Riathan sat chained to the floor, enough slack to let him move around. The manacles were inscribed to still his magic, and prevent him from breaking free. The slack gave him the barest hint of freedom. He was dirty, his normally well trimmed goatee was now a full beard, and his hair, even longer and dirty. He heard a tapping at the cell door, and a familiar red headed face is seen in the door way. “Hey there Bossman, you know, you’re letting everyone down, being such a waste of space.” Riathan sighed, realizing the time, as the show was starting again. It looked like Koryander, but it was not. It never was. His captors had paraded look alike after look alike. They were all scripted, and they always ended up dying horrifically in front of him. The pain of watching his friends die again and again was a dull thud in the center of his chest. The first week, it was shocking, now, it just made him angry. 

          The anger made itself known to him as a dull throb, where he compressed the fire building within him that he could do nothing with. Occasionally the runes inscribed on his manacles would flare to life, absorbing his building magical force, and then dissipating  it in a pale blue smoke that would leak out the vent ports on the side. It did so again as Koryander’s head was lopped off. He didn’t know who the sacrifices were, if they were supplicants hoping for Joko’s favor, but that one would find a hard time getting blessed by their lord. He must be pissing them off. That thought made him smile a little bit, despite the sting of another, probably innocent life being snuffed out in front of him.  He didn’t try to dwell on it for too long. He knew his rescue was going to be coming at some point. Either that or he’d find a way to get out of these blasted manacles.

                                                                                     * * * 

       Beregor stood on the top of a blasted hilltop, no actual brush or vegetation, just stark rocky cliff side with a heaping of sand running away from the ledge. Out before him lay open a stark field in Vabbi. Alongside him were Eiranor, the Sylvari druid, and Balerin, the Charr Engineer. The three were out tracking down a different slave caravan. While some of the Vanguard were focused on getting Riathan back, these three had decided to continue trying to free some of the other slaves bound for Joko’s mines and work camps. The head of the column was a tall, brutish looking Awakened with a giant hammer slung over his back, and was flanked by two smaller, rather quick looking canids. Long claws dripping with ichor and probably a bit of viscera, although it was hard to tell from here.  Beregor looked to the others, the large norn still cursing the heat, but not complaining two much. Riathan was in much more dire straights than they, and he had no room to complain. 

          Leaping off the cliff top and activating his glider, he drifted till just about above the lead riders, and waiting until roots erupted from the ground at Eiranor’s call, and then slammed down onto the ground, a red aura enveloping his feet as he cracked the ground, and began lashing out with mace and axe, cleaving limbs and heads with equal effectiveness. A few more troops of awakened came running up from a hidden guard post, causing Beregor to drop into a bit of a more defensive stance, switching out the mace in his off hand for a torch. He growled and welled his rage into a slam with the torch, molten spikes and flames erupting from the ground as a spray of healing elixir tended to the smaller wounds he was receiving. Balerin’s rifle was echoing through the cliffs as he fired off round after round from his rifle. A few bits of specialized ammo mixed in. A white wolf was nimbly dodging through the caravan, taking out lone guards that were scrambling to catch up to the main melee, with arrows zipping by in random intervals, aiding where needed. If Riathan and the main members of the Vanguard were wrapped up trying to keep the whole thing going, these three were at least going to keep the enemy busy while they did.

Author Riathan
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