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08 February 2007 @ 02:49 pm
21 Flamerule 1372 -- Morning  
It was painful to move, but I made it to the opening of the stable. My crossbow was still where I'd dropped it only a few minutes ago, and I reached for it, thinking I could still protect Seledra and myself. As I dragged it toward me, I heard a commotion coming from the opposite direction of the battle.

It was some of the Hold's guards, coming to find out what was going on. About damn time. They didn't see me, but they couldn't miss the battle at the edge of town.

"Orcs!" I heard one shout. "Get the constable, and anyone who can carry arms!"

One man ran back the way he came; the two other guards drew their weapons and prepared to join the fray.

I shuffled back farther into the stable, closer to Seledra, to avoid detection. I set aside my crossbow again; I was too weak with pain to use it effectively.

Not long after that, armed men and women, joined by a handful of clerics and a spellcaster here and there, ran by in groups of three and four to join the battle. One of those groups slowed down near the stable, and a woman turned to call out to someone behind her, and she saw me.

She grabbed the arm of the man walking next to her and pointed. They came into the stable, followed by another woman. The women were human; the man was a wood elf. The first woman was very young, and appeared to be a novice cleric. The other two people were dressed like militia.

"Well, what have we here, lorkh?" the man asked, gruffly. "Looks like we have a filthy drow who thought to take advantage of our little village while we were being attacked."

I shook my head, and blurted out what sounded like "Fwen." It was supposed to be "friend," but I couldn't speak well with the condition of my jaw. Ariadne hadn't had time to give me more than the one potion.

"What was that, lorkh?" The elf nudged me with his foot.

"Oh, my!" said the cleric, and kneeled by Seledra.

"Head," I said, and gestured to my own. "Orc 'ick."

"Not a very smart drow, is she?" the older woman said.

"Not only are you skulking about my village while our attention's drawn elsewhere, you attacked a moon elf! And you think I'm going to believe you when you blame it on the attacking orcs?"

"She looks injured, too, Tharivol," offered the cleric.

"That just means my moon elf kindred put up a good fight, Betha. How much healing magic do you have?"

"I only know a few minor spells, not enough to heal both."

"I don't want you to heal both!" Tharivol barked. "Do what you can for the moon elf. Shayla, help me tie this one up, then you can guard her until the fight's over out there."

"Why don't we just kill her now?" Shayla asked.

"I would, but the constable wouldn't like that much. Even for her kind, he insists on giving fair trials. He'll want to question her before he does anything." Tharivol yanked me roughly to my feet, and I cried out. I tried not to put weight on my right leg as Shayla tied my arms behind my back. Then she took a piece of cloth and gagged me, tying it tightly enough that I almost blacked out from the pain in my jaw. Tharivol shoved me back to the floor, and Shayla stood over me, menacing me with a crossbow.

Behind me, I heard Seledra moan softly. Thank the gods.

"I couldn't heal her fully, but I think I helped," said Betha. "She almost came to, just now, but she seems to have taken quite a blow to the head and went back out again."

Damn it! Please wake up, Seledra.

"Stay with her would you, Betha?" Tharivol said as he bent to tie my feet. "You don't have any healing spells left, anyway, so you may as well stay out of what's going on out there. You be a good little prisoner, lorkh, if you want to have a chance to make your case to the constable. Shayla here is a little trigger happy sometimes, and she hates drow almost as much as I do."

Right, because I can do so much when I'm bound and gagged and in excruciating pain.

Tharivol turned and went out to join the battle outside.

That new world I mentioned earlier? Has a very small population.
Current Mood: scaredhelpless
Current Music: the roar of battle
kronk9kronk9 on February 9th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Farking bigots...

What "inexcruciating" mean?
ralenthraralenthra on February 9th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
It means I typo'd, ya big lummox.
vaudyvaudy on February 9th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
You don't think it's too much, do you?
waveform_deltawaveform_delta on February 10th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
No, I don't. I like it. Prejudice has been a theme throughout this story. My one question is where this is going, because the most obvious outcome is that 'Ledra just wakes up, has a royal snit over the treatment of her friend, and probably bitch slaps someone. So you're tensing up the reader by forcing them to witness race hatred, then throwing that tension away. There is a technical name for this: it's called a shaggy-dog story.

Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you. And keep in mind that I'm well known for squeezing melodrama juice out of everything...maybe too much. Sometimes it's nice just to sit back and have a character vignette, describing the story world without adding to it.

Okay, I'm going on too long. In short, I'd like it kept in.
ralenthraralenthra on February 10th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not the most obvious outcome, because Sabrina can choose not to work with it, or if she does work with it, she can do so differently. I have some ideas of what to do if she wants to leave it, that depending on when you come into the story, may or may not be edited into this post.

It's true that at this point, someone else has to step in in some way. If she wasn't able to defend herself when she wasn't tied up, there's not much she can do now without help.

I actually didn't intend to go this direction originally, but I wanted to include the townspeople, because this isn't the sort of place that would be helpless; this is a town that probably has to defend itself (albeit against lesser threats) on a regular basis. And once I started doing that, I wondered what would happen if someone saw R., because realistically, someone probably would, if she weren't able to move quickly enough to hide herself. So I decided to explore that. Really, we've glossed over, so far, both in game and in blogging, the degree to which drow are hated in this world, and this place is, as Thralia so charmingly calls it, a little hick town.

What I'm expecting is that the racial tension is not just going to dissolve because someone comes up and defends her, or because she was tying to help them out. People are notoriously ungrateful when help is extended by someone they don't like. In fact, the tension may even be extended to the non-drow who are R.'s allies (because that happens, too). Even so, yeah, the tension will be gone once they leave that town, which may be sooner than they expected. Or at least, it would be gone on the surface, because it would have a lasting effect on R. It's something she's going to have to deal with.