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Tifgnir's Courting(WIP)

NemoUlysses Jul 11th, 2018 (edited) 167 Never
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  1.    Long have the people of Königspho known not to bathe in the rivers and streams running from Mount Tifgnir. The master of the mountain did not abide people fouling his waters. The terrible god that ruled over it has long been tributed to by the local people in order to use his waters for commerce and sustenance. But not for washing their filth unto the mighty dragon.
  2.   That is until one day a foolish young maid, hunting the beasts of the wood, decided to. It had been a long and messy hunt. She was an arrogant young thing; raised on the idea she was above everything else in the land. Sweaty, covered in cool autumn mud and the blood of a bear she removed her hunting leathers before wading into a small spring. Speckled with foreign flecks of brown and red, her blonde hair blended with the colours of the wood. She reached into her nearby knapsack and produced a soapstone. With her dainty fingers she rubbed the stone till a healthy lather covered them. Using dexterity and precision she covered her lithe, taut body in the suds.
  3.   The cool waters were like nothing else she had ever felt. To the point she didn't even notice the ragvein land on the edge of the pool. The bird was a little larger than her head. His black-blue plumage was cut by arcs of gold stretching across his body. With dark magenta eyes it watched the girl. He watched, soaking in every piece of her as her skin soaked in the softening suds of the soap. He watched as she ran her hands across her ample bosom and butt.
  4.   "What a self absorbed creature" the bird thought to himself as he watched her wash herself sensually.
  5.   After a few minutes she turned to, unknowingly, face the ragvein giving him a glimpse of a tiny golden peak cresting out of the crystal waters. More importantly it gave him a glimpse of her green eyes, and the look of terror on her face when she saw him. With a single flap he soared into the sky and flew towards Tifgnir's peak. Tho he was far above he could make out the girl hastily getting dressed and taking off. She even left her bear pelt prize laying by the spring.
  6.   The court was completely hushed. A silent rage covered the king's face. Or maybe it was fear. The transgression of his daughter threatened them all. Tifgnir had long been quiet. Should he wake the king's demesne would lay in ruin. The waters they rely upon would swell and flood their streets. The farmlands and forests that they feed off would flare into a sea of flame. Their homes and mines would collapse as the earth itself quaked under his might.
  7.   "After all, this has all happened before" he thought looking to the mural left by the last group of humans whom had built here. "Double the tribute" he proclaimed. It sounded more like a question than a command. "And you daughter, you must be the one to present it." he said gazing into her green eyes with fear the likes of which the princess had never seen.
  8.   Their instructions received, the servants set about gathering treasures to present at the dragon's shrine. Tho the mines were rich with gems and precious ores, it would be uncouth to gift the dragon that which was his to begin with. Rare silks from across the sea. Gemstones that were not native to this part of the world. Heavenly wines made from fruit few in Königspho had even heard the name of, let alone seen. The kings-men gathered as much as they could.
  9.   Once a suitable haul had been gathered they began preparations to make the tribute. For the third time today Lady Sobfei was naked. The shriners, whom were doing the preparing, were also naked. It honestly didn't make things less awkward. At least the attendants painting her bare skin were women. She shuddered at the thought of Chaplain Gebel doing this to her. The man practically undressed her with his eyes every time they met, and she did not want to see that wrinkly dong and sagging sack.
  10.   With the Princess' skin now covered in red runes she began to put on the priestly garb. Loose fitting blue pants with the sides cut out, revealing her thighs and everything but her crotch. Thankfully there are ceremonial underwear, otherwise her royalty would be on full display with every step. Unfortunately their was no ceremonial bra, so she'll be flopping around quite a bit in the loose fitting white top. It was almost like a robe had its lower half cut off and they turned it into a shirt. She'd half to make the belt was tied tight, lest it open and she spill out.
  11.   Now prepared there was just the ceremony itself. It was a rather simple dance-walk to the shrine where she would present the tribute. Normally the tribute is a monthly holiday. An event that pauses all activity in the city with people lining the streets. The shriners would dance and people would sell food. No such fanfare greeted princess Sobfei. The streets were bustling with an air of dread. The shriners still performed the ceremony, but they gave the princess a wide berth.
  12.   The music that played was different from the normal song. It was somber. A funeral march. Every step made her heart smash against her rib-cage. Those hunting skills paid off as the knot she had tied her belt into kept strong. Strong gusts of wind made her loose clothing flutter, and it made a chill run up her spine. Still, her concentration was unbroken.
  13.   The ten minute walk felt like ten hours. Her footfalls pounding against the cobblestone street. She really wished they had given her shoes of somekind. She liked going barefoot in the woods or on the gentle black sand beaches by the city docks, but the worn street was rough. Lady Sobfei now had a new appreciation of the shriners.
  14.   Finally the dance ended with a bow in front of Tifgnir's shrine. The royal servants then joined her with the tributes. It was a fine building sitting at the top of a modest set of stone stairs.The building itself was three stories tall, but it only had a single floor. It was cone shaped and covered in blue shingles. Standing in the doorway were two beings; one was ragvein the other a focaux.
  15.   The princess had never seen a focaux in person before. It was some sort of fox demon with a human appearance and nine tails, each consisting of peacock feathers. His face was sharp like a fox, and his furry fox ears stood unwavering even in the breeze. His head was covered in orange hair. Or maybe it was fur? A long pale yellow and green robe covered him, save for his bare human feet. The ragvein acted as Tifgnir's eyes and ears. The focaux act as his envoys. She couldn't tell if it was the same ragvein as in the forest, but the way it looked at her felt weird.
  16.   As she began to present the tribute to the shrine the focaux began walking down the stairs. She attempted to continue the ceremony, but each step he took broke her concentration. Finally standing before her the demon outstretched a single clawed hand. It was covered in fur, feather and scale. It was what was in his hand that drew her attention; a flower she had never seen before and a letter in a language she didn't recognize.
  17.   "My lord Tifgnir has seen your transgression against him" the demon said. "But, in his mercy he will spare your city." With a grin spreading across his face he continued "Tifgnir wishes to see you for himself."
  18.   Handing the letter and flower to Sobfei the demon burst into turquoise flames and shot into the sky. The ragvein did not budge. It's magenta eyes watching her intently. She simply stood there stunned and terrified. The prick of a thorn reminded her what she was now holding. It was a pretty flower. It wasn't a rose, but it had thorns. It had three rings of petals, each one a different shape and colour. The outer ring were tear drop shaped with the point facing outwards and are turquoise. The middle ring was round like a sunflower petal and they were citrine coloured. The inner ring faced upwards like a lotus and were magenta. Even from this distance the aroma was heavenly. Bringing it to her nose drowned out all other smells, and made the ragvein fly off.
  19.  
  20.   A sudden flash of turquoise light stirred the great dragon from his slumber. As he shifted his immense mass a torrent of gold coins scattered across the floor. Tifgnir had been wistful since the disturbance this morning. Dragons are many things. He loathed humans for making him filthy, but when that princess washed herself in him this morning, he felt...something. Something he had never felt before.
  21.   "Zoro" the dragon boomed "did you deliver my invitation?"
  22.   "Of course, my lord" the focaux answered.
  23.   "She liked the flower" croaked Hugan as he flew into the cave.
  24.   If the two didn't know any better they thought Tifgnir smiled at this news.
  25.   The dragon shifted again sending untold treasures tumbling. He was now sitting upright. The cavern was massive, but were he to stand he would almost fill it. In this form. He has been much larger. He was as wide as a house and atleast seven stories tall. His scaled body was quite muscular. His scales themselves were a pale yellow, and his underbelly and neck were both a pale green. His head was sharp like that of a lizard and with a mighty crown of sharp, intimidating antlers. His eyes were magenta. He stretched out his wings, nearly tripling his width. They were feathered, resembling a peacock's in shape and coloration. His tail was quite long able to fully wrap around his substantial hoard. It was thick and quite flexible. At its tip a tuft of magenta coloured fur. His genitals were hidden behind a massive and intricate gold-laced fur loincloth.
  26.   He gazed around his dwelling. If he was having company, it would hardly do in this state. Then a thought struck him. "Did she actually say she would be coming?" he asked his friend-servants.
  27.  
  28.   "Are you going?" Sobfei asked herself. She was struggling with the decision. As a princess it is her sacred duty to sacrafice herself for her people. As a princess it is also her duty to be a hypocrite and do the exact opposite of that should it please her.
  29.   While she mulled it over in the corner the court was a din of arguments. Her father would not allow it, as she is his only child and heir to the throne. Yet, he could hardly ignore the mural on the wall, gesturing to their eventual fate. When he wasn't trying to catch a peek at her, Chaplain Gebel argued that we should always appease the gods. Also, he probably liked the idea of a dragon violating the good princess.
  30.   Lady Sobfia decided to leave the squabbling court for the quiet of her room. Despite being the object of discussion she was able to slip away with ease. Her room was finely decorated and filled with the many treasures of her hunts. At the northside of her room sat a grand four postbed. On the leftside there was a quality leaded window with a table sitting beneath it. A small bookshelf sat on the far rightside of her room. It was filled with bestiaries and the logs of sailors, pirates and traders that her mother had collected over her lifetime. Perhaps the answer was amongst them. She was a hunter and clever one at that. Any prey can be subdued. One just needs to find the way to do it.
  31.   Her insane thoughts were interrupted by a tapping on her window pane. There on the window was a ragvein. Sobfia paused for a few moments before opening the window. The bird flew in, and stood on the table. It had similar colouring to the one she saw in the forest and at the shrine, but this one was female. Female ragveins are larger than their male counterparts. Where a male is about the same size as a human head the females are nearly twice that. She had two distinct, relatively, large breasts. Her nipples partially obscured by feathers. These birds were prized by lonely sailors, in particular smugglers and pirates, for their humanlike anatomy. Sobfia had never gotten her hands on a female ragvein to see for herself, but she trusted the many accounts of natural philosophers and sailors. They were bright creatures, able to understand human speech and even form words, but the lack of lips made some sounds impossible. They could perform all sorts of tasks and even use tools. Of course ragveins were the property of Tifgnir, so you had to perform a ritual where you spread blood over a ragvein egg. Poaching of ragvein eggs was of course illegal and incredibly dangerous, but worth it even for the less desirable males.
  32.   The bird spoke in a high, croaky voice "Mmy mmasster hahz a mmesssage ." She then presented her left leg, and sure enough there was a piece of parchment tied to it with a ribbon.
  33.   This time it was written in a tongue Sobfia could read:
  34. "You are a beautiful thing
  35.   like the painted Fall
  36.   A treasure I would behold"
  37.   The poem was awkward, and clearly was not written by someone familiar with the König tongue. Still it shocked her the great wyrm would go through the effort. It touched her that the god would consider her like this. "Perhaps it would not be such a bad thing to accept Lord Tifgnir's demand?" she thought to herself.
  38.   The ragvein sat there as if expecting something. Unsure of what to do Lady Sobfia picked one of her necklaces from her jewelry box and presented it to the bird. She was confused by the gesture, but grasped it in her toothed beak and took to the skies.
  39.   "Sobfia!" her father called. With haste she returned to the throne room. Entering the room every eye was on her. She had always been the center of attention, but she didn't like the way these gazes felt.
  40.   The court had come up with a plan, sort of. A young and upcoming merchant by the name of Oditsün had proposed to postpone handing over the Princess. By feigning illness they could keep the princess while not angering the dragon. Or so they hoped.
  41.   So, a day later the Princess came down with a sudden fever and was bedridden. Her curtains pulled tight lest a passing ragvein see the princess' true state. The King wrote a letter explaining his daughter's "illness" and passed it on to a ragvein. He prayed that this act of deception would not anger the dragon.
  42.  
  43.  Tifgnir was distraught at this news. Especially since she had accepted his invitation by sending a gift of confirmation. At the back of his mind he suspected fraud, but he refused to believe that she or anyone would lie to him.
  44.   He picked up the necklace and held it between his massive fingers. Careful not to crush it he gazed at it. He tried picturing princess Sobfia wearing it. The necklace was a rather simple thing. A low quality red emerald sat in a frame of vergent, a green tinted silver alloy. Hardly something befitting a princess, but he felt something. A memory long faded, and sentimentality soaked into it. Etched into its back was a mark of somekind.
  45.   "Zoro!" he called. In a turquoise flash the focaux appeared. "I wish for you track down the story of this necklace." he said handing the necklace to his friend-servant.
  46.   "Of course, my lord" the fox demon said with a bow. A plume of flame obscured Zoro's vision and he was whisked away. When the flames had receded he was standing on a shady dock in the underbelly of Königspho. He groaned in frustration. Zoro didn't like venturing into Königspho, but his duty demanded it. His first stop was a tavern of ill repute called the King's Landing. Surely someone in this place would know of this mark.
  47.   A hush fell over the place as the focaux entered. The only sound to be heard was a jovial giant in the back of the tavern. A familiar face, and the perfect place to start. The middle aged man looked rather rugged and roguish. He wore an eyepatch on his left eye and a simple leather harness that showed off his grizzled body. On his shoulder was a ragvein. Judging by her appearance she was rather old. A well worn companion for an old smuggler.
  48.   "Hello, Möuir" he said speaking to the ragvein. Her feathers had long turned grey and were thinning, showing off more than was normal for a ragvein. A grotesque scar ran from the tip of her "humanlike anatomy" up her midsection. She wasn't as perky or pretty as when he had last seen her, but Zoro knew her well.  "And greetings Cejric" he said turning to her perch.
  49.   "Ah, if it isn't the right hand of Tifgnir" the old smuggler responded. "What brings the mountain lord's servant to my bar?"  he asked grinning.
  50.   The focaux showed him the necklace. His face didn't change. At least, not to a human's eye. A small glint of nostalgia could be seen in the smuggler's face. "Red emerald set in vergent. A pretty common thing" he said feigning ignorance as he flipped it over and examined the marking. Both he and Möuir leaned in close.
  51.   Zoro was about to make a snide remark about her sagging tits, but he thought it best not get on his only leads' nerves. Still, they were playing him. Why? What could they get out of this? Cejric was already set for life. So much so that he gave up the smuggling game. Lord Tifgnir had already given them quite a valuable gift. "Surely they wouldn't ask for anything more?" he thought to himself.
  52.   A new figure stepped out from behind them. He looked human, but parts of his body were covered in feathers and he had clawed hands. His head in particular was covered in feathers that acted like hair. In place of a nose the man had the black beak of a ragvein, but he also had a human mouth. Both of which broke into toothy grins at the sight of Zoro. His magenta eyes were hardened, but still friendly. He wore simple garbs, but they were clean and well cared for.
  53.   "It was Jian's. Back before she settled down." the man said.
  54.   The old smuggler looked to his partner. With nothing but silence and their eyes they had a conversation. "We were going to tell him, Brön. We just wanted to play with him a bit." the one-eyed man said. There was no trace of sincerity in his voice.
  55.   "Jian was a smuggler and a pirate. One of the best, but one day she met a young warrior. A prince he was. Back then a terrible phantom warlord threatened the land." he said before taking a sip from his mug.
  56.   Möuir continued for him "To cut a long story short they went on an epic journey, killed an undead warlord, fell in love and had the daughter who just angered Lord Tifgnir. The necklace was given to her by that young prince. She never took it off after the day he laid it on her neck. Even after that young prince became king."
  57.   Putting the mug down Cejric handed the necklace back to Zoro. "How did you get it?" he asked. The joviality and playful sarcasm was gone from his face and voice.
  58.   "It was the fair lady's response to Lord Tifgnir's invitation" the focaux replied.
  59.   "Then she must truly appreciate his invitation" Brön chimed in.
  60.   "Or she thinks to impress Tifgnir with a cheap bauble she doesn't realize the true value of" interjected the oldman.
  61.   Möuir was next to cut in " Or she knows its value and did it to ply Lord Tifgnir."
  62.   Zoro walked out of the tavern, and almost as soon as his foot stepped across the threshold he was wreathed in fire. Just a moment later his bare feet felt the cold stone of the mountain cavern. He had begun walking forward before the obscuring flames had even cleared from his vision. He needed to report his findings to Tifgnir immediately.
  63.  
  64.   Sobfia felt like a prisoner in her own home. The windows were fitted with thick curtains and wrought iron bars to keep the ragvein out. Even so she was confined to her room and doctors invited everyday in order to sell the deception. She wasn't made to sit in a stuffy room all day. She had already devoted her mother's journals and the bestiaries that sat on her bookshelf to heart. By this point she had even read the holy books to completion in the three days since her confinement had begun. Everyday a messenger from Lord Tifgnir came with another letter for her. These letters brightened her day, but she couldn't respnd to them for fear of revealing the truth.
  65.   The court was still debating what to do even though she had already made her decision. A bunch of old merchants and burocrats sat around deciding her fate in hushed whispers lest Tifgnir's ears were nearby. At first they were happy with this arrangement, but with each day they dreaded the possibility that Tifgnir's wrath would fall. Now most of them were arguing to throw her to the dragon. Her father and several merchant families however would not accept handing her over. Her father out of love, and maybe Oditsün as well. She hadn't interacted with him much, but he always tried to impress her. Perhaps he really did care for her. Or maybe she was just a potential tool of his ambition. The rest of them wanted her for political marriages and to ensure the status quo.
  66.   "Maybe when I become king I should have them hanged?" she mused to herself. There was probably a law against it, but she relished the thought.
  67.   After having paced her room for the fifth time in half an hour she picked up one of her mother's journals. "What would you do?" she thought as she began flipping through the tome. A name caught her, Cejric. A smuggler and pirate who was practically a brother to her late mother. She had only ever met him once. It was at her mother's funeral. He didn't like court life and never visited the court, but her father would occasionally "sneak" out of the castle to visit him at his tavern. He owed her nothing, but maybe he was the key to her escape?
  68.   Sobfia needed someway to get his attention and explain her situation, but without the possibility of Lord Tifgnir finding out the ruse. The Pirncess hunted through her bookshelf for a specific log. Her mother had been imprisoned somewhere by some pirate hunter. She needed to get a message out, but she couldn't let the guards know it was a call for help. They let her write a letter to what they thought was her dying mother. In reality it was to Cejric. She had written the letter as if she had a normal sailor's life and spare her "mother" the pain of knowing her daughter would rot away in a prison. In it she put a code phrase;" I found this really nice jam on Yafi".
  69.   Sobfia copied her mother's words, but she still needed to get them out of the castle. Her father would know what it meant, so she couldn't ask him to pass it on Cejric. Nor any of the servants as any letter would be screened in case it might reveal their trickery. She wished she could walk through walls. It is then the idea hit her. In the corner of her room was a niche designed for an archer to defend the castle.
  70.   Sobfia carefully wrapped the letter she wrote Cejric around the shaft of her arrow and bound it with a fine ribbon. She looked through the tiny view slit to make sure she wouldn't be skewering some poor passerby, and then notched her arrow. She pulled back the string of her bow and loosed it. The arrow flew true and clattered against the cobblestone road across from the castle's moat.
  71.   The Princess stared intently and crossed her fingers as she waited for a passerby to notice it. A strange man came into view. He had a beak on his face and feathers for hair. When he noticed the arrow on the ground he shot a glance at the castle. He then bent down and unbound the letter before tossing the arrow into the moat.
  72.   She waited for hours. Could the strange man read? Did he have a grudge against Cejric? She paced her room with thoughts like these running through her head. Vindication came later that evening. The court had recessed after a fourth straight day of debate over her future. It was quiet enough to hear her father's booming voice greet Cejric. "He really has no volume control she thought?"
  73.   "I heard my neice came down with something" she heard the smuggler boisterously shout. "I brought some remedies that should make her right."
  74.   It fell silent again. Then she heard three sets of foot steps. She took a seat at her table and pretended to read a book. The door opened and Cejric, the strange man and her father walked in. On Cejric's shoulder was an old and gray ragvein with an ugly scar running up her midsection.
  75.   "She don't look all that sick" the smuggler said.
  76.   "Great Tifgnir demanded her after she bathed in one of his springs" her father said. "We're faking her illness to stall handing her over."
  77.   "Just like on Raffa" the smuggler responded with a laugh."Good to see this king nonsense hasn't dulled your edge too much" he said beaming directly at Sobfia."What do you say you and I have a drink and reminisce about the fun ol'days while her and Brön speak? This is our son, Brön by the way. And this lovely thing is Möuir" as he introduced her she flew from his shoulder and landed on the table and bowed her head at Sobfia.
  78.   Without hesitation her father agreed and left her alone with the strange man named Brön and his mother. Sobfia was intrigued, since ragveins and humans can't reproduce, but she put such questions in the back of her head. She wanted to see Lord Tifgnir and settle this.
  79.   "It is alright. You can trust us" Brön said giving her a grin with both his mouth and beak. For somereason she didn't, but she had no choice.
  80.    "You wish to accept Lord Tifgnir's invitation?" the bird asked.
  81.   "Yes" responded the Princess.
  82.   "Why not just tell your father you do?" Möuir said looking her straight in the eyes.
  83.   "He thinks that if I go I will not return." she said trying to keep her eyes on the bird's, but she couldn't help but stare down at the ragvein's scar. It started just above the bird's vulva just inches above her clitoris. It was deep and ugly, but looked to be surgical.
  84.   Möuir pretended not to notice the princess staring at her privates and stayed on topic. "Zoro came by to ask about your mother's necklace. Lord Tifgnir would not send his most trusted focaux if he intended to harm you" she said reassuring Sobfia.
  85.   "Now we just have to get you a way out of here" Brön said testing the cold-iron bars with a good shake.
  86.    Möuir's eyes shifted to her son. There was concern in them. Afterall both ragvein and focaux were harmed by touching the cold-iron. "We have a few options." she said returning her gaze to the Princess.
  87.   "Could do it the ol' fashioned way and sneak you out with the linens" Brön said now inspecting the arrow slit she had used. He stuck his hand in it and ran his scaled fingers around the crevice. "Or disguise you as a servant" now inspecting the dust on his finger.
  88.   "But we have a better solution." Möuir said with her own toothy grin and mischief in her eyes.
  89.   "A stone called fire turquoise. As long as you have access to the fresh open air it will allow you to travel to Mount Tifgnir." Brön said.
  90.   "That's great" Sobfia said. "Do you have one?"
  91.   "About that" Brön said "There is only one way to get it, and that is to pull it from the furnach of one of Lord Tifgnir's creations."
  92.   Sobfia gulped. "So, that's why you stayed in my room?" she asked Möuir
  93.   The furnach, a portmanteu of the words furnace and stomach, was an organ unique to creatures made my dragons. It contains and produces the magic flames that keep them alive. They don't have traditional stomachs and instead everything they eat is consumed in their furnach. It is also connected in someway to how they reproduce, but that is beyond current natural philosophy. In the case of ragveins it is in the abdomen. According to the natural philosophers who wrote the Bestiarus Ragvein male ragveins have a hole right beneath their ballsack that leads to the furnach. In female ragveins the entrance is their vagina.
  94.   "Let's get this over with" Möuir said laying on her back. "And before you ask the reason you're doing this instead of Cejric is that it wasn't quite ready before we got here."
  95.   Sobfia took a deep breath and placed her left hand on the table to steady herself. She ready her other hand. pinching her fingers together as she prepared to enter the bird. The Princess looked down at the creature on the table. It certainly looked like a human vagina. Two fleshy lips protuded from the surrounding fatty flesh and at the top was her clitoris. The surrounding area was bare of feathers revealing Möuir's pink skin. She was so nervous she was shaking.
  96.   "Don't worry, dear, this isn't the first time. And I've had much larger things than your hand." the ragvein smirked.
  97.   Brön's face turned red, and he turned to face the arrow slit."This hole isn't large enough for you to travel out of. You'll have to find a place that is more open."
  98.   As gingerly as possible she slipped her hand in Möuir. She was upto the base of her fingers when she hit her cervix. She wasn't sure what to do now. The entrance was pretty small, but she was somehow supposed to fit her entire hand through it. With enough prodding she managed to get her middle finger through. Warm flame licked her finger tip, but it didn't burn her.
  99.   "Could have bought me dinner first" Möuir  joked again. There was obvious discomfort on her face and voice. "Or maybe some rum? I'd have appreciated a bit of foreplay."
  100.   Sobfia let loose a nervous laugh. She maneuvered another finger into the hole. Then another one, before finally fitting her fingers through. She was wrist deep in the ragvein at this point. She could feel the stone now.It was warmer than the surrounding fire. She tried to grasp it with her fingers, but that just pushed it away. The fire felt sort of like how mint tastes. They burnt, but also felt cool and refreshing.
  101.    She looked at Möuir's eyes again and went deeper. Her entire hand was now in the furnach. Sobfia couldn't imagine the pain she must be in, but Möuir's face didn't show any trace that she was in actual pain. She fumbled around in the flames for the stone, and her fingers felt something strange. One of the walls felt slightly different. It was smoother; likely scar tissue. After a few moments she finally caught a hold of the stone. She felt the powerful magicks held within. In fact her hand felt a little stronger now, and she could feel her nails and hair grow as the flames infused them. With the stone in her fist she began to pullout.
  102.   Getting out was a little more difficult than getting in. The little hole had already been stretched to its limit while she was making her hand as slim as possible. Now she had to get a clenched fist out. Slowly and as gently as she could possibly manage she pulled. Her hand barely shifted. Bracing herself against the table she tugged with a little more force. She felt the ragvein's cervix roll across her closed fist as she pulled it out. Her finger tips caught the rim and her fingernails gently scraped against. As her fist was finally freed of the tiny hole she felt it begin to contract back to its original size. "Möuir is really going to be sore tomorrow" she thought
  103.   Her entire forearm was soaked in various fluids. Just the brief contact with the fire had made her finger nails grow longer by a full inch and her arm was so hairy that it looked more like a dock-worker's than a princess'.
  104.   "Thank you" she said clutching the stone.
  105.   "Just don't lose it" Möuir shot back weakly.
  106.   "Goodluck, Princess" Brön said picking up his mother and placing her on his shoulder. She was shaking and now covered herself with her wings. "We'll let Lord Tifgnir know you're getting better and will soon visit him" he finished.
  107.   With that the pair left the Princess to her own devices. Sobfia stared at the stone. It was beautiful and wreathed in turquoise colored flames. It was warm to the touch and seemed to pulse with a heartbeat. She focused on the stone and her desire to go to see Tifgnir. Flames began to sprout from it and snake up her arm. It reached her shoulder and she wondered if it would burn her clothes. Suddenly the flames jumped to her clothes. She reflexively tossed the stone in the air. It landed softly on the bed. She ripped the burning shirt off of her and tossed it into the fireplace. Despite being covered in fire she wasn't burnt at all.
  108.   Now topless she picked the stone up again. "Don't burn my clothes" she thought once again the flames sprouted and covered her body. Her pants didn't catch fire just as before. "Burn my clothes" she thought again. Her pants caught fire just as her shirt had before. "Stop burning my clothes" the flames did just as  she commanded. She ripped the ruined pants from herself and tossed them into the fire place.
  109.   "Well, now I know how that works. Now I just need to find the right time to leave" the nude princess thought, taking a seat on her windowsill. She jumped a little as bare flesh touched the cold stone. "I wonder what I should wear? she said wiping dust from herself.
  110.  
  111.   An army of ragvein and focaux maids rushed around Lord Tifgnir as he sat on his hoard. The news that Lady Sobfia was getting over her sickness reinvigorated him. He wanted it to be perfect for their meeting. The great dragon was giddy with anticipation. He wanted no trace of filth in his cavernous castle. He hated filth, and that is why he so wanted to meet her.
  112.   He had pondered this contradiction ever since she slipped into him. "Was this what humans called a fetish? Or was it something about her specifically? True love? Be patient you will have your answer soon enough." he thought as he toyed with the necklace she had given him.
  113.   Hugan returned from gathering this week's tribute. It was quality as always. Out of all of the cities that had called his demesne home Königspho was by far the most prosperous. It brought treasures he had never seen before from places he would never visit. He wondered what would have happened if he had not become infatuated by the hunter who bathed in him? He would have so hated to destroy Königspho, but he hated being filthy just as much. "Maybe I would have let them off with a warning. A few burnt buildings and fields would probably have done the trick."
  114.   He was also happy to have seen Brön had turned out so well. He had worried that his reward to Cejric and Möuir would turn out as a failure, and after what they had done for him that would have crushed the dragon. He really should have Zoro bring them to visit more often.
  115.   Tifgnir's mind raced with all the possibilities. He should try to find something to distract himself. "Maybe I should make new servants? I have the focaux for the land and ragvein for the sky, so maybe something for the water? Lobsters; I think I'll use lobsters for the base" he thought. "Zoro, Hugan fetch me some lobsters." he bellowed.
  116.  
  117.   Another day of intense debate amongst the courtiers had begun. The sides hadn't changed much, if at all. No one had convinced her father to send her to Lord Tifgnir. She clutched the fire tourquoise in her hand. She had managed to keep it secret through the night and early morning. Tonight she would make the trip with or without the court's decision. Or her father's permission. She feared what this would do to him. What would happen if she was wrong and Lord Tifgnir wanted to punish her for her transgressions.
  118.   She spent the day reading again. Tifgnir's letters, the latest of which called her "the golden flower that he desires more than anything else" poetry must not be his strongest suit. Her mother's journals and logs, should this be the last time she gets to hear her voice. Even if it is only in her head. Her bestiaries to find any hope of fighting her way out if she needs to. She had a servant bring her a broken piece of wrought iron. She was shaping it into an improvised dagger. Cold-iron was the only weakness she could find, and she would use it if need be.
  119.   After an eternity the sun faded from sight, and the servants went to sleep. Her father would be spending the night in the study again. Hoping in vain to find a way out of this. She dressed herself in a beautiful tunic. It had been her father's, and he had worn it on his quest to slay the warlord Däguven. She wore nothing else, not even shoes. It was how these tunics were supposed to be worn. Only a thin piece of cloth standing between you and the world. At her waist she had two scabbards. In the left her makeshift dagger and on the right her mother's saber.
  120.   Silently she moved through the darkened castle. Her footfalls made only the faintest noise on the stone floors of the castle. She managed to avoid every guard and stray servant. She came upon the castle's courtyard. This was where she would do it. It was a nice little place. A bit of color against the gray stone that made up most of the castle. A small pond full of exotic fish and beautiful plants of all varieties. In its center stood an obelisk. A small shrine devoted to her mother. She walked before it and folded her knees beneath herself. She said a small prayer as she sat there.Gripping the stone she called upon its flames. They poured from it until they covered her entire body and obscured her vision.
  121.   When the firey veil lifted she was sitting before the entrance to a grand cave. Sobfia stood and stared behind her. Down there in the distance she could see the faint lights of her city. As she began walking forward she prayed she would see it again.
  122.   The cave was truly magnificent. Unlike anything she had ever seen before. As she walked it became larger until she finally reached the main chamber. Two focaux guarded its entrance. They wore strange armor and carried strange spears that had swords at their tips. On their shoulders stood ragveins. One male and one female. Upon seeing her one of the ragvein flew off. Soon the focaux from the shrine appeared.
  123.   "Hello, Lady Sobphia, I am Zoro. This way please" he said motioning to have her follow him.
  124.   The main hall was massive. Piles of treasure lay everywhere she looked. Tapestries, statues and paintings in styles she had never seen before. Mountains of gold and jewels worth more money than all of Königspho. Ragvein and focaux were scampering about cleaning the treasures.
  125.   "Before we begin dinner" Zoro said "Lord Tifgnir asks you to join him in the bath. Would you please join him?" it sounded more like a demand than a request.
  126.   He led her to a massive hotspring in the heart of the mountain. Steam rose from the waters, which were deep and opaque. At the far end was Lord Tifgnir and about a dozen focaux bathing his massive form. Sobfia had expected him to be huge, but not quite as large as he was. She looked over his form. He was a mountain of muscle and impenetrable scale. He could crush her in a single hand. His peacock feather wings were a sight unlike any she had seen. His lower half was submerged in the waters, but a tiny bit of his penis peaked out of the water, and if she had to guess the full thing was as large she was. It looked smooth as if it made of glass or cut gemstone. His eyes were closed and his head was leaning back.
  127.   "Excuse me" a female focaux said "please remove your clothes that we may wash you."
  128.   She was naked, as were all the focaux here. Her face was sharp like a fox and she had dark black hair, or fur, on her head. White fur ran all the way down her back. In her hand was the same kind of soapstone Sobfia used that day in the forest. Six breasts ran down her frontside. The top two were the biggest and covered in fur white fur with a large tuft laying directly between them, and just beneath them the fur gave way for human flesh. The second set were a full size small than the first. The third set were barely mosquito bites and sat at the same height as her navel. All of them sported deep pink nipples. Her navel had a jewel plugged in it to close the hole leading directly to her furnach. Beginning at her waist the white fur returned and ran just past her knees. She had thick, strong looking thighs and beneath her knee her legs looked entirely human. In between her legs she saw the strange genitals of the female focaux.
  129.   Most knowledge of the focaux comes from the natural philosopher Quin and her book Focaux in Focus. One day she was in the forest and came across a focaux whom had been attacked by a bandit. She nursed her back to health and they came to be involved. Lord Tifgnir allowed the focaux to stay with Quin. It reads more like a sex diary than a traditional bestiary treatise, much to the dismay of the Council of Natural Philosophers, but it is the primary source of information on the creatures. In it focaux females are described as having two vulva arranged one on top of the other. The bottom one looks like a human's having the same structure and placement on the body. Just above it is another vagina described as being "like a hound's". Vaguely triangle shaped leading Quin to describe their genitals as being "shaped like an arrow." The top one is for impregnation, the lower one serving as the birth canal.
  130.   While she was busy staring at other focaux, Zoro had stripped. A collar of white fur ran across his chest and ,just like with the female, a tuft of fur lay between his top two breasts. The fur stopped beneath this top set, but being male neither of his remianing breasts stuck out from his chiseled abdomen. He wore a jewel to plug his navel just as the other, although his was much nicer. The white fur continued down his waist and just below his knee, giving way to human legs. His pelvis was entirely devoid of fur or her, so Sobfia had a clear look at his genitals. His penis looked fairly ordinary. It was shaped like a human's, but just below the head was a large glowing orb that looked like it was made of turquoise. According to Quin this was to infuse the sperm with extra magic. His testicles were unlike a human's. They were small and built into the base of the penis. You could see them glow with fire beneath the skin. Quin described them as being like the orb on the penis.
  131.   "Lady Sobfia, please remove your clothing and get in the water" the female attendant asked again.
  132.   Sobfia complied and removed her tunic and sat on the water's edge. The attendant and Zoro both removed their jewel plugs and set about washing her with the soap stone. Occasionally they would reach their hands into their navels and cover them in the turquoise fire. Her skin tingled as the flames and soap soaked into it. She felt awkward. Despite being a princess she was independent and didn't like people doing stuff for her. They ran the lather over every inch of her body. Zoro was careful to not touch any of her private parts and careful not touch her with his. The female attendant by contrast was practically grinding against her. Maybe that is how she washed Lord Tifgnir? Her scaled claws were less accommodating than Zoro's. Going anywhere and everywhere. Sobfia simply sat there red faced waiting for her to finish.
  133.   Zoro must have noticed as he soon said "I am sorry, but Lord Tifgnir despises filth and so we must clean you."
  134.   "He doesn't like filth?" she thought as the female attendant continued her invasive procedure. She thought back to the great hall. Its treasures were scattered and disorganized, but she could not recall a single speck of grime or dust.
  135.   It is now her thoughts returned to the great dragon sitting across from her. His magenta eyes were open now. Watching her intently. His massive form was truly unlike anything she had ever beheld. He could crush her entire frame in a single fist. He could swallow her whole or simple stomp on her.
  136.    His pale yellow scales glistened as the focaux worked it to a shine. His pale green underbelly didn't shine the same way, but it still had a soapy gloss to it. To her surprise the turquoise that seemed to be everywhere was almost entirely absent save for the eyes on the tips of his peacock like feathers.
  137.   Sobfia sat there in awkward silence while the female focuax continued her invasive procedure. She didn't like this uneasy feeling. She still wasn't sure if she would make it out of here alive and Lord Tifgnir had not yet said a single word to her since she arrived. Years of etiquette and diplomatic training told her that she should only spoke once spoken to, but breaking the rules was why she was here in the first place. From his letters Lord Tifgnir seemed to be genuinely intrigued by her, and perhaps this rebeliousness was attractive to him.
  138.   Taking a deep breath she threw etiquette to the wind and shouted, as politely as she could, across the spring "Thank you for inviting me Lord Tifgnir."
  139.   The spring had fallen entirely silent as the focaux and ragvein waited on their master's response. Her outburst was a surprise to everyone. Especially the attendant with a hand up her pussy as she suddenly jerked. Sobfia really hoped those claws didn't do any damage. She didn't feel anything and didn't see any blood when she glanced down, but she wished the focaux would be more careful.
  140.   Tifgnir shifted his weight and sat fully upright. His eyes never left the Princess. Then he spoke in a deep booming voice "I am glad you came Princess Sobfia từ Königspho." With a slight chuckle he added "And there is no need to shout, my hearing is quite good." He then formed his reptilian face into something closely aproximating a smile, but his eyes still gazed upon her with intensity.
  141.   The tension lifted from the spring almost immediately. Sobfia too felt more relaxed, even with the fox demon digging around in her. Apparently satisfied the focaux finally removed her hand from the princess' pussy. Covering her hand in fire again and lathering the soapstone the attendant reached once more for Sobfia's crotch, but her genitals were not its destination. Her scaled fingers now rubbed against something it shouldn't have and it finally dawned on Sobfia where she was about to be "cleaned" next. That feeling of dread and unease once again returned to her as a soap covered claw slid across her sensitive skin looking for an opening. The cool burning sensation filled her as a slippery claw slid its way inside.
  142.   "I believe the princess is plenty clean now,  Marosha" Zoro said saving Sobfia's ass.
  143.   "Of course Master Zoro" the female focaux answered removing her hand. There was a hint of disappointment on her face. With a bow the attendant walked away and joined a group of other focaux whom were bathing further up the spring. Her tail feathers produced a curvy trail of suds as her tail feathers swept across the ground.
  144.   "Thank you" Sobfia whispered to her savior.
  145.   At this moment a ragvein, the same one from the forest, flew in and with a croaky voice announced "The feast is ready."
  146.   With this Tifgnir stood and the waters of the spring crashed over its banks. Sobfia saw Tifgnir in all his glory at this moment. His penis glowed with the turquoise flame. It looked smooth like it was made of glass or cut stone, but it also was clearly made of flesh. And it was massive. At least as long as Sobfia was tall and as thick as a tree trunk. There was no hint of his testicles, so Sobfia concluded they must be inside his body or he didn't have any.The ground shook and the waters spilled with each step he made toward the main hall.
  147.   Sobfia stood and slipped the tunic back on. Someone had washed it while she was being cleaned. Despite this it was dry. Her weapons were still where she had left them. Zoro appeared behind her and together they walked to the main hall. She felt safe with him around for somereason.
  148.  Zoro guided her to a table made of a fine looking wood. It was from a tree that has been extinct for nearly three-hundred years. She had ever only seen something made from the wood in the museum. He pulled out a chair and gestured for her to sit. As she did she noticed directly across from the table was a towering hoard of glittering treasures. Lord Tifgnir wrapped himself around it coiling like a snake. His head came to rest at, roughly, Sobfia's height. His eyes watching her intently.
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