Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Sundas, 17th of Last Seed, 4th Era, Year 201
This is my third entry for today but I believe that it is important to get these things down for myself. I do not know what the future will bring but I am certain that the coming of the dragons will be a mater of history for a long time. As one of the survivors of Helgen, my story of how I was in Helgen and how I escaped its destruction will be a part of that and I want to give my own account before some historian twists it to his own ends.
The next month for me were a type of suffering that the daedric prince Mehrunes Dagon would have taken a sadistic sort of pleasure in. Naomi and I were stripped naked and had our hands tied behind our backs then each of us was given a collar and we were then tied together by a length of rope collar to collar. I had no illusions about escape at this point as we were escorted by at least four men at all times. There was also no time to be self conscious about our nudity because we walked for quite a ways before darkness fell and the clan stopped to make camp for the night.
Not that stoppling meant any rest for us. The men were in a celebratory mood and we were part of the entertainment. The chieftain took charge of us and I quickly discovered that he planned on using us as a special reward for his men. That night though all men were to be rewarded. I will spare you the details of that evening other than to say it was the one and only time I cried about being raped. Thereafter I blocked it out; I had to in order to survive. I would continue in vain to try to fight my rapists off for another week but in the end I realize if I cooperated I received less of a beating by the chieftain. I would for the next month adapt in order to survive but I never gave them the satisfaction of thinking I liked it. I simply went through the motions and acted bored which wasn’t to far from the truth.
The next day we were stood to our feet and we arrived at the bandits hideout, a cave with a small entrance that was well hidden. It was a short walk from running water – a twenty foot waterfall that emptied into a small pond. It also was near to a well traveled road. The cave itself had two chambers that nature had carved out out a long time ago. The first was large chamber that contained the main living space for the bandits. Bedrolls and chests were scattered across the room along with sacks and bags of all sizes. It could have probably held twice as many bandits.
The second chamber was further in and was the quarters of the chieftain. On one side was the eight foot by four foot cage that would be our home for the next month. It had some straw for bedding and a bucket with a wooden top in the corner to do the duty of chamber pot. The bars were a iron grid where no opening was large enough to stick your head through. The door was outfitted with a fairly complex lock and the chieftain kept the key around his neck on a chain at all times.
It was through the chieftain that I learned what had happened to my father. The chieftain was meeting with his two best men and was cursing my father when one of them pointed out that he had died like a Nord. My father had apparently pulled his sword very early in the fighting and had cut down six of the bandits before the chieftain himself brought him down by attacking him from behind. I cried later about this but I at least knew I was right.
Our captivity became a certain routine every day. The chieftain would feed us breakfast. We ate well for the most part as because of the war the bandits were doing well because of less road patrols. After breakfast we were led out to do chores. We swept and cleaned the cave out every day, emptied all the buckets and then were taken down to the pond to wash the men’s clothes. At this time, the chieftain had ordered that we take a bathe under the waterfall to keep ourselves clean. I can’t say this was unpleasant. It was when the sun started to go down that life became unbearable.
Almost every day at least half of the bandits went out to raid. They always came back with something – food, gold or other loot. The two bandits that did the best work that day received Naomi and I as a reward. After that the chieftain enforced a strict rotation where then we would be passed off to the two bandits next in line for their turn at us. Finally, one of us would warm the chieftain’s bed before he would place both of us back in our cage. In short, it became routine for each of us to be used as an outlet for the bandits’ lust two to three times a night.
The chieftain would feed us the leftovers from supper. He never trusted us to cook as he had a paranoia about poison. His final act though before he let us go to sleep was to beat us. The severity depended on how much he felt we had been defiant to him so at first the beatings were harsh but as time went by a slap across the face or a fist in the gut was enough. I could have burned him with my fire spell but I knew that would only mean my death, so I kept my spells as secret.
Naomi and I at first clung to each other. At night we cuddled close to keep warm. I had the additional advantage of knowing my healing spell which I would use when the chieftain was with his men. The problem was it could only heal me. Naomi had to basically heal naturally and I had a spell to keep me at full strength. It meant that she became far more compliant to the chieftain than I was. Then she started doing something that turned my stomach, she started flirting with the bandits.
I at first figured it was a survival thing but the mannerisms she used in this flirtation were the same as I used to see her use with Bronn. When I confronted her about it, she told me plainly she had never really loved Bronn, but simply conceded he was the only option in the village. Both of us talked escape at first but then Naomi stopped altogether once she started this flirtation. But finally I saw an opportunity to escape one day as we were cleaning the main chamber. One of the bandits had left a lockpick laying out on the top of his end table. The two bandits left behind that day to guard us were busy with Naomi as she was chatting them up and flirting with them. I palmed the lockpick and placed it as discretely as I could into the one place a woman can still hide things when she is naked. When we were removing the chamber pot bucket from our own cage, I slipped the pick into the straw I used for my bedding.
That night while we were sitting in our cage I revealed my plan to Naomi of how we could escape. She looked at the pick in disbelief but nodded. That night, after I was given as reward to a big Nord for his brutality in taking out an armed caravan guard and passed through rotation to one of the guards who stayed behind that day, I sat in our cage, pick in hand. Naomi found herself in the chieftain’s bed that night. Strangely enough, when he was done with her, he put her back in the cage without a slap. He fed us and went to bed. Once I could tell he was fast asleep, I made my move.