U.o.t.W. Chapter 340 Anger and Temperance


    It was less than half an hour when the two Companions left The Rift but even now something was swirling around Farkas’s mind. He cast a quick look down the mountainside towards Ivarstead and in particular, the inn, before bringing his horse to a stop. He glanced up at the Argonian who was a good few yards in front and called out to him.

    “I got a question for ya”.


    Sotek rode his horse back to Farkas and stopped just in front of him. Casting a curious glance, Sotek enquired on the question.

    “What is it?”


    Farkas pointed back at the inn.

    “Just what did the maid mean when she said about an Argonians tail? What tricks?”


    Sotek spurred his horse on ignoring Farkas altogether.

    “That’s between me and Aela”.


    Farkas immediately guessed there was more to it, and he saw that Sotek was vulnerable. He quickly drew alongside Soteks horse and pressed home his attack.

    “But it’s to do with sex though, isn’t it?”


    Sotek spurred his horse faster up the trail then turned it so he blocked the path. He stared straight at Farkas and growled at him.

    “Fuck off”.


    Farkas cautiously rode his horse slowly around Sotek’s own pony then slyly nodded.

    “So, it is!” He said it in such a manner that it was far more of a statement of fact rather than a guess or question. “I wonder if the other girls know about it?”


    Sotek snapped at his jaunting.

    “Farkas, shut up. That’s nothing to do with them either! Oh, to blazes with it”. Then he set off up the mountain once more.


    It was well into the mid-morning by the time High Hrothgar came into view. Sotek dismounted then tied his horse up under an overhang to give the horse some shelter from the weather, then headed inside without waiting for Farkas to catch up.


    As he stepped inside, a rather confused Angier came over to him.

    “Dragonborn? What a surprise, they never said you were coming as well. He’s in the main hall, she won’t be back down until this evening”.


    Sotek stopped dead in his tracks just as Farkas entered the hall. The Nord could feel the change in atmosphere almost instantly, mainly due to a certain Argonian’s tail thumping down in anger and frustration.

    “What’s up?”


    Sotek ignored him and went straight over to Angier.

    “What? Who’s where? She? who the hell is she?”


    Just then Vilkas came around the corner, adding to Sotek’s confusion.

    “Sotek? I thought that was you. What in Tamriel are you two doing here?”


    Hardly believing what he was seeing, Sotek snapped straight back at the unsuspecting Vilkas.

    “Why the hell wouldn’t I be here Vilkas? After all I’m the bloody Doav... whatever the hell I am. Where in Oblivion is Aela?” He then slowly turned back to Angier as the whole situation dawned upon him. “You! You said she won’t be back down until the evening… Aela? She’s with Paarthurnax? Oh, that’s great”. He headed straight towards the rear doors despite Farkas and Vilkas who tried to call him back.


    Once the doors slammed shut, Farkas, with his usual disregard for situations, grinned at Angier.

    “So, much been happening lately?”


    With a roll of his eyes, Vilkas tugged his brother’s arm.

    “Come on, we better stop him. The last thing we need is Red and Scarface fighting”. The moment however they stepped outside, Vilkas’s jaw dropped. Scarface, who he expected to see heading along the pathway, chose a more direct route and was currently clawing his way straight up the mountain side.


    Farkas took one look then slowly headed along the path.

    “Come on, it’ll be over by the time we get there as it is”. He then shouted out. “Scarface, you moron, get your ass back here”.  He then started laughing. “I hope he doesn’t, he’s a tough bastard”.


    Paarthurnax was deeply involved in a heavy discussion with Aela when he paused and turned towards the mountainside. Moments later he and Aela saw Scarface claw his way over the edge then approach them snarling. Paarthurnax, who was confused at the unorthodox entrance paced over to the edge and looked down at High Hrothgar.

    “Impressive, Dovakiin. I never seen someone come up the mountain that way before”.


    Sotek changed back but as he spoke, he eyed Aela suspiciously.

    “Yes, well. You said before that you can help me meditate on a word of power. To strengthen a shout”.


    Paarthurnax nodded in response.

    “Yes, by taking a shout inside yourself you can become one with it, adding your strength to it. Tell me, why do you wish to do this?”


    At that point, Aela, who was angry at the unwelcome intrusion, came over to them both.

    “Why the hell are you here?”


    Sotek half turned to her and sneered at her.

    “This has nothing to do with you, sod off”. He then pulled out a scale and showed it to Paarthurnax. “I’m making a new set of Dragonscale armour. The best way I found to cool it is with my frost shout. I now know the three words to that shout but I wish to make the shout stronger so I can use it to cool down the scales. Can you teach me to meditate on the words?”


    Paarthurnax nodded and headed towards the word wall.

    “Show me your Thu’um Dovakiin”.


    Sotek faced the word wall then shouted out.

    “FO KRAH DIIN”. A blast of icy wind tore through the air, striking the wall, freezing both rock and snow in a tomb of ice. 


    Paarthurnax smiled.

    “Yes, your Thu’um is strong, but what does it mean? Do you understand the meaning of the Thu’um which you shout?”


    Sotek looked at him then at Aela blankly. Aela sniggered to herself as she knew that he had no idea whatsoever.

    “Ha, ha, ha... Clueless”.


    Sotek glared at Aela then shrugged his shoulders.

    “No, I don’t. But I believe the last word, Diin is freeze?”


    Paarthurnax nodded much to Aela’s displeasure.

    “Yes, Fo Krah Diin. Frost, cold, freeze. Meditate on these words, allow them to bond within you as you focus on their meaning”.


    Despite her best efforts, the Huntress couldn’t block the conversation out. Nor could she dismiss the fact that a certain Argonian was in her presence. Sotek had barely taken a single step when Aela lashed out with her tongue.

    “Not near me, over there in the corner, you bastard”.


    Her outburst did little to impress her new master and Paarthurnax quickly turned upon her.

    “And what of you and your temper? Such lack of control and discipline... Tame that which rages in you. Now shout”.


    Aela growled then knelt down again on the furs which she laid out earlier. She drew a deep breath and tried to clear her mind of the distractions around her. When she felt she was ready, the Huntress shouted for all her worth.



    The moment Sotek heard Aela’s shout, everything was forgotten in an instant. All his focus became fixated on one word, a word he had never heard before. Unable to ignore the itch in his mind, Sotek turned to face Aela and called out to her.

    “What was that?”


    She groaned out loudly as she replied to him.

    “What was what?”


    Sotek huffed in response.

    “Do we really have to do this? That shout you just did. What was that last word? Grokiih?”


    Aela sneered at him.

    “No you moron, it was Grohiik. And it’s not a shout, not one for you anyway. Besides it’s not a proper dragon shout. It’s to help me. Piss off back to your side”.


    Sotek blanked her and turned his attention to Paarthurnax.

    “She shouted Drem Ro Grohiik. Drem is peace from Kynes peace. Ro is balance from unrelenting force. What’s Grokiih?”


    Paarthurnax looked oddly at Sotek as if he was trying to work something out. He laughed slightly then nodded.

    “Indeed, but why do you wish to know it?”


    Sotek gazed across the horizon along the plains.

    “It calls to me, like a howl in the wind. I can hear it, but I can’t make it out. It’s too faded to be clear, yet it’s there, in the distance. Why does it do that?”


    Paarthurnax shook his head at Sotek.

    “Fo Krah Diin, that is your task. Concentrate on your own meditation, Dovakiin. 


    Sotek walked off back to where he was meditating while Aela laughed at him. The next moment however a snowball slammed in the back of Aela’s head.  She got to her feet swearing profusely at Sotek.

    “You fucking son of a fucking bitch. Fuck off”.


    Paarthurnax turned to her in disgust.



    The She-Wolf snapped back at him, snarling with all her ferocity.

    “What? He’s pissing me off”. She then turned back to Sotek. “Asshole”.


    At that point Farkas and Vilkas arrived. Summing up the whole situation in an instant, the two Nords both separated as they moved to intercept their counterparts. Farkas headed off towards Sotek, leaving Vilkas to deal with the Huntress. Vilkas however, was also the one to call out to the pair of them.

    “Both of you pack it in. That’s enough for one day”.


    The rest of the day passed with just minor skirmishes. Towards the evening Aela headed down the High Hrothgar first. While Sotek and Farkas hung back a bit.


    By the time Sotek arrived back at High Hrothgar, Aela was already studying in a side room. Sotek sought out Angier, then spoke quietly to him.

    “There’s a shout I heard Aela use. It was Grohiik. Are you familiar with it?”


    Angier shook his head.

    “No Dragonborn I am not. Aela had a notebook in which she had been writing about that particular word and its meaning. At least what she thinks it means”.


    Sotek’s eyes lit up instantly.

    “Your book by any chance?”


    Angier pointed towards a corridor.

    “Why no; it belongs to Aela. She is studying it at this very moment”.


    Sotek groaned then approached Aela. She was at the table reading a book while there were two other books on the table.

    “Can I borrow the notebook about the shout Grohiik please”.


    Aela slammed the book shut then glared at him.

    “No, go away. Farkas, get this worm out of my face”.


    Sotek stormed off growling.

    “That woman’s insufferable”.


    The next morning, Sotek took longer than usual to eat breakfast. But once Aela left for the peak, Sotek entered the small study to pinch the book. However after a few minutes of frantic searching Sotek came to one conclusion. It was gone. Sotek faced the doorway cursing loudly.

    “That bitch took it with her”. 


    He angrily exited the hall and headed up the mountain to see Aela further up ahead on the pathway high above him, waving her notebook at him.

    “Oi loser, is this what you’re after?” She then turned to Red and charged up the mountain path. Sotek changed to Scarface and pursued Red as fast as he could with Farkas and Vilkas pathetically left behind. 


    Despite her leg, Red reached the mountain plateau a minute before Scarface. She quickly changed form then greeted Paarthurnax warmly.

    “Morning, I’m going to concentrate today. Sorry about yesterday. I’ll be a good student, I promise”. Without a further word Aela laid out her skins then proceeded to meditate on the three words Paarthurnax taught her. 


    Scarface however hit the top of the mountain running at full bore. Paarthurnax called out to him, but Scarface’s blood was running hot and he just blanked the dragon completely. Paarthurnax wasn’t used to such treatment, so he blocked Scarface’s way with his head as he glared at the werewolf. 


    Scarface just pushed the dragons head aside as he headed straight at Aela, much to Paarthurnax’s displeasure. Aela, who was kneeling down on three furs to protect herself from the snow laden floor, got to her feet and stood her ground, shoving Scarface in the chest.

    “Don’t you snarl at me you bastard”.


    Sotek transformed then pushed Aela back in retaliation.

    “Why the hell are you here? What the hell are you up to?”


    The ground shook as if there was an earthquake when Paarthurnax slammed his tail down as he strode over to Sotek.

    “How dare you come here to my mountain and push me aside like I’m an insignificant worm”. 


    Sotek half turned to the dragon and sneered at him.

    “Back off”.


    Paarthurnax shoved his maw against Sotek as he snorted.

    “You try my patience. Don’t”.


    Sotek angrily turned to him, but then instinct took over and before he knew it, Sotek shouted at Paarthurnax.

    “FUS RO DAH”. The force blast pushed Paarthurnax down to the ground and shook him off his feet. Sotek stepped forwards and shoved his finger against Paarthurnax. “I said back off!”


    The next second Aela pulled viciously on Sotek’s arm spinning him around, then without thinking she slapped him hard across the face.

    “You leave him alone, damn you. Fuck off”. As she moved towards the Dragon, Sotek grabbed her by the collar and pulled her towards him. She looked up terrified as Soteks hand lifted up to return the blow that she struck. In a moment of clarity, Sotek stopped then let her go. He looked past her at Paarthurnax who was only just recovering from the shout, then he silently walked off down the mountain. As he started heading down the path, he saw Farkas and Vilkas with Angier, but he ignored all three of them as he made his way to High Hrothgar.


    Paarthurnax staggered to his feet then threw his head side to side as he shook off the remainders of the shout’s effects. He turned to Angier to which he spoke to first.

    “He’s not the one we were hoping for, we’re running out of time, and our choices are wearing thin”.


    Angier looked at the dragon with concern.

    “Wearing thin? There is no other, he was our best hope. What now?”


    Paarthurnax shook his head as he turned back towards the word wall.

    “He is too arrogant, he’s too violent. He’ll turn from the path”.


    Aela slowly walked up to Paarthurnax and held him by the side of his face.

    “Are you ok?”


    Paarthurnax turned to her with some surprise.

    “What? Yes, just disappointed”.


    Aela spoke softly as she laid the blame on herself.

    “He wasn’t always like that. He isn’t like that. It’s my doing, I used him. I vented my anger on him, I have done for a year. A whole year, they’ll tell you the same. He’s not violent, or angry. He‘s caring, calm, level headed. He’s not himself, this isn’t him. I wish you met him before I poisoned him. That’s why I need help, I can’t control myself, I caused him to be like this. This isn’t him, blame me. It’s my fault. Farkas, Vilkas tell him. Tell him everything”. Aela walked off and picked up her furs, then she sat against the word wall with the furs keeping her warm while Farkas and Vilkas explained all that had recently happened.


    A few hours later Farkas and Vilkas headed back down the mountain towards High Hrothgar to find Sotek sitting on the rope bridge with his feet dangling over the side. He was just staring out into space when they neared him. Vilkas called out to him, gaining his attention.

    “We need to talk, but not on the bloody bridge”. The three of them headed down the slope to High Hrothgar where they talked for a few hours in the courtyard. Vilkas told Sotek a few honest truths, which Sotek to his credit accepted without question. “Since you and Aela had that big fight, you’ve been one arrogant bastard. Aela knows it so does the Harbinger and even Ebony said it”.


    Sotek slumped down as he listened. He felt his hands shake with anger, but not at what was being said but rather at himself.

    “I need to get back on track, I’ve lost my way”.


    Farkas gave him a punch in the arm for emphasis.

    “You need to sort things out with Aela, you’re hurting and so is she. Fix it, even if you’re both just friends. Fix it while there’s something to fix”.


    Sotek sadly shook his head at the suggestion.

    “There’s nothing to fix. We’re nothing but enemies now”.


    Vilkas prodded Farkas, egging him on.

    “Why me? Very well. Sotek, she took the blame, all of it. She told him she wound you up last night with the book and she egged you on this morning. She blamed herself for all your actions. Now a lot of the blames on her shoulders but not all of it. Sort it out, while you can”.


    That night Sotek headed back to the top of the mountain to speak with Paarthurnax. The Dragon was asleep, he had coiled around himself in the curve of the word wall which Sotek had learned his third fire shout from. As Sotek approached, Paarthurnax awoke and moved towards him sluggishly.

    “I think you have said enough Dovakiin. Why do you come here again? At this hour?”


    Sotek drew his axe and shield and threw them both to the wayside, disarming himself. He then approached Paarthurnax, only stopping when he was less than a foot from the dragon’s maw.

    “I said a lot of things, but I haven’t said what I need to. Paarthurnax, I’m sorry. I was disrespectful to you earlier; you didn’t deserve that. Tomorrow… I’ll help you where I can with Aela, she is troubled. We both see it. But for me, this Dovakiin? My journeys finished. I’ll have no further part with him; I’m done”.


    Paarthurnax looked at him with some surprise.

    “And how do you expect me to respond to that? Is it your way of begging me to help you?”


    Sotek looked at the dragon right in the eye.

    “Help me? I expect you to respond by listening to me. This Dovakiin, it’s not worth the price. I can feel a piece of me slip away every day. I’m losing myself and he’s taking over. That’s a price I’m not willing to pay. You seek a Dovakiin, then find another. I’m done with him. No amount of power is worth that price. I’m sorry for earlier”. 


    As Sotek turned around Paarthurnax called out to him.

    “You would happily turn away from such power?” 


    Without turning back, Sotek answered.

    “You would happily see me get corrupted by it?” Then quietly, Sotek headed towards the western side of the mountain. He walked at a slow leisurely pace as he gazed out across Skyrim’s landscape.


    Unbeknown to him, as he set off towards the top of the mountain, Aela was shoved outside by Farkas and Vilkas, with the express orders of discretely following Sotek and listening to what he had to say. She shook her head at the whole idea, but she did as she was asked and quietly shadowed him as he made his way up the path. 


    Once he said his peace to Paarthurnax, Aela stepped out of the shadows.

    “You weren't corrupted by it before,” Aela softly said. The trials and strain from the last few days worn her down, draining her. "So... why now? What changed?”


    Sotek kept his eyes on the distant landscape. He remembered when, months before, he ran the plains with the Huntress by his side. He turned to the Nord, silently wishing to go back to then, back to when things made sense.

    “Because before, I had you. Even just as a friend, you were there. Now I have nothing but anger, which rapidly turns to hate. Anger and power combine to form a fire. This fire rages within. It destroys all that is good in a soul, corrupting it, turning that person into a living wraith, Oblivion bent in bringing destruction and terror to this world and all who dwell in it.  All it takes for evil to grow and flourish is for the good to do nothing. I’m standing back and letting it grow, take hold. Well, no more will I stand idle and let this corrupt me”. Sotek didn't wait for a response, not from Paarthurnax, nor the Huntress. He simply turned around and headed back to High Hrothgar, leaving them both behind him.


    He only managed a few paces when Aela ran towards him. She pulled his arm, forcing him to turn and face her. She tried to hold back the tears, but she couldn’t. The pain inside was far too great to withstand. She started crying as she spoke.

    “You were such a good friend to me in the past. You were always there. I miss him. I miss my friend; he was the only one I had”.


    Sotek turned to her and wrapped his arms around her. She clung on to him desperately as he held her tightly, then she sobbed in his chest.

    “I want him back, please! I need him”.


    Sotek carried her over to the word wall then wrapped a few furs around her as he set her down in the shelter of the wall.

    “I’ve always been your friend. I just lost my way a bit, that’s all”. He sat with her, cradling her in his arms, until she fell asleep, but even then Sotek held on to her. 


    Half an hour later Paarthurnax moved silently towards him.

    “You asked why I said you didn’t need the armor you collected. Tell me Dovakiin, that armour scrap you keep. Do you need it now?”


    Sotek took a deep slow breath to help him as he battled his own emotions. He gave the resting Huntress a light squeeze, using her presence as a way of bringing a calmness to his emotional state. Once he regained control, he was ready to answer Paarthurnax’s question.

    “No, no I don’t. I’ve got all I need right here. I always had; I just didn’t see it”.


    In the morning, Aela awoke to find herself surprisingly comfortable despite the harsh mountain weather. Paarthurnax had kept his wing over her to keep the frost off her while she slept, and Sotek had changed to Scarface to keep her warm. She gently shook the werewolf, waking him up. Within moments Scarface changed back to Sotek, Aela however stayed sitting in his arms, holding on to him.

    “I have to tell you something, please understand”.


    Aela felt the tears quickly return so she tried to hold them back as much as she could.

    “I need you as a friend. You’re the only friend I have, and I can’t lose that for anything”.


    Sotek gave her a hug as he kissed her forehead.

    “Friends then. Let’s work on being really good friends”.


    Aela smiled then gave him a hug.

    “That sounds good. But I’m gonna be here a while, I’ve got some serious meditating to do”.


    Sotek dismissed the Huntresses concerns about the length of time she needed with Paarthurnax.

    “No need to fret, Aela. I’ll wait. What are you trying to achieve anyway?”


    Aela smiled at the dragon who was now awake as well.

    “Paarthurnax is trying to help me control my temper, so I don’t lash out so much”.


    Upon hearing this, Sotek started laughing.

    “Paarthurnax is trying? I thought you were the trying one… very trying!”


    “I am trying”. Aela stated until she realized just what the Argonian had meant. “Hey!”


    Sotek chuckled again as the Huntress punched him lightly in the arm.

    “Dragons live for eternity, don’t they?”


    Paarthurnax cast a confused look at him.

    “Yes, our soul’s immortal”.


    Sotek smiled as he pointed at Aela.

    “You’re teaching Aela to control her temper? Are you sure forever’s long enough?”


    Aela’s jaw dropped as she stared at him.

    “Huh? Like you can talk. You Fus Ro Dah’d Paarthurnax”. The next moment Sotek flinched as Aela smacked him on the back of the head. 


    Paarthurnax laughed at him.

    “Since you put it like that, maybe not”.