Passion

Private Shackles of Freedom [1x1 currently w/ Catpone Cerberus]

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@Catpone Cerberus

 

[OOC]

 

The cell was dank. It was not really even surprising, the small opening serving as a barred window just under the ceiling which only let the narrowest ray of sunlight in. Judging by its hue, it was late evening outside. Velvet was sitting curled up in the corner on her makeshift pit made of dampened hay, separating herself from it only with a dirty, rugged blanket. Her arms wrapped around her knees, she observed a tiny stream of water slowly trickling down the wall across the dungeon. It meandered between the stones until it finally reached the mossy rocks at the bottom, only to disappear in a tiny crack at the base of the wall. This was some shoddy craftsmanship, or rather a dungeon of ancient age. The cell was fairly empty itself. One could count the amount of appliances and specific objects on the fingers of their hands. A tray with dirty dishes and a cup, single bucket, aforementioned hay with a blanket, a window and the door. For the last couple of days this was Velvet's life, which she decided to temporarily endure to lull the guards into the false sense of security. The door looked sturdy. They looked heavy. They were made of thick, sturdy wood. It was framed with reinforced iron, filled to brim with studs to make them even sturdier. The lock seemed complicated and would prove a challenge even to the best of thieves. And Velvet's thievery skills were, to say the least, subpar. A small opening with two iron bars was visible at head level however, for conversations with the guards should the wish to pay the prisoner a visit. That was, however, a rare occurence. Barely anybody ever came down to this forgotten by world place.

Velvet stood up and stretched. She was wearing some rags, given to her "graciously" by the wardens. She wasn't able to figure if that idea was mandatory, or rather was supposed to be treated as a form gesture from them towards the prisoners. Considering all she was wearing was an old loincloth and loose, torn shirt full of holes, she assumed both answers were correct. The woman directed her steps towards the opening in the doors. Her bare feet emitted minor slapping sounds as they met with cold stone, step after step. Thankfully, the curse of her past made Velvet lose the sense of temperature. Altough she would definitely suffer physical damage should she be exposed openly to extreme positive or negative temperatures, any regular inconvenience caused its fluctuation were completely irrelevant to her comfort. She reached the doors and grabbed the bars, having yet another peek outside into the corridor. From what she noticed as she was led inside, the corridor was nothing but a long line of cells, each identical to one another. The tunnel was dark, with just a single torch nearby slowly burning off its fuel, casting its faint light into the abyss of shadows around it. Shady silhouettes danced at the verge of where light reached to the rhytm of flames flickering on the torch's head.

Velvet heard shuffling of the chains, slowly raising in volume, coming from the cell across the narrow hallway. A dirty, heavy hand grabbed one of the bars and a face appeared in the window across. The man had unkempt, horribly maintained hairs and chaotic, uncontrolled facial hair. He looked as if he had not seen clean water to wash himself in at least a year, if not more. He stared directly at Velvet, sending her a disgusting smile, before speaking. But as he spoke, even his voice seemed to match his nasty look. "Well will ye' look at that. My little princess has appeared once more. Ain't ye the pretty one, lady. Such a bloody perfect addition to my landscape. Say, why don't we ask a guard to move ye to my cell? It's cozy, ye would like it here." - the man released a low pitched, chilling laughter. One that could easily be assigned to a drunkard who spent his last 15 years in a tavern. Perhaps this wasn't too far from truth. The woman remained completely unfazed however, with not a single nerve of her face betraying any reaction. Although her expression was indifferent and tired, looking into her eyes one could recognize hidden hatred, vast reserves of it in fact. "What? Has a lizardman eaten yer tongue? Or maybe they have ripped it out when they threw ye in here, eh? I hope so! I hate when ye start screaming and babbling incoherently when I'm dealing with ye. Yer like a blessing I tell ye." Another wave of nasty laughter echoed down the hall, but garnered attention this time.

"Shut up you damned lunatic!" - the shout came from somewhere down the hall, probably a different cell.

"Or what, ye gonna come here and make me? Come on ye rat! I want to see you do that!"

Velvet ignored the ramblings and let go of the bars. She stepped back, contemplating if she should give it a few more days before breaking free of this place. It would definitely not serve her any good should she draw too much attention to herself by forcing her way out. She needed to wait for an opportunity to arise.

"Hey, HEY! Lady! Come back, I'm not done with you yet, hehehe."

She returned to her corner.

 

A few hours have passed and, judging by the angle in which moonlight fell upon the cell's floor, it must have been barely after midnight. Since Velvet's biological clock was allover the place due to her naps during the day, she wasn't asleep just yet. She listened to the slightest sounds coming from the outside world or the corridor itself. It was a good way of killing time for her, at least in comparison to other activities available to her. The night was uneventful initially, up until a certain moment.

A tiny sound, barely audible just on the verge of her hearing reached her. It sounded as if someone opened and afterwards closed the doors, far down the corridor. Velvet perked up her ears as her eyes leerily travelled towards the opening in the door, but nothing seemed to be happening for a few minutes. Only after a moment did she notice something odd. The light of the torch was behaving unnaturally. As if an odd wind pattern was playing with it. Soon after, she heard a whistling. It kept growing, caused by the wind growing in strength and flowing through various, tiny cracks around the dungeon. From there, it quickly turned into a violent turbulence which could only be described as a miniature tornado. In an instant however it disappeared. And just a few seconds later an enormous force of air pressure travelled down the corridor, breaking the locks and throwing many doors off of their hinges, granting relative freedom to every single prisoner in the hall filled with cells.

Velvet could hear various inmates waking up, initial confused murmurs slowly turning into full sentences. Soon after, it was a rising storm of laughters and shouts, as prisoners realized they were free. She could see a few silhouettes running towards the supposed exit, scanding mutiny and warcries along the way. Yet the woman did not move just yet. There was no reason for her to go in the first lane of runaways. It didn't take long however until her peace was disturbed. A silhouette stood in her doors, a face hidden in darkness cast by the light of the torch from behind it.

"Well now, princess. Seems we finally meet..." - Velvet stood up hearing the voice. The prisoner from across the hall decided to pay her a visit it seemed. Curiously to her, he seemed to be well fed and still in shape. He started making his way towards her.

As he neared her, Velvet was leering at him dangerously. And, for the first time ever since she arrived to the prison, she decided to speak to the man. Yet the conversation would not be long. "You disgust me." As soon as she said that, she moved her left arm aside. Her face became a mask of hatred, anger and repulsion as the bandages unwrapped from her arm. At once in the process, it started deforming. Blackening, with semi-transparent skin becoming crimson red. Violate, violet energies danced around it and it soon became a massive, demonic claw of a beast unknown to many men.

This instantly stopped the prisoner in his tracks as his pupils enlarged in terror, observing the gruesome transformation. He deflated as his self-confidence evaporated into thin air. "Wh-what in the name of Arianna are ye!?" The man attempted to step back but tripped and fell heavily to the ground, staring into the monster that slowly headed his way. He managed to gain a response. "Your end." The sudden shriek was silenced as soon as it began.

 

About two minutes later Velvet carefully, yet inquisitvely at once peeked out the doorway into the corridor. Men and sporadic women were still running one way or the other, and the hallway seemed to be going on for eternity both ways. She wasn't certain if the design was a spatial anomaly or the prison was just that enormous, yet she stepped out and started heading towards the general direction of the exit.

Her cell was empty. With not a trace of a soul inside, including her charming neighbour from the cell across.

  • Brohoof 1

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@Passion

Erwin was sitting on the cold and humid stone floor in middle of his cell, meditating, he didn't mind the the cold, as he was used to meditating in various places, some of them worse in every way compared to this cell, not that he paid any attention to his senses anyway during meditation. His few day in jail had been pretty uneventful, as he had spent most of it either praying or meditating, some of the nearby prisoners had tried to talk with him, but they learned pretty quickly that he wasn't interested in dialogue, though that hadn't stopped them from talking to each other about him loud enough that he had heard bits of it. Their picks for topics were what was to be expected from someone who didn't understand how monks lived, but there had been few personal comments that had annoyed him, all of them relating to how Erwin didn't seemingly feel anything regardless of what happened to the temple and his brothers, sure they were partly right, as only thing he really felt was the anger towards those who dared to dishonor Delhena in such way, but implying that that made him guilty for that kind blasphemy was ridiculous. But Erwin had more important matters to think about, he had things to do outside the prison, all he needed was a sign from his goddess to leave.

Some time passed, and Erwin could hear the steps of two guards getting closer in the hallway, the midnight patrol, they were a bit late, but to his surprise, they stopped next his cell, and he could hear them discussing something, one of them mentioned that it felt like it had suddenly gotten more windy than usual, and few moment later Erwin noticed it too, mostly from the whistling that seemed to constantly increase until it sounded like the guards on the other side of the door had trouble staying in balance, after which it just stopped, only for something to throw the guards further into the hallway and break the door open. 

Erwin got calmly up and looked out of his door, this was his sign to leave, though he didn't see any reason to hurry, it would be better to let the other prisoners take on the guards first, but that of course didn't mean he wouldn't prepare. He lifted his hand in the air and held it open, the prisoner from the cell across him looked at him head tilted "Have you gone soft from your head or why are you just standing there?" Erwin didn't respond, and just stood there for few seconds more, until staff flew in high-speed from further down the hallway and landed on his hand, this got the other prisoner to jump before he decided it was probably better to leave the monk be and bolted away. Erwin put his staff against the ground and leaned on it, observing his surroundings for a while.

His attention turned towards a specific woman, or well, it was less the woman he cared about, and more what he saw by a quick glance on her neck. He backed up into his cell and and waited for her to pass, after which he ignited one end of his staff and started following her, not even trying to hide the fact he was following her.

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@Catpone Cerberus

 

Even from afar Velvet could see the destination towards which the corridor was leading her. It was a spiral staircase, wide enough to allow at least four men to simultanously traverse it. Should all prisoners attempt to escape through it at once, the exit at the top would probably be a slaughterhouse, with bodies falling downstairs blocking the way for any further victims of freedom. However, there were only a few silhouettes stepping on the steps in front of her. It seems that many of the prisoners were not necessarily fit for combat. The direct effect of poor rations and awful life conditions. In reality, no guard would want to face a well fed, grown, aggressive man at the peak of their abilities, should an outbreak occur. It was all only natural.

As she eventually reached the basis of the staircase, she began hearing echoes of incomprehensible racket coming from up above. She reluctantly began climbing, uneager to discover the source. As she ascended, the racket became a distinct mold of many voices, predominantly male, seemingly quarelling about something presumably insignificant. The staircase was dimly lit with scarce torches planted in the walls, yet as she climbed she could feel the damp, stale air give way to fresh one from the outdoors. Reaching the last step, the sight that greeted her eyes was unremarkable.

The room was about half the size of an average audience hall in various count's mansions Velvet had chances to visit in her life. It was predominantly made of finely cut stone, but its glory times were long done. In past, a long, wide and sturdy table used to sit in the middle, but it was now smashed in two and in splinters. Remnants of plates and broken cups were laying scattered allover the floor, next to the toppled chairs. The room had a few broken armor and weapon stands, which must have been looted by the escaping prisoners. This assumption seemed especially true when examining the equipment of the rather sizeable crowd that gathered further down the room. It was being further fueled by sporadic escapees appearing in one of two different sets of doors on the sides. It dismayed Velvet, as by now she was certain they would have made their way outside and fought the guards. But for reason unknown, everyone in front of her were too busy fighting each other, sometimes literally, rather than the prison guard. As the way situation developed was unnerving, Velvet pressed on, pushing her way through the prisoners until she reached a rather sizeable gate, made of thick and strong wood. It was at least twice her height and wide enough to let a cart in, should need arise. Probably for ease of moving the dead. There was also a barred window in each wing, probably set there to ensure whatever is going inside is also visible from the outside. At least that was Velvet's assumption. Two things caught her attention however. One, the floor in front of the gate was frozen solid, with a visible mist rising from the ice. The ice pool blocked the way towards the gate and, judging from the silhouettes of frozen guards and few prisoners who tried touching them, was probably not safe to traverse or even get close to. Secondly, although she could not hear anything happening outside, the night felt rather... serene.

At this point, Velvet decided it's time to take things in her own hands, as this useless bunch of sacks of flesh was no good for anything. She turned on her heel and pushed her way back forcefully. Scarcely anyone had a weapon, but she couldn't help but not notice one of the prisoners standing out. He was unlike others, he seemed to keep his nerve. But it was his weapon that brought her attention. It was a staff. Not a standard issue one, it looked... much more refined. An idea that the guards would not let the man keep this tool flashed in her mind, but she quickly moved on. It was none of her business as to how and why did he acquire it. It wasn't like she was going to care what happens to this man.

Velvet reached the wall across the room and turned around. She stepped close to it and raised her leg, bending it and placing her foot against the rocks. She positioned herself carefully and aimed her body at the doors. There wasn't much space to gain enough speed, therefore she had to improvise. The girl prepped her muscles and drew from her inner power, augmenting her strenght and dexterity far past those of regular human. Focus was drawing on her face, but it was quickly replaced with determination. And there was also rage. Anger so powerful it felt as if it had its own mind, seeking its way out of her body. Without a warning she very lightly jumped forward and launched herself forward using the wall as her platform. She quickly reached speed of a horse in near full gallop. Her eyes were set on her target, she needed a jump pad. Thankfully, there were enough of them in front of her. Velvet made a calculated jump, soaring just above the heads of the quarelling crowd. Many of them have already noticed her and were frozen solid observing her inhumane movements. Her left foot landed on the shoulder of one of the prisoners, who instantly started toppling over under the force. To his misfortune, Velvet wasn't done gathering speed, and used the man's body as yet another launch platform. She could feel the man's bones cracking under the force her burst put him under, and his scream drowned in amongst the voices of other prisoners. By this moment however Velvet was already soaring above the ice pool, preparing herself to meet the gate. She reached out with her hand and moved her feet in front of her in flight. The impact was accompanied with a tremendous noise. Black haired girl managed to grab one of the bars as her improvised vertical landing transferred her kinetic energy at the gate. She only managed to minimize the impact to her body partially, as she slammed against the gate with her side, nearly losing the grip on the bar. The gate however was flung open with great force, and soon the hinges creaked mercilessly, resisting the tremendous energy and keeping the gate intact.

 

Velvet shook the initial shock quickly, fully realizing she found herself in dangerously open position. She looked under her feet and noticed ice was no longer present just past the gate. She let go of the bar and graciously landed on the ground, instantly kneeling down. Raising her eyes, she started scanning her surrounding, keeping her breath regulated and ready to jump into the fray at nearest sign of danger.

To her absolute surprise, the night proved to be dead silent. Even the prisoners behind her seemed to have silenced down. She could nearly feel their eyes crawling up her back and it filled her with disgust. Yet, as nothing indicated she was in any danger, Velvet carefully stood up. She didn't feel any pain, as her hardened body was used to much more trauma than this. In front of her a dirt courtyard spanned over quite a large area. She could see the prison's walls all around, there were a few buildings of unknown purposes scattered all around the square yard. A few towers stood tall in between the wall segments. Carts with equipment were stationed in front of the building to the left. There have been some training manequins behind her right shoulder. Yet, there was not a living soul to be seen anywhere. In fact, entire area around her was spotted with pools of ice, similar to the one she just jumped over. Guards must have been taken by complete surprise, as the stood frozen in most peculiar positions. Some of them were surprised, others were caught running, either for their lives or to raise the alarms. Yet, the assailants were nowhere to be seen. Velvet did not know what was the reason behind everything that transpired here, but she did not care. If the prison had any mages in its walls, and it certainly must have had at least one or two, the Kingdom's forces were probably already on their way, notified of the outbreak. Ignoring the screams of prisoners behind her, the girl sprang forward. She sprinted directly towards the building that, if she was to believe the prisoners, was supposed to be the armory. She could not have left this place wearing just some rags.

Although Velvet did not care much for pleasantries and cosiness, feeling the air in her hair as they spectacularly fluttered behind her was certainly a pleasant experience, even if her appreciation of it was miniscule. As she ran, she allowed herself to lower her guard a bit, observing the area around her for signs of movement calmly. It was then when she first realized that her footsteps echoed awkwardly behind her. It was an unusual sound, therefore she risked throwing a glance behind her. More to her dismay rather than surprise, someone was following her and was actually able to keep up with her current speed. Strangely enough he was chasing her with a staff in his hand, but looked like a prisoner himself. Now aware of the man, she sped up and proceeded with caution. As she reached the target building's ironshod doors, she opened them up in one swing, jumped in and closed them behind herself. She only had a few split seconds to assess the situation, but it was clear that the guards in this area had been caught with their pants down. Some of the did not manage to stand up from their chairs. There were three other exits leading from the room, two in the wall in front of her and one to her left. She would need to jump past the tables and frozen enemies though, therefore this way was out of question. While Velvet preferred running rather than confronting her silent admirer, she felt she didn't have enough time to make her way towards any of the exits unnoticed. She looked up. The ceiling was a bit higher than in your regular room. It was supported by a number of horizontal, wooden balks in triangle shape. Candelabras were hanging from under them, what meant that the area just under the roof was covered in darkness.

"Perfect."

She jumped, reached up and grabbed the balk. After swiftly hoisting herself, she carefully backed into the shadowy corner and waited for the man to enter, planning to attack only should she be spotted.

  • Brohoof 1

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(edited)

@Passion
Erwin kept calmly following the woman, pushing away any prisoner that came in his way, not that there was too many that needed to be pushed, as even the most insane ones knew to stay away from a man with a burning staff. He saw the staircase which he assumed was the way out, and mentally prepared to face guards at the top as it was quite tactical position to be.

He saw his target starting to climb the stairs, and noticed that she seemed to at least somewhat reluctant about it, though it didn't really surprise him, she was an unarmed woman after all, and as far as he knew, the other prisoners were just as a big of thread to her as the guards were. Erwin lost his sight of the woman as she reached higher in the stairs, but he wasn't concerned as he wasn't far behind, and there was only so many places where she could go during the short time.

When he reached the top, Erwin was mostly surprised by the lack of guards, but he then noticed the ice, and figured it was the reason. He moved among the prisoners, knocking out anyone trying to do anything to him with few well placed hits, he had extinguished the flame from his staff at this point as he didn't want to start a chain reaction of burning prisoners. He located the woman again when she slammed the gate open....this was going to be more complicated than Erwin had first though, this woman wasn't a normal human, if she was human at all.

He made his way through the prisoners, again pushing them away if they stood in his way, and as he neared the ice pool, he gathered as much speed as he could, and using the walls, other prisoners and his staff, he jumped over it...sure he could have just melted it, but that would have taken time. He then proceeded to follow the woman again, and as she seemed to be running, he too sped up to keep up. He saw her to enter a building and close the doors behind her, but it didn't take long for him to reach the doors himself.

Erwin stepped in and stood on the doorway for a moment, observing the room, with quick glance of the ways out, he didn't see a way how the woman could have gone through them without him hearing it or seeing some kind of marks that would indicate she did, so he assumed she was still in the room, and from that it was just quick game of elimination to figure out where she may be.

He walked in middle of the room, not giving any reason to think that he knew where the woman was, and after few seconds of silence he spoke with cold and calm voice "I mean no harm." though like he partly expected he was attacked, but he blocked the first attack without too much effort. He generally fought defensively, as in mostly blocking and dodging, only hitting back if he deemed necessary, there was some blows exchanged to both directions, but it was pretty even for now. As they fought, Erwin kept talking, sounding as calm as ever "I'm not interested in you and don't care to harm you, you have something I want, and I'm ready to make as fair deal as I am able to provide."

Edited by Catpone Cerberus

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