tagSci-Fi & FantasySurfacing Ch. 37

Surfacing Ch. 37

byEtaski©

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.

And now that new beginning finally starts at the end. Here is the first wave of revisits to key characters on our way to reaching full circle.


*****

Surfacing Chapter 37

Varessa D'Shea sat within the private library of the Valsharess, a room far enough away to have been spared the destruction of the treasonous rise. It was on a different level of the Palace from where the Elder had been kept, and remote. The Drow Queen of multiple millennia had valued libraries, despite forcing so many to forget so many things.

Her hands gently held a scroll open, her posture suitable for marks spent still, or only moving a little. She wasn't reading at the moment; her eyes stared at an indistinct corner of the table where the heatless candle shone patiently.

*Your ancestor was Taneous Dar'Prohn. The most powerful male mage stayed with the Queen when the rest of the House led the revolt, leaving a lot of spilled blood behind.*

~It was Ja'Prohn, then, beloved, but yes.~

True. Dar'Prohn was the line which brought them Morix from the other city, though the half-breed did not own it.

*And this House. D'Shauranti. It says it was split around the same time.*

~The House of Blade Song, yes. The warrior-mages from the times on the Surface. Fated to become one House of warriors, and another of mages.~

*House Aurenthin and House D'Shea.*

~Yes, beloved.~

*How did Dar'Prohn get both D'Shauranti Blade Song and a lineage like yours in the other city?*

~Morix's Master who taught him. Y'shir Matalai'ko was of House D'Shauranti.~

*He defected.*

~Or escaped. House D'Shauranti was torn asunder and chained down here as two separate Houses, you know this well. They were unable to leave with House Dar'Prohn, and they have suffered a very long time for it. The Queen suffered as well, for when she tore the House in two, she lost Blade Song in a very short time. Y'shir was the last to practice it.~

*And for some reason, it did not take strong hold in the other city.*

~A curious mystery, indeed. Yet Morix learned, and he now tries to give the skill back to the descendants of the House who once mastered it.~

Varessa rubbed fingertips thoughtlessly along the glossy polish of the royal table, still staring at nothing. *Jael of House Aurenthin and myself...we are about as distant of cousins as Morix is to you, my love, though the magic has held true. How can that be? And how can Jael be what she is becoming if all magic was systematically removed from House Aurenthin to create House D'Shea?*

~A piece is missing in the middle somewhere, Varessa. Someone did something unwitnessed and unrecorded, and something they were probably told they should not have. Imagine another sorceress many centuries hence trying to piece together what happened here just now, but without knowing what Elder Rausery had been doing in the shadows for all this time.~

So true, and that was only one point unwitnessed. The painting would never be whole, and every conclusion drawn would be skewed toward those still alive and able to tell the stories from their view.

~That has never changed, my lovely. This aspect is no better or worse than it has always been. When we start dimming as a race, the children unable to achieve what their parents could do before, all this means is we've forgotten enough and must begin anew to transition toward another function within the world. There is no promise from any deity that our new role will take past deeds into account or that any reward is ultimate. There is also no curse that we have done so poorly we can never rise up again. It simply will be different, the definition of success renewed for current events, and any Being claiming otherwise claims authority they do not possess.~

D'Shea could easily imagine her own smirk. *Bold statements for one who has faced down the gullet of the Spider Queen more than once.*

~She was merely the loudest. There were others.~

*Such as these other 'Elf' Goddesses Auslan and our son speak of dreaming?*

~These are new. Or very old.~

*How do we know which?*

~That does not really matter. I would ask instead, do they claim any reward or promise that 'all will be well' if only we find and worship them?~

*No. Not yet that I have heard. The boys only seek stronger contact.*

~Then let them try, beloved. Help them as you can. If these Sister Goddesses begin to promise us the things Lolth once did to Ishuna, then you know something goes farther askew.~

*Will I be alive for that?*

~If you are, you still have stories to share which may prevent their own painting from becoming too stretched in one direction.~

*Will they even listen to me?*

~Not as you'd like them to, I'm sure.~ A soft, amused sound caressed her mind, something like a chuckle. ~But you will have your stories nonetheless, and if nothing else, you will have the chance to pass them on to our daughter.~

Varessa's eyes had filled with tears and she blinked now. Snapping aware, she was horrified as she clutched palms to her face, trying to stop the salty liquid from dripping onto the precious documents beneath. She leaned back in the high-backed chair, breathing deeply from her moment of panic, feeling her heart pound.

So much history fallen into the Abyss; there was almost nothing from before the revolt and successful break of House Dar'Prohn and the fall of House D'Shauranti. Yet after... here in this library was proof that Ishuna had tried to salvage what she could, with enough pieces missing ever since to imply she had gone back and forward between hoarding and purging, hoarding and purging again.

What else could someone so old do, with a demanding, brutal goddess on one side and a multitude of ignorant children on the other? Anyone Ishuna had once cared to tend herself was long gone, and the rest of the Underdark continued without her unless she did something frightening to remind the children she was still there. A bit like Lethrix that way, except the Dragon enjoyed a much broader taste to his reminders.

Ishuna had done such things for which she would be infamous, and few for which she would be praised.

*Who wants to live forever anyway?* she thought morbidly.

~It did seem there was only one precious moment set aside for us. And the rest...?~

*Reminders it wasn't over and done, but that others still need their moments, too.*

~Will you be able to let go when the time comes, Varessa?~

*To walk away with you, and see you free as well? You wager your wrinkled hide I will, ancient one.*

Another soft chuckle. ~I have and always will love you, Varessa. Until that last instant for us as we are, you'll not be alone.~

So she had chosen, thus he had come to her and now would not leave again while she drew breath. At first when she did not understand why she felt different, this thought had been terrifying. She imagined black-outs such as Sirana had suffered when wearing the Feldeu and Kain had first risen to look through her eyes.

Would it be like that for D'Shea, to suddenly "become" Phaelous unexpectedly, to have no control of the gem of him within her or of her own body? When whispers of his voice and memories came to her during preparation for the mindflayer battle, she had dared not let anyone see just how afraid she was of this, even as she had used it for the sake of their children.

It had been a few weeks since Rausery had returned with the final survivors, victorious in their goal of exterminating this conclave of Illithids and destroying their Elder Mind and their nest. It felt much longer to D'Shea as reverie had been largely elusive, though she had time to better understand what she had become. She was not like Sirana; the sorceress did not contain an unruly shard or shadow of any other mind, and this was nothing remotely close to psionic in nature.

As the Grey Maiden had told her, as the demon-priestess had taunted the Drow in having forgotten it, this was a quintessentially Elvish quality of death, and the very fact that it had worked at all meant both involved had wanted it. The result was stable and healing, yet the control granted to the living was undisputed.

"There are rules for this joining," Nyx had whispered as only D'Shea could hear, when the sorceress had collapsed upon the ashen plane, to later awake within Auranka's pit. "It is not for possession. It is not to fill unsatisfied voids. It is not without consent. There is no future between the living and the dead among Elves, and very little change."

The Greylord had straightened up a little more then, raising her pale, white arms as if she were completing some kind of ceremony. "All that was when flesh could touch stops now. Be able to embrace the past as none other living may do, Varessa D'Shea and Phaelous Ja'Prohn, but with the price of its burden: never again surpassing those still living, risking, and traveling this world alone."

The Grave Mother truly had meant this both ways when their essence had been married and woven together. Varessa had come to understand that her fears for her body and mind not being her own were unfounded. Phaelous could not seize control at all—not of body, magic, or will— and he could not be invasive with memories or emotion if she refused to look at them at any particular moment. He would also not want any of this, he had no reason to; his struggle was over. He would simply wait, both for her and with her.

Varessa was still very much alive. There was no confusion about this once she had moved beyond her initial shock and grief. She could invite Phaelous to share memories with her, talk with her as they once had; she must welcome it. As Varessa would inevitably change over time, Phaelous would not. His feelings for her would not change; the timber of his voice would be consistent, and long periods of waiting between invitations would not see his spirit grow restless, impatient, or demanding.

He was at peace, and his presence within her was nothing to fear for as long as Varessa did not expect him to change and to speak like he was alive. She would hold him in trust for their world before he was returned, and this was all that was needed of her.

D'Shea leaned back comfortably in the chair, placing both hands once again on her belly, staring into nothing as she concentrated on the reassuring warmth of a womb also protecting another, and hard at work growing her. Then one bare hand moved lower, testing between her legs, finding herself sensitive. It had been a while.

*Headmaster?*

~Yes, my Elder?~

The sorceress unlaced the sides of her leathers, loosening it to reach down the front. *Do you remember our first bath in your quarters?*

~Of course, Lead Sister.~

*Let me remember with you. I understand there was another motive at the time. That does not matter, I've forgiven you. Only remember the first time at its best.*

The touch of hot, damp lips to her throat seemed so real, Varessa gasped, arching her back. He remembered the way she wrapped strong legs around his waist, crossing her ankles, water dripping from her toes. He recalled hearing that hissing, needful command as she gripped the edges of the tub just before he pushed in, filled her, and immediately heard the resonance of her aura inside him. An answering call; a musical song, an opening door.

He'd not have to tug or break anything to get inside her, and for the first time in all his dutiful, dark centuries, one of these D'Shea sorceresses penetrated him in return. He enjoyed it with arresting awe, as this allowed in an unexpected point of light, illuminating parts of his aura he'd thought too diseased by now to ever feel anything but numb. It was a cruel fate that she was so much younger than him.

~Varessa...!~ he whispered, staring at those new colors as the rush of energy and strength filled him. He lifted her hips just above the surface of the water, as he drove into her, sloshing water onto his floor.

*Phaelous!*

D'Shea stroked herself faster, tossing back her head with her eyes closed, pushing down her pants to feel her naked buttocks flush against the cushioned seat. She heard herself—the sloppiness between her netherlips—and throttled herself even harder.

She hadn't known the joy he'd felt then, but she did now. The regrets would come later, and later she would look at them. But not now.

Now he took her with such urgency, such hunger that she could not think; she enjoyed not thinking, for once. They were entwined on multiple levels, and until the magic mingled and spread within and between them, until they cried out and were left gasping and boneless in the warm, soothing water.

It was Then, but for them there was only Now.

*Phaelous...! Ohh, by the Maiden!*

The sorceress Elder climaxed so intensely she fell into a doze immediately after in the library chair, her leathers still open, hand still wet, heart pounding as she listened to her breath. She smiled as she imagined her baby might not have enjoyed that particular earthquake as much as her parents had.

*Thank you, old wizard.*

~You're most welcome, Red Sister.~

******

I kept expecting to awaken from a nightmare but hadn't yet so far. Each time I slipped away into reverie on my cot—which was extremely frequent after we made it back to the protection of the City—I didn't become aware of sand or sky, portents or shadows or flickers. My familiar companions and, by need and insistence my tenders, were saying I had spent more time sleep than awake the last few weeks. They were probably right since I couldn't really say how many days had passed.

If I wasn't sleeping, I was eating, because Ionne was still growing. I had no energy for anything else, although Auslan convinced me to accept body massages to prevent bed sores. He was really good at that, and the embedded, sapphire shards only burned a little. I appreciated as well that he didn't assume I'd want a cunt-sucking in addition to the massage—as these things no doubt became when he'd been an actual Consort for the Nobles and Priestesses—but only waited for me to ask.

I thought about it; how could I not? Ultimately, though, I decided it was more feminine pride and the habit of opportunity than it was a real desire or urgency for it, so I didn't ask. Even better, he wasn't disappointed. Auslan was far more grateful for the opportunity to evaluate and strengthen and feed both me and Ionne, reassuring himself we'd both made it through the war—definitely battered but nothing that wouldn't heal eventually.

"Thank you," he murmured as he tucked me in to sleep again, eyes bright and hopeful like Tamuril's, even being ember-red instead of forest-green. "For everything."

Everything? That was a lot although probably the best way to go about it now, or we'd be here for hours.

I got up on my elbow and lifted my mouth for a kiss, and he smiled and indulged me, leaning down and pressing his lips to mine. No tongue, though. I was maybe...maybe starting to notice a pattern: that he preferred to be chaste if he wasn't actively in a seductive mindset. The former sex slave certainly didn't show skin anymore given the alternative, which didn't keep others from staring at his face but it did help with the body language and unconscious signals. He could be more at ease, and confident, when eyes weren't all over his mostly-naked body all the time.

Shyntre visited less often at first, mostly to feed me when Auslan couldn't.

"He's making his rounds," my wizard had said the first time I'd asked.

"Rounds?"

"Yeah. He's got a lot of other patients besides you."

"You sound cranky. Need more sleep?"

"Probably. Although I've been giving him my energy, because he can do more with it, so..." He shrugged, unpacking what he'd brought. "He's welcome to it."

I smirked suggestively. "Giving him your energy? Oo. How so, sorcerer?"

I still thought of him as my wizard, but given what I'd learned about the nature of his magic, I had no problem adjusting the word in my teasing.

"You like visualizing that way too much," he grumbled, face warming. So cute.

"I'm still waiting for an enthusiastic tumbling into bed when one of us three isn't feeling like shit."

"Might be waiting a while, yet, then. Now eat."

"I dunno, I feel pretty weak. How about you feed it to me?"

He exhaled like he was contemplating breathing fire. "I swear, Sirana..."

"Keep threatening, mage. I feel horny already."

There. Finally.

"You almost smiled!" I accused on a laugh, pointing at him. "I saw it, you can't deny it!"

"Oh, fuck you."

His mouth twitched, then he rubbed his face and finally gave up and smiled.

"There we go." I relaxed smugly, eating some of the food and talking while chewing. "It's gorgeous, you know, don't know why you keep hiding it."

"Elegant. Talking about my prick, now, Sister?"

"If it fits, wizard." I rubbed at my crotch, over the blanket and under big belly. "And I can say, does it ever!"

He chuckled, but also darted a narrow look at me as I dug into my food, like he was plotting revenge. I was delighted with the prospect.

Bring it, wizard. Any time.

If there was one visitor whom I didn't have to coax into a grin or a kiss, it was Jael. She practically threw herself into my arms and Mourn had to lunge forward to grab the cot with both hands and make sure it didn't topple over with both of us in it. Jael didn't notice; she was planting kisses all over my face and when she got to my mouth, she did use tongue.

Fuck! You are hot and horny little slit!

I was gasping when she left me up for breath—at Mourn's coaxing, I noticed—and she beamed as I wondered briefly if she'd had any news she was supposed to deliver. If she did, it was somewhere in the back and she still had to go get it.

"Thanks for the reassurance," I said, taking a big breath in and out.

"Same here!" She paused. "Wait, for what?"

I arched an eyebrow. "That you finding me in that chamber a sore and gooey mess wasn't a turn-off forever."

"Pfft!" she snorted. "What we're trained for, right? I mean, I can't talk. You should have seen me after the Dr...oh."

She glanced at Mourn, a few fingers hovering over her mouth as she reconsidered finishing that sentence. He arched a brow at her and shrugged mildly.

"I do not need to know, Jael, but you may say whatever is on your mind, and I am well aware of the nature of Sisterhood tests by now."

"The Prime's Sisterhood," I said, looking between them. "I don't think Rausery's going to be as much into that, not if the shadows are any indication."

"Might not be a Sisterhood after a while," Jael agreed, taking my "out." "It'll be something else, and include males."

Some of the Red Sisters I had known really weren't going to like that; they would be furious. But then, no matter how they griped and bellowed about it, they couldn't freeze things how they had been. Not after all that just happened and all their previous leaders gone. They could try to intimidate a few others—and they would—but I could imagine how long Rausery would be willing to tolerate that kind of defeatist tantrum. It was up to them whether they moved forward with us or were dragged along as a useless ball and chain until they chose to adapt or...

I would have said "die" not that long ago. But now I thought, "adapt or leave." Isn't that what the Humans did? And they had spread all over the Surface. Except because of that, it wouldn't be so easy for Elves to find new places to leave to go to. Not when we were already so fractured and relatively few in number.

Leaning against Jael to adjust my posture—and she grinned at my willingness to do so, bracing herself like a stone wall—I breathed short against some random cramps in my side and my gut. After it passed, I smoothed a hand over the taut, round curve of my stomach.

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