Aspect of the Hunt

Another ESO Story on Entering Skyrim, Deviant Art, and AO3.

Greenshade was a mess, I’ll admit that much. Absolutely lousy with hunters and trackers who couldn’t do their own damned job even if their heads were screwed on backwards.

As Argo and I traveled through Greenshade, seeking out dungeons, and fulfilling fetch quest orders, fighting bandits and what have you…. I’ve counted no less than four times now that we were asked for help by these hunters…

And as much as I wanted to tell my fellow Bosmer “No way, it’s your job, we’re not doing it,” Argo would preempt me and agree to it. She would just wink at me and say ‘I need the practice’ whenever I asked why. And so three times in a row I followed Argo through the loose foliage looking for A Wasp, then a Mammoth, then a damned Multi-eyed Troll. And each time- upon returning with a head, a tusk and an arm, respectively- they would congratulate Argo’s skills and while taking the credit for it, vaguely mention something about a “great hunter” who was last seen tracking a “Mythical Senche” somewhere I never wrote the name down of.

The fourth time, we were simply out searching for a monster of some kind terrorizing camping sites, nothing too elaborate or anything like that. Not even at someone’s request. We were just out trying to kill it for fun/”the greater good of Valenwood.”

And then we found a Bosmer, acting as if wounded despite his wounds being fully healed.

I didn’t make the connection at the time, but the Bosmer said he was tracking a Senche, and that he had barely escaped its claws after it killed his fellow “Hound.” He claimed “Physical wounds may heal, but the mental ones remain” or something like that. It was a peculiar way to say it, but of all of the hunters that had requested aid in tracking their “one beast” his was the one I felt the most sympathy for. It was the look in his eyes, honestly. Something about it reminded me of that Breton girl from Khenarthii’s Roost. What exactly, I couldn’t say… But it drew my sympathy just the same.

I didn’t protest when Argo accepted the hunt.

We found the long rotted skeleton of that “Hound” lying nearby. How long had that Bosmer just been sitting there?

Argo set to work, but damned if she wasn’t having a hard time about it. The tracks were older, nowhere near as fresh as the other sets. But somehow… Argo managed it. She would perform giant leaps across stretches of jungle, bigger paths than anything we’d done thus far, and when I asked how she knew, she’d explain how certain signs had remained better than others. This “Mythical Senche” must have been huge to leave such long lasting marks.

The path wound across the northern part of Greenshade in such a convoluted path that I had trouble following it personally. But then… we finally found it. A lion maned beast with white fur.

Argo set upon it with a ferocity that….

After slaying it, we started skinning it, but part-way through Argo tapped at my shoulder, and pointed straight ahead.

There, standing in the trees, was a ghostly stag. An Aspect of Hircine.

I was so caught up watching it that I missed anything that it had said, or perhaps, I never heard it to begin with.

By the time it vanished, mere moments later, Argo was shaking with fear.

We returned to the Bosmer, a long trek back, and showed him the fur. He explained to us that he had asked Hircine to grant him immortality while he hunted the Senche, at the cost of no rest until the hunt had been completed. The poor mer….

He passed on just after handing Argo his bow, eyes gleaming with a silver light from the fur.

We returned to Marbruk via Wayshrine after that, and found our way to the Inn.

“Hircine,” Argo said finally after a drink, “God of the Hunt and probably the father of all Werewolves. And we saw his aspect.”

It was common knowledge, that. But in respect to her frequent encounters with Werewolves in the past…

“There isn’t enough ale in the world to make me forget this right now,” Argo lamented, downing the rest of her cup. “But I’m going to try.”

“Another round, on me,” I said to the Altmer girl behind the counter, never once failing to notice how her eyes gleamed at the mention of the name. I glared in a way that made her understand, “Not a single word goes out about this.”

Whether she knew me by reputation, or Raz had spent a night here in the bar at one point, I’ll never know. She never did say a single word about any of that night to anyone…

But that’s a story for another time.

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