No Escape from the Terror

 Syllea skips into the Prancing Pony, expecting it to be any other day. Full of mischief, laughing, and maybe some writing. Seeing Demlemoth not in his usual spot by the stairs she set herself down there. Cracking open her favorite of her father’s books about war, life, and gruesome romances, she soon was lost into the fantastical world. A few minutes later Dem walked in and sat next to the teen girl. Syllea could instantaneously sense that Dem was burdened with sorrow. Shutting her book she turned to the tall man, asking what was wrong. The next words that would be spoken by the girls’ father figure would be only the start of the terrors to come in days ahead. With a choked-up voice, Dem would say, “Another sea urchin, like yourself, was killed today. Lancthis.”

Syllea became scared, but not for her own life. She feared for her best friend, Davrynn. A boy who is only a couple of years older than the child who had been killed. Dem told Syllea, Dav was being watched and asked Syllea to stay in the tavern, giving her strict instructions not to leave. He gave her a key to one of the rooms in the Pony. At the time Syllea did not realize how difficult it was going to be trapped inside of that noisy tavern. Nights being impossible to sleep with the loud fighting drunkards while other parts of the day seemed only to bear sorrowful news, arguments, and tears.

Not too soon after this incident, a fight between a man and a male dwarf occurred in the Prancing Pony. The fight was quickly interrupted by the young watcher Essebrin. Syllea thought it was handled improperly by the watcher, but left when Dav asked her to go play outside next to the tavern. They talked and messed about before Syllea went back inside to see the outcome of the issue. She saw the dwarf being taken to jail by Essie. Syllea thought the man, who had started the fight, should’ve been going. She watched as the same man started being disrespectful to a woman incapable of hearing. Using sign language, a skill taught to her by her father, Syllea acted as a translation between the two. Taking a dislike to the man Syllea was snarky and rude, this caught the eye of Dem. He came to speak with the teen girl on her behavior and choice of words. Before Dem could speak Syllea made a poor excuse and broke Dem’s rule by fleeing from the Pony.

She stormed out the door and left to the Northern Bree-Fields. Climbing a tree to hide from wild animals and any passer-by. Syllea took out her daggers she had hidden inside her worn boots and began to throw them into the bark of the tree at her feet. Within a few minutes, she began to sob. Syllea tried to stop the flow of tears but that only made them fall faster. She cried for Lancthis, a child she had never met. She cried for Dem, Dav, and her long-dead mutt Sidle. When her thoughts came to her parents she screamed out with a piercing cry, “Mama! Papa!” and curled into herself, the tears flowing heavier as birds took flight, startled by the outcry. A few hours later, when all her tears had dried Syllea jumped out of the tree. Using her daggers she carved her parents’ names into the trunk of the tree as well as Lancthis’ and Sidle.

Stepping back inside the tavern Syllea immediately felt Dem’s eyes on her. Ignoring him she went to sit at an empty table, and Dem left his post on the stairway walking to the same table, towering over the girl. Dem seemed furious but frightened. Syllea apologized in a whisper and was given a talking to, promising never to leave the Pony again unless given permission. Dem then forced Syllea into a hug where he began to cry, Syllea forced her tears away.

A few days later another murder occurred. Egfor’s lover, Mortermon, had been killed. Syllea knew Eg had already lost one lover, but two... She knew this was too much for anyone to handle. When Syllea went to bed later that day she took out her rose-colored writing book and wrote Mortermon’s name. A reminder to carve his name into her tree. Before she closed her eyes to the nightmares that awaited her, she made a promise to Mort that she would watch over Eg.

That night Syllea dreamt of walking through a field of corpses and being dragged to her death by her mother, father, Lancthis, and Mortermon. She woke up with a scream, loud enough to send Barliman Butterbur rushing to her room.

The past days had changed Syllea, a smile was rare and her sweet laugh was even rarer. She seemed to be closed off from those she loved, only allowing her to be touched if the other needed the physical contact. She didn’t allow herself to cry, tears didn’t bring back those who were lost. Syllea still had more to do.

The next day Syllea went to see how Egfor was faring while he was in the Pony. Seeing he wasn’t doing well she hugged him and whispered that Mortermon was still with them, watching them, caring for them. This caused the strong man to breakdown and cry. Syllea felt her tears forming, so excused herself to talk to a new friend, Abble, and order herself a tea.

Before a full conversation could start, a woman began shouting at Egfor for crying and showing his grief. Syllea, without excusing herself from Abble, stormed over to the woman, Narys, and began shouting at her. Syllea’s blood was boiling and it took all her strength not to strike the woman. Narys didn’t even seem phased by the teen and Essie came to interfere. Syllea made an empty threat before storming out to get some air, standing by the door outside the tavern.

Dav came out soon after, having witnessed the whole situation, seeing Syllea throwing rocks across the street. He tried to comfort Syllea by holding her hand, but the restriction of movement only angered the girl. Though she didn’t show her anger to Dav, she just pulled her hand away. Dav kept trying until Syllea caved in. Dem came out and hugged the teen from behind, but that didn’t last long. Syllea pulled away saying she was going to bed. She proceeded to run into her room in the Pony. Syllea threw her books and writings across the room out of anger before falling into a dreamless sleep. The following days Syllea was scarcely seen out of her room and when she was could only handle other people for a few minutes.

This is not the end of events for the girl, and she knows this. Maybe, one day, the joyful girl people used to know will return.