Bit late this week, however I am going to Empire this weekend, so I won’t be able to post anything else until Monday at the earliest because I’ll be in a field running around being a mage and things.

So what I have for you today is quite long, to kind of make up for that. And also because it came out long. It’s a fiction piece about my character in the Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Why? Because it’s going to start again in a couple of weeks and I am so excited to be playing this character again, and we’re resuming just as the entire country of Cyre has been wiped out by this weird mist – so many feelings! And writing this fiction is helping me to remember and get back into the headspace of the character, it has been seven months since we last played. Enjoy.

Her arms were twisted behind her, held tightly between two stony-faced guards. Stripped of her armour, weapons and anything else that they thought could be a magic item, Adara had been left bare foot and dressed in only her shift and leggings, which was not a good position to be in overall.

Still struggling against the grip, she was hauled through the darkened corridors that led down to the dungeons. Strangely, Adara found that she was missing the jovial banter with the guards that she had been able to have whenever she had been in detention in the army. Which had happened several times, she didn’t deal well with authority some of the time, which made being in the army a somewhat odd choice. She’d had her reasons. Of course, those reasons had long since died, along with the fog. Now, there were other thing to fight for.

The guard walking in front of the three of them took a bunch of keys from his pocket, and opened up one of the dungeons doors, a solid wooden affair with bars set into small window. With a large amount of force, the two guards hurled her into the small room. She landed on her feet, but before she had finished turning around, the door slammed shut and was locked, the guards leaving without a word.

Adara let out the sigh that she had been holding in and straightened up, stretching out her arms, shaking out her copper hair into something resembling neatness. They had not been gentle in manhandling her down here. But so far so good. In the dungeon, now to see if their intelligence was good.

She went over to the door and inspected it – quite a good set up, she couldn’t see the mechanism of the lock at all from this side, the hinges were also on the outside of the door, and the surrounding wall was made out of stone and looked far more solid than the wooden door, which in itself was impressive.

Coming back from the door, she sank into a sitting position in the middle of the room and focused on her breathing. Once calm, she could reach out, and let the currents of the surrounding emotions wash over her, feeling out for the presence of other people in these dungeons. And there were quite a few, each one a small beacon against her senses. Fear, dread, anger, hopelessness, there was much of that present here. But in small pockets, there were feelings that reassured her for the wellbeing of her countrymen, especially as she felt a familiar presence a few cells over.

“Who’s there? Were you just brought in?”

Adara smiled, “Hello General.”

“Who? I know your voice,” there was hesitation in the voice, but she could feel the strain of hope starting to rise in his feelings.

“I should hope so, I’ve been running your errands for some years now.”

“You were in the army?”

“Under Milton Wallace.”

“So there are other survivors?”

“Many more than your probably thought. Parts of the Army, traders who were out of the country, civilians living on the edge of the land, the Prince and his retinue.”

“The Prince lives?”

“Yes, he does,” Adara smiled as she thought about the dark haired man with a degree of fondness, “He’s gathering survivors, getting aid. The King of Breland has let us set up camps in his land, and Oargev is trying to persuade him to let us have some land permanently.”

There was a heavy sigh from down the corridor, “It is good to hear that there are other survivors. It’ll make this hellhole more bearable.”

“Hold that thought for the moment. Do you know of any others in here?”

“Of course there’s more of us in here you red-haired whore! Those of us that they didn’t slaughter and turn into undead have been rotting in here for months! I’ll give them endangered species.”

Adara sighed, “Naturally,” she said more to herself than anyone else. Well, the dragoons had had horses, getting out fast kind of was their thing.

Undoing the laces on her tunic, she could slip a hand down her front, and fiddle under the binding she was wearing, and ease out the ring that had been hidden down there. They had been very thorough in their search, but they hadn’t gone so far as to strip search her, and thus the ring had remained hidden. The opal gleamed at her, even in this dim light, from the wrought black metal of the setting. Wiggling it around, she fit it on her finger, and allowed herself a passing admiration of how pretty it looked there. Shame they would probably have to give it back, but for now, she could stand up, still extending her senses out so she could track the people around her.

Riserr was a seething pool of anger, and General Tinshy was a wild mis of exhaustion, exasperation, but a tiny current of hope buoying him up. That tiny current was beginning to spread around to other people that had heard the conversation they had had, and Adara could hear one thing in particular spreading.

“The prince. The prince is alive,” whispered from cell to cell around the entire dungeon.

It was only a couple of hours later, although it was slightly hard to tell given that the only light was from lamps down the corridor, that a pair of guards came down, slowly walking past the doors and peering into each one, clearly on patrol.

Adara leant against a wall with her hands pressed into her back. A casual pose, and she felt the eyes of the guard linger on her only momentarily before they moved on.

Turning the ring around on her finger, she raised her head and focused on the backs of the guards, disappearing out of the narrow view of the barred window and triggered the ring. The world disappeared, and then reappeared a moment later, with her out in the corridor, doors either side and the backs of the guards in front of her.

Silver light exploded around her as her feet touched the stone floor, the radiance of her power blinding down the corridor. The left hand guard stumbled forward, collapsing onto his knees as the right hand one staggered but didn’t fall over.

Darting forward, she stripped the guards sword from his belt, and then turned to face the right hand guard as he struggled to free his own weapon, slicing up and across his chest as her psionic power came round to bear, and both of them staggered further, a ringing in their ears as she turned their own emotions against them.

A short thrust into his lower chest, more than enough to hurt, probably not enough to kill, her power echoed around them again, and both guards collapsed, the left one on the floor where he had fallen, the right hand one slumping against the wall as she removed the sword.

Quickly searching the two of them, she found the bundle of keys that she was searching for and stepped down the corridor to unlock the door she had located the general behind. He looked up at her, his salt and pepper beard a lot more salty than the last time she had seen him, but there was a gleam in his eyes that she knew was new.

“Adara.”

“Ready to leave general?”

“The others…?”

“We’re hardly going to leave them here are we? Here,” she worked the ring open and shook half the keys off it, “you work with these ones, I’ll take the others.”

The general stood up, taking the keys with one hand and clapping her on the shoulder with the other. Between the two of them it didn’t take too long to go around the cells in the dungeon and open up the doors, letting their fellow Cyrans out. The two guards were stripped of their possessions and placed in one of the empty cells, the few weapons they had on them passed around to the people who could use them best, made harder to decide since almost all the people imprisoned here had been in the military.

Adara came up to the last door and leaned against the wall, looking in at Riserr.

“Well? Are you going to unlock me?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t decided how offended I am about you calling me a whore.”

“You’ve been called worse.”

“By you, no less.”

“Riserr! Swallow your pride, apologise and let’s get the heck out of here,” Tinshy didn’t look overly impressed, with either of them really, but it didn’t bother her as she swung the key around on her finger and watched Riserr grind his teeth.

“Fine. My apologies, you are not a whore, harlot, tramp or any other synonym of the word.”

She looked at him for a few more seconds, feeling the insincerity warring with desire to leave in him, “Eh. Good enough.”

And she unlocked the door, closing her eyes as she felt a different presence in her mind.

“Now what-“

“Shush,” Adara said, listening to the voice in her head and carefully composing her response.

“You-“

“I said shush,” she silenced him again as she sent her reply before opening her eyes again.

Riserr looked aggravated, but he usually did, so she ignored him and started moving in the direction of the exit to the dungeon, “Look lively lads and lasses, time for us to make a sharp exit from the dreadfully dreary place, wouldn’t you say?”

“As much as I’m in favour of that, they do have a reasonable number of guards, and we are underarmed.”

“My dear General, did you really think the rest of my team would just let me get captured?”

The timing was beautiful as from above them, they heard the muffled sound of an explosion and a thump, which was probably the doors to the garrison being opened in a non-subtle fashion.

She gave him a faint smile, and used the keys on the door to the dungeon, spotting two  guards down the end of the corridor. Signalling that to the people behind her, she crept up behind one of them and with another flare of psionic energy, ran him through as he started to turn to the small noises of people behind him.

With the addition of more people, the scuffle was over quickly, and more weapons were handed around.

“Which way’s the door?”

“That way,” Adara pointed, “But I plan to go and find the armoury if anyone cares to join me. I’d imagine that’s where my equipment, and yours if you had any on you, is.”

Riserr looked thoughtful, “I would like my sword back.”

Tinshy shook his head, “I’ll be heading straight for the door, with the rest of these people.”

“Milt should be heading up the force, with our squad and a few others. Find them and they’ll get you out and away on back to the rest of our people.”

Tinshy clapped his hand on her shoulder, “I expect to see you catching up to us.”

“No fear of that. Go on, scoot,” she waved them off even as she turned around and started to go in the opposite direction, Riserr following after her.

“Any idea where we’re going.”

“Not really. I can guess based on the construction of the garrison.”

“Fantastic.”

She laughed at the level of sarcasm in his voice as they moved through the garrison, searching down corridors and in doors, until Riserr waved her over and signalled that there was one guard in there.

Bursting through the door, Riserr’s charge did not go as he intended, as the guard was not surprised, instead grabbing a hammer that lay next to him and smashing it into his face.

“That the best you can do?” Adara said as she feinted low then straightened up, going for his shoulder, scoring a glancing blow but it was enough to psionically open him up for another attack. Too bad Riserr was still scrambling around on the floor and couldn’t take advantage of it.

The guard gave him a short kick, but went for her, the hammer smashing against her purloined sword, and she found it impossible to grip as he twisted the hammer around and caught the blade, flinging it across the room.

Catching his chin with a punch, she was still able to call upon her energy, turning her abilities to defence, of both of them as the guard turned and attempted to smash the hammer into Riserr’s skull. The flare of energy as the hammer hit the shield rang out, and the guard turned back to Adara as she looked around for a nearby weapon, finding nothing on the table nearest her, and shield too big for her to grab on the wall.

He came in close, and she ducked under the hammer, only to have his free hand grab her by the throat and slam her back into the wall, knocking the shield over.

Struggling with his fingers as her air supply was cut off, her psionic energy flare, try to find a weakness in this man’s mind as she delivered an apparently useless kick to his armoured knees, doing nothing but scraping some skin off her foot.

He twisted the hammer round in his hand and brought it back, then let out a sigh, his fingers going slack, the hammer dropping to the floor with a loud clunk as he slumped over.

The fey blade slipped out from his back as Cale turned his silver eyes over to Adara, who was coughing, regaining her breath.

“You cut that close.”

“Took me a while to find you,” he turned his head and looked down at Riserr, who was struggling to get back to his feet, “Really?”

“As much as I try to not admit it, I’m not really a horrible person. Couldn’t really leave him there.”

“Even if all he’s good for is falling over? Really, you have to wonder how he can ever get on his horse.”

“Bite me, you pointy-eared git.”

“Still with the insults. My my, what terrible manners,” Adara said, deliberately stepping on him as she walked into the centre of the room.

“Your spear’s in the locker over there. We could use you in the fight downstairs.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Adara said, opening up the indicated locker and smiled as she saw her silver spear gleaming at her, “Hey gorgeous, you and me have a date with some very disagreeable Karnath downstairs.”

 

 

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