New entry for the poll driven story “The Fall of Almerry Keep”

The new entry below the break begins the fourth and final part of this series. For a short time you will be able to find the third part HERE, but once we get another entry or two in it will be taken down and published as an ebook.

This is a shorter entry (less than 3,000 words) and mostly works to set up things in the keep and the Great Corrupted Forest. There are three polls at the end with some explanation on how the story will be structured going forward.

The Great Corrupted Forest

“Dunla Dhuarcain, you ruin things.” The words ran through Dunla’s mind day and night. She dreamed about the words and thought she heard them whispered to her constantly when she was awake.

The only time the words didn’t haunt her was when she had the Mirror Sword in her hands. She told herself that was why she always kept it as close as she could. When not hung from her belt she would keep it within arm’s reach or resting in her lap and whenever possible kept a rand resting on the handle.

It wasn’t just that it brought her a sense of peace, it was how the others in Almerry Keep reacted to the sight of it. Nearly all of them were in awe of her and her Mirror Sword. She was the naive girl, daughter of a great line of warriors who had always been a bit of a disappointment as she trained. A tall freckle-covered girl with long orange-red hair and pretty looks who was being trained to lead but always seemed not to have quite earned the faith her trainers put in her.

Then one of the girls training with her to become a warrior of the Sisterhood of Righteousness, a Blood Elve named Amoera, had disappeared. And not long after her two more of the young Sisterhood members training in the keep had disappeared as well. Dunla had led four of her other young friends into the enchanted forest where the powerful being known as the Forest Witch lived.

They’d gone to kill the witch and save Amoera. But Amoera hadn’t needed or wanted saving. And now she was gone and so were all of Dunla’s friends. She’d been the only one that had returned from the forest. She’d completed half her quest: she’d killed the Forest Witch. But it had come at a cost. All her friends had been lost and she’d been changed. The witch had forced her to discover and admit things about herself, about her lust for women and how greedy her sexual needs were now that she’d accepted them.

She’d also learned that everyone at the keep was doomed. The Corruption is coming for us all, she thought darkly as she prepared to join the other senior staff at the keep’s morning war council. I’ve told them nearly everything I learned about what is coming for us and they just won’t listen. It’s not that they don’t believe me, they just think they are strong enough to take on The Corruption and its servants.

She looked at herself in the mirror, straightening her new clothes and pulling the low-cut neckline of her shirt down a little more. She liked how much of her freckled chest the outfit showed off. It made her feel much more grown-up than the clothing she’d had to wear as a Sisterhood soldier in training.

Dunla was tempted to grab her small breasts and try to push them up, but she’d already seen there was no point. They were too small for that. Even with a tight corset pushing them up she’d have little cleavage to display. Still, she enjoyed seeing so much of her skin on open display. It made her feel confident and sexy. More importantly, it allowed her to notice how many of the other women in the keep looked at her exposed chest.

They look at me like a woman now, she thought happily. Not a girl in training. An equal and for those of them that like women the way I do they look at me with lust in their eyes. Maybe that lust wouldn’t be there if they didn’t think I was powerful and important now, but what does it matter? I’ll never tire of being looked at that way.

She had no idea how long any of them had left. The doom coming for them all could be coming in days or years. Regardless of how much time they had left Dunla planned on making the most of it. In the keep she was surrounded by beautiful women, nearly all of them highly trained warriors in some way. All of them feeling the stress of the times they were living through, all needing some release. She planned on helping as many as she could find a bit of that release.

The Sisterhood doesn’t frown on woman on woman love the way they do with sexual passion involving men. I don’t even have to be sneaky about my intentions, although I can’t flaunt them too openly. And these new women who have arrived with the army are even MORE open about their sexuality than those who were already stationed at the keep. It would be an exciting time if there wasn’t such a cloud of doom hanging over us all.

After a final straightening of the orange-red hair that hung down her back nearly to her butt, Dunla decided she couldn’t put off leaving to attend the war council any longer. She grabbed the Mirror Sword and hung it from the scabbard on her belt and opened her door.

“Good morning, Dunla.”

Dunla screamed, jumping back and moving to draw her sword.

The woman who had been standing on the other side of her door waiting for her threw her arms up and laughed. “I’m so sorry for startling you, dear girl!”

“Commander Eldenbrow,” Dunla sighed, sliding the Mirror Sword back into the scabbard. “I’m sorry. I didn’t expect… How long were you waiting there?”

“Not long,” the beautiful, curvaceous Elven woman replied. “I wanted to have a private word with you before we start the meeting today. Would you mind walking and talking with me?”

“Of course not,” Dunla told the woman as she closed the door to her bedroom. Taller than the Elven woman, Dunla chose to stand a bit further away from her than she normally would so it would feel less like she was looming over her commander. “What did you need to speak to me about?”

As a Silver Elve, Amaleen Eldenbrow had some of the purest Elven blood of any race in Alaria and along with that came natural power most couldn’t fully understand. Even the weakest of the thick-bodied, silver-haired Elven women could wield magic and powerful artifacts with the ease a child used when swinging a stick. Things others could spend whole lives mastering came naturally to them.

But with that great power came the expectation of taking on great responsibility. Every Silver Elve in the Sisterhood of Righteousness served an important and prestigious role. Amaleen was no different. She was incredibly young for one of her race, considered to be barely of age by their standards, but she had already been given the command of an entire keep.

That position was now in question. As more of the young women in training had disappeared she’d called for help. Her mother had responded, marching an army of the Sisterhood to her aid. Along with her the woman had brought the twins, the Sisterhood’s greatest ice and fire Battlemages.

They’d been responsible for the destruction of the Forest Witch’s enchanted woods and were now stationed at the keep, preparing to assault the Great Corrupted Forest. Although Amaleen was still nominally in charge of Almerry Keep her mother and the twins had supplanted nearly all her authority.

“This meeting this morning is going to be rough,” she told Dunla. “My mother and the twins are ready to push to begin the assault on the forest. I have a feeling they will settle on a smaller advance force to scout it out, but…”

Dunla grimaced, understanding what she was saying. She knew they would push for Dunla to join whatever force was sent out, even if it was just a scouting party. She heard the voice of the Forest Witch in her mind, the warning she’d given just before she’d allowed Dunla to kill her. “And Remember, Dunla Dhuarcain, if you want me to be able to save you in the end you must remain at the keep.”

“They will want me to come with them, won’t they Commander Eldenbrow?”

“Yes,” the Silver Elve said. “But please, call me Amaleen now. You’re not an initiate anymore.” She reached out and put a hand on the girl’s arm. “I’d like to think we’re equals now. Perhaps your even my superior, you’ve at least accomplished something.”

Dunla bit her lip and side-eyed the woman. She thrilled at the feel of her hand on her arm. She’s so fucking beautiful, Dunla thought. Elven perfection in every way along with a deliciously thick body. And those tits! So big they almost seem they shouldn’t exist. Gods the things I’d like to do to her…

Stop it! Stop thinking with your cunt and listen to the woman. She’s upset. She’s jealous, too. Her mother has barely had a kind word to say to her while she’s doted on me endlessly. How she’s managed to remain so kind to me I’ll never understand.

“Killing the Forest Witch wasn’t the great heroic deed everyone thinks it was,” Dunla said sadly. “Your mother makes it something it isn’t. I’m sorry that she… I don’t know. I’m just sorry. My mother expected great things from me, too. I understand what that pressure feels like and what it feels like to be a disappointment.”

They were passing a dark corridor that led to an unused room. On impulse, Dunla grabbed Amaleen’s hand and pulled her into the corridor out of sight of anyone that might pass by. “I know what it’s like to feel alone,” she told her, grabbing her shoulders and slamming her into the wall. “And I know what it’s like to not want to admit certain feelings you have for others.” She held her to the wall, staring into her eyes and searching for evidence she was right.

Of course I am. The woman has been finding reasons to be alone with me for weeks now. She touches me every chance she can. She confides in me. She wants me. I can see it but can she?

Amaleen’s chest heaved as she breathed heavily in panic, staring into Dunla’s eyes. “This isn’t why I needed to talk to you this morning,” she said in breathy tones.

“But this IS something you’d like to ‘talk’ to me about, isn’t it Amaleen?” Dunla knew what she was doing had a bit of madness in it. She had her commander pinned to a wall and was aggressively making a pass at her. It was reckless but she didn’t care, she was growing desperate for sexual release with another and thinking about anything else grew harder by the day.

“Yes,” the woman whispered, her pretty cheek flushing. “But not now.”

“When?” Dunla demanded, the reckless desire in her still in control. “I’m not letting go of you till you tell me when.”

“Ask me again after the council meeting,” she said. “If you’re still here.”

Dunla let go of her shoulders, the confident aggressive woman she’d been melting away. “Right,” she said, stepping back. “That’s what you wanted to talk to me about.”

“My mother is not just going to want you to go with whoever they send out, she’s going to demand it.”

“And you know I won’t leave the keep.”

“Yes. And I don’t WANT you to leave the keep. I don’t know if I believe everything you told me about what happened to you in the witch’s forest, but I DO believe you are meant to be here. Riowondail believes so too.”

Riowondail was the keep’s resident seer, a strange small woman who was blind and saw through her “second sight” in a way that allowed her to function as though her eyes worked. She unsettled most in the keep, Dunla included, but had been oddly supportive of Dunla in their meetings no matter what position she took.

“You’re the commander here,” Dunla told Amaleen as they returned to the hall. “Tell her she can’t have me. Would she override your authority like that in front of everyone?”

“I don’t think she would,” Amaleen told her. “But I wanted to check with you first. She may not be so fond of you after you refuse her. I wanted to make sure you understood and wanted to be here.”

With you? Of course, Dunla thought. With you and those huge fucking tits of yours. With all the other sexy women manning the keep. Here safe behind the walls to enjoy life a bit longer before whatever is out there comes for us all.

“I want to be here,” Dunla said firmly. “And I’ll follow your lead in the council and support whatever you have to say. I don’t think I deserve a place there but since I have it and most of them value my opinion I’ll use that influence.”

And you’ll remember I had your back, something I’ll be sure to remind you of the next time I have you backed against a wall…

* * *

A heavy green haze hung about the Temple of Corruption that sat at the center of the Great Corrupted Forest. Shaped out of living trees and greenery, the domed structure was where the Gardner now spent most of her time. Naked and covered in obscene red tribal tattoos while wearing only an assortment of perverse charms, necklaces, and bracelets, the imposing woman knelt in the center of the temple, head bowed.

“I need guidance,” she said. Above her red wisps of twinkling light floated in the domed ceiling. They all began to lower and swirl around her. “Show me what needs to happen next,” she implored the forces she served.

When she opened her eyes she saw some of the wisps had begun swarming in a circle before her. The area between them glowed and shimmered, becoming a viewing portal. This was how The Corruption communicated with her, showing her images of things that could be, things it wanted her to make reality.

She saw Almerry Keep and the army of the Sisterhood stationed there. The sight made her smile. “The glorious fools rid me of the vexing Faun and her worrying little red-skinned pet. And now they will provide a test of what my stewardship over this forest has created.”

The image shifted. She saw a band of Sisterhood soldiers marching into her Great Corrupted Forest. She saw her perverse creations, the beasts and plant monsters she’d helped grow, taking the women down one by one. The image shifted again. She saw the Grumploc village full of the evil toad-like monsters with their beautiful menacing huge cocks. A group was arriving, dragging the Sisterhood troops she’d seen moments ago behind them. They were tossed at the feet of the King Grumploc who bellowed in joy at the arrival of new fuck-pets to use to breed his army.

“So the plans are unchanged?” she asked.

The image rippled and showed a vast, nearly empty black void. The face of a red-skinned, horned masculine god appeared, grinning evilly.

“Baedor,” the Gardner said, bowing in reverence to the God of Sexual Indulgence.

When she looked up the image had changed. It showed a young girl, perhaps no older than twenty. Tall and heavily freckled with long orange-red hair. She walked through the halls of Almerry Keep, a huge-titted Silver Elve beside her. Around them was an aura of energy the Gardner knew neither woman would be able to see, red and sparking angrily. It pressed in around the girl, unable to touch her but reaching out to touch others they passed and soaked into the Silver Elve.

“I don’t understand,” the Gardner said. “Is the girl another servant of The Corruption?”

The image shifted, showing twin Battlemages and another Silver Elve that looked nearly identical to the last she’d seen, only older and more confident. The image split, the twins in one part and the Silver Elve in the other. Both images were pulled out. The part with the twins showed the Great Corrupted Forest while the part with the Silver Elve showed the Almerry Keep.

“I understand. I will be responsible for taking care of the twins here in the forest.”

The image shifted again, showing the King Grumploc leading an army of his monsters to the keep. She saw quick flashes of a battle, of the monsters making their way into the keep and fucking the women hiding there. She saw the two Silver Elves and women she assumed were the senior staff fleeing and baring themselves in a room. She saw them turn and scream when they saw that Baedor, God of Sexual Indulgence was waiting for them. He grinned as his massive godly cock swelled before the image disappeared.

She’d seen enough to know what was expected of her. What she hadn’t seen in the end was the freckled girl. Where is she supposed to be when the keep falls? And who is she, how does she play into all of this? The Gardner didn’t know but she intended to find out…

Like the last story, I know where I want this to end (which was partially teased in the entry). But there’s a lot I want to happen between now and then and I’m in no rush to get there, in fact I think it would be nice if this one ended up a lot longer than the last two parts.

Going forward the narrative is going to be broken up into three plot lines/point of view characters and will switch between them. Dunla will remain the focus of one and the things she does will tie into the other two but will remain its own thing. One will center on something in the Great Corrupted Forest, eventually building up to the twins heading into it and being defeated (but I am in no rush to get there). The final plot line will be something in the keep that will center on a point of view character that is NOT Dunla and shows that the keep and the women in it are already falling to the Corruption.

At the war council it will be decided that a small but very skilled scouting party is to be sent to the Great Corrupted Forest to scout it out. This party will NOT include the twins or the Amaleen’s mother. Instead it will consist of new characters designed to be thrown away as they are picked off one or two at a time.

What happens first to this scouting party? (Choose up to 7 options from this poll)

What happens with Dunla? (Choose up to 3 options from this poll)

What happens in the castle? (Choose up to 5 options from this poll)

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