Wild Spirit

Nayara looked one last time at the mirror to check everything was going right. The rich, golden frame of the precious artifact made a big contrast with her condition as she dressed. She tried to hold her breath so as to avoid the smell of the sleeping perfume - if she slept like the maiden from whom she had just stolen those poor, dirty clothes, her plan would be jeopardized.

It was not the first time a princess tried running from a castle by disguising as a servant, but still it was a new experience to her. Princess Nayara had never been this subtle in her escapes before.

Success was closer this time than ever, but it worsened things rather than helping. It got her mind clouded, and there was trouble double-checking everything that should be done. In a flash, her life passes before her eyes…

…King Marius, the sovereign of Laboria, and Queen Karina, the most noble amazon, met when a coalition of kingdoms sent an expedition to the great forests beyond all frontiers. He spent a month in the wilderness before going back home. About twelve months later, a group of fifty amazons visited his castle and brought a baby. She was his daughter. The mother had died some days before. The warriors decided she should be rised by the father, for otherwise the child would be slain in the war for power that was to come in her homeland.

The child, named Nayara, had a difficult childhood. She never got along well with other noble children. She didn’t like the life of a princess and spent hours daydreaming about a life of dangerous adventures. Her teachers could hardly get her to pay attention to what they said - but fortunately, after learning how to read, the books themselves taught her most of the things she knows.

Her pre-teens were more interesting. She tried running away from home many times. The maidens stopped counting after the 15th try. She had already jumped from a tower to the river that passes by the castle, hiding in cargo that went out the building, climbing the walls down with the help of tied blankets, and even the most straightforward one, runing while the bridge is down… Just to be caught by the guards moments later.

She took her non-running time to learn how to fight with swords and staves, ride horses and practice gymnastics. Her father never liked the idea of a princess doing these things, but he thought that if she chanelled her energies and agressiveness through these things, she wouldn’t try to run away. However, swords and riding accidents gave Nayara some scars. She never cared much about it, but hid them under long clothes anyway.

In her 16th birthday, she was told the story of ther mother and how she came to Laboria being less than one year old. It was almost like telling a teenager that she is actually an adopted child. But at learning it, Nayara finally discovered why she had always tried to escape that boring life. She had to go back to her origins in the wilderness. To that day she had no destintion, but now she knew where to go.

Ten tranquil days passed. People in the castle thought Princess Nayara had suffered a trauma for being so quiet the last few days. None knew that a escape plan was being arranged, and a one that would be more functional than all the previous ones. Nayara had gotten some sleeping perfume with the master alchemist at the castle by bribing him with some golden rings. That night, at 10:30 o’clock, she called a maiden to her room and locked the door by inside, so the two thugs guarding her room wouldn’t see what she was up to. The maiden was put to sleep after having the perfume quickly spilled in her face. The princess then used a fast hair and skin dye, another ‘gift’ from the alchemist, to change her appearance. Her hair, once plain and green, was now curly blonde. Her skin, with a beautiful tan, became really pale - by the bright side, the scars were gone. Now she looked like the maiden that slept in the floor…

…The flashback finished, and Nayara saw her plan working. She dressed the sleeping maiden with her royal clothes and put her on the bed. All that exercizing helped somehow - it was a difficult task, but it could have been worse. She then covered the maiden with a blanket from toe to top to make her look like a sleeping princess. Next step was going outside the room. She opened the door and walked out as if nothing had happened. The thugs didn’t notice anything suspicious and didn’t say anything. turning in a corridor, the princess sighed in relief. Phase 1 went alright.

Now she was going for the hard part. Next step took place in the castle dungeons.

Scenes from the next episode:

In the throne room, strange knights from a neighbouring country demand the execution of a prisoner that ‘belongs’ to them and is in the castle. In the dungeons, Nayara finds a young mad man who is said to deal with creatures from another world and learns about the Rune of Return, an artifact that has powerful teleportation spells in it. Will she finally escape the castle? What is true and what is fantasy in the depths of the insane prisoner’s mind? Will the knights put their hands on their prey? Don’t miss it.

Looking interesting, the only nitpick I have would be that you seem to jump from past to present tense now and then. Like here:

She took her non-running time to learn how to fight with swords and staves, ride horses and practice gymnastics. Her father never <b>like</b> the idea of a princess doing these things, but he thought that if she chanelled her energies and agressiveness through these things, she wouldn’t try to run away. However, swords and riding accidents gave Nayara some scars. She <b>doesn’t</b> care, but <b>hides</b> them under long clothes anyway.

I corrected these. The first one was a typo, the other two were a result of my sleepiness (I posted it at 4:00 AM). Thanks =)

The disguise had worked well so far. Nayara had passed by some guards in her way towards the dungeons. After five minutes walking through long white corridors, she finally reached one that was short and not painted. The brick corridor gave access to a stairway leading downwards. There was a guard near the stairway, but he was sleeping (and snoozing loud). The way down was really unpleasant. Four hundred steps in a spiral. “Thanks the Gods it’s down and not upwards”, the princess thought.

There were no more bricks by the end of the stairway. The dungeon had been installed in an underground cave. It was a huge semi-spherical structure, like a dome, with the ceiling reaching 60 feet. The stonewall was grey and rough, with many projections. The stairway gave entrance to it by the west side. twenty-one magic beacons on the ceiling provided daytime like light to the place. The cells were holes dug into the wall by the floor. They had magical grates that could only be opened with magical keys. The cells themselves were magic-dead, so mages couldn’t open them from inside. That’s why there were no guards in the dungeon - everything is kept in order by four mages. Only the most dangerous enemies of the state were imprisoned there, so there weren’t many cells and most of them were empty.

When Nayara reached the dungeon, there were two middle-aged mages working there. They had their heads shaven and wore full-body covering white robes. This gave them a somehow funny look. They were at an office table by the center of the dungeon writting things in scrolls, probably data on things concerning people kept there. The princess put her hand under her skirt, by the thigh. She still carried the sleeping perfume bottle, strapped to her leg. She picked the glass bottle and threw it to the table. Her aim was good, and she got a direct hit over the mages’ papers. They got drowzy before being able to react, and after some seconds, fell asleep. Nayara went to the easternmost cell. A young man, wo looked like being twenty years old was there. He wore a blue long-sleeve shirt and white pants and slept in its floor, as there were no bed, nor any other furniture, in there.

King Marius sat in his throne. He was a fat, pale, middle-aged man with a shaven face. Six knights stood before him. They wore full plates and their helmets hid their faces. The symbol in their chests was that of the Exorcisers, and order of fanactical knights that believed evil should be fought in all ways, even the most violent and opressive ones.

“Your Majesty”, said the one that looked like their leader, “we have come to claim what is ours by right. Give us the mad man.”

“No”, replied the King. “He was caught in my lands. He is, therefore, a prisoner of Laborai, and is not ‘yours’.”

Even though his face couldn’t be seen, it could be noticed that the knight was not very contented with that answer. But after a brief moment, the armored man spoke: “Then, by the laws of your realms, he must be executed for what he has done!”

King Marius sighed. For some reason, he wanted to protect his prisoner. He stood up and started walking. “Follow me, then”, said the King. He lead the knights out the throne room and into some corridors. He had something in mind. Walking in a slow pace, he thought - ‘I have to gain some time. Think, Marius, think. If only the master alchemist or the master mage were here…’

Princess Nayara shouted - “wake up! wake UP! COME ON, WAKE UP!!!” The young man slowly woke and stood. He stared at Nayara and asked, “What time is it?”

-The time doesn’t matter! I need your help!
-You’re out of luck, then. Good night. Even if it’s not night yet, but you catch my meaning.
-Wait! I will free you!
-Now you’re talking in my language.

Nayara sighed in relief. “I was told that you are a very powerful mage.”, she said. “I need your help to escape this place.”.

He stared at her again. “Just quit your job, maiden, and you are free. Good night.” Nayara’s face got red - from anger. She shouted “I AM A PRINCESS!!!”. The shout echoed many times before diing. “Alright, alright, princess of the maidens”, continued the man, “but I am not a mage. Sweet dreams for you”. he lied on the floor again.

Nayara got desperate. “But I was told you possessed powerful magic!!!” The young man stood up again and replied. “Of course I do! I am a very powerful magical item!!!:victoly:”. Nayara got frozen with her mouth wide open at hearing this. It was obvious for her that the man was suffering from some severe mental disease.

He walked to the grates and signaled with his hands for Nayara to get closer to him. She still had some hope and did as he wished. He then whispered to her: “I will now tell you the secret of the Rune of Return”. he then smiled. The princess asked, “tell me about it”.

-Do you want to know where the rune of return is?
-Yes, please!
-It is very close to you…
-Tell me more! Where can I find it?
-It’s in my cell.
-I don’t see it! Where do you keep it?
-Keep it? I AM it!

Nayara slapped her own face. “Let’s try in in another way, ok? Do you promise to show me the rune if I release you?”. The man nodded. Nayara went to the table where the mages slept. holding her breath, she got some keys from a string on the waist of one of them. She tried them on the mad man’s cell. After some trial and error, the grates opened.

When he stepped out the cell, two mages that looked like the sleeping ones walked in the dungeon. Nayara feared for her plan. She had nothing that could help her this time. To make things worse, they thought she was just a commoner due to her appearance. The mages saw her helping a prisoner in escaping. They knew how to perform their duty very well. Sparks started sprouting and leaping from the hands of one of them. The other one held an arrow made of acid.

Nayara embraced the mad man in fear. “Please, if you can do something… DO IT NOW!!!”

The man and the princess started glowing. In a flash, they disappeared in a bright flash. An acid arrow and a lightning bolt flew past the place where the couple stood a moment before and hit the wall next to the cell.

The mages still stayed in there, tyring to think on what could have happened since whatever the mad man used was unknown to them. Minutes later, King Marius and the six knights got into the dungeon. When the King saw the empty cell, he shouted in anger, then fell on his kness and punched the floor. The knights pointed their swords to the mages. Since the knights were with the King, the mages did not react.

One hour later, the four dungeon mages themselves were imprisoned, and other mages took care of the place. The King was back in the Throne Room with the knights. Sitting in the throne, he drank from a cup that a servant had brought. It was a calmant drink. A guard from the castle walked in and bowed before the king. “Your majesty, I am sorry to inform that Princess Nayara has disappeared. The guards cannot find her anywhere in the castle and all magical detection has failed.” The King fainted.

I would give a briefing on what’s coming up next, but I’m in a hurry so there’s no spoilers this time.

As long you don’t confuse past and present tenses, this is a great fic. :cool: