The taste of drying blood bit at Fawkes’ tongue as he pulled himself from the stone floor.
Sharp tingles of pain throbbed in the right side of his head, and he found it difficult to think. Much more than what it was usually, of course.
Consciousness swirled in the depths of his mind as took in a shaky breath, pain filling his lungs as he did so.
He tried desperately to remember where he was, and more pressingly, how long he had been there. In circumstances such as a blackout, Fawkes had learned relatively early on that time was of the essence.
The dark stone his face laid pressed against was cold and all he could see, he wanted to go back to sleep.
Two others shared the dark, chilly prison with him, he could hear them- sense their movements. He strained, trying to make what he could of their conversation, his one ear a bit cloudy from physical trauma. He heard footsteps growing closer- heavy boots clacked loudly against the stone floor. Fawkes took another deep breath as he heard the door clack open, Guards.
The boots grew closer and a short silence fell before Fawkes felt a kick in his side, far from gentle, but perhaps it was the soreness in his body that made it hurt like it did.
Another kick to his side launched him into coherency as he sat up with a scream.
“Careful, lad.” A guard warned to the other who was just ankle deep in Fawkes’ back, “We’re supposed to keep him alive until the peacekeeper comes.”
Fawkes could only open one eye fully, it seemed, as he looked around at the dark, moldy dungeon, turning his gaze to his odious and gap-toothed assailant. The guard, lanky and perhaps the ugliest man Fawkes had had the displeasure of waking up to (it was a toss-up if he were being honest), towered over him. Beady, blue eyes narrowed in pure disdain.
Fawkes brought himself to a better sitting position, maintaining his eye contact as through his good eye’s peripheral he could see the other guard was on the other side of the bars, the door loosely ajar between them.
“Alive,” The ugly guard said with a grin, “But no one said we can’t damage the goods a little.”
Fawkes spat the blood from his mouth, attempting to stretch unnoticeably to assess his damage, “I don’t know,” he spat, humored by the hoarseness in his own voice, “Usually you buy a lady a drink first, don’t you think?”
Fawkes winked and the guard went red, kicking into Fawkes’ side again with a sickening thud.
“Not really in a position to sass me, are you?” The guard hissed, leaning down to close the distance.
Just a bit closer….Fawkes mustered his most flattering smile, “What position do you need me in?”
The guard was fuming now, grabbing Fawkes by the collar of his shirt in frustration, carrying on about something, Fawkes had stopped listening. He headbutted the guard with all of the force he could muster, using his legs to switch their positions while he was stunned, his eyes pinched closed from the pain, he did best he could, striking the guard with a fist, quickly grabbing the ugly man’s face and striking his head against the ground once for good measure. He was out, and a part of Fawkes hoped he died. But it wasn’t enough force, Fawkes was in too much pain for that. The larger guard closed the entrance in a hurried fluster, the key loudly clicking the door locked just as Fawkes’ hands darted through the space between the bars, grabbing at the collar of the guard’s uniform before smacking him roughly against the grated surface, the large man falling with a loud thud.
Fawkes grinned, ready to boast his victory to himself, when he saw the keys fall to the ground, sliding away from the dungeon.
“Shit.” He hissed, sliding to his knees by the edge of the prison cell’s wall.
He darted an arm out, reaching as far as he could towards the keys, a yelp of pain escaping his chest as he pushed against the metal. Fawkes maneuvered himself, pushing a leg between the open space now instead, “Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!”
A rather long series of events had led him to this point, to this moment. Squeezing his not-particularly-thin thigh through a dungeon wall was not quite how he had thought this would pan out. If either of the guards woke up, he didn’t wager his ability to take them with the same fervor he had before would be as strong, either.
Fawkes took a moment to pause, nearly collapsing with relief as he laid his back on the cool, stone floor.
So this is how I die, He thought, beaten, ugly, and with my leg stuck.
He couldn’t quite say that much he hadn’t expected.
He rested only a moment before stretching out for the ring of keys once more. Fawkes tried everything at his disposal, bringing his foot back in to remove his his own boot, hoping that perhaps his spare toes might have a better reach.
He felt like he had been trying for hours when he heard movement from somewhere in the large building, A door opening and several footsteps. Fawkes looked over at the guards, who had still not come to, and checked to make sure they were both breathing. Much to his mixture of feelings, they were.
On the bright side, he knew he wouldn’t be put to any sort of death for attacking a guard.
On the not so bright side, his imprisonment would more than likely not be getting any better.
On the even less not so bright side, he'd be put to death regardless of what he did to the guards if he didn't hurry and get his ass out of here.
Fawkes attempted to scramble to his feet, realizing with abject horror that his leg was in fact, stuck.
The horde of approaching footsteps grew closer and Fawkes resigned himself to his fate with a loud groan. Propping himself up on his elbows, he waited for this company.
A large group of armed soldiers sauntered in, turning a corner as they approached Fawkes’ cell. Some were clad in the uniform of the royal guard, The Lowhen family crest glittering up from silver stitched onto dark blue, about half of them. The other half, save for one, were dressed in the uniform of the temple guard.
The last one, the final member of the group, was the one leading the rest in Fawkes’ direction, and her uniform was one he’d only once seen before.
Fawkes was familiar with the Peacekeepers, though they were delegated to the same respect as a fairy story in his younger years, myths that old nans used to scare children into proper behavior and going to bed when they were supposed to. It wasn’t until he was about fifteen and on a trip to a rival kingdom to the far north that he knew they actually existed.
As crown prince to the high kingdom in Lowhen, Fawkes had been privy to many a trip to neighboring kingdoms, but the one in Caer Moran stood out the most in his memory.
Granted, it was the only trip that involved demonic possession, so it wasn’t really a wonder why it stuck out so much.