Private Tales Broken Compacts

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Cal

The Failure
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Cal ducked his head as the rock went flying over his head, a curse escaping his lips as Orlaith's voice echoed in his ear a second later.

He had wanted her to run.

He had wanted her to have a chance of getting away. There was no telling if he could make it, no telling if they could make it. The Inquisitors were trained, well armed, and they had the Drakes at their side. His heart thundered in his chest, but as he opened his mouth to try and get her away he found himself cut off.

From behind the other Drake suddenly snapped open it's jaws, mouth lunging forward as it tried to bite him. A curse escaped Cal's lips, and he quickly rolled to the side as the beast nearly bit him in half.

The whip loosened in his grip, nearly slipping free as the Inquisitor grabbed the shards of the weapon and began to tear it free. "Duck!"

He told Orlaith as the Drake reached up, and then quickly snapped forward once again towards her.

From the small of his back he drew his short sword, the blade letting out a quiet ring as he spun it within his palm and then suddenly stabbed it down into the creatures Spine.
 

Órlaith

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She ducked only just in time. The creature's screech dwarfed any sound that'd come before it, triggering a mournful cry from the other. The crumpling body of the Drake separated her from Cal as she stood, stumbling in the snow toward the other beast, it's gaze heaven bound as it lamented and gathered it's fury.

Órlaith had almost reached the beast when a hand shot out and the solid, gloved fist struck her cheek. Her head reeled and she fell to the cold embrace of snow, blinking hard as she tried to correct her blurring vision. The same hand grabbed a fistful of her hair with which to drag her to her feet, and she winced as she gripped hold of the man's wrist. He brought her face level with his to get a good look at her, the grin on his face a mixture of equal parts triumph and disgust before he yanked her toward the Drake.

"Gotcha." he growled, glancing back at his partner. He wasn't sticking around, wouldn't be offering the other man help in dealing with Cal. She was his prize, his opportunity for good graces and rewards, all he had to do was get her back to Rhagos.
 
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Cal

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"Orlaith!" Cal let out a cry, his fingers suddenly jerking on the whip.

The spines seemed to shift and move on their own. They dug into the other Inquisitor for one brief moment, then suddenly unwrapped and dragged through his flesh. The man let out a cry of pain, though his armor protected him from the worst of the hurt.

A hissing breath left his lips, and Cal shifted his weight to pull himself up onto his feet.

The whip in his hand reached back, and then quickly lashed forward as it ran towards the man that had grabbed Orlaith.

Spines grasped around his leg, piercing through the armor there and dragging into his flesh before he yanked and suddenly pulled him back. He vaulted over the Drake's neck, pulling out his sword and rushing towards Orlaith in one smooth motion.
 
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Órlaith

The Abomination
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Órlaith was trying her best to pry those fingers from their grip on her hair, but otherwise she moved willingly toward the dragon as the beast lowered it's belly to the cold ground, waiting for it's rider to mount. With Cal's intervention, the fingers unfurled, and she was shoved hard to the ground with a groan, her eyes lifting to the Drake a mere foot away.

She glanced over her shoulder, seeing Cal move, but she crawled forward and pressed an outstretched hand to the beast's side. Her eyes rolled and then closed with the pain as it immediately travelled down her spine and down her limbs until her entire body was wracked with white hot agony that caused every muscle to tremble.

A sharp cry and half choked sob tumbled from her lips, but she focused on the calm that she wanted the drake to feel as it's scale covered muscles shifted under her palm. Despite her tremulous hand it calmed and looked down, it's head tilting to settle it's orange eye on her.

Protect us..
 
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Cal

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The reaction was instant.

Savage.

Almost as soon as the creatures gaze met Orlaith's eyes, as soon as the pulse of magic ran through it's spine, it acted. Within an instant it's neck craned. The Inquisitor that Cal had dragged to the floor was the first to suffer, the Drake twisting and then suddenly chomping down upon his armor.

There was a sickening crunch as draconic teeth tore through metal and quickly rent flesh. A blood curdling scream echoed outward, resonating among the forest of statues.

Cal found himself dumbstruck, the whip in his hand suddenly dragged away as the Drake shifted it's neck and smashed the Inquisitor to the ground opposite the fallen statue. The loud crunch of broken bones ringing out as he stared.

"Fuck." He breathed, and then suddenly caught sight of Orlaith who had collapsed onto the ground.

In an instant Cal swept forward, rushing towards Orlaith and slipping his short sword into it's sheath. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her to his chest as he lifted her from the floor and began to run.

Behind him the Inquisitor began to shout, his cloak shifting as he pointed and screamed at the two refugees. "It's okay."

He whispered as ran, darting between statues and over fallen rubble. "I got you."

Cal didn't care about the man still alive. Didn't care why the drake had turned. All he cared about was Orlaith. All that mattered was her.

"I'm here!" He called, his voice breathless as he rushed towards the entrance of the cavern.
 

Órlaith

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She tumbled quickly toward unconsciousness despite the ear shattering screams that rattled her bones. Her body writhed and stilled, the cold snow seeping into her clothes until she was lifted from the ground. Órlaith was trying as best as she could to stay awake, but the pain still came in tremors like little aftershocks that caused her to seize up and ease, catching the breath in her throat.

Fingers curled into his coat as she opened her eyes to force a smile up at him. She could hear the other Inquisitor yelling after them as the other man's screams stopped echoing, and she could only hope the power she'd had over the beast lasted long enough for it to finish the job.
 
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Cal

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Cal didn't look back.

He didn't care what the beast did, he didn't care what the Inquisitor did. All that he cared about was getting her to safety. All that he cared about was making sure that Orlaith made it through this. He didn't care what she'd done, but he knew that it had saved them both.

Nothing else was on his mind. All that he wanted to do was to make sure that Orlaith was safe, that he could keep his promise.

If he had looked back. If he had offered a single glance, he would have seen the Drake charge and snap at the remaining Inquisitor. He would have seen the beast attack, snap it's jaws, do everything that it possibly could to keep it's new master at bay.

It was almost as if the Drake was Cal himself. A desperation clinging to it to ensure that Orlaith remained safe.

Cal didn't look back though, didn't turn. All he did was run, and as they approached the entrance of the cave the very earth seemed to shake.

The earth shifted and shook, the cave entrance seemingly drawing itself together. Two walls appeared from the side of the cavern, each decorated with a thousand murals of armored dwarves. They slowly pulled from the earth itself, dragging together just as Cal rushed into the cavern itself.

They seized together, the bare light of the day flickering into the cave before they suddenly sealed shut behind them.

A pulse of light rocked over them, illuminating the depictions carved into the stone before suddenly everything went dark.
 
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Órlaith

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Her eyes blinked heavily under her furrowing brow as she felt the ground shift and heard the mountain groan, her grip on his coat affirming itself. She peeked up, seeing the mouth of the cave start to shift. Had they not been running for their lives, she'd have been hesitant to enter. It was their only choice now, and she buried her nerves as far down as she could and replayed his words over and over in her mind.

It's okay... I got you... I'm here...

She felt her cheek ache as she nuzzled it against him, a vivid blush before the rising bruise, reminding her of how hard she'd been hit. Sleep. She wanted so badly to let her eyes drift closed and sleep, but it felt like she was leaving him if she allowed it.

A deafening silence came with the darkness, the kind that accentuated every breath and heartbeat. Despite it, as the cave closed behind them, she felt safe for now, and the second she allowed her body to ease even slightly, sleep rolled over her and dragged her under.
 
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Cal

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Cal breathed.

It seemed to be the only sound that echoed through the cavern, the only noise that one could hear for miles. His head briefly turned towards the massive door that had closed behind him, eyes flickering over the glowing runes that faded just as fast as they had come.

He understood none of them, did not grasp their meaning nor the safety that they provided. All that mattered was Orlatih. All that mattered was that she was protected behind a meter of stone. His arms clutched her tight, his breath spilling over her skin even as she fell into unconscious sleep.

Cal did not linger by those doors.

He did know what kept them closed, what entity or magic had sealed them away from their tormentors. He walked for hours, perhaps a day before he came to a stop from exhaustion. Through the darkness of the cave he carried Orlaith, until eventually he could walk no more.

By the time Cal stopped he barely had the wherewithal to lay down their bedrolls, barley had the energy to start a fire and pull the blanket over them.

His body was tired, worn, and all that he wanted was her in that moment.

The flame of their heart was small, born in the small nook of the caverns as he dragged the blanket over them and pulled her sleeping form close. His lips pressed softly against her cheek, his voice barely a whisper as he passed into unconscious. "I'll be here. Always."

Cal whispered as he fell into his own slumber.
 
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Órlaith

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All magic came with a price, but thanks to the rune branded on the back of her neck, hers was way more of an expense than she could afford. It felt like acid in her veins, like her brain was physically melting inside her skull. Her mind had shut itself down, and she'd had absolutely no awareness that she'd been carried at all, let alone so far into the mines.

By the time Cal's warm breath on her face roused her, the disorientation caused a wave of panic that jolted her awake and upright to stare wildly around at her dark surroundings. Her memory came rushing back to her and she turned to Cal, looking over him, making sure he was unhurt.
 
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Cal

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Shockingly, Cal was fine.

Neither the Drakes nor the Inquisitors had managed to touch him. A few scrapes decorated his skin, some bruises, but by and large he was almost entirely undisturbed. His head was resting against his tossed up jacket, blanket still half pulled over him.

The Cave around them was surprisingly warm, something that did not just come from the fire he had set, but a general dry heat that seemed to still the air.

As Orlaith stirred, Cal was roused. The shifting of the blanket pulled his eyes open, his head turning to look at her as she fussed over him from above. "Made it."

He said sleepily with a smile.
 
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Órlaith

The Abomination
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Her fingers trailed across his brow, combing his hair back from his face with a teary smile and a choked blurt of laughter at his words. She grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him up and against her, her arms thrown around him to hold onto him as tightly as she could.

"Made it.." she repeated with a shaky breath. Just like he'd promised her. "Thank you Cal.." she mumbled against his collar, breathing deeply as her racing heart started to slow it's pace..

She drew back only enough to press her lips to his stubbled cheek, his jaw, his lips, chuckling quietly in appreciation of the reality that she still could.
 
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Cal

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His arms tightened around her in the embrace, a smile touching his lips for a moment. "We have a little ways to go, yet."

As she kissed slowly along his jaw, fingers gently traced over her skin, slipping beneath the hem of her shirt just to gently run his hand up and down her spine. There was a calmness to the touch, as if he was simply enjoying the feeling of her warmth.

His lips lingered against hers for a moment, a deep breath filling his lungs.

When he'd seen those Drakes he had already thought of himself as dead. All that he had cared about was getting her to safety, making sure she escaped. The fact that they were both here, both alive, it was a euphoric rush.

Even if he was still half asleep.

His hand came up, gently stroking across her cheek as he kissed her again.
 

Órlaith

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A few tears slipped past her lashes and her jaw ached from smiling as he held her, kissed her, let his fingertips dance across her skin. She'd almost lost this, this thing she'd only just found, the man who'd put her before himself and opened her eyes to a much brighter world.

Her thumb caressed his cheek as her hazel eyes studied his face.. "Promise me you won't ever do that to me again. We're in this together. We run together or we fight together." she whispered. "I don't want to go on by myself. I don't want to be without you, alright?.." she frowned, putting on her best serious face.
 
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Cal

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For a moment Cal hesitated.

Promising something like that, ensuring that he would let her die at his side...he was not sure that he could say it without lying. Cal knew that when it came down to it he would always protect her, always make sure that she got away.

After a few moments he nodded. "Okay."

It was the only lie that he would tell her. He kept his emotions even, his thoughts resolute. He did not give her a chance to see beyond the veil, to know that in the end...he would always protect her first.

He leaned forward, placing his forehead against hers.

"But we don't have to worry about it now." Not now. "We're safe."

At least for a little while.
 
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Órlaith

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Okay..

She wanted to savour the word like a sip of good wine, but the grapes turned sour in her mouth. She didn't trust it, but he was right, it wasn't something they had to worry about for now at least, and so she nodded and smiled as his head rested against hers..

"Get some more sleep.." she whispered, her hands splayed across either side of his jaw as she pressed her lips to his forehead and settled back down beside him, pulling the blanket around them both. They could afford to rest here for a while longer. The fact that they'd not been chased down made her believe that either the Inquisitor was unable to get into the caves, or that the drake had stopped him.
 
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Cal

The Failure
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He pulled her gently closer to him, wrapping his arm around her tight and holding her close so that she would feel the heat of his body.

A kiss gently pressed against the nape of her neck.

As they laid back down and the blanket was pulled over them, something in the back of his mind bothered him. What had closed those doors? Orlaith had already been out cold, barely conscious, and he'd not touched anything.

So what had it been?

Cal did not know, but whatever it was...it had kept the Inquisitor at bay. That was enough for him, enough for him to relax. If only just a little.

Another soft kiss pressed against the back of her neck, and he tugged her closer. They were safe for now. That was what mattered.
 
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Órlaith

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Her smile caused her jaw to ache as he kissed at the back of her neck, and she couldn't help but let out a soft groan in approval as she pulled his arm around her a little tighter. She sighed deeply, letting herself relax in the knowledge that they had made it this far and in the belief that they could make it through the mountain. The words he'd said to her before he'd told her to run creeping back into her mind as he tugged her closer to him.

They were safe. She lay awake, watching the small flames and pondering all manner of things as she let him sleep, savouring the warmth and the soft breath against the back of her neck.
 
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Cal

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It was a few hours before Cal woke up again.

He felt, he felt worn out, his muscles ached, and the small marks on his skin seemed to sting as he stirred against his. His arm tightened around Orlaith, and a yawn passed by his lips. "One thing about being underground."

Cal said quietly.

"Hard to tell what time of day it is." He joked quietly as he nuzzled into the back of her neck and took a deep breath.

This time he felt more at east. Those doors that had closed behind them had been utterly massive, huge. It would take days to get through them, even for a city as powerful as Rhagos. For the first time on their journey they had time.

Something that felt sweeter than he could describe.
 
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Órlaith

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She was idly drawing tiny circles on the top of his hand when he finally woke, his voice like deep rolling thunder by her ear.

"Hm.." she smiled. "I suppose we just walk until we feel tired, and eat when we feel hungry. Our bodies know." she shrugged. Her life had been ridiculously regimented, as she assumed his had been also. Her body was well attuned to waking early and being fed disgusting bland foods at the same times every day.

She had been thinking about the doors as she'd lain awake too, the clouded memory of the ancient markings on the walls, the flash of light before she'd fallen into darkness. She shuffled in his arms and turned to face him, pressing a soft kiss to his lips before settling down against his arm. "How did you get those doors to close?..." she asked curiously..
 
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Cal

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He nodded his head in agreement. If there was no real way to tell the time of day, then they would just have to make it up. Simple really, and probably just as effective as long as they found a good place to set up their little camp.

Briefly he wished that they still had the mantic.

The beast had been good to them, carrying more than her fair share of weight and providing a certain level of security. He sighed inwardly, wondering what had happened to the beast before Orlaith asked her question.

His lips pursed, fingers drawing over her skin as she drew back just a bit. "I didn't."

Cal's shoulders weighed in a shrug.

"They just closed." He had no idea by what power, if it was magic or something else. Yet the timing had been almost perfect, almost as if they had been waiting specifically for Cal and Orlaith.

"Maybe it was because the statues got destroyed." Cal suggested. "A defense or something."

These were dwarf tunnels after all. They were famed for their engineering.
 

Órlaith

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"Hm.." she nodded thoughtfully, the mere study of his face triggering a warm smile and she bit down on her lower lip. Excitement sparkled in her hazel eyes, a realisation that they might really make it, that they might pass through the mountain and emerge on the other side of the spine to a far wider world together. The thought caused her chest to swell with a breath.

He'd said he loved her, and she was painfully aware that she hadn't addressed it yet, hadn't reminded him or asked about it, hadn't reciprocated it. He'd said it because he thought he might never see her again, but now that they were both alive, it occurred to her that it might have been impulse, a desperation for her to run, and she'd rather hold onto it for now than face that possibility. The echo of the words were a soft caress in her mind, they crawled along her bones and warmed her blood like a fine wine. But they were words that would have pained her had he not made it, had he not been laying here next to her. She didn't want to think about it.

Órlaith let out a soft groan, her muscles bitingly stiff as she pushed herself to sit up, a dull throb still niggling at the back of her head. She looked along the long tunnels in either direction, a brow quirking as she asked with a quiet chuckle. "How far did you carry me?.."
 
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Cal

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Cal lay there for a moment longer, his own muscles protesting no less than hers.

A long sigh escaped him as he thought about the night...day? Before. He tried to puzzle out just how far they had actually gone. Most of the trip had been in the dark, and judging distance had not been easy without any landmarks. "A few miles?"

He said in guess as he slowly pushed himself up alongside her.

"We needed to get away from the door, just in case, and I went until I couldn't go any more." Exhaustion had eventually dragged him down. "I have...no idea where we are."

Aside from underground.

The map that they had wasn't exactly specific, the underground path being the least charted of the three options that they'd had.

Slowly he reached over to his pack, rooting around for a moment before he pulled out the piece of parchment that they had been given. "Somewhere under Mount Celren, if I had to guess."

He said as he pointed to the marked dotted road.

"It's going to be mostly guess work." Cal said, lips turning to a frown.
 
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Órlaith

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She ran a hand over her face and through her dark hair, letting it fall from the knot she'd worn it in. "I'm sorry I passed out on you. I tried to stay awake.." she frowned guiltily.

A shrug rolled over her shoulders as she looked over the map.. "Well, right now there's only one way to go..So it has to be the right way." she smiled and stretched. "We should get moving."
 
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Cal

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Cal leaned in and planted a small kiss on her cheek. "Don't worry about it."

He would have carried her for a thousand miles if she'd needed it. More if he had to.

For a few seconds he lingered on the ground, stretching out and shifting his muscles until he nodded his head to her words. Lingering wouldn't be good, even with nothing chasing them directly. They still had no idea what closed those doors.

"Grab something to eat first." He told her quietly as he pulled himself up from the floor and began to pack their things.

It didn't take long before their things were stashed away, most everything bundled up nearly into place as they once again set themselves on the path ahead.

There was no telling what they would find in the dark.