U.O.T.W. Chapter 226 Whitewatch Howler

  • Chapter 226 Whitewatch Howler

    Sotek and Aela walked out of the main wooden gates from Whiterun with fang safely tucked in Aela’s arm. As they walked past the defences they could still see remnants of the attack instigated by Ulfric and his horde. The two Companions destination was an hour’s travel northwards across rugged ground and tundra; Whitewatch Tower. Despite being naught but a ruined gatehouse, it oversaw the main road to Dawnstar. Even this road had been worn down and overgrown in parts by the plains through countless years by travelers traversing the main route between the neighboring districts.


    The guard in question was easy to find; he was throwing a stick ‘playing fetch’ with his dog whilst he was on ‘guard duty’. Upon noticing the Companions, he stopped and greeted them as soon as he saw them approach. “Companions? Hello… I …. sorry’.


    Aela’s face scrunched up and she looked around her to see what was wrong but she could see nothing to give the guard cause to apologize.
    “What you got to be sorry about?”


    The guard thought he would be reported to Proventus so he explained his actions in the hopes of clemency.
    “I’m not supposed to play with the dog whilst on duty. Trouble is he gets bored”.

    Sotek cast a smile and shooed away his concerns.
    “It’s because of you and your dog that we’ve come here. Aela has a cub and she needs help with it. We’ve come to see you for some advice on how to train him”.


    The guard moved between Sotek and Aela and looked at the cub.
    “By the Nine, that’s a wolf cub”.


    Aela explained the circumstances of how the wolf’s mother was killed and that she named him ‘Fang’. The guard, as he listen to Aela story, held his hand out in front of the cub, it started sniffing his hand then licked his fingers.


    Aela reaction was priceless. Her eyes popped wide open and she gasped in surprise.
    “I haven’t seen him do that; he normally tries to nip people”.


    “It’s an animal instinct”. The guard said. “He can sense that I’m friendly; maybe due to the bond I have with my dog”.


    The guard’s face saddened and he turned away to resume guarding his post.
    “I’m sorry; I can’t train him, you need to. I would love to help but I’m afraid I can’t”.


    “Why not?” Sotek snapped back a reply looking around the tower. “Surely you can’t be that busy here?”


    “We’ve been given orders to clear out a mine. There’s reports it’s been infested with draugr; ‘the undead’. We are leaving within a few hours and plus training your ‘cub’ would take the whole afternoon”. The guard said mournfully.


    Aela sat on the partly broken wall. Not wanting to be hard done by she asked about the training on another day.
    “Oh! How about tomorrow?”


    The Soldier shook his head and sighed. They could see he wanted to help; the enthusiasm he showed and the way he was with his dog proved it; yet something was stopping him from committing to lending aid.
    “I should have explained from the start. It’s not that I don’t want to, I can’t; I’m being transferred. Proventus don’t like animals much”.


    Sotek gave the guards ‘posting’ a second glance over; the serenity and peaceful vibe in the air along with the sweet fragrance of the nearby plants gave the tower a sense of tranquility. A feint waft of game heightened his senses. Thinking to himself nobody in their right mind would want to be stationed anywhere else, he wondered as to why the guard was being moved.
    “Why did you ask to be transferred?”


    “I didn’t”. The guard exclaimed. “I prefer it out here; the other guards consider this posting as a punishment; a reprimand if you will. We only have a few bandits and the odd scuffle. The gold’s not great but he likes the plains. Out here we’ve freedom”.


    Sotek then turned to Aela and hissed as if he was blaming her for their misfortune.
    “Damn you girl! You’re always so bloody difficult. Why can’t anything with you be simple and straight forward?”


    “What? It’s not my fault”. Aela protested holding her hands up and shaking her head.


    Sotek hissed back then pointed at the Companion as well as the guard.
    “You stay here with the guard! You teach her to train Fang. Now, for the love of Hircine; tell me where this mine is”.


    The guard pointed across the plains to the west.
    “It’s near Rorikstead. It’s to the west of the village I think”.


    “Right, I’ll be back later”. Then Sotek went off leaving the guard and Aela behind.


    Nearly an hour later Sotek was entering Dragonsreach to find Irileth and Proventus discussing the clearing of the mine with Jarl Balgruuf. Sotek walked straight over to them and pushed in the conversation, interrupting them all.
    “Afternoon Jarl Balgruuf. Could I have a word with both you and Irileth?”


    “Ahh Sotek, certainly but what is it about?” The Jarl asked with a curious twinkle in his eye.


    “There’s two issues really. First off, this mine near Rorikstead? The Harbinger caught word of it and he was wondering if you would allow the Companions to deal with it. He said he could send someone out tomorrow morning at first light. Things have been rather quiet for the Companions on a whole and we could do with some action. He thinks we’re getting lazy”.


    Balgruuf looked over to Irileth and nodded his approval.
    “Splendid, that removes the guard shortage problem. Yes that’s perfect”.


    “But the guards won’t cost anything while the Companions will require payment”. Proventus exclaimed.


    “Oh shut up you pompous oaf”. Irileth declared. “We’ve not the man power to deal with a mine while maintaining the guard posts. I’ve told you that! Gold isn’t the issue and I’m sure the Harbinger won’t mind if we can only afford half the usual fee for such a task”.


    “That won’t be an issue”. Sotek quickly stated. “The second thing is the guards at Whitewatch tower. Proventus, I’ve been told that you are having the guard with a dog transferred to another posting?”


    “Yes! Animals aren’t suitable for watch duty. He won’t get rid of it so he’s being moved”. Proventus declared despite Irileth’s protests.


    Sotek gave Proventus a sneaky smile and shook his head.
    “Actually he’s not”.


    The Jarl looked at the two of them, half hoping for a battle of wits to ensue. To make sure this was the case, he goaded his aid in responding to the Argonian’s statement.


    “Oh but he is”. Proventus stated as he folded his arms across his chest. His posture was one of an overbearing baron who would smite everyone below him like a villainous overlord.


    “Sorry, but no he isn’t”. Sotek said a second time. Unlike Proventus, his stance was far more relaxed. He slid his hands in his pockets and lazily leaned against a pillar while his smug grin stabbed Proventus like a thorn in his side. “I’ve acquired a dog which is now Aela’s pet. She needs to train it so the guard will be helping her. Now, as I recall in the battle here, we saved Whiterun and along with it, Dragonsreach. Unfortunately that also meant we saved your sorry hide. This being the case Proventus, the way I see it is you owe me a favor. Leave the guard alone then our debt is settled”.


    “What? I don’t owe you anything! This is absolutely absurd. When have I ever held this city to ransom over my deeds? I’ve worked and toiled for the Jarl while you swan around like a pirate looting what you like in the ‘name of the Companions’”. Proventus went into a full blown rage at the indignity of being held hostage by the Argonian.


    Irileth’s eyebrow rose in ignominy over the aids words. She shook her head at his belittling remark regarding the Companions which she took to be of a noble band of warriors. She was about to respond to his blustering rant but as she stepped forwards, Sotek held his hand up, holding her at bay.


    The Companion was unfazed by Proventus and chuckled at some private joke between him and his past.
    “Pirate? Not in these waters… Proventus the situation is quite simple. Either you leave the guard alone, or you can tell Aela he can’t help her train the dog”.


    “Why did you get her a pet dog in the first place?” Proventus sneered as he turned towards the door. Nothing would give him more pleasure than bringing the Argonian’s harlot down in the gutter. The only trouble was the girl had claws and fangs and she wasn’t afraid to use them.


    As for Sotek, he grinned back at the aid and smugly played his trump card. Every word he spoke he hissed, knowing it caused Proventus’s ears to twitch.
    “Ahh yess, why indeed… You ssee Proventuss, Jarl Balgruuf, Irileth, it will give her ssome company. It’ss either that or sshe pickss on the Jarlss guardss while I’m away”.


    The Jarl turned to Irileth, as he spoke he noticed she was smirking. Knowing she was on his side, he passed his judgment in favor of Sotek.
    “I guess the guard stays then. That’s a good idea giving her something to fuss over”.


    “Thank you, I appreciate that”. Sotek humbly replied. He gave Proventus a wink then strolled past the fire pit and headed towards the exit leaving a flustered Aid in his wake.


    Just before he slipped outside, the Jarl called out to him and enquired about Aela’s pet.
    “Sotek, what type of dog is it?”


    Sotek froze for a second and groaned. The air smelt so fresh and clean and he was so close to escaping that he could already see outside. He thought for a moment about carrying on but he knew it was too late. The Jarl finding out was inevitable.
    “It’ss a ermm wolf”.


    “Oh nice”. The Jarl beamed back happily, not fully understanding Sotek’s meaning. “I used to have a wolfhound as well. Nice pets, loyal and strong”.


    Sotek slowly turned to face him across the length of the hall. His tail flapped around and his mouth felt dry. Maintaining his bravado, he smiled broadly and blatantly corrected the Jarl.
    “Oh it’s not a wolf hound, it’s a wolf”. Without even waiting for a reply he slid through the gap with his tail trailing behind.


    The Jarl sat there stunned. His mouth was agape ad he slowly turned to Irileth and winced.
    “He’s joking isn’t he?"


    Irileth shook her head slowly. She felt the same numbing sensation as did the Jarl.
    “I’m not sure but I don’t think he is”.


    One of the guards moved up to them and told of the events from the night before.
    “Forgive my interruption Jarl Balgruuf but I think it’s true. He brought a cub in last night”.


    “What!!” Proventus yelled, nearly screaming at the unfortunate guard. “Why didn’t you inform me straight away?”


    “He never said he intended to keep it”. The guard exclaimed. Leaving the aid in his usual rant, Irileth dismissed the guard, allowing him to resume his duties.


    The Jarl shook his head as he stared blankly at the door.
    “I’m not sure I like him anymore”.




4 Comments   |   Meli and 5 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 15
    “By the [Nine], that’s a wolf cub”.

    I don't see what's so wrong with it being an actual wolf. A pet picks up on the behaviors of its owner so it doesn't matter if it was a husky, wolfhound, or wolf, they're probably gonna b...  more
    • Sotek
      “By the [Nine], that’s a wolf cub”.

      I don't see what's so wrong with it being an actual wolf. A pet picks up on the behaviors of its owner so it doesn't matter if it was a husky, wolfhound, or wolf, they're probably gonna be the same in the end af...  more
        ·  August 18
      Well you certainly raised a question Ebonslayer.
      Is it the fact that Fang is a wolf cub or rather who has it?
      • Ebonslayer
        Well you certainly raised a question Ebonslayer.
        Is it the fact that Fang is a wolf cub or rather who has it?
          ·  August 18
        I'd be afraid of giving any sort of pet to Aela, we don't need two crazy ass dogs running around. At most I wouldn't like the wolf since it actually howls.
        • Sotek
          I'd be afraid of giving any sort of pet to Aela, we don't need two crazy ass dogs running around. At most I wouldn't like the wolf since it actually howls.
            ·  August 18
          Mind you, so does Aela......  :D
          *Looks over his shoulder....