War was unseemly. The dawning turmoil would persist within the pages of histories as a dark period. On one side, the jungle will be annotated as ushers of order; on the other, her people will be labeled as foreign interlopers and harbingers of death. The truth lingered within the spine, a medium the common scholar will fail to take note of or bother to espouse. Word had been dispatched as the denizens of the jungle once more were rallied. Fathers left their families, uncertain if they'd ever see them again. Brothers abandoned brothers in the fields while lovers were ripped from one another's embrace.
Their enemy wasn't the uncivilized sands; rather a blight far more ancient eroding at the foundations of reality just outside of their purview. These tales of monsters, forerunners of the end times, may seem fantastical. Nonetheless, the attack on Skeletal highway stood as a testament verifying their unsettling existence. The Jorgenskull name has persisted in high regard for nearly three centuries would be called into question. A byproduct that had not eluded Valerna's scope, nor would it deter what needed to be done. If left alone, the desert would continue to war and bicker. Each day of strife only brought that encroaching otherworldly force closer to their plane.
Any skepticism that might linger would soon be resolved, for the matriarch understood their emergence onto the fray was inevitable. The theater of ambivalence that had long since marred the wasteland's history could only labor as bait. And their interference will rouse them from torpidity, albeit temporarily. The arachnid was anticipating this would transpire so that their presence might convey the necessity of unity. The defilement are detestable creatures that cared little for race or creed. In their voracious eyes, all life, regardless of its heritage, persisted as food to stoke their numbers and proliferate their necrosis.
Her navy had docked, its ramps lowered so troops may board. Her plan was simple, a three-prong attack to overrun the opposition on all sides. Florentina would take the ships to Sandslout and commandeer authority over their breadbasket. This, in turn, could only apply pressure to the north. While General Watari would head to Obsidian Canyon, converse with his mother. And attempt to coerce the Khan to attack their southern flank. Meanwhile, Valerna would lead her troops to engage from the east raiding and conquering the settlements between them and Nirvana. Her spiderlings making up a good portion of her troops, allowing them to strike quickly and with little impediment from the terrain.
There, abiding within her tent she deliberated the prudence in this venture. Those amber eyes were scouring the map as she navigated various miniatures across it. Her mind assessing a myriad of outcomes. The troglodytes of the south were divided, weakened, and most ruinous of all were blind toward the imminent peril and strategies. There the spider waited, having sent word to meet with her commanders before they commenced the attack. The timing was everything in war. If one facet of this tactic advanced too prematurely, it might alert the savages of the other's approach. And while they may be able to subdue them regardless, Valerna's aim was to limit the death as much as possible.
Unlike the desert and its despots, she cared for her people and saw herself as both a custodian and a servant to their continued prosperity. Of course, this realization brought with it much trepidation. After all, no ruler, no matter their counsel or experience was immune to lapses in judgments. Her banners would flap in the wind, as the various species poured into the outer rim. The officers dividing them into sections and units, recounting the purpose behind their gatherings and using the defilement's brazen aggression as a motivator and reminder of what they were fighting for. Wordlessly, the arachnid sight, weaving her web as that mind wandered into thought. Was she ready? Had she done enough during this perpetual odyssey to prepare the world? And more importantly, would it matter?
What impeccable timing, the Diva had just finished subjugating the swamp and unifying her faction as word had reached her ears. Her mother had finally grown tired of the barbarians to the south. A collective of spineless louts who flouted their superiority. Ironic, given their history was sullied in blood and betrayal. Nevertheless, the possibility of establishing her usefulness and newly endowed power was far too alluring to dismiss. The Turziens and Toadlins, on the surface them appeared simple or weak, but under her guidance, they would rise to the forefront. Her children, those bloodsuckers to most might appear monstrous. Yet, their importance was paramount to the ensuing turbulence.
The inquisitor had marshaled her forces, propagating forth her designs as the reptilians and amphibians purled forth a warcry. They mobilized their forces, their implements of war, and turtle mounts and were off to trek across the virulent quagmire. Ultimately, they slipped into the labyrinth of trees, marching across its shade while the wildlife of this primordial world kept their distance. Never before in recorded history had that bog been unified. A task while arduous might yet be enough to kindle Florentina's desired ascension. Eventually, they met up with the Slakrkreen as their descended earthward from their treetop metropolis. Initially, they were weary until the Princess had dispersed such lowly concerns.
Inadvertently, rather than march as separate forces. The two armies congregated under a single flock only to then travel deeper into the jungle. The horns of their armies bellowing forth a decree, just as the monk stepped from the treeline. Her muscular physique was adorned in that signature spider webbing and tortoise-shelled armor. A smile, one of repletion rested on that face as emerald eyes looked back upon her wife Nysoesa. Who, as usual, kept her fed while roosting on that royal caboose. She had just birthed another clutch, who was wiggling across the muddied earth or were adhered to the shells of those lumbering turtles. It had been some time since she had last conversed with her mother, Florentina was curious if she'd be greeted with pride, or revulsion for her defiance.
"My love, we have arrived. It is time we show this world our splendor and carve our name into the annals of history. Fret not, in the end I will ensure your safety and the advancement of our family no matter the cost."
Those words were laced with confidence, as that wicked strut did little to volatilize their vigor. Her toed armored feet leaving their mark, while the blood-thirsty soldiers who basked in her glory were close behind. Her loyal subjects waited as one, their commanders lording over their lesser brethren as they awaited word for their mistress. In the meantime, Florentina had much to do. The diva was never one to appear abashed during trying times would carry the holder of her leash toward the tent. The hand rested against the flap as she paused momentarily to give the leech one last endearing stare.
"It is important you show your dominion over me. It is the Jorgenskull way."
Their customs were alien, but, regardless of their peculiarity, such actions were to be expected. The barrier was whisked to the side, as the giant stepped into the war tent, smiling, as she observed her mother leaning over a map.
"Mother, I have returned. I am sorry for my insubordination However if it's a consolation I have collected the Turziens and Toadlins under my banner. And, we are here to demonstrate our ferocity and merit. But, I suppose I should be honest my queen. This darling behind me is my wife, Nysoesa. We met during my mission into the swamp. We are now wed, and after the war, I wish to inaugurate our union under the old ways. If you doubt her worth as a mate, I will gladly fight any champion to prove it! With all that out of the way, I will wait on the others to give my thoughts on whatever strategy you've managed to cook up."
Watari on the other hand peered across the Outer Rim observing as war vessels pulled into port and distant armies emerged from the growth to join their gathering. His peach eyes strayed to that central tent, knowing the time was upon him to convene and hearken to the counsel of their matriarch. Once Florentina had slipped through, Watari would follow close behind. Curiously he'd stare at the leech with bewilderment. Who was she? Why did she merit a position within this council?
Without any delay, the fox moved across the table and stood by the queen. The tip of his sword pushing into the earth as the honorable commander bent the knee from reverence. Here, he'd remain. Not making a sound as his ears flicked in response to the princess's words. So, she was wed? And that thing was her wife? How did the monk unite the turziens and toadlins? These questions were important, for every tool needed to be accounted for before they set sail or marched to war. In secret Watari was impressed. They always had a healthy combative relationship. One he hoped they could continue once the fog of conflict dispersed.
Truly, it seemed like there could be no better timing than when they had received word that Valerna would be gathering a war effort for the subjection of the sands beyond the jungle’s barrier. The Bloodsucker delighted in the knowledge that their command would soon be known far and wide, as their amassed army traveled across that primordial jungle. Nysoesa held close atop that perfect caboose, enjoying this final ride as they closed the gap towards the epicenter of the gathering forces. Every race of the jungle was here, each of their unique characteristics united under this brave effort. She didn’t recognize many of them, and felt much like a trespasser here than ever before.
Truthfully, the otherworldly creature’s heart was astir, the desert was no place for a water-born leech, and the threat of heat-exposure set the most internalized of the predator’s instincts to shudder. Those Leechlings traveling with them.. how many would survive? While the prospect of battle and bloodshed did incite excitement, an undertaking of this scale and in such acrid of biomes was well beyond any of Nyso’s experience, making her worry over the safety of her family. Silvery optics peered into the confident emeralds of Flora’s eyes as she turned to look at her, and some of those nerves were silenced for the moment. No matter the situation, Florentina had a way of making the devourer feel better, causing her to smile back lovingly towards her Brood Bitch. “I look forward to nothing more, especially if it is by your side.” she replied, and regarded her golden goddess warmly as she was reminded of the Giant’s customs, causing the noodle-head to nod.
This would be the first time that she would be meeting this matriarch, the one responsible for the life she cherished so dearly, and now a different set of nerves resided across the parasite’s shoulders, but one she bore in acute secrecy.
As they brushed past that flap and into the tent’s interior, there was no indication of worry as Florentina addressed the arachnid giantess regarding a map. Shifting atop that perch, that large rear leech wriggled between the blonde’s legs, giving her an approving squeeze, while she tenderly dismounted, her hand reached forward, grasping about that leash, to which under her guiding hand they approached closer towards the war-table.
Nysoesa’s head lowered in a respectful bow “It is an honor to meet you, Queen Valerna Jorgenskull. I have...” she trailed off, as a lithe little gorgon appeared from behind the imposing physique of the queen. The two made eye-contact, and an electric shock resonated the space between them. The Hirundea blinked, and the first to recover, she cleared her throat, a tight but otherwise cordial smirk curling the side of her face
“Pardon me, I didn’t expect to see you have a Gorgon with you.” the apex predator tilted her head, “What a rare find.” she emphasised, metallic eyes staring intensely at those twisting snakes and characteristic scale patterns. It had been years since she’d seen one alive. Nysoesa felt like she was gazing at a relic from the past, reminded of reptilian blood, the history of screams, and the total desolation of their species. The hissing serpents and utter venom boiling within those serpentine eyes made the leech tense, preparing for conflict.
The war for the desert was upon them, the sand apes had persisted in their own turbulence, turning each other like savages and dissolving into strife. Khavati understood that the time for deliberation had reached its end. Valerna was nothing if not thorough, she had been dutifully weighing their options and planning for when this moment would reach them. The threat of that greater enemy and the vulnerability of the desert folk necessitated a unified front.
The price of war was heavy debt to pay, on that weighed, particularly across her wife’s shoulders, as well as her own. Did the ends justify the means? The Gorgon people had been a part of one very long and drawn out wartime back on her previous home planet, lasting all through her late adolescence, up until the moment she was abruptly whisked away to this foreign jungle . Of course the nature of that struggle contrasted much to the one that they were facing now, but the principles of pain were always the same. Above all, her heart went out to those families currently being torn apart, never to know if they will see eachother again. These troops' lives rested entirely dependent on the guidance of their commanders, and queens.
With that thought, Khavati remained stoically silent as her wife assessed the war-table, allowing her the time to fully drink in the tactics and scope as her fingers working dutifully along the muscles of Valerna’s back. stroking those bony spider limbs that held her as well as the junctions where flesh met bone, occasionally she would press kisses to her skin if Val made any sort of frustrated noise or she noticed the tenseness rising to that flawless physique.
Upon the sounds of that tent fluttering open, the viper made no haste to greet their company, the pits of the ophidian’s locs, sensing without truly needing to see that they stood at the entrance. Someone rounded to stand beside Valerna, and Khavati turned her head, that wreath of snakes tasting the air and recognizing Watari’s knelt form. She smiled slightly, glad to see a familiar face, while the voice of Florentina made itself known.
So this was one of Valerna’s children she had heard about, she had been away in the swamps for quite some time, and clearly had been busy while away from the queen’s eye. Silently, Khavati detangled herself from those arachnoid ligaments, hoping to get a better look at her step-daughter and her supposed spouse. There, leading the princess by a leash, the sight of that sickeningly familiar entity caused the gorgon to falter, her breath hitching in her throat, her blood chilled as she gazed at the disgusting creature before her in shock. The serpents nesting about the woman’s head raised into agitated positions immediately, hissing and twisting about in distress, sensing their mistress’s emotions. They glared heatedly towards it, as the Hirundea smirked.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” she spit, recognizing that pointed emphasis, her hands clenched into fists on either side to hide the trembling shock that still persisted within them.
“I never thought I’d see one of your kind here.” she shook her head, raising her chin as she carefully regarded the princess “I am Queen Valerna’s wife, my name is Khavati Jorgenskull. Florentina, while I am glad we can finally meet, I am horrified that wretched skin-sucker has sunk its teeth in you. IT will only use you and hurt you, they can’t be trusted.” she then stared acidically at the bloodsucker.
“It is in their species’ nature to desecrate everything they touch.” she spoke in a deadly tenseness, glaring at the grotesque creature in front of her. Khavati never expected to run into such an enemy from her past, The Hirundea had been a relentless lot, pushing for a total takeover of the swamps, jungles, and mountains of their homeworld. Her people were still fighting them valiantly, and Khavati wished for her family and people’s victory frequently. In dreams, the memories of her last moments with them still regularly plagued the reptilian’s mind, though she kept this torment quiet, not to let it affect her or bother Valerna with pointless repetition.
Like a good pup, the spawn of Matsumota wasted no time kneeling before his queen. Notwithstanding his blighted lineage, the spider had found his devotion to be commendable. Those auburn eyes squandered little time moving toward that of her daughter and her alleged lover. Guardedly, the arachnid observed the parasite closely. Khavati, who knew her place placating her wife bounced off her perch only to gaze at this alien. While they wrangled like children Valerna would move toward a deer's carcass, Calmly, she'd reach for a skeletal knife and begin skinning the animal. The sound of the fur being ripped and peeled up the corpse resonated within the tent.
What children, their hatred seething over the brim. Did they presume now was the time to put on such brutish antics? Had they not assembled to put an end to division? Why then would Khavati or this Nysoesa engage in such frivolous bouts of dominance? Pathetic, Valerna was far too old and sensible to give a damn about the locking of such miniature horns. Her hands were covered in the blood of the game as she grunted, revealing the muscle and the organs before letting out a rustle. That dagger was slammed into the wooden table as her spider feelers clicked against one another. That commotion was a sign that they best desist their barking.
"While you two behave like children and sow seeds of instability amongst my house, our enemy continues to lure forth aversions exceeding your understanding. What did you both seek to gain from this? Have we not congregated to usher in unity? How can I rule my people if I can't keep those within my name under control." Valerna raised her hand, slamming the fist onto the table so that it shattered. Furiously, she'd crouch and pick up the dead fawn, launching it between the two housewives.
"You want to be a beast? Eat like the vermin you are. I couldn't care less about your history. It matters little. The enemy we face doesn't give a damn where you're from, your race, creed, or ideology. You're all food. Out there you might have been some big predator, but here, in this tent, you are just a pathetic doe. Prey I could kill with no effort. You are Jorgenskull, are you not? Now, kindly close your mouths and let the adults speak. Or else, I will crush you under my heel and any who stand in my way."
Valerna remained calm that entire time, her voice, expression, and body language awarded no notion of anger, just disappointment. Cooly she'd strut back to the table giving the two ladies one last glower.
"Florentina, congratulations on your marriage. I am glad to see at least there is one Jorgenskull still left in this tent." She added indifferently before using her bloodied fingers to draw lines across the map.
"General Watari, rise. It is time I go over my plan." She'd pause giving the kitsune enough time to situate himself.
"I will march south and secure the northeastern territory. I will destroy Ashtown, the college, and Crystal town. Once they have been pulverized, my forces and children will march to Nirvana and commence the siege. While this happens, Princess Florentina will take her new toys by boat across the northern shore. You are to secure Fungi forest, Sandslout, and then commence bombarding the emerald city. Whatever forces you can spare between the naval assault and securing the breadbasket will move south and lay siege to the other side of Nirvana. General Watari, you, Bersia, and the coalition will sail on the opposite side and head toward Obsidian canyon. You are to rally your mother to accompany our cause and then join us at the siege laying devastation to any resistance or settlements along the way. A three-prong attack. Our enemy is blind, wounded, and bickering. We will take advantage of this dissension to split the spine and smother the heart with its very fat. If Samara refuses to yield at this point. You need only watch as my secret weapon rips and tears through their people. With any luck, we can wrap this whole ordeal up in a month. Make no mistake, this isn't a war, this is a massacre."
Valerna added as she repositioned the miniatures across the surface while she spoke. Those brown eyes looked at each of the occupants before focusing on the leech and her ophidian lover.
"Khavati, it is time you learn the duties and burdens of a queen. If you are to be anything but my plaything and blood thrall, you must act the part. I can't afford to be seen by a paltry and deficient spouse. Nysoesa, you hold my daughter's leash. She is smitten and happy, and so am I. However, if you attempt disloyalty you will find out how productive I am. This here is nothing, it's child's play. Imagine what I can create and conjure forth when I actually try? Though, I think we will get along fabulously. From one bloodsucker to another. You may have your babes, but, I too have birthed legions. Good news, you needn't wait long to prove my lover wrong. You will head out with Florentina. This isn't a request, this is an order. Am I clear? Do any of you have concerns or seek to challenge my wisdom and rule?"
Khavati stiffened as the sound of that knife hit the surface of the table, while Nysoesa's silver eyes narrowed, bristling, the leeches attached to her crown gnashing their fangs as silently she regarded this supposed queen and those hostile words. As Valerna spoke, her powerful voice dispelled the charging frictions rising within the room. Both otherworldly beings flinched as the fawn was thrust in the space between them. The Gorgon’s blood chilled, immediately recognizing her critical error in this theatre. This wasn’t the time for her personal reservations towards the fiend in their midst, regardless of how much the creature’s presence caused Khavati great discomfort.
The viper sucked in a curt breath, feeling pricks of embarrassment cresting her cheeks dark causing her to lower her head as she redirected her attention back towards her wife. “My apologies..” she murmured, pointedly keeping her gaze from straying to the Leech or those disappointed eyes, watching Valerna’s hands as she traced crimson across the map. The Hirundea hummed, relaxing from her defensive stance, glad not to regard those acidic words with an actual reply and nodding at the Queen as they continued onto more important matters.
A three-pronged attack, a massacre of a grand scale. This was their plan, their strategy to bring their neighbouring buffoons to their knees truly and utterly. No longer was it time for emotional inhibitions or indecisiveness, they would soon be on the warpath, careening headlong into carnage and bloodshed that would forever stain those white sands red. The serpentine mistress raised her head, steeling herself for what was to come at those pointed words from the arachnid.
“I will not let you down.” The woman swore, determined to prove more than just by word alone that she could help Valerna shoulder the weight of such incredible responsibility, and lead the people towards victory, no matter the stakes.
Nysoesa could hardly wait, she smiled as Val gave her both warm regards and warnings. The comparisons were not lost on the devourer, and she bowed her head in respect once the elite predator had finished addressing them “Loud and clear, Queen Valerna. I am loyal to my wife and to you, and I look forward to proving my merit in the coming siege. I have no objections” she answered calmly, glancing at the Gorgon half a second more before turning her head towards Florentina with adulation and excitement.
Their bickering took the kitsune by surprise. He hadn't expected this sort of outrage from Khavati. While she was a newcomer to the fold. The general had come to learn she was often a fashioned soul. Nysoesa, whatever she was had unnerved the gorgon. This proved infectious as guardedly the general glared at the abomination. Was it possible this creature had woven a spell on the princess? Watari had seen stranger things, although he questioned if Florentina's spirit could be so easily subdued? But, before he could add his thoughts Valerna took charge of the situation.
Stepping back, he'd barely evade the tossed carcass. The painter stared dumbfounded at the queen uncertain why she exhibited such a severe reaction? No, it wasn't his place to judge their family matters. They were royalty and he was just a faithful commander of their army. Wordlessly he would persist moving toward the map as finally, the spider unveiled her plan. Watari wasn't surprised, he had come to discover that Valerna was wise beyond her apparent years. Although hearing his part caused his spirit to shake.
"You do know if my diplomacy fails I will be surrounded by adversaries? No, this isn't a refusal, only a warning. No matter, if I should perish, Florentina I am sure will make them pay ten times over." Watari smiled while turning his attention toward the inquisitor. "I do not know who this woman is. But, I esteem your judgment. If you vouch for her, who am I to challenge this newcomer? Nysoesa wasn't it? You have my sympathies, Florentina is a demanding person." He spoke out of jest, making light at what was previously a dismal situation. "I have absolute faith we will succeed. One way or another, we will stem the defilement my queen." Watari bowed, refusing to rise until such a time as Valerna permitted him to.
That bombastic display had effectively dispersed the tension. Valerna understood the importance of order and the jeopardy division sowed. While conceivably improper of a queen, sometimes such gruff mannerisms were essential to repel disorder. Disarray could only whittle away cohesion that, in turn, would depreciate their superior forces. Rigidly she stood, those amber eyes bounding from one occupant of the tent to the next. That web she had meticulously woven. Despite appearing strong could come undone should their lesser nature commandeer logic.
Thankfully, such an improper conclusion had been negated. The war machine fleetingly was steered away from the steep precipice. That disaster had been circumvented, though, the Machiavelli queried for how long? Watari's fear-mongering wasn't without precedent, and while unsettling, did little to sway her plans. Sequentially, whether the fox appreciated it or not, his race and familiarity with their barbarous customs presented itself as too tempting not to employ. Whether he stumbled wouldn't derail their combined efforts, only postpone and magnify the carnage. Outwardly she may have appeared devoid of internalized tussling. However, secretly she quarreled a great deal and second-guessed her judgments.
The weaver of weds had long since dispersed of the notion that such reservations were imprudent. Instead, she concluded them to be the remnants of a sane mind fearful for her people. Those soldiers who had convened due to the plucking of her threads were not resources, but the motivators steering the Verdant Dynasty. The upcoming season of strife loomed aloft for some time. A matter the arachnid wouldn't dare assume Samara was ignorant of. That crimson menace was nothing if not tenacious and resourceful, two attributes that had confidentially elicited forth some respect. The onus of reassurance fell upon Valerna to assume, supporting General Watari as he had her regime.
"I am well aware. It is a calculative risk, one with a myriad of potentialities. Nevertheless, the benefits, in my eyes, far outweigh the likely hurdles. If you should be met with failure, do whatever it takes to survive. General Watari, both you and the Collation have become indispensable pillars of our community. You may have started as an alien, but this Jungle has made us comrades. Go, prepare your troops, and no matter what awaits us, may we procure unity." She added, only to veer her attention toward Florentina who had thus far remained reserved.
"My baby, I am glad to see you are well. Do not chafe over this trivial scuffle. Whatever history torments our wives, I am convinced that in due time they will be conquered."
Florentina smirked, grateful that her wife's little display had steered her parent's consideration away from her misgivings. The theft of the heart, while eluded today, would ultimately reemerge. A fact that will toil as a source of heated debate and the timeless tradition of butting heads. The inquisitor stepped forward, standing by the leech before giving a mighty and audible spank on Nyso's rear cheeks. That hand had scooped Nysoesa up, only to hoist her lover so that she might steal a kiss. Those emerald eyes were looking at Khavati as if to convey the message "Back off bitch." Once the inquisitor was content, she'd withdraw her public performance only to glide that split tongue across that tendriled mane.
"You are so sexy when angry. I am blessed to have you as my mate Nysoesa. Know this, for each Sand Chimp I butcher. I will mutter your name. Each minute we are apart, I will house a thousand eggs. But, first, feed your brood bitch. This diva needs your perfect gum to maintain her strength." She winked, dispersing many questions as Valerna strutted behind Khavati only to rest her armored claw on the shoulder for support.
"Thank you. I know that wasn't easy for you. Khavati, you may doubt your strength; but I see you have it in you to make a fine queen. I don't say it enough; however, I love you. We will be marching to war and that theatre has a way of transforming a person. I can only dream by the end we step forward as better women." She added, smiling, before clenching her fangs on those luscious lips.
A wink was then followed by the spinning her of piercing. Valerna groaning, as she felt the heaviness and soreness of her bosom. "Tell me, Flora, does Nysoesa know she is to mate before us to solidify this matrimony? I am amenable to accepting her under my banner. Assuming I can verify her concern for our name is without selfish wants?"
Florentina at first said nothing. The agent was a bit preoccupied sucking on her parasite's feelers. A sight, while degenerate, held a particular bonding appeal toward the two infectious partners. An audible pop followed while the diva moaned from delight only to gawk over at Watari. "Trust me, she is more than resilient enough. In fact, it is me you should be concerned for." Florentina grinned fiendishly before pivoting those feet so she faced her mother.
"I am hungry and horny. I have no issue fornicating right here on that table and map of yours? The journey should be long enough so I can deliver us another batch. Believe me, when I say this, there is nothing more elegant than my body rammed with offspring. Honestly, I wouldn't mind perpetual inflation given the rapture it brings. And, who knows? Maybe my new mother can learn a thing or two about breaking in their partner?" The atomic blonde chortled. Shortly afterward, keeping that mouth gaped as if preparing for her meal. "Leech sex is the best sex after all..." In her mind, this wasn't up for debate, but a fact.
Ignorantly, the primitives went about their day. Oblivious that forces exceeding their control were dispersed to subdue them. The populace solicited after wares, gallivanted the streets with their family while the armed guards patrolled those sandy roads. There was a mundane air about that breadbasket; nothing hinted at the looming ruination originating from the sea. Farmers toiled the earth, using a scythe and undead labor to accumulate grains from a bounteous harvest. Across that expanse of dunes, fungi forest had been attacked. Cannon fire enkindled its stalks while the foreign meddlers dispatched the turziens to rise from the waters to conquer the facilities and adjacent towns.
The choir of bereaved mothers and babes reverberated within what was to be an idyllic retreat from the desert. Victory had been secured, although, much to Florentina's chagrin, little opposition presented itself. How lamentable, to think that this was the best the Eternal House could muster? These wretched vermin were spineless louts, miscreants bent solely on the consumption of their brethren. Fools who are far too rabid to unite against the jungle's forces. The ships wasted little time docking, sending forth from the skeletal bowls a horde of toadlins. Nysoesa, the inquisitor's lover, left to govern those amphibians with the aid of their wondrous offspring.
The giant portion of her forces stayed within those crafts, watching as the turziens commenced their march under Xib's orders. They'd follow the river, cutting off any retreat from Sandslout. Florentina doubted their intellect; however, she conceded that in all likelihood such a visible landmark would deter them from roaming in the wrong direction. The agent conferred them an adequate headstart. Before she'd sail leaving the fear-stricken varenkun and researchers under Nysoesa's supervision, to do with them whatever she willed. It was then, as all seemed well, that horns began to blare. The people initially were confused, many chalking it up to some sort of drill. It wasn't till they beheld the bustling of that lackluster guard force that they'd begin to dispute if perchance this was something more.
The doors were sealed, banners raised as the walls were mounted. The sentries peered across the desert via spyglass. It was with such instruments they beheld a thousand turtles waddling menacing in their general direction. The desert dwellers had never seen one of their kind. Their alien appearance disseminated even more discord amongst an already frightened unit. Nonetheless, it wasn't till they turned those visual aids and regarded the fleet that they'd question their capacity to hold the territory. Twelve vessels in all, composed of bone followed closely behind what appeared to have been shells with fortifications installed on top equivalent in number. There, flapping in the wind, they could hardly make out what was the Jorgenskull banners.
Pandemonium settled within the fragile hearts of the people, a group whittled already by years of infighting. Some would retreat to their homes, others rushed the sealed gates, and a few lucky souls took their fishing vessels and withdrew to the sea. Haughtily, Florentina smirked as that prize crept over the horizon. She had been here before, twice actually. She detested them even back then, but, her disdain only amplified with time. For now, they'd maintain their heading, crashing against the waters as their navy rocked from the swelling waves. Blood and fear were in the air, and it was beyond intoxicating.
Their siege weapons were loaded and ready to engage their targets. The vessels, keeping a moderate distance from the shore while the giants onboard with a few goatkin grinned, excited to finally claim dominion over what was a fertile patch of soil. Florentina would turn to face those occupants within the lead warship. The inquisitor discovered their enthusiasm to be indisputably tantalizing; if not contagious.
"We will strike fear so great into their hearts. That future generations will marvel at this day. A morning when the crops soaked up their ancestral blood to the point that not a single grain could grow for decades. We will rape and pillage, shatter their wills and spines. Their widows will weep, smothering their enfeebled babes into their bosom just to save them from our clutches. We will rip and tear, disembowel, harvest their innards. The mountains will quiver, the foundation quake as the firmament is reeled back like a scroll. Our display of carnage will be so legendary that even the Elder of war will think twice about challenging us. Conquest is not our goal. No, we will aspire for something greater. My men, you will soon know the ecstasy that is the breaking of men's will to fight. Ultimately, we will triturate their very essence as a community. The body may be resilient, nevertheless, the mind, not so much. Worry not, morality, fear, war, and your nightmares are temporary. But the glory of the Jorgenskulls, that is forever!"
Motivated, they each hastened to their stations while the bone-clad commander moved to the front of the ship. Those emerald eyes veering to the shore, watching as they passed the farmlands. The workers, fleeing, grabbing their casterarms. "Good, resist. I will enjoy breaking you all..." Florentina mumbled.
Slowly, she raised her hand, while the men adjusted the cannons and their mortars. It was then, the screams of the innocent reached her ears. How riveting, they were grieving already and not a drop of woe had graced those parched tongues. They needn't worry, there would be enough blood to slake all their thirst. And given its abundance, she could afford to waste a few gallons. "Fire!" She cried, sending that arm forward. The drums on the back of each ship were hammered ferociously. That ominous cadence was accompanied by the crooning of her people. Each melody carried with it a set of orders, a methodology to effectively communicate across the distance.
It was then the tubers let loose their volley, while the cannons that were aimed toward the center of town discharged their load. One hundred and twenty rounds, each mortar blast covered a five-foot area in smoldering blood, fecal matter, and pus. The dooks were hit first, glazing them in a soup of gore that boiled the flesh of anyone unwise to flee.
Meanwhile, the cannon's rounds pelted the bazaar and shop district. Random buildings that were poorly built collapsed under the force and weight of their sludge. A thick goo of fat, urine, and bile erupting outward in a thirty-foot radius. Thirty projectile in all. A pause followed as they reloaded, giving the people time to wallow through the horror and repugnancy she gifted them. They would release a few more loads soon enough, but, she had to give time for Xib to move into position. While boisterous, this wasn't the true power nor threat of their attack.
Many sand apes that all went squish. The bunny things thought themselves as smart, but none out thunk or out fast talk bonk. His people hated these softbacks, finding them to be a smooshy waste of space. It didn't matter, all their theatrical spells and tools were nothing when pitted against the might of the log and rock. Xib found war to be interesting, terrifying, but a different experience. This theater presented itself as a way for the turzien's to prove their worth as a people. The wise woman of the rear shell guided them. Her brain was big, very smart, as her tactics made quick work of the desert chimps.
In Xib's eyes, she was a friend, a good leader, a prophet of the old guardian. Her word was law, endowed by divinity as she represented the swamp incarnate. Florentina's motivations and morals were never questioned, while those that had doubted her merit as a shepherd discovered her worth via this experience. Victory had been secured, the Fungi forest fell that day to their thwacking. Thunderously, the reptilians let out a gurgled cry of satisfaction as they ominously waddled around their commander. Before Xib had met his new friends he was ostracized. Now, his people looked at him for guidance.
The turtle felt the weight of responsibility. Each brother, dead or alive, was his to govern during this chaotic and trying time. He couldn't falter; no, he had to remain true to their ways. His eyes turned to the river while a stubby digit scratched his cheek. One eye after another blinked as he struggled to remember their plan. This one was good at many things, but orders and these strategies, not so much. Bah, it didn't matter, he'd follow the body of water to the next target. All the while pondering what a volley was while they recited that song of the logs.
Their travels were met with little resistance. They were overturning and smashing a few fishermen along the way as they scoffed at the futility of their resistance. Eventually, the sound of a trumpet reached across the distance. However, given their poor hearing, it was difficult to make out. The turzien's looked upon those fortified walls, debating why such barbarians would erect such a brittle shell as a defense? The archers stayed in the rear while Xib led the forward line ahead of them to serve as a barrier should the soldiers attempt to rush their ranged troops. Xib waited, watching as the floating sea things let out boom boom balls. Many blasts, the earth's vibration picked up on as the soldiers looked toward him for direction.
Was wiggly soil a sign of this volley? Florentina was an earth bender, perhaps it was her way of commanding them via the foundations? Xib's head stung from thinking, it was arduous, he preferred to smack with lumber over leading. Still, there was no one as faithful or deserving of this station. Reluctantly, the waddling behemoth had to accept his lot. Who knows? By the end of it all, it might help him obtain many eggs from the layers. No matter, counting was tough, waiting boring, screw it, Xib will give the order and deal with wrath later if he was somehow wrong.
"We ready tiny pointed logs now!" He shouted, the command being echoed to the rear while the archers positioned their arrows across the bowstrings, pulling back while taking aim toward the center of the town. One of his sisters, tottered down the line holding stick of fire, touching the tips as they one by one were lit ablaze. Xib would reach behind. scratching his buttocks while he second-guessed himself. The enemy units on the wall were distressed, the foul smell of their initial bombardment and the horror of watching citizens cooked alive in that boiling soup weakening their will to resist.
A few soldiers on the wall looked toward the bazaar and shop district, their minds quickly gathering that had to be fat which only meant one thing. Before they could muster forth a counter, Xib would gurgle and let out his cry. "No, hold back let logs fly! Aim for the center, hit lardy puddles!" The arrows rushed across the heavens in an arc, their fire tips blanketing out the sky before their flaming points collided with their mark. Many were extinguished by the wind and fluids. However, it only took one to start the chaos. That lipid in the center erupted, sending forth a wild grease fire. The civilians fled, while others meaning well tossed water on the fire, only worsening the effects.
Their screams could not be heard, but Xib liked to imagine they went oowwweeewaaah nu! Stupid sand chimps, they soon learn the wisdom of rear shelled commander. Hoisting his log, Xib would scream waving it about while charging at the wall with a dignified waddle. "For bonk! For thwack! You no kill chimp, me kill you! We show softbacks might of the hardbacks!" The others followed his lead, keeping their shields at the ready as they moved in a formation to block any potential arrows. The archers stayed behind, preparing another volley in case the second barrage of bodily concoction wasn't somehow set ablaze. Never before had the men of the sands beheld something both comical yet horrifying.
Fear is a compelling motivator. Florentina had anticipated this initial onslaught to have roused forth some resistance. Yet, the sands and its denizens appeared content to grovel under her heel. Pitiful, they were an unsalvagable lot. Why would her mother squander their time subjugating such reprehensible vermin? The inquisitor observed the initial carnage, watching as belatedly Xib had enkindled the adipose her vessels had scattered athwart the market. The people's ululations were no longer music to her ears. Their inability to fight or marshal had spoiled any prospect of enjoyment.
At this point, within those austere eyes, she had considered this an insulting affair. The effrontery of which wouldn't be exculpated so effortlessly. No, if Florentina is to abide by this jeering, she'd do so with a fatigued heart. Begrudgingly she'd groan, rolling those emerald orbs before peering back at her troops as they loaded the cannons and mortars. That perfume of gore, while offensive to the uncouth, persevered as the only solace her sense could obtain. A reminder that sometimes an artist must engage in their craft, regardless if they had the essential muse to invigorate them. Nevertheless, a girl gotta do, what a girl gotta do.
Theatrically the agent raised her hands, the drums slowing down their rhythm as they waited for the command. The time for the second gifting of hell and flesh was upon them. And, it would be rude and boorish to keep their amiable hosts waiting too long. Without further delay, she'd send her arms downward, commanding the next volley. The mortars let loose first, connecting just beyond their initial mark to spread the influence of their feces. The ships rocked while the cannons once more followed behind. The globs of fat collided near the borders of that organic lake of fire, approximately doubling its reach while the ships moved close to the port. The opening line of blood and shit had tempered down, with the second laboring as a barrier so that they may more unobstructedly dismount from these vessels.
The warships lowered their ramparts, smacking against the harbor while the infantry scurried from within the bowels assuming their formation. The shelled monk had seen enough. She rather be making love to her wife on Samara's corpse, than misuse further time loafing and torturing such droll company. The men poured forth (2,500 in total), rushing down before setting up a line with their bone tower shields. Their spears formulated a thicket of death as cooly Florentina paced back and forth behind them. Her hands rested behind her back just above her godly rear while she prepared to address the soldiers. All the while the siege weaponry initiated their reloading process waiting to render supportive fire upon request.
"Unworthy prey. I apologize that we must sully our honor with such unbecoming crud. We came bearing our spirits, and, all they could offer were dull pleas. Pathetic. I have decided, we will not spare them. Kill everyone that offers any resistance. The men of the sands have no cocks, and thusly are not deserving of a warrior's death. They are swine yearning, no, imploring to be slaughtered. And, it would be most inappropriate for us not to oblige. Men, advance toward the border of our line, hold your position, and prepare for the greatest display of carnage this dried pussy of a realm has ever known!"
Her troops obeyed, lifting their shields as they stepped to the very end of that first bombardment of filth only to lower them once more. Archers, what few they had made up two lines (40 across) in total per vessel prepared their arrows. Outwardly, few would suspect what force they held. But anyone with a mite of engineering or warfare knowledge would understand the bigger the bow, the more powerful the delivery. Those marksmen swelled in size, as Bersia took charge over the ships and their ranged units. The blonde huntress smiled, presenting Florentina a nod of affirmation before the commander veered her gaze across the burning town.
"Frivolity, thine name is Sandslout." Bersia murmured, before steeling herself for what was to transpire.
"Comeon, show some spirit. I want to bleed, suffer and evolve." Florentina thought, voraciously craving some manner of opposition.
The troops gazed into the inferno. Their eyes squinting as the victims' lamentations echoed within the immolating pool only heightened their morale. While they might have earned a degree of satisfaction, Florentina on the other hand, found this all to be boring. Ever since she was a babe the blonde envisioned this very moment. And now that her aspirations were unfurling, it all was tasteless and colorless. No matter, she'd give the command to her troops to proceed through the puddle of excrement once it had cooled. Uniformly they'd march forward, the sound of their footsteps along with the distant explosion inspired fear across the town.
Those closest to the docks were the first to be mutilated or gathered. Those unwise to capitulate were massacred like cattle, being bequeathed not an ounce of clemency. Bersia could hear their bellows, her heart going out to the people albeit in secret. Nevertheless, as a faithful member of the Verdant Dynasty, she wouldn't falter. War was certainly an unsightly affair, although losing one was far less advantageous. Her thoughts concerning the politics that led them to this precipice were irrelevant. No amount of wishful thinking or studious contemplation could annul the reality lain out before those steel eyes.
The huntress prepared her arrow, pulling back the string as she managed her posture and breathing while taking aim. Without further delay, she'd let it fly. The other marksmen followed her lead as they too would unleash that aerial torrent of death. The enlarged projectiles ripped through the air while they arced only to then descend to the earth. Anyone outside the buildings would find themselves being impaled. This downpour of spears collided with the various stone fortifications, piercing through them with the force of a ballista. This display guaranteed that what spirit remained would plummet, particularly when aligned with the realization the Turziens had ruptured through their feeble barricade.
Florentina commanded her men to break into squads, clearinghouse after house, while others remained outside to engage or subdue any wanderers. It was then she entered Izmail's home, the Alchemist was stricken with despair as revoltingly his family groveled. Those green eyes gazed down at him, discerning the sigil of the eternal house on his exceptional silken raiment.
"Why do you not fight for your comrades elf?" She questioned, his knees trembling as the reek of their first bombardment had whittled his stomach's capacity to keep itself from disgorging its contents.
"I have to take care of my family. Please, let them go I be-" His words cut short as the vermin dared to reach out and touch the inquisitor in some pitiable bid to elicit sympathy. The monk sent a palm strike, smashing the side of his head before slamming that cranium on the wall, bursting it open like a melon. The blood and gore decorated the stone before Florentina glanced over those shoulders at the family who at this point was beyond terrified.
"Kill them for stomaching such a pathetic excuse for a son." Florentina stepped out the door. She could hear their cries and execution, only to be ensued by silence. The Eternal House were her enemies, but their lack of fighting spirit in her eyes made them all unsalvagable.
"Men, encircle the center! We will meet the Turzien forces and proceed to clear the flames while marching and freeing the heart of the town. Leave a few detachments to subjugate those that surrender. Keep them like cattle trapped in a few homes and execute them all should one venture to resist."
The men nodded before hastening off to relay word while Florentina gazed back over at the vessels. She'd smirk as belatedly Bersia and her troops sped down the planks and proceeded to secure the high ground. The archers kept their formations, preparing their bows while her sister left officers in charge. Eventually, she'd stand by Florentina's side as the two smirked at one another before staring across that pond of lard and flames.
"Flora, what will you do with the survivors?" Bersia inquired, apprehensive to receive the answer.
"Make an example of a few, let the rest live. The Eternal House has spat on our spirits by dismissing our challenge. It is only fair we do this realm a favor and imprison, torture, or kill such spineless parasites."
Bersia sighed, readying her arrow before biting down on that lip as if distressed.
"Is something wrong sister?" Florentina inquired with a smile. Bersia shook her head only to sigh.
"No, such is life. I may not like it, but even I understand we are beyond the point of shaking hands."
The inquisitor laughed, patting the archer's back as they moved across the outer rim of the fire before seeing the kitsune Gana hanging out the window.
"Hey! Fox! You wanna live? Bring me the head of an Eternal house member!" Bersia peered at her sister disconcerted why she appeared to take delight in this bloodletting?
"Watch, as they rip and tear themselves apart. It is the only thing they know, the one truth about their nature." The inquisitor susurrated, Bersia was compelled to agree. Truthfully, she loathed the fact she couldn't dispute her younger sibling's statements.
The shelled warriors let out their watery growls as the last of the defenders of the wall went splat. Xib had a goofy smile resting on his face as he looked over toward the burning center, only to see the pointed logs of the giants collide against the surrounding buildings. The logmancer shouted out his commands as he waddled from the edge with his troops close behind. The turtles would fan out, forming a line that quickly encircled the rim of that still burning fat. There they waited, hurling out a series of cries while Florentina's forces continued to round up the survivors. He'd look back, scratching the back of his head as he made out the Khan and her retreating forces. There were alot of sand chimps, this realization led him to question why they didn't try to retake the settlement?
It didn't matter, in the end, he would be a good turzien and wait along with the others. These softbacks thought of themselves as smart and sophisticated. But, their manners and brains were nothing when pitted against the might of the rock and log. All their shiny toys and whizzy pew pew gadgets couldn't stem the horde of bonkers. Their cries had no effect on those foreign behemoths of the shell. Their people were used to war, however not so much on this scale. The effective execution only caused them to see the wise woman of the rear shell in a more favorable light. Indeed, Florentina was the most suitable one to rule and manage their people.
"This one waits now." Xib whispered as one eye after the other blinked.
That armored reptile drooped his tongue from that snapper as the taste of burning hair and flesh wafted across his oral sense. Besieged, those unfortunate enough to escape the grease fire would be met with the power of the song of 99 logs in the bog. No matter how many times they recited it, the number always remained the same. "This one give command when hot soup cools down. We wait, and sway menacingly till then!" The other turtles appeared satisfied with this plan as they commenced their horror induce wiggling.
The organizer of this sea to land invasion stared out across the carnage of her design. The peoples' continued butchery elicited no external or internal responses. Her dependable turtles had succeeded with mopping up the walled fighters. The dock and exterior of the agricultural community had already been mutilated or herded like cattle. It was then those green eyes beheld a flicker of potential- the arrival of possible challengers who might make this insipid meal into something savory after all. This, in turn, sparked a fire in those green eyes and prompted a smile on that face. Only to be nearly instantly snuffed as the reinforcements stormed off across the knolls, discarding the prey to their predetermined fate.
Ganas reply was disregarded, for now. Her eagerness to capitulate was all the ammunition the stalwart commander needed. Bersia was soft, having a gentle heart. However, perhaps that declaration would present itself as enough evidence to solidify the diva's point-the affidavit to support her callous spirit to prevent any animosity down the road. Bersia frowned. The peoples' abandonment coupled with that solitary kitsune's retort kindled a stupor. This meditative state sequentially pushed to the side as she nodded to her younger sibling.
"Have fun, it seems I was wrong." She spoke, before returning to her ranged troops.
The blonde huntress grappled to come to terms with the propaganda she had been fed. On one hand, she wanted to believe this lot was redeemable. On the other, all testimony promulgated the reverse. Florentina said nothing. As an inquisitor, she had a knack for discerning when her victims' spirits were fractured. Bersia, along with this execrable village of savages' were both under her heel. Their bodies, soon to be mashed under the gravity included within her ubiquitous shadow. Wordlessly, while waiting out the fires, the agent moved about the line as her forces girdled the edge of the market district, just outside of the flames' reach.
Eventually, her ears picked up on the sobbing of some babe. She looked around. Those green lanterns could see some feline with her leg pinned, enveloped by their smoldering lipid. The fires were dying down, and while her flesh was badly burnt, there was a distinct chance that this imbecile might yet live. The diva stepped forward, the troops on all sides closing inward behind her. The whining necromancer would soon gather a loud stomp as that foot clad in bone smashed next to but missing her head. Haughtily those emerald jewels looked down at this burnt and pathetic animal with absolute disdain.
"The reclamation has arrived..."
This would be the last thing the necrotic cat would hear. The other foot was raised, only to grind itself against her knee, breaking it. The weight, joined with the giant reached down, clasping the nape and dragging the body separated the leg from the whole. This trapped woman was weak, unwilling, or incapable to make the necessary sacrifice to save her life. Florentina, not being above charity, chose for the lady.
"Even an animal knows when to gnaw away its foot when ensnared. It appears their will to survive eclipses yours."
She'd wave, as one of her men picked up and hauled the burnt and now one-legged necromancy off, throwing her in with the others where she might receive medical attention. Ultimately, her ability to live was bound to the one thing seemly absent, her will. There, the conquerer would look around, grinning as she prepared to deliver a speech.
"You are beaten! Make no mistake. This was no battle. We obtained no glory and instead suffered the mockery of your unwillingness to fight! Each and every one of you are vermin. Pest graveling under a rock as if hoping for what? That my coming judgment might pass you by? Such arrogance, such jeering will not go unpunished! Scurry forth from your position, drop to your knees and plead for my forgiveness! Or, remain hidden and prepare to be exterminated by the coming light that is my glory. I am nothing, if not amenable and extraordinarily humble! For the first time since our arrival, I am giving you the power of choice, it would be unwise to defy my charity!"
Florentina yawned, finding this all to be riveting, Smacking those lips as she queried what her wife was doing? Poor thing, Nysoesa must have been bored and lonely within that fungi forest. Separated from her spouse, she pondered if her better half was equally annoyed by these foreigners? How she longed to be coiled by those tentacles and ravaged. Next to their sex life, this theatre seemed lacking when it came to the ambivalence that is strife.
From those buildings' the rodents emerged; fifty people had survived the barrage of organic soups and volley of arrows. The death toll, whatever it may have been, was hardly deserving of note. This abhorrent lot of parasites were undeserving of clemency. The amnesty yielded thus far was a testimonial of the inquisitor's forbearance. They need only capitulate, swallow their defeat, and relinquish themselves 'neath her stern rule. However trivial, it appeared even this minor act of fealty exceeded their capability to execute. The woman she had saved, the necromancer incapable of sacrificing a limb to ensure her inexcusable existence retaliated.
How lamentable, if only they had offered up such resistance during the engagement. Maybe then the giantess would have been amendable to view them as warriors. But no, instead, they groveled behind their sandstone walls. Conclusively, this made her enfeebled tussle and scratches come across as an effrontery, one the commander couldn't abide. The diva had issued her orders, establishing a standard those beneath her charge were obligated to administer. If she had waned against her declarations she could only appear weak. And if there was one thing she had fostered within her soldiers' it was the gravity of one's convictions.
How fortuitous that the survivors had slithered forth from their holes. If nothing else, that feline's martyrdom would have an audience. The imminent execution might tarry as a warning, albeit one short-lived given what her responsibilities necessitated. Florentina raised her hand, silencing the bereaved citizens before whistling. Her men, who were still contesting with the unruly, barely conscious prisoner desisted their movements. Wearily, they stared at one another, before turning around to bring the defiler of the dead back to their leader. Bersia sighed, shaking her head as she could see from afar how things would invariably play out.
The puerskar was dropped to the earth by Florentina's side. The feeble spell weaver had difficulty warding off torpors call due to blood loss. Weakly, she bobbed back and forth while the soon-to-be executioner scrutinized the scene. The line behind her readied their spears, forming a thicket of death that surrounded the marketplace, toiling as a barrier. That silence had enveloped the region, accompanied by an eerie discernment of apprehension. The atmosphere was palpable, yet electrifying as if the very ionization of the particles could be savored within the air. The diva sanctioned this pause a moment longer, staring at the Kitsune as she finally saw fit to join the gathering to some capacity.
"I came to liberate you from deficiency. Look around, the Eternal House is inept. Their foundations are eroded, unsuited of proferring even the scantiest semblance of security. The sands have fallen, not due to a foreign meddler. No, if you wish to behold the offender, you need only gawk into a mirror. You are all the root of the plague, and while I could squander my time treating the symptoms of your infirmity. I rather purge away the source of this condition. Even now, without a glimmer of hope, you have elected to glut yourself upon that bile. The decomposition you surfeit on has tainted your very cells."
Florentine would move behind the cripple, only to slide her muscular legs alongside the puerskar's face. Tightly they'd grip the cranium as ineffectively the necromancer objected to this public humiliation. "Look upon this woman! I saved her, gifted the ingrate with a second chance, a road to redemption. Rather than be thankful, she opted for defiance. The very same doggedness that has cost you your homes. Let what follows persist within your memory. May it manifests itself as a guiding light should you ever feel inclined to lap up that vomit!" Those legs pressed firmly as the skull ruptured like a melon. That claret gore and bits of bone varnishing what was once blemishless. This defacing, while improper, was inescapable.
Some within that crowd regurgitated, others became a ghostly pale, while a few watched undeviatingly in horror. The prisoner's body fell back, leaving a puddle of blood as the muscles spasmed, a terminal expression that the ghost had been untethered from its earthly coil. The diva smirked, considering their aversion to be the only morsel thus far worthy of chewing on. Though, whatever nutritional value it contributed was at best empty calories. Confidently, the general paced back and forth, eyeing what remained as the distant sound of butchery echoed across the hamlet. Those who had previously been restrained were now more akin to lambs to the slaughter. Their bodies, the sacrifice upon the tabernacle that is Florentina's hubris.
"Do you hear their psalms of praise? They are appreciative of my kindness. Vex not, you too will have time to deliver your vespers. Fortunately for you, I believe in second chances. So, we will play a little game. Two of you may leave, missionaries to carry forth the word of my gospel. Such an honor I do not hand out lightly, and so, a test in is order. You will use your hands to kill one another. The blood of your brothers will baptize you, exonerating you of guilt. No poisons, no spells, no tools. Failure to comply will result in calamity. For, it is through flesh and its skinning that we truly come to terms with ourselves."
The inquisitor chuckled, turning her back as she made her way behind the line. The soldiers created a brief opening before closing that tiny gap in their formation. The bowmen on the buildings took aim, while the cannons loaded the next bombardment. Behind the spearmen, soldiers wielding caster rifles remained, keeping their barrels pointed toward the bewildered prey.
"Ah, one last thing. Failure to comply speedily might result in the side effect of naval bombardment. I heartily encourage you to hurry along, lest my perseverance diminishes."
What inanity. The diva had extended them a blessing, an unprecedented opportunity for some of this awful lot to survive. However, rather than rise to the occasion and establish that the sands had even an iota of saving grace. The fools were content to flout her authority, vagrantly contesting her decree. Florentina could not abide such a disease. Their effrontery was only eclipsed by their unwillingness to persevere. The denizens of this arid land were irreparable. Hopeless vermin who wallowed within the filth that blemished the soul of this land. Its heart was fat, suffocated by the exuberance that had bred debility.
Those emerald eyes witnessed the conjuring of that flame. Unapathetically, the inquisitor grimaced, condemning those too engrossed in their skirmishes to infer that they were already dead. This disregard for the contest sealed their demise. They could plead, weep and chisel till their throats were raw, and eyes bled. Yet, their silencing from this plane would verify itself as hollowed as their existence. Sandslout, like a pig, would be gutted. Its carcass eviscerated onto the granules while her soldiers ransacked through the sooty remains. And beyond these walls, the world would continue to revolve, unimpacted by their expiration.
They needn't chafe over such matters, for the dead were incapable of vexing. And while their countrymen might be prone to forget, Florentina wouldn't. Their legacy would be the ruination that ensued in her wake. Their lamentations are the fuel to kindle forth the inferno that is her glory. Nysoesa, how she wished her noodly bitch could behold such a travesty. To make love on their desecrated carcasses would be the only fame these simpletons would achieve in both life and death. The commander rose her hand with a smile, balling it into a fist before thrusting it forward. That soundless command was distributed forth like a wave, from one end of her army to the other.
Those within that arena discontinued as an ominous aura inundated the marketplace. The air chilled as they looked about with dread. There were many reactions; some stood still and embraced oblivion. Others fought in some pitiable effort to solicit commiseration. At the same time, the truly weak ran in the futile hope that they might escape their impending judgment. The suns that once kissed the town with its warmth were blotted. As if a cloud had passed over them.
Those brave enough to gawk to the firmaments would observe a blanket of arrows. The cannons at the docks fired, resonating forth like thunder. While the marksmen let loose a torrent of explosive caster fire. Those who had rushed off were first to die, the round erupting and tearing their bodies apart into minced meat. The smell, their terminal wailings, were the last sensations those within would know. A wave of scorching heat followed by grease and fire accompanied with arrows that smashed and fragmented in a spherical pattern. Their nerves were fried, yet the psychological horror of being roasted alive inspired many to flog helplessly.
Not once would Florentina shunt her gaze, smiling as she believed justice had finally been dispatched. Sandslout, a den of cowards, had ascertained reclamation via her hands. She had done them a service. Her charity was beyond legendary. In contrast, some might perceive such a macabre spectacle as uncivilized. The diva counted it as a belated abortion. Honestly, Samara should praise her for removing this cancer from their lap. One by one, each house was cleared. The occupants were dragged out and executed. Their corpses were piled as their worldly goods were taken as property of the Verdant Dynasty.
Regardless of race, creed, gender, or age, they were each bequeathed equality. Unfortunately for the residents, this meant a swift and unmerciful exit from this world. Standing there, overlooking the fruits of her labors, Florentina perceived a sense of repletion. The inquisitor recalled how she vowed to saturate the land in a torrential downpour of blood. Generations will find remnants of this butchery. The land itself was marred and stood as a testament to her crusade. They refused to serve her well in life, but they had little say on the matter in death. Their corpses were placed on stakes, while other cadavers were stripped of valuable biological materials.
Skin flags swayed in the wind as banners, kept in place by the pieces of bone and tissue they had deemed undeserving of acquisition. The battle had been won, yet they couldn't rest on their laurels. Immediately, Florentina instructed her men, still inebriated on triumph, to fortify their location and prepare for the next onslaught. Once the central fire had died, the commander strode across the scene only to look upon the charred remains of Scor and Gana. Their bodies melded, perpetually declaring the triviality of their contest.
"Should have brought me that head, kid." She added before raising the foot and stomping their carcasses into chunks. Bersia approached, still holding her bow as she looked upon her sister. The blackened trails of smoke still expanded to the welkin bearing forth the odor of carnage.
"What's next?" Bersia inquired.
The brood bitch groaned while peering over her shoulder at her sister. "We prepare, do our job, and finish this war. Otherwise, all of this was for nothing. Relay word to those under your charge, load the ships and commence the bombardment of Emerald City. Leave behind a sizable garrison, and what we can spare will march with us to Nirvana. I will trust Xib to hold the line in our absence. Also, convey word to my wife. I want her by my side when I overtake Samara. I'll entreat mother to allow us to fornicate on her corpse."
Bersia bowed before stepping off. Florentina spat to the earth, clenching her fist while she stared into the sky. "Elders know I need a good fuck..."
The city's gates were open? Was this some trap, or had the crimson menace seen reason? No, given all visible signals' the arachnid had little cause to suspect foul play, other than that nettlesome gut instinct of hers. The campaign had unfolded wondrously. The eastern front was decimated by her spiderlings. Their resources were funneled to support her forces while they awaited the transport of supplies. And Florentina and Bersia had both returned with news of a successful campaign. Sandslout was in ruins; the fungi forest now displayed her banners guaranteeing there would be little chance of a counteroffensive.
Though something was amiss, one of the three-prong strategies had yet to yield the expected results. The queen had dispatched her general Watari to Obsidian Canyon with the aspirations of achieving diplomatic ties with the Beastkin Union. His heritage and race made him the ideal candidate, even if the officer had little experience amidst such a theatre. The web weaver's faith may have been misplaced; though, given the lack of Matsumota's banners' she had assumed he had at least been successful in dallying their involvement, which, in and of itself was a triumph. There, within her tent, she abode. She dispatched orders for the officers to convene as they deliberated how to best proceed. Nearly unanimously the decision was made to proceed as planned. If Samara was up to no good they had more than enough manpower to thwart any conceivable retaliation.
With her entourage marshaled, she'd call upon Dru to serve as a bystander for his people along with Bersia, Florentina, Nysoesa, Khavati, and a dozen or so soldiers. Guardedly they approached the city, stepping beyond the walls with a portion of her army close behind. Each of them rode upon the back of a spider mount as the people gawked at the invaders. Thus far, no hostility had unveiled itself, almost as if the people resigned themselves to their fate. Valerna sympathized with them, to have grieved such a defeat and to have weltered in such destitution for so long. The spider wished there was an alternate path, but as things stood, she saw little in the way of a feasible alternative. Upon slipping through the city they'd reach the heart. A palace resembling a skull overlooked the metropolis.
There, the matron dismounted, ordering those that followed her to do so as well. Her offspring would remain outside, just within hearing distance should their mother require their presence. "There is little reason to rub salt in the wound. While the sands might be uncivilized and uncultured, their compliance concerning the true war is invaluable. Divided we fall, united we stand. No matter what transpires, do try to keep this in mind." She advised, unsure if her words of wisdom would fall on willing ears or not.
Marching forward, her soldiers remained on alert as they wandered through the halls. The music reached their ears, almost operatic while the fragrance of expensive incense welcomed their olfaction. Throughout that series of corridors stood works of art, each remarkable in their own right. Samara's taste was undoubtedly expensive, conveying with it a sense of worldly attainments that appeared lacking beyond this municipality. So far, the group had stumbled across no opposition, which either boded well or ill. Eventually, they reached those large doors, having ascended to where the brain should rest as cautiously some of her guards pushed those barriers open. Valerna walked through first, her heels din riding across the acoustics while those amber orbs promptly took notice of Watari, Nokhoi, and of course, the jezebel.
At least he was alive, though given his bonds she doubted this was an ideal position to find himself in. Thankfully for Watari, Valerna wouldn't judge him too harshly given they had reasoned that his venture was the most deceptively perilous. The fact that they were alone and the gates were open did imply that some sort of deal had been reached. Nevertheless, she would fixate her focus solely on the self-proclaimed lioness of the sands. Only to be met with what she deemed the most flagrant sense of bravado. What did this horned whore mean by "discuss their surrender," Had she not gathered she was beset and her city was occupied by the Verdant Dynasty's army?
For now, the arachnid bequeathed this rebellious child time to dig her grave as she stomped about. The matron cleared her throat once the offer of refreshments had been extended. Taking advantage of this pause to proceed forward and try to exhume what it was that made this matriarch so confident with her position?
"Ironic, given from where I am standing you are in little condition to haggle. Let us not waste our time measuring egos. I promise you, mine is nowhere near as inflated as yours. Unlike some, I base my worth on actual fact not delusions of grandeur. Though, I will say your hospitality is at least appreciated. I am sure by now you've gathered I have no interest in commandeering that throne. My interest lies elsewhere."
Valerna paused, dragging a seat only to roost herself at that table. This gesture, while inoffensive on initial inspection it toiled as a subtle assertion of dominance. She took the head spot, only to motion with her hand for the ruby queen to follow her lead.
"Come, sit. Let us talk. While my opening remarks might appear abrasive, I assure you I respect what you have built. Honestly, you've done well for a dancer given the hurdles sprawled out ahead of you. We can either do this civilly or brutishly. Given your accumulation of art, I presumed that you're a refined ruler?" She unfurled her brows while using her opposing hand to signal her entourage to join her as well as if taking charge of the room.
The diva was drunk on the blood of her adversaries. Sandslout, while it afforded no entertainment during the massacre, had served as a platform for which she could cultivate her station. Her mother's pride, while obfuscated, was reflected within those amber eyes as the inquisitor recited her escapade. Her stern idiosyncrasy within that tent evanesced itself upon beholding her wife. That unappeasable parasite had a way of eliciting forth sensibilities conceived previously as folly. Her malachite eyes flared with a profoundly rooted inferno a passion had set her loins ablaze many times. Initially, the agent deliberated what sort of workmanship her wife had enacted on those within the toadstool forest.
The brood bitch had discovered herself entertaining beastly designs during the entirety of that campaign. Their wails stoked her lust to new zenith's as she imagined herself being mounted and desecrated upon those heaps of carcasses. Even now, standing empty, her body felt devoid of meaning. This internal ambivalence exhibited itself as the golden thorn smacked her lips while lustfully studying her spouse. The other officers poured into the tent one by one. They'd look confused at the general as she seemed incapable of keeping her hands off her lover. Dutifully, she'd caress those hair noodles, occasionally stealing a snack or two while she was forced to abide by this waiting interval.
"My apex predator, your brood bitch had fun comminuting the wills of those sand chimps. I wish you were there to experience the slaughter. Each corpse I piled was a monument to you. However, without you by my side, its chime was inexplicably hollow." There was no shame, no inkling of humiliation in that acknowledgment. The diva had long since pushed through such mortification. She had even gone as far as to come to terms with the certainty of their intoxicating union.
Muteness took hold, as not once would Florentina refrain from tantalizing and kneading her alpha's body. Watari's absence had been acknowledged, though the brood bitch had assumed he had perished virtuously or something. A befitting fate for such a poet, there were far more opprobrious destinies such as incarceration. It didn't matter, once they were finished fondling her mother's metaphorical flesh flute a course had been charted. The monk rose to her feet, turning her back before smacking that shapely tush as if to command her queen to mount her roost. Once Nysoesa had situated herself, the dedicated incubator would stroll beyond the flaps and toward the spiderlings. She'd refuse them, ascertaining only her "thorax" as a deserving perch for that leech.
Still, she ensured they had numerous containers of water strapped to the arachnids. While laborious she'd mostly keep up with those beast or burdens pace. Perspiration ran down her brow as the inquisitor beheld the people's subjugation. Reaching back, Florentina would empty some water on her lover's head in an effort to resist this arid climate's onslaught against her lilliputian of a mate's otherworldly physique. Others might find their docility odd. But, the inquisitor knew better. She had multiple experiences with just how submissive and breedable this contemptible lot of troglodytes were. Those emerald jewels rolled as they approached the palace, looking upward before raspberrying from annoyance.
"Pretentious cunt, I resent this bitch." She muttered to Nysoesa, only to then find herself indirectly admonished by her matron. "Damn...gotta behave around this saggy tittied strumpet. Did you know she thought of herself as a higher pinnacle of feminity than me? The audacity and nerve..." She vented, baring the sheer disdain she harbored toward the jezebel.
It didn't matter, they were now entering the opulent abode of that wench. Those malachite lanterns studied the degree of prosperity exhibited throughout the palace. Surreptitiously, she was envious. How the inquisitor desired to have such a place. Nysoesa merited this and more. In short, for once the monk felt deficient, a fact that might not elude her leash holder's gaze. The doors then opened, as both Bersia and Florentina entered standing by their parents' side. Florentina recalled this room, she had broken in and used Samara's "son" as a sleeve and dildo. A misfortune his body and spirit were so inadequate. Just another stepping stone necessary to prepare her endurance and flexibility for that of her soul mates most vile dispositions.
Initially, the humble princess bit her tongue as the ruby slut went about her typical sophistry. The giant grinned, finding her face all the more punchable. What she would give to pin that hooker to the table and have her wife insert her dominance into the gaudy cunt. For the moment, Valerna had the floor and engaged with this gaped orifice in a far more cultured light than the agent fancied. Haughtily, Florentina marched by the stripper, giving her an aloof glower before pulling a seat and pivoting, bending over so that her goddess might sit first.
"Queen Samara, we meet again. Sorry about your son. I didn't mean to pulverize your prized toy. If it makes you feel any better, he was a paltry gimp and if my intuition is to be trusted, Cairo died as he lived, beneath a woman."
She'd stand by her wife, keeping watch, for Florentina didn't trust their host. "Ah, yes. I am quite parched. Sorry, but stomping on your forces like insects has left me rather thirsty." She jabbed, twirling her pointer digit around that tendril mane of Nysoesa.
"Curious, is there a reason why Watari is bound? Or...is it just a fetish? Listen, I'm kinky and all, but even I have enough restraint than to parade such degenerate impulses so liberally." She added, before raising a feeler to her lips for some more of that protein-enriched meal. Adding a bit of irony to that statement that only a select few might ascertain.
The khan's arrival onto the stage was both a relief and a symbol of distress. Valerna had considered her absence, contemplating if she was stowed away for an ambush or counteroffensive. Despite being wise and measured, the weaver of webs was anything but omnipotent. She understood the jeopardy of her approach. There was no stratagem available that didn't leave them partially exposed. The blood fox's attitude hadn't changed, reminding her a bit of her daughter's rebellious side. Later, once this meeting was adjourned the matron would converse with her spawn over her harsh yet firm handling of this delicate situation. But, for now, she'd have to reposition herself accordingly.
Watari's bonds being severed brought a smile to the Queen's face. An outward gesticulation exhibiting how much she genuinely did care for that fox. While tardy, it appeared her belief in their family bond's relevance had verified itself. Perhaps the arachnid could manipulate this should a skirmish ensue to position the warrior on their side? Or, at the very least, spur Matsumota to challenge her allegiances? A pawn upon the board for a later time, for now, she'd retire her gaze to Samara while she moved toward that eye socket. The epiphany pertaining to that volcano unnerved Valerna, yet, she'd refrain from unveiling doubt or weakness.
Florentina felt the same, withdrawing into thought as she grappled to think of a way out of this predicament. Only breaking her stupor to blow some bubbles and to swat away that meat the disrespectful fox flicked her mate's way. That tiny runt had balls to strive to deface her wife with such a morsel. If it were anyone else she'd butcher them. However, even the diva held enough sense not to tussle with that combatant too readily. For now, she'd remember this effrontery while conniving some manner of retribution. The inquisitor rolled her eyes, finding the Khan's attempt to embarrass her son as unnecessary. She liked the painter, he was a good man and a solid fighter. In her eyes, the only denizen of the desert worth a damn.
"Firstly, that is my wife and you will treat her with respect. Secondly, what the hell is a Zelena? And lastly, I assure you she is very much real and amazing." The diva responded while chewing on the protein-enriched offering. Her emerald eyes glanced down at her companion to give her a wink as she grazed her armored hand across that noodle mop for emotional support.
Valerna sighed, not wishing for the purpose behind this conference to become entangled by unimportant disputes or insignificant infractions. "Enough. Let us focus on the matter at hand. Once we have reached terms then you two can discuss your differences." She scolded, only to veer her amber lanterns over to the jezebel as she seemed prepared to address them.
Dru had conveyed the lioness message, the implications of which at the time came across as trifling. The arachnoid now second-guessed that hypothesis while her heart sank from distress. She had failed to anticipate this outcome and in turn, led her people into a trap. Damn Samara! It appears for the second time she had miscalculated this horned woman's tenacity. It was this willingness to survive and her methodology of working outside that box that had garnered Valerna's respect. Naturally, she would refrain from uttering such a thing out loud.
Initially, the thread spinner went hushed while she weighed their options. Indeed what the desert monarch had hinted at was true. The Verdant Dynasty had little interest in lording over such uncouth barbarians. Ultimately, the principle that inspired this incursion was unity to contest the looming conflict. This ambivalence, while necessary, wasn't carried out with zeal on her end. Of course the same couldn't be said for Florentina who cherished to project her merit as a tactician and an officer. The question remained, how should they continue given this revelation?
Samara was useful, but her recent gains in power despite the state of the region were anything but consoling. Even if she turned her back and overlooked this truth today. There was no assurance that tomorrow the harlot wouldn't appropriate it against them. And so for the first time in awhile the chieftain found herself at an impasse. Before her, there were two feasible forks. One side led to unity at the prospect of a fulmination. The other would usher in further instability, forcing her to take possession of this backwater wasteland. Guaranteeing that resources and time would be wasted keeping these sand apes in line.
Her spider ligaments stretched out, rasping against that chitin shell while those powerful eyes tapered. How vulnerable and naked Valerna felt outside of her webbing. To waltz into such a den without a plan was anything but becoming of her legacy. A despairing sigh divorced itself from her lips. Those talon fingers combed through her red hair as she resigned herself to her choice. Whatever the consequences, she'd have to own it.
"I see, then I suppose you're right and I have no choice."
What was it the sealed Samara's fate? Simple, that solitary line. "Everything will wilt alongside me." Valerna might appear young, but she had been cursed to roam this Darwinian hellscape for over a thousand years. Throughout her voyages, she had witnessed comparable rulers. Queens and Kings who were so absorbed by their own image that they consumed everyone and everything around them to stoke the flame of their vanity. Samara couldn't be trusted, and so, she aimed her feelers at the stripper while masquerading it as a yawn and stretch. From those points, strands of her silken mesh were launched.
One would attach to each ligament, another around the mouth with this that remained encased her hands in their viscous solution. Valerna rose, launching that chair back onto to slam her palms against the table.
"I, Valerna Jorgenskull sentence you to servitude to my house. I have found you guilty of faulty stewardship brought on by your voracious need to exalt your house at the expense of your people. You said it yourself if you are to die may the world rot with you? No, your fall from glory will be uneventful. Do not fuss, I will not annihilate your children. They are inculpable, and I will not transfer the transgressions of the parent onto their offspring."
With that final judgment being uttered, the giant would reel Samara close before spinning her around entombing the prey. Valerna would then look toward Abdullah and then to Matsumota. "Are you two next? Or, can we begin healing this broken realm?"
Her spider children sensed their mother's agitation. They would scale up the palace, crawling in from the eye socketed windows and glaring at the two menacingly. All the while she tossed the wiggling web to Florentina and her wife.
"Keep her alive, she will serve as a lesson. The Eternal House sees her as the pinnacle, what will they think when they see her subjugated by my authority? She will make a useful accountant and in time will cherish her station at my side."
Initially, victory appeared all but certain. That ravening monk growling, balked by how effortlessly her mother had quelled that tiefling's pride. The offering of that self-proclaimed lioness held no sway over Florentina. Samara was, after all, a lesser woman. Nysoesa needn't discolor her feelers with such a rank courtesan. Within the inquisitor's eyes, the former queen of the sands was a grub, prey far to irrelevant to challenge her place within her spouse's heart. Loudly and smugly, the giantess munched on her protein gum, blowing several bubbles before peering down upon her wife only to confer an apathetic shrug.
"Nyso, I am no mere woman. I am the one and only brood bitch." She riposted pridefully before rotating those eyes—Watari, what a doofus.
Why would they exchange an assured triumph? For what? Some risky gamble that somehow that love-stricken pup might coerce that stripper with his barren charm? A sentiment further bellowed due to Nokhoi's little side commentary. What had that wulfgar know that she didn't? Could the general be housing such convictions? Men totted about their logic, but when it came to a pair of legs, it ousted their ability to rationalize. That painter diminished his worth within those eyes for the first time, strewing seeds of distrust within that already perturbed agent.
They needed to hurry this along, not dawdle on such flaccid notions. If it weren't for the mother's edict, the daughter would have stomped her foot into that coiled "donations" skull. Best get rid of her now, lest Samara somehow manages to rise from the ashes. While others might be prone to forget, Florentina wasn't as bungling. She recollected this stripper's resilience quite vividly. When they initially met back in Emerald City, the operative immediately surmised how senseless it was to test this lecherous alien. And while she held reservations pertaining to those claims of grandeur, even she wasn't so obtuse to dispute that a kernel of truth was contained within those messages.
"Watari, shut the fuck up." Florentina seethed. Wait, hissing? That wasn't her; where did that sound originate? Guardedly her senses heightened while the golden-maned giant frantically swiveled her body to face that cocooned prisoner.
"S-steam? That clever cunt!" Valerna reflexively jumped backward, landing on those spider ligaments as she maintained a low profile. Florentina grabbed that chair, dragging it around as she'd then wrap her body around that leech. Looking down upon Nysoesa she smiled, offering her temple to preserve the life of her dearest. That comforting smile was a lie, a way to assure Nyso all would be well. Her first and only fib to her voracious predator. For the first time in that diva's life, she put someone else before her and did so without a second thought. She knew the parasite wasn't quick enough, Nysoesa was seated, and given the small widow available, the slightest delay or error would result in her death. A fate Florentina wouldn't permit.
Time wasn't on their side, with not a second to spare that heated exhaust spread outward. Florentina's armor and webbing absorbed most of the heat. The strands tore as that plating fell to the floor. Her back was burnt, causing the often composed monk to grind her teeth and grunt in pain. The diva fell to the floor, disrobed, writhing in agony as she screeched out quite the colorful array of profanities in her native tongue. Blood exuded from her wounds, the blisters popping. Florentina finally blacked out, breathing shallowly. Valerna's eyes widened, glancing around for Bersia. Only to behold, her daughter had managed to escape the attack. Quickly, she returned her gaze onto that nude and wounded form.
"F-Florentina?" No! Not her baby! Her heart sank, having suffered a myriad of losses. The anguish of losing one's child never got easier with time. Her runt was wounded, all because she lacked the resolve. The queen was distracted, her blood simmering within those veins to the point she had initially overlooked that jezebel. Her amber eyes ultimately stared upon that stripper as her muscle flexed and bulged. Valerna sibilated, encouraging her spiderlings to join that choir.
"An offer? How is this for one? Once the defiled are dealt with if my daughter doesn't survive. I will strip everything you've come to love from your hands. You're fortunate we need each other. While I may be enraged, I am not senseless enough to doom our world. There are nations depending on me. And, unlike you, I don't intend to lose control over my people."
The chieftain scurried on those insectoid legs, rushing across the scene as she inspected her babe. Those wounds, they were severe. She had to get Florentina out of here and fast. "Nysoesa, take one of the mounts and get her medical aid. She needs you now, more than ever. Go! Now! Have Khavati assist with dressing her wounds." Those eyes then looked to Watari, giving him a deadly glare, imputing him for this outcome. If he had only shut his mouth, maybe they wouldn't have been distracted. Perhaps then Florentina would have eluded death's threshold.
"The Other Side."
Florentina found herself in an obnoxious position. The agent could feel her skin ripping with each breath she took. That pain was excruciating. And while unbearable, that injury to her vanity stung the most. Nysoesa had cherished her due to that paraded supremacy. And yet, here, before her spouse, the giant must have appeared pathetic. How could one as perfect as her dear leech ever look upon that disgraced monk the same? The thought of facing her lover elicited forth the most anguish and fear. In actuality, she started to favor death over carrying such ignominy.
Helplessly, the diva slipped between a state of awareness and unconsciousness. Those emerald eyes were blurry, taking the shapes and colors of that room and melding them into an amalgamation. And while her capacity to see might have been effectively stripped, those sorrow-filled ponds of silver were inexplicably felt.
How myopic of her to have shielded her mate without considering how such an incident might afflict Nyso's soul. How the atomic blonde ached to lie, to susurrate saccharine assurances that all would be well. Feebly Florentina aspired to cry out and tell Nysoesa how thankful she was for their time together. While only making up a small portion of her life, these past few years were beyond enrapturing.
Powerlessly, the diva continued to writhe in some futile struggle to negate death's encroaching grasp. She had tempted this fate many a time, going as far as to be the intercessor on numerous occasions. And while she might have skirted along its threshold, she had never strutted beyond that door. Is this what dying felt like? A creeping deterioration in the body's capacity to function accompanied by acute distress? That vision was the first to go, Florentina's mind grappling with recollecting her noodly bitch's face. What she would give to behold those sleek feelers and perfect hallmarks once more.
Nevertheless, her yearnings maintained no jurisdiction, not anymore. Pathetically, all the princess could do was listen to her lover's voice. Her warbling bewailments, while disheartening, were all she had left to derive reminiscences of better days. Overhearing her name divorce itself from those lips, even if they were steeped in despondency, was the only solace she had left. The blonde wondered what would happen? Would her wife find another? Could she escape that harlot's clutches?
What about Watari, Valerna, and Bersia? How ridiculous they must seem now. Before this invasion, they estimated this an easy victory, and yet here they were engaged in a lethal dance. Would her people mourn her? Would they even recall the name Florentina after her expiration? What sort of legacy would she leave behind? And, was it at all possible the Jorgenskull line would continue? So many inquests, not enough time nor energy to weigh them all.
It was cold, so very frigid. That blemishless canvas was going pallid while the skin's capacity to feel was next to wane. Florentina panicked, having lost track of her leech's face, warmth, and even smell. This was it; this was how it all ended. The tale of Florentina, the brood bitch cut short by a stripper. While not the worse passing, it wasn't exactly how she preferred to go. No, she'd much rather die satisfying her wife while birthing an army of children. To have your heart go out from such orgasmic yet sublime inducements would have been the most befitting conclusion.
It became hard to think as even the far-flung sobbings of her spouse diluted with time. They should have never exited that grotto. That little slice of heaven they had carved out. But, just before she entirely slipped beyond the veil, something transpired. Unbeknownst to the diva, the very root of her extermination had intervened. One by one, her senses returned. It commenced with her aptitude to intellectualize, ensued by olfaction then touch. And while Samara may have restored the body, her self-esteem and psyche weren't so amicable to repair.
The occurrences outside were befuddling at best. Florentina hadn't rallied enough strength to bear witness to the very sutures of their reality being ripped apart. The only thing she could make out was another bout with weightlessness. Ignorantly, the brood bitch chalked it all up to a second wind. Her willpower forcing a desperate gambit to reignite what embers persisted. How fucking marvelous. That stubbornness inhumanly fated her to languishing once more on the precipice of oblivion. And while she anticipated having that flickering candle blown out, it never befell. Instead, the diva felt her vigor only bulging inside as she regained total mastery over her faculties.
Those malachite jewels fired open, the glossiness and brilliance of her lanterns returning. The inquisitor's fleshy lips parted, gasping for oxygen while frantically they moved from left to right sporadically. Initially, she could attest to that opaque sky and the graceful descent of ash. Before long, her wife's beseechments and lamentations goaded her to look her way. The agent's body rocked to those vehement shakings as that intimate aroma of hers pervaded the lungs. Florentina rose, holding her close as the two rocked back and forth while sitting down within the flurry of volcanic dust. Eventually, their embrace would break as the diva leaned back to worship Nysoesa's face with those verdant orbs.
She'd turn that head as the giant took in those hallmarks. Without suspension, the naked blonde extended her hand and set it on her wet cheeks. Florentina's thumbs stroked them, spreading that soot snow across her grey skin. "Forgive me. I have failed you."
Gradually, the giant rose. Her back and buttocks were covered in the dusty material while those foci took in their environment. This expanse looked like Nirvana yet was paradoxically different at the same time. The air, the dearth of vociferation, and the absence of crowds depicted an unsettling image. Nonchalantly Florentina slapped her apple bottom so that the discoloration partially faded. Her tush jiggled before she bent her knees and started leaning left and right, twerking to test her suppleness and to see if this was her lover. Nyso would recognize this choreography, one of many innocent fibs she whispered to the diva. The invasive species told her this was a courting ritual, a gesticulation of devotion amongst her kin.
And, even if the rite was a lie, Florentina appreciated the way it made those feelers wiggle about. "Where are we? I am still alive, given even my bottoms clapping doesn't feel off. But this place isn't Nirvana. Nyso, if you are my perfect apex predator. Prove it..." A simple challenge, and while indicative of paranoia given the mind fuckery at play, she reckoned her mate could exculpate such a request.