tagNovels and NovellasPrince Bonir Vol. 03

Prince Bonir Vol. 03

byDrSqueaky©

Vol. 3: The Roman Orgy

Three months into my term as Duke of Averic, things were finally starting to recover from the tumult of the plague. With almost one-third of the population perished, I reorganized the serfs so that the nearest, most productive fields were adequately tended. Some of the crop in fields nearest the border ended up rotting on the vine for lack of manpower at harvest time. With fewer goods and services produced, there was less income to Castle Averic. It would cost money to rebuild the guard to a sufficient size to protect the province—but now was not the time to demand more money of the few, bereaved peasants that remained. I dipped into the family's own treasury to help keeps things afloat and cut back on unnecessary expenses, like fancy balls.

Even the Church was suffering. The Archbishop and I had a personal enmity dating to my childhood, but I respected the important role that Church played in the lives of the people and knew that the Church and state served to counterbalance each others' power. Clergy had been especially hard-hit by plague, perhaps because they had been exposed to so many of the ill when administering last rights. And the peasants, in dire straits, were unable to give to the extent that they used to. Just how hard the plague had been for the Church became clear to me when I received a call from Sister Dominia, Abbess of the Convent of Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering. They Abbey lay in the east of Averic, near the border to the King's own lands. When I was a schoolboy, Sister Dominia taught catechism, and we thought she was so old that she would fall over dead in the midst of the lesson. Ten years and one plague later, half of her convent had perished, but Sister Dominia continued on.

"Sister Dominia!" I exclaimed in half-disbelief as she came to see me for an audience.

"Your Grace," she replied as she strode forward.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?" I asked.

"The Abbey," she said, getting straight the point as she always had, "is in dire need. So many sisters were taken by plague that one of the two halls of the Abbey stands empty. The roofs of our buildings leak so badly the sisters get drenched if they are saying vespers during a storm. There aren't enough of us to tend the grapes, so we will produce little wine this year, and that is our only source of income. We need help."

"I am sorry to hear that, Sister," I said honestly, "but surely the Archbishop is the one who can help you?"

"The Archbishop has turned his back on us," she answered bitterly. "In the past, the Archdiocese could help when needed, but there is barely enough coming in to the coffers to keep the churches open. He has told us flatly that he cannot help us out."

"Unfortunately, the plague has hit us all hard," I answered. "The fields likewise have not enough peasants to farm them, and tax revenue is way down. I have had to use my own personal funds to pay the guard. We are all in the same boat."

"And that boat shall sink if we do not patch it soon," she replied. She wasn't surprised that the government couldn't help, but she owed it to her Abbey to ask. "We would take any assistance we can get—if not financial, manpower, materials, anything."

"If we can spare anything, I shall think of you," I promised. Sister Dominia bowed and took her leave. We both knew those words likely meant nothing.

-----------------

While it seemed everything was suffering from the results of the plague, one industry thrived: witch hunting. The superstitious masses blamed almost everything bad on witches, and a group of them somewhere decided that witches must have been behind the plague, and set about trying to uncover their coven. Mysterious flyers titled "Identifying Wytches and Wytchcraft" were circulating, not just in Averic but throughout the kingdom. Across the realm women of all sorts, and even a few men, were being charged with witchcraft. In almost all of the other fiefdoms, witches were turned over to the Church for prosecution. What happened to them depended on the diocese, but the vast majority ended up being tortured to death.

Not so in Averic.

I personally tried those suspected of witchcraft, and had exonerated the accused in every case. At first, I had even offered positions in my household staff to the fairest of the accused, and as a result I had two lovely two paramours living in my castle. Eve had been the first; raven-haired, ample of bosom and in her mid-twenties, she was an experienced and sophisticated lover. Arianna was in many ways her opposite; flame-red haired, slight, and younger even than I at 20, she was naïve and inexperienced but made up for it with a strong willingness to please. I was fortunate indeed, but had also had resolved to take on no more, even if my finances would have permitted it. I wished both of my concubines to be equals, and vowed to share myself with them equally—but I also thought that I would be the one to initiate relations with them. Instead, there developed a friendly competition for my attention as each sought to reassure herself that she remained in my favor. Thus each became increasingly proactive in offering me her charms, and in order to avoid jealousies forming and keep peace in the house I felt I should not turn down any reasonable advances. Thus I found myself passing nearly every idle moment engaged in the pleasures of the flesh. A wonderful problem to have, but one I had to maintain limits on, or surely I would expend so much energy on me personal entertainments as to neglect my responsibilities as Duke. That is why the arrival of Maris caused me such concern.

The guards had heard reports of a stranger being seen in a border town. They located and questioned her, then brought her to me to decide her disposition. As she was brought forward, Jauffrey announced "The Duke shall now hear the case of Maris, vassal of the Count of Merseinne."

An attractive young woman with long fair hair, dressed in peasant attire, was brought forward. She wore chains on her neck, wrists and ankles; a single length of chain ran from her collar connected to the chains between her wrists and ankles. Before I could even ask the first question, she fell to the ground, pleading "My lord, Prince Bonir, I beg of you, I am need of protection."

"Rise!" I commanded. She remained on her knees, however, although she kneeled upright to better converse. "Protection from what?"

"My lord, there are those who would have me tried as a witch in Merseinne. If I am returned to them, I shall surely perish. I..." her voice faltered slightly. She swallowed hard and continued "When I was a girl, I watched them burn my poor, innocent Aunt alive. One of the townsfolk was grievously injured by a wild boar, and she attempted to help heal the wounds by mixing herbal remedies. When he perished in spite of her efforts, they accused her of killing him. Many came forward in her defense, but in the end she was burned anyway." She paused as bitter memories filled her head. She concluded "To this day the sound of her screams wakes me up at night." Tears already streamed down her cheeks.

"See, you have nothing to fear," I said, walking down the steps from the throne and scooping a tear from her cheek, tasting it to verify its saltiness. "You tears already exonerate you."

"My lord," she replied, "such reason holds sway in Averic because you make it so. It is not so in all of the provinces."

"What say you?" I asked, astonished. "Performing acts that witches are known to be incapable of is not sufficient proof for exoneration?"

She shook her head from side to side. "No, my lord. They are dismissed as trickery and deceit, perverted so as to be taken as further proof of witchcraft." I stood there, stunned. "My mother heard that charges were being brought against me, I know not on what grounds. It matters not, as the outcome is assured in Merseinne. She gave me all the money we had saved up and told me to flee at once to Averic. She told me that she heard rumors that a witch can get a fair trial there from His Grace the Duke. I had not even time to pack anything, all I possess is the clothes I wear and the few coins that remain from my journey." After a pause, she said, "I do not know if my mother even yet lives, or if perhaps she was executed for aiding me in my flight." She cast her eyes down at the ground, unable to stem the flood of tears, but trying to hold back the sobbing.

Stunned, I sauntered back to my throne and sat upon it. "My heart goes out to you, dear lady," I said thinking out loud, "but I am a loss as to how to help. In the past I have sometimes accepted cases such as yours into my own household, but I cannot do that now, for my household is full. Worse, if you have heard in far-off Merseinne that a witch can get a fair trial in Averic, and it is not so elsewhere, then we can expect a flood of accused witches may be sneaking under the cover of night towards our borders even as we speak."

"I cannot simply return you to Merseinne to face certain death. But nor can I simply permit you to reside in Averic. The Manor system is grounded on vassals bound to serve one lord. The system only works so long as the lords agree to honor each others' indentures. Without it, one province could raid its neighbors, offering incentives for peasants to relocate and farm its undermanned fields. Others would follow suit, and soon the kingdom would fall into chaos. Peasants would be moving from manor to manor constantly, leaving no time for working. Peasant wars would erupt between provinces, and in the end the kingdom would surely fall." The entire court was silent as a grave; even Maris had ceased her tears as she listened to me explaining the predicament she posed.

"To simply ignore your indenture to Merseinne would have disastrous diplomatic repercussions for Averic. The King might be called upon to step in; perhaps he would simply remove the authority under which we, not the Church, hear cases of witchcraft. We would lose the ability to save even our own unjustly accused." Absolute silence remained. "And yet," I added softly, "we cannot stand idly by and turn over innocents to their certain death..." I was silent for a long time, unable to see a workable solution. "Take her to a cell until I can come up with an equitable solution to this predicament."

Maris stood. She cursied, saying "Thank you, my lord, for your consideration of my case. I surely do not mean for any harm to come to you or your people." Then she walked in the direction she was pointed. Prisoners usually need "encouragement" to be led to the dungeons, but no one needed to lay a finger on Maris as she went to the dungeon of her own accord. In its own way, this spoke volumes about her state; being imprisoned in a dungeon was a far better outcome than being burned at the stake. I supposed I could simply fill up my dungeons with exonerated witches, but it was hardly fair to sentence innocents to lifelong imprisonment. With apologies to cases that were waiting, I recessed the court for the day. I retired to my private apartment to think. If indeed Maris was a portent of things to come, I faced a significant problem indeed.

I decided I needed to convince myself that she spoke truth of the state of affairs in Merseinne.

I called to Jauffrey, saying "I wish to question Maris further." With a nod, he led me to the cell where she was held. It was a normal cell, and with the chains she wore it wasn't deemed necessary to additionally tether her to the wall.

The door was opened and I stepped inside. Maris, who had been laying on the cold stone floor, quickly got up and knelt before me. "I am at your service, my lord," she pleaded.

"You have told me of your Aunt, and it is a sad tale indeed," I began. "But what make you so sure that the same would happen to you."

"Because it is also what happened to Agatha...and Calyn...and Ellsyn..." She recited at least a dozen names of other accused witches who were either executed or never seen again. It was the matter-of-fact fashion with which she produced this list that convinced me she told the truth.

I sighed. It was not just a girl and her mother's fear at work here.

Suddenly I felt two hands softly touching the hose at my thighs. "My lord," she pleaded, "my life is truly in your hands. I do not ask that you take me and every other accused witch into the kingdom into your household." She began to gently rub her hands up and down my thighs. "I am thankful that you have not simply banished me to Merseinne already. It would be better to spend all of my days in this dungeon than to suffer as my Aunt did." She had steadily moved her hands upwards, and now was gently caressing the crotch of my hose. This did not escape the attention of the little knight inside them.

"Maris..." I said, trying to interrupt her but not actually stepping back from her.

"They say Your Grace's justice is swayed neither by money nor flattery," gently touching her face against the front of my hose, their occupant was now fully enlarged. "But they say that there are certain gifts only a young woman possesses that Your Grace appreciates..." And then—I have no idea how she did this—but with two quick, subtle movements her dress tumbled from her shoulders. Her sleeves caught on the shackles at her wrist, preventing it from coming off altogether, but nonetheless as she knelt before me she was bare to the waist. She had pale, unblemished skin, with sizeable breasts that stood out firmly, a testament to her youth. But what really drew my eye were the dark pink nipples, extended almost to the point of discomfort, presumably from the cold of the cell. I stood frozen; I wished to touch them, to taste them, but knew I should not.

Maris looked up at me, hoping that I would appreciate that which she was offering. Interpreting my stasis to mean I liked what I saw, she reached for my waistline and pulled down my hose. Their occupant sprang forth like a tiny lance. Maris placed it inside her mouth and began to gently caress it with her tongue. Oh shit! My fondness for females shall clearly be my downfall, I thought. But it was too late to turn back now—my penis was too enthralled by the sensations of Maris' tongue for me to back away. Instead, I grasped her nipples between my fingers and enjoyed the ride.

I hate to admit it, but there is something extra-intense about a woman's oral ministrations when she believes her life depends on it. I had first experienced it with Eve, and now Maris—but whereas Eve was experienced and knew how to pleasure a man, Maris was not. But, much as Eve had been, in her desperation to please she was highly attentive to that which brought greater reaction, and responded with more of the same. Thus it took very little encouragement for her to understand that the in-and-out motion, coupled with the caresses within, were what really stirred the pot. Of her own initiative she accentuated the process by gently stroking my sac with her fingers. It is really a shame I cannot take her into my household, as she has much potential, I thought. Then I scolded myself for my weakness to the charms of the fair sex, even as Maris pleasured me. While in truth I had not changed my disposition in the slightest as a result of favors received, there was no doubt that the appearance suggested otherwise. And if it had become known that my mind might be swayed by an eager tongue...come to think of it, how had word gotten out? At first I thought of Eve, but I couldn't imagine that she would advertise the methods she employed to attempt to earn my favor. Then I remembered that there were guards behind me, watching the entire proceedings. There was no longer any mystery as how word had gotten out.

I was drawn back from my thoughts by an especially intense sensation. It seemed that Maris decided to test to see just how much of the stout fellow she could swallow; as she strained, valiantly but ultimately unsuccessfully, to engulf its entirety, the pleasurable feeling was astonishing. Without realizing I gripped her breasts harder, to the point that she reflexively withdrew in pain.

I relaxed my grip, and she immediately returned to her attempts to envelop me completely. But as pleasurable as it was, the pace was too slow to bring me to culmination. So I let go of her wonderful breasts—not without regret—and gently placed my hands on the back of her head. Whereas up to now she had done most of the work, I now began to thrust with my buttocks, pushing my penis into and out of her mouth at my preferred rhythm. She in turn held still, looking up to me for guidance, allowing me to penetrate her soft tissues, doing her best to caress me while I was within her reach.

Suddenly I felt it arising. I shortened and quickened my strokes. Maris stayed put, sensing something was about to happen, but perhaps not entirely sure what the end result of this endeavor even was. Her mouth was as virginal as Arianna had been when first I lay with her; this realization put me over the top. I felt myself stiffen and seed exploded from my loins, filling her mouth.

Maris' eyes betrayed surprise; she had not known she would end up with a mouthful of salty, sticky fluid. I withdrew from between her lips, but I could see she held it in her mouth, unsure of what to do with it. "Man-seed is not harmful," I informed her, "you may swallow it safely, or spit it out if you prefer." She gave a nod with her head, which it took me a minute to realize meant she wished to know what I wanted her to do with it. "If you're asking my preference, I'd rather that you swallow it." And without hesitation, she did.

I stepped back and pulled up my hose. "Again, my treatment of your case is no different as a result of your efforts to win my favor, as I value fairness above all else. I shall consider further the best course of action in this case."

"I am you humble servant, my lord," she said quietly, looking down. I would imagine she must have been a little disappointed to not have earned a more favorable response, but I had warned her of such at the outset. And then I did something I should not have; those outstanding pink tips of her breasts, that I had joyfully fingered throughout her servicing of me—I wished to taste them. She still knelt upright on the ground. Quick as a flash, I got down on one knee, encircled one with my lips, and tested it with my tongue. It was so firm, and yet so delicate. Maris closed her eyes as she now felt pleasurable sensations. Well, I'd wanted to know how it felt in my mouth, and now I knew—outstanding. Just as abruptly I forced myself to stand and depart from the cell. I knew I had better leave at once, or the little duke would commit me to something the big duke could not fulfill.

-------------------

I was lost in thought as I marched toward my apartments. How could I be fair to an innocent such as this, and not put my own kingdom in political jeopardy? "Tell the scribe to search in the library for recent news from Merseinne. See if you can verify any news of witches bearing any of the names she identified." One of the servants ran to pass the order, but I was certain that her story would be confirmed.

I thought too of my own weakness, and the reputation I had already earned for being able to be swayed by a fair maiden's gentle mouth. I certainly could not have a desperate girl attempt to undress me in public court! I laughed in spite of myself as I imagined the uproar that would have ensued. I remembered for a moment Sister Dominia's visit earlier in the day, and imagined the completely scandalized look upon her face. And at that moment I had an Archimedes moment. I did not shout "Eureka" as had the great sage when solved the problem of the golden crown, but I did stop in mid-stride, putting my hands out to the side as I'd been struck by lightning. The guard rushed to me, thinking perhaps I had pains, only to find me with a relaxed smile on my face. "Send a messenger at once to the Abbey of the Covenant. I wish to see Sister Dominia at once—tomorrow morning if at all possible." Again a hurried dispatch to relay the order. Although the details were still taking shape, I had a solution to my problem. "Oh, and Jauffrey," I said as I entered my private chambers, "please send for Eve and Arianna"

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