Chapter 10: The Elves of Namarkand
I am Adrienne; once I was a hero, I slew monsters and villains, I rescued princesses, maidens and damsels in distress. Now I wander the kingdoms, seeking to lose my new form, but on my perilous way I am continuously captured by monsters and villains who fuck me and try to sacrifice me, kill me, and enslave me. Now I am a damsel in distress to be rescued and fucked by asshole heroes.
From inside the dim red walls of flesh around me, I could hear nothing but the gurgling of the plant, feel nothing but the digestive juices of the plant’s stomach and the wet warm flesh of the plant pressed against my back. There was air within the plant’s stomach; stale, wet air, but enough I could breath and stay conscious.
But as the plant’s digestive juices poured in around me, itching and burning, I though that this was not such a good thing.
I felt movement then and a terrified moan. “Shauna?” I gasped; reaching out with my hand; I found her soft flesh and clutched at it.
She moaned, helplessly, terrified. “We’re dead!” she cried. “We’re dead! We are eaten!”
“Not yet!” I shouted. “Stay calm!” though with the air growing hot and close, and the plant’s stomach juices burning hotter, I was hardly calm myself.
There was ‘Shthunk!’ of a sharp sword slicing through flesh, and a draft of cool cry air blew across my face. There was another cut, then a slash of bright sunlight shone down on us.
I blinked blindly, then a pair of long arms reached down and grabbed each of us by the hair, then lifted us up and pulled us out and threw us to the hard earth.
I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, as I felt a surge of a tingling sensation over my body, and lifted my hand up to wipe the slime out of my eyes.
When I could see again, I looked up into a pair of slanted eyes the color of wild moss.
They belonged to a thin Elf with neck-length, curly, golden hair bound in one large ponytail and thick eyebrows of the same color. He had an energetic air about him, and was occupied in staing at my body.
And I suppose he had a right to: I was tall and muscular, with a head of long black hair tumbling across my shoulders and down my back like a fall of liquid ebony. I had round pert breasts that stood forth proudly from my chest, a flat stomach, wide hips, long lean legs, and a bare hairless pussy, all of which could be fairly seen because the plant had dissolved all my clothes. I was beautiful, I suppose.
“I am Arraar Ashbattle,” he introduced himself.
“Paarp!” Shauna’s creature said happily, nuzzling her.
Arraar Ashbattle led us through the forest and down a tree-lined avenue that led through a neglected farming settlement to a very small castle of blue-gray stone in the middle of a lake.
“Where are we going?” Shauna asked; she had dressed herself in a spare dress of hers, but nothing she had would fit me: I wore my tall knee-high boots, sword belt, and little else.
“To see the Elders,” Arraar Ashbattle said over his shoulder.
A few Elvesstared listlessly at us as we walked though their village down to the lake, but though the mothers and wives grabbed their sons and husbands away from staring at my nude body, still there was little noise or work.
The Elven ranger led us down to a small boat drawn up on the shore; Shauna and I shared a glance, then clambered in; he pushed the boat out onto the lake, then jumped in. He grabbed a pair of oars, slid them into the oarlocks, and rowed toward the islandi n the middle of the lake, propelling us quickly along with gentle sculls.
The island had a small dock to which Arraar Ashbattle rowed: he tossed loop of rope over a pile to hold the boat in place, then jumped up onto the dock and tied the boat more securely. That done, he led us up a narrow winding path to the gate of the small blue castle.
Close to, the small castle was even less prepossessing: cracked mortar, chipped stones, ivy grew up its walls, blanketing whole sections of battlement in green. Within, looking around the courtyard, it was even worse: buildings were falling down, thatch rotting, doors leaning on half-broken hinges.
To tell the truth, it was more than a little creepy, and it was only with great apprehension that I followed the Elf into a half-fallen building that had once been a great hall, Shauna following right behind me on my heels.
Within waited five Elves; the youngest of them was old, and the oldest of them looked dead. They sat about a small fire, wrapped in blankets and cloaks, waiting for us.
“The five elders of the Hokiri Nation,” Arraar Ashbattle said, waving to each of them and intoning their names. “Agirenarb Horsejester; Anulaol Flamepaw; Elateoh Grimgleam; Ibahonelh Froststealer; and Ohadedr Shadebull.”
“Greetings,” I said. “And peace upon you all. But I do wish to know what it is you wish of us.” And why it couldn’t wait long enough to give me some clothes, I mentally added.
“We have known of you,” said Ohadedr Shadebull.
“Of your plight,” Ibahonelh Froststealer added; he was the youngest of the Elders. “But though we sympathize, we wish we could help you, we cannot.”
I sighed, my breasts rising and falling with my breath; in the cold air, my nipples stood out stiffly, and I wished once more for anything to cover myself with. “Then why am I brought here?” I demanded.
“And why me?” Shauna asked.
“You came with her,” Elateoh Grimgleam replied to Shauna’s question. “Where you go from here is your own concern.”
Shauna glanced about at them nervously. “I was on my way to the high lands of Guam,” she said.
Ohadedr Shadebull nodded. “Arraar Ashbattle shall lead you to the road thataway,” he intoned.
Shauna said her thanks and Arraar Ashbattle took her away. Once they were departed, I turned again to the Elders. “You have not answered my question,” I insisted. “What is it you want of me?”
“We need your help,” Anulaol Flamepaw told me. “To relieve us of our plight.”
“From what?” I demanded.
They were silent for a moment, then Agirenarb Horsejester, the eldest of them, spoke. “From Luzataok.”
The Elven Hokiri Nation was in decline; from their heyday when they ruled a wide and fertile land, they were declining to a minor state confined to the deep forests, subsiding on their handiwork and avoiding conflict with others.
The Elders told me they were not unwilling to see this come about, for according to the Hokiri seers, great troubles were brewing, and those who made themselves known would suffer.
But lately there was come among them an Elf from far away: hight Luzataok, he spoke words of glory and fame to their young men, trying to drw them away, to war and travail and even revolution against the established ways. Despite the Elders’ words to the contrary and the counsel of wise folk, many young Elves were twisted by his words to join him; they formed a cruel band, waylaying travelers, attacking their kinfolk, bringing trouble into the woods of Namarkand.
“We foresee that if this dark Elf is not defeated, that he will be the end of us, of our nation,” Agirenarb Horsejester said; the others fell silent, to let him speak for them.
“And you want my help to defeat him?” I said.
Agirenarb Horsejester nodded silently.
“Why?” I demanded.
“Becaue we know of you,” Ohadedr Shadebull repeated.
“Why should I?” I then demanded. “This Luzataok is no enemy of mine.”
Agirenarb Horsejester stirred. “We could say that you owe the Hokiri for Arraar Ashbattle’s sake; he rescued you from death.” Before I could answer or retort, he went on. “But we will not; we ask you to help us, for we are in distress, and you are not a one to turn your back upon those who ask for your help.
I opened my mouth to retort, then stopped, and cursed; he was right. Damn him.
As I led a group of Elven men through the forest, following Arraar Ashbattle along forest trails, still they did not give me any clothes!
A few of the Elves had stared when Arraar Ashbattle led me from the Elders to the village and roused out the Hokiri warriors; they stopped when I snarled at them, but as I strode ahead of them, I was sure they watched my tight ass as I walked; by the time we reached a small hill rising in the forest where Arraar Ashbattle said we were nearing Luzataok’s camp, I just wanted to get there so I could kill something. I spent my time fingering my sword, muttering blackly and glaring at any of the Elves I caught looking at me.
We tripped on through the trees, until we reached a wide clearing into which the sunlight shone brightly, in which a large camp was laid out, ratty tents, small fires, a stench of unwashed bodies and blood and rot.
The latter smells came from a bunch of bodies Luzataok’s people had strung up in the trees about their camp; their victims, obviously, and a warning to any trespasser.
Luzataok evidently was expecting us, for a large group of Elves stood awaiting us. Though they were outnumbered by the band I had been sent with, these warriors were a fiercer, more rough-looking lot than the loyal Elves. Of a sudden I understood why the Elders had needed me; left to their own devices, their own people could never defeat Luzataok; he had already bled away their best warriors.
Before the enemy band there stood an Elf; he had an aura of strength about him, which fit in very well with the thick muscles that corded his arms legs and bare chest; his round eyes were the color of rubies and his waist-length hair the color of an overcast sky. He had long pointed ears.
This was Luzataok, dark elf villain.
He wore a pair of black leather breeches and a long black cloak that whirled in the slight breeze that swirled through the trees, and he held in his right hand a long stick and in his left a bare-bladed sword.
A ripple and murmur went through my own party at the sight of him: he was painted in a most fatastic manner with red and black and gold; horrible scars wound across his visible body, and his teeth, when he bared them, were filed sharp to points. Theatrics, really, but they had their effect.
But a similar rillpe of uncertainty ran through his party at the sight of me: I began to understand why the Elders of the Hokirir had not given me any clothes; in this contest of who was the more crazy, a naked woman with a sword was ranking high: a little grudgingly, I had to admit they were smarted than I had given them credit for.
“You,” I said, pointing my sword at Luzatoak. “I’m here to kill you.” After that long march of insects biting me and boys and old men ogling me, I certainly was not going to let this chance of slaughter get away.
He was a bit put off by my appearance and entrance, but quickly rallied. “So! The worthless, spineless Elders found the courage to send a woman to fight for them, eh?” he called out.
I glanced behind me at the Elves, but none of them seemed inclined to answer, content to leave me to do all the talking.
I was not in the mood for talking.
I walked toward him, not saying anything, but glaring at him with narrowed eyes; he was put off, almost backed up a step, then gathered himself. “Now, look,” he said with a confident grin. “I don’t know-”
Not caring to hear what he didn’t know, I snatched up my sword, then attacked with a yell.
Surprised by my sudden attack, Luzataok stumbled back, scrabbling for his sword; I drew back, then swung and he barely got his own blade up in time to block. I pressed him then, driving him back; Luzataok defended hiimself desperately, but barely held back my blade from cleaving him in two.
Fighting so desperately, he could not watch where he put his feet while backing away from me; his foot slipped into a small hole and he fell backward with a cry to land upon his back: I drew back with my blade and swung down at him: Luzataok rolled aside, barely dodging my sword, but my sword connected with Luzataok’s staff, rending it in twain.
Kuzataok screamed bitterly, scrambling away from me. He turned to face me, his black cloak whirling about like a pair of raven’s wings. “I’ll get you yet!” he screamed bitterly; his cloak rose about him, hiding him from view: I leaped forward and slashed at him, but my blade caught on only cloth.
Luzataok was gone.
I whirled on his followers, who tripped over themselves to back away from me and the expression on my face. “Do any of you want to give me trouble?” I growled.
None of them did.
The Elves of course, had nothing to offer me; no gold or jewels, or magic to return me to my prior form. They could have given me clothes, but now it seemed they thought I didn’t want any and would be offended if they offered.
And so, I had to turn around and head back to Lastrene. Little did I know that as I walked back down the road I had just walked up, what terrifyingly sexy adventures were awaiting me. . .