Author Topic: Fades capture RESURRECTION  (Read 25867 times)

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Offline Mistress Elysia

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Fades capture RESURRECTION
« on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:50 PM »
Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:37 am    

More background info....I'm warning you, this is looong! This is just to outline who Fade was, how she was captured etc. icon_biggrin.gif

Originally, Fade was intended to be a sorcerer, but she didn't evolve that way. I have decided that the manacles and collar she was forced to wear for so long almost 'divorced' her from her magical abilities, meaning she only has the bare basics at her disposal now.

Anyhoo....

Fade picked gingerly at the alleged ‘food’ she had been handed by one of the soldiers. She hadn’t bothered to learn his name. Before this dreadful trip, she had lived a life of pleasurable decadence, eating the finest of foods off the tautest of bodies, drinking the finest wines and spirits out of exquisite silver goblets. She allowed herself a rather wicked, self-indulgent smile, and continued to pick the charred outer pieces off of the tasteless root vegetables she had been served. Once again she wondered why the Countess had sent her on one of her notorious faerie – chases. She had an innate skill with magic, that much was true, but even she admitted her weapon skills were not really up to scratch. With a grimace she popped the vegetable into her mouth and chewed quickly, wanting to swallow the vile thing before her taste buds had even realised she had eaten it. No such luck.
“Cirion, is there anything else that doesn’t taste of swill?” she moaned petulantly, turning to the commander of their small group, whilst she wiped her fingers on the grass.
Cirion looked up from the map he was studying. He was older than Fade by a good century, and would have been considered handsome if it wasn’t for the two horns that protruded from his hairline and curled backwards over his head. He gave her taut, strained smile.
“There will be some rabbit ready soon” he replied “and there’s always trail rations”. At the mention of the rations, Fades grimace deepened.
“It’ll have to be rabbit then.” She turned to another nameless soldier. “You. Make sure I get a good portion. I don’t want any of this burnt muck.” With a flick of her wrist she threw the remainder of the offending vegetable into the campfire. The soldier, who had lived off rations and scraps for the last tenday, flinched as he saw perfectly good food being wasted.
“You really should be more conservative when it comes to supplies” drawled a voice from her left.
“And you should learn to keep your mouth shut, Mephes” she retorted back. “Or I’ll suggest to the Countess that you should have it sewn up.” She looked over her shoulder at him, and to her annoyance, saw that he was grinning broadly, exposing his perfectly pointed teeth, his red eyes glinting with amusement. He knew as well as Fade did that Sarya wouldn’t harm him – he was one of her favourites. He seemed the epitome of the Fey’ri ideal, and was one of only a few of those gifted with wings. They were huge, black and resembled those of a dragon, much to the envy of many of the other males.
“So, little princess, how are you finding the road after a whole tenday?” he enquired with an indolent grin. “Exciting, isn’t it?” He leant over towards her and made a big show of picking something invisible out of her crimson hair. She batted his hand away irritably and scowled at him.
“It’s horrible” she replied flatly. “All I want is a hot bath, a massage and some proper food. Not this filth.” She picked up the nearest plate of vegetables and flung the lot into the fire.
“KHER’TAL!” reprimanded Cirion, using her real name. “You may rank higher in the Citadel, but here I am in charge. We have little enough as it is, without you wasting it. If it hadn’t been for the Countesses insistence, I would not have brought you. You have little real combat experience, and although I don’t doubt your magical abilities, you are hardly a paradigm of discipline.” Fade glared angrily back at him, but knew when to keep her thoughts to herself.
“Tsk tsk” tutted Mephes quietly, still grinning. Fade turned her angry glare on to him, and bared her own pointed incisors. She then stood up without a word and flounced over to her bedroll.
“Doesn’t the mistress want any meat?” asked one of the nameless soldiers, this one a relatively pretty female. Fade already knew Mephes had coerced this one into keeping his bedroll warm at night. Fade hissed as a response.
“I would take that as a no, then” replied Mephes mockingly. She could not doubt the sadistic amusement in his voice. She chose, however to ignore him and made a show of trying to trance, the elven equivalent of sleep.
The three of them, along with five soldiers, had left Dlardrageth Citadel a tenday ago, and were already near their goal of the ancient and lifeless city of Myth Drannor. True, they had utilised a portal set up by Sarya for the majority of the journey, which had taken them to a relatively uninhabited area of Cormyr, near (but not near enough, in Fades’ opinion) to their goal. Much of their time had been spent avoiding the local inhabitants and patrols – although Fade had faith in her own magical abilities and in the fighting abilities of the others, they were under strict orders to keep their presence as much of a secret as possible. The last thing the Citadel needed was an army of angry elven Lessers to invade them, under the misguided notion that they were some how superior and needed to wipe those of infernal blood out. She didn’t even know what they were looking for – all Sarya had told them was to seek out ‘items of magical importance and monetary value’. Once they had collected all they could find, they were to return to the portal. Fade had heard rumours about ghosts and fell creatures that now inhabited the deserted city, but none of them worried her – there were many dangerous and fell creatures in this land, and surely she was one of them. She had been taught from an early age about her glorious heritage and how it had been cruelly snatched from her people, how the blood of demons coursed through her veins. The Fey’ri worshipped little, knowing that they all possessed immortal blood already. Those that did chose a clerical path worshipped Iyachtu Xvim, and following his return, his father Bane. There were even rumours of those who revered the drow god Vhaeraun, but the return of Bane saw many turn away from him, by choice or by force. Many traded across the planes, and some still joined in the Blood Wars, but many stayed at the Citadel, which had, in essence, led to its near downfall. Sarya knew that she couldn’t expect her proud race to toil as slaves, but she also knew that the Fey’ri were falling in on themselves in their own decadence. They needed new blood, new slaves and, most importantly, new power. And she knew this power was there for the taking by those wise enough to wield it, and brave enough to obtain it. With sufficient magical power, the seals and wards that prevented their direct linkage to the abyssal planes could be broken, and the Fey’ri could continue their conquest for Faerun.
Night was beginning to close around the camp, and it promised to be as warm as the last. Fade lay on one side, her back to the campfire, conjuring small balls of coloured lights to keep her amused. She had learnt she could do this at a very young age, and for some strange reason, manipulating the small globes in to intricate dances and patterns as they drifted upwards had always calmed her. When she was younger, studying to be a mage her tutors had realised that her magical abilities came from within, and not from studying the hundreds of dusty tomes they had given her. Annoyed as they were with her complete lack of dedication to the art of magic, they had nevertheless encouraged her, and found that her talents lay with the realms of deception, illusion and enchantment, earning her the soubriquet of The Fade. This revelation had come as no surprise to her immediate family, as it was well known that her direct lineage stemmed from that of a Succubus, a demon who thrived on deception and illusion. Her own mother had also been a Sorceress, but it was obvious that the trait was strongest in her youngest daughter.
Fade felt a hand softly caressing her leg. She initially chose to ignore it, knowing that it was probably Mephes again. Suddenly a large black wing blocked out the night sky; she knew then that it was he.
“Go away, Mephes” she said languorously, secretly enjoying the attention that he had always paid her. Part of the fun for her was to deny him. He invariably ignored her, and that sort of pleased her too. She liked to see him beg. She could normally get a good massage out of him, and would then prevent him from trying anything else; the excited frustration in his eyes amused her immensely. However, she did secretly consider him rather stupid, considering that he fell for it every time. Not that it mattered, she thought, as she lay on her stomach with her eyes closed, receiving a much needed back rub.


Offline Mistress Elysia

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Fades capture
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:51 PM »
***

Fade broke from her trance just as the sun was rising over the surrounding hills. Mephes was once again on his own bedroll, the nameless female soldier wrapped around him. She shook her head as she felt a fleeting stab of…. jealousy?, but she quickly dismissed it. Two of the other soldiers were up, the other two were still trancing, and Cirion was nowhere to be seen. They had camped near a river, so she stripped down to her underclothes, grabbed a spare blanket and made her way to the riverbank. The morning had dawned bright and clear, with enough heat from the early morning sun to promise another warm day. The morning sun sparkled off the inviting water, so once there she stripped off her remaining garments and entered the river. The water was cold but refreshing as she waded out into the slight current, and with a slight yelp and a deep breath, she submerged completely and swam under the cool surface for as long as she could stand, and then re-emerged to see Mephes watching her again. Rolling her bright crimson eyes at him, she half-swam, half-walked over to the bank.
“Bored of what’s-her-name?” she taunted with a hint of malicious, secret delight, and flicked water at him. He grinned back at her.
“Not really. Wanted to enjoy the view”. He gave her a pointed stare, still grinning rather lewdly.
Fade just snorted in amused reply, and swam back into the middle of the river. She knew Mephes couldn’t swim, as his wings got in the way. He shrugged his shoulders and sauntered back towards the camp and sat down. With, Fade realised soon afterwards, her spare blanket.
“MEPHES!!” she bellowed. “That’s NOT funny. Bring that blanket back NOW.” Mephes then stood up again, holding the blanket, still grinning.
“Come and get it then, little princess.” He called back, his voice tinged with amused impiety.
Fade, knowing that however much she hated it he had won this round, threw her shoulders back proudly, tossed her wet hair from her face and stalked out of the river clad only in the tattoos that decorated her body. Mephes’ lewd grin got wider and wider as she made her way towards him, and as soon as she was close enough, she snatched the blanket from his hands.
“I could have you flogged for that,” she hissed at him.
“I’d like to see you try” he replied, still grinning lasciviously. She narrowed her crimson eyes at him as she tied the blanket around her slight frame.
“You want help with drying off?” he called after her as she headed back to her bedroll and her backpack. She ignored him, and after rummaging around for a few seconds, pulled out a change of underclothes and a comb. She dressed quickly and then began to comb the tangles out of her waist length, blood-red hair. So intent was she on attempting to tame her unruly tresses, that she did not see the arrival of five males, all of them human.
“Greetings!” called one who had the aspect of a common merchant. He spoke with an accent that she found she could not quite place. Deciding that they were all well below her notice, she turned her back on them, continuing to concentrate on her hair. She then heard a muted scuffle and a gurgling noise, but still didn’t bother to turn around. No doubt Cirion or Mephes had decided to teach the merchants a “lesson”. It had, after all, been a whole tenday without any real entertainment. She stretched, feeling her shoulders click, and started to stand. Then, without any warning, a freezing sphere hit her, rendering her incapable of movement. She tried to scream as she fell backwards across her bedroll, but nothing came out, meaning that her own considerable repertoire of spells were also useless.
Panicking, she tried to scan the camp. To her horror the humans were all looking at her with interest, whilst talking with Cirion. One of the humans crouched down over her, with a slightly critical look on his face. He finally turned to Cirion.
“She’s definitely a fine specimen. Shame the male had to resist.” Cirion only nodded, but Fade was sure there was a hint of perverse pleasure in his countenance. Finding she could move her eyes, she scanned around to see Mephes lying on the floor in an ever-spreading pool of his own blood, along with the nameless female soldier and two of the males. The other two stood idly by whilst Cirion continued to listen to the humans.
“You did agree to five hundred gold for a female” said Cirion at last. “However, this is a high ranking female, one of the Dlardrageth blood line. She is definitely worth more. She is also a competent sorceress.”
That last comment made the human look a little worried. He shouted something in a strange, oddly accented language to one of the other humans, who quickly left towards a large caravan. He returned a couple of minutes later with what looked like a pair of shackles and a collar.
The human whom Fade assumed was their leader then said a few words in an arcane language she didn’t understand, and the freezing rigidity slowly left her limbs. As soon as the human saw that she could move again, he pulled her roughly to her feet and put the collar and shackles on her, locking each of them with a key that he then attached to a chain around this neck.
She raised her hands, quickly speaking the words of an incapacitating spell of her own, but was shocked and dismayed when nothing happened. She stared at her hands, and, unwilling to believe that her magic had left her, tried again, Once more nothing happened. The human laughed, an ugly, whining sound that made her want to slap him.
“My dear, your magic won’t work now. I have seen to that. A slave with magical abilities does not make a good slave. And we Zhentarim pride ourselves in the quality of our slaves.”
Fade looked at him with frank disbelief. She had heard of the Zhentarim, and knew that her people had traded with them a few times in the past.
“Slave?” she said eventually. It was all she could say. The human smiled grimly at her.
“Oh yes. And I would imagine one as…exotic as you would fetch a fine price.” He grabbed her chin and roughly turned her face to meet his. He continued to inspect her as if she were nothing more than cattle. Infuriated, she started to struggle, kicking out with her feet and snapping at them with her teeth. The Zhent just stepped backwards from her and spoke a word. To her surprise and outrage, she felt the collar around her neck tighten, constricting her airflow. It continued to tighten until she stopped fighting, more because she was close to passing out than through obedience.
“See? You will learn.” The Zhent continued to grin. Fade glared back at him, her eyes full of hate and cold fury. The leader then offered her one last cruel smile and turned to Cirion.
“You have delivered as promised. She is a fine specimen. I offer you seven hundred gold for her.”
Cirion shook his head.
“A thousand. She’s worth it”.
“Seven hundred. No more. Or I let her go.” The Zhent looked squarely at Cirion, knowing that he had caught him in a bind; he had no wish to see Fade released, as he knew exactly what she could, and would, do to him.
“Alright. Seven hundred it is.”
The Zhent said something unintelligible to one of his companions, and he soon returned with a pouch of gold.
“There. You can count it if you like, but I assure you, it’s all there.” To Fades mounting disgust and fury, the human attached a thin chain to the collar, as if she were nothing more than a dog. Cirion turned his back on her.
“Cirion!” she shrieked with a mixture of anger and alarm as they started to walk away with her “What are you doing? Why are you letting them do this?”
Cirion then turned around, his eyes narrowed and an exultant smile on his face that had nothing to do with amusement.
“Because, my dear little princess, I knew I could. I wanted gold and glory, not to be in charge of spoiled, disagreeable females.” He bowed low, mocking her. “Do not worry though, princess. The tale of your glorious death shall be spoken of for centuries to come. Although I haven’t actually decided how you did actually die. At the hands of Lessers, or in the fiery embrace of a Red Dragons’ breath?” He chuckled, stroking his pointed elven chin with one long, taloned finger. “Not that it would really matter. I feel that Sarya sent you on this chase to get you out of her hair anyway.” He leant forward and tried to plant a kiss on Fades cheek, but she whipped her head to one side before he could reach her, and as he withdrew, she spat in his face. She felt a rough tug on her collar. Cirion wiped the spittle from his face, still smiling.
“Such spirit” he commented to the humans. “She would serve just as well in the Gladiator pits as in the harem. But then, she is..” he paused, shook his head and chuckled to himself “I mean, was, so much like her mother. She always did enjoy a good fight.” With that, he inclined his head to the humans, gave Fade a mock salute and a wink and walked away. The two surviving soldiers, obviously in on the plan, turned heel and followed him.

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Fades capture
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:52 PM »
***

The Zhents didn’t wait for the traitorous Fey’ri to go far. The one holding her chain, obviously their leader, dragged her like a cur towards their own caravans in the distance. She hadn’t had time to put on her boots, and in her struggle she cut her foot on a stray flint. She yelped in pain, but the Zhents just ignored her, making her hobble painfully. It was ironic that within a race as destructive and chaotic as the Fey’ri, she had never once been seriously harmed, and if she so much as got a paper cut, there were soothing healing balms and draughts that could be administered immediately. Never before had she felt such pain as was coming from the cut in her foot.
Eventually they reached the circle of Zhentarim caravans, and she saw that she was not alone. She then realised, belatedly if not with any surprise, that they were not merchants, but slavers. Some slaves were sitting around, chained to the caravans; others seemed to be caged in the actual caravans themselves. Standing near the lead caravan were two huge half – orcs, obviously brought as a deterrent not only from raiders but also from any thought of rebellion from the slaves themselves. Chained to the outside of the caravans were three other half orcs, a couple of humans, three goblins and, much to her surprise, a Minotaur. All looked under fed and hollow-eyed, and there was an unmistakable reek of despair around the camp. Perversely, the Zhentarim slavers were in high spirits. It seemed that Fade had been something of a bargain – she heard them mocking Cirion and his woeful bartering skills, and how much more they had expected to pay for her. With dull comprehension, Fade realised that Cirion had probably arranged all this before they had even left – he had seemed rather insistent on camping in that particular spot, but no one had questioned him; he had been out on more expeditions than the rest of them put together. She also wondered, with a sinking feeling, whether Countess Sarya had been involved. She hadn’t really wanted to go on this stupid trip in the first place, thought Fade bitterly as she was manhandled in to one of the caravans. But the Countess had been adamant, and therefore she had had no choice but to obey.
The smell of the caravan brought her out of her sullen reverie. The stench of sour bodies and rotten food hit her like a war hammer to the head. She began to fight again as they tried to force her into one of the cages; she managed to kick one of the humans square in the face before she felt the collar tighten. This time, however, she did not stop. She thrashed around like a caged tiger, growling and spitting at her captors, baring her pointed incisors at them, attempting to bite them when she could. The pressure upon the collar began to build up. This seemed only to enrage her even more, and she began throwing herself at the sides of the caravan and cages. One of the Zhents then grabbed a handful of her crimson hair, and yanked hard. Fade howled in pain as it exploded across her scalp, and fell to her knees. The pressure on the collar continued to increase, until she felt as if she was being throttled. Trying to gulp down much needed air, and failing, she collapsed on to the floor, gasping. Then the Zhent who had grabbed her hair bent down over her, leered in her face, straightened up and kicked her hard in the stomach. This was too much to bear, and as she tasted the familiar coppery tang of blood in her mouth, she mercifully passed out.
***
She had no idea how long she had lain in her cage. When she did finally return to some semblance of consciousness, the first thing that hit were was the incredible pain in her head, neck and stomach. She tried to sit up, but the world spun around her, little stars exploding in front of her eyes, making her feel horribly nauseous. She lay back on the floor, and lifted her hand to her brow. It was sticky with dried blood.
Breathing slowly in a vain attempt to calm her roiling stomach, she tried to sit up again, this time much more slowly. Eventually, after a few false starts, she managed to prop herself up and survey her surroundings.
She was in one of the smaller cages, still in the noisome caravan. There were three other cages, of which only one was occupied.
“So, you’re awake,” said a soft voice from the relative gloom of the occupied cage. Fade turned her head to regard the speaker, but the sudden movement made her head spin again. This time she could not stop herself from vomiting.
“Easy, now,” said the voice. A slender black hand found its way through the bars of the cage and gently caressed her head. “We have to live in the mess we make, at least until Oron deems it unbearable”.
Slowly, trying to stop herself from retching, Fade looked up. The hand belonged to a pretty female with skin as black as a drow and hair as black as night.
“Wh…. who are you?” Fade asked eventually. She looked at the unusual female again. “What are you?”
The female gave her a slightly crooked smile.
“My name is Ketta” she replied. “And since you asked so nicely, I am a half drow. Who and what are you?” There was a slight sarcastic edge to her voice. For a second, the insolent tone to her voice made Fade bristle; no one at the Citadel would have dared to speak to her in such a way. Remembering where she was and the situation she was in made her hold her tongue. She gave a frustrated sigh.
“I am…. sorry” she replied eventually, through gritted teeth. “I am …unused to such treatment. My name is Fade.”
Ketta gave her a weak smile.
“You get used to it. I certainly did.” Her tone was now bitter. Fade regarded her fellow prisoner again with mounting curiosity.
“My father was drow, my mother a human slave,” Ketta said simply, seeing the interest in Fades eyes. “I was born a slave. The drow were going to just kill me as an abomination, but as soon as the realised they could make money out of me they sold me. This is my fourth market.”
Fade looked at her now with slight disbelief.
“Your fourth market?” she echoed. “You mean you have been… sold three times already?”
The half drow just shrugged.
“And you accept this?” Fades infamous anger was now beginning to surface. “You just let them do it?”
“I don’t have a choice. I have no rights, no money and no real identity. I am a possession. It has always been so,” replied Ketta frankly. “I know this may be hard for you to understand, but accepting your fate does lead to an easier life. If you fight, you will get hurt.” She scanned Fades face, her pale blue eyes resting on the welts and bruises.
“But don’t you want to be free? Don’t you want to live your own life?” Fade asked, feeling slightly uncomfortable under the half drow’s piercing gaze. She began to fiddle with the collar around her neck.
“I would love to, but with what? At least this way I get to sleep in the relative warm and get fed. It’s not an easy life, but it’s better than living on the streets. And I wouldn’t touch that, if I were you.” She gave Fade a reassuring, if brittle smile. “Many have tried to remove the collars, one way or another.”
Fade looked up, her hands still probing the collar.
“And what happened to them?”
“Still slaves, or dead. Only the correct key can unlock them.”
Fade hissed, a foul look of fury and defiance twisting her beautiful, if slightly feral, face. She grasped the bars of her cage and hauled herself upwards, ignoring the reeling sensation in her stomach as she did so.
“I will never accept this life” she swore vehemently. “They have no right to do this! Do you hear me!” she shouted furiously, banging her fist on the side of the caravan. “I will never accept this!”
“By the Gods, shhhh!!” hissed Ketta. “Do you want to get us both flogged?”
“Flogged?” replied Fade, incredulously. “They wouldn’t dare! Flogging is reserved for slaves and…and….” She trailed off, realising what she had just said. She sat down again.
Ketta raised her eyebrows and just gave her another sardonic half smile.
“Owned a few slaves in your time, then?” asked Ketta after a few minutes silence. Her tone was slightly bitter. Fade looked back at her defiantly.
“I am a Fey’ri noble!” she replied ferociously. “It is my right and pleasure! I serve no one! People bow and scrape before ME! I bow and scrape for no one, you hear? NO ONE!” she was now breathing hard, and her temple throbbing.
Ketta snorted in amusement and slight disbelief.
“You’ve definitely got a lot to learn, then. Go around with that attitude, you’ll get yourself killed, or worse.”
“No one would dare.” Fade hissed back. “I would tear their throat out first!” She bared her pointed incisors.
“Impressive, but it won’t happen. I told you about the collars. They put them on us for a reason. I learnt long ago to stop fighting.” She gave a defeated sigh. “ It’s useless. They just wait until you pass out, and then they torture you once you’re awake again.” She looked away from Fade, at the caravan wall. “And believe me, it’s torture if you’re lucky.”
“Torture if you’re lucky?” Fade thought of the different methods of torture her people applied to slaves, whether they were disobedient or not. Many times had torture been a pastime when she was angry, upset or just plain bored. “What could possibly be worse than that, except death?”
Ketta looked back at her, a steely edge now in her eyes.
“Are you kidding? Or just that naive?” she spat furiously. “Do you know how many illegitimate children I’ve carried? Three!!” she glared at Fade, daring her to comment. “And I lost all of them, one way or the other.” There were tears in her eyes now, her voice rough with pain and impotent anger. Stunned, Fade sat there staring back at her fellow cage mate, an incredulous look on her face. Never in her life had she felt pity, nor could she even recognise it, but the unfamiliar feeling welled within her now. Without thinking, she lent towards the half drow, and with her arms through the bars of her cage, she held her, something she had never done, nor had done to her. She did not know where the impulse had come from, but it somehow felt appropriate. Ketta would not let her tears fall, however. Ketta then returned the embrace and they sat together, holding one another as if they had known each other for years, comforting each other for completely different, and at the same time, exactly the same reasons.

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Fade's Capture
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »
*****

Their silent comfort was interrupted by a sudden lurch as the caravan started to move. Fade looked towards the drape that covered the opening to the caravan, with a quizzical expression on her face.
“So, we’re moving at last” she commented, turning to Ketta.
“We moved from where you were captured a good few hours ago. I imagine that we’re out of Cormyr now, and heading through The Heartlands” Ketta replied, responding to Fades obvious unanswered question. “I think I overheard them mention that their destination is somewhere in Tethyr, near the Calimsham border.”
“But that’ll take weeks” said Fade. “Do they just expect us to sit in these cages and rot until then?”
“No. I expect they’ll make us walk at some time.” Ketta gave Fade another of her wry, bitter half smiles. “They won’t get a lot for us if we stink and look unattractive.”
Fade continued to stare moodily at the drape.
“So what will happen at this ‘market’?” she asked after a few minutes silence.
“Well, they normally give us a good scrub, some relatively clean clothes and parade us in front of prospective buyers. Once we are sold, we go with our new master or mistress. It’s really as simple as that.” replied Ketta in a flat voice.
“Hmph” snorted Fade, scowling.
“You never know, we might get a kind enough master.”
“Has that ever happened, or is it just wishful thinking?” said Fade acidly, and continued to scowl sullenly.
“Well…no, but there’s always a first time.”
Fade looked back over at the half drow. She was sitting, hugging her knees, staring straight ahead. Fade just shook her head, turned back and continued staring at the drape. They sat like that for what seemed an age, not talking, both of them in their own private worlds of frustration and gloom. Suddenly, the drape was pulled back, flooding the caravan with bright sunlight. The sudden introduction of intense illumination made them both blink painfully and shield their eyes with their hands.
“I hope you ladies are enjoying your stay,” said the human that entered the caravan, his tone mocking. “It’s time for you both to get a little exercise.” He unlocked the cage that held Ketta first. She sat obediently as he attached a chain to her that ran from her collar to her shackles. As he led her outside, she shot Fade a warning look, and mouthed just one word – Behave.
The male then returned for Fade. He gave her a slightly apprehensive look; obviously her previous behaviour had circulated around the camp. He edged towards her, holding the chain behind his back so she could not grab it. Lifting the top corner of her upper lip into a snarl, she grudgingly tilted her head slightly backwards, exposing the rings of her collar where the chain was to be attached. The Zhent raised an eyebrow at her, clearly not trusting her compliance. She then closed her eyes and held out her wrists, all the while breathing heavily, resenting every moment. She felt the chain snap on to her collar, and be fed through the shackles. She then opened her eyes and glared directly at the Zhent, who at least had the sense not to look her straight in the eye. She slowly rose from her seated position, and stalked out of the caravan behind the him. She blinked in the strong sunlight, but held her head up proudly as he led her towards the other slaves. He then attached the chain to the side of the caravan, next to where Ketta was similarly tied. Fade snorted in frustration and disgust, but held her tongue. Ketta smiled at her, nodding imperceptibly in approval. When the human had checked all their bonds and had made sure they were securely tied to the caravans’ side, he left and went to join the other Zhentarim, who were sitting a little way off, enjoying something that was cooking on a campfire. As he walked past Fade, he gave her a superior smile. She glowered back at him, baring her teeth and holding his gaze until he looked away, obviously feeling uncomfortable under her penetrating stare and dangerous countenance.
Ketta leant towards Fade.
“Well done,” she murmured.
Fade did not reply.

Offline Mistress Elysia

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Fades capture
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:54 PM »
***
Mallon made his way past the slaves and back to his fellow Zhentarim with a slight grimace. He realised that slaves meant money, but did they have to smell quite so bad? He knew that Oron had made him deal with the vicious female fiendling as some kind of a test. This was his first slave-run; to have failed would have jeopardised his place in the caravan, and therefore his future. He sighed to himself out of resignation as well as frustration. He wanted to be wealthy and respected, but like the entire peasant-born population, he would have to work hard for it. Even finding a place on this caravan as a slaver was a stroke of luck - many of his kind would have normally found themselves on the wrong end of a slavers chain. He did allow himself a small smile though; the fiendling had at least come quietly, although he suspected it had little to do with him.
“So, she may learn some manners yet?” enquired Oron as Mallon entered the close circle of slavers. He knew exactly whom had Oron meant.
“She was…amenable.” replied Mallon carefully. “The half drow gave me no problems either.” There was a faint trace of pride in his voice.
Oron regarded the younger man for a moment. He had led this caravan for many years, and had grown rich and relatively powerful during this time. He could see something of his younger self in the weakly bearded youth. He didn’t know whether that pleased or troubled him.
Mallon made his way to the pot of stew bubbling on the campfire and helped himself to a bowl. He then took his customary spot just outside the circle of senior slavers. He then ate in silence, listening to his elders.
“The fiendling should fetch us a fine price in Calimshan. I imagine she will prove more popular than the half drow” commented one of the Zhents, a nasty, wiry man called Trann.
“I’m not so sure” replied an older, fatter man known as Jorenk. “She may be a little too much. Quite unpredictable.”
“Oh, don’t be so pessimistic” argued Trann. “She will be a sure-fire sell. Some Pasha will think himself able to master her. They’ll see it as a challenge.” His resulting smile had a cruel edge. Jorenk continued to look unconvinced.
“How the fiendling behaves after she is sold is of no concern to us.” interjected Oron. “We just need to ensure we get a good price for her. I think we should concentrate on her potential as a competitor on the gladiatorial pit. Let her infernal fury be demonstrated in a more positive light.” The other Zhents mulled over the suggestion, many of them nodding in agreement.
“We could pit her against the Minotaur?” suggested one. Oron looked at him in disgust.
“We need to sell the Minotaur.” he said sarcastically. “How are we supposed to sell it if we want the fiendling to beat it?” he paused, as if trying to puzzle out some huge conundrum. With a slow smile of mock comprehension, he pointed at the erring Zhent. “I know, we’ll get her to fight you.”
The Zhent paled, and swallowed convulsively, and wisely remained silent.
“We could suggest to the Pashas that they bring their own challengers?” suggested Mallon. Oron turned slowly, and gave the youth an appraising look.
“Hmm. Good idea.” he eventually replied. “Maybe we should send a message ahead that we have something rather special, and that they need to supply their own champions.”
“We should try her out, you know, to see if her skills are up to scratch.” added Trann, excitement colouring his face. “We won’t get the top price for her if people think we’re exaggerating.”
Oron stroked his beard contemplatively.
“I agree” he said, his tone final. “We shall test the fiendling. If she wins, and has good enough skills, we shall sell her as a gladiator. They always command high prices. If not, she is an exotic oddity like the half drow, her exact role to be decided by her master. Are we in agreement?” He scanned the group, daring any to defy him. No resistance materialised; the whole company knew not to argue with Oron, lest they themselves became slaves to sell. Smiling rather indulgently, Oron helped himself to more stew, and planned with his fellow Zhents the test that they would make Fade undergo.
***
Ketta stood by the badly painted caravan, watching Fade. She could see the barely pent up rage in the demonic elves’ stance, the cold fury at her situation in her crimson eyes. Never before had she seen such a wild and feral beauty, and she had lived in the Underdark, where such traits were encouraged. For the first time she noticed the tattoos on Fade’s face, like sinuous tendrils adorning her cheekbones and temples. Other tattoos decorated her arms and stomach, all black, contrasting with her snow-white skin. Her sharply pointed ears were slightly longer than a normal elf’s, and her figure, although still slender, was slightly fuller at hip and breast. Noticing the half drows gaze, Fade looked up and smiled half-heartedly.
“See, I can behave myself.” she said quietly.
Ketta smiled back.
“I know it’s hard, but believe me, it’s better than being punished all the time. Keep your head down, and things are easier for all of us.”
“If only we could get these damn collars off.” grumbled Fade, fingering the leather around her neck. “I could then use my magic to get us out of here.”
“It’s the shackles that suppress magic. The collar is just there to make sure you don’t fight back.”
Fade hissed through her teeth, something that Ketta was beginning to recognise as a danger sign. In an attempt to calm her, she continued to smile, and put a slender black hand on Fades white shoulder. She could feel her companions’ anger in the tenseness of her shoulder muscles.
“You really do have to learn to try to relax!” Ketta said with a warm grin and a slight laugh, her white teeth almost glowing against her black skin, her pale blue eyes alight with amusement. “The slavers won’t be the death of you because your heart will give out under the strain first!”
Fade looked at her cage mate incredulously. How could she laugh and make jokes at a time like this? She jerked her shoulder away from the half drow and turned away from her, scowling.
“Fade…” Kettas tone was now slightly pleading. “I know this is hard for you, but it’s hard for all of us. We have to make the best of a bad situation. Oron and his men make our lives a misery. We shouldn’t make each others lives a misery as well.”
“This should never have happened.” whispered Fade viciously. “If I ever see Cirion again, I shall rip out his heart.”
Ketta saw a slight flicker of pain flit across Fades crimson eyes.
“Who’s Cirion?” she asked eventually.
“The bastard who arranged to sell me.” Fades tone was savage but somehow fragile.
“Oh.” Ketta placed her hand again on Fades shoulder. This time she did not shrug it off.
“Cirion was the commander of the group I was with. We were looking for magical artefacts.” Fade looked moodily at the side of the caravan, taking a minute to pick at the peeling paint. “I think he’s also my father.”
“You think he’s your father?” asked Ketta after a moments pause, rather taken aback.
Fade turned around and faced Ketta again. A peculiar smile had replaced her habitual scowl.
“My mother wasn’t that good at keeping tags on her lovers. I know that Cirion was one of them around the time of my conception. I could just have easily been someone else. But he did seem to take an interest in my upbringing, so maybe….” she trailed off. Her smile now had a glassy, brittle quality.
“And he sold you.” Ketta prompted, gently.
Fade just nodded, and shrugged her shoulders. She leant against the side of the flaking caravan, and looked up at the sky. The day was warm, but there were a few darkened clouds that promised rain later. She watched lone bird swoop and dive, probably a kestrel by its shape and the way it hovered over patches of ground, searching for prey. Fade felt a stab of intense jealousy for its freedom; a freedom she once had, but had suddenly and brutally been taken from her.
“Oh, it was all arranged” she replied eventually, her voice now tinged again with its usual venom. “Where we were to camp, when to meet, who they were going to take. We often dealt with the Zhentarim, not that I knew what they were called then. Ironically, they supplied us with slaves.” She paused and sighed. “They supplied me with slaves.”
Ketta thought she might have heard a ghostly tinge of regret in the Fey’ris tone.
“We will escape” said Fade after some time. “I will see to that.”
Seeing the determined set of Fades jaw, Ketta knew better than to argue. She may have only known her for a short period of time, but Ketta felt that they had known each other for years.
The other slaves that were tethered nearby were beginning to get restless, shuffling their feet and talking amongst each other in hushed tones. Fade looked around her and raised an eyebrow at Ketta in an unspoken question.
“Feeding time” answered Ketta simply.
One of the slavers, a nasty looking, wiry man with a multitude of thin scars across his face began handing out food to the other slaves. She recognised him as the man who had kicked her so viciously in the stomach. He was taunting the majority of them, making them bow before him and kiss his feet before he allowed them to take the stale looking rations from his hands. Many of them got a swift kick in the face, which in turn made the other slavers sitting around the campfire laugh.
Fade looked on, a look of pure disgust on her face.
“He’d better not try that on with us” she muttered to Ketta.
“His name’s Trann. And he’s not a very nice person.” There was a sarcastic edge to Kettas voice now, and a look of intense dislike in her eyes. Fade wondered what this Trann had done to her in the past.
Trann made his slow way over to the two females with an unpleasantly lascivious grin on his face.
“So, my lovelies,” he sneered as soon as he was close enough to them. “What are you going to do for Trann to get your dinner then?”
Ketta remained silent, the look of hatred still obvious. Fade, however, returned his grin with an evil smile of her own that had nothing to do with amusement.
“If you’re lucky, you’ll have use of your arms.” She replied, her tone dangerously pleasant. “But I wouldn’t guarantee that you would be able to walk.” She continued to smile, exposing every one of her cruelly pointed teeth.
Tranns grin faltered a little as he thought about what Fade had said. His grin turned into an ugly scowl as soon as a worked out the insult.
“You’ll pay for that, mongrel bitch!” He raised a hand to strike her, and paused, threatening her with a slap. Fade just continued to smile. Eventually her insolent manner proved too much, and Trann tried to backhand her across her face. Fade continued to smile arrogantly, but did not flinch or duck as his hand flew towards her face. Just as it was about to connect with the side of her cheek, she caught his wrist and yanked it painfully towards her. Before he could even cry out, or totally register what she was going to do, she bit down hard on his wrist, immediately severing one of the large veins with her sharp teeth. Hot blood pumped wildly from the Zhents wrist, spurting into her mouth, the viscous fluid flowing in red runnels down from her lips to her chin, where it then dripped on to the dusty floor. Even more horrific was when she swallowed, and then licked her lips in apparent satisfaction.
Trann then found his voice and began to scream. The pain was incredible, and the fiendling bitch was still squeezed his wrist painfully, helping his blood to flow. He tried to speak the words that would activate the collar and incapacitate her, but the pain was too great. Thankfully he heard the words being hollered by one of his travelling companions. Thinking that the infernal elf would soon let go, he turned his head to see where his fellow slavers were.
Fade felt the collar tighten, but she was now totally in the grip of her own anger and bloodlust. As soon as the stupid male turned his head, he had exposed his throat to her. Knowing that she only had a short amount of time before the collars grip became too much, she lunged forward and sank her teeth in to the slavers exposed throat. Trann screamed again, and tried to back away from her, but this only made it easier for her to pull back. His screams turned to gurgles as his throat filled with his own blood, but Fade still held on, biting down as hard as she could. The collar tightened even more, and she felt dizzy from oxygen deprivation, but she would not let go. She felt a rough pair of hands grapple with her arms, trying to drag her away. Eventually her teeth met, and she tore a huge chunk of flesh from the slavers neck. Almost casually, she spat it out and staggered backwards, helped by one of the burly half-orc mercenaries. She was covered from head to toe in the Zhentarims blood.
Trann slumped to the ground as soon as Fade let him go, obviously dead. Fade then dimly realised that someone else was screaming. It was Ketta.
The collar continued to tighten. She couldn’t swallow, couldn’t breathe. She clawed futilely at her neck, trying to wrench the despicable collar off. She felt it bite into her own skin, severely crushing her throat, making her reel. The half-orc dropped her and she writhed on the floor trying desperately to gulp down air like a fish out of water, but it was no good. As she felt her consciousness slip away, her eyes rolled up into their sockets, and she knew no more.

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Fades capture
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 09:32:55 PM »
***
Ketta tried to reach her cataleptic friend, but was push heavily aside by one of the half-orcs. She dashed tears from her cheeks and sat down heavily. How could she be so stupid, after all the warnings she had given her? Hadn’t she realised that her warnings had come from her own, bitter experiences? Now she had killed one of the slavers. Who knew what they would do to her. They were unlikely to kill her, as they had already paid for her, but that did not mean they wouldn’t harm her. Oron was a wizard, and he knew ways of torture that did not leave marks. They also had the luxury of time; any wounds that were inflicted during punishment would have sufficient time to heal.
Oron strode over to his dead companion and the unconscious Fey’ri after any sign of danger was over, Ketta noted miserably. He checked Trann over and instructed one of the brutish half-orcs to take the body away. He then grasped Fade by the hair and hauled her head up. He checked inside her mouth, grimacing as he removed a bloody digit, and wiped it clean on her hair. He then checked her pulse, to see if she still was alive. She had been bought as an investment, after all. He turned to Mallon and Jorenk.
“Pick her up and take her back to her cage. Secure her chains to the bars, but make sure she can breathe,” he ordered. He glanced back down at her, frowning. “We shall deal with her once she is awake.” He then turned to the other slavers. “Let that be a lesson. This is no ordinary elf maiden, easily manipulated. The blood of demons runs through her veins, and for that reason we should treat her carefully. I do not want to waste any more fools on her. She is to be isolated and punished.” He strode back over to the campfire.
“And I for one shall be glad to be rid of her.” Ketta heard him mutter as he passed.