I had started towards the only obvious exit to this arena, when suddenly, I could hear the sound of a teleportation spell working.

Just to my right, I could see the effect of the spell.


Suddenly, I found myself face-to-face with Hircine once again.

"So...you are the one." he said, bowing politely. "You have escaped my hounds and beaten back the other challengers. I had rather expected the giant to prevail, but no matter. You have proven yourself a worthy hunter, and you have earned the greatest honor that can bestowed upon a mortal: you are to be my prey."

"Well, that's an honor I can do without." I shot back. "Personally, I would have also preferred to watch the giant bust you up."

"Ah, a brave response." he replied. "I ask you, though: what is it that makes a hunter great? Is it his strength? The speed with which he strikes? Or is it his guile, the ability to outwit his prey? Answer me, mortal, and decide your fate."

I had to think fast - whatever I chose, that's what I would have to defend against. I didn't want this to be an even match. I thought of what I had brought with me. The Ring of Weapons would give me a way to fight and block his attacks; I still had a large number of health and magicka potions with me. The one thing I didn't want him to be was stronger than me. That was it! I had with me the Belt of Berserker's Rage. It would cut down on the amount of magicka I could use, but the strength it would provide........

"Speed." I replied. "A hunter's greatest strength is his speed."

Hircine nodded once again. "So you have chosen, and so shall be your fate. To face me in all my glory would be less than sporting, so you shall face but one of my aspects, the one you have chosen." Hircine spun his staff, looking up to the ceiling. "We have little time - the Bloodmoon sinks low in the sky. Prepare yourself, mortal, for now you are the Hunted!"


Quickly, I slipped on the Belt of Berserker's Rage. I felt it draining me of much of my magicka, yet I could not help but notice that I felt more powerful then ever before. As I added the Ring of Weapons, Hircine began to change.....


....into his aspect of speed! The glow of his transformation spell hadn't even faded as he lunged to attack me!


Hircine bit and attacked, but my shield deflected his sharp teeth from me. Using my new-found strength, I him with  my feather-light broadsword. I think I hurt him, as he pulled back, not expecting me to be able to put up such a fight.

Hircine ran to the other side of the area, almost too fast for me to see. I took the moment to down two more health potions. They would heal me as fast as Hircine could injure me.


Those potions were taken just in time, too, as Hircine charged back at me, plowing into my shield once again. He managed to bite my leg, but the effect of my healing potions repaired the damage almost immediately.

Hircine didn't seem too pleased that I just wouldn't die so easily, and ran around the room again, hoping to get behind me


Hircine again ran to the attack with nearly blinding speed. There was no time to cast spells here, but I wished I had summoned a battle-axe. Yet, doing so would prevent me from being able to use the summoned shield.

As Hircine attacked, I struck him full in the chest with my broadsword. The beast let out a roar, more of anger than of pain.


Once again, Hircine ran away, bleeding. Everyone knows there's nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal, and this is what I was now facing.

Hircine was determined to win this battle. I took two more healing potions, getting my broadsword out again just in time to block off another attack. He swiped at me with his powerful paws, ripping my right arm. The potions healed the damage within seconds. I responded with the sword, coming down right on his head with it.

Suddenly, Hircine reared up on his hind legs. He was going to fall down upon me, and sink his huge fangs into my neck. At that moment, I struck him directly in the heart.

Oh, he didn't like that at all! His animal form let out an howl of agony as I backed away.


Hircine's Aspect of Speed fell dead on the floor, giving one last gasp of air, then lay silent.

Cautiously, I searched the corpse, and found an amulet, the Hunter's Amulet of Speed. It would increase my speed, acrobatic and athletic abilities. I certainly could find a use for this item.

I also found a glowing key - the same kind of key that allowed me to pass through the portals earlier.    


If this key was my only way out of here, I decided I'd better use it now.

I walked up through the portal, and stepped through the barrier.

As I entered the next chamber, the walls of the entire glacier started to shake and crumble. I could hear Hircine's voice, calling out to me in anger.

"This cannot be;" he shouted, as I started to dodge falling ice walls around me. "The Bloodmoon falls and the prey still lives! You have defeated my aspect but I will return, mortal. The Bloodmoon will rise again and my hounds will walk the lands. Let this world enjoy it's brief respite, for Hircine will hunt again!"    


As the ice-tunnels fell apart, I finally found myself free of this prison, out in the open once again. 


The sun was just rising in the east, and the scourge of Hircine's evil hunt was defeated until another age. Karstaag's castle was nearby, and all I had to do now was make my way back to the Skaal village.


Rather than walk, I decided to, once again, use my cliffracer form, and flew to the east, back to the village, to give them all the good news.


In only a few minutes, the now familiar Skaal village appeared before me.


I landed just outside the village, then changed back into my very handsome self.

The villagers were surprised to see me, staring in disbelief that I had been kidnapped by werewolves and lived to tell the tale. There was just one person that I wanted to see right now. I found her at our tent, staring into the snowfall, towards Karstaag Castle, wondering what had happened to me.

I crept up quietly and tapped her on the shoulder. "Were you looking for me?" I asked, with a wink and a smile.


"Eldorf???" she shouted, turning to face me. "Oh, thank the gods, you're alive! When the werewolves attacked, and you ended up missing, oh, I didn't know what to do. Where were you? What happened?"

"Long story." I said. "Step into my office and I'll tell you all about it."

I didn't have to ask her twice. The rest of the village could wait a bit for their version of what happened.





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