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!
Once again I was surprised to awaken from that dark oblivion, but light did shine again making my weary eyes open to the dreary interior of a tent. I felt sore and hurt, and since I was sure that if I felt so bad I couldn't be dead. Seilla's face came into my sight and she bathed my forehead with a cool damp cloth and tried to smile reassuringly. My scowl must have upset her for she left my vision and I heard the smooth melodic tones of the elven language. The voice was unfamiliar yet familiar at the same time, which confused my weary mind, and surrendering to the ache in my body I let my eyelids start to slide shut, but not before I saw the dark skin of the Shadowkin hover over me. His one eye studying me as I lay there, a small smile on his lips. My eyes shut then as a shiver ran through me, for as I faded off I felt his dark hand brush through my hair in a soft caress.
I awoke again, hearing the sounds of a camp being broken for movement, dread rolled out of me and I started to tremble. I knew we would be taken deep under the ground to the Shadowkin's dark cities. Once there we would serve as slaves for the Shadowkin and live or die by their whims. I cursed the lack of honor in my captor for not granting me a quick death, like I earned when I defeated his champion. I lay there weak and in pain listening to the camp move out of the area and my confusion grew. Had the Shadowkin and Gnolls left me behind? Or was this some cruel joke they are so notorious for? My fate was soon known as the Shadowkin and one of his Gnoll guards came in a removed the pallet I was laying on, carrying me out to a waiting wagon. I looked around and saw a dozen of my friends locked in a chain waiting for us to go. On the wagon sat Seilla holding the reins, she flipped her flaming hair off her shoulder and looked down on me laying in the back with a flicker of jealousy in her eyes. I silently wondered what I had done to deserve her jealousy so much. The wagon moved out slowly and the familiar one eyed shape of my tormentor climbed in the back and brushed his hand over my hair staring at me intently.
"Why didn't you kill me like you said?" I managed out in a soft and hoarse voice. He smiled and brought a waterskin to my lips and bade me to drink from it. I sipped the cool waters and felt the ache in my throat ease considerably
"I know I promised to kill you if you won, but truthfully I didn't think you would win. I never had any intention of wasting such a pretty slave to death when I could make you wish for it so much easier." His chuckle and his hand brushing through my blonde hair made me shiver. Which only served to make his smile grow wider.
"Then what are you doing with me and the others? why not take us into your underground kingdom?" I managed to say without croaking it out like earlier.
"You showed me a spirit and fire, a desire to live and fight. Where as we would most certainly find other uses for one so young and pretty." His hand ran down my body in a slow caress, which just made me then realize I was naked on the pallet in the wagon. "So instead of taking the effort to break you, we will let you use your fire to our enjoyment, and of course our profit. No one will ever think such a little thing as yourself with those wide innocent green eyes for a vicious killer." He stood up and pulled a blanket over me and stepped back over to the front, wrapping a arm around Seilla and pulling her into a kiss. I had questions yet, about what he meant, but I realized my eyes where drooping closed and I was fading off into sleep. I had forgotten about the infamous Shadowkin sleep poison, and I cursed him silently as darkness once again over took me.
The little troupe traveled long through the mountain woods, the Gnolls scouting ahead while I and Seilla and our Shadowkin master road slowly in the wagon. I found with the Shadowkin's strange herbs and rest I was quick to regain my strength and health. Though my loathing of him was no less, I valued the healing, for with my health I hoped to escape into the woods. Sadly with the Gnolls ceaseless vigil I never found a chance, and I think Seilla kept her eye closely on me as well. We exited the woods onto a road leading in a winding path down the mountain. Here the Shadowkin cloaked himself heavily, hiding his damning race from sight, for even the lawless border towns had little love for the Shadowkin. Here I was given leathers that fit me to snugly for my ease, and the sparkle in the Gnolls eyes made me worry, and made to walk with the rest of my tribesman's in their chains. I quickly learned of the support workings of our little slave group, how when one weakened the others would help take up the burden. In this way we all became close and trusting of one another. Strangely the Shadowkin and Seilla spoke not, nor did they come near me or the others. I eyed him suspiciously for I knew he had to be up something, but as to what I just couldn't fathom.
Within days of starting down the winding road we came in sight of one of the human border towns. Made with so much wood that I winced thinking of the damage to the surrounding forests. for humans where not known for their compassion to the world around them. Outside the make shift walls stood larger gatherings of people, I saw a amazing array of races hooting and hollering out. Humans, Gnolls, Goblins, Dwarves, Halflings, and even filthy Orcs, all mixed together. It was a staggering sight for ones as young as we where, never have we even seen most the races present, having only learned of them through teachings. Our little caravan did not go unnoticed as those on the fringe came out to line the road and leer and shout comments at us. Many reached out with grubby hands to paw at a locke of hair or slap flesh as we where taken by. Several shouted out bids on our flesh, and I winced as no few of the bids where for me. The Shadowkin ignored them and the Gnolls snarled savagely knocking several away from the lines, much to our relief. We where taken to a camp outside the walls and chained to a large beam set deep into the earth. We huddled close for support and security as several loathsome characters came to try and speak to our master. The Shadowkin refused to speak to all but a dirty dwarf who walked in with two Orc guards and was let into the Shadowkin's tent.
We watched breathlessly for our fate to come out of that tent, and even the prospect of food didn't spark much response. All to soon we saw the Dwarf coming out with a leering smile on his face and tugging Seilla along with him. He glanced at the rest and smirked wickedly before ordering his guards to take the elf girl to his house. I felt sorry for poor Seilla, but like my fellow slaves, we knew she had chosen her fate willingly. Few tears where shed for her leaving, though my stomach was ill with the thought of what would happen to her. The Gnoll leader came over and told us to sleep for we had a hard day ahead of us, and laughing in that semi-bark he walked away. I slept little and reverie was denied me entirely as my emotional state was less than ideal, as dawn approached and the camps slowly awoke, I gazed around with wide eyes, fearfully. Breakfast was brought and then we where led to a gathering of fences and seats. It formed a arena of crude measurements and the sand was stained red in many spots. I suppose many realize what was coming, and I'm sure many of you would like a blow by blow accounting of it, But the horrors of watching many of my tribesman die terrible deaths at the hands of skilled and dangerous humanoids and monsters, left me with a bitter taste for speaking of it. My own fight was against a terribly strong half Orc with a wickedly barbed axe, and of course we where given no weapons. My rage was all that saved me from death that day and as it was my arm was bleeding profusely as I was carried off the field. I watched our master take a heavy bag from a elegantly dressed human. The human looked more amused than angry over loosing and escorting a beautiful human woman with him he left the field. Mine was the last of my tribesmen's fights, only 6 other elves survived.
The Shadowkin came by and ran his hand lightly down my hair, leaning forward he kissed my forehead almost lovingly like he cared for me. Then walking away with the tinkling bag, he laughed and danced a few steps before ducking into his tent again. My green eyes blazed with hatred at his back, knowing he had profited off our suffering and death again. The fights continued through out the day, but the pain of my wound kept me leaning against one of my kinsman weakly and painfully. Many people came by to offer money for purchase pf us, or with for me being the only surviving girl, for a night alone with them. The Shadowkin waved the offers away, and I realized again that he had further plans for me and the few left. We saw Seilla only once more before we left this despicable smelly town behind. She was standing next to the dwarf with tearful eyes and bruises on her once beautiful face. She watched us with a mixture of longing and sorrow, I knew her life would be hard here, but I also knew little future awaited the rest of us. We would die one by one in the arenas. Until all where gone and the Shadowkin walked away with a fat purse. At least she stood a chance for life and even freedom.
Again I could account for you each town and each battle, but truthfully there is little to say, and less I would desire to remember. We spent almost a year on the road traveling from place to place, during this time we learned ways of healing from other slaves to help our few kinsman out, still we lost some. Far from the mountains and bordering a endless track of sand as far as the eye could see, another series of terrible events occurred, but also hope blossomed. In the town of Freeport, a amusing name considering I saw no water, unless one counted the sea of sand. There we had one last terrible fight, a all or nothing fight with me and my three remaining friends. A brutal Ogre, as tall as a strong birch faced off against us. We fought with skill with Jemain and Silvos keeping it's attention while I and Telan attacked it's flanks, but Silvos misjudged it's reach and was caught with a terrible slash of it's club sending the poor elf into the wall with a sickening thud. Jemain tried to cover for us, but soon died to a broad over hand swing smashing the poor elf to the ground with a meaty thud. I stood transfixed with horror as they died so gruesomely. Telan covered me as best he could but the evil ogre leered as he sighted me and started forward. He reached out to grab me, but Telan dashed in with his short sword and gashed the monsters leg. This sent the ogre howling in pain and swinging widely at him. Breaking out of my trance I rolled between his legs and slashed my own short sword into his ankle. Making the ogre go to one knee with another howl of pain. Telan tried to come in and finish it, but the cunning ogre was playing possum and struck out with his club smashing poor Telan down. I growled in my throat and that familiar warmth spread from my belly engulfing my senses, I had learned more of this condition over the last year and could better control it. I slashed and hacked at the creatures leg until it did go down, and when my sword broke I took up Telans and continued my assault on the monster. We where both exhausted and wounded, and I could feel my rage wearing off, With one last defiant run I charged in and dived under it's clumsy swing to bring my sword right up into the creatures repulsive groin. The ogre howled and tried to back away, but his one leg would not function and he swung widely at me clipping me squarely on the shoulder. I flew back and slammed the wall, a wave of pain and dizziness washing over me as I watched the ogre fallback and weakly call out before shuddering to a rest. I smiled, feeling my own life seeping into the ground as my blood dripped there, and I prayed that our life would bring new life to this wasteland.
The leaders of the arena finally sent out people to check on the ogre and I. Though my vision was dim and wavering, and I couldn't even wiggle a toe, I watched them walk across the arena to me. One lifted my head making me shudder and laughed, saying he was surprised I was alive. He studied my face and ran a hand over one bleeding lip shaking his head, he mentioned to his fellows it was a shame I would die from my wounds soon, for one so pretty would be better alive. I would have spit at the human or jerked my head from his grasp, but I was far to weak then.
He laughed and said "Look Cerrin, you can see the beautiful sparkle of life fading from those wide innocent eyes of hers. It's a true shame that one such as her was wasted, I would have given over a hundred gold for her." His friend laughed and mentioned that at least my master had won.
From out of the stone tunnel came a familiar human woman, she walked across the ground and kneeled next to me, unmindful of her silk gown. Her hand rested one my forehead and a strange melody was sung quietly by her and warmth rushed through me. It eased the ache and lessened the numbness I felt and my vision seemed to sharpen. I knew her now as the one I had seen with the human so long ago. One of the other humans protested that she couldn't do that. She replied "I can heal my masters property, for Master Vistani has paid handsomely for this elf girl." I was perplexed then elated that I was no longer under the Shadowkin's thumb. Two muscular black humans came out with a pallet and laid me on it and carried me away, off the field and into a new life. In the tunnels beneath the arena, the human came forward with a rustle of silk and laid a hand on my cheek, stroking it admiringly.
"Your mind now my little Mynx, and you will gain your strength and do great things for me." He said soothingly brushing a hand through a sweaty locke of my once golden hair.
Quietly, for honestly I could do little more than that I said "My names Ielenia, thank you for your kindness" Which brought a short laugh from him
"You may have been, but your mine now and Mynx you are, Ielenia has no place in the world I am going to show you. As for kindness, don't mistake what I did. I have plans for you that will make me much, your a investment, and still my slave" With a brush of his hand over my lips he walked away humming a merry tune as I stared wordlessly at his back, I wondered if things where better or worse. Then realizing being a Shadowkin's slave was a worse fate than anything this human would do, I decided to feel this out, but now I wanted to rest and heal. My eyes closed slowly, watching the beautiful face of the woman who tended me. Her concern touched me as I fled into darkness.
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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.