Private Tales A Light in the Dark

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer
Don't panic, she told herself. She found it was difficult not to let terror take control and rob her of her senses.

The men jerked her along as if she were nothing more than some villein woman caught stealing from her Lord. The kept to the back ways and alleys, as though fearing being seen. Lyssia wondered if they were cutthroats or something else, but the poor light did not allow her to see much of their faces beyond the commoners clothing.

After a time and many streets, they ducked into an alley that wended its way back behind some warehouses that catered to the waterfront traffic. The man not tasked with dragging her along fumbled with a key in a locked door to the back of one of these large buildings, and then held it open for his companion to drag her along.

Not for the first time, she felt regret for not having made a scene. A myriad number of nightmares played out behind her eyes as her captors closed the door behind them, locked it...and then dropped a bar across the door as well.

The space inside was stacked with crates and barrels, bolts of cloth and loose detritus. The scent of spices pervaded the place; the storehouse of a merchant or someone of wealth, then. Her captors jerked her roughly along, wending through the labyrinthine jumble, and eventually came to an open space. A pair of lanterns cast a cheerful glow over a scene that was anything but; a heavy table with a man sitting behind it. Well dressed in fine linen with embroidery, he had a certain cast to his features that made her think of home, and for a moment a different kind of terror suffused her.

There was a chair in front the table that this man sat behind. He made a gesture to the seat, and the man holding her arm jerked her forward and shoved her rather more roughly than necessary into the wooden chair. She did not spend too much time looking at the chair itself. She could swear there were stains on it that looked awfully familiar.

"So," the seated man said. The fellow that had practically dragged her here stood to one side. She remained unrestrained in the chair, but it was clear if she tried to get up it would not go well for her. "What am I going to do with you?"

"What could you possibly mean," she said more cooly than she felt. She felt like the embodiment of jittering terror, like she would let her bladder loose any moment now. "Taking a woman off the streets against her will isn't-"

"That wasn't a question you were expected to answer, woman." He leaned forward, rested his chin on his folded hands. "In fact, you'll keep that mouth shut unless you are spoken to. And you certainly won't use such a tone toward your betters." He leaned back. "I would be very much interested in knowing what a commoner like you has to do with our esteemed Lord Roe. You can speak now," he said.

She felt her temper rise despite the abject terror. She wasn't sure if his tone was such because she was a woman or because he deemed her to be some commoner, but either case made her blood practically boil. Some of the fire must have shown in her eyes, because he chuckled. "I am far above your station, child. You will answer my question or I can make things very, very difficult for you."

"What business there is between Lord Roe and myself is no concern of yours," she snapped. And immediately regretted it and wished she could have taken the words back.

The man behind the table just sighed, looked to her left and then right. "I am keenly aware that hurting people to make them talk doesn't work ... but I still like doing it anyway." He nodded.

The one thug stepped forward, grabbed her arm and pinned it down to the wide arm of the chair, and then slammed a knife into her arm. It was an expertly done thing, sliding neatly between the smaller bones of her forearm before solidly sticking into the wood below. She screamed in pain and surprise at the action, even as blood welled up round the blade.

The assailant merely left it there, pinning her quite effectively to the chair. She made to grab it with her free hand, but was stopped at a barked command.

"Do not. Touch it. I can pin your other arm to the other side same as that. Stop your crying, you wretch, and answer my gods damned question. What is Roe up to. What is a foreign commoner wench of interest to him for? Speak up."

Lyssia knew then that she was not going to walk away from this encounter alive.
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Elijah made his way through the maze of backstreets and alleyways stopping every time he saw another beggar to ask them the same question as he had asked the first. He could have gone to any of the merchants that had stands in the main fanfares but merchants would bluff and spin yarns. Beggars, in Elijah's experience, always saw more. Were more likely to tell a person the truth for a coin. He had the feeling he could have used coppers but something in his gut told him that silver would prove more beneficial for the long run.

Sure enough that instinct proved right as the first beggar reappeared a good half an hour into his hunt with another beggar in tow, who claimed to have seen the building the lady had been forced into. They led him right to the door and even after payment had said they would act as lookouts further up the street.

Elijah felt far more confident in these new found allies than he did Roe.

He sat across the street in the darkness of an alley and watched the building, studying it from every angle, and the guards positioned at the different corners. How was he going to get inside? Pushing off from the wall he carefully circled the whole block to study the same building from a different angle, then another. A plan began to form...
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Terrified silence greeted the question, and her captor's face darkened.

"Maybe you are too stupid to understand," he said gruffly, adjusting his collar. "Perhaps that husband of yours might have been a better target to haul in here. Maybe he wouldn't have that vapid, fear-fogged cow look to his eyes. Things are happening in this country, woman. There are currents swirling round to pull the unwary down." He looked to the two again and nodded.

The one that had stabbed her stepped up but did not touch the weapon. The other grabbed her other arm and slapped it on the arm of the chair. Tears streaming down her face, she made soft sounds of protest - whimpering in pain when her struggles shifted the blood-slicked right arm. Said thug tied the left arm down painfully tight, and then stepped aside.

"I want to know what Roe is doing. I know he has a hand in the games in the capitol, and while I cannot imagine he would need the help of someone as dim as you, nevertheless he has invited you into his house. What did he want?"

She shook where she sat, mind awhirl. Obviously she could not speak of what it was that she wanted from the Dalriadan Lord, but equally clear was that she had stumbled into something internal to the Obanese state. Clearly it was not just infighting among the Brusar's of Erdeniin that was at play, but among the leadership of Oban too.

Not that it made her current situation any better. "I am just a merchant," she said. Buying time was all she could do. Her magic, forgotten up until this point, would help her not one whit; she was outnumbered and already in a bad position.

Foolish! Foolish! She should have handled them on the street when she could have escaped!

And then displayed for all her abilities?

She shrieked in pain when the right-hand thug twisted the knife savagely in her arm. Blood spurted for a moment from the artery therein before the blade was left, resumed seeping. "You'll answer when I ask a question," the thug snapped. Apparently she had missed something.

"What are you selling that he would be interested in?" Hard words.

Panting, sweat rolling down her face, pooling between her breasts, running down her back, she felt panic rise. She did not have an answer, she had no idea how to talk her way out of this situation.
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Elijah had singled out a window on the top floor of the building. It must have been a bedroom and whoever it belonged to had decided to leave it open a crack in order to let some of the cooler air in. This continent was still in the height of summer and no doubt from how it faced the sun the room became baking during the day. The Captain had made his way up the building next door and onto the roof where he watched the window for any signs of movement beyond. It was hard to tell with the curtains fluttering but he was fairly certain since the servant had left ten minutes ago that there was nobody else in the room.

He gave himself enough of a run up then took a breath.

In his younger days Samantha had often called him reckless. He had thought with his heart rather than his head when it came to helping people, putting himself in danger and at times Gypsy too. But when that scream echoed up from the depths of the house, Elijah couldn't recall her lessons in how to think sensibly. He barrelled forward and hurled himself at the side of the building. He hit the window with a grunt, managing to throw most of his weight into the open edge so it swung the rest of the way inwards. Elijah rolled across the room coming to his feet in one fluid movement and drew his sword.

The room was empty.

Taking another, albeit shuddering, breath he continued on.
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The crunch from the upper floor, muffled as it was, made all three men snap their heads up. The lordling looked to Lyssia once with a scowl, then looked to the man to her left. "Go upstairs. Find who or what is intruding on our little meeting." He gave her a sickening smile.

The one thug nodded wordlessly and stepped away, wending his way into the maze of boxes.

The man behind the table stood. Though pain dulled her senses, she set to memorizing that face. "I am going. If Roe finds out I am here it would be ... inconvenient. Keep the bitch here until our friend has checked upstairs. If he does not come back in a few minutes, cut her throat. But not here; down by the water." He sneered at her.

"If he does come back, drag the wench to the three hundred level of thirty four."

He did not dither about. Leaned over and pulled up a second of the floor - a trap door, she realized. He stpped down and out of sight, pulling the door behind him closed. Something clicked a moment later.

No sooner had he vanished than she yelled as loud as she could. "Down here! I'm do-"

A fist crashed into the side of her head, and darkness crashed down like a curtain.
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The servant took one look at him and fled. He didn't bother going after her; he was not a light man and he knew his landing would have been felt in the house. He just needed to focus on finding her and killing anyone that was in his way. Elijah entered a state of icy calm as he jogged down the corridor towards the stairs. More servants breezed out of his way as though they saw the promise of death written there. The first soldiers who came to meet him were not so clever.

Steel whistled through the air and then the two men were down clutching at the gaping wounds in their stomach or throat. The Captains stepped over them, uncaring, to the next level. He hadn't seen her on the upper floor and he doubted they had brought her up to the more opulent looking layers on this second floor, which meant the ground floor or the basement. Or, he supposed, however low this house went. More soldiers came and died on his sword. To each of them he asked the simple question; Where?

None of them replied. Some snarled and spat, others pissed themselves. They all died the same.

Elijah marched on calm and collected.
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The stairs leading up from the warehouse proper were plain wood, utilitarian and little else. This was the way that servants and dock workers would go when dealing with the well-to-do merchants that owned the place.

He and his pals were not precisely the owners. The lordling held strings on the owner of the warehouse, and thus this was a useful place in the ever-tightening surveillance of Roe. He himself only knew what he was required to do his job - little more than a thug to the powers that be, but definitely not the bottom rung. Her carried a crossbow with him, heavy quarrel set in the groove. That and a short sword were all that he carried.

Poor weapons to bring to bear against a trained soldier, but it was hardly as if he knew he was facing such a thing.

Just merchants, right?

He stepped through the door into the well appointed living quarters, deserted of all but servants and guards. Guards protecting the goods in the warehouse, and the residents that had been hustled off a few days ago.

He heard the sound of a scuffle, grimaced, turned to head towards it.


Consciousness returned. She wished it hadn't almost immediately. She could only open one eye, and the taste of blood filled her mouth. After a stomach-churning moment of reorienting herself in her own skull - which felt as though it had been split in half - her vision cleared. The vantage was from the floor, one cheek pressed against the floor with the reek of dust and a sharper, coppery scent that made her want to gag.

Blood. Her own blood, pooled from the gaping tear in her arm. The knife had come free when she had been knocked unconscious. That was... a lot of blood. She felt her heart hammer in her chest, felt the wave of faintness and weakness wash through her.

Her captor was not there. Realization came to her a moment after she shifted, groaning with the effort. Sat up, spat a wad of clotted blood onto the stained floor. She sat there for a long minute, swaying as her head swam. Fresh blood trickled from her wounded arm, but she tried to pay it no mind. There were other things to consider: escape.

She strained her ears. Overhead, the sound of heavy footsteps, of things being dropped heavily to the floor. The occasional shout. She opened her mouth to call out, but all that emerged was a croak. She sat for a minute longer before spying the knife, still dark with her dried blood, on the floor not far away from the toppled chair. She crawled slowly to it, and snatched it up in fingers that seemed to be all pins and needles, then waited a moment while she recover from even that light effort.

After a couple minutes - silence within the larger warehouse near deafening - she tottered to her feet. She hadn't the faintest idea of how to get out, but she was not about to wait here to be rescued.

Using boxes and crates to steady herself - and leaving a trail of bloody handprints and the steady drip on the floor - she made her way into the labyrinth.
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Another body hit the floor. Elijah stepped over the grunt with barely a second glance. Blood dripped off the end of his curved sword as he stepped towards the man now shakily retreating with hands held out in front of him as if that might somehow stop the advance of death.

"Please -- please! We didn't hurt her, it was-"


The man shuddered at the calmness of that voice. Wordlessly he pointed to the set of steps down to the final level of the warehouse. Elijah glanced at it and the man went to slip away, but a hand lashed out and grabbed his hand. He slowly turned it over to reveal the bruised abrasions there. The man went wholly still.

"I-it was an order," he stammered and watched in horror as the man continued to examine that hand. That hand that had hurt his Lyssia. Their eyes met and the man managed to suck in a deep breath before Elijah made him scream.
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The sounds of violence overhead continued, and she continued to pick her way through the warehouse. She was not certain where she was heading other than out. She could not have retraced her way back to the door she had come in if she had tried.

She met no one on her pained wandering until she did, and when she did it was not the best reunion ever. Rounding a particularly tall stack of crate, she came face to face with the thug that had stabbed her.

They stared at one another for a moment before something akin to a mix of fear and anger washed over his features. No time to rationally think through options, Lyssia darted forward to stab at the fellow. Attempted to do both; she stumbled on the first step, and he batted aside her attempt to cut him with contemptuous ease, though his counter-blow also missed.

She tried cutting him again and this time he caught her arm and squeezed viciously until she dropped the knife. It landed with a clatter as he tossed her into a crate and bent over to pick it up. When he stood, she saw death in his eyes.

And, finally, remembered that she had access to a higher power. Her first fumbling attempt was defeated by panic as he rushed for her. The second...

Searing light, intense heat. Magic flowed through the little fae woman, and her assailant shrieked in mortal agony as flames consumed him entire. She stood there, keeping hold of the flames with her mind, until he stopped moving. Only then did she let the prim dissipate. A charcoal brick in the shape of a human was all that was left.

She did not stick around. The weight of the spell hung ever so heavy on her, amid her myriad other troubles. There was a set of stairs heading up that she could see over the lower boxes, and that was what she made her unsteady way towards.
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Elijah had finally made it down to the main level of the warehouse where large stakes of crates had been packed in tightly, no doubt waiting for a caravan to arrive to ship onwards North to Oban or the other great cities of Delradia. On another day he might had wondered about those shipments and what it might have meant for the Dynast. Today, however, all that roared around his mind was finding Lyssia and getting her out of here.

Another man went down clawing at his slit throat as his life slipped away between his fingers. Elijah didn't bother to wait and watch him die as he strode on. He finally came upon the chair they had held her in and he came to a sudden stop. Where was she? He turned in a full circle attempting to find any hint-- there. A bloodied handprint. His heart hammered in his ears as he lurched forward at the same moment fire erupted ahead. Elijah gaped and cries soon filled the air.

Fire! Fire! Fire!

"LYSSIA?!" Elijah roared, thundering down the crate-made corridors. "LYSSIA WHERE ARE YOU?!"
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She stopped at his voice and nearly fell with the suddenness of it. It was difficult to think, now, but she could have sworn he was behind her. She staggered around and began making her way the way she had come while bedlam reigned everywhere else in the building. She stepped past the roasted corpse of her assailant, rounded a corner and then another - following the trail of her own blood - and came up facing Elijah.

She vaguely thought of how sorry a sight she must be right then, did not even notice the soft sound in the back of her throat she made at the sight of him. He had come for her - again.

She rushed forward inelegantly, stumbling as she came close. Thankfully close enough that she could throw her arms round him to keep herself upright. Tears leaked from her eyes and ran down her ashen, swollen face unbidden - partly from pain, partly from relief that she was going to be able to get out of here more or less in one piece.

"...came for me...," she mumbled into his abdomen amid other words too muffled to understand. She practically hung on to him as though he were the only thing keeping her upright. In some ways, that was precisely truth.
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There was a soft grunt as she barrelled into him and his body reminded him of his many cuts and bruises. He forgot them all in the presence of her though. Feeling she was warm and alive in his arms.... Elijah let out a shuddering breath and encircled one fiercely protective arm around her to crush her even closer. For a brief moment he even allowed himself to rest his chin atop her head and breathe in her scent. Alive. She was alive.

"Of course I did," he huffed into her hair, his voice came out gravelly from all the shouting he had done on his way down here. The senseless roaring, demanding to know where she was. The Captain pulled back slightly to look down at her and assess for any damage. His face seemed to tighten with every bruise and every cut he logged.

"Who did this to you?" he asked with that lethal, icy calm.
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The cold in his voice struck her in so many ways, and none of them could be processed at the moment. She felt cold, woozy, and weak. Blood still ran from the wound in her arm, but for a moment she forgot about that and her myriad other hurts - just stared into his eyes with the one she could still open, into the soul burning brightly beyond the windows.

The emotion surging within her was too much; she felt her chest might burst from it.

"They... they are..," she began with some difficulty. Safety. She had found safety, and now she needed to... "I killed the one. Burned him to a-ashes," she said. She lifted her arm and looked at it at last. She had been too filled with terror, too eager to flee, to mind it before. A three inch slice cut clean through between the bones of her forearm, and with every trembling beat of her heart, luminous blood pulsed from it. It was not a spurting mess, but it was so much blood. Her already ashen pallor faded to something near ghostly white and she swayed on her feet for a moment.

Not now not now I can't not now...

With iron resolve she fought the wave of unconsciousness off.

"Help me with this," she said. She lifted her skirt to tear strips of cloth from but lacked the strength to do the deed herself just then. "I'll bleed out if I can't slow it," she added. Blood loss already left her lethargic and slow. She couldn't imagine how much she had spilled on the floor behind her; the trail ran back amidst the boxes and it was not a drop here and a drop there, but rather a copious spattering that echoed every foot fall. Her mind seem to preoccupy itself with that unimportant detail as she fumbled with her dress.
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It was only the fact the man was already dead that stopped Elijah hurting into the burning warehouse in order to find him. He was glad Lyssia had found the strength to deal with her own enemy but... he would have enjoyed making the man suffer. As she began ripping at her skirt he reached out a hand and gently stilled her hand on the fabric.

"You'll aggravate it," he warned and then took a hold of the fabric in both hands and with a violent yank tore a strip from hem to her mid thigh. He tore again and again until a few strips could act as a bandage. With the fire gobbling up the back of the warehouse he dared not waste his time and with quick, military efficiency he bound the gaping wound.

"When we get back it'll need stitches," he was no medic. Though fetching one would definitely raise questions. It was a thought for later, right now they needed to leave. Without asking her permission Elijah scooped her into his arms as if she weighed nothing then strode back the way he had come. Everyone else had fled or was in the process of fleeing so nobody bothered to stop the Captain and his Lady as they left through the front door.
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She fumbled with the fabric a half second after he tried to stop her, and then stared at the arm for a moment in bleary incomprehension. She winced with the pressure of the bandage, her already quick and short breaths ratcheting up a notch. The cloth slowly turned crimson, blood seeping through.

She nodded dumbly at his assertion, gasped lightly when he took her into his arms and fought with the closing darkness with a valiance that would have done a valkyrie honor. She held back the desire to sleep, to just shut her eyes, even though it took nearly every ounce of her strength to do so.

"Dalriada is no safer than home," she said quite slowly, each word heavy and deliberate. Each word seemed to cost her stamina greatly; a half lidded eye looked up at Elijah from her prone position. The warmth of his body soaked into her, and the nearness - the touch - made that feeling in the pit of her chest and stomach and soul swell even further. "There are enemies here too," she said faintly, slowly. Lethargically. "Currents within ... currents..."

Her eyelid grew heavier. She fought the urge to sleep bitterly, hang on to wakefulness by a thread. Shock, she knew. And could do nothing about it. Muzzy awareness of her own problems could do little to help.
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"Lyssia, you can't fall asleep. Do you understand me?" he jostled her as careful of her arm as he could but enough that the motion would keep her from sleep. The street was pandemonium with people screaming and shouting. A group of men had set up a line to move water from the towns well in buckets to the blazing warehouse. It barely made a dent. Without a water-bender, Elijah wasn't sure how they intended on stopping the flame. In the chaos it was at least easy to get away and so the Captain took them not through the back alleys but the quieter residential streets towards the inn--

He stopped suddenly.

Did whoever had taken Lyssia know where they were staying? Would they be waiting there already? He dithered, weighing the merits of returning, then with a curse changed direction. Roe had more guards. He would also have a medic. The Captain set out at a jog.
"Mmm," was the only immediate reply that he got to his question. It was too much effort to from words. Starlight reflected from her lidded eye. She could only pay the most fleeting and cursory attention to anything other than the man holding her and her tenuous grip on consciousness.

Men wearing boiled-leather armor, with blades at their hips, began to move with distinct purpose through the streets. They were headed to take care of the fire that she had inadvertently started during that frantic escape attempt. These men were a mixture of the local garrison and men with the colors of Roe's personal employ. This little backwater did not warrant much of a presence militarily. There were a few soldiers here, just in case.

As they approached the Roe estate, the better discipline and organization of the men added to the firefight told its tale. The flames died down until only the acrid scent of smoke told that there was a fire ongoing.

When they reached the grounds of the Lord's estates, they found that worthy standing in the open doorway of his home, looking out towards the burned warehouse with a dark, set expression. As Elijah came up, his bundle in hand, he looked toward the soldier and the woman in his arms. His lips thinned to a straight line; he stepped aside and motioned through the doors.
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Elijah could only imagine what the soldier saw in his eyes to let them pass. He did not feel entirely in control of his own emotions and, if they had been barred, he could not have said with confidence he wouldn't have done something rash.

"Send for a healer," he didn't bother to look back to check if the soldier actually obeyed. Very few people didn't obey when he used that voice - The Voice - as Samantha had once joked when he had given her a rare command. He strode on towards the mansion but instead of going round to the side where they had been taken earlier that day, Elijah all but kicked open the two large ornate front doors. Servants and guards turned, flustered towards him, the latter even daring to draw their swords though they paused at the scene.

"Bedroom. Now," one of the maids pointed a wobbly finger towards the stairs.

"Third door on the right," she whispered and with a brisk nod Elijah took the stairs two at a time. Out of the corner of his eye he saw one of the footman race off no doubt to tell Roe but the Captain could not bring himself to care. When he found the room in question he didn't hesitate in going in and laying her on the large plush bed.
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Lord Roe stood aside, unremarked - and why would he be, when he was in a more martial outfit than he usually would be? - and then fell in behind Elijah as he carried Lyssia into a bedroom. The footman raced off at a look from his employer.

"It will take a moment for the physician to arrive," Roe said suddenly. He wore leather armor sewn with steel coins, a business-like short sword at his hip. The handle had the wear associated only with long use, and now that one looked, the heavy calluses on his exquisitely manicured hands told a tale that had not been spoken of in their recent visit.

He went to the other side of the bed, putting space between him and the Captain. In case. The woman on the bed was nearly as white as the sheets, the bandage on her arm starkly crimson against white. Despite Elijah's best efforts, she had drifted into a twilit world between waking and sleep, her eyes half open and glassy. Her chest rose and fell rapidly.

He said nothing until the physician arrived, a man in his middle years. Roe gestured to the bed, then looked to Elijah.

"What happened?"
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The only thing that stopped Elijah from snarling at the man was the sudden realisation of what he was wearing. His mouth opened and then he blinked, closing it again and turning away with his brows furrowed. There had been something off about Roe earlier that day that he had been unable to figure out, something about the way he had moved, and this now explained it. He had been seeing something familiar under the guise of something he loathed. Clever. Of course that he had not realised it sooner only frustrated Elijah more in the moment where his emotions were already inflamed.

"I don't know," and wasn't that the worst bit of it all? "She... went for a walk and when she didn't come back I went looking for her. Some thugs had dragged her off the streets. I found them in a warehouse, just off the intersection by the lower merchants quarter." It would be easy enough to discover which warehouse what with it being on fire now. Elijah glanced once more to the injury and debated doing something about it himself, but it felt wrong almost to ruin her skin with his barbaric sewing. If it saved her life did it matter?

"Where's your blasted healer?"
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"My warehouse," the Dalriadan replied. There was a hint of fury in his response and it was not clear at whom it was directed. "And since I am not in the habit of hiring thugs to do my dirty work..."

He clenched his fist. The knuckles popped with the force of his anger. "My blasted healer will be-"

"Here." The man that walked through the door was short, only a handful of inches taller than Lyssia when she was standing. And he was old, moving with the gait of a man whom suffered arthritis quite acutely. Given the gnarled state of his hands, the robed acolyte deserved the irritation in his voice.

"Andric," Roe said by way of introduction. The old man ignored both him and Elijah, brushing past the soldier rather rudely. He stood over his charge, lips drawn thin. Eyes to the bruised face, but they traveled the short length of her body to the blood-stained bandage.

He sat a bag on the bed at her feet, and opened it and withdrew some heavy twine, needle and thread. "Loss of blood," the man muttered, and drew out some dried herbs as well. "You, the big oaf. Find someone to bring me hot water," he said.

Lord Roe held up a hand. "No need. Tasha, do as the physician says." The woman hovering just outside the door to the room - the very same that Elijah had commanded moments before - vanished.

"Now, if you would be so kind as to explain in greater detail while Andric does his worst...?"

The physician muttered something caustic to no one in particular, continued his work as he put a tourniquet above the knife wound and began to unwind Elijah's field medicine.
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Elijah bristled at the nickname but he didn't snap back at the healer. In fact, it looked as though he would have gone and carried out the healers order. Every good soldier knew not to get in the way of a medic and that their orders were to be obeyed without question. Perhaps it was different here, Elijah thought as he watched the woman dash off, or perhaps they just do not see it as a job for a man. He was still uncomfortable with the complete reversal between his homelands and this one. Women were wiser, holier, and to be respected and served loyally. To see them cower here irked him to no end.

Elijah wisely stepped out of Andric's warpath and turned his ire instead to Roe.

"I told you. I don't. Know," the words were more of a growl. "I didn't leave any of them alive long enough to ask over tea why they thought to kidnap her. There was, after all, the pressing matter of her screaming as they did that," he waved towards her arm. "If it's your warehouse surely you should know why your men were kidnapping your supposed ally and torturing her?"
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"They were not my men," the noble grated out in a tight voice. His eyes cut to the physician. The man was digging in the young woman's arm with a surprising degree of gentleness, needle and suture in hand. He worked quickly, sewing something shut that he could not see. "And if they were, by some ill fate, their families will have a very poor time."

Arm unbound. Fresh blood, but now it seeps slowly. Andric grunted, went to work cleaning and sewing with the efficiency of long practice.

"You forget, Captain, that you have a great many enemies. The women you worship so dutifully want to see you dead nearly as much as they want to see her strung up on a wall." He looked to Elijah with hard, cold eyes. Uncompromising, unforgiving. His head snapped to the door as Tasha arrive with a steaming pot of water, setting it next to the basin at the washstand. Andric muttered something unflattering about the woman who squeaked in apology, brought the water to the bed.

"Take a cup or two of this and get me a mug or glass," Andric said as the water was set on the floor. He then took a cloth from his bag, took a handful of herbs from this and that smaller bag within, then waited. When the maid returned, he scooped some water up and added different herbs to the cup, set it on the bedside table to steep, then dipped the cloth into the hot water. He hissed at the heat but did not shy away.

A sharp breath from Lyssia was the only reaction given to any of the proceedings, and only when Andric began to clean the wound with the steaming cloth. The herbs gave a sharp, acrid odor to the water.
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"Those were no Erdeniin soldiers," Elijah bit out and his hand rested on the pommel of his sword. He ended up gripping it so fiercely to stop himself from unsheathing the katana that his knuckles began to turn white. Not once did he look away from Roe, however, as the two men squared off against one another. Lyssia would have no doubt shouted at them both for being bull headed men but he didn't care. Those he was really angry with were dead and Roe served as the next best thing.

"They were little more than common criminals. Thugs. The way they fought was like that of a mercenary - no formal training. Unless that is what passes for training in these lands," he spat in contempt. "So, Roe, why don't you tell me why criminals would want to speak to Lyssia - torture her - only hours after coming to see you?"
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"Why don't the two of you get over yourselves and stop breaking my concentration," Andric snapped at the pair of men. He seemed completely non-plussed that one was of a noble inclination and the other a soldier more than capable of cutting him down where he sat.

Probably because he knew what he was - a healer. Not necessarily beloved by all, but certainly respected. To a point.

He took the cup and placed his hand over the top of it, said a few words that made no sense. Then he placed a thumb over one of Lyssia's eyes, and then the other while he muttered. Her one eye that she could open cleared a little and she blinked, suddenly aware of her surroundings. Or partly aware.

"Drink," he said and forced the cup to her lips. She complied.

Lord Roe seemed closed his mouth. It had hung open since the admonishment from Andric. Shaking his head, he looked to Elijah. "Why would I have any idea about that? This town is utterly pacifistic. Aside from the occasional smuggler, nothing even remotely close to this ever happens here. Its the back end of nowhere."

"Politics, Lanis. Politics." Andric scowled when he said it, as though the word tasted as bad as the cup of whatever it was did judging from Lyssia's reaction. The woman said nothing, looked towards the men with half-vacant eyes. The only movement were her eyes and the rise and fall of her chest. "You might not care about politics, boy, but it cares very much about you. Ask the blade-swinger, given who he is. He would know."

Lord Lanis Roe scowled at the healer first, and then looked to Elijah expectantly.
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