General Disclaimers: While it features no ‘on-screen’ sexual activity, this hypnofetish story does contain examples of fictional characters doing illegal, immoral and/or impossible things to other fictional characters. If you are under the age of consent in your community, are disturbed by such concepts, or want graphic sex in your online pornography, then for goshsakes stop reading now!
Permission is granted to re-post for free to any electronic medium, as long as no fee whatsoever is charged to view it, and this disclaimer and e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) are not removed. It would also be nice if you told me you were posting it.
Copyright Voyer, 2012.
Specific Disclaimers: This is set in the same world as some of my other fantasy pieces, but it's not at all neccessary to have read them to enjoy this.
Dedicated to Vaarsuvius.
A whizzard was coming. Even before he appeared, there could be no doubt,; the bits of color came first, whistling and spinning noisily through the air, splattering sparks in their wake as they spiraled inquisitively around the shattered chunks of rock that jabbed into the sky along both sides of the path. Bits of raw magic, given shape. First one or two, the advance scouts and heralds, and then more and more, a buzzing storm.
And then finally the whizzard himself. His long cloak trailed black streamers of power as his thin angular body floated over the broken and uneven stones, just possibly all that remained of a once-mighty road. In one gnarled hand, he clutched a staff, a thing of blackwood, inlayed its entire enormous length with mystic firesilver runes. His other remained concealed in the depth of the cloak. From the matching shadows of his tall and pointed hat, its majestic point encrusted with more of the runes, two black eyes studied the world, measured it and found it wanting.
On he came. There was more rubble now on either side, stone and metal and more stacked and scattered in tottering heaps. His passage caused one of these displays to loudly crumble further in on itself, throwing dust into the air. An occasionally resilient tree gnarled its way into view, and snarlvines swarmed here and there, outlining once invisible patterns.
And then ahead of him rose the mountain. Or rather, what remained of the mountain. It may have had an official name once, inscribed in gold on charts by the cartographers of the True Kings, but that had been shattered along with the rest, and now.. it was the Wrack, or the Ruins or the Remains. And so it appeared to be constructed entirely of these things; more and more, piled higher and higher. Splintered and shriven and splattered. Up it slouched, until the top disappeared into a swirling scrum of clouds.
However, at much the actual base, the ground leveled out, relatively. It may simply have been that this band of rubble had been pounded more thoroughly into submission.
And here the whizzard paused.
For there were two other figures moving among these sheared-off ruins. One was a heavy draft horse, picking its way along with the practice of many years, hooves lifting just far enough to clear obstacles. It had a large wicker basket strapped to either side of its body. The other was a man. Not striding, but moving nevertheless with purpose, poking here and there with a long metal very unmagical bar. He was a stolid and gray-haired, his beard very much unlike the whizzard’s kept roughly trimmed and tamed, his tall frame dressed in drab but sturdy leather and wool. He had a not-quite-as-large wicker basket strapped to his back. His pole uncovered something of interest, a rock seemingly like any other, and again with the ease of long practice, he flipped it into the waiting receptacle. Then he noticed the magic bits beginning to swarm around him, and he looked towards the path, towards the whizzard who waited there.
The pole-wielder made a grunting noise, and ambled his way closer, his heavy boots kicking up small plumes. The horse elected to remain where it was, flicking occasionally at both bits and flies with its tail.
The whizzard spoke, in a voice that continued the general theme of his appearance.
“You are a rock-picker.”
The rock-picker acknowledged this statement amiably, and offered a counter.
“And you’re going to climb up there.” He nodded towards the looming pile.
“And try to kill the Which.”
“I have come to challenge the Sorceress of the Wrack.”
The rock-picker shrugged.
“Which, Sorceress, makes no never mind.”
The Whizzard’s gaze narrowed.
“And you are one of her minions, come to waylay me.”
Another shrug, and the rock-picker leaned his pole against a handy pile, pulled off his heavy gloves and stuffed them in his belt, started fishing around in one of the many pockets of his thick coat. (Stained and worn, but neatly patched.)
“The Which minds her business, and I mind mine. Mostly.” He produced a battered pipe, stoked it and tortured it to life. A few thoughtful puffs as from under the weathered brim of his not-at-all pointed hat, his gray eyes examined the clouds roiling overhead. “But maybe talking to fools like you is my business.”
The whizzard said nothing, but his aura crackled dangerously. The bit-swarm buzzed. The rock-picker went on, unperturbed. “Been picking rocks for, what.. forty, forty two years now. Ever since old Gan went off to.. wherever he went off to. Seen a lot of fellas, and gals, come along. Spewing magic from every.. pore.” He looked at his fingers, sturdy and thick and callused. “Ain’t that what they’re called? Think so. Anyway. They came on carpets, they came inside big walking contraptions, speaking steam. They go up there, and none of them ever come back down. Maybe you’ll break the trend.” More smoke. “But I doubt it. My advice, young fella, go take all your magic somewhere interesting. Wuldercan. One of them places. Maybe go fight for or against that Sovereign fella that old Blevins was talking about, down in the village. Nothing here but a pile of rubble to pick over. Of course, you never know what you might f-” The there was a flash and a rumble, bouncing off the stones and metal, rattling all of them.
“I speak not to this buffoon, but to the one who speaks through him. Your feeble attempts at trickery will avail you not. Your doom is at hand, Sorceress. I shall claim your throne and all your hoarded secrets.” Something glowed and spiraled in the depths of the cloak, something clutched in a gnarled hand.
The whizzard moved on, his swarm ahead and behind, and was soon out of sight. The rock-picker finished his pipe, knocked it out against a handy bit of stone, stowed it away. Pulled his gloves back on, picked up the pole, and made his unhurried way back to where the horse was waiting. Resumed poking through the rubble, working his way along in the whizzard’s wake.
Time passed, but not much of it.
The clouds above swirled harder. Another rumble came, louder, much louder and deeper. Lightning flickered across the sky.
The explosion was tremendous, rattling the world and turning the clouds blood red for a long lingering moment, then fading to grudging silence. After a few moments’ delay, a few bits and pieces rained down around the man and the horse. Something that might have been a rune-covered hat, burnt and smoking. And landing with a small clatter, a bit of crystal, cracked and partially broken. The rock-picker bent over and retrieved it. Turned it in his fingers, almost made to throw it away, then shrugged and pocketed it.
As the sun began to go down, trailing streamers of power as it broke free of the clouds, he and the horse slowly worked their way on around to the eastern side of the mountain. Waiting there for them was the large sleek body of what once long ago might have been some sort of flying machine, before its spinning elevators had been snapped off like twigs and it had plowed its way into the ground. The various circular windows had later been covered with sturdy metal shutters, the cracks patched. Two or three chimneys, metal and stone, poked into the sky at various angles along with a lightning rod, a weather vane, and other bits and bobs. Comforting bits of smoke puffed away from this collection, lazing across the sunset. A stretch of ground had been cleared and fenced for a flourishing vegetable garden and a pump stood waiting under a small windmill, the repurposed propeller turning slowly in the cool breeze. In a hutch, a few purple chickens scratched about for items of interest, having to make due without long metal pipes. Nearby loomed a large shell, again made of metal, its original purpose less clear, which now served as a combined storage shed and stable. The baskets were carefully emptied into waiting bins, the bits of rock and metal and bone sorted by type, for Quidam the merchant to come and pick and sneer disdainfully over. The pole was hung from two waiting hooks. The horse was dressed down, fed and secured. The rock-picker washed at the pump, and only then made his way into the house.
There was a low metal bench beside the door/front hatch, and after he had closed this portal and slammed home the heavy wooden door-bar, he tossed aside his coat and gloves and hat, sat while he unlaced his boots. Embers burned in a wide stone fireplace. There was a table covered with a white cloth, a large padded chair, and various cupboards and bookshelves crammed to overflowing with items, including books. Through a curtained archway, in what had been the flying machine’s rear compartment, could be seen a wide black bed. Flourishing plants in turn overflowed from pots of every shape and size, putting forth blooms every color of the rainbow. Filling one final corner, where once the machine’s pilot would have sat, was a large iron stove laboriously connected to the machine’s powercells, (still doggedly ticking over after all these years.). Beyond were the wide viewing windows, now curtained and dark.
And standing in front of the stove was a woman. She was tall, with long twisting black hair that showed thick streaks of white. She was perhaps not ravishingly beautiful, her features being too sharp edged, but they were also well-formed, strong and noble, with only a few traces of age beginning to crumble the various corners. Her clothes were a feminine version of his, with the addition of a white apron stretched across her curves.
The rock-picker finished freeing his feet, stuck them into a pair of waiting slippers and made his way to the table before finally speaking.
“What’s for dinner, woman?”
She was stirring at a bubbling pot. She thumped a cabinet door with her stirring spoon, and when it popped open, summoned forth a vial from the revealed multitude, sprinkled from it over the pot. Stirred the result, transferred it into a bowl, which was in turn transferred over to the table and plunked down in front of him. Lopped off a chunk from a waiting loaf of bread, poured out some purplish fluid from a handy keg into a large handled mug, and added them to the growing collection. Only then did she reply.
He grunted and started to eat. She turned her attention to the fireplace, and a couple of logs went in, stirring it back to greater life. The the hat and the gloves and the coat were scooped up, shaken free of some of the dust, and put away. It was as the last item was headed for a hook on the wall when she paused, her eyes narrowed, and then went exploring in a particular pocket. Out came the shattered bit of crystal. At the table, he swallowed his current chunk of bread and spoke.
“Ayup. Thought you might find that interesting.”
She said nothing, turning it this way and that, tapping at it. Finally a tap at just the right place, and the crystal produced a glow, low and fitful. She closed her hand around it as she rendered a verdict.
“I do believe that it is the Sigil of Alzebengalzie. Long thought to be destroyed during the wars with Yndar. But nothing ever is, is it, in this wretched world of ours.”
He grunted in reply, and ate more stew.
She turned her attention to another cabinet, the furthest one back, beyond even the bed, in the part of the home wedged underground. Unlocked it, flung it open. Inside a vast assortment of items jostled for space, glowing and flashing and sparking, sending out spinning coils of light. Music danced around the room, and all the flowers bloomed brighter. She found a spot, crammed the new arrival in, forced the doors shut, swung the latch back into place.
Then she came back to the table, and stood, and watched him eat, her long-fingered hands crossed in front of her apron.
Watchied him with her deep violet eyes.
He finished off with a final long swallow from the mug, started to wipe his mouth on his sleeve, saw her expression and instead used the cloth napkin waiting on the table. He got up, stretched, and made his way to the chair, which was positioned so it looked at the fireplace. He settled in with a sigh, found a garden tool leaning nearby, began working on re-wrapping the leather cover of the implement’s handle.
She refilled the mug and placed it beside him. She put away the various utensils. Last of all, she took the stew-bowl between her fingers, just as she had held the crystal, and carefully, methodically, licked it clean. She took off the apron, and when she was done, it turned out she was wearing very little indeed. She went to him, long hair flowing, knelt down before the chair on her bare hands and knees. He hoisted his legs so they were resting on her wide strong back, and she locked into a position, an expression that brought to mind both footstool and vigilant, obedient guard-dog, staring unblinking at the door-bar, at its row of firesilver runes. Her hair was now the only part of her that moved, that so much as twitched, dancing around his legs.
He finished with the wrapping, set the tool aside, and drank again from the mug, swirling the contents thoughtfully.
“What is this?”
“Wine made of Somafruit..”
“Mm.” He sipped again. “Not bad.”
“The Emir of Wuldercan breaks his fast with a thimbleful every morn.”
He laced his fingers across his chest, watched the flames dance, blue and green and back again.
“Had another of those idiots come today. Suppose you knew that already.”
She said nothing more, remained motionless, but he looked down at her nonetheless.
“How would you do it?”
“Do what, woman?”
“How would you attempt to defeat the Which?” He rolled his eyes, started to speak, but she continued. “If you *had* to climb up there, what weapon would you take?”
He sighed, scratched at one of the scars on his chin, re-laced his fingers.
“Wouldn’t take any magic at all. What’s the point? There’s already so much of the stuff piled up. Just be adding to the zarking pile.” He crossed his legs. “I would think that maybe, just maybe, that Which, despite how long she’d been watching over the pile, she might still be a person. And people get bored, and curious, and lonely. So I’d go over to the twenty-third grid, by Fossick’s patch, and pick one of those meadowblooms. Just one, but the best one I could find. And I would climb up the pile, and give her the flower, and sit down, and drink some of that ghastly tea of hers, and talk to her.”
Her fingers flexed, just a little, her nails slicing through the rug on which she knelt..
“See how things went, I suppose. Like with any woman you’re interested in.”
“And if they went well?” Her toes curled; she had been barefoot all along.
“Well then.. Again.. What would be the point of trying magic?” He dug into a pocket, pulled something out: a large golden pocketwatch at the end of a sturdy chain. He popped it open, checked the time, slowly wound it up. “Would have to try something completely different, before she got bored. Read up on the alternatives. Advantage of having all these books keep turning up” He snapped the watch shut, let it slip from his fingers, so it was dangling from the chain. He held it out, at arms length, and she turned her head so she was staring up at it, watching it unblinkingly, timing her heartbeats to its ticks, watching it swinging back and forth..
Back and forth..
Back and forth
“And then, we’d just pile all that magic up until we had a Which-shaped hole, lined with mirrors, all the way down, and let people come along and add to the pile. If they absolutely wanted to. And we could, I don’t know, get on with living.”
Back and forth,
Endlessly back and forth..
Her eyes were completely empty now, and spinning. Her hair floated in a vast cloud, trailing power.
“With being happy, and content, and
The explosion, when it came, was tremendous, rattling the world and turning the clouds a cheerful glowing pink, before gradually fading to a satisfied silence.
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