The heart of the eternal

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A night to remember

Igkhan was lifted onto his horse again and Resh’kha stared at him with very dark eyes. “If you feel fever let me know, right away”

Bagir bit his lower lip. He had of course heard of rabid animals and he had in fact encountered some too, the disease wasn’t common but feared and everybody knew what signs to look for and where the disease was known to exist but that didn’t cause that sort of bodily degregation they had seen in those three orcs. Resh’kha kept them going for some hours and it got dark. She found a place to camp in a small canyon, some very thick but short trees did grow there and the branches did in fact form a sort of roof. She unpacked the horses and looked a bit frantic, constantly staring at Igkhan and mumbling to herself. Bagir prepared some dried meat for dinner and Resh’kha was tugging at her hair and looked more and more upset. She hadn’t acted thus before, even when they saw those demons. Bagir sat down next to her, he wouldn’t back down until he had a straight answer. “Resh’kha, I have lived my entire life in the mountains and yet I have never encountered a disease like that. What is it?”

The she orc did swallow and she threw a swift glance at Igkhan again, as if to check that he was okay. “It is…”

She did blink and made a grimace. “It is a disease created by darkness, an evil thing. It is harbinger of bad things to come”

Bagir frowned. “It is a disease? Nothing supernatural?”

Resh’kha shook her head. “So speaks silly human, knows naught. Disease made by bad magic ages ago, to kill the brave. If back means so is bad magic”

Bagir tilted his head, “Do explain to me”

Resh’kha hesitated, then she sort of turned her back to Igkhan. “Disease eats the soul, makes the sick into….not alive”

She had trouble finding the right words in the common tongue, some words were of the orcs own language and Bagir had to guess their meaning. “First seen back when the darkness came and monsters arrived”

Bagir nodded. “When the clans gathered?”

Resh’kha nodded. “Yes, to keep the lands safe. Orcs didn’t join, we don’t need help, we are strong, we are fierce. Orcs never bow”

Bagir nodded. “I know, the orc clans are independent.”

She smiled, showed all her teeth. “Yes, good, it is very good. But twelve clans keep monsters at bay, keep them north. Wasn’t always so”

Bagir frowned again. “The disease came with the monsters, is that what you are trying to say?”

She nodded firmly, a glimpse of pride in her eyes. “Yes, disease means monsters back, bad magic back, someone trying to bring darkness back”

Bagir felt a cold chill running down his spine, he swallowed hard. “Could there be more infected orcs around here?”

Resh’kha shook her head. “I don’t think so. No clan in area, those were…what do you say…outlaws?”

Bagir nodded. “Outcasts perhaps?”

She smiled widely. “Exactly, I saw marks, they had brands. Done bad things then”

Bagir winced, he knew that orcs would brand criminals to let everybody see that the individual had broken the unwritten laws of orc society. Some of the brands were horrible and Resh’kha put out her tongue. “Branded tongue, told lies. Branded ear, broken oath.”

Bagir tilted his head. “The third one?”

Resh’kha grunted. “No brand but bad orc, I think maybe coward?”

Bagir also knew that among orcs cowardice was regarded as a crime so it had been a bunch of losers. The very bottom layer of orc society. He leaned forth. “How do you think they caught the disease? They will die of it right?”

Resh’kha shrugged. “Me no idea, one carried pouch, could be meeting traders”

Bagir stared at the she orc. “Pouch? I don’t understand?”

Resh’kha made a nasty grimace. “Yes, pouch of powder, very popular among rebellious ones. Makes one think one is stronger than everybody, makes men insane. Very addictive”

Bagir gasped. He had heard about such substances but would an orc really stoop so low? “Ah, really? Were they addicted?”

Resh’kha made a grunt again. “Don’t know, cannot tell. But possibly, traders sell it, very expensive but many crave it”

Bagir remembered a man from the valley, he had made a living making reed baskets and they were very good and sought after too. But he had developed a sort of gout and to alleviate the pain he started using and within six months he was dead, and everything he had worked so hard to achieve gone. It was a most horrible thing and Bagir would never touch it with a ten foot pole, even to save his own life.

“Do you think there are traders anywhere near us now?”

Resh’kha shook her head. “No, far from trading route, longer east. Maybe trappers, none others”

Bagir sighed and saw that Igkhan changed the bandage on the wound, it did look rather nice now, not too swollen or anything and Bagir was rather sure that the quick actions of Resh’kha had prevented any sort of infection.

Resh’kha refused to speak anymore and went to sleep and Bagir remained there awake for a while, he was so very afraid of being too late, the gods alone knew what Mjorr was up to and he would probably travel fast, and also, he would travel light. When Bagir finally managed to get to sleep he dreamt of racing along a long flat plain on a pale grey horse but no matter how fast the horse ran the end of the plain didn’t seem to get any closer. It was very frustrating.

The next day came with cold wind and sleet and the horses were huddling together with their tails towards the wind, they didn’t look very happy at all. Resh’kha got them tacked up in record time and Bagir felt stiff and sore. He wasn’t a young man anymore and this did take its toll of him. He would of course never admit it but he did envy Igkhan his youth and energy. Igkhan did seem okay, he was whistling as he went to relieve himself and he got in the saddle all by himself too. The landscape was very flat and relatively boring and Resh’kha did sing as she jogged along the two riders, she had a very hoarse voice but it wasn’t unpleasant and the songs did seem rather sweet too. Bagir was surprised, he hadn’t expected orcs to be able to make music that was pleasant at all. He would have expected something aggressive with lots of growls and roars and a heavy rhythm. Resh’kha did toss her hair back and bared her tusks. “When male wants to woo me, I expect sweet songs, I want him praise me.”

Bagir smiled and had to hide a small gasp of disbelief. “So you want him to sing you a serenade?”

She nodded. “All she orcs do, male with sweet voice and good words is good mate. Gentle in bed, me wants to be his flower, his sweet honey, his heart”

Bagir grinned. “Then you aren’t that different from other females I think, it is very romantic”

Resh’kha raised her chin and looked proud. “I want strong male, not afraid of saying feelings”

Bagir did find that a bit surprising but it did make sense. Being brave means being honest and hiding your true feelings is not very honest at all, and also not very brave. It was just natural that she orcs would prefer males who weren’t shy about their true emotions. They rode on until they met a river, they had to ride along it for a while to find a crossing and Bagir did notice something odd. He was sure he saw smoke on the horizon but ever so often it was gone again and he wasn’t sure if it was smoke or just mist, or a bit of rain even. He stared at it and couldn’t make up his mind. They were heading in that direction and Resh’kha spat and nodded. “Smoke, not mist. Trappers”

Bagir sat on his horse and felt cold and he did notice that Igkhan did shiver a bit, he did whistle and seemed to be in a good mood but he didn’t say much and Bagir started to feel a bit nervous as the day went by. Something was off, he was sure of it. It was getting dark when they stopped for the night and Igkhan tried to dismount and fell, as if his legs had turned into jelly. Bagir cussed and Resh’kha gasped and ran over, lifted him up. “You burning, silly man, should have said before”

Bagir felt his forehead and it was hot enough to fry eggs or so it seemed. And he did smell, a sort of unpleasant odour Bagir found very nasty. Resh’kha did smell it too and her grimace was a bad one. “Not good, infection, was too late with blade”

She carried him towards their bedrolls and put him down onto one. Then she removed the bandage and Bagir cringed. The leg did look terrible, in just a few hours the small wound had turned into a gaping crater, oozing puss and blood and the colour was dreadful, an odd purple and red discolouration which made Bagir back off. Resh’kha had a small flask in her belt and she opened it. Bagir frowned. “I don’t think water will help?”

She shook her head. “Not water, grog!”

Bagir had heard of orcish grog, it was said to be strong enough to burn the hairs of a horse and have a taste which lasted for weeks. She poured some drops into the wound and Igkhan yelled, a sharp shout of pain. He stared at her with huge eyes as she assessed the injury and she smacked her lips and shook her head. “He needs real medicine”

Bagir tried to think. “Okay, where can we get that?”

Resh’kha shrugged. “Maybe trappers have medicine? I don’t know, is serious”

Bagir frowned and tried not to look at the wound. How could a seemingly small scratch turn into that horrific sore so fast? “How serious?”

Resh’kha shrugged.”Two days”

Bagir tilted his head. “What do you mean two days?”

Resh’kha did wipe the puss away from the wound. “Two days and dead”

Bagir swallowed hard. “Seriously? What can we do?”

Resh’kha did look at him with a sort of tired expression. “I said that, find medicine. Good medicine”

Bagir tried to remain calm. “And what exactly do you mean by that? Good medicine?”

The she orc put the bandage back on. “A powder made from some types of bark, very good. Kills infection”

He closed his eyes. “Could the trappers have some of it?”

She nodded and put Igkhan’s pants back on. “Possibly”

Bagir bit his lower lip and stared out at the falling darkness. “Could we continue? If we reach those trappers fast?”

The she orc shook her head. “Too dangerous, have to stay for the night. Ride hard tomorrow”

Bagir sighed but he knew she was right. Igkhan tried to smile but he was very pale and sweaty. “She is right you know, nobody knows what is out there”

Bagir felt terrified, the disease was obviously a terrible one and he didn’t want to see Igkhan die, he had started to like the young hunter and would hate it if he was robbed of his vengeance by a mere disease. Resh’kha did wrap Igkhan up like a sweetroll and the poor fellow could barely move in all those blankets. He was sweating profusely and she grinned. “Sweat good, heals. Purge the filth”

Bagir knew that many believed this to be true and maybe it was, he was no doctor. Resh’kha caught some fish in a small stream and they ate them raw, Bagir wasn’t used to this practice but they didn’t dare to make fire now. Bagir had laid down to sleep, convinced that he wouldn’t be able to find any rest at all but surprisingly he dozed off almost immediately and woke up suddenly because Resh’kha was kicking him gently. He got up, Igkhan was trembling and appeared to be almost delirious and Resh’kha did look worried. They broke camp very fast and Igkhan was tied to the saddle since he wasn unable to stay upright. Resh’kha did run very fast, she was tireless and fast as a horse in this terrain and Bagir was glad she was there. She did know this land to some degree and knew what to look out for. Bagir saw that the trapper camp had to be placed within a river valley and it was in the right direction so they wouldn’t lose any time while trying to find it. He just prayed that the trappers had some of the medicine Resh’kha spoke of. Igkhan var really ill and Bagir did believe what the she orc had said about his chances of survival.

The area was tundra, no trees and just some low bushes here and there and rocks and sand and gravel as far as the eye could see. Bagir knew that this land was way more fertile than anyone could guess but winter did turn it into a seemingly dead desert. They stopped a few times to rest the horses and Bagir did see that the smoke still was there but it was less of it and he did find that odd. Resh’kha did also react to this, she stared at the thin column of smoke every so often and her face was stoic but he knew her now, she was nervous. They did travel fast and as the sun started to head towards the horizon they realized that something truly was off. Bagir saw a huge flock of ravens and vultures in the distance and Resh’kha swore with her teeth clenched together. She did look intense and Bagir made his horse run even a bit faster then before.

The trapper camp wasn’t a large one, it was a few very primitive huts made from hides stretched over a sort of web of interwoven twigs and there was a fireplace and some poles which were used to hang the catch so it could be skinned and gutted efficiently. Now the camp was silent, some dead dogs lay there and also a couple of horses. Resh’kha was a bit green in the face, and Bagir felt his guts sink as he saw that the entire camp had been raided. There didn’t seem to be anything left of value and they did find the trappers in one of the huts. Alle had been tied up and had their throats cut. Whoever did it, it had been a ruthless and brutal murder and Resh’kha did search through the clothes of the dead with desperation. They did stink but the cold nights had prevented them from decomposing very much. She lifted a small leather pouch out from a pocket and checked it, made a small yip of relief. “Here, medicine!”

Bagir swallowed hard. “Who did this? And why?”

Resh’kha did run over to the fireplace, there were still embers in it and the smoke they had seen came from this pit of ashes and coal. “Bad men, from north. See tracks?”

Bagir frowned and looked down, there were footprints there and they were oddly shaped. He realized that the people who had made them had been wearing boots made from fur and he made a grimace. “But why?”

The she orc shrugged. “Bad year? Outcasts? Not know”

She found some dry grass and got the fire started and then she found a clay pot which was whole and started mixing powder and water. Bagir saw that this camp had been a small one with no apparent wealth so killing and raiding here had to be an act born out of either desperation or sheer malice. It had to have happened one or two days earlier and the culprits could still be in the vincinity.

The she orc boiled up a sort of dreadful concoction and then she smeared it into the oozing wound and she did also make Igkhan drink some of it. He was spitting and cussing and complaining but it went down. She smiled. “Good, no longer dying.”

Bagir didn’t look too convinced. “This will save him?”

She nodded and put the remaining concoction into a small box she had found. “But weak, very weak. Like baby. Need to get to Ohtanar fast”

Bagir sighed loudly. “You don’t need to tell me that”

Resh’kha did point to the northwest. “Soon turn west, along the mountains. We are getting there”

Bagir felt exposed and looked at her with some discomfort. “Should we stay here for the night? The ones who killed the trappers could still be in the area?”

She nodded. “They are, left this morning. I smell them. But they have no horses, on foot. Four men”

Bagir cringed, did they have a chance if they had to fight four men? Resh’kha smiled. “Not worry, I am strong, I can fight trolls!”

Somehow Bagir didn’t doubt that at all, he just hoped that it wouldn’t come to it.

Mjorr was steaming with annoyance and anger, his father was treating him as if he was some mindless dimwit and worse of all, he was kept under constant surveillance. He couldn’t even go to the privy on his own and the three men who followed them were laughing behind his back. He hadn’t been this humiliated in a very long time. The disease had luckily disappeared and he was glad that was done with but now he was truly struggling. He wanted to get away from his father but it was hard to fool the old man, Dagar was no idiot and Mjorr didn’t want to risk being denounced. Dagar didn’t have any other heirs but he did always move in his own mysterious ways and everybody knew that a man could adopt someone and turn that person into a legal heir.

They had reached the plains now and they travelled with a small group of merchants who were heading north towards the city. Dagar was trying to charm these men and they did understand that he was somebody of importance and were polite and very respectful. Mjorr on the other hand was being ignored and that pissed him off, he had never been treated thus before, ever! He had to get away from his father, he had to reach the city first so he could avenge all of this. He didn’t care how he did it, he just had to make sure that the bitch who rejected him never would attract another male again. He was planning it in detail and the ideas kept his blood boiling the whole time. Here on the plains they could travel relatively fast but in his eyes they moved at a snails pace. He needed good horses with speed and somebody who could show him the way. That was all he wanted and he tried to get in contact with somebody who could work as a guide every day. But he couldn’t let Dagar know and it was a very different balancing act indeed, Dagar had eyes like a hawk and was watching his son constantly.

Mjorr didn’t have any money, he didn’t have anything except the clothes on his back and the three guards had been paid extra to ensure that he was being obedient. He had been dragged back to the camp once already, by the scruff of his neck so to speak and it had almost made him go ballistic. He was a grown man, not some toddler. Dagar did all the talking and Mjorr could only stand there like some brooding child, he used to be the one everybody listened to and looked up to with admiration and now his father denied him this. The merchants did stop rather often, there were small groups of nomads travelling around who weren’t following the city and they often wanted to trade for things they couldn’t themselves produce. Mjorr tried to get in contact with them each time, to see if he could find someone who could help him get away. But it didn’t work at all, Dagar didn’t let him be alone with anyone and it was enough to make him pull at his hair and grind his teeth.

He had given up when they were approached by a relatively large group of nomads, they were looking for something specific, silk ribbons in a particular red color and the merchants did show them all they had of ribbons. Mjorr did notice a young man who stood there holding a horse by the reins and he didn’t look as well groomed as the others. His clothes were worn and old and he did have a sort of empty expression on his face. He was rather tall though, and fit, but Mjorr had seen people like that before, they did lack something.

Mjorr saw that Dagar was busy with their guards, the merchants had told them that they wanted to take a longer route and Dagar didn’t like that. He wanted to go to Ohtanar along the swiftest path and was trying to get somebody to travel with them. Mjorr saw that the young man was keeping his head tilted in a particular manner which usually indicated bad hearing. Great, Mjorr saw his chance and he did take it. The horse the lad held was a tall long legged mare and probably very fast and she carried saddle bags and some blankets too. A curved sword was attached to the saddle on the right side and the lad was probably holding the horse for one of the nomads. Mjorr saw that Dagar was gesticulating and arguing and he sauntered off, he had to get even closer to them to get to the horse but he pretended as if he was truly trying to hear everything which was being said.

The mare was very tall indeed, the breed the twelve clans favoured and Mjorr wasn’t used to such large beasts but he was sure he could subdue it, whence he was in the saddle. He walked by the animal as if he was heading towards his father and the three guards, then he grasped onto the saddle and swung himself up with a powerful move. The horse jolted and he grasped the reins from the young lad who almost lost his balance and fell. Mjorr gave the mare of his spurs and the horse broke into gallop right away, he turned her away from the group and the other horses there whinnied and started running too. Mjorr was grinning, he gave the mare a few good whacks from his whip and pushed her forth. She was very fast and Mjorr did find the merchant road and rode as fast as he possibly could. He didn’t fear being caught, he would outride anyone and reach the city way ahead of Dagar

The merchants and the nomads stood there in shock for a few seconds, Dagar just gaped and the three guards ran towards their horses but a shout stopped them. The leader of the nomads raised a hand. “You wont catch up with him, that mare is our fastest horse”

Dagar was cussing and swearing and the leader turned to him. “That is your son? Why do something so stupid? He will be caught and when that happens we will punish him”

Dagar was red in the face, anger was boiling within him. “He is insane, has lost his mind. I swear to the gods, if I catch him I will punish him myself!”

The leader was a very stocky man with a shaved head and several tattoos. He tilted his head. “Why did he do this? Why not travel with you?”

Dagar sighed. “Mjorr believes that he can reach the city and harm the woman the Ath’ir is to marry. She rejected him and I do now realize that my son is a raving lunatic.”

The nomad leader frowned. “Yes, I agree. Only a mad man would try something that stupid. He won’t be able to get anywhere near that woman, and if he tries he will be killed”

Dagar felt conflicted, he closed his eyes. Mjorr had become a great disappointment to him, but he was still Dagar’s only son and he straightened his back and clenched his teeth together. “Please, don’t pursue him. Allow me to catch him. I will punish him harshly but I do not wish to see him dead”

The leader frowned. “The laws do demand his punishment but okay, we won’t chase him but you have to swear that you will deliver him to the Ath’ir for judgement. To steal a horse here is a very serious offense.”

Dagar swallowed hard. “I swear, and I do not swear lightly believe me. He has humiliated me and our family name, trust me, I will never let him get away with this”

The leader nodded and raised a hand. “Then you must travel light, and the horses you ride are not very fast. Chose one man to follow you and one of us will guide you”

Dagar felt a bit overwhelmed and bowed deeply. “I am very grateful”

The leader just nodded. “If your son does hurt the Eth’ir he will be killed, no man deserves to see his own child suffer that fate, no matter who he is”

Dagar swallowed hard. “I hear your wisdom my friend, thank you”

He waved his hand at the smallest of the guards and two of the nomads came with some tall horses. A lanky looking young man rode forth on a very nice looking gelding and Dagar gathered his belongings and then they were off. Mjorr had gotten far already and if they were to catch up with him they couldn’t wait. The lad who were to guide them was called Hana and he was a hunter and knew the land very well. Dagar had told the other guards to follow the merchants, he would have to make due with just one and when they caught Mjorr Dagar swore to whip the very skin off his back. This degree of disobedience could not be accepted, never! Hana told them that they could keep riding also at night as long as they stayed on the track and Dagar wasn’t used to riding far nor fast but for the sake of catching Mjorr he was willing to endure whatever discomfort was thrown at him.

Wenja and Ahravan had finished bathing and both had put on bath robes and they had been fed a small meal before they were to start their fast. Wenja did enjoy his company a lot, he did make her feel safe and more than that, he didn’t at all make her feel inferior in any manner. She was used to being a simple village girl, her level of knowledge was very low and yet he made her feel smart and valued. They were shown into a separate chamber by Sefa and there were two beds there separated by a screen. Ahravan did kiss her forehead. “We are to stay silent now and pray, I wish for you to have a good night my sweet”

Wenja did blush but she nodded and went to the left side, there was a sort of mural painted onto the wall and she saw that Ahravan had knelt down in front of the one in his small room so she took a deep breath and did the same. She had never been religious, her father had always regarded religion as something which could be nice but not something you absolutely had to have. He believed that spiritual matters was something which was private and Wenja tried to focus her thoughts and pray properly but it was very difficult. In the end she just sat there and allowed her mind to drift. She wondered how things were back home, had Sina given birth? Had her sister started to get better? Not knowing was hard but she hoped that she one day would find out and she knew that the wealth they had received had transformed their lives forever. She was proud that she was the cause of that, it made the longing a bit easier to accept. She sat there remembering everything, the winternights when the storms made the house creak and moan like a living being and the stifling hot summer days when nobody were able to do anything at all. She remembered the birth of her siblings and she remembered the exhausted expression on Sina’s face, her lack of energy and the many times when joy was replaced by despair. She was indeed blessed since that never would be her fate. In the end she became too tired to stay awake and crawled into the bed. She wasn’t able to sit there for many hours and it was acceptable for her to fall asleep. It didn’t take long before she was drifting away into the land of dreams and she dreamt of riding a horse of silver along an endless green field.

The next morning she was awakened by Sefa who was wearing a very nice dress. Wenja felt a bit dizzy and she did also feel as if she was in some sort of dream. She was placed in a chair and got her hair brushed and Ahravan was nowhere to be seen, he was being prepared too, somewhere else. Sefa put her into an amazing dress in deep bronze with embroideries everywhere and it was so lovely Wenja felt overwhelmed. Her hair was put up, she got jewellery put on, some make up too and Sefa was beaming with pride. “There has never been a more lovely bride within the twelve clans, I can guarantee it.”

Wenja had to giggle and Sefa finished with her hair. Outside there was a real crowd now, many had arrived for this the final day of celebration and the sacred grove was decorated with colourful garlands and even lamps. Wenja felt a sting of nervous energy, she didn’t really know what to expect of this day. Sefa had brought some food and they had a light meal and Sefa sat down and took her hand. “When this is over with you will be a wife, and my job will basically be over but I do hope that we still can be friends?”

Wenja nodded. “Of course, you have been a most wonderful friend to me on the journey and of course I want you to remain that way”

Sefa hugged her. “Good, it has been such a privilege to watch you come out of your shell.”

She helped Wenja get up and made sure that the dress did look perfect. “They are all ready for you Wenja, so let’s go!”

She took a deep breath and entered the clearing where the final parts of the ceremony was to be held. Ahravan was waiting there and so were Theka and Imh and the others. All were dressed in their finery and Wenja saw that Ahravan stared at her, his eyes were soft but held promises. The two were brought in front of the altar again and the shamans kept chanting as sage was being burned and water from a sacred spring sprinkled all around them. Then some odd packets made from large fresh leaves were thrown into the fire and presented as a sacrifice to the gods and one of the female shamans did step forth and tied Ahravan’s and Wenja’s hands together. They would not be untied for the rest of the day.

They got seated by a collapsible table, most sat on the ground and then food was being served, drinks too and the atmosphere became joyful and way less formal than on the first day. Some were singing and others dancing and Wenja and Ahravan had to get up and dance many times. Most left small gifts in front of the table, and Wenja was deeply moved. Almost everything was handmade, from knitted stockings to hair pins and it was such sweet gifts. The food was actually more treats than real food and Wenja tasted some of it with childish joy. It was things like nuts dipped in honey and dried and sweetened berries and she enjoyed it all. Everybody came to offer their congratulations and even Floth’bha had made her a little something. It was a pocket knife which was camouflaged as a buckle and Wenja did thank the half orc profusely. It was a very nice example of good workmanship.

It seemed as if the entire city was there and some kids were playing games while others just relaxed together and Wenja saw that there were games also for the adults. Some had brought some huge barrels and now some of the males tried to stand on top of them and make them roll a certain distance without falling off. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed and several made a swan dive and landed on the ground with a grunt after just a few feet. Merry music was being played and Wenja discovered that sitting there with a hand tied to another person was far from easy. They tried to cooperate as much as possible and so they didn’t do any real mistakes.

More food was brought forth, some bards did step up and sang or told stories and Wenja had a really good time. She forgot to be nervous and laughed and clapped, or tried to, whenever someone said something funny or delivered a good performance. Some of the humans had made a sort of play where they re-enacted some famous battles from history and it made many clap and whistle and another group did entertain them all with a story about a very stupid man and his way too lovely and attractive wife. It was the sort of story which makes people roll over with laughter and Wenja did laugh too. Ahravan was almost crying and she could see that Rhawan was standing by a tree, clutching his middle and heaving for air.

Fires were lit and there was more dancing and as the evening went the kids were sent off to the tents to sleep. More mead and wine was found and the music wasn’t as jolly anymore. Now it was slower and more sensual and she felt that Ahravan was caressing her hand gently. She started feeling very warm indeed.

Still the party lasted for many hours more and she almost started when Sefa laid a hand on her shoulder. “Wenja, it is time to get you ready”

Wenja swallowed and stared at Ahravan who just smiled and winked at her. The shaman came and cut the thin cord between their hands and gave them a small cup if wine from which they both had to drink. “From tonight on you will never again be separated.”

Wenja saw that Rhawan and some other males did tug Ahravan away and she was taken by Sefa and Theka. There was a tent there and she was lead inside where they removed the dress and the jewellery and everything. She was left naked and then they gave her a cloak made from some soft green material. Her hair was brushed out and Sefa did spray her with some perfume. “Are you ready?”

Wenja did feel her chin tremble ever so little. “Ah…I guess so, I am a bit nervous though”

Sefa embraced her. “Aw, don’t be dearest, you have nothing to fear remember? This will be a night to remember”

Theka did take her hands into her own. “Be blessed Wenja, may your nights be many and fruitful and may your days bring naught but joy”

Wenja had to blush yet again and Sefa smacked her gently across her ass. “Believe me, before long you will be begging him for more”

Wenja didn’t know what to say, she just felt her ears burn and her cheeks had to look like beets by now. They had to wait for a few moments and Wenja felt how her stomach got tight with tension and she was shivering ever so slightly. One of the shamans came for her and she followed the painted male without a word, there was a path between the trees, lit by torches and it lead into the grove. The path wasn’t very long but Wenja had time to feel cold and she shivered again as they arrived at a small clearing. In the middle was the most massive tree she had ever seen, it was so thick it looked like a large cabin and the canopy did spread out above her like a table top. You would need a large crowd to be able to reach around that oak and she did see that there indeed was a door there. Ahravan waited there, also wearing a green cloak and he smiled at her. Some of her nervousness did dissipate at the sight of that smile.

The shaman grinned and put their hands together. “As one, from now and until forever”

He nodded and lit a torch which Ahravan was given. “Go now, for three nights this will be your home”

Wenja swallowed hard as Ahravan lifted the torch and the shaman did remove the cloaks from them both. Wenja blushed from her head to her feet but the awkward feeling didn’t last that long, they went in through the door which was made from sickles of raw hide and entered the room inside of the oak. It was surprisingly large and Ahravan did use the torch to light the lamps there. It was lovely, a sort of closet had been carved into the tree in one corner and it contained food and drink and the floor was made from soft white sand. The lamps did throw a very mild light over everything and Wenja saw that bed shaped pit in the floor and blushed again. There were pillows and blankets neatly folded in one corner and she did see that there was a small alcove which was divided from the rest of the room by a sort of curtain. Ahravan did grin. “It is a privy”

Wenja swallowed fast. “We really aren’t to leave here for three whole nights?”

He nodded and took her hand. “Yes, that is so.”

She felt her heart beating fast and tried to remember all she had learned and all she had experienced but it wasn’t that easy. He was there and this was real and …she let out a small whimper and Ahravan sighed and let a hand run through her hair. “Are you afraid little one?”

His voice was soft and soothing and she nodded, eyes on the floor. He did lift her chin. “Don’t be, remember yesterday in the pool? We can do the same thing and then we’ll just see how it goes?”

She nodded and he lead her over to the bed. The thick layers of silky furs were so soft and Ahravan knelt down in front of her and smiled. “Just relax and enjoy”

He kissed her neck and let his tongue slide over her skin and she hissed and threw her head back, gave him access to it. She yearned for the same feeling as the day before and when he kissed her on the mouth she did participate. It felt wonderful and here nobody would disturb them, that felt safe and good. He kept whispering soothing words as he started to worship every inch of skin, he kissed and licked and nipped at her and she was writhing before long. Now she remembered what she had seen and it made her blood boil.

Ahravan did spend a lot of time kissing her nipples and playing with them and she felt how it almost brought her to the brink but not quite over it. She was so wet she could feel it on her inner thighs and Ahravan was panting and his eyes were dark. “Your passion is so wonderful to behold my dear”

He kissed her hipbones and then her navel and he did raise his gaze and grinned wickedly as he did slide even further down her body. Wenja mewled, she couldn’t resist this at all and she opened her legs longingly. He licked his lips almost in a provocative manner, then he went to work and the sensation of that slick smooth tongue on her clit was enough now. She tensed up and shook as it rushed through her, making her yell and writhe. Ahravan moaned. “Yes my flower, just like that. Don’t hold back, don’t ever hold back”

He turned her onto her side like he had the day before and repeated what he had done by the pool, she was gasping and started to thrust back against him and he had a plan. He didn’t want her to feel trapped by his bodyweight and he didn’t want to cause her unnessessary pain so he would take her without warning, as she was coming. Wenja panted, he was using everything he knew and by every deity, it was obvious. She was shaking all over, so sensitive and so eager and she felt his cock slide back and forth against her slick folds and the feeling was insane. She kept pushing back against him and he growled and kissed her shoulder, nipped at her neck and used a hand to hold her in position.

He had to fight a hard battle against his own burning need now, he really truly needed to come, and his body was aching but this was about her and he would not give up on his plan, at all. He pushed himself a wee bit higher so the pressure from his cock got stronger against her sensitive parts and she moaned and tossed her head back and he lifted her upper leg a bit. She didn’t protest and he kept going, kept aiming for that little pearl of nerves and she started to make wailing sounds. Her nipples were rock hard and he leaned over her for a moment and suckled the nearest one gently. That made her cry out and shudder and he knew she was so very close now.

Wenja was floating in a sea of pleasure, each move sent more and more of it over her like it was waves reaching a shore and she felt that the final sensation was building up yet again. She groaned and leaned back against his body, he was slick with sweat already and she wasn’t afraid of him at all now. She trusted him and knew that he only wanted what was best for her. It came crashing over her, she started to shudder all over and she barely managed to groan his name, the world had changed into bright light and sheer sensation and she was completely overwhelmed by it.

Ahravan felt how she started to come and swiftly he did lift her leg a bit higher as he changed the angle of their hips, she was writhing in spasms and he didn’t hesitate. He felt the head of his cock slide into her entrance and then he did thrust once, a deep hard thrust which left him sheathed completely within her tight passage. Wenja heaved for air, her mouth wide open, her eyes too. The yell she heard couldn’t possibly come from her? Ahravan grunted and held still, felt how her inner walls grasped onto him, pushed against his flesh and it felt insane. He was on the brink of coming and had to fight hard to hold back. Wenja felt as if time itself suddenly had stopped, as if all the sensation she had in her body had gathered down there. It was all she could focus upon, the completely alien feeling of being filled and stretched. It didn’t really hurt, it was just so very weird and new and she yelled his name and felt him twitch within her. How could she stretch that far? It felt right, not too much at all and Ahravan moaned her name and caressed her breast. She felt his hot breath against her ear. “Tell me if I am hurting you my dearest”

She whimpered. “You aren’t, it is just..,”

He pulled back, very slowly and Wenja yelped, she could really feel it, how that thick cock did slide inside of her and it sort of pushed her over a sort of precipice. She gasped for air and as he pushed back inn she met the thrust with her own hips and the sensation was insane. It was so smooth, so good and she panted again. “Yes, oh yes!”

Ahravan was relieved, he hadn’t hurt her at all, she had been well prepared indeed and he started moving a bit faster, changed his position a little bit so he could use a finger on her clit as he fucked her. Wenja was seeing sparks, she felt how she was being pushed back and forth on the soft furs and now she knew why Sefa was so loud for this was so wonderful there wasn’t words to describe it. She met his rhythm frantically and he felt her tense up once more, so wet it was gushing out of her with each thrust and he groaned and swore and fought to hold back until she came.

Wenja screamed his name, arched back, clenching onto him in short powerful bursts and he roared and let himself come. It was like an explosion and he kept coming and held onto her twitching hips just to stay in place. It had never been this good before with any other female he had fucked. Wenja felt it, felt how surges of something wet filled her and she screamed again in wild abandon and shook with the force of their shared climax. Ahravan gasped for air and felt how he slowly came down from his high, it had been amazing and oddly enough he could feel her mind now, the way he could feel Rhawan. They had truly bonded when they came together, even if she was a mortal human being. That was most unusual and he felt rather humble. Wenja felt heavy like a stone, and so relieved she was almost silly. It hadn’t really hurt t all, it had been just amazing and she giggled and had to hide her face behind her hands. She felt a bit embarrassed by her own zeal but Ahravan removed her hands and kissed them. He hadn’t pulled out yet and was still hard and he wanted to fuck her more before the morning came but they shouldn’t overdo it. After all, it was her first time.

He nuzzled her neck. “How do you feel my sweet?”

Wenja bit her lower lip. “Amazing, but a bit tired?”

Ahravan chuckled. “Have I exhausted you already?”

Wenja giggled and moved a bit, felt him inside of her and the giggle became a gasp. “No, not completely”

Ahravan growled, his voice low and dark. “Good, for I have so much to teach you”

He made a shallow move and she winced and gasped, good, she wasn’t completely spent yet. He pulled out slowly and Wenja let out a small disappointed sigh. He leaned forth and kissed her on the mouth and she answered it, rather greedily. “First lesson, a different position”

Wenja nodded and sat up, she felt how slick wetness was dribbling out of her and it made her wince, the furs would be completely soaked before they were through. Ahravan caressed her neck and shoulders, licked her nipples again. “So, how do you want me this time?”

Wenja blushed, she bit her lip and stared down. Her eyes got drawn to his cock immediately, it was so long and thick and it was hard to imagine that it had been inside of her already, and it hadn’t even hurt. “Ah, there is one thing…”

Ahravan leaned forth and nipped at her earlobe. “Yes my lovely one?”

She decided to be bold. “I saw Rhawan fuck Sefa, from behind, could you?”

Ahravan chuckled. “Do the same to you? Most certainly my lady, but I think we may modify that position a wee bit, or else you may become very sore come the morrow”

He grasped onto some pillows and arranged them and then he made her lay down on top of them so her hips were raised. “Like that, spread your legs a bit”

She obeyed and held her breath as she felt him take his position over her with his arms held straight. He slid straight inn, no hesitation and Wenja let out a wail, he felt even bigger like this and hit something inside of her which sent sparks along her every nerve. She arched her back and it became even better and before she knew it she was moaning and gasping and howling his name as he groaned and grunted and thrusted in a slow steady rhythm. She clawed at the furs, trying to push herself even closer to him and he was panting and gasping. “Oh fuck Wenja, you are so…hnnnnnng…tight, oh this feels so good!”

She couldn’t help it, she screamed from the top of her lungs and Ahravan was barely able to speak. “Turn….turn your head around…look at me!”

She obeyed, pupils dilated and mouth open, her expression one of utter ecstacy. It was enough, he pushed in as far as he could physically come and then he roared as he filled her again, it felt as if he just couldn’t stop coming and he was completely worn out when he pulled her down onto her side and laid her next to him. He kissed her lovingly and knew that Rhawan was right, she was a rare gem and he would never let her go, ever! “Wanting more?”

His voice was filled with mischief but she yawned and shook her head. “Not yet no, I am so tired”

He nodded and kissed her. “So am I little one, you can probably make a dead man come back to life but you can almost kill one too”

She giggled and yawned again and he pulled a blanket over them. “Sleep tight my sweet, know that you are loved”

She just smiled sweetly and drifted off and Ahravan felt how his heart seemed to swell with a warm sensation he knew was love. She had captured his heart for sure and he didn’t regret any of it now. He was sure she would make him the luckiest male alive. He put an arm around her and allowed himself to fall asleep. Suddenly he was looking forward to the days to come.

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