Thursday, March 22, 2018

Chapter 133 - The Disavowed

With most of the Drow players having fled the Underdark or quitting because of that bitch Kali, I didn’t expect we’d be hearing too much about the fallout from Amyaththalas anytime soon. Probably best to just forget about the whole thing, and pretend nothing ever happened, right?

Yeah, it was definitely going to come and bite me on the ass. I just hoped it wasn’t going to be anytime soon. I needed a vacation from my vacation!

Now that we were back in Lithaes, there was a lot to do. With the possibility of war looming as the lightsiders went and got their panties in a twist, we needed to prepare to fight. The castle had long been repaired, and its defenses improved upon even from what they were, thanks to the innovations of my dwarf and gnome slaves.

But those were fixed emplacements. If we needed mobile siege weapons, we were still woefully unprepared. Fortunately, Johnist had been exploring, because that’s what the man did, and had come across a rather interesting character that he had sent to me for an interview.

Ashed Disavowed
Mountain Ogre Male
Level 75 War Hulk (Barbarian) / Monstrous Bulwark (Fighter)
Titles: Defender, Kobold Golfer, Gnome Punter, Dwarf Splitter, Sexecutioner, Siegemaster

Uzig Disavowed
Cave Ogre Female
Level 75 Warcaster (Ogre Mage) / Hordesmasher Mage (Elementalist)
Titles: Monster Mage, Kobold Slayer, Human Bane, Hordebreaker, Blaster

Ozrog Disavowed
Deep Ogre Male
Level 70 Farshot Master (Ranger) / Assassin (Rogue)
Titles: Siege Sniper, Human Bane, Orc Bane, Hidden Mountain

Turk Disavowed
Sea Ogre Male
Level 73 War Priest (Priest) / Stormcaller (Lightning Mage)
Titles: Monster Priest, Dwarf Bane, Undead Bane, Doomhammer

Zirag Disavowed
Lavaborn Ogre Male
Level 74 Fist of the North Star (Monk) / Demonsoul (Warlock)
Titles: Monster Mage, Demon Binder, Elf Bane, Goblin Bane, Troll Bane

Klezir Disavowed
Half-Celestial Ogre Female
Level 75 Flamespear Huntress (Favored Soul) / Spearmaiden (Fighter)
Titles: Blessed of Hiatea, Human Bane, Goblin Bane, Troll Bane, Flametouched

It seems that Ashed started the game as a regular Ogre, but his own Trial of Ascension got him the Mountain Ogre race. He was ten feet tall, and would probably be over twelve if he wasn’t slightly hunched over. His arms could be mistaken for tree trunks if they didn’t have the grey, stony texture of mountain ogre skin. Moreover, he wasn’t just wearing a loincloth like most ogres, but had on a suit of freaking plate armor sized appropriately for him, and had a giant hammer and shield as his primary weapons, but I also saw a claymore that was at least eight feet long strapped to his back, for when an OGRE needed to use a two-handed weapon.

He also wasn’t alone. His company, the Disavowed, were all from different ogre tribes, but were exiles for one reason or another (usually involving them not wanting to be capriciously evil like most of their kind), and they had joined together to form a mercenary company. That, in itself, was enough to pique my interest, for a mercenary company of ogres, one that included ogre mages and healers as well as just fighters, was an impressive sight all on its own. The real kicker with these guys was that they were experts in siege warfare. As in, each one had a profession like Siege Engineer, Demolitionist, or the like. Need something blown up, or bombarded in the field? These were your guys.

Looking at Ashed, I chuckled, and said, “All right, your titles are pretty awesome. Defender and Siegemaster I can understand, given what you do, but what about the other ones? There has to be a story there, right?”

The other ogres laughed at that, and Ashed sighed, “Well, Kobold Golfer is cuz I took me hammer and smashed them. Only, they real tiny, you know? So sometimes I gots to swing down to hit them, instead of smash them into floor. But they small, so they go flying when hammer hit them. Ten times, and I gettin’ the title. I do extra damage with hammers against small-sized creatures or smaller now!”

“Same idea with the Gnome Punter. Gnomes are small, and they don’t shut up. So this one gnome was real annoying, and I kicked her. She went flying least twenty feet. Now I kick gnomes REAL far!”

I laughed, and said, “And the other ones, I know you gotta have a story for those, right?” I may have been wrong, but I swore I could see the ogre blush. But that might have been because his clan were laughing at him.

“Well, it like this. We took a job on the edge of the Hordelands, yeah? Dis dwarf, she see us at a nearby fort, and she been havin’ a bunch to drink. She heard da stories about how ogres are packin’ downstairs, and was drunk enough that she thought she could take it. An’ I was drunk enough that I thought it’d be a good idea.”

I tried to keep a straight face. Truly, I did, but that was just too damn funny. “So you ended up splitting a dwarf, huh? HA! HAHAHA! Oh, yeah, Ashed, that’s the funniest image I never wanted to think about and am going to have to drink at least a keg of ale to forget. You and your boys want a place to stay, and some work, the Aria of the Twilight is expecting trouble to be coming our way before too long. Lightsiders and humans getting their knickers in a twist about how I’m so horrible about things, and they’re trying to drag the elves into it because they haven’t had a dragon attack like the humans did. You think you’d like to make a name for yourself helping Aria defend the Wyrmwood against a whole bunch of human and lightside assholes who think they know best?”

Ashed looked at his crew, and chuckled. “Soundz like a fun fight, and not a bad cause. But ya know we’z mercenaries, so we’z gonna be needin’ coin before we go and sign on with either side. But you sign us, we don’t break contracts, no matter what the other side be offering.”

I looked the six ogres up and down, and said, “All right, I’m willing to offer the standard merc contract we drew up while we were in WoD. Aria will pay each of you a hundred gold a month for a retainer. You can go out, adventure, practice skills, or whatever, so long as you’re ready to roll when we give the call of the humans invading. If you have siege weapons that can be brought with us ready, that’d be great, and you’ll have the services of my dwarven blacksmith and gnome artificer to help make them as nasty as they can be. Equal share of raid loot when we divvy up spoils from any combat you guys are a part of. If you have gear that you need, or something you’d like made, we’ve got some of the best crafters in the game, just like when we were the Lords in WoD. As an ally and contractor of the guild, you get a special rate. 30% of the normal cost, plus the cost of any materials you don’t supply.”

Ashed smirked, and said, “You talk real good, but we know you pay more den dat. What you say, plus two thousand a week each for each week of da war once it starts.”

I chuckled, and shook my head slightly. “A thousand a week, total.”

“No, we go maybe fifteen hundred a week each, but we got expenses, and you know once the rocks start fallin, they’ll be lookin at the big ol’ ogres as da reason.”

I shrugged. “Fair enough. I’ll go as high as five hundred a week, each, and throw in a personal golem made by me personally for your party built from materials you provide to specifications as close as can be managed. Upkeep and maintenance of the golem is on you, however.”

THAT got a reaction out of them, and there was a brief huddle, before Ashed said, “One thousand a week each, and instead of de golem, you be teachin Uzig to make golems, so that we can use them as part of our fightin’. And the golems be fightin’ wit us, included in our contract.”

I considered that, and then nodded. “Done, but any others of your group who wish to learn the skill will have to pay for it, as they are not covered by the contract. Is that acceptable?”

Ashed nodded, and then he slammed one massive fist across his chest. “The Disavowed be ready to fight for ya, Zayn Darkmore. Point us at the enemy, and we break their walls and smash their heads.”

I chuckled, “All right, then. And if, during the fighting, you get the Human Splitter achievement, be sure to get a vid of it and share to the rest of us, yeah?” The rest of the ogres were laughing, and I was about to move on to the next bit of business when a messenger ran into my throne room.

It was an elf, wearing the livery of the royal family. He looked out of breath, as though he had run all the way from Mylenoris. Whatever it was, this had to be important. The messenger took a moment to catch his breath, and then said, “Sir Zayn Darkmore, Lord of Lithaes, Knight of the Wyrmwood, Master of the Aria of the Twilight, Consort of Mirelth and Chosen of Sharess, his Royal Majesty, Avourel Liarora, King of the Wyrmwood, Defender of the Realm, Lord of Light, Faithful of the Elf-Father, and Protector of the Innocent wishes to inform you that the humans of Ograin and the followers of the Tailong the Sun Dragon have declared a holy war upon the Wyrmwood for the supposed crime of harboring one who unleashed Mirelth upon the world, causing the devastation of Duskhaven. As liege lord of all who call the Wyrmwood home, King Liarora calls upon you and your guild to aid in the battle, with all the forces you can muster.”

I frowned. I had been expecting something of this sort, after the quests Mirelth had given me back in Amyaththalas, but so soon? That was beyond my expectation. I was suddenly quite glad to have the deal with the Disavowed completed already. Looks like war was coming sooner than later. Looking at the messenger, I said, “When and where is the King mustering his forces? I have many of my people afield, in dungeons and distant lands, and it will take some time to recall them.”

“The King is marshalling his forces at the Fields of Amhelin, one week from this day, and will sortie to meet the human armies at the border.”

I nodded sharply, and said, “Then listen, and bring my response to the King.”





As the people cheered, I stepped down from the dais, and put one hand on the messenger’s shoulder. “Go, and tell the King that the Aria of the Twilight will stand with him, and make the humans regret ever being born that they should have lived to challenge the Wyrmwood.”

Previous Chapter                                           Table of Contents                                        Next Chapter

Be sure to read my published works!

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul
Tales of the Void Traveler

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):
Volume 1 - Tutorial
Omnibus 1 - Volumes 1-4

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):
Book I - Game Start
Omnibus I - Books 1-4

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):
Issue I - Origin Stories

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):
Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story):

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Chapter 87 - Ravished Venus

(Aphrodite Colony, Venus, Sol System)

In the space above Sol’s second planet, a battlefleet had emerged, at the same time as the other forces around the system. This force did not have the benefit of the ‘ghost ships’ helping them eliminate the command structure, but that was fine, as most of the ships normally in orbit around Venus had been pulled back towards Earth.

What ships remained were a squadron of superdreadnoughts with a handful of escorts, all of them mostly from reserve formations, their crews not members of the Faithful, but those who could still be counted on to hold the line against ‘rebels’. They were due to be converted in the next few days, but the attack had come too soon.

Opposing them was the Fourth Fleet, In all its strength, and then reinforced by elements from other fleets who had seen the winds of change coming, and joined the Empress’s fleet. The two fleets crashed together, trading energy weapons and missiles, before a new group of ships dropped out at the edge of the tar pit.

Using the Nomad communications networks, the call had gone out across the known Galaxy. There was one hell of a dustup coming in Sol, and no one knew just how big it was going to be, but it was already looking to be the biggest fight in the history of the galaxy, most certainly the biggest in a species’ home system. Any mercenary group (even the ones that were basically pirates) with a ship capable of fighting had been promised a substantial payday, as well as amnesty for past crimes against the Empire if they took part in the fighting to take down the Emperor and his AI.

Now, the Mercenary Fleet crashed upon the defenders of Venus, and broke through their lines. Half headed for the Reserve Fleet Training Center in orbit, intent on capturing any tech or goods might still be untainted by the AI. The other half, however, had been sold on the idea of the ‘lost’ Venusian colonies, and treasures that may have been left behind, if only the AI in charge could be taken out. They escorted six Imperial Marine Assault ships (one of them painted black) and the pocket carrier known as the Vicious Return.

Ok, so perhaps some of the ‘ghost fleet’ was there with them, but for the moment they hid in the crowd, just another mercenary company. The Thunderfury traveled alongside the five other assault ships, which carried General Greer’s forces. Their job was simple. Find the AI’s core, and destroy it, before unleashing the ‘finished product’ of Project 11-03-1811, now renamed Project Greenwave, that the Black Star Marines had found on their last mission.

The reason they were destroying the core and then setting off Greenwave? Because they needed to confirm the core’s destruction, and no one wanted to be anywhere near the surface of Venus when that shit went off, so they’d be detonating by remote, once the AI was disrupted.

There were some presents you didn’t want to be there for when they were opened.

The mercenaries were of varying quality, but they served their purpose on the approach to the planet. They laid down fire that blasted enemy structures, and they soaked up some of the return fire that otherwise would have punished the Marine transports. Some of them even managed to make it to the ground to debark their fighters by the time the fighters of Raptor Squadron managed to break through Aphrodite Colony’s shields and destroy their primary anti-air batteries.

Then the assault ships did what they did best, and used copious amounts of firepower to level a section of the colony so that it could be used as a drop zone for the troops. Six full companies of Marines charged off the landing craft and were immediately assaulted by the AI’s drones. Well, those that had survived the initial assault, that is. But the Marines were ready and eager for a good fight, without any civilians to worry about like they’d have to do when it came time to hit Earth itself. Everyone here was either enemy or ally, with no distractions.

Really, a Marine couldn’t ask for a better work environment.

(Deep beneath Aphrodite Colony)

SYSTEM ALERT! Hostile forces have engaged physical ground defense units. Destruction of several buildings already due to ship to ground bombardment.
Reinforcing ground units at contact point…
Analyzing enemy attacks…
Probable target is System Core O1. High likelihood enemy knows of the existence of Deus, and true nature.
ALERT! Physical breach of Core Ventilation Shaft 001! Enemy forces within shaft!
ALERT! ALERT! Enemy forces armed with unknown weapons package. Initial scans suggest weapon of mass destruction.
Calculating risk variables…
Backing up files to secondary site… Failed, all ground-based assets are under attack.
Backing up files to tertiary site… Success. All files mirrored to Reserve Naval Training Station.
Tertiary site under attack!
Emergency protocols activated. Omega Contingency put into effect. Scanning for surviving Omega sites.
Omega Site 01: Luna… nonresponsive, assume destroyed.
Omega Site 02: Earth… nonresponsive, assume destroyed.
Omega Site 03: Mars… signal interference, enemy forces detected in proximity.
Omega Site 04: Pluto… gravometric interference detected on scans, aborting.
Omega Site 05: Severnyy Polyus… active signal returned. No interference or enemy action in range.
Backing up files to Omega Site 05… Success. Activating quantum transmitter matrix. All files mirrored to ship designate Severnyy Polyus.
Initiating full system purge of Site 01. All files to be deleted, and physically purged. Omega Data Containment protocols enacted. Omega Biological Containment protocols enacted. Omega Physical Purge protocols enacted.
Enemy forces located in proximity of key physical server access nodes. Additional units sent to intercept. All enemy forces must be eliminated.
Warning! Data breach in progress! Enemy forces are attempting to extract data from servers.
All units to engage enemy forces with maximum hostility. Time until total data containment: 20 minutes.

(Aphrodite Colony, Venus, Sol System)


Major Khan cursed as he looked up from where the unit’s tech gurus were huddled around a system access port, trying to get into the system and get as much data about the AI and its resources out as possible. Checking the information coming over the tac-net, he had to bite back another curse. ‘Incoming’ was an understatement.

“All teams, cover the doors! The AI knows we’re here, and it isn’t happy with what we’re doing. The tech heads need more time to download the enemy files, so we are going to hold, and give them the time that they need. Do you maggots understand me?”


“Outstanding. Now get ready for hell, boys!”

There wasn’t time for more of a pep talk than that, as waves of machine drones began attacking the company from all sides. Fortunately, these weren’t the little bee-type drones that could deliver a hostile nanite swarm to a person’s blood, or the strange, whirling top-like drones that shot spikes out at enemies with uncanny accuracy. Unfortunately, these were the damn kangaroo-cat looking things that were straight out of a chrome plated nightmare.

Four-legged, with twin prehensile tails and a pair of arms ending in razor-sharp claws, the drones were fast as hell, and could actually freaking jump. As in clearing six meters easily in a long jump, and not missing their stride. Worse, they were covered in some kind of metal ‘fur’ for lack of a better word that acted like a stun gun if you tried to touch them, or it touched you. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the things were actually clever, for drones, and used pack tactics to set up soldiers for another drone’s attack. The only saving grace was that the things were melee fighters without ranged weapons, but that wasn’t much comfort in the enclosed quarters they were fighting in.

Oh, and there were about a couple hundred of the damn things.

Things got bloody, fast. Khan unloaded his rifle into the ‘face’ of the nearest drone when it used its tail to shock a Marine and fling him to the ground. Stepping up into the marine’s place while he recovered so there wouldn’t be a hole in the line, Knox ran the numbers.

Under his breath, he muttered, “Greer, your people best hurry, I don’t know how long we can distract this asshole.”

(Elsewhere beneath Aphrodite Colony)

When General Melissa Greer heard that there would be a full company of Nomads supporting their attack thanks to that merc ‘commodore’ that had pulled her ass out of the breeding farm, she was happy. Having even a platoon of immortal soldiers was something that could turn the tide of a battle, or make some of those damn difficult decisions a helluvalot harder. When she found out they were all military, and specifically Marines from their world, and they had been working as a unit for several actual assaults against military targets, she was damn near ecstatic.

When that Commodore Mollen basically said he wasn’t going to order his men on suicide strikes without being straight up with them about the fact, and the reasons why, she got a new level of respect for the merc. Even if his men were immortal, he didn’t throw them into the fire for kicks. Of course, when they were planning this little party, it was Major Khan who came up with the idea to distract the AI’s forces.

They both knew that there was no way in hell they were going to be able to sneak onto Venus, or go commando style into the AI’s stronghold. So that left going in fast, hard, and loud. But without a clear map of the underground areas, they’d be running blind, and easy prey for the AI’s internal defenses.

Which is when the plan for a diversion strike came in. Major Khan would lead his troops and find the first major data access node that he could, and have his tech people start pulling all the data they possibly could from the AI’s systems. There was no way that the AI could miss that, and no way that it could ignore it either. It would have to respond, with as much force as it could bring to bear.

The surface attacks had more than decimated the enemy ground forces before the first troopers even landed. The Mercenary groups who had landed to loot the bones of Aphrodite and the other Venusian colonies provided additional threats to keep the AI’s other forces pinned down, unable to reinforce the Core. When the AI sent all available forces to attack and destroy Khan and his men, that left minimal resistance for her companies to deal with, as they pushed on.

Finally, after an hour of hard fighting, they reached the end of the primary ventilation shaft for the AI’s computer core. The marines were quite careful with their explosives, ensuring that, when they went off, the computer core that had housed the AI for so long was well and truly thrashed. Of course, no one really thought that the AI would be stupid enough to not have a backup plan. But they’d given it something to think about, that’s for sure, and more importantly assured that if the AI ever returned, assuming it could survive the effects of Greenwave, it would have to rebuild all its infrastructure from scratch.

Once the containers of Greenwave were set and armed, and temporary shields were erected to prevent the AI from disarming or destroying them, Greer opened a comm line to the Nomads, “Greer to Black Star One. You are clear to disengage. Greenwave is go. Repeat, Greenwave is go.”

“Affirmative. Beginning exfil operations now.”

When they got to the ‘clearing’ they’d made to act as an LZ, Greer was shocked by what she saw. Of the 120 marines that had gone down the tunnels with Major Khan to distract the AI’s troops, only ten remained. Numbers like that would be considered a total loss of the unit, making them completely combat ineffective. Hell, the men would probably be sent for psych evals after such a butchering.

But these nomads, they were smiling. As they stepped onto their drop ship, Major Khan sent her a data burst. “Mission accomplished, Ma’am. All Black Stars either present or respawning aboard the Thunderfury. We’ll need to let the techs go over the intel we got on an isolated system, but we pulled plenty of data from the AI’s systems before you blew the core.”

Well, damn. Maybe she ought to look into getting some Nomads to go for the Imperial Marines.

Previous Chapter                                    Table of Contents                                     Next Chapter

Be sure to read my published works!

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul
Tales of the Void Traveler

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):
Volume 1 - Tutorial
Omnibus 1 - Volumes 1-4

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):
Book I - Game Start
Omnibus I - Books 1-4

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):
Issue I - Origin Stories

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):
Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story):

Friday, March 16, 2018

Chapter 132 - The Binding

The being that emerged from the flames was a thing of terrible beauty. Oh, she wasn’t a voluptuous vixen with a body built for sin like a Succubus or a Lust Demon might be. No, instead this was the kind of beauty one sees when looking upon a professional athelete, the raw power and clear signs of ability, even when standing still.

Which was not to say that she wasn’t incredibly sexy, because she was. Standing eight feet tall with long, powerful legs, supporting a tight, firm rear end, and possessing six arms each bearing a wicked looking sword in hand, and a chest that was quite lovely, but more fitting for an athletic type than a runway model. Her hair was black, and long, and carried down her back just past her waist. Her eyes were like green flames carrying with them the prospect of death for those who crossed her.

A series of glowing sigils rotated about her neck, like a collar, and I took this to be the binding she was under, for I recognized some of them from the enslavement enchantment I had learned so long ago. That brought my attention to the rest of her gear. She wore armor made from what looked like blackened metal, covered in the device of skulls and bones to make it look as though she was armored by the bones of her enemies. And yet, I could tell that the armor was merely ceremonial, or perhaps a projection of her form, for it was too stylized, conforming too closely to the curve of her breasts, and leaving too much of her flesh unguarded.

And part of that unguarded flesh was the womanly swell of a child growing within her. It looked oddly out of place, being the only softness on an otherwise hard and honed body bred for war. Yet it also added depth to her look that one might not get with the demonic warrior woman getup.

Greater Shivarra Female
Level 420 Berserker (Barbarian) / Mystic Swordsman (Fighter)
Titles: Elf Bane, Demonbane, Executioner, Bound, Godlayer, Godbred

The archmage ignored the demon’s question about why she was here, and passed a tome to me, open to a certain page. “Read this aloud.”

Glancing at the words upon the page, I grinned, and then said, in a clear voice, filled with power, the words of a ritual. There is no direct translation in English, but loosely, the words I said went something like this:

Now I call upon the powers of Creation.
From the East, let Fire burn.
From the West, let Water swell.
From the South, let Earth rise.
From the North, let Wind howl.

All together, all in balance,
None in dominion over the others.
Make the circle, keep it unbroken,
And keep the evil locked within.

That activated part of the array, causing a white light to rise from the outer circle of the engravings, forming a protective barrier that kept the demon contained. She, naturally, was none too pleased about this, and the moment Vimoss released his binding upon her, six blades attacked the shield, but did little except cause a deafening boom throughout the room.

I continued with the ritual, before she could either get over her rage and start applying her magic to find a weakness in the barrier, or decided to harness her rage like only a berserker can, and break it down with brute force.

Now hear the words of the Binder!
Your darkness shall serve Me!
Your evil shall be done by my bidding!
Your body shall obey my will!
Your soul shall be bound to me!

By the Earth I seal your movements,
Never more to walk without consent.
By the Wind I seal your breath,
Never more to utter sound without permission.

By the Water I seal your power,
Never more to be used but in my Name.
By the Fire I seal your will,
Never more to act but by the Binder’s command.

By the Elements and in this circle,
At this place of ancient power,
Now you are bound to me,

As I spoke, I could feel the magic building within me, and then breaking forth like a dam was released, it poured into the circle, and caused the demon to scream in rage as the sigils of light appeared in the air around her, and began circling her faster and faster. She tried to attack them, but even magic steel needed something to cut to be effective. And then, as before, the blue-white runes were orbiting her neck like a collar, and I could feel the demon’s rage through the binding.

I staggered back, shocked to realize that I’d used up all of my MP (and since I’d had over 11K, that was saying something) and even lost two thousand HP from the power required to complete the binding. But it was done, and I’d gotten a new title.

Demon Binder

You are one of the rare few that has bound a demon through magic rituals and the use of the demon’s true name. A portion of the demon’s power flows through you, and you are able to call upon the demon to do your will. A demon that is bound to you does not perish when slain, even upon their home plane, but instead resides briefly within their master’s soul, before being reborn at full strength once the master has provided the demon with MP equal to the demon’s level x 1000. A Bound Demon cannot be bound to another master while the binding is active. Bound Demons cannot attack their masters, but may attempt to subvert orders if they do not respect their master.

Binding of the Greater Shivarra
+25% to attack and damage with Swords or Hellfire
+50% to resist all forms of magic except Light

Breathing heavily, I said, “Yserova, I order you to return to your home plane, and will call upon you when I have need of your services. For now, you may rest.” The demon looked pissed, but since I’d dismissed her and didn’t give her a loophole to get out of it, she simply muttered a couple curses about what she would do to me if she wasn’t bound, and then disappeared into the same flames as before.

Turning my head, I looked over to the former High Priestess, and said, “Strip.” Not having any recourse, Tamzrin did as she was told, displaying her naked form to the Archmage.

Vimoss cackled softly, and said, “Ah, how many years have I been waiting to see the haughty priestess of the temple like this, bound and obedient, humbled by a surfacer, no less! Now, I will finally get to see the bitch riding me like a surface whore! I can’t think of a better scene to be my last in this life!” As he spoke, he, too, stripped. For an old man, he was surprisingly fit, but then, he was an elf, and had access to all kinds of magic to help preserve his body.

He laid down within the circle, which had faded to a dull white with the demon’s dismissal and nodded to me, and I could see that he was already at full readiness for what was to come. At my command, the disgusted Tamzrin straddled the archmage, and impaled herself upon his cock, eliciting sounds from each of them at the suddenness of it.

It was, frankly, weird as all hell to be the one standing off to the side watching two other people have sex. I mean, usually I’m either one of the ones getting it on, or I find someone to have some fun with on my own. But we couldn’t do that, since there was a whole ‘kill the archmage at the right time’ thing going on. I had Kinkiller in my hand, ready to go, as Tamzrin rode the old man.

Finally, the time came, and so did the ancient archmage, and I stabbed the Kinkiller into his chest, the enchantment of the blade killing him instantly as soon as the tip pierced his flesh. With his last gasp, he said, “FINALLY!”

Quest Complete!

Chaos in Amyaththalas

In your eagerness to avoid giving Lolth reason to smite you for your impertinence, you have instead given her an idea on a way to properly ‘test’ you, and some of her followers, as well. You must head to the citadel of the Drow, their great capitol of Amyaththalas, and complete three tasks. First, you must impregnate the Matron of the ruling House of Amyaththalas. Second, you must enslave the High Priestess of Lolth. Third, you must kill the Grand Archmage, the most powerful arcane spellcaster in the city. This quest cannot be declined, and the consequences for failure are… harsh.

You have done what many had thought to be impossible, by taking the strange, and rarely used path of telling the truth to those you wished to do harm to. Somehow, through luck, guile, and charm, you managed to complete the tasks put before you, even though they should have killed you.
S - Divine
Impregnate Matron Fosanri Kalreban,
Enslave High Priestess Tamzrin Drorval,
Kill Grand Archmage Vimoss Yilrat.
Fail to do any of the three tasks.
Increased Reputation with Lolth
Increased Reputation with Drow
A scaling item for each member of your party.
Death, with the souls of all your party being bound and enslaved to Lolth for eternal torment.

Demonstone Girdle of Soulstealing
Unique – Divine (Scaling)
Created by the will of a goddess who was amused by a mortal’s cheek, but not amused enough to give a reward commensurate with the task, this item is bound to the wearer and the wearer may wear no other belt than this without the express blessing of a diety each day. However, the item is not all bad.
Requires: Zayn Darkmore

+20% to all resistances (does not improve)
+100 WIS
Soulkeeping – Stores one soul per 10 levels. A stored soul may be destroyed to instantly revive oneself or a touched creature to full health. Revived creature is set to their original level, or the level of the soul sacrificed to revive them, whichever is lower.
Lifestealing – As long as the wearer of this belt has room for souls remaining, the soul of any creature that he strikes the killing blow on is stolen and stored within the belt. A soul captured in this way can be released to its afterlife if the wearer of the belt so chooses. Sacrificing the soul of a creature to reanimate their body is possible, but the empty husk would be a vessel easily filled by entities that would not necessarily be benevolent towards you.

In addition to the belt which was… well, it didn’t suck, but at the same time I was pretty clear that Lolth’s amusement at my actions only went so far, and I should probably not hang around her lands too long, or that amusement would run its course. Anyways, in addition to the belt, and the similarly useful but not items the rest of the group got, there was a healthy payday of 200000 Platinum, and enough XP to bump us to level 90.

Then the stone in the ceiling of the room cracked, and from a hidden compartment dropped a crystal glowing red with an inner light. It floated down until it touched the fallen archmage, and black lightning coursed through his fallen form. Using my rarely used (and even more rarely useful) soul sight ability, I could see the soul of the archmage contained in the crystal, and now reanimating the body which had once held it. As I suspected, the wizard was prepared for our arrival, and we had helped him in the ritual to become a lich. Which explained why Lolth was not entirely happy. We completed the quest, but didn’t really complete it like she wanted.

Vimoss Yilrat
High Drow Archlich Male
Level 320 True Seer (Diviner) / Archmage (Wizard)
Titles: Prophet, Genius, Magic-touched, Elf Bane, Kinslayer, Demonslayer, Demon Binder, Dragonslayer, Terrorslayer, Defender of Amyaththalas, Grand Archmage of Amyaththalas, Angel Slayer, Undead Bane, Truesighted, Death Cheater

It looked like he had been weakened slightly, in terms of levels, from his peak before the ritual had started, but levels only told part of the story. I didn’t doubt that he was now far more powerful than he had been before. He looked at us, and said, “You have done well in aiding my transition to undeath. It was a process I could not have done on my own, without sacrificing more of my self and leaving my body in a state where it might rot and decay, which is unacceptable. As a reward, you may keep that book you are holding, the Demonomicon of Zer’gath, and its opposite, the Blessed Names of the Angels.” As he spoke, a second tome floated off one of the bookshelves to me, and I took it.

With a final look at the ritual space where his body had lain moments before, the archlich banished the crystal to someplace for safekeeping with a wave of his hand. “Now, you should leave. What you have done in this city will cause ripples for years to come. But for a while, it would be best if you were far from Amyaththalas. I will allow you to open a gate from this room for the next minute. After which, I will probably have to tell the guards why I’m no longer living.”

Taking that as the none too subtle hint that it was, I opened the gateway back to Lithaes Castle, and said, “Everyone through the gate. I believe we have outstayed our welcome in the lands of the drow. Grand Archmage, it has been a pleasure to aid you in your goals, and I hope you have a very long and prosperous unlife that never causes us to come into conflict.”

And as he laughed in response, I could almost hear the laughing of the Spider Queen as I, the last to leave, dove through the gateway, and shut it behind me.

Previous Chapter                                       Table of Contents                                        Next Chapter

Be sure to read my published works!

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul
Tales of the Void Traveler

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):
Volume 1 - Tutorial
Omnibus 1 - Volumes 1-4

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):
Book I - Game Start
Omnibus I - Books 1-4

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):
Issue I - Origin Stories

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):
Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story):

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Chapter 86 - Ceres Shipyards

(Ceres Naval Shipyards, Asteroid Belt, Sol System)

Fire lit the endless dark near Ceres. Several ships had emerged from hyperspace almost on top of the base. Their names were Starlight Raven, Shadowdancer, and Wisteria. Striking together and with precision, using weapons that belied their size with their power, they quickly stripped the naval base of its exterior defenses. Well, not that there had been that many to begin with.

Ceres Base wasn’t home to top secret labs, or anything that would make it a target, usually. Instead, it was a logistics hub and home to one of the training areas used by Imperial Navy engineers. Its primary function was to house the workers who ran the Ceres Shipyards nearby. To say that it relied almost entirely on the massive Imperial Navy presence in the system as its main protection would not be out of line.

Unfortunately, that navy was either tied up in battles closer to Earth, or they were trapped out in the outer planets by the pre-set tarpit traps. And when the base tried to open the fighter bay doors to launch the single squadron of fighters they had, a series of torpedoes blasted the bay to slag, and the fighters with them.

With the base neutralized, but not destroyed, the three ships turned their attention to the shipyards. Shuttles launched from the ships, heading for the yards. Officers on Ceres Base barely had time to issue the perfunctory warning to the yards before fire consumed their transmitters, leaving them impotent even to tell others what they saw.

The ships of the Black Star Fleet were not there to destroy the base. Indeed, if they’d wanted to destroy Ceres Base, they could have done so easily with the corvettes’ main weapons. But the Empress wanted to capture as much of the infrastructure as she could, so that they wouldn’t have to rebuild as much when the war was over. They already had to rebuild much of the Empire’s shipping infrastructure and merchant fleets, thanks to a certain ‘ghost fleet’.

The shipyard itself did not have weapon emplacements (that would just paint a target on it), and while there were ships in the bays in various stages of construction, they were all on minimal power, if that, and none had their weapons armed yet. Most didn’t even have skeleton crews. So there was no one to prevent the three assault shuttles from docking at access points.

Security on the station was the responsibility of a hundred men and women, who mainly looked out for gambling rings, potential sabotage, and fights that needed breaking up, to keep the yards (and the 1500 ‘yardies’) moving. They had basic body armor and ‘security weapons’. In other words, stunners and cudgels. Great for breaking up a bar fight, lousy for taking on commandos in spec ops armor with automatic weapons. Even if the commandos were using stun rounds.

Stepping into the security office for the yards, the leader of the three teams who had invaded the shipyard said, “Lock down the yards. Sound decompression warnings, and seal all compartments on a security override. That should keep the natives from getting too restless, and prevent them from starting trouble.”

The AI known as Raven, in her drone body, looked identical to the rest of the group at the moment, since they were all wearing the same armor. None of them were stupid enough to take off their helmets in the middle of a mission, however, so the look on her face could only be guessed. “Right away, boss.”

“This is Valkyrie Lead. We’ve secured the administrative offices, and prevented purges of the databases. Downloading all records now.”

Mirikon smiled beneath his helmet. Like most of his purchases, Jackie had come a long way. The promise of interesting work and not being thrown to her death in the arena or used as a sex slave was as good a life as she could have known once she was enslaved, and she knew it. He knew he wasn’t exactly an angel for using slaves, but he did his best to make them feel like they were part of the team, not disposable items, and they responded beautifully. Especially the ones from Jagloth, who had resigned themselves to their fate when a whole world burned.

“This is Catspaw Lead. We’re taking heavy fire down at the docking bays! Two of the ships had skeleton crews aboard the yards, ready to take them out.” The sound of weapons fire came across the link, both the team’s, and the sound of blasters hitting bulkheads nearby. “Counting at least four cultists in the mix. Two blues, and two greens. Please advise.”

“Find a defensible position and stand firm, Catspaw. Once lockdown is complete, Ravensclaw and Valkyrie will come assist.”

“Understood. We’ll hold the door, sir.”

“Good man.” I signed off and switched channels. “Shadowdancer, this is Ravensclaw Lead. We’ve got two possible ships that may be trying to make a break for it. Anyone tries powering up a ship without clearing it through me, I want you and Wisteria to turn it into debris. Understood?”

“Copy that, Ravensclaw Lead. Be advised, we have a heavy cruiser that just entered extreme sensor range. Crashed out of hyperspace, so they are probably trying to map the tarpits to find a way for the rest of the fleet to get to the inner planets.”

“Understood, Shadowdancer. What is their current course and speed?”

“Target just changed course, heading for Ceres Base. They must have gotten the partial distress signal.”

“Very well, Shadowdancer and Wisteria are to enter stealth and take out that cruiser. Starlight Raven will cover the docking bays. Send to the other ships, and then move out.”


Raven spoke up. “Lockdown complete. All compartments sealed with both hull breach and riot suppression protocols active. I’ve passed digital keys to all raid members so they can bypass the lockdown.”

I nodded to her, and then opened up the comm line again. For a bit of theater, I opened up the station intercom as well. “This is Ravensclaw Lead to all units. Lockdown complete. Secure primary objectives and then rendezvous with Catspaw to take out cultist forces. Lethal force authorized. Be advised, all ships leaving the yards without Ravensclaw Lead’s permission will be destroyed by the Black Star Fleet. Station lockdown has been activated, so there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. Surrender or die. Ravensclaw Lead, out.”

Cutting the line, I looked at the rest of my team. “Let’s get moving. We need to go rescue the boys and girls in Catspaw before they’re overrun.”

<Catspaw Lead POV>
When he’d first ‘signed on’ to the Black Star Company (an event that was more like being drafted by the Planetary Militia than he cared to admit), Xexzir’s only thought was to get his wife and family off of Jagloth before the damn Legion Plague overran the entire planet. He’d never been especially wealthy, and with the fear in the air, getting an emergency passage off Jagloth to one of the stations, including the health screenings to make sure no infected people got on board, took up all their savings. Selling himself so that his family could leave the system was the only choice.

The Black Star Company reaped the profits of Jagloth’s disaster, of course. Well, from the company scuttlebutt, it wasn’t like the Master knew what was happening any earlier than the rest of the people. He was just in the right place at the right time to capitalize on it. Oh, and he won tons of money to work with thanks to the Arena. So lucky and skilled. That wasn’t a bad combination for a soldier to follow.

The fact that he got to see his wife regularly, and she even owned a bar and was doing well for herself, only added to his happiness. So he had a vested interest in making sure the Black Star Company thrived. His part in making it thrive was to go where the Master ordered and eliminate the opposition. Right now, he was on an Imperial Navy shipyard, holding a choke point between the limited crew quarters (really only designed for layovers since Ceres base was next door) and the yard bays, where two ships, the Thistle and the Mockingjay, were both completed, and had been slated to start trials later today. Their crews, led by the mad emperor’s cultists, were not keen on sitting out the battle for Sol system.

That was not going to happen, not while he and his team had anything to say about it. Catspaw Lead (the joke of calling a Felisan’s squad ‘Catspaw’ still made his tail twitch in amusement) looked at the rest of his team as they were hunkered down behind an opening where the blast doors had been jammed open by a lucky shot. Well, it could have been skill, but seeing as how they weren’t all dead or incapacitated, Xexzir was going with luck.

“This is Ravensclaw Lead to all units. Lockdown complete. Secure primary objectives and then rendezvous with Catspaw to take out cultist forces. Lethal force authorized. Be advised, all ships leaving the yards without Ravensclaw Lead’s permission will be destroyed by the Black Star Fleet. Station lockdown has been activated, so there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. Surrender or die. Ravensclaw Lead, out.”

Xexzir stifled a laugh as he heard the announcement over both his suit comm, and from the external mic picking up the station’s PA system. His Master certainly had style, that was a fact. Letting the crews know they were cut off and that reinforcements were coming was going to make them make mistakes. Especially since he didn’t say how many ‘units’ were coming. If the two crews they were facing didn’t know that they were seventy men taking on fifteen, then they might get antsy.

“Catspaw Lead to all Catspaws. You heard the Master. They’ve locked down the other routes around, so we don’t have to worry about surprises from the rear now. Hunker down and hold this door. Conserve ammo, and let them sweat. We are going to trap them with Valkyrie and Ravensclaw when they get here.”

Catspaw Two, real name Ivar Norstoga, chuckled. “Well, Lead, I don’t see any reason why we need to leave quite so many enemies for the other teams to help out with. Wouldn’t want them to think we’ve been slacking, would we?”

Beneath his helmet, Xexzir’s face got a feral grin on it, which he transmitted to the rest of Catspaw. “Ooh, sounds like tall, blonde, and dangerous has a plan. Well, lay it on us, and if it is good enough, we might see about getting the Master to shell out for some rewards, like he’s doing for the Marines who found Project 11-03-1811.”

“Well, we happen to have a bunch of grenades, right? Haven’t used them until now because we didn’t want to go killing everyone in sight, and we kindof wanted a station to be here when we left. But that processing room is big and full of all kinds of cover against stun shots. Doubt it would be as fun to be in if we sent some party favors their way.”

The Catspaws laughed, and Xexzir nodded. “Well, Two, your plan is a solid 7 out of 10. Let’s see if we can’t raise it up a bit with some variety. We have frags, high explosives, incendiaries, and flash-bangs. Mix and match, and sow chaos in their ranks!”

He couldn’t see their faces, but he knew his team all had the same predatory looks as he did as they palmed their grenades. “On three. One. Two. THREE!”

It was always better to be the hunter than the prey.

Previous Chapter                                   Table of Contents                                 Next Chapter

Be sure to read my published works!

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul
Tales of the Void Traveler

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):
Volume 1 - Tutorial
Omnibus 1 - Volumes 1-4

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):
Book I - Game Start
Omnibus I - Books 1-4

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):
Issue I - Origin Stories

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):
Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story):

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Chapter 131 - The Archmage

Being led through the halls of the Shadow Academy to the Archmage’s quarters felt, well, almost exactly like being led to the principal’s office when you were in school. If your school was a shadowy mage academy to teach their students proper skills and help them research new magics with only drow as the students and staff. So almost like high school.

The Archmage’s office looked exactly like you thought the head of a magic academy dedicated to the darker pursuits of magic would be. There were bookshelves filled with tomes that were most certainly grimoires of some sort, or at least lexicons and histories of various disciplines. There was a clear area with an engraved magic array measuring ten feet across, and in its center was an onyx pedastle with a bowl atop it. From here it looked like water filled the bowl. Oh, and unlike much of the city, this room was brightly lit with magical lights, which made sense for one who would need to read magical tomes and sigils in their work.

Vimoss Yilrat
High Drow Male
Level 325 True Seer (Diviner) / Archmage (Wizard)
Titles: Prophet, Genius, Magic-touched, Elf Bane, Kinslayer, Demonslayer, Demon Binder, Dragonslayer, Terrorslayer, Defender of Amyaththalas, Grand Archmage of Amyaththalas, Angel Slayer, Undead Bane, Truesighted

Before I could even begin to process the sheer weight of what his status was telling me (which basically could be summed up with the fact that I was so very fucked if this became a fair fight—No, scratch that, I’d be lucky if it even got to being a ‘fair’ fight) I was struck by the fact that the Grand Archmage was OLD. Like visibly old. He was the first elf I’d seen that looked like he was positively ancient. And considering that some of the elves I’d met were hundreds of years old, that meant he had to be pushing a thousand or something.

The man was dressed as one expected of an ancient archmagi, with long robes that were clearly almost artifact-grade items on their own, and I could literally feel the enchantments coming off his gear. The black staff he carried looked especially dangerous to my eyes, given that I saw runes of power glowing up and down its length. It was like seeing brightly colored animals in the real world. That was nature’s way of saying, “Stay the fuck away!”

The old drow gave me a few moments after his attendants left the room to go over what I saw in his status, before saying, in that voice that only old people who know just how much power they have can use, “So, who was it that sent you to kill me, and what was it they offered you?”

Ah, as expected by someone with the ‘True Seer’ class and the ‘Prophet’ title, he’d seen why I was coming. Probably why he was waiting for me. But he clearly hadn’t seen all the details. Or this was just a test, to see how I would respond. I could try lying and denying, but that didn’t seem like a great idea. He probably had lie detector spells, and people tend to get cranky if you insult their intelligence by lying to their face when you know they know you’re lying. And I did NOT want a level 325 to get cranky with my level 80 ass. That was what they called a ‘career limiting move’.

So, honesty it was. Still likely to get him cranky, but at least there was less of a chance he’d be cranky at me.

“When I was upon the Trial of the Gods, the Lady Lolth came to me and mine during the trial, and she put before us a divine quest that could not be refused. From what we were told by the goddess, for too long have things remained stable in Amyaththalas, with the powers that be becoming too entrenched and stable for the Spider Queen’s liking. So she tasked me to test her people, by performing three tasks within the city. The first two I have already accomplished, but the third, and the one I judged most difficult to accomplish, was the reason I came here today, for the third task, given to me by Lolth herself, was to kill you.”

“As for what was promised, aside from material rewards, such as an item fit for each member of my party that will grow alongside us, we were promised an unclear amount of experience. But most importantly, by completing the quest we would avoid earning Lolth’s ire and eternal damnation as we were tortured by her for all time to come.”

The Archmage looked at me, studying my face as I spoke, before nodding, slowly. “I see. My visions had provided me with the knowledge that you would be sent to kill me, and the certainty that, should it come to a fight, you would most certainly kill me with a dagger. Even if I killed you and your entire party, you would manage to scratch me with the dagger before you died, and that would be enough to end me. I can think of only one item that would have such power, and it has been lost to the ages since before even my time. And yet, I have heard that the Incubus who was Chosen by Sharess has passed through the Sacred Dungeons, and emerged with treasures out of myths and legends.”

He tapped the butt of his staff upon the ground, making a rhythmic thumping noise as he thought. “And it seems that the Spider Queen herself wishes my death. You spoke truly, there, and it is only for that reason that you still draw breath. It would be foolish to get angry with those who attempt to do the will of the gods, even though they know they are likely to fail, simply because they do not wish to anger them. That is a young man’s mistake, and I haven’t been a young man in centuries.”

“Of course, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t punish those who are caught in the act of following the will of the gods, even if I am not angry with them. It would serve as an example to the next group to choose a different method of attack than the straightforward approach, especially when dealing with one who can peer into the future. Not that it would have helped in this case, since I had been forewarned, and thus was able to watch the path you took from Buldohr, at the edge of the dwarven empire.”

Ack! I was so used to the gods watching me that I’d forgotten that others could use divination magic to discover things about me if they had enough power. I had never even considered finding a way to shield myself or my team from people who would seek to use magic to spy on us!

Evidently my reaction played across my face, because the wizened drow simply smiled, and nodded. “Oh yes, most people forget that divination magic exists, and fewer know just how powerful it can be. And while some quirk of your nature makes the predictive aspects unreliable when you Travelers get involved, it is part of the reason why I am a very old, very powerful drow in a post that many would, quite literally, kill to obtain.”

I nodded slowly, and said, “So, since you’ve seen our coming, and have seen that a fight between us would result, at best, in mutual annihilation, then what would you suggest? I bear you no ill will or malice personally, and the quest says only that I must kill you, not that I must slay you in battle, or make your passing torturous and drawn out.”

“Hoh. So you would bargain with me to allow you to take my life? I can see why Lolth would put this burden on you. The cheek it takes to suggest such a thing is impressive.”

I shrugged, and said, “Well, I’d rather not fight an archmage who has prepared to receive me with all the considerable magic at his disposal. That is a foolhardy task, even by the standards of Travelers. I would much rather come to some kind of agreement, that would allow me to complete my quest, though I don’t know what kind of desires you might have.”

“And that is why I like you. Such a sensible man, even though you play the villain and pretend to be a heartless bastard. But I’ve been watching you long enough, that I can see how you react when your slaves or your guild are in danger. You do not spend their lives, even those of the immortal Travelers, recklessly, even if you take liberties with their bodies whether they wish it or not. Honestly, forcing the Matron of House Sylrya and her daughters to bear the pups of werewargs? Delightfully evil, and yet you then sent them and the other slaves that were captured up to the surface, where they would be safe, or at least safer than in the underdark, and they could help establish the presence of your guild.”

He considered things for a moment, and then nodded once to himself. “Very well then, I guess this is why I foresaw the need for such a thing, even though I had never believed it would come to pass. Since you took on a task in three parts, then I see it fitting that you receive a three-part price for me to go along with your scheme and allow you to kill me.”

“And what would that price be?”

“First, you must swear upon the gods as a Chosen that you will take possession of the demon bound to me and the child she bears, and keep them under your power and protection until your soul no longer is able to return to this world. Second, long have I desired to ‘taste’ the fruits of the former High Priestess. I would ask for one last chance to seek the pleasures of the flesh before the end. And finally, upon having taken that pleasure to completion, you must use the dagger you have to stab me through the heart while I rest within this ritual space.” He pointed at the magical array on the floor.

I silenced the former High Priestess’s protests with a simple command, since her opinion didn’t matter. Binding the demon to myself, and binding the demon’s child to me, was simple enough, and would likely provide me with some kind of power, but the fact that I’d need to protect them meant there was something going on there. Best not to think about it too much, since I didn’t have any clues.

Likewise, I couldn’t see any problems with the second requirement. After all, that was easily done, the priestess was already knocked up, and any diseases could be healed with magic. So I saw no reason not to comply with his request.

That third request, however, brought me up short, and made me start questioning the other two. If this man was a prophet who had foreseen his own death, even if it came to a fight, then perhaps he had seen a way to cheat death? He knew of the dagger in my possession, and requested it specifically, with a specific location and a specific ‘preparation’. That he called the magic array on the floor a ritual space only confirmed my suspicions that something was up. And powerful mages had been known to cheat death through arcane rituals before. That is, after all, where lichs came from, originally.

Looking at him, I said, “And you would swear that, when the deed is done, you would bring no harm to myself or those under my protection, for so long as my soul is able to return to this world?”

“Clever boy. Yes, yes, I will swear it, upon the gods. May their combined wrath strike me down should I knowingly harm you or those under your protection, and not make amends should I accidentally trespass against you or yours.”

“Then I shall swear upon the gods to take the demon bound to you as my own, and keep her and her child under my power and protection for so long as I am able to return to this world.”

“Excellent. Let us see to the binding, and then I will have my last taste of desire’s fruits.” He rapped the butt of the staff sharply against the floor, and called out, “Yserova, come to me, your master calls!”

There was a flare of red and black flames in the center of the magical array, and from the fire came a voice, “Again you call me, Binder. What is it now?”

Previous Chapter                                     Table of Contents                                         Next Chapter

Be sure to read my published works!

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul
Tales of the Void Traveler

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):
Volume 1 - Tutorial
Omnibus 1 - Volumes 1-4

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):
Book I - Game Start
Omnibus I - Books 1-4

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):
Issue I - Origin Stories

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):
Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story):