The shackles of society

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  1. [​IMG]

    "Our deepest apologies your highness, something seems to have blocked the road." A voice called from outside the carriage as Khaal was busy trying to remember where he were. The drowsy prince had fallen asleep during their trip back to the palace after having been on an extended visit to a neighboring kingdom for a few meetings. The abrupt stop had been most unwarranted.

    "Has a tree fallen?" His adviser asked the guards. If so, it could be a trap. It was normal for thieves to cut down a tree to make people stop.

    "No sir, it's a person." The prince woke up at the words. A person in the middle of the street? If they were conscious they would just have left the road on their own when the carriage got close. Was someone hurt?

    Stepping out of the carriage, against the wishes of his far too overprotective adviser, Khaal noticed the poor girl in rags and covered with bruises, lying on the ground.

    "Looks like an escaped slave." The prince's eyes turned to the guard, confused by the words. Escaped slave? Why would a slave escape? His only experience with slaves were the ones in the castle, and they did live fairly well under good conditions. Most of them seemed content with the arrangements. They work and get payed with food and a roof over their heads. What he did not know was that most slaves outside of the castle wasn't taken care of well. Some were abused simply for the entertainment of the owner. They were treated more like animals than humans. If abuse went on in the castle, it was kept well hidden behind closed doors.

    "We should take it to the prisons and alert its owner. It will be lucky if they even let it live after such an offense." Said the second guard. Khaal became furious at those words.

    "How dare you. That is a living being. How can you be so careless with life?" Khaal scolded the guards.

    "Prince Khaalindaan, I know what you're thinking, but this is not the castle. The world has different rules than what you..." His adviser tried to argue, but was cut off.

    "Whatever you say, this is unacceptable. Bring the girl to the palace and make sure no one sees her, especially father. Choose three trustworthy maids to take care of her. Of course, no one is to utter a word of this to anyone. Understood?" The prince did not listen to a single word of complaints, and the guards had no rights to refuse. Khaal knew that if his father asked the guards about the girl or anything related to it, they would answer, because the king had a higher authority than him, but as long as he didn't ask, she would be safely hidden. Once she was better he could figure out what to do.


    Back at the palace a few hours later, they had been able to sneak the girl inside through tunnels under the castle. Of course that had been the job of one guard while the others took the front door. It would have been odd if the prince didn't show up at the gate but suddenly turned up in the castle, so he had to leave it in his trustworthy soldier's competent hands.

    Once he had spoken to his father and gotten a warm welcome home, Khaal returned to his chambers and changed his clothes fast before leaving to check on the girl. She was now lying in a location of the castle that rarely was used, and most of the rooms were guest rooms that only got to see living, breathing creatures once a year, if even that, when special parties were held. The maids were already cleaning the wounds and bandaging the girl.

    Who could have done something so awful to such a young person, Khaal wondered.
    #1 redblood, Jan 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016

  2. She was warm. That was really the first thing she noticed when she began to gain consciousness. In pain, but she was warm. Not wet from rain or dew; not tied to a wall accepting a beating. Warm.

    Ever so slowly, bright green eyes opened and she blinked up at the ceiling--no the canopy of a large bed. Was this a dream? Being warm and in a bed could only be a dream right? Elena slowly began pushing herself up but was quickly pushed back down by a maid who was tending her. She blinked at the woman and then a chill ran through her. Maid?? She scrambled up and out of the hands of the three maids trying to keep her calm and off the bed--unaware that they had taken what were little more than rag clothing away leaving her startlingly naked before all of them. Her bruises were obvious as she backed away from the three women. Worse, her bones easily showed under her skin.

    She remembered now. She'd finally managed to escape Lord Aias' home and ran as far and fast as she could under her conditions. She'd been beaten before that so it had been to some road before she'd tripped and not had the energy to get back up again.

    She finally caught sight of the elf and she hissed, back against a wall now, sliding along it towards the door like a trapped cat. She would not go back.
  3. As the girl awoke, a maid gently gave the prince a sign to go back a bit to give them space, and so he did. Leaning against the wall he waited for them to calm her down, but then she suddenly escaped the bed and started moving towards the door in spite of her current condition and the maids pleads for her to rest.

    Khaal didn't watch the show for long before interfering. "If you open that door, there is a chance that you'll be killed without question." It wasn't a threat, just a warning. Whether she would understand that or not was another point. He had to stay calm though to make sure she didn't feel threatened. "We found you lying on the road and brought you with us. No one knows that you're here, and as long as you don't leave, you'll be safe. Once your wounds are healed we can get you out the same way we got you inside." He spoke slowly to make sure she could follow it. Not because he thought she was stupid, but because he knew she was confused.

    "Though if you absolutely have to leave, at the very least wait until we can give you some appropriate clothes for your journey." Khaal might have been a gentleman and not mentioned her slightly distracting appearance at first, but he doubted any woman or man of any race would wish to run out naked into the masses. Though if she wasn't frightened by the possibility of being killed, then maybe them seeing her naked wouldn't be such a big of a deal either.

    "Please do listen to the his majesty. You were just saved. Running into death would only undo everything you fought for." One of the maid told the girl. She was the only maid whom was fully human. The other two was race mixed. Hybrids. One was a dwarf human mix and the other one was a wolf human mix. While it was common to see hybrid working as maids, humans were highly uncommon. It was a job to good for their rank, at least if they didn't have powers that could make up for their low rank.
  4. She'd frozen when he spoke to her, eyes flicking to the door several times before she started to inch along the other way towards a window. Yeah, she wanted to leave, right then. Unnntil she realized that she was completely naked--not that it was anything new. She was used to being more or less exposed to everyone's gaze, this was hardly different. No, what stopped her was the fact that without clothes she'd last even shorter of a time than she had before.

    And then she stilled all together when the word 'majesty' was uttered. She stared at the four, trapped against the wall as she was. No, they had to be joking. No elf would help a human willingly. Especially not a noble elf--a prince no less.

    "You could," she started to say before having to swallow a few times to try again, "You could be lying. Slaves can't trust elves, or free humans, or hybrids. You all turn on us eventually."
  5. The human maid watched the girl concerned for a few seconds before turning to the prince. "Could you please excuse us for a moment my lord." It wasn't a question, nor a suggestion. It was just the only thing they could do, and she wouldn't paint it as if there were other choices, she she put it as bluntly as she dared without sounding too disrespectful.

    The prince looked between the maid and the naked girl a few times before sighing, nodding and then he went for the door. The woman also gave the two other girls a slight nod to go with him, which they obliged. Usually a hybrid would be above a low level magic user, but if the prince followed her orders without a word, they would of course do the same.

    "I hope some space can make you relax a little." She told the girl. "I'm Abigail Wood. You don't have to tell me your name if you don't want to." Abigail sat down on a chair close to the bed and made a motion with her hand for the girl to sit down, but knew that it was unlikely to happen when she was so tense and scared.

    "I don't know how much you know about the human classes considering you seem to be a slave of the lowest degree, but I am far from free myself. I am not beaten up every day because some rich bastard wants a laughing stock, but I cannot choose my own destiny. I was sold to the palace when I was ten, and I will most likely die here or get sold off to whomever bids the most when I no longer have the strength to work. I am only a class three magician. We do get the better job environments for as long as our bodies holds up, but we are only considered tools in the eyes of the state. You would have to get up to a class six magician before they would actually treat you as a citizen, and that is only because they don't want to anger those who can fight back."

    "Twenty percent of humans are magicians, around eighty percent of magicians are lower than class five, and the ones who are free, the strong and powerful, are just used as weapons or other tools by the state, which they are blissfully unaware of."

    A slave like her didn't have the possibility to get these facts, they only saw the powerful magicians whom had the luxury to never work hard in their entire life and the fortunate slaves whom they thought go to choose their jobs freely, when in reality no one payed them for their work in other ways than a roof and food and often times they were sold into it. "There is no such thing as a free human, only more fortunate slaves." The woman shook her head, almost as if she was disappointed by all the facts she had presented. Well, she most certainly was. The world was too cruel.

    "Please, stay for a bit longer, until your wounds have healed at least. If you leave as you are, you won't even get out of the castle. If you truly wish to be flee, you shouldn't throw your life away in a suicide mission. Stay, plan and heal first. I give you my word, the prince won't let anyone know you're here. It would not only kill you, but also damage his and the king's reputation. Loosing the peoples trust would be a horrible thing for the royal family, so if you can't trust his good will, trust that he will protect himself." Abigail truly did not wish for this girl to throw her life away. Her own parents had already done that when they tried to escape slavery with Abigail and her brother. Only Abigail had been brought back alive and that was only because they knew that she had the potential to develop magic abilities. All the non-magicians, even her six year old brother, had been slaughtered. That was the life humans were burdened with.
  6. The woman looked about and then listened to the other woman before looking towards the door out which the prince and maids had gone. "I still don't trust you," she said, but she did stop inching towards the windows. "Or him... Even if you... you aren't really free, you are freer than I am and so I can't trust any of you." She'd understood quite a bit of what she'd said but there was something desperate in her mistrust. If her world broke down now she would have nothing to hold onto. Nothing to keep her firmly latched to reality.

    "I will stay until I'm healed or one of you tries anything," she finally said as she crossed her arms over her chest, though she still didn't move from the wall.
    #6 Dragondarium, Jan 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  7. Abigail nodded and gave the girl a gentle smile. "That's all we ask for." She replied, happy the girl wasn't so lost she would do anything to escape them. Even though it was unlikely, Abigail hoped the girl could somehow find a place where she could be free, just as she wished freedom for all of the human race.

    "Now, get back to bed. You can't rest properly on your feet." The maid told the girl. "I'll get you a change of clothes and some food. You should sleep a bit until it arrives." Abigail stood up and started to head towards the door, but stopped just before opening it. "One more thing. I understand that you wouldn't want anyone to know your true name, but I do not wish to go around calling you, you. Could you give us a fake one for now?"
  8. Elena moved back towards the bed and slipped into the bed as she was asked, nibbling her lower lip which made her hiss as it was busted open. "A-Anele," she finally said, deciding that she'd be more likely to respond with her name pronounced backwards and it would be easier to remember than making a new one up on the spot. "Yo-You can call me Anele." She pulled the covers up to just below her chin, one hand searching the bed around her for any snakes or spiders or other icky stuff that might be waiting for her.
  9. "Alright then Anele. Get some rest and we'll come back in a bit." The maid opened the door just as two maids were in the middle of getting away from the door which they had obviously tried to lean against to listen to what was going on. The prince whom stood a bit away from them, leaning against the opposite wall, couldn't help but chuckle. Sure, he himself was curious as well of what had been said on the other side of that door, but the walls were thick, and no matter how hard one tried, a normal speaking voice would not be heard through it.

    She closed the door and looked amused at the two embarrassed young maids. "So, how did it go?" The prince asked. She explained that they should leave her alone for now so she could rest for a bit. Maybe they could speak to her more after she had gotten something to eat and some warm clothes.

    After an hour or so, the maids returned with food and clothes. Not only one dish, but several. Since they did not know what she liked or if she had any allergies, they made sure different things were prepared so she could take whichever suited her best. There were around ten different clothings, so she could try them out and see what she wanted to wear, instead of them forcing her into something she wasn't comfortable in. Half of them were pants and shirt mixes while the other half were different types of dresses. The maid doubted she wished for dresses if she wanted to run, as it could slow her down, but if she decided to stay for a while, maybe she would want some just for the castle stay.

    "If nothing on the table or among the clothes are to your liking miss Anele, we can exchange them for something else." Abigail informed the girl as they brought it in. The prince was of course not in the room at that time. If the girl was going to change clothes, his presence was certainly not necessary, and it would probably do her good to eat in peace and quiet.
  10. She had been under the blankets entirely when they reappeared, searching every inch for hidden deathtraps or things to cause pain. She popped out, on the balls of her feet, ready to run if they'd brought guards to cart her off. When she sat the dresses and clothes though she stilled, and then moved to the other side of the bed before toppling backwards with a gasp and cry of surprise before she was back up and ready to fight.

    "Slaves don't get clothes like that," she said, shaking her head. The clothes she was offered were better than anything she had ever been allowed to touch even. She moved slowly forward, reaching out to touch one of the dresses, just to be able to say she had before she pulled back and looked up. Slaves weren't used to choices, and it showed in her gaze. She stepped over and looked between all the clothes and then, watching the women, she reached out for one of the dresses, watching their expressions closely as her fist closed around the dress and pulled it up and over her head.
  11. The two other maids might have gotten a slightly concerned look after the girl's reaction. They didn't know how to handle someone who didn't know what they wanted. They had been taught since birth how to take care of high society people and follow their orders perfectly. This was a situation they had never encountered before. Should they help her choose as they did an indecisive lady? Or did she feel more comfortable wearing something else? They looked to Abigail whom only chuckled.

    "Well, you're not a slave anymore, are you?" Abigail said with a smile. "There is no reason for you to wear such clothes when you've fought and won your freedom." It might be a very temporary freedom, but freedom nonetheless. She stepped forward and helped the girl pull the dress down properly. "This fabric is made by the dwarfs. It's one of the strongest every day cloth materials in existence. People tend to believe they are only good at mining work and weapon creation, but that's far from true, right Gava?" As she spoke she gently made sure to fix any wrinkles that might have been created during the girl's rough handling of the fabric. The fabric might be strong, but it didn't like to stay smooth if it was handled the wrong way. This of course gave high class ladies another reason to have a maid with them at all times as someone had to make sure the fabric was straightened out quickly after getting wrinkles.

    "I guess so. Mining work is one section, but their main work tends to be craftsmanship. They make everything from the most obvious to the most unexpected. Swords and weapons, porcelain and tableware, fabrics for clothing and tools for most types of work." The half dwarf Gava said, wondering why exactly they were giving this girl a history lesson. Abigail simply wished for the girl to stay calm, and talking about anything except for whatever made someone anxious, was the best way to do that.
  12. The young woman listened and fidgited near the woman before looking over at the half dwarf. She was already nervous. How was she going to be able to get away if they kept trying to help her with things...

    She moved over to the food and stared at it all. "What are these? I've... I've never seen things like this except at the lords table after they've gone to bed."
  13. The maids mainly knew the dishes by names alone. What actually were in them was a mystery even for them. Though sometimes some of them could have a few advantages in that area.

    The half wolf girl walked up to the dishes and took a small sniff for the food on the first plate. "Bird, Garuda maybe. Big bird. Can feed thirty people." She said and continued to see what she could pick up on the other dishes. The more she spoke, the more people around her understood that she wasn't fluently speaking their language. most sentences were short or only a couple of words, and when she tried to make longer ones, they rarely came out right. "This one, herbs, nuts and bread. Lots of onion." Her nose wrinkled and as the smell of garlic entered her nose. It was a bit too strong for her.

    "I do believe it's garlic, but close enough Amelia." It was easy for Abigail to notice the mistake. Amelia never had problems with onions, but garlic could give her quite the reaction.
  14. Elena would be lying if she said that the food didn't smell and sound rich and delicious. But when she stepped forward to take some, she hesitated and went of the least rich of them all. She knew her place, even if she wasn't under the control of the man any more. She took a bite and then coughed a bit as tastes overwhelmed her. Her eyes watered a bit at the strength of it and she tried to find some water, picking up the first clear liquid she found and downing more than half of it before gasping for breath at the sting of vodka-like alcohol. She dropped the glass, which shattered at her feet. She jumped and then, ran to the door, trying to outrun whatever punishment they would heap on her for breaking the glass. It had been a mistake but... Well no one ever believed her when she made mistakes. She threw the door open and ran straight, which made her run straight into the prince against the other wall.
  15. Khaal was walking slowly towards the girl's room. He did want to give her some space considering how upset she had seemed, but there were also things he wished to speak to her about. How had she gotten all those wounds? He knew she was an escaped slave, but the treatment she had endured was unfamiliar to him, it was something he thought only could happen in barbaric countries, not his own.

    He was unsure if now was the right time to enter or not, so he decided to wait for a bit longer to make sure she got a chance to get used to the maids first. It was impossible to hear anything from the other site of the room though, so the prince had no idea what was going on until the door swung open and the girl ran right into him.

    His arms quickly embraced her without hesitation, as if to shield her from danger. It was mainly an impulse and not something he thought about. His eyes immediately tried to locate what had frightened her. "Calm down Anele, it's okay. It's just a broken glass. We have many more just like them. Gava, could you clean up here. Amelia, go tell the cook to make something without too much spices. For now it would probably be best to make the food suitable for a child's taste buds." Abigail said, trying to make sure that the girl knew she hadn't done anything wrong.

    "Are you okay? You didn't get scratched by the glass, did you?" Khaal asked gently after having put a little bit of distance between himself and the girl. He was still holding a hand on her shoulder though. Maybe he was frightened that she would continue to run and get caught. She still hadn't had a bath or gotten properly cleaned up, so even with a beautiful dress, people would notice she didn't belong there if she roamed around.
  16. Elena was trembling under the man's hand, looking between the two with wary eyes, as if expecting it to be a lie and for her to be dragged away taht instant. "I'm sorry. I-I didn't mean to drop the glass. It was an accident. I'm sorry," she stammered, lowering her gaze to her feet as she contemplated just what she could do to get out of punishment--even if Abigail said that it was okay.

    "I am fine, sir," she whispered, as she shifted from foot to foot, testing them for any pair and wincing just a bit from cuts that had been caused not by the glass but by her reckless run through the woods without shoes.
  17. Khaal was not slow to notice her wincing. "It's just a glass, it can be replaced." The prince reassured her before he suddenly picked her up and carried her to the bed. "Your feet on the other hand might not always be fixable, especially if you leave the wounds alone for too long. One infection could force you to cut a leg off." He explained to her as he examined her feet, holding a steady grip so he wouldn't loose his grip if she suddenly decided to kick away from him. The cuts were fairly new, but non of them were fresh enough to have happened minutes ago.

    "I'm guessing you don't like spicy food. Sorry about that. We'll try something simpler from now on." Khaal told her with a gentle smile after having let go of her foot. It wasn't hard to gather what had happened in there after the orders Abigail had shouted out. "Do you know any names of the dishes you used to eat? Is there anything in particular that you like?" He then asked her.
  18. She stared at the man before crawling up the bed, away from him so tat her back was pressed to the headboards. "Dishes? You... You are kidding, yes? Bread. Bread and water are what I have lived off of ever since I remember," she finally said, eyeing him. "Are you... Have you never seen slaves before. That's all we are given unless we are higher up the food chain, or whores for the masters and mistresses."
  19. It was hard to comprehend what he was told. Those weren't the living standards he knew of. The slaves they had in the castle were given proper food just like the regular servants, even though it wasn't on par with what he himself ate. How could one have the energy to work on only water and bread? It was ridiculous.

    "Oh, my deepest apologies, I... I did not know that." Why did he feel so ashamed? No one had ever informed him of these sorts of things. He couldn't help not knowing what people didn't teach him. Still, he was the kingdom's future king. Not knowing your own country was more than shameful. "Were you working for someone who could not truly afford to take in more mouths to feed but did so anyways to gain status for having servants?" Khaal asked the girl, hoping it was just this one place that was like that. He had heard of it before. People took in more and more slaves just because they wanted to brag with how many workers they had in their home, but they didn't have money to feed them all. If that was the kind of person she had worked for, they had to know who her owner was, otherwise he might starve his slaves to death for his reputations sake.
  20. Again the look she gave him was one of confusion. "Lord--" She bit her lip. He could return her if he knew her masters real name. "The lord I was enslaved to was very wealthy and... and can afford to feed more than what he has. But it was cheap to feed us bread and water... and socially acceptable."
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