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Image for the poem Otherworldly Memories Part X: The Hidden Citadel

Otherworldly Memories Part X: The Hidden Citadel

- Otherworldly Memories Part X: The Hidden Citadel -

  Dark was the shape of the great dragon, which spread its' wings and flew above the waters of the sea. Its' wings were many times that of even the largest of birds of prey, and its' form was sinuous and like a serpent, but a serpent with six tentacle-like appendages that each ended in sharp claws. It was far from an ugly beast, but for many it could be the stuff of nightmares, for in those days dragons were feared... and oft hunted because they were feared. The head was narrow and had a great beak with many sharp, serrated teeth... and its' wings were closer to a bat's than a bird's. Upon its' back was strapped a saddle, and upon that saddle rode a slender young woman who had a distinctly Elfin appearance to her. It was not common in her time for one of her race to be seen about flying upon her draconian steed, and yet it was a delight for her to take to the skies and ride above the vastness of the lands below. She descended at a certain point and the mighty beast landed in a clearing in the forest. There, she did climb down off the side of the creature, which calmed itself and waited for its' mistress to return for it. For thereafter, she set about walking down a certain trail, one that was familiar to her and pleasant to walk along. This was a safe place for her, and for her kind. There were precious few such places remaining in the world, which saddened her at times to think about. She was greatly concerned with the changes that were oft at work in the reality she knew and was familiar with, and did at times long for simpler days. She came at length to a place where a long, winding river separated the forest from distant hills, and there did she so discover sitting at the edge of the river a most unusual looking man, who smiled at her as she made to approach him. She was cautious, however, because her mother had not taught her to regard all men as safe to deal with... some could be wicked, and even more so if they were human. But as she drew closer to him, she could see that he was not human after all but one of her folk, though with a different look to him than was common among her people. Also, he appeared strange to her... something about his eyes.

  The dragon did not wish to fly at first with two passengers upon its' back, but its' mistress managed to calm it enough that it became at ease with the newcomer. Even so, upon the flight back to her home... it was hard for the lady to control her draconian steed, and oft it seemed that the creature wanted to go off upon its' own, as if something about the man who sat behind the animal's mistress with his arms about her waist... clinging nervously so as not to fall off during flight... distressed it greatly. This had been of old the most common species of dragon, but also the most skittish, and it was known to bond with only one person, remaining distrustful of all others. As the dragon neared the small citadel in the distance, it seemed to become more reasonable and manageable. The citadel was ancient, and the city that it had in the first place been built to protect lay in ruins in the great jungles beyond the forestland. But that made this the perfect location for a people in hiding to dwell. Since the fall of the ancient empires, and for a long time after the fading from the world of the children of Dana and their great adversaries and rivals, the Elves had become a fading race whose glory was disappearing from the world more and more, and in its' place humankind had grown numerous and mighty. The citadel sat atop a great mount, where one could see its' dome and spires from a great distance away... though the valley in which it lay was ringed with high mountains and tall cliffs, so that even thus the place was hidden, partially in the other world of Faerie and partially in the world of Earth. This was the Faerie side, at present, into which the dragon flew, leaving Earth behind it seamlessly. Dragons could cross between the two planes at will, but when a dragon was bonded with its' master or mistress... the person could will the dragon to make that arcane crossing when desirable for them both. The great beast let out a screeching cry, and it descended at the mental direction of its' mistress unto the platform on one section of the citadel's roof, behind the dome. Its' limbs were sinuous, but strong, and the landing was as gentle as ever. The architecture of the citadel was splendid, with walls that were strong but of delicate looking structure. The towers of the fortress so soared tall and graceful... with windows and balconies from which plants and flowers hung downward.

   The place, being ancient, had ivy upon many of its' walls, and some of those walls had cracks in them that although not serious were a visible indication that this was a fortress which had seen far fairer days. The stone and marble from which the citadel was made were bright, and in the light of the midday sun, some of the walls appeared to shine. The dome was most delicate looking of all, and had a design to its' base that resembled the petals of a lotus, with the dome resembling a large teardrop. There were many windows set into the doom, and all were of stained glass that depicted abstract patterns upon them. As the sunlight shone through those windows, the colors and the patterns could be cast unto the floor, and some of the walls, in the great hall beneath that dome. The Elves who dwelt there found this to be very beautiful, and peaceful to experience. The man said to the mistress as they walked across the platform to a door set into a far tower: “Where did you find your pet? I have not seen its' like in a very long time, and when last I beheld it... it seems as if it were in another life entirely.” She replied cheerfully enough: “Oh, him? I found him asleep in a cave, out in the jungle, when I was exploring one day. I had not the heart to hunt him as humans do, and so I befriended him... or he befriended me... and first became my pet, until the elders of my clan said the day had come to decide if I wished to bond with him so that in doing so he could serve as my steed. I decided that would be wonderful, and so here he is! And... here we are.” and the two of them entered the door of the tower, both of them in bright spirits. The woman was a pretty as she was young, and wore a red velvet vest over a sleeveless white silk blouse that was tucked into a pair of white loose fitting wide legged silk pants which were belted at her waist with a thin red leather belt that had an ornate silver buckle shaped like a rose. She wore leather sandals upon her feet, which when she was riding she would remove and keep in a pack attached to the saddle. The footwear was, like all Elfin clothing, designed as much for comfort as for practicality. Her arms were bare but her wrists had upon them colorful beaded bracelets. Her blouse and vest were low cut, and about her neck she wore a necklace from which hung a pendant shaped like an eye with a small green gemstone set into the center of it. She had this since childhood, and did not know where her parents of old had gotten it in the years before her birth. Her chestnut hair was short and cut in a pageboy style... and her eyes were a grayish blue in color. Her body was slender and athletic, her face round but with high cheekbones, and she had generous curves and an ample bosom. She was fair of skin, but it had a somewhat yellowish tint to it though not in a way that appeared sickly. Like all her family, her eyes had an almond shape to them, and her mouth was small but with plump lips. Her nose was noble looking, a bit aquiline but not large. By disposition, she was a tomboy, and was not always given to the sorts of amusements that most girls or ladies of her house preferred to idle away their time with. She had long, pointed ears, for in her the blood of Elves was not diminished but like unto the great Elfin folk of old. As such she was quite tall by human standards, but average for an Elf, being six feet tall. That was why this man who walked with her down the tower steps seemed so peculiar to her! He was only, roughly... for she was not able to estimate this, conclusively... about five feet and perhaps four inches in height. But his entire appearance was so unmistakably Elvish that there was no way he could be human. His ears, in particular were tapered as with those who carried diminished Elvish blood... but he was lovely enough to look upon, perhaps even a bit effeminate for a man. And she found him a bit attractive! For she had a fondness for effeminate men, far more than those of a more strictly masculine disposition. The man was silent as the pair walked along, and marveled at everything he saw... his eyes oft resting upon the buttocks of his pretty guide, and deciding he found her to be equally marvelous and just as well put together as her home appeared to be. She noticed how quiet he was, and decided to break the silence at last by introducing herself properly: “My name is Balsarda, and the name of my house, just so you know, is Helethir. So my full name is Balsarda Helethir! Since we seem to both speak pretty much the same language... though your accent leaves a bit to be desired... there should be no difficulty with you telling me your name. In fact, courtesy requires that you do so! Besides... I despise mystery men!”

   Never before had he encountered a woman who was both polite and arrogant at the same time, but in her choice of wording, her manner, and in the slightly sharp tone of her voice, Balsarda came off much that way on this occasion. Why had she insisted she come back to her house with him? He had been, to be honest, enjoying his solitude up until she showed up. But why did he agree to do as she asked? She did not exactly abduct him, and yet he felt like he had been compelled by her voice to come along. He said to her after giving the matter a moment's thought: “Oh, forgive me mistress! My name, in case that really does matter so much to you after all, is Ethnivel. I regrettably, do not have a house name to give to you, because I was separated from my parents as a child and raised by a tribe of wandering minstrels who took me in. Human minstrels, actually, who because my ears are not as pointed as your own, took me merely for a human boy with somewhat exotic features. I was lucky, I suppose, since had they been of a darker or more wicked sort... at any rate, they were good people, and I sometimes miss them. But I was exploring those woods where you found me, trying to get in touch with my Elvish heritage, before all our kind are wholly gone from Earth. This is the other world, I take it? I had heard stories as a child, but human stories of Elvish things are never to be believed, because they make the truth too fabulous... filling it with too many fantasies. This is less magical, and more real, than I had imagined it would be. But, all the same, it is just so beautiful, the architecture of your home incredible to me! I do not recall what my birth home looked like, and I can only imagine and hope that it was as spectacular as this is.” It seemed this young man... perhaps boy would be a better word, since he was in his early teens at best, for his voice was very light and lilting for a man's voice... was quite the talkative sort. Balsarda was not very talkative with strangers... though, the more she grew to trust someone the more she found that she could open up to them and tell thing things with greater ease. Being tortured by humans as a child, in a time when there was war between her folk and theirs, had left her with a hatred for all humankind, and a natural apprehensiveness towards strangers. She was old enough to be this boy's mother, and in all of her life she had never before taken a total stranger home with her. But she fancied him, and something about him reminded her of someone she knew in a past life. A firm believer in reincarnation, she ever and always sought to find her soulmate, but traumatic memories haunted her and the scar across her left ribs reminded her of how cruel the world could be. Sometimes, she lay awake at night, afraid to slip off into the night terrors that always came for her within her dreams. She was very childlike, but could not let anyone discover this about her, lest she become a victim once again. She would never let herself be a victim again! She replied to young Ethnivel: “Well, boy... for I am pleased to notice that you are not a man after all... it is good to finally know your name. You are rather short, even by human standards, for a lad your age. What is your age, anyway?” and the boy told her, saying: “Fourteen years of age, exactly if I am to be honest with you. Old enough to be a man by the standards of the folk who raised me. But... I age differently than humans do, and my adopted parents tried to keep this a secret for as long as it was possible to. Eventually, the whole clan had to be told that I likely had Elvish blood in my veins, but to my surprise they were all fine with it... and were sworn to never reveal it to anyone outside of our clan. It was hard as I got older, and my parents were quite elderly by then, and my playmates were reaching middle age... I watched many good folk die whilst I stayed young, and as I got to be this age I decided I could not take it any longer. I needed to find my own people... my true people... the Elvish folk, whose blood I carry. I could not remain with the minstrels and watch anymore people I cared about wither! Far worse I knew would be the day when my adopted family would die, leaving me an orphan. This... it was for me... a dream come true, when you came to spirit me away like you did. Can I stay here with you for good? I mean... I hope you did not just take me here to show me the sights.” and Balsarda was amused by this boy's manner, but happy beyond belief with his honesty. She said to him: “It depends, on many things! But, if I find you as pleasing in a week as I find you right now... there is no reason why I could not adopt you as my son. That might be awkward if we become intimate... but our laws still permit it.”

   The boy was certainly beautiful enough to my eyes! I was Balsarda in that life, and this was quite the long time after my death as the great Fomorian king Balor. In that life though, I remembered nothing of what had come before, though a great many of my night terrors and nightmares stemmed from the fact that a lot of my past life memories were returning to me slowly. As the years went on, and the years of the life of an Elvish noblewoman of undiminished blood were long years indeed... I would come to thus recall everything. But at that time in my life, I was yet innocent of the horrors that I had witnessed ere my previous incarnation ended. How to describe Ethnivel, he who was the reincarnation of my beloved Ethniu? Aside from his short height, he was not simply effeminate... he could have passed for a girl and been assumed to be such flawlessly. He had curly shoulder length hair that was a strawberry blonde hue and he had big sparkling green eyes that were not quite as almond shaped as mine, but close. He had the kind of full lips that bards praise in ladies out of old ballads, and his face was cherubic and cheerful. He had the most adorable freckles... and, I noticed, that his body was a bit curvier than a boy's normally is. He had, to use a modern phrase, a very cute butt! And by his arms I could see that he was not muscular in any way. He wore a pair of baggy light green pantaloons that came to just below his knees, and those were made from some light, airy looking material and were of a draped style. Tucked into the pants was a light blue peasant style blouse with wide elbow-length sleeves. The boy wore a forest green sash belt around his waist, tied with a neat bow at his side. He wore no jewelry of any sort, but I did notice that his ears were pierced. He had on a brown leather wristband upon his right wrist, and was wearing a pair of soft leather shoes that looked a bit worn. I looked him up and down once we got to the bottom of the steps and walked through the servants' area of the citadel on our way to the great hall. “You look very, very nice you know, boy. I like how you look!” I commented, and gave him a big hug. He smiled a lot when I did that, a bit mischievously actually, and gave my buttocks a squeeze with his hands when we so embraced. “I am sorry, mistress... I could not help myself! I just find you so beautiful is all.” he said nervously, pulling away from me right after doing that. I grinned, and strode over to him with a feigned expression of anger upon my face, making him think that I was going to yell at him. He flinched a bit... and then I licked his cheek and stroked his hair, looking deep into his eyes. I said to him in a deliberate, sinister tone of voice: “You want me, don't you boy! I can tell, you know... I can always tell, whenever someone wants me. This is how I can tell.” and on saying that, I pointed to the middle of my forehead, indicating my spiritual third eye, which was with me in every life I ever lived, and is with me still unto this very day. The boy smiled apologetically, and said to me after gulping a bit: “Mistress, mistress... I, that is to say, I would never think of being forward with you if you found it displeasing. I am sorry!” to which I replied quickly: “No! No, you do not displease me. In fact, I will let you have me tonight. And every night, if your hunger for me is that intense. I am unable to produce a child, so there is no worry of getting me pregnant. Boys your age always want, want, want! And this... is what they want the most.” I said to him, grabbing myself between my legs. I then said to him: “And this is what they want to use all the time! What they so often... think with.” I pressed him up against a nearby wall, and untied his pants before putting my hand down them, looking to grab his young, eager manhood. But much to my shock and surprise, when I reached down his undergarments I found a rather wet young girl's genitalia waiting for my fingers instead. I cried out: “Hold! You are no boy, anymore than you are a man... in fact, if my fingers do not deceive me you are in truth a maiden.” to which the young girl admitted the truth at last. She said: “Yes! Yes, I am a girl... not a boy. But I still have a fondness for other girls, or rather for other women as in your case. Is that so wrong?” and I withdrew my hand from her pants and whispered to her in a lusty way: “No, in fact I am delighted to hear it! And to discover you are actually what I also prefer as a partner. I despise men, to be honest with you... and boys... I can only tolerate them when they are as much like girls as possible anyway.” I then forced a passionate kiss upon her luscious lips, caressing her face as I did so. She then said to me: “So... does this mean I get to touch you indecently like that now?”

   “You can touch me later, if you like!” I told her, and we made our way into the great hall. It was a big and spacious chamber, much like the heart of a great cathedral... with the lofty dome above us. Through the windows of that dome cascaded the rainbow-like light from the stained glass windows, high above. The chamber was decorated with hanging plants and pots filled with colorful, exotic jungle flowers that were of many varieties. Slender columns ringed the room, and there was a beautiful fountain just in the center of it that babbled pleasantly. All around the fountain were marble benches on which to sit, and the tiles of the floor were of a black and white chessboard-like design. There were soaring arches that rose between the pillars, and the walls of the great hall had upon them various tapestries, murals, and paintings depicting various subjects from Elvish history, mythology, and legend. This was my favorite room in the entire citadel, and I found it to be a peaceful, relaxing place to be. The servants were busy, as always, and smiled at my companion and I as they went about their business. My kin did not seem to be about, and it gave the feeling of having the entire citadel pretty much all to myself. Ethnivel sat upon one of the benches near the fountain, and breathed in deeply, savoring the floral sweetness of the air. I could see that the young girl liked my home very much, and this made me feel more at ease about this situation between her and I. “This is like a palace!” the girl exclaimed. “So, are you a princess... or are you maybe a queen, or something?” she asked me excitedly. I sighed a bit and sat down next to her. I said to her a bit sadly: “None of those things, actually. I am not even of noble blood! Just old blood is all, and that is not the same I am afraid. My family is wealthy, but the only reason we are living in this place is because when we found it... the former occupants were long dead. We were fleeing after losing our old home back on Earth to human aggression, and I was only little at the time... and my parents had to rescue me because the humans who destroyed our home had kidnapped me and sought to ransom me back to my family. They planned to slaughter us all when my family came to pay the ransom, but in the end my family's warriors proved stronger and more skillful than any human barbarians. But before they got me back, the men who stole me away had tortured me and left their mark.” I lifted up my blouse so that Ethnivel could see the scar across my ribs. I then confided in her: “That is why I despise all men!” and the young girl touched the scar, tracing her finger along it. “Humans can be so cruel sometimes. I never understood human prejudice against Elfin kind... and I never will.” she said to me, adding: “But men are pigs on a good day, and that is why I was traveling in disguise when you found me by the river. Even barbarians will sometimes think twice before raping a boy... but, even the youngest girls can end up fair game to their sort. I learned that when I was only ten years old, and...” but before she could say more, she began to sob and cry uncontrollably, and suddenly began to clutch her face, which she clawed at a bit with her fingernails. She looked about to pull at her hair when I stopped her. I put my arm about her, drawing her close and caressing her hair lovingly as I said to her in an understanding tone of voice: “It is alright, dear, dear child! No one, and I honestly mean no one will ever hurt you like that again. Do you understand me? No one! I will, by my own hand, kill anyone... who even thinks about hurting you.” And the girl started screaming, shrieking, telling me: “Oh gods! They raped me... and I bled, and it hurt but they just kept on doing it anyway, and laughing. They came to our camp, said that they wanted only to hear the minstrels play for them. There were four, five soldiers in all... every one of them, a brute of the worst sort. Filthy animals! They said they were mercenaries who were between jobs, and that they were in need of entertainment. So my parents arranged the entertainment for them, but then the beasts claimed it was not enough and asked if we had any whores. When my parents said our clan did not do that kind of work, the men began to beat my parents very cruelly. The servants of our clan ran to fetch the warriors of our folk, who were out on patrol at the time and not guarding the main camp. I rushed out of the tent and started hitting the nearest of the brutes, trying to get them to stop beating my parents. They saw my ears, called me a 'little Elvish she-bitch' and took turns on me right then and there, right in front of my parents. They took my maidenhood from me, and the shame of this... it was just too great!”

   She cried a bit more, after telling me her story, and then added: “Our warriors killed all of those men who had violated me and beat my parents. But ever after that night, I was raised as a boy and taught to disguise myself as one, as completely as I could. I was never hurt like that again... but that is why I like women the way that I do, and probably hate men even more than you despise them.” and I realized that in all likelihood, the events of that night still traumatized her, just as the time of my torture and scarring still traumatized me. “I am sorry... if I had known that before, I would not have been so rough with you, nor would I have touched you the way that I did.” I said to her, regretting my earlier actions. She said to me in reply: “That is okay, mistress! You did not know, and I was acting impulsively myself. Neither of us is in the wrong here.” and she was right. I waited for her to stop crying, and so then went on to show her around the citadel. We stopped by the interior gardens, the statue galleries, the temple chamber, and all of the other rooms that I thought might delight the girl. It was many hours before suppertime, and it seemed to me... that my companion was somewhat dusty from the roads, paths, and trails she must have been traveling before I came along. I had the servants prepare a bath for her, and I personally saw to her needs regarding it, acting as her personal servant and scrubbing her body with a soapy washcloth. When she removed her clothing to get into the bathtub, she also removed a cloth that was wound tightly about her chest, which had been binding her breasts so that she would indeed appear to be a boy. She actually had very nicely developed breasts, for a girl her age, and I could tell that she was somewhat aroused by my washing them for her as well. I too was becoming excited by her, more and more, and the sight of her naked body in the bathtub... as I ran the cloth over the whole of her soft skin... was something I did enjoy perhaps more than I should have. She noticed me smiling in a certain way, and said to me: “You like my body, do you not! It is okay, I am enough over what happened when I was ten, that I can make love without thinking about it.” and I kissed her passionately just before washing her face for her, as I said in reply: “That is very good to hear, Ethnivel! Because tonight, I will indeed make love with you.” and she impulsively reached her hand between my legs and felt for the cleft of my womanhood, only to discover instead that I had a man's genitalia... and, that the shaft of my manhood was quite hard for her, and more than a bit wet as well. She exclaimed: “Oh, my gods! You... I, honestly thought you were all this time a woman. But... you, are a man?” and I corrected her: “No, not entirely! I am a hermaphrodite, and was born almost entirely as a woman... I have a woman's breasts, a woman's hips and curves, and a woman's buttocks too as you discovered earlier. However, instead of a woman's... you know... I have in place of it a fully functioning male organ instead. I cannot produce any children with it, however, but I can make love using it... and as you noticed, I can feel pleasure with it quite fully. My condition is rare, I was told, and is one of the rarest conditions of its' type. Elvish science has extensive knowledge of all sorts of things like this, and our medicine is very advanced. Far, far beyond the crude human healers of this present era! I should not be surprised that you  have never heard of someone like me before. Many folk, even among Elvish kind, and here in the other world could go their whole considerably long lives and never meet a single hermaphrodite. And if they met one, they might encounter one who had a very different sort of genitalia or body type than mine... there are literally hundreds of possible types of this sort of thing, and for the longest time I thought it was a disorder. But it is not a disorder or a deformity, not a birth defect nor a mistake. Sometimes, a child can simply be born different, like I was. And that is all I am, is different! I hope you do not hate me, because I have this between my legs instead of... what you possess.” She had withdrawn her hand immediately, before I explained myself to her, but now she was looking me over and seemed lost in thought for a bit, as she did so. She then shook her head from side to side, and said decidedly: “No, I could never hate you. So far, you have showed me kindness, you have taken me into your home, and you have put up with my crying... and even my improper behavior. I hate men! That much, is true... but you are no more a man than I am despite very clearly having a man's passion and... that, as well, of course. But when we do make love tonight, I promise you I will enjoy it!”

   I presented the young girl with fresh clothing, from among those I had worn when I was once younger and more her height, which my family still kept in a storage closet just off of the dining hall. I chose for her a rather pretty looking deep purple midriff blouse, with puffy elbow length sleeves, which laced up in the front. And I also gave her to wear with it a long flowing ankle-length skirt which was lavender in color, with a sky blue slip to wear underneath it. For undergarments... I gave her, a pair of bloomer-like undershorts that were a pale pink in color. I also offered her a pair of soft, comfortable purple slippers to put upon her feet. She dressed herself in this entire outfit and danced about in front of the tall mirror that stood nearby. “Oh, my gods! I look just like a princess now... oh, thank you, thank you, thank you so much mistress. I have never even looked in a mirror like this before, this is so clear, so tall! What we had for mirrors back at our camp... were just polished shields half of the time, if we were lucky. And I have never seen clothing this fine, either... or of this style or design. It almost seems as if it comes from a different era entirely!” and I said to her: “That is because it does... traditional Elvish clothing like this, is based on designs that were inherited by our people from the gods of old, and it is said that the gods so came down to Earth from other worlds beyond the stars of the night sky. Worlds even more advanced... and more ancient... than either Earth, or the other world of Faerie. Someday, perhaps, time will turn and turn again and in the future humankind might one day come to create garments like ours. And, they may even come to understand our ways, and comprehend the sciences we do! But by the time when they are able to catch up to us, we will become so advanced a people that the science we possess now will seem like primitive magic in comparison to what we will understand in those far-flung times to come. If this all seems like a lot to consider... just realize that Elvish philosophy is far deeper than the sort that those humans who raised you are used to. Consider me eccentric if you must! I will not complain.” but so lost was she in her delight, that she was only partially even listening to my speech at all. I did not mind this, because it meant she was happy, more happy perhaps than she had ever been before in her young life. “And just think, girl! You never again have to live as a boy and know fear. You can be a princess here, and you can be my princess. If you will accept, the love that I sense is beginning to grow between us?” Thus did I say unto her, and she replied: “Of course, I accept! Who would not? And I too find myself... more and more... growing increasingly in love with you, Mistress Balsarda.” to which I corrected her: “Please, please girl, if you must use my name, just call me Balsarda! I tire of hearing you say 'mistress' this, and 'mistress' that, as if you were a mere servant. You are not my servant, child! You, are... more dear to me, than any servant could dream of being.” and I smiled warmly as I said that. The girl smiled back at me, equally warmly, and replied: “Alright, Balsarda.” to which I responded: “That is far better! Now, let us get some earrings for you to wear. I've noticed your ears are pierced... it is time they were also adorned properly. With jewels, fit for a princess! In your case... I think amethysts, will do nicely.” And I gave her the finest pair of amethyst earrings that I could find from my private jewelry collection. There was nothing of a boy remaining to Ethnivel after that, and when the hour arrived for supper it so arrived a bit later than on many evenings. But, the servants prepared an incredible dinner, all the same! There was baked, battered fish with cut and fried potatoes... grilled fish as well, just in case that might be the preferred thing, and baked potatoes in case fried was not wanted. On the side were sliced carrots cooked with onions and spices, and other vegetables prepared special for the occasion. Whenever I had returned from one of my dragon flights... it was celebrated as a special occasion, and one worthy of joy and laughter. A couple of the youngest servant girls, mere children really, sang for us and entertained us with jokes and merriment... and many times did Ethnivel laugh and giggle happily. There were no male servants or boys present, since I requested that they be absent from tonight's festivities. I thought that in truth their presence would be in bad taste otherwise, for their jokes could at times be cruder and dumber than those told by the little girls. It seemed to me that the children's sense of humor was more along the lines of what my dear companion actually preferred. The dining hall was a place of mirth, on that night!

   At one point during dinner, Ethnivel said to me: “Your parents... they did not survive, did they, when they set out to rescue you from the men who had kidnapped you as a child!” and in reply, I asked of her: “What makes you say that, child?” and she answered me, in between swallowing bites of her food, her manners being surprisingly good for a girl raised by traveling vagabonds: “All day long, and now well into the night, I have been here with you... and not once did I see or hear even a sign of your kin. Aside from the servants, and the warriors who guard the walls and the towers, and who patrol the rooftop, all of which I could not help but notice... and some other people I spotted here and there who to be honest did look nothing at all enough like you, to have been related by blood... and aside from the hall guards, and the gate guards, and still some other folk that I suspect are visitors or guests, I honestly have seen no trace of anyone else. So tell me the truth... your parents are dead, aren't they!” And in my heart, I did chastise myself for having not told her sooner. This was not something I wished to bring up. “Yes... you are correct, girl. They led the warriors who secured my freedom, but they did not survive the battle that was fought against them. Humans, can be cunning, as well as cruel... and I witnessed their deaths with my own two eyes. This pendant I wear, which I only take off when I go to bed or bathe, belonged to my mother herself. I do not know where she got it from, but it is old and from the land of Eriu on Earth. A land I have... past life memories, regarding. I know a little of the significance of the symbol itself, and I know it used to be my own personal symbol, in fact. But when I say I do not know where my mother so got this from... what I mean is that as far as I am aware, she had never been to Eriu, and so all I know of this pendant's design is from what I could learn through my studies of Earth's past. What little of it that my folk have in their libraries, and in the library that was within this citadel even before what remained of my family brought me here to start over. That is how I learned of the symbol's origins and meaning... and that it is therefore quite precious to me. So... now, you know everything about my past. I do still in fact have kin here, and relations... those are the folk you mistook for guests, and the reason they do not resemble me is because they are my distant relations only. All of my closest kin, died long ago, under... other tragic circumstances. But my parents, they are indeed no more. I did not desire to sour the mood by speaking of this or bringing it up though, because it pains me greatly to do so. I am now, not only the sole leader of my people, but the last of my immediate family remaining. As I said... we are not noble in our blood, merely wealthy. And that, only by chance! Else, I may have ended up much like you did in life ere we met... wandering in the world, seeking meaning and a reason to continue living.” I felt tears come into my eyes after that, and fell silent. Noticing this, Ethnivel said unto me: “I am so sorry! I was merely curious, is all it was... I did not think the memory still hurt you, since you seemed to be so very strong and assertive. I only wanted to know if what I suspected was the truth. Forgive me!” Seeing how much my tears were causing the young girl grief, I ceased crying... for I was weeping bitterly for a bit... and said to her at the last: “There is nothing to forgive, child! My pain runs deep... like an underground river that flows deep beneath my skin, and through the whole of my heart and soul. If you had not asked me of this, I would likely have had to tell you anyway since what else could I do... pretend they were off and away forever! No... this is for the best. Also, if I cry out in my sleep tonight, when we lie together... once we have finished, making our love... at least, now you know some of what it is I have bad dreams about. Should you seek to console me, this is a part of what you will be protecting me from.” After that, my companion promised: “I will protect you, beautiful Balsarda! Just like you will protect me. Together we two orphans will be each other's truest family. And so much more, I hope.” That made me smile and helped me to calm myself. The warm glow of the candles, the music of the children singing, whilst the lady bards played their harps, made me feel comfortable. I was the lady of the house, and yet it was I in fact who needed protecting. I was not the person I tried to make people believe I was... not this brave, at times brash and arrogant noble seeming woman who might be mistaken for a spoiled princess. I was a frightened little girl at heart, who lost her parents and who still cried out for her mother when worried.

   After dinner, I took Ethnivel up to our chambers... for they were ours together now... and told her that everything within the citadel was hers now, because she was in my eyes my daughter. “So, you will be adopting me after all?” she asked me, and I answered her honestly: “Yes! Without a second thought on the matter. I am lonely, child, and in my loneliness I fear I have gone somewhat mad. Men do not wish to be with a woman who has... what they possess between their legs. And women do not want a man... who looks like a woman to the degree that I do. I am doubly damned, therefore! And you are the first girl who has desired me, even knowing all that I physically am, in more years than I can count. I want to be alone no longer, and am willing to make you my heir as well as my love, so that you too will not be alone as I have been. Does this please you?” to which she replied cheerfully, her eyes lighting up with a vibrant joy: “Yes! Oh yes, Balsarda... mother, father, both... everything about you, everything that you are doing for me, and everything that I see when I look at you, pleases me. Nothing could please me in any way more, than what I have felt since you brought me here!” and so I drew close to her, and thence gestured towards the big comfortable bed that we would be sharing each night henceforth. I whispered to her softly: “That is well with me, daughter!” and I began to kiss her neck, as I unlaced her blouse, my fingers eager for the pleasurable task at hand. She reached for my pants whilst I opened her blouse and exposed her finely rounded breasts, which looked like two ripe fruits that my mouth savored a taste of. She undid my belt and pulled my pants downward, licking her lips when she saw that I was quite hard for her through my bloomers. I was barefoot already, and kicked my pants aside, pulling down and off those undergarments. I removed my vest, and took off my blouse... being at last naked before my young lover, who sat herself down on the bed and opened her legs wide for me, casting her head back a bit as she arched her body in a sensual manner. “I am ready, my love!” she exclaimed, and I pushed her back and got between her soft thighs, feeling the equally soft fabric of her skirt upon my legs as I pushed my manhood against her crotch in a way that made her gasp a bit. She rained kisses upon my face, as I did lean in close to kiss her in a passionate way, nibbling on her lips a bit after the kiss ended. We kept on kissing, as I pulled up her skirt and slip, and began to feel her between her legs... how soft her youthful cleft was beneath the silky fabric of the bloomers she wore. I kept fingering her through the fabric, and she was getting into it so much that at one point she said: “Oh, yes! I think I am nearing to paradise, my lover... finger me, finger me until I am there.” and I put my hand down her undergarments and began to finger her even more intensely, my finger penetrating her moistness and moving in and out of her. She was breathing faster and faster, and I found myself rock hard for her by that point. She grasped the shaft of my manhood, and moved her hand up and down upon it... caressing my testicles as well between the strokes of her motions, alternating between doing those two things. Before she could reach her climax, I pulled her bloomers off of her almost savagely... and pushed my shaft into her with a grunt. I licked her face again, and then again, and heaved up and down upon her as I moved into and out of her. I could see the shadow of our forms, upon the walls... my breasts were jiggling, and I saw just much larger than my young lover I really was, which somehow excited me even more. I so kissed both of her soft and perfect breasts, licked her sweet nipples, and sucked upon them whilst thrusting in and out faster and faster. I was soaked with her wetness and slick with my own, and she was moaning in ecstasy in between short panting and sighing from pleasure. She reached her climax faster than I did mine, likely from all of the fingering I had done to her beforehand... and I pushed in and out of her ever more roughly, pulling her hair a bit and kissing her neck the length and breadth of it. I licked her cheek again, as I climaxed into her, filling her with the warmth of my infertile seed. Likely a blessing in a time when childbirth was a perilous undertaking. And she cried out as she felt it... I was certainly not her first, and she had known at least several lovers before me I reasoned, due to her experienced behavior and how well she was able physically to accommodate my manhood. She said she had preferred woman... but knew very well how to please a man! Something about her story suddenly did not make as much sense as it previously did.

   Before I closed my eyes to fall asleep that night, I asked her about this as delicately as I could put the words to her, and she told me the following: “I actually left home a lot sooner than I made it sound like I did... about two years after my rape... and for an entire year, I found it difficult to survive in the world. Finding there was no work for a boy other than begging or stealing... I started living as a girl again, and became that most prized of commodities to the truly depraved, that being a child prostitute. I was good at what I did, and I honestly got a whole lot better as I did it more and more. It turned out... that I could not get pregnant... and a lot of the men who paid for my services said that no man would ever marry me because I would never be able to give them a child. Never mind that I was a child at the time! A girl of only twelve years of life. I spent that year and the next lying on my back for perverted men, and I found that some of the women who gave me coin for pleasure could be just as vile as any man. Sometimes, it seemed as if those women were actually worse! I don't know if it was because they were jealous due to me being younger, or prettier than them... but... they were always the ones who actually seemed to take the most wicked delight in debasing me. At the end of my thirteenth year of life, having spent all of that year and the one previous learning how to be a proper whore... I decided it was time to strike off and go in search of my Elvish kin. Do you have any idea... how young Elvish prostitutes are treated by the vast majority of human men? The nicest of them treated me like a fantasy to be fulfilled, but the worst of the lot subjected me to things that were as sick and twisted, as what my rapists had done to me, if not more disgusting still. I took to living as a boy again once I left that life behind me, and I honestly thought for the longest time that boys were supposed to be sexually aggressive towards girls they liked. That is the reason I behaved the way that I did towards you when I first got here. I was only trying to act the part is all, and yes... I do, prefer women to men. Good women... not women like those witches who treated me like garbage! But I also do have a fondness for men as well, and with you I get both of those things. To me, you are like two fantasies fulfilled. The perfect woman, and the ideal man... all rolled into one. But yes... I know you are far from perfect! But you are, I kid you not, perfect to me. So when you close your eyes tonight, I want you to think about that... and know that I am right here at your side, my arm around you, and my heart beating for you, and only for you. Let us both leave our pasts in the past!” and for the fist time in that entire life, I had no night terrors, nightmares, or bad dreams that night. I did not cry out, I did not feel afraid, and I did not lash out in my sleep either. It was the first perfect night... I ever knew.

   The next day, I spent several hours in the library researching as much as I could about my family and its' history... for our records were kept there, in a special section that also contained my father's journal, my mother's diary, and the writings of several notable retainers. What I had not told my daughter, is that my family had indeed been noble once. The house of Helethir, was once allied through blood with that of a certain branch of the Fomorians... a branch that was a great deal less diminished in glory than some who were of that kindred. Because of those close blood ties, from which I was descended directly, I had in me the blood of the Fomor in my veins. And, it was said that of all the Elvish kindred... it was always the Fomor who most were in danger of falling and becoming Ur'kril. I had heard that word before, and it was always a word that was synonymous with demonic forces and blackest sorcery. I had yet to recall in that life I was living at that time, the entirety of my previous incarnation's memories regarding those folk who were of the Ur'kril race. But in my mind I could picture from some of the legends surrounding them vast subterranean cities, and temples with bloodstained altars beneath which serpents slithered as spiders crawled upon the walls. Frightful visions came to me in those moments, and yet there was a sort of dark solace to be found in those memories. I looked over at my daughter, and was grateful that she at least did not seem to have within her the seeds of the Ur'kril darkness. I knew it was within me, and that it had been growing for many, many years. I hoped, that Ethnivel could help me to keep the madness in my soul at bay for as long as possible, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I gave into it fully.
Kou_Indigo
Written by Kou_Indigo (Kara Lucielle Pythiana)
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