A Rare BreedbyVelius Ironhorn©
Author's Note: This takes place in the same 'anthro world' as Of Foxes & Dragons, but the characters and events are unrelated. This story contains scenes of mild violence, non-mammalian intercourse, and male sodomy.
Tynian loved living in Vafoso. It was literally the crossroads of the world; once a traveler's way station in the middle of nowhere, building up through the centuries into a vast trading junction.
The Vafoso Market comprised a massive seventy percent of the city. It was almost a living entity upon itself, pulsing with activity. The sandy ground–arid in summer, though not enough so to be considered a desert--trembled under the foot falls of thousands. It was not a city in the usual manner, but remained one of the largest social centers on the entire continent.
Virtually all peoples and cultures of furkind were represented here in the goods and services available for trade. The species of inhabitants themselves were a diverse lot. Despite the many languages being used, all spoke the common tongue of commerce.
It was this aspect of Vafoso that Tynian enjoyed the most: the variety. Everything and everyone carried its own unique aroma. The wildly mingling smells of food, sweat, perfume, and smoke was a feast for the sinuses. He could spend an entire day with his muzzle in the air, breathing in the scent of life.
Himself born in the slums which ringed the bustling market proper, he was a mutt in the truest sense of the term. His lineage was muddled and impossible to discern from appearance. Tynian had a snub muzzle, but ears that were sharp and wolf-like, and an atypically long, thin tail. His short coat of molted brown/blond fur bore no distinctive markings and blended well with the sandy soil. Though not unattractive, he was certainly an oddity. Perhaps that's why he felt so at home among the bustling crowds of foreigners.
Most importantly, Tynian was born with a zest for life that was uncommon for a orphaned street urchin. Unwilling to let poverty define and rule his existence, he set out into the market every day, soaking in everything he could. Listening in on heated bartering or the telling of tall tales over a pint of grog, Tynian studied the ways of people, the flow of society.
A great opportunity came upon him one day while eavesdropping on some random business deal in the backroom of a dimly lit pub. Bellar Saam was a jolly old merchant of silks, spices, and other fineries, contrary to his coarse hog nature. Though not particularly adept at the bartering process, he was successful and well-respected.
In this particular deal, Tynian was familiar with the scarcely produced lysirel weed bath oils for which Saam was trading, but the pig-faced merchant was ignorant of the latest crop having been tainted with disease. The oil makers were trying to foist a worthless product on the Saam. To be caught eavesdropping was risking serious punishment, but Tynian couldn't hold down the yelp of warning before it came, alerting the kindly fellow of his impending loss. Impressed by the dogboy's keen mind, Saam took him on as an apprentice, teaching him craft of honest business.
The only thing better than watching the activities of the marketplace was taking part himself, and every day was a joy. Manning the counter of a spice shop created many opportunities for polite conversation. But the real fun came from listening to the stories of traveling peddlers and adventurous collectors, who brought with them tales of the extraordinary that were often more interesting than the goods they carted.
In his fourth year of apprenticeship, Tynian reached that time in every young man's life when he found a new interest in the opposite sex. His peculiar looks didn't hamper the easy nature and healthy work ethic that made him a worthy catch for any lucky lady. A surprising number of customers made a pass at him and he had no qualms with inviting a few into the back for a clandestine tryst. As much as he enjoyed the game, though, the affable canine just couldn't get interested in their romantic advances. No single woman was as exciting to him compared to the market as a whole.
But just as his life had changed in a single day before, it was about to again.
The fact that it was unusually slow may have been why it happened at all. It was a gloomy afternoon, overcast and humid. The spices which would sell like mad on a normal day now created an oppressive musk around the tent, so most shoppers avoided it. Indeed, the entire aisle was all but deserted.
It was during this slow period that Tynian's sensitive nose picked up an unusual scent, exotic even by the Vafoso Market's standards. Imagine if you could a rose blooming in a dank cave, but with a sour note like no flower in the world. He inhaled deeply, drinking the intoxicating scent through his eager nasal passages. And like the fleeting memory of dream, it was gone.
Disappoint gripped his chest. When his eyes opened, he caught a faint glimmer of darkness at the edges of sight. He scanned the aisle and found nothing at first, then noticed a swirl of dust, a flap of black garment. Then into his field of vision stepped the image of a nightmare.
The figure was tall and lean, appearing skeletal beneath the heavy iridescent fabric of its hooded cloak. That in itself was odd, as few furkin wore clothes at all during the hot summer months. But the cloak itself glittered like obsidian, a rough scale-like texture reflecting bands of indigo, violet, emerald, and vermillion. Though eye-catching, such fabric might also make excellent camouflage if used properly.
Its face bore a slight sheen in the shadows of its hood that seemed to hint at doom as it approached, slowly and silently. Tynian tried to put on a brave face; he had an athletic build and could certainly handle himself, but the most virile of men would have been cowed in this creature's presence.
"Well met, neighbor," he greeted in the manner of passing travelers who might otherwise prefer to remain anonymous. "What are you in the business for today?"
The frightening figure stood still for a moment, as if refusing to answer. It twisted slightly, surveying the aisle, then straightened again. "Shelter," the nightmare spoke. Its voice was low and dry, seasoned with a fricative buzz and a feminine lilt.
The dogboy's face fell; there would be no profit made today. "I am spice merchant, er, miss. If it's a place to rest you seek, then a discreet hostel can be found four aisles south and another to the west," he explained, pointing the way.
A hollow chitter echoed from within the hood and Tynian imagined a fleshless skull with gnashing teeth. "Those places will be watched," protested the figure. "This place suits my needs."
"I'm afraid I must refuse again. We don't...um..." The canine's insistence faded as the figure extended a hand.
While the nuggets of pure gold it offered weren't unwelcome, what really caught his attention was the alien hand. The nuggets were held in fingers shaped like a tripod and sheathed in glistening purple carapace. This creature was an insectoid, a rarity among rarities. That it offered to pay so outrageously was an indication of its desperation.
Tynian caught another whiff of that heavenly fragrance and he found himself reconsidering. Could this creature and the scent be connected? He scanned the inside of the tent--unnecessarily, since he already knew Bellar Saam was out, busy with managing his other holdings. "Well, the sky is grim and I do smell rain on the breeze. I suppose it couldn't hurt."
The canine youth raised the hinged wooden counter, little more than a tall bench set up at the front of the tent, and ushered the shadowy figure inside. Most of the interior was occupied by barrels of spice and shelves of measuring instruments. He anxiously guided his guest to the 'backroom' where he had bedded many female suitors, pulling aside a heavy curtain, revealing a modest store of pillows and provisions to enjoy on break.
"Please, make yourself at home." He smiled at her expectantly.
The secretive insectoid did not remove its cloak. He heard that odd chittering again. "Shall privacy cost me additionally?"
Realizing his rudeness, Tynian bowed and withdrew to the front counter. Whatever it was doing in the back, it was very good at staying silent, as nothing could be heard despite the complete lack of ambient noise in his corner of the market. He tried to mind his own business, but without customers, Tynian found himself pondering his guest again. Another brief trace of the sour cave rose convinced him to submit to his curiosity.
Taking care to be as quiet as possible, Tynian crept around the barrels, his sandaled paws padding softly in the sand. As he approached the heavy curtain, he fell to all fours like his ancestors. The scent grew stronger as he stuck his nose to the bottom of the curtain. He smelled other things as well; the tang of blood and acidic solvents.
He cocked his head in the effort of peeking under the curtain. What he saw would stay with him for the rest of his life. Indeed, it was an insectoid, a people who preferred to remain hidden and were thought to be little more than legend, or nightmare itself, by most furkin. More exciting was that Tynian's first guess at the creature being female seemed to be correct. It--or rather she--had distinctly feminine curves, though no overtly female physical traits.
Long limbs, thin and spindly, appeared to hold none of the strength or grace that were evident in her movements. Her body had a waspish shape (no pun intended) and her segmented thorax was curled beneath her legs. Her carapace was lavender in color--with a milky undertone--and shiny, almost as iridescent as the cloak she now sat on.
A long neck extended from slightly hunched shoulders, holding up a triangular head with interlocking mandibles and two surprisingly mammalian eyes. They were bright and expressive, nearly glowing like red hot pokes. Long antennae twitched atop her forehead, recording all the details of her work.
The three fingers of each hand operated with precise efficiency, cleaning and tuning a compact bowgun that was splattered with blood. It was arranged vertically with a pulley and gear system the likes of which Tynian had never before seen.
The young canine suddenly feared he was harboring a murderer, but could not beat back the attraction he felt for her. He experienced a tightening in his chest and a tickle in his loins. Insect nature that would repulse most excited him, for it was truly the most exotic kind of beauty to be found in the world. So entranced was he that Tynian didn't think to not push his luck.
One of the insectoid's antennae swept in a broad arc, in his direction. Her hesitation lasted less than a second. She loaded a bolt in the bowgun and aimed it between his eyes. "Provide a reason for which I should not slay you now," she rasped, the chittering echo returning to her voice.
Thinking fast, he raised his hands in a nonthreatening manner and stood, drawing the curtain aside. "Because it seems you've already killed someone today, or tried to, and you're on the run. Killing me will leave a trail that you don't want."
The chittering stopped. "Your mind is quick. I suspect you make for a fine merchant," she said. Her host blushed at the compliment. She set the bowgun down, but her sandy voice took on a warning tone. "However, curiosity is an element of your nature that may best be shed. It will get you in worse trouble than it has this day."
"My thanks for the advice, miss. But nothing is free in the market of Vafoso," he said with an earnest grin. "What do I owe you in return?" A number of scandalous offers sprang to mind, but he squelched them.
"Your vow of silence is all I require. Count yourself fortunate if I chose not to ensure it by removing your tongue."
"Gladly. But there are other things I might be willing to lose to you," Tynian said, once again overcoming his better judgement. His fingers automatically went to the knot that held together his loin cloth–a modest custom--and it fell away. The young canine's arousal sprang into full view, moist with sweat in the summer heat.
The creature drew closer to him, crimson eyes that were so out of place in her insect face narrowed. A buzzing hum filled the dogboy's ears. He could see at this range that her voice came not from between her mandibles, which now lifted into a semblance of a smile, but from membraned ventricles along the sides of her neck.
"You have courage beyond your years, pup." A tripod-shaped hand came up and gripped his manhood, squeezing with vise-like strength. He winced, but was unharmed. If she was displeased, it did not show in the strength of the pheromones she gave off; at least Tynian could finally identify the scent. "And foolishness as well," she added. "If I were not in such a hurry, I may have to take you up on that offer."
She released him and stood quickly, packing her bowgun and a few vials of cleaning solution into her rucksack. The canine reached out to halt her departure, but she shrugged him off and donned her iridescent cloak with a flourish. She never paid a second glance to the throbbing erection which he had proffered to her. The rush of boldness passed; Tynian now felt exceedingly foolish.
Rather than returning to the front, the insectoid crouched and pulled at the bottom flap of the tent, but paused. "Tell me your name, pup, and I will remember it."
"T-Tynian," he stuttered. Joy swelled in his heart like a wave; she wanted to know him. "And yours, my lady?"
"Kree'tzee," came her rasped answer. As she scuttled under the tent flap, hair-like feelers at the end of her thorax poked beneath the hem of her clock and brushed the canine's still stiff member.
Tynian sank to his knees, trying to spy her one last time before she disappeared from his life. A familiar glimmer caught his gaze and he found a scrap of her iridescent cloak, which had caught and torn on one of the tent stakes. His hand shot out and snatched it up greedily. He pressed it to his nose, inhaling the scent of her pheromones.
Breathing through the fabric so as to more accurately ingrain the aroma into his memory, a thrill ran through him and the canine clutched his manhood. He visualized the elegant insectoid while he stroked feverishly. He remembered the way she held him, imagining her tripod fingers tracing the ridges and veins of his erection the way his own did now.
Tynian's head dropped into his lap, though not quite flexible enough to achieve autofellatio. The musk of his own sex mingled delightfully with Kree'tzee's pheromones. The tempo of his stroking grew more intense and he idly wondered if her pale purple carapace tasted like the grape candies his employer enjoyed so much. He stretched, lapping at the swollen head of his manhood and tasting precum. His short jaws opened wide, eager to drink himself in his beloved's place.
The dogboy's body tensed and heat surged through his loins, releasing itself in the form of pearlescent cream that shot into his waiting mouth. Gooey drops fell from between his lips and sizzled in the sand, but Tynian kept his head down until the last of his seed was spent.
Satisfied only partially, he rolled onto his back and let the scrap of cloak cover his muzzle while he gently massaged his softening manhood. A great sigh escaped him. There was no sense wondering what opportunity he missed; he was sure Kree'tzee could have ably dispatched him had he been foolish enough to try and force himself on her. No, it would seem his love would remain unrequited.
Over the following days, Tynian's duties as a spice merchant were carried out mechanically, lacking his usual vim and vigor. Kellar Saam noticed this with a measure of consternation.
"Whassa mattah wit' ya?" Saam demanded at the end of the day, while the shop was closing up. He placed a bejeweled hand on Tynian's shoulder in a fatherly manner. "Sumthin' got ya down, m'boy? T'ain't a girl, is it?"
The depressed canine nodded his assent. "For once, it IS a girl, Kellar. I can't get her out of my mind."
The portly pig merchant roared with laughter. "Thas ma boy! Sorry for sayin' so, but it's good to hear, ya know? Oi wuz afraid ya'd grow up alone, makin' up fer a loveless youth wit' patronizin' da market's whoring booths, like me." He chortled merrily.
"No fear of that," the apprentice assured. A knowing smirk graced his snub muzzle at the memory of the wear those backroom pillows had seen. "But this one girl is special, more special than all the spices and jewels in the world. And I don't think I'll ever see her again."
The heavyset fellow waggled a thick finger in his young charge's face. "Where's dat conf'dence, m'boy? Ya got a sharp mind an' keen nose. Ya might even 'ave some bloodhound in ya, Oi think." He patted th dogboy's shoulder encouragingly. "Go! Track 'er down! Tha' market's not goin' nowhere, eh? Oi'll be here when ya get back."
Bolstered by his beneficiary's endorsement, Tynian gathered what few belongings he had–including his much treasured scrap of iridescent fabric–and set out.
The trail was long since cold by now. Kree'tzee had been most cautious in her search for shelter, because few market-goers recalled seeing a nightmare figure on a day when most preferred to stay inside their cool, shady tents. It was difficult asking questions while respectfully maintaining the insectoid's secrets, but it eventually paid off. In the very pub where he first met Saam, Tynian happened across a trio of hyena-men.
They were a surly bunch, but spoke more freely with a couple pints poured into them. After some quibbling over the details, they came to the consensus of seeing a thin, cloaked figure heading purposefully in the direction of Hasre, the flooded ruins of a once great castle town. It was set at the Gulf of Orath to the north and was said to be a haven for drifters and pirates. Upon reviewing the memory of Kree'tzee's professional nature and the tools of her apparent trade, Tynian concluded that it was as solid a lead as he was likely to find this late in the game. The three hyenas broke into drunken song as he bought them another round and excused himself from the pub, finally with a direction for his search.
All roads to and from Vafoso were heavy with traffic year-round. He made his way by bumming a ride on wagons, renting the bird-like riding beasts from occasional way stations, or just plain old walking. The farther away he got from 'civilization', the less often he encountered other travelers until the time came when days passed before he met another person.
Then finally, there were no one. It was strangling to be so far away from the hustle and bustle of society. Never before had he felt as alone as he did now, under the blanket of stars with no company by the pale moon.
His despair aside, another feeling was rising in him: anticipation. The lead had been true; Tynian had caught the scent of Kree'tzee's pheromones the day before. Had he not memorized it so completely and his olfactory sense not been so accute, the transient aroma may have slipped past his notice. But now he was sure he was on the right track. His ritual for settling down for the night often began with a session of delirious masturbation. Pools of seed behind trees and bushes would have made it easy for anyone who might have been tracking him. It was ridiculous, he knew, but Tynian couldn't contain his burgeoning desire.
A full fortnight since his journey began, the canine arrived at the outskirts of Hasre. He gazed up at the monoliths around him, silent reminders of a people who were driven from their homes when the tide rose catastrophically and made the foundations swampy, unstable. There was no dry land left, thought one could see the barnacled strata where the tide rose and fell over the course of the year. Cobblestone streets were now deep canals of crystal clear water glittering in the sunlight like a road of diamonds. It was a beautiful–if melancholy–sight and the dogboy fantasized about reuniting with his beloved in this romantic setting.