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The Pulchritudinous Priestesses of Coth

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[♥️]

 

[Coth]

Inside the church on Coth's hill, in the basement library which had been untouched by god's cataclysmic fires, Constans sat across from the Brothers of Hedon and tried not to look dismissive. Yet his hand was holding his face up, and he was leaning in his chair like someone who desperately wanted to be asleep. That he hadn't slept for three days might have had something to do with it, but he'd managed to stay up through the previous meeting with Coth's farmers just fine. And he'd been alert when treating with the men petitioning for hunting rights before that. No, it was the Brothers of Hedon who had this effect on him, and it was getting harder and harder not to show it. They were repulsive

"-and the powerful Smeglord Dunkeen has also heard of your new pleasure temple," one of them cooed, smiling through rotten teeth. The rattling lust in his voice when he said 'pleasure' made Constans' stomach turn, "He is most...eager to visit your dominion and sample the delights you have opened to the world. Terrenus is in need of more whorehouses and fuc-"

Constans jolted up in his seat, coughing loudly into his hand before the corpulent, pockmarked Brother could finish.  

"Hem-hem, excuse me," Constans started, after offering another few forced coughs, "Please convey my personal invitation to the Smeglord to visit Coth anytime it pleases him, however our priestesses serve faithful Cothites only, in accordance with god's law." 

He'd give up god's green fire before he'd let a Smeglord or any of the Brothers of Hedon defile one of god's handmaidens. The Hedons were a sect of philosophical pleasure seekers, but had long ago descended into a loose collection of slovenly sexual deviants. They possessed incredible resources, however, and they appreciated Constans' devout faith, to an extent. 

"Oh, my dear Patriarch, all this about god's laws. You are an educated man. Erudite, unlike these 'faithful Cothites' of yours, ho ho! They say you were a Gaian before your reawakening. We are extremely sympathetic to this more positive change in your religion, but you must understand that the only law is pleasure. The only good is the sound of flesh slapping against flesh. It is the taste of salt on a subjugated woman's skin. It is the groan of endless satisfaction. The secrets of life can be found only by splitting the flesh of the innocent and forcing yourself inside, diving into the wet, tender pus-"

Constans summoned another coughing fit. 

"I have no doubt that pleasure has its benefits good brothers." Constans wasn't quite at his wits end, but he was careening towards it rapidly, "God himself has clearly chosen pleasure as a method of sharing his magic with us here in his worldly kingdom. But god's pleasure-- the priestesses' pleasure-- is a gift, not a service. And our priestesses do more than just comfort our citizens. They are our spiritual guardians, and they represent the feminine perspective which I so sorely lack. They complete Coth, and they are the sacred daughters of god, my friends. They are not common prostitutes."

"All the more delicious." One of the brothers wheezed. Another quickly chimed in. 

"Yesss, are you sure we can't come to some financial arrangement to, say, sample one of these lovely girls in lieu of the Smeglord?" 

"I'm sorry, we cannot." Constans said mournfully, "But that ought not interrupt our other trading negotiations, nor sour your visit." 

The Brothers of Hedon agreed that it would not sour their visit, and further pleasantries accrued. Eventually, thankfully, they arrived at the real point of their visit, and spoke to Constans plainly. 

"Patriarch, we have recently come to something of a business dilemma with a denizen of your claimed territory. North and west of here there is a small tower, the home of an old knight who did not heed the call to leave these lands during the awful war. He is the basest sort of man, with no mind for pleasure beyond counting his riches and accumulating soldiers and thugs to do his bidding. He is called Warthog. Minor potentate though he is, we did not bring much by way of guards on our trip from the south, and he has used this fact to abuse us most heinously. Aside from visiting your earthly paradise, our trip north was also for the purpose of providing Warthog with four sumptuous virgin woman, for a modest price. Yet when he saw we had no guards, he took the virgins and refused to pay!"

Constans' lips twitched, but he resisted his own disgust. Brothers of Hedon were not slavers, but only barely. Legally, the women they traded to their friends and associates gave themselves over by choice, usually as payment for egregious debts their families could not settle. To Constans, a woman without choices was a slave, and he felt abysmally for these stolen people. Oftentimes, however, he was powerless to stop their trafficking through god's lands. The Brothers of Hedon were depressingly influential and made for insidious enemies. Constans had no need for any more of those. 

But now they had come to him to settle a dispute. In this situation, there was something he could do to help these unfortunate women. For as bad as the virgins had it with the lecherous Hedons, the pleasure-seeking brothers took great pains to feed and care for their women, so as to increase their value. In the hands of a brute like Warthog, they would be heedlessly mistreated. It was a certainty. 

"I've heard of this Warthog, he is as despicable as you say. I am gladdened that you came to me to settle this dispute for you. Brothers, Coth will see to the liberation of these women. You have my word." 

His wording had been precise. Perhaps too precise. Yet the Brothers of Hedon accepted with gusto, their eyes now looking lustfully at Constans, as though he were a ripe virgin himself. He didn't like that look, the look of hunters who had just caught their prey, and he left wondering if he hadn't just made a huge mistake. 

It didn't matter. Four innocent girls were in the clutches of a rancid villain. It would not stand. 

Constans parted ways with the Brothers and headed down to the new Temple, Coth's second holy site wherein the priestesses of god conducted their discreet rituals. Before their door, he tarried for a moment. He always felt an odd sense of apprehension when he visited the priestesses. Despite that they seemed to look to him as the pinnacle of god's love, he had a hard time looking at them. They were...attractive women, to say the least, and he was unused to impressing such delicate and sensual creatures, even after knowing them for two months. 

Dispelling his apprehensions, Constans entered their temple foyer. His brow piqued at the sight of his massive green serpent taking residence on the floor of the temple, its glittering scales reflecting the colorful light of the building's stained glass windows. When it noticed Constans, it lazily picked up its hooded cobra head and flicked its tongue out in greeting. Then it laid back down again, utterly ignoring him. 

"At least one of us feels comfortable here." the patriarch muttered under his breath. 

 


 

@LikelyMissFortune @vielle @Minuet of the Nightingale @Witches Brew

 

Edited by Vansin

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As the sun dipped, a final obeisance to the day, Isabelle luxuriated in the shudder and sighs of the woman beside her. Finality curling in the chorus of rustling clothes, and the whisper of silk; the worshipper taking her warmth with her as she stole away from between the sisters' arms. 

She was the wife of the brewer, Mark. And quickly becoming a regular visitor in the temples. She'd wander around, visit the bath houses, kneel by the great fire and request for Eleanor some days, Isabelle the others. But, try as they might, she had refused to talk to either of them about what ailed her, until today. 

Today, the blonde woman asked for both Isabelle and Eleanor.

It had taken the better part of the afternoon, and more cheese had been consumed than she thought healthy. But, she cracked.

She cracked and sobbed, about being unable to grant this Mark happiness; and about how he now visited the inn far more often than he visited her. The poor woman had been too embarrassed to go Father Constans, and too bashful to ask the village's women for help. Isabelle and Eleanor assured her with soft words and kisses and laid her under the shade of an oak and taught her the great warmth of God's love.

They left impressions of love instead of fear, and surety instead of doubt.

And now, the woman disturbed the tranquility of rapture, nestled between the arms of the priestess.

There was not a peep from her as she stirred, just a faint bloom of color dusting her cheeks. Isabelle, propped up on an elbow, among the scattered remnants of cloth and food thought of how beautiful she looked. The dying Sun offered a last blessing, the brewer's wife looked almost divine in its warmth. 

Truly, the Cothite's God was a wonderful one.

Isabelle considered waking her sister up, curled into the strange shape which she called 'sleeping', but decided against it. The cold would wake her up soon enough, there was no need in disturbing her from slumber just yet. To be fair, she does drape a discarded robe over her. They could never tell which was who's; and it was only as she stepped into the transepts of the temple that she felt the stretch of fabric too tight against her hips.

It didn't matter much, two acolytes brushed past her, on their way to clean up after Eleanor and herself. They stopped, greeting her with a chorus of "Good afternoon, Mother Isabelle."

She waved them along with a smile, still unused to being referred to as "Mother". Her old clients had called her variations of that, it was spectecular how uncomfortable it was to hear it from the mouths of little girls.

"Good afternoon, little birds. Please don't disturb Mother Eleanor today, instead," She smiled, one she hoped looked gracious, a guiding hand on their little shoulders, pushing them past the hallway, echoing with the sighs and groans and slaps of the priestesses worship. "Why don't you go check on Mother Eirene and then the baths, that lady must be in there and we don't want to neglect serving God's worshippers now do we?"

They looked confused, at first, but turned around and scampered away. Leaving Isabelle all alone in the Temple's main chamber; a kaleidescope overlayed with green from the ever burning fire proudly burning in a furnace. 

It felt natural to kneel by the furnace. The flames drew her in, put her in an enchantment too strong to break free. It almost felt as though she felt the fire in her vines, as though it were her, licking wantonly at the air above. Had all the right to be audacious.

After all, wasn't this an eternal flame? A quiet miracle, in their midst, always alight. There for anyone to bask in God's love? 

Isn't that what the Fidei Lena were?

An eternity must've passed, days and months- or mere minutes. She's taken out of her stupor with a glimmer of scales, and the soft tones of a voice.

"As he should," Isabelle murmured, all but a little beige ball propped up against the furnace now, she isn't exactly sure when or how she moved. But, she was on her feet in seconds. She embraced their priest with gusto, a glorious smile alighting her face. 

"Father Constans! How do you fare today?"

Green was such a wonderful color.

@Witches Brew @vielle @Minuet of the Nightingale @Vansin

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When Mark's Wife asked for both she and her sister, she should have figured that it was going to be a long afternoon. Eleanor sat beside the woman, stroking her hair, and kissing her shoulders. It had taken the woman a long while to spill the secrets she kept hidden inside her, and then it all erupted, like an emotional volcano. 

The three fell asleep in eachother's arms after a long afternoon of cheese eating and soft reassurances. Mark's Wife left first, leaving as quiet as a whisper, slipping her boots back onto her feet as she crept away from the sleeping sisters, with Eleanor's robes bundled in her hands. Her sister left her next, draping a robe over her body as she slept, as hers were missing. 

She woke not too long after that, her eyes still quite heavy, and goose bumps raised all over her skin. She ran her fingers through her hair, and yawned quite loudly, raising her arms above her head as she did so. What a long afternoon. She stood, taking the robe that her sister so graciously left behind. She tied it shut, and left their mess behind her as she walked into the temple, her body shivering. 

"Mother Eleanor! Mother Eleanor!" Little voices called after her, and she stopped walking as soon as she heard the little chirps of the Acolytes. She still wasn't used to being called Mother, that had to be one of the harder things to get used too, other than the fact she was chosen by God to help lead his faithful.  

"What is it, Little Ones?" She asked, as she knelt down to look the small ones in the eyes. The two little girls wore simple white dresses, and each of them had little flowers in their hair. She wondered who could have done that? The girls leaned in close to Eleanor, their little hands cupping around their mouths. 

"Oh! A secret, hm?" Eleanor smiled, and she raised a brow in question. One of the little girls giggled again, and nodded, and Eleanor leaned in towards them, awaiting the juicy gossip. 

The little blonde girl tried to hold in her excitement and she danced on her toes, her eyes sparkling with excitement. She leaned in close, to the point where her soft pink lips were touching Mother Eleanor's pointed ear. "Mother Isabelle said that we were to tell you that she said, that.." This went on for some time, the girl kept giggling in between, it made it hard for her to whisper, and to be focused. This secret must really be amusing, then. 

"Mother Isabelle said to tell you that your butt is big."

Eleanor's smile fell as the girls irrupted into uncontrollable giggles, and scurried off down the hall, their giggles being heard by everyone close by. Eleanor's face did not look amused. "Even when we're chosen by God to do his work, she's still being a brat." She huffed as she got to her feet. She turned down the hall, her bare feet slapping the stone of the floor. "Isabelle!" Eleanor called, heading towards the main hall of the temple. She could feel something pulling her towards the main hall, like God himself wanted Ellie to whoop her twin for telling the Acolytes such horrible lies. "Isabelle! I am going to-" 

She stopped upon seeing her sister wrapped around Father Constans, and she blinked, her face reddening. "Oh! Father Constans, I hope all is well?" She asked, her voice cracking as she spoke, and she tried to clear out her throat. 

@vielle @Vansin @LikelyMissFortune  @Minuet of the Nightingale

Edited by Witches Brew

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"I hear voices," Milka sighed, sinking into the bubbles of the steaming bath water. She wasn't exactly ready to see to more of the faithful - her body still ached and she felt like she needed at least one more good scrub to get the dirt from the day fully off of her milky body. The woman took a deep breath, holding it in her stomach before sinking down below the hot water, her gray eyes snapped tight. Her dark hair haloed around her as she brought her hands up to scrub at it, but she could tell it was as clean as it was going to get - which was actually very clean. It was just her mind that had her feeling filthy. 

Milka's day had been a simple one of familiar labor; she was no stranger to working on a farm after all, so when a weary lady had shown up on the temple steps, a babe on her hip and a couple small children clinging to her skirt looking for help, Milka was quick to offer her services. She had recognized the mother, though not by name; she and her husband ran a very small farm that now found itself on the outskirts of the town that had sprung up as COTH grew. And so she had spent her time toiling in the dirt. Normally it was work she would take pride in, and honestly, she did feel good with what she had accomplished. What had her so unsettled was the unfortunate trip she took in a wagon full of manure. Milka wouldn't say she was clumsy, but others may disagree - and it was always spectacularly awful when it happened. She could have just tripped like a normal girl with two left feet - no, she had catch the wheel of the damn tool on a divet in the ground and pitched head first into the shit. Literal shit. 

She wanted to die.

Milka had definitely washed as much as she could off with well water on the farmer's land before making the trek home, but the smell had followed her like some terrible cloud. She had received a fair share of startled looks from the people she passed, including one child who had rushed to hug her only to recoil with a look of terrified disgust on her face. Shame burned Milka's cheeks, but thanks to the heat of her bath, it was impossible to notice if her flushed skin was from embarrassment or the fact that she liked to boil herself like a lobster each time she cleaned. The grace of God had allowed her make it too the baths where the perfumes and oils hid the worst of the smell before anyone noticed... And she'd pay off little Marigold who'd taken her clothes to wash with little treats from the market. Seriously, no one would let her live it down if they knew. 

"I suppose I could see who it is," she murmured, turning her attention on the other female in the baths - Eirene had arrived shortly after Milka who had spent more time then was probably healthy in this bath. She really couldn't be any cleaner without peeling off her skin at this point and there was no possible way anyone would be able to figure out about her days adventures from looking (or smelling) her now. Still, she checked under her nails once more before groaning and pulling her frame from the water. She held her breasts to her chest as her wet hair hung in sleek sheets about her her ample body. Milka was not as slender as her fellow priestesses, though she certainly wasn't incredibly over weight either. Her curve of her hips and rump definitely made her look a bit wide then she was though. And she had a bad habit on focusing on that. "It was nice relaxing with you Eirene, we should do it again soon," she called over her shoulder with a smile on her lips before snagging a towel to dry off and pull a simple white garment over her head, the hem trimmed in rich green and gold. She used a leather belt with a thread and beaded serpent on it to cinch the whole affair at the waist and amplify her curves. It was her usual garb for when sh was within the temple walls, though she had a whole wardrobe full of other vestments of various styles. She was rather fond of playing dress-up when she had a reason to do so and there were a surprising amount of Cothites who opened up to her depending on how she presented herself. 

Milka gave the red haired priestess a small wink as she left the baths behind, still toweling off her hair to keep it from drenching her dress, as she followed the sound of voices towards the main entrance of the temple. Her gray eyes fell on Isabelle who had secured herself around Constans, and then flicked towards Eleanor who looked as if she had bitten into a lemon. A grin curled across Milka's sweet face and she sidled up to the latter of the Elven Priestesses, brushing a light touch against the small of Eleanor's back. "Hello Father Constans," she greeted. "Sister Isabelle, Sister Eleanor... Did you have a good day here at the temple?" Milka drapped her towel across her arm, mussy up her now damp hair.

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She has been having certain sorts of dreams, recently. Strange dreams, fantastical dreams. If this is an act of god or something else, she has yet to distinguish for certain.

Sitting at the other end of the bath, Eirene glances up at Milka’s departure, her gaze flickering dazedly from her current rumination on the matter in mind, and exchanges the other woman’s wink with a bright smile of her own. All at once, she is left in the company of herself, and so she allows her body to sink into the pool, water lapping against the soft skin under her eyes, her cheeks, steam clouding her vision in warm grey.

It is only here that she is fully comfortable, nestled in bubbling waves beyond the touch of others. Despite her duties as priestess, Eirene has yet to acclimatize herself to the intimate, full-bodied worship that is demanded of her station. Perhaps it is only a child’s nonsensical grievance, the last vestiges of innocence choking ivy vines around her throat, but it is altogether distracting; even in the throes of ecstasy, of skin against warm skin, the feeling remains deep in her gut, uneasy and restless.

Eirene is wholehearted in her servitude to her god, wholly willing to sacrifice in the name of worship. As with her steadfast heart, there must be no wavering in regards to her own physicality. She must find some way to fix herself somehow, without turning to the other priestesses or to Father Constans—they must see her as strong and capable and reverent, as the oldest among the ranks of the Fidei Lena.

The sound of tiny feet against the tiles breaks Eirene out of her reverie, and she turns her head to focus on the two acolytes hovering by the edge of the pool, quietly waiting to be called forward before moving as so. “Good afternoon, children,” she murmurs, reaching out to clasp the girls’ hands in her own as they take a seat beside the bath. It hadn’t taken long for her to lose her shyness, displaying her nakedness so openly in the eyes of the attendants, but that is perhaps only a consequence of her aristocratic upbringing, of maids serving at her beck and call at every hour of the day.

“Good afternoon, Mother Eirene,” they parrot her greeting, and the touch of fondness she hears in their tone brings a cheerful smile to her lips. “Mother Isabelle asked us to check on you. Do you require some assistance?”

The priestess tilts her head, accepting the information with considerable aplomb. She stirs her memory: the one on the left is Rhea, the one on the right is Mari. “Ah—well, you can see I am quite fine, my little darlings, thank you.”

“Father Constans has come to visit as well,” Mari says, looking to Rhea for support on her declaration, and is met with a boisterous nod. “The other Mothers have come forth to meet him, but they might also need you as well?”

Eirene hums, tilting her head back against the tiles  behind her and exposing the pale length of her throat. “The other Mothers are each a force to be reckoned with. They will send for me should they need me,” she replies, eyes twinkling with amusement at the frown tugging at Mari’s mouth, “but if it pleases you, little one, then perhaps you can go and see whether the matter requires my attendance or not.”

The two girls answer with excited nods, as is their customary reaction to doing anything that may be of service to the Fidei Lena and to Father Constans himself, and quickly scurry out of the baths. Eirene heaves a deep sigh and moves to finish her cleansing, in order to meet the others should she need to.

Edited by vielle

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Constans caught the priestess Isabelle and laughed through her embrace. The holy women of the temple had an easy way with men (and him most of all) and he found himself picking her up off her tiny feet and spinning her around like the child she still half-was. When he placed her down he held her tight by his side. He turned, meeting her vibrant eyes, and offered an apologetic smile. She was so beautiful, her elven features aligned with all the symmetry of god's perfection. She captivated him, and he feared she knew it

"Better now, little sister." he always felt so warm around the priestesses, once they were within reach. And not only in the way that men so often felt warmth in this place, but deeper. There was a connection between them all, he and these fine women, that united them on a more profound level than mere physical attraction. Their moods were contagious to him. Sometimes, when their eyes met, he could swear he heard whispers of women's voices in his mind. Sometimes he felt as though if only he could get a little closer, connect a little deeper, he might be able to communicate to them without any words at all. 

"I've come to ask a fav-" he began, but his thought was interrupted. He looked up from Isabelle and spied her twin, Eleanor, rounding a corner. The Priestess of Universal Mortification seemed...perturbed, at least until she realized who her devious sister was wrapped around. Constans looked back to Isabelle, always on the verge of innocence and insolence, and piqued his brow in an accusatory way. Trouble. That's what Isabelle was, and most often trouble for Eleanor

Constans idly ran a finger through Isabelle's hair as he considered her twin. Shockingly identical in a physical way, Eleanor was nonetheless all the softness absent from her sharp sister. Constans reached his hand out toward her, inviting her close. 

"I am well, revered sister. I'm sorry to intrude on what I'm sure was a justified talking-to," he said, letting his fingers trace over Isabelle's ear and chastising it with a paternal pinch, "but I have come to make a reque-"

It was at this point when Milka appeared, and Constans let his voice trail off. He would get used to this one day, he assured himself, used to how the priestesses all seemed to float into his life one after the next. It was a parade of loveliness which he cherished, and even more it reminded him that in god's pleasure temple, he walked at their pace. 

Milka, Angelic Sweetness, was one of the two human priestesses in god's temple. She was...curvaceous in a way that made Constans forget to breath sometimes. To say one priestess was more beautiful than any other was nonsensical though, whether by god's magic or, more likely, by merit of her own indescribable beauty each sister stood unique in her fairness (even the twins gave shockingly different impressions when they stood side by side). Yet when Constans dreamed of a woman with ample proportions, it was Milka who appeared in his mind. There was more to her, however. She truly did radiate all the sweetness of god's love. Her smile could calm a storm. 

"Milka." he said, smiling. He would have said more, perhaps continued his thought, but he half expected the last of the four to come drifting into the foyer the moment he did. He kept silent and let the sisters greet each other. Yet Eirene did not show, and so he looked again at Isabelle and, through her, spoke to them all. 

"I've come to ask something of you, a favor, a task." he began, placing a finger under the elven girl's chin, gently guiding her face to look up at his, "There are innocent women in need and in danger in Cothite lands, and god wills that I turn to you for such matters. I need your counsel, and your strength." he explained, looking up from Isabelle's hypnotic eyes and toward her fellows, "Will you hear my request, honored priestesses?"  

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Her anger was a bit silly, but she felt it justified. Those girls had to be at least six years old, and they didn't need to go around giggling about how her twin sister said her butt was big. And it wasn't really, at least, Ellie didn't think so. When she stopped and saw Constans there, with her twin wrapped around him, her face grew heated. She had greeted him, but still, she wasn't used to feeling this way when he was around. He seemed to look different each time she saw him, and his hair was finally growing in. She didn't know before if he was bald because of choice or because of other reasons. It was when he spoke to her now that she forgot her anger. 

Revered Sister. 

He called her Revered sister. When Constans spoke to her, she felt as if her heart was going to burst in her chest. When he stretched his arm out towards her, she didn't waste any time, and she went to his side, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, her head resting against his chest. She looked over at her sister as her ear was pinched, and she giggled. Brat. She stuck out her tongue so that only her sister could see, and grinned. She got revered and her dearest twin sister got called little, and that was funny to her seeing as Isabelle was only a few minutes older than she was. She pressed into Constans' side, and looked up over to Milka as she appeared. 

She was still soaking wet from the baths, and she could see through her dress a bit, as hard as the woman tried to keep her hair dry, drops still managed to get onto the fabric, and she could see bits of her milky white skin. To be honest, Eleanor was jealous of Milka's curves. That hourglass figure enraptured men like a starving child and a hunk of bread. Her thin, nearly curve-less frame did nothing for most men, and if it did it was because they had other, darker secrets. Most men found her attractive because Elves have pretty faces, and they're not what people are used too. That's one thing that helped Izzie and Ellie survive in Blaireville. 

There was one missing though, and Eleanor looked around, waiting to see if Eirene was going to pop around the corner, instead two little acolytes came instead. They were so cute, the two little girls ran into the main room, their little hands wrapped around each other, their little feet making slapping noises as they hit the stone floor. They ran in so quickly, Eleanor was worried they would fall and skin their knees, but they didn't, and that anxiety eased as they stopped in front of Constans. 

"Mother Eirene is in the baths! Do you want us to tell her to come?" One of them asked, Mari was her name. Her companion nodded, confirming the statement. Eleanor looked to the children, and she smiled softly. "Rhea, Mari, please go fetch Mother Eirene. She should hear whatever Father Constans has to say." She said softly, and their eyes lit up, and they nodded excitedly. The two little girls, still hand in hand, turned tail and ran back to fetch the bathing Mother. 

Now it's what Constans said that disturbed her. Innocent women being hurt. Eleanor physically flinched when she heard this, knowing that kind of pain first hand. She wondered how her sister would react to this news. No doubt she would volunteer herself for whatever Constans asked of her, but Eleanor wasn't so sure. But, if her God willed it, and if Constans asked her to do so, she would have to push down that fear, that pain, and help those not as fortunate as she and her sister. 

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A gasp of joyous surprise, followed by wild laughter clamored, amplified by the stone and glass of the temple. It was no wonder then, Isabelle reasoned, pressed against Father Constans' side, that she did not hear her sister's shrieks. The Father had that effect, wrapping her up in a storm of energy, of longing- despite being a priest, he was gilded with God's perfection, eyes that drew her in the same shade as God's green flame, regarding her with such frank adoration. It made her smile a little brighter, tease him just a tad more everyday.

But, Green God above, did she shriek.

It came to her, just as she planted a kiss on the Priest's face, that perhaps those shrieks might have something to do with a dozen or so of the offenses she had committed- but hadn't yet been discovered. The Father hadn't heard it yet, and offered a rather silly apologetic grin. She echoes it with an impish grin, whatever had he to feel guilty of? "Everyone should feel better here, Father."

When her Sister did eventually come, which wasn't long, she cut the Father off. And, Isabelle was given just enough time to bring her gaze down on to the snake- a relaxed, glittering rope on the floor. Pleading with it for mercy, surely, God would have some clemency for her.

It just lazily flickered its tongue, minding its business, tranquil against the storm she was sure was going to follow.

Her sister must've recovered from her brief tenure as a tomato; she could feel the glare directed at her from a face so familiar it made her blood burn. Even the Father seems to think her guilty of some crime, so suspicious had even his adoring gaze become. Isabelle shrugged, doe eye'd innocence- surely, he couldn't suspect her of wrong doing.

The case remained that, of course, she was.

The Father oppened his arms for he sister.  Fingers tracing the outline of her ear- pinching her delicately arched ears wouldn't have any effect, she shivered from it, not at all repentant. Perhaps, next time, she grinned, wild and wolfish as her sister poked her tongue out, she would include the Father in her pranks. She could see it now, there were some choice things whispered at her last lessons to the acolytes.

Now, if only they would come, she would ask them to enlighten them. 

The Father tried to speak again, having both Elven sisters wrapped around him, languidly and terribly, when Milka came around the corner. The priestess glowed, soft and fragrant from her bath; dripping with the blessing of the Green God, the epitome of fertility. Her curves made Isabelle long to touch them, it was such a great compliment to the Twins' litheness, she could only imagine how much good they could do together for the worshippers. 

"Sister Milka! You look exceptional today, I feel as though you've done good work today!" 

She expected God's revered prophet to begin speaking again, and for him to be interrupted by the arrival of the fourth priestess, beloved Eirene; but the prophet did not speak, and Eirene did not emerge from the bath.

It was, she notes with glee, the little acolytes that emerged, Rhea and Mari, bearing news of the fourth priestess.

Wiggling out of Constans' embrace, she knelt beside- so as to be able to look the little girls in the eye. "Little birds! Before you run along and help Mother Eirene; would you not perhaps, show our revered Father how intelligent you've become?" There was a confusion, blossoming on Mari's face, suspicion on Rhea's. "Tell them about what we learned about pleasing snakes!" She urged.

Mari was the one to speak, prattling about how to convey God's love through ones body,  and Isabelle moved behind them, a matronly hand on either shoulder. A serene, elegant woman, proud of her children. She couldn't keep the sly smirk Rhea spoke, "We have learned that we must please the secret snake God has given our men, and that sometimes they are blessed with big ones, like you Revered Father. We must be like Mother Eleanor, and endeavor to please all types, especially ones like yours, Your Holiness."

Having said as much, Rhea grabbed Mari's hands and were gone in a patter of tiny feet. Isabelle looked serene, lording over the tableau that was surely to follow.

Eventually, the Father did speak; through Isabelle, a finger hooked under her chin so she could not avoid his gaze, green as god's fire. For once, Isabelle's knowing smile was complimented by a bashful flush of color, the tips of her ears red. The tale he tells is distressing, and makes her angry, and she says it before she could think other wise. "We shall hear your request, the Fidei Lena will not stand by while innocents get hurt. How shall we help, Father?"

Edited by LikelyMissFortune

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Freshly washed, lavender and citrus perfuming her skin, Eirene changes into a airy gown of green and gold, Coth’s serpent fashioned into a clasp holding the fabric together across her shoulder blades. It is not quite the ritualistic garments of the priestesses, but one that denotes her status within the clergy; it is a dress that one wears when visited by the head of the Church.

Mari and Rhea had returned just moments after she had sent them away, glowing brightly with childish pleasure and gaiety. As they had stepped forward to bathe her in oil and honey, they had regaled to her what had occurred: Mother Eleanor had called for Eirene to join the priestesses, and Mother Isabelle had guided them as they had presented their acquired knowledge in the presence of Father Constans. The two girls had accompanied her out of the bath and into the changing rooms, and from then on, she had sent them to serve the other worshippers of the temple.

Voices drift from the doorway at the end of the hall, and Eirene catches the last words of Mother Isabelle, spoken in a tone that invites further explanation for something yet unclear.

"We shall hear your request, the Fidei Lena will not stand by while innocents get hurt. How shall we help, Father?"

Striding into the main hall in graceful and measured steps, she stops short at the sight laid before her: the Father of their faith, flanked by god’s priestesses, holy and anointed: a most blessed sight.

It is beauty beyond mere measure framed in ethereal sunlight. Eirene has the sudden urge to raise a hand and shield her eyes, slightly overcome.  

“Blessed Father, Favored Sisters,” she greets the others, inclining her head and allowing her crimson locks to spill forth from her shoulders. “Forgive me for my delay, though I believe with the joyous shrieks that have echoed through our hallowed halls mere moments ago, I was not quite needed yet.” Her lips curl into a beatific smile, and she tilts her head as she observes the curl of Father Constans’ mouth; it is not quite as worried as she had assumed it to be, but perhaps they must hear him out before any sort of judgement can occur. “I’ve heard mention of a request you ask of us, Father. Do tell us more, and how we may help, as Mother Isabelle has said.”

 

Edited by vielle

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What did those children just say?

Constans' nostrils flared, and he felt his skin sizzle with embarrassment. There was no way those little girls knew what they were talking about. But there was no way they could possibly be talking about anything else other than his...

The priest shook his head, dispelling the thought, because once his mind started turning toward what they said about Eleanor, he started to experience inappropriate feel things. 

"I uh, we-- yes." he began, as the second human sister entered the room. Finally, Eirene had arrived. She of Ardent Charity was the eldest sister, and perhaps the most refined. She had been a child of a noble house, after all. Her smile calmed him, and he continued, 

"I was approached by Brothers of Hedon, men who had recently traded four women away to a vile knight within Cothic lands," Cothic lands, as the ladies would surely know by now, was all the claimed territory of the religion. It was a huge swathe of land which was mostly untamed, "I believe in his hands, these women are not safe. Yet if I were to rescue them, I would be bound to return them back to the same Brothers who gave them away so cruelly in the first place." 

Al the while as he spoke, he squeezed the elven sister in his arm tighter. He wanted to keep her safe, at least while he had her. Out in the world, a beautiful young creature like her didn't always have someone else watching over her as Constans did for these holy women. It pained him to imagine any of the radiant faces before him in the sort of situation he imaged the stolen women in now. 

"I want these women to be free, but they are even less free with the knight than they were with the Brothers, I'm sure of it. I need your help. I wish for you to free the woman-- four virgin girls-- and find a way to keep them free. I just...don't know how yet." 

He sighed for these stolen women. The world played vicious games with their lives, and despite his good intentions Constans just felt like another man manipulating them. He felt dirty. 

"The knight's name is Warthog, a man as brutal and filthy as his namesake. In his hands, I fear for the virgin's safety and innocence. Perhaps you can see why I have brought this manner to you four?"

 

@LikelyMissFortune @vielle @Minuet of the Nightingale @Witches Brew

Edited by Vansin

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IOh my good green God, those children did not.. 

Eleanor's large green eyes grew larger as she took in what the two children in front of her said. Her sister's cheeky grin gave her away. How badly she wanted to go over there and just, do something to her sister, but she didn't dare in front of Father Constans, whom she was still wrapped around. She stole a glance at his face, and saw that he was indeed embarrassed at what the children said also. 

His face quickly changed as the fourth of them arrived. Eirene was utterly gorgeous. She walked with a grace Eleanor had only seen in the nobility that sometimes walked through Blaireville. There weren't really any nobility here in Coth, so Eirene was the closest thing to it. 

As Constans spoke now, Eleanor felt her body shudder. How dare this group of men trade innocent women away? What in the world were these woman traded for? She clung tighter to the Father now, and he squeezed her back as he continued. 

The man's name was Warthog, and he had four virgin women imprisoned in his camp, and they had to come up with a way to keep them virgins, and they also had to figure out how to keep them from the Brothers of Hedon. Eleanor was eager to help these poor girls, she was willing to throw herself into the fray. 

"Bring me to these Brothers." She said. "I want you to take me to them." Eleanor said. She was the trait of Universal Mortification, she absolutely felt the need to throw herself in the middle of this danger to save these women. 

She untangled herself from Father Constans, and took his hands in hers. "Please, Dear Father, take me to these Brothers of Hedon. Our God does not want these women to suffer, and I have an idea that may save these women, and bring them back to Coth." She squeezed his hands gently, and she threw a glance over at her twin sister, her eyes pleading for her help. "And if you deny my request Father, I shall seek them out myself." She stepped away from Constans, her eyes full of hurt, but her heart was full of their God's love, and their God's message. She had to help these women, she had too. No pain should come to them, or she would feel their pain herself. 

Edited by Witches Brew

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Her sister worried her. Lately, Ellie has been rather extreme with her willingness to do whatever for the sake of the Church. She'd lie with a man, many men, the Father. Eleanor was happy with working the fields, touching patients with a cough so horrid-- so familiar, without so much as a flinch. 

And now, her eyes- so much like Isabelle's own. Eyes that were sick, and tired, and fading not so long ago, ones that were begging to go see danger once more.

Had she forgotten the landlord? The blood? The run?

Had Isabelle forgotten her own, rather sudden, change? It was useless to deny the way she searched for what God would will in all situations, feeding that great, lazy, ever present serpent- or being moved to join the Father in his preaching. It would be redundant to deny her own longing to rescue the virgin, carry out God's will. Take action, leave for the mission this very instance.

Without any planning, or provisions, or even strength, which will get them all killed- and suddenly it'd be 8 women in need of rescuing, not 4. That was not God's will. 

"Of course we shall help the ladies, right Father?" Isabelle purred, hands clasped, calm. It is Milka's face that bids her to speak, sweet innocence; poor, terrified innocents "It is a crime against our God, these brothers spit on his face and laws- we will deliver the law onto them. But, we must be prepared, dear sister, or we'll just be their new victims."

Isabelle was used to customers, charming them from stupid decisions. No, they did not have to go back to their wives tonight, yes, they should spend the weeks salary on her. She wrapped her arms around Ellie's waist, possessive, a cage. The hand she placed her hand on top of the one that held the Fathers, served a warning. Her smile is small, but, still it curves on her lips; pressed against her sister's ear.

"I wouldn't let you do that again."

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Horror was more then a little evident on Milka's pale face; her blue-gray eyes wide, she had covered her mouth with both hands at the news Constans had given them. She could hardly believe... Why would someone... How could they just give people away? The thought was as disgusting as the Brother of Hedon's reputation. But before Milka could really wrap her mind around the realities of this world, Eleanor, Universal Mortification in the flesh, was already volunteering to throw down her life to correct this heinous act. If one thought Milka's innocent features couldn't have been wrapped with anymore horror and worry then it had been just a second before, they would have terribly surprised at how devastated an expression the human woman could pull off. She wanted to save the Virgins, but she couldn't bare the thought of her sisters dying; Eleanor was an important part of the temple just like the other three women present. Sometimes her eagerness to 'lay down her life for God'  made Milka wonder what the rest of them would do if God actually took her up on the offer. Isabelle would be lost, certainly, and Milka wasn't sure she'd fair much better. The Church and their role in it was still just a fledgling learning to fly so the loss of Eleanor (or really any of them) would certainly stall the good works that they needed to perform!  

And yet, that didn't mean Eleanor was wrong either; while all the Fidei Lena were expected to hold true to everyone of the virtues, the four currently gathered had been gifted with a special bond with one of said virtues by God themselves. To not act in accordance with it was unthinkable - she couldn't imagine herself without the blessing of Angelic Sweetness, so why should she expect Ellie to be any different?

Goodness, she was going to chase this thought around all day if she didn't break the cycle now; if Eleanor was ready to throw down her life to save these women, Milka was going to do her part to make sure Ellie came out in one piece with the Virgins. 

No one was going to die on her watch! She was hardly the 'butt-kicking' type, but fighting was only one way of handling a problem; good acting and subterfuge could go a long way in a situation like this. Though it probably wouldn't hurt if Milka learned how to kick a little bit of butt in the most non-lethal way possible. She'd heard rumors that if a person pinched the right nerves, it could knock a target out cold without any side effects when they woke. Maybe she'd chase that rumor down one day. 

"Do you want us to bring this Warthog before you, Father? For a proper punishment?" She asked after a moment of silence spent staring at the two Elven twins. 

 

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"I was approached by Brothers of Hedon, men who had recently traded four women away to a vile knight within Cothic lands. I believe in his hands, these women are not safe. Yet if I were to rescue them, I would be bound to return them back to the same Brothers who gave them away so cruelly in the first place."

Eirene’s eyebrows furrow in dismay, faint lines of distaste crinkling the edges of her mouth as the Holy Father recounts the circumstances that have arisen, the story of the stolen women and how he has come to the Fidei Lena for assistance in the matter. It is a heinous thing, truly; it is undeniable.

Eirene still cannot help the revulsion that carves out her insides, at the thought of involving herself in such a concerning affair.

The other priestesses are quick to offer themselves up in sacrifice for this noble cause, no matter the danger that spawns from unpredictability, and Eirene has to look away for a brief moment, overcome with a sense that finds her wanting, that she had not been so hasty to give her up her own capacity so willingly for this. It is on the tip of her tongue, yes, but it does not take flight. Her lips do not permit it so.

Perhaps it is a weakness, one that must not be shown so apparent in the eyes of god’s holy people.

This must be rectified immediately.

"Do you want us to bring this Warthog before you, Father? For a proper punishment?"

“It is either that, or we steal the women from under his nose,” Eirene murmurs, looking over to smile benignly at Milka before her gaze pivots towards the elven priestesses, entwined in both flesh and blood. “Sister Eleanor, perhaps you may explain this idea god has granted you, so that we may plan accordingly.” Her head tilts, and the faint calculating spark that shines through her gaze speaks volumes about the blueblood family she descends from. “Together.”

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"Eleanor..." Constans whispered as the woman, always so merciless on herself, pledged to run heedlessly into the precisely wrong direction for the sake of their God. 

"We can agree that the Brothers of Hedon aren't what you and I consider good men, but they are no longer the ones in possession of the virgin girls. We are Cothites, priestesses, and when given the choice we will always save the innocent before we punish the guilty. The Brothers of Hedon have left the virgins with this Warthog man, and it from his clutches that they must be retrieved." he explained.

In many ways, these priestesses were still only just beginning to understand how to serve God and, like he himself had been at the start, they could occasionally be overwhelmed by the magnitude of their duty. 

Yet even still their enthusiasm inspired him. The woman whom god had sent him had the capacity to be the matrons of all of Coth one day; a body of wise and powerful servants of God and of his people. It was his responsibility to shepherd them into a full understanding of their role in Cothic life. 

"We will deal with the Hedons afterwards. They are cravens and diplomats, unlike the brutal knight Warthog." 

He looked down his arm at fervent Eleanor and her protective sister Isabelle. Their beauty turned to pain in his eyes. He, like Isabelle, would do everything in his power to shield them from all harm. They were his sisters, his daughters, his wives, his friends, his followers, his peers. They were his family

"My darling, know that they will all-- the brothers and the knight-- face the consequences of defying God's law on God's own soil. Whether by persuasion, politic, or fire. I promise you. But for now, you must focus on getting these virgins back from Warthog by word or deed." he said, and then looked up to Eirene. 

"That is the task I place upon you, my holy consorts. That, and one more: to survive under any circumstances. To come back to me, my loves; to come back to your home in this temple, in this town."

He returned his gaze to Eleanor. 

"So if you have an idea, speak it. Together, we will discover the path God wishes for us to walk in saving these poor women. Say not that you will leave us and throw yourself at them alone, however. I would never permit it."   

Edited by Vansin

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