Arana's Tale - Chapter 1
Disclaimer: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended.
Disclaimer: The Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying System is owned by Wizards of the Coast and no infringement of copyright/trademarks is intended. The only thing I would like to lay claim to is the original D&D character used in this story.
Rating: M (non descriptive mention of child abuse, rape, somewhat descriptive mention of torture scene)
Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep writing. Please let me know what you like and what you dislike about the story.
Revision History: 7/11/04; 7/24/04; 9/11/04; 02/08/05
Summary: Arana's history
My name is Arana, I was born of a human mother and elven or half-elven father. My mother rarely spoke of him, only to tell me his name and that he had looked like a full moon-elf though he said he was half blooded. My father's name was Maran and he died during the raid that my mother Aressa, who was pregnant with me, was captured in by soldiers of the Red Wizards.
Since my mother was a slave in the realm of Thay when was born, I was born as a slave as well. I would have remained so for the rest of my life but for the priests of Ilmater that bought me from my master and freed me. But I am getting ahead of myself, the purchasing of my freedom did not occur until I was sixteen years of age.
I was a fairly happy child for a slave in Thay; it was my misfortune that I was also a very pretty child. I had midnight black hair that framed what promised to be a classically beautiful face. My elven heritage showed in the slightly up tilted emerald green eyes flecked with gold and eyebrows as well as the characteristic pointed ear shape and pale skin of the moon-elfs. Whether I was half or quarter blood elf, my father's heritage seemed to run unusually strong within me, for there was very little that marked me as human except for the shortened length of my ears and perhaps more color to my skin than a true moon-elf.
When I was twelve I was bought as a pleasure slave for a wealthy merchant with a taste for children. The four years that followed were not pleasant, for he found inflicting pain arousing. There were many nights that I tried to find a position to lie in that would help me to escape from the pain of my bruises and allow me to sleep.
The bedroom duties my master required me to perform were painful and unpleasant, but it was the parties that he held that I hated most of all. After his guests had finished eating and drinking, he would bring some of us in and allow them to take their pleasure with us, only forbidding that any permanent damage was done. It saved us from being cut or our bones being broken but spared us little else.
By the time that I was freed I was full of sullen hatred and anger for the world, especially men. I never knew exactly how the priests found out about us, but somehow they persuaded my master to part with all his slaves. They took all of us to one of their hospices and healed our bodies and tried to mend our minds and spirits.
There were many of my fellow slaves that were broken in mind and spirit; I however, was not one of them. I was bruised, battered, and darkened, but somehow I had kept enough of myself free to not be broken. The words of the priests telling me not to become what I hated did not fall on welcoming ears for months. I dreamed of the things I would do to the men who had used me, of the pain I would return to them. This continued until one night I had a dream where I tortured one of the men, afterwards I looked into a mirror at my bloodied hands and into my own eyes and realized with horror that I had become as evil as them. When I awoke screaming and trembling I looked at my blood free hands and began weeping.
That was my turning point, the start of my healing, when I recognized that my hatred and anger was hurting me, threatening to make me into one of them. Finally the words of the priests began to make sense to me and I listened to their wisdom. I came to understand that while others might hurt my body, they could not hurt my mind or spirit unless I gave them that power.
I came to see that my master and the others who had abused me had let their spirits become evil and because of that they had sought to destroy mine. Their acts had been meant to not only wound my body but to damage my spirit. That was the purpose of the parties where we were used publicly, the men there had gotten more pleasure from our humiliation and the power they had over us than they had from the physical satisfaction.
Eventually the lessons of Ilmater, the Crying God as he was known, began to make sense to me. He was a gentle and kind god, and I began my studies as one of his priestesses in my seventeenth year. I was finally able to free myself from the feelings of revenge I felt and channel them into an unshakable resolve to help others that were suffering.
I spent the next five years learning the ways of Ilmater; and became skilled in both magical and non-magical healing techniques. My secondary interest was in learning different types of protective magic which could be used to protect myself and others. During those years I gained priestly skills quickly. I seemed to have a gift for finding those who needed my aid, and I quite frequently came into conflict with the priests of Loviatar who delighted in torturing others for the pleasure of their evil goddess.
It was after the latest confrontation, one in which I had been gravely wounded while defeating two of Loviatar's priests, that I had the dream which changed my destiny. In it Ilmater appeared to me and ordered me to present myself at the Temple of Torm for training as a paladin. The next morning the senior priest spoke to me at first light and bid me follow the will of my god.
Thus I presented myself that day before the Senior Knight of Torm at the temple and began my service as a novice squire. My situation was unusual, but apparently Torm had made it known to his order that I was to be accepted for training and my obedience to both gods had his blessing. Thus I began my more martial training, learning the ways of combat with the mace and longsword.
As a squire of the order I learned how to speak and act properly and politely as befitting a member of the order. Paladins of Torm were expected to be courteous and well spoken and I spent the next few years learning those particular skills as well as how to read, write and figure mathematics. Luckily I proved to be apt in my scholastic abilities and after my formal training I was often found, when not practicing with weapons, in the library reading various scholarly works.
After three years passed I was judged fit for elevation to the rank of knight and my tasks became increasingly challenging. Over the next three years I was sent on several missions in the service of Torm, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of my brother and sister knights. I was rewarded by Torm at various times for my valor in combat with increased strength, vigor and agility, as well as receiving the gift of healing by the act of laying on of hands.
I was twenty eight years of age when I was chosen to become a Champion of Torm. Upon that day I began a two-day fast and meditated in the chapel. Torm appeared before me on the second day and gifted me again with increased strength, vigor and agility. Torm also blessed me with increased wisdom and intelligence as well as gifting me with the ability to heal most diseases, and poisons as well as cure the blind or deaf. These healing abilities, as with the ability to heal by laying on of hands, drained me greatly and I could use them only in the direst of emergencies and never more than one of them every day.
I had been a Champion of Torm for four years when I surrendered myself to the priests of Loviatar in exchange for the lives of ten children. They stripped me of my armor, weapons and clothing, hoping to humiliate me by my nakedness. I looked into their faces and saw the decay and blackness of their souls, and I refused to let them touch my mind or spirit. I stood calmly before them and it enraged them, so they then used my body as it had been used when I was a child hoping that it would break me. They were careful to bind me before raping me so and I could do nothing to protect myself physically, but I steadfastly refused to let them touch any part of me besides my physical self.The priests of Loviatar delight in the power of causing physical, emotional and spiritual pain to their victims. The energy given off by emotional and spiritual agony is, by far, the part of the tortures that they delight in the most. I was refusing them that energy and they left off the rape and began to beat me, settling for the satisfaction of causing me purely physical pain. After one too many blows I passed out and they left me bound and bleeding until I came to again.
When I regained consciousness the physical pain was overwhelming, I was aware of the deep inner pain of where they had raped me as well as what I suspected were broken ribs where they had kicked me. I began praying to Ilmater for the inner peace to deal with the tortures I knew would begin again as soon as they realized I was conscious. I had no hope of escaping alive, but I refused to give them what they wanted, they would not break me before I died.
It was not long before they realized that I was once again awake, and, with much jeering they lifted me up and spread me between two posts standing about six foot apart. They took great nails and drove them through my wrists, being careful not to damage the arteries there. The main priest took great delight in letting me know that they drove the spikes through my wrists instead of my hands because they had learned that the hands tore too easily when they were whipping their victims.
"Quite clever of you to figure that out," I said sarcastically and perhaps unwisely, and received an armored blow of his hand across my face. I let my head turn with it and was barely able to save my jaw from being broken by the blow. They then nailed my feet to the posts as well, and then the main priest smiled congenially at me and lifted the maul that rested against the posts and broke both my thigh bones two mighty blows.
I passed out from the pain once again, and they left me hanging there by my wrists. It was all I could do not to scream when I came dazedly to for the second time. They were waiting for me and the priest showed me the whip they planned on using. I steadfastly looked him in the eye and refused to be made fearful by the bits of glass and metal knotted into it.
He spat in my face and promised that I would scream for them before they let me die.
"I am a Champion of Torm and a Priestess of Ilmater, I will not scream for the pleasure of you or your Goddess," I replied to him. His face purpled with anger upon hearing that I was also a priestess of Ilmater, something apparently unknown to them, and he began beating me across the chest as he leered at me.
I retreated deep within myself and prayed to Ilmater who immediately answered my plea. I felt myself drifting away from the pain. I was still aware of the damage being done to my body, but the new pains merged almost unnoticed with the old as he finally gave up bloodying my breasts and moved around behind me to begin whipping my back.
I was almost unconscious when I became aware of an odd noise and saw beams of orange light go past me. Dazedly I managed to lift my head and saw a woman standing before me; she was beautiful with golden hair and an odd ornament around her left eye. I looked into her eyes and sensed the goodness in her. I knew that she was here to rescue me and breathed out "Blessings of Torm and Ilmater upon you Milady."
She looked confused at my words and I wondered if she understood them, she bent then and I saw her silver covered back as she knelt to grasp the spikes fastening my foot to the post. I passed out temporarily as she freed me from the spikes. When I came to once again I was being lowered onto a surface. I was briefly aware of the woman who had rescued me and a man wearing black and blue clothing and a worried look on his face standing over me. The man lowered some type of tube to my neck and darkness fell.