"Oh no!" One of the skinny blondes folded up on the floor by the High Priest and started checking his pulse.
"Get your hands off him, slave!" Hagood staggered forward, and the rest of them jumped to assist.
The redhead grabbed Stanley. "Leave her alone, she's trying to help, you idiot."
"I don't have to take that, let go of me!"
"Oh yes you do." She jerked his arm, and off balance, he tripped and fell, landing on her. In his alarmed and aroused state, he somehow lost all perspective, and punishing her was the only thing that was important. In a wild scramble he got his pants down and her dress up and took her hard, hammering in to punish her for all of her transgressions, one of which she was committing right then, allowing herself to be raped. He pulled a huge amount of power from her, he felt like his head was going to explode. He came, driving hard into her, and suddenly the power was flowing the other way, draining away as he filled her, and she was still taking it. This wasn't right! Only a woman with power could do such a thing, and they were so rare, Princess Primus every one . . . and you never, ever came in one, unless you wanted to die. His vision narrowed and it all went black. Then he was being dumped on the floor.
"Hey, share the goods, man!"
He blinked muzzlily at Denny. "Don't, don't . . . " but he couldn't get the words out of his mouth before Denny dropped his pants and knelt by the woman, and laid down on the boards and rolled over flaccid and limp.
The redhead jumped up, kicked the unresponsive Denny in the ribs, and stepped over him and past Stanley. "Do you guys need any help?"
Stanley managed to roll his head the other direction. The Head Priest had his trousers stripped down around his knees, and one of the skinny blondes was bouncing up and down on his shaft.
At least the Senior Priest was conscious. And on top. Hagood was jacking away at the other skinny blonde.
Keith had the tan girl bent over a table, one arm twisted behind her back, as he fucked her. Keith grunted and came, and started sagging while Stanley watched helplessly. He tried to move, but his limbs barely twitched. Keith hit the floor with a thump.
Stanley closed his eyes and refused to look as Hagood's grunts turned to cries and whimpers and silence followed by a thump.
He vaguely heard a door slam, and a grumble. ". . . horses loose and running everywhere . . . What the holy hell happened here?"
"Well, one of them insulted Trump, and Hell hit him and they left, then these guys got all . . . we were trying to see if that one was all right, and they grabbed us and tried to, well, I suppose they succeeded in raping us, so we killed them. Except, well, we were sort of trying to get them to rape us. But they sucked down power so fast!"
"What did we do?" one of the women sounded horrified. "We killed them." She started sobbing.
The tavernmaster sighed in exasperation. "You witches are getting a little too vicious in your games. Garnet? Stop that and get off the man. He doesn't appear to have been in any shape to rape anyone, eh?"
"I don't ever recall having trouble in my tavern that wasn't . . . needed. Especially when Michael has been around. Let's just get rid of . . . oh this one is still alive too. I'll just throw him out, shall I?"
"Yes, please, thank you Harry." That sounded like his pretty redhead. Stanley vaguely wondered why it was all right for a slave girl to kill a man, when his ankles were grabbed by a vise and he was dragged, bare butt and head thumping across the floor.
When he regained consciousness, his head ached horribly, and he was lying on the grass with his privates exposed to the World. His limbs worked spasmodically, and by concentrating he got his pants back up, but couldn't work out the complexities of buttons and buckles. He tried sitting up, and then scooting over to a scrawny tree to lean on so he could concentrate on looking around. He was most of the way down a ravine. More grass and brush showing than dirt or rocks. Probably the same one Sergeant Achley and Dwarf Two had been spying from. Two squads and the God of Death had been a quarter mile further north. Better concealed, but with the god within a mile of the High Priest, and thus still under his primary control.
Until he'd been knocked unconscious.
Stanley's skin crawled at the thought of the sudden release of the God's control spell under these conditions. There had been three Initiates along, hadn't there? Had they responded fast enough?
He'd been unconscious.
Dwarf Two would have been uncontrolled too.
Stanley tried to reach for him, and mental spike rammed it way into his head.
Dwarf Two was going to remain uncontrolled until Stanley felt a whole lot better.
Zenith was still sputtering with laughter as they staggered out of the tavern. Fortunately Hell and Tromp were gone. If Tromp ever found out how howlingly funny they'd thought the whole thing was, they were dead meat.
"Darn it, this means we'll have to drive all the way back." Cost started sniggering again, and they reeled out into the middle of the street.
"That's all right. I'll need thirty days to be able to keep a straight face when I see them again."
Cost wiped the tears from her cheeks. "No kidding. And let's take a little moonlit stroll and let Harry finish dealing with that mess before we come back to get a good nights sleep."
"Excellent idea." Zenith steered them north, and they strolled in the moon light. The waxing gibbous Moon was close to setting. "Except I think it'll be a good morning's sleep."
A sudden crashing to their right, and a small figure dashed out of the ravine that bordered the road, two Hell Hounds on his heels.
They tripped him, and in the moon light Zenith could see that it was a dwarf of some sort, not a child. The ugly little man rolled to his feet and dodged around Zenith and Cost, the dogs in hot pursuit, grinning, tails wagging madly. The chase bounced off Cost, who staggered off the road, and with a shriek slid down the steep sided ravine.
"Cost!" Zenith teetered on the edge. It was dark down there, but the slope wasn't steep enough to kill anyone that rolled down it, was it?
The dwarf shot past her and started sliding down the slope, feet first. No dogs in pursuit. Zenith glanced back and saw a tall thin figure . . . very tall and very thin, almost skeletal. It walked with a bit of a lurch that instantly evoked every nightmare she'd ever had. She sank down and slunk as quietly as possible down the slope.
Her eyes adjusted slowly to the starlight and she angled a bit to a lighter spot where the moon light had found a gap and reached the floor of the ravine. Something moved there. She opened her mouth to call for Cost, then shut it, dry mouthed, and tried to move slowly and quietly to see what was ahead.
It was the Dwarf, leaning over something in a shadowed fold of the ground. He heard her coming. He starred at the dark patch where she stood for a long moment, then growled like an animal, jerked to his feet and waddled off, pulling up his pants. Had she caught him in mid-piss?
Something crackled up the slope. Possibly a dog, but she shuddered and scurried away from it. She tripped over Cost, lying in the shadows where the dwarf had been. Her pulse was strong, but she was deeply unconscious. More crackling from up slope. Damn, damn, damn. Zenith ran toward the sounds. Whistled. "Dogs! Get down here!" Please let it be those damn dogs.
It was something tall, something not answering. She bolted, away from Cost, crashing through the brush and trees. She found something, a deer track maybe, and trotted along. She should cut up hill, find the road . . .
She tripped and fell, and her right hand landed in something slippery and wet. She smelled blood and leaped to her feet, and spun around, tried to figure out which way was away.
A branch snapped when she stepped on it, and she jumped like a rabbit, and ran in panic.
She slammed into something, jerked a hand around to throw a spell, some spell, whatdoIdo, when her hand hit something. Thin metallic, yielding . . . dead.