Hey, it’s Destana again. Last time I continued my work with the Companions, and I became a werewolf and merc'ed some Silver Hand dudes. Big picture, it’s day 7 of 30(ish) and I’m not as far down my list as I wanted, but I’m having fun solving the Companions’ problems.
I came back after my first night as a werewolf, and fought two dragons in the city before I crashed (after fighting several in the wild, and some new kinds I haven’t seen before). The next day, I asked Aela if she knew where the Silver Hand was hiding out, and she gave me the location of a tower, where one of their small cells was holed up. I went there and pretty much rampaged through it as a werewolf, and found a naked wench. I shifted back into human form and took the hood off her head, then gave her a set of Tavern Clothes I’d been saving because I knew there were wenches out here somewhere. Then took her back to Whiterun. Aela told me about a bandit fort where the Silver Hand had been seen recently, and when I went there it was swarming with bandits, so I steamrolled them as a werewolf, and came upon some plans the Silver Hand left (I presume they were kicked out by these bandits). I delivered the papers to Aela.
When I got home later that day, I happened by Kodlak’s room.
“Please, join me, young one. Sit down,” he requested.
“What’s on your mind?” I asked.
“Of course, Skjor filled me in. I hear you were sent here to help us. Instead, you’ve taken our curse upon yourself.”
“Not everybody sees it as a curse,” he said.
“Yes, Skjor didn’t. I also wanted to say that your heart is filled with revenge, I know. This campaign of wiping out the Silver Hand reeks of Hircine’s hunt.”
“So I like hunting.”
“But you’ve taken more life than honor demanded,” Kodlak continued, “The cycle of retaliation will continue until everyone is dead. Just, think on it. Either way, I have a task I need doing.”
“What do you need?” I asked.
“The Companions are nearly five thousand years old. How we came to be werewolves – one of my predecessors made a pact with Glenmoril witches. He was deceived. The power of Hircine seeps into not only the body, but the soul. Upon death, even righteous Nords are claimed by Hircine for his hunting grounds. This is a paradise for many, but I wish to retire to Sovngarde.”
“So, is there a cure?” I asked.
“That’s what I spent my twilight years trying to figure out. And I’ve found – only the witches magic can release us. We can extract it by force. Go to their coven, strike them down. Bring me their heads. You will have no shield-brother this time. But the spirit of Ysgramor goes with you.”
I got up, “Consider it done, old man.”
When I got there, several Glenmoril werewolves, a troll, and a couple witches were waiting for me. Seems the Companions are not the only ones who were taken in by promises of power. When I saw this, I gave the WW’s an Unrelenting Force and ran into the brush. When they gave chase, it was enough distance so the casters were obstructed, and enough so I could transform as they closed the distance. Instead of immediately merc’ing the wolves I actually had to dodge and use strategy. They approached my own level of strength. I slashed the troll up without much trouble – he was a regular troll. Probably an intern learning to be an armored troll or something. The witches had been trying to hit me with magic, but I was quick, leapt from the brush and launched the first one. When I got to the second one, she casted something funny which didn’t seem to have any effect.
But seconds later I popped out of Werewolf form.
“Buh? What the hell did you do?” I shouted. I was naked, because of the surprise, and completely surprised and exposed. She was already laying into me with frost spells.
“Gods, there’s actually an intelligent foe here…” I said, then I noticed something, and I immediately used it without hesitation. I raised both hands and summoned a cloud of bats that started to drain the witches’ life away and give it to me. Then I reached out my left hand, casting a lightning cloak, and both hands I started a vampire drain. She melted under the triple-DoT pressure.
I mentally went through the spells I knew, and curiously, most the spells I gained while a vampire were still available to me. Not the ones I could only use in VL form, and I didn’t have fangs so I couldn’t manually drain people, but I could drain with a spell, I could charm, I could use bat swarm. It seemed being a vampire had left a permanent mark on me. I had none of the passive benefits, but I could tell that if I ever went back, that power was stored in my blood (or soul?) and I could pick up where I left off.
I waited a minute and then transformed back – feasting on both the witches (I’d already gotten the wolves and troll). I rushed inside.
“Oh gods! One of the beasts returns!” A witch screamed as I pounced on her. None of the rest of the witches were prepared or clever as that first one, and I took their heads without incident. Well, except I couldn’t find the path to the last one, and my damned map was hidden in my extradimensional equipment space, so I had to wait and shift out and kill the last one the old-fashioned way – stealth archer. I traveled back to Whiterun in the air (it wasn’t too far, didn’t need to teleport), touching down in Dragonsreach. I set down next to a group of guards at a shift change.
One of the guards accosted me. Ah geez, I thought. What did I do this time?
“Dragonborn! We all owe our lives to you. You killed Alduin. I know a lot of the common folk don’t appreciate you, but I do. Thanks.”
“Aww… I appreciate that,” I said. I felt like I was tearing up.
“You shouldn’t have come here!” Another guard shouted. I was immediately confused.
“Get the beast!” A man shouted, and the guards drew their blades.
Three Silver Hand members were on the opposite side of the bridge, with the guards between us and they were laying into them. With just a couple strokes, one of the guards fell. Wow! These dudes were not playing around anymore! They sent their most elite fighters. And they were armed to the teeth with magic weapons!
“You after me!?” I drew my weapons, “I’m one of the Circle!”
“Out of our way guards!” One of the elites shouted.
I leapt into the moat and swam to shore, diverting the Silver Hand to me. When two of them reached me, I turned and shouted, “FUS – RO – DAH!” And sent them in their heavy armor into the water. But there were three more in my face now. The guards were supporting, and I had the SH’s attention on me.
The three surrounded me, to which I responded, “TIID!” I backed out of the reach of their snail-slow attacks and got behind one. I gave him a few slashes on the back, then touched the Nerevarine’s Bow, went invisible, and sliced his throat. The three in the water were climbing out now.
“Mom!” Runa shouted as she came from behind, then she shouted, “KRII!” Marking one of them for death as she approached. She beheaded him.
“What the hell’s going on here?” I asked, dodging and parrying attacks from the now seven Silver Hand attacking me.
“They attacked Jorrvaskr!” She shouted back.
“YOL – TOOR!” I caught the group on fire, which also staggered them and bought me a few seconds. My style of combat is not the best when dealing with huge groups. But you know what is? Well, WW would be, but I was in town. But you know what else is?
I casted Bats, Lightning Cloak, and queued up Elemental Bolts. I gave them an Unrelenting Force to toss a good portion of them backward. Runa got clipped but held onto the wall. She responded with her own “FUS!” Concussing them. Then I casted my Flight spell.
“You awoke a sleeping dragon this time!” I shouted, rising off the ground and out of their reach.
“No fair!” One of them said, bats slashing at his face.
“You know what’s really not fair?” I chugged a Mana Regen potion and blasted the whole group, double-handed with electric-explosions until they were a charred group of corpses. I looked over to the bridge.
“Dammit!” All the guards involved had already been killed by the Silver Hand. I looked over to Jorrvaskr, and it seemed Aela and Farkas were mopping up the last of them over there.
As I touched down, Runa said, “Damn, they only sent a couple after each of the other members of the Circle (and me), and a small group to waylay the other new bloods. I think they knew who they were dealing with when they sent eight (total) after you.”
“And they still… fucking…. failed,” I said angrily, “Godsdammit. Those were good guards. Go to Sovngarde, my friends.”
Runa patted me on the back, and we started to walk toward Jorrvaskr.
I sighed, “I should really see if Colette at the College knows how to resurrect people who’ve died recently. Or knows of somebody who can do that.”
Torvar, one of the new bloods who’d joined since I did, called to me, “These bastards had the nerve to attack Jorrvaskr.”
We walked past Farkas and Aela, who were still watching the door with weapons drawn.
“Where the hell have you been?” Vilkas said as I entered.
“Kodlak sent me on a mission,” I said.
“I hope it was important, because you weren’t here to help defend him. We fought them off, but one of them slipped past us and got to the old man. Kodlak’s dead.”
“Bastards!” I shouted, “They get anybody else?”
“Only cuts and scrapes here.”
“They sent the most Elite members after me, I guess. The guards paid the price,” I growled, “I really wanna end these assholes. Even more than the Dawnguard.”
“Also, they took our fragments of Wuuthrad.”
I walked over to Vilkas.
“You and I are gonna get them back,” he said.
Aela walked through the open door, “After quite some digging and work, I know where their main camp is.”
“Show me. There will be none left to tell their stories. Only songs of Jorrvaskr will be sung. For Kodlak!” Vilkas said.
“Now you’re talking!”
“They will know terror before the end!” Vilkas shouted.
That trip, was kind of a blur. Vilkas, Runa and I traveled to their camp, and I transformed and ran ahead in a bloody rage, ripping apart everything before me. The others gave me a wide berth, killing everyone who tried to run. When we were done, I handed the fragments to Vilkas, but he told me to carry them.
In the heat of my werewolf lust, I returned to my human form. I looked at Vilkas.
“Godsdamnit, if I weren’t so grieved, I’d jump you right now,” I growled.
“Mom!” Runa shouted.
“Uh… umm….” Vilkas looked at me awkwardly. I pulled him to me and kissed him passionately. I’d flirted with him a little before, and he always got tongue-tied.
“Maybe that’ll loosen your tongue. I think I’m going to have to take a raincheck on anything else though. I’m more mad than anything,” I said. A somewhat confused Vilkas and I returned to Whiterun with Runa trailing behind.
It was night, and we walked up to the Skyforge. In our absence, the others set up a pyre for Kodlak.
“For our comrades…” Aela started.
“We shout!” The circle said. I tried to keep up, but I’ve not been to a lot of Nord funerals.
“We take our leave.”
“Kodlak’s spirit departs to Sovngarde,” Aela said as she lit the pyre.
After a few moments of burning, the circle withdrew to the Underforge. Eorlund Graymane the blacksmith approached me before I could leave, “Give me the fragments. I’m going to mount them. Also… could you do me a favor? Go to Kodlak’s room. There was a small piece he kept locked away, and I don’t feel right rummaging through his things.”
Runa told me she was going to go check on the brotherhood, and I told her I’d check on her later. I ran to Kodlak’s room.
I saw Njada on the way.
“I saw you fighting so many of those bastards,” she said, “I still don’t like you, but I respect your prowess.”
I grabbed the fragment, and Eorlund was waiting in the main hall. Then I went to the Underforge, and the others were already talking.
“But he’s not going to Sovngarde…” Vilkas said, “He was cursed, just like us.”
“He’s claimed by Hircine. Stop speaking of it like it’s a curse. I’m fine with where I’m going,” Aela said.
“That’s fine for you. But the old man wanted to be clean,” Vilkas said back, “He wanted to meet Ysgramor and know the glories of Sovngarde. But that is out of his reach. Taken from him.”
“You avenged him,” Aela said.
“Kodlak did not care for vengeance,” Farkas said.
“No, Farkas, he didn’t. But that’s not what this is about,” Aela replied.
“We should be honoring his wishes, no matter our thoughts on the blood,” Vilkas said.
“You’re right,” Aela said, “You’re right. It’s what he wanted. And he deserved to have it.”
“Yeah, and then we could visit him sometime,” I said.
They all looked at me like I was insane. We talked for a while before we came to anything useful.
Vilkas said, “The old man used to speak of a way to cleanse the soul, even in death. You know the legends of the Tomb of Ysgramor.”
“The souls of the past Harbingers heed the call of northern steel,” Aela said, “But we can’t even enter the tomb without Wuuthrad, and it’s in pieces.”
The door slid open.
“It was in pieces,” Eorlund raised the axe above his head.
“Godsdammit, old man, how long did you wait for that dramatic reveal?” I asked.
“I just finished it,” he said.
“How is that possible?” Aela asked.
“Just because something is doesn’t mean it must be. The elves used to rule Skyrim. The gods walked on Nirn in ancient times. It’s easy for the best smith in Skyrim,” Eorlund replied, “In this age where we learn dragons were not myth, Wuuthrad returns to us. The blade is a weapon, a tool. Tools can be fixed. I think as the one who gathered the last few fragments, you should be the one to bear Wuuthrad into battle.”
He handed it to me, and I cocked an eyebrow, “Have you looked at me?”
“A little too much, maybe,” Eorlund chuckled.
“No, I mean, I don’t use heavy weapons. Farkas, here,” I said, handing it to him.
“So, we enter the tomb, and find out if there is any truth to this?” Aela asked.
“For Kodlak!” Vilkas shouted.
“For Kodlak!” Farkas shouted.
We walked out on foot and were there as the sun rose. We stood before the statue of Ysgramor in the entryway and I said, “It’s fairly accurate.” Farkas put the axe in the statue’s hands and a rock wall slid away, revealing a passage.
“I’ll keep guard here, incase there are any more Silver Hand,” Vilkas said.
“You’re not coming?” I asked.
“I don’t regret the vengeance we took on the Silver Hand. But I don’t feel right going down there. You three will have to prove yourselves worthy to the finest warriors of Skyrim’s history. Keep your wits,” he said.
“Like any other time?” I joked.
“I imagine we’re expected,” he said back in a grave tone.
Aela, Farkas and I ventured further in. We fought through ghosts of the companions, who matched our numbers and faded away when they saw us as worthy. There were a couple spiders in there, and a random witch who claimed to be a ghost, but there were surprisingly not a single draugr. I suppose keeping a ghostly honor guard will prevent any meddling with the corpses, or weird curses.
Wait… how are draugr made if there aren’t necromancers? It is possible that over millenia all of them have been given life and eventually their necro masters die and they return to their tombs, or perhaps there’s a deeper secret in Skyrim that makes all dead eventually become undead. Question for another time.
We reached the final room and didn’t find a final challenge. Kodlak’s ghost was standing there, warming his hands at a stone brazier.
“Is… that you?” Aela asked.
“Of course. My fellow harbingers and I have been warming ourselves here. Trying to evade Hircine.”
“I don’t… see anybody else,” I said.
“You see only me because your heart knows only me as Harbinger,” he replied.
“Askar,” Aela pointed, “That’s all I know.”
“Yes, the man who proceeded me found me in Hammerfell and brought me back to Skyrim. I’m sure old Vidnar would see half a dozen of my predecessors. I see them all. The ones in Sovngarde. The ones already trapped in Hircine’s Hunting Grounds. And they all see all of you. You’ve brought honor to the Companions. We won’t soon forget it.”
“Vilkas said you can be cured,” Farkas said.
“Did he now? You still have the witches’ heads?” Kodlak smiled, “Throw one into the fire. It will release the magic, for me at least.”
I did it, and a red spirit wolf was born from the ashes. It attacked, and we killed it.
“Thank you,” Kodlak said, “That was the spirit of the beast within me. The other Harbingers already trapped remain there. Perhaps from Sovngarde, the heroes of old can join me in their rescue. The Harrowing of the Hunting Grounds. Now that will be a tale!”
I had my quest log out and was penciling in that title to follow up on at a later date.
“Perhaps someday you lot can join us in that battle,” Kodlak grinned, “But for today, celebrate. Return to Jorrvaskr. Destana – lead the companions to further glory.”
His spirit faded and I turned to the others, “So…”
I pulled two smaller bags out of my bag, then uncovered one of them a little.
“Yes, they’re witches heads.”
“I don’t want that,” Aela said, “Gross.”
“No, no. Take it. Even if you don’t use it today, keep it. My gift to you.”
Aela and Farkas reluctantly put the sacked heads in their own packs.
“Did I hear that right?” Aela asked, “Did he just say you were to be the next Harbinger?”
“Yeah. But I mean, I understand if one of you wants to take it. I’ve been in the Companions literally a week,” I replied.
“No, no. You deserve it. You are the strongest among us,” Aela replied.
“Yeah, maybe,” I said.
Farkas folded his arms, “I’d say Skjor, if he weren’t also dead.”
“Speaking of which,” I said, pulling another head out of my pack.
“Shor’s bones! How many severed heads do you have in there?” Farkas exclaimed.
“More than I’m comfortable with admitting,” I said, “It’s bigger on the inside. I’ve had this thing since I came to Skyrim, about ten years ago. It’s served me well. I don't know why more people don't carry them. This one... could do with a cleaning.”
Then I pondered. If you call a dragon, they will be asked to come… I wonder if it works with ghosts…
‘I know how to summon heroes from Sovngarde, maybe this will work too. It is said spirits can be in multiple places at once…’ I thought.
“This is gonna be a little out of left field. Also, my Dov is not the best,” I said.
“ZEY – MAH – ZIN! SKJOR!” I shouted. That is Companion - Skjor.
It might have been because we were in Asgramor’s tomb, but spirit coalesced, and responded, “Yes?”
“Thank Ysgramor. How you holding up? Would you rather be in Sovngarde or the Hunting Grounds?” I asked.
“You can do this?” He asked.
“We did it for Kodlak,” I said.
“Sovngarde. Gotta do it,” he responded.
I tossed a head in the fire, and we killed a white winter wolf spirit.
“Damn, guys. I did not wake up today expecting anything like this,” Skjor said, “Thank you.”
He faded away.
Farkas said, “Well, I will take this head, and head back to Jorrvaskr. Coming?”
“I think I’m going to commune for a while,” Aela said, then she smiled at me. I smirked.
When Farkas had left, she picked me up in her beefy arms, “Hey, I know I’m not very good at this. I’m not a people person. You’re a good friend, and that’s hard to find. No reason to complicate this.”
“My thoughts exactly,” I replied.
“You did a hell of a job on the Companions,” she said as she started to touch me, “In a week you became Harbinger, helped finish off our biggest foe, gave us the means to cure our ‘curse’ as the men say. But I think with my head, not with my heart. It’s a numerical advantage that I’m keeping for now. Also – in a week you stole all of our hearts, I think.”
“Maybe not everybody. But I do plan on making nice with everyone when we get back. Might even host a Thieves’ Guild-style orgy for everyone.”
“Yeah, I heard a little bit about that. Word gets around about you,” Aela said.
“Who told you?” I asked.
“An old traveling buddy. Mjoll. She lives in Riften now, right?”
“Yeah! I remember her,” I said. And with that, we got to it. Making love in the Companions’ sacred hall. It was only about five minutes before I remembered the old Harbingers were probably watching us. Probably enjoying it too, the old bastards. A good few of the ghosts we fought were women too, and I have to imagine being honor guard for eternity leads to some fun times.
Aela stayed for a while and I walked out the back way, entering through the front door to retrieve the axe. Farkas and Vilkas were still standing there, talking. I stealthed my way to them.
“I tell you, she’s into me more!” Farkas said, “She practically ripped my clothes off the last time we did a dungeon crawl together.”
“Yeah well, she said she wanted to fuck me. And kissed me. On the lips!” Vilkas responded.
“Big deal. She got on top of me and fucked me on the dais with Wuuthrad’s fragment. And sucked my dick as a werewolf,” Farkas said.
“That’s… kinda gross actually,” Vilkas said.
“Eh, I’m a thinking creature. Probably not much different than a Khajiit or an Argonian.
“Hmm… never thought about it that way,” Vilkas said, “Do they have ‘normal’ dicks?”
“Boo!” I jabbed Farkas in the rib.
“Fuck!” Farkas shouted, and I chuckled. Vilkas chuckled, then Farkas chuckled.
“How long were you listening, Harbinger?” Farkas smirked.
“Harb~?” Vilkas asked, “I should’ve known you’d steal it away from us.”
“Steal? Kodlak was pretty appreciative after we cured his werewolfism,” I said, “Speaking of which, here.” I handed him a sack with a witch’s head in it.
“Ugh,” Vilkas took it and put it in his bag. I’m guessing Farkas told him everything. I guess brothers do share.
“Hey,” Farkas said, “So which one of us are you interested in, anyway?”
“In what capacity?” I asked.
“Like…” Vilkas started, being awkward again.
“Like sex? Or a relationship?” I asked.
“Both? Either?” Farkas asked.
“Well, can’t it be both?” I asked.
“I just said both,” Farkas said.
“No, I mean both of you. Maybe at the same time,” I said, then I looked at Vilkas, “Maybe not.”
“Gods, all due respect Harbinger, do you act like that with everyone?” Farkas asked.
“Aela seemed to like my attention. Though, she’s more of a giver, I guess,” I said.
“Aela too?” Vilkas asked, “What about Skjor? Kodlak? The new bloods?”
“No, none of those. Strictly professional. Though I did have a weird experience with Ria and a bear…” I cut myself off, not wanting to go into it, “Look, I’m not interested in a relationship. Further than a good friendship. I just would take benefits too, while I’m here.”
“I…” Farkas said, “I think we can accommodate you.”
“What are you saying, brother?” Vilkas whispered strongly.
“Gods, has it been that long for you?” Farkas whispered back.
“That’s not the point!” Vilkas whispered angrily.
They went back and forth for a while until Vilkas said, “Okay. Meet me in my room later, if you want. I’m not going to do anything here.”
Farkas and I were standing there when he left.
“Well?” He asked, “Aren’t you gonna grab the axe? Looks like there’s a back way (I saw you come back in the front door) so Aela isn’t trapped.”
I smirked, and turned to pull the axe out of Ysgramor’s hands. As I did, Farkas grabbed my hips from behind and started kissing my neck, “It’s been crazy around here. I haven’t had a chance for a part two of this. Want me to transform?”
I shook my head, “Start out like this. If you feel the need later, go right ahead.”
“You, I like,” he said as we started to undress.
“I plan on being here for you if you need me,” I said, “Not in Whiterun, mind you. I go all over.”
“Yeah, I figured you wouldn’t stick around long. I’ve heard about you. But I’ll love you for it anyway,” he said back, and entered me from behind.
A few minutes later Aela walked in. Her eyes went wide and she smiled, “I figured I’d make sure you boys picked up Wuuthrad. And now I am pleasantly surprised.”
“Keep… *ah* it casual *ah* right?” I asked. She smiled, and watched. After a few minutes she had her clothes off and was touching herself too. Farkas transformed and finished off in the same position – doggystyle.
“Feel better?” I asked.
“It’s like relaxing into a warm mug of spiced mead,” Farkas smiled.
We all returned to Jorrvaskr tired and elated. I took a nap in Kodlak’s bed – realizing I hadn’t slept in at least a day, then I went over to the common room to find what sounded like another brawl.
I’ve had a few days to write with LL down, so there might be another entry later today or again tomorrow morning. Wanted to finish Companions-related stuff this time, but there’s still just a bit next time.
I’m not sure if the Witches actually have a spell that knocks you out of WW form, or if it was just a glitch, but it did happen. /Shrug.
I usually fast travel to Dragonsreach to get to Jorrvaskr, because it’s pretty close. This is how I explained the ambush – I can fly.
Thank you, https://www.thuum.org/translator.php. For telling me how to say Companion.
Edited by EnragedBard