tagSci-Fi & FantasyWomen's Worth Ch. 03

Women's Worth Ch. 03

byvalerisque©

While this story is written in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, having no prior experience with said setting will not hinder your enjoyment and understanding of the story, plot and characters. Here's some boring stuff you probably already know and don't really have to read but I've got to write down.

Dear readers: This story features creative sex and violence; if this offends you, or if you're not legally eligible to read this material, do not continue.

Legal Disclaimer: This work is set in the Forgotten Realms setting owned by Wizards of the Coast. No copyright infringement is intended in the writing of this story, which may be considered fan fiction written for recreation instead of profit, as well as a parody. However much of the story, its plot, scenes and characters are the result of my creative input and thus copyrighted material i lay claim to.

Whew. With that out of the way, enjoy the story.

~valerisque


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Kat put her hood up and rolled the hilts of her swords in her hands, readying herself for the fight to come. Not too long ago she'd watched a rude succubus hit on her best friend and lead her away. Fuming at the thought she'd entered the arena as a challenger to let off some steam, but even as she beheld her opponent at the battleground's far end, an ominous sense of dread overshadowed her anger like a deeply thunderous storm cloud. He was a hooded drow and donned a formidable suit of black plate mail with touches of purple, bearing a silver scythe dripping sickly green poison.

The arena's announcer spoke in the warbling, brutish tongue of the goblin kin, who were the arena's bloodthirsty spectators looming above, crowded around the restrictive railing. Her mind set on the fight, Kat pondered slipping her blades through some imperceptible chink in the mail, then decided to go for the jugular, the drow's head being covered by a mere hood. Then, she'd have to rely on her superior speed and try to get within the reach of the scythe, or take an opportune moment to shoot from her longbow, slung across her back with her quiver.

Somewhere above a bell rang, the ringing reverberating off the walls. The drow dragged his scythe along as he walked with a slow steady gait towards Kat, beckoning her with outstretched hand. The blonde circled her foe, who stood imperiously still.

Suddenly he lashed out at her in a swirl of silver, the scythe edge just a foot away from slicing into Kat, who quickly backed off. The drow was lightning-quick, each stroke of his weapon a split-second affair, as if he swinging a two-pound cane.

The dark elf charged into an offensive, his scythe a blur before him as he unleashed a flurry of slashes, and Kat realized she'd eventually have a back to a wall and nowhere to run. Suddenly stopping from backing off to block the scythe with both her blades, they met with a metallic clang, the impact jarring her arms.

He drew back a little, then slashed straight out, forcing Kat to hop back out of its reach, and just as she landed the drow himself was high in the air, well above her head. He was launching himself behind her for a slash at her unguarded back! At a stab of adrenaline Kat crouched low and rolled away, the sharp swoosh through where she'd stood reminding her how close she'd come.

She came back up with her blades at the ready, and they paced around each other, calculating their next move. Kat contemplated catching the scythe's edge between her blades and tugging the tool right out of his grasp, and then realized it was more likely his superior strength would tug both of her blades away.

There was no way she'd win this fight. Not in the conventional sense, at least, where one warrior overcame the other's parries to strike a fatal blow. The drow's strength was in his prowess, as a rogue, Kat was best at stealth and trickery. There had to be a sneaky, devious way of ending this. There always was, she thought, grinning harshly to herself under her hood.

Still pacing each other, far out of each other's reach, the drow was still wondering how to finish off an opponent who'd dodged his favorite finisher when the hooded girl shouted a string of arcane words and threw her blades in an arc over and above him. Blast! He should've known he wasn't the only one with magic at his disposal.

Turning and staring up at the enchanted blades, the drow prepared to parry their blows when they turned and struck at him, driven by magic. Only the blades seemed to be guided only by free fall. Too late, he realized the ruse, only to collapse in a starburst of pain as an arrow gored through the back of his skull.

The crowd clamored and cheered the new victor, who indifferently picked her swords, the scythe and the dead drow's boots up – to the victor go the spoils, after all – and left whence she came. Kat made her way back to the gladiator's chamber, collecting her prize money, then made for the taproom.

With scythe in hand, the unruly patrons of the tavern regarded the waif-like tiefling girl in new light, giving her wide berth as she had an ale at a corner table, and Val had little trouble picking her out.

"Hey! I'm sorry I had to leave." Val apologized as she sat beside Kat.

"No, it's fine. It's not like you had much of a choice, anyway. So what did she show you?"

"Oh, she showed me how she fixed the outcomes at the casino. Another crystal ball and magic, like the one in her chambers, and we discussed magical methods of security too. I learn a lot about how she guards this place. She doesn't seem to be the mastermind of any criminal organization. She just runs this place where criminals get together. Anyway, that scythe looks familiar. Oh I remember now! It belongs to this crazy jumping drow I saw earlier. Tell me you didn't steal it."

"I didn't. I fought him in the gladiator's pit and killed him."

"I see. That's impressive. I saw him do the craziest jump over a troll and slice him from behind."

"Aye, he tried it on me too. But I dodged."

"That's great, but you could've waited for me. I could've snuck into the spectators and loosed a spell or two, I know some which can't be seen."

"Thanks, but I can take care of myself when I need to."

"Oh, all right. Still, congrats! That was really great." Val grasped Kat by the chin and pecked her on the cheek.

"That's nice." Kat bit her lip, smiling.

"So what do we do now? Maybe you'd like a break? Anyone who had to fight that drow monster could use one. We should sell that scythe off quick."

"Aye. Let's get out of here."

"Aye, but this time by the front door. The one we used should be sealed up by the time we come back. We should find out how to get around to the real entrance."

The 'real entrance' was some way through the casino, and showed just how much Vera cared for security. A dozen of the burly blue ogres stood guard in the entrance hall, along with a beholder, its many eyes glaring at just about everywhere at once. At a side a trio of ogre shamans wielding their staves stood guard as well, with one scratching its hairy beer belly.

The doorway was oversized, certainly to accommodate the larger inhuman folk, and beyond was the dark slimy crawl of the tunnels of lost Sarbreen. Back in the tunnels, the duo realized they'd just walked through a wall. Looking back where they came from, all they saw was wall, albeit with a peculiar looking rune, larger than most, marking the doorway.

"An effective disguise. Very few people think of walking through walls, or of casting divining magic on a wall, and that rune is high up that wall so most could just miss it. The small army inside massacres any one who looks too closely." Val noted.

"Let's go round the bend, and I'll copy that rune."

Val cast her concealing spells of invisibility and non-detection, and the two winded through the tunnel-maze back to where they'd found their way in, with Val writing down the path they took, guided by a sense of their relative locations. Back there, they easily retraced their steps back to the surface, emerging back in the storeroom of the House of Desires.

"Let's get rid of this scythe. It's not like I'll ever use it. Too heavy; not sneaky."

"I know one of the wizards back from the guild who specializes in weapon and staff enchantment. He'll know someone who'll take this and give me a good price. Let's go."

"I'm not allowed in, am I?"

"Oh, right. No, you aren't. But we're not going to the High House, that wizard has a home outside, in Swordspoint. I've some business to take care of, at the guild, when we're done though. Won't be free for the night. Got anything in mind that needs me around?"

"I'll be okay, don't worry."

"It must have been pretty scary, that fight. How'd you beat him?" Val propped her hands on her hips.

"After he tried the jump attack we were pacing around, and then I pretending to activate some magic in my swords. I threw them over his head and when he turned around to look I shot him in the head. Oh, and I also got the boots that let him jump around."

"That doesn't sound like you. There's not much sneaking to be done in an open arena. I didn't think you would go looking for an open fight."

"Maybe not usually, but it was a really wild place so I just thought maybe I could test myself. Feel the rush and all that. You know."

"Aye I know. Those boots could be nifty. The way you won was so sneaky. But it could have turned out really bad. You threw both your swords. Still, you won. And we're getting some nice gold from this. You're a wonderful partner, and a great girl, Kaitlyn."

"I guess you want something from me." Kat rolled her eyes.

"Aye. I've thought of a new way to celebrate stuff. Let's hug and kiss."

"What!" Kat looked at Val questioningly.

"You heard me. Let's celebrate. Just two good girl friends sharing some love." Val smiled, tugging the scythe from Kat's hand and dropping it aside, holding both her hands together, between them.

"I don't know."

"We're not close enough, after so long? Or you don't like me? We're alone here."

"Doesn't feel right."

"It's alright if you really don't want to."

"No! It's just, ten seconds, tops."

"Aye."

Looking her best friend in the eye Val's hands held Kat by the chin. Nuzzling each other pink nose to red nose both girls closed their eyes as their lips met. First it was a soft meeting of warm lips, and then Val tilted her head, her tongue teasing Kat's lips apart for a full-on lip lock. Kat could feel Val's warm hurried breath on her cheeks, which were still rubbed by Val's smooth hands, unmarred by work. Val moved to kiss Kat's top lip, then her lower. It was a slow kiss, lips moving leisurely, and then Kat felt a tingle that spread through her cheeks and down her arms and legs when Val's tongue met hers. Before she could think of anything else she held Val by the chin firmly pushing her face away.

"Now hug me."

"Aye."

Kat liked the hug better. It didn't feel even the smallest bit strange but warm and fuzzy. Kat smiled to herself as her chin lay on Val's shoulder, hugging a girl she'd known forever.

"Didn't like the kiss?"

"It was alright."

"From now on we'll celebrate like this, aye?"

"Aye. You can have some good ideas at times, Val."

They made their way back onto the street; the sky burnt a coppery red by the setting sun.

Swordspoint is a neighborhood in the city close to Holyhouses and Altarside. The wizard they sought, Damien Rithgard, was a powerful mage in his heyday, although now that he was advancing in age he'd chosen a more laidback lifestyle, enchanting tools for other adventurers and trading in them.

As one might expect, the walls of his abode were lined with racks and rows of martial weapons, including some of the more exotic eastern creations that neither girl could name, and although they looked unspectacular at first glance, here and there were unnatural iridescent gleams that hinted at the power under the surface.

The wizened bald old man lounged in a cushioned seat behind a counter decorated with silver rapiers, reading a book. He appeared to be reading "Volo's Guide to Cormyr" upside down.

"Damien, remember me?" At Val's voice he looked up.

"Valeria! I could never forget a pretty lady. What wind brings you here this fair eve?"

"We've something to sell. Urm, why are you reading that book upside down?"

"Oh! Yes, it may seem strange, but... I'd rather not talk about it. Let's just say I miscalculated experimental parameters."

"I see. Perhaps you could take a look at what we've got and name us a price."

"Aye, of course. Let me get up." Fumbling a little before holding shakily onto a walking stick he got to his feet and before the counter to examine the scythe Kat placed atop.

"It's a scythe. What, you robbed a farmer? Engaged in some, shall we say, barnyard brutality? Hehehe. Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, it appears to be well enchanted. There's some poison dripping onto the counter. Well, I'll just zap it with my wand of tell-all and we'll find out all we can."

Tapping a wand onto the scythe he uttered a command word. The weapon glowed white-hot for a few moments.

"Apart from the perpetual poison there's enchantments for lightness, some measure of speed and it's keen. Meaning you don't need to sharpen the edge every now and then, it stays that way. It should be pretty light, for a two-handed weapon, at least. Them farmers must have some anger issues. You sure you want to sell it? I bet it could down a whole cornfield in a minute! Haha!"

"No, we'd rather not keep it. We're not exactly into agriculture." Val replied as Kat rolled her eyes.

"As you like. I'll give you three thou. You won't find a better price. It's rare, I'll give you that, but not a lot of people train to use scythes. Greatswords are in fashion."

"Deal."

"Arr. Let me see. Here you are." Damien placed three bags of gold onto the table while he snapped his fingers. A stone golem lumbered from a corner to take the scythe and stow it away.

"Before you go, I can see your friend looks to be the martially inclined sort. I sell any weapon you can think of, and then some, all enchanted with the most amazing magics. Remember, if you're out for blood, come to Rithgard! Have a nice night."

"Well I'll be off to the wiz guild. You?" Val asked as they stepped out.

"I'll get home and store this away, then get washed up, and snooze."

"Take care, see you soon."

"You too. Ta-ta."

* * *

With slick, glossed ebony walls and sparks of purple lightning that blazed in the night interrupting any silence with soft sizzles, the castle topped with needle spires was the High House of Magic, the impressive headquarters of the city's Wizards Guild. A man on the street had once pestered Val to help him get in, a showy noble with too much gold and time on his hands.

"Fancy life under the sea?" Val remembered asking him.

"What?"

"If you ask me again I'll turn you into a frog! Permanently!" At that the noble hurriedly scurried away.

As an Outer Circle member Val had full access to the guild's libraries and labs. Proceeding to the lab, like an oversized classroom with workbenches and lined with shelves of reagents, she found herself an empty workbench- not that there was much competition in the dead of night. First she identified all the properties of the robes she'd swiped off the dead drow. It was the way of the adventurer to seize any potential magical artifact that passed their way. There was no telling when they'd come by something nifty.

The robes turned out to confer little more than a trifling resistance to general magic. Not that she'd actually considered using them – they were in a drow man's proportions and they still smelt faintly of sweat. Besides purplish black really wasn't her style.

Folding and tucking them back into sleeve to be stored with the rest of her minor baubles, she picked some spell components off the shelves and bottles for future use – items like fairy dust and crushed diamond, while a nearby lab attendant noted her pickings to be billed. Turning to leave, she spotted another lone figure working the lab, ten rows of workbenches away, the dim disembodied glow of a light spell all that staved off the surrounding shroud of dark.

"Who's that there? Why isn't an attendant with that person?" Val asked her lab attendant, a teenage boy.

"That's lady Belinda Moonglow. She said she wasn't using any of the stuff we got. We'd know if any of the bottles or shelves had stuff nicked from them without permission. She's just doing something all by herself. Mind you, whatever it is, she's been at it for a few weeks now."

"I'm done here, you can go now."

"Aye ma'am." The kid shuffled away sleepily, his sandals rasping on the floor.

Lady Moonglow wore turquoise robes adorned with stars and was poring over a yellowed tome, with a handful of wands scattered across the tabletop. When she glanced up at Val, ten paces away, she sat up straight with a start, snapping her book shut.

In the low light, Belinda looked as Val had remembered. An elven woman with a delicately fair complexion, flowing silky black hair, emerald eyes and lush black lashes that fluttered tremendously when she blinked, she supposedly had the generic look of her famous Sembian family.

"Oh, Valeria. It's you. What brings you here at this ungodly hour?"

"I was identifying some adventuring loot. You?"

"Adventure! It never fails to sound wonderful and romantic, but too bloody for my liking. I'm just fashioning a magical device."

"Sounds interesting. Care to let me in on it?" Belinda nibbled a long varnished nail for a while before replying.

"I don't see why not. Come, sit, I'll show you." She stood and placed a stool beside her own for Val, who noticed she was about a few inches taller than herself. Tall at about 6 feet and lushly built, as opposed to elven women's typical slender willowy look, there had to be some human lurking in the many branches of her family tree.

Val had known Belinda for a few years, which were for as long as she'd been a guild member. Moonglow was by far the superior in her field of expertise compared to any other in the guild: in fact she was the Dean of Enchantment and Charm.

"Well, I had the idea for this when someone sent me, as a gift, a 'massage chair'. He'd bought it through one of the merchant houses; I think it was Storm Dragon. Some kind of mechanical contraption built into the cushion of the chair rubs your back, arms and legs as you just lie back and enjoy. Very relaxing after a long day."

"I hear you. So you thought of improving it?"

"In a way. I thought of making a chair that had a similar concept and massaged for a different sort of pleasure."

"I still hear you. Sounds like a bit too much trouble though. There're already toys around that help out with that."

"I know what you mean, Val. But this is quite different. I mean if you're using a dildo you'll have to sit up or keep your hand working it, but with my chair you just lie back ... and enjoy." Belinda flashed a sly smile. "The controls, ideally, are held by another person so the one actually using the chair doesn't have to care, and the controller gets the fun out of controlling the girl's pleasure, although the user could still hold the controls in her own hands. What say you?"

"That does sound like fun. I'm all for it. Where is it, in your office? Let's go see."

"Aye, I can't wait to try it out either, but the thing is I'm have a glitch or two to work out before it works. Right now the controls just can't connect to the chair device much."

"Aw. You got me a bit excited there."

"Sorry. Maybe you could come by my place tomorrow, and help me work it out. I've been working on it by myself for a few weeks. Maybe another girl could see through the problem I can't."

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