(Control thread here; please confine comments & questions to that thread.)
“They’ll come for me,” Idynn said. “My mothers will come for me. They will, they will, they will…”
She had been repeating that for countless hours. It was not a boast; there was no one around to hear it. Nor was it a prophecy; second sight was not one of her gifts. It wasn’t even a prayer. It was what she had to say to focus on something other than her pain; it was what she had to say to stave off despair. Her mothers would come for her.
Always supposing they could find her. That would be difficult; she had no idea where she was. No, that wasn’t quite true. She knew she was underground, but whether in a cave or dungeon she couldn’t tell. The only illumination was the single shaft of light that broke through the ceiling. It wasn’t much – only enough to see maybe a foot around her in any direction. She could only see three things. The filthy blanket on which she huddled. A human skull, long since reduced to the bare bone. And, worst of all her own left wing, ripped from her back. It was a grievous wound, as bad as losing a arm would have been for a human; had it not been for her fey healing talents, she’d have bled to death long ago.
She wasn’t sure whether avoiding that had been a good idea.
She was freezing. It was late fall outside, and the crack in the ceiling let in more cold than light. The orcs had taken her clothes as soon as they tossed her in here. When that began she had feared what would follow; but, to her surprise, no ravishment was forthcoming. That had been comforting for only a moment. If the orcs had raped her, it would mean at least that they saw her as something worth exploiting, something that might amuse them for a season – long enough for her rescue to come. But their hands and eyes were cold, detached, uninterested. Somehow that was more frightening than viciousness, hatred, lust. It was –
Think about something else, Idynn ordered herself.
“My mothers will come for me,” she whispered again. “They’ll come, they’ll come, they’ll come.”
“I certainly hope so,” a voice said. “I’ve put a lot of effort into baiting my hook.”
She jumped back. She began to run away, but before she could the voice spoke again.
“Ordinarily I would let you run,” it said. “I enjoy chasing my prey. But, sadly, I require both your continued survival but your active attention. So please understand this: unless you cease your fleeing, kneel now, and give me your undivided regard, I will make you wish I was going to eat you.”
She knelt in the middle of the shaft of light.
“That’s a good little faery,” the voice said. “Now, just to make you feel better, I’ll tell you that Artemis has already come for you–though with perhaps less success than you might have hoped. Where Morrigan and Inanna are, I do not know, but rest assured my orcs are preparing an affectionate welcome for them. Would you like to hear what has happened to the first of the oathbreakers while we wait for the others?”
The owner of the voice came into the light then. It was, of course, the dragon.