Chapter V: The Arising
Copyright © 1999 C.E. by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: June 6th, 2018]
13th Month, 19th Day, 4,632nd Year
Note: All of this is going through heavy revisions.
Alyssandra felt herself enveloped by the dawning sun as she slowly awakened, yawning deeply as she stretched her arms back behind her head. The tepid morning rays poured in through the window across the room, filtering through the drab curtains and blanketing the somnolent priestess in their warming embrace. Alyssandra smiled as she rolled over on to her side, before realizing what the new day would soon bring -- a search for her astray, and quite possibly deceased fiancé. She assured herself that Lodin was a resourceful, intrepid man who could no doubt persevere even in the darkest corner of Faelore, and that she mustn’t fear for his safety but rather await his inevitable rescue or return. Suffice it to say, she couldn’t help but feel as though she were deluding herself a bit, recognizing that her worst nightmare could very well have come true and that she might have no way of ever finding out. Still, for Lodin’s sake if not for her own, she’d have to keep herself optimistic and search relentlessly for her missing lover -- for even if the worst had occurred, she owed him at least that much.
Once Alyssandra’s vision focused, she saw Jadia sleeping flat on her back upon the other bed, still sound asleep of course. Jadia breathed heavily in her slumber, not yet so much as stirring as the sun bathed her in its dawning richness. Alyssandra sat up, scanning the room with an air of concern about her face.
“Tif? You awake yet?” the priestess asked.
“Yeah,” replied a weary, timid, and somewhat muffled voice coming from Jadia’s direction as the buxom thief let out a yawn.
Jadia’s eyes fluttered open, “Huh?”
“I’m right here!” said Tif, her voice a bit more lively now.
Jadia raised her head up and looked straight before her, “What are you doing in there, Tif?” she said with a sigh; sure enough, Tif was nestled comfortably under Jadia’s covers.
“What? It was warm!” Tif beamed, climbing out from under the blanket.
Alyssandra couldn’t help but smile as Tif stood up and stretched.
“We should get moving,” Alyssandra asserted, throwing her covers off as she swung her legs around so she sat on the side of the bed, stretching her arms high above her head and arching her back stalwartly before standing to her feet.
Alyssandra wore a short length silk nightgown that fell slightly below her middle thighs, suspended by two thin laces that acted as shoulder straps, holding the gown high enough that it almost completely covered her breasts. The silk had been woven so delicately that it was semitransparent, and the bottom was trimmed with gold threads woven directly into the silk itself - an expensive procedure for any tailor, to be sure.
The priestess turned to face the nightstand between her and Jadia’s beds, opened the compartment beneath it and removed a large, black velvet mass. She shook it as if straightening a sheet, unfolding the ritual robe before her eyes. She slid her arms through the sleeves and buttoned the robe, but didn’t bother to cover her head with the hood. Alyssandra’s arms disappeared into the robe once more as the sleeves dangled lifelessly at her sides, moving only slightly as the priestess’s arms fumbled around within the robe’s trunk for a few moments. Once her arms reemerged through the sleeves, she held the silk nightgown in hand, dropping it on the bed behind her.
“Well, I’m almost ready,” said Alyssandra with a smug grin.
Jadia groaned slightly, sitting up as Tif fluttered away and began hovering about the room. Jadia kicked her covers off and stood to her feet. Her nightgown was essentially the same as Alyssandra’s, but was much larger in order to accommodate the pair of abnormally replete bounties concealed within and lacked the gold weaving around the trim. Additionally, the straps on Jadia’s nightgown were longer and so exposed far more of her bosoms than Alyssandra’s gown had, and were being pulled taught by the unusual distance between Jadia’s shoulders and the front of her breasts. The gown was unable to cover as much of Jadia’s legs due to the size of her frontal endowments, and so scarsely managed to keep her loins out of view.
“Give me a minute…” Jadia said with a yawn, placing her hands on her lumbar and arching her back dramatically.
“No problem,” replied Alyssandra, sitting down on the bed genially as Tif landed on the nightstand beside her.
Jadia shuffled her feet across the floor, her vision still hazy with the general miasma that seems to imbue those sorts of people who relish the night only to be worn and tired at the dawn of the new day; to be blunt, Jadia was most definitely not a ‘morning person’. She rubbed her eyes, yawning once more as she shuffled her way to the tri-fold partition at the corner of the room wherein she’d change into her day clothes. As the thief walked across the window, the morning light silhouetted her from behind for a brief moment, transforming her luxurious red hair a dark sort of lake-crimson, making her gown almost completely transparent as well as advertising each and every one of Jadia’s outlandishly exaggerated feminine features -- from her diminutive waist and lean, flat stomach, to her aboundingly curvaceous hips and buttocks, to her epic bust.
The goddess-like rogue finally disappeared behind the changing screen and began removing her clothing, unaware that Alyssandra and Tif were once again staring at her silhouette from the other side of the translucent orange material. Even Alyssandra Foxley herself, who had every reason to feel comfortable (if not rampantly conceited) with her own marvelously exquisite physique, couldn’t help but feel somewhat awkward in Jadia’s presence. There had been many times that the priestess found herself staring in envy at Jadia’s unworldly body, and many times she feared Jadia would misinterpret her envy for a physical attraction that Alyssandra simply didn’t feel; unlike the ultra-bosomy thief, Alyssandra felt no lust for her own gender.
“You’d better hurry up, Jadia,” Alyssandra urged, “we were supposed to rendezvous with the others down in the bar at sunrise, and we’re nearly an hour late.”
“Relax,” instructed Jadia, draping her gown over the top of the partition, “no one will be going anywhere without you. It’s your fiancé we’re looking for.”
* * *
“What’s taking them so long?” asked Llara, her face slightly tinted with concern.
“Well, Llara, unlike you and Riley, some people actually like to sleep,” replied William, “I think we all pretty much assumed that we’d wake at dawn and then meet down here. If my room hadn’t been right next to yours, I’d probably just be getting up about now.”
Riley smiled a bit, “We didn’t keep you awake, did we?”
“I’d be willing to wager that the two of you kept the whole damned inn awake,” griped William with a raised eyebrow, “don’t either of you believe in sleeping?”
“I think it’s safe to say we can order breakfast now,” said Llara, looking around at the other tables as the bar’s few occupants enjoyed their meals.
“Thank Gods, I’m starving!” exclaimed William, inadvertently drawing the attention of half the room.
Almost instantly, a scantily clad bar wench made her way to the table that seated William, Llara, and Rylen, one hand resting on her hip and the other holding a parchment as she awaited their order.
“So, what’ll you be having?” she inquired, smiling sweetly at the hungry half-ogre.
William thought for a moment as the waitress took her hand from her hip and pulled the quill from behind her right ear, “I’ll have ten griddlecakes,” said William, “with maple syrup, one glazed ham, six game hens, a dozen eggs, scrambled, eight biscuits with honey, a plate of skillet potatoes covered in gravy, four pieces of rye toast with raspberry jelly, and keep the coffee coming.”
“Think you ordered enough?” Riley interjected sarcastically, as Llara and the waitress’s jaws dropped simultaneously.
“You’d better add a couple of cube steaks to that, just to be safe,” William added.
The somewhat dismayed bar wench smiled faintly, “I’m not even sure we have that much food at the dresser. It may take quite a while to get everything ready,” she said, quickly jotting down the order.
William smiled proudly, leaning back in his chair as; “That’s quite alright. Just bring me whatever you do have. We don’t plan on being here very long.”
“So William, where are Toren and Ri’Oric?” asked Llara, “Why didn’t they come downstairs with you?”
“They left early. Said something about matters they needed to attend to.” said William.
“I’ll have two eggs, fried, a slice of ham, and two griddlecakes with maple syrup,” said Riley, noticing that the waitress was still standing there, awaiting the other orders, “and also, I’ll have some coffee with cream.”
“And you?” the waitress asked, turning her attention to Llara.
“Oh, I’ll have an egg, scrambled, two pieces of rye toast with honey, sausage, and coffee with cream and sugar in it,” Llara instructed, “and be sure to cover the sausage in maple syrup.”
“Alright, I’ll be back with that in a few minutes,” the waitress assured, “just don’t be angry if I forget anything.” she teased, smirking at William and narrowing her eyes at him facetiously before cavorting away toward the kitchen.
William turned around in his chair to watch the faintly clad waitress’s rump shimmy back and forth as she walked away. Llara was about to comment to Riley about how ridiculous William looked, but was quite agitated when she saw that Riley was staring just as intently as William. Huffing angrily at her half-human boyfriend, Llara cleared her throat in order to retrieve Riley’s attention.
“Huh? Oh, sorry.” Rylen apologized, slightly embarrassed.
“Guess who’s here?!” a tiny, familiar voice declared.
Tif hovered over the table, her body lit up like a lantern as she beat her wings. She landed square in the middle of the table, instantly plunking herself down and crossing her legs, making herself comfortable.
“I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?” the candid little faery requested in a somewhat demanding tone.
“We’ve already ordered, where are Jadia and Alyssandra?” asked Llara.
“They’re coming down the stairs right now,” she said, pointing across the nearly-empty bar at the stairwell on the other side of the room, near the entryway. Sure enough, Alyssandra and Jadia were making their way down the stairs.
Alyssandra came down first, wearing her black, hooded robe as usual. She was followed immediately by Jadia, wearing skin tight, black leather trousers with lace-up sides, black leather moccasins, a black leather collar around her neck with a buckle in the front, a pair of black leather fingerless elbow gauntlets with both buckles and laces, and a black leather over-bust bodice with a lace-up sides, fitted with two enormous cups in front to comfortably seat her copiously oversized breasts. Both women had their backpacks slung over their left shoulder as they stepped confidently off of the stairway and into the bar.
Jadia swung her hips lavishly from side to side with each of her impudent strides, flinging her hair over one shoulder in the most audacious manner imaginable. Alyssandra, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly so brazen. Her skin seemed to hang from her bones as she attempted to mask her depression with a bravado of self-assurance. It was obvious that she was concerned about her fiancé, Lodin, but she’d been carrying on as usual; smiling, laughing, everything happy and normal and fine, but always on the verge of tears. Still, each step the vivacious Witch took proclaimed the stunning regality and splendor of her being.
As the pair of women made their way toward the table, what few male patrons were present didn’t hesitate to stare, nor did they refraim from whistling at the beauties. Jadia soaked up every moment of it, whilst Alyssandra autonomously smiled her self-assured smirk.
William couldn’t help but gawk at the exquisite young priestess as she walked across the nearly vacant bar, soft morning light radiating through the dusty old tavern windows accentuating her astonishing beauty. Even though the flowing black mantle she wore concealed much of her spectacular figure, the mere sight of her took William’s breath away. Alyssandra seemed to float toward the table as William gazed at her enchanting features. She could tell that William adored her, and she flashed him a little smile because of it. She loved Lodin more than anything else in the world, but William’s affections didn’t go completely unappreciated. She found him to be a most warm, caring man whom she had a great deal of respect and admiration for.
“Don’t stare,” whispered Riley, leaning over toward William as Alyssandra and Jadia approached the table.
William took in a deep breath and looked down at the table, as Alyssandra took her seat next to Llara. Jadia followed suit, sitting between Alyssandra and William. Both women set their backpacks onto the floor as they sat.
Within moments, the waitress returned to the table.
“We had the glazed ham and game hens ready, they’re being warmed up now. And the cook’s preparing…well, everything else,” she smiled, looking at William. “Would you three like anything?”
“I’ll have three biscuits with lots of butter and maple syrup. Oh, and a mug of milk,” replied Jadia with a bright grin, “and that’s cow’s milk, of course.”
“We don’t serve anything else…” the waitress assured.
“I’ll just take some chopped vegetables, preferably steamed, and a glass of water sweetened with honey.” said Alyssandra.
“And you?” said the waitress, bending over to look at Tif in a most patronizing manner.
“Um…uh…I think…um… I don’t know. I can’t decide.” Tif shrugged.
“She’ll have a slice of strawberry and a thimble of cream,” Llara broke in, answering for the perplexed faery.
Tif agreed with a nod, smiling up at the waitress.
“Okay, that should be just a few minutes,” said the waitress, scampering back to the kitchen with her derriere wiggling back and forth behind her. Riley, William, and Jadia all watched intently.
“So, where are Toren and Ri’Oric?” asked Alyssandra.
“They had business,” answered Riley, matter-of-factly.
Tif began to giggle, “What kind of business?”
“Watch it, that’s my father you’re talking about,” Rylen threatened.
Tif sighed, shrugging her shoulders as she sat in the middle of the table.
“Honestly, what sort of business? We were supposed to rendezvous with them down here at sunrise. Didn’t you all stay in the same room?” inquired Alyssandra, looking to William for an answer.
William scratched his head, “I dunno. They left early and said they had matters to attend to. They didn‘t tell me anything else.”
Just then there was a thundering crash, as if something very large had been hurled against the hostelry’s door. Everyone immediately stood to their feet, shooting one another looks of fright and confusion. A second crash, then a third. The other tavern patrons began to panic, running to the other side of the room, near the bar’s entrance, and up the stairs. Presumably, they were fleeing to their rooms.
“Our weapons!” Llara shouted, springing up from her seat and running to the staircase near the entrance.
She reached a closet on the other side of the stairwell and attempted to open the door. William, Riley, Jadia, Alyssandra, and Tif caught up with her, waiting behind her as she struggled with the door.
“I need the key!” Llara shouted.
“No you don’t!” bellowed William, pushing Llara aside.
The eight foot tall half-ogre pulled back his arm, tightly doubling his fist, and let his massive hand soar into the wooden laths. The door burst open, breaking into four or five large pieces and what must’ve been hundreds of shards of wood.
On the other side of the door lay the weapons locker containing the armaments they‘d checked before entering the hostelry the night before. The group filed into the closet, each finding the weapons they’d come in with.
William quickly located his warhammer and double-labris, ----
Already wearing brigandine armor beneath her knee-length buckskin vest, Llara slipped a pair of wrist bracers on, then recovered her repeating crossbow, still in its holster. She lifted the holster by its strap and lowered it over her head, slipping one arm through it so that it fit comfortably under her right arm and over her left shoulder. She then grabbed a dozen or so gravity-fed box magazines containing the bolts for her crossbow, and clipped one magazine after another to her belt.
Riley quickly located the quiver containing his short bow and arrows, the dagger Toren had given him as a child, as well as his falchion and bracers. He quickly strapped each bracer to his forearm with the enarms provided, sheathed the dagger and cutlass, and strapped the quiver to his back. Now armed, he went back out into the bar area.
Jadia found her whip, her dagger, her two throwing knives, and scourge. She placed the throwing knives and dagger into their respective sheaths on her belt, to which she also clipped the scourge and whip. She then proceeded to slip her forearm through the buckler’s enarms, tightening them to make sure the small shield was fastened securely, and followed Riley out of the room.
Alyssandra retrieved her staff, grasping it firmly in both hands as she spun around with a determined smirk. She hurried out of the room, ----
Llara, Riley, Jadia, and Alyssandra stood behind William in the center of the main room. The cook and the waitress had barricaded the double-doors with a crossbar set into groves on either side of the doorway, and were now standing back with the others, each with a cleaver in hand.
Another crash against the doors.
Rylen reached behind his back and removed his bow and a single arrow from his quiver.
Another crash against the doors.
Llara reached behind her and pulled her repeating crossbow from its holster. Holding the crossbow in one hand, she reached down with the other and took a bolt magazine from her belt. She loaded it into her crossbow, then raised the cocking lever and pulled it back again, sliding the magazine into place, catching the string and pulling it back in the wooden recess. The crossbow was now cocked and ready to be fired.
Another crash against the doors.
Alyssandra tightened her grip on the staff and tensed her muscles.
Another crash against the doors. Each beating taken by the doors threatened to devastate the crossbar as it splintered and caved inward more with each successive impact.
Another crash against the doors.
Another crash against the doors. Everyone was alert, ready; with weapons drawn and teeth clenched they awaited whatever might be assailing the hostelry entrance.
“Where’d Tif go?” Llara worried.
“I’m right here!”
An orb of light floated out from the weapons locker, flying erratically, bobbing up and down as it struggled to carry a hatchet.
“Tif, that thing’s too heavy for you!” Llara warned.
“No, I got it. It’s okay, really!” replied Tif, now hovering near Llara and Rylen.
Another crash against the doors, and the massive wooden crossbar began to buckle under the stress.
Suddenly, the crossbar gave way and the hostelry doors burst open.
Four common orcs, six Nidhoggs, and three troglodytes filed into the bar. Two figures cloaked in flowing black mantles then entered, followed by a nine and a half foot tall ogre in dark paladin armor; a blackguard.
The first orc carried a cudgel and small, round shield. The second orc was armed with a kite shield and broadsword. The third orc had a bastard sword with a small, round, spiked shield. The fourth orc was wearing a steel gorget and carrying glaive. The Nidhoggs were each armed with a tiny tower shield and spear, while the troglodytes carried much larger spears.
The figures cloaked in black pulled their hoods down to reveal their porcelain white faces, blood red eyes, pitch black hair, and pointed ears. Drow. Each of them drew two hand-crossbows from their robes and began pointing them back and forth at Llara, Jadia, William, Rylen, and Alyssandra.
The blackguard unsheathed his six-foot long great sword, his eyes narrowed and a confident smirk adorning his face.
“We represent the Unseelie Court, high council of the New Sovereignty. The kingdom of Béowyn has been conquered in the name of the High Empress, Lilithena Dalael, and the Neutral Zone has been absolved,” said the blackguard.
“We’re looking for a theif named Jadia Rowan,” said one of the Drow. He looked at Jadia, and quickly recognized her. “You fit her description perfectly. What’s your name, girl?”
“My name,” said Jadia, “is get the hell out of my face.” She turned her gaze to the ogren blackguard and glared at him with a slight smirk, begging him to make his move.
“It’s her,” the blackguard charged, “seize her!”
One of the orcs rushed at Jadia.
“Seize this,” Jadia declared, and piked her leg up into the air, kicking the orc in the jaw with enough force to spin him end-over-end. The orc hit the ground hard, but quickly clambered once again to his feet.
No sooner did the orc spring back up than Llara managed to fire off a few bolts at him with her repeating crossbow. The orc screamed as one of the bolts struck his left eye.
The other three orcs, the Nidhoggs, and the troglodytes then came at the group as the Drow fired all four of their bolts. Two of the crossbow bolts hit their own men, hitting one of the troglodytes in the shoulder and striking one of the orcs in the back of the head. Another bolt hit William in the shoulder as he swung his warhammer, belting one of the troglodytes in the chest and launching it across the room.
Rylen managed to get a few shots off, one of them impaling an orc between the eyes, killing it instantly.
Tif dropped her hatchet on one of the Drow’s heads, knocking him unconscious.
William then swung his double-labris, decapitating an orc and slicing a troglodyte in two as blood began splashing about the room, filling it with a tangy, metallic stench. Within a few moments, however, William found himself succumbing to the pokes and prods of three tiny yet vicious Nidhoggs and a cudgel-wielding orc. He stepped on one of the Nidhoggs, crushing its bones under his weight, but fell over when the Nidhoggs’s attacks, and a few more blows to the ribs by the orc, became too much for him to bare. The bar shook as William toppled to the floor.
Alyssandra attempted to fight off two Nidhoggs, twirling her staff rapidly enough to deflect the strikes of their spears, only to be grabbed from behind a now one-eyed orc.
The five remaining Nidhoggs now focused their attention on Rylen. Three stabs to the thighs was all it took to bring him to his knees, at which point the tiny lizard-men began clubbing him with their spears, over and over again until he’d completely collapsed.
One of the troglodytes charged at Jadia as she dropped to the floor and delivered a sweep-kick, knocking the lizard-man’s feet out from under him. She then rolled back onto her shoulders and kicked her legs up into the air, springing back to her feet.
Llara loaded another magazine into her repeating crossbow, but was too late. A troglodyte and an orc each grabbed one of her arms, restraining her.
Hoping to draw the attackers away from her friends, Jadia grabbed her backpack and ran past the blackguard in the confusion, out into the street, with Tif following closely behind her.
“Enough!” the Ogren blackguard commanded. “We’ll have these six delivered to the dungeon in Grandshire this afternoon. We’ll find the thief later.”