The Unwilling Bride

McIanMcIan Posts: 16
Deminatza paced the floor of the small room of the palatial mansion which was more a prison than home to her. She dreaded the arrival of her captor, Torak. He left frequently for long periods to conduct his business in places he would never divulge. She assumed he had women stashed about but that was not her chief concern. What she did care about was that he would return, play the hypocrite with her emotions, and, if he could, try to court her once again. She would, as always, resist that determinedly. In the end he would fume but relent and leave her be. For some bizarre reason he wanted her love for him to be genuine, though deep down in his heart he must have known that it could never be. Her love, her life, was for a man named Scaramandine, Scar for short. How she loved and missed him; her fiance' and the father of their one child, Chasity.

It was Chasity that kept her here against her wishes, not to mention the wards and guardians he posted all about outside. Chasity was very young, not even in her teens. She lived in Yew with another of Torak's minions, an elderly woman and a man named simply Father Balzar, a druidic priest. Torak paid both well to raise her and make sure she was watched and guarded. Occasionally, just to keep Deminatza from becoming depressed, Torak allowed them to get together in Yew but only under the strictest supervision by his minions. Deminatza never knew exactly how many he had or who they all were, but she knew they would be about, at all times, watching their every move and eavesdropping on every conversation. For her part, Chasity seemed to accept it all; her mother had to be away "for her health" as she had some kind of disease that required a "different atmosphere" in which to live and she could not be effective as a mother in the rearing of a child in such conditions - that was the official story. Deminatza had to accept it and enjoy what time she could with her daughter; the only tangible connection between her and her love, Scar.

It was not that Deminatza had not tried to escape innumerable times. She had, and each time she failed miserably. She had no spell book, scrolls, or reagents, no access to any. All doors were locked from the outside and the windows were too narrow to climb out even if they were not barred. She did, however, have her hiding places for objects she needed to record her day-to-day experiences; a journal, hidden in a large crack in the first story floor concealed beneath a marble slab and large rug. Torak never searched inside. He was too smug in his own pride and arrogance to believe she could get away from him. This day's morning entry read:

"Torak will be arriving today, likely this evening. The journey from the other facet, as he calls it, takes time and wears one out drastically. His coming, however, does signal that I will get to see my daughter again for a few days. This keeps me sane. I must put on a good face and show for her sake. She must never know the depths of despair into which I sink from time to time. I must be strong for her. I must believe that one day we will be free and together again, with Scar, whom I have taken as my husband despite the officiality of a formal wedding ceremony. We will enjoy the life we wanted, away from these terrible people who have no conscience. I will try once more to tell Torak that I do not love him nor ever will I. He still clings to the belief that we can be what we talked about in our naivete' as children: to wed as husband and wife. I do not know what happened to him to make him so evil but he is not the same person he was long ago. I must stop now and will record later what transpired this time." She closed the book and returned both it, her pen, and inkwell, into the small box, carefully hiding it once more.

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  • McIanMcIan Posts: 16
    THE CONFRONTATION

    Today had been an extraordinarily busy. Over ten merchant ships had entered the waters off Britain and awaited processing. First mates delivered the manifests which had to be carefully inventoried to ensure proper delivery of items marked within. While Torak did not have to go make personal inspection, he did have to send reliable functionaries to make the counts and also provide several copies of the items as well as recording and filing everything. The last thing he needed was to look up from his desk and see a familiar, but unwelcomed, visage glaring at him. "What do you want, Scar? I'm a busy man and I have no need for foolishness. If you attack me, you will be sorry; I have guards all about... some even you cannot see, though perhaps you can smell them," he said, referring to Scar's unnatural ability.

    Scar took a few steps forward to stand in front of Torak, seated behind a desk. "Yes, I smell them. I smell you too... the stink of a rat that desperately needs its throat cut! Don't worry... yet... I am not here to kill you today," he replied coldly.

    Torak dropped his stylus and leaned back in the chair feeling somewhat better. "Well, on with it then!"

    "Where is she? What have you done with her? I saw her last with you, our "supposed" friend. I know she is alive. Tell me where to find her and I will forget how badly I want to kill you," he stated, calmly.

    Torak sighed. "Look, I recommended Father Balzar to help her because he seemed like such a kindly soul. How could I know he had designs on her? It was he who took her and I don't know where they are. You have my word on it."

    "A pathetic lie! YOU posed as Balzar yourself! YOU still have her somewhere!" he countered, drawing a dagger, its blade glistening with poison. "One stick of this and you will lie no more, dog!" he warned as he leaned over the table, waving it in front of his face. "If your minions show their faces, it will be all over for you! They may get me too, but what will it matter to you? I will chase you through the nine hells and back! Now, I ask again, where is she?!"

    Torak knew he was not bluffing. The man was insane, desperate to find her or die trying, and would, no doubt, take him with him. "Put that thing away and I will tell you all I know."

    Scar complied, sheathing the dagger yet keeping his hand on the hilt. "Tell the idiot behind you, hiding near the bookcase, to stand down. He smells of bacon grease and turnips."

    "You heard him, Reiver," Torak ordered, not taking his eyes off of Scar.

    Satisfied, Scar crossed his arms. "Well, I'm waiting."

    "Deminatza has been taken to a place that only I know. It is not on this plane is all I can say... a similar one to be sure, even identical in some aspects, but she is not here. She had your child, a daughter, and named her Chasity. She is nearly twelve years old now. Both are kept safe and sound, under my protection. She loves me, not you, and that's the truth." He braced himself for the worst.

    "I don't believe you. I won't. I will have to hear that from her myself."

    "I can arrange that, if you will give me some time."

    "How?"

    "I have powerful friends who can transport me wherever I need to be. I will ask her to write you a letter. I will bring it to you, signed my her own hand, no pressure applied. Will that suffice?"

    Scar thought for a moment. It was a stalling tactic no doubt. He hoped he could learn more of this "transportation" and "plane" issue, to verify the truth of it. He, too, needed time. "I will consider it to be sure," he replied calmly, quite believably.

    "Then give me a few days and return here. I am always here during the daylight hours. I have an important job and it pays me very well. You will have no trouble finding me," Torak replied.

    "Do as you say or our next meeting will be the last, for one or both of us, I promise," Scar replied, turning to leave. "And send no assassins to follow me. Tell them of my "nose" and the feral inclinations that I can loose upon them in an instant," he added, exiting the room without looking back.
  • McIanMcIan Posts: 16
    edited April 28
    FINALITY

    The appointed day came. Torak, present in his office at Castle British, flanked by two underworldy hooded figures of dubious ethical standards, sat waiting for Scar to appear. He did not have long to wait. The cloaked man whom he had to prove the veracity of his claims that his wife no longer loved him and preferred Torak to him, arrived and entered the room slowly. Scar took note of the guards and sniffed slightly. "You may tell the other two to leave... now. These two," he nodded toward each of the men at Torak's side, "may remain."

    Torak sighed. "That nose of yours is annoying!" he commented as he waved and two other guards, dressed similarly to the others, rose up from behind the furniture which was supposed to have hidden them, and walked out of the room. Scar watched them leave and then moved out of the doorway and stood in such a way that he could watch it carefully. "Show me the evidence," he stated calmly.

    The mercantile administrator opened his desk drawer and retrieved a plain, small, wooden box. He pushed it toward his nemesis. "You will find her personal letter and some of her belongings that you both treasured... once," he remarked impassively.

    Scar ignored the jibe. "You open it," he said.

    "You must really think me insane, to try to kill you with a simple trapped box!"

    "I do, but not for that reason. Open it."

    Torak calmly opened it for him. Inside was a sealed letter, two inscribed signet rings, a gleaming emerald necklace, and a small stuffed bear. "There, you see, no trap."

    Scar observed the objects but took the letter. He stepped back to keep his back to the wall behind him, opened the seal, and held the letter up so he could both read it and watch them.


    "My dearest Scar,
    Torak has told me that you met him and spoke to him. I must confirm to you that all he says is true. I am in love with him and have been for many years. In fact, we are married. I am now carrying his child. Please leave us in peace. May the memories we had be sufficient to sooth the pain I have caused you. If you can, please forgive me. Farewell and be blessed. My love always, Deminatza."

    His face belying any pain or emotion, and in a cat-like blur of motion, Scar armed himself with a dagger and instantly closed the distance between him and the two guards who tried in vain to a brandish their own. In seconds they lay dead on the floor. Torak had stumbled out of his chair and in so doing, got his feet tangled up and he fell heavily onto the floor. Before he could cry out for help, Scar had grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, shifting his hands to the man's bare neck, and picked him up off the floor. Torak, stunned by the ordeal, felt as if he had been assaulted by a bear; his eyes wide with terror. "Wh...what are you... doing?! L...Let me go!" he squeaked.

    "I am going to kill you," he said calmly. "This letter," he waved it in front of his face," is a lie! It is her handwriting, but I don't believe it! You forced her to write it and deliver these objects dear to me and to her! There is no baby and if there is it will soon be fatherless!"

    Torak fumbled for words, "No! I swear, it is true! She wrote it and gave me those things!" he countered. "If you kill me you will be hunted down! I am a government official. You cannot do this and get away with it," he protested.

    "You are not the only one with powerful friends," Scar replied. In moments two figures strolled into the room, heavily armed, and quite confident in their ability to fight. Scar shoved Torak into their waiting grasp. One of them bound his hands, gagged him, and placed a hood over his head.

    "We are going on a little trip my friend," he stated, smiling.
  • McIanMcIan Posts: 16
    edited April 28
    Interlude
  • McIanMcIan Posts: 16
    edited April 28
    IMPRISONED

    "You will all pay very dearly for this I swear!" Torak snarled vehemently as the smelly Nujel'm jailor looked on smiling all the while two strongmen fastened the criminal to chains to the wall.

    Scar watched them finish their work and they stepped back. He stepped forward. "I have also taken the liberty of taking a cut of the gold in your bank account, having given proof of your nefarious conduct to the authorities. They gave a sum of it to me as a reward for exposing your perfidy. I have given it to charity."

    Torak's face paled. "You what?! How dare you!! What perfidy? I don't know what you mean!"

    "You were using your job to inform pirates which ships leaving Britain had fat cargoes and they were being attacked. I didn't do all the work. They had been watching you for some time. They aren't the fools you took them for. After several attacks and sinkings they figured out someone had to have been relaying the information. I think there was an informant also who came forward to testify. All I did was clean out some of your personal files and locate the informant. Your game is over, but that is not why you are here... not entirely, that is," Scar explained. He waved a journal in the man's face. "Look familiar? You really should not be keeping a journal like this. In your own handwriting much less. I think you will be here for a long, long, time."

    "You will pay for this, I promise you!"

    "So you have said. In the meantime, you will not be visiting MY wife anytime soon. Maybe after a few years she will have found someone else, or perhaps I shall have found her. Either way, you are finished, Torak. This is better than killing you."

    Torak could only grit his teeth. "This is no place for someone like me! It smells like a barnyard!"

    "What do you mean? This is the Beggar's Prison... a misnomer if there ever was one. It is for high ranking criminals only. The name only serves to hide that fact. Have you seen the guillotine outside? If you escape and they catch you again, you will get a closer look and an even closer shave on your neck. Once at least," Scar mocked, grinning. He and the others turned to leave. "Oh, by the way... I am sorry to inform you but... you're fired."
  • McIanMcIan Posts: 16
    A FRIEND IN DEED

    As the days slipped by, one melting into the next, Torak had much time to consider his plight. The Nujel'm debtor's prison was typical of prisons: hot in the day, cold at night, vermin-infested, noisy, claustrophobic, and impregnated with the sweaty, sour, stink of man and beast. How had it come to this, he wondered?

    He had a cushy job in the Adminstration in Britain being the overseer of maritime trade in and out of the city, having secured the position by blackmailing the previous occupant. This led to him getting the brilliant idea of trading information with pirates. That had done him well; it had certainly paid more than his regular salary even at a two percent cut of the cargo value of pirated ships. It was plenty to pay off his debts to a certain hive of greedy dark elves who were able to provide him transport between this realm and the one where he kept his reluctant and unhappy wife-to-be. Now, even that tie had been seriously damaged and cut for the time being.

    Disturbing his morose reverie, the jailor's second in command unlocked and opened the cell door and stuck his head in, looking at him the room's sole occupant. The man had seemed unusually kind to him, giving him extra food and drink secretly. He whispered just loudly enough for Torak to understand what he was saying, "Help is on the way, guv'nor!" he said, winking. He then closed the door and locked it.

    Odd, Torak thought. Was it to give him a false sense of hope? Was it a trick by Scar to whisk him away to some torture chamber? He could only wonder. Regardless, the thought of freedom and the end to this nightmare, to bask in the light day once more was intoxicating.

    (to be continued)
  • SukaSuka Posts: 6
    Lucky Day

    Suka sat comfortably inside the Haunt, watching River as she swings her hands around madly about the blood on the floor. “Ah told ye ter nay get blood on me feckin' carpet lass! Fer feck sake! Ah 'and ye me crew ter do what ye do best! Ah went an' said ah lotta shite ter the King, and dis what ye do!... Though ah will say... feckin' good job beatin' their arses...” Suka rolled her eyes, “I'll have the blood scrubbed out, this isn't my first time smacking idiots around and getting a little blood on the carpets... what were you doing here last night anyway? You're supposed to be hiding out until you have the Baby, then come back to take over your crew again.” River sighs, a hand caressing her belly. “Ah nay sure that the crew gonna want me back lass... Ye doin' a damn fine Job...anyway, ah was 'ere lookin' fer ye .. one o' yer contacts got in touch wit' me fer some odd reason. Said a friend o' yers got 'imself locked up in Debtors Prison in Nujel'm... a uhhh.. Tor.. Torria...Torrakcacak?”


    Suka perks a brow, “Torrak?.. huh.. Yea he gives us information on ships and things happening in Britain. How he get locked up?” River shrugs, “Nay a clue lass, but iffin' ah was ye, ah'd go fetch 'im... ye need as maneh allies as ye kin' get yer 'ands on nah.” Suka sighs and nods, “Prison break in my own homelands... I do owe those jailers a bit of a roughing up.. I need to see if Ali still has those potions that exploded last night... maybe the easiest way is to make a huge scene in the …. you know.. I'll just wing it. I'm better that winging it.” River, with a hand on her hip, stares at her rather motherly, “Jus' nay get yerself caught or killed. Ye still got work ter do... still think ye shoulda nailed BOTH 'em ter a tree...”


    Suka laughs as she gets up to prepare for the adventure to reenter the land of which she was born. Stretching her arms, wincing at the pain in her shoulder. She gathered her supplies and with a quick spell, she landed herself behind a building in the slums. She quickly made sure her face was hidden behind a hood, and set off to the bank first. Sneaking around, she planted explosion potions around the back of the building, attached to a string. With a quick pull, she counted under her breath as she quickly walked away. “One.. two... thre-” BANG... The back of the bank explodes. Screams of terror and confusion rang out as many guards rushed to the location to help civilians and try to figure out what happened.


    Suka smirked as she calmly walked towards the prison. There were very few guards, Making quick work of the two confused ones standing out front, she simply strolled right into the holding area. The one other guard stared at her for a moment. “Oh, M'lady you made it. I had hoped my word reached your ears.” Suka chuckles, “Of course it did, got the key or am I picking locks today?” The guard simply, hands her the key, and smiles as he walks away. Suka walked to the cell, and swung the door open, tsking at the chained up Torrak. “Well my friend, this is your lucky Day...” Under the cover of burning banks and underground connections. Suka guides Torrak away from Nujel'm and into freedom once more..

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