The crimson pirate and company found themselves stripped naked, severely beaten, and locked in chains in the baron’s cellar. With them, just as beaten, just as chained, was the girl they had come to rescue. The chains were mounted to the wall above them and they each stood with their arms uncomfortably held above their heads.
“Well, that did not work out the way I had hoped. You boys OK?” Kasa asked while taking in the room. It was a small, dirty cellar that smelled of mold and rot. There was a single wooden door with a small barred window, and a single glow stone in a lantern hanging above them, casting the room in a dreary greenish light.
“Not the first beating I have had to endure. Elenoren’s going to be pissed though.”
“What? She doesn’t like being handled by other men?” Kasa said jokingly.
“No, she doesn’t, actually. I’ve seen her freeze a guy’s hand solid once.”
“So, how are we going to get out of here?”
“I have an idea, but I’m not sure how comfortable you all will feel about it,” Kasa said with narrowed eyes and a sly smile.
“I know that look…” sighed Broen.
“Excuse me, guard,” Kasa said in her most seductive voice. The guardsman did not respond. Kasa tried again. “Oh please, good sir, I need your aid!”
The guard’s chubby face appeared in the window, “What in the shadowed realm do you want?” he asked, annoyance in his voice.
Kasa breathed heavily, arching her back to cause her breasts to perk. Even with blood and dark bruises marring her form, Kasa was still quite beautiful, and no man nor woman could resist her succubus charms. She ran her tail up between her legs and slid it slowly down her torso. Her glowing, silver eyes screamed to come hither and she bit her lower lip, pleading with him. “I need your help. I’ve got an itch,” she said as she slowly brought her tail to a halt right between her thighs, “right here that I…I just can’t scratch myself…”
The bulbous guard went slack-jawed, and his eyes glazed over with eager desire. “I--I--I could take care of that for you,” he said while hastily unlocking the door. The guard was portly, suffering from a few too many ales and beers. He entered the room, fumbling at his belt, loosening it as he drew nearer. The others in the room remained silent with their heads bowed. The girl wilted against the wall trying to become one with the stone. The guardsman dropped his pants, his member erect with sheer excitement.
Kasa smiled a warm, wanting smile and beckoned the guard closer with her tail. The portly guard lumbered forward, lifting the red pirate’s legs, and without hesitation thrust himself into her. Kasa sighed with pleasure; being who she was she could not help but enjoy herself, even if he smelled as if he had not bathed in a week. Breathing heavily, she took the guard into a deep kiss. The guard reacted in kind and vigorously thrust himself into her, panting almost immediately like an old hound. Kasa winked at Broen and Kritis over the guard’s shoulder and let out cries of pleasure. While she did, her tail, seemingly moving on its own, removed the guard’s keys from his belt on the floor.
While moaning in satisfaction, she tossed the keys to the nimble fingers of Broen. Broen quickly began jamming keys into his shackles, one by one. Kasa tightened her legs around the waist of the guard, encouraging him to go deeper, faster, kissing him hungrily, and moaning loudly to prevent him from noticing the others being set free. The guard's climax was hard and sudden, and he tremored visibly. The impact scraped Kasa’s back against the stone bricks of the cellar wall, and she could feel blood trickle down her skin. Kasa’s eyes narrowed and changed from silver to red. She took a long, deep breath, and the guard’s form went limp. Kasa unlocked her legs, and the portly guardsman crumpled to the floor.
Kasa closed her eyes and then opened them again. They blazed bright silver again, and as she exhaled with a pleased whimper, she could feel her wounds closing. Kritis kneeled down to check on the guard while Broen hung from a chain to Kasa’s right unlocking her from her bonds.
“He’s dead. What did you do to him?” Kritis asked, looking up at Kasa to see her bruises and abrasions fade.
“Do you remember the comment you made earlier about me sucking the life out of you?”
“Yeah,” he said.
“Well, think about that a minute.”
Kritis paused, and a moment later, his eyes went wide. Kasa knelt down next to him, giving the stunned swordsman a wink, and found the guard’s handkerchief. She used the cloth to wipe herself clean; her skin tingled at the touch. She felt fantastic; rarely did she actually take someone’s life force, and she’d forgotten how intense it was. Kritis shook his head and took the guardsman’s mace and dagger. He handed the dagger to Broen as the mite came over to them.
“Lo’ Threa, you will sleep with anyone, won’t you?” the mite asked.
“It is my nature.”
Broen nodded in understanding.
“Our gear has to be nearby,” Kritis declared.
“How do you know?” Broen asked.
“I can sense Elenoren.”
“You two go see about our gear. I’ll take care of the girl. See if you can find her some clothes,” Kasa told them.
Broen and Kritis nodded and cautiously crept out of the room, stolen weapons at the ready. Kasa looked over to see that the girl had crawled into a corner during the exchange and was covering her head with her arms. She was trembling, and Kasa could hear her quiet sobs. The girl appeared to be a half-elf with olive-colored skin and auburn-colored hair. She had dark bruises all over her body, a swollen eye, and scars from manacles at her wrists and ankles.She was small, just over four feet tall, and Kasa could feel herself towering over her.
The red pirate felt a pain in her chest for the girl and a fury to match it. Kasa took a calming breath and knelt down in front of the girl, making herself as small as she could, just within arm’s reach. “Hey,” she said in a calm, quiet voice.
The traumatized young girl looked up at Kasa, visibly shaking. The young girl’s eyes went wide and she frantically shuffled way and tried to meld with the wall.
“Hey, hey, it’s OK,” Kasa said reassuringly. “I know... Red skin, glowing eyes, devil horns, kind of scary, right? Hey, I’m just another girl just like you.”
Kasa gingerly reached out a hand to brush away hair from the frightened girl’s face. As she did, her knuckles gently brushed against the girl's tear-stained cheek. “It’s OK,” she whispered, and as she did the fear slowly faded from the girl's eyes and was replaced with a longing. “There, see, you feel better now.”
“Yes, thank you,” the girl said timidly.
“Good. What’s your name?”
“Good, good. According to my tall dark friend, your father, Reginald Landis, sent us to rescue you.”
The girl’s eyes lit up with sudden hope. “Papa!”
“Yes, your papa. So, I’m gonna need you to pull it all together and work with us to get you out of here. OK?”
“OK, I can do that.”
Kritis and Broen returned to the room with their gear in hand. “Any trouble?” Kasa asked.
“There were two more guards,” Broen answered.
Kasa nodded as she took her things from Kritis and they all began to get dressed. Kritis handed Kasa a tunic and a belt for Faela.
“Faela, this is Kritis and Broen. I trust both of them with my life. I will need you to trust them too.”
“OK…” the battered, traumatized girl agreed distantly.
“OK, we have two options: we can try to sneak out of here, get to a beach, and then signal Devil’s Reaper, or we can try to reach the roof and signal them from there,” Kritis said, buckling Elenoren to his hip.
“The roof is faster, but none of us know the way there,” Kasa said, buttoning up her vest.
“Umm... I know the way,” Faela said timidly. “That bastard Baron Hedars took me there my first night here. He said it was to show me the view of his island. That was the first place he raped me.” Tears started to well up in Faela’s eyes.
The fire grew hotter to the point of boiling within Kasa. She turned to Kritis to ask, “Did you happen to pass any bottles of spirits out there?”
“I feel the need to burn this place to the ground,” she said, taking Faela by the hand and drawing Dragon’s Breath with the other. The room grew bright as the enchanted sword blazed to life.
“The roof then?” Kritis asked with a smile.
“The roof... and we will cut down every poor bastard that gets in our way.”
Both Kritis and Broen smiled, and Elenoren’s sweet laughter filled the air. “Love, I just remembered why I secretly like the devil slut.”
“Elen please, she has a name.”
“It’s OK, Kritis, the blade whore and I have an understanding. Now, let’s go start a really big bonfire.”
Kritis led Kasa and the others into the wine cellar around the corner.
“Broen, I want you and Faela to grab as many of these bottles as you can. While Kritis and I fight the guards, I want you two to douse everything you can in the spirits. I’ll sweep by in my passes and set them ablaze.”
“Aye, aye, Lo’ Threa,” Broen said with a nod and a firm look on his cherubic face.
“Kasa, why does he call you that?” Kritis asked.
“It is the name his-- No, our people gave me. It means ‘lust demon.’”
Elenoren broke out into laughter. “No words have ever been truer.”
“You are what you are, am I right?” Kritis said.
Kasa only smiled and started handing fifty-year-old bottles of alcohol to Broen. They moved quickly and before long were making their way violently up the stairs. The baron’s guards died in rapid succession as they futilely threw themselves against the masterful blade skills of Kasa and Kritis. The fires did not take long to grow as they fought directly to their destination.
The small company charged their way up the halls to the staircase that led to the roof, only slowing to set another fire as they went. They hurried down the hallway toward the exit and as they did, more guards fell to the blades of Kritis and Kasa. Their advance came to a halt when they found the baron and a small retinue of guards standing before the door to the roof. The small-statured baron began shouting at them, madness in his eyes.
“You bastards! What have you done? How dare you torch my home? You will die! DIE!” he shouted, froth foaming at the corners of his mouth. Turning to his guards, he ordered, “Kill them!”
Kasa sheathed Widowmaker and Blood Biter as Kritis, with Elenoren resting in a low guard, stepped forward. Broen started to step up too, but Kasa put a hand on his shoulder. “Let him work,” she told him.
The hallway was not terribly wide, especially for swinging swords. The guardsmen attacked him in pairs. The first pair charged forth, each with descending blows, in response Kritis swiftly stepped to the right outside the range of both attacks while bringing Elenoren’s frost-covered blade up in an ascending arc. Elenoren’s dark blade connected with the first guard’s armored wrists and, without much effort from Kritis, parted the man’s left hand from his arm. Blood spewed forth in a crimson arc and was accompanied with the man’s scream of agony and pain.
Kritis rapidly brought Elenoren back down, cleaving through the wounded man’s skull, silencing him and ending his suffering. The other guard, shocked by the attack, swung wildly at Kritis' head, but the swordsman brought his blade up quickly, deflecting the strikes with relative ease. Kritis rapidly swung Elenoren's black blade down, slicing through the guard’s chainmail like it was paper. The next two guards charged forward over their fallen allies. Elenoren’s voice came out clearly across the din of battle in a rapid-paced song.
Kritis moved lightly on his feet and parried the incoming attacks with the same ease as he had done with the previous guardsmen. He parried one strike high and followed through with a thrust. The blade pierced the through guard’s eye with a spray of blood. With a straight kick, Kritis dislodged the mortally wounded man, sending him into the path of the second attacker. The second guard attempted to evade his flailing ally to no avail and became entangled with him. Without any loss of motion, Kritis followed through with another thrust that pierced through both men.
The fifth and final guard, after seeing how quickly and easily his comrades had been slain, dropped his weapon. “Screw this, this bastard ain’t worth my life.”
“What are you doing?” the baron screamed. “I said kil--”, he tried to say before his voice cut off as one of Blood Biter’s poisoned bolts struck the vile man in the Adam’s apple.
“Nice shot!” Kasa said, taking Blood Biter back from Faela. “Feel better?”
The trembling girl nodded her head. “Yes, yes I do.”
Kritis looked back at the two women, surprise on his face. Kasa smiled at him warmly before asking, “Shall we?”
The group rushed over the choking body of the soon-to-be-late Baron Hedars. Both Kasa and Faela took a brief moment to spit on the man as they passed. On the roof, Kasa tossed up the potion containing a light spell and fired one of Blood Biter’s bolts, shattering glass and illuminating the night with a brilliant white light. A moment later, Devil’s Reaper’s massive hull hovered overhead. The crew threw down a rope ladder, and the group ascended to the ship.
Once all were on board, Kasa shouted orders: “Des, get us out of here. Head southeast toward Grinda, we’ll loop back around to Darren Var.”
“Aye, aye,” Des confirmed, stirring the vessel in the requested direction.
Kasa took Faela by the hand and guided her to her quarters. “This is not a leisure or passenger vessel. The only independent room is my own. You will stay here until we are able to reunite you with your father.”
“Thank--thank you.” Faela managed to say, almost abashed. “You could… join me…”
Kasa smiled. “No, girly, you have been through enough. Rest well.” Kasa opened her door and then closed it behind the scared and traumatized girl. She returned to Kritis and Broen who were standing by the railing with Kleine.
“What happened down there, Captain?” her half-elf first mate asked.
Kasa looked at the fire burning on the tiny island in the distance. She stared for a moment and imagined it was Winston that had just fallen, not some random baron of no importance. She shook her head and turned to her first mate, and with a fanged smile, she said, “Vengeance.”
Kritis and Broen nodded in agreement. The four of them stared for a moment more before Kasa barked a few more orders and the crew went into motion preparing the ship for the evening. Kasa walked up to the wheel and relieved Des while Kritis and Broen descended below for both food and some well-deserved rest. Kleine joined Kasa after nearly all of the crew had gone below deck.
“What really happened? You seem… energized. I mean, I can feel the energy radiating off of you.”
“Our host was kind enough to provide a meal.”
“Captain… Did you… you know, feed?”
Kasa closed her eyes, feeling her bond with the ship, the wind sliding along the outer hull, the enchantments in the side sails, and the push of the updraft in the upper sails. She had explained her nature to Kleine once while Kleine was still recovering on the island. Most people assumed, due to their appearance, all half-devils were the same, that they were the results of a union of a mortal and a single type of devil. But Kasa had explained that while her appearance was the result of the union, there are different types of devils and each type comes with its own brand of goodies. In her case, her mother was a succubus, a devil that fed off of life energy through acts of lust. Kasa opened her glowing eyes and looked down at her knowing first mate. “Yes, I fed.”
“Are... you OK?”Kleine asked, concerned.
“Physically I’m fantastic, but feeding has two sides to it.”
“Oh?” Kleine asked with a raised eyebrow.
“There is a reason I don’t do it regularly.” Kasa closed her eyes again. “It’s….addictive.”
The two of them stood in silence as the ship sliced through the night sky as easily as Elenoren’s black blade sliced through flesh and bone. Kasa broke the quiet some time later. “You should go see to your husband. He took a few rough blows down there, and not just to his body either.” Kleine nodded, and with no argument about the arrangement, she left Kasa alone in the night.
Kasa stared at the sky before her and smiled. She had full crew, a mighty vessel, and the best damn swordsman in the world. “Winston, prepare yourself. I’m coming and I shall not relent until you have tasted Widowmaker’s kiss.”