A Harem Fantasy Ch. 17bymadam_noe©
"Bar it quickly!" I shouted in the chaos as the doors shook. All four young man pressed them back.
"Bring us more timber!" I cried to the guards at the end of the hallway.
Around me the women gasped slightly as the men strained. Cassipe touched my arm and I flinched slightly. "The fire did nothing. Those who met your sword still lay as bones and dust, but those I burned have risen."
"There's too many. I know what must be done."
He nodded and then we stepped back as the guards ran the bar from the dungeons over. The hooks for it could hold three so I sent them back for another and the men still held the doors.
It took them longer but they came back with another and settled it into place.
"Run now, get the masons. We must brick up this hallway. Harem, return!"
We ran to the end of the hallway but I bade them go on without me. The guards were fetching the women who would brick it up as additional defense, but in case the doors did not hold I stood there with my sword, ready.
When they were gone up the stairs, I was alone. There was the thumping of the mummies behind the doors which shook but the timber bars held. I was sweating, struggling with my fear. This could mean only one thing; Antal had risen as well. I had to kill her, and I had to kill that sorceress Fisine.
The guards returned, more of them, my own personal guards ushered in folded steel bars. I commended my captain, I had not thought of that. Carefully they removed the top timber, held the other two aloft, and began to slide the metal bars in until they had replaced the timber. The doors moved less but thudded more loudly.
They stood with me as we watched the masons work. Quickly they troweled down cement and placed heavy bricks. It took hours, and I was already exhausted, but I held myself at the ready. When it was set and drying I ordered a cot be brought down and had my guards stand over me as I laid down on it, placed the sword along my front as each queen in death did.
A queen out her people first, and I had two women to kill who were impossible to kill. I needed rest, and to my shock, sleep claimed me quickly.
I woke to chaos, Halfath shaking my shoulder.
"Your highness, you must come. It is war!"
My heart shook as I sat up and stretched. I wasn't sure how long I had, but my blood pumped fast and I was awake now. "What do you mean?"
"There are mummies at the city gates, and Halfath killed most of her priestesses and now they are mummies. She sent a rider, those mummies will not attack the citizens if you give yourself up."
"Open up the first level, begin assembling all the supplies you can. Empty the soldier's quarters, post them around the base. Send out the quietest and stealthiest along the back allies, begin bringing the citizens here one family at a time. Start with the closest and bring all, pay no attention to their rank or station. Arm the harem, every level, the top tier shall become my personal guard. My current guard will oversee the families. Hurry, is this all understood."
She nodded with a gentle smile that said she approved.
My guard accompanied me back to the harem but left me at the door. Inside it was chaos as fear and worry gripped them with rumors. Most looked at me, blinking in surprise, so I knew I didn't want to know hat rumors abounded about my fate.
I strode up the steps to the top tier and it was empty, they awaited me in my chambers. The sun was beginning to set, time was of the essence.
"We are at war," I said by way of greeting. I sent the attendants for food and then told the harem what Halfath had told me.
"No matter what I must greet the moon, and then we must act."
Marxim nodded first. "What you told Halfath, that was good. We must keep the people safe."
"There are nights among the nobility here, they should be organized to fight."
I nodded to Lucius and then looked to the rest. "That is why you will help organize them. We will eat, greet the moon, then you must go down to the common rooms and find the knights. Take the others of the harem with you. You will place a line of fire at the entrance to the lowest levels and guard it, and provide backup. You cannot kill a mummy, but you sure as hell can slow it down.
"Lucius and Marxim, you will stay with me. Cassipe you too, but for now you must go back to the masons. Find the one who is best with metal and bring her here after the greeting of the moon, is that understood?"
"Yes, your highness."
The food was arriving. "Now we must eat, our strength will be needed. If all goes to plan by morning this will be behind us. Morganna, come with me into my bedchamber. We will eat there together alone, we have much to discuss. The rest of you, eat well."
The brunette followed me into my bedchamber with attendants and simple fare was laid out. I poured myself wine and drank deep, thirsty from a hard day and needing the slight numbing. When the attendants left, I faced her.
"Morganna, you once told me your priest, a practitioner of the old religion, saw a second prophecy and entrusted it to you. This is why you came here, yes?"
She nodded and sat with me at my table. "Yes, why?"
"Tell me about the old religion."
"Well, my people are nomadic, we depend on the land. We believe the magic of the world comes not from the goddess and one consort, but two. And we believe that magic is in the land. You pull your magic from the goddess and god when you greet the moon, yes?" I nodded and she continued. "Our priests and priestesses pull it from the earth."
"And how do you pull it?"
"From fire or water, wind or stone. They control it. They can grow fire from a small spark, create a wave in still water, call the wind, move stones with their mind."
"And so you were trained as a priestess in this religion as well as the old?"
"Show me." I pulled a candle to the center of the table and set it down.
She looked me tenuously. "Antal forbade me to practice this, I have not done this in many years."
"I believe that you can. I am not Antal, I will not hurt you just because I can, or just because I want to. I will not hurt you if you fail. I need to know, you need to try. Our survival may depend on it. Your priest sent you here because he knew you would play a pivotal role in the coming of the true uniter. Please, try for me, for him, for our people."
She sighed, trembling, and stared at the candle with focus. Minutes ticked past and I held perfectly still so as not to disturb her. The flame bean to waver in unseen wind, and then suddenly it shot up.
"I did it!" The flame died again as Morganna clapped.
"Very good. Now eat well, and I will tell you my plan."
No one watched us as we greeted the moon. The rider I had sent in response to Fisine's rode back, her horse making lonely clacking sounds on the plaza. Across the city were a few red-robed priestesses standing with slight shifting movements that were jerky, creatures of dark magic and dead eyes.
The top tier watched, ready to help, they knew their places. That night, of all nights, we needed to raise as much magic as possible. Morganna might know the secret to find the magic in the elements, but the rest of us knew only how to call the goddess and god forth.
Below the rest of the harem was already at work like the top tier. Naked bodies flowing together, masculine and feminine cries of pleasure ringing softly on the eerily still twilight. To our left, along the city wall, soldiers guided families quietly. Many were gagged I knew, to keep them quiet, children and men weeping over their possessions left behind. I had declared no animals, our space and resources were limited, but if my plan went off by morning everyone would be home.
Outside the city gate a writhing moaning mass could be heard when the wind raised, pressed to the gate but otherwise unmoving.
On the altar both my consorts joined me, and though such beauty, blonde and dark, sleek and bulky, should have aroused me, my nerves were fraying. They kissed me now, Marxim suckling my breasts, Lucius massaging my buttocks and kissing along my spine. The cool air raised chills, but I looked to my harem for my pleasure.
Fear had driven them to need and they moved with frantic need, sweat beading along skin as hands and lips sought, tongues explored and cocks probed. I reached down to stroke my consorts' cocks. They were soft, but began to harden as my body twisted to reach them. Now each man took a nipple, and Marxim's gentle sucking contrasted with Lucius' hard flicking tongue to raise my pleasure.
I dipped on hand into the small pot we had brought and came back with viscous lotion, and I smoothed that along Lucius' now-hard cock. Marxim's fingers brushed the nubbin between my legs and Lucius slid two fingers inside me. I moaned, trembling, and Uloga's eyes met mine between Annist's thighs.
"Now," I moaned.
Marxim turned me, Held me high and Lucius positioned himself. One finger with the moisture slid inside my nether hole, then two. Quickly he replaced those with hiss cock and pressed inside. I breathed deeply and slowly and Marxim kissed me until Lucius was seated. Once he was I was lowered onto Marxim's thick cock.
With both men inside I was filled, moaning, my hands seeking them both, my lips passing from one onto the other. They both held me and moved me. The slow dragging kept them pressed close, every nerve stimulated, and Marxim's thick hair rasped the nubbin.
The threat of danger brought me close as we thrust, pumping together, and soon the goddess filled me. I felt the gods slide into my two lovers, growing, growing... "Now!" I cried and at my command the harem moved faster.
I arrived at my peak first and the men were close behind. The harem cried out as light from the goddess such as I'd never known filled me, eclipsing my peak. My body shuddered in hot explosions of pleasure, but my soul nearly burned. Knowledge whispered across my skin and it filled me over and over until I nearly swooned.
I heard Marxim shout and then I was back in my body, out of the light.
Panting, I gave him a weak smile and turned my head to the sky. The two moons had risen together. The omen was good, very good, and I could have wept.
"Clean yourselves and go, all but my consorts and Morganna." We extricated ourselves and stood as the rest of the harem did. They dressed themselves and went to their rooms to gather what they needed. Cassipe was with the mason in my bedchamber, working and the other "stock" had the small fire by the throne going.
Cassipe emerged with her as I was dressing, the two armored breastplates in his hands. "It worked."
"Now onto the throne," I directed the mason as she handed Morganna her sword and me the enchanted sword. It let off a shimmering glow as I touched it and she gasped. "Amazing!"
"Marxim, Lucius, you must stay here. I am going to greet Fisine. If I should fall, Antal's mummy will come here. She will try to do what she would in life, which is claim you. If she comes you must have her sit on the throne."
Arguments rang out then and we yelled back forth as Morganna and I put on our armor and the Mason took an iron form and began to work on the throne.
Marxim would not be much good. Antal had abused him for so long she had taken over his mind, leaving a dark hollow place of fear. It would take years to heal, and so I sent him to lay down on my bed, threatening him if he did not comply. Alone, Lucius was more biddable, but he still wanted to come with me.
"No. You must stay here. If I should fall you will be the only chance this world has to be rid of Antal."
"How? I cannot wield you sword!"
She presented herself to us. I took my sword and pricked my finger, feeling the goddess smile inside me. I touched her sword and held it. "Call forth your power. Blood is elemental."
She closed her eyes and moments later the blade flashed. I let go and still it glowed.
"How?" Lucius asked.
"Magic," I said with a smile. "Morganna and I shared blood while we ate. Now Lucius, in a moment you and I must do the same."
I pressed my bloody finger to Morganna's breastplate and again she closed her eyes. Faster now it glowed, fading slowly like the sword long after I withdrew.
I pricked Lucius' finger and pushed mine to his. Like our blood the god and goddess mixed with us, granting this transference power.
"It is done, your highness," Cassipe said behind me.
We shuffled to the throne where a very small spike sat in the middle of the seat. I pricked my middle finger on it as my first finger bore Lucius' blood as well, and the small silver spike in the golden throne soon shone red.
Morganna looked at it and almost instantly it glowed.
"If she comes, you must control Marxim, and make her sit. She will feel no pain, and you must touch the throne to activate it. When you do, she will die. This is why you must stay."
He stared at me, green eyes shining with unshed tears. "You come back. I love you. You come back in one whole piece. We need you. Your people need you. And I need you." He gabbed me then and kissed me fiercely. I clung to him with equal fervor, praying to goddess I would know his touch again.
"And I need you," Marxim said quietly behind us.
I broke from Lucius, stroking his cheek, and turned. Marxim was pale, but steady. He took a deep breath and crossed to me. "If it means staying alive, rick her. Make Antal think Fisine can kill you. She will come here. If she does I myself will tell the guards to let her up. I will lead her here and make sure she sits so Lucius may kill her. You kill Fisine, and leave her to us."
"That wasn't my original plan, but yours is a good ne."
"We can do it. You take Fisine, and we'll do the rest."
"Tell Halfath," I ordered Cassipe. He nodded and ran off.
I pulled Marxim to me and brought his head down, kissing him passionately. When we pulled back I brought Lucius to us with my other hand. "You are the strongest, bravest men I know. Do this, do this for yourselves, for me, for our people. Tonight, this terror ends."
They solemnly nodded.
I looked between them to Morganna. "You part does not change. Are you up to this?"
"Then let's go."
We strode down the steps each level, faces blankly staring at us. It was an unspoken word that an army should be sent, not the queen and one woman. Prayers to the goddess were murmured and I felt her inside me preen and yearn to answer, but she rode me as sure as I would ride my horse.
We mounted and rode out. The guards at the base parted and sand was thrown on the line of flame so we could pass. It was quickly lit as soon as our horses cleared.
We were alone in the world.
The clop of hooves made a lonely echo a we rode slowly, eyes wary. It was only a mile, slightly less than, but with each step our the horses we were further from the safety of others and closer to the temple containing doom. Even the city gates were abandoned, and as we passed them, the halfway point, they shuddered with all the mummies from the city of the dead. The bar, cut from a giant oak of the west, held tight.
"If Fisine dies, the mummies will live on, yes?"
"I don't know. This is how it was before. It does not matter, both Antal and Fisine must die. What I said inside was for the benefit of the men. She must not reach the palace. We must kill them both, together."
"I will take Fisine," she swore solemnly. "You know she is of my people. I do not think her magic is so grand, I think it is what I know, corrupted with evil."
"Mummies are like earth, dust. If one can move a stone, one can move a mummy."
I stopped and grabbed her reigns, forcing her to stop with me. "Morganna, do you think you can control another mummy?"
"I don't know. Fisine is much older, her power is greater."
"But is spread thin. Antal is the one she loves, if she has to let them all go to protect her, she will."
"If I can draw Antal into combat she will be distracted. Rather than cut through the mummies, if you can control them, direct them to kill Fisine."
She nodded. "I will try."
"Good, then stay back here. I got forward alone. Wait until it is time."
"How will I know?"
I drew her to me for a kiss. Her lips were soft and when we touched the goddess breathed between us. "You will know," I said, pulling back. Dropping her reigns I kicked my horse into a run, and I rode up alone to the temple.
The priestesses standing were too freshly dead to be mummies. Still they were dead, their flesh grey, the wounds of their deathblows still purple and framed with dried blood. Their eyes were glassy and white.
I rode up and they began to shamble forward, until a tall figure in a red robe came out from the shadows atop the steps. "No! Queen Antal must kill the usurper. Back! Back!" They were slow to do her bidding. How much magic was it taking to control these, the dead queens, the city of the dead? How much more did she have,
Antal stepped out with her, looking almost human, her eyes without cloudiness. That was the center of her power. "Have you come to die, to save those pathetic people?"
"I never ordered you dead. It has always been the way to fight a challenge. I challenge you, Antal the strong. Do you answer me?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Virtal the Just...I accept."
"No!" Fisine yelled.
"I have spoken!" Antal cried, and with the force of her voice an inhuman wind joined it, shaking the night like a roar of many beasts. Fear skittered across my back and my horse nearly bucked, calming only as I dug my heels in at the right height.
"No interference." I said, looking to Fisine and her risen dead with meaning.
"Agreed. Inside." Antal turned with confidence I would follow. This was good, I needed Fisine inside, unable to see Morganna approach, but I did not want to know what other horrors awaited me.
I dismounted and the mummies parted, watching me maliciously.
Inside the great temple was a large area with open doors at the end. Antal stood inside there and it was dimply lit by mirrors reflecting a distant torch. No flame for the mummies I mused.
I strode in to see it was an amphitheater, hundreds of freshly risen dead priestesses regarded me with glittering milky white eyes as I entered.
"If by some miracle I fall, Fisine's power will keep them alive, and they will tear you limb from limb."
"No," I said as she drew a sword and took up a fighting stance. "They're not alive. Nor are you."
She raised an inhuman howl and the dead women echoed it, the cry of entire herd of night beasts. My heart nearly stopped with the force of it. Death; death surrounded me, but the goddess was strong in me and she was life. The gods, two of them I knew for certain, were there as well, and it was to them I prayed.
"Guide my sword and help me, gods," I murmured.
The cry died down, and then she attacked. She was strong, inhumanly so, and though I blocked with my sword the force had me stumbling back. I had to drop my guard to keep my balance and the blade swiped into my arm. Painful heat seared me as the blade cut my skin, but the pain told me it was only a surface wound.
I used my wobbling momentum to swing sideways at her but she was faster than human and blocked it. The sword fell from my hand.
It came back, aiming for my head, and I fell back gracelessly, barely avoiding it. I rolled towards my sword and she swung again, her sword slamming into the marble floor. I grabbed mine and blocked her next swing, but I was on the floor, wounded already, and she was too strong, too fast.
There was one thing magic couldn't affect, and that was her center of gravity. I pushed back her sword and swung my leg, hooking her ankle, and I pulled. Antal fell as well and I moved as fast as I could up, but she was faster. Again her sword swung for my head and I deflected it with the flat of mine, the blade skittering down to my breast plate.