Imperial RetirementGolden seas, pink clouds, port cities where anything and everything could be obtained; it was no wonder that Canntrop had become the playground of the wealthy and powerful within the Imperial Remnant.
Lira Wessex felt so out of place among the guests on board the yacht. Holostars, fashion models, bankers. They were fickle and shallow people who knew nothing of the realities of galactic politics. There were quite a few Imperial officials present too. Deep in the heart of every Imperial Moff was the desire to be surrounded by a gang of suntanned and attractive young women.
The yacht was a massive vessel, a star destroyer of a pleasure boat, with no less than ten bars and its own leisure complex below decks. It was the property of the party's host, a banker from one of the Core worlds still loyal to the Empire.
A waiter, a blue-skinned male Twi'lek offered to refill her glass. Lira nodded. At least here, the non-humans were kept in their place. These days, as the Imperial population shran
Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch7The next day when Zariel arrived at the Baenre chapel, she presented Sos'umptu with a box.Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch73 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The surprised chaplain opened the box.
"Honey-coated lizards!" the older Drow exclaimed with delight.
"Imported from Calimport. One of your nieces told me you liked sweets," explained Zariel.
" I certainly do. That was so kind, but it was really not necessary, child," said Sos'umptu.
"Well you were really nice to me yesterday, even after I had been such a spoiled bitch. Things are in a bad way now, but you're right, I need to trust Lolth and hope for the best," said Zariel.
Sos'umptu kissed her young assistant and gave her a hug.
Later that day, Sos'umptu was summoned to the chambers of older sister, Triel.
Sos'umptu slipped off her high-heeled shoes and stepped onto Triel's plush carpet.
Triel, wearing an elegant blue dress greeted her.
"And how is your assistant shaping up?" the matron mother asked.
"I think she has the makings of a fine Drow," replied Sos'umptu.
"Too bad," said Triel. "It s
An Advisory CapacityCommissar Heraclius had been trained in the art of riding an Imperial motorcycle, but it did not come naturally to him. Charging on his iron mount always made him dizzy and he had already fallen off the huge bike twice. This was worse than riding a horse with the Rough Riders.An Advisory Capacity3 years ago in Sci-Fi More Like This
In contrast, the Squats of the Grudborg Guild seemed to be in love with their motorcycles and kept revving them up every few minutes. They seemed an impatient lot and when not revving their bikes, they were firing their bolt pistols into the air or singing some rowdy chant in their harsh tongue. Commissar Heraclius imagined that the song's lyrics were of a lewd nature.
The Squat engineers were a good deal shorter than humans, but they made up for their lack of height with their strong muscular form. Most of them were bald, but they made up for that as well, with long, shaggy beards. Heraclius supposed that the leather jackets, emblazoned with the flaming skull emblem of their guild was a sort of uniform. They wer
Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch6It was apparent to Sos'umptu that Zariel had arrived at the Baenre chapel in a very bad mood.Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch63 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
On arrival, the young priestess kicked off her shoes awkwardly and stormed barefoot through the chapel. She aggressively grabbed a bucket of water and began mopping the floor immediately.
Sos'umptu had never seen the girl so eager to start work. Clearly there was a lot of aggression in her system that she needed to work off. Sos'umptu could tell from the Drow's face and eyes that the girl had been crying.
"What is the matter, child?" asked the Baenre chaplain.
"Nothing, mistress," snorted Zariel.
"It's useless trying to lie to a Baenre, girl," insisted Sos'umptu.
Zariel broke down and wept.
"One of my sisters has been murdered. Trezfin, the Third Daughter of my house! She was killed by rivals at Arach-Tinilith!" she wailed.
"I am sorry, my child. We Drow are a murderous race," said Sos'umptu solemnly.
"I have to go to Arach-Tinilith! I have to take vengeance on the one that killed her. But the
Sos'umptu In Her PietySos'umptu knelt on the marble floor of the Baenre chapel. She wore a plain black dress, her usual attire. Her black feet were bare, a gesture of piety in the chapel that she held sacred above else in Menzoberranzan. She had been in prayer for hours, beseeching Lolth to bless House Baenre and to raise the Drow race to new heights of glory. She meditated on the ways of the Spider Queen, seeing new depths to her theology and finding ever new insights into her mystery. This was her daily ritual. Not a day went by without Sos'umptu kneeling on the chapel floor to supplicate her goddess.Sos'umptu In Her Piety3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Other members of the Baenre house frequently joined her on that chapel floor, barefoot and demure before the statue of their goddess. No Drow in Menzoberranzan was permitted to neglect the worship of Lolth. Sos'umptu welcomed her sisters to join her in prayer to Lolth. Yet the priestess knew their motives. The other Drow did not love Lolth as she did. They beseeched the Spider Queen to grant them power, stre
The Thing in the AquariumI have always enjoyed aquariums. There are few things more relaxing than looking at brightly coloured fish as they move gracefully through their tanks. There is so much beauty in the depths of the oceans. Yet it was in an aquarium that I saw the most terrifying and disturbing sight of my life, a sight that revealed to me the madness that lies so close to the world we inhabit.The Thing in the Aquarium3 years ago in Horror More Like This
I was on holiday in a town on the south coast, not far from Brighton. Though it was summer, the weather was atrocious and spending any time outdoors was imprudent. Of course our English seaside towns cater well for all weather patterns and there were plenty of things to do out of the rain. Among these was a visit to the small aquarium.
I have visited many aquariums and I have been scuba diving in several tropical reefs. I count myself as having a reasonable amateur knowledge of marine biology. Yet I was struck by how many species in this aquarium I did not recognise. Many of the specimens in the tanks had an oddly
The Journal of a Prisoner in Paradise: Part 1They encourage us to keep a diary; a 'reformation diary' they call it. I'm not exactly doing much reforming, but I thought I would keep one anyway. Maybe when I get out of here I can publish it and it'll be a bestseller, just like all the drug traffickers who get jailed in Thailand write a paperback.The Journal of a Prisoner in Paradise: Part 11 year ago in General Fiction More Like This
I'm a computer hack. It's what I'm good at. I never paid much attention at school, except when we had lessons in IT. I've done a lot of illegal things. I always knew I could end up in jail, I just never expected to end up in a prison run by Amazons.
I had gathered a reputation for being the best at what I do. I had hacked into banks, government offices and military installations. I've met lots of geeks who do this for fun, but for me it's a career, a way of life. I charged a high price, but people knew they were getting some supreme wizardry when they hired me. So it was no surprise when I got personally hired by Lex Luthor to do a little job. I'm sure it was nothing illegal or immoral (ye
The Birth of a Genestealer CultTheodore pulled up his truck near the wreck of the crashed spaceship.The Birth of a Genestealer Cult3 years ago in Horror More Like This
He couldn't tell if it was an Imperial craft, a pirate vessel or of alien origin. Theodore did not know very much about spacecraft in general. But he knew about money, and if there was anything of any value on board the wreck, he would recognise it when he saw it.
The ship did not look all that big; he had seen pictures of Imperial battleships that seemed to be the size of cities. All the better; he would be able to give it a thorough search and scavenge anything of value and then make a hasty departure before any Imperial officials arrived. Thankfully, the authorities on Istareus were slow, inefficient and corrupt. It could be some time before they got their act together to send in a salvage team.
As Theodore pulled on his safety helmet and attached a flashlight, he wished he had his partner Mop-head with him. With two of them, they could carry out much more loot. But since a burglary job had gone wrong, Mop-head wa
Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch5"Do you love Lolth?" Sos'umptu asked Zariel, as the two Drow priestesses busied themselves polishing the silver vessels of the chapel.Sos'umptu's Unwanted Assistant ch53 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Of course I do, mistress," replied Zariel. To answer otherwise would have invited instant death. Neglect of the cult of the Spider Queen was not tolerated in Menzoberranzan.
"Why do you love her, child?" Sos'umptu asked.
Zariel had never once thought about it. She was a priestess of Lolth, educated at Arach-Tinilith. From her birth she had been brought up to serve the Spider Queen. Why would she not love Lolth?
The young priestess shrugged.
"Because.. because she's our goddess," she replied. "Because we serve her and she rewards us."
Sos'umptu nodded. She knew she was going to need to stretch the girl's mind a bit and expand her theology.
"Indeed. That is truth," the chaplain said. "The reason I ask is many Drow do not really love Lolth, or at least they do not really understand why they should love her."
Zariel looked blankly at the Baenre.
"A lot of
The Baenre GirlsIt had been several weeks since Quenthel's resurrection. The drowess found it disconcerting to know that she had been dead, but she praised Lloth for the joy of living again to see the enemies of House Baenre destroyed. Quenthel's memories of the Demonweb Pits were blurred, like some distant dream. She remembered only the smell of sulphur and the feel of cobwebs.The Baenre Girls2 years ago in Drama More Like This
Quenthel had been invited to Triel's private chambers, ostensibly for a few drinks. Quenthel knew her older sister was always looking for opportunities to size up her sisters, to analyse whether they posed potential threats. The drow smiled at the joy at which Triel greeted her return from the dead. The two sisters had always been affectionate towards each other and after the separation of death, especially so. Yet their hugs and kisses could not hide the rivalry between them. Triel was as aware of it as she was. When Quenthel got the chance to kill her sister and seize control of Menzoberranzan, it would be the final act of s
Princess Azshara and her Mistress of BladesThe air of the courtyard sang with the sound of steel against steel. The two Night Elf women crossed their blades, each pressing for an advantage.Princess Azshara and her Mistress of Blades3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Quite a number of palace servants had gathered to view the fight, watching the two women move as gracefully as though they were in a dance. Some of the onlookers were present for the view of the princess and her tutor, rather than to appreciate the skill of their combat. Both women were dressed only in leather bikinis and loincloths, unencumbered in their movements.
The silver-haired princess jumped to the right of the older Night Elf, landing cat-like on her dainty bare feet. Before the princess could press her advantage, the fighting instructor slammed at her with a barefooted kick.
The princess grunted as she was knocked back. Her blade slipped from her grasp. Before she could snatch it up, the tutor kicked her again, pinning the defeated princess down.
The princess gave a cry and the weapon flew through the air and back into her hand.
In the House of WaukeenDagestu Baenre stood at the entrance of the temple of Waukeen ready to greet the new acolytes. She was resplendent in her gold robe, but barefoot in the sanctity of the temple.In the House of Waukeen3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The young people who arrived were young. Dagestu was not good at guessing the ages of humans, but she supposed that most of them were 12 or 13 years of age and a few were as old as 16. They were chatting with excitement, perhaps hiding some anxiousness about leaving their families.
They were very finely dressed. Most of them were the children of merchants and bankers, with a few nobles and minor princes among them. Their parents were paying massive fees to have their offspring educated by the Church of Waukeen.
"Welcome to the House of Waukeen, my children," greeted Dagestu. "Take your shoes off here, please."
The children obediently removed their shoes and stepped onto the finely polished marble floors in stocking or bare feet.
"In the temple you will go barefoot. Not only is it a sacred place, but here we have
My Life With The Alien Sex KultI belong to the Church of Love. It is my life. I know the Imperium would tell me I have joined a heretical cult. But we believe in the same values as the Imperium. We believe in loyalty, duty and obedience. Most importantly of all, we believe in cherishing the young and respecting the old.My Life With The Alien Sex Kult2 years ago in Horror More Like This
Before I joined the Church, my life was empty. I used to spend all my time hanging out with losers, drinking beer and smoking sturfroot. Sure, my parents made me go the mission chapel when I was younger, but I gave up on all that Imperial stuff when I got older. What do I care about their corpse-emperor rotting away on distant Terra? What has the Imperium done for us but demand our blood and sacrifice?
My life changed when I bumped into Origen. He had worked in the same garage that I did a few years ago. He was a really cool guy with a great sense of humour. He had moved to another town since I last saw him. I invited him to come to the bar for a few drinks. I was totally shocked when he just drank s
Sheriff of Copper Fold ch1Hestra had been summoned to her mistress' study. She knocked on the door, before entering, her bare feet sinking into the thick carpet of the chamber.Sheriff of Copper Fold ch12 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Lady Talphenia's study was a large chamber lined with shelfs containing books on any subject imaginable. Various sinister looking carvings also decorated it, a reminder of the baroness' interest in the dark arts. A few scientific instruments could also be seen. Talphenia sought advancement in every area of human knowledge.
Talphenia was sat at her large oak desk. She turned to her majordomo.
The baroness was an attractive woman, her dark complexion betraying her family's southern origin. Her sharp cheekbones hinted at the distant elven blood in her ancestry. She was barefoot and dressed in a comfortable loose-fitting gown of blue silk.
"You summoned me, my lady," said Hestra. She spoke with the accent of a noble, with no trace of her peasant origin in her speech.
"Yes, my dear. We have had a letter from the inquisitorial fortress of Rom-
Blood for the Emperor!Commissar Phokas scanned the assembled Beastman platoon. The beastmen were a fearsome lot, covered in fur with curled horns. Their cloven hooves scratched the ground impatiently and their goatlike heads growled. They looked more like the demons of ancient mythology than soldiers of the Imperium.Blood for the Emperor!3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There were some commissars who frowned at the use of beastmen in the Imperial Guard. While Ratlings and Ogryn were generally accepted as useful, if abhuman, beastmen were prone to serve the powers of Chaos and often unrealiable. Yet it seemed to Phokas that they should at least be given the chance to prove themselves. He had also noticed that while the Beastmen lacked the brute strength of Ogryns, they made up for it with their savagery and at times, an animalistic cunning. Other commissars were entitled to their opinion, but Phokas was happy to have beastmen serve under him.
The beastmen had been kitted out in ill-fitting flak armour. They were armed with an assortment of spears, wicked-lookin
The Rani in ArkhamDr. Jeremiah Arkham turned to his secretary. "Have them send that new patient to consulting room 8. I want to see her."The Rani in Arkham4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"The one who calls herself 'the Rani?' Her paperwork was a nightmare to complete, doctor. No real name, no date of birth, no past addresses. We don't even know her nationality."
Jeremiah Arkham narrowed his eyes. "She claims to be an alien from another planet. And a time traveller to boot."
"I did see her medical report. I could hardly believe she has two hearts and not a drop of human blood!" said his secretary.
"I would remind you that Pamela Islee has vegetable soup for blood. And our Waylon Jones is barely human. No, Tina, this is just another case of a mutant with a personality complex," he replied.
As Jeremiah made his way through the harshly lit corridors of Arkham Asylum, he looked through glass doors at the many men and women held there. Nearly all of them eccentrics who had put on costumes and committed bizarre crimes. They were becoming so common that psych
Dagestu Baenre ProfileRace: Drow ElfDagestu Baenre Profile3 years ago in Profiles More Like This
Patron Deity: Waukeen
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Dagestu was the daughter of Sos'umptu Baenre, a Drow priestess renowned for her devotion to the Spider goddess, Lolth and for her unusual lack of ambition. Dagestu was the third-born child of Sos'umptu, her previous offspring having been sacrificed to the Spider Queen. Dagestu never knew her father. Sos'umptu was unusually kind and respectful toward her mate, but her fanatical devotion to Lolth got the better of her and she sacrificed him to Lolth when Dagestu was very small.
The puritanical Sos'umptu gave her daughter a very strict upbringing, requiring her to spend long hours in prayer and in reading religious books. Dagestu greatly envied her cousins, who were spoiled by their Baenre mothers and lived lives of luxury and self-indulgence. Dagestu's resentment of her mother's faith was compounded when she was sent to study for the Lolth priesthood at Arach-Tinilith. Dagestu, longing for the luxuries and deca
An Interview with Lady VashjSunedran, top journalist of the Kalimdor Times, had been trying for years to get an interview with Queen Azshara. It had all been to no avail. It seemed that the Daughter of a Thousand Moons thought talking to journalists was beneath her. The offer of an interview with Lady Vashj, one of the queen's chief highborne ladies-in-waiting and close confident was definitely the next best thing.An Interview with Lady Vashj3 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
The night elves worshiped and adored their queen. To them she was the very model of perfection, beautiful, wise and benevolent. Sunedran had seen Azshara from a distance and could only admire her magnificence. A major part of him wanted to be carried away by the tide of adoration, yet somehow it didn't quite ring true. The common view of Azshara as the perfect queen simply did not sit with his journalistic instinct. Deep down, he knew that if you dug hard enough, you could always find a scandal. Perhaps Vashj could help him to find the real Azshara.
For the interview, Sunedran wore a plain dark blue ro
Descending to DefeatAdmiral Kathy Tenka sat in the control room of her shuttle as it hung in orbit over the Earth. Within the next two hours she would be announcing that she was in complete control of the government of the Terran Republic. Her military dictatorship was at hand.Descending to Defeat3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Tenka's coup had been meticulously planned. Her fleet would emerge out of hyperspace shortly and establish a planet-wide blockade of the Earth. A crack squad of navy special forces would break into Government House and seize the top government ministers. Another unit of marines would then surround the senate building. Supreme power was within her grasp.
A lot of things would need to change under her rule. The stupid multi-party parliamentary system was stuck in deadlock. Nothing ever seemed to get resolved. There was clearly a need for a new constitution. She and her most loyal officers would form a military council; with a few token civilians on the staff of course. After a few years of military rule, a suitable new electoral syst
Elf Princess and Brownie Lady Pt1Venatriel knew her father trusted her. That was why he was sending her to represent the interests of the elven kingdom. Years of training in the art of diplomacy had prepared her for this mission.Elf Princess and Brownie Lady Pt13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Yet for all that trust, her father the king had made this demand of her. She knew it made sense. While she would have preferred to have travelled to Dun-Vabaldim by carriage, riding on a dragon would get her there much more speedily, allowing her more time for preparing the elves case for revision of the Treaty of Irongorge.
There was also another reason. Only brownies could ride dragons, which meant the princess would be arriving at the Dwarfhold in the company of a brownie. This held considerable political capital.
"It will show that elves and brownies are now friends," her father had explained. "It sends the clearest possible message that the days of our enslaving brownies are past and the enmity between our peoples is over. Our harsh treatment of brownies in the past put us in a position
Educating Princess Azshara part4We did not devote all our time to literacy and numeracy. I also taught Princess Azshara about the history of the Kaldorei people. I taught her a little about the other races that inhabit Azeroth, a subject in which she took little interest.Educating Princess Azshara part43 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Why would I want to know about savage races like dwarfs and tauren? They aren't people like us," protested the princess.
"We all live in one world, Your Highness. Though these races may be inferior to the Kaldorei, our lives affect their lives and their lives affect ours," I explained.
It was not enough to educate Azshara's mind; a princess needed an healthy body. I therefore spent time teaching her to dance and to ride a saber cub. The young princess had been given the saber cub for this purpose and she became particularly devoted to the animal. This sometimes made her difficult, as she would want to ride it when she needed to study.
I sought to attune her to the finest arts of our culture and gave her lessons in singing, the harp and in drawing a
If the Shoe Fits an OrcMallow Blacknickel II was not at all happy to be in an orc camp. The orcs looked quite ready to eat him alive. Half of them were engaged in quarrels with their fellows, and those that were not were looking at him in a very intimidating way.If the Shoe Fits an Orc3 years ago in Humor More Like This
His companion, the drow cleric Dagestu Baenre did not look intimidated in the slightest. She looked quite out of place in the filthy camp, resplendent in her jewelry, wearing the gold robe that marked her as a cleric of Waukeen. She wore jeweled sandals on her dainty black feet.
"Try to look a bit more confident, Mallow," the drow urged. "The orcs have no respect for cowardice."
"These are big orcs, I'm just a little gnome. It's a bit hard not to look frightened, Dagestu," the cobbler replied.
The places Dagestu dragged him to. Since the renegade drow had rescued his shoemaking empire from bankruptcy, he had effectively become a servant of the Church of Waukeen. That meant following the cleric around and using his business to support her interests.
Educating Princess Azshara part3The next night, the princess' lessons began with practice at writing. I found her somewhat restless throughout this session. After taking a break for refreshment, I announced to my pupil that we would be switching to arithmetic.Educating Princess Azshara part33 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"I hate arithmetic," wailed Princess Azshara. "It's hard, difficult and boring."
"That is because you are unfamiliar with it, Your Highness. As you master it, you will find yourself solving mathematical problems with perfect ease," I replied.
"I don't care, I don't want to do arithmetic," insisted Azshara.
"Every highborne child is educated in arithmetic. If you do not learn it, you will be thought ignorant," I said.
"I'm the daughter of the king! I'm going to be queen one day!" snapped Azshara. "If I don't want to study arithmetic, I don't have to. I'm tired of studying. I want to play with my toys!"
I was used to seeing such willfulness in highborne children and I knew I was going to have to stand my ground.
"You must calm down, Your Highness. It is your fath
A Brownie in Elfprincessland ch1"Ouch! You stupid girl!" howled Princess Venatriel as the hairbrush snagged on her long golden hair. "That brownie over there is more gentle than you. I should get her to do it," she told her maid, pointing to Lady Melkanen.A Brownie in Elfprincessland ch13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"You mean, 'your noble sister over there,'" said Melkanen. "Your Highness, I'm your bodyguard not your maid. I can't defend you with my sword when I'm messing with a hairbrush."
Venatriel frowned. Her elven maid continued brushing her golden hair. Venatriel's tresses fell to her knees. Melkanen sometimes wondered if her own waist length hair was a little impractical, but here in the elven city of Parvinead it was just about shorter than average. There were very few elves, male or female, who did not have at least waist length hair and some let their hair grow even longer than Venatriel's.
Venatriel frequently screamed at her elven maids, but she never raised her voice to Melkanen. Since the brownie had saved her from death at the hands of a dark elf assassin, the p