I'd advise reading this first.
Chapter one is a stand alone story, meant to BE a stand alone story. However, after some proding, I broke my own rule and finished it. My rule was simple: if writing a harem story, end at the harem's formation; NEVER write harem interactions. The reason is, the interactions never turn out right. Naruto stories, Harry Potter... All harems just lose their flavors half-way through once the harem is actually formed, when the author fumbles in the interactions.
And so, I want you all to keep that in mind when reading this. I tried my best, but harem interactions are nearly impossible to do adequately. If you are a girl reading this, you've been warned: a guy wrote this and as such it is an appeal to male-reader satisfaction.
ALSO, I split the second chapter into four parts - the remaining four Acts. I did this for two reasons. For one, Chapter Two is 130,000 words, and as such it is much too long for a single sitting. The other reason is, despite that I condensed this somewhat, I kept multiple lemons per chapter. IDK about you, but I always find more appreciation when lemons are spread out, not rushed past in the bulk of the story. Nine lemons (or so) in one chapter just seemed too much, even with its length.
WARNING: There be lemons in your near future, should thou choose to read! This story is a harem, so you be facing harem lemons. If you have the taste, read on, if not, skip them.
So there I was... Victorious on the peaks of Arreat Summit. Strange how it utterly opposed in going after the first two brothers. Wet and humid, for Mephisto. Hot and dry, for Diablo. And now cold and windy, for Baal. Blistering colds, the kind that numbed the fingers and turned skin purple, the kind that left frost in the hair and a weak flush on the cheeks. Baal will pay for this. I swear it. Oh Heavens above, not again! BAAL WILL PAY FOR THIS! THIS I SWEAR!
"Aliza..." Zyke sobbed, hugging the corpse closer to him. Her lithe body was hidden away in thick but light clothing and furs, armor the red of an amazon, to stay warm yet mobile. Not mobile enough, though. His iced cheek pressed against her pale one, and it felt even colder. Tears froze on his face even before they could fall.
Olena had given up her spear to become Countess's handmaiden, yet she remembered enough of her former life to bow forward, fist into palm before her – the rogue's way of honoring a dead sister. Her white dress whipped in the sharp winds, yet she herself remained poised rigidly.
Countess was beside her, deep green face on the verge of blue from the cold, snuggled deep in furs that could be dropped at the hint of a fight. Her expression matched the color, a set coldness to her. "We will get her back again, master. We will."
"And will get our vengeance," Blood Raven confirmed, echoing his thoughts. She was kneeled in the snow besides Aliza, having checked for the rogue's vitals. Of them, only she had truly braved the cold with just her unholy toughness, still garbed in red top with matching loincloth, soft, crimson boots laced to her knees. She showed no sign of the temperature affecting her.
If any thought Zyke needed physical comforting, that would be Rrajhess. The Sabre Cat, armor lined in fur despite her own sleek, dark grey coat, had all four of her armored breasts pressed into Zyke's side, her arms around him in a tight embrace. She purred soft mutterings to him, trying to soothe his distraught mind.
But they had it all wrong. Zyke didn't cry for Aliza's death. No, death was a friend, to him, and he knew it to be a comfort for all who were finally embraced by it. He didn't cry for losing her either. She was his Mercenary, thus he would be getting her back from Qual-Kehk down below. That was just it, though. He would sever her from the loving chords of death, tearing them apart to thrust her back into this cruel world just to be with her again.
The first time they had done it, a bleakness had taken the red haired vixen. She stood apart from them, doing her part as a Mercenary yet doing little as a Sister of the Harem (as Countess had jokingly named them, some time ago). She did nothing at night but cry, and she said little more than absolute necessary.
She had recovered, eventually. Nearly a full week before she returned Zyke's embraces, and another before she requested a passion-filled night with them. From then she was the same, smiling and blushing and giggling as she always did. But the darkness of the episode was in her mind, looming over them all painfully. One night not long ago, she had woken Zyke up while the others still slept, and with pleading eyes she had requested he never let her go through that again. He had promised. Then, she never brought it up again, and it was behind them.
And now he was forcing her through it again. He cried, wishing and hoping life into this corpse, wishing and hoping he wouldn't have to do what he knew he would. It was too late, though. Blood Raven had confirmed it, as if the Ancient's whirling axe crushing her chest cavity through that fantastic armor wasn't enough.
Andariel was there, too, and she had resumed her natural form, towering over them all. She had wrestled one of the Ancients down herself, matching mighty limb for mighty limb while her deadly poisons set to work. A stitched hide strained against her massive chest, only desired to protect sensitive nipples from the cold. The curved plate again covered her womanhood.
The Lesser Evil had her arms folded as she scowled at the now open door they were to proceed through. "Nothing left now but Baal and his remaining harem... We were supposed to celebrate..."
That was true. Apparently, she had given a large portion of her personal handmaidens to the Prime Evils, in an attempt to appease them many years ago. Most had died below Tristram with Diablo. Baal, however, still had his in full, and he hadn't hesitated in using them as personal guardians. Andariel had planned on taking her underlings back from the final brother and using them to provide great pleasure to Zyke's group, as celebration for defeating the Ancients and a lull before confronting Baal.
One such handmaiden was with them, Karylia by name. A succubus and thus servant to Andariel, yet accepted into Zyke's harem as easy as the others ever since pulled from the Frozen River, when they rescued Anya. She was of the Snow Witch variant, with light blue skin opposing black wings and hair, a captain among the Blood Temptresses who had been there. Her bat-like wings were folded around her against the buffeting winds, covering her massive breasts capped with small nipples. A dark blue thong and leather boots were her only clothing outside of towns, like now.
Karylia stood near Andariel obediently, yet the look she gave Zyke was full of sympathy and sorrow. It had actually surprised him that succubi were masters of pleasure and comfort, until explained that one must be comfortable in all matters to experience true pleasure, and it was through that comfort that succubi weeded their way into men's hearts before draining them of life energy. Still, it meant that she did care.
Finally, though, Countess and Rrajhess pulled Zyke away from Aliza's cold body, and Blood Raven buried her there under the snow. Zyke then opened a portal back to Harrogath, and he went through alone. Aliza normally was the one who would have went with him – she was his connection to humanity among the harem.
A few minutes later, he returned, guiding a lithe body huddled together under a thick cloak and more. The girls didn't hesitate in closing in and surrounding the resurrected rogue in a warm, loving embrace. Andariel's large arms almost encompassed the whole group from the outside, while Karylia's wings filled the gap, also protecting them from the winds. Aliza preserved through it stony faced, her light eyes dull and staring past them at nothing.
Rrajhess couldn't bear that look upon the girl she affectionately called 'Fleshling,' and she offered Aliza one of her many thawing potions as Blood Raven returned Aliza her bow. Aliza took the bow but didn't acknowledge the potion. Zyke saw what the feline girl was getting at though, and a hope blossomed through him at the idea.
He opened the rogue's mouth, and Rrajhess poured the yellow potion in. Aliza swallowed automatically. Slowly, the paleness in her cheeks – a match to Olena and Blood Raven – receded into color, and a pink tinged there. Her eyes grew wider at a slow rate, and she began looking around, if only little glances. Then, as the potion continued its magic, more life filled the rogue.
A smile grew on her pink lips, until they were pressed against Zyke's. Her arms returned to the others, and she hooked a beaming Rrajhess to her tightly, pulling away from Zyke to also kiss the Sabre Cat. She was back to normal, in a remarkable time.
The potion continued working on her though, spreading that warmth throughout her being. It reached her loins, and, as they were notoriously known for – and why Rrajhess loved them – a great arousal built in her. Which she groaned about, shortly. Openness was key in a harem.
Smiles spread around the group – Zyke most of all, though Rrajhess was a close second. Even Anadriel smiled in relief, and a large hand reached over the group to stroke the rogue's hair. "Now, for our celebration."
"But just us," Aliza pleaded suddenly, tightening her grip on those she had her arms around. "R-Right now, I just want to be with you all." No one argued.
They finally separated, though Rrajhess and Zyke still clung to Aliza, and together they went through the hole to the first level of the Worldstone Keep, to have their passion-filled celebration before defeating Baal, last of the Prime Evils.
But perhaps this is too far ahead, for much had happened between here and there.
The 'here' could be traced far back to the foot of a wide range of mountains, the bottom of the pass up to the Rogue Monastery from Lut Gholein, on the breadth of the endless sands. It was night there, the first in a week-long journey.
Two camps were unpacked separately and at a distance, though with a firepit to share between them. One camp was a small caravan, manned by a single man in desert garb and his guards. They pulled out a tent for the owner and sleep-mats for the guards in an orderly, experienced fashion. The other camp was less official, with large cloths draped out to form what looked like a single, massive sleep-roll. As if all six intended to sleep there together.
But that was a matter of later, as currently all members of both camps were split around the fire, with Zyke the Bard and Deckard Cain of the Horadrim the connecting point between the two groups in the ring. The bard was finishing up a story for those collected, from a personal collection known as the Tales of Ellyia and Rednanikyz.
"...Now, Ellyia was trying to be careful about this. Press too hard and Rednanikyz would reject the idea; press too light, however, and he would simply ignore her. Very careful...
"Now remember, this happened deep in the jungles of Kurast, where the two had first met. Calls and shrieks of animals unseen, both benign and malicious, surrounded them, as did the musty smell of the uncultured wildlife. Alone and peaceful, the feelings impressed on them were. A revisit to origins; a break from perilous adventuring.
"So Ellyia took her bath in the waters of the nearby river – known to them to be safer than most, from familiarity – and she was easily in sight of their camp, where all Rednanikyz had to do was merely turn his head to see her in the water. She turned her back to the camp to allow him to do just that, not looking back once. Afterwards, she only partially dried herself and dressed in her leggings. She wore only a brassier for a top, too." He hadn't, of course.
"And so, still glistening with water from her bath – plan in motion, mind you – she returned to the camp, sitting herself next to Rednanikyz only the most fractional distance closer to her Amazon companion. He was seated at the fire in such a way that he didn't even have to turn his head to have seen her in the water. Which was perfect.
"'Hey, Red,' she said, planting her hands on her knees so he could see her chest in a... better light.
"'Hmm?' her companion asked, emotionless as a boulder. His eyes remained on the fire, not even glancing at her!
"She turned her head to him, wanting to study his face, and she grinned. 'I know you said you don't have yourself a girl back at home, but was there ever anyone who caught your eye? You know, some girl with the backside to turn heads or anything?'
"Remarkably, he still didn't look at her! And his face remained just as impassive. 'Turned heads? Yes, but not mine.' Remember, Ellyia didn't know this, but he had left the Amazon islands to find himself a mate, someone not from there.
"Hearing this, though, Ellyia raised an eyebrow. 'Any men that turned your head, then?'
"Still no reaction from him! 'If there was, would that bother you?'" Little had Zykinander known then, Ellyia had been testing him for a harem possibility with that.
"Now that opened a new perspective of possibilities for the young Necromancer," Zyke laughed out loud, "and her eyebrows rose. But the plan continued. She would get her kiss from him if it was the last thing she did! One hand went to his leg, and at first it only rested there. Then, she said, 'I want you to pretend that I'm her. Or him. Or whoever. Kiss me as you would them, Red. Just to see what it would have been like.'
"For a long time, Rednanikyz only stared at the fire, still impassive, like he was ignoring her. The only reason Ellyia didn't walk away in defeat was because normally he would have pushed her away by then. Then, after that long, suffering silence, Rednanikyz turned to her. He was still that unanswering expressionless.
"'I tried,' he said suddenly. 'I tried so very hard. I wanted our friendship to continue as long as possible, and I tried, but you pressed...!' His gaze was intense on her, and a fear gripped Ellyia. Had she pushed him too far?
"Then, suddenly, Ellyia was on the ground. The world spun around her as she was dazed, not understanding what had happened. Had Rednanikyz struck her? Then, suddenly, she noticed.
"Rednanikyz was straddling her on the moist dirt next to the crackling fire, and his lips were a fire of their own against hers. She had planned on taking things slowly, starting with a kiss and working her way up with him, but apparently the animal had been unleashed in her companion, and he smothered her with kisses.
"The Amazon finally stopped his assault to glare down at her. 'I love you, El, and I will have you for my mate. Tonight we make it official, under witness of the moon above us,'" Zyke smiled fondly as he recited.
"Ellyia realized then what her teasing had truly led to, and without hesitation she found herself returning those feelings. Her hands came up to undo the Amazon's red armor, exposing his wide shoulders and muscled chest. His hands came down to her, and... Well, you get the idea. Let's just say she needed another bath that night.
"And so the fate between the two were sealed, starting a path that would lead to bliss and contentment between them, even as they continued adventuring. Little did they know, that night had also sealed the fate of their tragic downfall, and already forces were in motion that would move against them and their love.
"And thus ends tonight's story for the two lovers," Zyke finished with a clap, again stretching his hands out for the fire. It had been much easier to recite that night as Olena had left her breastplate on.
"Wow," one of the guards muttered, while one of his friends nudged him about being a romantic. Most nodded agreement, though.
Olena, however, agreed for a different reason. "You actually finished one of the tales for once! That's amazing!" Zyke laughed sheepishly.
With their bellies full and a few more words shared between Zyke and Cain, the two groups returned to their respective camps. For sharing a campfire, the actual sleeping grounds were quite a distance away. Barely shouting distance, even in the night. For the best though, if one knew of Zyke's harem.
That night had already been planned out for him. Andariel, Lesser Evil and greater succubus, had deemed Zyke's performance with the women the previous night satisfactory, which in her words meant she would grace his bed. However, she wanted him fully rested when dealing with her, and so she waited for this night.
Now, Zyke had been treated to many sights both exotic and erotic in his travels. Watching his four girls and Andariel strip before him under the moonlight on that makeshift bed was by far the greatest of them all.
Blood Raven moved with casual procedure, simply stripping her clothes as if she were alone. Countess shimmied seductively, swaying her hips as her top and loincloth came off. With a smile, she coaxed a blushing Aliza into also doing so, and afterward she took both the naked Olena and Aliza under each arm, and she slowly caressed their bodies while watching Zyke. Andariel's black gaze didn't turn from Zyke's once as she undid the ties holding her cloak closed and she removed that and her undergarments. All clothes went in a large pile in the corner of the sheets.
Poor Olena's breasts were dwarfed next to the monstrous bosoms of Countess and Aliza, but her high cheekboned face and small lips gave her a petite cuteness. Aliza's dark patch of hair stood apart from the demons' smooth clefts, pressed together as the three were. For a moment Blood Raven sat down cross-legged, a glorious mix of pale tightness and fullness, before Countess shook her head and called her over. Blood Raven moved, after a moment, and soon four bodies of appetizing female flesh were huddled together, and Zyke's eyes couldn't leave the endless sea of curves and fruits.
The tightness in his leggings was painful.
But Andariel, the great succubus despite her current human form, would not stand for being overlooked. Zyke's attention finally turned when the Lesser Evil's lips were pressed against his.
From the start, he felt he had an idea as to how this night was going to turn out. A warm tongue snaked across his lips, slipping between, and her hands worked a deep massage on his back as they kissed. He lost himself in sensation as the massage, sending shivers down his spine, worked its way slowly up, her full lips wrapped around his tongue and sucked, and she ground her apex into his hardness all at the same time.
He didn't even realize that she had taken his chest armor off until cool air bit at his chest, especially since her massage didn't break its relaxing ministrations for even a moment. And at some time they had gone down to their knees on the blankets, and her knee was circling his straining bulge pleasantly. That Andariel was more skilled than the other girls – even Countess – was an understatement. She was a damned sex demon.
Her mouth stayed focused on his, finding new ways to spread pleasure – like rubbing his lower lip between hers – while her flowing hands worked their way to the front, sending tingles through hard ab muscles. Then they went down, where she was still continuing the flow of pleasure through his pants. Somehow, she managed to use two fingers to continue the massage while undoing his buckle, and then the massage worked his pants downwards.
She reached his boots, and for a moment he thought she would have to stop - have to stop the onslaught of sensation. She didn't. Instead, with her tongue working inside his mouth, she shifted her weight against him and he fell backwards. Her womanhood ground into his manhood during and after this, slicking it, and he noticed once he hit the blankets that his boots and pants were gone! Her lips curved a smile around his mouth.
Andariel's fingers worked firm circles into the muscle along his stomach even as she rubbed their groins together. Those went down, and she started something with just her fingertips along his shaft that had him groan. If this continued, he was going to finish before it even began! And he had endurance!
Two fingers slid under his shaft to lift it slightly during this, even while her netherlips worked near its base. Her magic fingers worked downwards slightly, and there was a wet warmth. With her warm lips on his doing almost-as-interesting things, her large, perky breasts and hard nipples pressed against his chest, and that below, he didn't notice how it happened until it did. He was in her.
Hot, tight walls didn't just clench around him. They pulsed around him with a rhythmic beat, and he couldn't contain his pleasure any longer. With a groan against her mouth, he released in her, right at the penetration.
Andariel laughed at that, but she didn't stop. Her fingers worked their way around his sides until they could go no further. The pulsing around his length continued, and she gyrated her hips with him still in her. His hardness barely went away before it was back again, and she knew.
With her wet tongue tracing his lips around his open mouth, she pulled back finally to be sitting up, and her breasts lifted off his chest to be before his face. Then, she started. Her walls clenched tight and tighter, tight and tighter as he slid out of her, almost to the tip, and then she came down again with a bounce that made her breasts smack audibly, if softly. More tight pulsing, with pleasure flowing into him from her netherlips.
So great was the pleasure as she continued, hands still at his sides massaging deeply into his muscle, that he lifted his hips without even the intention of thrusting. Suddenly, her hands snaked under him, continuing the massage on his lower back, and he groaned. How could she possibly...?
His own hands were clenched during this, as he watched her breasts smacking against her chest, the surreptitious smile on her face. His back was arched for her, with her hands working under him at his lower back, and her thrusts against him were measured perfectly not to slam him in a way that made the position difficult to maintain. Like this, he could see his length appear and disappear inside her lips, surrounded by the triangular patch of hair barely lighter than Aliza's, and he could feel that press against him when he was deepest inside, with her pulsing trying to suck the seed out of him.
She was dominating him, and he was helpless to it. Her wetness, mixed with his fluid, trickled down to his stomach, and the dance continued. The only good news, besides the magnitude of the pleasure he was receiving, was the look of ecstasy on her face, slowly but surely building. Her breathing was even beginning to accelerate.
One of his hands came up suddenly, to grab a heavy breast that almost bounced out of his hand. She didn't try to stop him, only made her first sound – a barely audible intake of breath. His thumb found her nipple and pressed it... It was hard to think what he was doing when her core worked him like that. Into slicked tightness, amazing pulsing around him, then out again. And in! He was reaching a second orgasm already.
Between thumb and first finger, he pressed and tried to roll her nipple. His hand fumbled and the breast slipped out, bouncing against her chest attractively. He needed some semblance of control, yet all he could do was keep his legs flexed up, relishing in her deep massage and unnatural netherlips. He wanted to just close his eyes and let the pleasure consume him.
For a moment, he did, in and out of her tightness he slid. Then, with a grunt of sheer effort, he lunged forward to wrap and arm around her waist and rolled them over. With his other hand, he flipped her and settled her to her knees, and with a shaky hand he plunged himself back inside her from behind. His hands settled on smooth hips, and he began thrusting powerfully.
Andariel made no sound to this, only braced herself on her arms and looked back at him with her midnight eyes. Her long red hair was tossed over the other shoulder, and with her bent like that he could still see her breast sway with each thrust. Oh, he could still feel her pulsing around him!
His hands gripped her sides tightly, and he forced himself on her even harder, each thrust smacking loudly. He growled satisfaction as Andariel gave a moan. But her tight walls sliding around him were too much, and he found himself reaching his release inside her.
He didn't stop thrusting until his energy was spent, muscles burning and orgasm waning. Even then that was only to slide out of her, settled to his heels, and have one hand continue where he left off. He would get this succubus to reach her end.
The hand reaching around her moved up to find and attack her clit, while the other moved back to press up against her thighs and slip fingers inside her. Andariel gave another pleased sound, and he saw her flash another smile to him. His fingers were drenched instantly, of course, but that only served to get him hard again when it came.
This was it.
Using his slick hands to spread her cheeks, he eyed his new target. His still slick member probed her upper hole, and she gave a surprised sound in her throat. Impossibly tight, but he forced his way inside her slightly. He then forced his way further, and both of them groaned at the sensation.
Then, he slid out all together to enter her tight lower hole, gathering more juices, and he returned to her rosebud. He forced his way in again, this time even further. He pulled back and slid in even further. So tight! Andariel made a sound in her throat that was closer to pain. Gathering more of her juices again, he went even further. Almost there. He pulled back, and then he thrust himself all the way.
If it weren't Andariel, he would have called her sound a whimper. He himself almost did himself. So tight it was painful. He pulled out a final time, gathered even more of her juices – that tightness was barely noticeable after that – and then he thrust back in her to the hilt again. Then, with his still wet fingers on her sides, he began to set a rhythm.
Andariel's sounds weren't all too pleasant at first, but she didn't oppose his choice of pleasure. It took effort of both hands and legs to keep himself moving. Then, slowly, Andariel's sounds become the groans and moans he wanted to hear, and he worked even harder. Her eyes finally left him, closing as she lowered her head. One of her hands reached up to fondle a swaying breast.
Each thrust was an effort, but he pounded away in that impossibly tight hole. After two orgasms, he could hold out long enough. His body smacked into her ass, rocking her whole body forward each thrust. The thumbs from his hands moved back to spread her cheeks wide for him, and he managed to go deeper, and a low, throaty groan rewarded him.
His hard grip on her hips was leaving red marks noticeable under the moon, but he didn't care. He pounded away, hearing her low moans and satisfied sounds. But the pleasure aroused from her tighter than tight asshole was becoming too much, and he was... Her throaty sounds suddenly rose to a high pitch squeal he never thought would come from her lips.
More juices from her lower lips squirted against his legs, and she contracted around him. His eyes bulged at that, and suddenly he shot his seed inside her, without warning. Andariel took a breath from her orgasm only to give another low groan at that, and he barely managed to force his way out of her.
He fell, whole body limp, next to her, and to his surprise she fell into him, equally spent. Her black eyes stared up into the starry sky above, one hand resting across her stomach and the other going around to her ass, likely feeling sore from that. He wanted to wrap an arm around her, hold her to him, yet all that energy had been sent into forcing her hips to him during that. So he just lied there, next to her.
"Well..." Andariel said finally around her panting. Her eyes shifted to him, a barely noticeable difference. "I guess you may add me to your harem."
With the focus that had driven him, he had almost forgot about the other girls. Fear clenched him as he looked over to the others. All eyes were on him, though Countess seemed to be starting Olena's lessons as her long fingers were working away inside the corrupted rogue's parted folds. The other hand was inside her own, too. Even Blood Raven and Aliza were pleasuring themselves, though Blood Raven kept it to no more than rubbing a breast while Aliza worked away at herself with one hand, the other tugging a nipple. The sight of so many of them... fingers slick with their own juices sliding in and out of themselves...
He felt himself begin to harden, and it was painful. If he had to satisfy all of them tonight...
Countess, however, was a minx with the right ideas. She pulled her hands out of the two lovepots, licking her fingers clean, and produced a minor healing potion and the white stamina potion for him. Her grin was wicked. Zyke smiled and let his head thump softly against the blanket.
Zyke flinched as he entered the room. Not because of the smell – death and rot were too familiar, for that. No, he flinched when he saw the simple corpse lying on the ground in the center. White haired – a former Necromancer – yet with the wrinkles and spots of age. The surrounding torches burned the man's image in his mind.
"Zykin, there you are!" Mother sighed when she saw him, and his little legs rushed to meet her. She smiled and hoisted him up. "Now, watch Father work. You'll do this too, one day. My little boy, a grown Necromagi."
Zyke tried to beam in her arms. That was his dream, to be one of the greatest, just like Father. A grown...
Thought froze as Father brought back his fifth skeleton – it having died accidentally the day previous. The corpse exploded with the summon, splattering cold and wet gore along Zyke's black tunic and pants and face. It stuck to him like mud, some pieces of viscera sliding down his face. Like mud.
Mother, eyes bright green under white tresses, beamed at Father, his newest skeleton shambling to the man. She was equally blood splattered, and her tongue reached out to catch a crimson drop on her lip. Zyke trembled in her arms, struck silent. It stuck to him like mud.
That was the first he had seen a skeleton actually raised.
The week had passed, and the caravan settled down for one final night among the plains. Lut Gholein rested on the horizon, torches within the city blazing in the failing light. A few more hours to reach it, though that was a few hours of darkness that Warriv didn't trust enough to press. Not a mistrust of Zyke's group, but of more natural things like a hole that could break an animal's leg or such.
By then, even the merchant found it hard to remain wary of Zyke's companions. He had even laughed at one of Blood Raven's dry comments, and at times he struck conversations with some of them. Andariel, however, scowled the man away at any approach, though nothing more than that.
In that time, the structure of the harem had been formed. At least an establishment, that would likely adjust with time. Blood Raven became a close confident, someone to go to with questions and discuss things with. That wasn't to say he couldn't or wouldn't with the others, but he felt closer with Blood Raven in that regard. Aliza was his Mercenary and behaved as such, always there for him when he needed her, and she was likely the most chaste with him outside of the bed, with Blood Raven a close second. Recalling earlier words from Ellyia, they were the ones he was beginning to love.
Countess, however, was becoming one of those he lusted. But as Ellyia had tried to explain, it wasn't just a physical lust. He didn't only go to her for pleasure at night. There was just something to her that had him smile, even outside the bed. He didn't want to sit and talk with her about oncoming decisions and burdens that they were likely to face. No, when he spoke with her, it was always light and comfortable, and during that time he wished to hold and kiss her. Of course, her sensuous personality made it hard to hold those heavier conversations, and she always relaxed him, by presence or deliberate action. And, strangely, during the night she had taken to occupying the other girls if Zyke himself was busy with another.
Andariel was the oddball out. It was lust, without a doubt. However, she remained quiet and distant outside of everything else. She would give short answers for questions, scowl away anyone who wasn't Zyke or the other girls, and mainly stick to herself. She was no longer sulking or glaring constantly anymore, though, and she insisted vehemently that she was a part of his harem when asked, and at nights she seemed to be trying to prove that through her passion and skill, tired as that made Zyke. Perhaps she needed more time to open up... or was planning something underhanded. Time would tell.
And then there was Olena. Much had changed with the girl with the almost cruel face and quick smiles and dangerous pouts. Those had stayed the same, yet of the girls, only she declared herself not of his harem. Zyke was a means to an end, a man who could satisfy the inflamed lusts within her, though she greatly enjoyed his company otherwise as well. However, her life was to be Countess's maid, and that meant pleasing her mistress over herself with him. Her spear had been left somewhere, and Countess mentioned that when first arriving in Lut Gholein, she would be buying Olena proper garb to replace the breastplate and thin loincloth that still drew Zyke's eye. Not just that, but Olena was still more than willing to have her share of Zyke, and likely she would so long as Countess remained with him.
Of the group of them, he in no way felt the raging love he had felt for Ellyia. Not yet, at least. It was starting, though, with an attraction that was beginning to form bonds between them. Bonds formed by attraction or lust, depending, yet bonds just the same. Already he couldn't imagine Countess and her curvacious, green body gone from them, replaced by another woman, or Blood Raven and her wit replaced by another soldier. No, they were them and only them, and they were his, now. And he was beginning to feel like he was theirs, now, an echo of what he felt with Ellyia.
A week they had traveled like this, each getting a feel for their new lives together.
That night, Zyke again told more of the Tales of Ellyia and Rednanikyz. Telling of his own life from a reversed gender was fun, even if the Amazon of the story still saddened him, though it didn't feel strange at all. Speaking of the Necromancer as if he and her were not the same person came naturally. They were not the same person, simply.
Zyke stretched his arms wide as he returned from the fire, yawning. He really was getting more tired lately. Countess was there before his arms came down entirely, and he repositioned to include her. Of course, the lack of sleep wasn't necessarily bad. His grin matched her smirk.
However, before they even made it to where they were to sleep, there was a sound. A soft ting of metal on metal, like armor shifting. Moving in a group of warriors, that sound was not uncommon. However, these particular ones wore a wide variety of cloth and leather, and the noise wasn't near Olena or her breastplate.
Refined reflexes didn't exactly kick in as Zyke turned his head towards the sound, merely curious. They were surrounded by soft sand, after all, with nothing to worry about around for miles save Lut Gholein, still a torch in the distance. That one casual look was all the warning he got.
Dark shapes gliding silently forward through the sand, already almost to them. The only thing not blending perfectly into the small dunes were green eyes, gleaming back at him in the dark. Then, as his mind attempted to process what was happening, the shapes were upon them, and strong arms swept him from Countess.
For the first time, he felt it. The kinship. These shapes were demons! Because of the blinding force Andariel was putting it out constantly, he hardly noticed the feeling anymore, yet he felt the same tingle from these things that had just ambushed them cleanly. Countess made a noise at this, and the dark shapes were brought to the others' attention.
"Cat demons?" she asked suddenly, hardly showing the alarm Zyke had expected as he was still being dragged away. Strange, none of them were doing anything to help him.
Something hard slammed into the back of Zyke's head, and unwillingly, the world slipped from him. He fell unconscious.
The girls watched the Sabre Cats disappear into the distance with Zyke until finally they vanished entirely from sight. Blood Raven was in the process of stringing her bow as she approached. The rogue captain hooked her arm through it afterwards, shouldering the bow, and she looked into the distance. "Should we rescue him?"
Countess folded her arms under her breasts, staring out into the night. Her smile was back, though, strangely. "I think not, actually..." Andariel stopped Aliza from going anyways with a hand, and the Lesser Evil managed to get the rogue to stay with a word. Countess broke her gaze away to look at her servant, who was pouting after the demons cutely. Too cute. "In the meantime... We can start your lessons."
"And this one, Zykin... This one is from us," Mother said as she stood next to Father, offering a wrapped rectangular shape. She smiled warmly as he took it, and Father nodded once to Zyke.
At thirteen years old, Zyke removed the paper wrapping and saw what lay within. He was floored, eyes bulging and jaw dropping. Both parents smiled at him.
There, in his hands, with a wood binding wrapped in cured leather, with the design of the bones of a human hand impressed into the cover, was his first spell book.
Now, have you ever woken up one day, naked and bound to a wooden table, surrounded by a large pride of four-breasted catwomen? Not very likely. Zyke, however, is a man of different potential, and his slow journey back into consciousness came assisted by very pleasant sights.
At first, he thought he was seeing doubles, until a minor healing potion was forced past his lips, and his head cleared immediately. Then, his eyes focused on exactly what he had seen. One pair of breast, covered in a fur colored according to the type of Sabre Cat with nipples peaking out between that, rested naturally as a normal woman's; however, immediately under that was a second pair, slightly smaller than the former, with them resting on top. Then came narrow waists, furred yet shaped like a fit woman's, followed by sleek-furred mounds with obvious impressions of clefts. The following legs started normal yet ended in paws, bending almost like the hind-leg of a cat.
Tails drifted to the left and to the right behind each woman, sometimes visible under them between their legs. Faces made an interesting assortment. Rounded or heart-shaped, with high cheekbones or normal, thick or small lips, each carrying its own variety of normal women's looks. But they all had cat noses, pressed against their faces and ending with a split down the upper lip, whiskers stretching to either side. Also, each had the impression of a cat's shape, protruding forward slightly more than a woman's would have. Above gleaming and slitted eyes – pupils widened to where they were almost round, currently – were heads with no more hair than the fur that covered them entirely, and two triangular ears at the tops of their heads, some twitching.
Of course, these were a warrior race even before the corruption Zyke could feel from them, and scars could be found in any size, anywhere on their sleek bodies, from notches in their ears to mars visible through the fur. Not on all of them, most certainly not, but some. There had to be a dozen and a half of them or so, and of them perhaps two had many scars, three with only some, and another two with only one visible mark.
The woman Zyke judged to be their leader stood out from them. No scars, with a jeweled circlet around her forehead, a silver medallion with rubies dangling from her neck, two silver earrings, and a wide assortment of bracelets that clacked and rung when she moved her arms. Of them, only she wore a form of remaining clothing, in the form of a sheer veil and loincloth.
It was she who had given him the potion, and in her other hand was a second, this one yellow in color. A thawing potion, then. She held it out for him. "Drrrink."
Despite his state of undress, Zyke didn't actually feel that cold. Their location was a large stone building inside what he assumed to be an abandoned village, if the lack of sound or light from outside was any indication. "No thank you, actually... My name is Zyke the Bard, and I'm a traveling storyteller. Perhaps this is a misunder- mumph." She just stuck the potion into his open mouth and tilted so he drank. With no other choice, he did.
It wasn't too often he had those, but he knew the effect well enough. A warmth spread through his chest, banishing the cold he had hardly noticed in the first place. It continued spreading, immersing him in a warmth better than five women under a single blanket. 'Better' was a relative word, though. It spread lower, and a new effect reached him. As it settled into his groin, an arousal built in him, and he began to stiffen before their watching eyes. In that state, his eyes began roving the quad-stacked breasts with appreciation, as well as the furred nether-regions.
The woman who had fed him the potion turned to the others. "Tonight, we gatherrr herrre in celebrrration of the Moon Hunt! As trrradition has decrrreed, when the Moon Eye opens wide enough to match the Sun Eye, we went on the prrrowl, and we have caught ourrr prrrey. This male, we sacrrrifice in the name of the grrreat Moon Goddess!"
A large torrent of yowls rose to that, with a few excited mutterings of, "Finally, something otherrr than a Marrrauderrr!"
Now, well-traveled as he was and with considerable knowledge through his storytelling, Zyke knew little of the Sabre Cat race. He had only encountered them once or twice before, back when he had traveled with... Ellyia, and they had parted on agreeable terms both times. However, he knew very well that anything involving 'sacrifice' most certainly wasn't to be desired.
Yet that burning desire from the potion still raged in him, and he studied them with the same amount of attention he put in struggling to get free. Four breasts? How delightfully exotic... No! Sacrifice, bad! His already abnormally strong lusts burned even stronger, roaring for release.
"I, Sarrine, as Prrride Prrriestess, rrremain the maiden, and I devote myself to the greaterrr, underrr the grrreat Moon Eye." Suddenly, she produced another thawing potion, and she herself drank it. She moved back, away from the table Zyke was tied to. "Rrajhess, you may begin the rrritual."
A Sabre Cat approached the still weakly struggling Zyke, stripped of her armor like the others. Her fur was a contrast of light and dark grey, with the light running along her front and thighs in addition to hand-paws and feet-paws. The dark filled in everywhere else, most noticeably with her entire head and face, which reminded him slightly of the dark skinned Paladins. A Cheshire grin rested on her face when she reached him, tail lashing from side to side behind her.
He was deathly afraid of her claws and at the same time as aroused by her presence, his eyes fixed to her four breasts – dark nipples peaking through the ashen fur. Her paw came up and reached for his member. Fear won over, and the ropes binding his arms made a sharp sound as he pounded away from them, trying to get them to snap. His body tried to twist away from her, but he was confined. The lust still burned inside him.
Then, suddenly, the furred hand lash out and...! Zyke had closed his eyes, not willing to watch the desecration of his manhood. After a moment of no pain, however, Zyke felt what was happening, and his lusts made the pleasure even more intense. She was stroking him, claws still retracted inside her paws. Soft pads pressed into him, the same dark of her nipples and nose.
He groaned audibly from just that, and her grin spread wider. "The potion is worrrking its due courrrse. He is... rrready."
She glanced back at the Priestess, and the woman seemed to be struggling with herself. Then, she nodded, and this Rrajhess abruptly leaped upwards.
She landed softly on the table on all fours, her breasts bouncing before Zyke's eyes. Her feline features regarded him with excitement. "You are ourrr sacrrrifice of pleasurrre to the Moon Goddess. May she accept it and watch overrr us, and Lorrrd Durrrial, as she always has." Then, she lowered herself onto his chest.
Her fur was an obvious difference, as were the abnormal amount of hard protrusions against his chest that were her nipples. She grinded her groin against his stomach, and he could feel that she was wet already. That rhythmic grinding went lower, until his length was pressed between the furred cheeks of her ass, another new sensation. He could even feel her tail brushing against his tip as it moved! He groaned again, though it came closer to a growl.
Rrajhess purred loudly as she lifted and lowered her hips against him like that, the sleek fur sliding over his shaft, and she continued until her wetness began to coat him, and suddenly one of her uplifts became more as she moved further so he was pressing against her slit, and she came down again, now with him in her.
Zyke wanted to break his bounds and take her at his own pace, mainly with wild abandon. Instead, he could only control his hips, and he used what little that was to grind hard against her, feeling her sleek fur beginning to grow slick around her center. However, as if she knew his thoughts, she hadn't hesitated in starting, and she started pumping him with a pace he was eager to match.
Purrs and mewls filled the near silent room as he thrust into her, and his own sounds joined hers, the satiation of his burning lusts being too much to dim his voice. His eyes remained wide and wild, latched to the sight of her four bouncing breasts or watching himself sink into her core over and over again, with wet sounds each time.
As she rode him, Rrajhess leaned over to present her many beautiful breasts to his face, and she purred, "Suckle." He did, mouth latching around a nipple and sucking hard so it didn't slip out accidentally from their movements, and she gave a sharp yowl but then smiled, a furred paw coming around to hold his head there.
Breasts with fur were certainly different with his lips there, but the nipple he was running his tongue over was much the same. He wanted to hold this woman to him as he ravaged her and devoured these breasts! All of them!
Her walls around him weren't near as tight as Blood Raven or Aliza, but the slick pressure was more than enough. Her warmth only worked with the thawing potion, and he thrust harder, singularly striving for the satisfaction of his lusts. She responded eagerly, purrs vibrating against his face.
Her damp fur, when it pressed against him each thrust, was exotic even after the last several nights, which somehow served to keep his lusts yearning for more. In this state, though, he wasn't able to last long.
He felt the feeling rise in him, groaned with it, and he plunged into her, breaking the rhythm as his seed spilled out into her. That was only for the first spurt, however, as his lusts roared against stopping even despite his orgasm, and he suddenly thrust into her again at his own pace, spreading his orgasm longer. He was just finishing when she tilted her head back and yowled louder than before, crushing his head to her teat and her walls clenching around him, more juices spilling onto him.
Then, her cold nose and lips pressed against his cheek, and she hopped off the table. He groaned when his undiminished hardness left her, staring at her dark grey ass longingly as she swayed away from him. His eyes searched frantically among them for more – needing more. He saw the Priestess, shivering as she withheld herself from the potion's effects while watching that. His eyes begged her over, and hers stared longingly. Yet she resisted the urge.
Suddenly, another Sabre Cat was there, this one a tan Huntress, and he slid in her easily. He moaned with relief, and they started things anew.
Blood splashed along him, tarnishing clothes and getting in his face. Chunks of gore were there, too - pink and red bits falling off his black garb to the bloody floor with little squelches. His eyes hadn't even blinked at the bloody explosion, however. They remained transfixed, watching as his summoned energies obeyed his intent, and the bones ripped free to form a skeleton.
He had done it! He had performed Necromancy!
"Halt, identify yourself."
The man stopping him wasn't even a guard, only a sun-dark Mercenary. Brown eyes watched Zyke and his hooded companion warily.
Zyke held his hands in a gesture of being unarmed. "I am Zyke the Bard, a traveling storyteller. Perhaps you've heard of me?"
The Mercenary blinked at that, and suddenly his spear was thrust to the side, away from Zyke's throat. "You're Zyke the Bard? Back here at Lut Gholein? Oh, this is great news! I am Alhizeer, and I have heard great things about you from the citizens here!"
Zyke smiled and shook the man's dark hand. "A pleasure, Alhizeer. Drop by Atma's tavern sometime. You may be able to catch one of my recitals." The Mercenary expressed his desire for that, and he waved Zyke and his companion through.
Lut Gholein. A sandy, tan city, full of goods and loud voices, with people of all over. A woman here wore a pink veil and was garbed red all the way to her slippers. Another, there, held a basket over her head, and her tan midriff was exposed. A man there curled a white mustache between fingers as he bartered goods, and a boy ran through most likely trying to snitch loose purses.
He passed a burly man who looked like a soldier, and, though try as he might, he was unable to sneak past that road fast enough.
"DEMON!" a loud voice shouted strongly. Zyke cringed, while his companion froze stiff. He waved her off, though, when a single nail like a blade peaked free of her long sleeve. Drognan had his staff raised above his head as he marched straight for Zyke. "A demon has invaded the city! He lies in hiding, waiting to strike at whoever let's their guard down!"
People heard the shouting, and with recent affairs, they stopped to listen. Many glanced between him and Zyke, until the Vizjerei mage was right in Zyke's face. "I can sense you, filth! Guards! Kill this demon! BOTH! Kill both of these demons!"
Again a white nail snaked out of the sleeve, and again Zyke waved her off. The burly man from before was there, suddenly, one hand resting on a belt knife. "What's going on here?" he boomed.
Drognan waved he staff at Zyke's head, and he was forced to dodge back. "This is a demon! I can sense him!"
"My friend is a reliable source when it comes to things like this, stranger." A large hand landed on Zyke's shoulder, and the man's eyes narrowed as he studied him. Then, suddenly, his eyes widened, and he bellowed a laugh. "Zyke? That you? Oh, Drognan is at it again with you, my friend!"
The people who were watching suddenly erupted in an excited murmur. "You hear that? Zyke is back!" "Zyke the Bard is back?" "I've heard him before! His retellings are astounding!" "Oh, Drognan is after Zyke again. I wonder why that is..."
"No, Greiz!" Drognan pleaded. "You must listen! This man is a demon! The cloaked one is one too! Please, you must listen! It is because of him that we are facing the darkness we are!"
Greiz grumbled something and forced the staff vender back before clasping an arm around Zyke. "Good to see you, friend. Times are troubled. Jerhyn even employed my Mercenaries to get this city under control while he pulled all his guards inside the palace, for some reason. Now, Warriv's caravan has returned, after so long, and now you have also come. This bears a good omen."
Zyke laughed, walking with the Mercenary employer. His companion followed silently, still hidden by her cloak. "Yes, there was some holdup at the Monastery path, but that's been cleared. Good to see you too, my friend... I finally hired myself a merc of my own."
Greiz laughed again, giving Zyke a pat on the back. "I never thought I would see the day, Zyke the Bard!" Then, he settled, and a grimness took a hold. "But I'm afraid that must mean times are tough if even you need a little protection." Abruptly his smile returned, as if the grimness never was. "Atma has been speaking of you, lately. You should see her. Speak your words, and this time I'm sure she'll present you with her fine self."
Zyke grinned, remembering his once-goal of seducing the bar owner, and his crushing failure. She had offered plenty of her highest standard harem girls for his pleasure, but never herself. Now, though... Now, he could manage himself without that insatiable desire. "I think I will see her, if only for a drink. I have friends here I must see."
Greiz nodded and sent Zyke on his way, and the hooded companion followed silently. The large man watched them go, and he noticed the very feminine outline of Zyke's 'friend.' He laughed at that, though he was sad to see that her many sashes holding the cloak closed were tied at the back, covering what had to be a fine rear from his view.
Zyke glanced at the crowds for someone familiar but found no one, and with a sigh he ducked into the tavern, enjoying the shade as a refuge from the outside heat. He removed his hood as Atma herself approached, one hand on her hip in a pleasant sway.
"How may I- Zyke?" Her almond eyes lit up suddenly, and her sultry smirk curved into genuine excitement. "You came back!"
"Of course, of course," he waved off as she led him to the bar. "Who else will attract the masses of customers into your tavern? Certainly not your girls. Only Zyke the Bard, and don't you forget it!"
Atma laughed and produced two glasses. "Oh, I certainly haven't." She filled the left one with rich drink called the Buried Scarab, his favorite from before. "What'll you have, hun? On the house, for being with Zyke here."
Only silence as the still strangely hooded girl only sat herself on the stool and nudged Zyke with an elbow. He coughed into a hand and spoke for her. "Thawing potion, actually."
Atma blinked, and then smirked as one of her eyebrows lifted. "So, she's one of those friends? Well, who am I to deny them that?" She reached under the counter and pulled out a yellow vial, pouring it into the second glass and sliding it over. "Careful, hun. No frisking in the bar or you get tossed out on your sweet rump."
Beautiful, with a mouth to match, Atma was. He remembered clearly why he so desired to have her before, but now she was more of an old friend. "Thank you, my dear Atma. I will be back tonight, of course, and I'm afraid we must speak then. And, as always, the offer still stands. I will come to your room personally and recite the more... erotic passages of Ellyia's journey into your ear while imitating the actions in full, should you so desire." Old friend, perhaps, but a man could hope, with a woman like Atma.
Atma laughed, and she finished with one of her sultry smirks. "Perhaps, my dear Zyke. I must attend the other customers, but I expect you here tonight!" She sashayed away, hand on hip again.
Zyke took a long drink, parched after the desert, and when he finished, he turned a smile to his companion. She managed to tilt her drink back and slam it all down in one go without her hood slipping. As he opened his mouth to say something, the sound of someone running on the wood landing of the bar reached him, and he – along with the others – turned to see who it was.
Aliza slowed at the doorway, her soft boots coming to rest as her light eyes swept the room. There were a few whistles at her from some of the men – well earned, with her loincloth and cleavage inducing armor – before her eyes found his, and a smile bloomed on her face, which was red from either the heat or running.
In three steps she was too him, and she planted a deep kiss on his lips for all to see. That, of course, brought attention to Zyke, and after some grumbles people noticed who he was and began to murmur among themselves.
Aliza pulled back from the kiss and slipped into the stool next to him. "Zyke, I was so worried! They all said that you'd be fine, and that we didn't need to go after you. Still, I worried. Are you alright? Did those demons hurt you in any way?"
The soft purring that had been coming from Zyke's left stopped suddenly, and suddenly a claw appeared from under the sleeve. "No, no!" he said quickly, trying to divert attention. "It was quite pleasant, actually."
Aliza stared at him for a moment, then blushed. "It was one of those nights, wasn't it?" Zyke grinned sheepishly, and she slapped his arm jokingly. "I swear, Zyke. When the others hear about this..." She looked past him and finally noticed the cloaked girl, and she realized that she was with Zyke too. "Zyke, who is... She's one of them, isn't she?" That wasn't said cruelly, only curiously.
However, the cloaked girl leaned forward to glare through the cowl, eyes glinting green from the dark depth. "I am Rrajhess, Fleshling. I have taken this man as my mate." That was said challengingly.
Aliza blinked at the hostility, while Zyke wanted to cover his face in his hand. "Fleshling?" she asked herself, looking at her own hand and then at Zyke. She shrugged, and then extended that hand towards Rrajhess. "I am Aliza. I have also taken this man as my 'mate.' Welcome to the harem."
Rrajhess stared at the hand for a moment, and then, slowly, she reached out and shook it, engulfing the rogue's hand in the sleeve so that no one saw how hers was furred. But before she let go, the catwoman gripped Aliza's hand. "And my sisterrrrs and I arrre no demons, Fleshling. We arrre of the Sabrrre Prrride. Rrrememberrr that." She released her hand.
Aliza frowned as she rubbed her hand. "Right, your a kitty. Got it."
Zyke took another long gulp from his drink. He knew he had been lucky with the others getting along so well, even with Aliza. Rrajhess – to the Sabre Cats, the female decides the mate and he has no choice – did not mind the idea of others in his harem, so long as she didn't have to like them. Already, he foresaw trouble.
Ellyia had warned him about this, when explaining harems to him. Often, two women wouldn't mix well, leading to tension. She said that they must work it out on their own, however. Separation only prolonged it, and forcible intervention turned their anger to him. Ellyia had turned a big, bright smile to him and advised, "Hide." He felt like doing that already, and Rrajhess hadn't even met the others yet.
Aliza turned back to Zyke, regaining her smile. "We all had to pack into Warriv's caravan to enter the city, and the guards knew him well enough to not have to search him. After, Warriv had given them all cloaks like Kitty's here, and Andy and I reserved a room at the local inn. We should be heading there now. Countess was... restless, to say the least." She blushed after that.
Finishing the rest of his drink and leaving a tip for Atma, Zyke and Rrajhess followed Aliza out. The rogue lead them across town, towards the northern reaches, almost to where Zyke had entered from. "I was out in the city, looking around," she was saying to Zyke as they walked, "when I heard rumors of the great 'Zyke the Bard' returning... Well, it appears you were being honest about your occupation after all."
Zyke gave a strange look at her wide smile. "Of course I'm a bard. What else would I be?" She laughed, while Rrajhess remained silent.
Elzix saw Zyke and squawked. "Z-Z-Z-Zykinander!" That froze Zyke mid-stride. The man saw that, and his words came out in a stumbling rush. "I-I-I've been a g-good man since w-we parted, honest! I s-settled here, and I-I started this inn. Y-Y-You're welcome to s-stay here free of charge, of course." He gave a nervous laugh, then paled. "I've been honest, I swear! Ask anyone!"
Zyke recovered so suddenly one would almost wonder if he had even paused. "Hello there, innkeeper. I'm afraid you must have me confused with someone else. A similar name, after all. I am Zyke. Just Zyke, or Zyke the Bard if you prefer."
The bald man only paled even further, and he began backing up slowly. "That is a-all very good. Remember, free of charge. I'm a good man, now!" He fled.
Aliza blinked after him. "Strange. Have you met him before, Zyke?"
"Not even once," Zyke answered simply and started them forward again.
Aliza nodded slowly at that, though she mouthed the word, 'Zykinander.'
The rogue led them up the stairs to the suit rooms, and she opened the door for them. Once it was closed firmly behind her, she gave Zyke another kiss before leading him into the next room.
Where they entered was a kitchen, stocked with clay jars of food and water. The next was for lounging, with large, flamboyant pillows spread around for sitting. To the left was an open balcony, with colorful drapes swaying in the wind. To the right was a curtain for privacy, open for now, which revealed a large bed with equally colorful blankets and sheets. Directly across from them was a closed door, which Aliza had quickly explained was a washroom. Strange, that she had blushed at that, too.
All the girls were there, luckily, as Aliza had explained on the way over that Andariel was using her human form to also inspect this town of 'mortal maggots.' Countess had Olena working a fan on her while seated on one of the pillows, and she and Blood Raven had been engaged in a conversation before they entered. Andariel was out on the balcony, taking a look out upon the city.
Countess rose to her feet, glowing eyes sparkling when she saw the newest guest. "Please tell me you brought one back with you."
Zyke took a breath and gestured to the girl. "Everyone, this is Rrajhess. Rrajhess, this is Countess and Blood Raven. The one in the white robe is Olena, and the one out there on the balcony is Andariel." Olena had apparently sold her armor already, and she now wore a thin robe that was cut low enough to display pale cleavage and with slits up the sides to show her thighs when she walked.
Rrajhess removed her hood, revealing her dark feline face. Countess's smile widened, while Blood Raven's eyes stayed on Zyke. "This man is now my mate."
"Zyke," Blood Raven said, finally. She also stood, brushing raven dark hair behind her. "We have decided to add a limit of seven to this harem, including yourself. Six girls. You are allowed only one more after this Rrajhess before we become cross with you." Countess's smile dimmed – it was obvious she opposed the idea – while Aliza patted his arm and mentioned she would like a limit as well.
Zyke met Blood Raven's stare for a moment before smiling and nodding his acceptance. "Of course, my dear." 'Cross' meant his life was going to be hell, not that he had any intention of exceeding their wishes.
"Now that you are here and we have our... town for resting," Andariel said as she walked back into the room, black eyes intense on him and not even once glancing at the cat-like girl, "I can take us to meet with Duriel."
"You wish to see Lorrrd Durriel?" Rrajhess asked, surprised.
Zyke sighed. "I told you about this already... We are tracking the Prime Evils, and we are giving the Prince of Pain a chance to work with us or else face banishment back into the abyss."
Golden eyes bore into his, the pupils narrowing into slits. "Surrrely you arrre not..."
A wave of power whip-lashed the room, and heads swung to face it. Andariel was there, her red hair sticking straight up over her as it had when he first met her, and she glared hard at the Sabre Cat. "I am Andariel of the Lesser Evils, Maiden of Anguish, daughter of Lilith! Duriel will join us or he will die." Rrajhess's pupils had dilated with fear to where they nearly filled her whole eye now. "And never again will I hear you call him 'Lord' in my presence, or I will kill you myself. In this harem, Zyke is your lord. He is your master. He is our master, just as he will master Duriel when we face him. Mark my words, demon, or you will live only to regret them."
Rrajhess took a step back from Andariel, into Zyke's side. "B-But men arrre..." She started to mouth 'inferior,' but she changed her mind at Andariel's harsh look. Instead, her eyes broke away from Andariel's to look down at the pillowed floor. She mumbled, "I'm not a demon."
Zyke's arm came around the trembling girl, and she leaned into him, trying to draw comfort. His eyes met Andariel's, and she held the look for a moment. Then, the show of power receded, and her spiked hair fell around her again. She nodded her head to him, and he sighed. At least she had only given that little burst of power instead of unleashing her entire demonic presence. That might have the wrong sort of people coming after them.
One thing Zyke knew was Amazons, and although this girl wasn't one, the Sabre Cats reminded him greatly of them. She had chosen him as a mate during the Moon Hunt – a celebration among them for the full moon – and to her, he was all but her husband now. No different than the rest of the girls, really, yet something about that stood out to him, and he felt a need to comfort her properly. His other arm came around her, and he felt her tail curl around him in return.
He saw Aliza smile slightly at Rrajhess's dressing down, and he gave her a disapproving look. The rogue had the decency to wipe the look and blush. He hoped the two would patch things up soon.
Like that, he addressed Andariel. "Tonight I wish to meet with some old friends and tell stories in Atma's tavern. We can rest, today, and tomorrow meet Duriel."
Andariel met his stare again before she lowered her head in acknowledgment. She disagreed, he understood, but she took her oath of servitude to him seriously and bowed to his wishes. Countess was the same, if a bit more loose as to what service meant. Right now, however, the green skinned woman was smiling delightedly at Rrajhess. "Welcome to the harem, Rrajhess. I have heard only rumors of your kind where I was from, and I find myself excited to meet you."
The girl had stopped her tremors by then, and she lifted her head to meet Countess's look. She returned softly, "A pleasurrre."
Countess's smile widened. "I hope so."
Zyke's dagger met the other with a sharp ting, and he pressed hard to try and throw his opponent off balance. To his side, his skeleton hacked away at another, both wielding half-scythes and battered shields. His opponent was a fellow Necromancer named Alexizar – or Alex – and he was a friend growing up.
Zyke's dagger slid from Alex's, and suddenly Zyke reversed his hold over it so the blade came down instead of up. Alex slashed out, but Zyke defended quickly. Like that, Zyke slide his blade down to Alex's dagger's guard, and from there her used the leverage in the reverse grip to spin Alex's dagger out of his hand.
Zyke didn't hesitate to press his advantage, shoulder ramming into Alex's chest – cracking the outer layer of decorative bone – and he swept his feet out from under him. Alex crumpled, and then Zyke's dagger was at his throat. Alex's skeleton fell at the same time he did.
"'For Kaminor!' Gail's clear voice rang across the battlefield, his bright eyes ablaze as he thrust his longsword into the sky. 'For the King!'
"The men, those brave soldiers who rallied to Gail's call, returned the cry, roaring, 'FOR KAMINOR! FOR THE KING!' And they pressed forward, forcing Alminach's army back. Steel sweated blood at the battle, and it most certainly was no quick victory, yet with Gail standing strong and proud among his battalion of free men, they dealt crushing blow after crushing blow, and with no choice but to retreat or lose his army there, Alminach blew his horn!
"The cowards ran with their tails between their legs, leaving Gail and his men victorious. The town of Millock was free of the tyrant Alminach's iron grip, finally. They cheered and shouted, celebrating their victory with sweat and hoarse voices, still panting from the battle and many wet with blood.
"But Gail did not cheer. No, his eyes of the bluest sea watched Alminach's men retreat, and a feeling settled low in his gut like a mug of Atma's Stonewhiskey. He knew that they would be back, and he knew Alminach would return with an even larger army. Millock was saved, yes, but Kaminor was not yet free of Alminach, the great tyrant whose very name blights the histories and legends like a demon of the Burning Hells!" Several men grumbled angrily, agreeing with him.
"And so Gail turned away from the retreating army to see his men, relishing jubilantly at their newly found freedom. He knew Alminach would be back, yet he remained silent. His men deserved their celebration, they had earned it with their blood and lives. That night they held the great feast, the one known as the Three Nights of Tears.
"Oh yes, the Three Nights of Tears was NOT the days of mourning following Gail's death, as many fools seem to believe. No! For three nights the citizens of Millock cried tears of joy at their freedom and victory, feasting and drinking to Gail's name and to the King. There were even rumors that Gail himself would be the next King, following the death of King Abazar the Wise.
"On the dawn of the fourth day, Gail stood alone on the hill we now call Shattered Hope, and it was there – with the emerald banners of Kaminor whipping in the wind behind him – that he looked out upon the Low Plains where he and his men had fought, and it was there that he decided that in order for Kaminor to truly be free, Alminach would have to be more than expelled from the lands.
"Alminach - Scourge of the Winds, Devourer of Hope, Betrayer of Light, demon from the Burning Hells! - he would have to be slain for them to regain there lands. Alminach the Scarred would die by his sword, the mighty blade Windheart! Alminach would fall, and his hordes with him!"
The packed tavern whistled and shouted, men raising their mugs. Strangely, the building was absent of Atma's usual harem girls, but some local girls were also there, clapping with elegant bearing and smiling. The reaction was always the same with part one of the Tragedy of Gail, just as it was always the same for part two.
Zyke smiled graciously and bowed to them, arms spread wide in typical bard fashion. Atma personally delivered a mug to him with a smile as someone gave him their seat at the bar. "Like a mug of my Stonewhiskey?" she asked as he sipped from his drink.
He smiled up at her. "Perhaps I exaggerated a bit. Nothing can get that bad."
She laughed and shook her head. "If this wasn't the most crowded I've seen my bar since the day you left, I'd throw you out myself!"
"You would never do such a thing to a man as roguishly handsome as me," Zyke waved off before taking another sip.
Atma's chocolate eyes sparkled suddenly as she leaned across the counter, smiling at him. "Speaking of rogues, who was that deliciously clad darling with the red hair? If it wasn't obvious she was with you, I'd hire her into my top harem girls. Those breasts of hers had even me self-conscious."
"Really?" a voice asked with jocularity, and suddenly Aliza was there, smiling as she took Zyke's free arm and gave him a quick kiss. "That was a wonderful telling of Gail, Zyke."
Atma, still leaning over the counter, flashed a smile at her. "Hun, just seeing you in that armor makes me want to take you into a back room, wrap both hands around one, and suckle." Aliza turned beat red at that, and Atma laughed, producing a second glass of Zyke's favorite for the rogue. She turned back to Zyke. "It is good to see you again, Zyke, especially of late."
The seat next to Zyke opened up, and Aliza sat. Zyke, however, lost his smile as he frowned into his glass. "Atma... I've heard some rumors I don't like from some of the others."
At that, Atma's smile strained, and her eyes turned saddened. "You've heard about my family, have you?"
"What happened?" Aliza asked. After the tragedy that had befallen the Monastery, she could sympathize with others' losses.
Atma eyed her for a second, and she nodded approvingly at the armor. "I don't expect this of you, rogue, but if you could help me, I would be grateful. In the sewers below our city, there lurks a horrid creature that hungers for human flesh. The creature has killed many, including my remaining family. If you destroy it, I will reward you. Should you choose to do so, though, please be careful. That beast has taken enough from us already."
Rogues were known for their fighting prowess, and for this one to be out like this meant she was an adventurer, as there was no way Zyke would take a Mercenary. Not a bad assumption, but... "Of course we will, my dear Atma."
The tavern owner turned startled eyes to Zyke. "Wh-what? Zyke, you are just a bard! Don't-"
Zyke smiled at her and twirled his wand between his fingers. "A bard who does what must be done. Aliza here is my Mercenary. We will go."
She recognized a Necromancer wand when she saw one, and she made the connection with his hair. She nodded, after a moment. A slow, reluctant nod. "The sewer entrance is through the trap door just up the street. The creature makes its lair in the tunnels beneath this city... Oh, I couldn't bear the thought of you losing your life on my behalf. Please be careful, my dear Zyke. And don't go now, at night!"
He nodded and flashed a grin at her. "Keep my glass full and I'll stay where you want me." She quickly filled it again with a relieved smile. She, him, and Aliza spoke long into the night as people trickled out, passing word that they would return the next night for the second half of Gail.
Then, a mostly steady Zyke and stumbling Aliza made their way out of the bar. He wrapped his arm around her to steady her and guide her back to the hotel. Alcohol had little effect on him. Well, unless he wanted the effects. There was a time when he only faced life through the haze of intoxication.
Aliza giggled and muttered lewd things to him on the way back, of the things she wanted to do to him when they got to the bed. Very pleasant, arousing things, yet he didn't think she would remember even if she stayed conscious long enough. Elzix flinched at the sight of him, but Zyke paid him no mind as he moved straight to his room.
Before the door, Aliza leaned into him and smothered him in a deep kiss. He could taste the alcohol on her lips as he returned the gesture, and as one hand began to slide down her back, she suddenly slumped against him. She passed out, when they were so close! Laughing softly, he held her steady long enough to open the door, and he staggered in with her limp form.
She drifted back in long enough to stumble a few steps to the bed, then collapsed there and likely passed out for good, still dressed.
The other girls were there, and they saw Aliza's show with raised eyebrows. Rrajhess narrowed her eyes and shook her head. The Sabre Cat had shed her cloak, wearing just a top that strained over four breasts and bottoms like Andariel's, and it appeared she had been in conversation with Countess.
Blood Raven had been with Andariel out on the moonlit balcony, and they returned together when they saw him and Aliza coming back, closing the doors to it behind them. Two candles lit the room, casting the dancing orange glow around them. Countess's and Blood Raven's eyes burned away in the light dark, while Rrajhess's gleamed green. Oh, Olena was there, and he saw her red eyes behind Countess as she gave her mistress an inexperienced massage – not a requirement from Countess, but Olena often assumed things about being a servant.
"First we go clear the sewers of a little infestation, then we go to Durial tomorrow," Zyke said simply as he began removing his shirt and joined them. His armor had been put away while traveling, not expecting any real threats.
Blood Raven nodded, as did Countess, while Andariel only stared at him. Rrajhess, however, watched him sit before scooting over and leaning into him with a small purr. She announced softly, "Tonight, we lay togetherrr as mates forrr the second time."
Countess smiled at that, and even Blood Raven's lips tugged slightly on her pale face. Zyke's arms came around her and Countess, feeling the memorable softness of one and the sleek fur of the other, and his own grin fitted on his face. "Yes, us and the others."
"I have a thawing potion," she purred with a grin.
Zyke remembered the experience and shook his head with a wry grin. "I prefer using my own power, actually. Perhaps a stamina potion to recover my breath, if I must."
"The bed is already claimed," Countess drawled with a tone he knew well, smiling sensuously. "These pillows will do, for now." As she said that, Olena's hands crept around her sides and began to work their way lower. Her smile widened. "Ooh, very good."
"I'll take Rrajhess first," Zyke established as things began to break down, girls reaching to undo their clothes. His own hands reached for the Sabre Cat's top.
Zyke saw his white hair in the mirror, and still it startled him. He had had no idea how it was going to come, if his normal hair would fade until white or if he would just start growing white hair when he started. Growing up, he had visualized himself with greying hair or dark tips with white bases during the transition.
Strange, it had come from the other way. His tips had turned white, first, and that slowly crept back until his entire head was pale on snowy hair. It had only taken a week or two for the whole transition. Now, it had been several days since he had last seen the darkness of his old hair color, and it still startled him.
But he liked it.
Zyke closed the trap door behind them, shutting them into the dark. He thought a sewer would smell of perhaps feces or methane, especially in a town with a rare working sewage system, however the only thing he could detect was death and rot. It reminded him of a distant childhood, and he took a fond whiff.
The girls were throwing back hoods and cloaks, removing disguises they had used to get around in town. Of course, three girls hooded in that heat without an inch of skin showing was obviously suspicious, yet no one bothered to question them once they saw Zyke at the front. Andariel had come with her hood down, though still cloaked, but once down here she worked at removing the ties holding it shut.
The Lesser Evil's brown wool came off and was stuffed into her inventory, followed by her brassier and lower undergarments. Zyke admired the show before she reverted to her true size, discarding her disguise. Then he had an even more impressive show, with her anti-gravity breasts and such. Her hair stayed down, though, much to her annoyance. Her head was brushing the vaulted ceiling as it was already. She produced her curved plate from before to cover her bared mound, and he sighed.
Watching Rrajhess was pleasantly familiar, though, even if it came with a touch of pain. Sleek, dark fur was revealed as she removed her thick sashes and cloak, letting her tail fall in behind her. Then, she removed her armor from her inventory. More like Amazons than he thought, as she slid fitted pieces of plate and armor over herself. Her breastplate even held impressions for her four breasts, which he admired for their brief exposure before she covered them with it. She coiled a whip onto her belt, and she pulled out javelins as her current choice of weapons. After, she nodded to him, ready for the Hunt.
Aliza hadn't been hooded, of course, though she also wore a tan and beige cloak to deflect the sun's brutal rays. Something to blend in with, she said. That went into her bag, leaving her back in her wide loincloth and low-cut armor. Olena had been left at the inn, to tidy things for them. The former rogue had agreed with surprisingly no resistance.
Then, together they began down the first passageway, curving around sharp, damp brick corners.
Three champion Sand Raiders met them there, surprisingly fast for how quiet it had been. For their four arms, they had a mostly humanoid shape, with long hair pulled back into black ponytails. Tall, too, though not as much as Andariel, whom they froze to stare at. The kinship spreading between Zyke's group and them also had them slow.
Burning Dead, however, did not stop. Red skeletons with large shields and flails and such, shambling right for them. Andariel hadn't stopped either, for that matter. Her red claws sliced a skeleton in two without a thought as she passed, and suddenly her hand reached out.
Zyke had never actually seen the Lesser Evil in action before. Well, never seen her in combat before. From that outstretched hand, a green wave of poisonous spheres shot out, inflicting the entire hall before her. As they began to struggled, realizing the current threat, Andariel snarled and tore through them.
One champion Sand Raider crumpled against a far wall, while another was ran through by one of her back's spider-leg claws. The third tried to lift its weapons, but it succumbed to her strong poisons before it could even attempt to do damage to her. In mere moments, the hallway was cleared, and Andariel snorted derisively.
Zyke slapped her ass lightly in passing, giving her a smile. "As expected, my dear." Drawing his wand, he embraced the sweet, sweet Necromantic energies and raised his skeletons from the champion Sand Raiders' corpses, as well as summoned his clay golem and Bone Armor.
They moved on.
From then on, the others assisted where they could, but it was a challenge to do anything when the demoness that was Andariel tore through hordes with claws and limbs, poisons taking those her hands didn't reach in time. For a Demon Queen, she did not hesitate in getting her hands dirty, walking right through the poisonous clouds left behind from Dried Corpses. On top of that, Zyke's minions charged with her, their own force to be reckoned with. Still, occasionally a pile of skeletons could be seen with a javelin or arrows protruding from it.
They found a staircase that led them to the second level of the Sewers. Down there, they had their first experience with Burning Dead Magi. Flames from a fireball licked Andariel's exposed breasts, and suddenly she turned enraged. Dead before even Zyke's skeletons could reach them, skulls crushed under hooves or between her claws.
Strangely, the next staircase was just after the first hall, with more unlit paths beyond it. They descended.
More Burning Dead with Burning Dead Archers and Mages. Several human corpses were down here, either dead guards or women stripped of the clothes and likely their dignity before being butchered. Some of those were still tied up. Those dead men and women had their vengeance, though, as Zyke and his group came storming by.
Dried Corpses were the most annoying, leaving those poisonous clouds behind after crumpling to the floor. Andariel seemed immune to the stuff, plowing through without a hint of slowing. He experienced another power surge on that third floor – his tenth level – and his skill of choice was a fifth point in Raise Skeleton – sixth with wand. He was able to raise four skeletons now, and he did so.
They snagged particular loot as they went, and Zyke found a shrine that gave increased mana regeneration – the reason the mages of old made these shrines was long forgotten, but they could be found nearly anywhere, as seen by finding one down here. He wasn't exactly having difficulty casting, but he figured it wouldn't hurt to grab it. According to his map, most of that floor had been cleared, save the far corner on the top right that they had missed in passing.
Upon reaching that hall, Zyke felt a powerful sense of the kinship. The first demon he had encountered since those initial champion Sand Raiders.
Andariel cared little for this, launching a wave of poison down the hall before shouting, "Die, maggots!" and striding off down it. She had nothing to fear here save Duriel, whom she had informed was stronger than her by a significant level.
Zyke lit the way with his curses, having mana he could blow through right now. His skeletons and golem hurried after her, while Aliza, Countess, and Blood Raven supported with their arrows. Rrajhess was closer to Zyke, so she could see her enemies better and throw her javelins.
As they moved down, Zyke noticed that one of the skeletons wasn't the red of Burning Dead. Black, called a Horror Mage. It still didn't last a moment longer as Andariel crushed it, but it meant something new.
"We live... AGAIN! Hahahaha!" a dark voice echoed from further down the hall, followed by Andariel's snarl.
Zyke and the others rushed down the hall to see a massive horde of undead trying to subdue Andariel, only held back by Zyke's own force. The Lesser Evil had met her match in height. Radament the Fallen, a greater mummy with his scythe-like hands and jackal head. Next to Radament were more human corpses, while directly behind him was a glowing chest and the lower half of a bloody torso.
Andariel's large hands caught Radament's blades, and the two wrestled for control. Then, Radament laughed and exhaled a green cloud directly into Andariel's face. For the first time, that she was poisoned became obvious. Then, she gave her own laugh. One of the claws from her back slammed into Radament's chest, and he staggered back, also poisoned.
Blood Raven's exploding arrows, Aliza's cold, and Countess's regular all rained down at the horde of undead, while Rrajhess had pulled out her whip and began lashing away, and the tide began ebbing away. Zyke's skeletons still held them away from Andariel as she faced the former Horadrim Mage.
However, while Radament matched Andariel in size, he most certainly couldn't match her strength. He showed obvious signs of crippling from the poison, and he didn't manage to dodge her claw when it tore a jagged line down his dried chest, blood spilling over barely preserved flesh. His scythe-arms struck back, but Andariel caught them, and her spider-legs continued to batter away at him.
Suddenly, as the two giants parted and Andariel blasted another wave of poison at him, three burning arrows flew by – right between two spider-legs – and struck Radament, small explosions following. The demon roared, the damage obvious, and then he collapsed in a pile of blood, and with him Zyke felt another surge of power.
Light like falling stars shot from the ceiling into Radament's corpse. The first burst was followed by another a moment later. Then another, and another. The rate got faster and faster, and little crystals of light began to move outward, destroying the last of the undead. It was done.
"What a waste of undead flesh," Zyke mumbled as the corpse burned away from the holy light.
He came to Andariel and checked her for injury. A couple of minor scratches that she scoffed at – lucky hits from Burning Dead – and while the poisoned had cleared away within her, she still had a flushed sweat from it. He gave her a regular healing potion – the most powerful he had on him, currently. She eyed it with disdain, but then took it and carefully drank it.
With the danger gone, Zyke allowed his eyes to wander Andariel's exposed state. The other girls approached and gave her respectful acknowledgment, appreciative of her strength. Zyke, however, could only pay attention to her breasts. He didn't think he could even wrap both hands around one and reach the other side. Her nipples alone were the size of his palm.
She caught him staring and gave him a look. "You don't have to ask permission."
A glove came off as Zyke reached up to do just that. Soft and supple, just as her human form's were, yet these were massive. He could only cup the side of one, and his fingers came to feel her nipples. The skin there was more firm, while the tip alone fit between his thumb and two fingers. Simply amazing.
Aliza, unfortunately, drew his attention away from them, to point at what Radament had dropped. Blood Raven had picked it up, and seeing him looking, she presented it to him. "A Book of Skill," she said, handing it over.
Zyke had only heard rumors of these, and even he had believed them to be legend. That was, until he opened it to its first page and watched as it vanished from his hands entirely. His spell book reminded him of its presence, flashing. Amazed, Zyke saw the capability of two additional skills from his last power surge instead of just one.
He put a sixth point in Raise Skeleton, so he could hold onto four without the wand, and he put another in Skeleton Mastery, so that their attacks were stronger. Old magic, as old as that which allowed Akara to give him the points.
As he did this, the girls had returned into their cloaks, Rrajhess returning her armor and weapons back into her inventory, and Andariel was back to her human form, slipping into her undergarments and her own cloak. Zyke had the urge to just return to the inn with them and quench his lusts, but he pushed the thought away, knowing he had more important things to do.
Once they were all hidden away again, save Aliza and Andariel who could pass as humans, Zyke opened a portal back to Lut Gholein and entered. The area for portals was pleasantly near Atma's inn, and he went inside to inform her that the deed was done. The girls waited outside for him, speaking to each other. They were to go straight to Duriel afterwards.
Atma saw Zyke when he entered, and her eyes widened as she made her way over. "Zyke, my dear, I changed my mind. I ask that you don't go after the creature. Please, stay and rest yourself. I-"
"The creature is dead," Zyke interrupted, smiling at her. "More companions of mine went with me, and together we destroyed the beasts haunting those mazes."
She stopped her insistent objections to gape at him. For a good long moment, her dark and beautiful face remained slack, eyes wide. Then, a slow smile crept up her cheeks, exposing white teeth. "You really...? Yes, you have never been a liar." She positively beamed at him, grasping one of his armored arms. "Some say the taste of revenge is bittersweet, but I find it to my liking. I truly thank you, my dear Zyke, and your companions. I will spread word of what you have done hear to the other merchants of Lut Gholein and get them to lower the price of their wares for you. And as a reward..." Her smile turned sly. "I offer my own body in place of my harem girls, for you to have as you wish."
Zyke almost immediately accepted. He had tried hard enough, before, and she always remained just a step from his grasps. After his close inspection of Andariel's large mammary's, his own lusts had been spiked, yearning fulfillment... However, his mind turned to the girls outside. They wouldn't mind, he was sure they wouldn't, but old words etched onto his heart repeated themselves to him.
His lusts were for his harem, just as theirs were for him.
"I did so as a request from a friend, my dear Atma. You may sleep well, tonight." He lifted her hand and kissed the back of it, smiling at her. Atma hugged him and thanked him a final time, followed by mentioning that Jerhyn wanted to see him.
Zyke frowned as he made his way back outside, looking up to see the sun only slightly short of reaching its highest. They needed to just finish with Duriel, and anything the Lord of Lut Gholein might want with Zyke the Bard could end up being longer than he wished, presently. After informing the girls, he decided against making the lord wait.
Five cloaked girls followed across the town to the palace, all but two hooded suspiciously in the heat. Zyke saw Deckard Cain on the way over, standing near Fara the blacksmith. Fara was a handsome woman with blacksmith's arms, and her studies as a paladin had made her very interesting and resourceful in conversation. Perhaps that was why Cain was with her.
Regardless, Zyke reached the palace, and he saw two iron-faced, dark guards glaring from their posts. Not men to bother with trifles. Jerhyn, however, stood outside the palace steps, and his young face lit when he saw Zyke approaching. Handsome, and perhaps of equal age with Zyke. One of the men who had known Zyke... back when he traveled with Ellyia. Jerhyn's father had been the Lord of Lut Gholein, then.
The man clasped arms with him when he reached Zyke, and Zyke returned the gesture. A high honor, coming from the lord. "My friend, it has been long since we have spoken. I am glad to see you have returned. Warriv has informed me of your exploits with the rogues and their Monastery. Your feats are no less great, Zykin-" He trailed off at a nudge from Zyke, and the lord coughed into a hand when he noticed the people behind Zyke. "I have heard that your barding is still memorable, though another source informs me that you have taken up adventuring on the side."
"Just doing what must be done, nothing more," Zyke assured. This man knew him. He knew that he was just Zyke the Bard. Because that's all he was.
"Yes, but I'm afraid I need your help again, my friend. When troubles began here, I allowed the terrified Harem guilds to join me within the safety of the palace. All was fine, until one night... Screams echoed up the stairwells from the harem. My guards arrived to find the poor girls being slaughtered by a merciless band of hell-spawned demons. My brave guardsmen tried to push the demons back into the mysterious rift from which they came. Ever since, my men have fought a losing battle. Demons have continued to pour through the rift into the palace. Ultimately, I hired Greiz and his mercenaries to help protect the rest of my fair city. Drognan believes that the Arcane Sanctuary lies buried underneath this palace, since Lut Gholein occupies the site of an ancient Vizjerei fortress. My palace is open to you again..."
Zyke's mouth went dry when he heard that. "All the harem guilds...?" Not just at what was lost, no. Lut Gholein was known for its harems. There had been hundreds of women united in that profession – Atma owned nearly two dozen, herself. Hundreds of defenseless women... "We must speak inside, Lord Jerhyn."
They passed the guards, and Zyke's silent companions followed. They descended into the abandoned harem quarters of the palace, polished tiled floors and colorful pillows empty of human life. The lord noticed the followers, and he asked Zyke about them.
"We are his personal harem," Countess answered for him, and Zyke could tell she was smiling even though he couldn't see her face.
Jerhyn looked surprised. "Congratulations, my friend. I always told you that you would be happier with a harem. If only the others..."
Zyke nodded, but he looked over at the girls. "Ladies, would you please show the Lord Jerhym your faces. Lord Jerhym, please do not be afraid."
The man nodded, confused. "Certainly, my friend. And please, 'Lord' demands too much between us. Call me Jerhym."
Blood Raven's hood came down first, burning eyes set in her pale face, scar obvious on her left cheek. It took Jerhym a moment to associate her pale skin and special eyes, and when he did, Countess's hood came down. Unnatural, exotic green skin, and equally red eyes. Then came Rrajhess and her feline face. Andariel and Aliza were already visible, though Andariel's midnight eyes made more sense among her companions.
"These girls... They are demons, are they not? She is human, and she is of the Sabre Cats, but those two are demons, and the last with the eyes... isn't entirely human, either." The man was obviously taken aback, but Zyke had assured him and he showed no fear. "These women make up your harem?"
Countess smiled, while they all nodded. Zyke spoke, "Aliza, my rogue Mercenary; Countess, a woman formally buried for her crimes; Blood Raven, hero of Tristram; Rrajhess, of the Sabre Pride; Andariel, of the Lesser Evils."
The last had the lord whip his eyes to Zyke. "Warriv hinted that she traveled with you, but even knowing you, Zyke the Bard... Worthy traveling companions, my friend. Very worthy. I should expect no less from your harem." He turned back to the girls. "Forgive me if my fear lessens my hospitality. The Prime Evils walk the world, Hell is spilling in, and now I have a Lesser Evil to entertain, with a lack of proper entertainment. I can do no more now than to say make yourself comfortable." He offered a slight bow.
"Actually, my friend," Zyke put in, "we have come here in search of the cause of your recent problems, the Lesser Evil Duriel. We were to head there now, before I heard of your summons. However, perhaps my girls could provide a quick temporary solution while we hunt the Prince of Pain. Where are these demon invaders? Far below the palace?"
Jerhym studied Zyke long and hard before answering. "Even knowing you, my friend, you may always surprise me. You will find the first of the horrors just down that stairwell."
Zyke nodded and turned to Blood Raven. "How strong is your Golem?"
She inclined her head to him. "Strong enough to remove this infestation." He nodded to her, and she strode to the stairwell and cast the spell. It didn't take too long before the first sounds of combat echoed up from below.
Zyke smiled at her and turned back to Jerhym, who was staring at the stairs stone faced. "We must attend Duriel. If you would please keep our departure silent?"
Jerhym turned back to him and nodded. "Thank you, great friend. I wish you success... and happiness with your life that follows."
Zyke nodded back, and he turned to Andariel as Jerhym returned up the stairs to the front of the palace. "How is it that you will take us to Duriel?"
She began undoing the ties of her cloak as she spoke. "Just as I opened one of those 'rifts' to reach this world, I can open one to Duriel's domain. Rifts are the same as your portals, except they aren't specified to a single person or group. The paths between the Burning Hells are simply rifts." Her cloak came off, and Countess came behind her to unclasp the brassier. That came off too, freeing her perky breasts, and she slid the bottoms down her legs.
Zyke's mind slowed to admire her stacked body, up until she reverted to her true form and slid the the curved plate over herself. Still, he stared, until she waved a large hand – as if casting that wave of poison – and suddenly a red portal spiraled open before her. Zyke forced his mind away from her large breasts to face it.
His four skeleton warriors and clay golem were still out, and he recast Bone Armor over himself. Duriel... He met each girl's eye, saw them nod or smile back, and with a smile of his own, he stepped through... Into Duriel's domain.
Zyke sighed, running a hand through his white hair. Sari walked away without glancing back once, white ponytail swaying attractively before her ass with each step. A year older than him, so she was being sent out before him. The first girl he ever courted, and they had been at it for almost a full year now. She just ended it, saying that she wanted to find a man from out there, someone outside the Necropolis.
It made sense. Likely, he would want to find a woman from out there too. Still, the ending had been blunt and abrupt, and he was hurt by it.
How long until he was out there, too? Ten months? He couldn't help feeling some trepidation mixed with eagerness. Five years out there, alone, without having to see Mother – Father had died, two years back – without Necromancers, in the sunlight... Adventuring, it was called; to be an adventurer. He knew it would be hard, and the standards were high, but he would be the greatest. He would.
The room was a stone chamber. In the center, near the portal, was a strange socket in the ground meant for holding or torch or staff. It was giving off a brilliant white light, lighting the rest of the room. Around the socket was a raised stone circle, further emphasizing it, and beyond that simple sand, up until the stone walls that led up to a high ceiling.
Of course, dozens of horrors and monstrosities lurked those sands, though none large enough to be classified Lesser Evil. And none happy to see him, of course.
Unravelers – different versions of Radament – supported hordes of Burning Dead and Steel Scarabs, pleasant little beetles who released charge bolts when struck. Little as in taller than a man. Wraiths swam between them, ready to drain mana simply by touch. Dried Corpses and Gorebelly's – monstrosities wielding maces – were there, too, simply because it might be too easy otherwise. Zyke sighed.
Snarls, grunts, and moans returned the sound as they all turned to charge him. Zyke's minions moved to step between him and them, and then the girls came through as well. Arrows flew immediately, as did javelins, followed by a large wave of poison and a Fire Wall erupting right in the middle of them, courtesy of Countess.
Charged bolts from the Steel Scarabs flowed like water, and Zyke's skeleton warriors all collapsed in the first few moments. Blood Raven helped, though, animating everything that fell to keep the undead meat-wall up between them and the scarabs. A few of her Guardians appeared to help build chaos, though they had little effect on these enemies.
The fight was harder than Zyke expected it would be. Even after the all the Steel Scarabs were brought down, his skeletons were dying fast from the horde, and his Bone Armor couldn't even fully absorb a single blow from anything. His golem only managed to suck a few blows before crumbling, too.
However, his companions provided the necessary firepower. Exploding arrows and animation, cold arrows, especially deadly javelins, even more arrows mixed with Fire Walls, and then Andariel raising hell with her poison and strong limbs. The Lesser Evil used her spider-legs to hold back two Gorebelly's massive maces, and she laughed as both slowly fell to her poisons. Darkly beautiful, with red blood splashing along bared breasts as she rent monsters into pieces with her claws.
"A good hunt," Rrajhess muttered once the final Dried Corpse fell in its cloud of pungent gas, deadly to breathe in. Aliza sent her a look but said nothing.
Andariel had a large hand pressed against the far wall, though. Zyke could feel it too. A large, demonic presence – the kinship even stronger than his was with Andariel – was behind that wall. She said slowly, "He is behind here, in a room not part of this tomb. This wall is meant to be broken down in order to get to it, yet it is warded with ancient magic stronger than I – or you – could break through." She turned to face the glowing socket. "That is the key. I believe this to be Tal Rasha's tomb, which means that Duriel and Diablo have succeeded in freeing the final brother... Baal."
"You are not strong enough yet, Zyke," Blood Raven said suddenly. She was next to him, and her calloused hand – from years with the bow – touched his. "Even if we could break through this wall now, you are not yet strong enough. With all of us, and you will have us all now, we may win... However, it will not come without costs. Likely, one or more of us will die."
He looked into her eyes, saw the unflinching crimson and genuine concern. He then saw the others, nodding at her words, though Andariel only looked at him with no expression. "Well then, it looks like I'm going to have to get stronger, then. We all will. The Horadric Staff is what we need to break down this wall, if I remember correctly... We will get stronger when finding how to retrieve it."
They returned through Andariel's 'rift', and it sealed shut behind her. It wasn't safe to leave those open, not when any demon or undead could just wander through. Zyke needed to speak with Deckard Cain. That the Horadric Staff was needed was knowledge that he had spent months looking for. Cain would know more, with years more experience.
Luckily, the Horadrim Sage did have considerable knowledge on the subject. "The Horadric Mages, after binding Baal within Tal Rasha, magically sealed off his Burial Chamber from the mortal realm. Those same Mages also crafted fearsome Horadric Staves and imbued them with the special power to open the Chamber's hidden door.
"After nearly losing one to the thievery of a rogue sorcerer, they divided all the Horadric Staves into two parts – wooden shaft and metal headpiece – hiding them separately to safeguard them. The Horadrim foresaw our current plight and designed the hiding places to reveal themselves to worthy heroes like you. Collect both parts of a Horadric Staff and unite them using a Horadric Cube. Then, you may enter Tal Rasha's Burial Chamber."
Unfortunately, 'reveal themselves' did not mean that he knew the location. Fortunately, the Quest Log Zyke had obtained years back did. It mentioned that the Cube was hidden under the Halls of the Dead, the Staff was in the Maggot Lair, and the Headpiece was contained within the Claw Viper Temple.
Even more fortunate was that, while she didn't have the waypoints, Rrajhess knew where each and every one was, once starting out in the Rocky Waste. With only some parting words with Cain, they left.
Lut Gholein was barely out of sight when the girls relieved themselves of the cloaks again, and together they set out. More scarabs, called Dung Soldiers, attacked but were significantly easier and quickly taken down. Leapers and Vulture demons followed and also stood no chance, and soon they were in the Dry Hills.
They met some Sabre Cat groups on the way, though, and it was a significant difference from the frustrated corrupted rogues...
"Sisterrr," the Slinger nodded to Rrajhess, who nodded back in kind. Her feline eyes turned to the group, curious, but her voice was dry, "The Hunt goes well forrr you, yes?"
Rrajhess laughed. "My mate and his otherrr mates. Caught him last Moon Hunt."
The girl nodded, eyeing Zyke. Not like how the rogues had, but just a simple inspection. "We caught ourrrselves... anotherrr Marrrauderrr."
Rrajhess laughed again, as though it were an inside joke. "We hunted the trrraveling trrrail. Perrrhaps next Moon Hunt you should trrry therrre?"
The Slinger nodded, stepping back with her sisters. "A fine mate and co-mates, sisterrr. Didn't take you forrr a fleshling hunterrr." They trotted off.
A low growl followed the departure, and Rrajhess stood there with her fur rising slightly in the back, grip tight on the javelin. Zyke stepped forward to lay a gloved hand on her armored arm. "Is something wrong?"
Rrajhess only stepped away from his touch and shot Aliza a glare before moving onward.
Zyke stared after her for a moment before following, sharing a wondering look with the others, save Aliza who glared at the girl's back. He assumed fleshling had a negative connotation to it, yet she only called Aliza by the name. All of them had skin, though, and his was just as human as Aliza's, if that was the case... She confused him, at times.
They reached the Halls of the Dead and descended after fighting off several swarms of locusts.
Zyke reached another power surge – his twelfth level – on the very first mummy to collapse under Rrajhess's javelin. They cleared out the group of them before he opened his spell book and saw all the new abilities capable of being learned. The one that really had him smiling, though, was his first rank in... Raise Skeletal Mage.
With a brief channeling of those rapturous Necromantic energies, a fifth skeleton rose from a gory explosion, and in its hands danced two spheres of ice. Always an exciting random when it came to skeleton mages.
The group of them moved on, plowing through hordes of undead and (Zyke's favorite) more Fallen Ones. Aliza had her own power surge on the way as well. It made Zyke wonder if demons could have power surges or if it came in a different form or if anything came at all. None ever brought any attention to themselves about it.
They reached a set of stairs and descended.
Along the way down this new floor of endless hordes, surprisingly they found a waypoint, and together they activated it. Then they moved on, minion legion and Andariel plowing the way, with the ranged support crushing any substantial resistance that slowed the minions. They reached a new set of stairs and descended.
A group of lovable Fallen fell to them, and they moved past to confront the undead. Surprisingly, however, one of them dropped a rather nicely preserved head. Zyke picked it up and used a scroll to inspect it. Necromancers knew how to make good use out of those, and he just happened to pick up that knowledge some time back.
Plus two to Skeleton Mastery and one to Bone Armor, along with other enchantments he didn't notice. He nearly hugged the jar in excitement. He choose Countess's curvacious body instead. He packed away his battered small shield that barely looked like it was holding together and held that in his offhand instead.
When Aliza asked why he would possibly want such a thing, he smiled at her and said, "The mind contains all knowledge. Learn how to extract that, and I'll tell you the next step as to why."
They continued down the hall and opened a stone door.
Hollow Ones with minions of Returned, mummies called Decayed, and a squad of Huntresses lifted their heads to see them. Rrajhess yowled a single warning to her sisters before the minions poured through and the chaos began.
Andariel's long strides took her straight for the nearest Hollow One, and she used her two large claws to rip its head from its body, spraying blood. The spider-legs on her back lashed out to rip apart any Returned that approached her, and her wave of poison washed over the room. A single Guardian rose in the center, the heads shooting their fire, and the bows twanged as arrows were released in rapid fire. Rrajhess growled and entered the fray, throwing her javelins. Zyke's minions, of course, consumed everything that escaped Andariel or went for her back.
However, the Huntresses did not remain at the back. Their leader, glowing a bright green with enchantments, yowled back to Rrajhess, "This is OURRR terrritorrry! Sisterrrs, kill them!" Zyke barely made out her name: Bloodwitch the Wild.
Countess, however, was having none of that. A Fire Wall erupted between them and the rest of the battle, halting the charge. She slowed her shots to maintain the wall, making sure it never went down enough to where the Huntresses could make their way across. Rrajhess nodded her appreciation.
Soon, the room was empty save those on the other side of the Fire Wall. "Fight us!" Bloodwitch shouted. "We'll kill you!" She didn't try to step through it, though.
"Sisterrr, calm yourrrself!" Rrajhess shouted back. "We came forrr only one thing, and then we will leave."
"Betrrrayerrr!" Bloodwitch yelled back, and Rrajhess flinched. "You betrrrayed the Sabrrre Prrride! Rrremain litterrr-less, Fleshling-loverrr!"
With each returning yowl, Rrajhess flinched again, until she had drawn in on herself. Zyke moved to support her, when suddenly an arrow shot from this side into that one, and they returned a large collection of startled yowls. Zyke could barely see that the arrow had landed only a couple of inches from Bloodwitch's head, and it froze a part of the wall.
Aliza glared across the flames. "What's wrong with Fleshlings, huh? Rrajhess is trying to save you, and instead you curse her! At least she has a mate, you litter-less alley-scratcher!" It was the first time she had used the Sabre Cat's name.
Rrajhess had turned wide eyes to the rogue. "Fleshling, you..."
The rogue wasn't done, though. Her fiery eyes turned to Rrajhess. "Why do you call me that? In case you haven't noticed, your mate is a 'Fleshling' too!"
The feline woman blinked at that, looking between Aliza and Zyke. "He looks like it, yes, but Zyke is... One of us. I can feel it." She gestured to herself and Blood Raven, Countess, and Andariel.
Zyke realized, then. The kinship. She felt it with them, too. Her corruption was to the point where she, too, was practically a demon, and she could feel the kinship with them. Since Zyke could feel it and it ran two ways, she felt it with him, and since Aliza was a plain human... Fleshling.
Blood Raven was before him, suddenly, and she deposited a large, intricate box in his hand. "We have it. Let's go." Countess reapplied the Fire Wall a final time, the trapped cats hissing curses, and together they left the room, closing the door behind them. They ran back to the stairs and reached the second floor, and from there they continued to the waypoint they had found.
Together, they stepped on and selected the Dry Hills, which they had grabbed prior to entering the Dead Halls.
Zyke staggered upon arriving at their destination, and Blood Raven and Aliza caught him and steadied him. As always, he had to swallow back bile rising in his throat, and the headache from dizziness was fierce. He thanked them, but he wished their arms didn't retreat once he could stand again on his own. Checking the sun, he saw that night was still a ways away.
He sighed, eyes glancing from Andariel's large breasts to the rogues' and Countess's loincloths to Rrajhess's breastplate-impressions of her four breasts. He wanted them something fierce, lusts smoldering, even with the last of his headache fading.
One arm went around Countess and the other around Aliza, who was closest to him at the time. With Aliza, his hand cupped a cheek around her loincloth, and with Countess his arm went entirely around her so his hand could slide under her front loincloth, fingers brushing the cleft. The former flexed in his hand, revealing how taut her cheek was, while the latter brought an arm around him and purred, "Eager for tonight, I see."
Zyke usually had a good control over himself, he knew he did – just a roving eye - but lately his lusts had been getting out of hand. He remembered Atma from earlier and frowned. Normally he wouldn't have refused – especially her – and yet he had and still he yearned for... Slowly, carefully, Zyke felt he was beginning to understand what Ellyia had explained about the lust and love of his harem.
He kissed either girl on the cheek and released them, seeing the others had been staring. "The sooner we are done, the sooner we can get back. Lead the way, my dear Rrajhess."
The catwoman looked him and his hand, then glanced at Aliza before turning and starting at a trot. Zyke let the others begin after her, and then he covered the rear, with his minions behind him to keep even him safe. Bouncing loincloths, Andariel's thong, and Rrajhess's tail made pleasant sights, even if the last had nothing particularly erotic. The sights kept his lusts temporarily satisfied, though, as well as made him smile.
The were led to the Far Oasis, and again they picked up the waypoint on the way. Then, it was to the Maggot Lair.
Needless to say, there were countless maggots of large and extra large size. While in there, he reached his twelfth power surge and second skeletal mage, and after a time they returned with the Staff of Kings.
Zyke glanced at the sun again to see it had hardly changed, and he sighed. Their time down there had done nothing to abide him, except see his girls get slick with juices from the eggs and walls and such. Andariel's large ass had been a particular target with that, brushing against walls with the turns, and upon exiting he ran his hands down it from top to bottom, feeling how his hands slid down slick juices over soft flesh, ending with a squeeze that had flesh slip from his hand.
It was a torture for him, and they laughed about it.
One more thing was needed, but on the way, suddenly the sky went dark as night. They stopped, glancing up at the sun. The moon was blocking it – an eclipse – yet there had been no sign or warning of it earlier. Looking down again, he saw the world in a dull orange cast.
Rrajhess's slitted eyes remained on the flare around the moon for a while longer. "Therrre arrre grrreat celebrrrations and festivals forrr when the Moon Eye coverrrs the Sun Eye. Howeverrr, this is not naturrral."
"I don't care about this, so long as we manage to get back to the inn before that sets below the horizon," Zyke put in. "Please hurry."
Rrajhess laughed, one hand suggestively running over her breastplate – feeling each of the four bumps – before going down her stomach and curving around her plated buttocks. She was teasing him. "Mates eagerrr forrr the tail arrre most easily led to do as the female wishes."
His hand came behind her and ran down her bared back the same way he would when petting a cat. She shivered at his touch, back arching when he reached her tail, which he wrapped his hand around and continued all the way to the tip. "I don't care where you lead me, my dear," he muttered into her triangular ear, "so long as I get that tail."
She nodded slowly, retreating from his touch to continue onward. It was easy to tell how affected she had been by that touch. He made note of it, how similar her body responded to a cat's. There were pleasant advantages in knowledge like that. Andariel, the most difficult of the group, had a spot on her neck just under her right ear that could produce sound from her when nothing else could, while Blood Raven had the same, except on the exact other side of the neck. He had yet to find one for Countess, but simply touch Aliza and she melted.
From the Far Oasis they found the Lost City and past that was the Valley of Snakes, and it was in there they found the Claw Viper Temple. Of course, they had to deal with a few monsters on the way, but with Andariel the threat of them had become laughable, let alone Zyke's own overpowering horde.
They descended from the dark sun to the depths of the Temple.
The temple looked much the same inside as the others, except that it was filled with the demonic Claw Vipers and Salamanders. The demons still proved of little concern to them, up until Zyke reached his next power surge and fourteenth level, giving him a third skeleton mage. Still, the quick strikes from the beasts managed to give Andariel a few scratches she refused to notice until Zyke shoved minor healing potions into her mouth.
They reached the second level and continued.
More Claw Vipers struck out at them, and Zyke allowed his skeletons to hold them back while the range – his mages and the girls – gunned them down. They then took a left, down a long hall, to where another stone door blocked them. Zyke was the one to open it, allowing his minions to spill into the room before following.
Quick Claw Viper strikes battered his skeletons and clay golem, and one skeleton was destroyed. Then, Andariel squeezed through the door and unleashed her poison, and all the demons turned green with affliction. Zyke stopped her from continuing onward to crush them, and when she looked to him in askance, he ignored her.
One near the back was enchanted... Lightning enchanted, and extra fast. It's name was Fangskin. He pointed it out to Blood Raven, and three exploding arrows eliminated the threat, though it took her five shots as it kept dodging the arrows. Zyke then released Andariel, and she left him to grab a Claw Viper by the throat and crush it between her hands.
In the center of the room was something called the Tainted Sun Alter. It made it only slightly obvious, but nevertheless he destroyed it while the battle was raging, and he saw something gold go flying out of it. Walking over and picking it up, a Claw Viper charged him and struck at him, but the Bone Armor kept its attacks away until the clay golem lumbered over and bashed the viper back, then again to where it hit a wall.
In his hands, Zyke saw, was the Amulet of the Viper. Not the headpieces that his quest log told him of. He frowned at it, feeling that it was special in some way. Shrugging, he placed it inside the Horadric Cube with the Staff of Kings. Nothing else had dropped, and his Quest Log told him that quest and another he hadn't even noticed were complete.
Once the battle was over, he inspected the others. Aliza and Blood Raven together, looking for more enemies with arrows nocked. Countess checking the ground for missed treasures. Rrajhess was looking at him, some times glancing at the others. No, not the others. Aliza... Andariel had blood covering her front again – particularly the breasts – and she was beginning to calm down from the fight.
He opened a portal back to town and handed Andariel a rag from the ground to wipe herself with. She seemed reluctant, but she eventually took it and cleaned the blood off her impressive assets. Then, she shimmered back into her human form, packed the curved plate – her only form of clothing for her true form – into her inventory and put on her undergarments and cloak, as did the other girls. Once all signs of their demonic natures were hidden away, Zyke took the time to grope one and entered the portal. By feel alone, he knew he had squeezed Countess's amazingly full buttocks.
In town, Cain seemed excited to see them, hobbling over as he rasped, "You have quite a treasure in that Horadric Cube. According to Horadric lore, the Cube can restore a Horadric Staff. To do it – use the cube as you would a scroll. When the Cube opens, place both pieces of the staff into it and use the Cube's transmute power. You'll be pleased to know that the Cube has other alchemical uses as well... Six gems plus one sword transmute into a socketed long sword. You may also transmute two quivers of crossbow bolts into one quiver of arrows, while two quivers of arrows yields one quiver of bolts. I must leave it to you to discover other formulae."
Zyke paused, pulling out the Cube. The pieces were already inside, so... He pressed the button, and there was a flash of light from inside. Reaching in, he pulled out a solid staff much different than the gnarled one he had left in there.
Cain beamed a wrinkly smile. "Excellent! You have a Horadric Staff. Carry it with you into Tal Rasha's Tomb. Find within the tomb the chamber whose floor is inset with the Circle of Seven Symbols. Place the Staff into the receptacle you find there. That will open the secret passage into Tal Rasha's Burial Chamber. But, be prepared for a fight – you'll likely have to kill Tal Rasha to destroy Baal."
Zyke looked at the aged man after that. Cain thought Baal was still in there. After debating whether to tell him whether or not only Duriel remained, he decided it couldn't hurt. "Duriel and Diablo freed Baal of his tomb long before we got here, Deckard Cain. All that remains is the Lesser Evil Duriel, and that is whom we go to kill now."
Cain frowned and scrubbed a hand through his beard, his eyes tightening with worry. "That does not bode well for humanity, my friend. I fear what things the Lord of Destruction has done during his freedom while the world has remained unknowing. Yes, go and rid the world of the Lesser Evil – no offense. When you return, we will discuss what to do about this."
Zyke nodded and glanced again at the sky – bright again, after the eclipse. Hours till dark. Enough time to face Duriel. "Blood Raven, if we go to face him now?"
She was quiet for a moment, then she said reluctantly, "If we are careful we might pull it off. Very, very careful." He had gotten so used to her he hardly even noticed that her spectral voice was supposed to be unusual.
A few gear changes had taken place during their wanders through the hot deserts, especially after they had Cain inspect it. Changes with Duriel in mind. Zyke knew from bard tales that Duriel had an affinity for cold, and Andariel verified it as well as explained her fellow Lesser Evil in detail. They weren't going with the intent of fighting him, only keeping in mind that they might have to.
Ring mail enchanted with dexterity was given to Aliza, and Fara had given the other redhead a knowing smile as she trimmed the collar away so that it could expose cleavage (give breathing room, Aliza claimed). Zyke had obtained a two-socket bone helm, which he fitted two special jewels in for cold resistance – white bone developing a blue hue from the enchantments. Another plain bone helm had been found, and Blood Raven laid claim to it to replace the one that had broken in the Catacombs.
Quite a few rings passed from their hands into Fara's, though two were kept – both granting more cold resistance, with the second also giving more life and mana. A rare-enchanted item, the name appearing yellow on enchantment identifying scrolls, was sold, though another pair of rare-enchanted light gauntlets gave both cold resistance and had a chance to give off a frost nova when struck, on top of other stats. Zyke put those on. His paradoxical Heavy Boots of Haste were still more appealing than the chain boots he found that gave strength, so those were also passed to Fara. An enchanted piece of splint mail – granting vitality, mana, and casting speed – replaced his old ring mail.
Aliza's plain skullcap was sold in favor of mask that gave vitality and dexterity – she had an obsession over the dextrous stat, Zyke was beginning to find. Lightning enchanted javelins had been found and given to Rrajhess, as well as a rare-enchanted bow that managed to replace "Countess's finest." Belts of all sorts had been passed around among the group, though Zyke himself grabbed the Heavy Belt that gave him a third row for potions. A quick chat with Lysander filled those, the same order for all of them (First column health, second mana, third rejuvenation, forth thawing – much to Rrajhess's liking). Finally was an amulet that allowed both poison and cold resistance, as well as stamina and 'light radius.'
Outside of gear was a nifty supply of charms. Charms of Greed and Vitality and Mana and resistances of all sorts. They split those among themselves to whomever they would work best, such as Aliza receiving the ones with dexterity and Countess, of course, taking all of the Greed. Blood Raven took some that gave small elemental power boosts to her attacks. Andariel just scoffed at them.
Finally, they were ready and had returned to Jerhym's palace so Andariel could open another rift. It was either here or the inn, and this seemed least suspicious if demon energies leaked out. Blood Raven created another Golem to wander the halls of the Harem Quarters, just in case something had been too powerful.
Cloaks were tossed and packed away, Andariel returning to size and slipping her curved plate back on, and then the rift was opened. A rift... a portal that anyone could use, and not limited to one return. Seven skeletons (four warriors, three magi), a clay golem, his recently empowered Bone Armor, likely large amounts of Amplify Damage, three archers, javelins, Old Spells and Fire Walls, and last but most certainly not least, Andariel with her physical strength and crippling poisons... Against Duriel of the Lesser Evils.
Zyke only hoped Blood Raven would find long forgotten corpses beyond the chamber this rift led to. Without that, he would have no supply to restock his skeletons. If that meatwall died out... it was his girls who would die next. "Behind my clay golem at all times, Andariel! And Blood Raven's!"
She glared down her nose at him, easily twice his height. She was confident that Duriel would work with them, enraged at the betrayal, but if it came to fighting, she wanted to be in the thick of it, claws to claws. Fighting each other was natural to the Lesser Evils, even against the stronger individuals.
Zyke knew she hated forms of genuine affection – most prideful of the succubi, after all – yet he couldn't help stepping forward to wrap an arm around her. Even going straight around, his hug only went around her hips, and his arm was only long enough to reach her second cheek, which he gladly palmed. His face remained serious, though, looking up into her eyes between her gravity-less breasts. "I will not allow myself to lose you." Oh, his face was practically touching her curved plate, he noticed.
After a long moment, one of Andariel's large, inhuman hands came down to engulf his armored back, pressing him against that plate. "We will not die by his hand," she roughly tried to reassure, her throaty voice hesitant.
Zyke smiled, proud of her for letting down those scornful walls she held herself in at times. His hand gave her a squeeze and a pat before he backed himself away. "Of course we won't. None of us will. A harem doesn't just mean sex; I'll keep you all safe, with my own life if I have to." Andariel's eyes widened slightly at that, while Aliza and Rrajhess gave him nods. The Lesser Evil probably hadn't even considered that he could actually care for them.
Well, he did. More and more, he was beginning to find. The beginnings of love and attachment in the throes of lust. They were his girls, and he was their bard... Just as she had been his javelin, and he her army.
With his wand clenched in one hand and the Preserved Head in the other, Zyke gave them all a smile and stepped through the rift first.
"Remember, you must return in five years from this day, or we will come and find you, Necromagi. May the world tremble before your army."
The final parting words with the Elders both invigorated Zyke with pride – he was an official Necromagi, now – and confused him. Why would he ever not want to return to the Necropolis? Cool, dark tunnels with the sickly sweet smell and feel of death. Only there was he – as a Necromancer – ever capable of being truly accepted. The world shunned his kind like fools.
For five years, he would be Outside, and he would return one of the greatest Necromagi in history. He had to. Perhaps even great enough to join the elite core of Necroguardians, or even... even enough to petition for Eldership. Regardless, he would get stronger, and he would return. In five years...
His first step into the light of Outside was oh so blissfully ignorant.
A few demons had wandered back into the chamber since Zyke had last departed. This time, the Dried Corpses and Steel Scarabs fell to his minions before the others followed and could do anything. One new skeleton warrior had to be raised after absorbing the entire force of charge bolts, though.
Then, the girls watched as he drew the Horadric Staff from his inventory and put it into the glowing socket. The whole room began to rumble and shake, suddenly, with sand spilling from cracks in the ceiling. Light blazed into the room from the staff, gathering immense power that could be felt.
Then, a beam of lightning exploded out of the staff and into the far wall they knew Duriel to be behind. The ward vanished as stone crumbled, and the blast ended with a large hole there, leading into Tal Rasha's tomb.
"He's fast as hell," Zyke reminded, staring down at that dark hole, feeling the magnified demonic presence washing over him. The kinship... His brother was down there. "If hurt in the slightest, do NOT hesitate to retreat through the portal I'll open up. Please... All of you, stay alive." With a hand on the corner of the fragmented wall, he jumped down.
They all landed next to him, Rrajhess near silent with feline grace and Andariel with a small tremor. A massive shape could be seen before them in the darkness, and it drew itself up at the sight of them. There was a chittering sound – like laughter - before it began to move towards them.
"Do you seek... Andariel?" Duriel boomed as he approached, his insectoid legs halting their charge when he saw the equally massive woman behind the mortals and former mortals.
"No, I believe we found her already," Blood Raven muttered dryly, and Zyke had to hide a laugh. She was just like her.
Andariel stepped around Zyke's minions, confronting her fellow Lesser Evil. She had told them that Duriel was... four times stronger than her? "We were betrayed."
Tiny eyes on a red head filled with spikes and teeth glanced down at Zyke and the others before returning to Andariel. "...How so?" Where as her voice was throaty, his was deep and rumbling.
"What happened at Tristram and the destruction of Diablo..." she growled, anger beginning to heat her words. "His return is not of the immortality he told us. The humans sealed the Prime Evils away in soulstones after the Dark Exile, and after those two centuries the Prime Evils have learned how to corrupt the mortals through the soulstones. They are able to take on their forms through the soulstones, and if those bodies are destroyed, they simply need to find new hosts for the soulstones. Not immortality, but a foolish game of stripping shells!"
Duriel laughed, the loud chitters echoing off the walls. Andariel's eyes widened at this, not expecting that reaction. Zyke's minions inched forward, beginning to form the layer between her and the other Lesser Evil – unnoticeable as it was well below their eyesight. Duriel had a look of cruel amusement on his face, sharp teeth bared. "Perhaps you were fooled, Maiden of Anguish. Baal has kept me in... close confidants. I know all about the soulstones and the plan for the Worldstone."
Andariel's lip curled, the same way it had when Zyke had confronted her with information she hadn't known before. "The Worldstone?"
Duriel cackled, his insectoid legs bringing him closer to her, eyes gleaming. "You don't even know! Oh, I am going to relish killing this pathetic army of yours before claiming your... mentionable body and banishing you back to Hell."
With those words, everything spiraled out of control at once.
Andariel snarled, rage marring her beauty as she moved to attack him. Duriel laughed as an aura of unholy freeze struck out and slowed everyone, and then he charged. Fire Walls lined Duriel's path, and arrows began lashing out at his thick carapace. A Golem of stone rose up next to the clay golem, and the two together were the first to meet Duriel's charge, at the same time two Guardians rose from behind him.
Zyke opened a town portal for emergencies, and his Amplify Damage curse was on the Lesser Evil before the aura had frozen his first skeleton, doubling all the damage he took. His gaze tightened when he saw his golem demolished in under a second by Duriel, and he resummoned it again in the same spot.
Andariel's poison spurted in a thick stream over the other Lesser Evil, and she held it before taking two strides and lashing out at him.
Between the time it took for Zyke's clay golem to crumble and the next to rise, Duriel had demolished two of his skeleton warriors, laughing gleefully. The three skeleton mages fired bolts of ice, fire, and lightning respectively, and Countess never once allowed her Fire Wall – roasting the Lesser Evil from below – to diminish. Arrows of fire exploded against Duriel, while Aliza's cold arrows left only little patches of frost. However, even that little managed to slow the Lesser Evil somewhat.
The second clay golem was cleaved in half one way and then the other near immediately before Andairel suddenly grabbed Duriel's wrists and grappled with him, the spider-legs from her back jabbing out and leaving thick holes in his hide, each one tipped with more poison. Duriel roared and overpowered her, and Andariel was tossed back in a burst of unholy magic and strength.
Zyke's heart clenched as the giant woman's shoulder collided into a rocky wall, shaking the room, but she didn't even slow, righting herself on her hooves, launching a wave of poison, and charging back in, snarling. In that time, however, Duriel's massive claws jabbed away at Blood Raven's Golem of stone, and Zyke was surprised to see it break apart after a good number of those hits.
Another clay golem was there when Duriel turned for more, and Zyke reapplied Amplify Damage while Blood Raven created another Golem and more Guardians between bow shots. Duriel made a hissing sound as the fire below him continued, and he sent another wave of unholy freeze before moving to the side and destroying the last two skeleton warriors.
Countess's movements were slowed as she raised a new Fire Wall where the Lesser Evil stood, but when he tried to move again, Andariel lashed out with her claws, forcing his attention to her, following by battering with her spider-legs. Anxiety tightened Zyke's chest – she was supposed to be behind the golems!
Javelins embedded the Prince of Pain, giving off sparks of lightning with each new javelin, and his body was beginning to become littered with both those and arrows. He didn't slow, though. If anything, Duriel only became enraged.
One claw smacked Andariel back, while the other cut deep into her arm when she tried to block. Poison spray retaliated from her, as did her spider-legs, but then Duriel performed a powerful Smite, and Andariel was knocked back again, dazed.
Zyke tried to keep clay golems up between Duriel and the other minions, but the Prince of Pain hacked his way through faster than Zyke could keep up, and with a terrible feeling inside, Zyke ran dry. A thawing potion quickly followed by a mana potion went down his throat, and he kept his eyes on Duriel to see the ramifications.
Blood Raven's golem collapsed after momentarily slowing him, and he reached the first of the mages. However, the Sabre Cat was standing much to close to the other skeletons. "Rrajhess, move!"
Zyke was moving even before he spoke, feet quick and light with enchantments. The second skeletal magic shattered as it was swiped through, and then his massive form was looming before the feline girl. She thrust a javelin right into his chest, lightning lancing around from it, and with graceful, nimble movements she dodged two heavy jabs from his claws.
Then, another unholy freeze overtook her thawing potion, and her movements slowed suddenly. She struggled to lift plated bracers to block the oncoming strike...! But then Zyke was there, arms around her.
The massive claw only grazed Zyke, but it plowed through the thick layer of Bone Armor and still drew no small amount of blood from his back, and with Rrajhess, Zyke tumbled across the ground.
Both scrambled to stand and face the oncoming Lesser Evil, but as he tried to move towards them, Andariel was back, body-slamming the larger demon back a step. More poison oozed from her mouth and hands as her spider-legs lashed out viciously. A stone golem rose before her, absorbing the next of Duriel's blows. That was followed by a clay golem and a new cast of Amplify Damage.
A Fire Wall erupted from under Duriel, and he roared at the onslaught. Additional Guardians replaced those from before, spewing more fire balls at him from behind. Blood oozed from his wounds, and more arrows of fire, ice, and regular variety mixed with javelins of lightning. The remaining skeleton mage still tossed charged bolts of lightning at its same steady, unrelenting pace.
But the lord wasn't down, yet.
Another Smite slammed into Andariel, and she staggered heavily upon trying to rise. The golems fell again, and Zyke drank another mana potion while trying to keep up the shield of clay between Duriel and Andariel, whom he was glaring at with singular hatred. Her wounds weren't looking good, with swelling and cuts visible on her large frame. She completely ignored her potions, glaring back and charging.
Andariel's clawed hands smacked into Duriel's face, at the same time arrows rained into the side of his large body. Her spider-leg deflected one of his claws, while both of her hands caught the other by the wrist. Rrajhess was throwing javelins while running slowly – slowed from the Lesser Evil – so that she could hammer him from the side with the others.
With each new blow against Andariel's unclothed frame, Zyke winced. He wished he could do more. All he had was his wand, but attacking with it would be worse than useless. So many more spells were still outside his reach, and without corpses he could do nothing more. HIM, doing nothing more than a simple summon and keeping a single curse up, while his girls fought and Andariel bled for him.
Another Smite knocked Andariel flat on her back into the cavern floor a distance away, and she collapsed upon trying to rise. Zyke was closest, after the golems. He saw Andariel trying to rise again, a glare unbridled on her face. "Stay back, Andariel!" he commanded harshly, and her midnight eyes flashed to him. Bone Armor erupted around him.
The stone golem fell, arrows and javelins and charged bolts mutilated Duriel's side. How much longer could he keep going? The girl's attacks were slowed due to his aura, somehow easily overcoming the thawing potions they brought. The clay golem fell again, and Duriel's beady eyes latched onto Zyke, face snarling for someone's blood.
Surprisingly quick insect-legs took Duriel from Countess's Fire Wall towards him, fast even while slowed from Aliza's arrows. "Zyke, move!" someone shouted. He didn't care who; he stayed firmly put.
Another clay golem rose between them, and two quick slashes destroyed it. Another rose. A stone golem rose. Both fell. Duriel was almost close enough to strike Zyke, who felt another unholy freeze slow his movements. Another clay golem. More than one girl was shouting at him now. Zyke braced his feet and smiled, tensing his body.
A thick stream of poison shot over his shoulder into Duriel, and his chittering turned hazardously high with pain as it seeped into his many wounds. But he didn't slow. That clay golem died in a single blow. Duriel reached him.
The first jab from Duriel was deflected, luckily, by the last skeletal mage, who's bones clattered against the far wall with its destruction. More shouts, somewhere. A Fire Wall rose under Duriel, and Zyke could feel the heat from the flames where he was. A clay golem rose before him, and the swipe that destroyed it almost took his head too.
Zyke, even slowed, managed to dodge the next jab, and the one after. His Preserved Head barely blocked an attack, luckily not shattering with the force of it, and a stone golem bought him another few seconds of life.
But that was it. Duriel's deep hiss came triumphant as another wave froze Zyke, and both arms – tipped with those awful spikes – came down from overhead. Zyke saw them come, trying to dodge so very hard. His movement took him from the first one, yet the second could easily sever his arm.
Instead, his Bone Armor deflected it into only slashing his arm deep, and that whole side exploded in pain as it was nearly ripped off. Zyke gritted his teeth, biting back a groan unsuccessfully. A new wave of Bone Armor tried to form, but Duriel was quick.
Andariel was quicker, and she caught both arms by the wrists, teeth bared fiercely as she shouted, "NO!"
Zyke would always remember that exact moment, with pain ebbing away life from his right arm, looking up at Andariel, covered in blood and wounds, struggling viciously at keeping him alive, if even for a moment. Her lovely breasts were in that image, slicked with blood and dirtied from the knockbacks, her right one having a slight cut on the side. Her hair was in its defying-gravity mood, above her head, building to her warrior image. Her legs were to either side of him, smooth and slicked with sweat where not with blood, and he knew if he tilted his head back he could touch the curved plate that protected her modesty.
All that, in that one instant where she saved him from Duriel's claws. Then, a new Smite slammed into both him and Andariel, and that was the last he saw for a good long time.
One second, he was looking up at Andariel like that. Then, he saw only a flash of a blur, and then his mind reeled with a blazing headache almost bad enough to consume the pain in his arm. His eyes were unfocused, but what he saw was Duriel in the far distance. Lights were flashing, and there was a distant, ear-shattering sound. Duriel was moving erratically, but Zyke couldn't focus enough to see exactly what he was doing.
He fumbled for a healing potion, only succeeding when the daze died down. Hissing as he rose to his feet, Zyke saw he was at the far wall. He wasn't the only one, though. "Andariel!" he shouted in worry, but his voice was strained after the Smite.
The woman made a large impression against the wall next to him, her body limp. Even her spider-legs didn't bother twitching. Zyke stumbled to her, not liking how many wounds and how much blood covered her.
He kneeled next to her breasts, for once not bothering to look at them appreciatively. A shaky hand reached out to brush her hair away from her face, and he saw that her eyes were closed. Was she even breathing? His eyes tried to study her torso, but the patience needed and lack of focus prevented him from picking up signs of movement.
His arms came around her, lifting her heavy weight to him. "Andariel!" he shouted, trying to get her attention.
The smooth skin of her slack face tightened at that, wincing. Relief shot through him like a lightning bolt, and his lips were on her large ones right as her eyes were trying to open, clutching her heaviness to him. "Wha...?" Andariel tried to ask, throaty voice carrying signs of her own dizziness and pain.
Zyke held a healing potion to her lips once he pulled away, but his eyes went back to see the battle. Andariel wasn't the only one there, he knew. But the lack of sounds had made it easy to forget, in his worry, and now he looked for why, fearing the worst.
But what he saw was for the best. Duriel lay in a massive pile of blood, crumpled and unmoving. The others were making their way over, Blood Raven continuously glancing back to make sure Duriel didn't try to rise again.
Had they... won? Did they defeat Duriel? Countess was smiling at him, but the other three were soldiers at heart and kept their expressions stone as they kept checking back for deception from the former Lesser Evil.
Most of Andariel's wounds had healed – most, as it took multiple potions to actually heal her – and she too was looking at Duriel's remains. Then, she allowed her head to rest back against the wall, and she let out a heavy sigh. "It is done."
With that, it truly was. The girls relaxed, Aliza and Rrajhess smiling with relief at each other before realizing it and looking away. The look didn't go away, though. Only turned to Zyke. Even Blood Raven relaxed, taking a deep breath and lowering her bow. Her glowing eyes turned to him, hidden away in the bone helm again. "Next time, fool, we wait until you're stronger."
Zyke huffed a weak laugh, collapsing next to Andariel. He almost set his head down, but then he saw the rather magnificent pillow only a foot or so away, and instead he removed his own bone helm to rest his head on Andariel's large breast. She had finally taken one of her own potions, to finish healing the rest of her wounds, and one of her large arms came around him, holding him to her. The red claw rested along his chest, but he only put his own hand over the demonic appendage.
His other arm opened wide, and Countess was the first to enter that embrace, also lying on her back with her head resting against Andariel's bloodied stomach. Zyke's arm went around her, under her full breasts - he could feel them resting over his hand – and her held her to him.
Aliza, Rrajhess, and Blood Raven remained standing, while the rogue captain looked back towards where Duriel's body lay. "A passage opened upon Duriel's death, and the things his corpse dropped... They are of interest to us."
Zyke nodded, feeling what that motion did to Andariel's breast, yet for a moment he could just lie there. He wanted the other three to join him, yet he knew that just because Duriel was dead, didn't mean things were over. Not by a long shot, in the long run, but even things in this cavern weren't done, as they needed to loot Duriel and inspect where Tal Rasha had been left to battle Baal and...
But they were alive. Each and every one of them. Willowy Aliza and furred, four-breasted Rrajhess, smiling down at him. Stern Blood Raven, fingering her scar as she looked back at the fallen demon. Countess, her lush frame snug into his side. Fierce Andariel, whom he was currently resting his head and body against. All alive and still with him.
Zyke's other arm also came around Countess, and he pulled her into a deep kiss. He pulled away before she even had a chance to return it, rolling over to give a just as passionate one to Andariel, whose large lips curved back to meet his. Then, he was on his feet, and he took Aliza and Rrajhess under each arm. The rogue got the first kiss, a blush tinging her cheeks, and then Rrajhess, whose feline face was a different experience – whiskers tickling his cheek. And then his arms were around Blood Raven, and, cool as water, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him with equal passion.
Zyke turned from that to scoop both Rrajhess and Aliza in his right arm – they were the smallest of them, and together they just barely fit – with Blood Raven in his left, and he gazed down at Countess, who now had Andariel's breast pressed into the side of her face as both looked up at him.
An attractive sight, one he was thankful he could still manage to see. "Now, let's finish up here, so we can get back to the inn and I can show you all exactly how much I appreciate you."
Both hands slid down the girls' backs to get a handful of Blood Raven's full rump and Aliza's taut buttocks – bared beside the loincloth – comparing the difference, before he kissed Rrajhess on her furred cheek and stepped away from them, offering a hand for Countess to stand. She took it.
Andariel, he tried, but her red claw only managed to pull him to her, and she mashed his face between her breasts as she rose under her own power. "Not in my true form, you won't," she muttered to him, then set him on the ground. A small, satisfied smile was on her face as she looked past him to the remains of Duriel. "Lord Zyke," she added.
Together, they reached Duriel's remains and the loot he had dropped. A wand and a rare-enchanted bow stood out, and they packed away an unidentified claymore, socketed crossbow, and unidentified shield for selling. A skull had dropped, too, and Zyke pocketed it. Not to mention, an extremely useful scroll of town portal that none were able to explain Duriel having.
They moved up to the opened path and went through a long hallway. To Tal Rasha's resting place, Zyke presumed. They all remained on guard, though. As they walked through the hall, though, and the thrill of the fight began to leave him, Zyke noticed that some of the tense power hadn't gone away. The raw strength in him, divided in fifths – his fifteenth level.
He guided the power as he wanted it, drawing his spell book, and selecting an ability from the third chapter: Iron Maiden. Now that would have been useful against Duriel, had he thought to get it earlier.
At the end of the hall, the group stumbled upon a sight that Zyke never expected to see... again.
Tyrael, pulling himself off a slab of stone Zyke was sure that had been where Tal Rasha had been imprisoned... Where Tyrael had just been imprisoned. Tyrael, archangel of the High Heavens and a member of the Angiris Council. He stood out as he is the only angel mentioned in the tales to have helped humanity directly... And there was once a time Tyrael had approached Zykinander.
Andariel scowled at the sight of him, while all but Aliza flinched at the brilliance of his wings. Aliza merely gaped. Zyke smiled, politely.
"Well, well, well," the angel's deep voice rang out, like from a brass instrument. "Why am I not surprised to see your face here?" There was a hint of amusement.
"Greetings, archangel," Zyke said in response, smiling still. "I am Zyke the Bard, a traveling storyteller from lands near and far, come to inspire the lords and the commons, the big and the small, the mighty and weak, the damned and the holy... It is a pleasure and a great honor to meet you, archangel Tyrael."
Tyrael stared at him – it appeared he stared at him – from behind his hood for a moment, then said, "It appears someone finally taught you manners. I must thank them." The angel stood from the slab and then suddenly began floating off the ground, tendril wings spread wide. "But first, I must thank you for rescuing me, Zykinander."
Zyke's smile didn't even twitch. "I'm afraid you must have me confused with someone else. Not the first time, but I am simply Zyke the Bard. Zykinander... now that's a man I can tell you stories about. There are many rumors about him I've picked up over time."
Tyrael seemed... unimpressed. "Necromagi Zykinander, renegade of the Priests of Rathma. Faced trial and was Judged to be Shackled, and thus stripped of his power and exiled from the Necropolis, told never again to pick up the arts of Necromancy. Only man to resist an offer from the High Heavens... I haven't seen you since you took to alcohol in Caldeum. A bard now, you say... Interesting companions, for a bard. Greetings, Andariel."
Most of the girls were giving Zyke strange glances at that, but Andariel had known enough already to not be bothered by the words. Instead, she kept her scowl at the archangel. "Hello, Tyrael," she said coolly. "How was captivity treating you?"
"Unpleasant, as expected. Thank you, all of you, for rescuing me," Tyrael replied honestly. "I take it you march against Diablo and his brothers, Zykinander?"
"My name is just Zyke, I assure you," Zyke repeated, "however, yes, we are. We came to see if Duriel would join us in overthrowing the Prime Evils, but... He had other plans."
"Tell me, Zykinander... Has your answer changed?" Tyrael asked, switching the subject.
His answer, to remain neutral in the war. He would not assist the High Heavens in purging the Burning Hells, and at the same time he would not help the Burning Hells break down the gates of the High Heavens. Not because he felt a part of any side or because he felt no part of either, but because he had an understanding of balance. Zykinander was a Necromancer, and only through understanding and accepting the balance of the cycle of life and death could he truly master the True Arts. Zyke the Bard also had that understanding, but he wasn't a Necromancer, of course.
"I'm afraid you have the wrong man, archangel Tyrael," Zyke answered simply.
Tyrael was silent for a moment, then he sighed. "I will not debate truth with you. It appears you are all the world has left to stop the three brothers from destroying it. They have descended upon the capital city of Kurast, and the Lord of Hatred has secured the portal to Hell there. I'm afraid... the city of Kurast has fallen."
Kurast, home of Travincal, home of the Temple of Light... The mighty City of Zakarum, fallen. Thousands of people, some of which Zyke knew. Some of which knew Zykinander. "...Everyone?"
"All but perhaps a dozen or two, at the docks. That is where you must head next, and from there you must challenge and defeat the Lord of Hatred."
"Will you fight with us?"
Tyrael laughed – bitter – and a portal opened before him to Lut Gholein. "There are rules even I cannot break. This fight is for the mortals, now. The mortals and the demons. I wish you luck, and you as well, Andariel. Know that I will assist you where I can."
Zyke moved to step through the portal, but he stopped just before. "I know only fragments about the Worldstone, but... What use would Baal have with it?"
There was a long moment of silence. Then, separated by the portal and not able to see each other, Tyrael answered softly, "I do not know, Hero... But know that for the first time in many years, fear quakes in my heart."
Zyke stepped through.
"Your feats and strengths are legendary, Necromagi Zykinander, and you have gained the eye of the High Heavens... They wish to know if you will lead the fight to the gates of the Burning Hells. There is no doubt in their minds that you have the strength to turn the tide in their favor."
"...If I do?"
"The corruption of your art will be banished from you, leaving your strength whole and your soul pure. If successful in purging the Burning Hells, as they think you will, you will be granted access to the High Heavens. Evil will have been cleansed, and you would be the direct cause, leaving only the Heavens and the Earth."
A long silence. Then, "What do you think, Tyrael? What do you think of me cleansing all Evil?"
"What was that about, Zyke?" Blood Raven asked the moment she followed him through the portal – luckily Tyrael had returned them to the Harem Quarters of the palace instead of the standard portal area. "Is that your name? 'Zykinander?' Were those things he said about you true?"
Aliza nodded as she stepped up, though her expression was still a bit wondrous from seeing the Tyrael. "The innkeeper knew you as that, too."
Rrajhess, Countess, and Andariel were staring at him, waiting for his answer, though the Lesser Evil had known some of the truth already. Zyke smiled disarmingly at them. "Of course it's not. Zykinander was a great Necromancer. I am merely a bard."
"We are your harem," Countess said suddenly, eyes narrowed and no smile. "Do not lie to us. No matter what you've done or how the world sees you, you will always be our Zyke. If you don't wish to tell us, don't tell us, but do not lie."
Ellyia... Lying to his harem was like lying to her multiple times, and he knew the direct consequences of lying to her once. He looked at all of them, still disarrayed, bloodied, and dirtied from battle. All had joined him in fighting Duriel. He wasn't lying, but they thought he was. Walk the line.
Not just a bard... "There was a man once, named Zykinander. He was a Necromancer. He did become truly powerful. He was approached by Tyrael once before. Instead of returning to the Necropolis after his five years, he left to travel the world with a woman. He was found, eventually, and he was stripped of his strength and banished, given only a single wand and an empty spell book. The woman died just after, before they could be reunited, and, upon finding out, Zykinander died with her. That happened nearly a year ago. That is all I know."
"A wand and an empty spell book?" Aliza repeated, and her eyes widened with realization. "Zyke, you-"
"Am just a bard," Zyke finished for her, sternly. "And please, that is all I wish to say about that."
Aliza nodded, slowly. The others did too, and Countess took his hand, smiling. "I think I'm beginning to understand... Thank you for telling us." She kissed his cheek, soft and warm. "Now, let's return to the inn so you can finally have what you have so dearly desired." The hand holding his brought it up to her breast.
Zyke, of course, gave her a brief fondle, but he forced himself back after a moment. "Before we do," he said, painfully reluctant, "I wish to see this Arcane Sanctuary that Jerhym mentioned." With only a brief look between each other, no one argued.
They descended to the second level of the Harem.
The sight and stench of blood became immediately obvious. Splashes of it covered painted walls and elegant screens, and the body of a guard could be seen on the floor. Moving to the next room, they could see the corpses of undead and demons. Blood Raven's golem had done its work.
They moved through the Harem in silence, occasionally finding a stripped and brutalized corpse that was once of a Harem guild. No remaining monstrosities, though.
The same was found when they reached the first level of the Palace Cellar, all the way until the third level of the cellar. There, however, they did find some remaining horrors.
In the very center of the floor, they opened a door to a large room. Dozens upon dozens of demons undead were there, as well as an enchanted leader named Fire Eye. They were already bloody, so...
Andariel started it with a wave of poison, and Blood Raven ended it with an exploding arrow.
While they fought, Zyke had revived his skeletal horde, but at the same time he had inspected a strange arch standing alone in the center of the room. Once all the monsters were dead and the girls moved to him, his hand spun he dial near the top.
Red light oozed from there, dripping down the arch like water until it was a complete, steady stream. The arch was a doorway. The way into the Arcane Sanctum had been found.
Several girls gave him smiles, and together they entered the portal.
"Elzix, your banditry days are over," Zyke announced to the massive group gathered before him. Ellyia stood by his side, approvingly.
Elzix, the obvious leader of this horde, smirked up at him and fingered his sword. "Oh really? You and what army?"
"THIS army..." And the legion of shambling skeletons appeared, surrounding the camp.
Balls of light streaked by, smacking into Zyke yet passing through him harmlessly. Everything was a sea of black, save those countless balls of light. The ground was a grey stone, but nothing else seemed to be in existence. Zyke frowned when he saw the waypoint only a few feet from the portal. So much for this place being a secret.
Him and the girls activated it, just in case, and they found themselves at a four way intersection. Choosing a random direction, they began to head down the north-western trail.
It wasn't long before they found opposition in the form of goatmen from the Hell Clan, Specters, and Ghoul Lords whom shot heavy fireballs and created Fire Walls. However, after Duriel, none of these even sparked the slightest sense of danger.
Up twisting stone staircases and down, across platforms, they battled through hordes of the same. Zyke was enjoying himself, at least. The Arcane Sanctum was legend, and only vaguely mentioned in some stories... And here he was, walking through it and fighting the hordes that Horazon had once held bound to his will.
Near the end of that first wing, a tortured laugh erupted, and suddenly Zyke and the others scattered to avoid a Glacial Spike. That meant something new had arrived.
Zyke turned his head to see how much longer there was to go, and he saw that his path led up one more staircase before reaching a last platform, with nothing else branching from it. Perfect. The kinship, much weaker than Duriel or even Andariel, could be felt from here to up there.
His minions charged up first, and he could see a flash of flame from whatever was happening up there. He followed, Bone Armor still up. The scattered girls had all regrouped and went with him, Andariel marching up the stairs to rip apart whoever had sent that first Glacial Spike.
A man with a large staff and blue and gold robes was there, his face covered entirely by a mask of gold. Another fireball from him destroyed one of Zyke's skeleton warriors. Blood Raven's bow was to him, but suddenly she hesitated. Her, hesitating?
"Summoner, is that you?" her haunting voice rang out, and the man froze mid-cast.
He saw her, and there was a harsh sound under his mask before another Glacial Spike sent her way. Blood Raven dodged, returning fire with no hesitation now. Aliza and Countess followed, and a Fire Wall erupted under the Summoner. For his powerful spells, the man was weak in other matters, and in no time he crumpled to the floor, dead.
Zyke grew a power surge, and he quickly selected Bone Wall as his next ability before kneeling next to the body.
Blood Raven stood next to Zyke as he checked for useful items. "Your other 'Hero of Tristram,' Zyke." She said woodenly. "He is not Horazon himself."
Zyke nodded, yet he found nothing of worth from the man. "He was a deluded fool who got too close to true power." He then inspected the other parts of the Sanctum.
A health shrine stood in one corner, not far from Summoner's corpse. Beyond that, however, were glowing insignias and rune markings, with a spiral pattern on the floor. A book rested on a pedestal, and Zyke took the time to flip through it. Just notes about sealing away the three Prime Evils. Interesting, but Zyke had read even better sources before this.
When he was done reading, though, another rift opened up, between here and something called the Canyon of the Magi. Although they had already found the correct tomb, entered it and killed Duriel, they all stepped through anyways.
"Again?" Zyke groaned, hugging Ellyia's nude body tighter to him.
She laughed, one hand running over his muscles. "You must be able to satisfy me multiple times if you are to ever dream of satisfying a harem."
"I need rest..."
She laughed again before rolling on top of him.
To their luck, there was a waypoint only feet away, and together they stepped on it and sent themselves back to Lut Gholein, done with adventuring for that day. After they had returned into their cloaks and Andariel had reverted back to her human form, of course.
Radament, Horadric Cube, Duriel, finding the Arcane Sanctum... Zyke was ready for night, and he welcomed the darkening sky gladly. Once he was steady from his trip on the waypoint, they returned to the inn – pleasantly surprised to find it not far from the waypoint itself.
Zyke closed the door behind them, sighing loudly. Too much in one day. Some of the girls echoed the sound, and Countess nearly melted when Olena quickly rushed to begin a massage. It was almost strange to see Andariel back in her human form, after all that.
Cloaks were deposited in a big pile on the floor as they all moved to the floor pillows, sitting themselves comfortably. Olena lit the candles as the light failed outside.
Andariel, clad only in undergarments now, turned her midnight eyes to Zyke. "What now?"
Zyke shifted around Countess in his lap. "To Kurast." A woman shouldn't be allowed to feel so good seated on him like that, with her softness and only a loincloth.
"Mephisto's legions are stronger than those we encountered here," Blood Raven nodded. "By the time we break through them and reach Mephisto, you should be strong enough. We all may be strong enough."
Zyke cocked his head at that, his hands settling on Countess's deep green thighs. "The power surges... Do you experience something similar? I know Aliza does, but the rest of you have been silent on the matter."
"We do," Blood Raven answered, her raven locks framing her pale face, scar obvious on her cheek, "but it is different. It is not a bunch of kills and a sudden burst, but a small gain each time I kill something. It is my unholy strength that is growing, though no where near as fast as you have proven your ability to grow."
Countess nodded at this. "It is the same for me. I feel much stronger now than I had been inside my tower." Rrajhess and Andariel didn't bother giving answers – one quiet and the other not talkative - and no one pressed.
There was a moment of silence following that, and during it Zyke studied his companions in the flickering candle light. His harem... He was supposed to give the second recital of the Tragedy of Gail this night, yet at the moment he couldn't find himself to care. He had waited too long.
His lips found Countess's neck, and one of his hands around her went lower while the other went up. They reached her top and loincloth at roughly the same time, and both hands inched their way around the materials, cupping a warm breast and smooth cleft respectively.
The other girls clearly saw where this was going, and they all grew little smiles, settling back to watch.
As Zyke pulled Countess's top over her head, he felt her slit begin to dampen around his fingers. The bulge in his leggings pressed right up in her, and she began grinding herself on it, sending little bursts of pleasure into him.
He wanted to go slow, but with this start his lusts had blazed back into being, and he suddenly rolled her over onto one of the pillows, undoing the knot that held her loincloth to her and sliding it out from under her. His mouth rained down on her like her arrows had done to the demons earlier, finding her lips, neck, breasts, nipples, stomach, and finally her slit.
He felt that he should be embarrassed doing this in front of the others, who were watching intently with smiles, yet strangely he felt perfectly comfortable. His hands were on Countess's large ass, his head between her legs with her legs over his shoulders. His tongue circled her engorging and wet lips, gathering the start of her taste. Then, getting a firmer grip on her, he wrapped his mouth around her and thrust his tongue inside, wriggling it around and probing her walls.
Her hands went to his head, running through his hair, and he watched as she bit her lip and let out a moan - a look of ecstasy on her perfect face. He licked her slit from bottom to top, and at the top he stopped to find and harass her clit, forcing it into the open. He then moved lower to press his nose against it while probing her again, getting a taste of her juices.
He continued until she was just dripping, and then he kissed a trail back up to her lips. The lust in her eyes reflected his, and her hands quickly dispatched his chest armor and boots. She then set to his leggings, unbuckling them and beginning to slide them down, kissing what each little tug exposed. His member came into sight, and she began kissing down that until it was freed, where she ran her tongue over its length before simply tearing off the remaining portion of his pants.
One soft hand wrapped around the base of his shaft, and her mouth came around it, taking it in. Her mouth was wet and hot, and her tongue encircled and licked him as she sucked, cheeks drawing in around him. She then began bobbing her head, taking him deeper and back and then deeper again.
Pleasure filled him, but Zyke wanted more than this from her. He pulled her mouth away from him, and she sensually crawled over him until her wet slit was grinding into his hardness. Then, taking him in her hand again, she guided him insider her. Hot, slick walls clenched around him, and Zyke groaned.
Countess lowered herself to kiss him, large breasts and hard nipples pressing into his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her. Then, still kissing, she braced herself with one hand and began, sliding up and down over him. Zyke opened his mouth when he felt her tongue dance across his lips, and suddenly that was thrust into his mouth.
Their tongues wrestled together, and one of his hands around her went lower to cup her ass as she thrust herself onto him, and he rose to meet her thrusts. All he could see were her bright red eyes, staring into his while he thrust into her. Then, he rolled them over – off the pillow – so that he was on top, and with the increased control he increased the speed of the thrusts.
One hand came around to her breasts, while the other was used to brace himself as he thrust in her faster, pressing her against the tile floor. Her breasts gave little bounces each time their hips met with a slap, and his thumb ran over her hard nipples, switching between each glorious, green tit. She moaned loud at his assault, face flushing a darker green with her eyes closed now.
His mouth came down to hers for another kiss, yet at the moment he did, her arms gripped him to her tight, and she moaned into his mouth. He could feel it, her slick walls contracting around him as her wetness spurted past his length.
When she came down from her orgasm, her grip on him slackened, and he forced himself to pull out, still hard and not satisfied.
Blood Raven was there, suddenly, pale form already stripped as she climbed over Countess, and Zyke was happy to take her into his arms, and he didn't hesitate to slide his length into her immediately. Her tightness in that regard was remarkable, and he made a sound as his lips latched to her neck, hands going to her breasts.
She rode him, head tilted back as he lavished attentions to her pale breasts, her tight walls sliding up and down with rising speed. Then, her head came down, spilling raven hair around her, and she lowered to kiss him, full breasts pressing into his chest like Countess's had. His hand found her ass, feeling the difference – full yet taut – while his other hands ran down her back, feeling her muscles under smooth skin as opposed to Countess's silky softness.
If there was one thing he liked about Blood Raven, besides the most of her, it was the added enhancements of the hip bones she had... And the uses he had for them. It took some time to stop the pleasant rhythm of thrusting into her tight folds, but he managed to slide out of her and leave her on her knees there.
Then, she understood and turned, bending over for him. Zyke guided himself in and thrust to the hilt, right back into her tight netherlips. His hands went around her hip bones, and he used that to thrust himself into her, setting a hard pace for the soldier. Her full ass still jiggled with each thrust, but her whole body remained solid with the rocking.
For the first time, he saw the others beyond them. Andariel was stripped and watching with a small smile, hands remaining on her knees. Olena was shameless in hiking up her dress and working away at herself, watching with rapt attention on her cruelly amused face. Aliza and Rrajhess, however, were sitting closer together than their previous behaviors suggested they should, both naked, and Rrajhess was showing her a thawing potion. He hoped neither drank it.
He looked down at the woman he was currently thrusting into, seeing her head pressed into a pillow, raven hair around her, with her taut, pale back arched. He could see her ass as his length disappeared into her netherlips, and he could feel its softness each time it crashed against his legs, right as her tight walls fully enveloped him.
He could feel his first release coming on its way, but too soon Blood Raven gave a longer moan than usual, her hands gripping his legs to stop the movement as her already tight walls gripped him tighter. His approaching orgasm slipped away, and he was able to pull himself out after she released his legs.
Blood Raven rolled over to lie next to Countess, both breathing hard and their smooth netherlips slick with juices, yet Countess turned to Olena and called her over. Next to come to Zyke, however, were Aliza and Rrajhess.
The slight girls both looked nervous, and Aliza gestured to Rrajhess to speak. The feline girl nodded and faced Zyke. "I want to apologize forrr my behaviorrr earrrlierrr. I should not have trrreated yourrr otherrr mate as such." Zyke raised an eyebrow, trying to not just stare at her four breasts or Aliza's delicious bosom. Rrajhess nodded to Aliza.
"She had already apologized to me," Aliza said, and then blushed – a scarlet face under dark crimson hair. "She wants to assist me in... 'taking' you and wants me to go first." Rrajhess nodded, satisfied.
Zyke looked between the two, one determined and the other blushing, one with four dark breasts and the other two large ones, one with an obvious cleft furred by sleek hair and the other a triangular patch of dark red hair mostly covering her lips. His arms came around both, and he kissed Rrajhess on the lips first before turning to Aliza, and his arm left the catgirl as Aliza swung a leg over to straddle him.
Aliza smiled down at him and guided him into her, giving a little squeak as she just impaled herself onto him, large breasts bouncing. She used both hands to brace herself on the ground and began to lift her hips. She reached the point where she was about to come down again, but right before she could, two furred hands cupped Aliza's large breasts. She was so startled she collapsed down on Zyke and squeaked again at the unexpected fulfillment, eyes wide. She was adorable at times like this.
Her pubic hair ground into him as Rrajhess began massaging Aliza's breasts, and the rogue bit her lip. Then, instead of saying anything, she allowed the hands to continue fondling her and began to slide up and down over Zyke, just as tight as Blood Raven had been. Aliza made a high sound in her throat as she set a rhythm, and that turned into a moan when Rrajhess mashed her breasts together.
Zyke watched this from his own position, hands behind him. Rrajhess was just behind Aliza, head peaking over her shoulder, with her hands fondling the rogue's breasts for him. The tail swished behind her as if it were Aliza's. Then, Rrajhess pinched Aliza's nipples, and the rogue let out another squeak, hitching in one of her thrusts, and suddenly she came around him, moaning.
Rrajhess grinned from the other side of Aliza. "So you'rrre a sensitive one, Fleshling. I'll rrrememberrr that."
Aliza pulled herself off Zyke, bending down to give him a wet kiss, and then she went behind Rrajhess as the Sabre Cat crawled on top of him – looking much more natural than when the others did it. The four dark grey breasts capped with black nipples appeared in his vision and bounced when she sat herself down on him, his length pressing into her but not penetrating.
Her nails trailed lightly down Zyke's chest. "I will neverrr rrregrrret claiming you, Mate." She smiled at him, cute on her furred and whiskered face, and then she lifted her hips and guided him into her furred cleft. He could feel how wet she already was.
Then, two creamy hands reached around to find Rrajhess's own breasts, and she purred at the touch. "Neverrr," she repeated, and she started, using both hands to prop herself like Aliza had and began riding him. Zyke didn't know how much longer he could last without release.
Her slick, velvety walls around his length was much the same as a human's, but the sleek fur that pressed into him with each thrust felt different – smoother – than Aliza's red patch. The bouncing of four breasts as she purred and mewled was another treat he couldn't see with anyone else, and he could see Aliza's small hands knead Rrajhess's breasts, switching from her upper larger ones to the smaller lower ones, occasionally rolling a nipple between her fingers.
Zyke's orgasm began to rise up again, and by chance he turned his head to the right. The sight inflamed his lusts more than they already were. Pale Olena's rear was up in the air, dress still pushed up, her wet netherlips visible, with her face buried down between Countess's legs, and the green woman had a large smile on her face as her hands remained on Olena's head. The rogue also had her left hand reaching out and probing around inside Blood Raven, who was leaning back on both hands and giving him the full show.
His seed shot into Rrajhess as he reached his orgasm almost immediately, and she mewled as she felt it splashing inside her. Aliza then took two of Rrajhess's nipples and twisted them, and the Sabre Cat gave a sharp yowl before her walls clenched him tightly, and her own orgasm took her.
Rrajhess pulled herself off of him, and she turned to pull Aliza in a hug. Both of them cuddled together on a pillow, though Aliza looked like she wanted another round with Zyke, glancing at him lustfully once before turning to the purring Rrajhess.
That left one, and Andariel rose to her feet before walking to him with such a sway that his eyes couldn't leave the red patch of fur she had. She sat herself down before him, large, perky breasts, fiery hair, and all, and she asked the same question she had every night since after the first. "Shall I please you?"
Zyke shook his head. "You will, but there is only one way I can manage to please you as well." Andariel smiled at that.
Her hands reached down and skillfully caressed him into being ready again, and then she turned to present her rear to him, using her own hands to part the cheeks and reveal her rosebud and glistening lips.
Zyke brought himself up and entered her netherlips first, to gather more juices, and he pulled out quickly to escape the pulsing walls and tight fit. He penetrated her higher hole with the tip, getting it slicked. Then, he plunged back into her lower hole to gather more. And repeated, only going further each time. There was likely a faster way to go about this, but he always found this way to be the most pleasant, with his brief exposures to her strange, pulsing walls.
Finally, he reached the hilt, and Andariel moaned into the pillow. He pulled back and thrust into her again, groaning. She wasn't as tight as the first time, she said she could loosen a bit, but it was still a crushing tightness around him that made it hard to move. His fingers clenched into her hips as he forced himself back and then back in, groaning with her.
He got only a couple more thrusts before he pulled out entirely to enter her dripping folds one last time. Slicked again, he mercilessly slid all the way back in her in one motion, and she made a deep, throaty sound. One of her hands came under her to enter her own folds while he picked up his pace, gripping her sides hard to keep thrusting into her tight hole.
Her groans, moans, and growls filled the room following, and Zyke began to thrust even harder, each one making a loud smack as his thighs slapped her soft cheeks, rocking her whole body forward. So intent was Zyke in claiming her this way that he didn't even realize what was going on just past Andariel's turned head.
Countess must have deemed Olena's performance satisfactory, as the rogue now had her head tilted back in pleasure as Countess's fingers worked their way in and out of her pale folds in a strange rhythm. Blood Raven had a smile as she watched Zyke and Andariel, still leaning back on her hands, breasts against her chest just above a muscled stomach and her legs parted to reveal lips that were drenched.
The painful, pleasurable tightness around Zyke continued as he rammed each thrust into Andariel, as did her sounds, until his own orgasm began to reach the horizon. Zyke pulled out of Andariel again, giving her ass a slap with his hand, and he rolled her tanned body over. Then, with her looking up at him, he sunk himself back inside her tight, pulsing hole.
His mouth found one breast while a hand took the other – his left hand holding him up – and he began to thrust into her as hard and fast as he could. Andariel's eyes opened wider for a moment before lowering and she moaned deeply. The pace was hard, so her breast left his mouth and hand as he used both to brace himself, which allowed him to go faster.
She was still pleasantly tight and slick, and her walls still gave its addictive pulse, and soon his orgasm began rising. He tried to hold it back, wanting to get her to come first. His teeth caught a nipple even while her breasts bounced wildly, and he nibbled the best he could. She gave a throaty growl of approval, but she didn't finish.
With a grunt, his end came, and his seed began spilling inside her. Luckily, she wasn't far behind, and her pulsing walls turned to an erratic clenching, her arms coming to hold his head to her breasts as she moaned. For a moment they held the position, grinding into each other, until her pulsing walls began to press again at his softening member.
He pulled out, moving forward to catch her lips in a deep kiss. The frustrating wait during the day had been more than worth it. He would go through another just to have it again.
As he tried to relax against the pillow, suddenly Aliza was back, smiling slyly at him. Her large breasts engulfed his length, and she began rubbing them together to get him back into hardness. Apparently she wanted a second round... As did Countess, and Blood Raven, and Rrajhess, and Olena even wanted her first.
He sighed, knowing he would need a stamina potion eventually.
"Mmm, you're going to have to start making your appointments much later than that."
Zyke raised an eyebrow at her as the merchant walked away. "And why's that?"
Ellyia grinned, slipping her arm through his as they began walking. "Well, you are going to need to sleep at least until the afternoon to catch up on what you miss at night."