A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Eleazar learns that Aurei is being affected by the magic of the rings of Nitthum






As they went down the stairs into the Ducal Keep, Aurei turned to Eleazar, “Well, what now?”

Eleazar looked down at himself, “I would love to rid myself of the stench of smoke.   All day long all I have had in my nostrils is the smell of smoke.   We are very lucky we didn’t succumb to it back on that airship.   But the smell of it is nearly as bad.   What I wouldn’t give for a warm bath.  But it is too cold for that.   I guess I’ll get a bucket of snow and wash off with that.  I’ll wait until morning to clean my armor.”

Aurei smiled, “I think I might have a very pleasant surprise for you.   Come with me.”

She took his hand and hurried down the stairs, pulling him behind her.   More than a few eyebrows were raised to see the two holding hands, but nobody said anything.


She stopped by the Keep’s quartermaster’s closet and pulled out a couple of guard tunics and pants as well as a couple of towels.   Then she pulled him down the stairs and outside.

“You’re not thinking of the Millpond again, are you?”  He asked, remembering the time she had led him to the icy pond where they sat and soaked their feet as they talked.

Aurei laughed, “Don’t be silly, we’d be snow golems ourselves after a few seconds in that.   Besides, we’re supposed to stay indoors, remember?”

Before he could ask any more questions, a few of the townspeople saw her and she spent several minutes hearing of their bravery against the Snow Golems and asking about those injured.   The sun was completely set by the time she again took his hand and led him across the yard to the back door of the Muddy Boot.   She rushed him through the busy kitchen, where Krys, Brandi, and, - to her delight-- Rori were rushing around taking trays of food and drink to a packed Inn.

The three women were very glad to see them and also smiled when seeing her holding Eleazar’s hand.

“Aurei, you should have seen Rori last night!”  Krys said, patting the girl on the shoulder, “She blasted those snowmen with spells and then set one on fire with oil and another spell!” 

The young Sorceress blushed prettily.   She wore one of Krys’ barmaid dresses and filled it out very nicely, seeming to be made for the role.

“I knew what to do.”  She said modestly, “I knew the Guild used them, though I’d never seen one.”

“So you are certain this was a Necromancer’s Guild attack?”

Aurei asked, impressed with the girl’s loyalty.

“Oh, most certainly.   It follows the pattern of an assault group very well.”

Aurei scratched her chin, “Rori, tomorrow morning, rather then reporting to Pectros, come find me.   I have a meeting I would like you to be part of, okay?”

“Okay… thanks, Ma’am.”

“Just call me Aurei; you’ve proven your loyalty to Westmark, so we can dispense with formal titles.”

“Thanks… Aurei.”   Rori smiled, pleased that she had finally done something right.

“I’ll see you all tomorrow… you have all heard to stay indoors tonight and not to go out alone?”

“Yes, Lute told us a while ago.”  Brandi replied, then with a sheepish grin, “So, where are you two going off to?”

“Us?  Well, Laz here stinks of smoke, so I’m going to give him a bath, and then let him bathe me.”  With this she turned and led him out of the kitchen to the catcalls and comments from the three barmaids.  

Eleazar just blushed, still being pulled by the girl, now down the stairs to the Inn’s basement.

“Do you have a tub down here?”   He asked as they hurried down the stairs.

“Nope, something better.   You’ll see soon.”  She pulled him across the basement room toward the east wall.   His night vision immediately detected a slight variation in the wall as they neared.

“Hey, there’s a secret door in that wall.”

“You don’t say?”  She teased, pressing a stone in the wall which caused the hidden door to slide ajar slightly.   She let go of his hand and pulled it open.   He smelt dampness, but it also felt warm and he thought he heard the sound of water coming from somewhere through the door.

“Is there an underground spring in there?”   He asked, but she didn’t answer and he hurried to keep up with her as she rushed down the corridor.   Soon they rounded a corner and there it was; an underground waterfall that emptied into a pool then disappeared through a hole in the floor.   The water seemed to be warm.   

“It is from the Millpond, in fact we are probably right below it, but it mixes with a hot underground spring so the water is just pleasantly warm, year round.  It’s a secret only the Bugleys and the staff of the Muddy Boot know about.”

Eleazar looked up at the eight foot tall waterfall and nodded, “Very nice; what a wonderful luxury.”

Aurei sat the clothing and towels on a small stone bench near the pool, “It comes in handy after a long shift at the Muddy Boot.”

“I can imagine… so who goes first?”

Aurei just gave him a somewhat worrisome smile and walked over to him, “Let me help you get your plate armor off.”

“Uh, that’s okay, I can get it.” He nervously replied, but she ignored this and came behind him and began unbuckling the pieces of the breastplate.

“I can get it, Aurei-“

“So do you think that Sir Alvis is right about the Vampires?   That worries me.”

“Well, I know the Necromancer’s Guild uses them, but they aren’t really their common foot soldiers.”

“I told you about the one on the Death Knight’s airship that I encountered, didn’t I?”   She removed his breastplate and carefully sat it on the bench.

“Yes, you told me.”

“He moved very fast, it was like he could be on one side of you, and then move to the other side, almost instantly.”  She came back over to him and knelt in front of him, working on his leg armor.

“You don’t have to do that, Aurei.” He was growing very nervous as more and more of his armor was stripped from him.   She was probably just being helpful, as some of the pieces were rather awkward to remove when you were wearing them.   Still, he was sensing something else, he thought.

She looked up at him, “Go ahead and get the arm pieces off and I’ll work on the leg pieces.   I don’t imagine we should linger down here too long; this would be an ideal place for a Vampire to ambush us.”

“Well, yes, but they don’t like flowing water.”   He relaxed some at her statement; she was simply trying to hurry the process up.

“Really?   What else works against them?”  She asked as she completed stripping his left leg of metal plates and moved on to the right.

“Well, garlic is good - they hate that.   Mirrors too; they avoid those.    The most effective is to hold up the Blood Cross of Yesh - they can’t stand the sight of it.  They avoid fire, of course, and holy water.”

“How do you kill them?   Is it just a stake through the heart?”   She inquired as she finished removing the armor plates from his left side while he finished removing the armor on his arms, which left him in his chainmail undersuit.

“The stake through the heart has to be done when they are in their coffin.   It doesn’t permanently kill them, only paralyzes them.   You have to decapitate them after they’ve been staked, and that does the trick.”

“-And I’m sure they’re happy just to lie there and let you do all this.”

“That’s why you find their coffins during the daylight hours.”   He jumped when he felt her reaching under the bottom of his long chainmail shirt and running her hand up his leg until she found the straps that held the chainmail leggings to the tunic.   These she quickly unstrapped and pulled down, then moved on to his other leg and repeated the process.  He began to feel more uncomfortable again.

She stood up and sat the leggings on the bench and then returned.   She was smiling slightly, but she had a look in her eyes that he had not seen from her before.   It was the look a woman gives a man before-

“I can get the rest, Aurei!” He said in a somewhat alarmed voice.   His heart raced and he didn’t dare meet her gaze.

“I don’t mind helping.” She said softly and she began lifting his chainmail tunic over his head.   He started to protest again, but she had already pulled both the chainmail and the undershirt with it, over his head.   Freeing his arms, she took the chainmail and undershirt over to the bench.   All that was left was the padded pants worn under the leggings.   What was he going to do?   The whole encounter was heading in a direction that would probably cause both of them big trouble.   Paladins shouldn’t be acting like this.   It was the Rings of Nitthum; suddenly he realized what he had done.

“Uh, Aurei, I think-“

“Do you realize that you are the only man, other than my father, that has ever been in this room?   That should make you feel special.   Very special.”  She had her back to him, standing over at the bench where his armor and clothing was being held captive.   Her Drow chainmail undersuit was different from his chainmail, and the Dark Elves wore them like surface Elves wore tunics and pants, all without the need of under padding.  

“There is some homemade soap on a ledge near the edge of the pool.” She said, as, with her back still to him, she pulled her chainmail shirt over her head.


© 2014 Eddie Davis

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Added on December 12, 2013
Last Updated on May 26, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elves, Fantasy, Adventure, undead, Vampire, romance, attraction, Knights, Paladin

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

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis