Perils of the Road - Part 4 - The Curse

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Author's note: Yes, this is another long story, but I hope you enjoy it. If anyone prefers my shorter stories please let me know (this did take a long time to write and get right!)

Also, I have left some loose ends in this series. If anyone would like to collaborate and tie them off or expand on them please let me know! --- Alex x


Dappled green light. Cool breeze. Warm earth. The sound of near silence.

He is on a horse looking at the forest in the distance as the sun sets behind it. A man on a gray courser sneers at him and points to South.

The Duke's court. The decision had been made. The army will defend in the East. The Captain says he will go west to seek aid in The Forest. The Generals laugh.

He wakes in bed, the servant next to him as the Duchess had promised. She pushes her ass against him and he takes her. There is a stab of guilt. She was willing, but he was not gentle.

His cum on a green gem.

He sends the horse back and walks into The Forest. For hours he follows the path. There are eyes amongst the trees.

"The Muleia can have him and drown him. He is useless to us."
"If he is useless then let me have him!"
"Have him then, but break the covenant and we will throw you to the devils!"


Naked women waist deep in a pool. Their hair so golden it was near white. Their breasts full with dark nipples. Their voices… their voices…

He looks through the eyes of a man in a dark place. He sees, through a wooden lattice, himself atop a woman with auburn hair. She screams with pleasure as he pounds her. He looks down to see a servant giving him oral pleasure. Another servant to his right holds a tray of sweetmeats. He takes one.

Dryads dance around an ancient tree. Their bodies are of wood, but unmistakably feminine. Pink flowers adorn their long light green hair. As they cavort one of the short lower branches on the tree extends outward until the wood spirits are circling under it. On the trunk below it a bundle of leaves glows with a fey green light. He has seen that light before…

He is pulled from the path by vines. Small creatures of rock, deft with their stone weapons, free him. He escapes as they try to drag him to the ground. They rob him of his pack and jacket. He holds tight to his ax.

He tells the Duchess of the troll and her advice to seek aid in the Forest. She tells him it is a fool’s gambit, but one she will help him make.

The forest looms before him. He fights one of the enemy, but the man is in his imagination. A bolt flies past his ear, but there is no shooter, nor does it come to land. A horse whinnies in pain, but his horse is long gone.

The farmer's wife straddles him. Her tits bounce and her hair flies in the wind. Slowly her skin turns blue and her breasts multiply until she is the troll from the bridge. He pushes her off and takes her from behind, grabbing her hair and making her cry for her gods.

Men wander the forest, vines connect their heads to something high in the trees.

He is struck lightly on the palm. He pulls something out, a thorn of some kind. Every step after that feels like twenty.

The dryads cavort and convulse, leaping around the tree and throwing around their hair. The tree groans and shakes enough to make the ground tremble. Its phallic branch sends forth heavy smoke which the dryads catch in their hair, flowers and all. They scream and move amongst the other trees, freezing in place.

A bald man with large teeth and purple skin stares at him with cloudy eyes. He screams and the man laughs. He falls to the ground, cold and naked. The laughter stops.


The dreams stopped. His eyes were closed but he knew he was awake. He was warm, but he knew bare ground when he felt it, especially as he felt it with bare skin. He knew there was a fire in the direction of his feet, and he heard the gentle cracking of burning wood, but nothing else, not even a breeze.

He opened his eyes slowly. There was a fire, about ten feet away. He was lying in a circle of stones. The same kind of stones which had become his saviors then his muggers. He sat up suddenly.

"You are safe, Captain," someone said.

There was a silhouette just outside the stone circle. Still groggy, he could not make out who or what it was. He moved to get a better look and noticed paint on his arm. He was covered in symbols on his hands, chest, groin and legs. No doubt they were on his back and face as well.

“Who are you?” he asked as he got onto his knees, “And why am I here?”

The silhouette moved a little.

“Captain,” it said, the voice sounding feminine, “Tell me why you are here.”

“I am here to seek aid from the Forest,” he said, responding like a soldier despite his circumstances, “An enemy threatens Kroyton and by extension every human land to the North and East. The defenders are out of position and the enemy will use the Riverlands to attack them. I was told the fey in the Forest might aid me if I asked.”

The silhouette moved, the firelight revealing the face of a handsome woman with straight blonde hair held back with a thick metal band. She gestured for him to come to the fire.

“And who is this enemy?” she asked.

“Destroyers and pillagers,” he replied, sitting by the fire, “They call themself ‘Dren’, but we do not know whether that is their country, their tribe or it just means ‘soldier’. They fight on foot with poisoned bolts and short spears.”

“And who told you we might help?” she asked.

“A Matuan Troll named Glissinda,” he said, looking her in the eye, “She is in a covered bridge to the South-East. Hopefully she will help us too, in her own way.”

The woman shrugged as if not expecting an answer but accepting the one given.

Odogei sat by the fire. The haze finally cleared and he realized what was bothering him. He was completely naked, his only covering the green and white paints that formed strange patterns everywhere but his palms and his loins. He looked at his companion in her leather armor and thick boots.

"Exactly what am I doing here?" he asked.

"The Forest will grant your request," she said, "But it has a price. My coven thought it was great to kill you and avoid contact with the world. I disagreed. We have allies in your lands who have shield us for generations. You have asked us to defend them in turn, and I believe we should."

"So, I am paying you by…?" he ventured

"Performing a service, she replied, "As it was my idea to give you this opportunity I will give you every chance to succeed. However, I doubt it will be easy."

"I am naked," he said, "And you are in armor. If this quest is not easy, why am I naked?"

"There are creatures against which armor is useless, a hindrance," she said, "Especially this creature. You cannot fight it. You must find a way to break its curse."

"Are you going to share anything with me that might help?" he asked, anger and confusion mixing in his voice, "I am a soldier; we do not win battles by breaking curses."

"Creature is a man transformed," she said, scratching a rune into the earth with a stick, "He takes the form of a giant white snake, sleeping in the groves ahead and slithering forth every full moon to hunt. He hunts for sport and cruelty, taking lives and wrecking anything in his path."

Odogei looked at the sky through the break in the trees above.

"On a new moon," she continued, "Like tonight, we bring offerings. From time to time we find someone or something that might break the curse. Up to now we have been… unsuccessful."

"So, I am an offering?" he exclaimed, "A sacrifice?"

He jumped to his feet to find her already standing. He took a step back. She was as tall as him, more than a head taller than any woman he had ever met.

"If I am right, Captain," she said, taking a step towards him, "You will not die. But yes, you may have to make a sacrifice."

Odogei just stared at her. She was like nothing and no one he had ever encountered. After a moment staring back at him she looked to the East.

"Dawn comes," she said, "We must be there before the sun sets."

She picked up a pack and handed him a short staff.

"What is this?" he asked.

"The only thing you are permitted to carry," she said. With that she extinguished the fire and set off west.


Odogei crossed the bridge. The instant his bare foot touched the earth on the other side of the gorge the cold spread through his body.

"This place is evil," he said, his throat hoarse.

"No, Captain," his guide replied, "The life force of the Forest has drawn back from the curse. This is how it would feel-"

"If I were naked in the real world?" he interrupted.

"The Forest is real, Captain," she snapped, "More real than your lands."

Odogei shook his head and followed her into the gloom. Unlike the chaos of the Forest before the bridge, this place was… neater. The winding path they followed was clear, like a game track. The trees were less dense, although there seemed to be less light trying to penetrate the canopy. Less concerned with tripping over roots he was able to look up, but he could not see the sun, or even a rough part of the sky where it might be. He knew they were heading west, but he was now thoroughly lost.

The westerly breeze picked up. He felt it go right through him, feeling truly naked for the first time. His balls reacted immediately, and he felt everything clench up to stay warm. Something moved in the corner of his eye, something not being moved by the chill gusts. Shivers ran down his spine.

"It is here, isn't it," he whispered.

"No, we still have a way to go," she said, "But other evil things linger close to it. They thrive as the forest retreats."

"What kind of things?" he asked.

"Things I can take care of," she replied.

He scoffed and shook his head. He was tired of her evasion and false confidence. He could see she was on edge. He could also see she was getting shorter…

"It seems this part of the Forest does not agree with you," he said.

"Perhaps," she said, looking into the distance to the South.

"Then perhaps you should tell me more about what is here?" he asked.

"Perhaps," she repeated, "You should worry less about me and what lies ahead."

"Stop speaking in riddles!" he snapped, "Fine, I go ahead and meet this thing! Fine! What do you do? What are you? I do not even know your name!"

"I have told you enough," she said, "And my name is Mil."

"Mil," he sighed, "Well that is something. But really, what have you told me? There is a cursed creature I am expected to cure. How? Why have other sacrifices failed?"

Mil stopped and looked at him. This time she had to look up to meet his eye.

"Food means nothing to it, so our first offerings failed," she said, "After that we sent offerings of blood magic. They kept the creature here long enough to set up a boundary at the crevasse, but they could not cure it. The curse created a lindholm, and it requires a living thing to reach the man within. So far, none have succeeded."

"None have survived, you mean," he said, "Why? And what is this 'lindholm'?"

"A lindholm is a snake, the result of the curse," she replied, "And as for why the usual remedies have not worked, the council does not know."

"But you think you do know," he said.

"I do," she said. She paused and he waited.

"We sent women," she continued, "Women of all kinds. None of them returned."

"Is the creature male?" he asked.

"Yes, we have accounts of his entry into the Forest," she replied, "And the curse is consistent with a male victim."

Odogei let this sink in. He was not about to fight a creature. He was about to woo a man. His stomach quivered, unsure what this meant.

"Go ahead, Captain," Mil said, "I am near to the point where I would have to leave you anyway. I will go into the trees and deal with our unwelcome guests. Follow the path, and do as you see best."

"It might kill me anyway, right?" he said.

"It might, Captain," she said, then paused, "I am sorry."

He looked at her. Perhaps she was sorry. Desperate people often did questionable things even as guilt ate at them from within.

"Goodbye Mil," he said, looking at her large brown eyes, seeing the guilt he hoped was there, "Good hunting."

"Goodbye Captain," she said, "Good luck."

She stepped off the path and was gone in seconds. Odogei looked back to the East, but honor got the better of him. After a moment's pause he continued West.


White. The thing was pure white. Not the white of a person, or starlight. No, it was the white of disease, of a boil… of a corpse.

It was watching him, sizing him up without bothering to hide itself. He was sure it could have hidden, despite its color. The forest was dense and dark and it moved without a sound.

Odogei kept walking. Eventually, he thought, there will be a clearing where I can confront it, talk to it, but no clearing came. The path became a track and the sun set leaving him in the faint silver light of the stars.

There were sounds in the forest now, quiet and sinister. He ignored them until one made him freeze and caused his already cold balls to jump up inside him. There was a scrape on the track.

He turned and looked behind him. There it was, a pale mass covering the track, coming from one side and vanishing off into the forest on the other. He turned back the way he was going, knowing what he would see. Twenty paces ahead something blocked his path. Something white with a large yellow eye…

Odogei looked behind him again, then all around. For a moment he imagined this was not it. He considered the possibility there were two snakes or more surrounding him. However, every way he looked he could see its pale scales amongst the undergrowth and around the trunks of the trees. He looked back at the eye ahead. This was it. This was him.

He walked towards the eye, his staff loose in one hand, his skin prickling with goose flesh. A cold wind circled around him. He resisted the urge to hunch up, pushing his shoulders back to show he was not afraid even as his manhood shriveled. He did give in to the need to look behind him. The part of the snake which lay over the track behind him was keeping pace: the coil was closing. Ahead of him the eye had not moved, it just blinked slowly and waited.

Odogei looked at the track under his feet, barely worn earth. For a moment he thought of the North Road he had first taken, and left for a dalliance which nearly earned him a crossbow bolt in the back. He remembered the narrow road he took to the covered bridge and the troll whose help he had bought with energetic, disgusting sex. Then there was the broad avenue and sultry entrance to the Ducal palace, his final stop before the cross country ride to the Forest.

Here he was, at the end of the road; cold, naked, trapped, and at the mercy of a giant anemic snake. If it remained a snake he would not be here much longer. He stopped five paces from its eye. Far enough away, he thought, that at least I'll have a warning… close enough to get a good look at each other. For a moment the chill breeze stopped. As he stood there it returned and he heard the creature's coils tighten.

"Hello," he said, keeping his voice steady, "I am Angelo, Angelo Odogei."

The snake raised its head. The breeze stopped again.

"I was looking for you," he continued, "And I am glad that I have finally found you."

The air was still. The snake stared at him, its coils still. It tasted the air, but otherwise it was frozen in place.

"I hope I have found you in time," he said, taking a pace forward, "I hope I have found the man I am looking for."

Angelo looked up at the snake's head hovering six feet above his own. It looked at him. He watched its tongue flick out and listened as the silence was broken by the tightening of its coils. He expected the smell of death to fill his nostrils, given the corpse-like color of the snake, but all he could smell was the undergrowth and the bitter scent of the evergreens.

The snake's head was lower, closer. Angelo saw his own hand come up, possessed by curiosity, reaching for the snake. It was too far away but he left his hand there all the same. To his surprise the snake came forward to touch his hand with its snout. A second later he was on the ground, shocked and winded. He looked up to find the snake's nostrils a hand's breadth from his face and its crushing weight on his legs.

Its tongue flicked out. It was waiting, he thought, it wants to know what I will do.

"What is your name?" he gasped as soon as there was air in his lungs.

The snake opened its mouth, then closed it. It did so again and drew back. The weight went from Angelo's legs and he slowly got to his feet. The snake coiled up in front of him, still very large for a snake but no longer the monstrous serpent it had been. It opened its mouth again but nothing happened. Angelo took a step forward.

"I would like to know your name," he said, "And talk to you as friends. Would you like that?"

The snake rose up and hissed for the first time. Angelo heard the word 'friends' in that hiss. He also heard menace…

"You do not trust me," he said, "And why should you? But look: I have only this staff to find my way, nothing else."

Another hiss. Angelo thought he heard 'signs'.

"I was given these symbols on my body," he ventured, "But I do not understand them."


This time the hiss was a word, spat out in anger.

"I am cursed?" Angelo asked.

The snake hissed again, this time in frustration. It weaved back and forth, no longer looking at Angelo. It coiled itself up, head lost somewhere in the mound of its body.

"We are cursed!"

"Both of us?" Angelo asked.

"Yes! There is no… escape!"

Angelo paused. He could not tell if the shake was speaking in despair or it knew something he did not.

"Let us find the path together," he said.

Its head re-emerged and the snake slithered on the ground, going past him before appearing on the other side. Before the thought formed in his head that he might be constricted it had already happened. The snake rested its head on his left shoulder and held him firmly in its coils.

"There is no escape…" it repeated.

The snake's body was cool and smooth, almost nondescript, as if only the suggestion of a body was there and his mind was trying to fill in the details. However, it was heavy and oppressive; real enough to construct his breathing and pin his left arm to his side. His right arm, which held his staff, was curiously free…

One thing did feel both new and very real. The coil around his groin and buttocks moved back and forth, rubbing something rough against his cock. His body responded and his erection grew even as it was pinned between him and the serpent. As it grew he felt warmth against it which spread around to his behind, but no further. Warmth reminded of the Forest, of the transition from its safety to the chill domain of the serpent. This warmth was the signal he had a chance…

Angelo made a choice. The blunt staff in his hand was useless now. Perhaps it had given him a free hand, perhaps the snake would have allowed him a free hand anyway, but he needed that hand now. He dropped the staff and put his hand on the snake's coil on his hip. The scales were cold at first, but the warmth spread to them as he caressed them with his fingers.

"There is no escape…" the snake repeated, but this time it was not a statement, more a lament. Angelo craned his neck forward so he could kiss the coil that looped over his shoulders. This snake hissed long and low, and that hiss became a sigh.

Angelo had not kissed the scales of a snake. His lips were pressed against the cold white skin of a human neck. There were arms around him, one pinning his own arm to his body, the other around his shoulders. A warm hand caressed his buttock while chill fingers played around the back of his neck. His own hand was in the base of a back, and he could feel hard muscle and bone beneath the warm skin. He drew back to take a look at the person he was embracing but he only got a glimpse of a pale face with gray eyes before the distance closed and child lips were pressed against his.

Wrapped in a chorus of new sensations, Angelo knew he had a choice to make before his body reacted. He did the only thing he could think of to keep himself in the moment and give himself time to rationalize what he was doing. He returned the kiss, opening his mouth a fraction and feeling the tip of a tongue explore for a fleeting moment. When it did, the lips against his warmed and as they parted he felt hot breath on his face.

The man in his arms looked at him with cold gray eyes. A tangle of blond hair fell about his face and there was a dusting of fair stubble on his face. A flush was slowly emerging under his pale skin.

"Angelo," he whispered, struggling to make the sound.

"Angelo," he said again, stronger this time, "That is your name?"

"Yes," Angelo replied, "Can you tell me your name?"

The man looked confused, as if the question made no sense.

"Angelo," he said again, "Why are you here?"

Angelo leaned forwards to kiss the man again. The man kissed him back and it was a while before he could answer. Warmth flowed between them.

"I am here to free you," he replied, "To end the curse."

The man embraced him, his head on Angelo's shoulder. He moved his arm so Angelo could properly return the embrace.

"I do not know if you can," the man said, "I brought cruelty here. The forest repaid me in kind. My gods taught me a kind of strength but told me I was not worthy. I came here, and the fey turned my cruelty against me…"

Angelo felt a chill and he held the man closer, cradling his head and kissing his cheek. He felt the man dry sob, but as the warmth returned he knew it was not here for a confession. It pooled in between them, dwelled in the pit of Angelo's stomach before rising again. Rising indeed… his erection, which has begun when pressed against the snake, was pressed against another. It twitched as the man sobbed and Angelo twitched with it.

The man stopped crying and kissed Angelo again. There was passion there now, not exploration. He returned it as well as he could. Part of him was still unsure about what he was doing, more so about what he was about to do, but he knew his life and the soul of the pale man he was entwined with depended on it. The man reached between them and held their cocks together. Angelo pushed all of his inhibitions away and felt the surge of warmth through his entire body. It flowed through his hands and his cock to warm his partner whose lips and face became flush and pink. Even the ground felt warm again.

"I have somewhere we can go," the man said, "Better than the path."

"Before we go," Angelo said, "What can I call you?"

The man turned and took Angelo's hand, leading him into the trees.

"Call me… Bolin," he replied, and continued in silence.

Bolin's place was a small cave filled with moss, leaves and furs. It smelled like the forest with sweet and sour overtones that Angelo could not place. With the sun finally set he could not see any details. Considering how many young women might have died here at the mercy of the snake he was glad. A faint glow came from the trunks of the surrounding trees and the low roof of the cave. Bolin turned around at the entrance and sat down in the entrance, the ceiling barely a hand's breadth above his head.

Before he shuffled backwards into the cave, Bolin took hold of Angelo's cock which had softened a little on the walk. He looked at it as if it was the first he had seen, then rubbed it and kissed it. Angelo gasped as Bolin played with him. The last vestige of softness left him as Bolin sucked his tip. He ignored the sting of teeth, grateful they were just human teeth.

Bolin stopped, glanced at Angelo's face, then shuffled back into the cave. As he beckoned Angelo to join him he stared at his hard black cock. Crawling into the cave, Angelo had a similar reaction. It was one thing to look down at your own member, or even to see another man naked, but to have an erect penis at eye level was quite different. Bolin's member was similar in size to his own and he knew that he must reciprocate.

On his hands and knees, Angelo's face was over Bolin's long white cock. He licked it with the tip of his tongue, unsure whether he felt nervous or just reluctant to play with another man. For a moment he felt a cold breeze play about his behind. Coincidence or not, he knew his life depended on finding a way to be with this man.

He took hold of Bolin's shaft and guided the tip into his mouth. He struggled to keep his teeth away from it so he did what the whores he had visited when their mouth was too small for his cock. Instead of trying to suck the whole thing he licked it and held it against his face as he rubbed to the shaft. Bolin seemed satisfied, and his cock was rock hard in Angelo's hand, so he climbed over him until their faces and cocks were once again level.

"This will help us," Bolin said, his hand going between them and holding their cocks together. It was covered in something warm and slick. Angelo did not ask any questions, he just kissed the man below him and enjoyed the sensations.

"How are you feeling?" Angelo asked between kisses, unsure what answer he would get.

"I feel ready," Bolin replied, lifting his knees and pushing Angelo down. As Angelo obliged, Bolin maneuvered the Captain's cock past his balls. Angelo realized where he was going and why that stuff had been so important.

He could not speak. He had taken women there before, and it was always tight and different. He had no idea if it would be the same with a man but Bolin was holding him there. He had no time, he just pushed. After a moment he entered and Bolin's eyes went wide. It was tight, but he pushed further, feeling the familiar sensations of fucking someone's asshole. Bolin's face showed discomfort, but Angelo kept going slowly, rocking back and forth to ease himself further and further inside.

Bolin's attention went to his own cock, rubbing it with the mysterious lubricant. Angelo wanted to close his eyes and get this fuck over with, but he could not. He watched Bolin stroke himself harder and harder, watched him close his eyes and lie back on ecstasy. Angelo felt Bolin's asshole twitch and tense around his shaft. Warmth became heat, surging through the ground into his knees and up to his balls. Angelo felt his control failed him. In a split second he had to make a decision. Did he want to finish inside this cursed stranger or pull out?

He chose at the last moment, pulling out and laying his cock and balls on Bolin's. The pale man grabbed both shafts together as they came, their cum mixing on his belly. Angelo's orgasm shuddered through him, beginning as a flush of warmth and building to a fever. He felt as though his strength, his life-energy, spurted out with his seed, making him weak. He crumpled, falling to one side to be caught by the warm earth. Darkness followed.

He woke, but only halfway. Curled up in the warm nest he dreamt of wrapping himself around the Duchess, hearing her gasp as he squeezed her. The dream warped and it was not the Duchess being held and groped, it was him. Something was holding him from behind, squeezing him tight. He looked down to see Bolin's arm over his, as tight as a vice. He was lying on the other arm which slowly wrapped around his head. He was trapped, constricted.

Bolin kissed his neck. Despite the pressure it was pleasant and Angelo tried to give in to it. He had fucked the man, he should not protest now.

He felt something else, something he would have expected of the fog of sleep had not had such a tight hold over him. Resting in the crack of his ass was Bolin's hard cock. It felt strange not only because this was Angelo's first time being naked with a man, but because it felt cold. It worked its way down until just the tip pressed against him. He could feel the strange slippery substance on it, but this too was cold. He shivered.

Bolin chuckled and kissed his neck with chilly lips. The cold spread, until every part of Bolin was sucking the warmth from Angelo. The ground was still warm, but its efforts to fight back against Bolin's freezing body were feeble.

The tip of a cock pressed at Angelo's anus like a slimy icicle. It slid inside him, Bolin hissing with pleasure as Odogei cried out. The serpent, the lindholm, was here. It was fucking him and some part of him knew how to fight it. He gritted his teeth as it fucked him deeper and deeper, its teeth scraping at his neck. Somehow he freed his hand and reached down to hold his cock.

"Yes!" he cried, forcing it out instead of screaming, "Yes!"

It fucked him harder, pounding in and out as he stroked his cock. From somewhere deep within him an ember of warmth reached out and kindled the dying heat in the ground. It spread first to his heart, then to his loins. His cock finally responded to his hand and hardened. He pumped along it, stoking the fire to drive out the cold of the curse.

Bolin's hisses were now mixed with human moans of pleasure. Angelo felt him pause and quiver. Unsure what to do, he pushed his ass back, and with it a flush of warmth. Bolin responded, jamming himself deep inside and pounding with renewed vigor.

A battle was happening inside Odogei. The heat and the cold were not just the reality of the moment, they were forced vying for dominance. He gave in to them, pleasuring himself and submitting to Bolin's passionate pounding. The cock inside him was still cold, but he could bear it.

It happened suddenly. Bolin released his hold and buried his head in Angelo's neck. His cock twitched and the wave of heat crashed over the cold. In an instant it was driven out and all Angelo could feel was the curious sensation of a man cumming inside him. Needing a release himself he worked the tip of his cock until he came, his seed vanishing into the leaves and moss. For a moment Bolin was a warm body against his back and hot breath on his neck, then he was gone, cock and all.

Odogei turned over to see what had happened but sleep claimed him in an instant.


He woke on soft warm earth to the sound of voices. There was a moment when he was a normal man, given to turn over and continue sleeping. The soldier in him did not let that happen. His eyes opened and he sat up, blinking in the bright sunlight.

He was no longer in the nest, or even amongst the trees. He was near the crevasse and the rope bridge he had crossed with his guide the day before. The voices nearby stopped when he looked around to find who was speaking.

"You are awake!" a rich male voice said, "You are well?"

Odogei nodded and tried to focus on the man.

"I am sore," he replied, "But well enough. What has happened?"

The man gestured for Odogei to sit on the fallen tree he had been sleeping next to and squatted nearby. The man was bare chested and Odogei was suddenly aware he was still naked, the symbolic body paint he had been wearing reduced to a few smudges.

"The curse is broken, my friend," the man said, pausing for Odogei to breathe a sigh of relief before gesturing at the trees around them, "The Forest revives here and we are grateful!"

"I am glad ..." Odogei said, pausing for the man's name.

"Fileofic," the man introduced himself, "And you know my friend Milisha."

Fileofic pointed to the bridge where the woman who had been Odogei's guide the day before stood. She nodded and went back to looking over the crevasse, clearly impatient and eager to leave.

"Fileofic," Odogei continued, the name awkward in his mouth, "So what now?"

Fileofic nodded and looked at the ground, "Well, the Lindholm is no more, its skin is shed and the man is freed."

Odogei bit his tongue. He wanted to know about the Forest holding up to their side of the bargain now that he had done his task, but he also wanted to know Bolin's fate.

"He calls himself Sigmasenn," Fileofic continued, "And he recalls little of the curse, only that he regrets what happened before and he wishes to leave. The Elders will decide, it is no longer our concern."

Fileofic looked at Odogei as if waiting for a response. He had a handsome face, but his features were curious. His broad face came to a pointed chin and in amongst his curly hair Odogei was sure he could see two small horns. Fileofic smiled broadly, showing his large flat teeth, then stood up giving Odogei another surprise; his lower half was that of a goat with shaggy brown fur and cloven hooves. However, the fur was not quite thick enough where it counted and Odogei could see he had a very human set of genitals. Averting his eyes, Odogei took Fileofic's hand and stood up.

"Now that it is done you will have your aid," Fileofic said as he looked the way to the bridge. Mil crossed and vanished into the trees on the other side.

"You will hold up the enemy?" Odogei asked, "How did you get support for it so soon?

"We will, and, to be blunt, we gambled," replied Fileofic, "The Forest Elders and the lesser leaders did not believe you would succeed, so we appealed to their greed. If you failed we would give them... let's say many of the things they desired, provided they mobilized their forces. If you succeeded, those forces would do battle for you."

"So they are already moving?"

"Yes, the green skins are already in the South making a mess! That poison has no effect on them so I think your enemy is in for a shock."

Odogei wanted to know what ‘greenskins’ were, but he moved on, "What else?"

"Well, none of the others are soldiers. They can fight but they need leadership. It would be best if we get you cleaned up and into your armor. We can make sure the man who came with you and who is still waiting sees what happens."

"Yes, I think that would be best."

"Good. You can have your ax back too."

"I would hope so."

They walked for a while to a waterfall. Before Odogei walked under it Fileofic asked him one last question.

"When we are done, and your people are ready to destroy this enemy, where will you go?"

Odogei smiled and put his hands into the rushing water. For a moment he thought of the Duchess, but only for a moment.

"Home," he said.


Thank you for making it this far! Please leave a comment. Also, The Forest is part of another erotic fantasy series I am thinking about writing. Let me know if you like the concept and whether you have any ideas you'd like to share. --- Alex x