Private Tales Of Sand & Dragonfire

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Seteta

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Seteta made note of which ways they walked. Which ways they turned. Where they were in relation to Chaceledon's quarters. Glorified cell, really.

“I can agree. Oor is quite easy to provoke when he can’t openly beat you in front of my master. I would watch yourself, lest you escape with less skin than you started out with.”

"Warning noted," Seteta murmured. It seemed, at least for now, that Kennedi was not going to be hastening any loss of skin though, and while she didn't let down her guard, she did let herself breathe a little easier.

“Was it the pet house near Vel Anir? I’d hoped the Anirans would start to view pets a little more favorably if they had a house nearby. Or perhaps the one north of Falwood? Bandits are always a concern but if they’re familiar with pets they usually go for hostage compensation versus outright murder.” He steered her toward an open side door, across a little sitting patio.

"I know little of the Aniran's culture except for their xenophobia," Seteta answered in a roundabout way. "Even if they were to become accepting of pets, Persian should probably not send any who are non-human."

The door led into yet another granite hallway, black as midnight, and dimly lit by small magelights along the walls and floor. “Wraiths prefer darkness.” Kennedi explained with a mirthless, tight-lipped smile.

"Many things do," Seteta murmured, reaching out to trail her fingers along the wall as they passed. She didn't use any magic. She wasn't sure what safeguards Oor might have set up, but she couldn't help but smile a little at the feel of the cool granite under her fingertips. She didn't have to be able to use magic to feel its presence, and this was high quality granite. It fairly hummed with magic. The kind only an earth mage like herself would be able to sense.

And Chaceledon thought she wouldn't be able to find him again if Oor recaptured him.

Oor had made a vital miscalculation in bringing her here. Now that she knew what the place felt like, especially since Chaceledon had told her there was an entrance in Falwood, she would be able to find it again, no matter how deeply it was buried. Quite easily.

So long as she was able to leave it.

Seteta watched the magelights curiously. "Do they give off light steadily?" she asked. If so, then maybe she could use them to judge the recent fluctuations in magic. There had to be some way she could work that to her advantage.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Kennedi smiled at her. Alright, so she wasn’t so easily tricked. She had wanted something for her information, but at least she’d implied about the region. “Vel Anir then. A pity. We’ve been working on the locals there for a very long time. Nothing seems to get through. We’ve captured a few pets there, and it takes them a while to get over that programming. Persian prefers gentle, consistent methods.” He noted. “...How bad was it? I knew a few pets from that house. A little spoilt and complained about the weather but they weren’t a bad sort.” His voice was soft. He never liked to hear about what happened to his kind. Pets were built up as expensive and luxurious, but when someone either didn’t know or didn’t care what they were...bad things happened.

He watched her carefully, her touching the walls and her smile. “I’m not too sure about the lights; Oor maintains them. You’re gifted with the earth, aren’t you? It’s the granite that’s put a smile on your face.” Kennedi probed. Mages with connections to the earth adored the underground. He smiled a bit. “Come with me. Stay quiet.” He put a finger to his lips and hurried along the hallway. Kennedi took a left, then a sharp right, and finally into a small room.

It was full of unrefined gemstones. Bins of quartz ranging from thumb-sized to huge crystalline points the size of a toddler. A bag of amethysts. Turquoise and jade. Rarer stones like Diamond and emerald were kept in cases and on pillows made of silk, just like Chaceledon’s shop. “The dragon you’ve stolen mined out just about every vein in this underground. This is the shipment we’ve come to pick up from Oor.” Kennedi put a hand on a large quartz point. “Quartz for eyeglasses and focusing sunlight. Amethyst for protection. The dragon’s purified these...and it’s hard to find someone who can do it with such elegance.”

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta heard the sadness in Kennedi's voice, and looked at him with sympathy.

"It had... been some time after whatever happened that we came upon the place," she said. "There were no corpses. I saw no signs of a mass grave or pyre. But the house had fallen into disrepair. There were... signs of struggle. Injuries, at the least."

He watched her carefully, her touching the walls and her smile. “I’m not too sure about the lights; Oor maintains them. You’re gifted with the earth, aren’t you? It’s the granite that’s put a smile on your face.” Kennedi probed. Mages with connections to the earth adored the underground. He smiled a bit. “Come with me. Stay quiet.”

Seteta jerked her hand away from the wall, but couldn't quite wipe the smile from her face. She said nothing to Kennedi's inquiry, though, but quirked her head curiously and she followed him down the hall, continuing to note the corners and turns they took.

She didn't dare touch anything, but the room left her breathless.

It wasn't the sight of the valuable gemstones. Some of them were lovely, indeed, but gems and jewels were often too gaudy for her taste and for her lifestyle. In Amol-Kalit, traveling with something like this, or with a flashy necklace, was asking to get robbed. Maybe even killed.

But the sheer amount of magic humming through the room... raw magic, just waiting to be tapped and used. It nearly made her tremble.

But beneath it all, her heart twinged.

"Chaceledon did all of these, you said?" Seteta's voice was low and undercut with sadness. Her left hand came up to touch the silver bracelet on her arm.

She didn't know how long she'd... slept. He must know by now, that she was not there waiting for him in the tent.

Sehejib.

She ducked out of the room, head dipping forward to let her hair fall around her face and hide her sudden tears as she leaned against the wall outside.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Kennedi nodded, but he caught the hitch in her voice. She rushed outside as though she couldn’t bear the sight of them, and he followed her. He knelt in front of her, touching her shoulder. “I didn’t mean to upset you.” He said quietly. “But you can feel it, can’t you? The potential in those stones. Chaceledon’s magic.” He offered her a kerchief. “Don’t let the wraith see you cry.”

Kennedi leaned against the wall next to her. “You could always voluntarily submit yourself as a pet. You’d not be able to save Chaceledon, but I know Persian could use one with your gifts. You could spend a few years under our lapidaries, go to any pet house you wanted. It wouldn’t be a bad life. I could put in a good word for you?” He offered. “I’m not his right hand man for nothing.”

The slave waited for her to regain her composure. Behind them, a feeling like a gust of wind came up suddenly. It blew through the hallways, and when it passed through them, Seteta could hear it as though Chaceledon stood next to her. The scent of blood, and fear.

Get away from me! GET AWAY FROM ME! Please gods...not again....not again...

A sudden rush of panicked screaming, like an animal in a trap. It came and faded into whimpers and sobs, fleeing down the hallway and bleeding out into nothing. Kennedi shuddered. “Memories. Wraiths are specialists in memory magic.” He muttered, running a hand over his face.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta took Kennedi's kerchief gratefully, wiping away her tears and all evidence of them. "It wasn't anything you did that upset me," she whispered. "I miss him."

She took a deep breath, refocusing her thoughts. Ignoring her heartache. For now.

"The magic in the stones isn't Chaceledon's," she said. "It's inherent to them. But he certainly does have a gift for pulling out their greatest potential. But if that's what he can do when he's... cold. Not even at half of his full strength, imagine what he could do then. And Oor... he will never let it happen."

Seteta handed the kerchief back to Kennedi, smiling sadly at his offer, and shaking her head. "I could never be a pet, regardless of anything else about this situation."

I will leave here a free woman or a corpse, she resolved, but anything else she was preparing to say rapidly vanished as Oor's magic swept through the hall, leaving her pale and shaken.

Kennedi shuddered. “Memories. Wraiths are specialists in memory magic.” He muttered, running a hand over his face.

Seteta buried her face in her hands for a moment, her heart and stomach twisting in agony.

"It will be difficult," she breathed when she lifted her head again. "But... I think I will learn some things here that I need to know. Things that it would be better for Chaceledon not to have to tell me himself."

She stood then, and looked at Kennedi. "Will you show me what more you can of this place, before there's no time left?"

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“A dragon in his prime is a beautiful sight to see.” Kennedi agreed. “I’ve seen them fly across the desert at times, streaks of sundown and emerald. His dahn is one of the last in Amol-Kalit, most of the old houses dead and gone with time and infighting. Were it that he hadn’t squandered his youth with all that frippery he might not have found you.”

The pet smiled at her and folded his kerchief into his pocket. “It’s a pity you won’t wear a collar. We’ve always need of gifted mages in Pedeo.” He gestured to the hallway, and seemed happy to move away from the gemstone storage. That little memory had been a warning not to linger. Thankfully the cramped little hallway opened up into a sweeping entrance.

A pair of stairs led upward, centered by a fireplace guarded by two more pit bull statues. Their ears flicked, but they were otherwise unbothered by their presence. There was a proper parlor, in deep reds. Oor seemed to favor displays of wealth centered around his power...and the walls of the parlor were practically a shrine to it. Along the walls there was no art, but masks. Rows and rows of them. They were all built to cover the nose and mouth, in various styles that suited the men who wore them. Small brass plaques indicated who they belonged to. Ferenzi’s was an elegantly made silver affair of curling Ivy leaves dripping with small ruby beads of blood. Klaus’ mask was blackened pig iron that emphasized his wild blue eyes, and seemed to be constructed just as much to protect the owner as it was anyone who was close to him. Aluid’s was soft leather, harmless as the creature who’d worn it.

“The Volker muzzles. He’s as proud of them as a dogman who keeps collars.” Kennedi mentioned. He went to the side board and poured a few fingers of a deep caramel liquor. “Come now, you look as though you need a whisky after hearing that.” He offered it to her. He eyed a small box of red velvet, and gently picked up a silver mask. Elegantly wrought, with no gemstone but tiny flourishes of ancient tree limbs and herbs. Kennedi set it back down. Rheinhard’s mask.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta smiled softly as Kennedi spoke of seeing dragons in flight over the desert. She'd only seen the one--the Elder Dragon--when it woke from its slumber and rended the desert. And then... the glass-like sand sea, where she'd met the shamaness. She hadn't seen a dragon there, but if the shamaness had spoken truth--that the dragons had melted the sand into glass with their fire--then it was as close as she'd ever been to them. Until Chaceledon.

"One can never say what might or might not have happened based on past choices," Seteta murmured. "He and I may have never met otherwise, but we would have never known. But since he and I are both of Amol-Kalit, there's a chance we might have met regardless."

The pet smiled at her and folded his kerchief into his pocket. “It’s a pity you won’t wear a collar. We’ve always need of gifted mages in Pedeo.”

Seteta eyed Kennedi then, an idea blossoming in her mind. It was risky, dealing with the fae, and she knew that. But she'd take her chances with him over Oor any day, though she didn't know if what she could offer willingly would have any appeal to Persian.

"Will you make Persian an offer on my behalf?" she proposed, her voice soft and quiet. "Tell him that when I escape here, if he will grant me a favor when I come to Pedeo then we can discuss my services as a mage without a collar."

She continued to follow alongside Kennedi, still making note of the layout of the manor. When he led her into the parlor, though, her gut twisted again. It didn't take her long to recognize the names on the plaques, to realize what the masks were, and Kennedi confirmed it just a moment later.

Still off guard from the memory in the hall, she absentmindedly took the glass of whiskey, but she didn't drink it. She didn't want her senses compromised here, but it was soothing to have something to occupy her hands with.

Instinctively, her eyes sought out the names of the Volkers she recognized, especially the ones she'd interacted with so far. But when Kennedi picked up the mask that was not affixed to the wall, she needed no plaque to know whose it was.

In a sickening way, its style fitted Rheinhard.

Seteta took a deep breath, and looked down at the whiskey in her hand, gently swirling it in the glass.

"Slavery is nothing new to me," she eventually said, voice soft. "In the desert, it's simply a part of life. If your master is kind, it can be a protection. A way to ensure survival.

"But this..." she looked around the parlor, sadness evident in her eyes, and her voice trailed off. She really didn't know what to think. How to respond.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Kennedi considered it. Persian would never take a mage without a collar. A mage he couldn’t control was a dangerous one...especially since Pedeo was steel and iron. Elements of the earth. Letting her loose in the streets without a collar was letting loose a time bomb. Then again, once they had it on her...he gave her a measured look. “I’ll propose it, but you’ve got to offer him something permanent. I’d recommend offering him a pairing. Magic is made in the water of the womb, or so they say. Or, something of equal value. There’s no guarantee you’ll escape here...and if Persian offers you a favor, what does he get in return?”

Kennedi put his fingers on Rheinhard’s mask. “Or offer him a pairing he’s always wanted. My master has performed this dance with Oor for centuries. Oor uses him to find women that will compliment the Volker line, but it’s no longer about the coin. It’s about having a piece of the most carefully bred line of killers any slaver has anywhere.” Kennedi looked her in the eyes. “Offer him Rheinhard and he will take you without a second look.”

She seemed so sad looking up at the masks, and Kennedi agreed with her in a way. So many men who had been born to a singular task...as many ill suited to it as those who excelled in it. Very little free will or grace. Only servitude. “I am lucky. My master is kind. Pets are more than just property...they’re living works of art. I manage half the city for him...I even take a salary. But I can’t leave beyond these excursions we take. When I have children they are carefully planned and chosen from women picked for me. Yet I’m not sad or regretful. I’ve lived well.” Kennedi’s voice was thoughtful, and he took a sip of his own whiskey.

“Were that it was so simple as casting off the collar, or mask.” He chuckled into his glass.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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I wish I'd pressed harder for more information about Oor from Rheinhard or Chaceledon, Seteta thought as she listened to Kennedi's counsel. I will not deny that I am frightened I will not leave here alive. I am terrified that Oor will do something to make Chaceledon think I left him willingly, in the end. But is it safer to bargain with Persian? I just don't know...

"What I will give Persian in return for a favor will ultimately depend on the type of favor I need at that time, would it not?" she answered, gently rolling the glass between her hands. "Some of the negotiations will have to wait until then. Unless, of course, he has a way to get me out of here now, and return me to Chaceledon's side, with the threat of Oor nullified permanently."

But she doubted the fae would insult Oor to that degree. And for now, it was not possible to kill the wraith. Not without harming Rheinhard.

"But I cannot offer him Rheinhard," she whispered. "My ultimate goal is to free Chaceledon from this nightmare, and while I hope I can be at his side at the end of it all, I knew going into this that I might give up my life. But Chaceledon has made it clear that Rheinhard goes with him, no matter the cost. And I won't betray that."

There were so many variables, and so many things on the line, and she had too little power and too little knowledge. She didn't mind games of chance... but a gamble on this level was terrifying.

"A pairing..." she began to speak, and hesitated for a moment, unsure if she should reveal what she was about to. She hadn't even brought it up with Chaceledon yet. "...it would not be out of the question for myself, but there are... complications. The women of my tribe... none of us are able to bear children until we've taken a bonded mate. There is also the option that I could... try to soften Rheinhard toward the idea of a pairing. But not at the cost of his freedom."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Kennedi laughed. “I don’t think he would. It would mean war with the Silent Court. Oor is a Mesial Lord there. Not a High Lord, but Iren would certainly take offense. He is...how shall I put this? The dark stepchild of the royal family of the dead.” He said, though the thought of Persian killing Oor amused him. “Besides, to kill him now would mean Rheinhard’s death.”

Kennedi flopped onto one of the plush chairs in the lounge. “I do think you misunderstand. My master doesn’t want Rheinhard. At his age? He would be near-useless as a pit dog. Persian would rather have a child from him. When Rheinhard dies, his son inherits the Well, and my master gets him regardless. Just in a younger body.” He reasoned. “But think about it. You have time.”
The pet downed his drink and got up to put it back on the cart. “You won’t escape tonight. Down the hatch.” He told her encouragingly.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"It would be nice if there was a way for Rheinhard to relinquish the Well without dying," Seteta murmured, watching as Kennedi downed his drink, and rolling her eyes when he encouraged her to drink her own. "If he could finish his days as just his own person."

She glanced longingly down at her whiskey, but instead shook her head and set it back on the cart next to Kennedi's empty glass. "It is unlikely I will escape tonight, but who knows when the chance will come? I would not risk being impaired."

Seteta looked around the parlor once more. Despite the... powerlessness that these masks represented for the Volkers, she also felt a sense of... closeness now, having seen them, and it was not something she wanted to forget. Despite her innate dislike of most humans--when the first humans you are exposed to try to kill you for sport, it rather colors your opinion of them in general--this was a brutal form of slavery that no one deserved. The Volkers--each and every one of them, even Klaus--deserved to have their brutal abuse seen and recognized for what it was.

So she looked, and did her best to ingrain every single mask and name into her memory.

When she finally turned her attention back to Kennedi, she motioned toward the door. "Shall we continue the tour? And will you tell me what is up with those dog statues?"

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“Sadly I think that’s a mystery very few people can solve.” Kennedi agreed. He watched her gaze at the masks for a moment. He thought it ironic that each had been crafted by Chaceledon’s hand, with the exception of the first few Volkers in rough beaten masks of copper and iron. Each was a work of art in its own right, from the swirl of tentacles that paid homage to Brade’s Voltese heritage to Gere’s mask of roses and pale tourmaline. Not all of the Volkers had been as plain and utilitarian as Rheinhard.

He bowed slightly when she finished her thoughtful gaze, and he began leading her toward the music room adjoining the parlour. “The pit dogs are the symbol of the Volker house. Servitude, blind aggression, inspiring fear in others. Even the name Volker was chosen carefully. It’s the name of a tyrant king long ago, known in the Silent Court for cruelty toward the living. Their true last name has been lost.” Kennedi told her. “My master began following their family closely after Oor first requested a pairing. He is quite possibly the only man other than Oor and Chaceledon to witness the Well being handed over. Not a pleasant experience, but he supposedly learned a lot.”

The music room was dominated by a guzheng in the corner on a stand, gathering dust. There was a small piano, a sitar, and a zither. Kennedi ran his finger across the zither’s strings, creating a melodic little tune. “By the look of things in here, I’m guessing Chaceledon hasn’t picked up an instrument in a very long time. Do you play?” He asked.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta nodded as Kennedi spoke of the Volker line and the dogs, though she'd been hoping for more of an explanation about the actual statues. Kennedi didn't seem to be a mage himself, though, so perhaps that was beyond his knowledge. Like the magelights had been.

Then they were entering another room, and its purpose seemed... odd to Seteta. A room solely for music?

She recognized a couple of them, instruments that had been brought through Amol-Kalit with caravan travelers. When Kennedi strummed the zither, she smiled softly.

“By the look of things in here, I’m guessing Chaceledon hasn’t picked up an instrument in a very long time. Do you play?” He asked.

Seteta shook her head. "I don't, but my mother does. It's been quite some time since I last got to hear her play." She eyed the guzheng in the corner fondly, memories of the thrice-a-year eclipse festivals where her tribe would pause and call the sun back to existence with song and dance.

"I sing, though, but most Abtati do," she said. "Chaceledon hasn't mentioned music so far at all."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“Most dragons learn some form of music. I’d ask him about it. He certainly taught Rheinhard to dance. I remember being surprised when the brute took a fae lords daughter on the dance floor at some party.” Kennedi laughed, shaking his head. “We’ve got a few Abtati pets who sing for us. Lovely voices.” He mentioned with a smile, and led her quietly through the music room.

The bathroom seemed uncomfortably geared toward a large group of people, with the tub imbedded into the ground looking as though it could accommodate a half dozen men with ease. The dining room was a highly fussy affair, but Chaceledon’s influence could be clearly felt; the candleholders were natural crystal, as were the napkin rings. Even the plates were polished discs of flat quartz that had been painstakingly reinforced by magic.

Persian cleared his throat and rapped on the doorway to the dining room. “Done playing tour guide?” He asked Kennedi playfully, and looked over Seteta. “Settling in?”

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"He mentioned Rheinhard dancing, but not that he had taught him," Seteta raised a brow. "Though I've sparred with Chaceledon, so I probably shouldn't have been too surprised."

Seteta didn't notice anything odd about the bathroom. Nomad tents didn't accommodate such luxuries, and most of her experiences with bathing were communal, at the oases, and when Abtati bathed, they enjoyed their indulgences... though not quite to the extent that Chaceledon took for every bath.

She couldn't help but smile in the dining room, though it was tinged with sadness. She could see Chaceledon's touch everywhere in there, even though most of the time she'd been with him he was out of his element. But it suited his style and his genteel manners.

Truly, he had endeavored to make this place as much of a home as he could for his captivity. If Oor had actually wooed him, Seteta imagined the dragon would have been quite content here, so long as he was not kept cold.

Persian cleared his throat and rapped on the doorway to the dining room. “Done playing tour guide?” He asked Kennedi playfully, and looked over Seteta. “Settling in?”

Seteta hid a sigh of disappointment when Persian interrupted. She'd hoped to see more of the place without the eyes of either Oor or Persian watching her every move. Oh well.

"Getting my bearings," Seteta shrugged. Settling in would not be likely.

Her stomach twisted. If Persian's business with Oor was done, soon she would be at the wraith's whims, and for all her resolution, she did not relish the thought.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Persian raised an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t get too comfortable. Like all the captives here this is likely the last you’ll see of the main house. Unfortunately Oor has fired his staff...again...so dinner isn’t likely either. Which means, Kennedi, we have a long walk to the portal stone.” He looked profoundly disappointed, but Kennedi had expected it. After all, Oor didn’t need to eat. He was dead.

“You should have planned better.” Kennedi pointed out with a smile, and bowed to Seteta. “I think you’d best get back to the garden.”

“Yes, Oor mentioned wanting you to meet the...other denizens of the house. Mind, not the friendliest of beasts.” Persian warned, and Kennedi met his side. Together, they exited the house. If Seteta watched, the walls of the garden, imposing smooth granite, parted to let them into the underground proper. There was no gate. The house itself had to let them out.

The garden was quiet. Now that she had a chance to look at it properly, it was built for comfort. Mosses padded the walkways, and there were benches and seating areas. A chess table surrounded by elegant stone chairs. There was even a pond with fish in it, swimming lazily about. While there was life here, it was carefully groomed life.

A creature leapt out onto the walkway. It was the size of a chicken, and shared much of the build of one but for the large wedge shaped skull it had. Huge yellow eyes that took up the majority of said head looked at her, cocking its muzzle back and forth to look at her with each eye. It peeped, hopping closer and waggling a short tail, inspecting her.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"I wouldn't say I was comfortable," Seteta smiled at Persian's words, though her eyes were somber.

The portal stone... even if it was a long walk, the fact that it was within walking distance at all was a significant clue. No matter which portal stone it was--though she was willing to bet that it was the Falwood stone--it would only take her a moment to locate it. She may not even need to leave Witherhold to do so.

She acknowledged Kennedi's bow with a nod and a smile, hoping he could pick up on her gratitude.

"I will be cautious," she answered to Persian's warning about the other... residents, and watched as they departed. When the granite wall parted for them, she wondered if it was because of a charmed item that Oor had provided, or a spell on the stone itself. If the latter, it would be simple enough to override it long enough to let her through, even without breaking the spell entirely.

Then she quietly retraced her steps and returned to the garden. It was... lush. She'd not really seen anything like it before. It was dissimilar to Falwood's vivid green life in that it was... manicured. But also exceedingly quiet.

Even as she took in her surroundings again, though, her mind was whirling. She had two advantages: she was an earth mage, and an illusionist, and she had plenty of access to what she needed for the first, and she was certain that she would soon have limitless access to the pain she would need for any toll for an elaborate or intense illusion. She just wasn't sure how she would best be able to utilize either one of those yet.

And she was uncertain how much Oor might know of either of her abilities.

Caught up in those thoughts, she startled mildly when the... bird thing jumped out in front of her. Seteta stilled, watching its movements closely, but didn't cower. She laughed quietly when it peeped, but didn't back away or make a move toward it when it moved closer to her, just waited to see what it would do, ready to leap away if it tried to fly at her face or eyes.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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HThe little creature stepped right up to her and lifted its head, sniffing at her. It twisted its head to the side and up, letting out a trilling call, like some exotic bird. There was silence, and it stayed still to regard her. Then another leapt onto the path. Three more out of the bushes to her left. A few curious trills behind her, and a few coming out to her right. They chattered and peeped, and one took an experimental jump at her. It would nip at an arm or shoulder, with surprisingly sharp little fangs designed to hook in and tear.

After the first leap came the second, from the right. Another from behind. They leapt at her, nipping and biting. If she fought back theyd retreat, only to rush in again and continue the assault. This time, they were going to draw blood.

Little tip about Gnathi. They don’t wait for you to die before they start to eat you. Oor told her, settling onto a nearby bench to watch. This will be the last time you give me lip in front of Persian, girl.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta ducked and dodged, but with nearly ten of the vicious little birds, she was going to take some injuries. What she was uncertain of was whether she should kill them or not, if that might earn more of Oor's ire targeted at her. She knew, ultimately, that he was just taunting her, especially so soon into her... stay.

There was a lull, and she saw Oor out of the corner of her eye, smirked at his words. She heard the gnathi, which was what the little birds were called, apparently, begin to rush back out at her, and neatly caught one up by its neck. She tucked it under her arm, and met Oor's gaze calmly as she tore the gnathi's head off its neck without hesitation.

"Most things that want to eat you start eating you alive, in my experience," she said, throwing the bleeding corpse back down the path, hoping that it would distract the others, but ready to continue defending herself. Most flesh-eating birds she'd encountered had no hesitation when it came to cannibalism.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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299
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What was curious and aggressive biting became cacophonous howls and screeches of rage when she caught one. They immediately focused their attacks around her legs, but backed off when their companion met a swift and brutal end. They backed away, hissing and making loud gutteral growling sounds. When they were sure they were out of range they turned and fled into the garden. Oor stood with a triumphant smirk.

Good. Now they hate you. He said lightly. Gnathi were highly social creatures, and they had long memories. Most of the Volkers had similar reactions, and escaping quietly was almost impossible when you were surrounded by loud, angry, lizard-like little chickens with sharp teeth. Oor nodded back to Chaceledon’s room. Back to your fucking room before I give you something to bitch about. All I have to do is keep you here and let Chaceledon crumble. Maybe I’ll send him dreams of me raping you. Removing your eyes. Cutting off your legs.

Oor waited for her to head toward Chaceledon’s room. You bathe in the pond. Waste you do in the garden; good for the plants. I’m sure you’ll stumble across the old latrines eventually. Other than that you sit here until Chaceledon breaks. Then I let you go. Maybe. If you don’t piss me off too badly.

Seteta
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Beloved
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259
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Seteta kept her face calm, even as she inwardly scolded herself. Of course the birds were fucking alarms. Well, if it was too late to befriend them, then she would simply have to make sure they avoided her at all costs. Or she'd simply kill them one by one, until there was nothing left to sound an alarm.

She listened silently to Oor's instructions, resisting a visible flinch as he mentioned sending dreams to Chaceledon. There is nothing you can do about that, she told herself. It's out of your control whether he does or doesn't.

Silently, she strode over to where she'd thrown the dead gnathi, and picked it up by its feet, waiting to see if Oor would further scold her. If there was no one to make any dinner, she would make her own. There had been a fire in the fireplace, after all. As she began to head back to Chaceledon's room, she didn't respond to Oor's further instructions other than to nod.

But she also felt a surge of hope. If Oor felt that he needed alarms to alert him to her presence, then it was possible he didn't know anything of her abilities, or if he did know something, it wasn't the full extent of them. Perhaps Klaus had not disclosed how she'd stopped him that evening when he'd attacked her.

She would use magic sparingly, and hoard all the pain she could, for just a little while. That way, when she made her escape, Oor would have no idea that he'd given her access to everything she needed to do so.

Witherhold was teeming with magic she could use. Just waiting for her to take it.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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299
Character Biography
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Oor watched her go, nodding in satisfaction. The room would lock the minute she entered it, and Oor went to do some work. He didn’t think she’d bother to go into the adjoining room, and there was precious little she could use in the closet aside from a few dressing robes and slippers. The bed itself was comfortable, and cloud like. Chaceledon had certainly never lacked for physical comfort between Oor’s tortures. The dogs watched her as she prepared her own dinner, but did nothing. Just watched, almost curious.

Oor didn’t sleep himself. Being dead, he needed no such cycle, and watched her from his office window as he wove dreams to give to Chaceledon.

______________________

The dragon woke up screaming, and crawled away from their pine bed to vomit up everything he’d nibbled at for dinner. He heaved until there was nothing left to heave. Gods...Oor had touched her. He was torturing her, right now. And he could do nothing. His retches dissolved into sobs, and he curled up on the ground shaking.

Volker came to wash his mouth and take him back to bed. Neither of them had been keen on the tent after Seteta had been taken.

“He’s...he’s...like he did to me...he’s doing to her what he did to me..” Chaceledon could feel himself babbling incoherently.

“Listen. It may be a memory. It could also be a dream. He’s trying to keep you from sleep-“

“Well it’s FUCKING WORKING!” The dragon cried raggedly, shoving the heels of his hands into his eye sockets.

“We are headed to the closest portal stone, as soon as we can. We can reach the Allir stone and be underground in a day.” Volker pulled the sobbing dragon into his arms to comfort him.

Seteta
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Beloved
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259
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Seteta heard the doors lock behind her as she stepped inside. She resisted the urge to lean back against them and sigh. She was certain Oor was watching her, and she didn't want to give him the satisfaction. After setting the dead gnathi on the floor beside her, Seteta went to find something she could use to skin and gut it.

She was relieved to find a simple glass cup sitting next to a pitcher of water on a small table. She could drink straight out of the pitcher, so she gently struck the glass against the table, breaking it into several large shards. A short while later, she'd butchered the bird, setting aside the skin and offal to bury whenever she went out next, and rigging up a spit from the fireplace utensils.

When she had the bird roasting, she eyed the pit bull statues curiously. "What are you?" she murmured quietly, picking out the heart, gizzard, and liver and dividing them up into two portions. "Can you eat?" Seteta wondered, setting the organs before each dog.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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299
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The dogs watched her intently, moving their big blocky heads to follow her as she shattered the glass. When she divided up the offal for them, the left hand one stepped off his dais entirely, and chomped down on the liver and gizzard. The second followed suit, and the dogs laid down Sphinx like in front of the fire, looking expectantly at Seteta. Magic concentrated in their bellies, as they couldn’t digest the food, but rather heated the stone around the raw meat to incinerate it. A little plume of smoke out of their panting mouths, and it was gone.

____________________________

Chaceledon couldn’t sleep. Volker was in the Well, strategizing, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t sit here with that image in his head of Oor holding her down and forcing her knees apart. No. Enough was enough. He carefully got up and crept toward Volker. Being in the Well was the only time his son wasn’t observant. He gently slid his longest blade out of the roll and grabbed Mau’s saddle.

He thought he remembered how to saddle a horse. He’d watched Volker enough. Gods he hoped this was right. He put a foot in the stirrup and carefully wheeled Mau out of camp. When he was sure he was out of earshot, he kicked her into a gallop...and held on for dear life. He wasn’t much of a horseman.

He was coming. He wasn’t abandoning her.

Seteta
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Beloved
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259
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Seteta sat cross-legged before the fire, continuing to watch the dogs while she kept the bird roasting over the fire. She'd tried to spatchcock it to help it cook faster, but the glass was not sufficient to cut through bone. She had resorted to carefully cutting through the layers of flesh over its breastbone and breaking it apart with her bare hands. It was... a mess, but it would work.

"You probably don't have names, do you?" Seteta murmured to the stone dogs. She'd smelled the smoke that came out of them, realized that while they weren't consuming the food in any traditional sense, they could dispose of it.

Carefully, she divided up the rest of the offal and skin, and began to scoot little pieces of it over to them between rotating the roasting bird. Eventually, she offered a piece directly from her palm, watching carefully to make sure that the dog wouldn't try to take her hand or fingers with the food.

Chaceledon