Bonus Story: Love In The Shadows

on March 16, 2008 in Other Tales

Here’s another “prequel” story, this one a glimpse of Delia Daella’s life before MU. Thanks to everybody who’s been donating or spreading the word!

The subterranean city of Durakesh—often called “Darkwaters” by travelers—was built around the edges of a tremendous lake which, had it been located closer to thec surface, could have served as the aquifer for a human city.

Instead, it sustained the once-nomadic tribe of elves who had been fortunate enough to discover the immense cavern. Of all the commodities to be found in the underworld, water was the scarcest and most precious. Food was a close second, but it could be had from a greater number of sources, including the bodies of other creatures that had once competed for the same food supply. Food could be picked up and carried more easily than water. The reptiles and giant insects that served cave nomads as pack animals and mounts could be slaughtered in times of need.

Lake Durak provided both water and food, in the form of fish, shellfish, giant swimming monsters, and a wide variety of plant-like creatures that clung to the submerged rock face. The immense lake and even larger cavern which surrounded it was a comparative paradise, an oasis of life in the barren passages, but the tribe had grown steadily since settling down and the bounty of the lake was not infinite. Previous generations of deprivation had bred caution into the elves of the Durakesh, though, and the City Mothers took great care to not over-harvest.

The great fortune of the Durakeshi brought its own problems, of course. When the cavern had first been settled some twenty thousand years before, its existence had been unknown save to the assorted mindless beasts which had made it their home. The elven settlers had endeavored to keep their haven hidden away from the jealous eyes of rival tribes and other subterranean races, but as the city had grown, the need for trade had made that impossible. Now, the Durakeshi were lucky if they went two decades without having to fend off a serious incursion of deeplings, dweorgs, or other elves.

The Durakeshi, with a pragmatism necessary for subterranean living, counted their blessings as they sharpened their weapons. Their armed forces consisted of their entire able-bodied population. Each great house was required to provide the standing army with a number of fighters, wizards, and priests based on their size and resources, and in times of need the whole city could be called out to defend the outlying tunnels or sweep the streets and alleys. Combat training was mandatory for all citizens, male and female.

The Polloi, commoners who made up two-thirds of the city’s population, were the first to be called on in times of war, after the standing army. Their ancestors had not been of the Durakesh tribe. They could never gain the full protections and privileges of citizenship, but few of them complained. They were allowed to live and work within the confines of the cavern proper, inside the protective ring of barracks and fortified entrance tunnels. It was only right and natural that they be expected to fight to protect the city which protected them.

For the noble houses, a general measure of their power and importance could be taken by examining their distance from the outer walls of the caverns. The wealthiest and largest were located towards the middle, along the shore of the lake, or on islands of rock, with the biggest three somewhat uneasily sharing a single landmass jutting out of the very center of the dark waters.

House d’Wyr was situated on an island more than a mile from the shore and from the island compounds of any other houses. As the d’Wyri women carried a strong strain of mental powers, this helped prevent unintentional eavesdropping or broadcasting of private matters by the young and untrained, and did much to help their often tense relations with the other great houses.

Like many of Lake Durak’s “islands”, the d’Wyri’s wasn’t so much a usable parcel of land as a jagged point of rock jutting out of the water. When they’d been awarded use of the roughly cubic mass, its sides had been rough, angular, and unclimbable, and its peaked top too steep to build or settle on. The clan had anchored their house barges to it while they excavated the first crude shelter in one side. Over the intervening millennia, they had carved out a veritable palace within, and shaped every inch of the outside into a phantasmagorical vision of columns, scrolls, spires, statues, and bas-relief carvings of both grotesques and classical elven beauties.

Within the palace, life was as comfortable as it could be in a world of stone and darkness, though highly regimented due to the need to meet the house’s considerable military obligations. The limited amount of personal space was jealously guarded, as privacy was a complicated thing in a household of telepaths.

Where most subterranean elves observed the practice of concealing their faces in public spaces, the d’Wyri kept their cowls pulled low even inside their own home. They schooled themselves in not giving any more away with their faces than was strictly necessary. Eye contact, especially with one’s superiors, was strictly by invitation only. Only during religious rites were hoods thrown off, so that all could see the splendor and ecstasy of the goddess-touched, and even the mindblind could read the depths of the priestesses’ devotion.

In the austere and comparatively large private sleeping room of Delia Daella, there were currently no cowls, cloaks, or any other sorts of clothes on. There were no mental shields or screens, and no stony masks of self-control.

It was not a formal religious ceremony which brought on this display of openness, however.

Delia Daella was the daughter of Daella Degra, who was the daughter of Degra Daura, who was the daughter of Daura Duala, who was the daughter of Duala Deneira, who was the daughter of Deneira Deshalla, who was the daughter of Deshalla Duquesna, who was the daughter of Duquesna Desiera, who was the daughter of Desiera Docia, who was the daughter of Docia Demara, who was the daughter of Demara Della, who was the daughter of Della Dolora, who was the daughter of Dolora Delissa, who was the daughter of Delissa Deliza, who was the daughter of Deliza Dasera, who was the daughter of Dasera Dasera, who was the daughter of Dasera Decatia, who was the daughter of Decatia Delia, who was the daughter of Delia Deshara, who was the daughter of Deshara Denala, who was the daughter of Denala d’Wyr… an unbroken chain of first daughters that went as far back as had ever been reckoned.

None in the city could claim a longer such lineage than that, a fact which had been impressed upon the young Delia Daella since shortly after her birth, when her mind had first displayed receptivity and something like thought. It was her duty to grow up and bear a daughter, wisely and carefully, so that child could live to adulthood and bear one of her own, continuing the chain. House d’Wyr was not the most powerful or wealthiest clan in Durakesh, but they were the most careful.

Delia Daella’s lineage proclaimed this: see how expertly we preserve our mothers? Twenty generations birthed their first daughter without loss or interruption.

Delia Daella—Delia to her maternal line, and Dee to those who knew her best—was trisexual, a fact which alternately pleased and vexed her mother and her great-great-grandmother, the two other surviving firstborn of the line, and the current heiress and the matriarch of the house, respectively.

It pleased them, because Love Of All Kinds was rated among the very lowest of the blessings the goddess of intricacy could bestow upon her children. A semblance of it could be cultivated through practice, but only a very few were born with the perfect inclination.

It vexed them because their Delia was in the line of the firstborn, and might one day sit upon the throne, if Duala should ever pass on. The tetrad she bound together around herself was all very well for a free noblewoman, but would be politically inconvenient for the head of a house.

There was no question of her giving up her lovers, if it came down to it. She would do so if asked, out of duty to goddess and mother, but her mother would not ask her. The depth of love and passion her chosen three felt for her and vice versa were all too evident to the sensitives of House d’Wyr, also to the mingled pleasure and vexation of many.

Those feelings had never been quite so evident before the time of the Black Span, when the house chapels were turned over to the male monks for mutual spiritual cleansing and renewal. During this time, there were no priestesses. It was the first such Span that had been declared in Delia Daella’s lifetime, and it meant that she was simply a woman with no responsibilities or duties to anyone. It was something like a vacation or holiday, as the Polloi sometimes took, but it lasted for thirty glorious shifts.

Having already spent most of the Span’s first half in bed, the tetrad had moved to the floor. Dee sat on the lap of Darek, the youngest lieutenant from the house guard, letting his smooth black member slide with delicious resistance up inside the taut opening of her shapely rear.

Alea, a novice priestess—or one who had been a novice priestess and would be again after the Span—bowed low before her, her face between Delia Daella’s thighs, her tongue eagerly exploring the region that would exist only for her, until it was time for the young noblewoman to bear children.

Her mouth was filled by Dehsah, whose member was only slightly thinner and no less perfectly formed than Darek’s, and whose breasts were more exquisitely shaped than Dee’s own.

The three moved as one, filling Dee with pleasure that almost matched that of religious ecstasy. Had this been any other time, the young priestess would have found it necessary to rebuke herself for even thinking that… but this was the time of the Black Span, and so instead she simply abandoned herself to it.

With Dee’s shields down, she felt everything that her lovers felt, and they each felt everything that she felt. Every thrust, every stroke, every lick, every nibble, every suction, every part of every act was shared by all in the room… and many of the highlights, as it were, were shared with the rest of the talented among the household.

Love Of All Kinds, the ideal arrangement for a noblewoman… and not only because it allowed one lover for each orifice. On a lower plane of concern, it combined the perfect divine symmetry of Love Of Sameness, blessed balance of Love Of Halfness, and the all-important breeding possibilities from Love Of Otherness.

When the four collapsed as one in mutual exhaustion after their most massive explosion of shared orgasms yet, the one who had bound them all together found her thoughts drifting regrettably to practical matters. She was not a priestess at the moment, but she was still the firstborn daughter of her generation; she was still her mother’s daughter.

Of her lovers, only Darek would be counted a moderately good match for a matriarch. He was handsome, well-formed, ambitious, and talented, but his parents had been common soldiers in the house guard. Officially, lineage was less important than physical attributes and accomplishments for males, but it still counted for something. Alea had been born of the Polloi, a tragic failing for a future matriarch consort. Dehsah was at least d’Wyri, but had no lineage.

“You’re leaking serious thoughts, Delia Daella,” Alea chided, kissing the nearest part of her lover’s body… which happened to be her knee.

“I have invited you to call me Dee,” the noblewoman reminded her.

“But your name rolls so beautifully off my tongue… as do so many other things of yours,” the younger priestess said.

“That tongue is wicked, and I shall have it from you in an instant if you do not make it behave,” Dee said.

Alea stuck out her tongue.

“Yours for the asking,” she said around it.

“You have a wicked thought, lover Darek,” Dee said.

The elf man chuckled.

“Just that the feeling of my own rutting turned back upon me is almost enough to make me a boy-lover myself,” he said. “Almost.”

“You mean you have no lovers in the men’s barracks?” Dehsah teased.

“Certainly I do,” Darek said. “But as the proverb states, ‘more in giving than in taking.’ I remain a man.”

“Indeed,” Dee said, reaching out to put a hand blindly but unerringly on his slackening manhood, which twitched and half-stiffened again under her touch.

Dehsah laughed, adding a hand to Dee’s.

“Generous Darek. I’ll partake of your generosity, when our Dee abandons us.”

Silence, mental and physical fell in the wake of these words.

“Sorry,” Dehsah said. “I did not mean to… sorry.”

“I would not, for anything beneath the world, abandon the three of you,” Dee said. “But going to the surface is something I must do.”

“The goddess makes no such demands on her people,” Alea said.

“This demand is made of me alone,” Dee said. “I do not know if it comes from my heart, or if it has been planted there by the limb of the Forsaken, but I must obey regardless.”

“More than five cycles,” Alea said. “Anything could happen to you… to any of us… in five cycles.”

“You will be well-protected in my absence,” Dee said.

“Five cycles isn’t so long,” Darek said. “It may be just long enough for a lieutenant to become a captain, and then who can speak out against our union?”

Your union,” Alea said. “In five cycles, I will be just as I am. How much easier will it be for your mother to convince you to set me aside when you have not known my face or touch for so long?”

“I do not go to the surface to abandon you but to better myself, gentle sister,” Dee said. “Have faith.”

“I would not want you any better than you are,” Alea said, pressing herself against her lover’s body. “I do not think I could stand any greater perfection.”

“Well, this is rather depressing,” Dehsah said. “The matriarch has not yet put her seal on our Dee’s plans. So, let’s drown whatever fool even mentioned it, and dim this harsh light with more love making.”

“Pretty Dehsah, you have a monk’s devotion and a priestess’s fervor,” Darek said, laughing. “I’m for it.”

“That isn’t all of theirs I’ve got,” Dehsah said.

“You two, please continue on your own,” Dee said, sitting up. “I will hold Alea for a bit, and we will watch.”

“As you command, matriarch of my heart,” Darek said, and he carried Dehsah over to the bed while Dee cradled her young lover’s head in her lap and stroked her long, dark silver hair.

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7 Responses to “Bonus Story: Love In The Shadows”

  1. pedestrian says:

    now i’m going to need to draw up a chart to figure out who gets to do what, where? and to whom, how? whenever.

    Current score: 0
    • Anon says:

      It’s simple really. Penises are not allowed in vaginas until it’s time for procreation. Derek doesn’t want anything in his ass. Everything else goes, frequently and enthusiastically.

      And nobody gets left out of any of it because all of them are high level telepaths in close proximity.

      Current score: 10
  2. Hoopla says:

    Dee, matriarch of my heart. Such a lovely character.

    Current score: 0
  3. Leila says:

    So much love in this chapter… it makes me heartsick… :/

    Current score: 5
  4. Anon says:

    Ah, but which one was it who broke up with her when she went to the surface?

    Alea seems most likely; Darek would seem to have little reason for it. But we really don’t know much about Dehsah…

    My point is, if it was Desah, I am totally shipping Dee and Steff. If it was Alea, there are an awful lot of possibilities floating around and none of them seem solid enough to say yet. If it was Darek, we need at least another chapter of explanation.

    Current score: 0
  5. Jechtael says:

    Hahaha! Sounds like Our Mackenzie is, from the point of view of the elves who live underground, slightly blessed. Or very blessed. I’m not sure what “lowest” means in Delia Daella’s society, since it might be like the Discworld dwarfs where lower is more prestigious.

    Current score: 1
  6. Rms2000 says:

    And here I was starting to think Dee was one of few (are there any?) people in Mack’s social circle that doesn’t have hot and kinky sex. Ah well. She’s still one of my favorite characters.

    Current score: 2