Cascade grunts as the hulking orc overseer plants an enormous boot in Cas’ chest. He is sent sprawling to the floor, head smacking against the rock and leaving him disoriented.
"What did you say, worm?!" The orc snarls at him. Cascade gathers his wits and looks up at the giant, muscled creature. Cas sneers, "I said that you smell like a river of kodo shit. I would appreciate it if you kept your distance when you beat me."
Cas flashes a cocky grin, “And you hit like a woman.”
The orc roars and stalks over to Cascade. The overseer plants his foot on Cas’ chest and presses down. “I will crush you for your insolence!” The overseer bellows.
"Hrnnggh…" Cas sputters, as the air is forced out of his lungs.
Just as Cascade’s vision starts to turn red there is a flash of movement from the corner of his eye. A Sin’dorei woman in tattered leathers appears at his side and kneels before the overseer.
The overseer glares at the woman as she speaks, “Please, master. Forgive him. He is dehydrated and his mind is not right. Let me get him some water and we will return to work. He will be no more trouble for you.”
Nearby, a prisoner tips over a mine cart, spilling crystals of various sizes onto the cave floor. The overseer growls, lifting his foot from Cascade to go inspect the fallen mine cart. “Make it quick, worm. If he insults me again I will have both of your heads.” The orc snarls, striding over to the poor prisoner that spilled the crystals.
Cas coughs and wheezes, clutching at his chest. The Sin’dorei woman slides an arm around his shoulders and helps him sit up. “Come on. We need to be productive or he’ll come back.” The woman whispers.
"Screw him… I won’t be their slave." Cas growls. "We have no other choice right now. All of us… We’re trapped." The woman says in a defeated tone.
"There’s always a choice. We can defy them." Cas says, heatedly. "They’ll kill you. You’re just another body to them. Please…" The woman reaches out a hand and presses it gently against Cascade’s cheek.
Her fingers felt soft and slender despite being coated in dirt. He turned his head to get a look at her. She had dark hair, somewhere between blue and black. It was long, wild and hung around her shoulders. She had a lovely face. Youthful and sweet. Her skin looked soft beneath the smudges of dirt. Her eyes looked older than her face led him to believe. They were gentle and tired. A shade of green that reminded him of a vibrant sea of grass.
His resolve wavered beneath her gaze. “I’ve seen enough death in this place. Just do as they say… For now.” She pleaded. Cas sighs, nodding slowly. She helps him to his feet and he stumbles a bit.
The woman presses against his side and smiles. “Easy. Lean on me. I can take the weight.” She helps him over to a nearby watering trough. He glares at it. They were treated like animals.
They kneel before the trough and the woman cups some water in her hand. She presses it to his lips. “I can manage on my own.” Cas says, pulling away. “Please, let me…” She says softly, pressing her hand to his mouth again. He sips lightly, coughing a bit afterward. “Thank you, uh, miss…” He mutters.
"Sarael. Sarael Duskfeather." She says, smiling softly. "Cascade." He grunts. She quirks an eyebrow at him. "Ratheras Farstrider." He groans. She smiles, "A ranger, then?" Cas shakes his head, "No, I’m a Knight in the Order. A Light-wielder. It’s a long story."
Sarael nods, “I’d like to hear it. Your story. When we have the time.” She cups more water and drizzles it over his head. He watches her with a curious expression. “And I would like to hear yours… You must be a healer.” Cas muses.
Sarael pauses, smiling sadly. “No. I’m afraid not. We can trade stories later. We’d best get back to work. Those crystals aren’t going to mine themselves.” Cas nods and she helps him back to his feet.
Cascade shambles off, leaning on Sarael. “I don’t know how much use I’ll be for the rest of the day in this condition. The overseer won’t like it.” Cas says.
Sarael smiles up at him, “We’ll manage. I’ll be right here. And I’ll deal with him if it comes to that.” Cas returns the smile as they return to mining crystals for the monsters keeping them prisoner to imbue with their fel magic. The thought of what they would be used for made Cascade ill. He would make them pay. Somehow.