tagSci-Fi & FantasyRemember... Ch. 01

Remember... Ch. 01



Chapter 1: In Destiny's Garden

The Carrou forest served as a natural boundary between the Human kingdom of Rancer and the Elven kingdom of Mise, and was kept clear of settlements as per the kingdoms' agreements. It had been this way for as long as anyone could remember.

Mark loved this forest since the first time he traveled through it as a boy more than a dozen years ago. It felt clean. The air, of course but also the flow of magic which permeated everything in the world, feels especially pure here.

"Alright, men. We will set up camp here for tonight," Mark announced. "It's our first night in the forest, so if any of ya snuck some booze with you behind my back, finish it now. If anyone gets shitfaced tonight and breaks something, I can still send you back to Crielere."

The soldiers laughed then got to work pitching tents and starting bonfires.

"Ryan, Thomson, there is a stream to our east. Go fetch us some water," he ordered, then turned to speak to everyone, "Don't touch the fish or any animals you don't recognize here, unless you want to have your skin glow bright pink at night, or sprout extra limbs." He then thought for a moment. "If that happens to any one of you, I'll immediately send you to the Society to be studied."

"But what if I've already got a third leg?" Some one shouted. The troops laughed.

"Good, Smith, then you shouldn't be tired from the walking. Go help Ryan and Thomson with the water." Mark replied. Everyone but Smith chuckled.

"Magus Keith, may I speak to you for a moment?"

A middle aged man stepped forward. "Yes, Captain?"

"Thank you and the Society both for coming with us on this mission," Mark said.

Keith smiled. "The pleasure is mine, Captain Raven. The Society serves the Crown, so it is our duty to help in what ways we can. Besides, I can't afford to pass up an opportunity to visit the Elven kingdom," He gave a slight bow.

"Is it possible to set up a small security shield around our camp without disturbing the flow of magic around here too much?" Mark asked.

"Oh? You can feel the flows too? Yes, the magic around here is very... unique. I would like to keep foreign magic to a minimum as well," Keith nodded. "I'll construct a small security barrier around the camp to detect anything sneaking in but it can not substitute for patrols."

"Thank you Magus," Mark said, he then turned back to his men. "As soon as the camp is up, we will need patrols. I will take first shift with Zach, Lee, and Fremen."

In a few minutes Mark finished pitching his own tent and after refilling his water pouch and packing some rations walked to the group of men he'd picked for the patrol.

"Zach, you will head east for about five hundred meters and make a circle around the camp clockwise. Lee, you go west and do the same. Sergeant Fremen will go south, and I'll go north. If there's anything to report, call it on the com necklaces though take care not to go too far, since the magic in the forest will interfere with our reception."

"Yes, Sir," the men saluted, and left in their respective directions.

"Captain Raven, a moment please."

Mark turned around to see Magus Keith.

"Yes, Magus? Walk with me," he said, as he started north.

"I've finished the spell although as you've said, the natural flows of this forest seem to be suppressing the magic."

Mark nodded, "Thank you. That was what I expected."

"How do you know about the flows of magic around here?" Keith asked. "I mean no offense but you haven't been practicing magic without notifying the Society, have you?"

Mark chuckled, "No, of course not. The King is still committed to rooting out the Rogue mages. I've just been born with the ability to sense the flows. I don't see them nearly as clearly as trained mages and sorcerers do, but... It's like closing your eyes and listening to a group of strangers, you don't see the people but you can still tell roughly where they are and you can still distinguish what's said by different people, even if you don't know exactly who said what."

Keith nodded. "Ah, a Senser. Well, I've never personally met anyone with your ability before but it has been documented in the past. I'll head back to camp now and I'll see you in the morning, Captain." he bowed and turned back to the camp.

The patrol was uneventful until about the fourth circle around. At first, Mark thought they were fireflies until he realized that the flashes were coming from quite a distance away. He ran towards them to investigate. As he got closer, he could feel the flows of magic changing slightly too and the flashes getting more frequent. He thought he could hear screams, too.

"Zach, Lee, come in," he said to his necklace. No answer. He tried twice more with the same result.

The flashes were coming very fast now, once every second and there were more screams, one distinctly female. Deciding that he can't wait for backup, Mark ran towards them.

As he neared, the flashes stopped. However, the unnatural flows of magic and the light from a fire still emanated from ahead. He slowed and quietly walked towards his destination. Soon, he could start hearing bits of conversation.

"That bitch can fight!" one voice said.

"That's not fighting. Gar just got careless," said another voice.

"Fine. Her guards can fight. They got four of us," said another.

"Yeah, we got all four of them too."

"And our prize!"

"We should leave now."

"No! I want to play with her. There's no one else around to stop us."

"Don't kill her!"

"He never said we can't fuck her."

There was a muffled squeal.

"A virgin too!"

"Yeah, he just wants her alive."

"And not brain dead."

"So we can fuck with her head too."

"But only a little."

"With what?"

"Well, I have the collar."

"Great! Get to work!"

"Wait! Start with just two! Add more to it slowly. Let's see how long she'll last."

"Ungag her. I want to hear her beg."

There were at least six different voices. Six different people. He could handle that.

"What... what are you doing?" A new young and distinctly feminine voice asked. "No... no! Please... oh..."

"Put on another charm!" one of the six said.

The girl moaned. "Please. No. Oh..."

"Beg for it, girly."

"Say 'Please fuck me.' We'll be happy to oblige."

"No more..."the girl moaned again, louder.

"That's only four charms, girly. We've got ten more to go. Do you want to torture yourself for that long?"

"We can't put all fourteen on her! It'll kill her!"

"Shut up. She's already giving in. I'll be surprised if she can last another two."

"What are you waiting for? Put on another."

"Ooooh! Please!" The girl moaned loudly.

"Please what, you little slut?"

"Please..."She choked. "Please touch me..."

"Touch you? We're already touching you everywhere. You don't really JUST want to be touched, do you?"

"Another charm I guess."

"Please! Please... please... please..."The girl cried. She couldn't even seem to form sentences anymore.

Mark peeked around the final tree. There were four corpses clothed in Elven armor, but their flesh was charred beyond recognition. Five other bodies dressed in dark red robes lay around the simple campsite, dead from various wounds, a few with several throwing knives and tomahawks embedded in their torsos. The six remaining red robes were gathered across the clearing around a naked girl. She was tied spread eagle to stakes in the ground that had, until recently, been holding up a tent.

"Just say it, slut. Just say it and you'll feel so much better."

The girl shook her head, but still repeated her mantra.

"Add the seventh charm."

Mark took his bow, and carefully aimed an arrow at the closest red robe, and fired.

Her desperate moan was enough to distract the men around her until a second body fell. The sight of two dead comrades with arrows through their necks was enough to rouse the other four into action.

Mark sensed the flows constructing the spells before they were even complete. He leaped towards the nearest corpse, tumbled and kicked the body into the air towards the group of mages just as the spells were released. The spells impacted the flying body sending a shower of sparks and flame into the air. Jumping back to the trees, Mark released a throwing knife liberated from a corpse, hitting another mage in the chest. The next wave of magical bolts scorched the tree he hid behind.

"Is it another guard?"

"No! There were only four. This is just some unlucky hunter. No one else would be here."

"That's not a hunter! Do you think a hunter could do that?"

"It doesn't matter who he is. He's here now and he'll be fried just like the others."

Mark felt another wave of magical flow and quickly jumped behind another tree. Almost immediately a fireball hit and enveloped the trunk of the first, searing the area where he had just been standing.

Mark started running around the camp, firing arrows whenever he could see them between the trees. An arrow hit one of them in the thigh and he fell with a scream. The last two mages each released a white ball towards him. The balls began tracking him, following him as he weaved between trees and branches.

Just as the first ball was about to hit, Mark pulled out his sword and jabbed it into a tree, using it to lever himself upwards. The closest balls didn't turn fast enough and slammed into a branch high in the canopy. But the second one reacted in time and hit Mark in mid swing. There was a brilliant flash, and a tremendous force threw him into the air, slamming him into a nearby tree. Mark pulled himself painfully to his feet. "Gotta keep moving. Gotta keep moving," he muttered to himself. Mark wrenched his sword from the tree and charged towards the last two mages. He tossed the sword at the closest, impaling the surprised man through the chest. Mark caught the body just as it began to fall, using it as a shield against the last mage's spell which set the dying man on fire. He pulled out the sword and slashed the last man across the chest.

When the last one had fallen Mark looked around and found the mage he had shot in the leg dragging himself towards the edge of the clearing. Mark walked up to him.

"You! Who do you work for? Why are you here?" Mark asked.

The man was pale from blood loss, but he turned around to face him. "I... We... we're..."

Mark suddenly felt a flow of magic. In the blink of an eye he slashed the man's neck and the flow stopped. He took a step back to make sure the area was really secure.

"Please fuck me... please fuck me... please fuck me..."a distant voice sobbed.

Mark had almost forgotten about the girl. He ran to where she lay bound on the ground. She was naked except for a blindfold and a black leather collar. Her long hair was in a mess, her lithe arms and legs strained against the ropes that restrained her. Beads of perspiration dotted her body, reflecting the light from the bonfire. Her hands balled into fists as she struggled for release in more than one way.

He could tell that she was crying now, her ample chest heaving as she sobbed and bucked her body, searching for attention. Her juices trickled between her legs, making a wet spot under her shapely butt. Mark found himself harden despite the situation. If it wasn't for what had just happened, he would have gladly given her what she's begging for.

"Are you alright? It's ok now," Mark said, removing her blindfold. But the girl's eyes were clenched shut and she didn't respond to his voice.

"Please! Fuck me! Please!" The girl cried, not seeming to notice that Mark was freeing her.

It must be the collar, Mark thought, recalling what the mages had been saying. It took a minute, but he finally figured out how to remove the collar from her neck. When he did, she quickly stopped begging and crying. Her body stopped moving, except for her chest still breathing hard from her exertions.

Finally, Mark cut the ropes tying her in the spread eagle position and the girl slowly opened her eyes and tried to get up.

"Are you alright?"

"Th... Thank you, Sir," she said weakly.

"Call me Mark. Are you hurt?"

The girl slowly shook her head, and tried to prop herself up with her elbows before collapsing and falling into unconsciousness.

Mark checked her pulse to make sure she was indeed alright and then found her some clothes. Silk panties, a silk shift, a green shirt and matching skirt. As he buttoned her shirt, he brushed away her long hair that was getting in the way. That was when he noticed her ears. They were long and pointed. She was an elf! Blessed with almost eternal youth, the elves matured as humans do for the first 20 or 30 years then after that, stopped aging. An elf girl like her could be half a century or even a few hundred years old. It was well known that unless they were killed, they would never die although they did "return to nature" when they are over a thousand years old.

Mark secured the collar along with the bag of charms found next to the girl in a pouch to be studied by Magus Keith once he returned. Then he picked up the girl in his arms and headed back towards the camp.

As he neared the camp a voice called out. "Halt! Identify yourself!"

"Stand down, Sergeant Fremen," Mark ordered. The voices seemed to have woken the sleeping elf in his arms. She squirmed uncomfortably, so he slowly let her down. As she stood straight, he noticed that she was about half a head shorter than he was.

"Captain! What are you doing here? Is there someone with you?" Fremen emerged from behind a nearby bush.

"Yes, I have an elf with me. Her camp was attacked by some mages, probably rogue. She was the only survivor out of five. I'll take her back to our camp. Get some more men on patrol. I don't know if there are any more of her assailants out there tonight. It's best to be on the safe side."

"Yes, Sir!" Fremen then spoke into his necklace. "Corporal Yee, grab five more men and have them come out for patrol. Radius five hundred meters."

The elf, slightly dazed, looked around and then sleepily looked at Mark. Suddenly, she tensed and grabbed her own shoulders covering herself as if she was naked but she relaxed when she found she was clothed

"I took the liberty of dressing you. I hope you don't mind," Mark said to her.

She looked down, embarrassed. "Thank you," she whispered,

Mark led her to the camp and was met there by Magus Keith.

"Are you alright, Captain?"

"I'm fine but would you take a look at..."Mark looked at the elf girl.

"Amanda," she said.

"Would you take a look at Miss Amanda for me please? Our medics aren't any good at treating Elven ailments. There was also a spell on her earlier, in the form of this." He gave Keith the pouch with the collar and the charms. "I want to make sure there are no permanent effects. Put her up in my tent for the night."

"Very well, sir. I'll work on it right away," Keith said, still sounding a little sleepy. Then turning to Amanda he added, "If you would please follow me this way."

Amanda nodded and looked at Mark. She stood there for a moment as if trying to make up her mind about something. Then, biting her lower lip, she held Mark's hand and pulled him along. Surprised, he followed her to his tent. "I should stay out here," Mark said. "There's -"

"Please, Sir," she interrupted, quietly. "I..."She was about to say something but decided against it. "Please stay with me."

Mark sighed and went in, following her long flowing hair.

Inside, Magus Keith finished examining the collar and the charms. He quickly put everything back into the bag and handed it back to Mark. Then without saying a word, began using the flows to construct new magic around Amanda.

It took a while but when he finished, Keith smiled. "Everything is fine" he smiled to Amanda. The effects of the spell are already mostly gone and should disappear completely by sunrise. Now it's important for you to rest, not only for your body but also to reduce any unpleasant effects of that spell."

The elf nodded. "Thank you."

"If you'll excuse us..."Keith bowed and left, along with Mark.

Once they were outside Keith walked to an empty part of the clearing before speaking.

"Captain, I'm sure you realize what that collar did," he began.

Mark nodded.

"This collar is not at all uncommon. It produces uncontrollable lust in its wearer and is used frequently by the sex slave traders and in brothels around the kingdom. These charms, at least some of them are not uncommon either, used as basic spell strength enhancers," He said. "However even the most expensive brothels and the most experienced slave traders usually only have up to the fifth charm. I've heard rumors that Madam Kessing of the famous Red Horse even has the sixth in her private collection."

Mark raised an eyebrow. "But this set has fourteen charms."

"Exactly. The charms cause... um... orgasm at eight. In the land of the Drow, the Farie, and handful of others where such things are more common, sets of ten or more are considered Executioner Sets since at those numbers they can cause the wearer to die in a few minutes. A set of fourteen charms is called the Reaper Set. The only known Reaper Set is in the possession of the Drow Matriarch. If someone wears all fourteen charms at once, they will die of... excitement... in less than ten seconds."

Mark was bewildered. "The Drows attacked her? Here? This is no where near..."

Keith shook his head. "This set is not from the Drows, nor is it from any other race that I recognize. I'll have to present them to the Society once we get back." He quickly added, "Of course, that is with your permission and we will return them to you, Captain, once the Society has completed its examination."

"That's fine," Mark nodded. "Cumming to death... that might not be such a bad way to go, eh?"

"It's not as fun a way to die as one might think. In the women it is not so ghastly, but the male victims of the Executioner Sets end up cumming blood towards the end of their ordeal," Keith said.

Mark cringed. "So... is Amanda alright?" he finally asked.

"Yes, she is fine. The spell will work itself out of her system in a few hours. The Elves, once they reach fifty years old or so, have an amazing cleansing system. Good enough to make them immune to all known fatal poisons and purge most spell effects in just a few hours."

"Excuse me," a voice said, quietly.

Mark turned around. Amanda was leaning against a nearby tree. "You should be sleeping, Miss," he said. You need to rest."

"Do you ..?"She paused.

Magus Keith saw her hesitation and excused himself. "Captain, I would like to see the site of the attack in the morning. But for now, this is all that I can do."

"Thank you, Magus. I will see you in the morning, and take you there. Good night," Mark said. He then turned to the elf.

"How may I help, Miss?"

She looked left and right to make sure no one was in earshot. "Do you... happen to have another change of clothes for me?" she asked. She seemed restless, holding her hands in front of her,

then behind then by her side, gripping her skirt.

"Err. No, I didn't think to bring extras. We'll be going to your camp again tomorrow, and we can get the rest of your belongings then. Is that alright?"

Amanda squirmed a little, stretching her arms above her head. "I just need to..." She stopped and looked down. "Never mind. May I have some water, Sir?"

Mark handed her his pouch. She drank in large gulps, as if parched from days of thirst.

"Thank you," she said, handing back the nearly empty pouch.

"You should sleep, Miss..."

"Just call me Amanda."

"Alright. You should sleep now, Amanda. If you need anything, I'll be in my Lieutenant's tent over there."

Amanda held on to Mark's Hand. "Please stay with me, Sir."

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