Blackmoor Pit

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hunter of Shadows, Sep 16, 2016.

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  1. It was once a mine, a vast open pit dug progressively lower and lower, full of valuable precious metals and gemstones, as well as other useful materials, thus making it the only reason for the Empire to come out to the godforsaken wasteland known as the Blackmoor. A blight on Imperial territory, the moor is a large territory of swamps, moors, and barren land.

    Dark, dank, cold, and unwelcoming, the land is inhabited by a great deal of dangerous fauna...and flora, and while it is well within the capabilities of the Empire to tame this piece of land, they have deemed it to not be worth it, no one wishes to live here, there are no resources worth bothering with the effort. It was only by sheer dumb happenstance that a number of explorer's found the source of materials that would become the mine. Considered eccentric for their stubborn desires to explore every part of every continent known to mankind, these explorers, admirable in spite of their eccentricity for the sheer will and determination to survive even in such a hostile place, not only succeeded, but found what would become Blackmoor Pit.

    Mining operations began rapidly, despite the danger, the estimates of the expedition decided there was a very great deal of worthwhile material to be found, and thus the Empire quietly paid them very well to cede discovery rights to own the land to it., and the explorer's, not really wanting to be tied down to this particular bit of land, readily agreed and moved on to explore other parts of the various continents of Ermarian.

    For thirty years, strip mining commenced, no one cared if it left an ugly blight on the land, or if it caused ecological damage, the land was already incredibly undesirable and ugly, so thus a great pit began to form over the decades. Digging ever deeper and deeper, excavating large stores of valuable minerals and ores for use by the Empire.

    (For reference, this is the kind of mine and structure that the Pit would be similar to Open Pit Mine)

    Eventually however, rising worker unhappiness as well as injuries and deaths, resulted in many refusing to work in the Pit, without employing slave labor the Empire had no means to continue operations, and so happened on a new idea.

    There were always undesirables, and criminals, especially in a county as vast as the Empire itself, and thus it decided to employ them, as a form of slave labor none of it's citizens would object to, it began to build on top of the pit, an extensive prison.

    Five years later, it was finished, down in the center, the bottom of the Pit, was constructed a large structure, of smooth, well constructed stone. A fortress, a castle, an unbreachable defense against the hostile predators of the Moor, and from the inescapable trap for those imprisoned, connecting the 'Pit' as it began to be collectively known, fortress, prison, and pit one and all.

    Connected to the Pit, were the only ways in or out, the previous entrances or exits dismantled and destroyed via methodical magical blasts, and from there...

    There, there is only one way in or out, the walls of the Pit cannot be scaled, not without gear, and not in time to avoid being captured should someone attempt to escape, thus, a magical gateway ports those coming in from a small structure on the outside of the Pit...


    On the upper levels of the prison, are the facilities of the staff, the guards and others, all of whom are regularly rotated out to avoid moral sinking too low, but all are disciplined, skilled, and not afraid to use any means necessary to contain the prisoners.

    Below the very upper levels, are the prisons, which are divided into three sections, the Upper, Middle, and Lower Gangs, each one used for different levels of criminal. With the prison descending into increasing levels of disorder and neglect as you go lower.


    Everyday, prisoners are rotated down to the depths of the Pit, where they are engaged in forced labor, though not to the point prisoner's die...too quickly, the Empire is never wasteful if it can avoid it, and in this case it does not wish to burn through it's prisoner supply quickly.

    For while those in the Upper Gang are typically political dissidents, or simply those who got on the wrong end of a powerful governor's power, every other prisoner from the Middle Gang and down are the worst murderers, rapists, thieves, and everything you can imagine...and things you can't, that the Empire has to offer.

    They kill each other, steal from each other, and more, there's an entire social system of gangs among these prisoners, the guards do not care however, if the prisoner's wish to fight and squabble with one another, so long as it does not interfere with mining operations, and stays out of the Upper Gang, it is irrelevant to the many guards working there.

    Welcome to your new home...Gwendolyn.


    The darkness seemed strange and unnatural down here, it seemed to pulse back and forth, like it was...breathing almost...

    Nothing could be seen, nothing could be really heard, two guards had escorted her down here, solemn looks on their faces, she knew that the Upper levels were contaminated with plague, and for some reason the soldiers stationed here, as they had told her, had wanted to spare her two fates.

    One, a long, lingering, painful death from the disease running through the Upper Gang, or...being murdered by prisoners in the lower tiers, or far worse, being made a sex slave, women were not commonly incarcerated in Blackmoor Pit, and thus...the filth that inhabited the lower tiers would not be kind, to say the least.

    They'd come through the many twisting passageways, till they had descended down a ways, to a single corridor. And passed her through several, thick, doors that gleamed with what appeared to be silver and iron, not steel.

    Furthermore, each door was covered in glowing runic glyphs, which sent a wave of magic that tingled unpleasantly as they passed each doorway. With the last door, they had pushed her in and called out "Another meal for you...make it quick alright?"

    Then they'd slammed the door shut, leaving her alone, with the eerie silence in comparison to the rest of the prison, just a slow, steady drip of water, a faint movement of air and...

    A voice, that was intent, soft, and clearly expecting an answer, a man's voice...

    "Are you afraid?"

  2. Gwen knew better than to struggle. Though the guards were not holding her tight enough to cause pain, a desperate wrench to escape would do more harm then good. There was no escape from the pits. The only way to escape the ravaging disease of the upper floors was to descent into chaos. Where men ceased to be men, and instead became beasts driven only by their most basic desires. Humanity could not survive in the pit. The further into it you slipped, the further away from humanity you found yourself, until you could no longer be recognized. She didn't fear death. She feared losing her humanity and becoming an animal like all the others she'd seen down here. In the pits, she'd seen men commit murder for the smallest infraction.

    The guards booted feet made loud, measured sounds on the rough cobblestone of the hallways. The sounds of the steps consumed her thoughts. She had noticed it the moment they reached this floor. Everything was unnaturally still, the air felt cool and smothering against her cold, clammy skin. They'd past through several doors on their way toward the largest, deepest cell. It must have been reserved for the true monsters. She'd heard snippets from the men on her floor, swearing that the creature was a vampire. That this cell was the last stop for all the overworked prisoners. There was definitely magic here, which sent a pleasant shiver up her spine. Her normally blonde hair was caked with dust, leaving it an unremarkable shade of brown that fell in gnarled tangles down her shoulders. The last time she had felt human was long ago. She'd lost track of her days, hours, minutes. It felt like she'd been trapped here for years, and she feared it might be the truth.

    She tripped into the cell, surprised by the rough send-off. The door slammed shut behind her. With a held breath, she listened until she could no longer hear the heavy footsteps retreating. It was then she realized she was truly trapped. Her last hope was extinguished. She was going to die here, alone, in the arms of a monster.

    Toward the back of the massive space, there was the faint sounds of dripping water, what felt like a cool breeze, and the most vast silence. She knew the man was in there with her, Gwendolyn should have felt a tingle of fear, but it felt more like relief. Perhaps she was ready for it all to be over.

    The voice was shocking soft, almost comforting in it's desire for contact. The question wasn't an odd one. A rational person might have shrieked, or backed away begging for mercy, but Gwendolyn merely stood there facing the vast emptiness ahead of her.

    "I should be."
  3. Variel nodded at her answer "A good answer human, had you lied to me, I would have killed you here and now." Soft footsteps echoed around the chamber "Had you lied, your body would have betrayed you in a hundred different ways."

    The vampire walked around the chamber, though she could see none of it, nor the intense gaze he directed at her. "Your honesty is refreshing, you have no idea how tiresome and pointless it is to listen to the others who are fed to me bluster and brag about how little they fear the situation they are in, as a reward...I shall spare your life."

    Silence fell across the room, and for a while she heard nothing but her own breathing. Before a cold light filled the room, and visible in the hand of a silver-haired, pale haired man with the features of a noble lord, handsome and regal, though with a disconcerting gaze.


    (Not wearing the armor)

    The orb of...non-light in his hand was some sort of ball of blackness, that gave off a bizarre witchlight. He gave it a gentle toss and it floated towards the ceiling, before sticking there. The room was carved directly into the stone, with a number of rocky pillars interspersed throughout the chamber, which otherwise seemed a mixture between natural stone walls, and those that had been chipped out, water steadily dripped in some corners, or outright flowed silently down walls.

    "I am Variel, I have been imprisoned in this chamber for approximately twenty years, welcome to my lonely cell, nice and quiet isn't it? Only the sound of water, and...the dark for company." Then after a moment that disconcerting stare, like being gazed at by a bird of prey softened to something more human "But, I will take pleasure in the fact, that for once I will have conversation."

    Noting her state of filthiness, he made a gesture behind him, to where the uneven cavern went back a ways "There is a heavier water flow back there, this cell has a number of accommodations that other prisoners are not provided...out of fear, and respect." Variel did not state why she might want a lot of water, believing it was likely obvious and that it would be rude to point out how dirty she was.
  4. Gewndolyn shivered, overcome with emotion. She wasn't sure if it was horror or relief, but she wasn't going to die in the pits. Not that day. She studied the darkness, briefly wondering if death was the kinder option. His response left her breathless. Her body was already betraying her. Her legs refused to cooperate, it seemed all they were capable of was holding her up, and perfectly still.

    She could hear his soft echoing footsteps, feel his gaze on her.The chamber was far to vast to identify the direction of any of it. Somehow she trusted him. She believed he was telling the truth; there was little point in lying to a woman who was already dead to the rest of the world.

    The silence and darkness was overwhelming, the only comfort she had was the sound of her ragged, terrified breaths. It felt as though the darkness would consume her. Her eyes scanned the room, trying to identify where the vampire was standing. Finally, she found him. There was a soft light emitting from his palm. The light itself appeared blacker than the room, as if creating a space darker would cast light against the stone and empty space. She took her opportunity to view the space, as though she would never see it again, or worse yet, this dark, terrifying place would be her last sight.

    The vampire was handsome, silver haired, pale skinned, and features as fine as any king. But there was some sort of sharpness, or coldness about him, it left her on edge. She didn't fear him exactly, but there was something about him that made her think it was foolish not too. "Then, I suppose I am glad. With luck we will both find comfort in not being alone." She'd never been truly isolated, which is what made her loneliness worth. Surrounded by guards, and other prisoners. Noone dared speak to her, or look in her direction.

    With a kurt nod, she started her wobbly walk down to the water. She sat on the ground and held her head under the running stream, soft sounds of relief escaped her clamped lips. It felt nice to be clean, if only in her imagination. The dirt took coaxing to wash out of her hair, but she was patient, and more than that, stubborn. When she felt clean enough, she stood and walked carefully toward the center of the room.

    "My name is Gwendolyn. Good to meet you sir Variel."
  5. "That remains to be seen." Came the blunt reply, with the vampire pirouetting smoothly on one foot and turning to walk away, to a different part of the cell, after a while the sounds of stone being hammered upon could be heard echoing through the stone walls, the cell itself was...surprisingly nice, the stone was clean other then the places it was wet where water dripped or flowed, and there were in various parts of the walls, carved storage places.

    Visible were books in some of these little cubbyholes, one above a pallet with straw pillow that had what appeared to be a suit of armor and a final cubbyhole with several, neatly folded sets of clothes. The reason for some of these comforts, as it appeared the vampire was afforded greater amenities then most prisoners, soon became clear.

    In one large, particular cubbyhole, was a very large amount of precious gemstones, which appeared to have already been delicately cut and buffed, something the vampire clearly did with his spare time. The Empire had a reputation for being intolerant of non-humans, why they put up with Variel was now very obvious, and judging from the sounds coming from where he'd gone...

    He was very fast, and efficient. Variel reflected that it was likely due to his superior strength, speed, and reflexes due to his nature as one of the undead, in his hand was a metal chisel he'd formed himself, first he'd had to painstakingly using a rock, bash out some iron, from there using his magic he'd heated it up, refined it into steal, and using his bare hands had formed it into the shape he'd wanted, magic providing the necessities for such an action.

    Not that he'd originally been much of a mage, but vampirism had it's perks, one of which was being a fairly powerful spellcaster in his own right, thanks to the fact that his lineage was old, and very powerful. Once he'd formed a chisel, all he'd needed was that very same rock and he was able to rapidly and precisely excavate chunks of ore and rock from the walls.

    Since he wasn't regularly inspected by a long shot, he'd also been quietly digging the tunnel in a direction he believed could hopefully help him get out. Variel afterall, was going to live forever and thus had all of eternity to dig his way out of this hole. It would take a very long time, but he'd be free.
  6. Gwendolyn held her breath until the sound of retreating footsteps became a mere whisper. The cave itself was huge, at least ten times the size of her previous cave, which she'd understood was one of the largest and most luxurious among them all. It didn't take her long to identify the sounds of something hammering on stone, deep into one of the tunnels branching from the cave. The stone was clean, or appeared to be. There were no shrieking, scurrying rats in this cavern. There was only herself, the vampire, and the sound of flowing water.

    There were carved hollows in the wall, made for storage. Curiously, she approached, not too closely though. She didn't want the vampire to think she was nosy. There were several books, the titles of which were long worn off the spine. A cubbyhole was filled with precious armor, and several sets of neatly folded prison clothes. He must have been formidable to have been locked down here. The empire wasn't fond of non-humans, but they feared the wrath of them. Variel must have been very powerful to earn a spot in the most well known hellhole of the capital.

    The quality of the gemstones shocked her. They were lovely, finished pieces. How he had managed to achieve the cut and quality without the precise machines and techniques was beyond her. Diamonds ranging in size filled the cubby. They were undeniably beautiful, but they were cold, sharp and harsh like the prison they'd been carved from. She turned in the direction of the noise and tilted her head curiously. It was clear they kept him around for his incredible talent and finding and buffing out the imperfections of jewels.

    Gwendolyn had never tried looking for jewels. The opportunity had never presented itself. She was to be kept away from the other prisoners and their activities, and from the way the guards had tossed her in here, and Variel had talked to her, she wouldn't be getting anywhere any time soon. Unless the Vampire tired of her, and killed her like she had been threatened. Not a comforting thought, but in prison, nothing was a comfort. Just varying degrees of less horrifying.

    She retreated to the door, and sunk down beside it, her back against the cool stone wall. It seemed the safest place- far away from the tunnel in which he was digging, and further still from his neatly organized bed. She was scared, and Variel had been less than comforting. Her company wasn't desired, but there was little else the pair of them could do about it.
  7. Abruptly, around some time later, though it was impossible to judge exactly how long, the vampire exited where he was carving away at the stone, looking distracted, staring off into space, as if trying to think of something that eluded him. After standing still for a while he seemed to figure it out.

    Variel turned and walked over to her, before sitting on the ground, and told her "I must apologize, I'm not being a very welcome host, I've been down here for so long I've more or less forgotten what it means to even have another living being to interact with around, you may notice..." He said with a gesture to some of the walls, which had markings on all of them, etched into the stone "That I have been here for so long, that I have overridden some of my very markings counting the days, eventually I stopped bothering, thus you can imagine my isolation, I find it remarkable I'm still sane."

    Then the vampire paused to consider that, head cocking and eyes quirking thoughtfully upwards. "Relatively speaking, anyways, I would be a bit of a biased judge for that particular call, regardless...I can see the despair in your eyes, and while I won't tell you that it passes, your inability to deal with it will, now tell me about yourself, and why you are here, and I will regale you with my own tale, does that sound like a fair trade?"
  8. (I am so sorry!! It's just been one of those weeks, where one thing goes wrong and then everything snowballs until it's some kind of nightmare. Everything's cleaned up for the moment- I think!)

    It was a long time later before Gwendolyn noticed the subtle sounds of his work stopping. The scrape of metal against stone silenced, she was left alone with her thoughts, and fears that he would come back and be hungry. It wasn't long before he emerged from the tunnel and paused, deep in thought. Gwendolyn hadn't the foggiest idea how to deal with him.

    He turned toward her and after a brief walk, joined her on the floor of the cell. She gave him a brief, nervous glance. He wasn't a violent man, or she didn't believe him too be. "Do not worry about it. I suppose anyone would be rusty with their social skills after a long period of time stuck in this pit." Her eyes followed his gesture, astonished to see so many marks etched into the face of the rock. They overlapped one another, and there was no inch of rock left untouched. "Sane enough. I haven't noticed you going stark raving mad."

    "It never does get better does it?" She laughed bitterly. "I found out that one of the Emperor's officials was using funds to support his mistress, and whatever she didn't need, he was funneling into the military. So he murdered my brother and pinned it on me. He was my only family.. I've been here ever since. They kept me away from the other prisoners though, until they brought me down here to die."
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