furrowed,

    "Yes Hasir? is the soup too cold? I can heat it up for you in the pot by the fire."

     

    Hasir shook his head, stating that the soup's temperature was fine. He indicated to an empty spot near his soup spoon saying that

    neither he, Inigo nor Shaleez had gotten a drink to accompany their meal. Soups turned and asked what drink everyone would like.

    Shaleez said she woiuld like Canis Root Tea, Inigo said he would like spiced warm milk with honey, Affraji said she would have Mead

    and Hasir said a mug of juniper berry mead would be nice.

     

    Soups walked over to the counter, ducked behind it and plucked many ingredients from the two-tiered shelves below the counter and

    placed them on top. She took a pot from beneath the counter poured water in it and put it over the fire to boil. With the water

    sufficiently boiled, Soups took the pot off the fire and brought over the yeast, dropped it into the pot along with the juniper berries,

    which she squished them and dropped them in the pot.

     

    She replaced the pot on the fire. She walked over to the honeycomb cluster hanging by the window, picked two, chopped them and

    dropped them into the pot with the yeast, juniper berry juice and the water. When the yeast was fermenting as well as merrying with

    the flavors of the honey, water and the juniper berry juice. Keeping an eye on the pot, she walked over to the counter and grabbbed

    three tankards, placed them on the counter and went back out to the fire. She put two other pots on to boil and began preparing

    the ingredients for the canis root tea and the warm milk with honey, chopped them and dropped them into the boil water in each of

    the other two pots. 

     

    She glanced over and saw the mead threaten to boil over. She took the mead pot off the fire and poured it into one of the three

    tankards. She did the same with the pots with the canis root tea and the milk mixtures, put the three mugs on a tray she'd found

    underneath the counter and brought them out to the two khajiit and the two Argonians who were busily eating there soups and

    talking amongst themselves.

     

    Soups placed the tray on the table and distributed the drinks. She went over to the main counter, ordered a elder cheese and apple

    soup with a mug of spiced cider and sat down next to Inigo. She was thrilled to have a person, or in this case four people,

    who enjoy her soups that she worked so hard to make.

     

    After they finished their soups, they gave the empty bowl to the beaming female Argonian, which she placed in the sink that stood

    across from the cooking fire along with the wooden tray. She came back and asked them if they would like anything else.

     

    Hasir looked at her inquiringly. Inigo glanced over the table at him and saw he was fiiddling with his clawed fingers,

    "Erm... it's ok if you don't, but do you have any pies? You know for desert?" He asked. Makes-Many-Soups tail thumped on the

    ground making each one of them jump, "I do not have nor do I make pies. Is my name Makes-Many-Pies? No, it is not."

     

    She looked apologetically at Hasir who sank, disheartened in his seat,

    "I'm sorry Hasir, but if you want desert, you'll have to look elsewhere."

     

    Hasir thanked her and waved saying they will keep coming back to try her delicious soups. Soups said she would appreciate that. He

    and his three companions left the table and walked out into the cool night. 

     

    They proceeded up the steps to the mead hall. Inigo opened the mead hall doors as he and his cohorts entered. Aela strode up to

    the Argonian and shoved something or, rather, seven somethings into his arms.

     

    Hasir's stared down at the wooden masks confused, raising at eyebrow,

    "What am I supposed to do with these?" he asked, You lot killed the priests not I." He told hershaking his head and ististing she take

    the masks. Aela shook her head, "didn't you say we need one more mask to unclock the way to the temple? If this is true, you take

    them." Hasir shook his head rapidly, "No. If one person places the masks in slots, or whatever will reveal the location of the temple

    door, it may not open, if we need, as you say, one more mask then we have only one location to go... at least for now." Hasir said,

    sitting at the long table by the fire, joined shortly after by his friends and the members of the circle.

     

    Hasir fished in his pockets, found the jade stone symbol he had found in Blackreach and placed it in the middle of the table, making

    sure everyone could see it. The circle members leaned on their elbows positioned on the table to get a better look. Kodlak asked if

    he could hold the carved Akaviri stone, Hasir nodded. Kodlak stretched across the table, picked the stone up and examined it

    closely, 

    "Hasir, did anyone say who put the jade piece in the dwemer mechanism?" The argonian said that a Ka'po'tun named Tigress put it in

    the crystal tube. Kodlak nodded, not taking his eyes off of the jade piece.

     

    Kodlak asked if anything else came with the jade piece; Hasir nodded. He reached into his pocket and extract the note, unfolded it

    and handed it to the harbinger. Kodlak read the note and handed it back to Hasir.

     

    He tore his mind away from the jade piece and focused on the matter at hand,

    "So, I heard Aela and the rest of the circle retrieved all the priests of domination masks... all, except for two," He said, smirking

    with two fingers raised. "But," He said, sighing, "That can wait until tomorrow. I am sure you all had a very long day, you lot should

    retire to your quarters," Hasir narrowed his eyes and said that he wasn't tired. Kodlak chuckled and said that he will need his rest

    because tomorrow is the day they will be going to Labyrinthian.

     

    Hasir inquired as to why they would go there. Kodlak said it was some training exercize Aela came up with; said it would not only

    do the circle some good, being away from the mead hall but it would also kill two cliffracers with one arrow in that Hasir can kill the

    last two priests of dominations and they, the circle, can see if they can find any clues as to the temple of Molag Bal's location.

      

    Angrily, Hasir trudged down the stairs to the undercroft, slammed the door and flopped onto his bed so hard that the furs fell off the

    bed. He heard a knock on the door and sat up to see himself snout to nose with the blue khajiit,

    "What was the meaning of that, my friend?" He said, gesturing to the door, "Why did you just storm off like that?"

     

    Hasir leapt off of the bed, grabbed the furs and repositioned them on the bed; smoothing them out,

    "It's just...I dunno," He said, lamely, "I guess I hate being told to go to bed when I don't feel tired."

     

    The khajiit leant on the brown nightstand and smirked at the confused Argonian, who asked why the khajiit was smirking,

    "I brought you something to ease your pain." He said, pulling something out from behind his back,

     

    Hasir stared at the shiny red apple in disbelief and asked why he did this and would the main room of the mead hall notice if one of

    their apples went missing. The blue khajiit smirked again and shook his head. Hasir bit into the juicy apple and nodded his

    aprreciation at the khajiit as he munched on the apple. He lay back on the wolf fur, tail swaying happily by the footboard. The apple

    clutched in his black claws. He lay there for a short while before sleep washed over him like a wave crashes on a beach.

     

    Inigo smiled to himself as he took the apple out of his friend's claws and set it on the nightstand. He glanced quickly over to Hasir

    who was breathing softly and climbed into the bed next to the sleeping Argonian's bed and fell asleep in an instant.

     

    Hasir woke up in the cabin of the Crimson Wamasu and went on to the main deck which he found it Tied to the Windhelm docks. He

    wondered where every one went when he caught the rest of the crew's scent on the wind. He could smell the bitter scent of Argonian

    ale emanating from the ship moored near the ship he stood on. Hasir leapt down on the dock and sniffed the air again; it was cold

    mixed with the scent of food and had a metallic tinge about it.

     

    Hasir looked to his left as he heard the waves gently slap against the dock and saw the sea dragon in all it's majesty; with its red

    mainsail and massive foremast and started to climb the ship using the boards that jutted out of the ship and handholds and

    footholds. Hasiir scurried onto the ship's deck and sniffed again, he drew close to the ship's cabin and threw the door wide. 

     

    Joyous voices could be heard in the room below greedily gulps mugs of Argonian ale as they talked amongst themselves as to how

    best divy up the loot. They heard footfalls on the steps and turned around, grinning as their eyes fell upon the angry Argonian's face,

    "What the Xuth, you lot told me we would each get a cut of the treausre.... and that includes me as, last I checked I was sworn into

    this crew not four days ago!" He thundered

     

    He swore loudly as he saw heads adorned with golden crowns, piles of gold coins in the pirates' hands and jeweled necklaces,

    goblets and dinnerware laid out on the table before each of them. He ran at his mutinous crewmates, swinging his claws madly,

    scattering the treasure to the four winds; the items within reach anyway. He drew he sword from it's sheath and pointed it

    threateningly at each of them, "Alrighty you slimedogs, who was it that excluded me from the crew?" Hearing no response, he raised

    his sword for a killing blow when he heard footstep of the stairs behind him.

     

    A cutlass knocked the argonian's sword out of his hand, sending it to land deep into one of the ship's walls,

    "That would be me. Any other information ye be wantin'? Red Bramman said, spinning Hasir around to face him

     

    Hasir was utterly dumbstruck. He'd thought himself to be a valuable member of the crew,

    "Y-you, why?" Hasir was to petrified to even speak. At last, after moments of spluttering, he found his voice, "I thought, you, of all

    people would understand how beneficial it'd be to have a bit of muscle on the crew."

     

    Red Bramman chuckled and swiped his sword in the air; causing Hasir to backpedal a few steps,

    "While we would be more than happy to have a wolf on our crew. Ever since we procured the Sea Dragon's gold, there is naught for

    us to care about anymore. You will serve me and my crew and do whatever we see fit." A crewmen handed Red Bramman a device

    Hasir had seen before and did not want to see again, "Oh, and that, er, promise we made about you getting a cut of the loot is to

    stay unfounded." He said, laughing wicked as he shoved the leather harness onto Hasir's snout. 

     

    Hasir glared menacing at Red Bramman. He looked up to Red Bramman. How could someone he idolized treat him like this? Hasir

    went to bite the snarling captain but, due to the leather restraining his mouth, came up short,

    "Well mate," The captain said, "Looks like you've two options: either do what you told... or you can feel swift justice." He said,

    grinning as he removed a serated sword from its sheath

     

    Hasir stayed resolute in his defiance,

    "I'd rather die than work as a slave again." He said, ripping off the muzzle, "All you lot care about are drink, women and treasure, I

    can't believe I wanted to be one of you. It's true what they say, pirates take what they can and the devil to all the rest, including the

    crew."

     

    Red Bramman frowned, brandished his weapon and ran the Argonian through with it,

    "On your own head be it." He snarled into the dying Argonian's ear, "You would've made a fine slave." 

     

    Hasir staggered backwards, slid across the table, leaving bloody streaks and fell with a sickening thud on the floor, making the sword

    go in deeper and taking his life with it. Red Bramman joined his crew as they circled around the dead Argonian. One of the

    crewmembers asked why the captain had to kill the Argonian, to which Red replied,

    "He would've just as soon told the Imperial empress about our foul deeds so I had to do what must be done, to preserve our pirating

    ways you understand." 

     

    Hasir woke up screaming, face wet with sweat to find himself back in the mead hall with Inigo staring at him, looking worried,

    "My friend, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost." He said, ears flattening as he feared one of Hasir's outbursts

     

    Hasir did not explode on him, much to Inigo's relief but instead sighed deeply,

    "In a way, yes... the pirate, Red Bramman killed me, er, I mean my dream self."

     

    Inigo tried to wrap his head around the concept and failed miserbaly,

    "How did you, as you say, 'die'?" He asked, looking confusedly at the Argonian

     

    The argonian sighed, sat up and told Inigo about his dream down to the how he met his 'end.' Inigo was firing off question after

    question and Hasir either answered him if the question was sound enough or dismissed the question if he thought the question was

    completely stupid and not worth considering. 

     

    After the arggonian answered all of the questions the khajiit had asked him, he dismissed the topic altogether. He got up, walked up

    the the stairs and out into Whiterun, followed closely by Aela. Inigo cast wildly around the room for any sign of where his Argonian

    friend had scurried off to. He saw something glitter on the carpeted floor, stooped down as he noticed the jade piece that must've

    fallen out of his pocket when he'd hastily got to his feet, picked it up and sniffed it. Inigo caught a whiff of the scaly lizard, pocketed

    the jade object and followed his nose as it led him up the stairs outside of the room and out to the city proper. 

     

    The cold morning air whipped Inigo's fur as he walked down the steps; leaning forward a bit because of the forceful winds. The

    khajiit gritted his teeth as he followed the scent that he'd got from the jade item in his pocket. Inigo followed the scent out past the

    city gates. He stopped and crouched behind the stone partition that seperated the city from the plains beyond as he saw the Arogian

    and fiery-haired nord walking to a farm nearby.

    Aela and Hasir walked down to Pelagia farm which lay south of the city. Aela looked at Hasir uncertainly,

    "Lizard, what are we going to do once we reach the farm?" 

     

    Hasir looked angrily at her and growled,

    "I have a name you know." He said though gritting teeth

     

    He calmed himself down enough to tell Aela what his plan was. Aela looked at him, confused, as they neared the farm,

    "What in Tamiel is a pancake?" She asked. "Never mind that," She said quickly, "How in Hircine's name are we going to get the

    ingredients with the farmer noticing us? Wouldn't it be easier to go to the mead hall kitchen? I am sure the needed ingredients are in

    there; better than getting in trouble." She cringed horribly, "I shudder to think what Kodlak would say when he finds out we've

    stolen from the farmer that the mead hall gets most their produce from. "

     

    Hasir shrugged. He had been feeling adventurous ever since he starting dreaming about Red Bramman-that and he wanted to try a

    new recipe that was not soup or kwama eggs,

    "Aela relax. We'll be out of there before Severlo Pelagia even finds out half of his farm crop, eggs and milk are missing." Stunned

    into silence by these words, Aela smiled weakly. This, however, did nothing to alleviate her fears.

     

    Aela pressed Hasir to give her more information but the Argonian stayed silent and kept walking towards the farm, crouching low so

    as to not draw attention to himself. Aela began to protest but followed closely behind him as he slithered around the farm picking

    wheat off of most of the wheatstocks, milked the highland cows for fresh milk and scared the chickens into laying multiple eggs for

    him. With the ingredients in his claws, he and Aela retraced their steps. Hasir stopped midstride as he heard footsteps approaching

    the farm. The argonian panicked, thrust the ingredients into Aela's arms and, the footsteps growing closer, transformed into his

    lupine form. 

     

    Severlo caught sight of the wolf and drew his sword, shrieking something about wolvesin Skyrim thinking for themselves,

    "What in Oblivion?" He spat, "Back beast! Get back before I run you through like a stuck horker." 

     

    Twilight howled long and shrill. This alone caused Aela to sigh with both aggravation and fear. Her worst fear were realized when The

    fur began receding into Hasir's scales,

    "You stuipd lizard, you can't-not here. We'll be suspended... or worse, from the Companions for this, mark my words." 

     

    As Aela had feared, the farmer pointed he sword tremblingly at the Argonian,

    "What sorcery is this? This must be some kind of dream." He said, pinching himself to try to wake up. Realizing it was no dream, he

    hurried off to the city. Hasir's did several uncomfortable backflips.

     

    Aela stood next to him, smiling wryly, shaking her head,

    "Nice going, mud for brains! Come on, better come up to the mead hall and face the music. It would be far better that way... instead

    of the alternative." 

     

    They turned and walked up to the city, walked down the darkened street and went inside the Bannered Mare. Hasir glanced around

    for Makes-Many-Soups but stopped when they met a mad blue khajiit sitting on one of the stone benches surrounding the central

    fire. Aela turned to him and handed him the ingredients and she sat next to Inigo, staring into the fire.

     

    Hasir left for the kitchen without giving Inigo a backwards glance, pulled a wooden mixing bowl and pan from behind the counter,

    placed the ingredients on a wooden plate and got to work, first crushing three of the stalks of wheat and placing them in the bowl,

    followed the eggs, which he'd seperated into three groups of two. He then poured the require amount of milk over the mixture, got a

    spoon and stirred. When the mixture was sufficiently mixed, he spooned the batter into the pan; making sure to leave enough batter

    for everyone. Tail swaying proudly, he brought the pan over to the fire. When he saw one side had browned enough, he flipped it.

     

    When both sides were done. He flipped the other two and placed them on one of the wooden plates he had on the counter. he hadn't

    made this in his life, so he did all of guesswork, He made the remaining pancakes, tried one and found it to be good, if not a bit dry.

    Hasir thought a bit and found juniper berries under the counter, crush them and drizzled the juices over the stack of pancakes so

    they made a sort of syrup.

    Hasir gathered the plates; doling out the pancakes onto each of the four plates and brought them out into the main room. Hasir,

    Inigo, Aela had invited Makes-Many-Soups over to the table as Hasir smiled and placed three plates in front of each of them. The

    argonian's tail swayed side to side as he enjoyed seeing people taking interest in his cooking. Hasir took his seat and was about to

    cut his stack of pancakes when the door to the inn banged open.

     

    Hasir looked curiously at Kodlak who strode over to him,

    "Greetings harbinger, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

     

    The harbinger crossed his arms and glared at Hasir,

    "The pleasure goes to Severlo Pelagia. He personally came to see me, He told me someone had stolen valuable crops from his farm."

     

    Hasir shook his head and offered him one of his pancakes,

    "Don't play this off as a joke, Argonian, I know you and Aela stole ingredients from the farn." Kodlak shoved Hasir back into the chair

    as the argonian started to rise, "Sit down Hasir, I am not finished." He said shooting a warning look at Hasir, "Severio told me that

    you transformed iinto your lupine state in front of him. You know the rule, never, and I mean never, transform in front of anyone

    outside of the city of Whiterun." He thundered. "As such, I have no choice but to ban you, until further notice, from the companions,

    now sit there and think about what you've done."

     

    Kodlak started to walked towards the door when Aela's voice called out,

    "I share part of the blame, you see I-" She began but thought against finiashing the sentence

     

    Kodlak shot her a look that coulded curtled mead,

    "Aela, I could expect this kind of behavior from Hasir, but you? You should be glad I didn't ban you from Jorrvaskr as well." He said

    disappointed. Without a backward glance, he stepped out in the city and walked toward the mead hall.

     

    Hasir and Aela look confused; they didn't know Kodlak would give them that harsh a punishment, at least not for Hasir. Aela expect

    the harbinger to just shrug it off and give her the harsher punishment; after all, she was higher up than he was. They each reached

    for their plates and started munching on the pancakes, not wanting to breach the subject. When they finished their meal, everyone

    praised Hasir for thinking up a recipe that no one had ever thought of even thought the ingredients were so common in Skyrim.

    Makes-Many-Soups praised it, even though it was not a soup.

    Kodlak was tomented with his thought as he walked back up to the mead hall. Did he do the ight thing? When will he reinstate Hasir?

    These thoughts and more bombared his mind like a pack of rabid wolves as he made the seemingly mile long trek back to Jorrvaskr.

    Kodlak slowed a little when the mead hall came into view and went inside. Crossing the threshold, he found the mead hall

    empty. The circle must be out training again He thought as he sat down, exhausted into a chair by the fire. Kodlak could hear

    nothing but the soft crackling of the fire. After a few moments reflection, he got up and headed down to the undercroft. 

     

    He sighed to himself as he walked to his room, just wanting to be alone for a while and think about the morning's event. As he

    reached his room, however, he found the door ajar. Curious, he looked through the gap. He saw nothing out of place, he wondered if

    vandals were looking for something else, maybe something in his room. 

     

    Yelling, he burst into the room brandishing his sword. Two figures looked up from the table nestled in the far corner of the room. The

    two figures gestured for him to join them. Kodlak did so and saw, when the sunlight peeking into the room fell across their faces, an

    old nord woman and a black haired Imperial male. Kodlak sat down, looking from one of them to the other,

    "Tilma, Severio, what are you doing here?" He asked

     

    Severio started to speak but fell silent when Tilma shot him a warning look.He sighed and let the old maid speak,

    "Kodlak, Severio was nice enough to explain to me what happened earlier this morning. Why in Tamriel's name are you punishing

    Hasir? He did nothing wrong."

     

    Severio grunted in disapproval at her words. Kodlak stood up and placed both palms, face down, on

    the table,

    "With all due respect, Tilma, I believe Serverio is doing the right thing. Hasir broke one of our most sacred rules and he has to be

    punished for it"

     

    Tilma looked at him, eyes practically bulging out of her head,

    "But harbinger, Hasir is still a, er, pardon the phrase, a spring chicken when it comes to most of the Companions. If you are to punish

    anyone, punish Aela, she is higher up in the ranks than he is."

     

    Severio slammed his fist down on the table, making Tilma jump in fright,

    "You crazy old bat, the female nord did not steal my crops, the Argonian did. So, naturally he would have to be pusihed for it." He

    turned to Kodlak, "Not only that but he, as you said,, broke one of the rules of this hall. I could've gone to a guard and had him

    looked up had I not known about Jorrvaskr but," His face softened a bit, "I didn'tt, I came straight here to tell you about it. You took

    it far easier on him than I would've."

     

    In the bannered mare everyone, including Hasir, especially him, was troubled by the harbinger banning him from Jorrvaskr. Inigo

    reached across the table and grasped the Argonian's trembling hands,

    "My friend, We will do everything in our power to ensure the injustice put upon you is made right again." He glanced to his left and

    saw Aela, Soups and Shaleez nod.

    Hasir wiped a tear from his eye and smiled at Makes-Many-Soups, "Thank you, all of you. You

    don't know how much you attempting to right this wrong means to me. I know I stole and that was wrong of me, but Kodlak didn't

    have to ban me from Jorrvaskr for it." He shook the negative thought away, "That is all in the past, Shunatei, the belly of regret now,

    let's press on to Labyrinthian."

     

    Three set of eyes fell upon him followed by three voices asking him exactly what Shunatei was,

    "Shunatei," Hasir told them, "is the fear of forgetting one's self and living permanently in the past." He crossed his arms, chuckling

    to himself, "believe me, I've had my fai share of too much 'living in the past'." It is always good to be the one to ignite the fires of

    Ku- Vastei, which is the needed chance." Again the eyes stared at him, unblinking, "You know," Hasir said, a bit tired, "a catalyst,

    you lot do know what a catalyst is don't you?"

     

    They nodded and Soups smiled thanking Hasir for enlightening her, all of them on those two confusing conccepts. She hated to admit

    it but even she did not know what those two words meant before Hasir'd said them. She asked him if he would like anything else

    before stting off for Labyrinthian, though she didn't know what to expect once they got there. Hasir stood up and strode to the door,

    clawed hand on the doorknob when Soups suggested a nice saltrice porridge for warming the scales on a cold Skyrim morning. 

     

    Hasir, smiled and politely declined the offer,

    "No, I'm not hungry Soups. Maybe later, ok?"

     

    Soups nodded as the rest of Hasir's party got up and filed out of the inn and followed him down to the stables where they mounted

    their horses or lizard-as was the case with Hasir-and patiently waited for him to locate the ruin on his map. After he found the best

    way to approach the ruin, he pocketed the map again and started northward toward Morthal. Inigo and Aela had to dig their heels

    hard into their horses' sides to keep up with Hasir whose lizard mount was running at breakneck speed. They did not expect Hasir to

    make a slight left when they near Morthal. Inigo let out a groan, closely mimicked by Aela as they pulled the reins of their

    horses and followed Hasir. 

     

    He led them through snowy forests so dense and cluttered that they had trouble keeping up with him as they had to weave over and

    between trees and their mounts sped on all the time while trying to keep the ever elusive Argonian in view. They followed the

    cobblestone roads they came out on and fowlled the Argonian's Walwa Ravager up to a ruin that looked like it had been there since

    the dawn of time. Inigo and Aela dismounted their steeds led them to a safe spot just outside the ruins and tied them to two

    seperate trees and started looking for clues as to the whereabouts of the temple while Hasir went off to find the two remaining

    priests of domination.

     

    Aela and Inigo navigated the spawling ruins until they came to a set of grey steps with a building situated at the top. Aela pointed

    toward the building and suggested that they start their search there. Inigo noddded and followed her up the stairs. Hasir, on the

    other hand, stayed level with the ruins as he flitted between ruined pillars as if looking for something and then he saw it. At the

    center of the huge series of ruins lay a strange domed structure half buried in snow. He walked as quietly as he could toward the

    domed structure, all the while glancing left and right and see if he caught any sign of movement because he had read somewhere

    that these ruins, though once a grand nordic city, were teeming with frost trolls. 

     

    Hasir saw one of the snowy white beasts sitting on a ledge not far from his destination. He could smell his odorous from a mile away

    and gasped as the huge, lumbering creature smelled something as well and went to ivestigate. Hasir hid behind another pillar, cast

    his bound bow spell and fired; the arrow cut straight through the troll's heart; making the creature fall where it stood. 

     

    tatified, he sheathed the bow onto his back and moved closer to the structure. Upon closer inspection, he saw it was deserted.

    Hasir worked his way around the hallway that wrapped around a central room, readying his bow; thinking he'd run in trouble, but

    there was none to be found. Hasir entered the central chamber and saw a skeleton lying in the corner clutching a note and wearing a

    very peculiar wooden mask that bore a striking resemblance to the masks the priests of domination wore.

     

    Hasir walked over, read the note and put the wooden mask on. Hasir felt a strange aura around him, ran to the window, looked

    outside and saw the ruin repair itself right before his eyes. He faced the room and saw the skeleton had gone and the gigantic ruined

    statue slowly became whole; it was like be stuck in a gigantic timelapse; one that took a couple of hours instead of a few minutes. 

     

    When the room had finished its reconstruction, Hasir looked at the statue that used to be in a state of disrepair and gasped. A

    dragon's head lay in the center; its folded skeletal wings forming the outline of the structure. Bewteen the wings and the head stood

    eight busts-four on each side-of hooded skeletal stone faces. Hasir placed the seven priest masks on each of the busts. He leapt

    back in terror as two priests of domination rose up on each side of the dragon-headed structure; They advanced slowly on Hasir,

    who unsheathed his flame whip and prepared to fight. 


    The priest on the right had shock magic leap into life in his hands and flung it at the Argonian while the tusked priest on the right

    conjured a spear made of light and a matching shield. The priest wielding the shock magic, Nehrakriin, advanced on Hasir flinging

    spell after spell at him; Hasir weaved as effortlessly between spells as a skeever escaping a rogue broom or mop. Hasir saw an

    opening and

     

    was about to strike when the dragonhead statue's eyes suddenly shined red as if they were two miniscule sigil stones. The stone

    dragon skull opened and long, thin strands of pure darkness issued forth like senlogated missles and struck the leftmost priest

    of domnination in the chest.

     

    Hasir screamed as the priest's robe tuned black as night while his bones glowed with a strangle blue light. The otherworldy blue

    light also lit up it's eyesockets, though hard to see because of the eternal bored look of the mask. Hasir saw darkness magic

    when he had fought the dwarven spider in Runoff Cavern; but this was something he'd never seen before.

     

    Nahkriin conjured a shroud of darkness. Hasir gasped as the shround formed into two shapes: one resembling a feline with orange

    eyes and another which had more of a tiger shape. 

     

    Nahkriin gestured toward the 'intruder' and ordered the shadowy visages to attack,

    "Iidah, dii malaar! Drog Bal fusrot nii, dreh ni vothaar hin drog." The shadowy beings nodded and, unsheathing their claws and

    baring their teeth, advanced on their target with Nehkriin, floated and watched

     

    Hasir did not have a clue what the priest had said but he knew it was manelovent. The argonian did not know why he did this but for

    whatever reason, his hand shot into his pocket and held the small jade object aloft as if warding off evil spirits. Hasir gasped as the

    symbol seemed to glow bright yellow and, unless mistaken, Hasir could've swron he saw a scaly orange dragon emerge from the

    symbol, coil around it, supporting a pearl like that of the two headed dragon and come to float next to the Argonian.  

     

    Hasir turned to gaze at this wondrous sight and stared at the black and white orb that looked remarkably like a yinyang. The dragon,

    sensing a presence beside him, turned and stared into Hasir's soul,

    "Ah, one of our kind has found the sacred dragon chasing the pearl, this is admirable. What you seek may be out of reach, but with

    much perserverence, you may yet reach that elusive goal. Here, take this to aid you."


    The dragon extended its claw and the orb broke 
    open, "Inside this orb, you will find a bow made of the strong bone of ancient Akaviri

    dragon long since past." Hasir picked the bow up, examined it and opened his mouth to ask the dragon if it had any special

    properties.

     

    The dragon chuckled, making the Argonian's brow furrow,

    "one must not jump in the lake with realizing its many dangers." The dragon said, "The bow does have powers, if you call the

    infusion of the souls my fire, ightning and frost brethren magical."

     

    The argonian tested the bow by drawing the string and, looking at the dragon, frowned,

    "Erm... not much of a bow if it has no arrows. Hardly seems special." He said, shrugging

     

    Again, the dragon laughed. He stretched both claws to the heavens as a quiver of arrows materialized in its claws. Hasir looked

    stunned at this seemingly otherworldy act,

    "Wha? How did you-" He shook his head dismissively, "Erm... anyway, how does this bow work exactly?" The dragon gave him a

    knowing smile as Hasir grabbed the quiver of arrows, slung it over his shoulder and placed one on the drawstring. He took aim at the

    priest of domination and fired. The effect was immediate; the rogue shades began to falter and finally faded altogether as the priest

    was set aflame, froze and suffuered a massive electric shock all at once. Hasir's tail danced exitedly behind him as the priest

    crumpled under the power of the powerful enchantment and turned to ash.

     

    The argonian shouldered his new bow and snarled,

    "Alright, that's what I'm talking about."

     

    He went over to the ash pile, retrieved the mask and placed it in its proper place on the statue,

    "Eight down, one to go." He said as he faced the final priest