Mors Funebris Ch. 3 P 1

 Image of the Beast/Blown by Artist John Coulthart 

Mors Funebris Chapter 3 Part 1

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The Morning after.

Annwyfn Arawn stepped out from behind the secure double doorway that led into the Great Maou’s Study room, that itself lay within her castle at Royal Makai.

Pausing, he then looked around the room for a moment. As his gaze swung back to the doors, he began to look at them speculatively. As he did, he noted that they’d been recently festooned with numerous Demon-Silver chains, and Demonic Steel reinforcements. Both of these new decorations left him intrigued, as they were so unlike the last time he’d been within the Queen’s privy chambers.

He stayed there looking at the door for the longest while, seemingly lost in thought. So lost in thought that he never noticed the Great Maou had walked up and came nearly within touching distance.

“Great Maou.” He stated quietly when he noted her unique scent, not turning to face her. She smelled faintly of cinnamon and something else. What, he had no idea.

“Majin Arawn.” She replied, equally as quiet. “So, now that you’ve seen the warhead, what is your assessment of it? Will it be adequate for the task I’ve assigned you?”

“Indeed it shall milady. But,” He said, finally turning and facing her. When he faced her at last, he hesitated in his chosen speech. The reason for his hesitation was understandable. As always, the Great Maou was a Succubus.
Yes, she was a Succubus. But the Great Maou was one without parallel, both in her physical beauty which was heady, but also in the barely restrained maelstrom of power at her command. In that moment’s hesitation, his eyes automatically roamed all over her, from her pale hair that was almost albino-white in its paleness, to her elegantly voluptuous form framed by an almost austere dress that was highlighted by her head horns and her swaying tail.

She held up a hand before he could continue, and then she turned to walk away from him. After a moment, she sat down before a large table, and began to write something into a large tome that lay in front of her.

‘Matters of state, no doubt.’ He thought idly to himself. Arawn found that he wasn’t swayed so much by her physical attributes in that moment then. No, instead he found himself affected more by the amount of power that raged within her skin. Hers was the kind of power that came with the position of the Great Maou; as opposed to the innumerable lesser Maous.

She was the one known as the ‘Great’, because it was she who had been the one who had somehow managed to wrestle the reins of power away from her predecessor: himself a Tier Seven Demon Overlord.

‘Or she is Great, according to other more prosaic information that I have uncovered. (1)’ he surmised.

‘What I uncovered! (5)’ Quintus piped up mentally in that moment. Arawn merely gave him a silent mental nod of acknowledgment in response.

He wished to say something more to her in that moment. Unfortunately, it was proving to be a difficult challenge for him to maintain his military bearing, what with his having to suffer through the extended hangover that had been brought on by whatever that that Satyros had fed Donnie and he the previous evening.

‘So much for the much vaunted reputation of Satyro’s wine.’ he mentally growled.

While he continued to stare at the Succubus Supreme of this world, Arawn had to close his eyes in an effort to suppress a welling wave of nausea. He did this, while feeling more than a few droplets of clammy sweat beading their way down the small of his back.

Allowing himself a quick glance around the room in an effort to distract himself from his discomfort, Arawn looked away from the Great Maou as she continued in her work of writing something down in one of her overly large books.

Directly behind the Maou, he could see the created gap that book had left behind in its resting place. Glancing quickly further around, he noted that there were hundreds of other uniquely made tomes crowding the shelves around him. Each obviously had been hand or paw made by a different maker.

Then, with a small jolt of fear he realized that the Great Maou had spoken something to him. What, he had no idea! Looking down, he could see that she had paused in her writing, and she was now looking at him with a mixture of amusement and a barely restrained exasperation.

“I am sorry Your Majesty, what did you say?”

“I said,” the Great Maou began slowly, all the while staring at him unblinkingly, “That you may sit.” She finished patiently.

“Ah yes. Thank you.” He began hesitantly, “But with all due respect Ma,…”.

“SIT!” the Great Maou hissed forcefully, simply.

“Yes, your Majesty!” Arawn replied sharply, and then he winced at the sharpness in his own tone. Within a few seconds, he had gratefully sat himself in one of the chairs that were facing the Maou’s book-desk. Instantly he began to relax and feel slightly more comfortable.

The Maou continued to keep herself silent as she watched Arawn almost melt into his chair, until after several seconds she smiled and spoke.

“Well Done Arawn, I don’t know for sure what it is that you said to my erstwhile grandson-in-law, but it seems to have done the trick.”

“I take it that he agreed to give you the Nuclear-warhead’s activation key?”

“He did indeed.” She nodded happily, “In fact he’s already given it to me, just an hour ago.” She replied while holding up the object in question in one well-manicured hand. Arawn blearily noted it, and swallowed some of his bile. After a moment, he spoke.

“I take it now, that you wish for me to continue on and create a permanent gate between this world, and the one that Donnie hails from?”

“Indeed.” She smiled. “How soon can you be ready before you can begin?”

“I will need to fully recover from this hangover, at the very least.” He replied too quickly. She rolled her eyes at him then.

“I was referring to preparations of the Nuclear-warhead.” She replied testily. Arawn flinched slightly before replying.

“Such, will take some time to prepare, at least a month in my estimation.”

“Why that length of time?”

“The nuclear-warhead is of a crude design, but its activation and diversion of its released energies can easily be channeled into an appropriate Dark-Matter conduit in fairly short order. No, the greater part of the month will be with my inspection of the gateway, which I have yet to see.”

“And why is that so necessary?”

“Because of the manifold inherent dangers of permanently attaching two divergent universes. Before I begin, I will need answers to a number of questions concerning it. First and foremost, I ask you this: Where is it located, and what is wrong with it?” He stated with a wince when the light of one of the desk lamps overwhelmed his eyes. The Maou looked at him questioningly when he did. Arawn then licked his lips in an effort to suppress his squinting.

“Where is the gate to Donnie’s world currently located? I assume that there is in fact one, otherwise you would not have had such an extensive knowledge of his world, and its inherent capabilities.” He concluded. The Great Maou continued staring at him silently for several seconds in silence, then she cracked a slightly toothy smile. Every tooth was perfect, what he could see of them.

“You assume correctly. There is one already in existence. Its entrance is currently located near the city of Cynosure. What makes you so sure there is something wrong with it?”

“Donnie made it plain to me that he desired to return to his world albeit with his wife, your granddaughter. If there is already a gateway that allows access to his world, you would have allowed him that access.” He replied. The Great Maou blinked at him once, and cocked her head thoughtfully at him.

“Your deduction is correct. There are a number of problems with sending him through that gateway. The first problem is this: It only opens sporadically, and when it does open the traveler tends to end up in random spots on the destination world.”

“Such is common with transitory gateways.” Arawn remarked.

“The second problem is more difficult- I cannot guarantee ‘when’ he would arrive.” She finished.

“What do you mean?” Arawn asked, his eyebrows bunching up.

“I mean that in addition to opening whenever it wants to on this side. The destination time in Donnie’s world is random.”

“What is its range in terms of time?”

“From what I can tell, from somewhere near Donnie’s time to approximately ten thousand years prior.” Arawn blinked and lowered his jaw in surprise.

“THAT! Is something out of the ordinary for such a transitory gateway!” he remarked. “I can see the inherent limitation in that regard. Thus, you would need someone capable of living for several thousand years, in order to effect a safe return.” He then stopped and smiled in realization. “Someone like myself, perchance?”

“Quite. So, do you think you can turn that intermittent trans-temporal gateway into a permanent one that runs concurrently with my world’s time-wise?”

“From what you have told me thus far: Yes I can, quite easily. In fact, this dovetails nicely with something else I need to do: I will need to perform an expedition to Donnie’s world first.”

“Why is that?”

“Because each world has its own set of rules and instructions. No!” Arawn interrupted the Great Maou as she began to protest. “I am not referring to magic or science! Instead I am referring to,…” he hesitated for a moment gesturing with his right hand, he then stopped to think about it for a bit. After a while the Great Maou’s overly worn patience began to thin, he took in a large breath and began to explain.

“To utilize an analogy: consider blood types. You are aware of the differences in blood for humans?” he asked.

“Yes, I am aware of them, they can be a challenge for someone to enact a transfusion. Blood type matching, I believe it is referred to by the Order. Are you saying that Donnie’s world and this one, has its own version of blood?”

“Not precisely. Every world contains something that can be referred to as: ‘Earth’s Blood’; As such, there are some inherent dangers in creating a permanent bridge between dissimilar ‘blooded’ worlds. If I go to Donnie’s world I can detect those differences, and compensate for them when creating the gate.”

“Why all such preparation? It’s not like the two worlds are going to be engaging in sex.” The Great Maou smirked. Arawn sighed patiently and continued.

“Actually, sex would be a good analogy for the intercourse between Donnie’s and your world that that gateway would inevitably create.” Arawn pointed out.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that in the way in which non-Mamono who engage in sexual intercourse are often worried about ‘unintended consequences’. That is to say, even the most well planned and designed gateway between worlds will still inadvertently allow any number of Travelers to cross over. Similar in effect to the sexual side effects of Veneral Diseases and Babies.”

“Babies are not what I would call an unintended consequence to sex.” The Great Maou replied coldly.

“To many humans they often are.” Arawn shot back dryly. “I point this out for a very good reason.” He sighed, and then continued. “Some of that world’s ‘rules & regulations will ‘bleed-over’ into this world, and the same back. Thus, there is no way for me to know what will happen to anyone who passes from the other world to this one, and vis a vis. Or at least until such time as the gateway has stabilized.”

“What do you mean?”

“Travelers from one universe to another, can be considered alien to the universe in which they have entered. I extend Donnie’s immunity to magic as an example. As such, if the traveler is of a body form that is wildly divergent from the ‘standard’ form of the destination universe, they could end up finding themselves physically changed by the vicissitudes of crossing over.”

“Are you saying that there is a good chance that any Mamono I send over could very well be altered by the experience?”

“Indeed they could. In fact, I would guarantee it.” The Great Maou sighed and then stood up.

“I wish I’d consulted with you about these matters several centuries ago.” She replied cryptically. Arawn blinked.

“Madam, I was not in this world then…” he began and then stopped as the Great Maou held up a hand to ask for silence.

“Indeed you were not.” She stated sadly, as she stepped away and walked to a locked wardrobe. Once there, she took a key from a spot hidden on her person and unlocked it. Arawn found that his natural curiosity flared when he caught sight of a number of strange and arcane objects within that cabinet, one of which was of a statue that depicted a Regal looking Lion who was sitting at the feet of an Ice-Witch. Arawn’s eyes then latched onto the one item that the Great Maou withdrew from the wardrobe, and brought it over to place it upon the table in front of him.

It was a shining metallic goblet about half a meter tall with a slender neck. That neck had a Lamia coiling around it with her eyes looking back at him near the base of the cup. Suddenly, Arawn felt a strange kinship with the cup. Why, he had no idea.

Leaning forward, he noticed that the goblet had a broad base with a number of small figures adorning its anterior surface. At his first glance those figures were fuzzy in appearance. After a short while of his concentrating his attention upon them, the figures took on a more defined look. They consisted of a number of men, women, and Mamono of all varieties, all of whom were naked and were engaged in a sexual orgy.

After silently asking for and receiving the Maou’s permission. Arawn picked it up to give it a closer inspection. He then noted that many of those figures were either holding a goblet similar to the one they adorned in either their hands or their paws. He raised a questioning eyebrow at one point, for there was a tiny human appearing female that was half-in/half-out of a goblet and who was also being buggered by an obviously male werewolf.

Turning the goblet around, he became aware of another tiny goblet-scene in which a human male, or Incubus, was emerging from. His legs were still within it, but his obvious erection stood well out over its rim. Looking closer, Arawn could see that a Scylla had chosen to latch onto that Incubus’ penis with one of its tentacles. While the Scylla masturbated the male/Incubus, she was also using her other tentacles to masturbate herself.

 “What is this?” he asked finally.

“I shall explain.” She began. “It functions as sort of ‘key’ for the gateway to Donnie’s world to operate. Amongst other things, it allows for communication between his world and ours. There is at least two of those on the other side. But also, it is just as well that you desire to enter into ‘Donnie’s’ World. The reason being, is that in addition to your own self-appointed tasks, I need you to run a concurrent mission.”

“What kind of mission?”

“Search and Recovery.”

“Ah! I think I understand now. You have already sent someone ahead through the gateway!” he exclaimed, his face brightening. “That would partially explain why you seem to know so much about his world already!”

“Only partially, but yes.” She admitted. “I did in fact send an expedition of Mamono over to Donnie’s world, many centuries ago by my reckoning.”

“By your reckoning?” he asked, puzzled. “I take it that something went wrong then?” The Great Maou’s face fell then as she sat herself down and covered her face with her hands. Arawn chose to remain silent while she collected her thoughts.

“Yes, unfortunately. Very much so. I first sent over an expedition compromising a representative of at least two of every species of Mamono from this world. It was led by Captain Toc, a high ranking Incubus in my Army then.” Arawn opened his mouth to inquiry further. She raised up a hand to forestall any further questions.

“The reason I had sent them, was because of another previous expedition that had been sent over by my predecessor Maou.”

“Your Predecessor?” Arawn exclaimed, alarmed.

“Yes, his was the Og expedition, it consisted of a number of Mamono as well. Unfortunately, they were of the kind that I’ve worked so hard to convert to my more benign variety, since.”

“I assume that they were of the kind that thirst for human blood and flesh.” Arawn asked. The Great Maou nodded.

“They’d been dispatched in an effort to have a ‘seed’ of Mamono free of my influence. They did this as to attempt an overthrow of my reign at some later, undetermined date. Upon my learning of their mission, I sent my expedition over there with a Demonic Energy sphere, in an effort to either begin the conversion of the members of that previous expedition into one of my influence. Or eliminate them completely, if need be.”

“It didn’t work out quite the way I envisioned.” She sighed painfully. “In that mostly non-magical world, only a small portion of the Demonic Energy I sent with them, proved to be effective in sustaining Toc’s team and their forms. As I eventually learned, the reason for that is that Toc’s expedition ended up dispersed across time all over that world. I only found out recently, that the same thing had happened to the Og expedition when they went through.”  Arawn stood up straight in his chair in horror.

“But that would mean that both you, and your predecessor, have already managed to infect the history of Donnie’s world with both kinds of Mamono! Both bad and good! Donnie would be extremely furious to discover that!” he shouted in realization. The Great Maou nodded somberly.

“Yes, that is what happened, but I did so unintentionally I assure you. Then, the Tocs did something that disturbed me even more. Eventually most of them went rogue.”

 “Wait! They went native’?” he asked.

“Yes they did.” She said quietly, “But not entirely in the way that you think!” she shouted, quite agitated. Then she managed to calm herself with an obvious effort. “The Toc contingent, were forced to interact with the members of the Og, in order to survive in that world.”

“That interaction caused some of the Tocs to change. They reverted partially to the kind of creatures they were before my reign as the Maou began. Werewolves, Vampires, Dark Mages, and the like. They all began to redevelop their thirst for human blood and flesh. BUT! They still retained their need for Spirit Energy!”

“So they continued to hunger for Sex, in addition to Flesh and Blood?” Arawn replied, aghast. She nodded somberly, biting a lip. “Wait! How is that you became aware of all this?”

“I was eventually able to make contact with the surviving leaders of the Tocs, and eventually the Ogs as well. They kept me apprised of their developments through their version of this Chalice.”

“But why were you not able to retrieve them, if you were capable of communication?”

“No, for that they would’ve needed an intact chalice. The Toc’s chalice was lost for a time, and damaged heavily. It has been only relatively recent, that they managed to recover it. They repaired it after they had discovered that it been damaged by someone during the time of its loss.”

“What had happened to it?”

“Apparently during that time it had fallen into the hands of a version of the Order on that world. For some unknown reason, that church called it their ‘Holy Grail’. Why, I don’t know, as the only way to activate it and its inherent properties is through sex.” Arawn’s eyebrows raised.

“Somehow that does not surprise me. What are its properties?” he asked.

“As I stated previously, it allows for communication between the two worlds, and it should be able to heal either Mamono or human. It will after proper repairs, allow the expedition members to return to this world after a suitable invocation.”

“Suitable Invocation?” Arawn asked, puzzled.

“A Sexual Orgy, similar to the adornments you saw on that one’s surface.” The Great Maou replied with a proud grin and sat back in such a way to display her already ample cleavage. Arawn then turned his head to one side in reaction, smacked his lips thoughtfully then sighed.

“So what do you want me to do, once I am over there?”

“I want you to do what you’ve already stated. Prepare for the gate between that world and this one. But, I also want you to attempt what you can to discover the fate of the Tocs and the Ogs. If you can arrive early enough, you should be able to interact with them. Be warned, it will not be an easy task for you, as much of the Ogs are still under the previous Maou’s influence. Assuming of course that they desire to depart that world. They have been there for some time, after all.”

“I believe I can do that. Is there anything else I need to know?”

“Yes, for some unknown reason I lost all contact with both the Tocs and the Ogs approximately 50 years before Donnie’s time. If you arrive early enough, find out why and take appropriate measures to help them, should they need it.” She explained, paused for a moment and was about to say something more before Arawn interrupted her.

“Wait, I do not understand! If you lost contact with both the Tocs and the Ogs fifty years before Donnie’s time, then how do you know so much about it in its current day?”

“Because since the time of the loss of communication, one of the Chalices on the far side has been transmitting constantly. It is currently sitting in the ‘living room’ of a rich purveyor of pornographic artifacts, who is in the habit of leaving his ‘Tee-Vee’ on all of the time. As far as I can tell, he is unaware of the Chalice’s true properties.”

 “Furthermore I must caution you, I have no idea when, or where you will end up when you go. All I can tell you are the names and species of those who have chosen to remain behind. Keep in mind that both teams originally numbered two thousand. Now, after several thousand years in that world, those numbers have reduced to less than a hundred the last time I had contact with them. One point of favor in your search, is the fact that they chose to center themselves within one particular city in that world.”

“Which city is that?”

“It is referred to by the local humans as: ‘The City of Angels’.” She smiled ironically. “It is otherwise known as, Los Angeles, which itself is located in the state of California. From what I’ve discovered about those places, both Los Angeles and California would make for an excellent Demon Realm.”

“Hmmm, Los Angeles and California. I do believe that I may have encountered such in my travels through the multiverse before. Such a locale may prove to be difficult.”

“Do you feel that you can you do this?”

“I believe that I can. When do you wish for me to go?”

“As soon as you feel you’re ready.” She replied. Then she paused once more when Arawn crossed his arms and frowned indignantly. “Is something wrong?”

“What is it that you have not mentioned to me yet? I can tell that there is something, something important!” he demanded. “As I stated before, there is a good chance that sending Mamono over there causes them to mutate and backslide! Why are you, pardon the pun, so hell bent on pursuing a bridge between this world and that one? Why not just simply leave them alone there?” he demanded. She smiled.

“Because of what happened to my party after I’d sent them over. As you’re undoubtedly aware, all Mamono under my influence became females when I wrested control, yes?” She asked. Arawn nodded. “Once they arrived there, half of them were changed into males.”

“What!?” Arawn demanded again, utterly surprised. Then a light went on behind his eyes.

“So that is why you are so adamant about this! You are hoping for an opportunity to see if you can reproduce that effect!” he pointed out astutely. The Great Maou answered him with a satisfied nod and a warm smile. Arawn smiled back.

“Give me another day to make preparations. But I assure you, by this time tomorrow I will be ready to depart.”

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“What do you mean I can’t come with you! I’m your mentor! You’ll need me!” Corporal Helvetia whined indignantly as she observed Arawn packing for his ‘Extra-Universal’ mission.
She’d been happy to hear of the news that he’d be going on an extended trip. But, as happy as she was to hear of his success, for any of his successes reflected well upon her as his mentor, she’d been devastated something fierce when she’d been told that she wasn’t going to be accompanying him.

“Let me try to explain it to you, Mentor!” he began as patiently as he could manage, as he paused in his packing.
“One! There is no adequate way that I can know with any assuredness, that you would arrive through the gateway intact!” he stated as he looked patiently along the top of a bookshelf over at her.

As he continued in his packing, Helvetia grumpily noted that he continued to pick up one odd looking item after another in his apartment rooms. He would inspect them carefully for a second or two, and either replace them back to its original spot or instead place it into his backpack of holding.

‘His Chaos shield is on his back. That means he intends to be away for a long while.’ she grumpily noted.

“What do you mean: ‘intact’?” she demanded, frowning fiercely as she glared at him through her eyebrows. Arawn sighed, and paused. He then stopped, and walked over to place himself in front of her. For a moment, each sized the other over. He, the Annwyfn, older than time itself; she the Jumping Spider Arachne, only a score and some change in years. Mustering up his patience, he continued.

“I mean intact, in that the other Mamono who had gone through to this other world had,…” he began and then stopped talking. Thinking hard about he looked speculatively at her up and down for a moment. “Reverted.” He said finally.

“What is that supposed to mean?! Reverted?” she shot back icily, feeling angry at his intransigence. He sighed.

“From what I can ascertain, most of the Maou’s Mamono who had gone through the gateway reverted back to the forms and temperaments that they had had before she had gained power.” Arawn noted with satisfaction then, that that statement of his had the intended effect of knocking Helvetia’s not-so-quiet outrage down a peg or two. Thankfully, he didn’t let that satisfaction show on his face.

“How so?” she asked, somewhat shyly.

“For example, apparently the werewolves she had sent through, once again became ravening for human flesh and blood in addition to sex.” He replied.

“Oh!” Tia barked, abashed at the thought. Only then did Arawn dare to smile. Slightly.

“I see that you begin to understand. Tell me Mentor, what was life like for the Arachne before the current Great Maou assumed power?”

“Well,…” she began hesitantly, not looking at him while dragging one of her tarsi claws along his wooden floor. “Before the Great Awakening?” she asked, glancing at him momentarily. Arawn nodded.

“From what I’ve been told about my clan’s history, such days are not recorded in our annals. But we have many stories.” She stated as she began to explain. “The reason being is back then, we were ‘ravening monsters’. It was also back then, that we Jumping Spiders still lived in colonies. But, they weren’t as organized then as they are now.”

“Yes!” she spoke sharply, looking at Arawn in the eyes intensely. “We would still go on hunts for game for the colony larder, just as we do now. It was only after the Awakening that we stopped hunting one kind of game animal in particular.”

“Humans?” he asked. Tia nodded.

“Them too.” She replied, “But also other Mamono.” She finished, looking embarrassed. “In fact, my clan was one of the first to have a human husband. It’s still recorded in our annals; a human male who had been captured by a hunting party. The original purpose of his capturing was that he was to be food for the colony.

“Oh, he had struggled as best he could to escape them, but after multiple bites he was subdued. Finally, the moment came for him to be fed upon by them all. First one second, he was screaming in terror when he realized that his time had ‘come’. And then, he screamed in an even greater horror when he realized what part of him every single one of the Jumpers there, had decided to concentrate upon with their mouths: His penis.”

“So, the Awakening occurred right then and there?” Arawn asked, Tia nodded with a sharp-toothed grin. Her grin got even wider when she noticed Arawn involuntarily shuddering for just a second.

“Literally by the skin of their teeth.” She quipped. Arawn groaned, and shuddered once more. Tia snickered quietly.

“Afterwards, he stated that he thought he’d gone insane with fright when he saw a dozen Giant Spiders, suddenly transform into a dozen Spider-Girls.”

“I would imagine that I would have been rather discombobulated at that turn of events as well.”

“Wait!” Tia yelped, as her eyes widened in realization. “Are you saying that if I went along with you to that world, there is a good chance that I’d end up as a Giant Jumping Spider, not a Spider Girl?”

“Quite likely, yes.”

“Oh well, it’s just as well that I not accompany you then. I rather prefer being in the form I am now.”

“Just out of curiosity, did your spider colony have male spiders then?”

“Sort of. They weren’t directly part of the colonies then. They, the bachelors, would often live on the outskirts of one. During mating season they’d approach one of the females, dance for her, and once the mating had taken place he’d be eaten.” Arawn blanched at that. Tia grinned a sharp toothed grin when she saw it.

“I would say indeed, it is good that you are not going with me after all.” He remarked.

“So, will it be safe for me to accompany you to this world after you’ve built this gate?” she asked. Arawn nodded.

“It should, yes.”

“Good!” she half-shouted. “Promise me that I’ll get to go with you the next time, and I’ll let you off of the hook for not taking me along with you now!” she demanded. Arawn acquiesced with a smile.

“Is there anything you will need me to do for you, while you’re gone?”

“As a matter of fact, there is.” Arawn stated, as he started his packing once more.

“What?”

“I need you to feed Pickles for me for however long I am gone. I have no idea how long I will be over there.”

“Wait! Pickles? Isn’t that your ghost cat?”

“Yes.”

“But how does he require feeding? He’s dead, isn’t he?”

“Well, yes.” He admitted, “But never the less, he does seem to appreciate my feeding him. He and I have come to a mutual understanding. I ‘feed him’, and he doesn’t knock things off of my shelves.” He then went over the instructions for the proper care and maintenance of his ghost cat.

Tia found herself dumbfounded to discover what exactly he had meant by ‘feeding’. Apparently, it involved spraying scented water over an empty food bowl that had been set upon the floor in the kitchen area of his apartment, which itself was alongside a bowl of water that he ‘freshened up’ at least once a day.

“Remember Tia!” he explained as he demonstrated how to do it. When he finished, Tia noted that the air in the kitchen now had the aroma of a fishy scent, “No more than two spritzes from the bottle into his food bowl, per day.”

“Why just two?”

“Because if he gets more than that, he will get fat again.” He finished.

“Fat!?” Tia remarked, confused. “Arawn he’s dead! How can a ghost cat get fat?”

“I do not know for sure how, Tia. Every time he does put on too much girth, he can be a pain until the time as he returns to a more natural slim condition. As I can attest that ghost cats are quite good at knocking things over.” He smiled. At which point Tia decided that life with Arawn had a way of making a dull existence, interesting.

“As you wish.” She sighed, trying not to roll any of her eyes.

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Arawn walked into a huge empty room with gray walls, floor, and ceiling. As far as he could tell, it held no furniture or windows. There was only present a single door which had appeared at a touch from Aeshma, his guide. Aeshma held a glow crystal to allow both her and Arawn to see in the gloom of the room.

“So this is the spot that the Gateway to Donnie’s world opens into?” Arawn asked Aeshma absentmindedly, as she stepped into the room. She then walked over to a wall and spoke a single word. When she did, a large section of that wall became transparent. Arawn’s eyebrows shot up when he espied a bleak landscape before him. Outside, there were only naked twisted rocks. Overhead the sky was blue in color with hints of clouds creeping along in the distance near a rainbow. For a moment he idly mused what could lie over it. Stepping off to one side, he noticed that off near the horizon was a hint of greenery and what looked like the tops of tall trees.

“Where is this place?” he asked, curious as Aeshma came over and stood next to him as he gazed out.

“This is the desert island of Gruthrath.” She replied. “It is an island twenty leagues to the west of Cynosure. It used to be a ‘garden-spot’ for the City, with many tropical treasures of fruits and herbs that cannot be found elsewhere.” She replied sadly, blinking her eyes slowly.

“Such devastation! What happened to it?”

“The Order.” She hissed. Arawn growled in response. “They insisted on using it as a staging area during their last attempt to attack Cynosure two generations ago. Apparently, some of their offensive spells had some unexpected side effects that were detrimental to plant life. The result of which, you see before you.”

“HUMANS!” Arawn shot out with disgust as he turned away from the desolate landscape before him. Aeshma spoke another word and the wall resumed its opacity. “Always treating precious things that took millions of years to develop, and destroying them over a trifle.” He finished as he moved away from the wall.

Aeshma kept silent by way of reply. Instead, she nodded in agreement and then walked over towards him. When she did, she noticed that he was doing a rather odd inspection, or so it seemed to her. Instead of just walking around the room like most people would, he chose to stand in the vast room’s center and close his eyes while holding both of his arms straight out, palms up.

‘It’s almost like he’s listening to something.’ She thought to herself, while she unconsciously lowered her rate of breathing. She did this so to not interrupt the sudden silence.

For those of you not in the know, Aeshma was Arawn’s ‘aide-de-camp’ shortly after he had arrived into the world of the Great Maou. Currently, the curly haired succubus was now his immediate supervisor in the Maou’s Army Special Operations. After several minutes of his holding his scarecrow pose, he relaxed and turned to her.

“So what do you think?” she asked. He sighed heavily in preparation.

“I think that I know now why the gateway that opens up here does not open up very often.”

“Why is that?”

“Without going too technical; this portal is not the main entrance node.”

“What are you saying?”

“I am saying that every gateway that exists between universes, can be described as being similar to the network of tunnels as burrowed by animals.”

“I don’t follow you.”

“I shall attempt to explain. A burrowing animal, when creating an underground system of tunnels, will not just create a single hole with one exit and entrance. Instead, it will create additional entrances and exits to the surface. They range from bolt holes, to plunging holes, and sometimes to secret entrances, or exits.”

“So which one is this?”

“If I had to hazard a guess, this one was originally intended to be a secret entrance or exit.”

“To or from our world?”

“I have no idea. I would have to inquire with the original maker of this gateway to make a final determination.”

“What! You mean that these gateways between aren’t naturally occurring? Manufactured, but by whom?!”

“Once again, I have no idea. The only way for me to find that out, is if by chance I happen to encounter one of the gateways occupants, if any.”

“Could it be occupied now?”

“Unlikely. The fact that the Tocs and the Ogs made it through from here, and that Donnie and his erstwhile military colleague made it through to this world, indicates that it is highly unlikely to be occupied.”

“Is there even the remote possibility that it is?”

“Intrinsically yes. However, keep in mind that said occupants have proven to be most reticent about encounters, yet I recall there was one occasion when a particular individual was determined to force a confrontation.”

“What happened?”

“He never returned.”

“Foolish mortal!” Aeshma laughed. Arawn did not share in it.

“Actually, that individual was a minor God, Krom I think his name was.” Arawn replied, frowning as he tried to recall. Aeshma stopped laughing and looked at Arawn in surprise.

“You’re not joking!” she realized. He shook his head.

“So, any idea when it is supposed to open next?” he asked.

“If we’re lucky, it will do so if we utilize this.” Aeshma said, producing one of the Gateway chalices from her ever-handy satchel.

“You do realize how that is supposed to be activated, correct?” Arawn asked her, suddenly nervous at the sexual implication. She laughed.

“Oh don’t get your feathers all ruffled Arawn, the Great Maou already ‘charged it’ last night during her weekly staff meeting and orgy. Just give me a few seconds and you will be ready to depart. You are ready to depart, aren’t you?”

“I am, proceed.”

“Now indulge me Arawn, what are your orders again?” she asked, as she sat herself down into the center of the room and placed the Chalice in front of her.

“Primarily for myself,” Arawn began to recite. “I am to ascertain the several differing intrinsic aspects of the target universe/Donnie’s world, and this one. I will need to know what they are, so that I can create a stable Gateway between the two worlds. My secondary mission involves trying to find out what happened to the previous Toc and Og expeditions, and do what I can to return them to this world.”

“Correct.” She nodded happily. “Once more, I have to ask, you are aware of what it takes to activate a Chalice, yes?” Arawn grimaced.

“I am quite well aware of it, yes Aeshma. A sex-orgy. Knowing humans as well as I do, that should not be too terribly difficult an effort for me to organize one, if not several.” Aeshma forced back a giggle when she noted Arawn’s displeasure at having to recite it.

“Lastly!” she added once more, “You are also aware of the fact that you could very well end up lost in time in that world.”

“Indeed I am Aeshma. My own immortality will not make that limitation to be a hindrance to my mission.”

“Indeed!” Aeshma nodded with satisfaction, her curls bouncing, as she began the appropriate invocations to force open the Gateway. She began by giving it a long and loving kiss, and then ran her tongue along on the rim of the cup. As she did that, she simultaneously slipped a hand up her skirt and started masturbating herself, much to Arawn’s embarrassment.

Within a few seconds, the Chalice began to glow with an intense light that brightened significantly within a few seconds. Arawn noticed that that light pulsed in tune with Aeshma’s stroking of herself. As she started to moan audibly in her self-pleasuring, Arawn was even more embarrassed to discover that his penis had unaccountably gone to full turgidity.

‘Boo-yah! (2)’ Secundus added unhelpfully in that moment. Looking around to distract himself, Arawn noted that there was a sudden wind around them both. At first the wind was gentle, but within a few seconds it was whistling down from every corner of the hall and whipping his clothing about.

Looking down at the Chalice that stood in front of Aeshma, he noted that it continued to pulse dazzlingly. Looking up, he noted that the light it gave off didn’t decrease the gloom of the room, instead it seemed to make the dark- darker.

Soon, Arawn became dizzy when he was affected by visions of strange stars whizzing by his head.

‘The Gateway is opening! (5)’ Quintus mentally shouted in triumph. Arawn looked down and noticed that somehow in the last few seconds, Aeshma’s clothes had disappeared completely, and that she was now actively pleasuring herself with both hands, lying on her back with her wings and tail splayed out. With one hand, she was all but fisting herself nosily in her vulva, while the other hand was concentrated with grasping at one of her breasts and twisting her nipple rather roughly.

For a moment, and just a moment, Aeshma’s and Arawn’s eyes met, and he saw the silent invitation she extended to him then. For another single long moment, he felt an overwhelming desire to take her up on that offer. But that moment passed and Aeshma’s eyes curled up into her eye sockets, breaking contact. Within a few seconds, Arawn could hear the sound of her keening reaching its final orgasmic crescendo.

Lightning then flashed from the chalice, white strokes, scarlet flashes, emerald zig-zags, yellow streaks, and purple swords with jagged edges. The flashes spurted upwards from the mouth of chalice, bounced off of the ceiling and then spiraled down in the air above Arawn’s head. There, a hole in the air appeared.

Through that hole, Arawn could see strange lands before him. Walls of ice that towered over snow laden hills, city-scapes that stretched from horizon to horizon, a green tropical island with black sands, a vast rolling desert with dunes the color the Great Maou’s hair; this and many other vistas came and went rapidly before his eyes.

“I wish you the best of luck Arawn!” Aeshma shouted over the roar of the sudden winds. Arawn merely smiled, nodded once and then stepped into the portal. As soon as he did, the entire maelstrom collapsed into itself and the room was suddenly quiet with its ending. Aeshma then stood up and dusted herself off, dressed herself and then looked pensively at where the portal had been.

“Maou-speed Arawn.” She whispered then, with just a hint of concern in her voice. She collected the chalice, then turned to exit the room and walked down the hallways towards the connecting teleportation platform.

Barely had she reached the teleportation entrance door than she was surprised. For that was the instant when she heard the peculiar roaring sound of the Gateway opening once more.

Rushing back and standing stock still, she activated a surveillance spell upon the room. There within she was shocked to discover that the previously empty hallway was now filled with dozens, no hundreds of Mamono! But they were all of kinds that she’d only read about in history books, and they were all naked as if they’d recently taken part in an orgy! Above them all the gateway swirled, still open.Then, over there in the middle, she saw a male that made her gasp in astonishment.

‘It’s a vampire!’ she thought, ‘But he’s a male vampire! And who’s that beyond him! Is that a Male Lamia?!’ she almost spoke aloud in her shock, nothing that he had a long skinny penis that reached down past his knees.

“This isn’t our world or the Ogs either!” said a tall fair haired Incubus. Then Aeshma’s attention was diverted.

“That about uses up my knowledge of Spanish.” Said an odd seeming human male to a much older human male. The younger human seemed to be rather attractive looking one, Aeshma mused. “But she prefers to stay with me. And I want her to be with me.” That human male continued, gesturing to a wingless Succubus standing next to him. Aeshma noted with a grin when she noticed 

‘Spanish? What is Spanish?’ Aeshma thought to herself. Soon another voice shouted.

“That is the moon over Gruthrath!” said the male vampire. “Captain! You’ve brought us to the desert realm of Gruthrath!” he shouted in dismay. When he did nearly every other Mamono in that room turned to look at him and the human male in shock.

“It’s a desert, but it can support you and the Ogs quite comfortably, if you get out and dig, right?” said the handsome male.

“Yes, but surely you’re not thinking of…?” the vampire replied in shocked tones.

“My ancestral memory or genetic memory or whatever you call has been opened.” The handsome human spoke. “I know that there is very little chance that either you Tocs or Ogs would let me go once I made the first landing in either of your realms. You have Captains greater than I who could neutralize my powers long enough for your people to physically capture me. You’d have to, because I am partly an Earthman, and you could never trust me. And whichever realm I got us to first, the home of the Toc or the Og, the people there would catch me. And they would take captive the enemy peoples, too.”

“That isn’t true!” Shouted the male vampire and the Incubus as they stood together and faced the human male.

“I know you two were taking a chance in cosmic lottery, as it were. You did not know which realm I would pick to land on first, and you couldn’t ask me, because I would not know which one until I was presented with a choice. Also, if you tried too hard to sway me, I might get suspicious. So you took a chance. And both of you lost.” The handsome one stated triumphantly, he then reached out and took a firm grasp of that wingless Succubus and the much older human male.

Aeshma rose her eyebrows in surprise at that last remark, and they rose even further when she observed nearly every other Mamono in that hall become heavily agitated. Then she heard something else.

“Fuck you!” said that handsome male one final time as he and his companions leaped into the still open gateway. She then heard the sound of the gateway closing, which was immediately followed by a number of screams and howls of frustration from the surrounding Mamono as they had begun rushing angrily at where the human male had been. Aeshma smiled then, as she knew what was about to happen next.

She didn’t have long to wait.

Almost immediately, the howls and screams took on a different tone. To one of dismay.

“What the fuck!” shouted the male vampire. “What’s happening to my dick!? It’s shrinking!” he continued as he clutched at same, but in mid-sentence that deep harsh male bass tone rapidly shifted to a mezzo-soprano tone. Aeshma couldn’t help but laugh at the dismay the male vampire displayed when he clutched desperately at his penis and his other male attributes, as they began to change into something more feminine. 

“Congratulations Igescu! It’s a sign that My Great Maou is still in command of the Hordes of all Monster Kind!” the fair haired Incubus chortled.

“What do you mean Hindarf?!” Igescu demanded in a falsetto voice. “What is happening to me?!” His/her eyes shooting madly about.

“You’re turning into a female, in fact I see that the rest of your expedition’s males are doing so as well! Welcome to the reign of the Succubus Great Maou! Long may she reign!” Hindarf continued, doubling over with his laughter.

“NOOOOO!” Igescu screamed shrilly in horror. “Wait! Why aren’t you turning into a woman?!” she demanded.

“Fool!” Hindarf shot back. “I was already an Incubus before I departed, you weren’t!”

At that point Aeshma decided that right then would be the best time to go and seek reinforcements.

‘Things are coming to a head. Perhaps a contingent of Red Oni, and a selection of Green Ogres will be needed to subdue this lot.’ She decided, as she hurried herself towards the teleportation platforms as quickly and quietly as she could manage.

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Arawn emerged from the gateway into Donnie’s world. It turned out to be a pleasantly sunny day there, with a number of shrilly crying white birds circling about overhead. As soon as the gateway closed behind him, he looked around and took note of his new location while utilizing all of his senses and magical abilities.

‘Scanning.’ Quintus reported dutifully. After a few seconds he reported his findings. ‘It appears to be a largely uninhabited semi-arid flat land here, with a number of hills to the North and East. There is an ocean to the South and West, approximately five or six kilometers away. (5)’

‘Are there any signs of humans in the vicinity? (1)’ Arawn asked.

‘Indeed, there is. There are signs of a small farming community off to the west near a minor river. It consists of about two score humans and at least twice as many livestock animals. But I am detecting no signs of electronics or anything  resembling a rudimentary internal combustion engine. (5)’.

‘Well there is nothing for it then! We must go and investigate! (1)’ Arawn decided as he began making his way through the brush.

After a suitable reconnaissance, he introduced himself to the nascent farming community and was warmly received. There, he learned that he had stumbled across the “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula”, and that the date was November the fourth of the year of our Lord 1781.

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Undoubtedly by now dear reader, you are probably wondering what exactly I have been typing about while I was referring to the ‘Tocs’ and the ‘Ogs’? If so, read on. I would point you in the direction of another author whose works I am rather fond of. An author from my own misbegotten teen years: Philip Jose Farmer. His two books that I borrowed the Tocs and the Ogs from are:

Image of the Beast, and Blown.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/539914.Image_of_the_Beast_Blown

  • ISBN-10:1840680288
  • ISBN-13:978-1840680287

But be warned, I doubt that many of you with delicate eyes and fluttering hearts will be able to appreciate it as thoroughly as I did in the halcyon days of my youth. For you see, it contains many graphic and lurid details about sexual matters that are considered verboten by many of the ‘if-balls-are-touching-then-it’s-gay’ crowd here on TFT. Yes, it does occasionally involve Lesbian sex, but it also frequently describes that form of sex considered to be more horrible than most: Males raping males. But it describes those few scenes in ways that will leave your mind scarred.

Additionally, try to keep in mind that these novels also involve the kind of sexual depravity that the Great Maou eliminated when she made her ascension. Horrific Sex to be precise.  In my opinion, if you can make it past the first 16 pages, then the rest of the novel(s) will be as easy as a ‘slice of cake’.

Enjoy.

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