• Mature • The Marking of a Slave

Since Lei'lira is unable to free Eriana, she registers her as a slave and has her marked as such.

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Lei'lira
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The Marking of a Slave

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27 Cylus, 717




Lei'lira was exhausted. The journey from her farm to Andaris had been long, and difficult. Travel in Cylus was best avoided at all costs for everyone, but even more so for those who were not accustomed to travel, or to surviving in the wilderness. Despite knowing this, she had had no choice in the matter. Not if she wanted to buy Eri, and spare her as much pain as she could from her new life as a slave.

Over the nine trial journey, Lei'lira had done her best to get to know both Eri, and Teirue. Her efforts had paid off, and she now knew the younger of the two almost as well as if she had known Teirue since she was born. Despite being warned that the little girl rarely spoke, Lei'lira had not found that to be the case...with her, anyway. When the guards that were escorting them drew too close, Teirue went completely silent. She watched the men with wide, wary eyes, leaving Lei'lira to believe that the young child was as frightened by men as she herself was, if for different reasons. That would make sense, given that from what she had learned of their captivity, most of the bandits who had held them were men.

But around her, the child had opened up, much like a shy flower blooming in the gentle sun of Ashan. The two seemed to have formed a bond of sorts, and Lei'lira loved the little girl almost as she loved Tiran and Taerin. She longed to get the little girl safely back to her farm where she could keep Teirue safe from anyone who might want to harm her, or take her away from her.

Her efforts to get to know Eri had been less successful than her efforts with Teirue had been. But that was only to be expected. Eri was older, and less trusting than Teirue was. Even so, they had talked a great deal over the nine trial trip into the city. Although she had tried to hide it behind a mask of tough indifference, Lei'lira knew how terrified Eri was of being owned by someone else. Lei'lira was determined to make the girl's slavery as painless as she possibly could.
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The Marking of a Slave

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"What's that?" Teirue asked quietly.

Lei'lira jumped a little, startled out of her thoughts. She looked to see where Teirue was pointing. Off to the side of the main gate leading into Andaris stood a beautiful tree. It's branches were bare now, save for a thick blanket of snow and ice. But in warmer seasons, Lei'lira knew that they would bear a wide canopy of bright red leaves. Lei'lira smiled at the sight. How old had she been the first time she had seen that tree? Nine? Ten? Younger, perhaps? Lei'lira couldn't remember. What she did remember was feeling a deep sense of pride, knowing that one of her ancestors had planted that tree. Now, though, she felt cold, and empty. It was hard to feel proud of a family that had forced her to marry a monster. Even so, Lei'lira let none of what she was feeling taint her answer.

"It does seem strange to see a tree here, doesn't it?"

Teirue nodded, watching Lei'lira with wide, somber eyes.

"That is Warrick's Watch. One of my ancestors, a man named Henry II planted it. Did you know that he was the son of Henry Warrick, who was one of the original members of the Sacred Seven?"

Teirue shook her head, and Lei'lira chuckled quietly. She didn't think that Teirue would know anything about history at her age, but it did make for a good story.

"Well, he was. There's a plaque at the base of the tree that says "May all who pass this tree know true joy and see it grow."

Lei'lira could see the questions and genuine interest in the little girl's eyes, but the guard were clearly getting impatient, and she didn't want to risk angering them. At the same time, she didn't want to disappoint Teirue. So she promised to tell her more later, before turning her mare to follow after the guards.

As they rode through the city gates, they paused so the gate guards could speak with the guards escorting them into the city as to what their business was. Lei'lira turned them out for the most part. Her mind was racing with things she needed to do now that they were here. They would have to find a place to stay for a while. Eri would be in no shape to ride once they branded her with Rynmere's mark. Lei'lira would need to rent a room for them for several trials at the least. Perhaps longer; she didn't know how long Eri would need to recover after being branded. It wasn't something they had discussed on the long ride to Andaris. One look at the grey pallor in the girl's face, and the terror in her eyes when she'd asked the first time, and Lei'lira had never spoke of it again.

Another thing that Lei'lira needed to do was do a bit of research in the library. She had no idea how to treat a wound caused by a brand, and since it was being given to mark Eri as a slave, it seemed unlikely that a healer would be willing to help them. That meant that she would need to learn how to treat it, and what signs she should be looking for that might indicate that it was or was not healing well. While she was at it, there were a few other things she wanted to research as well while she had access to a library. Her plan was to take Teirue and go some time while Eri was sleeping, and needed quiet to rest. She also wanted to buy some things for the girls.

"How is this going to work?" Lei'lira asked quietly once they were inside the city.

"We'll go to the slave auctions in Lowtown first. You can register the girl"

"Eri." Lei'lira interrupted firmly as she frowned at the the guard who had spoken.

"The girl" has a name, and her name is Eri."

The guard sighed, and rolled his eyes at her.

"Eri, then. They'll brand her, and you will be given the opportunity to buy her once that has been done. After that, what you do is your own business. We'll be off once we see that the...that Eri has been properly registered."

Lei'lira nodded absently. They resumed riding once more, with the guards taking the lead. Teirue sensed the grim mood, and she sat silently in front of Lei'lira as they rode. Sooner than she would have liked, they reached the place where slave auctions were held. Lei'lira watched while a man told a crowd of people the virtues of a group of barely dressed men standing on a raised platform. They were hard working. They were strong. They were obedient. The list went on. Each man wore a sign around their neck. Several of them bore the scars of past whippings.

Lei'lira flinched inwardly. Although not bad enough to leave the kinds of scars that some of these men had, she had learned the agonizing bite of the whip at the hands of the bandits who had captured her last Saun. She bore her own scars on her back from that time, and she would never forget the pain and terror that each stroke of the whip had cost her. Lei'lira couldn't help but be glad that the slaves who were currently being sold were all men. Had there been any women or children standing on that platform, she didn't think she would have been able to resist the need to buy them, and spare them from their suffering. And she simply didn't have enough nels with her to do that.
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The Marking of a Slave

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Men approached the horse Eri had been bound to, dragging her off of the mare roughly. She cried out in terrified protest as she was dragged towards a large wooden shed. Lei'lira quickly dismounted, handing the reins of her mare to one of the guards, before following with Teirue. Eri was stripped naked, and forced to her knees roughly. On her right side, she bore the brand the bandits had given her in three places, her shoulder, side, and thigh. One man forced her onto her right side while two others held her down. A third forcibly stretched her out, refusing to allow her to curl up into a protective ball.

Lei'lira's first thought was to give the young girl as much privacy as she could. She couldn't stop what was about to happen...but she didn't have to humiliate Eri by witnessing her agony. Nor did Teirue need to be exposed to what was about to happen. But the terrified pleading in Eri's eyes stopped her in her tracks. Eri didn't want to be left alone. And Lei'lira didn't have the heart to abandon her. So she held Teirue in her arms tightly, the young girl's face pressed against her chest so she couldn't see, and bore silent witness.

Several brands lay ready in the large fireplace that took up most of one wall of the shed. Lei'lira watched as a man picked one up, and brought it over to the prone girl. He stared down at Eri for several agonizingly long bits. Then he grinned sadistically as he pressed the palm sized brand firmly into Eri's left side. She screamed in agony, her entire body thrashing against the pain. But the men holding her in place were strong, and they had done this many times before; they knew what they were doing, and how to prevent a slave from damaging themselves while they were being branded.

Lei'lira had been expecting the screams. She had steeled herself for that, and resisted the strong urge to try and stop what was happening. But the stench of burned flesh that filled the air made her feel sick. And as bad as that was, the sadistic pleasure in the eyes of the man who was branding Eri made her feel even worse. The man was clearly getting off on the agony he was causing the girl she had come to see as a friend. He held the brand firmly against Eri's skin for what had to have been at least a few bits before removing it. When he did, Eri's screams faded into ragged sobs that were somehow even worse than the screams had been.

Teirue shuddered, and sobbed quietly in Lei'lira's arms. Her face was pressed tightly against her chest, and her entire body shook in terror at hearing Eri's screams. Lei'lira tried to sooth the tiny child as she moved to get a look at the injury Eri had been dealt. The wound looked horrible. Only the fact that all slaves were branded, and they all survived the experience allowed Lei'lira to have hope that Eri would recover from it.

At least it's over and done with now. I can get Eri away from these horrid people, and help her to get over this nightmare as best she can. Lei'lira thought shakily.

But the men didn't release Eri as Lei'lira had expected them to. Instead, the man who had branded her walked over to the fireplace, and selected a second brand. Lei'lira watched in helpless horror as Eri was branded twice more; once on her left shoulder, and once on her left thigh, mirroring the three brands the bandits had given her. When it was done, the men who had been holding her down yanked her to her feet, and dragged her off somewhere.

"Don't worry. The wounds caused by branding a slave look worse than they truly are."

Lei'lira started, clutching Teirue to her tightly as she turned to face the man who had spoken. It was the man she had seen earlier selling the group of slaves on the platform.

"In time, the wounds will scab over. When they heal, they will leave behind a scar in the shape of the symbol of Rynmere. Depending on how it scars, it may appear as faint lines, or as raised skin. Either way, it will look much nicer than it does now."

Lei'lira didn't know how to respond to that. Her concerns were on how well Eri would heal, and whether she would lose any range of movement in her arm, or leg as a result of what had been done to her. Or if she would experience lingering pain for the rest of her life as some people did after sustaining a severe injury. What the brands looked like only mattered in the way Eri would see them, or rather see herself because of them.

"Now, I've been told that you are interested in buying the girl?"

Lei'lira frowned when the man called Eri "girl," but she nodded.

"What do you plan to use her for?"

Lei'lira's frown deepened, and she had to bite back what she really wanted to say. Eri was a person. She had thoughts, and feelings, hopes, dreams, and fears. She wasn't a thing to be "used."

"I could use some help on my farm. And someone to watch my children when I'm working. She would also help me with the cooking, cleaning, and errands. Things like that."

The man told her that she could have the "girl" for 350 gold nels. Lei'lira simply handed the money over to him. He looked surprised that she didn't try to haggle him down to a lower price, but Lei'lira was disturbed simply by the idea of buying another person. She certainly wasn't going to try to say Eri wasn't worth that much in order to get a better price. How did someone place a value on a person's life, anyway? It was too disturbing a concept for her to think about for long.

"Come with me, and I'll draw the papers up."

Lei'lira followed the man, carefully keeping a neutral expression on her face. It didn't take long. When the man offered her the registration papers, she read through them briefly. They seemed to be in order, but she really had no idea what she should be looking for since she had never bought a slave before. After a few bits, she signed the papers. A copy of them was made, and given to Lei'lira to read over. They matched the original papers word for word, so she signed those as well. Then the copy was filed while she was given the originals to keep.

Off Topic

The 350 gn for a skilled female slave: (2 or more Competent skills) has been taken from my ledger.
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It was done. Lei'lira had difficulty wrapping her head around the fact that she owned another person, but Eri now belonged to her. She preferred to think of it as Eri being a part of her family, and as the "big sister," Eri was her responsibility. And right now, she needed to get Eri somewhere safe where she could rest and recover.

"I'm not from around here. Is there an inn you'd recommend?"

She hated to ask the man for anything, but she didn't want to drag an injured Eri all over the city in search of an inn. The man raised an eyebrow at her, but told her about a place called the Ye Olde Inn. It catered to rich and poor alike, had good food, and the prices were reasonable. And for an additional fee, she would be able to arrange for a place for her horse, too.

It didn't take long for Lei'lira to collect Eri, and get her mounted on her horse as comfortable as she could. Knowing that the girl was in no condition to control the mare, Lei'lira took the reins, and led her out of Low Town. As she led Star through the streets of Andaris, Lei'lira saw an herbal shop. Hoping to find something that would help Eri, she tied Star to a post nearby, and left Eri with her while she entered the shop.

"Welcome! I'm Hannah Yavich, the owner of this shop. What can I help you with?"

Lei'lira smiled tentatively.

"I hope so. I need something that will help someone who has a...a bad burn. Three burns, actually. Preferably something that will help ease the pain, as well."

Hannah's eyes narrowed.

"A bad burn, huh. Would this someone be you, then? And would this "bad burn" be a slave brand?"

Lei'lira flinched.

"You have it partly right. It isn't for me, but it is for a slave I bought today. She was branded just a little while ago, and I want to make sure that it heals properly."

"I know the law. I'm not about to help any runaway slaves!"

Lei'lira shook her head.

"I'm not a slave. Look...Eri is sitting on my horse just outside your shop if you want to go look. And I have her papers right here. See?"

Lei'lira showed the shop keeper Eri's registration papers, and the other woman examined them carefully. Then she nodded, satisfied that Lei'lira was telling the truth.

"Okay, then. I think I have something that will help you. Aloe is good for burns. Fresh aloe is better, but dried will do if it is all that you can get. With fresh leaves, you just have to mash them up, and spread the juice on the burn. And with dried leaves, you let them soak in water for several breaks, then mash them up, and put the mixture onto the burn. You'll want to do this for two or three trials, but not more than that. If you use it for too long, the brand might be too faint when it heals up. You want the brand to be clearly visible, or they'll insist on branding your slave again. It's also very important to keep the brand clean. A brand is a wound like any other; if it gets dirty, it will become infected. It isn't necessary to bandage the brand with gauze, but it would help."

Lei'lira nodded. Although she hadn't known that burns could become infected, she had learned all too well about the dangers of infection, and the importance of keeping a wound clean last Vhalar when she'd gotten caught up in the war among some of the Immortals.

"As for the pain, willow bark tea will help to take the edge off, but it isn't strong enough to do more than that with the kind of severe pain a brand will cause. Problem is...you'd have to go to the infirmary for the really strong stuff, and I'm guessing that you don't want to do that if you're coming to me instead."

Lei'lira nodded. She really didn't think that a doctor would be willing to help a slave.

"Right, then. You're in luck. Normally when someone needs an herb, I take their order, then go to the people I buy my herbs from. But I had an order for some aloe leaves that the person who ordered them doesn't need any longer. I can sell you those leaves if you want?"

Lei'lira nodded again, and thanked the woman. Hannah told her what it would cost, and Lei'lira handed her the nels without even trying to haggle for a lower price.

"Do you have any willow bark?" she asked hopefully.

"Unfortunately, no. But it's a common enough herb. I should be able to get some fairly quickly. Would you like me to let you know when I get some?"

"Yes, please. We'll be staying at Ye Olde Inn until Eri recovers enough to be comfortable riding back to Warrick."

"I'll see what I can do." Hannah said with a smile.

Lei'lira made her way out of the shop. As she made her way towards the inn, she couldn't help but over hear people around her talking about someone attacking a temple. No one seemed to know who was behind the brutal attack since they were wearing masks, but one monk was apparently killed, and another was seriously injured. Hearing what was was said reminded Lei'lira why she disliked Andaris so much. Life was much calmer back in Warrick. Even more so on her little farm.

When Lei'lira finally reached the inn, she quickly asked for a room. When given the choice of what kind she wanted, she asked for a luxury room. She figured that with three of them sharing it, bigger was better. A nice view would be good for Teirue, and better quality beds and blankets would make Eri feel more comfortable while she was healing. She decided to pay for a ten trial stay now since she didn't know how long she would need to stay. Depending on the weather, and how quickly Eri healed, she could always pay for a longer stay later if necessary. She handed the innkeeper the money, and watched with some anxiety as a groom came to take Star. Normally, she would see to her mare's needs herself. But now she needed to see to Eri even more. So she got the girls up to their room, and settled Eri into the bed. Eri was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. With Eri settled, Lei'lira turned her thoughts to Teirue, and towards making plans for the next few trials.

Off Topic

The cost of renting a luxury room at Ye Olde Inn and housing a horse there for 10 days (10Gn, 5 SN) has been taken from my ledger. But I do not know what the cost of 6-9 fresh aloe leaves would be, so I did not subtract the cost of those yet.
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The Marking of a Slave

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The Marking of a Slave

Name: Lei'lira

Knowledge:
NPC: Teirue: Quiet
NPC: Teirue: Has a fear of men
NPC: Eri: Plays off her fear
NPC: Hannah Yavich
NPC: Hannah Yavich: Owner of Ye Olde Inn
Warrick's Watch: Tree planted at the main gate leading into Andaris
Warrick's Watch: Planted by Henry II of House Warrick
Slavery: Must register the slave at auction house
Endurance: Watching someone else be branded
Psychology: Knowing when to stay
Location: Branding shed
Location: Ye Olde Inn
Medicine: Aloe is good for burns
Medicine: Willow bark tea is good for pain


Loot: - 350 gn for skilled female slave
- 10 gn 5 sn for luxury room at Ye Olde Inn and housing for the horse
- 3 gn for the Aloe
Injuries: None
Fame: None
Devotion: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5
Magic: These points may not be used for magic

Comments: Lei'lira seems sweet! I enjoyed reading this thread and getting to know Lei'lira in the process. Also! Poor Eri! Three brands -- yowch.
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