Tales Of Heirloom Gems 3 - Claimed By Fire

Claimed by Fire

*****

Sonlas smirked. He just had broken into the most secure place in the academy: the vault. It had been easier than he thought it would be. It was in the center of one of the most influential academies for magicians. To his surprise, he found many traps magically frayed. It was if someone wanted him to break in.

He didn’t have to search long. In a small wooden box, he found the gem he was looking for. What it did he didn’t know. But he had overheard some teacher saying it was powerful and dangerous. The gem was warm in his hand. It was kinda pretty too. A soft amber color. Quickly Sonlas fused it to his chest.

"That would teach them," he thought. He knew he was supposed to be expelled tomorrow. For a soon to be dropout he was proud that he managed to sneak into the most secure area. Hastily he made his exit. As much as he wanted to see their dumb faces when they realized what he had stolen. He didn’t plan to stay long enough to find out.

*****

The first thing that Remus heard, when he entered the vault, was the bickering of old Wizards.

“Must have been a mage of the enchanted lakes. Only they are deviant enough to pull something like this off.”

“Oh don’t make me laugh. Those aren’t much more than street magicians. No, it was the witches of Ember Cove. I am sure of it.”

Remus ignored them all. Instead, he carefully examined the few traces of once powerful protection magic. Below it all nearly lost in the white noise of the common ebbs and flows of the normal magic, he found traces of the perpetrator.

His gruff voice cut through the gaggle of the gathered Wizards. “It was dispelled from within. No doubt about it.”

A storm of questions broke forth. Soon to be silenced by the dean of the school. “Remus, what makes you say that? What did you find?”

Remus straightened and looked the old man in the eyes. “Oh yes. Someone broke in. A student of this school. I think Sonlas is his name.”

“Impossible! That boy has neither the skill nor magic. A few more hours and we would have kicked him out.”

Remus ignored the outburst of an old teacher. “He had help. And as I said it came from within this room.” He raised his hand to stifle more protests. “It was the gem. Much like it’s bearers it wants to be rescued. If it takes too long it gives ‘fate a little push. In this case, it shredded most of the protection magic. I take it only the gem is missing?”

The Dean put a hand on Remus shoulder. “Yes, old friend. You know what must be done, right?”

“All too well. I will start my hunt immediately.”

Remus left with a swiftness. Behind him, he heard a few more arguments. “If it’s the Gem why don’t we just wait near the dragon caves. It will come to us.”

“Oh don’t be a fool. How much chaos will it leave behind?”

Remus shook his head. Once again he had to track down this cursed gem. He just hoped he would catch up before the time ran out and another circle completed.

*****

It was 2 weeks later and a lot of lands traveled when Sonlas had to admit he was in trouble. A number of problems of his were staggering. Nearly broke, his voice sounded weird, his ass expanded as if stuffed, his chest has this 2 puffy areas that rubbed against his shirt and now someone mistook him for a girl.

He was furious. Angered, he returned to his rented room. Probably his last time for a while that he could afford one. He stomped over to the polished silver mirror to find out just how stupid someone had to be to mistake him for a girl. What he saw in his reflection, it shocked him. He barely recognized himself. Staring back was less his own and more the face of a young woman. No wonder he was mistaken as a girl. Stunned he sat down on his bed and wondered what to do.

*****

Another two weeks later he was still doing good. By now he was utterly broke, but that didn’t hold him back. He quickly discovered that his new female face was one of those, no one could say no to. A little pale with a few slight freckles. A nice pouty mouth and deep blue eyes. Surrounded by his quickly growing strawberry blond hair.

As much as he was displeased over his changes, he had to admit he liked the attention that it brought. And with it the free stuff. He had gotten 3 more days in the inn by pouting at the innkeeper.

An older wealthy woman took pity and offered him a place in her carriage. That gave him 8 more days of easy travel. Right now he was sitting beside an elderly farmer and enjoyed the warm soup his wife made. They only knew him as Mary-Ann.

He quickly developed a game. Find a new name for himself. It had to be female and delicate. But most of all it had to sound innocent, as to match his pretty face. He didn’t mind too much that his body became more and more female too. In fact, he kind looked forward to it. It certainly would make his hustling easier.

*****

"Lea?" she thought. "Or maybe Diana?"

It was a month since she left the farm and since yesterday she couldn’t pretend otherwise. Her body was now all female. Not the most voluptuous or sexy one. It was rather young and lithe. Fitting her innocent face. So this time it wasn’t a game. She had to find a name for real. Idly she wondered if her mind became more innocent too.

Yesterday she was tempted to play with her new body, but just couldn’t make herself masturbate. It frustrated her to no end. She needed the high but just couldn’t taint herself like that. Cursing under her breath she tried again to find a name.

Then she was suddenly distracted. She was sitting in an alcove in a tavern. It would be a dark corner if it hadn’t been for the candle on her table. The flickering of the flame now caught her eye. It was a small flame, though somehow it promised a warmth that she hadn’t known before, yet now desperately needed.

Slowly her hand reached out, inching towards the flame. Her hand pulled back of sudden pain, but even more for a strange feeling: pleasure. Raw and yet pure. It filled her for just a moment. The pain slowly vanished and she saw the slight burn marks simply vanish.

Intrigued she reached out again. Again it burned. Pain coursed through her but slowly faded. But the pleasure was rising. Until a sudden moan starlet her. A moan she had made herself.

With a guilty look and a strong blush on her face, she withdrew her hand. She knew she had been close to a shattering orgasm. Oh, how she wanted more. She waited till her hand had healed and then bit her lower lip. A devious look on her, oh so innocently looking face.
"If I play a damsel, afraid of the dark, just right the innkeeper might give me a few more candles," she thought.

She looked around for the innkeeper, but her gaze stopped on a familiar figure at the other end of the tavern. He slowly moved towards her. Her mind raced. She had to find a way to get out. She couldn’t be caught.

*****

Remus sighed and took a swig of the thin ale before him. It had been weeks since the Heirloom Gem was stolen. He tracked the thief as best as he could. Never quite catching up. He often ran into dead ends and had to backtrack. That cost him days. His task also made harder by the fact that the gem slowly would change its host. By now, Remus was sure, the thief's body was that of a young innocent looking girl.

He knew only vague details by now. She was blond and blue eyed. That fits a lot of girls around these parts. For all that he knew, the girl on the other end of the tavern could be the thief. She looked as lost as Remus felt. Starring absent minded into a candle.

He was about to avert his eyes when something curious happened.
The girl slowly reached for the candle. Or, to be more precise, the flame. The look of shock was quite normal as the candle burned her young flesh. The look of pleasure that followed not so much.

She reached out again and at once Remus knew he had found the thief. Maybe luck was finally on his side. He stood up and slowly made his way towards her. He didn’t come very far. She had looked up and a moment later her gaze riveted on him. He had been made.

Again he was moved towards her. The girl jumped up and sprinted to a group of drinking men. He heard hushed talk and the men stood up. He was close, but not close enough to grab the girl.

“You leave her alone you creep!” yelled one of the drunken men.
Remus muttered a curse. Followed by a spell or two.

After a few heartbeats, it was over. All men around him unconscious or asleep. Remus was a formidable wizard. Even when he was slightly drunk.

He looked around the mess he had made. Bodies laying all around him. He looked at each of them but didn’t found the one he was looking for. The girl was gone. He muttered a curse again and sprinted out of the tavern. Maybe she hadn’t been gone too far. Just maybe he still could catch up.

*****

Today she was Erin. Yesterday it had been Chloe. And before were so many other names. Erin loved her life. Roaming from place to place felt somehow right. She didn’t know why or what, but she was missing something. And she was happy to search for it.

She also became very good at playing the damsel in distress. Someone who needed protection. She usually never traveled alone. A prince charming, heroic protector or another benevolent person could be most often found by her side.

It also helped her to blend in. To be one step ahead. Now she knew she was hunted and if she was right it was the most skilled tracker her old school had.

Today, however, she traveled alone. Sometimes she needed space. As much as she valued the persons she took advantage of, they very much came into the way of her secret vice. Fire. She was drawn to it. She needed it. More and more. This led her today to the clearing of the nearby woods.

She piled firewood higher and higher. Her shaky hands needed a few tries before her flint and steel ignited the wood. Just as quickly as the flames leaped up she undressed. Then she let herself fall onto the pile. Pleasure gnawed at her. It ate itself through her flesh. Reduced her body til only passion remained. She lost herself in it. Time didn’t matter anymore.

Then she grew cold. Looking around she noticed the ash that covered her and her surrounding. Below the dark grime, she could see the last of her flesh heal. It should have frightened her, but it didn’t. She needed more.

She looked through her clothing till she found the flint and steel. Nothing more. She didn’t need anything else. It was as if the last act of her depravity had reborn her. But it still was not enough. She walked away. Searching for something.

At the edge of the forest, something caught her eye. A barn filled with hay. With resolve, she walked towards it. Ignoring the shouts of nearby farmers. She didn’t care. Arriving in the barn first she quickly barricaded the doors.

Her eyes did fell on a nearby pile of hay. She gently laid down on it. Her hand fidgeted again but soon her flint and steel helped her again to find pleasure. It quickly surrounded her. Played with every part of her body and being. She didn’t notice or cared about the inferno around her. The cracking of woodwork around her nothing but noise. The collapsing roof gave the fire and her passion only more food.

*****

Hours later the farmers looked at the smoldering ruins. Nothing could have survived it. Yet they still found the girl. They couldn’t believe their eyes as her skin was unblemished. She was breathing but no attempts to wake her bear fruit. In the end, she was picked up and carried to the locals healer's hut.

The healer tried his best. But he was at a loss what might have befallen the girl. She showed no injury. The only thing he saw out of the ordinary was the gem sunken into her chest.

“I really wonder how she could have survived the fire. It was so hot, only dragon fire is hotter," he murmured to himself.

Did her eyes just flutter? In the end, he thought he must have imagined it.

*****

Erin didn’t move. She didn’t care enough. The pleasure had been breathtaking. There couldn’t be anything better. And yet, she needed more. It just wasn’t enough. Then her ears picked something up. Dragon fire. She knew it was the solution. The epitome of her longing. How she didn’t know. But what could be more fitting as a damsel in distress to be offered as a sacrifice to a dragon?

The thought alone made her wet. Pretending to be asleep, she waited till she was alone. Quietly she slipped outside and headed back to the woods. She retrieved her cloth. With new determination, she returned to the road. She ignored the stares of farmers and peasants along the road.

*****

Remus cursed. Another few days lost on a dead end. Then there was the news of a burned down barn and a tale of a miraculous surviving girl. As fast as he could he made his way there.

As he arrived his fears were validated. She was gone again and she had taken to the next act in the Heirloom Gems playbook. To be burned by fire. To seek pleasure in it.

Remus wasn’t sure if he still could save her. Still, he moved on. Even if it was too late for her he had to retrieve the gem. Before someone else falls victim to it.

*****

3 month later she finally found one. A dragon cave. She followed the stone trail up to the mouth of the cave. All her feverish dreams will be soon coming true. She was so close. Then she spotted the hooded figure. Squarely standing in the entrance to the dragon's lair.

“You! Why can’t you let me be? Just why do you stand in my way towards happiness?” she wailed in despair.

The figure removes the hood. Below it, she sees the man that had hunted her down for last months now. Although she knew him she never had noticed how old and weary he looked.

The man gave a deep sigh. “My mission is not to capture you. It is to retrieve the gem. But I admit that it deeply saddens me to see you here. I tried so hard to save you too.”

Her hand came up towards the gem, fused onto her below her collarbone. She could see it now. It all had started with the gem.
“The past month I had been so often the damsel in distress. No matter how often someone came to my help. I always left. It took me a while, but I know now. I don’t want to be saved. Not by you or anyone.”

“I know. It’s the gem talking. Or had been. By now its claws and magic are too deep within your soul. You aren't the first one to wear it and not the first one I had the displeasure to hunt. I have yet to save one of you.”

He gave another tired sad sigh. “You don’t need the Heirloom Gem anymore. Give it to me.”

“Will you promise to let me pass?”

He gave her a serious nod. Her hand moved upwards to the Heirloom Gem again. It only took a moment and it rested in her palm. The tracker took out a small wooden box and held it open to her. She remembered it. The same one she had stolen the gem from all these months ago. Gently she returned the gem.

He stowed away the box and slowly stepped aside. “Are you sure? This time you won’t survive the flames.”

She gave him a genuine smile. “I am. Don’t be sad. I am not afraid and I do not dread what’s to come.”

“I heard that before. What does the Heirloom Gem do to you that makes you throw away your young life.”

“The gem. It does nothing but leads you to an epiphany.” She gently placed her hands on the sorcerer's shoulders and leaned in, to give him a kiss on the cheek. “You fear death. We all do. I did once too. Not anymore. One day, when you find yourself old and weary, you will lose that fear too. When that day comes, then you will lose the fear of this gem. That day you can find out why.”

Silently she slipped away. Her left hand the last to leave the connection between him and her. She didn’t look back. There was no need. He didn’t follow.

It was dark and she had to use the wall to guide her. Then the tunnel opened to a cavern. There was the hoard. Slightly glowing as many magical artifacts were scattered amidst the gold coins. On top of it, the dragon rested. Big golden eyes stared at her. Swallowing she cleared her throat. With a voice close to breaking she shouted: “Please. Take me. Let me be a sacrifice to you. Burn me till only my ashes remain.”

The dragon slowly lifted himself up. Moving closer, something pulsed deep below the neck of the beast. Suddenly white hot flames traveled from him to her. It enveloped her in a split second. Her mind burst in an orgasm never felt before. It was the last thing she ever felt.

*****

Weary Remus listened. First, the soft steps as the girl walk deeper into the cave. The echo of the girls shouting. The roar of flames that even at the mouth of the cave was still deafening. Then there was only silence.

Sorrow overcame him for the lives lost. The girl had been the fourth he couldn’t save. No matter how hard he tried. The gem had run its course. Just like it had been taught. He knew the sad past. A few hundred years ago a small kingdom had been tormented by a dragon. The only thing that stifled the rage of the beast was the sacrifice of a young virgin maiden.

Of course only rarely one would volunteer. One day the king ordered his court mage to create an Heirloom Gem that could withstand dragon fire. The magician obliged. It was then the gem was thought. Virgins would be sacrificed wearing the gem. Drugs and magic obscured their thinking. Promises of pleasure and to be honorable by being sacrificed.

Girl by girl. The gem grew in strength and soon enough all it took was for a girl to wear it. She would sacrifice herself soon after. Eventually, the dragon was slain. With the gem obsolete, they tried to destroy it, but all the dragon fire had hardened it too much. So it was hidden. But now and then a foul would get his or her hands on it. And the gem would do his grim duty again.

Remus turned and started his long journey back. To return the gem to its prison. How long would it take to free itself again? He hoped he would never find out.



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