The place was evidently extra-dimensional in some way, a pocket of reality that did not fit within the regular dimensions of the physical world. Almandar had heard of such things before, had even seen them on a smaller scale, but he had never experienced one large enough to actually walk into. Judging from the doors that led off from the stone flagged corridor, it was even larger than they could see from here, an entire home hidden by what was presumably an easily portable door.
They stepped carefully and quietly down the corridor, not wanting to alert anyone inside. Luck, however, was not with them. Before they had moved even half way along, one of the occupants turned the corner at the far end and saw them, and let out a sudden yell. He recognised the red-headed slave he had met at the market – he seemed to recall her name was Kara – and immediately cast a sleep spell in her direction.
The woman collapsed, her legs falling from under her, and hit the floor heavily. Almandar darted forward, for a moment moving away from the others as the woman’s shout continued to echo through the magical space, evidently enhanced somehow. He did not want to hurt her, for she was an innocent victim, just as Mei-Xing was, just as all the harem were, but it was imperative that Sashjant and his slaves not have the chance to arm themselves.
“Let’s…” said Tarissa, but at that moment everything went dark.
Almandar found himself being whirled about, as if caught in a hurricane. He could not see or hear the others, but he sensed that they were being pulled somewhere else. He should not have moved away from them, should not have allowed his emotions to override his instincts.
He barely avoided stumbling, but, just seconds later, the motion stopped with a sudden lurch. He threw a hand out to the wall, and found the stone oddly smooth beneath his fingertips. It was probably not real stone, he reflected, but that hardly mattered now. What was important was that he was in a pitch black corridor, apparently separated from his companions.
He strained his ears to see if he could hear anything. The place could not be that large, after all. Sure enough, he thought he could hear Tarissa’s voice some distance away, although he could not make out the words. He was about to move in that direction, when he heard a footfall behind him.
It was soft, barely audible, but unmistakable nonetheless. He span round, and raised his arms in a gesture for a spell, but he could see nothing in the blackness. Was it Sashjant himself, in which case directing a spell with a wide blast down the corridor should hit him no matter where he was standing? Or was it one of the enslaved women, in which case he did not want to cast anything destructive?
For a moment, he was paralysed with indecision – his morals once again getting the better of him, for he did not want to hurt an innocent victim. Whoever it was ran straight at him, and he began the motions to cast a defensive spell. Before he could even finish, however, they were on top of him, a heavy body slamming into him, knocking him to the ground. Whoever it was could apparently see in the darkness.
He wriggled round, trying to free himself, but a strong arm wrapped around his neck, forcing him back, and a heavy leg wrapped around one of his. He could not possibly cast a spell in such a position, and whoever had him in their grip was clearly stronger than he was. It had to be either Sashjant, or the warrior-woman that travelled with him. Hopefully, it was the latter, although one of the meeker members of the harem would have been better still.
He reached for his dagger, the only defence still left to him. A strong hand caught his – his captor’s other arm still around his throat – and he found himself wrestling against somebody powerfully muscular. He heard a slight grunt of exertion from the other person; feminine he thought, which at least meant he wasn’t facing the demon itself.
But if it was one of the harem, she was incredibly strong for a woman, and smashed his hand down hard against the stonework. At first, he managed to maintain the grip on the dagger, although he could get it nowhere near her skin, but she continued to batter it against the wall, and on the third stroke, the weapon slipped from his abused fingers. She pulled the hand behind his back, wrapping a thong around his wrist.
He tried to kick out as she moved, but to no avail, and his other arm was soon caught in her iron grip, and forced to meet its twin, then tied securely to it with the thong.
“You are my prisoner! If you try to escape, I will break your neck.”
The voice was, indeed, feminine, with a guttural accent he could not place. He had only seen three members of the harem; Mei-Xing, Kara, and a stocky blonde woman, but his fellow adventurers had identified two others, one of whom they said was unquestionably a warrior. It was evidently she that he had had the misfortune to meet, but being her prisoner at least sounded better than being dead.
Somewhere out there, Tarissa and the others were still active, and, aside from Sashjant himself, he doubted there was anyone else in here who could pose them much of a threat. Hopefully, then, he just had to wait to be rescued. Which was embarrassing, but hardly hopeless. For now, all he could do was to cooperate and play for time if he could, keeping this warrior away from the others. Once Sashjant was dealt with, she would no longer be a problem.
“Get up!” she hissed, roughly hauling him to his feet, Standing behind his back, she pushed him forward, adding “now walk.”
They moved down the lightless corridor for a little, and it was evident once again that she either knew her way very well indeed, or had some sort of magical assistance that allowed her to see in the darkness. Eventually, she pushed a door open, revealing a lighted room beyond. He noticed that the light did not spill out into the corridor, suggesting that the darkness was magical itself; even if he had had a chance to cast a light spell, it probably would not have worked.
His captor pushed him inside, and he found himself in what appeared to be a kitchen, full of pots and bundles of food, with a metal stove in one corner, and a large, cloth-covered table in front of it.
“Sit!” she said, forcing him down into a chair, and, as she moved away to watch him, he got his first real chance to see her.
His first thought was that she was tall; incredibly tall for a woman. He estimated that she might be six foot six, making her a good deal taller than he was, and she could hardly be described as willowy. It was said that somewhere out in the Wild Lands, there was a tribe of half-ogres, stronger by far than any human. He could believe that from her height and build, but not from her looks, for, size apart, she looked perfectly human.
In fact, like all of Sashjant’s harem, she was an attractive woman, although the angry scowl on her face was doing little to emphasise that. Her clothing, nonetheless, did suggest that she hailed from the Wild Lands, regardless of whether or not she had any ogre blood in her veins. She wore a sleeveless leather top, held on by straps over her bare shoulders, and with a wide belt decorated with metal badges bearing barbaric designs. Below the belt, she wore leather shorts so brief they were hardly more than panties, and a pair of knee-length boots fringed with the hair of some shaggy beast.
Apart from that, and leather bracers around each wrist, her legs and arms were bare. Bare, and very muscular, with thews that would not have looked out of place on a dwarf, but seemed odd on a human woman, especially one so tall. Yet human she surely was, judging from her face, which certainly lacked any trace of ogre or orc in its features. She had long brown hair, cascading down her back, and held in place by a golden circlet with a glittering blue gem – he wondered if that was the magical device she had used to see in the darkness. Her eyes were also blue, a deep, stunning blue that offset the darker colour of her hair, and she had full lips, currently set in something of a sneer.
Even in his current predicament, he could not help but also notice that, above the top of her leather bodice, she had a magnificent cleavage. Sashjant clearly had not just wanted a warrior.
She pointed a dagger towards him. It was not his own, which had been dropped out in the corridor, but a sharp steel blade with an ivory handle that he had no doubt she knew how to use. Almandar decided that, for the moment, it would probably not be wise to annoy her.
“Who are you?” she barked, “and how did you get in?”
“I’m a magician, I bypassed your lock.”
She grunted, eyes watching him warily. “How many others are with you?”
“There’s just me.”
“Liar!” she shouted, jabbing the knife forward until it was less than an inch from his face, “I heard the woman speak, so I know there are others. Two? Three? Do not lie to me.”
He said nothing, and she scowled angrily, before pulling the knife back.
“It does not matter,” she said, eventually, “my master will find and destroy them. And I have you as a prisoner. If you do not tell me what I want, my master will question you, and learn everything anyway.”
“Your master is a demon. I know that much.”
“Perhaps,” she said, “but a great and powerful demon, more magnificent than you can imagine.”
“I didn’t think the people of the Wild Lands liked demons?”
She frowned, as if puzzled by something, then shook her head, “he is different. His glory is unsurpassed, as you will find when he crushes you into oblivion. Now, what of Mei-Xing?”
“I don’t know who you mean.”
“Ah, but you do,” she said, taking a step closer, still waving the weapon in his direction. “Kara saw you leave with her. She described you, so I know you are the same man. Although I do not think you are as handsome as she said, for you are puny, like all city folk.”
He could not tell her where Mei-Xing was, for, in the event he was not rescued, he had to at least ensure that the eastern woman had the best possible chance to avoid recapture and enslavement. But he wondered how much he could tell this woman, for perhaps he had another chance here.
He had not told the others exactly how he had manoeuvred Mei-Xing into a place where he could cast the spell that freed her, although Calleslyn, at least, surely suspected. But it had taught him something valuable about their demonic foe. The members of the harem were obsessed with Sashjant, the victims of some powerful ongoing enchantment. They would do anything for him, including serving as his sexual playthings.
But it was clear that the demon had no such attachment to them. He could probably not attack them outright, for such things normally broke that sort of enchantment, but that did not mean he had to actually care for them. In particular, the demon’s sexual exertions had nothing of Sarlene’s love in them. He fucked the women whenever he felt like it, but he was not interested in how they responded to that, only in achieving his own pleasure. The enchantment counteracted that, partly, but it was obvious that Mei-Xing had been sexually unfulfilled, and that was what had allowed him the chance to seduce her.
In short, Sashjant could not give her the sort of sexual pleasure that she really wanted. This woman might well be the same. Indeed, she looked like the type who might want to be domineering sexually, and the demon was hardly likely to give her the opportunity to experience that.
“Speak!” said the barbarian, waving the dagger again, and he realised that he had been silent too long, mulling over the possibilities.
“I distracted her,” he said, “that’s how I found out about this place, about where it was.”
The woman snorted in derision, “she would not tell you such a thing. That is ridiculous! You must be lying. What really happened?”
“We had sex. She liked it… a lot.”
“Now I know you are lying!”
“It’s the truth. Why would I make it up? I guess she needed more than Sashjant could provide.”
The woman let out a barking laugh, but there was something slightly false in it, and she turned away immediately afterward, looking at the far wall, not meeting his gaze. If his hands had not been tied, it would have been a great opportunity to attack her, but he knew how that would end if he tried it now.
“Impossible,” she said, still not looking at him, “Sashjant provides us with everything; our home, our life, our purpose for being. Our lives were empty before we met him and he showed us the way.”
“Mei-Xing didn’t seem to think so. How else would I be here? Are you sure there is nothing you miss? One man cannot provide everything, even if that man is really a demon.”
“He can,” she said, turning back to face him, but she seemed to be trying to convince herself as much as him.
“How sure are you of that? Besides, what do you have to lose? You have said it yourself; my friends and I won’t defeat him anyway, so why not take this chance while you can?”
She was silent for a while, watching him, an appraising look on her face, as if weighing up the quality of a piece of meat. At last, she twisted her lips into a half sneer and gave a little nod. “We shall see,” she said simply, and walked back to the door of the kitchen, locking it firmly in place, before walking over to stand in front of him.
“My name is Gut’rul,” she informed him, “and you are?”
“Almandar,” he said, seeing no reason to make anything up at this point.
“You will prove your words, Almandar. You will pleasure me, and, when you are done, if you cannot make me come, I will kill you.” So saying, she began to pull off her boots, throwing them away to one side.
“That seems… a good incentive…” he said, uneasily, as she undid her belt, “will you at least untie my hands?”
She shook her head, “you are my prisoner. You need no hands.” She threw the belt away, and then reached forward, grabbing Almandar by the shoulders, and pulling him off the chair. With a shove, she forced him down onto his knees, holding him there with one powerful hand, her muscular legs placed slightly apart, leaving him wondering what she would do next.
With her free hand, the barbarian woman pulled at her leather shorts, sliding them down over her powerful thighs to lie at her feet. She wore nothing underneath, and Almandar found himself facing a remarkably hairy bush. He expected her to undress further, but instead she released his shoulder, grabbed the back of his head instead, and pulled him into her crotch.
His nose was pressed awkwardly into her hair, a smell of leather and sweat filling his nostrils. Tentatively, he kissed her between the legs, finding her still dry down there. Gut’rul shifted position slightly, and pulled him down lower, forcing his neck into an uncomfortable position, but pressing his lips up against her pussy.
“Lick me,” she commanded, “taste my cunt, and show me this skill of yours.”
It was hardly the most romantic position he had been in, but he had to try and go through with his plan. His hands were still tied behind his back, leaving him all but helpless while the barbarian woman pushed his face into her hairy groin. If he could please her, maybe there was a chance she might give him more opportunity to do something. It was fortunate that he had plenty of experience, even if not quite in these circumstances.
He ran his tongue along the length of her pussy, feeling curly hairs rubbing against it. Then he dabbed it inside her folds, licking her slowly, tasting her flesh. He sucked on her lips, pulling at them slightly, then releasing them, dipping his tongue in and out as he did so, He probed and teased at her folds, licking and sucking as he moved towards the nub of her pleasure.
The barbarian grunted loudly when he reached her clit. It was unusually large, and he pulled and sucked at with his lips, making her gasp aloud in pleasure. Her pussy lips were beginning to engorge now, and he felt the familiar taste of a woman’s juices running onto his tongue. As he continued to tease at her clit, he felt her hips beginning to grind into his face, her motions uncontrollable.
“Yeah, you are good,” she said grudgingly, and unexpectedly yanked his head back and away, pulling at his hair, “onto the table.”
He stumbled to his feet, still fully dressed, and stepped towards the cloth covered table, gesturing with his tied hands, and hoping she would get the message. She didn’t, and simply lifted him up with both hands, pushing him onto the top, then clambering up after him, forcing him down onto his back with both brawny arms.
“We get a better position here, yes?” she said, looking at him with an expression that actually dared him to disagree.
He nodded meekly, deciding it was for the best, and she grinned, holding him down with one hand as she pulled off her bodice. Her heavy breasts swung free, large pink nipples already erect, but clearly out of his reach. She shuffled up his body, powerful thighs either side of his head.
Now that she had him pinioned with her body, Gut’rul had both her hands free. She used one to pull her pussy lips apart, letting him see the pink moistness that had he so recently tasted, and smell the dampness of her arousal.
“Fuck me with your tongue!” she commanded, heaving her hips up onto his face. “Stick it right in there, and give it to me!”
He obliged, thrusting it as far as he could, sliding in her slick moisture. He nuzzled against her outsized clit, flicking it with the tip of his tongue, until she began to pant heavily, hips taking up their slow motion again. From his vantage point, he could just see her fondling one breast with her free hand, tweaking and rubbing her large nipple as she continued to move up and down on his face.
Almandar sucked at the barbarian’s clit for all he was worth, kissing and suckling it in between forays deeper into her cunt. Gut’rul let out a low moan of satisfaction, now gripping onto the side of the table instead of onto him, throwing her head back as she rode his tongue.
“Uttrag’na se…” she muttered, or something like it, evidently resorting to her own language.
They continued in that position for some time, she fiercely bucking against him, her heavy breasts swaying with the motion, he exploring every crevice of her cunt, wiggling his tongue from side to side and stroking it up and down, noting what she liked as he continued to pleasure her over and over.
At last it seemed she had had enough, at least for the moment, and pulled herself off his prone body, kneeling poised over him, legs apart, looking down at him from between the fringes of her long brown hair. Her body was covered with a sheen of sweat, her chest rising and falling deeply.
“Like these?” she said, hefting her breasts, “then suck them.”
Moving down to lie over him, she pressed one magnificent breast into his mouth, and he eagerly responded, pulling a large pink nipple into his mouth with his lips. He sucked and pulled at it, running his tongue round it as he already had at her cunt, and the barbarian woman responded by rubbing her body against his. Her bare belly could surely feel the bulge of his growing erection pressed against it, but she showed no interest in that.
Instead, she simply changed sides so that he could sample her other breast. “Good,” she said, and pulled away, staring down at him with those deep blue eyes of hers. “Now what shall we do next, huh?”
“Whatever you want…” he gasped, sensing that was the right answer.
She grinned, the first look of real happiness he had seen on her face – although in fairness, he hadn’t had a good view when he’d been sucking her.
“Oh, fuck it,” she said, still half-grinning, “why not? But if you try anything, I’ll break your fingers.” The glare in her eyes as she spoke convinced him that the second part might well be true, so he made no move as she reached behind his back, and pulled apart the thongs tying his hands.