Renquin awoke to the feeling of a viscous liquid moving into his throat. He opened his eyes in surprise, and saw that Sinderella had shoved a beaker filled with purple fluid between his lips. The sorceress and her two companions looked down at Renquin, happy to see him struggling with the potion.
After the short but jarring moment had passed, Renquin swallowed the last of the potion and tried to regain his bearings. He looked down, and noticed his testicles had disappeared. There were no scars, or any loose skin. It was simply as if they’d never existed.
“How do you feel, pet?”, asked Xuna. Renquin sighed.
“I feel about as good as I could, I guess.”
Mepri’za laughed. “Oh, boo hoo! You don’t even know how fortunate and lucky you are.”
“What does that potion do?”
Sinderella almost began to speak, but Xuna lifted an arm. “There’s no need to tell him. It will be more fun to watch him realize for himself.”
The sorceress nodded. “I’ll have my apprentice deliver a few more doses to your room in the near future. Make sure he drinks at least one a day.”
Xuna nodded, and grabbed Renquin’s leash. “Come on, let’s take you home.”
Xuna left Renquin in her room, and left to take care of something. He realized that he was alone.
Nobody is watching me . . . I can escape!
Renquin realized he hadn’t even thought about escaping since he’d been brought underground. The act of leaving had simply seemed too outlandish to consider. He’d thought many times about what he would do once he was back on the surface, but without considering how he’d make it happen.
The slave anxiously tugged at his leash, as he thought about leaving. It hasn't even been connected to his owner's bed. He wasn’t really sure how much mobility he truly had, but there was only one way to find out.
He was able to walk through the labyrinthine palace without any kind of suspicion or notice from the guards, and the guards even opened the gates for him, without him asking. Renquin saw a dramatic arch carved into the cavern wall, containing a set of stairs, not too far from the palace, near a different staircase leading down into the city proper.
Renquin speed-walked towards the arch, which he assumed went towards the surface, not wanting to seem suspicious, and also wanting to get out as fast as possible. He knew it was impossible for him to not seem inconspicuous, considering he was a human, but it was still worth trying.
As he began to walk up the steps, he felt elation welling inside of him. I’m going to be free! This nightmare will soon be over! The only thing dampening his ascent was the knowledge he’d never get his testicles back, but it was insignificant compared to the impending freedom he eagerly anticipated.
Renquin eventually began to see natural sunlight reflecting off of the wall of the tunnel, but as he did, he began to feel a pounding in his head. His climbing slowed, and he started to collapse onto his knees.
I . . . I can’t continue . . . but I must!
He tried to continue, but the throbbing only grew more intense. He began to groan in pain, as he felt himself beginning to grow nauseous.
Xuna materialized, seemingly out of thin air, before the collapsed slave. A cruel smug grin rested on her face, as she knelt down to look at Renquin.
“I see my special toy is trying to escape. Was something bothering you?”
Renquin’s body began to drip with sweat, and his vision became blurry. “i, i can’t, i can’t,”
Xuna chuckled. “I guess you didn’t notice what happened while we were enjoying our time in the bath. I made a mental imprint onto you. You will feel withdrawals if you’re away from me for too long.”
Renquin began to piss as he lost control of his bladder.
“Of course, if you waited long enough, you could lose your dependence on me. You could become free, before I’ve tainted you for too long, and the physical need and craving you have for me is irreversible. But are you capable of such a thing?”
“Say you want my help, sweetie. Come on. Say that you need me.”
Xuna’s words dripped with sadistic pleasure. “Say that you need me.”
Renquin struggled to articulate his words through the excruciating pain he was feeling. “I need you! I need you!!!”
Xuna put a hand near Renquin’s head, and he began to feel his body calming. The pain stopped after only a few seconds, until the only reminders of what had happened were the sweat and piss he was drenched in.
“Good boy. You’ve had your fun, trying to escape. Do you now understand the futility in leaving?”
Renquin was silent as he breathed and tried to calm himself.
“I’m doing this to help you. You have so much more to live for staying down here, in our beautiful cave. There’s no life for you on the surface. You need your Mistress.”
Renquin was out of tears. He climbed to his feet, and followed Xuna back to the palace.
Renquin sat in his doggy basket, chained to one of the posts of his Mistress’s bed, and watched Xuna sit at her desk. The Administratrix occasionally spoke into a crystal ball in her ancient tongue, and eventually got into a meeting with other dark elves. She also chipped away at some paperwork, and used an abacus to do . . . something.
Renquin hadn’t really thought much about what Xuna’s duties were, but it was clear that being an Administratrix wasn’t just a ceremonial position for cruel sadists; it was an actual job, that seemed very important.
“What are you doing?”, the slave asked. Xuna sighed.
“I’m working on a tariff agreement for when we open up trade with the tenebris-höspinn in Tenebris-Traum. Over here in Bath’L’Teq, the domestic nületh worm-silk industry could be majorly threatened by the foreign spider-silk industry. Spiders are the preferred animal of our Goddess, after all, and so their silk carries a heightened allure.”
Renquin hesitated. “But if you make a tariff agreement that opposes your Goddess’s preferred animal, wouldn’t that be . . . blasphemous?”
“I don’t think she wants our artisans to lose their place in the world. It’s not as simple as that.”
“I didn’t even know there was more than one kind of dark elf.”
Xuna smiled. “Good. It’s always a relief that the surface world still knows nothing about anything that happens down here.”
Renquin didn’t really understand why that was the case, but he was worried about asking too many questions. He began to fall asleep, feeling there was nothing he could be doing. Not until Xuna untied him again.
Hours passed, until eventually, Xuna finished her work. She turned to Renquin and smiled.
“The potion is starting to have an effect on you. How about you take a look?”
She unhooked Renquin from her bed, and let him walk to a mirror. Renquin froze at the sight of his reflection.
All of the color had left his skin, and his irises had turned red. It wasn’t a massive change, but he already was putting the pieces together.
“Are you turning me into a dark elf?”
Xuna smiled. “Yes. Aren’t you excited?”
Renquin began to feel himself hyperventilating. For so many years he had heard horror stories about dark elves, nuggets about their evil Goddess and their cruel ways. As a magic user who wanted justice and peace, he couldn’t . . .
The slave began to feel his legs growing weak, and his vision becoming blurry. “i, i can’t . . .”
Xuna caught him, and lowered him to the ground.
“The changes will be irreversible, once they set in. Just like your devotion to me.”
Renquin felt the cold sweat on his forehead. “i . . . i don’t want . . .”
“You’ll learn to love your new Goddess, and learn to love your new body.”
Renquin heard a cork being removed from a bottle. “It’s a little early, but I think enough time has passed for your second dose. Open wide~”
He began to feel more of the viscous purple fluid being emptied into him, and he struggled to swallow all of it. But it was over almost as soon as it had begun.
“Come on, let’s get you into bed. You can sleep with Mistress tonight.”
Renquin uneasily rose to his feet, and climbed onto Xuna’s bed. He was guided under the covers by his owner, and began to feel a slight calm as he heard his Mistress undressing herself, before she joined him under the covers. She wrapped her arms around his body, and huddled close to him.
The better part of a minute passed before Xuna pulled away. “I’m dissatisfied with your body, in its present state. Go back to your basket, pet. We’ll get this fixed tomorrow.”
What’s wrong with my body? At least she says she’s going to fix me . . . I don’t need to be worried about going back into the mines.
Renquin curled up in his own bed, and drifted off into sleep.
Renquin was haunted in his dreams by thoughts of the surface world. There was a time when his dreams had been optimistic, a place for him to experience some kind of normalcy. But he already was starting to see himself as a dark elf.
He imagined himself walking through the halls of the sorcery school he’d attended, not wearing any robes, on his way to class without his studies finished. It was a dream he’d had many times before, but now, the other students he’d known were scowling at him.
He saw Re’vaux, a powerful wizard who’d taught there. He felt a deep contempt from him as he moved through the school.
“You are allowing yourself to fall under the thrall of a foul Administratrix? While your friends suffer in the mines? Do you have no shame?”
Re’vaux kept following him through the hallways, never relenting in his pursuit. Renquin began to feel more lucid. He felt a strange sensation, as the wizard’s enchanted sword materialized in his hands, glowing a shade of crimson.
“If I deal a blow strong enough, it could destroy your mind. Would it be punishment enough?”
Renquin felt it; the professor, who he’d barely spoken to five times, was connecting to him psychically in his dream. There was real danger.
The slave tried to find the words to say, that he didn’t have much of a choice, but his voice was being denied. Sounds weren’t leaving his mouth, perhaps because Re’vaux didn’t want to hear them. An intense pain began to grow in his mind.
Renquin shot up in his bed, and screamed into the darkness. There was nothing but silence. The psychic connection had been broken. He heard Xuna’s bedsheets shifting, and then faintly saw her approaching him from the darkness.
“Are you ok? What happened?”
The slave tried to slow his breathing. “I . . . I was in my old magic school. And everyone hated me, and wanted to kill me.”
He felt Xuna’s arms wrap around him, as she hugged his body. She placed a kiss on his cheek.
“It’s ok, you’re safe here. Nobody will ever be able to break through the palace walls and hurt you.”
Renquin held onto Xuna, and began to squeeze her a little for comfort. “I felt a psychic connection . . . it was someone from my past.”
He felt Xuna reading his thoughts. “It’s ok, my pet. As my imprinting on you becomes more powerful, other people will become unable to penetrate your mind.”
Xuna lifted her hands up, from off of Renquin’s back, and placed them onto his head. He began to feel her psychic energy entering his mind again.
“Your Mistress wants you to feel safe, pet. The only ones you should fear are your Goddess and I.”
Renquin held onto her tighter. Xuna, after administering the dosage of energy, began to hug Renquin again.
“It’s almost morning. Go back to sleep. We're going to have a good day tomorrow, ok?”
Renquin woke up to the sound of Xuna getting dressed. His Mistress noticed, and collared him for the day.
"Come on, let's get you some clothes."
As Renquin stood up from the mattress, he began to feel something was off. He looked down at Xuna, and furrowed his brow.
"Am I . . . getting shorter?"
"Of course you are, my pet. But don't worry; it won't have any effect on my treasure."
She grabbed his cock, and gave it a squeeze, before leading him out of the door, and down a series of hallways, until they exited the palace entirely. Renquin felt nervous; he'd never actually been in the city proper since arriving in the cave.
Bath'L'Teq was, in a very literal sense, dark. Aside from faint illumination from gemstones and flora, there was no light to speak of, unlike the palace, which was surrounded by large luminescent mushrooms. Renquin found that it was becoming easier to see in the dark, as Sinderella's potion continued to alter him.
From what he could discern, almost all of the buildings looked like trapezoidal prisms or pyramids. It was not obvious what any of them contained. Very few other nületh were outside, at least as far as Renquin could tell.
"Where are we going?"
"I told you already; I'm taking you to get clothes. Your naked form is fine, but sometimes garnish can make something more appealing."
They entered a modestly sized building, which had glowing red sigils on each of its faces. The inside was well lit, and contained many mirrors.
Xuna smiled at the sight of the proprietor, a tall woman with crimson hair and several facial piercings.
"Hello Yet'quin. How's business?"
The seamstress made a shallow bow. "Things are going well, Administratrix Gel’Tear. I see you have a new toy with you today."
Xuna nodded. "I need them to be dressed up . . . hold on,"
The two dark elves began to speak in their ancient language. Renquin noticed it was starting to sound almost familiar to his ears, but he still couldn't understand the meaning of anything being said. He looked at himself in one of the mirrors, and noticed something.
Small breasts had emerged on his torso.
The other changes had continued; his skin was turning a light shade of purple, and the loss of height he’d felt before looked more noticeable than he’d expected. His hair had lost almost all of its color. But he didn’t care about any of that at the moment.
His body was clearly more feminine. The new presence of breasts was the most obvious change, but many other imperceptible changes added up a substantial result. Renquin, being a studious magic user, had never exactly been a paragon of masculinity. He’d been androgynous his whole life, but now, he looked . . .
“Like what you see?”
Xuna started to stroke his cock and grope one of his breasts from behind. “You’re going to be a girly girl. How does that make you feel?”
Renquin stammered as the Administratrix led him towards a door with Yet’quin. “i, i’m, a man! You can’t turn me into a woman!”
Xuna shrugged. “It’s already happening. Why don’t you like it?”
“it’s wrong . . . i’m not a deviant.”
The trio entered a room containing a large silkworm. Two male servants stood near the creature, which was easily six feet in length, longer and heavier than anyone in the room. Smooth white and red fur formed stripes along the length of its body.
Yet’quin grabbed a whip off of the wall, placed high enough that the short males couldn’t reach it, and teasingly let its tip sway on the floor of the room. “Procure some silk for me. Now.”
The two males began to delicately coax the silkworm to produce some silk. One of them stood before the worm, making light illusions using magic. The other cast spells on the raw fluid leaving the worm, which turned it into an easy to use fabric for Yet’quin. Both were visibly afraid of the silkworm, for reasons Renquin didn’t want to know.
He noticed that both of the males had numerous sharp piercings in their cocks. Yet’quin saw Xuna’s slave staring, and smiled.
“Those piercings are enchanted. They dematerialize and pass harmlessly through my own flesh, but if anyone tried to steal my slaves, they would find their genitals quite painful.”
Renquin looked at Xuna, who grinned at the sight of Renquin’s fear. “Don’t worry about that, my pet. Nobody would dare to steal from an Administratrix.”
A few more moments passed. The two male slaves had created several sheets of silk, which rested on the floor of the room. Yet’quin lifted them off the floor, put her whip back on the wall, and motioned for her slaves to follow her out of the room. The seamstress then got a measuring tape from a table.
The next three hours were quite arduous for Renquin. Yet’quin and Xuna spoke in their shared language, as they worked on the designs for Renquin’s clothing. The tailor and her slaves both created the final articles of clothing. When the slave tried on his black, red, and purple garments, he instantly noticed something.
“These are all really loose.”
Xuna nodded. “I wanted them to be loose, my princess. It’s so you can grow into them.”
Renquin didn’t exactly understand what his owner meant by this, so he simply sighed; it was probably a cultural thing he didn’t understand. Xuna thanked Yet’quin, and they left the store.
Xuna stood outside of the seamstress’s building, and looked around for a moment. Renquin waited, his leash keeping him close to the Administratrix.
“Let’s go to the temple quickly.”
Renquin followed Xuna without question. He didn’t exactly want to enter a dark temple of black magicks, but he had other concerns.
I just want to lay in my basket and take a nap . . .
The Administratrix led her slave into a building, and Renquin felt a chill as he passed through the doorframe. Purple and green flames illuminated the interior, and an obsidian statue of a seated woman sat at the far end of the room.
“Sit before the statue. Come on.”
Renquin felt a strange sickness inside; he’d never practiced much light magic, but there was something in his body that was deeply unnerved by what he was doing. Nobody on the surface really knew anything about the Goddess worshiped by the dark elves, but he’d been taught to fear her influence.
He gingerly lowered himself onto the floor, and looked up at the statue. Its surface almost seemed to be dripping some kind of black sludge, but he told himself it was probably just the darkness playing tricks on him.
No, it is Zidrivini, your Goddess. I can feel your soul. It is tainted.
Renquin didn’t know how to respond; he elected to say nothing. But he felt like his thoughts were in vain; if he was speaking to the Goddess, then surely she could read his thoughts.
With you sitting here, before this beacon, it is a trivial matter for me to scour your innermost thoughts and secrets. I know that you are afraid of your predicament, how your body is changing.
Renquin began to feel invisible things touching his legs and torso. He told himself they weren’t real.
You are no longer a man, and you are no longer a human. You should accept the great gift your Mistress, Mepri'za, and Sinderella are giving you. The gift that I am giving you as well.
A psychic force began to seep into Renquin, much like the one Xuna had been using. He realized Zidrivini was making him dependent on her as well.
Your new name is Vasiik. You are your Mistress’s feminine toy. You are no longer a male; this does not mean that you have a station above malehood. You will always be a slave, regardless of your womanhood or your new nületh form. Do you understand? Don’t you want it to be this way?
Renquin tried to hang onto his name, but he began to feel it . . . Vasiik. It felt so much more natural, so much more in-sync with her body.
Vasiik, my darling subject, do you understand? Do you realize how weak you’re meant to be?
Vasiik spoke out loud, realizing she was having trouble reaching out with her mind. “If I’m going to be a nületh woman, then I should become a powerful sorceress here! I’m a magic user!”
Zidrivini laughed. Very well. Perhaps you could be a priestess for me one day, but I have a feeling you’ll be too busy worshiping your Mistress. Xuna has been good to me; she deserves a slave, don’t you think?
When Vasiik woke up, she realized she was alone in Xuna’s bedroom. She knew that the last time she'd been left alone her owner had been playing a trick on her. The pet sighed when she realized that she didn’t need to be observed; escape was simply impossible.
Or was it? Vasiik climbed out of her bed, and thought to herself. Xuna was following me around the entire time I was trying to escape; what if she had simply performed a psychic attack on me while staying invisible? Maybe I’m not really bound to her . . .
Vasiik put on some of the loose silk clothing that Yet’quin had made for her, and she studied herself in the mirror. Her skin had finished turning a lavender shade, and her height had continued to decline; she realized that Xuna would be taller than her the next time she saw her. Her ears were now pointed, and small fangs were beginning to grow in her mouth.
The nületh sighed, and began to walk towards the room she’d visited Sinderella and Mepri’za in a few days ago. It’s time for me to assert myself, find my new identity in this place. Maybe . . . if I can’t just find a way out of here.
Vasiik felt a deep unease within herself; she was beginning to think of her future as taking place within the palace and Bath’L’Teq, and not outside on the surface. She reminded herself that she was a human, that this was a setback. Something that would end.
Eventually, she reached the obsidian door, surrounded by a golden frame. After a brief moment, the door opened by itself. Mepri’za and Sinderella both were seated at a table, playing a game of chess.
It took a moment before they realized that Vasiik had entered the room. They stood up, and began to approach Xuna’s pet.
Mepri’za spoke in a condescending tone. “Hello little girl, are you lost? Xuna’s probably busy right now; I’m sure she’ll return to her room in a few hours.”
“h-hey! i’m, i’m not,”
Sinderella began to affectionately stroke Vasiik’s silver hair. “My potions worked better than I ever could have anticipated; you look amazing! Don’t you feel so much better now?”
Vasiik momentarily forgot why she’d even entered the room. The two sorceresses looking down at her, leering and grinning, made her forgetful.
“I, uh, I need to study some magic. I’m a very powerful magic user.”
Mepri’za motioned towards a bookshelf. “Feel free to read anything. Just don’t take the books out of this room. You can sit at the desk in the corner.”
Vasiik walked towards the bookshelf, and felt the eyes of the two women watching her as she studied the spines of the books. They were mostly written in some kind of dark elf script she couldn’t understand, but she eventually noticed an intermediate spellbook she’d studied from many times in the past; Gershon’s Grimoire of Useful Spells.
She pulled out the book, and awkwardly walked towards the desk in the corner.
I wish they’d stop staring at me . . .
Vasiik realized that, despite the darkness of the corner, she could actually read the script perfectly well; an absence of light was no longer an obstacle for her. She turned the pages, until she found a spell for making fire.
She closed her eyes, and began to run her fingers over the script, saying the familiar words that comprised the spell to herself. Internalizing a spell like this was a process she’d spent many hours doing, and she found some relief in doing it again.
The spell was simple, and weak, and so it didn’t take much time before she’d internalized it for a single use. It sat in her mind, waiting to be made external.
Vasiik stood up from the chair, and extended her hands before her. Sinderella and Mepri’za eagerly watched the former human attempt to cast the spell.
Moments passed. Vasiik tried to make the flames appear in her palms, but they simply wouldn’t come. The spell eventually exited her mind, with no apparent effect to speak of.
Sinderella moved besides Vasiik, and began to hug her and stroke her hair. “You’re a nületh, silly. It’s so sad . . . you didn’t realize that magic doesn’t work the same in your new body, did you?”
Vasiik tried to bat away the taller woman, but she responded by simply tightening her grip on her. “Can you teach me? How to use magic as a nületh?”
Mepri’za shook her head. “I’m afraid not. Not without the permission of your owner, anyways.”
The door to the sorcery room opened, and Xuna entered. “My ears are burning. What’s happening?”
“Your little princess wants to learn how to cast spells.”
Xuna grinned. “Don’t concern yourself with such things, pet. You should simply enjoy your life in the lap of luxury. Come on, let me take you to get some lunch.”
Sinderella let go of Vasiik, and the slave hesitantly, woundedly, began to leave the room, uncertain of her future options.
Gareth put down his pickaxe, and rested against the wall of the cave. When Xuna wasn’t present, the knights would sometimes pretend not to notice when he took a break. Since Renquin had been taken away, she'd visited the mines much less frequently.
I need to get out of here, he thought to himself.
He was falling into a rhythm. The initial shock of being kidnapped was going away. He realized that, perhaps, he was as ready as he ever would be to escape to the surface.
Gareth took deep breaths, and tried to lower his heart rate. Soon. Soon I will try . . . there’s no point in not trying. I just . . . need to relax. I can’t leave during the day. I will have to leave in the morning, after a night of sleep. And . . . I need to save Renquin.