This post has the following content warnings:
Sep 29, 2022 3:14 AM
culture clash in the bell kingdom when Lily runs into Kamryn
Next Post »
« Previous Post
Permalink

It's a beautiful day in Bell Kingdom, in a city far away from a certain Lord Maxwell.

Alas, Lord Maxwell does have staff capable of scrying; so the word has been passed along that one of his toys has gone missing. 

The local guards, however, have better things to do than chase some noble's pet. They're occupied with things going on outside the city...

 

Total: 381
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

The behavior of the local wildlife is bizarre today.

A migration of leaf octopi startles many as the leafy tentacled creatures appear out of nowhere and cross one of the major roads just outside of town.

The fresh, slightly desiccated corpse of a huge wolf appears without explanation in the eastern woods, laying dead in what looks like a pool of its own cum.

There are three different Tentamole attacks, when one in a day is already considered frequent. And yet the Tentamole victims miraculously escape with only light tentacle molestation and no getting buried alive at all.

Permalink

Outside the city walls, Isabel sits in bed with a lap desk balanced on her knees. She's scratching down figures; Amira has been using her as an accountant to get value out of her before she's able to do serious alchemy. 

The landlords of this cheap bed and breakfast have never seen her, and never should. They live in a separate house in the noble quarter of the city and just rent this one to travelers. 

Amira has told her to stay in as much as she can, and given her a high-collared cloak that hides her ball-joints so she can pass as a free human. During the day she's expected to get her work done; at night she's expected to study herbalism and alchemy. Sometimes Amira brings her food, and slowly she's starting to accumulate coins and gems in a small cloth bag; Amira does pay her, though not much. 

It all feels... familiar.

Permalink

But it is different. It has to be different. Amira cares about her, she must, she's risking herself for her - 

Permalink

Maxwell "cared" about her too.

Permalink

She's her own. 

... But she's still learning, and she doesn't understand this world, and it would be rude to leave Amira without even saying anything.

Permalink

Still, late at night, when the streets are quiet and no-one is around, she sometimes takes her key to the bed and breakfast and goes for a walk out into the fields by the edge of town. 

This, at least, is something new. 

She could just walk out into the wilderness, and never come back. She doesn't need to eat or sleep or rest. 

Monsters would probably get her, though. They're real enough. 

And so she stays.

Permalink

Amira comes in the morning to check her facts and figures and answer her questions. They talk for a little while about alchemy and herbalism, and discuss the monster activity - more offhandedly than anything. Amira trusts Isabel to have a clear head.

Permalink

It feels real. It's comforting.

That could still be a lie, though. 

She hands over the books and gets her pay.

Permalink

"... Isabel, there's something I've been meaning to discuss with you."

Permalink

She goes tense, despite herself. "What is it?"

Permalink

"Your servant collar..." 

Amira crosses her arms. "I can't remove it; they're permanent. But if you want - and only if you want - I could composite it with a second tattoo that would... reduce its effects. It has significant side-effects, but I want to offer you the choice."

Permalink

"What would the side-effects be?"

Permalink

"It's called a faithfulness tattoo. It prevents you from being attracted to or aroused by people you're not in love with. In composite, it would prevent your servant tattoo from causing pleasure from praise unless you loved the person who was praising you." 

She folds her fingers together. "It also makes sex better with people you do love, but I expect you're less interested in that than the rest of it. You already have that resonance tattoo anyway, so..." 

Permalink

Isabel touches the heart at her throat. Another present from Maxwell. The tattoo that marks her as dedicated to her partner's pleasure, that made her feel good when she made Maxwell feel good - 

She didn't even know until Amira explained it. 

Of course, she could be lying. But... 

She trusts her.

"Let me think about it."

Permalink

"Of course. I'll see you tomorrow, Isabel."

Permalink

"See you, Amira."

Permalink

Another day, more strange behavior from the nearby life.

Something has got the Tentamoles stirred up. Four attacks today, even more than yesterday. And yet, again, not one of the victims gets buried alive. One of those victims reports that the Tentamole actually started to bury her alive, but something stopped it. She didn't see what. Just a shadow in the woods to the east of town.

Elsewhere, a woman gets caught by a Molester Plant while out gathering wood. She passes out, and when she wakes up the Molester Plant is gone, like someone dug it up. And she isn't impregnated.

A young man goes out to set rabbit traps, as he has done many times before, but this time he doesn't come back.

Permalink

Amira comes in the morning again. 

"The rumors are just getting worse," she says once business is done. "Something has the local monsters on edge... and there's a trapper missing. Please be careful; you're vulnerable outside the city walls, and even if the guards managed to extricate you from some situation, them getting a close look at you would be... bad. It would be bad." 

Permalink

Isabel nods solemnly. "I'll take precautions." She turns the key to the bed and breakfast over in her hands.

 

Permalink

"That's all I can ask. It's your life. Don't do something stupid like trying to collect your own herbs, though. I know it could be tempting..." 

She sighs. "I sound like Maxwell. I'm just worried for you. Our situation's bad enough with the guards, add in the tenta-moles and I'm on edge. I do worry." 

Amira cracks a small smile. "I don't want to lose my only apprentice after I've only had her for a month, after all."

Permalink

Isabel just nods thoughtfully.

Permalink

"Have you come to a decision about the faithfulness tattoo?"

Permalink

"... Yes. I think I want it. I don't want... anyone I don't care about to have the kind of - control - that Maxwell had, ever again."

Permalink

"I'll buy supplies at the market today and do the tattoo for you tomorrow, then. I won't even take it out of your pay."

Permalink

"You underpay me anyway."

Total: 381
Posts Per Page: