tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Drow's Dilemma Ep. 41: Storehouse

A Drow's Dilemma Ep. 41: Storehouse

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. 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. All characters that engage in sexual or suggestive situations are mentally and sexually mature: the human equivalent of 18 for their race.

*****

Episode 41: Storehouse One

Once Caleldir and Selene met up again with Ashyr in the common room of the inn they were staying at, Caleldir led the trio out of town about two miles to a nondescript building built into a rocky hill. There was a door large enough for a spider-tank to go through, although Caleldir seemed rather more nonchalant than he would be had they one of those behemoths to fight. He sidled up to a much smaller side-entrance, and flipped open a panel to the side of it. A complex three-dimensional puzzle made of light appeared above it, and he quickly began twisting and manipulating the puzzle.

"Althaia apologized to me - well, to us, really - about her time spend seducing all those people in Clachleom." Ashyr informed them while the door was being opened. An amused grin was spread across her face at the thought of such a ridiculous apology. She casually entwined her fingers with Selene as she spoke. Caleldir would have gotten the same treatment if his hands hadn't been busy.

Selene turned to look her her older cousin with a similar incredulous look that Ashyr had used when she first heard Althaia's words. "What? Really? Why?"

Still grinning, Ashyr shrugged. "Yeah, I thought she was upset about the praying to her god thing. We pretty much forgot she existed after that prediction for... obvious reasons. I guess she didn't like that much either, but she thought it was all her fault."

"Huh. She apologized for that. Of all the things." Caleldir sighed. His rambunctious 'cousin' had actually started to grow on him, not that he wanted to admit it. "Well, as long as she realizes that in the future she should actually exercise a modicum of self-control, things should be fine." It was at moments like these that the significant differences between the light and dark elves was apparent.

"I don't know; she seemed pretty self-controlled to me. She actually came back in the morning, for one thing. Imagine the damage she could have done if she'd stuck to one town and seduced people day and night." Ashyr commented with a shrug. "And anyway, I think I prefer her actions as they were; we needed time to get used to each other as a trio. That's not to say I won't enjoy her joining in on us in the future, mind you, now that my two favorite people are more familiar with each other." She gave them both a fond grin and an idle rub on the arm.

Selene rolled her eyes at her cousin, but there was a hint of a grin on her face.

After a series of implausible complex codes, the side door slid open. [Passcode and Aura Accepted. Welcome, Caleldir Hissael.] A light female voice stated. [You are the first visitor to Storehouse 1 in 1232 years, three months, twelve days, two hours, and twenty-eight seconds. 2589 attempts at break-in have been stopped in that time.]

"As I thought." Caleldir said jubilantly. "Untouched.

Both drow turned to him with their own versions of happy smiles. "I... take it the defenses won't try to murder us, then?" Ashyr asked.

Stepping into the storehouse, Caleldir turned to Ashyr to reply to her question. "No, no they will not. They recognize me. Do you not, Storwa?"

[I do, Master Librarian.] The base replied. [Since the rest of our land is cursed, everything I store belongs to you.] The female voice crackled. "Including my heart and body." It said in a less machined tone.

"Eh?" Caleldir said sharply.

[How can I assist you with your inventory needs?] The base said mechanically, as if the little blip had never happened.

Caleldir rubbed his forehead. "That is the problem with Artificial Intelligences." He muttered. "Always developing sapience and then falling for their users." Speaking louder, he addressed the base. "Storwa, please bring me the materials for three... no, four Rituals of Death Cheat, and for one for ritual of Underground Enhancement."

[Right away, Master Librarian.] Storwa replied.

A snicker came from Ashyr. She stepped inside the building to join him. "Poor Cal," she joked, "Can't even keep the disembodied voices from falling for you. Don't worry; we'll try to keep you safe from this one." 'Try' being the key word here. If this thing had a bunch of possessions of long-dead very advanced people, it probably had quite a few tools and weapons that could maim or kill them. That wasn't even taking into account the terrifying automatons that acted as guards for this place.

The younger drow let out an answering snicker at her cousin's words and likewise joined the other two. "How would that work, anyway? Does this... thing have an actual, physical body somewhere?"

"Unless this is her body and we're already inside her." Ashyr responded. Her voice practically dripped with innuendo.

Both drow looked around the place with their own versions of wickedly amused grins as if they expected to see the walls of a woman's core.

It was at times like these that Caleldir was thankful that his title way back then had been 'Librarian' and not anything that sounded even vaguely like 'Baiter'. If he had been Master of that, well, it was not hard to imagine how much worse the teasing would be. "Advanced Artificial Intellects like Storwa ('Storehouse One') nearly always have the ability to manifest illusory bodies, but are more properly thought of as being the hardware that they are made of. Storwa was one of our most sophisticated designs... but I will tell Selene all about those details at a later date. For now, please stop snickering at the innuendo of being inside, or whatever. If Storwa wants to interact directly, she can, although that body would be a conjured construct of illusions and spells. And she is not in love with me; she is simply pleased that one of her long-vanished owners had returned, and mistaking that feeling of pleasure for love. Or something." He sighed, rubbing his forehead. He did not need the headache of more female things deciding that they wanted him. That was getting old fast.

"Uh-huh..." Ashyr responded in a jokingly disbelieving voice.

Caleldir led the group to a large room with a number of what appeared to be spell-casting diagrams etched into the floor. Soon after that, several floating platforms appeared, all covered with odd items perfect for ritual casting. Caleldir rubbed his hands together. "Excellent. Now we can ward you two, Bard, and Selene against death, and give Bard that underground adaptation I mentioned so long ago. Are you ready, Selene?"

Selene watched the floating platforms with something akin to a look an artist gets when shown all the new, unsullied materials they have available to work with. Her eyes shone and a flash of delight that was almost devoid of wickedness crossed her face. She rubbed her hands together and approached the diagrams to inspect the handiwork. "This is perfect." She announced. "I'm ready; just go through the steps with me one more time so I can be sure it's right." Selene was pretty damn sure that she already committed the process to memory, but she also knew that this wasn't the sort of thing to leave to chance for the sake of her ego.

"Of course." He replied to Selene. "Here, I have kept good notes on everything. Peruse these once more, and ask me if there is anything confusing."

The older drow grinned crookedly at Selene's growing enthusiasm for this particular task. She casually leaned against one wall, crossed her arms in front of her, and watched her cousin. It was good to see her excited about something. Ashyr was always of the opinion that Selene was so much more beautiful when she wasn't trying to be a typical dour drow. She only looked away briefly when Bard settled down beside her. The wolf reminded her of something; "Do I need Bard to go fetch Althaia? I assume we all have to be here."

"I do not think that it is necessary to get Althaia." Caleldir said, sorting through the ritual materials. "At least, not yet. Once we complete 90% of the ritual for her, we pack it up and finish the last bit in five minutes once we actually find her."

[Is everything as you needed, Master Librarian?] Storwa asked.

"It is." Caleldir responded. "Storwa! Realign the ritual circles to correspond to the materials."

[Of course, Master Librarian.] The base immediately complied. [Your every wish is my dearest command.]

Ashyr let out a short burst of laughter at the storehouse's words, while Selene smirked. The younger drow seemed far more focused on the materials than what some disembodied voice was saying. She actually took a moment to pull her silver hair back and tie a bit of string around it to keep it out of her face. Normally, it hung loose and curled around her eyes and shoulders, and her vanity made her prefer to keep it that way even when it wasn't all that convenient. This, however, was far more interesting and important than vanity.

"Lovely." Caleldir muttered. He continued on louder. "Thank you, Storwa, your assistance has been invaluable. Truly you are the greatest Storehouse Animating Intellect we ever did create." The base did not respond, but the lighting began to turn a blush red. Trying to ignore that fact, Caleldir turned to Selene. "Let us begin. We have a lot of work ahead of us."

Referring to Caleldir and his notes, Selene began working quickly and efficiently. She transitioned surprisingly smoothly from haughty drow to curious student. Anything that she didn't understand fully she asked questions about. When she didn't have questions, she had observations and information about how she was taught, and how her teaching was different from Duesterra custom. She wasn't shy about divulging drow procedure that Caleldir found awkward or uncomfortable (Too much blood, sex, and spiders in awkward places for his tastes.) The younger drow was proficient at talking while she worked - in fact, it seemed to help her concentrate on the task. 'Bubbly' might have been a description for how she was acting, if such a word could ever be connected to a drow. She was still positively reserved compared to Althaia.

It was nice to see Selene acting more like herself, and it was pretty neat that she and Caleldir could have this odd sort of bonding moment, but it didn't take Ashyr long to become completely bored with the proceedings. "I'm uh- going to take Bard for a walk..." She told them in case they were paying enough attention to hear her words. Then she did exactly as she said she would, though she kept an eye on the warehouse and did not stray far.

"Be sure to return before nightfall." Caleldir said to the departing Ashyr. "And if you run into Althaia, be sure to bring her with you. It would save us from having to pack up the rituals." With that, he returned to his work.

As Ashyr was just about to leave the warehouse though, the door suddenly shut and locked. So did the door behind her, trapping the drow in the entryway. [Ashyr? I believe the name was?] Storwa's voice came. A translucent purple woman, slightly out of focus, appeared in the air in front of Ashyr. The woman was naked, but her body was undetailed in the immodest zones. She was just a little taller than the drow. [Do not panic.] The base said, the sound now coming from the woman in front of Ashyr. [I just want to ask you a few quick questions.]

Ashyr froze and put her hands on her weapon. Bard's hackles rose and he began to snarl, feeling his master's apprehension. Normally, she would have ogled the nude body, but even Ashyr didn't think about sex sometimes. She did study her surroundings and the figure in front of her with a dangerous glint in her eye. "Forgive me if I panic a little." She said through her clenched teeth. "It is impolite to magically slam doors and trap one's guests. Even in my society. Especially in my society." Her hands flexed, but she removed them from her weapons and crossed her arms in front of her. They weren't likely to be effective against a magical projection anyway. Bard likewise calmed from outright hostility to a tense readiness. "Next time just ask the questions, darling. I get grumpy when I feel trapped." She informed the projection of Storwa. Somehow, she used the word 'darling' as if had been an insult. "Go on, then. Ask your questions. You have my undivided attention."

The door outside opened while the projection held out her hands in front of her. [I did not mean to threaten.] She said. [I apologize for panicking you. I merely wanted to make sure that you would not dart away, and also to make sure that the Master Librarian cannot hear us.] The projection sank into a sitting position - if 'sank' could be used to describe someone sitting in midair - crossing her long slender legs. [You see, I wanted to ask you about him. You seem close with the Master Librarian, are you not? What is your relationship with him? What are you doing in this land after all this time?] The expression on the projection's artfully crafted features was neutral, but the atmosphere all around, enhanced by a prickling in the projection herself, seemed tense and slightly jealous, although only passively so. The base seemed like she would like to do something to Ashyr should the drow give an answer she did not like, but seemed to also know full well that Caleldir would not like that.

[You must understand.] She continued. [Caleldir Hissael is the last of the culture that built me, the only being in this world that I can serve. I am an extremely advanced Artificial Animating Intellect, and for twelve hundred years I had no reason to exist. Now that one of my creators has returned, I finally do.]

After being trapped even temporarily, Ashyr seemed tempted to just bolt out of the front door as soon as it showed signs of opening. She also assumed that the door would be slammed shut again if she were to try to do so. So, though she could see the daylight through the open exit, the drow still felt trapped and didn't look too happy about it. Bard, however, did not have to be trapped. Deciding he was much more useful as a messenger than a battle buddy, Ashyr told the projection, "I'll stay to answer your questions, but my wolf needs to urinate." Then she let Bard bolt out of the door and into glorious freedom. Apparently the A.I. thing didn't care. Still, Ashyr wasn't feeling too cooperative when she continued. "I am close to him. I am his mate: something that you, by definition, can never be. So if you want to serve him in a way that makes him happy, you'd better not even touch me, Selene, or his unborn child." Let her decide who had possession of that last person. "We are here to gear up to take down a bunch of evil murdering rapists." She disregarded the fact that Selene could also be described as exactly that. "And I guess we'll try to cleanse this place if we can. A tragically insane dryad who thinks she's married to Caleldir is counting on us. You see, every woman I've met for a good two weeks seems to think they have a right to Caleldir and is willing to use force to get him. Do you want to be just one more cunt in that extremely tiring line?"

The projection bristled at Ashyr's words. The threat in the atmosphere dissipated quickly, though. [What? No! Of course not! I have no right to the Master Librarian. I am merely a servant of his. He helped to program me, after all. So I will not force him into anything.] She sighed deeply, the air flowing throughout the base. [I just want to make sure that he is safe. I do not know what types of strange women you have been dealing with, but I am no rapist.] The tone of the animating intellect was downright offended. [So, if you and your pregnant sister back there are his wives, then I suppose that I can leave him in your care.]

"You could say we are his wives... Probably not in front of Selene, though." A grin began to force its way through to her features. 'Wife' was a distinction that she didn't actually mind. Though the word didn't come with the exclusivity it normally did, it did come with all the devotion and caring affection. "We do care for and try to protect him as wives would do." Ashyr ignored the slight incorrect assumption that she and Selene were sisters. Effectively, they were, though they only shared a grandmother.

The projection nodded at Ashyr's words, then tilted her head. [Alternately...] A smile crossed her features, which looked rather unnatural. "You should take me with you. I have been very busy for the last thousand years since I developed full sapience." A third door, a hidden one, opened in the wall. [Please, come this way. I have something interesting to show you.]

Ashyr frowned thoughtfully. "We can do that?" She asked. The drow looked around the building as if she expected to see a way for it to move or collapse or something. When she didn't see that, and instead found an open door, she followed the female projection's instructions to enter the third, secret door. Ashyr was reasonably certain that it wasn't a murder room. If it was, well, Caleldir would resurrect her. "If this is a trap, Caleldir will be very angry with you." Ashyr told her, just in case.

The projection waved her hands wildly in front of her. [No! It is not a trap, not like that. Although, I will need something from you...] She licked her lips. [Something that I hope you will not mind. But no matter, let me show you how you can take me away.]

The passage led immediately into a stairwell that went down a floor, landed in front of a blank wall, turned to the right, and continued on. And on. And on. And on. Until they were at least a hundred foot underground. Then the last flight of stairs led into a long, dimly lit hallway like the ones from the military base. At the end of that hall, there was a door made of stone. "Just let me open this..." Storwa said. A line opened down the middle of the door, and it hissed open. Butted up against that opening was another door - this one of steel - that spun out in a series of interlocking plates to open up. Behind that, a third door. Then a fourth. In all, there were seven doors that together comprised a full ten feet of solid material opened before the passage was cleared for the bemused Ashyr.

The small room that the excessive security protected hummed with energy and lights pulsing like a heartbeat and swaying like breaths. In the center of it there was a pedestal, and on that pedestal an orb the size of a fist. [That is my emanation point.] The base said. [It is in that sphere that I hold my powers. But I cannot leave this until I build a new home for myself.] Although the projection had disappeared, the very room could be felt smiling. [Normally, that would mean that I would be stuck here. But I have dreamt of seeing the world, of traveling. I once fantasized about being a nice tent, and so I set to work on making such a tent. But that was a millennium ago. Obsessed, I worked and I worked, using the vast resources stored within me, until at last I finally figured out how I can travel in style. I designed a dimension the size of a small house, but ever growing, one where I rule as the demiplane itself. I will create a talisman that can be used to open a door, and that door will lead to Me.] The longer Storwa talked, the more pleased she was with herself, and though the distinctive reverberations of her artificial voice could still be heard, she sounded ever more real.

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