Sacrifice - The Departure: Part 1: Dawning

by T S Fesseln

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© Copyright 2006 - T S Fesseln - Used by permission

Storycodes: MF/f; bond; gag; collar; outdoors; ritual; fantasy; hist; cons/reluct; X

The Departure 
Part 1 Dawning

The sky above the old oaks and hornbeams began to turn several lighter shades of deep blue.  A few clouds appeared as light grey fingers on a canvas of navy.  Soon, the sun would paint everything around the village a heated gold and old man Grul’s cock would wail it’s hoarse mornings greeting. It would be the last time Naryla would ever hear it. 

The young woman could not sleep.  She sat at the open window looking out at the baker’s shop, watching Bolle’s shadows behind the window as he prepared the oven’s fire for another day’s work.  A few wisps of smoke had already curled up into the early morning sky.  Naryla feasted on these images, as if seeing them for the first time. She had sat in this window many a time before during her seventeen years, watching the village slowly awaken from its slumber.  As a little girl, she remembered hearing her parents stirring, getting the Pied Stallion ready for another day.  Her mother would prepare the meat pies and the fruit tarts for Bolle to bake in his oven.  Father would be cleaning the inn’s tables from the night before as her younger brother collected the wood for the evening’s fire in the grand stone fireplace that stood in the center of the room. It was sad to think she would never see these things again.

“It is going to be a beautiful morning,” her mother said quietly.

“Yes, it is,” Naryla said without looking back at her mother.

“We must prepare you,” her mother said, “The Guardians will be here shortly.”

Naryla nodded as she reluctantly got up from her place before the window. Naryla was beautiful, her mother thought.  Not too tall as to intimidate the boys of her own age and not too short as to be picked upon by the same.  She had long, luscious amber hair that framed her oval, ever-smiling face.  Her eyes were the color of the summer sky and her lips the color of dusty rose petals.  Naryla’s nightgown could not cover the beautiful curves of her youthful form.  Her breasts were large and firm and her hips flared nicely from a narrow waist. She was a picture of a perfect daughter. 

There was an emptiness that filled Naryla’s mother, one that she silently wept into birth the night her daughter was chosen and it was something that her husband could not comfort.  It was if her womb was a frozen, empty shell that no amount of love could ever fill, now that her daughter was being taken away from her for the spring sacrifice.

Naryla’s mother followed her daughter behind the bar and into the bedroom where the family slept.  Naryla’s father had brought out the wooden washtub and filled it full of warm water as prescribed by the Guardians and their village priest Tarvn.  In it, her mother had sprinkled a variety of dried herbs and flowers given to her by the priest after Naryla had been selected.  The mixture of apple blossom petals, rosemary, lavender, and marigold blossoms as well as other, more arcane herbs floated on the surface as she gently tested the warmth of the fragrant waters with her toes.  The young girl then shrugged out of her gown and stepped into the bath.

The fragrance of the herbs surrounded her, filling her with visions of forests and flowered meadows.  Naryla normally loved the rare treat of a bath, but this bath was not to be enjoyed, rather, it was to be endured for what it symbolized. Her mother was silent as she took a sponge and scrubbed her all over as she stood.

“It is alright, mother,” Naryla said softly.

Her mother looked up and forced a smile, a tear glistening in her eye, “I know.”

“It is for the good of us all,” Naryla said, repeating the words of the priest, as much to convince herself as her mother.

“I know,” her mother whispered again as she began to scrub the flat of Naryla’s stomach and the neatly trimmed dark gold curls below.

Naryla had not seen her father save for when he brought the tub in and filled it from the cauldron in the kitchen.  He had been as silent as a stone since the priest came and told him two days ago that his daughter had been chosen as this springs sacrifice.  He would barely even look at her, preferring to get lost in his work.  At night, she could hear him sobbing and mother comforting him with soothing, whispered words.  Naryla wished she could hug her father one last time before leaving for The Temple of the Mount, but she understood his grief and not wanting to attach himself to her anymore. Naryla’s mother finished up cleansing her and the girl stepped from the tub, getting a towel to dry herself off. Outside, in front of the inn, there was a clamor of hooves.  The Guardians had arrived just as they said they would with the dawning of the sun on the first day of spring.  Silently her mother guided Naryla to the front room.

“The warriors are here,” Jol, Naryla’s young brother said as he came through the door, suddenly dropping his eyes seeing his sister naked.

“Go, fetch your father,” his mother said and the youth dashed out, leaving the inn door open.

The chill of the morning prickled Naryla’s skin as a slight breeze came in from the open doorway.  Through the doorway, she could see a pair of large, black horses and part of the armored knights that rode them.  She had seen a pair of Guardians before when a pair rode through their village a year or two ago.  Their breastplates were polished black and gold and glinted sharply in the afternoon sun.  The pale blue-gray cloaks billowed behind the pair as they rode past.  The helmets they wore covered half of their face and had two gray dragon wings mounted over their brows.  Each wore a sword at their side and each had a sturdy lance.  As Naryla stepped through the open doorway, she could see that these two guardians were dressed just the same.

“Is this the Maiden of Choosing?” one of them, the larger of the two, asked ceremoniously.

“She is the Chosen One,” Naryla’s mother replied, kneeling to the knights.

The other Guardian dismounted from his horse.  He was scarcely taller than Naryla and youthful in what little the young girl could see of his face.  He opened one of his horse’s saddlebags and produced one of the few items that Naryla would be wearing to the temple. 

The knight stepped over to the girl and fastened a white leather collar around the girl’s slender neck and locked it into place.  It was not as uncomfortable as Naryla had expected.  It had several silver rings mounted around it, all intricately carved as hooked dragon claws and on the front, a larger silver dragon’s head with a ring formed by it’s open mouth. A pair of wrist cuffs of polished steel and white leather was the next items that the Guardian fetched from the saddlebags.  The steel was intricately carved with curled dragons and flames and clouds of billowing steam.  He gently locked each around Narylas wrists before bringing them in back of her and locking them together.  There would never be a key to unlock them.  She would wear them until her death.

There were only two things Naryla did not want to wear and one of them was the gag.  She was told about why she would have to wear it, but she knew she did not need it to be silent during the trek to the temple.  However, everything that she wished ceased to be when the priest came and told her parents that Naryla was the one chosen for this spring.  The pyriform gag was also made of white leather and polished steel.  It filled her mouth completely and she could imagine that the bitter tang of the leather was the last thing she would ever taste.

The other thing she did not wish to wear was the silver chain crupper that would run through her sex and protect her from whatever evils that might befall her on her journey.  The knight knelt down and wrapped the slender chain around her waist and eased it between her buttocks and up between the lips of her sex, drawing it tight before locking it in place.  Naryla blushed as he tightened it, not ever having had a man be that intimate with her quim before. The white sandals seemed as if they were an afterthought.  They were simple with no adornment.  The young knight slipped them on and wound the thin straps all the way up each calf and tied them off.

Naryla’s mother gave her daughter one last hug, holding her tight against her chest.  Naryla could feel her muted sobs and it caused her to feel a sorrowful knot in her stomach and in her throat.  Her tears flowed freely down her cheek as the knight eased her mother away.

“It is time,” said the larger knight.

The last thing that Naryla had to wear was the silver lead that was fastened from her collar to the pommel of his horse.  Naryla would lead the way all the way to the temple, chained and without clothing.

The first steps were difficult.  The entire village seemed as if it were watching.  Bolle had stopped his morning chores and watched from his front steps.  Others had stepped out of their houses and stores as well, looking solemnly at Naryla.  Not a word was said.  It seemed as if the whole world was silent save for the soft clatter of hooves upon the dirt road.  The young girl hung her head down and tried to hide her face in her golden tresses so she did not have to look at their faces. At once Naryla discovered that the chain that led through her sex rubbed against her bud, sending a little rush of pleasure into her womb.  She had not expected this unbidden pleasure and there was little she could do to stop it.

Naryla’s mind was so enrapt with the feelings that the chain crupper was causing that she did not realize that they had reached the edge of the village and the stone arch that straddled the roadway.  The arch was as old as the village and its carved dragon with its wings outspread warned everyone that the Guardians and the dragon simply known as Dracylm Firewing protected this village. The stonework was worn and stained with time, but it’s meaning was still as heeded as when it was placed there.

The trio traveled silently for awhile.  The feelings of pleasure within the young blonde woman gradually started to build, for every step she took, the chain rubbed through her moistening quim.  She also noticed how taut her nipples felt in the chill air of the morning; how much they ached for something. Naryla then moaned softly into her gag. It was unbidden and it sounded like the screech of an owl to her. Surely the Guardians had heard.  However, they did not seem to notice.

The chain continued to gently abrade her pearl and she could feel the nectar of her arousal starting to trail a bit down her thigh.  With every step, it was both a torment and a pleasure.  The links brushed against her pearl, sending another rush of pure bliss through her that was building and building into something more powerful; something that threatened to engulf her in pure bliss.

Naryla ceased to worry about her mewls through the gag.  Surely the warriors had noticed by now and probably had expected her to.  It was all she could do to keep walking. . .

Then a wave of crushing ecstasy engulfed her.  She froze in her tracks and shivered as it ripped through her, filling her entire world with a light that would eclipse the very sun in it’s brightness. When the feeling abated, she found that she was being held up by both of the Guardians.  Weakly, she found her legs again, wobbling a bit as she stood.

“Is there something wrong, Chosen One?” the huskier of the Guardians asked with a hint of amusement on his lips.

Naryla shook her head no, bowing her head and afraid to look into the knight’s face.

“You should not tease her so, Tyraal,” the other knight spoke.

“I did not tease her, Jarial, I simply asked as to her condition.”

Jarial!  Jarial is a woman’s name!  Naryla was shocked to discover one of the Guardians was actually a woman!

“Are you well, Chosen One?” Jarial asked sympathetically, gently touching the young blondes’ shoulder. 

Again, Naryla nodded her head and looked up at woman.

“Yes, there are many Guardians that are women, Chosen One,” she replied, sensing Naryla’s question.

“In fact, Chosen One, every pair of Guardians are companions,” Tyraal added, “Jarial and myself have been Guardians together for nearly five years now.”

Jarial nodded her head, “Yes, Chosen One, that is very true.  We have a son awaiting us at the Temple.  It has been several weeks since we have seen him.” 

“I hate to insist on moving on, you two,” Jarial smiled, “but we have a ways to go before we bed down for the night.  I want to be able to reach the Temple by tomorrow evening.”

“Agreed,” his companion said, “but I need to ask the Chosen One something.”

Tyraal waited, leaning on his lance.

“Alone, if you do not mind.”

“Oh, woman talk,” Tyraal sighed as he handed over Naryla’s chain lead to Jarial, mounted his horse and eased down the road a bit.

Jarial faced the young girl and spoke softly, “Now, Chosen One, I suspect that that was the first time you had experienced the rapture.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, it is something to be desired.  However, would you like to ease the torment of the chain?”

Naryla nodded yes.  She did not think that she could endure the constant stimulation of her sex.  It was indeed the most incredible thing that she had ever felt in her young life, but to have this feeling coming to engulf her again and again, she knew she would not last to reach the temple.

Jarial reached into her saddlebag and produced a piece of hardened leather that resembled a tongue.  With great care, the woman warrior eased the piece of leather between the chain and Naryla’s sensitive quim.  She took a few tentative steps and found the leather protected her from most of the crupper’s caresses.  She wished she could thank Jarial for her kindness, but her gag and bindings prevented this.

“Are you ready to go on, Chosen One?” Jarial asked.

Naryla smiled around her gag and nodded yes.

Tyraal once again took over the young woman’s leash and let her set the pace.  He admired the girl.  She carried herself well.  Others they had guided to the temple rebelled and despaired once they were out of sight of their towns or villages.  One young girl he had to carry over his saddlebow, a very undignified way for a Chosen One to enter the Temple.  He chastised her in the manner that the Temple prescribed, by doubling his horse’s reins and spanking her until she begged to walk the rest of the way.  Jarial was far less forgiving.  She understood all too well what was being asked of these young women and she demanded they comply with those rules as laid out by the Temple.  Tyraal had to warn her numerous times when Jarial would pull out the riding crop to quickly.  However, this young woman before him had impressed both Jarial and himself.  She would approach the Temple with both grace and fortitude.

The morning became warmer and the level meadows gave way to wooded hills. Naryla was glad for the shade of the ancient oaks that arched overhead.  There were few people here and only an occasional woodsman’s cottage greeted the travelers.  Naryla set the pace and she had now grown accustomed to her bindings, though her shoulders ached slightly from the unfamiliar position they were forced to be in.

It was close to midday when Naryla felt a slight tug upon her lead.  They were approaching a small, moss cloaked stone bridge that spanned a slow moving creek.

“I think a rest is in order.  The way gets much steeper ahead,” Tyraal said to Naryla.

Naryla nodded and all three made their way to the edge of the creek where Jarial tied up the horses and Tyraal did the same for Naryla’s lead; hooking it around an old, broken stump that stood by the creek.  Naryla carefully sat herself down on a nearby rounded stone.

Tyraal squatted down beside her and spoke, “Now I want you to pay attention to what I am about to tell you.  I know you must be both hungry and thirsty, Chosen One, but it is going to be a little hard to satisfy either with that gag in your mouth.”
The young blonde nodded with a slight grin.

“So, here is what you must promise.  You must not say a single word when I remove your gag.  Not one.  If you even attempt to utter a word I will be forced to gag you the rest of the journey and that will not make either one of us happy.  Do you understand?” Naryla nodded again, wanting to get the gag out of her mouth.

The knight stepped around in back of her and unlocked the strap to her gag and eased the white, pear-shaped ball out of her mouth. It felt good to be rid of the gag, even for a short while.  Naryla could still taste the leather lingering in her mouth as she worked the slight ache out of her jaw.  Tyraal offered her a drink from his leather flagon and she gratefully took several swallows.  It proved to be a sweet wine and it erased all taste of the gag.

Tyraal fed the young, bound girl some wonderful bread filled with dried fruits and nuts as well as slices of cheese.  He did this in silence to try to ensure that she would not say anything inadvertently.  She noticed as he fed her that his eyes were a dark blue-gray, like that of a storm-swept sky.  Yet they had no hardness to them.  She also noticed Tyraal smiled easily at little things, like when she lost a bit of bread and it tumbled down her chest.  She could see the gentleness in the knight.  She could also see why Jarial would choose to become this man’s companion.

While Tyraal fed her, Jarial stood on guard holding a light crossbow, her eyes ever scanning the woods around them.  Though they were well within the protectorate of the Temple, there were still some dangers that lurked within the forest.  After Tyraal had fed Naryla and himself, he exchanged duties and let his companion rest a bit and take a bite to eat. Naryla was a bit shocked when Jarial took her helmet off and let her long auburn hair fall free.  Her face was slightly round with high, smiling cheeks and dark brown eyes that were the eyes of a mother, both caring and observant.  She also wore a small silver nose ring that glinted in the sunlight. 

“By the dragon, it feels good to get out of this helmet,” Jarial said, “Are you doing well, Chosen One?”

Naryla nodded. 

“And does the leather shield help?”

Again, the young blonde nodded.  Though the motions of the chain still stimulated her, it’s caress was considerably less.  With the miles they had already traveled, she had gotten used to the subtle, insistent pleasure.  It was invigorating and yet she yearned for another ‘rapture’.  Her nipples also felt a tingling ache she was not familiar with.

Jarial patted the Chosen One upon her thigh and eased back against the same rock that Naryla sat.  The knight folded out a cloth upon her lap and began eating slowly, taking her time to relax and enjoy the moment. Naryla felt at peace.  The woods were cool and she could hear dozens of birds all chirping and singing to the sun.  Both Tyraal and Jarial were wonderful travelling companions. . .

Then the thought of her sacrifice darkened her mood.  This trip would only last another day or two, and then she would be put upon an altar for the good of her community.   The thought caused her to tear.
Jarial turned around, “It will be well, Chosen One.”

The girl could not contain her tears, they flowed from her in a current of mourning.  She wept for everything that she would never see again and she wept for the future she would never have.  Naryla felt her self being cradled by Jarial’s arms as she buried her face into the warriors cloak.
“It is not as you think, Chosen One,” Jarial whispered, “It will be well.”

Jarial let the young woman’s tears flow until there were no more to be had.  This one had been very good up until now and both Tyraal and her were proud of her.  Both knew, however, this was going to happen.  It happened to every single one of the Chosen.  Some kept it in until the sacrifice.  Other Chosen Ones broke down as soon as they saw the Guardians.  Jarial was glad that this sacrifice had chosen to do it now instead of in front of all the temple before being bound upon the red marble alter.

“We need to get going,” Tyraal said, touching his companion’s one shoulder lightly, “Attend to her other needs and we shall be gone from here.”
Jarial nodded and gently eased Naryla from her other shoulder and looked into the girls’ blue eyes, “It is time to be moving along, Chosen One.”

Naryla nodded.

“Do you need to relieve yourself?” Jarial asked. Again, Naryla nodded.

“I cannot remove this chain, Chosen One, but I can hold it aside. There is some brush over there.  I will help you.”

Tyraal did not like having the chosen girl out of his sight.  Other times, Jarial had other girls relieve themselves beside the road with no cover and little help from her.  He understood his care for the young blonde, but he did not understand Jarial’s care for her, given what his companion had endured.

Jarial unhooked Naryla’s leash from the tree and led the girl behind the scrub oak bush.  Naryla realized just how helpless she really was and felt as if she were an infant.  Jarial helped her squat down and leaned against the warrior woman for support.  Jarial removed the leather shield from between the young woman’s legs and pulled the chain aside so Naryla would not wet it too much. As helpless as a newly born child, Naryla thought to herself.

Naryla felt the stream come and go and the scent of her relief was light amongst the other smells of the forest.  Jarial plucked a leaf or two and gently wiped her sex before replacing the piece of hardened leather between her and the crupper.  Jarial then looped Naryla’s leash around her swordbelt.

“Do not go anywhere, Chosen One,” Jarial said as she began to undo her armor and lean against the tree, relieving herself before she led the young girl back out to the road. 

“I was starting to worry,” Tyraal said loudly as the woman emerged from behind the bush, tucking her long hair back into her helmet.

“We had do to some errands of the body, my love,” Jarial called back.

Tyraal had gathered the horses together and stood on the road, his eyes continually scanning the forest around them.  Deep down, he felt as if someone was watching them from the green leafed shadows.  However, he could not descry where it came from and he almost convinced himself that it was just his nerves and his care for the safety of this particular sacrifice.  As Jarial approached him, she could sense his tenseness and with a simple glance into his eyes, his concern for the Chosen One. Without a word, he handed Jarial back her crossbow.  From his pouch he produced the white leather gag. Naryla opened her mouth and accepted the leather pear-shaped ball without protest.  It was good of them to ungag her, she thought, a simple gesture of kindness that meant the world to the young girl.

“Are you ready, Chosen One?” Tyraal asked. The girl nodded yes.

Jarial handed the crossbow back to her companion and took Naryla’s silver lead.  As the young girl began to go down the road again, Tyraal eased his horse out ahead of her, crossbow in hand.  His lance had been tied to the side of his horse but Jarial still carried hers, it’s white pennant flapping a bit in the light breeze.

Naryla now felt the Guardian’s anxiety as they made their way over the bridge and up the hill just beyond.  To her, the forest did not seem any different from when they entered it; there was the chirping of birds and the rustling of leafs and branches in the slight spring breeze.  However, she began to watch around her as well. The Guardians continued down the road; their sacrifice between them.

They went up the hill and around the curve.  Tyraal continued to watch, looking for that stalker in the woods but never finding it.  Naryla realized just how helpless she was.  Naked and bound, her wrists cuffed behind her back.  She could not even scream out for help or run very far with the way her leash was tied to Jarial’s saddlebow. A mile passed; then two. Naryla could feel the tension slowly ease out of both of the Guardians.  Tyraal relaxed his grip upon the crossbow, though he continued to be ever watchful.  Jarial no longer held her lance in a death grip.

As the miles passed and the gold of the afternoon sun became more orange as it filtered through the leafs, Tyraal eased his horse back and took over the Chosen Ones’ leash and Jarial hooked her crossbow upon her saddle.  The woods had become more and more filled with pine and spruce and the trail a bit more steep and rocky.  Occasionally the road broke away from the forest and Naryla could see the valley below them, stretching away into the late afternoon haze.

“We will sleep at The Horn tonight,” Tyraal said, “It is not much further and I do not want to be out here when the sun goes down.”

Jarial nodded her agreement, “It is going to be cold out here in a bit, when the sun goes down behind the Taloncrag.  Are you doing well, Chosen One?”

Naryla nodded, though her legs had begun to ache and she was desperately thirsty.  The road had become increasingly uneven and rock strewn and she was not used to such long hikes.  However, Naryla was more afraid of what lay behind them, lurking in the trees, so her discomforts were minor in her mind. True to his word, The Horn Inn rose out of a mountain glen like a fairy tale castle, its lit windows welcoming the travelers like a tankard of warm spiced ale in winter. 




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