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Private (+18) Drahonnal

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Writes-Many-Posts, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Khaotic3

    Khaotic3 Insanity at its Finest

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    Carina jerked awake at the sound of yelling, then immediately regretted it. The pain that shot through her reminded her that she hadn't quite fallen asleep last night, but passed out. Breathing heavily and moaning in pain, she slowly sat up and looked around. The guards were waking everyone up, and even Nyvis (well, actually just her voice) made an appearance in an attempt to get everyone up.

    Covered in blood and other bodily fluids, Carina managed to get to her feet before the guards got to her.
    "Sleep well?" a prisoner hissed from behind her. Rather than fear, rage surged through her, but she had already learned that fighting him would only lead to her defeat--he and his friends had made that very clear last night. They had stolen her shiv and lepiditte. She was practically defenseless now. With as much strength as she could muster, Carina stumbled toward the mines, hoping to see a familiar face: Silvertongue, Shadow, maybe even one of those Khajiits. Not that they had helped last night when the gang of prisoners had grabbed her.

    Ignoring the taunts and snorts from the gang behind her, Carina looked toward every corner of the sleeping floor. Her head was spinning, her entire body was aching, but she had to focus. She felt like she might be bleeding again, but her skin felt mostly numb.

    Then she spotted Silvertongue, next to a fire with an Argonian. The gang that had jumped and raped her last night were on their way toward where the prisoners were slowly beginning to line up. Silvertongue and the Argonian were on there way as well. Taking a deep breath, Carina walked as straight and upright as she could, maybe even passing as a "healthy" prisoner to someone who just glanced at her in the dark.

    Carina nearly fell on Silvertongue when she came close to him, catching his attention not in the way she had meant to. "Sorry," she muttered, standing up straight again. She then looked him dead in the eye. "I know this isn't my place but..." her vision was beginning to darken once more, but she pressed on. "They stole my lepids...shiv...I...I...think...I'm bleeding...to death," she stuttered. She grabbed to keep from falling over. "Can you help me?"
     
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  2. AirshipCircus

    AirshipCircus The Duct-Taped Jack of Hearts

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    "Come and feast with us, Captain Black! Our robes are so ill-fitting and the mead is fresh off the boat! The babies are freshly squeezed-"
    "-Ma'Nchitar... wake up!"

    Something gingerly touched Ma'Nchitar's face and his right eye flew open. No mead. "Blast and damn." he said under his breath. "Ma'Nchitar must've forgotten the taste of mead..." He caught Shadow's eyes, her expression urgent. Her hand was on his cheek, it was gentle and felt secure. He didn't have a moment to appreciate it however, because his ears rang with Nyvis' odious windpipe yammering.

    "Hurry the fl*ff up!"

    "Baan Dar's beard... Her mood never improves." Ma'Nchitar sat up and saw the vast commotion in the room. Groggy prisoners milling about, guards kicking the ones too groggy to pull themselves from their oh-so-comfortable wafer-thin bedrolls. It was getting closer and Ma'Nchitar knew how much the guards enjoyed an excuse to assault him. One of them looked to be on their way now.

    The Khajiit got to his feet and realized that his posture had improved slightly since yesterday. The usual shoulder pains from the stone floor and his back wounds seemed dimmer this morning. Behind the nearest guard, Cyrus and his group were already up and about. "Just another day in paradise, then." Someone was trying to get Cyrus' attention over there. Ma'Nchitar's darkvision could make out the face of the girl Shadow had dropped into Drahonnal with. Strange that she would appear now. Ma'Nchitar's natural curiosity kicked in but he did his best to set it aside for the time being. He made sure his claws were retracted, knelt down on one knee and held his hand out to Shadow.

    "How is the pain?"
     
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  3. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Shadow had no sooner roused the Khajiit when his eye flew open. Light sleeper..then you have to be in here.

    "Blast and damn." he muttered under his breath, then said something about mead that Shadow didn't quite catch. She was too worried about the guards that were nearing their position and urged him with a look.

    "Hurry the fl*ff up!" yelled Nyvis from somewhere up above. She didn't even come down to the sleeping floor but her voice carried through, causing everyone to move a little faster. Ma'Nchitar sat up, cursing and looked around the room. Shadow spied a guard heading their way and the cat must have to for he quickly sprung to his feet. Shadow noticed he seemed to move a lot freer and smiled slightly, happy that her healing had given him some relief. She did not mention it to him, unsure as to what his reaction might be. She could heal him in secret if need be. She felt she owed him. This caused her to seek out Cyrus and she saw that he and his group were already up. Shadow narrowed her eyes, trying to make out an odd shape moving towards him. As it neared Cyrus's firelight she could see it was Carina. She didn't look well at all but apart from her slumped appearance, Shadow could not see what ailed her. She looked to be appealing to Cyrus for something.

    Shadow's attention was brought back to her immediate situation as a large furry hand was held before her. Touched by this small show of kindness, she took Ma'Nchitar's hand and was hauled to her feet.

    "How is the pain?" He asked her, letting go of her hand. Shadow tested her pain level by rolling her shoulders. Her tunic top was stiff with blood and some of it still stuck to her skin. It stung in places and there was a dull throbbing ache, but apart from that her wounds had healed as she wanted them to. She could feel a trickle of blood working it's way down her back from one of the still shallow welts. She leaned into the Khajiit as a guard drew nearer.

    "It is tolerable" she whispered "I healed somewhat just before I woke you. It is enough to get me through the day" A guard passed them, seemingly almost disappointed that they were already up. He ordered both of them to move into line but Shadow was still distracted by what was happening to Carina. She didn't feel any great empathy for the girl but her inner self, the one she very rarely showed, compelled her to want to help. As much as she resented her for the work she did on her back, she did not wish for the girl to die.

    "I need to check on Carina" she said in a hushed tone to her companion, looking into his luminous eyes. She placed a hand on his arm. "I..I can't thank you enough for what you did for me. For allowing me to share your bedroll. I will make it up to you, you have my word." She started to edge around the room, towards Cyrus and Carina, firstly stopping by her own bedroll to pick up her shiv and the other she had looted from the rapist. She concealed one down the front of her top, between her breasts and carried the other in plain sight.
     
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  4. Irishman

    Irishman Well-Endowed Member

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    Cyrus and Jeelius had barely made it three steps away from their fire when a small, shuffling shadow came towards them. Cyrus squinted in the gloom and made out the injured figure of Carina. As she neared the pair, the Argonian let out a sharp chuckle and muttered, "You seem to have made a few, new friends." with another raspy noise escaping his reptilian throat he strode towards the door just as the slight, young woman stumbled and tripped towards Cyrus. "Sorry," she muttered, as she attempted to straighten up. Carina's gaze shifted as she looked the Redguard in the eye. "I know this isn't my place but... they stole my lepids... shiv...I...I...think... I'm bleeding... to death," she stuttered. To keep herself from falling over, Carina again reached out to Silvertongue. He steadied her in his arms and lent in as she whispered "Can you help me?"

    Cyrus had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. Is this what he had become? Once a feared drug lord of the Hegathe Princes... than a lowly prisoner at Drahonnal, and now he was what..? The old inmate who cares for the sick and injured?

    The guards where still doing their rounds kicking people awake and shoving the butt of their axes and maces into the spine of weary and slow prisoners still shuffling to the entrance in the cold gloom of the sleeping floor. Several guards were getting close to where Carina and Cyrus, and yet it did not seem as though the injured young lady would miraculously recover and walk out to start a grueling day of hard labor. At a loss as to what to do, Cyrus half picked up, half dragged Carina towards the stairs. She would not survive if the guards found her sleeping. A wounded inmate is a useless inmate. The guards would just have fun with her and throw her in with the hungry dogs after they where satisfied.

    "Just try to stay quiet and walk with me." As they awkwardly made their way through the maze of bedrolls, Shadow strode purposefully towards them. She looked far better than she did yesterday and had a determined look on her face. Silvertongue was quite glad to see her as it meant he could palm off the nearly unconscious Carina. With a grimace and a half joking expression Cyrus stated "You seemed to have slept well.." The guards were dangerously close now "Care to get under her other arm and help me move'er upstairs?"
     
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  5. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Shadow narrowed in on Cyrus and the ailing Carina. The old man had her half upright and seemed to be struggling to keep her so. Cyrus spied her coming towards them and half smiled.

    "You seemed to have slept well.." he said as he indicated a group of guards with a flick of his head. "Care to get under her other arm and help me move'er upstairs?" Shadow wasted no time in scooping up the girl's other arm and helped the Redguard drag her through the sleeping quarters towards the tunnel that led up to the mining floor. Shadow could not see Ma'Nchitar ahead of them and she frowned at having missed him. I should not have hurried off like that.. She would search him out later, unless he found her first..

    "You have my thanks for that" she said to Cyrus, then in a whisper.. "I healed fine, it still pains me, but it is enough" she wrinkled her nose at the stench that came from Carina. She smelt like.. oh pl***... "What the f***f happened to her?" she demanded of Cyrus, knowing he probably had no clue himself. The girl moaned and Shadow shook her to shut her up. As loath as she was to touch her any further, she steeled herself and slid her hand up and under the woman's tunic top, holding onto her firmly as she concentrated.

    "Hide what I'm doing under here" she whispered to Cyrus, who moved in closer to cover her hand as it started to glow ever so slightly. It was well hidden among the mass of bodies that were making their way up the tunnel. Shadow let her healing energy flow into Carina. She was not able to give it her all. She had used quite a bit on herself and the khajiit that morning and she was almost drained. She started to falter and quickly took her hand away. As Carina blinked and started to look like she was regaining some sense of lucidity they reached the stairs to the mining floor. "Can you walk now?" Shadow asked her. If she didn't wake up enough to make it look like she was all right, Shadow knew the guards would be all over her. She'd be dog meat. Carina fumbled for words and Shadow shook her slightly again. She knew she was being rough but she had to be or the woman was in real trouble.

    Shadow felt a pang of sorrow for her. She had obviously been on her own last night and had been taken advantage of. Shadow really wanted to know who had raped her. She would make them pay. And look how far that got you the first time.. she reminded herself. Besides, it's not your fight. Look after yourself.. Shadow then saw Ma'Nchitar ahead and the thought crossed her mind that she should stick to the giant cat like glue, whether he liked it or not.
     
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  6. AirshipCircus

    AirshipCircus The Duct-Taped Jack of Hearts

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    By the time Shadow, Cyrus, and Carina had begun marching in line with the rest, Ma'Nchitar had limped in with the first crowd of prisoners to leave. He now found himself slowly making his way to the deeps of the mine like most of the Khajiit whose eyes were still working. There was enough of them to justify the lack of proper lighting and Nyvis probably didn't mind since it saved a lot on lantern oil.

    The other prisoners milled about, some silently picking up pickaxes and trudging to their usual spots while many others spoke to each other in groups while they worked. The corner of Ma'Nchitar's mouth curled in spite of himself. Truth be told, his many years spent in Drahonnal had taught him to enjoy this time of the day. It was the time to pick up on gossip if you were into that sort of thing, but it was the noise of it all that Ma'Nchitar counted on. The noise that reminded him so much of the market rabble in Elsweyr and Hammerfell. He could almost feel the sand between his toes and see the colors of the banners and detail-woven clothes of the street merchants, and if he could close his eyes for just a couple seconds...

    Then he walked into a stalactite. "Stupid place for a stalactite..." he thought, rubbing his forehead with a scowl. His eyes came back into focus just in time to see a pickaxe gliding through the air towards him. He caught it, barely, and looked through the gloom to see who had done the tossing. Nothing. Then, through the voices of the other prisoners he heard a distinctively accented purr. "Mi'Jhaka?" he said, trying to spot her in the quickly dwindling crowd. All he saw was the flash of a gray tail, and that could have been anybody's. "She couldn't have gotten far. Actually, who am I kidding? She could be mining in the deeps by now." He looked down at the pickaxe in his hands, then back up the path to find a small wood elf blocking the way-well, as best as someone of Bosmer stature COULD block a way.

    The creature wore the usual getup of mismatched prisoner rags with ripped pants and a dirty tunic. His skin was of a light umber quality, but covered almost completely in dark tattoos that swirled about his arms and up his neck. His hair, however, was the most distinguishing feature. It was yellow-almost gold and messily styled into a swirling cone shape, much like a wilting horn that stuck out from the back of his head, dirty and sad. His green eyes flitted around the mine finally settling on Ma'Nchitar.

    "W-Well? Do y-y-you have it?" he queried with a stammer. Ma'Nchitar dropped the pickaxe, closed his eyes, rubbed his left temple with one hand, placed the other on the Bosmer's shoulder and shoved him into a dark corner behind a pile of ebony ore. He looked around for any watchers and stepped into the shadows after, crouching down and placing a hand over the Bosmer's mouth before he could say another word.

    "Do you remember what Ma'Nchitar told you about conducting business?" He said in a calm growl. The Wood Elf nodded vigorously and Ma'Nchitar slowly took the hand off his mouth.

    "You said to-" The hand went right back on, muffling his loud squeal.

    "Try again." Once again the hand was removed. The Bosmer took a deep breath and collected himself.

    "You said to conduct b-business in the dark because..." He stopped and thought for a moment. "a cat can see what a guard c-can't."

    "Good. Skooma-swigging tree-bouncer..." Ma'Nchitar growled and reached into the side of his own trousers, fumbling about until he found what he was looking for. There, in a small pocket woven to the inside of his pants, he pulled out a small object barely larger than a wine cork and dropped it into the Bosmer's outstretched palms. The Elf giddily stared into hands to see a small totem statue of Azura carved in gorgeous detail and made completely out of ebony. His eyes widened as he whispered in a much calmer tone.

    "By Azura, by Azura, by azura..." The elf handed the cat a small, thick leather pouch and stepped out of the shadows, still staring at the little statue. Ma'Nchitar limped out after, placing a hand under the Bosmer's and closing them over it. The elf looked up, catching a glimpse of something behind the cat. "N-Nords." he said in a worried tone. Ma'Nchitar turned around and looked down the mine-shaft. He spotted Cyrus and Shadow almost dragging the girl he had seen earlier this morning. Now that it was on his mind, she did seem to look a bit like a Nord... Ma'Nchitar pushed the elf back and gestured behind with his head. The elf nodded and took off into the darkness, clutching the little statue close to his chest.

    "Ma'Nchitar has taken care of a prisoner this week already, yes?" he thought to himself. "So this one has made his quota, yes?" He wasn't a priest of Kynareth, so what business did he have meddling in that affair? None. Ma'Nchitar, unsure if he had made eye contact with any of them or not, limped backwards into the shadows. Within seconds, only his bright eyes could be seen through the gloom before he turned around to head deeper into the mine. There was ebony to extract and deals to strike.
     
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  7. Writes-Many-Posts

    Writes-Many-Posts Champion of Grottos and Gremlins

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    Within minutes, the mines would once again be filled with moans and complaints, both from prisoners and guards. Jaxx was no exception to this. His hands were sore, his eyelids heavy and something had bitten him during his sleep, not to mention Thurayah's disappearance over the night. No matter how hard he swung his pick against the vein, it seemed it was hardly enough to even cause a scratch. The exhaustion he felt was making it hard for him to keep it unnoticed, but luckily, the guards themselves were too tired to be bothered with those petty issues. Nyvis was nowhere to be seen, possibly she was outside, awaiting for the first prisoner of the day to take a chunk of ebony to the pile near the wall, simmered by the exposure to the sun all day long. But nobody seemed even close to ripping anything of value out of the dark, shiny walls. And no production in Drahonnal would most likely mean having both prisoners and guards enduring punishments that would make death look like a reward of sorts. Guessing what punishment awaited didn't bring much comfort to Jaxx, either, but, no matter how much effort he made, he couldn't make anything come out of that vein. Strike after strike, the one who seemed to break was Jaxx, and not the mineral. It was as if the pick was made of wood.

    The breton considered switching for another one, in an attempt to deny the fact that it was his exhaustion what was holding him back, but, with everyone having as much success as him, Nyvis erupted before he could even lay his own pick down. "I thought the prisoners of Drahonnal were supposed to mine to stay alive!" The wooden door was kicked open by the enraged jail master, lifting a cloud of dust from the old hinges, and spitting a few splinters as a sign of its weakened state. If the door that kept them in their dorms was that fragile, surely many would have already tried to escape. Nyvis hurried to the center of the mine and cracked her whip on the floor twice, as her eyes scorched like the fiery breath of a dragon. "If I don't see a chunk of ebony right now... I am sending someone to the crows!" Nobody dared to reply, and there was nothing to bring out yet. Jaxx could hear the heartbeats of other prisoners, as well as his own, since that situation was indeed something to fear. "You... lazy... sons of... a...!" Another guard barged in and interrupted the imperial's dramatic unsheathing of her axe. "Boss!" "What?!" She made the man shrug, and reply in a lighter tone, as if her voice created wind out of its power. "Th... there is a carriage approaching. It doesn't look like it brings prisoners..." To Jaxx, Nyvis looked a lot more concerned than what a person would regularly be due to a new carriage showing up, but still, he was glad her anger vanished, even if only for a few minutes. "I... let me look at it." Nyvis said, a slight tremble in her voice. "As for the rest of you... back to work! I don't want the pile to stay the same when I return." The door slammed as she walked outside, followed by all the guards in the mine, which gave the prisoners a few minutes to themselves.

    To Jaxx, that was more than enough motivation to get something out of that damned vein. In one minute he was tired like a mule in a sunny day, in another he would be slamming his pick against the wall relentlessly like a dwarven automaton with a full functioning steam engine.

    Nyvis rushed to the top of the tower at the entrance of her prison. She feared who that carriage could carry, but tried to look calm in front of her men. The sentry who was on his shift kept staring at the horizon, with a pair of binoculars confiscated from a hunter, who had died long ago in Drahonnal's walls. Nothing fancy, those binoculars, but a piece of glass positioned correctly in the right shape worked just fine. The pressure was too much to ask for them, so Nyvis simply plucked the binoculars out of his hands. Far away, in the deserted road, she could see a golden carriage, pulled by two healthy white horses, driven by an elf. According to the driver's and guards' armor and race, the carriage was owned by Thalmor. She tried to see who was inside through the small, rectangular window, but the blue silk curtains blocked the vision. It couldn't be a prisoner inside. Nothing that puny. Whoever was inside was an important piece of society, and was moving towards Nyvis.
     
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  8. Khaotic3

    Khaotic3 Insanity at its Finest

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    Carina's bruised face had gone completely numb, her split right thigh slowly beginning to stop bleeding. She then began to feel a tingle under her shirt, near the spot where her rib was cracked. She tried to look around, making some sort of odd noise as she did so.

    As she was beginning to regain some amount of lucidity, Carina realized there was a hand under her top. She looked to her left in confusion, but breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Shadow. "Can you walk now?"

    Carina mumbled a reply, and Shadow shook her again. "Yes, yes, I'm okay!" Carina exclaimed. She once again began to walk on her own, still limping slightly. As she grabbed a pickaxe, Carina turned to Shadow and Silvertongue.

    "Thank you, both of you. Whatever I dig up today you guys can split up between yourselves for water." Carina knew that was a major risk to give up her day's worth of hydration, especially in her crappy condition. But she had no lepids to give them, and this was the only other thing of value she could think of to give them. Nyvis then began shouting at them for being slackers, but Carina found it impossible to care. Her exhaustion took up the majority of her thoughts, and focusing on mining was enough to drown out the rest of the world. If she was to be sent to the crows, at least she would know that they could finish her off.

    Once Nyvis had stopped shouting, Carina leaned toward Shadow to whisper. "Watch yourself. That gang told me you were next."

    Carina then furiously then continued striking at the wall. She may be in pain, but she was still strong. She drowned out all other sounds in her head with the sounds of the pickaxe against the ore vein. It was hard, focusing on nothing, but she was well practiced. She could not pay attention to the disgusting smells or hushed voices, the poor lighting or her pain; only her arms swinging the pickaxe at the wall.

    Whatever it took to forget the night before was all that mattered at the moment.
     
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  9. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Shadow breathed a sigh of relief when Carina started walking on her own. Not so much that her healing had worked on the woman, more that she didn't want to be noticed today, when she herself was still recovering from the previous day. Carina thanked her and Cyrus and then began to mine like a woman possessed. Cyrus wandered off without another word and so Shadow turned to the wall of ebony herself. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed Ma'Nchitar disappear into the darkness. She did not pursue him down into the depths of the mine. She would approach him later when rest time rolled around again.

    Nyvis entered the mining floor in a rage and started to yell at everyone, prisoners and guards alike, until one wary guard entered to inform her of a carriage approaching. From what Shadow heard it was not a regular prisoner carriage and this seemed to enrage Nyvis even more. As Shadow stole a glance at the jailer she could also see another emotion in her eyes. An emotion she knew intimately, one she had seen in the eyes of her victims.... Fear. Nyvis was afraid.

    Carina leaned over and whispered in her ear "Watch yourself. That gang told me you were next." Causing Shadow's attention to be brought back to her present situation. What to do with herself during those rest periods? She needed to sleep, that she had no doubt, but going back to her own bedroll would be just like painting a huge target on her back. Carina's warning had her worried. She could fight off one rapist, possibly two, but a gang of them? She was strong, skilled, but not that skilled. As she hacked away at the rock she went over her two options. Make a deal with Cyrus and offer her healing services to him and his group, thus securing a new place to sleep and some manner of protection..or.. find the cat and bribe, beg or buy her way back into his bedroll.

    Although the Khajiit had given up a space in his nest last night, she knew it was with reluctance and she didn't know if he would be willing to do it again. Were as Cyrus had everything to gain with her entering his group. She needed to think on it more before she made her decision. At least she had a backup plan if one of the two failed. After that, she was on her own. Unless.. she looked over at Carina, a possible third option coming to her mind.
     
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  10. Irishman

    Irishman Well-Endowed Member

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    Carina stumbled to her feet after being healed and had a relieved expression on her face. "Thank you, both of you. Whatever I dig up today you guys can split up between yourselves for water." Cyrus was indeed shocked to hear that, but quickly shook his head. He had dealt with the small amount of water that kept him going all these years and had no use for anymore. "You need your share, your no good to anyone dead and if you give up too much water in your state, than that is where you will end up." The old Redguard walked off to a stretch of wall, neglecting to mention that there would be other areas Carina could assist in once she got a bit better.

    A short time later, and no real effort from anyone on the ebony, Nyvis charged into the mining floor, wearing her usual foul mood. With her usual amount of yelling, arm waving and threats. This time however, her usual tantrum was cut short by a guard delivering some news that Cyrus could not hear, but made her turn and storm out with nearly as much ferocity as she entered.

    Anything to get her out of here is fine by me.

    The next few hours where taken up by Silvertongue reminiscing his now passed friend and also thinking about how the two new girls had caused much disturbance in this chaotic environment. There was something about those two and Cyrus was inclined to see where they would go in this joint.

    Two, young, gifted assassins. One gifted with Restoration magic with some compassion that was rare in the field of trained killers. And one who seemed detached most of the time. A more common trait in assassins but it made her very hard to read and Cyrus could sense there was more to both of them than maybe even they knew...
     
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  11. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Shadow was torn. She desperately wanted to be closer to the Khajiit Ma'Nchitar but the big cat seemed reluctant. Repelled would be a word to describe his reactions towards her but for whatever reason she was was not privy to. She frowned as she worked on her ebony vein. She really only had two reasons for wanting the cat's trust. Security and a silly notion of clinging to past memories. But as she had clearly told herself before, Ma'Nchitar was not at all like Do'Jhar. She peered down the mine towards the ramp that led to the lower, darker levels. A group of prisoners blocked the way, surreptitiously mining at an ore vein that really only needed one of them. They looked over to her every now and then, shooting her crude gestures and grabbing their privet parts. One even ran his fingers across his neck in a slow hacking motion. Shadow knew that this was the group that had attacked Carina last night. There was no way to get down into the tunnels without going past them and even if she did, they would be on her in a second. f***fers she thought to herself. Ma'Nchitar was out of her reach even if she wanted to go down there.

    She had only one other option and it was the one she could see working out for her for the better. Swallowing her pride she edged her way over to her target. Cyrus Silvertongue was mining away, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings, though Shadow held no illusions. She would bet her spare shiv that Cyrus knew what went on in the mine at any one given time, inside and out. She started hacking away at the ore next to him checking the guards were out of earshot.

    "Cyrus. I believe I have an..arrangement for you that would be beneficial to me and you and your group" Cyrus did not look at her, but she could tell he was listening.

    "Go on, girl" he prompted her. Shadow sighed, here goes.

    "I offer to you and your group, my services. And no I do not mean sexual favours. You have seen what I can do. I can tell you need me as much as I need you. My healing for your group's complete protection. Don't loose another friend like you did yesterday". She left it at that for Cyrus to mull over.
     
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  12. AirshipCircus

    AirshipCircus The Duct-Taped Jack of Hearts

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    Ma'Nchitar had already broken a pickaxe. It sat there, the wood shaft snapped in two. Kind of depressing, really; almost symbolic-if you bought into that sort of thing. Ma'Nchitar wasn't really focused on metaphorical word-play (enticing as a broken pickaxe is), since the ebony was practically gushing out of the rocks this morning. "Something sure is *grunt* different, today" he mused under his breath, driving the head of a fresh pickaxe into the rock and ripping out the stone. His sack today was filling it up much faster than usual. One or two of the other Khajiit had actually stopped to watch him go, which was probably the best entertainment they'd gotten for a month. They whispered things like:

    "Five years I am here and the Bear-Cat never broke ore with any zeal." "You think he broke down and spent those lepids on some company? Thought I saw a girl walking funny this morning." One of them, a skinny tabby with a distant expression (clearly on some stage of a skooma high) had simply sat down, saying:

    "Aw...You beat me."

    The cat wracked his brain. "Ma'Nchitar did not wake up like this yesterday, did he?" No, that was a stupid question and he knew it. "Ma'Nchitar is not on skooma, that is for certain." He had been clean for years now, so he'd notice. "Ma'Nchitar could pinch himself..." He thought about that. Was it worth finding out if he was dreaming. Then he remembered that people always go through Vaermina's realm right before they wake up, so there could be a guard bearing down on him right now with metal boots and pointy things! He pinched himself immediately, extra hard to be sure. "Ow!" Nope, nothing.
    Then his ears pricked with the formation of an idea. Could that girl have done something? No, that couldn't be it. But hadn't she healed him two nights ago? That was a great risk, considering Ma'Nchitar's track record with healers. And those eyes. Ice-blue, so much like Ki'Haja. Same fire too, it seemed. Perhaps not the brute strength to back it up..."But... not everyone spent their childhood in the Death Pits of Western Elsweyr so, different strokes, I guess.". Then he remembered her words from before: "I..I can't thank you enough for what you did for me. For allowing me to share your bedroll. I will make it up to you, you have my word." He decided to take some time and think on this.

    Having exhausted the current options, Ma'Nchitar tossed a chunk of ebony to the addict on the floor and slung the filled sack over his shoulder before carefully stepping towards the ramp back up to the main floor. He had gotten two steps before a small breeze, less than a whisper to those without whiskers, echoed down the ramp. It was the kind of thing that would usually go unnoticed by anyone, including a Khajiit. Just catch of a scent in the air. But in that moment, almost every Khajiit likely froze. It was deathly quiet, save for the sound of the dripping rock walls. There was one scent every Khajiit would remember, even become attuned to in this prison. It was a scent every smart cat in Drahonnal feared.

    Nyvis. It was primal, but not good primal. Good primal was like the scent of love-making or the smell of a fresh kill from the hunt. This wasn't it. This was bad primal, like leather and sadness. Like the scent you smell when you realize that you're trying to make love to a fresh kill from the hunt. Just...yecch.

    Her muffled shouting could be heard even down there. It was unclear what she was going on about, but someone had probably done something out of line like usual. Honestly, the Khajiit were probably doing all they could to drown her voice out. It was commonplace but so was the fear her little "visits" incited. Soon, two whip cracks sounded, and then silence. That whip sent tremors through the room, and none of them were willing to make their way up to check if the coast was clear. Ma'Nchitar, having spent years as one of the essential objects of torture, had a strong inclination to do the same. But, still under a bit of a high from his current strengthened state, he slowly crept up the ramp on all fours. Well, all threes, to hold the sack.
     
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  13. Writes-Many-Posts

    Writes-Many-Posts Champion of Grottos and Gremlins

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    The carriage approached unhastily, its driver barely touching the horses with his lash. To Nyvis, the trip seemed to have lasted a year until it finally ended in front of the prison's gates. Nyvis only needed to raise her arm for the guards to understand she wanted the doors open, and none of them would dare to dally, but she froze, fearing the worst from that visit. "Should we... erm... open the gates?" The guard spoke, in a halfly awkward tone, being all of them used to Nyvis knowing what to do before the situation even happened. "Uhm... Boss?" He insisted after a few seconds of silence, jabbing Nyvis with his elbow. "What? Oh... Yes. Open the gates!" With a swift nod, the man turned to the warden in the other tower that guarded the gate and waved twice. Both of them then spun a heavy steel mechanism, rusty after several years exposed to rain, fog and unbearable heat, as quickly as they could, although it wasn't enough to make the gates open quickly. Slowly, the two doors would finally split and make way for the Elves to get past.

    Once the horses stopped, the driver jumped out of his seat and moved quickly to the door, opening it so subtly it could almost give the impression that whoever was inside was made of glass. It was very dark inside the carriage, too somber for Nyvis to even guess about what was inside. After a brief delay, a body could be seen approaching the door. Everyone was seemingly surprised once it came out of the carriage, covering its eyes from the sun light, something it clearly wasn't used to. Given the wealthy wagon, it would make the most sense if a nobleman would come out, dressed in clothes worth more than his personality, but, instead, came out a behemoth, covered in heavy pelts, a scarf covering his mouth, and a bear pelt cloak pulled all the way forward, covering his forehead. If it wasn't for the need to see, possibly he would have also covered his light green eyes. "So... this... is Drahonnal." He muttered, his voice deeper than the Sea of Ghosts. "Can I help you?" Nyvis asked, after realizing none of the guards would man up to react in time. "I believe so." The man's tone didn't match his size or his clothing, he clearly had been affiliated with the Thalmor long enough to learn rhetoric with them. This was all Nyvis could think about as he scavenged through his various pockets, until he finally managed to pull out of one a tattered paper. "It seems this property... belongs to me now." It was awkward enough to be around someone who didn't fear Nyvis at all, but the worst part was that none of her men was expecting that to happen, at least, not so soon. The man held the paper firmly, waiting for Nyvis to snap out of her fear and show him the property. He seemed disturbingly patient, as Nyvis lingered for at least 2 minutes, regaining her composure and preparing to confront her defeat once and for all. "Let me see that..." It didn't matter how much effort she wasted, Nyvis failed to stop the trembling in her hand while she took the paper from the man. She was feeling sadnes, anger, frustration and hate a lot more intensely than she usually felt, and Nyvis had never been a stranger to those emotions. How could the paper be in such a poor state was beyond comprehension. According to the date, the purchase had been made less than a week prior to that day, which meant Elisif already knew who had bought the prison before sending her first letter. The Jarl's stamp told the truth, Drahonnal had indeed a new owner. "Is there any problem?" He asked, as deeply and unhastily as when he came out of the carriage, as if he had nearly no emotion, while he put the document back in his pocket. "No... None at all... Uhm... I assume you want me to show you the prison?" Nyvis sighed strengthlessly, preparing to turn around towards the entrance to the mine. "Actually, I am not going to stay here in the prison."

    All that nonsense was angering Nyvis a lot more than she had predicted. "What do you mean?!" Nyvis was no longer talking, but she wasn't completely yelling either. "You should calm down. We haven't even introduced ourselves..." The way he remained apathic to everything happening only made Nyvis angrier, but she tried to fight her rage, for the first time in years. Swallowing her pride, she stretched her hand, keeping her expression to the least sulky possible. "My name is Nyvis, I was..." Saying that was the most painful experience she had had in a while, assuming her nightmares didn't count. "... the owner of Drahonnal." The man stared at her hand like an idiot, refusing to shake it for whatever gods-damn reason he had, until Nyvis finally lowered it, to avoid getting even angrier than she already was. "I am Aldar Surm, affiliated with the Thalmor..." Lacking patience to listen to his whole introduction, the former headmistress of the prison interrupted Aldar. "Yes, yes, but explain what exactly is going to happen!" The man headed back to his carriage and peeked through the golden door's window, seeming somehow capable of seeing what was inside despite the darkness. "I bought this prison as a gift to my son and my daughter..." Nyvis swore mentally that she was expecting any answer but that one. What kind of sick mind would want a prison as a gift? "They are the ones who will be managing this prison. One day, they will take my place among the Thalmor ranks, whether it is military, diplomacy or... erm, their own version of this prison..." The giant man then got dangerously close to Nyvis, making her almost feel... what was the word? Threatened. "I will leave 2 Thalmor guards to keep track of them." Aldar then leaned close to her ear, and Nyvis felt her air tightened by a smell she was quite familiar with. Not familiar enough to enjoy it, but familiar enough to immediately tell what it was: Decay, death, withering. Being too disgusted to tell him to back off, Nyvis was forced to hear his whisper, now in a threatening tone, instead of the apathic one. "[I]I assure you, if anything happens to them, I will make sure this prison becomes a college, but, before that, I will make sure the Thalmor take every life in here. Clear?" [/I][COLOR=#999999]Once Aldar stepped back, Nyvis coughed subtly, trying to recover her air, avoiding dropping any tear from her welling, disgusted eyes.[/COLOR]

    Nyvis was nearly petrified, the guards were creeped out, and Aldar had his head stuck in the window of the carriage, speaking to whatever monster was hidden inside. "They are ready." He said, taking his head out of the wagon. "These are Yorick, and Cecil, the new owners of Drahonnal." Aldar opened the door and two short figures unblurred out of the shadows. They were both mere kids who, by their looks, were about 11 and twins. Both had dark hair, hers fairly long, while his short and messy. Their skin was paler than any vampire Nyvis had executed, which also explained their initial struggle against the sunlight. Instead of greeting, like any normal person would, they nodded at Nyvis and lingered, seeming ashamed of being there. Drahonnal was no kindergarten, nor a place fit for children. What kind of father would let his kids go through that experience? "This is Nyvis. She will show you the prison, and get you started." Aldar said, as he climbed inside his wagon. "Goodbye. For now." After the cold farewell, the horses neighed at the same time, and strode out of Drahonnal as if they were driven mad, at a speed that could rival that of a dragon's flight. "What the...?!"

    There was Nyvis. Alone, with two brats, who now owned her jail. Suddenly, she became a nanny instead of an executioner, which is exactly the opposite. The girl, with a surprisingly sweet smile, broke the ice. "So... can you please show us Drahonnal, Miss Nyvis?" Being called miss in that tone really was uplifting, and it eased up Nyvis' feelings at that moment, almost making her forget the grievous loss she had just suffered. "Follow me. I will show you the dorms first, then you can see the mines."

    -------------------------------------
    Meanwhile, in the mines, Jaxx struggled to get anything out of the ebony vein. He was indeed slamming his pickaxe a lot harder against it, but it seemed the wall was not making it easy for him that day. An ebony tantrum, perhaps? "Why... don't... you... *******... break?!" Nyvis could be back in any moment, and if she saw the little productivity coming out of the mines, half of the prisoners would possibly writhe in the torture room by the end of the day, and Jaxx was definitely likely to be part of that half. In fact, for all he knew, Thurayah's disappearance could be related to her productivity. She wasn't the strongest lass, after all, in that prison. The breton's pickaxe eventually got trapped in a crack of the wall, too deeply for Jaxx to be able to pull it out. Being it the second best option, Jaxx started kicking the pickaxe deeper into the vein, hoping it would chip some of the ebony out. After not so much work, he was capable of ripping a small chunk out of the vein. It wasn't anything special, but, if Nyvis was erupting inside the mine, while Jaxx was outside adding on to the pile, that would mean she wouldn't unload any of her rage on him, and that was his main goal at that moment. Before he could kneel to pick up his work's product, however, the mine's door opened. "Prisoners, line up!" There was something to that voice, though. Something in her tone was strange. Did Jaxx sense sadness in Nyvis' voice? That was definitely sadness! After much wooing (not always successful, for sure), Jaxx became fairly aware to the sound of sadness in women's voices. Sad or not, Nyvis' orders were still to be followed, and nobody dared not to interrupt their actions to obey. The door opened, but instead of Nyvis coming out, as expected, first entered the mine two Thalmor soldiers and two kids. By the expressions of many other prisoners, not many were expecting such to happen. "I have... an announcement. The High Queen has put Drahonnal for sale recently and... there are new owners..." Nyvis took a deep breath. Gods, that was embarrassing. "This is Cecil, and this is Yorick. They are now... in charge of this place, and both prisoners and guards are at their command..." Seeing someone like Nyvis bowing down to small people like those kids was surprisingly funny, and Jaxx was not a stranger to speaking when he shouldn't. He tried to cover his laugh, which only converted it to awkward snorts. "Pahaha... ha..." The head... ex-headmistress sighed and walked slowly to Jaxx, and then bashed her fist against his stomach as hard as she could, forcing Jaxx on his knees. Nyvis then took out her axe and laid it on his shoulder, letting its edge skim his neck. "That was the last drop, breton." She said coldly, raising her weapon. Being aware of who Jaxx was, both the Thalmor soldiers smirked, but none of them said a thing. Jaxx was expecting the death to hit him as quickly as possible, but someone interrupted. "Wait!" The girl had stepped forward and was grabbing the axe from behind. "I think I choose him..." "Choose him for what?!" Now Nyvis had returned to her former, angry self, but the girl didn't show much fear. "A game!" She smiled, allowing Jaxx to remember his childhood for half a second, away from all the blood and pain in that damnable place. For that half a second, the pain faded, and he didn't feel tired anymore, but then, reality caught up with him, and the world became grim again. "Do you think this is the time for...?!" The boy then spoke, for the first time, his tone nearly incomprehensible. "Where's the torture room?" His question didn't seem to be the typical boy who likes weapons for nature, but more from pure bloodlust, which was fairly uncommon at that age. "I... It's right..." Cecil chuckled, interrupting Nyvis once again. "Brother! You haven't even picked your prisoner!" "Wait... I'm going to the torture...?" Nyvis shut Jaxx up with a kick to his thigh, already annoyed with his presence in that conversation. Yorick hurried to the ones that seemed stronger and heavier, and out of them all, picked an orc with the biggest muscles and the heaviest tusks. "I choose the green-skin over there!" He pointed impatiently. Obeying, the orc stepped forward, not a single expression of fear in his face, unlike Jaxx's. "Can you show us the chamber now, Miss Nyvis?" Another sigh from Nyvis. Did she really have a choice? "Yes. Follow me, if you don't mind." Cecil helped Jaxx stand up and Yorick followed his orc inside the chamber, giving the rest of the prisoners some room to breathe.
     
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  14. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Nyvis had interrupted Shadow and Cyrus's conversation with a surprising announcement. As she stood there scowling, two children walked onto the mining floor behind her. Shadow raised one eyebrow in interest. That was unexpected. She though to herself. She studied the children, assumingly to be twins. Shadow could tell immediately that they were not mere younglings. Something dark and sinister emanated from them. Even Shadow, murderous assassin as she was, felt a chill running down her spine from those kids. When Nyvis announced that they were the new owners, the mouthy prisoner, Jaxx unsuccessfully stifled a laugh. Nyvis retaliated in her usual way and the entire mining floor held a collective breath as she put her axe to his neck. But the fool was saved when the girl had spoken up. She wanted to "play" with Jaxx. Shadow and Cyrus both saw the glint in her eye. Jaxx was in for a world of hurt and then some. Then the boy chose his "Playmate" and the two hapless prisoners were taken to the torture room. When the small party had departed a quiet murmer errupted through the crowd, prisoners and guards alike. Then as if nothing had happened, everyone returned to mining, albeit with more to think about.

    The Redguard silently mulled over Shadow's offer. Healing for protection. It seemed a fair trade, and with Ricoh's untimely death, it did open up a spot in Silvertongue's small, close knit group. Supplying the protection would be of little hassle. With Cyrus as the leader and man with connections, his best friend Jeelius was very intelligent and offered a different perspective. He was very much the eccentric side kick, albeit a bit on the quiet side. The agile Bosmer was the ears of the group, and now with Ricoh's passing the role of guard had passed to the last and perhaps most introverted member. A fit young, Imperial man. Recuited several years ago for his apparent insight into Nyvis' past, Conner was once a fill-in guard at Drahonnal. He had done mercenary work with Nyvis and her gang but never got fully inducted due to his reluctance to taking orders. This reluctance is what eventually turned him into an inmate in the very prison he had once guarded.

    But that is a story for another time.

    Cyrus sighed and wearily rubbed his eyes. This gesture was more for show than a true reflection of his emotions. Truth be told, having an energetic and new face to the little gang would only help Silvertongues influence in this place grow... but he didn't want to show that enthusiasm to the young lady just yet.

    As if talking to a minor who continues to be persistent in an idea until they achieve their goal, Cyrus stated the following with a slightly exasperated undertone;

    "I have a friend who has had some experience in bodyguarding. I'm sure Conner will have no problems with it." He paused for a second thinking about the deal and the best course of action. "I 'spose you will have to drag your bedroll over to my camp... oh and bring the other new girl. The first few dinners are your responsibility, of course I'm sure with your charm the boys will be falling over themselves to help you out." Cyrus winked at her and immediately scowled at himself for dropping the exasperated tone, as well as including the other new girl.. why had he said that?

    Shadow glared for a moment at Cyrus. The conditions he had given she did not agree with. Bringing Carina into the deal was not one of them, nor was turning her into the cook. She was not some skirt-wearing whore who waiting on men. She hated cooking and she'd be damned if she was going to do it for anyone else. As far as Carina was concerned she could possibly see sense in bringing her into the group. Another murderous psychopath would be beneficial and place Cyrus's group in a higher position of standing. Not to mention having a healer. Shadow was already thinking of plans for them to make money by hiring her out to the others. As a healer of course.

    "Fine" she said begrudgingly "I will let Carina know, but I am not her f***fing keeper. We go our own ways. As for cooking you dinner, if you don't wish to die of food poisoning then I suggest you rethink your plans in getting me to cook it. I will take Conner"...in more ways than one "...and move my stuff over tonight" she hacked away at the ore. It was the best she had expected, but at least it was a result.
     
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  15. Khaotic3

    Khaotic3 Insanity at its Finest

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    Soon after Carina began her painful work, Shadow left to make her way towards Silvertongue. Carina did not follow, but eased up on her mining in order to hear better. It was of little use however, with the murmurs of other prisoners and clinking of pickaxes making it impossible to hear them clearly. Sighing, Carina simply kept an eye on them. Given Shadow's look of almost desperation, Carina was guessing she was asking Silvertongue for protection. A smart move, but also a bit degrading. Certainly preferable to the alternative, however. Carina cringed at the thought of last night. She could still almost feel one of them touching her hair...

    Wait a minute, someone IS touching my hair she realized with a shock. Instinctively she elbowed whomever was behind her, then swung around and tripped him. With a loud oof, he fell on his back. She looked down at him, ready to bash him with her pickaxe, excited at how easily this skinny Nord had fallen prey. She suddenly realized that he was not of the gang that had attacked her last night, but it made no difference. He began to reach inside of her boot, and Carina stepped on his groin. They had caught the attention of a few other prisoners, all with a look of shock on their faces that someone had made an attack during work hours. "Carina...stop..." he muttered through his pain.

    Carina was now thoroughly confused. She could not clearly see his face through his platinum blond hair, and it was too dark totell much else about him. Before Carina could question why he knew her name, Nyvis began shouting, and Carina was forced to let him go. He slunk away into the shadows as the prisoners began to line up. Scowling, Carina lined up as well. She looked around for the mystery man, but he was nowhere to be seen. She did manage to spot Shadow and Silvertongue, however. Annoyed, Carina finally decided to listen and see what Nyvis was harping on about.

    "...orick. They are now... in charge of this place, and both prisoners and guards are at their command..." What the f***? the words had almost slipped out. Beside Nyvis stood two young children. How the hell do two CHILDREN come to be in charge of Oblivion on Nirn? Carina envied them. I suppose their parents must love them.

    The annoying Breton, however, seemed to find this extremely funny. Nyvis wasted no time putting him in his place. After a blow to his stomach, she drew her axe. "That was the last drop, breton." Adrenaline began to course through Carina's veins and a grin stretched across her face. Do it! Do it! Carina wanted to chant. Even if she was not doing the killing, death always excited her. It didn't hurt that she was not particularly fond of this man-child, either.

    "Wait!" The girl had stepped forward and was grabbing the axe from behind. "I think I choose him..." Carina let out a huff of anger, and silently hoped Nyvis would kill him anyway. Hell, Nyvis should kill the girl, too. Now that would be entertaining. However, apparently even Nyvis was not bold enougfh to break the chain of command. "Choose him for what?!" she boomed. "A game!" the little girl smiled. Carina rolled her eyes. Stupid kid. Probably not even smart enough to come up with a good way to kill this skeever. Carina became increasingly annoyed when the boy asked where the torture chamber was. Now she wasn't even going to get to watch.

    However, her mood changed to slightly nervous when the huge Orc towering beside her was chosen as the boy's prisoner. The boy had pointed a bit too close to her for her comfort. Nyvis then led the children and their toys away, and the guards shouted at the remaining prisoners to return to work. Carina was sure to find a spot closer to Shadow and Silvertongue this time. Silvertongue appeared to be reluctantly agreeing to whatever Shadow had said, but Shadow did not seem happy. And then she thought she heard her name. After checking for guards, Carina silently made her way over to them. Shadow seemed particularly angry.

    "Aw, whatsa matter? Having trouble charming up an old man?" Carina teased. She knew she was likely to get a fist in her face, but Shadow's pissy mood definitely made it seem worth it.
     
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  16. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Shadow glared at Carina, imagining the the sound her axe would make plunging through Carina's skull. She still held some resentment towards the girl for the whipping and also really didn't like her all that much. She was tired and pissed off and reacted impulsively.

    "We'll see how charming you can be with my f**cking axe through your face" she hissed then moved off to the side. If Cyrus really wanted the bitch he could ask her himself. The two prisoners who had been taken away were still not back from their 'playdate' with the new owners. Shadow worked at an ore vein and finally loosened a chunk of ore. She was about to pick it up when a hand reached for it first. Shadow gripped her shiv, ready to defend herself.

    "Stay your weapon lass" the voice attached to the arm whispered. It was not a harsh or rough voice. Shadow glanced to the side to see a pleasant-faced Imperial smiling at her. "I'm Connor" he said simply.

    "That was fast" she said by way of greeting, then thought she had been a little rude so introduced herself as well.

    "Oh everyone knows who you are Shadow. You and your friend made quite an impression on your first night. Quite impressive."

    "Thank you" she half smiled. It was hard not to react to Connor's infectious smile. Shadow studied him as he swung his axe. He was well toned from years in Drahonnal. He would do nicely.

    "I must say, this is the nicest job Silvertongue has given me for quite a while" his eyes roamed over her curves and then winked at her. They continued mining the ore while they talked.
     
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  17. Writes-Many-Posts

    Writes-Many-Posts Champion of Grottos and Gremlins

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    There was Jaxx, in the place he thought he would work hard to never get back in: the torture floor. Cecil and Yorick started sniffing around, like kittens when they were brough home for the first time. Of course kittens don't whisper "It has been a while..." creepily like Cecil did, but whoever didn't hear that would very possibly make that association. Nyvis seemed to, somehow, be more impatient than Jaxx himself. "What are you going to do, anyway?" Cecil turned around with her usual warm smile, completely unaffected by Nyvis' hasty tone or presence in general. "I have already answered that: a game. It is a surprise!" While Cecil and Nyvis put up with each other, Yorick was tapping the ebony wall with his hands, his ear strongly pressed against it, as if he was cracking a safe. "And what the hell are you do...?" Nyvis was interrupted by a heavy mechanism's noise, coming from inside the wall the boy had been knocking. Thin strings of dust fell from the ceiling as the wall was lifted by heavy ebony gears and chains deafeningly moving beneath their feet and above their heads. Somehow, whatever room was behind that wall already had lit torches, with surprisingly little to no rust. "How did you... know that?" Cecil was surprisingly shocked with Nyvis' statement. "You didn't know?" This question made the former headmistress highly uncomfortable. She thought she knew every corner in her prison, but a secret passage in the torture room, a place in which she had spent a lot of time, could mean there were several other surprises Nyvis could very easily have missed. "Ughm... how was I supposed to know?" Before Nyvis could end her uncontrollable stuttering, Yorick had already turn around to mock her in a rude way no guard or prisoner would usually dare to. "Why work in Drahonnal if you don't know its history?" Of course, someone like Nyvis didn't take criticism very well, or well at all. As her eyes bursted with the angry gold tone, she yelled furiously, her rough voice echoing in the unknown secret of the torture floor. "I AM part of Drahonnal's history!" History, history, history, the echo kept repeating itself in the distance, hinting at the enormous size of the hidden room behind the wall. The boy wasn't intimidated. He actually seemed very curious about Nyvis' eyes shifting like that, and kept staring awkwardly at her. "I see..."

    Neither Yorick nor Cecil, the leaders of the expedition, took the lead, and the group was left in the smelly torture floor idle for a while, in complete awakward silece. Jaxx had too many questions about his future at that moment. Too many to remain silent. "So..." "Shut up!" Such hostility from Nyvis wasn't uncommon, even to a new prisoner, but, whether they were used to it or not, most prisoners flinched when Nyvis used her voice's full potential to roar at them, just like Jaxx did. Five minutes passed, ten, fifteen. Jaxx, for a while, believed the kids were automatons that had run out of steam, instead of creepy people. But, at last, Cecil spoke. "Let's go in, then!"

    That scenario was very embarrassing. Two kids who were little more than 10 were leading the way to an orc criminal, a breton scavenger, a couple of Thalmor guards, and a... well, a Nyvis, into the unknown, fearlessly, one of them staring at the ground like a loner, the other skipping merrily. The path seemed endless, and tighter the further they walked. Even though the torches were spread across it, there were some moments of such darkness that Jaxx stepped on the brute next to him, resulting in a big push against the ebony wall. It was a painful journey, which made Jaxx endure pain, the smell of the orc's sweat, and Cecil's humming all the time, a symphony which, although it was optimistic and decently tuned, didn't match their situation and made the breton even more frustrated. After all that punishment, they got to a large room, which split in three tunnels. "You wait there!" Cecil pointed at the middle entrance, where the Thalmor and Nyvis would enter. "You come with me!" She grabbed Jaxx's hand, and dragged him to the left tunnel, leaving the right one to her brother and the orc.

    As an experienced cave dweller, Jaxx knew that they were going deeper the further they went in that tunnel. However, it did not take long before they got to the end of that passage. Jaxx and Cecil found themselves in what looked like an armory, and she hadn't let his hand go yet. "You will fight for me, against my brother's prisoner." Her tone was the same as usual, friendly, and somewhat cute, even though the message's nature was purely frightening. "If you win, you get a piece of bread, if you lose, the orc gets a piece of bread. Simple!" She finally had dropped his hand, but Jaxx was now too worried to care about that. On the wall, there was a wooden rack in poor condition, holding all sorts of weapons made of raw ebony in perfect state. Cecil continued, either not noticing the fear in Jaxx's eyes, or not caring about such. "Choose a weapon to fight the orc with. Only one weapon, though, so choose wisely!" That actually wasn't a hard task. Jaxx could only handle daggers and swords, and a dagger in a duel with all kinds of weapons available was fairly useless. He grabbed the lightest, thinnest blade he could find hanging on the wall and gave it a couple of swings, with a sigh. "I am going to die..." But the little girl eased him by grabbing his hand, as if he was about to give birth. "I have faith in you." She grinned, and walked towards the exit. "When that ebony door opens, it means it is your turn to come out. Don't attack the orc instantly, because I want to give my champion an introduction." And that was it. She left Jaxx there, alone, in front of a thick ebony door with five locks, that lead to whatever hell Drahonnal had yet failed to unleash.

    It was ironic. Jaxx had been named by his father in honor of a man who was a great duelist. He was called the Grandmaster at Arms, due to his ability to turn any everyday object into a lethal weapon. While that had happened to another bearer of that name, Jaxx was there thinking about his inevitable demise, that awaited behind the monstruous door.

    Meanwhile, Nyvis' path had been short, and lead to a balcony adorned with many ebony statues, with the view towards an arena shaped zone, its sands shed with blood, its doors seeming to weigh more than a mammoth, and its walls made of wood, with nails sticking out, pointed at the inside. On the stoop, there were several benches, also made of ebony, to spectate the battles from above. It didn't take her long to figure out the orc would be fighting the breton in those sands, and it took her even less to bet on who would win. Cecil and Yorick came back not long after that, and, once again, the girl explained exactly what was going on, while she took a seat next to Yorick. "My brother and I have made a bet. The winner of this fight allows its master to get the headmistress' bedroom." "What?!" "Shh! Miss Nyvis, it is about to start!"

    The door on the right opened, the orc coming out of it without fear, wielding a needlessly large ebony axe on his right hand. "My prisoner is Ru'Tak. He promised me he would tear the little breton apart." Nyvis noticed the Thalmor guards smile in response to said statement, but she didn't care. She was not fond of that man anyway (in fact, killing him was what she was stopped from doing), and even if she was, there was nothing Nyvis could do, since she wasn't in charge anymore. Then, the little man's door opened, and after a few seconds, he came out of his cover, wielding a puny sword that was put to shame fairly easily when compared to his foe's axe. Cecil happily introduced Jaxx. "My Champion's name is Jaxx..." But the orc immediately threw a punch at Jaxx, before she could even finish the first sentence, to the joy of all the men spectating. Cecil sat down with a semi-cute frown. "That wasn't fair..." She muttered in a vanished tone. "My orc seems to care more about his reward than your breton." Yorick shrugged, indifferent to his sister.

    Meanwhile, Jaxx had been knocked down by the unexpected blow to his chin, but he had to stand back up very quickly to avoid getting cut in half. "C'mon breton! Dinner's on you! Haha!" It seemed the stereotypes about orcs were right after all... Most of them know how to swing an axe, even after spending months in prison without practice. Ru'Tak was reckless. His axe literally cut in half the little air Jaxx had to breathe, and would easily chop his neck if he did the first a little more carelessly. What was expected to be a honored duel, became more of a Sheogorath tale, where a mad behemoth chased a helpless fool with a giant axe in circles. Eventually, the orc grabbed Jaxx by his rags, and pulled him back to the center of the arena, in front of the unimpressed spectators. He didn't have trouble noticing the little girl that had saved and chosen him was now worried. "Should I begin?!" The orc shouted, fearlessly, a malacathian voice thundering around the arena's dark corners. If Jaxx wanted to live, he needed to think about something very quickly. "When all else fails..." The breton slammed the hilt of his ebony sword against the orc's crotch as hard as he could, making him squirm in pain. "What?!" Yorick roared. That short time he gained was enough for Jaxx to get back up, kick the orc in his weak spot again, and rip the axe from his hands. As his left hand threw the weapon behind him, his right one prepared to kill him with the light sword. But the orc, somehow, grabbed the sword by the blade, with his bare left hand, grunting inhumanly. A headbutt against Jaxx's head, and a strong pull were enough to even the odds, making both prisoners weaponless. "Suit yourself, weakling!" That was one stubborn orc. He threw a couple of punches after taunting Jaxx, one with his bad hand, and then lifted him from the ground by his neck. "After I am done with you... I will leave Drahonnal and start over! Nothing can stop me from getting out!" How come he would get a better reward than Jaxx? No, nothing like that. The boy had lied to make the orc more motivated to win, by any means. The breton's air was beginning to go thin, and Jaxx's kicks on the behemoth's abs were growing weaker by the second. Low on both air and hope, the breton stuck his thumb inside the beast's eye, not deep enough to blind him, but enough to distract him for an easy punch below his jaw. Ru'Tak angrily tossed Jaxx like a ragdoll across the arena. "Fine... I will just beat you to death!"

    It was sad, watching such a one-sided fight, even if it was the annoying breton the one being beaten up. Yorick and the elves, on the other hand, unlike Nyvis, were enjoying the fight to its fullest. They laughed, they yelled, and they hailed their favorite fighter in the arena, as the breton was continuously mauled by that giant orc. "If you want Cecil, you can just give up, and I will spare your allmighty champion." The girl did not reply, and pouted instead. It was clear that the orc had gained his advantage in an unfair way, but, in Nyvis' opinion, it wouldn't have changed the result much otherwise.

    Jaxx had been knocked down again. His face was covered in dirt, and his knees had started bleeding long ago. The orc held him up one more time, and put a nearly unconscious Jaxx on his shoulder. "If there weren't ladies watching, I would have pissed on you before finishing you off, coward." Ru'Tak slowly walked closer to the walls with nails, and prepared to ram Jaxx against them to finally end the battle. Cecil tried to cover her eyes with her hands, but Yorick once again came up with an unpleasant comment. "Come on sister, I want you to see this!" Ru'Tak started to speed up his pace towards the wall, every step faster than the one before. Somehow, Jaxx had the cold blood to crawl out of his foe's shoulder and execute a weak dropkick against his back just before falling on the ground again. This resulted in Ru'Tak getting wounded in his forehead, and chest after the slam against the nails. "Son of a bitch!" The breton would once again find himself trying to crawl away from his enemy, and once again without success. This time, his opponent had grabbed him on his right foot, and started spinning Jaxx around at a frightening speed, throwing the near dead breton across the arena one more time. This time, however, the landing felt different. Jaxx heard and felt a pressure plate being triggered below him, something the orc didn't notice. He sprinted back to the almost corpse and kicked him in the testicles repeatedly. "Die already!" One more kick and Jaxx would have sworn he would puke, but something unseen sprinkled them with a strange steam that their skin absorbed abnormally quickly, interrupting the orc's crushing quest.

    The distraction wasn't very effective, and Ru'Tak was about to resume the massacre, but then suddenly all the lights disappeared. All Jaxx could see was darkness. At first, he thought he had died, yet the still existing pain spoke otherwise. "What cheap trick is this?!" Apparently, the orc was experiencing something similar, or another unpleasant experience.

    From afar, all Nyvis could see were two men with moderate to heavy wounds, squealing like cockroaches exposed to light. "What happened?" Cecil seemed to be mesmerized for the first time since she had arrived. "It... it seems that they triggered a trap that spits a toxin against their skin, which temporarily makes their eyes uncapable of detecting light..."

    "Just finish him off!!!!" Yorick yelled, bending himself on the balcony in the edge of falling inside the arena as well. "He is right in front of you!"

    This extra time was well appreciated for Jaxx, who massaged his never-so-sterile parts in agony, as he thought about a way to get out of that one. If he squinted, he could notice the orc wandering around the arena like a draugr faintly in the dark, a skill he got thanks to the long times spent inside caves without any light. If he really focused, he could also see his sword buried in the sand nearby. Jaxx crawled as quickly as he could towards his weapon, blood flowing out of his lips like a waterfall. Come on... COME ON! Never had the hilt of a blade felt so comforting to him. Like a drunken overweight man, he stood back up with a lot of difficulty, and struggled to remain on his feet. Everything hurt him badly: from his hair that had been cruelly pulled (some perhaps even ripped) by the orc, to his feet, with a couple of broken toes. He limped closer to the lost orc without a drop of pity for the being that had just made him suffer that much, sword firmly in his hand.

    Wooooosh!

    A swift slash and the orc would have a huge cut across his back. Ru'Tak quickly turned around, throwing his fists randomly, trying to find his invisible foe. It was too late. Jaxx had already changed position, now standing behind the orc once again, and his opponent was now between the breton, and the nail wall. Jaxx licked the blood from his lips one last time before sparta kicking the orc on his lower back as hard as he could, possibly breaking his neck, making him almost fly against the wall. Obviously that ended with Ru'Tak's unlikely death, with nails piercing through his limbs and organs grisly, even one that had gone through his skull. Nyvis could see the frustration in Yorick's eyes. "Nooo! That worthless green-skin! I would have him castrated if he was alive! Damn it!" On his right, however, Cecil was very happy. She was actually crying, for whatever reason, and immediately sprinted down to the arena once the battle was over. Yorick and his guards did not wait for her and walked back out of the tunnels, and Nyvis chose to follow them. She was already fed up with both the arena and the breton, and even she was a little disappointed that he had survived, although he had earned some respect from her after such an unlikely comeback in a fight against an orc that seemed to be capable of eating him alive. Strangely, the journey out of the arena back to the torture floor was peculiarly small. It didn't take any more than 2 minutes, while the first one had consumed them easily more than 10. The elven guards were as frustrated as the boy, but their Thalmorish arrogance didn't allow them to show it.

    A steaming Yorick stopped in the middle of the mine where all the prisoners were working, minus the breton and the newly deceased orc. "Work faster! All of you! You are working for me now, and I want more ebony out of these mines, or else, there will be broken limbs every day! Are we clear?!?!" And he walked away, cold hearted and with no remorse. Nyvis was actually impressed. Was that really how she sounded when she bossed everyone around? She followed him outside, just like a common guard, just to see him handle a guard the same way he handled prisoners, his sister, and pretty much everyone else. "Excuse me, mister Surm, where do we put the bags labelled with your name?" Heck the guards were already as afraid of him as they were from her, or they were simply mere kissasses. "Isn't it obvious?! I will stay in the guards' room! Just put the bags there!"

    Meanwhile Jaxx had recovered his vision and half of his senses. He realized the person keeping his head from falling on the ground (like the rest of his body did), was Cecil. She had been thanking him for very long, although Jaxx had blacked out during half of it. "I knew you were the right Champion! Even if Yorick cheated! I knew it!" The urge to reply was fairly big, but Jaxx could only grunt after being mauled for so long over and over again. "I need to treat you! There is a poison lab in one of these doors! I can make the pain go away while I try to find a more permanent solution, Champion! Don't worry." Seeing someone with the size of Cecil dragging someone as tall as Jaxx through an entire arena, then even opening a massive ebony door with only one hand was, at the very least, impressive. The last sight Jaxx had before dozing off, was Cecil lighting a fireplace with an unknown ebony tool and grabbing an ebony pan from a nearby shelf.
     
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