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Madelaine's Story.

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Lady_Kat, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Lady_Kat

    Lady_Kat Guest

    The woman that came the night of the tempest… I remember her well.
    I recall little of that night; over time my mind has banished some of the more deplorable details but some were unforgettable… I know they will haunt my memories for the duration of my life, the terrified screams, the bloodstained sheets and the rain… I remember the rain most of all.

    It must have been midnight; several hours had passed since the graduation banquet, Tilda and I had managed to sneak some liquor from Ardath’s room, the old scribe drank so much we doubted she would notice a missing flask of cheap wine.
    The air had been bitterly cold all afternoon but it wasn’t until dusk that the fog had rolled in, a heavy sea mist that blanketed most of Moonglow, The Lycaeum was nearly lost entirely under its thick embrace. It was perfect; to any bystander we would appear as nothing more than two murky shadows marring the face of the elegant courtyard.

    Tilda lay on the grass, idly taking long drawls from the depleting wine bottle, the wine had been harsher than I had first thought; it burnt on the way down and made my head feel hazy.
    I sat on the edge of the fountain, precariously balanced on the narrow grey tiles, Tilda smiled up at me, brushing a tendril of dark hair from across her face.
    “We should do this more often,” She whispered with a giggle.
    I returned the smile, trying to hide my want to be inside, tucked up warm and safe in my bed, lightning began to arc across the heavens, the brilliant flashes of gold cutting through the deep fog.
    “It’s beautiful, Madelaine,” Tilda gasped, her jaw gaping in awe at the natural wonder “Listen, I can hear thunder,”
    I tilted my head to the side; I too could hear it, a roaring boom climbing in intensity as it grew ever closer. I listened for a moment, captivated by the sound, before a small frown creased my brow, it didn’t sound quite right…
    “Tilda… I don’t think that’s thunder,” I whispered sliding down from atop the fountain.
    Tilda sat up and scooted towards me, in the distance a horse whinnied as the thunderous hum drew closer.

    I heard Tilda gasp; she tugged on my arm directing my attention the dirt road that wound up the plateau towards The Lycaeum, at a breakneck pace a line of radiance weaved towards us, the thunderous boom of horse’s hooves drowning out all other sounds.
    The buildings to either side of us sprung to life, the light from lanterns and candelabras illuminating the windows, I snatched at Tilda’s arm, pulling her towards the low hanging limbs of the old willow tree, it was only a few paces away but my feet slipped on the sodden, muddy ground slowing our flight.

    All at once the horses deafening arrival ebbed, my ears were ringing from the strident noise, and then there was a metallic thunk as the rider at the head of the throng dismounted, his plated boots sloshing in the waterlogged terrain.
    “Nisaen!” He bellowed, his voice echoing around the sandstone courtyard.
    The silhouette of the old professor became visible in the doorway of the eastern library, his hunched form, clad in a loose nightshirt hurried passed our hiding place.
    The man towered a head and shoulders over Nisaen who swiftly fell into a deep bow when he recognized the visitor.
    “Milord De’Savon, what brings you to our humble academy at such an hour?”
    De’Savon extended his arm, motioning a small group of men forward, two men advanced; both held roughly crafted torches, the burning pitch sputtering in the drizzle. They moved to the side, allowing a team of four who carried a makeshift stretcher to come frontward.
    Nisaen gasped, his wrinkled hands fidgeting with the slack folds of his garment, I craned my neck to try and get a better look. The stretcher writhed with the weight of someone in obvious distress; the four men struggled to hold it steady.
    “You, give me that torch. You, remove the gag,” The tall man commanded as his men hurriedly moved to comply with his orders…

    I don’t know how to describe what I saw next… I’ve tried to gnash the right words together for weeks now, but my skin crawls when I try to recall it… she screamed but it wasn’t just a scream… she screamed as if her lungs were afire, unrelentingly releasing to vehemence her fury and pain. The men holding the stretcher fought to control her, combating against their strength she managed the small victory of sitting upright. The tall man raised his arm, striking her viciously with the armored back of his gauntlet, splattering a thick line of blood across the ground.
    Tendrils of blood and saliva hung from her slack jaw; the sadistic blow having shattered it.
    “Need to hear more, Professor?” He questioned in a callous tone, wiping his bloodied glove against his pale tunic, Nisaen shook his head zealously in reply.
    “Take her inside, the monks will show you the way,”
    The team secured her once more, hefting the stretcher towards the inner sanctum; I released Tilda from my grasp edging cautiously towards the path, I had to see that woman again, even if it were just a mere glimpse.

    The steel boots of the four men echoed in perfect unison upon the cobblestones, I pressed my stomach to the sodden earth and waited for them to pass by.
    The woman lay flat on her back, her arms were bound at an awkward angle above her head, blood ran from her wrists where the coarse rope had rubbed her skin raw, strange bleeding welts covered her exposed form and in places her skin was ebon and cracked.
    A once white linen sheet covered her lower body; it was dark and wet, soaked through with fresh blood. Then I saw her face… what was left of her hair lay in singed clumps barely attached to her scalp, there was no telling what colour it had been. Then she saw me, her green eyes locked with mine, all I could see was terror, in that one look I could see she had been strong once but they had broken her. Her lips moved, trying to form words but she could only manage an indistinguishable gurgle, coughing a mouthful of blood onto the cobblestones. She looked at me, her terrified eyes blinking back tears… and then I heard her voice, it rang as clear as the archaic bell atop the church building.
    “Help me,” I looked around, the men continued down the path seemingly unaware “Help me,” I wet my lips nervously; she was in my mind and had spoken to me alone.

    Heavy rain beat down around me; the storm was finally above The Lycaeum, Nisaen stood talking to the tall man at the gates, his now drenched nightshirt clinging inauspiciously to his plump stomach, I could barely hear the conversation over the deafening drum of the rain.
    My hair lay in disordered clumps plastered to my scalp and my robe had become heavy making it hard to move stealthily, I started to inch towards the pair, Tilda seized my hand.
    “Maddie, I want to go now, please, let’s just go!” I nodded my head, allowing her to drag me back towards our quarters; I heard his callous voice rise above the rain for a moment.
    “Miss Ly’Lyn was convicted for her crimes against the Galuwen Order, Professor. And how else does one deal with a witch?”
  2. FaelynRose1

    FaelynRose1 Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran

    May 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    What a great beginning! Please tell us more.