Tholosa, the Witch-queen   Leave a comment

October’s here!  Time to start getting in gear for Halloween, and I’ve got just the thing here.  I was going to just publish these on Flickr, but at least a few of them are pretty decent; so I’ll do the same thing here as I did on there, publish them with text beneath to explain each scene in my story.  It’s definitely a first for me, I’m not sure what Harper would have to say about this one.  But if she can publish her stuff on here, so can I, and she’s been encouraging me to. You get to judge how I do.

Fair warning disclosure — there’s a lot of large pictures here.  Have patience if it takes a little for them to load, please.

You can see the entire original collection in full size in the album on Flickr (aside from several I’m adding in here to help bulk out the collection, or that I reshot with Conan to improve things).

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Tholosa the Exalted, the Witch-queen of the Empire of Oshor Chih — known not as The Exalted by her enemies, but as Tholosa of the Grave — takes her ease in her palace’s apartments, beneath a statue of one of the strange gods she worships.  Even in the gloom of her rooms, this strange woman, who has conquered and absorbed into her empire kingdom after kingdom, glows with a shell of power.  This encourages her unlettered slaves to believe in her as a goddess, and puts to use the undesirable effect of all the sorcerous protections she has cast about her in self-defense.

Leagues she has traveled, years studying with the darkest wizards of the left-hand path, more years establishing a power base and sending forth her ensorcelled armies to conquer more and more distant lands.  In all of that time, she has ever remained fresh and lovely, her spells holding the passing of the years at bay until she should extend her demesne across the whole of the world. Her face is painted and her hair is coiffed in the style of the now-extinguished nobles of Oshor Chih, the land of her birth and the first nation to fall to her power. Her body is but little concealed by the robes she has conjured into existence, made of materials none but Tholosa know. Her nails are long, sharpened claws of obsidian, covered with traceries of silver; and her jewelry is silver as well, the coldness of the white metal in keeping with the coldness of her beauty and her heart.

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Does she simply dream in the darkness, lost in the fog of her sorcerous drugs — or are there darker thoughts behind the languid lids? None can tell, for her eyes are no longer eyes as mortal man or woman see the world out of. They are cold, multifaceted orbs now, orbs which glow with purpure light, hypnotic in their power….

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The dimness of her apartment is broken by the flaring light of a torch, and Tholosa stares coldly up, started from her meditations.  As the darkness in her has grown, she has come to despise the light, and begrudges her minions their lights bright enough to let them move about her palace.  She sleeps during the daytime, shielded away from the sun in the depths of the fortress’ crypt — some say in a sarcophagus of gold and ivory smeared with the blood of her victims — emerging only as the sun sets to conduct the business of enjoying herself at her subjects’ expense.  (Government is left for the unscrupulous, sycophantic vassals to whom she has delegated the mundane tasks of ruling an empire.  Tholosa has other concerns to rule her mind, chiefly acquiring more provinces and her personal pleasures.)

“Who comes?” she snaps, rising up from her couch.

The sergeant of the guard steps forward, fearful of his safety despite his status as an old campaigner in Tholosa’s wars.  “I crave thy pardon, Divine and Exalted; but we’ve supplied thee with thy night’s entertainment.”

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“For your sake, he had better be more entertaining than the one given Us last night,” Tholosa says, her displeasure plain upon her face.

The sergeant swallows, nearing losing control of his bowels; he has seen what is left of those who have provoked Tholosa’s infuriation.  He says, “He is a captain of the armies of Umyth, Divine and Exalted. He arrived in the pits a few days ago from the wars, but was just brought to our attention today.”

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Tholosa’s frown fades slightly as she absorbs the news and begins considering it. At the end of the road, it did not matter much to the Exalted how a place became hers, as long as it became hers in the end. But more could be squeezed out of a land that had not been destroyed in complete by her armies…or, more relevantly, by her black magicks. A captain of her enemies might supply more information that would allow her to defeat Umyth without laying the land to waste.

Besides, the extraction of information was always an interesting process to her…and a delightful one as well. Though it tended to leave the subject of her inquiries with as much intelligence and willpower as a diarrheic cow. But they were still useful after, as fodder to throw at her enemies’ soldiers.

“Ah…,” she allows at last. “Intriguing, and possibly instructive as well…for both of us. Very well; have him masqued and spell-bound, and brought in to Us in five minutes.”

“Pray thee, do not be angered at me, Divine and Exalted, but it may take more time than that to get him here.  He fights almost every step of the way as someone moves him along.”

Tholosa’s visage turns enraged, and she flicks her clawed fingers at the sergeant.  A flash of sickly green light lashes out.  Before he can dodge, his cheek is scored with four deep lacerations, each bleeding freely; and then his face begins to swell, the flesh turning the same nauseating hue as the light.  As the man screams in agony and tries to flee, he is seized by an unknown force and pinned where he stands, long enough for him to hear Tholosa’s congested, petulant voice say, “We don’t require excuses of you, vermin; only results as demanded.  You have long enough to deliver my command before you die; begone!”

Four minutes later, as Tholosa sits her throne, the prisoner is hauled in and thrown to the floor before her feet.

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No ropes or chains are needed now to hold the man who once commanded armies, now he lands within the enspelled zone of her floor; the enchantments of Tholosa are enough to keep him painfully bound, his arms locked behind his head by glowing red energies.

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His clothes are now rags, and his face is concealed beneath a grotesque’s masque — some say the visage is no stagecrafter’s creation, or whim of the Witch-queen’s own fancies, but that of the god Tholosa offered herself to in exchange for the power and lifespan to conquer the world.  Others claim that she may have offered herself to a god, but in the end it was the god who had become her slave….  Making love to a man wearing this vizard supposedly renews her contract to the divinity who has never been named, even as it drains the man’s soul and mind and will into her. Enough times with her, and the man’s life force is hers as well; and thus is her life extended by the foulest of means.

Tholosa considers him from afar as he kneels in the darkness, the voice that commanded armies silenced by the powers of the masque; then she rises and strides languidly to his side.

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A twist of energy causes her voice to echo as if reverberating down from the skies, and she says, “And so you, too, thought that you could defy Our Will, o captain of fools…?”

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“Soon you shall learn just how easy that is. And then you shall command another army…at least, you shall while you last.”

She has refilled and lit the strange little silver pipe she had been smoking; now she draws upon it deeply, and breathes a heavy cloud of smoke into his face and mouth, muttering words into his ear in a tongue almost forgotten by mortals. The smoke turns black as it flows about and into the man; the vapors, combined with the effects of her spell, make his senses begin to reel, his determination to shake and crack.  He cannot remove his eyes from her, and it comes into him that he must find a way to worship this creature, if only he will be allowed by her to do so.

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He does not have long to wait.  With a thought, Tholosa banishes the spell binding the man, and leads him by the hand, like a child, out into the moonlit gardens of the palace.  She lets go of him as she steps away, but he does not run; the fumes which she caused him to inspire have sapped his will, while at the same time inflaming his libido.  He longs to seize her, but the imposed lassitude freezes him into place as if he were nailed to the pavement of the garden path.

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“Behold Me, man!” Tholosa cries, posing for her new victim in the moonlight, her echoing voice filling the heavens for the former captain.  “Behold your new empress and goddess!”

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“You, o ‘captain,’ shall be mine now, and as such shall you teach me all that I need to know to vanquish your country.”

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Returning to him, she brushes herself against him, across all the parts of him that are barely concealed by his rags, and purrs now, “But before you do, you shall know delights that are granted to few.  You shall taste that which men desire to touch in their lust for glory and power — the body of godhood.  In Me is that state achieved, and you shall know it.”

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“You shall know it…for a season.  Until you are of no further use to me as you are.  And then you shall join my armies…as something less than you were….”

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Hours later, spent and broken, the man kneels on the floor of Tholosa’s apartment as she considers what she has learned — he is permitted for now to stay there, in exhausted worship of the Witch-queen, until she shall command him to be removed to a holding cell, there to stay and pine for her favors on the next night….

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I’m wearing:

  • Body: Maitreya Lara Mesh Body
  • Skin: Amacci Skin – Tyne (Cream) – 01 Natural
  • Hair: The Stringer Mausoleum Solaflore – Silver
  • Eyes: *TSM* Crystalized Eyes [Mesh] – Amethyst
  • Attachments: Slink hands and feet
  • Nails: [FORMANAILS] STILETTO NAILS -CASUAL-SILVER-BLACK
  • Outfit: r2 A/D/E yayoi [silver] – panties, skirt and top
  • Shoes: r2 A/D/E anzu heels
  • Accessories: .aisling. Simple Bindi {Multi}; Bens Beauty – Desire Collar Silver-Black; Maxi Gossamer Boho Bangles – Laquered Etched Silver; Lazuri Renata Earrings; [CX] Serpent’s Pipe Rough Silver
  • Makeup (application order): [La Boheme Face Paint] Harlequin Masque Base 75% No Lips; [La Boheme Face Paint] Harlequin Masque light blue 90%; .:Glamorize:.Glam Mascara – 02; Zibska Orel eyeshadow 05; ~Oceane~Full Makeup Metallix 4 (including lipstick); [White~Widow – Face Tattoo] Falling Star Purple; {MUA} Eyeliner – All the Ways – Pack 1 – 1; [La Boheme Face Paint] Sylvan Crest Purple 95%; Arte – Eyebrows – Sophisticated – solid black; FATElashes v2.0
  • Poses:  PosESioN (various)

Jump to Sands of Time (Majilis al Jinn)

Thanks for being my boy-toy, Conan!

Jem's signature

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