darkness shrouded her elven features, making it impossible to tell who she was.
Silently she crept to the Tipsy Elf Tavern, one of the most notorious taverns
in Ravenesti. Many elves wouldn't venture within a mile of its ramshackle
doors. Trouble brewed and turned inside the walls of the Tipsy Elf. Supposedly
it was home to the elven mafia, its head leader was an elf by the name of
Emaranthalas. He had been arrested many times on counts of murder, and the
like, but was never convicted. It was he whom this elven maid was seeking.
Slowly and cautiously she entered
the tavern. As soon as she set her small foot inside all heads turned. The eyes
of Shadow Elves as well as Drow, Goblin, Human and Ogre settled on her. Her
thin arms wrapped her cloak tighter around her body; soon the tavern resumed
its loud, obnoxious banter and brawls. She walked unsteadily to the bar. A
burly human slave was tending the bar. His chest and back showed the scars from
many lashes with a scourge. She set herself gently on a stool.
"Ah lassy wat kin I do fer ye?" The
tender asked as he combed his hair back with his fingers.
" M'lord, if you please, I am
looking for Emaranthalas. Could you kindly tell me where he is?"
" Aye, m'lassy I kin, however, ye
must do something fer me first." His rough callused hand reached out and gently
caressed her face. Slowly his head descended towards hers.
"M'lord, I beg of you, please just
tell me where I can find Emaranthalas" she said cringing at the smell of the
bar keeps noxious breath.
" ALL RIGHT YE DRUNKARD OF A BAR
KEEP, LEAVE THAT LASS ALONE.SHE IS LOOKING FOR ME, NOT A RAPE FROM THE LIKES OF
YE!" A strong, masculine yet distinctly elven voice rang across the tavern. The
maiden turned sharply, proceeding to walk towards the gentleman who had raised
" M'lord, I am looking for
Emaranthalas, could ye kindly tell me where I may find him?" she stammered.
" Aye, I am the one and only
Emaranthalas m'lady." he said with a curt bow as he took her hand and gently
kissed the softest part of her palm. "And ye must be a goddess sent here to
take me to my judgement. Am I correct?"
" Indeed not m'lord and I pray that
you never call me that again." She said quite taken aback.
"Well then fair one, what shall I
" My name, m'lord, is Avenhar
Draygonewing. I wish to ask a service of you."
" Then what is the service ye wish
upon me to perform Lady Draygonewing?"
She took a long
breath, and then stated, "I am looking for someone to murder the man I am
betrothed to. He is a foul man with an even fouler temper. However, my parents
cannot see the way he treats me and I fear for my life. I have tried to explain
the problem to my sire, but he just passes it off, as if I just do not want to
be married yet. Could you help me kill this man? M'lord, you are my last
chance, I fear for my life." Tears leaked out of her soft black eyes and down
her delicate grey cheeks as she fell to his feet. Emaranthalas stood
thoughtfully as the maiden wept.
"I shall help ye under one
condition" Avenhar looked up at him astonished. She wasn't expecting his help.
" Name it m'lord. I will give you
whatever you desire. I'll give you all of my fathers' money if you wish… I'll…"
" The condition of which I
speak is after I kill this bestial man that ye shall join…… how shall I put
this…… join my organization."
" Anything sir, I swear upon my
bosom. I shall join if that is what you wish of me to do." She kissed his hand
as she stood up, shaking with happiness.
"Now tell me the name of the man
that you wish of me and my forces to destroy."
"His name is Kuzart Blackblood. He
is the master of the Malice caves and he controls all that is within."
"Ye are engaged to Kuzart
Blackblood?" Emaranthalas eyes got wide. This fragile creature was supposed to
be getting married to the most powerful necromancer in the entire world.
"I am." She said looking away not
wanting to face him for fear of his retribution.
"Ye want me to murder Kuzart, the most powerful necromancer the
world has ever seen!?!"
" Please, m'lord, you are my last
hope…" She pulled back her cloak to reveal angry purple bruises and the yellow
green of ones fading away on her upper arms. "Kuzart did this to me. He did
this! I ran in terror. I have bruises all over my body. He has punched me and
kicked me and hit me, and more. Sir you have no idea of the brutality I have
faced at the hands of this man. And sir if you will not help me by the Gods I
will kill him myself!" Fresh tears of anger and hatred tore down her face as
she once again pulled the cloak around her thin body. She looked to the ground
not wanting to face him. He was just a stranger after all. Gently Emaranthalas
pulled the cloak off her shoulders, looking at the angry bruises marring her
skin. He pondered how a man with such power, nobility, and respect could hurt
the most glass like creature he had ever seen. Avenhar tugged the cloak from
his grasp and placed it about her shoulders. Then he wondered why elven parents
would make their daughter engaged to a human, male none the less. He knew he
would get the answers sooner or later.
Slowly and methodically Emaranthalas
spoke "I will kill this beast they have the nerve to call a man. He does not
have and has never had the right to do this to ye, nor any woman ever. For
hurting ye he will pay the price ten fold. This you may count upon m'lady
Draygonewing." As he extended his hand to help her up, an empathetic smile was
upon his face. Gladly she accepted it, she smiled back as she rose.
"I thank you m'lord and I will do
whatever you tell me I need to repay you. This is a great service to me. I
will, as you suggested m'lord, join your… organization as well as pay you a
sizeable sum. I cannot thank you enough."
" 'Tis honour enough to help ye Lady
She thanked him again and left the
tavern. No sooner had she left than a young woman came out from the back room.
She was clearly human and clearly naked. Though of slight build she was heavily
muscled. This woman and the elven maid were total opposites, not one molecule
of air they breathed was the same. Emaranthalas turned and gave a slight smile
of annoyance. The elven maiden would soon replace this sorry excuse for
entertainment. The female was around twenty years of age, with short blonde
hair curling about her face and neck in a teasingly feminine manner.
" 'ey 'meranthalas wen am I gonna
ge' wat I came 'ere for?" her high cockney accent ran shrill down his spine
though he smiled.
" Lyvirra Dragonhell, could ye not
wait one moment while I tended to business?"
"No! I can'! Ya don' unerstan'. I
ge' wat I want wen I want it!" Emaranthalas cocked his head, his smile now
gone. The warrior whore was getting on his nerves and he didn't like it. Not
one moment of peace did he receive when she was around, which was often.
"Lyvirra, m'dear, I don't want you. I have work to do…"
he stated firmly as he turned his back to her. "I'm sure that one of these damn
scoundrels would happily take you to his bed, particularly the tender. He looks
like a flounder with his mouth agape so."
She looked to the barkeep, who was
staring at her, his mouth hanging open and panting with lust.
" Ya know 'maranthals ya jus' migh'
lose me if ya don' watch it," she said as she hopped up on the bar spreading
her legs to the keeper. Emaranthalas paid no attention to the whore and her
conquest. If that harlot wanted to make him jealous it wasn't working. He only
wanted the maiden, whose soft skin he could still feel. He imagined she was
softer other places as well. He would pleasure her until they could no longer
move, but that would be another time, he had work to do.
As Avenhar walked back to the Malice
caves she noticed that the sky was turning a deep purple black. Also none of
the glowing sky orbs were present. This was not normal, for at night the sky
was blue black. She knew something was up. Still she pressed towards the caves
hoping that Kuzart hadn't noticed her absence, which, of course, he had.
Slowly she entered her chambers of the cave. Her infravision still
not totally adjusted from the dim light of the tavern, making it hard to see.
Instantly a piercing noise coursed through the air, splitting her ears and
making her head ring. Two bats raced past her face sounding the alert that she
was home. Quickly she ran and hid under her makeshift bed, hoping that nothing
had seen her enter her room other than the bats. The caves were crawling with
servants that were spying on her, for Kuzart. Avenhar closed her eyes and
wished it all to go away. Tears were already forming beneath her eyelids. She
knew that this time she didn't have an excuse and he'd punish her even worse
than before; maybe even kill her, she just didn't know.
In his chambers Kuzart was waiting.
When he heard the bats shrieking about the caves he knew she was home. He
smiled to himself knowing full well that she would have tended the bruises and
made them less noticeable, or he hoped she did. After all she, as well as
himself, had reputations to keep, but his was more valuable as well as fragile.
His necromantic studies made him less than desirable to the people but if they
had found out that he was abusive as well, then he would surely be banned from
practising his forte. Slowly, almost sluggishly, he got out of his bed.
Though the floor was cold and the
air was not much warmer, Kuzart could only keep his mind upon one thing, and
that was his Avenhar. She was his
after all and within the year she would be his forever. As soon as they would
be married he would kill her and bring her back as a zombie so then she
couldn't be defiant. He thought to himself 'that bitch will know not to cross
me again. This time, as all the rest before I shall teach her.' This thought
was all that Kuzart could think of, he wanted revenge on his sweet little
flower. This time he would make her hurt as he hurt. Rage was in his blood
making him hot and ready, his erection was clearly visible through his robes.
The cold of the floor slowly seeped
through Avenhars' flimsy cotton robes, the fear in her heart made the cold more
intense. The door to her chambers creaked and groaned as it was opened and she
heard the all too familiar footsteps enter her room.
" Avenhar, my dear, are you in
here?" Kuzart asked lovingly though a smile of pure evil was upon his
face. Rage in his eyes told of his intentions. Avenhar made no movement and
made no sound. The pool of tears was growing beneath her and she hoped that
Kuzart wouldn't hear them. Kuzart walked farther into the room, lighting a
torch to guide the way. Again he repeated his question and again she made no
response. Kuzart was getting frustrated, she wasn't answering him and he knew
that she had to be in her room. He reached her closet and threw the doors open
all the while screaming at her to come out from hiding. She stayed under the
bed, shaking with a fear that she had never known. Before long Kuzart began to
throw her magic books and spell components around the room. Small bursts of
coloured flame appeared as components mixed and reacted.
" STUPID BITCH, YOU'LL COME OUT IF
YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU!" he screamed. Avenhar could no longer hold back
and began to sob loud. Big, wet tears rolled out from under her eyelids and on
to the floor as she dragged herself from beneath the bed. Kuzart reached down
and grabbed hold of her hair and pulled her the rest of the way from under the
bed. He ripped hair from her head as he yanked her to her feet. Avenhar cried
out from pain as well as humiliation.
" You stupid whore! I told you to
come out and you didn't listen. I told you to be home before dusk and you
decided to come in nearly an hour into twilight! You made me punish you last
night for disobeying me, I would have thought that you would have learned but
you haven't so obviously I haven't punished you enough…" he said hissing at
her. She cringed with the fear that he would strike out at her. Instead he
threw her on her poor excuse for a bed, while his long fingernails ripped apart
her robes. There she lay, his icy cold hands hitting at her, as tears ran down
" Please, Kuzart, please... it
hurts... Kuzart please stop. I've learned," she managed to squeeze our between
" I DON'T THINK THAT YOU HAVE!" he
screamed at her as his frenzy continued to get more violent. Finally, after
what seemed an eternity, he stopped. Avenhar curled up, bringing her knees to
her chest, thinking that Kuzart had left the room. She wasn't quite sure
because her watery tears obscured her vision. He was still in her presence and
was merely taking off his robes.
His hand grasped her shoulder with
speed unknown to any and unfurled her limbs.
" You stupid whore! I'll make you
pay" he seethed as he began to force his engorged organ inside of her. She
screamed in pain, Kuzart smiled with satisfaction and began to thrust as hard
as he could into her untouched body. Pain ran rampant throughout her as he
invaded her secret places, where no man had ever been. Only when he had sated
himself did he leave her.
" I hope you have learned your
lesson, my lovely bitch. Now no man will ever want you, though it's not like
you were that good anyway." Kuzart spat as he grabbed his robes and left her
room. Avenhar curled up to cry and found that no tears would come. There she
lay the rest of the long and cold night, wishing she could die and end all the
pain. She shivered and tried to forget, though the whole scene played in its
entirety in her mind.
Dawn rose over
Ravenesti, or as well as it can in Ravenloft, another day of existence was
coming into Avenhars' life. The pain in her had not yet diminished and she
could still feel Kuzart piercing her soft body. Still numb she tried to block
out the previous nights' events. Slowly and painfully she dragged herself out
of bed, as she walked over to her washbasin she noticed blood between her legs.
'It's to early in the month for me to be bleeding, unless this means that I am
no longer a maiden' she thought to herself. Slowly she dabbed blood away only
to find bruises beneath. She winced with each dab, every lightning bolt of pain
recalling the night before and all she had endured.
Kuzart had fallen fitfully asleep,
dreaming about summoning demons. When the lightness of the day hit his eyes he
hissed in rage, bolting up in his bed all the while screaming "The whore has
lit me on fire! Come put it out!" Soon he realized that the light wasn't from
fire, but the morning. He lay back remembering the night before as though he
had pleasured her beyond belief. A black aura appeared around him, sucking up
all the light that entered his large circular chamber.
" WHERE ARE MY SLAVES??" he bellowed
throughout the castle. Hundreds of zombies, their white eyes not moving,
scrambled as fast as they could into the room. One stepped forward and with a
thick tongue tried to speak.
is what I want you to do…" Kuzart spoke slowly. " Go find my "lovely", Avenhar,
and bring her to me immediately." He pulled back the covers, stretched his
black dragon wings, and pulled his robes on for that day. The zombies retreated
from his room to go about with their daily chores and to search the castle for
Kuzarts' "beloved" Avenhar.
As she sat in her room mending her
now ripped robes, Avenhar pondered what had happened the night before. Had he
truly raped her, taken away something that only she possessed, or had she just
imagined it, after all he had given her a very severe beating. As she thought
of the night before her mind became a blank and she could not remember more
that the simplest of details. Her door bust open causing her to lose her
concentration and to quake with fear. Slowly she turned around to see several
zombies standing, looking as impatient as a zombie can look in her direction.
"What do you want?" she asked the
zombie that seemed to be the leader.
" Master… want… speak…" the zombie
managed to get out. Avenhar sighed and painfully got up, leaving her mending to
be done later. She followed the zombie throughout the castle and it led her
this way and that, eventually coming to Kuzarts' chamber. It knocked on the
"COME IN DAMNIT!" Kuzart screamed
through the door. One by one the zombies entered, all the while being trailed
by a reluctant Avenhar.
"Come forward my beautiful flower,"
he said sweetly. Avenhar did as she was told and walked towards him, kneeling
before him. His hands gently caressed her badly beaten face.
my precious… WILL ALL YOU DAMN THINGS LEAVE US BE!!!… Now where was I… oh yes…
Avenhar I wish you to go into Ravenesti. I need some spell books as black as
you can get…" With that he handed her a bag of gold that she was to use to get
the books. "Then I wish you to come straight home, I would like to enjoy your
company tonight. Now go my child."
" Yes master… as you wish," she
managed to squeeze out before leaving the room. She grabbed her cloak and left
the castle before Kuzart could think of another word to say.
The air that particular morning was
crisp as an autumn day or as autumn would be on another continent. Avenhar
pulled her cloak tight about her small frame and set out toward Ravenesti.
Emaranthalas had just woken up from
a particularly wonderful dream, his head still swam with it. When he closed his
eyes he could see the wonderful elf maiden whose black eyes showed only her
soul. He could feel her touch and whispered her name, "Avenhar". He rolled over
to embrace her and instead found that he had his pillow in his arms. Looking up
he saw Avenhar was in his chambers, though her cowl was pulled up over her
" Er ummmm. . . . . hullo there.
What can I do for ye today?" he stammered out as a small smile crossed
" Sir, the reason why I am here is
not of a small matter. I need Kuzart killed right away"
" Why the sudden rush, my beautiful
goddess?" he asked as he rose out of bed to kiss her hand.
" Um Emaranthalas you may want to
put some clothes on before we discuss anything of importance." Looking down he
realized that he had not put something on as of yet, and his excitement from
the dream was rather obvious.
" I see . . . . . well," he said
extremely quickly as he reached for a pillow to cover himself with.
" I will leave you to get dressed
sir" Avenhar said composed and she rose and left the room.
'DAMNIT!' Emaranthalas swore to
himself as he put his breeches and tunic on. 'Why did she have to be here after
that dream. And what is so damned important that she must be here so early.
Kuzart can't have done too much in one night' Emaranthalas buckled his sword to
his waist and hid one of his many daggers.
He poked his head outside of his
door, looking for Avenhar. He saw her at a table conversing with one of his
come in here!" he said
"Yes sir, what do you wish of me?"
" I think that it is more of a
matter of what do ye wish of me," Emaranthalas spoke and Avenhar pushed him
into the room. He looked taken aback at her strength.
" Sir, this is no joke, Kuzart has
become even more evil."
" How so? I do not imagine that ye
could get any worse than Kuzart?"
" Last night as I came home and went
to my room, he had one of his minions watch for me. . .".
" That does not seem to be that bad"
" Sir, I was not finished!"
" Oh, I beg for yer forgiveness"
" As I was saying sir, he then
stalked me throughout the castle and when I entered my room he came in and…"
Tears started to roll down her cheeks. " He violated me sir, I am no longer a
maid." Avenhar could no longer hold back and she covered her face with her
hands. "He did this to me!!" she ripped
back her cowl to reveal the light bruises on her face. "I swear by the Gods
that I will kill him if you don't" Emaranthalas walked over to her, wrapping
his arms around her, not knowing what exactly to say. There they were together,
a statue of emotion.
Eventually, Avenhar managed to gain
control of herself and she pulled away from him. Emaranthalas looked her
straight in the eye, seeing and almost feeling her pain from the bruises left
" Miss Draygonewing, consider yer
request as good as done by tomorrow night. I will dispose of him personally and
ye need not worry about the consequences surrounding his death. I will take
care of that as well"
" I cannot thank you enough sir. I
do believe that this is a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to repay"
" No don't worry love."
With that she walked
out of the room, leaving Emaranthalas standing next to her chair pondering
Avenhar's very existence. Why had she come to him? There were plenty of
assassins that would have loved to kill Kuzart Blackblood and take the reward
and prestige that came with it. He tried to think of other things. How he was
going to kill Kuzart? But that one questions came back into his mind. Why me?
Avenhar trudged out of the tavern,
unaware of the fact that she had left Emaranthalas is turmoil. The slamming of
the door brought her back into reality, she had to go back to the caves of
Malice. She had to make Kuzart think that nothing was amiss in the world,
though she did not want to go back. Slowly, almost painfully, Avenhar began her
descent back to the caves, trying to push the memories of Kuzart out of her
head with hope that he would be murdered. She could feel the crunch of leaves
beneath her feet and dim reality setting in. She wanted to trust Emaranthalas
so much but she still doubted that he would kill Kuzart; she hadn't paid him
yet so nothing really kept him in the deal. She walked with one thing on her
mind; Kuzart must die. It was almost nightfall before she arrived. Just in time
so that Kuzart wouldn't think anything of it. She fumbled with the lock to the
main door. When it finally creaked open she popped he head only to see zombies
in utter chaos, banging into walls, fighting and the like. 'That's odd, they're
normally obedient and doing chores.' She thought, though the hairs on her neck
sere standing up. She crept the rest of the way into the room, quickly shutting
the door behind her and almost ran across the hall. On the other side was a
door that lead to the "servants" quarters and just beyond that lay the door to
her room. She quickly stumbled into the servants' quarters, awaiting the usual
screeching of the bats. Nothing, just an eerie silence and an unexplainable
tingling. She slowly opened the door to her room. It was still in disarray, yet
it looked somehow messier. She opened her closet and began to shove her spell
components and books into it. After she had blindly thrown all of her things in
to the closet. She turned to grab some papers that had fallen out of her books
when she tripped over a leg. She tugged at the leg slowly pulling out the body
of her necromantic master. She looked at the glazed, frozen eyes, still full of
hatred, even in the end. His throat had been slashed, giving his corpse the
evil grin known to partial decapitation. The only other injury was the phrase
'I am not immortal' half burned, half cut into his torso. Avenhars' eyes flew
to the walls, scanning them in a state of shock. A primal scream of joy leapt
from her throat as she danced around the corpse. Singing a macabre song of
ecstasy. She began to search, "where
did they put it?" she queried, not really knowing if she was looking for a
note, and murder weapon, something. Just as suddenly as she had started she
didn't care anymore. How could Emaranthalas have gotten there so fast, but who
else could have done it she thought.
"I'm free" she whispered as she opened her door eager to thank him.