DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended. The Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying System is owned by Wizards of the Coast and no infringement of copyright/trademarks is intended. The only thing I would like to lay claim to is the original D&D character used in this story.
WARNING: This story deals to some extent with the subject of rape, and although by no means graphic reader discretion is advised.
STARDATE: 53692 (approximately a week after the events of Ashes to Ashes and prior to events of Child's Play)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
PAIRING: Seven/female

Arana's Tale
By Kudara

Chapter 1

My name is Arana, I was born of a human mother and elven or half-elven father. My mother rarely spoke of him, only to tell me his name and that he had looked like a full moon-elf though he said he was half blooded. My father's name was Maran and he died during the raid that my mother Aressa, who was pregnant with me, was captured in by soldiers of the Red Wizards.

Since my mother was a slave in the realm of Thay when was born, I was born as a slave as well. I would have remained so for the rest of my life but for the priests of Ilmater that bought me from my master and freed me. But I am getting ahead of myself, the purchasing of my freedom did not occur until I was sixteen years of age.

I was a fairly happy child for a slave in Thay; it was my misfortune that I was also a very pretty child. I had midnight black hair that framed what promised to be a classically beautiful face. My elven heritage showed in the slightly up tilted emerald green eyes flecked with gold and eyebrows as well as the characteristic pointed ear shape and pale skin of the moon-elfs. Whether I was half or quarter blood elf, my father's heritage seemed to run unusually strong within me, for there was very little that marked me as human except for the shortened length of my ears and perhaps more color to my skin than a true moon-elf.

When I was twelve I was bought as a pleasure slave for a wealthy merchant with a taste for children. The four years that followed were not pleasant, for he found inflicting pain arousing. There were many nights that I tried to find a position to lie in that would help me to escape from the pain of my bruises and allow me to sleep.

The bedroom duties my master required me to perform were painful and unpleasant, but it was the parties that he held that I hated most of all. After his guests had finished eating and drinking, he would bring some of us in and allow them to take their pleasure with us, only forbidding that any permanent damage was done. It saved us from being cut or our bones being broken but spared us little else.

By the time that I was freed I was full of sullen hatred and anger for the world, especially men. I never knew exactly how the priests found out about us, but somehow they persuaded my master to part with all his slaves. They took all of us to one of their hospices and healed our bodies and tried to mend our minds and spirits.

There were many of my fellow slaves that were broken in mind and spirit; I however, was not one of them. I was bruised, battered, and darkened, but somehow I had kept enough of myself free to not be broken. The words of the priests telling me not to become what I hated did not fall on welcoming ears for months. I dreamed of the things I would do to the men who had used me, of the pain I would return to them. This continued until one night I had a dream where I tortured one of the men, afterwards I looked into a mirror at my bloodied hands and into my own eyes and realized with horror that I had become as evil as them. When I awoke screaming and trembling I looked at my blood free hands and began weeping.

That was my turning point, the start of my healing, when I recognized that my hatred and anger was hurting me, threatening to make me into one of them. Finally the words of the priests began to make sense to me and I listened to their wisdom. I came to understand that while others might hurt my body, they could not hurt my mind or spirit unless I gave them that power.

I came to see that my master and the others who had abused me had let their spirits become evil and because of that they had sought to destroy mine. Their acts had been meant to not only wound my body but to damage my spirit. That was the purpose of the parties where we were used publicly, the men there had gotten more pleasure from our humiliation and the power they had over us than they had from the physical satisfaction.

Eventually the lessons of Ilmater, the Crying God as he was known, began to make sense to me. He was a gentle and kind god, and I began my studies as one of his priestesses in my seventeenth year. I was finally able to free myself from the feelings of revenge I felt and channel them into an unshakable resolve to help others that were suffering.

I spent the next five years learning the ways of Ilmater; and became skilled in both magical and non-magical healing techniques. My secondary interest was in learning different types of protective magic which could be used to protect myself and others. During those years I gained priestly skills quickly. I seemed to have a gift for finding those who needed my aid, and I quite frequently came into conflict with the priests of Loviatar who delighted in torturing others for the pleasure of their evil goddess.

It was after the latest confrontation, one in which I had been gravely wounded while defeating two of Loviatar's priests, that I had the dream which changed my destiny. In it Ilmater appeared to me and ordered me to present myself at the Temple of Torm for training as a paladin. The next morning the senior priest spoke to me at first light and bid me follow the will of my god.

Thus I presented myself that day before the Senior Knight of Torm at the temple and began my service as a novice squire. My situation was unusual, but apparently Torm had made it known to his order that I was to be accepted for training and my obedience to both gods had his blessing. Thus I began my more martial training, learning the ways of combat with the mace and longsword.

As a squire of the order I learned how to speak and act properly and politely as befitting a member of the order. Paladins of Torm were expected to be courteous and well spoken and I spent the next few years learning those particular skills as well as how to read, write and figure mathematics. Luckily I proved to be apt in my scholastic abilities and after my formal training I was often found, when not practicing with weapons, in the library reading various scholarly works.

After three years passed I was judged fit for elevation to the rank of knight and my tasks became increasingly challenging. Over the next three years I was sent on several missions in the service of Torm, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of my brother and sister knights. I was rewarded by Torm at various times for my valor in combat with increased strength, vigor and agility, as well as receiving the gift of healing by the act of laying on of hands.

I was twenty eight years of age when I was chosen to become a Champion of Torm. Upon that day I began a two-day fast and meditated in the chapel. Torm appeared before me on the second day and gifted me again with increased strength, vigor and agility. Torm also blessed me with increased wisdom and intelligence as well as gifting me with the ability to heal most diseases, and poisons as well as cure the blind or deaf. These healing abilities, as with the ability to heal by laying on of hands, drained me greatly and I could use them only in the direst of emergencies and never more than one of them every day.

I had been a Champion of Torm for four years when I surrendered myself to the priests of Loviatar in exchange for the lives of ten children. They stripped me of my armor, weapons and clothing, hoping to humiliate me by my nakedness. I looked into their faces and saw the decay and blackness of their souls, and I refused to let them touch my mind or spirit. I stood calmly before them and it enraged them, so they then used my body as it had been used when I was a child hoping that it would break me. They were careful to bind me before raping me so and I could do nothing to protect myself physically, but I steadfastly refused to let them touch any part of me besides my physical self.

The priests of Loviatar delight in the power of causing physical, emotional and spiritual pain to their victims. The energy given off by emotional and spiritual agony is, by far, the part of the tortures that they delight in the most. I was refusing them that energy and they left off the rape and began to beat me, settling for the satisfaction of causing me purely physical pain. After one too many blows I passed out and they left me bound and bleeding until I came to again.

When I regained consciousness the physical pain was overwhelming, I was aware of the deep inner pain of where they had raped me as well as what I suspected were broken ribs where they had kicked me. I began praying to Ilmater for the inner peace to deal with the tortures I knew would begin again as soon as they realized I was conscious. I had no hope of escaping alive, but I refused to give them what they wanted, they would not break me before I died.

It was not long before they realized that I was once again awake, and, with much jeering they lifted me up and spread me between two posts standing about six foot apart. They took great nails and drove them through my wrists, being careful not to damage the arteries there. The main priest took great delight in letting me know that they drove the spikes through my wrists instead of my hands because they had learned that the hands tore too easily when they were whipping their victims.

"Quite clever of you to figure that out," I said sarcastically and perhaps unwisely, and received an armored blow of his hand across my face. I let my head turn with it and was barely able to save my jaw from being broken by the blow. They then nailed my feet to the posts as well, and then the main priest smiled congenially at me and lifted the maul that rested against the posts and broke both my thigh bones two mighty blows.

I passed out from the pain once again, and they left me hanging there by my wrists. It was all I could do not to scream when I came dazedly to for the second time. They were waiting for me and the priest showed me the whip they planned on using. I steadfastly looked him in the eye and refused to be made fearful by the bits of glass and metal knotted into it.

He spat in my face and promised that I would scream for them before they let me die.

"I am a Champion of Torm and a Priestess of Ilmater, I will not scream for the pleasure of you or your Goddess," I replied to him. His face purpled with anger upon hearing that I was also a priestess of Ilmater, something apparently unknown to them, and he began beating me across the chest as he leered at me.

I retreated deep within myself and prayed to Ilmater who immediately answered my plea. I felt myself drifting away from the pain. I was still aware of the damage being done to my body, but the new pains merged almost unnoticed with the old as he finally gave up bloodying my breasts and moved around behind me to begin whipping my back.

I was almost unconscious when I became aware of an odd noise and saw beams of orange light go past me. Dazedly I managed to lift my head and saw a woman standing before me; she was beautiful with golden hair and an odd ornament around her left eye. I looked into her eyes and sensed the goodness in her. I knew that she was here to rescue me and breathed out "Blessings of Torm and Ilmater upon you Milady."

She looked confused at my words and I wondered if she understood them, she bent then and I saw her silver covered back as she knelt to grasp the spikes fastening my foot to the post. I passed out temporarily as she freed me from the spikes. When I came to once again I was being lowered onto a surface. I was briefly aware of the woman who had rescued me and a man wearing black and blue clothing and a worried look on his face standing over me. The man lowered some type of tube to my neck and darkness fell.

Chapter 2

The senior staff had just finished their briefing when a shudder ran though the ship; glancing at each other they rushed from the briefing room to their various stations. Seven hurried with Lt. Torres to the turbolift, stepping off on Deck 8 for Astrometrics while the Lt. continued to Deck 11 and Engineering.

Seven began scanning immediately and was surprised momentarily by the readings. She opened Astrometrics communications channel and reported "A small spatial rift is opening almost directly in front of us; I'm reading high amounts of neutrinos and chronotons in the local area which are being emitted by the rift."

Suddenly the ship rocked again and Seven heard and odd sound in front of her. She looked up from her console toward the raised dais where the astrometrics viewscreen was located. An oval area of rippling energy had appeared upon the dais. The outline of it was colored midnight blue which shaded into black toward the central area. Seven quickly grabbed a tricorder as she said, "A localized anomaly has appeared in Astrometrics, scanning now."

Janeway replied, "Seven get out of there now and take your readings from a safer distance."

"It is a wormhole Captain, I suggest we stop so I may determine where and when the other side of it is located," said Seven as she continued scanning the anomaly, ignoring the Captains order to leave Astrometrics.

Seven heard Janeway order the stop and the sound of the engines faded away as the ship came to a halt in space. The wormhole remained stable, resting on the dais. Something about it bothered Seven. The movement of the ship should have affected the wormhole's location, but from its behavior the terminus seemed to be attached to Astrometrics itself.

Seven carefully began moving up and around the dais. Her calm Borg façade broke for a moment, a look of shock registering on her face as she saw the other side of the wormhole. She was looking directly into a large room; several men wearing dark clothing were clustered about a figure hanging between two posts at the far end of the room. The room's walls were composed of grey, rough looking stone blocks and the floor was made of smoothed rectangular grey flagstones. The only sources of light in the room were small windows high up on the wall and smoking torches that were fitted into holders along the walls of the room.

A statue of a woman dominated the far end of the room past the cluster of men, depicting a cruel faced woman holding a whip and standing with one foot atop the figure of a dead man. She appeared to be looking down on the figure between the posts. A large symbol on the wall behind the statue showed a many tailed knotted black whip on a white background.

Seven focused on the figure and gasped, then moved quickly around the wormhole to her console and grabbed the phaser that was located there. "Seven to Bridge, I am entering the wormhole. Erect an intruder forcefield around Astrometrics and send a security detachment."

Seven was on her way back around the anomaly when Janeway responded, "Seven you can't enter a wormhole and survive. The gravitational forces would kill you."

Seven paused, "This is not like any other wormhole we have encountered, it possesses qualities of a wormhole but the end terminus is positioned immediately after the boundary in Astrometrics. I will be stepping directly from Astrometrics into wherever this other end is located."

"Seven do not go through the terminus. That is an order; you have no way of knowing if the terminus will remain stable. Wait for security to arrive and take further readings, I will be down shortly and we can come to a decision on whether or not to explore the other side," replied Janeway.

"I am sorry Captain, but I cannot wait, she will die if I do not stop them. Please erect the intruder force field and prepare for an immediate transport to sickbay's bio containment area when I return," said Seven, right before she stepped through the wormhole.

"What? Seven? Lt. Torres, are those intruder forcefields in place?" said Janeway, the last directed to Engineering.

Lt. Torres was shaking her head at Seven's outright disobedience of the Captain as she erected a series of forcefields to cordon off Astrometrics from the rest of the ship. "Yes, Captain they are up, I'm getting readings from the other side of the terminus in Astrometrics. Seven was correct, this isn't like any other wormhole I've seen; I'm getting clear readings from wherever the other terminus is located. It appears to be inside some type of stone structure; I'm reading several other humanoid life signs including Seven's." Lt. Torres touched more controls and said in a rising tone, "I'm detecting phaser fire, Seven's bio signs appear to be stable."

"Can you get a transporter lock on Seven?" asked Janeway.

"I'm trying Captain, but the wormhole is interfering. Phaser fire has stopped though and Seven's bio signs are still stable." Lt. Torres kept an eye on her readings and in a few minutes she reported, "Two life signs appear to be moving back toward the terminus, one of them is Seven's."

"Bridge to Sickbay, Doctor prepare for potential casualties," said Janeway.

"Casualties of what kind, Captain?" came the reply back from the Doctor.

"I have no idea Doctor," replied Janeway, "Seven mentioned something about a woman who might die and asked for an immediate transport to sickbay's bio containment field when she returned. I'm headed down to Sickbay now."

"Understood, Sickbay out," said the Doctor before closing the channel.

Janeway stood up and turned to Chakotay, "You have the bridge Commander." Inside she was fuming at Seven's disobedience, but she was also worried and intensely curious as to what the she had seen on the other side of the wormhole that would cause her to act in what was, for her, a rash manner.

Seven stepped through the terminus and experienced a brief sensation of disorientation as her feet settled on the stone flooring of the room. She immediately began aiming her phaser at the nearest of the men clustered about the bleeding woman and fired. Quickly, but methodically she aimed and fired at the men until all of them were rendered unconscious. Hurriedly she approached the still figure of the woman that she had seen being brutally whipped, hoping that she was still alive.

Seven paused in front of the pale skinned woman; she could not see her face, for her head hung limply and her long black hair hung down obscuring it. Her chest was mangled and torn, blood streaked down it, dripping onto the bruised and broken thighs and legs. Suddenly the woman drew in a gasp and looked upward meeting Seven's eyes. Green eyes the color of emeralds met Seven's grey blue ones. Seven had the feeling of being evaluated and then the woman said weakly "Blessings of Torm and Ilmater upon you milady."

Seven was confused by the words, but she knew that she needed to quickly get the woman to Sickbay. She bent over and grasped the spike that impaled the woman's left foot with her Borg enhanced arm and forcefully pulled it from the post. A weak groan accompanied her effort and Seven glanced upward and saw that the woman had passed out from the pain. Seven repeated her action with the other foot and then gingerly supported the woman with an arm wrapped around her waist as she freed her wrists.

The sight of the woman's back as she slumped over her arm caused Seven to feel ill. She had been beaten so badly that the white of her rib bones could be seen among the mangled flesh. Seven decided that carrying the woman over her shoulder would cause the least additional damage and kneeled to position her shoulder under the woman's waist. With an exhaled breath at the woman's weight Seven stood and began walking toward the terminus.

As soon as Seven stepped back through the terminus into Astrometrics she felt the transporter beam and was relieved to see that she was in Sickbay a moment later. Seven saw the Doctor on the other side of the biobed from her and was reassured; he immediately began scanning the woman. Opening doors and a shocked gasp heralded the arrival of the Captain.

Seven turned her head and looked at Janeway who had a hand held to her mouth. Her eyes met Sevens and she said in a low voice, "The people on the other side of the terminus did this to her?"

Seven nodded and Janeway activated her combadge, "Janeway to Engineering, what's the status on the wormhole terminus in Astrometrics?"

"It disappeared as soon as Seven stepped through it Captain, I can't determine why though," reported Lt. Torres.

"Scan the entire ship for similar wormholes, and let me know immediately if you find anything that looks like another one." Janeway cut that channel and opened another, "Janeway to Bridge, Commander get us at least 10 thousand kilometers away from that spatial rift and then maintain that distance. I don't want to take the chance of another wormhole forming inside the ship to the same place without knowing more about it."

While the Captain was talking Seven and the Doctor were conversing in low tones about the woman's condition. Seven was hesitant to lay the woman down on the biobed with the condition her back was in and the Doctor agreed. He spent a few minutes running the dermal regenerator over the woman's back, repairing the worst areas and then assisted Seven in laying the woman down gently onto the surface.

The woman gained consciousness briefly and gazed at them dazedly before the Doctor administered a sedative. He then extended the clamshell like sensors from the bio bed and began taking detailed readings of the woman's condition.

Orders completed for the moment, Janeway glanced at the two people huddled over the woman's form on the biobed. Seven's biosuit was stained with blood where the woman's body had rested on her shoulder and the Doctor had a concerned expression on his face as he examined the readings from his medical sensors.

"What is her condition." Inquired Janeway as she stepped closer to the force field and examined what she could see of the woman. The one glance she had had of the woman's deeply lacerated back and the wounds in her wrists had shaken Janeway. The woman's wounds coupled with Seven's earlier words had made it clear to Janeway that what Seven had witnessed had caused her to ignore her orders and go through the wormhole to rescue the woman. Janeway did not blame her now; no decent person would stand by and watch another person be tortured to death without acting to save them.

"I've managed to stabilize her life signs, her most severe wounds are the lacerations on her torso, internal bleeding and injury from what looks like blows to the torso followed by the broken femurs in both legs. She also has internal injuries and semen traces consistent with sexual assault. I don't see any indication that there is the possibility of pregnancy, so she doesn't have to worry about that." The Doctor looked briefly at the Captain with this last statement then turned to Seven.

"Seven, if you would take care of some of the more minor flesh injuries I will finish healing the lacerations and take care of her internal damage." The Doctor handed Seven one of the dermal regenerators as he said this. She accepted it and began working on the wounds in the woman's hand.

The Doctor and Seven worked for nearly half an hour before the Doctor was satisfied with his patient's condition. He looked at Janeway for a moment, knowing only too well why the Captain hadn't left sickbay yet; she was waiting for some answers. The Doctor said, "Computer lower security forcefield and biofield." He smiled at the Captain briefly, "There is no danger of any contamination indicated by my scans. If you will move closer Captain and look at her ears and the shape of the eyes and eyebrows." With this he parted the long black hair to expose one pointed ear, "She's not a Vulcan or Romulan hybrid as you might guess from her physical features. The bio scans of her DNA indicate that she is half-human but I'm not familiar with what the other half of her hybrid genome could be. I don't have anything like it on file."

Janeway moved over to stand beside the biobed and examined the features of the woman. As the Doctor had indicated she looked similar to a Vulcan and human hybrid with delicately slanted eyes and upswept eyebrows in addition to the pointed ears, but unlike a Vulcan her skin was pale and had almost a bluish undertone to it. Her face had not been damaged and Janeway admired the beauty of it, the exotic tilt to the eyes and brows only added to the appeal of her features. From what Janeway could see of the woman she looked to be physically powerful with well developed muscles in her shoulders and arms that spoke of an intensely physically active life.

"Did she say anything Seven?" asked Janeway.

Seven repeated what the woman had said to her as she moved over to a supply drawer and pulled out one of the silver blankets there and moved back to cover the woman with it now that her wounds were healed.

"Computer, begin a database search on the words Torm and Ilmater," requested Janeway.

Seven looked up at her and nodded, "The manner in which she mentioned those names indicated that she considered them deities."

"So they might be mentioned somewhere in our database, which would give us an idea where she is from," finished Janeway.

"Match found," stated the computer.

"Details." ordered the Captain.

"Torm, reference found in source material of a twentieth century game called Dungeons and Dragons owned by Wizards of the Coast. Torm was originally a human male who was made a god by Tyr for his loyal service to Rendros first High King of the fictional realm Faerun and for his self sacrifice in assisting a woman and her children to escape while he fell in battle against their attackers. In the game he is considered the god of duty, loyalty and obedience, his moral orientation is lawful good. He is also known as the god of paladins. Symbol is the gauntleted hand. Serves Tyr as his war leader." The computer finished and the three of them stared in surprise at each other.

It continued, "Ilmater also found in reference material for Dungeons and Dragons, youngest child of Chauntea and Malar, known as the Crying God because he was tortured by his elder sister Lovitar as a child. Known as the god of endurance and suffering, moral orientation is lawful good. Allied with Torm and Tyr in a group known as the Triad. Symbol is crossed hands bound by a blood red cord."

"Symbol of Lovitar," Seven queried acting on a 'hunch' as Janeway would call it.

"Lovitar reference found in same source material as Torm and Ilmater, goddess of pain and torture, symbol is a nine tailed whip," stated the computer.

Seven paused and said, "In the room where I found her there was a statue of a woman, the symbol just described was on the wall behind the statue."

Janeway stared at Seven for a moment, "Computer, detailed information about Lovitar."

"Lovitar, reference found in source material of a twentieth century game called Dungeons and Dragons owned by Wizards of the Coast. Lovitar is the eldest child of Chauntea and Malar. Known as the goddess of hurt, pain and torture, moral orientation is lawful evil. Mention is made that priests of Lovitar will seek out priests of Ilmater to torture and kill. Symbol is a nine tailed whip," the computer fell silent.

The Doctor stated, "What does this game have to do with my patient?"

Janeway looked at the woman and said, "I'm not certain, but from what Seven said it's not a game to the people who were torturing her. And I would guess it's not a game to her either."

"I've finished healing her internal injuries," said the Doctor as he moved down the woman's body, "Now to fix her femurs, the bones are crushed. Do you have any idea how these injuries were made Seven? There is extensive bruising around the site; it looks like an impact injury."

Seven glanced at the Doctor, "I believe they were broken intentionally to prevent her from being able to stand. I remember seeing a hammer resting against one of the posts that she was fastened to."

Seven continued around the woman's body she had healed both of the wounds in the woman's feet and was now healing the remaining hand.

"The injuries to her hands and feet?" questioned Janeway looking pale.

"Crude iron based spikes that were driven through her feet and wrists to fasten them against two wooden posts." answered Seven.

"What type of barbarians are these people?" asked the Doctor in an outraged tone.

Seven looked at the Doctor, "I have completed healing the wounds to her hands and feet, what injuries should I heal next?"

"Actually," said the Doctor as he lowered the medical scanners, "Nothing else, physically she's fully healed. Though, with her physiology I can't be fully certain of that, she has some organs whose functions I don't understand, and the results of her brain scan are…puzzling." The Doctor stared at some of the readings again, shaking his head.

"Can you wake her?" asked Janeway.

The Doctor looked at his patient for a moment and then said, "I would prefer if she could rest a few hours after the trauma she has been through."

"I understand Doctor, but I need to ask her a few questions about where she comes from. I'm not certain if she would want to be trapped here with us or returned to her own planet if we can find another wormhole to return her through." explained Janeway.

The Doctor nodded and prepared a hypospray.

Part 3

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