tagNonHumanThe Crimson Tithe

The Crimson Tithe

byAlexClayton©

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"The Crimson Tithe" -- Valentine's Day Story Contest 2016 Submission

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Chapter 1:

While the mortal world prepared for a day of festivities for what they called Saint Valentine's Day, the people of the Five Villages of Mormor prepared for their own celebration that was of an even more ancient... and possibly even darker... tradition.

They referred to it as the Lupercalia.

It was the first day of three of which the Lupercalia Festival fell, roughly, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Kara was not in much of a festive mood as this year she could potentially be the chosen sacrifice. She took some small measure that at least the sacrifices were not burned at the stake as they had been in the ancient days of the Roman Empire. Even now out in the streets she could hear the younger children singing out the olden songs of sacrifice, of feasting, and then of joy, love, and celebration that would follow to all who remained.

As she stepped out of her family's house and took in the snow covered village all decked out in banners, streamers, and other decorations she squared her shoulders and took a deep breath to steady her ragged nerves. Behind her, a small voice spoke up. "Do you really have'ta do this?"

Kara turned to regard her younger, preteen sister, Erika. She knelt down and patted the girl on her blonde head and then pulled her into a big hug. "Yes, I do. But remember this Eri; being selected is a big honor for our village and it is a bit of a long shot to begin with," she said, trying to convince herself as much as her sister. "Even so, we must honor and renew the pact every year to keep everyone else safe.

Her statement was true. The selection process for the sacrifice involved all single women, aged two decades or better who still had fertile wombs, of all of the Five Villages. Out of all of those, one for each village would be selected and out of those, only one would wind up taking the long walk through the dark and forbidden Mormor Woods.

Before emotion took over, Kara kissed Erika on the forehead and smiled at her. "Hey, look after ma and pa for me if I do get chosen, okay? And be brave because you will have to go through this one day as well... if some lucky guy doesn't get you before then." Erika nodded, her golden curls bobbing up and down as she did so. Kara took a moment to say goodbye to their parents, who were looking proud of her, before heading out.

Outside, she could hear the town crier already making the call for the Tithe. "Here Ye! Here Ye! All unwed maids of legal childbearing age shall report to the village hall at once for the selection process! Failure to appear will result in stiff punishment for both the maid and her family!" Even though the crier was blocks away, Kara could hear him as if he were next door.

As she walked a man came up beside her, matching her rapid pace. "I really wish you would reconsider this... barbaric... custom." He hissed at her. "It's unholy, I tell you."

Kara shook her head in disgust and swept a strand of her own golden tresses from her face. "John, you are new here and unaccustomed to our ways," she said sadly. John had come from one of the larger cities from beyond looking for work and found some as one of the village's lumberjacks. He was muscular like many of the men of the village but he carried himself as if he were better and still retained his highborn accent of the city. "This is not a choice; this is a duty which is one that I am proud to perform," she informed him. "I told you that when you first started courting me last year."

"This is ridiculous!" John said, unbelieving that she was so calm. "It's a new modern era where the world is beginning to build these steam engines and sail to the new world in droves. You don't have to be stuck in the dark ages. People don't have to be bound by these silly superstitious traditions anymore!"

"This is what keeps our villages safe." Kara countered sharply.

"Safe from what? From them," he hissed the last word out. "I'm telling you that this is no more than a ruse for them to get your women!"

"You don't understand our ways," Kara said. "There is more out there than the just ones that we tithe to for protection of the village." Or so the village elders say, she thought.

John grabbed her hand and stopped, forcing her to turn towards him. "Don't do this, I beg of you. Come with me instead. We can flee; we can go back to my home! I can show you the true ways of the world or discover the new one."

Kara yanked her hand back from him with disgust. "You missed that opportunity when you failed to ask my father for my hand after we'd lain together like you said you were going to do," she said, venom now coming from her voice as well as her piercing blue eyes.

"I-I wasn't ready at the time," John stammered out.

"But now you are?" Kara arched an eyebrow at him. She crossed her arms and cocked a hip. "I find your timing a bit suspect."

Now John looked crestfallen. "I...I'd thought that I had more time."

"Pity," Kara said, "because now you are out of it." She squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. "If I do not see you; then this is goodbye, John from the outer world. I will think of our time together fondly."

"Listen to you; you sound like the decision has already been made." John sneered. "Seriously; you do not have to do this. What is it with you people?"

"I will do whatever the gods and the fates deem I should do and I will not endanger my family by being petty and selfish like you city folk seem to do." Kara said, now seething with anger. Why couldn't he see that this was the way of things? "Goodbye," she added in haste, turning on her heel and heading directly for the village hall before he had a chance to say anything more. What more was there to say? At one point she was fond of John with all of his fanciful tales of the big, modernized cities from beyond the wood. But she was a simple wood carver's daughter and a hunter in her own right with her own role to play. She liked living in Mormor Woods and couldn't fathom living anywhere else.

When she got to the village hall, she was greeted by the village's Mayor who smiled and nodded to her politely along with a tanned muscular man with dark black hair and dull grey eyes who seemed to study her every movement. "Karaina Hoodsdottir, thank you for coming," the mayor said to her with genuine warmth, checking her name off of his list. "You are the last to arrive, please, take your seat," he gestured in towards the main meeting area where there was one seat remaining for her in the ring of chairs.

The girls who were in attendance looked her way. They all ranged from Kara's age of twenty years up to thirty. Per the terms of the village's treaty that established the Lupercalia Festival the range went all the way up to forty, but women rarely stayed single for that long of a time. Indeed, having Diana there as the only one over the age of twenty-three was weird but the rumors said that she had yet to find a partner, male or female, that was suitable for her tastes. The buxom brunette looked almost bored with the whole thing and was there just out of formality's sake as this was her tenth time going through this. Kara nodded to her in greeting as she took the seat next to Diana.

Diana leaned over to her, "Nervous, Kara?" Kara would be lying if she'd said no. Instead she merely nodded. Diana smiled. "First time through is always the hardest. You'll get used to it."

"Did you?" Kara asked.

"Eventually," she admitted with a shrug. "I'm just ready for them to choose one of you young pups so I can get out of here and back to work on the mountain. I got trees to fell and potential lovers to find." The rumor mill also held that Diana would sleep with anything ready, willing, and able that had two legs... regardless of which genitals that they sported. Diana did nothing to dispel those rumors.

Kara snorted with laughter. "Take John then, he seems to be ready and willing now."

"Bah," Diana waved a dismissive hand. "The youngin' from the cities can deal with Miss Rosy Palm. I got better things to do than to cater to him."

"Is he that bad up on the mountain?" Kara asked.

Diana rolled her eyes. "Let's just say that you were wise to break it off with him. I'd hate being shackled to that boy for the rest of this life and all of the next in Valhalla." Both of them chuckled at that thought.

Kara looked around the circle. In a village of a few hundred, there were only about fifty of them there, many of which were there for their first time just like Kara. Back at the entrance, the Mayor was conversing with the village Priestess and the muscular man as they ensured that everyone eligible was indeed present.

"Who's the man back there with the Mayor and Priestess?" Kara asked Diana.

"He's a representative from one of the other villages from what I understand," Diana said indifferently. "They change every year. It must be a rotating position or somethin' since I have yet to see the same man twice."

The mystery man departed and then the Mayor closed and locked the doors, barring it so that no one could enter... or exit. The Priestess walked into the center of the circle of women, white and red robes billowing behind her as she walked, and called for them all to stand and remove their clothing for the reading of the runes. Diana smirked at Kara's and the rest of the girls' sudden look of discomfort. Kara was second only to Diana to throw her garments off until she was naked as the day she was born along with everyone else.

The Priestess gave a bow of her head, thanking them all, before reaching into her pouches and pulling out her rune stones. She lifted them high above her head and started singing, her voice as lovely as a songbird's melody, as she called for the blessing of the runes. Once she was finished, she flung them downward violently. The stones struck the wooden floor and bounced, clattered, and skidded all around the circle of chairs. The Priestess opened her eyes slowly, taking in the scattered stones, and began to walk slowly around the circle deep in thought.

"Leave," she said in a gruff voice and a wave of her hand to one petite girl who looked visibly relieved. The girl hastened to dress and went for the front door where the Mayor let her out. "Leave," the Priestess said again after walking a few more girls down. This time a curvy strawberry blonde was dismissed who just grabbed up her clothes and ran naked out into the snowy village beyond.

She made at least five laps around the ring of girls, dismissing more and more as she walked, until she stopped in front of Kara and Diana. The Priestess regarded the runes at their feet with interest, and then looked back at the other runes by the few other girls that were left. "All of you; leave," she said, dismissing them with a flick of her hand. She turned back to Kara and Diana. Kara felt an odd sense of dread welling up in her stomach while Diana looked back with a curious look on her face.

The Priestess looked back with the same amount of curiosity, tapping a finger on her lips. "You are not ready, but your time will come soon enough," she said, pointing to Diana. Her finger transitioned over to Kara where she wagged it and nodded. "You; you are our village's sacrifice for this year."

Kara could only stare and blink at the Priestess. Picked on her first year; it wasn't unheard of but it was certainly a shock. Any doubt or misgivings she might have had she buried deep when she recalled her own words not too long ago when she said that she'd do whatever the fates desired. Diana gave her a sideways look and shrugged before gathering up her clothing. Kara swallowed whatever fears she had, put on her mask of bravery, and gave the Priestess a single nod of assent.

"We have chosen," The Priestess announced to the Mayor as Diana gathered up her clothes and heading for the door. "You may notify the emissary and the town."

"Excellent, I'll make the announcement so that the day's festivities can commence," he said as he followed Diana out.

***

CHAPTER 2:

It was festivities that she would no longer be a part of, Kara noted, with the exception of later tonight when she would be paraded out of the village to the crossroads. She knew from past festivals that her family would be given honors usually reserved for visiting royalty and dignitaries and that they would be well taken care of by the community. Tithe families usually were especially if their daughter was taken during the second selection which would happen much later in the evening.

The Priestess took Kara by the hand and led her out the back door of the hall. Here they went through a specially constructed tunnel that led from the village hall to the temple. In the olden days when the treaty was first signed, it was nothing more than a covered walkway to protect the modesty and privacy of the Tithe. Now it was a full wooden corridor lit by torches to ensure complete protection of those who were chosen as there'd been so-called heroes in the past who sought to 'liberate' whoever was chosen.

Kara had a fleeting image of John making such an attempt but dismissed it as she didn't think that he had the spine to do it.

The tunnel also served a dual purpose to keep the Tithe from making a run for it by having second thoughts about the ordeal. She'd heard rumors of such events happening in the past by girls who'd lost their nerve and decided to throw duty to the wind. That would not be Kara. The fates have decided and she would meet her destiny full on. The Priestess smiled at her as they entered the back of the temple, pleased that Kara was not making a fuss. When they were in the preparation area, the Priestess gestured to a table where four of her acolytes waited patiently in simple white robes to perform their duties. Without hesitation, Kara eased herself up onto the polished wood of the table in the middle of the four girls. The acolytes took her by the wrists and the ankles while the Priestess gently placed her hands onto the sides of Kara's temples and guided her to lie her head back onto a pillow.

Kara did as she was silently directed to, only giving a brief look of concern when her arms and legs were fastened down to the corners so that she was slightly spread-eagled. "While I know that you are not going to shirk from your duty, Karaina Hoodsdottir," the Priestess said in a soothing voice, "this is to ensure that you do not run away. If nothing else, think of it as maintaining a tradition." Kara could understand that and so she nodded.

The acolytes went to work at once. One lit some sweet smelling incense, one brought up a bucket of soapy warm water, another came up with soft cloths and towels, and the fourth fetched some brushes and came up to Kara's head. Kara closed her eyes and relaxed as the two with the towel and bucket proceeded to bathe her. The one at her head started humming a joyous tune as she started brushing out Kara's hair. Kara was soon humming with pleasure herself as she felt the girls' hands work over her body.

The one who'd lit the incense left briefly, returning with a box. Kara's eyes fluttered open when she hear the box creak open. Her eyes went wide when she saw three phallic objects and a glass bottle of some sort of liquid inside of it. "Please relax as much as possible," the girl said. "This will help you be prepared for tonight should you be the chosen Tithe."

Kara wondered what the acolyte was referring to until the two one either side of her immediately brought their hands down to her abdomen, thighs, and mons. They cleaned her thoroughly and then Kara felt their delicate fingers spreading her open while the one with the box picked up the smallest of the three phalluses and coated it with the liquid from the bottle. Kara bit her lower lip as it was aimed toward her most intimate spot.

"Ahhhh," Kara gasped, arching her back, as the phallus was slowly pushed into her aided by the warm oil that was covering it. Her whole body shuddered with pleasure as the acolyte slid it into her with ease.

The acolyte smiled and the two holding her open let go, allowing her pussy lips to close around the phallus. Kara whimpered, her need now growing within her as her inner folds stretched and molded around the wooden object. "Good," the acolyte said with approval. "You've known the touch of another before. This will be much easier for you." Kara didn't care so long as they would move the phallus inside of her. She gyrated her hips and whined for attention.

The cleaning acolytes moved down her legs and then back up her body. Now their hands roamed up her belly and over her modest, but round bust. Her nipples stiffened in response to their gentle rubbing. Meanwhile, the one with the box reached up to grab a hold of the phallus. It moved within her slightly and Kara rotated her hips in time with the motion. Then it was pulled out of her, leaving her feeling empty and wanting.

She didn't have long to wait as a second phallus was coated with the clear, warm oil and inserted into her. This one was slightly larger than the first and it filled her up more than ever before. She let out a long, languorous breath as it settled into place. She'd never felt so full before and she loved it. The acolytes working on her breasts were now moving up to her shoulders and down her arms. Her breath became ragged and she felt like she was close to reaching her peak but was deliberately being denied and she was letting her frustration show.

"Peace," the acolyte brushing her hair out said in a soothing voice. "You will be taken care of." She continued her melodious humming as she switched to a finer brush.

The two girls that were cleaning then reached for the towels to dry her off completely. The towels were then put to the side and they came back with bottles of oil and straight razors. They rubbed the oil into the underside of her arms and then drew the razors across the skin slowly, removing the few tufts of hair that had been there. "Please be still, miss," they said as one as they moved down to her mound. The acolyte in charge of the phalluses removed the one from her pussy and stood by with it while the two cleaners poured the oil over her mound before dragging the razors over them, leaving her completely bare.

This was a new feeling for her and Kara squeezed her thighs together, feeling an increased sensitivity over her mons. The girl with the phallus nudged it up against her pussy once again, penetrating her again and making her cry out in pleasure. The cleaners then poured the oil all over her body and at once began working it into her skin all over. When they worked on her thighs and abdomen, Kara cried out again as her body convulsed with pleasure. Her body then hummed while her pussy rhythmically gripped and released the phallus as the orgasm swept over her.

She was delirious with the erotic energy now coursing through her and barely noticed that the phallus had been removed and that the four acolytes had undone the leather restraining straps. Gently, they eased and prodded her until she subconsciously rolled over onto her stomach. Once there, she was strapped down spread-eagled again. Kara looked up with brief confusion but then stopped caring once the oil and the rubbing continued, this time starting on her bottom and inner thighs. She let out a low moan as the two pairs of hands worked on her in perfect tandem.

Then she felt herself being spread open once again as cool air kissed the inner folds of her pussy. Kara managed to get a look back over her shoulder in time to see the third, and largest, phallus being brought up to her. The acolyte in charge of her hair took that opportunity to slip a couple of closed gloves that had no individual finger onto her hands and fastened the straps around her wrists. The leather gloves forced her fingers to curl around a cylindrical object inside. Looking at them in confusion, she was about to ask what these were for when she got her answer.

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byAlexClayton© 58 comments/ 98884 views/ 353 favorites

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