tagSci-Fi & FantasySurfacing Ch. 34

Surfacing Ch. 34


Author's Notes: This story is erotic fantasy written by Etaski. I reserve the right to be listed as the author of this story, wherever it is posted. If found posted anywhere except Literotica.com with this note attached, this story is posted without my permission. (c) Etaski 2016.

The Drow-Shattering Kaboom. Part 2 of 3.

So much happens in this chapter, take your time. :)

Surfacing Chapter 34

"If you had to take a Zauyrian Sorcerer as a Human pet, Innathi..." our Valsharess said, slow and deliberate, "you'd have been much better off with Leur-en-phon instead."

I noticed a dialect coming out, mimicking Innathi's although Ishuna's voice dripped with contempt and bitterness. Innathi blinked in confusion using Tarra's eyes, as if she hadn't heard that name in millennia and could barely recall who it had been.

"Leur? Wh... Better off?" Innathi laughed. "He'd have been impotent in half a century and myself bored in a decade!"

Ishuna sneered. "Exactly. At least Leur never raped a Qu'eesan."

Innathi's temper flared far too easily and Mourn's tail reacted as if he felt her aura; she was being led right where Ishuna wanted to go. "Still this? You still haven't let it go? I told you before, many times! What happened at Koorul was not rape. You never understood what I felt that day!"

Ishuna's hard expression shifted to unsettling satisfaction, grim and snide at the same time. "You speak of yourself again. I learned to expect nothing else. You and Mother were so alike. Neither of you would believe me."

"You were foolish," Innathi said firmly, sounding more the aloof queen as well. "You interfered in magic too powerful for you. We each deal with consequences and if you could not face your own fears or get past your own jealousies, Mother coddling you would have only made things worse!"

Everyone displayed sign of uncertainty what to do next, if anything. None of the Red Sisters recognized the Valsharess talking like this to anyone else, but I had no trouble believing them to be blood sisters.

*Neither of you believed me...*

Even with the massive physical age difference, I though Ishuna looked exactly how I felt, still having certain things to say to my own dead sister, Juarinia. Given the chance like this. A perverted part of me wanted them to continue talking, not only I might learn the core of what happened to set Cris-ri-phon on his path to this day and why the Drow had ended up down here in self-exile, but more...to see whether the Valsharess would say her peace. We could not keep the Valsharess any longer, but I finally saw something I could recognize in Ishuna.

She wasn't all demon.


Ishuna's gold eyes swept the ceiling of the chamber, as if taking in the whole of the Underdark in one statement before she looked back. She laughed in bitter pain.

"What is your comparison for 'worse,' Innathi, to be so against helping a young Qu'eesan to SEE what she is meant to see? To instead assume her merely 'troubled' and having bad dreams? Just because Mother said so? I was an embarrassment, and yet my Visions benefited your oh-so-short reign, dead sister, even as you had no hand in my embracing them!"

Ishuna's mocking smile disappeared into anger like a stone sinking into a bog. "You always did take what you felt owed as the elder and heir... without ever once giving anything back to me."

"I was proud of you for overcoming your fear of your dreams," Innathi said.

"Because it was more convenient for you!" Ishuna shot back. "You didn't have to work for it! You couldn't even acknowledge the two Humans who helped me See! Once their natural lives were spent, their service did not warrant your remembrance!"

"I had a Queendom to care for! And what other Humans do you even remember?"

Ishuna snarled. "Yet I never forgot them! And you continued fucking your unnaturally immortal General and squirting out half-breeds! You say you've been 'safe' all this time, just waiting to step back into your place? Never once contemplating how you brought about your own fate?"

"How dare you!" Innathi spat. "You sent Xala to kill me in labor! She and her squad slaughtered the entire royal family except that 'General' you supported! I might have known you were just waiting in the sand, it wasn't until he was gone you made your move because you were always afraid of him! You shoved us all over the edge into the Abyss, Ishuna! And for what?!"

The Valsharess's eyes were frightening, the gold so stark in her dark face it was almost all that I could see. "And you failed me, Innathi. As an Elf, on even the most basic level of our magic, our heritage... I TRIED to warn you, from the very first day! And from your own selfishness brought in a Human much worse to ruin everything we had!"

Mourn moved, drawing my attention as he changed his stance toward the Prime. Her hand had twitched toward something as she considered making a move during the lengthy distraction. She paused when she noticed his own movement, possibly still waiting for some acknowledgement or sign from her queen as well. For the moment, there was none; Ishuna only had focus for her sister.

With the Prime so close to the edge herself, I could not stand and passively gawk at the gossip. Becoming involved as a necessity or someone else *would* move before us and control what happened next. I spoke boldly, projecting my voice.

"Cris-ri-phon raped you, Valsharess?"

Everyone paused. The sorcerer had been referenced and alluded to several times already but I was the first to speak his Zauyrian name aloud. Innathi could hear the encouraging tone and she rounded on me first.

"NO, he didn't. He was a mage's match for me, all he ever wanted was me! He'd never want to take his brother's lover anyway. He never once touched her. Not once!"

"You mean he didn't fuck her." I held my blade as a barrier between the two sisters and me. "You said she interfered. It wasn't with sex but he hurt her, and you wouldn't believe her."

"You haven't the mistiest understanding, Sirana!"

Innathi wasn't about to slam me quite yet so I looked to the throne. "Speak to us, Valsharess, I've only heard Innathi's side and even then, not very much."

"Cunt," I heard Innathi curse as she gritted her teeth.

Ishuna narrowed her golden eyes at me but finally made that formal signal for the Prime to hold her actions, much to the the oldest Red Sister's annoyance. The Prime wrinkled her nostrils in a snarl, aimed toward Mourn especially. Jael was looking anxious as she held herself back; I wasn't sure where Gaelan was but figured she was watching everything.

Rausery and D'Shea each had unreadable expressions but for one thing: they held their actions. My Elders were as hungry for detail as I was. We might jump now, and we might catch our leaders off guard...but then how would the Drow found our way out of the dark?

"Why should We tell you, child?" the Valsharess asked me, her voice deeper and more formal, her older persona returning as a shield before the damaged one still so angry with her sister. "You are here to destroy Us."

"I am here to place your sister before You, Your Highness. That is what I agreed to do, and what you saw in your Vision. It's why you sent me to the Surface and told me I had a chance to return. You and I both I know this now."

Innathi squinted at me, knowing the agreement between us was much more than that, and for this reason alone she did not protest. Even assuming I was twisting the truth to gain some advantage here, she still looked about ready to strike me and that might've helped Ishuna consider whether to engage me at all. She still needed a nudge.

"Cris-ri-phon hasn't changed," I offered. "The sorcerer calls himself Lord Brom now and passed himself off as a Pale Man."

They knew that was correct; both Rausery and the Valsharess gave me the sign in their expressions.

"He raped me with his magic, too, Your Highness. Your sister didn't do anything to help me though she knew it was going to happen. She allowed him to overpower me, left me to overcome my own fears and weaknesses on my own. I couldn't do anything to stop it—"

"Sirana, how dare y—!" Innathi blurted, so furious that Mourn had to use his tail to snatch her wrist to distract her from casting something on me.

Jael moved forward at the same time, vibrating with tension as it might have seemed to her it was just herself facing off against the Sisterhood as a wave of movement went through them.

"Fucking, piss-sucking frog-breeders..." I heard her whisper. The curse helped her hold tight on her nerves.

Mourn had to convince Innathi to settle down before he could return his full attention to our defense. The shields were still up between us, at least. I chanced another glance at the Valsharess; she was curious of what I'd said despite herself, and Innathi's genuine reaction only lent me more credibility to my claim.

"Report what you experienced, Red Sister," she commanded. "Tell us what you have seen of Cris-ri-phon."

I bowed my head. "The Zauyrian sorcerer hadn't seen a Dark Elf in millennia and he hasn't remembered his own past for a long time, until he saw me. He remembers more now, Valsharess, he remembers you and your sister, and he's growing more dangerous again because of it. He called me by your sister's name more than once as he raped me."

Those gold eyes scanned over me. "We see no injury in your aura. Your essence is not exposed to a higher plane."

I swallowed. Was that what could have happened to me? Is that why Rennyn had been so relieved I never truly mind-linked with Cris-ri-phon?

*It would have hurt you so deeply, my daughter,* the Tilabil had said, his sadness palatable. *It may have been the final violation you could not withstand.*

I watched now as Ishuna subtly placed one hand on her abdomen again, as if she'd been stabbed... Had that happened to her? And neither Cris nor Innathi had done anything about it...?

Gavin had even described this to us at the Tower...Tarra needing healing in the red sands after meeting the Archmage, too, otherwise Gavin said she would have "unraveled" and become the only kind of Elf-ghost he'd ever heard of. Auslan had wanted to heal the wound; Shyntre was against it. The healing had won out, and Tarra returned to fulfill her place in our plan.

Where was Shyntre, anyway...?

I blinked.

For that matter, where was Jaunda? She had been beside D'Shea. She was gone.

It took both figurative hands to wrench my attention back to where it had to be.

"My...my psionics protected me, Valsharess," I managed.

Her face twitched. "Impossible."

"No. I-I could only think of protecting my unborn, Your Highness. I made a shield protecting myself, on instinct. And h-he...he treated me like I was Innathi..." I flicked my eyes to the side. "He's never hurt *her* aura, right, just yours...?"

Both sisters confirmed that in their own way. Encouraged, I continued, breathing out. "He pretended to let me go. He gave me Soul Drinker to help me survive my trials but to also to follow me back home. To find you."

Ishuna shivered slightly and she nodded, as if I had just confirmed something for her. "So he comes for Us now. You have indeed exposed Us and the Queendom."

The Prime wanted to move so badly, I could taste it from where I stood.

"No!" I said with as much power in my voice as I could. "He does not follow, Your Highness! He does not know where we are and he can't follow the relic."

"Where IS the relic?" She interrupted.

"Safe," I answered, "as Morix told you, Your Highness. The Dragons guard it."

Innathi was clearly not happy about this, but Ishuna was relieved. Once again her elder sister's obvious and genuine responses to all this helped me with the Valsharess.

"And why can Cris-ri-phon not track it?" She asked, wanting to continue, strong enough now to say that name.

"Innathi and Soul Drinker both told me they did not want to be found again once they left his hands."

The Valsharess frowned. "But...if that is true, Innathi was right there, in his hand when he gave the blade to you."

I straightened up a bit more and made a show of smiling at Innathi, asking wordlessly if she wanted to field that answer herself.

The dagger queen tugged her wrist loose of Mourn's tail—mostly because he allowed it—and straightened up, too. She chose an answer but she spoke to me. "I, too, wanted to protect our race, Sirana. I would not allow Cris to find the Drow before I did."

"Because he would kill Us and claim control of Our Queendom, turning it into a Kingdom," the Valsharess murmured.

"Yes!" Innathi said, giving me a warning glance against saying anything more on that even as I was relieved she backed up my story. "Better I confront you myself, as is my right."

"What of Lord Indrath?" the Underdark queen asked with surprising calm.

That stunned both her sister and myself. Ishuna tilted her head, looking pleased.

"We saw him again in a Vision, sister. He was at your wedding to that Zauyrian. His hand is in this if Soul Drinker has returned but the deathless sorcerer was blind to your presence."

Innathi hesitated, not only caught in something she didn't want to admit but feeling the Valsharess's presence more. Just like the rest of us.

"Indrath put Soul Drinker back in Lord Brom's hands recently," I said succinctly, earning another look of hatred from the elder sister. "And the Ice Lord chose not to enslave us at the Necromancer's Tower, so we could return here."

The Valsharess appreciated that straightforward answer on some level and she nodded once. "The Ice Lord. You've met him as well."

I nodded. "He's very frightening, Valsharess."

"Certainly one of many who would like to see one of the few true Queendoms left to fall to male rule," she responded in a haunted tone, her eyes shifting again to consider Mourn. Her strange eyes scanned him from horned head to clawed toe. "Except Lethrix. He does not want Our Queendom. Instead he sends Us this one, who cannot rule but can fight battles for eternity to defend Us..."

Again the Prime shifted in ever-growing agitation. She kept scowling at Mourn with a great deal of derision and hostility. He remained stoic.

"Valsharess, this is your chance, speak to us," I cajoled, almost begged. "Tell me what happened. I believe that Cris-ri-phon hurt you. Tell us what Innathi ignored which brought us all down."

"Sirana, you don't understand," Innathi protested, but Mourn put his tail around her waist and pulled her closer, hissing a warning.

Ishuna smirked but glanced around her, as if she was looking for someone to support her. It might have been Phaelous she searched for—she glanced at D'Shea wearing his robes and looked confused for a moment—but she found no one else, ignoring the Prime.

Meanwhile Innathi tried to remove Mourn's tail from her body—not so successfully this time—and I could sense she enjoyed the contact and his attention despite the circumstances. His aura and physical intensity distracted her, and she wanted to argue. Mourn finally had to pull her close and put an arm around her as he levied a miserable defensive stance at the same time, his tail finally sliding from around her waist.

The Prime was smirking at him during all this. She raised her hand so he would notice and signed: *Amateur. Your 'queen' is weak to strong males. You will serve our queen in the end. Won't you, little boy?*

*Do not take that bait,* I warned telepathically.

*I know,* he answered back irritably. *Partly on purpose. As long as the Prime thinks she is getting to me, she is not trying to talk her queen out of spilling her secrets. Keep talking, Sirana, you're doing well. Get us what you can. Keep it up until the dam bursts. Eyin is ready the moment things change. So am I.*

My confidence boosted and I smiled while still watching the Valsharess.

"Valsharess, I do believe Innathi is making excuses for her former husband," I said. "I want to hear what you have to say about him."

"Sirana, you were supposed to serve me!" Innathi protested, and honestly I couldn't tell whether it was an act encouraged by Mourn or not.

*Just keep talking till the dam bursts...*

"Tell me about Cris-ri-phon, Valsharess. How he is dangerous to Elves. Please. He's still alive. Tell us what you know. Tell your story."

I watched the two-millennia queen soften, just a little bit. She wanted to talk; I could see it. Mourn continued baiting the Prime—his tail lashed as if he was losing his cool as he signed a single-gesture insult at her, "Dull Blade,"—and the most experienced Red Sister signed something back, losing her chance to try and knock some sense into her distracted Valsharess.

"My sister's h-husband should have been trained by a Deathwalker long before he ever married her," Ishuna said, somewhat softer than before. Again she seemed younger somehow, the Valsharess persona subverted. "That boy was born with powerful death magic as well as fertility magic, a combination rarely seen and difficult for any mage to master without guidance."

The Underdark queen shook her head in disappointment. "My Mother and Innathi encouraged all distraction from that part of him. They treated it as if it didn't exist or wasn't important. None of my family saw the necessity even after he wounded *my* magic. Innathi says I interfered, but it was my sister who interrupted a crucial ceremony that was meant to guide him toward harnessing that magic, and he never went back to it! He never learned to control it. For the first century he was alive he suppressed it for *her!* I-If the Thousand Year Queen and Her Heir had *believed* what he had done to me, they would have seen how important it was he be properly trained by his own People!"

This struck me as true. I couldn't detect where Ishuna might be twisting it to her own advantage, might be obscuring some of the story. It was probably the clearest thing she had ever said.

"You're lying....you never warned us of anything like that!" Innathi spat, baring her teeth.

"I didn't know it then!" Ishuna shot back. "Houda worried about him but didn't know the depth of the problem herself! And then she transitioned and it was decades before I-I could speak with her again...!"

Ishuna stopped abruptly, her face somehow greying out, like the blood had rushed from her face. She looked dizzy.

"Or...before I th-thought I was speaking with her...then it was too late..."

The Valsharess clutched her stomach again, almost doubling over and Elder D'Shea dared to reach out to take her shoulders and keep her from falling. Again I was struck by the absence of so many we had expected to be defending the Underdark Queen: Shyntre, Auranka, Phaelous...even Jaunda.

It was as if we had obvious, physical sign that Ishuna had been abandoned by Lolth. But...perhaps that was too dangerous to believe in this moment.

"Tell us about the Deathwalkers," I urged, trying to keep the confession going. I brandished the marrowcaster Gavin had made for me. "What were they to you?"

Ishuna shook her head as she grimaced in pain, D'Shea still bracing her. It seemed to be getting worse. The sorceress whispered something I couldn't hear.

"My Queen, strengthen Yourself!" the Prime barked, mystified and disappointed that we weren't all already at each other's throats. "Release the Sisterhood to bring them all down and You can question them in the dungeons at Your leisure!"

"I've seen two Deathwalkers return, Ishuna!" I blurted, trying to set the hook in too deep for her to ignore. "They've been gone all this time but you sent me to kill the necromancer at the Tower. I succeeded, but there was another death mage there who hears the Grey Maiden, and now he's made another Walker after his own transition! You must have Seen something like this! The Deathwalkers are returning and they are aware of the danger of Cris-ri-phon. Tell us, who were they back in the sands?!"

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