Rhiana was excited when her long awaited guest had arrived, Iana! Outside, there was a line of incredibly handsome Humans from the Eastern and Western Lands. One Western Noble had three Orcs and two Ogres as his slaves, all dressing in Elvish fashion specifically tailored to fit each of them! What had surprised Iana was hearing the lot of them speaking nearly impeccable Elvish tongue. One Wolfen knight with fur the color of honey in plate armor that had been deep blue dyed for rust and adorned in brass etched symbols of the gods of light. A few dashing Elves rounded out the remainder of the courtiers.
‘It is so good to finally meet you!’
Exclaimed Rhianna to her auburn haired guest for the next month. Even she could easily understand how this woman made short work of the (at the time they met), less-worldly Minotaur.
‘Yes, thank you so much for keeping me updated about the big lug! So he’s blond now? That’s a thing huh?‘
She had been so grateful for the chance to leave Titania for a visit. Ever since her return she had been subjected to ’interviews’ and a Titan escort until a recent visitor arrived. The Lord Instaror verified the tale of the Golden Minotaur’s ascension to immortality. 50 users of magic had verified his soul radiates good. Her escorts stopped the following that day and more than a few apologized for fearing she had been tainted for laying with the horned mystery. Tales of his travels had been watched closely for any sign of subterfuge regarding their ancient masters of chaos. It was a few days later that Rhiana’s messages were handed over. She had been trying to reach out to the only other Elf whom might understand the quandary she found herself in.
‘Oh by Bast he was attractive before in the most dangerous, beastly way one to could think of. Such raw, deadly, power he could…’
…realizing she was becoming lost in thought her cheeks colored and both girls wandered into the main sitting room as Iana finished her thought.
‘Then he would ruin it by speaking! I adored him but he was so much hotter when he was quietly brooding!’
Servants throughout the manse started looking for the songbirds only to find both women laughing, Touching their noses with one index finger and pointing at each other with the opposite.
‘He has gotten so much better at that but he still has his moments, so true.’
Rhiana laughed and feigned a hand to her forehead in a playful sigh which made both women laugh more in reflective memories of the then dark grey hero of the past.
‘Before we get to the last month I have to know something?’
‘As my lovely host commands I am your open book.’
Iana made her body language such a grand gesture and both women laughed once more and song filled the sitting room fluttering like butterflies out from there.
‘Why did you fall for him?’
Just like that Iana remembered that Xerx’ses was the only one trying to fight for her to decide whom she would sleep with. Cava was so indifferent and treated her the way many of the nice madam’s might. Azariel did love her at a point but considered her an object to be won. Xerx’ses just wanted her to have the right to choose. Azariel never knew how lucky he was that the minotaur constantly deferred to him because of his race.
‘Okay, it all started getting weird in the Baalgor Mountains…’
She began to tell the tale of the brief three way triangle between Azariel, Xerx’ses and herself. She mentioned sleeping with the others mainly for prayer to Bast, but also to finally experience the world of pleasure she had only read about. Until Xerx’ses chose to take himself out of the equation to preserve his friendship with Azariel she admitted to leaning to him over the Elf.
‘Turn about is fair play,’
Iana smiled with a slight giggle,
‘How did you meet him? Was it before or after he became blond and beastly handsome?’
‘No, in fact I met him in a similar way through none other than Azariel as well.’
‘Oh my Ra, shut up! You are so joking that poor elf must hate him by now!’
‘Poor little Azariel is doing fine. We spent a week together and one only night. I introduced him to the power players on Lopan but he is committed to his wife.’
‘Oh, a business arrangement then! If he is married did you both sleep together?’
‘No, I did give him a massage and saw him naked briefly as he changed clothing. I can attest that he kept his vows of marriage intact.’
‘Ahhh! That is so sweet!’
Both women nodded having either read about or participated in enough infidelity to appreciate a good husband and honest soul when they met one.
‘Now, spill it lady! While my cup gets refilled you owe this weary traveler this tale and leave nothing out. Then, my most gracious host, you’re going to drop some “₮ golden knights” on why you have a line of would be heroes at your door.‘
As one of Rhiana’s servants comes forth to refill Iana’s chalice and then their master’s the host nodded and began her tale.
‘It was the Month of Ra, last year. I met him while he was waiting outside of the now Alchemist Azariel’s shop in Sekti-Abtu. Not caring what everyone else thought I had decided to try out the most dangerous member of CrIsis and try to tame the savage Grand Champion of the Lopanic Games.‘
Iana’s attention was focused intent on hearing more about the big lug.
‘So I plopped down in his lap to which I got the response I was looking for even without psychic powers.’
They both giggled as each of them being master level psychics.
‘When his friends called him in to see Azariel I extracted a date from him that night. He showed up in his wizard robes freshly cleaned and then was such and open book…’
…Rhiana continued her tale and Iana learned a number of things about Xerx’ses she had not known. She held her hand about the parts regarding Luur’na and how the scarring came about. The auburn hair Iana stared into Rhiana’s violet orbs and she could see the hurt in her eyes for what Xerx’ses had endured.
‘You didn’t just fall for him, you – still – love him, don’t you?’
Rhiana bowed her head in quiet shame, but the empathy both had instinctively been using told her it was unwarranted for Iana had nothing but sisterly-like love and caring for her.
‘Please, you can’t tell him! If word got out I was in love with a Minotaur the social circles and information I acquire would have unpredictable effects. No one would likely want a courtesan that was in love with someone other than her paying suitor.‘
Iana moves over to her hostess’ seat and hugs her.
‘There is not a day that went by for nearly a year that I had not wished Xerx’ses owned the hero’s scroll Cava used. I came to terms with that and moved on.‘
Pushing her host back to upright Iana smiles.
’Okay, so now I hear he is immortal, a demigod in other circles. Dish lady, what does our blond, horned, paramour look like today?’
She swoons briefly thinking about his last visit.
‘It was the Month of Thoth, last year’ and they had just returned from killing King Sunder Blackrock of the Nimro Kingdom, and recovered the Left Arm of Osiris…
…Over the course the next two hours they drank and grazed over bowls of fruits (both fresh and dried), nuts, bread, and smoked meats. Plates were sent out to the suitors awaiting their chance for a meeting. When she finished telling about their last night together Iana was fanning herself while she clung to the arm of the daybed she had been sitting on with Rhiana.
‘Based on the way you tell that tale I would not want to be between him and his quest. Unless I had a dress like yours he could take off me. Goodness me I think I have the vapors.’
Both of them giggled like songbirds once again.
‘So why did you contact me for help? It sounds like you had a great time.’
Rhiana sighed and prepared herself.
‘A good courtesan can not afford to fall in love and stay there. Aside from the money I use to live comfortably here, the rest of it is donated to orphanages around the island. I will take you tomorrow to see two institutions here in Sekti-Abtu.’
’You’re so close to making your point…’
‘I would like your help over the next month to dull, deaden, or just plain wane my love of him. I needed you because of your skills and your knowledge of him should help picking out the memories that may need adjusting.’
‘I think you’re brave to sacrifice your love for children that have nothing else now.’
‘I don’t want to hate just so I am clear, but I can’t be – in love – with him. Besides the last night we spent together I told him I couldn’t share my bed anymore. I tried to tell him I was training him to be a good lover but…‘
Rhiana sighs heavily,
’I taught him about trying to be a good friend, then lover, and finally husband – what he calls a lifemate. If he meets another elf he will know nearly everything to sweep them – boy or girl – off their feet.’
Iana raised an eyebrow,
‘Does he like men that way? I never got that impression.’
‘Until I told him about it he said he had no idea. He said that since he is immortal anything could happen but it didn’t interest him currently.‘ Rhiana seemed to be relishing memories she knows will change soon and Iana rests her head on blond elf’s shoulder and takes one of her hands making contact with the opposite temples twixt golden locks of hair.
‘That is very mature of him, clearly he has grown. Let’s begin and I will envy any future elf bride for the both of us.’
The following morning Iana is on a balcony looking at the line of heroes which had not moved! Soon joined by a rested Rhiana. Looking to her host and gesturing to the very odd display of suitors.
‘Hope you feel better, now what’s with the hotness lineup? Did you notice one of those Elves is actually a girl dressed to hide that fact?’
Rhiana smiles and begins the tale of The Courtesan’s Pilgrimage
‘Well, this has actually become a growing phenomena. Turns out a young warrior of the Church of Light had slipped away from his father. Whom, had been taking him on a holy quest to visit the places CrIsis had been to. Apparently, the young man had been working and living like a pauper to save what he thought was enough money to spend a night with me!’
Iana smiles covering her mouth with a hand.
‘Oh my! Go on..’
Rhiana turns and blows a kiss out to the suitors. One of the Ogres actually grabbed his hands to his heart in the custom tailored clothing and fell to the ground! He also managed to fall without hitting anyone else! Looking back at Iana she winks like a devil and angel mixed.
’He presented me with two Dragon Coins that had gems in them! I offered him one night for each coins but he had to send word to his father so the kind man would not worry. To his credit he did so and paid for his father to stay in one of the top tier establishments in the holy city for both days. His father told him he was crazy but it was his money.
‘Well, what happened next?’
Iana so excited by the tale she knew she would have to continue for face the wrath of her guest. She smiled.
‘When he left it turns out his father had let slip word of his rendezvous with me. A number of warriors questioned him in taverns and he made them duel him for the information. If he won they must give over their most prized weapon, armor, or item of prowess. If he loss they would learn the tale.’
Pausing just long enough to torture Iana and drink some water.
’The boy won his first seven fights and when the seventh warrior lost he offered him anything he wanted to learn the tale. Rather than taking the money he made he looser hand over the same amount of money to the Church of Light in a donation! Then he shared the tale and bade him adhere to the same rules for its telling. Everyone still standing down there has been verified to each have donated 10,000 in Eastern Crowns to the Church of Light.
Iana was amazed at such a tale and asked,
‘Well, what happened to the Lothario that started all of this?’
‘The boy, no he is definitely a man now, headed off to Nisi to visit the Obelisk of Osiris.’
Gesturing to the row of would be heroes, a single clandestine women among the Elves,
‘What do you plan to do with them?’
‘Thought “we” might want to forge a few more heroes for the world in only the way followers of Bast can.’
Rhiana smiles and caresses Iana’s cheek.
Iana smiles back as Rhiana calls out for the gates to open and word be given to each entrant that both of Xerx’ses lovers are in attendance.
>> Recorded via an Echo Rock and pictures made from an Eye Tile and one artistically talented Psychic with Total Recall. The patron of this information is currently unknown to CrIsis, only Rod Rambler knows when he opens his copy and has a vision about the event verifying it. <<
Art by AZ-Rune Art, commission him at firstname.lastname@example.org