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 Prison Parlay
Valaina
Posted: Jan 23 2012, 11:09 AM





Group: Gerudo
Posts: 35
Member No.: 46
Joined: 22-September 10



The scarlet head of the Gerudo, with long, thick hair bouncing against the back of her thighs, was bowed as she made her way carefully along the stone corridor. Behind her, she could clearly discern the lewd calls of the inmates, the lustful summons of those whose rapacious appetites she had not been ordered to satisfy. Like a condemning cascade of hail, they descended upon her with belittling vengeance, reminding her vociferously of her station in life, a station to which she was eternally bound. Her shoulders tensing, Valaina bit the inside of her lower lip and clenched her hazel eyes closed. Pangs of despair speared through her, benumbing her limbs, and the enslaved Gerudo felt herself longing to collapse to the sordid floor, to surrender to the sensation and admit the hopelessness which surrounded her.

However, Valaina had already reached her destination, and, she knew, collapsing in front of the door of the prison's warden would provide neither the respite nor painless release that she sought. Forcibly taking a breath, she raised her eyes a fraction of an inch, and pushed the door open, as she had earlier been instructed to do.

"I trust you did not overexert yourself this day, slave? Such enjoyment can often incapacitate, I am told."

Faiza Delal, Captain of the Desert Prison, gazed at Valaina loftily from behind her desk, clearing enjoying lording her elevated status over the servile girl. If not for the bondage, as both of the women knew, Valaina, as a member of the nobility, would outrank her, and thus Faiza delighted in flaunting the irony of the situation.

Valaina, eyes glued respectfully to the floor, shook her head. "I did not, milady."

Captain Faiza Delal heaved a sigh flustered inconvenience. "A pity," she taunted, "That would have guaranteed you success. But I suppose one of your...compromised constitution could expect nothing more. Tell me, slave, did you learn anything of value this day?"

Dutifully, Valaina relayed the snippets of intelligence she had garnered from the inmates, most of it concerning the Red Raiders, who were, at present, the focus of Faiza Delal's attention.

A sneer, one tinted with the taste of victory, crossed the Captain's face, for Valaina had given her no reason to suspect that the guild of brigands would dare move against the stronghold, as she had anticipated. For her part, Valaina waited in statuesque silence until Faiza rose from her chair. "Come, slave," she ordered, "Your prince requires temptation."

Accepting Faiza Delal's scathing humor stoically, Valaina followed the older Gerudo to the Prison's isolated, northwestern tower. At once, a vicious, visceral reek assailed her senses, and Valaina immediately cringed, fighting the urge to mask her mouth with her hand. Since her transfer to the prison, she had slowly acclimated herself to the ubiquitous stench of excrement, sweat, and disease, yet the odor which now assaulted her superseded anything she could have imagined. Her stomach contorted, inverted, and twisted into her throat, Valaina, her head dipped, walked past the guards and approached the cell outside which Faiza Delal had halted.

"If you possessed any sense at all Sheikah, then you would realize what cooperation could earn." With her arms folded, the Gerudo Captain sneered at the listless Kyedin Duesternis. "Granted, she isn't much, but I am certain even this little trinket would prove more pleasurable than this."

Suspended in the air by arms, the Sheikah seemed hardly able to breathe and Valaina, much to her surprise, felt a pang of genuine concern. The man who had, without regard for his own safety, willing distracted the Prison guards to ensure that she was not discovered, now appeared to hover near the precipice of darkness. Yet, somehow, he stirred and managed to lift his head to glare at the Captain. His response was hoarse and expletive and it evoked a roll of scornful laughter from Faiza Delal.

"Your time might be wasted on this one," she informed Valaina, rotating towards the fortified door of the corridor, "Unless of course you prefer to entertain corpses."

Unresponsive, Valaina fought to keep her eyes lowered, though she wished to glance back at Duzzy, and trailed the Captain out of the tower, longing to remove herself from the fetid fortress.


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Whatever happened to the boy I once knew?
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Fen Belamyr
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 02:56 PM


Half-Hylian Wayfarer


Group: Human
Posts: 47
Member No.: 16
Joined: 5-July 10



In the dank confines of the baleful cavern, Fen Belamyr suddenly realized the surreal nature of his existence. Lifting his blue eyes over the broad shoulders of the statuesque, bemused Hylian, he surveyed the unimpressive, sloping walls with unbridled skepticism. For such a place to exist unknown to everyone else in Hyrule, especially with his neophtyic experience and dearth of memory, seemed to him, in that moment, to be absolutely inane. A dubious scowl marred his sallow face, and Fen, no longer shying from the demons, looked to the Hylian.

"If your poetic incantations can spare you, then I would beseech a genuine answer."

The Hylian, his angular face curving into a bemused smirk of approval, even respect, nodded. "What would you ask of me, Fen?"

It seemed an illogical thing, the conclusion which his mind had reached, and so Fen hesitated, his words caught in his throat and his cynicism bowing before his uncertainty.

The Hylian appeared to perceive the nature of the silence, and so offered his answer without further prompting. Now leaning against the stone wall beside Fen, he glanced down at the younger man, his gaze not bereft of sympathy. "Your reality is what you mold it to be," he consoled, "It can embody this hospitable place if you desire, or it can take the shape of the space which your physical body now inhabits."

Chewing on the inside of his lower lip, Fen did not attempt to camouflage his unease.

The nameless Hylian offered an emboldening smile. "Can the mind occupy more than once realm at any moment?" he asked rhetorically. "Many would spurn such a notion, labeling it fallacious and incongruous, yet you and I both know it to be true. Besides, the monotony of a singular, tedious existence can be exceedingly wearisome." Chortling, the Hylian stepped away from the wall, turned, and extended his right hand to Fen. "Do not embrace that ennui, Fen, but do not allow the delusions of your mind to reign unimpeded."

Fen, inhaling, nodded and allowed himself to be hoisted to his feet.


-----------

The first thing of which the half-Hylian became aware was the disconcerting ease with which air entered his lungs. The sharp, stabbing pain between his ribs which had endlessly plagued him had been dulled, as though someone had taken it upon themselves to assuage his agony, as though someone had believed the world would become a more malevolent, aberrant place without his presence. This notion itself alarmed him, for it suggested that perhaps his survival held more clout than he had ever supposed, yet was not altogether ungrateful for the lack of fire smoldering in his chest. He could still feel the throbbing ache, hear the wheeze in his shallow breaths, but Fen no longer believed himself to be in mortal peril.

The second thins that caught his attention was the utter lack of noise. Though he could distinguish the other idiosyncratic sounds of the prison, such as the cadence of the guards' sandals and the snores of the other criminals, Fen could not discern the unique voice of the Sheikah who resided in the adjacent cell. Pulling himself to the left, for his legs remained numb, Fen pressed his left ear to the stone wall which separated his cell from that of Bojan and called softly to the other inmate.

"By Din," exclaimed the older man, "Ye're alive! And 'ere I though' tha' Gerudo was jus' comin' ta clean up a corpse."

Confusion furrowed Fen's dark brows, until he recalled the fleeting image of the Gerudo kneeling over him, helping him to consume the food which she had smuggled into the Prison. The half-Hylian cast a glance into the corner of the cell and beheld the molded food, courtesy of the Gerudo soldiers, that he had not touched. "Valaina," he muttered, suddenly recalling the name of his savior.

"Wha'?" Bojan asked.

"Where is Duzzy?" Fen asked, abruptly diverting the subject. Given the silence that pervaded the cell block, Fen knew implicitly that something unfavorable had befallen the indefatigable Sheikah.

Bojan's subsequent exhale revealed much to the young man. "Been a few weeks; 'aven' brought 'im back since 'afore-"

As the door to this sector of the Desert Prison opened, Bojan abandoned his voice and quickly moved to the front of his cell. His balance lacking, Fen could only drag himself towards the door, yet he possessed enough wherewithal to hazard a guess at the source of the interruption, as a distinct scraping sound accompanied the two pairs of Gerudo sandals.

The absolute vocal silence that resounded with the opening of the Sheikah's cell provided little comfort to Fen and Bojan, yet both knew that the guards would not have returned a corpse. Then came a gruesome, gasping retch from the cell, and Fen cringed, shutting his eyes and also attempting to divorce himself from the horrid sound of someone unable to fill their lungs.

"It has been a pleasure," sneered one of the soldiers as she slammed the door closed.


--------------------
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

So have you ever been caught in a sea of despair?
And your moment of truth
Is the day that you say "I'm not scared"
Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there
I've been looking for you day and night
Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are
'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind

Shinedown, Unity
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Valaina
Posted: Feb 27 2012, 10:35 AM





Group: Gerudo
Posts: 35
Member No.: 46
Joined: 22-September 10



Perhaps I should just permanently make this place my home; perhaps I should just forsake that wretched Palace and take up residence here with the rest of the criminals. Surely they possess no less value than me; surely they too understand that the excrement staining them ranks higher in society.

Her hazel eyes downcast, her golden-red head bowed, Valaina surveyed the cold grains of sand that still clung to the worn grooves in her sandals while she ascended the steps into the Desert Prison. For the past nine months, the slave had journeyed daily to the fortress for the condemned and sacrificed herself, her body, for the information which Queen Azeari and Captain Faiza Delal supposedly sought. Each morning, she would find herself subjected to the rigors of the persuasion that Faiza demanded she perform, lest the Captain be forced to invoke physical torture. Then, defeated and distraught, befouled and beaten, she would return to the Palace, awaiting the orders from the belligerent queen and then preparing herself for the sequential day.

Yet if any levity existed in the situation, any impetus for daring to suppose that circumstances could improve, Valaina knew it resided in Fen. The young man, in spite of the fact that he knew neither little beyond his own name, had improved significantly in the last months. Though still bereft of strength, he had pulled himself away from the Abyss and preserved his life. This thought buoyed Valaina slightly and gave her a reason, other than the absolute, torturous tedium of her existence, to keep her feet in motion and ascend the winding staircases within the Prison, her head dipped against the lustful chorus of jeers and whistles that followed her.

Captain Faiza Delal, ever smug in her arrogance, stood in the block which contained the prisoners associated with the Red Raiders, sneered at Valaina and reveled derisively in the excitement which the younger Gerudo's appearance incited. "A treat for you today, my lady," she proclaimed jeeringly, "You may begin with your lord. He has been most desirous of you." Cackling wickedly, Faiza grabbed Valaina's arm and thrust her into the sordid cell of the willful Sheikah.

The reinforced, barricaded door slammed closed behind her, and Valaina felt a reflexive shudder race through her thin frame. In the dim, torch-lit cell, she suddenly became aware of the close proximity of Duzzy. His left hand braced against the wall, he had crossed the cell on unsteady legs, and the Gerudo could now feel his fetid breaths as they warmed her face on the chilly autumn morning.

"Look a' me," he rasped.

Her heart pounding in her chest, for such an order usually coincided with brutal physical punishment, Valaina forced her hazel eyes upwards fleetingly for just a moment, and then reached into the front of her low-cut tunic to retract the potion she had procured from the Palace's pantry.

Something of a smile flitted across the Sheikah's gaunt face as he grasped the bottle and downed its contents. "Thank you," he said honestly, warmth returning to his wasted muscles.

Valaina managed a nod, but then tenses when she felt the criminal's calloused hands on her bare arms, gently pushing back her three-quarter length sleeves.

"Valaina?" asked Fen's earnest voice from the adjacent cell.

The Gerudo, with Duzzy pulling her to the soiled floor, could not respond.


--------------------
Whatever happened to the boy I once knew?
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Fen Belamyr
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 10:12 AM


Half-Hylian Wayfarer


Group: Human
Posts: 47
Member No.: 16
Joined: 5-July 10



"Do not forsake yourself, Fen Belamyr."

The words of the nameless Hylian, which had sustained Fen during the duration of these last hellish months, were irrelevant. Lying on his left side, his torso elevated slightly by the older man's arms, Fen did not even attempt to acknowledge the transparent reassurance. His breathes hitched and grating, his only concern was the blood that dripped from his reopened wounds, the scarlet that stained the rocks beneath him, conveying with it a small piece of his waning life with malevolent lethargy. If only the Hylian had not bound his injuries, if only he had not been rescued at all, then would not have been subjected to torture of this extent. At this moment, with his existence fading, Fen found himself wishing that he had been devoured.

"All hope is not lost, Fen," continued the Hylian, "It still exists if you possess the audacity to seek it."

There was fire in his lungs, in this throat, and Fen reflexively reached for his throat to futilely quench the inferno before it consumed him. Several gagging breaths finally released it, before Fen found himself reaching back over his shoulder for the Hylian's comforting hand.

"D-do not leave me."


--------------

"I will not, Fen; I will not."

The voice which answered him confused the emaciated half-Hylian, as did the flaccidity of the hand which gripped his own. In response, his blue eyes slid open feverishly, so that they beheld the concerned countenance of the slave, Valaina. The Gerudo had cradled him in her arms, so that when Fen retched to clear his airway, the girl's hands were there to support him, to do what his own body could not and hold him upright so that he did not suffocate. Once he had finished, once the pain had diminished somewhat, he felt the rim of a bottle press against his lips and automatically opened his mouth to receive the blue potion.

The warmth that surged through him granted a small measure of strength to his wan muscles, yet Fen knew it was transient, that Valaina was merely delaying the inevitable. In the past weeks, he had dared to think, on more than once occasion, that perhaps he had bested the insidious pestilence that had consumed his chest, but that, he now understood, had only been a product of complete naiveté. He half-heartedly chewed some of the food that Valaina offered him, until he thought it superfluous and slid once more into darkness, supported by the Gerudo's grip.

"You are not alone, Fen," Valaina whispered. She leaned forward to gently kiss his clammy forehead, and then carefully eased him to the ground, pulling several blankets over his gaunt body. Then, as she left his cell and entered the one adjacent to it, her anguish betrayed her.

Duzzy, leaning against the wall which connected his cell to Fen's, met her gaze somberly. "The lad'll make it," he stated unwaveringly, "Dendro'll be 'ere within in the week."

As she had done every other time the Sheikah had declared the arrival of the outlaw imminent, Valaina merely nodded, for she had long since accepted the finality of the situation.


--------------------
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

So have you ever been caught in a sea of despair?
And your moment of truth
Is the day that you say "I'm not scared"
Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there
I've been looking for you day and night
Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are
'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind

Shinedown, Unity
Top
Valaina
Posted: May 1 2012, 10:45 AM





Group: Gerudo
Posts: 35
Member No.: 46
Joined: 22-September 10



Valaina, trailing warily after one of the guards of the Desert Prison, knew intuitively that she had erred. The remote autumn sun, whose frail beams slunk through the scant windows closer to the top of the fortress, had not even reached its zenith, yet Valaina, with two other soldiers flanking her, had been summoned to the office of Captain Faiza Delal. Under most circumstances, such an order signaled the completion of her day, or else some other contrived way to destroy the slave's already mutilated confidence, unless of course she had managed to garner some pressing information that carried with it an imperative need to be delivered to the commandant. Since she had garnered no such present, Valaina understood that this meeting would hold no plaudits, and she found her thoughts immediately flying to Fen.

What if she has discovered my order from Kalyani? What if she has discovered me in the cell acting against orders? What if Duzzy betrayed me?! What of Fen? Does he simply wish him to die in anguish?

A disparaging voice on the outskirts of the Gerudo's mind suggested that such a fate for the ailing Fen might be preferable, but Valaina attempted to ignore it. She had been trained, through years of abuse and verbal denigration, to obey any command; she would not risk stoking the ire of Kalyani, even if the emissary had been absent from the Palace of Thieves for several months. More than that, she recognized the nature of the affection which she fostered for the imprisoned youth, an affection which helped her, along with the scimitars of the soldiers, to skitter into the office of Faiza Delal.

"Have you enjoyed your day?"

The remark, like every other condemnation that dripped from the invective tongue of Faiza Delal, was laced with derision. At every opportunity, the Captain of the Desert Prison never failed to jeeringly remind Valaina of her state, to again highlight the irony of the state of one born into the nobility, albeit its dregs. The slave, though, had expected nothing to the contrary, so, standing in the office with her head bowed, surrounded by the soldiers, nodded. "Yes ma'm," she automatically answered.

Planting her elbows on the desk, Faiza Delal sneered at the enslaved girl, reveling in the obvious disquiet which she had incited. Though her head remained ducked, Valaina had nervously shifted her weight, and that betrayal of uncertainty had not escaped the notice of Faiza. color=magenta]"It seems absolutely unnecessary to ask, but my position unfortunately requires it,"[/color] she continued, her deprecating stare unwavering in its victory. "Did you, by chance, acquire anything useful?"

Valaina immediately shook her golden-red head. "No ma'm."

Faiza grinned triumphantly. "Amazed am I that my suspicions have been confirmed," she taunted, "As I am certain Her Majesty will be as well."

Valaina, her heart threatening to burst from her chest waited.

Finally, the Captain rose from her desk and began to circle Valaina. The slave, glancing at Faiza's footsteps, could tell that the older Gerudo intended to deliver some new of great magnitude to her, or at least something which she considered worthy of anticipation, such as physical punishment. "Failure has followed you," said Faiza, gloating now. "Despite your most earnest efforts, you have provided neither true entertainment to the prisoners nor valuable information to me. You are an absolute disgrace, and if I held the power, then I would simply eradicate this disease before infected the rest of the Desert."

Sneering, Faiza came to a halt before the slave and, gazing down at her, crossed her arms. "However, that power resides with Her Majesty alone and, fortunately for you, she has devised something much more suitable."

With panic welling her chest, Valaina clenched her jaw, waiting for the blow to descend upon her slender shoulders, and prayed that the resolution would be swift.

"Her Majesty recognized the necessity of separating her daughter from such poison," declared the Captain of the Desert Prison, "So she remedied the situation." Her belittling smile widening, Faiza paused for a moment more. "Banishment."

The word echoed in the stone chambers of the fortress, and Valaina felt certain that her knees would collapse beneath her. Fear held her upright, however, lest she further provoke the Captain.

"The guards will escort you. May Din protect you, slave!"

The scathing laughter of Faiza Delal ricocheted along the corridors of the Desert Prison as Valaina descended its twisting staircases and found herself cast out into the sands, alone and reviled by everyone who surrounded her.


--------------------
Whatever happened to the boy I once knew?
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Fen Belamyr
Posted: Jun 28 2012, 02:24 PM


Half-Hylian Wayfarer


Group: Human
Posts: 47
Member No.: 16
Joined: 5-July 10



"Shut your mouth, filth!"

Metal reverberated against metal as the Gerudo struck the plated door with her spear, but her warning went unheeded. The Sheikah, unsteadily perched on his toes and with his face pressed against the slight, rectangular opening in the portal, only increased his volume. For the duration of the last quarter-hour, he had babbled incessantly about the properties of the all the poisonous plants that he could recall, flaying alike the nerves of both the soldiers and other prisoners. Yet the Gerudo, wizened to all of his charades, refused to grant him the satisfaction of opening his door to dispense physical punishment. For Duzzy, such apathy would simply not suffice.

His face screwed tight with anger, the Sheikah inhaled and then bellowed across the hall in a mixture of shouts and raucous song:

"Once there was a Gerudo whore
Whose ilk I'd never known 'afore,
Uglier than a Bublin's *****,
I thought I'd make it las'
But turned out tha' I couldn' fi'
When she took a *****
She 'ad the leanest-"


The effect was precisely what Duzzy had anticipated. Just as he began the second crude verse of the ballad, which he had contrived on the spot, the nearest soldier threw open the door to his cell, clenched her hand around his neck, and yanked him from his feet.

"You've loosened that tongue for the last time, Sheikah."

Duzzy forced a grin for the sake of his reputation. "Doubt it, love." Faster than the Gerudo could react, he thrust his right hand down the opening of her jerkin and, when her surprise slackened her grip, he used that grip as a fulcrum to push off her knees and swing behind her. One swift strike to the back of her neck incapacitated the Gerudo, and Duzzy eased her to the ground, repulsed by what he had felt, lest her fall alert any of the other jailers to the situation. The next instant he staggered out of the cell, keys in hand, and went to Fen.

The half-Hylian's condition disturbed him. During the course of his life with the Raiders, Duzzy had befriended death. It was not an event which disturbed him, in fact he even relished in it at times, yet he now found himself earnestly contesting it. For days he had sat, restlessly idle, and listened to Fen Belamyr wretch, desperately attempting to clear his airway. He could smell the putrescence that seeped beneath the walls, its seditious tendrils taunting him, and the Sheikah would no longer tolerate it. His own body wasted and wracked by excretions that he could not contain, Duzzy had utterly abandoned all prudence; he could no longer wait for Dendro the Raider.

Condemning the inevitable, damning reality, Duzzy pulled Fen into a sitting position, propped against his own chest and offered stalwart reassurance. The youth's skin burned, coated with perspiration, and the Sheikah felt a shudder race down his spine with every racking breath Fen struggled to take. He wished to remain and comfort the young man, to accompany him to his passage if necessary, yet Duzzy knew that torpor would yield no results. Easing Fen against the wall after only a few moments, the Sheikah rose to his feet.

His skin bore enough grime to make it equitable to the tone of this pale Gerudo soldiers, and the balled, twisted remnants of his tunic allowed Duzzy to fill the jerkin of the guard he had just incapacitated. He then turned to the corner of his cell. Hesitation held no place, not at this precipice from which no possible retreat existed, and Duzzy grasped the slime without pause. The fetid filth brought to him an unnatural reek but completed his guise as it camouflaged his hair beneath the helm. Then, with the soldier bound and gagged, Duzzy strode out of the cell with all confidence. Valaina had told him where the soldiers took their respite, and in that sanctuary he hoped to find an elixir which would enable him to deliver Fen Belamyr from hell.

The half-Hylian gagged on the disease from his own lungs, the sound piteous to hear, and Duzzy ran.


--------------------
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

So have you ever been caught in a sea of despair?
And your moment of truth
Is the day that you say "I'm not scared"
Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there
I've been looking for you day and night
Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are
'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind

Shinedown, Unity
Top
Fen Belamyr
Posted: Aug 1 2012, 09:21 AM


Half-Hylian Wayfarer


Group: Human
Posts: 47
Member No.: 16
Joined: 5-July 10



"I's alrigh' lad, it be alrigh'."

Feigned confidence suffused the Sheikha's hushed voice, the reassurance the one must give in an inescapable position. The Gerudo had not questioned his appearance, had not questioned the motivation which had inspired one of their own to seek out a potion from their limited cache. All of his willpower had been required to temper his strides, to withhold his urgency, yet Duzzy had managed to stride through the prison as though he were its commandant and retrieve the elixir for Fen Belamyr. The temptation to exact his revenge, to accept the fate of the boy and everyone else contained here had lured him, it's siren song of retribution buzzing through his mind, but the Sheikah had fended off the seduction.

Fen had gagged on the potion, his throat as much tainted as his lungs, and Duzzy was uncertain how much of the panacea he had actually obtained. Yet that was of little consequence now. The Sheikah had chosen his course, so, with the gasping Hylian cradled against his chest, he struggled to his feet. Determination guided his stride, rallying strength despite the tainted putrescence that streamed down his legs. He shouldered open the door, heedless of the men stirring in the surrounding cells, and started into the dim hallway.

The footfalls halted both his strides and his shallow breaths. No. NO! He could hear them ascending the spiraling staircase from the first floor of the fortress, at least a half-dozen of them, and knew that he had been discovered. B*stards!! The hopeless gravity of the situation threatened to undo him, and for a moment Duzzy faltered. But compliance had never truly existed within the rakish Sheikah, and decision flew to him in the next instant. Gently lowering Fen to the ground within the open door to his cell, Duzzy left the spear forsaken and charged on silent feet down the length of the hallway.

When she appeared timidly around the corner, the Sheikah was on her. His wasted body pressed into the sloping stone walls, he moved quicker than she could have imagined. His right foot shot out diagonally, parallel to the dank floor, and obliterated her balance, and then he pivoted seemingly without balance. His hands pulled her upright, spun her in a pivot, and then clasped on either side of her head, poised to wrench her life into the heavens.

Only when his breath returned, when the volume of the blood pounding his ears decreased minutely, did Duzzy register the fragrance of the one captive in his unyielding grip. "Valaina?"

The Gerudo squeaked an affirmative, but the Sheikah did not allow his grip to slacken until the other forms rounded the corner. "Well tha' no' be a nice way ta trea' a lady."

Relief stole the resolve from Duzzy's knees. "Dendro," he said, his grip falling from Valaina concordantly with the deterioration of his balance. "Dendro." Repetition of the name gave it credence, and the dank surroundings slid from the Sheikah's focus until a pair of hands caught him under the shoulders.

"Aye. Told ye I'd never leave ya ta ro', didn' I?" Dendro's bluster marginally camouflaged his disquiet. "By Din, ye reek. C'mon, le's getcha outta 'ere afore ye find somethin' else nice ta roll in."

Freedom, liberation, it was sweet on his tongue, yet there was something he had forgotten, some higher purpose which had prompted this self-sacrifice. "No," he declared, straightening. "I ain't leavin' alone." Rejecting Dendro's support, though his stance remained precarious, Dendro motioned to the other cells and held up the keys. "Le' 'em all loose. More Raiders, all." Murmurs of excitement swept through the corridor as Duzzy returned to Fen's cell, Dendro at his heels.

"Is tha' a ghost or a Hylian?"

Duzzy ignored the jape and gathered Fen gently in his skeletal arms, before handing him to Dendro. ""Is name be Fen, and I ain't gonna abandon 'im 'ere." He ignored the confusion in the Raider's expression and ripped his dastardly scimitars from their sheaths. Valaina's eyes were round with fear when he strode past her, but the Sheikah gave voice to neither her concerns nor the queer stare of Dendro. His vengeance would be sated.

On the balls of his feet, his heart pounding in his chest, Duzzy led the group to the stairs, to the first floor which would release him from the iron chains of Hell. Three guards, their suspicions piqued by the rustling whispers, had begun to ascend the flight. Duzzy burst into a sprint, and his unrivaled speed rendered powerless their fury. The first thrust her spear towards his exposed torso, but he merely planted his foot upon its head, grounding it into the stone step, and vaulted over both the incoming strike of the second soldier and the bewildered third, who stood precisely behind the first. The unfortunate latecomer, unable to get her spear into position, found her throat dissected, and as blood spewed onto the floor Duzzy found his feet, rotated, and drove both blades through the spine of the second soldier.

The first thought to resist, to call for help, but she slipped in the accruing river of scarlet beneath her feet, and the Sheikah ripped her head from her shoulders. The guards at the main entrance already lay breathless at their posts and offered no resistance when he kicked open the portal. The frigid night air, sweet and perfect, filled his lungs, and Duzzy whooped brazenly and ran for Feathers and the horses that awaited them.


--------------------
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

So have you ever been caught in a sea of despair?
And your moment of truth
Is the day that you say "I'm not scared"
Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there
I've been looking for you day and night
Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are
'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind

Shinedown, Unity
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Valaina
Posted: Aug 10 2012, 11:16 AM





Group: Gerudo
Posts: 35
Member No.: 46
Joined: 22-September 10



Dawn hinted at the farthest reaches of the eastern sky when Dendro finally permitted the group to halt. The frigid Desert air sliced through them, penetrating the scant clothes that the prisoners had possessed, and the Haunted Wastes loomed ominously to the north. Riding near the rear of the contingent of Raiders and liberated convicts, Valaina fostered silently her doubts about the course they had chosen, one which would inevitably find them trapped against the unholy land. Perhaps he wishes to place us in such a situation? Perhaps he wishes for his men to die fighting? Admittedly, she remained a stranger to this infamous rogue and thus could not presume to accurately gage his intentions, but an eastern course would have been more expedient.

But traveling this way did spare us the cruelest winds, she reminded herself,[/i] slipping off Onyx's high back, so maybe he does grasp the gravity of the situation. The leader of the roving brigands had dismounted his stallion as well, and it was towards him that Valaina nervously altered her route, for it was Fen whom he held in his arms, and the Gerudo feared greatly for the wellbeing of the gaunt Hylian. Anoush had vanished into the ranks of the Raiders, which did not surprise her in the slightest, so Valaina walked alone, her pace increasing when she beheld Duzzy frantically digging through Dendro's saddlebags.

"I knew ye was in 'ere!" Retracting his hand, the Sheikah produced a delicate glass jar, in which a fairy fluttered vexedly.

Valaina's eyes widened, for she had never before seen the magical creature, and then rounded exponentially when, as she attempted to heal Duzzy, the Sheikah plucked her deftly out of the air.

"No' me, ye stupid bird," he chastised, "Him, 'eal him!" The Sheikah shoved the fairy in Fen's direction and with a protest entwined around chiming bells, she revitalized him.

The result superseded even the loftiest dream Valaina had entertained as an innocent child. Magic encased him, and when the fairy vanished, the striking eyes of Fen Belamyr slid open. "D-Duzzy?" he rasped. "Where-"

"Well i' ain' no bloody paradise, if tha's wha' ye be thinkin'," Dendro supplied, "Bu' I suppose i's nicer than tha'."

"Dendro the Raider," Duzzy explained, wearily seating himself in the sands beside the half-Hylian, "He took 'is swee' time, bu' 'e came. We be free of i', Fen."

Absolute relief suffused the young man's pale face, and only then did he notice Valaina standing several feet from the group, obvious discomfort on her face. "Valaina?"

She smiled nervously, her hazel eyes diving beneath the sands, so it was Duzzy who responded. "She saved your life, lad, and somehow managed ta get outta the Palace with 'er own."

Fen's expression was befuddled for a moment, until a rapturous smile brightened his features. Immediately he tried to rise, but Duzzy forestalled his attempt, and Valaina timidly went to him. Crouching beside him, she glanced fleetingly at his visage. "It is wonderful to see you well," she said, relief evident in her meek voice. Fen stared back, as though he had never before properly gazed at her, and she instinctively diverted her eyes, even though no malice exuded from him.

"Ain' tha' sweet," Dendro observed crudely, "D'ya think we should leave 'em, Duzzy?"

"RIDERS!"

The call prevented the Sheikah's response, and abruptly, faster than Valaina could register, he had leapt to his feet, sprinting to the outskirts of the group with Dendro and the staid Rito. Even from such a remote distance, she could easily guess the identity of those who approached them. "Faiza," she whispered.

Fen looked across the makeshift camp, his face resolute, and received confirmation from the sudden flurry of activity. Raiders mounted, and Duzzy was racing towards them. "Ge' on yer 'orse, love," he commanded Valaina, "Fen, ye take mine."

"No," Dendro declared over his shoulder, "You can' lead 'em if ye's no' go' nothin'. Me and the boys will take 'em and meetcha inside."

All at once, Valaina comprehended everything: Dendro intended to travel through the Haunted Wastes. Fear constricted her, benumbed her limbs, and tightened her throat. All the legends, all of the grisly stories about the Wastes surged to the forefront of her mind, and it was not until Fen grasped her hand that she returned to the situation surrounding them. Flinching, Valaina glanced at him anxiously, and then forced herself to swallow.

"Le's go!"

Clambering into Onyx's saddle, she gave Fen her hand in balanced his weight as he pulled himself onto the stallion's back. Duzzy wheeled his mount about, and led them headlong into the Haunted Wastes. Tasting bile, Valaina and the others reluctantly followed, while Dendro, Feathers, and ten of the outlaws, charged out to meet the riders of Faiza Delal.

This post has been edited by Amoniel on Sep 28 2012, 02:06 PM


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Whatever happened to the boy I once knew?
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