Love as a Form of Binding Ch. 10byTaLtos6©
**I just couldn't get it all to fit. It ought to read, "5 demonesses, 2 demonlords, one furry Zele but no partridge in a pear tree."
Yeah well, it's not like I get Christmassy all that often. I'd also like to apologize for what I'm doing as I struggle really hard to get a lovely Scots accent to come through in print. I originally wrote it straight, but the feeling just didn't come through, so if you're Scottish, try to remember that I'm trying hard to do this justice. O_o
Illa looked carefully at them from her perch. There were seven altogether, five of them females. She saw her friend, the older one who wished to be known as 'Mother', along with two who appeared to be somewhat younger. One of them looked much like her friend and the other one was a little different from them. The last two looked younger still and other than their coloration, they were very similar.
There were two males, the kobold and the one who must surely be the laird, she thought. He looked something like a giant to her and she doubted that there was very much about him that was soft until she saw him smile at the younger females and she knew that they were together somehow.
Toby looked around. "What is this place?"
"Zele's pet told me of it," the old demoness said, "and it stirred some memories in me. As I flew here to see it, many more thoughts came to me then, and when I walked in here, the last piece fell into place and I knew where I was.
The whole thing," Mother said, "is the ruin that is Yester Castle, or was, once. There is a newer manor house nearby, but the tower and a few half-tumbled walls are all that remains of the original structure. Where we stand now is the Goblin Ha or hall. It is said that the first laird's grandson, Sir Hugo de Giffard was the one who built the original keep around 1267. Sir Hugo was known as the Wizard of Yester, a powerful warlock and necromancer and it is said that he practised his art right here in this hall. The hall and much of the place was supposed to have been built by his personal army, a benefit of his pact with the devil."
She smiled, "It is never said which devil, and anyway, most people believe nothing of the tale anymore, though I know the ones who were involved. But I can say that in legends and folklore among the humans, there is almost always a kernel of truth to the often fanciful tales, and this is no exception," she said with a smile toward Maezou. "You have been here before."
"Yes!" Maezou said, remembering, "There was a knight who was the lord here. He lived long according to the terms of the agreement, but he refused to honor it when the time had passed. He had another agreement with a different pit for his life to go even longer. Somehow he tricked both pit masters. When that was known, there was a separate arrangement made between the two pits and I was sent to hunt him down.
I knew the details because it was told to me that I was to bring him, but he was to be taken in a way that would not upset things. His heir was not to know that the soul was gone to a hell. It was to be seen as a normal death. All that was to be known was that this place was to be left."
She smiled, "I came to him as a lost young woman, one who wanted to be a witch, but knew little of how to do it. He brought me here to use me, but I took more than his seed from him. I took all of his essence over three nights. He intended to kill me the last night, but he knew at the end and tried to run up to the main keep when I broke his chains and came after him. But he was old and his life was almost gone. There was little left to drive his heart and he died on the way. No one saw me take the last of him and then I was gone, leaving his body behind. It was seen as the normal death of an old man."
Mother smiled, "The arrangement has outlived almost all of the parties. The first demonlord's hell fell and was taken by another soon after in the normal course of events." She grinned as she looked around the hall, "But the arrangement survived. This place was built as part of the keep. The lord and his family were Normans. When the Scots rose up, the castle was pulled down so that the English couldn't use it, but no one dared to touch this hall or the tower above it, and no horses or oxen would come near to be used to pull it down. Any who tried to lever out a single stone died horribly in sight of others, and so it was left alone.
The castle was rebuilt in a different style twice more, once as a concentric castle, walls around walls around the keep, and after that it was built with even more complexity, with a moat made by the diverted river so that it was almost on its own island. But by then, that sort of castle wasn't needed, and it fell into disrepair and the family didn't spend their gold to repair it. They built the new manor house over that way. The people came and took what stonework they could for their homes and no one prevented it.
But no one touched this hall and one corner of the watchtower -- and of course, there are reasons for that, and they stand here still today. There are secret doors leading down to a lower level where Thiery was born and raised in the hall of a goblin king. People today know nothing of the doors and they are right over there, though humans can't see them. Look there and you see the large hearth. We all do, Lord Tobias. But if you stood here as the man you were before, you'd see only the same blank walls everywhere."
She stepped over to the wide hearth, already full of firewood with a huge pile nearby that Illa had brought and placed there over the time. She held her hand near the flue and felt the draft pulling away from her.
"Thiery," she said pointing, "The path to the well and the bolt-hole are still open. Go and look to see if smoke rises from the main chimney stack of the manor house. If it does, we may light the hearth here and begin to dry the place out. It will be dark very soon, and we need to set a few things straight before we go to the levels below."
The kobold nodded and ran off. Illa watched, wanting to follow, but she didn't dare to reveal herself. He was back moments later and nodded, "The main stack shows smoke."
"Good," Mother sighed, and she spun to send a thought to the hearth. The hall was lit by the glow of the flames a moment later. "Now," she said, "Let's see about the main doors."
"Wait, Mother," Toby said, looking around in a bit of wonder, "What does it matter if there's smoke from the manor's chimney? Is that where this flue leads?"
"No," she smiled, shaking her head, "of course not. It leads to the watchtower above us. There is still a flue from the old hearth there and this one connects to it. Soon, there will be a new mystery here, "she chuckled.
"The locals can tell their tales over their pints in the pubs about how the old watchtower fire burns again -- because it will. This place is known to a group of humans who care for the castles remaining in this land, and they'll likely come to see what's going on, but by that time, we won't be here, and they'll find doors that will not open, both here and in the watchtower."
She laughed a little, "In truth, they choose carefully from among the castles that they are charged with caring for. They have only a certain amount of their money to spend, so they choose and divide what they have. Some castles are repaired and restored very carefully. It's all for the people so that they keep their history alive. But no one cares much about this place since there is so little left. They just come here and look to see that it hasn't fallen in."
The cold breeze from the entrance stairway stopped as a grating crunch came to their ears and Mother smiled, "And the next time that they come here, they'll find that the old Goblin Ha has stone doors once more which cannot be opened."
Thiery had been listening, but his nose told him of a different tale, so he walked to the hearth and stepped into a little alcove beside it that he knew had existed before. What he found there brought him running to Mother. "There's pots in the old kitchen! There's pots of stew, lady, just wantin' tae be hung on the hooks on the hearth! There's meat in there and carrots and --"
"Well then go and hang them," the old demoness grinned, knowing what Illa had done, "With luck, you'll find a loaf or two of bread as well, stolen from the manor house, if my guess is correct."
He looked astounded, "But who --"
She laid her hand on his small shoulder. "Theiry, just try to humor an old mother for a little while and don't ask questions yet. If you can do that for me, I think that I can promise something that can make you smile even more than you are now."
Thiery nodded and turned to begin hanging the pots, but Mother knew about kobolds. If there was one thing which might be said that applied to all of the smaller races, it was that they all had trouble containing their curiosity.
Thiery struggled to lift one of the cast iron pots. He let go and looked at it. He could lift it, but it was too high for him to be able to really manage to get it down so that he could carry it without some sort of mishap. Illa watched from her niche and wanted to hit her head against the stonework next to her. She hadn't known that there would be someone like him with them. She'd just assumed that someone larger would carry the pots. She wouldn't have been able to carry them herself, she'd just put them out and filled them.
Toby noticed and stepped over, "Would you like a little help, Thiery?"
"Aye, Laird," he groaned in defeat, "I'm a wee bit too small fer this. I'm afraid that if I even get these tae the fire, I'll nae be able tae lift them so they'll hang. Even if I could, I'd likely fall inta the hearth."
Toby smiled, "Then let me do it for you, and try to find some pots that you can manage for the next meal."
They'd all wandered and drifted around the place, but Mother called them all back to her. "I want you all to know what it is that we are doing here," she said, "Most of us know, but there are some that may not know everything, and there are some that are not known to the others. I was waiting for two more, but-"
The doors resounded with three crashing booms which echoed through the hall. Everyone turned in that direction but Thiery. He knew the kind of presence who often knocked in this sort of way -- just before smashing in a door that was not expected to be closed. He began to back away in fear.
There was another individual who knew just what caused Theiry's fear because she had the same fear, but she also saw that Theiry was about to run away senselessly, and likely straight into a wall in his terror.
Illa leapt from her perch and spread her wings.
Theiry had managed to turn, but he had trouble getting his legs to obey him. He was about to whimper when he found himself airborne and rocketing away toward the back of the hall. "Hold still," he heard a voice hiss into his ear. He felt a pair of thin arms holding him tightly.
The darkness of the rear passageway was coming at him quickly. He closed his eyes, but opened them again to blink in the darkness. He knew from the sounds around him that the walls of the passageway were not far off and wondered how whatever was holding him could manage this until her heard the beat of wings above him. He could see well in the dark and the wind on his face and in his eyes told him that he was moving at quite a clip through the dark tunnel. He hoped that they'd make the turn near the well.
Illa set him down near the bottom of the rear stairway. Thiery turned to see what had carried him off. When he did, he saw an imp folding her wings and almost fell backwards into the well, but her hand flashed out and grabbed his wrist as she turned to run.
"Come on," she said, "Run! I canna carry ye farther here. It's too closed in." She began to run as fast as she could, dragging the astounded kobold along. They came out through the bolt-hole and landed breathlessly in the cold damp grass of the gully.
Back in the main hall, Mother waved her hand to open the doors. They began to swing inward and a slim figure slipped through as soon as there was the space for it. The doors had to open quite a bit more to allow what followed her to come in. As soon as he was inside, the doors began to swing closed again slowly.
Two of the females at the bottom of the stairs knew who the one at the top was before they even saw any of her and began to walk in that direction. She came down quickly and they stared at each other.
She looked at the two and saw individuals who bore little resemblance to her or each other. They saw a demoness, naked like them, but who bore many markings and tattoos on her skin. Though that skin was pale in color, it appeared dark from the markings, and in an instant, they could see that the markings moved on her, curls and tendrils, snakes and lizards, all writhing over her soft and beautiful skin. There were dark wings that she opened out behind her, and her tail snaked between her legs, the tip of it hovering near her labia nervously. From what they could tell, all that she wore was a chain which encircled her hips and a collar around her pretty throat.
"Welcome, Megaera, "Mother smiled, "It was a bit of a surprise to find that you were here when I came earlier."
"I have slept for long years, "the chained one said, "I am owned by my master and I sleep when he does. He wakes me when he has need of me. He has awoken because he felt heat from the hearth in the tower and knew that someone was here in the hall who knows much."
She looked at the other two again, "So you are the others. At last we three meet in one place." They nodded to her and she saw that they had a relationship between them. She turned as her master came down the steps and went to stand by his side.
He looked to be more of a lizard than a human, though the general form of a powerful man was about him in some way. His head was human-like in a manner of speaking, though he had long ears like an elf and long, fairly straight horns which rose above with only the slight sort of curve to them that one might find on a saber. He stood on large clawed, lizard-like feet and he bore great wings which rose behind him. The overall look was very dark. The only lightness to him was the tone of his skin over his chin and across his chest, leading down along the underside of his long tapering tail. Every female there looked at his large tackle, in plain sight on him.
"So we are all gathered then," Mother said with a warm smile. She nodded toward the large male, "Lord Racephet."
He stared at her and looked for a moment as though he was fit to spit flames.
"The demoness has roused the old demonlaird wi' the fire from the hearth," Thiery gasped as his cheek lay against Illa's shoulder, "I've never seen him. I just knew that we were all to keep quiet so that he didna wake. That's got tae be him, from what I felt."
"Aye," Illa wheezed under him, "It's him, I just know it. My mother told me that he was in the tower sleeping. I saw that ye were going tae start crashing inta things. I wanted tae pull ye out before ye jumped inta the hearth tae hide or somethin'. So I came tae get ye. Let's let the old demoness deal wi' the laird. She seems tae know what she's about, I daresay."
She felt the pressure and throb of his penis against her flank. It felt good but, ...
"Here," she said, "Ye know that ye can thank me fer it any time now, but ye can stop that before ye even start. I'll nae have ye humpin' my leg like this without at least hearin' yer name."
Thiery got off Illa a little reluctantly. When she rolled over to sit up, she found him on his knees bowing. "My thanks fer savin' my life, and my name's Thiery."
Illa smiled,"I knew that, Theiry. I heard what Mother called ye. I'm Illa, and savin' ye was nae trouble. I dinna think that ye needed saving. I wanted tae get outta there meself. I'm sure that ye'd have done the same fer me -- if ye had wings, and ye knew that I was there and about tae run inta the fire or somethin'. But ye seem tae know the place well and I'm wonderin' how that is. I've been livin' here alone since me Ma was killed, and I've never seen ye before. I'm sure that if I'd seen ye I'd have remembered. All I've ever seen is filthy goblins and none fer the last I dinna how long."
She looked at his erection. She knew what it was and also a little of what it meant because her mother had told her of these things years before. She'd just never seen one and she reached to hold it gently in the way of female imps if they are trying to show friendly interest in a male who appeals to them. It was a gesture that was common to kobolds as well, though she didn't know it.
Thiery wanted nothing more than to reciprocate, but he felt uncommonly shy toward her because he couldn't believe that someone so lovely would do this in a first meeting.
"And I can tell that ye're nae goblin, Thiery. Ye're a kobold as sure as I'm alive, and I've never seen a nicer one -- not that I'd know much about them. I've only seen a few of 'em, but I like ye all the same," she said, liking the feel of what she held.
"I was born in the hall down below," Thiery smiled a little shyly, "I came tae the upper hall here one day when I was fifteen and the next thing I knew, I had chains on me and I was standin' before a demonlaird in some awful place. I've never been back here since."
Illa's eyes widened in shock and she let go of him. "It was you! Oh Thiery, I'm sorry."
"Not half as sorry as I am that ye've let go of me, Illa. What did I say that would make ye stop somethin' as nice as that?"
Illa looked down, "I think that the one who caught ye was my Pa, from what my mother told me. He took a kobold that he'd caught here to the hell that they ran from to offer to the laird there so that they could stay here. I was born after he left. He never came back. Ma said that he was likely killed."
Now it was Thiery's turn to look sad. "He was, as soon as he tried tae offer me in his place. The laird there, he, ... well, ... "
Theiry didn't want to tell exactly what had been done to her father. "He tried tae make yer father tell where yer mother was, but he wouldna tell of it, no matter what they did, so he was killed. They kept me there in his place anyway and didna think tae ask me." He looked away into the darkness, "It wasna a good place tae be a kobold."
Illa turned from him and hid her face, wanting to cry, but Thiery moved closer and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Here, Illa, "he said, "None of that was your doing. I don't hold ye tae blame fer that. I'm just so happy that there's someone as nice as you here. It means that I won't be the only one they'll all have tae look out fer tae keep from stepping on."
She looked up at him and saw his smile. It was all that she could do not to sigh right then. She'd never seen a warm smile like the one on his face. She knew that she'd have been happy to see anyone her size, but to her, he was wondrous, masculine in his way and yet charming and as childlike as she was, though in a different way. She found that she couldn't help it as she reached out to hug him. "I'm glad ye're here too, and I'll keep me eyes open tae save ye again if I see that someone's about tae squish ye."
"I dinnae know what to do now," she said, "Do ye reckon that we should go back?"
He kissed her cheek and sighed, "I guess so, but I'd rather just stay here with ye."
Illa laughed, and Thiery had never heard an imp's laughter that sounded so good to him in his life. "I think we'll have the chance to hide together here and there, Thiery. But we ought to see if there's anybody left alive in there. I think it's alright. I havna heard any shrieks or bellows, so I think it's safe."