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    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 2. Chapter 2

Deep beneath the foundations of Duke Bertolde’s estate, there is a massive room filled with billowing plumes of steam. Every time the Duke peered into this room, it seemed like almost another plane of existence, separated from the outside world. Standing guard outside of the room were two of his son’s personal Maids.

One was a cheerfully Pink hued Tiefling with black horns and a tail with what could only be described as a heart shaped tip at the end. The other was a young human woman with deeply tanned skin and black hair that she wore in a bob cut. They both curtsied to the Duke as he walked up to them in his firmly tied bathrobe.The thick, fluffy fabric that draped his tall and compactly muscled form was imbued with a rather powerful heat resistance spell. A spell that was restricted to protection against steam and powered by a threefold attunement.

Restrictions, such as specifying what type of heat the spell protects against, helps lower the cost and ups the efficiency of the magic item itself. The more specific the task a magic item is to perform, the more effectively it can utilize the magic it is imbued with by its user. That efficiency allows for a longer duration of the spell's effect, more charges to cast spells, and potentially even removing the need to attune to the item in the first place.

It spoke volumes then, that Bertolde had to unattune from every magical item he normally utilized and devote his entire pool of magic into the garment he was wearing. If he was going to speak with his son for any length of time in that Lair of his, he needed all the energy he could give this protective garb.

“Every time I come down here the boy seems to make that place somehow even more scalding than before.” The Duke said with a sigh of exasperation before flashing a smile at the two Maids before him, “Shahnaz, Rhoda, how are you two doing this afternoon? I hope Baldric has been behaving himself.”

Both Maids curtsied again at the greeting with practiced ease. Though their uniforms seemed identical to the casual observer, those with a keener eye would be able to tell their clothing was each made out of a different material than the other. MageCrafters like them benefited greatly from draping themselves in the materials they have dominion over, and they usually can mold and craft them in such a way that it mimics the appearance of the estates Maid Uniforms.

“Lord Baldric has been quite busy this morning Master Bertolde.” the tiefling Shahnaz spoke with a toothy smile, showing off her rather sharp looking teeth that somehow seemed cute on her. Her black and gold eyes suddenly looked sheepish as she continued, “So busy that our Lord hasn’t quite chosen which fledgling Magecrafter he will choose to train yet.”

The man nodded and stroked his finely trimmed beard of bluish white hair, “That issue will be resolved today if I have anything to say about it. His fifteenth birthday is in a month and he needs to have one picked before then. If you would please open the door to his Lair.”

Steam hissed as the door to Baldric’s lair was opened. Inside that opening was billowing clouds of white so thick that it was impossible to glean more than a few feet in front of himself. Even with all the protections he placed on himself the room still felt exceptionally hot as he stepped inside, walking across the smooth white tiles of the room towards his son.

The lad was hovering in the air with his legs crossed in a lotus position. His son was rather tall for his age, almost six feet in height and he had a toned body that didn’t seem out of proportion or lanky. He sported his father's same bluish white hair that he wore quite long, draping down the sides of his face and even covering one of his eyes on occasion. He looked deep in concentration as illusions rapidly materialized and flashed around him, displaying glyphs and calculations that had long since gone past most people's understandings.

Bertolde’s son was one of the few MageCrafters to be born into a Noble household. Though almost all Nobles and Royals were magic users to one degree or another, MageCrafting was not something one could inherit through breeding. It appeared to come upon a person totally at random, regardless of cast or station in life. Even more astonishing, his son was an exceptionally rare MageCrafter who could mold and shape water in all its forms directly, as long as it was touching his skin.

Such broad control over a type of material was called True Dominion.

“My boy,” the man called out to his son, wiping his brow as he did so,” would you perhaps bring the temperature down for me a little bit.”

Baldric swiveled around in the air and turned to his father without breaking his cross legged pose.

“Oh, I didn’t hear you come in father. Sure, one moment.”

The teen raised an arm and snapped his finger, and suddenly billowing white steam began to swirl and create an empty pocket around his father. Almost as suddenly, liquid fed from the cloudlike formations and quickly took the shape of an ornate chair made of ice and snow.

“Please sit father. The Chair’s enchanted so that it is not cold to the touch and the coushions should be quite soft.”

It took a moment for the Duke to take in what he had just witnessed.

“Son, you crafted a magic item this quickly?” He asked as he gingerly sat down on the seat, fully expecting his rump to freeze. Yet he felt relieved and was just as comfortable as his son had stated.

An impish grin played on his son’s face as he draped himself to the side in the air, lounging on a plume of steam as he looked down at his dad. It looked as if he was resting on a cloud like one of the angels themselves. He looked quite pleased at how befuddled his father was at his abilities.
“Only while I’m in this place. I put a lot of time into making this Lair so I could practice without having to wait for my attunements to replenish all the time. It’s fantastic for practicing.”

Lairs were specially designed rooms that replenished the magic of its owner nearly as fast as they expended it. Archwizards spent decades building towers specially designed for them for just this purpose, and once they made it the Archwizard more often and not never left the walls of that tower again. Clerics and Paladins had rooms within their temples meticulously designed around their particular brands of magic. Trying to fight a magic user while they were in their lair would be tantamount to suicide in most cases.

“So what brings you down here today father?” Baldric leaned forward and placed his hands on his bare knees, not showing the slightest hint of discomfort hovering nude in front of his father. The boy never had a sense of shame or modesty growing up. The Maids had to chase their young Lord down a few times a week as he streaked through the halls of the estate, giggling the whole way as he fled in his birthday suit. The memories of those early years still had the power to make the Duke break into a silly grin of his own at his son’s antics.

“You still haven’t picked a fledgling magecrafter young man. Your birthday is right around the corner.”

The young Lord groaned and flopped backwards, plopping against a particularly thick bunching of steam as he drifted through the air.

“They’re all boring. Look at these people father,” He lazily waved his hand from his flopped position in mid air, materializing one illusionary picture after another of the candidates that the Duke had for his son’s birthday present.

“None of them give me anything to work with. Their mage crafting abilities are so hyper focused, and I didn’t read enough drive or wit in any of them. Why would I want any of these as my birthday present.”

“Son, you have to pick someone.”

Another groan escaped the teen as he was now upside down with his arms crossed as well as his legs, aggravated at being put in this predicament. He didn’t want to waste his time training someone that he couldn’t find intriguing. Still he had to give his father something.

“Alright how about this.” Baldric said as he began to slowly rotate in the air, “The next MageCrafter to awaken in the area will be my birthday present. No matter who it is, what race they are, or what their dominion happens to be.”

The Duke let out an exasperated noise at this. “Son, we don’t know when the nex-”

Both nobles bolted upright at a burst of magical energy they could feel east of their location. Their eyes gazed upwards and over towards the far wall, almost like they could see all the way to where it happened.

Baldric grinned. “Oh wow, that one sent shivers down my spine. Whole lot of rage in that awakening."

The teen floated to his father’s side and waved his hand, summoning a map of the area that showed where the emanation of magic came from. Above the map, illusory visages of Baldric’s personal Maids were brought up.

“Shahnaz, take Rhoda over to where this location is, I’m sending it directly to your collar to memorize. Find me whoever made that splendid burst of magic. I want them!”

Moments later, Bertolde and Balric had a visual on two skewered and mangled men barely clinging onto life, and a cart that looked as if it had rotten to pieces over the span of decades if not longer.

“Lord Baldric, we’re not seeing any trace of this MageCrafter. None of our scrying tools are picking up an aura in the area.”

“How is that possible?” The Duke asked with a concerned look on his face. His son however looked far more excited and intrigued.

“No… Take a look at this. If you trace the map back in time a bit, you see that the energy signature becomes smaller as it moves towards the forest right around here, and by the time it’s made its way through a few trees it vanished. Do you know what this means?”

“I’m afraid not Lord Baldric, I’ve never heard of anything like this.” Shahnaz admitted with befuddlement evident on the projection of her face.

The blue haired lad was beaming with excitement now as he darted through the air in his lair, floating back and forth as he set to work thinking.

“Whoever this person was, they not only figured out how to use their crafting abilities almost instantaneously after activating it, but they also had enough control to mask their aura mere moments after it erupted out of them.” a thrill induced shudder went through Baldric as he grinned at his father, “Father, we need to find this person immediately.”

The Duke agreed, but for an entirely different reason. From what he could see on the illusory projection, this Magecrafter was highly dangerous and possibly as gifted as his own son. He would need to put his entire Maid staff into finding this being.

if Babica Preja’s Warlocks found them first, Bertolde dreaded to think what kind of power boost that could give to the Hag Giant’s forces.

***

Kotik had thought the most eventful part of his night was over. After being in hiding for a month, and being found by the Orc Butler Sargis, Kotik had lived through his worst fear of having his freedom taken away. Now that he had that collar on his throat, the rest of his life was going to be dictated by someone else. Though he was still quite scared about the idea, at least he didn’t have to keep looking over his shoulder expecting to find a Maid lurking up behind him to snatch him off the street. That is how he had thought this would have gone down.

Yet as Sargis and him stepped outside of the Tavern, there was a potent sense of unease in the air that Kotik could almost taste, as well as a rage he was picking up further in the distance. A whole lot of things were coming right for them, and the indignant anger he was feeling was prickling the hairs on the back of his neck.

Sargis looked down at the boy tugging his sleeve.

“Sir, something is coming.” Kotik looked around in the sky still pouring down copious amounts of rain, “ I can’t hear it with either set of ears over all that thunder, but I feel like something spotted us the second we walked outside.”

“We have company Ladies!”

Before Sargis could process what Kotik said, a human Maid with long black hair and horned rimmed glasses stood on the edge of the tavern roof and looked up at the sky. The glass in her eyewear was glowing a golden hue and seemed to have images darting around it that Kotik could barely make out. She took a commanding pose, straightening her back and stretching her arm out as she shouted out her orders.

“Alright, battle stations on the double! Carriage team, get that shield up now!”

Kotik’s eyes darted from her to the carriage where five Maids stood around. All five roared out strange words he never heard of in perfect unison with mirrored hand movements before slamming their palms into the carriage. The Lynxian fell back into a mud puddle in alarm as a blue wave of energy erupted from the vehicle and solidified over the area, covering all of them and some of the buildings. Not even seconds after the shield went up, arcs of sickly green energy bombarded against the dome, causing tremors and ripples through the protective barrier.

“Fire Rods, Lightning rods, I’m feeding coordinates of the enemy fliers to your collars now, shoot when you got a lock!.Carriage team, get that teleportation spell revved up so you can add some suppressive fire in, We need to be out of here in 60 seconds! Ice Rods, gets some walls down!”

Kotik’s eyes bulged out of his head as the Maid’s got into position in perfect unison, each move fluid and practiced as they got to work. They only opened wider when balls of fire and arcs of lightning blasted forth to meet the green bombardment their shield was getting. As the clouds were lit up by the explosions of fireball spells and the searing light of Lightning from magical rods, his Lynxian eyes could spot scores of flying monsters honing in on their location, some of whom had beings on their backs who were shooting those blasts of energy at them.

Howls erupted from either side of the street as strange giant wolf-like creatures peeled around the corner and rushed at their party.

“40 seconds till Teleportation. Carriage team, Activate Swift Reload, silver ammunition!”

Another incantation was said by the five of them as they hefted out crossbows, and somehow silver bolts materialized right into place on the weapon. That surprise was only doubled as the five got into position, some kneeling while others stood, and unleashed a volley of crossbow bolts the likes of which he had never seen. They flowed out of the crossbows like water as they pierced into the wolf creatures hides, ripping them to shreds as they methodically mowed them down. Ice walls were being erupted from the ground as well, narrowing the cobblestone road so the Wolves could only run down the center where most of the silver ammunition was streaming from.

No matter where Kotik’s eyes went, it was filled with the deafening and blinding display of force from the Maids. Scores of bodies fell from the sky, smoldering and burning from the hail of lightning and fire, and on the ground there was an ever growing pile of those wolf like creatures trying to shove their way past the glacial ice on either side of the street.

“Trade you this big crossbow for the cutie sir.”

A Pink tiefling from Carriage Team tossed Sargis an enormous crossbow, already armed with what looked like a silver spear instead of a bolt before she swooped down and unceremoniously picked the dumbfounded and shell shocked Lynxian from the ground. He hadn’t even realized he had stopped breathing from how overwhelmed he was.

“Alleyoop cutie`,” she said in a singsong voice, seemingly not at all concerned with what was going on around her, “ let's get you in the carriage.” Despite the all out war being waged all around him, his cheeks flushed in embarrassment as he was tucked under her arm with his limbs dangling limply in the air, facing backwards as she made her way past her currently engaged comrades. His tail was curled under his legs and into his stomach and his ears were flat between how alarming this all was coupled with having his trousered backside on full display as the Tiefling made her way over the side.

“Ten seconds Ladies, take positions around the cart for teleportation!”

Kotik couldn’t see anymore once he was inside the cart. The Pink Tiefling had plopped him on her lap and settled herself back, giving him a scratch behind the ears which only enhanced how embarrassed he was feeling right now.
All at once the noise stopped, replaced by the gentle sound of nighttime animals. Even the torrential rain seemed to vanish. Kotik couldn’t find his voice for several moments as he tried to figure out what was happening. The Pink Tiefling ruffled his hair and ears.

“Heya cutie, we made it! That wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it’d be.”

The absurdity of that statement snapped him out of it as he looked at her. “Wha-What do you mean that wasn’t as bad as you thought!? Did you think a hoard of demons were going to show up as well?! What was that just now!?”

“Just some Warlocks, Wyverns and Werewolves from Preja Bog. We had thought they had already got those dimpled cheeks of yours until we found you on accident yesterday.”

“Wait…” Now that his adrenaline was simmering down and his heart wasn’t thumping quite so wildly he took a better look at the girl in front of him.

“I know you! Garlic Butter Potato and chimera steak chopped up together and cooked in a skillet, with a side salad and water!”

She gave a huge toothy grin at that, “Oh wow! You didn’t even need your collar to remember my order! What an impressive little munchkin you are. No wonder that old guy liked you!”

Gears began to click in his head as he blinked at her. “So you’re the one who found me?”

She nodded, looking somewhat serious, “Good thing too, cause those Warlocks were pretty close to doing the same. Now,” She slapped his rump playfully, “out the door, we got things to do.”

She was entirely too handsy with him for his liking! All the ear scratching and head patting and now this, it made his tail and ear fur frazzle out as he gave her a somewhat indignant look. She only seemed to enjoy that even more as she pushed him forward out of the carriage.

“Oh my gods and goddesses above, Lord Baldric is going to have a blast with you, I can already tell.”

Before he could react, the pink tiefling hoisted him up and carried him in her arms in a princess style like he had heard about in stories.

“Girls, I’d like for you all to meet Kotik! He was such a charming little server when he took my order yesterday.”

Women he had seen valiantly dismantling enemy forces while he sat in the mud in shock beamed down at him with varying levels of adoration on their faces. More than a few of them pinched his cheeks, stretching his face as he flushed with embarrassment. Still, another emotion came up that overpowered that.

“You all were...amazing! I’ve never seen anything like that! Wow!” Laughter came from his sincere expression of admiration as his cat pupils grew large, making his blue eyes sparkle in awe as his mind caught up with everything he had seen.

He shook his head suddenly, “I don’t understand, Why were there so many of them? How did they know where we were?”

“That was why there was a Dozen Maids and a Butler out with you tonight instead of just one or two of us.” The tiefling holding him said, giving his nose a poke with her heart tipped tail, “If we had found you when you had awakened this probably wouldn’t have happened, but somebody wanted to be sneaky!”

Sargis nodded, “We already knew they were patrolling and that we were going to have problems the second your collar activated.” He turned to the black haired woman who had been giving commands throughout the entire minute of fighting and gave her a pat on the shoulder. “You did splendidly for your first field command! There is not a thing I would have done differently in your place.”

A bright smile erupted momentarily on the previously stoic and serious face as she gave the Orc a curtsy, “Thank you sir, that means a lot coming from you.”

He looked over the assembled Maids and spoke out in his deep voice, “You all did some fine work out there. Unattune from all weapons as well as from the Carriage and return them back to the armory. Afterward, report to your assigned duties. We still have birthday preparations that need to be completed.”

Kotik was stunned as they moved out. That had been the most thrilling and frightening moment of his life, and these women were now going to finish planning for a birthday party. A party that he was supposed to be a present for. In fact he realized as his heart thumped in mild alarm that they had essentially treated this whole affair like picking up a birthday present.

The cat-eared boy looked up at the pink Tiefling, meeting her black and gold eyes as she grinned devilishly, flashing her sharp teeth at him.

“You and I got some work to do cutie.” She thumbed his muddied peasant garb. Both his shirt and trousers were held together by various patches that had been sewn on in an attempt to salvage them, and she surmised if he had other clothes they hadn’t fared much better. “Those rags you’re wearing are not going to work at all, and we still have to give you some dance lessons before the party!”

“D-Dance lessons?” Kotik had just realized he was still being held in the Maid's arms, however he decided to deal with one thing at a time.“H-hold up now, isn’t this party only in a few hours? How am I going to get new clothes AND learn how to dance in that amount of time?!”

“Also bathe, You got pretty dirty playing in the mud while we were trying to teleport.”

“I-I wasn’t playing!” his entire face down to his neck went crimson as she struck that nerve at how he hadn’t been able to react at all.

“You poor little thing,” she cooed in a mockingly sympathetic tone. As she walked toward the estate, the tiefling added more to herself then to the boy as she had a sly grin playing on her face. “Lord Baldric's going to eat you right up.”

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

I really admire the way you wrote the fight scenes, they were captivating and written clearly! The maids also seem to be quite the interesting bunch, and the Duke and his son are super cool as well! I can't wait to see their interaction with Kotik \(〃´▽`〃)/

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Apart from Kotik's enforced enslavement, I LOVE this story. It is so SO interesting...

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Since Baldric is a powerful magecrafter, does he also have to wear a collar? If not, why not?

How does the collar force obedience, or is it more like a tracking system in case a slave tries to escape?

Since Baldric prefers nudity, does that mean he'll force Kotik to be naked as well? (Kotik is embarrassed to be scratched behind the ear, as the action reduces him from a boy to a pet. To be kept naked on top of his reduction to a collared slave/pet would likely drive him to attempt an escape.)

Amazing how quickly the warlocks mount a military action to seize Kotik after his collar is activated.  Despite outnumbering their foes and using monsters, they prove no match for the Duke's little band. Are the Duke's forces that much better, or would they have succumbed if the teleportation spell had failed them?

So many questions! I'll just have to keep reading! ^_^

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I have to say, it took me a bit to pick this up (mainly because I absolutely abhor four eared nekos) but this is a great story so far. Can't wait to read on!

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37 minutes ago, Yeoldebard said:

I have to say, it took me a bit to pick this up (mainly because I absolutely abhor four eared nekos) but this is a great story so far. Can't wait to read on!

Now this is interesting. What makes you abhor four eared Nekos? Might use that reasoning for a character later if it strikes my fancy. 

Part of why I made him was cause I've seen pictures of Nekos with both sets of ears and I mulled over what that would actually be like. Why would they need two sets of ears? I came up with the concept that the two pairs of ears serve different purposes and process information differently, giving Kotik a much broader understanding of the world around him. Kotik's brain would actually be different than a human's brain because the two sets actually feed to different parts of the brain. His Neko ears aren't linked to the proverbial "language center" of the brain like the human ears are as an example, but it does process things that the human ears do not. 

I'm sure a true biology student or professor or what have you would balk at mah junk science, but I think the rationale works enough for an internet based gay fantasy series lol.  

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7 minutes ago, Demented said:

Now this is interesting. What makes you abhor four eared Nekos? Might use that reasoning for a character later if it strikes my fancy. 

Part of why I made him was cause I've seen pictures of Nekos with both sets of ears and I mulled over what that would actually be like. Why would they need two sets of ears? I came up with the concept that the two pairs of ears serve different purposes and process information differently, giving Kotik a much broader understanding of the world around him. Kotik's brain would actually be different than a human's brain because the two sets actually feed to different parts of the brain. His Neko ears aren't linked to the proverbial "language center" of the brain like the human ears are as an example, but it does process things that the human ears do not. 

I'm sure a true biology student or professor or what have you would balk at mah junk science, but I think the rationale works enough for an internet based gay fantasy series lol.  

You actually hit the nail right on the head. Why would a being need multiple pairs of ears? What purpose would the extra pair serve, other than making it obvious that the character is not human. But looking at it that way actually makes a lot of sense.

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This may sound strange for a woman telling a man this about his story, but this story is so adorable. I love it! I especially loved the scene where the Warlocks and all came rushing at them but they got away through teleporting! Great writing! I am hooked!

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Just now, Story Reader said:

This may sound strange for a woman telling a man this about his story, but this story is so adorable. I love it! I especially loved the scene where the Warlocks and all came rushing at them but they got away through teleporting! Great writing! I am hooked!

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More than happy to take adorable! 

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