Everyone Has A Price

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Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:48 pm

It had been another day of stress for Calene. She had longed for her bed for hours before she was actually free of the hall and all of the Nobles with their petty problems. Most people had already known how to handle their issues but for some reason they had come before her just to have her tell them what they already knew. Was this what life would be like as a Queen? She liked the added respect toward her. The power she held was daunting sometimes but most of the time? It gave her nothing but sore muscles in her back and a raging headache. That and everywhere she went there were guards. Men who intruded in on everything and were always there. She had gotten so tired of them being near her she commanded them to let her alone tonight and ‘Find something useful to do’. She couldn’t know that 4 men in darkened leathers were just outside the doors of her apartments right then. 

Calene had just begun to dream when she felt something that tasted like cloth being stuffed into her mouth and a burlap sack tossed over her head! She screamed and felt two sets of hands binding her wrists and ankles in the dark. Her screams though came out in a muffled rasp and her eyes bulged as hands touched her in places she did not wish to be touched. Fear and outrage filled her as she was unceremoniously hauled up and bent across someone's shoulder like a sack. She struggled and squirmed but then felt a sudden jolt of pain as the man that carried her smacked her bottom. His hand hurt and even after he began to move it still smarted something fierce and she immediately stopped struggling. What was happening? Why was this happening and who were these people that came to take her in the middle of the night? She didn’t know but it was all she could do to not allow terror to seep into her very soul.

Deshane didn’t much like the white city. Today marked yet another anniversary of his father’s death. He squatted before a weathered, gray grave marker made of marbled stone to brush away a few of the leaves that fell upon it from the nearby oak that loomed high above his grave. He had never really come to terms with how he had died. His father, his friends and nearly himself as well as they were overrun by orcs. Somewhere in his mind he blamed the King for that. And in that same, dark place there was no amount of forgiveness for him. Instinctively he rubbed his shoulder where the scar sat where he had been impaled by an Orc spear. 

Harolt’s summons had sounded important and so he stood as he decided not to linger here long. Best to hear him out and be done with this place he thought as he took a long look around the cemetery where thousands of men had been laid to rest. The man had come up in the world. He had heard his daughter had married Eldarion, the Kings only son and he himself had been made the King’s chief military advisor. Well...best to hear him out and move along as quickly as he could. 

“A missive for you my lady!” A man in a messenger’s livery said as they broke their fast in the main dining hall. Elessar had gone out early with Conleth and the letter that sat on a silvered tray was held out toward Nauriel. He remained at the door as a servant presented the letter. However it was something foreboding in his tone that might give her pause or haste. She knew he had come from Mina's Tirith and his face looked…grim? Everyone else must have seen what she saw as all conversation in the room halted as several sets of eyes shifted to the letter as if it were a poisonous adder on the tray and not a simple rolled scroll with a blue wax seal.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:21 pm

For the past few days Nauriel had been feeling a grave feeling in the pit of her stomach. She knew not what it was for, but it would not leave her. It was difficult for her to sleep or eat. Elessar believed it was nothing more than her being upset over Arina and her mother. She however knew it was not. And so when she received the missive from Mina's Tirith the dread began to grow rapidly. She hesitated a moment as she looked at the letter on the silver tray. She could hear Beren and Eomer talking in the kitchen. Slowly she reached out and picked it up. She drew in a deep breath as she turned it over and broke the seal. Gently she removed the letter, but paused for a brief moment before opening it.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:17 pm

My King and Queen,

I have ill news this day. Princess Calene has now been missing for two days beyond the time it took for this letter to find its way to you. Witnesses say they saw men in dark clothing that appeared suspicious but other then that there has been no sign of her. She was last seen going to her apartments to dine and sleep. The next morning her bed was empty and her maid servant last saw her when she helped her out of her clothes the night prior. Nothing else was disturbed as she could tell and your daughter had previously...dismissed her apartment guards that very evening prior to entering her apartments. 

I’ve received a ransom letter which I copied and handed to my personal messenger to give to you by his hand alone. I also took the liberty of hiring Deshane Aralest to find her and kept knowledge of her disappearance private until your return. I pray you receive this letter and return quickly. 

My deepest condolences, 

Lord Commander Harolt Tumberlan

Upon reading this then looking up Nauriel would see a folded paper in the messengers hands he held it up and stepped quickly forward to give it to her although the servants obviously did not approve of him being there. The letter was on simple white paper and written in a clear but hasty hand.

King Elessar,

We have your daughter, Princess Calene and if you want her back alive you must pay ten thousand in gold. We know you are away on holiday so we will give you 30 days. A woman will arrive by horse and cart to pick it up and ensure all the coins are there. We have her son as well and if she is followed he will die along with your dear Princess. If you delay or try any tricks she will die.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:32 pm

Upon reading the letter from Commander Harolt Nauriel had to sit down. Her entire face had gone ashen white and she felt sick to her stomach. With trembling hands she took the second letter, but feared opening it. Slowly, and with tears in her eyes, she opened the letter. It was short and to the point. Elessar would be able to feel her deep distress. Beren might suddenly hear her begin to cry. She put her head in her hands as she began to sob.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:38 pm

Beren and Eldarion had stopped their conversation to turn and look at Nauriel. Beren knew what it was about and his own face took on a sickly pale color. Ithilwen went down upon her knees before her and took hold of her hands. Eldarion was confused as well as others that were in the same room with them. “Mother?” Kressara said, an afraid, worried look in her eyes. Beren went to her side as well but turned toward Eldarion. “Get….get Elessar,” he said briskly. Eldarion did not paid and rushed out as the girls to surrounded their ailing mother, their worry increasing by the moment. 

“They’ve...taken her,” Ithilwen said. Being who she was she had a bit of the mental abilities that her kin had. Beren nodded, tears rolling down his face now.

To Elessar it was like all the pain in the world had moved to constrict around his chest. A sudden jolt that made it difficult for him to breath. His legs moved though. He heard Conleth say something but did not seem to hear what it was as he lurched forward into a dead run toward the hill. Conleth now just as worried chased after him, people seeing them and moved out of their way. His honor guard was just behind as well. All 5 gave chase when they saw him move. 

It was the embarrassment that hurt Calene more than the welts across her back and bottom. They laughed even harder when she tried to tell them who she was. They also groped her and the indignity of it all made her beyond furious. But her captures thought it all a grand joke.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:50 pm

Nauriel couldn't speak. Her mind was a torrent of questions and worries. She never should have left her alone. Guilt like she had never felt before flooded her heart. She had already lost two children...she couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to Calene. She would never forgive herself.

She heard the door open and sensed Elessar as he rushed over to her. She could say nothing, but she handed him the two letters with trembling hands. She couldn't bear to look at him as he read them.

Calene was terrified, but she tried not to let her captors know it. It had been days since she had been taken from the palace and had been given very little to eat or drink. Her mouth was dry and she was dirty. She was still wearing her nightgown, but it was filthy and ripped in several places. There were marks on her wrists from where the ropes had been rubbing up against her bare skin.

"When you are found I will ensure no mercy is shown to you! And believe me when I say you WILL be found. The best trackers will be out looking for me."

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:06 pm

Conleth loaned The King and Queen his fastest horses. The others would return by coach. Elessar had the horses burdened with a bit of tack, food, water and bedrolls. The moment they were outfitted he and Nauriel rode out of Gehenna as fast as they felt their horses could manage. 

A man she heard others call Kapan often brought food to Calene. But he had an older, experienced voice and demeanor. More than once he had threatened her if she tried to escape. He had been the one that carried out her beating she had come to know. His voice, she was never allowed to take off the cursed sack over her head, was that of a kindly grandfather who was more than aware she had been up to no good. But she knew better. He was just another one of her captures but his threats rang true. He’d offer her to his men for sport and that alone worried Calane to no end. No suitor would
want a defiled woman, noble or no and so she decided to make no further attempts at escape.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:17 pm

It had been difficult for Nauriel to leave her family, especially Elfwine, who was still so small, but she had no choice. Laenaya promised to care for him and her two sisters. With dread in her heart she and Elessar set out at a dead run out of Gehenna and towards Minas Tirith.

That night Calene cried for the first time. She was terrified, cold, and hungry and feared what might happen to her. What if one of these men did rape her? What if they got the ransom, but killed her anyway? She could only pray that someone was out there looking for her...

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:03 am

OOC-I just wanted to let you know that I won't be able to post very much today because I am going to one of our other branches for the day with a few other people from my department to do a few things.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:59 pm

Elessar had to grab Nauriel’s reins from her hand. She would have ridden her horse to death if he had let her continue like she was. Even So the horses had done well. He began to set up camp and did not begrudge her her distant thoughts. He was no less concerned than she was but the shelter had to be made and water fetched for the horses that had a bit of a larger going upon their backs.

He parceled out some of the dried meat but when he offered it to Nauriel she did not even look at him. Elessar knew she’d try to go without eating but she needed to keep up her strength and he’d not have her fainting out of the saddle.

“You must eat Nauriel,” he said as he continued to hold out the meat to her.

Deshane had had some idea as to how these rogues had smuggled The Princess out of the city. They most likely changed their clothes and moved through the main gates on a large cart. If she struggled the guards might have heard her so it was likely laden with chickens or pigs with her stashed underneath in some secret compartment or hold. Bold and Ingenious he decided and the errant feathers decided which they had used as cover.

True enough that traders brought in chickens and took them out again but he had found a small gemstone like one might find on a slipper. The wagon tracks near where he found it had chicken feathers here and there nearby and so he followed those and followed them still after two days of riding. He had scuttled his horse near a cluster of rocks far enough away from their camp that they’d never knew it was there. He smelled them even where he was, they didn’t know how to make a fire properly and he crept up closer to see what there was to see.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:49 pm

Nauriel would have kept on going if she didn't think her horse would collapse from exhaustion. However Elessar finally convinced her to stop for the night. She allowed him to take her horse and she just sat staring off into the growing darkness as he set up camp. She hadn't spoken a word since they had left Gehenna. She became aware that he was handing her something and finally realized it was some dried meat. At first she refused to take it, but when he wouldn't allow her not to she sighed and took it. She stared at it in her hand for a moment before finally speaking.

"I shouldn't have left her," she said softly. "She wanted to come with us and I made her stay."


Calene was losing track of what day it was or what time of day it was. It was impossible to see through the burlap sack over her head and rather difficult to breathe. She was aware of low voices speaking nearby, but could not make out what they were saying. She was stiff and in pain. Her wrists burned where the rope bindings had cut into them. She felt weak and terrified. What if no one came for her?

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:31 pm

Eldarion, Calista and the girls made their farewells to Serethiel and everyone else. They would not be going back to Rohan to finish their mission. Family came first though duty was a close second. The kidnapping was troubling though and what it implied was that they had become lax and complacent. Something that would be rectified when they finally made it back. They escorted the carriages along with the rest of the honor guard. The start of an unpleasant return home.

Elessar wanted to cringe. Here Nauriel was feeling guilty and Elessar felt that it was his fault. He had had harsh words with Calene for how she had tried to turn her mother’s decision to keep her behind. He was about to admit his own guilt in the matter but stopped himself. Nauriel had a right to take on what she felt she should. And it wasn’t as if him saying anything would change her mind anyway when it came to her daughters. They had all become far too comfortable he knew and this is what happened when they let their guard down. He would get her back though no matter the cost.

Deshane had thumped one of the sentries hard on the back of the neck with his sap. He had had to catch the man as his knees seemed to give way almost immediately and if he had fallen it would likely have made quite a clatter. Enough to bring the others anyway and he very much did not wish to be killing anyone today. He was no judge nor a jury and though these people may be kidnappers and criminals they hadn’t killed anyone yet and he wouldn’t either if he had the choice. With another hard ‘thwack’ of his sap at the back of another man’s neck he had a clear exit out if the princess could walk at all. He drug the man inside then quietly began on Calene’s bonds.

“Princess...do not speak, my name is Deshane and I have come to free you,” he whispered as he cut her hands free then started on her ankles. “It will take time for the circulation to return. Tell me when you are ready and we will go,” he said as he took off the burlap.

Even in the dim light he could see her face. She was filthy and her hair mussed and in disarray but he still thought her quite lovely if her angry and relieved expression hadn't’ spoiled it all a little.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:23 pm

Calene suddenly heard something nearby. She held her breath as she wondered if she was finally being rescued. She heard the sound of something...or someone...being dragged away from her and then felt someone approach her. Within seconds the burlap bag was pulled off her head and she blinked against the sunlight. She looked up at her savior as he cut the bonds on her wrists and ankles. He was rather handsome, in a rugged sort of way. He reminded her of her father or grandfather and she wondered if he didn't have Dunedain blood in his veins. She looked down at her hands to see the tips of her fingers had begun to turn light purple. Her wrists had been rubbed raw and she could see where blood had dried down her fingers. Her ankles were no better off. She was in nothing but her nightgown and she felt quite uncomfortable suddenly. Calene was 18 and looked quite a lot like her aunt Lindariel. Her eyes were a mesmerizing blue and she had full lips and wavy hair. Even a mess it would be clear to anyone she was a princess just from the royal lines in her face.

"Go?" she whispered back. "What about those that kidnapped me? You're just going to allow them to go unpunished for what they did. I was kidnapped, beaten, held for ransom. They threatened to rape me. I will not leave here until you show them what happens when they kidnap a member of the Telcontar family."

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:49 pm

Deshane had very dark brown hair that hung down in waves just below his shoulders. His face was covered in soot and his dark brown eyes were large and seemed to draw into those that looked into them to long. He had a full mouth with nice cheekbones and a proud chin and jawline much like Calene’s father's. He was tall, broad and quite muscular. The physique of a man who toiled constantly in his lifetime. Being that he did have Dunedain blood his age was difficult to discern, especially in the darkness but his words were sharp, albeit softly spoken.

“We will have no bloodshed here today ‘Princess’.” He emphasized the word as if she were only playing at being a Princess and not truly was one. The man at their feet stirred though and Deshane’s eyes flickered down to him then back up to hers. “We have to go...now, if you can’t walk I can ‘carry’ you.” he said in a condescending tone. For the beauty in her face he now thought he erred in seeing more than just a child in a woman’s body. He decided he didn’t like this Calene and the sooner he got her back, the quicker he was paid and gone as far as he was concerned. He still had flashes of impure thoughts involving her but that was only the male part of him that had not known a woman in a very long time. He shrugged it away as he waited for her to move.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:59 pm

Calene just stared at Deshane for a long moment as she started to become angry. She had been through quite a lot the past few days and she wasn't thinking clearly now. Normally a far gentler woman, she had been driven to thoughts of vengeance by how she had been treated...and Deshane's attitude towards her only made her angrier.

"I command you to punish these men," she said in a voice that was a little too loud. Too late did she realize her mistake. Suddenly, the others heard and they looked over to see Deshane with Calene. She felt terror sweep over her as they pulled out their weapons and rushed towards them.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:51 am

He had had to injure two of their horses so they could not immediately be able to chase them. Deshane could no longer ride and he practically shoved her off of his bay mare before he jumped down. He had taken a slash across his ribs and they ached terribly. He winced and let out a grunt when his feet hit the ground. His demeanor and expression were that of a thunderhead about to explode into a lightning storm. He killed three men today and wounded others. It hadn’t had to go that way but Calene had made enough noise that a clean escape was not possible. It could have been though and the fury that welled up inside him made him want to tie her up himself.

“Rub her down with a bit of hay in the saddlebags then feed her,” he commanded as he hobbled a step toward a few fallen logs. He needed to see to this wound before he could ride any further.

Elessar did not make a fire nor did he bother with a tent. He rolled out a bedroll at the base of a large poplar tree then invited Nauriel with a gesture to come sit upon his lap as he covered them with his long, fur-lined cloak.

“Calene will be fine Nauriel. She is a strong young woman. We’ve raised her well,” he said confidently. Far more than he felt. In truth he really didn’t know how to feel. Nothing like this had ever happened to them.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:06 am

Calene had been surprised by how quickly Deshane moved with a sword. He was clearly extremely skilled with a blade and very deadly. Watching him, she felt a strange feeling come over her...one she had never felt before. It made her cheeks burn and her heart begin to beat quicker. Was this desire she was feeling? The thought itself made her blush. However, that feeling faded very quickly seconds after the fighting was done. Deshane glared at her and she knew then just how angry he was. A wave of guilt came over her when she saw the wound he had received. She quietly tended to the mare before walking over to where he stood tending to his wound.

"Please...let me help..." she said gently.

Nauriel moved over and sat in Elessar's lap. She rested her head against his shoulder as he wrapped his cloak around them both.

"Peace has caused us to become lax," she said after a moment. "Our children have grown up without the same dangers we faced. We've become comfortable and complacent. This never should have happened."

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:16 pm

As Calane grabbed hold of his jacket Deshane tried to half turn away and a wave of pain from the pressure of his jacket on the wound made him grunt. He blinked as thoughts of slapping her like a madman seethed over him. He resisted that as the memories of killing those men stormed through his mind as she lifted up his shirt. The cut was about 4 inches long and even as she looked at it dark, red blood dripped down onto his flesh that was already stained red from the recent blood loss.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:33 pm

Calene gasped when she saw the large wound across Deshane's ribs. She wasn't a trained healer but had been taught a few things by her mother. She immediately ripped off a section of the lower part of her night gown and used it to wrap around him to stop the bleeding. Her hands were soft and her touch gentle, despite her trembling.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:18 pm

“You killed those men back there,” Deshane growled. “Men who didn’t ‘have’ to die!” He said angrily. Calene would quickly see that he’d need stitching. Even as she wrapped it, blood seeped through the fabric. His horse snorted and stomped as it sensed his mood and the sun began to draw back behind the trees. “IN my saddle bags,” he began but stopped as she looked up at him. Her eyes were...well surprisingly beautiful to look into.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:24 pm

Calene's hands were now slick with his blood. The fabric from her nightgown was simply too thin to properly stop the blood flow. She knew it would need stitches. She had never stitched a person before...but she was by far the best at needle work out of her sisters. Not noticing how he was looking at her, she quickly went over to the saddlebag and dug through it to find what she needed. She threaded the needle, having to estimate how much thread she would need. She quickly walked back over to him. He would need to stand as she worked and so she had him lean up against a tree. She hesitated for a moment, but forced her mind to think of sewing a garment...instead of human flesh.

"I'm sorry...this is probably going to hurt," she said before making the first stitch.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:36 pm

And hurt it did as he felt the first stab of pain. He only grunted though, the pain had numbed a great deal but it still hurt like crazy. “Nothing to say for yourself?” He said but it was more due to the pain he felt than anything else now. “I didn’t agree to kill anyone...only bring you back…” He said and paused as she drew out the needle and stuck it back in again. He winced but no grunt came out of him that time. A bit of blood oozed down as she worked, her fingers now red from the drips that flowed down upon her hands. His brow was completely drenched in sweat. The shock of the wound and recent exertion had began to affect him now that his adrenaline had waned.

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:40 pm

As she worked Calene dabbed a rag she had soaked with alcohol onto the wound. She hoped that would fight off infection. She glanced at him slightly as he spoke. She looked quite a mess, but even through all the dirt and grime was the face of a princess.

"For a reward I suppose," she replied after a moment. "So, how much am I worth to you exactly?"

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:47 pm

OOC-left work early today because of Hurricane Matthew

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Re: Everyone Has A Price

Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:53 pm

ooc-I have high hopes that all will be well with you K.

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