Welcome to the first publication of 2022. Now, as I detailed in the last post of 2021, there’s tons of stuff that we just didn’t get around to publishing last year, because quite frankly I don’t have the time or the energy to write it all down promptly. This story is one of those things.
For a while now, both I and my SO Niky together with our tulpas have been banging away at our RPG system to make things sort of work fairly when we’re in our inner worlds. Of course, there are still people on both sides that want to cheat by either being faster than a speeding bullet or just simply being the most seductive and irresistible woman ever. I’ll let you all figure out which two people I’m referring to with that for yourselves 😛
Still, over time as we’ve all had our various scrapes with the denizens of our worlds, sometimes we’ve died, and simply having us respawn at the castle always seemed to be a bit too convenient. Now, let me make this very clear that this only covers actual adventure deaths where we’re all on a mission, for the rest of the deaths (which are thankfully far and few between) whoever dies will respawn at the castle simply as a protective measure.
So to strengthen our roleplaying factor a bit, we decided to make respawning in terms of our adventures a bit more of an involved affair. That means that whenever someone dies, they can’t just respawn at the castle and rush back into battle straight away. What we needed was a flesh crafter of sorts, someone that knew both light and dark magic and possibly a lot of cybernetics too to cover pretty much all the angles we have. But how the hell do you find someone like that?
After Circe had gotten her combat dress drenched in the blood of a very powerful demon, I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to sort of make initial contact with the person I hoped would be up to the task. Being an ever lazy git, I decided that there’d probably be something living in some dungeon or something that would fit the bill. So Circe and I together headed into the gallery of worlds where I stopped dead in front of a door that seemed to be made out of oozing flesh one moment, only to have metallic root-like structures growing over it the next.
“This is it,” I said plainly, smiling at Circe who seemed horrified.
“What… the… fuck.”
I shrugged and smiled, “Just follow my lead.” I said as I opened the door and a musty rotten smell mixed with chemicals wafted out towards us.
We both entered what appeared to be a lab, or maybe an assembly factory. In beakers, we saw what appeared to be preserved embryos of beings of various kinds. Hanging from the ceiling, we also saw several parts of metallic limbs and entire bodies, some with their heads still attached, others without one. On the other side, there was another set of glass containers lining well which were well lit and contained what appeared to be creatures that were augmented, some in horrific ways.
I looked down at the floor which was a simple clean white tile, I noticed there were evenly spaced drains everywhere and what looked like examination tables and possibly autopsy tables too.
Circe, having taken in the room as well in its entirely blurted out “Great, you’re taking us to see madame Frankenstein?”
“Not quite,” I replied, still surveying the room
I noticed a swift movement in the right corner of my vision, when I turned my head, there was nothing there, a chill ran down my spine.
“Hello? Anyone here? We here to make a deal, we have an … item in trade. We’re unarmed.”
The next thing I knew, I felt something like a needle against my throat.
“Unwise is the one that carries no arms.” a youthful female voice said in an amused tone of voice.
Since I was posting this in the chat with Niky and her system watching, Andrei of course communicated back to me with some snark: “But you have two perfectly fine arms!!!”
I kept my eyes staring forward, trying my best to stay still as I replied “Circe, .. whatever you do, don’t .. move OK?” When the needle remained at my throat and Circe didn’t reply, I got kind of pissy, people threatening me never really did go over well in the inner worlds. “You don’t want to do this.” I wagered, wondering if I could persuade the person to at least let me get a look at them. But the needle stubbornly remained, not piercing my skin, but still a clear and present threat.
About half a minute passed with no action which caused me to lose my temper, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and yell “In fact, I dare you bitch, punch that needle in, SEE THAT IT DOES NOTHING!” and I gritted my teeth as I pushed towards the needle which vanished the second I started applying pressure to it.
As I looked to my right I saw a young woman standing quietly with what appeared to be two long appendages that ended in needles. She now had both of them poised against Circe’s throat, Circe to her credit hadn’t moved though.
“Then maybe your lover hmm?” the mysterious woman said, her face a dead mask, betraying no emotions.
I chuckled “Oh, believe me, if you kill her, she’ll be even more pissed than I would be. Circe, the dress if you please?”
Circe immediately dropped her frozen bundle on the floor. Now, at this point, most of you have probably two questions: 1) How the hell did Circe get her dress soaked in demon blood? 2) Why is it frozen solid?
So at this point, I’m gonna do a quick recap: Circe wanted to try her hand at using her two great swords in battle, however since she technically only has her old cold infused sword, I decided to be gracious in letting her try out a new possible flame sword too. (Which she’s yet to get since she has to do a quest for it) Anyways, long story short: she went up against a demonic swordsman who’s fabled to have extreme stamina and vitality. It ended with her soaked in his blood since the canon that said demon swordsman is from has the unfortunate tendency to have cuts spray liberal amounts of blood. However, instead of porting back to the castle to clean herself, she told me to get her to the frozen lake on the mountain where Mirror and Thor have their tavern.
The reason? She didn’t want blood all over her shower cabin, because she knew I’d have her manually clean it herself. So, in the arctic weather of the great mountain, she stripped off her dress, used her flame sword to cut a hole in the ice, and dove right in. Of course, Niky’s tulpa Andrei was enjoying this whole thing, so he decided to appear there in shorts and a t-shirt, making a show of not being perturbed at all by the cold. Then again, since his backstory is that he’s Russian, it makes sense that he wouldn’t be affected. So, he shared a bath with her in the icy lake while Circe’s dress, drenched in blood was freezing into a solid bundle on the ice as the blood started crystallizing.
All is well that ended well though as they both went down to the tavern where Mirror and Thor treated them both to some warmth, some food, and a good drink or two. However, Mirror put the dress in a plastic bag which she then put in their meat locker cavern where it was promptly forgotten for too long, so it became this big chunk of bloodied frozen dress.
And that’s what got me thinking, the blood would be mostly alright when thawed, so why not put it to good use instead of just wasting an opportunity? And with that, we continue the story where we left off:
I locked eyes with the creepy woman and nodded towards the bloodied plastic bag “That thing in there is a dress, we need it cleaned. Now, you want to do this because it’s infused with a particular sort of blood that I think you’ll find very useful.”
The woman eyed me suspiciously as she cocked her head sideways with a whirr and a crack that definitely made it obvious that she wasn’t human. “Blood.. given freely?”
“Yes, we want to make a deal with you,” I replied, not really sure if I was going to end up making a deal or getting into a fight.
I hardly had time to blink as the woman was up at my neck before I could react, she looked my body up and down as she sniffed me.
“Mmm.. deals? I like dealsss… such a fresh… unspoiled body… mmm…”
“My name is Fairy and hers is Circe. And you are?”
“Seina” came the slow reply from her, the way she spoke made my spin crawl, as it was almost like her entire mouth was full of something slimy.
“Old Norse for sinew?” I asked, remembering my old religion studies.
I shrugged “Oh nothing, don’t worry about it.”
“So, a trade.. what .. is .. this.. blood?” she said as she gingerly tripped over to the bundle, crouching down to inspect it more closely. At this point, I noticed her ass was mostly bare. She breathed in the smell of the bundle and picked it up.. and then licked it once, obviously savoring the flavor.
After a while, she stood up and looked back at me with her eyes glowing a faint red “Tasty… so .. much potential. A deal?”
“Yeah, we give you that, you extract the blood, we get the dress back.” I replied, pausing for a bit before I added “And… we want you to tag us all for regrowth of our bodies when we die. I’ll supply the memory transfers if you can create high-quality clones for us.”
She exhaled deeply before replying “Expensive.”
Andrei piped up “Wait is she the… hag you were talking about?”
Of course, since Seina couldn’t hear his side of the conversation, I mimicked putting a finger to my ear as if I was hearing someone over the radio “Yes, that’s who she is.” I looked back at her and addressed her “Seina, might I .. observe you a for a bit?”
At those words, she turned towards me and grinned, her mouth filled with jagged sharpened teeth ” A model?” she cackled a bit and then struck a seductive pose.
Her legs were partly metallic, with some parts of her original feet visible, cabling ran up her legs up to her torso which had big scars over it. The torso itself had a visible muscle tone, her chest was expansive, but not overly so, it was unclear if the bulges were machinery or a massive bust. Her arms were mostly covered in elaborate tattoos while her hair was hard to tell if it was natural or some sort of polymer fiber. Her face looked surprisingly innocent until she smiled of course. Her eyes were big and bright and seemed to shift colors with her mood.
“A friend wanted a picture,” I told her, knowing she’d think I’d taken her picture.
“Mmm.. tell him to come over… I’ll show him all of my innards too… it’s what’s on the inside that counts .. right?” she said smiling, for a moment, it was almost like her teeth were bloodied, but in a second, they looked fine.
“Oh, I’m .. sure you’ll get along juust fine,” I said, knowing full well that Andrei would probably relish the opportunity to talk to a creepy thing like her.
Circe, no longer having needles pointed at her sighed “Is it OK if I leave now?”
“Sure.. we’ve got some more things to discuss, don’t we?” I replied, knowing that she was probably more freaked out than I was at this point.
Seina, having tip-toed over to Circe, made gestures around her body, almost like she wanted to caress her “Why would you want to leave so soon big one? You have the most interesting body of all.. oooh the things I could do for you… mmm… to you…” here she caressed Circe’s left arm while cooing “Such powerful arms and muscles and tendons and flesh and blood and … mmm… yes…”
Circe pulled her arm away and stared at her “No thanks.”
Seina cackled and in a flash, I felt her breath against my neck as she was a bit shorter than me “So.. a bargain? A deal? A … pact?”
I turned my head and now it was my turn to give her the stony-faced stare “No to the pact, I suspect I know what you weave. But yes to a deal. You supply us with new bodies if we die, I supply the mental component, we pay you a flat fee.”
“Fees? Currency?” Seina said with a disappointed tone of voice, clacking her tongue.
“Got anything else in mind?” I asked her, suddenly curious.
“Mm… maybe a bit of .. your life?” she said with an angelic smile on her face.
I exhaled through my nose “Oh no, none of our life forces are up for grabs. We’re not that foolish.” I kept my gaze her, not flinching for a second as I added “I could.. contribute other things. Well, we could in a way.”
Andrei again, piped up “A blood donation maybe?”
I sighed, suddenly annoyed with the fact that he wasn’t here “Maybe it’d be better if you were here in person Andrei?”
“Well, you can tell her. I was suggesting it to you anyway,” he replied.
Seina clapped her hands and said excitedly “Yes, a negotiation!” then she smiled at me and added, “I know an errand boy when I see one.”
“We can also offer her dead bodies… or maybe some even alive,” Andrei added in my ear.
I felt her hands travel up my chest and on my body, her odd, yellowed, but carefully long nails were rasping at my skin. I did my best not to shiver as she leaned in close and whispered in my ear “Get him here.” then her tongue briefly touched my ear, which caused me to flinch away from her. She walked over to one of her tables, cackling as she sat down.
“How, err… old are you anyway?” I asked, fighting down the urge to nope the fuck out of the situation.
Seina smiled innocently and pushed her out chest a bit before she answered with a strangely disjointed manner of speaking “Depends on the body… this one.. is young.. and supple….. and vibrant.. mmm..” she gave me a look which made me shiver despite my attempts to remain unperturbed. “Good for SO many things…” and here her mouth opened up and her freakishly long tongue lolled out as a small droplet of blood rolled off it and went down her arm and stopped halfway, before turning and flowing up inside of her armor.
I swallowed hard, feeling nauseated “Lady, I don’t think your kinks and mine align.”
Again, I was met with her cackling laughter, an odd thing for such a young tone of voice to have.
I steeled myself and tried to summarize it all “So, how about an immediate trade then? We can talk about the resurrection later on, for now, we need that dress cleaned, and.. you definitely want that blood. Sound good?”
Again, her attention snapped back to the thawing bundle on the floor “Yes… an interesting dress.” she replied.
“The dress is ours. You keep the blood, you return the dress to us.”
In an odd display, Seina appeared to be pouting as she answered “Hrmp… I don’t have a body that’d fit that thing anyway… you have a deal.”
I walked closer to her and stretched out my hand “Shake on it?”
She gave me an unsettling grin and as before, in a blink of an eye, she was right next to me, her face merely a few millimeters from my own “Seal it with a kiss?” she said as her tongue lolled out again in that way that made my stomach feel like it wanted to be somewhere else.
At this point, I fought down my revulsion and gave her a fiendish smile “You couldn’t handle my kisses.”
All that I got back from her was a naked hungry stare that I wasn’t really sure was actual hunger or something else. After a fraction of deliberation, I threw caution to the wind and pulled her close, and kissed her in the most passionate way I could. She struggled at first and then leaned into it. As I let her go, the surprise on her face was worth it. I grinned and said, “A wise old crone once taught me that the best kiss is that of a lover.”
Her face went slack again with the same naked stare as before, she rubbed her lips almost in an absentminded way as she kept her eyes locked with mine “You’re a dangerous one. Hmm.. not sure about you now.”
My grin went wider “So we have a deal?”
She looked down at her fingers and replied “Yes, you .. kiss like one that echoed long ago in the past.”
“Figured as much. But those aren’t your memories are they?” I replied, on a hunch.
She cackled “Yes and no. Sometimes I forget who’s me and who’s the shell.” and then her face went very neutral before she looked up at me with a confused look, seemingly disoriented.
I nodded to myself and smiled “Hi” I said to her again.
“I … where am I?” Seina said, but I really could tell it wasn’t really her anymore.
“You’re in the lab,” I replied to her.
The young woman looked down at her body and frowned and sighed deeply. “So my debt is not paid?”
“Beats me,” I answered, shrugging my shoulders.
A metallic, rusty voice behind us answered menacingly”No, go back to your tank.”
The woman looked behind me at the speaker and asked “What have you done with my body?!”
It took me a few seconds to realize that the scraping sound was supposed to be a laugh before the voice answered again “All changes will be reverted upon completion of the pact. Stop wasting my time. Leave little fleshling.”
The young woman nodded and bowed at me ceremoniously before she headed off in another direction. I turned around (although at this point, I really, really didn’t want to) and looked up at a big hulking mass of tentacles holding a central spherical core with a window wherein a disembodied head was floating. It was the head of a very old woman, the eyes were removed, but the same kind of teeth as before was visible. I made a mental note that it was a fashion choice of hers, which could come in handy to know later on.
Her voice was like metal on metal as she addressed me “Still want to seal your deal with a kiss?”
Knowing she was trying to freak me out made me grin sinisterly at her as I replied “If you can get your head out of the tank, sure.. I’ll give you a kiss that’ll make that other one seem dispassionate.” then I chuckled myself as I added, “You’re not the first monster I’ve been with.”
The sphere rocked back and forth as metallic cackling laughter emitted from the speaker below the tank “I like you, messenger boy! You have a deal!” as one of the tentacles swooshed by me and picked up the bundle and pushed it into a vat of water, the water soon beginning to darken as the frozen blood started to melt.
Her head moved closer to the tank as her voice came out with a lower volume “Yes… such fine blood…..” the speaker made some more noises which I couldn’t identify, but after a while, I recognized it as satisfied grunts.
Revulsed, I decided I’d had enough of this as I replied “I’ll leave you .. with the dress for now. When can we expect it back?”
“In a while” she replied and then sang almost to herself in her strange metallic voice “Iiiin .. a whiiiiile…”
I shook my head and gave Circe the stare that meant we were GTFO of there as I replied “OK.. see you .. later then.” I motioned to Circe and we both made a quick exit to the gallery of worlds, I made very sure to close the door behind us carefully, as I turned back to Circe, I could see she was as unnerved as I was.
“What the ever-loving fuck was that?” she said leaning against the wall.
I drew a deep, shaking breath “The old hag. She’s a powerful witch, necromancer, and likely really into some crazy cybernetic augmentations. Classic 70s creepy SciFi you know?” I told her.
“Ugh, she made my skin crawl.” She replied.
I nodded “She definitely made me uneasy too. Interestingly, she thought I was the errand boy. But then again, she’s extremely perceptive in terms of body language.”
Circe huffed “So, ultra-smart then. Great. just what we need.”
“I wouldn’t want anyone else in charge of regrowing our bodies if we die,” I replied back.
“Why can’t we just.. you know… respawn like before? What do we need this pointlessly complicated solution for anyway?”
I smiled at her “Because we also need someone to deal with magic and spells of the darker variety.” I shrugged as I added, “Besides, I figured, what better way than to pay someone for it?”
Circe frowned “I don’t like her.”
“Oh, you’ll warm up to her, I’m sure,” I said, grinning, knowing full well that Circe would keep her distance from her as much as possible.
Circe gave me that squinty-eyed frown that I knew meant she was pissed off “If she does something with my dress, I’m gonna kill her.”
I laughed “Sure, right after she kills you first. Look, if we make this deal with her, she’s obligated as much as we are. And really, I’ll make sure it’s enforced right if she steps out of line, OK?”
Circe shrugged as she started moving down the hallway towards the entrance to Castle Odylfius “Well, don’t blame me if you wake up with a cock that looks like a snake with eyes on it or something.” she said, smiling as she opened the doorway and stepped through it.
The door closed behind her, leaving me in the quiet hallway as I leaned against the wall, wondering to myself if I’d made a big mistake here or not. But, as always, I’d let the world itself decide what was appropriate, I knew she’d be a hag or something along those lines, but as always the world filled in the details itself. I drew another breath which I let out through my nose in an annoyed huff.
I really should know to be careful what I wish for by now.
And that ends the first little adventure of the year. However, as it’s part of a bigger narrative, as always, the next part will be Circe picking up her dress with all that it entails. Also, this year, I’m going to aim to publish at least every other week, barring any real-life disruptions of course.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, feel encouraged to drop a note in the comment box below!
2 comments on The Witch and Her Dungeon
This was quite the strange tale. I definitely find it fascinating how your inner world is hard-coded with limiters and rules. I also love the hag concept. Sometimes the subconscious can produce some wacky things when given full control of the world building.
Thanks! And yes, me and my tulpas discovered long ago that creating a framework with rules like these was essential to keep some semblance of order in the whole structure of the worlds. -WF