The Cost of Naivete

Most of the characters I write start off young and (mostly) innocent. They have experience in some areas of debauchery, but not much. Like most young adults, they think they know it all until they learn that their knowledge is incomplete at best and harmful at worst. In this excerpt of Lyryk’s story, she is wined and dined by her next abuser and finds out too late the cost of her naivete.


Lyryk watched the leaf dance along the rock wall in front of her in rhythm with the soft tune she blew on her flute. While playing, she practiced one of the cantrips she’d learned, making the wind puff enough to keep the leaf dancing. She was finally free.

The fledgling bard had escaped her abusive family and made her way to the city, only to jump into a situation that she wasn’t sure was worse or not. Her naivete had cost her when she accepted the woman in the green gown’s sponsorship—Lady Jarvid. Lyryk knew enough to be wary of the men that approached her. She’d had enough experience in the pubs with blokes who thought they could put their hands on her because she was the “entertainment.” A well-placed heel or knee had stopped more than one potential assault.

Lady Jarvid seemed safe enough, though. The lady had paid for the half-elf’s accommodations at the college. She treated the girl as an honored guest on the occasions Lyryk visited the estate of her patron. So flattered by the showering of attention and praise, Lyryk failed to notice the somber expressions and pitying looks from the lady’s household. Not until her apprenticeship with the college was complete, and she was released into her patron’s household.

That was when the nightmare began.

The first night in Lady Jarvid’s home, she was awakened barely two candlemarks after falling asleep. Lyryk played the night away on her lute. When she stopped to rest her throbbing fingers, the lady complained bitterly, then cast a compulsion on her new toy. The half-elf played until her fingers bled, sang until her voice failed.

A month passed, then two. Every night was the same until she could bear no more. When a chance at freedom presented itself, Lyryk took it.

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