U.O.T.W. Chapter 179 A Change of Stance


    “It’s no good saying ‘Aww No’ Sotek”. Kodlak stated as he sat back in a chair. “You said it yourself, Aela’s used to heavy armor so fighting and even hunting across the plains will be a new experience for her and for you as well. All I’ve seen you in is heavy armor. You both need the practice. Besides, you’ve had everyone using bows. Look at this as an opportunity for Farkas and Vilkas to extract some revenge. Aela and Sotek! Three hits wins, a down is an instant win”.


    Aela pulled her shield from the weapon rack and drew her dagger. She looked almost evil as her intense wolfish light grey eyes moved along Sotek’s body from the tip of his tail to the tallest bone spike on his head which only made Sotek feel more nervous than he already did.


    Realising he was still armed with his two Dragonbone Axes, he headed back to the weapon rack to store them.

    “Well I’m not fighting with these”. Instead, he picked out two wooden axes which he used for sparing with.


    Everyone else sat back and watched the two Companions face off against each other. One of the Whelps studied Sotek’s features. He seemed nervous and doubtful in his abilities which the Whelp was quick to notice.

    “I can understand why he would be nervous if she had a bow but Aela has her shield and dagger. Hell, even I can beat her with a dagger”.


    Vilkas looked around to see who the Whelp was talking to but he just seemed to be talking loudly to no one in particular. He wondered where the Whelp was going and he felt a need to defend Aela although he had no idea of the Whelps intensions.

    “She uses a bow; so what’s your point?”


    The Whelp ignored what Aela was doing altogether. His focus was primarily set upon Sotek whose moves and strikes seemed erratic at best.

    “Vilkas, that’s my point. Aela uses a bow; Sotek knows this and yet he seems almost scared. If Aela’s primary weapon is the bow then why the hell is he so nervous?”


    Vilkas tutted as he had picked up on Sotek’s behaviour as well. Some would think it was because he was facing his mate but the Companions knew better. He was like it with all of them.

    “Because of who he is; that’s why”.


    Aela promptly charged forwards, swiping out at Sotek’s chest with her dagger. He blocked the attack with one of his wooden axes then countered with the other axe, hoping to hit Aela in the unprotected abdomen; thereby claiming an easy victory.


    To everyone’s surprise, including Aela, she stepped to the side and brought her shield across her torso, closing the window of exposed flesh before Sotek could make any sort of contact. The edge of the shield banged into Sotek’s axe, throwing it out of his hand.


    Keeping up her momentum, she spun around, lashing out with the dagger at arm’s length but Sotek had already withdrawn, successfully moving out of her way.


    She came to a stop with her shield held in front of her but tight against her body. With just the top of her head and her two eyes hungrily peering over the top of it, Aela beckoned Sotek to charge at her.

    “What you waiting for? An invitation?”


    Snarling like a cornered animal, Sotek lunged forwards, bringing down his axe against Aela’s shield in overhead swipes.


    Aela leaned back, absorbing the hits but on the third strike she deflected the blow, forcing Sotek to topple forwards. Seizing her chance, she lifted up the edge of her knife, pushing the blade against Sotek’s throat.

    “My win I think!”


    He gulped loudly and stared at the ground before slowly moving Aela’s hand away to free himself from the blade. Defiantly, he stood up straight and looked straight back at her and hissed.

    “I haven’t submitted yet... Hsss”.


    The Huntress slowly nodded while she watched his hands and tail for any signs of movement. He hadn’t given up yet but she was thankful he had the grace to let her know they were still fighting.

    “Very well!” She replied as she waited.


    Sotek flicked the axe head around so the blunt edge was facing Aela then as fast as he could, he dropped to one knee and swung the axe head up towards Aela’s crotch.


    The moment Aela saw the axe twist around in the Argonian’s hand, she expected a move. Dropping to one knee, she brought her shield downwards, knocking Sotek’s axe out of his hand. He had barely enough time to cry out when the shield was swung upwards, catching Sotek in the face.


    In a prone position, he fell backwards as blood covered his face from where the edge of the shield tore a gash in his chin. Lying on his back in a daze from the blow, all Sotek could do was to hold the wound and feel the blood as it trickled along the back of his jaw as it followed the contours of his scales.



    “Are you ok?” Aela asked with genuine concern over Sotek’s injury.


    His eyes narrowed as he growled back at her.

    “Bitch!” He suddenly swung around, catching Aela’s foot with his shin.


    Her leg was ripped from under her, leaving her nowhere to go except downwards. Landing on her backside, she cried out but it was more from the surprise than any pain.

    “Aghh! You bastard”. She heard a soft rumbling and looked over her shoulder to see her shield rolled across the yard and clanged against the wall where it fell on its side.


    Sotek screamed out, causing everyone to jump. He watched Aela smugly climb up to her feet and stroll across the yard, leaving her dagger embedded in Sotek’s tail. He drew the blade and cast a healing spell on himself before yelling at Kodlak.

    “See! This is what happens! This is why I hate sparring with the bitch!”


    “Bring it reptile!” Aela yelled back as she triumphantly sat on the step to enjoy a victorious drink of mead.


    Vilkas offered Sotek a hand and helped him up. Thinking he was done, the Argonian took one step towards Aela when Vilkas called him back.

    “Where do you think you are going? Now you face a Whelp. Make sure you beat him; you’re a Companion of the Inner Circle for crying out loud. Don’t go showing us up!”


    The Whelp drew a sword and picked out a shield from the rack before taking his chosen stance in preparation of the upcoming sparing session. After healing his chin, Sotek disappeared inside the hall to collect his shield.


    Farkas, feeling the blow had unsettled Sotek’s sanity called out to him as he plucked Sotek’s Nordic Shield from the weapons rack.

    “It’s here you silly slug. Aela? Where is he going?”


    Aela glanced over her shoulder to the doors and watched them, patiently waiting for her partner to return.

    “He has a new shield. You’ll like it Farkas, its Dragonscale. It looks fantastic”.


    Sotek threw open the doors and stepped outside to the awaiting crowd. In his left hand he held the aforementioned Dragonscale Shield Aela told Farkas about. He took one look at the shield and almost drooled.

    “Bloody hell Sotek! That looks great, give me a go!”


    “No it’s mine. Leave it alone you thieving rat!” He hissed as he fought Farkas off who was determined to get the shield away from him.

    Vilkas stepped in, pulling his brother away so Sotek was free to once again prepare for the sparing.


    As he faced his opponent, the Nord spat on the ground then grasped his sword tightly. Through clenched teeth he threatened the Companion.

    “I’ll eat you alive you bloody lizard”. He saw the spar Sotek had with Aela and the Argonian seemed to have little in the way of skill to trouble the Nord. The only threat was the new armor but that just seemed to be of a fancy design. The practicality of such an outfit was lost on him. “At least you look pretty; worm”.


    He broke into a run, swinging his sword out in a deadly arc, hoping to force Sotek back. Instead of moving though, Sotek just concentrated on countering. The sword struck the flat of the shield and bounced back, surprising the Whelp.


    Sotek never moved; he held his ground and waited for the second blow which he knew would come the moment the Whelp recovered from his shock.


    The Whelp brought the sword down over his head with the intention of knocking Sotek’s shield out of the way. Sotek stepped to the right then bashed the sword to the left of him, forcing the Whelp to turn as his weight carried him past Sotek’s body.


    Now his back was exposed, Sotek wasted no time. He struck the Whelp between the shoulder blades, almost knocking him to the ground.


    He yelled out and swung his sword around over his head in an arc but Sotek had already moved away. He tutted as he watched the Whelp’s rage run out of control.

    “You’ve seen Aela enough times to know anger doesn’t help. Emotions seldom wins; control it lest your own rage defeats you”.


    “You don’t tell Aela that!” The Nord said as he rose to his feet. Swinging his sword around, he prepared to face Sotek again.


    Sotek chuckled as he watched the hate filled eyes of the Huntress burn into the Whelp.

    “Of course I don’t. Would you?”


    Sotek blocked the first attack and easily blocked the second blow but then he retaliated. A second later he struck out, hitting the Whelp in the chest with a solid blow from his axe.

    “One more hit and you’re mine”. Sotek stated, warning the Whelp of his imminent defeat.


    The Whelp charged again but Sotek struck first by feinting a head swipe with his axe. The Whelp fell for it and struck back with his own shield but Sotek’s weight and his forceful energy wasn’t there. The Argonian’s weapon was all too easily knocked away. Sotek half span to the right and delivered a perfect shield bash, knocking the Whelp to the floor.

    “Strike three”.


    With the sparring over, Sotek lend over and offered his hand to the shamefaced Whelp. He pulled himself up and retreated to the porch where he pulled out a chair and sat behind Kodlak in the hope that the other Whelps wouldn’t look in his direction.


    Kodlak, who remained quiet up to this point called out to the other Companions.

    “Aela, Sotek; middle of the yard.” He then went and stood in the courtyard while Tilma and Eorlund watched from the chairs. “Aela fight him again”.


    Sotek objected but his protests fell on deaf ears. The Harbinger had an argument ready the moment he first saw Sotek’s shield.

    “You’ve not faced her with a shield and you both need the practice. Get on with it or you’ll face Tilma and her broom”.


    Both Companions eyes popped wide open and they became transfixed on Tilma who had come outside earlier. A wicked grim formed on her face as she reached out for her broom.


    Wasting no time with threats, Aela drew her shield and dagger then closed in upon Sotek so Tilma wouldn’t get involved. The Huntress struck out with her shield, trying to shield bash him but she lacked the skill and failed to make any sort of suitable contact for the bash to work.


    Sotek retaliated with his own shield but Aela all too easily dodged it. Sotek found himself watching her feet as she danced around him. The speed in which she moved was faster than before and she seemed way more agile. He remembered the Harbinger saying she was used to Heavy armor yet the Dragonscale Armor she now wore was much lighter.


    Before he could do anything, Aela’s dagger slashed through the air to hit him in the chest. With barely enough time to react, he hit out with his shield, but she dodged the blow. He screwed his face up and snarled as he felt the blade run along his breast plate, marking a successful strike.


    The Huntress spun around and swiped her dagger diagonally downwards from Sotek’s shielded shoulder. The blow was easy to defend against and Sotek did so all too willingly. It was only then that he realised he was too eager to stop such a useless and pointless attack.


    He hesitated for a split second then Aela shield bashed him; throwing him into disarray. Before he could recover from his reeling senses, Aela cheered out as she held her dagger against his throat; ending the fight with a solid victory.


    Farkas stepped up with his sword and shield, pushing Aela out of his way. Groaning at the possible abuse he was about to suffer from, Sotek took his position and prepared to face the brutish Nord.


    Farkas started with a basic overhead swing which Sotek easily countered. He then swiped at Farkas’s side but Farkas blocked it with his shield then bashed Sotek with it straight after. He rained down blow after blow, giving Sotek little chance to recover then the Nord shield bashed into him again.


    This time Sotek was ready, he sidestepped then swiped at Farkas’s back as he was thrown off balance. Farkas himself wasn’t finished though he swung his shield in an overhead arc, forcing Sotek to lower his head to avoid the blow. Before he could do anything else, Sotek felt Farkas’s sword resting on the back of his neck. The Argonian dropped his axe and shield in defeat.


    Sotek gave out a sigh and picked up his axe and Shield.

    “Ok! Now you can pick on each other and give me break?” Then he headed to the chairs and sat down to watch the others train.


    Aela sat down next to him and nudged him with her elbow.

    “Hey, are you ok?”


    “Apart from the missing teeth you mean where you shoved your shield in my face?” Sotek looked serious when he said it but he burst out laughing when he saw Aela’s jaw drop. After he shoved her playfully in the shoulder, he pulled her close and nodded.

    “I’m fine. Fighting you three is different to bandits; it’s not so easy”.


    The Imperial Whelp moved closer to them although she made sure she kept some distance between them so she wasn’t invading Aela’s space.

    “Can I ask a question?”


    “You just have”. Aela replied wearily. Sometimes she wished the Whelp would toughen up but she knew it was wishful thinking. Wheat always bent over; it mattered not how soft the wind blew.


    “What I mean is, can I ask a second question? The one I asked being the first; third question? Can I ask a third question as I’ve asked two questions already? Well three now but they are the same question. Does that count? Damn it. Another question...” She looked around at everyone in case someone tried to hit her or even throw something while Aela seethed with anger.


    Sotek slapped Aela on the back of the head, distracting her so he could deal with the Whelp.

    “Ask your question. The question you want me to answer”.


    The Whelp looked a bit surprised and she scratched her head in wonderment.

    “How did you know I wanted to ask you the question?”


    Sotek found himself chuckling when he heard Aela groan in despair. He quickly responded to the Whelp before Aela’s fist made contact with the Whelp’s face.

    “Is that your question?”


    “No, sorry”. The Whelp said apologetically. “How come you never beat them? Even Aela who specialises in a bow beats you with a dagger”.


    Sotek gave a bit of a sigh while Aela watched him carefully. He couldn’t work out if she was curious about his answer or if she was looking for an opportunity to hit the Whelp.

    “For a start, they use only one type of weapon. Yes Aela uses a bow most of the time but she only uses a dagger in close combat. Farkas only uses a shield and a one handed blade while Vilkas uses a two handed blade. As for myself; I generally uses axes but I can fight with whatever you give me. Master of none; if you like”.


    “So it’s better to specialise then?” She asked. Sotek watched her face. It was full of curiosity and she seemed to have an unyielding need to understand.


    “This is where I disagree with the Companions, all three of them. I like the flexibility of anything, they don’t”. Sotek explained as best as he could. He hoped Kodlak would help but the old Nord just sat in his chair and listened to the conversation.


    “But they always beat you so their way is best surely”. The Whelp stated. She wasn’t convinced Sotek’s way was the best as he never won the sparing matches against the other Companions.


    “Not always. My way is best for me. However, when you fight here you do so with just your armor and skill, nothing else. I don’t think I would ever beat them in a fair fight, any of them”.


    “What about a real fight?” One of the other Whelps asked.


    Sotek looked at him sharply and stated beyond all doubt the possibility of the event ever happening.

    “That won’t happen”.


    “But if it did, would you beat them then?”


    At that point Sotek blanked him and stood up. He called out to Vilkas as he headed to the hall doors.

    “Vilkas you want to go against my axe?”


    “One handed?” Vilkas asked as he wiped his sword with a piece of linen. He always polished the blade after fighting with it. He spat on the weapon then wiped the long flat edge until it gleamed in the sunlight.


    “No. I’ve a new axe I want to try. A two handed axe”. Sotek then picked up a large Dragonbone Battleaxe which he had placed by the doors and slung it over his shoulder.


    Vilkas took one look at it and smiled.

    “This will be interesting. When you’re ready, Argonian!”


    Aela got up then went over to Farkas and sat beside him. She was bothered over what the Whelp said about Sotek and his fighting style in the yard.

    “Do you think he will ever beat us properly?”


    Farkas gave her a quick glance then his eyes went back to Sotek and Vilkas sparing against each other.

    “Huh? Who?”


    “Sotek you dumb ox. Do you think he will ever beat us? Here, in the yard?”


    “Not a chance in Oblivion. He’ll get better but so will we. No he won’t beat us. You maybe if you don’t keep practicing with you dagger; but if you keep at it then no he won’t”.


    “The Whelp asked him if he would beat us in a real fight”. Aela said quietly lest she was overheard.


    Farkas broke away from watching the sparing and gave Aela his full attention.

    “Aela what is this about?”


    Aela shrugged her shoulders then her face cringed as she watched Sotek get knocked to the ground.

    “Ouch! I don’t know. Is this his best? Out here in the yard?”


    Farkas watched Sotek get knocked back into the ground a second time. Vilkas held out his hand and helped him up. He shook his head at Sotek and Aela at the same time.

    “No it’s not. You don’t want him doing his best here”.


    “Of course I bloody do”. Aela snapped. She felt annoyed and frustrated as Farkas seemed to admit that everyone knew Sotek wasn’t really trying against them.


    Farkas gave his ‘sister’ a quick hug and pointed out something about Sotek’s psyche.

    “If he did then he would be out to kill us. Is that the sparing you want?” Then Farkas got up and headed to the training area, leaving Aela by herself. “Vilkas! Me next; I’ll give you a run for your money”. He said, giving Sotek a chance to back away from the fight.


    Sotek sat on the top step by the tables and watched both Farkas and Vilkas train against each other. Aela moved again and sat next to Sotek, pulling his arm around her. She rested her head in against his chest as he held on to her as they both sat watching the two brothers spar against each other.




6 Comments   |   A-Pocky-Hah! and 8 others like this.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  January 3, 2017
    There is something to be said about being flexible with your weapon choices. Nice to see the Companions learning and training. The Imperial girl is more restrained in this chapter. I don't feel quite as much like Orc smacking her like I usually do.  :P
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  December 5, 2016
    Fixed the errors.
    I've always favored the 'jack of all' although I doubt Sotek will ever equal the Mages skill. 
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  December 1, 2016
    All I’ve seen you in is heavy armor. You both need the (practice).

    “You’ve not faced her with a shield and you both need the (practice). Get on with it or you’ll face Tilma and her broom”.

    ...  more
  • ShyGuyWolf
    ShyGuyWolf   ·  November 19, 2016
    glad you too like Ria, I also liked her.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  November 12, 2016
    Found various errors and mistakes. Fixed them.
    Wheat and the Oak.... Very true Harrow.
    Aela (The Wife) and I like the Imperial Whelp as well. She does add some light relief to situations.
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  November 12, 2016
    Wheat may always bend over, but that's why it remains in the earth while great unyielding trees are uprooted by wind. I've nothing against the Imperial Whelp, she should keep asking questions... if only to rile Aela up, her reactions are hilarious.