The Youth of the Dark Lord
by Jennifer Kohl
Even at a young age, people were already predicting that Tyryn would come to a bad end. It was his mother, with her wildfire hair and poison-green eyes, always skulking around the edges of the village, muttering. People said she had the evil eye, that she was a witch, and perhaps she was.
Certainly she taught Tyryn things that no child should know. His mother was midwife to half the women in the village—the poorer half—and as soon as he could walk, she had him fetching and carrying. He ran errands for her when he was a little older, and all the village found him eerie.
He had his mother’s hair and eye color—shocking red and poison green—but those were common enough in that part of Yr. It was something else about him that bothered people, just as it was something else about his mother. With her it was a wild strangeness, a sense that at any moment she might do—well, anything.
But with Tyryn, it was the opposite. His mother’s hair was a tangle of matted curls; his was straight and short and neat. He was always still, always watching, always cold. He scared people more than his mother did.
And scared people, especially scared children, turn cruel.
Tyryn’s main tormentor was an older boy named Lyr. Lyr would taunt Tyryn, mock him, his mother, his unknown father, and when that failed to provoke a reaction, he would beat the smaller boy. Until the thing that happened in the barn.
No one, save Tyryn and perhaps Lyr, knew what exactly transpired. Lyr and his friends encountered Tyryn in the road; Tyryn fled; Lyr chased. Tyryn hid in the barn; Lyr entered in pursuit.
A few minutes later Lyr left the barn, ashen-faced and shaken. After that, he left Tyryn alone, though he would blanch at sight or mention of the smaller boy. After that, the others left Tyryn alone, too. Fear can make people cruel, but it can make them cower, too. That was an important lesson in the young Tyryn’s life.
When the traveling healer arrived, he soon heard about Tyryn. Against the warnings of all the townsfolk, he sought the boy and his mother out.
The traveler was small, pale, brown-haired and -eyed, though there were touches of gray at his temples. No one like him had ever been seen in this remote village, but nonetheless it was known what his build and coloration meant: a Lemurian. Something more mysterious and nearly as frightful as Tyryn and his mother.
She was not cowed, however. She met her guest with all the grace and aplomb that could be mustered in a filthy, decaying shack on the edge of the forest. He sat at her table—a sawed-off log, really—and looked about the tiny room that was the entire interior of her shack and the sum total of her worldly possessions.
“I wish to buy the boy,” he said.
Tyryn lurked in the corner, impassive, sullen.
“For what?” asked his mother.
“He is about the same age as my daughter,” said the healer. “She could use a playmate, and I an apprentice.”
The witch scoffed. “Him? He would as like eat your child as play with her. He is a wicked child, wicked to the core, like his father.”
The healer squatted down near Tyryn. “I am named Vilnus,” he said, ignoring Tyryn’s mother. “Tell me, Tyryn, why do you work so hard to hide how you feel? Is it because things happen when you yell, or cry?”
Tyryn’s eyes widened in momentary shock and alarm. He knows! The stranger knows! He fought down the incipient panic.
“Power,” said Vilnus, straightening up and facing the mother. “He is filled with it, raw potential such as I have rarely seen. Left to his own devices, he would grow wild, wilder even than you, and bring chaos and ruin upon this village. But taught properly, to channel and control his gifts... There is potential for greatness in him.”
“Greatness, eh?” said the witch, a touch of greed lighting in her eyes.
“Indeed,” said Vilnus. “I will of course pay a reasonable price.”
The woman shook her head. “If I suddenly showed in the market with gold or silver, they would burn my house and rob me in an hour. No deal.”
“My dear lady, I would not insult you like that! No, what I wish to purchase from you is power, and what I offer in return... is power.”
Her eyes flashed again. “I’m listening.”
Vilnus drew a slim volume from his robes and laid it on the table. “I offer you this,” he said. “The power of illusion. The power to beguile the senses, to shape what others see and perceive... To use as you will.”
She scoffed. “What good is that to me? I feel its power, but it is like yours, thin and pale and stiff. And besides, I lack the knack for reading, and this village lacks teachers.”
“It wouldn’t be in a language you know, anyway,” said Vilnus. “But it could be of use to you nonetheless. Open it and see.”
The woman shrugged and opened the book to a random page. The diagram before her shifted and shimmered before settling into a complex pattern of colored curves. “Oh.”
“Precisely. Some things carry between High Magic and Wild, and that is a book of illusions. It shapes its diagrams for the understanding of the reader.”
The woman gave a short, sharp nod, still staring at the book. “Take him, then,” she said. “But do not return when he proves too much to handle. He’s your problem now.”
Tyryn looked back and forth between the stranger and his mother. He was being taken away? Away from his mother, away from his bullies... Off with this strange man, who saw power in him?
For the first time in a long time, he smiled.
Eight years later...
“Herbs?” Tyryn asked, tossing down his notebook in irritation. “Vilnus expects us to memorize herbs?”
“It’s an important part of being a healer,” Maida chided. “Father said he would drill us on his return.”
Tyryn scoffed. “I’m not a healer. I don’t know why I should waste my time on this nonsense—I should be studying real spells, real magic!“
Maida sighed. “This is real magic. Healing is important! It’s where most of our money comes from!“
Tyryn rolled his eyes. Healing people didn’t get you anywhere. A few coins, some pitiful words of gratitude, but not real power. Healing couldn’t stop a sword, or better yet turn it on its wielder. Oh, sure, you could make demands on people who needed healing, but you had to wait until they needed it. There were better ways to make people do what you wanted—and that was the only power that mattered. Unfortunately Vilnus and his daughter were too stupid to see that—they were content to live in this piddling little village and do piddling little errands.
“You’re woolgathering again,” said Maida. “Come, help me study.” She passed him her notebook. “Go on, drill me!”
Wish I could, thought Tyryn. He’d never met Maida’s mother—she’d died a year before Vilnus brought Tyryn from Yr to this tower in a remote corner of Mercia—but clearly she’d been one of the Sea People. Maida had the deep dark eyes, the tan skin of the Sea People, but the petite build and delicate features of a Lemurian. He tried to hide that he was watching her as she flicked a strand of her hip-length straight hair out of her face, but she had to see him, if not this time then one of the other countless times.
He knew she had to know, had to be deliberately taunting him with what he couldn’t have. The possibility that she thought of him like a brother, that she genuinely was oblivious to his unstated desires, never even occurred to him. Of course she knew, she had to know. By rights she belonged to him, and it was only her stubbornness that made her ignore him.
But not for long. Tyryn suppressed a thin smile as he named herbs and asked Maida to describe their appearances and uses. He was ready, after four days of practice. Tonight he made his move.
He’d known there had to be something he could use in the library—a fancy name for the room at the top of the tower where Vilnus kept his small collection of scrolls and notebooks, most of them made by his own hand. But ever since he’d learned to read the spells within, to feel the power coming from them, Tyryn had taken every chance to sneak in and try to find something he could use. Something that would give him real power.
And finally, the day Vilnus left on his latest trip—off to heal some member of the royal court in the capital, something about a blood disease—Tyryn had found it. It was a spell intended to hold a patient’s body, manipulate it as needed for healing. But over the last few days, experimenting with the rats in the tower’s cellars, Tyryn had realized just how much it could do.
“Tyryn!” Maida scowled at him. “Pay attention, we need the practice! Father’s already been gone four days, who knows when he’ll be back?”
Tyryn returned her scowl, then picked up the notebook and began to question her.
That night, Tyryn lay back in his bed and contemplated a handful of long, dark hairs he’d pulled from Maida’s hairbrush. It should be more than enough for what he had in mind.
He closed his eyes and concentrated. Slowly a mental picture of Maida formed. She sat in her chamber, studying by candlelight, of course. It made Tyryn furious: he was more powerful than her by far, yet from the moment he arrived, she’d been able to do things he couldn’t. Which of course she could, she’d grown up with Vilnus teaching her! But she just kept studying and studying, every day, pulling ever farther ahead while he had to play catch-up.
Oh, she claimed to just enjoy it, to be satisfying her curiosity, but to Tyryn it was clear that she was really just working to stay ahead, because she knew he was more powerful. She knew her head start gave her an unfair advantage, and she intended to maintain it as long as possible.
But now he had an answer to that. Slowly he inserted himself into the flow of energy within her body. He had to be careful—she was a skilled healer, and who knew what she might do if she noticed something was wrong before he was ready?
It took perhaps ten minutes of careful, gentle infiltration until he had what felt like a firm grip. She wasn’t actually that much more complex that a rat, to Tyryn’s amusement. Oh, there was the complex swirl of energies inside her head, far more intricate and energetic than a rat’s, but he didn’t intend to touch that. Her body, on the other hand, was larger and differently proportioned, but still flowed in much the same way as his practice rats.
The important thing was to keep her distracted, and Tyryn had ideas on how to accomplish that. He sent a ripple cascading out across her skin, and grinned when she shivered.
Maida’s eyes fluttered closed as she leaned back in her chair and sighed dreamily, relaxation and pleasure spreading through her body like waves. Her hand drifted downward, seemingly of its own accord—she had no idea, no suspicion, that someone else was moving it as it dropped down to her skirt and pressed between her thighs.
But then she tried to move it back and resume her studying, and it didn’t obey. Her eyes snapped open, wide and panicked, as she struggled to pull her hand away.
Watching from his own room, Tyryn grinned savagely. He needed to hurry before she calmed down and figured it out, but that just made it more exciting, more fun. He made Maida stand, and her breathing grew harsh and rapid as the fear spread.
“Stop!” she shouted, or tried to, but he clamped her mouth shut and it came out strangled and muffled. She fought to control her limbs, helpless as her legs walked her toward the bed and her fingers began to unlace her collar. Her simple dress soon pooled on the floor around her ankles and she stepped out of it.
“Stoooop!” she moaned again through her closed teeth, but there was no way Tyryn was going to stop. He could see her now, naked and defenseless, and it was everything he had hoped for. She was beautiful, her skin a flawless, smooth light brown, her breasts full, perfect mounds capped with darker-brown aureolae and nipples. He imagined running his hands over her hips and ass, feeling the curves he was now seeing for the first time.
Soon, he thought, but not yet. There was no time, this first time, and anyway he needed to prepare her further, first.
Maida’s struggles to move, to regain control of her body, were interrupted by another step toward the bed. She lay down in it, and her hands ran slowly up her torso to cup her breasts. She’d done that before, of course—but the fact that she wasn’t controlling her hands, wasn’t already half-expecting the sensation before it happened, made it feel stronger, and she gasped.
Watching, Tyryn saw the little burst of pleasure with the energy streams of her body, and made it happen again. Maida moaned, her struggles against his control momentarily ceasing, and he watched as the flow dripped inward and downward to her pussy.
“No...” Maida pleaded as her hand traced back down over her belly and through the little triangle of curly black hair below. But she didn’t fight it—she’d come to realize that was pointless. What is happening to me? she thought.
Then her fingers slipped into her increasingly slick, hot slit, and her thoughts scattered. Tyryn saw the reaction and copied it, working to intensify her pleasure and arousal even while he made her fingers stroke and explore.
Maida arched her back, eyes tightly shut once again, as the pleasure grew. “Please—” she gasped. She tried to pull her hand out and couldn’t—but she did seem to be regaining some control. She could move her fingers as she pleased.
For a moment she hesitated. But the growing tightness inside of her, the melting warm emptiness, was making its own demands, and if she couldn’t remove her hand anyway... She began to play with herself.
Tyryn repressed a victory cry. He couldn’t be sure Maida wouldn’t hear it, after all. Instead he worked on amplifying the pleasure she received from touching herself. Gradually he relaxed all control of her movement, and focused on just making her feel as good as possible as she played with herself.
He watched the flow of energies spiral inside of her, a vortex centered on a point just inside and above her pussy, growing gradually tighter and more intense until it just... burst, flowing outward in waves of bliss. Maida cried out, and then went limp, breathing heavily.
Tyryn slowly withdrew the tendrils of his control, thoroughly satisfied. He did not stay to watch as she began to cry.