I was quite pleased with how this story turned out. I started it with every intention of writing a short, extremely erotic story about a magical transformation, but it ended up being quite a bit more than that.
This is the story of Tristan -- a deadly and powerful warrior who is captured by the enemy and transformed into an effeminate weakling. It is the first of a three part story (the second part is already written, but the third is still in the planning stage). I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
A Warrior Reborn
Rain fell across the battlefield, soaking the dead with its heavy drops,
its runoff mingling with blood, mud, and tears. But Tristan paid it
little heed, save to mark the change in footing as he swung his heavy
broadsword to and fro, cleaving enemies and friends alike. A bloodlust
had come over him, and his mind made little distinction between the two.
There was him, and then, there were enemies. What lay between mattered
little. He was a berserker, and one of the most feared of his kind in
all the land.
Ah, the land. That was the issue, in truth. Tristan was a warrior
first, but when he wasn't cleaving his way through one of his country's
many battles, he found himself attending courtly proceedings in his more
official capacity - that of Prince of Honus. Yes, his father was the
king, but that did not save him from obligatory military service.
The war had started over land, it was true, but there was far more to it
than that. There was an inescapable difference of ideology which had
exacerbated the boiling inferno that was the relationship between the
two nations of Honus and Einar. It began, like any number of conflicts,
with a land dispute. Both nations wished to control the rich, fertile
Gornos Valley, but both had a legitimate claim to its ownership. And
so, the first war, which lasted for nearly a decade, was fought. Both
sides won and lost many battles, but neither could claim victory. An
unspoken agreement to cease hostilities was reached, and both sides
backed off. They simply could not afford the monetary or human cost any
The second war was a little different. Land was the primary goal, but
Honus took a different tact to rile up its troops. Einar had been ruled
by a queen for as long as anyone could remember; it was a matriarchy
through and through. As one might suspect, that tradition affected
their general attitude towards women. Male and female soldiers fought
side by side, and were considered completely, and unequivocally equal
throughout the land of Einar. That is where Honus aimed its first of
many political attacks. So, the propaganda machine was born. Until
that time, Honus had taken a somewhat liberal view of women, and really
wasn't all that different in its views from Einar. But it all changed
with the second war. No one knows where the idea to demonize the
matriarchy (and its resulting feminism) actually came from, but it was
generally regarded as the sole reason for the continued animosity
between Honus and Einar. The second war continued for nearly forty
years, off and on. Both sides were unwilling to give up, but neither
could keep up the battles for long.
An uneasy peace was reached when, once again, neither side could muster
a significant force with which to fight. That peace lasted for almost
fifteen years, until the current war - called the Third War by most -
As Tristan fought his way through the hordes of men and women, fierce
soldiers all, little crossed his mind, save a need for blood. He was a
brutal man, true, but he was, if nothing else, an efficient warrior. He
had gained his reputation early in the the Third War, and had been
fighting the Einarians for nearly a decade. They had come to fear him,
and rightly so. Few could stand up to the hulking warrior.
He acted without thought; his instincts guided him. Tristan ducked
under the blade of a an axe, and opened the belly of its wielder with
his broadsword. In the same motion, he spun, sending his blade arcing
to decapitate a woman. He was unstoppable, hacking this way and that.
Tristan took minor cuts and bruises, but no wound was serious. He
battled for what seemed like hours until none stood before him. The
battle was finished.
He let the tip of his sword fall to the muddy ground as he panted from
exertion. Slowly, the scene around him came into focus. It was
strange. During the battle, he merely saw a sea of bodies through which
to cut. Each time, however, the battle ended, and he was horrified by
the carnage. Tristan, though, was a good soldier. He didn't let any of
the horror show.
Tristan felt a hand grasp his shoulder, and he spun, grabbing the
offending hand. He yanked, sending his would-be assailant crashing to
the mud. It was only when he had the tip of his sword at the man's
throat that he realized his mistake.
"Be easy, brother," Frederick said. Prince Frederick - Tristan's
younger brother - smiled. "The battle is won."
Tristan retracted his sword, and sheathed the weapon on his back. He
extended a hand, "My apologies little brother." Frederick took the
Good-naturedly, he replied, "No need, Tristan. I should know by now not
to sneak up on you like that."
Tristan could only shrug. "The Einarians have retreated, then?"
"Look around. They are all dead or running like the cowards they are,"
Frederick replied. "We have won, brother."
Tristan snorted in derision, but not for the Einarians. No, he scoffed
at his own brother's words. Cowards? He had seen none who qualified as
such on that day's battlefield. But then, Frederick often thought of
the defeated as having shamed themselves. Never mind that Frederick
himself never actually participated in any sort of warfare, save
whatever games he played with his friends. Prince Frederick preferred
to view the battle from afar, to seize on any strategic advantages. Few
would say it to his face, but many men thought him the coward.
"Always so glum, brother. Can you not enjoy this victory? We have won
the day, and we shall celebrate!" Frederick exclaimed. In spite of the
way he felt about his enemies, Tristan was, in fact, happy. He was not
without his pride, and the princely warrior's ego had been stroked that
The tent was magnificent. There were few other words to describe the
silk structure in which the main celebration took place.
Night had fallen, and torches and lanterns had been lit. The King
himself had chosen to bestow the joy of his presence upon those beneath
him. So there King Nalos sat on his uncomfortable, gilded throne,
watching the festivities.
It had been a great victory, to be sure, and quite lopsided. Nalos knew
that his son had tipped the balance in favor of the war host of Honus.
He always did when he fought. Nalos looked at his son, and not for the
first time, thanked the gods for giving him such a gift.
Tristan was huge; he towered over each of the other two-hundred people
in the tent, and easily. But he was not lumbering, like so many other
giant men. He moved with an athletic, deadly grace. Each movement was
measured, and he maintained a warrior's balance even when at rest, far
away from danger. Tristan, though, was more than his stature. He was a
born warrior, his every instinct aggressively dominant. Nalos felt
confident in the fate of his nation should Tristan succeed him.
And then his eyes came to rest on his other son, Frederick. That one
was far too clever for his own good. He wasn't a small man, but he
wasn't terribly large, either. Average. What he lacked in size,
however, he made up for in cunning. Frederick had always been that way.
Perhaps it was growing up in his brother's shadow, or maybe it was the
gods' own design, but Frederick had always preferred to think, to plan,
rather than act. He was the exact opposite of his brother. Even their
hair colors reflected their differences. Where Tristan was blonde,
Frederick's hair was as black as the night. Tristan was fair, like his
mother, and Frederick had taken after his own mother. The two could not
be any different, and yet, there they stood, laughing, joking, and
enjoying one another's company.
King Nalos stood, and his retainer banged his scepter on the floor. The
tent grew silent in a split second.
"A great battle was won today, but the threat still looms. We shall
need many more victories before our task is complete, and the Einarians
lay at our feet! But we are not here for rousing speeches. Rather, we
have come together to celebrate the achievements of our heroes. Ten men
have been chosen to receive gifts befitting their valor on the
battlefield. You ten, step forward," the king said.
Ten men, Tristan among them, made their way through the crowd until they
stood in front of the king. Nalos went to each in turn, and recited
their heroic deeds. Most had saved a fellow warrior, but some, like
Tristan, had simply outfought their peers. The king gave each a token.
Some received golden trinkets while others were given jewelry.
Finally, the king came to Tristan. "Ah, my son. Once again, you have
proven yourself quite a formidable warrior, and once again, I stand
before you with a prize. But this prize is unlike any other you have
received. It belonged to your great-grandfather, King Piros," Nalos
held up a golden torque, on which was engraved a series of whorls and
knots. "And I give it to you, champion of Honus."
Tristan knelt, and said, "Thank you, father." The king clasped the
torque around his son's neck, and said, "Let the celebration continue!"
Tristan sat across from his brother, but he didn't see the smaller man.
No, he looked past him, and saw only the bevy of young beauties across
the tent. He knew he had their attention; why wouldn't he? Women had
always been easily seduced by the hulking warrior prince. One in
particular, though, had caught his eye.
He didn't even know her name, but Tristan was captivated by her beauty.
More, though, she seemed to be ignoring him. Tristan was intrigued by
her seeming indifference. She even had her back turned to him, and
Tristan's eyes flowed down her auburn locks to the pert buttocks which
her dress, loose though it may be, could not hide. And then she
turned, and Tristan's breath nearly caught.
Green eyes flashed, and Tristan was smitten, then and there.
"Are you all right, brother?" Frederick asked. "It looks as though you
have seen a ghost."
"No. A goddess," Tristan replied as he locked eyes with the red-headed
girl. Frederick followed his brother's gaze, and Tristan asked, "Who is
"I do not know, Tristan, but I shan't rest until I do," Frederick
replied, smiling. He removed himself from the table, and began mingling
through the crowds. Frederick had a knack with crowds, something
Tristan himself had never mastered. He always felt ill at ease when
surrounded by people. A few minutes later, Frederick returned.
Her name was Penelope, and she was the daughter of some minor lord,
Frederick told Tristan. Her name mattered not at all to the big
warrior. He knew as soon as he saw Penelope that she would be his wife.
The fires of love, it seems, can ignite even at first sight. So it was
with Tristan. He wanted her, and so he would have her.
Three days later, Tristan requested leave to marry Penelope from his
father, who granted readily. He was so eager to please his son that he
raised not even the slightest objection. The girl's opinion was not
asked. Nor was it needed. The king merely decreed that she would be
his son's wife, and so they were betrothed.
The day of the wedding came, and the two were married in a lavish
ceremony. Penelope's father was thrilled, for his status within the
kingdom had risen seemingly overnight. Penelope played her role well,
and the wedding went off without a hitch.
On the wedding night, Tristan leaned back against the headboard of his
ornate bed, waiting for his new wife. He had already undressed, and he
lay there completely naked. His excitement grew with each passing
second until Penelope entered, still wearing her bridal gown.
"My lord," she said, curtsying. Tristan nodded.
Tristan knew little of feminine attire, but Penelope seemed to only pull
a few strings, and her dress fell off, leaving her standing there, bare-
breasted and nude. Tristan had heard tell of women who wore clothes
beneath their clothes - they called him undergarments - but the fashion
had yet to catch on in Honus.
Penelope was everything Tristan had imagined her to be. Her breasts
were perky, and her figure was plump, but not fat. Her skin was pale,
and creamy with a scattering of freckles here and there. And then there
were the eyes, those innocent green eyes.
She seemed to glide towards him, and Tristan grew more aroused with each
step. She didn't even need to touch him before he was ready. Penelope
climbed atop him, and they made love.
Tristan had coupled with many women over the course of his twenty-six
years, and Penelope was far from the most skilled or enthusiastic. But
Tristan cared little for that; she was perfect. It wasn't the actual
love-making which caused Tristan's pleasure. It was some indescribable
emotion that was the source. Tristan had never felt anything of the
sort, and, lying on the bed, Penelope's head resting on his broad chest,
Tristan had to admit that it scared him, and more than a little.
Time marched on, and Tristan was given an entire two months before he
had to return to war. They were simultaneously the most magical and
most frightening two months of his existence. Penelope had a hold on
him; that much was certain, and Tristan feared whatever deeds she may
push him into. But Penelope played the submissive wife. She bowed to
Tristan's every whim. Tristan, in turn, doted on his beloved, giving
her gifts and showering her with affection. She accepted gracefully,
for she truly was glad to be the wife of such a great man.
Soon, however, the time came for Tristan to return to war. His absence
had hurt the armies of Honus, and they had lost ground. Tristan
returned to the front, a distracted man. Certainly, he remained the
fearsome warrior, but in the back of his mind, thoughts of dear Penelope
lingered. Battle after battle, though, the thoughts faded, and soon,
Tristan had become the single-minded killer he had always been.
Nearly a year passed, and the war had not abated. While Honus had the
edge in martial strength, the Einarians boasted magicians of unmatched
power. The result was a stalemate. Both sides knew that they were
evenly matched, but still they fought, unable to throw the past aside.
On one fateful day, Tristan fought on even after the battle had raged
for nearly two days. He had barely rested, and was stained from head to
toe with the blood of his enemies and dirt from the field of battle.
Tristan stood before his army during a brief respite, and took in the
scene before him.
At one end of the valley were the Einarians; at the opposite were the
men of Honus. Dead littered the valley between the two armies, and
crows pecked at their flesh. Tristan saw the Einarian host poised for
attack. The sun had reached its zenith nearly four hours before, and
had already begun its descent.
Tristan knew that only one army would be left alive by nightfall.
There were no pretty speeches. No motivation was needed. These men
knew what was at stake. Tristan nodded to a page, who then raised a
flag in signal.
Tristan broke into a trot, carefully placing his feet between the dead
bodies as he gained speed. The men of Honus followed him. The
Einarians followed suit, and charged as well.
The clash was magnificent. Metal on metal, screams of the dying, and
the battle cries of desperate warriors filled the air.
Tristan waded into the battle, as he had always done, swinging his
broadsword this way and that. He moved like a tired, but still
powerful, predator, and he killed an enemy with each stroke of his
sword. The battle surged this way and that, each side gaining advantage
at varying times.
A huge fireball landed amidst the warriors, killing Einarians and the
men of Honus alike.
Magicians. They cared little for the lives of lesser mortals. Balls of
fire rained from the sky, each killing a bundle of warriors,
indiscriminate of their allegiance. Tristan himself was nearly hit on
no less than four occasions.
The tide of battle turned, and soon, it was clear that the magicians had
all but won the day. Tristan, however, was a stubborn man. He would
not give up so easily. His great sword in hand, Tristan waded through
the battle, making his way ever closer to where the magicians had
It seemed like hours, but in truth, it was mere minutes later when
Tristan broke through. He slew the magicians' guards easily, and faced
down the trio of magic users.
And then he saw one smile.
"We have you, Prince of Honus," a female magician said with a wicked
grin. Tristan lurched forward, and nearly reached them before invisible
shackles latched themselves to his ankles and wrists. He toppled to the
ground, unable to move his arms or legs.
Tristan peered into the faces of the magicians, and spat defiantly.
The magician waved her hand, and blackness enveloped Tristan.
Tristan awoke to the dim light and cold solitude of a dungeon. He had
been in enough of them to know their musty smell. His mind was cloudy
at first, but in only moments, he focused. It had been a trap. The
entire battle had clearly been a ruse to capture the prince. Einar only
had a handful of magicians at its disposal, maybe as many as a dozen,
and they had sent three into harm's way to capture Tristan. He almost
He was unbound, but the cell was small. Tristan could touch all sides
without even stretching his arms to their full length. He sat up, and
ran his hands through his blonde hair; it was still caked with dried mud
and blood from the battle. Then, he realized that he was completely
Though Tristan knew the seriousness of his situation, he was not
frightened. Each time he went into battle, Tristan knew the risks. He
was keenly aware of his own mortality, and did not fear it. No warrior
could afford to. His captivity did irritate him, however. Patience was
not his strong suit, and as time passed, Tristan's anger began to
seethe, just below the surface.
After two days with absolutely no contact or provisions, Tristan began
to wonder whether the Einarians would simply let him thirst to death.
No sooner had the thought flitted through his mind than a small flap
opened at the base of his cell door, and a large bowl full of murky
water was pushed through. Tristan lunged at the flap, hoping to grasp
an ankle or foot before it shut, but hunger, dehydration, and fatigue
slowed him. It clanged shut before he could reach it.
Not one to dwell on failure, Tristan eagerly lifted the bowl to his
lips, and drank. Small sips at first; he was no fool, and he did not
lack self-control. Tristan had no desire to slake his thirst only to
vomit the contents of his stomach because he was too impatient. After a
few minutes, he drank again, this time a little more deeply. A half an
hour later, he drank more. After three hours of slowly letting his body
acclimate itself to the hydration, the bowl was dry. Tristan leaned
against the wall, and continued to wait. His eyes never left the flap.
A day later, his vigilance was rewarded. The small flap opened, and
Tristan lunged. His hand wrapped around a slender ankle with an iron
grip. A few seconds later, Tristan's hand began to burn, but he only
gripped harder. The burning wrapped itself around Tristan's wrist, and
traveled up his arm to his shoulder, then his neck, and finally, his
head. He held on for almost a full minute, squeezing with as much
strength as he could muster, invisible fire burning most of his body,
before he could hold no longer. He let go, and his hand was pushed back
into the cell.
He burned for most of that day before the magical fire faded. However,
Tristan refused to cry out. He would not give his sorcerous tormentor
that particular satisfaction.
The next day, Tristan received the first meal of his captivity. It was
not much, certainly - just a tasteless gruel - but Tristan ate every
last drop of the substance. He knew that he needed to keep his strength
high, and whatever food they gave him would be necessary for such an
So his life fell into a routine. Each day, the flap would open, and
food or water was shoved inside, but never both. They gave him a bucket
in which to relieve himself, and each morning, it had been emptied.
Tristan knew that magic was at play, for he would have awoken had the
door been opened. Days passed, but soon, those days turned to weeks,
and those weeks turned to more than a month. Day by day, his muscular
body lost its heft; the lack of food, coupled with an inability to move,
let alone exercise combined to create a much thinner Tristan.
But he never lost his fire, his will to survive. Each time the flap
opened, he would fight. One time, he even managed to trip his guard
before she sent the magical fire. Tristan did not eat for almost a week
after that. The days blurred together, and Tristan began to think that
he would die in that small cell.
After what Tristan reckoned was three months, on a day not unlike any
other, he felt the magical bindings clamp onto his wrists and ankles.
He did not even struggle, for Tristan knew it was pointless. He merely
sat leaning against the wall of his cell as the door swung open on
And then she stepped inside. Beautiful was an understatement, Tristan
thought. Yes, she was past that, but there was something else. It was
a power in her eyes, something calculatingly superior in the way she
gazed at the blonde warrior. Dark of skin and hair, Tristan had heard
tell of that woman. She was the Einarian's second-in-command, a magic
user of unparalleled gifts. Her name was Arista.
"How are you finding your accommodations, Prince Tristan?" she asked,
her voice like pure silk. Tristan remained silent, so Arista continued,
"You are probably wondering what it is that we are going to do with you,
I am sure. In all honesty, that question has taken us months to answer.
We could kill you, of course, but what does that gain? You are already
out of commission, and our armies have benefited. You are far too
valuable to keep locked in this cell for the rest of your life, so that
rules out prolonged captivity." She stepped closer, and, with a finger
on Tristan's chin, raised his face. Tristan wanted to spit, but
something stayed him as Arista gazed into his eyes.
"But then it hit me." Her voice was the hiss of a snake as she
whispered, "I needn't constrain myself within the confines of normalcy.
You are special, Tristan. No need to deny that, and that fact means
that you require a unique punishment. I won't spoil it for you, though.
I would not dream of that."
Arista touched his forehead, and Tristan blacked out once again.
He could not move. Tristan felt the bite of leather restraints on his
wrists and ankles. He smelled burning incense, and felt the coarse
grain of unfinished wood on his back. A low murmur surrounded him.
Tristan's eyes fluttered open to be greeted by yet more darkness, though
it was not complete. A soft glow permeated the room, and, as he
focused, Tristan turned his head to see the dark shadows of cloaked and
hooded figures surrounding him. He tried to speak, but his words caught
in his throat.
Never had Tristan felt more helpless than when he lay on that wooden
altar - for that's what he realized it was - unable to move, unable to
speak, and completely at the mercy of his captors. He lifted his head
as far as he might, and soon found Arista. She was cloaked like the
rest, but her posture and height was unmistakeable.
Arista stretched out her slender hand, and extended her fingers.
Tristan had seen enough spell-casting to know that magic was at play,
but it was something far more complicated than anything he had ever
Magicians typically only had to utter a few words to cast a spell, but
thirteen magic-users working in concert? That was unheard-of.
A slight tingle started at his toes. It wasn't unpleasant, but Tristan
knew what it meant. The spell was beginning to take effect. The blonde
warrior wondered what was to become of him. The tingle intensified, and
became a mild burn. The mild burn became a raging inferno, and Tristan
tried to scream. His mouth opened, but no sound came out. The pain was
A silent scream filled his mind as he passed out once again.
Tristan dreamed a strange dream. When he awoke, he could remember
nothing about it, save a feeling in the pit of his stomach. But he
remembered everything up until he had succumbed to the pain, and passed
He didn't feel any different as he sat up in his cell, except for a
dread which filled his mind. What had they done? It was complicated
magic, he knew. Why else would they have used thirteen magicians? What
other reason could there be for Arista's involvement?
All questions would be answered in time, Tristan decided. Whatever
spell they had cast, he would soon feel its effects. There was little
use in filling his head with useless worry. Ah, but it is one thing to
decide to put something from your mind; it is quite another to actually
do so, especially when your day consists of staring at a stone wall.
Inevitably, Tristan's mind continued to speculate.
Aside from his mind's new obsession, Tristan's days fell back into the
familiar rhythm. Except he quit his small show of defiance; he no
longer lunged for the ankles of his guard. What was the use? Even
should he actually reach his captor, Tristan knew he was in no condition
to attempt an escape. He likely wouldn't get ten feet.
The mysterious spell taunted him, day by day. For the first few days,
he half expected to burst into flames, or be transformed into a toad.
Soon, though, those thoughts faded in favor of more complex, sinister
thoughts. After all, Tristan had little else to occupy his mind.
A month passed, and Tristan continued to lose weight. Lack of food had
turned his once muscular body into a thin caricature of itself. He
tried to do what exercises he could in the confines of his cell, but he
simply did not have the energy. More often than not, he merely sat,
pondering his circumstance.
Tristan knew that he was a shell of his former self, and after a while,
he quit acknowledging his own body. Better to ignore it, than to think
about the weakling he had become.
Two months after the spell had been cast, Tristan's cell door opened.
They hadn't even bothered to bind him that time. Arista loomed in the
doorway. Somehow, she looked bigger than she had before. Tristan was
on his feet in mere seconds, and he lunged at the magician. Or at least
he tried to lunge, for she caught him by the throat, and slammed him
against the wall. Tristan tried to fight, but she was far too strong,
or rather, he was far too weak to match her.
And then he noticed something. She didn't merely seem to be larger.
She was actually taller than him. Had she grown? No. Tristan had
shrunk. He was over a foot shorter than his normal seven feet.
"Now, now, pet. Play nice," Arista sneered. She released him, and
Tristan fell to the ground, rubbing his throat. The magician looked him
up and down, and said, "Look at what has become of the mighty champion
of Honus. Bested by a mere woman. For shame." She smiled.
"What --" Tristan began, but was silenced by a stinging backhand from
"Quiet, boy!" she said quietly, but Tristan felt the menace in her
words. He obeyed. "Good. You can follow directions. Continue, and you
will not be punished. Disobey, and you will regret it. Now stand."
Tristan hesitated for only a moment. What use was there in
disobedience? He didn't stand a chance in any physical confrontation,
and could not hope to escape in that way. But perhaps he could lull
them into trusting him, and he could escape sometime down the road.
He felt small as Arista circled him, and it had nothing to do with
actual size. "Good. You are coming along nicely," she said. Arista
patted Tristan's rear. "Soon," Arista said as she finished her
And then she was gone, the door clanging shut behind her.
Tristan was truly frightened, then. He had always been able to count on
his size; it had given him a certain power that had nothing to do with
his physicality. It had given him confidence. Without that crutch on
which to lean, he felt lost. And it wasn't over. She had clearly
implied that more changes were to come. Would he continue to shrink
until he was the size of a child? Were they changing him into something
else? He ached to know, but feared the knowledge.
No, he thought. Tristan would not be conquered by fear. He would
persevere, and take what opportunities which might present themselves.
Despite his own admonishment, though, Tristan could not help but take
stock of the changes he had undergone.
He knew he had shrunk, but how much? After a few minutes of crude
measurement and comparison to his surroundings, he estimated that he was
barely five and a half feet tall - about average height for a man in
Honus. Average. Normal. The idea disgusted him. Then, Tristan ran
his hands over his body, feeling for muscles that weren't there. It was
more than the near starvation that had robbed his body of its mass; the
spell had contributed, he knew. He felt...soft. There was no other
word for it. And then he realized why. He had no body hair. Not a
single strand of hair was on his body below his eyebrows.
Tristan had never been a particularly hairy man, but he had never been
completely smooth, either. His hairless body was dirty, surely, but he
could feel his silky skin beneath his wandering hands. A spark of
familiarity flared in his mind, and he instantly knew why. His skin
felt like that of a woman.
At the thought, his hand inevitably went to his genitals, and as
expected, he knew they had shrunk by nearly half. Was that the purpose
of the spell, then? Were they going to turn him into a woman? He
didn't think it possible.
Tristan raised his slender arm, and sniffed beneath it. He hadn't
bathed in months, and the smell was not pleasant. But it wasn't his
smell. It wasn't the body odor of a man. He couldn't describe how it
was different, but he knew that it was.
How had he not noticed the changes before then? They were so dramatic.
Of course, Tristan knew the answer to his own question. They had been
gradual, and he had little frame of reference by which to gauge the
transformation. That, and he had been distracted by his own depression
at his weakened, captive state.
Vowing to not be caught unaware again, Tristan found a loose rock, and
marked his height on the wall. It wasn't much, but it would give him
some way to keep track of the changes.
That night, Tristan could not sleep; thoughts of what the future might
hold prevented it. So he lay awake on the stone floor, thinking about
life as a normal-sized man, or worse, a small man. He dared not think
what was in his mind, though. He couldn't bring himself to ponder
existence as a woman.
By Tristan's reckoning, almost a month had passed since Arista's last
visit. He had continued to shrink, but had leveled off after three
weeks. Tristan estimated his height at around five feet, four inches.
The rest of his body had lost more mass, but he couldn't be sure how
much. What he did know was that his hands and feet were dainty and
feminine. In addition, his genitals had continued to shrink as well,
but had leveled off at about a quarter of their former size. He looked
like a child down there.
He was sitting in his cell, his mind nearly overwhelmed with depression,
when his cell door opened. In walked two burly men. Tristan was taken
aback by how intimidating they were. He had never been afraid of a man
before; sure, he had normal fears of abstract concepts, and he was
uneasy when it came to great heights, but he had never feared another
human being. Not until that day, at least.
The two men said nothing, but merely took Tristan by the arms, and
hauled him from the cell. Tristan, to his credit, tried to struggle,
but the men were far too strong. After a few moments of useless
struggle, Tristan gave up.
They led him through the dungeon, but Tristan barely noticed his
surroundings. His mind was preoccupied with musings on his fate.
Surely they wouldn't kill him then, but what fate awaited him, he did
The trip through the dungeon was a blur. He was dragged through it, up
some stairs, and through some hallways. He absently noted that the
decorations were getting richer as he progressed. Where were they
Almost as soon as the question entered Tristan's mind, the guards
stopped. One of them, a hulking, bald brute, knocked on a door.
"Enter," the voice of Arista called from inside.
The bald man opened the door, and Tristan was led inside.
The room was spacious and richly furnished. Tapestries decorated the
walls, and a trio of chairs dominated the space. Tristan could see
through a door at the other end of the sitting room that a bedroom
"Ah, Prince Tristan," Arista said, rising from one of the chairs.
"Lovely, just lovely." She clapped her hands twice, and from nowhere
came a pair of servant women. "Let's get you cleaned up, then."
The two servants - both stocky and a bit bigger than Tristan - took
Tristan's hands, and led him to and through a side door. Inside was a
huge copper bath tub, and he was told to get into it. Tristan was eager
to wash the dirt from his body, so he did not resist.
As he stepped into the warm water of the tub, he noticed that the water
smelled of flowers. Then, one of the women poured a bucket of water
over his head, drenching him. Tristan's long, blonde hair obscured his
vision as he felt the women rub him down with soap. They were quite
thorough, and left no crack or crevice uncleaned. Tristan noticed a
slight smile on one of the servant's face when she was washing his
When they were finished, Tristan stepped from the tub, and saw that the
water was nearly black from the grit and grime of his imprisonment. He
was dried, and then directed to sit on a dainty-looking chair which
never would have supported his weight before the change. He sat, and
the chair did not protest at the weight of his petite frame.
Then, the servants went to work. They did something with his hair, and
applied some things to his face, but Tristan had little idea what they
were doing, as he had no mirror. After almost an hour, the women were
finished, and led him back into the sitting room.
Arista smiled when Tristan came in, and said, "Oh, that is just
gorgeous. But something is missing." Her hand came to her chin as she
thought. "Ah, I know." She mumbled a few words, and a pink ribbon
appeared in her hand. Arista crossed the room, and knelt in front of
Tristan. Then, she tied the ribbon around his penis. Tristan looked
down at the perfect bow on his small penis, and could not deny that it
looked, well, adorable.
"And now the finishing touch," Arista said, holding the torque Tristan's
father had given him. It looked smaller. "We had this torque
adjusted. It is famous, you know. All know its story, having been
passed down from father to son, King to prince. One of a kind." She
clasped it around his slender neck, and then attached a six foot chain
to it. "Come now," Arista said, tugging on the chain. "Let's look at
the new you."
Arista led Tristan to a full length mirror. Tristan kept his head down
for almost a full minute before he dared to look. He raised his eyes to
an image of beauty.
Tristan's face was that of a princess, rivaling that of any woman he had
ever seen, and surpassing nearly all. They had fixed his hair in quite
a feminine style, weaving in a crown Tristan recognized as the style a
princess of Honus might wear. His eyes traveled down his slender neck
to his slim shoulders. He gazed at his torso, at his slightly rounded
belly and thin waist. His hips flared out like a woman's, and his legs
were shapely. He knew without looking that his buttocks had been
feminized as well. The only parts of his masculinity which remained
were his small genitals and a lack of breasts.
"What have you done?" Tristan asked in a breathy whisper. He had not
spoken in over a month, and was surprised to hear his high-pitched
Still holding Tristan's leash, Arista smiled. "Don't you like your new
body, mighty prince?"
Tristan could not contain his anger any longer. Months of seething
frustration boiled out in an instant, and he launched himself at Arista.
Surprised, Arista was knocked from her feet, and the two rolled around
on the ground, each trying to get the upper hand.
Years of training were thrown aside, and Tristan could not help but
fight in what was an unmistakeably feminine style. He scratched, clawed
at the bigger woman. Tristan even grabbed Arista's hair, and yanked
some free. After only a few stunned seconds, though, the two burly
guards grabbed Tristan, and easily pulled him off of their mistress.
Arista took a moment to compose herself, and then said, "For that, you
will be punished." She waved her hand at one of the guards. "Do what
you will, but do not mark him up."
Tristan looked at the guard to which Arista had spoken. He wore a
crooked smile on his face.
"Bend him over," the bald guard barked, and Tristan felt the rough,
strong hands of the other guard push him over.
Tristan struggled as best he could, but to no avail. He squealed,
kicked, screamed and tried to wiggle free, but it did no good as the
bald guard pushed Tristan's legs apart. Then it happened so quickly
that Tristan barely registered it outside of a sharp pain in his rectum.
The guard had entered him from behind.
Helplessness. Despair. Pain. Humiliation. It is a strange thing for a
man to be raped, surely. Yes, the physical pain is intense, especially
for a virgin, but the emotional impact is far greater. It is enough to
completely break a normal man. Tristan, however, was anything but
ordinary. He was a champion. He was a great warrior. Tristan
dominated everything put in front of him, be it women, battle, or other
men. And so his fall, though no less assured by the rape, was from a
far greater height. Every one of those emotions, that humiliation and
degradation was felt all the more keenly because of who Tristan was, or
rather had been..
Tristan fought as best he could; what else could he do? Soon, though,
as the guard took him from behind, Tristan's struggle lost its
intensity. He quit screaming, and just lay there as the man did his
business. By the time the two men switched places, Tristan was sobbing
"Just relax, darlin'," the other guard whispered in Tristan's ear.
"Relax, and it won't hurt so much."
A big part of Tristan died that day when the second guard entered him
from behind, and he didn't even move. There was no fight, no struggle.
He just lay there, bent over the chair as the big man did his business.
Tristan sat, still naked, on one of the chairs, and he could feel a wet
spot forming beneath him. The guards had not bothered to pull out. He
couldn't get pregnant, after all. He wasn't a woman. But, then again,
what was he? He certainly wasn't a man. Was he something in between?
Tristan couldn't bring himself to ponder the question.
It was almost like it had all happened to someone else, like he had been
a spectator to the most humiliating, degrading, and painful event of his
life. He had been raped, but that part wasn't the most troubling to the
former warrior. No, the worst part was that they had treated him, not
like a man, but like just another woman who needed to be taught a
He had remained bent over the chair long after the men had finished;
Tristan had simply been unable to will himself to motion. And so he had
remained there, gently sobbing until one of the servants had helped him
up, and onto the chair.
Tristan hadn't said a word since then. He hadn't looked up, but
instead, stared at the ground. He was aware, but still dazed from the
"You see what happens when you're a bad boy?" he heard Arista's voice
ask. "Look at me."
Tristan raised his eyes, and was surprised by what he saw. Arista sat
across from him, and Tristan saw genuine pain. Did she regret what she
"You asked me a question before you attacked me," Arista began, her
voice soft. "You wanted to know what we had done to you. Let me
explain your situation. By now I'm sure you realize that the battle in
which you were caught was a trap. We wanted to capture you, but we
really didn't expect it to work. We had tried and failed many times
before. But capture you, we did. As I told you months ago, we were
unsure how to deal with you once we had you. My first thought was to
turn you into a woman, but it soon became clear that that was
impossible." She shrugged. "Our magic simply won't do that. We
considered all sorts of possibilities, but none seemed, well, right."
Arista paused, and stood. She put her hands behind her back, and
started to pace. Finally, after a few moments, she continued, "Then, I
realized something. We didn't have to make you a woman. We just had to
take away your masculinity. So, we bent our will towards doing just
that. It took a while, but we figured out how to do it without killing
you - no easy task, mind you."
She turned to him, "But you've seen the result. You have, to be blunt,
the body of a young woman except for a two obvious differences, and a
couple of subtle ones. Of course, you retained your male genitalia, but
your, ah, equipment is much smaller now. No breasts, obviously. But
there are two other things which you may have noticed. One, your anus
is quite a bit more sensitive now, and is capable of taking quite
aggressive penetration. Think of it as your new sex organ. You have no
basis for comparison, but if we hadn't changed you, you would be
bleeding quite freely right now."
Arista smiled. "And then there's my personal touch. It is not as
drastic as the other changes, but I think it is far more...profound.
It's a mental change, so the degree of difficulty..ah, but you don't
want to hear me prattle on about my craft. Suffice it to say that I
took away a few of the rougher edges of your personality. What that
means for you, we can't be certain. Time will tell, perhaps."
Arista sat down next to Tristan, and put her arms around him. He was
stunned, but unsurprised. He had, after all, seen the changes himself.
He knew that the rape should have hurt quite a bit more, and, towards
the end, he had felt the beginnings of physical pleasure. It had been
overshadowed by his intense humiliation and mental anguish, but it had
"What is to become of me?" Tristan said in his soft, girlish voice.
"That is my favorite part, for it offers a chance at redemption. We
know that you have simply done your duty as a warrior, and we also know
that you are no more brutal than any other. But you are a symbol, and
one we must destroy utterly and without mercy," Arista explained. "So
we have devised a plan. For two more years you will remain our captive.
The first will be the most difficult, for you will be humiliated on a
daily basis. Everyone will know what you once were, and we will leave
little doubt about what you have become. It will be degrading, and most
of my colleagues think you won't make it. I think you are a survivor,
however, and I have faith that you will play your part. The only
consolation I can offer is this: you have no choice but to obey, so try
to enjoy what moments you can."
Tristan asked, "And after that first year?"
"The second year will be more relaxed. You will remain what you are
now, but the humiliation will stop. You will be given quarters
befitting your station, but you will be required to learn how to act as
a lady. It will be difficult, and you will be unable to continue any
masculine tendencies. I will not lie. The goal is to train the
maleness out of you. After that year, you will be given a choice. I
won't tell you the terms of that choice now; it is for another time, but
know that you will be released should you wish it."
"Why are you telling me?" Tristan asked.
"Because, like I said, you have no choice. I just thought it was the
decent thing to do to at least tell you your fate," Arista said.
"And if I disobey?"
"You will be punished, but this time, the men won't be so gentle,"
Arista said. "If your disobedience becomes too common, I will see to it
that you spend the rest of your life in a brothel as a cheap whore."
Tristan could not bring himself to doubt Arista's words.
"Now then, let us go to dinner, shall we, pet?" Arista said, standing.
She tugged on his leash.
Tristan's mind was reeling as Arista led him through the hallways. He
hardly noticed his surroundings, so focused on his predicament was he.
So that was their plan? To completely emasculate and humiliate him?
Arista had said as much. Tristan was completely lost; he had no idea
what to do. Should he play along, and hope that Arista would release
him after the two years? Or should he fight, and endure whatever
punishment they could throw at him?
He knew that he wanted to fight. It was, after all, his nature to
resist, but the combination of his new body, the rape, and whatever
Arista had done to his mind made him hesitate. Tristan was afraid, more
so than he ever had been before, and of so many things. He feared what
men might do to him; he was afraid of whatever punishment Arista might
mete out. And he was afraid that she might just doom him to a life as a
cheap whore. He knew he couldn't really resist if that's what she
wanted to do. Most patrons at brothels didn't really care whether their
whore was willing or not. Some even liked the fighters.
No, resistance seemed futile as Tristan was led through the halls. The
servants had fixed his hair, and adjusted his makeup. But he wore
nothing save the pink bow around his shrunken manhood; his feminized
body was bare for all to see, though they passed no one in the halls.
They reached a pair of double doors, in front of which, a pair of guards
stood. One of the guards nodded to Arista, and pushed the door open,
and Tristan heard a din of voices coming from inside. If he was going
to resist, now was the time. He wanted to. He needed to, but he
didn't. Rather, he followed Arista meekly into the dining hall.
Tristan felt all eyes on him, though he kept his own to the ground. He
couldn't bear to look at anyone. Arista stopped, and said, "Ladies and
gentlemen, I present to you Prince Tristan of Honus." There was an
And Arista was moving again, tugging Tristan along. She sat, and said,
"Stand behind me, and do not speak, pet." She looped Tristan's leash
onto a chair, and sat. Tristan hazarded a glance at the occupants of
the table, and was unsurprised to see that nearly twenty sets of eyes
were on him. But Tristan stood as he had been instructed.
Servants entered, and set down the first course, and the diners began to
eat. Conversation, inevitably, was dominated by talk of Tristan.
"Is that really him?" a fat man asked. Arista answered in the
affirmative. "Oh, he is just adorable," a woman who sat at the head of
the table said. Tristan assumed she was the queen. "Well, done,
Arista." The magician nodded in thanks.
So the meal went, with many people barely touching their food. Instead,
they stared at Tristan, or asked questions of Arista. Tristan found
himself studying the people around the table, just as they were studying
Their expressions were many and varied. Some viewed him with obvious
hate. Others looked at him like he was some sort of novelty. And
others looked at him with lust. Still others alternated between the
Time passed, and soon, the plates were clean, but the conversations
continued long into the night. Tristan learned a lot that night, not
least of which that Arista really didn't care for the people at the
table. She was polite enough, but Tristan couldn't help but notice a
certain curtness to her words. He also found out that the queen of
Einar was an absolute dolt. She was flighty, vapid, and quite stupid.
It was clear that Arista was the true power.
At almost midnight, Arista excused herself from the table, citing a need
for an early next morning. She tugged at Tristan's leash, and said,
"Come now, pet." They were almost out the door when Arista was hailed
by one of the men who had been at the table.
"A word, Arista?" he asked. Tristan looked at him. The man was middle-
aged, but had the body of a former warrior gone slightly to seed. What
was left of the warrior in Tristan noticed that the man was not to be
"Yes, Count Irving?" Arista said, turning.
"I was wondering if I might have some time, ah, alone with your pet," he
"Certainly, but know that he is not to be harmed. You may use him as
you wish, but I can not abide your harming such a helpless creature,"
Arista said. Tristan's thoughts ranged from gratitude to outrage. On
one hand, he appreciated Arista's protection. On the other hand, he
rankled at being called helpless.
"Oh no. Nothing of the sort, I assure you, Arista. But one thing," he
paused. "I want him to enjoy it. Or at least act like it."
"That can be arranged," Arista said. "Tomorrow night, then?"
"I was hoping that I might have him tonight," the Count ventured.
"No, I have plans for Prince Tristan tonight," Arista stated with a
smile. "I shall send him to your quarters tomorrow night, then."
The Count nodded, a hungry smile decorating his face.
"Hold very still, pet," Arista said, her slender fingers at Tristan's
temples. They had returned to her quarters only minutes before. "You
certainly don't want this spell to go wrong. You would end up a
Tristan believed her. He had seen the effects magic could have on
someone's mind, and had no desire to interrupt the delicate process.
Arista's brow furrowed in concentration, and Tristan couldn't help but
notice that she was quite beautiful. Her dark, mocha colored skin was
exotic, and she had a commandingly sexy presence about her which Tristan
found quite appealing.
Arista's fingers grew hot, but only for a split second, and then she
said, "There. All done. Now you will be unable to harm another human
being without causing yourself considerable pain. Even thinking about
violence will cause unease. Try it."
Tristan couldn't help it. He imagined snapping Arista's slender neck.
As Arista had said, a slight nervousness bordering on fear enveloped his
mind. He put the idea from his thoughts.
"Stay, pet," Arista instructed, and she disappeared into another room.
She returned a moment later, and she was as naked as Tristan. What was
this? She sat on a chair, and spread her legs. "Kneel before me."
Tristan did. "Now please me with your mouth."
Tristan had no desire for punishment, and besides, he had done as much
before. He lowered his face into her nether region, and began to lick.
After a few minutes, Arista moaned. A few more minutes, and she had her
hand on the back of Tristan's pretty head, pushing his face into her
The whole time, even as he licked, Tristan couldn't help but note one
simple fact. He was between the legs of a beautiful woman, and he was
not even the slightest bit aroused. His member hadn't stirred. He
might as well be licking some inanimate object for how much it excited
him. That thought scared him more than anything else. What had
happened to him?
The next night, Tristan was led through the palace, still completely
naked, by a servant. Arista had told him to obey the woman like she was
his mistress. Tristan, of course, obeyed. He didn't really have a
choice in the matter.
And so he found himself standing in front of an ornate door as the
servant woman knocked, then waited. The door opened, and Tristan's
leash was passed to another servant. For their part, the servants did
not even acknowledge Tristan's nudity. He was grateful for that.
Tristan saw the Count as soon as he entered the room. Dressed in a
flimsy silk robe, he smiled suggestively as he leered at Tristan's
The Count waved the servants away, and rose, crossing the room to where
Tristan stood. He took Tristan's hand, and led him to the couch.
Tristan noted the lust in the Count's eyes.
Count Irving disrobed, and pushed Tristan to his knees. The former
warrior knew what was expected; he had prepared himself for that moment.
But as he knelt in front of the Count, staring at the man's erect
member, something happened. Tristan became aroused. His own shrunken
member did not become engorged, but the feeling was unmistakeable. He
wanted to touch it. He wanted to taste it. And he wanted it inside of
him. He tried to resist, but it was nearly useless. Tristan knew that
it would do him no good, and besides, he wanted to do it.
Tristan looked up at Count Irving.
"Go ahead, my sweet," the count urged. "I know you want to."
Desire is a strange thing. No one can control the object of their
desire. No one can change what they truly want, and Tristan was no
different. He wanted that man as much as he had ever wanted any woman.
Perhaps he wanted it more.
With a tentative lick, Tristan's lingering masculinity was tossed into
the back of his mind. The lick became a kiss, and Tristan lost himself
to his lust. He took the Count's member into his mouth, just as he had
seen so many women do to his own. The warrior screamed from the back
of Tristan's mind, yelling for him not to give in, but he pushed the
weak cries aside, and committed to his task of pleasuring the Count.
He sucked, he licked, and Tristan kissed the man's privates until he was
rewarded with a salty, sticky gift in his willing mouth. He swallowed
A few minutes later, Tristan still knelt in front of the Count, trying
to coax the man's member back to erection. It didn't take long.
Count Irving reached down, and hauled Tristan to his feet, then sat down
on a rich sofa.
"I want you to do this of your own volition, Prince Tristan. I want you
to ride me like a wanton whore," Count Irving said. Tristan hesitate
for only a second, his past masculinity eliciting a mere moment of
reluctance. It passed quickly, and Tristan climbed atop the Count.
Tristan reached back with a dainty hand, and gently teased the Count's
erect manhood with a light touch. He hovered just above the man, the
tip barely grazing his rectum. Tristan grabbed the penis, and lowered
himself onto the Count.
It was so different than the rape. Tristan had half expected pain, but
there was none to be felt. There was only pleasure. It was similar to
the pleasure he had felt when making love to a woman, but oh so
different. He lowered himself all the way down, and sat there for a
moment, staring into the eyes of his first real, male lover.
Then he started to move, up and down just as he had seen women do. His
hands roamed over the Count's hairy chest as he rode the man. They
kissed as they made love, and Tristan felt the rough bristles of
Irving's stubble on his smooth, delicate face. For some reason, that
excited him even more.
The orgasm shook Tristan like nothing had before. He screamed in
pleasure as his body convulsed, but still he rode, not wanting it to
Tristan came once more before the Count did the same.
Tristan still sat astride the Count's softening member, and he leaned
in, his face resting on the Count's heaving chest.
"You killed my brother, you know,' the Count said. Tristan looked up to
an evil smile. "Almost a year go. I had planned to kill you tonight,
Arista's instructions be damned. But...I don't know. There you were,
sucking, and I couldn't do it. It would have felt like killing a
Tristan didn't know what to say, so he remained silent. Irving
continued, "I don't know what Arista did to you. Maybe nothing. Maybe
you've always been like this, and she just gave you the body to match
your cravings. Either way, you may go now."
Tristan rose, and felt the man's semen dripping out of his anus as he
left the room. Shame, excitement, fear, and indignation roiled in his
mind all at once.
Tristan was back in Arista's quarters, sitting on the couch, and staring
into nothingness before he came back to himself. The sheer horror at
what he had done nearly overwhelmed him. What had come over him? Was
it some sort of compulsion? Was that part of what Arista had done to
No. Tristan had felt magical compulsion before, and he felt confident
that he could recognize it. It was something else. The feelings, the
desire, and the attraction had come from within him. Tristan thought
back to what Irving had said. Maybe he had always been like that, and
he had just been strong enough to deny it. Now, though, in his weakened
physical and mental state, he simply could do it no longer.
But that made little sense either. Tristan had always been attracted to
women, but the night before, he had felt almost nothing when he had been
with Arista. Something was different. He vowed to ask Arista when she
Even with that decided, Tristan found his mind could occupy itself with
little else. Was it so bad, though? It had been pleasurable enough,
more so than sex with any woman had been. Even after the fog of lust
had lifted from Tristan's mind, he grudgingly admitted that he wanted to
feel such pleasure again.
Irving wasn't terribly attractive, so Tristan couldn't help but wonder
how he would react to a young, handsome, and muscular man. Tristan
tried to stop himself, but failed. Images of naked men - some familiar,
and others complete conjurations from his imagination - flowed through
his mind, and Tristan became aroused. He felt a slight wetness in his
Tristan pushed his bottom forward on the couch, until it hung off, and
he spread his legs. He closed his eyes. Before he really knew what he
was doing, a small finger had found its way to his anus, and slipped
inside. Tristan worked it in and out, as he imagined scenarios where
handsome men would ravish him. He moaned, and increased the pace.
Tristan pleasured himself for only a few minutes before he was rocked by
another screaming orgasm. It wasn't as intense as it had been with the
Count, but it still left Tristan panting. He opened his eyes.
Arista was sitting across from him, smiling.
"Don't let me interrupt you, pet," she said.
Embarrassed, Tristan closed his legs, and sat up. Remembering his
decision, he asked, "What did you do to me?"
"It appears that you've been doing things to yourself, pet," she
Tristan felt himself blush. "No. Did you put some compulsion on me? To
make me, you know..."
"Did I change your sexual preference?" Arista asked. "Most certainly.
You are as close to a woman as we can make you. You aren't a man
anymore. Therefore, you are attracted to men. It is only natural.
From what Count Irving said, and what I just saw, you seem to enjoy it,
anyway. Men have the equipment to give you pleasure. You must see the
logic of it all."
And Tristan did. He didn't want to, certainly, but he saw that it made
sense in his twisted situation. That didn't prevent his anger from
It was a split decision, so the spell had little time to do its work.
Tristan leaped at Arista, and bowled the larger woman over. He raised a
fist, and was about to send it into Arista's face when an indescribable
pain wracked his entire body. He tried to fight through it, but it was
far too strong. He collapsed to the hard, stone floor, and writhed.
Vaguely, Tristan saw Arista pick herself up, and straighten her dress.
Through eyes bleary with tears, Tristan saw the woman as she stared down
on him, and said, "I will leave you like this for tonight. Let that be
a lesson to you."
Tristan managed to stay conscious for almost an hour before the pain was
too much, and he blacked out.
The next day, Tristan awoke to a surprising lack of pain. There wasn't
even any soreness. He sat up, and saw Arista sitting on the couch
staring at him.
"I am sorry," she said. "That was unfair."
"What?" was all Tristan could manage.
"I shouldn't have left you like that. Your anger was understandable;
you needed to be punished, but given the circumstances, I should have
restrained my temper. I apologize," Arista stated. Tristan thought
that she almost sounded genuine. Was this another game?
"Furthermore, I shouldn't have been so cryptic about your situation.
Generally, I feel that knowledge of one's situation makes it go down
more easily," Arista continued. "So, I have decided to explain more
Arista stood, then, with her back turned to Tristan, said, "Of course
you know the changes to your body. And I explained what was done to
your mind. You will be aroused by men, and they, by you. I could tell
you how we accomplished this, but you probably wouldn't understand a
word of it. Suffice it to say that it is so."
She turned back to him, "As to what you can expect. Well, more of the
same. You will be a plaything for whoever might wish it. Men or women,
it does not matter. You will be instrument of sexual pleasure. I think
I am right in saying that this will be quite enjoyable for you."
Tristan knew she was right.
"Your partners will be chosen by me, and for maximum diplomatic effect.
Mostly, they will be envoys from other nations, but some will be
selected as a special favor for select Einarians. I'm sure you can see
the benefit. Envoys will inevitably report that the mighty Tristan has
been transformed into a simpering sex slave. They will think twice
before any aggressive action against us," Arista explained. "As to the
Einarians, well...you have wronged a great many of these people, and
some will wish to humiliate you by taking you to their beds."
Arista smiled, but Tristan detected a hint of sadness. She continued,
"These activities will occupy your nights. Your days will largely be
your own, save a few in which you will be instructed in your new role.
After the first year, you will be, as I said before, trained as a lady.
Before that, though, you will wear no clothing at all. The world has to
see what has become of Prince Tristan for this to be a success."
Tristan had guessed at the plan, certainly, and he had gotten pieces
here and there. But hearing it all spelled out like that was difficult
for him to bear. Years later, when he would look back, he would cite
that day as the one in which he truly lost the last shred of his
masculinity. It wasn't his new body. Nor was it the rape or the
subsequent sex with Count Irving. He wouldn't even credit his
attraction to men, and the pleasure he felt when one made love to him.
No, it was none of that.
It was the helplessness he felt in that moment, just after Arista had
fully explained his future. He broke down and cried, and not from pain
or humiliation like he had after the rape. There was absolutely nothing
he could do about any of it, and for a man who had grown accustomed to
simply taking what he wanted, that feeling, that emotion, was
Never before had Tristan been confronted with an inability to change his
fate. The fact that he always had been able to had become the
cornerstone of his personality. Before, he saw what he wanted, and he
took it. No one dared challenge him. It was both the source and
confirmation of his own confidence. It was the core of his masculinity.
And that core had been shattered.
Arista cradled the former warrior in her arms, and stroked his hair.
She even hummed a soothing tune, and Tristan couldn't help but feel a
certain affinity for the woman. She was the cause of his
predicament...no, that wasn't right. She hadn't captured him. She
likely hadn't even been the driving force behind his punishment. And
she had shown him some kindness, before, and as Tristan was at his most
vulnerable. No, Arista was an enigma. She was cruel, certainly, but
was that due to circumstance? Or was she truly as heartless as she
seemed at first glance.
Tristan thought of those things and more, as he was comforted by the
Tristan's life fell into a rhythm much like the one Arista had
described. His days were taken up by feminine instructions. He was
taught to move, to act, and to care for himself as a woman. Over time,
and through constant attention, Tristan's comportment changed. It was
gradual, unlearning a lifetime of habit, but his teachers were vigilant,
and over time, Tristan began to arch his back, to sway his hips, and to
keep his wrist bent. He was told to watch the mannerisms of women, and
to mimic them, and so he did. As a result, his gestures when talking,
though those occasions when someone wanted him to speak were few and far
between, became like that of a woman.
Each night, Arista took him to dinner, and had him stand naked behind
her. Everywhere Tristan went, he was naked, and his nudity ceased to be
a source of embarrassment. Against all odds, he actually began to enjoy
the effect his naked body elicited in people.
Sometimes, Arista would have Tristan get beneath the table, and orally
pleasure random guests. It was like a game, and Tristan did his best.
He generally chose men, but occasionally, he found himself between the
legs of a woman.
After dinner each night, Tristan would be led to someone's quarters.
Sometimes, they were men. Other times, they were women. Still others,
it was a mixture of both men and women. He participated in normal
couplings, threesomes, foursomes, and even all-out orgies. He was an
object of pleasure, a toy used for sex.
Months passed, and Tristan's former life began to feel like something of
a dream. He was so far removed from the warrior that that life hardly
Arista had said that it would be embarrassing, and it was at first.
Even after Tristan acknowledged that his masculinity was gone, he still
had difficulty growing used to his new station in life. After six
months, he had adjusted completely.
One night, in the midst of the sixth month, Tristan was led to the
dining hall. It was just like any other day. The ribbon on his penis
was yellow, and his leash stretched out from his neck to Arista's hand.
When they entered the dining hall, it was empty. Tristan knew what that
meant. That was the signal that that night would be one in which he
would give oral pleasure to the guests.
Arista didn't even have to tell him. Tristan got down on all fours, and
crawled under the table. He was excited, for it was one of the few
times when he could exercise any control over his situation. Tristan
could choose his own path. Once Tristan was under the table, he heard a
sharp clap. That was the signal for the guests to enter. From beneath
the table, he saw boots, the hems of fine dresses, and slippers. Chairs
pulled out, and the guests seated themselves.
Now was the time. Tristan looked around. He knew he wanted a man that
night. So which one? He could hear the murmur of conversation above
him, but paid it little heed. He was on a mission to find the perfect
member on which to suck. It only took him a few moments to find a
Tristan crawled over, noticing the man's ornate breeches and polished
leather boots. Probably a soldier of some sort. They always had the
Tristan reached up a dainty hand, and felt the man's crotch. The
stranger flinched slightly, but otherwise did not move. What man would
refuse such a touch?
The former warrior's hands massaged the man through his pants for a few
moments, feeling the man's arousal. Tristan could tell that it wasn't
huge; nor was it small. It was just right. He had chosen well.
Tristan unbuttoned the man's breeches, button by button, until they lay
open. He reached in,and pulled the man's member free. It quivered in
the air for a moment, shaking back and forth after being released.
Tristan licked it, starting at its base, and ending at its tip. He went
slowly, teasing it with his tongue for a few minutes. Finally, he took
it into his mouth, still going as slowly as he dared, until the tip
occupied his throat. Then, he pulled out, sucking gently. Tristan
heard the man moan.
Tristan pleasured the man until he was rewarded with warm, salty semen.
He swallowed dutifully, and then, went on to pleasure someone else.
Before the night was through, Tristan had gone down on four different
people - three men and a woman, and his belly was full of the result.
He didn't stop until he felt a tug on his leash.
"For those of you lucky enough to have felt his mouth, let me introduce
the author of your pleasure," Tristan heard Arista say as he crawled
from under the table. He stood, and Arista continued, "Prince Tristan
Tristan heard a gasp, and looked up into a set of very familiar eyes.
"It is not your fault, you know," Arista said, Tristan's head in her lap
as she stroked his hair. "It was bound to happen eventually."
"But --" Tristan sobbed.
"So you sucked your own brother's penis," Arista said. "It's not a big
deal. He's not even your real brother. Yes, your father adopted him,
but you share no parents."
"But since his mother married my father, we have been together. We grew
up as brothers, and now --"
"Now he has seen you as you now are. I warned you that this would be
humiliating," Arista said calmly.
Tristan sat up, and said, "But that's not even it. He was with her.
With my wife. She saw me like this!" He gestured to his body. "She
will never have me back, even after I return to Honus." Tristan was
absolutely distraught. He had hoped that once the whole ordeal was
finished, and Arista returned him to Honus, everything would just return
"Do you love her, then?" Arista asked.
"She is my wife," Tristan replied.
"Was your wife," Arista corrected. "I did not tell you because I didn't
want to upset you, but you were declared dead almost three months ago.
Your former wife is now the wife of your brother. That is why they were
Tristan did not, could not speak. He simply sat there, lost in thought.
Was it true? It had to be. Arista did not lie. He turned his head,
and saw something in Arista's eyes. Was it anger? No. Tristan had
seen her angry. What was it? And then he recognized it. She was
jealous. Had she set the whole thing up as some sort of punishment for
his love for his own wife? Or was she clearing the way for something
Tristan knew that Arista did not really think of him as a prisoner
anymore. She had comforted him when he was in pain, supported him
throughout the ordeal, and the two had grown close. He was her shadow,
and Tristan could tell that she felt at least some affection for him.
The leash, Tristan knew, was like nearly everything else: a show of
dominance which existed for other people's perception. But in the
quarters he shared with Arista, there were no such shows of dominance.
After a couple of months, Arista had offered him clothes, and he had
refused. She had offered to remove the collar and leash, but Tristan
was used to them at that point. More often than not, after Tristan had
been used by whoever that night's partner was, he returned to Arista's
quarters, and slipped into bed with her.
Was it love? Probably not. But Arista had grown fond of him, at least
enough to not treat him like the prisoner he was.
"Why were they here?" Tristan asked after a moment.
"Peace negotiations," Arista answered quickly. "The queen wished to at
least make an effort."
Tristan knew that a precarious set of rules governed warfare. If
captured on the field of battle, as Trista was, a warrior was fair game.
That same warrior, if under the flag of diplomacy, was off limits.
Tristan always thought the system was silly, but he adhered to it, just
as everyone else did.
"Were they successful?" Tristan asked.
"Of course not," Arista responded. "There will be no peace so long as
these two nations are led by arrogant fools." A tinge of anger laced
Tristan knew she was right.
"You never refer to it as your country or your countrymen. Your
coloring is different from most Einarians, and your speech carries an
accent," Tristan said. "Where are you from?"
"Across the sea," was Arista's only answer. She had run the emotional
gamut from jealousy to anger, and now, it seemed, she felt regret.
Tristan chose not to probe it any further, and simply lay his head in
her lap while she stroked his smooth cheek.
After that night, Tristan's sexual escapades took a decidedly downward
turn. It went from being a sexual plaything every night to every other
night, and then, to only rarely. Tristan was slightly disappointed, at
first, but soon became accustomed to the lack of sexual activity. In
addition, Arista quit taking him to dinner, and instead, ate with him in
the small dining area in their quarters.
At the eight month mark, Arista began insisting that Tristan clothe
himself, but certainly not in male clothing. Nor was it any sort of
clothing Tristan had ever seen. The garments were made of silk, and he
generally wore two - a top and a bottom. The top, Arista referred to as
a camisole, and it was a shirt with thin straps instead of shoulders,
and without sleeves. The lower garment, Arista called panties, and was
made in such a way that it hugged his body tightly.
Admittedly, Tristan liked the way he looked in the new clothes. His
plump, round rear looked astoundingly feminine, and the top showed off
his thin, smooth arms and narrow shoulders.
As the weeks went on, Arista began confiding in Tristan. Tristan had
never possessed a sharp political mind, but he knew enough to offer his
insights. Arista, it seemed, was surprised by his knowledge.
Obviously, she had thought him a dumb brute.
They grew closer, day by day, and soon, Tristan shared Arista's bed
exclusively. It wasn't as satisfying as being with a man, but Tristan
did enjoy Arista's company. And there was no lack of sexual pleasure in
that bed, certainly.
After eleven months, Tristan knew that the humiliation was a thing of
the past, even though, according to the plan, a month still remained.
He trusted Arista, and knew that she wouldn't subject him to that
Though they were close, Tristan still barely knew his lover. She was
from another country, another continent entirely, but would not reveal
why she had come to Einar. Aside from that, her past remained shrouded
in mystery. It was enough, though, for Tristan that he was a part of
her present. He did not pry, thinking that when she was ready, she
would tell him.
On the eve of Tristan's one-year anniversary in his body, he and Arista
were dining when she said, "Have you thought about what you will do when
the time is up? When your second year is complete, I mean."
Tristan shrugged. He had thought about it, certainly, but had come to
no conclusions. Would he be welcome back in Honus? Somehow he doubted
it. Would he still be welcome in Einar? Perhaps. "I don't know."
"Would you run away with me, then? Right now, would you go?" Arista
asked. It was her favorite question. She asked it at least once a
As always, Tristan said, "Of course." And then, he added, "I love you."
The words were out before he had even realized it. Why had he said
that? Was it true? It was strange to think that the person most
responsible for his condition was also the person he least blamed.
Arista didn't have to say it, of course, but Tristan knew that she
hadn't really wanted to punish him. Not so severely, at least. He saw
the regret in her eyes over the first year of the punishment phase, and
he had little doubt that Arista wasn't really to blame. She was simply
Tristan's words had taken Arista aback. She looked at him questioningly
for a moment, then asked, "Y-you love me?"
"I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry," Tristan said quickly in
response. He did love Arista, certainly, but was it romantic love? Or
was it like the love between sisters? He was unsure on that count.
Tristan felt little in the way of arousal, even when the two made love.
He simply wasn't put together that way; Tristan was attracted to men -
physically, at least. He liked their bodies, their faces, the rough
stubble on their faces - all physical things. But he loved the
tenderness with which Arista treated him; he felt safe with her like
with no other. Was that enough?
"Don't be sorry, love," Arista said. "I confess that I have grown quite
fond of you as well." She touched his lips. Tristan kissed her finger,
and smiled. Tristan knew where it was going. Arista was in the mood,
and he couldn't bring himself to refuse her. Was it simply conditioning
to cater to the sexual whims of others? Or did he truly draw pleasure
from making her happy? He tossed those thoughts aside, and rose,
removing his scant clothes.
They made love as two women might, and Tristan did feel quite a lot of
pleasure, but it wasn't the same as when he was with a man. For
Arista's sake, he tried to fake it.
The first day of Tristan's second year was hectic. Early in the
morning, he was fitted for an entirely new wardrobe. He tried on
skirts, dresses, more lingerie, and shoes. The seamstress measured him
over and over, making small notes on her papers, and soon, left Tristan
with a few temporary dresses to wear.
Next came instruction on how he should conduct himself. The instructor
was a severe woman whose every sentence was preceded by, "A true Lady
does --" Tristan hated her. However, he was thankful that he had
already mastered feminine movements; he shuddered to think what the
severe woman would say had she seen him as he had been, clunking around
on heavy feet.
Finally, he attended classes teaching a style of dance called ballet.
Arista told him that it would make him more graceful and ladylike.
Those first few days, he merely stretched, and did a few basic moves.
But week by week, the level of difficulty inclined steeply.
Over the course of that year, Tristan was transformed from an improper
young harlot (for that is what he had become) to a lady. The dresses
felt constrictive at first, what with their corsets and voluminous
petticoats, but soon, he became accustomed to them. By the end of the
year, Tristan wore them without thought; it was second nature to him.
Arista asked him almost daily what decision he would make, and Tristan
skirted the question. He simply did not know. On the one hand, he felt
obligated to return to Honus. On the other, he was now certain that he
loved Arista. His marriage to Penelope felt silly by comparison. But
was that because he had not seen her for almost two years? Or had he
simply lusted after her, and confused that lust with love? Tristan had
Finally, in the eleventh month, Tristan and Arista were lying together
in bed, having just made love. Tristan sighed, and said, "I need to go
back to Honus."
Arista turned to him, and sadness in her eyes, said, "If that is your
"You misunderstand me, my love," Tristan responded. "My life...before.
It feels so far away, now. Emotions I felt, bonds I shared - I need to
know if they were real, or if I simply thought they were because I had
no basis for comparison.'
"Is what we have not enough?" Arista asked.
"It is. But you have to understand what I'm saying. My family, I
haven't seen them for almost two years. I missed my father's death. I
missed my brother's coronation. No, I am not bitter. I know I would not
have been a good king, and I will not press that issue, though it is my
right. Frederick will make a fine king," Tristan stated. "I don't know
if you willingly left people behind, or if there was nothing left for
you where you came from, but I have to know."
Tristan finished with a huff, and neither spoke for almost five minutes.
Finally, Arista said, "They were all dead. Back home, I mean. I didn't
know how to control my power, and I killed them. I still don't know how
it happened. One day, they were alive, and the next, they were piles of
ash. That is why I left." A single tear flowed down her cheek. "You
say you love me, and maybe you meant it. For that, you deserve to know
what I am. I killed almost four-hundred people that day. I am a
"You didn't know --"
"I knew that what I was doing was dangerous," Arista interrupted. "I
knew that people could be hurt, but I was overconfident. You have
danced around the subject of my punishment of you. Again, you deserve
to know that I did not choose your punishment. I did not want to do it,
but I gave up the right to choose my actions long ago. I forfeited that
right when I killed those people. I won't make decisions regarding my
"Why are you telling me this?" Tristan asked.
"You need to know. It has been weighing on me for almost two years now,
and I needed to say something before it was too late," Arista said. "If
you leave, I can't have you thinking that I did this to you. I won't
let that hang between us."
"I don't care," Tristan said. "Even if you had made the decision, I am
not bitter. You changed my life, Arista. It was difficult, at first.
And I hated you for it. But it wasn't long before I saw the person you
were. You love me. And I love you. The past is irrelevant now."
"But what of the future?" Arista asked.
"We could run away together," Tristan replied. "Like you said. Just
leave. Who would stop us?"
"What of your family?" Arista inquired.
"I still need to know," Tristan said. "But we can go before the year is
up, and then, disappear from there. Your obligation to the queen will
be fulfilled, and I will know where I stand with my family."
"You will confront them like that?" Arista asked. "You do not want to
change back before you see them?"
Tristan answered, "No. If they love me, they will accept me. If not,
well...we'll cross that bridge when we get there, won't we?"
Tristan stood, nervously wringing his small hands, in front of the
throne room. He didn't know why he was so uneasy. His brother knew
what he had become; he had seen firsthand. Was it because of Penelope?
No, he knew that she was well aware of his condition. It just didn't
make sense. Arista stood proudly beside him, head held high, shoulders
He was thankful for her strength, at least. She had insisted on
accompanying him to his father's - no, his brother's palace.
Preparations had begun directly after the conversation in which it had
been suggested, and the trip had commenced two days later.
The journey had been uneventful, but still quite strange for Tristan.
For one, he had rarely been out of doors since his capture, and he found
that he was of two minds about it. Part of him had missed it while the
other part just wanted to be back indoors where it was clean and
orderly. The other thing which made the trip strange for Tristan was
the method of transportation. For all of his life, a trek across the
countryside meant riding a horse, but a lady did not ride a horse across
such a distance. No. ladies rode a carriage, and so Tristan did as
well. It was just as well. His skirts would have made it difficult to
It had been disconcerting for Tristan to see his country again, and it
had grown stranger as they moved closer to his home, what had formerly
been his late father's palace. He had known that he should have felt
something, but all Tristan really felt was a desire for the whole affair
to be over with so that he could go on with his life.
That desire warred with his nerves as he waited for the doors to open.
He glanced up at Arista, and she smiled encouragingly. It was
comforting, that smile.
He had chosen to wear one of his most feminine dresses - a ruffled white
and pink creation with a corset and voluminous skirts. He still wore
the torque his father had given him on that day, what seemed so long
ago. Let them see him at his most feminine.
The doors opened, and after taking a deep breath, Tristan stepped
through. He clutched Arista's hand tightly.
Surprise - that was the only emotion in Tristan's mind as he looked
around at the nearly empty throne room. There were only two figures -
Frederick and Penelope. He had expected either to be welcomed to court
or to be demeaned in front of the court. But he had not anticipated
meeting with only his brother and former wife.
Chin up, he thought. Shoulders back. Regal. Do not let them see your
confusion. Let not surprise show on your face. Hundreds of little
thoughts danced through his head at the same time, but they all had one
aim. Be ladylike.
He walked gracefully across the spacious room. It was so familiar;
Tristan had attended court there hundreds of times. But it looked so
barren, so empty with none of the courtiers, lords or ladies of which
the court was comprised.
The couple - Tristan and Arista - both gorgeous in their expensive
dresses - stopped but a pace away from the royal couple. One tall and
dark, the other pale and shorter, they looked a bit mismatched at first
glance. But then there were the hands, clasped together so tightly, and
their expressions, so closely mirroring one another.
Tristan knew he had made a mistake the moment he looked at his brother's
face. There was no love. There was barely any recognition. There was
only disdain with a hint of disapproval. He looked at Penelope, and she
looked away, unable to meet his gaze.
"Come back for more, eh, big brother?" Frederick asked. "Didn't get
enough when you were under the table back in Einar?"
Tristan didn't know what to say. Surely Frederick knew that he had had
no choice but to become what he had become. Certainly, he knew that
Tristan hadn't known it was him. Or did any of that even matter?
Frederick continued, "Why did you come back?"
"I...I don't know," Tristan said, his eyes falling downward.
"You shouldn't have. You must know that you're not getting the throne,"
"I don't want it," Tristan replied.
Frederick didn't say anything for a moment, but finally, he smiled. "I
never liked you, you know. You always acted so arrogant, so superior.
In fact, my dislike bordered on hate. But that's not why this was done
to you." When he noticed Tristan's confusion, he laughed. "You didn't
know? Oh, that is just priceless."
"W-what are you talking about, Frederick?" Tristan asked in a quiet
voice, even though he knew the answer.
"King Frederick! Not just Frederick anymore, brother," Frederick said.
"Or you may call me 'Your Majesty', if you prefer." His voice was
calmer. "Oh, but they didn't even tell you why you were changed, did
they?" Frederick wagged his finger at Arista. "You sneaky Einarians.
Shame on you."
A smile which could only be characterized as evil spread across his
face, and he continued, "I did it. I had you taken. I gave you to the
Einarians. I dictated the changes. That's why I was there before, to
check on you. And I must say, they did an excellent job."
"You? But why? We were bro--" Tristan said.
"Brothers?!" Frederick snapped. "We were never that. There was you -
the shining, golden warrior who would one day be king, and then there
was me. Nobody ever took me seriously. I wasn't a warrior. I didn't
seek glory like you, so I was dismissed. But that's not why. No, it
was a pragmatic rather than emotional decision on my part. I wanted to
be king. You were in the way, so I had to get rid of you."
"But why this? Why did you not just kill me?" Tristan asked.
Frederick shrugged. "This seemed better. I admit, it probably would
have been simpler to just kill you, but far less fun. I wanted to see
you get your comeuppance, brother."
"And father? Was he part of the plan?" Tristan asked.
"That old fool? I poisoned him soon after you were taken," Frederick
said offhandedly. "Just after I married your wife. She never loved
you, you know. Tell him, Penelope."
Penelope looked away, but Frederick continued, "Well, she didn't. She
married you for your position."
That did it for Tristan. Rationally, he knew that Penelope probably
hadn't returned his love, but he had convinced himself that she had held
at least a bit of fondness for him. Apparently, that was untrue. He
No amount of magic, no compulsion, nor anything else in the world could
have stopped Tristan at that moment. He launched himself at his brother
- no, it wasn't his brother - he was something else, something vile.
Something in him changed, then. It was as if his gentle nature merged
with the former warrior, forged together by a strength of purpose. He
wanted blood, and the fragile, dainty Tristan could not get it, so he
let the warrior loose. When he did, it was as if an invisible wall had
shattered in his mind. There was rage, anger, and blood lust. The
warrior had returned.
However, Tristan did not possess the body of a warrior. But he did have
surprise, and that was enough. He collided with Frederick, and the two
tumbled to the ground. Tristan had only one shot, and he went for his
brother's throat, his dainty hands clasping around Frederick's neck.
And then Tristan was thrown aside like the petite weakling he was. He
skidded across the floor, and Frederick stood.
The King laughed. "Didn't think that one through, did you?"
Tristan looked up, and saw a cowering Penelope and a stunned Arista.
Frederick ignored them, and walked towards Tristan.
He grabbed Tristan's hair, and hauled him to his feet. And then he
slapped Tristan, and hard. Tears welled up in Tristan's eyes. Rage
boiled inside, but he simply didn't have the means to stop Frederick.
"I really should have just killed you," Frederick said. "Suppose that
mistake shall have to be remedied."
He pulled a jeweled dagger from his belt. Tristan looked at Penelope,
who dared not move against her husband. Then his eyes found Arista.
Her eyes were closed, and her lips moved soundlessly. The dagger rose
towards Tristan's throat, and time seemed to slow. He knew then that he
regretted his life.
Violence. Murder. Death and destruction. He had devoted his entire
life to those things, and for what? It had only gotten him more of the
same. Until Arista came along. She had done horrible things, he knew.
Something had clouded his mind before, had glossed over the nature of
his captivity, but even with a clear head, he knew that she had done him
a favor. She had ended the cycle of violence, at least for him. And
for that, Tristan was grateful.
But did he really love her? She had stood by him. She had comforted
him. She had loved him. And then he realized. Arista had been just as
much of a victim as he was. She hadn't wanted to punish him. She
hadn't chosen the form that punishment would take. She had been forced
into it, and had clearly regretted the situation throughout.
He didn't know if it was love, but as he stood on the brink of death, he
wanted the opportunity to find out.
Arista's eyes popped open, and her lips stopped moving. A soft
concussion filled the air, and Tristan felt the grip on his hair lessen,
and finally, release. Then, he saw Frederick fall to the ground,
And then he fainted.
Tristan awoke almost two days later, and immediately felt the bumpy ride
that told him he was in a carriage. His eyes fluttered open, and he saw
that Arista was staring at him.
"Awake at least?" she asked.
"What happened?" Tristan inquired.
"Frederick is dead," Arista said. "We...I violated the flag of truce
under which we met Frederick. So, we are on the run."
"From who?" Tristan asked.
Tristan was unable to continue the conversation as he passed out again.
He awoke almost a day later, and found that the carriage had stopped.
Arista still sat across from him, but she was asleep. Tristan sat up,
rubbing his groggy eyes, and replaying events in his head. His brother
had been responsible for everything, but he was dead. How did that make
Tristan feel? Angry? Sad? Remorseful? He was unsure.
He was lost in thought when Arista woke up. Neither said anything for a
few moments, but finally, Arista said, "I think it's time you heard the
Tristan nodded. "Go on."
"Your brother hired a trio of magicians to capture you on the
battlefield, which they did. Afterward, he sent an envoy to Einar, to
my queen, offering you as a prisoner, but under certain conditions. We
would have to sign a contract, a magically binding contract which would
dictate your treatment," Arista explained. "The Queen isn't as stupid
as you might think, and she recognized the strategic advantage that a
prisoner like you represented, so she agreed. As her subject, I agreed
as well. We signed the contract."
She closed her eyes, leaned her head back, and sighed. After a moment,
Arista continued, "Part of that contract was that you would know nothing
of your brother's involvement. The rest of the contract dictated the
terms of your imprisonment, which you know well."
"I didn't know, not then, what sort of person you were. You didn't
deserve such treatment. No one does, not simply for serving his
country. For that, I apologize. I know that nothing will ever be --"
Tristan interrupted Arista with a passionate kiss. After a few moments,
he pulled away. "I don't care. I know you, and I know that you
wouldn't have done this willingly. Besides, you have set me free. I
realized something recently. I was completely unhappy before. I think
that's where all the anger came from. But now...now, I'm different.
I'm at peace, I guess. It was a difficult road, but I think it made me
a better person."
"So you don't want to go back? I can change you back if you wish,"
"No," Tristan replied. "I think I can learn to live like this."
And he kissed her again. His mind was unclouded by magic, and Tristan
felt something he hadn't felt in almost two years - attraction to a
Yes, he could adjust. As for what happened next, that is a different
tale for a different time.