The Champion's Companion Ch. 12byBlknMild611©
The preparations for this journey to Sellis were almost automated.
Flurries of activity started before they even returned from the Queen's chambers. The girls were already prepared to move with their elegant camouflaged robes. They brought black silk capes for discretion. Kaarthen noticed how Dulia and Augussi held court in the map room already preparing to watch from the sky every moment of their travels. Everything seemed well rehearsed. Remy re-inspected all the weapons for sharpness. Marssel re-arranged Kaarthen's clothes to look like a traveling noble woman with a Marcos as a bodyguard and the girls as maidens.
Kaarthen knew her role was new in this, but the experienced stagehands guided and directed her through her part until she was standing in Marcos' quarters with her girls ready to go. The prince had been brought in gagged, blind folded, and hooded. The women couldn't resist and had tied his hands behind his back and exposed his little girl cock. They could be so ruthless when they wanted to be.
Marcos addressed them. "We travel to Leethon now. The travel would take three days with a double crew or more than a week by horse. Leethon is a pretty place. The city is right where the tip of the mountains meet the coast. It is our west capital and sits nearly on the border. The heavy infantry will be several days in movement but it will be unlikely we'll need them. We are going to travel by my gate to Leethon and save sometime."
Ein spoke up real quick, "How will we know where we're going?"
He marched them in through doors and hallways into the depths of his apartment till he found a map. "Okay let's try this..." Marcos held out his right hand and placed it flat facing up with his fingers straight together, and his thumb along the palm.
"If the wrist is the eastern shores then the heel of the palm is the great eastern mountains. The Moxle comes after and Astrokos is the thumb across the top. Directly below them is us, and Alcanton to the east going out until the sea. The ridge of the finger joints is the chaos lands, and Osmuun is at the pinky finger joint. Leethon is to the north east of that kinda."
"What about the rest?" Mara asked staring at her hand. They were all doing it now and stared intensely as if a cartographer had actually written something somewhere.
Marcos cleared his throat. "Well...If you drop the pinky from the other fingers and pretended it was wider that would be the swamps the mud people come from. If you cut off the fingers above that into small pieces those would be the colony islands. The one joint above that is Sellis where we're going, but it's only a city on the coast. Dar Delis is the crossbow trigger finger joint, but that's just where it is since it's an island. Munklin is on the mainland between them and Astrokos, so that would make them the tip of the thumb.
Ein asked her next question looking past him at the wall map. "What's it like out there?"
Marcos shrugged. "Mud people live in swamps and used to live across the entire west coast. Sellis is a bunch of tall fair haired people who came by ship to trade long ago. They don't even remember that, but what they found was mud people. Actually, mud people are pygmies who like mud. They use it for beauty, farming, cooking, curses, mix it with cow piss, the women decorate their hair with it. People don't like them because they're always trying to push their mud on people. If a mud person doesn't like you they throw it at you with a grin, if they love you they drip it on you with a smile. Do you think Queen Mensillin sits down with a diplomat from there?" He asked rhetorically.
"When the water pulled back, the mud people followed, and Sellis is alone now. In Munklin, the dark people are taller and forgot their mud since the shit freezes up there. And it's not just them, Astrokos has deserters all over up there, werewolves too. That country is as big as Astrokos, or Menthino but their internal politics are stunted by the sisters to the west and Astrokos to the east. In Alcanton, you can disappear stepping outside your village, you don't know who your neighbors are in that forest. In Munklin, they have factions. Some allied with the sisters, some try to just build what they can, others are off doing their own thing all the time. Some people plot their return to Astrokos in conquest, or to aide their people."
"They are all barbarians generally and excellent fighters. Dar Delis sends people over on vacations, and too poach a man or two. In fact, they have most of the enclaves up there just for visits. In other areas, there are only city-states. Most of the west and the east are just wild lands."
He looked over and caught Mara idly wanking the prince. He snuck over to the prince's ear and pulled her hand away for a moment. "Damn got myself a cramp..." then let her try to finish him off with her hand as he squirmed and wriggled in protest.
He stepped back and watched Mara win and finish off the sobbing prince.
Marcos brought them to another door in the very rear of his apartment and turned back to address them. "These are all private areas. Now, what is going to happen is, you will step on the platform I tell you to. Place you hands on your shoulders, step on, step off, and wait on the other side. The place where you go may be dusty or dark but be patient and we'll all go from there. Who's first?" He said looking around.
Inside the closet sized room, four clear grey platforms a yard square stood with the names of cities over them.
"Why didn't we go to Cardin this way?" Ein asked aloud.
"The prince wasn't allowed in here, and it wasn't important or necessary." Marcos responded. "Hence, the blind fold and leather hood."
Mara stepped up first and Kaarthen watched as she popped out of the room.
"Amazing." She said, reflecting everyone's surprise. The link was still there and strong but the distance made an odd echoing resonance between them. She and the Goddess synchronized and watched the language of the machine on its next three runs. It was different than the other flowing pieces of the god's magic because of the man made controls and its purpose built nature, but she could see the stifled elegance. And more importantly she learned its magic.
Her journey was instantaneous. She felt the power wash over her. The science that Ein had learned was re-written in the god's language. It was odd to see and feel it. After watching the machine several times, she understood how it looked at her and simply re-wrote her somewhere else.
She would try later, perhaps after understanding the where of the place it picked. For now, she looked around and found out the room she was in was a small parlor. Dusty and ragged in disuse, the room had no windows, but a paneled double door was open leading to a dark hall.
"Okay, not bad. We are in an apartment in the tower here." Marcos said after popping in last.
He moved forward through the room's door and led them out into the hall. The hall lead through the abandoned apartment and ended at a larger set of elaborate paneled doors. Marcos barely turned to count them before fumbling the lock and opening the door. On the other side was dark until he opened curtains to reveal a sunlit corridor.
The hall was quiet and clean with a window and skylights letting light in through frosted glass. The floor was pale marble with red and gold carpets lining the edges of the walkway. Columns studded the walls along the gently curving corridor and curtains in between created a closed in feel. Kaarthen didn't figure a room was behind every set of curtains but they kept her guessing.
"We're in a wing of the castle. I think the western side. It's not obvious now but the castle was built up and into a mountain. Leethon has some of the largest iron forges in the world. The design of the castle is a half circle that slopes up along a cone shaped mountain. It's actually an elegant defensive design that allows for an incredible layered defense." He said as they walked to the right. Marcos seemed slightly unsure as he looked around trying to remember.
They didn't travel too far before they found people. Around the curve and near a column they heard lovers energetically expressing themselves. A lady's ankle came up out of a curtain at almost eyelevel. The parted curtain showed a curtained abscess with a dark haired woman in satin standing up against the column embracing a richly dressed man. The woman's dark thatched pussy was visible and seemed to already have spunk glistening in the hairs as the man pistoned into her.
They passed quietly with hardly a giggle and came to the top of the curves arch. Wide bay windows and a pillowed benches of ruby velvet was on their right, and gold and red stairs led down to the lef. Ein and Mara looked curiously out the window.
"Wow we're pretty high up. The whole city is like a tiered tower all the way down to the flat grassy shore." Ein said amazed.
Marcos walked over to tell them what they saw.
"It helps to think of it as narrow cone. The city is cut into the side of half the mountain. You may not see a wall but from that window, the grass out to the river is the border. Beyond that is wilderness. Forest people, villages, and city-states are out there. Leethon is like a towering beacon to all that. We can see a lot from up here."
"Like Pyressel?" Mara asked leaning back into him.
"They are northwest of us hugging along the mountains much too far to see. But yes, they are there." Marcos said pointing out the corner of the window.
"Amazing." Ein said looking around.
Rinis turned, unhooded, and ungagged the prince for him to see. She had fallen into her puppetmaster role like a fish to water.
"Prince Monto will look," She said quietly urging forward.
He looked at the view shocked.
In the daylight, they saw the roofs of buildings and balconies jutting out in the same white cut rock. The similarities of the flat surfaces made it difficult on the eye to understand what was what.
Out to the left the canal came in on a raised aqueduct. The aqueduct was almost hundred meters tall, on the sides were what looked like widen streets. They could see people and carts enter the city along the Canal. Watercraft floated along slowly before their traffic disappeared into the labyrinth below.
Out in front, the beautiful blue sea languished against a rocky cliff below an open narrow grassy strip that surrounded the mountain.
"So this is another Fortress?" Kaarthen asked bemused.
"Yes, one with a front door." Marcos said smiling. "Follow me, eventually we'll find someone else, it is better if we're together.
The stairs were surprisingly steep and took them down several floors. People in red, white, black, and gold livery came scurrying around and were more and more common as they went lower int ot tower. Finally after four floors the stairs stopped.
"The stairs are on either end now. We're in the more traveled areas now."
They walked around servants carrying scrolls and others with dishes. They were reminded of the internal bustle of the Citadel in Mavvus.
Shortly they excited the tower and with little fanfare stood outside. Marcos arranged for horses, to Kaarthen's disappointment. They rode down streets that switched back. Just as servants slowly became more common soldiers and guards became more numerous.
"I don't remember seeing a single guard in the castle. Why are they all down here?" Prince Carthin asked suddenly.
"That was only a tower, this is the castle."
"What about the people here?" The prince asked.
"The citizens of the castle?" Marcos answered facetiously with a grin.
"But they can't just go in and not be stopped?" the prince asked confused.
"Who would stop them? Why go in?" Marcos said grinning further.
"Surely the rabble can't be allowed everywhere." The prince pointed out.
"Leethon is our best steel producer. It smelts and forges iron, steel, bronze, and even gold. It trades locally with Osmuun and other land locked cities to the west. The people are too busy for walking idly up steep stairs and all that. But, if they had the time, why not go up?"
"Then an assassin could kill the Marquis." The prince pounced.
Marcos blinked. "Oh? Well that's why he has bodyguards, and besides that's not even his tower."
"What?!" The prince looked back up at the summit and was surprised to see a cluster of four slender towers each one taller then the next.
"Wait till we're a distance away you'll see more. This mountain is big. It's amazing what these earth moving people have done to it." Marcos said cynically as they were continuing on.
The front door Marcos referred to was exactly that. They walked to the castle wall then along it to an area forgotten by the sun. They stood in a forgotten portion at the far end of the city. Kaarthen felt the whole city was atop her shoulders. A wide wooden door they had to de-horse in order to cross stood in front of them. Standing in front it, it seemed Kaarthen and Marcos would have to bend in order to go through.
"Most things come by the causeway but that doesn't matter for us." Marcos announced. "Once we leave we'll continue to Pyressel and to Sellis." He finished looking at them.
"If we ever get separated go to Pyressel." He added. Making Kaarthen raise a brow.
"OPEN THE DOOR!" He shouted startling everyone.
From up above came groans and creaks of mechanics long unused and coming to life. The door lifted in to the wall. Showing the sunny, yellow grasses that went out all the way to the sea.
They led their mounts slowly until they stood surrounded by the grasses. Behind them, the door closed loudly until it fell into place.
"Well, thanks to that we are a hundred feet from the border." Marcos said mounting.
Kaarthen looked around in a hundred feet nothing changed. In one hundred yards, nothing changed either. Perhaps two miles away they crossed a stream their horses easily forded.
She looked back at the city then to him. "Why is there nothing around but you made a boundary? How will anyone know?"
"State secret." Marcos said grinning.
"You're having too much fun." Kaarthen said shaking her head.
They continued deep into the night. The six travelers finally camped in a wooded area among tall wide trees. No one was willing to start a fire despite the prince's pleads.
Merris and her younger sister Heppi stood in the dirty alley waiting for a paying stranger. Her daddy had thought it a good idea to take them out of the house and have them wait in the alley around the corner. His friends were all broke now and work throughout the city was drying up. It seemed that all the money had dried up in Pyressel recently. Now there were more fights, less smiles, and the city seemed colder and spiritless for some reason.
The cloudy day seemed to add to a feel of gloom. Today wasn't shaping up to be a good payday. Customers don't like to fuck street girls in an alley when it rains. So far, a drop hadn't fallen but the traffic was slow on the shop street they looked out onto.
Merris was twenty but she made her money by looking young. Most of the look came from her freckles and light eyes. The rags she wore helped her with the look of young misfortunate innocence. Her hair was long and feathered with a deep tan on the top of her arms and shoulders. People thought her some stupid farm girl caught up in the city. Being in the forgotten alley in Pyressel's low district, no one misunderstood how these young tender things made ends meet.
Her younger bulkier sister Heppi stood with her. Quiet as usual, she laid back against the wall. Her gut, shoulders, and thighs bulged with more than just muscle. Despite her size, she was pretty flat chested. Heppi had grown from a tomboy into a woman who could be mistaken for a large man. She wore little more then a shift but her body didn't look sexy in it at all. She looked more like a rough middle aged woman ready to scold her man. Some men wanted her, but they were the kinkier or 'confused' sort. She was mostly paid by men who wanted her back hole and called her men's names as the franticly used her, or those who sat on her face while they jerked themselves off. She had the bulk to fight some men who wanted free peaks and perks from them.
A new girl named Mara had came to the alley that day and quietly soaked up business. Heppi thought she could scare her off, but from under her robe, she produced a wicked knife and twirled it like a street performer. Heppi was mesmerized by the dancing blade until she realized tiny Mara had stepped close and poised a stiletto to the side of her neck like some assassin. They left her to stand on one side of the alley where she waited as if she was expecting someone. She stood with an unchanging smile giving everyone a hungry bright eyed expectant look.
Mara was beautiful with pale blue eyes that seem innocent, inviting, and cold somehow. She seemed to be better suited for a brothel in the high end. Her unmoving inviting manner seemed like exactly what a brothel girl at the front window would do to attract business. Her body covering purple robe seemed odd but elegant, and she already was quite popular. She serviced several men in a private corner. Merris was sure, there was no way out from back there, but no one returned from the dark corner with her.
Merris was able to get her own action despite losing regulars to Mara. She was usually bought for a fuck right in the alley. Men would bend her over and drop their robes over her till just her head and shoulders peaked out. They usually tore into her clothes and groped her body under the rags. They liked her dark hair and brown tan. The last man she had this morning had paid well but he fucked her for much longer then normal. His cock felt long and hard like his body.
Like the others, he just had her bend over a crate, lifted, and dropped his robe's hem on her back. He fucked her with little regard to her preparation not that it mattered she enjoyed it immensely and didn't have to act. He went deep but didn't rub her raw. Within a few minutes, as she moaned he quietly held her still and spurted heavily but kept on fucking. Again, several minutes later ans she came, he thrust deep as his cock twitched and emptied several thick spurts into her. Finally, after what felt like hours more intense pleasure, he thrust deep again pulling her up by the hair, and shot himself into her a few more times in strong gushing splashes. For the briefest of moments, he was still. Then he was gone leaving a handful of the fake 'guild money' to pay her. Her pussy dripped as she counted the money he left. It wasn't accepted everywhere but she had quite a lot already for anyone who would take it.
Oddly, Mara pulled her aside after she wearily tried to stand and got her hot for the next one. Well, more than hot, she was sure she got what men tried to pay for. Mara's sucking and slurping tongue made her moan loudly and writhe drawing the attention of people passing on the street.
It wasn't too much longer before the next guy came along.
"Hey girls," said a man in a long cloak. It was a heavy velvety green that she though only a noble would wear. Next to him was another man she recognized from days ago. He was the quick sort, done fast, and off like a shadow.
"Won't two of you be enough? What do ya say Ebbert?" He asked the second man who stayed quiet.
"How about a suck here?" The man in green mused parting his cloak and fumbling for his robe pull. He walked into the alley grinning slightly and pulling up his red robe under the cloak.
"No," Mara stepped in. "You are from Sellis, take us to your inn and tell us things in your room."
"What?" Merris and Heppi said. They were street girls, not brothel whores, or courtesans. Going to a room was attractive, but dangerous.