Vxel Cain flexed his new arms. The mage's body was healthy, but neglected. Far too thin and weak. He would fix that, but now he had to move quickly. He gestured and his Jacin'Tral gathered around him. The human half of his mind understood that word now. It was a corruption of the Old Tongue meaning "minion" or "slave" and when used in some contexts "guardian". The manling half of him, the part that still subconsciously though of itself as Garret, scoffed at the idea of a being of his strength needing guardians. Vxel Cain suppressed his annoyance and pushed that part of his mind a little deeper back. It wouldn't do to have the fool's old misconceptions and prejudices seeping into his thoughts.
The mage had been ambitious and that part of his personality was irrepressible. Not that Vxel cared in this case. The mage's motivations were similar enough to his own that it did not interfere, but the impatience...now that was irritating. He knew the mage's enemies would soon know of what had happened in this chamber. They would eventually sense the portalis created here, if they had not already. He understood the need for haste, but that nagging human emotion greatly bothered him. He spoke to his gathered thralls. Each wore the body of one of the mage's old cabal, but he could feel their essence within the human shells; just as they could sense his. They listened intently.
"There are four that must be dealt with as quickly as possible." he began, his new voice sounding strange to his ears. "The most powerful of these, the one known as the Illuminatis, I will have to deal with myself. However, there must not be any intervention from his circle."
The six sets of eyes staring back at him glittered malevolently. He could feel their hunger. These were Soul Drinkers, Kadan'Bzal, and they were ever hungry. Powerful emotions were their drink and the souls of their victims the flesh of sustenance. He felt their excitement growing; no doubt amplified by the human minds they had merged with.
"The first pair, the ones known as the Judicator and the Edictator...the mage's memories tell me that the two are comrades...and lovers. However, the male, the one called the Judicator, is a man of lusts and has a weakness for women." Vxel said, displaying a toothy grin. He then spoke two guttural words. The two females of his Jacin'Tral stepped forward, compelled by their True Names and no more able to resist than a moth can resist the candle. Vxel regarded the two women closely. He read their thoughts and shared in the stolen memories of their new bodies. Making a decision, he pointed at the one of the left, a tall woman with short red hair, a pretty, lightly freckled face and a fair expanse of exposed cleavage. "You." Vxel said beckoning with his outstretched finger. The woman stepped closer. "The soul you are merged with was powerful with glamers and had the talent of empathy." he stated. The woman nodded her head in acknowledgement. "You will have the Judicator." Vxel said simply. The fire-haired sorceress-turned-demon smiled wickedly and bowed before her master.
Vxel then turned to the other woman. She was shorter, and had a willowy frame. Her long black hair hung down past her waist and the side-tails of it framed a pale face with severe features. "And you..." Vxel began, "are in possession of your soul-mate's powers of transmutation. She was a shapeshifter and transmuter." The dark woman did not smile but also nodded. "You will take the Edictator. She is likely to be wary of anyone who is known to be close to the one who was known as Garret. Choose your disguise accordingly." Now the woman did smile. That one had always liked a bit a free reign to stalk her victims as she saw fit. The opportunity to do as she pleased in dealing with the Edictator was probably almost worth as much to her as the power she would steal from the woman mage.
He then turned his attention to the four men. Two nodded to him in deference, the others simply folded their arms and waited for his command. Vxel disliked the male Kadan'Bzal. Either they feigned allegiance or outwardly opposed his will. While he could utter their true names and force them to his bidding, as he did with the females, they were more likely to bite back if handled in such a fashion, and so he dealt with them a bit differently. "The last of the three..." he said looking at each of them in turn, "He is the most powerful besides the Illuminatis. The one they call the Farseer. He will likely be the first to become aware of our arrival and may have prepared defenses and sigils against us." One of the men flexed his human fist as he listened causing his knuckles to crack noisily. Vxel continued, "I can not promise you that he will be good prey, as I have given your sisters, but be assured that if you succeed in destroying him, there will be a feast awaiting you." This seemed to stoke their fire. Male Kadan'Bzal were more willing to result to violence than the females, but they still resented that the good feeding was often given to their "sisters". However they were proud of their strength, a masculine trait that Vxel exploited in them efficiently. "Still..." he began, his voice filling with a hint of disappointment, "...if you think the task is too difficult..."
One of the male Kadan'Bzal snarled and cut him off. "No! We will not lose to the manling. We shall destroy his body and drain his vitality and bring you his head as a prize."
Vxel suppressed a smile; so easy to manipulate. Normally such an outburst would have warranted punishment, but since it proved that the Soul Drinker was willing to obey, he pretended to be chastised. "Very well then." Vxel said with finality. "Go now. Use your stolen memories of this place to find your prey. Make haste!" With a scattering of bows the minions of Vxel Cain each vanished with small red flashes of light and a rushing sound of wind as the air around them quickly filled the gaps in the ether where they once stood.
The demon inside felt a surge of excitement, yet another borrowed emotion from his new human half, and with a feral grin disappeared in his own bright burst of evil crimson radiance, sending as he went.
Hadram Gerald, Judicator of the High Robes of West Hold, stood by his window in his night clothes and watched the howling storm outside. Yang, the Farseer, was certain that the storm was some kind of omen and that it had been magically created. The Iluminatis concurred, but had otherwise been silent on the matter. His inability, or unwillingness, to comment further than he had, bothered Hadram. It was troubling Seline, the Edictator, as well. She had hinted to him earlier after that day's commune, that she might want company this evening. They had been lovers, on and off again, for over fifty years now. She would never agree to marry him, or even be his consort, but the issue never much bothered Hadram. Wizards rarely married. A life spent traveling between crystals, or lost in arcane experiments was not conducive to what might be considered a normal life. Wizard children, when they occurred, were often adopted out to normal families and watched by the guild until they came of age, should they happen to show any aptitude for magic themselves. Hadram had three such children himself, the oldest a man with children of his own, although only one, his daughter, showed any hint of being able to channel. They were not Seline's children however. While, as far as he knew, she had never lain with any man besides him, Hadram had a roaming eye for women, and where his eye went, his body usually followed. Seline often chastised him for his lack of discipline in the matter, but never seriously. She found it amusing, he surmised, that the guild's head disciplinarian had such a vise. His thoughts wandered a bit more on his past relationships, but he snapped out of his reverie quite suddenly when an especially large gust of wind rattled his window so hard that a corner of the intricate glass pane cracked. The wind passing outside created an eerie whistling noise as it crossed the break in the glass.
"Gods, this is an evil storm." he muttered to himself. While strong in most areas of magic, as one must be in order to be made part of The Three, Hadram had always had a special affinity for wards and guards. Reflexively he shifted his perceptions and scanned his chamber. While the Farseer insisted that the storm was magical in nature, not a single one of his many detectors for magic had been activated. All of the ley lines that formed the wards on his room glowed just as brightly as when he had set them earlier that day, at a recommendation from Seline no less. This evil wind was making her nervous. In truth it made Hadram nervous as well. Never in his life, which now spanned over a century and a half, had he seen such a disturbance. If it really was magic, he wasn't sure the entire guild combined could create such an effect, even if they used the Xe'Tetran in the Great Hall. Perhaps he would visit Seline tonight. Their trysts had grown more infrequent over the last few years, and if she wished to lie with him tonight for comfort he supposed that he might do with a bit of comforting himself. He examined his reflection in the dark window, backlit by the glowing fey-lights of his room. He drew a hand across his bald head then leaned back into a stretch, his well-muscled chest straining against the strings of his sleeping shirt. He shifted his perceptions back to normal as he held the stretch and stared up at the ceiling. The glowing lines of his spells winked out.
Just then, the door to his chambers opened and he heard someone enter. He immediately snapped upright and turned to face the door, a harsh retort about knocking before entering already forming on his lips. He never uttered the first syllable, however. A female wizard in ceremonial robes had entered his chambers and was quietly shutting the door behind her. He recognized her instantly as she turned to face him from across the room. It was Fenis Myie, of the Etrin'Tet sect. He knew who she was very well, for her face intruded on his thoughts often lately. Half a head shorter than he, she was tall for woman, and had short red-gold hair, emerald green eyes and a beautiful, freckled face that had created more than one love-sick apprentice in her time here. She had been with the guild nearly thirty and five years and had started her own apprenticeship late, as a teenager who had been rescued off the streets by one of the guild Archmages at that time. She still looked no more than twenty and five however, and her body, once well nourished and properly cared for, had blossomed into the impressive shape that stood before him.
"Good evening, Fenis." Hadram said calmly, although his mouth was feeling dry. "Is there something that requires my attention? There was no need to leave whatever ritual you were participating in, you could have sent your apprentice." They had finally had to assign her a female apprentice after both the boys she had tried to instruct became too distracted to properly learn their lessons.
"Yes, Judicator, there is something that requires your...attention." she replied. Her eyes had found his and her gaze never faltered as she began to cross the room towards him. The pause in her words created a twinge within Hadram.
"Alright then please tell me what you need. I am to meet with the Edictator tonight, and I am late." he half-lied, his mouth becoming drier as she drew closer. She was wearing the ceremonial robes used for summoning and transmutation. They had long slits up the sides to allow more freedom of movement when working on complicated sigils or during ceremonies that required dancing. As she glided towards him, the curve of her hips was clearly pronounced and each stride exposed a sensuous length of alabaster-skinned leg. The small soft slippers on her feet completely muffled her footsteps and made her seem to flow silently across the room. The low-cut front of the robes exposed half of each of her full breasts. Around her throat was a thin silver chain with a bright blue gem dangling from it in the center. Her focus.
Something about her wearing her focus sent a warning bell into Hadram's mind. Such things were not typically wielded before the Supreme Magi, as a sign of respect. She was so close now that he could smell her fragrance, peaches mixed with a tinge of sweat. Of course, she had just come from a ritual, so that was expected. She stopped in front of him. Her eyes had never left his and he found he was powerless to look away. He didn't want to look away. He thought wildly for a moment that perhaps she had tried to compel him. That was her strength after all, but then dismissed the idea. Every ward in this room would have gone off in bright flashes and an anti-magic field would have been instantly created should anyone try to use magic on him here. He felt the heat in his face and in his groin and new fully well why he was transfixed by this woman. Only virgin teenagers would be baffled by it.
"So...what is it that...uh, requires my attention." Hadram said, forcing the urge to stutter out of his voice. Good gods, he may as well be a teenager for how he was behaving. It was true that he had lusted after Fenis almost since the day she came of age, but still, such a reaction from him was absurd. He had to get control of himself.
Fenis stepped closer and reached up with one delicate hand to stroke the side of his face. The warmth of her fingers contrasted with the cold metal of the ring she wore on the smallest of that hand. Her lips parted slightly and he was sure he caught a whiff of the mint that she chewed in order to keep her breath pleasant.
"I require your attention." she breathed. She pressed against him now, and slid her other hand behind him and up his shirt to stroke the small of his back. He could feel her hard nipples pressing against his chest beneath the thin layers of fabric that made up her robes and his shirt. Hadram's heart thumped wildly. Dear, merciful gods she was beautiful. He felt a longing in him that he had not experienced since the very first time he had made love to Seline, and then as she drew his face down to hers, touched his lips with her own, entwined her tongue with his, all thoughts of his lover fled and his mind flooded with raw passion he had never before experienced.
He wasn't sure if she pushed him or he pulled her, but they tumbled to the rug before the window, arms madly groping each other, mouths joined together in a kiss that seemed to be unbreakable. Her hands were remarkably strong; she tore his thin night-shirt down the front, snapping all but one of the strings. His own hands found the shoulder-ties of her robes and he returned the gesture, breaking the laces and pulling the two halves of the garment down her sides, finally exposing her perfect breasts. They broke their kiss then and Hadram buried his face in her breasts, caressing her nipples with his mouth, kissing the hollow of her chest, exulting in the warmth of her bosom. She clasped her hands behind his head and sighed in pleasure.
They quickly shed the remainder of their clothes and Hadram carried Fenis to his bed. With a grunt he tossed her gently onto the stuffed mattress and she giggled girlishly as she bounced. He climbed over her and once again she locked eyes with him and that sense of warning, of danger, briefly intruded into his mind. He shook his head, the sensation already passing and being replaced by the red-hot lust that had consumed him. He began to make love to Fenis. As they moved together, breathed together, he felt the pleasurable sensation of it rising...and rising. Not as if to climax, no...somehow it was different. Demanding. Overwhelming.
Then he gasped in shock. Yung had screamed in his mind through the telepathic link he shared with The Three, as if in terrible pain. He tried to pull away from Fenis, tried to reach out to the Farseer with his thoughts, but the red haze of passion that had enveloped him blocked every attempt. He then felt a similar cry, one of alarm, from Seline. He fought to free himself, but his body wouldn't obey. He didn't want to obey, he realized. He couldn't.
Fenis crossed her legs tightly over him and wrapped her arms behind him. She tangled one hand in his hair and pulled him back to her. "No..." she whispered between panting breaths as his body continued to grind against hers of its own volition. "...you can't go to her. You belong to me now."
Hadram fought to shift his perceptions and finally managed to see the astral for a brief moment between the hot pulses of his unreasonable, uncontrollable lust. Fenis' face vanished and in its place he saw the pale white skin and black, silken hair of something both alluring and not quite human. He could feel the thing's wings wrapping around him, trying to smother him.
As if in realization of what was actually happening, the pleasure he had been feeling instantly shifted to pain. Excruciating bolts of agony shot up his body, but even then he could not break free; even then his lust commanded him.
His last thought before the Soul Drinker's power completely overwhelmed him was of Seline. "She was right about me. I am a fool."
Fenis cried out in ecstasy.