Days, weeks, maybe even months blurred together for Amira. Through heavy drugging the young warlock to be was in and out of consciousness for a good amount of the trip. Only when she felt herself being pulled up from the bed did her eyes begin to open all the way. Though still drugged and delirious, Amira finally got a definitive look at her captors and surroundings.
The door directly in front of her swung open, allowing Amira to have her first breath of fresh air. The salty sea air hit her lungs; it stung her insides which were riddled with insufficient food and constant impurities forced down her throat. Despite the fact that her legs didn’t want to move forward onto the deck, her captor’s whole heartedly disagreed. For the first time in almost half a decade Amira laid eyes upon the land of Albar and all of her desolateness.
For the first time since her journey had started, Amira could feel the contents of her stomach turn. Though from the pungent smell remaining upon her red mages robe, it was obvious that she had found sea sickness prior to now. Terrified, Amira attempted to pull away from her captors, though it did her little good in end. What ever they had forced down her throat in the hours prior had not worn off, weakening the apprentice warlock. As she was pushed forward again, she found that she was stiff, sore, and possibly lacking in what little dexterity she had.
The two men hauled Amira to her feet, pressing her forward on the ship and towards the ramp leading to the docks. Around her, Amira watched as men, women, and children of all ages and creeds sauntered towards the ramp as well. They were shackled, beaten, all of them worse for wear. The horrors of Albar, Amira thought, I thought I had left it long ago.
Brown eyes followed the unfortunate slaves to be down the ramp, only to soon have her feet follow. Those shackled made their way towards the auction house, Amira could hear the children crying, begging their parents to do something to save them from this harsh reality called life. It was then that Amira realized that something worse had perhaps befallen her. Or maybe it was realized when she saw the malevolent grin on the face of the man whom she had burned not to long ago. There was a cloth wrapped around his arm, apparently the wound still had not healed, if it were to ever heal.
The man she burned smiled at her, a sadistic grin. The limited contents of Amira’s stomach did another flip. Her brown eyes shifted towards the auction house, pleading to have gone with the slaves instead. There was a sinking feeling in Amira’s chest that where she was to be lead was not going to be pleasant and that becoming a slave would be more of a blessing than a curse at this point and time.
They wandered through the dismal streets of Albar, the bright red of Amira’s robe appeared to be a rare color seen upon the streets of the port. People stopped in their tracks to stare at the strange woman who pretended to be someone of rank and knowledge. Women who would not normally command their husbands or fathers all directed their eyes to the young warlock. Amira adverted her eyes, she didn’t want to be stared at, she didn’t want to be the odd woman out, she just wanted to be home watching Pellandria bake or sitting in the library curled up reading a good book. She wanted to be anywhere but the here and now.
When Amira raised her head once more she could see the bell tower of the local church. Its pantheon most likely including any gods that were not female; Elara would not be uttered with in unless someone wished for a sound beating. Of course, it had to be there in which they were dragging her. Her eyes closed again, she didn’t want to see her fate. Only did her eyes open when she hit the front of the step and almost tripped; the two men dragging Amira pulled her up onto her feet once more, but not without chastising her.
Darkness enveloped the inside of the church. It was fitting in Amira’s mind. It was as if the church was representing the very will the nobles kept over the people, forcing them into darkness, never letting them know the truth of the world. If only some of these people had the money to escape to Gobaith. Amira pitied them and their poor fortune, and then she paused and pitied hers.
A priest made his way over to the group, directly to the man who had been burned. The two greeted each other and began to speak softly in words Amira was unable to hear, but quite entirely understood. She thought back to the first meeting and the words the man had cried. Witch. Witch. That was all she was here. A witch to be made an example of.
The two continued to exchange words, occasionally glancing over towards the young warlock to be. Her eyes narrowed at them as she attempted to understand what they were discussing. Around that time the priest stepped away from the man and moved towards her. She was closely examined, her face, her clothing, and even the contents of the bag she was wearing the night she was captured. The priest sneered at the books inside, even taking note of the books which belonged to the Magic Academy. His eyes gazed over the notes she had taken on separate parchment.
“Take her into the back. You know where I am talking about.” Stated the priest as he closed her bag and pulled it over his shoulder. Amira took one last longing look at the bag, the books, and her well written notes before they pulled her away. “I’ll let you know my decision tomorrow.” She heard spoken behind her, and then the foot steps of the priest following not far behind.
They took her to a dark room which was empty except for a table with a few chairs facing the door and one sole chair which appeared to be made of iron and was facing the others on the other side of the table. As she was pulled closer, Amira could see shackles built into the arms and legs of the chair.
Hastily the men forced Amira down on the chair, just now undoing the shackles which she already wore. Before she had a chance to rub her wrists, her arms and legs were bound to the chair. Oddly enough they shackled her arms so that the palms and the fleshy portion of her forearm were upwards. “Enjoy,” one of the men chuckled after she was bound.
Laughing the two left the room, leaving Amira alone to ponder what was to become of her. Her eyes shifted around the room, eventually gazing up at the ceiling, a small skylight of sorts was open above her, allowing a disk of light to embrace her. Though, there was something wrong, she noted. The room was warm, sure the sun probably had something to do with that, but there was a very specific heat off to her right…
Amira lowered her eyes to a forge, the heat source. She began to question her self as to why a forge would be in an interrogation room. As her brown eyes scanned around the forge her question was miraculously answered. An assortment of branding irons hung next to the forge, they were fitted with various symbols and letterings, perhaps to identify heretics and blasphemers. Amira’s eyes widened and she felt her self stricken with fear. One branding iron was in the distinct shape of a W, something she could only guess as to which the W stood for…