Private Tales Hidden Beneath

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer
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Aila

Ania

Aila stood quietly outside the Manor of Boris Theran, a minor Noble of the House of Theran. Besides her was a Dreadlord, someone she had no memory of meeting but had haunted her mind before.

She did not know this of course, and the half-elf chalked up the sense of unease she felt about the woman as merely being nervous about being around a Dreadlord. There were many stories of their more...formal cousins. The human mages who were trained out in the open to Serve Vel Anir, the ones that were not hidden in the dark.

In truth she had no idea what to make of them. This was the first time she had ever been told to work with one.

The idea made her somewhere nervous, nervous enough that she had not reached out to steal the woman's magic. What if she got caught? Worse, what if the woman told on her?

It was best not to upset the Dreadlord. Best to simply do what she had been told to do. Aila was good at that, and this mission didn't seem as though it would be particularly complicated. Sneak into the estate, slaughter the guards, and grab Boris Theran so the Dreadlord could peek into his mind and take whatever it was the House of Virak wanted to know.

"That wall." Aila said pointing towards the far side of the estate. "There is a balcony, it will be the easiest way to get inside."

She'd studied the plans well enough to know that.
 
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Ania

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Ania never questioned orders. Doubt was reserved for traitors.

Her unflinching loyalty, combined with her unique gifts, were the primary reasons why she had been entrusted with knowing of the existence of the Forsaken to begin with. Sometimes these children born of debauchery and sin needed an extra push to complete their training. Ania was uniquely situated to provide that gentle push.

Of course, she couldn't keep track of every single Forsaken she had aided. There were simply too many of them and the sessions varied in length from a few hours to a few days. What she knew to be true though was that this was the first time the dreadlord had been tasked with working with one of these half-Anirians.

It couldn't really be helped. Dreadlords were excellent tools if the task called for overt violence or warefare. But to move in the shadows, to use restraint, these were not common skills among dreadlords. The Forsaken however spent most of their lives living like insects. The shadows and keeping quiet were part of their nature. So while the pale warrior figured she could've stormed the minor house of Boris Theran and slaughtered most of the witnesses she understood why her superior preferred if this mission kept a lower profile.

"You've got a rope?" she questioned the half-elf before adding, "or do you intend for us to scale the wall?"

Elves surely climbed trees, maybe the half-elf thought to climb the brickface of the manor. Ania would've been capable of doing such a thing but she guessed that woman cursed with elvish blood would likely scale the building quicker than she.
 
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Aila

"Magic." Aila answered in ignorance of the woman's abilities.

When Aila worked with the other Forsaken it was often she who would infiltrate first. The magic she had stolen over the years allowed her a multitude of avenues into buildings and castles. More often than not she wouldn't even worry about how anyone would follow.

Would she have to with the Dreadlord?

Queitly the half-elf chewed her lower lip, glancing towards Ania for a moment before looking back towards the Manor. "I can let down a rope for you..."

She had not brought any, but perhaps she would be able to find some in a nearby tool-shed. Almost instinctively the young half-elf tensed her body, preparing for Ania to lash out physically in retribution for the lack of planning.
 

Ania

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Magic? Could the half-breed levitate? That would be an interesting development. The notion of a rope caused the creature to hesitate though. Ania could see the lack of confidence in her answer.

"Here," the Anirian stated while retrieving a coiled rope from her sack. "It won't extend to the ground from the balcony but I can likely scale the first part and then climb the rope."

Azure eyes examined the girl with the tainted blood. Her body had suddenly tensed. Ania recalled some of her training sessions with these Forsaken. They were weak, undedicated, and beatings were commonplace. The freckled woman had no need to physically assault any of the ones who benefited from training sessions with her though. She didn't really understand why the Handlers did either.

When you're dealing with a fine tool or piece of equipment it makes little sense to purposefully damage it. There was no difference with the Forsaken, they were just another kind of property. Though, Ania did not fully trust any of them. Despite the stories she had been told of their runes.

Her lips parted as she ordered the woman, "look into my eyes first, then go secure the balcony. If the coast is clear lower the rope for me." She didn't know the commands to activate their runes but she assumed the woman would listen. It may not be necessary to link with the mixed-breed but extra insurance couldn't hurt.
 
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Aila

Aila was somewhat surprised when she did not find the back of a hand striking her across the face.

After a few moments she took the rope that Ania had offered, and nodded her head at the command. She did not feel the burn of the Rune upon her flesh, but the command itself was more than clear. Surely this woman could do as she pleased.

Her words made no sense otherwise.

"I will do so." Aila said with a nod of her head as she tied the rope to her belt and quickly turned around. Fingers floated over one of the marks on her wrist.

As she stepped forward Aila seemed to disappear into the night, her skin flushing for a moment before turning translucent. The bit of magic had been stolen from Nat, and within just a few strides she found her way to the side of the manor.

Once she reached it Aila quickly began to climb. Another mark on her flesh burned, and a bit of magic stolen from an Aldari mage kicked in. Her hands stuck to the stone, and within a few moments she landed upon the balcony with an agile flip.

As soon as she touched down the rope was quickly secured and tossed over the edge.
 
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The half-elf complied and Ania felt a bond form. Just in case her 'partner' went rogue it made her feel at ease to keep some insurance. She didn't trust halfies.

Aila's little trick was a rather neat one. Within seconds she had vanished, reappeared, stuck herself to a wall, and then lowered the rope from the upper balcony. Ania would've expected nothing less from a tool that Vel Anir had spent more than a decade sharpening. The soldier from Weiroon spent no more time thinking on it though.

Instead she proceeded quietly, yet quickly, to the side of the manor. Climbing up a few of the protruding bricks until she was able to grab hold of the rope that Aila had dropped for her. She was slower than the Forsaken girl but then again she didn't have the luxury of sticky hands. Nor could she float.

After a delay a light colored human's hand grasped the edge of the balcony as Ania hoisted herself over the railing. She pulled the rope back up so that passerby's, if there were any at this hour, wouldn't notice. Though she left it tied taut to the railing in case the duo needed to make a swift escape.

Giving the half-elf a once over she muttered, "good." Prior to accepting this task it was recommended that they exercise discretion. Therefore, while Ania would normally be the one to lead her and simply stab at anything that moved she assumed that wasn't the intention. They were to get to Boris Theran.

"Get me to Lord Theran, I'll kill whatever impedes our progress" she reassured the Forsaken. A trail of bodies wasn't all that discrete but, well, they might as well have some fun while they were out here.
 
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Aila

Aila nodded, slowly drawing one of the daggers that she normally kept strapped to her wrist.

In the narrow hallways of the Manor she did not want to use her sword, a lesson that she had learned early on when dealing with these missions of infiltration. Slowly the half-elf stepped forward, slipping the blade between the doors.

There was a quiet click, and then she pulled at the doorway. Beyond was what appeared to be a bedroom, to their left a bed containing a sleeping woman, and beyond her another doorway. A frown touched Aila's lips, and she glanced back at Ania before creeping forward.

She didn't see a need to bother the sleeping woman, and thus quickly slipped through the bedroom and towards the door.

It fell open without a single creek, and Aila stepped into the torch lit hallway.

The sound of bootsteps could be heard echoing form her left, but she waited for the Dreadlord to catch up before moving on.
 
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Ania

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Ania nodded as the half-elf she was forced to work with drew knives and proceeded indoors. Knives. That seemed fitting for an elf. Matched the ears.

Slowly, attempting to muffle her footsteps just as Aila did, the Dreadlord followed her Forsaken guide into the first bedroom. A woman, Ania guessed the noble's daughter, slept soundlessly. Just as the half-elf ignored the sleeping girl so did the pale Dreadlord. The head of House Theran was their target and no matter how fun it'd be there was no need to kill anyone not impeding their progress.

Even though she had heard of the abilities of the Forsaken in action this was the first time Ania got to behold for herself. Thus far she was impressed. The woman was doing an admirable job, for a half-elf.

At the sound of feet cascading off the walls Ania froze for a second before tapping on her 'partner's' shoulder. She gestured to the right side away from the steps. If they were spotted they'd need to be quick and Ania figured they could dart around the corner to the right. If the patrol was doing a full loop they could likely end him or her before they made a sound.

At least, that's what Ania was hoping for.
 
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Aila

There was snow question or hesitation to the way that Aila moved.

As soon as the Dreadlord gave her silent command Aila dashed across the hall and to the right of the steps. Footsteps continued to echo, quickly joined by the sounds of a singular voice just above them.

"Should I tell her? No no. It's never work. I'm just a schlub, poor son of a farmer. She's a noble lady..."

Aila's face might as well have been made of stone, her expression never changing as the steps and voice grew closer. She pressed herself against the angled wall, clutching the hilt of her dagger tightly.

She knew what she had to do, but she did not want to.

"No, Gerald, love conquers all. You can tell her. Blast the ways of Vel Anir and blast customs. She's looked at you the same way you look at he-"

The guard stepped passed the corner, moving into the hallway with Aila and Ania. At first he simply continued to step forward, speaking to himself as he tried desperately to work up the courage to confess to his lady love. Then he suddenly stopped, his head turning.

Don't you fool" Aila thought to herself as the guard turned and stepped towards the door the two intruders had entered through.

As soon as he did Aila could see that out of his periphery he had spotted them, and like a viper she dashed forward. Before he could make a sound The Half-elf plunged her knife into the side of his throat.
 
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Ania

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It was lovely. These half-breeds killed so quickly. The wall was painted red with the slashed throat of the guard talking to himself. Must've been daydreaming and carrying on a conversation about the sleeping beauty in the room they had entered through.

Ania's face was glowing with pride at the part-elf companion she had to endure for this task. She patted the creature on the head, as if it were an obedient dog, before pointing further down the way. Time was of the essence and they'd likely want to retrieve the baron quickly and then find a nice quiet area outside of his manor.

Her torture could be... loud, to say the least.

She waited, for but a second, so that the assassin could ensure the man was dead before swiftly working her way down the hall. No longer waiting for the elf-girl to guide her. Blood had already been spilled and Ania was very good at spilling more blood if the situation required. Up ahead more footsteps could be heard and peering around the corner one could see a rather ornate door. It had to be the resting place of Boris Theran. The resting spot of their prey.

The servant of Weiroon glanced back in the halfling's direction to ensure she was still keeping up.
 
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Aila

Aila didn't linger, she never did.

This work was gruesome, bloody, and she absolutely despised it. The hatred she felt for having to kill that man could not have been described had she tried. There was no telling what he had left behind, if the woman loved him or not.

That pained her more than she could say.

Yet such a thing would never once be expressed, not to anyone and most certainly not to the Dreadlord. Instead the Forsaken pulled her mind away from such thoughts and dragged them towards the mission. She fell into step behind Ania, following her in a steady jog.

Her fingers gripped the hilt of her sword on her back, and she slowly drew the blade as she prepared for more slaughter.

There wasn't any other way.
 
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Ania

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Ania charged swiftly at the two guards blocking the decorated door. She had, briefly, debated using her magic but it had a tendency to cause people to scream and this operation would be much simpler if they kept somewhat quiet.

Though not too quiet, as her sword was drawn and thrust forwards towards the guard on her left.

"What the fu-," was all the guard said before the thin end of her slender blade stabbed into the guard's throat. Lacerating it and spraying a crude mist of blood forward. The droplets honeycombed Ania's black hair in a splatter pattern that eventually dripped down towards her face.

She retrieved her blade quickly and flourished it towards the second guard who managed to block it. Or at least, he blocked the first strike as a second flick of her wrist sent the saber in the opposite direction and applied a deep gash to the man's arm. His scream of agony was quickly interrupted by yet another slash, this time across his throat as well to silence him.

Hopefully that scream hadn't awoken the entire manor.

Not wanting to give the nobleman anytime to react the dreadlord kicked open his bedroom door. Boris had already darted out of bed and was clutching his wife closely while backed into the corner.

"What do you want?!" he cried out to Ania and her Forsaken partner.
 
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Aila

Aila glanced over towards the Dreadlord. "Do we kill the wife?"

As far as she knew their order did not at all mention the woman, but she somewhat doubted that Ania would want to keep her alive. Leaving witnesses was a fools errand, always was.

That lesson had been taught to her more times than she could count.

It didn't make the idea any less sickening of course. Aila did not want to kill the woman, but she would if it was part of what she had to do. Already she could feel the light prickle of the Rune on the center of her back. It was not active, but the reminder of the pain it could cause was enough.

Aila slowly stepped forward, her sword scraping against the floor.
 

Ania

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Briefly, the pale woman ignored Aila's comment. Instead she moved towards the couple rapidly, sword still drawn.

"Boris Theran. I am Dreadlord Ania and by order of the House of Weiroon via the divine authority bestowed upon them by Vel Anir, I am placing you into custody. Hand your wife over to my acquaintance here. Now."

With terror in his eyes he kissed the woman atop her forehead and allowed Aila to hold the wife by her upper arm. Ania went to work binding the wrists of the baron and putting a gag into his mouth. The nobleman was smart enough to know that if he were to scream the dreadlord before him would likely kill him before the second syllable had left his lips.

Once the baron was bound, gag, and being ushered out of the room the dreadlord turned back to her accomplice.

"We must be quick, they'll be looking for us. Be sure to slit the wife's throat. Can't have a witness," she grinned and waited at the doorway for the half-elf to comply.
 
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Aila

"N-no. Please. No. We have children. They're so young, we ca-"

Aila's face went blank as she pressed the woman up against the wall and quickly slit her throat. Blood splattered across her face as her victim clawed at her throat and slowly fell down onto the ground, her hand releasing as she simply stared.

Beady eyes focused on the woman as she died, and her lips thinned. I'm sorry

The elf mouthed quietly before turning on her heel and following after Ania. Such murder was not foreign her, in fact it was so familiar she could barely feel the pang of regret within her stomach. She did not want to do this.

Not anymore.

Without a word she fell into step behind Ania, speckles of blood still dotting her face and clothes.
 
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Ania

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Ania nodded as the half-elf performed her duty. Both women now speckled in blood the dreadlord proceeded onward down the hallway with the Theran lord in tow.

He was obviously upset, his wife had just been butchered. But he dared not to impede their progress. Sheer terror guided his steps as the two abductors continued back towards the room they had arrived from. Once they had cleared the halls and made it into the room Ania took a deep breath in.

They were nearly there, just needed to proceed out onto the balcony and then down the rope that that had led them up. Once they found a nice and quiet alleyway they could proceed with the interrogation of Boris Theran, get the information they needed, and then return to the manor of House Weiroon.

She assumed that Sullivan or possibly even Sebestian would awaken and want to hear first hand what had happened. That was how vital this mission's intel was. The Forsaken wench wouldn't be able to understand how important such a task was. She simply wanted to avoid another beating. But if she only knew how glorious it was to succeed, how wonderful it felt to...

"Hello?"

The voice of a field mouse rang out. The sleeping woman, she was no more than sixteen by the look and sound, had awoken from the footsteps in her bedroom. It was almost certain that she recognized her father walking through the room with two strange women. Towards her open balcony.

Ania froze and contemplated what the pair should do next.
 
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Aila

Aila froze.

For a brief moment her entire mind went blank. Every thought disappeared, every little inclination simply went away. For only a second there was a blissful nothing.

Then her programming kicked in.

It had always been instilled in them, had always been put into their minds since the very first day. The mission came first. It didn't matter what else was there. Personal feelings, other Forsaken, even the Nobles of Vel Anir. The Mission came first.

Without a single thought Aila drew one of the knives from her sleeve, the blade falling into her hand and then suddenly flicking forward. The motion was so smooth and practiced it may as well have been a breath.

The knife landed with a sickening thunk in the girls eye.

Ania
 
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Ania

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If she were permitted to Ania would have a little pet like Aila accompany her on every task going forward. The Forsaken, if the rest were like Aila, had proven themselves to not only be loyal but extraordinarily efficient. Surely still miles away from the abilities of a proper Dreadlord but very impressive nonetheless.

"Good job," she muttered under her breath as she lead the baron of House Theran out onto the balcony. She pulled the rope up and tied it tightly around the man's waist before kicking him over the railing and holding tight. He was heavy, but, Ania managed to at least lower him slowly until he was a mere eight feet or so off the ground.

Right, the rope didn't reach all the way down. She descended the rope and prepared to slice it after Aila either floated down using her crazy magic or climbed down after her.

Once they had secured Boris onto the wet grass the dreadlord faced her ally and stated, "need to find somewhere private." She eyed the barn on the estate's property but worried it would be too close to home.

If the information took longer than she anticipated they could be discovered. Would likely be best to find an abandoned building and use the alleyways to discretely make their way there.
 
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Aila

Aila hated herself. She felt a rage that she couldn't quite describe, anger that was all directed in only one direction; inward.

She had not been ordered to kill the girl, she'd not been told, but she's done it anyway. There could have been a thousand different ways to keep her quiet. Magic, threat, a dozen other means that would have made it all okay. Instead shed been murdered with as little thought as the squishing of a bug.

The Half-elf landed on the ground with a muted thud. A rune on her shoulder flared and then disappeared.

Her head shifted slightly, cocking as though she were trying to suppress a thought. "An abandoned manor. The Relek estate is nearby."

House Relek had recently been extinguished on a scandal connected to the Cortosi Coast. Aila did not know much about it, but she had been sent to kill a Captain connected to them somehow.
 

Ania

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"The former Relek estate will do nicely," the freckled woman announced.

The Releks were a trade ally of House Weiroon and when Weiroon had been caught smuggling narcotics and exotic women in an attempt to blackmail other nobles they successfully pinned the entire scandal on House Relek. Ania had been used to get a confession out of Miranda Relek, the lady who was the head of the minor house. The ruling council had unanimously voted to extinguish the rebellious family and Weiroon volunteered to divvy up the trade contracts the Relek's had along the Cortosi Coast.

Carlisle had explained to Ania that it was always Relek behind the smuggling operations and that they had tried to frame House Weiroon. Obviously Ania knew that he was being truthful. House Weiroon never did anything improper, it was a well-known fact among all Anirians.

Crumbling and in disarray, the former Relek home was a dreary place. Window panes were missing or had been vandalized by Anirians disgusted by the public scandal. One of the doors to the entry way was missing a hinge and dangled precariously from the frame. Overall it was a good choice for an interrogation. There would likely only be one or two homeless inside, if that, and they were dispensable if necessary.

Bright marble floors greeted the trio as they entered and gave a hint at the luxury the disgraced family once lived in. Ania threw Boris against the floor and his body collided with a loud thud.

"Remove his gag," she ordered to Aila before shifted her attention back to the noble, "and Boris? If you make a sound I will have my colleague slit your throat. If you speak when not spoken to I'll have her sever a finger. Nod if we're clear."

The Lord of House Theran nodded so vigorously that Ania wondered if his head would remain attached.
 
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Aila

Aila slipped the gag free from the noble, her expression as blank as that of a marble statue.

She knew her place in all of this, knew that she wasn't here to speak.

Often she had wondered why the Forsaken were even used in Anirian Territory. It had never really made much sense to her that they would move against minor Houses and the like. Yet this whole thing was painting a more clear picture.

If someone reported all this, as they most likely would. They would not report two assassins. They would report two elves.

Ania wasn't an elf of course, but the guards had managed to get a good look at Aila's ears. That would be enough to place the entire blame on 'knife-ears' as the people tended to call her. The realization made her stomach sink slightly.

She was just a pawn.

As always would be.
 
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Boris Theran was overweight. Not alarmingly so, surely not as bad as Sullivan Weiroon. But definitely some extra pudge on his arms and thighs, a rounded gut protruding outwards. It was even more obvious in his nightware as the moonlight shone through a large hole in the Relek's ceiling and danced along the white marble.

"Boris," she stated with elation. Typically it would be unheard of for a commoner, even a Dreadlord, to refer to the Lord of even a minor house by their first name. "I've heard a rumor that you're aiding elves."

She had wondered this entire time if Aila knew the truth of why they were doing what they were doing. The Theran House was aligned with Weiroon. It had been for generations and the Weiroons had made the Therans incredibly wealthy. Well, compared to the average Anirian they had been made wealthy. But something changed with tubby Boris.

His wife had been from some other minor noble house that was pledged to Pirian. And, apparently, Boris Theran had allowed his whore of a wife to convince him of the perceived injustices of Vel Anir. Foolish idyllic views of how the world worked were dangerous. They had led to his wife's death. And it was likely they'd now be leading to his. But not before a confession.

"We did, helped a few borrow money. No crime against that," he finally replied in a feeble voice.

"Ah," Ania cooed, "but did you know that several of them ended up aiding the Elven Resistance?"

They resistance was a fringe group which waged a terrorist war against Vel Anir. Magical bombings, cries for fair treatment, and any other number of underhanded tricks. That was the true crime that House Theran had committed. Contributing indirectly to the enemies of Vel Anir through the guise of charity.

This information caused Boris' eyes to bulge from his skull.
 
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Aila

Aila's features tightened slightly.

She had not known the truth of this mission, but that wasn't rare. Forsaken were not often told the why of they did anything at all. Their existence was to do, not to question. It wasn't that fact that made her tense though.

It was talk of the resistance.

Aila knew precious little of her own people. She had no idea who her parents were or even whether it was her mother or father who had cursed her with her ears. She had never had the opportunity to find out, and in truth she'd never really tried.

It was a rabbit hole she feared.

Yet talk of her people always made her nervous. It was almost like there was some sort of conspiracy in the air. Had they chosen her for this mission experiment? Was this some sort of trap? Was Ania supposed to interrogate her after Boris.

Her gaze flickered to the noble for a brief moment.

Paranoia and fear began to creep into her chest as she looked back towards Ania.
 
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Ania

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"I swear I didn't support no resistance," Boris pleaded through tears and sobs.

Ania didn't doubt it. He likely had no idea what much of his contributions went towards. But that was the folly of being generous to those who did not deserve it. Your charity might be full of good will but no one can know the intentions of those your charity benefits. The road to hell is paved with good intentions or something, Dreadlords didn't learn philosophy but she was pretty certain a drunkard had told her that once.

She placed a foot on the man's chest and glared down at him, "liar."

Panic across his face, the nobleman looked towards Aila and cried out, "you! You're an elf! Why are you doing this? My family has tried to make Vel Anir a better place for you people."

A grin broke across Ania's face. She knew that Aila was a proud and loyal servant of Vel Anir. She knew what this Theran man didn't. Forsaken were dedicated and believe in all of the ideals of Vel Anir just as Ania did.

"This is a loyal servant of Vel Anir. She will not listen to your lies, Boris."
 
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Aila

Her stomach twisted. How was she supposed to be taking all of this? Was Ania here to torture Boris or her? Lips thinned, and briefly she glanced up at the Dreadlord as if in some vain hope to read her intentions.

”I…” Aila slammed her lips shut.

No. Speaking got you punished. Questions got you punished. There was no reason to ask anything, no reason to say anything. The man before her was a liar, he was a traitor against Vel Anir.

That was all that mattered.

”What…” She had to clear her throat it was so painfully dry. ”What do we do with him?”

Aila asked. ”He has confessed.”

The words were so tentative Aila might as well have been balancing on the edge of a knife. She did not want another beating, she did not want to punished. Not after she had already broken herself.