Danica Pt. 20byDarkniciad©
This story is erotic fantasy, set in a world of magic. I reserve the right to be listed as the author of this work, wherever it is posted. If found posted anywhere except Literotica.com with this note attached, this story is posted without my permission. © Darkniciad 2000-2007
The sexual situations in this story will be far ranging, and may prove disturbing to some readers. Please be warned that the villains of the story are really evil, and the things they do are not glossed over, or toned down.
I make use of modern weights and measures quite often in my work, because those are the weights and measures of my fantasy world. I know many fantasy readers prefer more archaic terms, and I hope those readers can overlook my use of miles, feet, and other such measures.
Please note that the form of witchcraft in my world is not meant to be true Wicca. Nor is it supposed to follow "Charmed" exactly. No offence or confusion is intended.
You really need to read the previous parts of the story to know the characters and the storyline. This tale follows Danica in her day-to-day adventures, with the greater plot emerging slowly at first. Think of it more as a serial than a novel, and you'll be in the right mindset. Those who have read my story “Ebon Genesis” will get more out of this part of the story than those who haven’t.
This is an edited version of this tale, making use of what I've learned since starting to post at Literotica, and the services of my tireless editor, Roust Writer.
Meckataur’s demonic servants openly watched Zoraster this time as he crossed the weed-choked broken flagstones in the courtyard of Nightmare Castle. The task Zoraster came to offer the demon was something any number of his servants could have performed, but would serve to slake the hellspawn’s thirst for elven blood. More important was the opportunity to see the fruit of Meckataur’s loins, demons that would serve as nearly unstoppable generals in the devil’s building horde. Barely free of their mother’s wombs, now was the only opportunity Zoraster would have to probe their minds, discovering how best to use them and subvert them to his cause. Meckataur was too powerful, his mind too well formed, for Zoraster to control him – yet – but his foul offspring were another matter entirely.
The theatrics that had greeted the Archmage on his previous visit were absent this time, which only confirmed Zoraster’s evaluation of the devil. The hands of the dead opened the doors, rather than magic, and the demons lurking within the walls perched openly – drooling and snarling – throughout the dilapidated castle.
Reaching the dais in the throne room, where Meckataur and his human dupes awaited, Zoraster bowed with a flourish, “Greetings, Meckataur.”
“What do you want, Zoraster,” Meckataur rumbled.
“I find myself with a bit of a problem, one which I believe you would find solving to be quite satisfying.”
The devil’s muzzle broke into a toothy grin, “Go on, Zoraster.”
“Allow me to show you,” Zoraster suggested, and then cast a spell of scrying. A shimmering disk of light appeared, which then shifted and focused to reveal three elves, obviously rangers by their garb and weapons.
“Fey,” Meckataur snarled.
“These three are proving quite troublesome, hunting men I have in the area who are performing vital reconnaissance and strikes. They are young – as elves count such things – and likely do not have the discipline to turn their minds inward, or release their souls to the Fey deities. I thought perhaps you might enjoy peeling the flesh from their bones – slowly.”
The demon concentrated for a moment, reaching out one great, clawed hand toward Zoraster’s scrying portal. Sensing the location to which the portal was attuned, Meckataur growled out the words of a spell – words in the demon tongue that never would have fit in the mouth of a man. Fire engulfed the demon, and when the flames faded, he was gone.
In the scrying portal, flames crackled as Meckataur appeared amongst the elves – driving his clawed hand completely through the chest of the nearest, and slinging the body like a weapon at the other two. One of the elves dived aside – rolling across the forest floor – but the other fell when the demon’s strike hit true. The roaring devil was upon him almost before he hit the ground.
Zoraster appeared to be watching the scene unfold, but in truth, he utilized a prepared magic to probe the minds of the infant demons. Already the size of toddlers, though only weeks old, they nursed at the breasts of their wan, slack-faced mothers.
The creatures numbered five males and one female. The female was the most intriguing, the seeds of seductive power already beginning to take root within her. No doubt, she would be alluring beyond compare when she reached maturity, a powerful weapon against any that could know desire for a human female. Four of the males possessed elemental powers, each keyed to their own specific element. The fifth male, smaller than the rest, would have the touch of death when it matured, and an affinity for the Art burned in its blood as well. All had their sire’s ability to absorb the power of other demons as their own.
Waiting until the right moment, when Meckataur eviscerated the final elf with the razor sharp edges of his scaly wings, and thus had the full attention of his two human servants, Zoraster concentrated upon a ring on his finger.
Darts of faint light emerged from the ring, streaking with impossible speed toward the demonic infants. Arleen jerked her head around to look, obviously having seen the flash in her peripheral vision, but saw nothing unusual. She narrowed her eyes and stared hard at Zoraster, but saw nothing amiss in his posture or expression as the Archmage watched Meckataur roar in triumph through the scrying portal.
A few moments later, the devil reappeared in a burst of flame before them, the three mangled corpses held in his enormous arms. Zoraster banished his scrying portal as Meckataur hurled the corpses to the ground before the cleric Mopario.
The demon’s servant did not need to be instructed what to do. He knelt over the bodies, praying to his dark god. At the same time, Meckataur worked his foul magic over the bodies. In a few moments, the corpses started to lurch violently on the floor, steadily becoming more coordinated in their movement with each passing second.
Meckataur loosed a terrible laugh. “They have not escaped me! Their souls are mine to torment!”
Indeed, the spirits of the elves were visible, tied to the bodies and desperately trying to flee from the pain and suffering of life. The spells of the dark cleric and the demon held them chained to their mortal forms – the faces of the spirits filled with utter anguish.
“It seems we both benefit from this endeavor, Meckataur.”
The demon roared yet again in triumph, trailing off into that horrific laugh before he spoke, “Bring me more, Zoraster. Deliver the Fey unto my grasp, and I will continue to aid you in your mad schemes.”
His true task here accomplished, Zoraster bowed and said, “I shall certainly seek elves to entertain you then, Demon Lord,” before turning to leave.
Danica and Celes sat discussing possible ways to examine the stone again, talking in circles and finding no possible solutions. A knock on the door startled and silenced them, and Danica rose to answer it.
Tam stood smiling outside. “I’m quite sure you will want to examine the stone again without prying eyes nearby, and perhaps experiment with a few bits of magic. Do feel free, the doors will open for you and allow you entrance.”
“I’m not for...” Celes paused and then continued without her exaggerated accent, “I suppose that is a waste of time. I don’t understand the game you’re playing.”
The guardian’s smile widened. “No game, Celes. You will find no way to take the stone without snuffing out my life, so there is no harm in allowing you to do as you will. I must apologize for Vellana, she does not understand – or approve of – my actions either. She trusts you not, and will, no doubt, treat you with some disdain. One day she will understand, and then she shall be ready to take my place here.”
Danica watched the man as he spoke, wondering why she had such complete trust in a stranger. An aura of peace and serenity seemed to surround him, and Danica felt as if it were wrapping about her as well.
Celes continued to push the old man in irritation, “What if she’s right? You keep telling us the only way to get the stone is to kill you. What makes you think we won’t do that? Since you seem to know everything else, I guess you know the price of failure we will bear if we return without that damn rock.”
Tam replied, “It is always a possibility, although I doubt you could find it in your heart to slay me. I am not without my defenses, were you to try.”
Celes was obviously about to launch into another tirade, but Danica interrupted her, “Let’s just go look at the stone, Celes. We have permission, and this is getting us no closer to a solution than we were earlier.”
Celes pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes for a moment, and then her shoulders fell and she sighed, “You’re right. I suppose I just don’t like the choice we have to make.”
“Examine the stone carefully, discern its nature. Perhaps you may find the answers you seek,” Tam said, and then nodded before hobbling off down the hallway.
Danica could feel Celes’ emotions rolling out from her. Irritation caused by the need to choose between murder and torment dominated Celes’ thoughts, but mixed in with it was the need to talk – and the fear of doing so. It was all Danica could do to keep her mouth shut, feeling that this was not the right time for them to air their feelings.
Walking up to her friend, Danica hugged Celes and said, “We may as well go get started.”
Celes nodded, sighing again, and followed Danica down the hall toward the room where the stone was enshrined.
The hours ticked by as Danica and Celes turned all their knowledge – and magic – toward finding out any information about the stone and its protections. Their magic slid off it like water droplets, and continuing study of the stone revealed nothing new to Danica, who concentrated on just looking at the stone while Celes worked her magic.
“This is useless. That thing is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Celes declared in exasperated tones.
Danica didn’t even hear Celes speak, her eyes locked on the stone and her expression curious. There was something about the stone; it put off a feeling much like the aura surrounding the old guardian – and something else.
She almost felt as though the stone were trying to speak to her. The sensation was very similar to when she unwittingly felt the emotions or heard the thoughts of others. Upon considering that similarity, the feeling grew stronger. Danica concentrated, thinking she was on the verge of some sort of breakthrough. The sensations from the stone grew more coherent, although they continued to tease her, still just beyond her ability to comprehend. Then, in a rush, she felt a wave crash over her from the stone, saturating her with the peaceful serenity that surrounded the object. Danica twitched, a roar of white noise deafening her for a moment.
Danica shook her head and looked at Celes, startled by the woman screaming her name. “I’m sorry, what?”
Celes closed one eye to a slit and tilted her head slightly, looking at Danica with a combination of worry and confusion. “I’ve been talking to you now for a minute or more, and you obviously haven’t heard a word I said.”
“I’m sorry, I was just feeling – something.”
Celes’ eyes brightened. “Anything that can help us get the damn thing out of here without killing the guardian?”
Danica shook her head, confusing wisps of thought drifting around like butterflies flittering about just within her peripheral vision. Putting a hand on her forehead, Danica shook her head. “No, it just has this aura. I thought I was getting somewhere, but I guess not.”
“Are you okay?” The concern in Celes’ voice was unmasked, because the look on Danica’s face had her very worried.
Danica raised her head and smiled. “I’m fine. I just hoped I might have found something. We’re going to have to accept our punishment for failure.”
Celes nodded. “Aye, I was just blustering with the old man. I will not commit murder for Zoraster to save myself from pain.”
Danica asked, “So, should we just go back then? Get it over with?”
“I hoped you might stay the night,” Tam’s voice said from behind them.
They turned and saw the old man smiling at them from the doorway. “I would enjoy the company, and perhaps you may find time to prepare for what you must do – here where your Master cannot spy upon you.”
Celes surprised Danica by answering, “We’ll stay.”
Danica had thought to persuade Celes to stay, planning to share her feelings with her friend, finally ending the rift that was between them. Celes accepting without any argument left Danica perplexed.
Celes shrugged. “Ever since we got here, we’ve ended up doing everything he’s suggested anyway. May as well save the time of fighting it.”
Danica laughed, and then both women followed the old guardian when he gestured for them to do so.
Zoraster stared at the entrance of the grotto, a slight note of irritation on his face. After a moment, he banished the magic of the mirror. The women were resourceful, but it might take some time for them to form a course of action. Unable to follow their progress, he would simply have to wait. Zoraster cursed the anger that had prompted him to send them hastily, without instructions to exit the grotto and report regularly.
Glancing at the shelves lining one wall of the scrying room, he singled out the soul stones linked to Danica and Celes. They were dark, and thus the women still lived. Nothing could prevent those stones from revealing if the spirits of the two women had crossed over in death.
Activating several other mirrors, he observed the progress of his eventual conquest. Ferrartene’s army grew daily, as did that of Draxnog. The wild men of Norshelt constructed their warships at a furious rate, and already the more savage captains struck fear into the hearts of sailors and coastal villages.
When the time for mundane war came, those whom he manipulated would be ready to set the world aflame.
The more important, and subtle, preparations moved at a swifter pace toward completion. His Arians replaced whores in houses of ill repute across the world. His agents infiltrated governments and businesses, steadily subverting them to his cause or neutralizing their threat. His elite strike forces prepared in their hidden headquarters. These would erode resistance from within, preparing the way for war.
All were, of course, nothing more than cover to distract his enemies, and the gods, from his true goal. Only in a world embroiled in chaos could he hope to succeed.
Dimming all the mirrors, Zoraster gripped the amulet around his neck, sensing a twin amulet only recently bestowed. Closing his eyes, the Archmage looked through the eyes of the man wearing the other amulet.
Large breasts bounced below a beautiful face tightened in ecstasy. The woman’s blue eyes popped open wide as a final jolt shook her body, pushing her back into the headboard of the bed. Zoraster savored the release of his servant through the link, the man’s seed coating the woman’s depths. His first experience with something previously known only through memories not his own, Zoraster’s servant found the reality far more satisfying than the memory.
A few moments later, Zoraster smiled as his servant acted upon another memory, eager to determine if it would be as gratifying as the last. Muscled arms shot down toward the woman, large, long-fingered hands wrapping around her throat.
The meal was just as good as the one provided when they first entered this odd island cavern, though Danica and Celes were a bit too lost in thought to enjoy it. Despite his stated intention of wanting company, Tam made no attempt to draw them into conversation. When Danica or Celes spoke, he responded, but otherwise he did not prod them to speak.
Somehow, Danica sensed he was getting the company he had requested. He often nodded or smiled in response to Danica’s inner thoughts.
Tawny-haired Vellana said nothing, only speaking volumes of distrust with her eyes as she ate. Danica thought the woman was beautiful – lean, but curvy in just the right places to spark interesting thoughts in Danica’s mind – but the severity of her expression detracted from it significantly. Even speaking directly to the woman had not broken her silence.
“I am sure you feel the need for rest, and have many things to discuss, so I shall thank you for joining us,” Tam said with a nod to Danica and Celes.
When the guardian had mentioned a discussion, a wave of fear and need from Celes bombarded Danica. In truth, Danica was just as anxious and afraid as her friend was. They both needed to get their thoughts and feelings out into the open, soon.
When the women rose to go to the room set aside for them, they could feel Vellana’s eyes boring into their backs. When Danica glanced back for a second, just before the table was out of her range of vision, the feeling was confirmed.
Shaking her head, Danica followed Celes to their room, where she was determined they were going to talk this out before it drove them both as mad as Zoraster.
“Master, they are a danger to you, and the stone that is your charge. They were sent here to take it by one consumed by the dark.”
Tam smiled, “True, but I think it is not the command of Zoraster that brought them here, but rather destiny.”
“I do not understand,” Vellana sighed, shaking her head in obvious irritation.
Rising to place his hand on the young woman’s shoulder, Tam said, “Come, commune with the stone. Perhaps you will hear her full song this night. Then you will understand.”
Vellana’s expression softened, the wave of serenity surrounding the old man having just as much power over her as any other. It would have surprised Danica and Celes to see the guardian walk unaided by his staff – and with no hint of weakness in his steps – but Vellana was accustomed to the strength residing in her Master.
Celes sat down on the bed when they entered their room, sighing heavily. Danica closed the door and then turned back to the other woman, her breath catching in her throat as she looked at Celes.
Celes’ expression, masked in the illusion Danica could see after practicing to do so for so long, was sad and longing. Her firm breasts rose and fell in time with quick, shallow breaths, which were barely strong enough to fill the woman’s lungs with air. Danica’s blood stirred, warmth spreading through her, and she felt the tingle of wetness gathering quickly between her legs.
“Celes...” Danica paused for a moment, mastering her emotions because her tone was far huskier than intended, before continuing, “We need to talk.”
A dam appeared to break within Celes, and her eyes misted with tears. Her lip quivered and she sobbed out, “Oh, Danica, I can’t stop thinking about you, wanting to be with you. It’s driving me out of my mind.”
Danica crossed the room to sit next to her friend, “I know. I’ve felt it. Your thoughts have been hammering into me for a while now, and Andrea told me you’d talked to her after Brandon blurted out what I had refused to see. You know I want you too, but I don’t want to hurt you. It’s making me a little crazy too.”