Embrace of the Goddess
Chapter 5: The Pools
“It’s done.” Fella took a step away from her apprentice and examined her work. Farryn’s skin was like dark tea with creme, and now through each brown nipple was a small circle of bone carved from the larger bones left of Maloth. Iriel had told her all about it, and though part of Fella thought it was the ravings of a madwoman, she was compelled to listen. Perhaps it was curiosity. Perhaps it was respect for Iriel’s position. It didn’t matter. She had done as she was told, and now a splinter of the dark goddess ran through Farryn’s flesh.
It had taken almost a week of the two working side by side. The concept was simple, imbuing a command spell through runes and enchantment into the bone so that whoever was pierced by it would obey the commands of the spell’s caster. But a command spell is only a short term compulsion. It’s fickle. A person can obey the letter of the law without obeying the spirit of it. For example, during their first test, Iriel had commanded Farryn to speak, but Farryn babbled in an imaginary language. She had spoken, but she was escaping Iriel’s intention. A more powerful spell would require stronger components. The spell had to be continually replenished in order to sustain control.
That’s when Iriel brought Fella down to the throne room.
She didn’t know what was down here. She wasn’t sure anyone did. Iriel mocked her the whole way down, saying she should see her own face. Fella was sure it was one of horror, though inwardly she was fascinated that beneath Azora’s chapel was the tomb of Maloth. Maybe that was the spell. It was getting harder to tell these days what was the whim of Iriel’s corruption and the slow compliance of Fella.
But what she discovered was not a tomb at all. Instead, there was a lush grotto covered in flowers and green grass. There was a waterfall that flowed into tiny pools, each separated from each other and dotting around the cavern like a spa. The water in the pools was foul, smoking and bubbling like thick tar. It didn’t match the ceiling glittered with multi-colored crystals, or when Iriel was in a good mood, she would send up lights to the top of the cavern and let the light refract over them in an extravagance of beauty. At the center of the chamber, where Iriel said there used to be an exquisite mirror, was a throne made of blackened glass and obsidian. It was curved and polished, with ornate engravings Fella got close enough to see clearly. Whenever she got too close, she heard a faint whispering in her ear, like her cruel grandmother, or perhaps an ex-love. The worst things she could imagine being said to her radiated from the throne, and that was enough for Fella to avoid it as much as possible.
“You’re sure?” asked Iriel. The High Priestess was still wearing the robes of a High Priestess of Azora, but down here she didn’t keep up the pious farce. She left it unbuttoned so that the rising sun was split apart by the thin line of flesh between her breasts and her navel. Her body had changed to match her new brazenness: her breasts were rounder and full, her skin was a rich lavender, and her fingertips were replaced with long black claws. Her formerly copper hair was a dark black, and sometimes Fella thought she saw the beginnings of horns sprouting from the High Priestess’s head. Iriel used magic to disguise herself when talking to the masses, but alone in her chamber or in the throne room, she became her new self. Her true self.
“Yes, I’m sure. Do you want to try?”
Iriel smirked. “Farryn, can you hear me?”
Farryn blinked several times. Her blue eyes were blank and her thick red hair draped down her back. Her chest was bare, showing off the thin lines of her body and the tight muscles under her small frame. “Yes.”
“Crawl on your knees and beg me to fuck you,” ordered Iriel.
Farryn flinched. She blushed as her eyes looked away from Iriel. “Um … I … I’m not sure this is a good idea, Your Eminence. May I please put something on? It’s cold. I —”
“How do I activate the spell?” asked Iriel.
“Fove,” said Fella.
“Please, Your Eminence,” said Farryn. “Perhaps we can find another acolyte to —”
“Fove,” whispered Iriel.
The bone piercings through Farryn’s nipples glowed a faint purple as the spell lit the runes etched into it. Farryn didn’t respond to the spell’s power. “I won’t tell anyone if you let me go,” she said. “I promise. I’ll even help you make more, but I don’t see why I need to be the one to —”
“Crawl on your knees and beg me to fuck you,” ordered Iriel.
Farryn fell to her knees and crawled, her robe falling from her waist and leaving her naked except for her undergarments. Iriel spread her own robe, revealing her bare and shaved pussy. Without hesitation or ceremony, Farryn pawed at Iriel’s thigh and rested her head against the High Priestess. “Please, Your Eminence,” she asked in the same whine as before. “Please fuck me. Please, oh please. I’ll do anything you want, absolutely anything. Please fuck me. It’s all I’ve ever —”
“Stop,” ordered Iriel.
Farryn froze in place, her arms still wrapped around Iriel’s thigh.
Iriel looked up at Fella and smiled. “Well done.”
“Now.” Fella cleared her throat. It was hard to look at Iriel like this, and even harder with her pussy exposed and Fella clinging to her. “You’re sure that there is no taint of Maloth on her?”
“Taint?” Fella flinched at the edge in Iriel’s voice. In working with the High Priestess, she found the elf highly volatile. Her patience was thin, and she found cruel and unusual ways to lose her temper. They’d lost an acolyte to insanity as Iriel kept eroding the poor girl’s willpower till she couldn’t hold thought or command in her head.
“Influence,” correct Fella. “Like what you’ve done with me.”
Iriel laughed. “You think this,” Iriel bent down and flicked Farryn’s piercing. The wood elf moaned and arched her back. “Is all Maloth’s influence?”
“You …” Fella looked away. “You cast a spell on me. Before. I … It was Maloth.”
“We’ll see.” Iriel stroked Farryn’s hair, but the wood elf didn’t respond. She was frozen until the ‘stop’ command was lifted from her. “But no. I didn’t influence her at all. The experiment is pure.”
Fella sighed with relief. “Good.”
“Would you like to try?”
Fella shook her head. “She’ll only obey you.”
“I wasn’t suggesting you control her.” Iriel bent down and whispered in Farryn’s ear. The redhead moved away from her the High Priestess and crawled towards Fella. Her hips swayed as she crawled over the grass of the cavern, and she smirked with a hungry look.
“I’ve wanted to thank you for all you’ve done,” said Farryn. Her accent was the thick brogue of the wood elves. “I’ve enjoyed being your apprentice so much.” There was a delightful lilt and roll to her R’s.
Fella looked away. “Um … no thank you. I mean … I appreciate it, Your Eminence, but …”
“Don’t look at me,” said Iriel with a shrug. “She’s aching to fuck you, what can I say?”
“But … the … uh …”
Farryn pulled at the hem of Fella’s robe. “She speaks the truth, Fella. Let me thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me.”
Fella took a step back. The spell couldn’t make Farryn want to make love with Fella. It could only make Farryn obey Iriel’s command. This was all a script, a seduction, from the High Priestess herself. Farryn was a puppet, not a person.
“I don’t want to take advantage of —”
“Fine,” Iriel sighed. “Enough, Farryn. Go help the nymphs.”
Farryn got up as though nothing had happened, as though she suddenly had a desire to get a drink of water. She walked towards the pools of water where the nymphs were easing themselves in there to soak. On the other side of the cavern, Fella could see where naiads were coming out of the water, their skin a thick black ink that dripped wherever they walked.
“You told her to say all that,” said Fella.
Iriel shrugged. “You deserve a reward.”
“I did it in service to …” Fella ran her hand over her long braid. “Service to the goddess.”
Iriel laughed. “I wonder how long you’ll keep that up.”
“What do you —”
“The piercings are just the beginning,” said Iriel. She walked past Fella, and the cleric got the distinct feeling she was supposed to follow. Iriel only told Fella about her plans when she thought it would be useful to her research. The High Priestess did not say how she stumbled across the tomb of the dark goddess, but she made it clear that the bones could be perfect to house the power of the spell for their piercings. She never even made it perfectly clear what she wanted with the piercings, though Fella had assumed it was for debauchery. Everything Iriel did seemed to be motivated by debauchery.
“Am I allowed to know what happens next?” asked Fella.
“As you saw, the piercings make puppets, which is a good first step. But every parent doesn’t want simple obedience. They don’t want lip service.” Iriel turned and smirked. “Though lip service is nice if you’re getting nothing else.”
Fella didn’t laugh. Iriel made dozens of lurid jokes. Fella felt the High Priestess was testing her. Sometimes Fella feigned ignorance, as though she were too pure to get it. Other times she feigned laughter to appease Iriel. Whether it was the spell ruling her or deference, she didn’t know.
“No,” said Iriel as she continued her walk around the cavern. “A parent wants to be loved authentically. They want their child to love them with their whole self.”
“You think of Farryn as your child?”
“Maloth does. But Farryn is to be my honored sister. You all are.”
“And crave our sisters’ flesh?”
Fella shivered at the incestuous language.
“Fuck our sister’s flesh. Dawn be praised, I swear your false modesty is the most sinful thing happening in this chamber.”
Iriel turned. “Don’t think I don’t know what goes on in my Abbey. Even as I followed Azora, your secrets were never far from me. There’s a reason I chose you besides your power.” Iriel stepped closer and whispered, her breath hot on Fella’s neck. “And a reason you obey though your leash is so loose.”
Iriel turned away and approached the pool where Farryn was helping the ink nymphs press the reluctant naiads into the pool and holding them down while they soaked in the dark waters of Maloth. After a moment of struggling, Farryn let go and the naiad stayed under the water.
“Fuck the nymph,” commanded Iriel.
Without hesitation, once again as though the whim naturally and suddenly came to her, Farryn turned and kissed the black and dripping naiad. Some of the thick sludge of its body parted to form lips and Farryn kissed it while a long black tongue slithered into her mouth. Tendrils of ink and slime erupted from the naiad’s body and wrapped around Farryn, penetrating her pussy and ass as she lifted the wood elf off the cavern floor. Farryn moaned as she was fucked and ground her hips against the naiad.
“Good,” said Iriel to herself. “The piercings work as they should.”
“But they aren’t the end,” said Fella. Part of her, the part that was still terrified of all this, that longed to return to Mola and tell her all about the depraved things happening beneath the Abbey, that wished to go to Orilana and have the paladins come and slay all these abominations and purify the faith. That part hoped to get enough information to use against Iriel, to set up a resistance. It saw her little betrayals as acts of insurgence. If she saw herself as a spy, she could stomach the horrible pleasures Iriel showed her.
“No. This is the end,” said Iriel, gesturing to the inky naiad sliding inside and through Farryn’s flesh.
Iriel shook her head. “The nymphs were a trial. I should show you what Maloth did to Prim, what she’s going to do to me.” Iriel looked at the long black claws on her hand. “It’s beautiful what we’re all going to become. Horrendously beautiful.”
Iriel nodded. “The piercings will make it easier to bring someone down here. Or, if Maloth doesn’t desire their transformation, at least they will make a useful thrall.”
“What will they become?” Fella’s words were thick with breath. She had done this. Her hands, her mind, her spell. They were going to be used not only to enslave others, which she assumed, but to corrupt them totally until even their flesh was a manifestation of Maloth’s twisted desires.
“More,” whispered Iriel. “Much more.”
She gestured across the cavern where an oread, a mountain nymph, was rising out of the dark pools. Oreads were bulky and sometimes clumsy. They had masculine features and were useful for clearing the tunnels through the Abbey and making sure caverns didn’t collapse. Every part of their physiology made them perfect builders and workers. Yet, the oreads that rose from the pools of Maloth were nothing like that. They were long and lean, feminine and smooth. Instead of the dull grey and brown of rock, these were flowing with bright lava. Their extremities were burnt and blackened, but over their torso was one long bubbling fount that draped over them like a smooth dress. There was an elegance to them, and wherever they moved the ground hissed and blackened.
“What do you think?” whispered Iriel in Fella’s ear. Fella jumped at the nearness and her surroundings came back to her. “Would you like to fuck her?”
“I don’t … I … can I or … can someone touch her?”
“If you like. Maloth encourages all types of touch.”
“But she’ll burn me, right?”
“Mmm,” Iriel kissed Fella’s ear lightly. The brunette shivered. “What a beautiful way to die.”
“I … no.” Fella shook her head and stepped away from Iriel. “I wouldn’t want to … um … no.”
Iriel laughed. “With the piercings I could force you.” Fella instinctively brought her hands to her chest, and Iriel laughed harder. She raised her hand and a trail of dark smoke followed it. “Or I could simply bend you to it the hard way.”
Fella took a step back. Iriel had been her friend her whole life, like a sister to her, but this was not the Iriel she knew. This was not the High Priestess of Azora. She stank of Maloth’s influence, and in the short time Fella had been forced to work with her, Iriel had shocked her a dozen times a day. It seemed Maloth wanted more than debauchery and perversion; the dark goddess wanted it’s worshippers to enjoy the corruption of others. She was a contagion, a plague of the heart that would send each worshipper to make more and savor the taste of each conquest. Fella wasn’t sure if Iriel enjoyed her orgasms anymore, but she certainly enjoyed hurting and taking and forcing and burning and perverting. She desired those far above physical pleasures.
“Stop,” commanded Iriel, and Fella froze. For a long moment she thought the piercings were in her, as though she was compelled to stop against her will, but then she looked behind her and saw Farryn and the black nymph separate. Tar dribbled down Farryn’s body, out of every orifice. Even her eyes dripped black tears as a blank face stared at her new mistress.
“Restrain Fella,” said Iriel, and without emotion, Farryn obeyed. Without thinking, Fella grabbed her crest of Azora and summoned magic to protect herself, but with a wave of her hand, Iriel dispelled it. Farryn grabbed Fella from behind, her fingers wrapping around Fella’s wrist like dragon-iron. Fella flexed and strained, but Farryn wouldn’t budge. She looked up into the delighted eyes of Iriel.
“I want to thank you for all your hard work,” she said. “You deserve it.”
“I … let me go.”
“Well, you were such a prude about that beautiful oread over there. What? You don’t think Maloth can protect you from some burns? Imagine your lover running over you body, each touch is a heavenly agony, but your body is safe.” She smirked. “After all, all bodies that serve Maloth are houses of pleasure. Squeeze tighter.” Farryn obeyed, and Fella cried out. “Even pain is its own delight if you go deep enough into our order.”
“Please let me go. I don’t want this. Please.”
“Soften, but don’t release her.” Farryn obeyed, and Fella gasped with relief.
“You forget how much you do want this, how deep in our camp you already are.”
The ooze still staining Farryn’s skin clun to Fella’s arms. Iriel whispered a word, and the ooze came to live, slithering over her body until her arms were stuck to her side and her feet were trapped to the cavern floor.
“Come,” commanded Iriel, and Farryn moved to her side. Iriel whispered a command to her, and then Farryn went, put her clothes on, and left the cavern. As she dressed, Fella saw one tiny tentacle of black slime still pumping her pussy. She shivered at the thought.
Iriel moved casually to the obsidian throne in the center of the chamber and sat down. Silence wrapped around them except for the bubbles of nymphs slipping into the pools and rising as monsters. Fell watched a forest nymph, a dryad, descend into the pools and climb back out looking elven with sensual curves and only vines to cover her chest and pussy. As she walked, a cloud of pink followed her, and each nymph she passed turned its head and followed it. She watched one such creature fuck an oread until it burst into flame. She watched another oread quenched with the black ooze of a naiad. Over and over the nymphs were fucking each other to death, then rolling into the pits and being reborn.
And none of it horrified Iriel.
The High Priestess was whispering to herself and laughing. If it weren’t for the fear choking her, Fella would pity her friend. If she thought it would help, she’d try to reason with her. But she was beyond reasoning. Or perhaps that wasn’t it. Perhaps she was perfectly reasonable and yet perfectly cruel simultaneously. One could not appeal to her morality if she had none left.
“How long have you and Mola been fucking?” asked Iriel as she sharpened her claws with a long file of blackened glass.
Fella coughed. “Excuse —”
Iriel waved her hand and gust of black smoke washed over Fella and silenced her. She felt the relaxation along with its falseness immediately, as though she were drugged.
“Let’s skip the part where you deny it, and I present irrevocable proof. You think Maloth doesn’t know? Did you think you could hide it from her?”
Fella said nothing. She wanted to deny it again, but she knew it would only upset Iriel. But she was wrong. Fella couldn’t admit to fucking Mola. That’s not what they did. They held each other. They were confidants. They were best friends. They were partners. They made love; they didn’t fuck.
“Of course it doesn’t bother me that you’ve been under the sway of debauchery for years. I obviously celebrate you. Hell, you two are pioneers. Perhaps when this is all over, I’ll create a feast day just for —”
“It’s not debauchery,” muttered Fella.
“What was that? Speak up, love.”
“We weren’t under the sway of debauchery.” Fella gritted her teeth as she spoke. If she could move, she’d storm up to Iriel and stare her down. How dare she call their love that? How dare she compare what they did to -
“Are you a priestess of Azora?” asked the High Priestess.
“A full priestess?”
“Do you remember your vows?”
Fella looked away. She and Mola had this conversation whenever they fought. Sometimes the words were hers and sometimes they were Mola’s. They both knew what they were doing here, and they both knew it was forbidden. But at the end of the day -
“You didn’t care,” said Iriel. “You knew and you broke them anyway. Sound right?”
“It’s not that simple.” Another staple answer.
Iriel shrugged. “Whatever you need to say to yourself.”
“It’s not debauchery.”
“Neither is it chastity, and I believe your vows were of chastity, yes?”
“And you haven’t been chaste, have you?”
Iriel laughed. “I’ve seen your fantasies. It’s nowhere near chaste. Mola likes to be tied up?”
Fella gasped. She struggled at her restraints but they held. She doubted she could pull off a spell with Iriel watching so closely. Of all the things Iriel had subjected her to this past week, this was the worst. She had made her complicit in evil, but at no point did Fella feel as used and degraded as she did now. Iriel could make her a puppet, but at least she’d have some shred of dignity as it was done against her will but —
“The issue is shame,” said Iriel. “You must know that the Sisters of Maloth do not call your fantasies debauchery.” She smirked. “We call it healthy sisterly love.”
“See? All that self-loathing in your voice. Who put it there? Not me. Not Maloth. It was Azora who taught you to hate yourself. That’s how she controls you. But in Maloth there is freedom. There is total acceptance of who we are and what we want.”
“I won’t —”
Iriel held up a hand. “Spare me the pious speeches. If you believe Azora’s way is best, then your actions betray your beliefs. You made vows and then acted against them. You have put your own desires above the order.” Iriel smiled a predator’s grin. “You have been a part of our order the whole time.”
There was movement at the entrance to the cavern as Farryn brought a concerned looking Mola down the steps. “Ah, there she is,” said Iriel. Mola was thin but imposing in her plate armor. She followed Farryn’s lead through the chamber and appropriately gawked at the splendor of this hidden gem. Her awe turned to terror when she saw the transformed nymphs fucking and the dark glass throne where Iriel sat. But that terror quickly turned to rage when she locked eyes with Fella and saw her beloved immobilized by the black sludge.
“Fella?” she asked, reaching for her sword.
The faint golden freckles shimmered on Mola’s grey skin as she tapped into her divine heritage. From her back sprouted two faint spectral wings like golden lace, and her short and choppy red hair swirled as she summoned her power.
Fella smiled. Mola would save her. That was the only way this would end. And if she couldn’t, she’d escape and find Orilana. She’d get someone strong enough to take down Iriel and end this madness for good. This wasn’t how the story ended.
“What’s going on here?” asked Mola to Iriel. Her voice was always a bit scratchy, making her sound young and scrappy.
“Farryn, darling, thank you for your work. Go into the pools now.”
“Don’t,” squeaked Fella, but Farryn obeyed without question.
Iriel stood and stretched. Fella turned from her High Priestess to the love of her life, but Mola wasn’t moving. Her hand was on her sword hilt. Her power filled the air around her, but she wouldn’t strike down the High Priestess of Azora without more information.
“It’s not the lying that bothers me,” said Iriel. She walked away from the throne to the station where Fella and Farryn had invented the piercings that were now going to undo Farryn. “It’s not even that you two knew more about Maloth than I ever did, though you never had a name for it.”
“Maloth?” asked Mola. She turned to Fella.
“We have to get out of here,” said Fella. “Iriel can’t be —”
“Taceo,” said Iriel with a lazy wave of her hand. Fella’s mouth moved, but no sound came out. Panic seized her. Not for her own sake, but it wasn’t until that moment that Fella knew for certain that they were going to lose. Cold dread strangled her throat along with the spell. Not only would she never tell a soul, but now Mola was trapped here with her.
At least they were together at the end.
Mola saw the horror in Fella’s eyes and moved towards her love, but with another careless wave, Iriel muttered, “Desisto,” and Mola’s feet would not obey her command.
Iriel was sorting through something on the desk where Fella and Farryn had worked, but with a shriek, Mola roared, her wings burning brighter, and she trudged towards Fella as though her feet were weighted with iron.
Iriel turned around, and Fella thought for a moment she saw the High Priestess’s skin darken. Smoke billowed from Iriel’s clawed hands as she said, “Capistro.”
The smoke flew from her like serpents and tried to wrap around Mola, but the half-angel was quick. Her blade was unsheathed and burning with blue fire. She cut through the smoke and shouted, “Protero,” and the smoke blew back as a gust of clean wind shot from Mola’s wings. She shifted her stance slowly, still fighting through Iriel’s first spell, and turned to face the High Priestess.
“What’s happened here?” she asked. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong, Mola? I thought you liked to be bound and gagged,” said Iriel with a smirk.
Mola lowered her sword for a moment as the shock struck her, and Iriel seized the opening. Her smoke tendrils doubled and tripled, multiplying faster than Mola could chop them away. Within moments, Mola was wrapped up with dozens of smoke ropes. Iriel grabbed something off the desk where she was, and cheerfully approached both her captives.
“Taceo,” she said as she approached Mola. She circled around the Aasimar, running one long black claw lazily around Mola’s neck where her armor left her exposed. Fella understood the threat clearly.
“Now I have to monologue because there’s no one to talk to,” pouted Iriel. “You see, the nymphs have been lonely to rule over. There was never much there to begin with, and I’m afraid the transformation seems to only limit their sentience further.” She reached out an arm, and two black naiads and one lava oread moved towards her slowly. “And sadly Prim has abandoned her post. Her bloodlust has got the better of her. That’s why the piercings are essential. I can’t release wild monsters into the world. But tame monsters?” Iriel smiled. “That I can do.”
She whispered something to the nymphs, and one naiad moved to Fella while the oread and other naiad crept towards Mola. “Where was I?” asked Iriel. “Ah, yes, monologuing. Well, I guess it was loneliness.” She sighed. “It all comes back to a kind of crippling loneliness, doesn’t it? You see, that’s what bothers me most about you two. As I said before, it isn’t that you’re fucking. I love fucking. It was that you left me out of it. You two were having all the fun, and I was locked in the tower of my own modesty. We were like sisters! Think of all the incestuous fucking we could have done.”
Fella shivered, but Iriel laughed. She couldn’t tell if the High Priestess was truly upset or not, but she didn’t want to give Iriel any reason to be upset with them. She didn’t need much reason to destroy beautiful things.
The naiad that approached her peeled off her clothes, and whenever Fella tried to resist, the naiad would use her tar-like skin to hold Fella in place while she stripped her of her robe and undergarments. The oread and other naiad worked on Mola, carefully taking off her armor while leaving the magical rope binding her intact.
Fella knew that Iriel wanted the stagelight right now, but she only had eyes for Mola. The two women watched each other, knowing that this would be their final moment together. After this, they would die fighting or be lost to the pools and Iriel’s magic. There was no way around that. Regardless of what came next, they would no longer be themselves, no longer have each other.
“I love you,” Fella mouthed to Mola.
“I know,” mouthed Mola.
They both smirked.
“I love you too,” mouthed Mola.
Fella nodded. That would be enough. No matter what came next, knowing that Mola was with her at the end would be enough.
“Bah,” spat Iriel. “What do you know of love? You call what you do in the dark, hoping no one hears you, love? Do not mingle Azora with Maloth.”
Mola’s lips moved, but no sound came out. Iriel snapped, and Mola could speak as the spell broke from her. “You think I can’t love her and have her tie me up?”
Iriel laughed. “Let me show you the difference between our two goddesses.” Without ceremony, she kissed Mola on the lips. Fella cried out, but no sound game. She watched helplessly as smoke poured out of Iriel’s lips and filled Mola’s mouth. It spilled down her lips, over her chest, over her stomach and legs. After a moment, the magic rope binding Mola seemed to vanish and there was only a thick curtain of darkness separating Mola from Fella’s gaze. Iriel moaned into the kiss, running her hands over parts of Mola’s flesh that Fella couldn’t see. Then Mola moaned back. Fella blushed with rage and shame, but she did not look away. She would not grant Iriel that.
When she was done, the smoke faded from Mola. Her chopped and messy hair was lush and full, in two pigtails. She was neither naked nor in her armor. Instead, she was in a bra covered in spikes and a thin red thong. The rest of her was the Mola that Fella loved, but there was a new look in her eyes. She looked drunk or sleepy, as though she couldn’t open them all the way.
Without hesitation, the oread and naiad ran their hands over Mola’s body. Her skin smoked and hissed where the oread touched, and wherever the naiad touched, black and sticky tar stained her skin. But Mola didn’t seem to mind. She moaned as their hands roamed over her body and swayed her hips as though unheard music was guiding her.
Fella’s mouth went dry. Yes, Mola had been her lover. She liked to be tied up and spanked. She liked a dozen things that no one in the Abbey could ever know, that even saying out loud was too much for either of them to handle. She had known Mola’s body better than anyone else. She had kissed each scar, run her tongue over the mounds of tight muscle pulsing under her lover’s skin. She had tasted and known her, but she had never seen Mola like this. She’d never scene her look plump and easy, look sensual and … seductive.
“Tell me, Fella,” said Iriel. When had she moved to Fella? She never noticed. Time seemed to stop as Mola danced, as a long black tentacle of a naiad slid into Mola’s pussy and she moaned, biting her lip, arching her back, and still dancing. “Do you want to make love to her?” Iriel ran a claw over Fella’s skin, then leaned in and whispered in her ear. “Or do you want to fuck her?”
The hot breath sent goosebumps over Fella. She wanted to make arguments, to protest. She wanted to say that there was no difference between lovers. She wanted to reject Iriel’s false dichotomy. She knew it was a seduction. She knew seduction dealt in absolutes and wisdom found gradients. She knew her training. She knew so much, and yet … and yet …
Mola ran her hands over the nymphs. She sank her knees to the ground, letting her hands roam over the legs of her lovers, but the tendril of slime kept fucking her, kept pulsing as though it was shoving something inside of her, and Fella knew in that moment, that she wasn’t jealous of Mola. She was jealous of the naiad. She wanted to pulse. She wanted to be inside of Mola and fill her up. She wanted to fuck her, to claim her, to have her, to own her, to breed her with her own hot seed.
“Fuck her,” said Fella as the spell released her voice.
“Azora would tear you apart,” said Iriel, her lips running over Fella’s ear. “Maloth would see you together. Now tell me, which goddess do you serve?”
Fella didn’t hesitate. All dissembling was gone. Iriel had her own agenda, but she saw Mola and Fella for what they were: perverts. They had committed the sin of debauchery again and again. At first they felt shame, but then only hatred that it was forbidden at all. It was Azora who should be ashamed, not Fella. Not Mola.
“Maloth,” she whispered.
“That’s right.” Iriel ran a claw down Fella’s stomach, teasing the skin. Fella whimpered, but her knees buckled when the claw slid into her wet pussy. “You always belonged to Maloth, didn’t you?”
“Yes, High Priestess.”
Iriel kissed Fella’s neck, and she moaned. “Then as a reward, you shall have each other forever.” Then she bit Fella’s neck hard. Fella cried out in pain, and yet her knees softened more, letting her weight rest on Iriel. “And as a punishment, you shall only have each other as Maloth sees fit.”
“Yess,” sighed Fella with relief. She had been holding on to the weight of her shame for so long. It was a secret no one could know, and yet it was the best part of her life. She knew that was wrong. She knew serving Azora and teaching her students should be the best part of life. But it wasn’t, and the thing that brought her the most joy was the one thing she couldn’t talk about. How did shame have such power over joy?
But it didn’t anymore. She had no shame. There was nothing to be ashamed of in service of Maloth. Where she had been an abomination in the halls of Azora, she would be a princess under the rule of Maloth.
And Mola would be her queen.
Fella felt something cold and hard placed in her hand. She looked down and saw piercings. “My magic compels her for now, but you want to be with her forever, don’t you?”
“Forever,” whispered Fella. It was hard for her to stay in the present moment. She was dreaming of holding Mola’s hand as they walked out of the cavern, of kissing her in the presence of all the acolytes with pride, of making love to her in the cool of the waterfalls like teenagers from nearby townships did.
Before she knew it, Mola was in front of her. The naiad and oread were gone, and there was only Mola. Beautiful Mola. She was a fierce warrior but a shy lover. It was Fella that kissed her for the first time. They had stayed up late studying. Iriel had gone to bed, but Fella was tutoring Mola, trying to help her understand conjuration versus evocation, but Mola was too tired to learn anything. She looked sleepy then too, with her eyes hooded and heavy.
Fella smiled. History was repeating herself. She would teach Mola the steps, but she had to make the first move. She grinned as she unfastened Mola’s bra, letting it fall from her breasts to the cavern floor. She grinned as she carefully held the first piercing in her hand, summoning heat until the tip burned white. She grinned as she kissed Mola’s neck and her lover arched her back and moaned softly. She grinned as the bone pierced Mola’s nipple. She grinned at the sound of Mola’s gasp and the hissing of burning skin. She grinned as she did the other, and as she pulled Mola into a kiss. She grinned as she healed the wound, and as she grabbed Mola’s hand and led them to their High Priestess and best friend and sister. She grinned as she betrayed every value that had been forced upon her, for though it looked like betrayal, it only felt like freedom to Fella.
At the edge of the pools, Farryn stepped out. She was no longer the bronze skinned wood elf with unruly red hair. Her hair was slick and black. All of her was elongated and stretched: her ears, her legs, her chest, her arms, her fingers, all of it. Her skin was a burnt pink, and turquoise runes ran over her body like tattoos. Her bones were exaggerated and clearly pronounced under her thin skin. Her bony shoulders came to points like armor, and her feet had been misshapen into hooves in the form of turquoise heels. She smiled as she rose, and her teeth were filled and long. Her eyes were swirls of purple and black with no pupils.
“Hello darling,” said Iriel.
“Mistressss,” hissed the beast.
“We need more piercings, and when you’re done, I have a special project I’d like to talk about.”
“Of course,” said Iriel. “What do you eat?”
“Are there children nearby?”
“Not here,” said Iriel. “You’ll have to go to town for that.”
Farryn shook her head. “Any bones will do.” She smiled wide. “I just want something soft.”
“Right,” said Iriel. “A naiad will take you to the infirmary and see what they can rustle up.” Iriel turned to Mola and Fella. “Into the pools,” she said. “It’s your prize and your torment. You’ll find Maloth likes to blend the two.”
Mola obeyed immediately, the piercings compelling her. She dragged Fella towards the pool, but Fella was watching Farryn and Iriel go. Is that what she was fated to become? A monster?
Mola squeezed her hand, and she turned back around and grinned as the pools wrapped around her bare feet. “At least we go together,” she said.
Mola turned to her as the pools covered their knees. “Together forever,” she said.
The two kissed as they walked inch by inch, into the Pools of Maloth and whatever waited for them, their bodies entwined as they wished their souls to be.