Legends of Belariath


Arctic and the Wizard

Arctic whistled softly to the giant stallion in the front of the cabin. He whinnied, looking up and snorting as his crimson mane fluttered softly about his massive head like a crown of fire. He pawed impatiently at the soft earth, sensing that something different was afoot. The unusual packs on his back told him that much. She smiled as she looked at the horse that stood over 16 hands, very tall indeed for a small catgirl like herself. She then hopped and jumped with feline grace onto the black leather saddle. She turned a bit and patted the small bedding roll tied down with straps to the saddle and the two saddle bags that would carry all she could take with her on this unknown journey.

She smiled as she kicked softly at the stallions white sides. She thought of the care of the cabin and knew Bello would be by to take care of things. She hoped he would be fine, she trusted Mayalaya and hoped he would be happy in his new life. She shivered softly thinking again of his angelic face...ahh, but his life held a different path than hers and this she must accept.

Arctic had a map with her to guide her to the mountains where the dragon was said to live in, proverbial, dragon-like splendor, but little else did she know. She felt a heat burning along her flesh, the sigil that the dragon had marked her flesh, tingling and glowing red as she came to the edge of her lands. She took the road to the south there and headed east towards the river and beyond.

As she made her way over the river that would eventually wind its way to Nanthalion, she looked to the north and surveyed her sister Ayara's land. Still not built upon, the land held a great future for whenever her sister decided to come upon it and stay... For a change.

The white catgirl soon decided perhaps it might have been better if sheíd brought a companion for she soon found herself bored with her own thoughts, or at least after the same thought crossed her mind for the fifth time. She snorted softly, the air caressing her blue lips slightly. She frowned for a moment, then pulled the map from one of the saddle bags. She loosened the reins a bit, letting the stallion take his own pace.

This journey was an uncertain one, she knew that was about the only thing for certain. She unrolled the map and looked for what would be her first destination. A small village of humans that lay at the base of the mountain. She tilted her head slightly, wondering if it were wise to go this alone or should she at least have hired a companion or a body guard. Who knew what she might run into once she left the borders of her own lands. She then sighed and thought of how things were here and simply shrugged as she continued east.

She laid the map flat, or at least as flat as she could get it with the horseís gait. She followed the road she was on now and saw that she would soon come across a large river and then she would turn north, following the western bank until she came to the town. She knew not if there was a road along the river but her horse was used to less than civilized riding and she didnít think she would get lost as long as she stayed beside the river. She wasnít sure of the distance to the river but figured it mustnít be more than a dayís journey. She sighed again, wishing she had spoken more to Morgan about the distances on the map. Damn him for distracting her the last few days before she left. Mmm, but it had been such a pleasant distraction.

Later that night, fearing she was nowhere near the river, Arctic pulled from the main road and set up a small camp a dozen footsteps away. She didnít want to attract attention to herself, she forwent starting a fire and simply ate some flatbread and cheese. She yawned as she ate the last morsel of cheese. She hadnít realized she was so tired, but she laid the bedroll out on the plush autumn grass and sleep called to her within seconds.

Morning came soon enough, a wet slurp of a horses tongue and Arctic jumped from the small roll, her glacier blue eyes wide open. She gasped, startled and confused at first, she then giggled softly as the stallion nudged her shoulder. She saddled the horse and jumped easily onto his back, turning him once more towards the east and hopefully the river on the map.

The little catgirl frowned in exasperation after three full days of travel and yet no sign of the river she was supposed to turn. She thought the boredom so far was the worst part of the trip. She had passed very few going in the opposite direction as she, only two farm wagons taking their goods to the Nanthalion market and one rather odd looking Halfling that looked at her quite troublesomely until she pulled the handle of her katana higher and he merely tilted his hat at her and went on his own way, a slight look of disappointment written across his dark smallish features.

She was about to think the river didnít even exist when her ears perked slightly at the sound of flowing water not too far ahead of her. She pressed Spirit into a full gallop towards the sound and smiled, almost jumping from his back to run to the rushing waters as she saw her first stop ahead of her. Almost night now, she decided to camp at the fork where the road crossed with the river. She took out a small fishing line and decided to try her luck at the local fish since she was almost out of the hard bread that kept so well on journeys.

A couple of bass later, Arctic lay before the small fire she had allowed herself, smiling rather contentedly with a belly full of filleted fish. She took the map from the bag that lay beside her and unrolled it flat, careful not to let it get to close to the fire. She ran her finger along the route north that would take her to the human village. She gauged it to be another 3 days journey if the map was drawn to scale, but she couldnít be certain. She hadnít had a dream in near over a month and so the map was the only clue she had to finding the dragon that had brought her back to life, or at least paid for it. She wondered if something had happened to the dragon. She doused the fire with a small handful of dirt and then lay back, looking to the stars above as she let the darkness of sleep prevail.

She woke in the morning as she had for the past week, a very wet lick on the cheek by a very big horse. She was no longer shocked by the morning routine any longer and now just stretched and slowly woke, packing the horse and returning to the saddle. She felt the soreness in her body and knew she needed to find someone in the human village to take the kinks from her tiny body. Her ears perked and her tail flicked once as she head along the edge of the river, thankful for something different to look upon besides the endless fields of grain that had bordered the road. There were still farms but at least the vista had changed somewhat.

She clicked softly and the stallion perked even as he sprinted into a full gallop. She knew the horse wanted some exercise other than the constant walking they had done so far and he was strong enough to gallop for some distance, and if it got her closer to the village then that was only a definite bonus. She hummed softly, keeping a tune in rhythm with the horse's smooth gait. She hoped perhaps to be at this town by the following day's eve and perhaps there would be a market there where she could buy a companion to keep her for the rest of the trip. Damn, she shouldnít have done this by herself. She knew she hated to be alone for more than a few days, let alone the weeks this trip would end up being by the time she returned to Nanthalion. And besides, it was time for her to move on from the past. She held a slender hand against her flat belly, a strange sensation sending a cool tingling along the center of her chest and down the back of her spine. She suddenly had the feeling that she would not be the same as she had been when she returned to Nanthalion. She shook herself to rid the feeling, for it wasnít a totally pleasant sensation she felt.

She made the human village late the next night. A full moon had risen and Arctic had decided to keep riding until she made it to the village or until she was too tired to continue. An hour after the moon had risen, she came to the gates of the small human village. She dismounted and looked about her, snow-white ears perked alertly. She heard no sounds of life or anyone being awake at this late hour so she decided to camp outside the gates and enter in the morning when there would be more light and people around to help her.

The next morning she was awake before Spirit could rouse her with his big wet tongue and he seemed to resent not being able to wake her, a soft snort telling her he wasnít happy. But all was soon forgotten as she held out a handful of honey coated oats and his mind went to eating. She looked to the gates and saw a little more hustling about as people headed to the market to buy and sell their wares. She entered the town, leading the giant by the black leather reins. Certainly this was an odd sight, a small catgirl with such a massive horse. But none seemed to notice her and she had to jump in front of someone to gain their attention, asking where the Inn in the town was. The old lady made and exasperated sound, as if she had no time to stop, but she waved a rather wrinkled hand in the direction of a small redwood building slightly to the side of the rest of the town. Arctic thanked her kindly, but the old woman was already off, babbling about lost time and being late now.

She looked around the back, hoping to find a stable boy to attend the horse. Finally she found him sleeping in a chair in the tack room. She cleared her throat rather loudly and the boy came alert. His face reddening, he apologized for his sleeping and explained heíd had a late night and he would take of her horse for her. She left the horse in the stable and went back to the front, opening the door to the soft whine and creek of the wood and the old iron hinges. She stopped inside, allowing her eyes to adjust to the dim light inside. After a minute, she began to look around and noticed the place was rather empty. But this was the morning and most places like this picked up in the later hours of the evening. She saw a young girl working behind a desk and approached slowly, her lips curled in a warm smile

The girl looked up as Arctic cast a shadow over her desk. Blue eyes looked up at the catgirl through silver rimmed glasses. She smiled suddenly, her lower lip dropped slightly as if surprised at the sight of the small catgirl. Arctic, having grown up around Ayara and her parents for most of her youth was accustomed to humans, but she guessed this girl not to have known many catgirls.

"Forgive me miss, not many catfolk that we be gettin bout these parts. How may ee be of assistance to ya?" The girl seemed to recover from her gawking, standing and offering a slightly plump hand to Arctic.

Arctic smiled at the girl, the fact that she was human made her miss Ayara. She sighed and nodded softly. "Iíd like to rent a room for a week if possible. Also, do you offer any other services... that a traveling catgirl might be in need of." Arctic hoped the girl would understand what she was trying to say without being rather straight forward.

The girl nodded, rather furiously and then pulled an old leather bound book from behind the desk. "It will be 6 gold pieces for one week and the other, how long would you be looking to... ... um... ?"

The girl left it hanging there for Arctic even as she clapped her hands, several slaves appearing from upstairs. Some seemed to be barely awake but the catgirl moved closer as the slaves lined up before her. She looked to one of the human males, his hair jet black and his body more built to work in the fields. She pondered how heíd come to be a slave here then looked him over good. She looked to his green eyes and nodded appreciatively. He must be very popular she thought, with those eyes of his. She motioned to him and the girl looked down at something on the desk in front of her.

"Him be Roark. A bit daft but he seems to be a favorite. For the week, heíd be 50 gold pieces."

Arctic nodded. "Yes, heíll definitely do. Can he be sent to my room immediately?"

"Yes miss, the only rule is no damaging the property. Just sign here and leave the coin. If ye be needin more nights just find me in the mornin and you can sign fer more miss."

The kitten nodded, tossing the saddlebags at the slave, she laughed as he caught them and then gave her a sound glare as if he wasnít her bellboy. Obviously he was well spoiled as a pleasure slave. But a slave he was still and he did as she said for the next week. After that sheíd be well rested and ready for the journey up the mountain.

Arctic took the key to her room and led the way for Roark to follow. She flicked her tail behind her, lashing it across his thighs, clad in tight black leather leggings. She heard the soft hiss and her lips curled delightedly. She just might have to buy this one before she left here. He definitely was one to have fun with, who cared if he really was daft like the girl had said.

Once inside the room, she pointed to the small set of drawers. "Simply place my bags in there and then undress. There are some oils in the darker of the two saddle bags. My body is in sore need of some strong hands, and your hands definitely look strong."

He snorted again and she turned abruptly. This wasnít her personal slave but there were ways of punishing that didnít damage the 'property'. She knew she would need to discipline this one shortly and her skin grew warm at the thought and of the thought of what would come after the discipline. She still wondered how one of his obvious physical strength had come to be a slave of the Inn. She shrugged and removed the black riding habit. She shook softly as she cast clean on herself and then lay on the bed, feeling the softness of the furs against her belly. So nice after sleeping on the ground for over a week.

She heard the noise behind her as he searched through her bag, a small pop announcing the opening of the vile of scented oil. The exotic scent wafted to her tender nose and she smiled. She felt the bed sag as the slave's weight eased next to body. She turned her head slightly to look at him. He looked as if he were above this slight task of easing her muscles of their travel weariness. She frowned and rolled onto her back, her eyebrow lifting as she watched him. He seemed to be taking his time as if he were prolonging it only because he didnít want to do this. She took the small vial from him, chanting a few words and gripping his wrist softly, sending a jolt of icy cold through his body. He looked down at her in confusion, her head merely shaking at what he had done.

"Donít play games with me slave. Youíre mine for a week, perhaps longer if I decide to buy you from the Inn. There isnít a slave who is never for sale. Perhaps I will buy you after a week. Then your punishments will be of my own determining. For now, you will know pain without any real damage. But I wont put up with your attitude, understand slave?"

She flicked her tail and he nodded, still looking confused that the small catgirl had done that to him. He wasnít used to being punished and this shook him some as he tilted his head slightly.

"Yes miss... as you say."

He rubbed his hands together to gather warmth from the friction and then took back the vial of oil. He waited for Arctic to roll back to her belly as he let a few drops of the oil fall into the center of his palm. He then flattened his palms against the smooth white flesh of the catgirl's back. He then began to work the oils into her soft flesh, his fingers kneading the knotted muscles along her spine and then lower to her rounded buttocks and slender thighs and calves. The small catgirl moaned softly from the extraordinary feeling as each knot released and left her completely relaxed. The smell of the oil seemed to calm her mind and soul even as his hands calmed her body. When he was done she turned, looking up she saw the oils had calmed his demeanor some as well, his eyes seeming to relax with the truth of his fate.

She lifted a hand to his bare thigh, the dark hairs covering his legs. He wasnít extremely covered in hair and his chest seemed to be mostly smooth. She smiled as her other hand went to his chest, her fingertips stroking lightly. She pulled the one hand away and motioned him closer. He obeyed, his green eyes seeming to become darker as his own passions grew. He was used to the rich fat human girls of the village taking him. This new mistress, though she might be here only a week, was something new to him. He let his eyes roam over her completely, taking in her small white body and long blue hair. Her tail even fascinated him. His body easily responding to her touch, His member soon grew to its full size, impressive he knew for a human.

He waited for her command, his body trained not to release until his mistress at the time demanded or allowed it. She opened to him and said softly, her voice relaxed and slightly hoarse.

"Come into me now... and you may release when you feel me do the same."

"Yes mistress... ". He did as she told him, rising to between her open legs. He then moved forward and opened her to him with his fingers, one thrust easily pushing him into her wet tightness. He groaned slightly at first before gaining control of himself. She smiled up at him, glad that he felt so good inside her and that he seemed to enjoy her. Not that it mattered for he was naught but a slave, but it made things easier. She lifted her hips to him as he began to move inside her, her tight walls gripping and sliding along his thick pulsing shaft. She felt her back tighten and arch as his movements quickened, her body responding to his experienced strokes. She soon was panting, her eyes closing as her body stiffened and then shuddered softly, his own body soon following as they came together. She clenched, her sex tightening maddeningly about him as he released into her.

She panted softly then mewed quietly. She looked down at him and smiled, happy with him for the moment. "You may remain there for now, and should you wake... then wake me also slave."

"Yes mistress, thank you."

He rolled over slightly and brought Arctic atop him, curling her body into his stronger one, his arm wrapped about her slender waist. He let sleep take him, the first smile in a long time curling his lips as the darkness took him. Would be good to have this catgirl as his mistress. Yes, he would behave for now he thought. But he also knew not to allow himself to become happy over this. He knew things had a way of going wrong for him.

Sometime later his eyes opened suddenly and it took him a moment to remember where he was. He never seemed to accustom to waking with a new mistress, sometimes a new one a day, some were regulars with him but he blinked and listened to the sounds of the rhythmic breathing of the sleeping catgirl sprawled on top of him. He smiled and rolled her onto her back, her legs spreading naturally around his own body. He remember her command and intended on obeying it, though she never said exactly how to wake her up. He eased himself lower, scooting back silently as he watched to make sure she still slept.

He grinned, something unusual for him as he placed two fingers on the soft, pale down covering her sex. Slipping the two fingers deeper and then spreading them, he heard her gasp as the cool air reached her heated flesh. She stirred slightly but didnít wake. He then lowered his head, blowing softly along the pink folds that his spread fingers had exposed. She woke with a start, gasping loudly, her eyes slowly opening as they warm breath caressed her. She looked down and then seeing the slave's head, her legs spread even wider. Well at least he was well trained in this area. She smiled and knew she would have to buy him before she returned to Nanthalion. Her thoughts were interrupted by another loud gasp as his tongue found its way about her clit, pressing hard against the swollen nub until she moaned loudly, her hips lifting her sex, her hands gripping his head and pushing down as her body began to jerk and twist from his mouth's ministrations. She came soon after, her body erupting in a frenzy of muscles spasms and her legs wrapping his head and gripping tightly, only loosening her grip as the release lessened and her breathing became a soft pant. She tugged his hair, lifting his head and urging him upwards. She then pulled him closer, turning his head and nipping his ear hard, whispering a command in his ear as her tongue slid along the curved edge of cartilage.

She growled slightly as he did as she commanded and flipped her on top of him. Her legs straddling him, she eased down onto his thick engorged rod and mewed before thrusting forward with her hips and completely impaling herself. She settled there and looked down, pondering what she wanted to do. She didnít feel up to training, that could wait until they returned to her cabin. For now she just decided to enjoy the slave. She started moving her hips forward, pressing down so her clit rubbed deliciously along the dark curling hair that covered his sex. She looked to him and shook her head.

"You will not come this time. Understand?"

She saw him nod with reluctance, her tail flicking at his thigh with annoyance as her brow gathered in frustration. He blinked, then remembered, stammering in a deep voice.

"Yes mistress."

She rode him until she released again. She hadnít really wanted to deny him release, but he had to know he was just a slave and his own pleasure was a blessing or a gift from his mistress. He had done good, though she saw the pain in his eyes. She might just reward him once they were away from here.

It took her a full week to find all the supplies she needed, adding to her much depleted saddle bags. She inquired at the Inn about purchasing the slave she spent most of the week with, her lips curling as she remembered the insulting look on his face when she had made him carry everything for her. He certainly had a lot of humility to learn for a slave. She herself had almost been one. She shivered as she thought of Elth and wondered if he had kept the room the same as she had left it or if he had changed it. It was good she had not become his for he was always away, traveling... and most certainly causing pain and havoc somewhere far-off.

She shivered again from the memory as she moved among the supplies gathered on top of the bed. She sorted through them and split them into separate saddle bags. She then turned to look about the room, leaving it as she had come to it. She then placed a saddle bag over each of her shoulders and left the room, padding slowly downstairs to finish her business about Roark. She found the girl at the same desk, smiling as she came to stand in front of her, her white tail flicking back and forth. The girl looked up, the same look of surprise on her face. She shook her head some, a black tendril escaping the neat bun she kept on top. She seemed to finally remember Arctic from before and smiled suddenly.

"Yes miss? How can ee be of assistance? Was the room to yer suiting?"

Arctic nodded slowly, then frowned slightly as she thought about bringing up the buying of Roark. She had already told the girl she was interested. Was she so flighty she had already forgotten?

"I am interested in buying the slave. How much for him?"

The girl tilted her head some, then slapped her forehead lightly at her own forgetfulness.

"Yes of course. Roark, wasnít it? Umm... talk with them Master and he would be willin to sell 'Iím for 200 gold pieces. Hims a bit popular but the Master just got some new yunger ones in and heís willin to part with him fair easy enough. That would also pay the rest of hims debt to the Inn."

Arctic nodded and pulled the coins from a small white leather pouch that encircled her waist. She handed the money to the clerk and then waited, pausing to hand her another few coins.

"That should buy him a horse. Please have him outside ready to part in less than an hour. I really must be on my way. Just such a long way up the mountain to go."

He was waiting an hour later in front of the Inn, a single saddle bag holding his few belongings on the back of his horse. She looked him over and smiled to herself. She took in the tall black horse she had bought him with the coins she had given the girl and nodded her approval. Perhaps now the rest of the traveling would not be so bad.

She also had to find out how one with his obvious physical strength had come to be a slave, but the girl had mentioned something about his debt. She guessed he had sold himself into slavery to pay off some debt owed and now she was gaining the end of this. It was common enough for someone to sell themselves to some Master or Mistress in exchange for money rather than spending an undeterminable time in debtor's prison. She would need to find this out in order to know how to deal with him. She would honor whatever deal he had made with the Inn. But for now he was hers and she kept a close eye on him as they made their way through the gates and started along the road that would lead them up and around the mountain.

The catgirl smiled as she looked over at her new purchase. Roark, he felt her stare and boldly lifted his gaze to hers. She allowed it and smiled wider. She had no use for a simpering slave. Passions led to problems, but the rewards were definitely worth the troubles of his kind. He was obviously stronger than her, but her magic could by far make up the difference for that. She had purchased a simple silver chain that he now wore around his bare throat. She allowed no shirt unless the weather conditions worsened and he had to wait for her command to dress himself. He soon learned her few rules and for the most part seemed to be happy that she had purchased him.

It was the second afternoon of climbing the rather narrow path that wound slowly up and around the mountain. The air seemed thinner and cooler already and they stopped where the road widened, allowing for a sort of camp. Roark started the fire while Arctic pulled out the map, not sure what she was looking for. There was a small mark that might have been where the dragon's cavern was supposed to be but she wasnít sure what the other etched mark was. It was a small black box that seemed to be in the path between her and her destination. She saw no warnings with the marking so she hoped there would be no problems passing whatever it was. She shivered as another strange feeling ran along her spine and almost through her heart.

She frowned and looked to Roark who was preparing her the dinner she had wanted. He didnít seem to sense anything out of the ordinary and she shrugged, leaning back against a rock that she had cushioned with her bedroll. She licked her lips and smiled as she watched the new slave, thinking something other than dinner was on her mind. She tilted her head as she watched the lean muscles of his body move with each motion he made. She called softly to him to come to her and then leaned back again, bending her knees almost to her chest.

"Yes mistress."

He obeyed, already knowing the meaning of the look in her eye. She had explained the first night what she expected of him and that she would tell him otherwise if she wanted something different. She smiled, he wasnít as daft as the girl had thought. He seemed rather bright actually, if a bit mysterious since she didnít know much yet about him. She wondered when she should ask him about the Inn and how long he was to be a slave there. She watched as he knelt before her, his head bowed slightly. He lifted her hips, briefly glancing up for permission to pull the sky blue leather riding pants from his mistress' legs. She nodded briefly as she helped by holding up her own weight as he slid the tight leather over her pale slender legs. She held her breath as the heat from his hands warmed her flesh, the cool air creating havoc with her senses as little goose bumps spread down along her inner thigh.

She unlaced the small leather jacket and pulled it from her body, scooting forward so she lay naked before him. He then pressed back slightly, his strong arms wrapping about her thighs and lifting her so that his Mistress' pink lips lightly spread as her legs opened wider. He nestled his head between her thighs, first blowing softly along the glistening flesh before his lips lowered and he suckled on the sweetness of Her. He felt the eruptions of her body as she trembled in his mouth and quivered fiercely in his arms. He heard her panting softly and looked up to see if he should continue but she merely patted the space next to her and he lay down beside his new Mistress. He smiled inwardly, thinking the catgirl quite beautiful. He wondered where this road would lead once she finished her business on the mountain and returned to the place she had called Nanthalion. He soon fell asleep, pulling Arctic to his side as she preferred to sleep against him.

They traveled for another two days in much the same manner, a rather relaxed pace since she didnít seem to think there was reason for any hurry. Plus she liked spending the time with her new slave, sometimes testing his humility with the little tasks she made him do. He was preparing the evening meal as she looked once more at the map, noting they should be coming to the little black box soon, for they had passed several noted landmarks on the map and the next one would be that box. Each time she looked it, a chill ran through her and she shuddered. She snorted softly and Roark glanced up, an eyebrow raised curiously. He quickly looked away as he realized what he had done and went back to his tasks. He soon brought her the flatbread and cheese and waited till she had finished to beg if he might also eat. Waving him away and nodding with a slight annoyance, she rolled the map up and placed it back in the saddle bag. A bit weary and unsure about what lay ahead, the catgirl simply curled deeper into her own roll and left the slave to do as he wished for now.

The next morning, Arctic felt no better about heading further up the mountain and this annoyed her. She was uncharacteristically sharp with Roark and he looked confused as she told him to hurry up and that she wouldnít put up with his crap today. She frowned as she mounted and told him to catch up to her when his morning routine was complete and with that she took off on the road towards the black box. She felt repelled and drawn by what she didnít know yet, but she knew it was that box on the map. She pushed the horse faster, though not to a full gallop as the trail along the higher parts of the mountain tended to slide and was in much need of repair. But who else dared to go find a dragon on a distant mountain.

Suddenly she was overcome with the urge to find this black box by herself. Her mind told her she couldnít share this with her new slave and she urged Spirit even faster. Her heart pounding as she knew she drew close. Then... there it was. At least it had to be. Her heels dug into the great white beast and he snorted, protesting at her sudden request of stopping here and now. Arctic looked up and before her was a black prism, but it was huge. The size of tall tower, but with the planes of a crystal rather than the square or round sides of most towers. A silent voice called to her from the inside and she couldnít refuse it.

She clicked softly, pulled towards the door that opened, the prism itself opening to allow her entrance. She walked the stallion cautiously inside and then stopped. She dismounted and looked up. The room was the same as the outside but hollow, the great center of the room narrowing towards the top of the crystalline structure. She had never seen anything like this before and wasnít sure why she felt so drawn to it. Soon the voice was urging her further but as she glanced around she saw no one that could have spoken to her.

She looked towards the back of the tower and noticed that the floor sloped downwards and steps declined from the outer edge of the octagonal floor. She took these steps, leaving the horse where he was in the front room. She perked her ears, pulled deeper as if by a magnet. Her mind had already forgotten the new slave she had bought who was now finishing his chores and leaving to catch up with her.

"Yes kitten, keep coming forward."

Arctic spun around the small tunnel that seemed to go even further, wondering where the voice had come from. As she turned back to face the direction the tunnel was leading, she gasped as a man sat there. He sat relaxed on a chair of exquisite black crystal, seemingly of the same type as the tower was made. He was dressed in all black and his eyes seemed to be silver in color but she wasnít sure. She stopped suddenly, fear overcoming the strong feelings she had to move towards this man.

She mewed softly, then found her voice.

"Who are you... and... and why have you led me here?"

ďWho I am is not important, though I guess you might be curious. A curious little kitten.Ē He laughed but she didnít like the sound of the laugh as it resonated and echoed through the hollow building. She shivered slightly, feeling the pull towards him grow stronger. She seemed not to be able to control her own movements as a few seconds later she lay kneeling before his throne.

"Yes kitten, thatís better. Why must you fight me? Just let it happen and the strange feelings will subside. Yes, I know about those strange little feelings youíve had since you began this journey. Who do you think put them there... hmmm? Oh, and you may call me Marrick. I am a wizard, a warlock, a practitioner of the black magicís. And it is you, not me... who have wanted this, yearned for it in fact for some time. You indeed called to me and I answered. Only you would never admit this to yourself... would you?"

The kitten remained silent, waiting. Unsure of what was to happen or what he wanted from her... or her from him as he had said.

He seemed to move slightly in the chair and she glanced up to find him studying her quite intently. He waved his hand slightly and she gasped as she felt a heavy weight tighten about her neck. Her hands flew to the chain growing tighter and tighter about her slender pale flesh. She grew frightened and blue eyes darkened as they grew wider with fear. She looked to him and he seemed to find pleasure in her torment. Another swirl of his long tapered fingers brought relief to the tightness, but the strange necklace remained. She lifted the pendant which now set lower, settling itself between her breasts. She tilted her head as she studied the black crystal. It was held to a black chain by a silver brace. Other than the fact that it had almost strangled her, it was quite beautiful.

"What is this... .why did you try to choke me with it?". She asked, confusion pulling her lovely brows together as she inspected the crystal even more.

"Hmm... its not quite so simple. What it is... it is a crystal necklace. But to be more specific, you will never remove it. The reason for the small display of pain is a reminder of what will happen if you raise your hands to try to remove the necklace... .and believe me, it will know if you are trying to remove it. It will simply constrict until you stop. Whether it be on your own or do to a lack of breathing. It will call you back to me each year, to spend one night with me. It will let you know when it is time to leave and which direction to travel. For I would never be content to let my domicile reside in one place for too long."

She frowned as his words came to her confused brain. She flicked her tail and tilted her head as she looked from the crystal to the wizard.

"But... ."

"No... speak no more. You will do as I say, then you will leave on the morrow and return to your town... .but you will also notice the necklace has a few other... um aspects to it. The first might be apparent if you look at yourself. The second is that it will also guide you in your path to becoming a mage. You will understand this as you grow stronger in the learning of magic. Now... shall we retire to my quarters? Yes... .of course."

He stood and walked in the direction behind the tall crystal throne. She heard a snap and almost gagged as the necklace tightened about her neck and pulled her in the direction he had walked. As she followed, she tried to see what had changed about her. The first thing she noticed was that her tail had turned black. The very tip was blue but the rest was black as midnight. Her flesh was still pale but she flicked an ear and noticed that it also was black, only the edge tinged with the same blue that was on her tail. She looked up and towards the wizard with eyes that had become like blue smoke, dark and boding as she glanced about the room he had led her to... .or rather that seemed to have suddenly appeared.

The bed, like most everything else, was made of the black crystal. Black furs covered the floor and the bed and it looked rather plush as she was led by the tightening of the necklace to stop before the small stool that was on the side of the huge bed. She trembled slightly and then climbed on the small stool, laying on top of the furs... feeling the soft silkiness on her back. She blinked and looked down at her body. When had she undressed herself? She didnít remember her clothes being removed by her or by someone else. She glanced up and saw the wizard smirking slightly as he was now naked too. She couldnít complain about what she saw. Dark... that was the only thing she could see. His flesh wasnít quite ebony but extremely tan and the dark hairs that covered his arms and chest seemed to make him seem even darker. Black eyes ran over the kitten's new appearance and he nodded as he liked what he had done.

As if in a trance she raised her arms above her head and two black chains encircled her tiny wrists and pulled her arms wide and taut. She felt the same tightening at her ankles as her legs were forced open and her hips lifted as she tried to squirm slightly. The necklace tightened slightly and she gave up the slight resistance. She felt like knew she wanted this but she still fought it. Did she or was it an illusion?

He ran warm hands over her belly, following the lines of the white crystal that lay etched deep into her skin. Suddenly... as his hand flowed over the shape of the crystal, it turned black and the edges seemed to almost glow, tingling and warming her flesh.

"Now, thatís better. Cant have a white crystal on the black crystal kitten. Can we now?"

He ran a hardened nail over her already taut nipple and black clamps immediately covered the dark rose bud. She winced slightly, whimpering at her situation. She glanced down at the clamps and the chains that dangled from each one. The metal seemed like oxidized silver and she simply stared at the color until her attention was pulled away. A gasping moan parting her lips as she felt something tighten on her clit. She didnít need to look down as she new a matching clamp was pinching the soft nub of pleasure.

She raised smoldering eyes to the magician. His black eyes seem to be gleaming as his hands roamed over his pet for the night. The black crystal seemed to be growing hotter, warming her flesh and sending small shivers of electricity through her body and she lifted her hips as she bit down on her lip. Her eyes never left the face of the magician, the lids growing heavy as Marrick continued to toy with her body. Moans of pleasure were followed by sighs of frustration as his seemingly skilled hands brought her close to release only to let her cool again. She whimpered, begging him to take her lest she die of this need for release.

He then kneeled between her legs and lifted her hips, the chains seeming to loosen slightly as he rested her thighs on his. He parted her soft folds with strong fingers before thrusting his hips up and forward. She mewed loudly as his first stroke sent her into a frenzy. Her body shaking harder with each powerful plunge of his cock. She soon was jerking so hard, her wrists were cutting into the black chains and his head lifted as he roared with the power of his release. His body following the pace set by hers. He stayed there, looking down at the girl as his breathing slowed and calmed. He never pulled from her, rather the chains disappeared along with the clamps and he pulled her back onto his chest as he fell backwards into the softest of black furs.

She was exhausted, not realizing that dawn was but an hour away and it had been near noon when she had entered the tower. She still didnít remember her slave. He wouldnít let her remember the outside until she had left. And then, it would have been if the tower had never been there, for when she looked at the map the mark would no longer be there, nor would the tower appear to another.

She yawned and curled onto his chest and slept deeply. When she awoke, it was to the brightness of day. She lay in a bed of dark furs settled on the floor of the dark cave. For a moment she thought she had had a strange dream but the warm tingling at her throat and a flick of her tail verified that it had indeed occurred. How would she explain this? But in her world there were many things that happened that couldnít be explained. She lifted and the furs disappeared and she blinked, rubbing her eyes and shaking her head as she looked for an exit to wherever she was. She followed the bright light and frowned as it seemed she had only traveled a few hundred feet from the previous nights camp... or rather the night's before. She suddenly remembered Roark and glanced towards the path... looking in both directions. Up the path her stallion had his head lowered to a small patch of grass. Back down the same path she heard the sounds of hooves coming towards her. She moved to her horse and waited on the side for the rider to pass, unsure if they would be friendly.

It was Roark and he looked as he did when she had left him. She frowned in her normal manner and then perked as the slave spoke.

"Are you alright Mistress? You havenít traveled very... ... Mistress... what happened to your fur?"

Arctic didnít exactly know how to answer that question so she glared at him and then mounted the stallion.

Know your place isnít to ask questions slave. For now we return to Nanthalion." She wanted to say more but she wasnít ready to share the story with anyone quite yet. She then thought deeply, all the way back to her cabin, the slave behind her remaining quiet as he followed close.

The Halfling glanced out the window as the catgirl turned her horse about and headed back down the road with her slave in tow. He had known he had wanted the girl and he had her now, but it would take time for his powers to grow strong again. The craft took all his power.

He had bought the crystal long ago and knew it had special properties for the owner. And he knew when he had seen her in that Inn in Nanthalion those many months ago that this day would finally come. And he was a master at his magic, for as he looked back at the hovel that rested against the side of the mountain and the shriveled face that stared back at him in the mirror, he knew indeed that he was a master of illusion. But he would grow richer and more famous now that he had mastered his craft and he would see the catgirl soon enough.