We crested the lip of the prison, our “gifts” of prisoners in tow. A zeal in the eyes and movements of my cursed retinue’s movements as we each knew that the master would be pleased. We tried making our way back to the tower as quickly as possible, but our speed was hampered by the protesting prisoners.
“Please,” the woman I held muttered softly, “… You don’t need to do this.”
I raised my hand to strike her to silence as a small voice in my mind stayed my hand.
What am I doing? This isn’t right.
But we must serve Selroc..
No– I know me, this isn’t what I want. I want to be seen, to be recognized for all I bring to the crew, to my friends! What would they think if they saw me now?
As I argued mentally with myself in that moment, I could feel her eyes piercing me, as if she could see my internal struggle. In my hesitation a Sahuagin in my group moved towards me, and snorted, “If you aren’t strong enough to even wrangle one Sea Elf woman…” his words dripped with derision, “… Then get out of my way!” His voice bellowed as he swung his bestial arm, his muscles taught with explosive anger.
He’s right, I must serve Sel–
NO!, rang the voice through my head shutting out all other thoughts, Protect her!
I quickly leaned into the blow, thrusting the woman outward putting myself between her and the Sahuagin. His fist caught me in the shoulder, and I spun in the water. I tried to steady myself, but he was upon me, a flurry of strikes and behind them a smiling, calvary of shark’s teeth. I felt like I was but a lump of metal being worked over by a blacksmith, the blows were so strong. My mind spun, my shoulder ached, my ribs felt as if they’d break. I tried to block the blows as best I could while the others in my twisted group all just watched, seeing who’d come out the victor, mirthful sneers across their faces. My attacker paused for a moment, whether needing to catch his breath, or just filled with hubris. I answered in kind, focusing all my strength to my legs, and pushing off the ground hard, launching upward through the water, my hands latched onto the back of his head, and I yanked his face down, hard, as I shot my knee up and into his oversized, Sahuagin nose, harder. A crunch of bone echoed, amplified by the water. I allowed myself to float back to the ground as my opponent, slumped to the floor, silt puffing into the water around him.
We all stood in a still moment of silence, and as the adrenaline of the moment wore off, I could feel hot pain in my knee from where I’d broken through his lines of razorlike teeth.
“He… doubted… my devo…tion … to the Mas…ter.” I lied, my voice coming out in guttural, stuttered growls.
You did it! You protected her! You ARE capable!
Whether the rest of my damned group believed me or not, I couldn’t say. They simply turned towards the tower and began moving out. I looked at the woman, who was trembling on the ground, looking up with me with eyes full of questions.
“You– You killed him? Because of me? You saved me??”
I tried to calm her with my gaze, knowing my form, and my previous actions were monstrous.
“Run… I don’t… know what will… happen… but get to your… son. I’m sorry.” I growled out as best I could.
“There are… better men… than Selroc… they’ll fix this.” I said to her, as much as to myself, looking at my arms that weren’t mine. “The Furious… Fathers… will fix… this.”