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Old 07-10-2006, 06:41 PM   #57
Shade of Carn Dm
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Azhar and Kwell:

At some point during the wild dash over the plains, Azhar blacked out and did not awaken until after the slavers' band had arrived back in camp. When she finally came to, she was no longer straddled over Imak's saddle but confined inside some kind of makeshift holding pen, sitting by herself in total darkness. Her hands had been restrained with thick ropes that were secured behind her back. There was a shackle around her left ankle attached to a short metal chain that had been embedded in the prison wall. Her skin was chaffed and raw where the cruel metal anklet had rubbed against her leg.

Azhar's heart thumped wildly against her chest. At first, she could see nothing and when she frantically whispered in the darkness to find out if Kwell was nearby, she was met with ominous silence. Minutes passed, and then an hour, and still no one came. Lying down to sleep that evening, she had almost been ready to give up, complaining about the miserable conditions and wondering if it wouldn't have been easier to stay behind and simply beg the guards for the scraps that fell from their plates. Yet, strangely enough, here in the most dire circumstances she had faced, Azhar refused to despair. There was something inside that could not believe her dream would die inside this bleak fortress without a shred of hope or the gentle touch of a human hand.

How many times had she sat around the firepit and heard stories about the men and women of the West who had risen up to overthrow the might of Mordor? She'd memorized all those names: Aragorn, Gandalf, Faramir, and especially the Lady Eowyn. Those stories were shared in hushed voices in the middle of the night, passed along at great risk since there was always the chance that a guard might overhear.

Now, all alone in the blackness, with every rational hope extinguished, Azhar was beginning to wonder if she could possibly be a small part of that same story. All she wanted was a chance to live without the guards always telling her what to do. The young slave swore to herself that she would no longer agree to carry water. She would adamently refuse to roll over and die like some old dog that been kicked in the ribs and left along the roadside.

For the first time ever, Azhar was angry and aware that the slaves had suffered a great and preventable injustice, although she could not have put that feeling into words. At least she wanted to be able to defend herself. It was wrong that only the male escapees had been allowed to practice with weapons. She was as smart and nimble as any of them, and what she lacked in strength, she made up for in speed. Azhar swore that, if she ever got out of this pigsty, she would persuade Khamir or one of the other slave leaders to teach her how to use a bow or sword.

In the midst of all this thinking, a grating noise sounded above her head, like a latch being drawn back and a wooden door being removed. Craning her neck upward, she could just see the shadowy outline of a few stars twinkling in the night. They seemed to be beckoning her onward, offering her a tempting promise of life beyond this miserable cell. Her gentle dream was abruptly terminated when Imak's glaring face stared down from above. Suddenly, a body was hurled down into the pit, the hands and ankles bound with rope. As the shapeless form hit the ground, there was a mighty thud and then it rolled helplessly over to the side wall. To her great relief, Azhar heard someone cursing.

She waited a minute and then spoke, "Kwell, is that you?"

The answer came back sharp and acerbic, "Well, who else did you think would be visiting you in a place like this?"

Last edited by Tevildo; 07-11-2006 at 02:27 AM.
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