Girl Time

Girl Time

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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A fitting for armor turns into a brief time of female fellowship, while Eleazar seeks Haroldris' permission to retrieve Nitthum's Ring from the Emperor's Airship

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27.

Girl Time

 

 

Aurei expected to have a day or so before she joined Laz on his quest.   As soon as their conversation ended, the half-Drow rushed off after telling her he needed to speak to the King about his plan.   She was wondering about the shared dream she’d had with him the previous night and why she’d experienced it, when, just outside of the Order’s Keep, she found Siris waiting for her.

“There you are!” The Orc lady said with a toothy grin that she somehow always made seem charming.

“Hi, I haven’t talked to you in a few days.   What’s going on?”

“Well, this is official armorers business.   Your plate armor is finished.”

“Plate armor?”  Aurei asked, confused, since she was wearing her Drow armor.
“Didn’t Thorm tell you?”  Siris asked, looking frustrated.

“Tell me what?”

“He had a suit of plate armor crafted for you - not as expensive as the dark elf armor you are wearing of course, but it will fit in with the other knights - and it has normal footwear, not those insane heels.”

“Really?   How did he get my measurements?”

“When we repaired the suit you are wearing, he had them take the measurements from that.   It’s very well crafted, Aurei and he’s very anxious for you to see it.   I had it brought over to the Muddy Boot to your old basement room.   He wants me to make sure it fits right.   Do you have some spare time for a fitting?”

Aurei scratched her chin, “Well, I have some hearings on fines and a few petty cases to hear this afternoon, as well as meeting with some of the King’s officials about the plans for the watchtowers.   Oh, and I have to talk to the town council about setting up a time for a public meeting to discuss the dreaded topic of levying taxes for all this building we will be doing.   But I think I’d rather try on the plate armor first - besides, I was heading over there to get out of this suit anyway.   Walk with me.”

The Orc lady joined her and they began tromping through the deep snow, both squinting their light-sensitive eyes nearly shut in the reflected glare of the bright sun on the snow.

“Is that Drow armor uncomfortable?”  Siris asked as they walked.

“No, actually it is extremely comfortable, except for those high-heeled boots.”

“Sabatons.”  The Orc lady said.

“What?”

“They’re called ‘Sabatons’ - the armored boot part of a suit of armor.   Of course the Drow might call them something different.”

“I know what I’d like to call them…”  Aurei joked and they both laughed as they slipped through the back door of the Muddy Boot.

 

***

 

As Aurei and Siris were making their way across the snowy lot that separated the Inn from the Keep of the new knightly order, Eleazar was discussing his quest with the King inside the Ducal Keep.

“So you want to take the airship to reach the remains of the Imperial craft to retrieve something that you were told about in a vision?”   The King asked after Eleazar explained his need.

“Yes, Your Highness.   I realize it sounds crazy.”

“Your reason seems rather unconvincing, but actually Earl Eleazar, I too want to retrieve this craft quickly.”

“So you’ll allow us to try?”

“Under two conditions.   First, I want the Emperor’s ship brought back here intact.”

“Of course, Your Majesty.”

“Second, after the Emperor’s ship is safely moored here, I want the wind powered ship that Aurei was held upon, brought here as well.   I realize it is probably not more than a floating damaged hull, but it is something from which another airship can be crafted.  There is no hurry for that one, though.   I just want you to agree to have it retrieved."  

Eleazar nodded, “I agree with your conditions, Your Majesty.”

“How long will it take you to assemble a team?”

“Not long, Your Majesty, as, aside from your airship’s crew, I plan on only taking Duchess Bugley.”

“Just the two of you?   That seems odd.”   The King’s eyebrows rose slightly.

Eleazar swallowed nervously, “Yes, sir.”

The half-Drow Knight was relieved when Haroldris didn’t ask any more questions but nodded and said, “I’ll inform Captain Tarron to be prepared to weigh anchor in an hour.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

“May Yesh guide you, Earl Coldburn, on this quest and I pray it will meet with success.”

“Amen.” 

 

 

***

 

As Aurei and Siris made their way through the Inn’s common room, Brandi called to the Drow girl from the kitchen.

“Your Aunt is looking for you.  She’s downstairs.”

“Great, we were heading that way.”  They continued on their way and were rather surprised to find a small crowd of women standing in line by the stairs.  

“What’s going on?”  Aurei asked, but then she saw Freila Stamplefolt and Leah Flydros at the bottom of the stairs, both buckling pieces of armor onto Krys, who stood with her arms held out straight at her side.

“They’re fitting all the female employees of the Muddy Boot and the ducal guards’ wives and daughters.”  Siris explained as they slipped past the line on the stairs.  At the front of the line stood Alis, still in her plate armor, with Zeatt and Rori standing behind her, all three seeming rather annoyed.

“Freila, I’m wearing my armor now!”  Alis protested to the dwarf lady.

“I’m not blind, Alis, I know that, but Thorm wanted you fitted for leather armor too.”

“Leather armor?  What in heaven’s name for?”

“You’ll have to talk to King Haroldris about that - it was his command.”

Alis noticed Aurei at that moment and turned to her in frustration, “Aurei, why would the King want that?   What’s going on?”

The Drow girl shrugged, “I have no idea.”

“I can fill you both in on that.”  Siris explained, “It is for any voyages on an airship.   His Majesty told Thorm this morning that he felt that lighter armor was called for when aboard an airship.   Easier to move around, he said.   So he actually commissioned us to have those he perceived to one day be members of the airship crew, measured for the lightweight armor.   Of course, the dwarves don’t craft leather based armor, so we’ll contract it out.   That will take a while, so we figured we should get started today.”

 

“Great.”  Alis shook her head, “Another suit of armor.   I used to just have tight-fitting, low-cut dresses in my wardrobe, now I have chainmail, plate armor and I guess leather armor.   Not the usual attire for a barmaid.”

“You’re not a barmaid anymore, Alis.”  Aurei commented, “You’re Viscountess Alis of the Lance, remember?”

Alis just snorted, “I don’t even know what a Viscountess is, for heaven’s sake!   If the King keeps giving us all titles, we’re going to have to import townspeople to be impressed with all of us bigheads.”

All the ladies laughed.  

“Hey look at me!”  Krys called out after Freila and Leah had finished buckling her armor together, “I’m going to wear this on duty tonight!   I bet I don’t get a copper piece while wearing this, but by Yesh, my fanny won’t be bruised tomorrow from being pinched all night!”

Aurei grinned, “Don’t say that, Krys.   Rori will be joining you tonight for her first shift and she may be scared off if she knows how handsy the men get by the end of the evening.”

All eyes turned to the young Sorceress who stood quietly beside Zeatt.   She shrugged with a smile, “I don’t mind.”

“Of course not!”   Zeatt piped in, “You have spells you can cast.  If they pinch your bottom, you can turn them into a frog or something.”

Again the ladies all laughed, and Rori shook her head with a bright smile, “I imagine if I do that, I wouldn’t get any tips either.”
“Aunt Zeatt, you might try your hand as a barmaid - it would be a good way to get money for the church.”

“I’m fairly certain St. Kinnis would frown on one of his bishops waiting tables showing as much cleavage as your girls do, dear.”

“Just think, Matron Zeatt,” Alis kidded, “They could ogle you and then confess their sins right then and there.”

“-and if they didn’t confess, you could excommunicate them.”  Krys added.

The basement room filled with yet another round of laughter, which was a sound that had been much lacking in town for the past year.   From the top of the stairs, Brandi peeked down.

“What’s going on down there anyway?”

“Come on down, Brandi, and get measured.”   Aurei called.

“I’ve already had my fitting, Aurei… the butt plate was too small.”

“Or your butt was too big.”  Krys kidded her sister.

“Funny, sis.   Are you going to hang out down there all day and let me run things up here all by myself?”

“Oh quit whining!   The Inn’s empty now anyway. Come on down here.”

Brandi looked over at Aurei, “I don’t want to make the boss mad.”

Aurei motioned for her to join them, “Come on down and join the girls.”

The redheaded barmaid did as she was ordered, happy for a break.

“Aurei, do you want to try on that armor now?”  Siris asked her after they had chatted with the ladies for a while longer.   Aurei nodded, turning to Alis, who was changing out of her plate armor, “You think you’ve got a lot of armor - this will make four complete sets for me.”

“But yours has those stylish heels.”   Krys joked.

“You get used to them, except on stairs; that was scary today.”

“You know they are removable, don’t you?   I heard from Rori today that you were having trouble handling the stairs, and that is why we came over to see you; to let you know you can remove the heels.”   Zeatt told her as she was being measured by Leah.

“Really?   I wish I’d known that!   How?”

Zeatt glanced to Leah, who nodded to indicate she was finished, and the Drow matron went over to her niece and knelt down in front of her.

“If you grasp both sides of the ankle firmly, then lift up and back…” she demonstrated on Aurei’s foot.   There was a slight click and the wedge shape metal heel of the boot slid off, leaving the Sabaton flat.

Aurei squealed in delight, “Wonderful!  Let me try the other one.”   She bent over and tried the maneuver on the other boot, with the same success.

“That’s much better!”   The girl walked around a bit on the adjusted heels, grinning happily.

“They only really wear the heels during ceremonies or where they are showing out their power and authority.   They would be terrible in actual combat.”

“What do they use the wedges for when they aren’t wearing them?”   Rori asked as she came forward to look at the removable heels.

“Doorstops mostly,” Zeatt replied with a grin.

“That just reminded me,” Aurei said as she began unbuckling her Drow armor, “I never did show you all the stuff in the chest my father left me.   Actually, I haven’t looked in there except briefly since we found it last summer.   Hey ladies, come here and I’ll show all of you.”

 

The women all joined her as Aurei walked across the room to the doorway to the basement bedroom that had been her own for years.   Just inside the doorway of the room was a very long, solid metal chest, engraved in dwarven runes.

 

Freila whistled when she saw the runes on the lid.

“It’s enchanted”, Aurei informed her, “But wait until you see what is inside.”

They all gathered around and Aurei leaned in and spoke her name aloud - it was the only way the enchanted chest would open.   The lid creaked open a few inches and with some effort she lifted the lid back, revealing a chest full of jumbled pieces of armor and assorted weapons.  Freila and Siris both whistled in awe at the cache, while Zeatt looked in with wide-eyed recognition.   The Drow Cleric leaned over and pulled out a lightweight Drow breastplate.

“This was mine.”  She said to Aurei and the others in the room with a far away look in her eyes.   She glanced back in and found other pieces, which she took out of the chest until she had a complete suit of plate armor.

“I discarded all of it except the chainmail undersuit.” She explained to Aurei as she touched the pieces, “I buried my suit close to Tholmi’s… which you are now wearing.   I’ve still got my chainmail down in Aeropolis… or at least I did before the coup.   Who knows now?”

Siris and Freila were both rummaging through a handful of items left in the chest.

Siris pulled out a pair of longswords, one in a scabbard, the other one without.  She turned to Zeatt, her unspoken question evident.

“The one in the scabbard was my sister Tholmi’s sword.   She had a matching pair and Aurei has the other one.   The sword without the scabbard belonged to my sister Alleania.”

Zeatt turned to Aurei, “Your mother’s sword.   It was all that I found of her after the Elven coach wrecked.   I guess it floated out with me.   I buried it beside my pieces of plate armor.”  

Siris handed the sword to Aurei who took it with a bit of reverence.   “Is it enchanted?”  

“Oh yes, both of them are.”   Zeatt leaned far over and rummaged around in the bottom of the chest.   She pulled out a delicate dagger in a scabbard which she handed to Aurei, “This was also your mother’s.   She wore it strapped against her inner thigh at all times.   I took it off of her when I was delivering you and it too floated out of the coach when it fell into the river.”

Rori and the other women in the room who hadn’t heard the tale stood quietly as the Drow Matron again leaned far over and then did a slight double take as she peered into the box.   With a slight exclamation of surprise, she pulled the two final items out of the box.   They were slightly larger than the size of a hand; little boxes made of some black metal or stone, both inlaid with fancy silver designs.   Zeatt’s hands trembled noticeably as she held them as if trying to suppress excitement.

“Duplicating cases.” She told Aurei with a somewhat feverish gleam in her eyes.

“Dart’loxinchu?”   Aurei asked, understanding her meaning and the matron nodded, glancing down at them rather intensely.

“Dart’loxinchu?”   Rori asked both Aurei and Zeatt, “I’ve heard of that; it’s that dark Elven pipe weed that the Drow ladies smoke, right?”

Zeatt nodded, swallowing hard and with a deep breath handed one of the cases to Aurei, “This was your mother’s, the other one was Tholmi’s.”

Aurei noticed her Aunt’s hesitation and thought she understood.

“Keep it.   Keep both of them, I don’t want it or need it.”  Aurei placed the case back in her aunt’s trembling hand.    Zeatt smiled and seemed to be on the very edge of opening one when she closed her eyes for a moment, took several deep breaths and placed both cases into the pocket of her tunic.   She smiled very weakly at her niece who returned a sad smile at her Aunt’s struggle, while the others in the room looked on puzzled at the whole interchange.

 

 

***

 

They kept the armor and weapons out and the ladies all took long looks at them, as Aurei, assisted by Siris and Leah, took her own Drow armor off.   Freila then began buckling on her, the more traditional plate armor pieces.

“We designed it to go over your Drow chainmail undersuit.   We’re right proud of the workmanship, Duchess.”   The dwarf lady proclaimed to her as she fastened each piece.   The armor was noticeably heavier than the Drow armor; though it was far less bulky than the ‘regular’ chainmail suit she usually wore each day to practice swordsmanship. Ten minutes later she was fully attired, and glanced through the heavy war helm as best as she could at the mirror in her old room.

“Well, at least I don’t seem so sinister in this suit.”  She said in a muffled voice through the helm.

Zeatt, who still seemed a bit strained from the battle of addiction she was bravely waging inside, was measured for a suit of leather armor - as was Rori, to her surprise.   The two came up to Aurei as she was taking her helmet off.

“Child, Rori and I must be returning to the church.   This little diversion messed up my plans to show her the duties I have planned for her, each day.”

“Are you alright, Aunt Zeatt?”   Aurei asked, concerned about Zeatt’s very hollow-eyed, exhausted look.

“It’s a great struggle today, Aurei.”

“You know how to remedy that, Aunt Zeatt.”

Zeatt sighed deeply, “Yes… I imagine it will come to that, probably soon.  Yet not today.”   She held her head up and smiled, “Not on Rori’s first day as my assistant.”

Aurei turned to the young Sorceress, “Sorry about the chaos of today, Rori.”

The girl smiled, “I don’t mind, ma’am.  It was fascinating to see Drow weapons and armor.   You don’t usually get to see such stuff.”

“I wanted you to be issued a suit of leather armor, Rori, even though I know Sorceress don’t usually wear armor.  As you will be working with Zeatt, as well as in the ducal keep, I want you to have armor available if we are attacked.”

“Well, some Sorcerers and Sorceress can wear armor… it depends on the school of magic and training.   I was only an acolyte, and the Masters of the Grave didn’t want acolytes to know too many spells until we had proven our worthiness to them.   I know a handful, but really nothing that powerful, though I can cast them at will and they don’t require material components.   They gave me a book with more powerful magic, but all of those had components and they would only give us a small number of components to use.   The Sonic Staff they let me use was by far the most powerful magic I’ve wielded.   But the spells I know are acolyte type of spells.   I know that Battle Sorcerers wear some types of armor and cast spells, but I wasn’t taught in that school of magic.”

“So your arcane school was the physical, sexual-energy based school of the arcane?”  Zeatt asked the girl.

“Well, they call it ‘Feminine Qi’ and it is done by tapping the feminine energy of Qi and channeling it into spells.”

“What’s ‘Qi’?” Brandi asked from across the room.

“It means ‘life force’ or ‘life energy’ and Sorcerers, Druids and some Wizards are said to tap into it.   I’m told that there is also divine Qi, song-based Qi that the Bards use, and demonic Qi.”

“The Drow call it something different, Rori, and don’t see it as separate energies but all part of a unified energy in different formats.”   Zeatt explained.

“When I was recruited by the Wizard and joined the Sorceress school, my teacher claimed that some women can tap into the feminine energy we generate and that the more attractive a woman is, the more energy she generates and the more powerful of a Sorceress she can become.”

“So is that why Sorceress are usually attractive, scantly dressed women?” Brandi inquired.

“Yes, they told us in class that we draw energy off of men who feel lust for us.”

“So you shouldn’t wear armor of any sort, as it will mess up this drawing of energy?”   Aurei asked.

“I would think so; at least in this type of school of Sorcery.   But honestly, I don’t think I’ll be casting any spells, so the leather armor would be okay.”

 

At that moment the form of Eleazar appeared in the doorway until he saw the room filled with women, which caused him to step back, “Sorry, I didn’t know you were having a fitting down here.”

“We’re all dressed.”  Aurei answered after scanning the room to make sure this was the truth.

The half-Drow popped his head around the corner rather warily, “Duchess, the airship is preparing for the voyage and expects to be ready to be under way in a quarter of an hour.”

“That soon?!  Oh dear!” she turned to Freila and Siris, “I need to change out of this.”

“Actually that might be just the thing to wear on this journey.”   Eleazar told her.

“Oh, okay.   Is everyone else ready to go?” 

“They will be in 15 minutes, Duchess.”

“I mean other than the crew.”

“It will just be the crew and us.”

“Oh.”

The other ladies in the room all gave her various arched eyebrow expressions, which caused her to feel somewhat embarrassed.

“We’re going to retrieve the Emperor’s airship.”  She quickly explained.

“Just the two of you?”  Alis asked as she examined one of the Drow longswords.

“It doesn’t require many,” Eleazar explained, “There are enough members of the crew on board the King’s airship to assist.”

“Sir Aeric and I could go with you.”  Alis suggested.

“No… there isn’t any need, really.   Thank you for offering, but it is something the Duchess and I can handle alone.”

Perhaps feeling awkward, the new Earl quickly climbed the steps out of the basement.

All eyes turned to Aurei and the girl found that most were smiling rather sheepish grins at her.

She shrugged, “He just said he needed my help, that’s all;   probably because I was on board the ship.”

“Well so was I, but he didn’t need my help.”   Zeatt said with a smirk.

“It’s no big deal… really!”

“Well, just be careful, child.”   Her Aunt warned and after Aurei agreed, she bid them all good-bye and hurried off to get to the airship.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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Added on November 22, 2013
Last Updated on May 28, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elves, fantasy, armor, Orc, King, Knights, romance, magic

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
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..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis


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A Chapter by Eddie Davis