C.o.t.W Chapter 130: Dark Moons




Twilight ran full pelt out of the town, over the marshy puddles and weaved between deadly creatures as he had one goal in mind: flay the idiots who captured his furry friend. His eyes burnt white hot as he thought of the unimaginable torture Inigo must be going through. It was all his fault, if he'd not been captured and thrown into that inhospitable place to begin with then Inigo would not have searched for him and would've been free instead of being caged like a rabid dog. He knew, of course, this line of reasoning was false and could have not possible caused this.


Around nightfall, he arrived at the fort. Twilight's eyes went wide as he sawvarious searchlights attached to the fort's battlements. He ducked behind a tree to avoid being spotted by one of the light's warning beam of foreboding warmth.


He howled out as he regained his reptialian form. He took out his bow, nocked an arrow and rested it in the nook of the tree. Hasir took a few deep breaths to quiten his mind which was moving as fast as a Walwa Ravager runs. Hasir aimed and fired. One by one, the searchlights went dark, allowing him to slip into the fort unnoticed. 


Hasir went down the innumerable hall dotting the interior of the prison and called out for the blue cat. His call sounded down every chamber; echoing off the walls like a rebounding teeba-eenu ball. He began to lose hope of finding the khajiit when a voice answer's Hasir's cries.


Hasir nearly leapt out of his scales as he thought the voice was that of a long dead prison akin to those he'd met in the abandoned prison. Cautiously he walked down the corridor, light from the mini-sun hovering above his palm illuminating the cold and moldy cells as he walked. After what seemed like an eternity,, Hasir saw a lone bedroll in the last cell with a khajiit sleeping on it.


Hasir grabbed the slippery bars and whispered to Inigo that he was there to bust him out of his less than ideaal situation. The blue khajiit blinked heavily and walked over to where the Argonian stood.

"Yeah, I know I look terrible... would you stop looking at me like that!?" He snarled as Hasir eyed him as if he was a reanimated skeleton. "I am sorry, my friend. I overheard from one of the guard who tossed me in here that a successful escape plan was hatched not to long ago from a cell not too far from the one I am 'renting.'If I'm to guess correctly, those escapees were you and, another khajiit, now, what was her name? Afrax? Ahtaba? Ahnassi? Sorry the pin is pinging off the walls of my mind trying to avoid the hammer that is trying to pin it down. Hmm... Ah, I know, Ahmaka." He eyed Hasir, concern etched all over his face, "The question is... how in Oblivion did you escape?"


The Argonian fumbled for the right words to relate his escape with Inigo. After a bit of trying, and failing to speak, he finally did so,

"Inigo, you may think I escaped on my own, but I had help, as much as I hate to admit it..."


Inigo reached a clawed hand through his bars and grasped Hasir's shoulder.

"Listen to me, my friend, never be afraid to admit to yourself that you need, or had, help. We all require help on some things. Some of them may be big things, some may be small, but we all need help on some things sooner or later, if you or I or, by oblivion, all of Tamriel was hesitant to admit need for help, we would become like Red Mountain and explode. Humility is key, whethher you admit it or not is ip to you, but, for Nirn's sake, admit your faults, admit you need help. I't ok not to have all the answers. Once you admit that to yourself, you won't need to hide like a scared rabbit anymore.'


Hasir half smiled at Inigo, feeling guilty that the khajiit knew him better than he, himself, did.

"Thanks for the support, Inigo, but that is not exactly what I was getting at." He said, screwing his face up in confusion "I... yes, I had help evacuating this gods forsaken place." He said, a disgusted look on his face. "A khajiit named Ahmaka helped me with a spell of her own devising, and my friend Veezara helped me by planting a seed of knowledge in my mind. That seed of knowledge was Rootworms, a kind of underground transportation system known only to us Argonians."


Inigo nodded glumily as if he understood. In retrospect though, he hadn't the faintest idea what his reptilian friend was talking about.

"Exacyly... but, er, my friend I have never even heard of, or rode on, a Rootworm. What are they? Give me the details. Try not to leave anything out; I am a little deaf in one ear, remember. Not to mention the fact that my constant intake of skooma's made my brain a little fuzzy."


Hasir groaned and looked at Inigo as if he was a lost cause.

"You don't 'ride on' a rootworm. You ride in its digestive tract, carefully as to not get digested, not that you will get digested, but..."


Hasir shook his head to prevent his train of thought from crashing spectacularly.

"Anyway, I am well aware of your maledies but, I hardly think that would be prudent." He said as he took a lockpick out of his pocket and unlocked Inigo's cell. He moved to a section of the mossy stone-walled cell and heard something beating against the stone like waves battering against the sides of a especially sturdy ship.


The Argonian motioned the uncertain khajiit towards where he was crouching.

"I think I hear rushing water. Inigo, help me shift this rock." He said, pointing to a loose stone in the dark grey wall. After a few minutes, the stone slab as well as the five or so around it were cleared away to reveal a gaping hole through which ghostly clear turqoise liquid flowed freely amongst some rocks..


Hasir glanced over his shoulder and saw many other wrongfully inturred inabitants: two khajiit, a bosmer, even four argonians crammed into a tiny cell near the door. He felt incredibly bad for abndoning them, so he ushered Inigo into the hole. Inigo placed two feet into the icy cold water and looked back at the Argonian.

"My friend, aren't you coming? The guards will no doubt be here shortly." He then glanced from the Argonian's eyes to the wider cell block area where he saw about nine or ten destitute Tamrielians; then he understood. "I will get to safety, but, my friend, I'm worried about you. Such an act as this in noble but I would hesitate to think if it is the rightdecision. I mean, what if the guards find you aiding in the escape of these prisoners?"


Hasir shook his head, attempting to lay Inigo's fears to rest.

"I'll be ok Inigo. As mud is my mother, I promise. I will get these people to safety." He said and disappeared into the cellblock. Inigo caught a glimpse of a green tail retreating as if it were a snake hibernating for a long winter and swam for the opposite bank.


Hasir crept through the cellblock and unsheathed his flame whip. Yellowish-orange light erupted to life in the tiny room; its light reflecting off of the iron bars of the neighboring cells. As he moved amonsgt the cells like a scrib amongst rocks, he brushed the cell with his whip, melting them as if they were iron ingots in the fires of a forge. Hasir shushed the inhabitants of their ill-gotten bonds and gestured them to a hole in the last cell at the end of the dimly lit corridor. Not knowing if they could swim or not, each one scrambled into the hole and plunged into the icy cold water with Hasir quickly joining them.


The argonian needed not worry, though as, though weakened, they tread the water like fully grown frogs. Hasir glanced back at they as he swam and smiled. He relished the water on his scales. It felt like an eternity since he'd felt its wet caress  on his scales. He also knew that Kynareth and Hircine must've have prophisied this was bound to happen because of Jone and Jode. They were Kynareth's other siblings, in charge of the two moons Massar and Secuda, gods that Hasir didn't know existed, were influencing the flow of the water; ensuring it was not too choppy.


The moon gods saw the travelers swiftly along as if they were ships on turbulent seas. The calm waters carried them out away from the for into a grove of hist trees. The Argonian surfaced first, followed by the khajit who looked like oddly colored cottonballs as they shook water out of their fur followed by the golden skinned inhabitants of the Sumerset Isles. Hasir first checked if everyone was okay, counted to see if they were all accounted for. His tail thudded in the grass near a hist tree as he realized who wasn't there.


He cursed in Jel and dived into the water, searching frantically for the Bosmer girl. He directed his gaze downward, into the murky deepths of the swamp and saw a curtain of brown hair falling into the darkness like a ray of sun being swallowed up by a swath of darkening clouds. Hasir kicked out, propelling him onward, using his tail as a rudder until he reach the girl. He grabbed he and, using his powerful legs, swam for the surface. Once on land, he laid the girl onto the grass and listened for a heartbeat. Failing to hear one, he felt her face which was icy cold.


Inigo saw how frantic the Argonian was getting, walked over and placed a hand on the scaly shoulder.

"My friend, there is nothing to do, just leave her be. The hist tree with integrate her into the cycle of nature. She is one with the energy of the universe now." He said solemnly.


Hasir sat down next to her, immovable as a statue, stubborn as one as well.

"No, she can't be gone. I saved her from the prison, I..." He said, head in his hands


Inigo nodded knowingly.

I, know my friend, I know but I saw the horrific things tthey do in that retched placed. It was a foregone conclusion that she would not last long. The Silver Dawn, much like the Silver Hand, are monsters in their own right. They pride themselves on their cruelty and seem not to care if they stick to their modus operandi of capturing those who are inflicted with Sanis Lapinus. They seem to like chucking people in jail who seem like they could be a werewolf. I smelt no scent of wolf on her, my friend. " He sighed heavily. "You did your part in getting those people out of there. One rotten apple spoils the bunch, as they say, and the girl, unfortunately got a bad pick of the apples. Leave her. We have bigger problems to worry about."


Hasir nodded; knowing his furry friend was right.

"Right Inigo, their is no using crying over spilt hist sap." I have to get to Lukiul Uxith. Can you ensure these people are taken to Blackmarsh? Once there, you can arrange a couple of carts, or boats, to bring them to their homelands?"


Inigo nodded, lifting Hasir's spirits somewhat. He cast one last, tearful, glance at the fallen Bosmer and parted ways with Ingo, who began divulging his, or rather, his friends plan withe the surviving prisoners.


Inigo turned away from the group of survivors and found Hasir standing some distance away, eyes fixed on an invisible object. Inigo walked over to him.

"My friend, don't you have a task to complete? Why, may I ask, are you standing still as a statue instead of helping the outcast snakes?" He asked, brow furrowed. "Is it that you are still bent out of shape about that poor bosmer girl?"


Hasir, not looking at the khajiit, nodded. When he spoke, his voice sounded somewhat disconnected.

"Yes, Inigo. I just wish there was something I could do for her, you know, as a final farewell or apology for..."


The blue khajiit slapped him on the shoulder. The argonian hissed loudly, asking what that was about.

"That, my freind, was for thinking her death was your fault. It was not, and, er, frankly I think having yourself in a state of anguish over indirectly causing her death is a poor way to repay her memory. I have an idea, why don't we create a makeshift grave for her? We can dedicate it to all those who died accidentally or wrongly in Molag Bal's pursuit of power."


They set to work dugging a hole in the crust of the earth for her. When the Argonian had deemed it deep enough, he and the khajiit rolled the body into it and covered it with the discarded earth. Inigo stood up and comforted the grieving Argonian.

"Are you sure you're ok, my friend? I can always get someone else to esnure the freed prisoners get home safely. Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"


Hasir thought on this for a bit. After some thought, he said he would be grateful for the company. Inigo broke out into a huge grin, reveling in the fact he would not have to get all muddy while he stuffed the many prisoners onto a cart as if they were sheep being prepared for the slaughterhouse, which was a task he'd rather not undergo. 


Inigo wondered who on Tamriel would bring the prisoners to Blackmarsh in his stead. He began to think he'd have to do it when he saw two Imperials approacing on horseback. The guards stopped and asked if the khajiit needed something as he was waving his hands above his head like a madman.

"As a matter of fact, I do need something." He said, smiling at them. "I was wondering if you could escort these prisoners," "Inigo geststured to a point beyond the prison. "See, I was supposed to escort them but something came up. I was wondering if you could escort them in my stead." The imperials nodded, rounded up the prison as if they were cattle and headed south towards Lilmoth.


Inigo drew a great sigh of relief as he and Hasir started walking to Lukiul Uxith.


Hasir was starting to gripe about aching feet when, out of the shade of the immense Hist Trees, came a feline figure carrying a wheel carriage behind her.

"Looks like you two weary travelers need a ride. Question is, where to?" She asked.


Hasir racked his brain to figure out who this figure was. He looked side-long, at Inigo. The khajiit's face told the Argonian the he'd never seen her before. Hasir smacked Inigo of his dull-headedness.

"You idiot! You know who that is." Inigo gave a noncomittal shrug. The Argonian sighed heavy. "Give the khajiit a yarn ball, even they dont know what to do with it...hsss!" Hasir composed himself as he knew what Tigress was here for, but what he did not know was how she got here and why she is here. "Tigress, nice to see you again." He said as they walked over to her; Inigo still dumbfounded. "How did you get here? More importantly, why are you here?"


Tigress told the Argonian and Khajiit that Tosh Raka bade her to come. He thought they were in need of a guide for she thought their journey was an uncertain one. Hasir eyed her and asked how she found that out from the dragon if the dragon was locked in the jade prison that resided in his pocket. 


Tigress looked at him with a glare that made Hasir coil as if Tigress's eyes were fireballs.

"The dragon that is in the jade case is not Tosh Raka, you deluded Argonian!" She felt her anger staring to rise like an angry dragon, she took a few deep breaths to calm her raging waters. "I have been speaking with the elder tiger dragon. He only appears when people are in trouble. He cannot be trapped in any mundane object. Anyway," she said, shaking her head. "just call me a budget carriage." She said, sniggering. Hasir and Inigo looked at each other and rolled their eyes. "Lighten up... by Akatosh, you two are more rigid than dragon spines. Anyway." She said, postioning the cart near the Argonian and Khajiit. "Get in. If we are to get to Lukiul Uxith in time, best not be lazy about It. As they say 'time waits for no dragon'."


Hasir and Inigo got in. Hasir turned to Tigress who was busy strenching like a cat getting ready to pounce.

Do you have any insight on this mission that Kynerath has sent me on? I haven't the feint cluue about any of it."


Tigress finished stretching, glanced over her shoulder and shrugged. Hasir sat still as a rock during their journey, brooding over the fact that he may have to figure this one out on his own.

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