tagNovels and NovellasCeltic Warrior 01: Ulrike's Quest

Celtic Warrior 01: Ulrike's Quest


Celtic Warrior 1:

Ulrike's Quest

On the receding edge of the great Northern ice sheet

Approximately 11,000 BC

He was tumbling through the air when he became conscious. The cold rushing past him tried to pull his breath out of his lungs. He flayed his arms and legs desperate to find some stability and leverage. His falling body rotated and the earth below came into view; a great expanse of white to his left and bright shades of green to his right.

He landed against a gentle sloping wall of ice and slid down at great speed. He catapulted out onto a green soggy field of grass and flowers tumbling and rolling until he came to a stop.

He lay face down on the meadow and watched a trail of insects march by his nose. After several minutes, his breathing slowed and his confusion abated. He groaned, rolled over and looked back at the wall of ice.

What happened?

He couldn't remember.

Who am I? Where am I? They weren't words of wonder. It was more like pure wonderment itself.

He sat up and looked around. His body ached all over, but worst of all, he couldn't remember who he was. He had no idea where he came from except the sky. He crawled over to a small rivulet of water trickling out from the ice. As he cupped a handful into his mouth, he caught his reflection in the water and gasped.

He didn't recognize himself. He stood up and his whole body reflected back in a small pool of water.

The hair on his body was a soft yellow. On his head, it was long and cascaded over his shoulders. On his face, it was bushy and streaked with dark brown. His broad chest had thick curly brown hair that covered large, chiseled muscles. It ran down across his hard, flat belly, around what looked like a deformed miniature third leg and over his thighs. His form was completely alien to him.

As sudden as his descent had been from the sky, he felt a deep ache inside consume his attention. He was hungry. Instinctual behavior kicked in and he sniffed the air. He closed his eyes. Yes...he smelled it. He needed to...kill and he needed to...feed.

His eyes popped open with another realization. He needed to mate. He wasn't sure what any of that meant. Mate? What is mate? Feed? He let his instincts take over.

Feed and fuck, a voice whispered soundlessly inside his head. Feed now. Fuck later.

He heard all these words in his head, but he didn't know what they meant. His stomach craved...what? Food, the voice said. The area between his legs throbbed. He reached down and closed his fist around the smaller leg-like appendage that started growing long and hard. It rose up alive and wanting. He stared at this odd looking thing in his hand. To mate with, the voice whispered in his head.

He squeezed the stiff thing and then let it go. He sniffed the air again, turned his head quickly as a tiny breeze brought a tantalizing odor into his flared nostrils and he grunted.

Food. Feed now.

With a speed that shocked and thrilled him, he leapt in long bounds across the meadow, over large boulders, and through a stand of tall trees. His golden mane flagged after him. There it is.

A small creature, an almost hairless miniature of himself, casually strolled around a large bush picking purple berries and placing them in a bag. In an instant, he was on its back dragging it to the ground.

It screamed only once before his razor sharp teeth bit into its tiny neck and tore a mouthful of flesh away. When he swallowed, a great flood of relief washed over him. The taste and sensation of it sliding into his stomach made him shiver with pleasure. Food, the voice said. He grunted and buried his face into the raw, oozing wound. The small creature struggle and kicked its legs. The flavor of the crimson red fluid that gushed from the wound made his smaller third leg throb with tension. He wanted to touch it and squeeze it, but the food and the feeding drew his attention away like a mighty wind.

He secured his lips around the gaping wound and sucked the wonderful red juice. It filled him with great power and joy. The tiny body under him twitched and gurgled until there was nothing left to suck from the bite mark. Without knowing why, he tore open the small creature's chest and ripped out the piece of flesh that had still pulsed with a faint but rhythmic beat. Now it was still. He gazed at it as streams of red ran between his fingers. It was so wonderfully warm. He was thrilled how it felt in his hand. He smiled, ran his tongue over its surface and quickly devoured the tasty morsel.

He fell onto his back and stared into the blue, cloudy filled sky. He tried to recall any shred of memory as to how he got in the sky and why he fell to this strange place. There was nothing. He could still see the ice sheet above the tops of the trees.

His middle leg remained hard and achy. He looked at it and it stood straight up throbbing with energy. The large tip was flared on the edges; it was a dark purple color. He wrapped his wet, sticky hand around it and rubbed up and down. That felt good. The wonderful red fluid on his hand was still warm. The feel of it on his swollen flesh made him shiver. It was so slick and with each stroke he groaned with pleasure. Mate, the voice said.

Instantly, he was back on his feet. Mate now.

His dark eyes scanned the surrounding terrain. He sniffed the air, turned his head in the direction of another wind born odor. Mate!

"Mate," he repeated the word, still uncertain what it meant. He licked the red juice that coated his lips and facial hair trying to clear his head of its strong, distinctive odor. He smelled the other as the wind shifted in his direction. It was a sweet, musky aroma. It made his achy middle leg twitch. Mate, the voice commanded. He bolted into the trees clutching the engorged thing between his legs. His heart surged with excitement and a broad smile played at his blood covered lips.

A large settlement in Northwestern Gaul

263 BC

The night air held an unseasonal chill. The smoky smell of dying fires came and went on the intermittent breeze. Somewhere across the settlement a dog barked. Ulrike carefully scanned the perimeter of Alesia. She looked over at Lena, her twin sister and back across at the farm lands that disappeared into the blackness of night.

Ulrike and Lena were patrol partners; seasoned Celtic warriors pledged to die for the safety of their tribe and clan. Lena walked up and stood beside her sister. They were both lean, hardened warriors, bred, born and raised in the warrior clan. Being twins gave them status, but the respect they held had been earned on their own.

"I don't like it," Lena said. "It's too damn quiet." Usually the night was filled with sound; frogs, crickets and animals domestic and wild. It was unnaturally quiet. Ulrike didn't speak but she nodded her head.

Their bodies bore matching black body art. It appeared like flames following along the natural contours of their musculature and bone structure. The permanent markings swirled over shoulders, around elbows and ended in significant symbols on the flat expanses of skin. Little black dots accented their facial features. It was the work of their mother.

The Celtic tribes fought notorious blood feuds. Each patrol pair had a sector of Alesia to watch over and guard. The sisters patrolled an area from the river on the south to the road north out of Alesia's main gate. Between the river and the road was a deep expanse of farm land and pasture for goats, sheep and cattle. Behind Alesia, the great mountains stretched into the clouds.

Ulrike leaned her head back and sniffed the wind that blew up along the river valley. She sensed no human odors from that direction.

"Let's head toward the road," she said. Lena nodded and instinctively moved away to make them less of a target. A small irrigation ditch ran parallel with their path. She leapt over it and trod out on the edge of the field. Ulrike moved closer to the town proper and scanned the fields in front of her twin.

The buildings on Alesia's perimeter were associated with commerce, farming and military housing. The sisters lived in one of those buildings. They were a mixture of stone and heavy timber construction. The roofs were thatched with straw and most of them came almost to the ground.

Lena carefully crept through the millet as high as her knees. Something was out there, but she couldn't get a sense of it. Ulrike watched her sister from the shadows of the stone barracks at her back. A thumb nail moon hung high in the sky. That great cloudy band of lights twinkled across the night sky.

Ulrike heard a stone roll to her left and turned her head for only a moment. In that moment, Lena was gone.

She bolted out toward the field, vaulted over the irrigation ditch and ran to where she last saw her sister. She listened; nothing. She sniffed the air; no Lena. As twins they always felt each other, even at a distance. Lena seemed to have disappeared. Ulrike turned back toward her barracks, stuck two fingers in her mouth and loudly whistled a pattern that signified, Alarm! Assistance Needed.

Within fifty heart beats, two other warriors raced out between the buildings and looked into the field. Ulrike waved them over. When they came to her side, their swords were drawn. They were tall, muscular young men poised for battle and dressed very similar to Ulrike. A leather vest overlaid in chain mail covered their chests. A scant leather garment covered their groin area, and leather boots adorned their feet with crisscrossed leather straps running up their legs. A scabbard for their iron sword hung from a leather belt, and a small dagger fit into a pocket on one boot.

Ulrike carried a bronze dagger. It was inferior in strength to iron, but it had been her mother's and her mother's before. It was like a talisman.

"What's happening?" Gregor asked.

"Lena was snatched. Right in front of me for Morrighan's sake!"

Hans, the other male warrior shivered. He hated hearing the war goddess's name being taken in vain.

"Morrighan be with us," he mumbled in prayer. Ulrike nodded still gazing across the field and into the tree line. Something moved.

"There!" She pointed. Without taking her eyes from the spot, she raced toward the trees with the two other warriors behind her.

When she reached the place, there was nothing. The tree line wasn't deep and she could see more fields beyond. Her breath heaved in her chest. Off to the left, in the direction of the river something ran through the grain field. Lena's still body was slung over its shoulder. It stopped and looked back at its pursuers. In the dark, it certainly looked like a man; a very large man, but its deep dark eyes reflected what little moon light there was and they shined bright white. Ulrike tore after them. Hans and Gregor tried to keep up but fell behind the long legged woman. When she finally reached the river, Lena and her captor had vanished.

"May the goddess protect us," Hans said as he reached Ulrike. He was almost out of breath. "Did you see those eyes. Veldtae."

Gregor scoffed. "Veldtae? Don't be stupid. That's a myth to frighten children." All three waited until their breath caught up with them.

The Veldtae were thought of as mythical by most people who lived in large settlements such as Alesia. The people who lived in rural areas, however considered them as real as any other terror that slinked through the night. Ulrike had been raised in Alesia, but many of her family members were farmers, wood cutters and hunters.

She had been taught to consider the Veldtae as real. She never doubted that fact, but her mother, a great warrior in her own right, had assured her, the Veldtae were long gone, destroyed by their ancestors centuries ago.

"Go back, Hans," she said and put her hand on his shoulder. "Tell them Lena has been taken and Gregor and I are pursuing." She looked at Gregor to for his approval. He nodded. "Get a small squad together and follow us." Gregor and Ulrike turned to leave, but she stopped and looked back at Hans. "And bring a healer. Lena might be...injured." They raced along the river as Hans turned and ran back through the millet.

Bruede stopped and dropped his prize on the ground. He was tired only because he hadn't eaten since before the Celt's village. He looked at the young one lying next to him. He placed his hand over her heart. It beat strong and steady and that only fed his hunger all the more. He resisted the urge to rip it out of her chest. The blow to the side of Lena's head wouldn't keep her unconscious for much longer. With any luck, he'd take her back to the great gathering in the northern territories of his island home; a gift for father.

The aroma of her body stirred his hunger, but he had other plans for this tasty morsel. He pushed open her legs, lowered his face into her groin area and inhaled deeply. His manhood stirred between his legs. He so wanted to fuck her there and then, but her twin was moving fast. He could smell her too.

"I'll have you both," he said and pulled up from Lena's exciting scent. He stood and stepped a few paces away. Her aroma was too great a distraction. He sniffed the breeze coming up the river.

"Ummmm," he moaned slightly and licked his lips. Food. He threw Lena back over his shoulder and lapped his tongue over her bare midriff savoring the salty taste of her skin. He leapt into the darkness toward the smell of food and quickly disappeared.

Only a short time later, Ulrike and Gregor burst into the small clearing where Bruede had rested with Lena. Ulrike could feel her now. She was so much closer. They stopped long enough to rest their breath. Gregor pulled out some dried meat from the small pouch at his waist, stuck a piece between his teeth and handed one to Ulrike. She gratefully took it and nodded her thanks. They didn't speak.

A quick drink from the river, and they continued their pursuit.

They followed the old river trail. A ferry crossing was not far away, and when its caretaker's little stone cabin and conical roof came into view, they stopped and scrutinized the area. Nothing moved. The air was still, but Ulrike could still sense her sister's presence. She looked at Gregor and whispered.

"Slip along that ridge line and flank the cabin. I'll stay close to the river." Gregor nodded and disappeared into the darkness. The twin sisters were natural leaders, and he had no qualms taking her orders. Ulrike followed the trail and skirted along the water's edge. The large log ferry was gone. She cursed under her breath and started to jog toward the stone cabin.

She put her hand over her mouth. The odor that filled her nose was one she smelled only on the field of battle. She didn't hesitate. She threw herself past the curtained door with her sword drawn and her bronze dagger in hand.

Lying in distorted repose was the old caretaker. She knew him well from the many river crossings she had made during warfare. Gregor came in behind her.

"Morrighan," he said breathlessly.

The old man's throat was torn out. Only a small trace of blood lay pooled at his head. His chest was laid open and his heart was missing. His dead eyes stared at the ceiling; his mouth was frozen in a silent scream.

Gregor gagged and went back out. Ulrike knelt at the old man's side, shut his mouth and closed his eyes. She kissed his forehead.

"Sleep in the arms of the goddess," she said and staggered outside; then she howled a long, high pitched scream that came up from the bottom of her lungs and the pit of her soul.

Well down river, Bruede turned when he heard the Celtic warrior's cry. Lena stirred and tried to sit up. His fist smashed into her jaw and she went back out.

"Come and get me, bitch," he said aloud. "I've got something waiting just for you." He reached down and gripped his cock looking at the little one next to him. He closed his eyes. He wanted to mate so badly; to feel her cunt contract around his aching member as he filled her warm body with his seed.

He reached over and tore off Lena's loin covering. It brought her closer and her leg flopped unconsciously over his. He plunged his hand into her crotch, spread the lips of her cunt and drove a finger inside her. He brought it out and placed it under his nose inhaling the scent of her womanhood. He shuddered, crawled between her legs and with the aid of his hand, worked the head of his enormous cock back and forth opening the tight, little fuck hole he needed to fill with his seed. He grunted as the bulbous head slid past her virgin lips. With one brutal thrust, he buried his cock inside her. Lena didn't stir. It wasn't as satisfying as a cunt awake with lust or even terror, but it would do.

He started pounding his hips against her. His cock slid in and out, lubricated by the blood of Lena's ruptured maidenhead. Faster and fasert he fucked her unconscious body. He tore away her chain mail and vest. Her tiny breasts jiggled with each thrust of his hips. He preferred to mate with Celtic bitches that had a little more meat on their bones, but this one felt good enough. She had a warrior's lean, hard body. He liked fucking warriors. He loved fucking virgins. Her tight cunt sent shock waves of pleasure through him as he moved his meat in and out. When his climax erupted and his seed spilled into her in powerful spurts, his abdomen muscles contracted and spasmed in delicious waves of pleasure. He bent his head back and howled.

Ulrike stepped outside, came up behind Gregor and wrapped her arms around him. He turned and hugged her to his chest. Only the solace in the arms of another warrior would steel their strength. They stood there for many moments sharing their energy with each other.

"I must go one," she said placing her cheek against his cold chain mail.

"Of course," Gregor replied. "As long as there is hope. Lena must be alive, or we would have found her body."

"May all the gods and goddesses of the Wyrd protect her," Ulrike whispered a prayer.

A ripple of tension sparked through both of them and they leaned away and stared into each other's eyes. Ulrike's eyes glazed slightly as a thought snatched her attention. She pushed away from Gregor.

"The caretaker had a small raft just down river. I remember it from our last crossing." Gregor nodded, and they raced to the other side of the cabin. It was there, tethered to the bank by a braided rope of hemp.

Ulrike untied it and turned to her brother warrior.

"Wait for the others. Build a larger raft and follow."

"Don't be foolish, Ulrike. We should stick together."

"No, no," she said to him. "Think! Someone needs to tell them where I've gone and what has happened." He nodded and made an expression of resignation. She took his face in her hands.

"Give me your breath, brother," she said and pressed her lips to his. He inhaled deeply through his nose and blew into Ulrike's mouth. She breathed it in.

"Morrighan be with you," he said and kissed her forehead.

"And I better see you again, Ulrike. I always wanted to mate with you." He grinned trying to lighten the mood.

She laughed and slapped his ass.

"In your dreams," she said. After hesitating, she added, "Gregor..." She threw herself in his arms and kissed his mouth. "Of all my brother warriors..." She touched the side of his face. "...you'd be the last I'd fuck." She laughed and slapped him again. "But I would fuck you."

"You couldn't handle this," he said grinning and grabbed his crotch. She stuck out her tongue.

"You couldn't handle this," she grabbed her own crotch.

They were laughing when they heard it; a far off howl that drifted along the surface of the water. Ulrike stopped long enough to look at Gregor. The mood of levity they had worked so hard for vanished in an instant. He motioned for her to go. She pushed the raft out onto the river, jumped on board and the current swept her away. She didn't look back. All her senses were tuned toward what lay ahead. Gregor watched until she was gone. He dropped to his knees and bowed his head.

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