There are other humoon – using Xerx’ses’ archaic spelling – servants finishing setting up the table and both Rhiana and the minotaur are seated in size appropriate chairs! Even for an Elf his dinner hostess was pushing 7 feet by Dwarven measurements. He did not have have to look down as much when seated adjacent to her at the table.
Xerx’ses, why would you think myself, a mere courtesan, is related to the Empress?
Well, you are as pretty as the empress in fact, your even a little prettier than Mistress Iana.
Was this Iana the elf that is in the stories of what was it? Mating Rituals?
Very sheepishly the beast bows his head with darkening color to his gray fur, “Yes.”
Did you love her?
I thought I did, but she worshipped the great and mighty Bast. Whom uses ritual mating practices in the prayers of their temples and she was simply praying. Beside Master Alchemist Azariel had feelings of the heart to her and I suck at getting love right. Umm, what is a courtesan?
Why would you…
…well, I am an entertainer and companion to nobles. If I like them I may also share my bed with them. Does that disturb your?
No, Master Tyvernos, told me that sharing your body was one of the greatest gifts one can give. He said that he’s known quite a few that, like priests that accept donations for healing. These women – and some men – accept donations for helping to relax their partners and sharing the intimacy that for a brief time might allow them to face the hardships in their lives.
I… I did not expect such reply… I…
If I offended you Lady Rhiana I am so sorry, I am not really the brightest of wizards you have met.
Taken aback by the sudden self deprecation Rhiana’s face goes from blushing to take on a quizzical look, “May I ask a few questions, oh, and how do like the food and drink?”
The dinner is fantastic, if I could get these recipes for the cook on our ship I would be in your debt. Oh, yes with such care and grace you have provided as a hostess I can do nothing but accommodate any request you have of me.
That is very trusting of you, well lets begin my fan loaded amount of questions, and maybe more later.
I will not go back on my word, please ask away as much as you feel the need to do so.
Why do you feel you are bad at love?
I could not convince my childhood crush, Luur’na to not choose a lifemate that treated her poorly. She later ended up becoming a lifemate with my brother, whom would treat her right and I was indeed happy. Till he fell fighting the forces of darkness in Troker. She now blames me for his death and has become a rogue member of the tribe. She has abandoned the worship of Isis and turned to the demon Modeus to seek my death and that of anyone related to me.
That was rather thorough and held much more honesty than I am used to receiving, thank you.
I have given my word and as the Lawgiver is my savior and you are not evil no falsehood shall pass my lips.
How do you know I am not evil?
My runic blade, Callandor, can sense it and would let me know had you been evil. Were that the case I would regrettably not stayed for dinner.
Changelings were one of the ancient races of light that help to throw off the shackles of my race’s former masters. Learning they are hunted rather than cherished for the champions they were, nay are still to me make me sad. Because if such a noble race can fall from grace how can I ever hope to get a second chance for my people to live among the other races of the world?
What do you think about the rumors of good Minotaurs having reincarnated Elven souls pushing them to the light?
I would be honored if that is true and I sincerely hope that it is. It would remind me of the tales I read of the New Kingdom and the grand Elves of yore before the darker times.
How old are you? How long does your race live?
53 full turning of the seasons and I am a winter child. According to ancient calendars I was born on the 7th of Od. This year I would be 54. The average lifespan according to the books that used to reside in our tribal library said we span four centuries, of course some live longer and shorter.
Are you considered and adult among your people?
About three years ago I was granted a permanent seat on the tribal council before they were nearly all killed. You have to be at least 50 seasons for you voice to matter.
So, your either an old teenager or a very young adult among your people?
That would be correct, and while I am happy the survivors of the tribe have merged with another and found strength and “Bulls of Light” among them. I now know almost no one among my people, well personally at least. In fact the closet thing I have to a home is in the temples and aboard my ship, Rogtilda. The people I call friends have become my replacement family, but this war among light and dark is killing all those I hold dear. My old tribe is for all purposes now dead. Overkill is dead in lava, Asher was eaten by a dragon, Lord Raulf was slain by a nercomantic curse. I am somewhat afraid to make friends because people die around me.
“Why, you poor boy…
…that’s horrible,” Rhiana said aghast at the stream of death this young minotaur had become accustomed to.
“I had even been rebuked by my savior until I made this atonement,” at which point Xerx’ses shows her the scar tattoo runs parallel down the right side of his spine on his back. This also afforded Rhiana a clear view of the scarring on the left arm, left back, and left side of his face.
Gently touching his burn scars, "How did you come to get these markings?
The first lifemate of Luur’na was called Zii’clymnt and he lit me on fire for trying to point out how bad a choice he was to Luur’na.
She led him from the table to a large day bed that might accommodate their combined weight, “Do you know how to feel happiness?”
Oh heaven’s yes, the happiest moment in my life so far that was just mine and not part of something larger was my time spent at the Lopanic Games.
He held up his hand which bore both rings of gold signifying his accomplishments at the Games.
Sitting and resting his large head in her lap she continued tracing her fingers along his horns and face, “Do you call the intimate acts ‘Mating Ritual Practice’ because its the only way you understand it, or are you aware they can be done just for sheer pleasure as well?”
Well, what you are doing actually feels great and I don’t think I have ever had a better dinner. Master Tyvernos called it sex along with many others among the crew of my ship. I understand where everything fits, but anyone your size should be thrilled that I am skinny for my size being only 600 pounds. I suppose it makes my ummm…
…umm stuff just barely fit. I did find the two times Mistress Iana and I performed her prayer rituals pleasant, however, I was still felt a ‘process’ to them as oppose to any deep sense of enjoyment.
Would you feel comfortable with allowing me to show you how it can be nothing but sheer pleasure?
“I am a little slow, if you’re patient with me then should pick it up quickly,” he replied with darker blushing fur as he gently tilted his head back to look her in the eyes. she ran her fingers over his lips.
Doing the act more than once is part of the fun. Lay here and let me douse the lights since neither you or I need them to see.
Xerx’ses watched as the moon became the only source of light softly reflecting off her body as she removed her clothing with playful glances over her shoulders to him. Then she followed the shadows to the bed and in the darkness undid his clothes and pulled them all to the floor.
Rod Rambler shook his head vigorously as the vision faded. He could tell there would be more in the morning he would see, but he didn’t know why. He chuckled to himself that now the joke would never die, he would have to cut out the changeling part though for the public release.
In the morning of the 20th Father Indaris approached the miniature palace among the houses of the bishops and was surprised when Rhiana, herself met him at the door in blue silk robes and a scaled belt that hung on the sway of her hips.
I awoke at dawn to find him in the garden praying. He seems happy and I am pleased I could make him so. If you have the time to visit in the future please tell him to stop by.
Xerx’ses said a goodbye with no words only taking a single finger and tracing her hand before walking away with the priest whom was holding the recipe book gifted to Rogtilda.
Rod Rambler saw all of this transpire but yet his vision was locked upon the courtyard. Jaymus Murray walked up to her dressed in clothing that looked nearly identical to one of her servants from the day before. Cocking his head he looked at Rhiana, “You actually like him, don’t you?”
Yes, but he can never know. When he makes up his mind he is steadfast. No love for him until the quest is over.
Trying to contain his anticipation he press Rhiana for more information, “Did you find out what the Morphean Fellowship needed to know about the Changelings, Elven souls and such?”
Yes and I had the ‘Echo Rock’ behind an enchanted candle to mask it recording what he said."
Jaymus set down a bag of gold as she handed him the ‘Echo Stone’ and he listened to the words that confimed the Minotaur’s feelings. He left Rhiana alone in her garden starring at the gate of her house. She said two small words on the winds as a prayer.
>> Seen in a vision and drawn by Rod Rambler, upon the 20th of Ra, 3rd year of King Guy the First of the Timiro Kingdom, 71st Year of the Wolfen Empire, 344 year of the Dominion of Man, and 24th Year of the Western Emperor Voelkian Itomas II. <<
Art by AZ_Rune.