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It's Just A Game Mods ([personal profile] itsjustthemads) wrote in [community profile] itsjustagamerp2012-09-13 05:55 pm

Experiment #27 - Knight Moves - Chapter 3

Knight Moves - Chapter 3
By Jamiaca Layne

Kotetsu: Aw, c’mon, really!? This story again?
Squall: (It’s not like it was done last time) ...Apparently.
Kotetsu: I am NOT counting bad ideas again! I’m just sayin’ the main lady’s full of ‘em and leaving it at that.
Liz: She’s certainly full of something, I’ll give you that.

I wake up in a strange place. I’m dressed in a thin line linen chemise and tucked in a billowy, soft featherbed with cream-colored satin sheets and a red velvet coverlet. The heady scent of cloves fills my nostrils.

Liz: The pungent stench of mildew emanates from the wet dungeon walls.
Squall: ...Fancy dungeon.
Liz: I’m a dungeonmaster, purple prose is my specialty. Well, besides puns.

I gaze up and see a plump, redheaded woman standing over me.

Kotetsu: I don’t like where this is going...
Liz: Maudie, no!

She holds a copper censer full of incense, which she’s holding in front of my nose. “There’s a good lass,” she says in a Scottish accent so thick I have trouble understanding her at first. “I was beginnin’ to be worried ye’uld nivver wake. Lucky I had me smellin’ vapors in me pouch.”

Squall: Either that’s a small censer or she’s got a big pouch.
Liz: That’s pretty damn Scottish. Maybe I used the Brave joke too soon.

“Wh-where am I?” I stammer.

Liz: *as the Albino from Princess Bride* The Pit of Despair!
Squall: The Island Closest to Hell.
Kotetsu: Scotland. Duh.

“Ye are in the House of Harlots,”

Liz: Close enough.
Kotetsu: For all your harlot needs.

the woman replies, slipping a cool, wet cloth onto my forehead. “Lord Verdigris’ guards brought ye here ‘bout four hours past.

Squall: Lady Rust was unavailable.

I’m Bridget MacDonough, yer lady-in-waiting.” She pauses and gives me a small bow. “It shall be a pleasure to serve ye, Lady Louisa.”

Kotetsu: *HUFFS and prepares to cover his eyes*
Liz: *looks over at Kotetsu* And I thought MY mind was in the gutter.
Squall: (???)
Liz: ...You don’t wanna know. Trust me.
Kotetsu: I had to sit through chapter one. I know what’s coming!

I sit bold upright, knocking my damp forehead cloth into my lap. “Wait a minute. Who’s Lady Louisa?”

Bridget purses her lips. “Why ye are, milady. Ye are Lady Louisa of the Crossroads, the great princess of the unknown lands to our Kingdom’s north and west. I must say, milady, methinks ye must ‘ave taken quite a blow to the noggin if ye can’t remember yer own name!”

Kotetsu: Waaaait a minute. If the lands are unknown, how do they know she’s a princess, eh?
Squall: *deadpan* Standard procedure.
Liz: All pretty girls in medieval and/or fantasy worlds are princesses. It’s just the law of the land or something.

I shove my way past Bridget and jump out of bed. My eyes survey the luxurious bedchamber, which is filled with heavy, carved teak furniture and hung with gorgeous tapestries. A dining table is set for a sumptuous meal to my left – roast venison, pheasant, and harvest fruits and vegetables upon shimmering gold- and silver-plated dishes.

Kotetsu: Now all stone cold ‘cos she’s been out so long.

A sleek young greyhound sleeps faithfully at the foot of the velvet-hung bed. The bed is made up with satin and velvet bedclothes, and hung with red damask curtains.

Squall: ...All this for a stranger?
Liz: Haven’t you heard? Harlots are horribly hospitable.
Kotetsu: And, apparently, very fond of velvet.

I’ve never seen such a beautiful room in my life. “Is this my room?” I ask in wonderment.

Liz: *rolls her eyes* No, it’s reserved the grand duchess, you just stumbled in drunk last night.
Squall: *as Bridget* Honestly, I’m not sure why we haven’t thrown you out.

Bridget smoothes her apron and stands. “Aye, milady. Is it satisfactory to ye? We ain’t had such a high-born noble maiden like yourself among us here in the Hall of Harlots in a long while. ‘Tis our best available room we’ve given ye by far.”

“It’s lovely,” I say, still dazed. “But what am I doing here, exactly?”

Kotetsu: What part of “Hall of Harlots” do you not get, lady?
Liz: Maybe she doesn’t know what a harlot is.
Kotetsu: I remember part one. She’s some big, hoity-toity history major or something with a medieval fetish. She should know that.
Liz: That would imply that she’s smart. I saw how long that list got last time.
Squall: Could be the head trauma?

Bridget’s expression softens as she guides me over to a velvet settee and has me sit down. “Ye are here as the prisoner of Lord Verdigris,” she says softly. Bridget’s clearly used to being the bearer of bad news.

Liz: That’d explain the arrow-proof vest she’s got on under her dress.

“’Tis me understanding that ‘e captured ye from your faraway land and was so taken with ye that ‘e ‘as made ye ‘is most preferred courtesan in the whole Hall of Harlots,” Bridget goes on.

Kotetsu: Oh, of course. *rubs his temples* No worries about any wars breaking out or anything over a kidnapped “princess” or anything.
Liz: Of course not. They just said the land was unknown, so clearly nothing IMPORTANT was lost right?
Squall: She could be a token offering, or an unwanted princess. She could also only be assumed to be a princess or otherwise unfit to rule.
Kotetsu: Ooooor, she’s just a random schmuck from modern times. ...which she is. But still!

She takes my hand and squeezes it. “I know ‘tis no pleasure to be a slave, milady.

Liz: Except for a few seconds in the end.
Kotetsu: *gives her a look* (Did she really just go there?)
Liz: I heard that. And yes, yes I did.
Squall: *sighs and facepalms*
Kotetsu: *clears his throat* A-anyway, wasn’t there a Britney Spears song that said otherwise?
Liz: Oops! I Did It Again?
Kotetsu: (Pfft. Like I’m gonna admit I know that many Britney Spears songs...)
Liz: ...*just smirks*

I’m a slave here myself. But I ain’t as pretty an’ lovely as ye no more in me old age, so that’s why I’m just a servant now an’ not a harlot no longer. But I know meself what ‘tis like to be a harlot in these chambers, so I make it me business to keep all the harlots under me watch in comfort an’ care. To ease their burden a ways.”

Kotetsu: Helping them escape would be even better.

I’m too stunned to speak. The memories of what happened with Lord Verdigris and me in his quarters come flooding back: the physical ones pleasant, the mental ones horrifying.

Liz: The spiritual ones confusing.

I recall with a shudder that I’ve often secretly wished to be someone’s sex slave,

Squall: (...Why?)
Liz: Someone’s read waaaaaaayyyy too much 50 Shades of Gray.
Squall: (50 Shades of what?)
Liz: ...Gray. It’s...let’s just say it makes this look like Shakespeare.
Kotetsu: It ain’t about colors.

especially during my too-recent two-year dry spell of no sex outside of what I watch on Sex and the City DVDs and get out of my vibrator collection, just before Lord Verdigris found me in a twenty-first-century restroom.

Kotetsu: Thanks for bringing up those bad memories again, lady...

So in some ways, my secret sexual fantasies have been fulfilled.

Kotetsu: Hey, whatever floats your boat. Guess there’s weirder kinks than... restroom teleportation.

But to be a sex slave trapped in another century in an unknown land with no way home – that’s something else entirely.

Liz: Don’t most sexual fantasies and “slave” scenarios have, you know, A SAFE WORD?! You kinda don’t have to go into the real thing if you’re THAT lonely, lady. Call a hotline or some shit.
Kotetsu: (Not thinking about this...Not thinking about this...)
Liz: Oh shut up. That never works.
Kotetsu: ...if you say so. *...and his mind wanders*

Still, I might as well make the best of a bad situation. At least I won’t have to worry about getting laid. And I won’t have any bills to pay or any housework to do, either.

Squall: ...That’s not actually a good thing.
Kotetsu: At least she’s being optimistic?
Liz: Hate to tell you this, “princess,” but you’d better hope this guy’s clean ‘cause I don’t think they’ve invented protection yet either. But hey, whatever keeps the glass half-full?
Squall: Actually, it’s older than most people think. It’s just not as convenient the older the time period.
Kotetsu: I wanna know why you know that?
Squall: ...Probably not.
Liz: ...right. Glass is half-full! How much longer is this?

“Is there more to the Hall of Harlots than this room?” I ask. “As lovely as it is, I don’t want to be shut up in here all the time.”

Kotetsu: Nope, that’s it. It’s a really tiny hall.

Bridget stood up and clapped her hands. “Aye, milady. The Hall of Harlots takes up an entire wing of Bellwether Castle. I’d love to show ye around. And ye can meet some of t’other harlots too. ‘Tis important to know where ye stand among all the harlots,” Bridget went on. “For if ye don’t attract enough gentlemen customers, milady, Lord Verdigris’ll put ye out.”

Liz: Somebody’s gonna be put out by the end of this.

Put me out? Put me out where? The moat? Or maybe the dungeon? Or worse?

Liz: The laundry room! Oh the horror!
Squall: Better than the training hall.
Kotetsu: Or the royal garbage heap.

I better check out what else the Hall of Harlots has to offer – My life probably depends on it. “All right then, let’s go.”

Kotetsu: Is it just me or is she taking this better than she probably should?
Squall: It’s not just you.
Liz: Ditto.

Bridget claps her hand over her mouth. “Oh, no, milady. Ye must be properly dressed afore ye go out into the Hall.

Liz: *as Bridget* I cen see yer ankles, milady! ANKLES!
Kotetsu: *GASP!*

Lord Verdigris don’t let none o’ his harlots to wander round in their chemises. This is a nobleman’s castle, after all ‘tain’t a common wench tavern.”

Kotetsu: That’s right! They’re harlots, not wenches!

I sigh. This new time and place will take some getting used to. “Fine. Help me find something to wear, Bridget.” I have the sudden urge to pee. “And by the way, where’s the toilet?”

Liz: *looks at Kotetsu* You sure this chick is a history major?
Squall: Slept through class.
Kotetsu: Well, so she said... I’m starting to have doubts. ... Okay, more than I did before.

Bridget gives me a blank look. “The what, milady?”

Kotetsu: *as the narrator* The can. The potty. The loo. The porcelain god. The commode. The latrine. The lavatory. The throne. The privvy. Um...
Liz: The john?
Kotetsu: That, too!

I make a motion towards my crotch. “You know, where people go to pee.”

Liz: Reeeeaaaal classy there. She’s a princess alright. Good call, Maudie.

Bridget smiles and nods. “Of course, milady.” She retreats into a corner and returns with a small copper pot. “Here’s yer chamber pot. I’ll clean it meself when ye finish. An’ here’s somethin’ fer yer personal wipin’ lass.”

She hands me some dried brown leaves.

Kotetsu: Uh-oh! Somebody cue the “Wah-wha” horns!

I sigh. The people in the twelfth century might know how to fuck, but when it comes to personal hygiene, they’ve still got a ways to go.

Squall: (Is she sure they can manage that first one?)
Liz: *spoiled valleygirl voice* How can they not have toilet paper in here? Oh my gawd.
Kotetsu: it over yet?
Squall: No.
Kotetsu: Damn.

* * * *

It takes me a while to figure out the chamber-pot situation – it’s a tale best left untold.

Liz: Thank you!

But I can sure get used to having my own personal lady-in-waiting. I haven’t had to lift a finger since I woke up. Hell, if Bridget were capable of peeing and pooping for me, she’d probably do that, too.

Kotetsu: Could’ve left that thought untold, too...

In the past half-hour, Bridget has given me a sponge bath, washed and dressed my hair into the most elaborate and beautiful braid imaginable, rubbed milk-and-honey salve into my skin, massaged my feet with scented oil, rimmed my eyes with kohl – the twelfth century’s answer to eyeliner and mascara – and colored my cheeks and lips with a rouge made of a mix of raspberry juice and lard.

Liz: *as narrator* Next she’s gonna paint my toenails and we’re gonna talk about boys.
Squall: *also as narrator* Maybe I can get her to give me some “old school” hair tips.
Kotetsu: *ditto* Too bad movies weren’t invented yet or we’d totally have a movie night, tee hee!

She’s also gotten me dressed. And given how elaborate and complicated my wardrobe full of new medieval outfits are, I’m sure there’s no way I’ll ever be able to get dressed without her. I’m wearing at least eighteen different layers of clothing – that I counted, anyway. I’ve got a double-layered lace-up corset-bodice thing on, too – it simultaneously cinches my waist down to near zero while shoving everything that used to be around my middle up into my boobs. As a result, I look like a medieval Dolly Parton.

Liz: Lungs? Who needs ‘em.

The biggest irony of all is that underneath all eighteen layers of chemises, petticoats, underdressed, corset-bodices, over-tunics, and sideless surcoats, I am completely naked. “To keep you ready to receive a gentlemen always,” Bridget explained when I asked why.

Kotetsu: Methinks someone doesn’t get the concept of nakedness. Think you’re lookin’ for “commando”.
Liz: That or she’s been talking to Sam too long.

Because no matter how much I might look like a princess on the outside, no matter how many layers of beautiful silk, satin, and velvet I have on, underneath it all I am still a sex slave.

A harlot. A harlot in the Hall of Harlots.

Liz: How harrowing!
Kotetsu: I don’t think she used the word “harlot” enough in that line.

And now, Bridget is leading me into the Hall of Harlots itself. It’s time to meet my competition.
Bridget takes me by the arm and leads me out of my bedchamber into a narrow stone hallway. The corridor is silent save for the distant sound of dripping water. My satin-dlipper-shod feet pad softly on the hard cobblestones as I follow Bridget around a corner and down a winding stone staircase. At the bottom of the staircase is a small door, low enough that I have to duck to keep from bumping my head as I pass through.

I’m suddenly blinded by bright sunlight. I shield my eyes with one hand and try to adjust. Once I do, I’m stunned by what I see.

The Hall of Harlots is at least as big as a football stadium. And it’s packed wall to wall with beautiful women. There are hundreds of little stalls dotting the vast, oval room, half of which is roofed with thick wooden beams, the other half opens to the bright, sunny sky. Each little stall contains a carved wooden chair, a light velvet fainting couch

Liz: ...all in favor of not bringing Rarity into this again? *raises hand*
Squall: ...*raises hand*
Kotetsu: *raises his, too... quickly*

– and a woman.

By the looks of it, I’ve got at least seven hundred competitors. And they’re all beautiful.

If I want to stand out, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Bridget leads me up and down the aisles, pointing out some of the choicer specimens. “That one’s Hermione the Husky,”

Liz: Hermione the Husky of the Hall of Harlots?
Squall: Handpicked, too.

she says, pointing out a voluptuous woman in a pale blue Greek tunic and leather sandals. “She’s from a faraway land of long ago. Quite popular among Lord Verdigris’ yard henchmen.”

Liz: His henchmen can hardly handle Hermione the--
Squall: *interrupting* “Yard henchmen”?
Liz: ...*sulks* Rude.

Bridget leans closer and gives me a wink. “I’ve heard that she likes to put pomegranates up her bum.”

Squall: ...
Liz: ...what was that you were saying about stranger fetishes, Kotetsu?
Kotetsu: *just covers his face*

I wince. “Is that so?”

Bridget nods. “She’s a strange one, that Hermione. Doesn’t know a word o’ our tongue, but the young ones, they love her, they do. She’s a devil behind closed doors, she is.”

Liz: *as Bridget* I’m affirming the facts twice, I am.

Hermione looks to be from Ancient Greece. I guess Lord Verdigris wasn’t kidding when he said he’s traveled throughout the ages in search of history’s most beautiful women. For all I know, Hermione was around to fuck Plato and Socrates.

Liz: As if they didn’t have better things to be doing with their time.

Sheesh. Talk about competition.

I’m already intimidated. Besides Lord Verdigris, I’ve only fucked three loser guys from New Jersey. One was a shoe salesman, one was a postal worker, and one had the toll lane next to me on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Squall: (In a toll booth?) ...Aren’t there better things to do there?
Liz: Like what, do sudoku for eight hours straight?
Squall: Sudoku’s easier to put down.
Liz: ...point.

Not an ancient Greek philosopher in the bunch.

A few stalls down, Bridget stop short and nudges me. “Here’s another one to be wary of, lass.” She nods towards a stunning, olive-skinned woman in a brightly striped tunic decorated with gold and sporting an elaborate, jewel-encrusted headdress shaped like an eagle’s beak. “That’s Madam Jasphet. She’s from a land even farther away and longer ago than Hermione. She’s poison, she is. Some o’ the lads that visit her of a night nivver return.”

That gives me pause. “What do you mean, they never return?”

Liz: They know better than to stick around this book.
Squall: Probably better that way.

Bridget glances over both shoulders and leans even closer. “I mean that she wenches ‘em to death.

Kotetsu: ...seriously? Guess there’s worse ways to go.
Liz: Hey, you only live once.

Her kiss an’ her cunny are both poisoned like a deadly asp, or so they say. Lord Verdigris once said that in her own time, Madam Jasphet’s love – or hate, as ye call it – tore whole kingdoms apart an’ sent kinds an’ emperors into madness.”

My eyebrows raise. I wonder if Madam Jasphet might be related to Cleopatra. For all I know, she might even be Cleopatra. By the looks of her outfit, she’s definitely from ancient Egypt, at least.

Kotetsu: And she walk the line like Egyptian.
Liz: All the dames in the Hall of Harlots say,
Kotetsu: Ay oh whey oh!

“Her poison don’t scare Lord Verdigris off none, ‘tho,” Bridget goes on.

Kotetsu: ‘course a guy that keeps around a harlot who likes to do obscene things with pomegranates probably doesn’t scare easy.
Squall: He stocks up on Esuna.

“Madam Jasphet’s by far ‘is favorite these days. Lord Verdigris likes ‘em dangerous, he does. Somethin’ for ye to think ‘bout, if ye want to become a top harlot ‘round here yourself.”

Kotetsu: So work on your poisoning and pomegranate skills or lose your fancy room.

I have no idea to be dangerous. The closest I’ve ever come to danger is the high-speed toll lane on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Liz: What, getting hit in the face with mystery meat isn’t dangerous?
Kotetsu: ...don’t say that again.
Liz: ...Mystery meat in the face.
Kotetsu: Stop that!
Liz: Hey, if I’m gonna have to have your thoughts projected into my brain, I may as well keep it entertaining.

And they don’t have any cars in the twelfth century. “I’ll, um, keep that in mind,” I mumble.

Looks like I’m screwed before I even get started.

Kotetsu: ...thought that was already established, wink wink, nudge nudge.
Squall: *facepalm*
Liz: Say no more, say no more!

I trudge behind Bridget as we walk up and down the seemingly endless rows of stalls, a sinking feeling in my stomach as she points out a Chinese teahouse girl from the Ming Dynasty here, a nineteenth-century Japanese geisha there, quite a few women who look like they were captured en masse from a 1920s speakeasy, and even an Amazon tribal queen who could have walked off the set of Xena: Warrior Princess.

Liz: Because Xena is a great frame of reference. Again, history major.
Squall: She’s a very bad one.

But I don’t see anyone who looks even remotely close to coming from my own time. The 1920s speakeasy ladies are the closest I’ve seen to 2009 New Jersey.

Then I wonder why Lord Verdigris has renamed me “Lady Louisa of the Crossroads”, branded me a member of the medieval nobility, and outfitted me with a lady-in-waiting and a wardrobe full of velvet gowns and corsets. Are twenty-first century women considered unsexy around here?
It certainly seems that way.

Liz: Which is why he kidnapped you.
Kotetsu: Maybe he just likes a project.

But I guess I can understand why. It’s not as if you see many thirty-year-old single New Jersey toll collectors gracing the pages of Playboy or Maxim. I suppose the same tastes apply even here in the twelfth century.

Then another shocking notion crosses my mind. If I’m a twenty-first century woman with a boring job and a dull life in my own time living in disguise here in the twelfth century, who’s to say that most of these other grandly costumed and coifed women here in the Hall of Harlots aren’t the same as me? Who’s to say that Hermione the Husky isn’t just a convenience-store worker from Brooklyn who just happened to know enough Greek to pass as a princess from ancient times here. And who’s to say Madam Jasphet isn’t a social studies teacher from Kansas who just happened to know something about ancient Egypt?

Liz: A social studies teacher who poisons people. Why can’t we have a story about that?!
Squall: *thoughts turn briefly to Quistis* ...Too interesting?
Liz: *picks up on those thoughts and smirks a little, flashing back to Spoony’s videos*

Perhaps, just perhaps, Lord Verdigris fabricated their harlot personas just like he fabricated mine? After all, I’m no more Lady Louisa of the Crossroads than I am Princess Diana.

I chuckle softly to myself. If this is the sex game that Lord Verdigris wants to play, I can play it to the hilt. The only question now is: What is my next move?

Squall: How about “get out”. Those clothes are easy enough to hide simple weapons in, and he probably won’t be expecting a knife.
Liz: Shhh, don’t say that, it might turn him on!
Squall: *shrug* Might make him drop his guard.
Liz: Really, she should just find a horse and get the hell out of there. The wisps will help out.
Kotetsu: Dunno about that, but getting out of here sounds really, really good.
Squall: Agreed.
Liz: It’s like you read my mind. *starts to get up*
Kotetsu: *rolls his eyes*
Squall: *facepalms yet again, but follows*