Rescue Ch. 11byJohnEvans©
Rescue is Book Two of the Pervikar series. Pervikar is the first book and Ritual will be the third. I wish to express my thanks to the readers who have sent me feedback and have voted for my stories. My special thanks goes to sweetmirazh, who does my editing, and mack_the_knife.
"Well, Per, there's Delta," stated Iona.
Per and Iona had just crested a ridge. Ahead of them was the fortress city of Delta. Built on a rolling plain and straddling a river, the city appeared to Per to be nothing, but a series of fortified towns clustered together. It was not until he rode closer that he realized that each 'town' was actually a strongpoint and each one linked together into a collective defense for the entire city.
"Impressive, huh?" said Iona. "With the river traffic and the trade routes meeting here, it was a natural that a town would spring up. The warlord who founded the town knew it would become a rich, plump target, so he designed it to be impenetrable. In its entire history, only one fool was stupid enough to attack Delta. His skull is in a niche above the main gates."
"I can see why," said Per. "Everything is set up for mutual protection and defense. Do you think the plot to kidnap Queen Shara started here? The man who ambushed me had Deltian coins and, if this place is as rich as you say, someone here would have had the means to set the plot in motion."
"I don't know," replied Iona as they rode towards the city. "It could be, but it may also be that the person responsible only hired his help here and paid them in the coinage of the realm."
"Our problem is that we don't have any information," stated Per. "It's been several months since Queen Shara was kidnapped and the only things we have to go on is a handful of Deltian coins and a name – Yayenski. I hope we find some answers here."
Per and Iona rode on towards the massive barbican guarding the main gate into the city. About a thousand yards from the gate was a caravan. It had been stopped to be inspected. Per looked over at Iona and saw her staring up above the gate. He followed her gaze and saw three niches set in the stone wall. Two were empty, but the third one held a skull that looked down on all that entered the city.
"Rest in peace, grandfather."
Per started a little. Iona said the words so softly that he was uncertain that she said anything at all. He glanced back at Iona who was riding nonchalantly over the drawbridge. She acted as if she had not said anything at all.
"What?" she asked as she caught sight of him staring at her.
"Nothing,' replied Per.
A quick question of the guards at the gate solicited the location of the nearest inn. Per had never seen such a busy place. People were rushing here and there while vendors yelled out their wares. Not even the Overlord's capitol could match the din of this mob.
"Is it always like this?" yelled Per to Iona.
"Pretty much," she replied as she dismounted in front of the inn. "It's the price of commerce."
Per dismounted and attempted to follow her, but was cut off when three kobolds stopped to argue in front of him. Per sighed and tried to get around them. One kobold turned and hissed at Per when he nudged him with the saddlebags. Per glared at the kobolds and half-drew his sword, making it plain that they should conduct their business elsewhere. Per then stepped through the inn's door into the large main room. He took off his helmet and shook out his sweaty green hair. Iona was at the bar talking to a stout dwarf.
"Let's see, that'll be one room for yourself with a large bed, right, miss?" asked the dwarf as he placed a key on the counter.
"No, I need one room with the largest bed you have for me and my friend," corrected Iona, who waved over her shoulder to indicate Per.
The dwarf's eyes widened as he took in Per's seven-foot frame, greenish hair and violet eyes. His face lost all of its animation and became bland as his hand snaked back behind the bar with the key.
"I'm sorry, miss," he said flatly. "I don't have anything available. Try down by the wharves. You should be able to find something suitable for the likes of you two."
"What in Hades do you mean by that?" asked Iona ominously as her hands gripped her weapons.
"It means I run a respectable inn and I don't have to put up with...human appetites."
Per grabbed Iona's arm before she could pull out her sword and skewer the dwarf. He had seen two other dwarves come in quietly from a side door and both were carrying axes in their hands. Per did not want to have a brawl in the inn, especially since they were the newcomers and would probably end up with the short end of the stick no matter what.
"It's not worth it," he said to Iona. "We'll find someplace else."
"Try the sewers," yelled the dwarf as a parting shot as they turned away. "It's about the right level for your kind."
Iona sputtered and tried to turn back, but was propelled forward by Per. He looked back over his shoulder and gave the dwarf his coldest stare.
"Maybe we'll come back after we've seen Yayenski," he said.
Per was not sure why he said that, but he was not prepared for the dwarf's reaction. All three dwarves gasped aloud and one dropped his axe. All color drained out of the face of the dwarf behind the bar and he started shaking visibly.
"Out!" he gasped hoarsely. "Get out! Out! We'll kill you if you come around again!"
Per and Iona retreated backwards out of the inn. They collected their horses and led them down the street. Iona's head hung down and she had withdrawn into a silent shell.
"Iona, that dwarf..." Per started to say.
"Per, I want you to know that you are not just a plaything to me," interrupted Iona. "I mean I have feelings for you. I just...what he said..."
"I know," said Per. "Some prejudices die hard. To that dwarf, I'll always be an ogre, never to be trusted and always to be attacked on sight. We do know one thing now."
"And that is...?" asked Iona.
"The dwarf knows of Yayenski and it scared the daylights out of him."
Iona laughed in amusement.
"You're right," she said smiling. "It looked like he pissed all over himself." Iona then turned serious. "We'll have to be very careful about spreading that name around."
"How about we find an inn first," said Per, "or do you want to amble around some more?"
"One room or two?" asked Iona slyly.
"Let's see the size of the bed first," laughed Per. "I know how you hog the covers."
They had to settle for two rooms at the next inn. Per barely fit into the largest bed they had available. Iona took the room next door. After they had settled in, they met down in the taproom and had a midday meal.
"Per, how do you handle the prejudice?" asked Iona as she cut into her potatoes.
"Sometimes very well and sometimes very badly," replied Per, chewing on a bit of beef. "I try to avoid those people, but there are times when either I can't or I don't want to."
"So it gets to you at times?"
"Are we talking about people being prejudiced because I'm half-ogre or of the stigma of having one's grandfather's skull mounted above the main city gate?"
"Hades!" cursed Iona softly. "I didn't mean to say that prayer out loud. You're right, my grandfather is the one who tried to besiege and capture Delta. When I was a baby, he raised an army and lost his life trying to take these walls. When I was older, the other kids teased me about it; I went up to try to retrieve his head and body. I thought that if it wasn't there, then no one would know about it. I was stopped and taken before the General, who is the current ruler of Delta. He very politely told me that my grandfather's body disappeared after the battle and that his head had to remain above the gate."
"Why above the gate?" asked Per.
"He told me that there is a prophesy, which states that the city will be besieged three times. As long as the skulls of the besieging warlords remain above the main gate, the city will not fall. I'm not sure what will happen after the third skull is put in place. The citizens believe that the city will transform into a paradise. The General has made a place in the city for my mother and me."
"What does the prophesy say exactly?" asked Per.
"That's the problem," replied Iona, crunching on a carrot. "No one knows. The original prophesy was lost some time ago."
"So you've been made welcomed here, but are still an outcast for what your grandfather tried to do."
"Yup, well, enough old history," said Iona, closing the subject. "What do we do now?"
Per's answer was cut off as a young boy in blue livery approached the table. Per saw Iona's eyes take on a strange sadness when she spied the boy. The boy walked up to the table and bowed to Iona.
"Lady Iona, he wishes to see you," said the boy.
"Of course," said Iona, standing up. "Lead the way."
"I'm sorry, Lady Iona," apologized the boy. "He wants to see both of you."
Iona arched an eyebrow and looked at Per. He just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, giving Iona a quizzical look.
"The General wants to see both of us," stated Iona. "So much for old history."
"I guess we had better not keep him waiting then," said Per as he also stood up.
Per and Iona followed the page out of the inn and down the street. Per was amazed by the path that opened up in front of the page through the throngs of people on the street. Everyone just nonchalantly moved aside to let them through, some without even breaking their conversation. He was leading them towards a huge central keep.
Per and Iona were led across a drawbridge and the page guided them to a broad set of steps, which led up to a terraced garden. There was a group of people standing in the center of the garden. As the page approached, an older man dismissed the others with a wave of his hand. The page and the other people bowed and left.
"Lady Iona, I am sorry I had to intrude, but a matter has been brought to my attention," said the man in deep rich voice. "I would not have sent for you unless it was necessary."
"I understand, General," said Iona. "You were kind to open the city to my mother and myself after my grandfather's defeat."
"A kindness you could have done without in hindsight," replied the General sadly.
"Water under the bridge," said Iona. "General, may I present Per Devon?"
"I'm honored," said the General, extending his hand to shake Per's.
Per looked at the General as he shook his hand. The General seemed to be in his late fifties with short gray hair and a goatee. His brown eyes reflected his intelligence as he quickly took in all of Per's attributes and equipment. His grasp was firm and hard.
"The reason I asked you here is because a dwarven innkeeper went to the local magistrate with a story about you two being in league with Yayenski. Is this true?"
"No, sir," said Per. "We're not in league with him at all. All I had was a name. I didn't even know if it was a person, place or thing. I just threw it out at the innkeeper when he would't rent us rooms at his inn."
The General studied Per with interest in his eyes. "You're not her bodyguard, are you? Wait...never mind...none of my business. Are you looking for Yayenski and if you are, why?"
"What do you know of Queen Shara?" asked Per.
"She's married to the Overlord, political marriage, of course. She's as adept to politics and intrigue as an otter is to swimming. Reportedly very beautiful."
"She was kidnapped," stated Per.
The General looked over at Iona for confirmation, and she nodded. Per told of his initial encounter with Queen Shara and how he came to be on the trail of the kidnappers. The General listened intently, pacing back and forth until Per was finished.
"I've had reports of unrest in the Overlord's lands lately and some wild rumors as to the Queen's indisposition," stated the General. "Nothing at all like you have related to me, though. Let me tell you what I know of Yayenski."
"He was a wizard who came here over three years ago. He had found some obscure old writings about a kingdom that had vanished in this region. He was utterly convinced that he could restore this kingdom and become its ruler. Yayenski gathered people to him as his search progressed, the gullible, the dreamers, the utopians, and the greedy. He had convinced them that when the kingdom was restored, it would be a paradise with riches for everyone. They all searched diligently. As for the rest of us, we shook our heads at their antics and went on about our business."
"Over a year ago, Yayenski found something. He came to me with a scroll claiming it was the key to the kingdom. He wanted a significant portion of my army to go with him. I refused and sent him on his way. He and his followers marched off towards the dwarven kingdom to the east. We forgot about him until several weeks later when there was a terrific explosion to the east. A rolling wave of dust descended upon us and then the horror came."
"Thousands of creatures invaded my realm...goblins, hobgoblins, duerager. They captured scores of my people before the rest retreated back to the city. They came on screaming, 'Yayenski! Yayenski! Yayenski!' They then assaulted the walls."
"A siege," whispered Iona softly.
"Yes," replied the General, "but not in the normal sense of the word. They did not come to kill and destroy, but to capture. They would lose five of theirs to capture just one of mine. That liability was their undoing as we had no qualms about killing them. After several weeks where we killed thousands of their warriors, we finally broke the siege and scattered the rest of the horde."
"What about Yayenski?" asked Per.
"Never found," stated the General. "We did find a crater where the explosion took place. It was over a hundred yards in diameter and maybe a hundred feet deep. Bodies of Yayenski's followers were scattered all around the area. It was like they had been caught in the explosion and thrown up out of the ground."
"You want his skull," said Iona matter-of-factly.
"Yes, my dear," said the General with a grimace. "My people are demanding it. I have troops deployed everywhere trying to find him. Now you know why I was interested in you. What will you two do now?"
"When we lost the trail of Queen Shara, we came here because one of the kidnappers had Deltian coins on him," said Per. "I think we'll look around here to see what we can uncover. At worst, I'll have to go out and see if I can pick up a trail."
"Good luck," said the General. "If you find him, I have a reward for his head." He turned to face Iona. "Lady Iona, is there anything I can do for you?"
"Nothing beyond my original request, which you can not fulfill," replied Iona sadly. "If we hear of Yayenski, we'll let you know of it."
"Thank you. Wait at your inn. I know someone who may be able to help you with your search. I'll have him meet you outside your inn at dusk."
"Thank you," said Iona. "When you see my mother, give her my best."
"You could see her yourself. She doesn't live that far away from the palace."
"Not yet," replied Iona cryptically as she turned to leave.
"What was that all about?" asked Per as they walked back over the keep's drawbridge.
"The General fell in love with my mother at first sight," said Iona. "My grandfather had been defeated and beheaded. My father was crushed during the siege by a catapult stone. The General's army was ready to massacre the remaining besiegers when my mother faced them down. The story goes that she stood alone in front of the General's whole army with me in her arms."
"The General then spared them?" asked Per.
"Of course not, he rode up to mother and had his army go around her. We were the only survivors."
"But..." Per started to say.
"Per, it's old history," said Iona with a smile and a light touch on his arm. "We currently have more immediate concerns."
"Well, we have to kill a couple of hours before the General's man comes to see us tonight," said Iona, arching an eyebrow quizzically at Per.
"I recognize that sign," laughed Per. "Should I give in to my human appetites or my ogre ones?"
"Oooo, I don't think I've seen your ogre ones," cooed Iona. "How about...Hey!"
Iona yelped as Per grabbed her arm and dragged her off to one side. Without a word, he pulled her into a livery stable. Once inside, Per looked around. Except for the horses in the stalls, the place was empty. Per glanced up at the hayloft and arched an eyebrow at Iona.
Iona broke out in a wide smile and then scampered up the ladder to the loft. She dropped her swordbelt to the boards with a clang and was tearing off her clothing as Per climbed up. He stripped down almost as fast as she did.
"You do realize that that was foreplay?" he asked as he pushed Iona back onto a pile of hay and hooked his arms under her knees, spreading her legs wide apart.
"I...AHHHHH!" gasped Iona as Per shoved four inches of his cock into her vagina.
Iona's cunt was wet and tight. Her eyes rolled back as Per pulled back a little and then shoved two-thirds of his twelve-inch shaft into her moist, hot slit. Balancing on his hands with her legs locked up in the air by his arms, Per closed his eyes and concentrated on fucking Iona as hard and as fast as possible.
Iona began panting heavily as Per's cock pumped rapidly in and out of her tight vagina. She had orgasmed the second he had entered her and she felt her juices lubricating his thick hard prick. With her legs pinned back, Iona could not do anything, but lay there and enjoy it. A noise and a gasp to her right made her look over in that direction.
A naked boy and girl, both around eighteen years old, were staring over a mound of hay that had separated them from Per and Iona. Iona spied their clothes on the opposite side of where she and Per were. Iona winked at them and brought her finger up to her mouth to keep them quiet. She turned back to buck her hips upward to match Per's thrusts.
"Oh, yeah, baby," she moaned. "Fuck me. Fuck me hard!"
The girl, a long-haired blond with a nice shape, watched in fascination as Per's long, large cock plowed into Iona's pussy. Her face became flushed and her breathing became heavy. She turned to the boy beside her and whispered in his ear. The boy looked at her in astonishment, then smiled and nodded.
The two of them crept around the mound of hay until they were just off to one side behind Per and Iona. The girl got down on her hands and knees with a clear view of the action in front of her. The boy knelt behind her and pushed his dick into her dripping wet snatch. The girl bit her lower lip to keep from moaning aloud as the boy began to fuck her, matching his rhythm with Per's.
Iona was gasping heavily and moaning as her passion soared. She was as turned on by Per's fucking as by the knowledge that they were being watched. Per was snorting through his nostrils as he kept up the fiendish pace he had set. He was holding back just enough to keep from ramming his entire cock all the way into Iona.
"Oh, Gods, Per!" gasped Iona, writhing beneath him. "I gonna...Oh, Gods! I'm gonna...," and Iona's body snapped taunt as her passion crested and her orgasm overtook her.
The boy and the girl were panting aloud as the boy's hips smacked solidly against the girl's ass. The girl humped back against his thrusts and her breasts jiggled with each impact. Just after Iona orgasmed, the boy quivered and shoved his cock deep into the girl's hot pussy. He moaned in pleasure as he shot his seed deep into her womb. The girl moaned and shoved back as she felt his hot sperm coat the insides of her vagina.
Per's own sexual tension had been building steadily. His balls felt like they were being squeezed tight. When Iona's vaginal muscles clamped down on his shaft, Per nearly lost it, but regain control for at least a few more seconds before he climaxed. With a loud grunt, Per shoved his cock two-thirds of the way into Iona before he bottomed out. Iona exhaled sharply as the head of his cock hit up against her cervix and then she gasped loudly as his first hard spurt of cum blasted forth.