Private Tales The Old Ways

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Velkyn

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Velkyn scoffed in disbelief. He knew there would be more defiance. Knew that eventually she would push back again, but she was still too valuable yet.

In another moment he might have simply slit her throat, ended her life in that very instance. It would have been easy, simple, but his task here was not. He needed Xylthe, and though he would never say it out loud; her service was invaluable.

As long as he kept her scared.

"Good." The Drow Lord said, his hand reaching up.

That strange black chain unwound from around his palm, the mind trap slipping from his grasp as it hung from his fingers. "Wake him."

He told her simply.

The device did not require magic, not to pull someone free from it. One simply needed the gem, and a touch to the forehead to draw the soul free. It was a release that allowed even the ungifted to bring back those who suffered. Something that had been built into the device itself.
 
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Xylthe

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Little bird... how do you like your cage?

Ice cold sweat broke out down her spine and across her forehead. She hadn't heard that voice for centuries. She had buried it. Set it a flame and then stomped all over it. And all it had taken was this room to undo all of that. Her eyes slowly moved to the necklace.

"Then I can leave?" she whispered, hoping against the voice at the back of her mind that told her hoping was useless.
 
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Velkyn

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Velkyn tilted his head, looking at the Avendrow.

There was something hidden beneath a veil. Something slight that he couldn't quite see. He could sense the fear in her, the anxiety that traveled along her spine and lingered within the very center of her being.

Yet it was not because of what he had done. "You will be a step closer."

He told her.

"Wake him." Velkyn coaxed. "And perhaps I'll let you free from this room."

His eyes met hers. "If you obey."

In this room those words seemed to press harder. Push onto her consciousness.
 
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Xylthe

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Her eyes rolled like a frightened animals from him to the necklace and back again.

The chains burned her wrists as she cowered back in the corner away from the light that spilled through the door. His footsteps drawing closer, the blade glinting in the light that came in behind it.

"What are we going to learn about today, Little Bird?"


Xylthe all but snatched the necklace from his grip and turned to the human, stumbling over herself and her dress hem to get to him. Then she dropped to his side and followed the instructions all Drow knew. There was not a single hesitation as she touched her fingers to his forehead.

"Wake."
 
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Velkyn

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The Human's eyes snapped open.

His entire body seemed to quiver, violently shake. There was a look in his eyes, something that hadn't been before. A mixture of terror and hesitation. Everything else had fallen away, his reality broken and shattered, his awakening to this world utterly different than when he had left it.

"Good girl." The Drow Lord praised. "Bring me back the amulet."

It was far too valuable to leave in the hand of a slave. "Druk, pick the human up."

From the shadows melted forth one of the Reavers. He seemed to appear from nowhere, drawing himself free of the shadows. His hands clasped at the freeman's shoulders, clutching him and pulling him to his feet even as he shivered.

"I-I-I'm. S-s-sor-sorry....p-p-p-please d-d-don't h-h-hur-hurt me anymore."​

The human begged, his voice a quivering song.

Slowly Velkyn turned his head, watching Xylthe as her friend rose.
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe all but leapt back from George when he woke. She was terrified of the room yes, but she was still horrified about the mind trap. It made her skin crawl simply holding the amulet and she relinquished it back to Velkyn as soon as he asked for it. But as George was dragged to his feet and begged, Xylthe didn't so much as cast a look in her friends direction. Her eyes in fact were closed as her back pressed up against the wall and she appeared to be repeating something to herself under her breath.

Like a mantra.

She gasped as she sat up and dragged in lungful's of air. It only served to make her choke on the water she had already swallowed but she couldn't seem to stop herself so she coughed as she breathed in. Her hands weakly floundered for the sides of the coffin and she tried to pull herself up and out but a hand gripped her hair.

"Interesting... so you can be drowned. Just... slower it seems. But... how slow?"

"Ple-!"
 
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Velkyn

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A loud snap rang out.

Velkyn's fingers flicked together, breaking the trance which had fallen over Xylthe. The Drow Lord had seen her fall into that abyss, had watched as the Avendrow ventured back to a time that was now long passed. He couldn't help but be curious.

"You are here." There was no question in his tone, just a demand.

"Your past." He began, his eyes staring down at her. "We will explore later."

There was a wickedness to his gaze as he said those words, his intent more than clear. Lips thinned as he looked to her for a brief moment more, the odd red glow of those strange lies casting over him as he motioned her to step forward.

"I need to know I can trust you, little Xyl." He said softly. "Can I trust you?"

The question seemed to hang in the air.
 
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Xylthe

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The snap of his fingers coincided with the memory of a sharp slap which sent her jolting further away from him like a skittish animal. The ghosts that clouded her eyes faded a little however and she blinked rapidly as her gaze focused on him. Xylthe swallowed. She did not wish to speak about the past, not that past, but the records that contained details of what happened to her were included with her files. Unless, of course, the old master had burnt them. What had happened to her...

When he motioned for her to step forward with the red lines glowing over his skin she cringed back. Sweat slicked her skin and fear permeated the air.

"Please... I j-just n-need to l-leave. I-I won't interf-fere again."
 
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Velkyn

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Doubt sowed over his features. "No."

Velkyn denied her.

The words seemed to ring in the air, sounding out as strongly as a slap in the face. He stared at her, his focus almost seeming to drive into her very soul as he watched. Every little twitch, every little move was imprinted upon his mind.

A Reaver stood over her back, watching, waiting. "Go to your friend."

Velkyn said, leaning in to whisper in her ear.

"Tell him his place." He told her. "Where he belongs."

The Drow Lord had plans for the both of them, but he wanted the Human ground beneath his heel. The mind trap had done the work at chipping the foundation, but now he wanted Xylthe to topple the monument. He wanted her words to shatter any remaining illusion.

It would be so much sweeter.
 
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Xylthe

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Rage simmered somewhere deep, deep down beneath the high waves of fear rocking her like a flimsy ship. He could see her mental state, see that right now she was far beyond the normal. Yet still he demanded something of her she would struggle to do even in the right mindset. When he leaned in to whisper she took a step back and hit the Reavers broad chest. His hands didn't come up to touch her but his mere presence was enough of a warning.

Swallowing, she glanced over to George who was watching the whole interaction with obvious fear.

On unsteady feet she stumbled over to him. Two cornered rabbits staring at one another.

"Y-you belong to Master V-velkyn now."
 
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Velkyn

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"No no." Velkyn said with a shake of his head.

In the old days, there had been rules even among the slaves. Everything had been stringent, put in it's place. There had been ways of teaching, and making sure that things were taught.

Velkyn believed in the old ways. Through the very core of him. "He belongs to you, Xylthe."

Slowly the Drow stepped up behind her.

"His failures are your failures." He whispered. "His successes are your successes."

The words lingered in the air. "You will see that he does, everything that needs to be done."

His will, her hand.
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe wasn't sure whose eyes went wider. George's, or the Avendrow's. They stared at one another for a heated, panicked second and then she spun to face the towering man behind her.

"N-No," she shook her head, her face crumpling with the agony of what he was asking of her. "Please... I-I'm not..." her eyes flickered back to George. Bile rose in her throat. "I'm n-n-not a leader. I can't c-c-command."

Not with that... that abomination.
 
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Velkyn

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"Oh you can." The Old Ways must stand. There was no question of that. That was how it had to be, how it would be in this city. Those of proper station would not deal with the others with those so beneath them they were not even worth the dirt on their feet.

Velkyn meant to correct this place to the way it had been in ages past. "You must."

His voice seemed to echo through the room, bellowing, resounding as though he whispered in both ear and mind. The red tendrils seemed to flicker, resonating and pulsing as the Drow Lord towered behind the Avendrow.

His words seemed to command, to press her to do as he said.

"My will." He said calmly. "Your hand."

Velkyn peered down at her. "Break him."
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe stared at him with round eyes that showed more white than they did honeyed amber. What he was implying would mean she would be coming back in here to break him. Perhaps even regularly. Her breathing begun to grow heavy and fast again at the thought. Her eyes flickered like a wild animals from his, to George, to the door that was a little ajar. The thinnest gleam of flickering firelight could be seen just beyond. It felt miles away.

"I d-don't want to," she whispered and looked back to him, pleading. "I c-can't. I c-can't break anyo-one like you would want," she couldn't even do it to a dog. Tears begun to run down her cheeks as it occurred saying no meant staying in this room.
 
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Velkyn

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A knife seemed to appear from nowhere in Velkyn's palm.

It flickered into being seemingly from nothing, his fingers wrapping around it as he took another step towards her. They were just a step away from one another now, a breath. The Drow peered down at his slave, his eyes unyielding.

"You can." He told her.

A hand reached out, grasping her wrist and pulling her hand forward. The knife in his hand fell in her palm, his fingers pressing hers into the hilt.

There was such confidence, such bravado in the way that he did it. It was as though there was no doubt in his mind, not a single hint of hesitation. He peered down at her, his eyes seeming to bore a hole within her skull as he spoke. "Do it."

He told her.
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe tried so hard not to take the knife. She kept her palm flat, her fingers refused to curl around the hilt, and she jerked back every time he tried to force her until he had to grab her arm and forcibly curl her fingers round it with such strength it hurt her. Tears fell quick and heavy down her cheeks causing her to choke and sob. George was crying too with the knowledge of what was coming and how pointless it was to fight it.

Stumbling towards him she couldn't meet his eyes.

With a trembling hand she raised it and made the smallest of cuts in his flesh.

"P-please don't make me do this, just... just listen to me," she whispered to her friend.
 
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Velkyn

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The mind trap had done its work well.

As Xylthe pressed the knife to the human's skin an entire shudder seemed to rack the man's body. His eyes went wide, and instead of a loud scream the boy whimpered. Lips quivered slightly as he looked down at the Avendrow, the horror in his eyes unmistakeable.

"P-p-please."

He whispered, desperate. Pleading.

"I-I j-just want to go home."

Velkyn smiled at the words. The boy was sitting on the edge of a cliff, his entire body was shaking, his mind was ready to lurch. The Drow had seen it dozens of times in his life, had watched men ready to break. All he needed was a little push.

The Drow's voice seemed to echo behind Xylthe. "Continue."

He commanded.

Velkyn wanted Xylthe to push him, to press him over that edge. It would be her first step, the first of many yet to come.
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe had no choice but to listen to her master or face the consequences. She was reluctant every single cut, every single thing he made her repeat or say. By the end of the hour it was hard to tell who was in a worse state, she or George. The human was a blubbering mess willing to do anything and Xylthe had emptied her stomach three times.

The knife finally clattered to the floor.

"Please..." she whispered hoarsely, unable to look at the bloodied man curled up on the floor. Her hands were slick with his blood. "Can I go now...?" She swayed.
 
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Velkyn

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Velkyn stood, watched it all.

His careful eye maneuvered behind Xylthe, catching every trace of her knife, every flicker of the blade. A wide smile spread over his lips as she carved at the human, took his flesh piece by piece and marked it for the animal that he was.

"No." He denied her.

The word lay heavy within the air. "Undo his chains."

Velkyn commanded.

"And see that he cleans this mess." George was a blubbering pile of misery at this point, with barely enough energy to walk much less clean. Yet the Drow Did not care. He wanted to see if Xylthe had succeeded, if she had broken him and set herself upon the proper path.

If he was gone, if the human had truly learned his place. He would comply even unto his death.
 
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Xylthe

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No.

Her whole body shook with the word as though he had dealt her a physical blow. She almost stumbled under it and she wrapped her arms around herself, smearing her dress with George's blood, as though she were trying to hold herself together through the physical act. Her mind skittered back to the past as it had done often over the past hour. She was struggling to remember what had been and what was now.

Numbly she turned and undid his chains.

"P-please clean this up,"
her voice shook and George began to jerkily pull himself to his feet to obey despite the fact every movement tore open barely healed cuts. He bent, cowering away from her as he begun to rub at the flagstones with what little clean straw was left until his fingers began to bleed from the vigorous movement.
 
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Velkyn

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Velkyn smiled, no, that was not enough for the expression on his face. He smirked. "Good."

The Drow praised as George slowly stumbled away and began to clear away the blood which had stained the floor. He watched the human for a few moments in silence, as though expecting some sort of resistance, and when none showed he turned back towards Xylthe.

There was a sickening pleasure in his eyes. "Wonderful."

He praised again, and then waved a hand.

"You may go to your rooms." Velkyn said as he turned away from Xylthe and back towards the louse of a human. "And don't worry, I'll make sure he doesn't die."

There were plans that yet required him.
 
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Xylthe

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I hope he does.

Xylthe didn't say the words out loud but she meant them. Oh, did she mean them. It would spare them both so much pain that was going to come over the next few weeks, months, Lord help her - years. She didn't hesitate when he told her to go though and instead she almost tripped over herself to get out of the door at long last. The memory of when her old master had pretended to let her go only to slam the door in her face rushed through her mind until she all but ran from the door and down the corridor.

She didn't stop until she was in her room.

Someone had cleaned it and removed the blood and the bodies. The other beds had been taken away entirely and hers stood alone in the corner of the large room. She didn't care though. She dragged over a dresser to bar the door despite having seen them materialise out of the shadows themselves before throwing herself onto her bed and breaking down in great, wracking sobs.
 
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Velkyn

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Velkyn half turned to watch Xylthe go, then slowly turned back. He peered at one of the shadows in the corner of the room, a wide smile flickering over his features. From the corner melted one of the Reavers, that odd armor forming into shape once more.

"Another step forward, my old friend." The Drow Lord said, more than clearly pleased with what had happened. "Let's continue."

Slowly Velkyn headed towards the door. "Oh, see to his wounds, and make sure he is kept in the pens with the others."

There was use still for the boy, even if Xylthe wouldn't want it. She would learn the truth of her place soon enough though, Velkyn was more than confident in that. A wide smile flickered over his features, and quickly he made his way to his own chambers.

The next morning came quickly, and as Xylthe woke she would find the dresser she had pushed in front of the door back in it's proper place, everything in the room set exactly it had been the night before.

A knock sounded at her door.

Meek. Meager.
 
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Xylthe

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Xylthe's head shot up at the knock. She'd fallen asleep still soiled in blood, face down in the pillows with tears staining the scratchy linen. She stared at the door though, uncaring of her own state. Nobody would knock on her door in this house. Even under the last Master she was still one of the lowest in the household. Only another male servant would have knocked and only then for decency sake.

Which meant...

Her stomach rolled.

"I am unwell, please leave George," she called and lay back down. Memories of his broken body floated back to her on cursed wings and she shuddered, curling tightly up into a ball.
 
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Velkyn

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A pause hung in the air.

It seemed to span for the beat of a heart, then two, then three. It almost seemed to linger in the air, as though something was being considered. Thought about.

Then another knock rang out.

It was still meek. Meager.

Yet this time there was an insistence to hit, a haste. A panic almost seemed to cling to it as it pressed against the door a second time in quick succession.
 
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