Previous installments under skyrim-conversations
So, I'm a little irked with the writers of Skyrim
for not only suddenly giving Farkas arachnophobia at a plot-convenient point, but for then apparently having him get over it equally suddenly and with no explanation. It wouldn't have taken more than a couple of lines of dialogue.
Well, I say that, but when I decided to tackle it in fanfic, it got rather long and involved. Friends, I bring you the tale of The Bunny of Hircine.
You know, I expected it to be weird, being the Harbinger of the Companions, but everyone treats me pretty much as they always did. Aela still finds random odd jobs for me to do. Though this one has got to take the cake.
"You want me to kill a rabbit?" I ask.
"This is no ordinary rabbit," Aela says. She looks dead serious, though with that warpaint of hers, she usually does. "This is the Bunny of Hircine. It's a formidable foe, a vicious killer."
Not Hircine again. He's on my list of Daedra I'd really rather not tangle with again. A list that keeps growing despite my best efforts to steer clear of demonic beings from Oblivion. "Okay, supposing for the moment that I accept the existence of something called the Bunny of Hircine, why does it need to die?"
Aela looks uncomfortable. "Well, when you cured Kodlak's spirit of his lycanthropy, you deprived Hircine of his soul. Hircine is not pleased."
"And if I kill his pet bunny, this will make him feel better?"
Aela shrugs. "You know Hircine. He lives for the hunt. Slay the Bunny of Hircine, make sure you make good sport of it, and Hircine will smile upon you."
I've had Hircine smile upon me before. It made me feel like he'd enjoy having me for lunch. But I know Aela's right - Hircine does live for the hunt.
"Okay, I'll do it. Where do I start looking for this Bunny?"
Of course, the location that she name is about as far from Whiterun as it is possible to get, and way up north and freezing cold to boot. I'll need to pack some extra furs.
On my way out, I bump into Vilkas. "Vilkas?" I ask. "Do you know anything about the Bunny of Hircine?"
He nods. "A legendary beast. They say that if you slay it, you win Hircine's favor forever."
"Well, then I'm about to win Hircine's favor forever, because Aela's sent me off to kill it."
Vilkas looks impressed. "Talos go with you, shield-sister. You are a mighty warrior, but the Bunny of Hircine may be beyond even you."
He nods. Right. I add some extra healing potions to the packing list along with the furs.
And then I head off to the frozen wastes to hunt the Bunny of Hircine. I hunt. And I hunt. And I hunt.
I find plenty of rabbits, but none that seem especially dedicated to Daedric lords. I meet a few other wanderers and adventurers up in that frozen waste, but all inquiries about a Bunny of Hircine are met with either blank stares or snickers.
I finally settle for slaughtering every damn bunny I can find. This doesn't seem to accomplish anything.
I return to Whiterun and head straight for Jorrvaskr, not even pausing to drop off my giant pile of rabbit hides at home. As I enter the main hall, I hear shouting from downstairs. Farkas's voice. "I'm going to crush you like a bug!"
Dropping my extra gear, I summon my sword and sprint down the stairs. Could this be another Silver Hand attack? I could have sworn we'd wiped them out. Some new threat? Who else would dare to attack the Companions in their home base at Jorrvaskr?
I burst through the heavy wooden doors into the living quarters. Down the hallway, I can see Farkas, flanked by Vilkas and Aela. He is furiously brandishing his sword at...nothing, as far as I can see.
No, not nothing, I see as I come closer. A fairly good-sized house spider.
The three of them turn towards me, making a determined effort to look casual. Aela is almost convincing, but the two twins look like they've been caught stealing sweetrolls from Tilma's kitchen.
"Oh, hi, Terra," Vilkas says. "We weren't expecting you back so soon."
I shake my head. "You guys made up the entire story about the Bunny of Hircine just to get me out of the way while you helped Farkas get over his arachnophobia?"
Farkas looks sullen. "It was supposed to be a surprise."
"Farkas, I..." I don't know what to say. So, I settle for, "That spider is crawling up your leg."
He goes pale and crumples to the ground.
"Oops," I say. "I guess that arachnophobia cure hadn't really taken yet."
Aela looks at me and shakes her head.
"I'll make it up to him somehow," I assure her.
"Whatever, shield-sister. He's your problem now."