New Sheoth Brothel - Pinnacle Rock Interlude

Clark got a Dark Seducer guard from the palace to escort him along the Low Road out of Crucible. He wanted to give Dyssa enough time to come to her own decision, and he'd decided to do as Nila suggested, and call on her at Pinnacle Rock. She'd looked so disappointed when she couldn't stay for the party she thought he'd summoned her to, and he wanted to do something to make up for it. Quite what, he'd figure out along the way.

He asked his escort, a female of course, what the men did in their society. She replied that being smaller than the women, they mostly fought as archers. More often, they were left behind doing domestic chores, such as cooking, or tending the wounded. Many of them were skilled healers, and it was men who prepared the bodies of the fallen for rebirth at the Wellspring.

"But you all know how to heal yourselves, don't you?"

"Yes, but there isn't always time to do it properly, and we always get the men to check us out when we return from patrol. It feels better when they do it, anyway. They are our reward for our duty, and that's usually how it starts."

Clark managed to persuade her to talk more about that subject. She told that they had their preferred partners. Although the pairings changed from time to time, they were mostly stable.

"I say pairing, but it's not always just two. After any major battles, it seems like everyone wants to celebrate with everyone else. Because we are immortal, and have no need to procreate, there is no jealousy and no inhibition."

"I read in a book once that Daedra are fertile with mortals, so I'd imagine that's why you don't usually go with them." Clark said. Although Afri didn't seem to be concerned on that account, there was that book he and the sisters had found on the island.

"It's not the main reason," she responded. "Our men have had millenia to perfect their technique. What mortal could match them?"

"But it's true, then?" he persisted.

"We act as if it was, but we cast the spell to ward off disease, as much as anything else. Mortals' diseases may not be able to harm us, but they can still be annoying and unpleasant. Another reason for us to avoid intimacy with them."

"Have you ever been with a mortal?" he asked. Although he risked offending her, he was sure he could count on her sense of duty to mitigate that. She was tasked to escort him safely to Pinnacle Rock.

"I'm sure I must have tried it when I was young, but my memory doesn't go back that far. You should talk to Nila about it. She is young enough to remember her childhood, so she might remember the days before her judgement fully developed."

"But if you are immortal and ageless, how is one younger than the others?"

"If the stories are true, and they may be just legend, when a sister or brother tires of immortality, they petiton the Madgod for release. If he grants their request, they become mortal and give birth to their replacements. For the reasons we just discussed, that would normally mean a couple taking mortality together."

"It is said to happen most after the Greymarch ends an era," she continued. "That would be when a Mazken is most likely to be weary of her existence, and also when the rebirth of the realm would make her want to take part in renewal."

"So Nila was born just after the last Greymarch?"

"Yes, she's only seen a single millenium, and as you know, the Greymarch failed to complete this time. It's unlikely that any of us will feel the need for mortality now."

Nila did remember having sex with mortals. "It was exciting at the time, because it was all new to me. It wasn't until I came here to Pinnacle Rock that I found out what I'd been missing. The men here know much more about the finer points."

If that was the case, why had she looked so disappointed back at the brothel? If mortal sex was second-rate, why would she care about missing some?

"Because Afri looked like she was enjoying it so much," Nila told him. "I was surprised by that, and I guess I assumed that you weren't the mortal you appeared to be. Sheogorath's full of sneaky tricks like that. And you completely confused her by summoning me. That was even more like something Sheogorath would do, so I was sure you were acting for him."

"Well I was acting for the Madgod, but I wasn't trying to make Afri insane. Rather the opposite, I was trying to put an end to the insane situation Syl had created. When you arrived, Afri wasn't doing it because she wanted to, but on Syl's orders. And she was forcing me to do it, despite the way it might have looked to you."

Clark had to explain the whole story about Dyssa and Syl. And of course it didn't make much sense, because it was the product of a deranged mind. At least Nila had been in the Shivering Isles long enough to understand that such things were commonplace here.

"But once Afri understood, she still found herself with a mortal up her ..."

"Yes, and she was open-minded enough to decide whether she liked it or not based on how it felt. As you just told me, she obviously did like it. Even with a mortal."

"Now you've got me confused. Afri's an Autkendo, and they're used to the best. Rank has its privileges. So how did you manage to reach her standards?"

"I found out recently that I have some telepathic ability. Although the Autkendo didn't know it, she was telling me exactly what she wanted me to do, and what she was expecting. So I could meet her needs and exceed her expectations, up to my own limits, of course."

Nila was a bit flustered by now. She'd been hoping that Clark was more than the mortal he appeared, based on what she'd seen. She wasn't expecting him to tell her he could see into her mind. She didn't know what to think. Rather, she was trying not to think, in case she embarassed herself.

"No, I can't read everything you're thinking," Clark told her, and realised that he'd just made that harder for her to believe. "I just know how it makes you feel, which is a little uncomfortable at the moment. Am I right?"

Of course, it was his duty to make up for that. Nila understood about duty.