The ever-present frigid draft that seemed to encompass the castle made her fingers numb, but she couldn't give up now. Biting her lip in concentration, Brenwyn focused on the task before her: picking the rusted lock that stood between her and freedom. The vampire court that inhabited this ancient, crumbling castle hidden deep within the mountains was one of the most powerful in the world. Hunters of all stripes, ranging from freelance mercenaries to royal guardsmen, had tried to eradicate them over the years, and every one of them had failed. Eventually, none were willing to risk crossing the monsters that dwelled there, and they were able to rule their corner of the northern wilderness with an iron fist. Mortals from neighboring towns and villages, whether obtained through tribute or outright kidnapping, were often used as slaves, bloodbags, entertainment, or anything else their masters might devise. It was often a short, miserable existence, and to cross them in the slightest way was to risk severe punishment. Attempting escape, then, seemed out of the question, for surely no servant would be willing to paint such a massive target on their back. However, clustering behind Wyn were a handful of other captives, looking on nervously as she fiddled with the lock bolted to the heavy wooden door of the dungeon. When not called upon by their masters, they were kept in the maze of cells deep in the belly of the castle, growing as pale as the creatures they served. The girl had been here for months now, and death was beginning to seem like a preferable option to the hell she had endured here thus far. The silent desperation in her eyes as she picked at the lock was echoed by the faded punctures scoring her neck, much like those the others beside her bore. "Come on..." she growled quietly, feeding a bent piece of metal through the keyhole. She was so close. Just one more twist, and they'd be able to slip out of the dungeon. From there, it was only a simple matter of finding some way out of the castle, and then surviving a trek through the mountain passes back into the lowlands. ...Perhaps it wasn't the most well-thought-out escape ever devised, but she could't bear another day stuck in these dark halls. A dull clank came from within the lock, and Wyn suppressed a giddy grin as the door swung open, rusted hinges creaking with the movement. She took a hesitant, creeping step out, only to freeze at the sound of polished boots echoing down the stairs. Swearing silently, she recoiled, gesturing frantically to the others. "Back in," she hissed, following them back into the depths of the dungeon. They slipped into their cells, closing the barred doors behind them and retreating to huddle in the corners. Within her own cell, Wyn shoved her lockpick deep into a pile of musty hay, her tirade of unspoken curses continuing within her mind. They had been so close. Settling down atop the same pile of hay to feign sleep, she snuck another glance towards the door, only to realize with a cold jolt of fear that she had left the door of the prison quarters open. She didn't dare leave her cell to shut it, lest the being coming down the stairs caught her in the act--all she could hope was that they didn't notice, or, if they did, that they would assume a careless vampire had left the door ajar.