Chapter 01: A Thief’s Punishment

Kylarena carefully checked in both directions down the darkened alley as she slipped her lockpicks out of the specially constructed pouch in her belt. It wouldn’t do her any good to be caught at this point, as both the city guard and the Thieves’ Guild looked down on freelance thieves rather severely. Kylarena viewed that as less of a hindrance and more of an individual challenge however, and by this time tomorrow she anticipated being well out of the city and on a ship on her way home after being stuck in this city for five hellish years.

Not that she had been idle for those five years, however. Apart from working as a barmaid for the local tavern The Rampant Unicorn, she had perfected her skills at picking pockets, opening locks, and disarming traps. Her day job had proven more than worth the stares, wolf whistles, and occasional groping that she had to endure as drunken patrons often let spill information that they would have been better off keeping to themselves. Information such as how much coin they currently had on their persons and what sort of gemstones they had stashed in their private collections.

Kylarena prided herself on being a non-violent thief. Sure, she kept a knife tucked through her belt, but that was more for utility and self-defence. She also prided herself on her athleticism and dexterity, but she didn’t hold any illusions about her skill as a knife fighter. If she did end up in a conflict, she would much prefer to run or attempt to talk her way out of it if running wasn’t an option.

The lock proved easy to open, the tumblers sliding into place with a satisfying click, and Kylarena slipped inside, being sure to lightly close the door behind her. She found herself in the front room of the blacksmith Cvorag’s shop. Assorted implements lined the walls as well as some pieces of armor and a few knives and hammers. Kylarena had been in the shop a few times previously, the most recent one being earlier in the day. Other than Cvorag, a surly bald-headed dwarf with a beard like black iron and small eyes set deep in his brow, there had been Trevor, a young human male, who handled the accounting and the transactions. Cvorag had predominantly busied himself with negotiating the work to be done and filling orders.

Normally, Kylarena wouldn’t have bothered herself with a blacksmith, what with iron goods tending toward the bulky, heavy, and not as valuable as gold or silver, but she knew that Cvorag had been recently commissioned by Hans Volterag, a local adventurer and something of a minor celebrity, to set a number of gems into the hilt of his sword. It was those gems that Kylarena had her heart set on. The only reason that she knew about the gems and the commission was because she had overheard Hans discussing it with his companions, and one of them had recommended Cvorag not only based on the quality of his craftsmanship, but also on his reputation of never having been stolen from successfully. Kylarena sincerely doubted that the dwarf had never been stolen from, especially in the city which was probably best known for both the quantity and quality of its thieves. It was possible that Cvorag paid the Guild the extortionate rates they charged for their “protection,” but Kylarena had not seen any sign of watchers that she could discern, and even the ever present beggars seemed oddly absent from this portion of the city.

The lissome thief crept carefully across the store front floor, slowly sliding one foot along before bringing the rear foot back up next to it in order to avoid giving away her presence with any creaking floorboards. She kept her breathing deep and slow, and her eyes were fixed on the floor lest Cvorag had decided to accessorize his shop with any hidden trip wires.

She made it to the door that led deeper into the building without incident and said a silent prayer to Plia, goddess of thieves, that Cvorag disdained animals and so didn’t have so much as a house cat let alone a guard dog patrolling his shop. She knelt down by the door and gently probed around it, testing for any hidden traps that Cvorag might have incorporated into the defense of his shop. Dwarves, by reputation, were a secretive, paranoid lot and Kylarena could only wonder why she hadn’t run into any countermeasures more robust than the rather simplistic lock on the front door. She couldn’t find any traps on the door, and the lock itself proved to be as easy as the lock on the front door. She was beginning to think that Cvorag’s reputation was all talk, and that the dwarf had gotten lazy and complacent. Kylarena smiled, her tongue darting between her lips as she carefully opened the door, again making sure that she would not spring any surprises by opening the door.

A long narrow hallway was open before her. Under disguise as a rich but bored merchant’s daughter looking for a new set of spurs, she had taken a tour with Cvorag. It had been rather drab, the surly dwarf merely pointing at different doors and muttering things like “smithy” and “bedroom” and “vault.” Still, it had been enough for Kylarena to create a mental map of the layout, and she knew that the vault where the gems were being kept could only be accessed through the dwarf’s living quarters. She slowly counted her steps that she had memorized during her tour and reached out her hand, finding the door knob easily. She turned it, finding it unlocked, and pushed it open slowly. The door swung silently inward, a tribute to dwarven manufacture and maintenance. The room was too dark to make out details clearly, heavy drapes having been pulled shut over the windows to block out the ever present light of the city, but Kylarena could make out the large four-poster bed and could hear the heavy snoring coming from it. She smiled again. Here she was going to need a bit of light to work by, so she pulled a gem from her belt pouch and cupped it in her hands. It glowed with a dull red illumination, a bit of magic that had cost her a tidy sum, but in her opinion had been well worth the price.

She saw her goal, a small door that that three consecutive locks on it. She had not been granted access this far into Cvorag’s domain when she had been given the tour, but she had heard about the vault and its locks from a rival smith. Each one was a combination lock, needing a deft touch to open successfully. With Cvorag right in the room with her, it was going to be impossible to drill it open, and given what she had heard of its construction she wasn’t sure she’d have been able to afford the drills to accomplish that anyway.

She was still somewhat surprised that she had not run into more countermeasures up to this point, however. Given that dwarves were not able to use magic, and had an inherent dislike of those that did use it, she had expected to face more mechanical traps: needles, trip wires, nooses, crossbows designed to skewer trespassers. But… nothing. Not a one. Perhaps Cvorag truly did rely on his reputation more than anything else to keep his belongings safe.

Kylarena had to admit that the safe was a thing of beauty, however. It was of solid steel construction, and each lock like nothing no one else possessed. Cvorag must have paid a small fortune to have it constructed, but from the little Kylarena had been able to gather even one suit of plate armor with Cvorag’s mark on it would be enough to pay for three safes just like it. She reached out for the first lock and paused. She could have sworn that she felt a slight tingle run through her hand as it approached the metal of the lock. That was impossible though, wasn’t it? After all, dwarves couldn’t use magic. That was what everyone said.

Kylarena sighed softly and pocketed the gem. She didn’t need her eyes at this point, and she didn’t want to add any further risk to Cvorag waking up. Reaching out again, she again felt the small tingle starting in her fingertips and running up her arm. She shook her head, then blew the stray lock of auburn hair that had fallen across her green eyes out of her way. The tips of her fingers touched the lock, and froze.

Kylarena let out a small gasp and tried to move her fingers, but they refused to budge on the lock. She tried to pull them back, but it was if they were stuck to the metal. The tingling sensation that she had felt continued traveling up her arm and into the rest of her body. Hastily, she tried to gain her feet, but all she managed to do was slip and fall to the ground, her fingers still stuck to the metal safe. She bit down hard on her cheek, resisting the urge to cry and make her already bad predicament even worse. There she was, a supposedly expert thief, flat on her stomach in her mark’s home with her fingers somehow stuck to a safe.

Then she heard laughter, a dry, gravelly sound that didn’t improve her mood any.

Her mouth went dry and her palms got slick. She struggled, harder this time, to pull her hand away from the safe, but all she managed to do was get her other hand stuck to the metal as well.

She heard a match be struck, and a lamp was lit. She looked to see Cvorag, naked, sitting on his bed with his feet firmly planted on the ground, the lamp held in his hand.

The dwarf was like most of his kind: stocky and broad, only Cvorag was also bald and his iron grey beard was close cropped due to the inherent dangers of working in a forge. The light cast by the lamp gave his features an evil cast, a squat flattened nose, deep set eyes, a wide mouth with full lips, a mouth that was currently turned up in an evil smile.

“Well, what have we here, eh?” the dwarven smith chuckled. “A thief, eh? And a pretty one at that,” the dwarf chortled. He stood up from the bed, and Kylarena could see that the dwarf’s manhood was quite erect, and it looked like it could challenge any of Kylarena’s lovers in both length and girth.

“What? How?” Kylarena spluttered, still struggling to free herself from the safe and not having any more success than she had previously.

The dwarf didn’t answer but reached down toward Kylarena with his free hand but she shied away from his touch. “Now don’t pull away from me, wench, or I’ll make you regret it even more. But to answer your question, that’s just a bit of dwarven magic.”

“But dwarves don’t know any magic!” Kylarena cried out, all but sobbing now.

Cvorag laughed, deep and long, and Kylarena was shocked at the bitterness carried in its tone. “You are thinking of the mountain and hill clans wench,” Cvorag said by way of explanation. He set the lamp down, well out of reach of Kylarena. He took something off of the nightstand next to his bed and when he turned back around, the young thief could see light reflected off of a steel blade. She scrambled away, trying to get as far away from the dwarf as possible, but it was difficult with her hands still stuck to the safe. Cvorag plucked the knife from her belt.

“Bah!” Cvorag spat, examining the knife. “Human make, or I’m an elf,” he said. “I’d say get a dwarf blade next time, but I’m not sure that there’s going to be a next time for you.” He leaned down, the knife in his hand clearly presented. Kylarena shut her eyes tight, not wanting to see what came next. She heard the parting of her leather outfit, and the feel of the cool night air on her skin. “Let’s see what we have here,” she heard Cvorag say.

Kylarena felt the rough calloused hand of the dwarf crudely squeeze first her left breast then the right. “Not bad, not bad,” the dwarf muttered. “Definitely better than I expected. Surely not a spring chick, but that’s quite all right. “

The thief felt the blood rush to her face. The leather catsuit that she had been wearing before the dwarf started cutting it off her body was designed to restrict her otherwise ample breasts, and without its constraints they hung freely with just a bit of sag to them. She tried to fight the dwarf off with her free hand, but it was as if his tendons were made of iron and she could as easily move his hand as she could pull free from the enchantment on the safe.

The dwarf chuckled. “Struggle all you want, but that enchantment is one of my own design. You’ll not be getting free of it before my say so. Didn’t think dwarves knew how to use magic, did you? Well, my sunkissed brethren may have lost the knack, but I’m deep kin, from far under the earth. We remember the old ways better than most, and we look even less kindly on thieves than the kin that’ve gone to the surface.” He roughly pulled on Kylarena’s legs, twisting her so that she found herself face down with her legs stuck straight out behind her. She tried to kick away, but the dwarf held firm to her legs. “If you don’t want my knife to slip, I’d be holding still if I were you,” he cautioned. Kylarena bit her lip but did as she was told. She felt the cold blade of the knife slip against the skin of her thighs as the dwarf skinned her out of her outfit.

“Mmmm, nice bit of ass you’ve got there too,” the dwarf said, smacking her soundly on her rear as he complimented her. “Not like so many of you softskins with no rear to speak of.” He squeezed it roughly and tried to work a finger between her thighs, but Kylarena squeezed her legs together tightly to stop his probing digit. “Hehehe,” the dwarf chuckled. “We could have done this the easy way girly, but if you insist…”

Kylarena felt the dwarf pull his hand away, and she twisted around to see if she could see him, but to no avail. She could hear the heavy tread of his footsteps as he moved away, and she felt her heart sink into her stomach when she heard the clink of chains. Despite what the dwarf said, she struggled even more to get away, with just as much success as she had had earlier.

“Now then, where were we?” Cvorag chuckled. Kylarena tried to get her feet back under, but to no avail. Cvorag reached down with one of his hands and caught her ankle, snapping a manacle over it. She tried to kick at the dwarf, and even managed to catch him in the shin, but he didn’t even have the good grace to acknowledge that it hurt, instead slapping the other manacle over it.

“No no no no,” she shouted as the dwarf ran his rough hand up the back of her thighs, over her ass, and up her back. He twisted his hand in her long hair and roughly pulled her hair back, forcing her to arch her back until she was staring up at him.

“Afraid the word you are looking for is ‘yes,’” the dwarf said, releasing her hair. He slapped another manacle over the wrist of the hand that was stuck to the safe. Cvorag grasped her other wrist, and cuffed it to the one that was already shackled.

“See, that wasn’t so hard now was it?” the dwarf asked. Kylarena was trying to think of a witty reply when he closed a collar down around her neck, attached to a piece of chain.

He barked a short string of syllables that made Kylarena’s teeth ache just listening to it, but then her hands were free. Not that she was truly free, per se, as her hands and feet were shackled together, and Cvorag had wrapped the chain from her collar around his fist more than once.

“You can stand now,” he said, sliding a hand under her arm and helping her get to her feet. “Come on now.”

Kylarena could only half-shuffle along, as the manacles on her ankles were chained such as to have only a little slack between them. She still stood head and shoulders taller than the dwarf, even if she was forced to bow down a bit from him pulling on the chain attached to her collar. “Where are you taking me?” she asked.

Cvorag laughed. “To the forge, for a bit of fun.”

Kylarena tried to pull away at that, but Cvorag only gripped the chain tighter and pulled her head forward.

“If you don’t want me to drag you over the floor, I suggest you stop struggling,” the dwarf said. “We can make this as easy or as hard as you like, and don’t think that bruising you a bit is going to dissuade me at all.”

Kylarena ceased her struggling and allowed herself to be led to the forge. It was much as she remembered from her tour, with the different sized anvils, the assorted tools, the still-glowing bank of coals in the furnace. Of course now, given her circumstances they took on a whole new, sinister aspect.

The dwarf pulled her over to a corner of the workshop that Kylarena didn’t remember seeing much of. “Stay there, or I’ll make you regret it,” the dwarf warned, before turning his back on her. Kylarena tried to think what her options might be, but shackled as she was there was no way she could run from the dwarf, and the chain on her wrists was too short to let her get her narrow arms around the dwarf’s broad neck. She racked her brain for a way out of the predicament that she found herself in, but was coming up with nothing.

“Alright, there we are,” Cvorag said. Kylarena blinked and stared, her knees going weak with fear. The dwarf had dragged out a wooden contraption that Kylarena recognized as being a pillory.

“What are you going to do with that?” she asked, the fear in her voice causing it to quaver.

Cvorag opened the pillory, then produced a heavy key from a chain around his neck. He deflty opened Kylarena’s manacles on her wrists before pushing her down into the pillorry. She tried to push back against the dwarf, but he was too strong, and easily closed the heavy wood down on top of her. The ominous click-clack of the pillory being locked made her flinch in fear of what was to come. It was only mildly offset when she felt Cvorag unchain her legs, though he kept the manacles on her ankles.

“Spread your legs, bitch,” Cvorag growled, slapping her ass hard with the flat of his hand. Despite herself, Kylarena found herself growing slightly aroused regardless of her terror. There was something about being so exposed, so helpless in the face of her aggressor that was triggering something truly primal within her. She did as asked, and found her legs spread apart and chained in place.

“Hmmm, that’s more like it, isn’t it?” Cvorag grumbled. “‘Course, can’t rightly be selling you without trying the goods first, can I? Wouldn’t be able to properly attest to your value.”

“Sell me?” Kylarena squeaked. She felt the dwarf running his fingers up the smooth toned skin of her legs, over her ass, and then her stomach, but stopping short of her now dangling breasts.

“You didn’t think I’d be letting you go now did you?” the dwarf said. “That would be sending the wrong message. If you were a male, or a bit uglier, I might think of giving you over to the city guard or the thieves’ guild. The guard would take your hand, but the guild, well they’d make you suffer a bit before they ended you. You and me, we’re just going to have a bit of fun.” Kylarena felt the dwarf run his finger up between her legs, and over her pussy. She tried to pull away but the pillory and the shackles prevented her from going anywhere. Cvorag chuckled. “The bad news for you is that I’ll probably end up enjoying this more than you will. But I’m not completely heartless,” he said.

Kylarena couldn’t see what the dwarf was up to, but she could hear him grunt as he lifted something and heard the heavy thunk as he set it down close behind her. The next thing she felt was his hot breath on her legs, blowing over her pussy. She felt his thick finger circle around her pussy lips then slowly slide up and down. She bit her lip, and tried to hold still, not wanting the dwarf to think that she was enjoying this in the least. It was harder when she felt his tongue press up between her legs, felt it start on her clit and then press up slowly. She let out an involuntary moan, her legs shaking slightly from the sensation.

“You’re a sweet lass, I’ll give you that much,” Cvorag chortled. He spread her pussy lips with his fingers and worked his tongue into her pussy, causing Kylarena to moan louder. She could feel his beard tickling the inside of her thighs, could feel his nose pressed between her ass cheeks. She tried to ignore, to block out what the dwarf was doing to her, but it had been such a long time since she had been with anyone that she was having a hard time of it. The fact that she couldn’t move, that she was completely helpless, just made it all the worse.

September 2018
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