WintermuteX Stories

Monstrum: Grub - Part 1

By WintermuteX

Contributions by Clark & Lily

Previous stories:
Monstrum: Bitch
Monstrum: Broodmother
Monstrum: Filly
Monstrum: Submission
Monstrum: Jacqueline
Monstrum: Pollination

Tags: Mg, bd, best, inc, magic, nc, ped, rape, reluc, viol

Content: Rape, Monster Rape, Young Girls, Magic/Fantasy, Gore, Death, Violence, Bondage, Incest, Pedophilia, Pregnancy

Seri scratched her pencil idly on the paper as she sat on the stump. Her sketchpad lay on her knees, the event taking place in front of her illustrated with meticulous detail: the tiny cocoon of a Grobule - a small, grub-like creature - hung from the thick branch, just barely beginning to twitch and pulse as the creature inside struggled to life.

How fascinating nature was, she thought, leaning forward on the stump to peer more closely at the cocoon. All around her, the sounds of the forest life buzzed in the darkness beyond the revealing light of the campfire. The chatter of night birds, the rustle of deer moving unseen in the shadows, the buzzing of an uncountable variety of insects - it all blended together into a wholesome rhythm that seemed to connect Seri to the forest around her. She loved nights like this one, where she didn't have to worry about being on duty, didn't have to worry about the endless study and tedious practice that was the life of a mage. Just her and her sketchpad, together with the thrumming of life all about her.

The cocoon twisted more urgently, one sticky end fixed tightly to the branch while the other writhed in the air. A Grobule was only a few inches long - the size of a hefty slug, perhaps - but their biology was extraordinary. There were 3 periods in their life when they molted, transferring from their larval form to adolescence to adulthood respectively. Seri wasn't sure what form the Grobule would take. There was no way to tell just from the appearance of the cocoon. She waited with pencil poised, ready to fill in the rest of her sketch with the Grobule as it hatched.

Slowly, the cocoon began to split, a fine crack appearing in the glistening fleshy surface. Dozens of little curling legs squeezed out, followed by the wiggling body of the Grobule. Seri watched in shock - the creature was reddish-orange instead of pink, with lines of little spikes running down its back. This wasn't what a Grobule was supposed to look like. It seemed oversized too, which explained why the cocoon had seemed so large. The fleshy body managed to wiggle its last segment out of the cocoon like an oversized caterpillar and it began to inch its way up the branch.

Another Grobule - female, by the stripes - was resting in a crook in the branches. The first Grobule climbed up and pounced aggressively on it, crawling on the female's back and digging its legs in like needles. A tiny squeal sounded from the victim and it tried to wiggle away, but it was hopelessly pinned by the larger bug. Seri watched in fascinated horror as the male began to rape its prey, body moving forcefully as it shoved into the female.

Seri picked up her pencil, trying a few lines, then gave up. She loved to draw nature, bringing it to life on her paper, but this was unnatural. She had contributed at least a hundred sketches to the botanists and naturalists at the library in Unhandra where she had served, turning them over so the scribes could trace and illuminate them and publish them in the thickly-bound volumes that they put out every year for scholars, but lately it seemed as if everything she drew had become...darker, somehow. Twisted. She could see it even in the fleshy bodies of the Grobules, their grublike forms illuminated by the firelight. The cycle was twisted now. Unnatural. Male Grobules became sexually aggressive after their last metamorphosis, but not like this. It was almost as if the bug had Monstrum blood in it. She had observed more of this kind of behavior, as if their influence was seeping in, having subtle effects on the natural species of the world. Seri didn't know how that was possible. Maybe a Monstrum species had crossbred somehow with the bugs here, passing on its rapacious nature to its offspring. Seri had heard countless wild tales from farmers on her deployment; a man at one village had insisted that the local soldiers had captured a Rapewolf alive, then thrown it in a pen with a regular dog bitch just to see what would happen. Supposedly she had borne some kind of aggressive halfbreed. The man didn't know how that had turned out, since the town had fallen shortly thereafter. The place wa a ghost town sitting on top of an Arachma nest now.

Seri shuddered, thinking of it - all those women and girls, captured from the farming town by the enormous spiderling creatures and dragged into their webbed tunnels under the earth to be bred relentlessly to produce more Arachma for the hive. Monstrum were everywhere these days, encroaching relentlessly on human lands. At first they had been a menace relegated to the outskirts of Teleria, but as they had captured isolated villages, they had taken the human women from each of them, raping and breeding them like pigs to produce even more Monstrum from their wombs. Their numbers had swelled, allowing them to overpower larger villages and towns. The queen and her advisors had dispatched the full might of the kingdom's soldiers and mages against the threat, but after years of fighting there was no doubt: the humans were losing. Even after recruiting and training countless new mages like herself - young girls aged 10 to 18, the only time when magical ability was manifest in humans - they still suffered defeat after defeat. Each girl lost was raped endlessly, exposed to the mysterious Conversion effect in all Monstrum cum until she had become a willing breeder. Each loss gained the monsters more momentum. Each failure accelerated the human's defeat. Teleria tottered on the brink of collapse, shaken by famine and by encroaching enemies from all sides.

There weren't enough mages left now to stop the tide. The queen's advisors had stubbornly insisted that traditional battle tactics - mixed companies of hardened soldiers backed by the power of the mages - would win the day. Now the last hopes of the kingdom rested with girls like her.

It was ridiculous. This was her third deployment. She was 12 now, and she knew her magical abilities would never improve beyond what they were now. Seri didn't have a head for combat. She wasn't a battlemage. Her talent was mostly unremarkable. She preferred using her magic in scholarly pursuits, and when her trainers realized that she actually had some aptitude in that area they had assigned her to library duty to assist the commanders and the older mages.

Not that anyone really listened to her even then. She was just a little girl, after all. When she had reported the man's account of the Rapewolf halfbreed during her debriefing back at the capitol, she had been laughed out of the room. Rapewolves only liked to fuck little human girls, they had sneered. Girls like her.

Seri sighed and closed her sketchpad. The sounds she had been ignoring were getting louder now - a girl panting, moaning with pleasure, clearly audible even this far from the commander's tent. Seri wondered why she had to make so much noise. Diena was her combat partner, supposedly, but Seri found that she didn't like the other girl very much. Dienna was a suckup and a bully, and the company commander had taken a liking to her on this deployment. Varus summoned her to his tent almost every night. Once, the mages had commanded more respect, but that time was past. Now none of the other soldiers or mages batted an eye at the commander fucking a little 14-year-old girl. Diena sure seemed to enjoy it.

Well, so much for scholarship. Seri got up from the stump and followed the narrow path back to the main area of the camp, passing some of the soldiers hunkered around a large campfire. Their followed her with their gazes, eyes crawling over her exposed body. She was used to it, of course. The uniform of the mages - a delicate array of gauzy dreamcloth strips and jewelled allocite chains - barely even covered her young tits or ass. It was beautiful, to be sure, like something a princess would wear, but what little there was of it was cut and flared to show off her feminine features, with filmy cloth hugging her hips, slight coverings for her breasts that were almost sheer, and a hanging skirt barely long enough in front to conceal her pussy. In fact, if the wind blew wrong, it didn't even do that. That's probably what the soldiers were hoping to get a glimpse of. Mages couldn't wear armor, since the channeling of magical energies would corrode metal and leather as if they had been dipped in acid, but the scanty uniform that she wore was scarcely better than being naked.

She passed the soldiers without meeting their gaze, then pulled back the flap of her tent and went inside. It wasn't all that big inside - the soldiers got bigger ones - but it was big enough for her bedroll and her things. With Dienna gone for the moment, Seri had a chance now. She opened her pack and reached in to fish around for the heavy tome concealed at the bottom. The pack was magical, of course - a sack of powder-blue dreamcloth that was always as light as a feather and much bigger inside than outside. It even shrunk by itself to the size of a coinpurse so she could attach it to the allocite chain of her belt when she needed to. With her arm sunk up to the elbow, she finally found what she was looking for and pulled it out.

The cover was a deep ebony, studded with dark jewels and comprised of some kind of unknown material that felt soft to the touch. She wasn't supposed to have this. She had stolen it the night before leaving for her deployment, taking it from the personal library of the Duchess of Anzer, a high-ranking woman named Sheila who had stepped in to keep her from flunking out of the academy and to whom she had served as a personal assistant for several months. Sheila was an astonishingly beautiful and immensely powerful woman who had always looked down on Seri, rarely even remembering her name. She would never have let Seri have the book, so Seri had simply taken it. Part of her felt a little afraid of what would happen if Sheila ever realized what she had done, but Seri knew that the book belonged with the mages. It was too important to leave in the hands of a layperson.

A magical hum seemed to radiate from the book as she ran her finger along the scrollwork of the silvery metal that edged the cover. It filled her with a deeply unsettling feeling as if something were whispering her name far off in the darkness. The book was special. The scholar in Seri burned to know where the Monstrum came from, how they had come to this world and how to stop them before they enslaved all of humanity. This book had something to do with it. It was from the time of the Aen Sielle, a civilization of glorious wonders and mighty mages that had fallen at the height of its power. Seri had caught a glimpse of a page as it lay open on Sheila's desk one night. Why would a grown woman have such a thing? It couldn't even be opened without magic, and everyone knew that magical ability began to fade from a girl around the time she finished puberty. Seri thought Sheila had probably just acquired the book as a curiosity. It could be an important clue to stopping the Monstrum threat. The secrets of the Aen Sielle had been lost to time, but Seri knew that during their prime that they had commanded tremendous magical powers and mastered secrets of the universe long forgotten by humanity.

The pages of the tome felt heavy to her touch, like they were made of lead and welded tightly together. She sent the barest trickle of magic coursing through the cover, flowing through the magical design that emblazoned it, and the book suddenly became light in her hands.

She opened the cover. She had never really been able to shake the feeling that it was allowing itself to be opened, that her magic simply asked for permission instead of unlocking anything. Seri had seen a nearly endless amount of magical tomes in her time at the library in the mage academy, but nothing had ever compared to this, not even her copy of the Monstrum Factorum that she carted with her everywhere.

The first page inside the cover was a lushly illustrated scene depicting a naked girl her own age squirming on the ground as she was penetrated and raped by a horde of monsters crowding around her. Seri recognized a few of the Monstrum species, but even with her extensive studies of the Factorum some of the other kinds were beyond her knowledge. That meant little, though. The variety of Monstrum species was seemingly endless, and new ones were being discovered all the time. The scholars compiled entries of known, verified information for each new species, as well as combat instructions, and the information was magically transferred to the volumes that every mage carried with her. It was why she had to study it every night, to keep current on her Monstrum knowledge.

The tome showed her more things she didn't recognize as she turned the pages, grand battles and councils of kings and depictions of fierce champions locked in combat with terrifying monstrosities. Events long past and lost to time. The language was an ancient dialect, and Seri could translate some of it, but it was slow going. Mostly she tried to glean what she could from the illustrations. Turning the pages, she found a familiar scene at last. This was where she had left off last time.

The page showed a gathering of women encircling a vast ritual circle scrawled on a stone floor. Mages, Seri felt certain, though they seemed too old and none seemed to be holding a staff to channel her power with. The mages of Aen Sielle somehow kept their powers past adolescence, Seri had reasoned, and apparently they hadn't needed any tools like the A'sham to channel their power. More secrets lost to history. Seri had never heard of a mage keeping her power past the age of 18 until she had delved into the dark pages of this book.

The moaning sounds from nearby were increasing in pitch, turning into a series of barely-muted squeals. Dienna had trouble containing herself a lot of the time. Seri tried to block out the noise and concentrate. The mages were definitely engaged in some kind of ritual, with the thousands of curling lines of the complicated diagram meticulously drawn and illuminated with scattered candles. Seri had a vague notion that the technique could help shape and amplify a magical spell, but she had no idea how. As far as she knew, nobody now living knew the secret. Humanity had lost so much magical knowledge. The current mages just couldn't compare with those ancient powers.

The text was too difficult to translate, too full of incantations and concepts unknown to Seri. She skipped ahead, vowing to come back to this page later. The knowledge is this book was priceless - full of things she had never learned in the mage academy. Infinite worlds. Planes of eternal light and darkness. Powers that could shatter reality like an egg. Seri turned the pages, using information gleaned from the passages she understood to try to untangle the mysteries of those she didn't. There was so much here that stretched far beyond current human understanding.

The light from the fire outside was growing dim so Seri conjured a magical light in her palm and tossed it gently upwards, letting it hang suspended in the air like some kind of shimmering wisp. Much better. She studied a few more pages before her curiosity got the better of her and she tried to flip to the end of the book. As usual, the pages near the back resisted her fingers, sticking together tightly as if unwilling to divulge their secrets. Seri sent a trickle of her magic into the book to pry at it, but something bit back at her with a slight shock and her spell seemed to snap apart. It always did that, and Seri had yet to figure out how. Nothing should be able to break a magical flow like that. The book was keeping something hidden, concealing it from her somehow. Seri didn't know what, but she was determined to keep trying each time until she figured it out.

The squeal of a little girl's climax peaked and then died away into the night. Now Seri could only hear the crickets and the occasional hoot of a night owl. She slammed the heavy volume shut and quickly shoved it back into her pack to conceal it just before Dienna pulled the flap aside and came into the tent.

The 14-year-old was flushed and sweating, the diaphanous coverings of her mage uniform in disarray. Seri couldn't help but feel a little jealous: Dienna was much prettier than her, maybe the prettiest girl Seri had ever seen. Her long chestnut hair glimmered in the firelight, marred by only a few tangles from her escapades, and her lithe body was trim and tight. She had a pretty smile, when she chose to use it, but she only did that for men. She fixed Seri with a nasty expression instead.

"Are you sketching again?" Dienna sneered. "So worthless. You're always drawing and reading when you should be practicing your magic." Seri clutched her pencil and paper, as good an alibi as any. She could never tell Dienna about the tome. Seri looked down at the half-finished portrait of the Grobule, chastised.

"You can barely even conjure a lightning bolt," Dienna sniffed, crossing the narrow space of the tent to her bedroll. "Your magic is so bad. Why are you even out here? This isn't your place."

Seri's face burned with embarrassment. Dienna was right, of course. Seri's combat magic was hopelessly weak. She didn't know why they had sent her out on assignments usually reserved for battlemages. She had always been bookish, preferring to study rather than play. Maybe things were getting so dire that even she had to be called to fight now.

"You'd better not fuck up in battle," Dienna sniffed, flopping onto her side on the soft bedroll. "If you do, it's my ass on the line, and I intend to keep those Monstrum cocks away from my ass and everything else."

"I know, I know," murmured Seri, trying to placate her. Dienna was bigger than her, more senior and far more skilled with magic in addition to being prettier and more athletic. She had everything, it seemed. Seri watched out of the corner of her eye as Dienna turned away on the bedroll to go to sleep. A small trickle of white goo was oozing down the girl's thigh. Dienna seemed to get everything she wanted. It hadn't taken commander Varus long to take a liking to her. Seri wasn't a stranger to bending over and taking it when a man felt the need - none of the little girls who trained as mages were - but she couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

With a sigh, she put her sketchpad away and rolled over on her own bedroll. Listening to Dienna get fucked had stirred her own memories into an ache in her heart. She missed her brother so much. Marcus was the oldest of her 5 brothers, handsome and strong and always kind to her. He even protected Seri when her other brothers tried to pick on her. She had first doubled up in a bunk with him when she was 8 and he was 14 - mom was having another baby and needed the bed - and that was when she first discovered how much she liked what a boy had between his legs. Their tiny farmhouse had offered little privacy, so Seri had had to bite the pillow to avoid squeaking and waking her other brothers as Marcus fucked her long after everyone else had dropped off to sleep. She hadn't been a stupid girl. She had always known what the noises mom and dad made meant, but until Marcus had squeezed his cock into the tiny gap of her little pussy as a child, she hadn't known how good it felt.

Instinctively, her fingers dipped down lower, under the gossamer flap of her uniform. Marcus had always made her feel like everything was going to be alright. He was good-hearted to the core, tender and gentle in bed. He never let his enthusiasm for fucking his little sister carry him away so much that he hurt her. Seri moved a finger down the groove of her slit, feeling the wetness of her arousal as she imagined her brother again, the feel of his arms around her tiny body, squeezing her flat tits as his cock pushed up inside her tight little cunt.

She dipped a finger into the moist heat. Her brother had fucked her quite a lot over the years. Every night in bed of course, but sometimes he found her out in the fields or in the barn with the sheep and would lay her down or bend her over a hay bale and shove it inside of her. Mom had always looked at her disapprovingly whenever she returned to the farmhouse with her country dress all wrinkled and dirty, sighing about how hard it would be to get the stains out. Another finger slipped in beside the first, her cunt lips stretching tightly around both digits. Seri twitched in the bedroll, unable to help the tiny moan that escaped her mouth. Marcus had always dutifully cum inside of her, filling her little girl womb with his sperm on a daily basis. She had been sure she would grow up with him and have his babies. The farming life didn't offer many options but he was all she had wanted. Her parents had been ecstatic when the recruiter from the Magisterium had come through and tested her for magical ability, but for Seri, that day had been the end of her world. Once it was found that she had the touch, she had been bundled off to the academy with barely a goodbye for her family.

The itch had blossomed into a warm fuzzy pulse between her legs. Seri moved her fingers faster, slipping them in and out of her cunt, thinking of her brother as she did so. Chopping wood on the hot days of summer. Working with his shirt off in the barn. Another moan escaped her lips. What she wouldn't give to feel her brother's cock sliding inside her 12-year-old body once again...

Her fingers dipped in and out, thrusting into the trembling tightness of her pussy. Waves of pleasure radiated up from her crotch. Seri drew her legs up, frigging her cunt furiously and tickling her clit with her other hand. The pulse grew, then flared, and finally erupted into a shock of ecstasy that raced up her spine and exploded in her brain. She shoved her fingers as deeply into her cunt as she could, feeling her pussy walls quiver and her body tremble under the cover of the bedroll.

Her climax ebbed in gentle waves like a receding tide, the sharp tension draining from her muscles. Seri panted in her bedroll, fingers slick and gooey with the juices from her crotch. Maybe she would see him again. Maybe they could beat back the monsters and she wouldn't have to be out here, ready to fight them with her magic. She could go home. She could feel his arms and the heat of his body pressed against her again. The thought brought a smile to Seri's face as she drifted at the twilight of sleep.

The camp had quieted and surrendered to the buzzing of cicadas. Dienna's breathing was soft, regular. She was already asleep. Seri wondered why she liked the commander so much. He was a surly man. Maybe she liked to be close to someone powerful. Maybe he was just that good in bed. Years ago, it would have been frowned on for any soldier to fuck the mages in their company, but now, seemed like everything had changed. The mages used to have commanders of their own, skilled liasons that could work in both the martial realm of the traditional soldiers and also the complicated tactics of the mages. They hadn't had those in a while though. Now the soldiers looked at her hungrily whenever the rain turned her top transparent to reveal her nipples, or when the skirt fluttered in the breeze and flashed her cunt. Such stares were just part of being a mage, she supposed.

She shifted in the bedroll, getting more comfortable. She'd find the answers. She'd figure out how to stop the relentless tide of the monsters. The answer was in that tome somewhere, she was sure of it. That little hope was all she had to cling to. When they won, then she could go home again to Marcus and offer herself to him and let him put a baby inside her. The thought was warm, comforting. It lulled Seri like a lullaby, and within moments she drifted off into the peaceful darkness of sleep.

Fire and screams surrounded her. The night was black as pitch except for the blazing pyres that dotted the battlefield and the flickers of brilliant blue from the lightning bolts that arced from the fingers of the mages around her. Seri fought frantically, blood thumping in her ears as she tried to remember her training. She condensed her power from the ether, giving it form and molding it and then hurling it into a savage vortex of power. The earth splintered and erupted where she had been aiming, sending the charging Org-reh tumbling to the ground.

Where were the soldiers? They were supposed to be holding the line. Instead they had fled, cowed by the fearsome Org - mottled brutes with tough skin and bulging muscles that towered over the height of a man. Seri turned around, her staff gripped tightly in her hands. The jewel of the A'sham at the tip of her staff gleamed with inner light, a focus that helped her touch and form her power. It would be hot to the touch, Seri knew, with all the magical power she was pulling through it.

She swung her staff and pointed it, releasing a razor-sharp blast of air. The Org-reh that had been reaching for the little mage girl next to her howled with pain, blood spurting as its skin was sliced open. Good thing that one wasn't armored. Maybe he had had no luck on the last raid. The mage flashed her a grateful grin before turning to fling more spells at the advancing horde.

Seri's heart sank as she turned to look at the battlefield. Dozens of Org-reh were advancing over the muddy ground toward where the mages were being pinned and driven to fight back-to-back. Their clubs were held high and some of the brutes carried nets. Her first deployment, and already it was a disaster. Her training hadn't prepared her for this. She had read the section in her Monstrum Factorum on Org dozens of times, memorizing every word. Useless, all of it. Now they were coming for her and her sisters. An icy spike of fear filled Seri's heart - was she going to die? No, she knew. Org didn't kill mages. That was why they had clubs and nets. Her fate would be different.

An unseen impact knocked Seri off her feet. She hit the ground hard and rolled, the breath knocked out of her and her staff flying from her hands. She looked up and saw the terrifying monster that had delivered the blow - a massive Org, 10 feet tall at least, with a spiked helmet and a club the size of a tree trunk. He grinned wickedly down at her, seeing her helpless, unable to cast without the magical aid of her staff. It wasn't the expression that paralyzed Seri with fear though, it was the armor he wore - living armor, small girls her own age strapped to the brute's body by chains and leather straps. They were naked, struggling, crying out. Org loved to do this, to armor themselves in their prey. It made them hard to kill. What mage could strike out with fire or slice with air when they risked harming innocent girls? The girl in front, strapped to the Org's chest, was screeching and squirming. Her tiny naked body was impaled on the Org's massive erect cock. The beast was thrusting its pelvis slightly, enjoying the feel of the little girl's slippery pussy and relishing her screams, fucking her even as it fought.

For a moment Seri saw herself in the girl's place. Org loved to rape little human girls. An Org commander's worth could be judged by the size of his harem, each girl hand-picked from the plunders of battle. Favored girls were prized as personal sex slaves, but the rest were gangraped almost endlessly by the Org rank-and-file, then bred and sold. Or worse, ended up like this. Maybe it would be Seri herself up there in the next battle, ankles and wrists tied tightly by the straps, spread-eagled against the monster's muscular chest as its thick cock railed her body from below. A small part of her was screaming at herself to find her staff, to fight back, but the fear overcame her and she cowered as the brute reached down a massive hand to grab her...

Seri's eyes flew open. She was drenched with sweat in her bedroll and breathing hard. Nightmares, again. She wasn't sure why they had returned this time. They had rallied and won that battle even though things had initially turned against them. Seri hadn't ended up as a little piece of fuckmeat armor for an Org-reh, hadn't ended up in the slave pens drinking cum from troughs and being bred like cattle. But so many of her friends had, falling either to the Org-reh or to other monsters, each taken in turn and raped and impregnated with Monstrum spawn to bolster their numbers. And it was even worse to know that her fallen friends were surely relishing their fate, were probably happier than Seri was right now.

She groaned and sat up on her bedroll, then stretched and yawned, trying to shake the haze of the fading nightmare. Dienna was still fast asleep opposite her, a satisfied smile on her pretty face. The 14-year-old usually slept well after being fucked, Seri knew, and she did that a lot. She wasn't shy about it either. Everyone in the camp knew when the commander was having another taste of his main squeeze. Maybe he'd get tired of her tight little ass and move on to another of the mages. Dienna wouldn't mind too much. In the academy, she really liked to get around, sucking and fucking and offering up her little preteen pussy to any of the instructors that would give her a good grade. There probably weren't many guys there that hadn't fucked her by the time she graduated. All it took was a casual sweep of her shimmering hair and a timely bat of her long eyelashes and every male in 100 yards would come running with a bulge in their pants.

Seri crept quietly past the other girl and peeked out of the tent flap. The tall trees of the forest rose up overhead on all sides. Dawn was a distant rumor on the horizon, a faint glow of amber rays breaching the mountains and striking the clouds overhead. The smells of breakfast drifted past Seri's nose: roasted sausage and eggs. They had resupplied at the last village, and the soldiers had been grateful to put aside their dried rations for fresh food again.

She stepped out and took a deep breath of the morning air. Having grown up on a farm, she was used to rising with the dawn. That part of soldiering had been an easy adjustment for her. Several soldiers were moving about the camp already and even more were rising bleary-eyed from their bedrolls to join them. Seri took a moment to adjust her uniform - the filmy scraps of blue dreamcloth did very little to clothe the 12-year-old girl's form. The fabric of her top was woven in a scanty pattern, intricately meshed with the tiny golden chains of allocite. The straps of cloth were draped in delicate folds around her upper arms, leaving her shoulders bare with the cloth hanging down slightly in an open sleeve. The neckline was a hanging necklace of allocite, braided with scanty dreamcloth that stretched down over her flat breasts as if in a halfhearted effort to hide them. She could see her own nipples faintly through the fabric even in the poor light. Jewels were studded into the weave of allocite wherever the tiny chains crossed - the gems were actually cheaper even than the expensive blue dreamcloth, and they were useful to mages too since they could be enspelled. A mesh of sapphires twinkled from her hips and a trail of topaz and emerald stones followed the criss-cross of golden chain down from the hem of her top and across her bare belly while a lone ruby stud gleamed from her navel.

In her old life, Seri would have gawked at such an opulent and beautiful garment. Now she just sighed and fruitlessly adjusted it. It was no use. Several of the soldiers were already surreptitiously looking her way. The dress of a mage was always a spectacle, designed to catch every eye and lend a flowing grace to her girlish form. A mage moving in the light sparkled from the gems that graced her uniform. Seri moved down into the camp, ignoring the hungry male gazes as she headed for the mess tent. She was used to their eyes, to the crawling leers that slithered over her shoulders and across her bare belly, taking in the curves of her little girl hips. She tried to replace their looks with thoughts of Marcus looking at her, seeing her in the beautiful and revealing uniform of a mage. She missed him so much. Sure, he had seen every part of her many times, but she shivered slightly thinking about how he would enjoy seeing his little sister in such extravagant clothing, how he would press his hand up against her chest and slip his fingers under the filmy cloth, tweaking her nipple while the other hand trailed down her belly and dipped under the hanging scrap that covered her pussy...

She shook her head to clear it. Focus. The cook was staring at her. She held out the chipped plate she had grabbed, and he heaped a scoop of eggs and half a sausage into it with a grunt. Seri turned and headed back to her tent, weaving around the soldiers in her way. Once, they would have made way for a mage, back when things were going better, when they still had respect and discipline. Now Seri just wondered which one of them would try to catch her alone tonight. Pussy was in short supply for the men when they were deployed, and having a luscious troupe of fuckable little preteen mages in revealing uniforms with them made for a lot of surly and very horny soldiers.

Seri poked a finger into the eggs as she walked and swished them about. No bugs this time, thank the gods. Just eggs, warm and fresh. Her mouth was already watering when she pulled back the flap and entered her tent.

"Didn't get me any?" Dienna sneered as she entered. "It's not hard to hold two bowls, Seri. Why are you so worthless?"

"Sorry..." mumbled Seri, looking down, abashed. She really hadn't thought of it. Her mind had been far away, drifting in the clouds and dreaming of her brother.

"It's fine. Forget it." Dienna was brushing her hair, teasing out the tangles in the long, silky river of chestnut brown. She gave Seri a magnanimous smile - insincere, Seri knew - and then tossed down the brush before getting up to leave.

"You know," she said, pausing at the flap. "Maybe you'd be able to concentrate on your magic more if you were a bit more relaxed." Her smile was sultry and mocking. "Satisfied. You know. It helps. If you want just say the word and I'll clear out for a while. That sergeant they call Kodiak was sniffing around again last night. I know he was looking for you. Maybe something nice and stiff is just what you need."

"Er, ok. Thanks." Seri bit back her distaste and managed a smile that looked at least somewhat grateful. Dienna just smirked at her and left. Seri sighed again and dug into her breakfast, famished. Even if she had never been the prettiest girl in the room, she managed to catch the eyes of her fair share of men. Her auburn hair and slender body invited plenty of looks, and even the occasional pinch or slap on the rump. And she knew how to get them off, what made them happy and what made them horny and how to suck their cocks if you just wanted it over with quickly. Some of the soldiers were cute enough, she supposed, but none of them held a candle to Marcus.

She finished quickly, scarfing the eggs and tearing at the sausage hungrily, then began her daily routine. There were spells to cast, assigned wards that would warn of coming monsters. They were limited though; a single ward could only detect a single type of monster, and running more than two was exceptionally difficult. Seri wondered why the mages of Aen Sielle had never seemed to have such limitations. Her hidden tome spoke of magical wonders almost beyond comprehension: floating cities, tunnels of air through the sky that one could fly through, vast monuments sculpted by magical forces lost to time. No mage now living had the power or knowledge to accomplish even a small fraction of what the mages of old seemed to do on a daily basis.

After casting wards against Arachma and Slime Horrors - two of the most common Monstrum found in temperate forests like this one - she readied more spells for herself. The weaves tingled on her skin as they settled over her, crystallized matrices of power that flashed around her body like a web and then vanished. Vigor. Fast Healing. Warmth. Water breath. Shields of air that could soften blows. Seri knew her magic wasn't very powerful, that her enchantments would be weak and barely worth casting, but she prepared just as she had been trained.

Men shouted orders and cursed outside her tent as they tore down the camp. They were almost ready. Seri left her tent and joined the line of mages waiting at the edge of the clearing. Such an odd contrast, Seri thought: the burly, swearing men hauling barrels and bedrolls and loading horses, and the line of a dozen small girls clothed in such delicate and revealing uniforms, as if on display for the leering male gazes. The youngest mage with them was Danae, 11, one year behind Seri and also on her first deployment, and Sarithia was the oldest at 16. They all waited patiently as the last of the gear was stowed onto horses and wagons. Finally, just at midmorning, the commander bellowed the order to move out.

Seri marched with her sisters, the girls staying in the center of the loose formation as the company followed the muddy forest road. She kept her staff at the ready, peering around at the dense forest and checking the canopy of trees overhead. You could never be too careful. Sometimes Arachma would spin webs in trees. Seri's wards would tell her if any were nearby, but nothing was a substitute for your own eyes. All she could see was the normal forest life though. Birds. Startled deer. Small animals peeping from the cover of their dens in the bushes and hollow logs.

Seri jumped nervously at the sudden thrashing sound overhead. A flock of starlings took off in a wild flurry from one of the trees overhead, disturbed by the noise of their passing. Seri watched the birds take wing, wishing she had the time to stop and sketch them.

"You know, I'd probably look just as tired as you do, if I had to sleep in the same tent with HER," Val said, sidling up next to her. Seri returned the girl's friendly smile. She liked Val. They were the same age and had attended the same classes back at the academy, and Seri had found herself drawn to Val's good-natured goofiness. She wished Val was the one assigned to be her battle partner.

"I don't even know how you manage it. She's as grumpy as an Org-reh and almost as mean." Val pointed a finger at Dienna, who was taking with the commander up ahead as they marched, slathering him with smiles and laughing girlishly at all of his bawdy jokes while hanging on his arm. One of his gauntleted hands crept down her bare back and kept going, dipping under the preposterously short skirt and squeezing the 14-year-old girl's rump tightly. Dienna flushed and squeaked with mock protest, but leaned further into him, purring against his arm.

"She's not so bad," Seri said. "She's only really terrible when she can't get laid."

"She's got a mean mouth on her," Val muttered. "It only stops when she's got something to fill it. They're perfect for each other."

The commander was hardly pleasant either - a thickly-muscled man with a perpetually bitter scowl hardened by years of fighting and loss. His expression softened only slightly as he let his eyes crawl over the tight curves of the pretty little girl leaning on his arm. Seri wondered how long until he called a halt, how long he could hold off before the urge to stuff his cock into Dienna overcame his good sense.

"They're not even paying attention," Seri complained, looking around at the forest again and scanning for danger. "Anything could be out here. Alara is pretty remote. It took months for the reports of Chrysilae nesting in the mountains to even reach the duke."

"Well, even if they're not prepared, we can be," Val said, her friendly smile returning. "We know they've barely been fending off the attacks from the bugs, and they've lost a lot of girls."

Seri nodded, thinking about it. She had lost too many friends to the Monstrum, to the Org-reh and Rapewolves, and spidery Arachma and the Centaurum and the countless other species of rapacious monstrosities. They had been taken, raped, bred relentlessly until their bodies and minds had been thoroughly transformed into willing breeders, hungry and eager and constantly craving the sexual bliss that defined their new existence. The Conversion effect inherent in the cum of every Monstrum race did that. The adaptations varied from species to species - exposure to Centaurum cum, for example, toughened and lengthened the vaginal canal, causing a slow shifting of a girl's internal organs until she could accommodate almost all of the substantial length and girth of the enormous horsecocks that the creatures had.

"We'll probably have to fight them at the village first, the next time they attack. If we kill enough, then we can move in on the hive. Get those girls back." Val's grin was infectious. "Then we'll be famous, Seri. Just think about it. Fame. Fortune. Cute guys fawning over you."

Seri laughed. "Sure, sure. They'll talk about us all over Teleria. 'Seri and Val. Heroes of the Land. Saviors of whatever-that-village-was."

"Everyone at the academy will recognize us." Val giggled at her own sarcasm We'll get commendations from the Magisterium. The queen will shower us with riches. They'll have a parade for us in the capitol."

"We'll be master mages. Everyone will look up to us. We'll beat back all the Monstrum and save Teleria." Seri allowed herself the brief fantasy, sharing Val's laugher. The two girls snorted and snickered together, drawing a few odd looks from the soldiers shepherding them as they marched.

"And then we can go home," she said. Seri meant it for a laugh, but it had a sobering effect. Their good mood evaporated like morning fog, and their snickers died away as if absorbed by the oppressive silence of the forest. Seri wanted more than anything to go home to Marcus. She looked over at Val, saw her friend's pensive frown. She wondered what Val had left behind, who was waiting for her if she ever managed to get home again.

"I was reading the entry for Chrysilae in my Factorum again," Val said, breaking the uncomfortable silence. "They've updated it. We didn't really know much about them before since they're a new species."

This was another reason she liked Val: the girl was smart, a model student. She would be a good battle partner. She could memorize entire sections of the Monstrum Factorum and recite them word-for-word. The magic of their books ensured that the information inside them was always up to date, so if Val said they had changed something, they had definitely changed it. Seri pulled her copy of the book from her things on the nearby wagon and opened it up, her fingers quickly finding the section for Chrysilae amongst the thousands of entries.

The chapter opened with a detailed picture of the oversized blue bug; Seri had seen this picture before, but now there were others too. The creatures were thin-bodied and very wasp-like, but they were as big as a mountain lion, with segmented bodies and protruding antennae and 3 sets of jointed legs extending from their underside. They would use those to subdue a girl and wrap them around her, she knew, holding her tightly against its abdomen as it flew. Seri shuddered, thinking about it. Chrysilae didn't even wait until they were back in the hive to rape you. She looked at the next picture, which showed a Chrysilae in flight with a shrieking little girl that couldn't have been older than 10 clutched tightly underneath it. Where the bug's stinger should have been was a big, flexible phallus jutting from the base of its abdomen, and the erect organ was lodged deeply into the girl's tiny pussy. The picture was anatomically correct in every way, richly detailed by the scribes, right down to the tiny hairs on the bug's legs and the buglike ridges on the thick, throbbing flesh it was using to violate its prey. Seri could almost hear the little girl's cries.

The text was familiar. Seri already knew how they flew, how they fought, how the buzzing sound they made could vibrate in your skull and cause immediate and overpowering horniness. It was another reason they were particularly dangerous. Seri skimmed the entry.

"This part's new," Val said, tapping a picture on the opposite page. It was a cutaway diagram, showing a cross-section of the Chrysilae's body as it penetrated a struggling form beneath it. Seri could see how the bug had three red bulbs at the base of its cock that seemed like they held some sort of fluid.

"A flying Chrysilae will rape its victim enthusiastically while in the air, usually ejaculating inside several times before it returns to the hive." Seri read the entry out loud, Val nodding along with her. "A Chrysilae prefers to penetrate its girl deeply and rely on the natural vibrations of its sexual organ to bring pleasure along with its thrusting motions. A series of small orifices on the surface of the phallus are capable of absorbing certain kinds of moisture, and the natural lubrication emitted by a girl as she orgasms is harvested through this method and pulled through a specialized vascular system that stores the fluid in sacs in the abdomen. This process appears to be essential to the Chrysilae lifecycle.

"So, they drink pussy juice. Not the first Monstrum species to do that," Val said. Seri shuddered, trying not to look too closely at the detailed illustration of a Chrysilae cock. She wondered how the species survived wherever it came from if it needed to drink the fluids of the little girls that it raped. Were there girls there too?

Val gestured, so Seri read the next paragraph, ignoring the shocked stares of some of the nearby soldiers that had been listening in.

"The fluid is digested and secreted again in the form of the sticky blue resin that oozes from the sacs on the abdomen. The function of the resin is twofold: it comprises the structure of the interior of a Chrysilae hive, dividing it into chambers, and it restrains the hive's prey in cells. Each hexagonal cell is large enough for one girl, and when one is deposited in a new cell she is raped constantly until she is coated with the substance harvested from her own fluids. The resin rapidly crystallizes, sealing the girl in place with only her head and genitals exposed. Initial testing revealed the surprising result that the Conversion effect of the Chrysilae species is potent only in the resinous secretions when they are first exuded as mucus-like sludge, and exposure to bare skin effects a very rapid process as the substance solidifies. Orgasm intensity increases by a factor of at least 10, and the womb and cervix are enlarged internally. Ovarian transmutation occurs within a few days, after which a girl thusly subdued is able to conceive insect progeny for the hive. Mature hives have been observed to contain hundreds of cells, each containing a single girl in varying stages of pregnancy."

"Fun, eh?" Val smirked. "Like bees. Except we're the honey."

Seri slammed the book shut and thrust it hastily back into her pack. Like every good mage, she studied her Monstrum Factorum diligently, memorizing every single image and word in depth. Some of the recorded facts made no sense to her: why was it necessary to measure the average ejaculate volume of an Org-reh? Why should she know how long it took to gestate Arachma eggs, or what the elasticity coefficient of a vagina was when accommodating the oversized horsecock of a Centaurum? Yet the academy had drilled her relentlessly on these facts. All part of being a mage, she supposed, yet sometimes the book seemed like a cruel promise, a detailed description of the fate that awaited her if she failed in her duty even once.

Val chuckled at Seri's huffy reaction, and opened her mouth to say something, but it was drowned out by a sudden, deafening roar. Screams came from the side of the column. Seri whirled around, staff in hand, magic tingling in her fingertips and ready to strike out. Something was moving on the other side of the wagon. Something massive. Seri watched in horror as the wagon itself suddenly shuddered from an impact, and then was slammed aside by a mighty blow.

"Ursa!" Val screamed at her side, swinging her staff forward to loose her magic. Seri's jaw dropped: the tremendous creature of brown fur lashed out with a huge paw, knocking a pair of soldiers aside like toys. It was bigger than a normal bear, bigger than an ox - the biggest creature she had ever seen, with massive, slavering jaws and a sea of muscles rippling under its hide. Seri screamed with terror, the sound lost in the creature's bellowing roar as it reared up before her.

A tremendous thump shook the clearing as an invisible fist of air smashed into the beast, knocking it down as if hit by a boulder. Val was casting another spell at her side. The mages were forming up. The soldiers, initially scattered, were screaming orders at each other and advancing slowly, weapons held in terrified grips. But more Ursa burst out of the undergrowth, half a dozen of them, a wall of fury that smashed through the soldiers in a bloody wave. Seri's heart screamed with fear as she tried to remember her training: Ursa were immensely powerful, almost immune to physical damage. It was definitely not recommended to take them on head-on. Preparing an area with lethal traps and luring them in was about the only effective method, but that chance had already passed.

A trio of soldiers raced to confront the beast in front of her. The Ursa growled and ripped its way right through them with its massive claws. The soldiers screamed and fell in sprays of blood. They had no chance. The beast had spotted her, its beady eyes locking on her delicate, exposed body. It roared and raced forward, straight for her, the powerful muscles of its legs driving its charge.

Seri loosed a lightning bolt in its face. The white-hot arc smashed into the creature, barely slowing it. It screamed in a rage, barreling down on her. How could such a big creature move so fast? For a moment, Seri stood paralyzed, imagining herself ripped apart in a spray of bloody viscera by those claws. But in the back of her mind she knew that Ursa never hurt little girls. No, they did something far different to them.

Her training kicked in and Seri recovered just in time. She loosed her magic again. The world shifted about her dizzily, as if she was briefly in two places at once. She could feel the hot, ravenous breath and the sweaty fur barely brush her arm as the Ursa crashed right by her, charging through the illusion of herself that she had left in her place several feet to the right after teleporting. Not as hard a trick as it looked, doing that. One of the few spells she could do well. It bought her a few precious seconds as the Ursa whirled, turning on her again, realizing that it had been tricked.

Power raced through her in a torrent, as if the heartbeat of the cosmos itself pumped in her veins. She seized the magic, sculpting it, condensing its potential from the invisible weave that suffused all things. She felt it drop into place, its mold set, pouring into the intricate channels of power that she dictated through sheer power of will. With a swing of her staff, she gave it form. A large translucent sphere formed instantly in front of her, shimmering purple, and hurtled like a cannonball at the charging beast.

The impact was completely silent. The Ursa suddenly slowed mid-charge as it entered the purple field. Its movements played out as if caught in molasses, its charge arrested as it was reduced to a fraction of its former speed. It wouldn't last long, and Seri wasn't powerful enough to move the field without dispelling it. She had bought herself a few more seconds. She whirled her staff and held it in front of her defensively, feeling the power flickering through the A'sham - the large gem ensconced in filigree at the top of the staff. She tried to think of something, anything. She wasn't strong enough to kill it, but with the right tactics maybe she could at least fend it off.

"There you are!" Dienna snarled, appearing suddenly at her side. "Some battle partner you are, Seri. Maybe you could at least guard my back." The girl turned, spinning her staff gracefully like it was an extension of herself, and a green bolt of power erupted from the end, soaring towards the Ursa snared in the purple field and setting it ablaze. The beast roared in pained fury.

Seri stood with her back to Dienna, staff primed, ready to lash out again. Fire was somewhat effective as a deterrent, she remembered. The Factorum did have useful information alongside its many diagrams of little girls being raped. She was alright with fire spells but decided to leave that to Dienna. She scanned the opposite side of the clearing, eyes darting. She felt the heat of another fireball behind her as Dienna condensed her magic and sent it at the enemy. Smoke began to pour through the clearing, the fire spreading rapidly to the wagons. Seri coughed, her eyes watering.

Her nerve was shattered by another ear-splitting roar. A pair of Ursa barrelled out of the smoke and charged the center of the clearing, scattering the soldiers like a line of threshed wheat and smashing into the huddled group of mages. They were so fast. Seri barely managed to avoid the main impact, glancing off the beast's furry hide and rolling to the side, but Dienna caught the full force of it. Seri saw the girl thrown upwards, cartwheeling in the air with the small flaps of her uniforms trailing like gossamer ribbons, and then land hard on her stomach several feet away.

Dienna's staff had spun out of her hands and clattered to the ground. The Ursa dipped its head and seized it in its jaws, and Seri heard the sound of crunching wood. The creature shook its head like a dog with a toy, growling as splinters went flying. Dienna was lying helpless on the ground a few feet away, the wind knocked out of her, and now that she was no threat the massive creature wasted no time and pounced on the helpless girl.

Seri rolled on the ground, struggling to think. She had been knocked aside, and a deep pain lanced through her shoulder when she moved her arm. Where was her own staff? There. She reached out with shaky fingers, feeling the smooth length of ash. Fear pounded a frantic drumbeat in her skull. She had to save Dienna. Coughing from the smoke, she rolled onto her side and scrambled to her feet.

Ursa were massive brutes, oversized compared to their natural cousins. The Ursa on top of Dienna kept her pinned effortlessly, and Seri watched in shock as those fearsome jaws ducked and tore the flimsy uniform off the girl. Dreamcloth was strong, despite how delicate it looked, but those teeth tore right through it, snapping the delicate allocite chains and ripping the cloth like it was spider silk. Blue scraps and shattered links of tiny chain studded with gems flew into the air as the creature savaged Dienna, the little girl screaming and struggling underneath it. Not pain, Seri knew. Fear. Terror. The Ursa wouldn't hurt a little girl like her. It had something else in mind. In no time at all the Ursa had stripped her naked.Seri saw the massive organ dangling between the creature's legs, an erect length of iron-hard bearcock as big as her arm. The bulging flesh slid hungrily along the the crack of Dienna's bare ass as the Ursa maneuvered itself into position. Dienna struggled even harder, feeling the beast's cock positioning itself against her bottom, but the heavy paws clamped down on her reaching arms and kept her pinned.

Seri's mind reeled as she tried to think of a spell to cast. A fireball wouldn't help. She couldn't risk hurting Dienna. She couldn't muster enough force or a sharp enough blade of air to even pierce the beast's hide. What could she do against something so powerful?

"Seri! Fucking do something!" Dienna screeched. The girl was crying, soot and dirt on her face and her lovely hair tangled and soaked with the Ursa's dripping saliva. Seri watched, paralyzed, as the beast reared back with its pelvis, muscles rippling. The tremendous girth of pink flesh quivered in the air briefly, all three feet of it pointed down at the girl's bare sex with the bulbous glans grazing her labia. With a growl, the Ursa slammed down, ramming its cock home and penetrating the shrieking girl.

This couldn't be happening. It was the Org-reh all over again. Seri looked around frantically. Another mage was down, Sarithia, the oldest girl. The other Ursa was straddling her, and as Seri watched it positioned itself and slammed its massive cock straight into the girl's tiny pussy, stretching it obscenely. The girl wailed, clenched fists slamming the dirt as she got her first taste of monstrous bearcock rammed into her cunt. The Ursa moved back and forth over her, the girl speared on its phallus, her body sliding freely on the ground.

A lance of blinding blue light crackled out of the sooty darkness behind Seri, the lightning bolt passing just over her head. She turned. It was Val! The girl was striding forward out of the smoke, staff twirling, the air around her humming with an almost tangible power. She sent another bolt into the nearest Ursa, the creature roaring in pain and rage as its rape was interrupted. Good idea, Seri thought. Lightning. If it was aimed right it wouldn't hurt the girls. Seri moved her own staff and gathered her power, sending a limp flicker arcing at the oversized bear. It wasn't much, but Val was pumping bolt after bolt into the creatures in a wild frenzy, and more mages were rallying out of the smoke. Another girl joined them, flinging spells, then another. They must have driven the rest of the pack off.The pair of Ursa roared, outnumbered, and then turned and loped awkwardly from the clearing, disappearing into the trees.

No, Seri thought. An Ursa's cock was lined with several layers of flaring ridges, a perfect cork for a little girl's tight pussy. Once an erect Ursa penetrated a girl it was almost impossible to pry her off until the beast was finished. Dienna and Sarithia were still impaled out there in the bushes, tiny bodies struggling as they were dragged along unwillingly. Their cries faded swiftly, swallowed by the forest and the sounds of crackling fire and men screaming in pain.

"You fucking worthless little cunts! Where was the fucking warning? You spend all that time casting your fucking spells and not a peep from you before those fucking monsters jumped right on top of us!"

The vein in the Varus' forehead flushed purple as he screamed at them. The mages had barely pulled themselves together, healing the worst of their own wounds and then helping the soldiers as best they could. Only a few of them had any real talent for healing magic. Seri rested on a stump, crying, with Val leaning against her for comfort. She had failed. She had lost her battle partner, the girl that had depended on her. Right now Dienna and Sarithia and the half-dozen other girls that had been taken were being raped silly in the Ursa dens, new mates for the bearlike monsters to impregnate. Seri took a deep breath, sniffling, trying to dry her eyes, to banish the images. They persisted, the cold promise of the diagrams in the Factorum lingering in her head. Little girls sweating and grunting, rutting on the floor, enormous lengths of erect bearcock slamming into them as they howled until the pleasure overcame them. Bear semen spewed inside them, filling their wombs, flooding out of the tight channels of their pussies to collect in gooey puddles on the floor between their legs. At least the Conversion effects of Ursa were quick. In a couple weeks the mages would be eager little breeders, their new existence defined by the blissful cycle from orgasm to orgasm, tiny bodies twitching and groaning from the thrusting monster cocks as their pregnant bellies began to swell with cubs.

It wasn't fair. It should have been her. She was the weak one. Dienna was mean, but Seri hadn't really wanted that to happen to her. Nobody deserved that, to be raped around the clock by enormous bear monsters 10 times your size.

"We cast wards against as many monsters as we could," protested Val weakly, still hugging Seri. "Ursa are rare here. It's not our fault."

"It's not our fault. Not our fault." The commander jeered at them in a high-pitched voice. "You and your fucking excuses. Well whose fucking fault is it then? My men? Battle-hardened by 5 campaigns? Or is it the group of little cunts with us, the ones who are supposed to know magic? You prance around in your skimpy little costumes flashing your flat tits and your pussies at us around the clock. It's no wonder my men are distracted. I should have put you all in a whore tent on day one. Then maybe you could have used those little mouths to earn your fucking keep!"

"Don't yell at us!" Seri felt tears running down her face as she shouted. "You know we can't protect against everything at once! We have to go get them, Dienna and Sarithia and the others, before...before they end up..." She turned her head and buried it in Val's shoulder, weeping.

"Don't tell me what to fucking do, Seri. You keep your mouth shut or I'll stuff it full and put it to a good use for once." The commander made a rude wanking gesture, and some of the men laughed. He turned to face his lieutenants. "Joel, Anthony. Put the fires out and get the wagons upright so we can take stock of what we have. Then we'll go. We can't stay out here any longer."

Another mage stood up. Jacqueline, a mage a year older than Seri. Her uniform was ripped and torn, exposing her breasts.

"Aren't we going after them sir?" she asked, a distressed look on her face. "We'll need the other mages if we're going to drive off the Monstrum threatening the town.

"Fuck no!" The commander shouted, whirling angrily on her. "Look, if you little shits can't even feel them coming then maybe you deserve to get raped by bear monsters. All you worthless little cunts need a good dicking anyway to keep you in line. Maybe thinking about your friends getting raped in the bear den tonight might keep you more vigilant."

Jacqueline stood in shocked silence, gripping her staff. Seri peeked out over Val's shoulder, sniffling. For a moment she thought Jacqueline might lash out, with that defiant look on her face.

"Do you have a problem with my orders Jacqueline?" asked Varus, his tone menacing.

"No sir." Jacqueline said stiffly.

"Then get to work," Varus snarled.

The men set to work now that their wounds were healed, following the orders shouted by their superiors. In short order they had the wagons packed again and were ready to move out. The mages huddled in a cluster in the center of the formation as they began to march again, gripping their staffs tightly and scanning the bushy forest with frightened eyes. Many of the soldiers kept their weapons out, muttering as they peered into the gloom between the trees, but nothing else leaped out at them. They marched on, following the forest trail until the noontime sunlight was slanting straight down at them from the green canopy overhead. Seri looked up, squinting, beginning to sweat in the mounting heat. They had come to a ridge, and as they followed it the forest suddenly ended, opening up to overlook a narrow valley huddled at the feet of a line of sharp mountains.

A long series of switchbacks guided their descent down into the valley. Seri could see the town from here: a close-knit collection of shops and homes with peaked roofs, all surrounded by a wooden palisade. The sight filled Seri with a brief flash of homesickness. Alara wasn't too different than Bithnia where she had grown up - the same sturdy wooden homes, the same line of peaks stretching high from the cliffs overhead, the same scattered smoke leaking from chimneys and wafting lazily in the midday air - even the air smelled clean and fresh and carried the scent of crops growing in the fields. Seri took a deep breath. It almost seemed like home.

But it wasn't home. Yurani was all the way on the other side of Teleria, and nowhere would be home to her without Marcus. They had come here to fight, she reminded herself. Not to sightsee. Seri shielded her eyes against the sun and peered at the town as they drew closer. Despite the serene landscape, this place was not safe at all. The palisade was damaged in several places, hastily mended. It looked like the townspeople had begun to dig a trench and line it with spikes too, but they seemed to have given up halfway through. It seemed quiet. Seri had expected more of the background noise always present in villages: horses and wagons, hawkers crying their goods, children shouting as they played in the streets and alleys. Instead, a foreboding silence seemed to hang over the town.

The wooden gate opened from the inside as their column approached the town. Seri spotted Varus and his lieutenants riding ahead on a trio of horses, approaching the gate. Seri struggled to keep up with the rest of the girls, but she was growing tired. They had been marching all morning and afternoon, and she felt spent from the fighting on top of it.

A hand pushed her rudely from behind. Seri almost stumbled, and looked back. The soldier behind her was old and had an ugly sneer on his face.

"Keep up, ya little cunt. Almost there now. Don't go all tired and girly on me now. If I have to carry ya, I'll need ta give you a spanking. Always keeps my own girls in shape when they're lazy, it does." The soldier's smile was unsettling, and his eyes crawled over the exposed curves of her body, as though he was relishing the thought of bending her over and punishing her. He turned and spat, then fixed her with a toothless leer. Seri shuddered.

"Don't mind him, another soldier nearby said. That's how he flirts. Not exactly a silver tongue for the ladies." The soldier shook his head, chuckling. He was actually handsome, Seri thought, with lanky brown hair. Young too, maybe 22.

"Gaerth likes em young," the soldier went on, smirking at the other man's sour expression. "Hey Gaerth, what makes you think a pretty little thing like this would want your wrinkled old cock anyway? I know we've been on the road for a few weeks but now that we're finally here I'll bet you could find a nice lady willing to let you put your grubby fingers down her bloomers. For the right price of course. Probably charge extra for your ugly mug."

"Shut yer miserable mud gobber, Belarand," the old soldier grumbled. "Never hurts to ask, ya now." He fixed Seri with another unnerving leer, and she shuddered involuntarily, suddenly acutely aware of how little her uniform covered up. "Besides, I know some of her friends who ain't so high-and-mighty. Like that little one that made such a squeal when those bear-things took her. Right shame, that. She knew how to use her mouth." The elderly soldier looked right at her as he said it, and reached down to make a jacking motion with his crotch.

Seri rolled her eyes and trotted ahead. She had managed to avoid most of the men's attention so far, but now with even fewer girls, she might find that harder to do. Men couldn't really help themselves, she thought. The longer they stayed out here, away from the whorehouses and comfort girls of the city, the worse they got. She didn't mind too much, really. That soldier with the brown hair...he seemed nice enough, if crass. That old one though...uh uh. No way.

They were approaching the gate now. Seri could see soot blackening the wall of the palisade in places - they had burned fires to ward the monsters off. It didn't seem like it had worked too well. The pair of women flanking the gate on each side looked tired, haggard. Dirt and grime blemished their faces, as if they hadn't had the luxury of a bath in weeks. The curved blades they were resting on their shoulders looked as if they had been clumsily beaten into shape from sickles, and they had only a dirty pair of leather jerkins on for protection.

The commander had already passed through the gate after a brief word with the guards. A sergeant was gesturing the rest of them through. Seri stayed close to Val and the rest of the mages as they marched into the town and down the cobbled street that formed the main thoroughfare.

Something seemed off. It took Seri a moment of scanning the gathered crowd to realize what it was - there were almost no men. Maybe that was to be expected. Almost everyone had been conscripted to fight in the desperate war that they were losing. Almost everyone left in Alara was female - farmer's wives and daughters. Seri looked into their faces as she passed. A hard edge of weariness lined their eyes, as though drained from fighting off all the monster attacks, but a kind of awe was growing as they watched the troops pass. Especially the mages. Seri blushed from feeling so many eyes on her. Women. Children. A mother heaved her young daughter up onto her shoulders so the girl could get a good look at their saviors, the ones able to touch the infinite weave that held the cosmos together.

"Heroes," Val whispered to her, with a mocking grin, and Seri couldn't help but smile wistfully. Some hero she was, uneven able to protect her battle partner. But maybe they didn't need to know that. Seeing the mages seemed to be brining a spark of hope to the onlookers. Whispers rushed to and fro in the crowd, and scattered cheers began to break out.

A little girl skipping barefoot alongside them came closer to Seri, wearing a shy smile and a faded blue country dress with a ragged skirt. Seri stopped. The girl eyed her up and down, slack-jawed with awe, as though she were meeting a princess.

"Hi," Seri said, donning her best friendly smile. "I'm Seri. What's your name?"

The girl squeaked, as though frightened that Seri had actually spoken to her. She gripped her long blond hair in a tight fist and looked like she might dart away for a moment, but recovered quickly. How odd, Seri thought. She wasn't used to being looked up to, especially by a girl younger than her.

"I'm...I'm Alyssia," the girl said, finally managing to force out the words. "I live here...with my mom and sister. She's a baker. Or at least, she was. Now she doesn't do anything."

"Oh? Is she hurt?" Seri asked. She wondered how many of the people here were nursing wounds from the battles they had already fought. They mages good with healing would probably have their hands full here.

"No, no, she's...uh...well she just lays in bed all day, since Allania was taken. She's my sister." The girl looked down, visibly upset, working a toe nervously between a pair of cobblestones. "The Org-reh, they got past the wall one night. Came in before we could wake up enough people to beat them back. They busted down the door of our house and, well...Allania's bed was nearest the door. We watched as the big Org ripped off all her clothes and he...he put his big thingy in her. I think he wanted us to watch. We chased him off eventually once other people woke up but he took Allania with him. Are you..." the girl swallowed nervously, as if afraid Seri would use magic to strike her dead for being so impertinent. "Are you going to get her back? We don't know where the Org-reh went."

Seri bent and put a hand on the girl's shoulder. She looked on the verge of tears.

"Shhh, it's ok. Yes that's why we're here. You don't have to be scared of the monsters anymore. We're going to kill them all and then your home will be safe again, and we'll get everyone back. I promise."

A grateful smile blossomed on the girl's face, but Seri knew her promise was a lie. The Monstrum Factorum laid out the Conversion process in excruciating detail. Right now Allania was bouncing on an oversized Org cock in a slave pen somewhere, squealing with pleasure. Or worse: serving as living armor for some brute for his next conquest. There was no getting her back. She wouldn't even want to come back, by now.

But Seri couldn't have stood to see the girl cry. She patted her shoulder, offering what comfort she could. The loose sleeve of her armlet gently brushed against the girl, who looked at it with astonishment.

"Can I...can I touch it?" Alyssia asked. Seri smiled and nodded. To the girl, she must have looked like royalty, with the beautiful gossamer cloth of her uniform girdled by tiny golden chains and stuffed with sparkling gems. Alyssia's fingers fondled the silky dreamcloth for a moment, and she touched a gem on Seri's allocite bracelet then traced her fingers up to feel the open sleeve.

"I've never seen anything pretty. Do they give you this for being a mage?"

Seri nodded. The uniform was beautiful, she had to admit, revealing as it was. The sheer garment was artfully constructed, delicate cloth piling in cut folds on her upper arms and sweeping down to criss-cross in a complex weave around her top and upper back. It left the rest of her back and her tummy bare though, and the skirt was desperately short, but the silky fabric hugged her hips and flared out in a way designed to accentuate her feminine features.

"That would be nice, if I could wear something so beautiful." Alyssia smiled, and touched Seri's auburn hair, as if amazed at its cleanliness. Her own hair looked like it hadn't been washed in weeks. "Maybe they'll pick me to be a mage."

"If you have the spark, they will," Seri shrugged, but secretly she hoped that Alyssia didn't. Maybe the girl would turn out to be immensely powerful - the next Alinayah, someone to give them hope - but she wouldn't have wished her life as a mage on anyone. All she had wanted was to stay with Marcus and start a family with him, and that had been stolen from her.

Seri masked the sudden pang with a sign and stood up. She gave the girl her best smile and waved goodbye, rejoining the flow of troops. Best not to fall too far behind and get shoved again.

She spotted Val just ahead of her and trotted up to walk by her side, eyeing her friend out of the corner of her eye. Val was almost as pretty as Dienna, with deep blue eyes and curly blonde hair that bounced around her bare shoulders cheerfully, and she was almost preening from the attention of the crowd. Despite joking about it, she probably really did have illusions of being a hero. She seemed like the type: confident and strong, but when she wasn't being serious she was the giggly type, ready to smile or crack a joke or play a prank on anyone she deemed too uptight for their own good. When they had bunked together at the academy, Seri had often stayed up long into the night with Val, swapping secrets by candlelight and sharing their hopes and dreams. Val was one of the few people that Seri had told about Marcus.

"They look hopeful now, don't they?" Val said, grinning at the crowd as they passed. She stuck her arm up and waved slowly as if she were on parade. Val loved the attention..

"Maybe," Seri said. "They've lost a lot already. Their friends. Family members. I think they had given up."

"Well now they have nothing to worry about. The cavalry has arrived." Val flashed a wide grin at a family of girls as they passed, as though she were personally responsible for bringing the might of a hundred soldiers and a dozen mages to the town. "We'll beat off the monsters and send them packing back to wherever they came from. Right Seri?"

Seri looked around, taking in the slowly growing smiles, the scattered cheers, the looks of hope dawning slowly on grubby faces. Something about it made her feel sick to her stomach. Maybe Val was a hero, but she wasn't. She would never be strong enough.

"Hey, it's ok." Val drew closer to Seri and touched her arm. "Don't worry about it, alright? Worrying doesn't get you anything. Don't beat yourself up over Dienna. Look, if you watch my back, I'll watch yours, ok? Nothing will get through us."

Seri took a deep breath, and forced herself to smile back. Val's optimism was infectious. Maybe they did stand a chance. She wanted to believe that.

Up ahead was the town square. The soldiers at the front were already spreading out, standing at attention, waiting for their orders from commander Varus. He was dispatching them in squads of 6.

"Darius, I want you at the eastern perimeter," Varus said, all business. "The wall's all fucked up there so do what you can to secure it. Jaleth, take your men and get us some goddamn food. These runts must be sitting on something good. Maybe they have wine too, something better than the piss we've been drinking. If anyone gives you any lip, hit them like they fucked your sister."

The lieutenant called Jaleth - a grizzled man with a distant look in his eyes - saluted Varus and then left with his squad. Varus looked around, seeing who he had left, and spotted Seri and Val.

"Just the two little shits I was looking for," he grumbled. "The townspeople are expecting another attack from Chrysilae tonight. They've been hit every night this week. Maybe a couple dozen of the bugs. They come in, cause a bit of havoc, and take a few girls back to rape in their hive. The usual. Look, you two know what to do, right? You have that stupid little book that tells you everything about them don't you?"

"Yes sir", Seri said. "We can erect fields of air to combat the buzzing sound they make-"

Varus cut her off with a slash of his arm. "Great. Whatever. Just don't fuck it up again. I'm not going to lose a single fucking man tonight because of your bullshit, got it? I don't care what you do, but you'd better get your shit together. If you were real soldiers, I'd say I'd cut your fucking balls off if you screw up what should be an easy fight, but you don't even have those."

"We'll be ready," Val insisted. "Just make sure YOUR men are ready. We won't be able to fight if the bugs are right on top of us."

"I know how to do my fucking job, Val," Varus said gruffly. "We weaken them when they attack here, then tomorrow we'll clear out the hive. Now, at sundown I want you to take position on the wall near the gate. Thomas will be in charge over there." Varus looked around at the clear sky and the distant mountains surrounding them. "At least the weather will be on our side. I hate fighting in the fucking rain. Dismissed."

"He's just mad that he lost his fucktoy," Val whispered as they walked away

Seri couldn't even crack a smile for Val's attempt to be cheery. It just reminded her how she had already failed. At least tonight would be an easy victory. They had the numbers to decimate the bugs when they attacked. Varus' plan would work.

She parted with Val and sat herself under the shade of an awning near the main road, a decent distance from the thickest clusters of soldiers. The sun had lingered overhead while they had surveyed the town and assessed the situation, and now was slowly dropping towards the ridgeline in the west. A fresh breeze had ushered in the evening, bringing with it the warm smells of hay from the fields, of woodsmoke and cooking food and the odors of sweating horses. The tink-tink sound of a blacksmith's hammer rang out like a metronome, the perfect rhythm to underscore the sounds of bustling activity and men shouting orders at each other. The town seemed to have come alive again with their arrival.

Seri unclipped the tiny blue pack from her belt. It grew in her hands, returning to normal size, and she reached inside, then hesitated. She wanted to read more of the tome she had stolen. Its secrets beckoned to her. Each time she was about to figure out a little bit more, could decipher a few more of the mysteries it held. It was the key to the whole picture - the Monstrum, where they came from, why they were plundering the world to rape little girls like her. She was sure of it. It all dangled just barely out of reach, and she knew that with just a little more time she would be able to finally grasp the truth.

But there were too many people here. The tome stood out like a sore thumb, with its jeweled cover emblazoned with onyx and arcane diagrams. The other mages would ask questions she couldn't answer. Regretfully, she let the tome slip from her fingers inside the bag and grabbed her Monstrum Factorum instead. Nobody would think twice about her studying up before the battle.

She pulled the book out. As always, a faint menace seemed to radiate from the etched lines of bestial forms engraved all over it. There was something a little bit haunting about it, in the vague depictions of numerous forms entwined together on both covers. Human bodies, all female, and others - animals, beasts, monstrosities of nebulous form. all twisting together in a vast orgiastic panorama that drew the eye and held it spellbound. The eye tended to slide over it, as if too repulsed to make out specific details, but if you didn't focus too hard you could get a sense of the whole, of a legion of slender female forms, desperately young, bodies twisting and bent and locked in every conceivable act of coitus and vile debasement with ravenous, overpowering creatures.

It was a familiar sight. She had spent a great deal of her last few years studying this book and memorizing every word cover-to-cover. The academy has tested her, drilled her on every single revolting detail: how Org-reh took the youngest girls they could get for slaves, raping them endlessly for sport and breeding them like cattle, how the Conversion effect of the Centaurum allowed them to cram their oversized horsecocks into the vagina of a little girl, how the Arachma snared and bound their victims in webs, laying eggs in their wombs and letting them birth litters of thousands of tiny spiderlings to bolster their hives. It was all outlined in excruciating detail.

Seri flipped the snaps that kept the book tightly closed, then dug her fingers into the thick pages and turned to a chapter at random. She didn't need to study Chrysilae. She had already read that chapter a hundred times. She flipped the pages idly, then stopped at a full-page illustration of a floating, fleshy creature with a spherical body dominated by a vast eye.

"The Monopticus Decaberrationus, commonly known as the beholder, is an aberration of nature from a bygone age," the chapter began. "Full of hatred, ego, greed, and wanton lust, beholders dismiss all other beings as beneath themselves. Only in women and young girls do these monstrosities see value, treating them as beauteous possessions and mates to be bred for all eternity.

"Beholders are solitary and inherently antisocial. Their hatred and distrust of each other is even greater than their contempt for other beings. Beholders will attack and drive off or kill any other beholder it encounters, and this hostility eventually extends even to its own offspring. Although it may suffer the presence of its progeny for a time, once the son begins to manifest its magical powers it will be perceived as an intolerable threat to the senior beholder's dominion, and be driven off or killed. Even though beholders are virtually immortal, the combination of their long gestational period and the centuries it takes for one to reach maturity means that adult beholders are blessedly rare.

"A beholder's spheroid body is eight feet in diameter when fully grown. What can be called its face is dominated by a large bulging eye sitting above a toothsome maw with a long, slathering tongue. From the abomination’s bloated body sprout ten eye stalks each approximately four feet in length. Despite their wiggling, fleshy appearance and the glaring eyeball at the end of each one, the stalks are inhumanly strong, capable of restraining and crushing anything that gets close enough to threaten the creature.

"A beholder prefers to fight at a distance, using its greatest weapons: its eyes. Each of the stalks is capable of shooting forth a magical ray with a single effect, while the large central eye is capable of emitting an anti-magic field against anything that falls in its gaze. The ten different types of eye rays that beholders possess are:

Charm: Dominates the will of the victim, causing them to become enamored with the beholder

Paralysis: Locks a person's muscles in rigor mortis for as long as the eye is upon them

Fear: Causes overwhelming panic and terror in the victim

Slow: Slows the movement of a person to half their normal speed

Enervation: Drains the victim of energy, leaving them weak and helplessly fatigued

Telekinesis: Moves a victim or object with magical force, according to the beholder's will

Sleep: Causes unconsciousness in a victim for up to an entire day

Petrification: Transmutes the flesh of living creatures into stone

Disintegration: A magical cone that annihilates all matter it comes in contact with

Death: Instantly stops the heart of its victim

Seri flipped to the next page. On it was a pair of illustrations, the first depicting a beholder laying waste to a legion of soldiers, and the second showing the beholder in the act of overwhelming a company of young girls dressed like mages, using its eye stalks to coil about them as they fled, tripping them and ripping off their scanty clothes.

"The antimagic field of a beholder's main eye makes the creatures impossible to fight for a mage. No amount of combined magical power is enough to counteract the effect. Only by physically maiming the central eye can a magical attack be brought to bear against a beholder. Getting close enough to cause this damage is extremely difficult, as the eye stalks are strong enough to grip and snap the bones of any human close enough to melee. The only known tactic with any degree of effectiveness is to employ a phalanx of hundreds of spearmen, sacrificing most to the powers of the eye stalks until the main eye is too wounded to be effective, then following up with a decisive magical attack. It is not recommended to try this technique, nor any other, as the complete absence of any data regarding combat victories against beholders is a strong indication of their nigh invincibility.

"Beholders use their disintegration eye ray to carve out their lairs from solid rock deep in the earth. The lairs are twisting labyrinths of tunnels connecting spacious vertical shafts that complement their levitation abilities and inhibit any invading forces. The lower levels tend to house the dungeons and storerooms, while the middle levels are home to slaves and the upper levels are home to the beholder's treasure rooms, bedchambers, and harems full of concubines. Within a beholder's domain he is as a god, and is worshipped by his concubines and servitors. Males are repeatedly dominated by the charming magic of the beholder's eye stalks until their will is broken, after which they serve as keepers of the beholder's lair until they fall out of favor and are eaten. Such slaves labor endlessly to keep the creature's lair immaculately clean, and tend to any needs of their master's concubines."

Seri briefly studied the anatomical diagram of the beholder, which showed a cross section of the spherical body. Every organ, bone, and body part was meticulously labeled. Subscripted information listed the beholder's phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

"A beholder's treasury is always located on the topmost level of its lair, accessible only by flight. They are usually extensive, full of the accumulated wealth of centuries of plunder. As a beholder's wealth grows, it will carve new space upwards into the rock, always keeping its most valuable treasures on the top level while relegating the less valuable parts of the hoard to lower tiers. The promise of fabulous wealth has lured countless adventures to attempt to invade beholder lairs, but all such incursions are invariably lethal. All paths into a beholder's lair are riddled with pitfalls and traps, both magical and physical, and the beholder's capacity for cunning and cruelty is most apparent in the fiendish nature of each snare. Beholders delight in inventing new and ever more sadistic designs for their traps. The lack of data presents a scholarly impediment here; very little is known about beholder traps because almost none escape them. The rare survivors have recounted tales of magical forces that crush, burn, and maim, false floors, spinning blades, fields that can cause anguish and destroy the minds of those who enter, and pits full of living tentacles writhing in filthy sludge that drag their victims into the depths. The inability to anticipate the nature of its traps makes any assault on a beholder's lair incredibly costly.

While any invading males are slaughtered, females are merely disabled by the selective nature of the traps. Any woman or girl so captured becomes part of the beholder's harem. Beholders will also actively hunt and prey upon human populations, capturing as many women as they can to add to their harem. Beholders seem to show no preference in the age of the females they abduct. Even newborn babes and old crones find themselves being plucked away by a beholder or his servants. Any girl or woman deemed too homely or too old for the beholder's exacting taste is subjected to dark magics to sculpt her flesh and make her pleasing to the eye.

Once a victim is added to the beholder's harem, it attends to her relentlessly for several days. A beholder's eye stalks double as the creature's genitalia, and each stalk is capable of detaching from the main body to engage in coitus with the victim. Once separated, a pair of crablike legs and a spear-like phallus over two feet long and 4 inches thick are revealed at the end of the stalk, and the stalk itself floats or crawls to the beholder's newest mate and begins coupling with them. First, the stalk locks itself to the pelvis of its victim by using its pincered legs to wrap tightly around the girl's thighs as it penetrates her. The fleshy tentacle is capable of surprising agility and strength, and it will use its legs for leverage to thrust vigorously into the girl's vagina. At the same time, the beholder will use its long, serpentine tongue to explore the girl's body, slathering grotesque saliva all over her naked body. The saliva has an aphrodisiac effect, and greatly enhances the victim's pleasure.

Once coupled, the eye stalk fucks the beholder's new mate relentlessly, never ceasing even after the beholder itself leaves. A new stalk will grow on the creature's body within a few days to replace the missing one, so a beholder is never deprived of the inherent powers of its eyestalks for long. The ejaculatory emissions of the detached stalk are copious - far more than the diminutive size of the detached limb would suggest - flooding the new girl with an astonishing amount of semen. Beholders seem to attempt to make up for their low fertility rates with the pure volume of their emissions, and the ejaculate - thick and gooey with a syrupy consistency - inevitably leaks out in a slick discharge until it grows into a puddle under the girl. Coupled with the mucus that the beholder slathers all over a girl's naked body with its tongue, intercourse with a beholder is a very messy affair indeed.

Conversion is relatively slow, begetting a substantial toughening of the vaginal walls and muscles while at the same time granting greater elasticity of all of the girl's orifices. The effect of the heightened pleasure gained as the Conversion takes effect may be one of the most substantial ever observed in a Monstrum species. A beholder fucks its new harem girl around the clock until she is delirious from the endless climaxes, and does not slow until she is pregnant. This takes a substantial amount of time - several months at least - during which the eye stalk never detaches from the girl nor ceases its sexual activity. Functioning as an extension of the beholder's will, it can continue its ministrations even if the beholder leaves its lair. It is unknown what autonomy a detached eye stalk will retain if the parent beholder is killed.

Only once a girl has conceived - confirmed by magical means inherent to beholder biology, presumably - does the girl gain her first respite. She is bathed and dressed by the beholder's other slaves in fine, sheer silks and opulent jewelry and moved from the rape dungeons up to the beholder's quarters at the highest level. It is assumed that only once a girl is bearing the beholder's seed in her belly does it begin to trust her enough to allow her access to its inner sanctum. The harem chambers are lavish and thoroughly decadent, filled with astonishing examples of the finest wealth that the beholder has plundered in its career, and the new girl is welcomed intimately by the harem members as one of their own. Her new life begins here, an unceasing succession of delights of the flesh, the privilege of all harem members that carry the beholder's offspring in their wombs. While he is present in the harem, his concubines lavish attention on him, worshipping with total devotion and begging for him to ravage their pregnant bodies, which he does enthusiastically by means of his eye stalks. Their ardor is only slightly dampened when their master is away, and the concubines will amuse themselves with endless orgies, engaging in cunnilingus and tribadism and every manner of vile debauchery that can be conceived.

The secondary effects of the beholder's Conversion are slow-acting, and quite astonishing even by Monstrum standards. An impregnated girl will slowly regress in age, gaining even greater beauty as she does so, until her loveliness is perfect in her master's eyes. Girls have been observed reverting even to prepubescent ages, as this appears to be the preference of beholders. A harem is filled with young girls that appear to be between 8 and 12 years old, each in varying stages of pregnancy and pleasing to the eye in a manner that defies description. All girls are dressed by the beholder's other servants in exotic silks and revealing garments with lavish jewelry according to the beholder's favor toward them.

The next page was an artist's rendition of a beholder's bedchamber: three young girls sprawled on the silken sheets of an overstuffed bed illuminated by candles, beautiful beyond words, bellies bulging tightly with their massive pregnancies. Sheer veils and armlets sufficed for their only coverings, the rest discarded, and a rich variety of jewelry glittered from their wrists and ankles. Gooey runners of thick fluid dripped from the nether regions of two of the girls, and the third was covered in sticky mucus lavished on her by the writhing tongue of the beholder hovering above them. Seri couldn't help but wonder how much of the picture was a product of the scribe's overripe imagination and how much was verifiable fact.

She sighed, her attention beginning to wander. Girls captured by beholders never escaped, did not even want to be rescued. In the few cases where such a monstrosity had been defeated, subsequent interviews revealed that most of the girls had been there for centuries, living a life of unceasing erotic pleasure that defied description. The beholder gestational period was slightly over 8 years, and once a girl gave birth she was subjected immediately to constant rape for months until she conceived again.

She knew all this. Beholders had been one of her main areas of study at the academy. She had even tracked down some of the old volumes that described the creatures, and compiled her notes so they could be given to the Magisterium and added to the Factorum. As far as she knew only one beholder had ever been spotted in Teleria; they were exceedingly rare.

Seri flipped ahead, thumbing the pages. Combat, combat... Tips. Anything. She came up empty. Just a few more notes about how beholders were never to be trifled with and retreat was the only recommended course of action. It figured. The scholars could drum up endless pictures of little girls like her getting raped and impregnated by the creatures, but had nothing to offer on how to fight them.

She looked for another chapter, flipping through the familiar pages. Flesh Fiends. Dopplegangers. Rapewolves. Minotaurum. Ettu and Yetta. Sleth and Vile Buzzards. Every one of them a rapacious threat with utterly unique methods of getting their hands and claws on the bodies of a girl like her and raping her silly. How could there be so many Monstrum? The variety of species seemed endless, a mystery still puzzling to Seri even after years of studying them. How did all these species survive without females of their own? How did such species come to be, and why had they only appeared in the world in the last decade? Teleria had been at relative peace before then, a proud, enduring kingdom with a strong military and economic base. They had traded with the other kingdoms to the west, and with the tribal peoples of the east, never anticipating how the Monstrum threat would come to encroach so completely.

It was getting too dark to read. Seri squinted at the pages, wishing she had a candle. She could have cast a ball of light for herself, but she preferred to avoid any more attention from the townspeople right now. Finally she gave up and looked up from her book. The sun had slipped below the sharp edge of the mountains and a fan of dying rays the color of rust streaked across the evening sky to strike the flock of purple clouds overhead. It was a beautiful sight. Like home. The town had grown much more quiet around her as the people gave up the day's activities. The smell of fresh bread lingered on the breeze, and columns of smoke were beginning to rise from the scattered chimneys. Warm. Calm. An idyllic vision of a perfect town, but there was a trace of foreboding lingering in the air. A threat, hanging over the town and ready to strike. Seri shoved her Monstrum Factorum back into her pack and stood up to make her way to the gate.

Scattered soldiers called out to each other as they moved into position. The light was fading fast. Seri walked up the slope and then climbed the ladder on the inside of the palisade. A narrow wooden catwalk hugged the inside perimeter of the wall. She saw Val and Jacqueline up here with her, standing a short distance away on either side. She nodded to them, then cast her gaze out over the valley.

It should be an easy fight. Just a couple dozen Chrysilae, according to the townspeople. A normal human woman didn't stand much of a chance against one, of course, even if she was well armed. The buzzing noise they made got inside your head, vibrated your skull and made you hot like you had a fever. The horniness followed immediately after - just a bit at first, a small itch, heavy breathing, then growing rapidly until it was totally debilitating.

But they were mages. They were prepared. They knew how to fight the bugs. Seri scanned the horizon. The light was nearly gone now, inky blackness creeping slowly over the valley. The line of torches flickered to life along the sharpened tips of the palisade. The soldiers nearby muttered warily, growing uncomfortable from the long wait and fingering the pommels of their swords nervously.

It didn't take long. Once the last of the light had finally fled before the growing blackness of night, a distant droning sound began out in the mountains - almost inaudible at first. Seri would have thought she was imagining it if she didn't know what was coming. The sound grew steadily louder, an insectile hum like swarm of flies, but lower in frequency, a steady thrum that seemed to beat in time with Seri's pulse and make her blood run hot. A small tingle began to grow in her crotch, a steady drumbeat of need. She couldn't help but think of Marcus again, how her big brother's cock would push briefly against her labia before he entered her, seeking the tiny hole of her little pussy. How he held her tight in his strong arms, breathing heavy in her ears as he slowly pushed further inside her, savoring the tightness of her pussy. Her muscles twitched sympathetically, yearning to feel his fat prick stuffed in her cunt again. He had been her first lover, her only love. Nobody else had lived up to him yet. He had always been eager with her, but also gentle. Firm in his desire, but tender too. She would give anything to feel him moving inside her right now, his thick cock swelling up with passion and spewing a firehose white-hot batter straight up into his little sister's womb.

To her left, Val swung her staff, muttering an incantation. Immediately the mounting buzz died off, muffled by a magical wall of air. Val was good at those kinds of spells. Seri wasn't. She held her staff tightly as she peered out into the darkness, feeling her breathing slow and the horniness die away. A pang of regret took its place, but she shoved it away. The monsters were almost on top of them. She could dream about Marcus later.

The rising moon glimmered over the fields beyond the wooden wall. Squinting into the darkness, Seri finally saw them: dark shapes gliding through the air, propelled by buzzing wings and with thin legs dangling underneath them. Very wasp-like. It was uncanny how many parallels could be drawn between Monstrum anatomy and creatures found in the natural world. So many of them resembled regular beasts, albeit twisted and corrupted into monstrous forms. It made her want to sit down with a pile of books, studying, finding the correlations. She had been good at those things, and her instructors had always complimented her on her strong scholarly instinct. What was she even doing here? She was good with books, not combat magic. Her grip tightened on her staff as the dark shapes grew closer, the buzzing growing only slightly louder under the magical dampening. They had taught her how to summon bolts of lightning, how to strike out with fists of invisible force, how to rip with air and burn with fire and trip with moving earth. And she had sucked at all of it.

A spike of icy fear was growing in her chest. She would have to rely on the other mages; she couldn't even protect herself in a one-on-one fight. She'd have to complement their spells with her meager powers any way she could. It was all she was good for. Seri looked over her shoulder at Val, expecting to see the confident girl returning a sly grin, but instead Val was looking up at the inky sky with a look of growing horror on her face.

Magical flares exploded with light overhead, illuminating the night like flickers of lightning and revealing hundreds of flying forms. Seri stared up in shock. This wasn't a couple dozen Chrysilae. There were hundreds of them! It must have been the whole hive! The fear swelled in her heart, verging on terror. She thought of the girls that had been taken over the last few months, raped and giving birth around the clock to new bugs to bolster the hive's numbers. Now they were all grown. They had been biding their time, and now they had all come to finish the job.

With the last flicker of light, Seri saw the bugs hurtling straight down towards her like boulders. They were dive-bombing the palisade. Seri screamed and threw herself flat, barely avoiding the massive insect that slammed through the space she had just been in. Sharp pincers sliced through the air and caught on the edge of her hair, jerking her head painfully.

Keeping desperate hold of her staff, she rolled to her side and slid off the catwalk, grabbing the edge and swinging briefly as she lowered herself to the grass. Men were running everywhere, shouting orders and screaming, and lightning arced up into the sky, slung by the mages at buzzing forms they could barely see. Twin fireballs exploded in the air directly above Seri, followed by something large and heavy smashing into the ground directly next to her head. Seri looked up from her shaking hands and screamed again - the soldier was dead from the drop, his eyes staring, neck snapped. A Chrysilae must have picked him up. The bugs were strong enough to do that and more.

Fireballs boomed into plumes of flames overhead, deafening her. Peals of lightning blinded her as they lanced out everywhere. There was no battle line. No formation. No holding back the horde of giant wasp-like bugs that could drop on anyone unseen in the darkness. Seri squeezed her eyes shut against the tears and shook her head. She had never been so terrified, at least not since that night when defeat at the hands of the Org'reh seemed so certain. She forced herself to remember how they had won that battle, even when it seemed hopeless, and dredged up enough resolve to take a firm grip on her staff again and stand up.

She saw the bug at the last second and reacted, slamming a rock-hard wall of air between it and her. The creature crashed into it, wings buzzing angrily. Seri swung her staff and yelled, folding the air like a piece of bread, squishing the bug's delicate-looking body between the invisible forces. It burst in a dozen places with splatters of disgusting bug juices. With a final defiant shout she flung the crumpled body away from her. That was one.

The traditional battle tactics in the Monstrum Factorum called for 3 mages to maintain the wall of air that kept out the buzzing of the bugs, their ranges overlapping for redundancy. Two might do in a pinch. With only a dozen mages left after losing their sisters to the Ursa, they had only one for that duty: Val. Seri kept her head down as she crept up behind her friend. Val was chanting, her eyes closed, moving her staff and concentrating as she fed power to the spell. It kept constant energy to maintain. Seri looked around wildly, then yelped and lashed out just in time to hurtle an incoming Chrysilae away from Val. The bug's wings buzzed angrily, muffled but barely audible. Seri followed up with a bolt of green power that slammed into the bug, scorching it. It flew upwards and she lost it in the darkness overhead. If she were stronger she could have incinerated it.

She knocked two more bugs away, slowing them with purple fields and then slamming their squishy bodies with walls of force. She felt herself screaming, her cries joining the chorus all about her. Men yelling as they died. Girls wailing. To her left, Danae was twirling about, swinging her staff and lashing out with bolts of power each time she spun. A muffled buzzing sound came suddenly from overhead and Seri had just enough time to see the terror on the young girl's face as she looked up straight at the Chrysilae dropping on her. It slammed her to the ground, pinning her with its wasp-like body. Danae shrieked, the young girl struggling as the bug used its pincered claws to rip off her scanty uniform and expose the little 11-year-old's naked body. Seri pointed her staff at the pair, teeth chattering with fear. What could she do? She wasn't precise enough to lash out and crush the bug without risking taking Danae's head off too. It would have to be air. Maybe she could blow a strong enough gust to knock the thing off of her. She began to condense the power, drawing it from the latent energy that suffused the whole world and using it to wind up her spell. The bug was too fast though. After shredding the scanty coverings of its prey, it maneuvered to press its abdomen against her bottom, letting her feel the thick girth of erect bugcock pressing against her nethers. Danae struggled, squealing, then shrieked when the bug suddenly rammed all 14 inches worth of its substantial prick straight into her tiny little cunt, spearing her to the ground. The little girl's belly bulged obscenely, deformed around the monstrous prick gutting her insides.

Seri screamed and ducked, barely avoiding another Chrysilae. Its thin legs clutched at the space where her head had been an instant earlier. She rolled and loosed her magic in an uncontrolled burst, feeling it thump into the unseen body. A splatter of grotesque juices spilled out of the darkness overhead like a macabre shower, raining down on her. Bug guts and repugnant viscera splattered all over her face and belly, warm and still pulsing.

Seri froze, reeling with terror and unable to think. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw the Chrysilae lift off with Danae, clutching her to its belly with its insect legs wrapped around her naked body and its turgid prick still stuffed in her cunt. A few last explosions boomed overhead, then petered out. Too many mages were down. The bugs were swarming all over them. The men were routed. All around her, silhouetted by the growing fires, the small forms of her sisters were being bowled over by buzzing insects, knocked to the ground and pinned, staffs bent and broken and their delicate clothing ripped apart. Seri whirled, eyes darting in terror. Another mage was down, a Chrysilae perched on her back, holding on with its delicate legs as she struggled. It reared back, the dangling bug prick primed against her nethers, and then thrust in violently. The little girl shrieked as she felt the thick shaft of bug meat ram into her. To Seri's side, a girl was running, crying hysterically, pursued by the bug flitting just behind her. It would let her get to her feet and run a few steps, then knock her over onto the grass again, toying with its prey before it raped it.

She clenched her staff in a white-knuckled grip, scanning the battlefield. There. A small girl was being spitroasted by two of the large bugs, her tiny body jostled back and forth as one pistoned her from the rear and another slammed its hard bug prick into her squealing mouth. Seri forced herself to ignore it - just beyond was their last hope, the reason any of them were still fighting, the reason her ears still felt like they were stuffed with cotton that kept that insectile siren song from overwhelming her. Val was standing on the palisade catwalk, surrounded by a few remaining mages. She was still holding her spell, the air around her crackling with so much power that her hair was floating in the air as if weightless.

Seri ran. She had to protect Val. It was their only chance. If they couldn't win maybe they could rally in the buildings and at least drive the bugs off. Seri's heart raced in her chest and she wasn't sure if the taste of salty bile in her mouth was her own sweat or the juices of the bugs she had slaughtered. She tried to ignore it, to wall it away with her own desperate fear and the horrifying sights of her comrades falling and being raped all around her. She darted around each cluster of bugs, the swarms gathering around each fallen girl like bees in a hive. The ones that had already picked a girl would ignore her, she knew. She ducked under another hurtling insect body and rolled on the grass, springing to her feet at a dead run again. The mages just ahead were making a good show of it. They had formed a line, lashing out with interlocking sprays of lightning that crackled in the air and held the buzzing fiends at bay. Maybe they stood a chance. Maybe they could still do it.

She had almost closed the gap when a wasplike form dove out of the darkness above and slammed into Val like a cannonball. Seri watched in horror as Val pitched right over the wall and out of sight. Acting on instinct, Seri swung her staff and reached out with her power, grasping at the invisible strands of Val's spell just before they could dissipate. They almost slipped out of her fingers, almost, but Seri held on, drawing them together again into a functional weave and maintaining the spell before it could disintegrate.

Seri was almost shocked. She wasn't powerful enough to cast such a spell on her own, but apparently maintaining it was a different matter. She struggled to send as much of her own power into it as she could; it was barely enough. The other mages lashed out with their lightning to strike away the bugs that flew at her from all sides.

"Rally inside the town!" she screamed at them, still struggling under the weight of the sputtering spell. "They can't fly around in the buildings! We can ward the doors and beat them off!" She ducked and rolled under a buzzing form that the other girls hadn't caught in time, and the bug whizzed by harmlessly. "Come on!" She waved her arms fiercely, and the other girls jumped down from the wall to surround her. They began to move as a group, the girls forming a ring around Seri, casting on the run. The line of buildings was only a hundred feet away, flickering a lurid orange from the spreading flames. The town was ablaze, but with their magic they could carve out an area and keep a space free of smoke and fire and wait out the battle. It would work. It had to work.

Seri's chest heaved and her lungs burned like fire. Her mind reeled under the torrent of power needed to maintain the spell. It was too much - like trying to hold a boulder over your head with shaking arms. She only needed to keep it going a little longer. Just a little bit. The buildings were just ahead, and it looked like the smithy warehouse hadn't caught fire yet. The girls ran together, sprinting for the large pair of open doors.

Something snapped, and the rebound slammed into Seri with a jolt that took her breath away. She felt herself slip and fall, gravel scratching her legs and belly. The spell had broken as if rent by an outside force. That wasn't normal. Spells didn't come apart like that. Seri shook her head, trying to remember where she had felt that kind of interference before - the book. The one in her magical bag. She looked down at it in horror, but was immediately overwhelmed by a powerful buzzing drone that crashed over her like a wave.

The sound slammed into her eardrums, drowning out the screams. Her skull vibrated with the rhythm, an inexorable, overpowering drone that throbbed in her brain like a new heartbeat. She felt her blood rushing, hot, feverish, her pulse pounding, a torrent of thrumming vitality that poured through her and left violent shivers in its wake. She scrabbled on the ground, feeling drool on her lips. The energy gushed in her crotch, turning it into a maelstrom of tingling urgency, and she couldn't help herself - her fingers dipped on their own, pushing between her legs and digging straight into the sopping hole of her sex. She shrieked immediately, a deafening orgasm exploding in her brain, washing out all other thoughts. She rammed her fingers violently inside her pussy, thrusting as deeply as she could go. It was like every lover she had ever had at once, every pulsing cock that had squeezed its way into her tiny pussy and left a sticky gush of juices inside. The pleasure slammed into her, shaking her body from head to toe. Flashes of light exploded behind her eyes. The walls of her cunt sucked desperately at her fingers, twitching with ecstasy. Her mind whirled. She was drowning in the buzzing drone that coated her consciousness like heavy syrup. She felt arms around her. Strong. A lover's arms. Marcus, her wonderful brother. He was here with her, at last, his thick prick pushing at the folds of her labia, lining up and ready to penetrate his little sister again like she had never left. Seri twitched and gibbered with passionate anticipation. Fuck me, big brother. Ram your cock into your little sister's cunt and flood me with cum. I want your babies. Please...

He pushed inside, and Seri screamed with pleasure. He was so big! The thick, veiny rod of pulsing meat throbbed like molten steel inside her, the massive girth stretching her quivering cunt to the breaking point. His arms stretched around her belly, his fingers brushing her shoulders and hips, making her tremble everywhere. Another climax erupted inside her like a volcano, and she heard herself howling, distantly, as she felt a hot river of goo splash up against her cervix. Her big brother's semen, his gift to her, the seed that she had always prayed would grow in her belly. The stiff rod managed to swell even more tightly in her cunt, plugging it up, forcing the spew of juices deep into her womb. Seri floated in a stratosphere of bliss, imagining the billions of tiny sperm swimming inside her, seeking out her eggs, ready to fertilize her with her brother's child at last.

Seri gibbered as the static of her orgasm slowly dribbled away. Sharp gravel was cutting into her arms and legs. Had Marcus taken her out in the fields again? All she wanted was to stay out here all day with him, making love to him and taking his seed inside her. She opened her eyes and looked up.

The crackling blaze of a burning town greeted her. Distant screams echoed across the night, some coming from the darkness overhead. A body was on top of her, three pairs of segmented arms locked around her belly, buzzing with delight as its turgid cock squished in her sloppy vagina.

Seri screamed as the ground fell away beneath her. The Chrysilae was lifting her up, holding her to its abdomen with its thin, waspy arms. She struggled and reached out desperately, but her staff was already far below her, sitting uselessly out of reach on the gravel. Seri howled and struggled, then stopped as their height increased. The town spun underneath her, dropping away. The bug held her locked tightly to it, still thrusting into her cunt as it turned and began flying into the darkness of the night. Seri could barely see anything. The only light was coming from the amber inferno below where the town was burning to the ground, but she could just barely see other forms in the darkness: a flock of monstrous bugs, each clutching a weeping, unseen victim to its belly. Women. Girls. The townsfolk. Her mage sisters. All of them, taken. Beaten. They had lost utterly, and Seri knew in exquisite detail just what happened to mages that lost their battles and were taken by the enemy. With growing horror, she realized that the hot swill she could feel burning in her belly was just the beginning.

They were being taken to the hive.

Seri's muffled shriek died away as another firm prick rammed itself into her sloppy mouth and plugged it up. She could feel the sticky legs of the enormous insects all over her body. The bug in front of her clutched its arms tightly around her head and began thrusting, its bulbous abdomen slapping into Seri's face. She tried to scream, tried to struggle, but it was useless. It had been hours since they had taken her into the hive. The Chrysilae carrying her had raped her enthusiastically several times as they flew, ejaculating its bug juice inside her until a sticky river of goo was running out of her cunt and dripping down into the darkness. Seri had thought the nightmare couldn't get worse, right up until the point where they flew into an oblong opening and into a warren of twisting, chaotic tunnels. It reeked of bile and bug juices, and the echo of girlish wailing resounding off the resin of the tunnels formed an eerie chorus that struck a new fear into Seri's heart. The bug had flown until it found a free cell: a gooey hexagon, open on both sides. Freshly extruded by the workers. It had dropped her unceremoniously, and she had landed with a plop on a pile of sticky sludge that stuck to her belly and breasts like syrup.

Then they had got to work. There seemed no end to the bugs. They swarmed like bees, crawling all over her and the other girls she could see around her. The cells were stuck at every angle in a chaotic network, each one holding a fresh girl like herself. Before Seri could even pull herself out of the slop, a Chrysilae had landed on her back, wrapped its three pairs of disgusting insect legs around her waist, and slammed itself home into her exposed cunt. Seri had gibbered. She had begged. She had cried, and it meant nothing to the cold, alien gazes of the insects as they thrust their meaty bug pricks deep into her holes. They weren't too picky - she could feel as much semen dripping from the her gaping asshole as her cunt, and her stomach ached from the volume of sticky fluid she had had to swallow to avoid choking. The bug in her mouth rammed forward violently, flattening her tongue on the bottom of her mouth and lodging its glans deep into the tight tunnel of her throat. Seri instinctively tried to pull up her hands, to slap them futilely against the belly of the creature, but she couldn't: the gooey juices excreted by the disgusting little sacs on the bugs coated her body, hardening everywhere rapidly. Her arms were already stuck, shackled at the wrists. She couldn't move her waist anymore. Her feet were encased.

She forced down her scream and closed her lungs, forcing herself to swallow. Immediately a thick torrent of salty juice gushed into her throat from the pumping bug prick. She felt the river of warm insect semen slide down her throat, joining the ocean in her stomach. Her belly felt distended, bulging from the internal pressure of so much spunk sloshing inside of it. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to swallow as fast as she could, so he would finish. The world was going even darker. Her lungs burned for air. Dizzily, she felt the last pulses of the bug's ejaculations vibrating in her throat, and he finally pulled out. Seri coughed roughly as the the thick bug phallus left her mouth, expelling gob after gob of syrupy mucus that dribbled down her lips and chin.

The air burned her lungs like razorblades as she inhaled. Precious air. She would have only a few moments before another wasplike Chrysilae buzzed up and, finding the little girl's mouth unoccupied, slammed its cock home inside.

The bug clutching her waist thrust deeply inside, and its body began to hum. Lightning pulses of pleasure began to race up Seri's spine. The revolting hum seemed to resonate inside her, matching her racing heartbeat and the jerking rhythm of her cunt, amplifying it as if by magic. Despite herself, Seri squealed with pleasure. The bugs enjoyed thrusting but when they were ready to cum they usually did this: burying their fat bug pricks deeply inside and treating her body to a mounting tide of vibrating ecstasy. It was shocking how good it felt, how that insect buzz hummed so deeply inside her belly, building with a fierce energy, a primal, electric beat that swelled like a crescendo in every cell of her body. Seri could feel her orgasm rising like a tsunami, higher and higher, ready to crash over her - and still it rose, elevated by the impossible jolting rhythm of that bug prick buried against her cervix and tickling it so deliciously.

Seri screamed as she her climax exploded inside her. Nothing had prepared her young body for this, for the raw, animal pleasure of her nonstop rape. She twitched in her bonds, head thrashing, howling. A sticky torrent of filthy bug juices erupted inside her, and Seri threw her head back, exulting in the hot flood spewing deeply into her womb.

Distantly, she felt a fresh feeling of runny goop gush out over her buttocks - the excretions of the bug's fluid sacs, sucking up her own juices and transforming them into a rapidly-hardening sludge. Her orgasm strobed in her brain, her battered consciousness quivering like a lightning rod struck by the storm. She convulsed madly. The hurricane of ecstasy whirled in her brain, just barely beginning to taper away after what seemed like an eternity of bliss.

The insect on top of her pulled its meaty bug prick out of her with a plop and buzzed away, apparently satisfied. Seri shook her head, senses still reeling. She tried to move her hips experimentally, but the goop had hardened like mortar around her, encasing her tightly. The last blast of resin against her naked ass had sealed up even her cunt, solidifying inside her labia like a cork. It meant they were done with her, at least for now. The resin would keep the copious amount of bug cum they had spurted into her belly sealed up tight, where it was sure to impregnate her.

Seri raised her head as much as she could and looked around. The dim light of the hive - a sickly amber that pulsed as if alive - illuminated the myriad of identical cells, almost all of them crawling with bugs. The reeking stench of acrid bug juices filled her sinuses, and the droning song of hundreds of girls like her thrummed in her ears - girls wailing, crying out repeatedly in the throes pleasure as the Chrysilae climbed over them and impaled them with their throbbing bug pricks. So many. The whole town. Her mage sisters. Hundreds of tender bodies shuddering under the power of that overwhelming orgasmic hum, open wombs ready to accept the insect semen spewed inside them, bellies growing fat with pregnancy until they birthed more young to bolster the hive's numbers. More Chrysilae. An army of them, spreading out like a plague, kidnapping ever more girls and bringing them back to this monstrous hive to fill with seed.

Seri hung her head, tears coming to her eyes. The same seed that was flooding her womb right now. Billions of insect sperm, swimming about and seeking her eggs. The same sludge that encased her was already working its insidious Conversion effect on her. Maybe it was her imagination, but she thought she could almost feel it already: the yearning desire to feel those segmented insect legs brushing her naked skin, the flutter of the bug's feelers, its thick bug cock probing her delicate little pussy, seeking the opening, ready to ram itself inside and fill her with insect juice. Seri shuddered, trying to deny the vision. Was this really her fate? How had it come to this? She had always imagined herself growing up on the farm, her belly growing fat once Marcus' seed finally caught inside her, and then raising their babies as a happy family. Now she would grow fat alright: her belly would swell with a swarm of vile insects until she birthed her monstrous younglings, only to be raped and impregnated again and again in an endless cycle. She could feel the bug juice marinating inside of her. It would change her womb, increasing its temperature and size, making it suitable for insect spawn. It wouldn't take long.

No. Not her. Seri shook in her bondage, thrashing. Her hair jerked against her scalp painfully where parts of it were stuck to the gooey resin. Not her. Anyone but her! The tears welled up inside her and she began to cry. This couldn't be the end. Not like this. Not a host for insect babies. It couldn't end like this. Tears dripped from her eyes and ran down her cheeks, congealing with the splatters of bug semen and gunk that coated her face and whole body.

It was useless. The stuff was too hard. She was locked up tight, barely able to move her body. Seri forced herself to stop, forced her breathing to slow. Eventually she was able to stop sniffling. The bugs were leaving her alone for the moment, apparently content now that she was encased in resin with a tightly plugged pussy holding the ocean of bug sperm inside. She could hear them raping the other girls around her, but it wouldn't last long. They would be back, ready to have more fun with her mouth and ass, ready to enjoy her wiggling little human body. Once they had built out their hive, the Chrysilae workers didn't have much else to do other than enjoy the prey they brought back.

It was now or never. Seri forced down her panic and tried to think. Her staff was back in Alara, lying on the grass - assuming it hadn't been destroyed or burned up, anyway. She couldn't cast without a staff - nobody could. The elder mages hadn't needed staffs at all, but their secrets had long been lost to humankind. If she was to get out of this, she'd need to find another way. She jerked her hands, but her wrists were still locked tight. If only she had her magic. Just a single spell. Just a little burst of power. Something...

Seri jerked as the thought hit her. Of course she had something. All mages did, when they were wearing their uniforms - the gems. They were carefully cut by skilled artisans, each one flawless. They cost a fortune, though the magical dreamcloth cost even more. But unlike dreamcloth, the matrix of a gem could hold a small trickle of power for a time - a kind of inductance, more potent the more pure the gem was. They would accumulate a small amount of any magical power channelled nearby, and Seri had spent all evening in the presence of a tremendous amount of magical energy...

She looked around again - she was still being ignored. She had only a short amount of time. Normally she would use the gems to bolster magical energy for a spell as she condensed it, but without her staff she couldn't draw power from the weave at all. She didn't need to condense the energy in the gems though - it was already there. All she had to do was channel it and unleash it. She reached out, carefully, feeling tentatively with her senses. Very little of her uniform was left, most of it having been slashed away. Her skirt had been rent to pieces, but her belt was still intact, along with the tiny bag that hung from it. Her waist was encased in resin, so she couldn't see, but she felt carefully with her senses...there. A tiny trickle of power. The ruby just below her navel. It was a big one. It still pulsed with power from the battle.

Carefully, like picking a lock, Seri coaxed a tiny tendril of magical energy from the unseen gem. She'd only get one chance at this. She spooled the power like a thread, coiling it upon itself and then pulling it into a simple weave - heat. An easy spell that took little power. She could feel it building up all around her. Her skin began to grow hot and tingle from the radiating energy. Seri bit her lip to keep from moaning as the discomfort grew. She was sweating, but it was working: the resin was slowly melting like candle wax, becoming just pliable enough that she could begin to wiggle. She worked her hands first, jerking them tightly under her left hand was free, then her right. She reached down, clawing with her nails at the resin at her waist. It began to come away in sticky handfuls of foul-smelling granules. Just a little bit more...she could move her hips a tiny bit now. She resisted the urge to make a lot of noise by thrashing, instead working herself free inch by inch like a worm emerging from a cocoon.

At last she slipped, dropping out of the runny hole and landing with a splatter on the slick floor of the hive. She was free! Seri almost whooped with joy, but clapped a hand over her mouth. A thick band of jellied goop still coated her waist and private parts. Bug semen glistened all over her - on her arms, coating her flat breasts, spurted haphazardly all over her thighs. She flicked the worst of it away, then peeked over the mound that had kept her restrained until moments ago.

The tunnels twisted haphazardly, following no pattern comprehensible to a human mind. She supposed it made sense to the bugs. There were other girls nearby, howling, gnashing their teeth, then squealing in climax as the bugs raped them. Keeping her head low, Seri crawled to the next mound, then the next one beyond that, praying to the gods that the bugs wouldn't notice her. The couple dozen she could see from here seemed to be keeping busy, enjoying themselves as they plundered the bodies of the little human girls they had captured. Seri crept by them, knowing that the bugs could see in the gloom of the hive better than she could. All it would take was a peek around a corner at the wrong time, a stumble on the slick juices running off her naked body, and they would be all over her again. She wouldn't get any second chances this time.

Somehow she made it past the bulk of the bugs to the oblong opening that led into a wider corridor. She moved from her hands and knees to a crouch. Cautiously, she peered around the corner. The tunnel twisted as it rose. Seri had no idea which way was out, but she figured upwards was better. She began to climb, trying desperately not to slip on the smooth, rolling surfaces of the hive walls. They were made for flying through, not for human hands and feet. How long had the bugs been here, patiently digging out their hive, kidnapping human girls from the nearby towns to breed and bolster their numbers? Quite a while, she thought. The hive seemed large. She came to a fork and chose the left way. Maybe the townsfolk were stupid and had thought the disappearances were due to more mundane circumstances, like plain old murder. Maybe they hadn't called for the mages until it was too late. Or maybe they had called right away. There were too many townships under threat these days, and too few mages and soldiers left. Seri didn't know how long the villagers' cries for help had gone unanswered.

And now here they were, hopelessly lost, their bodies and wombs forfeit to their new bug masters. Seri passed a chamber and peeked carefully over the twisting, slimy curve of wall. Inside were two women - well, one women and a child, anyway. They both were playthings for the half dozen bugs that crawled all over them. Between the buzzing wings and thrusting insect bodies Seri caught the face of one of the women: it was one who had held her child on her shoulders to watch the mages pass when they had arrived, hope and pride on her face. What a fool she must feel now, Seri thought. The mages - undertrained, undersupplied, and undersupported, had been thoroughly beaten, and she would be the one to pay the price.

The woman's daughter was cocooned next to her. How nice of the bugs to cocoon families together, Seri thought darkly. The naked little 6-year-old struggled and screeched as a Chrysilae worked to wedge its fat prick into the girl's tiny pussy. The lips of her bald, glistening cunt stretched out widely, straining to contain the thick girth of greasy bug phallus slowly pushing into her. Conversion. It was already working on the girl's body rapidly, cocooned as she was in sticky resin. Increased vaginal elasticity and sensitivity accompanied almost all first-tier Conversion effects. The buzzing insect gripping her body with its segmented legs was the little girl's first lover, the slimy bug cock entering her cunt her first sexual experience. She'd have plenty more of those now, Seri knew, as the bugs raped her and her mother around the clock, filling them with spurt after spurt of hot sticky bug juices until their bellies began to bulge with insect larvae. More soldiers for the hive.

Seri clapped her hand over her mouth and crept past. She couldn't help them. All she could do was get out. She tasted bile on her tongue, and this time she was sure it wasn't the salty leavings of the bug semen that had been spewed in her mouth. If she could just get out of here. If she could just get back to civilization. There were so few mages left now, but she'd find a way. She'd go to her commanders. She'd go to the Magisterium, or all the way to the queen if she had to to get them to muster the forces necessary to retake the region and rescue all the girls here.

Past the chamber, the tunnel began to circle as it climbed. Seri crept up cautiously, trying not to make a sound. Distant, breathy wails echoed off the slick resinous walls - the multitude of women and girls being raped and impregnated by the scuttling bugs drumming through the walls like the heartbeat of the hive. The slope became steep, and Seri had to use her arms to pull herself up each uneven segment of the hive wall. She was on a higher level of the hive now - hopefully closer to the exit. A cool breeze whispered against the sticky juices on her bare chest. Yes, she was getting closer. Just a little farther to go now until she found a way out.

She gasped and ducked quickly behind a purple protrusion when the passage opened into a small chamber. A thick pillar of resin encased a hexagonal cell on one side of the space, and a trio of bugs were feverishly working their erect pricks into a girl embedded within. Like all the girls, the gooey bug fluids had hardened into tough restraints that circled her waist, leaving her genitals and torso exposed. Seri risked a peek, and saw the girl's head bobbing crazily as the bug over her face vigorously thrust its abdomen, ramming a hefty girth of pulsing insect cock deep into the girl's mouth. With a final thrust the Chrysilae buried its prick in the little girl's throat, and Seri saw her swallowing madly as she desperately sucked down the firehose of bug semen, trying not to choke.

Two other bugs were working the girl at the other end, railing the girl's pussy and anus at the same time with their imposing pair of throbbing bug pricks. The first bug, having finished in the girl's mouth, buzzed away, and flew straight towards Seri. She managed to avoid a squeak as she ducked further behind the mound that obscured her, and the bug flew right past her down the passage without noticing her. She breathed a sigh of relief, and peeked into the chamber again. The two bugs still raping the girl were mostly on the far side of the cell. They wouldn't be able to see her. She could sneak past.

Quietly, trying not to slip as her bare feet touched puddles of sticky goop on the floor, she moved in. The girl had gone slack as her body was jolted by the powerful thrusts, her head lolling. Seri moved closer. The exit was just on the other side. She'd have to pass by. The dull amber light of the hive wasn't much to see by, but as Seri passed near the girl she almost cried out in shock. There was no mistaking that long blonde hair that she envied or those brilliant blue eyes. It was Val! Her head was hanging upside down, her eyes glazed from repeated orgasms, and trickles of drool and foul-smelling bug semen oozed from her lips. Seri clapped both hands over her mouth. It was more than she could bear, seeing her friend like this. Val's tongue hung from her mouth and a low moan was growing in her throat, rising in pitch as waves of pleasure shuddered visibly up and down her naked body.

Val began to jerk and shudder, thrashing in her bonds as the slamming bug pricks brought her to another shrieking climax. Seri watched in horror. She had seen this before, of course - illustrated with lavish detail on the pages of her Monstrum Factorum - but watching it happen to her friend right in front of her almost made her scream. Val howled with ecstasy, exulting as her bug captors spewed a twin flood of sticky insect seed up inside her womb and colon simultaneously. Seri wretched in sympathy, feeling the tingling in her own body from the same bug swill oozing in her own womb, dripping down her legs, melting in her stomach.

The bugs were done. They'd fly away in a moment, and more would be here right after, drawn by whatever pheromone signals told them a little girl wasn't being raped right at that moment. They'd keep coming until they were satisfied they had dumped enough cum in her to make her pregnant, then they'd seal up her pussy too. Just another womb for the hive. It would be Seri too, if she was caught. If they saw her. She'd end up just like Val, a squirming little cum dumpster taking slick bug penises around the clock, her belly growing hot and tight as it blossomed with the larvae growing inside.

Fear choked her throat. Throwing caution to the wind, she turned and fled up the tunnel

Seri shivered tightly as she cupped the water and poured it over herself. The summer night was chill for a naked girl, but not unbearable. Even as cold as it was, the water of the pool felt like a balm as she washed off the mishmash of gooey fluids that coated every inch of her body. Her face and neck. Her flat breasts. Her waist, her thighs. And of course her genitals. She tackled them all, then crouched to dunk her head again, pulling yet more tacky gunk out of her hair.

It had been a miracle that she had escaped unseen. The bugs probably wouldn't notice. What was one pussy less, among hundreds? They would have their fill of fresh cunt for a long time, filling each one to bursting with their seed before sealing it up with resin to wait. Seri reached down, feeling the hard resin plugging up her vagina. It would be hard, but...she had to. With a grunt, she managed to work a finger in, barely squeezing it between the hard plug and the quivering wall of her pussy. Her muscles ached after being pounded for so long, dozens of bug cocks, maybe hundreds. It was hard to keep count when delirious from so many orgasms. Her warm finger sparked a tingling sensation, a shivering flash that didn't come from the clammy water. She swallowed, her throat dry. It had felt so good. Why had it felt so good? When the bugs had been crawling all over her, brushing her with their thin, waspy bodies, ramming hard prick after hard prick into every one of her orifices, she had lost herself like a storm-tossed ship, cresting the waves from orgasm to orgasm and coasting in bliss. She thought she understood now, maybe just a little bit, why the girls...why they might not want to come back. Why they might want to stay there in the hive. Seri looked up at the dark line of mountains where the hive lurked, where all those girls were doomed to a paradise of sexual bondage. Bug pricks, slamming home in every hole. Seri licked her lips unconsciously. She could have it again. Maybe, just maybe...

She shook her head to banish the thought. She wasn't going back. She wasn't going to end up as some sessile little fucktoy for buzzing insects. Digging her finger in farther into her own pussy, she jerked at the thick plug of resin, finally managing to dislodge it. It tumbled from her gaping pussy to land in the pool with a plop. It was just the Conversion effect...wasn't it? Yes, that was it. A thick, runny sludge began to ooze out of her cunt, which felt deflated after the exit of the hard mass. Seri ducked into the pool again to wash it all away. So much bug semen. It just kept flowing out, like syrup, still warm. Just the Conversion. That was all.

It took several minutes before she finally decided to move on. She didn't feel clean. Knowing how much vile bug sperm had been bottled up inside her, desecrating her womb, she'd never feel clean again. She had run for a long time before stopping at this pool, almost all the way back to Alara. She could see it in the valley just below. The fires seemed to have burned themselves out by now, though scattered columns of smoke spoke of smoldering ashes. Many of the buildings were little more than charred skeletons, standing like bitter monuments to defeat in the slowing growing light of the dawn.

A light breeze added to her chill as she descended towards the town. The remains of her uniform - just shredded remnants of her skirt and left armlet - dripped clammily against her naked skin. She crossed her arms against her chest, rubbing them as she shivered. She had to keep going.

Eventually she reached the gate. The wooden doors were mere splinters dangling from their hinges. The wooden palisade stood tall and unburnt - for all the good that had done them against flying enemies. Seri entered the town, her bare feet crunching on the gravel path - just a tired, shivering, naked little girl. Not the magic-wielding champion she had been hailed as yesterday. The breeze swirled through the empty lanes and burned-out houses, and Seri tasted ashes on the breeze.

Tears came to her eyes, but she wiped them away. She had to be strong. There was nobody else to rely on, nobody to help her. Marcus had always been strong. He had never needed to rely on anybody. She took a deep breath. She had to be like him. She had to, if she ever wanted to see him again. She had always been the youngest, always the smallest, always the weakest, but rather than bully her like her other brothers, he had always made time for her, always built her up and helped her be better than she was.

She managed to pull herself together and keep moving. She was approaching the grassy meadow near the palisade where she had fought the night before. She walked across the battleground warily, taking in the burned patches of ground, the broken bug bodies, the scattered groups of soldiers that had died fighting. Only men's bodies. No mage bodies, of course. Monstrum always had other plans for them.

It had to be here. It had to. Or if not it, then another. Seri kicked aside a broken shaft of wood with her bare toe. Smashed and splintered staffs. Small strips of gossamer clothing blowing in the grass like scattered leaflets. Brown bloodstains. The evidence of their defeat. But where was it?

Her heart skipped a beat when she crested a small mound and saw it - her staff! She skipped forward and yanked it off the ground. The cool length of smooth ash with the sapphire A'sham on it was miraculously intact. Seri swung it around, feeling the swirls of magical energy return like life itself. She laughed with joy, giddy. They hadn't destroyed it! It was like a miracle. Seri swept the energy into herself, condensing as much of it as she could, clutching it like a drowning man with a life preserver. It brimmed inside her, a torrent, a wild rush of splendid power and sensation bursting with the vitality of the cosmos itself. Her naked body seemed to hum, warming immediately from the innate energy.

She had been holding her breath. She let it out in a rush, letting all the fear and tension go with it. She had her staff. She had her magic. She wasn't very strong, but nothing - NOTHING - was going to separate her from her staff again. She wasn't going to be helpless. She was going to get out of this after all.

The thought of fleeing immediately was incredibly tempting, but Seri felt the pull of her duty. She had to at least check out the town so she could deliver an accurate report to the Magisterium. Her entire company beaten. The whole town burnt to the ground. Hundreds of new wombs claimed by a previously unknown hive. After this, she would be disgraced. What company could they even assign her to? Who would even agree to fight with her? Nobody, she hoped. Maybe they would even send her home. If the gods were kind...

Seri swept her staff and formed the energy into a warm flow that she directed inside herself. Revitalization. It would keep her going a little while longer, protect her feet from any more cuts, keep the chill of the breeze at bay. Then she turned and walked down the main thoroughfare into the town. A few buildings were intact, but most had lost at least one wall to the fire, and a few had burnt badly enough that their roofs collapsed. She passed the smithy and the grocer, barely recognizable. A wooden sign creaked wistfully overhead, its logo blackened and obscured by soot. This must be the inn. The windows were broken out, shards of glass scattered on the cobblestones. Was there nothing left?

Seri turned, heading for the outskirts again. She wouldn't find anything this way. She formed the weave for a spell that she didn't know well. Divination was surprisingly tricky, one of the many things she was not strong in, but maybe it would help. She kept walking, passing the empty buildings of what was now a ghost town, until she felt a brief...something.

She stopped, and turned. Peering down an alley. Hmm. Was it just the whisper of the wind? The dark passage between the buildings was narrow, but she was little enough to fit. The wooden walls on both sides were charred but still intact. Seri squeezed through, keeping her staff in a tight grip until the alley let out into a wider yard at an intersection with two other buildings.

Yes...there was definitely something. A vague tingling. A stirring. Somebody was alive. Seri sniffed as she scanned the area, then spotted a pair of blackened cellar doors nestled next to the wall of the far building. She crossed the yard and tugged them open. A ladder stretched down steeply into the darkness.

Casting light for herself, she swung herself down onto the ladder and descended. It was musty in here, but it seemed to have escaped the fire. She reached the bottom and turned around. It was a small cellar, lined on one side by masonry and by wooden boards on the rest. They had probably stored cheese in here, judging by the shelves and the smell. But it was empty now. Seri swung her staff around, sending the ball of light on a circuit of the room. Her spell was quivering inside her. Someone was definitely here.

"Hello?" she called out. The darkness was silent.

"Come on out. I know you're in here. I'm not going to hurt you. You're safe."

With her uniform in tatters, she probably looked more like a vagabond than a mage, Seri thought. But the staff and the light were obvious. Hearing a faint shuffle, Seri crossed the room to the far wall and peered through the slats of the boards.

"Eeeeek!" A girl screamed. Seri caught a flash of eyes and dirty hair in the space beyond and she heard scuffling. A girl started crying. Multiple girls. How many were back there?

"Hey! It's ok!" Seri bent and touched her fingertips to the slats. "I'm a mage. See the light? It's going to be ok. Are you hurt?"

More scuffling and crying ensued. They sounded terrified. Seri huffed. She didn't have time for this. Stepping back, she wove a brief spell, forming a field that would break down the bonds in the wood. The boards crumbled into dust before her eyes.

Now she could see them: 4 terrified little girls huddled in a crawlspace in the wall, clutching each other and crying. Tears streaked tracks through the soot on their faces. Had they been here all night? Seri could just imagine someone hiding these girls down here, nailing up the boards behind them so the bugs wouldn't be able to get to them.

With a twist of her staff, she formed a weave and sent the flaring energy into the girls. Something to calm them. Something to warm them, to take away their hunger and their fear. It seemed to work. Their sniffling died away and their chests stopped hitching. Seri ducked again to look through the opening.

"It's ok. You'll be fine. Come on out of there."

Silently the girls obeyed, crawling one by one from the dark hole into the light. Seri swept the light around so she could get a good look at the first girl, and gasped: it was Alyssia, the star-struck little 9-year-old Seri had met when she first entered Alara. Her blue dress was burnt and ripped and her hair was filthy with soot. She seemed to recognize Seri.

"Did...did you beat them?" She asked timidly, shrinking, as if still afraid Seri might disapprove of her impertinence.

"No." Seri shook her head. "But I got away. Just like we're all going to get away. We can't stay here."

The next girl had crawled out and stood up. She looked about 12, Seri's own age. She had curly hair and olive eyes held wide open with fear as she looked around the cellar, as if afraid the bugs might swoop in somehow at any moment. Out of the tunnel behind her crawled two more figures, a bit smaller, each with long hair and short skirts. Twins, Seri realized, seeing their identical faces as they stood up.

"Is there anyone else?" Seri asked. The olive-eyed girl shook her head, lips tightly shut. She looked Seri up and down, taking in her nakedness, but didn't comment.

"Ok." Seri sized up all 4 girls and took a deep breath. "Listen. You know we lost and the town is burned. All the mages and everyone left here is gone. the Monstrum took them." She left unsaid just what was happening to them now. "We don't want to be captured the same way. We have to leave right away, before any bugs return for stragglers. Understand? We can cut through the forest and reach the King's Highway in a couple of days."

The girls nodded dully, still stiff with fear despite Seri's calming magic. The poor things. All she could do was get them away from here.

"Once we get back to the garrison, we should be able to get reinforcements." Seri also omitted how tenuous of a prospect this was - no need to worry the girls further.

"Then they...uh, they can come back and rescue everyone." Just like her own company had been sent to rescue the villagers. Some hero she was. Seri swallowed the fresh pang of guilt that clutched at her throat and squeezed her eyes shut against the tears. After a few deep breaths, she opened them again, and saw four pairs of eyes staring back at her full of fear.

She straightened. She held her staff upright. She had to be an example. She was the one in charge, the one with the magic. If she showed fear, they would feel the same thing. These girls deserved better than to be turned into fucktoys for bugs, but she would only be able to save them from that fate if she was strong.

Strong. Like Marcus. Seri caught the hitch in her chest before it could turn into a sob. She would have given anything at that moment to feel his strong arms around her, to hear him whisper to his little sister that everything would be all right.

She took another deep breath, trying to steady herself, then led the girls to the ladder. She took the lead, climbing up into the sunlight again. She would be strong. She wouldn't lose this time. As weak as it was, she still had her magic, and nothing was going to stand in her way. She was going to lead these girls back to civilization, to safety, and then she was going to leave it all and go home. They'd come looking for her eventually, of course. Deserters were punished harshly. But she'd be long gone by then, her and Marcus, and gods help anyone that stood in their way

Part 2