Categories
Stolen Heart

Stolen Heart 002: A Princess in a Tower

Dagon: As the cold of night descended around them he made for the countryside, the city sliding away into the growing dark. The further they went the more exotic the landscape would become, and he wouldn’t stop until the sun was clear of the horizon once more and the golden fields gave way to arid pastures. These were the lands away from her kingdom and into the lawless wastes between his lands and the eastern empires. Only traders, nomads and scoundrels walked these lands and it is here, in an old sentry tower that he kept home where he needed to stay hidden. It was comfortable enough, for a person used to cheap inns and sleeping in the saddle and was supplied enough for weeks, and it was here he drought his guest.

He halted the mount and turning in the saddle roused Rosabel his hood drawn over his head as protection from the sun as it gained strength. “We’re here.” he said indicating the dilapidated building. Everything on the outside indicated it was abandoned, he kept it that way, even if the inside was furnished and cozy. “I doubt they will find us here, very few can. We can rest and I will make arrangements from here when thing have settled down, now are you hurt?”

Rosabel: Rosabel didn’t know at what point in the night she fell asleep. Leaning precariously against the man’s back and just barely staying in the saddle. Her intent was to watch the path they took, so when she finally escaped, she could find her way back home. Once she was awake, blinking her eyes wearily at the blinding daylight, all of those plans sunk to the pit of her stomach along with her despair. From her perspective, they were in the middle of no where, in front of a building she was sure had been taken by the flora for a hundred years. If that was supposed to be their safe place, Rosabel was sure it would be miserable.

His question took her by surprise, however. She found herself staring at the hooded figure (that she was now aware called himself Dagon), as she slipped off the horse’s saddle to drop stiffly to her feet. Her body ached in every which way imaginable, but she didn’t carry any wounds. Rosabel supposed they made such a hasty retreat that even she hadn’t thought about injuries until now.

“No… not hurt.” she slowly replied. Turning away from him to take a few wary steps towards the abandoned building. There was no obvious way to tell where the door was, it was so covered in vines and over-growth. “You don’t actually… live here, do you…?”

Dagon: He walked the horse to where an overgrown pile of rubble marked where a stable once stood and with got his bearings. “No one lives here, thats why its safe. I come here from time to time when I need to. Its not my only place but its the most isolated.” He dismounted and bending down at an unremarkable patch of dead weeds felt around for a second before pulling up the wooden frame that held together the camouflage. Beneath that an aged wooden hatch rested level with the ground and set against the ivy covered wall. He grabbed the iron ring and with effort lifter the hatch up and revealed a stone ramp into the underground stable for one.

“There, home, for now he led the horse down into the darkness before walking up to one of the torches set in brackets on the wall and struck it. What was revealed was a surprisingly roomy stall and hay store that miraculously hadn’t decayed in time, either he came here more often than he claimed or some form of magic was in play. He walked back up the ramp and pulled both it and the camouflage frame closed before opening a couple of barred shutters, their openings hidden from the outside by overgrowth but they were enough to let in light and air.

“We’ll be staying further up the tower, you’ll find it more homely than it looks from the outside. Most likely less then what you’re used to but its not like you’re going anywhere.” he unbracketed the torch and with it in hand mounted the stairs towards the pantry and living area.

Rosabel: “Bad people always put princesses in towers…” Rosabel responded morosely. Though, she had to admit, at least to herself that she found the place very intriguing. The stables looked warm and dry, and as the moved up the stairs to enter a small living space, it didn’t look any where near as terrible as she was expecting. Granted, it was not a palace of riches, but it was clean and comfortable.

Stepping carefully the room much like a tense and wary cat inspecting new surroundings, Rosabel would poke at things and make a note of where the doors were. In this room there weren’t any windows, so she assumed the higher they went up in the tower, there would be more windows.

She paused near the end of the room, frowning as she flexed her hand and shook it. Her blood felt tingling and cold, almost as if she had snuck wine from dinner. It was an uncomfortable feeling, but she shook it off as she caught back up with Dagon.

“Do I get a room to myself, or will you be spying on me all the time?” she asked.

Dagon: “Having you in the same room as me would make it very difficult for me to conduct my business.” He said “And what kind of host would I me if I didn’t allow my guest privacy.”

He continued moving up passing another door that separated the entire floor from the stairwell, he ignored the door and instead stopped at the next one. “This is your room, yo can to anywhere in the tower you like, the floor above is a library. See I don;t have you in the highest room.”

He smiled and unlocked the door before moving to go back down the stairs. “I’ll be in the kitchen, if you’re hungry it will be done in an hour, if you don’t join me I’ll bring some up and one more thing. I would try to get out the window.”

He turned and moved past her back down the staircase the stairs creaking under his feet, and the choice of room became clear, he would hear her coming and going from the floor below where presumably he would sleep.

[Rosabel doesn’t intend to stay in captivity long, even if he -did- warn her not to try the window.] -05:25 Jan 26
Rosabel: The moment he was gone, Rosabel did exactly what he told her not to do. She marched straight for the window and pushed the curtains back. Fully intend on climbing down the tower one way or another. -05:27 Jan 26
[Dagon had dealt with enough hostages to expect her to try something] -05:30 Jan 26
Dagon: He paused outside the door hearing the window, silly girl the vines wouldn’t let her get out he shakes his head and starts down the stairs, food is beakoning. -05:31 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel pushed open the window and leaned out. But the moment she tried to hop up on the ledge or swing a leg over the sill, the vines crept up in her way. Worse, they wove together so quickly that she couldn’t even see through them. In her frustrated she tried to rip them down, but they were deceptively strong! Rosabel huffed, stomping a foot on the wood planked floor. What to try next… -05:34 Jan 26
Dagon: Shings were quiet ugstairs as he stood partway down the stairs listening. It was a game he liked to play, let them try to escape so they knew it was impossible, but there was also another side to it, there were so many offers for this girl it was hard to decide who to sell her to. If only she wen’t so spirited he’s be able to wait them out and let then enter a bidding war… there was also the question of… wait it was too quiet, better sneak back upstairs and see what shes up to. -05:39 Jan 26
Rosabel: She was so frustrated! It would be all too easy to break down in to tears and sob in a corner, but that wouldn’t be a way out. If the window was blocked, and he would hear her go downstairs… she needed a new way. A different sort of window or door. If only…! Rosabel didn’t even realize there was a shimmer next to her. When the little glimmer caughter her eye, it gave her pause. Confused and intrigued, she reached out a hand. Her fingertips just barely touching the shimmer in the air. Like ripples in a pond it moved! As if a curtain had slid away, she could see a forest of trees and the mossy ground just paces in front of her. Rosabel stepped forward testing to see if she could put her hand through it.. -05:42 Jan 26
Dagon: Ear to the door he still heard nothing, he tried the latch, still locked, unlockig and opening, there she was.. thanl goo…. wait was that.. "Get back." his sword seamed to leap into his hadn as he saw the portal, "Who the hell…?" -05:46 Jan 26
Rosabel: She snatched her hand back at his voice, but… this was her opportunity! Picking up her skirt, she took off in a dash. Running through the shimmer in to the trees. It felt strange passing through the doorway, but it was definitely real! The ground was soft underneath her feet and the trees smelled of juniper! Now which way for her to run?! The doorway wasn’t closing behind her! -05:49 Jan 26
Dagon: Someone was taking her away from him, someone on the other side of that portal, was it one of those wanting to kill her, or oneof theones hoping to use her.. either way he’d force them to pay in gold of in blood. Recklessly he followed her through before setting off alter her. "Princess, you don’t know whos out here." -05:52 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel ducked behind the largest tree near her. He was close enough that she could hear him clearly, but hopefully she was out of sight. She had wished for a way to escape and she got it! Could she wish up another one? The thought was thrilling! In fact, she was going to try again when a wave of dizziness hit her. The entire forest felt like it was spinning, she had to latch on to the tree to keep herself standing. -05:55 Jan 26
Dagon: She was gone, lost among the trees, he could kick himself he.. wait… there was someone. "You…" he ran towards the white fabrinc ready to take the princess back but stopped then he was an aged man holding the barely awake princess in his arms. "Not doing a very good job of whatching over her likr I instructed." "Visier….? That was your portal?" [solor=white]"Afraid not but I was ablt to follow it here… don’t worry child this man was acting under my guidancem he may be rough but I trust him, do you understand?"[/color] -06:05 Jan 26
Rosabel: "I want to go home." She hadn’t even realized the Vizier had arrived there. Nor did the wonder of how he got there ever crossed her mind. She was just so happy to see a familiar face! …but… "You told him to take me…? Why would you?" Rosabel was a little alarmed, but that dizziness was washing over her again. -06:08 Jan 26
Dagon: "There is a traitor in the castle Rosabel, you were in danger. I needed someone from outside the castle to take you away without anyone knowing I was behind it. I’m sure you understand." Dagon scowled, he was takign charge and all he could do was play along unless he wanted to face him and have her see him kill the visier. -06:12 Jan 26
Rosabel: Her mouth turned down in an unsure frown. She cast a quisitive glance at Dagon. He looked annoyed and upset. …but she trusted she vizier. He was a member of her Father’s court, and had been a loyal advisor for a long well. If she would trust anyone, it would be him! "All right… But when can I go home?" -06:15 Jan 26
Dagon: "When the traitor has been found and dealt with, I believe we was after your blood Rosabell. Now we should return to this man’s hidaway so that he and I should have a little chat." He began walking back towards the portal and dagon followed. "I hope theres a way to stop things liek this happening again." he said "I don’t exactly want to be running into anyone else." -06:18 Jan 26
Rosabel: After all of that, Rosabel had finally found her escape. Only to have to go BACK to that man’s hidden tower… and now it seemed she would have to stay. She was not pleased about it, but she wasn’t going to push the issue again. …For now. Once they had passed back through the portal, it vanished the moment Rosabel seemed to come to that conclusion that she didn’t need it anymore. She eyed the empty space curiously, but didn’t mention a word! -06:22 Jan 26
Dagon: The visier placed Rosabel on her bed and the two left the room the heavy door swinging shut and lock clicking. "I’m going to have to prever that happening again." they make their way down the stairs neither one lookign pleased. "I think you’re having trouble rememering who you work for.. and what happens to you if you do." -06:25 Jan 26
Rosabel: With the two having left the room, Rosabel was itching to try her little secret again… She shifted on the bed up to her knees and scooted towards the headboard. With one finger she poked the wall, sliding it down with that same wish for a way to escape. Somewhere to go..! Same as before there was a shimmer. And though it wasn’t as tall or wide this time, just a small tiny hole, once it opened she could see an entirely different place. A lake and snow covered mountains! "…amazing..!" -06:30 Jan 26
Dagon: "I said I’d hold onto her and I specificallytold you not to look for where." "And I told you to rememebr your place, you will keep her ehre and you will keep her safe until my plan comes to fruition or you hide won’t be worth a spec of dirt.. shes too for me to lose." "Then pay me more or she learns what you really plan." "And who will she believe? You made a deal if you turn back on it…" "Very scary now you stop whatever happened from happening again." -06:35 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel had her hands on the wall now, trying to make that little portal bigger. But, though the first one had been easy to open…. this one was very difficult! She tried to pull it wider, but it eventually popped out of existance again. Leaving the princess feeling as if she had just been running around in circles for hours. Her vision had blurred and the room felt as if it were tilting off to the side. All of that focus she had put on the portal, and now she could barely keep her eyes open! -06:40 Jan 26
Dagon: "WHen the king and queen are dead I will come for her, do not lose her again." The visier moved back up the stairs and entered her room just as the portal poped out of existance he moved her her and spokes softly. "You look exhausted Rosabel.. get some sleep and I’ll be back when I can, and if you wer this I will alwasy be acle to find you. the necklace he slipped her had two enchantments, the first would let him open and portal to her at any time, the second suppressed her own magic. -06:46 Jan 26
Rosabel: She nodded slowly. Arranging the necklace neatly around her neck. Rosabel had so many more questions for him! But with the spots dancing in front of her eyes, all she could do was bid him goodbye and sway. "Come back soon please…?" -06:51 Jan 26
Dagon: As he tucked her in Dagon appeared at the door. "As soon as I can princess." he left leaving her alone with her original captor who had an irritated look on his face along with the hint of something else… -06:54 Jan 26
Rosabel: "You can’t be angry with me for trying to escape, that is a natural reaction…!" He looked so mad… well, she should be the one being mad! Only, she didn’t have the energy to really have a fit like she wanted to. Instead she was stuck laying back in bed, rubbing the back of her hand against her forehead. "I don’t feel very well…" -06:58 Jan 26
Dagon: He shook his head. "I expected you to… but your friend…" after spittign out the last word he stopped himself and moved up to her and placed a hand on her forehead… she was clammy and hot, all he needed. "You need rest, I’m going to make soup and I’ll be back up in a minuet." he left mutterign to himself. In one moment he had gone form his choice of deals to under the visier’s heel, and of all the people he was the one that offered the wort future for herm that as a puppet.. not that that.. did that matter? -07:05 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel wasn’t quite ready to trust him yet, but even being suspicious seemed to require more energy than she had to give. While he was away, she was left with her own thoughts that quickly just became dazy half asleep dreaming. -07:12 Jan 26
Dagon: He woke her with a bowl of vegetable soup and fresh juice on her becside table again with the same expression on his face, it wa obvious he had been doin gsome thinking. "Eat up you’ll need your strength, you want to get out of here, fine, we’re leaving. You can sleep on the horse." -07:15 Jan 26
Rosabel: Wearily sitting up, she was eyeing him with an air surprise. "But I thought we were supposed to stay here…?" -07:18 Jan 26
Dagon: "Yes.. thats why we’re leaving." he said "Eat up and then get dressed. I’ll explain when we’re moving." -07:20 Jan 26
Rosabel: Now she was confused all over again. Rosabel took the bowl of soul, blowing the steam away before taking a sip. She paused after a moment, with her brow furrowed. "I don’t have any other clothes…" -07:23 Jan 26
Dagon: "The cupboard should have." he said rising and going to look out the window the vines parting to allow him to see. "Anythign the visier gave you, get rid of it." -07:28 Jan 26
Rosabel: She had been starving! The soup was gone all too quickly, followed by the juice. It was enough to perk her up, at least a little bit. Rosabel pushed away her blankets and slid her legs from bed. But his comment made her pause again. "…but why?" She almost mentioned the necklace that was given to her. Almost! Instead she questioned him. The Vizier said she should trust him, but Rosabel wasn’t so sure if this man could tell the truth… -07:32 Jan 26
Dagon: "Because I said so." he said tirning back at her.. then remebered he who he was talkign about and what he had said. "And because if he can’t find us he’ll look for us and that guves us more time." -07:37 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel frowned again. It definitely didn’t seem right. "He didn’t give me anything…" she lied. Slipping out of the bed to head towards the cubbard. She still swayed on her feet, but the food made her feel a little better. She dug around in the strange hodgepod of clothes for something that was suitible. -07:44 Jan 26
Dagon: "if you’re sure… I will leave you to change." he walked through the door and hesitated before closing it. "Just rememebr more lives than ours might depend on who you trust." -07:46 Jan 26
Rosabel: Once he was out the door, Rosabel pulled some clothes from the cubbard. A pair of pants that were probably for some teenage boy. And a shirt that was a little long in the sleeves, but at least it was feminine. Rosabel might have prefered a dress, but she decided it would be easier to run if she didn’t have to worry about skirts. Finally, she tucked the necklace under her shirt. The vizier was something she knew she could trust. He would need to be able to find her where ever she went. Once dressed, she cautiously stepped out in to the hall. -07:58 Jan 26
Dagon: He prepaired the horse and dressed himself in a cloak that covered himself and conceiled his weapons. Outside it looked like a storm was coming and the horse shyed away from the flashing clouds that didn’t seem to be dropping any rain. "If you’re ready we need to move, now, and we won’t have time to stop until we’ve outrun that." he pointed to the clouds. -08:04 Jan 26
Rosabel: Rosabel didn’t like the looks of the skies. She had never been one to be frightened of storms, but this one just looked… rather ominous! Despite concerns, she didn’t waste any time climbing up on to the horse. Casting another wary look at the skies. "Is it such a good idea to leave during a storm like that…?" -08:10 Jan 26
Dagon: "Theres no choice, we have to lave, better while it’s cmign to erase our tracks than sitting through it not getting anywhere. Now hold on" He whipped the reigns and turned the horse away from the clouds moving at a gallop the face under the hood drawn adn worried. It was clean he’d rathe not be outside either. -08:14 Jan 26
Categories
Stolen Heart

Stolen Heart 001: The Messenger’s Trap

Dagon:
Dawn was cold as a blanket of mist covered the land looking like a sea of white from the castle walls. The red dawn wore on and it reflected it’s light, fighting against the growing warmth inevitably losing the battle and revealing the rolling green hills beneath. Slowly the land awoke and an unremarkable day began just as the one before it, and the one before it. Yet it’s complacent normality was not to last.

Hooves thundered on the ground as a rider sped towards his prey. Face hidden by a hood and cape billowing behind him and an array of weapons on his waist he had no doubt as to where the princess would be, or more importantly how to bring her to him. As he approached the gate he slowed holding up seal taken from the the previous owner of the horse at the point of a sword. The seal of the princess’ beloved.

“Personal message from Lord Augustus Drogan to the princess.” he announced, even holding up the sealed letter yet as a guard approached he held it out of reach. “I was instructed to deliver it personally and I will not move until I have.”

Rosabel: Far on the other side of the castle, safe within the walls, there was a beautiful sprawling garden. Flowers of every sort, green leafy bushes, and a path of polished white pebbles made the gardens a beautiful sanctuary. It was the only place of the castle that Princess Rosabel Tatiana Knabolde felt like she had freedom. Amongst the foliage and dropping clipped flowers in to her basket, she could pretend that she wasn’t a bird in a gilded stone cage. Not that she disliked her life. Her parents were kind and generous people. The staff and servants always accommodating. She just wasn’t allowed to do anything!

Rosabel always looked back fondly on that one day of free she had years ago. In a moment of wild resistance, she snuck beyond the castle walls and ran away from her home. In the process she found herself lost in the forest, and worse surrounded by terrifying trolls! But like a shining savior that was how she met her prince. Courageous and handsome, he fight away the beasts and returned her home. Though she had not seen him since that day, they wrote letters to one another. Her Prince promised that the day she turned 18 he would send for her and they would be married! She’d be taken away from her cage and to his kingdom, where they would rule as King and Queen.

Three days ago was Rosabel’s 18th birthday. Every day since she had eagerly awaited the coming of her Prince! When he arrived, she was hoping her parents would be pleased with their Engagement announcement! It was a surprise she had been keeping to herself for far too long!

The guard at the gate looked dubious. Ordinarily, they would never let someone enter the castle on such a request, no matter what they wanted. But Princess Rosabel had personally asked many of the gate guardsmen for a special favor. Should anyone come with an urgent message to her, they were to be sent to her immediately.

He nodded and gruffed. “Come with me.” Another guard took his place, as he led the caped guests across the castle grounds.

When they arrived to the gardens, the guard pointed out to the distance where Princess Rosabel was clipping flowers. “There. No funny business…” he warned, motioning to the spot he would be standing watch.

Dagon: “This is the most guarded castle in the five kingdoms. Who would be fool enough to try something here?” he asked before moving towards the princess, stopping a short way away maintaining the guise as a messenger. “M’lady, message for you from my liege, Lord Augustus.” he bowed, the letter back in the bag forcing her to come closer as, on one knee his hand palmed a stone from the edge of the princess’ pond.

As soon as she was close enough he sprung into action. He spun arm whipping out and stone flying. There was a sharp metallic clang and the guard slumped over, his ring hand going to his belt and the glitter of a knife appearing in it before he pulled her closer the cold metal rested in his palm

“You’ve just had a demonstration of my throwing. This knife was made for it for more than that stone. Why don’t you try running or making a noise and see where that gets you? Now we’re going for a walk…”

Here was a tipping point. He could kill her and get the gold promised to him and his ‘friends’ or he could do what he came here to do and take her alive… “And you don’t try to run.. theres people going to try to kill you only they won’t be the fair type I am so its get killed by them or come with me…” He began leding her towards the castle’s North gate, the one that led into the city proper where hiding would be child play for those experienced in it.

Rosabel: One moment Rosabel was thrilled to have news from her beloved. And the next… she wasn’t sure what to think! In a stunned and fearful compliance, she walked without fighting, not sure what she should do. In her mind she was trying to rationalize. Perhaps it was a trick concocted by her Prince to steal her away so they can elope? But he seemed so ready to tell her parents about their potential engagement! They only other option was that… that she was being kidnapped. Right out from under the noses of the Imperial Guard.

They were out of sight of everyone. The North Gate coming in to view. This side of the gardens didn’t have patrolling guards to watch the gate, as it was [i]supposed[/i] to be sealed shut. Barring any movement in and out of the castle grounds, as the section of the city it led to was not well known for it’s class or distinction. The main gate had been moved long ago towards the South Gate where the streets were broader and cleaner for guests to come through.

When they were almost at the gate, Princess Rosabel finally gathered up her courage. With a loud squeal she stomped on the man’s foot and shoved at him. Fully intending to start screaming and running as fast as she could!

Dagon: Even through the thick leather boot it hurt. But he had been read for her to try something. He could have easily killed her, the knife in his hand and his grip on her unbroken. But instead of the blade striking her it was the handle, hammering into her scalp and sending her reeling. Hi hand clamped over her mouth and cut off her scream. But there was something else,.. a rag pressed over her mouth and nose.

“Was really hoping it wouldn’t come to this princess.” he said quietly as he smell of the smell of the mixture on the rag became apparent. Enough to make her drowsy, helpless. Holding her in one ark he put the fingers of the other to his lips and whistled and with the clatter of hooves his horse, the one he owned not the stolen messenger’s horse came into view, summoned by its master. He mounted with little difficulty and held her in front of him turned the mount and began making good his escape.

Rosabel: Rosabel’s struggles were meek at best, despite the fact she was sure that she hit and swung with all her might. Getting hit was more than enough to stun her, but the sickly sweet smell coming off the rag firmly placed over her mouth was nauseating. Her head was spinning and her body was lax. Rosabel couldn’t even gather the wits to think, let alone put up a fight as they rode through the city streets.

There was no telling how far they went or even where. By the time Rosabel could shake that swimming feeling, she was groaning and rolling over on a dusty cot. Her vision still couldn’t adjust, everything still tilted dangerously from side to side. But the room was dim and there was little for her to see, anyway. Pushing herself up weakly on to an elbow, she strained to get an idea of her new surroundings.

“…I want my Papa…!” It was a silly childish phrase, almost blurted out in tears. Not hours ago she boasting of being an adult, and now all she wanted was her Father! The Princess was scared, and blast it all her head hurt!

Dagon: The house was large yet bare. Definitely in or close to the wealthy area around the castle.

“So you’re awake.” he said softly. The bed she lay on was the only furniture in the room and he sat on the windowsill looking out over the rooftops at the sunset. “Don’t bother trying the door its locked, but as I’m sure you’ve noticed you are unharmed. I’m sorry for the blow to the head but… you were struggling.” one smooth movement later his feet were on the bare wooden floor “You have to believe me though, getting you out of there quickly was for the best. You see I’m not alone.”

He paused, partly to let his words sink in and partly to test her reaction. “Now, are you hungry?”

Rosabel: What sort of kidnapper apologizes for hitting you! A crazy one for sure. Her vision was still fuzzy but her senses were coming back. Without responding to him, she rolled off the bed and stumbled in a drunken-like state towards the door where she furiously shook the knob trying to get it open. It was indeed locked. Rosabel spun around, pressing her back against the door as she stared wide-eyed and suspicious in his direction.

Her mouth was dry and her stomach was empty, but the Princess was not about to trust offerings of food from a villain. “Why did you take me…!” Her voice came out in a squeaky rush. “My Father is going to have a fit and my Betrothed won’t allow this a bit! There will be guards everywhere and you will probably be hanged or worse!”

Dagon: He remained at the window, perhaps to guard the only other exit, or perhaps to let her have her distance from him.

“There is a lot more going on than you realize. My neck is sought by more blades than those commanded by your father.. and I hate to be the bringer of bad news… yet.”

From his pocket he drew the letter and opening the already broken seal unfurled it.

[i]”My dearest Rosabel,

I’m afraid my worst fears have been realized and not three days ago the Rodrian army crossed the borders into out land and have already burned three hamlets to the ground. This very afternoon I take my knights and ride out to meet them in the field. I bare on my breast the favour you bestowed on me all those moons ago, and trust if more than the mail I wear beneath it…”[/i]

He stopped reading barely a third of the way into the letter. “The battle was a major victory for the Rodrians, Lord Stanley personally hailed it his best…”

He stopped his hand flying to his sword. “Get away from the door…”

Not a second later it flew open and there was a flash of steel and, boot still raised the front man doubled over, throwing knife sticking out of his gut. Still he wasn’t alone and her captor hadn’t the time to draw another before he was parrying blows left and right. Behind the door Rosabel went unnoticed.

Rosabel: For a moment, her heart sank. Her beloved Prince was forced to leave for war? Rosabel desperately wanted to read the rest of that letter! Yet, not a moment later he told her to move, and it was lucky that she did. It swung open with such a force it was nearly kicked down. A hail of steel against steel was heard.

Rosabel peered out from behind the timbers frightened and worried… but elated! This was her rescue! She wanted to shout to let them know she was there, but if the kidnapper spotted her… Rosabel quickly scooted out from behind the door. Her foot stepped over the fallen man on the ground making her cover her mouth to keep a squeal from escaping out. Now out in the hall, she was with her salvation! Another of her rescuers rushing forward.

“Oh thank goodness…! I was so scared I would be trapped with him all night!”

Dagon: Unfortunately for the princess the looks on the mens’ faces. An animal greed mixed with bloodlust with a hins of carnal desire was not the expression one would expect rescuers to bare. “Where you are princess, now come with us and he won’t have to hurt you… too much.”

That was it, there was no denying it now.

One reached out to grab her but there was a flash and he froze, the handle of a knife protruding from his chest. He looked at hear with surprise, then over her shoulder to the man standing in the door, covered in blood before tumbling forwards.

Angered the others simply pushed her out of the way and made to rush him but a solid kick from his boot sent the first tumbling back and the second fell soon after in a spray of blood.

Then it was just them, in a stairway full of bodies and discarded weapons.

Rosabel: Rosabel’s high pitched screaming could probably be heard three streets away. But once the last body fell it was just her and him. What transpired still hadn’t quite registered in her brain yet. She recognized those men weren’t there to save her, but surrounded by blood and bodies… It was too much to process at once!

With a sudden quick dart of movement, Rosabel snatched up a sword from the ground. There was a few drops of blood splashed across it, but she still pointed it at the stranger’s direction. It must have been the first time she had ever held a sword, she wasn’t holding the blade the right way and was barely able to keep it pointed.

“You just… just stay back there. Don’t you dare come any closer…!”

Dagon: He held his sword loosely, wrist relaxed, blade at a slight downward angle. “Rosabel..” his voice was calm laced with confidence. yet experience told him anyone desperate and holding a sword was not someone you took lightly, and a scar on his chest made sure he didn’t forget. “You’re going to get yourself hurt…”

Or rather he was going to have to get past her guard without her trying to hurt him. “Those men… they wanted to kill you. They were planning to infiltrate the palace but I got to you first. Now if you don’t want more showing up recommend we keep moving….”

His eyes pierced hers, searching for her soul. They were well trained and spoke of sincerity…. Then deftly he batted her blade with his and in one fluid motion wrested it from her awkward grip without even touching it with his other hand. Then he stepped forwards and took her arm, gently but firmly. If he was going to get his payday he would have to get her to follow with minimal resistance. “This way.. if you want to keep me between their blades and your neck.”

Rosabel: The sword was out of her hands before she could even blink! She had such a forlorn look of despair, it almost seemed as if she were about to break down in to tears. The princess swallowed those feelings, however. There was no way she could let him see her upset. If people were trying to harm her and he was the only thing keeping her safe, she could deal with that for now. Rosabel took a deep breath and steeled her nerves.

“It doesn’t mean I trust you.” she muttered with a shaky voice. The princess conceded, but it would be on her terms. “Don’t tie me up or do anything strange, and I will come with you. I just… don’t see why I can’t go [i]home[/i]..” The last statement she hadn’t meant to slip out. But there it was almost in a whisper when she turned her face to avoid looking at the bloodied bodies on the floor.

Dagon: “I wouldn’t trust me either.” he conceded. “But you have mt word that as long as you are with me I will not harm you.” [i]So long as she was with him…[/i] He led her onto the street and into the night eyes darting up and down the street as he looked out for more of his former accomplices. “I’m afraid you castle is not as safe as you think it is.. and there you wouldn’t last a day. I’m afraid to say I know the men who are after you by reputation. They are not the kind to be stopped by such trivial walls and guards. You’re safer where they don’t know where you are.”

He turned to her suddenly and his hands on her shoulders. “Whose men back here.. they are dead, they wanted to do the same to you. This is not something you can hide from.” he almost shook her but instead let her go and stepped into a narrow alleyway where the dark outline of his horse waited.

Rosabel: Rosabel almost thought he was about to strangle her, but was surprised when he didn’t. They were out in the streets now. It would be easy for her to pick up her skirts and start running. Get lost somewhere in the city and hide. …but… If there were truly people out there hunting for her to do nefarious things, how would she know who was a trick and who wasn’t? How would she know who could be trust worthy?

With reluctance, she followed him to the ally where his horse was waiting. The night was getting chilly, and she wondered if they were meant to travel during it. Clearly the place they -were- hiding was no longer safe. Rosabel was still having trouble getting those imagines out of her mind.

“You say I can’t hide, but we’re doing just that… Will I have to run forever? What about my father? He can do something can’t he?” A king ruled over the entire country, he surely could figure out why someone would want to hurt his only daughter and put a stop to it!

Dagon: He turned and looked at her his hand of the reigns as he led the horse to where they could mount. “There are some situations where a fast horse will keep you alive surer than an army. You are not without allies Princess, people who would give their lives to to defend you. But what good is a dead defender?”

He mounted and extended his hand for her to help her up. “If you need a reason to trust me, I have something that may go some way towards that. I could have bargained you for my life back there… or at least tried, and they seemed to want me dead even more than you…”

The horse began to trot and he directed it towards the city gates. With who was after them they were safer outside the city, far away and ready to meet with his other contacts. It had been a big risk turning his back on the contract for her life, and he planned on living to enjoy the rewards.

Rosabel: The Princess was struck to a thoughtful silence. She didn’t have any wish to trust the man, but… it did seem like those other men were there to attack him too. And outside of dragging her from the castle in the most terrifying way possible, he hadn’t hurt her at all. For the time being she sat behind him, her hands clinging to the fabric of his cloak in worry that she would lose her balance and go tumbling off the horse at the first sharp turn. There were so many thing the Princess never had the chance to do, things as simple as riding a horse, yet here she was fleeing for her life with a stranger.

In the cover of darkness, there was very little of the city she could see. Countless of times she stared out of castle windows at the buildings beyond the walls, but her opportunities to really see the city were few and far between. Now as they were reaching the city gates, Rosabel wondering if it would be the last time she’d ever see the city again.

It was a sad thought. She immediately tried to focus her mind in a new direction. “I don’t believe you gave me your name…”

Dagon: “Because I would be safer if you didn’t know it. If you were to return home your father would send his best after me, and unlike now they would know who I was.” He stopped realizing he had just said he didn’t trust her either, then bowing his head and shaking it slowly he mode the move he could only regret. “Dagon is what most call me, those who do.”