Completed [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light I

Tazrae is caught off guard and touched by true darkness.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light I

Postby Tazrae on December 21st, 2021, 10:53 pm

Timestamp: 70th of Winter, 521 A.V.


Tazrae was slow to come awake. Part of her mind was distracted by some sort of detached physical assessment. She could feel her booted toes where they sank into the soft ground. The scent of loose wet earth and green growing things was all around her. She could smell blood too and that concerned her in a distant cold sort of way. Something ran down her face, wet and sticky. Was that her own blood she smelled? Her eyelashes were tangled in her hair, making blinking her eyes open without the obscuring veil of her hair difficult. Her wrists were numb. And there was a coarse woven rope binding her neck against something firm yet roughly yielding behind her. Bark; the sensation was recognized slowly as that of tree bark.

She was tied to a tree.

The young innkeeper blinked again and tried to see through the tangled mess of her wet hair. It took her a moment to realize one of her eyes was swollen shut and that was the reason she couldn’t see from it. She took a deep calming breath and all but cried out. Her ribs screamed in protest as every bruise, cut and scrape came alive along the length of her body. Her skin was raw in places. And miraculously she was standing upright.

No… that wasn’t right. She wasn’t standing on her own. Tazrae was bound upright. A moment of squirming in discomfort and pain was enough to tell her that. As her vision cleared in her good eye, she realized it was night and the sounds of the jungle were silent because there were men all around her. She was in some sort of camp. Fires blazed low in scattered groups around her, with bodies around the flames or moving to briefly block the glowing light as they passed by.

Wiggling a bit more, she realized she was confined by ropes to a tree that held her upright at both wrists and ankles. A larger rope confined her waist, holding her firmly back against a relatively young tree. The last rope was the worst, the one encircling her throat. She could feel the rawness of her skin where the rope had supported her head and choked at her while she apparently remained unconscious.

The skin of her neck was raw from where the rope had rubbed at her throat. Her head must have flopped forward in her unconscious state, leaving deep bruises encircling her neck like a macabre necklace.

Tazrae fought her fuzzy mind, trying to make sense of her thoughts and what was going on around her. The splitting pain throbbing through her temple didn’t help.

The last thing she remembered was riding Bree.

They were in the jungle together looking for exotic flowers since she’d started a new section of garden at The Protea. They’d wandered far, deeper into the jungle than Tazrae was used to. But both had been in an adventuresome mood and restless from too many days confined at the Inn and hard study at The Outpost on Tazrae's part.

There had been many guests, filling the Inn almost completely, until Tazrae had worked herself to the bone and needed a rest. When the last visitor left, she’d gratefully left the sink full of dirty dishes for Oralie and invited Bree to go with her for a run. It was uncharacteristic of her, but Tazrae needed… absolutely needed to get out.

Count: 573
Last edited by Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
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Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:05 am

The Ixam’s gait was fluid and she was a joy to ride through the deep jungle. Bree just didn’t stick to the forest floor, but she ran half through the canopy as well, so most of Tazrae’s ride was far more multidimensional than a horse could ever offer. It had been a joy. That much Tazrae remembered. She remembered laughing and holding her arms out as the Ixam leaped from high place to high place, fearless in her trust of Bree. And though Taz struggled to remember the details, the pain in pounding temples prevented full recollection.

Her sight wasn’t quite right, Taz realized, because the blurred glimpses of speckled firelight through trees was painful and mostly made her squint. Tears ran down the one eye that wasn’t swelled shut. Memories were better than the present; better than the rope around her neck. And so Tazrae lost herself in what had been the time before. Climbing up and leaping off large trees that easily supported the weight of both girl and lizard. Her memory was filled with her laughter and urging her mount onward who laughed with her as they leaped through streams and climbed rock walls on the other side with fluid grace.

Tazrae almost felt like she was an Ixam herself in those moments.

Bree followed a trail of sorts, though someone with two feet restricted to the ground would not see it as such. The Ixam’s pathways wove around, up and down trees, across gaps in the canopy brief enough for an Ixam to leap. Tazrae’s ride was exhilarating and somewhat like she’d suspect flying must be like. In truth, making Bree’s acquaintance had been one of the best things in her life. Her friendship with the intelligent Ixam was the one thing in Tazrae’s world that she valued above all else. Bree had become family… a sister Tazrae had never had.

All of the sudden worry crashed down on her; a crushing concern that stole her breath more so than the rope around her throat ever could.

Bree.

Where was she?

Was she okay? Taz tried to scan the area through her bruised and swollen eyes and indeed she saw other Ixams, their color variety and patterning all unique and individual. But none of the emerald green and blue patterns of Bree’s distinctive form were visible. That could be bad or good, and Tazrae with all her mind-fog couldn’t decide which it was. Instead, she tried to focus on where she was. Somewhere deep in the jungle, the encampment was filled with humans and tall spindly Symenestra. They had a frailty about them that made them distinct from the people of her own race. Hardened. The individuals she saw were all armored, world-toughened, and moved with focus and practical purpose. Even a year ago she wouldn’t have recognized it. But now… now it was as clear as the nose on her face.

Tazrae blinked awkwardly with her single eye and suddenly realized someone was standing in front of her.

Words: 503
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
Words: 1290006
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:07 am

She turned her attention to the man. He was older than she was by only a handful of years, but his face and its hardness made him look immediately older. His skin had a worn look about it that some of the Svefra got spending time out at sea. The man had seen a lot of years outside, outdoors, and had enjoyed very little skin care.

His features were not unpleasant and his eyes were a shocking green that reminded her of the jungle until she saw the disgust in his gaze. She blinked, refocusing, and realized he had a cruel set to his mouth as well. He seemed to be studying her intently which made her shift against her bindings, even though she was pretty sure she couldn’t go anywhere as she was.

“Might as well stand still.” He said quietly, his voice without inflection and without concern. “If I were to take the bindings off, you’d be on your knees. You took a hard fall off your Ixam, when the tree she was jumping to came apart under her claws. An older mount would have known better.” He explained, a smile twisting his face. “Of course, the fact that we weakened it a bit didn’t hurt. And the fact that we dug a pit trap beneath where there should have been solid ground for her to jump too didn’t help either. I bet she liked that landing on all those sharpened poles.” He said, watching Tazrae’s reaction carefully. “Of course, she looked exactly like a young one we lost a season or two ago when we were ambushed. Exactly like one of our own. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?” He asked, taking a step closer.

“She… is… a wild… caught …Ixam… I captured… her…. out in… the jungle.” Taz managed to croak out. The full sentence made her throat scream in pain and she realized her voice might have very well been damaged by the rope. She felt momentary panic at that. Was it permanent? It was the same panic that was beginning to rise in her at the fact that she was being held hostage by these men.

The man’s lips curled cruelly. “Sure she was.” He added scornfully. “That’s why she has her original saddle and saddlebags. Bags, I might add, that belonged to my dead second. You don’t know what happened to the items in those bags do you?” He paused, even as Tazrae tried to shake her head. He man pursed his lips and shook his head as if he was disappointed.

Terror was starting to creep in. She was more awake than she was a moment ago, awake enough to know her hands were bound behind her back in an odd way… like her forearms were wrapped together so her hands were tucked into the crook of her opposite elbows and just fit into the curve of the small of her back. She tugged at them suddenly, wanting to free them, even as the man watched her.

Words: 507
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
Words: 1290006
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:10 am

He stepped closer suddenly, shaking his head. “I thought I told you to hold still.” He said softly, almost in a snarl. He drew a knife from his belt, a long wickedly sharp one, and slipped it into the belt around her waist holding her isuas trousers up. They were her good jungle pants, ones she wore for riding and exploring.

With a swift twist and tug, the belt severed in half.

The knife bit into her flesh as the man pulled it upwards across her navel, between her breasts, freeing the fabric of her long-sleeved isuas shirt. Using the knife, he pushed the fabric aside, then reached up with his free hand and tugged, sliding the shirt off her shoulders and down her upper arms until the fabric hung uselessly at her side. The knife hadn’t cut her, but a red scrape ran up her stomach and chest where he’d dragged the blade. The man studied her bare chest, then ran the blade across her taught stomach and up to circle one of her nipples. Taz shivered, the terror that had been encroaching moments before busting into fully-fledged mind-numbing fear.

“Pretty breasts. If you don’t want me to cut them off, you’ll behave yourself.” He threatened with a growl and then seemed to search her skin for something more. Not finding what he was looking for, he came back in and slit her pants down each front thigh and leg. He didn’t spare her undergarments, catching the cotton panties she wore in the blade of the knife on its downward swipe as well.

Once both legs were cut, he reached out and grabbed a fist full of the fabric of her pants above her right hip and pulled all at once. The pants all came away in one piece, unwrapping from her body of their own volition. Cool air flooded her skin, causing goosebumps to rise. The action left her as bare from the waist down as she was from the waist up. He didn’t stop there. He ran the knife down each of the boot laces and pulled those free as well, leaving her barefooted as he pulled the wool stockings, she wore beneath the boots at the same time he pulled the boots off.

His eyes roamed down her legs, across each thigh, and then reached up to cup the apex of her thighs with a smear. “Bare? I would have expected more here out in these wilds like you are. You must be the settlement’s whore.” He said, suddenly twisting his hand, using one of his legs at the same time to kick her own feet apart. A large rough finger invaded her body, thrusting up into the dryness of her femininity causing her to momentarily freeze as he probed. She reacted slowly, jerking her hips upwards as if to escape the invasion, and yet he drove the finger deeper still with his nail scraping at her tender walls.

The digit was seemingly searching for something she no longer had. It was like an alien worm boring into her. “Tight but not a virgin. You’d be loose and well used if you were a whore, but yet you have sheathed a man’s sword. Interesting.” He said, shaking his head, then withdrawing just as brutally. The invasion was almost clinical. One moment it was present and the next the rough dirty digit had retreated.


Words: 567
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
Words: 1290006
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:13 am

Tazrae was stunned. She wanted to fight. Her hands, bound behind her like they were, curled into fists. But her head hurt so bad… it was hard to think and harder still to understand his words. And now more intimate parts of her hurt. The man had no gentleness in him and she clearly understood she was simply a commodity.

The young Innkeeper began to shake with humiliation as the realization of what was happening to her started to penetrate the fog of pain in her head. She didn’t know what to do and she didn’t know what to say anymore. It was almost like the man was checking out livestock. And she was terrified, both for herself and for Bree. In the back of her mind, a small child-like voice was whimpering Bree’s name. Was the Ixam alive? Would Tazrae even be alive to care this time tomorrow? The woman half hoped the man before her would use the knife on her heart and speed her journey into rejoining her scaled sister, if in fact the Ixam was gone. But that didn’t happen.

“You know we don’t have any females along on this trip. You are a welcome discovery.” He said, then ran a hand down each of her legs, testing muscle… again like a man inspecting a horse before he purchased it. “Strong too. Maybe I’ll give you to the Symenestra for their harvest. You’d probably be worth more gold than I intend to pay them.” He said, sneering slightly. “They’ll put a child in you that will claw its way out and kill you with its birth. That’s how they all come into this world, you know.” He added. “But they consider it a great honor to give birth to one of them. They use foreign women, humans, instead of their own sisters. Can’t be that much of an honor then, right?” He asked rhetorically. His grin was back. Taz was starting to think it was the most horrible expression she’d ever seen.

Tazrae’s toes dug into the mud at the base of her tree. It was warm, almost welcoming, and she hoped suddenly it would swallow her up.

The man reversed his grip on the knife, sheathed it, then stepped forward. Tazrae expected an assault of some kind, but instead he freed the ropes holding her up to the tree with a twist of his hands. He released the ones on her torso and legs first, so she sagged down, being held by the one around her neck. Choking slightly, she got her feet under her in the slippery mud and tried to stay standing.

The man had other ideas. He freed the rope around her neck with another jerk on it, the knotwork obviously designed for quick release. Taz stumbled then, tripped, and fell forward. Her legs would not hold her up as she fell forward onto her knees. He man reached down and pushed her hair to one side, finally finding what he was looking for. Her gnosis mark was on the back of her neck and it wasn’t one he recognized. “Who’s mark is this?” He asked, snarling out the words.

Taz stammered, tried to crawl forward one step, away from him and got a heavy boot on the back of her neck pinning her down to the ground for her trouble. “Always answer me promptly.” The man’s cool voice said. “Don’t try my patience. I have none.” He added, a snarl in his tone.

“Rha… Rhaus….” She said suddenly.

The man nodded. “Good girl. Is that your only mark?” He asked, curious.

Tazrae nodded slowly, the action causing her head to pound harder in protest. “Yes…” She whispered with her broken voice. “It’s my… only mark.” She added.


Words: 626

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
User avatar
Tazrae
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 904
Words: 1290006
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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