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    Yeoldebard
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Stolen Dreams - 10. Faun's Stew

ELIAS

 

“This fucking sucks Fedha.”

The mare dug through a bucket of oats as Elias set out bedrolls. A snort shot from her, eyes watching the amurrun in amusement as he fought with a tent cover. Around her, the other horses were busy munching down on their own buckets.

A wind blew around them, warm and gentle, and Elias could have sworn he heard a playful laugh in the wind’s voice. Or maybe he was overthinking the snort from Fedha. At this point, the amurrun wasn’t too sure.

“Laugh it up. At least I have thumbs,” Elias retorted, trying to tie a post between a pair of tree roots.

“Here, let me do it.”

The amurrun let out a squeal as a pair of smooth eggshell white hands took the rope he held. He backed away quickly, yanking his bayonet out of its scabbard.

“Oh come now, if you want to stab a friend, there’s a much better weapon for you to use.”

A lyrical voice rose from the stranger, curly white hair framing long elf like ears as he stood tall from the tree roots. A beatific smile was on his face, soft green eyes luring Elias’ gaze toward them. It wasn’t until the man stepped forward and Elias heard a soft click of hoof on wood, that the amurrun realized he was a faun.

“You… you’re fey?”

He felt stupid; Elias had travelled enough with Amethyst. It should have been obvious those were goat ears, not elven. The amurrun still stared at the faun in wonder, his mind in a fog. It was those gods' blessed eyes. They drew him in like a fly to honey.

“You should look to your camp,” the faun smirked, reaching forward.

A soft hand ran over Elias’ cheek, and the amurrun shivered, stepping forward impulsively. His head felt empty of any need, the thrumming of his loins the only need that mattered.

“Please… take me… do what you want with me…”

Soft lips caressed the catfolk’s mouth, the hair of the faun’s goatee scratching at his own chin as his head tilted back to meet the stranger.

“Are you expecting company? That’s a lot of horses for one catboy.”

His voice warmed Elias’ soul. Rich and deep, yet with a deceptive lightness that seemed so contradictory, yet somehow fitted him.

“Yes… they’re hunting a gnome,” Elias murmured, a gasp escaping him as teeth nipped into his neck. “He… he stole from… from… gods…”

The amurrun’s legs melted, the sensation of falling overtaking him. He crumpled into the faun’s arms, his eyes blinking in confusion.

“Fuck… did we just have sex?”

A light laugh floated from the faun’s mouth, and he shook his head.

“Not quite yet. Rest, and allow me to set your camp. The effects of the spell will wear off momentarily. I must say, I am eager to meet your companions, especially if they are as delightful as you are.”

Elias blinked blearily, leaning back against a solid surface… a rock, he hoped. A wetness in his pants confirmed his suspicions; the amurrun had definitely shot his seed. The fact that it had been because of a spell unnerved him, and he tried to get to his feet.

“Now now, don’t be too hasty,” the faun said, digging through Jasp’s saddlebag. “We don’t want you getting all dizzy and such. You smell delicious, by the way.”

“Wha… what did… what did you do to me?”

“Oh, nothing harmful. I promise you that. The spell would not even have taken hold if you did not find me desirable yourself. I merely had to determine if I was in danger from you or not. I do hope it’s not?”

Elias swallowed drily, a tremor shaking through his body. He nodded quickly, and let himself fall back against the rock.

“Fuck… you should teach me how to do that. I could bottle instant orgasms,” he joked weakly.

“Oh so that’s the wonderful smell I got from you.”

The faun grinned at him, and Elias’ heart melted. How could he ever be mad at that face, that smile?

“I don’t know who you are… but I would die for you…”

“Aw, that’s sweet of you. I’m Seilenos, former bard of Queen Callitropsia, at the service of you and yours.”

The faun grinned, giving a short bow. Elias’ eyes were drawn by a sudden metallic clatter, as a buckler and estoc knocked against each other on Seilenos’ side.

“You’re fey,” the amurrun said quietly. “You’re fey.”

“Yes, we have established that. Would you allow me to know your name?”

“And what would you do if I said my name?” Elias demanded suspiciously. “You already drew me into your web. Fuck, I still bear the results of your spell.”

“Results that are quite easily cleaned, I assure you,” Seilenos said. “And I am a faun, not a satyr. I would do nothing untoward with your name.”

“My name…” Elias took a breath, before blurting out, “My name is Elias Jakunson.”

“Well met Elias, son of Jakun,” Seilenos beamed, setting out a line of bedrolls. “If you would collect that pile of wood for me, I will get a fire going to warm some rocks for your beds. Oh, are you aware that your halfling’s bedroll has a hognose in it? Poor guy’s probably frozen in this weather.”

“Halfling?”

Elias stood up carefully, taking a few stumbling steps before regaining his balance. He headed over to the wood Seilenos pointed out, carrying it back to the camp.

“Or gnome? Kobold? Someone small,” Seilenos said, taking the wood. “It’s a fun prank to pull on people, but I feel like the snake’s not going to be up to it unless we warm him first, and that would probably send him into shock. Someone doesn’t seem to know how to pull seasonal pranks. It’s still a little early for snakes.”

The faun tsked quietly, arranging the wood in a ring of stones. A flame flooded the wood, crackling merrily a moment later. Elias moved closer to the fire, grimacing at his stained breeches.

“You ruined my pants,” he grumbled.

“Well take them off. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t clean up my messes?”

Seilenos held up Wulfrin’s bedroll, sticking his arm into the fabric.

“Come on sweetie, time to come out. I know it’s cold. We’ll get you somewhere nice, okay?”

The bag shook suddenly, and Seilenos yanked his hand out, shaking a bit of blood off.

“Okay, that was my fault. Let’s try this again…”

The faun set the bag down, picking up the end with the snake in it. He gently shook it out, and Elias watched in horror as a long black snake rolled out of the sack. The snake’s body whipped around suddenly, curling in on itself as it turned upside down, and Seilenos snickered.

“So dramatic… Come on, let’s get you to a burrow. I’m sure you’re a ways from home, but there’s got to be plenty of bugs to eat around here.”

“But… it’s dead?” Elias said uncertainly.

“Oh no. That’s a hognose. Just playing dead so we won’t mess with them,” Seilenos replied, carefully scooping the snake up. “And this is proof it takes a while for me to learn lessons. But I figure they’ll be happier away from people. And your little person will be happier not to wake up with bites all up their legs.”

He carried the snake to the tree, kneeling next to a small hole in the roots. Tucking the coiled snake safely in the shelter of the roots, the faun turned back to the amurrun.

“Now, if you want me to clean your pants, you’ll need to take them off.”

Elias had his pants down to his ankles in an instant, pulling them over his boots. Seilenos let out a low chuckle, watching the amurrun’s struggle.

“A little eager there, aren’t you?”

“Fuck yeah I am. I might not exactly trust you, but I still want to fuck you,” Elias snorted.

“Well at least you’re open about your desires,” Seilenos laughed. “Why don’t you take off your boots first, and then remove your pants. Oh, and your underwear should get cleaned too.”

The catfolk grunted, pulling off his boots. His pants followed a moment later, flying through the air at the faun. Seilenos caught them with a smirk, making a show of sniffing them.

“I don’t know why you’re so upset. They smell great to me.”

His ears flicked suddenly. Glancing around as Elias tossed his underwear, the faun suddenly darted at the amurrun. A hand slapped over the yelp that emerged from the catfolk, and Seilenos dragged him behind the rock, muttering a spell.

Elias felt a warmth come over him as the faun held him down. He was at full mast, his length throbbing again… but he couldn’t see his own dick.

Another muttered spell turned Seilenos invisible just as a veritable horde of kobolds crashed through their camp. The creatures didn’t even seem to notice the camp, trampling bags and the campfire in their haste to flee whatever it was that was chasing them. Seilenos let out a whispered curse as he flickered back into sight, and Elias felt the warmth wash out of him a second later, his own skin turning back to normal as the last of the kobolds fled.

Seilenos held the amurrun for another minute, his ears flicking around. For his part, Elias tried to listen for more danger, but all he could hear was the unsteady thumping of their hearts in the now silent evening.

“Come on, we should get you dressed before whatever was chasing them finds us,” Seilenos said finally, letting Elias go.

A soft hand ran over the amurrun’s ass, groping him teasingly, and Elias let out a growl.

“Well don’t get me going if you’re not actually going to ravage me,” he grumbled, heading back into the ruined camp to collect his filthy clothes. “And how am I supposed to wear these?”

The faun took the clothing from his hands, chanting a short spell before handing them back. The dirt fell off the fabric, blood and cumstains alike vanishing before Elias’ eyes.

“Huh… neat trick…”

“And for my next trick, I shall make a delicious meal appear from thin air,” Seilenos grinned, waving his hand dramatically. “Now, if you’ll allow me a moment to gather my supplies, I’ll have something very nutritious when I get back.”

Elias watched the faun hurry out of the firelight, and he let out a sigh, pulling his clean clothes back on. He had no idea how he was going to explain this to the group.

 

WULFRIN

 

The group stumbled down the path toward the tall tree in the distance. Wulfrin’s eyes were burning, and he had to use his glaive to hold himself up as he walked. Beside him, Hope was muttering tiredly. The tiefling kept glancing at the gnome almost sorrowfully, and it was starting to really creep Wulfrin out.

“You’re certain the kobolds went this way?” the gnome demanded, trying to stay awake while keeping his mind off the unnerving thought that the tiefling might have seen his death.

“Positive, though I didn’t think it would take us until midnight to get there. It’s a good thing Elias made a friend out there.”

“What?” Wulfrin frowned.

“It’s why we sent him out there, to get a camp follower. And to set up camp too,” Hope shrugged.

“Who?”

“How should I know?”

Wulfrin stared at the tiefling in disbelief. Was the tiefling trying to mess around? He knew so many things he shouldn’t know; in fact, Wulfrin felt like if he wanted to, Hope could tell their fortunes in minute detail. How could he know Elias was going to meet someone, yet not know who that someone was?

“Divination is a hard practice,” Amethyst spoke up, a rich purr to his voice.

His hood hid his face as usual, and Wulfrin fought the urge to peer into it as they walked.

“Hey Wulfrin…”

Hope frowned at the gnome, an almost concerned look on his face, and Wulfrin shuddered.

“What is it?”

“Don’t look too closely at tonight’s dinner,” the tiefling sighed a moment later, shaking his head.

“O… okay?”

No, it was not okay.

“Am I going to be poisoned?” Wulfrin demanded. “If I’m going to die, don’t you think you should tell me?”

“And why would I tell you? Do you think me so cruel as to curse you with that knowledge beforehand? It would do you absolutely no good to know the time of your death,” Hope grumbled. “But here’s a tip. Play nice with Valerie. And be happy I’m not taking the gnomist’s advice.”

The tiefling forged on ahead, leaving Wulfrin gaping at his back. Play nice with a two time traitor? Hope had certainly lost his mind.

The thought was driven from his mind as his eyes registered the flickering light of a fire. Wulfrin let out a sigh of relief, picking up his pace in a rush for the camp Elias had set. A gentle melody blowing on a set of panpipes left him feeling like he was coming home, the exhaustion rolling over him finally as he entered the camp.

A goat person sat over a sleeping catfolk, and Wulfrin’s peaceful feelings fled instantly. Gripping his glaive, the gnome glanced at Hope uncertainly, trying to figure out what the tiefling made of this person sitting over Elias’ body.

Hope stared slack jawed, as though he was trying to make out what he thought of the stranger. Finally, he sighed.

“A faun? Really? And here I was hoping for Kiba. At least then people wouldn’t be trying to fuck the help.”

“You must be Hope. Elias told me a lot about you,” the faun laughed, rising to his feet.

He let his pipes fall to hang as an amulet around his neck, and stepped forward to study the group.

“And he let you guard the camp while he sleeps?” Ramiel demanded. “I knew I should have come instead.”

“Oh knock it off Ramiel. You would have killed him the moment you set eyes on him. Who are you, anyway? And don’t pull that fey bullshit, it doesn’t work on me,” Hope added.

“Seilenos,” the faun said. “Welcome home. I hope you enjoy the campfire, and dinner. Oh, and I took the hognose out of your bedroll. You might want to be more careful where you sleep.”

Wulfrin frowned as he was singled out by the fey. What was a hognose anyway? Had someone killed a pig and stuck it in his bedroll? His eyes flashed at Amethyst accusingly, but he couldn’t see past the elf’s hood.

The witch in question sighed as he walked past the fey, sniffing the pot that sat on the fire.

“Greetings,” Seilenos smiled at the elf. “It’s nice to see another nature spirit in these lands.”

Amethyst stiffened at the faun’s words, a low growl escaping him.

“I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not a spirit, just a witch.”

“Why are we acting like a random faun guarding our camp is not a problem?” Ramiel demanded.

“I’m with the hellknight. Is it common for your camps to be infested with the fey?” Valerie questioned.

Wulfrin was spared having to answer the fallen paladin by Elias’ voice. The amurrun sat up in his bag, eyes staring blearily at the group.

“Oh. You’re here.”

“Yes, we’re here,” Wulfrin replied. “Along with your friend.”

“Friend? Seilenos… you weren’t just a dream?” Elias murmured, taking in the faun.

“Was I a good dream?” Seilenos smirked at the amurrun, kneeling to scratch behind one of Elias’ ears.

“Could have been better…”

“Well, there’s always tomorrow,” Seilenos chuckled.

The faun stood up, crossing to the pot that was simmering over the fire. Casting a short spell, he began scooping stew into several bowls, before offering them to the group.

“I made supper for everyone. I suggest you eat fast, as the flavouring will go away in about an hour,” he said.

Wulfrin took the small bowl he’d been given, staring at the dark stew within. He sniffed it cautiously, remembering Hope’s warning. A small spoonful of the stew slipped into his mouth, and the gnome’s eyes lit up in delight.

“This is amazing! What did you put in it?” he asked, scooping more into his mouth.

“The secret ingredient is magic,” Seilenos said, offering bowls to the rest of the group. “Don’t worry about leftovers, I can make this again easily, and it should still fill everyone up enough.”

Wulfrin peered at the bowl, trying to pick out the meat the faun had used. The stew seemed to shimmer suddenly, a half ground centipede appearing in the bowl, and the gnome’s spoon froze halfway to his mouth. Gagging, the paladin dropped the bowl, spitting out the remnants of bugs that still somehow tasted of seasoned venison.

“I warned you not to look,” Hope called over to him as the tiefling took a heaping bite of the stew.

The gnome stared at the rest of the group, all tiredly eating what had been a good meal. His mouth opened to warn them of the faun’s trickery, but a scalding look from Hope shut him up. The tiefling had been right about the previous night’s stew. Wulfrin was going to trust his judgement here.

Copyright © 2021 Yeoldebard; All Rights Reserved.
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