Private Tales Falling Snow..

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Willa

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Sadly, Rhist had a decent aim. The rock connected with her brow and her eyes closed, breaking the spell. She screamed furiously into the empty wood, her toes digging into the frozen ground as she made a futile attempt to get up only to fall flat again.

Willa growled out and rolled onto her back, tears blinding her eyes from the searing pain in her thigh and she felt a trickle of crimson race down the alabaster contours of her face and pool in her ear. She lifted the uninjured leg and slammed her foot into the ground as she yelled out an infuriated "FUCK YOU!!!"
 
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Rhist

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The cold lingered in the air, but the wind stopped.

Rhist scrambled to his feet immediately. He stepped up and rushed forward. This time he did not draw a knife, but instead pounced on Willa like a rabid dog after it's first meal in months. He moved to grab her, his hands wrestling at her hips.

His knee came up and pressed down onto the hilt of the blade in her thigh.

There was no hint of mercy from the bandit, no taking it easy. Rhist grabbed after Willa, seeking to pin her and stop the struggle before she even had a chance to strike him again.

Once he did, then she would learn.
 

Willa

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Another frantic scream tore its way from her chest as Rhist was on her, and she wriggled and kicked out in determination until she felt the blade push further into her thigh and the sound she made dwarfed all others that came before it.

“Stop!”. The woman cried out in desperation and her body went rigid, unable to do anything as he pinned her into the ground. Her teeth ground together and she grimaced at the pain in her leg, breaths hissed in and out of her teeth.

“Get off of me!!!” She demanded with another wriggle under his grip before relenting with a frustrated growl and a hopeless sob as she rested her head down..

“You’re a fucking monster.” She whimpered, her words barely a whisper under the strain of pain and the weight of him.
 
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Rhist

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His knee pressed on the hilt of the knife again, though not too hard this time. His hand reached down to grab the blade, fingers wrapping around the inlaid wood with a scowl on his face.

The way that he looked down at her was absent of emotion. She may as well have been a sheep escaping the farm. There was no worth to her, not beyond what she represented in the job. Human life, whatever that meant, was nothing to him.

"I am." He told her as his fingers grasped the hilt of the knife and suddenly yanked it free.

Rhist knew that he had not hit her artery, but she would bleed nonetheless. His palm quickly pressed against the wound, staunching the bleeding but also sending another spike of pain up her thigh as he pressed himself against her body. "Try."

He began.

"Try just one more time." There was an ice to his voice. "And you'll find out what kind of monster I really am."
 
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Willa

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Willa tried to keep the sounds of her pain locked behind her teeth as she breathed short sharp breaths into the inky darkness. There was a waning determination in her gaze as she stared up at him, though it was slowly being absorbed by exhaustion and hopelessness and tears filled her eyes once more.

Her body seized as he gripped hold of the blade protruding from her thigh and her fingers balled into fists at her back as she awaited the shock of it being removed. Nothing could have prepared her enough and another cry that would be heard by nobody but them was thrown out of her chest, a few whimpered sobs attached. She felt warm blood flow freely from the wound until his hand pressed against it and her eyes closed tightly with another growl in pain.

Her eyes opened on him as he spoke, and there was no hiding the fear she felt as she truly believed him. She had to try again. He was leading her to her death and she wasn't about to die without a fight, but the pain and dread of more to come was enough to make her stop squirming for now.

"Please..." she whispered despite knowing it was hopeless.. "Please.." she repeated anyway, her voice raw and broken from screaming. "Don't do this.. If you help me instead, you can have it, everything they took from me it's yours.." she bargained with a quiet whimper
 
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Rhist

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"You have nothing of worth to me." The words were stated plainly, simply, the truth.

Money, land, titles.

It all meant nothing to someone like him. There were more things in this world than that she spoke of, than rewards of the material. All of it was nothing compared to what he truly desired, what he needed in order to survive.

A stirring in his chest pressed at him, lips thinning as her eyes folded upon and peered up at him. He scowled down at her. Beady yellow eyes seemed to take on an odd glow within the darkness of the night, and then suddenly she would feel another one of those pulses run through her.

This time when the spell took her it would not place her in a nightmare, but instead a dream. A dream of what she could have had, what Elbion what might have been.

Only for it to be torn away again and again.
 
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Willa

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"What then?! If you're not doing this for money why are you doing it!?" she was screaming at him now and she quieted as she felt that familiar, sickening pulse she'd felt before and her head shook at him as she closed her eyes tightly..

"No no no please.." she pleaded. She could feel her hands free, and so she knew she was dreaming. They trembled and she hugged her arms around herself, tears falling as she opened her eyes hesitantly to find herself at the city gates, looking up at the city.

The feeling of relief washed over her despite knowing that it wasn't real, but the side of her mind that was dreaming allowed her to believe it was, to feel that happiness that she'd made it, she could disappear into the city, start a new life.

She smiled and took a single step further only to be grabbed from behind, a hand slammed over her mouth as she was lifted off of her feet by the grinning bandit who laughed as she kicked and screamed into his palm. Then, darkness fell as she was struck over the head, and she 'woke up' in the same spot only to relive it all over again, and again..
 
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Rhist

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When Willa woke up she would find the wound on her leg bound and cared for with a delicate and precise touch. She would also find that her trousers had been mangled, with one leg almost completely bare while the other remained intact.

It was clear that he had used her won clothes in order to bind her wound.

The sun was up, though just at the cusp of dawn, and the frost that she had set into the clearing was already beginning to melt from the days coming heat. Rhist was staring Willa in the eyes as she woke, and the gag had been replaced in her mouth.

When she came to she would find his hand on her jaw, thumb pressing into her chin, eyes inspecting the wound on her head. "For the record."

He said as he held her.

"You've yet to experience the nightmares I can give you." His eyes would hold hers, the threat he'd spoken last night still lingering in the air.
 
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Willa

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Willa's eyes shot open as she felt his hand gripping her jaw, quickly realising she'd been gagged again and her breaths pitched to frantic, short and sharp as she exhaled through her nose. She stared back at those emotionless eyes of his and tried to recoil, her growing fear of him causing her body to tremble.

She let out a quiet whimper as the pain in her leg rushed back to her mind now that she was awake, and she glanced down as she felt the cold air nipping at her bare leg and she frowned as she realised he'd tended to her wound. Willa gave him a brief nod to say that she understood, that she believed him, that she'd behave, and she tore her gaze away from him with a huff.
 
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Rhist

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He frowned a moment, the mask having been pulled back over half of his face.

"Today we will be entering Kislyth." Rhist knew that she would have to know the plan, at least a bit of it, otherwise she could do something to throw it off, even if not on purpose. "You are a legal bounty I am seeking to collect."

His fingers tightened on her chin slightly. "Alliria is our destination."

Rhist reached up with his other hand, pulling down his mask and looking at her. She would see a flash of his teeth, an odd sort of expression that some might have called a grin.

"If you play along I'll remove the gag, fight it, and you'll find out what sort of monster I truly am." She let that threat hang over her once more.
 
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Willa

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She was sure that grin would be forever burned into her mind if she lived through this. Not that she expected to, but there was always a hope that he'd slip up. She frowned at his words, but her eyes betrayed her cowering and she nodded quickly in promise and dragged her eyes away from him again.

She hoped she'd find a few strong and capable people in Kislyth. Rhist seemed more the type to slink around in the dark cutting people's throats whilst they slept, and she wondered how he'd fare in combat with a skilled fighter. If they happened upon one, perhaps that might be her chance.
 
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Rhist

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Rhist nodded, pulling the mask back up over the half of his face.

He had posed as a Bounty Hunter before, even had a few contacts in the guild that would help him if need be. The Guild was as corrupt as every other entity in Arethil, a piece of knowledge that he knew just as well as so many others did.

"Good." The answer finally came as he reached back and undid the gag from around her face.

"Follow my lead." He told her. "And you might even get to sleep in a bed."

It was odd the way his words turned. One moment he threatened nightmares, and then the next, offered kindness.
 
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Willa

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Willa's brow knit at his promise, if it even was a promise. She longed for a bed, having slept on the hard ground for weeks of travelling without ever once resting somewhere comfortable for the night. And now he was offering just that to her if she done as she was told. The most horrible man she'd ever met in her life, offering her comfort if she allowed him to drag her to her death without a fight.

Confusion took over her mind, and for now all she could do was nod silently. She wanted a bed. She wanted to sleep comfortably for just one night, her body at least, she doubted her mind would ever rest well again.

"I will.." she forced the agreement past her lips finally.

The prospect of walking such a distance had already been a harrowing one, but now with the pain in her thigh it was even more daunting. If there was a silver lining it would be that the pain would make her slower, and keep her alive that bit longer.
 

Rhist

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Rhist nodded his head. "Good."

He did not trust her to keep her word of course, that would have been utterly and completely foolish. The Bandit knew full well that she would try to escape again, but he hoped that she was not foolish enough to try to do so in the city.

That would be...inconvenient.

"Come then." He told her as he reached out and grabbed her with a soft touch. Rhist pulled her to her feet. "If you require support, tell me."

Rhist did not want the wound slowing them down too much. "The city is only a few miles from here."
 
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Willa

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The last thing she wanted to do was ask him for help, but as he pulled her to her feet and let her stand, her leg buckled under her weight and she stumbled against him with a growl in pain, lifting her foot from the ground..

"I can't walk on it.." she admitted hopelessly through gritted teeth. "Should've kept the horses.." she observed bitterly.
 
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Rhist

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A small part of him regretted burying the knife so deep, but only a small part. His finger twitched slightly, and he grasped her waist after a few seconds of thought.

Kislyth was not far now, and in truth he could have carried her, yet this would due for now. He would support her weight and once they got closer to the city she could walk through the gates. That would at least get less of a look from the Guards at the gate.

"Horses are for the rich." Rhist simply commented as though that should have been the end of the whole discussion.

Rhist had grown up in the Shallows Alliria. His life had been a parade of misery, death, and destitution.

At least until he'd made his bargain.

His hand grasped her hip, and she would feel the weight drop from her leg so that she could move a bit more freely. It wasn't perfect, but enough that she would be able to actually make it to the city gates without falling onto her face a dozen times.
 
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Willa

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The touch of his hand on her hip made her feel physically sick and her skin crawled with repulsion that was not easily hidden from her face. Her balance was made worse by the fact that she couldn't hold onto him, not that she desired to.

"Then I could have rode, and you could have walked.." she commented dryly in response. She could already feel her feet hurt again after the walk yesterday, and she closed her eyes for a moment as she thought of how desperately she wanted to sleep in a comfortable bed. Perhaps, for one day, she could do as he asked if it meant she could recover some of her energy and ease some of her aches for one night.

Willa's teeth clenched as she suppressed the need to whine and groan at the pain. She didn't want to give him any more satisfaction from her suffering than he was already taking. And so she remained quiet as they trudged along the dimpled path toward the city.
 
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Rhist

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Her words actually brought a chuckle forth from his throat, through it was a broken rasp of a thing.

That was the only sound Rhist made all morning. As the sun crested over the horizon and cast onto the road they walked Kislyth came into clear view from the first time. The city itself was neither massive nor sprawling, but almost a self contained height. It was as though the architects had made the deliberate decision to build up rather than out.

High walls surrounded dozens of times and keeps, each one was designed in the same way. Odd curves of stone and strange colored windows decorated everything, and even those buildings close to the wall were no shorter than two stories. Kislyth was an old city, founded centuries ago by a tuna way Maestar of Elbion. The city had a rather dark history of necromancy, and it was rumored that such practices were common among the ruling elite.

It was the kind of place Rhist could fit in well. "It is time for you to walk alone, at least until we're passed the Guard."

Rhist finally spoke as they approached the gate. A long line of merchant trains and travelers stretched out back from the entrance of the city, each group being inspected and asked for their purpose within the walls.
 

Willa

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Willa leaned more and more weight on him as they neared the city, clearly struggling but refusing to complain. She studied the city as they grew closer, but for some reason she didn’t find to have a particularly pleasant aura as it seemed to loom over her ominously.

She chewed on her lip as they stopped and she tried to apply weight to her leg. “Alright..” Her jaw clenched at the strain and she frowned as she continued on with a prominent limp.

Her gaze was downcast as she joined the end of the queue, but she could feel the eyes of one of the guards on her as he approached them. She tensed and clenched her fingers Into fists, waiting for Rhist to speak.
 
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Rhist

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The guards looked over the two of them, catching the wounds on Willa's face almost immediately and looking to the bindings. The question came.almost immediately, and Rhist nodded his head.

"Aye. She's a bounty
"
His voice had a different tone once again. There was no joy to it, but a harder edge that held more of a threat to it. He reached up and pulled down his mask, offering the two men a friendly smile. "Killed a man in Alliria. The watch wants her hanged."

For a few seconds the guard just raised his eyebrow, as if somewhat shocked.

"You got any proof of that?"​

The question was one Rhist had been expecting, though he only shrugged in answer.

"Nothing substantial, but you really think I'd take an innocent beaten woman through the gates?" For a few moment the Guard frowned, glancing at Willa and then at Rhist before shaking his head.

"I don't give a shit. Just make sure you don't get into any trouble, or that she causes any."​

Rhist just smiled and nodded his head, gently grasping Willa's shoulder and nudging her forward.
 

Willa

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Willa refrained from looking at the guard at all, each time she felt him look over her face she turned away or looked at her feet, afraid that her expression might betray her. Her brow furrowed as the story developed that she was being brought in for murder.

She kept her lips locked tight shut as the two spoke, and limped forward as Rhist nudged at her. She looked up then, her eyes scanning the long line of merchants and travellers, of guards in black armour. There were so many people, she could try to run and hope someone would help her. But would they believe her?

She chewed on her lip for a brief moment as she considered causing said trouble and being arrested instead - anything had to be better than him. She glanced at him, deciding to bide her time, too afraid of messing up another attempt at freedom.

"What now?.." she asked quietly as they approached the city gates.
 
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Rhist

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It was after mid day now. Their progress had been slowed by Willa's injury, and even with his help she had not.managed a quick pace, something that was even more evident as she struggled to walk much faster now.

Lips thinned, and his touch on her shoulder tightened for just a moment. "Now we get you that bed."

She had been good after all, and what was he if not a man of his word. With a gentle touch he nudged her towards the east side of the square behind the gate. They would step between tall buildings and towers, weaving their way between the throng of people as they made their way.

The people of the town seemed like any other, save for the fact that nearly a fourth of them seemed to be dressed in drab black robes, marked with a strange eye like symbol.

Whenever one came too close Rhist seemed to steer Willa away, his fingers tightening on her.

Eventually the buildings and towers around them began to grow less and less majestic. Stone turned to wood, and the cobbles beneath them became a muddy walkway with planks haphazardly thrown atop it to make for easier walking.

It was clear they'd entered a slum.
 
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Willa

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She had been close, so close to reaching out for help when he spoke to her and she bit down on her lip with a short nod. She'd been building herself up to it, but the people marked with symbols frightened her somehow and as he led her away from them she glanced over her shoulder with curiosity..

"Who are they?.." she asked quietly, her limps becoming worse and worse until she was literally dragging her leg without the strength to lift it.

Willa noted how deep into the city they were travelling, she tried to remember buildings, streets, anything that might show her the way back should she find the chance to run. But for now, she was focused on that bed. A bed she was growing less and less sure of as they journeyed further into the slum of the city..

"Where are you taking me?." she looked up at him with apprehension as it seemed he knew where he was going, and it didn't seem it would be any place nice.
 
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Rhist

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He frowned. "Lyth'Nem."

There was a strange sort of twist to the tongue when he said the word, his lips quirking to a scowl as he glanced at her. She was hobbling, barely keeping up with his steps. Without word of warning the hand on her shoulder slipped down her body and around her waist, fingers wrapping around her hip to pull her weight onto him.

"Priests." He bit the word. "Or so they call themselves. They belong to the Black Tower, controlled.my thr Arch-Mage who rules Kislyth."

The slums of this city were no better than those found in others. Muddy streets, disheveled buildings, and people who looked like they'd cut your throat as soon as take your purse. It was dangerous, drab, and yet no one seemed to give Rhist or Willa even a second glance.

Eventually the river came into view, and Rhist offered her an answer to her second question. "There."

He pointed towards a three story building of wood, bare windows with pinpricks of light and a sign that read "The Drowned Widow" hanging above it's door.
 
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Willa

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Again she tensed as she felt his arm around her waist and her jaw clenched as she forced herself to accept it without complaint. She was almost there, she'd made it this far. "Lythnnemm." she attempted to repeat the word to give her mind something else to focus on. Her brow furrowed as she considered this 'black tower' with a brief shudder at how ominous it sounded.. She decided she wasn't greatly enamoured by Kislyth thus far.

She looked toward the building he gestured toward, her gaze narrowing slightly at it's name.. "Charming.." she mumbled to herself, but regardless, it had to be a better place to rest than the forest floor, and she hobbled forward..
 
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