Cosmopolitan

      Today’s snippet, titled “Cosmopolitan”, is a piece I wrote about my current character, Mim, to sort of demonstrate her experiences with a major in-game event.
      Be forewarned, there are mature themes and naughty language below.

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      “All right fine, well, let’s just put this whole disgusting matter behind us, shall we? Now, Anajalihn, are you ready? Its time to enter your magic hole. I’ll go first.” With a lascivious chuckle, Aiden adjusted his belt. The target of his double entendre was blissfully – or stubbornly – oblivious to it, but Mim caught sight of amused expressions on both Kenzi and Grue’s faces.
      They’re thick as thieves lately, she thought and then frowned at her own turn of phrase. They can all joke about my proclivities for dwarves, even though it was just that one alleged night with Durgan, but Kenzi’s shacked up with Ratt and spending an awful lot of time with Grue. She’s got a hin and a dwarf. And one’s a thief out-and-out, while the other was murdered by thieves in his own bed. Who gets assassinated by thieves except thieves poaching on a guild’s turf?
      She shook her head, forcing herself to change the subject. If she kept on this path, she would need to scour her mind’s eye with acid – thoughts of an unholy menage-a-trois featuring Kenzi, Grue and Rat would mentally scar her for life. She had worse things seared into her brain at the moment; things she would given anything – anything! – to unsee.
      They had made a strategic plan to search each of the small mausoleums in the graveyard before moving on to the larger crypts. The plan was solid – weed out any lesser threats while gathering any potentially helpful magical devices entombed with their owners. Anajalihn had stridently objected to what amounted to common grave-robbing and Mim had agreed with her, but they both capitulated when Aiden pointed out that the death-worshippers who were buried here were undoubtedly evil and thus, using their own relics against them was only fair and just.
      Not that it mattered much. Evil they were and evil were their stupid fucking treasures, too. Mim could still feel those cursed gems digging into her palms; she imagined the ghostly memory of pain plagued Kenzi worse, since she had held them much longer.
      The first one’s grates had been tightly rusted shut and it had taken a combined effort from she and Grue – though to her chagrin, she had to admit the effort was mostly his, as she had slipped on the brick and lost her grip – to open them. Inside, shelves lined the walls from floor to ceiling, housing row upon row of urns labeled with nameplates of gold. Suppose if she had her way, she’d have gone through and pried each one free just to melt them down and sell the metal. Mim thought, glancing at Kenzi. She felt bad, but her suspicion and mistrust of the sneaky elf had been growing for ages and it colored her every thought. You should feel bad about it, Miriam Staciana Cressen-Vermiere, she told herself sternly, giving Azielle a boost up into the extra-dimensional space. She’s a bit addicted to the shiniest things, and she’s secretive, and she does have a sort of sick relationship with that Ratt fellow, but she’s been a friend to you. So what if she’s quirky and a bit flighty? Its all part of her charm, right? Right?
      “I don’t like the look of those statues,” Aiden had said, as they stood on the stoop of the first mausoleum “We should smash them.”
      “Works for me.”
      “I’ll go in and check for traps, but I’m not opening that coffin!”
      “You go first then, Kenzi, I’ll open it.” Mim had unsheathed her blade then, flexing her shoulders and cracking her head to the side.
      As Kenzi carefully inspected the doorway and then the large tomb in the center of the room, Anajalihn cast a spell to seek out any magical auras.
      “Ah, yes. Naturally, there is something in the coffin radiating an exceptionally powerful aura of the,” Anajalihn paused, her delicate brow furrowed in concentration. “The Transmutative School. I should be most curious to see what sort of device exudes that magnitude of power.”
      With a nod, Mim had stepped through the rusted iron portcullis. She paused for just an instant to take a look at the statues. They were not anything special or ominous Hells, they were mostly worn smooth. Two mighty swings and they were rubble. It crossed her mind momentarily that her sword-art master would have her flayed for abusing her blade so, but it was not your average pig iron. Mim had paused, sparing a loving look down at her weapon. It was adamantite – dark swirls honed to a razor’s edge – and heavily enchanted by the delicate elven hands of her friend, Anajalihn. Despite the beating it had just taken, there was nary a nick or scratch to be seen. Fuck him and his stupid rules. I’m better now than he ever dreamed of being. And if I ever see his ugly mug again, he better believe I’ll prove it – to the death.
      Remembering own vehement proclamation Mim frowned. She wasn’t really sure where the hate for Master Nakia sprung from, for though he was a harsh at times and constantly critical, he was also a skilled blades-man a good instructor, and fair to look upon. It was the same sort of experience she had, thinking about Kenzi or Grue. Exaggerated negativity.
      “Here, Mimsy, give us yer hand, I’ll pull yer up,” Grue’s chubby, hairy hand extended toward her from the extra-dimensional space. Glancing around, Mim realized that all the others were already snug inside. She gripped the proffered wrist and allowed him to aid her climb.
      Once inside, Mim took her customary spot near the exit and leaned back, watching her comrades. Anajalihn appeared to be attempting to cancel out Grue’s horrendous foot odor with a prestidigitation spell. And failing, Mim sniffed, wrinkling her nose. Kenzi was honing her blades and, for an unusual twist, chatting with Eric. Well, at him. He still did not have much to say to anyone; his eyes had hardly left the floor in hours. Azielle kept waving a handkerchief before her nose – but as far as Mim could see, it was a plain linen square, not an enchanted cloth as Anajalihn had given Kenzi and Mim. As for Aiden, he may have already been sleeping, sprawled on his back with his hands behind his head looking for all the world as if he were the king of this domain.
      Mim bit her lower lip a moment, letting her eyes roam slowly over his lithe form. A dozen dirty thoughts flittered through her brain and she may have just let them take root and blossom if she had not gotten the distinct feeling that he knew she was watching him and wondering. With a frown, she squinted at his handsome half-elven face, trying to determine if his eyes really were closed. Yeah, they are. Stop being paranoid, she told herself.
      Suddenly, without opening his eyes, he winked at her. Her heart thudded in her chest and she blushed, turning away from him to stretch her legs out in the other direction. Just a twitch, probably. That’s it. That’s all. Just a twitch or- or maybe nothing at all. You probably just imagined it, you great fool.
      Fucking a travelling companion seemed like a natural state of affairs; lots of time spent together – lots of it in peril or intense circumstances, plus lack of options, multiplied by being healthy and young equals opportunity galore. Mim suspected that affairs happened quite frequently in other adventuring troupes. But not ours. We’ve got more important things to do than get laid, I guess. Her brow furrowed as she lay on her back, one arm behind her head. Not really though. …not really.
      Aside from the night she spent with the Blacksmith – which was a lot more talk, kissing and promises than anything else, Mim sighed – and the alleged night she spent with Durgan, of which she had no clear memories, Mim had not been with a man in months. Not since…Schomber and I parted company in Gravaga. Damn… I wonder where he is now? The bastard.
      She shook the bitter recollection from her mind. His gifts were many, but like those they found in the mausoleums – they were tainted.
      Though the powerfully enchanted item they had liberated from that first coffin did not appear to be cursed, it was beautiful and valuable and she had relinquished it – reluctantly – to Azielle. Despite that, as the proceeded to the next crypt, and the one after, it became abundantly apparent that the treasures within were anything but… Kenzi had been crippled by some wasting curse that even Anajalihn was hard-pressed to break. Azielle had been entangled by a pair of boots that strung themselves around her neck and then there were the gems, innocuous enough, that Kenzi had found. They too were cursed and clung to your hands no matter how far you threw them or how hard you scraped to get them off. In fact, the very attempt to free yourself seemed to make them dig deeper into your flesh.
      Mim did not wish to touch anything else in the crypts, useful or not, but she hated to say so, lest she appear weak or frightened. She wasn’t sure why she suddenly feared that her companions would think that of her, but… she did.
      “I just can’t believe…”
      She closed her ears, rolling to her side. Mim had absolutely no desire to relive the events of the day. Things that she had seen and done and almost done – they would scar her for life.
      After purifying the group from all the various curses and ailments they had picked up while exploring the grounds, they had had no choice but to rest. Mim could not remember being so hungry and despite the ioun stone that circled her head and kept her body satiated, she had consumed a double portion of rations. She might have eaten more if the rest of the Brotherhood had not been so eager to get moving.
      Aiden had summoned some creature from another plane and forced the poor winged wench to perform dangerous reconnaissance work. Beyond the largest building were three matched crypts. One of green marble, featuring a massive tiger’s mouth. A second was pale granite, carved with a sea motif. The third, the one they had chosen to explore first, was built out of fine gray basalt. A phrase was etched upon the stone – “The Living Make Plans, The Dead Watch, Amused”.
      They had chosen the basalt building because of a secret it held; the Erinyes had returned to Aiden, recounting the horrors she had seen – disturbing even for her, and she, a beast of the Hells. Beneath the surface lurked a room of horrors unspeakable with a massive mahogany coffin at its apex. Eric was the first to speak the word – Vampire – but Mim was willing to bet they had all thought it.
      I wish it had been a vampire, she thought, squeezing her eyes tight. Anything would have been better than… than…the truth of the Dellum clan.
      Above the tomb with the mahogany coffin was the name “Drusus” and in the casket itself was a mummified nobleman with a few enchanted items which, naturally, they had decided to free from this evil place. But, as can only be expected in such a place, there was more to see. A secret door, chance found by keen elven senses, led the Brotherhood down a hall and around a corner, then into a second concealed doorway.
      They should have known what was coming the instant they saw the frescoes. The walls of this tomb were among the most beautifully done art she had ever seen, yet the artist’s skills were tainted by the unspeakable images he had captured. A father, looking at two babes in arms. Both were girls, both were lovely and both seemed to feed the unnatural look of lust in his eyes. A hunger unmistakable and revolting. The paintings told a story. One that began with those girls and ended with orgies of violence and sex and incest and rape and torture and all that was evil in the world.
      Mim had wanted nothing more than to put this whole fucking place was put to the torch.
      Aiden and Azielle had broached the room first. Aiden trailed by Azul and a Lilend. As soon as she stepped foot into the room, something snapped inside Azielle’s mind and she began throwing herself at Aiden and his summons, begging them to ravish her – or let her ravish them.
      Slippery little devil that he was, Aiden had escaped her feverish embrace and hidden. He was unaffected by whatever had driven Azielle mad; so was Kenzi, who came through just moments behind them. Unfortunately for her, Eric was on her tail and he succumbed to the unnatural lust. In a heartbeat, he had her pinned down and was trying desperately to violate her.
      Grue had hardly spared a glance for the wild faux-copulation as he raced past them. A pair of hideous, twisted, wicked creatures who had once been little girls appeared, giggling demonically.
      Desperate to aid Kenzi, Mim had leapt into the room without a thought for her own sanity. Heat shot through her body, white hot and dancing erotically upon each nerve. For a moment, it was pleasurable, ecstasy. Then… it was impossible to describe. It was like being boiling from the inside, stuck on the precipice of orgasm, unable to reach the actual moment of release. Horrible, wonderful. Agony.
      Agony.
      Mim had only the vaguest recollection of her own actions before Anajlihn’s quick thinking and elegant spells had broken the curse upon her mind. She had been trying to shed her armor, with no one close at hand to throw down and defile, her only thought had been to get naked as quickly as possible and to just fuck something. When Kenzi escaped his lusty grasp, Eric had turned his attention to Mim and begun slicing at the leather straps of her adamantite carapace.
      Then the haze lifted and she could breathe again and she had retrieved her discarded weapon to join in the battle. The two little ones had been joined by creatures who could only be their mothers. Screaming and tearing at the flesh of her comrades, they were terrifying. Worse, two more appeared and then for reasons Mim did not even begin to comprehend, Grue had opened the big coffin and released Daddy.
      While the others fought, even after Azielle had been released from the curse, poor Eric remained desperate; mindlessly hungry for sex, he had grabbed the only creature within reach and-
      Oh, poor Azul… Mim wanted to cry and wretch at the same time. The horrified look on the little beast’s face as Eric wrenched him into the air. His eloquent protestations, his polite but mortified attempts to rebuff Eric’s affections.
      “But- but- I defecate from there!” Azul cried, his voice cracking.
      No matter how long she lived, Mim would never be able to put the sight of her dear friend tongue-deep in a behir’s butt out of her mind. Which effectively takes him out of the running for which of my friends I’m most likely to bed out of frustrated desperation or boredom.
      She hoped no one would ever mention the hideous event again. Mim wondered if she could ask Anajalihn or Azielle to weave her a little dream to block out the scene, or perhaps she should just give up sobriety and hit that bottle. Hard.
      “Hey there, Eric, ya got any rations left over there? I could do with another bite.”
      Eric looked over at the dwarf and then away, but said with his customary aplomb, “Of course, my good dwarf. I’ve got a hunk of pemmican left, and some dried apricots, if you like.”
      “Actually, I was thinking…” The corners of his lips quivered as he attempted to keep a straight face. “About a big ol’ tossed salad.”
      Grue burst out laughing, spittle flying from his lips. Everyone else fell into a deep, awkward silence, pointedly avoiding eye contact with Eric.
      “What?” Grue chortled, stroking his beard with glee. “Too soon?”

Signed, Josie

NOTE: Image is “A Bowl of Salad” by Kuwashima from SXC.hu

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