Fable - Ask The Tides of Fate

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Ruvsá

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Nords. A simple enough lie. They were just as abundant among the tundra as the Nordenfiir were, and if for some reason her preske was discovered, she could likely pass it off as a clan marking, especially if the raiders were not overly familiar with the Nordenfiir.

Ruvsá arched a brow when Kol made the statement about beautiful women, but didn't comment on it. She knew she was beautiful--hence why many had thought her exotic among the Nordenfiir, especially with her darker skin--but she had certainly not expected him to make any sort of statement to that effect.

She shrugged, though, when he said they would escape before she had to worry about being given over to a warmaster.

"It's not like I haven't slept with someone to gain something before," she said, though not in reference to the previous night. That had, mostly, been about pleasure and only that. With Aggar, she'd thought to gain a position of repute, but that had been wasted in the end, though at least she'd gained some favor with the queen. If they did end up deep in the blightlands, sold as slaves, she would do whatever it took to free herself. And maybe Kol. If they even ended up in the same place.

"Do we go to them?" she asked, "Or do we wait for them to come to us?"
 
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Kol

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"We all do what we must." Kol said with a frown, not commenting further on what he might have meant.

His lips thinned for a brief moment though, and he took a breath.

There was a subtlety to this. Too obvious and they might be killed. Too sneaky and their fate might be the very same. They had to be careful. "We go to them."

He said.

"Or at least begin to, then 'back off' when we see what they are." In other words they had to pretend to run without actually getting away. Let the Orcs catch them, and then deliver them to wherever they would please.

It was a dangerous game, but it was also the safest in a way. At least by Kol's estimation. For a few seconds Kol lingered, then he stepped over to Ruvsa.

She would feel his hand suddenly seize her, grasping her and pulling her tight against himself as he pressed his lips to hers. "For luck."

He said by simple way of explanation as his fingers dug into her rear.

Then he moved to pull away. If he was going to risk his life, he might as well enjoy a brief flicker of a newfound joy.
 

Ruvsá

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"A ruse," Ruvsá nodded. "We should loop around, approach them with the wreckage of your ships between us and them. Make them think we didn't know they would be there when we came back. They're at the southern end of the beach, so we should come from the north."

Ruvsá moved to head north, but Kol had fallen strangely silent for a moment and she stilled after that first step away, turning back to watch him curiously. His face was, for the most part, expressionless, as she was learning was usual for him, with just a flicker of... something in his eyes. Then he reached out, pulled her against him firmly. She smirked as he kissed her, as she felt his hand slide down her back, his fingers sinking into her backside. For luck, hah!

"If you want to kiss me, you don't have to have a reason," she teased, reaching up to twist her fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck. "But if that was for luck, then you'll have to do better."

She tugged him back down for another kiss, deep and sating, though not quite as harsh and fierce as the kisses they'd shared the night before. When she pulled away, she placed on last gentle peck against his mouth, then smiled as she licked her lips like a cat that found the cream. She slid her hand out of his hair, over his neck and shoulder and down his arm, gently squeezing his wrist before she turned and began walking north.
 
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Kol

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Kol stood for a few moments, lingering in place and glancing around their little clearing.

He could hear the Dark Gods laugh in his ears.

A breath filled them, and then he slowly fell into step behind Ruvsa. A part of him did not like this plan any more than she did. Surrendering was fine as a tactic, but it was also dangerous. There was no telling what would, or could happen to them.

They were giving control to people who might well just slaughter them the moment that the chance occurred. It did not make him uneasy, but he saw the gamble within it.

He simply had to trust the Dark Gods to keep him safe.

As the sun began to settle in the sky Kol and Ruvsa made their way around the island. They walked in a loop, covering their tracts until as she'd said they came upon the beach from the direction of the wrecks of his fleet. "This direction will do."

Ahead he could hear the shouting of the Orcs, their guttural tones echoing out beyond the rocks.
 

Ruvsá

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The sun was almost warm as it rose through the morning sky. Once they were out of the valley with the hot spring, the sun beat down upon them with an intensity Ruvsá had rarely experienced in the tundra.

They approached the beach cautiously, but Ruvsá tried to keep the stance and demeanor of a trained soldier out of her actions, though it was difficult. The raiders, mostly orcs but some men as well, caught sight of them before they'd barely left the treeline beyond the wreckage of Kol's ships, and after a showy moment of feigned shock and indecision, the two darted back into the treeline.

Ruvsá did not much have to feign her fear of being caught. Knowingly surrendering into slavery was a frightening thing.

It took every ounce of her control not to shift into Svalen, to charge through the brush and hills to disappear beyond their sight.

The chase didn't last long, though.

The treeline was sparse, and while snow was sparse, grass was equally so outside the valley where they'd slept. It was too cold for most vegetation and trees, after all, and soon the raiders had overtaken and surrounded them. Ruvsá's fighting knives were promptly confiscated, and then they were forced back to the beach and brought before one of the orcs that seemed to be in charge.
 
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Kol

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Kol felt the back of his knee kicked by one of the orcs as he was forced down onto the ground, a grimace flickering over his features.

A sharp breath filled his lungs, his head turning up towards the Orc that stood in front of him.

"Who'r these two?"​

The one who spoke was wearing leather armor very much like Jorg's, though his was decorated with a dozen different carvings of skulls. His shoulders also had pauldrons of metal, and on his belt was an axe that was as jagged as his teeth.

If Kol had to guess he was a band-leader, likely the one who was in command of this ship. The Sorcerer tilted his head, studying his face and committing it to memory. "I am K-"

Before he could finish speaking one of the men besides him punched him in the face. The Sorcerer scowled, then spat blood onto the ground.

"We found them wandering the beach, think they're the remains of those shipwreck."​

There was a pause, then the larger orc spoke.

"There any more of you?"​

"No." Kol answered, sloshing some of the blood in his mouth. "She and I are the only ones who survived."
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá stayed quiet, as she would have done if she was actually a member of Kol's crew. If he was the captain, it was his place to speak.

She winced when Kol got punched in the face. After Kol said that they were the only two survivor's, the orc leader turned his attention to her.

She didn't squirm under his gaze, though the look of appraisal in his eyes was... demeaning, somehow. Even though he was clearly assessing her value.

"She was the only one carrying weapons," one of the orcs behind her said, holding out her knives.

"You searched him thoroughly?" the lead orc grunted, jerking his head in Kol's direction.

"He can sail a ship, but he's useless with a knife," Ruvsá said. "He always cuts himself up."

Kol's scars, at least, might lend some credibility to that lie.

The orc leader stepped a little closer then. Ruvsá hadn't been forced to her knees--not yet, anyway--but he was a bit taller than her. Though not quite as tall as Kol.

The leader reached up and grabbed her chin, gently turning her head from side to side, and she fought back the urge to yank away from his touch. "She'll be valuable back in the Blightlands just for her looks," the orc stated. "Menalus might even want her."

Then the orc glanced down at Kol again as he let go of her chin. "You his woman?"

"No," Ruvsá answered. Even if she was, she would've denied it. She'd heard of slavers who slaughtered any men who might have any ties to a beautiful woman.

"Bind their hands and take them to the ship," the orc ordered the ones holding them. "The rest of you, start searching the wreckage and the rest of the island. Make sure there really aren't any other survivors."
 
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Kol

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Kol was yanked up and off his knees as one of the Orcs grabbed him and pulled out a cord of rope. He felt it digging into his wrists, wound tight enough for him to feel it digging into his flesh. A small grimace flickered over his features, but he didn't resist as the orc shoved him forward.

Other Orcs began to flow out onto the beach, a man or two scattered among their ranks.

The Sorcerer watched all carefully. Most were warriors of some sort. They carried swords, axes, spears. Only a few had any actual armor, and those that did had nothing one would brag about. Ruvsa's count had been correct as well, though he'd never been in doubt about that.

As new captives they were lead towards one of the long boats that had brought the invaders onto the island. Now that they were closer Kol could see the ship. It was larger than the one he had taken to get here. Two masts decorated it's deck, and a flag decorated with two strange claw like marks flew from it's stern.

It was not long before Ruvsa and Kol were practically thrown onto the deck of the ship. One of the orcs still behind them as they were urged across the deck.

"This isn't a Blightlands ship." Meaning they had probably stolen it from someone.

"Shuttup."

The orc behind him growled.
 

Ruvsá

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The orcs bound her hands as equally tight as Kol's, though Ruvsá barely flinched. As they were escorted to the rowboats and ferried to the ship, she saw Kol observing their captors as she did the same. She didn't try to speak to him, though. Not yet.

When they were finally hauled up to the ship's deck, Ruvsá felt her stomach lurch. She'd never been on a ship before, nothing bigger than a rowboat really, since most of the lakes were frozen over in the tundra. As Kol commented on the origin of the ship itself, Ruvsá cast a glance back toward the island, and the tundra beyond it.

Will I ever see it again?

Then they were pushed below deck and into darkness. Ruvsá stumbled her way down in the dark until her eyes adjusted, and was relieved when she and Kol were throw into the ship's hold together.
 
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Kol

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Kol glanced around the empty hold for a few seconds, frowning for a moment as he noticed the remnants of chains and collars strewn about the floor.

"It appears this is not their first trip." The Sorcerer said, nodding his head towards the bindings on the ground. His eyes flickered through the rest of the ship, searching for anyone...or anything that might be down here. When he found nothing he could only surmise that the island had been the warbands first stop.

Coincidence? Or had they been drawn by magic.

Slowly he took a breath, drawing in the putrid air and crinkling his nose. This journey would undoubtedly be an unpleasant one. Though he'd surmised that the moment they made the decision to be captured.

"Well." Kol said as he sat himself down against one of the walls. "Now we wait."

For the right opportunity.
 
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Ruvsá

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"It seems not," she answered with a frown, and wondered if they might use the chains as a weapon. But so far, the orcs had not seemed to care to do more than bind their hands, and she'd like to keep it that way.

Ruvsá looked around the hold, but as she hadn't ever been on or in a ship, she wasn't exactly sure what was normal. What wasn't. The orc, at least, seemed to not care to keep a close eye on them now that they were contained to a smaller area, and had wandered back up to the deck.

Ruvsá took a deep breath, and almost gagged at the stale smell of old refuse and blood in the hold. Sometimes heightened senses were a bane rather than a blessing, and as hers rebelled against her for a few moments, she carefully lowered herself to the floor next to Kol.

The ship swayed, albeit gently, with the waves, and her stomach lurched again. Between the unfamiliar motion and the pungent yet stale air, her face turned a light but unsightly shade of green.

"I apologize for any... imminent unpleasantness on my part," she whispered cautiously. "I've never been on a ship before.
 
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Kol

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Kol sat there for a moment.

The Sorcerer had endured dozens of different tortures during his lifetime. He had been beaten, cut. His bones had been broken, his eyes had been gouged, and all sorts of vileness had been dealt upon him. These tortures had come from the Dark Gods, from the Nords, even from the Blightland Orcs.

He had endured them all, and he would endure this as well.

From what she had told him Ruvsa had experienced her own sort of tortures over the last few years. Perhaps not as cruel as his own, perhaps not as painful, but torture nonetheless.

Perhaps this was something new to her. "It's alright."

The words were human. Surprisingly so for him, but his next act was even more so. With his right hand he reached up, and very gently he stroked Ruvsa's hair. It was a soothing touch, a gentle one, and perhaps the humanity of it would be shocking enough to take her mind from their torture.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá looked at Kol strangely for a moment. She had not expected any words of comfort, and she was stunned into silence at the touch of his hand stroking her hair.

Until her stomach twisted again as the ship lurched against a wave while it was anchored in place.

"You're being very sweet," Ruvsá murmured with a bemused yet desperate smile, "but my imminent concern is not being taken as a slave, but rather if I'm going to vomit up my breakfast."

She didn't pull away from his touch, though, even as she took a long, slow--but not as deep--breath of air, and leaned her head back against the wall, closing her eyes.

It would be nice if she could convince her stomach to calm through sheer willpower.
 
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Kol

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"Ah." He said with a small amount of amusement to his tone.

It was always amusing, in a way. People could be broken, sliced, cut, but certain unpleasantness were simply brought on by nature itself. He shook his head for a moment, his fingers curling in Ruvsa's raven hair as he leaned back.

"Alas." Kol told her. "For that I have no cure."

Perhaps he could use magic, but it seemed like a waste of blood.

There was no telling how long they would be stuck here. No telling how long they would be forced to remain below deck. It was better to save that for when it was needed. "There is a window."

He gestured.

"Perhaps we can pry it open." Though it was not large enough for either of them to squeeze through.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá smiled weakly. "Even if you did have a cure," she grumbled, "I'm not sure the price of it just to remove a little seasickness would be worth it."

She finished picking loose the rope binding her hands, and brought them around to her front to massage her wrists. He had, obviously, gotten free of his own bonds quite quickly. She leaned into Kol's touch with a sigh. It at least distracted her from focusing on just the churning in her stomach.

"I told them I wasn't your woman to protect you, you know," she whispered, but still didn't pull away nor push him away. "If one of them walks in here and sees us like this, they'll think differently."

Her eyes fluttered open when at the mention of a window. "Perhaps," she said, rising rather unsteadily to her feet and eyeing it, jaw clenching as the floor moved beneath her. "Regardless, it wouldn't hurt to try and air this place out a little with who knows how long we might be stuck here.

"How long is a journey by sea to the blightlands, anyway?"
 
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Kol

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"Perhaps they'll think us fast friends." Kol mused, though she was probably right.

From his own observations the Sorcerer had long ago concluded that most Blight Orcs were not exactly…clever. They were stupid by any sense, able to reason and logic their way through most things, but they could be tricked and lead to believe truths that may not have been completely true.

They were a people of followers, not leaders.

That of course meant that when a leader did ris he or she was usually more than capable. It was the head of this warband that they would have to watch for most carefully. He was the one who could help or hurt them. "A week."

He explained.

"Perhaps less depending on the winds." Though that would only be the edge of the Blight. "If I had to guess they'll take us to Kezrak."

It was a fortress city on the coast of the Blight, a town under the control of Menalus used as a slave hub. It was a fortress, one that Kol had always avoided in his raids south.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá snorted lightly at Kol's comment of fast friends and almost shook her head before realizing that would be bad idea. Best not to add any unnecessary motion.

She looked up at the window as Kol answered her question. A week. So long as this ship did not plan to make any further stops, though if they tried to raid the tundra, they would be in for a fight. If she were them, though, she would just hit outlying isles like this one, rather than the mainland of any continent.

Kezrak. She had read of it in her studies, and it was not a place that she ever desired to visit. The blightlands as a whole were rumored to be even more barren than the tundra, at least among the Nordenfiir. The tundra was harsh, but it provided for their needs. The blightlands barely did so for its own inhabitants. Hence the raiders and the slave trade which had taken hold there.

Her thoughts were yanked back when the ship shifted under her feet again and her stomach threatened to go the opposite direction. She groaned and lifted a hand up to cover her mouth, trying to at least block the scent of the hold for a few moments. When her stomach settled, her attention returned to the window.

She was just tall enough to reach the window, but she wasn't sure she would be able to get enough leverage to pry it open.

Ruvsá stepped up to the wall and reached overhead to feel along the window frame. "It doesn't seem like its locked," she said. "Or nailed shut." She cringed as her fingers loosened dirt and grime, which then fell on her head. She braced her feet against the floor and wedged her fingers against it, pushing against it. The wood creaked, but didn't give.

"I'm going to need your help," she said.
 
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Kol

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The window had likely never been opened. Sealed by salt air and dirt. A hopelessness clung to it, as if a thousand souls had passed through it and dirtied the glass.

Kol lingered on the floor for a moment, then slowly pushed himself up to his feet. He stretched ever so slightly, shifting as he walked. It was obvious from the way that he stepped that The Sorcerer had traveled by sea before.

The Nordwiir were used to the ocean, though their longships were far different than the brigantine that Ruvsa and Kol found themselves on now.

"Here." The Sorcerer said as his fingers flexed.

Those strange black flecks once again appeared within the air, an in seconds the curved rune knife took form within his hand. The sharp tip of the blade was quickly wedged into the wood, and a second later Ruvsa would feel the window give just the slightest pop as it came loose.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá was surprised when Kol did whatever it was that made his strange knife flicker into existence. She would've thought he would want to keep that ability under wraps. When he stepped up behind her and reached over her head to pop the window free, she just gave a bemused sigh.

"You better put that back pretty quick," she whispered. "It'll be tough to explain to them why they should let you live if you can make a knife from thin air."

Ruvsá stretched up on her toes, and shoved the round window frame out. The hinges--rusty and stiff with non-use--creaked noisily, but as a fresh ocean breeze swept into the hold, she leaned against the wall with a sigh of relief.

Then the sound of footsteps caught her ear. Kol probably wouldn't hear it yet.

"Someone's coming our way," she said. "We should get back down, and hide the ropes."
 

Kol

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Kol did just as Ruvsa suggested, sitting down and letting the knife snap out of existence.

The Orcs who stepped down seemed to look towards the Northerners for a moment, scowling at each of them in turn and then slowly walking over towards another section of the hold. Kol watched them for a moment, then simply shrugged.

That was how it went for the next few days.

Kol and his companion caught small moments of being alone. Breaths of fresh air, small conversations, but by and large they were watched. The Orcs were careful around them, always ensuring that they were still trapped in their cage.

The Sorcerer kept careful track of the time, and by dawn of the fourth day he could feel the fact that they were getting closer to the blight. A frown touched his face as he felt the ship slow, the rocking pulling slightly to the left. "Something's wrong."

He told Ruvsa quietly.

"They weighed anchor, but..." Lips thinned. "We can't be at Kezrak yet."

It was too early for that.
 

Ruvsá

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Somehow, over the next few days, Ruvsá managed not to lose the contents of her stomach. Having fresh air from the window helped immensely. Conversation with Kol proved distracting as well, though their guards came around too often for them to discuss anything... too serious.

They were given water but not food, which didn't help Ruvsá's seasickness much, and in the worst moments of it, she would curl up on the ground next to Kol and ask him to stroke her hair to distract her from her churning stomach.

Fortunately, it didn't seem that any of the orcs caught on to the fact that she was not handling the sea-faring well. They had, after all, said that she was one of Kol's crew. A seasick sailor would be suspicious, no matter how dumb the orcs might be.

When the ship set anchor, and Kol said it was too soon, Ruvsá stood, peering toward the window.

"Another raid, perhaps?" she asked quietly. "If you can give me a boost, I might be able to see something out the window."
 
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Kol

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Kol nodded his head. "Search for land."

If they were not in Kezrak, then another raid seemed the most likely. Though from the few glimpses that he'd gotten of the outside Kol had figured that they were headed west. Back to the Blightlands. Why would the Orcs raid their own people?

Slowly the Sorcerer shifted his weight, positioning himself so that Ruvsa could use his leg and hands as a boost up.

"Quickly." He urged quietly. "Before they come down here."

Everything they did was on a clock. Over the last few days Kol had noticed that the Orcs held to a routine, but that routine was broken when something new happened.

Stopping was definitely something new.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá nodded, quickly climbing up Kol to peer through the window. She... couldn't see much, but she craned her neck and peered out for as long as she dared, then hopped back down when she heard footsteps heading their way again. She motioned back toward the floor, and as they returned to their spots, she whispered, "I thought perhaps I saw a glimpse of land, but it was obscured."

She glanced back toward the entrance below deck, then watched along the main pathways that the crew seemed to take.

"Do you know of the Eternum?" she continued softly, almost under her breath. "Queen Maude made a pact of non-aggression with them, early in her reign. They're necromancers and undead. Talks says that they razed their way through the blightlands on the way to the tundra. They settled on one of the larger islands southwest of the tundra. If it's only been four days... perhaps we're near there.

"Perhaps the crew of this ship has a score to settle with them," she mused, and then her voice turned grim. "Hopefully they do not intend to sell us to them."

There were few fates worse than becoming a necromancer's slave that she could think of.
 
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Kol

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Four days would take them further from the Tundra than any such island, though the talk of 'necromancers' made Kol grimace.

The Dark Gods despised the undead.

He had never quite understood why given the fact of what his own magics could create. Perhaps it was the fact that in undeath one could not truly comprehend life. That many of the divine aspects of the Dark Gods fell away when one had no thought nor soul.

It was a guess, but the only one he could make. "Perhaps. Thou-"

Kol's words died on his tongue as a shout echoed through the hold.

"Grab the scum we picked up in the Tundra!"​

It was the Warleader that had sentenced them to slavery, the grating tone more than familiar.

"See what they make o' dis!"​

Kol glanced towards Ruvsa as the stomping of boots echoed out on the stairs. Four men stepped down, three of them orc and one human. They unlocked the gate and lurched forward, grabbing at the two prisoners and practically throwing them onto the deck.
 

Ruvsá

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There was no hiding their unbound hands anymore, but Ruvsá suspected that the orcs had noticed a while ago, and since she and Kol had not resisted so far, they'd simply not bothered to bind them again.

As the two of them were hauled up on deck, Ruvsá squinted against the bright daylight. The window in the hold had allowed some light in, but not much, and though her sight had not been hindered in the dim underbelly of the ship, she'd missed true daylight. And even as she was thrown onto the wooden deck, she relished the chance to take a deep breath of fresh air.

"Make of what?" she murmured, still squinting in the sunlight.
 
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