C.o.t.W. Chapter 112: One Weed Threatens the Garden

  • The three Argonians exited the city gate and walked in the direction of the stables. Hasir got to the stable ahead of Anum-La and

    Xelzaz. He was greeted by Bjorlam who asked wherre he was headed.

    "I'm headed for Windhelm," He stopped midthought,  "Er, how much would that be exactly?" The argonian asked


    Bjorlam beamed and told Hasir how much that would be. Thankful for the information, Hasir handed over the septims and beckoned

    over to Anum-La and Xelzaz.

    "Anum-La, Xelzaz. I've hired us a carriage that'll take us to Windhelm."


    The female Argonian passed by the carriage driver and got in the back with Hasir and Xelzaz. Bjorlam spurred the horses and they

    started toward Windhelm. While the horses beat the path that was familar, at least to them, Bjorlam lent over and noticed that the

    Argonians didn't wear any clothing suited for the cold wilds of Skyrim. 

    "We, my friend and I," Anum-La said, gesturing from herself to Hasir, "We come from swampland far to the south of Tamriel."

    Bjprlam asked why they left their home to journey in a cold, desolate wasteland. Hasir told Bjorlam that there was a daedra prince

    uprooting their flowering connection with nature; leaving it as dead as a bog blight who'd been denied a gravestake. Bjorlam

    considered this and then asked why they were off to Windhelm. 


    The two Argonians sat in silence for a long time; glancing at each other as if to dare the other one to speak first. Finally, taking a

    deep breath, Hasir spoke and hoped to Hircine that he might not get reprimanded.

    "We've recieved a tip-off from someone in Whiterun that one of Molag Bal's servants was situated in that city." He smiled uneasy. He

    did not want to divulge that it was Anum-La that had suggested it. 


    Bjorlam turned to them; his face ashen. He'd no idea that the man that had a close relationship with his court wizard, and, by

    extension, himself, to be a traitor.

    "Wuuverth and Bolgruuf have a cordial relationship, not that I witnessed it I-" He reworded his situation lest the Argonian not get his

    meaning, "What I mean to say is that Wuunverth and Faregar had the relationship. They were like brothers. Bolgruuf had a

    relationship with the Imperial, yes, but, not as powerful as the one the two courtwizards shared. What I am trying to say," said

    Brolam turning back to the road, "is that... Wuuverth only shared what he deemed pertinent to their friendship, nothing more."


    Night Feel as the carriage rumbled to a halt in front of the Windhelm stables. The nord helped the Argonians off the back of the

    carriage. When he proffered Hasir his hand. The argonian held up a hand, denying the nord's help and stepped, a bit too

    ungracefully, onto the snowy ground. He heard Anum-La sniggered as he got to his feet and dusted himself off.

    "Hasir maybe you should've let the nice man help you. You obviously have scrib jelly legs."


    Hasir walked over to her and gave her a scathing look.

    "I do not have scrib jelly legs. You're just as bad as Aela."


    All three Argonians thanked Bjorlam as they crossed the bridge and started thinking about their next move. Anum-La stopped Hasir

    just as he approached the door and was about to push it open.

    "What are you doing? We shouldn't just go with without a well thought out plan." Hasir groaned. He hated when people interrupted

    him when he'd made his mind up about something because it derailed his entire train of thought. He glared intensely at the female

    Argonian and asked what she proposed instead. "well," She said nervously under Hasir's high beams, "It would make more sense to

    lay low until nightfall, perhaps at a camp of somekind, and sneak in. That way, we won't be drawing unwanted attention to

    ourselves, and what's more, we won't be alerting Wuunverth to our presence. I shudder to think what he'll do if he catches us."


    Hasir hugged her to calm her rapidly fraying nerves. He knew of a camp north of the city that they could lay low at until nightfall.

    "Anum-La, calm yourself. Don't get your tail in a knot. I know of a saw mill to the north of the city. North-west of the mill is a camp

    that we can spend the night at. It's occupied, but, I think we can convince the owner to look elsewhere for shelter." Anum-La looked

    at Hasir with a worried look in her eyes. Hasir saw her worried look and sighed, "if that plan goes belly up, we can always scout out

    the area for materials and make our own camp.

    Amun-La and Xelzaz nodded and they made their way up the road that hugged the river that ran under the bridge until they spotted

    the mill that Hasir spoke of. Anum-La spotted a camp not too far to the left; perched on a rock near a waterfall.

    "Hasir, I can see the camp. I wonder if the owner will be polite enough to let us borrow it for one night." Hasir nodded. He, Xelzaz

    and Anum-La sneaked to the camp; worried that the owner might not want unexpected visitors. 


    While Hasir sneaked toward the camp, he couldn't help but think about Inigo and how his journey to Morthal was going. He hoped

    the smart blue cat did not run into too much trouble. He shrugged and came to the conclusion that he was probably fine and forced

    his mind back to the task at hand. He glanced to his left an saw Anum-La draw her sword. 

    "Anum-La, what in Hircine's name are you doing?" He whispered, "Do you want us to get caught?"


    Besides him, Xelzaz also parroted the concern as well. He suggested using a potion to make getting into the camp easier.

    "Hasir, if I may offer a suggestion, maybe an invisibilty or muffle potion would make things easier. That way we can slip in

    undetected, get... whatever it is we are supposed to be getting and slip out again. It's effective, foolproof and, dare I say it, the

    occupant will be none the wiser. He won't find out that we've stolen his prized possession until it's gone."


    Hasir rounded on the saxhleel of house Telvanni.

    "We will do no such thing Xelzaz! Your idea is stupid: get whatever we're supposed to be getting? How thick are you?" No, mud for

    brains, we are spending the day here so when night comes we can sneak into Windhelm and either seize, or kill, Wuunverth. Haven't

    you been listening or are you just that dumb that you can't connect the dots in a coherent manner?"


    Xelzaz glared at Hasir; obviously hurt from the verbal blow he had been dealt.

    "That was uncalled for beeko. How dare you call me 'mud for brains' I, unlike you, place the highest priority on my intellect. You,

    however seem to fall short in that regard."


    Hasir lost it; he flung himself at Xelzaz, kocking him into the water. How dare he make fun of his intelligence. After all, argonian were

    of the hist, and as such, had the same level of intelligence. Anum-la froze where she was. She tried to get the Argonians to be quiet

    as to not alert the Imperial to their presence but she know that with all the splashing about and name calling they did, they could

    just as welll have awaken the draugr from their eternal slumber. 


    She swore under her breath and a man started walking towards them. She had to scramble to wrench apart the fighting hatchlings

    and hide them as well as herself to avoid being spotted.

    "Hello?" He said, his voice cracking from fear, "i-is anyone there?"


    More out of fear than anything, Anum-La leapt out from her hiding spot between some rocks and sliced the man's throat open as if

    he were a deer she was hunting. The two Argonians stopped fighting and looked, in horror, at the scene of Anum-la rage. 


    Hasir moved to stop the frantic female Argonian but Xelzaz held him back, shaking his head as to signal it was a bad idea and to let

    her exhaust her 'anger' on her own.

    "No, Hasir, best not to antagonize her. Let her deal with this in her own way."


    Hasir struggled against the Argonian's strong grip all while forming a picture in his mind of the true reason of her release from 'the

    honorable eight'.

    "Antagonize her?" He said chuckling, "Xelzaz, that is the last thing on my mind. I put two and two together and realized that she is a

    loose cannon. One never knows when she could go off." He finally broke free of Xellzaz's grip and gestured toward the camp, "that is

    a prime example. I either have to talk her down or, if that doesn't work, kill her." He said this with an unnatural glare in his eye that

    made Xelzaz quite uncomfortable. "Look, you and Inigo can try to talk me out of this but she can't go around killing people without a

    reason, it's utter madness. Sure, I kill but I do it to feed my werewolf form. She kills because the bloodlust, I wager, has wormed its

    way into her heart and she cannot live without it. I suspect it makes her feel truly alive. Her 'guildmates' feared this and ousted her

    from the 'guild'. That is why she came to Whiterun, to Jorrvaskr. She has a pathological need to belong somewhere. Now, if this

    'need' of hers is because she had lost a 'guildmate' she somehow blames herself for or if she lost a parent and, likewise,

    blames herself for their death and uses this bloodlust as a excuse to lash out, I cannot say but, nonetheless, I will talk to her and

    maybe you and Inigo can join in as an intervention of sorts." 


    Xelzaz asked where this 'intervention' would take place.

    "If what you say is true, which I fear it is, why would it be held? If you hadn't noticed we are on a mission here and we cannot

    possibly do it here. Mabye Jorrvaskr would be a better place to have it. If you have any other issues to iron out we can solve them

    there. For now, though, we should focus on the present and not think too far ahead."

    She ignored the male Argonians' shouts and flitted about the dead man's camp soft as a shadow pilfering any and everthing

    she deemed as valuable. 


    She returned to Hasir's side just as Hasir smelled something foul on the air

    "Anum-La, you didn't have to kill the man!" He yelled, outraged, "he wasn't a threat. If we were on a mission for the Companions

    and had it in the description to be stealthy and not attract attention, you would've failed. As such, stay behind me so I can keep an

    eye on you." He swore under his breath,m "by the Hunting Grounds, you're as wreckless as Inigo."

    The female Argonian shrank away in fear of Hasir lashing out at her again. Hasir's temper flowed like the river beside them, irrate

    one minutes and then polite and clamthe next. He never held onto any negative emotion for too long, lest it consume him.

    "Look, Anum-La I'm sorry, sometimes I lash out without meaning to. I never mean to intentionally hurt anyone. Now let's get some

    sleep." He said, yawing. "We need to be well rested for our mission tomorrow."


    They laid down in the readily prepared bedrolls in the tents. Unlike Hasir, ANum-La slept silently. Hasir's mind was overwhelmed by

    an images of Molag Bal pulling the puppet stirings and his marionette was Wuunverth and the Imperial was chasing Hasir on a

    treadmill with a rotating background all with Molag Bal being the puppeteer. Hasir woking up and tried to decipher what the dream

    had meant. He could make neither tails nor scales of it. the rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful.


    Night came swiftly. Hasir felt himself being shaken awake by Anum-La. He opened his eyes and moved off hi. He saw Xelzaz sitting

    by the fire. She said they had to get going if they were going to surprise Wuunverth. He begrudgingly got up and walked with her

    and Xelzaz back down the path to the main gate of Windhelm.


    When they got back to the bridge, Xelzaz pulled Anum-La and Hasir aside and told them of a secret passage into the city.

    "I would advise against bursting into the city and, by extention, the castle. Who knows if the guards patrol at night. I know of

    another way in, however. There is an old sewewage grate that empties from the city into the water near the docks. One of the

    Argonian workers might know where it is."


    Hasir narrower his eyes in frustration at Xelzaz while his tail thumped on the snowy ground, kicking up snow.

    "What? By Hircine why haven't you told us this before? I saw no guards patrolling." He said, shocked


    Xelzaz's tail slipped between his legs like a snake hiding from a wamasu.

    "If you want to go the normal way, fine. I was just suggesting an alternate route." His eyes bore uncomfortably in Hasir's, "Oh and

    Hasir, if you ever yell at me like that again, I will take my offer off the table and I'll leave you to fend for yourself and Anum-La and I

    will take the secret passageway, alone. Do you understand?"


    Hasir nodded nervously. Xelzaz thanked him for his renewed silence and lead the way to the docks. He sccaned the area for guards.

    Not seeing any he called out to one of the Argonians.

    "Neetranza, do you know where the old sewer is? You know, the one that dump waste from the city?" The old Argonian nodded and

    said that sneaking into places one shouldn't be is Scouts-Many-Marshes domain. He called out to a dark green scaled Argonian

    leaning against the Argonian Assemblage wall and gestured for him to come over to him.


    Scouts saw Hasir and waved but was quickly reprimanded by Neetranaza and told to stay quiet as he did not know if there were

    guards near. Scouts apologized and asked the old Argonian what he wanted.

    "Our eggkin want to get into the city. For what reason, I have not yet been made aware. Perhaps you can talk to them? It is, after

    all, your area of expertise." 


    Scoust-Many-Marshes nodded and walked over to the three Argonians hiding behind some boxes and smiled.

    "You can come out now. No one is on patrol, you're safe here. Neetranaza told me for your plight and I'll help you. As it so happens,

    I know where the old sewer grate is located." At his kind words, the three Argonians showed themselves. "Good, now if you'll follow

    me, I will show you how to sneak into the city without anyone so much as smelling you."


    Xelzaz smiled and thanked him in Jel. Scouts repsonded back in the same language and they and the othe Argonians headed the a

    rock wall situated in an alcove to the left of the Argonian Assemblage. Hasir saw the iron grate and groaned.

    "Erm... Xelzaz, how are we expected to move this? It looks massive. The sound alone, if we do move it, which is impossible, would

    wake up the guards and we will be in jail faster than you can say 'save the Saxhleel'."


    Scouts-Many-Marhse smirked at him while he got the rest of the Argonians into position and told them each to grab a section of


    "Ye of little faith. Nothing is impossible when you can pput your mind to it. Now if you wouldn't mind, move out of the way please. No

    offense Hasir, but you seem far too weak to move this grate, even with all the pressure we are exerting upon it."

    In a fit of anger, Hasir grabbed the grate and ripped it free of its stone prison, which in turn knocked the other Saxhleel on their tails

    . Scouts got up and glared at Hasir.

    "Hasir, what was that for? That was really uncalled for... Hsss!"


    Hasir stormed up to Scouts and forcibly pushed him over the edge of the docks.

    "The grate? Let's just say that was a show of my strength. Strength that you doubt I possess because you, like everyone else, sees

    me as this frail creature that cannot do anything for himself and always has to rely on others." He said. He sneered at the now wet

    Argonian, "You look good like that. If you didn't know by now... that was for you calling me weak. If I had no onene shit on me like

    the world seems to like to do then it would be a much better place. I mean look at us, every race on Tamriel looks down on us. Why? Because their have a deluded sense of superiority that they see us little as slaves and you have the balls to call me weak? I ssuggesst you look in a mirror and attempt to rearrange your attitude."


    Scouts ackowledged Hasir. the dark green Argonian acknowledged this and lent over to help his wet eggkin onto the dock and gestured to the space where the grate once was.

    "It is truly sun on my scales to see you apologize. Now can we not fight anymore and finish our mission?"


    Neetranaza nodded and Hasir helped him into the grate hole with Xelzaz and Anum-La just a few inches ahead of him. They moved

    along the torchlit stone passageway that had a ceiling so low that they had to crouch. A few minutes later, they emerged in a storage


    "We must be below the palace." Xelzaz whispered to the Argonians gathered around him in a circle, "Scouts, I need you to ensure

    there are no guards in the throne room or on the path up to Wuunverth's chamber." Scouts nodded and left the room. Hasir asked, in

    the same hushed tones Xelzaz had used, what the point of that was. "We can't take any chances. If the guards see Argonians

    sneaking about here, they might through us all into the Argonian Assemblage." 


    Without another word, Xelzaz lead the way up to the throne room. Hasir's eyes went wide; he had no idea how lavish the space was.

    This made his insides boil like hot lava. How could people live in such luxury when there were workers of his race slaving away on the

    docks. He had a sudden urge to wipe out all of Windhelm and perhaps all of Skyrim, because of the errant bigotry towards those of

    lower status, specifically Argonian and khajiit. He knew someday there would be another Argonian rebellion; one that would sweep

    over much of Tamriel to put slavers and opressors of khajiit and Argonians in their place. In his mind, he saw an Argonian army of

    werewolves overtaking the vampires of Nirn."


    His rage abated somewhat as Xelzaz called out to him.

    "Nirn to Hasir, we've a mission to complete, remember? For Hist's sake, stay focus. Xuth, you are a clawful." Hasir apologized and

    moved silently as a shadow as the Argonian crossed the soft carpet that lined much of the large room to a black door. Xelzaz pushed

    it open silently as he could and the Argonian worked their way up to the second level. A long, carpeted halllway stretched out before

    them. Xelzaz saw three door the same color as the one they had just passed through and swore.


    Hasir bent down and allowed his wolf to see through his eyes as the hallway was bathed in a bluish yellow aura. It scanned the doors

    as well as what lay beyond them.. In one of them, Hasir saw a blue and yellow form sitting at a desk. The room returned to it normal

    color as the vision faded. Hasir pointed to the door in the middle at the end of the hall and suggested they try that one. No sooner

    did he whisper that when the doors on either side of the hall burst open.

    Both Hasir and Anum-La were ready for a fight but Xelzaz know it would be better to pass by without a fight. He reached into his

    bag, found some ingredients, popped them into his mouth and chewed them until it formed a thick paste. Hasir and Anum-La drew

    there weapons and ran at the advancing soldiers. Hasir stopped and wondered why the Telvanni Saxhleel hung back while they saw

    fit to join the fight. He did not expect what happened next. Green liquid spouted forth from the Telvanni lawman's mouth like that of

    the afflicted servants of Peryite.


    The two stunned Argoins watched as the viscous liquid travelled up the guards' nostrils and made their bodies fall stiff as boards to

    the floor. Xelzaz grinned to himself and walked passed the fallen gaurd's bodies. Xelzaz's smirk became wider as he beheld the

    Argonian's stupified expressions.A scaly arm shot out and pulled the robed Argonian aside into one of the alcoves along the hall.

    "How in Hircine's name did you do that?" He asked, mouth agape, "are they dead?"


    Xelzaz glanced around frantically before he answered him; esuring that no more guards would be spill out anytime soon. Satisfied,

    his eyes snapped back toward Hasir's.

    "They are just knocked out. They'll come back to themselves in a few minutes. Wee must be quick in dealing with Wuunverth,

    howvere we plan to do it.


    Hasir nodded, if a bit uncertainly. He looked at Xelzaz perpexedly as if scrutizining a dead skeever.

    "Xelzaz, how exactly did you do it and... what did you use? Can you teach me it sometime?"


    Xelzaz nodded and peered around the corner to make sure no more guards were coming. He kept his voice low in cause a certain

    daedric prince was listening.

    "I can teach you it, sure. Just not right now. Let's just finish our mission and I can teach you. If we get out of this relatively

    unscathed, maybe I can help you grow you're own alchemical garden in a greenhouse somewhere, just not right now. Let's go. As

    I've said the guards will wake up in a few minutes.


    The two Argonians walked along the carpeted hallway toward the room at the end and took up positions on each of the two walls that

    formed the doorway. Hasir heard two voices driftiing from the room.

    "Why are you working for Molag Bal?" Hasir heard the female Argonian say. Hasir snarled at this, thinking that Anum-La had gone off

    the rails.


    Another voice, more frightened than the first, mingled with the silence of the hall.

    "I am not working for him, honest." The imperial said, hoping that the female Argonian took the bait. 


    Hasir heard the unmistakable unsheathing of a steel sword and smelled the warm blood as the swordtip jabbed playfully at the

    Imperial warlock's neck. He motioned for Xelzaz to stay hidden. 


    Xelzaz fished into his bag for more ingredients he'd used mere moments before and threw them to Hasir who caught them and

    looked, worriedly, toward the Telvanni argonian who tossed invisible ingredients in his mouth and mimed chewing. It was then Hasir

    understood. He molded the seperate ingredients, impstool, canis root and nirnroot, smushed them together, tossed them into his

    mouth, chewed them and spat the mixture like projectile vomit toward the unaware female Argonian.


    Anum-La screamed as she immediately dropped the sword and feel over stiff as a board. Both Hasir and Xelzaz came into the room,

    looking down at the Argonian,

    "Anum-la, I had to do that..." Hasir said, shacking his head, "You were too far gone to change, I am very sorry."


    Hasir ripped his eyes away from the petrified argonian and gestured to the cowering Imperial,

    "Xelzaz, tie him up and call for Bjorlam. I'll bring up the rear with Anum-La. Quickly now, before the guards are upon us like fleshflies

    on a dungpile. We have to get out of here lest we catch the unapproving eyes of Ulfric as well."


    Xelzaz nodded and produced rope from his bag, bound it around the aged Imperial and led him outside the room while Hasir lead the

    now unpetrified but strangely writhing Argonian behind him. Once they were outside the city, Xelzaz got Bjorlam's attention and they

    were off to Whiterun to imprison the servant of Molag Bal and to get the crazed Argonian some much needed counseling.

    When they arrived at the stables, Hasir leapt off of the carriage, quickly followed by the other Argonian, hauling his baggage, and

    barked his orders to the non-paralyzed Argonian.

    "Xelzaz, I want you to take Anum-la to Jorrvaskr. That concoction I doused her with will be waring off at any moment. When it does,

    I want you and Inigo to set her mind straight." Xelzaz glanced to the stone archway and asked Hasir what his plan was. Hasir's

    cheerful expression tured hard as stone, "I will be interrogating this one," He said, jabbing the bound and gagged Imperial with a

    claw, "about how Molag Bal's plan for me."


    Xelzaz smiled, wishing the Argonian good luck. Hasir returned the kind encouraging words and they both walked toward the city

    gates; towing their 'packages' along like dogs on very tight leashes. Pushing open the door, Hasir waved farewell to his Argonian

    companion as he led the bound Imperial up to the Jarl's longhouse. Out of the corner of his eye, he could ssee Xelzaz leading the

    Argonian, working furiously to free herself of her binds, up the stairs to the mead hall. When they disappeared inside, Hasir smirked

    to himself and led Wuunverth up to Dragonsreach.


    Hasir walked up to the Jarl's throne with the bound Imperial and stood before Jarl Balgruuf, who looked at Wuunverth with a mix of

    pity and confusion. Hasir opened hiis mouth to speak; unaware if he was even doing the right thing.

    "I wish to use your dungeon. I have a prisoner here that is plotting against us. He is willing to sell all lycanthropes to Molag Bal for

    slaughter as if they were mere cattle."


    Bolgruuf raised an eyebrow at Hasir. He had never heard such an outlandish story in his life.

    "Those are very serious accusations. From where I'm standing, he semms to have done nothing wrong. Why is he dressed up like he

    is a turkey ready to be served on Appreciation Day?" 


    Hasir hissed a long sigh and glared at the Jarl.

    "Just tell me if I can imprison him here or not... come on, we're burning moonlight." He said, his tail dancing impatiently behind

    him. The Jarl, not wanting to start an argument, gestured down the steps to his right. The argonian griined. The jarl gulped as he

    beheld the many pointy fangs. "Thank you jarl, the sun shines brightly on your decision." He said as he lead the imperial down the

    stairs to the basement, through a door and finally to a jail cell. Hasir slammed the door and brought a chair leaning against the stone

    wall over and sat upon it, sming maliciously at Wuunverth who now stood in a cell three times smalled than his luxurious chambers

    in the Windhelm palace.

    The argonian grinned maliciously at the imprisoned imperial. Wuunverth asked why he'd done such a thing.

    "Well, your master wants to put lycanthropes into a cage so I put his spy in a cage...poetic justice, is it not?" He said, filing one of his

    calws on the wood of the chair.


    Wuunverh yelled out as he ran toward the bars.

    "You've no right to keep me in here, no proof. Why haven't you brought me to this mead hall of yours? At least they will give me a

    fair trial before throwing me in here like some kind of rabid dog."


    Hasir laughed mercilessly. His laughter rang out, bouncing off the cieling and wall in echo; making the chamber seem large than it

    really was.

    "You want to go to Jorrvaskr? Why would you deprive me of have fun? Besides, they will tear you apart limb from limb; literally

    eating you alive. Where is the fun in that? I am a kind Argonian, I prefer to play with my food before I eat it whereas those savages

    in the mead hall will devour you without a second thought. No, I brought you here not only for questioning but also for your own



    The imperial stared angrily at the smirking Argonian and spat on the ground.

    "Protection? From what? If I wanted protection I would have requested to be sent to Solitude, at least they don't have rabid wolfmen

    eager to flay me alive. Their city doesn't smell like 'wet dog' either." 

    Hasir snarled as the prisoner said this and unsheathed his flame whip. He was about roast the Imperial like a venison chop when, out

    of the corner of his eye, he saw a portal as blue as the brightest water erupt into life ten feet done the darkened corridor. He saw a

    man step out of it and move slowly and methodically toward him. Hasir looked on shocked as his curtain of black hair feel around

    him stoney face like a death shroud.


    The man's eyes flashed was malicious intent when he saw the Argonian.

    "Hasir, long time no see. Doing well I hope?" He said with a slight sneer


    Hasir stood up and rounded on the cloaked man, flame whip still burning like a shard of Oblivion in his closed fist.

    "Estorius, my well-being isn't any of your business." He snarled, eyes narrowing dangerously. He held out his claws and looked

    around, "Where's Cezar. He's missing out on all the fun." He said, chuckled. He watched amusedly as Estorius' face grew bright as a

    crimson nirnroot.


    With much effort, the Imperial necromancer regained his calm demeanor.

    "Laugh if you must Hasir, but Cezar was killed by that Ka-Po-Tun friend of yours when she saw us at the Collector's mansion in

    Fargrave. I only can away with minor scrathces; a few deeper than others but Cezar." He sighed, silently mourning the loss of his

    friend. "He was not so lucky. That damned sabre-tooth cat killed him with a well-aimed kick to his throat; cracked his skull open

    when it struck the rock wall of the mansion's exterior."


    Estorius had expected Hasir to show sorrow for his fallen necromancer friend, but, he instead stayed resolute in his cold defiance.

    "Seemed to me the bastard got what he deserved." He said as he stared at the far wall of the dungeon. Estorius ran at Hasir; dagger

    unsheathed and held aloft. He could not abide the Argonian to say such things about his friend. Hasir side-stepped the Imerial and

    coiled the fiery snake around the poor man's neck. Estorius's eyes went wide as Teeba-Eenu balls as his felsh and his life force was

    slowly burned away.

    Hasir took one pitiful glance at the remains of the burnt Imperial and walked over to the caged Imperial, cowering in the corner of

    the cell as he beheld the unntaural glint in the Argonian's eyes. He chuckled to himself; reminded of how the female Argonian looked

    as she pressed that shard of moonlight to his skin. 


    The enraged Argonian saw this expression of fear on the Imperial's face and whipped around to face him; the whip cut a red ghash

    across Wuunverth's face causing him to fall back in horror and pain.

    "What's so funny Imperial?" Hasir gestured to the ashes on the stoney floor, "Do you want to be next to feel the business end of this

    reptilian bee's stinger, no? Then you'd better shut the fuck up!" He yelled, hearing it echoed around the near empty chamber.


    Hasir looked over his shoulder and smirked at the scared Imperial looking like a mouse caught in the claws of a very hungry cat.

    "This will just go easier if you just tell me why Molag Bal sent you to spy on the hounds of Whiterun instead of his feline 'pet'." He

    said this last word with some venomous intent that the Argonian could've sworn he smelled the poison seeping into the Imperial's

    veins. Wuunverth sat there, shaking like a leaf which made Hasir laugh, "Come on, Wuunverth, why did he send you and not

    the Doomstrider who he seems to have a fondness for, hmmm?"


    Wuunverth sat in the chair against the wall of his cell and place.d his head in his hands; deep in thought. After some deliberation, he

    walked towards the Argonian with a slight smirk on his face,

    "He sent me because he already has the Doomstrider on an important mission... an overseer of sorts; a 'gardener of Nirn' if you will.

    The dark khajiit thinks of Tamriel as a garden of which he is the gardener. He tends to it and admires the flowers. If, by chance, he

    happens to find a dying flower or weed in the midst of the garden, he rips it up by the root. 


    Hasir leapt from his chair and grabbed the Imperial by the throat, his claws puncturing aged flesh.

    "Speak sense, old man before I knock it into you. By the gods, you and Hircine are of the same breed, always talking in riddles and

    metaphors. That shit drives me insane. Speak plain Tamrielic... Hssss!"


    Wuunverth looked into the Argonian's eyes while he withdrew a silver dagger from its sheath with the other. There was a flash of

    silver, a yelp of pain and Wuunverth clutching the Argonian's spiked cuirass, looking at him with anger.

    "You stupid Argonian." He said laughing, "The doomstrider is tasked by Molag Bal to spy on, not personally attack, the filthy

    mongrels. He can also cause his victims in this realm unimaginable pain so their soul can arrive in Coldharbour so the lord of

    domination can do with it what he will."

    Hasir leapt to his feet and rounded on the Imperial, flame whip in hand.

    "So you are saying Ceralyne, an elf who got possessed by the realm did for nothing?" His voice rising as he said this.


    Wuunverth looked as stunned as a child asked a difficult question. When he got his wits about him, he spluttered like a dying


    "I didn't kn-what!?" He scrutinized Hasir's stern expression and felt the intense flame of the whip, "I had no idea that Molag Bal

    already drained a soul like water from a dwemer pipe. I was just speaking in the metaphorical sense. How did the elf die if I may



    Hasir's snarling face appeared against the cold iron bars.

    "None of your fucking business!" Hasir spat, spit speckling the wall of the cell, "The fact that you speak about her in such a calm

    manner proves to me what a dick you really are." 


    Wuunverth spat back in disgust as the Argonian dragged his name in the mud. Despite their minimal distance, the Imperial lashed

    out again with the silver dagger. Hasir reacted instinctively as he body started contorting.


    The Imperial screamed as the werewolf snarled maliciously and tore the Imperial's arm clean out of its socket. Wuunverth covered

    his bleeding stump as he scrambled, like a frightened spider, away from the enraged werewolf. The imperial's face,despite being

    white as a body found at the Falkreath graveyard, sneered as he beheld the Argonian gaining his proper form again. 

    Hasir looked into Wuunverth's eyes as sanguine liquid started staining his shirt.

    "I should kill you were you are. I was only being merciful when my wolf slice your arm off like it was a bad bit of meat. I should finish

    the job." He said, his mouth curling into a wicked grin. "Why should I give you the chance to live the rest of your miserable life here

    wihen I can end it?" 


    With that said, the flame whip lashed out like a fiery snake. Imperial's skin burnt as if it was in an oven. Hasir turned away and left

    the dungeon, not showing remorse for what he'd done. He stepped out into the cool night air and headed into the mead hall.


    When he arrived, Hasir saw the mead hall mostly empty except for Affraji and Xelzaz. He walked over to them, wondering  where the

    other companions had gone. Affraji looked up ansd smiled as he approached.

    "Hasir, this one was'nt expecting you... erm, what can Affraji do for you?"


    Hasir told the leopardine khajiit what she ned to know; completely glossing over where he was previously.

    "Affraji, where I was before this is not important. Have you or Xelzaz seen Anum-la?" He stopped and looking around, tail raising and

    falling lamely, "Where are the other companions? They couldn't have gone to bed, it's still light out." The argonian and khajiit looked

    as him as if he had three heads. Hasir scratched his neck, "Well, light-ish." He added in response to their curious looks.


    Xelzaz got up and put his arm around Hasir, gesturing to the training yard.

    "No, they're not asleep. The companions went out into the yard to train a bit. If you'd like you can join them and hone your skills

    with the new armor and weapons you've acquired... or you can always go down and see the harbinger, I hear he is giving Anum-La a

    really stern talk."


    Hasir glanced at Xelzaz concernedly.

    "Do you know what about?"


    The dark geen Telvanni Argonian shrugged and said it was not his business to eavesdrop into a conversation that did not concern


    "I didn't really listen too close to be honest. I did, however, hear something about him getting Anum-la comitted somewhere...for

    what and why, though, I cannot say. Best to go and hear it for yourself." He said. He waved farell to Hasir as he went out to the

    training yard.

    the Argonian walked down the steps to the undercroft and to the harbinger's office. He entered to find Kodlak and Anum-La sitting at

    the corner table. He walked over and sat down in the empty chair, resting his elbows on the table.

    "So, Kodlak, I heard from Xelzaz that Anum-la is being committed somwhere? Why?"


    Kodlak shook his head. Hasir couldn't tell if this was because he didn't know or another reason.

    "If you want to know that, ask the horse. I am just the messenger."


    Hasir looked at the harbinger for a long time before he finally turned to Anum-la and asked the same question, save for a few

    grammerical alterations. The female Argonian shrugged and stared at her feet. She mumbled something inaudible. Hasir repeated his

    query a bit louder as if she'd not heard him. Anum-la looked up.

    "Kodlak and I discussed it and altought I am not proud of it, it is for the best. I mean, I'm not sure if you are aware but I lashed out

    at one person already. Do you want me to do it again?"


    Hasir stared at her; dumbfounded,

    "No, but-"


    She put a hand on Hasir's shoulder.

    "Hasir, I lashed out because I had been in the Honorable eight for so long. When they discharged me for action they thought were

    unorthodox, I- I don't know, I guess...." He voice tailed away almost as if she was too ashamed or embarrassed to continue. When

    her voice came again, it was fell of anger and sadness, "I just lost it. Oh gods, what have I become?" Hasir tried to reason with her,

    saying she didn't know what she was doing. Anum-la wiped a tear away from her eye, "Hasir, your intentions are noble, but, this is

    something I feel I must do... before I hurt someone I care about." 


    A kock sounded on the door. Anum-la got up, sighing.

    "This must be for me. Hasir, Kodlak, if I don't see you when I get out..."


    An Argonian in a blue dress was accompanied by a Golden Saint outfitted in golden armor and a Dark Seducer outfitted in dark

    purple armor. The female Argonian took out a scroll and unfurled it.

    "Anum-la, by the request of Sheogorath, lord of madness, you are to come with us. It is stated in the thirty-second accord of

    madness that, and I quote, any person who lets their mind run rampant, leading them to act in a dangerous way is committed to the

    Vitharn Sanitariumwhich is situated on the borders of the lands of Mania and Dementia in our lord's realm of the Shivering Isles." 


    She tucked to scroll needly in her bag and waved her hands in a circular motion. A shimmering portal appeared within a housing

    comprises of three faces; each sporting a different expression. Hasir took a step closer and saw the distorted image of the Isles in

    question, complete with mushroom trees that would make any inhabitant of Vvardenfell jealous. 


    Anum-La disappeared into the portal behind the Saint and Seducer. The female Argonian was a bout to follow then when Hasir

    tapped her on the shoulder.

    "Excuse me if I seem a bit forward, but...er, have we met somewhere before? Your face looks familar."


    The Argonian turned around and looked deadpanly at him, unsure if he knew all Argonians came from the same sentient trees.

    "All argonians look alike. We have to same features, we barely smile and our tails lead the way as acting as our emotional radars."

    She said this with an air of being of Blackmarsh instead of the Shivering Isles. Hasir's tail thumped hard on the ground.

    "Okay, okay, no need to have the waters run murky." She said, hands outstretched. "I was just stating an observation, boy, you

    really need to splash water on your scales." She said with a nervous laugh. She eyed Hasir's dangerous look and gulped, "I guess

    introductions are in order, hmm? I am Wide-eye." She said, with a slight bow. "The other creatures...there names are...well, they're

    not important...see you later." She stepped through the portal and vashinshed as did the portal.


    Hasir and Kodlak locked eyes at the moment and shared the same thought as the portal disappeared as fast as it had come. Kodlak

    broke eye contact, coughed and got up.

    "Well, that's something you don't see everyday. Anyway, I'd better get up to the training yard and make sure the companions aren't

    killing each other." He said with a slight chuckle.


    Hasir looked at him like a wolf who teased with his meal.

    "Harbinger, they're companions, I don't think they will kill-"


    Kodlak turned to him and struggled to make plain the thoughts in his head.

    "Welll, I, er, you now what I mean. He lent down and eyed Hasir with his owlish grey eyes, "There is nothing we can do for Anum-la.

    I suggest you go to Morthal and see how Inigo is faring."


    Hasir said that was a great idea and went up to the main with Xelzaz bringing up the rear. When the arrived in the main room of

    Jorrvaskr, Xelzaz went to grab a mug of mead off of the table but Hasir reprimanded him and said there would be plenty to celebrate

    when Inigo is brought back safely, if, in fact he survived the gruelling ordeal he had to go through. Disheartened a bit by the empty

    pit in his stomach, Xelzaz followed him out to where the Gildergreen stood and walked down to the stables. 


    When they got there, Hasir gaped as besides his steed was a creature that he'd never seen before. He walked over and examined

    every inch of it; from head to tail.

    "Xelzaz, did you go berserk and buy a camel?"


    Xelzaz chuckled and walked over to the 'camel' and stroked its short snout and hoisted himself upon it using its thick hide and a point

    of leverage.

    "Hasir, this is no camel. He is a guar..."


    Hasir's mind tried to wrap itself around the concept of what a 'guar' was but it failed, forcing Hasir to cross his arm in cold defiance.

    "Mind tell me what a guar is. I've never heard of them let alone ever saw one."

    Xelzaz told him of how guars were native to the island of Vvardenfell and how he resuced it from some guar hunters that were

    operating in the area.

    "I rescued Hazel from poachers when she was just a tiny guarling. She's been my constant traveling companion ever since."


    Hasir gaped at this and roared with laughter,

    "That thing has a name? Hicine help us. Next, I suppose you'll say you got that name because of her eyes or some other stupid

    reason." Hasir recoiled a bit when he saw Xelzaz's livid expression. "You should start at the beginning when you brew a potion, not

    start in the middle throwing in random ingredients."


    Xelzaz's face screwed up in confusion. He thought they were talking about guars, not potions.

    "I-How did you go from guars to potions? No matter, it's all water under the bridge as they say." he said shrugging, "Right...er, to

    answer your inquiry, I am dreadfully sorry. Perhaps I should've first tell you what the history of how guars were formed and how they

    came to Vvardenfell."


    Hasir said that would be helpful. He found a nearby rock and sat on it, letting his tail dangle in the grass behind him. The telvanni

    Argonian told Hasir all about the history of guars and where he thought they came from. He offered various theories to hopefully

    solidify his point; from them being formed from rock the seperated from the Red Mountain to them having formed in the Black Marsh

    and being carted up to the continent by migrating Argonians. Though why Argonians wanted to come to a land where they were

    berated for their differences, he could not understand. He finished his tale with how Hazel got her name. It was, as Hasir guessed,

    given to her after Xelzaz saw her beautiful blue eyes dominated by a sunburst of gold.


    Xelzaz wanted to dive deeper into the ocean of theory and congecture but Hasir reminded him they had to get to Morthal to see how

    and if Inigo became cured of vampirism...again. This was weird, at least to him, because he'd thought Inigo was cured of vampirism

    previously. Xelzaz mounted up on Hazel and Hasir followed behind on his mount as they rode from Whiterun to the city of Morthal.

    When they got to the stables outside of the city, they dismounted, made sure their 'horses' had plenty of hay and water, paid the

    stablehand and walked toward the city gates. Hasir stopped, extending a hand to stop Xelzaz from going into the city and called out

    to one of the guards patrolling in front of the city gates. 

    "Excuse me sir, we," He looked at Xelzaz who gave him a 'I merely accompanied you, don't put me into this' look and amended his

    previous statement. "I, am looking for a khajiit with purplish-blue fur and pumpin-like eyes. Do you know of anyone who fits that



    The guard told them how he did see a rather odd-looking khajiit coming from the North and go into the local inn with an Imperial

    that, unlike the khajiit, he did see before. Hasir thanked the guard, who returned the kind gesture and he and Xelzaz passed under

    the overhang and went inside the tavern in pursuit of his furry friend.


    When he got there, he saw that this inn was no different than the other inns he visited; they all had the same table setup, the same

    patrons sitting in odd chairs here and there and the same, or similar food selection. The only exception Hasir could see was a

    different innkeeper and a different barwench serving the food that was, Hasir guessed, grown by local farmers; just like it is the

    same for other cities. He scanned the familiar inn and found his query sitting at one of the many brown tables.


    He joined Xelzaz, Inigo and a man that he did not know whose face was wearing a cloak black as night, a hood covering his face.

    Hasir turned from the man and found Inigo looking at him, smiling.

    "Well, my friend, this time it worked. I am cured. As soon as I was done with the ordeal, my fleas were dancing with delight."


    Xelzaz flashed Hasir a look of someone who had just had his prized fish taken from him. Hasir raised a spikey eyebrow as he looked,

    at Inigo.

    "What in Hircine's name are you talking about? You got cured of vampirism remember? When the foul vampire lord infected you, you

    came here to do the ritual..."


    Inigo looked at Hasir, a knowing glint in his eye,

    "Ah, but that is where you are mistaken, my friend, if you remember, I was not infected by vampirism, but, rather the Doomstrider

    and when Falion had attemped to cure me the first time, the gem shattered and his soul shattered like a flimsy plane of glass, surely

    you remember that?" Hasir nodded and apologized. Inigo waved a hand dismissively in the air, "It's okay. Everyone can't remember

    everything. It's like forcing a Wamasu to fit into a wicker basket, it's impossible, but, if you are willing to fenegle things a bit, in can

    be accomplihed. I suceeded this time because I was free of the Doomstrider's influence and I had, unlike last time, a trusted soul

    inside a soulgem to deal with. It made the process much  simper and go much smoother."


    A tear trickled down Hasir's cheek as he thought of the sacrifice Khash made. Inigo assured him that she did what she wanted to do.

    "Don't despair, my friend, Kash's soul served a purpose for the greater good. She wanted to serve Tamrielic kind. In a way, her last

    wishes did that. They gave me new life; now if that isn't the ultimate sacrifice, I don't know what is."


    Hasir wiped his eyes with the cloth Inigo had lent him.

    "Inigo, where would I be without a friend like you?" 

    Inigo turned beet red at this rather heartfelt sentimentality. He regained himself after a bit and gestured to the man seated next to


    "Hasir, Xelzaz, I would like you to meet the man for whom I owe a great deal. May I introduce you to Falion."


    The redguard lowered he hood and said it was an honor to meet them.

    "Inigo must be really glad to have friends like you. He talked about you nonstop during the ritual."


    Hasir and Xelzaz looked at each other, confused and a bit heartened.

    "He talk about us?" They asked in unison


    Falion nodded and beamed at the two Argonians.

    "Well, not just you. A few others as well."


    Inigo thanked Falion and asked if they should return to Whiterun as they still have to obtain the remaining pieces of the puzzle to

    tackle the mystery of Krovaxis and the equally mysterious portal. Hasir nodded. They got up and all left the inn. Falion walked with

    them as far at the barrier between Morthal and the rest of Skyrim. Inigo thanked Falion one last time and left with Hasir and Xelzaz

    for the stables.


    Inigo glanced over his shoulder at the city before he, Hasir and Xelzaz mounted up and made they way back to Whiterun. While he

    nagivated the roads and bridges between the two cites, a rather disconcerting thought entered his mind: What if all the things they

    were doing to stop Molag Bal is acually leading them into a trap, one of which there is no hpe of escape?