Sune's Chosen Ch. 03bysrhammer8888©
[Author's Note: Lots of storytelling in this chapter. Enjoy!]
Miria was on her knees, naked with sweat beading all over her body. Her private room was dark, save for several glowing candles, and filled with the narcotic, tangy scent of incense that all Sunite worshippers burnt when communing with their goddess. She rocked back and forth, whispering and humming platitudes and hymns to her goddess, waiting for Sune or one of her Maidens to make contact with her.
It happened in a rush. The candles flared and shifted into a violet hue and her breath caught in her throat. Miria's elven heart quickened, she felt her blood pulsing, pounding in her head, breast, and loins. Sexual energy filled her as the sensual presence of Sune entered Miria's private chambers. She grasped the holy symbol resting just above the valley of her breasts and held very still.
"My Daughter," came a woman's voice. Miria didn't dare open her eyes. She knew it was not Sune in the room with her, but one of her divine servants, and even though she was not her goddess, Miria knew she would be too beautiful to look upon without inducing a bout of enfeeblement.
"Blessed Servant of Sune," Miria said past the lump in her throat. "I am honored by your presence."
"For what matter do you seek our Lady Firehair's divine wisdom?"
"This Fest Hall has come under attack by outsiders. The so-called Righteous Hand of Silverymoon has declared the followers of Sune, and Sune herself, a blight upon the city, that we are immoral and prostitutes. They wish the Dancing Rose to be repurposed for righteous, wholesome works." Miria gasped, feeling a thrill of pleasure course from her toes to her loins. She knew the Maiden was eyeing her, judging her passions.
"Your heart for Sune is impure," the Maiden said, a measure of contempt in her voice. "You place too much value on duty, work, and discipline. You do not honor your passions as you once did, Miria Melineth. The Divine Dance has been lost on you. It is an exercise in superiority, now, and not of passion, not of pleasure, though you surely do take much pleasure from...Luravaln Xelarose. Interesting."
Miria was in stunned silence. She did not speak, for she knew not what to say. She did know, however, that the Maiden was right. She had lost her ability to enjoy her carnal desires, and that troubled her. The elf had lost herself in the duties of administration and running the Dancing Rose, and had forgotten what the Fest Hall represented.
She was about to speak to the Maiden, but she felt the sensual presence vanish. The candles returned to normal, though the narcotic smoke from her incense remained. She breathed deep, determination burning in her breast. The elf let the incense do its job, felt her skin tingle with heightened sensitivity. She rose in a hurry, feeling the sweat cascading over her bare flesh keenly, especially as several drops fell from her hardened nipples.
A cool breeze cast itself over her skin with almost an electric quality as her skin drew taut with goose flesh. The paladin held her hand out, palm up, and spoke a divine couplet, one that select servants of Sune were taught, and pinpoints of light began to swirl in her hand. More lights added to the swirl and they began to coalesce into a solid shape. Before long, a slender, lengthy rod of force coalesced in her hand, roughly the size and shape of a human phallus. She bit her lip and quickly applied the length to her sweat-soaked nexus, gliding the shaft over the moisture to ease its imminent penetration. Desperate to please her goddess, she plunged the member into her, and her world crashed around it.
"You intrude upon my realm, woman," a deep voice bellowed. "What business do you have with me? Or is this another of your frivolous flirtations?"
"Come now," a sultry, ultra-feminine voice said. Her voice purred with sensuality, curling around the vibrations of her counterpart's deep, powerful voice like a lover's fingers roaming over skin. "Why must you spurn me at every opportunity?"
"Because there is nothing lasting about you, therefore you are not worth the effort," the deep voice said. "You, Sune, do not have tastes. You see, and you conquer, and you move on to your next whim."
"Tempus, Tempus," Sune said, smiling coyly as she stepped out from behind a giant marble column to face Tempus, the God of Battle, on his mighty stone throne. Her fiery red hair cascaded in long, flowing curls down her back and over her shoulders, covering most of the loose vermillion gown she wore. The neckline cascaded down below her navel, and only her divine magic kept her breasts hidden (somewhat). Daring slits rose up to her hips, giving a wonderous view of her long, shapely legs, accented by the high-heeled sandals she wore. "Can you not see that it is that very fact that makes us so alike?"
"You are nothing like me," Tempus said, his voice low and threatening. "What I conquer, I repurpose. What you conquer, you cast aside to be used later, if again at all."
"Perhaps I just haven't found what I'm looking for yet," she said, pretending to be hurt. He was right, of course. Some of those she had bedded were worthwhile, and they resided in her divine palace, but many, many others had been sent on their way with a pleasant memory and a story none would ever believe.
"Why are you here, enchantress," Tempus stated more than asked. He heaved a great sigh, already tired of her games.
Sune eyed him with desire. He had been her only object of affection that had resisted her every charm. His vest was made from the skins of powerful beasts, and his thickly muscled torso strained the leather, just as his thick, tree-trunk thighs strained his short, torn breeches. Even his bare feet exuded power and strength. "I have a proposal for you."
"Of course you do," Tempus replied.
"This is unlike my other proposals, dear Tempus," she said, smirking a bit.
"I need assistance with some unsavory individuals in Silverymoon," she said, feigning helplessness with a whimpering voice and slumped shoulders.
"I truly doubt that," Tempus said, coming forward in his throne. His elbows held his massive torso over his knees. "I may not be known for acquiring vast amounts of information, but I have my resources, and I know that you have a Chosen in that city."
"Checking up on me? How sweet," she said, taking a few steps forward. She made certain to let her leg slip through the fabric seductively. His scowl spurned her, but she did not let it affect her. "Perhaps I do, but she is unaware of her gift. Even now she lay with a man not worthy of her affections."
"That is the problem with you, Sune," Tempus said. "So few are worthy of your affections, that you cannot see those that would honor you day in and day out. Your pride removes you from true happiness."
"Pish posh, Battle God," she said, waving her hand dismissively. "The point of the matter is this: if my Fest Hall closes, it will be one less base of power for me. As you know, my people are not known for their prowess in battle, and I fear that the situation in Silverymoon may come to a violent end."
"Then you should take heed of your followers more closely, woman," Tempus said, standing. He hefted his weapon onto his shoulder and came down to her level. "I know of all battles. It is my duty, and my pleasure, to do so. I know that your Chosen just single-handedly dispatched a Knight in Silver. You will not receive my aid, Sune. Nor are you ever truly welcome in my realm. Begone, now, before I summon my Chosen."
For the first time since her visit, Sune scowled. She turned abruptly and took three steps before fading from sight. From behind his throne, a tall, strong woman with blonde hair and lightly tanned skin emerged, wearing shining red plate armor. A longsword and mighty shield were slung over her back, and she crossed her arms over her fitted breastplate. She scowled, though that did little to diminish her beauty.
"Whore," the Red Knight said, glaring at the empty space Sune had disappeared from. "She considers you a foe, yet still she comes seeking your assistance. It is illogical."
Tempus favored the Red Knight with a fatherly smile. She was not as powerful a deity as he, but with his sponsorship had risen quickly in the ranks of the pantheon. "Be calm," he said. "She is a frivolous, flighty thing, who does not understand what it means to have a true enemy. She would consort with the likes of Shar, if the Dark Goddess had the proper charms."
"Why do you allow her here?" the Red Knight demanded, glaring at the Lord of Battle.
"What would you have me do, stare at my empty hall for eons?" Tempus glared at her. "Mind your place, Red. My followers have been quiet of late, and even the battles fought are not great, glorious cataclysms as they once were. I remember hordes of drow assaulting a dwarven mountain from underneath, and though the shadowy creatures were dishonorable in their tactics, they at least made a good show. War does not tear our lands as it once did."
"What are we to do, then?" the Red Knight asked helplessly.
"Wait. We are gods, we will see the rise and fall of many nations, time is on our side. The fate of mortals is always the same, always has been, always will be. War is silent now, but it will come again. It is inevitable."
"Sune be damned," Justicar Abondel said. His gloved hand pounded down on his oak desk. "I will cleanse this city of her corruptions, even if it is with my dying breath."
"Good." The voice was disembodied. "Your heart is filled with rage. That will crush the lovers and artists of the Dancing Rose."
Abondel glared into the darkened corner of his office. Once a tenday, every tenday, he was visited by this mysterious person. If it was, indeed, a person. He had never seen the visitor, only heard his voice from the impenetrable shadows of his office. "What do you care? You come unannounced only to stoke my anger. For what?"
"My Mistress demands it," the voice said. It took a cold edge. "You needn't question me, only trust me as you would trust your shadow."
"My shadow? It is inanimate. Shadows are nothing more than a trick of the light, no more worthy of trust than a stone."
Abondel immediately regretted his words as two red pinpoints appeared like eyes in the shadow of the corner. Slowly, dreadfully, a thick tentacle emerged from the corner of the room. Then, without warning, it lurched, darting unerringly for Abondel's throat and wrapping around like a constrictor.
"Do not doubt me," the voice boomed from within his skull. "Trust me. The shadows are more your ally than you believe, and are more alive than you would like."
Then, the shadow tentacle was gone, leaving the man gasping at his desk, clutching at his throat. He smoothed his crisp blue and gray doublet, then pulled it smooth from the hem. "I apolo..." he looked up and the shadow had vanished, signaling the departure of his shadowy visitor. A knock sounded at his door.
"Justicar," came a young man's voice. Abondel ran his hand through his sandy brown hair, smoothing it back, then over his neatly trimmed goatee. The man, a follower of nothing save for his own moral compass, had seen three decades of growing corruption in this city he loved, and when he had stumbled upon the Dancing Rose, a brothel in tavern's skin, he realized that all the physical disease and putrefication had come from their wanton sexual deviance. Sune and her allies, he reminded himself. His spy had returned from the Sharessan festival earlier that afternoon and confirmed the orgy that had ensued.
"Yes," he responded, his voice regained of its composure.
"Heartwarder Miria Merileth to see you, Justicar," he announced.
"Show her in," his voice took a determined edge at the title and name. He knew the paladin well, for they had met on several occasions to discuss the removal of her fest hall from Silverymoon.
The door opened and Miria entered, her delicate elven jaw set and her eyes burning with resolve. Her black, wavy hair was pulled behind her delicately pointed ears and was tied with a gold-trimmed, red ribbon. She was not wearing her rose-emblazoned breastplate, instead favoring a loose, partially unbuttoned cream blouse with light brown leather breeches. The paladin wore shin-high boots and her ceremonial longsword at her hip.
"What do you want, Heartwarder," Abondel asked, scowling at her. He was, truthfully, surprised she was not either wearing her armor or something less revealing. She appeared modest, which was unusual for any Sunite.
"I have come to settle terms," she said, putting her hands on her hips.
"You know my terms," he said. "Displacement. That will end this permanently. Get your brothel out of Silverymoon."
"And will it end there? There are truer brothels in this city that will be even harder to find."
"Then you admit it!"
"I admit nothing!" She stopped, took a breath, and sat across from the oak desk. "I do not run a brothel. If my residents decide to take a patron as a lover, they do it for their own interests, and not one of them takes payment for it. It goes against everything Sune stands for. Love, passion, adoration. Not prostitution. It is degrading to the body, and to the spirit."
"Lies," Abondel said, waving his hand dismissively. "I have resources that can confirm the depravity of your Sunites, as well as the followers of Sharess. You are nothing but wanton sluts and you will vacate this city one way or another."
She almost let her stern façade slip, almost let a glimmer of despair flash in her eyes. "Is there no price I can pay personally?" she asked, her voice betraying a hint of quiver.
"What are you getting at?" Abondel asked. He eyed the elf, and as he did so, a very human urge suddenly overcame him. With a brutish force of will, he crushed it. She unbuttoned a single button on her blouse, letting it fall open a bit more to reveal a bit of her cleavage. Though her elven breasts were not large, the shallow valley still had great appeal to the man. Again, he crushed his weak hormones with an exertion of will.
"Maybe there is some way we could come to an arrangement," she said, her voice lowering as she stood and undid another button. She trailed her fingertips between her breasts. Abondel rose from behind his desk and walked around to the front, to face her. She undid another button, looking up at the man's lips and goatee. Miria reached out with her delicate hand to touch his face, lips parted, tongue wet...
His hand snapped out quickly, latching onto her neck. He lifted her from the ground and took three long strides, slamming her into the wooden door of his office. Abondel's jaw flexed repeatedly as he looked the elf in her eyes, scowling and glowering at her.
"If you attempt such seductions in my presence again, I will snap you in half, whore," he said to her, his voice a growl. "You will remove your 'fest hall' from this city, by the order of Taern Hornblade herself. You will never show your filthy face here again. And if you ever touch me again...I'll kill you."
He released her and walked to his desk, leaving her crumpled against the door, quietly sobbing.
"Marcus!" he called. The door opened immediately. "Get this wench out of my office, and out of this building."
"Everlund?" Lura asked, skeptical. "You cannot be serious."
"I am," Miria said, snapping angrily at the impertinent drow bard. Lura's lips tightened and she brushed her rosy-highlighted hair from her face as she looked to her comrades. Cyra and Shanara were there, as well as Gundor, and the dwarven priestess Anliva Goldbeard. "The Silverymoon Morality Movement has convinced Taern Hornblade that we are a blight upon the city, that we are nothing more than common prostitutes and spread disease throughout the realm." She held out a letter with the seal of Taern Hornblade, ruler of Silverymoon, herself.
Lura snatched it from her hand and read it. "Looks fake," she said, and she knew that it was. Miria snatched it back.
"I have met with Justicar Abondel, the leader of this movement, and his order will be taking over ownership of the Dancing Rose. I am afraid we have no choice in the matter. The temple of Sune is being repurposed as we speak, and there are likely members of the S.M.M. already taking over this place as we speak."
There was a loud knock on the door of Miria's quarters, and the portal was quickly thrust open. Elna and Rimlac had mortified looks on their faces as they both strode, stark naked, into the room. The big half-orc was still sporting an erection. Lura saw the armed guard behind them.
"Is it true?" Elna asked, her voice frantic.
"Yes," Miria said. "I am sorry."
"But...where will we go?"
"We six are going to Everlund to seek welcoming arms for the Church of Sune. Be patient, child. Bide your time. Hopefully we will have a new home soon."
"Not all of us will be welcome there," Rimlac said in a throaty voice. He pointed to Lura and to himself. "You will be abandoning some of us."
"I know this!" Miria said, rising suddenly. She calmed herself. "There is no other option. Perhaps you can find employment here if the people of Everlund will not take you in."
"Come then, drow. We will go back to thieving and fucking in the dirty alleys." Rimlac had not been serious about the offer, and he turned and stormed out of the room. The armed guard escort attempted to take him by the arm, but the half-orc leveled him with a heavy punch to the jaw. He spat on the guard and walked off, prowling like an angry lion.
"I hope you know what you're doing, Miria," Cyra said. She smelled like cinnamon and her voice was like satin. "I can pass for human sometimes."
"Aye," Anliva said, putting her firm hand on the tiefling. "We ought to get to the Dreaming Dragon, if'n we make it that far south afore less accommodating folk take offense to Lady Lura and Mistress Cyra here."
"I know that place," Shanara said, a smile growing on her face. "Lots of elves and halflings. Finest pipeweed and feywine south of Silverymoon, too."
"A plan, then," Miria said. She felt the knot of anguish and guilt in her gut loosening. Her encounter with Abondel had almost cost her life, but before she could be ferried out, she had agreed with his terms. She felt as if she were saving her fellow Sunites unnecessary trouble, but that reasoning rang hollow. Deep down, she knew she had given up. First she had offered her body as payment, an act of prostitution that Sune would not be quick to forgive. Then, she simply folded. She felt cowardly, weak. But that was beginning to lift. Perhaps Tymora, Goddess of Luck, would smile upon their plight.
"Gather your things, we leave as soon as physically possible."
The drow did not notice her name being called as she and her fellow Sunites approached eastern wall, and the Sundabar Gate.
This time she did turn, and saw Mikhail running toward her. Her face was cast with dismay when she saw him, and her comrades took several steps ahead of her to afford her with privacy. "Yes, Mikhail, what is it?"
"I heard what happened," he said. "You are all leaving?"
"To Everlund," Shanara said, fancying him with a kind smile. Lura glanced at her sidelong, demanding her privacy.
"We will not be returning. Our home here has been stolen from us, and we are setting out to make a new one, hopefully, in Everlund," Lura said quietly. "What are you doing?"
"I would come with you," he said, standing up straight with his shoulders back. "I do not wish to know life separated from you, Lady Lura."
"That's sweet," she said curtly, "but the road could be dangerous, and we may be turned away from Everlund, and every other city we come to."
"I am prepared!" he said, pulling a heavily stuffed pack over his shoulder and displaying the short sword at his hip.