C.o.t.W Chapter 125: The Hist Spreads its Roots



Kassamae gasped as she saw the mossy walls of a city loom in the distance. She asked Hasir what the city was but did not dare ask

for fear of Katsura hastily dismounting her. Hasir blanked her and sped into the city. He leapt off the stag when they reached the

tablewhere the the Argonian sat - some talking about various topics and some picking their teeth with slimy lockpicks.


Hasir glanced at K'hairi, Veexith and his wife and saw that the 'lockpicks' were, in fact, various bugs slidiing in and out of pointy teeth

like ropes entwining it's way around snow-capped mountains. He gaged and turned greener than those of his scales.


Kassamae stopped short of the table, leapt off the stag, picked a bug from Veexith's teeth and held it up. Hasir had to supress the

giant snake threatening to force itself out of his mouth.

"Hasir, don't look at me like that!" She snapped sarcastically. She strode over to him and held the insect mere inches from his face,

"This is how Argonians clean their teeth. It is not repulsive; though to an ojel like you, it would indeed seem strange." She said,

shrugging. She scoffed, rolling her eyes at him as his cheeks inflated like a pregnant fleshfly pod. "Just imagine they are rope binding

trees together loosely." She said 'smiling' at him. "That way you can focus on your next objective and not on the, as you put it,

'disgusting' creatures.


Hasir told her that he said nothing of the kind. Kassamae laughed at him and gave him a wink.

"I know, but you were thinkingg it. Let's inform everyone of the plan you told me."


The male Argonian sighed as he recounted every bit of information he'd told Kassamae. They stared at him, bugs still digesting food

particles in their mouths, and sat in stuneed silence. Choixth was the first to  cut the silence like a knife.

"If that is what you require to defeat stonefire and restore peace to Tamriel, than count us in." She turned to the other Saxhleel who

nodded encouragingly. "That's settled than, you shall have our aid in this matter. But to be certain, you must aquire the approval of

the An-xileel." Hasir looked at her as if he'd ate a raw fleshfly.


Choixth was about to speak when Veexith got to his feet, signaling her to sit back down. "I'll speak on behalf of the An-Xileel. I am,

after all, the highest ranking officer." He looked intensely at Hasir, "Yoou say you need our help, yes?" Hasir nodded. Veexith leant on

the table, "How many others do you need to make this plan succeed? I only ask because with our meager numbers, we would never

breach Molag Bal's inner sanctum, much less the castle. By Sithis, I'd wager he'd fell us as a wamasu fells a lizardhorse before we

even got to the castle gate. We'd never make it into Coldharbour." 


Hasir narrowed his eyes as his tail fell like a sledgehammer smashing stone.

"We are not going alone. That would be foolish." He said as he unfolded a map and placing it on the wooden table. "I will need

races from each of the providences of Tamriel. The toughest fo all races should suffice. Tomorrow, I will hold a game of catch with a

Teeba-Eenu ball. The loser, or losers, will be the one, or ones, that either drop the ball or mistakes another Saxhleel for the ball."


Veexith and the other Saxhleel exchanged confused looks. Hasir's eyed every single one of them.

"Look. I know that we did this song and dance before. It was with my test of acceptance but this is not a time to be ancestor lizards

liking gingerly at the sap of a Hist tree. Now is the time to become Saxhleel. Get some rest and tomorrow, we will see what each of

you is made of."


Each of the Saxhleel made it safely to their huts. Hasir went back to Veexith's hut, curled up and fell asleep. He dreamed of the

chaos that would unfold the next day.


Hasir rose nice and early. He went to the clearing behind Veexith's hut and found Choixth, Veexith, Mere-Glim, Juleen, Drujeeta,

Broad-Tail and, feeling uncertain whether he should be their Inigo


Broad-Tail saw Hasir and sneered.

"Well, well, welll... I thought we were rid of one another. I guess not." He shrugged. "I have the ball here." He said, holding up the

Teeba-Eenu ball. "I heard about this little 'test' of yours." He threw the ball with the speed of a bullet at Hasir. He anticipated and

batted the ball with his tail. It punched Broad-Tail full in the face. "I see you have improved." He said, throwing the ball in the dirt,

"No matter, I will win this as I should have won when we played Teeba-Hatsei."


Hasir laughed, shaking his head and picked up the ball.

"Broad-Tail, you don't get it. This is a test. The only winning in this game is the honor of taking down Molag Bal alongside other

representatives of the ten races of Tamriel." Broad-Tail's eyes sparkled with the prospect of digging an early grave for the 'weaker'

Saxheel. "Enough talk, you Xuth-Thtithl, let'sss find out if you have the 'balls' to join me in Molag Bal'sss destruction." He said,

hissing. He tossed the ball high in the air and the game began.


 Broad-Tail swung his tail around as Hasir spun and hit the ball with his own.  Broad-Tail's tail batted the ball hard toward Hasir. The green

Argonian hit the dirt as the ball thudded to the soft earth, missing him by mere inches.


Broad-Tail looked down at the Argonian and laughed as his opponent struggled to regain his footing.

"I know you haven't changed. Once a sap licker, always a sap licker." 


Hearing this, Hasir spun around and whacked the ball with his tail, catching Broad-Tail offguard long enough for him to take a short dirt nap.


Hasir saw this and laughed.

"Ha! Looks like I have one point."


Broad-Tail narrowed his eyes and growled.

"No fair! I scored the first point. Did you get dropped on your head upon exiting the hatching pool? The score should be one point each." He

eyed Hasir who seemed tto not have heard him. "Fine, go on and pretend you didn't hear me, you dumb Saxhleel! First one to ten points wins."


Hasir stopped and eyed him conspiratorially and laughed.

"That score will take eons to settle. It's not like we have mud walls and high hoops here. How about we half that? Five points? Sovund fair?"


Broad-Tail made a tiny hissing noise. "Good." Hasir said, nodding, "Five points it is then. If I win, you'll have no choice but to join me in my quest

to destroy stone fire." 


The game went on well into the evening. The air was still except for the sparse thuds as the ball hit either side of  the makeshift court. Sensing

victory was near at hand, Hasir approached his adversary, beaming. He expected the frog-like argonian to take his hand and sshake it

enthusiastically, but, Broad-Tail side-stepped Hasirs attempt at being a good sport. He fell head over tail into the dirt. 


Broad-Tail staring down at the dirt speckled Saxhleel.

"I erect the spine of apology. Wait a minute, what am I saying? No I don't. You cheated. You probably put mud in the Teeba-Hatsei ball to weigh it

down. Hsss!" Hasir eyed his with equal parts confusion and fury. "If you expect to be my friend after that little stunt, you can just forget it." He

said, turning from the dirtied Saxhleel. "You can also forget about me helping you defeat Molag Bal. " He shrugged, "Who knows, you could be

aiding my sworn enemy."


Hasir spat dirt out of his mouth as he slowly got to his feet.

"Are you saying... that you are allied with Molag Bal?" He asked, in shock


Broad-Tail spun around to face the confused Saxhleel.

"When exactly did I say that? I didn't. He pointed at Hasir, "If you, by some delusion, think I did, than you are as dumb as you look."


Hasir narrowed his eyes and snarled. 

"Not funny."


Broad-Tail looked over his shoulder at Hasir and smirked.

"Oh, I sorry." He said, in a mock sad voice. "Did I hurt your feelings?" He turned away again, looking indifferent. "I don't care... anyway, that's just

who I am... how I was raised... I had to provide for my-" He faultered and wiped a ttear from his eye. He stuck his hand out to Hasir, who took it.

"Good game." He said, coldly, "Don't think this changes anything between us. I still hate your guts... I haven't forgotten that gruelling defeat."


Hasir eyed his suspiciously and chuckled, shaking his head.

"Boy, you Saxhleel really are stubborn. Will you accept my offer and stop Molag Bal?"


The frog-liek Argonian sighed and nodded.

"If that's what it'll take to get the monkey of my back, sure."


Hasir and Broad-Tail walked back to Veexith's hut. He knocked on the hut door. Veexith ansered it.

"What the Xuth is Broad-Tail doing here?" He whispered to Hasir, "Isn't he still sour about your 'little transgression' at the tiny field behind his

home village?" 


Hasir groaned and asked Veexith if they could enter. He had something to talk to him about to try and clear the murky water of bothersome flies.

Veexith nodded and stood aside. Hasir and his 'frenemy' entered the tiny hut and sat at the reed table situated against the wall. Veexith sank

down into a chair opposite Hasir and eyed him with contemplation.


Hasir stared him in his green eyes annd thought he detected a flicker of fear in them. He inhaled deeply.

"Veexith, I challenged Broad-Tail to a game of Teeba-Hatsei... slightly modified of course. My reason for that was to see if he was worthy to join

me in a certain 'quest' of sorts that I have been given the honor of undertaking from Hircine." He said.


Veexith looked from him to Broad-Tail and leaned closer to Hasir. He was curious what this 'quest' was. Hasir told him that the task set upon him

by Hircine is to gather willing and able bodies of every race on Tamriel to march on Coldharbor and put an end to Molag Bal's tyranny once and

for all.


Once Veexith was filled in on the plan, he got up, walked over to the bar and asked Choixth if she could make two bowls of apple and cabbage

stem. Choixth gave him a side-long inquisitive look. Veexith sighed and impatiently gestured towards the two seated Argonians.

"Because they're hunngry, now get in there and make some stew, mud for brains! We're burning hist sap here." He said as he took his place at the



Minutes later, Choith returned with the bowls and placed them in front of the hungry Argonians. As she left, she glared at Veexith. She ignored

him and went back to the kitchen to make herself some seafood chowder.  With her gone, Veexith breathed easier.

"Now that that thorn in a wamasu's backside is gone, I can better attend to what you guys are saying." Hasir 'smiled'. Veexith nodded, "Yes, Hasir

, I can glean that you either like the soup or that you are eager to hear my thoughts on your plan." Hasir was about to say that the second option

was what he meant but his words were cut off by Inigo noisily stretching and curling up on the bench next to him.


The Argonian gestured to his inconsiderate friend; they all shrugged as they had no idea what went through that furball's head. Veexith shrugged

again and carried on as if his conversation was not interrupted.

"Hasir, you story has touched me; really it has. To that end, I, as the leader of the An-Xileel, will round up the best troops from Lilmoth to aid you

in your battle against Molag Bal."


They all got up and left the hut walked to the outlaws refuge. Once inside the trap door, Inigo turned to Veexith.

"Veexith, are you sure this is a good idea? organizing Argonians for a task like this? From what I've been told by my parents, they are a bunch of

shy recluses that would rather stick to their own tribes than to fight for a cause they hardly believe in."


Veexith froze at a stone intersection and staring questioningly at Inigo.

"Our race? Reclusive? Hmm... you may have just grazed the seed of understanding." He said, chuckling. "We argonians, or Saxhleel, to use the

proper term, once were besieged by Mehrunes Dagon and a ton of his daedra thugs, so, with the help of the great Hist tree, we evolved to huge

beasts with scales like the toughest wamasu hide and drove the daedra back into Oblivion, and, to shame Dagon further, slammed the door in his

face." He said, laughing.


Inigo looked a bit perplexed by this but followed Hasir and Veexith as they navigated the complex system of tunnels. Inigo elbowed Hasir and

asked why they were in the outlaws refuge when Veexith turned to them.

"I amsure you lot," He gazed narrowly at Hasir, "want to know why we are here. I've already told you but with Inigo's brains being... adled by his

addiction with skooma or so my intuitions tell me." Veexith ignored the furious khajiit's fiery look and sighed, "Hasir, can you please remind your

furry friend why we are here again?"


The black-haired Argonian nodded and turned to Inigo as they climbed through the small opening in the tunnel.

"Inigo, we are here to gather recruits for our mission to stop Molag Bal, or at least, attempt to anyway." 


Inigo nodded . They emerged into the same guild of stone that lay before them that they had done months previous. Hasir was the first to notice

something was wrong.

"If this is the place... and I've no doubt that it is, where are the friendly assassins I've met before." He glanced up at the sky expecting a giant

golden dragon to be carviung a path through the black sky but found it mysteriously vacant. He shot a sidelong glance at Veexith; who merely



Out of nowhere, he could hear bows be drawn from all about him. He knew not where they originated. Hasir snarled as a black substance flowed

over the stone staircase like water

and flowed toward the group. Hasir yelled orders while Veexith and Inigo fire at it. The amorphous substance seemed to resist all the missles

being fired at it. Hasir heard a loud scream. He and Inigo spun around to see Veexith slowly get enveloped by the strange substance. What Hasir

had thought previous had been wrong; it was not tethered to any singular being like daedras are to Oblivion.  


Hasir knew of a similar scene that happened at Castle Volkihar where this same amorphous blob enveloped his poor mother and killed her; using

her body as a mere puppet. Veexith, or rather, the thing inside Veexith, got up and shot long, sharp bolts of pure darkness into the shadows. 


Hasir expected arrows to rain down upon them at any second but none came. The doomstrider lowered his hand and looked at Hasir and his

former vessel.

"Greetings lizard, khajiit. Do you like my new form?" Both Hasir and Inigo asked about his khajiit form. The doomstrider laughed, "That pathetic

form? I was only to sustain it for a few weeks before I noticed it beginning to break down. I think this new form is more appealing, don't you?"


Hasir inquired about the 'arrows' of darkness he loosed. The doomstrider smirked,

"The arrows of-? Oh, you must mean the extension of my power." The doomstrider chuckled while eyeing his fingers, "I killed them... wwait a

minute, maybe I turned them into more undead servants for my lord. One can never know with him, given how finnicky he is when it comes to



Hasir's jaw dropped as he heard this. He'd thought it would be Molag Bal's doing to creat servants.

"You are saying that you created those skeletal riders? What of the skeletal unicorn robed in curtains of nights, I suppose you had a hand in that



The argonian leant against a stall and nodded lazily, as if bored by the conversation.

"Yes. I created them. Now can we please talk about something more exciting?" He said.


Inigo brandished his sword and rushed toward the red-eyed Argonian and raised his sword but the Doomstrider conjured a sword constructed of

pure darkness and retreated. 


Veexith looked worriedly at Hasir.

"What in Sithis' name just happened?

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