The Grollins **(NSFW Erotica Story)**

The Grollins
By Calimaryn

Chapter 1

Mailyn awoke with a pounding head on a very hard surface. For a moment she wondered if she had fallen from her bed, but then the memories of the prior eve came crashing through. She had been on a journey to the East Sea when she had been kidnapped by a creature she had never heard of before. It stood the same size as any fae but it was quite a different species. Red and lumpy with large pointed ears like those belonging to a bat, and when it had spoken to her its overly wide mouth had been full of dagger sharp looking teeth. For the young maiden the most frightening thing had been the fact that it had only been wearing a loincloth that looked to be made of skin.

While she hoped her guard had not been killed but she was more worried about her own predicament now. Prying her sand filled eyes open she peered around the dark cavern she was in. It was lit only by a number of small plants whose blooms seemed to shine and glimmer in the dim light they cast. She lay upon a slab of stone that had thankfully been smoothed, though how and why she dare not question even in her mind. There was no apparent door nor could she see any roof to the small room.

Before she could do more than scramble to her hands and knees a strange thing happened. The largest blank wall began to crumble into an opening and in walked the creature. The distinctive notch in his left ear indicated that he was the one that had abducted her.

Laughing quite menacingly it tossed a skin to her and spoke in a frightening voice.

“Drink”

Fumbling with the pouch she finally got it right side up and fought with the stopper for a moment. Finally it opened to her shaking fingers and she raised it to her lips, sniffing discretely. It smelled of water so she took a mouthful. The heavy taste of minerals and sediment clouded it but she felt refreshed anyways and gulped down several more swallows while the red man laughed.

“You obey well; you will make me a fine concubine.”

Eyes wide in fear she backed as far towards the wall behind her as possible while shaking her head, causing her mass of black hair sway across her shoulders.

“Please, I am a maid from Dawnshire already pledged to a man on the East Sea.” Mailyn begged. She was truthful but not completely in that the pledge was for an assistant, not a wife. The alchemist had requested her specifically and her father, a farmer and healer of animals, had promised her to the service. Watching with growing fear as the red man sneered, exposing his pointy and plentiful teeth.

“You are Braagd’s now. I steal you fair.”

Tears swimming in her eyes as she clutched the water skin to her chest she backed herself into a corner. The small dagger at her hip would probably not be of much use against a creature like this but she tried to sneak it into her hand anyways. Unfortunately her slim waist always made the belt ride low on her full hips but never low enough to be covered by her skirts.

Deciding there was nothing else she could do; Mailyn flung the still open skin at the red man’s face, hoping to distract him while she grabbed her knife. With one three fingered hand he caught the skin and laughed meanly at her before throwing it to the hard stone ground. He then pulled off the loincloth that had shielded her maiden eyes from his cock. Even semi erect it was the most frightening thing she had ever seen. Screaming at the sight of the sharply pointed red and bumpy looking flesh she clutched her knife harder in the folds of her skirt.

Prepared to do anything to prevent what was obviously his intention she was shocked when the wall behind her gave way, pulling her through. Another red skinned beast pushed her behind him and advanced upon the first. This one spoke with a deeper voice in a frightening tone that sounded almost educated.

“She is not for you Braagd. I have rescued her and you must relinquish all claim.”

This statement only infuriated the notch eared first and it launched itself at the second. Fighting like wild animals, all teeth and claws, for long minutes gave Mailyn a chance to look for an escape. The hole she had been pulled into though only went a few steps before stopping at a seemingly solid wall of rock. Knife in hand she backed into it and waited for the victor to try anything.

The two red creatures fought viciously, both bleeding from claw marks on their arms and chests. It was the second one that seemed to have an advantage in size as he balled his fist and slammed it into the first one’s head. A sigh escaped her as he fell but she did not release her guard or knife while she watched him notch the losers left ear with a claw.

Standing fully he brought his arm to his mouth and licked at the wound briefly with an overly long slender tongue. This one wore a pair of what appeared to be short pants over his red lumpy body. Turning towards her he tried to look friendly and harmless, which after that fight was probably impossible. He knew enough not to smile with the mouth of teeth he had but his eyes looked kindly at the woman.

“Please don’t be afraid. Braagd has no claim on you now and I will take you back to your path if you wish.”

Mailyn swallowed convulsively at the sound of his voice. Before he had been harsh, frightening, now his tone was soothing and almost melodic to her ears. Gathering her wits about her she tried not to let her voice tremble.

“I would like to be away from him if you can assist me please.”

With a nod of his large round head, his unmarked ears bobbing slightly with the movement, he walked towards her and offered a hand. Looking at it she realized how different he was from her with his three fingers and sharp claws for nails. Her green eyes searched out his yellow ones as she tried to detect why she felt like she could trust him. The low moan from Braagd sealed her decision and she placed her five small pale fingers in his hand.

Immediately the wall before him began to give way. The two of them walked through a tunnel as it opened before him. A glance back showed that it also sealed behind them just as easily. She thanked the Goddess that she was not afraid of enclosed spaces like her mother had been. Walking silently behind her rescuer she pondered just what these creatures were and why she had been abducted.

They walked through what to Mailyn seemed like miles of rock, once even passing by a cave that appeared to be a meeting place if the fire pit, carved rock benches and prolific glowing plants were any indication. Finally the tall red man allowed them to stop in a small cave with a spring at its center.

Bowing his head to her before relinquishing her hand the tall red man made his way alone to the spring. While he washed his wounds, he waited for the inevitable questions. They always had questions. It took several minutes but the small human finally asked.

“Thank you for saving me from him but why did he take me in the first place? What are you and how did you just walk us through solid rock?”

Since his back was to her, he grinned widely while he continued to wash off the bite to his forearm. She was not the first one he had rescued he had his answers down unlike the first time he felt the call of an abducted maid. Schooling his features into friendly and trustworthy, he turned and offered her a polite bow.


“I am Gaeln. We are Grollins, creatures of the mountains and rock. Unfortunately we have no females, which is why some will steal a woman when they see one. Braagd is a stealer, I am a rescuer. Had you accepted him then I would not have felt the call. But unfortunately he will probably wait centuries before a woman accepts his warped ideas.”

The side of his mouth quirked up in a half smile at her wrinkled brow. So very few land dwellers had ever heard of them, though they knew traveling through mountains was dangerous, just not why. Her one guard had been killed in her abduction so there was no one to tell the tale and should she wish to leave no one would believe a woman of such a story. For a moment though he wondered why he had stopped to even explain to her as he usually just took them straight to their destination or was interrupted by their mate shortly after the rescue. This one though made him want to look at her and listen to her.

“If you have no females then how does your race survive?” She asked. Having been a farmer’s daughter taught her more about breeding than most maidens would know.

“The Grollins are dominant creatures. While we can breed with other species our babes are always Grollins. Though with some very interesting abilities.” He told her.

“What abilities?”

Gaeln knew that he should not have said as much as he had but found himself compelled to divulge all to the beautiful woman before him.

“Well, besides the rock shifting you saw, we can also manipulate stones of any kind. Some of us are able to create it as well. Almost all of us have the ability to change our shape as well. We can show the half-breed version of ourselves to attract a mate. Finally very very few of us can shift into the shape of our maternal race. Generally it is only those with strong magic from the mother.”

He watched the curiosity creep over her features and a gleam in her green eyes that he did not quite understand.

“Can you show me?” She asked with the same look.

Nodding nervously he gathered his magic about him and breathed in a breath through his flat red nose and breathed out through a strong patrician nose. Having seen others shift he knew that there was no definitive moment when the shift occurred, it simply flowed over like water, shimmering of a second and flowing down to revel the change.

“My mother was an Elvin wizard’s daughter.” He said by way of explanation for his abruptly different looks. He stood the same height but now skin was no longer lumpy looking, but smooth and soft. The shade went from a red tone to a pale golden hue. His features were handsome and his physique muscular. Where before his large squash shaped head was bald, his head now had long silky brown hair loose around his shoulders with pointed ears peeking out from beneath it. Even his hands now had five fingers rather than the three he had prior.

His eyes were the same golden yellow though, slightly larger than a normal elf but fitting his features nicely. Looking into her eyes he realized something very important. She was his mate.

Calimaryn 16 years ago
Chapter 2
The blush across his face distracted her for a moment but Mailyn did not stop herself from admiring his form. Not only had he been nothing other than gentlemanly, first in rescuing her then in explaining everything to her, now he was mostly unclothed and devastatingly handsome. Her thoughts strayed from the shiny hair, to his strong jaw, and then down to his smooth and muscular chest. Finally her features flushed to match his and she looked down at his toes which even to her eyes looked wholly masculine and attractive.

Looking at him stirred feelings she did not know how to react to. Duty warred with desire as she walked towards him slowly. Unconsciously her hand slid her small dagger back into its leather scabbard at her hip. The action drew his eyes towards the lush curve of her body but her nearness soon brought his eyes back to hers. With a trembling hand she reached out and traced the delicate Elvin bone structure of his face. Her voice was a whisper and full of wonder as she spoke the thoughts racing around her head.

“You are so beautiful in this form. Your mother must be a great beauty and quite strong magically to have made you so perfect. I wish I was not pledged to become an assistant to an apothecary at the East Sea for if given a choice I would choose to stay here with you Gaeln.”

When she spoke his name his whole body shuddered and his eyes closed briefly, hiding the rush of desire that flooded him. She almost groaned out loud when his eyes reopened and burned hers with the heat she created within him. As his eyes caressed every inch of her she became aware of the state of dishabille she as in. Her blouse was missing buttons and thus hung low on her shoulders while her bodice had been pushed down slightly so that the tops of her breasts were visible through the parted shirt. Her skirts were torn in a few places exposing her left leg from knee down. When his eyes alit on each inch, she felt a slow smoldering burn.

Since she was distracted slightly by the feeling her fingers grew bolder and traced his strong lips. When she felt the moist tip of his tongue gently caress her fingertips she whimpered slightly. Fire pooled low in her belly for the first time in her twenty years. Slowly she realized why none of the local farmhands had caught her eye; she had been destined for this man.

Gaeln’s head reeled at the taste of her skin. She smelled of wild blooms and fresh honey with a flavor to match. His vision narrowed to only see her, lit by the glow of the bright blooming Blainge flowers. Taking her hand in his two he caressed her skin for a moment before placing a kiss upon her open palm while his fingers lightly stroked her wrist and thumb.

“Tell me your name, beautiful. I would like to know the name of the woman who has stolen my heart.” He whispered reverently, unable to even shout his joy at finally finding her. Too many times he had pulled a damsel from the clutches of an inappropriate Grollin only to find another male waiting to challenge him. Each time he had relinquished the maiden with a blessing on both to be happy for eternity before leaving. It made him long for his own mate but now that he had her, he was going fully on instincts to guide him on how to proceed.

The curvy human licked her plump lips and replied quietly. “Mailyn Hoosan. Though the later can be left with my father should you wish?”

Gaeln pulled her into his arms at the last comment and covered her mouth with his for a kiss. Their lips melted together, his strong and forceful and hers lush and welcoming. He sucked lightly upon the full curve of her lower lip, flicking it with his tongue before pulling back. Offering her both of his hands, they laced their fingers together. In a much more forceful voice he spoke the ancient words with all his heart and love in his eyes.

“I take you Mailyn to be my mate, for eternity my partner to cherish, protect and love.”

The magic of the mating ritual made him sway on his feet. It felt like his heart was being cut into two pieces, one for him to keep and the other to give to his beautiful human. Watching her with intense eyes he knew that he would go anywhere his Mailyn wished of him. While he longed to tell her that the ceremony stilled his tongue until she either accepted or spurned him.

Even as magically numb as she was, a requirement for apothecary work, she could feel the pulsing energy swirling around them. In her mind it felt like she had deliberated for days instead of the few heartbeats she took before speaking her part.

“I take you Gaeln to be my mate, for eternity my partner to cherish, protect and love.”

Then the magic flooded them, both felt the slice at their hearts and the heady rush of connection to each other once they were exchanged in a split second. Once that was finished they once more found themselves kissing with wild abandon.

Wrapped up in the moment both shed their clothing to lay atop it beside the pool of softly dripping water. His fingers gently caressed every inch of her milky skin, from her small rounded ears to her delicate ankle bones. He weighed each plump breast in his hand with a moan of delight. She slightly overflowed his large hands but her nipples and areola were small and a delicate pink. Meanwhile her hands traced the strong bones of his neck and shoulders, lingering at his collarbone, as she marveled at the rich golden skin that seemed impossibly perfect. There was not a freckle or hair upon his body to mar the perfection of his skin. Not even the wounds from earlier appeared on his person.

Gaeln lavished kisses, licks and gentle suction upon her breasts. Instinctively her legs parted to receive his weight between them as they rolled from their sides to her back. The feeling of his impressively large and silky smooth manhood against the sparse black curls that shielded her secrets brought a moan from both of them. Looking into each others eyes they became one with a tilt from their hips. When he reached the shield of her virginity, Gaeln threw his head back and roared. It simply gave way to his thrusting shaft with less than a pinch to Mailyn who felt the same completion and was moaning constantly. For both of them this erotic feeling was brand new, impossibly strong and overwhelming. Their consummation was blissful but swiftly over, leaving them panting in each others arms. Shudders of ecstasy ran through them both as the smiled shakily at one another.

Long minutes passed while he ran his fingers through her long black hair. Content and pleased to have found her at last he kissed her once more before rising from their makeshift pallet and assisting her. As they dressed he smiled happily at her.

“So we need to head to the East Sea?”

His new wife blinked up at him with wide green eyes and a look of hope flickering across her face.

“We can still go?”

“Of course my beautiful Mailyn, you were pledged and I would not wish to break your pledge to an apothecary.”

Laughing she threw her arms around the amazing husband she now found herself with, babbling her thanks. His strong arms spun her around briefly before clasping her hand in his once more.

“We do need to get my belongings but then, we shall go. I hope you do not mind my form as we leave here, for naught but my mother knows of this one.”

Cocking her head to one side she watched him closely for a second before making a request. “May I see your hybrid form?”

Nodding he shifted slightly into the form that most Grollins would use to win a mate over. He now stood before her with his sink a strange mixture of pink and gold, a slightly flattened nose, a wider mouth and larger ears. Blushing he hoped she would not ask to see his manhood which seemed to gain the best of both worlds, as it was long and thick from his Elvin side, pointed and bumpy from his Grollin side. Luckily he kept his lush brown hair even if his head’s shape was not quite as round as it once was.

He jumped when she traced his new facial features with her free hand.

“I think you are still quite handsome this way. Now the other form please?”

She seemed slightly scared to him but he bowed his head and complied with her request. He was bigger than most Grollins, possibly because of how tall elves were. Though it could just be the Goddess making sure that he was big and strong enough to accomplish the plans she had for him. Rescuing maidens from the others was hard and he was sure that living near a bustling sea port would be quite difficult for him as well.

Mailyn looked at him with quiet contemplation. She ran her hands over his tough dark red skin, feeling the protruding bone that made up the lumps. They were like hidden spikes under the skin almost. It made her wonder why they were now hidden and what purpose they had once served or were going to serve. The differences in his face were strange but fit so well with the shape of his skull that she smiled as she ran her fingers over his flat nose and nearly lipless mouth. Tickling his chin she smiled as she coaxed him to open his mouth. Inside she found the sharp teeth that were very prolific. His tongue was long and much thinner than any she had seen before perhaps because of those teeth. Finally she moved onto his ears and ran her hands up both simultaneously.

Her mate made a strangled sound and shook unsteadily. Returning her attention to his face she realized his eyes were shut tightly closed and his teeth were clenched as his face was frozen in a grimace.

“I am sorry, did that hurt? I did not mean to!” She quickly apologized.

Her Grollin simply shook his head and stood silently for a moment. It was not until she looked down, feeling somewhat defeated, before she realized the trouble he was having. His roughly made pants were straining to contain the sizable erection. This information would be useful for some other time so she simply waited for him to recover, smiling happily all the while.
Calimaryn 16 years ago
Chapter 3
Gaeln almost spilled himself upon her when she caressed his ears. It felt almost as good as being inside of her before. Since they were both inexperienced he knew not to try for more so quickly as he did not wish her to be sore or injured. He had heard enough boasting from newly mated others to know that repeating the lovely experience would make her unable to walk for a day or two. Especially in his current shape.

He knew the instant she realized the current problem he faced as he felt a wash of love and desire from her. Opening his yellow eyes he slowly hooked his large finger under her chin to bring her attention upwards.

“When we get to the East Sea you are free to do that again, but for now we must make haste, beautiful.”

That produced a sultry smile before she clasped her hand to his. Directing them to the correct wall he once more began tunneling through the solid rock to his own small cave.

This time they did not have to travel for hours but it was just a few minutes away. The interior of his home was lit with dozens of the flowers, which he explained to her were Blainge blooms that glowed in darkness. His few belongings were quickly put into a pack along with three small bundles of the flowers. She watched fascinated as he reached into the rock and removed a small round orb with the plant growing out of the top of it.

Gaeln put on his only shirt, belt and pouch. The later contained several precious gems that they could sell for needed things later. These had been payment from several of the newly mated Grollins for rescuing their mates. Now that he was mated he would be unable to hear the cries of the maids. Luckily he knew another would pick up the task easily enough for the good of the mountain community. Finally they were ready and once more clasped hands and began their journey.

Traveling through a mountain is quite deceiving since there is no natural light the passage of time skews. Since there were no landmarks the distance was indeterminable to Mailyn. Luckily the mountain range itself seemed to guide Gaeln towards his desired destination. They had to make camp once when hunger and fatigue had her in their clutches. He found a wide cavern with a variety of growing plants that were edible and they dined on open fire roasted tubers and a medley of greens.

Before retiring on a bed of soft sand, he resumed his Elvin shape and they made love with the same gentleness as last time. The two slept themselves out and awoke when no longer tired. After a breakfast of the same offerings the cave provided they continued on with a determined stride to arrive before having to rest again.

Their strength was beginning to lag when Gaeln realized they had arrived. With an excited moment full off full body hugs and kisses, he tried to find the best place to exit from the rock unseen. While he could tell if there was animal life beyond the outer shell of rock, Grollins could never tell what exactly it was without looking. So they kept on until he found a plant rich but animal empty section and they left the mountain.

For Gaeln it was strange and unusual, but Mailyn cried tears of joy as she spun around under the setting sun. She felt recharged and comfortable once more even with the strange twang of the salty air. Since the town appeared to be quite far off yet they decided to camp where they were. Together they again foraged for bounty from the woods around them, finding not only a fish swimming in the stream nearby but several vegetables and edible greens.

This eve they fed each other small morsels of the meal, complete with lingering touches and sucked upon fingers. For safety he insisted they return to inside the mountain shell and make a small cave for the night. Since she was ready to find a suitable place to explore her lover in detail, Mailyn agreed readily. She left the work to him and went to the stream to bathe the dust and rock residue from her body and clothes. Wearing only her chemise she returned to their spot and sat upon a rock to await her husband.

He only took a few more minutes before venturing outside of the mountain to gather her up into his arms and carry her into their temporary abode. While it was not overly impressive he had made a large soft bed of sand in the center for them to rest upon. There was also a small stream that he had unearthed, probably the source of the one outside the rock, where he had bathed.

Stripping their remaining garments from each other, they lay down upon the blanket and explored with their fingers and mouths. Gaeln first stroked every inch of her flesh, rubbing and lightly caressing as he journeyed from her face to her toes and up the back half. Next he repeated the process with his strong Elf lips and tongue. His favorite spots were the hollow of her throat where it joined her neck, the soft skin inside her elbows and behind her knees. These locations tasted the sweetest for him and made her body pool with moisture.

Mailyn writhed under the sweet torture of having her entire body lightly stroked and then licked and kissed. After only knowing the joys of carnal pleasure twice before she still ached for the completion it gave her. Inside her body her muscles clenched in spasms with each rush of pleasure he heaped upon her. Finally his exploring mouth found her drenched opening. His questing tongue brought her to orgasm before she could truly enjoy the experience or ask him to try out that longer tongue he had.

Still her quakes of pleasure satisfied her deeply and roused her to give him the same treatment. Her willpower faltered as she neared his rod. It was hard as stone yet encased in the same soft golden skin that fascinated her so. The tip even glistened just for her so she skipped continuing on the torment and took it into her mouth. It was an arousing experience for her as she licked and sucked upon the hardness trapped between her lips. The taste of him was salty and rich with minerals. Her mate groaned and tugged her upwards with barely leashed need. His lips plundered hers while he pulled her body atop his own, with her thighs spread wide to span his hips. As the rock hard shaft brushed her mound they both moaned.

With an easy strength he lifted his human up before pulling her down upon his cock slowly. The experience of her riding atop him was new to them both and it quickly had them moving frantically against one another. Soon they found a rhythm of her hips moving in a circular fashion while he thrust upwards. Within moments they were screaming in completion. Replete they lay together whispering words of love as they fell into a gentle sleep.

They awoke once more when they were rested and cleaned up in the small stream. It was just before midday as they left the security of the mountain to begin walking towards the large and bustling city. As neither had been before they both gawked like farm hands at the sights and sounds.

The town had flagstone and brick streets, wide enough to accommodate carriages pulled by horses as well as vendors pushing wheeled carts and hawking their wares. Buildings loomed two and three stories high and shops had blown glass panes in their windows. It took them about an hour to get from the mountain hide away to the apothecary shop.

Taking a deep breath, Mailyn opened the door with her husband behind looming close behind her protectively. A young boy took her name and went to fetch Apothecary Master Lumon. An older gentleman in a stained tunic beckoned them into a back room where he promptly took a seat behind a cluttered desk.

“So Assistant Mailyn, you have arrived safely at last.” The man said with a brow arched questioningly at the couple.
Calimaryn 16 years ago
Chapter 4
Mailyn took a seat opposite Master Lumon and blushed as Gaeln took up position behind her with his large hand reassuringly on her shoulder. Disregarding their state of dishabille she raised her head proudly and nodded to her pledged employer.

“Yes sir, it was quite a difficult journey with distressing losses but I have arrived. May I introduce my husband Gaeln to you sir.”

Behind her the very handsome Grollin bowed respectfully to Lumon who returned it with a bow of his head and an arched brow.

“Can you two tell me what exactly happened to my hired escort, Ramod?”

With his hand heavy on her shoulder, Gaeln answered.

“Yes sire, we can; if you are willing to believe and keep the following information secret.”

Master Lumon’s brow arched even further but he nodded in agreement. Gaeln lifted his hand from Mailyn’s shoulder and gently pet her hair to encourage her to divulge the beginning of the tale.

“Ramod and I were attacked by a lone assailant in the Pryn Mountains. He received a staggering blow to the head with a very large rock and when he fell his head hit another. I fought back but I was quickly overpowered and knocked unconscious. I feared at the time that I too would be killed or worse. My fears were realized when I came too inside a sealed cave. The assailant entered and revealed his intentions. Luckily before I could be injured, Gaeln rescued me and defeated Braagd. We were making our escape when we discovered the deep connection between the two of us. It was not to be denied and the ceremony was binding before we arrived here.”

They watched expressions flit across the apothecary’s face, from loss to fear to disbelief to shock. He was shaking his head and frowning.

“How were you in a sealed cave? And how did either of them enter?” Lumon asked.

Mailyn knew she should have left that word out. A heavy hand upon her shoulder lent her courage and acceptance that her husband would take care of the explanations.

“Easily sir, Braagd and I are Grollins.” Gaeln said just before shifting into his paternal form

“Grollins?” Came the shocked reply to the statement and transformation.

“But they are extinct! Haven’t been any seen in centuries.” Lumon mumbled almost to himself. He stared fascinated at the creature in front of him.

“You rescued the maiden then? Just like the lore. Fascinating! How many, if you don’t mind me asking good sir.”

“Many. And they do not wish to be detected.” Gaeln replied as he shifted back into first his hybrid form then back into his Elf form. “When my mate was revealed to me by the Goddess, I relinquished the rescuing for more husbandly duties.”

Master Lumon stood and began pacing behind his desk. Occasionally he bumped into a chair or stood at his drying table for a moment. His muttering was unintelligible but Gaeln feared that he would not abide by his prior agreement. The two were losing hope for any semblance of a normal life when the apothecary turned his serious eyes upon them.

“Are you sure I cannot tell anyone? What if your lovely wife or I write a book and claim it was just unearthed? Scholars fight over mysteries like this and it would be so satisfying to be able to put the discussion to rest with definitive facts for once.”

The couple looked at each other and contemplated the request. Something like that if done properly would protect all species though it might also make travel through mountains lessen or security to heighten which would translate into less mates for others. Still if they felt the call sooner or later the maids would find a reason to venture near the rocks and stone.

Gaeln looked at Master Lumon and bowed his head before speaking. “Would you be amenable to allowing us to settle into life here before we make that decision?”

Master Lumon nodded eagerly. Having them living and working here would be much preferable to them retreating into the mountain and taking all the secrets with them. At least he now knew the unanswered question of one species. Even knowing that was enough for him. For now at least.

“Please. That would be quite acceptable. Come back in three days for your first day of training Mailyn. We will begin after sunrise.” He pondered for a moment before rummaging around in his desk for a moment. “Do you two need an advance to find a room to let?”

“Thank you Sire, but we simply need the name of the exchange merchant.” Gaeln stated before withdrawing a small chunk of jade from his pocket.

Lumon once more blinked in surprise. More and more legends were being found as true the long these two were in his office. He felt giddy like a young boy just learning that there was such a think as fae and dragons. It had been many years since he had felt such astonishment.

“Well then, you might just speak to Merchant Drumow who is holding land along the mountain for sale since the Baron died plus he can exchange that for you. And buy a horse, but not from Flannery, his stock is much abused.”

With a nod of satisfaction Master Lumon returned to his mixing table and resumed his work effectively dismissing the couple. While he was still quite interested he knew enough not to push for more information if the Grollin did not feel comfortable revealing it yet. Simply knowing they existed was enough for now.

Mailyn and Gaeln quietly left the building with a host of things to do. First they ventured towards the square.

The market square was not really a square. It was more of a hexagon with streets all coming into the area and circling around it. The Merchant Drumow was quite easily found as it was the tallest building on the square and sported elaborately woodwork.

Upon entering the young man at the desk sneered slightly and looked down his nose at them. Their torn and low class clothing gave him the impression that they were not worth even his time to speak to them. His greeting was frosty.

“Yes?”

Gaeln once more stepped forward and looked quite imposing despite the fact that he was wearing knee pants and no shoes. While elves were not rare, those that looked like he did were generally better groomed.

“We are here to speak to Merchant Drumow about property he has for sale. Though I was also informed he can exchange gems.”

The last comment was followed with a sleight of hand, showing as sparkling clear gem for just a brief moment. This act confused the man seated at the desk. He could not put the two differences together. People carrying gems were well off and looked it, where as these two looked to be thieves, and poor ones at that given the state of their clothing. It took about a minute for the information to cause a reaction in the fellow’s snobbish brain but finally he decided Master Drumow would know what to make of these two.

“One moment.”

Gaeln kissed his lovely wife while the pompous young man was out of the room. His hand lingered at the nape of her neck, toying with the soft skin found shielded by her hair, when in walked two men from the back. The young man resumed his seat while his master looked over the two people before him.

Offering his hand to an elf was impolite but he bowed in respect despite their shabby appearance. Master Drumow knew that courtesy cost nothing and likely could gain much. Holding the inner door open he waved the way inside while addressing them.

“Good day to you both. Won’t you please come with me into my office?”

Once the three were all seated comfortably in the second bigger office and introductions were exchanged, they got down to business. Dru as he insisted they call him was a gracious host and easy businessman. He knew there was more to these two than appearances and simply waited. Gaeln satisfied his curiosity by producing a handful of uncut gems. Green jade, brilliant diamond and a blood red ruby lay upon the desk, but did not cause the pouch to lighten much at all.

“We are looking to purchase property near the mountain and exchange these for currency.”

Dru looked down at the stones before gathering his scale and glass. Inspecting the gems he realized the superior quality even uncut as they were and measured each carefully. Soon he had a notepad and was jotting down details about each stone before putting an amount beside each.

“Even raw as these are, they are magnificent. I will gladly pay top price for them but I do wonder how you came across such specimens.”

Gaeln pondered exactly how to gain the human’s trust while not revealing his secret. Noting the round marble paperweight on the merchant’s desk, he pointed to it with his long graceful fingers.

“May I?” He asked and awaited the nod before picking it up.

Gently he cradled the stone in his cupped hand and stroked it with his free hand. Mailyn found his actions vaguely reminiscent of their times together and how he gently touched her flesh with those same hands. Intent on his task, Gaeln gently coaxed the marble into a triangle shape. The merchant looked on in wonder and shrewd assessment. Soon the triangle turned into a pillar and then into an intricate flower before settling into a leaf shape. Gaeln put it down on the desk and smiled at Dru.

“I have some skill with stone. I could return that to the sphere but it feels more comfortable in that shape.”

Chuckling Merchant Drumow picked up the marble leaf and marveled at it. Looking back at his customers he shook his head with a smile.

“I should pay you for that bit of magic. This is quite a skill you have sir. Though, with this talent, why are these gems unshaped?”

“Lack of time really and I would hate to shape them only to find someone needs to cut them into something else.” The elf shaped Grollin replied as truthfully as possible.

“Well if you could form these into standard square cuts, even as large as these are, I will pay quite a bit more than what is on this page.”

Turning the notebook towards the two the first offer was made. It took a while but after some bartering they were holding the deed for the acreage along the mountain outside of the city and a pouch of gold coins. They had directions to the nearest clothier and the stable. By the time they headed out of town the sun was well on its way to descending. They both rode beautiful geldings with a pack animal in tow, carrying several changes of clothing as well as cooking and household items. Soon the new couple was happily snuggled in their makeshift home for the night.
Calimaryn 16 years ago
Chapter 5

Morning found the newlyweds walking along the mountain for the perfect location for their home. The two agreed that it should adjoin the mountainside for additional expansion when their family grew as well as for a more home feeling for Gaeln. In his full Grollin form, he worked quite hard at coaxing the natural stone to shape into blocks and walls. Mailyn prepared him a huge lunch of rabbit stew in her new cookpot over an open fire near the construction.

Watching her husband eat the stew very carefully she wondered what she did wrong in its creation.

“Is it not to your liking husband?”

“It is lovely dear, but there are some secrets I must share with you about Grollins.” Gaeln stated before putting his bowl down. He laced his first three fingers together and ignored the extra on each hand in his Elvin form that he wore for her during the meal.

“Grollins are a different type of people. We can be as sophisticated as kings or as wild as rabid dogs. Stone working is a standard gift, but excessive manipulation causes us to be slightly aggressive. The consumption of flesh also causes this attitude. Unfortunately it is a self perpetuating cycle and once started it becomes difficult to break.”

Mailyn noticed his laced fingers had turned white as he clenched them together. Swallowing quickly she bit her lip and looked up at her husband with a look of fear. Gaeln simply shook his head, hiding slightly behind the long curtain of his hair.

“Don’t worry, I think I have control of it for now but in the future, if meals could contain no flesh this would be easier upon me. Fish causes only a minor rise in libido.”

The last was said with a quirk of a smile to his new bride who quickly blushed. Though a look of confusion crossed her face a moment later and he knew she had just come up with a question..

“How is it a self perpetuating cycle?” She asked.

“An aggressive Grollin will fight or hunt and that usually results in either consumption of blood or flesh. The more they get, unless they lose the first few fights, will lead to more and more as the bloodlust overtakes them. Even the most mild and in control Grollin can turn into a blood hungry monster in a short space of time.”

She looked upon him with fear, though not as extreme as Braagd had frightened her. Still she was now afraid of her own mate and was unsure what to do now. Seeing her discomfort, Gaeln tried to reassure her.

“I will be fine love, simply make tonight’s stew out of vegetables only and by morning I will be quite ok.”

“But wont building the house also contribute?”

“Yes it will, but it is for a good cause and I would do anything to make you comfortable and happy, Mailyn.”

She smiled shyly at his gaze before turning to begin cleaning up their meal. In the back of her mind though she counted herself lucky that their stream was quite plentiful in it stock of fish.

Soon the two of them were back to working hard to perfect their humble abode. It stood against the rock face of the mountain in a natural clearing, the stream at the tree line on one side and a large open area to the other. Gaeln had created furrows in the soft dirt after making sure it was fertile and rock free for Mailyn to plant the seeds they had purchased yesterday. She wore her torn outfit and knelt along each row, sprinkling seeds into the trough cut into the soft dirt. Her hands soon became caked with dirt as she covered up each row with care.

Gaeln did not fare much better as he stood inside the shell of their house and directed the rock into walls and windows, making it look like a home. There were even built in shelves and an oven. The rooms inside the mountain were easier for him to construct and they became more elaborate behind the stone door protecting his hide away.

Their bedroom was inside this portion and had a thin but sturdy door of solid granite. The floor was inlayed with quartz and marble square tiles. The walls had thin inlays of gems as artwork and a ribbon of silver surrounding each portion like a frame. A large bed was formed of marble posts with delicate swirls that separated into a lacy sphere only to reform to continue up to the ceiling. The frame left a deep cavern for a mattress of soft feathers. There was a small table with two chairs as well as a fireplace in the room. He turned to leave before realizing they needed a storage cabinet. Soon the room was finished and he headed out.

A smile lit his face as he saw his wife. She kneeled in the dirt, gently covering each seed with such a look of concentration and hope.

“Mailyn, come see your new home.”

His call brought that look upon him and it filled with love as well. Taking her dirt stained hand in his dusty one they ventured to the house together.

The façade looked to be flagstone in natural shapes, pieced together in a small rectangle shaped house that used the mountain as its back wall. The door was an intricate piece of granite with a bright shine and complex handle. Just inside the door was the main room, with chairs of carved stone around a fireplace at the front. At the back of the large room was a kitchen with stone stools along a gleaming granite countertop. Behind the counter was an oven with a cooking surface and a stone box set into the floor slightly for cold storage. Across from the cooking area was an eating area with a large table and only two stone chairs.

The door to the back sat between the two, with intricate carvings around the edges. Again the latch was complicated but appeared to be easily secured with a key and bar from the inside if need be. Down a hallway lead them to two more doors, one opened into a bathing room with a deep hole for waste while an underground stream trickled through a far corner to allow for bathing as well as washing clothing in the pool it formed. Mailyn tested it out immediately by cleaning her hands.

The bedroom impressed her the most as it was the most delicately wrought work so far. Turning to her Grollin she flung her arms around his strong shoulders and kissed him wildly.

“This is beyond my wildest dreams Gaeln. I did not even realize that something this magnificent could be done, let alone in one day.”

Returning her kisses, he chuckled slightly.

“Well, I do have several things left to do, plus we must finish with cloth and padding several items. Like the bed.”

Giggling together like the young lovers they were, they paused in their tour to kiss. Upon coming up for air, as they knew they had no place to sleep that eve and must get to working, Mailyn noticed something.

“You put the Blainge flowers in here! They look so beautiful.” She exclaimed.

“Yes, outside of the mountain they would wither and die. Two are in here while the biggest is in the washing room.”

“Why is there no fireplace in here?”

“This room is underground as well as being inside the stone face. It should stay a comfortable temperature no matter the weather outside.”

At her arched brows he smiled knowing she did not detect any slope in the hall or outer room.

“It’s just a bit of Grollin magic at work.”

The two cleaned up, playing for a few minutes in the comfortably cool water of the pool before donning their new clothing. Their horses had been hobbled since arrival but looked no worse for wear since Mailyn had fed them in the morning. The ride into the city was quick and they gawked slightly less at everything around them.

Finding a weaver they purchased many lengths of sturdy upholstery fabric in a bright blue on blue pattern, as well as soft linen for bedding and sturdy wool for their bed. Three bags of mattress filling feathers cost more than all the fabric but it was worth it to cushion the stone bed sufficiently. Once they had two sewing kits and thread a plenty they started for home, the pack horse laden. A brief stop at the merchant selling vegetables provided the base for their dinner that evening.

The sun was setting as they arrived home and despite the beautiful house they now had, they returned to their first cave and slept upon the soft sand after roasting up their dinner. The next day found them both busy; Gaeln with building a stable for the animals and Mailyn with sewing the mattress for the bed, a curtain for their washing room and pillows for the chairs. The day passed into the next which found them hunting the forest for firewood for the storage built between the house and stable. Once they had done all they could they fell into an exhausted sleep in their new house knowing Mailyn would be leaving the next morn for Master Lumon’s.
Calimaryn 16 years ago
Chapter 6
Since it was cave like and dark inside their bedroom, Mailyn had purchased a small clock during their trip to town the day before. She awoke to the bell at an early hour and slipped out of bed without waking her husband. The past two nights they had been too tired to enjoy the perks of their marriage bed in an actual bed. Tonight she hoped to change that but first she had to get through her first day of apprenticeship to the Apothecary.

Scrubbing in their bathing room she quickly donned a new outfit in pretty pinks. Dark pink skirt complimented the light pink chemise and striped bodice of cream, pinks and a light brown. At their first meeting, Mailyn had noted the stains on Master Lumon’s tunic and had wisely purchased a large apron to cover her clothing. Once her long black hair was braided neatly she kissed Gaeln’s sleeping forehead goodbye and left the abode.

The ride into town took a short while and soon she was boarding the horse at the stable the Master had recommended and walked into the shop. Though it was early Lumon was already inside seated at his desk when she knocked upon his inner door.

“Enter Assistant Mailyn. Please enter.”

“Good morn Master Lumon. I am here as requested.” She replied while donning the apron with a smile. His smile and short laugh told her she had done well.

“Already learning from me, eh?”

“Yes sir, I did not wish my new clothing to become soiled or ruined like my traveling clothes were.”

“Very wise young lady. Very wise. Now, did you find suitable lodging? Is your husband suitably content with the area?”

“Oh yes sir. We found a lovely parcel along the mountain as you had mentioned. I am sure the broker would not recognize it today. Gaeln works quickly and well. There is now a lovely cottage against the side of mountain we are calling home as well as a stable for our three horses and even a small plot for growing vegetables.”

The master nodded in approval but held silent mostly in awe of the quick work the Grollin had been able to accomplish. He wondered how to arrange for a tour of the building but did not wish to insult the couple. Putting aside his paperwork he smiled at his new assistant.

“I am glad you two are settled, because we have a lot of training ahead of us.”

Walking to the door he waved her through it and then down another hallway. This door led to a library and second smaller office along with an herb room for potion mixing. Soon she was comfortable with the layout and abilities of each room and he sat her down in her small office.

“Now, not many realize this but the local apothecary is not just a maker of potions and poultices. We also keep track of many magical histories and peoples. The historian keeps track of the important things, but we keep detailed records and many of the secrets not known to the common sheep herder.”

Mailyn sat happily and listened to the outline of her new job in learning and just knowing.

“We keep not only the written histories but the verbal ones as well. Once a student learns all a master has to teach, they venture off to a town lacking an apothecary and set up shop. Some large cities even have room for several, usually working in harmony together.”

“You will study for several years and need to work here or elsewhere as a journeyman before it is time for you to venture out into the countryside. Since you are recently married I would expect certain recipes would benefit you most to learn in potion making.” He said with a slight grin and silent chuckle, remembering his first years of marriage to his lovely Cami.

“I would highly recommend you two wait until you are a master in your own right before having children. It has been my experience that while they do enrich your life, they also take up quite a lot of time. Speaking from experience now, I would have finished my training in half the time I took had Malik my first born had not come in the first year.”

Mailyn bit her lip but nodded obediently. The idea of abstaining from enjoying her new husband did not sit well, nor did the thought of preventing any possible children. Since she knew Gaeln would be quite capable of raising a son and that was all she would bear him the concept upset her slightly. Her face must have shown this as Master Lumon continued.

“Now do not fret, the effects of what I will show you today only last a month, so it is needed regularly. You can even wait and discuss this with Gaeln tonight as it must rest overnight before consumption. It is one of the least called for potions among the working class, but the nobles seem to buy it endlessly.”

Lumon knew they bought it for any infidelities that might occur but was not about to broach that topic with his young assistant. It appeared as if the idea of birth control itself shocked her. Rather than continue down that line of conversation he began pointing out books she would need to read. Histories and basics of potions were vital at this stage.
The two worked together the entire day, with the young lad fetching them a meat pie for lunch. Mailyn learned that the boy was named Davil and was Master Lumon’s youngest son who wished to become an apothecary like his father. For a first day it passed swiftly with just as much hard work as planting the garden had been. When it came time for her first potion she was glad for the apron that protected her skirt from a drip of vicious blue nettle juice.

Once Master Lumon allowed her to depart for the day she stopped in the market and picked up some fish and fresh vegetables as well as an interesting grain to cook for dinner. The ride home was uneventful but felt longer to her tired body than it had in the morning. Her biggest shock was the house upon her arrival home. When she had left the cottage looked lovely and a natural creation of the mountain and now it looked like an intricate beast looming next to the mountain.

The door was carved in a winding leaf and vine motif while the side stones looked like stone trees standing silently along side. Each window had a vine wrapped around it as well, in what appeared to be silver to her untrained eye. After stabling her horse she ventured inside and found even more changes. The chairs sitting by the fireplace had increased and the table now had delicate carved chairs, two with inlays at the back of what could only be precious gems.

Placing her purchases into the cold box she looked around again, wondering where Gaeln was hiding and unsure if she wished to disturb him. The door to the back rooms still appeared the same as before which she was thankful for. They did not need to attract more attention to the other rooms.

The washing room was changed, with a light door set now with an almost clear flat layer of quartz in the top half. You could almost see through it, just shadows and indistinct shapes. Once the door was open, Mailyn realized the work to the front room was nothing. The bathing pool was now twice the size as it had been this morn, with a running waterfall and deeper, sandy pool. A stone ledge ran along the side opposite the waterfall. Perhaps for cleaning clothes she guessed. Since the water did not escape the pool it must be rejoining the stream unseen underground. There was now a curtain hanging from a slender stone arm that separated the necessary seat and hole from the rest of the room. The Blainge flower was now set high into the wall and blooming brightly.

Turning with a concerned frown she ventured into the hall to see a door that had not been present yesterday. It opened into a small bedroom with a simple rope bed hung from stone posts and covered with a frond mattress. The only other furniture was a chest of drawers along one wall and glowing flower atop that.

Chewing her bottom lip Mailyn ventured into her own room to survey the changes. Thankfully there appeared to be none, until she looked up. There was now a cut away portion of stone in the roof that allowed light to enter the room through an even thinner piece of quartz. Around the top of the walls was also a delicate design of entwined golden vines and delicate green leaves.

She was worried now at all the intricate changes and hoped her Grollin was not feeling aggressive. If Gaeln acted as Braagd did she feared for their life together. Now she also feared her dinner choice had been unwise because the last thing she wanted was an aroused and angry husband.

Chewing her lip she left the bedroom and ventured outside. Since she had not spotted him when she stabled her horse she did not return there but headed for the garden. The piles of dirt covering the seeds looked like it had the day before, carefully tended and lightly watered. It took her a moment of scanning their little clearing but finally she decided that if she could not find him he must be inside the mountain.

In the kitchen she made a fire in the oven and swiftly cleaned the veggies she had bought. With the addition of some herbs she had a pan of cut vegetables in the hot oven roasting away. The fish could last till tomorrow or go bad, she had ceased to care about it once she realized Gaeln was nowhere to be found.

Dinner was uneventful, she ate alone at the table, admiring the cushions she just finished sewing. When she felt tired, Mailyn retired for the night to the empty bed in the beautiful room. Her mind was divided, part of her feared Gaeln’s state of mind while the other part simply wanted her husband home to hold her in his arms and tell her everything was fine.

She awoke repeatedly due to fitful dreams in which she was chased through a winding tunnel by a snarling beast. Luckily she never actually saw her pursuer which kept her mind open towards her Grollin. In the morning she awoke alone but discovered Gaeln had been there. A deep red gemstone rose sat nestled in his pillow.