Category Archives: Shackles of Hate

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 24: The Pieces are Moving

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.

><><

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.

><><

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

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.

><><

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

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.

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 21: Seeds of Ambitions

Striding into the chamber, her heels clicking on the stone floor, and clad only in a pair of thigh high leather boots, Lillium peered between the columns that filled the room. Chains hung from many of them, a faint blue light with a unknown source lighting her way. Deeper within she could hear low growls, the snap of chains going tight as something tried to get loose.

The succubus knew Aeltha would be watching. This experiment of hers taking priority over Lillium seeing the master of all Kazdruk on this world. It seemed to Lillium like she was not the only one toying with fire for personal gain.

Continuing deeper into the chamber, the growls getting louder as the creature chained within caught Lillium’s scent, the succubus soon came face to face with a pure blooded Kazdruk. Stripped down his waist to reveal a body rippling with muscle, eyes filled with fury and madness, Neicul pulled hard against his binds; chains curling around the pillar behind him, holding his wrists and ankles back, occasionally glimmering with magical energy.  Strings of spittle flew from his mouth as he gnashed his teeth, fingers flexing at his sides as he struggled to get to the woman before him.

At some point since Aeltha had bound him down here, he had snapped the chain holding his neck to the column. The string of metal links swaying in front of his chest. Smirking, Lillium approached him, standing just out of the snapping reach of his jaws. As Neicul snapped to her face, Lillium didn’t flinch. Hot breath and spittle splashed her face, but she just smiled, running fingers across her cheek and sucking her fingers clean.

“I wonder, can you understand me?” she purred, watching as the response she earned was the Kazdruk warrior turned feral beast’s lips peeled back from his teeth. He snorted, nostrils flaring as he took in the succubus’s alluring scent. Red eyes flicking down, Lillium watched the bulge straining against his leather trousers.

“So cruel, to lock you up,” Lillium said with an almost mocking pout as her claws ran down his chest, Neicul’s face tilting down to watch with some confusion. With so much of his mind swirling with pure primal instinct he had no true idea what teasing and seduction was anymore. When Lillium’s hand found his cock and squeezed though, he understood that.

Snarling, he bucked his hips forward, and Lillium laughed gently, gliding her hand over the bulge, before curling her claw under the laces holding his trousers closed.

“You won’t really need these for some time anyway,” Lillium said, the sharp bone on her finger sawing through the strings, the top of Neicul’s pants folding open as his hard cock sprang free. A little sound of appreciation and an arched eyebrow from Lillium wasn’t understood by the feral Kazdruk.

Lillium grasped the loose chain and yanked hard, pulling Neicul to the limits of his bindings. She watched his muscles flexing as he strained against his binds to get at her. To fuck her. A bead of pre-cum was forming at the tip of Neicul’s cock as he snarled again, veins in his forehead starting to bulge.

Pivoting on her heels, draping the chain over her shoulder, feeling the cold metal against her left breast, Lillium turned her head to watch the Kazdruk. She slowly bent over, pushing her hips back towards the feral beast, making sure to twist her wings to the side to keep them from his jaws as his torso was pulled down with her.

She loosened her hold on the chain ever so slightly, lips parting and curling as Neicul snarled once more, hips bucking ahead as Lillium shuffled back until she felt him ram into her. Cock spearing into her slick cunt, her lip peeled back slightly, a hungry moan pulled from her throat.

“That’s it,” she groaned, as their hips started to thrust  together. A rhythm forming as cock slid deep into the wet heat of cunt, the slapping of flesh filling the room as Neicul snorted and growled. His girth stretched her slightly, drawing deep moans from the hungry succubus as her breasts swayed beneath her. Their bodies moving together in this simple feral dance.

Juices smearing over his cock from Lillium’s depths, dribbling down her thighs towards the tops of her boots, starting to drip off his hard shaft. Spittle splashed on her back, the cheeks of her ass. Tugging on the chain, Lillium snapped the top of his manacle against Neicul’s jaw, snapping them shut, a thick line of drool falling from his lips to the small of her back, starting to run in a slow line over her waist.

When his cock started to throb within her, Lillium grinned wider, baring her fangs upwards at the feral beast. The two of them moving faster, moans and grunts mingling together with the slapping of flesh, and the slick sound of Neicul’s cock ramming into the succubus.

Mouth held closed by the manacle pressing up against his jaw, Neicul could only let out a muffled groan of pleasure as his cum shot up inside Lillium’s pussy. Ropes of hot, sticky spunk splattering within her as his thrusts began to slow.

Lucien-423824-Lillium_X_Neicul_collab_w_WickedJ

“Not yet big boy. I’m not done,” Lillium said, still keeping her grin as she tugged harder on the chain, her own hips slamming back towards the Kazdruk. A small whine seeped out from Neicul’s pressed lips as his over sensitive cock continued to drive into her cum filled depths. The thick white spunk started to gush out around his plunging cock, running over the smeared juices towards Lillium’s boots. Splashing across his balls as he was forced to continue fucking the hungry succubus, making a filthy puddle on the floor.

Trying to pull away, Neicul continued to whimper, the pleasure too much, as Lillium just grasped the chain harder. Her own moans were getting louder, hungrier. As the pleasure of her own release finally flowed through her flesh, a hungry moan spilling from her lips, Lillium finally began to slow. Behind her, cock dripping cum and juices, Neicul whimpered, cowed for the moment.

Letting out a soft moan as she moved forward, pulling off his cock, feeling the head of it gliding down her thigh before she was out of reach, Lillium looked back at him. The Kazdruk couldn’t meet her eyes, his hips pulled back until his ass was against the column. She bit her lip as she watched him, before starting out from the chamber.

><><

Talons tapping on the scrying orb upon its pedestal, Aeltha took note of what she witnessed. Neicul seemed, cowed. Not exactly the result she’d been hoping for, but he was much calmer now. Watching Lillium, her creation, walk back through the chamber with cum running down her legs was a delicious sight as well.

The experiment was complete. There was a way to control the feral Kazdruk afterall. All she needed was succubi to placate them.

Which led to her problem. Lillium was the perfect succubus, but the vampirism and her warrior nature prevented her from becoming a useful tool. She was no better than the usual Kazdruk; ambitious and self-serving. She just happened to be smarter about it, making her plots across the oceans, on the front lines of a war that wasn’t going nearly as well as it should have.

Hand flicking across the orb before her, the vision faded from within the glass, and the sorceress stood. If only Neicul had delivered the Elven women she needed.

Opening her notebook, she noted down everything she’d witnessed. Lillium’s actions, Neicul’s reactions. Was it simply the sex that had calmed the feral creature, or had it been Lillium’s domineering demeanour. She needed a submissive subject to test this now that Lillium’s display had been such a success.

“Perhaps soldiers,” Aeltha muttered to herself. In Kazdruk society there was little differentiation between a warrior and a soldier. To the Elves and Humans though, there was plenty. Soldiers of the rank and file knew how to follow orders. Submissive to their betters, and dominating to their foes. And of those, there were plenty that had been taken prisoner after their foolish assault on the spire. Now to simply find some that the Kazdruk could pull their cocks from.

Or prostitutes. They could be whatever was needed. Aeltha had many options ahead of her, but she was running out of time to test them all. She sighed, and looked over to her research on the portal that could launch an entire invasion to the West without the need for ships. If it was succesful, then they could launch to the East as well.

The door to her holding chambers opened, and Lillium stepped in, licking cum from her fingers. One thigh was mostly cleaned of it, and the sorceress smirked.

“Come then baroness. We have a small errand to run, then it will be time to meet your master, and remember that you are just a whore,” Aeltha said, and Lillium smirked in return.

><><

As the door opened Sarya lifted her head up, resting it against the back wall of her cell. She looked through the bars as Isolde stood watching her, wearing only a loin cloth and sandals.

“Well. You certainly look like a whore,” the centurion started, as her feet shifted, the chains attached to her naked limbs rattling on the floor.

“Mistress. I had to do this. For you.”

“Do not call me that. You betrayed me,” Sarya shouted angrily, making Isolde flinch, her eyes turning away.

“I had to mistress. Otherw-” Isolde started but was interrupted as Sarya leapt forward. Her chains snapping and the centurion shouting out in frustration. Isolde looked down at her feet.

“Otherwise you would not have listened. You would not have done what you needed to. I did this for you mistress,” Isolde said quietly, unable to look at the woman straining against the chains that held her to the wall. Sarya glared at the whore in front of her with loathing. Eventually Isolde shuffled backwards, towards the door, and opened it before fleeing.

Left alone once more, hungry and thirsty, Sarya slumped back against the wall. She had been stripped naked, and the damp chill that permeated these dungeons was not a pleasant feeling. Left to wallow once more she slid down the wall and looked down at the floor. Watched a rat scurry out from a hole in the stone wall and scamper across the floor.

The rodent paused, not far from the centurion, and looked at her. Its nose twitching as it sniffed at the air, before continuing on its way with Sarya’s eyes following it. When the rat vanished from view, Sarya leaned her head back and looked to the ceiling. A single candle providing the only light in here, and it was dwindling. A pool of melted and cooled wax on the floor beneath the high seated light source. No windows, only stone. She wasn’t sure if it was night or day. It was even hard to know how long she’d been in this dungeon.

Stomach growling, Sarya licked dry lips to little avail. Her mind swirling with the pain of betrayal, the weight of her sins pushing down on her. Her choices of late had been for the good of an empire that no longer existed. She had damned an entire city to butchery more than once. Was she the exact problem that she accused the elves of?

Closing her eyes she tried to twist her thoughts towards escape, but the chains were well made and tightly bound her, and so she fell back into investigating herself. Her soul, and her mind. Her motivations. She couldn’t escape the fact that this past little while was full of poor choices that had backfired terribly. She had played into the hands of the enemy with what she’d done.

But then, so had the Elves with their treatment of Kira. Driven a creature of legend and myth away instead of letting her help against the encroaching Kazdruk hordes. Where was she now?

Footsteps came from down the hall, easy to hear when the only sound was a distant drip from the stone ceiling to the stone floor. They paused outside the door, and Sarya heard the key opening the lock before the hard wood creaked open. The woman who entered wore long skirts slit up to her hips. Long lean legs carried her inside, showing as her hips swayed. Her bared breasts bouncing slightly, her skin covered in tattoos. She smiled, the look somewhere between haunting and sweet, and Sarya wasn’t sure what to think of her.

“Sarya, former captain of Driftafay’s Silver Guard, former Centurion of the Goldulin Empire. Two prestigious titles, and both former, and you even failed to slay Lillium,” the woman said with that strange smile that sent shudders up Sarya’s spine.

“And you are?”

“Aela. High Priestess of Morkate, advisor to her harbinger. Baroness Lillium,” she said, bowing slightly as she stood above Sarya, her breasts swaying just overhead, before she slowly sank down to a crouch in front of her prisoner. Sarya stared, mouth slightly agape, unsure of what to say.

“You show no fear. Most do tremble at least a little when they hear her name. Not you though,” Aela said, fingers starting to glide along the inside of Sarya’s leg, trailing up her thigh. It was soft, and sensual, and Sarya was surprised as the pleasure that rolled up her flesh. She blinked, a gasp slipping out as she felt Aela’s fingers drift over a round pair of scars on her inner thigh.

“Oh, what’s this?” Aela’s eyes moved downwards, and Sarya felt her legs being gently parted. Exposing everything to the priestess’s eyes.

“You’ve felt the bite of a vampire before. And willingly, if I’m to guess,” Aela said softly, leaning in closer. Close enough that Sarya could head butt her if she wanted, but her fingers were pleasing. And being down here, she was okay with something pleasurable.

“Yes,” Sarya admitted. She was not amongst worshippers of Oan anymore. She found no reason to hide her secret here. Especially to a priestess of a religion long thought eradicated by many. Sarya knew it wasn’t.

Aela smiled, shifting her fingers from the scars, and placed them against the hot entrance of Sarya’s womanhood. Starting to feel the slick juices as she began to gently caress the outer lips, drawing another lusting gasp from Sarya.

“Perhaps I was wrong about you Sarya. Perhaps you could be useful to our goals afterall. Lillium will wish to speak with you upon her return,” she said, easing her fingers into Sarya. The former centurion looked up at the woman, cocking her head to the side, as her hips shifted forwards slightly.

“Until then, I will look into making your stay more comfortable. It is only fitting, for one of the faithful, enemy though you may be. For the moment,” Aela said, pulling her fingers free and sucking on them gently. She stood, letting glistening fingers come free of her lips. Sarya bit back a whimper, gaining control of her features quickly.

“I came to kill her. I will not serve the Kazdruk,” Sarya said, already wanting the fingers back inside her, even as she closed her legs to try and deny that simple fact.

“Perhaps. But you don’t know the full story yet. Trust in your Goddess. She has many surprises for you, because I would never ask you to serve the Kazdruk,” Aela said, turned, slowly departing the chamber with Sarya watching the small of her back, confusion swirling in her thoughts.

><><

The smell of it reached Kira’s senses first; the almost sweet stench of death, spilled blood, and the foulness that came with it all. A single fist lifted upwards, the fifteen guerrillas following her all paused, clutching at their crossbows and spears and looking through the forest. Her brows knitted into a tight frown as she turned to her right, looking past the brush and trees to find Thaden. As if sensing her gaze he turned to regard her. Head cocked slightly with an unspoken question, Kira tapped at her nose.

Thaden merely shrugged in response, and Kira looked ahead. They had been tracking a group of helots from Volgras for a few days now, but they had been far enough ahead that Kira was struggling to take the correct routes. She wasn’t even fully sure how many there were. At least a dozen.

Tapping her fingers against the side of the tree before her, Kira stood and started forward. The guerrillas moving quietly behind her, cautiously picking their way across the forest floor. Experience was teaching them well. It still pained Kira to know those that didn’t learn well, were buried soon enough.

Creeping towards the edge of the tree line, the scent of blood and death growing ever stronger, Kira could start to smell the underlining smell of sex. She knew roughly what she was going to see, but it didn’t lessen the impact when her eyes finally settled upon the gruesome scene.

A few ravens took off in flight as Kira emerged into the site of the massacre, though many remained. Black beaks tearing at the flesh at what had once been coalition soldiers. Near fifty of them, bodies torn and brutalized. A few helots lay scattered across the beaten down dirt path. There were very little weapons or armour to be found amongst the dead.

“Reinforcements for the front?” Thaden said as he emerged beside Kira and looked upon the scene. She heard someone retching behind her.

“Not anymore,” she said, lifting her wrist to cover her nose as best she could.

“Take whatever weapons and armour you can,” she said over her shoulder, seeing a few nods before she stepped forward. Investigating the dead, scattering more ravens who cried out at having their feast disturbed.

“The Kazdruk are well supplied. Why take so much?” Thaden asked noting the dead helots had been left naked, and most of the coalition soldiers wore only some gambesons or tunics. Many shredded to show flesh beneath.

“These were Lillium’s helots,” Kira said, looking down at a woman who had suffered an arrow to the shoulder and gut. Her pants were torn off, and cum was crusted on her thighs and rear. Her throat had been slit just after. “They’re getting ready for something,” she said, as she glanced up, seeing one of her insurgents examining a chipped short sword. He then took a moment to arrange the body in a more dignified manner.

“Preparing for what?” Thaden had to ask his eyes moving down the road. The path to the beaches that were acting as the front lines against this terrible invasion. One of the fronts. Someone wouldn’t be getting the aid they hoped for.

“I don’t know. But we need to find out,” Kira said. That could mean a journey back to Volgras. Not something she wanted, not with the thoughts Lillium had swirling through her mind, stirring desires that shouldn’t exist. Or, they could find a helot patrol and take some prisoners.

Thaden nodded, and rubbed at his eyes.

“We’ve lost the trail. We should head back, and try to find another group,” Kira said, looking over to the outlaw. He was busy looking down at a dead man, whose face had bloated and turned blue as he was suffocated. The cum crusted around his lips showing a hint at how he had been choked.

He nodded slowly, and turned with a frown towards the wood line. The other insurgents already moving, carrying whatever weapons and bits of armour that hadn’t been picked clean from the slaughter field already.

Kira lingered a few moments before letting out a heavy sigh, and turned to follow the others. Thoughts of her sister started to creep into her mind again, and she began to wonder just what it was that her sister was up to. Fingers rising up, she traced the scars along her cheek that her sister had left her.

><><

Standing naked before the window of her room that overlooked the city, Lelthina gently sipped at her goblet of wine. Behind her, Pharno lounged in her bed, his cock glistening, with smudged rings of her lipstick around the base of his shaft. Arms folded behind his head he basked in the slowly fading sensations of his orgasm while the councillor looked upon the city.

It had calmed considerably since the Elves had taken it over once more, but it didn’t sit right with the envoy. A fog of fear had settled over it all. It wasn’t that she felt much sympathy for the humans, it was that she was concerned about the control the Elves would be able to retain. Tales of the butchery that happened here would escape as it always did, and the humans would find themselves torn between the evils of Elves and the evils of Kazdruk.

“Damn her short sightedness,” Lelthina said, and drained her wine.

Pharno glanced over to her, but otherwise didn’t move. He appreciated the silhouetted view of the Elven noble a few moments, before he allowed himself to speak.

“Lillium was smart. Whether she intended to or not, she has driven a spike into the Coalition, and only now is it starting to show the cracks.”

Lelthina turned, letting him see the view droplets of his cum still upon her breast. She was frowning, moving toward the bed with her usual grace and elegance.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend is being made to work in more than one direction. Without the humans, we cannot win this war. Lillium knows this, she was once one of their greatest warriors,” she said as she sat on the edge of the bed. Pharno slid over towards her, his fingers running along her back.

“It is worse than you believe. The new baroness of Volgras is using an old human deity to get others to join her. I have heard the whispers amongst the prostitutes of Morkate,” Pharno said, and Lelthina’s head jerked around to regard him, her eyes wide.

“The siege was a feint. Her real ploy it seems was to get her little cultists inside the city walls, under guise of fleeing from their farms,” Pharno continued, and Lelthina stood, starting to pace. She could feel the spy’s eyes upon her form, watching the slight bounce of her breasts, but she was in no mood to enhance her movements for his pleasure.

“And Telva has made it so we can’t just kill them without pushing the humans over the edge. Did you ever find proof that Sarya was working for the bitch?”

“No. From everything I’ve pieced together, Sarya was pushed over the edge when asked to kill a Wolfkin. A decision made and pushed to the fat weak human ambassadors by the Elven ambassador that sat here earlier,” Pharno said, and smirked. “From what I tell, Sarya would have been one of our greatest instruments against Lillium. Her hatred was strong.”

“Elyiarna save me from the arrogance of my own kind,” Lelthina said, looking up towards the ceiling though she didn’t truly expect any kind of answer.

“She might. She’s given you me,” Pharno said grinning, and Lelthina snorted.

“You are as arrogant as any. But, you have proven yourself useful.”

“And able to make you cum,” he shot back simply.

“Hard,” Lelthina relented and moved towards him as he sat up on the edge of the bed, straddling him.

“We need a new ruler,” she said simply, as Pharno’s hands trailed along her back. He was grinning.

“We do. But how do you intend to make yourself queen? And even if you do, and manage to murder the king and get away with it, how do you get rid of Telva without it being suspicious?” Pharno asked. He likely knew many ways already despite the question.

“Becoming queen is easy. Seduce the king, sleep with him, take his seed, marry him. I’m of noble lineage, and his own wife is long beyond this world,” she said, starting to grind against him. She felt his saliva slick cock starting to harden beneath her, rising upwards to rub against the slick petals of her cunt.

“Easier said than done,” Pharno said, pulling her tight to him, smearing that spot of cum on her breast across his chest.

“With love yes. Impossible. With practicality and politics, much simpler. I just make it, that marrying me will soothe the bonds of the Coalition. The humans will settle with an Elven queen to look after their interests. All I need to do, is become a paragon for them.” she said, and smirked.

“And Telva?”

“Lillium is still out there. The two of them might find each other on the same battlefield again. I’m sure Lillium has old debts to settle for that disaster at the Atzgol plains,” Lelthina said, starting to grind harder against him, smearing his cock and thighs with her own juices.

“Care my dear. You just might make me love you,” Pharno said, grasping Lelthina’s upper arms, and swinging her around to lay upon her back, before he thrust into her, earning a hungry moan.

“And what of your little side project?” she asked as his hips began to move, driving hard into her. Making her tits bounce beneath him.

“The mercenaries are sailing on their way even now. Scytar nomads, as eager for blood as they are gold,” Pharno said, grasping one of her breasts. Squeezing hard, he could feel her nipple digging into his palm.

“Good. Hopefully they can provide the distraction to the Kazdruk we need in order to install proper leadership in the Coalition,” she said, her hips starting to return their bucks against him. The spy’s smile widened.

“Always wanted to fuck a queen.”

><><

Awaking between the naked forms of two fellow tribes folk, Layli carefully and quietly crawled out from the thick fur lined blankets bound over the packed wool mattress. She stood in the small tent like cabin the married couple had for themselves and stretched, arms raised above her head until fingers brushed over the thin beams of wood and stretched cloth that made the ceiling. She felt the sticky remains of last night’s fun clinging to her skin, peeling as her muscles warmed with her movements.

Leaning down, she found her bright orange silk sarong, and leather vest, and started to dress. As she tied the laces of her vest, pushing her breasts snug and comfortable, she felt fingers tracing along her calf, making Layli ever more grateful she’d left her trousers in a heap in the corner of the tent.

Turning she looked back at the woman who smiled up at her. She was a pretty woman, though lacked the muscles of a warrior. Her fingers though held small scars and were callused from her work as a fletcher.

“Don’t be too long. I’d like to taste your skin one last time before you find another bed,” she whispered softly, trying not to disturb her husband. Layli turned her gaze to the naked man, the sheets drawn over his lower legs. He had the muscles of a hunter. The faint traces of gray in his hair speaking to many years of experience with the bow. When Layli’s eyes found his flaccid cock, she remembered taking it inside her the night before. It was much more impressive when he was hard.

“I’ll have him ready for you,” the wife said, a mischevious smile curling her lips.

“I’d rather watch that. I just need some fresh air,” Layli said, leaning down, and dragging her fingers along the front of the woman’s neck before tilting her chin upwards. When their lips met, it was soft, telling the other of the hunger awaiting them. As the kiss broke, each looked at the shimmer of saliva they had left on the other.

“Don’t be too long,” the woman just repeated as Layli stepped out barefoot onto the deck of the war raft. The warm winds of the sea caressed her skin, causing her sarong to billow around her as she picked her way between the tents of other tribe folk. Most were still sleeping soundly as the sun began to crest the horizon, sending it’s beautiful light to shimmer across the rolling waves of the sea.

Breathing in, Layli savoured the salty scent, the damp around her. Her people, the Scytar were from the deserts far to the south. They were not used to such waters, nor to any true settled home. They wandered the sands, following the water holes and herds of goat and sheep, striking into the steppes for gold, food, and glory. Theirs was not an easy life, nor would they have it any other way.

Smiling, her hands curling around the railing, Layli was the same, and different. She had travelled beyond the deserts and steppes and into the lands of civilization. While Scytar blood pumped from her heart, there was also Elvish within her. She had the black hair, and bronzed skin of those she called her people, but her father had gifted her with more grace and pointed ears. Luckily for her, the Sytar valued deeds more than blood. Her return to the tribe with experiences and tales had made her a welcome guest to yurts and firesides. Her exotic nature made her a desired woman to slake the lusts in bed and beneath starry sky. And then her skill in battle had earned her the title of shawrapaht. A chosen protector of the tribe, and of the tribe’s shaman.

Though, she knew her inability to bear children had drawn attention to her as well. Monogamy was not as common amongst the Scytar as it was many of the many so called civilized people she had encountered, but it was against the shaman’s word to bear children outside of marriage.

“It won’t be long now, before we slather our blades,” a deep voice said, though did not approach any closer. Layli smiled, and glanced over her shoulder at her friend Erfan. He was a large man, bulging with muscle. One of the tribe’s lancers, skilled with blade and spear. He hated the waters.

“And earn yet more gold and glory,” Layli said, watching his eyes dip, following the slight curve of waist to hip. And the firm cheeks of her ass, exposed by the wind billowing her sarong off to the side. She let him watch but shook her head.

“Promised another I’d bed them again,” she said, a teasing smirk on her lips.

“Shame. But the view is nicer than what’s beyond you,” he replied, and Layli laughed, letting him enjoy the sight, even pushing her hips back slightly.

“It’s funny,” he said suddenly, arms crossing over his chest.

She cocked an thin eyebrow, another Elvish trait, and waited for him to continue.

“We’re called savages. Barbarians, and worse by these Elves and people who build with stone and lumber. They think themselves safe within their walls. Yet not that they see the lies of that, they come with chests of gold begging for us to help them.”

Layli laughed. She knew more of the ways of civilized people than most in her tribe. Despite her stories by crackling fires with jugs of fermented milk, they never truly understood the crime, corruption, and greed that settled between the bricks of the cities of the world. Erfan’s observation was something that had made her laugh when the Elvish envoys had first arrived.

“A greater threat has emerged in the world. I think we should show these Kazdruk why we are called savages. Why we are feared,” she said, looking out to the sea once more, gazing upon the other war rafts that floated over the waves. The navigators said tomorrow they would reach shore, and soon be advancing upon a place called Thorlgruz. The anticipation was reaching a fever point. There was more drinking and fucking than usual.

“On that note though my friend. There is a beautiful woman and a gorgeous man awaiting me,” she said, turning from the railing and moving towards the tent she had left not long ago. Erfan laughed, clapping her shoulder, and then her ass as she passed by.

In the tent, the fletcher didn’t even glance upwards as Layli entered, the shawrapaht seeing the woman’s tongue drag a slow path up her husband’s cock. The archer groaned, his cock hardening and glistening with pre-cum. Layli grinned, opening her vest to bare her breasts and let it fall to the ground.

Others might call her half-elf, but Layli had the heart of a Scytar.

><><

The twisting halls and corridors of the spire might be a maze to some, but Velkra had grown to know them well. To know where each turn led, what each room held. Her Talon had been there since the beginning. When they stepped forth to slaughter and rape the Goldulans. They had been glorious days then. Full of blood and pleasure. No more for Velkra’s Talon.

They had earned such glory in the initial invasion that they had earned the right and honour to defend the spire, where they had stayed hence. Sitting on their laurels, drinking the plentiful booze, and fucking the slaves and whores, and fighting one another. Her commander, Gelhoz, was a large beastly Kazdruk with very limited skills in magic. He was leading the talon to ruin and disgrace without even seeing it.

The war was still raging, and it infuriated Velkra that her war scythe had been dry for far too long. Only the foolish Elven assault on the spire had offered any respite from the lethargy that seemed to settle over her and her talon.

Moving down another corridor, moving towards the drinking hall she pondered over the sights she had seen since Aeltha had sent her away to collect Lillium. The succubus herself had been interesting in her own way. Seemingly not as tough as her kin, but she had guts, and she had the will to see her ambitions come to fruition. The battle on the beach had been unsettling. To see so many of her own slain, their ships sunk. The setbacks, the defeats, were all being ignored by the Kazdruk in the spire. After so many conquered worlds, they all believed themselves unstoppable. Velkra herself had believed it.

After the battle on the beach though. To see Kazdruk outsmarted and helots slaughtered, she had to wonder if their time was coming. She refused to accept that, and knew something would have to be done.

And then there was Wulfshn. Storming through the halls, and after some digging, Velkra discovered the tough Kazdruk warrior had been defeated in single combat by a mere corrupted elf. Kazdruk corruption made one better, but to defeat a purebred said only one thing to Velkra.

The Kazdruk were getting complacent.

Pushing the doors open into the drinking hall, Velkra walked in and looked at the scene before her. Kazdruk warriors with beer glistening on chins and chests. Roaring and shouting and laughing. An elven slave, likely taken from the battle, was bent over the table. She looked lost in a haze, likely having been shared by the entire Talon multiple times. Cum was pouring from her ass, her cunt, and was smeared across her face. She was panting, eyes half lidded, and Velkra had to wonder how long they’d been fucking her. She saw no other slaves about, and wondered how broken this one was.

“Velkra returns,” the large brown skinned form of Gelhoz stood, arms spread to welcome Velkra. One of her kin handed her a overflowing tankard with a toothy grin, her cock still hard despite the cum and saliva smeared along its length. She’d recently been inside the slave’s mouth. The rest were cheering.

Velkra frowned, taking the tankard and stepping inwards. This was the life of victory. But their victory was long ago now, and already their talon was being forgotten. All in this room believed themselves champions of the Kazdruk, while Luzella made herself the favoured one.

“Our victory has been spent. We should return to war,” Velkra called out. She noted a few frowns, heard a few laughs, but wasn’t sure who agreed with her.

“When we are called upon, we shall charge forth. We are favoured. We are the victors over the empire whose lands stretched from where we now sit,” Gelhoz said, and earned cheers, more poured drinks, and a loud smack of the elven slave’s ass.

“We are forgotten. Thought cowards by the other Talons. We sit and bask in glories that are scarcely remembered,” Velkra said, and earned hisses and boos, though a few were glancing at each other.

“Then let them come here and say that. We are known by Yuldasha herself. She remembers all. Come now Velkra, fuck this whore, drink your beer, and then sit down. This is my talon. Not yours,” Gelhoz let his jovial tone drop near the end. His eyes narrowing as fingers ran over the hilt of the knife on his belt.

Glancing about the room, Velkra took a quick gauge of the others in her Talon. They were all looking between them, hoping for a fight. She frowned, wondering how many would side with her. She had to show them what was happening out on the battlefields. And she could think of only one way.

“Of course Gelhoz. It is your talon. I mere make a recommendation,” Velkra said, with a submissive bow. She could hear the disappointment from the others around her that there would be no fight.

“So long as you remember your place Velkra. Now, take a turn at the whore,” Gelhoz said, letting his fingers slide away.

“Take my turn Gelhoz. To show that I remember my place. I’ll even hold her hair back, to see how far you can fuck her throat,” Velkra said, and earned more cheers though some watched her with suspicion. Their fight was gone, but there would be another sight. Gelhoz grinned, as he and Velkra stepped towards the cum and beer slathered table the elf was laying upon. Her tits crushed into the wood.

Grasping the back of her hair, Velkra yanked her head back. She grinned, running a thumb along her lips, as Gelhoz pulled out his thick cock. Already hard and eager he stepped forward, grinning at Velkra.

He was proud of himself, for having asserted his dominance Velkra knew. She watched him thrust his cock forward, with only the slightest complaint from the slave. She was long past complaining now. Gelhoz put his hands behind his head and grinned as his hips began to ram forward. Heavy balls slapping the slave’s chin, the Kazdruk were cheering on their talon commander as his cock thrust deep.

Until Velkra slammed her knee up. There was a stunned moment of shock for all present as Velkra’s knee struck the bottom of the slave’s jaw. The Elf herself was knocked immediately unconscious, but it was Gelhoz’s blood pouring from between her lips as he stumbled back staring down at the stump where his cock had been. Blood jetting from the wound, he didn’t even fully register what had happened as Velkra lunged forward and grasped his own knife and pulled it free.

The edge dragged along Gelhoz’s side. Opening his stomach and spilling his entrails across the bend. Then, Velkra found her target. Ramming the point of her knife hard into her Talon Commander’s throat. Crimson bubbles foamed around the blade and at his mouth. Velkra pulled the weapon violently to the side. More blood sprayed outwards, splattering a few of those watching.

Holding the knife now, Velkra braced herself for an attack as Gelhoz fell straight back. Blood pooling around his crumpled corpse, Velkra spun at the last moment. Her attacked seemed surprised, until the knife sliced his belly, then his thighs. More blood shed, making the floor slick and sticky with it. The attacker was killed with a quick stab just below the ear.

Then silence. All stared at her. Some had weapons, some still held their booze. Velkra let her eyes sweep over them all.

“We will not share slaves and whores. We will take our own. We will not sit idly by as other Talons reap all the conquests for themselves. We are Kazdruk, not Helots, and not Elves,” Velkra said. She met each gaze directed her way.

“I, am your new Talon Commander.”

><><

The great throne room of Yuldasha was a grandiose as Lillium had expected it would be. With high vaulted ceilings and open windows to the corrupted lands of the Tortured Sea. Great expanses of twisted landscape below the dark sky filled with stars and swirling clouds. Illuminated by magic torches, the room was meant to inspire awe and dread. Lillium could not deny she felt hints of both, though she did not let it show on her face. For what dominated the room and the eyes, was the beautiful and terrible visage of Yuldasha sitting upon her throne. Master of the Kazdruk in this world. Naked save a long cape and tall boots. Lillium knew looking upon her, that she was Kazdruk perfection, sure to inspire desire and terror in equal measures.

The meeting that was to come was inievitable she knew. That sooner or later she would have to come face to face with what was currently her master. The succubus had hoped for more time, more planning. This early however, her transgressions against the Kazdruk were unnoticed. Or, so she hoped. She had to use her own fear to her advantage. It was the only way.

Rolling her wing, feeling the dull ache from where Luzella had dislocated it, it was now far from the sharp sting that she found sexual in its sensation. The muscular and near beastly Kazdruk was powerful, and could prove a very significant enemy in the battles to come. But, now Lillium knew her strengths, and hints of her weaknesses.

To the side and a few paces ahead, Aeltha walked with a smile and swaying hips. She had stripped down to just her boots, letting her thick cock sway with each step. The sorceress had made Lillium do much the same, leaving the succubus in only boots, stockings, and gloves. Baring her flesh to Yuldasha.

The master of Kazdruk sat in her throne, unmoving. Her eyes watching, seemingly ignoring Aeltha. Like a new morsel being brought before her. Lillium admitted to herself that she felt like such, and wondered if this is what others felt when they came before her. It would make her appreciate being on the other side more, and should she emerge from this chamber, she knew it would become only more savoury.

“Aeltha,” Yuldasha started as Lillium and the sorceress stopped before the throne. Both lowered themselves to a knee, but where Aeltha rose, Lillium remained bowed low.

“This is the creation you have told me so much about,” she said. Not a question, a statement. Her voice dripping with menace and lust. A cold shiver ran up Lillium’s spine, even as she felt herself slickening.

“For what was once human, she is certainly a delectable sight. Stand self proclaimed baroness of Volgras,” Yuldasha said, her commands like a whip. Lillium stood. Modesty had long since become a forgotten memory to her.

“It is Master. One of my greatest successes,” Aeltha said with pride, and Lillium knew that she had no proof for the suspicions she held, and without concrete proof the sorceress would not want it known what was seen as her greatest success could well be a failure. At least in the sorceress’s eyes. Lillium didn’t let the relief show. Pride was Aeltha’s weakness. Pride and ambition.

Lillium almost smirked, knowing many would say the same of her. She could not herself become complacent here. Not before Yuldasha.

“So far,” Aeltha continued, with just a pause between, drawing Lillium from her thoughts.

“So far indeed. You have created much for me Aeltha. But you still have not given me the portals we need. The Matriarch grows impatient, thereby I grow impatient,” Yuldasha said, her voice holding more menace that allure with those final words.

“Of course master. I am very nearly done. We will soon be ready to make our first small test. To send Lillium back to Volgras,” she said, though the succubus could hear the fear from the sorceress. Perhaps the only situation she would.

“Explain to me sorceress why this takes so long. We travel between worlds, why can we not travel within just one?” Yuldasha said, leaning forward slightly to look down on the Kazdruk. Her hands clamped on the ends of her throne’s armrests.

“Because it is different. A different direction so to speak. We discovered how to breach the edges of reality to travel, but not to carefully warp it to channel us within a single one.”

Lillium didn’t understand what that meant, and it was difficult for her to determine if Yuldasha did. It seemed to placate the Kazdruk master for the moment as she leaned back in her seat.

“Leave us then. I would examine your pet on my own,” Yuldasha stated, and turned her full gaze to Lillium. Out of the corner of her eye, Lillium saw a hint of disappointment on Aeltha’s features. Whether because the sorceress wanted to show off her pet, or because she wanted to witness whatever was to happen, Lillium couldn’t be sure. But she bowed, and departed, leaving the succubus alone with Yuldasha.

“Master,” Lillium said, bowing again, and when she rose, saw the horse headed cock of the Kazdruk master rising before her eyes. Her arousal spiked, and Lillium bit her lower lip, as she watched Yuldasha’s fingers beckon her forth.

“I have heard tell of the sexual prowess of Aeltha’s succubi. I wish to see it for myself,” Yuldasha said, and rose to her cloven feet. There was something of a sneer on her lips as Lillium came forward to submit herself.

Green magic crackled around Yuldasha’s fingers, and Lillium watched a long whip of green magic slowly unroll from her hands. Tongue slipping over her lips, Lillium continued forward. The first crack of the whip lashed at her right shoulder. Pain flared with sudden sharpness through her flesh, and Lillium moaned. The sensation unlike any other. It only made Yuldasha grin wider, before the whip came forward again.

It coiled around Lillium’s arm. Intense burning bordering on true pain flaring through her before she was yanked forward. With some grace, Lillium came forward, stepping quickly to keep up with forced momentum. She caught herself on the back of the throne, and looked over her shoulder. Yuldasha spanked the succubus once, grinning.

“Pleasure from pain. Then perhaps you will treasure this,” Yuldasha said in her menacing purr, coming up behind Lillium and thrusting herself forward. Without any warning, the flared head of the horse cock pushed itself into Lillium’s ass. Her tight ring spread open to take it deep within. It hurt, and she moaned from the sensual pain. Feeling the flesh of Yuldasha started to ram into her.

“You know what I’m starting to like about you Lillium?” Yuldasha said, her hips slapping hard against the succubus’s rear cheeks. Each powerful thrust earning a loud moan of longing for even more from the vampiric creature.

Juices dripped from Lillium’s cunt, as the master took her. Small little droplets pattering on the floor beneath her. Lillium didn’t answer, just moaned and lifted one leg up onto the throne. Yuldasha grinned, and struck with the whip. A lash of pain from her breast dancing along her flesh to her hip. Another deep and hungry moan as Yuldasha’s cock throbbed in the succubus’s ass. Plunging as deep as she could.

“Answer pet,” Yuldasha demanded the glow of the whip casting green light across her skin.

“I know my place master,” Lillium said between pants, her hips working with Yuldasha’s own. Knowing the mighty Kazdruk master was close to orgasm.

“Yes. And you know what you want. An ambitious little whore,” Yuldasha said, pulling her cock free from Lillium’s ass. Thick ropes of cum hit Lillium’s thigh, more hitting the arm rest of the throne. Slowly slipping downwards.

“A perfect fit for the Kazdruk,” Yuldasha said, thrusting her thick cock into the succubus’s cunt. Lillium moaned again, eyes fluttering, before the strike of a whip had her shuddering in pleasure. The green magical burn sending her into a blissful orgasm, juices gushing over the huge cock pumping into her. She felt it stretching her open. Felt the flared head dragging along her inner walls as she pushed her hips back against Yuldasha. Flesh clapping against flesh as the Kazdruk master began to throb within the vampiric succubus once more.

“There is just one thing to remember my pet,” Yuldasha started, going harder for a moment. Lillium twisted herself to look back at the spire’s ruler.

“That you are mine. Not Aeltha’s. Not your own. Mine. Like every creature on this planet,” Yuldasha said, grunting as a hot stream of cum burst into Lillium, flooding her cunt with the thick sticky spunk. She leaned over, and pressed her lips to Yuldasha’s own.

Yuldasha’s tongue forced it’s way into Lillium’s mouth, into her throat as she continued to fuck her upon the throne. Ravaging her flesh as cum poured from between her thighs, splattering on the seat of the throne. Dripping over the edge towards the floor. Another strike from the whip, the green burn flaring from breast to hip once more. Lillium felt a hand slip from the top of the throne, dragging along the back of the seat.

When the kiss broke, Lillium just looked back at Yuldasha as she continued to fuck her. Drool ran over the succubus’s lips, a thin line of saliva connecting the two for a moment. Each thrust of that mammoth cock shaking Lillium’s form, her breasts bouncing.

Yuldasha Ravages Lillium

“Yes Master,” she said, and Yuldasha grinned.

Before her third orgasm, Yuldasha pulled her heavy cock from inside the succubus. Thick ropes of cum splattering up her back, across her wings. The erotic sensation of cum slowly dribbling down over her skin, and the webbing of her wings making her shiver and moan softly.

“I expected something more pet. Perhaps your not as grandiose as Aeltha claims,” Yuldasha said, and pulled Lillium from the throne, the whip in her hand disintegrating with a small shower of green sparks. The succubus stumbled slightly, breathing heavily as she kneeled before the throne once again.

“Go, on with your duties. I have seen what I need to,” Yuldasha said, and Lillium nodded, standing, and turned to walk away.

“And don’t clean up until dawn,” Yuldasha commanded.

“Of course master,” Lillium said, feeling thick spunk trailling down her thighs, pattering on the floor, leaving a trail behind her as she left the throne room. Lillium wasn’t sure whether or not to be elated. Did Yuldasha mean what she had said, and truly believe Lillium not a threat? Or was she playing games with the succubus?

The doors opened, revealing Aeltha waiting for her, and Lillium didn’t feel any less concerned than when she entered the throne room to begin with.

Shackles of Hate. Chapter 20: Sorceress, Whore, Soldier, Spy

Walking the streets of Driftafay had been horrific. There had been no battle, only scattered skirmishes through the streets as the Elvish soldiers butchered those few humans who dared resist even after the gates had been opened to them. Lelthina had no love for humans, and their petty attempts to claw for something resembling power, but the gore of combat disgusted her. Still, it had been necessary.

She wished she had had her coach, instead of the single pure white horse, that she might shut out the scenes of carnage as the Elves took their revenge. Standing now in a lavish room, her new chambers in Driftafay, she stayed away from the balcony. Instead staring at a painting upon the wall depicting a beautiful Elf man bathing in a river. Letting her eyes roam over the exquisite perfection of his tight body, she used it to drive away the visions of slaughter. The hard ridges of his chest, the dark brown of his nipples, begging to be nipped on. The surface of the water teasingly hiding his cock from view, showing only the small tuft of hair just above it, those delicious indentations of the hips that so defined his abs peaking above the water. Lelthina’s imagination filled out the dimensions for herself, and it was perfect.

The only way she would take them.

Lelthina had never liked being anywhere near the front. Or whatever might resemble a front in this war. War and battle was not her specialty. Politics, diplomacy, and intrigue were her battlefront, her tools.

At least she had been able to take a bath and slip back into a silk dress. She felt back in her element at least. No need to sit in a saddle anymore, or eat the poor rations of the soldiers, or suffer the stench of latrines when the wind changed. Though the city currently stank from the pyres of the dead, it would dissipate soon enough. Besides, she had perfumes and incense to ensure her little haven was pleasant enough.

She let out a sigh, rising from her seat and finally pulling her gaze away from the beautiful man displayed upon her wall. With measured steps she moved towards the balcony, the world barely hidden behind the sheer silk curtains. She could see the dawn on the horizon, those first rays of the sun making the brilliant colours of her curtains all the more spectacular.

She ran her fingers over the silk, smiling to herself. This had been Sarya’s room until earlier today. It had seemed such a soldier’s room, with weapon and armour racks, a simple chest for her belongings, the dresser full of plain tunics. But the centurion had surprised Lelthina with her silk curtains. It seemed that some of the more noble traits of Goldulin culture had seeped their way into the soldier. And from the tales she’d heard, of the whore that spent more nights in this very room than the brothel, the councillor guessed that Sarya might be more in line with the nobility than she would like to admit.

That or Lelthina overestimated a soldier’s need for the rudimentary.

Leaning forward, letting the silk caress her skin, Lelthina watched the sun rise for a few moments. The streets were already teeming with activity down below. Elvish soldiers organizing the still living citizens into working groups to clean the streets, of blood, rubble, and bodies. Crows circled overhead, waiting for the corpses to be dumped and clear of people that they might come down to feast. And of course, Telva’s insistence on public displays of the executed. Swaying from the gallows erected in the market square. A once teeming market square, but war and rebellion have turned it far from that purpose for some time now.

The sound of her door opening caught Lelthina’s attention. It was quiet, but she knew of only two people in this city who would dare walk in on her without announcing themselves first. One she accepted, the other was simply to annoy her. And Telva was never so quiet. She smiled to herself, not moving as Pharno came up to her. He smelled of soap, and the image on her wall came to mind again as his hands ran over her open back to her shoulders.

Slowly he pushed the straps of her dress off, and slowly guided them down her arms.

“I have an appointment soon,” she said, smiling and turning her head slightly, but making no move to stop the spy, even as the silk slipped off her breasts, and continued downwards. His hands surprisingly soft against her sides until they settled upon her hips.

“Not for two hours,” he said, his lips playing along the back of her neck, tongue teasing at her skin as the dress fell from where it was at her hips, and puddled on the floor. She groaned softly, as he pulled her back against him, feeling the fine clothes he wore against her body.

“A more personal appointment. You are not my only lover,” she said with a sly grin as he guided her to the bed. He spun her around then, so her breasts were crushed against his chest. She couldn’t help herself, her fingers already rising to the buttons of his tunic to open them, to peel the soft fabric open and reveal that hard chest to her bosom.

“No, but I am the only one in Driftafay,” he said with a smile as he grasped her hands, dragging them along his own form, letting her feel him, until her hands reached his trousers, her hands immediately began to work on them, pushing them down off his hips. His hard cock sprang free, dragging along her thigh.

“For now,” she said, grinning before he pushed her back, landing on the bed. She propped herself on her elbows, legs closed, smirking. She would let no other lover treat her the way Pharno did, and that’s what made him special. That he was able to so easily seduce her, to get between her legs. How many lovers did he have in Driftafay already she wondered, feeling his hands grasp her calves firmly, and start to pull them open. Revealing everything to his hungry eyes.

She was nothing to him, she knew, except a good fuck, and a source of payment. He liked the power he held over her in these moments, and Lelthina let him have it. She wasn’t sure if he was truly in control, or if she let him pretend to have it. His interest continued for much the same reasons. Again and again he came back to take her, to ravish her. The one woman he wasn’t sure he could truly take.

But he smiled, crawling between her legs, one hand on her breast and pushing her onto her back before his fingers closed in a firm squeeze, feeling her nipple against the palm of his hand. Then his hips thrust forward, and she moaned, back arching, pushing that breast even tighter into his grip.

Their hips began to move, as Pharno stripped away the nobility, and left them as but two naked elves fucking each other, their moans mingling as his cock rammed into her. Their flesh slapping through the room as they let themselves enjoy this base instinct. This need.

With only the sun to look upon them as it rose up into the morning.

 

><>< 

 

Rania’s lips had been pleasant as she whispered the word from the sentries into the ear of her mistress. The soft nibbles and caress of tongue even more so. The concubine of course had been emboldened by the soft groans of her mistress, letting her hand slip over the corset armour, and into the cup that held her breast, squeezing firmly, even finding a nipple and pinching it, earning herself another soft moan as reward.

“A dragon has been spotted on the horizon mistress,” Rania whispered, each word letting her lips graze Lillium’s ear, her tongue flicking again to enforce it all.

“Good. Make sure the hall is prepared for our guest, and that the entertainment is ready,” Lillium said as she looked out the window of her chambers, towards the rising sun that hovered above the horizon.

Pulling away, with some disappointment, Rania bowed to her mistress, and quickly left the room. Rising to her feet, Lillium moved to the window, and leaned against the sill to look across her town. The one she was raised in, and the one she conquered. Cut off from the Kazdruk advance, but too far deep for any proper Coalition army to get to quickly. Unless the Elves finally mobilized.

Fingers curling into tight fists, Lillium thought back to the day her clan was nearly destroyed on the Plains of Atzgol. To seeing the Elves retreat under the orders of that bitch of a Princess. Telva Winterstone. Letting out a long breath, Lillium turned away from the window and started to make her way down to the grand hall of the keep where she’d greet her escort. Vengeance would be hers someday, and it would taste sweet on her lips.

Heels clicking on the stone, Lillium entered the hall, glancing over the currently empty tables, before she seated herself on the throne constructed on the dais that overlooked the room. Behind her, the large stained glass windows that had once depicted the glory of Oan and the Cozlak clan now held dark red glass, with black Morkaten designs. Helots stood on guard, standing rigid with their spears pointed towards the ceiling, while a pair of slaves wearing nothing except sandals and violet loincloths stood near the entrance to the kitchens.

Crossing one leg over the other, and pulling her blade free, Lillium watched the entrance to the hall. Her blade’s point against the floor, she spun it by the pommel, keeping her face neutral.

The doors opened, and two helots entered, escorting a large brown skinned kazdruk warrior. A wicked war scythe was resting on her shoulder as her hooves clacked against the stone floor. A single eye stared at Lillium as she came forward, a tan scar running over the opposite brow, the eye there milky white and useless.

velkra-1

“Baroness Lillium. I am Velkra, your escort to the spire,” her voice was deep, impatient, but Lillium gestured to one of the tables with her free hand.

“I guessed as much Velkra. But what kind of host would I be if I did not offer refreshments first,” the succubus purred, one of the slaves stepping forward to pull out a chair for the Kazdruk.

Raising the eyebrow of her ruined eye, Velkra looked towards the chair, then back to the baroness.

“I’d rather we leave now.”

“It is a long flight to the spire from my understanding. A quick meal, and a bit of a show, then we shall depart.”

With a grunt, Velkra moved towards the chair and sat herself. The slave trembled slightly; likely the first time she had seen a purebred Kazdruk. Especially so close. At a snap of Lillium’s fingers though, the two slaves vanished into the kitchens.

“It is not wise to delay succubus. Aeltha summoned you, and Yuldasha herself wishes to meet you,” Velkra said, placing her scythe on the table, her hand never straying far from the shaft of the weapon.

“Nor is it wise to ride alone with a hungry Kazdruk.”

Velkra let out a laugh at that, before the slaves returned. One holding a plate of bloody meat, the other holding a large tankard of ale, the foam spilling over the rim and dribbling across the floor. The slaves set them down in front of the Kazdruk, who reached out and grabbed one by the ass. Like a good slave she didn’t squeal, though she did look to Lillium while the other scampered away.

Lillium smiled, her fingers dancing on the pommel of her sword, spinning it in place. She knew what Velkra was doing; that grabbing the slave wasn’t just out of lust. It was an act of dominance.

“Enjoy her,” she said, lifting her free hand and snapping her fingers again. Two naked helots came in from the opposite door of the food and beer. Velkra grinned, baring her teeth as she forced the slave under the table, lifting up her own heavy and plated loincloth to reveal her snatch. The slave had no illusions of what she was to do, pressing her face forward, and drawing a low rumble of pleasure from the Kazdruk as tongue found the tangy folds of the warrior.

Velkra and Lillium both thought let their attentions turn to the two helots, who were pulling a woman in behind them on a chain. She followed meekly, obediently, her flesh bared for all to see.

“This is Viviane. A former knight of Oan,” Lillium said, making her new whore blush as the helots pulled her before the throne. If the hall were full, everyone would be able to see. Lillium had impressed that into Viviane before now. The whore blushed, but Lillium could see the excitement in her, her submission so complete that she took enjoyment even out of her own humiliation.

“Now my whore. And here to be fucked, for your enjoyment,” Lillium said as Velkra tore into the meat that was provided.

Meanwhile the helots pressed themselves against Viviane’s body, holding her between them. The front one grasping her thigh and lifting, feeling her leg bend over his arm before he thrust his hips forward, plunging his cock into her slick cunt. The whore let out a hungry moan, her head tilting back.

Fingers sliding along the grip of her sword, Lillium watched the display with her lips curled. Watching as the fallen knight draped her arm across the back of the other helot’s shoulders as his cock thrust forward as well. The whore’s eyes clamped shut as his prick pushed into her ass with little resistance. Her fingers curled tightly as the two helots let their hips thrust back and forth, plunging into her. Her nails dug into the back helot’s shoulder, her juices dribbling along their cocks as the fucked her for the entertainment of their baroness and the Kazdruk who watched eagerly.

Drinking her ale, and eating her gifted meal with one hand, the other was beneath the table, pulling the slave into her loins. Smearing fluids across the woman’s face, letting them run down her neck to her swaying breasts. The sounds of lust filled the hall, the smell of sex. Lillium leaned back and soaked it all in, the helot guards around the edges of the room standing at disciplined attention.

What surprised the succubus though, was that while Velkra seemed to be plunging headlong into hedonistic enjoyment, the Kazdruk had subtly examined the room. Taking in the guards, the entrances, the window. This one was playing the game, and Lillium didn’t like it.

The moans from the whore continued, getting louder and louder as the twin cocks plunged into her. Her juices dripping onto the stone floor from the same pricks that drove into her. Her nails close to drawing blood as the helots roared out their pleasure, feeling the succulent flesh against themselves. One lowered his maw to Viviane’s breast and bit down firmly, drawing thin trails of crimson that flowed over the swell of her tits.

Their orgasms drew forth loud moans and screams of lust and pleasure. Pain and desire. Cum quickly began to leak from the whore’s cunt and ass, running over the cocks that slowly pulled out until Viviane was dripping onto the floor, panting as she recovered from her orgasm.

Velkra though stood, surprising the slave whose face was glistening, painted lips smeared. The tankard was empty, the plate holding only small scraps and tiny pools of blood. Adjusting her loincloth, the Kazdruk gestured to the main doors of the hall.

“I thank you, baroness, for the hospitality. But now, I insist we depart,” she said.

Lillium stood and smiled, sheathing her blade as she walked down from the throne. This time, she made no delays. Velkra had seen everything Lillium wanted her to. Hopefully no more than that.

 

><>< 

 

Walking up from the sand of the beach behind her helots, the Kazdruk warrior looked to the fortifications and barricades the humans had erected just on the edge of the wood line. Axe resting on her shoulder, she frowned, walking past the point where every other attack had come under a hail of crossbow and arrow fire. Not this time though.

While the helots continued on ahead, grunting and snarling at each other, weapons bared and ready for the flesh of humans, the Kazdruk moved slightly more cautiously behind them. Something wasn’t right here. She couldn’t believe the humans defending this point to be so cowardly as to just leave.

They had passed the barricades, the small stone towers. They could see the tents and firepits just inside the wood line where the human soldiers slept and ate when they weren’t on watch. The place looked deserted. Though, the leading Kazdruk noted the trebuchets further back. She cocked her head, wondering when the humans had brought such machines forward, and how they hoped to use them. Their use would be severely undermined in the woodline with trees to block so very many angles.

Another step, and the kazdruk felt the ground give slightly. Confusion crossed her features as she looked down at her hoof.

“Now!” Commander Mikel roared, throwing open the trap door he was hidden under, leaves and fallen branches scattering as soldiers did the same for over a hundred paces in either direction. The pits dug but two paces from each other. Short spears thrust up first, goring the helots that were nearly upon them. Then the crossbowmen stood, their bolts launching in a deadly volley. The sound of metal punching through metal and into flesh filled the air. The kazdruk screamed as they died.

Not even the kazdruk stood a chance, her body riddled with bolts that sank deep into her flesh as the humans scrambled up out of their holes. With spear thrusts they finished off any Kazdruk invader that still drew breath, staining the ground with their filthy blood. Not a single human had been felled in the quick and deadly ambush; but they were not done. Those with crossbows were already reloading, placing a single foot in the step at the head of their weapons, turning the powerful cranks to draw back the strings. It took a few moments, and watching it, Mikel hoped it wouldn’t be the cause of too many deaths for what was about to happen.

Drawing his sword, Mikel swiped it down to point forward, towards the beach.

“Forward. For the Coalition. For freedom. For the Langal Clan!” Mikel screamed, and led the charge, his soldiers following closely behind. As instructed the crossbowmen pushed out in front, leading the way over the barricades and down the short hill towards the beech, maybe ten hundred paces away.

Hundreds of helots and dozens of Kazdruk sitting around their campfires, eating, sleeping, fucking slaves. Behind them, the afts of their boats bobbed in the water, the bows lodged firmly in the sand. In the distance, Mikel could see the great war ships anchored off shore that had brought them all here.

The angry war cries of the charging humans though had them scrambling for weapons and armour. Kazdruk were roaring out at their minions, hitting some. Mikel saw one even grab a helot by the throat and toss him towards the others that were trying to establish some kind of line.

As usual though, the helots were disorganized. Their bloodlust taking away any true intelligence from them. They charged, swords and axes held high, spears levelled towards the charging humans. Mikel felt his heart pounding as the Kazdruk stormed over the sands, leaving behind a few human collaborators armed with whips to watch the slaves.

As the scrub and tougher dirt of the land gave way to the shifting sand of the beach, the helots nearly upon then, Mikel called out his next command.

“Loose!” he roared, junior officers down the line in either direction ensuring his command was carried on to everyone.

The crossbowmen came to a skidding stop, and squeezed the levers on their weapons that launched a volley into the charging helots. Almost the entire front line fell, their bodies twisting as the bolts punched through armour and into flesh and bone. Whether they were killed didn’t matter yet, the fallen being trampled by their uncaring comrades.

“Spears, forward,” Mikel shouted, the crossbowmen already reloading as the other soldiers slid in between them, picking up speed as they broke into a full charge with Mikel leading in the centre. This was it, where all the planning and tricks couldn’t fully save them; the melee of battle.

As the two sounds met, the cacophony was nearly deafening. Screams, war cries from both sides, armour rending, steel clashing steel, flesh tearing, bone breaking.  Mikel couldn’t pay much attention to his line now, more concerned with his own survival as he pushed a helot’s spear aside with his shield, and plunged his sword into the beast’s neck. Blood spattered his face when he pulled the blade free and the creature fell, clutching at its wound, but Mikel had moved on already.

A sword hit him in the shoulder, scraping along his armour, forcing his body to tilt. He moved with the motion, swinging his shield around in a wide arc that crashed into the side of the helot’s head, sending him stumbling to the side. His sword swung, hitting the creature in the gut, bashing against its own armour and doubling him over. Enough for a swift kick to the side of the head that sent him sprawling to the ground, where another human soldier plunged a spear down into his neck. The soldier though then took an axe to the chin, splitting his head open, blood and brains splattering down to the ground as the humans tried to push the helots further back.

But all momentum had stopped. Sand turning to mud under all the shed blood, fallen bodies, dead and wounded, made each step ever more treacherous. And the purebred Kazdruks were coming now, marching into the rear of their helot lines and forcing their way through, tossing some aside to get to the human’s stuck in the quagmire of battle.

The whistle of crossbow bolts overhead was a relief, even as they struck many of the Kazdruk and some of the helots. Nearly twenty of the kazdruk fell, their bodies riddled, crashing down onto their own troops, forcing helots to struggle out from beneath their bulks. But there were still more of them.

As Mikel took the head off a helot beside him, sending a spray of blood upwards, he saw a Kazdruk grasp one of his soldiers by the head. The woman scream out, trying to stab with her spear, but the short weapon that had been so advantageous in the pits could barely reach the towering monster. The point barely cut the Kazdruk’s muscular chest. A vicious twist of the arm, and the woman’s body flopped violently like a doll, snapping her neck. Her body then tossed into the melee.

All around him, helot and human clashed violently, as the once rigid lines of battle fell into chaos. The smell of blood washing over him as he fought his way through to get to the Kazdruk purebloods. A spear hit him in the chest, the point digging a groove in his armour as it slid off to the side, Mikel responding with a quick stab into the helot’s face. It gurgled for a moment, its eyes rolling back in its sockets, before Mikel kicked the enemy free.

Another volley of crossbow bolt were loosed into the enemy. More Kazdruk purebreds falling, more helots. The beach was quickly turning into a quagmire of blood and corpses. Mikel’s sword and armour were smeared with gore, he could feel it trickling down under his tunic. Hot and sticky against his skin as a soldier next to him had their head caved in with an axe. The fallen was avenged quickly with a spear thrust that went under the helot’s armpit and into his heart.

After smashing a helot in the throat and crushing his windpipe, Mikel found himself face to face with a towering invader. Looking up at the dark red skinned tower of muscle, his face contorted in blood lust and rage, Mikel quickly threw himself to the side. The falling axe meant for his skull sank into a corpse’s chest.

The kazdruk let out a roar of anger, grasping his axe with both hands to wrench it free. Mikel acted quicker, his sword swinging down onto the bastard’s elbow. Flesh and bone split and broke. The kazdruk twisted away shouting in pain, arm dangling from the wound by strands of skin and muscle. His fist swung around, catching Mikel upside the head and sending him to the ground.

As his vision swam, Mikel started to get back up, only to find a hoof stomping onto his chest. He gasped in pain, his armour denting slightly. Fingers reaffirming their grip on his sword, Mikel watched the hoof rising again, shifting for his head. Rolling out of the way, sand bursting up around the hoof, Mikel felt the impact on the ground. Twisting onto his side he swung his sword, felt the edge bite deep into a calf, earning another loud scream of pain. The kazdruk fell to a knee, blood spilling from its wounds.

Managing to get to his feet, Mikel thrust his sword into the kazdruk’s neck. Felt steel scrape spine. A final choke, and the kazdruk fell dead, nearly dragging Mikel with him before the commander pulled his sword free. The bottom of his boot helping.

Around him, the clash of battle was nearly silent, leaving only the screams and moans of the wounded and dying. Around his bodies littered the beach, as soldiers moved through the battlefield to finish off any invaders. The few that Mikel had held in reserve were rushing down the hill now carrying stretchers for those that could be saved.

Hand rubbing across his chest, Mikel made a note to visit the blacksmiths later. For now, he wasn’t done.

“Get the trebuchet’s down here,” he shouted, one of the reserves nodding, before rushing up the hill while Mikel looked out to the warships floating out in the ocean. The engineers were soon pushing the great siege machines down the hill and into range of their targets.

A great roar got his attention, and turning, Mikel looked to the sky to see a dragon flying over head. For a moment Mikel’s heart was pounding with terror in his chest, but luckily the beast seemed to have no interest in what was occurring on the beach below. After tossing an outward facing extended pair of fingers towards the dragon, Mikel turned his attention back to the ships.

“Sink them.”

 

><>< 

 

They saw the aftermath of the battle, and Lillium watched as the trebuchets launched chunks of flaming rock out to sea, and the warships anchored off shore. Whoever was manning them was good, only barely missing, one of the rocks that went too high clipping one of the warship’s sails. Chunks of wood fell to the sea as helot sailors rushed to put out the flames that had caught, and to draw up the anchors.

Velkra said nothing, keeping her eyes straight ahead. The massive saddle that was strapped along the neck of the dragon was long enough that the succubus wasn’t pressed against the kazdruk, though she was in arm’s reach.

“Why are we not going down there?” Lillium said, having to shout above the roar of the wind and the powerful flaps of the dragon’s wings.

“This dragon was given very specific instructions by Aeltha. I do not command it,” Velkra said, scarcely looking over her shoulder to regard the succubus. It certainly explained why the kazdruk wasn’t holding onto the reins, which Lillium had to admit to herself, had made her nervous when they first took off. Though, she had refused to comment and show that.

Still looking down, where the human soldiers looked so small, stacking the corpses of the invading Kazdruk, Lillium watched as the next barrage of rocks went sailing out to sea. Luckily, the dragon was high enough to not be in any real threat.

The second barrage launched outwards from the shore, and a few rocks crashed into the ships below. Hulls smashed to splinters, masts crashing down into the waves, as the sailors were tossed into the sea. Lillium watched it with a frown, seeing three of the five ships begin to sink beneath the rolling surface. The remainder were struggling to turn, one of them missing a mast, some with gouges dug out the sides.

It wasn’t long before the third barrage was flung out, and the last two were smashed to pieces, vanishing from sight to settle on the sea’s floor.

Then the dragon was out over the wide expanse of water, the shoreline dwindling into the distance. Velkra seemed tense, her shoulders sitting higher, her arms flexed as she grasped reins that wouldn’t help her in the least. She had wanted to be down there, fighting. But instead she was on an escort mission, an unwitting pawn. Lillium hadn’t decided for whom though.

The two didn’t speak to each other as they flew across the ocean to the island that had once been the centre of the Goldulin empire. The wind ensured they would have to shout, and neither felt like there was anything to say to the other. So Lillium watched the ocean, and saw a fleet of ships.

Squinting, one hand above her brows to try and block the glare of the sun, she tried to see whose they were. They certainly weren’t of the clans or the Coalition, but neither did they look Kazdruk. More like large floating rafts than ships proper, covered in what appeared to be tents, with sharp angular sails. Lillium didn’t bother pointing it out to Velkra though. The woman would likely just say the same thing she had when questioned about going down to the beach.

So Lillium watched, soaring over them, until they were but pin pricks on the horizon, and looked ahead again, waiting to see the next shore approach.

 

><>< 

 

The ambush had gone off without a hitch. There was only a single survivor of the helot patrol, the rest laying dead on the forest floor. Kira watched as some of her little band of refugees turned insurgents carried their dead away, melting into the forest as if they were never there. Others were picking the dead clean of weapons. There were not many black smiths at the scattering of camps Kira had throughout the forest, and they needed more weapons. They were still getting more, trickling in as battles went bad along the coastline, or fled the Elves of Winterstone.

After watching the wounded and the dead be carried off, Kira then turned her attention to the surviving helot, forced to his knees, a dagger under his chin, the blade against his throat. Moving towards him, Kira knelt so she was at eye level. The helot stared back at her, defiance in his gaze, but he said nothing, and did nothing.

“Tell me. Where are the other patrols?” she asked.

The helot just stared at her, blood flowing from the wound in his belly. He held it, palm tight against the wound, but otherwise he ignored it.

“Without some kind of attention, that wound will kill you. We can get you that attention if you speak,” she continued. But the helot did nothing still. Just stared.

“That’s fucking unnerving,” one of the insurgents muttered as he watched the kazdruk soldier kneeling there, bleeding. Not roaring madly. It was a kind of discipline they hadn’t seen before in the cannon fodder of the invader’s armies.

“You are willing to pass on life then?” she said, and got the first reaction out of the helot. A sneer, showing teeth, but he said nothing. Letting out a sigh, Kira wondered what to do with the beast. There wasn’t anywhere to really keep prisoners back at the camp, and she wasn’t willing to risk him escaping. Rising to her feet she looked down at him, and regretted that she had to give the order she was about to.

At what point did the justification of defending your own lands stop being enough to differentiate you from the enemy.

“Kill him,” she said.

The helot raised his head slightly, offering more of his throat as the insurgent behind him swiped the dagger to the side. Blood immediately began to pour from the split in the skin, bubbling out as breath escaped the slashed windpipe. There was a moment of fear in the helot’s eyes, but he didn’t resist, or react otherwise. Just died, slumped on his knees.

“What do we do with the bodies?” someone asked Kira, as she looked around the small patch of woodland, at the corpses stripped of any usable items, any valuables they might use, even their armour, leaving the bloody corpses laying naked beneath the boughs of the trees.

“Leave them. It’s our offering to the forest. The wolves need to feed,” Kira said, turning and moving back towards the camp herself. She frowned as she walked, the rest of her insurgents melting into the forest around her to head back to camp, leaving her alone with her thoughts.

Lillium was still her in mind. Slithering through her imagination, and after she had the helot’s throat slit, she had imagined her sister beaming with bride. It sent a shudder down her back that was partial revulsion, and partial arousal.

Even last night in her tent when she was making love to Thaden, she’d had him turn her over to take her like a beast. But the truth of it was so that she could imagine her sister behind her. That the flesh and blood cock thrusting into her had been a exceptionally carved piece of wood. Kira was starting to fear the next time she encountered her sister.

She had kept her doubts hidden, buried as everyone around her looked to her as hero and saviour. How would they react knowing that she wanted to sleep with the most powerful Kazdruk commander in the area. The only Kazdruk commander in the area.

No, not sleep with. That was too innocent a word. Fuck. She wanted to fuck Lillium. She wanted to fuck her sister. Taste her, hear her moan, be made to moan by her. Another shudder.

Stopping to lean against a tree, her fist pressed firmly against the bark, she opened her ears, listening for anyone near by, smelling for them. When she was confident in her privacy, she let a hand slide into her breeches again, let her fingers find her slick cunt, and started to fuck herself, imagining Lillium’s fingers.

“I hate you, and I love you bitch,” she growled, angry, and horny, and ashamed, as her juices rolled down plunging fingers.

 

><>< 

 

Waking up just after sunset, Sarya noted that Isilde wasn’t around. Her things were still there, unpacked, and the centurion rolled her eyes, before she started to pack the makeshift camp. No fires, only bedrolls and packs with dwindling food and water. When she finished, waiting for the whore to finish her piss, or her shit, or whatever it was she needed to do, Sarya looked to the sky. It was harder to look around her, at the visible corruption of the land that grew ever more obvious the closer she got to Volgras.

It wasn’t Kazdruk corruption though. This, was something else. Familiar though. And she was still a day away from Innisgar.

Voices pulled her from her thoughts, snapping her head down as she lay in the grass just on the edge of the wood line. Male, and, a female. Enemies maybe. She pulled her spatha free, just in case.

She could hear them coming closer, could see figures moving along the open fields, and heard movement in the forest. They weren’t being too quiet, but quiet enough that they had gotten close enough that she couldn’t slip away without being found.

Definitely male voices, and one female. She listened carefully, straining, and recognized the gruff speech of helots. So they were enemies. Then she heard the woman’s voice again. Far too familiar.

Isolde!

Sarya’s blood ran cold, fury growing in her heart. But she breathed in deep, calming herself as the helots came ever closer. The whore had betrayed her. There was no other explanation for it, not with the calm almost flirtatious way she was speaking with the helot. Not with the way they were coming directly towards Sarya’s position.

As her breath came out even, her pounding heart slowed, Sarya stood. The first helot was only ten paces away. He called out his warning, foolishly turning his head as he did. Sarya took a few steps before lunging forward, feet just above the ground as she jabbed her sword forward, felt it plunge into the side of the helot’s neck. With a jerk of her arm, she freed the weapon out the front of his throat. Blood sprayed from the wound, pattering over the grass and trees as Isolde yelped.

While the whore scampered away, the helots came forth with blades drawn, but three of them held weighted nets. She eyed them all cautiously, slowly backing away, starting to move faster as she noted them running.

But when a sword slashed to her face, making her twist her body to the side before parrying, they took advantage of the distraction and surrounded her. Fourteen of them left standing now.

A slash from behind towards her calf, so she turned her leg, and caught it on the rim of her greave, her own sword gouging across the armour of his chest. He stumbled, but a lunge from behind had her spinning, catching the side of the blade and swinging it out far. A blade drove into her back, scraping over the layered plates. Stumbling forward, a sword tip slicing open her bicep, Sarya tried to spin again to face another threat and caught a slash to her calf. She felt blood trickling over her limbs, and caught another blow before a kick to the back of her knees had her spilling to the ground.

Nets flew over her, the heavy metal weights at the corners thudding into the ground as one of them stepped on her elbow, making her wince in pain. He grinded the joint into the ground, until her fingers opened, and another helot kicked the blade away.

She could see Isolde now, staring at her with concern on her face. Sarya’s own expression turned to fury.

“You fucking backstabbing cunt,” she snapped, and Isolde fell to her knees.

“I’m sorry mistress. It was the only way. You would not listen otherwise. You must be… perfect,” the whore said, and clutched her face in her hands, sobbing. Not because of guilt Sarya knew then, but because she was angry with her.

Somehow, Lillium had gotten to the whore. Sarya snarled, before a heavy blow from a sword pommel sent her plunging into darkness.

 

><>< 

 

The dragon’s landing had been surprisingly smooth, though both Lillium and Valkra were jostled slightly as it landed on the large pad stretching out from the spire. As the succubus looked around the tortured sea, she was reminded of Thorlgruz, of the desolation brought onto the land itself by the Kazdruk. Of course, Thorlgruz had been a great cathedral built by humans. The spire’s grandiose mocked it as assuredly as the landscape.

The dragon had crawled back to its roost in the spire itself before Velkra and Lillium dismounted and started into the spire itself. Through twisting passages lit by violet torches. Helots, Kazdruk purebloods, and other creatures roamed the halls, interrupted occasionally by stairwells. Velkra seemed in a hurry, likely to get back to her Talon. Lillium could understand that, especially after what they had seen on the beach the day before.

As they neared a doorway guarded by two fully armoured helots, Lillium noted a Kazdruk storming down the halls. She looked beaten, with blood still dripping from her nose.

“Wulfshn,” Velkra had called, but the Kazdruk didn’t stop. Just threw them a glare that seemed equal parts angry and shamed. Velkra watched her depart, before grunting and continuing on their path. Lillium raised an eyebrow, taking in the display, before continuing to follow through the door.

They stepped into a long chamber, bordered with pillars but otherwise undecorated. At the end was a flickering field of green energy that broadened at their approach. They stepped through without hesitation, and Lillium gasped as she stepped out feeling cold and a tingling sensation running beneath her skin that wasn’t entirely unpleasant.

Whether Velkra felt it, or was too used to it to care, Lillium couldn’t tell, but the Kazdruk didn’t stop. Just kept marching. When they reached a rather ornate door, Velkra paused, then glanced back at her charge.

“Aeltha’s lab and chambers. She’s expecting you, I’m sure,” she said, and turned and left without further words. Lillium didn’t bother watching her go. Instead she slipped inside, and came face to face with her creator. Her mother in a sense.

“Hello child,” Aeltha purred, sitting on a tall chair, fingers running over a skull on a table beside her.

“Mistress,” Lillium said, dropping to one knee, and Aeltha smirked. It had become a game, and not true submission.

“I have a small task for you, before you meet Yuldasha.”