Chapter 19:

(1st of Hearthfire)


Sara knew well enough what an Elder Scroll was, even if she had never laid eyes on one. After a minute or so she knits her brows. "Are you saying the ancient Nords sent Alduin forward in time?" "Not intentionally. Some hoped he would be gone forever, forever lost. Meyye. I knew better. Tiid bo amativ. Time flows ever onward. One day he would surface. Which is why I have lived here. For thousands of mortal years I have waited. I knew where he would emerge but not when." She turns her head to Vilkas. "So that's what happened, Alduin wasn't killed, the people fighting him had used an Elder scroll on him. Question is how do we find the one we need? Would you know Paarthurnax?" The large dragon shakes his head. "Krosis. No. I know little of what has passed below in the long years I have lived here. You are likely better informed than I." She crosses her arms as she looks up. "Does Skyrim have a library?" Vilkas gives it some thought. "The Collage in Winterhold might, since your a mage, they'll let you in.." She bobs her head at him as she looks back to the dragon. "What do I do with the Elder Scroll when I find it?" "Return it here, to the Tiid-Ahraan. Then…Kelle vomindok. Nothing is certain with such things. But I believe the Scroll's bond with the Tiid-Ahraan will allow you a…a seeing, a vision of the moment of its creation. Then you will feel – know – Dragonrend, in the power of its first expression. You will see them…wuth fadonne…my friends – Hakon, Gormlaith, Felldir." Sara tilts her head to the side. "Hakon, Gormlaith, Felldir? Who are they?" "The first mortals that I taught the Thu'um – the first Tongues. The leaders of the rebellion against Alduin. They were mighty, in their day. Even to attempt to defeat Alduin… sahrot hunne. The Nords have had many heroes since, but none greater."

"Alright then, thank you, I'll be back once I find this Elder Scroll." She reaches out and pats Paarthurnax. He didn't seem to mind this as she smiles. "Thank you for your help." He lets out a low rumble at her as she lets him go and heads back down the mountain. "So where is Winterhold?" "Far up north past Windhelm.." Gods bless this man, she would have gotten so lost without him around. When they returned to High Hrothgar, Master Arngeir was waiting for them near the door. "So it would seem our master has seen to it to help you on your path Dragonborn. I must admit, even we must bend to the wind of change." She bows her head to him. "Thank you Master." They leave the monastery as Sara lets out a low sigh. "Guess we should stop by Jorrvaskr first, I'm surprised Kodlak hasn't sent my sorry arse out the door for all this.." Vilkas shakes his head at her. "He's a wise man that knows more then he lets on.." Kodlak had raised him after all when his so called 'father' left go fight in the war. She places her hands behind her head as they walk down the path. "Maybe we should look into getting a horse?" She opens her bag as she looks at the amount of gold she had. She used most of it for her new armor. "Oh...well never mind...walking it is.." Vilkas lets out a low laugh as they reach Ivarstead after an hour of walking. They had a quick lunch before heading off to make it back to Whiterun. It was slowly turning to dusk by the time they reached the walled city. Her legs were a bit sore from all the crazy amount of walking they had been doing as of late.

When they walked in Sara was surprised to see Aela was waiting for her. They step off to the side for a moment. It seems Kodlak wanted to have a word with her and Sara slowly heads off downstairs to find the old Harbinger. Kodlak was sitting at the same back table he had been sitting at when she had first stepped through these doors on her first day. He gives her a nod to join him as she takes the chair across from him. "I hear you've been busy of late." She lowers her head a bit. Vilkas was right, he did know more then he let on. "Yes sir..Kodlak I know revenge isn't the answer...but you have seen what the Silver Hand have been doing without our notice. Me and Vilkas just cleared out a fort where they were eating them!" Kodlak frowns deeply, he had no idea things were so bad. He shakes his head however. "Be that as it may lass, I need you for a different task. Do you know how the Companions came to be werewolves?" She shakes her head at him. "I never asked sir." Kodlak takes a deep breath. "The Companions are nearly five thousand years old. This matter of Beastblood has only troubled us for a few hundred. One of my predecessors was a good, but short-sighted man. He made a bargain with the witches of Glenmoril Coven. If the Companions would hunt in the name of their lord, Hircine, we would be granted great power." Sara looks up for a moment. "So they became werewolves?" "They did not believe the change would be permanent. The witches offered payment, like anyone else. But we had been deceived." He looks deep into her eyes. "The disease, as you know, affects not just our bodies. It seeps into the spirit. Upon death, werewolves are claimed by Hircine for his Hunting Grounds. For some, this is a paradise. They want nothing more than to chase prey with their master for eternity. And that is their choice. But I am still a true Nord. And I wish for Sovngarde as my spirit home."

"So you want me to go hunt these...witches down so you can cure yourself? Have you any idea how it might work?" "That's what I've spent my twilight years trying to find out. And now I've found the answer. The witches' magic ensnared us, and only their magic can release us. They won't give it willingly, but we can extract their foul powers by force. I want you to seek them out. Go to their coven in the wilderness. Strike them down as a true warrior of the wild. And bring me their heads. The seat of their abilities. From there, we may begin to undo centuries of impurity." She looks down for a bit as she nods. "I'll hunt them down, for your sake, and the others. I know Aela enjoys being a werewolf, but only time will tell if her or the others will change their minds." She slowly starts to rise before he holds her hand. "I need you to go alone lass. As much as I love my boys, Vilkas' fire burns to hotly, and Farkas is far to kindhearted." Sara looks deep into his eyes. She had far to much respect for them man to argue. "As you wish sir, where will I be going?" He points out the small town of Falkreath on a map. He moves his hand to a cave the was northwest of the town. "Take my horse, Gods know I won't be using him anytime soon." She smiles as she leans in, kissing the top of his head. "I'll be back as soon as I can...look after Vilkas for me will you?" Kodlak chuckles at this as he nods, getting to his feet. "I'll have a word with the boy...go."

They made their way to the meadhall as she goes out the backdoor. Kodlak smiles as he turns his knowing gaze to the family he had created. He had lost his own family years ago, but the Companions had filled the void a long time ago. He just shakes his head at the twins slowly as he watches them harass one another as brothers do. Vilkas pushes his brother away as e turns to Kodlak. The old Harbinger just smiles warmly at them. While he kept them busy Sara makes her way to the stables. The owner, a Nord named Skulvar walks up to her. "I'm here on official Companion business, which of these horses belongs to the Harbinger?" He points to a painted stallion as she smiles. "Thank you.." She pats the horse before jumping on. It rears up as she turns quickly and heads down the road to Falkreath. She had to hand it to Kodlak, he had picked out a fine horse indeed and it seemed pleased to be out on the road again. She keeps a good pace as she follows the signpost to the small town. It takes her a few hours to reach it, by then it was pitch black. Knowing she should just keep going she turns the horse north as she keeps the pace slow in order to find the cave she was looking for. As they trot through the forest, her stallion stops as he stomps his hooves and lowers his ears. "What is it boy?" The horse just lets out a whine as she gets off to see a broken tower before her. She pulls out her swords slowly as she sees a small group of bandits, now coming out to deal with her. Normally, one person against ten wouldn't end well, but she wasn't some normal traveler. Once she cleared the place out she ends up spending the night there.

(2nd of Hearthfire)

She had tied the horse to a nearby tree as she waited for morning. She made sure to feed the horse a few apple. "Good horse." She lets him rest until dawn starts to rise they were off once again. She turns to the hillsides as she keeps a slow pace. She keeps her eyes open as she sees a path were the grass was starting to die. She turns and heads up as she hop off the horse. The area here was slowly dying it seemed, as it something was draining the life of this place. She sees a cave opening, this had to be it as she pulls out her bow. She enters the cave slowly to see it was pitch black inside. However she sees a flicker of light deeper inside and sees a small bonfire. Roaming nearby was one of those Hagravens. She had only seen one that had been living with the Forsworn. Sara couldn't hide her disgust with the woman bird creature as she aims her bow. She waits for the right moment, and aims. She hits the Hagraven, but she only seems to piss it off. "Oh hell, they'er tougher then they look.." She quickly pulls out her swords as the damn thing starts to heal itself. "I'll kill you yet you ugly hag!" The witch lets out a strange hiss at her as it starts to use fire magic to try and light the inside of the cave on fire. Sara rolls as she paints deeply, working her way closer to the Hagraven. She pushes herself forward as she swings out her blade to cut off the witches head. She makes a clean cut as the head rolls to the ground. The body follows as Sara looks away. She sees an old bedroll on the ground and tears out a chunk of the blanket. She lays the head on it and wraps it up. "One down, time to hunt the others..."

It takes her a full hour to clear the place out. The Hagravens were a lot more dangerous then Sara had thought. Their powerful magic almost took her out. She was just happy her new armor protected her. By the end of it, she had killed five of them, so she ends up taking all of their heads, so something like this could never happen again. She ties her makeshift bag together and wraps it up several times before storing it in her magical bag for safe keeping. She leaves the cave to find her horse still waiting for her. He had moved away a bit to graze at some grass that was growing. She unties the horse and turns to head back home. As she reaches Riverwood she couldn't help but notice the weather changing. She slows to a stop as a strange feeling passes through her. She kicks the steed forward as she travels as fast as she could. She just leaps off the horse when she got to the stables and says nothing as she bolts to the front gates. She couldn't help but notice how heavy the air felt as she spots a large group of guards near Jorrvaskr. She rushes up the steps to see Aela and Torvar outside, a couple of dead Silver Hand on the ground bellow. Aela let out a low growl. "Seems the Silver Hand finally gathered the courage to attack Jorrvaskr, we took care of these three, but a few made it inside.." Sara bolts through the doors to see that Vilkas was standing there, glaring at her. She looks down slowly to see Kodlak, dead as well as another Silver Hand. Farkas just sat there quiet, stroking the old mans hair as Njada sat with him.

"Where were you?" Sara jolts as she looks up, she could see sparks of amber flowing through his eyes. "I...was doing Kodlak's bidding..." He tightens his fist. "Well I hope it was worth it...Kodlak...they killed him. The Silver Hand attacked, and stole all our fragments of Wuuthrad. But you and I are going to get them back, and teach the Silver Hand once in for all not to mess with the Companions.." The only other person that had been injured in the fight was Athis, but Ria was taking care of him. "Any idea where they went?" Vilkas gives her a slow nod. "Driftshade Refuge, by the time we're through with them only songs of Jorrvaskr will be sung!" He raises his sword as he leads out with her right behind him. The only thing she hears is Aela yelling after them. "Make them bleed!" Even Torvar yells after them. "Don't leave any of them alive!" Vilkas doesn't say a word to her as they rush out of the city. He just heads north as she quickly follows after him. There was no point of trying to talk sense to the man. No doubt he had seen everything and his anger had reached it's limit. However as they reached Loreius Farm he finally seems to stop as he turns to her. She jolts as she stops a few feet behind him. "You never answered my question....where were you?" Sara nervously licks her lips. "I traveled to Glenmoril Coven..Kodlak found the cure to end the Companions lycanthropy." His silver eyes go wide. "What?" "I'm not sure myself..but I killed all of them and removed their heads..." Vilkas could still feel his anger crawling under his skin. It wasn't aimed at her, but for right now he shakes his head. "Lets just..get moving.." She silently nods at him as they start to head off quickly.

After a few hours of traveling through deep snow they had found their way to an old watch tower. It was just south of Driftshade. The tower had been cleared out so they used it to just camp out for a moment. While Vilkas wanted nothing more then to march in, it would be unwise. She understood how angry he was and such anger would only blind him to the dangers the Silver Hand might be hiding. Seeing that they had were deprived enough to EAT their kind, they had to be a bit more careful. She wasn't sure what they would face in there, so she takes a moment to check her gear. She still had an extra stock of arrows and some potions she had yet to use. Vilkas just sits himself as far as he could, unable to sit still. After a few minutes she figured it would be better to just get moving. They head out north and soon find Driftshade. There was a tiny little outpost sticking out of the snow. She could smell the dried blood from a mile away as she pulls out her bow. he spots a man sitting on the edge of the small building and aims. He falls back from the arrow as another standing near the door slowly moves out. He failed to see Vilkas leap out and almost cleave the man in two with his blade. He just yanks it out of the mans body as she takes the lead. She does her best to ignore the number of werewolf heads that decorated the walls. They followed a set of stairs to a multi-junction room with two Silver Hand pacing the bottom floor. She keeps her bow out as she waits for one of them to turn their back to her when she lets her arrow go. The bandit hits the ground as Vilkas leaps into the fight to take care of the other fighter. Sara takes a moment to try a door, only to find it had been barred shut. "Well we can't go that way.."

The eastern corridor had collapsed, so the only option is the western room. The next corridor lead to a large two-leveled room. Two more Silver Hands patrolled here, one on the top level to the left, and the other straight ahead on the lower level. They split apart while Sara took out the one on the lower level as Vilkas takes out the other. They meet back as the follow a path north. They pass a locked door so she pulls out a lock pick and gets to work. It was only a simple bedroom with a single sleeping Silver Hand. She sneaks in with her dagger and slits the mans throat before he even knew what hit him. She checks the room, making sure there was nothing important before moving out. "Nothing here, if they have the fragments, it must be deeper inside.." Vilkas just nods as he watches her back. For right now, he really didn't trust himself to speak. Last thing he wanted to do was say something he wouldn't be able to take back. She doesn't push him either, knowing that right now they just needed to keep their minds on the task ahead. They soon find a kitchen, but at least this one didn't hold and dead werewolves. But they did run into two more Silver Hand and a door that was blocked off by a gate. They kill the two Silver Hand and as Sara finds a pull chain so they could go through the door. The end up in a cellar and she couldn't help but notice the sudden chill to the air. Her breaths came out as tiny poofs of smoke as she looks around slowly. She moves slowly, hearing someone ahead. She fails to notice the spike wall, and the next thing she sees in something flying at her.