"How can I be of service, Sir Glaston?" Her voice was honey-sweet but tinged acrid at its edges. She sat high before them, red-and-orange robes flowing over the stone throne.
"Determine if she's one of your ilk." The gruff knight growled, pushing Frita forward. Frita stumbled at the shove, balancing herself with arms outstretched to keep from falling forward.
"Of course," the priestess's eyes flickered from Frita to Glaston, concern carefully concealed. As Frita steadied herself she saw her pupils swirl to a slightly darker shade of blue. "If you could excuse us, Sir Glaston. We wouldn’t want the magics of the testing to have an ill effect on your health..."
The knight harrumphed before retreating to the temple’s vestibule through the sanctum doors, letting them slam behind him. When she was certain he was gone the priestess turned her attention to Frita, sea-blue eyes studying the woman in front of her.
"You're a bit old to be brought before me," she started, her voice a soothing purr, "Most are brought to me right after their first blood."
"Yes ma'am," Frita replied, "My mother sent me away to live in Mistfall when I was eleven."
"Beyond Lord Carith's purview. I see, I see..." her eyes glimmered, blue to white to blue. She shifted to a new angle on her chair, looking at Frita from a slightly different perspective, "And why did she send you to Mistfall?"
Frita looked down at her feet, "I blew up a rooster, ma'am." She looked up, face reliving the horror: "It charged at me and wouldn't stop pecking and then..."
"You poor child," her voice softened even more, the harsh edges falling away, "And they tried to hide you for how long?"
"Nine years ma'am"
"I see.” She shifted in her seat again, neck craning to see Frita from her left side now. Her eyes glinted with golden rings, “And why did they bring you to me now? Did you explode Sir Glaston's horse?"
Frita giggled involuntarily at the suggestion, "No ma'am. My aunt in Mistfall passed away and I got sent back to Venlin to my parents. And once it was known I was back, I was called into service to Princess Talia, as is family tradition. They wanted to make sure..."
"They wanted to make sure you weren't magical," the priestess finished for her, "A servant to Princess Talia, twenty years old, vanished and now returned; you're Frita Lathander, daughter of the fifth daughter of the fifth daughter of Lathander the Steward. High enough to serve the royal family, but too low to ever rule."
"As you say ma'am. How did you know?"
The priestess's eyes glimmered again, cycling colors, "Seeing what has been is simple for priestesses of Arresh. What’s more important for you is your future. A less defined thing than the past, but we who are trained can catch it’s glimpses, see opportunities form before they start blooming.” She shifted on the stone seat again, the full spectrum of colors reflecting in her eyes. “And in you we see great potential."
"As a priestess?" Frita gave her an astonished look. She’d suspected she had some sort of magical ability when the rooster had erupted in flames that morning so long ago, but she’d never been able to make anything of the sort happen again. To become a priestess of the god of sorcery and prophecy would revive a long-dead dream.
"Not quite," the priestess replied, tilting her head. Frita’s face fell with a sigh as the priestess continued, "When I was standing where you stand now, long, long ago, before High Priestess Mara; I wanted nothing more than to become a priestess of Arresh. To learn magic and uncover the secrets of the future, to guide the decisions of lords and kings; what greater aspiration could there be? What greater honor? But now I wonder..."
She cast her eyes to the sanctum doors, checking that they were shut. Her pupils churned a dark green as the room grew dimmer, the noises from beyond the doors muffling and then ceasing. She gave Frita a weary look.
"Being a priestess of Arresh under Lord Carith’s rule is like being a lioness in his menagerie. You're given what you need to live, you’re respected, admired, and even envied for what you are, but always kept cautiously caged. Too useful to be killed, too dangerous to be freed.” She twitched her nose as red slivers swam through her eyes, “No doubt you saw the guards outside?"
"Yes ma'am." Frita whispered in the void of other sounds, the soft words thundering through the supernaturally still air. She stepped closer to the priestess on her throne, instinctively huddling inwards as the room’s edges grew darker.
"Carith claims they're for our protection, but we know better. They carry brightsteel weapons in their scabbards to slice us apart at the first signs of trouble, silver charms around their necks to protect from our magics. And when you leave, look at the cannons in the center battery. Two of them point inwards towards the doors to the temple, loaded with grapeshot of silver and hornblende; ready to rain destructive shrapnel on us if we try to force our way out. No priestess of Arresh has been granted freedom of movement for over one-hundred years."
"That's..." Frita searched for the words to say, "I'm sorry ma'am."
"If I were to say you still had magic powers, then you'd be cloistered here too," her eyes shifted again, blue-grey-white-green-blue, "and if I said you didn’t and they resurfaced, we’d both be put to death,” Her eyes looped through reds, oranges, and yellows, “But... but if you knew how to hide them and when to use them, I think we could both stand to gain."
"How to hide them?"
She nodded sagely, then pointed with her index and middle finger at her eyes, "Just look into my eyes and all will be made clear."
Frita did as she asked, watching as a surge of colors swirled through her pupils. A crackle of energy burst between their gazes and then a spectrum-shifting beam of light filled her vision. Images and patterns danced down the streams of light and into her mind. Frita felt memories and instructions flowing through her, burying themselves in her brain. She wanted to fight it just enough to ask what was going on, what the priestess was doing to her, but every time she tried to put together a question a bevy of information buffeted it to the side. Her head felt like it was going to burst, full of light and sound, brimming with experiences that weren’t hers. And then suddenly, it stopped.
She caught herself with her jaw hanging open, a sliver of drool spilling out of the corner of her mouth. Her mind was still spinning from the experience, but as she started to ask what had happened she realized she already knew. The priestess had dumped years of magical knowledge and instruction into her brain, copying decades of accumulated information in mere moments. There was something other than just the magical instructions she discovered as her brain took stock of everything new it knew, a handful of other guidances were there as well; the most prominent being to never let anyone know she was capable of magic.
There were other directives in there too, instructions and commands whirling in radiant colors, a master plan she could only catch glimpses of. The few attempts her brain made at deciphering them caused her thoughts to diverge into a kaleidoscope of images, words, and sounds; all somehow related but distorted and muddled to obscure the relation. The only thing she was able to understand, as the shards of blurred suggestions faded away, was that she was now a lynchpin in an important undertaking.
"Thank you," Frita said softly.
The priestess smiled as her eyes spun green and gold, the room around them brightening in response. Through the doorway they could once again hear the hacking cough of the old knight. She cleared her throat and then called to the door in a loud, booming voice: "Sir Glaston, I have made my determination."
The knight clanked back into the chamber, hand on his hilt, "And?"
"She has no magical ability," the priestess shook her head, “A brief attunement during a planetary conjunction a decade ago, but it left her magical receptors burnt out and unusable. We have no use for her here.”
"Positively," she shooed her hand at the both of them dismissively.
"Very well, let's go." Glaston grabbed Frita by her wrist and pulled her out of the sanctum. As they left the temple Frita looked at the canons high on the wall: two were indeed pointed menacingly at her as she walked out of the giant oak doors.
Princess Talia was only a few years older than Frita, and a pleasant enough woman especially when compared to her cantankerous father. While Frita certainly wouldn't classify the two of them as friends, Talia treated her with a healthy amount of respect and trust when it came to assisting her in the day-to-day duties. Talia was the heir apparent and was already earnestly preparing for the duties that would one day fall to her. She was often talking with diplomats, planning with generals, and holding audiences with the burghers; and Frita was always nearby to aid and listen, as a mere servant at first and soon a sounding-board for Talia’s ideas. Talia seemed acutely aware that the lessons taught to her by the castle’s instructors and her irritable father were not a clear picture of the world, valuing Frita’s occasional opinion and her depictions of life outside the kingdom at twilight tea.
When Lord Carith died in a freak lightning-storm one fateful night, no one in the kingdom was worried about Lady Talia becoming the head of state. The only worry among the court for the two weeks afterwards was that of preventing freak lightning-storms, a worry to all but Frita. Frita knew exactly how to prevent freak lightning-storms: don't be Lord Carith and don't stand alone on your balcony at night where your daughter’s sorceress-servant could see you from her quarters.
It hadn't felt like her idea, casting the spell. She had seen Lord Carith wander out onto his balcony the week before as the nights started getting warmer, and later that evening she had dreamt of the temple of Arresh and of the priestess plotting with her. The dream had recurred every night for a week; the details of what to do becoming clearer each time, the exact way to wield the magic unlocking in her mind. After the first few nights the dream of the temple swirled away in flashing lights to the scene of the soon-to-happen magical murder. It played out over and over again in her sleep, first with her as a mere bystander and then as the perpetrator. She’d woken up in a cold sweat the first time her dream-hand had directed snakes of white-lightning at the unsuspecting lord; but thirty minutes later when the dream happened again, after she’d managed to calm herself down enough to go back to sleep, it was much less startling. Each repetition removed a little bit more of the shock and horror of the action; in fact by the end of the week it had almost felt right.
And then one night everything had aligned perfectly with what she'd envisioned in her dreams: the angle with which she was looking out the window, the nightclothes Carith was wearing, the clouds partially obscuring the night sky, the waning crescent moon coating the clouds in silvery light. She had lived that moment so many times that she felt compelled to follow through with it, unthinkingly whispering the words and channeling the energies that led to the Lord's demise. She had seen that future so clearly that she felt helpless to deviate from it.
The next few weeks brought about a different series of dreams. At first she was back in the temple speaking with the priestess about Talia, plotting the next step of their plan. Soon though her dream visits to the temple ceased, and the visions she had were solely about Talia. Talia in her blue nightgown, Frita bringing her a cup of tea before bed. Talia's mouth gaping open, Frita pushing swirls of light out through her eyes and into the Lady’s. Talia falling to her knees, eyes still locked in a stupified stare, Frita whispering new guidance and new truths to her Lady. Frita woke up in a flustered state every time, breathing heavily and thighs squeezing pleasurably against each other. She was eagerly awaiting the day they would become real.
"Your tea, Lady Talia," Frita said as she placed the tray on the bedside table. Talia looked over at her from her chair at the desk, a satisfied look crossing her face as she scribbled out a final scratch with her quill and rolled the piece of parchment up.
"Thank you Frita." She stood and walked towards the bed, her blue nightgown drifting along behind her. Halfway to the bed she stopped and shook her head, her brow furrowed in confusion.
"That's odd I..." she cocked her head towards Frita, a pleasant smile creeping across her face as she saw the cycling colors in her eyes.
"Good girl, Lady Talia." Frita cooed, pushing gentle beams of light across their shared stare, "That's right, just relax. Just like we did before."
"I'm relaxed," Talia murmured with an off-kilter nod.
"That's right, you're relaxed," Frita agreed. This was the sixth time Frita had mesmerized the ruler of Duskmarsh, and it was becoming easier each time. The first time she'd needed to push huge amounts of magical energy into the entrancing spell, leaving her exhausted for two days afterward. But now Talia needed little more than a glance at the most minor mesmerization enchantment before she began drifting off into trance.
"What do we do next Talia?" Frita prompted. Talia's head tilted to the other side and her lips parted slightly in thought before the dopey grin returned. She sank to her knees and stared expectantly up at her mistress, a pleased look on her face at being so well trained.
"Very good girl. It feels so good to be under my spell doesn't it? So good to listen to my words and look into my eyes."
Talia nodded in response, her hands already pulling up the hem of her dress. Frita chuckled to herself; each time she put Talia under she became more and more eager for the next part. Come to think of it, Talia had been wearing that blue nightgown more often, as if signaling to Frita which nights she wanted to be enthralled by the servant-turned-mistress.
That wasn't entirely Frita's fault, as the magical urge to brainwash the Lady was strongest when the conditions most closely matched her recurring dreams. Frita was much more in control of herself than Talia these days to be sure, but the priestess's magic and the instructions she'd planted into Frita's mind so many months ago nudged her into doing things. The compulsion to kill Lord Carith had been strong, making sure she'd follow through by normalizing the murder in her dreams over and over again until the act became a natural extension of the situtaion; an inevitability in her mind, a path with no other options. When it came to training Talia though, the dreams gave her ideas at first of how to proceed but the details fell more and more to Frita to fill in. Only a few constants remained as more and more of the control over brainwashing Talia fell to Frita instead of the priestess’s commands: Night-time tea and the blue nightgown. The reason for this was beyond her comprehension or care, perhaps it was for a practical purpose or perhaps it was just out of habit. All Frita knew is that every time she brought Talia tea and found her wearing the blue nightgown, she felt an urge to drop her lady into trance.
Talia was whimpering on the floor, hips bouncing slightly as her hands shakily held the hem of her nightgown at the tops of her thighs. She stared pleadingly at Frita, waiting for her training session to begin in earnest. Frita let her stew in her arousal for a little longer, enjoying the tiny squeaks and grunts rattling from Talia’s throat. Finally she prepared Talia to continue.
"Are you ready for your training, Lady Talia?"
"Yes," she panted, head nodding excitedly, "Please!"
"Good girl Talia. You may begin playing with yourself."
Talia's left hand slipped into her underwear as her right drifted up and yanked down the shoulder of her gown to reveal her left breast. Bosom freed, the hand found its way downwards, touch gliding slowly over the top before closing on the nipple. Talia’s mouth opened into a little "O" as Frita began her training.
"A good ruler does what Talia?"
"A good ruler... a good ruler serves her people!"
"Good girl Talia, that's correct," Frita watched as her eyes momentarily bulged with bliss, "And what does a good servant do?"
Talia cocked her head as her hips humped her hand for a few seconds, as if this would help her to find the answer. Surprisingly, it seemed to work for her.
"A good servant rules her ruler!"
"Very good Talia, you're doing so well!" Frita felt her own pangs of arousal as a moan escaped Talia's throat, "And am I a good servant Lady Talia?"
"Yessssssss," she hissed, hips bucking hard against one hand as the other twisted her nipple with equal vigor, "The bessssssssstttttt."
"And I think you're a good ruler, my Lady. So what does that mean?"
"I obey... I serve!" She was losing even the parts of her mind dedicated to obeying Frita to lust at this point, unable to clearly remember the exact phrases she had been taught, "I serve the people!"
"And who do you serve above all others?" Frita's question came out in heavy breaths, her hands sliding off her blouse. She let her eyes return to normal. Talia was so horny and mindless that she didn’t need to use magic to control her; somehow that made her feel even more powerful, and even more aroused.
"I... I..." she shook her head, a look somehow more dazed and perplexed than before floating above her wide-open mouth.
"Naturally you serve the one who rules you above all others," Frita prompted, the first syllables muffled as the blouse came over her head.
"The one who..." She blinked twice before the corners of her mouth pulled upwards in a pleased look, "Oh! You!"
"Such a good, smart girl Talia," Frita's skirt was sliding down her calves, "That's absolutely correct, you serve me above all others. Because you are a good ruler and I am a good servant, to do anything else would be unnatural."
"Unnatural," Talia gasped out on the floor, legs shivering.
"That's right, anything other than total obedience to me would be unthinkable, absurd," Frita's hand started teasing her own lower lips.
"Unthinkable..." Talia grunted in agreement, her torso quaking, "Can't think..."
"Are you ready to cum, Lady Talia?" There was a teasing tone to the honorific.
"You're so close," Frita said, trying to keep her own breathing steady as she masturbated leaning against the wall, "But you need to tell me one more thing. When I say 'new Arreshian dawn' you say..."
"I will... I must... free the Arreshian priestesses. No more guards, no more cannons! They can, they can cum... aaaaaaaaa!" Her eyes rolled as her back arched, slamming back down unfulfilled a second later, "They can come and go as they please... please… please..." Her voice trailed off in a whimper.
"Very good, you remembered all of it this time," Frita walked past her, petting her hair on the way to sit at the edge of the bed, legs spread wide, "Now all you have to do is make me cum and then you can cum. Should be easy for such a great ruler, so eager to serve her people."
Talia kept rubbing herself as she wheeled around on her knees, wriggling her way forward. The hand playing with her breast moved to support herself as she began eating Frita out, Frita moving a hand to stroke through her hair as she did so. Both of them were so close already that it didn't take long. Frita squeaked out a yelp of pleasure as Talia fulfilled her duty as a good ruler. Talia screamed into her thigh a moment later, grabbing the other woman's ankle to stop herself from falling over. There was a brief near-silence as both of them caught their breath.
"Such a good ruler," Frita said adoringly as she played with Talia's hair, "Serving me so well."
"So good..." Talia repeated dreamily, head lolling against Frita’s thigh.
"Alright, come up on the bed," she said, patting the space beside her, "we can cuddle until dawn and then I'll sneak back over to my room."
Talia hopped merrily up into the bed, curling an arm around Frita's waist and snuggling her head into her breasts. Frita made herself comfortable on the pillows.
"One more time,” Frita whispered down at her, “new Arreshian dawn,"
"I must free the Arreshian priestesses," Talia murmured, looking up from Frita's soft breasts, "Remove the guards from the temple, let them go wherever they want."
"That's a good ruler, Lady Talia. Now go to sleep."
Talia slumped against Frita's body, snoring softly into her flesh. Frita took a few moments to enjoy the feeling before drifting off to sleep herself.
A week later, Lady Talia issued the decree: A total removal of troops and guards from the Arreshian temple, a public apology for the policy her grandfather had instituted, and a guaranteed freedom of movement for the priestesses so long as the kingdom stood. There were whispered concerns throughout the court as to the wisdom of the decision, but they died down soon enough. Some of the nay-sayers started spending more and more time with the newly freed Arreshian priestesses as the weeks went on, soon becoming ardent supporters of the new policy. The rest of the rumors were quashed as the kingdom began seeing its fortunes on the rise: bumper crops in the fields, enemy lords and ladies struck with fabled, malignant diseases, trade increasing ten-fold in even the smaller villages; signs and wonders of marvelous magnitude. Lady Talia was quickly declared the wisest ruler in a millennia, the usherer in of a new golden age.
The only person in the whole kingdom who thought Lady Talia was a bit strange was her washerwoman; and she only thought it odd that a Lady of such high station would only have one nightgown that needed washing nightly. One beautiful, blue nightgown.