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The Slave Trade
by Tilera Orgos
SíVala's parents were very poor while its mother seemed attached to it, S'Vala's father was only interested in money. He didnít think he could cope with a child and a wife to feed and care for, being a miner living in poverty. SíVala was sold into slavery when it was just a small child. It was raised in a cell by a Khajiiti female called Melbaka.
Melbaka cared for it as though S'Vala was its own and SíVala never thought otherwise. It lived a relatively good life for a slave but when it was a little older, it was sold for the second time, to a man who bought slaves in the dozens and forced them to wait on him in his manor or work in the fields as all slaves should. SíVala tried its best to please him but he had expected things it was simply incapable of doing.
In the end he decided it was best to sell S'Vala to a woman called Nimpha Orgos who owned a plantation, where she already kept eleven slaves. SíVala went to the plantation hoping to befriend the slaves already there; however, when it arrived, it found life very difficult.
The slaves were not by Lady Orgos herself, but by the slave driver whom they called Erga. Erga was lenient on those slaves that did their jobs obediently but brutal with those that disobeyed. The rules on the Orgos plantation were strict and the slaves had to be in their huts at dusk, and out again at dawn. Those who were late or slow were beaten.
During harvest SíVala collected crops each day by obediently checking every plant for crops, and when it had finished, SíVala would report directly to Erga who would check through the dayís work. If S'Vala had worked sufficiently hard, the crops would be taken away from and it would be given rations for the day. If SíVala did not produce enough, the crops would still be taken away, and it would go to its shack with no food for the evening; sometimes when this happened, the others slaves would share food with it.
After a few years of working well on the plantation, SíVala began to earn the trust of Erga and was allowed to take the crops down to the town for sale. It would be given the crops ready for sale and set off down the path over the bridge and out of the plantation. S'Vala would return with the money to Erga, who would take it in exchange for rations. SíVala would do this on the last day of the week during harvest.
After some time SíVala began to get bored of its life, so it asked Erga if it would be ok for it to go for a walk on the days it went into town. Erga, who was unjustifiably kind to slaves, said this was fine as long as SíVala returned by the time when Lady Orgos came out to ensure none of her slaves were misbehaving. She didnít do this every day, but now and then she would so they had to be prepared.
On one of its walks, SíVala came across a Khajiit male in need of help. He was suffering at the side of the road and sounded hoarse, as though it had been lying there for hours before being found. The male Khajiit called to it as S'Vala approached and it was clear to S'Vala that the male was in desperate need of assistance.
SíVala knew that Erga wouldnít mind if it was late as a result of helping a dying man, but Lady Orgos was another matter. It made the decision to help to the male, and guided him slowly along the road to town. It only took them about 20 minutes to arrive and others were willing to help when they did.
As soon as the man was in safe hands, SíVala went back to the plantation as fast as it could only to find the slaves standing in a line, with Erga and Lady Orgos examining them. As it came running into the plantation, Lady Orgos looked up, her brow furrowed and she looked furious. One of the other slaves turned around to see what Lady Orgos was looking at and Erga hit it quickly with her rod. SíVala froze for a moment; as all unsure beasts are want to do. It looked to Erga for support but Erga merely glared back with angry eyes. Eventually Lady Orgos turned around and walked back towards the manor. Erga stared at SíVala for a moment before turning and following Lady Orgos into the manor.
SíVala waited outside the hut by the fire for hours for Erga to come. It knew that its death was all but assured, as Lady Orgos would surely not tolerate such behavior from a slave. For a moment SíVala took its gaze from the manor on the hill and stared deep into the fire with sorrowful, but pitiful, eyes and could feel the heat from the fire and smell the smoke.
The moon had risen for several hours when Erga emerged from the manor. SíVala watched as she came down the hill towards the hut where SíVala had waited. Erga stopped in front of it, stared into SíValaís eyes for a moment, then shook her head and walked slowly into her own hut. SíVala looked at the ground, feeling the fear welling up inside. S'Vala felt its legs moving, its feet pounding the ground and the wind in its fur as it ran as fast as it could over the hills and out of the plantation. It didnít know where it was going; it just let its feet carry it along and thus didnít follow the path; it just ran through the soft grass, past the trees until, suddenly, it stopped. SíVala stood at the brink of a high cliff, looking down onto the town where it had left the man earlier that day.
S'Vala was unsure of what to do but used its Khajiit like reflexes to move down the cliff and into town. It stopped on a large rock, jutting out of the cliff face and jumped onto a balcony of a building. It carefully opened the unlocked door and crept inside. There was no one in the room S'Vala entered, but it could see a dresser presumably full of clothes in the dark. As it searched through the dresser for something suitable to conceal its slave bracer, it stumbled across a key that S'Vala took. Eventually, it decided on a lovely robe which fit perfectly. S'Vala decided that if it really was going to do this, and stay hidden, it would have to look like a free beast. It knew that the people looking for it would be looking for a slave, not a wealthy Khajiit.
S'Vala left through the door it had come in, climbed over the balcony and down to the ground, trying not to get its new robe dirty. It then stood up tall, something which as a slave it had never been able to do before, and walked through the town to the inn where it had left the injured man earlier that day.
S'Vala hoped that no one would recognize it, having changed its hair as best it could, before leaving the house. It rented a room with some money it had stolen, and bought some bread and a bottle of Mazte. It looked around the room for somewhere to sit and noticed the male it had saved sitting alone at a table, eating. S'Vala walked over to him and joined it at the table. They talked late into the night about many things, though they were of small importance. The male said its name was Codus. S'Vala asked him if he was married and he replied that he was not, but there was one with whom he would consider marriage. He referred to a Khajiit female, a slave, who had saved his life just that day and whom he had never had a chance to thank. SíVala knew it could not tell him who it was for fear of someone overhearing but was touched by the man.
It slept until well into the following morning and when it woke it felt strange. It had slept on a proper bed for the first time, drank its first bottle of alcohol, eaten dinner with a respectable free Khajiit male with whom it normally would not have spoken, and was wearing proper clothing. S'Vala never had felt better in its whole life, but such a life would not last for a runaway slave and SíVala knew that.
S'Vala left its room and went down the stairs to eat breakfast and spoke to the woman at the bar about Codus. The Bartender told S'Vala that Codus had left early that morning to go to the Orgos plantation to find the slave that had saved his life. SíVala gasped, dropped its breakfast, and ran out of the inn. It ran as fast as its legs would carry its back to the plantation. The robe was hot and was slowing S'Vala's progress so S'Vala tore it off. It ran through the fields, past all the other slaves who looked up astonishingly at it. It slid to a stop in front of Erga, who looked even more surprised than the other slaves to see S'Vala and asked Erga if a Khajiiti man had come into the plantation. Erga said that such a Khajiit had gone into the house only a moment before. SíVala looked horrified at the house just as Lady Orgos was walking out with Codus following her. Erga pushed SíVala back as Lady Orgos approached. Lady Orgos ordered Erga to line the slaves up.
SíVala stood in the line among the other slaves and Lady Orgos stepped up to it and pointed to the hut. SíVala began to walk away, looking to Codus for some sort of recognition but he did not respond. Lady Orgos was well aware of SíValaís attempt to escape and gave Erga special orders once Codus had left with what he thought was his slave savior.
In the middle of the night SíVala was awoken by Erga grabbing it by the scruff of its neck and dragging it from the shack. The other slaves stood in a circle around something which SíVala had never seen before. It was a block of wood stained by the blood of the slaves that had died upon it. SíVala shrieked when it saw and struggled to get away. It pushed through the other slaves and started to run but Erga jumped on it from behind and dragged it back to the circle by its feet. SíVala knew at this point that struggling would only serve to lengthen its misery. It was going to die this day and it knew that the more it struggled, the more Lady Orgos would enjoy the show. The second time Erga approached the block with it; SíVala did not resist, and knelt down, placed its head across the block and embraced its fate as all slaves must. Erga raised the axe high above SíValaís neck and that is the story of S'Vala.
The nightís events were over and the rebel slave had been dealt with. Erga never trusted another slave with any privileges again. SíVala was gone; its bad blood drained out into the soil and peace was restored on the Orgos plantation.
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