C.o.t.W Chapter 113: A Change of Scenery

  • The beasts' feet pounded the cobblestone like a drum as they rode back to Whiterun. Hasir and Xelzaz paid the stablehand the

    required fee and walked toward the city gate. Hasir walked up to the mead hall and entered, closely followed by Xelzaz and Inigo.

    The argonian walked over to the door that lead to the training yard and pushed it open. He was expecting the companions to be

    training, but found it barren as the Alik'r desert. Hasir sat on the table by the wall and wondered where they could have gone. An

    image floating up to the surface of his mind of six beds with armor at the foot of each of them. 


    Finally shaking the image free of his mind's eye, he looked up and swore loudly,

    "Hircine dammit! I could've just look with my eyes instead of using the inaccuracy of my mind."


    He got up, pushed the door leading to the mead hall open and headed downstairs. When he got to the bedroom where the whelps

    slept, he undressed and proceeded to get into bed. He looked up as he saw an elderly face smiled back at him.

    "What are you doing Hasir?" He said, forehead creased. "You are a companion now, and just like any companion, you get your own

    bedroom." Hasir looked at him skeptically. Kodlak beamed more broadly, "That's right. You and Inigo now have your very own rooms.

    Hasir looked sideways at him as he got dressed in his tan miner's shirt and brown pants, stuffing his armor into his bag.

    "Well, my, our, new bedroom. Where is it? You can't expect to kick one of the other companions out of their rooms and have us

    sleep there."


    Kodlak roared with laughter at this. He had no idea that Hasir had no inkling what he was on about.

    "No, nothing like that. You and Inigo will sleep in the small room just off the main hall."


    The werewolf inside Hasir roared it's disapproval. The argonian managed, somehow, to keep it under control.

    "But harbinger, won't the constant clattering of dishes and mugs kepp us up? How are we supposed to sleep with all that racket going



    Kodlak doubled over with fits of laughter again. Hasir didn't, or couldn't, see what was so funny about this.

    "My dear boy, how thick are you? The companions have their meals during the day not at night. You and the khajiit will be fine."


    Hasir looked meaningfully at him and asked about his other friend.

    "Harbinger... Xelzaz. Surely you've not forgotten about him. Will he sleep here instead?"


    The harbinger scanned the impurtinent Argonian with those owlish grey eyes.

    "Hasir, of course Xelzaz is going to sleep here... at least until he become a fully fledged companion, then he'll sleep with you and



    Hasir strode over to Kodlak and looked from him to the door.

    "But, that door, the one in the main room of Jorrvaskr..."


    Kodlak smiled and seemed to to be xraying Hasir's mind when he said something the Argonian didn't expect.

    "Yes, that door was locked but only because we, Tilma and I, were preparing it for your and you friends' arrival. Now head on up and

    marvel in your new bedroom and witness our handiwork."


    Hasir thanked Kodlak, walked up to the main hall and grabbed Inigo to check out their new bedroom. Inigo looked as confused as the

    Argonian did when he was first told about this. The smart blue cat placed a hand on one of the double door and threw it wide. Both

    he and Hasir gasped. upon one wall was a painting of the Rift above a pinewood twin bed with a deer fur drapped over it. On the far

    wall lt was a picture of the, now destroyed, undercroft and a picture of Hircine as the ghostly white stag above a bedroll laid out on

    the ground with a black wolf fur blanket. Wooden dressers stood side by side in the middle of the room and small end tables stood

    near the foot of each of the two beds.

    Hasir entered the room with a look of wonder on his face and looked at the wooden dresser, grinning.

    "I've never had a proper dresser before. I should buy more clothes." He said jokingly and got into his new bed.


    He sat bolt upright as he heard Inigo muttering to himself about something. The Argonian asked Inigo what was the matter.

    "Inigo, what's the matter? Don't you like your new bed?" He lay back against the fur pillow, hands under his head, and gazed at the

    ceiling, smiling to himself, "Come on, don't be a stick in the mud, try out your new bed, it's calling your name."


    Inigo looked uncertainly from Hasir's canvas bed to his own and sighed deeply.

    "I would, my friend but Why did Kodlak and Tilma fashion you a more earthy bed than mine? I want to feel close to the Godess of

    Nirn as well, so, why did they place you as being more important?"


    The argonian rolled over onto his side to see Inigo better. 

    "Inigo, it has nothing to do with who is better than whom. Kodlak thought I would feel more at home in a bed closer to Kynareth's

    creation, that's all." He shrugged and yawned hugely. "Why don't you give your new bed a chance? If you don't like it, maybe we can

    ask Kodlak to scrounge you up one too; you also being attached to the moon." 


    Inigo opened his mouth to say more but promptly closed it, knowing it was best not to argue the point. If he did, he was afraid he

    would lose Hasir; the only friend who trusted him enough to accept him when the rest of the world shunned him. He glanced

    worriedly in the Argonian's direction. Hasir told him not to worry about it and got into his bed and immediately fell asleep. Hasir,

    however, found he couldn't sleep, despite his best efforts to quiet his mind. His mind reeled with thoughts of Anum-La. After

    awhile, Hasir drifted off as well.

    Hasir's frantic mind painted a rather troublesome landscape as he slept. He dreamed of Anum-La's undetermined fate in the Vitharn

    sanitarium. Hasir found himself flying over a land unfamiliar to him. He spotted a rather lagre stone building with strange trees

    flanking it. From his 'bird's eye' vantage point, he could see the poor Argonian in shackles with the dark seducer and golden saint

    guards leading her to a massive stone building. Hasir landed and snuck in after them into the building. He hid in a corner behind a

    broken pillar. He gasped as the guards led the female Argonian past cells with various inhabitants; some Hasir recognized, some he



    When the guards passed by one of the cells, he could hear one of the inhabitants of the stone building, a dunmer by the looks of her,

    calling out for something.

    "Hey, got some skooma? Buddy? Pal?"


    Hasir cringed as the guard rapped on the cell door loudly with her sword.

    "What do I look like, a khajiit? Keep quiet or I'll be forced to silence you myself."


    Hasir scanned the cells that were seemly built iton the walls of the asylum. Intermittently between the cells, he saw four feet of

    blank grey stone wall.Apart of the dumner and the female Argonian, Hasir saw a bosmer and, sure enough, a khajiit occupying a cell

    on the far wall. He glanced up a set of stone steps rising before his hiding spot like a dragon waiting for the kill and saw another row

    of cells flanked by yet more stone walls. Hasir glanced skyward and and saw, with growing horror, a message etched into the stone

    arch entryway that read 'Danger, proceed with caution: seriously disturbed patients beyond this pont.'


    The green Argonian's eyes cut through the darkness and went wide as they beheld a particular Argonian female. With horror, he saw

    her cell walls were occupied by a peculiar language he'd never seen before.

    Hasir sat bolt upright while feverishl trying to piece together the scattered pieces of the dreamworld he had left not a few seconds

    before. Hasit walked hurriedly over to the slumbering khajiit and shook him awake. The khajiit mumbled sleepily while rubbing his


    "Inigo, I saw... a vision," He said, his mouth somewhat dry, "I saw the inside of the prison that Argonian talked about... Vitharn,

    gods it was horrible, men, mer, and beast, caged, as if they were animals waiting for the slaughter." His eyes filled with tears as he

    said this, "I saw Anum-La in there along with people I did not know, Amakha was there as well, though for what reason, I do not yet

    know and... Inigo... I also saw Sheem-la in there."


    Inigo was about to speak when the door opened. Kodlak walked in, smiling at both of them.

    "Well, what's the verdict?" Both Hasir and Inigo stared at him, confused. Kodlak reworded his previous question into one that would

    hopefully be better understood, "How did you guys like your first night in a new bedroom?" Inigo said that he'd never slept more

    soundly in his life while Hasir dared not to catch Kodlak's wondering gaze.


    Kodlak walked over to the Argonian and sat down on the bed. Hasir screamed in protest and the harbinger sat on his tail.

    "Sorry about that." He said, placating the hissing reptile. "What's wrong? Usually you look at me when I enter a room; a sense of

    honor, you know, for a leader of my position." Hasir eyedd him sharply and said that he'd thought there were no leaders in Jorrvaskr.

    Kodlak chuckled a bit, "Not since Ysgramor, I know, I was just trying to paint a picture for you. Anyway, there's something wrong. I

    can tell from the way your body is positioned, so, what is it?"


    Hasir's tail slid between his legs as he told the harbinger about the dream he had the night before. He spared no detail, teeing Kodlak

    everything about the 'dream' he had. In his view, the dream was all to real; too real and very horrific. He told Kodlak about how he

    saw various jail cells in the stoney asylum. Kodlak didn't gasp or interrupt when Hasir told him of how he saw the Argonian he'd met

    not long ago on a farm outside Whiterun in a cell, along with an unknown khajiit and dunmer female as well as Anum-La. He also

    told the habinger about the sign that hung above the higest section of the ruin.


    Kodlak's forehead creased as he pondered on the sign's meaning.

    "Danger, proceed with caution: seriously disturbed patients beyond this pont? I've no idea what this means. Why would they put her

    there?" Kodlak became lost in thought, only resurfacing after he'd swum the length of the surface of his unconscious. "Perhaps they

    might've saw something you didn't? You said something about her going mad after he guild members organized against her? How

    interesting...food for thought, that's for sure." He pondered on something else, "You also said an Argonian was there, one you met

    during your bid for Thaneship?"


    Hasir nodded and gestured to where Inigo stood.

    "Well, it wasn't 'my' bid exactly. I did this for some friends. Anyway, that's all water under the bridge. Yes, I did see Anum-La, but

    she was in one of the lower cells. The higher one was reserved for Sheem-La, an Argonian I meet a few days previously. I couldn't

    see much, but what I did see on the grey walls of her cell were writing, all done in a strange black ink outline with an olive green that

    was vaguely famliar..."

    Kodlak eyed him suspiciously, hungry for more. He, like Hasir, found dreams to be fascinating. 

    "How did they get there and what did they say?"


    The argonian closed his eyes as if will the dream to resolidify, make itself known in his mind's eye.

    "I don't really know, they were strange symbols. I wish I had them translated but I don't." His eye flicked open and looked at Kodlak,

    "I do know, however, that the Argonian was brought into the realm of Hermaeus Mora. He was impressed by her mind's ability to

    withstand to lure of forbidden knowledge that would cause mere mortals to go insane over that he transformed her into a brilliant fox

    with fur white as snow."


    Kodlak gestured to a point niether of them could see, far to the north.

    "Maybe the Arcaneum can help with the translation." Hasir raised an eyebrow at him. "I mean, it may have some book of daedric

    translations, or, you can always check the library at High Horthgar. Anyway, the tale about her turning into a fox is interesting. What

    about the mortals that went mad? What happened to them?" He asked, suddenly looking very scared as if he did not want the



    Hasir thanked Hasir and proceeded toward the door that led out to the Gildergreen. He stopped and looked over his shoulder at


    "Harbinger, to answer your question, they were turned into creatures of Apocrypha called seekers; though that was for the ones in

    Mora's realm that went just a little mad, if they were lucky. The ones who went out of their minds were sent to Vitharn; just like



    Kodlak nodded and suggested for him to take Inigo and Xelzaz with him on his journey. Hasir looked at him, his forehead creased.

    "Why them? Can't I go alone since it was I and no one else who had the dream? Besides, Inigo and his damned fleas would get in the

    way and Xelzaz..." He trailed off when a brand new tributary spawned in the ocean of his mind, "Now that I think on it, he would be

    quite invaluable in my travels. If either I or Inigo have trouble translating a book, if we do find one, I am sure Xelzaz will be able to

    decipher it."


    Kodlak smiled and called out to Xelzaz. The argonian hurried to Hasir's side, looking bewildered.

    "My thoughts exactly. As for a perfect jumping off point, you could always... explore the book Sheem-La gave you. I seem she knew

    it was only a matter of time by her time, short though it may've been, caused her to lose her grip of reality altogether. He gestured

    for Inigo to join his two friends. He did as he was asked and they left the mead hall to walk the all too familiar path to the

    Whiterun stables.

    When they got there, Hasir asked Bjrolam if he could hire the carriage.

    "Let me guess." Said, the Imperial a slight grin on his face, "You need to go to Winterhold right?"


    Hasir looked at Bjorlam slack-jawed.

    "Yes, but, erm, how did you know?" His expression suddenly darkened, "Did Aela tell you?"


    The imperial carriagedriver shook his head and put a finger to his temple.

    "They didn't tell me, I just figured it out on my own."


    Hasir nodded and climbed in back with Inigo, leaving Xelzaz to sort out the travel fee. Xelzaz was too caught up with asked the

    Imperial various questions about his life in Tamriel and how he obtained such fine horses that he nearly missed it when Hasir

    whistled to him. Xelzaz scrambled in next to Hasir and tried his best to ignore Hasir's peircing stare; whether it was annoyance, or

    something else entirely, Xelzaz couldn't tell."


    The cart jolted forward a bit, forcing the two Argonians and khajiit to grip the seats in order to prevent themselves from being

    thrown from the carriage. Hasir turned to Xelzaz and inquired if he could, perhaps, translate the book, if they found it.

    "Yes. I studied a ton of daedric language during my stay with lord Orthanis. I trust you know he lives in a tower on the small inlet of

    port Telvannis. Hasir nood while Inigo looked like he had a fleshfly pod exploded in his face. Xelzaz shrugged at this and told Inigo

    what Hasir already knew. After having told Inigo a concise version of his backstory, Xelzaz pressed on with his tale, "lord Orthanis

    made me do errands on the Telvanni penisula such as gathering ingredients for a myriad of potions he was working on. It was there

    that I beheld a beautiful town made, not by the Telvanii or dunmer, but by the Chimer."


    Hasir and Inigo exchanged confused looks at this. Neither he nor Inigo heard about the Chimer before. Xelzaz sighed and told them

    of how the Chimer ruled Morrowind long before the dunmer even arrived at the island. He also told them of how Vivec the patron god

    of the city of the same name was Chimer along with the gods of the tribunal, which dunmer praise above all else and, thus, pray to

    for good fortune and curse in times of ill fortune. 

    "I scoured the peninsula for Ingredients when a dazzling city caught my eye. The city was fashioned in white stone outlined with gold

    trim. It was there that I learned about dunmer burial rites. I was there that I learned about the language of The One Who Knows as

    well as other daedric languages."


    Xelzaz continued his tale as the carriage passed the Throat of the Montain and took the path beside it. After hours of Xelzaz explaing

    how he knew the language of Apocrypha, they arrives outside the run-down village. The two Argonians and Khajjit thanked Bjorlam

    and walked into the city. They could hear the distant clip-clopping of hooves as they made they way up the ramp that led to the


    Xelzaz thrust an arm out just as they were about to enter the College. Hasir looked confuseldy at this.

    "Xelzaz, what in Hircine's name?" In respone, Xelzaz motioned for Hasir tthey were etched into his eyeballso let him see 'Episculary

    Acumen.' Hasir obliged and, opening his bag, handed Xelzaz the book. Xelzaz opened it. Hasir expected the familiar tentacle to

    extract, but to his surprise, it didn't He watched patiently as Xelzaz stared at the undulating symbols, almost as if they were etched

    into his eyeballs. 


    Xelzaz sighed and handed the book back to Hasir.

    "Well, that was disappointing. It contained merely instructions, nothing more. Lead on."


    Hasir groaned as Xelzaz handed the book back to him. He blanked The argonian's sorrowful expression as he and Inigo walked into

    the courtyard. Xelzaz saw that they weren't standing there and hurried to catch up with them. Once inside Xelzaz stared around in

    awe at the magnificent buildings.

    "I read about this place, but I'd never, in my wildest dreams, wish I'd ever set foot here. You knew the College must''ve gained some

    inspiration from the Telvanni." 


    Hasir raised an eyebrow at this odd observation.

    "What do the Telvanni have to do with the College of Winterhold?"


    Xelzaz looked at him and saw Inigo, too, hada perplexed look etched onto his feline face. Xelzaz sighed and told them that the

    Telvanni magisters were the first to concieve of the concept of magic and that the mage's guild's and the College of Winterhold's idea

    of 'magic' paled in comparison to its truest, and most raw, form.

    "Flinging spells from your hans like frost from a snowstorm or fire from a fireplace is not 'true magic'." Again, Hasir and Inigo just

    looked at him stupidly. Xelzaz sighed, "You guys need to read up on the history of Tamriel. Magic is supposed to be felt inside and

    you cast it, not with your hands, but with you soul, your entire being; you will it to come into existence. That what my magister told



    Hasir and Inigo looked at each other. After an uncomfortable since, Hasir connected it with a similar experience he had.

    "You mean... we weave magic with our bodies? I think I did that back in Dragonsreach... you know, you were there." Xelzaz glared at

    the Argonian. "...then again, maybe you weren't. Anyway, I was on a task for Arcadia and I bought..."


    Inigo hit the Argonian on the head, causing him to stumble and fall into the snow. Hasir lay there for a bit, confused, and then got to

    his feet, grabbed Inigo by the tail and flung him into the snow near Xelzaz whose face flushed with anger.

    "You moron, what did you do that for?" He asked as he helped Inigo to his feet.


    Hasir shot daggers at Xelzaz; jabbing him in the chest. Xelzaz recoiled as if the claw was a fiery poker.

    "I despise people throwing stones before I have a boulder loaded."


    Xelzaz looked at him, bewildered. He asked for Hasir to explain what he meant but didn't get the chance as Inigo flung himself at his

    scaly friend. Hasir saw this and sidestepped the attack. For good measure, he unsheathed his flame whip and lashed out with it. The

    intense heat, like one thousand fire burning bright, caused Inigo to cry out. Inigo went for another attack but Xelzaz quickly stepped

    in between them.

    "Inigo, Hasir, stop at once! Inigo, you are acting like he stole your sweetroll or something else equally idiotic. Make up, now, so we

    can go find out about the cryptic language of the daedric lords."  

    Hasir and Inigo obeyed and they all walked through the huge stone doors of the Hall of the Elements which Hasir had recognized

    from his previous time at the College. Xelzaz went through another familiar door, through which the khajiit and the Argonian

    followed. Hasir smiled as they emerged into a round room with bookshelves lining the walls and an Orc he'd met the last time he was



    Urag saw the Argonian and smiled widely.

    "Hasir, long time no see. Let me guess, you are here for a book." He offered.


    Hasir nodded and walked over to Urag's desk while his tail wagged happily behind him. He asked Urag if he had a book that decoed

    the obscure language of the daedra. Urag stared blankly at him and shook his head.

    "Sorry, I don't have any books of that sort. If you are looking for books of that sort, I suggest finding a way to enter the grand

    libraries of Oblivion." Hasir asked Urag how he knew this. The orc lowered his head and chuckled, "Do you think we librarians build

    forts of books and live in them? No. All librarians on Tamriel are interconnected in a web of knowledge. Some of us even have one

    foot in Oblivion, so to speak."


    Hasir wondered how he knew this. Urag took this as an invitation to continue.

    "One such realm that the libarians of Morrowind, specifically two khajiit mages in Balmora, Jobasha and Ra'virr, found was the

    forbidden library of Hermaues Mora. They retrieved what they sought but lost their minds in the process. A few years ago, they

    became permanent residents of Vitharn."


    Hasir swore under his breath. He knew what he had to do; he hated himself for it but knew that was the only way to discern the

    dream, even though this daedra, he knew, was one cheese slice shy of a full charcuterie board.

    "Sheogorath, I need your counsel." He said, a pleading note in his voice.

    A purple portal appear to the Argonian's left and out step, not Sheogorath, but a balding imperial in a black suit. Hasir swore.

    "Haskill? what on Tamriel are you doing here?" He asked, a sjocked expression contorting his features. "I thought Sheogorath would



    The imperial sighed as if he was bored by this conversation.

    "You know me?" He asked dryly. "What an honor, truly." Hasir groaned and told him to stop beating around the bush and trim down

    the middle of them. Haskil sighed again, "Very Well, you must know, my lord has various pressing duties to attend to and helping

    mortals get what they want is scarcely high on his to-do list."


    Hasir ran at Haskill and slammed him innto a nearby bookshelf. Books flew every which way; littering the floor as if they were hiding

    a ghastly mess someone had made. The argonian snarled and unsheathed his claws. The imperial never lost that bored look.

    "Go ahead, threaten me, if that is what you wish." Hasir growled at Haskill. The imperial tutted at him, "Someone ought to tighten

    that leash of yours; it is too loose." Hasir raked his claw along some outward facing books.  Haskill waggled a finger at him, "You

    should learn to control your temper. These things take time and cannot be dealt with acting like a bafoon."


    At that moment, a voice rang out causing Hasir to stop mid-threat.

    "How dare yyou interrupt my plans. I was having a lovely chat with the patrons of the ruling heads of Crucible and Bliss too. Ah well,

    time to sweep it under the rug and see what is going on in the 'realm of mortals'. Haskill, your services are no longer required, now,

    be a good little scrib and scuttle away to your hole. Go on, off with you."


    He hesitated for a bit and finally walked back through the portal. Hasir expected to see brown shoes step through the portal but it

    closed, seemingly shutting off the two reams. A bearded daedric lord dressed in the half-purple, half-orange suit that Hasir was used

    to. Sheogorath eyed the Argonian with his cat-like pupils while he floated above him.

    "How dare you interrupt my meeting with your petty wants and needs, mortal. What is it that you want? Do you want me to conjure

    cheese in place of your head or turn your hands to chickens? I can do that." Then in a dark voice, he added, "don't tempt me." 

    Hasir shook his head; more to get the disturbing images out of his mind than anything.

    "Sheogorath, do you know where we could open a portal to Apocrypha?"


    The daedric prince gaped at him for this seeming strange rquest.

    "Apocrypha? Whatever for? Are you expecting to have tea with Hermaeus Mora? If you are, I can certainly arrange that."


    Hasir said he would like that. The room began to shimmer and change. The next thing Hasir and the other comapnions knew, they

    were contorting along with the Arcanum. Hasir had to fight being sick, but just as the slimy liquid threatened to erupt from him like

    a volcano, the sickening dizziness passed and he found himselfstanding on a floor that was a farcry from the wooden one.


    Hasir glanced around at the cells lining the wall with intermittent grey stretches of wall between them.

    "I've been here before." He turned to Inigo, "This is what I had the dream about that night in Jorrvaskr, I wonder if..." His voice got

    caught in his throat as he looked skyward. There, at the top of a flight of grey steps stood the sign he remembered, filling him with a

    sense of dread.


    Hasir glanced at Sheogorath, who was busy reading the sign.

    "Now, can you tell me about the book I seek?"


    Sheogorath groaned and ripped he eyes away from the sign and gestured up the stairs towards the shadiws.

    "Very well. Go in the direction I've noted. Don't blame me if the Argonian guts you like a horker." He said, chuclking.


    The daedric lord's laughter hung in the macabre atmosphere like a heavy fog. When it finally lifted, Hasir and Xekzaz walked up to

    the shadowy section while Inigo remained below. Hasir prepared to use his night vision but soon found it was useless because the

    greenish glow cut through the shadows like a particularly poisonous knife. Xelzaz approached the rusted iron cell and smiled when he

    saw a familiar face.


    He called out to Hasir who was busying trying to discern the translations on his own, failed, and walked over to him. Xelzaz's brow

    furrowed as he tried to, like Hasir, discern the strange symbols. Hasir turned to him and asked how he knew the caged Argonian.

    "Xelzaz, have you met Xelzaz before?" Xelzaz nodded and explained about the circumstances that they met.


    The telvanni Argonian redirected this question onto Hasir, catching him offguard.

    "Me?" he asked, bewildered. "I met Sheem-la on a task that I was given by Severio. She told me that she was a servant of Hermaeus

    Mora with the ability to turn into a white fox."

    Xelzaz raised an eyebrow as he pondered this. He'd no idea that Hermaeus Mora governed shapeshifters. He'd thought this was

    Hircine's domain. Hasir reached into his bag and extracted the black book.

    "This book," He said tapping the cover with a clawed finger, "is how she got to Apocrypha and she found a book in Hermaeus Mora's

    realm that allowed her to transform. She was told all of this by one of his servants, a watchling that could take human form. Her

    name was Scruut."


    Xelzaz's eyes went wide as dinner plates as heard this. He rounded on Hasir, asking what in Tamriel a watchling was and how it

    could assume human form. Hasir folded his arms across his chest and chuckled.

    "Easy, don't shoot the messenger. To answer your question, a 'watchling', I don't know if that's an official title they give themselves

    or perhaps Hermaeus gave it to them... anyway, time to retrack this train, A watchling is an offspring of a seeker... which is one of

    Mora's more grotesque servants." 


    Xelzaz looked at Hasir like he'd sprouted two heads from his ear-hole. Hasir ignored this and pressed on.

    "As for the answer to your second question, I have no idea how the watchling wear human suits." The telvanni Argonian walked from

    the rust-caked bars to Hasir, took the black book from him and opened it. A yellow eye peered out from the yellowing pages and

    forced its way out of the book like a wolf squeezing its way out of an extremely small cage. Green appendages accompanied the

    eye's bid for freedom. Both argonians jaws dropped as, before them stood, well, floated a small green orb with small yellow eyes

    dotting its body like tiny lights. Small  squid-like arms protruded from between the eyes. 


    Hasir stared at the thing in front of them while Xelzaz continued to stare, open-mouth, at the strange phenomenon in front of them.

    "What are you?" He asked incredulously. He seemed lost in thought for sometime, and then, coming back to himself, he said, "You

    one of Hermaeus Mora' watchlings aren't you?" The thing nodded. Hasir forehead creased, "are you the one Sheem-la spoke of when

    I met her at the farm?" The thing nodded again. "What's your name? I feel silly asking, I'm sorry."

    The tiny watchling shook its 'head' making its tentacles swirl about as if the air was water.

    "No need to apologize. My name is Scruut. I am Hermaeus Mora's... let's just say I'm his liason and leave it at that. I sense you lot

    are here to consult with my master?" 


    Hasir asked Scruut why she was stuck in that book in the first place. She started to answer but quickly got distracted as she saw

    Inigo, on all fours, trying to chase her tentacles. Wherever he got close to catching it, much like with a skeever or embers from a

    dying fire, it would elude his grasp.


    The tiny watchling yelped in pain as the lunging khajiit grasped one of her tentacles. Scruut eyes narrows and she slapped him hard

    across the face. The blow propelled Inigo back against the cell wall. Upon making contact, he yelled in pain as he could feel the bars

    cutting into his fur like the surface of a gril. 


    Inigo rocketed forward lie a bolt fired from a crossbow and attempted to retaliate but Scruut's every watchful eyes saw this and

    conjured a beam of greenish energy. Hasir saw this and quickly stepped in between Scruut and her furry target. Scruut noticed this

    and narrowed her eyes, causing the energy to dissipate.

    "Mortal, why do you come between a daedra and her prey?" She asked in a somewhat bored voice. "He has befouled me, so that

    bears to reason that he must be punished. Now, get out of the way." 


    Hasir did not move despite her ordering him to. The small watchling tried climbed up the Argonian using her tentacles as a squid

    uses theirs propel themselves onward but the Argonian unsheathed his steel sword and tried prying her off of him. After several

    seconds of trial and error, he succeeded. Scruut became rooted to the spot like a tree. AT that moment, a voice quite ulike her own

    issue forth from her mouth,

    "Mortal, why are you fighting my servant? She is here to help you, not hinder you." Hasir stopped and stared, open-mouthed, at the

    watchling, "As I understand you require knowledge about some runes that my deranged Argonian servant had scrawled on her cell.

    No need to enter my realm to find a book. My realm is a part of me and as such I can gleam knowledge from it as much as it can

    glean knowledge from me. I also understand that you and a few others are fighting Molag Bal for preservation of not only Nirn but

    also for werewolf kind."


    Hasir closed his mouth and nodded nervously. Hermaeus Mora continued to survey him though his obedient servant.

    "I thought as much. I know all. I see all. I am the knower of the unknown and I have seen the path you would take in life before you

    even began to walk. I also foresaw the events that transpired long before the very moment." He paused for a moment to let it all

    sink in. "Yes, I have the book you seek, here take it. It will help you discern what is written in my black books as well." 


    A flash of green light filed Hasir's vision and then disappeared to reveal a black book, similar to the one Sheem-la had given him,

    suspended above Scruut's outstretched tentacle. The Argonian grabbed the book and thanked the daedric prince. Hasir looked at the

    watchling as thought she was going through a particularly painful transfromation as the surplus energy leaked out of her like ink

    from a quill. 

    "What in Kynareth...Hirc....what was that!?" He asked nonplused


    Scruut scratched her head with a tentacle, not sure of it hersellf.

    "I'm... not sure. I guess I acted as a vessel for my master but I had no idea he could do that. I read many books, in Hermaeus'

    realm mostly, and none of them stated that a daedra could inhabit their servants to rely messages." She glanced at the book in the

    Argonian's hand, "Look like you got the book you were after, still a little fuzzy on how you got it but at least you did. I guess my

    services are no longer required. I guess I'll just swim back to the waters of Oblivion."


    Hasir screwed his face up in thought, mulling over the pro and cons or each possible outcome.

    "Wait... If you go now, who will decipher the book?" He asked, waving the book in front of her. She shrugged, or at the very least,

    Hasir thought it was a shrug and told him he would figure something out and gave him possible booksellers would might be able to

    decipher it.


    Hasir considered this and narrowed his eyes and hissed slowly; comfortable with her presence.

    "Thanks for you advice but I'd rather have a teacher who knows alot than a student who only guess and knows next to nothing."


    Scruut sighed deeply, hating herself from what she was about to say next.

    "Very well, I suppose I can stick with you for a bit longer... at least until the book is deciphered. I can't tell you any more than I

    aldready know, but my master told me that book you hold 'Filament and Filligree' is meant to be instructions... but to what? I cannot



    Hasir thanked Scruut and opened the book. Xelzaz looked over and tried to match the translations to the trianglar an circular

    symbols scrawled all over the walls and floor of Sheen-La's cell and could make neither tails nor scales of it. He was not alone in this,

    however as Hasir couldn't either even though he had the symbols dancing like exciting children on the pupils of his eyes. 


    Scruut look rather displeased at Hasir. She knew daedric language was far beyond the grasp of mortals.

    "Do I have to do everything, look, see the glowing green text on the first page antecedded by that squidlike being with eye that

    seem to pierce your soul? That reads 'The book which intertwines and preordains the fate of many a mortal is insightful yet

    dangerous and it is for this reason that many mortals yearn to get their greedy hands on it. Whomever reads the book, that

    presumably has nothing in it and can blind anyone who is not of a willing mind, can find a ton of useful information about her or her

    path in life'." 


    Hasir screwed his face up in thought and called Xelzaz over to him. Xelzaz ceased trying to discern the symbols and walked over to


    "Xelzaz, do you know what any of this means? It's all Dwemer to me." He said shrugging


    Xelzaz's train of thought chugged along until it came to a tunnel with light beyond it.

    "Like I said before, I am not great at discerning hidden messages but I do believe that this book the black book referring to the Book

    of Fate. Though if people go blind just by reading it, much like the moth priests do when reading the elder scrolls; though I suppose

    the book saps your sight rather quickly unlike the scrolls - which sap one's sight rather slowly, how can they read it? This conundrum

    keeps digging itself deeper. This is troubling. Hasir, perhps we should go about our more pressing dutiies before we tackle this mystery?"

    The Argonian agreed and closed the book and asked Scruut if she could open a portal to Karthspire cam. The watchling iquired what

    was there. Hasir said that he had some thing to retrieve from that location and asked Scruut if the book of fate, if indeed it could be

    found, would answer some unawsered quenstions about where the final conduit is located. 


    She narrowed her many eyes at him.

    "Well, I am only supposed to only conjure portal within the realm of Apocrypha but I suppose I can do what you ask. Before I conjure

    the portal, care to tell me what this 'conduit' of yours is?"


    Hasir told Scruut all about the quarrel the Molag Bal had with Molag Bal and that he, Hasir, was locating pieces to open a portal to

    'the other world' to try and stop Molag Bal and his servants from destroying nature thus destroying werewolves along with the death

    of the trees, plants and otger aspects of Kynareth's domain. He surveyed Sccruut's blank face, trying to discern what emotion she

    was portraying. He pressed on, not wanting to read too much into a seemingly closed book.

    "This nature conduit is not just for me but if I can find and destroy it, I might be able to weaken Molag Bal and, hopefully defeat him

    in his weakened state. I told you enough for now, let's get to Karthspire so I, er, we, can retrieve those missing pieces.


    Scruut sighed and waved her arm like tentacle in a circular motion. Hasir did not know what he was expecting - perhaps a blue

    portal. The portal conjured, however, had an exterior like dried ink with a light green swirling vortex on the inside surrounded by tiny

    yellow eyes that flitted in and out of existence. Scruut said that someone had to go first and then pull the others through. The portal,

    she said, was not like any other portal on Tamriel where the person stepped through it. Hasir gupled but nodded all the same. Scruut

    disappeared into the portal and her long, vine-like arm pulled both Argonian, one after another, through it.