“The Battling Beauty”
Kethra loved her father. Growing up she used to go into the market with him every three days to buy goods and every once in a while she was allowed a new ribbon for her hair. Her father was her best friend and she loved him unconditionally. On her twelfth name day her father bought her a beautifully tailored red gown and a new ribbon to match and told her hand maiden to bathe and dress her in the fresh ensemble. Kethra then went on a horse ride with her father deep into the woods, much further than she had ever been before. Her head was full with fantasies of a picnic waiting for them under a big tree or perhaps her father had finally trapped a pet for her from the woods like she had been asking about for weeks. Their destination was much less enjoyable.
After over an hour of riding they reached a keep hidden in the trees. Once inside Kethra was ushered into a candle lit room full of men her fathers age, or older. There were other children as well, dressed up and lined up along the wall. Kethra stepped back into her father’s protective arms but instead of embracing her her ushered her to the front of the room and sat her in an extravagantly embroidered chair. The gentle murmurs that filled the room came to an abrupt silence and every man stared at Kethra. Her father sat her down in the chair next to her and spoke.
“Gentleman, as promised, I present my finest product yet! The bidding will begin at one thousand gold.”
Fear and confusion rose in Kethra. Her shoulders shook as she peered up at the man she thought she knew. The men began to shout numbers; one thousand five hundred, two thousand, then suddenly a large man in the back of the room rose from his seat.
“Ten thousand gold!” he bellowed. Every person in the room fell silent.
“Sold!” Announced Kethra’s father.
She was ushered back out of the room, down the stairs and into a carriage waiting behind the keep. The large man followed close behind, barking orders to the driver before climbing into the carriage next to Kethra. He pulled her slim figure into his lap and ran his fingers through her long auburn hair, admiring the red ribbon braided into it.
“You’re going to like being mine.” He whispered into her ear, his gruff voice sending horrified shivers down her spine.
Kethra squeaked and tried to wiggle out of his grasp but his hands tightened around her waist and he pulled her back against his chest. She whimpered in pain before crying out to her father. A massive hand slapped over her mouth.
“That was the last time you will ever see him, girly. You belong to me now and you would do best to not forget that.”
Silent tears fell down Kethra’s cheeks for the remainder of the trip to this new man’s keep. When they arrived he carried her from the carriage to a stone shed,which appeared to be a portable smith shop. From the coals he pulled a white hot branding iron, pinned her against the ground, pulled her dress aside and pressed the iron into her right shoulder blade, forever branding Kethra with his initials. She screamed as the iron scorched her once soft skin.
“You are the permanent property of Davlamin Gellantara.”
The months following Kethra’s name day were even more horrific. She wasn’t allowed to leave his chambers and every night when he came in to bed he tied her down and did unspeakable things to her. The months turned into years and every time he tried to make her more willing, she fought back with all her strength. With each attempt his patience wore thinner until one night he lost the last shred of patience he had left.
“If you will not willingly lie with me a single time, Kethra, I will be forced to find a different use of your body.” He had threatened her this way before so she thought nothing of it.
“That is perfectly fine with me, my lord.” She responded with a sarcastic bow of her head.
Davlamin, enraged, screamed for his guards as he yanked her to the door of his chambers. Opening the door, he threw Kethra to the ground.
“Take this waste of gold to the pits. Perhaps she will be a better fighter than lover.” he screamed.
Kethra was taken away, stripped of her noble clothing and forced into the fighting ring. Davlamin watched her fight there every day and to his surprise, she was never defeated. She became his biggest source of income as word of a new fighter’s success in the ring spread throughout the city. Kethra fought in the pits until her seventeenth name day. It was then that she received a private letter calling her to represent her race. The Groundbreaking became her freedom.
I am originally from a small town in the mountains and have lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life. My favorite classes growing up were always art and drama; my passion for the arts continues to follow me throughout life. I have only played Dungeons and Dragons for a couple years but trading card games have been my hobby for much longer.