Darynn looked up from his desk. Aimee' had entered without knocking this time, just as he had asked, and was now scanning his bookshelves at a furious rate. He cast a small spell to examine the titles she was looking at, paying attention to the ones she lingered over. He frowned when he noticed most of them were healing spells. Still, if that was what she needed, she had every right to copy and learn them.
She selected one and pulled it down, reading through it. He paid her little attention, dedicating himself to the spellbook before him on the table; the way of Deists and their spells was still beyond his ken, although he now understood some of what the Essentialists did. He looked up once in a while, noticed her penquill flying at that furious rate that even he envied in her, then returned his attentions to his studies.
The next time he looked up he saw that she had fallen asleep in the chair, her own spellbook open but lying across her chest. He rose from his desk and walked over to her. "Aimee'?" he asked, touching her shoulder.
"Huh?" she said, startling awake. "Oh, sir. Forgive me. I just... needed to rest."
He nodded and patted his hand on the shoulder he touched. "That is perfectly okay, Aimee', I understand." He smiled at her. "So, no more storms at Bethsany's place, right?"
She shook her head. "No, sir. I've got it under control now, I think."
"Good," he said. "I should tell you, Aimee', that you are someday going to be the most powerful mage in the world at the rate you learn, but that power and skill must be tempered with learning and maturity." He smiled at the shock on her face. "It is true, Aimee'. Few people recognize it, because your talent, like mine, is sexual, and therefore generally overlooked. In fact, are you willing to listen to one more story by an old man?"
"Oh, yes sir!" she grinned, sitting up onto the edge of her chair.
"Good," Darynn commented. "Remember where my stories left off..."
It came to pass in the Spring of my 24th year that I left my beloved Ryuchia, just as I had left my beloved Awrthom. This time, however, many of the reasons for going were my own, not those of a master shooing me out the door. It was true; Desa had little more to teach me. I had grown beyond the peak of learning, and all was now a straight and understanding path.
I travelled down the road on horseback, armed with spells of defense for most of the travel. Just once, the day after leaving the mountains of the Megassi, was I assaulted by brigands. There were six of them, all told, who descended upon me and demanded I stand and deliver my gold and possessions. They never got within a horse's length of me before three dragons descended from the sky. [You are protected by the will of Desa,] one told me. [You will reach Barraminum safely.] They slaughtered the brigands and consumed them, leaving their possessions upon the ground. I learned that day to be a practical man and recovered their gold and their horses. At the next town I sold them all and left a wealthier man.
I made my way across the rocky terrain of the northern steppes and found myself in Barraminum after only two months of travel. It was not an easy two months, but it was uneventful. I learned some hardness on that trip that I wish I had not, but I am also glad that I did. I still have not decided on the good or bad of casting 'Stroke' upon a rabbit, holding the spell while creeping up on it, and then slitting its throat in its moment of ecstasy. The idea still bothers me greatly.
But it kept me fed until I reached Barraminum's gates. The guard at the gate wished to treat me roughly. "What do you want?" he said.
"Directions to the College of Mages."
"Haw! And who's your patron?" He was a foul-faced fellow, all pinched and dirtied. Missing a few teeth, too.
"I have none," I said.
"Go on, get on your way," he swore at me. "Nobody gets to the college without a patron. What do you think you're doing here, anyway?"
I reached into my cloak. "I have here a signed letter from Talen Silisto inviting me into the college as an unfettered student." I showed the illiterate fool the seal and quite suddenly he was nice to me.
"Yes, sir," he said. He seemed more than a little distraught, an effect I found rewarding. "I'll bring a boy to lead you to it." He swallowed and walked away. As he did so, I turned my sense of hearing to him and I heard him mutter, "One of these days I'm going to say the wrong thing to the wrong mage and I'll be spending the rest of my days searching for Mrs. Right Toad." I tried not to laugh.
The guard did eventually find someone to lead me through the city, a young and healthy boy of perhaps sixteen. I dismounted my horse as he led me through the gates and to the College of Mages.
Ah, the College. I'm sure by now you're as familiar with it as any student, but at the time the high stone walls and the beautiful spiraling towers within were enrapturing to me. I was entranced by the mere silvered appearance. The open-air main building, it's roof nothing more than magic itself, allowing in the sun and air but not the rain, framed with great stone pillars. All wonderful to me.
Once my invitation was acknowledged to be genuine, I was given a place to stable my horse and then led into the Main Hall, through a hallway and to an office, where I waited for Talen Silisto to meet with me.
Finally, he did. "Ah, Darynn, you have arrived. You have no other name?" I shook my head. "Fine, fine. I am Talen Silisto." He was a tall man, reedy thin, with fine, strong feature. A well- shaped face with a sharp nose and inquisitive blue eyes. "Come into my office, would you?" He directed me towards the door, walking behind me; once he was in, he locked the door. Needless to say, this made me nervous.
He sat back in his chair behind his desk and examined me closely. I felt probed, inspected, dissected by his careful vision. He finally pressed his fingertips together. "So you have recently come from Desa Megassi."
"How is Desa?"
"Fine, sir, although in his dragon form he does not get out much these days. I only saw it twice in the 25 months I lived there, and both occasions were very brief."
"I see," he said. "Still, it is nice to hear that he is alive and well and teaching again. For a while I though I should never hear from him. Instead he sends me you. A student not even 25 who has already created an incredible spell base. And, he tells me in private, you have mastered another spell base that has been nobody's knowledge for centuries."
My jaw dropped when I heard that. "Sir?"
"The genetic bases. Nobody has been able to learn those; they're almost strictly dragon lore, and now you wander into my college knowing them! Inconceivable!" He leaned forward. "Tell me. If I asked you to, could you write them down?"
Taken by surprise, I nodded. "I could. Given time."
"Do you think anyone else could learn them?"
"Sir, if you're asking me to pass on my knowledge, I will gratefully to students who can use it. But I will not simply turn my studies over to a book for irresponsible students to leaf through at their whim."
His expression took on a pall of surprise, and then he leaned back in his chair. "I see. Desa has taught you very well."
"Thank you, sir."
He clasped his hands together on the table. "I have no illusions about your first spell-base. 'Pleasure' is as powerful and as dangerous a Base of the Mind as any I have ever seen. Most of the mages who viewed it felt the same way. We have downplayed its existence because of that very power. I also understand that your power is channeled by sexual arousal, so I will be sure that your teacher is one of discretion in this matter, as well as one acceding to your needs. I would take you as a student myself if it were not for my age and my preference for buxom young women instead. You have all the makings of a researcher, Darynn, but you must learn to protect yourself as well."
"I am assigning you to Lien Pappen. Lien is a sexual spellmaster of no little skill who will teach you the ways of defensive and offensive magics. We will work around your trance- state methods."
"None of the other students here will have knowledge of who you are. Many are here on anonymous patronages; the patrons don't wish their neighbors to know they are financing a household mage here at the college. You will simply be one of those, richer than the rest, I suppose, because of the accumulated patronages you already have. Yes, indeed, both Awrthom and Desa have forwarded to me significant amounts of remuneration to keep you here." He smiled. "I have my doubts, Darynn. You are young, undisciplined, and overpowerful. Your power derives from that most dangerous of all human drives, sex, and not only that, the release of that power proffers you to be a sodomite!" He pounded the table with his fist while shaking his head. "Your life is going to be difficult, Darynn. Your teachers are putting a great deal of trust in your hands. Do not disappoint us.
He reached into his desk and pulled out an envelope. "Here. This is your new-student orientation material." On the back, he wrote out a name. Opening the packet, he pulled out what appeared to be a map and wrote on it. "And this is where Mage Pappen lives." Finally he wrote out a note and placed it in an envelope. "And this is the letter of introduction to Mage Pappen." He rose from his desk; sensing a cue, I rose from my chair as well. We shook hands as he handed me the packet. "Welcome to the College, Darynn."
Nervous, it took me a moment to remember my voice. "Thank you, sir," I finally managed to say to him.
I followed the directions on the map, walking high and low amongst the buildings until I found the one I was looking for. A short wooden building on a stone foundation, it had a comfortable look to it. I walked onto the porch and rang the doorbell. The door opened to reveal a young woman wearing nothing more than a short skirt about her waist, and that skirt was made of leather. The only other mark on her was an intricate scrollwork tattoo over her heart. "May I help you?"
"I am Darynn, late of Megassi. I was instructed to hand this to Mage Pappen."
"Allow me." She reached for the envelope.
"Are you Mage Pappen?"
"Then I will not hand it to you. My instruction say to give it to Mage Pappen."
"Brand, let him in." The new voice came from a taller man whose age was indecipherable. He looked twenty, thirty, even forty. He looked strong. "I am Mage Pappen. What did you identify yourself as?"
"Darynn, late of Megassi."
He descended the stairs and crossed the room to peer at me. "The dragons?" He seemed surprised.
"There must surely be some mistake. I've no ken for dragon lore." He opened the letter and began reading it. "Or, perhaps not." He smiled at me. "How old are you?"
"Brand, leave us." The woman, without so much as a blink, turned and left the room. "Now then, Darynn, Unbalance me."
"You heard me. Unbalance me."
It took me a moment to get up the courage to follow his command. I have never simply demonstrated my skill in public before; it's not often one is commanded to masturbate publicly. Which, in effect, is what I needed to do to move that spell at that time.
I dropped my pack and robes. Leaning against my staff, I reached into my pants and found my penis, stroking it softly. It came to life quickly, and in less than nine seconds I found myself breathing hard enough to summon power. One second later I formed the base in my head, the second after that I built an Unbalance over that base, and in the twelfth second I opened one eye, looked at Mage Pappen, and released it.
The Mage looked happily unbalanced. "You are he!"
"Yes, sir. I created the 'Pleasure' base." I blushed, embarrassed. "I realize I have achieved a bit of notoriety from that."
"Yes. We'll have to work on that arousal pattern you have, get it down from twelve seconds to one." He grinned. "You'll have to find your arousal in the satisfaction of the act, not the other way around. We'll manage." He looked at my staff curiously. "Is that staff yours?"
"Yes, sir. It was given to me by Desa Megassi, Master Mage of Hakkana."
"Well then, Mage Darynn, welcome to my home. You are once again Student Darynn as well, you understand." I bowed my head, agreeing to the term. "Excellent. Brand! Come show Darynn to room three, would you?"
The woman returned. "Come with me."
Lien Pappen, it turned out, was considered the sexual mage on Campus simply because he was the only mage of advanced skill who could do sexual work. Sex was a consuming passion with him and what he preferred, but it was not what he did best. Where his expertise lay magically was in process work. When I described the spell I had cast on myself and my beloved Ryuchia, he positively glowed. "Darynn, I must ask that I see you perform this spell process."
"With whom, sir?"
"I would ask that you perform it on me. I cannot ask you to perform it on Brand since she is a woman, and therefore not to your liking."
I explained the procedures necessary, and he agreed to them. We arranged a space in his basement in which to build the equipment necessary. I felt relieved to be in my own element again; it had been three months since my arrival at the campus and I had begun to feel depressed. I was without lovers here, a state not to my liking and certainly discouraging to a mage of my studies. Unlike dragons, the people in Barraminum regarded my preferences as disagreeable and limited my attentions to the boyhouses by the waterfront. Although my allowances would certainly allow me to wander down there once in a while for relief, I did not relish the idea of purchasing relief. I craved friendship and a friendly bed, not what these places offered.
Lien joined me when I announced I was ready. He removed his robes to reveal a handsome body underneath; thin, strong, and a touch pale, his body radiated with an inner sense of composure that comes from being a mage.
I knew my role' here well as he lay down on the bed. I crawled between his legs and lowered my mouth to his groin without preface, burying my face between his legs and inhaling deeply. He gasped as his cock grew to full proportions. I stared at the purple head wavering before my eyes, then smiled as I slipped my mouth around it, sucking at the silken skin of his cockhead, then feeling press against the top of my mouth, rippling as it touched the back of my throat and slid further downwards. He gasped, his hips bouncing against the bed. I closed my lips upon the warming shaft, sucking his cock for all it was worth.
It was more than skill, Aimee', it was pleasure. Pleasure from the relief of sheer need. I needed him. It was more than his cock, Aimee'; there was something to his carriage, to his whole being, that fulfilled me. As I pumped my head back and forth on his cock, I felt that fulfillment deep within me.
He groaned slightly as I stopped my sucking, reaching for the ointment and applying it to his shaft. He looked at me apprehensively as I knelt over his hips and aimed his cock upwards. I pressed down upon it, feeling it against my anus, feeling it fill me as it penetrated me. He was within me. I picked up my staff and held it out. "Take it," I said.
He nodded and reached up, taking the staff in his hands even as I did. I began casting the spell, stroking his cock within me all the while. I was interested in letting him in on the spell, so he cast it right along with me.
Together, our bodies continued in patient mating as we explored his genetic code. He marvelled at the process, and the sub-processes that allowed me to explore more than the visible. He gasped with pleasure at the spells I had learned, then told me to "End it."
I did. The spell collapsed. Unlike with Ryu, I had no need to see his climax, and as the skilled sybarite, neither did he. We ceased our coupling and sat down on the bed together. "Marvellous," he said, panting slightly as he cleaned himself off. "Simply marvellous. You did not write any of that yourself, I take it?"
"No sir," I said. "I adapted some towards my particular method of invocation, but I did not write the spell myself." I explained where I had found it and what notes I had had to take in order to make it useful to me, rather than to dragons. I also explained the changes I had had to make in order to make it work on him since he was human and not a dragon.
"Astounding. That you could take such a dangerous spell, render it into components in just such a manner. My friend, you will go far."
"Thank you, sir."
I learned, several months later, that I had a rival. By now knowledge of both my invocation speciality and my preference in partners was common knowledge, and I often took abuse because of either, and often both.
But it was not until late that coming December and the first snows had begun falling on the ground that I began to appreciate how much hatred Brand was sending in my direction. As a woman, she felt that her capacity for multiple orgasms naturally made her better prepared for the kinds of magic I was quickly excelling at. However, as we both found out, that was hardly the case. She was simply a good student without the natural skills that I had lucked upon and without the incredibly teachers of Awrthom and Desa Megassi to back up those natural talents.
However the signs began to show. Resentment, mostly. I understand that. I had wandered in where she had once been the center of attention and quickly established myself as her superior. Where she still wore robes of black I had already earned those of green.
Then things began to get ugly. At first, even the ugliness was somewhat mundane, consisting of shortsheeting and the like. The rumors started up that I preferred little boys, children below the age of puberty. That all sexual mages were destroyers of everyone they touched and claimed to love.
What friends I had stuck with me, and I'll grant them that. Although more and more I found it hard to associate with my peers, simply because they wished to have no association with me.
Then came the violence. There is simply no other term for it; I was spat upon, at first, and then I became the target of thrown stones. The attacks grew more and more severe as time went on.
Magicians, however, are resourceful. "Don't you worry," Mage Pappen reassured me. "They won't get you, but we shall get them."
Mage Pappen did indeed help me. To his credit we eventually did turn in most of the miscreants who committed their abuses upon me. Some were discharged from the school.
It was at this time that Brand received her green robes. Much to even my surprise, she announced that that was sufficient to her and that she was heading back to her home to resume her life there, now a fully-accreditted mage wearing the green.
I was surprised; I had fully expected her to stay and earn at least the blue I now wore. I asked Mage Pappen about this. "You know how it is, Darynn. Some simply want to know all they can, and some simply go when they think they know enough."
My studies continued. The attacks on me lessened, in part because Pappen and I had decimated the ranks of those who did not approve of me. I started casting some spells of import, too, ones that caught the attentions of my fellow students. Although it took me sixteen hours to cast, I did one day succeed in an alteration spell that allowed me my first wereform. For six days afterwards I could, completely at will, take the shape of a wolf. I remember the feelings of fear that created within me, fear that the wolf shape would gain control.
Also, for some reason, requests from my fellow students for love potions blossomed, apparently on the theory that a sex magician should be good at them.
All of this changed one night when I was walking through the city. I had, sadly, succumbed to my needs, and gone travelling down in the lower blocks of the city, looking for a street boy who would take my money in exchange for a candlespan of attention. I wanted someone, something specific, someone for whom I would feel something, and then later feel nothing.
I walked at odds with myself, accepting, then rejecting one, then another, never sure of what I really wanted, knowing that in truth I was missing Awrthom and Ryuchia and that Pappen's attentions were nothing more than that of a teacher, not a lover. I missed love, Aimee', truly that is what I missed.
A hand grabbed me by the shoulder. "'Ey, m'lord, are you lookin' for somethin' friendly?"
"Yes, but I'm not sure-- " I never got to say another word. As I turned to face the man who addressed me, a fist pounded me in the stomach, knocking the wind from me violently. I was pushed, shoved, and carried into an alleyway, where three men hit me further and then carried me in through a back door into a small room.
A cloth was fitted into my mouth to prevent me from speaking. I was thrown across a solid wooden table, where rough ropes tied my hands to the supports. The room was dark, dingy; only two lanterns lit it up. The three who had carried me in were all large and hairy men wearing the common clothes of laborers. They tied ropes about my feet, too, but instead of tying those down, they tied them up to a beam that supported the roof, exposing my ass to their rough hands.
"He's not a virgin," one said, his voice cracked with the twin abuses of tobacco and alcohol. "Look a' tha' 'ole."
"He's been had by dragons. But he'll do you quite well." I recognized Brand's voice. What was she doing here?
"Dragons?" the one said. "'Dor, 'e'll ne'er e'en notice us!"
"It's been a while."
One of the men approached and touched my ass with his palm. "Smooth as a babe's butt," he replied. "Does nothin' with it but sit on it all day, I reck'n." His hand was rough and calloused, the fingers themselves thick with the muscle of manual labor. One touched my anus. He pressed inwards without spit or grease, his fingers so rough and calloused I felt like I was being entered by a pine cone. The pain made me cry out, but the cloth in my teeth dampened the sound to nothing. His finger penetrated me to the knuckles and I groaned. "Yeah, t' first inch is tight enough fer me." He pulled me across the rough table, granting more pain as the raw wood scraped on my back. "Take this, lad." With a rough shove he penetrated me, his cock mercilessly barreling into my guts. "Could use a little wetness, though."
"Ha' this, then," one of the other men said clearly. The one within me laughed, and I felt something cold splash about my balls and hole. It felt cold, and then burning filled me. The smell told me what he'd used, and I began to cry from the pain. Rum. Alcohol. These men cared less if they killed me.
Another one, to my left, climbed out of his ragged pants and approached me, pulling off the gag. "Suck it, boy," he said. "Suck it well and maybe you'll live." He pulled back his foreskin and stuffed the fetid thing in my face. The smell was ghastly, as if he hadn't washed in weeks, and I couldn't bring myself to do as he ordered. He grasped my head in one hand and my nose in the other, waving that evil club before my eyes. Finally, I had to breathe, and he shoved his cock down my throat. "Bite it and I'll hurt you bad."
I gagged on the torturous thing. About the only mercy for me in this was that the alcohol that ruined me within also entered my blood and lessened the pain. I choked while the two men raped me, used me in their laughter. The one's cock sawed in and out of my burning asshole, the other fed me his cheesy meat until both grunted their climaxes and finally pulled out. The one who had been within my ass presented his cock to my mouth. "Clean it, boy."
Another cock entered my anus. Gone in pain and alcohol, I barely noticed either of the two cocks being used on me. I felt, dimly, the feel of the third man's balls as he plundered my anus, raping the juiced hole created by the man whose cock I now washed with my tongue. I could not think.
And then they, too, were gone, and a slim, delicate hand was probing at my anus. "Darynn, can you hear me?"
"Brand... Why are you doing this?"
"Because," she said as three of her fingers slipped into my asshole, "You deserve it, you perverse monster. The Sodomite Mage. You had to be younger than me, prettier than me, better than me." Her hand pressed against my burning asshole. "I'm going to give you what you want, Darynn, and what you so richly deserve. I'm going to remind you of your dragon LOVER," she snarled as her arm slipped into me, "and then, from within, I'm going to kill you."
I needed to stop her. My mind raced with all the things I could do to stop her. I knew spells that would kill her, but they took time to prepare. I needed to handle her companions, too.
I thought of a Base, a combat Base, that would help me. I imagined what it might look like completed, as complete as a Base can be. I needed to be right, once, because that was all the chance I would get. "Brand," I snarled at her.
"No." I summoned the base.
She screamed as the bones in her arm snapped. She looked up, stunned, as I poured power through the base. One of the men rushed me and lightning danced around him, knocking him against the wall, screaming. Another picked up a bottle and I struck him, too, with the lightning. Just as the base 'Pain' could be turned into 'Pleasure', so too can the bases for healing be turned to suffering. Brand pulled her hand free of my body, unable to clutch anything at all. She backed away from me as I willed her to bleed freely; it ran from her nose and she coughed it from her mouth. She shook her head, and in her bubbling throat I heard her say "You... you can't. This..."
I was developing an erection even as she said it. My combat master had taught me well; the satisfaction of committing a spell need not have arisen from pleasure, but instead, the pleasure of winning came from the satisfaction of committing the spell. I had won. I burned her, blasted her, bled her, and broke her. And then I blacked out.
"And then?" Aimee' asked.
"I was rescued. One of the men who had been busily having his way with me ran out into the street, and the screams attracted the attention of the local guard. I was taken back to the college, where I attracted a lot of attention." Darynn smiled and leaned back in his chair. "Now, I've taken away from your studies again to tell you a rather dull and boring story." He yawned to make the point.
His bait worked; she yawned along with him. "See? I've managed to put you back to sleep." He leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Why don't you return home? We'll continue this later."
She sighed and the sound tore at his heart again. "Yes, sir. Goodnight, sir."