C.o.t.W Chapter 97: The Mysteries of Jade

  • The Priest of Domination floated slowly toward Hasir, but as it did so, its body seperated into four equal parts. They surrounded the

    Argonian who wielded his bow proudly and knew that attacking all four priests at once would be foolish. yelped and ducked as all four

    priests thrusted with their spears at the exact same time.

     

    Four priests? how can that be? Hasir thought as he looked at each of the priests of dominations. He finally came to the realization

    that the other three priests were illusions; mere projections of the true Konahrik who, Hasir saw, looked no different than the three

    imposters. 

     

    The argonian's tail thudded angrily to the ground; kicking up scant amounts of dust as it fell. He knew there had to be a way of

    discerning the fakes from the real one, other then attacking them outright. Finally, after minutes of scrutinizing all four priests, he

    came to a realization that the fake priests of domination, while they wore the same tusked mask and blue robe that the real Konahrik did,

    but the copies looked a little too see-through whereas the real priest was more solid.

     

    A blue light sprang to life in Hasir's claw as he said some word, which materialized into a bow. Smiling, he placed an arrow on the draw

    string and fired, the 'priest' faded into midair. Hasi smitked as he did the same with other three illusionory priests, until it was only him

    and the true Konahrik left standing, even though the priest was floating.

    Hasir manuveured himself not he was near the pristine dragon-headed statue. He snarled at the priest of domination, who

    moved toward him, brandishing his spear, ready to strike. The argonian rolled behind the statue to dodge the attack. He had expected

    to hear the crumbling of stone as the busts succumbed to the attack, but he didn't hear anything. He came out too late as the priest

    of domination spotted him and flung its shield at him. The Argonian leapt through the air so that the shield bounced off of

    the tip of his tail instead of his head.

     

    Hasir landed in front of the priest just as the shield thudded in the wall of the chamber. The priest's bored eyes narrowed as he flung

    the spear towards the Argonian who caught the spear, smirked wolfishly and flung it as hard as he could at the priest. Hasir did not expect

    much to happen but gaped asthe spear to phaze through the priest. Hasir dodged a bolt of shadow magic that hit the wall with

    such foce that bits of it fell away. 

     

    Seeing no other alternative other than his death, he knelt down on the dirt floor and prayed to Kynareth and Hircine to intervene. He

    heard nothing for the longest time, then light shot out of the nearest priest of domination bust's eyes and shot diectly at Konahrik. He saw

    the same thing happen with the other piests' bust causing Konahrik to glow eerily bight for a second and then crumble like, like rubble, to

    the chamber floorrr. Hasir heard a distant rumbling coming from the stone stuctue, turned and stared, wide eyed, as the dragon's mouth

    began to open.

     

    Hasir went over, sifted through the ashes, found the mask and placed it inside the now open dragon skull. Bluish-black light shined

    from within the empty eye sockets and shot towards the center of the room. The orb of light widened until the Argonian could see

    something circular floating inches above the floor.  

     

    The Argonian strode over looked at the strange spiked, round key and saw an aura of bluish-black light extending outward from the

    from the object. Apprehensive, Hasir reached out a clawed hand and touched the cool, black metal.

     

    As soon as he did that, he saw, similar to an elder scroll, a projection of Skyrim. He was going to cast the key away and never have

    it see the light of day when the projection moved far to the north from where it started; in the very chamber Hasir now stood. 

     

    The projection should crystal blue river and snowy white mountains as it soared over the land, coming to rest on a small island in the

    sea to the north of Solitude called 'the sea of ghosts,' Hasir did not know the significance of the name. The image raced alongside the

    western edge of the small island until he saw a small opening in the rock wall that dominated that region. 

     

    The image faded and the key lay dormant once more-except for the perpetual aura that surrounded it. Feeling his job was done,

    Hasir fished in his bag for the wooden mask and placed it on his head once more, clutching onto the strange key that he knew must

    be for opening the temple, as the proud dragon statue deteriorated before his eyes. He rushed to the now dormant priest masks,

    grabbed all eight plus the mask of Konahriik and hastily put them in his bag before they were gone completely as the erosion

    continuously ate away at the statue. 

    Hasir heard frigid wind blowing outside the snow covered ruin, circumnavigated it and worked his way to the staircase where he,

    Inigo and Aela parted ways and ascended it, not knowing what to expect; his worst fear was to run into some kind of undead

    dragon, trapped within the confines of the ruins after a cave in.

     

    Hasir shook his head as he neared the top of the stairs,

    "If that were the case and Inigo ran into it, he would've died of fright and Aela wiuld have to battle the beast and then explain to

    Kodlak the tragic tale." He laughed at the thought of Aela telling the harbinger that the dragon had turned Inigo to stone.

     

    Hasir reached the top of the stairs and saw a massive grey door set into the cliff face. He scrutinized the door, pushed it open and

    found himself in a high ceilinged room with a massive stone door at the end with strange stone markings adorning each ring.

     

    The Argonian's tail flopped about angrily as he swore under his breath,

    "How in Oblivion am I supposed to open this?" His question echoed aound the empty hall. He began searching the room for something that

    would unlock the door.

     

    Hasir's claw closed around a small object nestled against a bit of rubble in the far left corner of the room. Hasir glanced at the claw

    and saw the same perculiar symbols on the back of it, went to the door and rotated the symbols so that they matched the claw and,

    finding a bronze insert, pressed the claw to it and stood back as the stone rings began rotating so that the same symbol was uniform

    throughout. When the door had finished its dscent, Hasir stepped into another, more impressive room with endless stone pillars standing

    aside a wide stone path that stretched into infinity. Hasir had to squint as the torches only illuminated a few feet in front of him. 

     

    He, again, tapped into his ability to become one with the wolf and, using Twilight's eyes, was able to see past the limits of his normal

    vision and saw the nord and khajiit. Hasir saw that they were building a campfire a few hundred feet in front of him. He sensed

    danger on the air. 

    Hasir ran towards them, hands waving in the air,

    "What in Oblivion are you idiotss doing?" He hissed

     

    Aela looked at him rather annoyed,

    "Well, I was about to warm myself and Inigo by the fire," She threw up he hands and sighed, "but, we've got to pack up just because

    some stupid Argonian told us of a danger that," she furrowed her black eyebrows, "hmmm, doesn't seem to exist." She turned to

    Inigo and asked if he saw any 'danger.' The khajiit shook his head, warming his hands over the fire.

     

    Aela turned to Hasir, shrugging and smiling maliciously,

    "Well, you disgusting pile of scales, I guess we've nothing to-" The rest of her sentence was cut off by a loud roar that came from their

    left.

     

    Hasir looked as confused as Inigo did. They exchanged worried glances. When they locked eyes, they could tell what the other was

    thinking: How in Tamreil can there be a dragon here? We must be at least a hundred feet below the ruins' surface. Botth the Argonian

    and khajiit's jaws dropped as a huge skeletal dragon lumbered out from the shadows and let out a horrible roar as a huge stream

    of rfost flew out of its mouth. Hasir, Inigo and Aela flung themselves behind the nearest pillar to avoid getting frozen.

     

    Aela leapt out, drew her bow and was about to fire when Inigo caught Aela's eye and shook his head disapprovingly,

    "Better not, my friend, we can't fire upon such a pitiful creature. We might piss it off even more. Poor thing's probably lost."

     

    Aela lowered her bow and barked a laugh at the blue khajiit,

    "Lost? Pitiful? Inigo, did that fire burn what little brains you have or are you just stupid? For all we know this thing could've

    been sent by the Doomstrider, or, Hircine forbid, Molag Bal himself. We must put it down. Do you really want it to terrorize the world 

    above?" Inigo was going to argue the point but knew it was pointless to do so; especially with Aela.

     

    Hasir fished in his quiver for an arrow, nocked it and fired. A defeaning roar rocked the cavern as its skeletal body light up white; slowing

    him somewhat. The dragon regained his footing and walked slowly toward the three adventurers. The argonian's eyes flitted to a puddle of

    water and shot an arrow into it; the puddle lit up as several tiny blue arches dance upon it.

     

    The dragon smelled the danger a bit too late as it stepped into the puddle, its entire body seized up as it got electrified. The dragon took a

    shaky step toward the trio and gave one last pitiful roar as its body crumpled to the stone floor.

    Hasir crept slowly to the skeleton, afraid that it might rise again, this was shared by the nord and khajiit, their eyes wide with

    wonder. After several minutes of riffling though the skeleton, he found some dragon bones, put them into his bag and walked over to the

    nord and khajiit who were enjoying a venison chop that Aela cooked over the fire from a deer she'd killed days previously. 

     

    When she saw Hasir, she cut up the venison chop, and gave a piece to him.

     

    He looked at her, screwing his face up in disgust and then looked uncertainly about him at the macabre ruin.

    "Aela, of all places, why would you want to eat here? We could just eat back at Jorrvaskr."

     

    Hasir gave them one last, disapoving glance and left the chamber. Aela looked at Inigo who shrugged, saying that Hasir may look and

    act mad sometimes but he means well. Aela slowly nodded and extinguished the fire, scattering the stones so that they looked like

    they'd been there all along and she and Inigo left the chamber after the argonian

     

    Hasir, Aela and Inigo left the ruin, mounted their horses and rode back to Whiteun. They paid Skulvar the usual price for stabling

    their horses, went inside the city and went up to the mead hall. opened the door and saw the companions sitting at the table, mugs

    of mead in front of them.

     

    Hasir, Inigo and Aela sat down, looked around at everyone who had their mugs raised. Aela spread her arms and scanned the room, her

    eyebrows raised.

    "What in Oblivion is going on? Did everyone get drunk and forget themselves?" She asked, confused

     

    Kodlak poured two mugs of mead, knowing Inigo could not handle the honey wine and slid them down the table toward the

    Argonian and the nord, who were fortunate to catch them; even Hasir, still beating himself up over the mead fiasco that occured a

    couple of nights ago, caught his with, thankfully, lightning quick relexes. He looked at his own mug and asked the harbinger what

    they were celebrating.

     

    Kodlak turned to him and looked taken aback; shocked that the Argonian didn't already know, as word got around fast in Whiterun,

    "Did you not hear? Due to your heroic deeds in Labyrithian, you have all the priest of domination masks so we can finally move

    ahead with our plan to attack Molag Bal's temple."

     

    Hasir grabbed something out of his bag and slid it across the table to the harbinger. Kodlak looked at it in confused amazement,

    "Not only that but I also managed to get this for all my trouble trying to kill thee last two."
     

    Kodlak glanced at him as if he were going to say more on the subject.

    "Did you? Succeed I mean. You obviously must've since you brought this to my attention." He said, holding up the key.

     

    Hasir stared at the harbinger and snarled,

    "Of course I did. Would I be sitting here taking to you if I didn't?"

     

    The harbinger thought of the Argonian's body lying in the ruin surrounded by eight victorious undead priests and shook his head.

    "Of course not, my apologies. So where exactly is this temple we are supposed to be finding?" He looked at Aela and Inigo who both

    nodded as Kodlak had voiced their concern. the entire mead hall echoed this motion of uncertainty as well;; thumping their mugs on the

    table in impatience. 

     

    Hasir told them that he'd seen a vision when he touched the black key in Labyrinthian that led him to the cave where the temple was

    hidden, though what it did not show was a way to open the cave if it was closed and not only that, but it also did not show him what was

    inside. Kodlak stood up, strode over to where Hasir sat, smiled and told him that if all goes well, than their might be more rwards than him

    gaing full companion status, that is if if he leads them to the portal to the other world.

     

    Hasir looked at him, shocked. He'd thought there was a portal already, after all, he helped find it.

    "What do you mean other portal? What happened to the one in Glenmoril Coven?"

     

    Kodlak sighed and slumped into a nearby chair,

    "Hasir, the one in Glenmoril Coven... it... it got destroyed in an earthquake. Hopefully this one will stay intact. Bronjuulf told me a

    dragon destroyed it. You don't know anything about that... do you?" He said, his eyebrow raised

     

    The argonian cocked his head to the side,

    "No I haven't, but I do know what may've caused it." 

    The argonian told Kodlak about the undead dragon that got electrocuted deep with Labyrinthian that, with its dying breath, emitted a high

    pitched roar that he guessed caused the cave-in that destroyed the portal in Glenmoril coven. Hasir reached into his bag and extracted the

    masks of the seven priests of domination that the circle killed as well as the two he killed and slid them, one after the other, toward the

    harbinger.

     

    Kodlak looked at them in shock, completely lost for words. He could feel the masks hum with magical energy even without touching

    them.

    "What, how?" He looked up from the masks, directly into the Argonian's blue eyes. Finally finding his voice, he said, "Did you kill all

    these priests?" He asked stupidly

     

    Hasir told him, rather matter-of-factly, that the circle killed the first eight and that he killed the last two, rather bravely, if he was to be

    honest. Kodlak stood up and gestured Hasir to stuff the masks back into his bag. Kodlak told him to come to the undercroft with him; the

    Argonian agreed, walked down the stairs after Kodlak and went straight to his room. Hasir was uncertain why they were here. Kodlak, on

    the other hand, sat down at the round table at the rear of the office and patted the empty seat, inviting Hasir to sit in the chair.

     

    The argonian's face screwed up into a look of apprehesion as he walked slowly toward it and sat down, staring at the harbinger,

    "Sso harbinger, what iss thiss about?" He asked nervously as he fiddlied with his claws atop the table surface

     

    Kodlak looked owlishly at the Argonian who told him to relax; the Argonian did so,

    "Calm your wolf, Argonian, you are not in trouble." He said calmly, "I brought you down here to impart a message."

    The argonian stopped fidgeting and glanced at Kodlak with baited breath,

    "Hasir, why I called you down here was to say that we should return to the chapel and confer with Hircine before we make our, that

    is to say yours, mine, Inigo's and the circle's, next move." Hasir opened his mouth to asked why they need to go there but closed it

    again as he understood. He instead told Kodlak what happened when he fought the last two priests of domination as well as the

    destruction of the nature conduits. Kodlak listened carefully to the whole story, not wanting to miss a single detail. 

     

    When Hasir stopped, Kodlak eyed him with quiet concern and asked him if what he found in Blackreach came in handy. Hasir nodded,

    saying it most definitely did. He also told Kodlak of his adventures in runoff cavern as well as how he  weakened Molag Bal after

    finding and destroying three of the four nature conduits.

     

    Kodlak stared at him with wide eyes, shocked that Hasir did not have the foresight to destroy all four conduits,

    "You mean to say you've only found three conduits? Have you any clue were the fourth is?"

     

    Hasir shook his head, causing Kodlak to groan. At that moment, Aela burst in and told Kodlak that Farengar told here that he felt a

    strange magic coming from the sea of ghosts; saying something about another conduit activating. Kodlak told Aela and Hasir to

    investigate. The nord asked Kodlak what he was going to do. In response, he told here he had some business with Hircine that he

    must see to. Aela nodded and gestured to Hasir to come with her. Hasir looked confused as he raised a spiky eyebrow at her. She said

    she would explain on the way and that Inigo, Farkas and Vilkas were coming too.

     

    Aela nodded and left the room, the Argonian following behind her. He followed Aela up the stails and into the main room of the hall.

    The argonian found Vilkas and Farkas, looking up and him and wearing the same confused expression that he did. Hasir sat down as

    Aela sat next to him. Hasir asked where the other whelps were.

     

    The female nord looked at him for a second; her train of thought momentarily derailed.

    "Other whelps? Oh right, they are still sleeping in their rooms, yes the high elf and khajiit too." She said, answering Hasir's

    questioning look.

     

    She slammed her hands on the table, forcing both her and Hasir's mind to snap back to the matter at hand.

    "Right, so the old man thinks you are the one who can lead us to the last conduit." Hasir looked at her as if she was a succulent deer he

    was unsure how to eat. Aela took her dagger from its sheathe and dug it deep into the table, "Look, you stupid Argonian, I hate

    everything about your race, but Kodlak made us work together... so if you don't know what I'm talking about, can't you at least fake

    it? By Hircine your race is as dumb as a pile of rocks." 

    Hasir snarled at her; Aela wrenched her dagger free and whacked him on the muzzle with the flat side of it,

    "Ow! What did you do that for?" He said, massaging his muzzle

     

    Aela stood up and stuck her tongue out at him.

    "For being so damn impertinent." She said

     

    Hasir put up two claws. Aela glanced away from him to try and solidify how much she did not want to be outdone by this reptile,

    "Two reasons: one because I despise your making fun of my race and two  I snarled because my racial background is very

    importnant to me and I will not have you strutting about the mead hall befouling the proud name of Argonia."

     

    Aela scratched her head. She'd never heard of Argonia and she wagered that Hasir had never heard of it eithre,

    "What in Oblivion is an Argonia? Is that a disease that you filthy reptiles get?"

     

    Hasir, getting fed up with her attitude, threw himself at her, fangs bared and, before Aela's eyes transformed into Twilight and Aela

    into red. The two wolves circled each other snarling for a minute and then flung himself at red, biting every inch of fur he could find.

     

    In his office, Kodlak lokked up at the ceiling as he heard snarls and yelping. He went upstairs and looked shcoked and a bit angry as

    the scene unfolded. He cleared his throat, the wolves ignored this and kept going at it. The harbinger strode over to red and

    whacked her on her nose with a mug he'd grabbed from the table, despite not knowing who started it. This action only served to

    make Twilight dig his fangs in deeper.

     Kodlak placed the mug on the table, placed his boot on Twilight's side and pushed hard; the black and white wolf soared across the

    the floor and hit the door leading to the city so hard he fell to the wood floor like a sack of kwama droppings. Kodlak glanced at the wolf,

    fearing he mgiht be dead. 

     

    Twiliight got up, shook the unconsciousness out of his eyes and rounded on Kodlak, teeth bared and snarling. Frightened Kodlak

    drew his sword and pointed it at Twilight,

    "Twilight, er, Hasir, now don't do anything you might regret, I am one of you." He said staring into Twilight's icy blue eyes as if they

    were pits of Oblivion. "Twilight you don't want to do this, just put those away before you hurt anyone." This had no effect on the wolf

    as he steadily advanced on the harbinger. Red whined and transformed back into the nord female and leapt in front of her

    grandfather, training an arrow on the ferocious wolf. Twilight did not let this phaze him as he lashed out; grabbed the bow with his

    teeth and tried to wrestle it out of Aela's grasp, but the nord held tight. 

     

    When Twilight grew bord of the struggle and transformed to his Argonian form, the nord slumped against the table edge, breathing

    heavily and collapsed into unconsciousnss. Hasir strode over to her wearing an apologetic look.

     

    The harbinger scrutinized her body for any signs of damage.

    "Aela are you hurt?" She failed to rsepond, Kodlak repeated his query a bit louder, still no response. Kodlak rounded on Hasir, pinning

    him against the wall with bowarm, Hasir, gods help me, if Aela doesn't awaken, I will make you wish you were never made a werewolf, are

    we clear? It will be your job to see Aela to the temple and make sure she is alright, understood?" Hasir nodded nervously

     

    Kodlak released the Argonian. He still fixed him with his owlish glare, his anger rising.

    "What in Oblivion were you thinking, if anyone saw you two.. do you want to whole of Tamriel to know our secret?"

     

    Hasir took a deep breath and answered him with a straight face.

    "But no one outside the mead hall did see," He sighed, "I became offended when Aela told me that my race was as she put it 'dumb

    as rocks.' So I transformed into my wolf form and attacked her,"

     

    Kodlak looked at him, taken aback,

    "Do you not use your conscious and wonder what would happen if you transformed here when, if I'm not mistaken, you are nort permitted

    to." He froze mid-sentence, catching Hasir off guard, Kodlak smiled, "Er, I mean, I decided to give you a second chance and if you prove

    yourself, I will have Hircine return your bipedal werewolf form."

     

    Hasir asked Kodlak what changed his mind. Kodlak eyes unfocused as he scratched his neck,

    "I, er, well, I... got shown myself by Tilma and Severio and didn't like what I saw." He said, grinning uneasily

    Kodlak ushered Hasir, who knelt down and hefted the unconscious nord over his shoulder, towards the door, promising if Hasir did

    anything like this again, there would be no second chances. Hasir gulped, nodded uneasily and left for the temple.

     

    Once outside the mead hall, The argonian turned right and walked to the temple and knocked, Danica smiled as she opened the

    door and gestured them inside. She looked at the unconscious nord,

    "Well, glad to see it's not you this time." She said chuckling 

     

    Hasir cast her a quick glance and snarled. This action caught Danica offguard.

    "Danica, we've no time for this. Do you have any spare beds?" He cast around, "As most of them are taken by, I assume, injured

    soldiers and farmers."

     

    Danica nodded and walked over to the stone bed by the rear wall of the temple,

    "Hasir, put her down here, Milsha!" She called into the rear room.

     

    A green scaly head appeared, thoroughly put out that she'd been so rudely interrupted,

    "Yes Danica, what is it? I am very busy trying to finish my alchemy homework for the College of Winterhold." Danica shook her head.

    The female Argonian sighed, closed the book she was reading and strode over to the slab, where the unconscious nord lay. 

     

    Milsha looked from Danica to Hasir and back again,

    "How exactly did she come to be like this?" Danica was about to say something but words failed her so she passed the topic onto

    Hasir, "I'm sso ssorry Milsha, but, my friend her sseems to have ssuffered an accident." 

     

    Milsha seeing right through his lie, snarled and slammed her hands on the stone slab,

    "Don't fuck around with me Hasir, The river runs swiftly in these woods, Now I ask you again, What Happened?" 

     

    Hasir told her the whole story, from her insulting their, his and his eggcousin's, race, the fight that happened soon after to how Aela's

    wound landed her here. Milsha looked like a volcano that threatened to explode. She, however, kept her composure and started to

    think on a way to heal her, she knew standard healing magic would work only for small wounds and this was clearly beyond any

    standard healing spell. She turned to her eggcousin and looked on in shock as Hasir, smirking, took something out of his pocket and

    placed it onto the stone slab near Aela's head.

     Milsha cocked her head in Hasir's direction pointing at the strange stone,

    "Erm, sorry if I seem rude, but what in Oblivion is that?"

     

    Hasir closed his eyes and sniggered,

    "Calm your scales egg-kin, that," He said, eyes open as he gestured to the stone, which had begun to glow and dull orange, "is a

    material called Jade. "The akaviri, well, the region of Ka'Po'Tun, used to used stone made from this material as healing stones to heal

    the home of any evil spirit that just might wander in uninvited." Milsha pointd to the stone and asked if something similar was

    happening to Aela; if she had an evil spirit inside of her. Hasir gave her a deadpan stare, "No, you see it was my wolf who did the

    damage, not an evil spirit; anyway, the akaviri also used these stones to balance the good energy within themselves as well as their

    dwellings with the bad, or attempt to anyway, with stone similarly made of jade, known as yinyang stones. What I brought with me

    today, I believe, is both a healing stone and a yin yang stone."

     

    Hasir eyes went wide as he noticed the orange light glowing brighter. Milsha gasped as the orange light got enveloped by the nord's

    body. It had orange outlines that soon formed more intricate patterns as it flowed over her entire body. The intricacies of the light 

    dimmed as it retreated into Aela's body. It returned to the stone, forming a yin yang of light and it vanished as quickly as it had come.

     

    Both Argonians waited patiently for the nord to awaken but she just lay there. Hasir knew the healing took some time but this was

    ridiculous. Danica came over, carrying a wooden tray with two slices of honey lavender bread, tankards of mead and juniper berries

    upon it,

    "I thought, while her body does what it needs to do, you two can enjoy a snack." She smiled as she set the tray down on a stone

    slab near the one that the two Argonians were gathered around and sat on the edge of the stone slab, placing the tray beside her.

     

    Milsha grabbed a piece of bread and bit into it. She looked at the tray again and saw the nord healer had supplied them also with

    two wooden plates. She placed the bread on the plate, gave Danica a satisfied smile, grabbed one mug of mead-though she had

    never tried it-and took a swig. She immediately burst into a harsh coughing fit. Both Hasir and Danica tried to help, but she waved

    them down saying that the mead just 'went down the wrong pipe'. Danica asked her if she okay. She smiled, nodded and thanked

    Danica for her concern. 

     

    Milsha turned to Danica, positively beaming. She'd never tasted anything as close to aetherius in her life, 

    "I have been missing out." She said, her tail flopping happily behind her, "This nectar of the hist, even though it did not come from

    them, is wonderful." Danica smiled though she had no idea just who or what the Hist were when she saw Hasir's claw shoot out and

    knock the tray into the air.

     

    Danica whipped around and glared at Hasir,

    "Hasir, why in Kynareth's name did you do that?"

     

    Hasir shrugged and looked on, helpless as a newborn pup, as the tray smashed into the nearby wall, causing the mead to spill on the

    floor, mixing with the crushed juniper berry juice. The frustrated Argonian cursed his lack of self control and started apologizing to

    Danica who just went into the back room, grabbed a broom, dustpan and mop and placed them against the stone slab the nord

    rested on.

     

    Danica walked over to Hasir and thrust the broom into Hasir's hand,

    "Well, there is no use in crying over spilled mead, get this cleaned up and I can brew a fresh batch of mead. "Better yet..." She said,

    head poking out of the rear room, "I may have bottled mead in here somewhere." 

     

    As Hasir cleaned up the broken bits of mug with the broom and soaked up the spilled mead and berry juice with the mop, he could

    hear the tinkling of alchoholic bottles as Danica tried to find the mead. Due to his enhanced hearing, he could also hear her pull

    down a new mug, pour the mead into it, drop something into it and mix it in. 

     

    Danica brought out the new mug of mead plus a newly sliced piece of bread and set it down in front of Hasir, who thanked her and

    smelled the mead, it smelled fruity. He took a sip, only to causing him to jerk away, yelping in pain. Danica giggled,

    "Too hot for you? Try the bread first, the mead might've cooled down by the time you've finished that."

     

    Hasir did as Danica suggested. He found the bread delightfully warm and equally delicous; as he ate, he made sounds that the female

    nord took as enjoyment. He tried the mead next, it did indeed cool down a bit as he gulped it down.

     

    Licking his lips, he turned to Danica and inquired about the mead,

    "Danica, what exactly did you put in this?"

     

    Danica frowned at him, her eyebrows furrowed,

    "Juniper berries. Don't you like it? I can make one without them if you'd prefer."

     

    Hasir shook his head, all the while smiling,

    "Don't bother. This stuff is amazing. Who know a juniper berry could add so much flavor?"

     

    Danica smiled, delighted that they both liked their meal. She directed them to the stone, the surface returning to its normal glassy

    green and the nord laying next to it.

    Aela's eyes opened slowly to find herself laying on a stone bed, only then did she become painfully aware of everyone staring at her.

    She tried to sit up but the pain in her head made that nearly impossible,

    "Claws of Hircine, I feel like I've been sat on by a mammoth, my head..." She managed to swing her legs around the stone bed and

    caught Danica's eye, "Danica, what happened? the last thing I remember I was in a fight with someone," she dared not say Hasir's

    wolf, iotherwise Kodlak might come down on her like a wolf out for blood.

     

    Danica smiled sweetly at her and turned Aela so she face Hasir,

    "By Hircine, please don't tell me that slimy, wetskin-" 

     

    Danica rolled her eyes at her. Aela turned away for her gaze, muttering something inaudible, whcih Danica asked her to repeat,

    "Danica what I said is hardly your concern." The red-haired nord snapped, "He did save my life, so I suppose." She shrugged the

    thought off, "No, I will not give myself nor any of you, especially him," She cast a dark glance at Hasir who was busy trying to catch

    a spot of light in his claws, "the satisfaction. I don't like him or his race and there is nothing you can say that can change my mind." 

     

    Danica frowned at this apparent denial of the Argonian saving her life. Danica stared coldly at Aela,

    "Aela, it isn't the outer covering-be they shell, fur, skin, or scals-that matters but the heart the beats inside as well as their soul,

    therein lies their true intentions. That is what really matters."

     

    Aela barked a high shrill laugh that was quite unlike her,

    "Gee, thanks, Mom. Isn't that Inigo's job to unfairly go about sticking his nose where it doesn't belong? Trying to find out what is

    'wrong with me'?" Aela turned away from them all, "Well, probe somewhere else because I'm perfectly fine."

     

    Danica walked over to the stone slab, picked up the jade stone and sat next to Aela. Smiling, she handed the frustrated nord the

    stone,

    "I know you miss your mother, but one Argonian's mistake does not automatically make the entire race bad eggs. Hasir used this

    stone to heal you. The least you can do is give it and him a chance." 

     

    Aela grunted as she took the stone in her hand and closed her eyes. In her mind's eye, she could see  Red and Twilight fighting as

    they had done back at Jorrvaskr, this time on the plains outside Whiterun and then a strange symbol rose from the water; one half

    black with a white circle and the other half black with a white circle. When they reached their apex above the water, they split apart.

    The white half embeded itself in Twilight's body and the black half into Red's.

    The two halves glowed brightly a minute and then dimmed. Redd smirked as Twilight, ears lowering, whimpered. He'd thought the

    yin yang where meant to draw the hated pair together, but instead, nothing happened. A golden light appeared behind Aela's eye

    and materialized inself into a golden wolf situated across the water from her wolf and Twilight, the wolf padded across the water as if

    it were made of ice and stood so that the three wolves formed a triangle: Red, the goldn wolf and twilight forming the three points.

    The chest of the Red wolf glowed white as the yang half flew towards the golden wolf, absorbing into her furry chest. 

     

    The golden wolf and th black and white wolf wer slowly drawn together as if by an invisible hand. The symbols started to beat like

    miniature hearts inside their chests, steadily getting faster the closer they got to each other. When they were almost nose to nose,

    they changed shape, no longer wolvs but a black yin circling a golden yang, shing like a sun above the water. Red looked on,

    amazed. 

     

    The symbols seperated as they turned into two wolves again. Red closed her eyes as she tried to channel the same energy that Luna

    and Twilight did. No matter how hard she treid, she could not call upon either the yin or the yang. She padded over to the water and

    saw the yin yang symbol upon the surface, she knew it meant somthing but could not think on the reason. She tore her eyes from

    the water and saw, near the mountains near the stables, she saw a young nord girl playing with her mother. Then a pang of hatred

    shot through her as her wolf saw the Argonian who caused Katria's death and all became terribly clear.

     

    Aela opened her eys still holding onto the stone. Danica glanced at her, worried,

    "Aela, did the stone tell you something while you were holding it? Could you feel its energy?"

     

    Alea nodded; Danica asked what she saw. She explained every detail of the vision. As she reached the end, Danica gasped,

    "So you saw something beautiful, tried to emulate that feling and couldn't so you only recourse is to kill Scouts-Many-Marshes for

    killing your mother? Aela, I hardly think this is th bst thing to do in this situation. Why don't you go talk to him, hear his side of the

    story and you two, together can go find your mother's corspe and give her a proper burial. Maybe then that will lay this racial

    hostility to rest."

    Aela looked up and sneered at Danica,

    "Yes, and maybe while I'm there, I can beat Scouts up for killing her."

     

    Danica frowned as she watched Aela get up and walk out of the temple,

    "That's not what I meant," She said, disheartened

     

    Hasir sat down and smiled at Danica. Danica looked up and she felt a scaly hand grasp hers, holding it fast,

    "Danica, What you said to Aela was beautiful and... to be honest, I never knew someone could act out if they lost someone dear to

    them." Danica nodded and looked, solemnly, towards the door, "I'm shocked you never knew this, I just hope that, in time, Aela

    comes to terms with this and forgives herself instead of hiding it deep inside, where no one can see it, including her."

     

    Danica turned to Hasir and asked if he'd ver lost anyone and if he had, how he remains so calm.

    "Well, Danica," He said, turning away from her and sighing, "My father died, as did many of my friends, including someone who was

    a sister to me, but as a rule, I... always strive for Ku-vastei and try to move away from Shunatei." He turned and saw Danica's face

    screw up itno a look of confusion, "Oh, sorry," He said, chuckling, "In normal Tamrielic it means that one must never live in the

    impermanece of the past and should strive to be the needed change that one wants to see in this world, but inn doing so, one must

    never forget the ons that helped them be who they've become."

     

    Danica smiled as she wiped a tear from her eye,

    "That is beautiful Hasir. So what your'e saying is live life and don't forget yourself and only live in the past?"

     

    The Argonian smiled as he strode over to the door,

    "Yeah. Anyway, I've got to get back to Jorrvaskr, Thank you, Danica for healing Aela"

     

    Danica put a hand up and shook her head,

    "No, Hasir, thank you."

     

    With that, Hasir left and walked up the step to the mead hall. He saw many familiar faces at the table, everyone but Kodlak. He

    leaned over and asked Vilkas and Farkas who sat near the fire, if they knew where the harbinger went. Vilkas opened his mouth and

    closed it again while Vilkas pointed to a point far to the west toward the Whitefish river,

    "He went to the chapel."

     

    Hasir's eyebrows furrowed as he thought on why Kodlak went there of all places,

    "The chapel? Why?" Vilkas shrugged

     

    Hasir got up, left the hall through door that led to the training yard and entered the trap door concealed by foliage. He figured he'd

    find out why the harbinger went there; whether he wanted him or not.