how not to wake up from a nightmare


Sepulcher
Eastern Archenland


This is a small dark room of dark red stone, with no windows or furnishings. Ragged remnants of once-fine tapestries hang on the walls, and grime dulls the fine marble paving. There is a smell of must and decay, though faint with age, and a few dead leaves lie colorless and desiccated in a corner.

A stone sarcophagus sits in the center of the room, its polished cover engraved with the name of some long-dead king.


Lanisen lies still on the stone floor, breathing shallowly. He seems to be awake, but he is not moving.

Darius slips into the Sepulcher and lights the lantern in his hand, closing the door quietly. Turning back to where he left his captive, his face shows some pretty heavy bruising around his nose and there seems to be a permanent scowl etched into his expression. He stands there for a moment, eyes darting between each bound limb.

Lanisen is still tied as Darius left him. His face winces up at the light and he tries to turn away, but with his hands behind his back he doesn’t have any way to shield his eyes.

Darius moves over to Lanisen, setting the lamp down on the sarcophagus and dropping to a knee. Resting one arm on his leg, he eyes the bound man with disdain. “I’ll ask you this once, are you gonna keep quiet or am I going to have to make your nightmares come true?”

Lanisen’s breathing picks up to something near hyperventilation, but he stares up a little to the left of Darius’s face and does not answer. The water at his side has not been touched, or at least not much.

Darius snorts. “Very well then.” In two swift motions, he grabs for Lanisen’s lower jaw with one hand and with the other pulls a small vial from a hidden pouch within his tunic.

Lanisen’s eyes widen and he jerks away, pulling senselessly at the rope connecting his wrists to his ankles. He clenches his jaw and seals his lips, wordless noises of panic coming from his throat.

Darius grumbles, clenching the hand holding the vile and bringing his elbow down on Lanisen’s stomach.
>>> Darius smacks Lanisen hard! Lanisen is bruised!

Lanisen coughs and doubles over as much as his bonds will let him, wheezing in pain.

Darius’s free hand shoots to his face once more, going for his jaw as he attempts to empty the contents of the vial into the man’s mouth.

Lanisen tries to bite, still wheezing.
>>> Lanisen tries to bite Darius, but misses.

Darius’s eyes flash, his hand finally catching Lanisen’s jaw and the other clenching for yet another blow to the stomach. Bringing his elbow across once more, once struck, he makes yet another attempt to dump the contents into Lanisen’s mouth.
>>> Darius smacks Lanisen hard with his fist! Lanisen is bruised!

Lanisen’s body convulses under the blow and he writhes weakly. His mouth opens automatically with the shock.

Darius empties the vial into the mans mouth before slamming both hands into the mans lower jaw, attempting to keep it closed.

Lanisen’s eyes squeeze shut. He breathes rapidly through his nose, and finally his throat moves in a swallow.

Once he has seen him swallow, Darius shoves his head away, paying no mind to how hard his head might hit the floor. Standing quickly after, he observes the man.

Lanisen rolls back over, shaking. He stares up at Darius with watering eyes, then deliberately spits the poison onto his boots.

Darius’s eyes flash with rage. “You stubborn dog!” he spits, his boot striking out a mere second after.
>>> Darius kicks Lanisen firmly! 

Lanisen’s body folds over. He coughs and gags, and a thin string of poison and saliva drips from the corner of his mouth.

Darius shakes his head, dropping to one knee once more and whipping out another vial. Grabbing him by the front of his tunic and yanking him close, he holds the vial in front of Lanisen’s face. “Either you swallow what is left in your mouth or you will find the entirety of this one in your mouth as well.” He shakes him once, his grip tightening. “And I swear to you, you will swallow every last drop of this one.” There is blackness in his eyes as he says the last.

Lanisen sets his jaw again.

Darius growls and shoves Lanisen back, coming in with an elbow to the stomach once more before grabbing for his jaw with his free and and making another attempt to empty the vial.
>>> Darius smacks Lanisen hard! Lanisen is bruised!

Lanisen jerks, his eyes watering freely. He convulses with several hacking, gagging coughs, trying to thrash away from the vial.

Darius attempts to clamp onto his lower jaw with the free hand. “Be still!” he growls, elbowing him in the stomach once more.
>>> Darius smacks Lanisen hard! Lanisen is bruised!

Lanisen’s breathing is marked with sobs of pain by now, and there doesn’t seem much fight left in him.

Darius’s hand tightens on his jaw, his other moving to dump the vial into his mouth.

Lanisen makes an effort to pull away, but he is too weak to dislodge Darius’s hand.

Darius yanks his head back towards the vial and squeezes his jaw, dumping the vial into his mouth before once more slamming it shut with both hands.

Lanisen shuts his eyes, fighting to force the poison out of his mouth, breathing rapidly through his nose.

Darius keeps one hand under his mouth and moves the other to his throat, rubbing it to force the swallow.

Lanisen stiffens and tries to turn away, tears running from the corners of his eyes. His back makes a bow as he attempts to writhe out of the man’s grip.

Darius presses harder on Lanisen’s throat, keeping tight hold of the man’s mouth as he struggles.

Lanisen’s body finally goes limp. He accepts the poison, his throat working in an unmistakable swallow under Darius’s hand.

Darius holds his postion, not releasing the man. His breathing his hard and he drips with sweat.

Lanisen swallows several more times. He is trembling, and every breath comes with a whimper of pain.

Darius finally drops Lanisen, slowly standing to his feet and observing the man once more.

Lanisen’s head falls back to the ground. He curls in on himself as much as the rope will let him, dazed.

Darius quickly draws his sword and grabs the line connecting Lanisen to the sarcophagus, slicing it with his sword in one motion. Turning back to the door, he sheathes his sword before moving to the door.

Lanisen flinches at the sword’s motion, but goes limp again when Darius moves away. He doesn’t move, just closes his eyes and breathes.

Darius opens the door a crack, peeking out. Seeing the area clear, he shuts the door and moves back to Lanisen.

Lanisen’s eyes open again as Darius returns. His face crumples with dread.

Darius moves quickly over to him, pulling his sword once more and cutting the line that binds his hands and feet together. Then, sheathing his sword, he attempts to grab the man in both arms and hoist him up.

Lanisen lets out a groan and his head lolls to the side. He is no help at all.

Darius shifts him around a few times on his way up, grunting and struggling the entire way. Finally getting Lanisen into a backwards bear-hug, he begins dragging Lanisen out of the sepulcher.

Lanisen’s legs drag on the floor, leaving distinct tracks in the dust and grime.


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 forboding, 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 continues dragging Lanisen out of the Sepulcher, moving towards the cart.

Lanisen’s legs draw long troughs through the mud.

Darius grunts, pulling harder as Lanisen’s boots continue to drag. Finally reaching the cart, he yanks the man up, so that his grip is around his waist and with one last heave, he throws him over the edge of the cart.

Lanisen lands heavily. He stirs weakly once in the cart and looks around with glassy, unfocused eyes. His face is already beginning to flush from the poison.

Darius takes a few deep breaths, putting his hands on the edge of the cart and watching the man before looking around the graveyard. Satisfied that they have gone unnoticed, he leaps up and grabs one of the ropes laying in the cart. Moving over to Lanisen, he once more ties his legs to his hands before adjusting him so that he is laying on his side and covering him with the cloth.

Lanisen is aware enough to know what is happening, and he straightens his legs in a bid for more slack in the rope before Darius makes the knot.

Darius lets him have the little bit of slack. Then moving over to the front of the cart, he steps onto the front, takes a seat on the bench and settles in. Giving the area one more scan, he takes hold of the reigns and gives them a firm whip and a click with his tongue. At this, the horse begins moving up the hill.

Lanisen is still and silent in the back of the cart.

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