how not to escape

Eastern Archenland

The darkness here is complete and stifling. There is an echoing quality to the space, and any footfall or breath seems loud. The floor is stone, and there is a faint smell of must and decay.

A few steps in is a stone structure, about waist-high. The top is glassy-smooth, carved with ridges that seem to be letters or ornamentation.

Lanisen has not been idle in the last several days. He has somehow managed to get his legs untied, and he is picking methodically at the rope connecting his wrists to the sepulcher, breaking it apart one filament at a time.

Darius slips into the sepulcher, closing the door quickly behind him. “My friend! ” he calls out, maybe a little louder than he should. “How fare thee?” He chuckles, a twisted joy emanating from his words.

Lanisen goes quite still, though his breathing picks up. There is a scuffling sound.

Darius goes silent as he hears the noises, shifting his weight and pulling his sword. “Now, now… Nothing to fear. ” he affirms, placing his free hand on the wall behind him and keeping his sword at the ready. Moving to the side slowly, careful to keep his hand on the wall, he begins edging his way towards Lanisen. “How are /thee/?”

Lanisen, perhaps better equipped to move about in the pitch-black sepulcher after the last four days than Darius, keeps well away, moving as silently as possible.

Darius continues edging in what he believes to be Lanisen’s direction. “Lanisen… Where /are/ you?” he asks once more, though now there does seem to be a hint of frustration in his voice.

Lanisen has gone completely silent.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius hard! Darius is bruised!

Darius nearly pushes off the wall to further his search of Lanisen when he is nearly knocked off his feet by a /firm/ blow to his shin. Cursing, he whips his sword down where he believes Lanisen’s kick to have from. “You /dog/! Kick me again I shall shove five whole mandrakes down your throat! ”
>>> Darius stabs at Lanisen, the blade hitting its mark firmly. Lanisen is nicked by the blade, but otherwise uninjured.

Lanisen gasps out loud, backing quickly away, less silent. There is a “thump” as he runs into the sarcophagus.

Darius quickly moves after the sound, sword at the ready and hand out as he attempts to grab a hold of Lanisen. “Be /still/!”

Lanisen lurches away as Darius’s hand brushes his shoulder. There is a low ‘twang’ as he hits the end of his rope.

Darius’s mouth clamps shut as he sucks in a deep breath through his nose, attempting to quell the building frustration. Looking back, he spies the little bit of light from the door and backs towards it, sword still out. As he nears the door, he hears a crinkling sound below him as he steps on something. Reaching down, he snags a piece of parchment laying there. His breathing slows a bit as he turns to the door. “Don’t move.”

Lanisen moves. He circles around to the opposite side of the sepulcher from Darius.

Darius hesitates, his muscles tensing at the sound. After a few moments, he sheathes his sword and quickly slips out once more.

Lanisen, once he is gone, sinks trembling to his knees. He lifts his trouser leg to look at the cut, which is dripping blood on the grimy floor but not particularly deep, then takes the fraying rope in his hands. He sets to sawing at it desperately on the edge of the marble sarcophagus lid, trying to break through before Darius returns.

Lanisen is still sawing feverishly at the rope, on his knees on the floor behind the sepulcher.

Darius slips back into the Sepulcher, a lit candle in his left hand and his right dropping down to the sword after he finishes shutting the door. Holding the candle up, he scans the room for his captive, eyes settling on the figure kneeling beside the sepulcher.

Lanisen scrambles back to his feet as the door opens, ducking his head to shield his eyes from the light. He blinks rapidly to try to adjust his vision.

Darius eyes Lanisen, frowning deeply as he takes notice of his unbound legs. “I see you have been hard at work. ” he shakes his head, eyeing the man’s legs. “Well, that just won’t do… ” He adds, moving his hand from the sword to his mouth, eyes narrowing as he ponders something.

Lanisen watches him. He looks pale and peaky, and is breathing with a slight wheeze, but his eyes are clear. His bound wrists are rubbed raw and bloody where he has been struggling with the rope, but he looks ready to fight.

Darius rolls his eyes, leaning back against the door. “Give it up, Lanisen. This will end one of two ways and I can assure you that you will not enjoy one of them. Now, keep calm and everything will be alright. ”

Lanisen says nothing.

Darius eyes the man. “Ah, well… That is better.” At this, he begins moving back and forth in front of the door. “I /do/ apologize for leaving in such a hurry the other day.” He grins, eyes now twinkling as he now knows he owns the current situation. “But, I just /had/ to attend to some things. How HAVE you been, old friend?” he chuckles.

Lanisen doesn’t seem like he’s in a mood to talk. His eyes follow Darius.

Darius chuckles, seeming amused by the silence. “Oh come on, the sleeping arrangements couldn’t have been that bad!” He waves a hand at the sarcophagus, a grin tugging at his mouth. ” I mean it IS fit for a King. ”

Lanisen says, “What do you want, Aaron.” His voice rasps, as if he has not used it, or has used it too harshly.

Darius stops suddenly, grin exploding with delight. “He speaks!” Then waving a finger at him. “But, you are right, that is the real question here.” he returns to pacing. “I want you silent, deathly /silent/, when we move tonight. That is what I want most.” He speaks almost like a child letting his parents know what he wants from Father Christmas.

Lanisen’s throat convulses in a swallow. He watches Darius.

Darius’s brow raises. “Can you do that Lanisen?”

Lanisen asks, “Where are we going.”

Darius answers matter-of-factly, “To somewhere more… ” He stops pacing, tilting his head. “Long-term, shall we say.” His eyes sweep the room once more. “This place shall only last me so long and it would seem my time here is up.” He sighs, looking a hair disappointed. “I am quite sad about it honestly. I have grown to /love/ Andale.” He chuckles. “And oh! to be RIGHT under their noses.” He breathes deeply. “It is almost too fun.”

Lanisen’s shoulders hunch and shudder at this. He coils the rope in his hands nervously, rolling the weak section between his fingers. “Long-term, huh?”

Darius nods. “/Now/ you’re getting it.”

Lanisen swallows. “How long a term are we talkin’ here?” he asks softly.

Darius shrugs, waving a hand. “However long I deem necessary.”

Lanisen asks, “What is it you’re wantin’ with me?”

Darius leans back against the door once more. “Many things… for now though, you are my security.”

Lanisen asks, “Against what?”

Darius says, “Those in Archenland. For now.”

Lanisen asks, “What is it you’re wantin’ down the road? Is it money?”

Darius laughs, eyes widening as he nods. “Oh, that has its place. Of that, I can assure you.”

Lanisen asks, “So it’s money?”

Darius smirks, shaking his head. “That has its place. But if that was the only thing I would have picked all of you clean on my first run through. No, no, there is more.”

Lanisen waits for him to elaborate, watching and listening.

Darius waves his hand. “Enough about me. What of Andale? Did my little show warm the hearts of those I had grown SO close to? Or were they scorched by my sudden disappearance?” he asks, amusement dancing within his eyes.

Lanisen looks down briefly. “It was quite a show,” he says. Aside from the slight tremble in his voice, his tone is very nearly conversational. “You been in Narnia this whole time, then?”

Darius nods slowly. “Indeed, I was.” He hmms. “Cannot say I enjoyed it all that much. Though, it did allow me to pick up a few skills along the way.” He grins. “Enjoy that drink of yours a few days ago?”

Lanisen’s face flickers, but he only asks, “What was it?”

Darius grins. “Oh, I am sure I can arrange for another like it. ” he laughs. “Perhaps we will play little game of guess that poisen when we reach our destination! Eh?”

Lanisen goes faintly white around the mouth, and his hands shift on the rope.

Darius laughs heartily. “Oh, Lanisen. I swear I won’t let it kill you.” He releases a soft sigh, calming a bit. “Well, I best get the cart ready. We have quite the journey tonight.”

Lanisen says nothing.

Darius snorts, turning and moving to open the door. “Hold tight. I will be back momentarily.”

Lanisen doesn’t answer. He looks down at his hands, which conceal the two frayed ends of the rope, worried through at last.

Darius opens the door, blowing out the candle and slipping out.

Lanisen waits several seconds, listening for receding footsteps.

Darius closes the door behind him, his footsteps slowly growing faint. Though, if one was listening real hard, they might notice his footsteps disappear a bit sooner than they should.

Lanisen waits for a moment, then cautiously opens the door.

The Andale Graveyard
Eastern Archenland

The canyon widens into a would-be meadow here. Above you great mountains block out most of the light the sun might provide, and before you stones rise from the ground, approximately the same distance from each other yet somehow scattered. Some of these are great statues, finely carved, expertly detailed. Others are mere misshapen markers, the stubborn overgrown grass obscuring them until they are nearly underfoot. Flowers in various states of decay cluster around a few of the graves, but most seem quite abandoned. Indeed, the roots of a great oak tree have nearly overturned several of the markers near the back of the graveyard. Near these forgotten hallows a wide pit gapes darkly. Within it lie the remains of centuries of brigands. Although the bodies have been enclosed in wooden coffins to protect them from the elements, it is evident that some creature has unearthed a meal by prying at the weakest wood. From these broken coffins yawn the skeletal remains of Archenland’s greatest enemies.

To the south, projecting from the canyon wall, stands a large stone building. Like the rest of the necropolis, it is solemn and foreboding, but unlike the broken graves and ravaged pit, this building has not been forgotten. Its great shape casts a heavy shadow over the grasses and stones, the stone richly carved with the Royal Family’s crest. Here, it seems, is where the ancestors of the noble families lie.

Darius is currently rustling around a cart with a large cloth draped over the entire thing. The horse seems a bit agitated, scuffing at the ground as Darius comes out from underneath the cloth. Hopping off, he lands on the ground softly and brushes himself out.

Lanisen watches through the smallest crack in the door for a moment. When it looks like Darius is sufficiently distracted, he slips out, quickly closing the door behind him, and limps for the cover of a tall gravestone.

Darius continues brushing himself off as he begins moving for the door, still distracted enough to not yet notice Lanisen.

Lanisen ducks behind the stone and listens.

Darius looks up as he reaches the door, glancing around before opening the door fully, letting what is left of the daylight stream in. His eyes instantly narrow as he looks through the opening and his hand falls onto his sword as he steps through carefully.

Lanisen risks a quick look over the top of the gravestone. He waits for Darius to step inside, then breaks into an awkward, limping run for the crossroads, his bound hands held out in front of him for balance.

Darius bursts out of the sepulcher, the door slamming behind him and his eyes wide with anger. “Where are you, dog… ” he breaths through clenched teeth, his sword drawn. Spying him heading up the canyon, he begins sprinting towards him at a great speed.

Lanisen looks over his shoulder. He draws a wheezing gasp of terror and plunges on desperately, trying to maintain his lead. He seems to be tiring quickly.

Darius closes in on him swiftly, locking his left arm around Lanisen’s neck and moving his right arm to place the point of his sword on the man’s shoulder. “Move and you die,” he seethes, his breathing hard.

Lanisen chokes, bringing his hands up to pull at Darius’s arm before he feels the point of the sword. He goes tense and still.

Darius keeps a firm hold on the man, slowly turning him back towards the cart. “That’s it,” he says slowly, his breathing finally coming under control. “Now move forward. ”

Lanisen closes his eyes for a moment and takes an unsteady breath. He nods, and complies.

Darius moves him forward until they reach the cart. Slowly, he releases his arm from around his neck and shoves him forward, keeping his sword out. “Slip under that cloth and… I swear to you that, if you move or make even the tiniest noise, I will show you a whole new world of hurt.”

Lanisen stumbles and rights himself. He hesitates for a moment, glancing in the direction of the busy crossroads, then climbs up carefully into the cart and covers himself as instructed.

Darius quickly looks both ways. Content that he is alone, he lifts the cloth to reveal another rope in there. Taking the rope, he lifts up the cloth a bit further and moves to tie up Lanisen’s legs.

Lanisen kicks him in the face.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius firmly! Darius is bruised!

Darius stumbles backwards and off of the cart, landing on his rear as he is kicked in the face. Releasing a seething cry, he slowly pushes himself to his feet.

Lanisen lurches up and over the side of the cart. He lands heavily and falls on his knees, but is picking himself up and scrambling for freedom a second later.

Andale Crossroad
Eastern Archenland

You stand at a busy crossroad outside Andale. The main road curves up from the forest to the southwest, heading into the town to the east. A less-traveled road winds up into the mountains to the west, and a smaller track descends into a canyon to the north.

South of the crossroads is heavily forested, the main path disappearing into the trees to the southwest. At the southeast corner of the crossroads stands a tall walnut tree.

Lanisen stumbles up the path from the graveyard, panting. He halts at the roadside, searching desperately for a wagon or horse or passer-by.

Darius is sprinting up the path after Lanisen, his nose drips with blood and his eyes are wide in rage. He slows a bit as Lanisen reaches the crossroads, wiping his nose on his sleeve and looking both ways before stalking towards his prey, hand on his sword.

Lanisen turns back toward Darius, holding his tied hands up in a defensive position and continuing to move away. “Please,” he wheezes.

Darius draws his sword, jaw clenching. “Get BACK to the cart and act like a dead man before I make you one.”

Lanisen shakes his head pleadingly. “Walk away,” he begs. “I won’t, I won’t tell anybody, please–”

Darius’s eyes widen, the grip on his sword tightening. “/MOVE/!” he roars, not caring for who might be around.

Lanisen keeps backing away from the sword point, moving down the road toward the castle and away from Darius’s cart as much as possible.

Darius finally snaps, running forward and swinging at the man’s legs.
>>> Darius stabs Lanisen! Lanisen is nicked by the blade, but otherwise uninjured.

Lanisen takes a darting step backward away from the blade, but it’s not enough to avoid it altogether. He cries out and stumbles back, landing heavily in the road. He raises his arms to protect his head.

Darius sheathes his sword and moves over to Lanisen’s side, hooking an arm under his and attempting to yank him up.

Lanisen balls himself up, making himself nigh-impossible to lift. He kicks out again at Darius.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius firmly! Darius is bruised!

Darius stumbles again as his chest is kicked, the rage in his eyes growing. Recovering quickly, he leaps forward and swings for his head.
>>> Darius smacks Lanisen with his fist! Lanisen doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen catches the blow on his arms and kicks out again, stalling desperately until somebody comes by.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius firmly! Darius is bruised!

Darius steps back a pace in an attempt to absorb the blow, the rage within making him blind. Coming back again, he takes another swing at the man’s head.
>>> Darius swings his fist at Lanisen, grazing him. Lanisen doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen keeps his arms up and avoids injury. He kicks out again, trying to gain enough time to get to his feet.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius firmly! Darius doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Darius continues his attack, taking the blow without flinching.
>>> Darius swings his fist at Lanisen, grazing him. Lanisen doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen is more overwhelmed by the unceasing blows than hurt by them. As Darius bends near to strike him, he tries again to kick him in the face.
>>> Lanisen kicks Darius firmly! Darius is bruised!

Darius stumbles backwards, both hands going to his face as he cries out in pain. Wiping the increasing blood from his nose, he blinks a few times in an attempt to recover.

Lanisen scrambles to his feet, watching the man warily.

Darius draws his sword quickly, taking a few steps forward and pointing it at his chest. “This is your last chance. ” he says in between breaths, the anger in his eyes boiling.

Lanisen takes a step back as the sword comes out again. He swallows and darts a glance past Darius up the road, stalling for a few more seconds.

Darius takes a step forward, muttering something under his breath before pushing the point of his sword closer. “To that cart. Now.” he growls.
Darius mumbles “I … … …”, to Darius.

Lanisen moistens his lips and swallows again, still backing away. “Are you gonna kill me?”

Darius holds the point up, anger still running hot. “No, but I /will/ make your life a living nightmare if you don’t stop fighting. ”

Lanisen says, “You already did.”

Darius’s eyes widen. “GOOD! Then I will continue to do so until the day you die unless you /move/!” He seethes. “I will never stop and no one will ever stop me.”

Lanisen is trembling, but his eyes on Darius are sharp. He continues to back slowly down the road to Anvard, testing the limits.

Darius starts making a half circle around Lanisen, looking to get between him and the Castle. The pointed never leaving the man, he moves it a bit closer. “Stop testing me, boy.”

Lanisen stops moving as Darius blocks his way. Then, carefully, he takes a step forward, advancing on him.

Darius’s sword arm shakes, his eyes becoming hard set as something inside of him snaps once more. pulling the sword back, he swings of the man’s leg once more.
>>> Darius stabs at Lanisen, the blade hitting its mark firmly. Lanisen cries out as the blade cuts into his skin, leaving a surface wound!

Lanisen’s eyes widen with alarm at his mistake and he lurches back, letting out a short, sharp noise of pain.

Darius contines forward, using his free arm and the focus on his leg to take a swing at his head.
>>> Darius swings his fist at Lanisen, grazing him. Lanisen doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen stumbles back, giving ground.

Darius uses the momentum to punch once more.
>>> Darius swings his fist at Lanisen, grazing him. Lanisen doesn’t appear to be too hurt by the blow.

Lanisen’s shoulders hunch up and he raises his arms, giving another several yards as he is beaten back.

Darius swings his arm around, grabbing Lanisen by the neck once more before attempting to drag him back down the hill.

Lanisen cringes under the grip, bracing his feet against the ground and finally screaming, “Somebody please! Help me! Help!”

Darius’s arm closes around his neck, and his other quickly sheaths the sword and slams over his mouth. Yanking hard, he pulls him further down the hill.

Lanisen struggles all the way, kicking and biting and yelling.

Darius continues, paying little mind to the struggle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s