U.o.t.W. Chapter 336 Storm Warning

  • Throughout the rest of the morning, Sotek boiled pieces of scale then set about the task of cooling them. He soon found that the quicker the scales cooled then the tougher they would become. Within a few hours, Sotek had a big bucket of water with ice added from the inn. Despite this though, the scales still seemed brittle. Arcadia, who came along to see how he was doing and to check on Red, voiced her opinion.

    “Why don’t you add salt? It will lower the waters freezing temperature”.


    Sotek thought about it for a second then sent Sam off to the Inn to get some. A few hours later there was an improvement, but it still wasn’t right. His focus was rapidly switched to the hall when he heard Red yelp out loudly as she awoke in pain. Sotek dropped the blacksmith hammer and launched himself off into the air as he jumped down from the Skyforge.


    As soon as he landed, he immediately broke into a forward roll to help ease the impact with the ground. Within seconds he was back on his feet and reaching out for the handle of the door.


    Inside the Hall of Jorrvaskr, chaos reigned. In the few seconds of Red waking up, she turned on Kul-et and Veezara near instantly. Kul-et dived over the table which Red, having initially lost her prey, switched her anger to. In agony from her leg wound and feeling completely confused and distraught, Red attacked the table, smashing it to pieces. Sotek burst in the hall and momentarily froze at the scene before him. He shouted at her as she turned to face the new threat.

    “KAAN DREM”. Instantly Red lowered her paws and stopped. She stood there motionless, just snarling as she brandished her white fangs as Sotek slowly walked up to her. “Hi Red. Are you having a bad day?”


    Red lightly howled out at him, but her attention quickly turned towards her leg which was obviously lame. She dropped to all fours but as she prowled along the floor, her rear leg draped behind. Sotek picked up some venison which he had put aside for when Red would wake up and called her over to his step.


    After feeding her a few pieces, he coaxed her to lay down on the furs. Her healing process started working the moment she fed, however Sotek quickly realized her leg wasn’t going to get much better. He tried to bury the sick feeling in his stomach as he checked her wound. A chunk of flesh and fur were torn away, leaving a large round scar where the log punctured the limb. To make things even worse, the muscles around it were disfigured as well. As he spoke to Red, he placed upon the floor a wrapped fur for her to use as a pillow before easing her head down so she was resting on it.

    “Time to change girl, come on, change for me”.


    Red laid right out and stretched her legs as best she could. She kept her head still on the fur pillow, but her eyes fixed intently on Sotek, then she started to transform. Even before the transformation was complete, Aela doubled up as she screamed. For several seconds she clung on to her leg holding it tightly as she wrapped herself up in a ball. Tears ran down her cheeks as she tried desperately to control the pain and emotions from the last few days.


    After what seemed a lifetime for Aela, but in reality was just a fleeting few seconds, the pain from her leg eased then dissipated. Aela laid there, curled up, upset, distraught and confused.

    “What... What happened?”


    Sotek pulled a fur over her then tucked it around her to keep her warm. “Rest there, just until your senses take hold. You’re home, we pulled Red out the spear trap, you’re ok. You’re going to be ok”. Sotek sat beside her on the floor and gently stroked her head, slowly running his fingers through her hair. He gazed across the hall at Kul-et who was still suffering from shock after running from Red. “Someone give Kul-et a drink, she’s shaking”.


    Kodlak went over to his table in the corner and poured Kul-et out a large brandy.

    “Here drink this. Sip it”.


    A shaky hand reached out and took the glass.

    “Th... Thank you”. Without thinking Kul-et downed the entire glass and instantly started choking.


    Kodlak took the glass back before she dropped it.

    “I said sip it, it’s expensive you know”.


    Aela lifted herself up slightly and rested her head on Soteks lap. She looked over at Kul-et as she grimaced.

    “What happened with you?”


    Sotek rested his hand on the back of Aela’s head as he held her.

    “Ermm Red did. Actually, Red almost did. She chased Kul-et but then turned on the table. Obviously, the table was the bigger threat to her. When faced with Kul-et and a table, always kill the table first”.


    Only then did Aela look across the hall at the scene of destruction. She sat straight up as she saw firsthand the damage Red did.

    “Oh, by Hircine, Harbinger I’m sorry. Kul-et... I’m...”


    Aela felt some tears form on her face but before anyone else could say something, Sotek gently pulled her to his chest and held her tight.

    “Don’t worry about it. Red wasn’t to blame”.


    Aela angrily snapped at him.

    “How the hell can you say Red’s not to blame? Even as Red I’m out of control. Nothing justifies this, look at it. Look at Kul-et!”


    Sotek stood up then leaned against a pillar. He cleared his throat then spoke to everyone.

    “Aela, no-one can lay any blame on Red for this”.


    Aela shouted back at him as she pointed to Kul-et.

    “I know Red got hurt, but that don’t give her the right to attack Kul-et or destroy a table. How in oblivion can you justify saying Red’s not to blame?”


    Sotek sighed slightly then smiled at Aela.

    “Because she’s not. Red fell in a spear trap. Her leg was impaled and she was in agony. Now we all heard her, hell the whole of Whiterun heard her yelps. When she came around, she was still in a world of pain and confused. She had no idea where she was, or who was around her. The last thought Red had was in that pit. We’ve all been shot by an arrow. Now imagine getting shot by a tree. You can’t blame Red. The priestess said herself that Red’s an animal. Anyone would have reacted the same. She reacted from the fear and pain, there was no malice or hatred. Just fear and pain. How the hell can you blame Red for that?”


    Aela shook her head as she argued Kul-et’s case.

    “That still don’t justify Red attacking Kul-et”.


    Sotek shrugged his shoulders.

    “I disagree. Red reacted to pain, there is no justification needed. It’s no different to Farkas or Vilkas getting knocked out in a fight. Then when they awake, they lash out thinking they’re still fighting. Red didn’t get out that spear trap two days ago. She got out when I entered the hall and used my shout on her. That’s when Red escaped the pit”.


    Kul-et got out of her chair and held on to Veezara.

    “He’s right, we can’t blame Red for that. But fuck sake she’s scary”.


    Aela sheepishly looked across at her.

    “Sorry...Reds leg, just how bad is it?”.


    Kodlak sat up then spoke quietly.

    “Well, the ermm... The priestess feels that you’ll or rather Red will have some problems, but given time and with its constant use, it should regain its strength. Although it might be a bit weaker than what it used to be. But in all there’s no reason...”


    Sotek turned towards the Harbinger angrily then headed for the doors. He cut the Harbinger off by just whispering.

    No, don’t. I won’t have you lot building her hopes up on Red getting better, she won’t. Aela, Red’s leg, It’s fucked. It isn’t getting better or stronger. Red’s lame, I’m sorry”.


    Aela dropped her head down to her hands.

    “You’re sorry? Why? You didn’t do anything, I did. Yet again someone else gets hurt because of me. First you and now Red, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t”. She sat there silent for a few seconds but then her shoulders started shaking as she burst out in tears. Sotek went over to her to give her some comfort. He pulled her gently towards him, but the moment he kissed the top of her head, she pushed him away. “No, no more”. She stood up and wiped her face with her hand then she looked straight at the Harbinger.


    Aela suddenly broke into a run and threw her arms around Kodlak, like she would do when she was a little girl and got upset. She gripped him tightly as she burst into tears. “Help me, please”. The Harbinger gently swung her side to side as he comforted her. “Can everyone go outside please. Sotek, you as well, go outside with the others”. Kodlak led Aela to the table where he and Tilma sat her down.


    Sotek sat between two training dummies and just stared blankly at the doors to the hall. Gradually the whelps started training with Farkas and Vilkas. Initially it was just to pass the time, but they had been outside for hours. Now the training sessions were real. Sotek moved away and sought solace by the Skyforge. He picked up a scale and studied it, just to give his mind something to fixate on.


    About two hours later, the doors to Jorrvaskr opened, Kodlak stuck his head outside and called out.

    “Sotek, Vilkas, come inside please”.


    Sotek couldn’t help but feel some dread as to what was about to happen. The words Aela said before she ran off to the plains haunted him. With a heavy heart he stepped inside.


    Aela was sitting at the table, offset to Tilma and the Harbinger. As Sotek walked over to the steps he avoided eye contact, not realising Aela done exactly the same. Vilkas entered the hall then stopped momentarily as he tried to work out what was going on.


    Kodlak got up then lightly started tapping his fingers on the table as he tried to work out the best course of action.

    “Sotek, there’s no easy way to deal with this. To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure what this is we’re trying to deal with. Aela’s tempers getting worse, she admits it herself, but she can’t help it. Well, that’s not good enough. She swore an oath to you that she wouldn’t hit you and yet despite that she still does. This isn’t healthy, so I’ve decided to intervene before things get out of hand. The trouble is that’s now too late. Now reds lame, she tried to walk earlier, she’ll have trouble hunting. Now Aela had a thought about someone who might be able to help her, so she’s going away for a week. Vilkas, I would like you to go with her. Keep her safe, and don’t forget to bring her home. You both leave in the morning. Sotek, Aela, I need you both to do something for me. I need you both to swear it”.


    Soteks throat felt dry, he walked over to the table and picked up a glass of water. After downing the whole glass he was a bit surprised to feel no different what so ever.

    “What is it you wish us to do?”


    Kodlak gazed at Aela who sat quietly in the chair.

    “Split up, I want you to call it a day. Sotek, I know you love her and care for her, and I’m absolutely sure she loves you just as much, but this isn’t doing any of you any good. It’s over, swear it now”.


    The anger Sotek felt earlier returned with a vengeance. He glared at Aela who just unemotionally stared at the floor.

    “Aela, look at me. Look at me!” Aela slowly looked up at Sotek, he could clearly see she had been crying. “Is that what you want?”


    Aela slightly nodded then a weak whisper parted her lips.



    Sotek snapped straight back at her.

    “Is that you saying it or is he making you?” As he yelled at her he pointed an accusing finger at the Harbinger.


    Aela immediately went on the attack, yelling back at Sotek.

    “Don’t you have a go at him, this isn’t his fault. It’s mine”.


    Sotek slammed his hand down on the table, making Aela jump.

    “Fine so it’s down to you. So, tell me this. What the hell are you going to do about Red and Scarface? Last time you pulled this stunt on us, all bloody four of us went through hell. And yet despite that, here we are again”.


    Once she composed herself, Aela sneered at him, snapping like a rabid dog.

    “They’ll do what their fucking told, you fucking bastard. How dare you play them against me. Who the hell do you think you are?”


    Sotek started laughing.

    “They’ll do what they’re told? Oh really? And Aela, who the hell was it running to the harbinger because Red done what she was told?” He paused for a moment then sarcastically pointed his index finger in the air as if an idea came to him.  “Oh, hang on a minute, she didn’t do what she was told, she fucked Scarface”. He then turned around and headed towards the door.


    Aela’s only reply was to throw the glass at him. It missed by a foot and shattered against the door. Sotek turned to the Harbinger.

    “So, what’s the next part of your plan? Scarface and Red clawing great chunks off each other? Oh, I can’t wait”. A second later the door slammed shut as Sotek entered the yard. Instantly they heard Sotek yell at one of the others. “Get out my way, move damn you”.


    Aela burst into tears and ran downstairs to her room, just as Farkas stuck his head inside.

    “Sooo, how did it go?”