tagSci-Fi & FantasySurfacing Ch. 42.2

Surfacing Ch. 42.2

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 2017.

This is my longest release yet, 153,000 words, and being so large I will break it up into 4 parts. This is part 2 of 4, and probably a bit more plot than sex in this one.

My special thanks to Eris Adderly, aka DeathAndTaxes, for some extra editing help on this one. My continued thanks to Necrosisbob, Axelotl, Gazukull, and dear Hubby.


*****

Surfacing Chapter 42, Part Two

Tamuril healed more land, pushed herself more while the weather was good. They were past midsummer now and the Druid could detect the shortening of the days already, although it was subtle and perhaps only Mourn took further note. The Noldor found her new, forbidden family more food, practiced preserving with Mai and Natia and Karulin.

It had been a few weeks since Krithannia had visited, and even working this hard she felt ever more the shirk.

"So where are you sleeping tonight, Druid?" Karulin asked.

Perhaps she was mistaken but Tami thought that she glimpsed a bit of a flirt in the shadow-Elf's eyes, or heard it in her voice. In front of her young daughter, it would always be subtle.

"Umm," the blonde Elf hummed, finishing some slicing and sprinkling of salt to aid in the drying, willing her cheeks not to turn too pink as she realized the truth of her own desires.

She did not truly wish to rest in reverie alone tonight. As none of the underground Elves thought much of sleeping beneath the sky unless they must, this meant Tamuril must sleep indoors to have any company besides Gavin's creepy skin-kites fluttering overhead. Sex wasn't necessary. If Natia was there, too, just the warmth of their presence would be enough. And Pilla needed a full night of rest in a safe place; she would be fine in the Great Hall where it was warmest in the Tower.

"May I?" Tamuril asked. "With you and, um, Natia?"

Karulin grinned, and Natia piped up before Mother could speak.

"I'm getting my own room!" the red-eyed child said with an amazing, broad smile on such a dark face. "It'll be fun! Mai's helping to set things in the right places, including one for Tedi."

Tami stared at her, then her mother. "Uh, um, oh, is that so?"

The eldest Red Sister chuckled. "Yes, and Sirana was going to help me set some of *my* things in the 'right places' tonight, too. We'd welcome your 'help,' Tam."

The Druid wanted to fan her face; it was assuredly red now. Sirana, too? How the Noldor had doubted the tone of the first inquiry earlier seemed ridiculous now. The Baenar had been plotting all along!

Breathing out, Tami said plainly, "Yes, Karulin. I would like to share reverie with you and Sirana tonight."

Clearly this meant Auslan would be tucked safely away with Shyntre for the night as well. Another day gone she hadn't attempted to face her Odad's memory.

*Coward.*

Patience came easily enough accepting Natia's enthusiastic invitation to view and praise her new room, to help Karulin plump up her own bedding a bit more for three, and wait for Sirana to bid her lovers good eve somewhere out of sight as the night grew late but not yet very late. Tamuril's stomach trembled as she knew some time had been set aside for play before the very pregnant Dark One would need her rest.

*You are lucky they want you here.*

Her own thought. Though now it sounded like Krithannia, not Marikoth.

*You are fortunate they do not torment you in earnest and tell you it is your own asking for your sins and your weakness.*

Yes. Sirana knew the same in her own lightless homeland. She and those who had come with her did not wish to perpetuate it.

*So do not give them reason to. How long will their patience last, Noldor, with these Drow, only recently broken from the Abyss? Constant change breeds paranoid vigilance over complacency. They will not have forgotten how so quickly... But I cannot simply tell them. Krithannia said I must talk with him. Not tell. Listen. She understands I cannot tell—*

"Tami! I didn't know you'd be here tonight."

Sirana entered with her Sister, smiling brightly to see the blonde waiting patiently in Karulin's room, her eyes the color of a cloudless day. Heat bloomed in the Druid's chest at the psion's unguarded welcome. She could feel Willven's influence, and it was good.

Tamuril returned the smile, attempting to slough off her brooding thoughts as much as possible. "I am glad to be here, Sirana."

"Hells, yes," Karulin agreed, already opening her shirt to prepare for bed. "Glad both of you are. Let's get comfortable."

******

The day had been long and satisfying, as many of these Summer days were, and the two of them needed a bath.

"No, not the pool," Shyntre said with a yawn. "Too tired. Let's just wipe down. I'll get your back if you get mine."

They did so and slipped nude into the comfortable, familiar bed that smelled of Sirana even when she wasn't there. Whether that alone might put them in the mood or merely help on a subconscious level, Ta'suil had never asked, for it did not matter. When Shyntre wanted him, he felt safe enough to make his desire clear, or to accept the same from his Brother.

The Life Priest himself felt more gratitude for each day and night spent in peace, however, rather than safety, as so far Ta'suil had kept the worst of his dreams to himself.

"You do not care what happens to me! You do not WANT to save me!"

No. No, please. Not again.

The webs holding her had changed over the centuries. If they had ever been like silk, they had since become something else to keep her in her place deep within this pit which she had helped to dig. The strands had become metalized; when he touched them, it felt they held an edge so thin that his skin cut and bled before he had taken firm hold of it.

How could he break strands like these?

Ishuna bared her white teeth at him, her tawny eyes flashing. "No one would deny I have earned an eternity suspended over the Spider's Pit!"

She was right. No one would deny that.

He said softly, "And yet we have a choice now."

This image of her wore no clothes, and she appeared to his eyes without the multi-millennial age of her body. She wasn't much older than him in this form, and younger than Elder D'Shea. Her hair was brilliant white, as was the blood-tinged patch on her mons. She writhed in her bonds, belly flat and strong, breasts still high on her chest. He could see the many, tainted scars along her inner thighs, telling of an Abyssal Priestess who had given birth to a demonblood. The metal webbing cut deep into her flesh.

He reached for her again, having no choice but to fully climb down and enter the pit. He must get back out before Auranka or another realized he was here. His heart pounded to imagine Shyntre all alone with the Drider Mistress, facing off with that demon Priestess from the Abyss. His Brother distracted her, distracted the Spider Queen, giving him in this moment alone with Ishuna.

"We need not lose you, Mother," he said.

"Do not call me Mother!" she shrieked. "I have no children!"

She was lying. He could see it in her eyes, the heartbreak and the familiar disdain for him, for his entire sex, just before she looked away.

"You had one," he said, willing his instincts to speak the Truth. "A son, before the Draegloth. The Spider Queen required you to sacrifice him."

"No!" she protested again, but it was weaker. Her eyes slid to look back at him, tentative, wary... but she did not truly want to be left here alone.

"Tell me about him," the healer said, wincing as one of the web threads cut his hands again. At first he thought the webs held strong, but then he noticed the threads touched by his blood were slowly thinning. Dissolving.

"What was his name?" he asked directly, tugging on one particular thread just before it entered her torso.

Ishuna trembled. His bloody fingertips focused on the thread wrapped twice around her ribs, and suddenly it snapped. She gasped in shock, but then took a much deeper breath as if she had been waiting centuries to do just that.

"Mazdel," she said on her exhale.

Agony of incomprehensible levels remained in the Seer's eyes but she only whimpered as he lifted the blade-webs out of her flesh, unwrapping it from her torso in one, long coil.

He nodded. "How old was he when you lost him?"

Her head drooped and a low, keening wail rose from her throat as the healer's blood weakened the metal webbing enough that he released the bonds holding her thighs open. Free now to do so, she immediately closed them to his view, tremors uncontrollable as her bare toes held to the tiny foundation forming beneath his own feet as he talked to her. She was no longer suspended directly over the Pit, but stood on the shelf with him.

"I lost him the m-moment he left my body," she whispered, again gritting her perfect, white teeth. "His Ilharn claimed him. Told me I was unsuited to be his Mother. That my milk would poison him..."

He paused in his bleeding over her bonds, his own hands on fire as something both rusty and venomous tried to enter him. For now, his compassion for her protected him.

"Was he right?"

Ishuna swallowed, wrenched one of her arms still bound, causing the webbing to cut deeper, helping the blood to flow, feeding the trap, strengthening her punishment. She shook her head in the negative.

Then she spoke.

"Yes. He was..."

Now it was his turn to swallow. Hesitantly, he lifted his own bloody hands to touch the deep, fresh wounds she'd just made. She flinched but then held still.

"Who is this you speak of? Who was Ilharn to your son?"

Ishuna growled her answer.

"Mazdek."

At first he thought she had only said the same name again but then heard the difference.

"Mazdek?"

"Mazdek'pien," she added. "The Great Serpent. The Desert Guardian. Mazdek the Mad..." She gasped a sob, both very angry and dismayed. "That last was because of me. Lethrix knows what I did to a To'vah, simply because he had been right about me..."

The healer stared at the Seer unguarded in his shock. Like the Baenar she was, she sensed the uncertainty and the opening. She smiled, yanked on her one, damaged arm now covered in his own blood. She broke those bonds herself and reached for him, clasping his shoulder with the weight of the world behind it.

He staggered and reached out to clutch her torso, bracing himself to keep them both from slipping off the ledge. Only one of her arms was bound now; only one series of chains remained keeping her inside the web.

"Mazdel was like you," she whispered, gathering herself closer to him using one wrecked arm.

As she was nude and without armor in this effort to get free from the Abyss, so was he in his efforts to pull her out. They were naked together. They locked eyes.

"He was a fertile consort," Ishuna said, soft at first. "He comforted many females, quickened many wombs before I found him again..."

Her face abruptly contorted in disappointment and disgust and her fingernails dug painfully into his back. "He called himself Avel, then. He was a whore who could be bought cheaply, for coins, all so he could collect them into a useless pile just like his Dragon-Ilharn!"

The healer held onto her with one arm despite the pain, reaching with his other to clasp the final bonds, cutting himself, bleeding again as rust and poison burned and blistered his aura.

"You...bore a half-Dragon as well as a half-demon?" he asked, and she laughed. Loud and derisive.

"No! My son was pure Drowh! Untainted, unlike my sister's half-breeds! The Dragon stole a pure Elf straight from his Mother's womb! Mazdel was the only royal heir born in all of Innathi's cursed reign!"

Ishuna paused as if realizing the thought at the same time he had.

Mazdel was the only one born ever since. There were no heirs at all in Ishuna's reign.

"Mazdel... he was much like you," she continued as her face crumbled, beginning to weep as she pressed their bare bellies together. "But he did not *look* like you! Nothing like you! M-my son had the most beautiful eyes... golden, bright as to be like shining in the Sun. Yet the way they always looked at me, until the moment I had to put them out...when all the light went out forever."

Her despair had the density to drown both of them in darkness, to keep them both from escaping this trap, spreading to those she had already touched. Those like his Brother. If he drowned now, so would his beloveds. Ta'suil couldn't keep Ishuna hovering half-way like this over the Pit; he needed to break the webs, free her at last, no matter how much it hurt.

He spoke as he bled on the webs cutting his fingers. "I do not believe that, Ishuna. Or I would not be here."

She hissed as the webbing tightened as if in instinct to keep this one, last hook inside her, to continue feeding on such rich resource. She snapped her teeth at him like an animal; then she bit his shoulder hard, kissed it afterward as if to soothe. She bit again on his chest, licking once, before scenting near his neck and biting him again as his fingers burned in his attempts to release her.

He felt wetness on his skin, except she hadn't broken it with her bite; she was crying.

"Y-yes..." she gasped. "I can taste you. Part of you is here, Mazdel. Why are you not still where I placed you?"

He heart inside his chest throbbed, yet chilled as he felt this undeniable Truth. "I...do not understand?"

"My son with gold in his eyes, like his Ilharn," she confessed. "I have made him again. And again... like the cursed Noldor, stealing and hiding their elders. It was the only way to keep his purest essence from feeding the Spider Queen..."

His heart pounded as she continued to drip tears on his stained skin.

"As the Deathwalkers know, I have taken his vis. I have given it, as a partial gift, in a new birth. Even as I must give up his body and his vitas, even as I must allow the scavengers to have those each time, even as he was a new, whole being each time...Mazdel always remained in some form. Somewhere..."

His young Queen shook her head, tried to catch her breath. "B-but how can it be you? I did not choose you, I did not choose your Mother. It was Wilsirathon, Auranka's Daughter, who chose the descendants of my son's children to bear the Bred Consorts! You are perhaps of Mazdel's line, but not Mazdel himself! Or...or do you call yourself Avel, instead?"

The healer trembled now with her; tears pricked his eyes as she watched him with such fear and suspicion. "Who...did you choose to bear Mazdel's... 'vis' in this time?"

"Varessa D'Shea birthed him!" Ishuna snapped as if he was stupid. "I have held him in my Palace to be sure he would not escape to the Surface again!"

Just then, the final webbing had dissolved to be so thin as to snap. The instant slack was nearly their undoing as they fell together. Thinking only of Varessa D'Shea's son, the healer hauled the Seer backward with him, landed with her on top of him. She was covered in wounds and she seemed to feel them now. He needed to hold her tightly as she snarled and attempted to squirm free, to roll or scramble back toward that edge and throw herself off that endless drop below.

"You have me..." he whispered urgently in her ear, keeping her with him as she cried and struggled to escape his mercy. "You may call me your son this day. I am back, I am your son, and I will carry the quest for you. I have been doing all of this for you, and for him, for Mazdel, even as you could never know it or you'd kill me, just as you did all the others."

Over and over, she had killed them. A new body and magic to be fed upon and destroyed, just like the first time the light went out. Using both the Noldor and the Deathwalker knowledge, Ishuna had a son reborn again and again. Until it was time, until enough was changing that the Valsharess could no longer hide him and the Abyss had come for Mazdel at last...

Except now that ancient essence was split in two. Thus had been much harder to control. Even for their Mother.

*Shyntre.*

Her original, tawny eyes continued to stare at him and he saw her raw grief, the immense burst of horror seeing the Truth behind the hazy centuries. He saw her regret, and just the barest flicker of hope as her life essence started to fade away with her body. She blinked, and he heard her voice in his head as her mortal husk was dying.

*Ta'suil...you are Ta'suil.*

He shuddered, bearing those new, bloody, rusted hooks in his heart as the punishing edge of all her deeds no longer sliced into only one brother who believed himself as alone as their Mother.

*Ta'suil...! I know you! Oh... Avel. Avel! You have returned!*

He shook badly but he nodded, rolling them to their hands and knees, pushing to stand up, to help her up to her feet. Ta'suil looked up at the wall they had yet to climb out of the prison. There were enough handholds now. He would help her pass away.

"Come. Let go, Mother. Let go of all of this, leave it behind at last."

Ishuna whimpered again though not due to the wounds still winding about her limbs and torso; she was afraid of what she might see up there at the crest.

"Will you betray me at the last moment if I try, Mazdel...? Will you push me off only to relish seeing me fall?"

He shook his head. "No, I will not. You are forgiven... at least by Mazdel's light, if not by his darkness. You and I broke the bonds together just now. Next we will break this endless cycle. Trust me, Mother, and let me help you climb out of where you are."

********

His eyes snapped open to pure black and the scent of stone around him.

*H-help. Where am I? Not the Cloister again, no...*

Magic hummed, just out of true hearing. He knew what it was, he thought.

*The Ley Lines crossing. The intersection...the Tower upon the Surface?*

He was covered in a sour sweat, breathing hard, lying on his back in the fur and wool nest marked by familiar bodies. Inhaling the scents deeply, Auslan placed himself back in his present.

*Yes. The room I share with my beloveds. Inside the Herald's Tower.*

After a moment, he reached out to touch the warm body resting next to him with one, unsure hand.

No female curves, though he responded readily. Shyntre murmured unintelligibly as he rolled over to drape a sleep-heavy arm across his bedmate's chest and move closer. His breath was steady although he sniffed once as if he might've noticed the sweat on his awakened companion. The unconscious response was to hold tighter, offering a light brush of his soft lips across a bare shoulder. Auslan felt grateful, for many things.

*He is still in reverie. We did not share that dream...*

Tears had begun to leak from his open eyes. It was not a Vision, either. It had been a memory; his alone, and a recurring sleep terror. Shyntre had many more of his own about the Valsharess which the healer had never seen and rarely heard about in speech. If the Dark Son slept peacefully now, Auslan wouldn't disrupt it.

*I am glad Sirana was not here. She would have sensed my distress, possibly seen something behind my eyes.*

Shyntre would no doubt have woken up, and then Auslan would have to explain...something... to them both.

But she wasn't here, she was with Karulin.

His Champion alone had both reason and the trust given to hop from one bed to another at the Tower. Auslan found himself a bit envious of her in that freedom, if only because few here would trust him in their bed the way Shyntre did. Certainly Morix had been watching very closely with Krithannia in the pool room, to interfere just when he did.

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