The only thing she remembers is the warm embrace of a raven haired woman. Through blurred vision, her newborn eyes could barely make out her mother’s loving features. She remembers hearing a faint cry, alongside hers. It was that of her sister, who had arrived but minutes before her….and the soft soothing beat of this woman’s heart, who was cradling them. Who was this woman? A memory. Mirage tries to hold onto it, but cannot remember anything more of this moment in time. For it was not long after this union that these rare twins were whisked away in the night. The last sound she remembers is a cry of despair…. cries, from a familiar voice. That of the woman to whom they were embraced… and then, never saw again…. mother.
Years have passed. Sorrow did not. In the life of a slave, old cries of despair are swiftly replaced with new ones. The memories play on, night after night. In her dreams, Mirage re-lives them all; and among them, one terrible night, re-lived far more often than the rest.
“PLEASE!!!!” Mirage cries. “IT WAS MY DOING…NOT HERS…CHOOSE ME”. Tears streaming down her blood covered cheek, she strains, pulling as hard as she can against the barbed chains. She can feel them painfully digging deeper into her wounded flesh with each pull, yet she fights on, hearing the tortured cries of Mirahna from mere feet away. “Mir…Mirage, don’t.” Her voice falters, breaking from every ounce of fear behind each word. Yet, even with terror etched upon her beautiful face… knowing the fate that was to befall her… she stands tall, head held high. Seeing her beaten, restrained sister, the other half of her soul, she knows she must be strong, for Mirage’s sake. Unmoving, even with the weight of the spiked shackles that bound her wrists, neck, and ankles, she tries to smile, forcing it beyond the pain, smiling for her sister one last time. She ignores the barbs, the terrible spiked collar, and the uncaring chains. In her heart, Mirahna knows these will not be needed for what is to happen to her now.
“Master…..please… take ME… I, beg of you…I’m…the one…” Mirage desperately whispers, her voice hoarse from beatings and tortures unnumbered. Her breath quickens as she watches the monstrous dragonborn, Vahiir. His ebony hide adorned with fine silks, he slowly stalks closer to Mirahna, looming over her. A hideous chuckle rasps from under his breath… as he speaks, the foul, acrid smells of acid and sulfur fill Mirage’s nostrils.
“It’s a shame,” Vahiir whispers, as his claws slowly trace a path through Mirahna’s hair and down her neck, halting just below her collarbone. Mirahna whimpers, gasps of pain eking from her lips, as his talons cut shallow lines into her soft flesh. Mirage stares hard, pleading with her bright emerald eyes. “Please…” she stammers to Vahiir, but her desperation falls upon cruel ears. Her master’s menacing smile widens. “such a pretty thing…. paid such a high price, and yet got so little use.” his words slice deeper into Mirage’s soul than any of the barbs in her flesh. As Vahiir inhales deeply of Mirahna’s dark hair, the deepest ache of dread begins to climb its way into Mirage’s throat. She had been punished many times. The bite of claws, chains, whips, and acid scars borne upon her back were like a canvas. But no amount of torment had prepared her for the unspeakable judgement that was about to befall her sweet sister.
“Mirage….be my strength….” Mirahna, with every ounce of strength she has left, reaches a hand out for her sister, her arm struggling against Vahiir’s draconic brawn. “Be my strength…I will be with you… as… we have always been… as one.” Her words are hushed, the massive dragonborn’s claws wrapped tight around her throat. As Mirage reaches out, trying with every ounce of effort she has, to grasp her sister’s hand, the montrous beast unleashes his acid breath on Mirahna’s body. All color fades from Mirage’s face, frozen in horror, as Mirahna cries out in an inhuman howl; her flesh violently bubbling, boiling, melting and sloughing away from bone.
“MASTER STOP, PLEASE, NOOOO!!! STOPPP… NOT MIRAHNA, PLEASE I’LL DO ANYTHING, PLEASE!!!” Mirage, fighting even harder against the chains, feels the familiar shadow of her sister’s suffering. For this was not the first time they had felt each other’s punishments; such is the strong connection between twins of shared birth. Even so, she had felt nothing so horrific as this. Vahiir grabs the writhing, collapsed form of Mirahna, his claws digging in enough to choke the remnant of her pitiful cries. “Such a pretty thing, a shame to waste such beauty. However, I did buy two of them… so who really needs two of the same toy? Gwahahahahaha…”
Everything happened so fast… and yet, every second felt like an eternity. The pain was overwhelming. Mirage sinks to her knees, reeling from the tremendous pain which she shares with her twin. In her ears, Mirahna’s unnatural scream rings everlasting; her eyes bear witness as Vahiir rears his back his monstrous head, inhales deeply, and then unleashes a torrent of vile acid, completely engulfing what’s left of her sister’s withered body. Vision clouding with tears, wrists throbbing as she struggles against the terrible barbed chains, she can almost feel herself dying, as she watches Mirahna’s beautiful face slowly melt away. Her cries, her wretched, crumpled gasps for air, grow softer.
“NOOOOO, MIRAHHNAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!…Mir.. ahna…..”
Cries of desperation give way to uncontrollable sobs of grief. She can feel the other half of her soul dying. She knows, as the fading grows more complete, and Miranha’s breathing slows… stops. She feels a sudden, sharp tear in the fabric of her being; a terrible sundering, which takes Mirage’s breath away from the inside out. Then, in the last light where her sister should be… nothing. Silence. Complete silence… Agony, unending. Mirages vision blurs as she sinks to the floor. As darkness begins to creep into the edges of her vision, a horrible, bloodcurdling laugh erupts from the monstrous beast of vile, black scales.
…am I dying, too? Mirages thinks, as her vision grows darker and body grows heavier, breath quickening. All of a sudden, through her tear and blood-stained eyes… red… that darkness, turning a dark shade of RED. She remembers the sound of a low growl, slowly growing more violent. Then… a rush of heat, building, pulsing within her, coursing through her veins… like liquid fire. The RAGE, sweeping through her, replaces any and all sense of pain. The growl becomes louder, as she feels her strength returning… no, not returning. Beyond strength, stronger, and even stronger still. The growl erupts, VIOLENTLY, becoming a loud, raging cry …coming from me? Yes…. as pure anger flows through her flesh.
Vahiir’s laugher starts to fade as Mirage pulls one last time on her restraints, breaking her heavy iron chains with sudden ease, as if they had been forged from damp straw. He steps back, caught off balance, as she snaps each limb free: first her arms, then her legs. “YOUUUU……" she howls in an unholy fury, as she finds herself leaping full force into Vahiir, knocking him back almost 10 feet. Surprised by this sudden strength from his vengeful slave, the hulking dragonborn braces himself as Mirage charges in once more; horns lowered, eyes glimmering ruby red, MURDER writ loudly upon her heart. She bellows in animalistic savagery as her elongated claws strike, again and again and again, each slash tearing dark scales from his chest, his shoulders, his face. He is for a moment, taken aback… but then, upon seeing drops of own blood speckling the floor, he becomes sadistically amused.
Mirage lunges again, all too recklessly, but this time, he is ready for her. Viciously grappling one of her arms, he flings her bodily against the cool marble wall, his other talon pinning her in place by the nape of her neck. Digging his claws into her pale, rose-colored skin, he coughs a shallow spray of caustic fumes onto her exposed back. Mirage cries out in searing pain as the acid burns deep rivulets into her flesh. The stinging bite of it cracks through her senses, as the red fades and the heaviness of her true fatigue returns. Vahiir lets out another menacing chuckle as he senses Mirage’s limbs grow limp, tired… feeble. “You had a new spirit about you… I’m glad I chose the right toy to keep. I knew the other was weak, but this…” His eyes searched her sweat drenched body with newfound hunger. “This will be even sweeter tonight.”
As Vahiir grabs Mirage’s burned shoulder, again digging his claws into her soft flesh, Mirage makes no sound, the last of her strength having given way to exhaustion. Tears silently fall, staining her bruised cheek, all sounds and sensations fading away as Vahiir drags her across the stone floor toward his chambers. Knowing full well what is to come, but having no strength to resist any further… Mirage takes one last look seeing the crumpled heap of what was once her sister’s body as she is slowly dragged away.
“Mirahna…..” she whispers, before her vision fades to black, her exhausted, tortured body unable to cope. The last sound she hears, echoing forever in her memory, is the slam of Vahiir’s chamber door closing….