I do not own Forgotten Realms; it is the property of Wizards of the West Coast. I do own most of the characters I'm using, but I can't make any money off of them-isn't that a shame.
The wagon came to a halt. Where are we now, Delyiah asked in the silent language.
We'll find out soon enough, Jetinna answered back. It had been three days since they had stopped at one city and unloaded out for potential buyers. A rather plump human woman had inspected them over, and after several minutes of dickering with Juba in a strange surface tongue, bought both the twins, Tishrek, and Suetta. The remaining seven drow were loaded up into the wagon and hauled off to their next destination.
They had been gagged and shackled the entire time; they sign-talked to each other as much as to alleviate the boredom as anything else.
Malicia hasn't said anything,added Maya, not since Bartrag had his way with her.
That was true. Ever since she'd been raped, the formerly arrogant first daughter of House Banellst simply sat there, not uttering or signing a single word. She'd walked out of the wagon when it stopped, eat her porridge, and then go back inside with the others at sunrise. She rarely lifted her eyes and when she did, all anyone could see was a blank stare.
You ask me, it's an improvement, said Leria. Maybe she should be raped more ofton.
All the drow maidens laughed quietly except Malicia, and big, strong Kelena. The second night the big drow maiden had actually tried to escape, knocking over one of the guards, and running off into the woods, despite her shackled ankles. Yet she'd been caught, and it had taken four of Juba's strongest men and Bartrag to hold her down. But hold her down they did, while they each took a turn having their way with her. Kelina hadn't tried anything since but unlike Malicia her eyes smoldered with bright, red anger.
Suddenly the wagon stopped again. Juba's face poked back into the wagon, and smiled. "all right girls, welcome to Waterdeep!"
Juba's mage undid the drow maidens' shackles with his spells, and the seven were walked out. It was night, the same as it always when whenever the drow were allowed outside. Delyiah looked up; strange as it might seem but she had come to appreciate the beauty of the night sky with the stars shining and the moon, now in a crescent shape hanging high in the sky.
They were in the courtyard of a strangely shaped surface building made out from what surface dwellers called bricks, seemingly three stories tall. Several torches were held in place around the courtyard, illuminating the features of the two individuals descending down a staircase from the building.
The first was a human woman, dressed in a brightly sequined dress and elaborate jewelry adorning her throat, ears, and fingers. With her long curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes she might have been considered beautiful by human standards, save for one thing.
The woman had to be the fattest person Deliyah or any of the drow had ever seen. Three chins wobbled underneath a massively fleshy face. Heavily rouged jowls folded beside bright scarlet lips, enormous breasts stood over a stomach the size of a small boulder stretched tight against a dress that could have served as a tent for a family of gnomes. Her arms, bare save for several bracelets, were bigger around than big Kelina's legs and Deliyah could certainly imagine her legs hidden underneath the massive skirt being as thick as tree trunks.
Her companion by contrast was thin and lithe, and as they walked closer, Deliyah saw his almond shaped eyes, narrow pointed chin, and pointed ears. Rage bubbled up within her as she realized he was a surface elf-a moon elf apparently, by his silvery hair and eyes. He was dressed in a rich dapper manner and his gaze swept over the drow maidens as if they were items in a marketplace he was thinking of buying.
The elf talked back and forth with Juba in the Common tongue, too fast for Delyiah to follow. Must be haggling over our price, she realized. Though she had never practiced the art herself she was familiar with the principals. By the way they shouted at each other, Deliyah guessed the price they were arguing over must be very high.
After a final shout, the elf and the human merchant seemed to come to an agreement. The elf gave a shout, and three halfing girls appeared, each carrying what appeared to be two very large sacks of coins. Juba took each sack in his hand and dug inside. He took out several coins, bit into them, and nodded.
The fat woman pulled aside Deliyah, Malicia, and Kelina. The elf paid that much for just the three of us? Deliyah wondered. In a way it was flattering; the woman who'd bout the twins, Tishrek and Suetta had gave only two sacks of coins for the four of them and and they weren't half the size of the ones the elf gave Juba.
The elf looked again at his three new acquisitions as Juba loaded the remaining drow maidens back into the wagon. He walked up to Malicia and suddenly fixed a simple plain silver earring on her right ear. The elf wiped some of the blood flowing from Malicia's earlobe onto a silver ring in the palm of his other hand. Deliyah realized this must be some form of slave ring, a magical device of many variations that binded a slave to his or her master.
The elf next did the same to Deliyah, who winced a little at the pain, but did nothing to resist. Resistance at this point was useless she knew, not when she knew little of her locations or the ways back to the Underdark. Later, though, latter would be a different story.
Kelina, however, was not so patient. As soon as the elf reached for her earlobe, she swung at him, using the chain between the shackles on her wrists as a sort of whip. But the elf seemed prepared. He deftly dodged he blow and tipped her, landing on her back. "I've seen humans who were faster," he said in perfectly fluent, unaccented Drowic.
"Kill me now," snarled the big drow. "I'd rather die."
"After what I spent to acquire you?" the elf responded as he clipped the ring to her earlobe and wiped the blood on the ring in his palm. His command of Drowic was even better than Juba's, with no trace of accent. "That would be a waste of good money." He smiled. The smile Deliyah thought, was like the one her own mother wore when she was about to have a slave flogged or beaten, or was plotting the elimination of a rival House. "And Elaith Craulnober does not waste money if he can help it."
The elf walked over to the fat woman and handed her the ring. She placed it on one of her pudgy fingers, which was already adorned with three other rings. Deliyah realized they must be slave rings too.
Elaith Craulnober turned back to the drow. "I have very little time left, so I'll make one thing clear: you three are now my property, and the rings I put in your ears are impossible to remove; try and you'll feel an extremely powerful shock. It will be impossible for you to disobey me or Madame Porcina here," he said, indicating the fat woman. "I paid that thief Juba a great deal for you three, and I intend to get my money's worth. Do as we say, obey Porcina as if she were your matron mother, and your lives will be quite pleasant; try to rebel, and it will be-unpleasant." He let that last word hang in the air. "The three of you will address me as Lord Elaith; and Porcina as Madame. If you try to leave the grounds of this brothel, she will know." The elf paused, then went on, "By the end of the year, I'll expect you three to have paid back the money I spent on you-with interest. Now, go with these halflings to get cleaned up and eat, then you'll be shown your quarters.
As the halflings led the three drow maidens away, Elaith nodded to Porcina. "These three should do well enough-most of the customers we get likely never saw a drow, and and the fear most have of their kind should only add to their appeal. Keep them separate for now, so they won't be plotting who knows what." Elaith had done business with the drow of Skullport and knew no small amount of pride that he could match them at deviousness and duplicity. "After all," he smiled, "this is Porcina's House of Exotic Pleasure."
"And if they don't," a pair of tusks grew from Porcina's lower jaw and and broad pointed ears poked through her blonde tress; although her other features remained human the changes combined with her weight gave her a pig like appearance, "I do wonder what drow taste like."
Elaith shot a hand toward Porcina. All of a sudden, the fat woman was gasping for breath and fell to her knees as a silver choker embedded in the thick flesh around her neck contracted. Her red lips stretched forward as they merged with her nose into a wide broad snout; rings lipped off her fingers as they fused partway into hooves. Porcina lay on her side, snorting and squealing as she struggled to breathe.
Elaith was not turning Porcina into a pig; that was beyond the elf's magical ability. He was simply invoking the curse on her. Less than a decade ago, Porcina had been one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in all Waterdeep; Elaith had even lain with her a couple of times. Then one day she had spurned the attentions of a man because he was so ridiculously fat-and unknown to her was also a devil swine. In retaliation the man infected her with his own particular brand of lycanthropy which not only caused Porcina to turn into a carnivorous pig at will but also gave her the appetites and habits befitting one. Less than a year later she had become so obese that only those with a bizarre fixation would want her. Elaith had come to her rescue by offering her a job managing the brothel he'd just opened-but as always, the rogue moon elf's generosity had a price.
"I did not buy these drow for you to stuff your overfed face!" Elaith roared. He twisted his hand again, and the silver choker squeezed even tighter. "Remember, I said they have a year. If anything happens to them before then, and I suspect you had anything to do with it-well, I know plenty of butcher shops that will pay well for a nice fat hog carcass."
Elaith lowered his hand, and Porcina found out she could breath again. Her pig like features reverted to human, and after she picked up her fallen rings, she looked back at her employer. Since becoming a devil swine Porcina had eaten her share of elves and found them quite tasty. But this one, she looked at only with fear and dread.
Deliyah sat on the small cot in the room she'd been taken to, thinking. Now, for the first time since she'd been captured, she truly had time to think and analyze her situation.
The halflings had taken her, Malicia, and Kelina to a large bath were they were scrubbed and wiped clean, then dressed in simple white tunics. Next they were taken to a room where Madame Porcina waited with a fully bedecked table.
The food set before them would have been rare delicacies in the Underdark yet Deliyah guessed were common enough on the surface They hadn't fallen onto the meal like they had back at the castle dungeon; Juba had kept the drow maidens well fed on the journey. Yet Deliyah hadn't eaten much, and it wasn't simply because Porcina had eaten most of the food laid before them all by herself. The fat woman belched and farted and talked with her mouth full when she bothered to speak at all. Deliyah couldn't understand what she said to the halfling servants, but doubted snorts and grunts were a regular part of the Common speech. In all, their new mistress's manners were more than enough to kill most of Deliyah's appetite.
The room she was shown was rather sparse, the only furnishings were the cot, a small vanity, and an oil lamp. Deliyah hadn't turned it on; as a creature of the Underdark she didn't need it. To her surprise the vanity did have a small mirror; at home they were curiosities reserved primarily for wizards. She opened the small drawer of the vanity and found it to be full of various cosmetics and perfumes; the closet near the bed had a number of elegant looking dresses.
So far, she saw no chances to escape or get away. She had no idea where this city, apparently called Waterdeep from what she could snatch from the conversation between Porcina and the halflings, was or if there were any caves leading down to the Underdark nearby. And she didn't know where Juba or Bartrag were; if she were to regain the favor of Lolth and be welcomed back by her family she'd need to revenge herself on them and show proof of the deed.
All this would be easier if she had someone to conspire with. Yet the other two drow would not be of any use. Kelina certainly would want to escape and get her revenge on their captors but the big drow maiden was no intriguer; she always relied more on her fists than her wits and she had only the smallest talent for clerical magic. Deliyah suspected that Kelina's matron mother must have paid the Academy administration some hefty bribes to let her train as a priestess.
And Malicia. The old Malicia might have been able to contrive a way to escape with her, but more likely would have betrayed Deliyah to ensure her own escape. And from what Deliyiah had seen of her for the past several days, something had died in that girl. It was like being raped had taken all the will to live out of the first daughter of House Banellst.
A knock on the door broke the drow out of her thoughts. "Come in," she muttered; unlike at home or the Academy she was in position to demand anyone to leave.
"May I come in?" The female elf who answered should have inspired rage in Deliyah but at the moment she simply didn't have the energy. A glance at the left ear said the elf wore a slave earring too. Since they were both slaves to the same master in the same situation what point to hating?
The elf stepped in. Now that Deliyah had got a closer look at her, she was taller than Deliyah by more than a head and and had more full and lush body than of the elves brought back to Ra'Achne from raids. Yet her pointed ears and slanted almond eyes told of elven blood. She must be a half-elf, Deliyah realized, she'd seen half-drow females with similar builds.
"My name, is Vixandria," she told Deliyah. As she spoke, Deliyah noted that her lips didn't match the fluent drowic that was come in from her mouth. She must be using some magic device to translate, the drow thought and made a mental note to learn better Common. "I'm to be your trainer."
"Trainer?" The drow arched an eyebrow. "What's to train? The customer comes, pays his fee, I take him to the room and we do the deed. That's how the business is done, isn't it?" That's how it worked in the brothels at Ra'Achne that kept human and surface elf females where most half-drow were born, from what Deliyah knew about them-her family had managed several.
The half-elf woman chuckled. "If you're a common street walker," said Vixandria. "But it isn't like that here, and it's certainly not like it is for you drow where if a female wants a male, she just orders him to pleasure her." A lot you know, Deliyah thought; a female drow often needed the permission of a male's matron mother if she wanted him. And while some did order males about, she always preferred her lovers to be willing and desire her as much as she desired them. "It's pretty much the opposite. You have to do what the customer wants. And what's more, you have to learn to be able to anticipate their desires, spot which has the largest purse and is willing to spend the most, and how to catch their eyes. And further, it's most important that you prove you're something special, so they keep coming back once the novelty of your being a drow wears off."
"Is it?" Deliyah asked. "And what's my gain if I do this?" True she was a slave and would have to do it anyway but but if there was someway she could gain some leverage, she needed to know.
"You get better food, better clothes," said Vixandria. "You also get some limited freedom to go about the city to places like the bazaar or the eateries, maybe find a little side business in the taverns." Deliyah absorbed all this. True, going out in the day didn't appeal to her, but it might be possible to do so at night and learn more about the city. "And what's more-this brothel-it specializes in the exotic, which you drow are. As am I." Now suddenly gray fur grew over Vixandria's body and underneath her clothes; he face stretched into a kobold like muzzle, her pointed ears became broader and moved to the top of her head. The half-elf's feet became paws and a busy gray tail sprouted underneath her skirt.
Deliyah blinked. "You're a-" she struggled for the words; what was th name of that type of lycanthrope so hated and feared on the surface? "-a werewolf?"
Vixandria' reverted back to her half-elf form. "A werefox, actually. Or a foxwoman, as we call ourselves." Her smile got wider. "A werewolf would have attacked you and torn out your throat. They're difficult to control even with slave rings which is why this brothel doesn't have any; Men can have strange tastes, but only one who was suicidal would want to try to straddle one of those!"
"I see," said Deliyah.
"And," said Vixandria as she took a deep breath, "it's most important I tell you this-you really keep the customers coming. A year ago, Lord Craulnober added a small room filled with sea water and put in a pair of mermaids and three aquatic elves he'd acquired. They were popular for a while, but once the novelty of them wore off, customers stopped coming and-" and she stopped fearful of what she was about to say.
"What happened to them?" Deliyah needed to know, the more she knew about potential danger the better she could deal with it.
"Madame Porcina had a seafood dinner."
End of chapter two.
Okay, so Elaith Craulnober owns the place. I always figured he'd likely have a hand in the prostitution business, and that he'd have dealt with drow a few times-and I don't mean in the fighting sense. And yes to the D&D purists, I know that devil swine belong to a different D&D setting although I forget which one.
For the next chapter, Deliyah and the other drow maidens go through their training. No, there's not going to be any gratuitous sex and anything erotic will be off screen so to speak. And I'm thinking about having some well known forgotten realms characters show up here-and I'd like some suggestions from the readers. Like would anyone be surprised if Jaraxle showed up?