The Legacy of ArgusbyAJ_Watson©
Author's note: Many thanks to mehiali for editing this for me. This is my first attempt at writing an erotic story. I hope you like it but whether you do or don't, I'd love to hear why. What was good, what was bad, how could I improve? All feedback welcomed at the address in my profile.
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Scotland is an old country, one of the oldest nations in the west but our order is older than even the kingdom. By the time the Romans pushed into the southern reaches of the land we had been long established and we remained when they fled. The English fought for many centuries to subdue the country and at last it seemed that they had but even now, 300 years after unification the identity of Scotland burns strong in the hearts of its people and we remain.
The modern world thinks itself enlightened and is secure in the belief of the things it has convinced itself do not exist. After many millennia of secrecy and careful hiding this has been an ironic and welcome boon. Five hundred years ago a man claiming to be a sorcerer would have been lynched, today he would be ridiculed. The peasants of the time may have been ill-educated but they were not ignorant. That is why Scotland has been our home for so long, the magic is strongest here.
Before the advent of enlightened modern thinking we took concealment extremely seriously, this led to hidden vaults being created across the land and especially in the mountains. Rugged and inhospitable terrain is the perfect place to hide things from those whose lack of magical aptitude means they can't traverse it.
The secrecy inevitably had unintended and unfortunate consequences, over the centuries many of these strongholds were forgotten or lost, the magic used to protect them doing its job in such a way as to frustrate the brethren that it was supposed to protect. Locating and exploring such places had become a fascination for me, often the old ones would contain valuable and interesting artefacts - magical artefacts have a habit of growing stronger with age.
I located one such vault in an especially inclement rock face. Magic is an unfathomable phenomenon but there are certain rules to it, for one thing the use of magic leaves a trace. Usually in this land where the natural magic is vibrant you do not notice any such thing but purely by accident I was aware of a strong and old enchantment.
The closer I got to it, carefully levitating up the vertical face and projecting a low cloud cover to conceal myself, the more I realised it was one of the more powerful magics I had come across. There are a number of famous sorcerers who legend says hid fabulous reliquaries in the mountains and I was naturally inclined to investigate.
I attempted to dispel the shielding enchantment but it was impervious, all that happened was the illusion covering the entrance disappeared and the shield itself became visible. It was a solid black shade, hiding any sign of what it protected. I was further impressed at the skill that had gone into this magic. With increasing curiosity I began to lightly probe the shield for weak spots. I was unsurprised to find none, a completely smooth projection of power shielded my goal but noting the perfect spherical form of the spell I deduced the central point.
Extending one hand I muttered the incantations feverishly and released a thin lance of raw power to the centre of the shield. There was no bang or flash of light, magic is not like that. Instead I felt the shield rupture and the spell's power began to seep out. Once again I was impressed at the craft that had created this shield, even when pierced it did not fail outright but slowly began to recede as the magic it contained diminished.
A pentagonal tunnel, perfectly proportioned, cut clean into the mountainside was revealed as the shield crept inwards. Grateful for the respite from levitation, as it is a particularly tiring art, I stepped into the tunnel and followed the shrinking shield. I passed through a doorway, a mere rectangle in the rock but with such perfect angles and smooth surfaces that it had an unlikely elegance, and entered a large circular chamber.
The shield was creeping inwards towards the centre of the room and beginning to turn transparent; circling around it a stone table obscured from the doorway by the shield caught my eye. I walked closer to examine it and saw a plain metallic ring - no more than a simple band - and a curious knife with a black blade. Looking up from the table I took in the rest of the area the shield had uncovered, it was moving even more slowly now but turning completely transparent, revealing a raised stone platform.
My blood ran cold as I saw her. She was supine on the dais, slender and toned -- and nude. Waves of black hair caressed the stone below her head and fell down onto her ivory shoulders. A flawless face, eyes closed and lips slightly curved into a salacious smirk even in sleep. I saw a graceful neck, creamy skin flowing to the generous swell of her breasts. Slender arms and legs, nails a lustrous black. Smooth stomach with no navel. Flaring hips, hairless mons. Leathery wings spread beneath her and a thin tail ran between her legs past her feet.
Immediately I understood why this place had been so well protected. Heart pounding in my ears, I attempted to repair the fissure I had lanced into the shield but the pressure of the magic escaping the hole made it impossible. Even as I gave up I noticed the tail flick along the edge of the stone. Panicking, I hurled a paralysis curse towards her; she raised a hand to block it and opened her vivid blue eyes. Lithely she swung her legs off the platform, towards me, stretching as she got to her feet and inspected the retreating dome of the shield.
Focusing my mind, I began to channel banishment. Instantly she froze and started ever so slowly to fade out of view but then her hands flew up in front of her and made a complicated twirling motion and she was suddenly quite solid again. Worse still, the attempt had shattered what was left of the shield.
"Must we fight?" she said, strolling towards me with a rhythmic, effortless gait. I immediately focused as much power as I could and tried to smash her into the wall but with effortless grace she blocked and reflected the magic, hurling me backwards into the table. I landed face down and groggily lifted my head to see a ring in front of me and beyond it her as she continued her slow walk towards me.
"Wear me," said a cold metallic voice. I looked at the ring in surprise.
"Quickly, fool. Wear me," it said. Having run out of ideas of my own I obliged. I thought it had done nothing, I noticed no added magic from wearing it and was preparing to launch another barrage at her when she took another slow, leisurely step toward me and recoiled.
This seemed to surprise her and her eyes quickly scanned the room; she let out an audible hiss and dived for the knife that had been sent a few feet away when I crashed into the table. I lashed out with another blasting spell and this time it caught her, she was sent sprawling backwards into the far wall and I quickly gathered up the knife.
"Leave," said the ring. Thoroughly rattled I was keen to do exactly that and sprinted along the tunnel back into the open air, blasting the roof of the tunnel as I went to seal it behind me and fled into the mountains.
I had never felt such panic. Three decades of life dedicated to arcane study and concealment had sent me into all manner of dangerous situations but never had I been so sure that I was in the presence of something that could better my magic. I had read of her long ago in an ancient tome secreted in another vault and had not believed the tale. Respect and reputation are everything in our order and it is common for us to exaggerate, embellish and invent our accomplishments.
This particular sorcerer by the name of Argus had devoted himself to studying demons; he claimed to have discovered that one of the demon lords had created a new breed of succubae in an effort to enslave the male population. He went on to say that this didn't go to plan and the chief of this new breed immediately turned on him and seized his domain before turning her attention to our realm. She was powerful but naive and was not prepared for the assault Argus unleashed on her when she entered this plane, despite this her power was too great for him to vanquish and the best he could do was seal her away in a chamber with his strongest magic.
I knew that she would be able to escape easily but could not decide whether she would be more likely to hunt me down or pursue an agenda of conquest. Either way, I needed more knowledge and the only place I was likely to find it would be in another vault of the ancient sorcerer.
I began a long search that took me all around the country but did not yield any helpful finds. I had kept a lookout for others in the order but strangely had not encountered any; this troubled me a great deal because we have perfected the art of eluding any who wish to find us in this land, albeit we have our own ways of locating each other. If she had, as I feared, began to track us down and eliminate us then it was another worrying indication of how great her power was. It also led me to thinking that the ring was the only thing shielding me and not any skills or cunning I had employed.
More disturbing news greeted me when I visited a local village to check the news. Cautious to the last, I crept in at night under heavy magical disguise and took all the newspapers I could find in bins. The news I found was strange, very strange in fact. It seemed that in the three weeks since I had encountered her, a number of startling world events had taken place. The governments of all the declared nuclear states had announced a joint programme to eradicate their nuclear arsenals and claimed to have already shut down the infrastructure required to use them.
The newspapers hailed it as a victory for the enlightenment of man and the triumph of reason over machismo. I took it to be a first strike in the conquest of Earth. My suspicions were further alerted when I read a number of museums had been robbed of aged artifacts - the newspapers suspected a booming black market was being fuelled by rich criminal collectors. I suspected valuable magical relics were being hoarded.
The financial sections were awash with news of a flurry of mergers and takeovers in the telecommunications and media sectors. Analysts were at a loss to explain this activity but it sounded to me like an ideal way of hampering the coordination of potential resistance. The strangest of the news was also the least reported, in fact the media did not appear to draw the connection at all. A series of missing person reports in different papers caught my eye, they all disappeared without a trace and they all had satanic or cult leanings.
I had another problem too. The ring was starting to pain me. It began very slowly, a mere tingle on the finger and slowly grew in intensity and extent until now my whole hand throbbed almost constantly. After a few days I decided I would have to take it off, though my fear that she would find me ensured I took plenty of precautions. Sure enough I had barely slipped the ring off my aching finger when she appeared.
Fortunately I had prepared both a means of escape and a series of enchantments to impede her and slipping the ring back on I was able to elude her again. Later that evening, when I was sure I had covered enough ground to ensure my safety I considered the situation, I had at least learned from the failed experiment what the purpose of the ring was. This indicated that the builder of the vault had anticipated someone would need it one day and led me to wonder if the knife had been left for its own purpose. If the old demonologist had found a way to craft a ring that stopped her finding me, had he found a way to craft a knife that could kill her?
As I sat pondering the implications I drifted off to sleep. I was floating, seemingly disembodied, across an open field in the dead of night. I did not recognise the location but the ground ran away to the horizon with no undulations in any direction. Directly below me a circle was marked out, glowing brightly against the moonless sky. Around the circumference, a number of relics were scattered.
In the centre of the circle a naked man lay on his back, arms and legs spread wide and secured to the turf with a shiny black vine-like substance that appeared to seamlessly slot into the grass. She stood between his outstretched legs, beautiful and mysterious in the flickering magical light. She looked up; those piercing eyes seemed to look straight into my soul. She gazed at me for several long seconds, saying nothing but I got the impression she wanted me to know she was aware of my presence.
She turned her attention to her captive, straining hopelessly against his bonds.
"Do you give yourself to me willingly?" she asked. The man said nothing but glared in impotent fury and redoubled his futile efforts to escape. She merely laughed at this.
"You will, soon," she said.
Stretching her arms lazily above her head she began to perform a complex spell that I did not recognise. I could feel the power of it crackling around the field and a fell wind began to swirl around the circle. The artifacts around the circle flared as their power was drained for the spell. Her spell craft complete, she wasted no time in mounting him; he gave a primal howl and flailed more frantically.
Once more she raised her arms and began to cast a spell I could not identify. Its purpose was soon evident however, inside the circle the silhouettes of six demonic figures appeared. Even from my elevation I could see the immediate fear struck in the captive below me. She too noticed it, looking around idly as she slowly, tantalisingly rode him.
"I have linked your arousal to the magic summoning them, if you do not orgasm soon they will materialise fully," she said "Their kind has not had a chance to play with a mortal for millennia, your torment will last centuries."
The silhouettes were becoming more solid looking. Each figure was different but all were ferocious, bestial, a nightmare of claws and teeth and spines. They were stalking round him in a snarling frenzy, swarming over and through him.
"You know what you must do to stop them," she said and accelerated the motion of her hips.
His body tensed as if in orgasm but I could tell she was holding him on the edge deliberately. Then one of the demons gave a curdling shriek and started snapping at his chest.
"Take me! Take me!" he screamed.
Whether it had gained enough substance to cause actual harm or his nerve simply broke I do not know but she did not disappoint his frantic request. He gave a loud, relieved moan as his body shook and she, astride him, began more magic. The blazing circle grew brighter and brighter as his body stilled, finally flashing a dazzling white that blinded me.
When my vision returned she stood before a shimmering portal, no trace of her victim remained. Heart sinking I saw the first of them emerge, an endless legion of demons. Some were succubae, some were the horrible mongrel fiends she had tormented her sacrifice with, there were more humanoid-shaped varieties, winged monstrosities, tiny swarming terrors and giant marauding beasts. As I gazed in terror at the assembling army I was aware of her gaze on me again.
"I wanted you to witness this," she said "and now I make you an offer, make no attempt to come near me and I will leave you alone. Fail to do so and this whole host will be set against you."
I awoke feeling better than I had for weeks. I had no doubt the events of my dream had been real but although she had intended to intimidate me, the effect had been the opposite - I was sure she was worried by me. Given that I had been unable to repel her with my own magic I was sure it must be the knife that was her concern. The difficulty would be in getting close enough to stab her without giving myself away. This however was a task I felt I would be up to; our order has been perfecting such magic for years uncounted.
I spent several weeks casting the strongest enchantments of concealment on myself that I could. I was confident that I had produced some of my finest spell work but as time wore on the blasted ring caused me greater and greater pain. By the time I was satisfied with my preparations and scouted another village for news it had begun. She had declared herself openly soon after opening the portal, the leaders of the world had universally submitted to her rule - no doubt coerced in some manner. She had chosen the site of ancient Babylon for her capital and erected a tower there to rule from.
Some assaults had been made against it but they were catastrophic failures. As I had anticipated, her monopoly of global communications had made it easy for her to prevent the few military forces that had the inclination to assail her from co-coordinating their strength. To prove her authority she had ordered the conscription of men from around the world to form the mortal corps of her army, those that refused the summons were brutally executed. I decided to use this movement of manpower to her base to my advantage.
Travelling to one of the staging centres in England I took the place of one of the conscripts, stealing his clothes and teleporting him to the Far East where he wouldn't be found and give me away. I was surprised when we were taken to her base by aircraft rather than any magical transportation; this suggested her power was not as great as I had feared. Throughout the trip I saw a number of people in red robes that appeared to be an upper class of servant and typically commanded an installation or operation, these I think were the cultists she had recruited.
The tower itself was vast and imposing, a seat of power that was clearly intended to be feared. Certainly it worked on the men I was travelling with, urged onwards by our demonic minders and the red-robed commander.
Once inside the tower I slipped away from the group, rejoicing when I found my presence went unnoticed as long as I stayed a moderate distance away from the roaming sentinels. I knew where I would find her; demons are very predictable on some counts. At the very top of the tower she would have chambers, demonstrating her power by being literally above everyone else. At one point I could not slip past a guarding demon while being confident of remaining hidden. I crept as close as I felt comfortable to and then unleashed as powerful a banishment as I could. The hideous creature turned transparent and vanished silently.
Inwardly I cheered as the power flowed through me; at last things were going my way. I continued to ascend the tower, proceeding as quickly as I dared. At last I reached the pinnacle and paused to check if she was inside. I reached out mentally but found nothing and entered a wide room with a throne against the wall opposite the door. I took up position inside the doorway, drawing the knife and preparing to strike when she entered.
It took several hours for her to appear but my training has left me a disciplined mind and I maintained my concentration. As she walked into the room she headed straight for the throne, noiselessly turning to face her back I dug every sliver of power I had into an immobilisation spell. She froze in mid-step and having secured the split second I needed, I strode forward and rammed the knife toward her heart, slicing through a wing on its way.
Searing pain shot up my arm and I staggered backwards clutching at my fingers with my other hand, she crumpled to the floor in front of me and was still. Turning away I finally wrenched the wretched ring off and hurled it away. I collapsed onto my back, closing my eyes, breathing heavily and surging with adrenaline and relief.