Lucien is brought back into the world again the same way he was brought into it the first time: wet, cold, sputtering, covered in that vile liquid that assaulted most of his senses, and surrounded by shapes that he had to assume were people.
That was about where the similarities ended however, the cold grip of metal hauling him onto legs far too weak to carry any of his own weight. Something that should be alarming - would be if he had the mind to be. As things were however he was much more preoccupied with the biting cold, a nasty howling breeze cutting through the building and threatening to send him back down. He should be worried about how he doesn’t have the strength to stand on his own.
Allagans after all don’t just make their servants so intentionally weak. It's a waste of time and resources to nurse them back to peak condition when they could just be made and maintained like that. So truly he should be able to stand up all on his own, the biting wind shouldn’t make him nearly topple over. Something is well and truly wrong about all of this but Lucien doesn’t have it in him to care, far more preoccupied with just forcing his body to live through stubborn will alone.
After all his lord and lady aren’t kind enough to have let him have a singular lifetime, why on this go around should they be kind enough to want to nurse him back to health. They won’t have his interests in mind - never had them in mind anyways - so Lucien has to.
And so he lets himself get dragged from old storage, from the building that later on will register as being completely wrong. That such a place shouldn’t have been like that. There were so many signs that got lost because he lacked any strength.
When he truly comes to, when he wakes up fully from his stupor, Lucien only starts to realize that everything is deeply wrong. Where he wakes up isn’t his usual quarters, there are no fanciful clothes tossed onto his bed, a demanding request for him to get dressed and resume his usual demeaning duties. Lucien wakes up in a holding cell or a poor imitation of one. It lakes the intricate metal work of Allagan make, lacks the bright gaudy colors, he’s still clad in the sopping wet shirt and slacks that at this point feel like they’ve frozen over, and the lights are too bright and buzz in a way that starts to grate at his senses.
Every once in a while, someone clad in black and red and extremely unimpressive armor may as well waltz their way in and they demand things from him. Demand answers, knowledge, and frankly even without the extra circumstances around this situation Lucien would still have been as fueled by irritation and spite that’d he’d not have answered them. The extra circumstances instead make it just easier for him to hold his tongue and every so often hiss at them in a language they clearly haven’t heard of.
They keep him there for a time, more time than Lucien cares to take proper stock of, before his irritation fades away and a growing suspicion takes its place.
He does not ask the next soldier that walks into his little cell about anything, but he does talk. He gets them chatty, pulls on the magic woven deep into his being, gets them to loosen their tongue and learns just enough. Learns that more time has passed than Lucien thought, that those worries in the back of his head about something being wrong are well founded.
Lucien learns that what is standing between him and the freedom he’s craved for lifetime upon lifetime is separated only by these flimsy men and some doors.
And it sends a bolt of desperation through his entire being; thousands of old plans and daydreams of smothering and slaughtering his lord and lady for his free go unfulfilled but, but now there is a simpler way. So many more simpler ways to get free. They do not know of his magic, they don’t know how long he’s craved his own personal freedom. They do not know how far an Allagan servant would be willing to go, to be free of their legacy.
That had been days ago.
Days ago when Lucien pulled on the well of magic that lived within him - days since he’d torn himself open and bled viciously maring the beautiful form he was crafted with - and just as he tore himself open he tore the place that held him apart. Lucien had been running on adrenaline and pain and on the panicked mantra of ‘don’t get caught don’t get caught don’t get caught’. It’d gotten him far, farther than he would have been able to get to if he thought rationally about the whole thing as much as it deeply burned him and his pride to admit that particular detail.
Though his use for panic ran out when it almost sent the tiefling careening over the edge of what he soon realized were the remains of the once bustling port of Azys lla; even though the emotion kept him close and uncomfortable company while he peered down into the swirling abyss of crackling aether and the seemingly limitless sky. Kept him company as he sloppily hid his tracks to every teleporter as he desperately tried to get from this. War camp. Whatever it was on this desolate, abominable chunk of tethered floating rock.
Kept him company right until he made it to the port proper, only somewhat worse for wear after a couple close skirmishes with escaped experiments. Then the panic and the fear pooled in his too tired, almost too drained body and it settled bone deep into him as Lucien unfortunately gazed out from his spot at port and saw. Nothing. A very startling nothing. Nothing to get off this gods forsaken and utterly ruined port, as far as the man could see. It made his skin crawl, made his tail lash in anger, drove him to dig claws into already torn open, barely healing lavender skin.
All that was here were the other gods damned souls trapped just like him and the soldiers he’d run from.
That had been days ago.
Now in the not so distant present Lucien found himself under the reluctant care of the other two souls trapped in this miserable place. A drunkard blacksmith and some scholar; the latter of them having taken a look at the blood soaked tiefling and while startled had at least shown some basic decency in trying to care for him. Now he sat across from them, listening to the scholar prattle on and on about some new project of his. Something about ‘anima’ and weapons, things that Lucien wasn’t about to admit that he couldn’t keep up with. The most he kept up with was the mention of someone who could get on and off of Azys lla’s remains, someone they were hoping to pawn him off on.
Though said so much more kindly and with so much sugar coating that it had done nothing but deepen Lucien’s already disappointed and cross scowl. Not that having a way out of here wasn’t ideal but when it came to him being traded between parties… There was a very clear reason as to why Lucien had been so hellbent on running the first opportunity he’d been presented with as soon as he woke up.
The thought of being at yet another person’s mercy gave way to a flash of anger, Lucien’s tail slapping an infuriated rhythm across the metallic surface of the port’s boardwalk. It was terrible - awful really to think about how he had to keep putting his life in someone else's hands. No matter how the scholar across from him tried to soothe his nerves every once in a while with reassurance that Lucien wasn’t sure were true or not.
The very concept of someone who is kind and reliable to strangers was unfathomable. There was nothing the younger man could say that sounded like this man- Aeron they called him, he simply didn’t sound like he could exist. Like they were dressing someone up with pleasantries, like they were trying to sell him the idea of a good man rather than talking about one.
His tail continues to slap to its irritated beat as it has for days now, and eventually beyond all belief the sound of it is drowned out by the whir of teleportation magic. Lucien tenses, his tail coils around him to self-soothe as the man begins to register what exactly that might mean. What it means to hear a new set of footfalls across the port, to catch the presence of someone else in the very corners of his eyes. What it means to hear the chatter across from his spot on the ground, the murmuring whispers.
Lucien starts to dig his claws into the bandages, his old friend panic telling him that he’s recovered enough. If he needs it, Lucien can just rip himself open again and use his magic to buy him time and run. He can come up with some other plan. He has time. He has so much time to think everything over, he’s a smart man, he can figure anything out if he just-
Dark boots entered his peripheral, the man hadn’t even realized he’d looked down at his arms when he started worrying at the bandages, started clawing at himself. Lucien forces his hands to still though his claws dig and dig and dig so deeply into himself, and he forces himself to look up at this gentle hero of a man the scholar’s been trying to sell him on.
The smile Lucien gives him is mirthless but practiced with just a little bit of too sharp fang for charm, a facsimile of pleasantry.
“I guess they must have given you the rundown of my situation yeah?”
Lucien keeps his tone at that well practiced level of amusement at everything, despite the way he looked. A desperate need to have control over something while he felt blood start to bead where his claws had settled.
He tilts his head in the direction of the scholar whose name he’d never bothered to catch and memorize.
“They make you sound like a generous man, mister Caderyn. Someone who might take pity on a poor stray and get them out of this hellhole.”
But I don't trust that sort of kindness, he doesn’t say no matter how heavy those words sit on his tongue. No matter how much that sentiment burns him inside and out. He’s putting his life right in the hands of whimsical fate, every second is a snap decision.
Calm, stay calm, think. Just keep calm and think and you can puzzle your way out of this Lucien if he takes you. You can think your way out of this if he doesn’t, or if you have to run.
To his credit, his smile strains only a fraction under self imposed stress.
“Might owe you quite a bit if that’s true.”