025. Strangers – ‘The Tower Keep, Pt. 2′

Title: The Tower Keep, Pt. 2
Genre: Fantasy
Characters: Lalaine, Wulfe
Story Origin: The Tower Keep
Prompt: 025. Strangers
Word Count: 590
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Two strangers share a fire.
Warnings: Language, Angst

Lalaine pulled her arms tightly against her chest, the warmth of the flickering flames gently caressing her skin. The night air was raw with an early autumn chill that sent shivers traveling up and down her delicate spine. The jagged ground beneath her dress paled in comparison to the crushed velvet seats she had grown accustomed to.

Staring into the fire, Lalaine watched as a log was consumed by the flames licking up its side. Soon, it was engulfed, its exterior covered in an orange glow. It was exactly like her kingdom, which had fallen and now lay smoldering in ash. All that remained was her–she was the last remnant of a once mighty bloodline.

Her father would have been terribly disappointed, had he lived. A simple princess, a mere tool for marriage and political gain, the only surviving heir? A shudder overtook her body and she clung tighter to her shoulders, her nails digging into the bare flesh. She choked down the tears that threatened her eyes and stifled the whimper that formed in her throat. She couldn’t think about her family now–they were dead, every last one of them. She was alone.

At least, that’s how she felt. Absently, her mind focused on her companion, who had started the fire and was now feeding it more freshly chopped wood. Her initial assessment of him had been wrong. He was not one of the men who had tried to claim her. His face was new, different… certainly of a darker tone than the others. It was obvious he was not from this part of the world. His bizarre accent and way of speaking solidified his fact.

When she asked his name, he gruffly replied, “Wulfe–now be quiet.”

Regardless, he had saved her from a torturous death. She couldn’t help but question what fate lay at the end of the path with his one called Wulfe as her guide, though. Was she truly safe or would she spend the end of her days running?

“Speak or quit gawking. It’s annoying.” The harshness of his voice and the depth of his accent startled her out of her thoughts. Lalaine hadn’t realized she’d been staring.

“W-what… do you want from me? Why did you… why did you save me?”

At this, he snorted, “I don’t wish a damned thing from you, Princess. I am just doing as I’m told.”

“As… as you’re told?”

“My liege wants your kingdom, Princess. He’s fit to take it with you as his wife–simple as that.”

“W-what?!” Lalaine replied, visibly horrified. “I won’t marry–”

Wulfe rolled his eyes, sighing, “I hate dealing with you royal types. Always so stuck up in the clouds. You’ll do as you’re told, unless you want to go back and let those men have a few turns on you!”

“You are foul!” Lalaine wailed, tears slipping down her cheeks. “Foul and awful!”

“Good, keep thinking that. Just stop talking.”

Lalaine was unable to come up with a fitting response, so she did as Wulfe demanded. She remained silent. The only sound was the cacophony of locusts that had crowded the surrounding woods, moving to pray on the outlying farmlands. Lalaine was educated enough to know the direction in which they moved–it was north, where it was cold and inhospitable. The only people that lived in that region were barbaric brutes who prayed on the weak hamlets and were a constant thorn in the side of every kingdom they neighbored.

She was to be a barbarian’s queen.

This is essentially going to be a little mini-series. This prompt in itself was mostly an experiment with pictures. I took these sans a lighting mod and attempted to edit them so it appeared as if I had used one. The end result is passable. I managed to make it dark, but the dynamic shadows are missing. I miss my lighting mod, but it is fun trying to work without it, too. You definitely get mixed results.


3 Responses to “025. Strangers – ‘The Tower Keep, Pt. 2′”

  1. goodbye_sun says:

    Lalaine is such a good little girl used to being told what to do and what she is going to be, even though she appears to smart enough to manipulate the situation if she tried.

    Were you using gunmods lighting mod? I found that too dark in the end, but I think someone on MATY did an update for it for BV and spookymuffin on insim also has a different one that I still need to try.

    Actually, I removed the lighting mod because I don’t like it for actual gameplay. I still use GunMod’s on my XP installation (which is where WoS is). I just made it work for BV on my own… I’ve had to do that since OfB. I just figured out a ‘quick fix’ for it, haha.

  2. Anghard says:

    I love the interplay between Wulfe and the Princess. She thought she had escaped a fate worse than death but was delivered right into the hands of the enemy. A nice little twist there.

    I’m glad you caught that… ;)

  3. ruby says:

    Ha! out of the frying pan in to the fire… i think she’s better off … for now .. heh

    Perhaps, perhaps not…

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