Sufferance Ch. 08byEtaski©
Author's Notes: This story is erotic fantasy written by Etaski. I reserve the right to be listed as the author of this story, wherever it is posted. If found posted anywhere except Literotica.com with this note attached, this story is posted without my permission. © Etaski 2012
The story so far heavily references both "Sisterhood" and "Subterrane" and is continued.
Please be warned this chapter contains more graphic details of gender-based violence.
It turned out to be ridiculously easy determining which direction the missing Duergar had gone. The recent path of seven grey dwarves coming into this area, all wearing metal and tools and hard boots, was clear as candlelight even with my lesser tracking skills.
The female dwarf was backtracking that path, going the opposite direction in which Jael had just run. Panagan and I were able to follow at a fast jog, which would slowly close the gap as we knew dwarves were not long-distance runners. She would stop soon and burrow in somewhere. Where we needed to be much more wary was if we got too close to her own territory.
While the gnomes were the most proficient in Underdark traps and similar contraptions, Duergar were also smart enough to find and use obstacles to slow down hunters who were faster than them—in the rare instances where they ran, of course. In other instances, they would choose their spot to stop running, turn around, and fight with everything they had.
We were banking on the fact that she likely did not have anything set up in advance; a gnome might have planned an escape route out much farther in ahead of time—rather like the Illithids did—but a Duergar was more likely to be pulling together something quickly and under duress, as the grey dwarves did not often imagine themselves to be on the retreat.
The best Duergar obstacles and traps were at their strongholds, and very rarely did the Drow see it necessary to assault one of those. Too much loss for too little gain. Here in the tunnels, with one lone dwarf and the unlikelihood that this escape had been pre-planned, we only had to catch up with her before she got close to a dwarven stronghold.
We ran into one of those hasty traps just as I began to feel that now-familiar itch of psionic energy just up ahead, as the tunnel widened into another cavern. We knew to stop before that prime ambush or trap spot and check it out before going forward, but the trap triggered without our having to touch anything. I shoved Pangan to one side and we barely avoided being crushed by a recently compromised boulder falling from a ledge over the tunnel's mouth.
Our prey made the mistake of shouting something at us, a threat and a crow of confidence not unlike her male counterparts but definitely with less bass to it. She was outside of range for detailed dark vision, but I still pinpointed her most likely position just as Panagan stood up, withdrew an arrow and nocked it. She drew back and released right where I would have said the dwarf was standing.
We heard a cry of alarm but not one of pain.
*Caught her armor or clothing,* I signed and Panagan nodded with a scowl.
*Hope that shuts her up. Can't stand that hack and gargle language.*
I smirked but made no comment. It didn't sound as coarse to me anymore, but I had a good reason for that; part of it was strapped to my lower back.
The dwarf had said, "Leave me be, Drow, or this stone will make your tomb."
Not very creative but I heard the determination in her voice...and something else. Something I couldn't define. Not fear, Duergar feared very little, but...something causing a great deal of tension.
Panagan put up her bow and drew a dagger. *Flank her,* she signed.
I nodded as we both sprinted in opposite directions, circling around intending to trap her on either side. We didn't see an obvious escape route for her unless she could climb the rock very quickly. As we closed on her, however, she ducked down and made her way into a smaller tunnel that went down, not up or out.
*Oh, fuck Lolth's snatch with a snake-staff....* I thought.
I heard no scraping of metal as I figured the Duergar had to be moving quickly on hands and feet in a very narrow space. We saw why when we reached the mouth; she'd shed the bulk of her armor and her helm and left it behind. It had been a good idea; she'd no doubt get hung-up by it if the passage got any smaller farther in. It reminded me of the path I'd taken underwater to avoid the sentry point and ultimately reached the Consort's tiny farm of solitude, only it wasn't underwater.
Panagan cursed with her hands but stayed silent, then looked at me. *I'm not going in there. She'll collapse the tunnel on us.*
No doubt. Or there might be other traps. This tunnel was intentional—built, not natural—and that close space would be very hard to fight a psion. Dexterity and evasion would mean very little.
*We don't know where she'll come out,* Panagan continued.
*Are you saying she's escaped?* I replied.
She hesitated, not wanting to admit that outright, but did not have any ideas on what to do.
I only had one idea that might off-set our disadvantage, but I could not do it with Panagan watching.
I took off my cloak and rolled it up. *Don't suppose you'd carry this?*
She jerked her head no. Fair enough. I wedged it between two rocks, less obvious than the discarded, dwarf-sized armor.
*What are you doing?*
*Going in. I'll try to flush her out. You stay up here, watch for her to pop up.*
Her look of disbelief also held mocking laughter. *If you want to just walk into the trap, go ahead!*
I wasted no time arguing but ducked down and slipped into the narrow crawlspace headfirst, just as I'd seen the Duergar do. After I'd crawled on my belly using elbows and knees to get just out of sight of Panagan, I reached back to loosen the Feldeu from my belt.
This was a risk, of course, but if I was in a Duergar-made place, I could make the gamble that some interesting knowledge might rise up if I were crawling with a ready erection after a short female dwarf. If nothing surfaced, I did not have to move forward; I could still back out without getting trapped at this point.
I loosened and tugged down my pants, squirming to get it over my hips in the close space and simultaneously sticking the bulbous end of the phallus into my mouth, sucking off the dust and grit that had collected from exposure, spitting it out, then going back to slicking it up with as much saliva as possible. The previous fight and seeing Jael run off in perfect health had left me somewhat aroused, but I still needed the added moisture.
I lay on my side and opened one leg until it touched the top of the passage, pressing the bulb into my sex without delay. It burned a little as I stretched myself too quickly, but soon I had it seated and I whispered the command word. The attachment and rush of pleasure was not diminished much for the lack of foreplay, but instead of lying there stroking it as I wanted to, I hurriedly pulled up my leathers again to secure them, repositioned my belt, and marveled for a moment what it felt like to have this tool straining so hard to be released, pressing scalding hot against my belly and creating a visible ridge beneath my clothes. It made me want to crawl faster, to be more aggressive in my hunt after this...this...
I breathed raggedly for a few moments, trying to think past the rising lust and watch the tunnel around me. My eyes had adjusted, and I saw the scrapes left by pickaxes and chisels; it wasn't extremely recent but certainly not old, maybe a score of years. There were several of these in various caverns between here and Rothlech Deep, for emergencies like this one. It would lead to an underground source of water and another chance to lose any pursuit. With any luck, they had left mounts on their way here.
I knew I only had maybe half a klick of crawlspace before she'd reach the water.
I slithered along as quickly and quietly as possible; I could hear the female dwarf scrabbling up ahead, breathing heavily and not nearly as silent as I was. I could smell the heat coming from her ore-dusted skin. I would catch her, and I would grab her, hold her down...
*Right,* I told myself. *She's got large muscles in her arms and legs from working for the males in the forges every cycle of her life. Let's just wrestle with her in a small space and see if that turned out any better than it did with the last one...*
My thought drifted as I wondered exactly what I planned to do once I caught up.
Something told me I only needed to touch her, just touch her skin.
And then what?
I didn't know. *Just touch her—
I kept crawling and saw the trap hatch above my head immediately, as if I knew it should be there. It was a simple trap, but potentially nasty. I could hear as something slapped a bare tail against the enclosure. Something poisonous was in there and ready for when I snagged that impossibly thin metal wire that she'd set up as she passed by this spot....
I reached into a pouch and pulled out a small metal wedge that I could either press into softer substances or hammer into stone using the hilt of my dagger. In this case, I didn't want to noise, so forced it in at an angle through the lighter material that made up the hatch door itself and the filler they'd used to try to camouflage it. Somehow I got the perfect spot, and it sealed the hatch closed. Now I could remove that wire which I could neither crawl under nor over, and I continued past unmolested.
My quarry had paused up ahead to see what happened with the trap. It took her too long to determine that I'd somehow gotten past it without tripping it and I could actually make out the smooth, bald line of her round head before she saw me clearly and made a sound of surprise.
My muscles seemed to explode in a surge I would not have tried without the hard prick pulsing against my abdomen, but it seemed to have surprised her as well. She got one good kick—a hard one—to my side before I grabbed her leg, hauled myself up and threw my relatively slight weight on top of her.
These were the Duergar impulses guiding me, I knew; in the proper body, the male's weight on its own would have prevented her from doing much. My weight was awkward for her but nowhere near dense enough to keep her from throwing me off and against the stone. Of course, my real training kicked in at this point because I wanted to live, and I had a blood-stained dagger out and in front of her face, very close to her blank, white eye, just before she could throw me off.
"Shh," I said, "one scratch is all it will take."
I was telling the truth, and she knew it. Something else shocked her into going still as well, and it was only when she spoke that I realized what it was.
"S-so why have you not already, Drowen?" she hissed, as wary as she should have been with the poison dagger so close.
I'd understood her so clearly, and she had understood me. It hadn't been the trade language; I'd spoken in her tongue.
Her expression changed as my weight shifted, settling on her so our joints weren't grinding together. It was a look of dawning horror as she felt my erection.
"Are you... male or female?" she asked.
I half-smiled and didn't enlighten her, only pressed the Feldeu into her and rubbed against her a bit. It felt good and she didn't smell so greasy as I remembered the male Duergar being. She had no hairy beard; indeed, it looked as though she did not have any hair at all: not on her head, her cheeks or chin, not on her bare arms or the backs of her hands. She was completely smooth, dark-skinned but lighter than my own, with strong features—the heavy jaw, cheeks, and brow, plus the rather large nose and prominent lips common to the Duergar.
The most notable quality at the moment, however, was how incredibly plush her breasts her—much larger than mine and soft enough on which to lay my head down, though I would never risk that. Almost everything about her was hard from years of physical labor, except for those breasts. The impulses told me she was a young but fully-grown grey dwarf, and decently comely for her race.
She stiffened beneath my next slow, dry hump.
"Unnatural creature!" she exclaimed in a hoarse whisper. "Get off me—!"
"Be still, Tugren," I commanded lowly in a tone unfamiliar to me, but she immediately stopped her attempts to struggle. I was a bit surprised at her obedience, and for some reason I felt no discomfort at what I was doing—though I should have.
*Tugren.* I had called Gaelan that, after climaxing inside her that last time, wearing this Feldeu...I tried to reach for a meaning to the word but nothing came to me quickly...
"Kill me or let me go, but be done with it," the Duergar demanded, seeming to recall that she didn't have to obey me. "I will fight to my last breath than endure your sick torture, Drowen!"
That was one opinion where we differed. I could endure the "sick torture" just fine. It was just sex, pain, and power-play. Why was it worth dying over? Not that I felt the need to debate that with her; I wasn't even sure whether that was my intent or not. True, I was comfortable lying on top of her, my Feldeu pressing against her inner thigh and her breasts overwhelming mine in a surprisingly pleasant way, but there was something else I could do here that might have more value to me...
I hadn't yet touched her skin, I realized, though the heat of it was slowly building between us in the small space. My gloves had prevented contact, despite the fact that out of her armor she wore a short-sleeved leather work tunic and her thick, muscled arms were exposed.
"Why did you run?" I asked, still speaking in Duergar. "You and six others were chasing a Drowen. I never saw you, so you ran before we arrived to take care of them."
She shook her head defiantly.
"You will answer every question I have, or I will paralyze you from the neck down, Tugren," I reminded her I still held the blade by gesturing in front of her eyes slightly. "You will have to watch every unnatural thing I do to your body and not be able to lift one finger against me. It will only hurt after the poison wears off but until then you'll feel absolutely nothing while seeing everything."
The threat was perfect and hit her very deep; I felt the flash of heat flooding her and heard her heart rate nearly double; her expression flinched once before she ground her teeth and glared up at me.
"You intend to do that anyway," she accused.
"Actually it depends on you, young one," I answered, "maybe I will not, if you talk with me."
I could believe that I was telling her the truth. It wasn't my first choice for how I would spend the next few hours, but if she just played the stubborn, hard-headed dwarf who couldn't see a Drow trying to bargain when it was staring her in the face, then—
"What kind of bargain?" she asked and I blinked.
"Did a little mind-sweeping, hm?" I asked wryly. "You are a psion, then."
She nodded cautiously. "And you...have been touched by one. You are female and yet..."
Her tone held a little bit of awe in it, and I didn't understand why. But now I knew exactly what I wanted from her.
"Why did you run?" I asked again with more force in my question.
"I sensed you, it must have been you," she answered.
"What did you sense?"
"A surge. We had not yet found the place where our scout died but we were close, I knew it. Then we saw a naked Drowen. She was running from something down the tunnel where we needed to go. The fighters had to take care of her before we could continue and face whatever was in the tunnel."
Hadn't that been successful for them?
"That still does not explain why you ran before the fun started, Tugren."
"Stop calling me that!" she cried, anger making her face full of bright energy in the blackness. "I am not your Tugren! I will not be! I'll fight you if you try!"
Finally a meaning found purchase with some context in my mind. Like a consort and a servant together but...more strongly bound. Ritualized, monogamous, entirely so the male could know for sure that he was the sire of any children that came from her womb...
That was one disadvantage to following bloodlines through the male: having to control the female's choices, or get her to control her own. Natural impulse and opportunity often didn't go that way, I knew; better to follow a line through the mother, like we did. Of that parentage, there could be no doubt.
But I had called Gaelan that name as well. She was not...that. Not to me. She could not be a bound consort or servant who bore me children. Maybe it could also mean whoever submitted their body to the pleasure of another...the one intended to be used, for pleasure or breeding...
As I was quiet a moment thinking about this, she shuddered once and I heard her breath catch on a strong emotion.
"Why did you run?" I asked for the third time.
"My Vungren ordered it," she finally said. "He said a ghost was coming and I...was not strong enough to face it yet."
"Ghost," I repeated.
"You. You carry his ghost in your mind."
I found it hard to argue that point, given that we were speaking in her native tongue and I felt calmed and pleasured by her scent and her presence.
"Who is 'he'?" I asked, dreading this to be a mistake, but I still wanted a bargain with her and I needed...something. Information. Some connection.
"My first Vungren, Kain," she murmured. "I served him before he left to scout and did not return. He...must have run into Drowen, and you must have been touching him when he breathed his last."
If the rock to the temple had been the killing strike, then we'd definitely been touching; dwarven prick had still been softening inside a leaking, Drowen cunt.
"They brought you with them, the only female," I almost sneered, "to find your former mate's remains, but sent you away as 'not ready' when you nearly found it?"
She did not reply at first, bewildered at my derisive tone. "I do as they bid me or I am beaten for it."
I huffed a laugh, wondering at the mix of confusion inside me. I personally was not impressed at her answer but I shouldn't care so much; if that was her sex's lot with her race then no wonder she was the first female Duergar I'd ever laid witness to. I'd certainly never heard that they were entirely bald with large, buoyant breasts and thick, soft lips.
But why did I feel...indignant, mentally cursing the stupidity of the group we'd just killed?
Of course they were stupid. They weren't Drow.
*But she could have...freed me...if they had just sent her down the tunnel as they cornered the Drow. That had been part of the mission, to find answers, yet they sent her away! She knew me, she would have sensed me... Idiots inhaling their own beards! Always underusing the female psions, always! And her new Vungren had known something about it...it served him right that he had died so painfully!*
She stiffened again as my dagger wavered closer to her skin, as my other hand closed on one of her large breasts. I growled lowly, fondled it absently as the heat in my groin had generated some sweat between us.
"Stop," she whispered. "Tell me what else you want, you said you would not..."
"Help me, Tugren."
The female dwarf was utterly silent after that plea. Rightly so.
"Let me touch you."
Her white eyes widened and she shook her head slowly, still wary of the stained dagger near her eye.
I didn't accept her refusal; I moved the dagger to the side and leaned down to kiss her, mouth to mouth. So much flesh to her lips, soft and full, it felt like I was pleasuring a particularly swollen, highly aroused set of Drow netherlips...
As soon as I felt it, however, there was a flash in the back of my skull that caused a disconnect between my mind and my body. I was only aware of her more intangible presence, and the way—both familiar and foreign—that we could merge our consciousness together. The first feelings to pierce through the veil were grief, denial, and fear. There were no actual words but I still struggled to understand them that way, forcing them into translation so I would not so utterly insane right there and then.