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Old Grudges

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1 Old Grudges on Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:46 pm

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"You, elf." A gruff sounding human man was seated in a tavern in the human village of Earlestown. It had once been a bustling market place, a meeting place for merchants and scholars. But now... It was lucky if a handful of hunters passed through on their way elsewhere. The people here lived close to the neighbouring kingdom that boasted that is was the seat of all civilisation, Elven, of course. The exact border was somewhat of a foggy issue, meaning battles often broke out over ownership of land. Elves passed through, most of them simply wishing to look down upon what they considered the uncivilised and rather boring humans, before returning to their own cities of silver.
"Elf?" The dark haired female asked, spitting that one word back at the man who had called it to her as she walked past his table. "You do not address the other women here as 'human', so not call me by my race either." She added rather haughtily.
"Well la-di-da! Ain't you just lady of the manor!" The man sneered, banging his glass down on the creaking wooden table. "Your kind aren't welcome here! You never will be! Get your knife ears back to your own side of the border!" 
The elven woman sighed heavily and with silent and sudden movements, she was in front of the human, her ornate elven dagger slammed into the chair all too close to his privates. "Do not test me, human. I have no humour for your kind this evening."

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121 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:55 pm

Dahlia wasn't joining Isla in looking outside. She was sat on the damp beds, her back rigid as it faced the glassless window. "If you say so." The dark haired elf snorted, poking at the scorched skin around her wrists, a welcome distraction to the thought of her father dragging her home like an insolent child. "He hardly had to bring the entire palace guard with him, he is so melodramatic. It's a wonder he manages to go anywhere at all!"

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122 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:20 pm

"He's so proud. Why doesn't he look anything like the others?" Isla asked, still watching the elven king. Her fingers held tightly to the bars of the dungeon windows. "Why don't you look too much like him? And where is your mother?"

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123 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:30 pm

"My mother died when I was young." Dahlia replied quietly, still not looking out the window at her father. "And him... He tells people He comes from far in the north where others fear not tread." She let out another snort and shook her head, making it clear she didn't believe such nonsense. "My brother and sister tell me I look like my mother..." She added, though her voice trembled a little.

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124 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:57 pm

"I've heard of the ice elves but my father said they died off long ago. Maybe except for your father...they did." Isla chewed on her lower lip, now staring at the elven king's proud back as he rode toward the gates. "The humans aren't letting them in. We...should flee while we still can." 
"It's too late for that." Saul said from the doorway of the cell they'd stopped at. He sounded almost drunk. He was hanging tightly to the bars that would close them in. "I'm not risking a war with the likes of that man. You two are staying put." He grunted, stumbling as he used the last of his strength to close the door.

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125 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:04 pm

"You have no right to do this!" Dahlia hissed as she stomped to the cell for, her fingers curled around the bars as her violet eyes glared up at the human king. "You pathetic fool!" She spat. "I thought the all powerful humans didn't fear anyone!"

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126 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:28 pm

"You thought wrong." Saul said softly. "A weak man fears nothing at all. I'm a fool not to." He added, his fingers brushing her own. "There are people I care about that deserve to live. I won't let them die to deny another man his daughter." 
Isla was pacing as Saul left them alone in the dungeon. "This room is worse than the other. I can't use the stone here. There's no stone. It's all mud and hay. I can't do anything with this! Even the metals are strange! This was done on purpose!"

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127 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:32 pm

Dahlia hadn't pulled her fingers from the bars until Saul had left, and then she was left with scorch marks like those on her wrists. "I believe you are right." She told Isla quietly. "But there is little we can do to change it now." The dark haired elf whispered, feeling rather defeated. "By the ancestors... I thought I was being smart! I thought he would just let me go!"

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128 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:36 pm

"Are you kidding?! They're humans! They're not going to just let us go. They probably want to dissect us like dirt slugs or something." Isla said, her voice falling silent when she heard the thunder of hoof beats over head. The human soldiers were riding out to meet the elves. This was a bad thing. It had to be.

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129 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:39 pm

"Not the humans... My father." Dahlia breathed. "Humans I can handle..." She added, daring to cast a glance over her shoulder at the only window to the outside.

"This is serious, isn't it?" Archer asked as his horse fell into step with the king's. "Since when does the elven king cross the border?" He had watched Saul leave the dungeon, and the unsteady way he walked made it certain he needed someone watching his back. Someone who wasn't there because they were paid to be.

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130 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:48 pm

"Is your father so bad?" Isla asked, looking at the window as well. She could hear shouts to open the gate as the horses continued to thunder towards it. It only made her think of her own father. It was memory she'd rather not have dealt with. 

Saul was leaning heavily on his horse, using it to keep himself upright. A king didn't show weakness. "We, unfortunately, have something that belongs to him. He wants it back and he's not taking no for an answer. He's not even willing to wait until we have gotten things in order for him. Or people are scrambling to set things right for the elves. It's...not looking good."

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131 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:56 pm

"The life of elven royalty is not something I want." Dahlia confessed. "You would think being an illegitimate child would make it easy for me to just disappear..." She sighed heavily and finally decided to climb up on the bed and peek out the window. "All this because he think me incapable of looking after myself..."

"I'm sorry, sire, but I fail to see the problem here. Why aren't we just handing over the elf bitch?" Archer asked bluntly.

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132 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:02 pm

"Maybe he's protecting you." Isla suggested. "It's better than my own father did. He sold me to be rid of me. Too many children in his house he said. It was a waste of resources." She hung her head, refusing to look out the window anymore. 

"She made no show that she wants to return to him. I won't send anyone where they don't want to go, Archer. Family or no." Saul said, his voice carrying as much firmness as he could muster.

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133 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:07 pm

"Perhaps he did you a favour, I would give anything to answer to no one but myself. Unless..." Dahlia tore her gaze away from her majestic looking father and watched Isla for a moment. "Are you running from whoever you were sold to?"

"And holding her in the dungeon. Against her will. Thats different?" Archer snorted, earning him hateful glares from the other men who heard him speak to the king in such a manner.

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134 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:24 pm

Isla nodied her head in shame. "I'm no more free than you are. Or at least I wasnt. I was sold to serve the stone and then one day become part of it. My mother said it was a desireable fate for dwarf."

"She will be there until she realizes that we are not going to hurt her. However, she does need to answer for her part in my near death." Saul said gently.

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135 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:32 pm

"What does it mean?" Dahlia asked. "If you'll forgive my asking, elves have little to do with anyone outside their own."

"And by answer, you mean punished?" Archer asked. "You think Mr. High and mighty out there will just sit back and let that happen?"

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136 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:07 pm

"The dwarves believe that the stone rules us. Protects us. Blesses us. Our priests buy slaves to serve monuments dedicated to the stone. When the stone demands it, they are sacrificed to it so that it will create new life." Isla explained.

"I'm hoping not." Saul admitted. "I'm hoping she hates me bad enough to go home with him."

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137 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:14 pm

"So... They believe that blood sacrifice will help them conceive a child?" Dahlia asked, her pert nose wrinkling slightly at the thought.

"So all this is based on a bluff? What if she hates him more than you?" Archer questioned. "You ready to go to way, al for the freedom of some elf bitch that tried to kill you?"

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138 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:37 pm

"Dwarves have trouble with children. Fertility is h ard for us. The stone helps. Or so we seem to think." Isla sighed. "I believe in the stone but not that it wants our blood to expand our race. No god could be so cruel. Right?"

"Have faith in your king, Archer." Saul said, forcing himself to sit upright in the saddle. He raised a hand in greeting to the elven king. "Good morning your majesty! It's an honor to have you here at my humble home."

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139 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:45 pm

Dahlia disagreed. "What if that's your god's way of telling you he made a mistake?" She asked bluntly.

The elven king looked at the hand offered to him as though it were truly filthy. "You're the one holding my wayward daughter hostage?"

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140 Re: Old Grudges on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:59 pm

Isla cringed. Those words had actually hurt. "I hope not." She whispered. "I rather like being alive."

"Isn't it better that we have kept her here for you to rescue than to set her free?" Saul countered, still smiling as he dropped his hand.

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141 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:02 am

"Of course, that's all assuming there even is a god." Dahlia shrugged.

"Of course, it begs the question, why do you have her here at all?" The elven king asked coolly.

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142 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:19 am

"That's depressing." Isla shook her head. "What about your people? What do they believe? Flowers and animals and all that happy stuff? The world is alive? A god for everything?"

"We can discuss that somewhere safer." Saul suggested. "Be my honored guests for at least tonight. It seems we may need to rethink our treaty anyway."

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143 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:02 am

Dahlia snorted again and shook her head. "They believe in the flow of energy, and that nothing ever dies, its life-force just moves on to something new." She replied, though it sounded like she didn't quite believe in it like she should.

The elven king seemed hesitant, not wishing to linger in the human lands for too long. "Very well." He finally conceded. "Rothain, have one of your men take the steeds to whatever they consider a stable." He instructed one of the other elves. "The king is going to take us to my daughter now."

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144 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:03 pm

"Like the stone?" Isla asked bitterly. She shook her head at the very idea. "Maybe that's how we are able to reproduce. Life moves on to something else." Again she shook her head. "Maybe I will become a flower next. Or dog shit. My luck the latter."

"All in good time, sire." Saul said, nodding his head to one of the servants standing nearby. The young woman practically ran to get away from the scene, tripping over her feet as she left.

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145 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:35 pm

"Or maybe its all a bunch of shit, and when we die... that's it. Bodies rot, no such thing as a soul." Dahlia replied bitterly. 

"All in good time has me believing that you are stalling for time, little boy." The king replied icily.

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146 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:38 pm

"I don't believe that. We are not filled with such wonderfull emotions and thoughts just to become a mere pile of bones. I think we are meant for love. We just have to find it and fight for it." Isla said, dropping onto the bed with the nod of her head.

"Why would a man like you be so worried about time? You have much more of it than I do." Saul chuckled. "Come now, sire. Relax. Your daughter will be alo n g shortly. Until then you can rest in the guset wing."

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147 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:49 pm

"Love is just like any other other emotion; it's something happening in your brain that you can't explain, so you give it a name in an effort to give it a meaning." Dahlia replied, proving to be rather cynical for such a young elf.

"And by shortly, you mean after you people have had more chance to do as you please to her?" The king shot back, clearly having very little tolerance for humans. It was also proving what little faith he had in Dahlia's ability to protect herself.

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148 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:29 pm

Isla didn't have a chance to annswer. The door opened and a young servant  stepped in, her arms full with a dress and wash water. "The king says your father wants to see you. I'm to help you and then take you to the dining hall."

"Abalas, I have never done anything to earn this distrust." Saul said gently. "I have never harmed one of your people and I won't allow anyone else to do it either. Why are you being so hostile?"

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149 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:34 pm

Dahlia looked at the dress, then up at the serving girl. "He really thinks I'm putting that thing on?" She scoffed. 

"I asked a simply request of you, Saul, and yet you expect me to wait like a fool while you make further excuses not to hand my daughter over to me?" Abalas told the human monarch. "I do not wish to be here any more than you want me here. Handing a princess of my kingdom over would speed this entire process up. That wayward girl is my problem, not yours."

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150 Re: Old Grudges on Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:01 pm

The girl looked at Dahlia and nooded, still smiling. "It's lovely, isn't it? It belonged to his sister."
"Your father would be pleased with a dress wouldn't he?" Isla asked, fingerings the elegant material almost jealousy. Would a king notice her in a dress like that?

"What if I told you she doesn't want to go?" Saul asked the elven king. "What would you say about that?"

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