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07 May 2007 @ 09:30 pm
21 Flamerule 1372 -- Afternoon  
Be a good little prisoner. . .

I kept hearing their voices. An arrogant male voice and two female ones, one strident and one timid. I heard them over and over, relived it over and over. Trapped, threatened, unable to defend myself. Filthy drow.

The dreams began to fade, but the voices continued. New voices . . . I know those voices. . .

"I think the pain was just too much for her." Still male, but softer, more measured.

"But she'll be all right?" Female. So familiar, but…

"She had some serious broken bones. . ."

". . . And trauma on top of that. . ." Another female, closer to me. Seledra.

". . . But the potions I gave her took effect quickly. I gave her a sleeping draught; I thought it best if she sleep through the remainder of the battle, but she should wake soon." A cool hand fell on my forehead. Too big for Seledra. Tordrin's hand.

Tordrin dressed my wounds. And sent away the human women. I wonder what happened afterward. Maybe it has yet to happen.

The pain was gone, except for a dull, lingering ache in my hip and jaw, and I clearly wasn't dreaming anymore, but I didn't want to open my eyes. I felt utterly humiliated by having been caught so helpless, and having to be rescued. Never have I been so overpowered. Then again, I've never been so injured. Had I been able to at least walk, I could've hidden.

Nothing for it, really. I can't pretend to sleep forever. I opened my eyes. I was in our room, at the inn. Seledra sat beside me on the bed; Tordrin was in a chair pulled up alongside. Thralia sat in at the small table. Hers was the other voice I heard. The Talaviirs were also in the room, sitting on the other bed. For their safety, I presume. I didn't see Selune; she may have been outside. I could hear people calling to each through the window, but no more sounds of battle.

"Have a nice nap?" Seledra asked playfully. I made a face at her and started to sit up.

"How's your head?"

"Fine." she replied. "How're you?"

"Still in one piece, it appears. Thank you." I looked at Tordrin. "Both of you."

"How are you otherwise?" asked Venye Talaviir.

I didn't really want to talk about that. "I- I'm fine. What happened was not exactly a surprise, especially around here. Has that wood elf come around since the battle ended?"

"No," said Thralia.

"He almost got himself killed when he saw my sister fighting alongside everyone else." Venye said, lazily. "Just kinda stood there for a minute."

"Venye had to save him by shooting the orc that was coming up behind him." Miri said. The twins looked at each other and laughed. "He made his way to another area, and we haven't seen him since."

"I expect he'll be popping up soon, though. Don't worry, you're safe with us, no matter what happens. In fact, I may just go look for the constable now, and lodge our complaint, hopefully before that blockhead wood elf gets to him." Thralia left the room.

A shout came from outside. "She's not here! Shayla!!"

"Must be our wood elf," said Tordrin.

He got up and moved to the window. Seledra and I looked at each other and got up to join him. I stayed just below the windowsill, so no one would see me.

"Tharivol! I've been looking for you!"

"Is that Shayla?" I asked Tordrin. He nodded.

"By the Nine Hells, Shayla, what happened? I told you to guard the lorkh. Where is she? Where's the injured moon elf?"

"This man--he was a Harper--an elf--he told me he would take over, and that I should go fight." She didn't sound so bold now a she did before. Almost sheepish, in fact.

"Hells! You should've stayed, at least. Who was he? He wasn't of the town; there aren't any Harpers here."

"I'm sorry--I just--he told me--"

"Oh, just forget it, Shayla. Useless. Lord Mardan, Keled, my apologies."

"Do you know who they are?" Seledra whispered to Tordrin.

"Mardan Elthondsson, the one on the right, is the lord of the keep, and Keled Strongarm is the constable. I know of him; he's a fair man."

"Don't worry," a deep masculine voice said, "There is a group of Harpers staying at the inn. I'm sure this man was one of them. Miss Shayla, did he give you his name?"

Tordrin looked at me and said, "That's the constable."

"Yes, I'm pretty sure he did. It was--I don't remember--something--Torin?"

"Tordrin Windweaver." Thralia must have joined them. "Lord Mardan, Constable Strongarm, I am happy to find you both together, and with these two with you, as well."

"Then you know something about these drow Tharivol told us of?"

"Indeed. They are with me." Thralia paused for effect. "In fact, I've been looking for you in order to lodge a complaint about the treatment one of my group received at the hands of this young elf, here, and his friend, when she had already been grievously injured in battle against the orcs. Injured protecting your town."

"Oh I'm sure they were 'protecting' us, how better to burn our homes as we sleep than if they've won our trust by 'protecting' us!" Tharivol said.

"Tharivol, settle down," said the constable. "Now, Mistress-- er, what was the name again?"

"Ma'Freyja. You may call me Thralia."

"My apologies. Mistress Ma'Freyja, how can we be sure what you say is true?" Tordrin seemed taken aback the constable's formal address.

"I've worked with the Talaviirs for several years, now. I have every reason to trust them."

"And this other girl?" said a higher-pitched voice.

"Lord Mardan," whispered Tordrin.

"I've only met her recently, but I know people very well. She is also a close friend of the other injured elf--an old friend of mine, and not one to be taken in. Seledra's a smart girl."

Tharivol said something, softly enough that I couldn't make it out.

"Tharivol, I'm warning you!" the constable said.

"I assure you, I have several witnesses among my group to how both girls received their injuries in battle. Mayurra would not have attacked her friend."

"Tharivol, Shayla, did you actually see the drow girl attack Seledra, the moon elf?" the constable asked.

"Well, no--" Shayla began, but Tharivol cut her off quickly.

"Well, it was obvious she was up to something. She was creeping away from the poor elf girl when we approached the stable. She was definitely trying to hide, as well. She at least robbed her, if she didn't attack her." Tharivol said. He sounded bold; I wondered if the lord and the constable were subtly backing him up.

"Of course she was trying to hide; she knew how someone like you would react to her mere presence." Thralia sounded calm, but there was an unmistakable undertone of anger in her voice.

"I see," said Lord Mardan. "I think it would be wise, under the circumstances, to talk to these girls, especially the drow girl, don't you, Keled?"

"I don't see that Mistress Ma'Freyja has any reason to lie to us, but we can't be too careful, sir." the constable said.

"This can't be good." said Tordrin, up in the room. "Notice how formally they speak to Thralia. They don't trust her. You should maybe get back to the bed; they're heading toward the inn, now."

I followed instructions, and the Talaviirs left the room after a whispered conversation with Tordrin. Not long after, the group entered the room, trailed by Ariadne, who I suppose had to come as a witness. It was a tight fit. Tordrin resumed his position by my bedside.

"I don't see why Tharivol and Shayla need to be a part of this," said Thralia. "We've already heard their side of the story, haven't we?"

The constable looked like he was about to agree, but Lord Mardan, a tall, thin man with dark hair, cut him off. He said, "I think they can stay. No reason they shouldn't hear the evidence against their case."

"What!" Seledra said. "Ra... May didn't get to hear any ev--" Thralia cast a warning glance toward Seledra. "My apologies," she muttered under her breath.

Lord Mardan looked toward her where she sat next to me on the bed. He avoided looking at me. "Ah, Seledra, was it? I trust you are feeling better, young elf?"

Seledra was pretty tense, but she didn't act out again. "Yes, sir, my friends have taken good care of me." She put only the slightest emphasis on the word "friends."

"And you believe this creature--this girl, here, is one of your friends?"

"She's my best friend," she said, taking my hand. "She pulled me out of battle when I was trampled by orcs."

"I see, so she didn't attack you? You didn't fight her at all?" The constable looked increasingly uncomfortable as it became clear that Lord Mardan intended to ask all the questions.

"No! Of course--"

"Now, you were unconscious when Tharivol found you. When did you lose consciousness?"

"Not long after they carried me to the stable. Tordrin and Mayurra."

"And nothing was missing when you woke up?"

"What? No! You listen here, I don't care who you are; those two are the ones you should be questioning!" Seledra pointed at Tharivol and Shayla, who were smirking in the corner. "They treated my friend roughly when she was already injured, and . . . "

"But how do you know she was injured, if you were unconscious?"

"I was-- I started to regain consciousness after they came into the stable, and I heard almost everything. . . "

"You could have misheard; perhaps she attacked our good townspeople, who were only investigating something suspicious. If you were only just coming to, you mind could have playing tricks on you." Lord Mardan tapped his own temple, nodding sagely. Smarmy bastard.

"My lord, shouldn't we let the drow girl speak for herself?" the constable finally said. "We must hear all sides, you know."

"Don't worry, constable, I just want to hear from dear Seledra first, so that her story is not influenced by the drow, any more than it may already be."

"She's telling the truth," said a soft voice, coming from the door. It was the young cleric.

"Betha, you don't need to be here," said Shayla.

"Yes, I do. I saw the drow first, so they should hear my story, too." She seemed nervous, but resolute.

"Well, Betha, why don't you tell us, then," said the constable.

"We were heading to the battle, Shayla and Tharivol and I, and we were walking. As we passed the stable, we weren't very close to it, but I glanced over and saw her," she pointed at me, "in the stable trying to move back from the entrance. I pointed her out to Shayla, and we went over to investigate. As soon as we entered the stable, even before I saw the other elf, I could see that she was injured, as was the elf, when I saw her. Tharivol, he said that they must have fought each other, and I went along, but I knew it wasn't possible."

Tharivol scoffed. "What do you know? You're not a fighter, girl, like your sister! You just hide out in your little temple!"

"Tharivol, that's quite enough! Betha, please go on."

"I may be but a novice, but I see a lot of injuries at the Temple of Ilmater. I help the other clerics quite a bit. And the elf, her head was injured, it was a blunt force injury. The drow was armed with a crossbow; I saw it on the floor near her. She couldn't have caused that injury with that weapon, and the elf wasn't laying as though she'd fallen or been pushed; she was laid out nicely."

"What about the drow's injuries?" the constable asked.

"I couldn't look at them too closely; Tharivol didn't want me to treat her at all, but I could tell she was in a lot of pain. When Tharivol pulled her to her feet, she couldn't put weight on one side, and her jaw was badly bruised and swollen. She couldn't have threatened us, but Tharivol bound her, and gagged her tightly, anyway. I- I'm sorry; I knew she was injured, and I shouldn't have let Tharivol and Shayla treat her that way, but I didn't know what to do." Betha looked at the floor.

"When did you leave the stable, young lady?" said Lord Mardan.

"When the Harper came, my lord, the same as Shayla. He asked me to go make preparations to help with the injured.

"And have you seen or spoken to either of these Harpers since then, or any of their group?" Mardan continued.

"No, my lord. I have only seen the clerics of the hold as they came in for poultices and things."

Reluctantly, Lord Mardan said, "I see. Perhaps this really was just a misunderstanding. Keled and I shall discuss this matter--"

"And we will let you know how we decide to discipline Tharivol."


"My lord, we have no evidence that this woman has done anything wrong, and Betha would not speak against our own townspeople without reason. You know her as well as I; she is the most truthful girl I know. And we still have wounded that require our attention," Keled said pointedly. Mardan acquiesced, and everyone but the Harpers filed out of the room.
Current Location: Olostin's Hold
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: the pounding of my heart
kronk9kronk9 on May 21st, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)


1) Spell-check this. I found "sublty", and noticed a couple others.

2) When Ralenthra gets back in bed, is she feigning sleep? Or is she just not speaking while everyone talks about her?

3) Is there any way you could tone down Tharivol just a tiny, tiny bit? After a while, I was thinking, "Okay, I get the point--he's a total cock-knocker. I don't need to hear it every time he opens his mouth..." Don't make him less evil, just...not quite so brash about it. Listening to him prove himself a jerk all the time was taking me out of the story. I don't know, have him mutter things under his breath more...like the line about "how better to burn our homes as we sleep."

4) This is obviously unfinished. I look forward to the next part.

Kronk now return you to regular Kronk-speak...
vaudyvaudy on June 28th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
By the way, I changed one of Tharivol's lines in here, along with some other minor edits. I couldn't exactly have him mutter, since R. wouldn't have been able to hear that, so I changed it to an inaudible line, and R. is only able to report the constable's reaction.