It’s All in the Execution, part 2
The cloaked drowess strode the streets of Darkmoor on her way to the execution grounds,
charmingly named Sundial Square by the Arcavians. The magical trip to the docks of Darkmoor
placed her fairly close to her destination both light headed and lighter in coin. Vix supposed
Anat’s reasoning to place the square so close to the water was to allow the sea breezes to carry
the screams of the tortured and dying through the city so no one person would miss them. Not
that many did, however. Public executions were mandatory attendance in Arcavia.
Vix glanced up at the towering walls of Darkmoor Castle as she passed within their shadows,
nearing her destination. Other than the usual posted guards, only two more figures were in
evidence, both only partially seen between the crenelated parapet. The first was a tall female,
lithe and sturdy, cloaked similarly to Vix. The second was only seen as a head peering over the
edge, hooded as well. A halfling, Vix guessed.
With a swirl of her cloak, Vix stopped before an imposing Elite Guard. Her hooded eyes swiftly
took in the additions to the Square. Five more Elite Guards were posted keeping watch over
several rag clad Shandrakkar prisoners. Several large devices of sturdy metal with attendant
chains and manacles had been erected. The prisoners hung listlessly from these, parched tongues
lolling from their animalistic wolf’s heads, glazed, half-lidded eyes staring out unknowingly. It
seemed Anat wished this batch of poor souls to suffer before they were slain by his headsman.
Saminda was not among the prisoners, which relieved and puzzled the drowess. A quick glance
at a newly erected sign confirmed the noon scheduling of the executions. Another glance
skyward informed Vix there were several long hours to go before the appointed time, though her
eyes smarted painfully for her efforts. All this was done with a few brief moments. Vix glanced
up at the towering guard and spoke before he became suspicious of her loitering wordlessly
“Oh, how wonderful!’ the drowess said gaily. “I have yet to see these devices put to use.” The
guard only glared down at the drowess, his face unreadable beneath the black iron helm. Vix
made a show of peering about interestedly, thinking of what to do next.
“Lovely!” a familiar voice floated down to the drowess. “Got some time to go, though.”
Mereado, Vix’s keen ears and strong memory told her. That accounts for the halfling she saw.
“Aye, t’is a righ’ good view,” chuckled another familiar voice in response. Vix smiled slightly
under hood, giving silent sigh of relief. That accent could only belong to Faihwnyn ub Llwythain.
Her presence could only be of help to any plan Vix could come up with. As if in response to her
thoughts, a small pebble glanced off the drowess’ armor. Vix turned to look up at the castle
parapet only to see Fai looking skyward and innocently whistling. Vix dropped her head and
smiled to herself under her cowl, knowing Fai was aware of her presence and listening.
She turned back to the guard, who was beginning to get that tense look usually preceding an
order to move along. Vix spoke as the guards breastplate heaved, indicating a breath before
“Excuse me,” she said, tilting her head up to allow ebony skin to show, and hoping the guard
would assume she was only here for the spectacle of the impending executions. “But, are these
all of your prisoners?”
The guard’s only reply was a thunderous snort echoing from inside his helm and an ungentle
shove to move Vix back a step or two from the Square’s marked area, then shook his massive
“I see,” Vix responded to the silent answer. “Can you direct me to where the others are being
held?” The horned head bowed down to look at the drowess, glittering eyes the only feature
discernable past the monstrous helm.
“You will see the all the condemned at the execution, miss,” a voice made sepulchral from the
echo inside the helm boomed out. “Are you a relative of one of them, citizen? What is your
interest in the location of any others?”
“Nau,” Vix answered quickly, “Nor am I a citizen of Darkmoor. But I do have information
regarding one of your prisoners you may wish to hear.” She added quickly on impulse.
“I would suggest you give it to the Lieutenant,” the guard said in a more relaxed tone, seeming to
take the drow’s word at face value. “He can be found at the barracks. You will have to locate that
yourself, I cannot do anything else while I am on this detail.”
“Bella’dos,” Vix dropped a small bow in thanks, glancing upwards to briefly catch Fai’s eye
before moving on. A small nod in return was given before the tall woman moved away from the
crenelations. Vix nodded once more to the guard and made her way towards the barracks.
As Vix neared the barracks, both Mereado and Fai had caught up with her, exchanging quick
greetings. All three entered the barracks and walked to the hulking figure behind the desk.
“Greetings, can I do something for you?” the Lieutenant asked politely, unfolding his immense
frame from behind the small desk. Vix briefly wondered what Anat put in the city’s water supply
to grow all these fellows so large.
“Xas,” replied the drowess with equal politeness. “I have obtained knowledge that a certain one
of your citizens is being held prisoner. She is called Saminda.” The burly Lieutenant studied Vix
a moment before answering.
“Yes, she is there in the cell,” he stated. “What is it you want with her?”
“I have personal reasons to see her brought to justice,” Vix answered with an evil smile. “I am
inclined to provide you with any information about her you may require.” Vix sensed Fai stiffen
slightly at her words, Mereado stood calmly and quietly.
“She will be going on trial shortly,” the huge man informed Vix. He seemed to study her a
moment then continued, “As soon as the Vizier arrives. Do you care to wait so long?”
Mereado chuckled to herself, as Fai stepped forward.
“Wha's th' crim'nal charg'd wi'?” the lanky rogue asked. Vix suspected Fai knew quite well what
this was about, as she had been present at Saminda’s first incarceration. Yet Fai was one to make
sure she had the facts in order.
“She attacked and killed several guards downstairs in a fury to rescue some elf,” the Lieutenant
replied, turning to appraise Fai.
“I would assume, Fai, that it is for her botched attempt to release a legally detained prisoner from
the dungeons,” Vix put in with a slight sneer, pointing to the short hall on their left. “Just over
“Ahhh, tha' agin,” Fai mumbled, nodding to herself and casting a quick glance to Vix.
“What’s so great about Sion, anyway?” Mereado sneered rhetorically.
“A most grievous loss to the guards of Arcavia,” the drowess consoled. “I am gladdened to know
she has been caught and to be sentenced. Especially after ...” Vix stopped suddenly and only
smiled. Fai’s concerned glance turned into a mischievous smile in return, hoping her drow friend
was not entirely serious in her words.
“You are welcome to stay and watch,” the Lieutenant told them. “I am sure the Vizier will be
here any moment.”
As if on cue to his words, the heavy outer door opened and in strode another large and burly man,
though clad in finer clothing and armor than the Lieutenant. His resemblance to both Baron Anat
and his son Amir was noticeable to the drowess. His gaze swept the room, taking note of the
three women standing in front him and ignoring the respectful greeting Mereado gave him.
“What is going on, Lieutenant?” the Vizier barked his question. The Lieutenant seemed to stiffen
into a rigid stance, looking his superior in the eyes.
“They are just here as witnesses, sir,” came the quick reply. Vix suspected the Lieutenant was
likely supposed to keep the barracks clear of non-guards, let alone non-Arcavians. He already
showed his lax demeanor in conversing with the three women about Saminda, even giving her
location to them. A bored officer with a monotonous desk job, willing to talk to anyone. Vix
chuckled inwardly thinking his friendliness and inattentiveness is probably how Saminda
obtained access to the dungeons in the first place.
“Witnesses, hmmm?” Vizier Nefzen mused, stroking his chin thoughtfully and placing each of
the three under his steely gaze. “Very well, but do not get in the way.” His words left no doubt
anyone who disrupted him while here would find themselves looking out from one the cells
“Of course not,” Vix smiled.
“Woulnae think o' it,” Fai said.
Mereado again stayed silent, though a cruel, small smile seemed to be playing about her lips.
The Vizier turned with a swirl of his cape and stalked through the doorway to stand arms reach
away from the caged door of a cell. Vix, Fai, and Mereado trailed along in his wake, moving to
stand along the wall facing the cell. The Vizier snapped an order for the Lieutenant to stand
A blue clad shape rose from the filthy, straw covered floor of the cell and moved to stand
defiantly on the other side of the door. Though her clothes were torn and stained, and a few
bruises purpled her cheek, her eyes were bright and filled with fire. Those eyes passed over the
Lieutenant and Vizier, softened at the sight of Fai, then hardened slightly upon seeing Mereado,
finally coming to rest with a baleful glare upon the drowess standing across from her. Vix
allowed a cold, evil smile to steal across her ebony features and returned the stare, knowing
Saminda had heard every word said in the entrance hall earlier.
“Tell me, citizen,” the Vizier began without preamble, his voice stern and even, “Why did you
enter our prisons in the first place?”
“To rescue a friend of mine,” the bard shot back hotly.
“Rescue?” the Vizier questioned in mild surprise. “Hmm, and was it a success?”
“Eventually, yes,” Saminda replied with less fervor. “But I did not find him there, so it was a
mistake to enter the dungeons.” Vix knew there was more involved in what Saminda and the
Vizier spoke of, but kept her own counsel, hoping Saminda would realize her true intentions
beyond any words she may speak.
“Do you know that four...” the Vizier paused, searching for a word and finding nothing
appropriate, “...things are being executed soon for what you did? They too wanted to rescue their
... friends. ”
“They are just as human as you and I on the inside,” Saminda growled in response. “Probably
more so than Anat.” She smirked at the Vizier, hoping to rattle him, as she had little to lose as it
“I do not think you are in the position to be saying anything about the Baron,” Vizier Nefzen
replied in a calm voice, yet his eyes gained a dangerous cast to them.
“Or what? You'll arrest me?” Saminda derisively laughed at the Vizier. The Lieutenant began to
shout at Saminda’s impertinence, hoping to gain favor with the Vizier who only stood silent,
allowing both the bard and his guard to settle down.
Fai took the moment to sign ‘What next?’ to Vix using a combination of thieves’ and drow silent
speech the two had worked out over the last few months. The tall woman’s face was smooth as
glass, but her eyes held a suspicious glance, unsure of what her drow friend was really up to.
Vix knew Mereado might understand some of their cobbled silent code, so she answered back
quickly and as vaguely as she dared. ‘I have to trust things set in motion before my arrival have
been taken care of.’ The shouting of the Lieutenant stopped at an annoyed wave of the Vizier’s
“We already have done that,” the noble smiled at Saminda, showing no sign of irritation. “Next
would be a sentence. And, you are not making it hard for me.”
“I think she’s trying to hang herself,” Mereado chuckled. “You know there are worse things than
death, Sam?” The halfling’s grin widened. “You could end up in bed with Arcannus again.” Fai
sighed and shook her head. Saminda chuckled in spite of herself.
“Or me,” Vix hissed, her hand moving to touch the dagger at her belt.
“I was never in bed with you, Vix,” Saminda denied, shaking her head and smirking.
“Not for lack of trying,” Vix began, then stopped herself noticing the rigid posture of the Vizier.
“But, we interrupt the good Vizier. My apologies, sir.” The drowess half bowed to the man who
was staring at them all, his mouth a thin line.
“Lieutenant, take her to the others,” the Vizier commanded, taking firm control of the situation
again, deciding his interview was at and end. “We will execute her with them at noon.”
Saminda sighed heavily at this, her shoulders slumped, the defiant fire fading from her eyes.
“No longer will you be a tool of Emerald Cys'varillo in this barony, Saminda,” Vix crowed, her
laughing eyes boring into Saminda’s. “I hope you savor the taste of defeat...” Vix’s voice
dropped to a mocking sneer, “...mi'chev.”
“Farewell then, I won't be seeing you again,” the Vizier tossed at Saminda, turning to leave.
“I’m sure you will,” the condemned bard snarled, some of the fire creeping back into her eyes.
The Vizier stopped of a sudden.
“Wait,” he said without turning to face any of those present. “Consider this your first assignment.
See me afterwards for your payment.” Vix suspected whom was being addressed, and tried to
catch Fai’s eye.
“Anything in particular?” Mereado responded confirming the drowess’ fears. Vix glanced briefly
down at the halfling, her eyes flashing briefly, then quickly composed herself.
“Only show me what you can do,” the Vizier replied, turning slightly to bestow a cold smile on
Saminda before walking away.
“Sorry, Sam. But business is business,” Mereado shrugged casually. She turned to the Lieutenant
pulling out a leather pouch, a look of sadistic glee on her face. “Guard, one to go in!”
“I do so hope Emerald gets wind of this,” Vix smirked, her eyes locked on Saminda and stepping
up to the cage, blocking Mereado from entering. “I would love to see her face to see such a
staunch supporter of hers go down .. or up.” The drowess mimicked a hanging.
“Excuse me,” came a rough voice from the Lieutenant, moving both Vix and Mereado aside to
unlock the cell door. “I must bring her to the others now.” Vix stepped back, relieved the vile
halfling was not going to start her torture of Sam right then, but still at a loss of what to do.
“Oh, shame,” Mereado sarcastically pouted. The Lieutenant opened the door and roughly hauled
an unresisting Saminda out by her arm. The halfling took the opportunity to draw a small blade
down the bard’s back, slitting the blue silk robes and leaving a long trail of oozing blood. “For
Vix almost lashed out then, but knew now was not the time, and fervently hoped the plea for help
she sent in her journey book was going to work. It had to, there would be so few options left if it
did not. The drowess reached a hand out to grasp Saminda’s elbow, hoping to give small squeeze
of reassurance disguised as an attempt to get in one last jibe.
“I shall see you there Saminda,” Vix said mockingly pleasant, reaching for Saminda’s arm.”I do
so hope they leave the hood off so you can watch my smile as the rope slowly chokes the life out
But, Saminda shrugged her arm away from Vix’s hand before she could do more than touch the
torn fabric of her sleeve. The drowess cursed, hoping Sam did not truly believe her words. Yet
the last few conversations between had been .. strained. And, Vix had not acknowledged
anything Sam had tried to talk to her about during those times.
Vix was startled to see Saminda suddenly squirm in the grasp of the burly Lieutenant. Her hopes
rose, thinking Saminda was attempting to make her escape. Vix reached for her sword, hoping
Fai was ready to act. But Vix was stunned when Saminda only spat at the drowess’ feet, her hand
slipped numbly from the pommel of her sword. Sam thought it was all real. Vix was twisting a
knife in her beloved’s heart with her guise of hatred. It took a moment for the pained drowess to
realize both Mereado and the Lieutenant were looking at her oddly.
“Save your water,” Vix snarled, each word piercing as deeply into her own heart as she knew
they twisted in Saminda’s. Yet she had no choice but to continue if she wanted to be allowed as
close as possible to the bard in case her hoped for conclusion failed. “You'll need it should you
survive the hanging and dangle in the sun.”
Fai only look aghast at Vix, still unsure of her drow friend’s motives, but trusting Vix enough to
play along. Mereado and the Lieutenant smiled appreciatively and continued dragging and
prodding Saminda out of the barracks and into the dusty streets of Darkmoor to take her place
among the executions.
Vix trailed along behind, an unwanted honor guard, crushed and scared for Saminda, desperately
trying to think of a way to let Sam know she did not mean what she said, that she was looking for
a way to get her out of this. Fai trudged alongside Vix, casting curious glances her way, but
refraining from speaking or using the code again. The damnable halfling walked directly behind
Saminda, prodding her with her blade each time the bard slowed or stumbled.
Long minutes later, the group arrived at Sundial Square. The Lieutenant motioned for Fai and
Vix to move aside and stand along the perimeter, then roughly shoved Saminda past the two.
Thinking her last chance to let Sam know her true intentions may be now, Vix leaned over and
whispered a few words which drew an amused chuckle from the guard and a confused glance
“Hang in there, mi’chev.”