Nalynn gazed at BriSid in horror as she realized that Ebonstarr had taken possession of his body. Before she could protect herself, there was a brilliant flash of light, followed by a darkness so profound she was unable to comprehend its completeness. A momentary panic engulfed her before the witch's spell began to weave through her. She was vaguely aware of her body. She tried to speak, only to discover she was unable to utter a sound. She sensed movement -- her body was moving, though she could not feel her legs.
Struggling against the powerful magic, she fought in vain to break away, only to be overcome by a wave of pleasurable sensations penetrating her brain and body.
As the magic possessed her more completely, she gave up her fight and relaxed, rapt in the visions which now began to flit across her mind's eye.
His face loomed before her, she recognized it, though she knew not why. A handsome creature, fine features, broad shoulders, a kind and gentle smile.
"Who are you?" she asked. "I am Braldt, thy husband. At long last, I see you again, my beloved wife."
He took her in his arms, kissing her deeply and lovingly. She yielded to his embrace, allowing his passion to overtake her. Such sweet ecstasy! She could not recall sensations so pleasurable. "Braldt, my beloved husband! I remember you now," she murmured as he withdrew from her. Facing him once again, she reached out to him, but the sensation of movement again assaulted her mind and his image began to fade from her view. "No!" she cried,
"Don't leave me again! I cannot bear the pain if you are taken from me again!"
"Nalynn, my beloved, don't forget me! We shall be rejoined if you will give yourself to Lloth!"
There were fields, lovely fields of ripening grain; orchards bearing wondrous fruits the like of which she'd never seen before. Somewhere in the distance, she heard trees sighing as the vista changed again to a deep forest. A bird cried out, in a voice most familiar. She gazed into the sky and glimpsed a great eagle but it was not he who spoke. A smaller bird off to the side--a raven.
"Nalynn!" it cried out to her mind "Help is on the way. Do not give in to Ebonstarr's powers! Fight, or all will be lost!"
As she struggled to understand, darkness once again engulfed her as she fell into a whirling vortex of sight and sound. Brilliant colors and exquisite music surrounded her. She plummeted through a tunnel, saw jewels of unspeakable beauty and splendor. Deeper and deeper she went, lost in a wonderland which brought tears to her eyes as she tried to grasp the meaning of this strange world.
"The jewels, the music" a voice whispered, "All of this shall be yours if you give yourself to Lloth."
She came to rest in a large cavern studded with jewels and draped with fine silks and soft pillows. The hand which had led her to this place withdrew from her hand as she fell onto a bed as soft as the finest Eider feathers in the realm. The chamber was warm and comfortable; she tried to move but found herself still unable to do so.
Light flooded into the chamber through a door, which she could swear had not been there a moment ago. Through it, he came. "Braldt!", she cried out, "You have returned to me!"
"Aye Nalynn, 'tis I. This is my home - and yours now too. Ebonstarr has been most kind to me, and she wishes this to be your home as well." He knelt upon the bed and took her in his arms. "Love me, Nalynn! I've hungered so long for your touch, your body, which is rightfully mine, despite your betrayal of our marriage."
She gazed at him incredulously. "Yes, I know of your marriage to Torm. Ebonstarr told me all about it. I do not blame thee. I'm only disappointed that you had so little faith in our being reunited. But that is behind us now. We are together again. There is only one last thing you must do to assure that we stay together always."
"Anything, my beloved husband." she whispered, "I'll do anything to remain with you."
"You must pledge your loyalty to Lloth." he explained as he began removing her garments. "I will help you, as I promised Ebonstarr I would." He embraced her once again and made love to her.
Nalynn shuddered with pleasure and arousal at the touches of her husband. Lost in the light of his love, she opened her eyes to gaze at him. His eyes were ablaze with a fire of scarlet and gold, the handsome face gone, replaced by a horrific visage - a Fire Elemental! She screamed as realization overtook her. "No! You are not my husband!" she cried, struggling now to escape the demon's burning grasp.
The demon grinned maliciously as he ravaged her. "Give yourself to us, Lady Nalynn. Do not turn away! Look deep into the eyes of your new mistress, Lloth!"
Her muffled screams echoed through the caverns as her mind tried to grasp the terror. Then, the blessed oblivion of unconsciousness overtook her as the only escape from a horror too terrible to face.
Continue to Chapter 26