When Worlds CollidebyDangerKat©
The morning had crept up on the world on it's usual cat-silent paws, tip toeing over the horizon after walking in paints of amber, rose, and lavender hues. Nature spread the paintbrush dawn and smeared the pastel palette into the coming day, sneaking through the bedchamber window and going unnoticed by the prone figure in the bed. Darkness fled the oncoming dawn in a slow retreat, fingers of grey stretching through the diaphanous curtains drawn over the wide panels of glass that revealed motes of dust meandering along on a lazy agenda. Satin whispered, teasing the dawn with the hush and gasp of drawn breath as the room's sole occupant twisted in the confines of silvery cloth caressing silken skin.
Silk murmured against satin, tuned by a soft sigh as the morning gently tapped at a sleeping mind, entreating it to enjoy the glory of nature's splendor. Silvery satin gave way to the struggling of consciousness soon as the occupant rolled on the feather mattress cradling sinuous flesh tenderly and pulled away to reveal the sharp contrast of color. A bare arm hung limp from the side, willowy limb nearly scraping the knuckles of sculpted fingers over the pristine white of the marble floor. Wiry muscles corded the sculpted arm to form the delicate curve of a shoulder ending in the sharp turn of the bone underneath flesh and gave way into the valley of a slim spine, arching low until the sheets obscured the eye, but not the curves. The skin was painted like midnight silk, pitch lining the twists and turns of living flesh that stood out blankly against the shimmering cloth that seemed to outline the plump curves she was blessed with from behind down toned legs that had managed to sneak the curled fold of her knee out from underneath the sheet.
At the crest of ebony flesh was a crown of luxurious waves that nearly matched the bedclothes in the color of glistening, new fallen snow. Blackened ears pinned back the wisps of curls as they came to sharpened points, just like the rest of her features. Elvish cheekbones were set high, brows a thin line of silver-white in a sea of darkness over dusky lashes that fluttered against her dark cheeks like smokey butterfly wings in a breeze. A thin silver chain wound around the slender throat of the dark sleeping beauty, the rest obscured by her position. Plush lips parted, their hue as dark as the rest of her with the slightest violet tint, a flash of pink slithering out to moisten their dried surface. The dark elf, Sherridan, was the picture of sensual serenity in repose, with her pristine hair spread in wild disarray over the down pillow as if winter had come to her bedroom while spring danced merrily outside her window. The oaken headboard loomed over her head darkly, spreading over the wide span of bed that she called her own for the time being, and framed her with carved nymphs and satyrs, vines of wine grapes and leaves so detailed they seemed taken from life and impressed upon the wood.
The furniture in the rest of the room was much the same, ornately carved oaken desk, set in meticulous order. Quill pen and inkwell, parchments, and a black tome with etched silver runes, were positioned neatly there. On a rack nearby hung a pressed robe that could have been a cardinal's. Indeed, it was a priest's robe with the high necked collar and severe cut of long sleeves ending in the low sweep of a skirt, but it was devoid of color except for the purest black. At the skirted feet of the priestly robes, a beltpouch was neatly folded, it's contents organized inside and well hidden from the prying eye. Whereas this rack held only attire, the next rack held weaponry, displaying the finely crafted steel of a shortsword made by Elven hands. Its etched metal swirled from tip to hilt, and the edge honed razor sharp. Hanging from a peg underneath was the wound length of leather, scaled from end to tip where it finished off in a set of deadly barbs that hummed with their own energy, a hunger for fresh blood. On the next peg beside it was another wound length, this one of deceptively slim chain links and rods that had a hum of their own, thriving on battle.
For a creature bred underneath the world, this was odd surroundings to be found in. However, much of her recent life was far from the normal lives of her kindred beneath the earth. Blanketed in velvety darkness, the world of the dark elves was filled with intrigue, espionage, and murder. The constantly shifting balance of power roiled like a tidal wave flows just underneath the surface of the ocean until it crests upon the beach with all it's destructive glory. A society bent on absolute chaos led the hand of anarchy in slim hands, where the red glimmer of eyes knew no shadows and the methodical plotting for conquest knew no ends. From birth, every dark Elven child was drilled to hate the surface world, the bane of the sun burning into their sensitive eyes and the rest of cultured civilization never understanding the power and glory that was in their home of eternal night. Hate was reviled with hate, tempered by violence with the utmost control to find the most efficient means to the end, to power. In the dark of the world, where the sky was jagged stone, one house over threw the higher one for social status, or failed and was completely obliterated.
One such an occurrence set the cogs in motion for a unique life of servitude to the cloth hanging like a dark figure, dormant and waiting for her to awake. In a failed raid, her lesser house was washed with the blood of nobles so that no witnesses could petition for retribution. Plundered, then burned, the house fell to the might of progress and the law of the Beast, the weak shall always fail. Were it not for a single nursemaid fleeing the carnage while the bloodlust of the soldiers was tempered by rebuttal, Sherridan would have met such a grisly fate. It seemed Chaos had other things in mind for her.
Her first memories were of the lodge, a dark castle in a niche of the city that was rarely visited by anyone else, no wayward traffic passed its doors that were knit with bone with intricate, almost loving, care. More like it scrambled up the parapets, melding with stone to create morbid works of art with practical applications. These light fixtures holding globes of faery fire cast an eerie blue glow dagger edged fence of bone encasing the grounds, house and graveyard all. Here is where the dead were brought, no matter what causes and no questions ever asked. There was no better way to dispose of an unseemly corpse than to give it to the Necromancers and the Necropriests alike. Surrounded in tomes of pressed flesh and bound in artistically crafted bone, she read the pages scrawled with the fluid Elvish script in blood ink. The secret realm of spirits opened up underneath her fingertips, hungry for the untold knowledge of ages for there was no better bastion than the mind of the finest long since left their mortal coil. She studied tactics with the finest generals, those who died in their sleep and those who died in their glory ... philosophers who had nothing better to do than to churn their spectral thoughts and refine their theories, music and math, science and sorcery. Last of all, she learned the fine art of torture, from long dead practitioners and recipients both, revelling in the creativity and purity of pain.
Yet, Sherridan's life would be drastically changed a bare century and a half into her service and research, when she was whisked away from her home to save another. A most ragtag band of vagrants from other worlds joined her in this quest, stolen from their lives for the need of the this one. Outfitted with weaponry and augmenting their armor, the band were called The Chosen, and sent off to obliterate the scourge of the land with their own meager talents. None of them knew where she came from, and she knew none of their homes either. They were not bound by the compunctions of racial hatred or society disdain. They accepted her easily, giving her free reign to use her talents with the spectral world and the more corporeal one. This is how she met Michael, servant of the wind and rain, of fire and earth. His emerald eyes pierced her wholly, cutting straight through every boundary she'd ever erected as easily as a blade would through silk. How she tormented him by carving the trees, burning leaves with her command of fire and he always retaliated with his bladed tongue, scathing comments that hurt more than she dared admit. The most reluctant heroine bucked and fought at every chance, but when the opportunity for salvation came in the form of an invitation to the Dark, she fondled the knob but did not open the door.
Daylight caressed Sherridan's possessions until they were in the full, rich golden glow of the morning and she sighed, twisting again in her bed trappings until it had revealed more of her slim, ebony legs. Not unlike her surface kindred, her limbs were built long and slender with delicate bone structure and inherent grace, but the comparison ends there. While her racial cousins were willowy nymphs of the woods, slender and athletic, the dark elf was graced with voluptuous curves for a more carnal society. Churning the sheets with some unknown dream, she rolled again to her back, and the plump mounds of femininity bounced gently with the motion of her body, the rest bared by her tossing and turning. Fingers splayed over the flat span of her belly, silken ebony skin concealing the work hardened ridge of muscle underneath. Lips parted again, sucking in a gasp that gave her dark breasts a bounce, crested with hardened nodules of pitch as her hand slid over the pliant flesh to invoke a shiver. Broader hips led to sculpted thighs, parted in anticipation for the slow progression of her hand, as her heels drew back on the mattress for purchase. Those hips tilted, daylight now glistening on the thin sheen of sweat that coated her dark form, slim fingers sliding over the slicked surface to find the hairless folds of her cleft, drawing another pitched little sigh.
Those slender digits parted her netherlips to find the delicate jewel of her sensitivity, strumming the nub slowly with dream sent hands that she envisioned belonged to another. Sherridan's mind filled in with the strong, calloused hands plunging into the dewy recesses to make her body sing with appreciation. He smelled of earth and leather, sweat and sunshine, everything she was told to hate but exhilarated so very much. Her dreams supplied his rich mouth closing over her gasping one, swallowing her cries in a torrid kiss while his freed hand claimed one ripe globe, rolling the turgid nipple between his rough thumb and forefinger. It was her own hand that seized her breast, hot under her sensitive palm, and pinched the dark crest to simulate the dream's hold on her. Hungry kisses bruised her lips, angled to spear her mouth with the heady flavor of his tongue where she parried with her own, swirling and stroking in their own lover's dance. His throat vibrated with a low growl, coarse and primal as the beast flowed in his veins, spurring his need on as she answered with her own throaty purr. Passion burned her like dry kindling, licking her flesh with delicious flames that raged with her pounding pulse and her spine bowed off the bed to push her insistently close.
His name spilled from her lips, breathed to a room filled only with the new day and her own worldly goods, where neither could question her motives. Lithe figure twisted and writhed in the throes of dream induced ecstasy, her own hands mirroring the art of her lover as two fingers dipped into her honey well and spread, tickling the inner source of her delight and spreading the liquid heat over her churning thighs. Another arch balanced her on her hips and shoulder blades, soft mewling cries telling the empty chamber of her wondrous torment while her fingers pinched and plunged, drawing her ever closer to the cliffs where it would push her over the edge and into a bright explosion of pleasure. Her most sensitive flesh throbbed, aching with the need for release as her fingers worked at a near frenzied pace, so very close to that pinnacle. That is, until the spell of dreams was broken by the gentle rapping of metal against the thick oaken door.
Shaken from her dream, confusion flooded her senses at first as she searched the room for the sound before it repeated. Glacial blue eyes swung towards the door, her lips still parted and panting as she fought for control of her body. A shiver raced the length of her spine, reminding her of what almost was and those lips uttered a soft curse in her native tongue. "A moment, please..." Sherridan replied to the call and she pushed from the bed, crossing the span of marble floor to the vanity where a bowl and pitcher waited. Cool water cascaded in a shining stream to pool in the porcelain bowl, swirling with gentle ripples as the pitcher was set aside and she cupped her hands into the bowl. Splashing her face with the water cupped in her hands, she sighed in temporary relief as it cooled her burning skin and served to slow the pounding of her heart. The shimmer of droplets etched her features as she peered through the mirror to her reflection, her icy blue eyes questioning her own dark face. Why? They said, snowy white brows knit in confusion. Why dream of Michael, of all people?
A priest of death and decay has no reason to feel in such ways towards a priest of growth and life, do they? Sherridan puzzled over this still as she dried her face and pulled a silvery robe hanging from a peg beside the vanity. Tugging her arms through the sleeves, she pulled it over her nakedness demurely, securing it with the strap and a loose knot. Every muscle in her body screamed exhaustion, respite left in the confines of her tousled bed. By the gods, if this was something so trivial to have awakened her so early in the morning, there would be hell to pay. She would personally delight in playing every torturous trick she'd ever learned on the face waiting behind the door.
Their bedraggled return only the night before wasn't the first of such. After every excursion into the wilds of the continent, returning it to order and peace from the ravages of the dark armies and augmenting their own strength with their help, they made their way back to the Capital City to rest and recuperate. Often times they were met with a reception once the scouts told the city that their heroes had come home, and they all smiled, waved, and went straight to bed. Many weeks before, a coastal city had lost contact with the capital, no traders coming through the mountains nor ships had set sail from her shores. Dispatched to the coastal town, the adventurers had found the city to be occupied by Minotaurs, fierce tribal beasts that walked upright with the horned heads of bulls and massive strength. Homes and docks were destroyed, ships sunk and the people enslaved, but not for long. Sherridan and the rest of the band toiled long and hard, eradicating the Minotaur forces and rebuilding their defenses. The freed populace gave everything they could to assist, and when the monsters returned with reinforcements, they were met with a formidable resistance as every available resource was exhausted.
The day was won, and the day dawned on their first day back, the least they could do is let her sleep! Raking her damp fingers through her blizzard hair, she grumbled her way across the room were the rapping began anew. "I'm coming, I'm coming..." Her tone was less than welcoming, or as excited as previously when the words held a far different meaning. Deft fingers flipped the latch and tugged the heavy thickness of the door open for her pale eyes to peer into the hall. Waiting there was the tall, statuesque form draped in voluminous royal blue robes. Silver and gold runes danced over the hems and seams, embroidered with painstaking care by the finest hands and gleaming from throat to pristine marbled floor. All was concealed, hands folded into sleeves and the folds of the robe draping over the floor in a train. All except the weathered face, donned with a long, feathery white beard that almost matched the hues of her silvery white hair, and a long drape of hair to match, flowing over his shoulders and down his back. Under a bushy set of brows, a pair of sapphire eyes looked down on her kindly, his smile hidden by the whiskers but evident in the spread of wrinkles a long his eyes and cheeks, even in the slight crinkle of his long, hooked nose. The top of her head barely reached his bearded chin.
Nilrem, the eldest sorcerer in the city, had come to pay her a visit and evaporated all thoughts of retribution for waking her from such pleasant, if confusing, dreams. Sherridan was suddenly glad that her dark skin hid her blushing well. "Good morning, Sherridan ... I must apologize for disturbing your rest." His voice reminded her of the wind in leaves, never getting above a whisper and forcing you to pay close attention to his every word. "I would have waited until later if it were at all possible."
"No disturbance at all, Nilrem, you grace me with your call." Her voice was a gentle caress of her lips and tongue, breathy tones with an arrogant undercurrent that was faintly reminiscent of a cat's. Like a cat, she was a fickle one, quick to hiss and claw if rubbed the wrong way. However, one does not greet power with the baring of teeth and she was well in her ability to tuck her paws underneath her and be diplomatic. Nilrem was the summoner that called her across worlds with the others, depositing them in their new lives that have been so richly embroiled that she could almost forget her past one. Almost. Still, Nilrem always showed her kindness, making sure the rest of the city catered to their whims and every available resource was offered. He had supplied her, and the rest of the party, with these luxuriant rooms, food and service for any need they might surmise. The darkling elf was not without gratitude.
Nilrem smiled for her graciousness, offering a slight bow as her fist clenched the robe at her throat. It wouldn't do to be exposed before the most powerful wizard in the whole of the land. "Still, I regret having to catch you unawares, but I must let you know that a matter of great importance has surfaced and I must leave immediately."
"Leave?" The news caught her off guard, dusky lashes batting her cheeks as she blinked incredulously. The most valuable asset to the war was leaving in these times of crisis, and why was he telling her when their self proclaimed leader, Michael, is right down the hall? "Is there something amiss?"
"Nothing I shouldn't be able to handle on my own, Sherridan. You need not worry for my safety, and I trust that you will make the others aware of my immediate departure." He took another small bow, which she returned with her robe secured at her slender throat, and he moved down the hall, robes rustling softly in the empty corridor. Puzzled still, Sherridan watched him disappear beyond the bend and stepped out of her room. Releasing her robes, she smoothed the wrinkles and shook her head slowly, sending wispy whorls of her hair dancing over her cheeks. Never a dull day in this land, was there?
Bare feet padded quietly over the cool floor, the robe skirting her calves as she moved through the corridor with black panther grace. Hips swayed underneath the fabric and her heart suddenly began to pound as she neared the door just a few yards from her own. Pointed chin touched her shoulder as she turned to look at the thick wooden portal of her own room, shut tightly against the outer world and inviting her to retreat to the safety of its confines. A slowly drawn breath quelled her instinct to flee and she took the last few steps, closing the distance between her and Michael's door. For a long moment, she stood there, stone still, icy blue eyes willing to see through the thick oak and into the room beyond. His door was a match of her own, carved with lifelike vines threading around the boarder of the wood with a simple latch and handle. Inky fingers splayed over the carvings, feeling the vibrance underneath her fingertips as they slid over it slowly. Michael would like the beauty rendered in these, the reverent hand that caressed the wood to revere the earth and the creatures that blessed the wood.