Drow for Dinner

Drow for Dinner

A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Aurei and Zeatt are surprised to find they are the evening entertainment at the Emperor's dinner party.



Drow for Dinner



As was his style, the Emperor had made certain that his two lovely prisoners would not come to his dinner table dressed in rags.   The ship contained a huge wardrobe for his many consorts and lovers -- there were four cabins aboard the huge airship filled with every sort of feminine article of clothing found anywhere in the known world.   At the time of Zeatt’s captivity, Fendoris had brought to her perhaps 40 complete ensembles of clothes that he felt she should adorn herself with anytime she was to meet with him.   To this wardrobe, a selection of other beautiful dresses and accessories for Aurei had been quickly added when she had joined her aunt in the luxurious brig of the ship. 

Zeatt glanced at herself in the full-length mirror that had been placed in the stateroom-like quarters of the brig.   To Aurei, her aunt looked like a dark-skinned princess, young and radiant in the crimson red dress she had selected for the dinner.  

"For all his many faults, Fendoris certainly has a flair for extremely beautiful and expensive clothes."  Zeatt commented as she admired the rich fabric with a smile that had made her forget her withdrawal symptoms -- at least for a moment.   Aurei looked at herself in the same mirror, frowning at the tight, low cut of the corseted front of her dinner dress, which was a rich purple in color.

"He's dressing us like dolls for his pleasure." She said with more than a little disgust.   Of course I’m not the type of girl to enjoy being made to look like a princess, she thought to herself as she analyzed her completely different reaction from her aunt to the dresses.

Zeatt looked over at her, "You have to admit, child, that these dresses are glorious!   I've always loved fine clothes."  Zeatt gestured to her, "But look at you!   My goodness, you are absolutely stunning!   The Emperor will not be able to take his eyes off of you."

"Wonderful." Aurei said with a sneer.

"Actually, it might not be a bad thing, my dear.   Fendoris is known far and wide for his love of beautiful women.   He has always been fascinated by me, which is one reason I didn't flee Aeropolis with the other clerics, as I had hoped I could use his infatuation to perhaps help him see that it was not servants of Yesh who tried to assassinate him or that staged that coup.   Now with you along side, we just might be able to change things."

"Yes, but at what price, Aunt Zeatt?"

The Drow matron understood her meaning, "I don't think it will come to that, my child."

"But what if it does?"

"Then I guess the stalemate with Haroldris will just continue."  She winked at Aurei with a mischievous grin and she was relieved to learn her aunt had no intention of having to go to that extreme to change his mind about the church of Yesh's involvement with his exile.


A few minutes later the guards came for them and they were led through the surprisingly wide corridors of the airship to a truly large banqueting hall on the lower middeck. Aurei ignored all the glances of the guards, but wished she could wrap something around her shoulders to cover herself up, not only to fight the chill in the air but to conceal far too much of her skin.   She was hanging out in all the same places that she had while wearing her old, hated bar wench dress back home, but this gown seemed to be designed to accent her most noticeable 'assets'.  

Thankfully, her aunt was giving her serious competition in being noticed, for she too seemed to nearly sparkle in the dress she had selected.   For the hundredth time, she marveled at how young her aunt seemed -- more like a slightly older sister to her, rather than her mother's sister.   Even accounting for Elves' extremely slow aging process, she seemed not much older in appearance than Aurei was, and that, no doubt was due to consumption of the Faesidhe fruit that stopped the aging process.   Then there was the Dart'loxinchu, which was rumored to enhance beauty as well.


The guards opened a pair of wide doors into the airship's ballroom, revealing the Emperor seated at the very center of a long central table, with six other tables, all of them filled with his entourage of nobles.  


All heads turned to stare at them as they entered, and the expressions on the nobles' faces were a mix of amusement or slight disgust.   Not the expressions either Drow lady had expected, and Aurei and Zeatt glanced at each other, wondering what was going on.   Aurei noticed several courses of dinner plates and wine chalices at each table setting, and they seemed to have just completed a meal rather then ready to begin one.

"What's going on?"  Aurei murmured to her aunt and Zeatt just shrugged slightly.

"I imagine we'll find out soon enough." 

As they reached the center of the room, the Emperor grinned broadly, loudly announcing, "Ah, here they are!"    

The room burst into a chorus of applause mixed with snickers and some half-drunken laughter.   Many years as a barmaid told Aurei that the reaction was due to the two of them being the topic of discussion in the room before they entered, and from the expressions on the nobles' faces, it had been a lengthy, in-depth discussion.

"My dear, Reverend Mother and the radiant Duchess of Westmark, won't you please join me at my table."  Fendoris said to them with greatly exaggerated mock courtesy.   He bowed deeply to them, and gestured to seats to his right.   The crowd was chuckling and clapping at an apparent inside joke, but the two Drow ladies had no choice but to step up onto the Emperor's dais and be seated.     


"We are most charmed with having such lovely and exotic ladies with us tonight, are we not?"  The Emperor turned to the other tables and robust applause was returned.

"You may have noticed that we started our meal without you.   Do forgive us, but we were enjoying the dinner entertainment."  The nobles laughed at another inside joke, and Aurei was feeling more and more uncomfortable every moment.

"I shall have a feast brought for you both.   I'm quite sure Matron Zeatt is most famished, are you not?"

Zeatt rather hesitantly nodded, trying to smile.

"What is wrong, Reverend Mother, are you ill?   It appears that you are trembling."

Zeatt smiled cordially, "I have felt rather under the weather today."

"Haven't we all?"  The emperor looked to his audience, who of course laughed at his comment, fueling him to continue, "This northern weather is terrible for any civilized person.   I don't know how 'your' people survive, Duchess Bugley."

"They are a hardy lot, your Excellency."   Aurei gave a very weak smile, sensing something was about to go very wrong.

"They must be indeed.   However, your dear, dear aunt seems not to be so hardy.   But I think I may have something to brace her up.   It is a rather exotic appetizer."  Fendoris turned to one of the many servants standing behind him and nodded.   The servant ran out of the room, to return a moment later with a large silver platter covered by a white cloth, concealing a small object in the center.   

The nobles were whispering among themselves and trying to hold back laughter as they obviously knew what waited for the Matron under the silk cloth.   As the servant crossed the room to them, Aurei noticed that the Emperor was leaning across the table, eager to see her aunt's reaction to whatever was underneath the cloth.   She began to plot for a defense, for she now was certain something was afoot that would put both of them soon on the defensive.

"Careful." Aurei mumbled to Zeatt as the servant placed the tray directly in front of her aunt.   Zeatt glanced at the cloth for a moment and then seemed to somehow figure out what was beneath the covering.   Her hand trembled as she quickly pulled the cloth away, revealing a book sized wooden box.   The crowd of nobles exploded in a roar of laughter as Zeatt snatched the box up with a wild eyed expression.   She spun to the emperor and uttered one word, "How?"

Fendoris threw his head back and laughed for a moment, then clapping his hands, said, "My dear Matron Zeatt, do you not think that I would leave your quarters unsearched?   Oh yes, I still have many of my loyal subjects in Aeropolis and as soon as you so humbly surrendered to my guards, and meekly went into confinement, I had your mansion completely searched for anything that might give me a clue to your true disposition to me.   I must admit that there seemed to be nothing there that incriminated you.   In fact, we almost missed your little hidden compartment where you so discretely hid your most prized possession.   I knew of course that it was enchanted, but not until your confession tonight to your lovely niece, did I learn of its purpose."

Both Aurei and Zeatt looked over in surprise to the Emperor, who was nearly beaming from their stunned expression.

"You spied on us?!"  Aurei asked, already knowing the answer.   Her words sent the nobles assembled in the hall to roar with laughter.

"Spy on you?"  Fendoris said with a grin, "My dear, your every private moment with your dear aunt this evening has been our dinner entertainment.   There are no secrets from me, and now everyone aboard this vessel knows that the great Reverend Mother of the Drow of Aeropolis is hopelessly addicted to the smoke of the mystical Dart'loxinchu bark!   Go ahead, my dear Reverend, I can see even underneath your insulted expression that you hunger for the… what were they called?   Oh yes, for the 'cigarettes'.   Go ahead, demonstrate your addiction to those assembled, they all know and want to see how the proud and haughty Reverend Zeatt feeds her addiction.   Go on, show us!"  

Aurei turned back to her aunt, who now stood up staring feverishly at the wooden box with sweating, trembling hands.   For a long moment, Aurei was certain she was going to comply with the command, but Zeatt took a deep breath, held her chin high and staring flatly at the Emperor without a trace of a smile she said, "No, thank you, I think not."

"That was not a request, Matron."  The emperor's eyes went cold and piercing.

Rage filled Aurei at the indignity being shown to her aunt and with quickness that surprised everyone, she stood up and backhanded Fendoris with such force that the man nearly fell out of his chair.  

"You worm of a man!"  She screamed at him in the moment of totally stunned silence that ensued.

"How dare you!  Do you know who I am?" Fendoris held a bloody lip from where her fingernail had sliced it.   He was still stunned from her action and she knew that would very soon turn to anger, so she had to speak now, as his guards rushed across the room to grab her.

"I know who you are; you are a pathetic coward of a man, unworthy to be called Emperor!   There is nothing excellent about you!   Your empire crumbles around you and you hide on an airship in the middle of the winter air; a drunk with no better actions to take than to humiliate one of your few allies and turn all others against you!"

"Aurei!"  Zeatt exclaimed in horror, but it was too late and at that moment the Emperor's bodyguards grabbed her arms violently. Fendoris, humiliated and drunk, threw himself to his feet and returned her backhand with all his force, bloodying her nose.

"Drow witch!   You have caused me nothing but trouble, and you dare strike me!   I should have your head!"

Aurei fought with the guards clutching her arms, her own anger not abated.   She leaned in and spit blood directly in the Emperor's face, causing the nobles and her aunt to gasp.

"Go ahead, you pig of a man!   You haven't the courage -- you need Haroldris' aid, and everyone here knows it.   Kill me and you will have even more enemies."

The Emperor's eyes glowed like a lantern, but his words were calm and cold, "You far overestimate your importance, Drow.   Haroldris wants you released before he will parley with me, so very well, I will release you to him.   In fact I will release both of you to him and rid my ship of your stench."  

He glanced to one of the guards holding Aurei, "Take Duchess Bugley and Reverend Zeatt, bind them tightly together and place them in one of the catapult baskets until tomorrow morning.   Then we will throw the dark elf witches into the very palace walls of King's Reach!"

"Your Excellency, no!"  Zeatt cried out as hands grabbed her from behind.

"YES!  YES, MATRON ZEATT, YES!" Fendoris finally exploded, his eyes bulging and face reddening as he screamed, almost incoherently, "I WILL SEND BOTH OF YOU INTO KING'S REACH LIKE STONES!  NO-ONE WILL DARE DEFY ME!  I AM THE EMPEROR OF THE WORLD AND I WILL CRUSH ALL THOSE WHO OPPOSE ME!   TAKE THE WITCHES AWAY!  AT ONCE, DO AS I HAVE ORDERED!"  Like a wild man the Emperor brushed off the chalices and dishes from the table, pounding the table with his fists in rage.  

"Idiot!"  Aurei yelled at him as the guards tried to force her to walk.   Her knee found one guard's groin and he went down with a groan.   She kicked at the shins of another one and snapped her head back to one of the three behind her, slamming into a nose.  

"Carry her!"  One guard yelled over the chaos in the room and two men dove across one of her legs as she kicked with the other one.    A minute later they had clutched all of her limbs and rushed her out the door.   Behind her, offering no resistance due to a sword held up to her throat, came Zeatt, led by four guards.

"YOU FOOL!"  Aurei screamed at the still wide-eyed form of the Emperor as the guards labored to pull her through the doorway, "YOU WILL REGRET THIS!"


© 2014 Eddie Davis

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Added on October 29, 2013
Last Updated on May 29, 2014
Tags: Drow, royal, prisoners, knights, clerics, Paladins, fantasy, adventure, dark elves, airships, magic, undead

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO

I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

One One

A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Two Two

A Chapter by Eddie Davis