Chapter 6 – The Gentry

318 AT
Seven Years After the Fall of Ariadna

Lady Amellisan

In the predawn light shining through the tall window, a woman moved through the room, the light casting color on her back, shining off her raven-black hair. She was dressed finely, wearing silk and lace, her hair pulled back by a diadem over her forehead. The noblewoman was beautiful, her silhouette in the light everything a woman should be, but the way she moved was so unconscious, so casual, that it was difficult to take sexuality from it. Lighting a single candle with a sulfur match, she began to move through the room.

The Lady of Fortune didn’t require any particular rites or rituals to worship her – but the faith had been around for a very long time, and all sorts of traditions had developed, common ways of paying homage. The church had always been clear that none of them were required, that the only earnest prayers were needed, and a trip to see a priestess if a blessing was required, but even before the fall, Amellisan had always conducted all the silly rituals.

One by one, Amellisan moved between the candles in the room, lighting them – letting the scented oil fill the air. The scents of cinnamon and daisies, Ariadna’s favorites. She knelt on the mat on the floor, in the old posture of prayer from a younger age, and stared into the blank mask on the altar, one with no holes for eyes – the representation of Arianda herself, Blind Luck. Every month, on the 27th day, she painted eyes onto the mask and set it in the river to drift where the current made it, as was the custom in the South, before replacing it with a new one – 27, the goddess’ lucky number, and eyes to show the gaining of wisdom.

She wouldn’t be alive.

If not for the Goddess of Fortune, she wouldn’t have been… she knew that. Her parents had been sick when her mother was with child, and the doctors said the birth would be difficult. Her parents had lost three children before her, and terrified, they had gone to priest after priestess after priest, only for no one to be able to help, or willing to – until they came to the Temple of Ariadna. And there, the masked priestess hadn’t just blessed her in the womb – she had broken the curse of foul luck upon her parents once and for all. She was born healthy, and happy, and her parents recovered from their illness to live another thirty years before they had once again fallen sick and died… on the same day that Ariadna’s temple fell.

She felt it as Rele brushed against her leg, and she smiled as she stroked the fur on the cat’s back. Cats were sacred to Ariadna as well, the luckiest creatures in all the realm, they had her blessings most of all. While cats were well welcome on farms in the realm, most of the nobility considered them dirty creatures, beneath them. Amellisan had always sheltered as many of the sweethearts as she could. She wasn’t worried about Rele knocking over anything or ruining her prayers – nothing a cat could do would displease Ariadna. In the East, cats had once been all but worshipped as Avatars of the goddess herself.

Amellisan wasn’t big enough a fool to think that her parents’ deaths were a coincidence. She didn’t blame Ariadna for their deaths, of course, not in the slightest – rather, they died when Ariadna’s blessing couldn’t protect them anymore. It had been Karn, she was certain… one of his priests the one that for some reason had cursed her family before she was born. It had taken years, but once Ariadna had… died… her blessing could no longer save them.

She reached out one hand and touched the golden scale on her altar, the weights holding two piles of sand out of perfect balance – the right side heavier. She took a pinch from the right side, and it suddenly became much closer to even with the lighter side – then she began to let the sand slip back through her fingers on the left – watching the left sink lower and lower – until, unfortunately, it slipped down past the halfway point. She frowned, but it was to be expected. Balancing the scales of fate was difficult, and only Ariadna could do it reliably. Trying to help, taking some of the weight off her shoulders, was a ritual that had been used in the North.

Ariandna was gone… Amellisan knew that. But her works didn’t have to die with her. Ariadna had stood for… fairness… in the world. A kind of moral take on fortune, where hard work was rewarded by luck, and the good wouldn’t see their lives squandered by misfortune. It was a worthy message, regardless of what had happened to the Goddess herself – and no one deserved the depredations of Karn and his ilk. Certainly not those who had dedicated themselves to someone so… good. So she fought on their behalf – not with strength of arms, for she had none, but with the weapon she did have – her purse, her contacts, and her will.

People like Kaya could provide the arms. She would provide the funds – and prayer.

Amellisan was fairly certain she was doomed. A curse was following her family – it had claimed her parents, and almost claimed her. It had been held off for a time by Ariadna – but now the goddess was gone, and just the curse remained. It had claimed her parents. She would be next – she knew it like she knew that the sun would rise in the morning. But she didn’t let that trouble her as she prayed. Already she had been given more time that she had reason to expect – the goddess had granted her that. Now she would give back what she could.

Kneeling on the carpet as the first rays of sunshine hit her back, lighting the altar, Amellisan prayed to a goddess that she knew was dead, because she deserved to be remembered – prayed that wherever she was, she could find peace and that her foes would never find the fortune they sought.

Most of the work Inquisitor Camden did was in the dark of night, in forests and coves and ruined sections of the city. That had been as true before the fall of Ariadna, when he was hunting down criminals and unsanctioned priests, as it was now when he was mostly hunting down priestesses and heretics that still followed the fallen Goddess. Most raids had to be done at dark, for the surprise, to prevent the quarry from escaping, or to avoid involving the local authorities. Not today.

Today, Camden marched his men openly down the streets of Vasali, and the only reaction he got from the city was people getting out of his way. He walked with the full authority of Karn, empowered by his church. Today, no one would flee, and there would be no rescue.

She brought this on herself, he reminded himself as he walked down the street, Inara at his side. The priestess wore a black robe and a cowl, the picture of modesty, but Camden knew that she was naked beneath the thin fabric and still had cum drying on her tits. Inara knew better than to provoke a punishment – he didn’t want to have to punish her. She knew that – but she also knew that if she made him, he wouldn’t stop.

He’d needed to beat her half to death to teach her that lesson – and he really didn’t like having to hurt her. Just like he didn’t relish what he had to do to Lady Amellisan. She had forced his hand by continuing to worship that fallen slut and assisting rebels against him. He knew what his god wanted… and Camden would obey.

The house was a fine one, beautiful and telling of the woman’s wealth, in the middle of a beautiful and wealthy section of the city. He stopped at the gates and smiled as two of his men pulled the guard out, shoving him to the ground. They weren’t to kill anyone here – the High Priest didn’t want to provoke the nobility for no reason. The servants, the guards, they would all survive. It was a shame that Amellisan had to die, but that was the way of things.

A few of his soldiers kicked in the door and ran inside. Camden waited. If there was dying to be done, others could do it. Soon, he could hear a woman screaming for help inside the house. The men around him chuckled. Help wasn’t coming – they knew that all too well – no matter how hard they cried for it. Then a second later, a maid ran out of the house, crying as she tried to hold her ripped dress onto her large chest. Spotting a few of the soldiers, she ran over to them – probably thinking that they were town guards, obviously begging for help. The men around them laughed.

The group of soldiers around her didn’t laugh. Instead, they grabbed her and continued to strip off her clothes. A small smile appeared over Camden’s face. Served her right for trying to escape. He could see Inara trembling next to him, and he ignored her as he watched the soldiers strip the maid naked, then shove her down to the cultivated ground, spreading her legs wide. Then she was being raped, screaming as one of his men began brutally violating her practically in the open, in broad daylight.

He walked into the house, the sound of his black boots striking the floor drowned beneath the laughter of his soldiers and the screams of women. Amellisan had plenty of servants for the soldiers to have fun with, guilty by association, but his eyes were only for Amellisan herself. Camden might be amused to watch, but he kept walking, past the kitchen where a cook was bent over the counter, her skirts bunched around her waist while a line of men waited for their turn with the screaming girl – past the maid being fucked on the floor of the parlor, gagging on a man’s length while another plundered his way between her legs.

Camden smirked, shaking his head. It wasn’t his concern what happened to these women, so long as they lived – they weren’t going to be punished as severely as the rebel soldiers. They weren’t assisting the rebels directly the way Ela and Talia had been. Of the people here, only Amellisan had been. It didn’t stop him from glancing at especially amusing or depraved scenes as he passed, like the third maid getting fucked over the stairway railing, but he walked past her on his way to the second story.

“Lady Amellisan…” he called, smiling. “Do you really want more of your servants to suffer while you hide? Come out and face your fate – or they will face it for you.”

Camden heard the swing as the door opened, and he turned to see Amellisan standing before him. “Hello beautiful,” he said, grinning, meeting the cold glare in her eyes.

Amellisan was even more beautiful than he had expected – but that beauty stopped before it got to her eyes. The woman was scared, of course – who wouldn’t be? – but she didn’t have the kind of fear that he was hoping for, the kind of animal urge to avoid pain and suffering. She was… resigned to this already. “You knew this day would come,” he said to her. It wasn’t a question.

The noblewoman nodded, not taking her eyes off of his. “I always knew my luck would run out. You’re just the executioner.”

“You’re right,” he said, returning her glare. “I am. With the authority of High Priest Jaras, you are found guilty of heresy against the one true God of Fate. Lady Amellisan, for your crimes, you are to be executed. Do you have anything to say on your behalf?”

She spat on the wooden floor. “Your murderous god can go to the hell he belongs in.”

Soldiers had come up the stairs behind him, and Camden gestured. “Men? Bind her. For being wise enough to keep them away from the rebellion,” Camden snarled, walking up to the slut as she was tied, “Your servants will live. For being kind enough to reveal yourself, they will carry no scars from this day, no deformities forced on them by my men.” He walked closer until he could feel the heat of her rapid, terrified breathing on his face. “But for your heresy, all of them will see what I do to you… and they will carry a message forward of the fruits of resistance.”

Camden slapped Amellisan across the face. “And hopefully, no others will be foolish enough to follow in your steps.” Around them, both could hear the cries of her house staff.

“Your holiness, you need to see this,” one of the soldiers who was binding her hands said. He gestured to the room behind him, and Camden stepped inside, his eyes narrowing in rage and disgust. A table had been covered in a cloth, forming an altar covered by relics. The walls and shelves were all equally covered – relics and symbols of Ariadna. Some kind of shrine to the Whore Goddess, he had expected – but this went well beyond that. This room… was a temple. Holy ground – it was actually still holy ground – and not of Karn.

For a brief second, Camden had doubts. Doubts that what he knew was true, that the goddess was truly gone. He could feel it in his bones, that the power in this room was real and it was not his… in fact, it clashed violently with it. For a moment, his mind was free.

Then that moment passed, and rage filled him. Ariadna was dead – her power belonged to Karn now. This noble cunt had stolen from the rightful god to make her temple, somehow – her misplaced faith polluting his power into… this.

He whirled on Amellisan. “Jaras wanted us to handle you with a light hand,” he said. “To keep your punishment from being too severe – too upsetting to the gentry. But Jaras hasn’t seen this.” He slapped her again, hard enough that her eyes rolled back in her head and she sagged in the grips of the men holding her for a second. “You are going to pay dearly for your heresy.”

Camden had actually argued for leniency… to show some minute mercy. Where was the priest who had argued for that now, he wondered? Was seeing her worship so upsetting that it consumed him so utterly, robbed him of any compassion or empathy for the woman? It confused him, but he couldn’t fight what he felt.

Down on the floor below, he caught sight of Inara, back against a wall, looking frightened as she gazed on the rape of the servants. She looked like she expected to be grabbed by one of the soldiers and dragged into the ongoing mass-rape at any second. Stupid slut. Her days of serving the soldiers were over – the only one who could fuck her now was a priest of Karn unless she gave him a reason to teach her a lesson. “Cumrag,” he snarled down at her, making her jump and look up. “Get up here.”

He looked at the guards. “Drag her into the temple!” Camden commanded. Laughing, they did so – Amellisan struggled, cried out, but they were stronger than her, and her thrashing couldn’t stop the inevitable. The silver circlet around her brow tumbled off her head to ring against the floorboards as her head shook back and forth.

“No!” Amellisan begged – but not for herself. “You must not insult the goddess! You must not profane her this way! Please!”

“I hear that you are a maiden, Lady Amellisan,” Camden said as he walked in front of her as she was dragged backward. “You seem to fancy yourself a priestess of the goddess with this temple. Well, I will tear the virtue of the Whore Goddess’s last priestess in her last temple, and your cunt can bleed onto her altar.” He walked ahead and swept his arm over the altar, knocking the relics and symbols of divinity to the floor, stomping on any candles to make sure they burned no longer. “And then I will show you how there is nothing of your pathetic goddess left.”

Amellisan let out a keening wail, fighting against the men who held her with all her might as they began to carry her towards the altar. Her shriek reached a higher pitch as they tossed the noblewoman down across the top of the pure white tablecloth. Camden gestured for the two men to spread her legs, and they did so, yanking her hips to the edge of the table as she fought. To Camden, she seemed to struggle harder and more frantically at the idea of the temple being ruined than she did at the fear of being raped… and that just pissed him off more.

Camden’s hands went to the collar of the noblewoman’s dress. He spat down at her and yanked. Amellisan’s dress gave out a triumphant snap as he tore it down her body. Her breasts shook as she screamed again, and he was pleased to note they were larger than they looked in the gown, with nipples almost invisible against the paleness of her skin. She didn’t have a single hair below her neck that he could see, and he smiled at the fashion of the nobility, enjoying the fruits of their vanity.

Inara slipped into the room, trying to be small and unnoticeable, but Camden turned to his pet priestess immediately. “Just in time,” he grinned at her, smiling as she seemed to wilt beneath his gaze. “Get on your knees and bury your tongue in this bitch’s cunt. When I take her, I want it to be in a single thrust.” The priestess only hesitated a second before falling to her knees in front of the struggling girl.

“No! Get away from me! Don’t do this!” Amellisan begged. “Use my bed, please… it will be so much better for you. Don’t, ooh, don’t…”

As he saw Inara begin to lap at the heretic’s pussy, he turned his attention away – Camden had no doubts she would fulfill his wishes dutifully. Inara was far beyond disobedience now, not on something so minor. Instead, he turned his gaze on the effigies of Ariadna that covered the walls, the holy symbols, the tapestries, and statues. Taking the rod from his belt, he raised it and smashed a marble statue of the Whore Goddess, sending it spinning to the floor in pieces. “Destroy it all,” he ordered. “I want nothing but ruins left.”

Camden smashed several more even as his soldiers did the same. With each profane idol he destroyed, he was filled more and more with holy rage, growing angrier with each swing. How dare she – how dare this slut so elevate her whore of a goddess? It enraged him – and it made his cock harder.

He walked over and gripped Inara by her braided hair, tossing her to the side. She had done a good job – Amellisan’s cunt was glistening with spit, as wet and soft as he could ask for. Moving with frantic eagerness, Camden yanked down his trousers, exposing a cock as hard as it had ever been as he positioning him at the entrance of the woman’s virgin slit.

“No!” she cried – her tone was at once commanding and begging, pleading and demanding. “Not before the goddess, not like-“

Camden thrust himself forward like he was using his cock to smash another false idol and the wail that Amellisan let out filled the house, echoing around her ruined temple. Any resistance her pussy might have offered was overcome by the spit of his slave-priestess and the violence of his vicious thrust. He felt her body stop him for just a moment, confirming the rumors that that Amellisan was… had been… a virgin. Now he pushed through it without any trouble, shattering her innocence in a single thrust – and as he had promised her, he immediately pulled back, letting her blood drip out of her ravished pussy to stain the perfect white of her altar.

“No…” she whispered. “You monster…”

Camden pulled back, nearly out, before slamming himself back into Amellisan again, his thighs hitting the table beneath her as she strained against the bonds on her wrists, the hands on her ankles. Her resistance did nothing but increase her tightness for him, giving him a more clenching, squeezing hole to pound. “Your whore goddess is dead, Amellisan,” he laughed, forcing himself into her again. Her hole was slicked enough that it couldn’t stop him, but she was tight – so tight. Each thrust required him to slam through her defenses, but still, she resisted. “You should be proud – you get to be just like her. Raped just like she was, and soon to join her in death.”

Amellisan went limp on the altar, finally starting to sob, but her cunt still resisted him. Camden filled his hands with her breasts, fingers sinking into her tender flesh, gripping them as he fucked her harder. He pulled and twisted her nipples sharply, and her back arched once again as she screamed in pain. She was breathing hard as she wept while he kept her pinned down, looking into her tear-filled eyes, slowly lowering his face down to her heaving chest. He opened his mouth and put his teeth hard into her right tit, making her shriek again and her cunt clench on him harder.

She was so tight… he wasn’t going to last any longer. He sped up his pace, crashing against her pelvis and shaking the table. “No…” She cried, sobbing as her breasts bounced from his thrusts. “Not like this – not like this…”

“Just like this,” Camden growled, wrapping his hands around her hips, nails digging into her ass. “False priestess of a false goddess… take your punishment… take my cum in your unwilling cunt!” The final few thrusts fell like one of the hammers that were destroying her personal temple still, and on the final one, the priest shot his wad deep into the cunt of the once-proud noblewoman.

“No!” she wailed. “Goddess, I’m sorry…”

Abruptly he yanked him out of her, spilling more blood and seed down onto the altar while her body shook with sobs. Camden regarded the soldiers in the room, their eyes filled with lust. “Everyone fuck this whore,” he ordered. He pulled up his pants as he looked over at one of the men who had been holding her. “You… you take her next.” As the other soldiers laughed and slapped him on the back, Camden’s continued. “Turn her over… take that noble’s shitter.”

More violent laughter filled the ruined temple as the soldiers turned the half-limp Amellisan over, her bound wrists meeting in at the small of her back, her thighs against the side of her defiled altar. The crimson stains were stark against the paleness of her skin. “Take the slut’s ass,” Camden growled. “Make her really suffer.” Before his eyes, two men holding her down gripped her ass, spreading her ass apart as she sobbed, her tiny, puckered hole exposed over her violated quim.

“And men?” Camden said, stopping the soldier as he began to press forward on her. “Remember… this bitch is the one who paid the rebels. Every soldier of Karn that they killed – their blood is all on this whore’s hands. She would have had you slaughtered without a second thought. Rip her apart.”

The soldier about to rape her nodded, his expression darkening as he turned his attention back to the beautiful noblewoman. His cock was better than twice the diameter of the opening against which he placed it. Gritting his teeth, he grabbed her hips tightly and began to push his cock forward. Amellisan might have been lost in her own little world after he had cum in her, but she was waking up just fine now – the noblewoman’s head jerked from side to side as her ass began to give way, alternately gasping and crying out.

“For the dead, son,” Camden encouraged. “Hurt the heretic! Make her suffer, make her bleed… tear that fucking ass apart!” The soldier roared in pleasure as the last inch of him slid home into his victim’s tight hole, and a thin, despairing wail escaped Amellisan. The soldier pulled back a couple of inches and shoved himself forward again with a slap as his hips hit her ass. Digging his nails into her flesh, he began to pound her, slow, rhythmic, hard.

The soldiers around them shouted encouragement, and Camden took the time walk around the defiled altar to her head, leaning down to look into Amellisan’s face. We wanted to meet her eyes, but they were squeezed shut in anguish as her body shook with thrust after invading thrust. He slapped her to get her attention. “Look at me, whore,” he snarled, slapping her again. “Look at me!” Her eyes opened, a flood of tears pouring over her reddening cheeks as she found his eyes. “Where is your false goddess now? Maybe when you meet her in damnation, you can ask how she could have deceived you and sentenced you to this fate.” He slapped her again, and her eyes squeezed shut once more.

Slapping her flank, the soldier behind her began to thrust harder. Fucking hard harder and harder still, the blood from her maidenhead joined by a fresh flow from her raped ass. Slapping and grunting filled the personal temple to Ariadna as her worshipper’s ass was fucked like that of a cheap whore. Again and again, Camden slapped her as the man raping her dumped jet after jet of set into her ass while she wailed.

When he pulled out, his cock smearing a trail of blood and jism over her ass before pulling up his pants. The quiet “pop” that her hole made as his dick came free gave evidence of how tight she remained. Another man walked up behind her, pulling his own cock out and filling his hands her red ass cheeks, gripping her as he began pushing into her in one long, hard, continuous thrust. Amellisan’s breathing became loud and rhythmic as she tried not to cry out, tried to stifle her sobs, tried not to give her rapists the satisfaction of knowing they were hurting her. When he reached the depth to which the last soldier had plundered and then kept going deeper still, her breaths became gasps, then whimpers. Camden kept staring into her face, quietly laughing.

At last, the soldier hilted himself in her and began to pull out. Her whimpers died down and became long, deep breaths, still trying to fight the pain, still trying to keep control. Then his full length rammed back inside of her, and her head jerked back as she shrieked – before he saw her eyes roll back in her head and fell unconscious. “Wake the slut up,” Camden ordered, annoyed. He would have hoped she’d be tougher than that – but then she was just a noble, not a warrior. She had probably never experienced real pain in her life.

Camden stood as someone went for a bucket of water, finding Inara where the girl had crawled into a corner, hoping to avoid notice. He snapped his finger and pointed to his own crotch, and the slave-priestess hurried across the room on hands and knees, rubbing her cheek against his cock through his pants before fishing it out and beginning to swallow it. She only grimaced for a second at the taste, and he stroked her hair for an instant – good little whore. It was good that she wasn’t going to make him punish her, not today, not after seeing this heretical temple – he might have had to really hurt her.

The man in Amellisan’s ass thrust a few more times, but he must have found it less than satisfactory without the noble awake because he eventually pulled out, annoyed. The sounds of rape from the rest of the house were growing louder – he sent a pair of his men to make sure the men weren’t going overboard with any of the servants, and he waited for the soldier to get back with water. His cock was glistening and clean by the time the soldier returned, carrying a bucket of icy water from the Amellisan’s own private well. Eager, the soldier who had been behind her shoved himself into her limp body just before the soldiers hurled the water over the supine girl’s face.

The effect was immediate – Amellisan woke with a scream, flailing her bound and held limbs as she startled back to life, shocked out of her nightmares and back into the nightmare of her real life. “No! No!” she screamed, her ass jerking as she tried to get away from her rapist again, yelling and thrashing. “Let go of me,” Amellisan sobbed. “Get off me you bastard!”

“Finally,” Camden hissed, pushing Inara away from him and watching her scramble back over to her corner while the man raping the noblewoman wrapped his hand tightly in her hair and dragged her upper body erect. She winced in renewed agony as her hair yanked at her scalp. “Bring me my whip,” he said, holding out his hand and waiting for the soldier holding it to bring it to him.

Already Amellisan’s tits had gotten the soldiers attention – the beautiful, pale orbs were clawed at, mauled, slapped, bitten – her nipples twisted and sucked and pulled at her flawless skin was turned pink with the abuse. Her screaming rose in pitch as the man raping her fucked her harder and harder, her body arched, and someone slammed a fist into her belly. Her rapist grunted in satisfaction as she clenched on him – but Camden saw her slipping towards unconsciousness again as his fingers closed around the hilt of his whip.

“Drop her,” I commanded. He released her hair, and she collapsed back across the altar like a stone – and then Camden brought the whip down across her back with a crack. Amellisan shrieked, finding new reserves of energy with which to struggle in response to the new agony. Smiling, he continued, and then the whip fell again, tearing open her skin and draping a new spatter of blood across the still mostly pristine white cloth covering her altar.

He didn’t want to overdo it, so he held back slightly – he certainly didn’t want her to die before every single man got his chance to fuck her. He lashed her once with every third thrust from the ban behind her, crossing mark over mark as he stained the cloth with a spray of the crimson agony, the tips of her dark hair becoming wet and tangled with her own blood. So engrossed was he in punishing the noble whore, he barely noticed as the man came, grunting as he spilled a second load into her ass before slapping her ass and wrenching free, another trickle of blood and seed accompanying his departure.

Camden stayed his hand while the next soldiers walked up to her, chuckling to themselves. One of them, however, walked up to her face rather than her ass, kneeling down, pulling her face up to meet his gaze. Camden saw her red, tear-rimmed eyes burning with pain and hatred in the second before the soldier punched her in her jaw to the laughter of the other men. “I’m going to fuck your mouth, bitch,” he snarled, “And you’re going to suck me like you would your whore of a goddess’s tit. There are worse things than death – if I feel even a single tooth, Karn as my witness I swear I will rip every tooth from your mouth and start over – do you understand me?”

He didn’t wait for an answer – the soldier grabbed her chin with one hand, forcing her mouth open as he pushed his rod against her lips, growling in pleasure at the softness and warmth of them as he pushed deeper into her trembling mouth. She gagged then, trying to pull her head back – clearly, her noble throat thought it was too good for the cock of a worshipper of the true God of Fate. In response, the soldier grabbed a fistful of her dark hair and yanked her back down onto his shaft.

While he did, the next man stepped up behind her, the biggest cock of the soldiers to fuck her ass yet. When he pushed into her, her eyes, squeezed tight against the cock fucking her face, flew open in agony, and Camden could hear her scream even around the dick down her throat, even as they faded into pathetic, pained mewling as she was stretched out further.

He was the most brutal of the men to take her, even more violent than the enraged Camden himself had been. He shoved her about this way and that, his hard shaft reaming her excruciatingly as he rolled his hips from side to side, lifting her from her feet with the force of his thrusts. With that kind of screaming, it wasn’t surprising that the man in her mouth could last no longer – His face showed his ecstasy plain as day as he pumped his seed onto her cheeks and tongue.

Amellisan choked and spat so that she could resume screaming, and Camden laughed. “Why Amellisan… I know your goddess is a whore, but did you really just spit cum all over her altar? Are you learning already? Maybe you’re wiser than I thought.” The noblewoman sobbed brokenly as the soldier let go of her hair, letting her head slid down into the puddle of spat cum and drool. It was only a few seconds later that the brutal man in her ass came. When he finally jerked out of her and shot his lance of semen onto her back, her face was ashen, and blood flowed freely down the backs of her thighs.

One by one, every single one of the soldiers in the house fucked her ass – twenty-six in total. He needed to whip her frequently to keep her conscious, occasionally passing the lash from one to another, but Camden watched the entire thing. Her voice was raw and nearly gone by the end, and she only whispered and grunted when whipped now, even when they held her up and began to whip her breasts, spraying the cloth with more blood cut from her tits by the braided leather.

When everyone had had their turn, Amellisan was more grey than pale, lying limp and face down on the altar to Ariadna. The cloth, formerly white and pristine, had been stained with blood and cum and dirt and other filth, and the noblewoman was lying on it, amid the ruins of the shattered temple. More blood and cum pooled at her feet and on her legs, and her hair was tangled into kinky knots across her back as cum dripped from her well-raped hole. The sounds of the other rapes had all grow quiet – what few were still taking place had grown more relaxed as the men took their time in enjoying the plundering of the mansion.

He knelt down by the barely conscious Amellisan, grinning at her. “You know, whore – I’ve been thinking. You were supposed to be executed,” he said as he looked around at the ruined room, “But that was before – all of this. You might actually be closer to a priestess than anything I’ve seen in the last few years. I think maybe… we should take you with us. Turn you into one of our temple whores. Maybe even make you mine.”

He grabbed onto her hair, tilting her up to see him – bringing her eyes into focus. “Would you like that?” Camden smiled cruelly at her. “Of course, that will ultimately be up to Jaras – so I guess at least you get to live long enough to see him. We’re almost a month from Tabharos – I wonder how much more fun we can put you through on the way. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

She seemed to understand what he was saying as her eyes widened some. “Looks like your luck just keeps getting worse, whore.” He would have continued mocking her, telling her the things that he would do to break her until she was an obedient little fucktoy like Inara, but he was interrupted as a soldier came into the shattered room and stood at attention, waiting for him. He sighed, looking up. “What?”

“Law enforcement is here, your holiness,” he said, unworried. “Our men are refusing the constable entry, but he wants to speak to the priest in charge, or he will be back with more men.”

Camden sighed. “I supposed he wants to verify that this is a matter of religious law. Fair enough, I suppose.” He stood, smirking as he looked at the wrecked and half-dead noblewoman on the altar. “Don’t go anywhere, Amellisan – I’m not finished with you yet.”

He left the room and walked down the stairs, passing the living room and the foyer. The maids, the cooks, and a few other female servants were all naked and tied up against one of the walls in a row. He appreciated the sense of drama of whoever had done that. It would be fun to march Amellisan past all of them on her way out, make her see all her servants for the last time and what she had brought upon them. The men were tied up along the other wall – bound and bloodied, but alive – his men had done well.

He strode out of the house and across the lawn to the gate, where four soldiers were standing with weapons, facing a constable on the other side of the gate. He had two guards of his own on the other side, and he was standing with his arms crossed, looking thoroughly annoyed. He looked up as Camden strode over, his boots clicking precisely on the stones of the path.

“So you’re the one running this shitshow,” he said as the priest approached. The man was fairly young, especially for a constable – he was almost certainly a noble himself, to be so well connected and ranked so high so early in life. Camden immediately took him in and dismissed him as self-important and man of talk rather than action. “What do you think you’re doing, priest?”

Camden smiled disarmingly. “I think there must be some sort of mistake, sir,” he said, peering forward at the emblem on the city pinned to the jacket breast of the blonde noble. “I am Inquisitor Camden, a Hunter of the Church of Karn – and I don’t see a holy symbol among your awards, so you must not be a priest of the God of Fate – and as such, you have no right to interfere in a private matter of internal church discipline.” He tossed a twisted emblem of Ariadna’s holy symbol to the ground through the bars, where the constable couldn’t help but see it. “Punishing a heretic inside of our church is our concern – and not yours.”

The constable sighed. “And do you need to be so loud and obvious about it? You are upsetting the neighbors. What you do internally might be of no concern, but if you let it spread where others can see I have little choice but to intervene to keep the peace.”

Ah – so that was his concern. He was being asked to do this. Camden became surer still that the man was a useless noble dilettant. “I assure you, sir, we will be gone soon enough.”

The man seemed to brighten. “Excellent!” he said. “Now – just as soon as I see that all these men are soldiers of the church and not just criminals masquerading as such, I can report back to the Maer that I did my job. That won’t be a problem, I hope?”

“Of course not,” Camden sighed. He turned to one of his men. “Collect emblems from all the men and bring them back here. I will keep the constable reassured until it’s been done.” Useless delays…

Amellisan felt like dying. Her body – oh by Ariadna it hurt so badly. For the first time in what felt like weeks, no one was hurting her – but it almost didn’t matter. Her body had been devastated by the attention of the priest and his men, her shrine obliterated, her hope crushed. Even if no one was touching her, her entire body burned like she was on fire.

There were no men here – no guards, no priest. She should be running – escaping, or at least finding a way to end her own life. The only one in the room was the dark-haired priestess, and she wouldn’t stop her – but Amellisan’s body wouldn’t react when she told it to move. She wondered if she already was dying.

The slave priestess looked at her with wide eyes, filled with pity from where she crouched in the corner. Amellisan looked back at her with much the same gaze. What must they have done to you, sweet thing, that you would serve that brute? She had met priestesses of Ariadna in her life, when she was young, before the fall – but she had managed not to see any of those she had helped to rescue. Perhaps that had been cowardice, not to look at what had been done to them.. she had let Kaya and the others bear that burden.

She felt wretched for that, now that she looked on Inara. Seeing her cowering there, unobserved and yet too scared to even move, it actually helped – even if this suffering was the cost of what she had, it had been the right thing to do. She just hoped she still felt that way after they were finished turning her into something as broken as she was.

Actually, wasn’t the expression on the priestess’s face too terrified? Her eyes too wide? And wasn’t she looking not at Amellisan herself, but behind her?

It took more effort than anything she had done in her entire life, but Amellisan turned her head, feeling her bloody hair unstick from her back as her head shifted – and she saw the woman step in through the window. She looked radiant in the light, as beautiful as the goddess herself as she stepped into the room, looking left and right before reaching down and examining Amellisan. She brushed a lock of dark hair out of the woman’s face. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “But I’m going to get you out of here.”

She looked over at the corner that Inara was in. “Come with me,” she pleaded. Amellisan heard nothing, but was too tired to turn her face back – it was easy to imagine the frantic refusal though, the shaking of the terrified girls head. “Please, there’s no time,” the beautiful blonde said. “I can’t carry you both. I need you to be brave and come with me now. Please – please, don’t let me leave you behind…”

Amellisan’s body screamed in agony as she was lifted up, but she kept herself from screaming. She came up off the altar, seeing the filth and blood and…

The cloth was white again. White and clean and untouched.

That… that wasn’t… what had…

Then she was dropping down, and the next few minutes passed with her fading in and out. Her main thought was just how bright the sun was. Then she was being pressed from the woman’s arms into someone else’s. Bright blue uniform. Constable of the city guard.

“You’ll get her out of the city?” the voice of the woman asked.

“I will, Ari,” said an unknown voice, a male – the constable. “You have my word.”

“Good job,” the priestess with the musical voice said, a hand on his shoulder. “You’re a good man.”

Amellisan wasn’t sure what she had seen, what it all meant – but for the moment, her body had decided that it was done caring. Darkness swam up from below and swallowed her whole as she fell into a deep and mercifully dreamless slumber.

By the time the constable had finally let him go, Camden was thoroughly annoyed. Bureaucratic, jumped up, self-important asshole… What a waste of time. He climbed up the stairs, thinking of ways that he could find to make the constables of this town miserable in the coming weeks. “Now,” he called as he walked up the stairs. “Where were we Amellisan? I thought we were discussing naming you as a pri-”

He cut off as he stepped into the doorway. Amellisan was gone, the window was open, Inara was huddled in the corner looking more terrified than usual… but none of that was the first thing he noticed. The moment his foot touched the floor, he felt the power.

Camden’s eyes went wide as he looked over the room, stepping inside of it. He had sensed power here before, when he had stepped into the noble’s temple… but it had been a faint thing, barely noticeable. If not for the lack of anything like it he had sensed in years, he might have missed it altogether. As they had smashed the idols and polluted the altar, it had faded down to nothing, until he didn’t feel anything but Karn’s power surrounding him like a cloak.

Camden held the tablecloth – the pristine, white tablecloth, between two fingers, rubbing it. It tingled, painful against his fingertips. The power… it didn’t feel faint now. Holy Ground. He was unquestionably standing on the sanctified territory of another god.

Or Goddess.

He ripped the white cloth off the table, looking around for the polluted covering, and finding nothing. Camden narrowed his eyes, and he glanced over at Inara.

Part of him was furious that she had let the woman go away. The other part was impressed that she had stayed instead of escaping with her. But most of all, above and beyond everything else, Camden was curious… he was always curious. The priest knelt down in front of the trembling girl, holding her shaking chin in his hand, forcing her to meet his eyes. “Did you see it?” he asked. When the priestess nodded, he pushed one finger against her lips. “You are going to tell me… everything… you just saw… but not now. And you are going to say nothing at all to anyone else – unless Karn himself appears before you and pries it open you keep your whore mouth shut. Do you understand me?”

When she frantically nodded, he stood, gesturing for her to follow. Standing in this room was beginning to feel distinctly painful. “Men!” he called. “Push the servants out into the streets.” He took a deep breath. “And then we burn this place down with Amellisan inside.” Jaras had sent him to send a message – the message was going to be sent. Amellisan was going to die very publicly before the eyes of the city… or so they and the High Priest were going to think.

Camden’s prey might have escaped this time – but he suspected that he had just gained far more interesting prey. And before the priest was anything else, he was a curious man. He would learn everything there was to know about what had just happened before the end – and when he was finished, then the High Priest would know of this.

After he had found the proof.

As Camden stood outside, Inara standing just behind him in her dark robe, Camden smiled. A good mystery was like a well-dressed woman – entertaining and good to examine, but the real fun came when you began to peel off her clothing, one layer at a time. Then, when it was finally naked, he would have all the power again. “Let us find your secrets,” he whispered to the sky.

5 thoughts on “Chapter 6 – The Gentry

  1. Well, I spent too much time working on the LF2 reaction post last night, so you’re getting two of these today.

    Two of these and a Point of No Return post, though one or two of those will likely be after I get back from work. Gonna be a busy day.

    So, the…I hesitate to call it a negative for this chapter, but the only negative thing I have to say in general I should get out of the way first. There is an unpleasant ripple effect coming from the last chapter, one I’d hoped wouldn’t happen but seems to be going on, and there’s a good chance it will follow me into the next chapter. This isn’t really a problem the story has so much as it is my subjective reaction to it. It hardly ruins the narrative, it just makes some of my emotional reactions to characters and events more bitter and cynical than I’d like them to be.

    So here we meet Lady Amelissan, and I like the backstory she’s given, how she’s basically only alive thanks to Ariadna’s blessing, and how as a result of that, her faith is deeper than one might expect, to the point that as Camden points out, she’s actually pretty close to being a priestess.

    She felt it as Rele brushed against her leg, and she smiled as she stroked the fur on the cat’s back. Cats were sacred to Ariadna as well, the luckiest creatures in all the realm, they had her blessings most of all.

    Of course, since Ariadna’s banishment, the church of Karn has absorbed cats as part of their worship.

    Their propaganda is most insidious. 😉

    I’m not sure how right she is about a priest of Karn killing her parents. On the one hand, yes, there are people literally working magic in the service of misfortune in this world, but on the other, sometimes bad things really do just happen at random, especially before the war when her parents would have been “cursed”, so it’s kind of hard to call.

    We also get some more on the mind-warping that’s going on with Karn’s priesthood. At first I thought it was kind of inconsistent writing when we join Camden and he actually hopes he doesn’t have to hurt Inara for anything, since last chapter indicated he’s totally happy to abuse her both physically and emotionally, but then it seems to be hinted later that when he’s “on the job” and thus channeling more of Karn’s power, he becomes a very different person due to the god’s influence, but otherwise might be different, best exemplified when he enters the mini-temple of Ariadna that Amelissan set up, and for a moment he can think things he couldn’t before. Not that he’s necessarily a nice person, but you know, less horrible.

    There is also something kind of sad about learning that, before the gods’ war began, the Inquisition had a legitimate function. Granted, the term “inquisition” has certain connotations of going overboard and doing terrible things in general, but it used to be about something more than hunting down, raping and torturing adherents of another faith.

    I’m torn on the bit with the constable. On the one hand, it’s always nice to see decent people in a story like this; reassures one a little about the world in general. Him playing the obstructive, self-important bureaucrat to give Ariadna time to rescue Amelissan was also a nice twist. On the other hand, the fact that Camden was completely duped by that doesn’t exactly make him look very smart, which does feed into the ripple effect I was talking about earlier.

    Of course, now he knows the “High Priestess” is in the area, so we’ll see where this goes!


    1. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that at one point I had far larger-ranging and broader plans for this story. As I got invested in more and more projects, those scope plans got dialed back. I believe that this is an unfortunate casualty of that but I don’t think very much about at the time… originally, Ariadna was going to have to fight her way out and it was going to lead to a few chapters where Kaya and Jaymes would show up again and assist without being allowed to see the Goddess again.

      This obviously didn’t happen.

      In my justification, the constable did have legal authority and justification to call all the guards together, so her being unguarded isn’t so much a plot hole as it is a contrivance, but it largely exists to set up Camden’s reaction that he’s back on holy ground and SOMETHING just happened… turns out, the goddess entering a shrine to her still has an effect.

      Amellisan wasn’t actually originally planned as a character in this, either. She was added on a suggestion from Dhemius, an old friend. I’m glad I added her because the scene showing a bunch of different methods of worship was, I thought, a very cool one.


      1. “I believe that this is an unfortunate casualty of that but I don’t think very much about at the time… originally, Ariadna was going to have to fight her way out and it was going to lead to a few chapters where Kaya and Jaymes would show up again and assist without being allowed to see the Goddess again.

        This obviously didn’t happen.”

        That is, as you said, unfortunate. It’s sort of a tradeoff. On the positive side, it tightens up the narrative and quickens the pace. On the negative side…seeing what you described would have immediately negated the ripple effect.

        “In my justification, the constable did have legal authority and justification to call all the guards together, so her being unguarded isn’t so much a plot hole as it is a contrivance, but it largely exists to set up Camden’s reaction that he’s back on holy ground and SOMETHING just happened… turns out, the goddess entering a shrine to her still has an effect.”

        Oh, I’m not about to complain about the thing that happens when he goes back into the shrine, because that was so cool 🙂 I loved that very idea, that while Ariadna’s not 100% divine at the moment, she’s still tied enough to her godhood (goddesshood?) that her being in a shrine like that sort of charges it up, and the fact that the residual power actually feels like it’s burning Camden was great.

        I also forgot to mention this in the previous post, but I found it veeery interesting that Camden has decided not to send word to Jaras about a possible sighting of the “High Priestess”. That could cause some tension between him and his leader down the road…


        1. Camden is many things… and at present not many of them are flatting, but one of them is “curious.”

          He just saw something happen that he knows is impossible… which means that someone he “knows” is wrong. And until he knows what that something is, and who is lying to him, he is not about to say a damn thing.


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