Second Book of the Darkness Trilogy
by K Griffin © 1998
"The dark castle had no beginning and many thought it
had no end. Perhaps it just appeared one day, casting its shadow over the
northern lands. There are no records of the original builders. There are
few first-hand records since many entered but few returned. The legends
persisted though, drawing the hopeful to an destiny. 'All things are
possible here' read the inscription above the
extract from the "The Chronicles of the DreamWeaver"
Lysis screamed. Her scream echoed through the halls of the castle. In every corner, the inhabitants scurried into hiding. A waiting silence descended on the castle, from the top of the highest tower, to the deepest cellar and dungeon. If Lysis was angry, none wanted to draw attention to themselves.
Lysis was quivering with anger and frustration. She had set the trap and sprung it perfectly, only to have the victim escape. Now she stood in the middle of the chamber, hot, flushed and alone. The floor of this chamber was decorated with magnificent glass floor
tiles, forming a mosaic of entwined circles. The smooth glass tiles of the mosaic glowed a brilliant perfect red as the light from the burning coal braziers danced around the room. No candles illuminated the room. Nothing
resembling white light was allowed to enter this chamber. Surrounding the triskellion circles, were jet black tiles that crisscrossed the room. Only when standing in the centre of the room did it become clear that the black tiles formed a pentagram of power around the blood red symbol.
She looked down at the bloody mess at her feet. She'd chosen an efreeti apprentice this time, hoping that their heritage of magic would be an asset. The gamble had failed. What was left of the apprentice, lay at her feet. She replayed the whole sequence of events in her mind, trying to pinpoint the flaw in the plan.
First, she'd purified herself of any contamination. She'd retreated to this chamber immediately after the last Drakken failure, and meditated, cleansing herself of any lingering affects of the silver moonlight. Locked deep in her red chamber, she'd communed with the darkness. At first, she had simply knelt and prayed. She'd not named the Master in her prayers, but he'd heard her and answered her call. As she felt the heat build within her, she'd shed all clothing, and prostrated herself on the cold red glass, letting it cool the heat of her naked body. All the while, her soft call to the Guardian was floating in the winds. She had felt the first nibbles of temptation. She'd felt the Guardian take the lure. She'd fed his despair at Yang'Grir's pain and tempted him to use the power she offered.
As the Guardian had prepared his own circle of power, she had done the same. She'd called her apprentice to her chamber. He was an efreeti named Jared. He'd entered the red chamber tentatively and Lysis had delighted in his obvious discomfort at finding her naked. His averted eyes were an affirmation of the power of her beautiful body.
"Jared, you must hold my place in the circle, while I prepare myself" she ordered. She'd been excited even then. She'd tucked her hair back as she turned to leave the circle. Her skin had tingled as her long silky hair had brushed against it. Jared had knelt dutifully in the centre of the room, unaware that the focus of power in the room had shifted to him. Lysis was sure that her own power would be enough to overcome him if there was any attempt to disobey. For certainty though, she watched Jared carefully as she stepped from the circle.
Jared had shown rare glimpses of a strange power, but the glimpses were few and far between. Lysis had been unable to tap into the efreeti's ancient heritage of magic so to lose Jared, would not distress her. She had mused over the long list of past apprentices, the failures, as she dressed. Only one item of clothing was essential for this ceremony, but she had dallied over the choices, watching Jared carefully. She had donned the one crucial item first, a tiny skin tight vest made of a gossamer thin material. The vest gleamed with silver spangles at the back. but was almost non-existent at the front. It did little to cover her nakedness. The rest of her dressing was of little consequence, but was necessary to reassure the apprentice. She needed him to stay voluntarily in the circle of power, at least at first. Around her waist she clipped a jewelled girdle from which flowed a full flowing black diaphanous skirt. She then chose an intricate necklace of gold and ruby that fanned out over her pure white skin. The black skirt and gold necklace complemented the intricate red tattoo that marked her rank and power. The red symbols from the floor were also burned permanently over her heart. She had surveyed the final effect and been satisfied that Jared would not think to inspect the vest closely.
Her voice had been a little husky from excitement, when she finally spoke softly. "Jared, You need to invite me into your circle of pain and pleasure."
Jared had stood and turned to look at his mistress. As she'd guessed, he'd focussed on the thought of pleasure and missed the mention of pain. His response to her partial nakedness was immediate and obvious. He bowed deeply and stammered "Please enter my circle, Mistress".
She'd known that the fool would trust her, despite every attempt to teach him. She'd smiled as she stepped into his circle and became his personal demon. The power had surged back into her, but it was not enough. She had heard the Guardian when he began to sing for her. She'd whispered softly so as not to disturb the song "Jared, can you hear it? We need a blood link so that we can also reach him. Close your eyes and you'll see how he is doing it." The Guardian's song had filled the chamber and even Jared could sense the Guardian's presence. Lysis had smiled when she saw Jared open his eyes, draw his dagger and slowly and deliberately rake its razor sharp blade down his arms. He had stood there staring at the wounds as the blood welled out of the cuts and ran down his arms. The drops of blood had hit the floor and trickled across the red symbol. Lysis had felt the surge of power and joined the song. While she sang she had willed Jared to look at her.
Jared had raised his head slowly. His eyes had locked with hers and she could still remember the panic she had seen growing in him. She had smiled softly to reassure him and said "You are him and he is you, Jared. Give in to all of his temptations. Touch me." Jared had shuddered at the magnitude of the invitation. His bloody hands had reached up tentatively, almost of their own volition, and touched her pure white skin. His touch had marked her with his blood. He had moaned softly and begun to caress her hot skin. "Mistress," he had managed to gasp, "This is what you want?".
With a delighted laugh, she had nodded and turned in his arms to press against his straining body. She had let him reach around her and pull her close. Only as his hands reached around to caress and cup her full beauty, had he realised her plan. Those tiny spangles of silver were not mere decorations. Thousands of deadly needles, pierced his skin as he drew her close. As his bloody hands painted the front of her body, she had purred happily against him and allowed the needles to flay the skin from his body. His scream of anguish had been masked by her own soft moans of arousal. Her song had continued and she'd needed to hold his hands to guide them. Shock and loss of blood had made his knees buckle.
Her own will held Jared on his feet so that the beautiful torture could
continue, but just as the Guardian's mind had begun to slip into the dark void of insanity, the link to the Guardian had snapped. Jared had screamed in agony.
Lysis hadn't stopped just because the Guardian had slipped from her grasp. She had felt the golden presence
of the intervener. She'd murmured softly "I feel you Bloodsworn. We can be together now."
Lysis had merged her words into the song and crooned "You shed your blood for me, Skye. Shall we resume where we left off?" The power of the golden one had been too much for Jared. The golden light had burned deep into his soul and the last vestiges of self disappeared. Lysis had felt the fire consume him and had been left holding a bloody empty vessel that had once been her apprentice. Jared's mind had retreated and his link with his lifeforce faded. Lysis had ignored the peril to her apprentice and increased the tempo and pitch of the song. She'd strengthened her link to the strong virile body that had once been her plaything. Just as she had felt Skye's resolve waver and felt his desire grow, it had ended.
Her apprentice was dead and without the fresh living blood Lysis could not span the distance. Lysis screamed. Her body ached for real touching. All of that and she had lost them both.
Black despair overwhelmed her. She fell to her knees over the body of her apprentice and grasped his shoulders, shaking him and screaming for him to come back. She ripped the deadly little vest from her body and collapsed against the still warm body beneath her. A deep sob racked her slender frame. There was a regret and a pain deep inside her, for a loss she couldn't quite identify.
A voice broke the silence. She froze as the words filled the room. It was the voice of the Master, sneering at her failure. "So you are a child of the light after all, Lysis. Your desires betray you."
Lysis shook her head and whispered a denial. "I was a daughter of the Sun, my Lord, but you showed me the darkness in my heart. My thoughts do not waver . I do not dream. Bloodsworn he named himself and his blood will be mine."
Lysis shivered, but whether it was the memories of the punishment the Master had inflicted the last time she had allowed the golden one to escape, or whether it was the cold invisible finger that trailed down her spine, was something she couldn't decide.
"Lie back Lysis and let the darkness back in. You are mine." commanded the voice. Her body was shivering violently but she obeyed. A searing cold knifed through her as his invisible touch pinned her to the floor. It was as though the red symbol on the floor had melded with her own tattoo. She couldn't have moved, even if she'd dared.
The scrabbling of claws on the cold hard floor and a throaty growl warned her that she was no longer alone in the room. He'd called the Drakken. "Not now", she pleaded but a soft laugh was the only answer. She didn't dare argue with him. She didn't dare struggle. She lay on the cold floor and listened as he allowed the pack to feed. Gore from the body at her side splattered her as the Drakken devoured the rare treat of a fresh corpse. "Now the mistress" commanded the voice. Lysis felt a drop of hot wet saliva fall onto her churning stomach. She steeled herself not to scream, but the Drakken had understood the command better than she. Their twisted misshapen forms pressed close against her and hot breath fanned her skin. Four rasping tongues began to tingle across her skin as the Drakken licked the blood from her body. She knew the Master was watching but she couldn't help responding to the exploring tongues and hot breath fanning her body. Finally when she was sure she'd been cleaned ten times over, the voice commanded the Drakken "Enough! She is mine again." The same scrabbling of claws told her that the Drakken had left and a howl in the distance echoed through the silence. There was no other noise in the chamber. Lysis lay on the floor waiting. She could feel him retreating from her. His parting words were barely a whisper in her ear as he said "Only in my darkness, can you find everything you seek." Then he was gone.
Lysis shakily got to her feet. She looked around the room but not a sign remained to show what had occurred. It was as though Jared had never existed. She walked back to her dressing area and surveyed her body in the mirror. Her skin was hot and flushed from the rough massaging of the Drakken tongues but one change caught her eye. The tattoo above her left breast was no longer a brilliant red. The triskellion emblem was now black.
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