The Prince sat on the floor, legs folded beneath him. Books were stacked around him in small piles of three or four, sorted based on subject matter and usefulness.
Unfortunately, the “useful” piles were all abysmally small.
Taking a moment to survey his work of the past half hour, he simply unfolded, the motion carrying him to a standing position. As he stretched, he looked around the chambers that had become his cell.
After that first failed meeting with the Blood Red King, the guards had escorted him to this suite, and suggested that he wait inside. There was a place to freshen up, a bed to rest in should he desire it, and reading materials, as well as refreshments.
Sometime during the next three hours that he had spent reading, they had locked and barred the door. Then they had moved a large weight in front of it, and opened up the hatches on this strange device they called a dumb-waiter.
The first time it had arrived, rattling down the shaft to deliver a letter and some food, the Prince had thought it an attack.
Only after he had leaped to his feet, drawing the longsword that the Captain had let him borrow, and charged to the foyer to repel the intruders, had he realized that the door was locked, and gone looking for the source.
The letter had calmly explained that until his loyalties could be decided, he would be contained “for his own safety”. He would have food delivered three times a day, the best food there was to offer, and he would have any reading materials and other activities for past-times that would not allow him to escape.
So far the books had all been sub-par, and useless. They had not been informative about the subjects they supposedly were about, and worse, they were clearly chosen for their lack of substance.
Every day that passed led him more and more to the belief that the Captain, Weeros, the Blood Red King, and his two bodyguards, were trying to hide something from him.
Something that more knowledge might allow him to figure out.
They don’t want you to remember who you are.
The voice had been his near constant companion the past two days. It had taken it some time to come out of hiding again, but once it seemed to realize that he was truly alone, and would be for some time, it piped up.
And now it wouldn’t pipe down.
Mostly it rambled on about the same old things, his mysterious forgotten self, how he was better than this, how he shouldn’t kill others, but if he needed to he needed a good reason, even for these pirates, etcetera, etcetera.
However, the Prince still listened, as the voice would occasionally have some tidbit of previously unknown, or forgotten, advice or lore. These rare pieces, that so hinted at the shape of what he was missing, made all the pious advice and ramblings worthwhile.
His stretch and his reminiscing finished, the Prince walked over to the dumbwaiter. They were at least kind enough to send him sheets of parchment, and ink and a quill so that he could make requests.
Taking up a new sheet, he quickly scratched out five or six topics that he had come upon in his readings and found interesting, and then filled out the list with less important items and topics.
He’d been screening the things he really wanted with numerous flimsy and unimportant requests (he asked for a courtesan almost every time he made a request; he was interested to see how they would fulfill that request if they tried) in hopes that the important ones wouldn’t be pieced together or paid as much attention to.
Unfortunately, it hadn’t seemed to work so far, but at least the practice of coming up with the smokescreen was an entertaining diversion.
He’d also been working on a plan to try and get out for some time.
Currently the options were limited: wait to be released and fight his way free, shift bricks/dirt/tiles until he had a tunnel out to somewhere, push on the door until it gave, and, his personal favourite, get really bored, tear the dumb-waiter out of the shaft, climb up, and butcher everyone close by with his bare hands since his sword likely would make the climb near impossible.
But none of them would really work, and most resulted in him being alone on a strange island, or full of crossbow quarrels.
Waiting, and reading, was his best plan for now.He finished the list, added “door key” for fun, and rang the bell to summon the dumb-waiter. Maybe this time they’d send him some interesting books…