tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Drow's Dilemma Ep. 47: Clockwork

A Drow's Dilemma Ep. 47: Clockwork

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 47: Clockwork

When they had reached the edge of the A.I.'s zone of control and activated R.I.S.A., the party entered a place somewhat different than the one that they had left. For one thing, it was noticeably bigger, and instead of a undifferentiated mass of under-designed nothing, the room looked for all the world like one from the inn that Cieraela's father owned. It was quite cozy with its luxurious beds, a table and chairs, a large fireplace, smooth stone and wood-paneled walls. Because R.I.S.A. understood the party dynamics fairly well, there were currently three beds in the room: two singles stacked on top of each other, and one triple.

Bard came up to his mistress as she spoke. He was subdued by the emotions suddenly linked between the two of them, but clearly glad to be reunited with his ranger. Once he greeted Ashyr, Bard returned to his corner of them room and flopped down with an expressive huff and whine. It was difficult for the poor animal to deal with the stress he felt through his ranger's emotional bond. The younger drow's eyes went from the wolf to her cousin. Her features were passive, and she seemed deep in thought.

Cieraela sat with her legs crossed in the center of the room, head bowed and eyes closed. She was in what amounted to her underwear, wearing only two small pieces of green cloth in the logical places. R.I.S.A. herself, materialized and naked - but like usual, nipples and pussy undetailed - knelt behind her with one hand on each shoulder. Some sort of power was draining from Cieraela to R.I.S.A. Then, Cieraela looked up, and blushed as she dodged over to a closet to throw her clothes back on.

[Welcome.] The A.I. said as cheerfully as a monotone could be. [The human girl is quite an effective charger.]

The drow ranger looked slightly surprised.. She'd expected the redecoration and expanded walls, but Ashyr had anticipated more... nakedness. The way the human darted away when she saw them enter made the older drow smile very slightly. She had been all confidence in that tight leather catsuit, but clearly her confidence waned when her skin showed. It was a simple, silly thing in Ashyr's opinion; they could see her form quite clearly before, what did it matter that they could see skin? Must have been a surface thing.

"Glad to hear it, R.I.S.A. I see you've figured out a... different way to expand your realm." There was a grin on her face when she said this, but then her smile fell and her features settled in to seriousness. "R.I.S.A, Cieraela, this is Caleldra. She is dangerous, human; do be careful. R.I.S.A, we may need your help containing her. Caleldir was captured by your sister and is presumably in ghost form in his library."

While Ashyr filled them in, Selene walked over to one of the beds and settled down onto its edge with a heavy sigh.

Cieraela gave Caleldra a confused look. "Wait... that is not..." her eyes darted down to Caleldra's breasts as exposed in her low-cut gown. She put her hand to her head and collapsed into one of the chairs. "That is incredibly freaky." She muttered. "Is... is Caleldir okay?"

Caleldra gave the human girl an insane look. "The Master Librarian Goelon Duvainor has killed Caleldir and took his place, but we will return him, oh yes we will!" The woman began muttering to herself in some strange, ominous sounding language as she shuffled to the side.

Looking a little sad, R.I.S.A. floated to over by Caleldra and began softly stroking the woman's hair. She whispered something to Caleldra in the language of Deusterra, which caused the madwoman to look stunned, and start crying. Both of them phased into a wall, and only R.I.S.A. phased back out. [I have put this 'Caleldra' in a secure place.] R.I.S.A. said flatly. [I am glad that she is still alive, though it hurts me to see her in this state. She was one of the Master Librarian's friends back when he was assisting in my coding project, after all. A nice girl, she was, though very shy and frail...]

Althaia's ears perked up. "Then she is... wow. Really old. And she spent all that time in the Monastery alive. That is seriously impressive. She really does not look her age."

[Her parents were... no, it is not my place to say.] The A.I. sighed. [I assume that you wish to rest in preparation for the morrow? May I be of any assistance? I can provide a bath and a meal if you wish.]

"I would like ssomewhere to sstore my richess ssafely." The Yuan-ti said. "You are an inventory A.I., are you not? Programmed to keep ssuch thingss ssafe?"

[I am.] R.I.S.A. replied. Waving her hands, multiple safes appeared on one wall, each carrying the name of someone inside the portal. [Each of you can store their items in their own secure place.]

"Perhaps one day we can make a treasure room." Ashyr said. The light of mischief returned to her eyes - more dull than normal, but it was still readily recognizable. "With lots of expensive pillows thrown about and piles of gold and jewels at every corner..." Ashyr parted her lips and bit the edge of her tongue, an amused expression. These words were obviously meant for the greedy yuan-ti. She had some unfinished business with him, after all. Her dark red eyes flickered in the direction of the male in question to see his reaction.

"Of coursse." Slasjowskew said without missing a beat. "Such a room would be an exscellent plasce for relaxation." He had slipped back to stoicism, but a slight twinkle in his serpentine eyes indicated that his attitude towards Ashyr had changed somewhat. It was still an open question as to how long that would last. His manner was slightly more relaxed as well. He seemed to be pleased to be a wealthier snake, but not as overtly aroused as when he was swimming through gold, silver, and other precious stones and metals.

"Until then, a bath would be nice." Selene told the A.I. Uncaring of the presence of Slasjowskew and Cieraela, she began to pull her robe back off. Damn, she missed clothes that could just melt from sight whenever she wanted. "We should have asked if Caleldra had my ring before you put her... wherever it was you just put her."

Slasjowskew's eyes narrowed, and he looked away from the naked Selene. He slipped into the top portion of the bunk bed. "Goodnight." He said, immediately seeming to fall asleep.

Cieraela's reaction to Selene's sudden nudity was a bit more overt. She jumped a little, stared, and then turned away, her skin beginning to match her hair. Of course, the human had seen Selene naked before, but she had been blushing pretty heavily then too. She went to the bottom bunk, and quietly bid the other's good night.

[A... ring?] R.I.S.A. asked. She closed her eyes, and a familiar one popped out of the wall by Selene. [Fa-, I mean, 'Caledra' wished to return this.]

Selene took the trinket that popped out of the wall next to her with a grateful look on her face. She did look with narrowed-eyed suspicion at R.I.S.A. when the artificial woman seemed very close to saying what Selene was certain was 'Caleldra's' real name. Apparently the younger drow wasn't interested enough to press for more information that R.I.S.A. very obviously knew. The drow mage inspected the ring thoroughly. No way in hell would she trust something that madwoman said or did. But the ring seem unchanged. She half-shrugged and put it on, though she remained naked.

"Care to tell us what happened? We need to know so that we can gauge what Caleldra is capable of." Ashyr asked her cousin softly, focused too much on Selene now to pay attention to anyone else. "And how you managed to stop her, too." The older drow added.

"After a bath and some food." Selene clearly wasn't keen on sharing her trauma. Her gaze fell on the human and she frowned. She didn't much feel like seeming weak in front of that one, either - not in front of the human who so desperately wanted to steal Caleldir away from the Duskhavens. At least, that was Selene's take on things.

"This group can be quite amusing at times." Althaia observed. She had waggled her eyebrows at Selene, although her eyes remained blue. "I will go in after you two. I assume you cousins have much to discuss on your own."

[Now, right this way.] R.I.S.A. created a door in the wall and motioned Selene through it. On the other side was a small bathroom in the same style as the rest of the place.

Both drow made their way over to the new room. The cousins seemed to agree that this was a good time for a private conversation between them. Ashyr glanced briefly towards the top bunk where the yuan-ti had retired, wondering if he was truly sleeping. She bit her lip thoughtfully before she turned back, followed Selene into the room, and shut the door tightly behind her. The drow did not exit the room again for almost an hour. Then they helped get each other clean, and managed to only get a little distracted in the process. When they walked out again, both looked a little calmer and much cleaner. Selene went straight to the bed to stretch out.

"Any of you other three want help getting clean?" Ashyr asked the rest of the party in a mischievous yet soft voice in case the two in the bunks were actually sleeping.

Althaia was kneeling against the large bed, seemingly in prayer. She was dressed in her usual favorite reasonably modest white nightgown. The nymph stood up and stretched out in a mesmerizing display. "I thank you for the offer, but it will not be necessary. I am trying to cut back." She quipped. The nymph slipped into the washroom.

"Ah, well." Ashyr said with a sigh and a smile. It was probably telling how tired she was that she didn't try to press the matter with anyone - the short interlude with Selene didn't count. At least she seemed to take rejection pretty well. She certainly had practice; the drow ranger propositioned damn near everyone she met, and it had been that way for the majority of her sexual maturity.

Selene demanded food before the two cousins retired to bed. Once both quickly consumed whatever they were given, they curled up together on the bed with their limb entangled. It was difficult to ascertain where one drow began and the other ended.

Althaia about ten minutes later to slip into the bed, her hair only slightly damp. She gave Ashyr and Selene each a kiss on the forehead in a gesture of blessing. "We have a long day tomorrow, we should really get some rest." She whispered. And so she did, nestling into the luxurious bed. They shifted when to let the nymph cuddle in how she pleased, though the shift was mostly Ashyr's doing. Selene didn't much care if the nymph felt included or not.

R.I.S.A. was nowhere to be seen, the A.I. having dematerialized, but her presence was still rather obvious. If nothing else, because the lights dimmed as soon as the party was ready for sleep.

The drow dropped off into sleep with too many worries on their mind to really get good rest, but at least it was better than fighting tired while trying to wrest Caleldir from the clutches of insanity. They dreamed of vaguely nightmarish things that would have no doubt been so much worse without the presence of their paladin. Ashyr awoke early as she always did to sit by herself cross-legged on the floor in the corner with Bard's head on her lap. She found it strangely... recharging. Almost as good as sleep.

Althaia awoke around the time that Ashyr did, and, after a nod of acknowledgement, returned to her prayers. She had a lot of divine patrons to petition for her more complicated divine interventions, after all. At least three. A popular lady, she was.

Slasjowskew awoke not all that long afterwards, but he seemed to be a rather dull fellow while waiting, endlessly sharpening his daggers, despite the fact that they were magic and clearly did not need any sort of sharpening neither now nor ever. It was probably just what he did to avoid having to talk to anyone.

Ashyr watched the two other early risers out of the corner of her eye, but seemed to otherwise leave them be. She was content enough sitting with her animal companion. The only thing missing was Caleldir. She would have pressed for everyone to get up and get moving as quickly as possible, but knew vaguely about proper rest and preparation being paramount to getting one's spell power back. Her expression was introspective, and almost outright sad as her fingers ran through Bard's blond and white fur. The animal himself was still incredibly subdued compared to his usual ecstatic nature.

Cieraela had to be woken up by her serpentine mentor once R.I.S.A. decided to serve breakfast. The human stumbled groggily, but oddly cheerfully, out of bed. While Althaia was as almost infuriatingly chipper in the morning as she was all day, and Slas seemed to be a grouchy, though early, riser, the innkeeper's daughter seemed to be pleasantly slow in the morning: slow of temper, slow reactions, and slow on the uptake.

When the others began their meal of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, buttered bread, and honey (apparently R.I.S.A. shared Cieraela's culinary sensibilities, as they were cooked pretty much like the meals that the party had enjoyed in her father's inn in Clachleom), Althaia woke Selene up as gently as she could. The nymph had noted the spell that Caleldir had used to soothe her morning sickness, and quickly used it on the pregnant drow, who grumbled something that could have even been words of gratitude, but it was too indistinct to tell. The pregnant drow seemed eager enough once she smelled the food R.I.S.A. had prepared.

"Let us eat quickly and be on our way." Althaia suggested. "The sooner we get going, the sooner we can rescue the Librarian from himself."

"So you okay with your apprentice staying behind again, handsome?" Ashyr asked after she swallowed a mouthful of eggs. By that time, she called him by that incredibly obvious nic-name out of habit. He hadn't complained so far. Perhaps he liked the flattery. Or, more likely, didn't care what she called him. "We should have asked last time, but..." Ashyr shrugged. Well, she didn't have an incredibly good reason beyond the fact that she didn't care what he thought at the time. But since that time, she'd had his manhood inside her and was somewhat determined to have a repeat on that performance. A little respect might go a long way towards that goal. Or not. The snake guy was very weird.

Said apprentice bristled a bit, but Slasjowskew cut her off. "That sseemss reassonable." He agreed. "I knew what you were up to the firsst time, to be entirely honesst. Sciaraela may have a lot of potential, but sshe iss not ready for thiss plasce yet. Thiss monasstery iss ssomewhat on the dangerouss side."

Cieraela pouted. "How will I ever become more powerful if I am not allowed to challenge dangerous situations?"

"By not dying." Slasjowskew said laconically.

"Well said." Althaia agreed. "Do not worry, Cieraela! I am collecting special gear for you, so that once we are finished with this place, you will receive quite a few level-ups despite not participating. Besides, I am sure that R.I.S.A. will be glad to have you here as a designer and power source." The human girl looked disappointed, but did not protest further. Althaia stood up and pushed her chair in. "With that understood, let us get going. Should we take the psion along with us, or just have her draw a map?"

"Both." Selene responded with absolute surety. She very much wanted to throw fake ghost woman and very real ghost torturer together. Sadistic curiosity was not her only motivation, however. "She told me, among other things, that she knows how to 'fix' Caleldir. We get a map made as well in case we get separated, like the last time we thought we had a reliable guide." Her words had a derisive turn to them. Selene was apparently a little bitter about that situation.

"You sure, dearest?" Ashyr asked with a frown. The ranger very much did not enjoy the prospect of having to keep an eye on the madwoman. It would be an extremely emotionally - and very likely physically - taxing exercise. Ashyr knew well what her cousin's answer would be.

"Yes." The younger drow responded. "Bring her out, R.I.S.A."

[As you wish.] R.I.S.A.'s voice replied. Caleldra phased out of the wall, looking rather peaceful, and, once again, scarily similar to Caleldir. A map popped out of the wall next to her. ['Caleldra' and I have been working on creating this magical map all night.] The A.I. continued. [The monastery shifts, and this map will shift with it. Anyway, if you need me, say my name. I may be able to respond even in places where I cannot manifest due to The Incomplete's influence.]

"Bard, you're going to have to stay here again, too." The ranger regretfully informed the young wolf. She could use his emotional support, and he was still protected from dying, but Ashyr had no idea what it would do to her to experience his temporary 'death.' She'd heard stories of rangers going mad from it. With a heavy heart she left the portal to the outside realm and took one last look at her animal companion's sad but resigned face. Then the portal was gone, and she could only vaguely feel Bard once more.

"Sadly, we cannot go directly to the library from here." Caleldra giggled a little. Now that she was not pretending to be Caleldir, she was free to be herself. 'Herself' was an endlessly creepy young woman who glided around staring and giggling, apparently. "If the Librarian sees us coming directly, he will almost certainly defeat us. You know how powerful he is. But I know another way, through the industrial section of the compound. So, it is to the lair of The Mechanical Clockwork Animator that we go next." She giggled again.

"It is important to face the bosses in order, apparently." Althaia said dryly.

"Asss long asss we continue to find ssweet loot and esscape from thiss plasce before we all go inssane, lead on wherever." Slasjowskew said dryly.

"I will." The fetch glided off.

Ashyr blew out an impatient breath. What she really wanted to do was burst through the doors of the library, wherever it was, and demand the Caleldir be returned to her. Or, barring that, persuade Goelon Duvainor to go with her and figure something out later. But the sad truth was that she could not trust him not to try to hurt her and the rest of the party despite Caleldir's love for the drow. She did not try to argue doing things 'Caleldra's' way. Hopefully they could trust her desire to see the librarian for long enough to actually get to him.

At least she wasn't trying to act like the man whose face she stole. To Ashyr, that had been far creepier when it was revealed than this... floating around and giggling.

Both drow wordlessly followed the fetch with wary readiness. With the knowledge of what the imposter wanted to do to her younger cousin, Ashyr tried to keep herself between Selene and 'Caleldra.' After a few minutes, Selene signed that it was not necessary. The younger drow was confident that she could handle any unexpected aggression. Whether or not she actually could was up for debate, but that was how the drow mage felt. Whether or not Selene was actually prepared to handle any aggression by the collared fetch, Caleldra seemed to have been pretty much defanged. Though she clearly did not like Selene or Slasjowskew, and seemed rather neutral towards Althaia, she still showed no indication that she meant any of them any harm. To the contrary, she genuinely seemed to want to be helpful. Probably because of some bizarre psychic feedback that had caused her to develop a strong platonic affection for Ashyr. Seeing as said affection seemed to be borrowed from Caleldir himself, it was strange that she was still rather hostile towards Selene.

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