U.O.T.W. Chapter 180 Thugs For Hire


    All the members of the Inner Circle were taking a break, sitting back and watching the Whelps spar with each other. Every so often Farkas and Vilkas would take it in turns to break the fight up and tutor the sparing Whelps as they fought. Sometimes it was something small like the bending of a knee or elbow. Other moments they gave pointers regarding footwork. On a few occasions, they stopped the fight altogether and took the Whelps places to show them new moves and countermoves.


    Sotek was looking forwards to an evening resting by the fire pit with his mate. He had arranged with Tilma to cook three pieces of venison for them and he had Aela’s favourite black fur which he was going to set down by the steps.


    Farengar in Dragonsreach however had other plans. He had a task which needed completing and he wasn’t prepared to wait forever. His thirst for knowledge was neither fierce nor great and he was patient. He was also easily distracted and he had forgotten about this particular task on no less than four occasions.


    Deciding he had wasted enough opportunities, he called over a guard and hastily scrawled a note on a scrap piece of parchment.

    “Can you take this to Sotek the Argonian? I’ve a rather dangerous task and I need someone... someone who is rough and capable. Tell him... tell him it’s in his interest to pay me a visit”.


    About ten minutes later the afternoons training was interrupted when the guard entered the yard and made his way to Sotek.

    “Farengar asked for you; I’m not sure what it’s about but he said something about needing someone ‘rough and capable’? He also mentioned that it would be worth your while to see him”.


    Aela promptly started laughing, causing Kodlak to raise his white bushy eye brows.

    “Rough and capable? And he asked for Sotek? Ha!”


    Sotek narrowed his reptilian eyes and hissed back at her. He took the scrap of parchment and read the few hastily scribbled words. Almost jumping up to his feet, he snatched Aela’s hand and yanked it, forcing her to follow.

    “I’ll be back shortly; Farengar’s found something which will be quite useful. Oi; Aela! Heel... good little bitch... Come on... come to Sotek!”


    Growling like a savage beast, Aela scrambled to her feet and ran straight at Sotek. He took one look at her face and bolted over the wall, shot past Heimskr then proceeded to run up the stairway to Dragonsreach with Aela rapidly catching up.


    She kicked her foot out, tripping Sotek up. He fell forwards and rolled into the railing, giving Aela the chance she needed to pin him down on his back.


    Straddling him, with his arms stuck under her legs, she pulled back a bone spike forcing him to look up at her.

    “Well? Have you anything to say before I tear out your heart with my fingernails”.


    “Next time I’m making you heavy armor. You move too bloody fast in this set”. His tail flicked up and whipped her across the back causing her to fall forwards. Sotek wrestled free and managed to roll her over so he was pinning her to the floor. “Anything to say before I... what can I do to you?”


    Aela smiled back at him and whispered.

    “Kiss me”.


    A low contemptable voice interrupted them, causing the two Companions to disengage.

    “Outside Dragonsreach? Really? That’s disgusting!”


    Sotek glared straight into Aela’s eyes but she knew the look of disdain was meant for someone else. He helped her to her feet then turned around and addressed the owner of the disgruntled voice.

    “Hello Proventus. How’s politics in Dragonsreach doing? Badly I expect now that you’re here. Excuse me I’ve come to see someone of importance”.


    Aela pushed past him and scowled at the man for being in her way.

    “I’m too busy to ignore you right now! Move damn you!”


    She clenched her hands together to help fight the urge to push Proventus in the ornamental pond. She grabbed hold of Sotek’s hand and squeezed it tightly, warning Sotek that she was close to lashing out. Sotek gently pushed her in front of him, forcing her towards the Dragonsreach doors lest Aela’s temper got the better of her.


    As soon as they entered the large well lit hall, Farengar called out to them.

    “Ahh you have got my message? Splendid. I need you to fetch something for me; an axe”.


    “An axe? What do you want an axe for?” Aela asked. Axes were near ten a septim especially since Sotek had arrived. He made a fair few Iron Woodcutter axes in his time here and sold them to the farmers and locals for wood chopping. They also served well for butchering the chickens and live stock when the slaughter season was upon them.


    “The axe in question is of a specific design. It was made by a erm... Well, it’s made from... it’s the enchant I want from it. This enchant has a rather useful property. Sotek, you know of the soul trap enchantment? Yes of course you do”. He seemed nervous and distracted especially when Sotek sat back in Farengar’s chair and rested his boots on the desk.


    Aela chose somewhere else to sit. She parked her haunches on the writing table and sat crossed legged on the top of the desk.


    Farengar’s eyes flicked between them both. Aela stayed as still as a statue. She was like a predator waiting for a single opportunity to pounce. Sotek rapped his clawed fingers on the top of a book. He picked it up and flicked disinterestedly through the pages as he watched the court mage shuffle about.

    “This axe... you don’t know what the hell it is or what it’s made of; do you?”


    Aela started sniggering. The mage amused her. He seemed nervous around women. Carlotta in the market, Danica the priestess. Aela terrified him; she wondered what he would be like on a date with someone. She chuckled when she imagined a maid touching his knee. She envisioned him screaming and running for the hills.

    “What do you know about it? Do you at least know where we can find this axe?”




    “Yes; yes I do”. Farengar said as he made his way around the enchant table. He finally stopped shuffling about when it was between him and Aela. There was something about her which near terrified him. Even when she was a little girl he would get the shivers if they crossed each other’s paths in the Winds District.


    He went on to further explain the significance of the enchantment and he told them everything he knew of the weapon.

    “It has a particular enchant on it; a powerful one. It’s a double enchant Sotek. Can you picture that? Two enchants bound together? As one?”


    “They share Farengar. That is all. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the two enchants”. Sotek said. He was somewhat surprised with Farengar. He seemed exited over such a trivial matter that it was almost amusing.


    “No, they don’t. This isn’t a double enchant Sotek. Somehow the two enchants co exist. They are bound together as a single enchant”.


    “What enchants?” Aela asked. She felt left out as she had no idea as to enchant relationships or any other relationship if she was truthful. She had enough problems micromanaging her own relationship with Sotek let alone any of a magical nature.


    “Soul Trap and Fire. It’s called Fiery Soul Trap. It is said that this enchant not only burns the target but it soul traps them as well. If it is truly a single enchant then we; as in us two, can learn the secret of its enchanting power. This Fiery Soul Trap spell could be used with another destruction spell. Imagine the power”. He gazed off in a trance as he imagined weapons swirling with magical energies.


    “Where is it?” Sotek asked. He started to wonder if Farengar had any idea where it was altogether. He saw himself going on a witch hunt; something he didn’t exactly relish the thought of.


    Farengar asked Sotek for his map which Sotek keenly produced. Aela looked at the piece of old leather and made out the different locations they had been to. Between the northern peaks, Farengar pointed to a narrow pathway.

    “This is Wayward Pass. The place you are looking for is to the south. It’s called Ironbind Barrow. It’s not a particularly large place. You should expect to find a few dead; undead draugr there, nothing else really”.


    Sotek folded up his map then headed towards the doorway with Aela walking by his side. He stopped just as he was reaching for the double doors and paused. With a sly grin he looked over his shoulder and called out to Farengar.

    “We’ll go to Ironbind Barrow... and we’ll retrieve this axe for you. However there is one condition”.


    Farengar looked up with some surprise. Being unable to fetch the axe himself all he could do was to accept any conditions Sotek thrust upon him.

    “Oh dear me. What.... what condition?”


    Sotek winked at Aela then called back to Farengar; confusing both the mage and the Huntress.

    “It’s imperative that you need us to leave immediately and fetch it right away; as in tonight. If anyone should ask, you want it tonight”.



    “Ok, but I don’t understand”. Farengar said as he looked on in wonder.


    “Neither do I”. Aela stated as she screwed her face up. She knew Tilma was cooking something for them and she was looking forwards to a relaxing night by the fire pit. The fact that the others were also in the hall didn’t come into it. She’d blot them out like a rain cloud on the horizon. Rain meant little to her.


    Laughing at them both, Sotek grinned then pushed open the door.

    “Good. We’ll set off within half an hour”.


    Aela followed behind him and moaned bitterly over the poor timing.

    “But it will be dark soon. I thought we’d have a bit of time together. All we’ve done for the whole of last week is sleep, shift rocks and feed the bloody forge. I want some fun damn it. We were supposed to have some time together. That was what you wanted wasn’t it? Well I thought it was. I wanted it even if you don’t”.


    He simply smiled then whispered in her ear.

    “Are you ill? You not feeling well?”


    “I’m feeling pissed off not ill. Saying that though, I’m sick of all this crap”. She stated as she huffed in disgust at Sotek.


    Sotek grinned and pointed at the two moons which had only just started climbing.

    “Night in? Or night out?”


    Aela stopped for a few seconds and thought about it.

    “Oh! It’s nearly night time”.


    She suddenly burst into life and almost ran down the stairway to the Winds District, talking two steps at a time. All the while she had a great big grin on her face.

    “It’s moments like this that I‘m really glad we‘re together; you know that?”


    Sotek chuckled at Aela’s rapid change of mood. She always seemed so alive when she was outside; the difference between being surrounded by walls or mountain ranges was staggering.

    “Why is that then?”


    “Because, my lo... Sotek, you always try to fulfil my needs”. As they walked along the path to Jorrvaskr Aela couldn’t help but lick her lips at the anticipation of the kills they were going to get. Deep inside her, Red grew restless and howled from the depths of Aela’s soul.


    Once they got back to Jorrvaskr they sought out the Harbinger with the eagerness of two cubs that could smell the fresh breeze of spring after being locked up all winter.

    “Harbinger! Sotek and I have been asked to fetch an Axe from Ironbind barrow for Farengar; he needs us to go straight away so we are heading off in about ten minutes. We’ll be back in a few days”. Aela didn’t even wait for a reply. Before Kodlak could even take in the fact that she was talking to him, Aela was already heading towards the stairwell.


    “Wait! Aela! Aela, come back here! Ironbind barrow? That’s full of draugr and the like. What in all of Tamriel does he want with that place? Why now of all times of the day? It’s almost dark... Aela!! Sit!”


    Sotek stepped in and hurriedly explained about the enchant and the urgency behind it.

    “There’s a special enchant there. It’s powerful Kodlak... My apologies. I’m a bit excited at the prospect of finding it”. He drew a deep breath then pulled out a chair next to the Harbinger.


    Once he was sitting next to Kodlak, Sotek started explaining the situation.

    “This enchant, it’s called Fiery Soul Trap. It has both fire and a soul trapping enchantment but they are the one enchant. If we get hold of this then we, Farengar and I, can add a destructive spell to it. Fire, frost or shock. Twin fire enchants soul trapping a target. You can see why we want it; yess?”


    “Yess I do Sotek. I fathom to comprehend why he wants you both to set off in this ungodly hour. Unless... Tell me this has nothing to do with a certain pair who wants to go hunting on a clear night like this; or does it?”


    Sotek acted hurt and his voice turned croaky and soft.

    “Harbinger? Really? Where iss the trusst”.


    “It was in a wooden box of mine that was kept under my bed but a certain Huntress lockpicked the chest. Why you two?” As he spoke he owlishly stared at Aela, forcing the Huntress to look away in shame.


    Now that Aela had got over the shame, she slapped the Imperial Whelp on the back of the head and pointed at the table.

    “Give me something to throw. That roll! Or the knife!”


    The Whelp looked across the table at the Harbinger in fear. Terrified of what would happen if she passed Aela anything and petrified if she didn’t hand anything over at all.


    Sotek glared at Aela and shooed her away with his hand. She wasn’t helping one little bit and he could see their opportunity slip through Reds and Scarface’s paws. Something he really wanted to avoid.

    “Well ermm... he needs me because I know what to look for”.


    Kodlak gave a sly grin and pointed to the two brothers.

    “Fine; take Farkas with you instead of Aela”.



    Aela’s jaw dropped and she gasped loudly. She pointed at Sotek and traced the tip of her finger across her neck, warning him of his rapidly approaching demise.

    Sotek gulped as he flicked between Farkas and Aela. He then went back to Kodlak and tried to convince him into letting Aela go with him.

    “Harbinger, I don’t want to overrule you or to push you into a corner but. You said you don’t get involved with domestics. These were your very own words. You said ‘I don’t get involved with domestics’. Yet here you are almost deliberately setting out to cause one, are you not? Aela’s spent a good week or so trapped in Whiterun. You know it doesn’t do her any good. Yet again, your words; you said yourself she isn’t one to be caged and here we have you personally putting bars around her”.


    Kodlak started clapping at the pair of them.

    “Oh well played Sotek. Yes you’re right; when are you leaving?”


    “In about 10 minutes”. Aela answered. She couldn’t hide the smile on her face, she was beaming.


    Almost screeching, Aela screamed as she ran down the stairway, forcing two Whelps to move out of her way. She sprinted along the Undercroft corridor to her room where she quickly prepared for the trip. Every muscle in her body strained from the adrenalin and she felt Red howling with near uncontained energy as the beast blood poured through the she-wolf’s veins.


    The two Companions checked their gear then headed to the entrance to find Kodlak and the Imperial Whelp standing by the doorway. Sotek gulped the instant when he saw her. She was wearing her plate armor; Sotek could have sworn ten minutes earlier she was in casual clothing.


    Kodlak gave Aela a cruel smile as he addressed the two Companions.

    “Ahh! For a moment I thought I missed you both. Here you go Aela”.


    He then turned to the Whelp and explained to her what was going on.

    “Aela and Sotek asked for a Whelp to join them. Well I thought why not you; after all you’ve been practicing long enough. It’s draugr you will be facing; good luck to the three of you”.


    Aela and Sotek both looked at each other in disbelief then they both stared at the Whelp. Finally they both looked at the Harbinger who stood there smiling.


    Aela grabbed the Whelp by the collar and forced her back into the double doors.

    “Stay out of my god damn way and keep up. Damn your ass”. She shoved the Whelp to the side and stormed off towards the main gate, slamming the two doors behind her.


    Kodlak slapped Sotek’s shoulder and gripped it tightly. He spoke quietly but there was a definite taint of smugness to his voice.

    “Is there something wrong?”


    Sotek just shook his head. At the end of the day that was all he could do. ‘Still’ he thought to himself; ‘all I need to do is keep them apart. How hard can it be?’ He glanced over his shoulder to Kodlak and shook his head.

    “No, nothing I can’t sort out”.


    Leaving the Harbinger feeling pleased with himself, Sotek turned his attention to more pressing matters; the Whelp. As he spoke to her, he noticed she seemed half terrified. His first task was to put her at ease.

    “Have you packed everything?”


    She simply nodded and nervously glanced at the door.


    “Good”. Sotek said. “Let’s catch her up. Now, try not to ask her too many questions, and stay out of her way as much as possible. Actually; don’t ask her any questions at all. No, in fact you might not want to talk to her what so ever. Yes; don’t talk to her at all. She’ll calm down in a day or so”.


    He gave the Whelp a cheery smile and pulled open the doors.




5 Comments   |   The Wolf Of Atmora and 8 others like this.
  • Aela The Huntress
    Aela The Huntress   ·  January 31, 2017
    Oh I feel sorry for the Whelp. Serves Sotek right for not being upfront and honest.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  January 3, 2017
    YAY! Maybe she'll die. :P
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  December 5, 2016
    Fixed the error.
    Ria..... She was thrown to the wolves... so to speak.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  December 1, 2016
    " There’s a special enchant there. It’s powerful Kodlak... My apologies. I’m a bit (excited) at the prospect of finding it”.

    Poor Ria, she was chosen to be the unlucky one to suffer Aela's wrath. I hope her death is quick and painless.
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  November 13, 2016
    I see what Kodlak is doing... though he might be going about it the wrong way. The Whelp might not even make it to the Barrow.