Once Upon a Nightmare
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if the shoe fits
After the disaster that had been the midsummer festival Galena had tried to lay low. She had been fortunate that her ties to her family had been cut and that she was now free, at least she no longer felt magically bound to her step mother. Which meant either she was dead or believed Galena to be. Either way the half fae was not complaining. It was the first time in a very long time that she was not a slave and she was rejoicing.
What she didn't realize, was that now that she was free her untrained magic was releasing out and people were taking notice. Hiding away in a city Galena was trying to lay low when she was attacked from behind and knocked unconscious. The attack had been painful and it felt as though it was stealing something from her.
When she came to with a small groan she found herself in bondage, and very weak. "What's going on?" Her voice was hoarse from the drugs.
Of course there was no answer, but it was clear whomever had taken her had plans as she was tied to a stake and surrounded by fire. That was strange. Why would they need fire? It was getting closer though and her eyes went wide. She was going to die if she didn't do something!
Notes: captured yet again
They'd come when he was alone. Funny thing about companionship; it made everything feel so much...calmer. Peaceful. Even when Sadhbh had gone off to explore, he felt untouchable. Why would anything be the matter? It was a false sense of security--a sense of stupidity. He had been drinking, too--not that he was really very intoxicated, but...he was having a good time. He'd left the tavern in Fynnon to take a stroll, to clear his head. Hell--he hadn't even caused any trouble lately. He was being peaceful, for once in his life. Until they came. It was growing dark, under cover of trees. He immediately lashed out, not bothering with his pipe but merely a gust of wind--his mastery of the elements was strongest in the air, but what should have been a lashing gale to sweep them off their feet, to kick up the dust and let him flee--was nothing. They grabbed him; the fae thrashed. He was far from weak, but they were many; and as panic set in, his frantic attempts to force entry to their minds only threw his focus away from escape, his attempts all in vain. His only thoughts were of escape. Of getting out, getting away--thousands of years and he had always had his magic. Now--he felt helpless, terrified and praying--yes, praying--for aid. Instead of salvation, though--he was hit, hard, head swimming...and consciousness fading. When he woke, it was with soreness, and an odd cloudiness in his mind that spoke of drugs, keeping him under until now. He was upright, he was stiff, and...bound. Smoke licked at his nostrils. Slowly, the fae looked around; his eyes wide, his face paling in abject horror. They were going to be burned. Magic was nowhere to be found. Even his pipe at his side was useless. He couldn't feel Sadhbh anywhere near by, and the fae was completely cut off from--everything. His heart was beginning to race, the sweat beading along his brow. He needed help--but he, and...the others, for he was not alone here, bound and offered like some sacrifice--were clearly not in a position to offer it. Rage began to burn in the fae--alongside panic. Humanity was filth, disgusting--working to stamp out everything that they were incapable of, like the jealous, envious sniveling putrescence they were. He knew they were cowardly, but so cowardly as to try something like this...The fae was beginning to thrash at the ropes, breathing hard--before he caught sight of the other beside him. A girl--in fact, her features looked familiar. Had she been at the midsummer's festival? He remembered that night only faintly, but... "You. Girl--" He hissed, trying to get her attention. "Who are you?" He needed to find out just why they were here--and if he knew who she was, that might show a connection between them. "We need--we need to get out of this. Fast. Can you--move? At all?"
if the shoe fits
Rather than freaking out over being caught again, this was something she needed to avoid in the future, Galena took a deep breath and tried to calm down, she doubted anyone knew she was captured, she hadn't seen anyone since Midsummer when she was freed from Mariel's service. Be it because Mariel was dead or because Mariel had believed her to be dead was yet to be seen, but Galena was not going to complain either way. She was finally free again.
Carefully working on physically getting out of her bindings Galena looked around hearing a voice. He looked vaguely familiar but Galena couldn't place where. Perhaps something to do with her father's order? She couldn't remember, she didn't even know why she was here. Galena looked at him, "I am Galena. I don't know why I'm here."
At his question she nodded, "I can move, been trying to get my hands free."
Notes: captured yet again
Galena. the name struck a chord of familiarity; but that didn't matter right now. He wouldn't be able to really place her, not right now, not...in this. It was clear he was struggling to keep from panic, fingers scrabbling at rope holding his arms fast. "I can't--get free." His voice was low, a frustrated hiss. "I need--" He paused, looking up--Sadhbh was somewhere. Not here, thank god; but he had a hunch he'd know if she'd been killed. Could she hear him? Help him?
Please be listening. He prayed.
It had felt like being plunged underwater. She had been flying, of course, when it happened, and her small feathered body stiffened as if her wings had been iced. She plummeted several feet before she was able to overcome the shock and halt her descent, but the cold refused to dissipate. Aeshma. She reached out immediately, unconsciously. But she did not feel him.
And then it hit her. The magic. Her magic, his magic. It was gone. The cold she felt had been within her, the awful complement to the warmth that spread through her veins when he first shared it with her. She whipped her head around, as if expecting him to appear, but the cold settled lower in her gut and she shivered. Aeshma. She reached out again, but she could not go as far, not without his magic. And she did not dare transform -- not now. If she did, she was not sure how much magic she would have left.
She shook her feathers and alighted from the branch she had settled on, flying low along the tree line, searching the thoughts of those below her. He wasn't dead -- she knew that, as surely as she knew herself. She could vaguely -- just vaguely -- feel him. But his thoughts were beyond her. She swooped lower, her worry overtaking her concern at what any of the humans below her might think of the owl above them.
They took them. The thought came out of nowhere, and her graceful glide shuddered in its wake. She careened in circles, desperately trying to latch on to the mind again. And then there it was. Mum said they deserved it. A child. He was a small thing, thin, clutching a corn husk doll. But his face was mean. She listened to him, hovering, but his thoughts had ventured off to hate on another boy. She caught a warm gale and lifted higher into the sky. They took them. And then she saw the smoke.
It was not where she knew any homes or shops to be, but it was unmistakable, thick and acrid and black, spewing into the sky. She focused on it. Aeshma. A low tremor shook her wings. Her eyes widened and she spurred herself forward, a dark blot against the sky racing towards the building smoke.
The scene was not was she had imagined.
She pulled up short, suddenly terrified. The clearing was filled with stakes, some of them adorned with people, lashed to them. Flames licked at the bottom of their soles, with the black smoke seeping up around their features. It was an... offering. And he was there.
Please be listening. She whipped her head towards the source, and keeping to the tree line, circled towards it. I'm here. She answered, pushing it into his head as she had once, in the tavern. It was more difficult than before. Something was clouding his mind, like the smoke clouded her vision. Her heart sank further. And then she saw him.
He was lashed to a stake like the others. His eyes were smoldering with anger, but he was tightly bound. What had they done to his magic? She broke the tree line and landed suddenly on his shoulder. Aeshma. Her gaze went down to his bound hands and she alighted gently on his arm, and started in with one armored claw on the ropes that bound him. She glanced around as she did so, afraid. If whomever caught him could do this to him, she knew she would be dead at their hands.