The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

‘To Bring Them All’

(mc, f/f, nc)


This material is for adults only; it contains explicit sexual imagery and non-consensual relationships. If you are offended by this type of material or you are under legal age in your area, do NOT continue.

Copyright © 2007 Tabico ()

Copyright © 2007 Iago ()

All rights reserved; this story is not to be reproduced in any form for profit without the express written permission of the authors. This story may be freely circulated only in its entirety and with this notice attached.

* * *

SYNOPSIS: A servant of the Dark Queen Sauriann journeys to the northern reaches of Middle-Urth, to claim valuable slaves in the name of her Mistress.

* * *

Part Three

* * *

Kaelyn fell back on her knees. Jirillan rolled on her side, gasping for breath. Calaris threw her head back in a helpless moan.

Ylaine closed her eyes, trying to resist even as her body pleaded to let the Dark Queen take her. Goddesses, please... not now.

The figure behind them stood in the shadow of tall trees, but the faint glow of the collar was unmistakable. The jewel adorning it throbbed like a beating heart, in time with the softer pulsing of the bracelets they wore.

The figure strode closer, without a care for the rustling of dry weeds, and stepped inside the circle.

Ylaine’s heart hammered in her chest as she recognized Isleif.

“Sluts,” Isleif said. She smiled wickedly. “Do you dream of our Mistress? I am sent to remind you...”

Isleif’s brows furrowed and she closed her eyes. When she opened them, she slowly looked over her shoulder, towards the collared slaves on the other side of the clearing. Then she stepped forward and knelt among the other girls. Without warning, the sorcery that held them in thrall relented, and a shared gasp came from all around.

“Ylaine... is right,” said Isleif, eyes shining with awareness. “There is hope of escape for all of us.”

She sat on her knees, like a penitent slave awaiting her Queen’s blessing, but there was no mistaking the defiance in her voice. Even so, all eyes remained fixed upon Isleif’s slim neck and the dark truth of the collar there.

Ylaine gestured. “Isleif is the one who gave me the leaves. She is one of us. We would still dream of serving Sauriann if it wasn’t for her.”

There were soft murmurs. It took a moment for the words to sink in—and for the lust that warmed them all to relent.

“I am sorry for my approach,” Isleif said quietly, “but the gifts of Sauriann know each other. It is as much as I can do to resist for even a short while.”

“You can think?” Kaelyn wondered aloud. “Even with... that?”

“My mind is in a glass cage,” said Isleif with a sorrowful smile. “When Her light shines on it, I am utterly helpless. But when Her attention is not upon me, my fingers may slip through the bars.”

“What of Ekiale?” Idusa pleaded.

“Ekiale... gave herself,” Isleif whispered. “For now, she is beyond our reach.”

They had all hoped for a different answer, but the collars did not lie. Even as Ylaine mourned, her nipples tightened and her sex tingled at the thought of Ekiale’s treachery to her own soul.

Idusa looked away with wet eyes.

“I am sorry,” Isleif said, “but you must listen now. I do not have much time until I must return to Yasha, and what I must tell you is important. For now we must remain captives of the Sauri’i. We shall have but one chance to escape and we must seize it together, at the right time and not before.”

Calaris made a dubious frown, arms folded across her chest. “What’s to stop anyone from fleeing on their own?”

Inquiring glances converged back to Isleif, who kept her head bowed.

“Simply running away will not save you. Even if you could manage without food or weapons, even if you took all of the Que’or’ath with you, the magicks in your bracelet are strong and crafted especially for this purpose. We are, all of us, bound together. Soon after leaving, the need to return will seep into your thoughts. The gift of the Dark Queen carries Her whispers from afar, and fills Her chosen with longing. Away from your sisters, your fellow-captives, you will hear that voice more clearly. With every step, it will draw you deeper into the abyss of enslavement, before you even realize your plight. Alone, Her dark eye will be not upon us all together, but upon you alone.

“The farther you travel, the more focused Her power, and the stronger the urge will be to give in. Stray too far and you will fall into that sleep from which there is no awakening.”

Ylaine, caught up in Isleif’s breathless description, blinked several times. Despite the power of the Que’or’ath, such words were still enough to lure her back to trance.

The corners of Calaris’ mouth twitched into a humorless smile. “Would you have us wait, then, until Redewyn rides us to the very gates of Surdor? Without ever attempting to flee? No. I do not fear her voice.”

Calaris rose to her feet and stamped off towards the nearby horses without so much as a glance over her shoulder. The others stared at her in surprise; Mirribeth nearly jumped to her feet to run after her, but Kaelyn caught her gently by the arm.

“Hold. She won’t leave. Not by herself. Give her a moment.”

Gently, Kaelyn pulled the other girl back down, and an uneasy silence fell within the circle. The question waited, unasked, on everyone’s lips, but it seemed to all as obvious as a raven’s flight over snow.

Isleif leveled her eyes gravely at each of them. “I swear to you, the time will come. We must be patient. This plant lore alone cannot not break the enchantments.”

“It seems... fortunate that you were able to gather such useful leaves,” Pyrniale observed. She squinted at Isleif in the darkness.

Isleif flinched. “I stole the leaves from Redewyn,” she said. “She keeps them among the roots, herbs and oils she uses for spellcraft and ritual. I am the one who—”

She stumbled in mid-sentence, perhaps realizing just how much her voice sounded eager and complicit, but the dark memory still throbbed inside her, and she gasped softly before she could slip away from it.

“Redewyn... told me what to do. I made all the preparations. I gathered flasks and pouches, I sorted through them. She told me what it was for—what the ritual would be like—what my potion would do—and I still obeyed. I wanted to.

“I knew one of us would be made to surrender that night and I... I wanted it to be me.

Her jade-green eyes were wide and pretty and still.

“She left me alone, and went to gather Dwynneth, Yasha, and the others. I drifted in and out of trance as I prepared what she asked, but she had no need to look after me. I was her servant, and lived to obey. Hungered to obey. I worked tirelessly, and when I was done, all I wanted to do was anoint myself. I wanted to show Redewyn she didn’t need to bring anyone else.

“I wanted to surrender.”

Her voice had grown softer with the telling, as she recalled how good it felt to obey, and Ylaine tensed with the fear of slipping away into the same, wonderful dream of obedience. Mayhap I’m wrong, and Isleif is here to draw us into trance. She’ll hypnotize us with her voice, before taking us back to Yasha...

The gem at Isleif’s throat dimmed and their would-be savior smiled sadly.

“I recognized the Que’or’ath amongst pouches of dried leaves. Redewyn uses it to dull the magicks of the collars, giving a slave the awareness they require to surrender to Sauriann forever, of their own free will. To rise from jewel-bondage, so full of need, waking just perfectly in time to embrace the utter slavery that dangles so erotically in front of her...”

Ylaine remembered. Remembered Yasha’s face, the growing awareness, the growing eagerness. The door to her mind opened again, but only when the leash was tight and the collar snug around her clit, leading her blissfully into the new cage from which she would never emerge.

Ylaine trembled helplessly, her blood cold and her sex alight.

Isleif continued. “A few of the leaves were fresh... still wet with sap. Some of it rubbed into my fingertips.”

She gave a long sigh that seemed almost reluctant.

“For the first time in days, I could think again. I could... disobey. On impulse, I took some of the leaves—as much as I dared—but I knew it would not be long before the trance owned me again.

“There was a part of me that wanted to confess this deception right away... to go and kneel before Redewyn and beg forgiveness before she took my soul. I almost did, but something held me back. And on that night she took Yasha instead.”

It was nearly too much to bear. Ylaine lowered her forehead to her knees, arms wrapped tightly around her legs as the memory of how she’d wanted to surrender throbbed inside her.

Goddesses. She still wanted to.

“I thought the leaves would be enough for me to break free,” said Isleif at last, “but the collar’s influence is too strong. I can only maintain focus for a little while, but you... you wear lesser gifts, and have better hope of resisting. Still, the Que’or’ath alone is not enough to escape.”

Ylaine looked up again as Isleif paused. The collared girl’s breathing had slowed, her eyes gazing into the fire, her hands resting on her supple thighs.

“What hope do we have then?” said Pyrniale, bitterly.

Isleif’s eyes left the fire, and she gave a faint smile as she motioned to the sky with an elegant hand. Eyes turned to follow her gesture.

Cold lights glimmered in the heavens.

“The Huntress’ curse,” Kaelyn whispered.

* * *

The excitement and understanding in Kaelyn’s voice quelled the puzzled mutterings and silenced everyone at once. Even the shifting winds in the trees around the clearing seemed to hush.

“Aluùn is risen,” Isleif explained. “Her light shines brighter with each passing night. When She waxes full, the power of Sauriann’s gifts will be diminished.”

Soft querulous sounds, incomprehension. Ylaine frowned, turning to Kaelyn for a clear answer. Kaelyn licked her lips, opened her mouth. The others noticed, and the murmurs ceased.

“I’ve... read the ancient chronicles,” she began. “Histories dating back to the Age of the Elder Queens.” Her speech was slow and measured as she struggled to recall. “It is said that when Sauriann fell from the grace of Aùira and gathered her shadow into Surdor, the Goddesses cursed her with blindness when the Huntress ruled the sky.”

She frowned, her face looking pale and drawn, as if she no longer trusted her recollection. “There are other, more ancient stories. Smatterings of Elvish legends. The race of men remembers little of those times, and this talk of blindness has long been dismissed by our scribes.”

Isleif shook her head. “There is truth to it. I have heard Redewyn and the ranger speak of it in whispers: when Sauriann’s great Eye is blind, the power that She grants Her slaves and servants fades. As Aluùn waxes, Redewyn’s sorceries will weaken, until they are hers alone, and not the full measure granted by Her dark Mistress.”

Murmurs rose from all around as hope gave everyone sudden voice. Jirillan spoke briefly, recounting the Elder Astrologer’s words on the war’s shifting fortunes, and a set of troubling mystic correlations said to be tied to the rise of three moons. Mirribeth volunteered rumors of her own—a teacher overheard during evensup, telling how an orc army had remained in camp when Aluùn shone on a clear night, though a forced march upon the poorly defended city of Berhan might have insured swift victory.

“The Dark Queen’s magicks, weakened by moonlight?” Pyrniale scoffed. “A fine time, then, for her to send a Sauri’i to fetch us—when Aluùn is on the rise.”

The crackling fire spat yellow embers as the tinder broke, and hope seemed to sink around the circle.

“Not so farfetched a thing, considering Sauriann’s fluid fortunes,” Ylaine countered. “Even with Rings and Queens at her command, Middle-Urth is not yet hers. Redewyn spoke of Yasha’s mother, and rebellions in Anselheim. Ganadar does not bow to her. Other realms will continue the struggle, even if Nahor and Eriondor have fallen.”

The realization dawned as she continued: “Sauriann has pressing need, then, for slaves of a particular sort—spies she’ll entrance and send back home, to insure the enslavement of those who still resist.”

Ylaine swallowed, feeling the dull pulse on her wrist. Redewyn had come to Nhalmea to take only five students, but the Dark Queen would find equally useful tasks for the rest of them.

Pyrniale seemed to teeter on the edge of doubt, and glanced back to Isleif. “What is your counsel, then? We wait until Aluùn has fully risen?”

Isleif shrugged. “To flee now would be pointless. Even if Sauriann’s gifts did not hold us back, even if Redewyn’s powers approach their ebb, and even if we found refuge in a village, peasants bearing pitchforks are still no match for even one Sauri’i at our heels.”

There were sullen nods of agreement.

Isleif pressed a finger in the soft ground, drawing in the dirt. “The main roads out of this valley lead to Hormhold, Ganadar’s great keep, but Redewyn will take us across and out and through the Highlands, where the Queen’s guards rarely travel. In the Highlands there are but a few hill tribes to worry about. We are to slip away, then ride South.

“The Que’or’ath leaves can strengthen your resistance. Some of you may slip out of trance long enough to think and act. When we near the pass into the Highlands, Aluùn shall fill the sky; the power of Sauriann’s gifts will be twice diminished.

“Redewyn may expect mild resistance or even flight, but little else. She has great trust in Sauriann’s gifts, and will not believe they can be denied. Even if she is cautious, she anticipates escape—not a swift move against her.”

Isleif’s last whispers came like the slow drawing of a blade. No one could mistake her meaning.

“After... you’ll have to bind Yasha and Ekiale if they resist, then march for Hormhold, or ride if the horses will have us. Without Redewyn or the ranger to guide our thoughts, most of us will be able to fight the trance. We can find sanctuary in the great Keep, under the protection of Queen Nyssa. Mayhap the Royal healers can free Yasha and Ekiale from Sauriann’s blandishments. They are powerful in mending magicks.”

Isleif paused, letting her words sink in.

Ylaine had hardly heard what came after. What Isleif was suggesting... Even without the bracelet and her own treacherous lusts, Ylaine had never...

She would have to find the steel in her own soul. If they were to be free.

Isleif drew a sharp breath. She continued, hurredly: “I understand the risk in waiting, but we must not tip our hand now. We have only the smallest of trumps, on which all our hopes rest. If Redewyn is given the slightest reason for concern, she may resort to more drastic means to control all of us. I swear to you, such means are at her disposal. She prefers to deliver willing thralls, but Sauriann will settle for mindless ones.”

Isleif shuddered, and rose to her feet. “I can feel the trance returning. I... must return to the others. Speak of it further if you wish, but I implore you to decide carefully.”

She reached for Ylaine’s hand, squeezed it gently, then faded back into shadow, leaving the others staring at each other. The fire had died down noticeably, hungry for more kindling, but in the stillness that lingered, no one reached for the pinewood that would keep it fed.

Ylaine looked to her companions, their expressions mirroring her uncertainty.

Was their only hope now to trust in moonlight?

Once past the tree line, crossing through a thicket of weeds underneath the tall pines, Calaris looked back and felt a pang of regret. Out there, near the fire, her friends still debated and argued even as their chance for escape dwindled. Redewyn would surely be back by dawn, maybe even sooner. With the Sauri’i leading the troupe, chanting in ritual night after night, none of the girls would long resist. They would all become willing servants, just like Yasha and Ekiale.

Calaris was becoming certain of that even now, and tried to resist the dark thrill as she imagined herself with them, taking pleasure in her own surrender. Part of her still wanted to belong, and she saw how easy it would be to close her eyes and let herself slip quietly into mindless oblivion. Mindless, but lust filled...

Her hands, sensing her hidden desire, slipped down along her stiff thighs, fingers twitching and eager.

No. She had resisted this call thus far; Sauriann would not seduce her with promises of rapture. No matter how sublime. How exquisite. How enduring.

A wave of dizziness overtook her and Calaris leaned against a tree. She fought to clear her head, but the moments passed and clarity did not return.

Gathering her will, she pushed away, and hastened on.

The woods were so quiet.

The need to give herself over to Sauriann simmered and made her squirm, twitching as she walked. There was naught to think about but what slavery promised her, what she kept denying.

Yet she confessed to herself that she lusted for it day and night, letting her hands and fingers roam while the silver gift whispered surrender in her soul. And how such carnal pleasures had been eclipsed by the mere sight of Redewyn standing before them, parading Yasha and the other collared girls, blissful and obedient.

Calaris fled from the dizzying vision and took halting steps, tucking the wool blanket she’d snatched on her way out of the camp underneath her arm. The roll bulged slightly in the middle, carrying what food she’d gathered, a handful of Que’or’ath leaves, and a dagger stolen from the hidden saddle sheath on the horse she’d ridden.

She focused her mind on the dagger, shying desperately away from the delicious blandishments of Sauriann’s gift.

Steel, chipped and bloodstained, capped with a coarsely forged serpentine hilt: the tiny blade was an ill-looking thing, belonging to one of the brigands sent to raid the academy. Redewyn would surely have taken it had she known of its existence; No witch-servant would be so foolhardy as to leave her captives a dirk, even with collars and bracelet keeping them docile...

But Redewyn hadn’t. She’d been careless in her haste to ride south.


The yearling shivered as she moved through the dark. It helped to think of Redewyn as someone who was fallible. A mortal witch, undeserving of the reverence Calaris felt for her every time the chant of obedience was spoken. That way Redewyn couldn’t be an avatar of the Dark Goddess—a lithe, pale vessel, imbued with divine purpose... a vision of beauty and corruption so perfect that she needed no spells and enchantments to entrance Calaris... only a voice, that spoke of dark truth and darker pleasures...

The thickening arc of Aluùn glowed in the star-filled sky, shining a ghostly radiance through the thickness of branches; there was enough light to insure steady footing, but Calaris felt too weak and lightheaded to pace forward at even a light run. She continued to stumble forward, keeping to the shadows as much as possible.

She reached a small hilltop, lurched through a clearing, and came to halt after reaching another line of trees. Her confusion lingered like a strong tide, thrusting aside her conscious thoughts, sucking her back to warmer, more luscious musings.

Only hours ago she’d had no use for thoughts of her own, and the thought of the freedom in her mind now distressed her a little. She’d been safe with her sisters, dreaming of worship, and sorrow filled her heart because she’d left them.

What was she doing? Running away? To where?

The oddly reassuring answer came from deep inside her: I belong with them.

A familiar twinge came over Calaris, and she remembered how Redewyn’s deep-green eyes could draw her in, sucking up all of her thoughts, leaving her wet, docile and entranced. There was bitter envy too, as she imagined her friends forever lost in that dream of perfect obedience, chanting their love and allegiance to Sauriann.

Ylaine... Idusa... Mirribeth... they would all come to savor this pleasure again and again. Forever. They would join willingly, as Yasha and Ekiale already had. They would no longer need collars and bracelets to obey. Not like their treacherous sister in the woods...

The silver bracelet warmed against her wrist. Calaris felt a numbing sensation rising up through her arm, a tingling that went up her shoulder and neck, like the welcome caress of a lover. She heard the trees rustling around her but the sound was muffled, distant, and she shivered with lust when a breeze kissed the wetness between her thighs.

The shadows and moonlight spun.

Her own treacherous, submissive thoughts aroused her even more. Which made it more difficult to think, and easier to give in. And over the rustling of trees she suddenly recognized a strange, distant hum, from somewhere in the forest. It was an enticing melody, and made it still harder for her to concentrate.

Voices. Someone... calling to me...

Of course. She had fled from her slave-sisters. Now she could hear how they were calling out to her...

Calaris took a few halting steps back, and fell leaning against a tree. Her hands grasped the trunk from behind, her fingers digging into the coarse bark while voices whispered in her mind. Now she recognized the distant chant, and felt strangely relieved as her hips began to sway to its enchanting rhythm.

It was luring her back into the trance. A trance she yearned for.

Yes. The words came clearly to her now.

Bless us, Dark Mother.

Take us.

We are yours, in body, mind and soul.


Strength left her, and Calaris collapsed in a bed of moss and pine needles. She began to chant along with the chorus of voices in her mind. Her sex burned, glowed, cried out to be touched, and she could no longer resist. Her hands found her cleft and she gasped under the magical touch of her fingers.

Instinctively, she allowed the soothing mantra to guide the rhythm of her stroking.

“Bless me, Dark Mother, she moaned.

“Take me.

I am yours, in body, mind and soul.”

Calaris had tried to escape Her, but there was no need to worry now. She had committed heresy against Her Queen, but such trespass could be forgiven, especially if she returned to the fold more obedient than before.

The bracelet, gift and symbol of her everlasting enslavement, glowed brighter as Calaris worshipped with slick fingers. Her whole body quivered with each thrust. She could hear the voice clearly now, and it spoke of purpose. Her purpose.


Soon she would have the opportunity to bring new knowledge to her slave-sisters: some still struggled and resisted, but Calaris’ example would show what bliss Sauriann could bestow upon those who willingly embraced Her.

A second moon peered from beyond the treetops—Resh’ta, chasing Aluùn across the black night. The forest was suddenly aglow with shades of gold, but Calaris was blind to it, her eyes shut as mind-numbing pleasure rocked through her.

With a final push of her fingers, she cried out in the shadows, with nothing in her soul but love for the Dark Goddess.

* * *

The fire had gone out, leaving embers to glow underneath a pile of gray ash. The girls slept in twos and threes on a patch of low grass nearby. Occasionally, one of them moaned softly, caught in dreams that differed little from the trance that held them during the day.

Ylaine’s eyes were tired but open, fighting slumber and the seductive visions it would bring.

The Que’or’ath won’t last beyond a few days, she realized. They would have to ration the leaves, unless Isleif could steal more. If Redewyn had more to steal. If Redewyn didn’t catch her. And then there was the matter of planning a coordinated action when the Huntress moon reached its zenith. All this, while Redewyn kept watch over them.

And Yasha. And Ekiale.

Ylaine swallowed. Use of the herb had its own peril, too. With the worry that came whenever it lifted her out of trance, she wondered if she would begin to crave the bliss of thoughtless obedience more than the freedom to think.

Other fretting kept her awake as she huddled underneath a blanket, shivering though she hardly felt the cold. No one had seen Calaris leave the clearing, but gone she was. The others didn’t even know; they had fallen back into the enchanted sleep shortly after Isleif had gone.

The collared girls continued their chanting in the distance, oblivious to all.

I should go after her, Ylaine thought. But Isleif’s warning against escape kept her still.

Her heart rose as something stirred in the tall grass, off to the right, near the horses. Ylaine stood and peered through the dark, and recognized the pale figure emerging into the golden light of the twin moons.

Calaris, wearing a smile as empty as the eyes above it.

The yearling moved in an unhurried, almost leisurely stride, the light of the twin moons bathing her flesh with golden radiance. She came to a standstill next to the fire’s smoldering ashes, open hands crossed at her crotch, breasts thrust forward, poised like a courtesan, eyes shining with blissful lust.

Ylaine felt herself pulled into them, but forced her eyes down. She noticed the near-extinguished glow coming from the stone encrusted in Calaris’ bracelet.

“Oh, Goddesses...”

Calaris was roused into awareness by the words, and emerged from her waking dream. It seemed as though she was reluctant to shrug off the trance; she noticed Ylaine staring back at her, but it took a heartbeat or two for recognition to sink in.

Then she swept down onto her knees facing Ylaine, as if to flaunt a slavish obedience. “The blessings of the Dark Queen be upon you, slave-sister.”

No words would pass Ylaine’s lips. Calaris waited patiently, staring upward, hands cupping her breasts, fingertips tracing lazy circles and teasing the rosy nipples into hardness.

She seemed delighted when Ylaine glanced downwards. “This thrall will pleasure you if you wish, slave-sister,” Calaris offered.

Calaris held her smile, begging with her eyes to be taken and used in whatever fashion Ylaine wished. Begging to serve, to crawl, to obey. To obey even Ylaine.

Isleif had been right.

Ylaine stared at her friend’s glassy eyes. Submissive eyes. So different from Yasha and Ekiale, who burned with fierce pride in their slavery. What had happened to Calaris had left her drained of all thought of self, and Ylaine could see in her eyes how words alone would be enough make her climax, even simply being told how to use her tongue.

Then she’d climax again as she used it.

Ylaine turned to brush away the tears. Suddenly, there was so much to say, even if Calaris was no longer really there to hear it.

She breathed deep before she could speak. “I’m so sorry.”

The yearling merely stared back at her, smiling. “Do not despair, slave-sister. It is the will of my Mistress that this thrall return among you. The others will see how we are bound to Her will. Her gifts remind us of the fate She has chosen for us. we are Her slaves. we live only to serve Her. By returning among you, this thrall will prove this to you.”

She leaned forward, crawled towards Ylaine, taking catlike strides on her hands and knees. Ylaine did not move.

“Now our slave-sisters will find it more difficult to resist the call of Sauriann. They will envy this thrall, and will wish to join her in deepest obedience. Some may wander off in the nights to come, their thoughts vanishing with each step they take, until they too experience the joy only a thrall can know.”

Calaris reached Ylaine and crawled up her; her touch coated Ylaine’s skin with a flurry of goosebumps. Calaris slid slowly erect, parted her lips and claimed Ylaine’s mouth with her own. Thoughts fluttered and vanished from Ylaine’s mind; Calaris’ tongue slid into her mouth and it welcomed her tongue eagerly, the dark lust guiding Ylaine’s hands onto Calaris’ flesh.

The world spun her up into the heavens, but Ylaine was only vaguely aware. No dream of pleasure she could remember tasted as sweet, and her hands trembled as they kneaded firm breasts.

Her brain was on fire; she laid back on the ground without resisting, letting the shadow have its pleasure while she sucked on Calaris’ tongue. She gave only slight protest when Calaris broke off the kiss, but then moaned without care as the lips found their way to her own breast, brushed against her nipple, and began suckling.

The other girls, snared in their own dreams of surrender, did not stir awake.

* * *

Redewyn returned with the dawn.

Ylaine did not know when dreams of warm flesh and cool air had become wakeful reality. The sound of the nearing horse, its steaming breath in the dim morning air, Redewyn’s slithering dismount—these could have been real, or dream-images like those phantoms which had come before them.

The collared slaves rose as one, slowly coming erect from where they had lain together. They seemed like specters, wraiths, silent and pale, as they turned to face their arriving captor. Ruby glows shimmered at three throats.

The creaking of Redewyn’s leather was the first thing that Ylaine knew was not merely a dream. The Sauri’i went to her subjects.

She greeted Yasha and Ekiale with kisses and touch, her hands on their naked bodies and theirs on her leather-bound flesh. Ylaine’s lusts uncurled within her, and she turned her head.

Calaris, her sleeping head cradled in the crook of Ylaine’s arm, roused. She smiled groggily at Ylaine, before her drowsy eyes saw the returned Sauri’i and flooded with wakeful yearning.

Ylaine watched, heartbroken, as Calaris rose smoothly and quickly to her feet and strode towards the soulbound trio.

“Mistress,” Calaris said, and they turned towards her.

Calaris dropped to a knee. “this thrall is Hers now,” she whispered ecstatically.

Redewyn smiled down at her, and with outstretched fingers raised Calaris by her chin. “Yes, I sensed your surrender from afar. Welcome, thrall.”

With her other hand, the Sauri’i touched Calaris’ bare sex, causing the girl to gasp, and then pulled her close to take her mouth in her own. They kissed, Calaris’ arms closing around Redewyn’s back, Ekiale and Yasha looking on with wicked smiles.

Ylaine could not look away, now. Her own pussy yearned for Redewyn’s touch, but settled for her own, as she helplessly cupped it. She bit her bottom lip to stifle the moan.

Redewyn’s fingers worked the young thrall’s sex, causing her body to tremble, until at last Calaris came, mewling around Redewyn’s tongue.

Redewyn released her, and licked her hand.

“All of you,” she said, and suddenly all were awake and aware, listening to the thrumming voice of the red-haired witch, “prepare yourselves and your horses. We ride when the sun rises above the tree line.”

Ylaine sprang to her task.

* * *


Ylaine blinked awake. The sun was setting.

She was still mounted, and had no recollection of when she’d slipped back into trance. The day was a blur of unsatisfied need and obedient longing, of waking to find herself far from where she had been wakeful last.

The Que’or’ath... hadn’t she taken enough?

Had she taken any?

She could not remember.

She couldn’t remember anything. Anything after... after Calaris’ head on her breast. Calaris’ ass, swaying towards Redewyn in the morning light.

Calaris the thrall.

The thought blew away. Redewyn was speaking.

“Attend, sluts. I have brought you here for a purpose. My Mistress’ power protects you and keeps you warm, but it is time that we bathe and suitably attire ourselves. To strip at Her command, first you must be clothed. When the time comes for you to kneel before Her, you will be.”

Ylaine realized that they were stopped in a village. Around them stood a small but neat collection of houses, of strong design and pleasant appearance. No hovel stood long in wintry Ganadar; these were timber dwellings, well-made and well-loved, their roofs thick and their doorways swept.

No one was around, save the dozen girls and their two keepers.

Or was it ten girls and four keepers? Ylaine looked for Yasha.

“Dismount, sluts,” Redewyn said, and Ylaine forgot her intention as her body happily obeyed.

They formed a line with but a wave of Redewyn’s finger. In a trice, Ylaine stood erect between Mirribeth and Pyrniale, each of them staring blankly forward at the hair of the girl before them.

The collared thralls were first. Redewyn turned and walked to the largest of the buildings, and they followed neatly. Calaris, first of the bracelet thralls, led the rest of them after. Behind them the ranger began gathering the horses, but was soon out of Ylaine’s sight.

Redewyn opened the door, above which hung a sign. Painted on it was an eagle atop a tortoise, both in festive color. An inn.

Inside was warmth. Flames roared in a stone fireplace, and candlelight flickered briefly as wind rushed through the door. Ylaine’s eyes widened as she entered. Her shame at her nudity, at her captivity, was spiked by her lust at the thought of these villagers witnessing it.

But both shame and lust fluttered as her pupils opened to the dark. The floor of the common room had been cleared, tables and chairs piled neatly in a corner. Villagers, men and women and children, stood in twin rows against the walls. Their eyes were blank and stared sightlessly at the near-dark.

In the center of the floor were bolts of cloth, some few of which Ylaine recognized as having come on the horses, most of which had been pulled from precious townsfolk stores.

Redewyn turned her attention to her charges. “A number of villagers shall be selected, and they shall weave clothing for you. They have no other purpose than this, and require no care. Dresses shall be made for each of you, for presentation to our Mistress, as well as riding cloaks and garb.”

Then there was the heavy feel of magic in the air. Black welled up in Redewyn’s eyes like oil poured over water, and Ylaine’s world narrowed until she could see only their glistening black power, could think only what those eyes put into her mind.

“Sleep, and Obey.”

Her mind went limp, soft, thoughtless—but impossibly, by the Grace of the Goddesses, Ylaine remained awake, the trance failing to claim her entirely. Her limbs stiffened, and she stood as the others did, and yet she could still grasp the truth of her surroundings, the faint taste of the Que’or’ath in her mouth. All around her, the other students had slipped into blissful dreams, unable to resist the spell of bracelets and collars.

They did not see Redewyn’s cold smile as she motioned Dwynneth forth.

“Slave,” the Sauri’i said. “These peasants are your kin. I have bound them to my will. You will now fit them to their task.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

The villagers gasped in shock as Dwynneth stepped into the light, in spite of the paralysis that held them. Here, in the heart of the realm, no loyal son or daughter of Ganadar could fail to recognize one who was of noble blood. Her long hair, pale as gold and still tressed in royal fashion, was as much a sign of high birth as her fair, white skin. Only the collar at her neck betrayed her true allegiance.

The peasants stirred as Dwynneth approached them under. One of the women, matronly and beautiful, looked up and fluttered her mist-gray eyes as Dwynneth stopped before her; Dwynneth raised a finger to the woman’s forehead and whispered in the black tongue.

Ylaine watched, her nipples hardening with lust-envy while the woman’s mind was slowly altered. She’d been fearful a moment ago, but now her lips trembled with excitement as Dwynneth spoke the strange words.

As Dywnneth’s hand lowered, Ylaine could see the new eagerness in the wide, glittering eyes.

Then, Dwynneth turned to the twin girls who stood on the left. Their hair resembled the older woman’s, falling in rich locks past their shoulders, but their eyes were darker, brown as oakwood.

Neither flinched as Dwynneth raised her finger, to each brow in turn, and whispered soft blasphemy.

Swiftly a dozen, then a score, fell under this new enchantment. Dwynneth’s smile grew with each weaving of the spell, until all the fairest amongst the villagers stood in perfect obedience. The joy of enslaving her own subjects, watching the transformation in their helpless eyes as she spoke the incantations, was made far sweeter by Redewyn’s presence.

When she was done, she turned and bowed gracefully. “These once-loyal daughters of Ganadar are yours to command, Mistress.”

Ylaine’s sex blazed in response to the moans of approval from the ensorcelled maidens.

At a gesture from Redewyn, the ensorcelled stepped forward, breaking ranks with the other listless villagers. They came forth and gathered around Ylaine and the others, circling them, shedding their clothes in slow movements, like dazed priestesses engrossed in ritual. They were simple folk, hardened by the toil of fields, with no knowledge of the mystical spheres; how easily they had been swayed by the Sauri’i—Ylaine nearly came as she heard their whispered prayers of thanks for being chosen.

The slave-villagers embraced the students, most of whom were too lost in their own obedience to notice the hands that stroked and caressed their bodies. Yasha and Ekiale raised their arms in welcome, eager for tongue-pleasure as bewitched wives and daughters went to them. Others sighed as caressing fingers reached through trance to awaken their senses. Idusa cried out softly from somewhere deep in trance, eyes glued to the wood-beams above while her body quivered under the voluptuous onslaught.

The pretty matron that had been taken first ventured a hand between Ylaine’s legs while her twin daughters flanked her and looked on eagerly.

“Sleep now, honored maiden,” she whispered. “We shall attend thee.”

She stroked with gentle fingers, barely touching, but it was enough to melt the last of Ylaine’s thoughts into pleasure.

* * *

Ylaine remembered only glimpses of her stroll to the bathhouse. Moonlight sparkling on a pebbled path. An arched stone structure resting low on the sandy riverbank. The acrid ash-smell of a large hearth, and the roaring sound of fires heating a bricked cistern-reservoir. Soft hands holding her own, a twin on either side.

But Ylaine drifted in a more peaceful dream now, far away from trees and fear and thought. Inside the village’s communal bathhouse, the tiled floors were warm and slick, the air humid and near-sweltering. Oil lamps burned quietly, swinging on copper chains; their light shimmered off the water, painting patterns of golden radiance on the rounded columns that circled all around the pool’s edge.

Ylaine’s world was now flesh and wood and marble and shadow.

Nude, sweat-covered bodies surrounded her, but she hardly noticed, swaying in the arms of her pretty attendants. She gasped while gentle fingers soaped and sponged her back. The twin daughters, Lo and Sif, were meticulous in their ministrations, leaving no part of Ylaine unattended.

It was a dance of sorts—wet bodies, pressed together in the shallow water, hands and fingers gliding over flesh. Calaris and Mirribeth were sharing the pool with Ylaine, moaning in the arms of their own attendants. The cleansing was nearly orgiastic, the air thick with the scent of lust, but neither Ylaine nor her friends could move from where the enthralled village women attended them. They were far too listless, caught in the pleasure-dream, helpless and trembling as cupping hands worshipped their bodies.

High above on the left, Pyrniale and Kaelyn stood on tiptoes by the basin’s edge, like dolls suspended on single threads. They might have been statues, decadent and erotic figures displayed between the stone columns, their perfect stillness betrayed only by the shallowest breathing. The two had been the first to be cleansed, and now they stood in deep trance, hair wet and slick against their backs. Though their eyes remained wide and unseeing, some awareness of submission still lingered in their dreamy smiles.

Their skin glistened now that the village girls kneeling beside them had finished anointing them with oils and perfumes. The flesh-statues had become polished bronze, the shadows slick against their firm bodies, and Ylaine wondered if they were all destined for ritual now—Redewyn, seizing an opportunity to bring them all into the fold at once.

The hope of it was a sudden heat, a secret cry for thralldom, but then a memory of moonlight dispelled Ylaine’s lusts and left her thoughts in a jumble.

Lo saw her confusion and slipped closer, her pert breasts brushing against Ylaine’s. She was a vessel of corruption now... focused and unthinking, attuned by the evil spell to quench resistance in her slave-sisters. Her smile was empty bliss as she slipped a soapy finger between Ylaine’s sexlips.

The confusion fled Ylaine’s mind as the slow orgasm took her.

With a flash from their wrist-gems, Pyrniale and Kaelyn abruptly swiveled on their feet and strolled past the stone columns. They moved in perfect unison towards a stooped exit, so deeply tranced Ylaine felt dizzy at the thought of being summoned along with them.

She heard Mirribeth moaning to the right, turned to see her being rinsed off by her attendants. Presently, she was guided up the stone steps and out of the pool, where a third village girl waited.

Ylaine watched avidly while the trio toweled off Mirribeth, before leading her around to the basin’s edge, to the spot where Pyrniale had stood moments before. Mirribeth cast a darker shape between the shadowed columns, her hair black as jet, her skin smooth and golden, attuned to the harsh desert sun of her home realm.

The village girls were ghostly beside her. One of them leaned over and whispered a word in Mirribeth’s ear, and Mirribeth’s eyes glazed over instantly, her flickering awareness drowned in a sudden whirlpool. Her shoulders straightened along with her back, and she soon stood poised and stiff, smiling as the last of her thoughts faded away.

Ylaine came again, hips jerking as she juiced on Lo’s probing finger.

Soon, other girls were being ushered into the domed hall: Dreida and Isleif in the lead, their collars pulsing bright, accompanied by a retinue of village girls in long, flowing dresses.

A nude Ekiale walked among them.

Her lean, sword-trained figure moved with smooth assurance, her feet sweeping across the tiled floor, strong muscles flexing underneath the skin. She was fully aware of her surroundings as she neared the basin’s edge, pausing to survey the scene with a smile of obvious relish.

Her sheer awareness stunned Ylaine, startled her with how powerful Ekiale was, here in the realm of those of blunted mind. She moved like a sated wolf among drugged sheep, the only person in the entire world of steam and heat with a purpose of her own.

Ekiale’s eyes slid to and fro, feasting on the beauty of the village girls she had led in as they disrobed, quietly evaluating.

Ylaine tensed in the pool, still squirming around Lo’s finger. A part of her tasted fear in seeing Ekiale thus, but beyond it was the dark thrill of seeing her friend reborn into a willing disciple of Sauriann.

She struggled momentarily, overwhelmed by a desire to go to Ekiale, but she was too weak. The twins sensed this and another pleasure-tide froze Ylaine in place as Lo’s sister Sif lowered her head to suck one of Ylaine’s nipples into her mouth.

The newly arrived village girls continued to undress under Ekiale’s watchful gaze.

When they were done, Ekiale snapped her fingers and motioned a pair of pretty maidens to approach. The two girls, tall and slim, nodded underneath rich curls of gold. Muted though they were by the lust and power that held them in thrall, a soft sigh still escaped their lips as they stepped forth and bowed, their minds now emptied of anything but performing whatever Ekiale willed of them.

There was a sudden feel in the air, as though a bell had rung, silent yet felt by all.

Ylaine was riveted; even Lo and Sif slowed and ceased their ministrations. Around her all stirring ceased; a hush came over everyone as Ekiale tipped her head forward and reached with both hands behind her neck.

And unfastened the leather collar.

She held it between her fingers for a moment, as if to display it to her captive audience. Then, Ylaine nearly fainted as Ekiale tossed it carelessly on the stone floor.

A simple gesture, filled with dark meaning.

Ekiale went to the marble stairs, gingerly stepping into the pool, causing ripples as she went in. Somewhere behind the stone walls, a lever had been pulled, for the water welled up around them; warm streams from apertures connected to the main cistern were now refreshing the bathing pool.

The soapy surface water began trickling out through other conduits, while eddies and currents tugged at Ylaine’s legs. Presently, Ekiale’s chosen girls slipped into the pool, as Lo and Sif cupped water into their hands, hurrying to rinse the lather off Ylaine’s body.

Ekiale caught Ylaine’s shocked stare, saw Ylaine’s blunted but conscious awareness, and smiled with pride. She no longer wore Sauriann’s gift, and yet she was still Hers.

Lo and Sif gently prodded Ylaine, snapping her out of reverie. They led her out of the water, and took her to Kaelyn’s vacant place at the side of the pool. Ylaine was helpless to resist, tense and afraid and deeply aroused; she saw how Mirribeth now stood in her assigned spot, eyes mindlessly trained forward, lost to the world around her, and realized the same fate awaited her.

She drew in a slow breath. Then the cacophony of her thoughts was silenced, as Lo leaned forth and whispered in her ear.

* * *

The fitting took place in an adjacent columned hall.

The thrall-daughters, Lo and Sif, worked quickly and diligently, weaving black cloth with the assurance of practiced seamstresses. Silver needles glittered in the dark as they threaded, naked and kneeling on the stone floor, wholly immersed in their hallowed task.

Candlelight shone on their sweat-covered breasts, which rose and fell to the slow rhythm of stitching. They stopped now and then, leaning towards one another, sharing a slow tongue-kiss.

All around the hall, other village girls toiled in similar tasks.

Struggling to recall the lush pleasure her body still remembered, Ylaine looked down at Lo and Sif, frowning. Her limbs now felt stretched and relaxed, and her skin glowed with oily warmth. Every inch of her had been stroked and massaged.

Visions of being an obedient statue flooded her mind. She had stood between the stone columns, smiling, while her friends had gone through the cleansing.

She’d been anointed. Readied.

Arms reached from behind, and drew her into a tight hug. The unexpected embrace startled Ylaine, but soon she was reeling as a heady perfume assailed her senses. Then she gasped and tilted her head aside, rapturous; soft lips had begun to kiss their way up the arch of her neck.

“My daughters look forward to their reward, when they are finished with your dress,” a voice whispered. “Sauriann will be pleased. To serve you is to serve Her.”

Ylaine basked in the warm embrace, her legs suddenly weak as a newborn calf’s. She recognized the mother’s voice—Neïf’s—even as she tipped back on her heels.

Neïf’s arms kept her from falling.

Such... loving pride... Neïf spoke fervently of the enslavement of her daughters; she knew only joy, now that they served the Dark Queen. And yet there had been no gift-giving here in the village, no silver or jewels to command such breathless obedience.

There was no need for gifts. Neïf, Sif, Lo... they and all the others were as entranced and willing as Ylaine had been the night of the raid upon Nhalmea.

Perhaps Isleif was wrong.

Down on the stone floor, the girls continued their stitching, the flickering glitter of needles capturing and shallowing Ylaine’s thoughts. She watched and shivered in Neïf’s welcoming arms, finding the twins more alluring in that they were under Sauriann’s spell. The girls had a starker beauty about them, the relish of their mind-slavery finding an echo in Ylaine’s own soul.

And I’m just as beautiful in their eyes, Ylaine realized. A daughter of nobility, stripped and entranced, destined for chains that could never be broken. But lesser minions had their uses as well...

Ylaine thought of Calaris, and how different she was from Ekiale. A tongue-thrall, a pet-girl. So much lesser than the fierce myrmidons Yasha and Ekiale had become.

There had been a sorting...

The lure of thrall-hierarchy simmered hotly, like tongues of flame lapping at her sex. Ylaine found herself yearning for that realm of simpler obedience—the life of a slave with no will save for the whims and lusts of Sauriann’s chosen. She saw how much she would enjoy being reshaped thus... emptied until only a desire to serve and pleasure was left in her mind...

Perhaps there is no need to wait. Lo and Sif were smiling now, looking up, putting down needles and thread. A beautiful, long-hemmed dress of red and black stretched on the floor between them, trimmed and ready.

My daughters look forward to their reward, when they are finished with your dress.

The throb of her bracelet was a mere afterthought; Ylaine felt herself slip away into dream-lust as she beckoned the twins forward. She had whispered something to Neïf too, because the mother had released her, slowly slipping down to the floor to join her daughters.

Ylaine smiled in welcome as the twins crawled over, joy shining in their eyes. Then she parted her legs ever so slightly, and gave a sigh as Lo was first to claim her recompense with a slow flick of the tongue.

* * *

Ylaine could not remember donning her new garb.

She was clad now in sober black; tight-fitting riding pants and a loose shirt, a vest of dyed leather and a heavy cloak. Somber, perhaps, but nothing that would draw the attention of a passing courier or market-bound farmer. Were they even to encounter such.

What she was wearing beneath would not be so inconspicuous—a wisp of translucent black silk, stretched and moist against her bare sex, held by fine silver chains that slipped through her buttocks and twined around her waist. Marked as she was by the bracelet that commanded her thoughts, there were nonetheless other, more lavish ways to show off how obedient she could become.

Ylaine mused on this and other things as her horse trotted along. It was easier to do so now that the spellfog had lifted a little. The light of Aluùn paled so close to the rising dawn, but in it she could still remember the faint hope of a few days ago, and what it meant for all of them.

Her hand reached for Que’or’ath leaves she’d hidden in a saddle pouch two nights ago. She touched them and felt a tiniest sense of relief.

Girls rode before her in a loose column, many of them still tranced and unaware. Redewyn was some distance ahead, leading the troupe, her black leather little more than streaks of reflected moonlight. Kaelyn was closest, swaying in her saddle beside Ylaine, staring at far-away trees on a snow-crested hill without seeing them.

The village lay far behind, a trail disappearing in darkness and mist, like a dream that had never happened.

But the leave-taking was still fresh in Ylaine’s mind, and she felt a frisson as she recalled Redewyn’s words, spoken to the ensorcelled maidens, summoned to kneel in the center of the village:

“When we part, the magicks that direct your thoughts will fade, and your service to Sauriann will be but a dream of darkness and bliss. Yet each of you will return to that dream every night henceforth, swayed by the memory of a time when you obeyed. In time you will yearn to belong once more to Her, and the dreams will spill into waking awareness. On the day when the shadow of our Dark Mistress stretches forth to cover these lands, you will recall Her truth, and embrace it forever...”

The bitter taste of the leaves lingered on Ylaine’s tongue, and she wondered what fragments of her soul had been left behind in that village. Despite her awareness she had given in to flesh-pleasure. Given in with hardly a struggle. Was it only the enchantment, that had made her relish her own surrender? None of her companions had been more than vaguely aware of what had happened there.

Perhaps the hope of escape had been futile. It seemed as though each of them had quietly accepted their fate, obeying Redewyn and lusting for the moment when Sauriann would bind them in darkness.

Ylaine closed her eyes, refusing to yield to despair.

She had to do something. Had to act. Soon.

If she waited until the time was right, she would no longer desire to act at all.

* * *

In other realms, this land would yet be called wild; the river clattered chill over tumbled stones, the trees pressed in upon the road.

In Ganadar, this was already civilization. For beyond the forest in which they rode was the occasional farmer’s field, now and then a slate roof and the grey curls of smoke from a chimney. Other paths diverged from the muddy track, but few hoofprints marked its surface.

For several days now—since the village—Redewyn had led them through animal trails whenever possible, away from roads that might see riders of the royal guard. The witch had grown careful as they neared the hidden pass, sending her ranger ahead to scout paths of least resistance. The task would be easier still in the Highlands, where allegiance to the Queen was scarce. The hill tribes that dwelled there seldom left their remote country, distrustful of outsiders, concerned only with the matters of survival.

There had been no more rituals.

Ylaine yearned for the night, for the chance to cease her trance-riding and to see the others more clearly. To see the light of reason in their eyes, rather than the blissful glaze of erotic stupor. Although the bracelets would lure them into sleep, for a precious handful of moments Ylaine could imagine herself free.

The forest huddled close around them, alive with chirps and birdsong. Some of the leaf-trees budded now that Spring warmth had come; naked branches surged into the path, swaying with the passage of the riders.

Ylaine reached out idly with her hand and snapped one off as her horse trotted by.

She waited, heart pounding with trepidation, but none of the girls behind her stirred from trance to shout a warning. She relaxed, her fingers working nimbly, stripping the bark, braiding the branch into a simple shape. Her eyes never looked down, her fingers looping idly, until the thin reed slipped from her hand and into the mud.

Ylaine made a sly reach for another branch, keeping her entranced façade while she quietly pondered the inescapable fact. For all her skills of sword and spellcraft, Redewyn sought to avoid attention and escape the valley unnoticed.

Had news of the raid on the academy reached Hormhold? Would roads be flooded with Ganadienne riders and armed companies? Ylaine’s hope for rescue was frail on such a far-off trail, but she closed her eyes and held on to it just the same. Goddesses willing, men-at-arms were looking for them.

Another carefully braided twig slipped from her fingers.

For the last two days she’d littered their path with such signs. She kept a few between her legs, as well, to mark especially where the ground was too firm to hold trace of hoofprints, and on trails that forked off or bifurcated. She’d gathered handfuls of pebbles too, carefully arranged to mark the clearings where she’d broken camp with the others. It had been difficult to focus on the task, even with the Que’or’ath, but the soothing call of her bracelet eased as Aluùn shone brighter every night.

And more than the Huntress Moon, hope gave Ylaine focus.

It was strange. In her home of Annudhin, one gave little thought to the heavens. The domains of star and sky were not for a practical people, given to the study of trade and the unpredictable relationships of men. But now the Huntress Moon meant more to Ylaine than all the gold of Tyrene. It was through Her power that they might escape.

If I am freed, I shall ever after be her priestess, Ylaine thought. But that thought led to musings of worship, and thoughts of herself on her knees before a different Mistress.

The thudding sound of beating hoofs startled the thoughts from her.

The ranger had ridden up from the trail ahead, returned from scouting. She reigned in her horse before leaning in to whisper in Redewyn’s ear. The column stopped as Redewyn listened to her agent. Then the Sauri’i nodded, and dismounted; she called out names. “Ekiale. Yasha. Calaris. To me.” There was a pause.


Ylaine, too caught up in sudden spellfog to be afraid, was suddenly off her horse. She drifted forward to where Redewyn stood, heart aflutter.

Redewyn drew a long, black cloak from a saddlebag and slipped it over her shoulders. Then turned to face the girls.

“Brigands lie in ambush up ahead. You will follow me. Obey.”

The Sauri’i turned, drawing the hood over her head and strolling up the path, with the ranger leading the way. Yasha, Calaris and Ekiale walked closely behind her. Ylaine followed, her thoughts rustling along with the cracking of winter-dried twigs underfoot. Redewyn’s attention had thickened the haze over her mind. The small betrayals she’d indulged in over the past few days were fresh in her thoughts, but she was too listless to speak. Guilt-pleasure dampened between her legs as she imagined Redewyn glancing deep in her eyes and drawing the truth from her soul.

Ahead of her, the ranger and her thrall-sisters moved with martial poise, attentive to the sounds of the woods, guarding their cloaked Mistress like silent shadows. Ylaine felt redundant and weak among them—she had no skills of arms to draw upon—but then thrilled at the idea that Redewyn might need a warm body as shield for spear-shafts and arrows.

Redewyn stepped aside and allowed her charges to pass.

The trail ahead narrowed through a swath of low grass where a thin stream passed between rocky outcrops. Two large felled oaks obstructed the way; Men, a half dozen or so, stood waiting, armed with tall bows and staves.

The foremost one, tall, fair-haired and with a drawn-up green hat, leaned nonchalantly upon a sword. He broke into a wide grin as the mysterious group of girls emerged from the trees.

Ekiale and Yasha came to a stop, their eyes blank, their bodies stiff as they stood across the trail. Each held a sword of their own, the blades drawn but lowered, a pair of flesh-statues guarding the path. A few of the men drew weapons in response, showing unease at the obvious soldierly bearing of the two, but neither of the warrior-maidens showed the slightest reaction.

“My apologies for the threatening gesture,” the band’s leader said, his voice loud and carrying. “I wanted you to labor under no misconceptions while we parley.”

He gestured towards the side of the road. Ylaine’s eyes followed the gesture, and saw four other men, with drawn bows and nocked arrows, hidden amongst the foliage.

A wave of sexual heat blurred Ylaine’s vision as Redewyn drew up beside her. “You are bold,” said Redewyn, her face hidden underneath the hood, her body cloaked and covered. “No common brigand would dare harass honest travelers here, so close to the heart of Ganadar.”

“Ah,” the bandit said, turning his broad smile on the cloaked figure. “We are indeed bold,” he said, spreading his arms. “Although if this is Ganadar’s heart, it is far from her center.”

“What is it that you want?” Redewyn asked. “Money, perhaps?”

“No more than you can spare, surely,” the leader replied. “A noble party such as yourself doubtless has ample funds. Life is harsh in these parts, and harsher still in the Highlands. We hillfolk look after our own, and a just tribute is but a small price to pay for the right of passage, yes?”

The men around him laughed.

“We do have ample funds,” Redewyn observed, stepping past Yasha and Dwynneth. Her head was lowered, the black cloak veiling her eyes, but Ylaine saw how her lips curved into an icy smile as she drew a bulging leather pouch, pulled on the drawstring and upended it.

Fat coins spilled out into the mud, gold and silver in a dozen sizes.

The bandit’s eyes widened as he watched them tumble, but the cheeriness drained from his face when Redewyn pulled back her hood and swept the cloak over her shoulder, revealing herself.

Black leather corset. Crimson stitching.

Eyes of dark, undiluted green.

The men gasped in shock, inhaling as one.

The leader took a pace back, as if he’d been pushed. “You... y-you’re...” He choked off the rest of his sentence. Behind him, men gripped their weapons in tight fists.

The leader’s nostrils flared. “We have no wish for your gold, witch.”

Redewyn smiled, the loose coins forgotten at her feet. “I see. Perhaps there is something else you want...?”

Her voice could have softened steel. Ylaine felt her lust rise again. At once, she wanted to touch Redewyn, to kneel and kiss her and service her needs, to slide her tongue deep inside and taste...

The leader stared at Redewyn hungrily, his knuckles whitening on his staff.

“I could allow you and your men to sample my slaves,” Redewyn offered. “To use them as you wish. Would that please you?”

Glowing lust became a solar heat as Ylaine realized her purpose at last. Another wave of sexual heat passed over her and she yearned to whore at Redewyn’s bidding. Although she knew the pleasure of drawing forth the bandit leader’s manhood, tonguing it to hardness and sucking until his seed filled her mouth could never equal the simple joy of kneeling before her Mistress, Ylaine relished the opportunity to serve and obey. She slunk forward in twain with Calaris, each heeling at one of Redewyn’s thighs, their eyes finding the man’s, making promises.

The leader of the brigands opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out.

Redewyn’s smile grew wolfish. “You crave more depraved pleasures, then? Something only a witch of Sauriann could satisfy?”

The man closed his eyes and took another step back, turning his head sharply. “No,” he snapped. “We are not such men.” He waved his staff back and forth, and the men behind him stepped to the side of the path.

“Leave us. Turn back. We will not permit your evil on our lands.”

Redewyn did not move. “A pity,” she observed. “I would have enjoyed something thick and alive inside me.” She shrugged. “So be it.”

Suddenly she shouted, her voice crackling with power.

Kill them!

Ylaine moved like a striking asp, leaping past the leader before she was even aware that she was doing it, crashing into the foliage and knocking aside the bandit’s bow, snatching his arrow from his panicked grasp and driving it into his eye.

She spun, the man flailing but already dead, seeking the man next to him, hungry for his life, but he lay thrashing, neck broken, Calaris standing above him. The sounds of struggle rang out for a moment more as Ylaine turned, seeking prey. She found none.

They were all dead.

Realization rushed over Ylaine and she fell to her knees, hand clapping over her mouth. Her wrist was scorched, painful, where the bracelet clasped it, the gem now dim and flickering.

She’d been docile and obedient moments before, eager to cater to Redewyn’s every whim—but the rushing violence had snapped her aware like a hard blow to the chest. The swift brutality of her own action overwhelmed her. Her stomach clenched, and she beat down the urge to vomit.

She had—she had killed a man, a man who had not sought to kill her. And she had done so instantly, at the command of the Sauri’i, done so with not the slightest hesitation or resistance. Her stomach turned again.

Boot-tips appeared on the ground before her.

Ylaine looked up. Ekiale stood before her, grinning, her black shirt splashed with blood, sword in hand. “Does it not please you to take life in the service of your Queen?” she asked, raising the sword to her mouth.

She ran her tongue slowly along its crimson blade. Ylaine dropped her gaze to the dirt.

“Rise,” Ekiale said, with imperative in her voice, and Ylaine found herself rising to her feet. Ekiale’s eyes were fierce, her mouth stained with red. “Do not give in to weakness, Ylaine,” she said. “Do not miss your chance to know the joy of bringing death at the will of Sauriann.”

She stepped closer, her eyes wide. Behind the white and brown of them, Ylaine could see the swirling black.

“But you will,” Ekiale hissed, and kissed Ylaine, Ylaine’s mouth opening to Ekiale’s tongue, the coppery taste of blood stinging her mouth as Ekiale’s closeness stirred her pussy.

She sucked on Ekiale’s tongue, on her mouth, and felt Ekiale smile.

Ekiale withdrew and kissed Ylaine’s forehead. “Submit,” she offered. “Give in. Slavery to Her is bliss unending.”

Ylaine’s jaw worked but her lips did not part again.

Ekiale stared hungrily into her for a moment longer, then turned and walked away.

* * *

The bandits were all dead, save one.

Ylaine looked down at the leader, his face still registering shock, his throat open to the spine. But his death and that of his men had come at a price for Redewyn: next to their bodies lay the still form of the ranger. A feathered shaft, loosed in panic by one of the men, jutted from the center of her chest.

The woman lay dead with a smile on her lips, and Ylaine shivered, knowing she might have done the same.

She regretted the ranger’s death, and that of the bandits, and her regret felt like a benediction, a sign that she was not yet the Dark Queen’s puppet. She had not been turned. She did not rejoice in what she had been made to do.

Small victories.

“What,” the remaining captive hissed, “are you?”

The woman was on her knees, unbound, Ekiale’s sword point in the small of her back. Her hair was long and pale red, her face broad in the jaw and thin-lipped. A pretty peasant, turned bandit by life’s odd chances.

She had swallowed her fear but it glittered in her eyes, in the slight tremble of her shoulders. Her comrades had died in an instant, and what the beautiful and murderous stranger in skintight black leather wanted with her was a terrifying unknown.

“What is your name?” Redewyn asked her.

“Who—” and the crack of Redewyn’s hand on the woman’s cheek was a thunderclap, almost knocking her to the ground. Her eyes seemed dazed as she leaned back upright.

“What is your name?” Redewyn asked again.

“Reoni,” the girl replied quietly, hanging her head.

“Reoni,” Redewyn said, musing. “Reoni. I am glad to have met you, Reoni. She who guided our party has died in the service of our Queen, and now we require a replacement with knowledge of these parts... one that will not fall so easily to swordthrust or arrow-shaft. Calaris.”

Calaris immediately stepped forward. Without looking at her, Redewyn reached between her own legs, tapped her ass, and drew the finger forward along her crotch.

“Unlace me.”

The girl called Reoni shivered.

Calaris was on her knees and Ylaine hotly remembered performing the same service herself. Calaris had begun at the front, first baring Redewyn’s smooth mons, and Ylaine remembered the dark mark that was branded there.

Now Reoni saw it, too. Ylaine watched her eyes try to look elsewhere and fail.

“Do you know what I am, Reoni?” Redewyn quietly asked. “I am a witch. I am a warrior. I am a slave.” She ran a finger around the brand above her sex.

“I am Sauri’i.”

The brand lit with green fire; Ylaine could see the reflection in Reoni’s wide eyes. She could see the fear war with the helpless fascination, as Calaris’ nimble fingers bared Redewyn’s smooth sexlips.

“I am a slave of the Dark Queen. My body is Hers; my mind, my soul. Sauri’i.”

Calaris had reached the top of Redewyn’s rear cleft and stopped, leaning back. Ylaine could see the struggle not to lean in and taste, tongue, and she remembered her own lust to do the same the night that Yasha gave in. She could feel that lust awake in her now.

She felt lightheaded, eager, and the memory of Yasha’s dark embrace was not tragic but erotic, tightening Ylaine’s nipples and dampening the delicate silks she wore. Redewyn was now busy working her magicks on Reoni, but Ylaine had something wet and hungry for Calaris to feed upon. The yearling would tongue Ylaine eagerly of course, and then Ylaine might not care when Redewyn took her very soul...

No. Ylaine shook her head. Not so far gone. Not yet.

Redewyn was still speaking to the red-haired captive, her tones low and hypnotic, and the fear was gone from the woman’s eyes, replaced with the green glow of the eldritch tracery atop Redewyn’s sex.

“Sauri’i,” she said. “A slave. My flesh is Hers. My will is Hers. Corrupted and transformed. I am Her vessel, and to drink from Her cup is to know everlasting thralldom.”

She stepped forward, and Reoni licked her lips, eyes dazed and staring at Redewyn’s smooth sex.

“Her power controls me,” Redewyn said, stepping closer, legs spread. “Her will alone gives me life and purpose. And it will be the same for you, Reoni. I am Her vessel. Drink from me. You will forsake your life and serve Her. Foreverrrr...”

Redewyn stepped forward again and her sex was in Reoni’s face, a tongue’s reach away. Reoni was panting and trembling, wholly hypnotized. The green of Redewyn’s mark shone on the sweat of her brow.

“Do you give in, Reoni? Will you give your life to Her?”

“I...” Reoni stammered. “I...”

“Yessssss....” she said, pushing her head forward, suckling at Redewyn’s cunt, quenching her thirst and lust.

There was a slight sizzling sound, followed by smell of charred flesh, and Ylaine nearly fainted in pleasure as she watched.

The air bowed heavily as Redewyn began to chant, the black speech sucking all sound to it, the notes and syllables reverberating deep in Ylaine’s soul. Reoni sucked and sucked, seized with an irresistible urge, and Ylaine realized that she was swallowing, drinking, black fluid spilling from the corners of her lips.

I am Her vessel. To drink from Her cup is to know everlasting thralldom.

She was being christened. Baptized. Redewyn’s hands reached for Reoni’s head, seized it. She continued to chant as liquid corruption seeped from her sex, and into the helpless girl’s avid mouth.

Then, gurgling, Reoni tilted backward. Her hands clenched as her body was wracked with spasms. Her wide, empty eyes stared skyward and she crumpled suddenly, strings cut, slipping onto the ground.


Ylaine was breathing hard... gasping. Goddesses... she’s...

Redewyn ran a finger along her own slit, gathering black oil. A droplet fell and plopped on Reoni’s frozen chin.

Redewyn sucked the finger into her mouth. “Lace me,” she said, and Calaris leaned in to redo her work.

Ylaine and the others stood in a half-circle, waiting. Reoni did not move. Her chest was perfectly still.

When Calaris finished, Redewyn stepped forward, slowly circling the body. The color had drained from the girl’s skin, her northern pink fading to a dull, slate grey.

Redewyn spoke a word in the black tongue. Unlike the others uttered in ritual, it was soft and pleasant to the ear. Enticing.

Reoni opened dull eyes.

Redewyn touched her with a boot-tip. “Rise,” she said.

Ylaine’s breath was caught in her throat as Reoni slowly stood.


Reoni took off her clothes, unhurried. Her flesh was now smooth and marble-like, colorless, her red hair a strange contrast atop her head, above her eyes, between her legs.

In the center of her forehead, Sauriann’s mark was burned black flesh, mirroring the mark between Redewyn’s legs.

When she was fully naked to the soles of her feet, Reoni’s arms rested at her sides, and she stared at nothing. There was no hint of awareness in her eyes, no acknowledgement of anything at all in her facial cast. She’d become a lifeless statue, carved out of gray stone.

Redewyn drew her dagger, and pushed it into Reoni’s side. Ylaine’s heart skipped.

The flesh yielded, but there was no splash of blood, no tremor or hint of pain at all. Reoni seemed not to have even noticed.

Redewyn pulled the long knife back out.

The gash in Reoni’s side sealed itself, leaving a faint, barely perceptible mark.

“You are Olithoi,” Redewyn whispered. “Corpse-slave. My Mistress’ poison has taken your life and your will. You will serve Her forever, for you can no longer die. You are Olithoi.”

Ylaine trembled.

The creature that had been Reoni did not react at all.

* * *

END Part Three