tagSci-Fi & FantasyDagger and Crystal

Dagger and Crystal


Author's Notes: This story isn't really meant to be read on its own, although I tried my best to write it in a way that it makes sense regardless. For maximum enjoyment, you'd better read my "Leo and the Dragon" and "Shilana's Trial" stories first.

Thanks again to bikoukumori, for taking care of errors faster than an elven arrow to the face and my lady love for valuable input.

Be warned, the sex featured herein isn't for the faint of heart, and of course all concerned are adults.


The arrow leaped off the bowstring and buried itself in the orc's wide open maw, causing him to stumble backwards and drop his weapon. I reached down, towards the quiver at my hip, intent on plucking the next arrow. There were none left. Cursing, I dropped my composite shortbow and drew my blade. Just in time. The fallen orc's comrades were upon me, three sweaty, stinking greenskins. In stark contrast to most tavern tales, they were no raging lunatics or inept simpletons. No, they moved in tune with each other, a swift, yet careful trident maneuver, forcing me to divide my attention between them. Their arms and armor were crudely-made but in good shape. Dark iron breastplates they wore and I could choose if I wanted to die by battle axe, mace or morning star.

They had ambushed our small caravan just after sunset. Their spears took out the oxen pulling the lead cargo wagon, more effectively blocking the narrow forest trail we were on than any fallen tree could. And then they came, swarming us like a green tidal wave. We knew it was dangerous territory and had planned accordingly. Twelve warriors and archers to guard six traders seemed a lot but we were oh so few compared to the mass of snarling, shouting orc warriors, both male and female, who swarmed over us like so many oversized locusts. Someone close by gurgled helplessly as his throat was cut, the horrible sound urging me on.

Not dying was my preferred outcome. Time to get creative. The simple leather straps holding the orcs' breastplates in place looked like a good point to start.

I pulled a throwing knife from the belt across my chest with my left hand and flicked it at the orc with the axe. I didn't hit but he spent valuable heartbeats evading it nonetheless, enough time for me to charge past the mace-wielder, ramming my blade into his kidneys as I slid past him. Howling, he dropped his weapon and went to his knees.

Two were better than three but still at least one opponent too much. The orc with the morning star growled and charged. I bent low and yanked his stabbed friend his way. Far too late the orc realized where his weapon would end up. The spiked metal ball grazed his friend's face, taking his eye out.

"I'll kill you for that!" the morning-star wielding orc promised, pointing his bloody weapon my way. The axe-wielder was at his side, grinning viciously. Before I knew what happened, something hard hit the base of my neck and everything went black.

* * * *

With a splitting headache I came to. I wasn't dead, that much was sure. They say the dead feel no pain and I hurt in numerous places, most of all my poor head. I wanted to raise my hand, to touch the source of the pain, but I couldn't. Rough hemp rope bound my wrists. And my ankles too. At least I could move my head. I was in a makeshift cage, a cone of quickly-cut branches, together with Lumea and Frida, the only women in the small trader's caravan. Of course. Orcs prized females of all races as breeding stock or at least a nice diversion in bed. But why did they leave me alive?

Lumea, a human woman, seasoned veteran of several expeditions and a regular partner of mine, raised her head. Her blond tresses were mud-caked and she sported a massive black eye.

"You still alive, Declan?" she rasped.

"I can't believe it myself," I assured her. "How are you?"

"Hurting, but whole. For now," she grumbled. She knew what orcs did to women.

"What was an entire orc tribe doing on our route?" I asked, no one in particular.

My thoughts were yanked off-course when I heard the rowdy cheers. They nearly overwhelmed the pleas for mercy. I didn't recognize the voice, maybe one of the local talent we had taken along for the trip. An expectant hush fell over the orcs before they began to chant. Ominous, dark utterances, more akin to animal noises than sentient speech. Then there was a horrible, wet sound and an inhuman wail as they did something to the poor soul in their midst. The crack of bone was obscenely loud.

"What are they doing?" I hissed at Lumea.

"Probably the gruk-hrakor," she whispered back. "They rip out his still beating heart, so their chieftain may gain the strength of his enemies."

"Damn savages," Frida moaned, wriggling around on the floor. The dwarf woman struggled against her bonds.

"Save your strength," I suggested. "They will unbind you sooner or later and you'll want to be prepared by then."

"You're the one to speak. I don't fancy a green dick anywhere near me," Frida hissed back, revulsion etched on her plump face. "The Hearthmother would never approve if one of her faith would give birth to a greenskin."

A triumphant roar, followed by more cheers. Then the sounds of orcs scattering. Silence fell, only disturbed by Frida's grunting as she kept fighting against her bonds.

"I've tried," Lumea whispered. "Someone here knows how to tie decent knots. These are no random raiders. Too many at once. Maybe they're preparing for war."

"I have told both of ye - 'tis the wrong season for cargo hauls," Frida snarled. "Ores and crystals won't go bad. We could have waited 'til autumn. But nay, you had to push and push and see where that got us."

"The money was good," Lumea hissed. "Hush. I hear something."

She was right. Heavy footfalls were coming closer. I craned my neck to look in the general direction. Two huge orcs came towards the cage. Thankfully, no morning star in sight.

"Anyone moves, we kill," one of them growled in barely articulate Common. He wielded a long-hefted spear, the notched blade a painful addition to his threat.

The other orc yanked three bars out of the makeshift cage and leaned inside. I thought he would go for either of my female companions but, to my utter horror, he grabbed the ropes binding my legs and yanked me out of the cage. He replaced the branches, picked me up as if I weighed nothing and tossed me over his shoulder.

"What are you going to do with me?" I asked in Orc. It never hurt to learn the language of the predators you are hunting and two centuries gave me ample time to do just that. The orc carrying me paused in mid-step, then shrugged, nearly tossing me to the ground.

"Shaman wants," was all he said.

Cold dread ran down my spine. The tales were rampant with the madness and debased rituals orc shamans supposedly conducted. Luckily, so far I've never had the misfortune to actually meet one. By the look of things, that was about to change as the orc carrying me brought me to a large tent, the hides decorated with eye-watering splashes of paint arranged in unwholesome markings. A huge fire roared in front of it. Several of the tent poles were decorated with all manner of monster skulls and the smell of herbs was overpowering. I half-expected the orc to toss me into the tent like a sack but, to my surprise, he put me down before entering it. He yanked a dagger - my dagger - from his boot and cut the ropes holding my ankles. He twirled the weapon in his fingers, causing the leaf-and-sun emblazoned pommel to shine in the firelight.

"Give that back," I hissed.

The orc laughed amicably. "Yours no more. No need for it anyway." His meaty hand shoved and I tumbled through the flap, into the tent itself. After being exposed to the blazing fire outside my eyes needed a moment to adjust to the near complete darkness inside the tent. The first thing I saw was a female body bent over a bowl. The smell of blood was powerful but something else was there, a flowery scent I didn't expect at all.

My night vision kicked in quickly, something I really was proud of. It gave me an edge on the road. Yes, the only other person in this tent was a female, and she was stark naked. Water droplets pearled off her skin.

"You can stop gawking. Never seen a naked woman before?" The voice I didn't expect either. She was very articulate for a start and had a pleasant, smoky undertone which put my hairs on end.

"You are the shaman?" I carefully asked.

"Of course. And you're the strangest elf I've ever laid eyes on." She turned around and looked at me for the first time. I wasn't small, at just under six feet, but she was easily a head taller than me and very curvy, with wide hips and ample breasts. Her face still was hidden behind a generous amount of war paint but her eyes, lively and full of curiosity, traveled up and down my body.

"So, what do you want with me? Sacrifice me to your heathen gods?"

"Be at ease. My tribe just got their blood and my chieftain ate a heart. They will be busy drinking your ale and raping the women. We have all the time in the world to get to know each other better," she purred. "Turn around."

"Why? I have seen you naked already," I said, grinning. In response, she calmly picked up a serrated knife. I swallowed whatever I intended to say and turned around. There is no arguing with knives

"You will see even more of me if you behave," she said, grabbing my bound wrists. With practiced ease, she cut the ropes. "Undress."

"What-" I started but got cut short by the cool sharpness of the knife against my neck.

"Shhh. I'm the one asking the questions here. And don't make me repeat myself." She stepped back a little, leaving me some room to work with. They had plundered me good. My weapon belt was gone as was the utility belt I had slung over my shoulder. It held all my potions and trinkets, not to mention the throwing knives. They had even taken my prized elven chain shirt which would be much too small for any of these brutes. I unfastened the laces holding my shirt in place and wriggled out of it. Next came the boots and breeches. Eventually, I only stood there in my loincloth.

"You might want to close your eyes," the shaman advised me. The fierce hissing was all the warning I needed. I saw radiance explode behind my closed lids. Carefully, I opened my eyes again. She had mounted a lantern underneath the smoke hole, brightening the whole tent.

"I am Krejula but you may also call me Mistress for tonight," she said, stepping back towards the washing bowl and dipping her hands into it. Her skin was of a rich leaf-green, her hair was long, black as coal and she sported a thick bush of the same color between her thighs. While I took off more of my clothing, she removed the rest of the war paint. Underneath it, she wasn't ugly. Far from it. Sure, her jawline was stronger than that of some men I had met and she sported the typical tusked orc underbite but apart from her pointed ears, she could pass as a handsome human female.

"You're half-orc," I unnecessarily observed.

"Best halves," she said with a snort. "Done stripping?"

I tugged at my loincloth. "May I ask questions?"

"Depends on your conduct. You're not naked." The knife was back and I decided decency was a better sacrifice than my health. I dropped the loincloth and looked into her eyes. Her gaze wandered down my body and stopped at my crotch.

"Not bad for a tree-hugger," she said, licking her lips.

"You got me here to bed me?" I asked.

"I am the one who saved your life, and I will take it if it pleases me. One more undue word out of that mouth of yours and I'll amuse myself reading the future from your innards. Do you understand?" She asked that calmly but her pose, the casual way she held the knife at the ready and her eyes, those amazing, black eyes without iris or pupil made it abundantly clear she would follow up on her promises. For just a moment, when I first laid eyes on her, I doubted that this woman could be more than a pretty face. There were no doubts any more. I nodded slowly.

"Good." She took one lithe step and stood in front of me, her presence imposing despite her wearing nothing but a determined expression. Her smell caught me off guard. I expected filth and dirt, maybe freshly-spilled blood, but she had washed herself and smelled of herbs and blossoms with a hint of musk. Not unpleasant at all. I had to fight the urge to inhale deeply.

"What is your name?" she asked, not unkindly, looking deep into my eyes. That gaze promised so much - a night of forbidden pleasure or a swift death if I displeased her.

"Declan," I said in the firmest voice I could muster, given the circumstances.

"No House or clan name? I heard you elves are very keen on such."

I shook my head.

"Speak. Why no House or clan name?" She placed her hand, the one without the knife, on my shoulder. Her fingers were easily able to grasp around my whole shoulder, the grip surprisingly gentle as she made skin contact for the first time. She pushed downwards. Not following her lead would undoubtedly end in a fractured shoulder for me so I obliged, sitting down on a thick bear pelt.

"Because I don't have either. No House. No Clan. I was raised by humble farmers. Human farmers who found me in their hayloft, nearly frozen to death. To them, I was a gift by the Mother of Plenty." My hand unconsciously clasped the small holy symbol, the only thing which remained from my foster parents after two centuries, the small bronze corncob worn smooth by all the hands who have held it in prayer or ceremony.

"You are a curious fellow, Declan," Krejula said. "You're unlike any elf I've seen. And I've seen plenty. Killed plenty too. What kind of elf has ashen grey skin, red hair and green eyes?"

"A tainted one," I whispered. The nameless hamlet where I grew up was a stone's throw away from the ancient elven lands and enough elven traders or soldiers came through. It took only one, when I was just a snot-nosed kid, to drive home that fact. He had seen me, bare-chested playing in the mud like the others. The look he shot me, filled with revulsion and disgust hurt me more than even a dagger to the heart could. My foster parents always talked about the elves like they were mythical beings, gentle, wise and able to solve all the world's problems with sword or spell. The hunter staring me down, he was a living being like everyone else and, like everyone else, he only had disgust for me.

"Drow blood?" Krejula asked, her fingertips caressing my face. I looked up in wonder. She hardly knew me and yet she was so... gentle?

"The only conclusion. There are few things elves hate with a passion and chief amongst them are their black-skinned kin. My blood father has to be drow, my mother elven. No wonder I was dropped just outside the Elven lands."

"Watch me," Krejula ordered. She extended her arm, the one holding the knife, and placed the weapon onto a chest nestled against the tent's inner wall, very deliberately. Noticing the question in my gaze, she explained:

"This is a sign of trust. You know where my knife is. You could use it to kill me and gain your freedom, at least until you run into one of the warriors outside. I hope you won't use it to kill me." Then she laid down, on her side, facing me.

She was tempting me, in more ways than one. I knew I could be darn fast and the weapon was in arm's reach. But her death wouldn't be quiet, I would have no time to dress and running into the wilderness naked was something only a fool would do. I may be born with tainted blood, but I valued my life still.

I laid down as she had, on my side, facing her. A forearm's length separated us.

"I know you want to, so speak." She reached across the gap and dragged her dark nails across my chest, along an old scar. I shivered under her touch.

"You want to bed me? Why? Pity?" I hissed as she dug her fingernails, nay, talons, deep into my skin, gouging four furrows into my chest.

"And that's what I get for allowing you to speak," she snarled, her face dangerously close to mine. "I want to bed you because you pique my interest, Declan-of-no-House. And I want to bed someone besides my chieftain, who prefers the quick and hard in-and-out, which is hardly fulfilling. A woman has her needs and orcs don't care. Don't insult me any further."

I inhaled through clenched teeth. That gouge stung! Then Krejula did something weird. She bent her head low, sniffed along my neck, the points of her tusks subtle reminders that she could tear my throat out if she so desired, then her tongue came out, lapping at the bloody furrows.

"Tastes like blood to me. Not much different than any other," she said, looking back up. Her hand was on my skin again, crawling over the taut muscles of my stomach. This time it was only her fingertips, homing in on my member.

"Touch me already," she ordered, scooting closer.

"Ever considered I don't want to?" I asked, looking deep into her eyes.

Her hand closed around my shaft, with just enough force to get my attention.

"You react like any other man seeing a naked woman," she purred, slowly pumping her hand up and down.

"Doesn't imply my consent," I retorted. My voice wasn't as firm as before.

"All you need to do is get up, grab that knife and go," she whispered, staying her hand. Her free hand closed around mine and gave a tentative pull. I didn't resist and she placed my hand on her ample breast. Her dark nipple was like a small pebble in my palm. Goosebumps greeted my fingertips.

"I know how an outcast feels, Declan," Krejula said, softly. "Were it not for my magic I would still be shoveling horse manure on that godforsaken farm up in the mountains." She released my hand and drew my head closer. Now it was my turn to move. Her hand resumed the stroking of my member, occasionally bumping the glans against her warm, soft skin. "Only by being meaner and more dangerous than that old sack of flesh who was my predecessor did I gain this station. It doesn't mean I'm a monster though." Her lips brushed mine.

"For a vicious orc shaman, you're very gentle," I admitted, kissing her. She even tasted good, as if she had chewed some mint before having me brought over. "And very articulate, too."

"My mother was a cleric of Mercy and she taught me how to read," Krejula explained, her tongue licking over my lips. "Look around."

I raised my head and surveyed the tent. I was so taken by her presence earlier, I had never looked past her. The back of the tent, across from the pelt we were on, held a grisly throne, mainly bones and thick wooden boards held together by leather straps, and beside it a tube filled with scrolls. On the other side I saw several battered books stacked on top of each other.

Krejula's fingernails yanked my focus back to her. Or rather back to my manhood in her hand. Our eyes met and she shot me a vicious grin.

"Listen to your body, Declan."

Why did I try to resist anyway? Because she threatened her tribe was going to rape my friends? Nothing I could do either way. Krejula pushed against my shoulder and I let her topple me onto my back. She was willing. She was cleaner than some paid company I had during my travels. She knelt next to me, a searching look in her eyes. Was she asking for my consent in the end? I reached out to her, caressing the curve of her hips. That was all the invitation she needed.

Like a graceful predator, she pounced. Krejula swung her leg over my body and crouched over my hardness, throbbing and hard between her fingers. I grabbed her by her generous behind, in part to fondle the firm flesh, in part to keep her from slamming herself onto me, a feat I wouldn't put past her. Krejula surprised me again. She placed my tip at her moist opening, then lowered herself slowly, exhaling in a long, lustful sigh until her folds caressed my pelvis.

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