The Journal of Ielenia Galanodel and Company
Written directly from Lady Ielenia's notes
Chapter 1: The Beginning of the end of Innocence
Chapter 2: New chances and old fears
Chapter 3: A new life, A path accepted
Chapter 4: Long dark nights
Chapter 5: Escape, and love (lust?) at first sight!
I wonder where I should begin, looking back it's so easy to dwell on the bad things and look over the good things. It would be best for a Bard or Scholar to write this account, being as it may that I am neither, I will do my best to make it factual and entertaining. I was born in the small elven village of Senadala, where that resides now I have no knowledge since I was taken away at a early age. My father was a hunter and my mother worked in herbs, though not wealthy we certainly had enough to feed ourselves and cloth us. Early on I developed a love of dance and music, and through the years of youth I and my friends entertained each other in dance and song. We would spend the days helping our mothers only to sneak into the woods at night and dance merrily around the trees in the moonlight. More than one night was spent in the arms of a handsome youth, learning the fun of seduction and teasing. As elves where free with their affections early in life before we reached the aged of teaching. Then our time would be taken up learning the things that would sustain us in our centuries long lives. Mere decades of wild fun with my friends soon went by and I was apprenticed to the weaver of the village. Though I had no desire to weave the rest of my life, and much preferring the life of a hunter, I respected my parents wishes and went to the weaver.
Now as I look back if only I had known more about the world and the danger our little village was in. Barely a Decade into my apprenticeship a cruel shadow swept the villages and towns near us. Shadowkin raiders had been rumored to be attacking villages and towns near the mountains. During that dark winter my father was wounded helping another village defend against a Shadowkin attack. He barely made it home alive, and spent much of his time healing and resting. Though a apprentice weaver by trade now I fiercely wanted to be a hunter and avenge my poor father, he never really ever fully regained his strength. Food ran low that winter as hunters would be attacked while hunting, and no few died at the cruel hands of the Shadowkin, at least we hoped they died. Cruel would it be for the ones captured and taken as slaves. Soon the shadow swept to my village as the Shadowkin and their Gnoll henchmen raided in the dark of night in late winter. The screams awoke many as the sounds of battle and dying surrounded the village, though scared I peered out my window at the battle between the remaining Hunters and the Gnoll invaders. My blood sang as I watched the deadly dance occurring and though I felt fear something inside of me, my anger, wanted to be released and rush into battle. I remember the dread I felt as I heard the door crash open behind me and the harsh breathing of the Gnoll as he looked over the room, or the harsh wheezing bark laugh he made upon spying me by the window. Valiantly I tried to rush by him by diving between his long furred legs, his hand flashed out faster than I could catch and captured the long blond braid of my hair before I made it past him. Yanking me up by the braid he stared at my face as I felt the definite shiver of fear and disgust rush through my veins. Staring at his dark eyes and the drool dripping from his muzzle I felt a deep revulsion as his tongue panted in the air like one of our village dogs. He let loose his bark laugh again and his hand closed around my delicate throat closing off my air, grasping at his hand I tried to break free, but against his great strength it was no avail. I felt my eyes go wide as darkness started creeping over my vision and struggled even more desperately wanting to live. He leaned forward and his wet tongue slid up my cheek as darkness closed over me finally, at that moment I was almost thankful for it.
I awoke feeling the cold of the night seeping through the thin shift I had worn to bed, and the darkness surrounded me as I heard whimpers of elves and angry barks from the Gnolls. I climbed to my knees, even though cold ground seeped into the flesh of my bare skin and felt my eyes shift to the night spectrum. What I saw there seared itself into my soul as I looked with horror at the elves tied together in a line and the Gnolls walking along it, barking angrily at every twitch. I wanted to climb to my feet, but the tight bindings holding my hands behind my back made the action difficult and painful, though numb I felt the first tingling in my fingers of return of the blood flow. Just then my braid was yanked back cruelly snapping my head back so I stared at the face of one of the evil Gnolls. He made cruel smile, or at least at the time I thought was one and barked something at me in his tongue, then slapped me hard across the face so I spilled into the dirt crying out in pain. I felt a deep ember of anger burn in my belly at the taste of blood on my lip, and I looked over at the Gnoll with anger clearly burning in my green eyes. He just snorted amused and kicked my leg before walking on, making my humiliation and anger grow worse. We where forced to our feet and moved through the rest of the night and most the day. With only short breaks for rest and food, making us all stagger in weariness and hunger. I assumed that was the idea of the cruel pace to keep trouble makers to tired to do anything and get them as far away from retaliation as possible. We walked for almost 2 days, most of us suffering from exposure and wounds, though the days had almost a spring like quality to them, the nights where still winter. We where dragged more than walked into what must have been their main camp and led over to a line of more slaves. Seeing how many where chained there and how many Gnolls wandered the camp I felt my heart sink knowing no rescue would be attempted against these odds. I collapsed next to a young elf girl I knew named Seilla and we wearily leaned against each other for warmth and comfort of another of our kind. Feeling my dulled mind sinking into exhaustion I cared no more about the cuts on my bare legs and feet nor the numb feeling in both, silently I wished the Gnoll had killed me in the room.
I woke to cry's of surprise and pain as the Gnoll guards walked the line kicking each of us awake. My body ached from the rough cold ground though at least the roaring bonfire had provided some warmth. As I brushed a strand of dirty blond hair out of my eyes and noticed the slaves being split up. Fear washed over me as I realized that women where going one way and men the other, I feared what was about to happen but as I was hauled to my feet and pushed away after Seilla and the others I felt myself shivering more from fear than the chill in the air. My relief at finding us pushed into a lodge with a large pool of was frightening, feeling the tension just drain out of me as we where ordered to clean ourselves for presentation. We took our times washing the grime and blood from our bodies, and felt almost normal again as we washed the cloths we had with us. We even found combs and brushes for our hair, which piqued my curiosity and worry. Why would they wish us to pretty ourselves up for? My fear came to fruition as just as I started to braid my hair the guard came in ordering us out onto the grounds. Several started to cry and I honestly couldn't blame them, but lacking a way to fight the Gnolls we filed out and into a line. The cold brushed through the thin shift making my tremble after the warmth of the tent. Holding my arms under my breasts close to me as I tried to keep the cold away, helped little but was all I could do. Hearing a elven laugh made my head snap up and my green eyes widen in anger at anyone laughing in our current state. Then to my horror I saw the dark thing in dark cloths walking towards our line.
His white hair brushed down his cloak in a sharp contrast to the darkness of his cloths. The inky blankness of his skin left me with the growing horror that a Shadowkin had indeed arrived. I had hoped somewhere deep down it was just a Gnoll raiding party, the cruelty and perverse pleasures of the Shadowkin where well known. He walked down the line examining us like one would mares at a stable, deep down I hoped if I just made myself unnoticeable he would pass me by. I sensed a wave of darkness sweep over me and knew he had come to stand before me. I prayed to Corellion that he would go past, alas I was not answered and the Shadowkin's hand brushed my hair in a soft caress that made me want to run screaming. His hand captured my chin and raised my eyes to look into his. the dark violet of his pupils made my flesh crawl and I tried to jerk away as his other hand caressed down my body, judging my worth. He mentioned something in the barking guttural language of the Gnolls that made them bark with laughter as his hand returned is course up my body to my neck. I decided then and there I wouldn't let this happen to me, I would rather die fighting than let myself be taken and used by the Shadowkin. Anger welled up in my body and he must have seen the light spark in my green eyes for he looked amused and chuckled. I don't think I will ever forget his surprise in his eye as my hand lashed out and ripped bloody furrows across his inky skin and ruining his eyesight on that side, my nails had caught his eye. Rushing past him, I had completely forgotten the tether on my ankles and went sprawling into the dirt. Gnolls jumped forward and start hitting me with the butts of their weapons, pain exploded over my body making tears fall from my eyes. I heard him cry something out to the Gnolls as blackness enveloped me, but deep down I felt a fierce happiness at going on my own terms.
Unfortunately I awoke later bound tightly to a pole near the center of the camp, why he had not killed me I guess I shall never know. One of the Gnolls notice my wakefulness before I could do anything and yelled something out. The Shadowkin came out of his tent and I caught a flash of pale bare skin and flaming hair in the tent. I felt bile rise in my throat knowing only one girl had such pale skin and flaming hair. I felt so sorry for Seilla and what he probably put her through. But my own immediate problems surfaced as the Shadowkin walked over rubbing a eye patch. I felt a smile tug at my full lips at the sight, Knowing he would bear that scar for a long time to come. He came forward and raised a eyebrow at my smile, then back handed me across the mouth, making blood well up out of my cut lip. He told me that such a pretty surface elf should not cause so many troubles, that he could have made things easy and even pleasant for me, much like my friend Seilla. I felt a growl in my throat as I realized Seilla must have talked to him, I wondered what all she had told her knew master. He smiled as if reading my thoughts and grabbed my chin forcing me to look him in his one good eye.
"I could have made you a princess, admittedly one among slaves. I would have introduced you to pleasures that your body had never experienced" He caressed my neck softly as he talked. Then he squeezed, cutting off my air. "But you had to fight and make things difficult, very well though I wished to sample your charms for myself, I do not wish to loose more, so you will get your chance to fight."
He let my neck go and sweet air rushed into my lungs as he ordered the guards to take me to the center and to bring Grundel to him. Who this was I knew not but my bounds where cut and the Gnolls forced me towards the fire in the center. Cutting me loose they formed a circle around me and turned trying to keep them in view and their leers made me acutely aware all of a sudden that the thin shift covered little. I heard the Shadowkin announce I would fight for my life, if I lost I would be given to Grundel for his pleasure at my fate. If I won, well he laughed then I would be allowed a quick death. From behind the others stepped a large muscle bound Gnoll with many battle scars. My eyes widened and I felt fear and strangely enough excitement rush through me at the prospect of being able to finally fight back. I knew logically I stood little chance against this monster, I would make sure he felt the fight tomorrow, and I'm sure he would make sure I felt his anger over it to, I had to win. I wish looking back I could tell you more about the fight, but in truth I remember little of it. I do remember the anger boiling over in me and feeling a surge of strength and speed as I rushed this huge creature with my bare hands. He laughed in that barking laugh as he watched me rush towards him. All I knew was anger, fear, and pain. That blinded me to all else, and to the fight as well. My next awareness was pain in my body, my leg seemed not to be working and as I looked down a red mist clearing from my eyes I saw a deep gash in my leg and blood run down the smooth skin below it. I saw blood on my hands, and I had trouble concentrating on anything as my head was dizzy and a deep exhaustion had settled over me. I heard the Shadowkin chuckle and I managed to look up and see his eye watching me with speculation and interest. I started to collapse to the ground, one arm barely holding me up as I saw the Gnoll Grundel laying face down blood pooling from his head, blackness engulfed me and I fell into oblivion again.
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2001-2002. Sean Nichols. All Rights Reserved. None of these materials may be reproduced in any fashion without express written consent.