C.o.t.W Chapter 126: The Wilted Rose



Hasir satred back at Veexith and merely shrugged. He did not have the faintest idea. Though, he did have a hunch, he just hoped he was wrong.

"I have no idea. My best guess is that the Doomstrider sensed you soul burning through his dark clouds and vanished." He sat on a loose stone

nearby, placing his head in his hands. "Either that or Molag Bal call him back to start bolstering their unholy forces further." He shook his head. "I

honestyl have no idea." He turned to Inigo to see if the khajiit could shed light on this dilemna, "Inigo, do you have an idea where the

Doomstrider went?" He groaned as the khajiit seemed lost in a world of his own.


Veexith smacked Inigo on the back of the head and gestured to Hasir.

"Get the fur out of your ears, the argonian asked you something."


Inigo gave a slight chuckle; as if he heard a funny joke.

"You? I doubt it. Ha, I thought you were a khajiit."


Veezara hissed angrily as Inigo slapped him on the shoulder.

"Not me, you idiot." He picked up a rock and hurled it at the seated Argonian.


A resounding hiss echoed through the stoney chamber followed by a rather annoyed tone.

"What? Can't you see I was lost in though?" Hasir said as he stomped toward them. 


Veexith nodded nervously as Hasir eyed him with cold fury. He gulped and gestured to Inigo who, in true scaredy cat fashion, jumped onto the

upper ledge of the stair. Seeing his friend wasn't angry, his hackles relaxed. 


Inigo told Hasir about a village far to the north, hugging the southern end of Vardenfell and the neighboring provinces of Dalmora and Deeshan

lay a little hamlet named Lukiul Uxith where there could be found a multitude of Argonians that would gladly aid Blackmarsh in their fight

against Molag Bal.


Hasir listened intently as the smart blue cat told him of the hamlet but covered his face with his hands. Veexith voiced the one thought the

distsressed Argonian was thinking.

"Inigo, we could do that but what of the dunmer who reside in that region? Won't they be suspicious? Won't they try to attack us? How in

Oblivion are we supposed to slip into Lukiul Uxith, procure reptilian alliances and withdraw without attracting unwanted attention? Not only

that but how in Tamriel will we ever convince Blackmarsh to accept the Lukiuls? As I'm sure you are aware, the Argonians of Blackmarsh and the

outcasts, or Lukiul, don't exactly see eye to eye."


Hasir peered through his fingers as a man dressed in a tan miner's shirt and black pants entered the outlaws' refuge. The man greeted the khajiit

and Argonian warmly before he walked briskly up to Hasir. He said he had an urgent letter from somewhere called Blackrose Prison.


Hasir tipped ten gold coins from the coinpurse hanging from his belt into the man's outstretched hand. The man bade the Argonian farewell.

Hasir looked from the letter to Inigo and Veexith who gathered around him. Slowly he unfolded the letter with a confused expression spreading

across his face.


Inigo looked at the letter as a bemused expression stole over his face,

"My friend, erm... I've no idea who sent this letter... might be a trap."


Hasir ignored this and started absorbing the letter's words like a sponge. When he finished, he glanced at Ingo. The khajiit could read the dismal

expression on the Argonian's face as if he had read an open book.

"You look rather pale, my friend, is everything ok?" He asked as he placed a concerned hand on Hasir's shoulder


Hasir nodded glumly then handed the letter to Inigo; who read it aloud.

"I've never heard of the Blackrose Prison. Why are we going there? Veexith do you have any valuable insight on this" He said; lowering the letter

and glancing at Veexith with a bemused expression.


Veexith nodded. He had hoped to steer clear of the subject altogether.

"Blackrose Prison." He said flatly. That place... gives me goosebumps just thinking about it." He took a few moments to gather his wits. "Blackrose

Prison was once a stronghold for the most despicable beings in Tamrielic history. Rumor has it that gruesome torture was done there. Now, that

prison lies abandoned. Well, exceptt for some of Molag bal's fiercest and loyalest followers, namely the silver dawn, a sect of werewolf hunters

sanctioned by Molag Bal himself."


Inigo looked at Hasir then back at Veexith. The khajiit, as well as the Argonian, hadn't the faintest idea who the Silver dawn were.

"Veexith, did the silver ha, sorry, I mean the silver dawn, whoever they are, take anyone into the prison?" 


Veexith started to speak but was interrupted by Hasir.

"Yess. The letter did ssay the some Saxhleel were taken into the prison." He gulped as his worst fears were realized. "The companions have also

been taken. As proud warriors, companions of Jorrvaskr, f, I feel I am honorbound to save them."


Veexith eyed them confusedly as Inigo shared Haisr's feeling of fear. They both did not want to set foot in a prison they had just now heard about.

They'll have to find a library to research more about it - its history, the heinous punishments carried out and, most important of all, geographical

advantages lest they be set upon by unseen enemies. 


Hasir put the letter in his pocket, walked over to the older Argonian and nearly whipped Inigo with his tail. He asked him about any library he

knew of that lay with Lilmoth's borders. Veexith half-heartedly nodded and pointed out towards Lilmoth's residential area. Hasir furrowed his


"I... I don't understand."


Veexith tutted Hasir for his naitivity.

"If you go to Blackrose prison and silently pickpocket one of the guards, you may procue the book that you seek." He sighed. "If not, I guess you

can stick to the shadows, eliminating the guards from there." 


Hasir nodded, gestured to Inigo and prepared to leave. Veexith cursed himself and called after Hasir.

"There is also a bookstore in Lilmoth, if you are so inclined. The store is located east of the Outlaw's Refuge."


Hasir nodded and he and the blue khajiitexited through the tunnel. Veexith prayed for their safe journey.


Once outside the Refuge, Hasir followed the instructions that Veexith gave and found himself in front of an arched ramp leading to a small straw,

thatch-roof hut. He walked up it; tail swaying stiffly from side to side, he was uncertain if this was a trap or not. Inigo's reassurances did not help.

They reached the hut, Hasir knocked on the door which was answered by a beautiful brown Argonian wearing a brown dress interlaced with

white markings.  

"Greetings. You must be Hasir. Yes, Veexith sent a courier a few minute ago telling me to that you'd come by here. I am Xeeka. Please, come



Hasir and Ingo went inside and noted the tall bookcases lining every wall of the medium-sized hut. They was amazed to see the interio was twice

the size of how they percieved the hut from its exterior. The inquisitive Argonian walked over to a small table flanked by two reed chairs and sat

down in one as he eyed Inigo roaming the house in awe. Hasir thought the poor khajiit must've been sheltered for too long in Elsweyr; either that

or Inigo's orphanage denied him access to books.


Inigo walked over and sat down opposite the Argonian. Xeeka came over and asked if they would like anything. Hasir shook his head but Inigo's

mouth watered.

"Do you have any nord spiced cider?" He gulped as the Argonian opposite him glared at him. "I know my friend, I know 'we're not in Skyrim

anymore.' Ermmm... what drink do you have that does not have bugs in it? You see, I have fleas already and, erm, I doubt they would like have


 Xeeka eyed the khajiit as if he had ten heads. Hasir, on the other hand, laughed.

"Inigo, I am sure your fleas will be fine." He turned to the female Argonian; his face becoming expressionless. "


Xeeka smiled and racked her reptilian mind for imagery of any suitable drinks and food; if any was hungry, that is.

"Well, I have some Fish-Eye Rye in the stockroom downstairs. I just came from the Imperial stockroom. They like to steal that which is not theirs."

She said, shaking a fist in the air and 'smiling'. Here face softened as she saw the khajiit licking his lips. "Very well then, one..."


Hasir looked at her with a bemused expression.  He'd never tried Blackmarsh fare before; even though he was born here.

"Better make that two." He said, holding up two fingers. "The fish-eye rye, is it any good? do you have any apples?" He asked


Xeeka nodded and scurried away to the basement stockroom. When she came back Hasir could see she was balancing a wooden tray laiden with

two bottles of the alcoholic brew and what Hasir guessed where 'apples'.


She placed the drinks in front of the Argonian and Khajiit. Hasir plucked an apple from the tray and, looking at it inquisitively, bit into it. He

coughed profusely as he had not expected the apple to pack quite a punch. He shallowed the apple and washed it down with the alcholic

beverage. He glanced across the table at Inigo, who was greedily guzzling his beverages - after all cats do love their fish.


Hasir inquired as to the perculaiar, and yet, strangely familiar taste of the 'apple'.

"Xeeka, may I ask what the ingredient is that give the apple its fiery breath?"


Xeeka thought for a bit, flipping through her mental catalogue of flavors profiles. She 'smilrf' as she found the exact profile.

"Argonian, that 'fiery breath' as you put it, is a particular plant that grows on the shores of Akavir known as dragon's Tongue "


Hasir nodded as he eyed the 'apple' A thought occured to his just them that he hoped Xeeka could assist him with.

"Ah, I thought so." He said, his next question burning bright in those inquisitive reptilian eyes, "Xeeka do you know of the Blackrose prison?" She

stared at him blankly. Afraid he overstepped some invisible boundary, he rephrased his question, "What I meant to say was do you have a book

that describes the prison's history and any unscupulous types that have moved in presently?"


Xeeka gathered up the empty tankards and gestureed towards a row of bookshelves lining the walls of the hut. She told the Argonian that those

shelves were dedicated to histories - Black Marsh, Tamriel and the entirety of Nirn. Hasir thanked the female Argonian and went to the shelves

she'd gestured to. 


He narrowed his eyes as he read the titles until he found a particularly ancient book with dog-eared pages. He pulled it out and examined it

thoroughly; he'd guessed it was as old as the prison. 


Disappointed there weren't any more books on the subject, his tail drooped as he returned to the table. Inigo inquired how the 'book mining' had

gone. Dismayed, Hasir put his head on his elbows.

"Well enough." He said, sighing. "I did find this book called 'The Wilted Rose.' I haven't cracked it open yet but I assume this book has some

valuable information about the prison. I guess it's up to us to formulate a plan on how to get inside and free the prisoners. I doubt the book has an

insight on how to do that." 


Xeeka walked next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. Hasir screwed his face in in confusion as he look at her, trying to divine some meaning

in that soft but thoughtful reptilian face.

"Maybe not." She said mournfully, "I do know of an Argonian assassin who maybe be able to help in that regard..."


Hasir looked from her to Inigo whoo shrugged and shared his confusion.

"Who is it? Is he a distant relative that I have yet to meet? Is he a enemy? A servant of Molag Bal sent to lure us into a trap? Is he...?"


Xeeka sighed and opened the book to a picture of the prison.

"Hasir, stop asking questions!" She thundered, The person, er, reptile I speak of his been on many expeditions in Blackrose prison. He is a dear

friend of mine."


Hearing this, the argonian again looked from her and Inigo, hardly believing his ear. Fearing his head was under some invisible swamp, he asked

her to repeat her statement. She obliged. He looked at her as if shot by a stray arrow.

"I'm sorry but did you say you and an assassin know each other?" He said incredulously. "Tell me and I will make sure he suffers a quick death."


Xeeka was appaled by this complete lack of cosideration.

"Hasir, how dare you. He and I were friends since we were hatchlings." She said, hand over her heart. I trained with him in the Dark Brotherhood.

Suffice to say, he made it much farther than I did."


Hasir asked her what happened, but she shook her head as bringing up the past is a sorrowfful deed for her as it is with most Saxhleel.

"I do not wish to speak of it. I will, however, tell you his name." She glanced all about her, ensuring no Dark Brother spy were listening. "His name

is Sharp-As-Night."

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