tagSci-Fi & FantasyPlanescape: Emerald & Carnelian

Planescape: Emerald & Carnelian


The Gate-Town of Sylvania has been described as a perpetual party. Everyone was happy, singing, dancing, drinking, which was all well and good, thought Argyros, unless you were trying to get some sleep.

The tiefling twisted in the bed again, trying to find some position where the low roar of the inn's common room didn't intrude. He had certainly done valiant duty by the party, but even for someone as energetic as Argyros, there comes a time when sleep was also a useful thing to have.

Another joyful moan from below made no bones about what the party had become and for a second the tiefling considered heading down to join them. Then he turned again and stuffed a pillow over his head. They'd arrived in Sylvania yesterday, and that winged scholar, Catigern, had innocently asked for the best inn in town. Argyros thought there had been a few too many winks and sly nudges among the responses. Apparently 'inn' was a loose term here. Or perhaps a double-entendre, thought Argyros as another gasp came from below.

Then a different sound pierced the night air. It was a moan, yes, but this wasn't the sound of someone enjoying themselves. Rather, despair and misery filled it, a hopeless, mournful cry that held in the air for a moment, then faded. Chances were, not a single of the revelers below even noticed it, let alone marked its passing.

Argyros, on the other hand, came full awake at it. Here we go again, was the tiefling's uppermost thought. Still, the gloomy cry had robbed Argyros of any chance of getting back to sleep, especially with the raucous noise from below. He unraveled himself from the sheets and pillows, and stood, stretched, and then opened the door to the hallway, grabbing a candle from a bed-stand.

A young maid, scrubbing a stubborn spot on a brass candle-stand, let out a small squeal of delight, and then blushed a deep, rosy pink.

Now, a moment should be taken to explain. Argyros had never gotten into the habit of wearing bed clothes, for any number of perfectly valid reasons. The tiefling was a bit taller then average, with a sleek build that featured every muscle chiseled to perfection. His skin was a dark crimson, metallic almost, but with a rich texture that almost invited touch, and his eyes glowed like two brilliant carnelians. A quartet of darker horns completed the visage, and short, dark hair added a masculine touch to Argyros' chiseled, fine features. The maid's eyes dropped a fraction. Not that there was any doubt of the tiefling's maleness, not in his current state of dishabille. No, no doubt at all.

Argyros flashed a cheeky grin at the maid, who managed to blush an even rosier red, before fluttering her eyelashes in what was an attempt at seduction her innocence made only more flattering. The tiefling quirked another grin, then continued on down the corridor. As a certain stirring in his loins told him, perhaps not getting any sleep tonight wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

He opened the door of the room next to him, not really expecting much, it being Catigern's room. He was right. The scholar was fast asleep, wings curled around him as he dreamt in the sleep of innocents. Argyros rolled his eyes for a moment and then closed the door.

The tiefling opened the next door quietly, stepping into the entrance with a deep breath. The hall lanterns silhouetted him in the doorway, overwhelming the mild light of the solitary candle. Still, it was more then enough for Argyros to look into the room.

"Raltiel, everything alright?"

The owner of that name was an aasimar currently curled on the bed, shuddering slightly as he fought to lucidity.

"I-I-I'm fine." The mellifluous voice was beautiful even with fear and exhaustion tainting every syllable. The classical comparison would be to a golden bell or a harp, but there wasn't an earthly instrument that could truly capture that voice. "Go back to sleep."

"Reeeeaaaally now?" The tiefling's husky voice drawled. "You've a strange definition of 'fine', Knight."

Argyros's grin faded. For as long as he'd known the paladin, Raltiel had suffered from nightmares. The tiefling had never asked what it was that so tormented the aasimar, but it tore into Argyros's heart like a knife. Raltiel had saved him once. If not for the paladin, Argyros would still be a Hive-rat, and not a Heartwarder of Sune.

The tiefling walked in quietly and set the candle on the bed stand, closing the door behind him. He sat down on the bed, letting his gaze fall upon the paladin.

Even now, Raltiel was beautiful. There was no other word for it. He wasn't ravishingly handsome or darkly seductive like the tiefling, he was simply beautiful. He was an aasimar, and that meant he was touched of the planes, angel-blooded if you wish to be literal. And an angel was what he most resembled, or perhaps a jeweled statue.

His face was slightly androgynous, delicate and narrow, but with carved cheek bones and an aquiline nose. The aasimar's skin was like the surface of an opal, milky white in color but shifting to a virtual palette of shades in the flickering candle-light. His hair was long, well past shoulder-length, but more importantly, it was golden. It wasn't yellow, or blonde, but literally golden, catching the light of the candle and splitting it into a million shards of brilliant light. Raltiel's long lashes hid his eyes, bright green eyes that seemed to be fractured by a web of cracks, magnificent even as they glared a bit groggily at the tiefling for coming in the first place.

Argyros looked at his oldest friend for a while. It occurred to the tiefling that only Raltiel could manage to be a worshipper of the goddess of passion, beauty, love, and sex while at the same time wear such a ridiculous looking nightshirt. It was long, tangled, and did nothing for the aasimar's slender-looking figure. Of course, Argyros had seen that same slender and fragile looking form smash a heavy wooden practice shield in one blow on the training field, so looks were deceiving. Somehow, while he was thinking this, Argyros made a decision.

With two fingers, he extinguished the candle. In the now pitch-black room, he drew the thin covers from Raltiel, a mysterious smile on his lips. Fiendish blood had its advantages. He had been waiting for this moment for a long time...

Feeling strangely nervous, Argyros leaned across the bed, pleasantly surprised to find that tailor of the nightshirt had foreseen just such a contingency. They thought of everything in Sylvania. With his mouth dry from anticipation and worry combined, the tiefling's careful fingers undid the drawstrings of the shirt's front.

Raltiel slid upwards from his fevered half-doze. For a moment, darkness seemed to swirl about him, the fires of his mind threatening to blind him, derisive laughter and screams, and so much pain in the background that it threatened to overwhelm him. The darkness faded, somewhat, as Raltiel lifted himself up a bit to look at the tiefling. There wasn't any pain here, no horror, just a rather shameless tiefling.

"What are you doing?" Raltiel tried to put a disapproving note in his voice, but at best his melodic tone sounded exasperated.

"What does it look like?" Argyros had finished untying the strings, and now let a single hand underneath the aasimar's flaccid member, lifting it up slightly. "I'm going to make sure you have only pleasant dreams tonight, cutter."

With those words the tiefling placed his sensuous mouth about the tip of Raltiel's penis, letting his lithe tongue tease the end. With his hand, Argyros massaged the shaft below, running light fingers along it, as almost despite himself, Raltiel rose to the occasion, his penis swelling and hardening under the tiefling's careful ministrations.

And careful they were, thought Argyros as he let the tip of his tongue touch Raltiel's slowly growing penis again. Most times, the sheer sight of the tiefling unclothed was enough to bring people to full arousal. The paladin was being a trickier. Well, that was alright. Argyros enjoyed a challenge.

A minute passed in enjoyable work. Raltiel certainly seemed to enjoy it, though the aasimar's eyes were closed and he seemed to be whispering to himself when the tiefling looked up at him. Well, so be it. Argyros had not yet begun to fight. Or in this case, love.

Finally the tiefling judged that he could turn his attention to other things. The aasimar's shaft was engorged to near bursting point, and for a moment, Argyros admired it. A crying shame it was, that Raltiel used it so little. Well, that wouldn't be a problem tonight.

Leaving one hand to continue its work, Argyros pulled himself up closer, and began to carefully undo the strings of the nightshirt. Thankfully for the tiefling's own growing impatience, this didn't take long. He had experience undressing with one hand after all. Leaning down again, he kissed his old friends flat stomach, then began to slowly work his way up, past the carved, muscled abs and onto the rolling chest, pale alabaster skin gently thatched with golden hair.

Argyros brought himself up a bit more and kissed his lover's pale face. The aasimar shuddered slightly, though whether from memories or pleasure the tiefling honestly couldn't tell. Argyros cast a surreptitious glance downwards. Raltiel's body certainly seemed to be enjoying itself, which he took as invitation enough.

With a minimum of squirming, Argyros leveraged himself over the paladin, and with a slow movement, lowered himself down onto Raltiel, letting the latter's pearly penis impale the tiefling's tight buttocks. Argyros let out a gasp as he was penetrated, and he noticed Raltiel gripping the bed in a steel grasp.

Almost of their own will, the aasimar's hips began to thrust rhythmically as Argyros lay back across his old friend's chest. If Raltiel noticed the extra weight, he gave no sign, turning his head and letting loose a slight moan.

Still, the tempo of their mutual movement grew, faster and faster, deeper and deeper. Argyros felt himself stiffening, his own penis brought about by the activity, and he brought a hand around to enclose the throbbing mass.

And then, in one short moment that seemed to stretch out for infinity, it was over. Raltiel's back arched, and then the paladin fell back into the bed with a sigh. Argyros got of his friend and lay beside him, looking for a moment at the aasimar. The tiefling didn't think he'd ever seen his friend so relaxed.

But then, there was nothing. Raltiel looked relaxed, but his eyes were closed, and the tiefling could only guess what was going on inside that mind. If he knew Argyros was there, he gave no sign.

"Well Argyros, you really blew it this time..." the tiefling muttered to himself. As the silence stretched, Argyros felt an unnatural gloom settle down on him. He knew the aasimar was a troubled soul. And now Argyros had gone and reminded him of whatever it was lurked in the back of his tattered memory. The tiefling wondered if the Church of Sune would find a reassignment for him or not.

"Sleep tight pal..." Argyros rose to leave.

A hand gripped his arm as he swung his crimson legs off the bed. Surprised, Argyros turned to see Raltiel awake, that familiar crooked smile full on his face, one brilliant green eye closing in a wink, and an unmistakable invitation.

The tiefling's answering grin was as bright as the sun.

Their second lovemaking was slower, more sensuous, and to Argyros's slightly frazzled brain, infinitely more enjoyable for their equal participation. Raltiel's strong hands ran over every inch of the tiefling's body, while Argyros used his tongue with the skill of an artist. It was all the better the long wait, and it seemed as if Raltiel was intent on making up for twelve years of celibacy in one night.

Eventually however, all good things must come to an end, and thus the two friends and lovers lay back in the bed. The nightshirt was but a memory now, and Argyros ran a hand over his old friend's chest as Raltiel played a finer around the horns on the tiefling's head.

"You know, cutter?" said Argyros in a self-satisfied voice, "You've a hidden talent for this."

They slept.


In the morning, Catigern opened the door to his room, wings brushing the sides of the frame as he squeezed through. One would think they never had celestial visitors here.

Catigern wasn't surprised by the fact that Argyros's room was open and the bed unslept in. The aasimar sniffed and wondered why he bothered renting a room for the tiefling anyway.

The scholar was surprised when the door on the other side of the hall opened, and a gloriously naked tiefling emerged from Raltiel's room, whistling a merry tune. Catigern tried to stumble out some form of comment, but his tongue seemed to have declared itself free and independent of the aasimar's mind.

Argyros raised a single languid eyebrow at Catigern's obvious surprise. "Yeeeeeees?" He drawled.

Catigern blushed and fled to the dubious safety of the inn's common room, where he tried to make some sense of the world, with the help of a stiff drink.

The tiefling chuckled and went to his room to get his clothes and gear. It had been a very good night.

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