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Over Their Heads Chapter 1 – The Haunted Outcast

Updated: Apr 21



The entire town’s eyes were on the beautiful blonde paladin as Serina stepped forward, the sun glittering off of her perfect silver armor and catching her platinum hair. “You all have suffered long… but that is at an end,” the paladin boldly proclaimed as the mayor’s stuttering introduction finished. “You no longer need to fear the terrible dragon. You no longer need to sacrifice tribute to him. We are here to set you free.”

Assembled in the town square, the milling mass of peasants and laborers and smallfolk all gawked at the assembled adventurers. They were a sundry group of individuals, each exotic and strange in the eyes of these rustic villagers of the Moonsea. Even the strong, stirring words of the Paladin failed to bring them to cheers, however. Perhaps that was unsurprising. The town had been preyed upon by the dragon Archleon for years now, with his demands of tribute. Too many of their daughters had vanished in the night to feed the dragon’s… appetite. As Mayael looked on and watched their reaction, she couldn’t help but think that the confident manner of the brave paladin must seem quite foreign to these villagers. All of them must. The six of them probably weren’t what they had been expecting to find when they put that courier on a boat and sent him downstream.

It was Serina’s duty, as she saw it, to reassure them. “Torm himself guided us towards you,” Serina continued to grandstand over the overwhelmed locals. “When your valiant messenger proclaimed your sad story and the tales of the virgin tribute demanded by that monster, many other parties balked and shied away at the mere mention of the word ‘Dragon’. But not we! Nay, not we! Benevolent Torm had other designs… In our hearts, he stirred the righteous anger to vanquish evil. In us he roused…”

As the paladin continued, the fur-cloaked woman who had at least a foot on her grumbled beneath her breath. “It wasn’t the dragon that scared the other parties off,” Maia Thaugindottir growled out while she chewed on a pair of raw acorns she had popped into her mouth, despite the bitter taste and hard shells. “It was the paltry sum of coin.”

“Sssh! Quiet you!” Mayael Everbloom hushed the other woman, hoping that the villagers hadn’t heard. The champions and adventurers stood assembled on one side of the uncobbled marketplace and the peasantry stood on the opposite side… but the huge woman was not exactly good at being quiet. The druid turned to glance at her older sister for a moment, the stately elven wizard looking perfectly composed and a bastion of arcane confidence. Niranya Everbloom was ever that. “Serina is emboldening the hearts of the locals. Don’t discourage them!”

“Bah!” Maia blurted while spitting some acorn flak to the side. “All I see is fools in threadbare jackets. Why would a dragon be interested in harassing a village as shoddy as this anyhow? Makes no sense.”

Mayael had to admit that the woman had a point. It wasn’t just the gray overcast sky that made the town seem shoddy… the mudbrick houses and simplistic cottages whose thatched roof seemed barely equipped to hold off the rain did that all by itself. A few evergreen pines loomed over the town, but otherwise barely anything existed in this valley that wasn’t the color of mud. Only the mayor’s residence stood two stories tall. This isolated village was as poor and humble as Waterdeep was rich and majestic. Not that the druidic elf would ever be rude enough to say that. Maia, however, had no such compunctions, and she had spoken a bit too loudly not to be noticed, even during Serina’s righteous speech. Mayael smiled ingratiatingly towards the onlooking locals as if compensating for the other woman’s brusqueness… and Maia couldn’t understand why people called her a barbarian.

There were six of the outsiders in total. To the villagers’ eyes the least remarkable among them was the lone male standing stoically beside Thaugindottir’s bulk, even if the human was a fairly large man in his own right… a cleric of Helm. Apparently, it was a presence they were not overly concerned about, considering one of the Watcher’s priests stopped by on pilgrimage every couple of years even this far into into the wilds. He still struck quite the impression, however, his bulbous-headed mace, plated armor, steely-strict gaze, and shortcropped blonde hair. Obren Rockram stood on the edge of the group, their newest member.

“Especially aggravating to Torm’s laws of justice was the tale of this dragon’s lair!” Serina continued with a sense of drama that Mayael knew that the paladin did not especially feel… but inspiration was a potent weapon in its own right. “A once holy temple — sacred to your people! — befouled into becoming nothing more than Archleon’s ill-begotten den. A defiled warren for an overgrown lizard, preying on the innocent! Torm himself will not stomach such a trespass to go unpunished. We will—”

Villagers kept listening, staring, and gawking, and Mayael smirked. “So… do you think it’s Serina’s oratory skills that have enspelled their ears?” she whispered towards her sister. “Or is it their eyes that have them hypnotized?”

Niranya’s hands flexed on her oaken staff as she let out a little chuckle. “Who can say?” the elf whispered back.

Mayael thought that her sister probably could. It would take blind men not to be taken by her, even without the exotic lure that her appearance offered. Serina’s ears were pointy like an elf’s but she was not of any Telquessir bloodline, and her long-flowing and perfectly straight hair was white as snow, not really a color one often saw among the elves. Serina was actually an asimar – One of the planetouched. Explaining what that even was to these rustic farmhands of the Moonsea, however, would be more trouble than it was worth – the idea of those with angelic bloodlines was so far beyond their realm of experiences that it might as well be myth. What they certainly did know, however, was that Serina was a stunning beauty. Though tough-looking on account of her formidable armor and marshal cadence, Serina’s countenance was as sculptured and delicate as a noblewoman’s visage. One could easily intuit that her figure underneath that steel possessed the same nubile suppleness and grace, and her hair was like a silk banner flapping easily in the breeze. She seemed fashioned for ballads and balls instead of battles.

And Niranya could barely take her eyes off of her, now that she was in her element.

It was obvious to everyone but the two of them how they felt about one another. Maia didn’t care, considering it far beneath her to deign to notice, but to Mayael it was as obvious as the moon in the sky on a cloudless night. The two of them hadn’t just been adventuring together for the last two centuries by chance, after all… and there were nights that the druid was certain that they were both being idiots. The fact that the elders of their forest would never accept one of the Highborn like Niranya marrying a non-elf, and that Serina had sworn an oath of chastity for as long as she served Torm, were only details. Both could find something more meaningful to do with their lives together.

Maia chewed loudly while Serina kept talking, already bored. The monstrously strong warrior woman was, in some ways, very faithful to stereotype, but in others defied it as strongly as could be. While Serina might have the most experience of the group with the blade it didn’t stop Maia from being the muscle of the group – the tallest, biggest, and most brutish of the bunch. Despite this there was a feminine sharpness to her face, a comeliness hidden amidst her quarrelsome expressions and bellicose gaze. Her hair was bright blonde like wheat and coiled into a single ponytail. It trailed down her back alongside her massive greatsword. That weapon’s bulbous pommel could be seen protruding from beyond her back whenever her head moved out of position. Mayael just hoped none of the men of the village would be foolish enough to call her a barbarian to her face… Maia had firmly rejected the last man to proposition her as not even close to worthy of her royal blood, and when he objected and called her a savage barbarian she had promptly tossed him out a window. It had taken all of Serina’s silver tongue to get the guard to settle for a fine rather than try to take the woman into custody, an indignity that the druid felt certain would not be borne.

“Your burnt fields shall be restored, your ruined temple restored, and any sacrifices that remain returned to you,” Serina promised. “The dragon’s head shall be made into a trophy by which outsiders shall forever know your village—”

Despite herself, Mayael’s mind was wandering as well. She supposed she could hardly be blamed… chalk it up to the youthful enthusiasm of a woman on one of her first trips out of the forest she had been born in. Mayael’s face practically beamed, her smile big and wide as a half-drunk halfling’s while her expressive eyes were similarly curious and large. At a mere seventy years of age Mayael was only barely considered an adult, and when Serina and Niranya had last returned to the forest she had finally managed to make them relent and allow her to come with them. To let her experience the world at last, while under the protection of two veteran adventurers. This was going to be her big opportunity to show off. She had grown up on tales of valor, valor of the elves, valor of the ancients, and most of all the valor of her sister. It was time for her to go and perform some heroics of her own.

Mayael and Niraya could have almost been twins, if it weren’t for the details. A five hundred year age difference was rather immaterial to an elf, but their magic was a more severe gap that colored more than their abilities. Niranya was, in many ways, the ur-example of what a brave and wise elf should be; standing tall and graceful, poised yet impeccably at ease, eyes unflinching like those of a statue though not unfriendly in that particular Telquessir way. She wore a cloak, and beneath it a corset whose constrictive lacing wondrously swelled and highlighted her already generous bust. Mayael’s own vestments, by comparison, consisted of another copy of that same cloak, but beneath her her leathers were far more skimpy, leaving her slender midriff completely exposed… Mayael always found it uncomfortable to change form when so completely covered, and didn’t like to wear more than she needed to. Warnings of her tutors that she should have more protective clothing had fallen on deaf ears – after all, no amount of leather was going to do a bear or a panther any good. Lastly, the elven sisters’ haircolors were also marked by their allegiance to the arcane versus the woodland. Niranya’s shoulder-length hair was flaming red like the fire that she preferred, and the reserved sorceress kept it mostly hidden behind the hood of her cloak. Mayael, meanwhile, preferred to keep her hood down, allowing her long, evergreen tresses to flow freely

“Let fear rule your hearts no longer. Now me and my comrades will venture up the mountain and slay the dragon, so that—” Serina spoke while pointing towards the distant hilly hinterland where the ruined temple was located.

There was one final member of the group. She stood in the absolute back and only occasionally peered through the gap between Mayael and Maia. The Barbarian shuffled and growled upon noticing the other woman’s nearness, moving sidewards as if she had been snuck up upon by a pickpocketing Shadow Thief. “Watch it, scoundrel!” she acrimoniously snarled as she turned to face the other woman… and exposed her completely to view.

“Aaah! Dragonspawn!” one elderly lady in the back of the crowd pointed and screamed.

Everyone’s gaze moved to fix on the suddenly exposed woman. “Wait! Me? No I’m—!” Vallista managed to say before a general panic combusted in the crowd like a wildfire. Villagers jumped and screamed, scurrying away in all directions thinking they were under attack. Doors were slammed and windows boarded and stacks of hay employed as cover. Not even the governor himself had been emboldened enough by Serina’s words to stay put. The Paladin frantically tried restoring order while Vallista’s gaze turned downward, ashamed and appalled at what her appearance had caused. “I’m not dragonspawn,” she muttered, running one hand over the horns that curled up where they stuck out from beneath her dark hood. “They’re de…” She stopped, sighing.

“What’s the matter?” Maia mocked, running her judgmental gaze up and down over Vallista. “Go ahead and finish that sentence. Tell us you’re not a draconic halfbreed. You’re a demonic halfbreed instead. That’s so much better.” The barbarian shook her head. “You’ve certainly done it again tonight, haven’t you. I hope they’re still willing to pay us when we’re finished.”

The devotee of Helm likewise scowled in Vallista’s direction. He shook his head while rolling his eyes muttering to himself. “Demonic. Draconic. What does it matter? It’s damnation either way.”

Vallista’s consternation only multiplied watching things spiral out of control. With a sigh, she turned away from the other to sulk against one of the nearby buildings.

“Poor girl,” Mayael whispered softly. “What should we do?”

Serina took a deep breath. “…No matter,” the paladin insisted. “They’ll repay this panic with trust when we bring them the firebreather’s skull.” She looked around. “Alright. Let’s find some accommodation for the night. We’ll head up the mountain come the dawn.”

 

The next morning, Vallista was walking last in the group, looking sullen and glum as they trekked uphill toward the dragon’s lair. She really, really didn’t look like one of the dragonspawn. It was an absurd assumption for the old lady to have made. Just a pair of horns and some crimson skin were enough to make you look like a scaled half-dragon? Not even close. Cursing the old woman’s stupidity, however, didn’t lessen the sting of the misidentification… Especially for a tiefling like Vallista. Far too often her kin inspired that kind of hostile reaction among the people.

Vallista knew her ancestry was anything but noble. She didn’t know which fiend it was who had raped his way into her family line, but her ancestry showed far more than it did for Serina – the gracefully curved horns atop her head were a surefire sign of the demon blood in her background. That they were curved and small like a goat’s instead of being vicious skewers didn’t matter in the least to anyone… they still marked her as someone who didn’t belong every bit as surely as the thin-corded tail with a pointy, triangular spade at its end, and the red skin with eyes that faintly glowed with the luster of infernal fire deep inside did. Vallista tried to cover herself up, at least… mostly. She hid beneath her cloak, but she couldn’t wear stuffy clothing and sneak around… she wore a top and short leather pants, all of it dyed as black as her elbow length gloves and her thigh-high boots.

The fact that dressing in all black only made her look even less trustworthy, apparently, hadn’t yet occurred to her.

Her attention was drawn back to the hike when she bumped into the woman in front of her, who had needed to stop as they slowed to walk through a narrow passage. “Watch where you’re going, little slut,” Maia barked, whirling on the red-skinned woman. “What are you doing sneaking around behind us, anyway?”

“I was just-” Vallista began.

The barbarian continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “Back up, tramp. Cleric! Walk behind her… I don’t want this shady character to get any shifty ideas staring at my back.”

“Maia that’s a horrible thing to say!” Mayael exclaimed, walking right before Vallista.

“I would never!” Vallista sputtered.

“Then I suppose you’re going to tell us you didn’t sneak out of the inn last night while you thought we all were sleeping, then?” Maia snorted. Vallista paused in her protests as Serina and Niraya’s gaze turned to her, and the blonde barbarian’s face took on a cruel smirk. “That right. Going to tell us what you were doing?”

Vallista tried to meet her gaze for a few more seconds before the intensity in the other woman’s gaze made her look down. “I was… just drinking. After what happened.”

“You weren’t just drinking, though, were you?” Maia sneered. “I’m surprised… even in a town so frightened of your kind, you still managed to find a man to let between your legs again. Just goes to show you that whores are in demand everywhere you supposedly ‘advanced and moral’ people roam, no matter how far from what passes for civilization for you people we get.”

Vallista flushed crimson – more crimson that usual, anyway – and looked away. “Maia!” Serina said firmly. “You will keep a civil tongue in your mouth.”

“I always keep a civil tongue to civil company,” the barbarian insisted. “If I can find some.” The barbarian and the paladin glared at each other for several moments before Maia forced a false smile onto her face, and laughed. “Fine. Just pulling the fiend’s tail. I’m sure she’s going to marry that man and settle down and have lots of kids, right. Who knows… maybe if she lets enough of them fuck her people won’t be scared of the little harlot anymore! That is what you want, right? To whore your way into their good graces?”

Maia! You have the behavior of a troll polluting nature,” Mayael hissed.

“Let it go, Mayael,” Vallista grumbled, trying to pretend that hadn’t hurt. “People like her wouldn’t understand anyhow.”

“Enough,” Serina insisted, turning her regal gaze on all of them one by one. “Enough of this. We have further to go, and a fight ahead of us. Is that enough for you, Maia Thurginsdottir? Is quarreling with your companions what you’ve come for?” the paladin said, her narrowed.

“You know exactly what I’ve come for!” Maia boasted readily in her reply. “I’m here to slay a dragon! Reward from the villagers or no, accomplishing that will finally be enough… an act of prowess none among my people could deny. Once I’ve slain the beast and return home wearing its skin, then I can finally return home to civilization and take my place as Queen.”

“Then let’s focus on that, shall we, not quarrels?” Serina sharply yet softly intoned.

“Twas a mere jest,” Maia responded, smirking. “Ask the Cleric. He’ll back me up.”

Obren failed to partake in on the smiling. His expression remained grave.

“We need to keep moving,” Niranya interrupted. “Daylight wanes. We want to reach the ruined temple before nighttime reaches us.”

“Aye!” Maia concurred.

The party began moving forward, and Obren fell in behind Vallista as they continued onward, watching her from behind as the barbarian had demanded… a grave expression on his face. “Helm sees all,” he intoned towards the tiefling. “The Watcher knows what resides in every person’s heart. Know that, and be judged.”

Vallista resumed trudging uphill with pursed lips. “Everywhere I go it’s the same. Amn. Waterdeep. Calimport. Damned villages. They see my skin and my horns and think that’s all there is to me.”

“Don’t worry, Vallista,” Mayael reassured. “In the end, while words cannot always overcome the hardened of heart, deeds always do. You know… eventually.” She sighed. “Have you heard the legend of Drizzt Do’Urden? A drow who chose to live on the surface, abandoning his people. He endured his way through distrust, betrayal, and hunts from both the surface and the Underdark… but eventually he proved himself to everyone. He won a home for himself on the surface and the acceptance of all… and I’m sure someday you will do the same.”

“I just wish the world could have given me a fair chance without the need to commit heroics,” Vallista responded. “Just wish the world wouldn’t care so much who my parents were. Still, I’m thankful for your sister and Serina to have taken me in. They’ll not regret it.”

“We believe in you, Vallista,” Mayeal replied.

In front of them, Maia Thurginsdottir rolled her eyes.

 

Vallista wasn’t sure what she had been expecting, but the temple was huge.

They arrived in sight of it just as twilight was beginning to dim the horizon… the dilapidated, stone-brick structure crowned a rocky hilltop. Its entrance was barred with what looked like a makeshift gate and drawbridge big enough for two carts to fit through. The building was every bit sizable enough to constitute a nobleman’s holding and sported defensible architecture to serve as a fortress, much less a house of worship. And it was quiet… despite supposedly being the home of a dragon, the locale was subsumed with an eerie quietude and lonesome stillness that reminded her of a tomb.

“This doesn’t look abandoned,” Maia said as she looked over the rocks they were camped behind. “It looks like it’s been fortified. Who did that?”

“The Dragon’s minions, probably,” Niranya replied.

“I didn’t hear anything about any damned minions,” Maia spat.

“What, you thought the villagers’ fear of dragonspawn came out of nowhere?” Serina said with a small smile. “Dragons can breed with nearly anything… so long as it gets to them first, or they have enough other magic to compensate. Should lead to a lot of dragonspawn.”

“Wait!” Maia protested, scrunching up her nose. “You don’t mean to say that the virgins he’s been taking as tribute…” She looked back and forth between Serina and Niranya, her look disbelieving and slowly fading into outraged disgust. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised,” she hissed. “It’s about the level of ‘civilization’ the rest of you operate on.”

“Weren’t you listening back in Waterdeep?” Vallista injected. “The herald mentioned all kinds of little hellions like orcs and goblins and kobolds, at the very least.”

“And they’ll be on top of the dragonspawn,” Mayael added. The elf looked a little nauseous at the idea, and Vallista couldn’t blame her… it was a much more rational reaction to learning of a draconic breeding pit than Maia’s annoyed condescension. “He’s probably bred himself up a small army by now.”

“Who cares?” Maia said firmly, shrugging off any indication that her ignorance had shamed her in any way. “I’m here to slay a dragon, everything else is secondary. If his minions get in the way, I’ll cut them down too.”

“With this dragon seemingly in command of a veritable army, you might need to,” Obren replied.

“The Watcher is right,” Niranya said with a nod. “Archleon claimed this temple as a trophy, but I doubt he’s in it… Dragons prefer to nest underground. He has probably commanded these minions to hollow out tunnels and caverns right underneath our feet. The temple will merely be an entrance to his stronghold, not the bastion itself.”

“Well then we had best get started then,” Maia grumbled, drawing her sword as if it were a hammer. “If this is going to take a while, let’s get it going. Let me batter down that barricade and we can storm on downward.”

Vallista’s back straightened, and she held up an open hand. “Or maybe we should not announce our arrival with thunder and clamor, and alert the entire mountainside we’re here?” she protested, looking at Serina and Niranya. “I think a stealthier approach is called for.”

The paladin met her gaze. “What do you have in mind?”

“It’s getting dark,” Vallista suggested. “I’ll scale that wall unseen, get inside, and open those doors from within. They must go in and out, so there must be a way to open them… I’ll do it without alerting anyone.”

“You can do that?” Niranya asked seriously. “You’ll be alone, and far from help if something goes wrong.”

Vallista narrowed her eyes as she glared at Maia and Obren… but mostly Maia. She could do this. This was exactly what she was good at. She was useful, damnit, no matter what that rude, self-superior muscle-bound ass thought. “No problem. Give me half a glass, and I’ll get those doors opened, all quiet-like.”

Maia and Obren looked doubtful. Serina, Niranya, and Mayael, however, looked at one another. Then, slowly, the paladin nodded. “Do it.”

Vallista’s strong, dexterous hands followed the crumbling masonry as she climbed them like handholds, her body racing up the stone facade of the building as she pulled herself up rapidly. With the wall in such a dilapidated condition it wasn’t even hard… there were enough crannies and crevices that even a novice could have probably managed, though certainly not as quickly as the tiefling. The red-skinned rogue ascended the flat wall barely slower than she would have a ladder.

Gloom had fully enshrouded the Moonsea by the time Vallista hauled herself over its top. Once her heels were back on solid stone she stared down darkened hallways and out into a shadowed courtyard… she froze, eyes flicking from side to side as she scanned for watching guardians and found none. No one seemed to guarding the gate… but there was also no mechanism that she could see yet to open it. The chains upholding the door lead deeper into the temple proper, connecting to some gatehouse-like structure. It must be in there.

Scurrying on soundless footfalls she followed those tautened chains into the interior building. “Alright,” she mumbled nearly silently, the sound barely even reaching her own ears. “If I were a lever, where would I be…” Vallista squeezed herself against one of the walls, making herself as small and invisible as possible as she stuck to the deepest shadows… even if she couldn’t see anyone watching for intruders didn’t mean that she could afford to be careless. Reaching the gatehouse wall, she once again began to climb, heading for the window at the level the chains went into the wall.

Crawling through the window, she found what she was looking for… a windlass dial. The heavy chains were coiled around its horizontal beam, and a thick lever protruded from its base, ready to be torqued. She approached. Vallista frowned at it. There was not going to be a way to do this that was quiet, exactly… a lot quieter than breaking it down, and faster, but there was going to be noise. She looked around again but there was no one here… the opportunity wasn’t going to get better. After she opened the door, if someone came she could leap out the window and hide until her companions came in just a few minutes later… but she would be in danger.

She supposed it came down to this – did she really want to let Maia sneer at her?

Determined, Vallista took the few steps to the lever and shoved… the lever moved a bit, but not much. The device was far more steadfast than she had hoped. “Let… me…” she grunted, shoving again, putting all of her muscle and weight into it as she pulled with everything she was worth, bracing a foot against the windlass. It was so heavy… too heavy. It had no yield at all…

As if the chains were manually braced and locked.

A scintillating spark of light appeared in the darkness at the edge of Vallista’s vision. Her hammering heart skipped a beat as she realized the amount of danger she was in… that was a spellcaster conjuring up their power. She let herself drop, prepared to dodge in any direction and avoid anything coming at her… but she could not dodge the words that followed. “Oruclos!” a sultry female voice said, and the magically sensitive tiefling felt more than she saw a wave of magical energy shoot towards her like a sail in the wind, impossible to dodge as it wrapped around. She felt the pressure on her mind immediately and tried to resist, screaming out… and yet, no sound escaped her open mouth. Vallista was immediately flung into a crescendo of dread and disorientation…. The spell had silenced her!

Whoever ambushed her had taken away her ability to warn the others.

“Take her,” the mage’s voice commanded… and out of the darkness shapes stormed towards her.

Vallista pushed herself to her feet, squirmed out of the grip from the first one, and the second, but the third’s fist caught her in the stomach. She drew a knife and slammed it into his arm somewhere, but her attacker never made a sound… they just shrank back and another took their place, driving a fist into Vallista’s face, stunning the tiefling. In moments she was completely surrounded and overwhelmed, attempting to scream to her companions in the silence as she was grappled down onto the floor.

“Good work, boys… stay quiet now!” The woman stepped forward enough that, to her alarm, Vallista could see the curve of demonic bat wings coming out of the shadow-woman’s bare back. “Delight in her flesh. Rape and ravage her as mercilessly as you please… But do it quietly. Alert the others, and your cries of joy will conclude in a castration,” the spellcaster evilly instructed.

A demon… the spellcaster was a demon, commanding orcs. She was being held by orcs. Not just any orcs, though. These had draconic features… scales showing through their skin in some places, horns from their heads, and fire in their eyes. Dragon’s blood ran through this horde, and they were overwhelmingly strong. These greenskins were the most debased iterations of their savage species, standing hunched and bowlegged while also sporting hulking musculature in their arms and legs. Their faces appeared either mangled or snout-like, whitened tusks jutting from their protruding underjaw. In terms of hue they were invariably of the darkened and teal variety which blended into the night. None of them wore anything more than what could be considered rags or feral clothing. Their eyes were beady and mindlessly ravenous like those of hogs.

Yet despite this feral nature they obeyed their Mistress’s words to a tee. Vallista twisted both her arms and legs trying to break free. Her tail, poking out the back of the cloak, thrashed wildly, slapping her assailants. None of it made a difference. In this moment she was as panicked as the villagers had been upon noticing her, but it was like she was struggling with a swarm of grasping tentacles more than mere hands. Even one of these orcs would have been enough to pin her down, and now they had her swarmed. Her mouth remained at a constant bellow, trying to shout for help, shout out a warning, but that cavernous hollow remained silent as a tomb. The relative silence coming out of her mouth, and of the orcs, made the ripping around as the orcs began to tear her clothing off of her seem like it echoed in the small room.

“Hmm… an excellent specimen,” the demon in the shadows whispered as Vallista’s supple breasts emerged from her clothing, red skin glistening in the slight light coming through the window. “Quite the prize for being a little slattern…”

The orcs were multiple times more excited than their Mistress, their hands enthusiastically running over Vallista’s struggling body, but even so they communicated with nothing more than quiet doglike pants and feral wheezes. All of them were obsessed with spreading the tiefling’s legs. All of them grappled and moved with the kind of desperation she would expect to find among parched men wandering a desert and suddenly happening upon an oasis, and even as the tiefling furiously kicked in frenzied resistance they pulled her long, lithe legs gradually apart.

“Careful now,” the demon urged. “Remember your silence…”

Despite her struggling, within moments Vallista’s legs were as forked open as the River Dessarin. One of the vicious minions positioned himself between them, tearing off his loincloth, a cruel glint lighting his gaze in the darkness as fluid dripped down his lip and across his long tusks. Vallista’s lava-colored eyes widened as broadly as her mouth as she witnessed the orc’s monstrous manhood spring into the open. The thing was closer to her forearm in size that it was to what the drunken villager who had been interested in her exotic appeal last night had had between his legs, and the very idea of something like that trying to push its way into her made her skin crawl. His humongous erection wasn’t just meat, either… scales showed on its surface, intermittent ridges of hard bone along with the hot, swollen flesh of his full-blooded and pulsating shaft with his throbbing veins standing out in lustful relief. In the cold stillness of the mountain air, it felt like the superheated beating heart of a demon as it brushed her skin.

Her throat seized in her sudden fear. “No… no! No! No!” she attempted to cry out… but her mouth produced not a single sound. Instead, the monster simply leered down as his companions pushed their weight against her struggling arms and shoulders, and then his fat tool began to unerringly seek her quim. She watched how that monstrous knob slowly – yet all too fast for the struggling, helpless tiefling – aligned itself with the velvety folds between her legs, beginning to part them. They were pink inside, unlike the crimson red of the rest of her skin, and her unwilling lips clenched at that head in its sheer desperation to deny the orc entry, horrified in her awareness that with her legs held apart, there was nothing protecting her cleft from that spearing club.

Then, soundless as a nightmare taken wing on still air, the orc huffed out a small, almost whispered breath… and lurched forward, stabbing onward with his engorged cock like he would a sword being driven into his victim.

Vallista’s petals split painfully apart, filling the planetouched woman with an overwhelming sense of pain and penetration. Her shock was so extreme her thoughts turned vertiginous, leaving her feeling like the floor had fallen out from beneath her and she was plunging down into the darkness impaled on the orc who had claimed her. The drakenblood orc had wanted to go balls deep from the very first plunge and he had succeeded, smashing his bulbous cockhead against the tiefling’s cervix like it was a battering ram trying to break down the very doors she’d come here to open. At this ferocious impact the monster gasped and threw his head back as if wanting to howl like a wolf… Yet no roar came. He kept this thoroughly-scabbarded posture while their interlocking organs jostled, riding out his clear pleasure to contrast her misery… and save for the scraping of her skin on the stone and the wet impact of his hips against her groin there was barely a sound of mark their disparate experiences.

The other sex-crazed greenskins surrounding her were breathing heavily, eyes wide and drooling as they watched. They resisted her struggles, but it clearly wasn’t very hard for them… they barely needed to do anything at all to keep her helpless. “He seems to be appreciating your warmth and tightness,” the voice from the darkness softly jeered and chuckled. “Demon blood has a reputation for making excellent breeding stock, after all.”

Following his lustful needs, the orc commenced rocking his hips back and forth, ramming his way into Vallista’s twat. Her restrained body began trembling so badly she spasmed against the cold stony floor. Mere minutes ago, she had been on a mission to prove that she was useful to her companions, consumed by a desire to prove to Maia that she wasn’t trouble. It had all gone wrong so quickly. Were she able, Vallista would have been wailing each time the monster’s phallus struck against her cervix, punching her insides with every battering stroke. The scales and ridges scraped viciously against walls of her pussy both on the attack and the retreat… Vallista’s expression turned as ghastly and contorted as the Orcs from how horribly she felt that hostile dick destroying her insides… she screamed and screamed and screamed, but only in her own head while the tiefling drowned in agony. Instead, her soundless calls for help birthed nothing but frustration inside the tiefling. Her friends and allies were so close but without her voice they were so far away. They were all waiting outside, and she had been so eager to prove herself useful that she had all but flown up the walls. The others probably didn’t think she was running late yet… 9 Hells, they probably didn’t even think she could have made it here yet. Certainly they had no idea what was occuring. Vallista wanted to reach out to them somehow. Serina, Mayael, Niranya… she would even take help from Maia and Obren. In her thoughts she begged the gods to restore her voice… she would even stop fighting with those assholes if they did, she promised!

The pain and humiliation of being raped was unendurable, and the menacing eyes peering at her from the darkness with sadistic lusts were just as bad because they promised more of the same. Vallista was used to the men she took to be being a little frightened of her, with only the drink having worn away enough of the hard edges of their paranoia to tempt them between her legs. As they went, however, they got more confident… more assured of themselves as they fucked her. For Vallista, now, it was very much the same… but exactly the opposite. She was terrified of these monsters… and from what their gaze promised, that fear was only being justified, and going to grow worse.

Empowered by the savage energies of his race, the mutated orc lashed his groin against Vallista’s hips quick as a striking whip, such aggressive pummeling induced a close-quarters clobbering of her occupied cunt. Throughout the fornication her lips quivered and desperately tried exclaiming a powerful denial that rang silent out her mouth, the only thing that stopped her from screaming wildly was the magic binding her tongue. The orc, however — despite his savage nature — handled his passions as masterfully as a highborn astral. Even while hammering like a berserker, no voice either primal or loud untethered from his throat. The only real clamor he produced was that of flesh slapping against flesh, a thudding sound which wasn’t piercing enough to alert the party down across the courtyard and over the wall. Vallista lost almost all control of her body as the cock continued to beat her insides, her back flexing and convulsing on the stone floor while she was mercilessly harpooned. Her tail, which had previously been slapping back, merely vibrated against the floor… Her struggles no longer amounted to much of anything. She did notice, however, when the orc paused to look over in the direction of the demon’s shadow-hidden form.

“Go ahead,” the voice encouraged. “Her body’s worth nothing to the master. Befoul her with all the sperm you want. To me, it matters not… Either way this foolish little adventuress will serve my needs.”

He clearly didn’t need more encouragement. Pumping himself in and out in a blinding fury, the greenskin abruptly hilted himself inside Vallista’s swollen ladyhole and ground his shaft against her twat like he was trying now to push right through her cervix… an impossible feat, certainly, but one that he seemed desperate to accomplish, and which hurt like fire. The only respite Vallista had from his onslaught, apparently, was the fact that the orc had evidently endured all the rapine pleasure he could. How he was set on finishing off this erection directly against her womb.

Vallista’s face was wrought like a deathmask as he came, hot spunk pouring out and polluting her insides as he left an entire wineskin worth of gunk deep in her belly. She couldn’t even moan her abject horror and dismay as she felt it press into her, slipping into places that would never feel clean again and filling her up like an empty vessel. The other orcs turned blood-eyed like vampires ready to feed watching the first of their number fill their captive with his cum, Vallista’s most personal places sordidly spermed in a nexus of silence as what little dignity and self-respect she had left was ripped from her and drowned in a pool of testicular slime. Were it not for hands on her, she would have curled herself into a ball. Were it not for the silence, she would have wailed out lamentations to the gods. Instead, she simply began to weep.

“Hmhmhmh…” the unseen villain chuckled. “That’s perfect. Just like that… but try to take longer, next time.”

The overseer of this void-like rape needed to give no future instructions. Passions and animalistic furore guided the brutes towards what she wanted from them already. The moment that impaling orc had finished unloading, his equally mutated comrades were practically scratching and tugging at him to withdraw. As he did, his cock felt like it dragged an ocean of hot spunk with it, sending it spilling against her crimson thighs, and so great a void was left in his wake that Vallista’s vagina was transformed momentarily into a hollowed-out, slime-coated pussy-pit that refused to close back up. Not for long, however… each of the greenskins was already struggling in strange, soundless struggle to be the next to get their cocks inside the defiled tiefling’s body. It didn’t matter that the muted planetouched was stupefied with agony at being the centerpiece of such a tremendous gangbang – the only thing that mattered was that they got what they wanted.

While the orcs were distracted, Vallista desperately flung herself away from them. To her mind, even falling out of the window and plummeting two stories down to the courtyard was better than remaining. At least if she fell, perhaps the sound would be loud enough to alert her party. The orcs, however, grabbed onto her legs as she fled, stopping the silenced rogue with almost trivial ease as they used her own squirming to force her down onto her belly, presenting her pert asscheeks to the lustful brutes. While one casually stopped her continued attempts to escape, another especially brawny-looking of the wyrmkissed orcs won the rights of conquest. He soon plugged her pink-rimmed orifice with a cock every bit as large as the one who had come before and commenced immediate, violent thrusting – feeding Vallista’s twat a sundry of hardened dick meat. With every plunge she was forced to take his endowment seemingly from her hip to level with her lungs. Vallista’s mouth kept screaming yet she produced only deadly silence… The only difference now in the chorus of her rape was that her pillaged feminine cleft squished lewdly with every thrust on account of the jizz already sloshing about therein.

The orcs were doing their best to stay silent and her eyes were squeezed shut in her horror so her first warning of what was coming was when the adventuress felt the swollen, scaled cock of another of the orcs brushed her lips. Vallista’s eyes sprang wide open, but it was already too late… a moment later the monster’s thick cock was pressing into her soundlessly screaming hole, wedging his way all the way to her throat. Her plush lips were too small for his shaft, now snuggly wrapped around the midway point of his meaty shaft. Surprise kept her from choking for the first second, but the moment that shock wore off the tiefling violently retched, vomiting… and the cock completely stuffed her mouth, leaving it nowhere to go. Some of her puke went up the Tiefling’s nose. The rest of it was slowly hammered back down her throat by the cock as it began to pummel its way further down.

If Vallista had ever considered what she would do if she were being raped, she would have sworn that she would bite. Instead, it never even occurred to her – she was too busy choking on her own vomit and spit at her rapist’s cock to even think about anything but trying to take a breath. Her eyes were wide, her brow furrowed, and her thin tail lashed at the stone floor hard enough that it made more sound that the entirety of her nearly silent rape as Vallista was jampacked with greenskin fleshswords from both her front and back, effectively spitroasted between orcish cock.

Vallista struggled mindlessly, raising her hands and pushing against the orc suffocating her on his cock. Her resistance must have annoyed him, because moments later someone grabbed her right hand and slammed it painfully to the ground. She caught a glimpse of an orc… the orc that she had stabbed… for just a second. Then her own knife was driven through her hand and into the stone, skewering her to the floor.

The sensations sent both agony and repulsion coursing through to her very core. Vallisata screamed, the silent expression of her misery doing little more than to squeeze her rapists’ cocks as the two feral beasts pumped out of sync with one another, too wholly subsumed by their needs to fuck her to even consider the needs of their companion, any more than they considered the bleeding tiefling’s wellbeing. Soon, only the orcs’ fist-sized scrotums remained outside of her as they plunged, slapping against thigh and chin… the rest of their organs belligerently crammed into Vallista’s sore, suffering fuckholes. The spite and acrimony the villagers had shown her was nothing in comparison to this. Her sensitive orifices were absolutely rammed open and violated. The one slamming into her from behind violently punched against her cervix with his cockhead while the other one dramatically curved his member down into her throat, and Vallista felt like they were going to meet in the middle and tear her asunder.

Despite being Orcs, their violent savage fucking remained in equanimity with the silence of the night… As was the immensity of Vallista’s suffering, though her part in this stealthy deception was unwilling. The planetouched wanted nothing more than to shriek and blare from having her orifices so violently rutted and churned. This horrific rape felt like it was purloining the rogue’s very sanity… Her very inability to communicate the pain this dual fucking caused made her feel like a mouse caught in a trap. The young tiefling yearned desperately for rescue from Serina and the others… but their help was not coming.

“Finish her off,” the sibilant voice instructed from the darkness. “Then I can go deal with her friends.”

Finish her off? They were going to kill her?

Vallista felt dragged viciously back to sanity, and began to struggle again… too little, and too late. Only a few more pumps were necessary to achieve climax. Both monsters promptly had done enough to uncork their lusts – with dickheads pulsing, they then smashed their colossal fuckrods into Vallista’s body and unloaded their balls deep inside of her, hosing her exotic feminine holes with creamy-white goo. As the duo was crazed with the urgency of copulation their outgoing jizz was extra thick and slimy. Vallista received another cumshot into her gash while also having to taste orcish sperm for the very first time… it tasted salty and bitter, but also like it contained the bits of stew that had burned to the bottom of the pan, and it slimy, gooey substance slung to her tongue and teeth even as the rest of the flood poured down her throat and into her stomach.

“Excellent…” the voice malevolently tittered while Vallista all but drowned in jism plunging down her throat, stepping forward from out of the shadows as the two greenskins finished with her… and Vallista took in her features and fear froze her.

Even with her already horrified and traumatized mind shaking beneath the weight of what had already been done to her, Vallista couldn’t fail to notice that the sorceress responsible for her capture was dragonspawn.

Vallista knew that dragons could breed with just about anyone. She knew that they surrounded themselves with minions who had some level of draconic blood in them, usually several generations back… like these orcs. That draconic origin, much like her own fiendish one, made them stronger, tougher, and smarter than their wild cousins. Vallista assumed that these were just what dragonspawn were like… but all it took was a glance at the woman that emerged from the darkness to show her instantly the difference before a pale imitation and the genuine thing.

The woman was a demon, just like Vallista had felt certain. A succubus, most likely… but that wasn’t all she was. Her horns were no curved ram horns, but ramrod straight and ridged dragon horns sweeping back from her brow. Her wings, rather than a bat’s, were dragonscaled and armored, matching the far thicker and scaled tail and flicked behind her. Parts of her neck, her cheeks, and her hips were also covered in scales, seemingly emerging from beneath pale, perfect skin. Her face was lovely and humanoid, but her eyes were monstrous… slanted and with a dragons pupil, and seeming to glow with fire deep inside. A serpentine tongue stroked against her gums, hanging too far out of her mouth.. Looking at her inspired terror somewhere deep down inside of Vallista, beating down what was left of her will.

She was no mere descendant of dragons. She was a child of Archleon himself… Vallista was certain of it.

Vallista gawked at this looming villainess, silent save what could be communicated by the agony of her expression. The tiefling had not long to indulge in her mute conversation before the next of the greenskins came up behind her, positioning himself at her upturned stern. This newcomer immediately moved to straddle her posterior… but unlike the others she immediately realized he was gunning for a new hole to explore.

Vallista’s mouth turned impossibly wide-rimmed and quaking as he mounted her ass like a bull mounted a cow. This minion’s enormous cockhead was huge, and far too large for her… but her asshole was slick with the jizz of her previous rapes, and his was so strong that he simply smashed his way through the resistance of her sphincter, quickly sinking passed its defensive ring and beginning its invasion of her guts. Vallista did her best to scream and she reflexively squeezed to prevent the intrusion, but her conqueror was simply too powerful. Within seconds, her planetouched asshole had been pumped as full of malachite-colored cock as her cunt had been.

“Hehehe. Pitiful adventurers. Ever pathetic. Ever fools,” the dragonspawn sorceress said with a smirk as she dropped to her knees before the struggling, silently screaming tiefling. Her skewered hand had swollen around the knife impaling it, and it hurt almost as badly when the succubus yanked it out as it had when the orc had slammed it in. Casually, she brought the bloody knife up to her eyes. “Mmm… a good knife you had here. Still sharp.” With a grin, she reached down, bringing the knife with her, and pressing its point to Vallista’s forehead. The stinging pain as the blade cut her skin burned even worse when the cum that stained her face mingled with the blood as she drew some symbol on her forehead, and she didn’t do it quickly… the symbol wasn’t very large, but the amused demoness took her time, slowly slicing the knife’s point through her forehead.

Vallista attempted to pay attention to what the fiend was doing, but it was hard… the greenskin monster behind her had all the leverage he ever needed to ransack her ass, and he was doing it with maximum cruelty and viciousness. Overwhelming pulses of pain shot through her rectum every time he recklessly sodomized it, and each new inch of that beefy meatclub skewered past her over-stretched asshole felt like her insides were being skinned. Her urge to scream blared louder than ever before from this mauling of her asshole… but she was as helpless to scream as ever while the orc seized one of her horns for leverage and tugged until the rogue’s face was pulled up and back, using her head as leverage to fuck her harder.

While the Orc mercilessly walloped Vallista’s unwilling backdoor, the dragonspawn rose, walked to the windlass, and made a small gesture with her fingers. Then she pulled easily on the lever… causing its coiling chains to immediately begin to unfurl with a low cranking sound as the drawbridge gates lowered. Vallista watched with shock and confusion as her goal was accomplished. “Keep violating this harlot until you’re through with her,” she instructed. “Try not to kill her… you won’t get another, so don’t put the little slattern to waste. But keep it quiet… And more important still, keep out of sight.”

The Orc grunted while lewdly clapping the rogue’s asscheeks, making them wobble and pounce with every thrust. His fellows nodded, and the dragonspawn upraised her clawed hands and began drawing intricate occult patterns in the air. Soon after the magical variegated lighting appeared, coursing through the air. Vallista suffered the greenskins’ buggering attacks deep into her shithole whilst remaining profoundly confused. Why would she allow the adventurers into the ruined temple? Why would she—?

The Dragonspawn released the spell. This time, it hurled not towards an enemy… instead, it enveloped the sorceress like a sudden rainfall… and at the same second, Vallista’s forehead began to burn with sudden agony. For a brief second, the half-dragon succubus was cloaked in obstructing smoke and luminescence… and then that efflorescence dimmed, revealing the change underneath.

Vallista’s already broadened eyes and mouth further rounded into perfected spheres of shock… because before her stood not the dragonspawn sorceress but Vallista herself! The sorceress had somehow changed her form perfectly into the tiefling’s shape and image. “This will do,” she said with the voice Vallista currently didn’t have as she smirked mockingly back down towards the real Vallista. “Now you have fun, little sneak… We’ll be back for you before too long.”

Vallista screamed in protest as her doppelganger left the gatehouse through the window, crawling down to go meet her companions… and one more time, not a single sound left her throat. A long, vicious thrust into her guts punctuated Vallista’s bewilderment and horror with humiliated pain. She tried again… this time, Vallista longed to scream not for herself but to warn her friends. “That’s not me!” she wished to cry as the void swallowed her words. “It’s an imposter! It’s the dragonspawn! It’s…”

Dread and despair subsumed the sodomized tiefling as the orc came. The greenskins’ orgasm only intensified her woes. Plunging balls deep into her crapchute, he unloaded a barrage of rape slime into her with as much ferocity as any of his predecessors. Vallista’s tail stiffened with pain as the tacky seed sluiced through her brutalized bowels, but this monster was so sex-mad he kept pumping even while unloading seed. “It’s an imposter!” she tried to scream. “It’s a trap! A TRAP! IT’S A TRICK!” Vallista screamed… but no one heard the voice inside her head.

Inside the gatehouse, the chains kept cranking as the drawbridge was slowly lowered outside. This constant noise easily masked the soft sounds of Vallista’s mute gangrape… and outside, the dragonspawn succubus went to meet her unexpecting companions.


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