Shackles of Hate. Chapter 25: Of Schemes and Plots

By: SinfulWolf

Sipping at a glass of wine, Lelthina watched the sun rise over the city of Driftafay as she looked out her open window. Her sheer robes flowed gently around her as the breeze wafted into the room, the richly tailored garb open to let show bare skin. Though the robe did nothing to hide what it did cover. As shadows began to very slowly retreat from the streets and buildings of the city, Lelthina wished she had a balcony to stand upon. Telva’s room certainly did. She could stand out there dressed as she was, without any real concern of anyone seeing her nakedness, so high above the city. Not that it mattered if they did, it seemed more and more of them were following the dark Goddess whose claws seem to sink ever deeper into the lands of humans and elves each time the sun rose.

Just like that the once purely political desire to have the Winterstone Princess removed had turned personal once again in the governess’s mind. Absently she licked her lips, letting her thoughts drift back to the woman whose fault it was. Lillium had gotten into her mind so firmly, so that now, after an evening of passionate sex with the rather skilled Sienna, Lelthina was daydreaming about the succubus again. Chewing on her lip as she remembered those last moments Lillium had spent in the abandoned farmhouse.

Turning away from the window she looked at Sienna, still sleeping, sheets draped only over her hips. The slow rise and fall of her breasts, nipples stiff from the slight chill of the breeze washing into the room. Lelthina touched the marks on her own breast as she set her wine down and moved towards her bed. In her mind she knew it had been a mistake to take Sienna to her bed. But Lelthina had needed it, and now that the mistake had been made she merely wanted it. And a queen could take whatever she wanted.

As she reached the foot of her bed, Sienna’s eyes opened slowly. She looked up at her new lover with that smirk that was quickly shifting from insufferable to endearing. Even attractive in its own way. Reaching up to her shoulders, Lelthina let her robe fall away, and began to crawl onto the bed, pulling the sheets away. Sienna shifted, watching as her superior started kissing her toes, her feet, her shins. Slowly Lelthina worked her way upwards, earning a deeper breathing from the captain.

There were no words, just a slight gasp as Lelthina let her lips begin to trail along Sienna’s lean thigh. Then a moan when tongue lashed out between the tart lips of her cunt. Reaching above herself, Sienna grasped the headboards, and let out something close to a whimper when Lelthina’s kisses continued to climb higher. Moving across the hard muscle of her stomach, and to the curves of her breasts. Sienna’s display of Elvish perfection. Letting her tongue swirl around each nipple slowly in turn. Letting the warm trails cool under the breeze that washed into the room. Bit gently at each one, drawing fresh moans from the soldier.

Still Lelthina climbed higher. Dragging her breasts over Sienna’s body now. Licking and kissing at the captain’s neck, her jaw. Finally their lips met, each tasting lingering flavours of themselves upon the lips of the other. On the dancing tongues of the other. In this room, there was no rank or authority. Just a desire to taste the skin of the other. To give and take pleasure from the other. Then Lelthina broke the kiss. Straddling her lover now she continued to climb. Now feeling Sienna’s lips and tongue on her skin. Just as eager as the night before. Gentler though. Savouring the flavours.

Her thighs continued to move upwards, the tips of her breasts gliding over an outstretched tongue and moist lips. Lelthina let her own moan out now, as she moved higher. Felt Sienna’s hands move away from the headboard to run down her sides. Ghosting over her ribs as lips found a rising stomach. A tongue dipping into a passing navel.

Then hands grasped Lelthina’s rear. Squeezed it tightly, as her pussy settled over Sienna’s mouth. Lelthina let out a gentle moan at the soft kiss that started. The caress of lips upon her entrance. The gentle push of tongue to open her. To reveal her intimacy. Then the tongue pushed inwards. Not far, playing and caressing just inside. Making Lelthina’s hips start to move. To grind against the face beneath her. Earning more earnest motions of the tongue. Gliding from the lips of her cunt to the glistening button of her clit. Flicking over it, letting her lip drag across it.

Now the governess held the headboard, her back arched with breasts pushed outwards. She moaned hungrily to the ceiling, as she rode her lover’s face. Let that tongue coax her deeper into infatuation with a woman that was supposed to be her enemy. To draw her deeper into a faith that should be outlawed. Fingers curled tightly over the top of the headboard, Lelthina’s hips rocked hard and eagerly. Hands grasped her rear, squeezing tightly, pulling at those rear cheeks.

The governess just let her moans pour out, not caring who heard. Indeed, she somewhat hoped someone did. The rumours they could spark might actually help her current path.

Nails now dragged down her stomach, and her head lowered. Unbound hair hung before her breasts as she breathed out her pleasure in low sounds, her hips refusing to stop moving. Grinding ever harder against Sienna’s mouth, feeling the captain’s tongue caressing inside her.

Hands then grasped her hips, and Lelthina felt herself flipped over. Her hands torn from the head board as her back hit pillows and blankets. Hips lifted upwards, the governess wrapped her legs firmly around Sienna’s diving head. Pulling her tighter against her needy cunt. She moaned loudly again, one hand upon her own breast and squeezing, the other grasping a pillow tight. Sienna’s breasts pressed firmly against the back of Lelthina’s thighs, hard nipples near digging into the skin.

When her orgasm finally started to wash over her, Lelthina’s hand snapped upwards. Grasping Sienna by the hair and pulling down. The captain’s eyes flicked up, staring down at her superior along the expanse of her naked form. Her lips and tongue still working eagerly to guide the noblewoman through the heights of her bliss. Higher into pleasure, and deeper into her carnal desires. When her climax finally struck, Lelthina threw her head back and let her moan sound out loud and clear. Her toes curling behind Sienna’s head.

Only then did the captain slow. Letting the ministrations of her tongue become a crawl until legs had relaxed enough for her to escape their clutch. She knelt there, her face and neck smeared in glistening juices. Her smirk slowly creeping over her features as she looked down at her lover. Watching Lelthina slowly regain her breath. Then, Sienna lowered herself, and gently kissed the governess. For a moment their lips merely caressed, until Lelthina opened her mouth to let the captain’s tongue in. Tasting herself in that slow kiss. When it finally broke they stared at each other a long moment.

“Are you hoping for something in return?” Lelthina told the other woman, trying to match that smirk, unsure if she managed to succeed.

“Always. But I shall wait for the next time,” Sienna replied, and Lelthina was impressed by the woman’s arrogance. Once again, the bloodthirsty soldier was right; there would be a next time.

“Good. You know what Lillium wants. The sooner she gets her prize the sooner I can claim the crown of Winterstone.”

“And the sooner you can fuck her.”

“I wasn’t the only one drooling in that farmhouse,” Lelthina ran her thumb along Sienna’s lower lip as she spoke, then brought it to her own mouth and let her tongue flick across it. Sienna just kept her smirk, giving Lelthina the answer she wanted. In her mind, the governess had to congratulate the captain. She was one of only two she would allow such crass words. Though, the thought of Lillium made her think it may be three.

“Just remember who you serve,” Lelthina said, and Sienna replied by leaning down and wrapping her lips around a nipple and slowly dragging her tongue over it. Coaxing a small moan from Lelthina, and starting to stir the embers of lust again.

“Go now. See to your company. Start spreading your faith, start recruiting, start purging. Do whatever you need to do to ensure I have a purely loyal company and that there are those loyal to me among the others. When you have enough to capture Telva, come find me.”

“At once… my queen,” Sienna purred, lifting her head from Lelthina’s breasts, letting her hair glide along that perfect skin.

The captain rose from the bed, slowly dressing in a style that was more Morkatan influenced. The leather pants near skin tight, the tunic almost a corset. It was dangerous, but Lelthina let the card be played. The sword was strapped to her hip, and the captain even bowed before departing.

Sienna was proving to be more than a pawn, and Lelthina had all intentions to use that piece to its full advantage. She laid back and savoured the afterglow of sex for a few moments longer, until she heard a soft knock at her door. Almost dainty.

“Enter,” she called, not bothering to cover herself. She had never been one for much modesty, but lately she found herself savouring her own sexuality more and more.

A slight elven woman entered. She wore a richly tailored dress though no jewellery, and her makeup made her look rather pretty. Deliah closed the door behind her, then turned and bowed to Lelthina. She didn’t make any observations about Lelthina’s state of undress. And being the governess’s handmaiden for the past twenty years, she undoubtedly knew about the affair that had begun the night before.

“You asked to see me first thing my lady. I figured to wait until your guest left,” Deliah said as she rose.

“There is no need to be coy. We both know that I was fucking in here,” Lelthina said as she slipped out of bed and slipped on her sheer robe once more. She glanced over at her handmaiden, as if first recognizing her attractiveness. Lelthina pondered then if there was something to be said for this corruption she’d heard about.

More, she pondered if it even mattered. She’d set her path, and corrupted or not she would see it through. Deliah didn’t acknowledge the eyes raking over her overtly, but she knew. She came forward.

“You’ve always preferred tact before my lady. If you rather I drop it I can. At least in private of course,” the woman said, and Lelthina wondered if the woman was utterly submissive, or just too damn loyal to even gather ambitions of her own.

“Drop it in private. Now, you know what you must do?” Lelthina said, walking with swaying hips to her table to recollect her glass of wine. Taking a slow sip she then moved to her desk and picked up a small scroll.

“Of course. I have also gathered the forged letters from Pharno. The letters will all be dispatched within the hour,” Deliah said, holding out her hand. Lelthina set the scroll into her handmaiden’s grip, and watched the woman bow again and turn to walk towards the door.

“Deliah. I want you to look into something for me,” she said then, and the handmaiden turned, an eyebrow raised with curiosity.

“If you can do it without Pharno knowing the better. But start looking into this cult of Morkate. Find out how many in the city worship her, and how quickly this cult is spreading. Both amongst elves and humans.”

The eyebrow levelled out and the handmaiden bowed once more without expression. As she left and let the door close behind her, Lelthina turned again to the window and looked out over the awakening city and took a long sip of her wine.

Corruption or not, she would wear the crown of Winterstone, and she would break the Coalition from within. And from the ashes she would rebuild, and the Kazdruk would find the true terror that could reside in the Elves.

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Walking out through the open gates of Castle Volgras, Sarya lifted her head towards the sun. She breathed in the fresh air and closed her eyes, savouring the feel of it on her face. Lifting her hands, she ran fingertips from beneath her eyes and down her form. Feeling the tight leather tunic she’d been given by Lillium, the undersides of the cups looking as if they’d been slashed open, showing the soft underside of her breasts, curving slightly towards the centre. Hands down lower to the leather skirt hugging her hips and cut low in the rear to show the cleft of her ass.

It felt heavenly to be out of the dungeon finally. To be well fed and sexually satiated. A chamber to herself, and even a slave. Collared and currently cowering in the bed she was forced to share with Sarya. Isolde had wanted it, even as Sarya took a sexual vengeance upon the prostitute turned slave. Forgiveness had come, for Isolde had served Morkate well and in a way Sarya as well. But her plots and schemes still tasted of betrayal. And for it, the woman who wanted to be a slave had to be punished.

It was the old Goldulin way. The ways that had lifted the island people who worshipped Morkate into an empire that held sway over the world. Sarya had studied well as she rose to Centurion. And had seen how the worship of Oan had dimmed the ruthlessness that kept Goldulin in power. It was good to worship Morkate openly once again, out from the shadows of cult safe houses.

Opening her eyes, Sarya lowered her gaze and began to walk into the town built around the base of the castle. She had wanted to speak to Lillium to find their plans for the coming days, but the succubus was no where to be found. All she had was the concubine Rania telling her from the naked and tangled limbs of her sisters that their mistress had gone out in the morning. To where the vampiric concubine would not say.

So Sarya came to walk and explore the town. To see the helots drilling in the square under newly promoted commanders. Centurions Sarya had been told, to emulate the old empire. Their discipline was impressive for beasts that were meant to be nothing but pillagers, rapists, and cannon fodder for the Kazdruk war machine. Their movements crisp as shields snapped into positions and wicked blades readied. Sarya couldn’t wait to get back into drilling. There was much she could teach them.

There were humans around as well. Some slaves, shuffling with only loincloths, leather collars, and shackles around their wrists and ankles. Many tattooed on the back of their shoulder as well. But it seemed there were free folk as well. Morkate worshippers that had come to settle here believing the harbinger would take them from under the oncoming tyranny of the Kazdruk and save them from the scheming elves. Each of them wore cloth and leather garments that revealed plenty of skin. The place was actually looking like a proper town with the buzz of merchants, the ringing of forges, and the chatter of people moving about. The slaves shuffling with heads down and the citizens ignoring the soldiers as a part of life.

It reminded Sarya of home. Of the way it had been in the old days. She smiled, walking along the main street. She glanced into an alley to see a man thrusting into a slave he had pressed against the wall. She moaned in pleasure, but there was a look of fear in her eyes. The man was preventing her from completing her work, and gauging by the whip marks across her back, this was not the first time she had been late due to such circumstances.

The man glanced up, his pants around his thighs, his hips slapping against the woman’s rump. He noted Sarya watching and he offered a friendly smile and waved, as if everything was perfectly normal. The slave didn’t even call to Sarya for help. She knew her place. The centurion waved at the man and continued on her way, taking a winding route through back roads to get to the temple of Morkate.

On the west side she noted the pallisades and gates of a barracks compound. She stepped in through the front gates, the two helot guards saluting her as she walked between them. Within was a tall three story building that housed the garrison not stationed in the castle itself. In the flattened dirt of the courtyard were two dozen helot soldiers sparring with each other, their swords flashing. A few helots wearing crimson sashes walked around the outside, whips coiled in their hands as they watched and barked out corrections. Sarya watched a moment to take notes.

The helots were not using their shields enough. The shield was an extension to a Goldulin legionnaire, as important as the sword. She would have to start instilling that. She was pleased with those that seemed to be taking the role of Centurions though. Lillium and Lorth had done impressive things with the helots they had under their command. Skirting around the edge of the barracks courtyard, Sarya found herself at the forge. A helot stood shirtless over his anvil, pounding away at a rod of metal, slowly shaping it into one of the wicked looking swords of the helots.

He glanced up at Sarya, then turned his head over to a male slave dripping sweat. And cum along his thighs as well, and from the state of his walk Sarya guessed that the helot blacksmith had chosen this slave for more than his usefulness at the forge.

“Keep the fire hot you little shit. Get more wood in the flames, now. Or I’ll use this hammer to fuck your ass tonight instead of my cock,” the blacksmith snarled.

The look of fear in the slave’s eyes suggested the helot wasn’t joking. He ran to gather more wood and toss it into the flames, and began to pump on the bellows. As he worked his loincloth shifted and Sarya noted the small cage his cock was ensnared in. Stopping a few steps away from the forge, Sarya examined the rack of freshly made swords.

“Centurion. Good to see that you’re out of the dungeon,” he said, with a hint of respect. Sarya was still getting used to it from helots.

“Just taking a walk. Wanted to see what my future soldiers are using,” she said, the blacksmith stepped back, his powerful chest glistening with sweat as he indicated the racks of swords.

“Usual fare for our kind. Serrated blades to rip and tear with glee,” he said, almost laughing as he turned back.

“Stop making them serrated. Arrow heads sure, but not blades. Smooth edges, and a better point. It’ll make it easier to pull the blade free, and to kill more from there,” Sarya said, making sure to use the argument of more bloodshed to get her point across. The blacksmith looked at her, frowning. He opened his mouth to speak.

“Make two types of blades for each soldier. One to take pleasure from the kill, and one to simply kill. I need my soldiers efficient. And there will be more glory for it,” Sarya relented, and pursed her lips. It would take some work to get used to working with those that were once enemies. Those she had killed so many of as her nation had crumbled around her. “I’ll come by later. I have some plans that might interest you.”

The blacksmith closed his mouth and nodded, turning back to his work. The ring of the hammer on the red hot steel cutting out any further conversation. So Sarya turned and walked from the compound and started a quick line towards the temple.

She passed what looked like a brothel. The slaves here in better garb but clearly still slaves. They danced outside to entice visitors within, but some sat on the front porch nursing growing bellies, which seemed odd for a brothel. It clicked though when she took note of a helot leaving with a grin as he fixed his belt. It wasn’t a brothel, it was a breeding house.

That was something new to her. She looked ahead, moving through a street filled with merchants hawking their wares as free folk moved and shopped for their needs and wants. Slaves a common sight carrying crates or purchased goods for their masters.

Eventually though Sarya found herself walking through the doors of the Temple of Morkate, still in the process of being refurnished. Passing between a pair of statues of naked men and women entwined in lustful embraces, and past a few acolytes tending to the desires of a few worshippers, Sarya reached the door to Aela’s personal chambers. She knocked, and heard the priestess call for her to enter.

Opening the door and walking in, Sarya spotted the tattooed priestess standing at the foot of her bed holding a whip in one hand and a needle dripping black ink in the other. On the high priestess’s bed was an acolyte. Naked save a blindfold, and kneeling on all fours. She had her head forward, her hip and lower back already covered in the runes of Morkate that would mark her as a servant of the goddess of blood and lust.

“She has been most promising in her learnings thus far. I think she’ll make an excellent priestess. Of course, once we’re firmly established it will take more time to rise in rank, but we have to start somewhere,” Aela told the centurion, turning away from her task and dragging the tip of the whip over the naked woman’s rump. The acolyte moaned softly, but didn’t move even as Aela walked across the room to her desk.

“Wine?”

“Yes,” Sarya said, savouring the view of the acolyte before joining Aela at her desk. Taking a goblet she sipped softly, and winced.

“I know. Not very good. I’ll have to get a barrel of something better next time. Still, it is wine, sour it may be. But you’re not here to talk wine,” Aela said, smirking and taking a long gulp. “Or stare at pretty women. You have a whore all to yourself for that I hear.”

“I’ve come to talk about my turning.”

“Of course you have. Tired of hiding and eager to serve your goddess. And without being turned, the Harbinger won’t let you leave the village.”

“No, she won’t. And she’s not here at the moment. So, when is it happening? And what do I have to do to prepare?”

“Tonight, and nothing. I’ll explain everything at the ceremony, but I’m ready finally. You’ll be joining the honoured ranks of Morkate’s chosen. To deliver her swift vengeance upon the world. And of course… I believe the Harbinger has a mission specifically for you,” Aela said, gesturing to a pair of open tomes on the desk. One written in Kazdruk, the other was in Aela’s hand; her own grimoire of stolen knowledge.

“Special mission? I was told I was going to be tr-,” a finger pressed to Sarya’s lips to cut her off. It tasted vaguely of ink and wine, with just a hint of a woman’s cunt.

“You’ll discover when you need to,” Aela said, then leaned in. Her bared breasts crushing against Sarya’s leather clad ones.

Their bodies pressed tightly together, Aela leaned up to whisper in Sarya’s ear. But she nibbled and licked to make it look like teasing to an outsider.

“We may be being watched. Until I find out more about this Niseht, we must be careful,” Aela said so quietly she was scarcely heard.

Sarya nodded though, and the high priestess peeled off her.

“I’ll see you tonight Centurion. You’ll be closer than ever to the Goddess then.”

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Three wooden carriages were being pulled down the road by teams of horses. In front and behind of each one a small group of soldiers marched with their spear tips glistening in the sun. Thaden watched them come closer to his position, and that of fifty other insurgents. Many of them holding tight to cross bows of stolen swords. One of two ambushes to happen today. Kira’s little resistance group was still growing as refugees set up tents in the camp deep in the woods. Now there were enough fighters for more than one attack, and while Kira led one further to the north, Thaden was entrusted with this one.

The one coming from Volgras he noted. Kira’s behaviour was growing increasingly odd of late, and he was growing more concerned. Ever since she’d fought her sister, she’d been growing distant.

“Those are humans,” someone whispered, pulling Thaden from his thoughts. He blinked and looked at the enemy soldiers dressed in Kazdruk armour, and was surprised to find the observation correct. The enemy guarding the carriages were indeed human.

“Doesn’t matter. They serve the Kazdruk, so they are the enemy. Remember, those carriages are full of supplies for the Kazdruk raiders in the north. We take them out, we make it easier to root those bastards out,” Thaden said, glancing at those under him. He saw heads nodding, and faces full of grim determination.

Turning back towards the small column he raised his hand. Watching, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The better the moment, the less people he would lose.

The first carriage rolled past him, the wheels creaking slightly. He did another count of the enemy soldiers. Thirty in total. They looked tired as well. Perfect.

When the second carriage came just before him, Thaden dropped his hand. A flurry of crossbow bolts flew out into the road. Eleven soldiers were immediately killed, the bolts punching through their armour and piercing flesh. As they fell to the ground, the remainder panicked. Some tried to turn and raise their shields to face the attackers while others dropped their weapons and ran.

Insurgents leapt up from their cover on the other side of the road. In silence they charged the soldiers facing away from them and smashed into their lines. With axe, club, and sword they hacked and bashed at the enemy. Screams filled the air as the soldiers panic increased. Those standing to fight turned to try and defend themselves as Thaden led his first half out from the woods. A quiet run, and they entered the melee.

The twangs of crossbows sounded as the runners were shot down as they fled. Their bodies dropping onto the road with bolts sticking from their backs.

Just like that, it was over. The ambush successful. Not a single Kazdruk loyal human left standing, and from a quick count only one of his had fallen. Gutted by a wild swipe of a spear. The man might yet live if he got proper medical attention. Wiping blood from his own sword, Thaden glanced at the carriages.

“Let’s get this done quick. Steal the horses too,” he said, before frowning as he knelt by a body.

He pried a helmet off one corpse and looked down at a face frozen in fear, with a leather collar secured tightly around his neck. His insurgents were already reaching to open the carriages when it dawned on him what had happened. Far too late.

The sides of the carriages opened, and bolts shot out from them. A dozen fell dead, a few more screaming as they grasped at their wounds. Armoured helots burst out from the carriages, swords drawn and already swinging, cleaving into the men and women that had just ambushed them. The trap had been perfectly laid.

Then a scream, and Thaden’s head turned to the front carriage. His eyes widened as a woman’s head was lopped from her shoulders in a spray of blood, and his blood ran cold as he saw the killer.

Lillium was grinning, blood running across her face, dripping down into her cleavage as she moved across the killing ground. Her body twisted, and sword dancing as insurgents tried to get to her. A crossbow bolt punched through a wing, and the succubus groaned before she flicked an axe into her hand with the toe of her boot. With a quick throw, the crossbow man fell back, the axe splitting his skull in two.

The succubus moved toward, ducking beneath a high swing with a sword. Her wings shot out wife, knocking two insurgents to the ground. As she rose, she slashed upwards. Her blade cut the man’s leg off at the thigh. His scream of pain cut short as the return swing came down on his falling form. Biting through his neck and severing another head. A woman rushed Lillium, only to have a set of claws grasp her throat. With a quick pull of her arm, Lillium ripped out the woman’s neck. Blood sprayed across the smiling succubus, who ignored the falling body to thrust her blade into a man’s gut. Thaden watched the tip emerge from the small of his back, blood dripping from the black sword. Before the image even fully sank into his mind, the sword twisted and swung out wide. The man fell, clutching at his entrails as a nearby insurgent’s arm was severed at the elbow. The limb landing in the dirt, and the wounded man stabbed through the chest by a helot.

Thaden couldn’t move. He could only stare. Fear clutching him as his forced was slaughtered all around him. Blood soaking into the road, and those left alive fled into the forest. There was no silence this time, Thaden could hear crashing trees as they ran as fast as they could from the blood thirsty monster that was their leader’s sister.

“Let them run,” Lillium commanded, and the pursuing helots stopped before they even got to the woodline.

Thaden was all alone. He dropped his sword, knowing it was fruitless to try and fight. He turned and stared at Lillium as she approached, trying not to stare at the blood of friends and comrades that ran into her cleavage.

He opened his mouth to speak, but she didn’t even pause. Her sword ran through him, snapping his bottom few ribs and opening his lung. Gasping for breath he tasted blood in his mouth. He gasped for breath as Lillium pulled him closer. Dragging him along her sword. Feeling it sink in deeper and cut his lungs open further. Crimson froth bubbled at his lips as she clutched his back and held him against her alluring form. Feeling the hard metal of her corset, and the softness of her cleavage against his chest. Her hand gliding sensually along his back as she leaned in. Her lips at his cheek, his ear. The tongue gliding along the shell of it.

“Should you get to your heaven. Tell Oan I’ll come for him someday,” she said as Thaden bled out in her arms.

Then she bit him. Her fangs sinking into his neck, his blood pumping into her mouth as she groaned against his skin. Her tongue teasing him, and in his shame, Thaden felt his cock stirring in that moment. Hardening in his pants until he felt it touching her thigh, his hips almost involuntarily grinding against her leg. She twisted her sword in his chest and continued to feast until life had fled his body.

Pulling her fangs back, Lillium pushed the man off her sword and watched it hit the ground. She stared at him, slowly licking her lips.

“Almost would have been worth it to fuck him first,” she purred, putting a boot on his chest, letting her heel sink into his sternum.

A nearby helot glanced at her in confusion, but Lillium didn’t bother to explain herself. Instead, standing above her sister’s lover, she swiped her sword in a downwards arc and severed his head. Grasping it by the hair she stood, resting her sword on her shoulder. Glancing both ways down the road, she looked at the piles of bodies. Near sixty dead men and women lay around her. Their blood soaking into the earth beneath her feet. She felt thirsty, and horny, and felt so good to be free of the spire again.

Picking up a spear she jammed Thaden’s head onto its point, and planted her trophy on the side of the road.

“Mutilate the others,” Lillium commanded, and her helots roared out in blood lust, and they fell upon the dead with descending blades.

The baroness of Volgras watched it all, savouring the sight. She knew it would be difficult to find Kira out there in the wilderness. But perhaps, she could make Kira come to her. With a slight smile she took one of the horses, and mounted it, and waited for her soldiers to complete their grisly task.

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The elf known as Voryna stretched her arms as she awoke. Though, Aeltha couldn’t quite call her an elf anymore. The former slave rose from her slumber and yawned, showing her new canines. Her fingertips exploring her new horns. The other elf that she had been experimenting upon, Bryla, turned over as she started to awake shortly after. The high sorceress grinned as she watched the beautiful creatures, her own pair of slaves near drooling as the new born succubi stirred and rose.

The first successful Elven succubi, and no vampire blood. Pure Kazdruk corruption flowing through their veins, and willingly accepted. Offers of pleasantries and an escape from the tortures of the slave cells had been enough. They had been willing to give anything to get out from the daily routine of rape and beatings.

Now they were more Kazdruk than Elven, and Aeltha thought she might have finally perfected the succubus formula. Or at least, the succubi that would control her ferals. They started to coo and purr as their senses came to them, their hands starting to explore each other, their lips eagerly looking to taste and tease the other. Small little nibbles drawing increasingly lustful groans. Aeltha watched the pair, who were clearly aware they were being watched. Their red eyes veined with blue darting over to glance at their audience.

“Aren’t they excellent?” Aeltha told the corrupted elvish twins that served as her servants and slaves. She was careful not to use the word perfect again. Not until all the testing was complete.

“Yes mistress,” the twins purred, moving closer together as they watched the succubi, their own hands started to caress each other. Something Aeltha made note of, even as her cock stirred. So she moved forward, resisting the temptation to take all four of them right now.

Instead she snapped her fingers, and gestured with her hand for the two new succubi to rise. Vornya and Bryla both got to their feet, their hands holding each other, breasts crushed together. Their cheeks rubbing against one another as they stared at Aeltha.

“How might we serve Mistress?” they said as one, their words mixing together into a sweet song.

“A final test, of your capabilities. And a theory I have,” Aeltha said, guiding the two to her hidden door, and opening it to the chamber of pillars and clinking chains. At the far end, seen only as a shifting shadow, Neicul awaited. His growls rumbling in his throat. For he stared at two elven slaves, chained to a wall. Gagged so they could not scream, or help throw in a variable to Aeltha’s experiment.

For the one chained upon the left, after some promises, had agreed to undergo the transformation to succubus. To become something better than Elf. The one on the right though had somehow managed to hold onto her defiance. She would even now be pulling against her chains had her wrists not been rubbed raw by metal shackles, and her exhausted flesh failed her. It was very near time to set Neicul free in his prison. To see which of the two he murdered.

“Get my little pet in there to kill the one on the right,” Aeltha told Bryla and Voryna.

“At once mistress,” they purred together, slipping into the chamber without any fear. Both slaves lifted their heads as the succubi entered the chamber. Both recognized them from a previous life. The left one, the one that might well join them, looked on with envy. The other was in shock, and hurt. Of course she did though, Voryna and Bryla had betrayed her, and her kin.

The freshly born succubi though ignored their former kin. Instead moving into the shadows as the doors shut behind them. Pale torchlight flickering into life to illuminate the way as Aeltha watched from her green orb. As the succubi approached, Aeltha firmly guided the face of one of her body slaves down towards her crotch.

Voryna came to Neicul first, purring at him, calming him. Her hand gliding along the cock that had been left exposed since it plunged into Lillium’s cunt. Voryna though gently stroked it, then pressed herself to his chest, whispering into his ear.

All the while Aeltha was able to enjoy soft lips on her own thick cock. Sliding further down along her shaft until the cock greedy whore had much of it down her throat. Her twin sister giggled, sliding to her own knees to aid. Letting Aeltha watch the show. To see every act the two succubi made, and more importantly, the reaction Neicul had to them.

He seemed confused a moment. Head twitching between the two as they sandwiched him. Whispering in his ear. Both stroking his cock and fondling his balls as they ground themselves against him. Their lips spilling the poison honey of their wishes into his ear. The target for him to kill. Precum dribbled over their hands already, and Neicul seemed agitated.

The feral beast that was once Yuldasha’s brother pulled against his chains, but neither succubi relented. It took a moment for Aeltha to realize that Neicul was not trying to get at the temptresses caressing him. He was glaring at the two elves.

It was time. Her fingers traced along her scrying orb, and sparking traces of magic sunk into the glass. Soon coursing along the chains that held her pet. The shackles fell from his limbs, and his neck. The beast glanced down at them for but a second. Long enough for the two succubi to slip away from him.

Then he roared. Furious, full of primal rage. Neicul charged across the chamber, ignoring the dangling chains that struck his shoulders. His feet pounded, and Aeltha felt her heart beating in her chest as she stared. She dared not to let herself hope. No, she just watched as the distance between Feral Kazdruk and bound elves shrunk. Both of them now in a panic as the raging beast closed in upon them. Thrashing in their shackles, blood starting to trickle from wrists and ankles.

Neicul grabbed the resistant elf by the neck. Her eyes wide for a moment before Neicul yanked her from the wall. Through the orb, Aeltha heard the crunch of bones as one shoulder was dislocated, and a thumb pulled off as the hand was forced through the shackle. Neicul stared a moment, confused why his prey did not come to him. So he kept pulling, and screams filled the room.

Screams of agony from the spirited elf being pulled off the wall. And terror from the woman beside her, watching this all take place right beside her, not sure if she was to be next.

Neicul roared and screamed in fury, and gave up trying to free the elf. Instead, turning to smashing her head against the wall while the succubi slowly approached from behind. Letting their pet do his messy work. Again and again the head was smashed against the thick stone, soon leaving smears of crimson every time it was pulled away. Soon enough clumps of once beautiful hair, before the skull broke apart.

Standing there, gripping a naked slave’s corpse in his hands, Neicul finally stopped. He was staring at the mush that was once a head. Now just bits of bone and gore. He let go, the body flopping, hanging by one dislocated arm. A grotesque puddle of blood and bits of brain beneath her.

The succubi moved in then. Their hands pulling him away. Congratulating him on being such a good boy. The still living slave stopped screaming, though she stared at her comrade with wide eyes. Aeltha grinned at the success. So they could be controlled then. She leaned her head back and let out a moan, her cum gushing down the throat of one body slave.

The high sorceress looked down at her body slaves.

“Time to fetch me some more prisoners. We have work to do,” was all she told them.

Within the chamber, the succubi had mounted Neicul, their backs to one another. One riding his cock, the other straddling his face. Moaning up to the ceiling as their hips moved, shoulder blades rubbing together.

Beneath them, Neicul revelled in the delights of the flesh.

><><

One of Velkra’s signallers put a war horn to his lips. Standing stark naked on the piece of wall they had captured, he grasped his hard cock and blew into the horn. The sound carried outwards even as his hips thrust towards the waiting humans. Velkra’s talon all began to stomp their feet or the butts of halberds on the stone they had taken from the humans.

Velkra did not intend to push further inwards, into the woods. She intended to sweep along the wall, taking more and more of it, broadening the breach she had made so that the other talons and their helots could swarm into the forest and slay any who remained.

She grinned, holding her warscythe at her side. Down on the beach more Kazdruk warriors whipped their helots into a frenzy, pushing them forward to take the wall.

“Let’s see who spills more blood today,” Velkra said, and her warriors yelled out as they built themselves into a frenzy. She gestured forwards, and the Kazdruk tore through the barricade they had erected. Corpses, discarded armour, and bits of debris tumbling off the wall as the Kazdruk charged along its length.

It felt good to feel the adrenaline of coming battle again. Her teeth bared in a wild grin as her braids trailed behind her. To feel the grip of a weapon in her hand again, to know that soon she would be spilling blood, and fucking taken slaves. It had been far too long wallowing in the Spire.

Their roars filled the air as they hefted their weapons, running towards the next juncture. Even from here Velkra could see the terror in the human sentries, raising their crossbows to fire into the charging masses. They seemed confused as to where to fire, whether at the talon coming at them from the flank, or the helots rushing up the beach.

Too confused. Velkra frowned, not hearing shouted orders. No human who thought he was in command. Trying to be heard above the fear. It was just the sentries. She slowed, brows furrowing further as she assessed what she saw and heard before her.

The helots were dropping to the few crossbows, but not as many as there should have been. And she had only seen a single of her own warriors fall. They crashed into the second barricade. The one the humans had made from logs, lashings and crude spikes. It did nothing to slow the hulking kazdruk, who tore it down with barely a pause. The Helots even were already scaling the walls. The humans were breaking and running.

It was too easy.

“Halt. Stop!” Velkra screamed.

A few looked back at her. Confused, even with drool running from their lips. Some didn’t hear, but most of her talon managed to stop themselves. Velkra’s eyes darted from the scaling helots to the wood line. The woodline she saw the humans starting to gather in. Collecting themselves.

They hadn’t broken.

“Off the walls. Get off the walls,” Velkra screamed, the first to rush to the edge and leap off towards the last tuft of grass before it all turned to sand.

Her talon glanced amongst each other, but Velkra was their commander until someone challenged her and won. So they followed, jumping off the wall as the helots sneered, and their kazdruk handlers mocked them loudly. A few of Velkra’s warriors either didn’t hear or ignored her, and pushed further along, and started to leap towards the other side.

On the sands again, Velkra’s talon looked amongst each other in confusion, then to Velkra in anger. She led them further downwards. Towards the lapping waters and the old helot barricades they had hid behind for months. Their blood still boiling, eager to see combat. To see violence, and claim spoils.

“Why do we run from the fight? The humans were cowering, fleeing like their little virgin wenches,” one dared to say, and Velkra resisted the temptation to kill him. Instead she crouched, and looked towards the wall.

“Because they did not cower. They lured,” Velkra said. The insubordinate warrior frowned, spat on the ground and took a single step before a deafening explosion shook the ground. The warriors were thrown to the ground in heaps.

Velkra though saw it all. See the ball of fire that rose upwards from beneath the humans’ wall. Saw the mortar and stone break apart into chunks as they were ripped up into the air. Helots and Kazdruk alike did not have a chance to scream as their bodies, or pieces of them, were thrown across the beach. Dirt, rock, blood, bone, and chunks of flesh fell from the sky.

In the aftermath, came the groaning of Kazdruk wounded. Helots and purebloods crawling in the mess of the wall. Velkra looked at her warriors who stared in stunned silence. Further down the beach, they all heard another explosion. Then another. Growing ever more distant.

“Cowards,” one of the warriors said, rising to her feet with halberd in hand.

“Smart. How much of this invasion force will be left now? After months of trying to take it, they have taken it from us,” Velkra said, peering through the smoke and dust. From within she heard groans cut violently short. She looked to the others.

“We go forward quietly. They are killing the wounded. We counter their counter attack,” she said, and placed a finger to her lips.

Her talon nodded, and gripped their weapons again. They started to rush forward again. This time there were no war cries. No threats or beating of weapons. They stayed hunched, avoiding anything on the ground that might cause noise. The sand beneath their sands scarcely a whisper.

The smoke was just starting to settle when they entered. Passing chunks of the dead, and seeing some buried beneath the debris. They began to see shapes ahead though. Dark shadows in the brown of the dust. A line of them starting to become more solid. Soon the glint of armour seen.

“Hey, ther-” Velkra took the first kill, the man ripped open groin to shoulder by her scythe, his leather armour unable to even try to stop it. Now her talon shouted. Now they yelled. Now the panic in the humans was not a ruse. They did not expect many survivors. Did not expect organized resistance. The line was already crumbling as the talon smashed into it.

Steel and fist flared and sliced and smashed. New screams filled the air as the humans desperately tried to peel back to get themselves organized. But now the Kazdruk were angry. Furious. And now they were getting their taste of blood as they ravaged their way into the human line.

One man was standing his ground, blade in hand and smeared in blood. Two kazdruk already lay lifeless at his feet, and Velkra watched him duck beneath an axe swung at his head. His sword slashed upwards taking the warrior at the wrist. She screamed out, and kicked him in the chest sending him flying backwards.

The man hadn’t expected that, and was gasping for breath as the amputated kazdruk warrior rushed towards him. Ripping off her loincloth to show a hardening cock as blood pumped out from the stump at her wrist. The man on his back struggled to get his breath back, fumbling for the sword at his side. But the warrior stomped on his forearm with a cloven hoof.

He screamed now, feeling the bones snapping and grinding together. Drool spattered on his face as the kazdruk gripped him by the back of his open faced helmet and shoved her cock into his mouth. With balls slapping against her chin she thrust hard into him. Fucking his throat as he gagged and sobbed around the thick meat plunging in and out of his mouth.

When she pulled free the man was coughing up cum, spattering it across his chest and face. But she wasn’t done and soon had him flipped over onto his belly, tearing away at his breeches, and pistoning herself into his rear. He screamed in agony as he was ravaged.

Velkra moved past the scene, her war scythe spinning and lopping off a woman’s leg, before crushing her skull underfoot so she could behead one of her comrades. The blood sprayed across her arms, as she lunged to the side. The blade of her scythe opening a man’s guts. He took another few stumbling steps, tangling his entrails around his legs before falling to a dying heap in what was quickly turning into a quagmire of bloody mud.

Now the humans were running, many of them tossing away weapons or bits of armour to try and run faster. Velkra stood over the corpse of a man clutching a crossbow that had already been loosed. Sweat was beaded on her skin, streaked through with blood and gore. Bits of grit and mud stuck to her, and her breasts heaved as she breathed it all in.

“Don’t follow,” she called to her warriors. This time, even smeared in blood, they listened attentively. Not one ran after the fleeing humans. Velkra smirked. The move had been smart for the humans, but they had accidentally solidified her command over the talon.

“Gather any who live, we go back to where we were. Establish camp and prepare for the next attack,” Velkra said.

She listened to her warriors moving amongst the dead and dying. Killing those that could not be saved. Velkra turned back to look at the amputated warrior. She was slumped over her victim, passed out from blood loss. Her cock still buried in his ass. The man cried quietly to himself, cum smeared over his lips, and dribbling over his balls to the ground.

At her feet she heard a groan of pain. She looked down to see a kazdruk pureblood. One of those that had mocked her talon and led his helots into a trap. There was little left of him below the rib cage. She smirked down at him, placing the tip of her spear against his neck. He tilted his head back, and with a quick swipe, Velkra opened his throat and watched him bleed out.

“Get me a runner. We need to see what has happened along the beach,” she called out, already walking back to where her camp would be established once more.

><><

Looking down from the top of the hill, Layli saw just an open field littered with long dead skeletons. She looked over at the scout beside her. There were no carrion birds anymore. The flesh had long been picked clean from the dead. Looters had taken anything of value. All that was left was bleached bones covered in some tattered and rotted strips of cloth. The eternal grins of the abandoned skulls left to stare at sky or dirt.

“The map says this is the Atzgol Plains,” he said, tapping at leather tube at his hip. “According to the reports, this is where the Cozlac clan fell.”

Layli nodded slowly. What might have once been beautiful fields of lush green was now a wasteland of Kazdruk corruption. Their influence seeping into the earth and showing in the skies above. She couldn’t even begin to count the skeletons laying down there below. Glancing over her shoulder she saw the rising dust of the Warhost moving northwards, still a few hours behind. To the east on a hill that overlooked the plains, was a simple looking chapel. To Oan likely. Something worth examining.

When her eyes moved forward again she noted something else in the middle of the field. She frowned, thinking it a skeleton on its knees. But it was hard to tell.

“What is that?” she asked, already urging her horse forward. The scout beside her frowned.

“I don’t know.”

The pair of them rode down to the edge of the battlefield and dismounted. They had no wish to upset the spirits of the dead that may be trapped in this tragic field. Leaving their horses snorting and pawing at the seemingly lifeless earth, scout and shawrapaht moved ahead towards the battlefield’s centre. They picked their way carefully between the scattered dead, feeling wind and dust buffet their forms as they proceeded deeper.

Eventually they came upon what looked to be a shrine. A spear was planted in the ground and surrounded by carefully placed kazdruk and helot skulls. A human skeleton was placed on the spear, the skull covering the bladed tip. Layli stared up at it, frowning.

“This doesn’t seem like a shrine to Oan,” the scout said quietly, and Layli nodded.

“Or Kazdruk. Why would they put their own skulls around the base of it? The human’s almost seems revered here.”

“Something new then?”

“Maybe. But for who?”

“What are we marching into Layli?” the scout had a hint of fear in his voice as he spoke. Staring upwards still at the shrine, his arms wrapped around himself.

“We’ll find out. Come let’s examine that chapel,” Layli said, starting to pick her way across the battlefield again.

The scout stared at the shrine for a few more moments before following. Their horses trailing around the edges. Dust carried in the wind swirled around their boots as they left the battlefield finally and started climbing towards the chapel. Even here there was the occasional bone or arrow shaft stuck into the ground. An old path was mostly obscured by blowing dust and lack of care.

As they approached the chapel, they noted the dirt smeared across the stained glass windows. The dried blood stains on the stones and in the oaken doors. Layli frowned, putting her hand against the door, the other falling to the hilt of her blade. She pushed, hearing the hinges protest as the door swung inwards.

A man in a priest’s robes knelt before the altar, his head bowed. Whispering quietly to himself in the gloom of the chapel. The tall candles around him had long since turned to nothing more than hardened wax caught dribbling down the wrought iron sticks. The pews filling the small structure covered in a layer of dust with cobwebs stretched between them.

Slowly letting her fingers relax, Layli moved forward with the scout staying by the doorway. The priest tilted his head slightly, before finally looking back over his shoulder. He was emaciated, and dark circles sagged under his eyes. With cracked lips he tried to speak.

“Do the demons finally come for my soul, or are you Oan’s angels sent to end my misery?” he said, voice raspy. He coughed hard after speaking, and Layli squatted just beside him. Watching him, seeing the way his robes hung loosely from his form.

“Neither. We are of the Scytar, we’re here to kill Kazdruk,” Layli told him, and he laughed. A dry sound that just left him coughing again, spittle flecking his lips once he recovered.

“To the sea you should go. They all come from there. Raping and enslaving, burning and conquering. But you are fools to go up there… Del Helshan is all but lost. The devil Morkate rises again. Her influence seeps out from the cracks in the world and good people find themselves twisted and perverse. Oan is dying,” he all but screamed the words out before doubling over, coughing again.

When he sat up, looking at Layli with bloodshot eyes, he reached for her. Grasped her hands.

“All will be lost, and the damned will rule whatever rubble is left.”

Layli looked over at the scout as the priest continued to scream. The man standing by the door shook his head and turned to leave. Wind blew dust into the chapel from where he left the doors open, his form quickly vanishing beyond the crest of the hill.

Layli stood. She didn’t think the man would give her much more in way of answers. He had prostrated himself on the floor, drooling now as he screamed onto the tiles his knees had kept clear of dust. The occasional sob breaking through his increasingly incoherent shouts.

She had taken four steps when he lifted himself up again.

“Please,” he muttered, and Layli turned to regard him. A trail of snot running from his left nostril, his eyes bloodshot and downcast. She stood there, looking at the pitiful sight.

“Send me to Oan. I cannot bring myself to face Morkate’s servants again… I pray you are stronger than I,” he said finally looking up at her.

Taking hold of her blade, Layli raised an eyebrow, slowly pulling the sword free. The man’s lips twisted in something like a smile, his head leaning back to expose his neck.

“Are you sure this is what you want? We can take you with us,” Layli said, gesturing with her chin towards the open doorway. In the distance the dust clouds of the approaching warband were steadily encroaching.

The man just shook his head, still staring at the ceiling.

“I am broken in spirit as much as body and mind. I cannot bring myself to fight. I want to see what lies beyond, to know that there is hope for this world. Because I just can’t see it anymore.”

Layli nodded, keeping her thoughts to herself. Sword raised she approached the kneeling priest, and brought the blade down.

><><

Standing on the dais beside the altar to Morkate, Lillium looked over the desecrated church of Oan. Now a temple to Morkate. The succubus was clad only in a cloak of black and red lace, hanging open at the front and exposing her pale skin. She stared at the doors as the opened, and the free folk of Volgras began to stream into their place of prayer. All of them, rich and poor alike, clad in simple grey robes that they discarded into a chaotic heap near the entrance.

Naked and smiling they moved forward towards the dais. Each of them prostrating themselves before the harbinger of their newly found Goddess. More and more streaming in as Lillium watched them all. She let her tongue slither along her lips as her claws glided over Viviane’s scalp, feeling her thick locks running between her fingers. Felt the whore’s breasts against her thighs, her tongue teasing at the glistening folks of her cunt while the former knight moaned softly.

As the temple began to fill, the front few rows began to look over each other. Hands started to drift, touching bared skin. Man, woman, it didn’t matter as the collected lust of them began to gather and build. Lillium smiled, before her eyes caught Mia at the other end of the stage. She wore only a skirt on her tattooed form, and held an ornate box with gold hinges in her hands. The acolyte stared straight ahead, but chewed gently on her lower lip. Watching Viviane’s lapping tongue.

Then the back doors opened and the two last figures entered. Aela, wearing only a mask of lace that obscured the upper portion of her face. Her eyes were surrounded with thick kohl, blending with the mask, and her painted lips curled in a sensual smile as she walked to the altar.

“People of Volgras, you are gathered to feel the touch of Morkate. You are gathered to see one of her chosen emerge from the flesh of her long faithful servant,” the priestess said, raising her arms into the air as a naked Sarya stepped around her and lay upon her back atop the altar.

People watched the collection of beautiful women, their curious hands becoming more bold. Grasping and groping one another as their eyes drank in the flesh on display before them. The smell of such closely pack bodies already starting to overpower the incense Aela had her novices and acolytes light earlier. Its smoke rising to the ceiling, trailing the aphrodisiac through the chamber. Making the followers of the Dark Goddess flush as fingers wrapped around cocks. As breasts were firmly grasped and fondled.

“See her display herself, ready to accept the pleasures of Morkate,” Aela purred, gesturing to Lillium, who gently pushed Viviane towards the edge of the dais. The whore looked up at her mistress, who gave her the slightest of smirks. Unwilling to disappoint her mistress, perhaps even afraid to, Viviane smiled and slithered off the dais.

“Join her in her lust, her pleasure,” Aela continued, moving around to Sarya’s head, starting to remind Lillium of her own corruption. Her own rebirth. The succubus smiled, brows furrowed into an expression menacing and sensual. Dark claws ran along Sarya’s thigh, and the soldier let out a soft gasp as her legs parted. Lillium, still in her cloak of lace knelt down between her legs, and pressed her lips to Sarya’s opening. Tasting her as Lillium let her tongue push inside the woman before her.

Now Sarya moaned, feeling the harbinger inside her. And the people of the audience began to grind against one another. Not caring who it was. Feeling bared flesh against their own as Aela moved around to stand above Sarya’s head. The centurion could smell the tartness of the priestess, and soon felt it on her lips.

Before hundreds of people the priestess leaned downwards. Her hair mingling with Lillium’s as the harbinger thrust her tongue deeper and curled in within. The priestess let her lips and tongue tease along Sarya’s stomach, as her hips pressed downwards. Grinding against an increasingly eager mouth. Feeling a skilled tongue gliding along the petals of her entrance. Making her moan against the hard ridged skin of a soldier’s abs.

The audience was starting to plunge fingers inside one another. Their moans starting to raise in volume as their bodies twisted together. Lips finding each other, or finding breasts of flat chests. Mouths wrapping around cocks, and tongues plunging into cunts much like upon the dais. The smell of sex beginning to fully mingle with the incense. The sounds of it all rising higher. Filling Lillium’s ears as she shifted her gaze. Staring upwards along Sarya’s hardened form, and into Aela’s half concealed face.

Slowly Lillium rose upwards as she noted Mia moving. The High Priestess of Morkate sat upwards as well. Her hips grinding downwards, juices flowing over Sarya’s lips. Dribbling along her cheeks and down her tongue. The centurion moaned in pleasure, and whined as Lillium’s tongue pulled away though the sound was muffled by the priestess.

Mia walked forward, slow and sensual, feeling many eyes upon her. Though many were now closed or turning to look to whatever lover they’d found. The acolyte opened the box, revealing a leather harness and a dildo fashioned from the severed cock of the executed Kazdruk warrior. Lillium stared at the toy, even as Mia began to fasten the straps of the harness around her mistresss’s thighs and hips.

Pressing a firm kiss to Lillium’s navel, letting her tongue glide over it, Mia slid the dildo through a thick metal ring, small little spikes clamping into it, holding it tight. The succubus rose, feeling te attention bathed upon her. She glanced, seeing Viviane staring with awe at her mistress, while a woman kissed her neck and stroked her clit. The lust in the room was palpable, and the centurion upon the altar squirmed with her need.

The Baroness of Volgras stepped forward, her hips gliding along the insides of Sarya’s thighs. The bottom tips of her wings dragging along Sarya’s sides. Feeling the hardness of her abs, her ribs. The succubus grinned, watching the centurion. Watching her body writhe upon now warm stone, her hands gripping the curves of Aela’s ass. Fingers squeezing in tight as she let her tongue delve deep into the priestess, the priestess who let her moans carry through the temple.

Teasing the woman beneath her with the tip of her strap on, Lillium watched her continuing the squirm.

“Take her harbinger. You have showed us of Morkate’s sensuality. Show us her power,” the priestess said, the words nearly a moan.

Thrusting forward, Lillium filled Sarya’s cunt with the Kazdruk formed dildo. Sarya’s back arched, her muffled moan pouring into Aela’s pussy. Claws clutching at Sarya’s hips, thin trails of crimson starting to seep down, Lillium built up a hard fast pace. She couldn’t hear the sounds of it though. Not above the rising moans as the followers who watched began to fuck each other in time with Lilium’s hard thrusts. Viviane herself feeling a cock pushing itself into her ass. Her mouth opening in a long moan as she watched her mistress ravage the woman who had sent her here in another life.

The smell of sex flooded the room. The moans of hundreds forming a choir of lust. Hands smacked against flesh, as other felt themselves penetrated. So many twisted with each other. Contorting in lust and whatever positions they could manage. A sea of bared flesh glistening with sweat. Through it all, knowing only half the eyes were upon her now, Lillium ravaged her former enemy. Watched her breasts bounce from each hard thrust. Watched her fingers curling in an almost desperate clutch of Aela’s ass.

Long lines of blood ran along Sarya’s hips to her thighs as the baroness continued to fuck her, savouring the feel of her dildo crushing against her clit. Enjoying the delicious view before her as she listened to hundreds of moans filling her ear. Neighbours fucked each other, emptying their seed over their skin and inside one another. Cum began to smear across breasts and faces. Men and women tasting the release of lovers, feeling the sticky heat on their skin as the harbinger continued to ravage the new chosen of Morkate.

Climbing off of Sarya’s face, Aela moaned softly, licking her lips, her thighs glistening from her arousal, and at least one orgasm. She moved to stand at the head of the altar, letting Sarya’s moans pour upwards towards the ceiling. Her eyes were closed, even as she tried to lean back to get the taste of the priestess again. Lillium grinned at the slight, thrusting hard into her.

“Morkate gives us pleasure, and we must give her blood in turn,” Aela called out, picking up a knife from Mia’s box as a naked helot walked onto the stage. His hard cock swaying with each step, body covered in tattoos to Morkate.

He positioned himself near Mia’s head, pressing the tip of his cock to Sarya’s lips, and began to push himself inwards. The centurion eagerly opened her mouth, letting the cock push deep. Lillium’s hard thrusts forcing her to take more. Her throat starting to bulge as it entered her throat, that invading cock quickly getting slathered in thick saliva.

Grasping Sarya’s hand, Aela pulled in away from the helot’s body. The centurion did not resist, screaming around the cock in her throat as Lillium continued to fuck her. Bubbles of spit forming around the base of the cock shoved between her clamped lips.

Fingers gliding along Sarya’s forearm, Aela brought the knife downwards, pressing gently to the skin.

“Take this offering of the blood of your warrior lustful Morkate. Take her life, and fill her with your power. Your desire, and your rage,” she said, slipping the knife into the skin. There was a slight garbled groan of pain that was drowned out by the chorus of moans and grunts that filled the temple. The orgy in full swing. Lillium let herself glance downwards to find Viviane on her knees, riding a man’s cock as another fucked her mouth and throat, a woman licking at her breasts.

The succubus smirked, turning back to Sarya. Seeing her pale now as Aela dragged the knife downwards. Blood spilled outwards from the cut, dripping off her fingertips. People in the orgy began to bite and scratch. More grunts and squeals of pain mixed with the sounds of pleasure. But no one wanted out. Lost to their own needs, and the needs of whoever was next to them. Uncaring who they took to themselves.

Lillium leaned downwards. Felt her breasts pressing to Sarya’s own. The succubus let her tongue glide along Sarya’s lips, feeling her body weakening beneath her. She licked the cock plunging into the centurion’s throat. Tasting the thick spit that washed it.

Then she worked downwards, kissing and letting her fangs drag across the skin.

Then the succubus bit downwards. Felt her fangs pierce skin, and Sarya moaned, feeling more of her essence fading from her veins. Lillium feasted, feeling the blood sliding over her lips, along her tongue, and down her throat. All the while still fucking. Ravaging the dying woman beneath her.

Rising again, Lillium starred down at the woman beneath her. Her skin near white as she struggled to breath, struggled to remain awake.

“Taste the blood of our Harbinger. The flesh of Morkate to walk this world,” Aela called out, likely unheard by the mass of flesh grinding and fucking throughout the temple.

The priestess though took her knife and slid it across the bottom of Lillium’s right breast. Blood welled at the lips of the wound, and began to dribble over Sarya’s own. Life faded, her eyes fluttered, but Lillium presented her breast.

The weakened soldier suckled at the wound, tasting the blood that would flow through her veins as well. But strength soon faded from her, and she lost consciousness upon the altar.

The helot began to pull himself free, shooting cum down her throat. Smearing it across her tongue and blood smeared lips as he pulled free of her relaxing throat. Aela grinned at the sight beneath her as Mia came forth. One final object coming out from the box.

A vial. A potion she’d concocted from Aeltha’s notes. She did not have Nera’s blood, but she’d made due with Lillium’s, and the executed Kazdruk. Among many other ingredients. She tilted Sarya’s head back and poured it down her throat.

“She will rise when Morkate deems it,” she said, though inwardly guessed it to be close to twelve hours, perhaps a full day.

Only then did Lillium pull out, and turned her eyes towards the orgy. Knowing Aela had the continuation of Sarya’s care well in hand, the harbinger slipped free of her cloak, and stepped out into the mass of flesh to find her whore, with full intentions to savour the pleasures of the orgy. Hands immediately reached out to caress her. To touch her. To smear cum across her skin.

Lillium spread her wings, to let them caress her people. Her barony. The first castle of an empire of blood and pleasure.

July 2018 Update

Hello everyone, Sinfulwolf here with a quick update on what’s been going on behind the scenes. I know you’ve all been waiting for more content, and that the wait has been far too long. We all here among the Dominion’s Chain creators know this as well. We apologize for the waiting. So here’s some news to at least give some insight.

For myself, I’ve been away from home working since the end of April. It’s been difficult to get anything down, and for long stretches of time I don’t have access to internet or even my computer. However, Chapter 25 of Shackles of Hate is nearing completion. Currently near 9,000 words and about 16 pages on my word processor (most chapters hit around 19-20 pages). I plan on getting a new chapter out near the start of August.

For Lucien, he’s just gotten a new job and has been slaving away there. Long hours lead to long days lead to long weeks, and with a young one in tow it’s been a pain to get behind the keyboard. Rest assured though he is still working away at not only a new chapter, but also new artwork for you all to enjoy.

Dawn is in much the same boat. Contrary to any rumours, no he’s still not dead. He’s been overworked of late, and hasn’t been able to get cracking despite hopes to have a new chapter out some time ago. He has however found a new proofreader, and work is coming along.

Thank you again for being so patient with us all here. I hope what we can provide in the coming months lives up to the expectations of long waits.

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 24: The Pieces are Moving

By: Sinfulwolf

With the finely embroidered hood of her cloak pulled up over her head, Lelthina looked just another Elven noble come to secretly indulge in the pleasures of the Rose and Jasmine. It seemed to be growing in popularity the past little while among the newly established court of Driftafay.

Lelthina had her suspicions as to why. Sometimes she questioned whether she should make a stand against this growing trend despite that it would cost her a contact to the enemy. Her ambitions and need to see House Winterstone growing powerful once more however, made her embrace this change.

The more she looked into it the more this cult of Morkate would prove to be useful.

As she made her way to the stairs that would bring her to Belinda’s personal chambers, she saw a door opening. An Elven woman, low born but well off judging by the fine clothes of dark green she wore, emerged from the chamber. With a thumb the woman was dragging a small spot of blood from her chin, and licking it clean.

Turning she noted Lelthina, and smirked without any shame or concern that she would be identified. Lelthina recognized the woman; the Captain of the Rose Wolf company, Sienna Blackwood. With only a small glance the captain continued down the hall as Lelthina paused and pondered the implications.

“Captain,” she finally said, making Sienna stop. She turned, with a look of annoyance on her features that turned to surprise as Lelthina lowered her hood.

“My Lady, I didn’t expect one of your station to be slumming it with us low born folk,” she said, surprise turning to a smirk.

“Call it curiosity captain. Whispers of a dark Goddess. Elven patrons turning their spirits towards her. It wouldn’t do not to know what was happening to my people.”

“Not stop it my lady? Doesn’t seem to me like Eletha would be pleased with that.”

“Seems to me you don’t care what the scrolls of Eletha say, or her priestesses.”

At those words Sienna moved closer. Almost touching the noblewoman. The captain’s tongue slithered along her lips as she leaned inwards. Their breasts grazing. For a heartbeat Lelthina was shocked that this woman could be so brazen.

“No, I don’t my lady. But then, you wouldn’t be here if you did,” Sienna purred. Lelthina watched her a moment. Studied her. Through it Sienna’s arrogant smirk never faded.

“You forget your place captain,” Lelthina said, refusing to give ground despite the utter inappropriateness of Sienna’s actions. The response only made the captain’s lips curl.

“Have I?” she said, shuffling just a bit closer. Their breasts starting to crush together. Lelthina could feel the other woman’s stiff nipples through their garments. She couldn’t let this stand, and without any guards it was in her own hands to reaffirm the duties of this captain.

Snapping her hand upwards she grasped Sienna’s neck. The captain didn’t react, her smile unfaltering. The governess let her nails dig into the other woman’s flesh, and began to push. Sienna was strong, and resisted for just a moment, before letting herself be pushed back. There was respect in her gaze, as if Lelthina had passed some private test.

Shuffling to keep her footing, Sienna was soon at arms length from the noble.

“Apologies my lady,” she said, though she had not let the smirk fall from her features. Only then did Lelthina drop her hand. She wiped her hand off on the skirts of her dress, and pondered the captain. She should be punished, but there was something about her that had piqued Lelthina’s interest.

“Meet me in my chambers at nightfall. I have a proposal for you captain. Do not, keep me waiting,” Lelthina said and saw the first cracks in the captain’s confidence. Another look of surprise, but also a hint of concern.

“Of course my lady,” she said, giving the slightest of bows before turning and walking off. She had not been formally dismissed, but was smart enough to see one for what it was.

Quite possibly a most useful ally. Or merely a dangerous pawn. Time would tell with her.

Lelthina watched the captain leave, not moving until Sienna was around the corner. Let her believe that she was here for the pleasures of flesh. If she turned out to have too loose of lips, then it would be easy to sweep that under the rug. It seemed it wasn’t exactly an unpopular vice among her kind.

The captain out of sight, the envoy turned Governess moved up the stairs to Belinda’s chamber. Reaching the stop of the stairs she let her knuckles rap firmly against the door standing in her way. After only a moment of hesitation the Madame’s voice called out to her, tinged with annoyance.

“Come in then.”

Pulling the door outward, Lelthina stepped within, seeing the woman pulling a wrought iron kettle from her hearth. A glance towards the elf noblewoman was marred by a frown as she made her way towards the table with her slight limp.

“A bit later than I expected. I had the kettle put on when I was told you were approaching,” Belinda said, pouring two clay cups of steaming water before adding the bags of tea. From the scent of it, from somewhere in the south. How the woman managed to have any kind of supply to share in times such as these, Lelthina wasn’t sure.

That bothered her nearly as much as Belinda’s words.

“Spying on my now?” Lelthina said as she took a seat.

“Don’t be so dull. You know full well I’ve been spying on you since you first came in here. Just as you’ve been spying on me. Though, I am curious what kept you.”

“A conversation. Surprisingly fruitful.”

“The captain then. Subtlety is not her forte. I am surprised she’s not been discovered by you folk thus far,” Belinda shrugged, holding her cup close. Letting the steam waft over her face, breathing in the scent.

For her part, Lelthina let her fingertips run along the rim of the cup, watching the other woman. Waiting to see if more information was forthcoming. When it wasn’t, the envoy held in a sigh. The Madame had still tipped more information, though it was likely the woman had fully intended Lelthina to know.

As a threat? As an olive branch? Difficult to tell, as she could see herself pulling both moves and even disguising one as the other.

Lelthina smiled, keeping the sigh down.

“Perhaps not. Though I am more curious why you asked to see me. A touch bold to have one of your girls seek me out,” she said.

“Less bold than going to see you myself. A girl dressed as a servant is easily overlooked. The arrogance of Elves often serves me well,” Belinda said, and Lelthina raised an eyebrow. The only sign of impatience she would let show. Belinda smirked, catching it though.

“I’ve heard from Volgras. Baroness Lillium has agreed to a meeting. Two nights from now at an abandoned farmstead one hour ride north of Innisgar. Be there two hours before midnight,” Belinda said and she smirked. Likely at the look of surprise on Lelthina’s face.

“You may bring a guard of five. She will have two companions with her,” the Madame continued and Lelthina thought over the meaning of the gesture. Lillium was certainly powerful enough that should she wish violence then a mere five guards would not be enough. And it also brought to mind, who exactly she could trust enough to bring.

Two days wasn’t much time. Not to build trust, and very little to actually find someone. Inadvertantly, Lillium had thrown Lelthina for a big disadvantage. Or perhaps she knew well what she was doing. Lelthina had to admit, she didn’t care for how little she knew of Lillium’s abilities with politics and subterfuge.

“Tell her I agree to the terms,” Lelthina said and Belinda laughed, the sound and expression deepening some of the lines on her face.

“I don’t tell her anything. She’s the harbinger, I’m a mere pawn in this great game of Gods and Demonic conquerors.”

“There is no game of Gods. Only ambitions. Gods are pieces to play for those who know how to,” Lelthina said, and Belinda smirked.

“Tell me something governess. Nobles often must keep up the appearance of devoutness. Why are you so quick to throw your dice upon Morkate?”

“Morkate is a new piece. I’m eager to add it to my side of the board. Besides, how better to wrest control away from your enemies and ensure loyalty then with a God?”

“I like you governess, despite being an Elf, so I’ll give you this warning. Be very careful. Your wish has been granted and you’re now dealing with someone much more dangerous than any of your political pieces.”

Taking a slow sip of her tea, Lelthina studied Belinda.

“She’s your harbinger. Shouldn’t you be revering her?”

“One blindly reveres Lillium when they don’t value their own freedom any longer. Beware you don’t fall into her snares.”

Rising from her seat, Lelthina carefully set her cup down. She studied the Madame a moment, who merely looked back at her. Cup of tea steaming in her hands, expression entirely neutral.

“Of course. Should you falter… it’s one step closer for the Elves,” Belinda said, and only then let the corner of her lips curl upwards. Lelthina didn’t bother to ask what they would be getting closer to.

><><

Sitting on the cold stone floor, her back against the wall, Sarya stared at the small hole opposite her. Her chains were longer now, giving her some movement around the cell, and a bed of straw in burlap had been given to her. It wasn’t comfortable, but at least it kept her off the chill floor. Aela had at least kept her word thus far.

Food had edible, and delivered with some regularity. But she was still a prisoner, and she did not expect good treatment. So days passed, counted only by the evening visits from Aela and the arrival of breakfast. Given as a bowl of gruel by a bored looking Helot who didn’t speak to her save a few grunts. Likely annoyed he didn’t get to ravage her like the other prisoners. Sarya had heard the screams from various other cells. Worse, eventually screams turned to moans.

But the dungeons were silent today. She played with a small stone, rolling it around under the pad of her finger as she stared, unsure of what she would do when Lillium arrived. She would eventually, Aela had promised it more than once through their multiple conversations.

Conversations and very near sexual pleasures. But Aela always left without fulfilling Sarya’s needs. The last time she had left her mewling and whimpering, gasping for pleasures from tongue, fingers, toys, cock… anything. But she hadn’t gotten it. Still the former Centurion revelled in it. Felt herself growing closer to a Goddess that many thought gone. And now… now saw a new rise in her enemies.

“Are they enemies though?” Sarya asked to the empty cell if only to hear something that wasn’t a droplet of water striking stone. She leaned her head back against the stone wall, bringing her eyes to the stone roof. Just for a change in cracked stone.

Stone. Stone. So much fucking stone. Putting the heels of her palms to her forehead she rubbed and let out an annoyed grunt.

About to stand, the sudden clicking footsteps caught her attention, and stilled the movement before it began. Tapping across the floor as they moved closer, slow and deliberate. They stopped just outside the door to Sarya’s cell. Silence for a few heartbeats, and Sarya knew she was being toyed with. Knew who was unlocking the door as the centurion listened to the clicking metal. She stared, waiting to see the Baroness of Volgras.

As the door opened, Sarya could only see the vague silhouette of her captor in the shadows of the hallway. Red eyes near glowing as they stared at the naked Centurion on the floor.

“I’ve been waiting days. A few more moments isn’t going to terrify me,” Sarya said to the figure, earning herself a low laugh that seemed lacking any real mirth.

Lillium stepped into the room, the black leather of her garments glinting in the light of the cell’s single torch. As her heels of bone clicked against the stone, Sarya felt a chill crawling up her spine. Shuffling closer towards the wall she suddenly did feel nervousness. Flashes of the battlefield where she’d nearly slain this creature slipping across her mind.

“I doubt much could terrify you,” the vampiric succubus’s voice like black silk. Slowly she strode across the cell, and Sarya was reminded of a cat, toying with its prey. “Me least of all, you did after all nearly snuff out my existence.”

Looking up at the warrior turned demon, Sarya steeled herself. Waiting for whatever was to come next. Kneeling, Lillium ran the tips of her claws along Sarya’s outer thigh, working upwards towards her ribs.

“You failed of course, and now you’re at my mercies. I’ve been advised to bring you into my court of course. It seems you’ve made an impression while I was gone,” Lillium said, her lips now inches from Sarya’s ear. Her claws having now reached her neck. Tracing along her jugular. The succubus was calm, not a hint of anger or even arousal despite the sensual teasing.

That had Sarya’s heart pounding, her eyes widening as she stared ahead again. Felt the tip of Lillium’s tongue trailing along her cheek. The saliva quickly cooling as she blew on it, her fingers leaving from Sarya’s throat.

“They tell me you already worship Morkate. Back when her name was recalled in cults in the Goldulin Empire. Secret basements… and the Empress’s chambers,” she said, her hand grasping at Sarya’s knee. Claws digging into the skin around it, forcing her thighs open.

“Is that why you hated me so?” Lillium continued, her fingertips toying with the scars of the bite on the Centurion’s inner thigh.

“Yes,” Sarya admitted, and Lillium grinned, baring her fangs to the woman. Leaning in, letting them graze along Sarya’s neck. Making her gasp softly as finger crept higher up her thigh.

“My people were weak. Yours complacent. Between the Kazdruk and the Coalition, humanity will be crushed into dust. Forgotten amongst the annals of history. So me and you, will give up our own humanity to carve a new empire from the rubble of this war,” Lillium said, shifting herself behind Sarya.

“An empire of your own. Quite the ambition,” Sarya made herself say, even as fingers dragged now towards the entrance of her sex. Teasing at wet folds as arousal pushed fear entirely to the side. As Sarya came to realize what a creature she had once set herself against.

“Far too lofty for my tastes. No, that’s where you come in my dear Centurion. Not just to train my soldiers. But to shatter the cage that holds your empress,” Lillium said, and Sarya’s head snapped to the side to regard the succubus, before a moan burst out from her lips as fingers drove themselves up inside her cunt. Her back arched, and she felt a breast pressing firmly into the palm of her captor.

“Oh yes Sarya she lives. In the bowels of the Spire. The Empress Nera. The Cozlak clan is gone, Goldulin is nothing more than embers. We will build something new for her to rule. Forged from the failures of our forebears,” the succubus continued, now thrusting into Sarya, pulling moans from her former enemy. The woman writhing in Lillium’s clutches.

“Darkness is where we’ll find not just survival. It’s where we’ll find victory,” Lillium purred, and bit down into Sarya’s shoulder. Fangs sinking deep into flesh. Blood blossoming into her lips as she feasted, listening to Sarya’s moans of approval. A trickle of crimson running down towards her untouched breast.

“Then, my sword is yours. Baroness,” Sarya managed through her moans, her head leaning back, her hand reaching to clutch in Lillium’s locks. Her hips starting to thrust as she gave herself to the very woman she had fought so hard against. In that moment she felt all her atrocities were justified. She felt like she had emerged through a web of lies to see clarity for the first time since Goldulin had fallen.

Lillium pulled her fangs free. Crimson dripping from the pearl tips, smeared across black lips. Her fingers though didn’t stop, working Sarya higher into sexual bliss. She had never asked, she had taken. But Sarya had given anyway.

Licking at the wound she had made, knowing Sarya would have another small set of scars in the future, the succubus tasted at her new follower’s life. Another piece moved upon the board. Taken from her foes to be set against them.

“I will take your humanity Sarya. You will serve Morkate, and the Empress.”

The centurion’s only reply was the deep moan as her orgasm had her eyes rolling back and toes curling as heels dragged across the floor. Lillium licked her lips of blood. In two days she would meet this Lelthina.

The time was nearly upon them, and her own revenge was near at hand.

><><

Looking down at the map in the table, Mikel watched as one of his lieutenants jammed a knife into a place in their northern fortifications. He struggled to think of the clan that held that portion of the Wall. He had gotten the reports of the Kazdruk that had appeared from a green mist. Now they were making their own barricades and crude fortifications. Some new unit… or Talon as they seemingly called themselves.

Mersax. That was the clan.

Rubbing at his beard, absently thinking that he needed a shave soon, Mikel tried to think. This development was deeply concerning. Rubbing at his forehead, feeling greasy hair against his palm, he studied the drawings that indicated the front fortifications.

“Why are we bothering holding this land if they can just… appear where ever they want? How do we fight that?” a captain of the Gunnskal clan was saying, thumbing the blade of the axe hanging at her hip.

“Because we have to. If the Kazdruk get full control of this coast, then they can ferry in as many soldiers as they need to storm through our lands. Here, at least they can’t get as many numbers against us,” another captain, Eadlax clan, said with arms crossed over his chest.

“Well, seems they can just ignore that now. We’ve lost our advantage,” the Gunnskal captain replied.

“Not so sure we have,” Mikel said, and the others looked upwards to him. Some with confusion, some with hope. He’d led them through so much so far. He’d only wished the elves would send him some more damn reinforcements. Some parts of the line were getting far too thin on manpower.

“Commander? What exactly are you talking about?” the Gunskal captain asked.

“The Kazdruk appeared in front of the fortifications. That means they can’t just land them where ever they want. Whether it’s an open field, or observers or both, I don’t know. But they have limitations,” Mikel said, and turned to his head engineer. He was busy cleaning grit from under his fingernails with a thin knife. A small slip had him wincing and sucking on the edge of his thumb as it bled. Until he noticed everyone was staring at him.

“Are the second line fortifications ready?”

“Aye sir. And the miners have reported they got their tunnels dug and the barrels of pig fat are stored away.”

Looks of confusion crossed everyone’s features, as Mikel turned back to them. He jammed his finger onto the map.

“This is the plan. We fall back to the second line here in the tree line. Leave a skeleton guard up on the walls, try and get the Kazdruk’s attention. Lure them into an attack. Then have them pull back as well and be ready to defend yourselves. The engineers all have their instructions,” Mikel said, using his finger to indicate movements.

The Gunskal captain was smirking, though the other lieutenants seemed lost.

“The woods should help prevent them from appearing amidst us, if my theory is correct. If I’m wrong, we’ll be far too dead to care,” Mikel said, and there was some chuckling from his officers. Leaning now on the table, he looked at them. Watched their faces, looking for doubt. Instead there was just some confusion.

That was alright. The common soldier didn’t need to know. Best to keep this close to the chest, in case someone preferred the Kazdruk leash.

“Step up the patrols. Our supply lines have been getting raided by the Helots from Volgras, and others that have managed to set up camps behind out lines. I don’t need them calling in a proper army behind us. Stay vigilant, stay strong out there. And pray to Oan, that we get out of this one,” he said, and the officers all nodded at him before slipping out from the tent.

One they were gone, Mikel looked to his chief engineer. “How long for those walls and towers to collapse?”

“Minutes,” the engineer replied and Mikel nodded.

“It’ll be time soon enough. Get your men ready.” Mikel said, getting a gesture of affirmation before he left the tent himself. Breathing in the fresh air, savouring it after the musk of all the unbathed officers that had been crowded in his tent, he watched the last glow of the sun on the horizon.

“Oan please let as many of these soldiers get out of this as you can. Let me be your hand in that at least,” he said, before bowing his head.

><><

The sun was starting to peak above the horizon, and the mists still clung to the land. Miles north of their camp at Thorlgruz, the ten strong Scytar hunting party kept low as they moved through the trees searching for food.

It had been days since the battle. The freed slaves still needed help, but the warriors were becoming restless. The Shaman wanted to stay and help, but the Serok was pushing for them to move on. It wasn’t good to see the two at odds, and Layli had wanted to stay in case the Serok became too pushy.

However, reports of a small spot of strange green mist that had appeared and vanished the day before had given the Shaman cause to send Layli out to investigate. So here she was, wearing a hide vest and leather pants as she moved between the trees. It was unfamiliar terrain for most of the Scytarran hunters. It reminded Layli of the Zelkathorn jungles though, and she felt comfortable in the shadows of the large trees and the concealment of the undergrowth. Though at least the danger here was from enemies, and less so the wildlife.

So she hoped anyway.

Following the padded down vegetation of an animal’s trail, the hunters moved in silence. Communicating only with hand signals, each message had to be relayed to those out of view. Towards the rear, Layli watched as the lead hunter’s hand went up for all to stop. Lifting herself slightly from her crouch, she saw the man drawing the string of his bow back, and arrow nocked.

Ahead of him, four deer. Three of them gently grazing, the other looking towards them, not quite realizing what was happening. In the utter silence, Layli could hear her own heart. Slow and steady in her chest, until she noted the deer looking upwards. Her own gaze followed.

In the boughs of the mighty trees towering above them, where only flickers of the morning sunlight could get through to light the way, she saw something odd. A shadow, moving against the light. As if watching them. Then it leapt down. It was living.

“Above,” she shouted, the deer spooking and tearing off, the loosed arrow from the hunter missing.

The shadow crashed into him, pinning him to the ground. vague wing like shapes slicing forward. Blood sprayed outwards as a second hunter’s head was taken from her shoulders. The lead hunter was gurgling, blood bubbling at his lips and foaming around something that had pierced his back.

Nocking an arrow, Layli drew and loosed towards the shape, only to watch it snap and fall to the ground. Other arrows snapped against those shadowy wings, the sound of steel hitting steel sounding in the forest. Then the creature lunged forward. A nearby hunter, tried to lunge away, only to get her arm severed just below the shoulder.

As she clutched at the stump she screamed in pain. Blood gushed around her fingers as the shade moved past her to another hunter. What might have been an arm shot out, and pierced into the next victim’s chest. He coughed twice, blinking in shock as others tried to shoot the creature.

“Aim away from the wings,” someone shouted, his voice tense, on the verge of panic.

Soundless the creature moved again. Low to the ground the wings scythed beside it. The speaker screamed out as his legs were cut free at the knees, before shadow burst out through his chest.

“Pull back towards the wagons. We need to get into the light,” another man called out as he loosed another arrow that pinged uselessly off steel.

Taking a quick look, Layli counted only five still standing. She gritted her teeth, and watched the shadow, arrow nocked. It moved so fast, pausing only when it took down a hunter. Only then could she start to make out that vague humanoid shape of it.

Shuffling to the side, she moved partially behind a tree. The other hunters doing much the same. The creature twisted in the centre of the five standing Scytarrans. Searching amongst them. For a moment, Layli saw it’s eyes. Red amidst the shadows. A quick flash gone before her mind had fully registered its existence.

Had it recognized her?

It sprung off again, launching itself towards another hunter. Now that she had some idea of its shape, it’s movements, she could aim. As its wings swiped, bark snapped off the tree the monster’s target hid behind. The man fell back, eyes wide with terror.

Layli loosed. Her arrow flew through the air, and she was rewarded with a screech of pain. A very feminine screech as the shadows rolled over the creature. Giving glimpses of flesh and metal and leather. Blood seeped and dripped from its calf as it spun and glared at Layli. There were hints of a face that might have been beautiful.

“Now,” Layli called to the others that still stood. Peaking out from behind trees, they loosed their own arrows.

The shade managed to deflect two of them. Hints of metal showed on the wings as the arrows hit them. But one embedded itself into the attacker’s lower back, and another hit her shoulder. She screeched in pain. Driving one hunter to his knees as he clutched at his ears.

Her own ears ringing, Layli nocked another arrow, this time aiming for the shade’s face. Despite her wounds though, it lunged off to the side, making Layli’s shot go wide. The hunter it grasped hadn’t been expecting the attack as claws dug into his neck. She pulled his throat out in a gush of torn flesh and blood. The wings scissored, and split the man in two.

As the two halves fell into a messy pile of spilled entrails, Layli loosed one last arrow, this one lodging itself into the woman’s shoulder blade. Another ear grating screech filled the forest. But, Layli noted how her wing drooped. Useless. The shadows peeling back more, showing raw unhealed flesh. The stench of rot reaching her nose.

Another arrow nocked and drawn, but now the creature was lunging at Layli. Seemingly flying just above the ground. One wing swiped towards Layli, who dived to the side. Felt the sweep of metal just above her head. But now the thing was above her, crouched and using it’s injured wing as a shield while the others loosed their own arrows at it.

“If you come willingly, I will let these others live. The mistress wanted you alive, there was no need for you to have all your limbs,” the creature said, her voice far more sensual than Layli expected for such a monstrosity.

“Stop,” Layli shouted to the others. They all paused as they were, two of them with bows drawn. They stared at the scene before them. The bleeding creature of metal fused into raw flesh, towering above the shawrapaht.

Slowly, Layli uncurled her fingers from her bow, and held up her hands in a sign of submission. In the corners of her vision she saw draw strings relaxing, the surviving hunters unsure of what to make of what was happening.

“Wise, most wise,” the creature said, reaching downwards and grasping Layli’s vest. She pulled, lifting the shawrapaht from the ground.

“This time. For it certainly was not so wise to challenge my mistress so,” the creature said, grinning down at her captive, showing the glint of metal fangs. “So pretty too… elf blood even.”

Eyes moved to the opened cleavage, to the pointed ears. Slowly savouring the view. Then it pulled Layli sharply upwards, showing surprising strength. Lifting the Scytar warrior clear off the ground until their faces were inches apart.

“Oh you foolish humans. Why fight? The end is inevitable. Denying yourselves the pleasures to be enthralled by our betters. To become, better,” the creature said, her wings protecting her from the others. “How do you taste, I wonder.”

The monster’s face leaned in, surprisingly soft lips pressing to Layli’s own. The shawrapaht thrust her tongue forward, deepening the kiss immediately. She earned herself a muffled moan of surprise. The tang of blood was on the creature’s lips and tongue. The coldness of metal from her fangs.

Fingers grasping the hilt of her knife, Layli drove it upwards into the creature’s gut. Felt her steel piercing flesh, until she curved upwards and felt the scrape of bone. Another screech filled the air, and the creature released Layli, trying to stand upwards, away from the knife. Having the blade hooked on her ribs though only pulled her downwards, steel grating on bone, opening her lung, as Layli’s back struck the forest floor once more.

Fury filled her eyes, and Layli snapped her other hand upwards, grasping at the creature’s throat. Felt claws digging into her forearm. Blood coursed over her hand, her fingers pushed against the very wound she made as she dug the knife deeper.

With another screech of agony, perhaps even knowing she was to die, the creature swung her one working wing around. Ready to carve into Layli’s form.

Four arrows sank into her now unguarded flesh. The creature’s eyes went wide as strength slipped further from her, falling to her knees. Layli managed to push her to side side, where she fell to her back. Snapping the arrows and driving them deeper. Blood began to bubble at her lips.

Getting to her own feet, listening to their attacker desperately drawing for breath that could not fill her collapsing lung, Layli held her knife before her. She had no witty words this time. Instead kneeling on the creature’s naked chest, and driving her knife upwards under her chin.

As the blade punched through the roof of her mouth, the creature’s eyes glazed over in death. Yanking the blade free, Layli stayed crouched above her fallen foe.

“These Kazdruk. They are more wicked than we had been led to believe. This was once a human woman,” Layli said, using her bloodied knife to indicate the wings. The other hunters had started to gather their own fallen.

“We bring her corpse back to show the Shaman and Serok. That they may know what horrors we could find in the north,” Layli said.

“Whenever we go north,” one of the other hunters said.

“Yes. Whenever we go north,” Layli said, and bent forward, pressing the edge of her blade to the skin above the creature’s ear.

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The journey back to the camp was quiet. While Layli hadn’t known any of the hunters, they had all known each other. Been friends, and seemingly from the tears that one pretended didn’t mark his face, some lovers as well. Leaving behind the seemingly normal world that was the forest at the edge of Kazdruk corrupted territory was worse now after losing half their party.

Into the swirling ash and crimson sands. Under the skies that ever looked of dusk and swirling energies. The Kazdruk corruption had conquered not just the people here, but the spirits of earth. And cut away the gaze of the Gods.

And after one corrupted through bolted metal and twisted flesh, Layli felt only a deeply burning anger. An eagerness to wet her sword in their blood.

Sentries and scouts at the edge of the sprawling War Host camp saw them approaching of course. No horns were blown, but as the party grew closer, the curious gathered to see what meat had been brought back into camp.

By the time the party was close enough to see faces the curiosity was gone. Concern, worry, on their faces. Slowly twisting into sorrow as they registered the smaller numbers. Ten had gone out, five returned. Layli noted one young woman cupping her hands to her mouth, tears welling in her eyes. Before anyone could stop her, she had run off into the depths of the camp.

Whispers carried amongst the throngs that had gathered as they took in the blood smeared hunters that walked along the pathways towards the centre of the camp. Towards the tents of the Serok and the Shaman. They looked at the carefully wrapped bundles in the back of the horse drawn cart, the cloth a damp crimson in spots to show violent ends. They looked at the less carefully wrapped and contorted bundle at the bottom. Tossed on without care.

Of course, they all saw the long locks of hair flap of bloody skin tied to Layli’s belt. There were whispers about the scalp, and wonders why there was only one.

Word had moved through the camp quickly. Between runners and the spreading whispers of the watching crowds. By the time the cart had reached the centre, the Serok and Shaman were both waiting for the party of hunters. Warriors gathered around, and a hush settled over the crowd. Layli glanced to the side, noting Enwa standing just beside Behdin. Her eyes wide as she looked from Layli to the cart.

No words were spoken as the Scytar dead were removed carefully from the cart. Laid off to the side that the Shaman and his Sagird could perform the proper rites upon them. Those watching bowed their heads, pressing their right fist to left shoulder. With no moutains for miles, the bodies would be laid out upon small mounds for the spirits to reclaim their flesh, and the Gods to take their spirits.

Then, slowly, eyes turned towards Layli as she moved to the back of the cart. Without the care displayed to their own dead, she grasped the misshapen corpse that remained and hauled it off, letting ti slam heavily into the ground at the feet of the Shaman and Serok. Without waiting on comment, she pulled the canvas from the corrupted creature that had attacked them in the forest.

Out in the open, to show metal bolted into flesh. A once beautiful woman turned into a mockery of her people. It looked more grotesque from the wounds of battle, and the gleaming skull were once silken locks had hung.

All that could see stared in horror. Layli looked up at Behdin, watching the aging man’s reactions. For a moment he was still, before he bent down, taking two handfuls of earth. When he stood he looked to the sky. To the Gods above. When his eyes dropped back to the people, there was fury there.

“The Kazdruk have soiled the skies with their unnatural practices. They have tainted the earth with their perversions. And now, it seems they will also corrupt our flesh with their wickedness,” he began, and people nodded.

“As many of you know, I wanted to remain here. To aid those that have tasted the lash of these demons. That we might cleanse the lands. But I was wrong. The Kazdruk must not be left alone. Their lives cannot continue. I bow to the Serok in this now. And will follow him north to war,” Behdin said, letting the sand he had picked up drift through his fingers. He turned then, and gave a small bow to the Serok. “Serok Serikbek. The Gods and Spirits need their realms cleaned.”

Serikbek stepped ahead and drew his sword holding it high into the air. He spoke, letting his voice carry across the camp.

“We wash this world with the blood of the Kazdruk, and the blood of the corrupted. Let none say we sat idly by as the world was consumed. So sharpen your blades, and string your bows. We march again. Flesh to blood!”

“Bone to dust,” the many thousands of warriors cried out, sorrow turning to a burning rage. A blood lust rising amongst them. Layli felt herself swept up in it, spittle on her lips as she shouted out. Eager to once more bury her arrows into the invader.

The Serok’s sword came down, and severed the corrupted woman’s head. Holding it high, Serikbek looked over his people. The Scytarran war host chanted their battle cries, those not warriors pumping their fists into the air.

Death was coming to the north.

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For Lelthina, the two days given by Lillium had gone by startlingly fast. A rush to find to trust enough to take with her. Though trust was not the right word. It was a word that tasted strange on her tongue and didn’t feel comfortable in her mind. No, she had been looking for those she would know would not betray her.

Captain Sienna had been her first choice, as she needed Pharno back in Driftafay.

It was with some surprise though, at how easy Sienna had been convinced. The woman was not a subtle woman by Elven standards, but her joys of carnal pleasures and bloodshed had been easy enough to sway her. She had even brought along four of her own soldiers that she trusted.

How an Elf in any position of authority could so easily use that word was still beyond Lelthina.

After departing during the day with Lelthina telling the collected nobles of Driftifay that she intended to see what remained of the farmland, it had been easy to bring along a bodyguard of soldiers. Night had fallen, and Lelthina had a story of hiding from Kazdruk patrols ready to sell to explain her lateness.

So here they were at the indicated farmstead, with a small dwelling, a well and a barn with too large of gaps between the boards. The fields had been untended for sometime, and the garden off to the side was overgrown with weeds.

The wind wasn’t strong, but it was enough to snap a loose window frame open and closed. She looked around, as her horse nervously whinnied. The farmstead did indeed look abandoned, for there was no sign of Lillium or her companions. No horses, no lights, no shapes waiting in the shadows.

“Perhaps we are early,” one of the soldiers said, keeping a firm grip on his horse’s reins, keeping the mount from moving too much. Lelthina glanced back to him, then to Sienna, who wore her typical smirk as she looked about.

“No. She is here. The horses know. We are being watched,” the captain said, returning Lelthina’s gaze.

The governess dismounted then, walking her own mare close to the barn. Thankful to be out of the saddle, for her rear was already getting sore. She handed the reins off to one of the soldiers, ignoring his raised eyebrow as he tied his and her own mounts to a horizontal post.

Not fully sure what was expected of her, Lelthina began towards the front door of the cottage, Sienna falling in behind her. The others spread out, hands never straying far from their weapons.

Ten paces from the cottage the door swung open. A blonde elf peered out from the darkness within, though her skin was so pale. And her clothing little more than strips of leather wrapped around her form. Despite her breasts and groin being covered, Lelthina could not call the garb modest.

“Mistress awaits within,” she said, stepping aside from the door and gesturing. Sienna whispered something to her soldiers then, and with perfect discipline they moved to guard the entrance. Their eyes watching as Sienna entered with Lelthina.

It was dark inside, but vague shapes of gray were starting to form, just barely letting the two elven women navigate within. A much larger shape moved, the hint of wings in the shadows. Before either could react, flint was struck. The spark almost blinding after such darkness. A long thin stick was lit, the small little flame struggling to push back darkness.

Lelthina could see clawed pale hands moving, carrying the flame towards candles arrayed upon the table. Slowly, with each one lit, Lillium was revealed. White skinned, clad in leather skirts and corset. Cleavage and the muscle of an experienced warrior on display. She was beautiful, and terrible at once. The curl of her lips not quite a smile, even as it hinted at the tip of a fang.

“Lelthina of the House Winterstone. What a surprise to hear you wanted to talk,” she said, her accent certainly from the human clans to the south of here. But there was a silken touch to it that made it foreign, enticing. She lifted her fingers and put out the small flame on her stick, leaving the four candles of the table to give some light to their conversation.

“I have had some revelations made clear to me. Of your loyalties,” Lelthina replied, noting the shape of the leather clad elf, and another figure, standing in the shadows behind the succubus. She was happy to know as well that Sienna had back up a few steps, putting herself on equal footing.

“Which whisper drives you to seek your enemy? That I plan to betray the Kazdruk? That I will save the Coalition? That I might even bow before the elves again?”

“That you seek to burn the coalition and drive out the Kazdruk.”

Lillium smiled properly now, nodding her head slowly. “A good whisper then. There are pieces missing from your picture, but you know enough of the puzzle. But I wonder, what of your puzzle. What brings you to me, knowing I seek your end?”

“A common foe. And a willingness to burn down what has clearly failed. The Coalition is too rooted in blood lines and old feuds. Better to let it break. Yet… that is but part of the picture,” Lelthina said, giving the succubus her own smile.

“You know how to speak, I’ll grant you that. Elves, ever ambitious. You want the crown, and need help with the inevitable civil war of house Winterstone,” Lillium said, and Lelthina had to guess the succubus was merely making an educated guess. The corrupted warrior was leaning forward now, her claws slowly sinking into the top of the table, and Lelthina couldn’t help but feel her eyes drawn to Lilium’s cleavage. The succubus just smiled.

“Clever. Though I wonder if that means the Kazdruk chose well… or poorly? You speak the truth of it, but I have more. A truce. No raiding or attacks upon Driftafay, and your forces may enter and leave the city freely. Trade can start again,” Lelthina said, and reached upwards, running a finger along the dipping neckline of her dress. Deepening, showing more of the smooth skin of her breasts. The succubus let her eyes slowly dip. It was far from a mere stolen glance. Despite herself, Lelthina felt herself attracted to this creature of darkness. She started to see why so many followed her.

“In return. We aid your patrols against Coalition forces. And, I give you Princess Telva Winterstone to do as you will.”

Lillium’s fingers clenched harder at the mention of that name. Cracks spreading from her claws in the wood. Something close to a snarl lifted a lip.

“There is one more thing I require,” Lillium said, a thread of fury in her voice. She stood then, the table lifting slightly and clattering against the floor as she pulled her fingers free. Lelthina paused, a bit surprised that the woman’s rage to Telva wasn’t enough. She had overestimated Lillium’s need for vengeance.

“When the time comes. It may be weeks, it may be months, but I will occupy Driftafay for a time. Not permanently, but it is the most fitting place for my plans,” she said, moving around the table, her claws dragging along the wooden top. Furrows dug themselves into the wood. She moved until she was standing just beside Lelthina, making the elf have to turn to regard the warrior that stood above her.

“Agreed,” Lelthina said, and held out her hand, knowing better than to question what hidden motives Lillium had.

The succubus grasped that hand and pulled Lelthina close. Their bodies touching, silk against leather. Warm breath cascading over the cool skin of the vampiric creature that towered above her. Sienna was silent in the shadows, but Lelthina could feel the elf captain’s eyes boring into the scene. To see this harbinger of her new Goddess.

It was now, in this moment, feeling her dress being pulled off, feeling physically helpless, that she understood the draw of Morkate. Her heart pounding as she let herself be exposed to her enemy’s eyes. As a hand grasped her rear, squeezing tight, she felt herself pushed back. Naked skin on the gouged table as Lillium hovered over her. Long dark hair trailing over bared skin. Lillium bent her head downwards, those starkly black lips wrapping around a nipple. Letting her tongue tease it.

Lelthina looked down at the display, a soft moan spilling from her lips as she remember Belinda’s warning. But couldn’t find it in herself to act against Lillium. Instead finding her legs wrapping over her hips, crossing at the back of the succubus’s thighs. Feeling her skin rubbing against the coarse leather of the succubus’s skirts as Lillium began to grind firmly against the Elven noble. Feeling leather now against the slickness of her cunt.

Slowly, Lillium tilted her head upwards. To see the lust in Lelthina’s eyes. Lelthina herself surprised by how badly she needed this. Her fingers digging into the shoulder straps of Lillium’s corset. The succubus smiled, her tongue slowly running in circles around an engorged nipple. A slick trail in its wake.

She lowered her head slightly, until her fangs pressed against soft flesh. Lelthina bit her lip, something between fear and arousal in her mind. She felt anticipation, but wondered how she was going to come back from this moment.

Lillium bit down, and Lelthina screamed. Lost on the knife’s edge of pleasure and pain as she felt fangs piercing into her breast. Hot blood flowing out for the harbinger to sup upon her essence. Her eyes rolled back, Lillium’s hands gliding down the elf’s sides to rest at her waist. Pulling down to increase the friction of leather against the wet folds of her cunt.

Moans filled the cottage as the deal with the shadows was made. Tongue dragging over crimson slick skin.

When she pulled back, Lillium let her tongue slither once more. Moving across the holes she had made in the governess’s breast. Soft trickles of blood ran from the wounds, and Lelthina panted, near desperate. Then came the hand at her throat. Pressing into her windpipe, making breathing difficult as she was pulled up. Her breasts now also against leather. The bite stinging as the edges ran along the stitching running along the edges of the cups.

Lips found lips, and Lelthina could taste the almost metallic tang of her own blood. Her tongue eagerly seeking entrance, before the succubus trapped her lower lip between her teeth, letting it fold in front of her fangs. Lelthina groaned, then felt herself pushed back onto the table. Claws between her breasts as she panted.

Lillium stood above her, eyes closed, tongue running over her lips. A soft sound of enjoyment sounding in her throat, then she glared down at Lelthina.

“Bring Telva to Volgras. Then, we can finish what we started here,” Lillium promised, her two concubines gliding through the shadows and leaving the cottage. Sienna might have struck then, ended this threat. But the captain didn’t move, and Lelthina was breathless as she stared upwards.

Claws dragged across the elf’s chest, threatening to break skin and leaving dark red trails between Lelthina’s breasts. Then Lillium turned, her wings whistling in the air before she slipped out from the cottage and into the night, leaving both elves in silence.

Her heart pounding, breasts rising and falling heavily, loins aching, Lelthina couldn’t bring herself to get dressed just yet. She had let Lillium leave with the advantage. Had let her set the theme for their future meetings. She understood the warning that Belinda had given her now. Truly understood. Worse, she wasn’t sure she could fight it.

“Captain. Remember when I told you that you had forgotten your place?”

“Quite clearly my lady,” Sienna said, even her voice carrying that smirk that couldn’t be seen in the shadows.

“I changed my mind.”

The response was the sound of armour buckles being undone.

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 23: The Board is Set

By: SinfulWolf

The image to Thorlgruz went dark, and Aeltha stared at the swirling mists in her orb for a moment. She didn’t move, just stared with rage tearing through her mind. First the failure with the Gan’ra worm, right in front of Yuldasha no less. Now, this. Her fingers tapped along the top of thigh high boots as she stared, struggling to rein in her thoughts. To collect her emotions.

Likely she was the only one who knew of Thorlgruz’s fall at the moment. She would have to be the one to report it to Yuldasha. That their biggest grip on Del Helshan was gone. It meant Volgras was cut off from support, though Aeltha had to admit that Lillium seemed to be thriving with little official support. Niseht had been relaying plenty of information of bolstered troops in the castle. Where was the self titled Baroness getting all of her helots?

Forcing out a breath, Aeltha stood, looking over towards the pair of Elven slaves Velkra had delivered the day before. Strapped to tables standing on end, forced to face one another. Thick tubes ran from needles jammed into their shoulders, into large glass cylinders filled with Kazdruk blood. Or, had been, but it was mixed with their own now, cycling through their veins with the help of a device similar to a blacksmith’s bellows. The Elven whores pumped them now, their faces ones of fatigue having kept up the steady motions for hours now.

They wouldn’t dare speak out though. Especially not now. Aeltha could at least count on the twisted loyalties of the broken minded.

Turning to her workbench she grabbed a deep green crystal and held it up to her eyes. Inspecting it, ensure there were no flaws in its construction. It was so very similar to that which fuelled their dimension ripping engines that had allowed them to transport to this world years ago. But Yuldasha wanted to travel across this world. Difficult, different calculations, different levels of power. But, she believed she had it now.

A spark of nervousness twisted her gut. She hadn’t been ready to show it off yet. But between the Gan’ra and Thorlgruz, she needed something to succeed, less she see her own favour in the Spire falter. Even the High Sorceress could find herself expendable in the Kazdruk court. Likely because Yuldasha knew she herself was expendable in the Matriarch’s eyes.

“Disconect the needles, let their bodies recover for the next stage. I need you two to go fetch Lillium, wherever she’s been lurking. Bring her to the portal chamber, and once she’s there, go find Velkra and her Talon. Tell them all, they’ll be leaving for Del Helshan,” Aeltha commanded of the two.

They nodded at once, and quickly stopped pressing on the bellows. Carefully removing the needles from the two subjects. While one bandaged the shoulders of the only partially conscious women, the other wiped the thick needles clean and sheathed them in flexible leather cases. Then scurried away, like frightened rodents.

They sensed their mistress’s still seething anger.

Walking through the halls of the spire, making her way to Yuldasha, the High Sorceress was a twisted mix of nervousness and rage. How quickly things could crumble in Kazdruk society. If only she had been in Thorlgruz.

She waved the thoughts away with a physical flick of the hand. Thinking on what if’s would get her nowhere. A problem had been laid before her, and like any other she now had to handle it. Get the facts, find the solution. Her mind began to spin and weave. Dancing subject to subject as she calmed herself.

If she could create a conduit across the fabric of the world and not through it, then the invasion of Dal Markaan could start. Fresh troops and supplies could get to Del Helshan. Volgras could be reinforced.

Aeltha paused in the hallway. Her brows furrowing into a frown. Volgras was already getting reinforced. Lillium was managing it somehow. And now she had Yuldasha believing her a submissive pawn. Had the Talons believing her weak and her reputation undeserved thanks to her seemingly one sided fight with Luzella. Aeltha needed more facts, it seemed Niseht would be departing again soon.

What did Velkra think of the succubus though? That one seemed more brains than brawn at times. She too played well at being submissive, but her ambitions were just as grand. She played the game well. Did she want to become a knightess? Or perhaps a High Marshall? Velkra could be trusted to serve her own ends, and Aeltha had some idea to what those ends were.

Lillium though.

Lillium was a problem. Aeltha didn’t know what her ends were. Or where her loyalties lay.

“Bah,” she let out the sound and entered the small room that would teleport her along the spire. The basis of her current experiments, if only the sorcerer who designed it had left notes, books even. But it remained mostly a mystery anymore.

As she stepped forward, ready to be propelled before Yuldasha, her minds slipped back to Thorlgruz. To the lithe warrior in the strange armour she’d seen in the Orb. Let her mind pick at the details. Broader shoulders than any elf she’d seen, but those pointed ears. A half-breed then. Rare, but not unheard of.

Worse though, those pious and prudish bastards would likely be using her perverted cathedral to pray. To kneel and worship that foolish God of theirs, Oan. It was an insult to add to the injury.

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A deep moan filled the tent as Layli’s fingers dug into the rug beneath her. One hand held her hip as the man behind her drove his cock into her slick cunt. He savoured the motions under his palm. Watching the tight muscles of her back moving as she drove her hips back, to meet those thrusts. The other hand dragged nails along her shoulder blade. Their flesh meeting in wet slaps.

“If you fight like you fuck, the Gods must have won the battle for us,” Layli teased despite the moans that spilled from her lips.

A deep laugh from behind her, as nails dragged along her flesh, leaving dark red trails. It fell away, only to return in a harsh slap to her ass. Earning another hungry moan from Layli, who dug her fingers harder into the rug, pushing it into the dirt beneath. The fine fibres brushing her palms.

Another firm spank to her ass, before that hand slid along her belly. Higher it rose, pulling the shawrapaht upwards as well. Soon her fellow warrior fondled her breast with her back to his chest. She could feel his nipples, even as his fingers closed in to pinch her own.

Pulling free from inside her, her dragged his cock in the cleft of her rear. Turning her head she grinned at him, raking nails down his sides until she grasped her cheeks. Spreading them open as he fondled her, he pushed himself inside her tight ass.

There was a slight flare of pain as her flesh adjusted to his own. Lubed by her own arousal the warrior sank his entire length into her rear. As his hips began to pick up speed again, his hand climbed her chest. Fingers settled around her throat, forearm pressing tightly to her breast.

Letting her eyes close, focusing on the sensations across her flesh. The warrior behind her, still smelling of horse and battle, let his hips slap against her ass. Balls striking her thighs as he thrust into her rear. She moaned hungrily, reaching up and grasping one of his hands. Her nails dug into his skin, and she dragged his hand across her sweat slick skin. Downwards, across the hard ridges of her belly to the wetness of her cunt.

Callused fingers pinched her clit, and her hips drove forward. An instinctive reaction, to get more of that intense sensation. Mouth hanging open, Layli let her moans of pleasure fill the tent as her lover grunted in her ear. Savouring that sharp sensation of cock spreading her open. Their bodies moved together, skin rubbing against skin. Her fingers dragging through his thick locks, nails sharp against his scalp.

The smell of sex, of sweat filled their noses but went ignored as they focused on the pleasure the other offered.

Layli came first. Her hungry moan cut short as the warrior’s fingers tightened around her throat. Breath pulled from her as her mind burned with the pleasure. Her juices streaming down her thighs, over his eager fingers. Guiding her into the heights of climax.

Not until she’d descended, panting and glistening with sweat, did he cum. His thrusts pausing, cock shooting ropes of his hot seed into her. He clutched her tight, finally stilling them as he emptied himself into her. She let out a soft moan as she felt it all. Another as he slowly pulled his softening length from inside. The sticky head dragging along the insides of her cheeks and striking the back of her thigh.

He slowly stood, going to the bucket of water near one of the four central poles of his tent. Layli groaned, rolling onto her back. She could feel the man’s cum slowly oozing from her ass, and knew he’d have to clean later. Propping herself on an elbow, she watched the warrior dipping a cup into the bucket and drink. Rivulets of spilled water running quickly over his sweat slick form. Unable to help herself, Layli bit her lip gently.

As he brought his cup down, the warrior noted the look, and his cock stirred. Rising slightly as he raked his gaze over her form.

“I need to save some stamina for my wife,” he said with a smirk, but dipped the cup again and brought it over to Layli. Keeping herself on one elbow she took the offered drink.

“She can always find another to please her. Is that not where she is now?” Layli teased, and the man laughed.

“No. She was unblooded. Besides, she’s been wanting to try for a child,” he said even as his cock continued to slowly rise. At his words though Layli nodded, rising to her feet. The man held up a wet cloth, and Layli nodded, turning her back to him.

“A child conceived in the blood of victory will be a blessed warrior,” Layli said, biting her lip again as she felt the cool wet cloth running over her skin. Cleaning out the spilled seed.

“So we hope. And the lust of a shawrapaht can only help,” he said, gesturing to his firm manhood. Layli had heard of such beliefs before as well. While not the most common, she certainly didn’t complain.

“Well, thank you for the fuck,” she said, laying a hand on his cheek, before finding her bright orange sarong. The man only nodded a farewell as she left the tent, still tying the sheer garment just above her hips as she stepped out into the Scytar camp. She made sure to hit the kefir bag hanging near the front flaps as she left.

They had moved the camp to the edges of Thorlgruz’s strange town. Fabric and tent poles making way to rickety logs and rusted sheets of metal. Whatever could be cobbled together into a shelter. All of it beneath the looming shadow of the namesake cathedral. Layli looked up at the stone monstrosity, wondering how anyone could let themselves be tied to one location so firmly to build such a thing.

Starting to walk through the camp, Layli weaved her way between quickly erected tents. The blooded warriors were celebrating their victory. There were pockets of dancers amidst the camp in various states of dress while others hammered beats of victory to the Gods on their war drums. The notes of the limbe flute flowed between the heavy thumps. Canteens of arkhi made their way around the warriors. Hoots and hollers to the sky told the Gods to be proud of what their people have accomplished today.

Layli could hear the sounds of sex emerging from some of the tents she wandered past. Low grunts and hungry moans as the victors celebrated that they still lived by partaking in the pleasures of the flesh. She passed others who had not been able to contain themselves long enough to get into a tent.

A smirk curled the shawrapaht’s lips, having to step over a man thrusting into his lover on her way. She could still feel the aftermath of having a cock in her own ass but minutes earlier. A canteen was pressed into her hands at one point. She took a deep mouthful, feeling the burn of the alchohol mixed with the sour taste of the fermented mare’s milk.

Holding her hand out, the canteen was taken from her by a passing reveller.

Throughout the celebration, the unblooded tended to the needs to the war host. Those who did not shed the blood of the enemy stood sentry at the edges of the camp. Went into the town to help the recently released slaves. Feeding them, tending wounds and shackle sores.

None of the enemy had been left alive. Those who still lived after the battle had their heads removed and planted on spears around the camp. Their blood would nourish the spirits of the land. The Kazdruk had left them tortured and in pain. Their deaths would help to start the healing of the land.

Finally though she found herself in the centre of the camp. Two large tents faced each other across a large fire pit that was tended to by the shaman’s teniks. A blazing beacon that told the Gods where they were. More important so far from the steppes and deserts of home.

The tents belong to the shaman and the Serok. Both of hides and dull brown fabric, though inside would be a rich display of colour. Layli’s own personal tent was nestled just beside the shaman’s own. A familiar woman was seated outside, carving a horse from a block of wood. She wore only hide trousers with high riding boots. There were raven and eagle feather’s tied into her dark hair. Her arms, chest and back swirling with tattoos of runes and animals.

“Enwa. Behdin has no need of you?” the shawrapaht said, and the sagird looked up with a bright smile. Slowly she stood, holding up her mostly finished carving to show it off.

“He has a young warrior in there. First blooding. So, Behdin is giving him the honour of fucking him,” Enwa said, and Layli paused; listening. It didn’t take long for her to pick up the sounds of the aging man fucking the warrior. Her attention was pulled sharply back to the woman before her though when she felt a thumb at her lips. Parting them slightly as the shaman to be leaned in. Her nose running along Layli’s neck.

“Seems he’s not the only one fucking,” the words were whispered into Layli’s ear, before teeth trapped the lobe. “Are you sure you’re satisfied?”

“I will always give in to you,” Layli replied with a slight smile, before finding her lips claimed by the other woman’s. Felt hands sliding under her sarong and clutching at her rear. Their breasts crushed together they stumbled to Layli’s shelter, the flaps to the shawrapaht’s tent sliding over the sagird’s back and shoulders.

Passing through together, the flaps swung shut. The tent was plunged into darkness, but neither woman much cared.

Together they fell onto the bedroll of furs and silks. Legs already entwined and lips locked their hands began to slide over the skin of the other. In the dark they immediately found familiar curves, quickly went to the spots that would set the other off.

Moaning as she felt nails raking up her sides, Layli pushed her knee between Enwa’s legs. Forced her thigh up until she felt the hot wet press of her womanhood. Felt the slick arousal on her skin as she began to grind the limb up into her lover. Moans flowed muffled into their mouths as Enwa rolled them onto Layli’s back.

Leg cropping up, Enwa began to grind her hips down against it. Feeling the taut muscles of the other woman against her own flesh. Their breasts rubbing together as their tongues danced and Layli’s hand clamped down on Enwa’s ass. Fingers tightening, as the other glided across her lower back. Feeling the motions of her body even as they revisited each other in the dark.

Moments bled together as the camp outside celebrated. The tent began to smell of sweat and sex, but neither woman noticed much as Enwa’s fingers reached around a leg. Teasing along the curve of Layli’s rear before working between their bodies. Finding her lover’s clit, Enwa gently rubbed, her knuckles pressed into the small dip of her hips.

They rolled again, onto their sides, feeling the fur beneath them. Their grinding and writhing rubbing against the bed roll. Further teasing their senses as they breathed each other in. Felt the slick heat of the other growing ever wetter. Dampening the fur beneath them as they rolled again.

Layli came first, their kiss breaking as the shawrapaht had her open mouth against Enwa’s neck. Her moan was long, hot breath cascading over the sagird’s flesh. Her toes curling as she felt Enwa continuing to grind against her thigh. Fingers hooking like claws into her lover, scratching at Enwa’s skin as she drove herself into a matching orgasm.

As they lay there together, sweaty in each other’s arms, they let the music from outside reach their ears again. Layli could feel Enwa’s lips curling into a smile against her shoulder. A soft kiss touched the tattoo of a viper that ran up Layli’s arm, it’s hissing mouth opening at her wrist.

Turning her head, Layli cupped Enwa’s chin to pull her into a kiss. Far more than lust surging between them now that it had been slaked.

><><

Still pondering the event she had just seen played out, Lillium followed Aeltha’s elven whores into a broad circular chamber in the heart of the spire. While a pair of bright violet torches tried to light the room, it never quite reached the edges. She raised an eyebrow as the two elves split off, moving along the curving outer walls. She spotted Kazdruk warriors in the shadows. They in turn watched her, so she made sure to put an extra sway in her hips as she walked. She was sure she heard a few snickers, a few whispers, and knew tales of her loss to Luzella had already spread.

Smiling internally she looked ahead, spotting not just Aeltha, but Yuldasha and another Kazdruk as well. Male and gray skinned. He looked important, but Lillium wasn’t sure who he was. Of the three though, he was the only one that seemed pleased.

Aeltha’s expression was one of contained fury, and Yuldasha seemed entirely unimpressed. Lillium wasn’t sure what was happening, but knew that it wasn’t her. Otherwise she would have been dragged somewhere less extravagant and decapitated.

Still, it was prudent to keep her own expression neutral as she came up to the three and fell to one knee.

“Of course, the subject of the experiment will be Lillium. She was to return to Volgras shortly anyway,” Aeltha explained to Yuldasha, who just nodded waving her hand for the experiment to continue. Aeltha nodded and moved to a standing podium with an open book upon it, and a pair of spheres jutting out.

Lillium meanwhile felt a growing concern. She’d heard of the last failed experiment, and wondered if she’d played too much of her hand. Was she expendable enough that Aeltha was willing to sacrifice her? Or had the sorceress merely gambled too much and was reaching desperation?

It didn’t matter. The succubus felt something she felt rarely anymore: fear.

Eyes moving just beyond the trio of Kazdruk nobility, she spotted the engravings in the floor. A large circle slightly raised above the rest of the floor, with runes around its edge. A deep slit through its centre only tugged at Lillium’s curiosity. A glance upwards, and she saw a low hanging black of metal, more runes carved along its sides, and a gouge along its bottom lined up with the one below.

“So explain to me again Aeltha, how this has taken so long? Teleportation is something our Empire has long ago mastered,” the male Kazdruk spoke, unable to stop his lips from curling. Aeltha glared at him over her shoulder.

“Because, Vorgen, we have always breached the fabric of worlds before. This time we are intending to travel within a world itself. The magic and technology were melded together in a way that if we used it to travel within a world, it would still breach outwards. Those travelling would be flung into the void,” Aeltha said, and the male’s smug expression dropped a bit.

Lillium hid another smile. Vorgen was his name; she’d heard of him. The Kazdruk Knight in command of the invasion of Dal Markaan. Why was he here, if she was being sent back to Volgras?

“So I changed it. Less powerful, skirts the fabric of this world, and uses the natural currents of magic that transport whom so ever shall use it. This, naturally, has taken some time.”

Lillium pinched the bridge of her nose. It was a lot of jargon, about technology and magics she knew very little about. But knowing it was important she tried to internalize it. At least to soak in the important aspects. The utter arrogance on display though hurt her brain.

“Enough Aeltha. Finish the experiment. I do hope that this one at least, will be a success,” Yuldasha said, her tone impatient, her glare slowly turning to Vorgen. What little amusement and smugness remained on his features melted away under that glare. Looking away he took a step back.

Returning her full attention to the podium, Aeltha’s fingers curled around the spheres. Lillium rose to her feet finally, glancing upwards at the sound of metal against metal. Above the box she saw large toothed disks spinning. A frown creased her brows as she noted the first crackles of green energy curling around thick metal rods running down into the cube. There were a few grunts and angry shouts of surprise from Kazdruk warriors along the edges of the room as more streams of power ran down strips of metal bolted into the walls. Light flashing around the room, illuminating the soldiers.

There were more in here than Lillium has suspected. A full talon’s worth. At least two hundred. All of them armed and armoured for war. They were the second test today; that’s why they were here. The front was getting their reinforcements. If she survived. If the second test was also a success.

While her expression remained passive, inside Lillium was snarling. This could be disastrous for her plans. Unless… she got to Kira. If her little insurgency could push harder, strike deeper, the front might not reach Volgras for some time. If she did not ask for help, there would be little reason to cut her isolation.

Her sister would have to kneel. Sooner than she had planned, but it was no matter.

A loud clap of thunder echoed in the chamber dashing Lillium’s thoughts. Thick bolts of energy shot between the grooves in the floor and the suspended block. Between them, small motes of magic began to spark as the space filled in with an unnaturally bright green. Squinting, Lillium glanced to Aeltha, the sorceress now just a silhouette.

“Come my pet. Approach and enter the portal,” Aeltha said, her tone almost pleasant and friendly. But Lillium heard the command there. Now was not the time to show her hand, so she moved forward. Her hand raised to try and cover her eyes, but there was no blocking the near blinding light.

Arm dropping back to her side, she stepped into the portal without hesitation. Felt the energies pulling at her flesh. Yanking at her. The chamber vanished, and there was only that green light. Her body felt stretched, then almost liquid, and numb. It was like swimming, not flying, hurtling through some powerful current in the great seas.

Then, heartbeats after it had begun, she was spilling out with a thunderclap. Kneeling on the road leading to the front gates of her castle. Behind her the portal closed, and she slowly rose to her feet, green smoke rising from her clothes and skin. She felt no heat though, even as sensation returned to her. Spreading out from her torso to her limbs.

Rising slowly, deliberately to her feet, the succubus mentally checked herself over. No illness, no dizziness, and her insides were still contained by her skin. Curling her lips she raised her eyes to the gathered Helots that had run over in shock when the portal opened. They snapped to attention now, seeing who was amongst them.

“Gather Aela and Lorth, and my newest little whore to the throne room. Now,” she said, immediately starting to walk towards her gates. Of her castle. It felt good to be home again. No more false submission, no more bending of the knee. It was time to spread her wings once more.

“There is much to talk about,” she said, more quietly to herself.

><><

Laying back on a love seat, in perhaps the most expensive room the Rose and Jasmine had to offer, Captain Sienna Blackwood smiled with her eyes closed. Clad in fine dark green and gold silks she sipped at a cheap silver goblet of surprisingly decent though cheap wine. A skirt whose front ended just below her knees and the back tapered down nearly to her ankle, and a tunic that showed a hint of midriff, and wrapped around to be pinned together below each breast covered her.

Talented fingers ran along her bare arms, as the two girls serviced her. For a good amount of coin of course. She felt their tongues along her slender neck, and down into the shadows of her cleavage. They were gentle and soft, and had been for the past fifteen minutes. They even seemed to genuinely enjoy pampering the Elven captain that was paying them. Either Sienna had falsely led them to believe she was a good person, or they were very good actors.

There was no true belief in her mind that she was a good person. She had slaughtered the people in this town when it was commanded and enjoyed shedding their blood. In her mind she knew it was a foolish command, but she still had relished the killing. She had a penchant for turning the savagery into her own sort of poetry. She had both loved and hated Princess Telva for that command, but dived ahead anyway. Unable to deny her sanguine delights.

Of course, should the war ever end, there would be no place for her in civilized society. They would keep her away, until the next catastrophe of course. Then, the monster would become the hero once again. She laughed at the thought.

Another sip of the wine, feeling its almost sour flavour across her tongue and down her throat, she considered the rumours of their goddess. This… Morkate. With the diety of blood and pleasure on her mind, Sienna pondered that perhaps these two were merely kindred spirits with the misfortune of being born human.

A tongue glided along her ear, and Sienna moaned softly. “Tell me of your Goddess,” she purred, wondering if they would. Or if they would pretend they were boring Oan worshippers.

The two glanced at each other. Still close enough to let their warm breath cascade over Sienna’s skin. Likely, they were wondering whether to trust the captain or not. The one on the captain’s left reached forward. Moira was her name, her bared breasts pressing firmly into the elf’s arm. Erect nipples grinding against smooth skin. Her fingertips slowly withdrew a single gold pin from the supple leather that held it in place. Slowly, letting nails drag, she pulled back the blouse from Sienna’s left breast. Exposing the flesh and leaning forward until her lips had found the elf’s own nipple.

“Which part intrigues you captain? The blood… or the pleasure?” the second whore, Camryn, purred, and Sienna had to admit she actually quite enjoyed the woman’s voice. Enjoyed the way both called her captain. Full of respect, even if it was acted respect.

It seemed they trusted her though. How much of her did they know? If they knew everything, then Sienna had to admit she was impressed.

“Both,” she said, and felt a sudden sharp press of teeth around her left nipple. A bolt of pain that lanced through her breast. Teeth scraping upwards, along her nipple, Sienna hissed. Then she moaned as Moira’s tongue slowly, sensually ran over the bitten nipple.

Camryn was smiling as she withdrew the second pin. Slowly peeled back the other half of Sienna’s blouse. Her lips and tongue trailed over flat abs, before letting her fingers take over that she might speak.

“She is a sanguine goddess. Violence and lust are not so far apart. They can twist and mingle. In some, violence breeds lust,” Camryn smiled as her nail trailed along the soft under curve of Sienna’s breast as Moira kissed down her sides.

Then Moira’s sweet voice replaced Camryn’s smokey tones. “And she rewards us for it. To partake in what our flesh demands of us. She rewards us to be… what we are. She sees no race, only blood and flesh.”

Smokey replaced sweet again. Moira’s teasing tongue playing along the hem of the skirt. Dipping beneath it, fingers trailing along Sienna’s calf. Rising beneath the silks.

“We all partake. Under Oan we had to hide it, but still partook. Under Eletha, love was to be sweet and not carnal, but still it was. Under Morkate… we are, what we are. We show her our truth, and are proud of it,” Camryn said, slowly starting to push down the skirts. Letting her fingers glide along Sienna’s hips as the elf sipped her wine and savoured the soft touches.

Never one for religion, even of her people, Sienna found herself… curious of the higher powers for once. It almost seemed tailor made for her. But, she would need to investigate more before she called out any Goddesses name.

“As for prayer and worship… this is our prayer,” Moira this time, pulling the skirts down along Sienna’s thighs past her knees. Camryn stood, smiling, walking to the cabinets out of Sienna’s vision.

Smiling, Sienna closed her eyes, feeling her clothes fully removed. Lips trailed upwards. Her thighs were parted.

Opening her eyes and taking another sip of wine, she glanced to the side as she watched Camryn approaching with a knife of silver. It’s hilt overly fine, and engraved. A ruby sat in its cross guard and pommel. Sienna watched, curious, smirking. Camryn was no threat.

The whore straddled her then, running the blade between her breasts. Sienna didn’t touch her, just enjoyed the sight of her body above her. Enjoyed the heat and wetness on her stomach from between the whore’s legs.

A hungry moan burst from her lips as Moira’s mouth found her own wet cunt. Lips caressing her, teasing at her folds as nails raked along thighs. Over hips. All before her tongue plunged home. Sienna had to set her cup aside on the nearby night table. Her own hands draping almost casually over the armrests that penned her torso in.

All the while, watching Camryn’s knife trailing. Moving. Teasing along her own breasts. She winced and moaned at once, feeling the sharp edge cut into skin on the under curve of each fleshy swell. Scarlet ran along the blade’s edge, small little droplets forming. Threatening to fall, and then the knife was away.

“Let us show you captain, how we pleasure heroes of our Goddess,” Camryn purred into that sensual smokey tone of hers. Blood dribbling over Sienna’s tits as the whore above presented her own to Sienna’s mouth.

The elf grinned, and led with her tongue before lips tasted the iron tang.

These whores were certainly convincing.

><><

Lillium leaned on the table before her. The claws of her gauntlets digging into the wood as she studied the map before her. Small pieces of coloured wood showing the progress of the war. So far as they could all tell anyway. The Kazdruk red markers still hadn’t breached the defences indicated by blue blocks along the beaches, leaving Volgras an isolated red block on the map. More, they had lost Thorlgruz.

That’s what Aeltha had been mad about. The succubus couldn’t contain a smile as she looked up at her war council.

Lorth and his two lieutenants Bazk and Kaln stood on the right side of the table. On the left was Aela, Mia and, Yannifer. They all ignored the movement beneath Lillium’s loincloth as the newly tattooed Vivienne used her tongue and lips to pleasure her mistress. Moaning softly, not letting her words drown out the council itself. Even as juices flowed over her lips and down her chin.

“Thorlgruz wasn’t conquered by the Coalition,” Lorth said, and looked over to Bazk. The helot officer nodding, gesturing to the block of wood set on Thorlgruz. It’s marker coloured green. Lillium frowned, though her lips were parted with a silent moan as she felt Vivienne’s finger slipping into her rear. Her tongue pushing deeper between slick petals.

“We don’t know who they are. I had scouts ranging down that way… strangers. Darker skinned, like horses according to them. They didn’t risk getting too close,” Bazk explained.

Not daring to straighten herself, not sure if she could trust her knees as Vivenne’s skilled tongue brought her to quiet orgasm, Lillium kept an image of calm and sensuality as she pondered this new information.

“We need better scouts. We need to find what new threat we are facing. Bazk, continue to train them… see if we can capture any of my sister’s insurgents. I’m sure we can, convince them to aid us,” Lillium said, giving the helot a twisted smirk that earned a grin in return.

“We are not in immediate threat at the moment mistress. It seems the elves are too concerned with internal strife to advance just yet. And most of the human clans are busy holding the beaches,” Kaln said gesturing to Driftafay on the map, and the beaches.

“Innisgar though, is proving to be useful. Since you’ve left we’ve been staffing the walls with humans, and inside it is nothing more than a military camp for helots and human converts. They’ve yet to suffer any raids or attacks,” Lorth said, then glanced over to Aela. The priestess was smiling.

“There’s… a prisoner Lorth has been waiting patiently for you to talk to. He thinks she’d make a great addition to our army. And I am inclined to agree with him,” she said, licking her lips slowly. Glancing between the two, her hips moving slowly, grinding against her whore’s mouth, the succubus waited. Was starting to grow impatient when Aela finally answered.

“Sarya. The Goldulin who stabbed you.”

Now Lillium grinned, remembering the exquisite pain of the steel sliding into her flesh. But more, wanting revenge for so very nearly being slain. Yannifer smiled as she caught her mistress’s expression, knowing soon she’d get to ply her art.

“I have discovered how to make her a succubus… a vampiric succubus,” Aela then said, and Lillium raised an eyebrow.

“Another harbinger?” Lillium asked, and Aela laughed, her hand settling on her bared and tattooed breasts.

“No, oh fuck no. You are the only harbinger. But the powers you wield… if we could get another into the battlefield, we’d be more prepared for when the war finally comes to our doorstep,” the priestess said.

“And she knows methods of warfare forgotten since the Goldulin Empire fell. Methods our helots could use. She’d make a good commander,” Lorth added on, and Lillium nodded slowly.

“A Morkatean centurion. It has been years since the world has seen one,” Lillium purred, shoving Vivienne’s head harder against her cunt.

“I’m not so sure mistress. I’ve been speaking with her… she’s… a secret worshiper. Part of her cult before the empire fell. She even slept with the Empress Nera, who it seems, was a vampire,” Aela said.

“She is. Held by the Kazdruk, her blood used to give rise to me. I think we may then have a way to convince this Centurion to join us,” Lillium said, pushing aside her loincloth to let her claws dig into Vivienne’s scalp. The whore didn’t care that she was in full view; her only cares were to pleasure her mistress.

“There are two last things Harbinger. Before we adjourn,” Aela said, and at this Mia grinned before sensually biting her lower lip.

“First. Your sister arrived. On her own, attempted to free your newest whore,” Aela said, gesturing to the cunt hungry Vivienne on display and on her knees. Face smeared with her mistress’s lust, done up with cosmetics and wearing nothing but a collar, and swirling silver bracers and greaves. Marking her as Lillium’s own. To touch only if granted.

“Kira not only failed to persuade your whore. But, she seems to be suffering from an intense lust. For you. Or so it seemed. It’ll only be a matter of time before she as well kneels, and her insurgency crumbles with her subservience.”

Lillium nodded at the information, as she quietly came again on Vivienne’s tongue and fingers. Only the slightest of gasps sounding forth from the pleasure.

“Good news indeed Priestess. But what was the last piece?”

“A message from Driftafay. One of our cultists reports that an Elven noblewoman, named Lelthina wishes to meet. This Elf also claims that she will bring us Telva Winterstone.”

><><

Rising from her feet, Velkra looked at the beach around her. Green mystical mist was drifting upwards from her body, and those of the purebred Cinkall warriors of her Talon. Helots dug in behind crude barricades with the sea at their back stared in wonder as the Kazdruk. The humans behind short walls and thick round towers balked at the sudden arrival.

So. Aeltha’s experiment had worked. Tilting her head to the side until she felt a crack, Velkra raised her war scythe. This was not a good situation to be in. Caught between two fighting forces, one which had refused steadfastly to give any damn ground.

“Charge. Regain our honour,” Velkra shouted and started to run. She didn’t like this at all. No preparation. No tactics. Just the pure carnage of blood letting. She would lose too many of her troops. Damn Aeltha, and damn the Kazdruk short sightedness. She was going to suffer for their arrogance, and their refusal to learn from this quagmire of a war.

The other warriors let out their war cries, and the defending humans scrambled for bows and crossbows. She could hear panicked orders from their lines, and desperate ones from behind as Kazdruk commanders rallied their helots to join the coming fight. They would not want these interlopers to take all their glory after they’ve spent so long trying to get up the beach.

Arrows and bolts were starting to fly as the humans recovered from their shock. Kazdruk warriors snarled as the steel points shafts drove into their flesh. They began to fall, collapsing into the sand as the others rushed ahead. They let anger over take them, a pure battle rage that had them spitting and snarling as they rushed the walls. More and more of them falling. The sands turning to mud from shed blood.

Velkra pushed herself, felt an arrow score a deep gouge on one arm, the blood flowing over her biceps as she finally reached the short wall. She jumped and grasped the ledge, and swept her scythe in a wide arc just above the crenulations.

A soldier’s head was torn from his shoulders, and the sharp points of bristling spears were snapped from their hafts. A sharp pull, with a slight strain in her injured arm, and Velkra vaulted onto the wall. The humans stared for a moment, fear and hesitation in their eyes. Clad in leather armour and small patches of metal. It was enough of an opening.

A quick swipe of her scythe and she disemboweled one woman, before she twisted her arc to punch the sharp point of her scythe into a man’s belly. Velkra lifted, shouting, making a display to spread fear. The blade of her weapon sliced under the man’s ribs, as the steel haft of her weapon caught on that cage of bone. Giving Velkra the leverage to lift him upwards, his life spilling down the shaft of her weapon.

“Holy fuck,” someone shouted, stumbling backwards as a thickly muscled Kazdruk landed behind him on the wall. Not even using his axe the warrior grasped the man’s head and twisted hard enough to snap the neck before tossing the limp body aside.

“Oan is with us! Kill the demons,” a well armoured human shouted, running forward from the woodline. Likely from their camp. He was accompanied by better armed and armoured soldiers.

Velkra grinned; her talon had the foothold.

Kicking over the screaming woman that was desperately trying and failing to hold her torn guts in place, she used her scythe to toss her dangling captive. Already dead, he didn’t scream as his corpse flew through the air. A trail of blood and gore following him as he crashed into the advancing human reinforcements.

Despite raised shields, the corpse brought three of them to the ground. They struggled with their comrade to get back into formation, but a Kazdruk with a two handed sword leapt upon them, pinning them down as she swung her sword in wide circles.

The captain’s shield was torn from his arm and he screamed in pain. The limb likely broken. Another soldier’s helmet collapsed in on her head from the sword’s impact. Blood and chunks of brain gushed out from the visor as her body crumpled.

The trapped soldiers though had daggers out. Stabbing and slashing desperately, they tore open the Kazdruk woman’s calves and ankles. Unable to stand she fell forward onto waiting spear points. They pierced into her neck and chest and burst out her back in a spray of scarlet.

Staying out of this newest melee, Velkra stood on the wall, grasping her soldiers as they vaulted over, pointing them towards points in the line she felt they would be most effective. She could not let the human recover. This… wall of shields tactic they were using was annoyingly effective.

Though, it seemed these Coalition soldiers were not as efficient with it as the old Goldulin legionnaires.

A warrior picked up a dead human at Velkra’s instruction, and rushed ahead. Thrown spears pierced the woman’s corpse and one managed to jam into the charging brute’s arm. But with a snarl he refused to relinquish his grip. Smashing into the human lines, he battered four aside, forcing the front few to turn and stab and slash at the rampaging warrior’s back.

Flesh sliced to ribbons he fell to his death, but others rammed into the distracted humans with flailing weapons. Maces and axes smashed into armoured foes, and the smell of blood and shit filled Velkra’s nostrils. Her heart pounded with the undeniable excitement of war as she began to make her way forward. Stepping over her own dead troops and fallen pieces of humans.

“What are our orders?” A human yelled above the carnage. A severed arm flying above the melee.

“I don’t fucking know! The Captain’s dead,” another of them on the verge of breaking as a Kazdruk fell back with her head rolling back along the dirt. The assailant was promptly cut in half, his legs standing a few seconds longer as the dying soldier whimpered with blood frothed lips and desperately tried to crawl away, dragging intestines behind him.

“Fuck this. I’ll meet Oan another day,” someone else shouted, and Velkra smirked as she saw the first of the soldiers in the rear turning to run. One, then two, then six. A trickle turning into a flood as the Helots managed to scramble over the wall behind Velkra’s talon.

“Halt. Let the helots mop up the mess,” Velkra called to her talon as she watched the routing humans flee into the woods. Where there was likely to be backup traps and defensive lines. There was no way a wall that had held for so long would be so easily taken.

Her talon paused, pulling themselves from the blood rage with some effort but managing it. The helots stormed past them, eager to tear into the scraps of the battle, their purebred commanders sneering at Velkra’s Talon as they passed by.

Velkra only smirked, especially when she heard the human war calls deeper in the woods.

“We turn their position against them. Start collecting the dead… we’ll build a wall of their armour and flesh,” Velkra commanded as she knelt and examined a spear. She thought of the beach, of the arrows, bolts, and spears quivering from dead Kazdruk forces laying in the sand.

“And collect as many of their spears as you can,” she added, rising to her feet as the last of the helots vanished into the woods. The humans had appeared organized, and the defences she was standing upon seemed well built. The helots wouldn’t succeed.

“They’ll be back for us to kill more of them,” she told what remained of her talon as they began to pile the dead before them. Of her two hundred originally, she only had one hundred and twelve still living. And some of them were wounded badly. Aeltha better be good on her word for reinforcements.

The screams of the dying reached her from within the woods. The humans would counter attack soon.

She would.

><><

The only sound in the chamber for a few moments was the last crackles of magic running along the walls. The three Kazdruk stood staring at the emptiness around them, where once there had been a talon of warriors.

Slowly Aeltha pulled her hands away from the spheres, green smoke rising from her palms and the metal. Letting out a slow breath, the sorceress turned to face Yuldasha, who was staring at Aeltha with impatience. The tip of her hoof tapping against the floor.

“I cannot say for certain but I believe the process was successful,” Aeltha said.

“You can’t say for certain?” Vorgen said, eyesbrows high on his face, but he stilled when Yuldasha raised her hand. It cut off Aeltha’s retort as well.

“When will you know?”

“As soon as Velkra gets a message to me. Lillium was fast because I sent her to Volgras. Velkra might well be fighting at the moment,” Aeltha said, and Yuldasha nodded.

“Tell me as soon as you know. The invasion of the west is behind schedule enough as is,” she said, turning her glare towards Vorgen. “Your talons best be ready. I’m sure they are chomping at the bit after keeping them here for so long.”

The knight nodded, and he watched Yuldasha departing the chamber before slowly releasing a breath.

“How many can I send with this?” he asked then.

“As many as you can fit in this chamber. There is only a few moments delay between operations. It will not need to rest and cool,” Aeltha said, crossing her arms under her breasts. Vorgen nodded slowly before he too departed leaving Aeltha seemingly alone.

The shadows moved around her, until Niseth stood just two steps behind her. On one knee, her metal wings curled about her. Not bothering to look at the first succubus, Aeltha pondered her options.

“To Volgras mistress?” Niseth prompted, and Aeltha pursed her lips. It was a reasonable guess. Lillium was on her own again, and Aeltha was not convinced of the succubus’s loyalties. Lillium though was a threat for the future. There was someone else who had to pay.

“No. To Thorlgruz,” she said and Niseth nodded. No complaint, no words, just rose and began to vanish.

“There’s a woman I want you to capture for me.”

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 22: Waning Perches

By: SinfulWolf

The peaked ceiling of the hall loomed well above the sixty soldiers standing in tight formation. Their shields raised, swords resting upon the top rims and pointed towards the large double doors that was the entrance. Occasionally the walls of the Great Hall of Ridgeblade shook, dust and small chunks of stone and marble falling to clatter on the floor. More than once a soldier had to raise their shield to protect themselves.

The clash of steel, and the screams of the dying were muffled by the thick walls and doors of the hall. The final legion of the Goldulan Empire was being slaughtered outside by the invading Kazdruk horde. The Empress Nera stood before the two thrones in this great hall, her personal Praetorian bodyguards standing on either side of her. Both women resplendent in their deep purple cloaks and black armour.

Nera let her eyes sweep along the room, over these last soldiers ready to die in a last stand, over the tiered seats for the senators and politicians that helped advice and govern the empire. None were left now, dead or enslaved, much like her husband. The Emperor Hedrion had been captured and executed a few days ago just outside the city. Beheaded, tied upside down to a tall pole with his head impaled atop it, and carried before the army. The empress had watched the invaders advancing with cold eyes.

There had been very little love in their marriage for many years now, just respect.

Now she stood in her shin length dress of purple silk with slits up to the thighs to keep movement easy. She was clad in her own golden armour, her long hair tied back into a tight braid, laurel wreath nestled above her ears.

Outside, the sounds of battle were turning to loud cries of victory from Kazdruk throats, drowning out the screams Nera knew her people were still letting out. It did not take long before a great crash sounded at the broad doors, the two thick beams holding them closed starting to bend.

“Soldiers of Goldulan. We are the last. Our Empire is fallen. Let us give these invaders something to remember,” Nera called from her position, watching as the next crash against the gates snapped the bottom beam.

The formed soldiers let out a single grunted cheer. They braced themselves for what was to come as Nera glanced to her bodyguards.

“Wash the floors with blood. Morkate watches us three today,” she said.

The two smiled wickedly, showing off their fangs. It was a shame that the days of hiding would come to such an end, Nera thought to herself as she drew her own blade.

When the doors came crashing open, a rush of helot foot soldiers and Kazdruk warriors came pouring in. Warcries on their lips as the smoke of the fires from the city billowed in with them. The legionnaires threw their pilums with deadly efficiency, and dozens of kazdruk fell, but they kept coming, storming over their own dead. Any survivors laid out were soon trampled to death. There was no sympathy, or true comradery. Only a need to slaughter.

The impact of invader upon defender filled the hall with its brutal cacophony. Steel and flesh were rent, and screams of pain and death soon filled the hall. Nera watched it unfold, knowing how it would end. There was only one way it could end.

Helot dead began to pile up before the Goldulan legionnaires, the marble floors getting slick with their spilled blood. But the Kazdruk pushed hard. There were too many pouring in, clambering up onto the senators’ seats. The flanks of the legionnaires had to turn to face these new threats, weakening the formed body.

 Nera scowled, watching the front shatter as two Kazdruk stormed into the legionnaires. One, a female, used a vicious war scythe, pulling shields from hands and slashing into the exposed soldier waiting behind. Spilled guts splattered upon the floor, crushed beneath her hooves as the Goldulans struggled to keep up with her rampage. The Kazdruk used her scythe and dark metal bracers to deflect many of the blows and slashes aimed to her, though Nera noted a few gouges sliced through her flesh.

The other, a hulking brute male with a two handed axe, was pure rage and aggression. His tusked face twisted by hatred as the weapon crashed into the legionnaires. Splitting skulls and breaking shield arms with his wide swipes.

Though others were killing, and pushing towards the inevitable defeat, the legionnaires were able to slay most. Stabbing and slashed through the invaders as they were slowly pushed back. Their numbers dwindling as the endless horde outside continued to push inwards.

Some helots had gotten around, and were charging towards the three before the thrones. Nera watched as her bodyguards dispatched them with ruthless efficiency. One of them hit the ground at Nera’s feet, his head rolling towards the main battle. It was getting difficult to see the floor, hidden beneath corpses and blood.

The first Goldulan to run was from the rear, but even his armour was spattered with gore. Nera caught his eye as he fled towards the rear of the hall, and the doors that would lead through the Palace. It was possible he would find a way to escape, and Nera let him flee.

A few more turned, and ran dropping shields or swords to get themselves lighter, eager to get away from the invaders. Of the original sixty, Nera counted only seven that fled. The remainder stood, and fought.

And died brutally.

“Morkate watches us. Let’s give her an offering,” Nera said, watching the helots and kazdruk warriors charge towards her and the two praetorians.

They fought viciously, letting their true natures show now that there were no witnesses. Dripping blood, Nera stabbed, parried, and slashed through the enemy. One helot turned, fleeing the fanged maws of the three women, only to have the large axe wielding kazdruk grasp him by the neck, and snap it with a single vicious jerk. Nera was pulling her blade from a kazdruk chest, blood pumping over her hands, when the warscythe took the head of the praetorian beside her.

The body stood for a few heart beats. Long enough for Nera to duck a wide swipe from the large axe and disembowel a helot beside her. The praetorians body hit the ground as intestines spilled over Nera’s shoulder. She felt the blood clotting in her hair as she rose to her feet, bringing the sword with her. Slicing open a kazdruk thigh, pour gushed over her face, and she lunged to the right.

The female was waiting for her, grinning.

“Well. You might be worthy after all,” the kazdruk said, her orange eyes glaring at Nera with something close to amusement. There was a dull thud behind her, and Nera knew her other praetorian had fallen victim as well. There were just too many.

Knowing she would not survive, Nera lunged. She left herself exposed, but she would bring down the orange eyed bitch before her. Her sword clashed with a bracer, and a helot sword grated along the back of her shoulder, scraping over the armour.

Kicking back she felt her heel strike a knee, then pressed closer as the female kazdruk before her swung her scythe. Getting inside the reach of it, the blade whistling behind her, Nera thrust upwards with her sword, aiming for the bottom of the chin. The kazdruk jerked her head back though. She let out a roar of pain as blade sliced upwards, along her cheek and over her eye.

Nera grinned, before an elbow hit her in the side of the head. Her ears ringing, she stumbled, and felt a hoof hit her in the back. Falling to the blood slick floor, she looked up at the statue behind the thrones. A marble statue of the first Goldulan emperor standing proud with sword in his hand. She closed her eyes, waiting for the killing blow.

“No Gelhoz, I want her to live. To suffer,” the female said, voice thick with pain, and Nera felt her heart sink.

“Very well Velkra. Perhaps Aeltha will enjoy this one,” he said, and something hard hit Nera in the head, sending her into darkness.

 

><>< 

 

Opening her eyes, Nera looked through the darkness. It had been pitch black when the kazdruk first placed her in here. But after so many years it was turning to shades of gray. She smiled, as she always did when she awoke from that dream of memory. Felt the metal strips of the muzzle that had been put on her. Felt the chains on her naked flesh, binding wrists, ankles, and just beneath her breasts to a pole inside a small cage.

Someone would come to feed her soon. It had been a few days. They might even rape her, though she had learned how to take pleasure instead of humiliation from those kazdruk cocks. They thought to break her, but Nera was Empress of Goldulan. She was a patient woman, and unless they killed her, they would rue the day they let her live.

Nera cocked her head then as she felt something she’d not in many long years, and it was only getting stronger. Her lips peeled back into a smile.

Even Yuldasha would learn, that everything could bleed.

 

><>< 

 

Not knowing where Aeltha had stolen herself away, but knowing she had some time to herself, Lillium made her way through the halls of the spire leading downwards in the dark depths of the dungeons. Torches of flickering red flames lit the way for the succubus, ensuring to walk calmly. Purposefully. If she looked as if she belonged, she would be able to get away with almost anything.

Following a nagging sensation in her heart, flooding through her veins, she delved deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Spire. Far lower than any purebred would venture. This low was beneath them; for Aeltha’s failed experiments, and those that would be left to rot. Low enough that the cells were no longer cramped chambers cut off from the world by bars, but thick metal doors instead.

But the feeling, like a guide, beckoned her lower. Into another curving staircase, into another hallway. More stairs led further down. Deeper. But Lillium ignored it, instead looking ahead to a small chamber at the end of the hall. A pair of bored helot guards sat in that chamber, a pair of axes sitting on the table as they drank and rolled dice. The succubus could hear their quiet voices, and laughter. Lillium started towards them, but looking beyond. At yet another thick metal door, chains linked across it, nailed into the wall.

The helots looked up as they heard the clicking of Lillium’s heels coming towards them. Their hands started towards their weapons, but paused as Lillium entered the room alone. The two glanced to each other, the focused on the woman before them. Seemingly ignoring them as she moved towards the door.

“No one is to see the prisoner until it is her time to feed,” one of the helots said, a little unsure of himself. Neither bothered to get up from their seat.

“Then perhaps I should feed her then,” Lillium said, knowing whatever strange pull was guiding her, originated from within the next room. She looked back over her shoulder at the guards. One sighed, the other stood, moving towards the doorway and glancing towards the stairs.

“We will say you were sent by Aeltha should anyone ask, Harbinger,” the still seated helot said, and Lillium smiled. It was almost sweet. The helot looked away, leaving Lillium to start removing the chains crossed over the door. Letting them fall to the ground, kicking up dust as they clanged against the stone.

“You will need this,” the standing helot informed her, walking over and handing her a torch. Her hand grasping the handle, she pulled and stepped through into the darkness. Behind her, the door slammed shut, and there was silence. Lillium lifted her torch, until she saw the glinting of black metal. A cage, vaguely human shaped. Pale skin within, covered in chains.

“Now this is most interesting,” a voice that may have been cultured and suave once before spoke. Now it was hoarse, words unfamiliar on her lips. Lillium started towards her, brows furrowed as she began to make out the naked form that had been muzzled even inside the tight confines of her cage.

“Aeltha plays with things she does not fully understand. I wonder if she believes you a success or another failure,” the caged woman said, and Lillium stopped just before her cage. Looking into her eyes, seeing the points of vampiric fangs behind her lips as she spoke.

“I don’t think she’s decided yet. But it doesn’t much matter. I play her game, and make her believe. Until the day I do not,” Lillium said, and the woman laughed. A harsh sound.

“Do you know who I am then?”

“No. But I know what you are. Your blood flows in my veins. Used to create what I have become,” Lillium said, knowing full well now why she had been guided here.

“Used, but not pure. She’s tainted you, violated my lineage.”

“Improved. Using Kazdruk magic to unwittingly fulfill Morkate’s designs. Succubus and vampire in one flesh,” Lillium said, slowly walking around the cage, letting her fingers run across the flat bars. Black claws tapping on the metal, ringing through the chamber. The woman in the cage laughed again, not bothering to even try and track the succubus.

“And here I thought I had found another enemy to torment me. Instead, the key to vengeance, let me introduce myself.”

Lillium came around the front again, grasping the bars and pressing herself firmly against the cage. Feeling cold metal pressing into her cleavage. Her cheekbones against the hard edges. She listened.

“I am Nera, Empress of the Goldulan Empire.”

Lillium laughed gently, running her tongue across her lips, reaching into the cage, letting her claws tease across skin.

“There is more than vengeance to seek Empress. A new empire. A proper empire,” Lillium said, and slowly pulled away. Stepping from the cage, letting the vampiress watch her.

“A Morkatean Empire,” the Empress said, and Lillium nodded, spreading her hands wide as she bowed low.

“The chains will be broken soon enough Empress. But I must prepare, and it cannot be me; they watch me too closely. But I will find another. Then the bricks can be laid, and the blood can flow.”

Nera let her eyes look upwards as Lillium left. Let herself look up towards where Yuldasha sat believing herself a conqueror of this world.

Lillium nodded to the helots as she moved back towards the staircase to return to Aeltha lest she be missed. She did not listen to the sounds of chains being put back into place as she ascended again. Higher through the spire. Thinking about how the Kazdruk had paved the path for Morkate’s rise from the mists of the past.

About how Aeltha’s arrogance created something that would know no rest without blood. And Lillium would have it.

 

><>< 

 

Though her cloak was finely tailored, and many could guess her to be an Elf woman of some wealth, Lelthina’s identity remained a secret. She knew she was not so skilled at subterfuge as Pharno, and she could never disguise her accent, or her mannerisms that would certainly reveal her status of nobility. Lelthina also had to admit to herself, that despite the need, she could never pretend to be of the lowborn. It went against all her instincts, and ambitions.

Pharno had given her the centre of all these whispers of Morkate. The brothel where it had started amongst the prostitutes, and now she found herself walking down a dark alley towards its hidden entrance. Ivy that had somehow survived two massacres and a siege still hung from second and third story windows, and red lanterns glowed within. But this was still not a place visited by many Elves or nobility.

Still, it was here that Lelthina needed to go. The past few days she had been getting supplies to apothecaries and healers to help with the injured and sick. To mason and carpenter guilds to repair and rebuild. She acted humble, not taking payments for her actions. In her ears though, Pharno whispered as they fucked in her chambers. Telling her that whispers amongst the frightened and angry humans were saying of her generosity and kindness while she rode him. That perhaps one of the Elves might actually care for them. There were of course those that refused to believe it. There was too much bitterness from recent events for Lelthina to appear a saint.

Now though, in a dreary alley, she knocked on the back door of the ‘Rose and Jasmine’. As the door opened, she could smell incense used to overpower the stench of cheap wine and sex. A large man looked down at her, fairly well dressed, but not overly intelligent looking. He didn’t say anything though, and Lelthina walked past him into the brothel.

As soon as the door closed behind her, a beautiful human woman wearing only stockings and a thong moved up to her. Purring, smelling of cheap perfume and cosmetics heavily applied to her face. Her breasts bounced slightly as she moved to the elven noble woman, running a hand along her belly, upwards to her ribs as the whore circled around.

“How might we serve your needs today?” she said in a well practiced sultry tone. Despite herself, Lelthina was impressed. The woman aroused her, and there was a temptation to hand her coin and see her room. But she smiled under her hood and gently took the whore’s hand.

“Not for me,” she said, lifting the hand to her lips and kissing it softly, making the woman before her raise an eyebrow.

She was about to ask to see the Madame of the brothel, another voice spoke out. Older, more cynical.

“I can take care of her Matilda. Please see to our other guests,” the woman who spoke was of middle years. For a human anyway. There was as much gray in her hair as dark brown, and she wore less cosmetics than the other whores. Certainly left her crow’s feet plain to see at the corners of her eyes.

“Madame Belinda. Would you care for some tea my lady?” she asked with a slight bow and a welcoming smile, though there was little respect in her tone. Lelthina smiled. The woman was no stranger to power games it would seem.

“I would love some,” the elven noble responded soon following Belinda up a set of stairs, towards a third level that held her personal chambers and her office. Away from the moans pouring out through closed doors that made Lelthina wonder how much of this was act for these men and women.

Putting a kettle over the crackling fire in her hearth, Belinda gestured to one of a few chairs in the room. Lelthina took the offered seat, smoothing out her skirts and lowering her hood.

“So, why does the lady Lelthina grace my brothel with her presence? We have no damage to our structure, we are not wanting for food any more than the rest of the city, we are in no need of alms, and I know for a fact a woman of your tastes would prefer a much classier establishment than my own for her personal pleasures,” Belinda said, walking with what seemed to be a stiff hip towards another of the chairs before she slowly eased herself in. The friendly smile was gone from her features as well.

“I am the governor of this city, and after the recent atrocities it is my duty to ensure all are well cared for to prevent further troubles,” Lelthina said. In her mind already preparing the next words to worm her way into Belinda’s trust.

“Atrocities you did little to stop,” Belinda retorted, and Lelthina let a small smile cross her face.

“If we’re being so blunt, I’m sure you did very much to stop the ones that occurred before,” Lelthina said, rather enjoying the woman sitting opposite her.

“Bluntness. Yes, I’d quite like to cut the bullshit out. Why are you really here? People like you don’t play nice out of the kindness of your heart.”

“People like us, I think you mean to say. Well then yes, I am securing my position in a city choked with tension and ready to engulf itself in more violence as we face an invasion that can only benefit from inner turmoil. Arrogance is my kind’s sin, and we wear it proudly. But I am not so arrogant as to think we can withstand the coming storms without aid,” Lelthina said, and almost smirked to herself as she remembered her comments to King Tepel before his foolish offensive to the heart of Kazdruk lands.

“Honesty. Unexpected, but you have my attention,” Belinda said, smiling now. She glanced over her shoulder as the kettle on the fire began to whistle. The sound shrill, beckoning the brothel’s Madame over.

“I have come to ask of Morkate, the Goddess that rumour says is worshipped by your girls. Some digging seems to tell that the infamous Lillium is rather important in this growing cult,” the elven governess said, sitting almost rigidly upright in her chair. Perfect posture as she watched Belinda pouring two cups of a soft scented tea and bringing them over.

The matron sat and smiled, pushing one of the cups over to Lelthina.

“You know us to be the enemy, but can’t strike without the others rising up again. In the end my mistress wins,” it was remarkable how easily Belinda revealed herself to the governess, but Lelthina knew the woman was right. Both knew the matron was safe for the moment. So she sipped at the tea prepared by her enemy.

“A smart plan on her part. She’s been underestimated too often. But in the end, she is no avatar of a God. Just Kazdruk corruption. Surely you know this,” Lelthina was surprised with how much she enjoyed the tea.

“I’ve never met her, and I have my doubts to the tales. But still, in my own way I serve her. She brings hope where there was none before.”

Lelthina drummed her carefully manicured nails along the clay cup, staring into the Madame’s eyes. Pondering.

“Hope, though she works for the Kazdruk? Spreads their corruption and conquers our lands,” Lelthina asked, raising a single eyebrow. Studying the woman’s expression.

“Does she though?” that comment made Lelthina’s thoughts swirl with possibilities. Three little words that could potentially change everything about the war. Perhaps not on the battlefield, but certainly in her own sphere of speciality. She slowly raised the cup to her lips and sipped at the tea again.

“Perhaps then, I should speak with her. If, it can be arranged,” Lelthina said. She was not one for risk, but perhaps simply letting Belinda believe it might be enough.

“Why should I do that?”

“Because I can offer her revenge. I can give her Telva Winterstone. I can get your people vengeance, and I… can get stability,” Lelthina said, knowing she was as safe with her words as the woman across from her. Belinda rose an eyebrow this time. Watching and waiting for more.

“Power you mean.”

“Power breeds stability. And stability, breeds yet more power,” Lelthina rose, the madame with her.

“Think on this Madame. We will have cause to talk over the coming days.”

 

><>< 

 

Leading the way through the twisting and turning corridors of the Spire, Velkra didn’t bother to look at the two Kazdruk warriors flanking her, or the pair of Elven slaves they pushed before them. The toned beauties shaped for battle were gagged, their hands manacled behind their backs, prodded forward by the two Kazdruk that accompanied their Talon Commander.

It let Velkra think, to gather her wits. Going before Aeltha, she would need most of them. The sorceress had asked for a pair of slaves that had not yet been utterly broken, soldiers specifically. There were certainly still many left from the doomed assault on the spire. An assault that had nonetheless completed its goal of saving Queen Aria. How they had managed it, Velkra wasn’t sure, but she had a feeling that the Elves had been allowed to rescue her.

The Sorceress was cunning; too cunning for Velkra’s tastes. She was plotting something, and Velkra wasn’t sure what. Worse, she knew there would be consequences for her Talon because of it. The thought made her anxious.

“Why are we delivering slaves now? Should we not be preparing to go to the front, as you promised?” the young female warrior to Velkra’s right said suddenly, cutting into the Talon Commander’s thoughts. The older male to her left, a veteran from the previous world conquest just grunted. An acknowledgement of its own to the posed question.

“Because despite what Gelhoz has fed you, our Talon is not in high standing with anyone. Many believe us not fit for the front lines, and so they keep us here in the spire in case the Elves launch another suicidal assault. With allies and patronage from someone as powerful as Aeltha, we’ll get new gear, and pushed towards the front much easier,” she glanced at them both, watching them nod in some understanding, though she doubted either truly grasped how important politics could be. But that was why she had taken the mantle of Talon Commander.

“Plus, it’ll give us more freedom to operate as we wish. Meaning more glory, and more slaves,” Velkra continued, watching the young Kazdruk woman’s lips curl into a vicious grin. The veteran beside her just grunted.

Eyeing him a moment, Velkra tried to get a bearing on him, but eventually settled on the fact that he was likely contented.

They finally reached the door to Aeltha’s labs and chambers in the Spire. The sorceress had been whining more lately about missing her more elaborate set up in the captured cathedral of Thorlgruz, but Yuldasha was keeping her here to continue preparations for the invasion of the West. The date for that was creeping ever closer, and Velkra was hoping to be one of the first to step through the portal.

Velkra didn’t wait, pushing the door, and her luck, open and stepping inside. Aeltha was inside, smirking, waiting. Her two elven whore twins standing on either side of her, though the horns on their head showed them less then Elf now. The slight red tint to their skin, the alluring curl of dark lips.

Both had their hands on Aeltha’s cock, stroking her slowly, even as precum dribbled down her shaft.

“Velkra, I’ve been expecting you. Come in… have your subordinates strap those two down to the tables,” she said, her hand gesturing to two tables covered with leather straps and buckles.

The young one’s eyes went wide, a hint of rage. The veteran just grunted and dragged his charge to the table. It was enough to calm the other as they quickly bound them down, hands now at their sides, gags stopping them from screaming out. Even as they writhed, not knowing what was to come of them.

When the last buckle was in place, Aeltha waved towards the door.

“You two may go. I wish to speak to your Commander,” Aeltha said.

The two warriors glanced to Velkra with a frown, but at her nod they both left. The exchange left a smirk on Aeltha’s features as the door closed behind them.

“You do well for yourself, that they would look for your permission, before following my commands. Come closer,” Aeltha said, beckoning. She kept her finger curling until Velkra could feel the head of the sorceress’s cock against her navel. Felt pre cum dribbling over her abs and knuckles of the corrupted elves dragging along the ridges of muscle.

“But, so long as you know who is in power here,” Aeltha said then, grinning. The two elven whores stopped jerking her off, instead moving around Velkra to slowly peel off her top. To let their tongues and their hands wander her flesh.

“You are,” Velkra said without any hesitation. She could play the game, especially without her Talon to witness it. Aeltha surely knew this. To keep Velkra in line, make the Talon believe she had power… then take that power when they weren’t looking.

“You are… what?”

“You are mistress,” Velkra said, again without hesitation, feeling the elves lowering her to her knees until Aeltha’s cock was running between her now bared breasts. Upwards along her neck to her lips.

Knowing what was expected of her, Velkra dipped her head, taking the cock into her mouth. Moaning softly, Aeltha leaned back, stroking the warrior’s hair, then slowly began to push. Velkra couldn’t bring herself to resist, knowing what it would cost her in the long run. Tasted the bitter drags of pre cum along her tongue as that thick shaft pushed in deeper. Gliding along her tongue filling her mouth until the head was easing into her throat.

The warrior wanted to go faster, to get this over with, but Aeltha’s hands curled in her hair. Controlling the warrior’s speed easily. Making it a slow drag of lips along shaft. From base to tip as Velkra struggled to keep her humiliation buried.

“So long as you know your place Velkra. Not everyone does in this spire anymore. But your loyalty and servitude will go rewarded Velkra,” Aeltha purred, savouring the slow rise and fall while the corrupted Elves watched and giggled.

“And for it… you’ll be getting an attachment of new troops. Fresh from my labs to be shock troops for your Talon. On the eastern front,” Aeltha said, starting to force Velkra to go faster along her shaft, until she was almost throbbing. Then she slowed, never letting the warrior’s mouth to be less than full with cock.

At Aeltha’s last words, Velkra’s eyes snapped up. She didn’t let herself stop, even let her tongue gentle caress the flesh sliding beyond her lips.

“Not what you wanted is it? You wanted to be going West, with the invasion. Earn glory by rampaging and raping across virgin lands,” Aeltha almost chuckled by the sound came out more moan like than anything.

“I wonder what your Talon would think of it? How much did you promise them I wonder?” the sorceress flicked her gaze to the elves. They moved forward again, soft hands sliding through Velkra’s white locks, and began to force the Kazdruk warrior to go faster again. The head of Aeltha’s cock pushing firmly into her throat once more.

What kind of game was Aeltha playing? Velkra wasn’t entirely sure anymore, but she was thankful she had to foresight not to tell them anything of her plans, except that they were going to the front. She had never specified which front.

Another look from the sorceress to her whores, and the elves pulled Velkra’s head back sharply. The warrior gulped in breath, strings of saliva hanging between her lips and Aeltha’s cock as the sorceress came. Ropes of cum shot across Velkra’s face and neck, the hot sticky spunk slowly rolling down her skin, over the swells of her breasts.

“You can clean up when you leave, not before,” Aeltha said, only then rising, her elven whores wordlessly kneeling to run their tongues over her length, cleaning her off.

Taking some effort to control her expression, Velkra said nothing. She glanced back at the two slaves she had brought here. They both stared in horror at the scene that had just played out; their fate would likely be worse.

Fingers settling on her shoulders, Velkra looked back to the sorceress, trying to ignore the arrogant grin upon her features.

“These two will be important to me,” Aeltha started, speaking loud enough for the bound elves to hear her. The already corrupted ones giggled softly. “You see, they will be handlers. Bent to the will of the Kazdruk, and dominant over my new ferals,” Aeltha said, running her hands down Velkra’s arms.

“Ferals?”

“That, would be easier to show you,” Aeltha said, walking away towards her magical orb settled carefully on its pedestal. Velkra frowned a moment, before following after, already seeing images twist and turn inside the sorceress’s orb of sight.

“Behold. The first of my ferals. Savage, uncompromising, unfeeling,” Aeltha said, as Velkra looked down upon Neicul in chains, thrashing against his bonds, snarling and spitting in endless rage. His hard cock, sticking out from his pants, waving with his erratic movements, slapping against his thighs. The Talon Commander looked on with curiosity and furrowed brows.

“And these will be your shock troops Velkra. With them I think you can smash through the defences of the east.”

Velkra once more kept a neutral expression on her features. Watching Yuldasha’s brother in chains, his mind melted beyond cognitive patterns. This was Aeltha’s game? She played with dangerous pieces, and this uncontrolled savagery would not fit with her tactics.

“Of course,” she said anyway, pausing before adding: “Mistress”

 

><>< 

 

Hidden from sight by branches and dark leaves, Kira sat high in a tree looking over the village of Volgras. She had come by herself, telling the others she was stealthier and would be able to move about more easily to gather whatever information they could. After the raid on the town that had cost too many lives, there hadn’t been any argument.

Of course, Kira doubted they would have been so obedient in letting her go if they knew the thoughts that had refused to stop in her head. Running across her mind’s eye whenever she had a moment to herself.

Fingers running along her cheek, she felt the scars from her sister’s claws, and shivered. Biting her lower lip she thought of Lillium again. Her sultry, seductive sister. Succubus, vampire, baron of the Kazdruk, and now the source of all Kira’s fantasies. Deep dark desires that bubbled to the fore of her imagination with intense arousal.

So she had come, guided by arousal and fantasy, to find out what her sister had been talking about the night they fought. Forging new clans, the perseverance of humanity. Lillium was not a foolish woman. Corrupted, evil even, but not foolish. She would not have lived so long if she was.

So how was it she thought serving the Kazdruk would save her people? Living in chains was not salvation… even if it made her shiver in need.

Watching the village she saw mostly Helots patrolling the village. They seemed relaxed, but those towards the edge, those in the towers, seemed vigilant. They were learning from the raid as well. Listening, she could hear the hammer on steel sound of the blacksmith. She knew not who ran the shop now, but had a twinge of sorrow for Lukas who had once run the place. Dead now, in Innisgar. Like so many others.

Kira shook her head, trying to bring back the hate she had felt before, and failed. How could she be their saviour, if she lusted after the enemy?

Focusing back on the village she took note of the humans. Most were obviously slaves, with collars around their necks, and manacles bound to wrists and ankles. There were no chains on them, at the moment, but not one of them wore anything except a plain brown loincloth. Even from here they looked tired, and bruised from whatever work they were forced to do.

Others though, were not so unfortunate. She saw people wandering in clothing, without collars. They laughed, and talked with each other as they went about their days as if they were not living in a Kazdruk occupied village. Kira frowned at the sight. There were not many, but how many more would flock here to join the enemy if there was a chance to get away from the terror of living on the other side.

A figure walking down the road from the castle drew Kira’s eyes. She squinted, staring as her fingers idly continued to brush across the scars on her cheek. It was a human woman, topless, wearing a long pleated skirt of black with violet runes in vertical strips. There were tattoos on her bared skin, running up her sides and down her arms. A free woman, but more, one that commanded respect judging by the way the helots and other free folk bowed to her as she walked past. Behind her, crawling with a leash around her neck was a more familiar figure.

“Vivienne,” Kira breathed, eyes going wide as she watched the once proud and noble knight crawling obediently behind the tattooed woman. There was far too much slack in that leash to be anything but obedient.

The pair of them moved towards the building that had once been a church. But, whatever sacrilege had been done to it, it was now a temple to something darker. Making a guess, Kira thought the woman now pulling Vivienne into the temple was a priestess. She had to find out more, see what secrets Lillium was hiding in the village itself.

Dropping silently from her tree, she looked around. The border of the village was luckily too large to have every entrance watched by sentries. She looked out from the shadows towards one of the guard towers and waited until the helot within turned to look in another direction. As soon as eyes were off her path, Kira darted forward. Moving more like beast than human, staying low and in the shadows.

At the back of the temple, she looked upwards. Taking note of the brick walls and the gaps between each block. It was an old building after all. Her eyes slid over, away from the stained glass windows that now showed scenes of blood and lust, and found a plain window. Propped open. The wolfkin smirked, and kicked off her boots.

Moving beneath it, Kira dug her strong nails into the gaps between the bricks, and started to hoist herself upwards. Feet and hands working in concert to help her scale the wall, until she was pushing her head carefully into the opened window.

Inside looked to be some kind of office, or study. It was empty, and had a single door which likely lead to the main chamber of the temple. Slipping in through the window frame, Kira glanced at the desk. The papers and ink pot. The stacks of books and a small row of quills. She was about to take a closer look when she heard moans from the next room.

Turning her back to the bookshelves and desk, Kira made her way to the door and quietly opened it. Just a crack, looking into the main chamber. An open space now that the pews had been removed. Stains of cum on the floor, and fluttering tapestries hanging from the ceiling. Once the scriptures of Oan had been there, now there were runes and images of lust and blood. Just like the window. Sacrifices, vampires, orgies. Kira stared in horror… and a hint of curiosity that throbbed in her loins.

“Damn you sister. What have you done to me?” Kira whispered quietly, letting her eyes fall to the altar. A block of black stone, large enough for someone to lay across. Except Vivienne was on her hands and knees, her face against the stone. Her ass pushed up into the air as the woman, the priestess, standing behind her fucked her with a strap-on.

Vivienne moaned, not caring about the tight hold of the leash. Pulling that collar tight against her throat. She seemed to only care about thrusting her hips back against the Priestess who fucked her from behind. Juices streaming down the defiled knight’s thighs to patter against the stone. Their moans helping to further defile this once holy place as they flowed like a perverse two woman choir.

Kira thought about rushing in, but the look on Vivienne’s face stopped that. She was lost in lust, her tongue rolling out the side of her mouth as her tits ground against the altar. Had Lillium done this to her? Corrupted her, broke her?

She wasn’t surprised to find her fingers had made their way between her legs. Pushing the leather of her breeches against the hot patch waiting beneath. Feeling the cotton of her panties grinding against the lips of her cunt as she watched this former paragon of virtue let herself be so utterly violated. Biting her lip, she stopped herself from moaning. Just barely, but she stopped it, and watched the scene play out. Watched Vivienne’s form shake when orgasm took hold of her. Listened to those pristine moans of pleasure as her juices of lust dribbled all over the altar.

The Priestess smiled, giving Vivienne’s ass a firm squeeze.

“You are quite the loyal whore to our Harbinger,” the priestess purred, laying the leash upon the altar across Vivienne’s knuckles. The violated knight didn’t move, as if even the touch of the leash was enough to keep her in place.

“Thank you High Priestess,” Viv said, a moan in her voice, rewarded with a harsh slap to her ass.

“Await me here. I shall return momentarily,” the woman said, and turned on her heel, moving towards a door at the far side of the church.

When the door was closed behind those swaying hips, Kira did a quick scan of the rest of the temple. No one else was there. She quietly left the office, and moved towards Vivienne, a finger to her lips.

“You have returned to embrace the Mistress?” Vivienne said, her eyes alight with wonder as she spotted Kira coming towards her.

“No Viv. I’m here to get you out. To get you to freedom,” Kira said, reaching towards the collar, but pausing when Vivienne grasped her wrist. The wolfkin snapped her gave from Vivienne’s neck to her eyes.

“Why do you spurn her? She is your own sister. You should kneel, as I have. There is nothing better in this life than to kneel before her. Worship her. Serve her so utterly,” the knight… no, the whore Kira was realizing… spouted. Complete dogma, utterly broken.

Yanking her arm away from the whore zealot, she watched as Vivienne reached out, brushing fingers across the scars on her cheek. Kira’s eyes fluttered.

“You feel her, in your heart and your loins. Come… join me Kira. Give it all away, it only burdens you,” Vivienne purred, leaning forward more until she was able to run her tongue over Kira’s lips.

A shudder coursed up the wolfkin’s spine, and she let her lips part. Her own tongue dance softly with Vivienne’s for a bit before she let her wits return. She shuffled back, stared at Viv. Realized how far she had fallen.

The whore smirked, sliding her hand back under the leash.

“I do not want to go back,” Vivienne said, and there was a hot throb in Kira’s loins as she started backing towards the door.

“But soon, Mistress will return. Your sister will have you at her feet soon Kira. Then you will understand,” Vivienne said, then lifted her head and screamed out.

“Intruder!”

Kira turned and ran back into the office, not bothering to check if anyone had actually emerged to find her. Scrambling out the window she paused for only a heartbeat to grab her boots before she plunged back into the forest. Away from here.

Away from the horrible truth of what Vivienne had said.

For Kira already understood.

 

><>< 

 

Aela emerged from the side room holding a needle and a small jar of black ink. She smiled as she watched the door to her office slam shut. The wolfkin was an issue, but perhaps the Harbinger’s influence was already too strong in her soul to be a true concern. What little information she gathered here today would soon be outdated before she could use it.

“You did well. The Harbinger will surely reward you for your service,” Aela told the whore that had been a knight. Moving behind her again and dipping the tip of her needle into the jar of ink.

“Thank you High Priestess. I live to serve. I am the whore of the Harbinger. Suited to pleasure her needs,” Vivienne said. Her new doctrine, that she spoke of with lust thick in her tone.

Smiling, Aela pressed the needle to Vivienne’s lower back, just above her ass. Everything was going according to plan.

“Then bare her mark with Pride,” she said, and pushed the needle into skin.

 

><>< 

 

Running her fingers through the mane of her mare Orchid, Layli whispered soft words into its ear. She could all but feel her excitement, the pounding heart within its mighty breast. Clad in leather trousers with a long tunic of scale mail, Layli and  Orchid were eager for the coming battle.

Turning her head she looked at the other Scytar warriors, all mounted as they waited behind the ridge for the call to charge. The winds buffeted them, but the nomads were used to much worse in their homeland of the Hyroja Desert. So they sat patiently, ready to shed the blood of the foe.

The Shaman of this War Host rode along the front as all waited for the scouts to return. The man was aging, his hair silver and white with a thick beard along his jaw, but still he rippled with muscle. Clad only in hide trousers, his chest and back tattooed with animals and runes, he looked over the eager warriors. A rod in one hand, he shook it, asking the Gods of the sky, and the spirits of the land, to step back and let the warriors of the Scytar claim this victory for them.

“Flesh to blood, bone to dust,” he said then, turning towards the ridge. The necklace of claws around his neck rattling with the motion. The chant began to carry amongst the warriors, rising in volume.

The Serok, the commander of this War Host, was quiet in the front, watching as a pair of scouts ran down the hill towards him. The time was almost upon them, the chant of the warriors getting louder and louder.

Layli broke away, guiding Orchid over towards the Shaman. As shawrapaht, her duty was to him first, and now that he had finished his rituals she was free to speak with him.

“Behdin, will you be joining the fray?” she asked of him, leaning in that he could hear her words. The aging man laughed gently, shaking his head.

“No. I will return to the camp when the charge lances ahead. But you must be with them my shawrapaht. Cleave and spill blood in memories of my younger days,” he said patting her shoulder firmly. Layli smirked, and nodded, reaching over her shoulder to feel the fletching of her arrows, counting them silently.

“Flesh to blood Layli,” Behdin told her, glancing over at the Serok and turning his own horse away.

“Bone to dust,” she replied, pulling her bow from within the large wide sheath along Orchid’s saddle.

Easing back into the lines, she watched as the Serok lifted his spear up into the air, ribbons of red and orange fluttering from just beneath the bladed head. The chanting of the War Host was at a fever pitch now, doubtlessly heard from Thorlgruz. Hundreds of battle ready Scytar, eager to shed blood and deal death.

The spear dropped down, point forward, and as one the mighty host urged their mounts forward, rising up the ridge and soon cresting over the top. Dust kicked up from the hooves filled the air as they descended on the other side, rushing towards the cathedral of Thorlgruz and the ramshackle slave village that surrounded it.

Riding just behind the lancers that made up the front of the charge, Layli could see the panicked Kazdruk forces. Helots scrambling to make a pike line just in front of the village, the tall and powerful purebred Kazdruk warriors attempting to get their forces into some kind of defence. More were slowly coming out from slave shacks and the cathedral itself, but they were not expecting this attack.

Layli had her bow held in front of her, an arrow notched. Pulling the string back, she aimed down the shaft, and curled her lips in a grin; battle was upon them.

One hundred horse lengths away, the archers unleashed their first salvo. The arrows whistled between the lancers. There was a wild cheer of bloody glee as dozens of helots and even a Kazdruk warrior fell. Their bodies pin cushioned with arrows. The fools didn’t have any shields up front yet.

Seventy five horse lengths came the second salvo, and a third at fifty. A rain of arrows that didn’t slow the thundering charge of hooves rushing towards the enemy. Over one hundred dead from the onslaught. Sheathing her bow, Layli pulled free her sword. The enemy was so close now, she could see the panic in their eyes. See the concern in the Kazdruk as they tried to get their forces to close ranks.

The lancers hit with the crunch of steel lances punching through armour. Of hooves hammering flesh and bone. Screams of helots and wild Scytar war cries fill the air as the lancers punch through the lines. Layli and other sword wielders just behind, slashing downwards at survivors. The curved tips of their blades cutting limbs and necks.

Layli let out a cry of blood fuelled ecstasy as she took a helot’s head from its shoulders, and continued on. Blood sprayed up her arm as she tilted to the other side in the saddle. Her blade took a helot’s arm at the elbow before it could thrust a spear at the third line.

The helots broke, running into the town and Cathedral. Those few that stayed were easily run down. Layli stopped her own charge, taking a quick account of the battlefield. Taking note of a Kazdruk on his back, a broken lance punched through his chest, blood pouring from his mouth.

“Into the town!” someone cried, turning their horses to rush down narrow streets, cleaving at retreating helots and sending them sprawling to the dust. Slaves watched on, some pulling themselves from their stupor to grasp weapons from the fallen. The streets and shacks soon turning into a charnel house as slave, Scytar, and Kazdruk all fought desperately. Doors kicked open to get at Helots trying to regroup. Kazdruk purebreds gouging their way through packs of slaves.

“Layli. Take the archers, and get into the cathedral,” the face of the Serok before her startled the shawrapaht, but she nodded. Turning her horse she gathered one hundred archers, each of them armed with a blade as well.

“The front door is likely guarded well, we need to find back entrances. We split into two groups, circle around, and breach where we can. Meet inside,” Layli said, trying to ignore the screams of battle and concentrate on her own task.

“Flesh to blood,” was the response she earned, and Layli nodded to them.

All one hundred rode towards the stone walls of the cathedral. Outside the main door, eight guards were pounding on the doors to be let in. The helots screaming out, before turning and snarling at the enemy. A hail of arrows killed each of them. The one hundred riders then dismounted, and broke into two groups, flowing around the cathedral.

With forty nine at her back, most with bows still in hand, they moved along the high ground Thorlgruz itself sat upon. They moved quickly, not concerned with quiet as battle raged.

Warm chunks splashed across the back of Layli’s head. Chips of skull and bits of brain getting caught in her hair. The man behind her had taken a crossbow bolt to the side of the head. A few archers quickly loosed arrows towards where the bolt had come from, and someone pushed the Scytar warrior’s body to the side.

Soon they found a door. A small one, not much larger than a person’s width or height.

“Axes,” Layli said, sword in hand as shards of glass rained down from above.

She turned her face away and raised an arm. Felt the shards clattering against her bracer as a large woman with an axe came forward. Archers along the walls were shooting upwards, as Helots stuck out to launch bolts and throw rocks down upon the enemy.

Shards of wood flew outwards from the door as the axe bit into it. The slight barrier shaking in its frame. The woman let out a mighty roar, and swung the axe again. And again. The door eventually smashing off the hinges and falling to pieces inwards. The follow through of the axe caught a helot by surprise. Burrowing between his ribs and killing him near instantly.

Eight more archers were lost on the ridge to the helots, their corpses left where they had fallen. Layli would sing at their pyres later, for now she pushed in behind the axe woman and into the halls of Thorlgruz.  The sounds of battle echoed off the stone, and Layli knew the others had gotten through to the other side.

Fighting through the side chambers and into the main area of prayer, Layli watched with a twitch as a barrage of crossbows took out twelve of her archers. But it took too long for the helots to reload and the Scytar were upon them. Jumping over broken pews and firing their bows up into the balconies that overlooked them, the Scytar warriors screamed and slaughtered any in their path. Kazdruk and helot alike.

Blood flowed over the carefully laid stones of the floor. Dripping down into the cracks and gaps caused by such mistreatment from the Kazdruk since this place had fallen years before.

Layli spotted one of the large red skinned invaders though, rushing through a back door. Quietly, she followed, letting the sounds of battle fade as she made her way through back corridors and past various rooms. She followed the sound of hooves clattering on stone floors, and ignored the looks of weary slaves looking outwards at her without any true emotion.

Up flights and stairs, Layli followed quiet as shadow, her blade in hand. From an open door ahead she heard voices. Wishing now she’d brought backup, she steeled herself for a fight and continued forward, keeping low as she went through the door.

There was no one in the room asides the tall Kazdruk warrior, a large mace held at her side. She was bent over a pedestal, but Layli could not see what was upon it.

“Thorlgruz is fallen Aeltha,” the Kazdruk was saying with some anger to her voice.

“It better not fall. That is the seat of my experiments. You will get back to the fight and push back th-” whatever else this, Aeltha was going to say, she caught her tongue when the Kazdruk warrior’s head was taken from her shoulders.

The severed head hit the floor with a loud thunk, before the body slowly fell to the side. Blood splashed across the floor from the stump of her neck and twitched once in death.

Standing before a strange orb, Layli looked at yet another demon. Her red eyes glared with hatred at the shawrapaht. Layli wiped her sword clean and sheathed it before bending to pick up the fallen mace with both hands.

“I will flay your skin from your bones, and make you live forever in anguish,” Aeltha said. Layli shrugged.

“Come find me first,” she said, and smashed the orb with the mace.