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Violence and Darkness

by Iridot Fleetfoot on Jan 31, 2015 at 03:04 AM}
This is an account of what happened to Iridot whilest I was unable to get online (this is going on some months ago now! But better late than never, right?!) This has been typed up as it came to me. I haven't re-read it and I haven't written like this in years, so please be gentle with me!

Sorry it's so long!!



Iridot Fleetfoot. Expert hunter. Accomplished archer. Skilled tracker. Unfulfilled Knight.

The Hobbit sat on the grass before the ruins that adorned the lawn of The Sanctuary, a perfectly sharpened knife in one hand and a stick in the other. If anyone said she were whittling, they would've been using the term loosely. She swiped through the bark and the wood in one movement, sharpening the point over and over again as it gradually moved towards her hand. Her bright eyes were focused on the point, though they didn't see it. A few strands of hair fell into her view as the memories came pouring back...

-----

It was dark, like it almost always was. She lifted her head from the floor and leant back against the metal bars, rubbing her face with her bandaged hands. She stopped and rubbed her left palm with her right thumb.

Bandaged... She thought to herself. This is just the head of an unused torch... I can still smell the oil...

She let out a sigh, and winced. She held her side tightly, cursing under her breath. As she was moving to try and make herself a little more comfortable, she heard a noise and froze, ears straining.It was the door to the building she was being kept in, she knew the sound well and it could only mean one thing. She stood up as quickly as she could without opening a wound - and she had too many to count. A light came around the corner, a bright torch that accompanied three men. She scoffed and grinned to herself.
Three this time? They're starting to learn...

The man with the torch retrieved a key from his pocket and unlocked the door. A second was stood there with shackles for her wrists and the third had a blindfold, as well as a decent sword at his belt - much better than the rusted daggers the others kept.

After she was bound and blinded, she was lifted onto someone's shoulder and taken away. Iridot knew the routine all too well, and just enjoyed the slight breeze on her skin while she could.

Her feet were placed down, shackles and blindfold removed in quick succession and then forcefully shoved into another dark cage. She rubbed her wrists and blinked a few times, she could hear the noise outside and knew she didn't have long to wait. She began jumping around and stretching, trying to warm herself up - though it looked a lot more like pacing.
The clanking of chains warned her that it was about to start and she readied herself. Crouched, almost cat-like, the solid door of her crate was raised up, letting the brilliant light of day shine in. She blinked away the shock, and ran forward into the light...

-----

Pain dragged her back to reality. She could feel a steady drip of liquid from her thumb. Her first fractured thought was that it had started to rain, but the drip was only there. She looked down, her eyes still distant as they saw the knife cutting into the flesh of her thumb. She blinked at the sight a couple of times, trying to register what had happened. Then, slowly - without any sign of pain or shock - she withdrew the blade from her flesh, dropped the stick and rummaged in the bag next to her for something to bind it with. What she pulled out was an already bloodied strip of gauze that smelt faintly of oil. Without a second thought she wrapped it about her thumb and then turned to the knife. The edge had been dulled from the wood, she could tell by looking at it, but she still ran her thumb - the same one she had just wounded - along the edge. Not even a scratch was left on her skin, it would've taken some force to cut herself like that... But she didn't connect the facts, she just searched for her whetstone, placed it on the ground in front of her and proceeded to sharpen it. It was another repetitive task that she didn't have to focus on too much, so her mind wandered again...

-----

The wooden barricade was flat against her back and her breathing was heavy and laboured. In her left hand was a broken dagger - only the hilt and the tiniest amount of metal left. In her right, a stone. She'd taken a brief respite to try and get her breath back and focus her mind, but the split second she'd had available for that was over. She looked up from her feet - luckily, they'd given her some boots that managed to fit her feet - and stream of blood ran over her face. Their origin was unclear, but she guessed there was at least two cuts covered by her hair, five more dotted around her face and two large gashes on her lips. She swallowed and tasted blood. With gritted teeth she strengthened her resolve and turned her glare towards the monster that was approaching. It's low growl was reverberating throughout her body, and it's yellow eyes stared into her soul. It too was bleeding from multiple wounds, though that only angered it more. For a second their eyes connected, and then they both charged: Iridot with her best 'war cry', and the beast with an unnatural roar...

The Hobbit slowed her charge, reading the movement of the animal - that fortunately was second nature to her - she readied herself for it's leap. It's strides became ever so slightly longer, and each time it pushed harder with it's hind legs. She just had to time it right. Changing her pace a couple more times, she found the right speed just in time. With a quick twist of her body, she spun to the side of the attacking wolf hybrid. It wasn't the best evasion, she'd given the animal a chance to claw at her following arm and the injury meant she was the last of the two to recover ready for the next attack.

The crowd - which she'd often had the chance to take a good look at after previous spells in this fighting ring - were a misfit group. Mercenaries, bandits, even some more common folk from whatever town or village they were closest to. Many armoured, and many more with some
form of weapon. With her thoughts wandering due to lack of food and only the bare minimum of liquids, the crowd where she just was - where this vicious beast now stood, eyeing her up and salivating - were being to become unruly. Bows and swords alike were being drawn, and the sound of steel against steel rung in her ears. Her heart was in her throat: could she use this to her advantage? Would this mean she could rid herself of the recurring nightmare of fighting cursed wolves in this pit...?!

She tried to calm herself, before being dragged back to the events at hand by the hulking black bundle of fangs and claws that was only meters away. It was stalking up to her, it's paces even and it's head low. She knew it was going to lunge at her, but with her injured arm she had no chance of dodging it this time. Her fingers loosened their grip on the stone, throwing it was out of the question with her flesh torn as it was. All she had left was the remnants of the dagger. One last step and then the beast pounced, jaw open and claws forward. With her right arm hanging limply at her side, she raised her left above her head and did the only thing she could think of... She brought her arm down with all her might and pounded the thing on the muzzle when it was inches away from biting into her belly. The creature fell to the floor dazed for only a couple of seconds, but that was all the hobbit needed - they didn't call her Fleetfoot for nothing! In those seconds she was away and back to the wooden barricade. She dropped the sorry excuse for a dagger and dipped to pick up the first bow she saw - the ruckus was still happening above her, and more than a few bodies had fallen into the pit - it was the right size for a man, so she had trouble holding it and with her wrecked arm she wouldn't be able to draw it. She stumbled for a moment. Why did I go for a damned bow?!

She didn't have long to herself, as a low grumble sounded from behind her. The thing was back on her case. She almost started to panic, pressing her back up against the wood again. Her breath came faster and faster and she could feel her heart beat in every part of her body. That's when two things came to her. Firstly, her fight or flight reflexes kicked in, sending a wave of adreneline through her. The pain in her arm turned to dull ache and she forced it to move. Secondly, this was her chance. Perhaps her only chance to get out of this place and back home to Hookworth. She stooped and picked three arrows out of the quiver of the body she took the bow off. The shafts slotted so naturally between her knuckles as she shoved the bow into the ground, pulled the string taut for the first shot. The beast had gathered momentum and was charging at her again. She didn't have time to calm herself properly so she just took a deep breathin and held it.

The arrow flew and hit it's mark, the creature's left eye. It stumbled and fell, skidding across the mud and sending up a dust cloud. It was still alive, she had no doubt about it, but she'd slowed it right down so it was no longer an immediate threat. Next she had to figure out a way to get on the other side of this barricade. It wasn't too high, but she wasn't the most agile at the best of times...

Before she knew it, she'd been grabbed by the scruff of her clothes and lifted above the wall. Held there for a moment, she wriggled around to see who grabbed her. She heard a chuckle and recognised it was one of the men that took her from her dark cage. She thrust the two arrows left in her fist at the man's neck. The metal heads scratched deeply into his flesh, causing him to release his grip. She fell to the floor and a feeling of nausea flooded to her. The grip she had on her borrowed weapons loosened. She could feel darkness coming back into view, and it scared her...

-----

Iridot stopped sharpening the knife, and looked upwards. The sky was overcast, but she didn't care. She breathed a deep sigh, and smiled slightly. Her eyes no longer had that distant look, and the cut on her thumb was beginning to throb painfully. She put the whetstone away, and sheathed her knife. Folding her arms behind her head, she laid back in the grass.

Apparently the local watch had gotten involved and things turned ugly. They were in the process of moving the dead bodies when they found me. The man seemed confused when I asked what happened. And even more so when I requested a flask of water and directions to Bree...
She ran a hand over her face, feeling for the scars that now covered her skin. She knew she'd never be the same but...
"It's things like that... that make us stronger, right?"

Iridot Fleetfoot. Expert hunter. Accomplished archer. Skilled tracker. Scarred Knight.

Living Hobbit.
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Brywyn
*claps hands*

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