In which the board is set,
the pieces introduced,
and the opening moves of the game are made.
He worked his blades in smooth, sure circular motions, bringing them through delicate and deceiving arcs. When the opportunity presented itself he stepped ahead and slashed down at a seemingly exposed shoulder with one blade. But the elf, her scarlet hair shining in the sunlight, was faster. She dropped a foot back and raised a long sword in a solid parry, then came forward in a straight rush, sliding the blade into a stab, and then thrust, and thrust again.
He danced in perfect harmony with the elf’s fluid movements as she danced through the morning sun, her pale skin contrasting sharply with the dark ink of her whirling tattoos. The man twirled his twin swords defensively, each rolling down and over to ring against the thrusting sword. The elf stabbed again, mid-torso, then a final time, aiming low.
Over and down went the twin swords, the classic double-block-low. Then up those twin weapons came as the agile, beautiful elf tried to kick over the block.
The elf’s kick was no more than a feint, and as the man’s swords came up, the elf fell into a crouch and shot her hand down to her belt, loosing a dagger and letting it fly for the other fighter. It sailed in before he could get the blades down low enough to block, before he could set his feet and dodge aside.
A perfect throw for disembowelment, the shining dagger caught him in the belly…
Second day of Captivity, Daggerport brothel
Lahk released her hands, allowing the helpless, raped elf to curl into a ball to protect herself. Her body shivered on the straw covered stone as she sobbed. “P-please… leave me alone now, I can’t take anymore!”
“Of course you can,” the man responded, leaning down to slap her on her ass. He enjoyed the way she winced at the blow to her fresh wounds. “She’s yours now, brother.” He said, turning to face the exit. “Make sure you and Cormac treat her… well.”
‘We’ll do that,“ Aion laughed, pushing the druid girl with his foot until she rolled over. “What do you say, Cormac? Should we get the poor thing some food?” He turned to face the dwarf. “Maybe a blanket?”
“Or we cou’ just rape the shit out a this elf bitch?” Cormac answered, staring down at her scarred form in naked lust.
“I like your idea better,” Aion laughed, and kicked at her.
The dagger struck him squarely —
— and bounced harmlessly to the floor.
“Lahk would never have fallen for such an attack!” Alassiel, the red haired elf, complained in a high and melodic voice, shaking her head to clear it of unwelcome memories. Sweat shown on her inked skin, causing the savage scars to stand out brightly. Her eyes, blue flecked with gold, shone with dangerous intensity from behind the black mask that she always wore, the mask that marked her as a revenant. With a snap of the wrist, the long sword went back into its scabbard. “And if he did, he would have been quick enough of foot to avoid the throw, or quick enough of hand to get a sword back down for a block,” the elf finished with a huff.
“I am not Lahk,” the human, Dorn, said simply. He moved to the side of the roof and leaned heavily against a crenelation, trying to catch his breath.
“The wizard enchanted you with magical speed to compensate, ” the elf replied, retrieving the dagger and adjusting her sleeveless tunic.
Dorn snorted at his opponent. “Do you even know how this man fights?” he reminded. “Truly! Have you ever seen him in battle? Have you ever watched the movements — impossible movements, says I — that you so readily attribute to Lahk?” The human shook his head with a sneer. “Utter nonsense.”
If Alassiel was impressed by the reasoning, it did not show. “I’ve faced him. And the tales of his prowess are common enough.”
“Common, and likely exaggerated,” Dorn reminded.
Alassiel’s slender head was shaking before Dorn finished the statement, for the elf had many times detailed the prowess of Lahk to her sparring partner. “I pay you well for your participation in these training sessions,” Alassiel said. “You would do well to consider every word I have told you about Lahk to be the truth and to emulate his fighting style to the best of your meager abilities.”
Dorn, naked to the waist, toweled off his thin, muscular frame. He held the towel out to Alassiel, who just looked at him with contempt, which was usual after such a failure. The elf walked past, right to the trap door that led down to the top floor of the tower.
“Your protective enchantment is likely used up,” the elf said with obvious disgust as she sped down the ladder, scarlet locks vanishing from sight.
Alone on the roof, Dorn gave a helpless chuckle and shook his head. He moved to retrieve his shirt but noted a shimmering in the air before he ever got there. The human paused, watching as old Master Shevarn the wizard materialized into his view.
“Did you please her this day?” the gray-bearded old man asked in a voice that seemed pulled out of his tight throat. Shevarn’s somewhat mocking smile, full of yellow teeth, showed that he already knew the answer.
“Alassiel is obsessed with him,” Dorn answered. “More so than I would ever have believed possible.”
Shevarn merely shrugged, as if that hardly mattered. “She has labored for two full years to train for her venture,” the wizard reminded. “We searched for many months to even find you,” he looked down at the young human with a smirk, “One who seemed to have enough promise to maybe emulate the movements of this priest she seeks, Lahk. ”
“Why waste the time, then?” the frustrated human retorted. “Why do you not accompany Alassiel to find this wretched human and be done with him once and for all. Far easier that would seem than this endless sparring.”
Shevarn chuckled, as if to tell Dorn clearly that he was underestimating this rather unusual man. Lahk’s exploits, Shevarn knew, were as remarkable as they were vile. “The human is the chosen follower of Sanguinar, his high priest.” the wizard explained. “You know of Sanguinar, I presume?”
Dorn, putting on his gray shirt, looked to the old human and paled, his eyes widening.
“God of Suffering,” Shevarn explained. “His followers practically rule this land now, and the other parts they will soon. I have little desire to have the god’s followers against me. Even dead, his worship provides his followers with Grace, and Lahk’s favor with his patron would turn my magic as sure as anything.” Shevarn flexed his fingers. “Making an enemy of the god does not seem to me to be an opportunity for advancement of wealth or health, especially when my magic has so little chance of success.”
“Beyond that, I have no struggle with this Lahk,” Shevarn added. “Why would I seek to destroy him?”
“Because Alassiel is your friend.”
“Alassiel,” Shevarn echoed, frowning. He doubted the elf had such a thing as a friend any longer, even one like him… “I am fond of her, I admit, and in trying to hold my responsibilities of… friendship, I often tried to convince her that her course is self-destructive folly, and nothing more.”
“She will hear none of that, I am sure,” said Dorn.
“Not that she has a choice any longer,” agreed Shevarn. “Alassiel has pledged herself to Kardas now.”
The human winced at the reminder. It was the sort of thing parents told their children to scare them to sleep.
Alassiel had indeed sworn herself to the Lady of Revenge. She had made an oath to the goddess with her life in payment, and Kardas had accepted, granting her a portion of the deity’s power. The mask Alassiel wore proclaimed that bargain to anyone who looked on. No laws applied to the woman anymore — she was a Revenant now, and could take any action she saw fit to take without fear of retribution from authority.
“If Alassiel is even her name,” snorted Dorn, who was in a rather foul mood, especially concerning his sparring partner. “Alassiel Le’lorinel, I to you as you to me,” he translated, for indeed the woman’s name was nothing more than a shortening on a a fairly common Elvish saying.
“The philosophy of respect and friendship, is it not? ” asked the old wizard.
“And of revenge,” Dorn replied grimly as he looked towards where the woman had disappeared. Her oath to seek vengeance for a wrong done to her gave her power, but it came with a terrible cost. Her life belonged to Kardas now, and one year to the hour after having made her oath, the goddess would collect it.
Dorn shuddered, suddenly terrified of the elf who could so calmly decide that her life was a small price to pay.
“On your feet, bitch” Aion grinned and kicked Alassiel again, making her whimper. “Get up I said!”. The former druid’s eyes were empty, barely conscious through the pain of the beating. “Dwarf, give me the whip,” Aion instructed.
A tiny flicker of fear appeared in her eyes for a second as she struggled to get up. It was too slowly for her captors. The whip cracked and hit her back, causing a fresh cry of pain. “On hands and knees, whore!’ Aion barked again, watching eagerly as his victim struggled to take the desired position. “Ass high!” he ordered, still dissatisfied. The priest cracked his whip near the druid’s ear, like he was taming an animal.
Swallowing sobs, the red haired elf went on her knees and elbows and raised her ass.
It didn’t take long for for the captor to grab onto her scarred and bleeding ass and begin to grope it. “I’m first!” he shouted and Alassiel shivered as he began to spread her ass cheeks and force his cock into her.
“No, please not there, not again!” the defeated druid began begging again. “It hurts too much, it just hurts so much!” she cried.
“Of course it does, fool!” Aion laughed and pushed his cock inside. Her ass was stretched by Lahk’s previous use, but it was still a hard effort for the priest to enter the elf’s tight hole. For the elf, the pain was excruciating, she felt as if her entire body was on fire. Still on all fours she tried involuntarily to crawl forward, escaping from the attacking weapon. The whip cracked down upon her back again, causing the girl to spasm and flinch.
“No!” the bleeding girl wailed, her voice growing hoarse from all the shouting. “Please, not there!”
Aion laughed and brought the whip down again and again on the druid’s back. ‘Suffer, you elf cunt! Take it you bitch, up your tight hole!“ Aion said between gasps as he pushed his cock deep into her bowels with a series of strong thrusts. “You belong to us now.”
“An’ we know ‘ow to use a hot piece l’ you.” Cormac said stroking his cock. “T’ Sanguinar wit waitin’, I’m too hor’y to wat’ you havin’ fun!” He approached the elf and touched her full, sensuous lips with his cock. “Suck i’ whore!” She closed her eyes and turned her head away, not wanting to even look at the hard, thick organ, and the cruel dwarf smiled, realizing he was going to get to make her again…
Down on the tower’s middle floor, alone in a small, private room, Alassiel shook her head once again to cast away the ancient memories. In fury she pulled off the mask and slumped to sit on the bed, pressing her hands to her face. Her palms were as scarred from her abuse as the rest of her… more so even, for the right palm was long ago branded with Caer’s sigil, the balanced scales. The elf sat there, stewing in frustration and hatred for the followers of Sanguinar, and none of them more than Lahk.
“Seven more months.” the elf spoke to herself flatly as she looked down at her own body, surveying the ruin he had wrought on her. She gave small laugh, utterly missing the sense of happiness usually found in the sound. The elf fiddled with a wooden amulet around her neck. “It will be long enough.”
Alassiel pulled off the necklace and held it up before her glittering eyes. It had taken two years of hard work to craft this item, now that her broken eyrn eregdos, the sacred tattoos that covered her form, left her druidic magic barely functional. Once she could have wielded her power nearly at will, but her suffering at the hands of the follows of Sanguinar had stripped that capability from her, along with everything else that she was.
Instead of relying on her magic as normal, she was forced to use a trinket like this one. It was a magical piece, designed to hold enchantments. This one held a single spell, the one piece of magic Alassiel believed she would need to kill Lahk.
Of course, Alassiel knew that even if she used the magic in the matter she planned, there would be two corpses at the end of the fight.
It did not matter. Her life was forfeit anyway. As long as Lahk died, Alassiel could enter the afterlife content, no matter what Caer saw for her beyond the Veil.