Post by Steinerman on May 27, 2010 16:23:27 GMT -5
The Journey hadn't been overly long. But riding like a sack of potatoes on the back of a pack horse hadn't been the most pleasant way of traveling. He and other other two prisoners had been tied with rope and blindfolded as well, ensuring they didn't know where they'd been taken too.
With a harsh movement he was pulled down off the pack-horse and pushed forward. He stumbled and fell to the ground, hitting his head on a nearby branch as he did so. With a violent motion the blindfold was ripped off, and he found himself sitting against a large tree in the middle of the bandit's camp. He turned his neck, to look behind him and found Laramie, bound as he was, sitting there. He turned to his right and found Zandara on that side.
The bandits were currently ignoring them, for the most part. Focusing more on stowing their loot and gear. Not wishing to make matters worse, Joe stayed silent and rested his head against the tree, eyes closed. The quick fighting hadn't gone well for him, a blow to the back of his neck and just now hitting his head against a low branch. So resting seemed the best idea for the moment. Now to wait and see what the bandits did.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 31, 2010 16:08:19 GMT -5
The region was on one of the forest's hillsides, and a nearby abandoned mining facility looked to be their base of operations--on the outside, the wood and stone building looked decrepit, but there was no doubt that the building had been repaired on the inside. A few buildings and tents had been set up around the large creek running below the old mine, and numerous bandits were on patrol while the rest were going about unloading their spoils.
Two of the bandits armed with torque bows stood guard over the prisoners, making sure none of them tried to run or escape. Calhoun was also nearby, keeping a careful eye on the two girls while he discussed something with the leader, who had dismounted from his horse. Another bandit had came over to retrieve the horse and return them to the stables. Calhoun handed over a familiar book to the man, who looked over it thoughtfully before nodding. Turning to the two guarding the three prisoners and gestured to them.
One of the guards began nudging them in the back with the rip of side of their torque bows. "Get up," he said roughly.
Post by Steinerman on May 31, 2010 18:38:48 GMT -5
Joe stood slowly, unsure of what they wanted. His eyes had picked up on the fact that they were holding the rather precious copy of the book he'd been sent to retrieve, but he didn't let his expression betray the fact that they were holding anything truly important.
He helped Laramie up, and then helped Zandara up as well. And finally took his place in front of the two women, his expression a mix of fear and indignation. "You need something?" He questioned of the bandits.
Post by The Rising Dragon on May 31, 2010 21:20:30 GMT -5
The second guard walked around them and drew a knife, and used it to cut the bindings on their feet so they could walk. "Get moving," the first bandit growled, nudging him a bit harder. "You're going to your cells. Now."
The two guards escorted the three of them towards the run-down mining facility on the hillside, and before they got to its entrance, they were stopped by the guards. There, they were fitted with their blindfolds again--these bandits, it seemed, were smart. They didn't want the three of them learning their way from the cells to the entrance and back too easily.
After a few minutes of a blind escorting from the facility into the old mine itself, the blindfolds were removed, and they found themselves in a cavern tunnel that had been converted into a brig. Multiple cells were made of the various spaces in the walls, and a string of lights were mounted on the ceiling. The three of them were put together into a single cell for the time being, and their arms remained bound.
"Don't get too comfortable," the second guard said as he locked the cell door. "The boss will be seeing you soon."
The guards then departed, leaving the three of them to their selves.
Joe waited for the guards to retreat out of earshot, then spun and stared at Laramie. "you hurt? Did they hurt you?"
The young girl was currently squeezed in the corner, making her body as small as possible. She shook her head, not speaking.
Joe frowned, but realized he had to check Zandara as well before being able to help Laramie, "Dara?" He questioned, turning in the dimly-lit cavern.
"How badly are you injured?"
Laramie was having trouble thinking, something was horribly wrong inside her head. Besides the fact that the emotions of everyone around her were running rampant. But that wasn't what was wrong, no. She couldn't shake the feeling that someone else was in her mind, seeing what she was seeing, feeling what she was feeling. It was the most unnerving thing she'd ever felt, and yet...it was familiar as well. That frightened her even more. She stayed quiet for the moment though, trying to block out everything in her mind, unsure of what was happening around her, listening only faintly to the conversation beginning between Joe and Dara.
Zandara had been holding back tears and cries of pain for hours as her leg throbbed and bled. They'd not had time to bandage it before the bandits had shown up, and now she was certain that the bullet was still lodged within her appendage. Backed up against the wall, but slouching, head tilted back, she breathed shallowly and quickly, simply trying to suppress the pain. Certainly she could have used her magic, if she hadn't spent so much of her energy on the bandit leader and her companions earlier in the day. Now, with nothing to ease the agony, she could only fall deeper and deeper into it.
Sweat was matting her hair to her forehead, and her skin was pale and cold with loss of blood, but as Joe turned toward her and she opened her eyes enough to see Laramie, she flagged him away weakly, "I'll be fine. Help her first." It would have been more authoritative and, frankly, convincing had she not looked the way she did. Desperately she searched for some amount of energy and turned her magic inward, mumbling the broken word that might spare her some of this pain, and sent it toward her leg. The magic coursed out, and she was met with only more of this torturous feeling. Hot blood ran even faster over her legs as her heart began to beat faster with adrenaline and, unable to move, she would now have to trust herself to a man who cared more for the creature huddling in the corner, Laramie, than he did for this girl who had caused the mess they were now in.
She might have laughed if she weren't drifting in and out of consciousness.
Joe shook his head, "Wish isn't dying right now. You might be. You've lost a lot of blood. Now hush, and let me see your leg. I might be able to treat it." He gently used his good arm to feel around the blood-soaked wound.
"Odds are good the bullet is still in there, don't have the tools to dig it out. And my fingers are too big. Wish might be able too, but I don't know if she's in any state to do anything right now." He glanced worriedly over at Laramie, shaking in the corner. Something was very wrong with her, and he wasn't quite sure what.
As he stripped off a piece of his vest to use as a bandage, he spoke softly, head angled enough for Laramie to hear. "Wish, talk to me, kid. What's going on in that head of yours? You okay?"
Laramie shook her head, the feeling was slowly subsiding. Not going away, but it was noticeably lessening. Her tear-filled eyes began to dry, and focus on Joe. She could sense Dara's pain, but something...the second presence in her mind, was enabling her to block it out. Otherwise she was almost positive she'd be passed out on the floor by now. She nodded her head and moved over to where Joe and Dara were sitting. "I'm better, not good right now. But I can actually move and help." She said with a half-hearted smile.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 3, 2010 22:58:58 GMT -5
After a moment or two, the three of them were able to hear noises from the entrance of the bandits' prison block--the heavy metal door was being unlatched and swung open, where it struck the stone wall. The noise reverberated down the length of the mining tunnel-turned-prison block, alerting the three of them that someone else was coming.
Several footsteps could be heard, and soon their two guards were back, both of them now equipped with swords rather than their old torque bows. With them, however, was the mage, Calhoun. The man looked serious as he stopped in front of their cell.
"That one?”he asked, pointing at the injured Zandara. One of the guards nodded in affirmation.
“She'd been bleeding all over me,” he said. “Guess the wench got shot before the boss found'em.”
Calhoun nodded. “Open up the cell,” he said, causing the second guard to quickly unlatch it and step inside, immediately followed by the other guard. Both of them none-too-gently forced Joe and Laramie to the back of the cell, to prevent them from trying an ill-conceived escape plan.
Calhoun, in the meantime, approached Zandara and knelt on the floor next to her. Within moments, he had spotted the wound, and immediately began a delving spell to check the extent of the damages. “Guess you're lucky that the bullet went out the other side,” he murmured, readying a basic healing spell. “And you're lucky that the boss still wants you alive after that crap you pulled on him.”
He readied the incantation for the spell and went to work.
Zandara didn't really see Calhoun arrive, or Joe kneel beside her, so much as feel their presence and hear their words. Every little touch or bump was agony, and even the feel of magic made her stomach churn as Calhoun prepared to heal her wound. She tasted the healing magic, sour and heavy on her tongue, warmth coursing through her bloodstream until the skin folded back over and the blood stopped pumping from her extremity. Finally, and more suddenly than she had thought possible, the pain ended and her gut unclenched inside, her lungs relaxed.
Gasping hard and taking in a deep breath, she coughed up a last bit of blood before rolling over onto her side, toward Calhoun and Joe. Rather than meet the gaze of her companion, she looked up at the mage and reached out with her fingers and grabbed at his cloak, voice coming inbetween gulps of air, "Thank--you,--Sir." She dropped her hand and her head fell gently back to the stone floor. Still awake, but entirely out of energy, Dara shut her eyes and attempted to catch her breath, sweat still sticking her hair to her forehead and neck. The once white, now blood-soaked boot on her recently healed leg stuck fast to her skin, along with her skirt.
What she wouldn't give for a change of clothes now.
Another thought came to her then. Why would the bandit leader want her alive after the trouble she'd caused him. What did he want with her?
Joe nodded thankfully as the bandit healed Dara's wounds. He didn't think he'd have been able to do about it, lacking a medical kit. And it was a relief to know that she wasn't going to bleed out or die any time soon. His mind wandered to why they would have patched her up, after she'd brought them so much pain, maybe they desired information. They had seemed quite interested in the book that had been hiding so lazily inside his pack.
Now that one of his problems was taken care of, he turned to Laramie. Surveying the damage done. A few bruises and scrapes, but nothing too bad. No...he was more worried about mental damage, besides the fact that she was still only sixteen, her mental powers made being around others particularly unsettling at times. And this incident couldn't have been good for her.
Carefully, so as not to anger the guards, he moved closer to her and placed one arm gently around her shoulders. He then leaned his head in close to hers and whispered, "Hey, I'm here. We're gonna get through this little cousin, we're gonna get through this." She turned to glance up at him, a half-smile on her lips. Joe smiled back, relieved that she was still at least responding.
Laramie kept up the brave smile, and was pleased to realize that it wasn't even fake. Something had given her courage, a whisper-quiet voice in her head had calmed her fears and seemingly closed off her mind to the painful emotions of the others. It was an odd feeling, she could still understand their emotions, but it was disconnected somehow...painless even. She wasn't sure what was happening to her, maybe a new magical power revealing itself. All she knew as that it felt uncannily like someone else was helping her calm her mind.
Her body slowly stopped shaking, given courage by the unseen presence. And then...a thought popped into her head. The thought continued persistently until she couldn't keep it in any longer. She turned back to Joe and whispered (though not as quietly as she thought) "What's the mage's name? Calhoun, wasn't it?"
She froze. Unsure of what had just happened. The presence in her mind had wanted the Bandit mage's name for some purpose unknown. For a moment she caught a glimpse of an emotion. Raw, furious anger. Her eyes flashed as the emotion bled off into her body. Frightened and unsure once again, she backed up against the wall and closed he eyes tightly, wishing the presence to leave her alone. Whatever or whoever it was, they were furious that the bandits had hurt Laramie, she got the distinct feeling that the second person in her mind wanted to wipe out the entire bandit camp.
"Get out of my head!" she screamed suddenly. Drawing the uncertain eyes of Joe and most likely everyone else in the room.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 4, 2010 19:17:09 GMT -5
Calhoun stood up as the healing spell was cast, his ministrations no longer needed. As he turned to leave, he felt his cloak jerk a bit against his neck, causing him to look back down at the woman he had just healed. He nodded wordlessly as the girl thanked him, knowing it might matter little in the long run. He turned back to leave as Zandara relinquished her grip on his clothing and began stepping out of the cell.
He immediately spun about as the other woman began screaming in terror, and the two guards immediately drew their swords, recoiling away while staring hard at her.
"Restrain her!" Calhoun commanded, and the guards jumped to comply--using their free hands, they seized the girl by her arms and pinned her roughly to the wall to prevent struggling. Calhoun immediately strode up to the girl and placed his hands on either side of her head, concentrating on another delving spell, trying to see what the issue was.
Laramie struggled weakly against the two men restraining her, trying to escape their grasp while dealing with whatever presence was in her mind. Finally, a whisper of a voice echoed through her head.
Stop struggling. He's not going to hurt you. If he does, I'll melt his mind.
She stopped, the invader in her mind was...protective? That didn't seem right, but maybe. Just maybe this invader was trying to help. Albeit in an extremely violent fashion.
She stopped struggling, going limp and letting the guards hold her up by her arms, her head hanging down. Quickly she felt the presence in her mind retreat, fortifying her mind against the mage Calhoun. She wasn't sure exactly what the man planned to do to her, but the presence inside seemed to think it wasn't going to be good. She kept her eyes closed tight as the man prepared his spell.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 4, 2010 20:14:23 GMT -5
Calhoun freely admitted to his compatriots and his boss that he was not very adept at the magicks of the mind. But he knew enough to recognize magic-aided telepathy and a mental connection. And he was quick enough to detect the other's presence before it could retreat from the telepathic link. I'll have none of that, he thought irritably as he spoke the words to a mental sealing spell, masking the connection to the girl from the other. It would never last, and would fade on its own, but for now it'd be enough to keep even talented psychics working for a long while to reverse its effects.
Though unskilled with actual mental magic and only a mediocre combat mage, Calhoun took great pride in his support magic, a tool that had saved this bandit company many times over. He released the girl and nodded.
"Keep this one in a separate cell, away from the others. Blindfold her when transferring her," he ordered. "Someone's been keeping tabs on this girl, and I don't know for how long."
"Right away, sir," one of the guards said in a clipped manner. The other one released his grip on the girl and brought out a blindfold, which he began tying around her eyes.
Laramie felt the connection severed suddenly, the presence angrily fading away. She breathed a sigh of relief, it had been an extremely disturbing feeling, having the other person inside her mind. For all the other things this Mage had done, he had helped her in that regard. As she was being blindfolded, she smiled weakly, her voice came whisper-quiet, "Thank you." She said to the mage.
Joe frowned at the Mage's words. He didn't like the fact that they were separating her from he and Dara. She was still a child, and a damaged one at that.
"you're afraid of a child?" He questioned mockingly of the Mage, Calhoun.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Jun 5, 2010 1:36:53 GMT -5
"You've never come across a Taron Mage, have you, Valtheranian?" Calhoun coolly replied. "Even their youngsters can wield incredible magical power, given a proper education. But since you obviously cannot see past the mundane here, I shall tell you: the child is not the danger here. There are far more dangerous things lurking in her mind."
Once properly blindfolded, the guards led Laramie out of the cell and out, presumably to another cell block. Calhoun strode out of the cell himself and locked it behind him with another spell, a minor one meant to manipulate locks. Without saying another word, he left Zandara and Joe to themselves to ponder on what he had said about their separated companion.