The heart of the eternal

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Sins of the past

Crossing the mountains in winter was not safe and Bagir hadn’t expected it to be an easy task, but he had to do it none the less. The valleys were snow covered now and the passes were probably not open at all. He would have to find his way through the maze of low valleys and he feared that he would be held back by the weather and the snow. This winter seemed to be one with little snow and still that meant several feet of it even on even ground. He had two good horses and switched between them but even with their help he didn’t manage more than ten miles a day, at the most. He had to find places to rest for the night and he had to find food for the horses too. Luckily he had money now and could buy hay and a shelter but there weren’t that many settlements on this side of the mountains. It was in the rain shade of the large mountain range and here the valleys were not suitable for farming. Some sheep herders did live here but they were few and far apart and he also knew that some small communities lived there and they made a living from hunting and gathering. Some of the species of animal which lived in there had very valuable fur and he had seen the price which were set for those pelts. It was nearly enough to buy a good horse.

Bagir had been riding for almost two weeks and he had managed to get through the worst part of the journey, or rather, what used to be the worst part. Now the valleys were tilting towards the east and there ought to be little snow there but he found that this was wrong. There were huge drifts of snow and it was heavy and wet. This wasn’t normal and he realized that the journey would be even harder than he had anticipated. He got stuck several times and had to turn around to look for alternative routes and one dark evening he found himself in a small village of hunters placed close to a very steep mountainside. The rocks did loom over the few huts and he realized that they had placed the village there on purpose. The huge cliff did allow avalanches to pass over them and thus the place was safe, although it didn’t look that way at all.

He was welcomed by the inhabitants who were shocked to receive visitors at this time of the year, it could be months upon months when they didn’t see any strangers at all and any news from the outer valleys were more than appreciated. He did tell as much as he could, there weren’t that much which happened from year to year but he could at least share some information and it was welcome. The village consisted of just three families and they were poor but had what they needed to make a living there. He knew that a storm was coming and it would be bad so he was glad he had found some shelter there. The leader of the small clan was a man well into his sixties, he was bent and worn and his left arm was amputated below his elbow, terrible scars did mar his face and Bagir did realize that this one had seen war. The injuries weren’t the type you get in an accident for sure.

As the night fell the men gathered around the hearth and the old man chewed on some local roots and spat into the flames. The juices coloured the spit red and they did also have a soothing effect. Bagir didn’t like those roots for they were very bitter and you became dependent upon them after a while but many used them in the high valleys, to stave off hunger and the weariness of long hard days. The old man’s name was Hayas and he was the father and grandfather of most of the people gathered there, he had five sons and two daughters and they were all there with their spouses and kids. Bagir had lost count of the children for they did all look pretty much the same, dark hair and eyes and a sprite like temper and he knew that this was a very strong family for sure. They were closely knit and could survive even in this harsh environment.

Hayas did sigh. “You are travelling towards the plains? It is risky business in the best of years, this year it is almost suicidal. There has to be something really important compelling you to risk your life thus”

Bagir nodded. “It is, I have to reach the city of the twelve clans before some evil minded idiot does”

Hayas squinted, the smoke from the hearth made everybody’s eyes water. “An evil minded idiot?”

Bagir made a grimace. “Aye, a rapist and abuser of women, an oath breaker and evil doer. He was after the daughter of my best friend and when she got engaged to someone out there he went berserk and now he is on his way to avenge what he regards as an insult”

Hayas wetted his lips. “This evil doer, does he have a name?”

Bagir noticed the tense atmosphere within the room, some of the women were staring at him and he felt a bit nervous. “Yes, he is Mjorr”

One of the women there let out a piercing wail and Hayas closed his eyes for a moment, when he opened them they were blazing. “Two summers ago a group of hunters met a young man further west, they were travelling to trade some pelts and among them was one of my granddaughters. She was going with the hunters to seek the healer who lives by the lake of eternal ice. She had some problems with her…monthly curse, and the women here couldn’t help her at all”

Bagir felt that his face had turned stiff, like a piece of cardboard. “She was how old?”

Hayas nodded at the others there, they had gathered tightly. Many of the men did look absolutely furious and Bagir had already understood why. Hayas was almost growling. “Thirteen. She matured faster than normal for some reason, most women here doesn’t start to bleed until they are at least seventeen but she got her curses when she was eleven, way way to young. Her mind was that of a child still”

Bagir held his breath, he had heard of such cases, a child trapped in the body of woman, not able to understand its implications. “He raped her”

His voice was flat and Hayas nodded. “Yes, lured her away from the others with some excuse no adult would have fallen for, and had his way with her. “

Bagir swallowed. “I am so very sorry, he tried to do the same to my friends daughter, doesn’t take no for an answer that one. “

Hayas was staring into the embers of the hearth. “She died, he had made use of her…in manners no man is supposed to. She was torn apart and got an infection, nobody managed to save her.”

Bagir clenched his teeth together. “Then you know why I must get across the mountains at this time of the year, I have to warn my friends daughter that Mjorr is heading her way”

Hayas nodded and gestured towards one of the young men there, he could be in his early twenties and had a very gentle face with some odd tattoos along his cheekbones and above his eyebrows. The hair was very long and pitch black and he had filed his teeth too. It did look a bit alien and had to have been painful. “We understand, Igkhan here is poor Ubha’s brother, he swore to avenge her.”

Bagir stared at the young man, there was strength in his gaze, and determination. “You are entitled to your vengeance young one, I will not stand in your way”

Igkhan smiled, the sharp front teeth made him resemble a wild cat and now Bagir realized what the tattoos were about, they were an attempt at mimicking the markings a lynx has in its face. “I will follow you Bagir, you are a man of honour, and two travels faster than one. I know the mountains and I have been to the plains too. I can find the best path for sure”

Bagir had to smile. “I am very thankful, you are right, two is way better than one. These mountains are not safe for one man travelling alone”

Igkhan nodded slowly. “They are hardly safe for two neither but two sets of eyes do see better than one. We leave when the storm sets”

Bagir felt relieved, he had felt lonely and he kind of liked this young man, the mountain folk were hardy and tough and also, they knew how to fight. He sent the hunter a grin. “Wonderful, what weapons do you have?”

Igkhan tilted his head. “I am an archer and I am very good with long knives too.”

Hayas was chuckling. “Don’t listen to him, he is not very good, he is superb. And give him a slingshot and he can hit anything. We use metal balls you see, they kill the hares but won’t pierce the skin and damage the hide”

Bagir got curious. “Metal balls?”

Hayas nodded. “Oh yes, let me see here”

He rummaged through his pockets and found a shiny ball the size of a large marble, it was so smooth and even and Bagir had to gape. “It is perfect, but…where do you get them?”

The mountain folk were skilful and good with their hands but they were no smiths, there were no ore there and nobody knew how to dig for bog ore. Hayas was grinning widely, he was missing many teeth but still it did make him look very charming. Bagir understood how this man could have so many descendants. “A cave in the mountains north of here. I think the dwarves had a city here eons ago, and there were several chests left there with these balls. We take good care of them and don’t waste even one, they are precious for we have just so many but with a good slingshot they are better than arrows.”

Bagir stared at the ball, what in the name of every God did the dwarves use these balls for? They were made from good steel and valuable. Hayas did scratch his beard. “They say the dwarves used these under things which were heavy, to make them move easier. Like doors and stuff”

Bagir frowned. Ball bearings? He had heard of the technique but he had never seen it in use, the dwarves were for sure superior to any other race when it came to technology. Too bad they preferred to stay hidden and that they didn’t share their knowledge unless they absolutely had to. “That may very well be, they are smart”

Hayas nodded and hid the ball again. “We have not seen any dwarfs here for centuries, but we are glad they left the balls behind, they are very useful.”

Bagir turned to Igkhan. “How much time do we need to get to the plains?”

The young hunter sort of frowned. “Hard to tell, three weeks I think, if we are lucky. There are dangers we have to be very aware of”

Bagir pulled his cloak tighter around himself. “Like?”

Igkhan shrugged. “Orcs? There has been some increased activity among the orcs of late, some tribes are hostile and something is happening for sure”

Hayas nodded solemnly. “Yes, they are upset for some reason, more aggressive than before.”

Bagir had never met an orc before and knew that they were normally very aggressive but honest, and they followed a very strict code of conduct. “What could cause that?”

Hayas sighed. “Rumours say that one of their leaders are dead, it had shattered the balance of power within the tribes. Now every male will want to rise in rank and that means that the peace will be disturbed.”

Bagir felt a bit nervous. “Do we have to worry?”

Igkhan shook his head. “No, not really. We are just two humans and not worth bothering with, if we avoid getting involved in any battles we should be okay. They doesn’t see us humans as worthy opponents and will avoid us. They think humans are weak and that it is contagious”

Bagir had to scoff. “Really?”

Hayas nodded with a wry smirk. “Oh yes, orcs are all about strength you know, and courage. Weak babies are killed at birth, and they won’t take care of a wounded warrior if he didn’t fight bravely. It is barbaric in our eyes but I understand them. They live in areas where weakness means death, it has to be that way or they will all die. “

Bagir sighed. “Yes, I do understand.”

Hayas patted him on the back. “But worry not, for now you are safe here and we would love to hear the tales of the lower valleys. The women will bring us some ale soon and there will be food too, we don’t have much but we love to share”

Bagir bowed his head. “I am very grateful my friend”

Hayas smiled. “If you can show my grandson here to vengeance we owe you. No, don’t worry. A new face is welcome and your tales will be worth way more than some ale and meat”

Bagir felt grateful, these people had very little and yet they shared whatever they had with others. He found a better position on the rugs and prepared to tell some of the long tales he had grown up with, he knew that they were unknown to these people.

The descent to the plains was tough, way worse than Wenja had anticipated. She had sort of imagined that the valleys and the mountains were sloping gently towards the plains and that it wasn’t at all very steep down to where the mountain range met the huge plain. She was wrong. The valleys did end up high in the mountainsides and she had seen valleys like that before, her father had called them hanging valleys and it looked as if the mountain area had been pushed up sometime long ago by a giant hand and rivers which had been flowing onto the plains did now form huge waterfalls before they reached their old riverbed. She knew why the tunnel was needed now, it was way safer than the other paths. Rhawan told of roads and paths so steep that people had to tie themselves to strong ropes before they tried to enter and the path they had used to enter the mountains so much further south had been rather steep too. The wagons had been purchased on the other side of the step as this area was called. Now they could bring everything with them to Ohtanar and that was good, it had been expensive. The tunnel was slippery and on the last leg of the trip they attached some horses also to the back of each wagon, just to help breaking the wagons down.

The zhahar was running around and looked excited and Wenja realized that it knew where they were heading. It did make the odd animal excited for some reason. Prina was very scared and had to be comforted by Theka and Wenja did draw a huge sigh of relief when they finally reached the end of the tunnel. Here the ground was rather flat but the plains were not what she had expected them to be. She had never seen the horizon like that, so wide and so open and she suddenly felt exposed, why she didn’t know.

Sefa did giggle. “I know what you feel, it is normal. You will get used to it, don’t worry dear”

Wenja saw that the plains did consist of rolling hills and holts of forest and wide stretches of high grasses. It was pretty and here there were no snow at all, just ochre winter grass and the dull green colour of some conifers. The other trees were bare and she tried to imagine this land in the splendour of spring, it had to be wonderful. Rhawan did hum a very sweet tune as he rode along the line of wagons to check that everybody was alright and he did look happy. The horses were let lose to graze and the wagons were checked for damages, some wagon wheels had to be changed for they had been cracked by the strain and the guards were working to get the work done. They would rest there for the rest of this day and the night and Wenja was fascinated by the strangeness of this landscape. Flocks of birds did hover over the holts here and there and it was as if she felt a sort of melancholy from the land itself. Why she didn’t know. She raised her hand to give her eyes some shade as she tried to spot the mountains on the other side of the plains but she saw naught, just a slightly curved line where the skies met the earth. Sefa petted her on her shoulder. “Ah Wenja, I know what you are trying to do, but the other side of the plains is so far away, we can travel for months before you can see that area”

Wenja had to swallow, that far?

Rhawan sauntered by, he had a piece of dried meat in his hand and was gnawing at it with glee. “This land is where we belong Wenja, what we love and where our hearts lie. It is wonderful and I do look forwards to showing you its wonders.”

She nodded slowly, she could understand the freedom of this place for here nothing kept you trapped, or so it did seem at least. “Are the plains like this all over?”

He shook his head. “No, some places it is very flat, and boring. And there are lakes and rivers and areas with just gravel and some places with lots of small cliffs. You will learn about it as we go, I promise you”

Floth’bha and some of the others had gathered some braziers from the wagons and were heating them up and Mim was running around in a fit of panic, trying to find the ingredients for a gravy she wanted to try with the venison they were having for dinner.

Wenja suddenly felt very good, safe. This was no longer strangers but her friends and she realized that she didn’t miss her family quite that much any longer

But she couldn’t help thinking about them, would her sister have gotten any better by now? Weeks had passed by since she left and Ahnriel had said that there would be change although a slow one. She missed Sina and her father and everything really. But she felt that she had changed a lot already, she knew so much more now and had learned a lot. The night started to fall over the land and she had to stare at a sky filled with stars and they were so much brighter than she had ever seen them before and the sky itself so vast. She had to stare and blink and remembered how the mountains had shaded the skies, she had never seen most of these constellations before.

Sefa walked over with a cup of wine, she was smiling. “It is pretty yes?”

Wenja nodded and took the cup. “Yes, very. So, what is the occasion? Wine this late?”

Sefa cocked her head. “ No more tunnels, I don’t know about you but I don’t like the idea of travelling beneath the earth: I am a child of the plains, remember that”

Wenja sat down in the dry stiff grass, it was hard to believe that the horses found any nutrition in it but they did eat it with glee. “I know, so, is there something I have to be aware of here? I mean, like dangerous animals and things like that?”

Sefa sighed and sat down next to her. “Of course, there is danger everywhere, I bet you had some things you had to look out for back home too right?”

Wenja nodded and sipped at the wine, it was very sweet and good. “Yes, wolves and bears and snakes too, in the summer that is”

Sefa made a grimace. “There aren’t bears here on the plains, but wolves are a problem at times. They don’t attack people though, just horses. Snakes are not that uncommon but only one species of snake is dangerous. They hide in the sand and they are very large but rare, extremely so. I bet you’ll never encounter one of them, ever”

Wenja treasured the sweet aftertaste. “So, other things?”

Sefa leaned back. “Oh, yes. Well, there are some huge cats which can be pretty dangerous if you come across them while they have cubs or a fresh kill. And near the rivers there are these huge stocky animals which are stupid as a brick but very aggressive with huge jaws and teeth. They keep the rivers from getting overgrown with water grasses but they are very dangerous when annoyed and also unpredictable. We stay clear of them”

Wenja liked to hear about such things, new animals and plants. The world was so much larger than she had ever imagined and she took a deep breath and felt strangely relaxed and happy. “So, they are useless?”

Sefa scoffed. “Wenja, no creature is useless, they do a good job preventing floods and problems with the rivers. But their meat is inedible and stinks, they do have thick skin though, it makes excellent leather. And their teeth can be carved into all sorts of stuff, even small statues and cutlery and such”

Wenja tried to imagine such a beast and couldn’t, Sefa giggled. “A friend of mine has a toy made from such a tooth. It is very nice, and realistic”

Wenja frowned. “A toy?”

Somehow she understood that Sefa was talking about something very different from the toys the kids were using. “Yes, a very nice carved cock, just the right size for her too. She swears she wouldn’t have made it without that thing”

Wenja gasped and went beet red. She had a feeling that this had become a natural condition for her of lately. “Uh…”

Sefa petted her hand. “My friend is alone, not seeing anyone and she is a bit shy so she takes her joy where she can find it, and if you cannot get the real thing then a good dildo is the best substitute”

Wenja bit her lower lip and tried not to look too shocked. Rhawan came sauntering by and he was carrying a small bottle and was humming. He stopped and bowed his head politely. “So, you two ladies look very jolly, care to share what the mirth is about?”

Sefa cocked her head. “Oh we were just discussing my friend Etha’s ivory cock, Wenja have never heard of toys before”

Rhawan coughed, then he sprayed a thin mist of wine over his surroundings. “The God’s curse you woman, a small warning perhaps?”

Sefa shrugged. “Oh you know me Rhawan, no reason to hide the truth now is there. We all enjoy a good tumble and if there aren’t any males available then even I know how to deal with that”

Rhawan rolled his eyes. “Forgive me for not being too shocked by that piece of information, yes, I do know you Sefa”

She smiled widely and tilted her head. “Speaking of fun, are you alone tonight?”

Rhawan sighed and sat down, he raised an eyebrow. “As a matter of fact I am, Nefhriel is busy and Ahnriel…well, she isn’t available.”

Sefa got a hungry expression on her face. “Excellent, I was wondering if you could help me teach Wenja here a wee bit more?”

Rhawan did almost gape. “Ah, really, uh, what?”

Sefa did pout and pulled her knees up. “You do know how to use your tongue, way better than most?”

Rhawan let out a small gasp of air, he was blinking. “Seriously? Are you nuts woman?”

Sefa shook her head and Wenja frowned. “His tongue? I don’t understand?”

Rhawan was blinking, if he hadn’t had such dark almost black skin he would have been blushing intensely. “Uh…well….”

Sefa held up her hand and spread her fingers, then she put the hand to her mouth and let her tongue move back and forth between her two middle fingers, with a wicked grin. Rhawan turned away and moaned and Wenja got even more confused. “What?”

Sefa giggled and lifted and eyebrow in a very suggestive manner. “A finger is good, a cock is better but a tongue is the best, at least for starters that is”

Wenja suddenly realized what Sefa was talking about and her eyes got huge. “Ah oh Gods!”

Sefa nodded. “You usually say something in that manner yes, at least if he knows what he is doing, and Rhawan does”

Wenja was gaping and Rhawan was staring down into the ground. He was swallowing hard, over and over again. “Sefa, do you really want to do this?”

Sefa nodded. “Yes goddamn it, Ahravan sent me to teach her remember? And I am gonna do just that, don’t you agree with me when I say that he deserves a bride who is ready for him?”

Rhawan sighed, “Yes, he does. And she does too, she should go to him with joy, not fear.”

Sefa giggled again. “Then we have a deal, come to the wagon later when things get quiet. I will make sure that everything is ready”

Wenja stared at Sefa. “I am not so sure that…”

Sefa tilted her head, her eyes were stern. “You don’t think it is appropriate to watch right? Don’t worry, we don’t mind. You should see the huge spring feast which is held each time the great mother tree blooms. It is wild!”

Wenja frowned. “A spring feast?”

Sefa nodded. “There is a mother tree in every one of the sacred grooves and there are many of them, spread all over the plains. The trees don’t bloom every year though, some does bloom only once a century or even more rarely so it is a reason to celebrate when they do. The trees are sacred, arriving at a groove when a mother tree blooms is a very good sign indeed. “

Wenja saw that Rhawan got on his legs again and walked off, he did have a peculiar gait. “So, they have a feast?”

Sefa nodded. “Yes, with wine and song and dance and it is a rite of fertility involved in it too. It usually ends with everybody fucking like mad rabbits. I had just come of age when I participated in my first spring feast and I lost my maidenhood that night, I think I counted to seven when the night was over. “

Wenja blinked. “Uh seven what?”

Sefa rolled her eyes. “Seven males, I had had seven males in me that night, and I was limping for days afterwards but it had been amazing. I will never forget it!”

Wenja sort of coughed. “Oh gods, seven…I see”

Sefa turned towards her. “Listen, I have said it before and I will say it again, the twelve clans doesn’t view these sorts of things the way other does. If it brings joy it is a good thing, no questions asked. I was younger than you are now when I started enjoying these gifts and I have never looked back. As a matter of fact, a person who haven’t lost their virginity at the age of eighteen is seen as a very sad thing, and possibly flawed in some ways. They think it is a bad omen, that this person will remain alone and childless”

Wenja knew she was eighteen, she had to blush. “But…you don’t have any children do you?”

Sefa shook her head. “No, not yet. I want some but not yet, I am so active I will remain young for many years still and I have to find a male who is willing to put a bread in my oven”

Wenja stared at her friend. “Don’t you have to get married to have kids?!”

Her voice was a bit shocked and Sefa scoffed. “Heck no! Alright, the male I chose will have to help me raise the kid naturally but I don’t want to get tied up to one male, absolutely not. Why taste just one piece of meat when there is so much available? I want to taste it all, and believe me, I intend to”

Wenja swallowed. “I…see. Well, I intend to stay faithful, we don’t screw around where I am from”

Sefa sort of grinned, a very wicked smirk. “Oh and you will be for sure, just remember that a pair of sworn brother’s share everything”

Wenja glared at Sefa. “That doesn’t mean that they will share me”

Sefa leaned over on her elbow. “Oh but it will. Ahravan will be the one to take you first for sure but after that? When you are well and good broken inn? I bet there won’t be long before you have Rhawan in you too, as often as you like”

Wenja had to look away, she swallowed. “I…”

Sefa purred. “Oh come on girl, you like the idea right?”

Wenja had to lower her head in shame. “I..I sort of do, I know Rhawan, I don’t know Ahravan, yet”

Sefa caressed her arm. “See? Every woman of the clans will envy you, two gorgeous males to keep you satisfied in every conceivable manner and to take care of you. I am jealous already”

She sat up and sighed. “But there is one thing which makes me a bit worried though”

Wenja frowned . “What?”

Sefa grasped a straw of dry grass and started tearing it apart, one small piece at a time. “Prina, she is learning a lot and fast but she fails where you succeed. I haven’t managed to teach her anything about this sort of thing and I fear for her sanity when she reaches the camp. She is pretty Wenja, in fact she has become beautiful and the males will be all over her, wooing for her attention. She needs to change before that happens or she will lock herself up in a tent and never venture outside again”

Wenja sighed, Sefa was right, of course she was right. Prina did learn the languages and the customs much more easily than she did herself but she was shying away from everything which had anything to do with sex or males at all. It wasn’t just her background, it was the tragedy which had befallen her and Wenja doubted that Prina ever would be able to overcome the trauma. She doubted that Prina would allow a man to touch her again, ever. “You are right, but she is with child, she has to think about that first and foremost”

Sefa sighed. “Theka tells me that Prina still is ignoring that fact, she pretends as if she is alright, as if nothing of it ever happened and she refuses to acknowledge the fact that she is pregnant. This may end in a disaster”

Wenja bit her lower lip. “I pity her”

Sefa nodded. “So do we all dear, but she has to wake up and face the realities soon. This cannot continue much longer. Yes she was raped and yes, the rapist was her own brother but she has to think about her baby. It may be normal after all, we don’t know that yet and if Mjorr ever crosses our path again Ahravan will kill him”

Wenja closed her eyes. “When you said that the punishment for rape was death, did you mean it, the rest I mean?”

Sefa nodded. “Of course I meant it!”

Wenja cringed. “So someone will…do that to him?”

Sefa sent Wenja a very cold glance. “Most certainly, but it will not be a male, if he raped a girl then a woman will wear a sort of attachable cock and fuck him with it, and it will be made to cause agony and injury.”

Wenja got pale and Sefa almost sneered. “Usually it is one of the female shamans who does this, and yes, it has been done. It isn’t often mind you but we don’t show any mercy for such beasts”

Wenja swallowed hard, she felt the taste of bile in her mouth. “Have you seen it?”

Sefa nodded. “Once, when I was twelve. They caught an orc who had raped several women, he survived for most of the day, they heard his screams for miles away but in the end they strangled him. Then they threw the body in the river, it was well deserved”

Wenja realized that this people had very strict rules in spite of their seemingly carefree lifestyle. “So, what else can you get punished for?”

Sefa sort of grimaced. “Horse theft. If you steal a horse you have to pay the owner back twice the value of the horse, even if it is returned hale and healthy. If you don’t have any sort of wealth they will flog you, one strike for each Igh’ the horse is worth”

Wenja had learned that Igh’ was the sort of measurement of value out there. It wasn’t a physical thing but used to estimate wealth. A horse was worth fifty Igh’ if it was a common hack, a hundred if it was a good stallion. She had to cringe. “And what else?”

Sefa stretched her long legs. “If you kill someone you will be forced to leave the twelve clans forever and you are no longer protected by the Ath’ir and the laws. Anyone can kill you and nobody will punish them. A man who beats his wife or kids will be forced to leave for ten years, twice that many if there is permanent damage. A women who beats her husband or children will suffer the same punishment. Theft is punished with flogging, or a walk of shame”

Wenja frowned. “Walk of shame?”

Sefa nodded. “You will be stripped down to your skin, smeared with manure and have to walk around the camp four times while you call out the nature of your crime.”

Wenja had to scoff. “That sounds terrible”

Sefa nodded. “Yes, and we have very little crime, thanks to that. Our people follow the laws, and it is good that way”

Wenja had to agree. “But what are we to do about Prina?”

Sefa sighed and pulled her knees up, laid her arms around them. “I have no idea, Theka has agreed upon staying with her most of the time, and she is a wise old woman but I doubt that she will be able to get through to Prina”

Wenja bit her lower lip. “But the baby, it will be born, how will she react then?”

Sefa shrugged again and looked down. “That would be anybody’s guess, but children are greatly appreciated within the twelve clans. If she cannot take care of it someone else will adopt it beyond any doubt”

Wenja sort of frowned. “Really? Even if the parents were siblings?”

Sefa nodded. “It isn’t the kid’s fault, and like I said, the baby could be perfectly fine. Even kids with disabilities are taken very well care of”

Wenja remembered something and cringed, Sefa saw it. “What?”

Wenja sighed, a very deep sigh. “One of the women in the village had a baby two years ago, it wasn’t…right. They drowned it in a water barrel, said it was a demon”

Sefa gasped. “Oh Gods, nobody would do that to a child here, even if the baby was born malformed. The gods decide when to call someone back to them, humans shouldn’t interfere with that”

Wenja managed to smile, she remembered all the tales she had heard from Sigunn and Sina, and realized that the people she would become a part of were way more welcoming and understanding than her own. Sefa did pat her knee. “We can just pray that Prina does get over it, eventually. She will live a very lonely life is she doesn’t.”

Wenja nodded slowly, Prina had been very lonely before too but here, among such free and open minded people she would be an outcast if she didn’t thaw up a lot. What could be done about that?

Sefa got up and brushed some grass from her dress, she sent Wenja a grin. “And now, off for a quick wash before bedtime. “

Wenja did make a grimace. She remembered the things Sefa had said to Rhawan. She got up and felt a bit nervous. “Do you really mean to go through with what you suggested?”

Sefa nodded. “Heck yes, you do need to learn Wenja, there is so much more to this than just fucking, you will see”

She gathered her skirts and walked off towards the wagons with her head held high and Wenja in tow. Wenja felt embarrassed, she remembered the situation in the tunnel and she remembered what they had said about Rhawan, that he had fallen for her. It felt…it was exciting in a way but also a bit worrisome. And now this, well, Sefa had probably her orders and Wenja was curious, she had to admit that. The wagon was empty and Sefa made one of the men bring some warm water and she found some cloth in one of the closets and a bowl. She was obviously excited and Wenja wondered what she was planning on doing. The hot water was poured into the bowl and Sefa grinned. “Go ahead, wash yourself.”

Wenja frowned. “Why?”

Sefa rolled her eyes. “If you like what you see I bet Rhawan will be glad to show you how it is done”

Wenja gasped and she almost dropped the cloth. “Ah…”

Sefa sighed and took her hand. “Listen, he won’t go too far, you will remain a virgin until your husband decide to deflower you, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a taste of pleasure first.”

Wenja felt her skin burn. “I thought I was just gonna watch”

Sefa nodded. “To start with yes, but you need to see to learn little one, me just explaining stuff won’t really be enough. Have you done what I told you to do?”

Wenja shook her head, it hadn’t felt right, at all. Sefa closed her eyes and she did look a bit exasperated. “Right, but you truly should. Anyway, from now on I think we have to take a more hands on approach to this, quite literally.”

Wenja was trembling and Sefa pointed at the bowl again. “So go ahead, wash yourself.”

Wenja did obey, with trembling hands and Sefa helped her get into her night gown, which was rather prudish and didn’t show much at all. Sefa kept her long petticoat on and washed too, very thoroughly and then she grinned. “I do sometimes use perfume down there but I won’t this time. Rhawan prefer the natural scents, most do as a matter of fact.”

She sat down on the bed and Wenja sat down too, a bit reluctantly. “I will show you what to do Wenja, and how to enjoy it. Don’t be shy, it is all very natural and gives such great joy.”

Wenja did remember that feeling she had gotten when she watched Sefa and Rhawan fuck in the wagon, and suddenly she longed for it again, to feel it rush through her body.

The camp had fallen quiet now, the guards were taking their rounds and the horses were tethered and the bon fires put out. Sefa did look impatient and she grinned when they heard footsteps outside of the wagon. Prina was sleeping in one of the other wagons now with Theka and Imh and Wenja was glad, she was rather sure that the girl would have gotten a serious shock if she had been there to see this. Rhawan did enter, he had braided his hair and he wore a long loose tunic and a pair of doeskin pants which did look rather old and worn. He swallowed as he entered the room and his smile was a bit stiff, his eyes were flickering and Wenja realized that he was nervous.

Sefa did get up and poured some wine into a cup, she handed it over to him and he did take it and emptied it in one go, he almost belched and put his hand over his mouth with an expression of slight embarrassment. Sefa did take some wine too, but not as much and she did savour the taste. Wenja felt a knot in her gut, she had no idea of how to react. Sefa sat down on the bed again and her grin was very wry. “So, shall we?”

Rhawan blinked and he bit his lower lip. “Just like that?”

His voice was a bit hoarse and Sefa giggled. “Yes, just like that. It isn’t as if you are known to be reluctant now are you? “

Rhawan still hesitated and Sefa rolled her eyes. “Right, okay, come here”

She moved until she was sitting on the edge of the bed and then she gestured for Rhawan to come closer. “On your knees”

Rhawan obeyed, he got down on his knees in front of her and Sefa did look very pleased. “So, Wenja, pay attention”

Sefa did spread her legs and then she lifted her petticoat a bit. Rhawan took a deep breath and then he leaned forth and disappeared underneath the fabric. Sefa raised an eyebrow. “He isn’t this shy normally, believe me!”

Wenja felt her heart beating hard, she felt so terribly embarrassed and wished she was miles away and yet…she knew she had to learn. Back at home she had believed that sex were simple things, that this was something men did enjoy and women had to endure and that everybody did it the same way. She had understood now that it was way more to it than that, but like Sefa said, seeing is believing. Rhawan was obviously busy and Sefa did lean back now, and pulled her petticoat up so it laid around her waist. Wenja had seen Sefa naked a lot of times by now, they had bathed together and she had no problems watching other females being undressed, it didn’t bother her at all. But this…it sent her into a frenetic bout of blushing yet again, she realized what Sefa had meant by saying that Rhawan had a wicked tongue for he was obviously good at this. Sefa was breathing hard already and moaning and she reached down and laid a hand on his head, gently sliding it through his hair. “Oh by the Goddess, just like that…”

Wenja stared with huge eyes, Rhawan was holding onto Sefa’s thighs, very gently but with some force so she wouldn’t move and Wenja understood why this made Sefa act the way she did. It had to feel…She couldn’t quite explain it, but strong, very strong. Considering how sensitive Wenja knew she was down there it was no wonder that Sefa was gasping, if she was the same way. And Wenja was starting to understand that this was common for all women. Sefa was panting and tossing her head back and forth, writhing as Rhawan obviously unleashed all his expertise. Rhawan too was breathing rather heavily now and Wenja hoped that Sefa would allow him some pleasure too, and not claim it all for herself.

Sefa turned her head and Wenja saw that her eyes were glassy and dark. “This could be the main course but also just an appetizer, remember that. For some it is enough, for others it will just tease and arouse.”

Wenja tried to nod, but the sight, oh Gods, it made that odd heavy feeling return to her and with it a sense of hunger she now recognized. Sefa was moaning and arching, her eyes hooded and close to closing. “I am…close”

Rhawan seemed to be sucking now and Wenja felt like a pervert but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from what she saw, not at all. Then Sefa tensed up, an odd sound came from her throat and she closed her eyes, her face contorted by pleasure and Rhawan let out a growl and continued and Wenja saw that Sefa was shuddering all over, and she was keening. Wenja remembered the feeling she had had and her body was aching, she felt her pulse beating like a drum down there and she knew she was wet already. Oh Gods, she had had no idea that watching something like this could make you feel thus, so needy for something she yet hadn’t experienced. Sefa stopped shuddering and sat up slowly, her eyes still glazed and distant and she had a silly grin on her face. “Thank you Rhawan, that was wonderful”

Rhawan grinned, he did look as if he had way more self-confidence now and he tilted his head. “You are most welcome, so, what now?”

Sefa sat up all the way and sighed in bliss. “Now it is Wenja’s turn, if you feel up for it dear?”

Wenja yelped, she just stared at Sefa. “Me? But…”

Sefa tilted her head. “You are aroused, I can see it and you are breathing funny. Don’t worry so much, just enjoy it. He will do exactly what he did to me, nothing more”

Wenja stared at Rhawan and he looked down but his eyes were very dark and he was almost panting. “ I’d love to do it Wenja, believe me. I do so much want to show you real pleasure, please let me”

Wenja hesitated, the mere idea…But she somehow realized that there were no way around this, she had to learn and her body was craving something now, and she would find no peace until that craving was heard. She nodded, slowly and with obvious nervousness and Sefa grinned widely. “Excellent girl, sit as I did”

Wenja did slide herself closer to the edge of the bed and hesitated for a moment, then she pulled her nightgown up and spread her legs slowly. Rhawan made a sound deep within his throat, it sounded like growling and his eyes got even darker. Wenja got a bit nervous, had she unleashed something which couldn’t be controlled? Would she regret this? He was staring at her feminine area and he did shiver a bit. Sefa grinned. “Go for it, just be gentle, I bet she won’t last very long this first time”

Wenja squealed as she felt warm hands on her knees, Rhawan did lean in and placed a soft kiss on each knee, whispering something which sounded very soothing and gentle and she felt herself tremble, part in nervousness and part out of an odd feeling of anticipation. Then Rhawan spread her legs a bit more and Sefa took her shoulder and made her lay down on the bed and told her to relax. Rhawan kept placing tiny butterfly kisses up along Wenja’s inner thighs and she gasped and felt terribly warm all of a sudden, like there was an open hearth next to her, fully ablaze. Sefa took her hand. “Don’t think dear, feel”

Wenja tried not to hold her breath, to relax and just ease into it but it was darn hard, she was sure she was trembling so hard the entire wagon was shaking. Then he kissed her mound and Wenja had to let out a loud gasp as she suddenly felt something warm and slick and slightly firm slide down between her folds and ending up on her bud, giving it a slight push. She sobbed, she was seeing stars, suddenly she felt nothing except that exquisite feeling of his tongue, caressing her clit with expert rhythm. It was too much, it was overwhelming and her body was twitching from the stimulation, and yet she craved more, so much more. “R…Rhawan…”

She didn’t recognize her own voice and he just caressed her thigh as an answer, didn’t stop even for a second. She was glad that the odd ointment they had smeared her with the first day she was with the group had removed her hairs, they hadn’t come back and she was as smooth and silky as she had been the day she was born. That felt good, she felt clean and she already knew that elves didn’t have any body hair so she guessed that it was all natural for him. His tongue was so slick and warm and did such amazing things with her, exploring and teasing and she was moaning and trying to press herself up into him. Sefa was chuckling, and caressed her hand. “That good ha? I don’t doubt it, he is outdoing himself right now”

Wenja couldn’t answer, it felt as if every muscle in her body was about to explode and she arched back with a loud keen as the world exploded into white light and pleasure surged through her, so strong it stole her breath away. She was hovering, feeling how muscles she hadn’t even known she had were caught in spasms and it sent wave after wave of ecstasy through her body. When she started to come back to her own senses Rhawan was kissing her knee lovingly and he was sending her a very pleased smile. “You have such fire little one, such passion. I am honoured to have watched it come undone.”

Wenja blushed, somehow it was a bit embarrassing and yet not, she trusted Sefa and she trusted Rhawan and it had been wonderful. She felt that this had been even better than the experience in the tunnel, so much more profound. Sefa grinned and petted Wenja’s hand. “You were so lovely in rapture dear, Ahravan will be more than pleased with you.”

Wenja felt a bit dizzy and she giggled, couldn’t stop. She had no idea why she felt so silly right now. Sefa slid to the edge of the bed again. “And now Rhawan, your reward”

Rhawan got up, slowly and he was obviously very aroused for the loose pants were tented and stretched. Sefa turned her head to Wenja. “This is also so you may learn, remember what you see. We can return the favour so to speak”

She grasped the drawstring which held Rhawan’s pants up and untied it, let the garment fall and Wenja let out a gasp. She had seen Rhawan naked before, but he hadn’t been aroused back then and now she was staring at something which looked very different from the flaccid member she had seen back then. How in the name of every God could that fit inside of someone? She was staring with eyes like tea cups and Sefa laughed out loud. “Oh Wenja, it is really very apparent that you never have seen a good cock before. Enjoy the treat”

Rhawan was breathing hard again and Wenja saw that the whole thing twitched ever so slightly and that it did look rock solid. She kept staring and Sefa slid a bit closer and out her hands, placed them on Rhawan’s hips. “Watch and learn, Ahravan will love it if you do this to him”

Then Sefa leaned forth and kissed the tip of Rhawan’s cock and he hissed and closed his eyes, Wenja had to swallow hard. Then Sefa licked it, slowly and deliberately and Rhawan moaned and shivered and Wenja blinked, he did react very strongly, was that normal? Did this really feel so good? The next thing Sefa did made Wenja cringe, she opened her mouth and took the whole thing into it and started to bob her head back and forth and Rhawan gasped and closed his eyes, his expression one of almost agony. It was apparent that Sefa used her tongue and sucked too and Rhawan keened and tried to stand still, he was sweating and Wenja felt an odd wave of warmth rush through her again. Seeing him like that did something to her, something almost painfully arousing. Sefa continued and Rhawan whimpered and groaned and then he laid a hand on her head. “Stop, I am close…I need…”

Sefa giggled and let go and Wenja saw that the whole member was dripping wet and she couldn’t believe that Sefa had managed to have all of that inside of her mouth? Sefa saw her expression and giggled. “You learn how to control your gag reflex after a while, and I have a good throat.”

Wenja cringed, her throat? Had that huge thick thing gone all the way into Sefa’s throat? Oh Gods! But Rhawan had obviously liked it a lot and Sefa cocked her head. “The males absolutely love this, it feels wonderful for them”

Rhawan was still trembling. “Please!”

Sefa nodded and got up, she turned around and winked at Wenja. “He prefers to come in someone, but that is a personal preference.”

Wenja was still just sitting there, staring with huge eyes. Her body had reawakened or so it felt and seeing that huge thing did strange things to her. It was so large, and a bit scary looking too and yet her body didn’t seem to agree with her thoughts, she felt her pulse again and that wet feeling. Sefa got up on her knees on the bed and arched her back with her legs spread and Wenja realized that Rhawan was about to take her, like a horse mounts a mare. It sent a shiver through her and she whimpered. Sefa grinned. “Aroused again? Don’t worry, it is alright.”

Rhawan grunted and grasped Sefa’s hips and used a hand to steer himself straight and Wenja gasped, she sat so close she could see everything in detail, how that thick hard member slid into Sefa and it didn’t seem to hurt her at all, as a matter of fact Sefa let out a loud moan which was so filled with sheer lust and pleasure it made Wenja shiver. Rhawan too moaned and closed his eyes and he started to thrust rather vigorously, Wenja saw that he slid back and forth, slick with Sefa’s juices and since his skin was so dark and Sefa was pale it was such a contrast and made Wenja see every little detail. It made her ache, she had to press her own thighs together and she craved it again, that feeling of ultimate surrender, of absolute bliss. Sefa gasped and made grimaces with each thrust. “Wenja…touch…touch yourself…”

The words came as gasps and Wenja couldn’t resist. She let a hand slide down and found wetness and slickness and when she found that by now oversensitive little bundle of nerves there was no way back. She had to rub it like Rhawan had done with his tongue and Sefa tensed up and screamed and Wenja knew she was coming, Rhawan stopped moving, he just heaved for air and then he roared and shuddered, grasping onto Sefa so hard she had to get bruises. Hearing them, seeing them, it was too much and Wenja screamed too as it rushed through her for the third time in her life. She arched, legs trembling and her body felt as if everything suddenly had become slick and warm. Her nipples were hard and her nether lips felt swollen and right now she couldn’t think about anything except what she just had seen. She tried to imagine herself there, on all four with Rhawan’s cock buried deep within her and that mere thought sent her into yet another frenzy. She writhed as new waves raced through her and she felt how warm liquid did flow from her, squeezed out by the contractions within.

Rhawan leaned onto Sefa for a while, obviously exhausted and he caught his breath again and smiled, kissed the back of her neck gently. “Thank you Sefa, I needed that. You are wonderful as always.”

Sefa giggled and got up, walked over to where the bowl of water still stood. Wenja did see that her inner thighs were wet and slick and there were drops of something white and obviously very sticky there. A salty strange smell filled the air and Wenja felt that she was blushing still, it had been so intimate and yet…it had been beautiful and she felt moved somehow. They had showed her their most vulnerable moments and she ought to be very grateful. And she felt wonderful, she couldn’t deny it. Her body was at ease like never before and she giggled as aftershocks did rush through her. Sefa did wash herself thoroughly and Wenja saw that Rhawan still was very large but not hard anymore and he got a cloth and cleaned himself too, before pulling his pants back on. Sefa winked at him. “Thank you dear, Wenja has most certainly learned a lot tonight”

Wenja had to blush and nod and Rhawan sighed. “That is great, I cannot wait for us to return to Ohtanar though, if we don’t hurry I will lose every ounce of self control and have her, before her intended husband does”

Wenja gasped and Sefa just chuckled. “Oh don’t worry Rhawan, I will guard her virtue like a hawk.”

Rhawan just scoffed and straightened his tunic and Sefa got a devilish expression within her eyes. “But we do need more practice, next time I think Wenja can learn how to touch you”

Rhawan stopped and stared at Sefa, eyes huge and Wenja did see that in the slight darkness of the wagon they did glow, a soft glow like that of distant fireflies. “Are you nuts? If she touches me…”

Sefa giggled. “You will come all over her, I know. But she has to get used to that too, if you two hunks are to share her she’s better get used to a lot we haven’t even mentioned yet”

Rhawan rolled his eyes and groaned and evacuated the wagon, Sefa was chuckling. “Oh he loves the idea, he is just a bit overwhelmed by it, that is all”

Wenja looked down. “Won’t Ahravan become jealous?”

Sefa shook her head. “Not a bit, I bet that word isn’t even in his vocabulary.”

Wenja found a cloth and washed too, she was over sensitive and tender and it felt strange but she couldn’t regret this, she felt way too good. Sefa found a night gown and changed the sheets, she was grinning. “We will both sleep well tonight, by every God he is good.”

Wenja looked down. “It doesn’t hurt at all? He was so…large”

Sefa scoffed. “No, it feels just wonderful, like you are whole and filled and it is just right. I have to admit that the first time can be a bit uncomfortable but whence your body adapts there is no feeling quite like it”

Wenja slid in under the covers as Sefa finished making the bed. “I hear you”

Sefa got into the bed too, grinning . “And do you believe me?”

Wenja nodded, staring at the other woman. “I do, now”

Sefa blew out the lamp on her side. “Great, and now, let us sleep. This does most certainly make you tired”

Wenja had to agree, as soon as it became dark she was out like a candle and didn’t even dream anything.

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