tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Drow's Dilemma Ep. 07: Shock

A Drow's Dilemma Ep. 07: Shock

byDrowsDilemma©

Author's Note:

A Drow's Dilemma began as a one-on-one roleplaying project and has been converted into a chapter-by-chapter format for weekly posting with the permission and assistance from my partner. It will contain a considerable amount of sexual themes such as femdom, lesbian, straight, 'reverse' rape, BDSM, group sex, romance, and other themes. This particular chapter contains lesbian themes. The main goal of the story, however, is to tell an epic tale of adventures, gods and goddesses, fae, and nymphomaniacs. This episode and every episode to come will be available for free on Literotica for the foreseeable future.


*****

Episode Seven: Shock

The three people left still technically alive watched in horror as Caleldir went out into the clearing on his own. Well, Artur and Fucking did, anyway. Ashyr was still trying to get to the fallen girl, pretty much oblivious to anything. It took the human and the goblin literally sitting on top of her to get her to stop.

"Godsdamnit, Cal, that's not what I-" But of course it was already too late. He couldn't hold back both elves at once.

Horror turned to stunned terror when the unknown wizard hit Cal just as easily as he hit Celeste. The three of them stared wide-eyed at his walking, talking apparition. Ashyr pulled the body of the dead blonde into a protective embrace when Celeste was placed in their care. Her's were the only eyes that could tear away from that horrifying form of Caleldir. She had seen worse in the darkness of her homeland. It was the limp body of her would-be-lover that drew the eye of terror. The drow pressed her forehead against the girl's still warm brow and squeezed tightly.

"Come on. I'll help you with her." Artur said sadly. "We need to get to the meeting point and away from this forsaken place."

It took effort from both man and goblin, but they managed to get Ashyr moving towards the right direction while she carried Celeste's body. Ashyr labored under the weight of the larger body, but she refused to let anyone else touch her. After a couple hours of walking up the river to the northwest, they left the shores and made a sharp turn to the south into an especially thick portion of the forest. Ashyr found it quite difficult not to get side-tracked as she struggled to follow the human. She would have blamed it on her tiredness, but there was something... unnatural about it. Made her body tingle. They came upon what looked to be a solid wall of foliage, where they stopped.

"I think it's time to rest awhile and sing the old songs." Artur said. Ashyr's ears perked up at this. Clearly it was a code of sorts, said to... someone. She couldn't tell who. There was a strange bit of magic in the air, like the spice-scent of the moss from caverns long in Ashyr's past.

"It has been an age since I'd listened to old music. Come, sing," responded a childlike voice. Then it giggled, and the drow could feel its magical presence no more. The way opened up to them. It revealed a moonlight forest that had overgrown what used to be a medium-sized fortress. It was more vine and wood than rock now, and clearly made all the more beautiful for it. Ashyr didn't care.

Gurzan and the rest of the troupe were already in the hidden fort, most of them looking rather sad and listless. Atop the tallest tower, one massive silver-feathered eagle looked down on the group, blinking her golden eyes. The old half-orc hurried up to Artur and Ashyr. "When I heard the lightning, I feared the worst!" He said. His eyes went to Celeste. "It appears my fears were justified. We had several wounded, two critically, but no casualties yet." He shook his head. "A bad business. Still, I am at your service, sir."

Ashyr sunk to the ground with her terrible burden. The drow wasn't very keen on letting anyone remove Celeste, but at that point she was too tired to resist. She pulled herself just to the side of where the forest would open and leaned against a tree there. People gave her some distance after she metaphorically bit Artur's head off when he approached to try to console her. She regretted it immediately, of course. Ashyr had no idea what to do with herself. She had seen death before, of course, and some had been relatively close to her. This was different somehow. This was just some human that was going to die in thirty years anyway. Knowing that didn't make it hurt any less.

Celeste had been bigger than her, and carrying that weight for so long took Ashyr to the edge of her stamina. As tired as she was, she couldn't sleep. There were eyes on her. People who didn't like her were watching. This would be a perfect time to strike for those who wanted her dead. The drow flipped up her hood, gathered her cloak around her, and hugged her knees until she was a lump of cloth with suspicious crimson eyes peeking out wearily. She knew that her paranoia was nonsense. If only that nagging voice in the back of her mind would realize.

--

The forest was a grey haze, marked only by sharp, searing pain, slowly coming into focus. Caleldir opened his eyes. He had revived, again, at the cost of about an acre of woodland and all the creatures inside it. He regretted the cost of his resurrections, but to his constant shame he knew full well that he did not regret the cost nearly enough to forego it if he was able to. No, he liked his own life far too much. He was no hero. He was a vampire that sucked not blood, but everything. Everything. At least this time it was only some trees and animals. Too many other times it had been people.

He looked down at his familiarly transparent, colorless hand. Well, his secret was out. He could not count on either Artur or that Fucking Goblin (heh, it was actually sort of funny...) to not tell everyone. Now that they knew that he was a man long gone: a mere scholar's ghost cloaking himself in his own corpse to hide from his deserved death. They would probably want nothing to do with him now. Well, Gurzan would understand (the perceptive old fellow probably already knew, actually), but, since Gurzan would not forsake the caravan until his obligations were over, his best hope for any sort of companionship was with the Drow. She had seen horrors far worse than him, and he knew ways of bringing back her lover. Terrible ways that would almost certainly backfire, but 'almost certainly' was a better chance than 'completely certainly' and he figured that Ashyr was not one to shy from dark arts.

So thinking, he headed towards the rendezvous. He knew vaguely where it was, since Gurzan had told him about it, but knew little else except that there was a password, and some sort of fey creature that guarded the entrance. He usually did well with fey, since they recognized him as one of their own. Fey were generally pretty understanding about terrible curses and dreadful diets, after all. Unless this particular one bore him a grudge for eating the forest, he should not have any trouble getting through.

It did not take as long as it could have for Caleldir to find the location Gurzan spoke of. Standing in the spot he was told to, he spoke the password. "I think it's time to rest awhile and sing the old songs." Hopefully, that was what he was supposed to do.

The vines opening substantially - though temporarily - improved Caleldir's mood. So, the fey guardian did not begrudge him a few trees and squirrels. Artur had not ordered the security to keep him out. Gurzan had made it to the rendezvous. This night was looking up a bit. "And I will sing indeed, good faerie voice." He said in a voice that approached his normal tone. "My mother gave me an incredibly good voice, though, sadly, I have let it go to waste for many years."

His mood promptly returned to sad, confused, a bit angry, but mostly guilty, when he saw Celeste, still a corpse, and Ashyr, still looking like someone who rather wanted to be a corpse. Before he could say anything to her, she spoke first. And what a surprise her words were.

"Caleldir." Ashyr said in a voice that spoke of her exhaustion. "You said there are ways to bring her back. You must not."

He had to admit that they were wise. It was far better to accept the inevitable, deal with the pain and the guilt, and move on, remembering the fallen for the good that they had done in life. Unfortunately, Caleldir did not want to do any of that. Celeste had been the first friend that he had lost since... since... since back then. That event had been intolerable. He had sworn that no one else would die on his account. He swore that he would lay down his life for others, not have others keep dying for him. But a young, fair maiden just starting out in life had died saving him, and here he was, unable to die. It was a failure that he was not ready to accept.

"You are right." He said shortly. "I know I must not. But I still must do something. Why should I live on? I, who should have been dead long ago, watching those who should still be alive die? There is nothing just about that. It is a cruel trick that the universe plays on us..." He sighed. Whatever he might say, she was still right. He sat down heavily. "Legends speak of priests who can resurrect the dead. But I have not seen one in this life. My abilities are a bit more... ghostly. Or madder yet." He shook his head. That was his selfishness speaking. The dead should be left to rest. "But I cannot just do nothing." He repeated.

"Then help me carry on the old drow tradition and help me mur- ahem, take down everyone truly responsible for her death. Lord Faust, mostly." Ashyr responded. The drow's voice was grim but determined. As she spoke, only her mouth moved. She remained sitting, hugging her legs close to her chest and resting her chin on her knees. She didn't even look at Cal, only stared out at Celeste's body that had been placed near the center of the overgrown courtyard for everyone to see and pay their respects to.

"Vengeance then..." Caleldir mulled this over. He did not like revenge. It felt like blaming other people for his problems. But then again... Lord Faust and company did seem to be going off the deep end. Perhaps he did need to be replaced, eventually. It would depend on how tyrannical he got. For now, much as he would love to, Caleldir could not really blame him for doing what he felt was necessary to protect his people, no matter how that personally affected him. Caleldir shook his head. "I will assist you as I can." He said neutrally. He left the meaning of 'can' ambiguous: since at the moment he meant 'as I can without doing something against my conscience.' It was better not to say that, though.

"But don't try to bring her back. Even if you manage to get her... Well," She smiled sadly, bitterly, "an angel like her can only be in heaven right now. Whoever her deity was, She wouldn't pass up a treasure like Celeste. I wouldn't, but I guess my opinion doesn't mean much." She leaned back to rest her head against the tree behind her and looked up. "Imagine being pulled from paradise, only to wind up in this hell. It's always too hot or too cold. Water falls from the sky to ruin your equipment. Sometimes that water is ice that makes it so you can never quite get warm. A hateful, burning orb sears into the eyes in the daytime. Even the moon's painful to look at sometimes. And pretty blonde humans dance and sing into your life to make you feel-" She cut herself off, looking embarrassed.

"You are right. It is selfish of us to try to call her back from the afterlife, whichever of the many minor heavens that may be. Even if we would rather her be here rather than there. We shall say goodbye, mourn her, seek justice, and move on." Caleldir hesitated. "But if you do want to say goodbye in person, I am almost certain that I can call her ghost temporarily. I have... links to ghosts. This soon after a death, her spirit is not likely to be far. It is not necromancy or resurrection that I speak of, just a temporary summoning. But if the farewell would be too painful for you, I will not." He sighed. "Probably not a good idea. Ghosts this soon after death are usually confused."

"No." Ashyr said after a moment of thought and a range of pained expressions. "No, I don't think that's a good idea." Her voice broke. She shut her eyes tight against the world as she inhaled and exhaled a couple shaky breaths as if to try to calm herself down.

"I don't know how we're going to do it." She said softly, turning the topic back to things less painful. "That wizard will kill us if he sees us. Well, he'll kill me, anyway. You should have seen him in the city. He took out half a city block, you know. Whole houses were decimated, and the people inside. And Faust... I've seen him fight too, Caleldir. I've seen him take injuries that would bring a stronger woman than me down and keep fighting." Her words sounded exhausted in a moment of vulnerability Caleldir had never seen in her before.

"If you are up against a foe stronger than you, then your only choice is to get stronger yourself." Caleldir said with conviction. He was still not certain that vengeance was a good idea, but training would help to stabilize Ashyr's spirits immensely. He did not like seeing her sad. She did not seem to be herself like this. She seemed more herself when she was a little dark, a little angry, a little flirtatious, and a lot... well, something else. Not like this.

Caleldir smiled somewhat wryly. "Lady Duskhaven: you are a fantastic fighter, but far too fragile for those you now oppose. As for me, I am pretty much indestructible, but am completely incompetent in a fight. I have died in nearly every battle I have ever been in. I only win due to my curse, which right now is completely uncontrollable. But I know methods of keeping people alive when they really should be dead. If we work together, you training me to deal death without being dealt it, and I you to cheat death before it comes, we could be invincible."

"Yeah?" Ashyr said with a faint grin. "When you put it that way, it sounds like we could rule the world together." She was kidding. Mostly. She didn't imagine that Caleldir would really enjoy that prospect. He wanted to be a hero, after all, but not a god. It kind of sounded like her wanted the adoration, not the leadership. That was Ashyr's take on things, anyway. She was of a similar train of thought. Being worshipped sounded nice, but all that responsibility sounded absolutely awful.

A completely inappropriate question popped into her head with that ruling the world together train of thought. Well, it would be considered inappropriate by surface standards, anyway. But when had that even stopped Ashyr, in this world or below? Never, that's when. Not even when she was mourning the death of her would-be girlfriend. Perhaps especially so, since it distracted her from thinking about it too hard. "Caleldir? If you're a... Ghost? A Lich? Are your genitalia fully functional?"

"I really do not see what relevance that question has..." Caleldir said, trying not to blush. "But I am not really either of those things." He took a deep breath. "I mentioned my mother was a nymph, more or less? That is true, but it is not the whole picture. This next part may be hard to believe but..." He hesitated. "She had been a ghost for years when I was conceived. I am a half-ghost. I have never tried, but I am assuming if my mother - the ghost of a creature that should not even be able to become a ghost - was able to bear a child, I am most likely fully biologically functional."

The train of thought that led her to the question had been sort of an interesting one, she had to give him that. It didn't seem so strange to her. Where she came from, people who ruled were expected to birth healthy children to keep the race strong and their house stronger. Every matron she'd ever known or heard about had at least a couple offspring. She was thinking about his... unique situation with the context of ruling the world. Then curiosity struck.

"Guess it just always comes back to sex with me." She said in explanation. Any sentence the drow ever said that had anything remotely to do with fornication was always accompanied by a naughty grin. This was no exception, just - it was neither as wide nor as joyful as it usually was. And her eyes had fallen back onto Celeste.

"Would that really make you a ghost, then? Or even dead? Way I see it, it just makes you indestructible. Or was there a time when you were not this way?"

Caleldir's face stayed impassive, but his continuing blush betrayed his discomfort with the topic of sex. Generally, he would have completely changed the subject or walked away, but after all that Ashyr had down for him and everything she was going through, he figured that he owed her at least this much. He almost sighed in relief when the topic went to his history. His real history, not all the made up stories he liked to tell. He dropped his tone. "I have never told anyone much of what I am about to tell you. But you already know more than anyone else, so it is not like you can expose me more." He closed his eyes, gathering his thoughts. "Despite all my tales of my wild youth, my first thirty-two years were actually really, really dull. I lived in a monastery where my father dropped me off at as a baby and never got into mischief or caused any trouble. I was an apprentice scribe and librarian, later a Master Librarian, and spent a little of my time copying scrolls, and the vast majority of my time reading things. Nearly everything I know - from magic, to combat, to lockpicking, to storytelling - I learned from books. That is the entirety of my early life: one not lived in the world, but in pages."

He closed his eyes. "Now, that sounds fairly nondescript, but there is one detail that changes everything. The country I was raised in was the Theocracy of Aerdôr." That detail did get a mild reaction from Ashyr. Caleldir opened his eyes, cleared his throat, and continued. "Your familiarity with history may tell you what happened to end my quiet years. The apocalypse came. My entire civilization was destroyed by the gods of this world for blasphemous rebellion. That was twelve hundred years ago. The monastery, as one of the strongholds of the rebellious religion condemned by the gods, was put under a terrible curse: sentenced to eternal undeath bound within its mouldering walls. It was then that I realized my heritage. The tale is too long to tell now, but, to make the story short, due to help from my long-dead mother and soul-cursed father, I escaped the bulk of the gods' curse of torment. But I was still bound to the monastery. So I slept until the world changed, the monastery crumbled, and even the gods who had cursed the monastery in the first place were replaced by new ones. I awoke about four years ago, and have been wandering since. My inability to die is because of my ghostly heritage mixing disharmoniously with the divine curse barring me from the afterlife.

"I do not remember anything from the twelve hundred years I spent dormant, only that I apparently became somewhat of a local legend, spotted on moonless nights wailing into the wind, terrorizing children who did not obey their parents, killing adventurers who delved too deep into places they were not meant to go, and all that generic stuff I like to put into my stories. I am not entirely sure how I came to wake up from my long slumber. From my perspective, one moment I was helplessly trapped in the library watching in horror as my world came to an end. The next moment I was lying in the middle of some old weathered stones in a field. And that is my story."

She listened with rapt attention as he told his story. His real story. "and then, of course, I died. Sometimes they say you can still see my ghost on moonless nights." She quoted at the end of his story with an upward quirk of her mouth. That seemed to be a recurring tale of his that had not gone unnoticed by the drow. "Gods can be really petty bitches, eh, Cal?" If anyone knew how that could be, it was a drow.

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