"Contract with Hel" is the Season 3 finale, written on February 14, 2015.
NOTE: THIS THREAD HAS BEEN GIVEN A TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
Orskaf and his regiment of soldiers appear at the camp walls. Orskaf first encounters his grandson Blunt, whom he hugs, and whom he learns is spying on the rebels. Orskaf then hails Haddock and asks for himself and four soldiers to enter and speak to him. Haddock grants them entrance and tells them to meet with him in his throne room immediately.
While Haddock and Stonegit themselves are heading to the throne room, Stonegit informs the king that the Warden has left him permanently now. He also tells the king that they should match their guards with Orskaf's in case negotiations do not precede peacefully. Haddock snaps that such precautions will be taken and that Stonegit should learn his place, not giving recommendations to his monarch.
Orskaf, when he enters the throne room, recognizes his murderer Stonegit immediately. Stonegit immediately becomes nervous, and Haddock becomes infuriated by Orskaf because the man begins by insulting himself and his bodyguard. Orskaf suggests Haddock has abused Stonegit and that he is not at all a king. He even violently throws Stonegit aside when the young man attempts to stop him. Orskaf prods the king enough that Haddock pulls out his sword and tries to fight him, though that is halted quickly when he announces that Haddock's aunt Eleanora signed over the Wilderwest to Orskaf and Odin.
Orskaf produces a contract for Haddock to sign, too, although he says they must meet one-on-one, moving everyone else out of the room. Although Stonegit silently motions Haddock not to do so, Haddock agrees to Orskaf's condition, believing that this will protect Stonegit, and that he can protect himself with his sword from Orskaf if need be. However, Orskaf tells his guards to escort Stonegit out of the room... and rape him while they were at it.
Stonegit was dragged, fighting and screaming for Haddock to flee, into a side room. Haddock, frightened, rushed to defend Stonegit, but Orskaf's men barred the door and Haddock could not enter. As Orskaf informed Haddock of the particulars of the contract with Odin, the king leaned against the door to the side room, hearing Stonegit's futile struggles from within. Haddock demanded shakily that Orskaf make it stop. Orskaf, in response, tells Haddock he is nothing, and that he will know it by being branded a slave. Orskaf takes a heated iron and presses the s-shaped slavemark into Haddock's left temple, then tells him he can stop everything if he signs a contract. Mera enters right as her husband is branded.
At that moment Hel drags Haddock into a portal and tells him she can protect all of them if he allies with her. In this moment of pressure, the king relents and agrees to Hel's bargain. Orskaf realizes this immediately and angrily calls all his men to leave. They shove out Stonegit, who is terribly beaten, and leave. Mera rushes to the sides of both Haddock and Stonegit, though Stonegit shoves Mera away, stumbling out to be by himself.
Full Text Edit
Orskaf Donz: The small branch of Odin soldiers filed up to the camps walls. They requested entrance politely, even though they knew they could not be denied. After some information passing, the gates were reluctantly opened. Orskaf, leading the way, marched into the center of the area, looking up at the fortress. His tromping boots came to a halt as he held up a fist, the soldiers behind him stopping where they stood, awaiting orders. He slowly lowered his hand, his breath inhaling as he saw a very familiar, tall, strong looking figure. “You there!” he called, pointing a finger. “Come here!”
“Me sir?” Blunt said, raising his eyebrows but looking uncertain.
“Yes,” Orskaf growled. “Come closer.”
Blunt looked around at the people watching, and then slowly approached, but stayed out of arms reach. “Yeeees?” he asked. “Can I help you…man with the freaky helmet whom I don’t know?”
“Don’t know?” Orskaf said, and then shook his head. “Naw…you know me boy,” he reached up, taking off his helmet, and Blunt’s stomach dropped like a stone, his eyes widening. Orskaf smiled at him. “Blunt…” he said, spreading his arms. “Oh don’t worry…I’m not a ghost.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of…” Blunt said apprehensively, starring at him in shock as his one foot slowly eased back away from his grandfather.
Orskaf hissed a small laugh. “Still a smart ass, ah but who cares this time, I’m happy to see you,” he said, taking a step forward and then frowning as Blunt shot back a pace. He scoffed slightly, the smile only dropping a little. He reached out a firm hand, grapping Blunt’s shoulder tightly. There was a tense moment, and then he slowly began pulling the man towards him. Blunt’s feet slid on the icy ground slightly as Orskaf pulled him over, finally giving him a small jerk and wrapping his arms around him. Blunt winched slightly as the metal pinched his skin, every fiber in his body wanting to pull away from this man. Orskaf let go, it was perhaps the only time Blunt had ever received a hug from his grandfather, the experience had not been a comfortable one. “What are you doing here?” Orskaf asked, still gripping his shoulders tightly. “Let me see…aye…you’ve grown.” His lips pressed together, and his eyes squinted, and he pushed Blunt back lightly. “Well answer the question boy, what are you doing here? Are you spying on this batch of parasites?”
Blunt hushed him quickly holding out a hand.
Eyes widening, Orskaf reached over, grabbing his hand firmly, the metal digging into Blunt’s fingers. “Don’t hush me.” He said dangerously. “I will not have your disrespect ruin this moment now answer my question.”
“Yes,” Blunt said to him in a barely audible whisper, glancing nervously over at the crowd as his knees buckled from his hand bones pushing together. “Yes of course that’s what I’m here for, I’m gaining their trust, I need you to pretend I said ‘no’ or my cover will be blown.”
Orskaf tilted his head, and then released him. “Good boy,” he said, slapping the side of his shoulder hard. He grunted once, nodding. “Good…now, I want you to wait here, I expect to talk with you when I am done with negotiations.” He shoved past him, placing his helmet over his head again.
Blunt stared at him as he began walking towards the fortress. “How are you even…?” he said quietly, his breath catching a little. “But-“ he said and Orskaf turned on him.
“Not one step!” he snarled, and then looked at his men. “Keep him here if he’s not mature enough to stay on his own. Blunt…don’t you be a disappointment.”
Orskaf looked up at the balcony of the fortress, seeing Haddock’s form emerging from the interior, looking down at him. There was another figure there, a smaller man with tossled brown hair, but Orskaf could not make out his features. “A diplomatic mission!” he called up to him. “I’m bringing four unarmed men with me to ensure my safety. The rest of them will remain here, out of your concern. Permit me accesses?”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock stared down from the balcony at the gathered men, cursing to himself. If he had been able to resume kingly duties days before, he would have been able to receive reports from scouts and prepare for this. But the Warden had just released him, and these men consequently seemed to materialize from nowhere to him. Good Odin’s sceptre, can’t I have one day without drama and misery pounding my life? One hour?
He glared suspiciously at the exchange between the helmeted man and Blunt before addressing the man who had asked him for access. “Access granted,” the king announced. “I will have my men at the gates accompany you to the throne room immediately.”
He turned around, cape whirling out behind him as he moved, and trod past Stonegit without a word to him. Instead, the king mumbled to himself, “This better be good news.”
He knew in his heart it was not.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit had been a little more than disturbed at Haddock’s reaction to Grey, Greg, and Warren’s confessions. And his heart tightened as he thought about addressing Haddock while he was in such a state, but he had to; lives could be at risk. “My King,” he said, ducking his head as he walked beside him. “I have good news and a recommendation…The good news is, the Warden no longer resides in me. She transferred to a synthetic vessel and I sent her away…she can no longer harm you here.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock stopped momentarily to look at Stonegit, face completely expressionless, perhaps a little disturbingly cold. “That is good news indeed,” he intoned. “I am thankful to hear of it and hope she truly is gone forever. My trust has been played with far too much presently.”
He began striding forward again, walking alongside Stonegit. “As for a recommendation, I am not one who simply takes it from anyone who wishes to chat. You would do well to learn your place.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit gulped once. “Of course my King, I am trying.” he said. “But lives could be at stake. The soldiers down there are mixed with our people, they are defenseless. Our guards could match their numbers, if anything they should be stationed down there to prevent a slaughter in case diplomatic relations fail.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "So you say it anyway. Of course." The king growled. A split second flash of guilt crossed his face, realizing he was treating Stonegit a bit harshly, but in a quick moment his face again was a deadpan and dark as before. "Such precautions will be taken," Haddock assured Stonegit, slightly less gruffly.
Orskaf Donz: The guards filed out, emptying into the courtyard and facing the newly arrived soldiers. Suspicion and tension was in the air, but there was just enough threat from either side that neither of the groups tried anything brash.
Orskaf filed into the room, the four unarmed soldiers accompanying him. He placed his arms behind his back. “My name is Judge D-” he stopped, seeing Stonegit. “I’ll be damned…” he said, walking forward.
After he had only taken a few paces Stonegit strode forward, holding out his ax. “I believe that is far enough…kindly keep a respectable distance from the King.”
Orskaf tilted his head, and then chuckled slightly. “Well…look at you,” he motioned towards Stonegit’s scared face and hands, grinning under his helmet. He looked up at Haddock. “So…which of these scars did you have to give this cur before he learned to keep his tongue tied?”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock’s hands slammed down on both sides of the throne. He stood up indignantly, raising first at the man, and snarled, “I would have you know I would not treat a single one of my people so despicably. Why come you here if only to insult me? State your purpose, and if you so much as speak one more word in that prior vein, we have no purpose convening.”
Orskaf Donz: "How dare you talk to me that way…" Orskaf said in a low voice. "You clearly have no idea of what my disposition is nor do you know yours." he paced away from Stonegit, hands behind his back. He pointed a finger at Haddock. "I won’t bother letting you lay false claim to who you are either. Your name is Gareth, you think your the leader of the Wilderwest when in all reality you are nothing more than a disowned rebel who murdered his own father. And yet you claim legitimacy to a throne, even as gods walk the earth now. Pathetic."
"I think King Haddock has had enough of you," Stonegit growled.
Orskaf turned to him. “I will not take orders, from you…you…miserable, murderous, dragon stealing child!” he roared, tearing off his helmet and throwing it at Stonegit, causing the boy to duck.
Stonegit went white, almost dropping his ax. He stepped back, his eyes widening. “Orskaf?” he said in a whisper. He knelt down, whispering the the dragon hidden by his feet. “Snag…hide.” with a small snarl the dragon ran off into the side room.
Orskaf?…flashback of his and Stonegit’s confrontation came to him…Haddock had heard that name before.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "You know little of me, from what you have said." Haddock’s voice was low and and dangerous. "Who are you?" Haddock’s demanding voice trembled in fury, and he was barely restraining himself from attacking the man right then and there. His hand was already resting on his sword, though, knuckles white along the hilt. "Where before have I heard your name, and how do you know my guard?"
Orskaf Donz: "His name is Orskaf Donz…" Stonegit said, his heart beating rapidly. "He’s Blunt’s grandfather and Tal’s father…he’s the one who did this to me," he said, pointing to his head. "…He’s the one I killed."
"Damn straight," Orskaf said. "And you, boy, have been housing him."
"You need to leave," Stonegit said darkly.
Orskaf turned to him with fury. “Hold your tongue! I am a Judge, you are a poor criminal! You have no right, no place to speak to me with that kind of disrespect!” he walked towards him again, Stonegit readying his ax automatically. Orskaf leered at him. “I will not tolerate your insolence boy, so help me, I’ll put another dent in your head.” he snarled, shaking his head disapprovingly. “Clearly you have learned nothing.”
"You don’t scare me," Stonegit said.
There was a deadly pause, and then Orksaf smacked Stonegit’s ax aside, slapping him hard in the face and grabbing him by the throat. Stonegit struggled with him for a second before kicking the inside of his leg, shoving him back as Orskaf’s men pulled their charge away from Stonegit.
Orskaf back up, breathing heavily. “I won’t stand for this!” he yelled at Stonegit, and then turned his cold eyes on Haddock. “Like I said…you’re no King. Housing a murderer like this. I met your father, built him ship once, knowing you, you stole it for a joyride every so often. He was a King…you boy, are not the ruler of the Wilderwest.” he slowly placed a hand on his chest. “I am.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: It was a full-throated shout that erupted from the king’s throat. With unrestrained fury he screeched, “By the love of the gods, you monster, do not TOUCH him!” The sword was out in a flash from the sheathe. Haddock marched forward resolutely, murder intent in his eye, not for a second slowing as he growled, “I shall NOT let you touch my kingdom, shall not let you speak ill of myself or of him, and I mostcertainly will not let you treat a man like that in my kingdom. You come in peace? No. No, you do not indeed. And even if so, I would have no peace. I will have war with you. Pull out your weapon before I sheathe my blade in your chest.” And he lunged.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf dodged the swipe, pulling out a contract. “Continue this assault and I will have my men kill every last living thing in that courtyard! I am not here for peace I am here for results!” he threw the paper down. “See the evidence with your own eyes you rough! Your aunt surrendered the kingdom to me, and so help me, I will have you do the same for this place.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Not a single bit of fire left Haddock’s eyes even as Orskaf pulled out a contract. Instead, the king stood there trembling. “Eleanora? That prideful witch would do nothing of that sort. Most assuredly not to the likes of you.” But then his eyes caught the signature below him. He first frowned, and then his eyes widened. “What in Odin’s name! Give. me. answers.” And he demanded that while pointing the blade at Orskaf.
Orskaf Donz: "Address me with the respect I deserve and I will do so!" Orskaf yelled back. "Explanation or not my position is clear, so whether you like me personally or not you are obligated to speak civilly to me!"
"You’re no where near his caliber," Stonegit snarled. "Never will be either."
Orskaf stamped his foot hard. “Damn it I refuse to put up with your habitual and persistent ignorance you Elmiss scum!” he turned to Haddock. “I am unarmed. I will order my men out of this room, as long as you have that uncontrolled prick do the same…then…we can speak civilly. I’ll even hold my tongue despite your own lack of self control.” he heaved a sigh. “This is non negotiable. No one will die, and you will get all your answers. If you just, do, this…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "How can I trust your word, given what you’ve already done?" Haddock snarled.
Orskaf Donz: "Because so far I’ve been firm handed…not dishonest." Orskaf said. "I am unarmed, you have a sword. The advantage will be yours." he shrugged passively. "We’re just both familiar with a poor temper. So lets remove the…instigating factors shall we?"
Haddock was able to catch Stonegit’s eye, and the bodyguard shook his head slightly. The motion was probably in poor timing though, as Haddock had already proven to be in not mood to take orders from people today.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock frowned thoughtfully. He considered having all men but one of Orskaf’s and Stonegit leave, but then he considered how Orskaf had treated Stonegit. There’s a risk being alone with this man, but I won’t risk Stonegit either. My sword should protect me enough. ”Very well then,” he said. He ushered to Stonegit to leave with his right hand at the same time he sheathed his sword with his left. “It shall be done as you say.”
Orskaf Donz: "Had-" Stonegit’s breath caught. "My King," he breathed as he slowly, hesitatingly ,began walking walking out.
Orskaf sighed, slowly lowering himself into a seat, facing Haddock as he folded his hands. “Gentlemen,” he said to his guards. “Kindly remove yourselves to one of the side rooms and make sure Mr. Elmiss goes with you.” Orskaf’s eyes were locked on Haddock’s.
"And rape him while you're at it."
Stonegit turned, wide eyed, and then suddenly was struggling for all he was worth as the four soldiers ganged up on him, railroading him into a side room. “No! NO!” he shrieked, trying to keep a grip on his ax. “Run!” He yelled to Haddock. “Haddock run! Get out!” the door slammed shut, bolting from the inside.
Orskaf turned to Haddock calmly, as if he didn’t even hear the screams and struggles emanating from the other room. “Now then,” he sighed. “On to business.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "No." Haddock’s face whitened. "No." He staggered back a step, and then turned to run toward the bolted doors where they had taken Stonegit.
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf turned in his seat, raising an eye brow, and then carefully stood, walking over to the fire place and unclipping a small rod from his side, sticking the end of it in the embers. “Is something wrong?” he asked casually. “Oh right, you wanted explanations.” "Get off!" "Ragnarok was brought on early. The armies of the afterlife have ordered to earth."
"I command the first regiment of mortal soldiers. I recruit the people of various kingdoms to enlist in Odin’s army."
The door was barred tightly, keep Haddock blocked from the terrible fight going on inside. “That’s all this was going to be.” Orskaf sniffed. “And it still can. If you sign up as well.”
An enraged bellow of pain sounded from the room from one of the guard, and then Stonegit yelped as he was struck.
"You and your people are effective. You would serve Odin well. After all, it’s not like you’ve gotten a better offer."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock trembled on the other side of the door, shaking from anger and fear, completely helpless, listening to the struggles on the other side of the room. He pounded at the door, yanking on it, and once just outright punched it. “Gods, no, no. I’m sorry, Stonegit. This is all my fault. This is all my fault.”
Haddock’s eyes were red and wet as he turned to Orskaf, still clutching to the door. He demanded shakily, voice rasping, “Make them stop.”
Orskaf grunted as he pulled up the rod, examining the red hot iron brand top. “You know I really thought you would be professional about all this.” he turned around, walking towards him. “But like I said. You are not King.”
Orskaf’s hand reached out, slamming Haddock into the door. “Your a vagabond, you’re nothing. And I am going to make sure everyone knows it to, after all.” he held up the brand. “Who would followed a marked slave.
Haddock had only one moment to see the dreading ‘S’ of the slave brand, before it pressed into the upper left side of his head. Orskaf held it there for a second, and then pulled it away, shoving Haddock to the floor. “Now that, is a fitting crown.” he sighed, and turned around, seeing Mera on the other side of the room. She had just entered, just in time to see this.
"Ah," Orskaf said flatly, as the door behind him jerked as a form was thrown into, the terrible thrashing sound continuing. "Perhaps you can settle this." he set a fresh contract on the table. "Sign this please, and I can put a stop to all of this."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock fell to the floor heavily on his side, arms covering his face on the ground. He did not move. Did not get up.
"Deities, what are you doing?" Mera asked. She wavered between rushing to her husband and looking at the contract. Reluctantly she chose the contract. "I can’t read," she said. "I can’t write. What does it say?"
Orskaf Donz: Orskaf looked up at the sky, growling. Moving faster than a man his age probably should have been able to, he grabbed Mera by the hair and threw her onto the table, pressing the contract to her stomach. “Does it matter!” he hollered. “Sign it! NOW!”
A whisper filled Haddock’s mind. "Gareth…can you spare a second…it’s all it wil take."
Darkness took Haddock’s vision as a portal appeared under him, sucking him into nothingness. The white eyes of Hel starred at him closely. "So then…are you ready to accept my offer? If you do, that man will not be allowed to harm anyone with in this rebellion until a day of battle…I dare say it’s a better deal than what he’s offering you. But one way or another, your souls must belong to a god, may was well be the winning team."
"All you have to do is say yes…"
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Even as Mera protested furiously on the other side of the portal, “The closest you’ll get to a signature is a drawing of a bunny rabbit!”, Haddock, face still buried in his arms, clenched his fist. “Yes,” he said, voice barely audible. “Yes, I take your offer.”
Orskaf Donz: There was a small ear popping ‘bang.’ And Orskaf froze. Silence filled the room, and his eyes widened. He turned, looking at Haddock. His mouth fell open as he inhaled. “You…didn’t!” he yelled. The contract on the table burst into black flames and he gasped. “You…you had a deal with Hel! Over Odin!? Idiocy! I! I’ll…!” Orskaf gritted his teeth, storming away. He smashed his fist into the side door. “We’re leaving!” he barked.
The door opened and Stonegit was shoved out. His shirt had been torn so it was hanging around his waist, grab marks, scratches and bruises covered his shoulders, arms and torso. The boy, stumbling to catch his balance tightened the belt around his waste, which had thankfully remained around him. He pressed his palm to his head, his teeth gritting as one tear ran down his bruised cheeks, a nasty looking bite mark circling the side of his mouth.
Behind him, one of the guard was being helped up by his companions. He let out an angry yell, crossing his legs tightly as blood seeped from where he was gripping an injury. “I’ll kill him!” he yelled.
"No you won’t." Orskaf breathed, still looking bewildered. "Not yet."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Mera rushed in the direction toward Haddock and Stonegit, trying to care for both of them at the same time, fussing over each of them. Haddock stood to his feet while Mera attended to Stonegit, the king’s eyes reddened, and he said, “I see no idiocy in my choice.” He threw his arm out."LEAVE!" he screamed. “LEAVE! All of you, before all of you die from my sword!”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stifled a cry of anger, grabbing Mera’s hand and pushing them away. “G- Get off!” he yelled, inhaling shakily he marched over to his fallen ax, scooping it up and standing between Orskaf and Haddock, meeting the old man’s eyes evenly.
Orskaf stared at the boy, and then took a few paces back, spinning on his heel, he marched out of the room. “Lets go,” he said to his men. The other four men followed him, two of them aiding their wounded friend.
The door closed, leaving the room in silence.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock let Mera take his hand, though his left hand reached up to hover over the pained throbbing at his left temple. He did not touch it, though. Did not touch the mark of a slave. He only stood there for a long, long moment, Mera rubbing his back silently, his wife understanding not to speak at this time.
As a tear fell down his cheek, and as he stared down at his feet, Haddock mumbled, “Stonegit… I… I…” His voice broke as he struggled to express his heart. “I’m despicable,” Haddock said. “I… did this. I can’t… sorry isn’t… enough… I…”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stood ahead of him, back rigid. “Don’t be ridiculous…” he said, limping towards the table. “You did what was needed,” He stumbled slightly, catching himself. He winced, hissing through his teeth, his voice tight. “I’m at fault for letting you sustain an injury. Never the less I should be fiieg-!” he leaned over, vomiting where he stood, gagging with a harsh cough. He grimaced. “Now sorry to be rude, or insolent, which ever one is appropriate, but I’m rather out of sorts so.” he slowly took another stumbling step towards the door. “Proving rather ineffective right now, so in light that the threat has passed I think I’ll go gather my wits…promptly…and please see a healer.” he opened the door, pushing himself through and letting in close behind him, leaving Haddock and Mera alone.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Who am I kidding," Haddock mumbled. "I shouldn’t be here." He grabbed his cape and ripped it off, throwing it to the floor. Mera stared silently, eyes hurt, sympathy bursting through her features. His crown he threw to the ground as well a second later. The gold circlet clattered to the floor and rolled at Mera’s feet.
"I shouldn’t have let them. Look where my choices have led me. LOOK AT THEM!" His voice echoed angrily in the now empty hall.
Mera was quiet for a time, but then stepped slowly back up to her husband. She reached out and embraced him, whispering, “Let’s go back to the house and rest, Gareth.” She reached to touch his hair, very carefully avoiding the left side. Her eyes tried not to rest on what was there. “And if there’s anything I can do…”
"No." Haddock shook his head. "There is nothing."