The one thing that Meli had learned from four years of breaking into old world tombs, temples and ruins, taking their treasures, desecrating their dead and destroying their guardians was that the Fallen Empire really hated people who did those things.
But Meli could deal with that.
Death traps? Yawn. Summoning warrior demons from some distant hell? Just another Tuesday. This place though? Well she had to admit that it was dangerous. She despised working in jungles. She was short on armor to keep herself from dying from the heat and humidity, and she’d had to travel lighter than she would have liked to reach her destination. Fucking jungles.
The area around the ruin had grown lush and fecund with the residual energies of the old magic here. Stored magic was a lot like the fruit in the jungle outside, it ripened, and eventually if it was kept penned up and unused it would spoil.
The magic bleeding out of this ruin, had started to affect a nearby town. The townsfolk were typical frontier types, independent, hardworking, dragging themselves and occasionally their families out to the ass-end of nowhere because that was where there was room to make a living. They’d started clearing the jungle a few seasons ago and encountered the ruins. Some sort of ritual site, judging by the braziers, high platforms at the corners and the deep crystal filled channels in the floor that would channel excess magic away from the ritual workers.
Surprisingly they’d stopped their clearing, not tampered with the ruins and adjusted the plan for the expansion of the little palisade town’s farm and pasturelands. To Meli this mean that they had uncommon amounts of sense.
For the most part.
Someone had decided that the ancient ruins that everyone avoided because they were ancient, dangerous and probably infested with some kind of vermin, (magical or otherwise) would make a fantastic spot to take their latest beau. To hear it told the families didn’t get along. One thing had led to another, clothing was discarded and a week later excess magic had started influencing the townsfolk into strange nocturnal dreams. Two weeks later the first people had gone missing. An entire month after this had started someone thought to check the ruins and then they’d called for a dungeonbreaker.
The Fallen Empire (may its name be ever lost to the ages and its works ground to dust) and its magic were deeply entwined with sex. Their ruling caste had kept enormous harems, their artwork and writing devoted lavish attention to frescoes of sporting couples and manuals for prospective courtesans, both male and female. Most of their rituals involved mass orgies to generate the necessary energy, or human sacrifice where that wouldn’t do. There was absolutely a reason that their empire had collapsed spectacularly.
The townsfolk appeared to be caught up in one such orgy, couples and triads and larger groups lay about the floor in haphazard arrangements; a cry of pleasure might trigger a change in partners, but there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. One of their number, a woman, had been decked out in some sort of ritual garb: wraps of colourful silk that did absolutely nothing to conceal her assets as she danced about the sporting people. Meli licked her lips, her hand creeping down to her own chest and then caught herself. Enchanted then? Probably. Best to keep the gawking to a minimum.
She turned her focus on detecting potential traps and guards, while the townsfolk worshipped (and fucked) at the feet of a number of stone effigies. There were guards of some kind, stripped to the waist, men and women alike oiled and muscled. Missing loggers or teamsters? And some of the townsfolk appeared to be excluded from the ritual, pouring liquid from a large vessel into the braziers or over the guards, clearing vines and rubble by hand, or prostrating themselves before the statues. They’d done a reasonable job cleaning out the attempts of the jungle to reclaim the ruins. The local wildlife was avoiding the place out of instinct (smart) and that just left the…
What should she call them? Thralls? Cultists? Idiots?
Hard to say. Aside from the ones who were obviously worshipping those statues, the members of the orgy would, one or two at a time, pause in their fucking occasionally and gaze up at something… shiny etched onto the various statues in different places. Meli couldn’t make out further details. Treasure maybe? More crystals or talismans to focus the energies released by the frantic copulation of the ensorcelled townsfolk? Probably irrelevant. The effigies were of very particular proportions. Stone women with enormous, lovingly carved breasts and exaggerated hips. Masculine idols with vast, improbable penises and broad stone shoulders.
Meli began to slink down the wall, thankful that the stone was weathered and provided appropriate handholds. Her hands grasped something cold as she clambered down, and she paused to consider it, part of an enormous decorative element, metal partly obscured by the twining plant life with its abundant, fragrant flowers. It jutted out from the wall, leaving her without a further descent. No choice but to jump then. She landed on the stone floor with cat-like grace, and began to circle about the frantic activity occurring on the central platform.
The guards had a deeply glazed look on their eyes, but they were attentive. Something in the posture, like dogs simply awaiting the next order once called. She could guess that the guards were as affected as the “worshippers”, and that the sounds of their coupling and so forth would mask any little sounds she made, but she wouldn’t be able to assume that they’d ignore her if they actually saw her... She might be able to take one of them, one on one, two if she could get them by surprise. But there were eight of them, two to a side of the wide platform that held the big ritual circle. They had heavy stone clubs that made Meli wish she’d been able to wear proper armor, or climbing gear.
She pressed herself low to the floor, hoping that hugging the low barrier around the outermost part of the ruin’s interior would conceal her adequately Working around the perimeter, she couldn’t help but let out a muted sigh of relief once she reached one of the high platforms at the corner, still scanning the surroundings. The heavy vines and creepers still festooning the ceiling might provide a good way to reach the opposite corner, and to get above the townsfolk and assess the situation more closely.
Studying the area around the sporting townsfolk, she could see how the orgy had carried on this long. Part of the magic was being fed back into the townsfolk through the medium of the circle, much less than they were putting out. It was kind of clever and if she were a magic type she’d probably be impressed at the construction, but this was part of the reason that the magic had been able to build for so long.
Judging by the bones that had been shoved off to the side, without someone to intervene they’d keep at it until the magic couldn’t support their bodies any longer. She could try breaking that, but with so much magic stored up here that could end… badly. Best case scenario the whole ruin would be reduced to a smoldering crater as the magic released violently. She didn’t want to consider some of the less pleasant scenarios.
Meli was growing warm. There was a large, stone bowl filled with fire, but obviously no fuel. Magical then. They were scattered about the room, the attendants kept pouring that liquid into them. Occasionally one of them would add a short, stick or twig of some kind, and the flame would produce colourful smoke. Incense maybe?
Meli could feel herself growing warmer, skin flushing. There was a large, stone bowl filled with fire, but obviously no fuel. Magical then. They were scattered about the room, the attendants kept pouring that liquid into them. Occasionally one of them would add a short stick or twig of some kind, and the flame would produce colourful smoke. Incense maybe?
The smell was headier than it had been while she’d been perched near the roof, floral, somehow green without the wet, musty quality of the jungle. It was pleasant in its own way, but it made her unsteady for a moment.
Shit. She cursed herself for missing it. It was probably drugged or ensorcelled. Her vision swam a little. She’d been breathing it in the whole time she’d been watching!
There was a commotion by the entrance proper, as opposed to the cracked corner of the ruin’s roof she’d used to gain access. A pair of the burly guards were dragging struggling captives in, two woman and another man. As they reached the edge of the circle, other guards approached and began ripping their clothes asunder, to the terrified protests of all concerned.
Meli ducked her head further, scooting closer to the low, moss and fern dressed balcony that provided her cover. Her attention was rapt as the guards forced the trio into the circle, where they fell to the ground before one of the statues. She wanted to cry out, to warn them but it was too late. They looked up, one by one and Meli could see their expressions turn slack. Servitors arrived to copiously ladle their strange liquid over the new arrivals. The effect was not immediately apparent aside from the way it made their skin glisten enticingly like ripe fruit. More servitors treated the guards the same as she looked on. The male was the first to be obviously affected, mouth hanging slack-jawed, legs spreading as his cock grew erect.
She made a mental note not to touch the guards, shivering as the women succumbed, even at a distance she could see the obvious flush in their skin, their mouths opening in tandem moans. She couldn’t tell for certain if they were of pleasure or terror but she could hazard a guess. The male, a weedy looking fellow that certainly looked the youngest among the gathered captives, rose from his position and fell in with one of the existing tangles quickly. The women were trying to resist, but no one paid them any mind. One of them, a svelte brunette who was still wearing some jewelry managed to stand and start to walk towards the exit when her fellow captive, blonde perhaps the dousing made it hard to tell, grabbed her by the ankle.
The blonde’s expression was wild verging on desperate, but she was obviously stronger, her skin had the darkened tones of someone accustomed to fieldwork. She wasn’t as muscled as any of the guards, but she was more than a match for the slender, aristocratic looking brunette. She had more determination as well, using the other woman’s body to haul herself up and towards her victim, before locking lips with her. The blonde’s hands crept from ankle to thigh and began to rhythmically work the other woman’s sex, her other hand following the curve of her backside, her hips and breast before holding her head, embracing her like a lover and keeping her from breaking the kiss.
Meli was transfixed, she couldn’t say for sure how long this went on, but by the time the kissing ended, the brunette had adopted the same lust-taken look as any of the others. The once resisting woman sank to her knees again, guiding her captor on to the stone floor and-
It took effort for Meli to tear herself away. It wasn’t a compulsion, she’d heard of those and if one had been laid about this place she’d have been drawn into the circle the moment she set foot on the floor. The elements here obviously worked in combination, the circle, the statues, the oil or whatever it was the servitors were anointing everyone with. Meant to drive men and women alike into a frantic, desperate need that drove any thought or reason but to sate themselves with each other’s bodies.
An easy way for the old magisters to force the matter of participation in one of their rituals. Less work than a true compulsion. And though she’d scarce admit it, it made Meli squirm. The intensity, the sensuality of it all, the pageantry. The high priestess being worshipped one-by-one by her crowd of adoring, mindless supplicants.
She’d gathered the high priestess (for lack of better name) had some further enchantment about her, but if she was… some kind of focus? Despite the endless fucking, she was only ever attended by one person at a time, and never with anything more than their mouth. She seemed perpetually on the brink of release only for her partner to leave and return to the rest of the group, replaced a short while later with another. Male or female it didn’t seem to matter. She would dance about the circle, all hips and legs, enticing this or that person into her spell but never reaching the obvious climax that any of the other participants seemed to attain frequently.
The High Priestess then. And the oil. And the circle. Those were the threats beyond simply being captured or having her skull crushed. The guards were still a threat, but she thought she might be able to get by them, and they didn’t seem to be willing to enter the circle. She could try to the use that against them.
Her professional apparatus was diminished but she never would have gone into a job like this without some protection from magical threats. She fingered the thin, silvery tracery of her bracelet, felt the heavy pendant hanging against her chest. They weren’t foolproof, but they’d keep her lucid long enough for the task at hand. Hopefully.
The guards between her corner platform and the one cater-corner from where she’d come in seemed the least threatening. They were slower moving and posted further from the wall than the others. If she was quick she’d be able to dart between them. More importantly, the angle of approach would put her back to the statues.
She couldn’t dawdle on it. Overthinking these things invariably ended badly. Meli darted down the stairs, the guards turned their heads, and she fancied their expressions were almost of surprise as she ducked between them and crossed into the circle.
The sudden heat wasn’t something she was prepared for. The ruins had been distinctly cooler than the jungle outside, but within the circle there was an almost physical weight to it. It stalled her for a moment as she had to catch her breath. There was a hiss of steam and smoke as the servitors added more liquid and incense to the braziers.
She could feel the flush climbing her cheeks, and knew she had to work quickly. The circle must be concentrating the effects of whatever they were putting in the braziers. Meli’s eyes fell on the high priestess and she made to run towards her.
As High Priestess turned towards her Meli felt herself lift her leg as if to start to run and then felt it fall back down in an easy gait. She was breath-taking. The way the strips of silk accentuated the curve of her breasts, the way they swayed about her hips, never obscuring, tantalizing in their array of colours. She hadn’t realized that she’d crossed to the other side the circle until she was on her knees before the High Priestess, and could smell the sweet arousal between her thighs.
Melissa opened her eyes. She could see the grid covered map in front of her, the little miniatures arranged around it just so, describing the scene she’d just been in. Opposite her, Charles was grinning like the cat that had got the cream. It took her a moment to acclimate to the situation, her mouth still open, her shirt pulled up to reveal her breasts.
“When exactly did I fail the save?”
Charles smiled wider, mussing her hair from across the bed.
“The first time? When you entered the ruins. You were taking penalties after that. I was hoping you’d get caught halfway but this was great. Better than I could have imagined.” His satisfaction in having caught her out had and endless supply it seemed. She could still feel the flush of her skin, the burning need, her mind eliding over thoughts of doing anything but dropping to her knees and tongue-fucking the most beautiful, most- Okay, so the trance hadn’t quite faded yet.
Melissa pulled her shirt down, blushing. Her subconscious had its own opinion when it came to what constituted appropriate clothing for game night, though Charles obviously didn’t mind the view. At least he’d never complained of it. “So why’d you stop?”
Charles pointed over her shoulder to the alarm clock on the makeshift nightstand. She squeaked a little when she saw it. It was gone 9 PM. She had class in the morning. It had been 5 when they started! Where had four hours gone? She squeezed her thighs together. She knew exactly where those hours had gone. He started packing up the vinyl mat and the miniatures, pushing the colourful, sparkly little polyhedral dice off to one side to roll it up. Melissa didn’t want it to be done. Things were getting… steamy was an understatement.
“Are we still on for next week?” He asked casually. Her schedule was a little more fluid than his and had frustrated their regular game nights until she’d gotten her hours sorted out. She was stuck with more close shifts than she’d like now, but her Friday evenings remained free for gaming with Charles.
She leaned up against him, pressing her breasts against his back. It was always a little tricky to shed the patterns of thought she associated with playing Meli, but that was more help than hindrance here. Playing the minx was fun, if a little bewildering after the fact. Charles paused in mid-motion as she draped her arms over his back her hands fussing with the buttons of his shirt.
“I don’t know if I can hang on for that long.” Both Melissa and her dungeon-crawling alter-ego were far from satisfied, Charles had stolen the only upshot of having failed those saves from her. She could practically taste the reward for worshipping the High Priestess. And to be fair, when he wasn’t game master he was kind of a pushover. It turned out her breath on the back of his neck and her hands running over his chest were all the persuasion Charles needed.
Melissa knew he didn’t want to stop there either, he just needed an excuse to be a little irresponsible. When he spoke again it was in that voice and she could feel herself sinking into compliant bliss with every word.
“Down girl, sinking for me now.” She was so used to dropping for him now that just the right tone and cadence had her head nodding forward for him. “Playtime for Meli.” All at once she was back in Meli’s head, hands exploring him more eagerly “You need this, don’t you?” She nodded, kissing his cheek and reaching for his belt.
Charles slapped her hand! That wasn’t fair! But her momentary outrage was quelled as he continued to talk, words ensnaring her thoughts and whisking them away completely. “Deeply enchanted, remembering exactly how it felt to be in thrall to the Priestess as you look at me now.” He turned to face her and she was struck by the majesty of the man before her and the power in his words. She couldn’t look him in the eyes, couldn’t stand before something so radiant, so masculine and she realized, so very arousing.
“Letting the spell recapture your mind completely. You know that as soon as you look at my cock, you’ll need to—“
“Worship. Obey. Satisfy.” The words appeared in her mind unbidden.
“Good girl. But you’re not dressed properly to worship, are you?” She wasn’t. She needed to worship him with her whole body. And these clothes were in the way.
Meli looked down at her clothes, the cut of the top was rather boring. It was also in the way. The pants would do, but they needed to come off as well. Now. She practically fought her way out of the clothing, tossing it aside. She heard the clinking of his belt, the rustle of fabric pooling on the floor and looked over her shoulder to see what she knew would drive any ability to dissuade herself from complying with whatever he wanted.
She crawled across the floor on her knees towards him, supplicant before her god. She kissed the throbbing, twitching shaft of his cock, fondling and stroking what she couldn’t reach with her lips immediately before taking him into her mouth.
Charles, perfect, divine Charles, ran his hands through her hair as she began to suck. Meli’s world had dwindled to this little circle of space containing the one she needed to worship, to please with every inch of her body if necessary. Her senses were focused entirely on his reactions as her lover’s cock twitched when she ran her tongue in a swirl over the tip, or he moaned when she took him to the back of her throat. Her fingers tugged and twisted her nipples for him, or made sure she was wet enough in case he decided he wanted something other than her mouth.
She couldn’t tell how long it was between when she had begun her devotion to this task and when he grabbed her hair, pulling her off of his perfect, throbbing manhood. She began to protest, but when she saw the expression on his face she simply turned, bending herself over the bed and shaking her backside. She’d met few men who could resist her when they’d gotten this far, though if anyone could it would be this magnificent creature.
She wasn’t disappointed when he seized her legs and his cock slid into her. She saw stars briefly, her cunt hugging him reflexively, her hips sliding back to meet his thrust. She couldn’t imagine lasting long under the tide of pleasure running through her whole body, but somehow she did, arching her back and pressing herself into the bed, pushing her ass into the air. The one who ruled her now didn’t need her face or her breasts, he needed better access. She expected his hands to feel rough and workman like but they were soft and clever, working the soft curves of her backside as he fucked her beyond all capacity for reason.
She rode the pleasure for what seemed like eternities until she felt him cum. The orgasm that followed was swift, brutal and decisive, her face buried in the bedspread barely muffling the screams of pleasure. If the walls were thin someone might think there was a murder but maybe they’d join in and-
Melissa felt Charles, his fingers in her hair, the delicious feeling of being well fucked. She rolled over, finding him catching his breath a little on the edge of the bed before she pulled him back down to rest her head body against. They lay like that for a little while, the rush of endorphins and hormones dwindling slowly with the afterglow.
“Why do I let you talk me into these things?” He complained gamely. It was another part of their routine after all, and he didn’t want to disappoint her. She took a moment to clean herself off, and went to the bathroom to get herself ready for bed.
She bumped into Charles as he was leaving her room, shirt half buttoned, the duffle containing the supplies for game night at his side. He stammered an apology.
“I know you don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow.” She leaned in close, hand running over his head and shoulder possessively. “Stay the night won’t you Charlie?” His eyes fluttered in that lovely, tell-tale way, he knew what she would say next. They both did. She reached out and tapped his forehead.
“Sleep for me darling.” His head slumped forward, the bag fell from a loosened grip and Melissa lead her favourite pillow back into her bedroom. There was far too much room for just her in bed anyways.* * *