I was cuffed awake after a restless few hours of sleep by a stone-faced tribal woman who had had her nose slit across both nostrils at some point – I learned that this is the punishment for infidelity. Phora, Mags and I were set to skinning and tanning hides. My job was to translate as well as work. When I made a mistake I got hit. When Mags or Phora made a mistake I got hit. When I didn’t translate fast enough I got hit. When Phora or Mags stopped working I got hit. When we were done – in this sense meaning that the hides were ruined because we had no clue what we were doing – we started hauling water. This lasted for several hours. Towards the end we were spilling about 90% of the water – our taskmaster was just dumping it out anyway.
We were giving a brief period of rest and some hard bread to eat. I did my best to buoy the spirits of my companions even while I resented them. I had gone through the same ordeal , I was in the same situation – if not worse – I was feeling the same things, and I was managing to keep it together without relying on someone else propping me up.
After that a skinny old woman who looked like she was made of leather took on the job of overseeing us. I was relieved because I thought she wouldn’t hit as hard but I was wrong, although to be fair to split-nose the old woman was using a fire-hardened stick. The first time she cracked me across the back with it I felt a jolt of electricity run down my left leg. She was trying to teach us to make a tent with hides – you can imagine how that went.
At one point I was so sick of her hitting me and she looked so tiny and vulnerable that I lost control for a second and grabbed the stick when she raised it to give me a whack. Instantly one of the men loitering about the camp had me by the back of the neck and slammed me down to the ground so hard I cracked a tooth. He said the next time they’d burn out my eye and fill the empty socket with ants. I told him I understood.
At least Mags was a capable cook, so our next set of duties only went poorly instead of being a disaster. All that happened was one of the men throwing his scraps in my face and saying he wouldn’t feed it to a starving dog. At this point Phora started sobbing and carrying on, worried about what the night might bring, but I assured her that if they were going to take liberties with our bodies they would have done it already. Honestly though, I was wondering the same thing.
We were set to cleaning the camp while the warriors played some kind of rough game involving lots of shouting and chasing after a small rubbery glob with sticks. This seemed like a good time to start stealing supplies and hiding them nearby. Phora and Mags were horrified, scared that I would get caught, but what were they worried about? I was the one getting beaten all day. Seemed like a good idea to also take a trinket from the tent of one warrior and hide in another. See what that could stir up.
At the end of the day the three of us were lashed together at the hands and left outside to sleep. Both of my fellow captives started weeping softly. It got on my nerves but I bit my tongue to keep from snapping at them. They were entitled I suppose.
Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, traveler’s outfit
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley,
White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, unnamed tribe
Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid
Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)
Caravan – Destroyed
Progress to Three Rivers – 67 miles