The Knight and the Acolyte Book 3, Chapter 7: The Mage's Desires

The Knight and the Acolyte
Book Three: Barbaric Passion
Chapter Seven: The Mage's Desires
By mypenname3000

Note: Thanks to B0b for beta reading this.

Journeyman Mage Faoril – Ghost Wolves' Tribal Land, Federation of Larg

As the lust died down in my body, the powerful orgasms fading and leaving behind buzzing bliss, confusion gripped me. What had just happened? One moment, Thrak was a berserker fucking me harder than I had ever been taken in my life. And thenhe changed.

He kissed me now, his thick lips surprisingly gentle on mine. The orc barbarian's calloused finger caressed my cheek while Serisia, the phantom of his dead wife, gripped my hand. His cock was still hard in me, his cum hot inside my pussy, giving me a boost to the magic I had expended battling the orc shaman.

How could he be so dangerous and so gentle at the same time?

Thrak broke the kiss. His eyes were haunted. His words echoed in my mind: Youyou saved me.

“Do youhate fighting?” I asked as I stared up at his swarthy, brown-red body, his muscular chest covered in scars.

“Fighting is a necessity,” he answered. “Reason dictates that we should not act in a manner self-destructive to our life or deny ourselves the means to preserve it. Today, the Ghost Wolves sought to deprive of us life and liberty. Morally, it was right that we fight.”

I blinked. “That sounds like the Philosopher Hobbeth's discourse in 'Musing upon Liberty.'”

A smile crossed Thrak's lips. “A good read.” He rolled off of me, lying on his back and staring up at the blue sun. Serisia's spirit pressed up beside me, her smile growing broader. I frowned at the spirit. My confusion only mounted.

“How have your read Hobbeth out here?”

“Serisia gave it to me,” Thrak answered. “We spent a night discussing it. She hada different set of beliefs.”

“I once thought pacifism was how enlightened men and women should live,” Serisia smiled. “I hoped to undermine Hobbeth's views with Pendahls. Of course, after a month living out here, I learned how weak Pendahls's blathering were.”

I looked back and forth at them. “Why would you give a book to a?”

“Barbarian?” Thrak asked. “An uncouth killer that butchers his enemies and leaves only ruin behind.”

“I didn't mean it like that,” I flushed.

“You did.” He said the words so matter-of-fact. “Humans think we are stupid. But we are merely uneducated. There is a broad difference. And, unlike most orcs, I am educated. I studied and was taught my letters. My father had visions of the Red Eyes becoming more than a tribe. He thought human ideas would improve us.

“A noble vision, but my brethren do not have the time to spare on anything save surviving. But, it afford me my education and enrollment in the University of Allenoth. I changed many opinions about orcs there.”

“And kidnapped me away,” Serisia smiled, her cool body pressing tighter against mine. “How could I resist him?”

Her words were husky. I shifted, glancing at Thrak. He wasimpressive. And not just the size of his half-hard cock lying wet on his stomach. My pussy clenched, remembering him stretching me out as he took me hard. He was muscled, strong, virile, and scarred. He had fought and killed.

And he also raged.

“When I asked if you hated fighting, I meantwhat happened when you”

“Rage?” he finished. “The fugue state that I can enter where only most basest part of my intelligence acts. My id. I am reduced to pure, animalistic emotions. Rage, lust, hunger. I will keep going, my conscious, higher level intelligence unable to seize control. I am a passenger riding upon a spooked horse, unable to stop, not knowing if I will be thrown and die or if the ride will come to a peaceful stop. Exhaustion, severe wounds, or satiating of lusts is all that will stop me.”

He held up his hands, staring at them. “I hate it. I hate how much I need it. I hate how it lurks inside of me, ready to burst out when I am too weak. But I am too afraid to be rid of it. Too afraid of the possibility I will need to berserk and cannot because I chained the beast.”

I stared at him, my eyes burning. “I” What could I say?

“We should return. They will be worried about your safety.”

“Okay.” My voice hoarse, cracking.


Acolyte Sophia

“He tried to kill you, Angela,” I hissed.

“The rage tried to kill me,” Angela countered.

Xera limped to us, favoring her right leg. Pain creased across the elf's face. She glanced in the direction Thrak had carried off Faoril. Why had Faoril stripped naked before brute? It was like she wasoffering herself to be fucked.

“Some orcs rage,” Angela continued. “They lose themselves in their emotions. Only sex, death, or exhaustion free them.”

My cheeks colored. “He's fucking her right now?”

“Rather hard,” Angela said wistfully.

“You sound jealous.”

Angela put her right arm around my shoulders while her left hand went down to my naked breast and gave it a squeeze. Milk beaded my nipple. She kissed me. Her lips were sweet with my breast milk. I had just healed her.

I shuddered into the kiss. Wonderful, delightful flutters shot through me. Battles were so strange, so exhilarating and scary all at the same time. When they were over, I wanted to fuck. I wanted to embrace my lover and prove we both lived by having hot, sultry, wonderful sex.

I was breathless when she broke the kiss.

“Yeah, I'm a little jealous,” Angela admitted. “I like guys. I like to be fucked hard as much as I love dominating my cute, little Acolyte.” She paused. “No, I love dominating you, Sophia.”

I smiled at her.

“Now, Xera looks banged up. You should heal her.”

“I would appreciate it,” the elf said, her voice strained. “The orc shaman threw me.”

“Oh, you poor thing.” I lifted up my arms, reaching for her. Xera knelt and I grasped her shoulders, pulling her mouth to my small breast. Her ears twinged amid her short, greenish hair. Her lips latched on.

She suckled.

“That's it,” I purred. “Drink Saphique's blessing.”

I stroked through her green hair and enjoyed the sensation of her suckling. I could almost forget about the death and destruction around us. Almost. I didn't allow myself to cum. The nasty bruise swelling Xera's thigh faded from deep purple to rot brown to sour yellow and then her pale, green-tinged hue returned.

Her ears twitched more.

“Thank you,” smiled the elf.

“I am always glad to,” Sophia smiled and embraced Xera.

“I'm going to track down our horses,” Angela said.

“I will aid you,” Xera nodded. “They are scared and frightened, but we are their friends and we shall lure them back.”

“Oh, I'm coming, too,” I said. “You are not leaving me behind.”

I stood and closed my robe. A dead orc lay nearby. It disturbed me that I wasn't disturbed. I had seen battles and death now. Why had I grown used to the sight of blood and destruction? It wasn't right. No one should. Why was I chosen for this Quest? Why me over any of the better qualified Acolytes?

Was it just to appease my mother? I bet she had sent the church a large donation to force the High Virgin to choose me. That would just be like the Duchess of Tith. But if I hadn't come, I never would have met Angela or Xera or Faoril.

“What are we going to do about Thrak?” I asked as we trooped off across the grass.

“What about him?” Angela asked.

“He tried to kill you. We can't trust a man like that.”

“He didn't kill me.” Angela glanced at me. “I would have died if Thrak didn't rage. He saved my life. You saw me. I was battered. There was a Ghost Wolf berserker Thrak killed.”

“But, still, he's dangerous.”

“Everyone is dangerous.” Angela put her arm around me, her armor clinking. “Even you.”

“I'm not dangerous,” I flushed.

“I seem to recall a scared acolyte stabbing a panthopus and saving a certain knight from being bred.”

My cheeks burned hotter. “I didn't know what I was doing.”

“Doesn't make you any less dangerous. But Thrak can be stopped by sex. Faoril or I will be on hand. And Xera might do it in a pinch.”

Xera shuddered. “He's sosolid. No tits. A cock should only be on a woman. It's disgusting on a man.”

“It's disgusting on a woman, too,” I giggled. “But I still like you, Xera.”

The elf's laugh echoed across the plain. “It's a pity your oaths to your goddess prevent you from knowing the joys of my cock. Angela can't get enough of it.”

“Well, it does mix the best of both worlds, the thick, throbbing, hot shaft cumming inside of you attached to a curvy, sexy body.” Angela's armed tightened on my shoulders. “I'm coming to enjoy the feminine touch a bit more than the masculine. But only a smidgen. I'll be getting hot and sweaty with Thrak every few nights. That orc can fuck.”


Knight-Errant Angela

We found the horses. By the time we returned, Thrak and Faoril were waiting for us. There was a closeness between them. Faoril, who had despised Thrak earlier, was talking to him when we arrived. It was animated, spirited.

They used a lot of big words.

Faoril rode at Thrak's side as he led the party, the pair still talking and laughing. They held a spirited debate on the limits of power that should be placed on any ruling body to protect the natural-born rights, given to all by the gods, to every sentient creature. I had no idea what they were talking about. They kept quoting philosophers.

“They sounds like a lecture in the temple,” Sophia whispered. “Or one of my tutors. I never could be bothered. It gives me a headache arguing over words like that.”

I snorted in laughter.

We camped in a depression. No watch was necessary. The Ghost Wolves tribe had all but been destroyed. There women and children were out there, but Thrak believed the bulk of their warriors perished. They may never recover and will most likely be absorbed by another tribe, possibly the Bloody Wyverns.

I wasn't surprised when Faoril settled down with Thrak on the other side of the fire. Sophia pulled me down on the other side. Then she waved to Xera who sat on the hilltop, nibbling on a few stalks of grass.

“Come down with us,” Sophia smiled.

My nipples hardened. I was naked beneath the blankets, spooning Sophia from behind. My nipples rubbed on her back. I rubbed my tits on her back as I reached around to caress between her thighs. Her shaved pussy was wet. She moaned, her tongue piercing clicking against her teeth.

Xera sauntered down, her large tits jiggling. She undid her belt and set her quiver of arrows beside the bedroll. Sophia opened her end of the bedroll for the elf, and Xera slid gracefully in. There was nothing Xera didn't do gracefully.

“Thank you for your kind offer,” purred Xera.

“There is nothing kind about it,” Sophia moaned. “I'm just horning for elf pussy. It taste so delicious. Sixty-nine with me.”

“And what am I supposed to do?” I asked as Xera repositioned herself.

“Whatever naughty thing you can think of,” Sophia grinned as she pressed her head between Xera's thighs.

They lay on their sides, their lips noisily eating each other's pussies. I squeezed my thighs together, peering over Sophia's shoulder and witnessing her tongue sliding through the elf's pussy. The flowery scent of marigolds filled my nose—Xera's excitement.

“Mmm, delicious,” moaned Sophia as she flicked her tongue piercing through Xera's folds. The elf let out a wicked sigh.

“Eat her pussy, slut,” I purred into Sophia's ear. “Make Xera cum.”

“Yes, Mistress,” Sophia groaned before her tongue flicked through Xera's folds again.

I grinned and rolled over. I grabbed Sophia's pouch and pulled the blanket off the two women as they ate each other's pussies. Xera's green hair spilled over Sophia's pale thighs. The elf's ears twitched. My pussy grew wetter as I pulled out the dildo and strap-on from the pouch then pulled on the harness.

“Pater's cock, you two are hot,” I moaned, adjusting the smooth, marble shaft so it pressed on my clit. “Sophia, activate your toy.”

“Holy Saphique,” gasped Sophia, “give life to my toy so I may give pleasure to all who love you.”

The dildo vibrated. I groaned, my clit suddenly engulfed by the humming bliss. My pussy clenched and my eyes fluttered. I pushed it tighter against my clit as I stretched out behind Sophia, loving every second of the humming pleasure.

I rubbed the humming dildo between her thighs. Sophia gasped as it caressed her flesh. I pushed the tip into her pussy. Xera's hands reached around, grasping my ass and pulling me deeper into my lover's flesh.

“Fuck her hard,” groaned Xera. “The little slut needs it.”

“Yes, I do,” moaned Sophia. “Please, fuck me hard, Mistress. Oh, yes, the toy's humming inside of me.”

I groaned as the humming toy rubbed on my clit as I fucked Sophia. I pressed my body tight against hers, my nipples caressing her supple back. I sucked and nibbled at her neck as my hips pumped away, bringing gasps and moans as she licked through Xera's pussy.

“You like my girl-dick fucking you, slut,” I moaned into her ear, my pussy clenching as the pleasure built inside of me.

“Yes,” Sophia moaned, a shudder racing through her body. “So good.”

Her tongue buried deep into Xera's pussy. The elf moaned, her tongue licking at my pussy now. She brushed through my folds as I drove the dildo in and out of Sophia's pussy. Xera's tongue was lithe and amazing, dancing across my folds. I groaned into Sophia's ears.

My pussy clenched every time I drove the vibrating dildo into Sophia's pussy. The humming base pressed harder on my clit. My little nub shot ecstasy into my pussy. The delight of Xera's tongue swirling through my folds only added to the growing pleasure.

“Mmm, two human pussies to lick,” groaned Xera. “Oh, what a wonderful night. Keep fucking Sophia. She squirts when she cums. I want to drink down so much of her juices.”

“Yes, please keep fucking me, Mistress,” shuddered Sophia.

“Keep licking Xera's pussy,” I ordered, nipping her ear.

“Yes.” Sophia buried her pierced tongue into Xera's pussy. The elf moaned and shuddered as Sophia's tongue explored through the elf's many pussy lips.

My thrusts grew faster. I savored that wonderful, humming pleasure on my cock. My pussy clenched. Xera's tongue dived deep into my folds, caressing and teasing me. I reached across Sophia, sliding up to grip the elf's ass and brushing Sophia's fingers. I clenched as the pleasure built.

“Saphique's hymen,” groaned Sophia. “Oh, yes, I'm so close to cumming.”

“Do it, slut,” I moaned. “Cum like the naughty, lesbian slut you are.”

Sophia shuddered and then writhed in my embrace. Xera moaned her delight, her lips moving from my pussy. Sophia bucked harder as her orgasm washed through her. She gripped Xera's ass as she caressed the elf.

“Slata's cunt, yes!” moaned Sophia. “Oh, Xera, drink my juices.”

The elf moaned in delight, clearly doing just that. A tremble ran through my body. I made my lover cum, now it was my turn. My strokes were harder, slamming the vibrating dildo into the trembling Sophia's pussy. My pussy was on fire, clenching and relaxing, the delight building.

“I'm going to cum fucking your slutty pussy,” I hissed.

“Cum, Mistress,” Sophia moaned. “Just keep fucking me.”

“Do you think you're going to cum again, slut,” I hissed, my hand leaving Xera's ass to press between their bodies. I found Sophia's nipple and pinched.

“Yes!” Sophia gasped, shuddering again. “Oh, yes. Mmm, I love it. Xera's drinking my juices.”

“So tasty,” gasped the elf.

“Get ready to drink mine, Xera,” I moaned. “I'm almost there.”

The elf's tongue licked to my pussy. Her lips pressed into mine as I thrust into Sophia's pussy. The pleasure burst through me. I groaned as pinched Sophia's nipple hard. Waves of pleasure shot through my body, washing up into my mine while my juices flooded out into the hungry elf's mouth.

“Cum, Xera,” hissed Sophia, her tongue attacking the elf's clit. “Drown me.”

The elf moaned into my pussy and joined me in that most wonderful release.



The moans of the three women echoed over the crackle of the fire. My cock ached. Serisia's mouth engulfed my dick, lightly sucking and caressing with the tip of her tongue. My wife's spirit teased me, her tongue flicking at my cock ring.

Only her face pressed out of the ground so she could suck my cock while I lay on my belly. My stomach tingled where the top of her head phased through my body. My swarthy fingers pried apart Faoril's pale butt-cheeks.

“Mmm, I can't believe I let Serisia talk me into anal sex,” Faoril groaned.

“You know yow want to feel my monster stretching out your bowels,” I grinned at her.

Faoril shuddered, her silver nose piercing glinting as her smile grew. She smiled at me over her shoulder. Like me, she was lying on her belly, her legs spread, her pussy almost in my face. Her spicy musk filled my nose. I stroked my tongue through her neatly-trimmed bush of dark-brown hair before pressing into her plump pussy lips.

Her spicy musk was delicious.

“Mmm, that's nice,” Faoril sighed, wiggling her hips.

I let my tongue probe deeper while my thick fingers massaged her butt-cheeks. They dipped into her crack, teasing at her sphincter. That brought another sigh from Faoril. She was a remarkable woman, intelligent and witty with a body men would fight wars to possess.

I swirled my tongue through her pussy as Serisia kept teasing my cock, keeping me hard and eager. She wanted me to fuck Faoril's ass. It had all been her idea. “You need to experience every bit of my husband,” she had whispered to Faoril. “He has many pleasures to offer a woman.”

Faoril's hips undulated, pressing her pussy back into my mouth while her butt-cheeks flexed beneath my groping fingers. Her juices poured into my mouth. My tongue swirled deep, flicking from her pussy up to her hole.

Then I licked higher.

“Thrak,” sighed Faoril as I pressed between her butt-cheeks, eager to devour her sweet ass and make her explode.

My tongue reached her sphincter. I swirled around the sour hole. My balls tingled and my cock ached in Serisia's warm mouth. I was eager to give her every bit of pleasure I could. My tongue bathed her sphincter, teasing her, bringing sweet moans.

Then I shoved my tongue into her.

“Pater's cock,” moaned Faoril as I wiggled through her bowels.

Serisia sucked harder, working more of her warm mouth up and down my cock. The tingles of her body phasing through my stomach and groin intensified, rushing to my balls. I squirmed, moaning into Faoril's sour, delicious ass.

“Oh, you are eager to fuck my ass,” Faoril groaned. “You just want to ram that thick, wonderful cock deep into my tight bowels. Damn, I'm so letting you do it. You need to stop being so sexy, Thrak.”

“Never,” I rumbled between licks. “Not when I have your delicious body to play with.”

“Pater's cock,” she moaned again. “Why couldn't you just be an uncultured barbarian?”

“I would still fuck you just as hard, and you would still explode on my cock.”

“I would,” she groaned. “But I wouldn't be”

“Wouldn't what?”

“Nothing,” she groaned. “Keep eating my ass. Get me ready for that monster.”

“Libido is ever the driving force that underpins the interactions between men and women,” I quoted. “It girds and binds them, pulling them closer. It is inexorable. Sex is the most powerful driving force.”

“Don't quote Brouchelli at me right now,” gasped Faoril. “I just want to be fucked.”

“Thus proving Brouchelli right,” I laughed before diving my tongue back into her asshole.

Faoril gasped and moaned, her ass flexing and her hips lifting, pressing her sour asshole against my probing tongue. I swirled and licked. I loved her flavor. My hands pressed beneath her, reaching her clit as I tongued her.

“Oh, that's wonderful. Pater's cock, but you know what you're doing.”

Her clit was wet with her juices and throbbed beneath my rubbing fingers. She bucked again, her bowels clenching upon my probing tongue. I worked it in as deep as I could, swirling it while Serisia's mouth fully engulfed my cock, her throat constricting about, soaking me in her ghostly saliva.

Readying me for Faoril's.

“Oh, yes. Mmm, keep rubbing and rimming me. Oh, you wonderful orc. Gods, yes.”

Faoril's moans joined the pants of the women on the other side of the fire. She shuddered and bucked, cumming on my mouth. Her juices flooded out of her pussy and coated my fingers. I savored her sour bowels clenching on my tongue.

She was ready to be fucked.

“Pater's cock, fuck me,” moaned Faoril.

“I couldn't agree more.

I pulled myself up Faoril's body, my cock sliding from Serisia's mouth. My wife rose from the earth, grasping my dick and guiding it between Faoril's ass. A big grin spread Serisia's pierced lips. Like Faoril, she was Thosian—pale skin, dark-brown hair, soft eyes.

I stared into the spirit of my wife's eyes. She was such a wonderful, loving creature. I didn't want to lose her. Her hand brought my dick to Faoril's sphincter. Serisia nodded her head.

I thrust.

“Pater's thick, hard cock!” moaned Faoril as I slammed into the tight, hot, velvety embrace of her ass. “Gewin's cock, Luben's cock, Las's cursed cock.”

“I think she loves it,” giggled Serisia as she moved before us.

“I absolutely do,” Faoril groaned, her asshole clenching on my dick. “Fuck me, Thrak. Pound my ass. Make us both cum.”

“Mmm, do it,” Serisia purred, kneeling on her hands and knees before me, her pussy pressing into my lips.

I licked at my wife's trimmed, spicy pussy. She even tasted similar to Faoril. I licked my lips through her folds as I slowly slammed my cock into Faoril's tight embrace. She shivered every time. I loved the slow, powerful strokes, the anticipation as I drew my cock out, my dick eager for the rush of pleasure that accompanied slamming back in while my piercing moved and tugged inside of her.

“Pater's cock, that piercing is hot,” Faoril moaned.

“Isn't it,” purred Serisia. “Just enjoy my husband's dick.”

“So much,” Faoril gasped, her hips bucking up to meet my thrusts.

My balls smacked into her pussy with meaty thwacks every time I buried into her. I growled into my wife's pussy, fucking my tongue in and out of her hole with the same intensity I pounded Faoril's tight asshole. I wanted both women to have the same amount of pleasure.

“Mmm, yes, keep working that cock in me,” gasped Faoril. “So good.”

Her asshole clenched on my dick as I drew out. The tip ached. The pleasure raced up my shaft to my balls. I thrust harder, faster, smacking my balls over and over into her pussy. I savored the wet smack and Faoril's groans.

“Pound her asshole,” Serisia moaned, humping her hot pussy into my lips, her pubic hairs tickling my face. “Make her cum.”

“Make me cum,” Faoril moaned in delight. “Then dump all your cum inside of me.”

“Yes,” I growled into my wife's pussy.

My dick ached. I fought off my orgasm as I franticly rutted in Faoril's asshole. I wanted to feel her bowels spasming about my dick. I slammed into her, my ass clenching. The pressure in my balls was intense. I grunted and growled into my wife's pussy. My tongue licked through her folds and I drank down her spicy juices.

“Pater's cock!” moaned Faoril. “Oh, yes. Gods, yes. So good. You're driving me to my orgasm, Thrak. Just keep bounding me. Oh, you're such a stud. A gods-damned stud.”

I slammed deep into her asshole. Her body shook and bucked beneath me. Her moans were wordless, but full of all her passion. Her bowels writhed about my dick, massaging the tip. I groaned as pulled my cock out to the edge of her ass.

“Cum in her!” moaned Serisia as she humped her pussy into my lips, her juices squirting, her own passionate moans joining Faoril's.

I slammed into Faoril's asshole. My dick buried into her hot, tight depths. My balls erupted. I growled, my passion muffled by Serisia's cumming pussy. My jizz spurted in blast after blast, flooding Faoril's ass and shooting pulses of pleasure through me. I writhed atop of her as the pleasure built.

And then I collapsed. “Pater's cock, you have a great ass, Faoril.”

“And you have a great cock.” She turned her head. I kissed her. She moaned, shifting beneath me, her tongue gathering Serisia's pussy juices.

“You both are so beautiful,” my wife smiled. “Now roll off of her. I want to lick her clean.”

I smiled, breaking the kiss. I rolled onto my back and watched my wife lick my cum out of Faoril's ass. Afterward, I had them both pressed on my side. It was nice. I never wanted it to end. I watched the stars twinkle over head as Faoril fell asleep on my arm.

“She's the one,” I stated.

Serisia nodded. “I”m so happy for you.” Her hand touched my heart. “She'll take care of you when I'm gone.”

“Why do you have to go? Why can't I have you both.”

“I'm not meant to be here.” There was pain in her voice. “I don't want to lose you, but I know you'll be taken care of. You'll be happy when I pass on. And I'll wait for you. For you both. There's a whole other existence beyond this one. A place where Dauthaz's shadow cannot touch and reap.”

“Why did he have to take you from me?” I whispered, hating the god of death.

“It wasn't Dauthaz,” she sighed. “It was my killer.”

I closed my eyes, fighting against the pain in my heart. Faoril shifted in her sleep. Her hand slid up my chest and brushed Serisia's over my heart. Some of the pain diminished. I looked at her sleeping face.

“See, there can still be happiness for you,” whispered Serisia. “Now, if only she would pierce her nipples.”

A rumbling laugh escaped my lips.


Journeyman Mage Faoril – Bloody Wyverns' Tribal Lands, Larg Federation

By midday after the fight with the Ghost Wolves, we left their territory behind and entered the Bloody Wyverns' territory. I stared at Thrak as he led us, Xera at his side. We had to be quiet again. While the Bloody Wyverns had no reason to want to kill Thrak, they were still dangerous.

As the afternoon stretched on, the land turned marshy. We skirted the edge of the Fen, a huge marsh wreathed in sickly mist and dotted with brackish water. The branches of skeletal trees pressed out of the mist, reaching towards the sunlight. Scent of sour, rotten leaves wafted out of the low lands.

The Fens pressed us towards the east. We passed between them and the edges of the rough, folded lands known as the Pogh Hills as we headed out on the peninsula Murathi lay upon. Once we cleared both, we would be on the open tundra and find the ruins.

As we traveled, I studied Fireeyes Book, hoping to find useful information, like why he tried to kill Angela.

Serisia manifested behind me, her arms wrapping about my red robes. She rested her head on my shoulder. “That's a foul book.”

“It is,” I answered.

“Being a mage must expose you to dark ideas.”

“Knowledge can always lead to dark paths,” I answered. “But with a solid education, you can recognize the pitfalls and not be taken in by dangerous philosophies. What is in here is sick, but there are answers I have to find in it.”

“Have you ever thought of piercing your nipples.”

I blinked at the sudden shift in conversation. “What?”

Serisia's hand slid up my robe, then phased through it to touch my naked flesh beneath. She cupped my round breast. My nipple hardened at her cool touch. She rolled my nipple. “Piercing. You don't have to do bone, but silver like your nose piercing would look very sexy on you.”

“Any particular reason?”

“Thrak loves pierced nipples.” Her breath was warm on my ear.

I squirmed, my pussy growing wetter. I glanced at Thrak's broad, swarthy back. “Why would that matter?”

“Because of the way your eyes linger on him. The color he brings to your cheeks. How wet he makes your pussy. And the way he makes your heart beat.”

My flush deepened. “What are you implying?”

“That I want my husband to be happy.” Her fingers rolled my nipple again, sending sparks through me. “I know you'll make him happy.”

“We just met.”

“When I met him, I knew he was the man for me. It was a certainty. Many girls threw themselves at the orc barbarian. He was a novelty in Allenoth. They all were eager to test his prowess. But I knew he was mine. And I ensured it. When you look at my husband, what do you think.”

Passion. Intelligence. Laughter. Pleasure. His cock. Being fucked. Being held.

Youyou saved me.

The pain in his eyes. In his heart. The pain I wanted to take away. I wanted to hold him in my embrace, to help shelter him. My heart beat faster. I shifted, and looked away from his back. I couldn't be falling in love with an orc.

He was

I almost thought barbarian, but he wasn't. He was more educated then many men I knew. “We just met,” I protested to Serisia and myself. “You're mistaken.”

“I'm not. And neither is your heart. Just love him and see what happens. You might have found your future.”

I glanced at Thrak again and sighed. “I'm a mage. That's my future. He has his people.”

“He gave up on them. He left his position as the tribe's leader. He failed to protect me.” Serisia shuddered. “He blames himself for my death. It wasn't his fault. Butthere is nothing left for him here. He doesn't belong with the orcs. His education has always been a barrier to fellowship with them. They see him as something different. Other. It forced him to be even stronger when we returned, to constantly prove that he was a true orc.

“My presence didn't help him. I was a human, proof he was different. He loved me when he should have loved an orc woman.”

I bit my lip.

“I think you'll discover he's eager to leave this behind. So don't use your differences as an excuse. Don't pull back thinking he won't be there for you. Don't be afraid. That is the worse thing you can do. We only get this one life before the next. Don't squander yours.”


Xerathalasia – Screaming Eagles' Tribal Lands, The Federation of Larg

We camped by the Fens that night. The others hated the stink of the rotting vegetation and fetid water. Death and decay owned the swamp. I lurked at the edges, staring into the mist as the sun set. The orc lands reminded me of home.

There were no trees or constant twilight, but it was natural. There were no artificial roads cut through the earth, no hills smoothed down for farm land or holes dug from stone houses. The constant scent of burning smoke and human waste didn't assault my nose.

It was an honest reek.

I savored taking watch. I watched the stars wheel. The only downside of our forest, we were often denied this beauty. We would only catch snatches of the stars through the canopy. But to see the entire sky spread out was a thing of beauty.

I hoped to share this with my wife and unborn daughter.

The night passed without event and we continued passing the Fens. We saw no sign of the Bloody Wyverns. By noon, we were back on the open tundra. Here, the grasses were shorter. No trees dotted the landscape. We were on the peninsula jutting out into the Tol Sea. We camped in the middle of a sea of grass.

The next day, we left the Bloody Wyverns lands and entered the Screaming Eagles. They controlled the land before Holy Murathi. Thrak expected the orcs to be to the southeast where the summer grazing was better.

We saw no sign of the Screaming Eagles when we camped that night. The next day was much the same. I was beginning to think, at times, that we were the only creatures that roamed these lands. There was nothing but grass to the world and the occasional herd of caribou.

It was a fiction. The earth teamed with burrowing creatures. I spotted signs of the openings of small rodents, and lone eagles, these not controlled by any orc shaman, ghosted above us, letting out mournful screeches.

I welcomed the solitude. I hoped we never saw another orc beside Thrak. I could go my life without having to kill another sentient creature with my bow or knife. Hunting monsters was so different than fighting skirmishes.

Our third day in Screaming Eagles was bright, cheerful. The sun rose early. There was far more daylight than night up here. We pressed on through the grass. Faoril and Thrak chatted for a little bit while I took the lead.

As the sun reached its zenith above, I spotted a building on the horizon. The natural world had been defiled. There were other stone buildings. They were crude compared to the cities of the humans, made of huge stones taller than a man.

“Murathi is ahead,” I said.

“Holy Murathi,” breathed Thrak. His eyes were wide.

“The first piece of the High Kings sword is there,” breathed Angela.

“We're going to do this,” Sophia squealed. “We are going to defeat the dragon.”

I nodded my head in agreement.


Knight-Errant Angela – Holy Murathi, Federation of Larg

“This place is huge,” I gasped as we rode through the ruins of Murathi.

“For thousands of years, my people built this. During the summers, it was a competition to see which clan could drag the most number of stones from the quarries in the Pogh Hills. This was before the world grew colder and the snows gripped the tundra.”

“Colder?” Sophia asked.

“Yes, there was a shift in climates not too long after the High Kingdom of Hamilten was shattered,” reported Faoril. “There are a number of theories, from Pater's sadness over his son's death to a change in how ocean currents move along the coast of the continent. Some even think it is Vedr punishing us for a transgression.”

“Oceans have currents?” Sophia blinked.

“Sailors have long known that,” Thrak said. “It hardly matters why, but the world grew slightly colder and the winters here became slightly longer. Enough that my people had to turn to survival. We had to let our great city fall to ruin.”

“These stones are immense,” I whispered. They were rough cut, chiseled out of granite, and stood as tall as my head when I sat astride my warhorse. “How did they move these stones?”

Faoril nodded in consideration.

“Trees. They deforested the plains to use the logs as rollers. When the climate changed, the trees that hadn't been used dwindled further.” Thrak patted one stone. “But even after so many years, it still stands.”

There was pride in his voice.

“Do you have any idea where the piece of the sword is hidden?” Sophia asked, throwing her gaze around.

“No. Somewhere in the great city. Maybe in one of the temples to the gods. Like Pater's temple.”

“Where are those?” Xera asked.

“Perhaps in the center. This is a holy place. Only the shamans ever visit.”

“So it's pretty safe?” Sophia asked.

“Only natural predators haunt it.”

“We should split into search teams,” Faoril said. “Thrak and myself, Sophia and Angela, and Xera, you should be fine on your own.”

Xera nodded her head.

“Why do you want to be alone with Thrak?” Sophia asked, a mischievous tone in her voice.

Faoril blushed. “I justenjoy his company.”

“Oh, that's very obvious. 'Oh, Thrak, fuck me harder.'” Sophia giggled.

Faoril grinned then, in a babyish voice, spoke, “'Mistress, please spank my naughty rear. I've been such a bad girl.'”

“I have been a bad girl,” Sophia said in the same babyish voice.

“Let's first set up a camp before we split up to gallivant around the ruins,” I said. “In the center. The ground slopes upward. That might be the city's high point.”

Thrak nodded. “At the very least, we can survey the city and have an idea of where to look.”

We climbed the hill, passing the stones, some toppled over and lying half buried in the grass. Others stood tall, supporting other stones atop them. The scale boggled me. They were larger stones than I had seen in any castle, even if they were primitively hewn. Had the orcs used metal tools to shape the stone? It was hard to see the tool marks beneath the weathering of centuries of wind and rain, but they looked pounded by wide hammers.

Such brute strength had to be used.

We mounted the summit where a large building stood the roof collapsed and buried in dirt and grass in the heart. We walked the edge, gazing out at the city spread before us. In the distance, to the northeast, the shimmer of the sea danced on the horizon. The wind blew, whistling through the stones.

The city spread for miles.

“This might take weeks,” Sophia groaned.

“There is the temple complex,” Thrak said. “See those buildings. Large and forming a circle about a square. I count nine buildings.”

“That's not enough temples,” Sophia said.

“We orcs revere Pater, Slata, Gewin, Vedr, Krab, Dauthaz, Rithi, Biaute, and Luben.”

“Then that's where we'll concentrate,” I said, dismounting from Midnight. “Let's set our camp then head out. We'll have a few hours to start our search.



I smiled as we ate our meal of dried trail rations. The sun set. Our first full day of searching hadn't found the sword. But we had cleared half the temples. If it was hidden in one, then, hopefully, we would find it tomorrow.

My wife's phantom pressed against me as I ate. She had a big smile on her face. How much longer would I have her? She couldn't keep manifesting. Phantoms eventually were driven mad by being corporeal but not alive.

So far, she showed no signs, but it was the reason she couldn't stay with me.

I held her. I would treasure every moment I had with her. Faoril sat down on the other side of me. I put my arm around her slim shoulders and pulled her close, too. She ripped at her jerky. I didn't say a word.

I wished time would stop right now. I hadn't been thiscontented since before Serisia died. I didn't want to lose it.



As the sun sank, I stared at the ruins of Murathi. For the last day, Angela and her party haunted the ruins, searching for the piece of the High King's sword. I halted my army of orc zombies. Angela and her party had given me a second, even greater site of slaughter to swell the ranks of my undead.

They marched silently behind me, reeking of rot. The days were too hot for their bodies to last much longer. But it was enough. I dismounted while my simulacrum prepared our camp and our meal of porridge.

Tomorrow, while they searched the ruins, I would sweep in with my army and kill them. But the phantom of Thrak's wife would be my true weapon. As Angela and her companions battled with my undead, I would seize control of Serisia and unleash all the fury and power of a phantom upon them.

Confusion would reign. I would have my chance to end Angela and fulfill my contract with King Edward.

I was eager. Part of me wanted to sweep in now, but I was tired. I had pushed myself hard to catch up with Angela. Tomorrow, I would be doing battle. Faoril was not to be underestimated.

I needed my rest. I would not fail this time.

To be continued

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