C.o.t.w Chapter 132: The Triad of Fate



The Argonian transformed into his beast form and sniffed deeply. He could smell the crisp air, dampness of the grass and earthiness of the trees. Another scent infiltrated his nostrils: several people along with an ashy smell. Twilight howled once he'd caught the scent and ran full out through the woods until he came to a small bandit camp.


He hid behind a tree, careful not to catch any unwanted attenion. Twilight howled out as his fur began to shrink back into his scales. Hasir moved a little bit from the tree and readied his bow. The Argonian breathed slowly as he steadied his bow. He made sure to measure his brathing in time with the bow so he would not hyperventilate; do this would casuing his arrow to veer of course. With the bow completely drawn, he fired; sending the arrowing into the throng of bandits surrounding the fire.


The Argonian cursed his ineptitude and tried again. A bandit cried out in pain and crumpled as the arrow struck his foot. He hopped on one foot yelling at his fellow bandits to go investigate the disturbance. Hasir quickly sheathed his bow, drew his sword and swung it in a horizontal arc as the bandits came into view. The bandit chief gronaed as he saw his 'friends' heads rolling across the grass like some discarded Teeba-Eenue balls.


The Argonian rushed forward, grasped the man's head, dragged him over to the fire and held the bandit's face over the fire like a slowly roasting chicken. The man began to scream as his felt the white hot fingers of Mehrunes Dagon struggling to gain a hold on his soft flesh. Hasir snarled as the man pleaded for his life.

"If you tell me what I want to know, I'll release you, then you can wriggle back to your pathetic life." He growled. "Until, then, however..."


The man tried to shift himself, to attempt to ease the Argoian's hold on him, but, if he did that, he knew it would spell instant death. 

"I don't know w-what you're talking about." He said, tears streaming from his face. "My friends, why have you slaughtered them? Have you no heart?" He said, pleadingly.


Hasir pushed the man's face closer to the flame; he could he the man's flesh boiling.

"Interesting query." Hasir mused. "Does a dragon slither on the ground?" He asked, catching the man offguard. "You have no clue why I'm here, do you?" the man whimpered softly. "If you must know," He snarled, "I came here looking for Paxh-Riha, where is she? Do you lot have here?" He said, shoving the man ever closer to the flames. The man shook his head; whether because to attempt to escape the heat of the flames or that he, indeed, did not know, Hasir could not be sure. Hasir snarled again, making the man shiver; though no cold wind would dampen the heat of the Argonian's anger. Slowly, the man pointed to a tent at the back of the camp. Hasir grunted in satisfaction, tossing the man aside as though he were a child's toy. 


Hasir got up and advanced on the aforementioned tent. The male bandit, a breton, saw this moment to unsheathed a sword and train it on the Argonian's head. The Argonian sensed this and drop down, sweeping the man's legs out from under him and bringing his dragonbone axe toward the man's throat.

"Never sneak up on a sleeping snake for he can sense deception waiting in the grass." The argonian said threateningly and kicked the man's sword into the fire. The man scrambled for it but Hasir held onto his ankle. "Going somewhere?" He said, "You shouldn't have provoked me." He said, shaking his head. "Best to let let sleeping snakes lie., now you will feel my poisonous bite." He gestured toward the headless bodies not too far from their position, ", "You're friends got off easy." He said; smiling maliciously.


He took a deep breath



Instantly, the man lit up like a candle and screamed as though face to face with Mehrunes Dagon himself. Hasir watched as the man flailed, deseperately trying to extinguish himself, but it was all for naught. Hasir looked at the man with pure loathing as his skin was excruciating ripped from his bones and soon turned to ash.

He blanked the smoldering pile of ash and headed for the tent; which he assumed Paxh Riha was bound and gagged. The argonian sighed with relief as he saw no soldiers surrounding the Argonian nor were there any ropes binding her wrists. He advanced upon her. Instantly, the female Argonian moved to the male Argonian, produced a phial of some unknown liquid and poured it down his throat. Hasir stared at her while coughing and spluttering.


Paxh-Riha produced an apple and asked Hasir if he was hungry. He shook his head; quickly discovering the apple was similar to the shriveled ones that he saw in the cauldron.

"No, I'm fine. Thank you for offering... I... need to get going now." He said, beading of sweat forming on his forehead. He ran to the tent flap, only to skid to a halt when two dark elves entered the tent. Hasir stared, wided-eyed at her. "I don't understand, why are you doing this?" He asked, outraged. "I thought you were alone... I was going to rescue you and return you to your brother."


Paxh-Riha advanced on him, grinning evilly as she ordered the two dunmer to hold him still.

"I only wanted to think that I was alone. Don't worry, I will be sending a body to my father... your body, as lifeless and cold as the stone around us." Hasir asked what the potion was that she had poured down his throat as if it were a poisonous waterfall." That potion." She said laughing coldly. "It was a special brew I cooked up myself. It's purpose was to strip you of you complete poison resistance; at least for a little while, enough for me to give you... this."


She forced the shriveled apple into his mouth. Immediately, he sank to his knees, stripped of his safety cusion. Hasir writhed in agony while Paxh watched, sneering at him. 

"It will all be over soon and my Lord will reward my handsomely for your death at what you thought was a trusted friend." Hasir gained enough strength to glare at her and ask if this had anything to do with Molag Bal. Paxh laughed again. "Does it have to do with...? Of course it has something to do with him, you stupid reptile." She snarled. "Molag Bal and the triad of fate are one. Yes, they are helping him get revenge for the unholy union committed long ago. He enlisted them becuase the unholy union was such a twist of fate that he sought them out, to try to assuage fate in his favor."


Hasir lay on the ground, panting heavily. He tried getting to his feet, but every time he tried, a new wave of pain came crashing over him. Paxh watched with twisted glee as the male Argonian tried time and time again to regain he barings only to be brought low by the intense feeling tearing through his blood. He could feel that his werewolf half was working overtime to try and purge this non-lethal 'drug' from his system. 


Paxh's jubilant eyes filled with utter dread as Hasir started to transform into something more beastly than his already scaly form. Twilight managed to suceed where the Argonian had failed in shaking off the heavy weight of the apple coupled with the forceful removal of the potion and lunged at Paxh-Riha. 


Paxh-Riha scurried backwards to the edge of the tent with the great hulking werewolf approaching. Thinking fast, she wove her hands through each other in a complicated pattern and an unded raven-skulled daedra stepped out of a reolving purple portal. Its gossimer see-through wings just nearly brushed the tent ceiling. The female argonian chuckled darkly as she saw the two beasts face off. The raven-skulled being flung handfuls of shadow magic at the black and white werewolf. Twilight saw this and dodged out of the way as the burlap flap of the tent was mared by an unsightly black, orange and purple scar. The argonian smirked as she marvelled at the damage her creation had wrought. She failed to see, however, the claw-like hole in the daedra's chest and the blood suffusing it's robes. With the daedra dealt with, the wolf turned on the Argonian, rushed towards her and forcibly removed her heart. 


Hasir said a quick prayer for the dead Argonian; not because he felt compelled to do so but because he believed all beings' souls should be at poeace regardless of their wicked dees. He transformed and ran back to the village and went back to Lukiul Uxith the see Seven-Bellies and tell him the strange news.


 When the werewolf saw the city looming in the distance, he saw a blue khajiit waiting for him; leaning against one of the posts marking the citie's entrance. Twilight stood tall, howled, regained his reptilian form and approached the smirking khajiit; tail swaying behind him. 

"What? Do I have something on my face?" Hasir asked, frantically trying to eradicate his snout of the invisible 'dirt.'


Inigo chuckled and shook his head.

"No, that's not it at all. By divines you are so gullible!" This was answered with a low growl from the Argonian. "I'm sorry my friend." Inigo said, narrowly avoiding the Argonian venomous bite. "I meant no offense but... er, Seven-Bellies was asking for you. By the way, how did you expedition go? Did you find Seven-Bellies' sister?"


Hasir brightened up and slowly nodded.

"Yesss, I found her. I found something else that is making this spider web alot more tangled than I initially believed." Inigo's face grew concerned at these words.


Over the next few minutes, Hasir told him everything that he had seen and heard. When, finally, he had purged the swamp of his mind of all offending weeds, he told Inigo that he was at a loss for how to proceed. Inigo thought on this for the longest time, then his eyes lit up as a confused expression crossed his face.. He looked, at least to Hasir, to be needing a bit more information as his face was reminiscent of a dumbfounded Wamasu. When, finally, Inigo managed to wrap his cobweb infested brain around this. He explained his position.

"My firend, I don't know what Ithelia has to do with the Unholy Union, I don't even know who this Ithelia is, but, I do know if Paxh-Riha is working for them, we have weaved a very tangled web indeed." He said, pacing to and fro in front of the Argonian. Hasir bluntly corrected the khajiit in the error he had with his logic. "Was, sorry, really? I had no idea she was dead." Hasir glared at him. "Sorry, sorry, just making an observation. Anywa, if she was working with the triad of fate, as you call them, then we have a very dire situation. As I understand it fate is, in and of itself a web that all mortals get inexorably caught in. It stands to reason that if we kill them, reality would unravel. My friend, I didn't realize this plot was so involved."


Hasir looked, shocked, at the blue khajiit. Inigo did not know who the daedric prince of paths, fate and spiritual interconnectedness. He had not seen her as Hasir did. 

"You don't know who...? Inigo shrugged, gave a sheepish grin and gestured to the village. "Er, right." Hasir, said, scratching his neck. "Anyway, we should see Seven-Bellies and tell him the sad news."


Both Hasir and Inigo walked up the path leading to the elder's hut. Inigo knocked on the door and, not hearing anything opened it. He saw the elder sitting on an ornate rug near a newly lit fire. Hasir opened his mouth but the Lukiul elder held up a hand.

"Before you speak, tell me, have you found my sister?"


Hasir's tail felt like a sluggish snake on the floor as he pondered on how best to answer this. AT long last, he fished a suitable answer from the vast ocean of his mind.

"I-I did." Hasir stammered. He looked the Lukiul in the snout and gulped.. "Your sister... she, er..." He seacrhed for the right words like a Wamasu searches for hidden pray in the jungles of Blackmarsh. "You see, she..." Seven-Bellies slammed his fist down on the table next to him and demanded a straight answer..


Inigo stepped in front of the stturing Argonian to prevent digging a bigger hole for himself.

"Your Lukiulness,  what my tongue-tied reptilian friend is trying to say... is that, your sister fell in with a bad daedric crowd, er, a triad of them, to be precise. Hermaeus Mora, Mephala and Ithelia. I know not of her fate. I only heard about it a few minutes ago."


Seven-Bellies stood up and strode over to the black-haired Argonian.

"Hasir, is what this khajiit is saying... is this true?" He asked, his spiky eyebrows raised.


Hasir's facial expression did nothing to betray the uneasy feeling he felt in his stomach.

"Yes. What he says is true; I told him of her fate and of the plot I thought the daedric princes were hatching, not olny of us, but for all Tamriel. It ssseemed like the best course of action to take. As for your sister, I am sorry to have to tell you this, but she is dead." He walked over to the Lukiul elder and sunk to his knees as if stuck in mud. "I had to kill her because I found out she was covertly working with Ithelia." Hasir looked into the elder's shocked and saddened face. "If there was a non-violent way to make her come back, I would've found it. As it stands, however..." 


The crimson-scaled Argonian shook his head, chuckling to himself.

"You did what you had to do. I understand." He drew a deep sigh, "she will be sorely missed. Anyway, no use crying over spilled Histsap as her soul will coexist with our ancestors in the roots, bark and leaves of the Hist trees. You did your best and that is all I can ask of you." 


He turned and walked to the back of the hunt where, beside the fire, stood a wooden door that looked as if it was part of the hut; even the doorknob blended in to the natural wood of the hut. When he opened it, Hasir's eyes went wide: a field of green stretched before his eyes dotted with grey stones forming a natural border and the most exquisite structure he'd ever seen. Its entrance looked like it had literally sprouted from the grond; it had veins interlacing over and under themselves coating muliple stone arches in greenery, even the grey stone pillars on which the arches stood had snake-like branches twirling up them. The grandiose structure had vines circling up the thin wooden posts and stairs leading up to it's three floors - the first floor, Hasir saw, had a small fire surrounded by chairs not much different than his newly acquired house in the hunting grounds.  The second floor sported a wonderful stone effigy of the green lady herself surrounding by plants of all colors. The last floor held a small meditation circle with a table for one to sit and eat  or drink in the presence of the green lady's creation, give offerings, or pray."


Hasir tore his eyes away from the magnificent sturture and looked at the Lukiul elder. The elder shrank away a bit from the Argonian's gaze which seemed to be forged in the heart of Red Mountain; burning his eyes to a crisp.

"Erm... sssorry." Hasir said sheepishly, scratchhing his neck. "It'sss jussst that when I get excited or engrossed in something beautiful, I tend to have this stare that seemed to be like its looking through something, or in this case, someone. Do take it personally. I've have this 'stare' if you want to call it that, ever since I was a hatchling." 


The argonian edler slowly shook his head, sayiing the young Argonian did not have to explain.

"Hasir, I trust you know that all Saxhleel have that. That is the stare of a snake sizing up a worthy oppenent before it strikes, nothing more." He said patting the Argonian on the shoulder. He then cleared a patch of grass to the left of the impressive row of vine-choked arces and opened a concealed trap door. "I have something else to show you as well." He said as he motioned Hasir to follow him.

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