A Dark Lord's Penance

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Chapter 1: Awake

A pair of emerald eyes slowly, begrudgingly, open. The slightest tendrils of sunlight have begun to flit about the room, shining in bands upon the figure lying on the bed. Roused by the coming of morning, a seemingly young girl slowly rises to sit up straight, stretching to alleviate the stiffness in her body caused by her deep sleep. She had been uncharacteristically exhausted last night, but she’s glad to find that the morning has brought back her vitality. She feels completely rejuvenated, levity pervading her entire being. Eager to start her morning without last night’s worrisome fatigue to incumber her thoughts, she fully rises from her bed and stands at her bedside.

"Strange…” she thinks.

Several things immediately seem odd to her upon standing. First, she feels so much lighter – spritely, even! – than normal, but this she attributes to being free of the dreaded exhaustion of the night prior. Second, it seems to her as if she has gotten substantially shorter, as the entire room and its contents appear larger, higher than normal, but this she ignores, leaves to the haze with which the morning often bereaves the mind. Lastly, her clothes seem to have gotten larger, as her trouser legs now partly touch the floor and her chambray appears far too loose-fitting, with its bottom reaching her thighs and her arms not reaching out from the sleeves. This, however, she also overlooks, believing that, in her slumber, some random fit of magic power, normally kept in check by her conscience mind, eked out and enlarged her clothes, as if to mock her allowing herself the luxury of such deep sleep.

Accepting these inconsistencies for the moment, she makes her way downstairs for a quick spot of breakfast. Descending the stairs, she notices that she seems much more lithe than normal, but this only pleases her further, as if it merely reinforces how well the night’s sleep has treated her. Reaching the threshold of her kitchen, she’s delighted to be welcomed by the light of a beautiful day bursting through the large windows, a cascade of bright orange and yellow filling the house. Brimming with vigor and smiling brightly, she races to grab one of the fresh oranges she had bought at the town market yesterday. She thought they looked delicious when she bought them, and the farmer’s produce had never once led her astray in the past, so she had been looking forward to trying one, with this gorgeous morning being a perfect occasion. Peeling back her now oversized sleeves to rind the fruit, she notices how supple, smooth, and petite her hands and fingers now look. This observation starts to break the façade of her perfect morning, but for now, the orange is her top priority. She expertly removes the peel of the orange, puncturing it in one place and carefully working her way around to peel it in one fell swoop. Biting into a piece of the orange, the prudence of her purchase is instantly validated by its vivacious flavor. As she enjoys the orange, she takes the opportunity to sit at the kitchen table to imbibe in the sunlight spilling through the window.

Upon sitting down, two more things become readily apparent, with one being that her hair seems to have spontaneously grown to be able to touch the chair and the other being the distinct lack of any discomfort or need to resituate herself at all as a normal consequence of male anatomy. These further corrode the illusion of the perfect morning, but the bliss brought about by the flavor of the orange and warmth of the sunlight is just enough to numb these thoughts to her sense of reason.

After devouring the orange, she makes her way to the windowsill, where a sliced loaf of bread rests, warming in the morning sun. As she takes a piece and moves it to her mouth to take a bite, she happens to peer out the window, noticing that the foliage outside seems overgrown. This development sears through the remaining veneer of ignorance and causes her to more intently peer outside. What she sees is not the remote mountain estate she’s become accustomed to for the last few centuries but a lush forest grove.

“What manner of devilry is this…?” she asks herself quietly.

This vocalization further removes the illusion she had enjoyed until now. Surprised at the femininity of her voice, she quickly moves her hand to her mouth, and suddenly, all the irregularities of the morning flood her mind, causing her to race upstairs to her master bathroom. As she moves, the current state of her body becomes more and more readily apparent, and upon arriving in the bathroom and positioning herself before the mirror, her current situation becomes crystal clear.

“Have I gone mad?” she asks herself in disbelief.

Before her stands a lithe, petite, fair young girl, looking around eighteen. Luscious, silky locks of black hair ripple down to her thighs, her emerald eyes scanning what lies before her. Removing her trousers, which forces her to manually keep up her now baggy underwear, reveals supple feet and legs stemming out from a svelte torso and modest chest. Wanting to examine the rest of her body, she casts a small spell, causing a ghostly hand to appear and ensure her underwear stays up. Now unencumbered, she peels back her sleeves, exposing smooth, sinuous arms. Unbuttoning and removing her shirt, her modest assets are confirmed, somewhat irking her for some reason. Perusing her face, she sees beautiful, soft skin, sharper features, and fuller lips, each complementing her piercing, almost haunting, emerald green eyes. Throughout this process, she intermittently pinches and slaps herself to wake herself up from what she believes – desperately hopes – is a dream, to no avail. Gone is her handsome yet gruff, muscular yet graceful male body. In an act of desperation, she peeks beneath her now loose underwear, optimistic that she’ll find her old friend, her manhood, but is disappointed when she finds only her new womanhood. As the gravity of the situation finally dons on her, the idea that she’s been afflicted by some sort of curse immediately pops into her mind. Acting on this worry, she darts through her room and down the hall, her loose clothes falling uselessly to the ground with the hand’s inability to keep up, to a study and library, where she finds and pulls out a small scroll and opens it.

“Identify!” she shouts.

At once, a faint spark of magic covers her, and information about her current self floods her mind, revealing that while no curse currently afflicts her, a very high-level spell of some kind does. The spell is called “Summon Greater Good”, and its effect is to summon powerful beings with a good alignment from nearby worlds and gift them with the form of their self best suited for the world to which they are summoned.

“Why is this body, of all things, most optimal for this plane?!” she questions incredulously.

Immediately, she attempts to dispel the magic affecting her, but it has no effect.

“Damn, I was hoping that would work…” she sighs. “It must be too powerful a spell. I suppose a Wish would do the trick, but to use a Wish scroll on such a relatively minor inconvenience would be overkill…” she concedes.

Irked, she plops down on the large chair at the desk of the study, contemplating how to proceed. Noticing her unwanted nudity, she decides to search for magically fitting clothes in her basement. Eventually, she manages to find black briefs, navy blue trousers, a purple tank-top, a white chambray, black socks, her normal black boots and a black and purple cloak, which adjust to her new form.

“At the very least, I’m able to use clothes of a style I would normally wear,” she silver-lines.

Curious as to her current surroundings, she walks back upstairs and out into what would normally be her courtyard. Instead, she finds, as she thought, that her house is now located within a dense forest. There does appear to be, however, a path in the forest not far from the threshold of the house’s property.

“And now I know where to go to find out where the hell I am, if all else fails…“, she says. Heading back into her house, she decides to try a few more options before venturing out into an unknown location that could very well be far more dangerous than she expects.

“Let’s see if extraplanar magic works,” she says as she begins to cast a spell meant to contact other planes, which miserably fails. Frustrated, she tries to shift to a different plane of existence, but this is also futile.

“How unfortunate… so this place blocks extraplanar travel and communication. I suppose there’s no use in even trying to open a Gate, then. Can I access my demiplane?” she wonders as she casts a spell, which is successful, causing a door to appear before her. “Excellent,” she says as she enters the demiplane she had created thousands of years ago, essentially a large room containing her most potent of items and weapons. But, as she attempts to leave through a door that would exit into her own world, the door refuses to open.

“Curses, foiled again,” she sarcastically remarks.

As she goes to leave, she peers at where she knows she has stored a Wish scroll, but she thinks better of it and departs back into her home. Disappointed at her failings, she scales the stairs and lies down on her bed in utter defeat. At this point, it’s about two o’clock in the afternoon.

"I suppose I should take that path to find a settlement, or at least someone or something, to get my bearings,” she thinks. “I don’t know where that may be or how long it might take, though, and I’ve used more high-level spells than I’m comfortable with being in an unknown location… I suppose I’ll just go about the rest of my day and continue first thing tomorrow.”

Forfeiting the rest of the day in the interest of being at full strength for exploration, she flits about the house and the demiplane to gather useful items for tomorrow’s labors and then moves on to the chores she had originally planned to do today, mostly consisting of cleaning and home maintenance, as she had just been away from the house for an extended period. Many of these tasks have become more annoying as a result of a near one-foot reduction in her height, with her now being only about 5′2". This is easily resolved by an invocation that allows at-will levitation, but it’s irritating for her to have to use magic for such trivial tasks. With all her tasks eventually complete, she sets about the business of making dinner and finds it more difficult due to the size reduction of her hands making using a knife to cut vegetables and meat trickier. Eventually succeeding in making a modest stir fry, she sits down to enjoy the fruit of her unexpectedly bothersome labor, trying to ignore her current situation to no avail.

While eating, she chuckles to herself, finding it humorous to visualize how ridiculous her current form would look in the role of a dark lord of evil she once bore. She finds equally comical to visualize the reactions of people back home. Aelrindel, a high-elf marksman, would be unnecessarily over-concerned and go to great lengths to rectify the issue, as per his nature. In fact, the elf would probably treat her like a princess, as incredibly chivalrous as he is. While pondering the benefits of extorting her friend’s personality traits, her thoughts turn to Bezet, a dwarf cleric friend of hers. He would cough out his lungs laughing if he were to see her like this, and his chiding, sarcastic remarks would never end. She felt that Alryca, the premier human female archmage, who had long consigned herself as the sole female member of the circle, would almost be happy, if not slightly disturbed. She shuttered at the thought of Alryca forcing girlish activities upon her, imagining herself drowning in the sea of pink decadence in which the mage often submerged herself. Lumizavur, a dragonborn and chief paladin to the platinum dragon lord, would likely remark that he saw little difference, as “all primates simply look the same to him”. Ulrich, the halfling master monk of the Shadow tradition, would perhaps be the most precarious to deal with, as his lechery and acute lack of shame are quite well known. The one she felt would have both the most comical and most worrisome reaction would likely be her student, Fortuna, who maintains a similar stature and appearance. Although they had observed a relatively strict master-student relationship, she feared that Fortuna, who had little time for proper friends or family due to the nature of her station as a prophesied hero, would immediately take the opportunity to seek a sisterly, or even motherly, bond with her, and she’d likely be reluctant to prevent such a thing, as she had grown fond of the girl.

Stymying these thoughts as her dinner is finished, she moves on to clean up the mess, much like the night before, before moving to the library to search for tomes relevant to her current debacle. Scanning her archives, she finds two books which may shed some light on the fiasco, Advanced Applications of Alter Self and Theoretical Planar Cosmology: The Cogency of Arguments for Outside Parallel Dimensions. Questioning where she had purchased such specific books, she recalls the hoarding intervention the group of friends had held for Alryca, whose wizard tower had become inundated with such a volume of tomes that it ought to have burst at the seams. Despite vicious resistance, they were eventually able to convince her to let them “borrow” many of her less pertinent publications on the condition that they would not be disposed of without her knowledge.

In the first book, she discovers that while some scholars had been able to specialize Alter Self to change one’s sex for an extended period, none have been able to create a permanent spell, much less one that could not be dispelled, even one affixed to an item. Searching through her stores of scrolls, she finds only about ten that hold Alter Self. Annoyed, she ponders undertaking the arduous task of developing a permanent ring of Alter Self in her frustration, but once her mental list of tasks for such a project grows past a certain threshold, she lazily resigns herself to her current form, at least for the time being.

In the second book, she finds a particularly interesting passage:
"While the existence of parallel worlds outside and independent of our own cosmology have long been theorized to exist, it’s thought that accessing one would normally be impossible, as the weave of magic in our own cosmology would be unable to bridge the gap to the parallel world’s weave, if it even had one! As rebuttal, some scholars have posited somehow extending the weave out into “void” space to search for other weaves to which to connect, but this is often shot down, as that level of magic control would require many gods or other powerful beings to work together. Most such deities, however, have shown little to no interest in such an enterprise when asked, either in a prideful sense of not believing another cosmological system could offer anything new or of value or in a desperate sense in not wanting to abandon a cosmology in which they’ve invested so much time, effort and resources. Although, it must be conceded that the theoretical deities of the parallel worlds may feel differently and may, in the future, attempt to connect weaves in such a way, opening portals between our worlds.”

Although skeptical of such an occurrence happening, it would partially explain both the spell effect that currently afflicts her and her house’s teleportation. Curious to see if there is any noticeable difference in the weave of magic, she deeply focuses on the magic power around her. After a bit of meditation, she, sure enough, discovers that the magic seems a bit “off”, strange yet eerily like which it normally feels. Additionally, she feels a dull malevolence in the forest around her. Puzzled at these new developments, she slinks deeper into her chair, momentarily accepting the hypothetical that she is now confined to some parallel world outside of all known cosmology.

“How troublesome… and to add insult to injury, it would seem that my own magic power might have gotten me into this mess,” she groans, limply reclining in her study’s chair.

Thoroughly trounced by the events of the day, she decides it best to prepare to retire for the night, as to be fully rested for what is sure to be another eventful day tomorrow. Rising from her sunken position, she slinks her way to her master bathroom, meaning to relax a bit in a bath. On her way, an important idea pops into her mind.

"But this also brings to question whether I was the only one to be summoned here, if the only qualifier was good-aligned beings of sufficient power. Ha! Perhaps some of my friends have found themselves in similar dilemmas. What I would give to see Bezet squirm in a cute little body like this one…”

Pausing on that thought as she reaches the view of her bathroom mirror, the cruel reality of her own cute little body and the fact that she now must contend with it catch up with her. As she activates her bathtub, an apparatus making use of a spell which can create and destroy water, and begins to disrobe, she attempts to prevent herself from staring at her new form.

"I’m going to feel like some degenerate voyeur if I stare at myself for too long…” she thinks, a dull red appearing on her face.

Submerging herself into the tub of steaming warm water, she lets out a pleasurable sigh, remarking at the different sensitivities of her old and new bodies. After soaking for a bit, she turns to the bar of soap and cloth lying on the side of the tub.

“Now, for the hard part…” she sighs. As she washes herself, she takes special care around the more unfamiliar parts of her anatomy, unsure as to how sensitive they may be to her touch.

"I’ve touched and explored one plenty of times while lying with Eowyn, but this is just… Eep!” As she had tentatively started to clean her now sleeker crotch, she wiped with the cloth a bit too roughly, eliciting a surprised response. “What kind of sound did I just utter…” she laments internally, blushing as she continues at a softer pace. Now more confident with gauging her new sensitivity, she moves on to her upper body. Eventually reaching her humble breasts, she pouts a bit as she cleans them.

“At the very least, I could’ve been given a bit more sex appeal…,” she quietly complains to herself. Dunking her now long, silky hair into the water, she enjoys the feeling of warm heaviness resting on top of her head and down her back.

Eventually finishing, she emerges from the bath and promptly grabs a towel to dry, intent on drying herself as quickly as possible. Once done, she dons some now oversized pajamas and pounces on her bed, eager to finally be done with the day and hopeful that tomorrow will bring back her old body and world. She slowly sinks into and is enveloped by her bed and pillow due to the loss in size, but she finds this to be pleasurable in a way, snuggling deeper into them, becoming even more comfortable, almost pacified. The softness of the pillow and accompanying tenderness of her body against it remind her fondly of her deceased wife, Eowyn.

"Ah… Eowyn, my cure, what would you think of me now, reduced to such a state…?” she thinks. Thinking of her leads to more in-depth memories, which lead to missing sharing a bed with her, which leads to remembering the love that was made, which ultimately leads to curiosity over the pleasure, as a woman, she felt during it.

“I’m really playing a dangerous game here,” she thinks, slightly aroused at the memories and subsequent curiosity.

The sensitivity of her new body exhibited both earlier in the bath and now on the bed start to pervade her mind, causing her to pull her head deeper into the pillow in disgrace, disappointed in herself for entertaining the idea of masturbation for this long. As the thoughts persist, however, she begins to rationalize it to herself.

“I was thinking of myself as a creepy voyeur before, but I suppose this is my body. Would it really be that weird of me to do, at least just once to see what it’s like for women, how it was for Eowyn?” she bargains with herself. As she thinks this, more thoughts of her time with her wife seep into her mind, continuing to corrode at her resistance. “As long as it’s to her…” she bargains. But, as she starts to make her way slowly, tenderly down her body, alarm bells go off in her mind.

“You must be kidding me…” she sighs, flustered, recognizing the alarm as originating from a spell placed on her back door. Someone, or something, was trying to break into the house.

“To interrupt me at such a delicate, vulnerable time… I see they have chosen death,” she sneers, smiling in an ostensibly evil yet cute way as she rises to greet the intruder.

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