The young elf struggled furiously, even after the guards of Avienan had stripped him of his sword.
"You've no right to do this!" he shouted. "Let me go!"
The six guards finally surrounded Thalaen and managed to subdue him by forcing his head back and pouring a sleeping potion down his throat. After a few more moments of struggle, his efforts slowed and when they ceased his limp form dropped to the ground and his long reddish amber hair fell, enveloping his pale, but now peaceful, face. Only his pointed elven ears protruded through the tangled red curtain.
Heaving the elf up once more and binding his hands behind his back, the guards followed a young woman with silver eyes down a darkening stairwell and into one of the prison hallways.
"I know where I'll put him," she mused to nobody in particular. "I have just the place for a foolish elven prince."
The woman was cackling in anticipation when she reached her chosen door, where she paused to grin malevolently at the inmates already occupying the cold stone cell.
"Here, throw him in. I am going to love the look on his father's face when he sees the young prince with these beaten thieves and troublemakers."
The guards pitched Thalaen's slight, but strong, body into the cell, still sleeping. His face met the hard stone floor and he awoke with a painful jolt. The clanging sound of the barred door being slammed shut at his back caused a ringing in his ears that only compounded the pain which spread from a bruise that was beginning to swell on his forehead. He winced, closing his dark green-brown eyes, which shone faint, but luminous, in the dark cell, and brought his hand up to the painful spot just above his right eye. When he opened his eyes the ringing sound had left his mind and he saw that his fingers came away with only a light smear of blood. Pushing his long red hair out of his face, Thalaen sat up and looked around the cell for the first time. Faint blue light of the night outside shone into the cell from a window placed high in the wall, illuminating four grey stone walls and the steel barred door through which he had been unceremoniously dumped. Across from him two men slumped against a wall. One had ink- black hair and blood streaked across his face and the other wore a strange suit of black armor and also appeared to be injured. A third man was staring back at Thalaen with intense blue eyes. Thalaen averted his gaze, wondering how he had gotten himself into this mess.