Completed [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II

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 II

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:19 am

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

Continued From: [Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light I


The man leaned over and ran his hand down the curve of her spine to the tattoo at the small of her spine. “Stop lying. This isn’t your only mark. What’s this one? Djedline tattoo? What djedline? You a mage, little girl?” He asked with a snarl in his voice. He’d pulled the knife and Taz could see it in his hand the way he had her neck locked down with his boot. Thankfully her good eye was turned towards him.

“Inducted Zantani… Reimancy… fire…” She croaked and tugged at her arms that were still tied behind her back. “Recently… I’m … not good… at it.” She whispered; her voice unable to produce more than a whisper now.

The man snickered. It wasn’t a pleasant sound. “That mage that inducted you… mounted you like a dog I bet. Shafted you to add more res in the mix I’m thinking.” His laugh was outright now, cruel, and unwelcome. Taz wanted to shrink down and disappear. He kept talking, his words stabbing daggers into her head due to the injury.

“You see, I know mages. I know a lot of them. I was hired by one, in fact, to come to this gods-forsaken place without whiskey and without women to gather exotic plants and cut the creatures here into pieces for his workings. Turns out he’s looking for a few people too. One of his errant granddaughters is missing. She has a description very close to yours. She was known to be in Riverfall though, and disappeared right after her father died.” The man said, then pulled his boot off Tazrae’s neck which caused her to sit partially up, blinking away tears of pain and inhaling deeply.

“I expect a granddaughter of this man would be pretty and inducted into magics already. Pity. I can’t kill you if you are who I think you are. He won’t like you banged up and disfigured. Arcadius likes his things pretty. But I know he won’t mind if we have a little fun with you until it's time to meet his boat.” The man claimed, reaching down and grabbing Tazrae by the hair and pulling her up out of the mud. He tossed a section of the rope around her neck, cinched it tight, then used it for a leash to drag her through the encampment.

Taz cried out, tugged back, and tried to stop the man’s forward momentum. He didn’t even flinch when he turned back to her, slapped her hard across the face, and barked at her to keep up. She was already fighting with the pain in her head and the man’s hard slap which had caused the pounding to explode into potent painful throbbing once more.

Her vision darkened, her footsteps staggered, and she almost fell into him when he yanked on the leash again and dragged her forward. Tears leaked from her one good eye as they wove through the fires, which Tazrae realized meant there were more people here than she first suspected. She bumped into him when he halted in front of what she belated realized was a canvas tent – a large one – and opened the door. He dragged her through the opening, and tied the leash to a tent pole to the right of the doorway and walked away.


Words: 551
Last edited by Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"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
 
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II

Postby Tazrae on December 22nd, 2021, 4:31 am

Taz immediately sank down, still shaking, and curled tightly into a ball at the pole’s base. The leash gave her just enough room to do so. She was afraid the man would take exception to that or expect her to stand, but he ignored her once he’d tied her leash off, and walked into a second chamber that was curtained off towards the back of the tent. That gave Taz a chance to breath, and stop simply reacting, reacting again, and reacting more.

In the silence that followed, her mind emptied then… abruptly. It was as if through the pain in her head she could think no more coherent thoughts. She couldn’t even hold her head in her hands and try to ease the discomfort because her hands were still bound behind her elbow to her wrist. Luckily the jungle wasn’t cold, and neither too was the tent. The air was warm, humid, and the scents of the jungle were all around them.

Taz tried to focus on the jungle sounds rather than the noise of the camp.

She couldn’t.

Her head hurt too much, and as she laid curled in only her bare skin, she began to quietly catalog her injuries. At least one rib, maybe two, where bruised or cracked. She must have hit her head hard because her sight wasn’t doing so well and the pain in her temples was unbelievable. Her left wrist hurt – her whole body hurt for that matter – but the wrist felt… somehow damaged. Cheek? It hurt too but probably from the slap.

Bree… where was Bree?

Taz moaned softly, vocalizing her discomfort. No one came; no one cared. She was surrounded by enemies and wasn’t in any shape to do anything about it. Tazrae was also becoming aware that she was thirsty…. Incredibly thirsty. She wasn’t sure why or how, and even how much time had passed. Was it the same day? A different day? There was a huge gap in Tazrae’s awareness riding Bree joyfully and waking up tied to a tree covered in injuries. Thinking hurt… badly. But not thinking wasn’t an option.

The young Innkeeper was also aware that the man had threatened things were going to get worse… a lot worse. Tazrae knew fear, true fear, for the first time in her life.

She became aware of time passing. Her thirst grew worse and her injuries hurt more. The pounding of her head lessened though, but the ache in her bound arms and hands increased. She could feel her heartbeat in her face, and her rib limited her movement. She would have said she tried not to think of her injuries, but the truth was she couldn’t think of them. The pain in her head prevented her from forming whole thoughts for more than a few breaths.

People came and went from the tent, almost all of them ignoring her. Her persecutor left and was gone most of what Taz would consider the afternoon. That’s when she slowly became aware of the fact that she wasn’t alone. There was someone else in the tent, someone who was just as much a prisoner as she was.

Words: 527
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: 877
Words: 1256287
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:13 pm

Or so she thought…

It was a man, old for being in the jungle, with a face like a weathered map of the face of the world. He occupied a chair on the far side of the tent, outside of the private sleeping area and alongside what appeared to be a meeting and strategy table that felt wholly out of place in the jungle. Taz had sharp hearing, so what caused her to notice him first was the scratch of quill upon paper and the fact that he was writing. He didn’t sit at the table to do so either. Instead, he reclined in the chair, one ankle resting on one knee to form a makeshift table of his leg, and had a leatherbound book open across his calf. He write in it with a cheerfully plumed quill that he dipped periodically in a tiny vial of ink he kept lodged between his forefinger and thumb of the hand not writing.

He was dressed like a ranger from Syka, all leather and Isuas Cloth, with a bandana that was as colorful as his quill plume.

She listened first, then opened her eyes to watch him, then slowly sat up to study him more fully. He looked so out of place.

In fact, everything here felt foreign to Tazrae. She crouched now, somewhere in the jungle inside a tent, and yet there were no typical jungle noises. There was instead silence from the surroundings, the only sound permeating the tent was the sound of the camp around them. She could hear men calling orders, Ixams rustling about, and even the sound of crackling fires scattered burning… heating pots of food or drink.

“Whoo…. Who are you?” She asked croaked, blinking in surprise as her voice cracked under the pressure of trying to speak. She couldn’t reach her hand up to touch her throat as her arms were still bound firmly behind her back. Instead, she shifted, trying to sit further up, and took in a large lung full of breath to ask again.

“I heard you the first time.” The man said softly, not so softly that Taz couldn’t hear him. “The better question would be who are these men and why are they here?” He added, writing one or two more lines before capping the ink and setting the book down at his feet, to one side, still open to dry. “I had wondered when you would snap out of it. Some people don’t take to accidents well, and when they brought you in here, your head wound was still bleeding. That will need looking after.” He said, rising with surprising ease despite his apparent years. “If Nico has his way, he won’t have anyone see to it nor that rib that’s broken.” He said sadly. “But, we’ll try to change that. He first thinks with his coin purse, then his cock, then if we are lucky sometimes sense comes back into him.” The man said, his voice a unique cadence that Taz thought felt familiar somehow.


Words: 509
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: 877
Words: 1256287
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:17 pm

Her head actually felt a little better, so much so that she realized immediately that her sight was improved despite the blood matted in her hair and across her face. The man and she were speaking in whispers, yet he had no trouble hearing her across the tent. “My name is Tazrae. Who are you?” She asked quietly, her voice still a wreck.

The man nodded. “I know who you are. I’m Cedar. And I will do what I can for you, but in the end, it must be you that gets yourself out of here.” He said, walking across the tent and slipping out the doorway of the tent. He was out of her sight for a long time, making the enormous tent feel truly empty despite Tazrae’s presence.

The flap remained slightly parted, giving Tazrae a clear view through her reduced vision of what appeared to be several men wrestling an Ixam in the distance. Taz’s right eye was still swollen mostly shut so her vision was strangely one-dimensional and she had trouble gauging distance. The Ixam was young, though Taz did not make the mistake of thinking it was Bree. It had a green and blue patterning, but its blue was more prominent than its green and it fought the men who had ropes on it and were doing what appeared to be … breaking it in like they would a horse?

She watched, having nothing better to do, as man after man climbed on its back, the others released the ropes, and the Ixam whirled and bucked, its eyes rolling in fear and anger as it tried to dislodge the riders. They used whips on it and had pieces of metal clamped to the heels of their boots that were making bloody rends in the creature’s side. Taz thought of her Ixam and knew Bree had unusual scars on her flanks, scars the Innkeeper now knew the origins of. Anger made her clench her teeth together, swiveling her good eye back to the beast and really looking at its face. Terror… and rage.

She could understand the Ixam’s situation.

Cedar returned then, a young woman with arms loaded down trotting at his side. The girl had her head low and wore a thick collar around her neck that looked to have no way for the woman to take it off. Her clothing was nothing but a halter top and a pair of briefs that were the only concealing items she wore. Over that she wore a see-through isuas dress that was woven so fine it accented her features and brought attention to what was beneath.

Tazrae had never seen a prostitute up close, but she imagined this was what one looked like by the woman’s clothing. They were of similar height and build. Tazrae’s hair was deeply curly while the other woman’s was straight with a slight wave to it and darker than Tazrae’s. She had it intricately braided and pinned back, leading one to believe there was truly a huge mass of it when it was all set free.


Words: 513
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: 877
Words: 1256287
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Holiday Challenge] Stealing The Light II

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 11:23 pm

She knelt in front of Tazrae, and the only thing Taz could think of was that staring into the woman’s eyes was like looking into her own. Emerald met her battered sapphire gaze. “Cedar said you needed medical attention.” The woman said, her voice soft, higher than Tazrae’s… a soprano for sure, Taz noted. She had burnished gold skin, almost identical in coloration to Tazrae’s, and her features were so similar it momentarily stunned the young Innkeeper. They weren’t identical, but they could indeed by sisters. “I’m Kami. Cedar says you are Tazrae. May I look at you?” She said softly, crouched down with impossible grace in front of the bound Innkeeper.

Tazrae couldn’t find the words to reply so she simply nodded.

“I am a bearer of Rak’keli’s mark. I have no desire to hurt you. I am the expedition’s healer.” She said softly. Taz blinked, surprised, and looked at her garments again. Kami saw the appraisal, for what it was, and shrugged. “I dress like this at their request. There’s not a lot a healer can do for viper bites and panther attacks when the men are already dead that they bring me or half eaten.” She said in way of explanation. She didn’t sound proud about it, but Taz had also noted the collar as well.

“You are a slave?” Tazrae asked, even as Kami ran her hand across Tazrae’s face, taking away the bruising that interfered in her vision. The young Innkeeper could feel the overly hot touch of the healer, and sensed the magic at play beneath her hands. Once she could see better, Kami moved on to the back of Tazrae’s head and the portion above her brow. She immediately began to feel her head clearing and the pain reducing itself.

“Yes. My grandfather owns me. He’s loaned me to Nico for this expedition. He doesn’t care how Nico treats me or dresses me just that I come back in one piece and make sure most of Nico’s men do as well. This… dress is a punishment for loosing two men yesterday to snakebites. The jungle is full of them.” Kami whispered, looking thoughtful. Taz suddenly remembered her gear… the gifts from the Founders and could feel the necklace about her throat still, the armband on her arm, and the charm bracelet on her wrist. These men would hack off her limbs, she decided, if they knew the value of her jewelry. Even with her hands bound, she could still feel the tourmaline ring on her hand. She wore a fortune in magic, especially valuable in this place with these people that were so vulnerable to Falyndar’s wrath.

“What does Nico want here? And who is your grandfather? Why in the world would a man keep a granddaughter or a slave?” She asked softly, her voice still raw. Kami moved her hands to Tazrae’s throat next. The relief was almost instantaneous. But Taz was also frustrated, and she had more questions than answers.

“Listen to me…. I can’t completely heal your head. You took a hard fall off your Ixam and hit a tree going way too fast. You are lucky your skull didn’t crack. Your brain swelled and I’ve no power to deal with that. It seems to be rectifying itself, which is a blessing. All I can do is heal the minor cuts and scrapes. The rest is up to you.” Kami said softly, her voice laced with concern that didn’t match her eyes. Her eyes said Tazrae was a dead woman, not by her hand, nor not by the fall. But Tazrae rather thought Kami suspected Nico would kill her.

Kami hadn’t answered her question.


Words: 614


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: 877
Words: 1256287
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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