Unicorn Power

Unicorn Power

By Paul Calhoun

This is the unicorn story. Two guys, a unicorn suit, a scheming prince, a wizard and everyone with a plot to rise in station.

So ... almost 30,000 words. It could have been a full length novel, but I didn't want to get into a project like that.

Olson was a knacker by trade, but he enjoyed learning new things. He also enjoyed the company of young ladies, of which there were far too few and most had fathers who were very zealous when securing their daughters’ purity so they could get the best husbands. No one wanted it said that they had raised a girl who wasn’t a virgin in her marriage bed. There was also what Olson considered the very unfair stigma of being a dealer in dead and diseased flesh. Nobody seemed to mind feeding what he sold them to their animals, nor the benefits of some of the other chemicals and substances he derived from cheaper leather to the ingredients in potions sold by the local witch. Not that Olson ever needed the services of the witch. He was well enough off from working hard and spending his waking life elbow deep in putrefaction seemed to have made him immune to all disease. What hadn’t killed him had indeed made him stronger. He’d also saved a lot of money by learning the basics of other trades. Smithing, tanning, carving, sewing. He was as independent as he could be since Olson secretly believed that some of the older tradesmen were overcharging.

Still, it rankled at him that he found so few young women ready to share his bed, much less his life. No man would marry his daughter to the knacker. Not until he could produce at least triple the usual dowry in order to help the prospective father in law soothe his conscience and the sore ear he’d get from the daughter. Olson kept himself well and had a few friends who he drank with at the tavern in the late hours, and when they could they were quite hospitable to strangers who told tales of what happened in the wider world. It was from one of these travelers that Olson heard the story that gave him the idea.

It was the story of the unicorn, that rare beast that seemed something like a camel, something like a horse and bearing the distinctive conical horn. Olson had heard a little of it as a child, but the stranger seemed to have been exposed to much of its lore and waxed eloquent on its habits and appearance. When he mentioned that it was considered a boon wherever it went since it was a surefire method of confirming virginity, Olson’s ears perked up. He’d heard that unicorns would only approach maidens, but not what they did once they were close, nor what a blessing it was believed to be. The whole tavern heard that night, and soon the town would know about it. Olson’s mind was racing as he left the tavern and the next day he began the work that would take him nearly two years to complete.

Horseflesh had fallen out of favor as a foodstuff so that only beggars and animals ate it. The butchers wouldn’t take even a healthy horse, so they all went to Olson. He spent eight months learning how to preserve the horse’s skin without discoloration or making it tougher in feel. By then he’d also learned how to dye the hair a soft white and the mane a gray, silvery color. He was relieved that it was possible to do so, since the only white horse he’d ever seen belonged to the prince. The witch had at first been surprised to see him coming to her for alchemical brews, but didn’t ask any questions, to his further relief.

When a dapple gray stallion barely out of colthood was brought in, Olson was ready. Its skeleton, skin and some external organs were all preserved, treated and stored away. Over time, he used its tail to put fringe around its hoofs, leaving a little aside for later on. He didn’t have long to wait before a hunter caught a mountain lion in his flock and Olson had its tail colored white and attached to the horse’s backside, the last of the horse’s original tail adorning the end of the cougar’s in a lion’s tuft.

The last item Olson needed was far harder to obtain. He spent the next year hiking back into the mountains, watching the goats. It took him that long to find one that had a horn that was neither too curved nor too small for his needs. It was a very old, very intelligent animal that had what he wanted and it was a further two months before Olson could get close enough to put an arrow into it. He felt bad about killing a beautiful creature for his own carnal pleasure, but he consoled himself that he saw dead animals all the time and he would be using this one to construct and even more magnificent beast.

It was good that it had taken so long, Olson thought, since he’d had to spend most of the time saving even more money than usual to afford the finishing touch. He’d bought a couple of pounds of silver dust from the smith and mixed it into a bucket of water. He brushed this into the unicorn’s coat and horn, giving it an ethereal shine. It was time to test it a little.

Olson rolled the unicorn over and pulled apart its chest. He’d looked at every means of getting in that he could think of, and with the copious stuffing and bone supports giving it taut skin and an equine shape, it seemed best to crawl through the chest and belly. Propping the unicorn against the wall, Olson pushed himself into the rear half, forcing his legs into the unicorn’s and settling down until his rear was in the unicorn’s buttocks. The creature would have stockier legs than Olson would have liked, but it would make it even less likely to be thought of as a disguised horse when it was being seen from afar.

He leaned back and closed the belly up in front of him, leaving it a opening to see the polished metal across the shed. He’d added a little bit of fleece to the belly to help hide the opening and from his vantage point, he didn’t see the peep hole. Happy with that, he wriggled his upper half out and reached for the preserved phallus. Thinking about the fair maids he would be seducing, his own organ was already poking out of the hole where the horse’s used to be. It looked puny and out of place on the magnificent animal he’d made. The horse cock had been partly hollowed out and though Olson had tried, he’d only been able to maintain some of the outside’s softness. It had the feel of a tenderized sheep bladder. He slipped it on over his own and secured it with a loop of twine on the inside. Squeezing it, he found that he could still feel some sensation through the thick flesh. This was satisfactory; it meant he was more likely to please his partner at about the same time as he himself achieved orgasm. The horse’s backside also looked a fair bit less ridiculous with the horse’s appendage sitting between its legs. He swung its legs a few times and pushed the unicorn forward onto its chest so he could try to stand. He swayed on the hoofs, but was able to take a couple of steps without falling over.

Extricating himself from the unicorn’s backside, Olson swam through the stuffing to the front. He squirmed around until his legs were in the unicorn’s front ones and peered out of the unicorn’s nostrils. The line of sight was clear, but dark enough inside to obscure the fact that a man’s face was looking out from the unicorn’s. He shook his head and the unicorn’s mane shook as it moved, its horn remaining firmly affixed. He’d gotten a pair of green irised glass eyes to put in and they reflected the candle light more like a cat’s. Olson thought it would be fine in moonlight.

Finally satisfied in his creation, Olson went in search of Finn, a friend of his and the local tanner. They’d formed a deep friendship from the shared experience of having a profession that made it difficult to find bed sport. He’d wanted to have the tanner’s expertise before, but it seemed better to him to make the whole plan a surprise. That way Finn was less likely to gab about it or get bored of the idea before it bore fruit. He found Finn already halfway through a pitcher of beer, probably the best time to suggest such a strange way to attract fair maidens. “No, I don’t want to come with you. I want to sit here and have a drink. Come on, join me!” Finn said. “You haven’t been around much lately.”

“You’ll see why in a moment. Just come on. Trust me. I’ve got a way to have a tumble with any lass in the place, but you have to come with me to see it.”

“What? Well, that’s a different story.” Finn said brightly. “What’s the plan?”

“Not so loud,” Olson shushed him. “I have to show you or you won’t believe it.”

“I think us having a roll in the hay with anyone worthwhile is unbelievable, but lead on. If this turns out to be a mooncalf suggestion, though, you owe me a drink.”

When Olson showed Finn the stuffed unicorn, Finn looked ready to go back to the tavern immediately. “I don’t think you can lure out women with a decoy.” He said.

“It’s not a decoy, you jabbernow.” Olson said. “Watch.” He opened the belly up and crawled inside. “See?” He said, turning the unicorn’s head towards Finn and standing up on its front feet. “Remember what we heard about unicorns and maidens? They’ll come flocking to us and their fathers will almost be pushing them into it because being futtered by a unicorn is proof of their virginity. They get a fun time and their families won’t look down on them for being a tart. Everybody wins.”

“So you want me to get in the back of that stuffy thing and probably end up tripping over every root in the forest while you prance around getting followed by ladies?” Finn asked.

“Uh, Finn,” Olson said. “Think about it. Which end does the futtering?”

“Ooohhh.” Finn said.

Olson squeezed out of the unicorn and picked up its penis. “You just slip into this so it looks like a real unicorn’s.”

Finn shook his head. “That won’t do.”

“I tested it. You’ll feel everything fine.”

“No, I mean that I don’t want any ‘maiden’ that can fit that into herself.” Finn said. “We’ll just have to spread a new story that unicorn cocks change to whatever they’re going into.”

“That could work,” Olson replied. “Any other problems?”

Finn walked around the stuffed unicorn. “The horn’s a little off.”

“It’s the absolute best I could find,” Olson replied. “It’s not like I had a real one to chop up.”

“It looks almost like one,” Finn said. “As far as I’ve heard. Nice tail.”


“So what exactly is the plan? I mean beyond ‘put on unicorn skin, walk around, get futtered by lots of pretty ladies’?”

“First we need to get seen.” Olson said. “Preferably by someone reliable.”

“Perhaps several reliable people.” Finn said. “So we’ll have to learn to walk around and go quickly just in case someone chases us. We’ll need a place to hide if they get too close. We’ll need to build a blind of some sort nearby. That way we can keep watch on who is passing and appear and disappear at need.”

“Not too close,” Olson said. “We need a bit of privacy with the lasses when they come.”

“Yes.” Finn replied. “A place they know they’re likely to see a unicorn if they walk around. While we’re at that, we can spread the rumors and become adept at motion in this.”

“So you’ll do it.”

“For a chance at Greta? You bet your tail!” He exclaimed, naming the daughter of the town’s most conservative burghers. She was beautiful but unreachable, though perhaps not to a creature as renowned for its ability to confirm what her father guarded so closely.

Olson imagined her with her legs wrapped around the unicorn’s body, plouging her willing and fertile field while she and her whole family thought she was being further purified. The feel of him inside her, the pressure of her weight on his unicorn-sheathed body. Her face so close to his but only seeing the fleecy undercoat of a magical animal.

“All right, stop thinking of how you’re going to futter Greta and let’s sow the seeds that will hopefully bear her ripe fruit.” Finn said.

“Right.” Olson followed Finn back to the tavern. “How are we going to do this?”

“I had a traveler come to stay with me last night.” Finn said loudly, pretending to have drunk more than he had.

“Did he bring any good news?” Olson asked just as loudly, playing along.

“He said he saw a unicorn on his way into town.” Finn replied. Already a crowd was drawing near.

“Here?” Olson said, pretending to scoff. “Probably a wastrel hallucinating that a deer was a unicorn. Some of them can be white and he mistook antlers for a horn.”

“He said it glowed in the moonlight.” Finn said. “And it had a big horn like one of a goat’s. He also told me that it had a lion tail and hoofs that looked like one of the king’s show ponies.”

Olson shrugged. “All right, so he saw a unicorn. It sounds like something uncanny. Perhaps it will come closer and bless our maidens for us.”

Finn nodded and took a pull from his tankard. “Aye, we can hope.”

“Pah!” The butcher said, sitting next to them. “Unicorns. Even if there was one about — and I’m not saying there is — how does it bless a maiden?”

“By allowing it carnal familiarity.” Finn said.

“They only approach one who has not lain with a man yet.” Olson confirmed. “Everyone knows that. And if the maid submits, then her virginity is made all the stronger.”

“Oh? I’ve seen a horse’s tool, and there’s no truly pure lass whose sheath could house that weapon.”

“It changes,” Finn said. “To fit whatever it penetrates.”

“How’s that supposed to make ‘em purer?” The farrier asked.

“How does any magic work?” The barman asked back. “I’ve heard the same.”

“Aye, me too.” The butcher added. “I just didn’t know how the unicorn went about it. So it changes to fit, huh? Makes sense.”

“So if there’s one about, a father could do worse than have his daughter out looking for it. Of course, unicorns only come out when there’s moonlight.” Olson said, fishing.

“So do bandits! I’m not having any daughters wandering around the countryside at night without me and I know better than to expect a unicorn to show up if I’m about.”

“You might catch a glimpse, but it won’t come near,” Finn agreed. “Are there really many bandits about, though?”

“More bandits than unicorns. I won’t send my daughters out into the night,” the butcher said, crossing his arms. “That’s the end of it. There may not be robbers, but there’s worse than that even among good, decent folk like us. To say nothing of some of the travelers that have passed through and weren’t satisfied with the barmaids. No slight meant,” he said to Freya.

“Naught to take,” Freya said amiably. “There’s good money in hospitality of all sorts and I’m not ashamed to say it, for it’s everybody’s good as I do by keeping them hands on me and nobody else.”

“Aye, and more good to you than us!” A voice called from the back.

“Now you keep your mind on your drink, Rick Tierney!” Freya shot back. “I’ve seen you looking when you thought I wasn’t.” That got a big laugh. “Now’s if unicorns could give me mine back, I could charge a pretty penny, I could.”

“Maybe they do,” Olson replied. “If you come with a virgin to draw them out, one might be willing to take you as well. It’s men that they really cannot stand.”

“Aye, but what about the mares, huh?” The jeweler asked.

“I don’t know.” Finn replied. “The traveler said he was sure it was a stallion he saw.”

“Maybe mares give you a tool to match their stallions!” The farrier said.

“Heaven bless us and keep a mare far away then!” Freya replied. “I’ve enough to deal with as it is.” Another burst of merriment followed and the conversation kept itself going so well that Olson and Finn barely had to steer it at all.

While the rumors and stories made their way through town, Olson and Finn busied themselves with preparations. The unicorn was heavy and their first motions inside were clumsy, not helped by their need for keeping the unicorn secret before they were adept enough to get away if they were seen in it. The first week was filled with incidents where they walked opposite directions and fell over — a problematic situation since without arms they had to scramble and sometimes even shed the skin entirely to get back on their hooves. Had any stocksman seen a horse make some of the pathetic pawings that the unicorn did, he would have cut its throat as a lame.

The hooves themselves were difficult to walk on, being poorly made for human balance. They did get some fun out of the occasions where the unicorn’s two halves went in such totally opposing directions that the unicorn’s nose ended up pressed against its backside. These early failures were compounded because neither of them could get used to a half. The intention was to alternate and they needed to be as good in one as the other. The worst moments was when they misjudged something and the back end’s protruding human manhood - the only part of either of them that wasn’t protected by tough skin and stuffing — caught or was struck by something. After the fifth time this happened, both agreed that their dress rehearsals would have to also include wearing the horse’s cock and neither wanted to even think about what it would feel like to go without it in the thick underbrush they’d have to negotiate later.

Their awkward motions finally began to give way to some grace and by the end of the month they were walking around the small shed without difficulty. The unicorn was still not lifelike in many ways, but that wasn’t something either of them could fix. Finn had built the blind for them about a mile off the road to the east and after spreading some more rumors about that direction, they donned their disguise and settled down in the blind to wait for someone to come by looking for them. The trip had been eventful as they trotted — it was far too bulky to gallop as gracefully as a unicorn ought - as quickly as they could around the light spilling from some of the houses, before slowing down to keep from getting caught on brush and branches. The unicorn’s rear had been very happy he’d strapped on its protective sheath when he felt a few springy plants slapping against it. The unicorn’s weight precluded lying on its belly like a real horse might, but also made it difficult to stand for long periods, so the unicorn was again unnaturally posed looking more dead than alive with its legs splayed out, Finn lying on his belly in the suit with his legs back and Olson lying on his back with his out. They’d tossed for who would be where the first time and Finn had won.

An unusual sound had the unicorn’s rear up onto its hooves in a moment and when Finn recognized that some of what he was hearing was Olson’s snoring, the unicorn kicked itself in the shoulder. “Wake up!” Finn whispered. “Someone’s coming.”

The rustling was accompanied by a low grumble and finally an older man came into view. “It’s Trent,” Olson said.

“The corporation mayor.” Finn sighed. “Great.”

Trent hefted his lantern and kept walking, mumbling to himself about superstitious folk taking him out of bed at all hours. His annoyed ramble often settled on his daughter, who had been the chief instigator of having him out looking for the supposed unicorn. “Daddy, don’t you want me to be blessed?” She’d asked, her eyes pleading with him. He snorted. She’d just love to have a unicorn between her legs; she’d had half the town already. He was just lucky she hadn’t gone for the knacker or the dung collector. Thinking about it, he wouldn’t be too disappointed if this ‘unicorn’ turned out to be something he could use to pass her off as a virgin. There was no way in hell anyone would swallow that lie without magic!

His dark thoughts were interrupted by a loud crash as something burst out of the brush just to his left. He turned and hefted the lantern, backing up at the same time in case it was a bear. What he saw froze him with one foot in the air.

The animal that had stepped out of the forest looked at first like a snow white horse. Trent’s eye was drawn to the horn that was growing out of its forehead, a thick, somewhat conical appendage that curved upwards slightly. Longer hair partly covered its hooves and a long, sinuous tail was visible between its legs as well as ample evidence that the creature was a male of its species. The unicorn seemed to glow with an unearthly light, making it seem fuzzy, like a dream made flesh. It pawed the ground and its shining eyes stared at him from the short distance it was from him. He took a hesitant step forward and it backed up, turning and trotting stiff-legged and a little clumsily back through the thick growth it had come from. He tried to follow, but the unicorn somehow vanished soon after re-entering the forest. Of course! A man could never approach a unicorn. Apart from the unusual horn and its surprising lack of grace, the animal was everything he’d heard about. Perhaps the stories had been a little embellished, but it was real. It was also very obviously magical. No normal animal glowed that way. Its horn looked ready to strike him with a thunderbolt!

Finn and Olson listened with satisfaction as Trent ran back up the road. They’d almost tripped a few times, were getting hot and Finn was very glad for the protective sheath between his legs, but all that might be paying off the first night. Trent wasn’t the sort to dawdle. The might see Ella that very night. “It’s too bad you couldn’t see his face,” Olson said.

“I’ll trade that for what I’ll see and feel of Ella when he gets home and tells the story.”

“I can’t argue with that.”

They didn’t have long to wait. Ella was almost running down the road wearing a long white dress with white lacework. Apparently she wanted to make absolutely sure that the unicorn would see her and think ‘virgin.’ She came to a halt a little bit beyond where Trent had been and looked around, hesitantly walking a little way into the forest, passing the blind before stopping and looking around a little more. There was a clearing and a brook nearby and she climbed the hill up to it perhaps in hopes of finding the unicorn drinking from the stream. When she was far enough away, Finn and Olson silently rose and followed her. The sound of the bulky equine’s hooves crunching on sticks and leaves caused Ella to turn just in time to come face to face with the unicorn. The moon was at its back so Olson got a very good look at Ella while she couldn’t see inside the unicorn. Wanting to have a little fun before Finn got his reward for joining, Olson pressed the unicorn’s nose up against Ella’s chest, sticking its nose down her bodice so he could see her bare flesh. She laughed and stroked the unicorn’s muzzle as it shook its head and then tried to stick it under her dress. “Aren’t you just the cutest thing!” She simpered.

Ella walked around the unicorn, rubbing its shoulder and flank. “I can’t believe you’re just standing here,” she breathed. She giggled. “I’m not exactly a virgin, you know! Maybe you don’t care.” She hesitantly touched the unicorn’s shaft and when it didn’t move — Finn hadn’t felt anything — she squeezed it. Finn hadn’t even seen where she’d gone and jumped forward, pushing Olson and causing the unicorn to look like it was about to gallop away in surprise. They both had difficulty in keeping balanced on the hooves and for a moment they stood completely still trying to find their center.

“I’m so sorry!” She crooned, stroking the unicorn’s neck as the trembling in its legs subsided. She grasped the horse penis and smiled as the unicorn’s hindquarters only shifted slightly. Finn felt her massaging it. “But how am I supposed to get this into me? You’re supposed to change, aren’t you?” She let go and Finn unhooked the shaft from the inside, letting the whole member fall away. “Oh!” She gasped. Then she giggled. “It looks so tiny on you. A little silly.” She stroked the hardening penis and absently rubbed the unicorn’s rump as it turned and looked at her. “I should have brought a chair.” She murmured to herself. “If you mount me or lie down while I’m underneath, I’ll be crushed and my legs aren’t strong enough to hold on to you the whole time if you stand.”

As if understanding what she said, the unicorn knelt, leaving just enough space for her to wriggle under it.

“Oh! Thank you.” She lay down on her back and pushed with her legs until her face was buried in the soft undercoat. “You’re so soft under here. You must have grown this for all the other girls who didn’t bring something to lay on.” She rubbed her cheek on the downy fleece, unaware of how she was also snuggling into Finn’s chest. Finn was aware of this and Ella squeaked a little as the unicorn’s other head poked her. “Oh, yes, I’m down here for something.” She hiked her skirt up, spread her legs and wrapped them around the unicorn as best she could as both she at it pumped. It was a clumsy affair but both were enjoying it. Even Olson was using a free hand to enjoy listening to the sound of Ella being brought to a breathless climax by his friend in the back half of the unicorn. When they were finished, they rose up, giving Ella enough space to sit up a little and scramble out from beneath them. She patted the unicorn’s face. “That wasn’t too bad. I’ll be sure to let the other girls know to bring furniture.” She brushed out her skirt. “I don’t feel very different, but I guess I wouldn’t.” Her voice suddenly sounded a lot less innocent. More like the young woman who’d bedded most of the young men in the town already. She went around to the unicorn’s face and breathed into its mouth and nostrils. “I don’t know who you are, good sir,” she whispered, “but I hope your friend lets you be the one who has the fun next time I tell my father I need to have my virginity topped up.” She laughed. “Or perhaps tupped up would be more appropriate.” She kissed the unicorn’s nose. “Ah, allow me.” She picked up the horse cock and gently pushed it onto Finn’s shaft. Giving it a companionable squeeze, she departed.

“So much for our cover,” Olson grumbled as they made their way back to the blind. “I wondered if this thing would convince that close.”

“It convinced who it needed to.” Finn said, contentment evident in his voice. “Do you think the lasses will tell on us? No! They’ll all go bold as brass and tell their daddies that they need the blessing of the unicorn. They don’t know who we are and we won’t tell on them. It’s a great arrangement. Plus if the menfolk see us, they’ll only do so from a distance and we have every reason to disappear if they get too close. No, I think this will work even better.”

“I hope you’re right,” Olson said.

“Trust me. I bet they’ll even start coming in groups.”

The next night Ella met them in by the brook again. When she’d greeted the unicorn with her ‘innocent’ voice, she helped it shed the horse part and smiled as she saw a slightly different member beneath. “Good.” She said. “I was hoping he’d let you have a turn.” She rubbed Olson a little and then said, “I talked my father into buying something from the carpenter, but I need some help getting it up the hill. I didn’t want him to know where we meet in case he decides to watch. Would you mind putting this on for a moment?” She held a harness up in front of the unicorn and it ducked its head to let her slip it on. “Thanks. I’m sure a strong, manly beast like you can get his up much faster than little me.” She stuck the horse sheath back on and led the unicorn down the hill to the road where a short, heavy table was sitting. Attaching it to the harness, she laughed and swung onto the unicorn’s back. “Let’s go.”

They dragged the table up to brook and Ella helped the unicorn out of the harness. She pretended to ignore the voices inside as Finn and Olson had a whispered conference that got the unicorn to back up a little and stand over the table. Ella spread a quilt over it and lay down, now able to engage with the unicorn with it standing up. “This is more comfortable for you, right?” She asked. The unicorn nodded. “Great. My mom had a fit when she saw the state of my frock yesterday. This is much better.” Olson was also glad for it because it meant he could focus on feeling everything Ella did to him. He hadn’t seen everything she’d done for Finn and had missed out on how she’d used her tongue, legs and her whole body to get into the act of love with the unicorn. Real unicorns might prefer virgins, he thought as he bit back the sounds he wanted to make as he did his best to join her with the unicorn disguise’s limited range of motion, but this unicorn was doing very well with experience.

Ella slapped the unicorn’s flank as she got up. “I could get used to this. It’s so nice to be out at night with a stud and then have my father request — no, demand — that I do it all over again. He wanted to keep it a secret so I got all the blessings, but I’m telling all my friends about you!” She helped the unicorn back into its equine member and skipped away, humming.

“See? I’m sure she means she’s going to come here with them.” Finn said.

In the tavern the next day, several older men were in full cry at their table. “My Greta says your Ella’s found a unicorn.” Niles said, regarding Trent with haughty interest.

“Aye, and what of it?”

“Were you considering telling us about it?”

Trent shook his head. “Nay. ‘Twasn’t for me to tell. You all knew where to go if ye wanted to look for it.”

“Yes, but none of us believed there was one!” Niles spat, his annoyance finally breaking through his façade of upper class manners.

“I took a risk and profited. I just wish my daughter had kept her mouth shut.”

“Isn’t that a bit selfish? Then again, I suppose your Ella needs all the magic she can get, unlike my Greta.”

Trent smiled coldly. “Oh? If that’s the case, why are you so cross? Perhaps Greta’s not quite as pure as you say she is.”

Niles ground his teeth and Crendi broke in. “That’s enough from both of you. Let’s let Trent’s lack of forthrightness pass, shall we? The issue before us is this: we all want the best for our daughters, yes?” There were nods all around. “So we want them to be blessed in body by the unicorn.”

“My Greta’s not going to want to fuck with a filthy horse.” Niles said.

“Don’t show your ignorance,” Crendi shot back. “Unicorns are not horses. There are some similarities, but I have it on good authority that there are very big differences. Also irrelevant. The point is that Ella knows where the unicorn can be found and it’s to everyone’s benefit for all our daughters to join her.”

“I don’t like it,” Rinder said. “Can we not catch this unicorn and bring it here? I do not relish the thought of my Orla out in the woods somewhere vulnerable to any passing ruffian.”

“It’s said that a true virgin can tame a unicorn.” Crendi looked sharply around the table. “Let’s be honest with ourselves, do we have one?”

“My Sirina is.” Rinder volunteered.

“Sirina’s twelve years old.” Crendi said. “What if the unicorn fights her? No, we don’t want to scare it off. Let us keep this magic for ourselves. Are we agreed?” Heads nodded again. “Good. Another round then!” He called to Freya.

“Mayhap I’ll look in on this unicorn myself.” She said, pouring the beer for them. “I could charge a fair bit if I had the blessing.”

“How many can a unicorn service?” Trent asked, looking nervous. “If every dame in town goes to it, it might get tired.”

“I know not,” Crendi said. “Perhaps some ordinance should be passed creating a schedule.”

“Let us not get ahead of ourselves,” Niles said. “Our girls will go and as others join we shall see.”

That night, the unicorn’s legs trembled as Olson and Finn waited for the crowd of amorous, attractive, willing females to arrive. Even though Olson was in front, he was still just as eager to start as Finn and neither had to signal to the other when Ella arrived and the unicorn bounded forward to meet her. She was wearing a very low cut dress and the unicorn’s face was quickly buried in her cleavage.

“I’m glad to see you, too!” She said, rubbing the unicorn’s nose. “Let’s wait, shall we? I guess you heard that I’ll be having a lot of company tonight.”

“Wow.” Greta said, trekking up to Ella’s side and swiftly being the center of the unicorn’s attention. “When you said it was — well, you know what — I thought he’d look really bad. I see why your father made the mistake though.” She buried her hands in the unicorn’s mane. “He looks pretty good even up close.” She walked around and patted the unicorn’s flank. “But not quite right when I’m able to get right up to him. Is anyone else coming?”

“Here!” Orla called, followed by Lina and Berice. “Oh, how adorable!” She squealed, running up to pet the unicorn. “It’s worth it even if I don’t get my chance at the,” she giggled, “blessing.”

“Yeah, we’re going to have to draw lots,” Ella said. “Our pet unicorn might not have the strength to bless all of us in one night.”

“I don’t know,” Greta said, grinning. She looked meaningfully at the unicorn’s thick penis, which was twitching with Finn’s anticipation. “I think having all of us here and talking about it has this animal’s interest.”

“I’ll go last,” Ella said. “I’ve already had mine twice.”

“Lucky!” Orla said.

“I brought the table,” Ella reminded her.

“Thanks for that!” Berice said. “I wouldn’t want to have to get my frock dirty if I didn’t have to.”

“Isn’t it odd?” Lina laughed. “We’ve all had our share of sport, but this seems different.”

“I’m happy I didn’t have to sneak out,” Greta said. “I’ve probably had the least among all of you and I’m sick of it.”

“Plus it’s kind of fun not knowing who it is. Just that they’re so interested that they’re willing to do this for us.” Ella kissed the unicorn’s nose. “And we thank you for it, kind sirs unicorn. Now, let’s show our appreciation.” She reached back and slid the sheath off.

Greta was closest and acted as if it was the most natural thing in the world to lie down on the heavy table and wait for the humanly-endowed unicorn to position itself over her. “Your belly is so soft, sirs unicorn,” she said, “as if you were expecting maidens to climb underneath you.” Seeing Greta beneath him and hearing her voice as she allowed him to enter her was everything Finn had hoped for. He made the most out of the limited range of the unicorn disguise, going as far as to press his hands against the inside of the belly so he could massage her with the soft fleece that hid the opening he saw out of. Unlike Olson, he couldn’t see much of the others, so it felt like it was just him and Greta, the nigh-unattainable daughter of the snooty Niles.

Even though he wasn’t plowing Greta himself, Olson again found himself enjoying the mere sound of the lovemaking behind him. His enjoyment was heightened by the other ladies growing bored and rubbing the unicorn’s sides in anticipation. “He feels so lifelike.” Berice said. “Honestly, Ella, if you hadn’t told me, I might have thought he was real. At least the first couple of times.”

“It’s too bad this is so pointy,” Orla said, stroking the unicorn’s horn. “I wouldn’t mind getting warmed up on it while we waited.”

“We need more than one unicorn. Or a schedule or something.” Lina said.

Berice stepped back. “He really is beautiful. I wonder how he glows so in the moonlight. It’s very pretty.” She hugged the unicorn’s neck. “I really want to ride him.”

“Have some patience! I’m almost done!” Greta gasped.

“No, silly. I mean on his back like a proper horse.”

“I’m riding him the other way next,” Lina said. “And I don’t want him falling down or walking away.”

“Whoo,” Greta said, getting up and brushing her skirt down. “That was more fun than I thought it would be. I kind of miss having someone to hold and kiss and be closer to while I do it. This is exotic, though.” She laughed into her hand. “And I have to admit it’s fun to think that my dad’s sitting at home right now thinking I’ve just been blessed by a real magic unicorn. By the way, Berice, you might be on to something. Ella, you’re really good at painting. I think some portraits of us sitting atop the back of this lovely creature would be quite nice.” The unicorn snorted and she slapped its rump. “Don’t worry! We’ll make sure you get what you came here for. The portraits will assure that our fathers keep sending us.” Her voice took on a sly quality, “Plus, I think I’d like to do two. One clothed and one without. How’s that sound to you?” She saw the reaction from the rear and patted the rump again. “I thought you’d see it my way. Also, our fathers might get a bit curious to see the unicorn and I think we can all agree it’s better for them to see a painting than the real thing. Especially if they snuck up here while we’re having our fun.”

As Finn had his way with Lina and Orla, the other young women alternated between paying attention to the front half and chatting among themselves. Their talk was typical of the young ladies of the town and they acted as if the unicorn were an animal and spoke freely of men that could easily have been one or the other of the unicorn’s halves. Olson was starting to get tired of standing there, even with the ministrations of the females around him. He was guiltily happy when he heard Berice pout, “Oh, I think our unicorn is getting a little tired.”

“That’s too bad,” Ella said.

“I heard a story, though,” Lina smiled impishly, “that unicorns recover very quickly if left alone. I’m sure if we all go a little ways off and wait a few minutes that our handsome steed will be magically renewed when we get back.”

“Oh, yes.” Orla laughed. “But perhaps it needs to recover in its own flesh.” She playfully replaced the horse sheath on Finn’s member.

Greta got the hint and smiled broadly. “He might even be ready for a second try with some of us. Let’s leave him to it.” Giggling, they all retreated into the forest.

“Do you think they’re watching?” Finn whispered.

“I would if I was them. Let’s not give them the satisfaction of knowing who we are.” He freed his feet from the front hooves and Finn did the same. The unicorn lay on its belly and its head nodded and swayed back and forth while its tail wagged as the two men squeezed past each other, distending its middle and finally regaining its shape and poise as they switched places. Olson carefully placed the sheath on himself before they rose and gave the back half a few hoists to make sure he was in it snugly. Their suspicions proved correct as no sooner did the unicorn regain its feet than it was again surrounded by well dressed young women.

“That was quite the rejuvenation,” Ella said, stroking the unicorn’s neck. “He’s maintained his decorum despite our little trick.”

“It is of little import as long as he’s recovered his stamina,” Berice said, lying down on the table. “Let us pick up where we left off, sirs unicorn.”

The unicorn stumbled on its front hooves as Olson almost pushed Finn in his eagerness to reach Berice. His passion was further inflamed by the appreciative sound she made as she took the sheath off and uncovered the rod of his desire. Finn’s three consecutive trysts had brought Olson to a peak of longing and the unicorn’s rear almost bounced off the table as he pumped. Finn saw that Berice’s eyes were unfocused as she rolled off the table and rearranged her dress. “Thank you, sirs unicorn. It was worth the wait.”

“If thou art as eager now as thou wert then, I shall be very pleased.” Ella said. “For I am a touch insulted at the zeal which you have greeted my friend and yet were not nearly as energetic the last two nights with me.”

Olson did his best and it seemed to satisfy since Ella’s grasp on the fleece between them was tight enough to lift her off the table when they moved together.

“I wonder if our rutting stallion has enough left in him for a second bout with me.” Greta said. “He was artful before, but a final coupling with energy is something I would fain leave with.”

Olson wasn’t sure he was up to it, but feeling Greta pressing up against him roused his flagging member and he put everything he had into satisfying her. He worried that Greta’s encouraging cries might be audible all the way back in town. He pushed even harder to try to end the encounter faster and Greta laughed with delight as she slid down the table. “My stallion might be a bit too energetic,” she crowed, pulling herself back up and getting an even better grip on the unicorn with her legs. She and both men in the unicorn were breathing heavily when she was done, Finn having to brace his hooves to keep from being bowled over by their lovemaking. “Thank you,” she panted, getting off the table. “That was everything I asked for and more. See you tomorrow night!” She waved as she left and the other girls followed, each of them either kissing the unicorn’s nose, rubbing it or slapping its rump before waving goodbye.

When the unicorn stumbled into Olson’s shed, it collapsed on the floor. Both men felt like they could fall asleep inside of it, but Olson had to hide the disguise in case someone looked in. “The night’s almost half over,” he said, looking at the moon.

“I’m not sure how many more I can take.” Finn said. “Two of us to satisfy five of them. Especially if they start wanting to be futtered twice.”

“We need to figure out a way to tell them what nights we can do it.” Olson agreed. “Every night is too often.”

“Here we are,” Berice sang out, whistling as she helped Ella carry her easel. The others were behind them with the canvas and paints. The unicorn trotted up to them and accepted their pats and greetings. As Lina and Berice helped Ella set up, Orla already had her hand around the unicorn’s horse sheath.

“I could use a blessing right about now,” she said, licking her lips. When the unicorn shied away, she said, “What’s wrong?”

“Mayhap last night’s romp was a bit too much for the stallion.” Greta said. “I did ride him a bit hard at the end.”

Orla pouted. “You’ve tired him out. That’s too bad.”

“Nay, but it makes the timing simple. One night we have our blessing and the other we do our portrait taking. It will be a merry gathering either way and a good place to get away from both our parents and our suitors.” Ella said. “I’m more ready to paint than hump in any case. Who wants to be first?”

Greta brushed out her lustrous black hair with an imperious gesture. “I am the fairest.” She said airily.

“I dispute that!” Orla laughed, shaking out her blonde tresses.

“As do I and it was my words that gave you the notion.” Berice countered.

Lina gestured to her face. “I blush so prettily, no? I would look best in moonlight with the soft light from the unicorn’s coat.”

“Perhaps the unicorn should decide who he’d like most to ride him for the first portrait.” Ella said.

Finn backed up and Olson followed, shaking the unicorn’s head. Greta laughed. “I think our stallion is wisely refusing to choose between us. Let it be Berice, then. She seemed most taken with the beauty of our lovely pet.”

Berice gracefully swung herself up onto the unicorn’s back. “I think a clothed portrait would be best to start with.”

“Aye,” Ella agreed. “We shall do the bare flesh after our fathers have all been given their presents. I look forward to giving away yours, for I do enjoy the practice and my father has been stingy with the supplies lately.” She began painting as Berice did her best to maintain her pose sitting sidesaddle on the unicorn’s bare back, her skirt spilling modestly down the pale side. Olson twisted around so that the unicorn looked directly at Ella. “Good!” Ella said. “Just hold there.”

The others chatted while Ella worked and Berice sat as motionless as she could be. Standing in place with the unicorn disguise on wasn’t as tiring as applying the unicorn’s blessing, but Olson and Finn’s legs began to get sore long before Ella showed signs of finishing. When the unicorn’s legs started to shake, Ella looked up and gave the unicorn a pitying expression. “Oh, are you getting tired? I suppose that must be heavy even without one of us on your back.”

“I can think of a way to stiffen their sinews.” Greta said.

Lina smiled at the tone of her voice. “I believe we may be thinking of much the same thing.” Greta whispered something in her ear and Lina clapped her hands. “Oh yes! That’s even better. It will certainly strengthen the legs of our poor unicorn.” Greta began to search with her fingers along the unicorn’s belly and Olson and Finn retreated, the unicorn appearing to shy back and almost spilling Berice.

“No, no! Sirs unicorn, I promise thee that I am not interested in thy shared identity.” Greta said consolingly. “I only wish to add my strength to thine in bearing my friend.” The unicorn stood still as she found and unfastened the belly opening. Without looking, she climbed in, slithering up and into the front of the unicorn, her flesh pressed up against Olson’s as the stuffing held them together. Her lips covered Olson’s and her hand pushed him into her. “I did so miss the feeling of closeness in our encounters,” she said around his mouth. “This seems far cozier and more satisfying.”

Lina followed Greta in, showing her athleticism by swinging into the back half. Finn was pulled out of the sheath, which hang from the unicorn by its straps as Lina gave him a new sheath to place himself into. “Thy warmth is almost stifling,” she said quietly. “Thy passion must be a great flame and I appreciate your sacrifice all the more by sharing it.” The unicorn’s insides grew even hotter as Finn put his arms around her and sealed the belly again.

The women still outside laughed and stroked the now stockier unicorn. “Aye, I think his strength must be greater now.” Orla said.

“He’s our stout unicorn pony.” Ella agreed. “I shall have to paint his limbs and trunk a bit more graceful than they are now, but no matter. Better that he remains standing if a touch thicker than he was. Thank you, Greta!” The unicorn stamped once.

Having Greta squirming over him, kissing him and gently rubbing up and down over his body was a heaven that Olson had not expected. It was difficult, but he was able to get his hands arranged so that one was over her nethers and the other her chest so that he could help keep her as appreciative of his presence as he was of hers. In the back, Lina and Finn were a little more limited in their motion against each other, but had more space for their hands, which moved with abandon over one another.

When the moon had passed over and Ella declared that the light was no longer right, the sweating Greta and Lina half fell, half scrambled out of the unicorn disguise. “I think perhaps this is the right way to go about this.” Greta said. “We take turns being painted and also strengthening our unicorn stallion for the task. That way he won’t get tired from holding us or from having too many of us be blessed at the same time.”

Olson nodded the unicorn’s head.

“So it’s agreed.” Ella said. “Thanks for another lovely night, sirs unicorn.”

Before they left, Berice looked back at the unicorn standing there in the moonlight. A sly smile crossed her face. “Mayhap we should tell our fathers that we have learned that a unicorn may speak with the voice of one it has blessed recently and then after you have finished trot into town to regale them with proof that we have indeed been blessed.”

“Ooh!” Greta cried. “That sounds a fun diversion. Are you up for it, sirs unicorn?” She called

Olson nodded the unicorn’s head and they both pawed the ground. The ladies laughed and thanked them again before departing.

King Artheatrax raised an eyebrow at his grand vizier. “A unicorn? In our kingdom?”

“Yay, majesty, it sounds outlandish but it is the truth.” His advisor said. “Word comes even now from travelers that a town in the lowlands has had its maidens blessed by the coming of a unicorn.”

The king ignored the double entendre, assuming the vizier had not intended it. “It would be a great glory for the beast to be placed in our menagerie.”

“Yea, but how to do it?” The vizier asked.

“Art thou insinuating that the royal daughter is unable to approach?” King Artheatrax asked, a storm brewing behind his eyes.

“Nay! Nay!” The vizier said, his voice becoming shrill. “Only that thy daughter art too precious to risk the beast trampling.”

“Your words are wise,” the king said, subsiding. “I would not risk my only daughter on such a thing, mighty though the achievement would be. Still, I would have this animal if I could. Send word across the kingdom that if one were to capture this for me that I would give them great honor. If only for the sake of the queen and the royal princess, who I am sure would be greatly pleased to look upon such a thing.”

“Yes, majesty.”

Price Alterion, third son of King Artheatrax and heir to a small island in the middle of a lake his brother owned looked at the marque that would be posted across the kingdom in the coming weeks. “I’ve never heard of my father being so generous.” He said to the grand vizier.

“I believe he was hoping it would cheer up your mother, highness.” The vizier replied. “I recall her majesty speaking on the topic.”

“Yes, mother does like stories and she’s been depressed ever since I was engaged to the princess Calastria. I suppose she doesn’t like to think that her youngest son is grown up.”

“I couldn’t say, highness.”

“No, of course you couldn’t.” Alterion smiled softly. “Not where my father might have ears. I would that you might do me a favor.”

“Anything, highness.”

“Do not disseminate this until a fortnight hence. I see an opportunity to advance my stock somewhat in court. A doer of mythical deeds is one who might one day sit upon the throne despite his older brothers.”

“Your highness is a man of vision.”

“My highness is a bored, power hungry noble with nothing better to do than chase legends on the off chance he catches one and succeeds in getting his father to stop doting on a pair of nitwits for the half minute it would take him to grant this highness something more than a sinking island.” Alterion said. “I’ll accept cunning for now, please hold the vision until I do something worth the word.”

“As your highness wishes,” the vizier said, thinking about retirement.

Alterion was in the court wizard’s chambers moments later, waiting for the young man who had so far failed to grow a beard, stoop or even say anything remotely gnomic to finish his soup. Even though he didn’t look impressive, Alterion knew better than rush a wizard even with his lunch. At length, the wizard fished his hat out from under a table and addressed the prince. “What can I do for you, highness? Do you require more contrac-“

“No, Mirin, I do not.” Alterion said. “I need help catching a unicorn. The king has it on authority that there’s one nearby and I want to bring it in for him.”

“Your highness has a tall order.”

“My highness is aware of that. Is there some kind of trap or spell that will freeze the unicorn in place so I can put a halter over it?”

The wizard shook his head. “Nay, your highness, there is no magic I can give you that will allow that. In any case, it would avail you little even if I were so strong a mage that I could construct a spell to do so, for no tack would hold it once it was free. Perhaps some of the artifacts of old could, but none are available and that would be a quest unto itself.”

“So how does one go about catching a unicorn?”

“As your highness knows, unicorns only approach virginal maidens.” Mirin replied, starting to warm up to the topic. “They apply a little understood blessing through copulation, which appears to also sustain them, though that is speculation. What is known is that were such a maid to place even the simplest of tack upon the unicorn while it was preparing to do this to her, it would be instantly tamed and under her control. The unicorn would then have to be caught in this way once a day, or there would be a risk of its need going unfulfilled and it would attempt to escape. The initial catch is the most dangerous one, as a maiden must be careful not to allow the unicorn to see what she is planning, lest it struggle or attempt flight.”

“So I must find a maiden to assist me?” Alterion asked. “She would gain all the glory. Is there no way a unicorn could be fooled?”

“Perhaps.” The wizard said. “I have heard that unicorns use sight, smell and a reading of the aura to seek their partners. If you wish to sneak up on the unicorn, thou wouldst have to disguise thyself quite well.”

“Can you do it?” Alterion asked flatly.

“Yes, but I cannot guarantee results.” The wizard said. “What maid wouldst thou impersonate?”

Alterion’s lips quirked. “I believe my fiancée would be a good choice, for I know her to be pure — or else — and she is fair enough for any unicorn’s sight to behold. Paintings of her are numerous in the palace right now. I will fetch one for you.”

“It may take me a week or more to do this, highness.”

“That is well, for I must prepare secure a coach from outside the household that is fit for a princess if I wish to maintain my disguise in secret from all others, as well as horses. Garments may be difficult on short notice, but perhaps my sister’s wardrobe will bear sufficient fruit. I know that many of her comeliest gowns hang forgotten. You will speak no word of this to anyone?”

“Your highness can expect no less from me in this as in anything else.” Mirin replied. “I shall begin at once.”

“Good. When I have gained my reward for this, yours will be great indeed.”

“Your highness is too generous.”

“Don’t say that until you’ve seen what I choose to give.” Alterion said. “Good day.”

A week after the first portrait session, the unicorn was standing looking directly at Ella. Orla had wanted a head-on painting and was wearing a split riding skirt so she could be posed as if her steed were about to leap into action. Occasionally Ella would ask the unicorn to raise a hoof so she could make the image even more dynamic. Orla had to work hard to keep a serious face as she felt the motion beneath the skin of the unicorn’s neck under her hands. Finn had to work hard to keep the head from moving too much as Berice ‘gave him strength’ and the unicorn’s rear was working just as hard to stay still with Lina pressed up against Olson. Having only one of them each night was a relief to the two men, though occasionally the unicorn would feel his oats and stand over the table in invitation.

They’d been getting used to the arrangement and were all more relaxed than when they’d started. That was why Greta almost jumped a foot in the air when she heard Niles shout, “Greta! Where are you?”

“Oh no!” She squeaked, looking up at the moon. “I told father I’d be home early tonight to meet a suitor. He’s going to be furious with me! I can’t let him catch me here or he might not let me come back.”

Finn took a step towards her and Olson got the message, the unicorn slowly approaching as Orla swung her leg over the unicorn’s neck and jumped off. Greta pet the unicorn’s nose as it pressed it to her. “What is it?”

Olson undid the fastening on the belly spread it open. Lina and Berice squirmed out as quickly as they could as they heard Niles get closer. “Thanks, sirs unicorn. It would be odd if he didn’t see us.” Berice said, patting her hair to make sure she was presentable.”

The unicorn continued to stand there with its belly open and Greta nodded. “Good idea!” The others helped her squirm into the unicorn, occupying its middle so she wouldn’t alter the shape of its legs. The unicorn looked little pot bellied as Olson closed it up, but less strange than it would be with only two thick legs. Niles crashed through the brush near them and the other ladies screamed, pretending not to have heard him up until then. When he came into sight, neither man had to warn the other as the unicorn shied away. They’d practiced that act earlier, knowing a man would eventually show up.

“Shoo! Shoo!” Ella said, gesturing at Niles. “You’ll frighten him away.”

“Or did you come here in hopes of seeing one of us receiving the blessing?” Berice asked, acid dripping from her voice. “My father wouldn’t like hearing that you were here.”

The unicorn did not have to manufacture an appearance of nervousness. Greta’s position had put her mouth very close to Finn’s rod and the unicorn’s forelegs were shifting nervously from side to side as he tried to keep his balance with her lips slowly making their way down his shaft. Olson found his tongue just long enough for the tip to touch her nethers and the unicorn’s back legs were pawing the ground as Olson strained to move that last half inch.

“No —no!” Niles backed up. “I was looking for my daughter. I needed her back at home.”

“She’s not here,” Orla said, sniffing. “She told us she was going back to meet a suitor.”

“Please depart,” Greta trilled in an odd accent, her words made even more exotic by the fact she was speaking them around a mouth full of Finn. “I cannot stay long in thine sight.” Olson and Finn added to her words by taking a couple of hesitant steps backward, though there was also an unintended stumble as Greta licked Finn in just the right way.

Niles stared open mouthed at the unicorn. Ella picked up on what Greta was doing. “Have you not heard that a unicorn speaks with the voice of one he has recently blessed?”

“Yes, but-“

“So go and tell the suitor that you know your daughter is blessed. I’m sure you’ll find her already there welcoming him to your home in your absence.”

Flustered by the unicorn’s voice and Ella’s words, Niles ran without further talk. The moment he was over the hill, all of the girls broke out in immoderate laughter. “That was a good one, Greta!” Berice said, helping her out of the unicorn’s belly.

“Thanks!” Greta said breathlessly. “I hope that keeps him off my back and all our fathers away until Ella finishes her first painting.” She laughed into her fist. “I had a lot of fun doing that.”

“I’m sure you did!” Berice said, grabbing the unicorn’s tail and tickling Greta’s chest with it. “I heard sirs unicorn’s breathing even if your father was too far away. Naughty!”

Greta laughed and beat Berice off, though she didn’t retreat beyond the unicorn’s tail’s length. “Stop it! I need to run now.” She kissed the unicorn’s neck as Finn turned to try to see what was happening. “Sorry to stop in the middle. I so wish you were fast enough to ride home, but I really must be there before father arrives.” She squeezed its chest where she knew Finn’s still ready rod was buried. “Hope someone takes care of you.” She tweaked the sheathed shaft between its legs. “I’ll repay you later.”

Olson and Finn listened with interest as the older men had their nightly drink together. “Did your daughters ever tell you about how the unicorn speaks with the voice of one it’s recently blessed?” Niles asked.

“Yes,” Rinder said. “I hadn’t heard that.”

“I know it’s true. I needed to fetch my daughter last night and the unicorn addressed me in her voice!” Niles said, still sounding like he half disbelieved what had happened.

“You were up there?” Crendi asked darkly. “We agreed not to do that.”

“I needed to get Greta.” Niles replied defensively.

Trent got up and stood over him, his fists balled. “And did you see anything?”

“No,” Niles squeaked. “Nothing. They were all clothed and the unicorn looked like he was resting.”

Trent glared at him. “See that you don’t again.”

“You forget who you’re speaking to.”

“I’m speaking to someone who was spying on my Ella as she was being blessed by a unicorn.” Trent said.

“It’s nothing like that. Really!”

“Also,” Crendi said. “You might scare it away. None of us want that, do we?”

“Of course not!” Niles muttered.

“Then let’s hope that this was the only mishap that occurs.” Trent said, sitting back down.

The unicorn looked at its rear half as Finn scrambled into it. “It’s too bad it would look suspicious if we started putting about rumors ourselves. If one of them had a bit more nerve, I bet he’d try to trap us.”

The unicorn’s rear wiggled and bounced with Finn’s settling in. “So?”

“So we could then make an offhand remark about how men who put out unicorn traps usually have a lot of bad luck. And then maybe stick their dog in the trap.”

Finn laughed, closing the unicorn’s belly. “That would be funny, but it looks like Trent has them all cowed.” The unicorn checked to make sure no one was nearby and trotted out towards the brook. It was met by Elle and Berice sharing an outlandish garment.

They’d sewn together several sheepskins and draped that over Berice, who was bending over behind Ella. A cat’s tail hung from her shapely bottom and Olson recognized the hoofs they’d attached to their slippers as a set he’d sold to Berice’s father to boil down. Ella had wrapped another sheepskin around herself — though it didn’t cover much in front — and had a cow’s horn attached to a belt wrapped around her head. The makeshift creature shuffled clumsily over to the unicorn and rubbed up against it. “The others are coming later. We thought we’d give you something different tonight. So,” she said brightly, “it looks like the smell of this stallion’s attracted a slim little unicorn filly.” She rubbed her nose against the unicorn’s. “I hope you go easy on me,” she sang. “I’ve never been mounted before and you’re a big stallion.”

The unicorn mare ponderously turned around and Berice wiggled the tail in the stallion’s face. Finn took a step forward and Olson — unsure of what to do — also moved a little ways towards the two young women in their improvised costume. The unicorn mare was surprisingly dainty as it danced away from them. “You’ll have to be more ardent than that!” Ella called, tossing her head as Berice continued to shake the mare’s rear end back and forth. Berice let out a squeal of surprise when Olson and Finn — by quiet agreement that they wanted to see what the two women in the mare would do — trotted forward and hefted the front half onto Berice’s back. Olson shifted a little to make it easier for Finn to shove the unicorn stallion’s bulk up and get its penis up to Berice’s tender flesh. Ella half laughed half gasped as Berice shifted some of the weight to her. “We asked for this, didn’t we?” She said, stroking the unicorn’s nose as it hung over her shoulder. The unicorn bucked and Berice grasped it in an attempt to get it inside of her, but the horse sheath was too big and it only rubbed around on the outside.

Finn and Olson were balanced precariously and both unicorns fell over with a crash, Ella and Berice separating while the unicorn stallion scrabbled on the rock and gravel to regain its footing. The young women leant their weight to the unicorn’s side to help it up before rubbing their sore flesh. “It was a nice idea, but I think you’re a bit too bulky, sirs unicorn.” Ella said, drawing the sheepskin around herself and pulling the horn off. “We’ll get the others and our clothes and be right back.”

Berice kissed the unicorn’s nose. “It was fun though. A brave attempt on all our parts, though I enjoyed some parts more than others.” She gave the unicorn’s sheath an encouraging squeeze and followed Ella.

“That was odd,” Olson said quietly.

“Alluring, though.” Finn said.

“I wouldn’t have minded seeing them in that if they were meeting us as men.” Olson agreed.

“Mayhap we could convince them some day.”

“And mayhap we’ll become princes rather than tradesmen in a craft many deem foul,” Olson said half bitterly.

“I have purloined my sister’s garments as well as arranged the carriage and other sundries. Have you the magical part of my disguise?” Prince Alterion asked the wizard.

“Yea, highness, I have. You will wish a discrete locale in which to don them.”

“Follow me to my apartments. We will not be disturbed.” Alterion took the silk bag Mirin held out and they went to his chambers in the palace. Alterion’s prizes from a swift raid of his sister’s suite were already arranged on a chair and he dumped the contents of the bag onto a sofa. “These do not appear to be entirely convincing.” Alterion said, picking up first the skin toned garment that looked to cover his chest and belly. It had curves stuffed with horsehair, the nipples were drawn on and the navel was a button. He waved the flat mask with its fringe of loosely curled blonde hair.

“The basic form is to solidify the ritual intent,” the wizard said. “Fear not. Once they are upon you, they will become what they look to be in flesh rather than in cheap fabric and stuffing.”

“Pray for thine own sake that this is true. Should I don these and find myself shamed by my appearance, your execution will be swift.”

“Do not doubt the word of a wizard,” Mirin said, somewhat dangerously. “Highness, it is as I said. Aught that you wear shall become as it should be.”

“I see naught for my lower half,” Alterion said. “What of that?”

“Thine legs are slim and shapely if I may be so impertinent,” the wizard replied. “As to thine nethers, that is one step beyond my power and skill. To alter thy features is but nothing to my puissance, thine shape and smell a mere difficulty and thine aura a great trial. To provide thee with the generative organs of the fairer sex would be to wrest nature into a new form with greater strength than I have. Thine undergarments shall merely have to be well placed and strong of fiber to withstand thine raging manhood, highness.”

“You jest and yet there is truth to what you say.” He picked up the loincloth he’d taken from his sister’s room. “I took from her one that had been close to her skin and unwashed so that the smell of unsullied femininity would be all the greater. I hope it will serve to restrain that manhood you have so graciously described. Retreat to the outer rooms. I shall be out when I know whether thine enchantments be worth what I have promised.”

The wizard bowed. “One last thing, highness. These enchantments be fickle and have certain requirements. They shall not fall from thee until the proper conditions have been achieved. I took the liberty of making them weak to the feeling of triumph, which I am sure thou wilt have in plenty. I warn thee so that when the halter slips over the unicorn, thou art warned to be humble until the beast is safely within these walls, at which point the pride thou shalt feel on its successful delivery will break the enchantment. Oh and thou might feel a tiny fatigue when wearing it, but little compared to the great efforts thou takest on a daily basis. The magic only works on a living thing and will function indefinitely by using the life of the wearer.”

When the wizard had bowed and departed, Alterion unbuttoned the piece that felt like it was partly skin and partly wool. It itched as he pulled it over his head and was heavy on his chest when it settled into place, the long sleeves tight over his arms and the full organs a noticeable weight. He had to expel most of the air in his diaphragm to fasten the buttons and as he finished with the one over his navel, he stood in front of the mirror, waiting to see what happened. His impatience grew quickly along with thoughts of what he’d do to the wizard when he doubled up, feeling as if he’d been struck in the gut by a strong fist. The garment heated uncomfortably until he thought he must be on fire, embers coming to life along his belly as each button vanished. The garment rippled, contracting around his body and making his organs and bones feel like liquid fire as they shrank. He was both painfully and joyfully aware when the hair inside the curves — especially the tits — turned to true flesh. When he’d caught his breath — which was easy now that the garment had melted into skin — he looked to see that from neck to hips he had all the marks of being a woman. His hips had flared, his waist and shrank, his arms were slender and smooth. He held the swaying mounds on his chest and closed his eyes in wordless bliss as sensation filled them. No wonder the lasses loved it when he touched them! He’d never thought they were quite so sensitive or so fun to rub. He almost forgot his mission in the revelation.

His wits returned after a few minutes of abandoned rubbing and pinching of his altered corpus. He picked up the flat wooden mask with its small quantity of hair framing the painted face. It looked like princess Calastria as rendered in the medium and with the success of her body’s melding with his, he was eager to have her face. He pressed the back of the mask to his face and was rewarded with another agonizing fugue as his features were rearranged. It was especially curious feeling his hair grow at an accelerated rate. In moments, he was princess Calastria, albeit with a little of Alterion swinging at full attention between her legs. He tugged on her hair, tossed it and enjoyed both the feel and look of it on his back and swinging around her face. Calastria’s features looked back at Alterion from the mirror, making faces and finally composing themselves into an open smile. He was looking forward to marrying the woman in the mirror and seeing that smile each morning. It made his manhood jump at the thought of going into the village where the unicorn had been spotted and using this smile to gain first the location of the unicorn and then the creature itself. Who could resist those wide, bright eyes, inviting lips and high cheeks. Not him! He hadn’t even been aware of his hand moving to stroke himself, but it was good that he had since soon the mirror was sticky and Calastria was able to bundle the last vestige of Alterion into Alterion’s sister’s loincloth. It hurt a little to have it pulled up so tightly, but he didn’t want anything spoiling his hunt. Also Calastria would never forgive him if her first days in her new country were plagued with rumors that she had a bulge in her skirt where a proper lady would have naught. Alliances had been broken for less.

Alterion had neither experience nor a chambermaid, so a long while was spent squeezing, forcing, lacing and wriggling into layers of underskirt, chemise, bodice, overskirt, gown, petticoat and the like. His sister was of much the same size and coloring, so the red and gold gown brought out Calastria’s delicate features, blonde hair and fair complexion as well as flatteringly lifting her breasts, hugging her curves and filling out the bottom Alterion lacked with a small quantity of bustle. He stepped into the slippers and Calastria looked out at him from the mirror, now clothed and looking radiant. She practiced her curtsies, simpered and finally smiled another brilliant smile into the mirror. “Princess Calastria, and who are you sir?” She said in a breathy soprano. “Oh, I sound exactly like a princess should.” She exclaimed. “I hope I sound like this when I meet my husband.” Lifting her skirts, she opened the door to Alterion’s outer suite.

“Oh, good! You’re still here,” she said to the wizard. “Your disguise is everything you promised. Allow me to provide a small down payment on the reward you shall have when I bring the unicorn back.” Alterion pressed Calastria’s body against the wizard, melting into his instinctive embrace. She kissed him passionately, using Alterion’s experience with beautiful, experienced women as well as Calastria’s natural charms. The wizard’s eyes were glazed over when Calastria finally stepped back, checked herself in the mirror and made a few tweaks to her gown. “I’m sure you’ll get far more than that from the courtesans you’ll be able to afford with what I shall give you.” Alterion said. “How was I?”

“Absolutely heavenly, highness,” Mirin said dreamily. “You are the paragon of womanly virtue.”

Calastria giggled. “Flatterer. For that, you’ll get a tiny bit more.” She pecked him on the lips and swept past. “Now I must go to my carriage and begin my journey.” She looked around. “I should have arranged for a means of secret egress.”

“For another kiss, I can help with that, milady.” The wizard said.

“Cheeky!” Calastria said. “Where I in less of a hurry, I would be unsure whether to flog you or let you flog me. As it is, a kiss you shall have when I am safely within my carriage.”

The carriage rolled into the village in the early evening. The closer it had gotten, the more Alterion had nervously twisted her skirt in her hands. It was one thing, she thought, to play the demure and yet seductive princess to the wizard who knew better, but now he was going to be stepping out into a rural village and convincing a whole community that he was who she said she was. A highborn maid in search of something special, if not Calastria herself. He hoped they wouldn’t recognize her, but her hands twisting the fabric of her gown spoke to the fact that he knew they would. He’d have to curtsy, flutter her eyelashes, walk with the right decorum and live up to the standards placed by society on not just a proper lady but one of class and breeding. He’d have to fend off those who might make advances at her out of lust or desire for the favors of her position as well as being able to tell tales of a princess in the bedchamber. It almost made him feel sorry for all the maids he’d bedded in the past. He had a tiny glimpse into how they must have felt, though he had the consolation that she wasn’t going to meet a social better in these backwaters. That would be disastrous in so many ways.

The carriage stopped and Alterion saw that he was in front of the local inn. Pulling her shoulders back and making sure her pleasant smile was in place, Calastria descended the step with regal grace. It was harder than it looked to sweep up to the door and enter, but a misstep now could break the illusion that she had spent her life learning poise and propriety. A large, busty barmaid greeted her, stammering, “Welcome, your royal highness. It is an honor to serve.” So much for not being recognized. Alterion was reconsidering his decision to send portraits of his intended to all corners of the kingdom. At the time it had seemed a good way to introduce Calastria to the people, but now that everyone in the common room had risen and were bowing, he thought it a nuisance.

“Thank you,” Calastria said, gesturing for the onlookers to be seated. They did but all eyes remained on her. “It is a pleasure to meet such fine people. It is heartwarming to be greeted with open arms this way.”

“If it please your highness,” an oily, gaunt man asked, “what brings you to our humble town?”

Alterion just about remembered the man as a high ranking member of the corporation, but the name escaped him. That was fine. Calastria wouldn’t know him at all. “I wished to procure a gift for my intended.” It wasn’t hard for Alterion to bring a delicate flush to Calastria’s cheeks. “It’s rather embarrassing now that I come to say it aloud.”

“Anything we can grant you, you shall have.” The corporation member said grandly. Niles, that was it.

“I have heard that there is a very special guest in your town. Other than me,” she said with a slight smile. “I seek its … unique blessing.”

“You want to meet the unicorn.” Another man said.

“Yes. Can this be arranged?”

“Why of course!” Niles said, glaring at the other man for daring to speak to royalty. “Our daughters visit often and its location is well known to us.”

“Some more than others,” someone in the crowd muttered.

Niles pretended to ignore him. ”We will of course make sure that tonight you are undisturbed. The unicorn has taken to meeting our young ladies at the bank of a nearby brook. I will show you on a map.”

Calastria seated herself, Alterion still wondering how anyone could comfortably sit with so much fabric in the way. He allowed himself a few furtive glances as she bent over the map. Every eye was still on her, but all the men seemed to be working hard not to stare at the skin she was displaying and all the women had their gaze firmly on either her clothing or her face. Alterion was pleased. His sister’s style seemed to be impressing the locals and he agreed with their assessment of Calastria. He very much looked forward to having the real thing. He wondered if she would be amenable to a bit of sport with a twin endowed with a touch of masculinity.

The unicorn pawed the ground and paced impatiently. The two men were starting to get worried since none of the lasses had arrived. Maybe something had gone wrong or their fathers had changed their minds. The portraits had been well received and both men were looking forward eagerly to the series of nudes Ella was going to start on that night. Not that it was much different than what had been happening before, but just the thought of one of the young women sitting atop their backs without a stitch was invigorating.

A twig broke and Olson looked up in time to see the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on approaching. Her luxuriant red and gold gown was out of place in the deep woods, as was her perfectly arranged blonde hair, delicate makeup and noble bearing. It was like a queen had gotten lost in the woods. In fact, Olson thought, that was the princess Calastria! What was she doing out here?

Alterion’s fingers were crossed behind Calastria’s back as she climbed up the hill towards the unicorn. Its posture reminded him of a horse ready to bolt, its attitude that of total surprise. Now was the ultimate test of his disguise. Could it fool a unicorn?

The princess looked as nervous as Olson felt and it took Finn punching him in the back to get his attention. “What’s going on?” He hissed.

“It’s Princess Calastria!” Olson said. “She’s here.”

“God’s wounds…” Finn muttered. “And to think I’ll never be able to tell anyone I’ve tupped Calastria.”

“I’ll know and I don’t mind. I get to see her.” Olson replied. “She’s far more beautiful than she is in portraits.” As he got closer, she smiled and his heart filled with joy. She was so breathtakingly lovely and her smile made him want to fall to his knees and beg her for the smallest womanly favor.

The unicorn stepped forward and was warily approaching. Alterion let out a long breath and broke out in a wide grin. The unicorn sped up. It seemed to be able to read her face. The stallion — and it was definitely that! — was a thing of true magnificence. Moonlight seemed to pool around it in a soft, otherworldly nimbus. It’s horn shone with the promise of magic, its tail the mark of the royal lion. It’s member … Calastria gulped. It looked like it was very eager to bestow the blessing.

Finn was indeed salivating with the opportunity and the sheath was twitching with the anticipation within. He hoped the noble lady had heard of the unicorn’s blessing and how to receive it. It would be a shame if all he got out of it was a blow job. The unicorn trotted up to her and stopped, its eyes meeting hers before it lifted its head to sniff at her. Olson wanted to get as good a view as possible before Finn took over. He couldn’t get enough of that perfectly formed example of womanhood standing there, her expression showing that she was as willing as the two men in the unicorn. She looked hungry and both of them were happy to satiate her desire.

Alterion wondered if his disguise had failed when the unicorn turned, but it only trotted a short way away. She followed and found it standing over a low, well built table. The local ladies had prepared their place it would seem. Had Alterion all of Calastria’s form, he might have been tempted to sample the unicorn’s blessing before he made his move. He reconsidered as he grasped the unicorn by the shaft and pulled. He was filled with distaste already at that simple act and as the unicorn’s horse like cock fell away and revealed that of a man, he was sure that he would not have taken the blessing. He couldn’t imagine himself spreading his legs and letting that go inside him.

With the unicorn waiting patiently — and lustfully — for the ‘princess’, Alterion stooped and stealthily rummaged in Calastria’s skirts, making it appear as if she was arranging them for easy entry. According to the wizard, even this delicate halter would be enough to ensnare the unicorn should it be placed with alactrity. Alterion was fast and had the halter out in a flash. He jumped forward to snap it closed around the unicorn’s neck.

The princess was trying to catch them! Olson instinctively recoiled from the suddenly aggressive lady and Finn fell over backwards, crying out as his penis struck the table. The princess followed them down, struggling to get the halter she’d seemingly pulled straight from her nethers around the unicorn’s neck. She rolled over and as Finn thrashed to try to regain his feet, the unicorn’s hoof caught her on the back of the head. Olson turned the unicorn’s face to try to see why she’d cried out and the horn struck her another blow. By the time the unicorn was standing again, Calastria was lying still on the ground.

The unicorn nosed at her and succeeded in turning her onto her back. Her eyes stared sightlessly at the sky. “Oh shit, I think she’s dead.” Olson breathed.

“Well fuck,” Finn said. “What are we going to do now?”

“Hide her!” Olson said. “We’ll bundle her in with us and take her back to my place. I can turn her into dogmeat by tomorrow.”

“Yech,” Finn said. “I wish I could think of a better plan. Let us hope that none know of her destination and no search comes here.”

“Even should it, nothing will be found — what’s this?” The unicorn stepped back and Olson watched with shock as the face turned hard, as if the lady’s death mask was forming as she lay. Her body also seemed to be turning misshapen as if she had suffered a terrible death curse and decay was ravaging her as they watched. The unicorn brushed the mask with its nose and it fell away.

“Good god! It’s Prince Alterion!” Olson said.


“The lady’s features have fallen away and revealed the prince.”

“What sorcery is this?”

“I begin to see what.” Olson said ruminatively. “The prince seeks glory so as to gain more than a third son might. He gained some magic to alter his form to that of the princess in hopes of sneaking upon and catching a unicorn. A shame he chose another so disguised upon which to predate.”

“So what do we do now?” Finn asked plaintively. “We are in worse shape than before. Now we must butcher a prince of the realm!”

“Are we?” Olson asked. “Let us take him back to town and then consider. I think perhaps we have found ourselves a way to gain great riches and luxury.”

They took the prince back and with the greatest of stealth entered Olson’s shed. The unicorn disguise was put away and the prince laid out divested of all garments. Finn was careful to set aside the items that appeared to confer the magical change in his form. “Let us first handle the cadaver,” he said. “Mayhap you would care to depart for a time while I take care of that. This is not a job for the faint of heart.” Finn needed no more encouragement and fled. Olson made swift work stripping the flesh from the bones and grinding those into powder, putting the parts into the common areas where he kept all the animal bits he received.

Finn was likely not to return for some time, which Olson thought was good. If anyone was going to benefit the most from his original plan to disguise himself as a unicorn, he would. The garments the prince had been wearing appeared simple enough and it was a short time before Olson was admiring Calastria in the polished metal he used for a mirror. He used his razor to remove the hair from the parts left uncovered and with the excitement of the night, even the sight of the princess moving unclad through his workshop was not enough to bring him to attention.

It was easy to bind himself as he’d seen the prince had, though a much longer affair to regain the raiment that was upon him. He had seen it on the body of the prince and tried to memorize the placement of each ruffle and bit of brocade. The many layers of support, lace, petticoat, undergown and so forth were an experience he’d never had. The soft fabrics felt good on his flesh — both old and new — but his hope for comely chambermaids was now being eclipsed by desires for competent ones. When his hand brushed the glory upon his chest, Calastria bit her still made-up lip. However tempted he was by the apparently genuine sensations from those parts altered by the magic, he had something more important to do. He had to get Finn back into the unicorn and another to take Olson’s place. Calastria could hardly prance around in a unicorn skin. The very idea!

Olson couldn’t help a little bit of exploration, though, and when Finn finally returned, Calastria looked at him with flushed cheeks and bright eyes. “Ah, sirrah!” She trilled. “How good of you to finally make your way back to me.”

“M-milady?” Finn asked.

Calastria sashayed up to him and licked her lips. “I interrupted your previous advances so rudely before.” She said. “Mayhap thou might consider picking up where thou left off.” She picked up the unicorn’s sheath and stroked it suggestively. Finn looked like he was choking and Olson couldn’t keep up the charade. Calastria laughed, a high musical sound. “Oh Finn!” Calastria spun, her thick skirts flaring out around her. “Like the new disguise?”


“Aye, it be me. I said we’d find riches and luxury. And mayhap a new batch of willing maids. I hear the palace employs some of the comeliest wenches in the kingdom.”

“How? What are we doing? Why did you-“

“It’s simple,” Olson said, idly fingering the fine embroidery of Calastria’s gown. “We put you and some other wight in the unicorn and place the halter upon it. I take that carriage that is in the yard and return with you two, pretending to be the real Calastria arrived early with a gift for the crown.”

“What happens to us?” Finn asked, alarmed. “You will be frolicking in the palace while I and whoever we find are confined to a stable or menagerie.”

“Fear not,” Olson said, Calastria’s lip quirking. “You will have much more than might seem. At the very least it will be a far easier life as a unicorn in the palace than as a tanner. Are you agreed?”

Finn looked at Olson but couldn’t say no. Olson kept his inner thoughts off of Calastria’s face, but was inwardly laughing at how a few breaths and a pretty face was affecting his friend. How much more would he get from those who thought him the most beautiful princess in the land? Taking Finn’s arm, Olson said, “Go get Clarn the blacksmith’s apprentice. Many times have I heard him moan on how unfair his master is and how little he gets in remuneration. I deem he will be amenable to our counsel. Especially,” Calastria winked, “if he thinks me a scheming princess rather than the knacker, yes?”

“Aye, if I am to be made a unicorn, let us have some fun in filling the fundament,” Finn replied. “I shall fetch him at once … your highness.”

Clarn had been firmly attached to his mug and Finn had spent a frantic quarter hour prying him away from it. His promises had fallen on deaf ears since as Clarn had said, “Who could possibly be interested in us?” Finn had not dared tell Clarn who was waiting for them in the shed since Clarn was liable to draw attention. When Clarn finally was led in, Calastria was standing, looking at him imperiously from inside. “I am so glad you have finally made it.” She said sharply.

“Your highness!” Clarn fell to his knees despite the mess. “I did not know.”

“Of course you didn’t,” Olson said, enjoying Clarn’s groveling too much to allow him to stand. “I need assistance of a confidential nature. What we speak of must not leave this …” she looked around, “hovel.”

“Anything, highness.”

Calastria tipped Clarn’s face up. “You’ll do,” she said at length. “Rise and follow.” She shot Finn a hard look when he looked about to laugh. “As you know,” she continued, opening the chest the unicorn disguise was in, “I came here with a certain goal in mind. You need not be crass and say it yourself. I sought the unicorn.” She lifted the disguise out of the chest. “For reasons of state and because I wished to capture it for the king. Of course, I could not tell the folk here of the second reason since it would deprive them and spread ill will. I found the unicorn, but alas there were complications. A simple farmer,” Olson tried not to smile when he saw the momentary urge to correct the ‘princess’ stifled by Clarn’s good sense, “would not understand the complicated magicks involved. Let us simply say,” she put the disguise down, “that it didn’t go as expected.” Clarn looked confused but was unable to speak. Olson continued. “I’ve been told by my faithful servant,” Calastria nodded at Finn, “that you would be amenable to an … unconventional raising of your station. In brief, I need you two to wear this and pretend to be a unicorn. You will not be discovered and you will spend the rest of your lives in warmth, luxury and plenty in the palace if as a pet.” Calastria stepped forward, her face close to Clarn’s. “Can I rely on you to do this?” She asked softly.

“I would be honored, highness,” Clarn said.

“To be a silent equine for the rest of your life?” Her lips were almost on his.

“I will serve faithfully and silently for the rest of my days.” Clarn said, gulping.

“Good.” Calastria closed her eyes and brushed Clarn’s lips with hers. “You’ve done me a great service personally and the country a service. You will be rewarded. For now, we must ready you. I shall be instructing my coachman to depart as soon as possible. For the first part of the trip, you’ll be in the coach, but when we reach the outer gates, you’ll have to walk.”

Finn was already in the front half and Clarn only looked for a moment at the disguise before clambering in. Calastria stopped him with one leg scrambling. “Wait. You’ll need to disrobe entirely as my servant did before thee.” Clarn was nervous but warmed up when Calastria helped with a businesslike air. The rear end of the unicorn stood uncertainly on the hard hooves and before they went further, Calastria insisted that the two of them walk around and practice. “You’ll get plenty when we reach the palace, but it would be best if you could at least make a graceful entrance,” she said. When she was satisfied with Clarn’s coordination, she picked up the sheath. “Now a unicorn stallion normally has a rather large … you’ll see.” She pushed the sheath over Clarn’s shaft and instructed him on how to secure it. “That will protect you as well.” She said. Olson had a naughty thought. “I hope it’s sensitive enough,” Calastria said slyly. She stroked the sheath. “Can you feel that?”

“Yes, highness,” Clarn squeaked.

“But probably not well. We need to make sure you act right when I do something like this.” She squeezed and the rear end shifted, but didn’t shy away. “It’s fine when I do this,” she rubbed the sheath more vigorously, “but if it happened in a busy environment where you might not be paying attention,” her rubbing increased in energy, “you might not notice. How much can thou feel this?” She asked innocently.

“Quite well, highness,” Clarn grated. By the sound of his voice and the twitching of the sheath, Olson knew Clarn was working hard not to ejaculate.

Calastria squeezed and rubbed the end of the sheath. “Good. When the time comes I’m sure you’ll act properly then.”

Clarn was unable to help himself and Olson felt the spasmodic motions of and inside the sheath for what it was. “Oh dear,” Calastria said, not having to hide the grin since no one could see it. “I fear that thou canst feel more than I gave thee credit. Why didst thou not speak up?” She reached in and removed the sheath. “My what a mess. Allow me.” She rinsed the sheath out at a pump and then wiped Clarn down with a damp cloth with a few hard strokes and a few ladylike dabs. “There.” She replaced the sheath, again brushing Clarn’s scrotum as she reattached it. “Good,” she patted the sheath. “Let us depart, then.” She hooked the halter on over the unicorn’s nose and led it out of the shed.

The unicorn’s hooves clopped on the road up to the inn and Calastria was constantly shooting glances around in case someone saw them. Their passage was unimpeded, however, and soon Calastria had both hands on the unicorn’s rump, pushing as it paddled its hooves trying to get into the coach. “This isn’t going to work,” the faux princess said, hand on hip as the unicorn slid backwards and landed with a thud back in the stable yard. “Let me see what I can do inside.” Unaware that he was doing exactly what Alterion had done or that the prince’s princess had already been there, Olson pulled Calastria’s shoulders back, summoned a cheerful smile and entered the inn. Olson was secretly glad to go in because he’d never thought he’d be in a position to lord it over the others. He was determined to pay them back a little bit for their scorn and refusal to consider him as a suitor for their daughters.

Calastria was greeted by an immediate rendition of the national anthem as her future subjects knelt to her. Despite being prepared for it, Olson was flustered by their show and Calastria ran a hand through her blonde mane before graciously motioning them to rise. “This is truly unexpected,” she said.

“We wished to show our happiness for your coming marriage as well as our appreciation for coming here. Even if it was to get your future husband a wedding gift.” Freya said, curtseying.

“Thank you very much, dear,” Calastria replied, touching Freya’s face. “You’re so pretty. If you ever want to work at the palace, I’m sure I could find you a place.” Freya was one of the few who had never come to see the unicorn and Olson had always admired her strength.

“Thank you, highness!” Freya exclaimed. “I’m happy here, but your offer is too generous.”

“Perhaps not,” Calastria said, one corner of her lip rising.

“What can we do for you, highness?” Niles asked.

Good! Olson thought. Just the man I most want to get even with. “You can start by addressing me as your highness, knave.”

“I — I did, your highness.” Niles said.

“Did you?” Calastria turned her nose up at him. “I guess you didn’t say it loudly enough. By the by, it is customary to bathe when you know you’re meeting royalty. By the by, is this a village of old men? Art there no young bucks in this place?”

“Your highness, many are already abed. It is a long day for the smith and the farrier.”

“Yea, and the tanner, knacker and dung collector.” Calastria replied. “Remember that all of your community is worth my time. See that when next I am here that they are given the pleasure of my company as well.”

“Yes, highness.” Niles bowed.

“Would you like me to go and fetch them, highness?” Crendi asked.

“Speak when you’re spoken to!” The last thing Olson wanted was for someone to go looking for him. “No, though I would also wish to meet the daughters of this village when I am next here. Thou art governors and so apparently blessed with great free time to sit up to these hours drinking. I wonder what thine daughters do while thou art asleep in the chambers of government to be so tired as to also be abed at this hour.” Despite their nervousness at Calastria’s sudden imperiousness, the tradesmen still in the common room laughed at that. “Aye!” Calastria continued. “Thou all might wonder. I have heard it said that thine daughters visit for the blessings of the unicorn most nights. What, prithee, are they doing to require such regular infusions of virginity?” That brought an even louder laugh as the corporation flushed scarlet but dared not argue with the princess. “When next I visit, mayhap I shall find in the youths what hast placed the daughters of these honorable men in an early bed. I certainly shall not find it in these worthies themselves. Come, coachman!” She said to the only man Olson didn’t recognize. “Let us away to somewhere more interesting. I am in haste to reach the palace. First, though, I shall bestow my favor upon any man who can grant me a sturdy cart as you would haul vegetables in.”

“Highness,” one of the farmers from outside the town said, “my potato wagon is in the yard. Please take it.”

Calastria kissed the farmer upon the cheek. “Take that as the sign of my favor and the promise of what will come when I reach the palace.” In a swirl of plush skirts, the princess was gone, followed belatedly by her gob-smacked driver. She’d been a polite, correct, upper-class woman when he drove her from the palace, but something had happened up in the woods. She’d come back seeming stronger, more the distant ruler than a nice young lady of noble birth visiting the countryside.

The driver’s appreciation increased as she took the halter of what could only be a unicorn and almost casually led it to the potato cart she’d been promised. The beast seemed hesitant to step up into the wooden enclosure, but Calastria whispered something to it and guided its hooves as it clattered and scratched its way in. She pushed and prodded, helping it settle down so that only its head rested above the lip of the cart before daintily stepping down. “Your team will be able to tow this back, I hope?” The princess half-asked, half-commanded.

“Aye, highness, it shouldn’t be a problem. Might a humble man ask why the unicorn must ride and not walk like any other beast of burden?”

“You may.” Calastria said, the driver’s deference making his penis stir within the voluminous skirts and her nipples stand up in excitement at how well his playacting had gone so far. “The unicorn is no less noble than I. He is tired from his efforts and so am I. I don’t doubt that both of us shall sleep until we reach the palace. Do not hesitate to wake me when we arrive, but touch not the unicorn lest you break the enchantment I have placed upon him. No man may place his hand upon a unicorn stallion as many of the wise have told me.”

“It is as you command, highness.” The driver bowed and held out his hand. Olson was momentarily confused, then realized who he was supposed to be. Calastria took the driver’s hand, pretending to have checked it for cleanliness before allowing him to help her into the carriage. She sat with her back to the driver so that he could see as little of her as possible. Once the carriage was on its bumpy, swaying way, Olson let out a long breath. He was safe and alone for now. He truly was tired, but thoughts of what had happened and what was to come intruded on his thoughts. Calastria’s hand played with the layers of her skirt, her fingers making their way through the labyrinth of feminine garb until they lay upon the final layer, the loincloth binding his manhood. Calastria touched it lightly with a finger, feeling how much Olson’s manhood wanted to escape. Her other hand found its way under her bodice and the mixture of the thoughts of what his disguise had done and would do, the female upper sensations and male lowers, and finally the rustling and rubbing from the garments brought her to a lip biting orgasm. She whimpered with the effort of keeping it in. Olson had rarely had difficulty even when Greta or Ella were at their most inventive, but Calastria’s feelings threatened to overflow into vocal appreciation. She fell asleep with the warmth still flowing through her.

In the rattling cart, the unicorn’s rear shifted uncomfortably as Clarn tried to find a better position lying down. “I’m starting to rethink my decision to live in this.”

“I’m having doubts too,” Finn said.

“Then again, I couldn’t say no to her highness. She seemed so desperate and —“ the sheath twitched, “she was very persuasive.”

“I hope she can deliver on her promises.” Finn replied, looking out at the countryside going by.

“She’s a princess,” Clarn said confidently. “She will keep her word.”

Finn couldn’t think of a way to reply to that. Not without risking Clarn finding out who the ‘princess’ really was.

“Highness? Highness?” The driver rapped on the carriage door nervously.

Calastria bolted awake, hurriedly taking her hand out of her skirt. “What is it?”

“We’re at the palace gate. What shall I tell the guard?”

“Tell them that the princess Calastria has arrived and awaits an escort.” Olson said. “And that she brings a kingly gift to the king.”

Calastria sat back, forcing herself to display only calm confidence. Her aplomb was perturbed by the sounds of men shouting and her driver protesting something. The door was wrenched open. “And I tell you, boyo, that Calastria isn’t due for a month yet.” The armored guard was saying to the driver. “So I’ll open any door I like.”

“I’m so happy that my future protectors are so zealous.” Calastria said drily. “Though perhaps those who deal with royalty should learn better manners than to open the carriage of a lady without her consent.”

The guard stared agape at the princess. Olson wondered at first what was going through the guard’s head, but when his gaze seemed to fix on her bustline, her confident smile returned. She looked back at him with the assurance of royalty until the guard wrenched his view to her face and then averted his gaze completely, falling to one knee. “Your highness,” he murmured.

“I’m glad you finally recognize me,” Calastria sniffed. “Now arrange an escort before I become impatient.”

“Of course, highness!” The guard said, backing away so as not to turn his back to royalty. “It shall be as you have requested.”

A few moments later, a guard with a red trimmed cape and the pauldrons of an officer arrived, flanked by two more officers and a squad of guards. “I am Vrin, captain of the guard.” He introduced himself, bowing low as the others knelt. “Your arrival is an unheralded joy, your highness.”

He was fishing for information. Olson decided to give him a little to smooth his way. “I had a change of plans which I believe king Artheatrax will welcome. I take it he is currently abed?”

“Yea, highness. I know not how your divine father, Kaiser Bilious, sleeps but our sovereign has little joy in being awoken in the dark hours and is often hard on even the most important messenger who disturbs him.”

“I have little interest in being greeted by a father-in-law who is deprived of his rightful slumber,” Calastria replied. “Allow him his repose and I shall present myself on the morrow. For now I require only room for myself and my prize as well as payment for my driver.”

“Your will be done, highness,” the captain said. He took Calastria’s hand and Olson found her [][ growing stiff as well as his hidden manhood stirring as the strong, handsome captain effortlessly lifted her out of the carriage and kissed the back of her hand as he let go. Olson considered how much his reaction was from being tired, being pampered and having part of the corpus of a comely maid who had likely stared at many a handsome wight in her time.

“I hope it is not far to my room,” Calastria said, hoping that the slight flush of her cheeks was not visible in the dimness of the keep.

“Not far, highness,” the captain said, smiling and bringing further color to Calastria’s complexion. Olson decided he was going to be very glad to be alone abed soon.

“Instruct the stablehands that my prize,” she said to one of the servants who had begun to appear to attend to her needs, “will be docile for now and allow himself to be placed in a stall — a warm and dry one, mind, with plenty of room — but that I will have to give them further instruction on the morrow. If I am detained by matters of state, the animal’s fast is to be broken as by two of your hungriest men on two separate platters and he is to be left completely without human company for one hour as he eats. Unicorns are very finicky about who they share their meals with.”

The gathering crowd stared wide-eyed at the unicorn, which was delicately stepping out of the cart. It tossed its head and looked at Calastria, who rubbed its nose. “Worry not, handsome beast. I shall return soon to make sure you are treated well. For now go with these men and know that I will remember you.”

Finn took the message. Olson needed to get inside and get comfortable while he and Clarn were to be made as comfortable as Olson could make them in short order. He would come back and fix it for them later. Strangely enough, he trusted Olson. It must have been Calastria’s face. It was hard to argue with it, even though he knew that the one who wore it was not nearly so regal or beautiful as he currently appeared. The unicorn snorted and allowed itself to be led away.

“Is that truly a unicorn?” The captain asked as he led Calastria in, forgetting for the moment his station.

“Yea, it is that.” Calastria said. “My gift to my future husband and his family. Not a bad dowry?”

“A kingly gift.”

“Let us hope the king agrees.”

“He will grant his son great dominion for what you will bring to the marriage,” the captain said confidently.

“Good.” Calastria’s thoughts were on what Olson would be getting soon and she almost tripped over her plethora of frills and skirts. The captain caught her and she spent a bit longer than necessary staring into his eyes. “Thank you,” she said finally, brushing herself off self-consciously.

“It was nothing, highness. My duty.”

“Perhaps your duty will stretch to other things,” Calastria said, Olson unsure why he was seducing the captain. “Let us speak of such after I have refreshed myself.”

“This is your suite, highness,” the captain said, the guards spreading out to allow her to pass. “Will you be requiring us further?”

“No, captain. You have reassured me with your presence long enough. I think I am safe enough in the palace.”

“Quite safe, milady.” The captain’s mode of address betrayed his thoughts, as did his regard of Calastria. “I see a chambermaid approaching. I will leave you in her capable hands.”

Olson kicked himself for not realizing that a royal would have a maid, even on such short notice as Calastria had arrived with. She smiled pleasantly as the maid closed the door. “What is your name?”

“Trina, if it please your highness.”

“What would it be if I it didn’t?” Calastria asked, Olson blurting out before he thought.

The maid tittered. “I know not, highness. If I may say so, it is late and your highness’s bed is ready.”

“Good.” Calastria stood, Olson unsure of what was to come next.

“Your highness will be wanting me to help her to become ready.” Trina said, prompting her. “Or is there a different custom in your highness’s homeland.”

“No.” Olson had an idea. Calastria smiled encouragingly and gestured to the maid. “Please, help me.” She put her arms out and the maid began to undo the buttons and clasps. “Can I rely on your absolute discretion?”

“Of course, highness!” Trina said.

“If you do this, you will become a permanent part of my household.”

“You honor me too greatly, highness. There is no need.”

“Yes, there is.” The maid didn’t speak again until Calastria was almost completely disrobed. She gasped when she reached the furthest underlayer and saw the bulge inside Calastria’s undergarment. “You see why now.” Calastria said, smiling wryly. “You have heard, I take it that I caught a unicorn?” The maid nodded and Calastria sat, crossing her legs self-consciously. She grabbed her crotch. “This is the result. A unicorn’s blessing grants and safeguards virginity. Usually with a subtle magic, but the unicorn was … discommoded by my attempt to tame him. He later repented but then the damage was done.” She laughed. “I can hardly lose my maidenhead with this.” She removed the loincloth and allowed the maid to stare at Olson’s manhood. “It will return to normal when I am married, but until then I am cursed. I must spread the blessing each night. Not this one; the unicorn took care of that, but from tomorrow on. That is why you must now be part of my household.” Calastria took Trina’s arm. “Please tell no one.”

“I will not breathe word to a soul.” Trina promised. “Your highness has my most solemn word.”

“Not to your closest friend, your sister, your mother. Not even the archbishop or the king must hear of this. They will never know because when Alterion sees me in his bed, I will be returned to normal.”

“My pledge is unconditional, highness,” Trina said.

“Good.” Calastria squeezed Trina’s arm. “I risk losing much if this gets out. I won’t insult your word by threatening you. You know what will happen should I be displeased by your discretion. I have one other request.”


Olson worked hard to keep from betraying with his anatomy how excited he was by the idea. “I must spread the blessing. It is an uncomfortable, humiliating and clumsy condition I am in, but I must copulate with a lady each night. The results will be invisible and salubrious, I promise you. The curse on me was because the unicorn panicked. I would not inflict this on anyone else. Will you help me with that? And find me other maids who can attend to me with as much confidence and understanding?”

“It would be my honor, highness.” Trina said.

“Good,” Calastria sighed with relief and lay back on the bed. “You will be made head of my household for this. There might even be a royal honor for it if I can convince my new family.”

“You are too generous!”

“No, I am expressing how important this is.” Calastria sat up. “Find me some suitable attire for day and night. I fear I came with only the one set of clothing in my haste to capture the unicorn. Feel free to sleep in on the morrow. I doubt I shall be rising early.”

“I will do my best, highness.” Trina bowed.

“And do not be surprised if I am asleep on your return. It has been a long day.” Calastria added.

“Of course, highness.”

Calastria lay back down and closed her eyes, fighting to keep her hands away from any sensitive areas. Olson knew that if he touched himself, he’d fall asleep in that pose. Calastria’s long, thick hair was a little odd, but more than made up for by the softest, warmest bed Olson had ever slept in. His first night as a princess was going wonderfully and he was excited to meet the household.

Down in the stable, a hand was gazing at the unicorn, who returned his regard with apparent disinterest. “You’re the most handsome thing I’ve ever seen,” he said softly, wondering if the halo was the unicorn or his tears of appreciation. “I wish I could touch you but the princess said you wouldn’t like it.”

Finn felt sorry for the boy and the unicorn looked back and forth before nuzzling his hand with its nose. The boy gasped and then tentatively rubbed the unicorn’s face. Footsteps had him snatch his hand back guiltily and run away. Whoever it was didn’t come in and the two men in the unicorn disguise lay down and took their own sleep. The unicorn body was soft enough to rest against and the stable was nicer than the loft Clarn was forced to sleep in by his old master. As long as Olson — or the princess, depending on who was thinking — remembered them, it would be an easier, nicer life than either of them had had before.

Olson looked up at the canopy above him and re-ran the events of the previous night in his mind. If he hadn’t awoken to the sight of a pair of tits on his chest and blonde hair in his face, he might have had trouble believing just how he’d ended up in the bed of a princess. He turned over and Calastria found that her maid had put her in a silky shift during the night. Olson knew he had a keeper.

“Good morning, highness!” Trina said brightly, walking in. “I thought I heard you stir.”

“Morning,” Calastria said thickly. She cleared her throat. “I hope I’m not waking too late.”

“Oh, no. The king won’t be up for a little while yet and no one will want to rush the official presentation. It may be two or three days before the housecarl is ready, so you’ll be spending most of your day today and tomorrow preparing for that. If I may, ma’am, were you told how the ceremonies here are done?”

“Not as much as I’d like,” Calastria said, sitting up with her weight on her hands and her legs slightly apart. Olson would need all the help he could get.

“Oh … highness?” Trina was trying to maintain her professional regard of the princess, but kept glancing down and away.

Calastria looked down as well. A small bulge was visible between her legs and in her current position, Trina likely had a good view up her shift. She closed her legs, blushing and then tucked them underneath her, tugging the shift down over her knees. “I keep forgetting about it,” she said softly. “Trying to anyway.”

“What’s it like?” Trina asked, transfixed by Calastria’s discomfort.

Olson had no idea what the difference would be, so he tried to generalize. “It’s weird having something hanging down,” Calastria said. “As I’m sure you know from experience, it’s not easy to control.”

Trina giggled. “I can understand that, your highness. Maybe culture lessons should wait until we’ve made more progress there. I’ve found one girl who would be willing. I haven’t told her anything about the situation, only that you’ll need her total loyalty. I consider her trustworthy.”

“That’s good enough for me,” Calastria replied. “When can she start?”

“As early as you like, highness.”

“Then bring her in immediately. She can help the two of us hide my affliction for the day. That way she’ll understand completely what is at stake.” Fern was swiftly summoned and the maid gaped when the door was closed and Calastria turned to face her. “Yes,” the faux princess said, “it’s real. As real as any wight’s.” Olson gestured to allow Fern to sit and then repeated the tale he’d told Trina. “So are you willing to help?”

Fern bit her lip. “I will do all I can, highness. Trina was right to ask for me.” She smiled secretly. “I know of a few young bucks who like the feel of soft things and to know what it’s like to be a fair maid for a time. This task is not new to me. I even have a thing or two in my room that will help if your highness gives me leave to get them.”

“Go with all speed and my heartfelt thanks,” Calastria replied. “You have my word and bond to do what you must to assist me until my wedding cures the affliction.”

Fern rose, curtsied and left, returning a few minutes later with feminine garments. “I also noted, if I may be so bold, that your highness’s physical malady has altered her balance and stride. It is far above my station, but her highness might do well to consent to some lessons in the correct way to move a body with male appendages in a ladylike way.”

Olson hadn’t noticed anything amiss, but Calastria’s smile was open. “I have said that you have my support to do what you must and so you do. That goes as well for you, Trina. Those who know of my malady are to have great latitude in their actions.”

The garb Olson found the maids strapping him into was even more elaborate and restrictive than the day before, but when they adjusted the last bow on the cream and green gown he looked even more the princess than before. His maleness had been securely placed, bound closer to his body than it had been and even were her skirts to be blown in the heaviest wind, Calastria would show naught more than any other princess. Her maids began their instruction immediately and it was midmorning before Calastria swept regally into the stables. “Who is the head ostler here?” She asked.

“I am, highness,” a man in slightly better clothes said, bowing low.

“I have come to instruct you in the care of my prize.”

The man bowed again. “I await your wisdom and knowledge.”

“Have you been feeding it as I instructed?”

“I have, highness. Two plates with food from the kitchen as good as yours or the king’s, milady. I left the creature with no human company for an hour as instructed.”

“Good. Repeat this for dinner and supper. You may clean it regularly like any other beast, save that any wet brush run over it should be dampened in water mixed with silver dust. I’m sure you’ve already noted that its muck is unusual. That is because of its close link with humanity through the blessings it’s given recently. Many other things about it will seem more human. It is still a steed, however, and will need to be ridden daily.” The unicorn had been placidly standing and listening ,but its head came up at that and it snorted. Calastria quirked her lip. “By a comely maiden who has never known a man. The unicorn may have the same rider each day, but it must always be a woman and very preferably a virgin. She will have to accept the blessing of the unicorn each day at least once or the creature will try to escape. He is very clever and will likely succeed.”

“Highness, how can a maiden accept such a … magnanimous blessing such as that?” The ostler asked, looking between the unicorn’s legs.

“If she had difficulty, she may ask me for aid. I have known the unicorn and I am versed in its ways. I believe that is all that you need concern yourself with.” Calastria said. “Otherwise be cautious of it.”

“Should we shoe the beast?” The ostler asked.

“Place no iron nor tack upon it or it shall rebel.” Calastria warned. “Even in its quiescence, it is a fierce and independent animal.” She took the ostler’s hand in hers. “Can I rely on you to take care of him for me?”

“You honor me with your trust and I shall not betray your faith.” The ostler said, blushing and unused to being so close to beautiful noblewomen.

“Good.” Calastria turned and flounced off, followed by her two maids.

The unicorn looked back and forth to make sure nobody was in the stable before lowering its head down to the two plates in front of it. An arm reached out of the unicorn’s mouth and pulled one of the plates in. The other was taken a moment later. “It’s very good of the princess to allow us sport.” Clarn said through a mouthful of food.

“Yeah, sure.” Finn was starting to come to understand just how uncomfortable living in the unicorn body was. “I just wish we could get out of this thing for awhile.”

“We can’t let the princess down!” Clarn replied.

“No, I suppose we can’t.” The unicorn spat out a plate and sank down onto its knees. It jumped back up when they heard light footfalls and a pair of eyes peeked at the unicorn from the lip of the stable door.

“Hi,” the little girl said, opening the door. “I know unicorns are supposed to be left alone when they eat, but I just had to see you.” She took a hesitant step in. When the unicorn bent its head and looked down at her, she tentatively stroked its face. “A real live unicorn.” She said. “In our time.” Pulling over a stool, she sat and continued to rub the unicorn’s face, feeling his horn when he made no move to get away. “You know, it’s funny,” she said. “I’ll probably be the one picked to go out with you.”

Finn could hardly believe it. The girl couldn’t be more than eleven.

“I know I’m young, but I’ll try ever so hard for you. It’s just that all my sisters have been with men and so have all their friends and their friends’ sisters all the way down to me.” She got up and twirled. “Little me, too young for a man. Won’t they be jealous though when they find out I got a unicorn instead!” The unicorn nosed at her long red hair and she giggled. “I’m glad you’re pleased with me, but please don’t eat my hair.” She hugged the unicorn’s neck. “We’ll be so happy together, I just know it. I’m a little scared, though. I don’t know if I can take the blessing. Too young for a man, but given a unicorn.” She yawned and rested her head against the unicorn’s side. “I was scared, but now I’m not. Thank you.”

Calastria was in the middle of a lesson on the history of the kingdom when an insistent knocking sent Trina to find out who was at the door. A scraggly man in a robe adorned with runes rushed past her when she opened the door. “Oh, I’m sorry.” He said when he saw that Calastria was being taught by Fern. “I just heard that you were here and felt I had to present myself to you, highness.” He bowed awkwardly.

“Have I had the pleasure?” Calastria asked, her brow knitting.

“This is Mirin, the court wizard,” Trina said. “He’s usually more courteous.”

“Oh, of course!” For some reason the wizard winked at Calastria. “I’m so sorry, highness.”

Olson didn’t know what to make of him. “You are forgiven. I am flattered that a scholar would be in such a rush to meet me. I fear I have little experience in treatises and discourse.”

“Uh, I’m sure the princess is too modest,” Mirin said. “Might I be honored by a private audience?”

“That would be most improper,” Trina sniffed.

Something about the way he looked at Calastria worried Olson. She smiled and patted Trina’s arm. “No, I think if a mage is so concerned that I ought to hear what he has to say.” Besides, Olson thought he could take the scrawny sorcerer, magic or no.

“As you wish,” Trina curtsied, as did Fern and they departed.

“What’s going on, Alterion?” Mirin asked the moment the door closed.

So that was it, Olson thought. I should have guessed. “What are you referring to?”

“Pretending to be your fiancée!” Mirin said. “Highness.” He added a moment later. “And that beast downstairs. It might fool a few who dare not look too closely, but I’m a wizard. I know two men in a horse costume when I see them.”

Calastria rose and smiled, placing her hand on the wizard’s arm. “Be not concerned. All is under control.”

“What?” Mirin sputtered. “Highness, you’re going to show your father a fake unicorn, hope he doesn’t notice and do it all in the guise of Calastria. How is that under control?”

“Do not take that tone with me, magician!” Calastria shot back. “Let us say that my father accepts the gift I bring. Then Calastria gains great land and title which I get at our wedding. Say he finds that it is a fake. I shed this skin and she appears to flee in shame and terror. Meanwhile,” Calastria grinned, “I get to see what it’s like to be a comely maid. An amusing change of pace, no?”

“Highness, what happens when your fiancée arrives? The real princess?”

“Mayhap you could delay that.” Calastria replied. “I would be very grateful.” She stepped forward, her bosom almost touching him. “Quite grateful.”

Mirin swallowed. “You play the damsel well, highness.”

Calastria smiled brightly. “Thank you!”

“I will try my best, highness, but I am curious about one thing. Where is the true unicorn?”

“Why, Mirin, think about that. Where do you think I found the disguise for my loyal subjects down in the stable? There was never a unicorn as I learned to my dismay.” She kissed his cheek. “Now go and do as I’ve asked. Your reward will be great, I promise that.” She blew in his ear before stepping back.

“Highness.” Mirin bowed. When he was safely a long way down the hall he muttered, “It had better be.”

Olson bit Calastria’s lip, a satisfied smirk crossing her delicate features. Two problems dealt with, he thought. The wizard who made the disguise thinks Alterion is playing some kind of game and he’s going to keep the real princess busy until I’m ready. From what he’d overheard, Alterion had a reputation for coming and going unexpectedly, so that wouldn’t be a problem for some time. A search would turn up nothing anyway.

Her two maids returned a moment later, Trina looking affronted. “The nerve of the man.” She huffed.

“One must be polite to wizards,” Calastria replied. “They know many things worth hearing.”

“I doubt this one does, highness.” Trina replied. “Begging your pardon, but Mirin’s never done much wizarding. Mostly womanizing and trying to get up the skirts of all of us.”

Calastria wore a concerned, patient look while Olson congratulated himself on reading the magician correctly. Even a half-woman seemed enough for him if the face was pretty and the words inviting. “He was quite helpful to me, but perhaps that is because I know so little of this country. We were in a lesson when he intruded, however. Pray continue.”

Calastria maintained an attentive expression as Trina and Fern instructed her in court procedure, the history of the nation and other things she’d need to know as a member of the court. Indeed Olson was trying his hardest to remember all the boring details since he didn’t know how long he’d be keeping up the charade. He hoped indefinitely, so the information was very important. Especially when Fern chimed in that Calastria need not be worried if Alterion’s wanderings dragged on as they sometimes did. Court marriages were often held in wartime and matrimony in absentia was legal even if the husband was dead in the field. Olson judged that it would be proper for Calastria to perk up at that as he had. It meant he could become a permanent princess. “That is well,” Calastria said. “I do not wish my nuptial to wait even a day longer than it must.” She blushed. “I’ve looked forward to being a bride since childhood and Alterion sounds a dashing figure.”

“He is, highness!” Fern gushed. “You’ll make a splendid bride, too. We’ll make sure of it.”

That afternoon saw the little girl — who had finally remembered to introduce herself as Araria — riding the unicorn as it made its slow way down to an isolated field she knew about. Finn was having second thoughts about what he and Clarn would have to do with the waifish girl who had her arms around the unicorn’s neck and his body. “Here,” she said, sliding off the unicorn’s back when it stopped. She nervously touched the fleecy underbelly. “I know what I’m supposed to do. I’ve seen the servants often enough. I’m still scared though. I hope you’ll be kind with me.” She pressed herself to the unicorn’s side. Finn knew he couldn’t do it and the unicorn stepped back.

“What’s wrong?” Araria asked, tears beginning to fill her eyes. “I know I have to or you’ll run away. The princess said!”

Finn searched his mind for what to do and remembered something he’d heard long before Olson told him anything about his plan. Back when all he knew of unicorns came from travelers and sages. He bent the unicorn’s neck down and pushed Araria’s shoulder down with its nose. She looked puzzled but sat, tucking her legs under her skirt. The unicorn knelt and placed its head in her lap. Araria gasped, tears flowing freely. “The Blessing of True Purity.” She whispered. “Mirin told me about this.” She buried her face in the unicorn’s mane. “I won’t let you down! I promise! I’ll be the best Valkyriorn who ever took up the blade! Wait until I tell my father. He’ll bust with pride. And the king! His family hasn’t been a divine champion since his great-great-great-great-great grandfather King Altanime.”

Finn hadn’t heard of any of that, only that unicorns sometimes showed their favors to true and pure maidens through laying their heads in their laps rather than through carnal blessing. Apparently it meant something more! He rested for awhile, then signaled to Clarn and the unicorn rose. Reverently, Araria remounted. “Do I have to do this every day, then?”

Finn shook the unicorn’s head.

“I didn’t think so, but I will anyway. I owe you the exercise. I don’t want to share you with anyone, either. You’ll be happier with me?”

Finn nodded the unicorn’s head. He’d miss his fun with ladies, but this seemed safer. For sure Araria would eventually become too busy with whatever duties he’d accidentally given her and have to pass the job to another. Hopefully one Finn wouldn’t feel guilty tupping. When they were back in the stable, Clarn said, “Are you sure that was the right thing to do? I was sort of looking forward to having a lady, though I deem that she was a bit young for the task.”

“Yes, I’m sure of it. The princess will approve.” Finn said. “She wouldn’t have knowingly sent one so young to do it. There will be others. I’ve never heard of a Valkyriorn but it sounds like something that will eventually take her from us. I’m sure Calastria will make sure that the next one is more to our liking.”

Olson’s experience that night was far more satisfying physically though less spiritually. By mutual consent it seemed that Trina was the one left that night to be given the carnal blessing through what they thought was Calastria’s modified physiology. When she had been arrayed for bed and Olson’s manhood released from the daily prison Olson endured to be a princess, Calastria lay, smiling invitingly and unable to hide the anticipation from her face or body. Even her nipples were hard, an experience still new for Olson.

“What’s it like now, highness?” Trina asked, climbing into bed with her mistress.

“It feels very different,” Calastria said, Olson’s unfamiliarity with the female part of himself adding verisimilitude. “A little embarrassing, too.” She giggled. “I can’t hide anything with this hanging out there telling everyone what I’m thinking.” Rolling over on her side, her inviting expression became unsure as Olson considered how Calastria should behave. “I’ve never done this before. That is, I know what I’m supposed to do as a lady, but not like this.”

Trina wrapped her fingers around Olson’s shaft. “I think I can help.” Olson found that Calastria’s lips were far more sensitive than his had been as Trina gently rolled Calastria over and slid on top of her. Again he was impressed by how much better a woman’s nipples made the experience as Trina accepted Calastria’s blessings. He had always enjoyed squeezing breasts and missed it when he’d impersonated a unicorn, but now he had the added pleasure of having a pair of his own. The feelings from them sometimes competed and sometimes combined with the ones from his penis and the overall sensation made it easy to pretend inexperience. Trina was blessed several times over that night as Olson allowed his Calastria persona to gain experience and confidence. By the end of it, Calastria was tupping Trina as well as Olson ever had.

The next morning, Calastria’s spill of hair on the pillow and her breasts blocking Olson’s view of his nethers didn’t come as a surprise. What did was the lack of a companion beside him. He’d fallen asleep with her arm around Trina and had expected to wake up with her snuggled against Calastria’s side. Instead her maid was bustling around and humming as if she hadn’t spent the night in post-coital slumber with a foreign princess. At first Olson wanted to act as if he’d expected that, but when Calastria sat up and felt her shift rub against her smooth flesh and the softness of her bed, Olson realized he’d need Trina back. “Good morning,” she said to her maid.

Trina curtsied. “Good morning, your highness.”

Calastria shifted uncomfortably. “I trust your diligence is no commentary on the pleasures of my company.”

Trina gasped. “Oh, no, your highness! I never meant it like that at all. It’s just that … well … noble men seem to prefer it if we are gone by morning, so I compromised by returning to work.”

“Well, I enjoy your presence too much to desire that. Unless you feel you must, of course.” Olson was curious. “So you never stay?”

“Oh, I have once or twice. When the wight asks.” She put her hand to her mouth. “I mean, when requested by the noble personage in question.”

Calastria swept the covers down to her knees. “So you’re familiar with this problem.”

Trina looked at where the shift had tented. “Ah,” she giggled. “I’d forgotten that male parts have that problem. I can attend to it if you wish, highness, but I know it subsides swiftly.”

Olson’s was already doing so. “Ah. Yes, you are correct. Silly of me but I do have so little experience."

“Of course, highness. Your purity has been proven time and again. Though if I may say so, your prowess was startling for one who has had so little practice.”

Calastria smiled. “Glad that you enjoyed it as well.” She got out of bed. “We’d better start the day, then. How long until I am to be presented to his majesty?”

“The king will see you two days hence, highness. Long enough to make sure your affliction does not affect your appearance and to see that you are well prepared.” Trina smiled. “You’re doing very well, princess Calastria.”

“Good. I think I had better dress before breakfast in case of unexpected visitors. Please summon Fern.”

That day and the next went the same way as the one before for the princess and the unicorn. Calastria soon learned that the royal household and courtiers were bound by tradition not to intrude upon her before she was presented to the king, adding an extra reason why the magician had been looked upon so poorly for visiting the princess when he did. It was another thing Olson could use to convince Mirin, just in case Calastria’s charms weren’t enough. He was dreading the time when the magician would come and announce he’d slowed the true Calastria and demand his reward. Araria was as pleased as could be by her friendship with the unicorn and despite their predicament, neither man inside was too bothered by how things had gone. They were warm, safe, well fed and if Araria ended up their permanent companion … she’d be old enough for the carnal blessing in a couple of years. One thing Olson dared not mention to the maids was that as Calastria he couldn’t figure out how to use the garderobe with the thick skirts in his way. He judged it must be even harder for a woman, so questioning the maids was out of the question. They seemed not to notice how long it took him to use the privy and seemed to never do so themselves, so he contented himself with the thought that perhaps real princesses had to hold it in. For once he was glad not to be a real princess.

Calastria’s wardrobe - though by no means anything less than the best the maids could cadge from her future sister-in-law — was severely limited in choice and nothing was fit for wear when presenting a foreign princess to a king. The royal tailors had been working all three days of her residence to produce what her maids had her in as she made her stately progression towards the throne room. Her loosely curled blonde hair had been arranged in a tall pile and a spill down to her shoulders, with silver needles holding the coif together. The thick skirt was a pale green with an almost pastel color to the petticoats with a bodice of darker green to match her eyes. Her maids had spent two hours having her practice walking in the light blue slippers, having her ‘re-learn’ proper steps after her unfortunate ‘curse.’

Swallowing her nerves at what was so far the ultimate test of his disguise, Calastria smoothed her expression into impassiveness and stepped into the throne room. All eyes were on the princess, but Olson succeeded in suppressing the desire to hurry. This was her moment, her time to be seen and to show that she was a princess of a great realm and not to be taken lightly even as a pawn in a political marriage. The only sound in the room was the rustle of her skirt as she reached the throne and curtsied to the bearded old man whose crown was a tiny bit too large. “Your majesty.” She said. “I bear greetings from my father the Imperator.”

“Rise, princess Calastria.” The king said. He looked at her for a long time before continuing. “Your father’s generosity is a thing of legend.” King Artheatrax said, loudly enough to be heard by the throng of courtiers. “Not only to consent to send a maiden who must verily be the perfect pinnacle of womanhood, but to send her more than a moon early!” There was a murmur of agreement. “Yet the boundless beauty and loveliness we see before us is but the least of thine traits. Bravery, aye, and cunning thou must have to bring us a unicorn. Subtlety of thought and knowledge of lore thou hast shown in its taming and the words that have kept it within our keep for these three days.” The murmur grew into an effusive flow of quiet praise from the crowd. “Yet that was not enough for the true and excellent Calastria of Confarius.” King Artheatrax said. “Nay, but the wisdom of the ages must flow within her veins, for now I present the greatest fruit of her gift to us, which would we would be miserly to call a kingly one. I present to the court, her honor Araria the Valkyriorn, granted her title in the very first day that Calastria’s unicorn was within our walls.”

The praise grew into raucous cheers and Calastria’s blushes were genuine. Though all of the deeds had been subterfuge, Olson still felt the praises keenly, though her wedding would be true accomplishment. Calastria looked with lovely joy and shining eyes at the girl who entered as the king spoke, her red hair spilling out from under a white and gold helm, matching armor resplendent despite its poor fit. Araria was tall enough for the artifact plate, but had a bit of filling out to do to keep it from rattling around on her body. Olson’s Calastria side felt a pang of pity for the girl and resolved to see if her maids could help Araria stuff it a little better next time she had to appear in public. The girl had meanwhile reached the throne and shifted nervously as she stood next to the princess and before the king. Falling to one knee, she offered him a sword in arms trembling with nerves and the unaccustomed weight of heavy steel. “My liege.”

“Rise, lady Araria.” The girl seemed to have not been prepared yet for her station because her eyes widened at the address. “Thy blade is true, but we ask that you kneel first before our new daughter of the throne, for it was by her acts that thou art now a warrior of the old order.”

Araria clumsily turned and bowed her head. “Your highness. I don’t know how to thank you.”

Olson had been told a little about what a Valkyriorn was and though the appearance of Araria in the middle of her own official arrival was a surprise, she’d practiced what she’d say on the inevitable day when the girl tracked her down. “There’s nothing to thank me for, child.” She said kindly, taking Araria’s arm and helping her up. She brushed a lock of copper hair from Araria’s face and tucked it back into the helm. “Thine own virtue was the true gift. I might have hoped that asking for a maiden true and pure would yield one worthy, but not the first and so quickly. Thou wilt make a mighty knight of legend. I look forward to hearing the ballads.”

The look Araria gave Calastria was a mixture of awe and the shy pleasure of a little sister to an elder. She was adorable and it was well that the maids had bound Olson extra firmly that morning for he couldn’t help thinking of what Araria would be like when she grew a bit older. His desire looked like devotion and admiration on Calastria’s face, causing Araria to flush further. “Her highness heaps praise and I am grateful for her confidence.”

“Good.” The king said. “Now that our two new arrivals have been welcomed, we will retire with the princess to our chambers until the feast.” He rose and offered his hand to Calastria. She took it and he led her off a back door into a cozy sitting room. Calastria’s train was extra thick for the occasion, but Olson felt his graceful slide onto a chaise lounge must have been successful since the king didn’t even look at her as she sat. Instead, he took off his crown and threw it onto a hook nearby. “Ghastly things,” he said, shrugging out of his thick ermine cape and leaving it on the floor. “Awfully heavy.” He sat across from Calastria and took her hand. “But you must be almost as uncomfortable, my dear. That hairdo is stunning but it looks very tight.”

Calastria put a hand to her hair, patting it. “Yes, your majesty. But it’s worth it.”

Artheatrax laughed. “I dare say it is. So’s the frock, which unlike my finery can’t be taken off in an informal setting.” He sat back and rang a bell. A servant brought him a pipe and then retired, bowing. “I hope you appreciate our court etiquette. I’m sure it’s a relief after all those Imperial processions where a simple hello took two days. I imagine we must seem a bit rustic to you, but personally I much prefer a laid back monarchy to the kind of nonsense you must put up with. Oh, please take no offence. Your father is a man of outstanding power and refinement and your Imperium is unmatched in splendor. I just wonder how he has the stamina to put up with all that.” The king blew a smoke ring.

“Father is a very serious man,” Calastria said, Olson improvising based on the tiny amount he’d heard about the Imperator. “We’re all brought up to consider long ceremonies the norm. I’ve been standing for hours at a time ever since I could stand, your majesty.”

“Please, call me Arty,” the king said, waving a beringed hand. “And while we’re in private, your highness, might I call you by something more familiar?”

Calastria smiled shyly, Olson’s fun at being able to make up a life out of whole cloth coming to the fore. “My older brothers used to call me Callie.”

“Well, Callie, you’ve put me in a spot.” Arty said. “The nobles might not have twigged yet, but you’re due in for a pretty hefty reward.” He frowned. “Too bad it will be lost on my wastrel son. Now that I’ve met you, I must apologize in advance for what you’ll have to put up with.”

Olson knew the truth, so Calastria could smile openly, appearing completely unworried. “I’m sure we’ll get along fine. I’ve heard he’s a dashing figure.”

“He’s a man whose reach routinely exceeds his grasp.” The king replied. “He cuts a good figure, but he only acts like a mighty hero. In truth he usually fails and often costs the crown a lot of money in the process. I can’t tell you how many women I’m now paying and how thinly he’s spread the royal blood. As I said, I’m sorry to give him to you, but that’s politics. The consolation is that you can have any man in the kingdom and I doubt Alterion will care as long as his supply of women continues. But enough of that. With everything you’ve already given the kingdom, I’ll have to grant you a dukedom and that’s going to be hard. I’ll have to find a relative of mine to displace and then something to mollify him with.”

“You don’t have to do that for me.” Calastria protested. “I’m happy here.”

“I do. I promised a reward to one who brings the unicorn and you did even more than that. The prestige I will have in my next meeting with a Valkyriorn as my bodyguard — even a very young one — is incalculable. Naturally anyone from my household you have taken into your employ is free to join you.”

Calastria shifted uncomfortably. Olson knew he couldn’t get out of it, but he needed to make sure he was covered. “Arty, then I’ll need to take the unicorn. He’s … attached to me. There’s no easy way to separate him from me.”

“He will remain crown property, but I see no reason not to have him with you. As long as you’re willing to travel here with him when there’s an important visitor and allow my wife to see him at her pleasure.”

“Oh, of course!” Calastria replied.

“Plus it’ll get you away from Alterion. Speaking of sons, I should introduce you to the rest of the family.” He rang a bell and told the servant, “Let Victra know that I’d like her and the kids to meet Calastria.” The servant was barely out the door when a woman no older than Calastria bounced in. She was wearing the bare minimum of clothing, a blue skirt with no ruffles or underlayers to fluff it out and a simple off white peasant bodice.

“You were listening at the door, Brin.” Artheatrax scolded.

“Of course. I’m really curious to meet my new sister-in-law.” She held out her hand and Olson was surprised to meet a handshake to match his own. “Brinkaladun, princess of the realm. I hope you’ve liked my frocks. Better you than me. All that stuff getting in my way is a bore during state functions. I don’t know how you survive wearing it in private.”

“Some of us understand propriety.” A matronly woman said, sweeping in. Her dress looked like all it needed was a set of flying buttresses.

“Arguing already?” A deeper voice called. Two nearly identical men in riding gear walked in.

The other one spoke up, taking Calastria’s hand and kissing it. “How could anyone have thought for anything but the loveliness we have been graced with.”

“This is Arminatur and Amirion.” The king said. “I was just telling Calastria about how I’d have to find her a duchy to take over. Any ideas?”

“Uncle Bill and Uncle Harry aren’t likely to be producing any heirs.” Arminatur said. “You could make her the heir to Castle Fellatio.”

“You know, when they got married it was bad enough.” Artheatrax said. “Then they had to ask me to rename their castle and of course I don’t check a dictionary before I let them do it. I ought to have beheaded them for that.”

“Is it a bad idea?”

“No, I just wonder how they’ll take it.”

Arminatur shrugged. “Well enough, I suppose.”

“It also means that she won’t have to worry about the previous duke.” Amirion said. “They won’t mind and they won’t even bother her. Having them adopt Calastria’s the best thing that could happen.”

Artheatrax rubbed his beard. “Aye. That makes sense. I’ll dispatch a rider. I’m sure they won’t mind having a princess and a unicorn around.”

Calastria settled in, Olson finding it hard to believe that royalty behaved like … normal people when they were alone. It was like any family, except they had more important things to talk about than the weather and who got drunk where. With the soft dress, warm fire and pleasant conversation, Olson felt more comfortable than he had in a long time. He didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep until he felt [princess]’s hand on her shoulder, gently shaking her awake. “They didn’t want to wake you, but I needed to know something.” Brin took Calastria’s hand. “I have something to show you.”

Olson felt sleepy and Calastria looked bemused as she was taken down halls until they were far from the royal apartments. “I saw how you looked at my brothers and at me. They were arguing about whether our uncles would be safe from you, but I don’t think that will be a problem. I wanted to ask you this somewhere private.” Her lips were suddenly on Calastria’s and Olson instinctively opened her mouth, running Calastria’s hands over Brin’s back. When Brin stepped back, she was grinning. “You’re cute as a button, looking so surprised. I know you enjoyed it though.” She rubbed the space between Calastria’s breasts. “Political marriages are so boring. If you ever want to get away from all those men, my suite is open to any woman of any station.” She left, her simple garb making it easy for her to outrun Calastria, who didn’t bother to give chase.

“That was almost payment enough for me.” Mirin said, stepping out from around a corner. “Almost. The true Calastria’s hunkered down in a storm that isn’t likely to abate any time soon. Care to repay your debt?”

Olson was still aroused by Brin’s advances and had no problem with the outlet he was being given. Calastria stepped forward, grabbed Mirin and kissed him hard, pulling him towards her and crushing him against her body. Her voluminous skirts were so thick that they almost encircled the wizard as Calastria ground against him. When he was released, the magician had to lean against the wall. “Now I owe you,” he gasped. “Wow!”

“I’m glad you find your payment satisfactory,” Calastria said airily. “Now make sure that storm continues.”

“Yes, your highness.”

Down in the stables, Calastria gently stroked the unicorn’s nose. “So that’s the story. If you come with me, you’ll be able to get out of that thing once in awhile, I can assure you. Heck if I can get enough members of the household to join our conspiracy or spin them a yarn good enough, you’ll only have to perform for visitors.”

Finn pretended to have the unicorn lick Calastria’s face. “Sounds great. When do we leave?”

“Right after the marriage ceremony. I’ll say I want to take care of my new title and that Alterion can follow when he arrives. Naturally he never will and I’ll eventually gain all his titles, such as they are, and my own free and clear. Once we’ve got the story right, I’ll set you two up as barons or something.”

“I’ll miss Araria a little,” Finn said. “She’s a nice girl.”

“I’m sure she’ll visit constantly.” Calastria said. “After all, she owes her current title to you just as I do.”

The unicorn’s face dipped lower, its nose buried in her cleavage. “How do these feel?”

“Amazing,” Calastria breathed, pressing the breasts together over the unicorn’s nose. “Even this is getting a rise.” She rubbed up and down on the unicorn’s body, her motion and sounds of appreciation spurring Finn on. When the unicorn’s back end shifted, she moved away and began to idly play with the hanging penis. “I do apologize for leaving you out.” She washed it gently with water from the trough, then knelt and took it in her mouth. “I always wanted one of the wenches to do this for us,” she murmured. A noise from outside the stall made Calastria twitch and she rose swiftly to her feet, brushing off her skirt just as the head of the stables rounded the corner.

With a few encouraging words to the ostler, Calastria left. The unicorn stood placidly — though with a small tremor in its knees - the two men relieved that their discomfort would end soon and anticipating when they’d have Calastria to themselves..

Calastria had to make a few more appearances before the wedding, but rarely had to speak. The tailors continued to put out fine garments and one was convinced by her maids to make a set of custom undergarments that better served her in maintaining the illusion of perfect femininity. Though occasionally a man of rank would delicately proposition her, Calastria was equally deft in making it clear that she was saving herself for her future husband and that had she succumbed before, they wouldn’t have a unicorn or Valkyriorn. Olson wished he could got to see [princess], but dared not spread the story of her curse too thin lest it reach the wrong ears and her reputation be affected. There would be plenty of time for that later, Olson thought.

The big day came and when Olson saw the dress, he wondered how many maids they’d have to assign to carry the train and whether he’d be strong enough to carry the weight. Between the jewels, bustles, layers, underskirts, skirts, petticoats, lace, buttons, veils and everything else, Calastria was to be the most beautiful bride in the nation, for sure, but also was likely to be driven to her knees before she got to the end of the passage. Olson felt like Calastria was more a mechanism for moving the dress than a person in her own right when it was all on her. From neck to ankle she was covered, with the aforementioned skirts, bodice, sleeves down to her wrists and gloves to her elbows. Her hair was done up with the veil pinned to the very top of the high pile of hair. The maids plucked at every wrinkle until she told them that it was enough. Olson found that only the tiniest steps would do and so it was impossible to avoid the attentions of every well wisher between Calastria’s chambers and the throne room where the banners had been replaced by flowers and the open space by seating. The storm had kept the bride’s side of the family away, much to Olson’s relief, and it was looking to be working out when Mirin made another appearance. Olson tried to turn and walk away, but it was no use.

“What are you doing, highness?” Mirin asked. “You can’t marry yourself!”

“I’m marrying prince Alterion.” Calastria said, her face a study in confusion. “Even if he isn’t here.”

“You know what I mean!” Mirin hissed.

“Listen, mage,” Calastria said, a masculine growl entering her voice. “I’m a lot more popular this way and more powerful to boot. Just you keep the real one away until the ceremony is complete. When she does finally arrive, I doubt she’ll be received well since she’ll have far less credibility than I do.”

“You’re going to live as her?” Mirin asked. “But the magic-“

“Enough,” Calastria said. “I have full control. Pray depart and we shall negotiate your payment later.”

“As you wish,” Mirin bowed and left.

Olson didn’t have to manufacture the blush, the shy smile, the shining eyes. The adoration around him was enough to put all of that on Calastria’s face. In fact, he wanted to dance with joy at what was to come. Every word she spoke in reply to the ritual words was correct and full of repressed happiness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, though her maids looked little sad that her curse would not yet be lifted, the wedding bed still somewhere in her future.

When the priest said, “You are now married for as long as you both live, a princess of the realm with all attendant rights and titles as long as you yourself live and a member of the royal household by matrimony.” Olson’s heart rose, relief flooded his/her body. Her nipples hardened and his erection grew. Triumphant, Calastria turned to face the cheering court … and felt her face begin to loosen. Mirin, sitting in the front row, started with recognition of the spell fading. Calastria put her hand — also beginning to change shape into lifeless a glove — to her face, the other hand scrabbling at her veil to try to hide what was happening. Though he couldn’t feel it through the thick material, he knew Calastria’s last act was to shed tears through her swiftly shriveling ducts. He turned and tried to run out, but tripped over the skirts, falling two rows in.

Mirin bent down and saw that his magic had faded. Looking at the front row with its array of royalty, he said, “Honored guests, I fear a previously unknown effect of the unicorn’s bond is asserting. Allow me to check on the lady. Your majesty?” The king nodded reflexively, baffled by the sudden turn. Mirin knelt next to Olson. “This had to happen eventually. The spell’s held in place by the wrong thing.” He put his hand to Calastria’s cheek and it tightened, the spell reasserting. “I can’t do more than a few hours here.”

Calastria nodded, not daring to rise yet. “You’ll have to figure out something more permanent.”

“I can try.” The wizard said.

“I’ll make you rich, give you all the women you can handle and a permanent spot in my own court.” Calastria said.

“Now you’re talking, highness. Although I wouldn’t mind a night with you yourself.”

“In my condition?”

“I know I said I couldn’t do anything about that before, but give me a few years to study that and we’ll see. In the meantime, I need something very unlikely to make the spell trigger. Let’s see. I know. The day you have your moon blood, the spell will fade — no, that’s currently impossible.”

“How about when the unicorn grants the carnal blessing to an innocent?”

“Now that’s microscopic enough to work. I’ll set it properly later. For now, I think you have some celebrating to do.”

He took Calastria’s hand, which sprang back to life at his touch. Calastria rose, her triumph no longer a danger. She danced with the king, embraced the queen, accepted kisses and congratulations from her brothers-in-law and took the accolades of the kingdom. It was said that she was the happiest bride who ever failed to see her husband once during the wedding. That night Mirin made the new spell over him and the relief made Olson enjoy himself even more with Trina. Life was good and it was not long before the princess, maids, unicorn and wizard were well established in the Castle Fellatio with its two gay lords. Mirin had a harem, Calastria had power and the two men in the unicorn lived well when they weren’t being trotted out to visiting nobility or packed off to the king’s court to appear for his guests. There was one problematic moment for Olson when the unicorn was introduced to a noble daughter who had somehow failed to copulate with any of the stablehands. From then on, Mirin went wherever she did when she traveled, since the magic had failed while she was in conversation with the king and Olson was forced to make his way back to Calastria’s duchy by foot, the king left wondering where his favorite daughter-in-law had run off to. Mirin was less than surprised when he saw the man behind the mask. “You never really acted like Alterion,” he said. “You’re far too good a schemer for one thing. Your ambition is actually matched by your ability.” Calastria patched things up with the king and life went on.

Mirin’s improvement to the spell came one day, an enchantment so powerful that it required no props, merely power and will. It was, however, less stable than the previous and had a tendency to fade in and out. This was something that was not immediately obvious and certainly came as a surprise to Mirin. Calastria’s first reaction to being made wholly female was to delicately place her hand over her nethers and say, “This is different.” Ignoring the wizard, she gently squeezed. “I shall, perforce, be able and mayhap expected to take lovers now. My maids will spread the happy word and they will come flocking even if I continue to carry on with my broader minded young ladies.”

Mirin had called in his debt on the spot, driven wild by Calastria’s talk. He took a step forward and Calastria saw his ardor straight away.

“Mayhap thou might fill the space which is now within me.” She said, grasping his manhood and pressing him to her. “It begs to have something placed there.” His reward was great as Calastria knew all the right things and also insisted on having Trina join them to prove that she was completely cured. It was during a particularly satisfying bout with the wizard that on the uptick Olson took Calastria’s place. Trina cried out, Mirin swore and Olson demanded a reason. Apparently the magic wasn’t perfect. Olson took it in stride and after Trina had calmed down, she accepted the fact the wizard had only affected a half-cure and helped her princess in the accustomed way. The next morning, Calastria decided to find out what all the excitement had been about when he had been a unicorn and went down to the stables with a bench to sample its charms. She was not disappointed.

One day she was chatting happily with the king, queen, princess and one prince when Calastria’s voice deepened and Olson found that he was a man in a very ill fitting but very fine dress. He’d gotten so used to being Calastria that she sounded more like herself than him as she tearfully explained that this had happened on her wedding day and was a result of the unicorn’s blessing misfiring because she hadn’t had a husband to share her nuptials with. The king had patted his hand kindly and told her it would be all right, brightening as the spell returned a moment later. Calastria felt even better when she saw the looks princess Brin was giving her, no doubt considering the benefits of a woman that could give her all the physical benefits of being a man. The entire royal family expressed relief that if Calastria was going to turn into a man, the wedding synergy at least hadn’t turned her into Alterion! “I had hoped to become as handsome, though,” Calastria joked.

“Better to be a plain wight than him,” Brin chimed in. “Though I would say thou arn’t too plain."

Calastria never took another husband and word spread about her virtues of fidelity and faith that one day Alterion would return. The king said good riddance and many maids heaved a sigh of relief when they decided he was gone for good, though the heaving sigh did cause a few noble sons to pause and look their way. Her curse also eventually became common knowledge before Mirin had found his ‘cure’ and she was hailed not just as faithful but also graceful in her suffering. ‘You’d never know it from looking at her.’ Many a fine lady would say of her affliction. The new spell’s instability meant that Calastria’s new curse was if anything more debilitating. She became known across the realms as the were-man, turning into an unremarkable male at unpredictable intervals. When that happened, Olson would shrug his shoulders and go see princess Brin, whose harem of lesbians were positive that the man among them was a woman suffering from a terrible bout of masculinity and would console ‘her’ in the best possible way. So in the end Olson got exactly what he wanted. Finn and Clarn eventually got bored with being gentility and went back to their town wealthy, lording it over their former betters. A quick word about a night in a secluded meadow to Ella and Finn had a devoted wife who drove him up the wall with her continued insistence on saying he was hung like a legendary horse.

The real Calastria, meanwhile, had taken shelter in a town with a surprisingly assertive population of young women who regularly met in the forest. They said there used to be a unicorn, but it had gone away and they never told their fathers. Calastria, seeing an opportunity to not wed the prince Alterion whom she’d heard just a little too much about, promptly claimed to have had the unicorn bless her as a Valkyriorn, bought some plate mail from the blacksmith and before her guards and maids knew what was happening, she was setting herself up as a hero in a nation that had never heard of her. She rose high and eventually became Queen Calypso. Araria went in due time to learn from her, but luckily she’d cut her hair by then and the famously myopic Valkyriorn never noticed she was a dead ringer for the princess. When she Calypso heard the stories about Calastria, Duchess and hero of the realm she’d almost married in to, she fingered her sword, pursed her lips and then decided some things were better off not known.

In later ages, it was not the puissance of Mirin nor the legend of the unicorn that wizards paid attention to but the amazing instinctive power of Olson the Transvestite, who was awarded the posthumous rank of Adept when mages from across the world heard the story of his rise and studied the unicorn skin. The silver despite being wet and brushed across a horse skin never tarnished, the skin itself was studded with illusion spells and glamours and he himself seemed to be slightly psychic. After all, how else did so many people not realize it was two guys in a costume? How come no one ever seemed to question all the things Calastria said? In time Olson became a name on the same level as Sario Grijalva, a fact which amused the sage whose major contribution to his craft had been the biography of both. He’d taken a shine to the painter-mage since they both had more in common than impersonation.

Olson didn’t believe in unicorn magic, but he made more than any real unicorn did. As the adepts said, almost all unicorn stories were myths and the only thing they could do was crossbreed with any mammal in existence, hence narwhals. The other stories … made up by fathers whose daughters gave birth to hairy babies who grew horns. It was either that, after all, or have the girls burnt at the stake for being horse-fucking witches.

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