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The Inevitable Fantasy Tavern Scene

Every good fantasy book or film inevitably has a scene involving a tavern, drinks, and an exotic dancer when they hit a big town, and Maldene is no exception. The only difference is, the town in question is a lot bigger than most and the exotic dancer in question is very exotic. The scene is an excerpt from a chapter in which the whole gang arrives at the Harbor Of The World, which is pretty much what it sounds like. Picture a harbor about the size of the Gulf of Mexico with the entrance about the width of the distance from Cuba to the tip of Florida, then make the coastline all one single stone city for about three hundred miles inland. Needless to say, one could write a whole book just about the Habor.


At any rate, one of the scenes in that chapter involves the two elves, Eldar and Lindel, walking into one such tavern. Now, Eldar’s been to the Harbor before but Lindel hasn’t, so Eldar’s showing him around. Naturally where Eldar’s concerned this tour has got to involve someplace with drinks and scantily clad females. With that in mind, let me now present this fun little excerpt…


**************



They shouldered their way through the crowded double-doorway and on into the building. Eldar and Lindel walked past several crowded oak tables and into the wide central area. Off to the right hand side of the large room was the bar, its fifty-foot length covering that entire wall. Far at the opposite end of the room stood a large semicircular stage, rising up more than several feet above the floor, its rear end flat up against the wall, circular steps ringing around the stage, easing their way down to the floor. Overhead were the balconies of two more floors, each circling around the open central area of the bottom floor, like stone pews ringing around some large cavern. The large stage, while some distance away, was almost level with the second floor balconies.


People of all types sat around the tables, stood by the bar, and walked around the place. Barmaids, mostly human, walked through the crowds, carrying their trays of varied drinks and taking orders, all the while handling the more rowdy patrons. Voices and conversations bubbled up from all around, the smell of ale and beer coming up from everywhere. Eldar and Lindel were walking through the crowds.


"There's a bar on every floor," Eldar was saying, "the tables on the bottom floor are the most expensive, the top balcony's the cheapest."


"You have to pay just to sit at a table?" Lindel said as he looked around. "Then why don't we just get a table on the top floor?"


"Oh, trust me," Eldar said, "you want the ground floor, close to the stage."


Eldar waved to a passing barmaid not presently involved with a tray of drinks. She came over as they were talking.


"Get us a table right up by the stage," Eldar said as he tossed her two pieces of gold.


The barmaid was scantily dressed, being in just a short-cut dress and a top that fit rather tightly over her breasts. She pocketed the gold then led them over towards the stage. As they passed through the crowds, Lindel glanced around them. He saw that the lighting came from a series of small round glass globes, each just inches across, floating several feet above the ground, spaced irregularly all around the tavern and its balconies, always shining forth their mellow light, none of them ever going out. No doubt from magic, thought Lindel. The stone walls were adorned with the occasional painted wall-carving; pictures showing females of all manner of races in various borderline-obscene positions, as if trying to entice the onlooker to join in. The occasional trailer of smoke trickled upwards, as one or two people enjoyed their own particular brand of smoke. The whole building was made of stone, and seemed to emanate an age older than some civilizations; a tradition that was passed down through several hundred long rels.


The barmaid finally seated them over at a table right by the bottom of the circular steps, near the front of the stage. She brushed some stray dirt off the table with a rag as they pulled up their chairs.


"Get us two ales," Eldar told her as they sat down.


As the barmaid walked away, Lindel's eyes followed her retreating form.


"Okay, I'll admit," Lindel smiled, "I make no claim to chastity, and there are a few sights here worth the time."


"That's nothing," Eldar sat back, "wait until the show starts."


"Show?"


"Yeah," Eldar grinned, "why do you think these seats are so expensive?"


"I was wondering," Lindel responded.


They sat back, looking at all the varieties of people and creatures around them. Never before had Lindel seen such a wide diversity all in one place, but Eldar assured him that this was average for anyplace around the Harbor. The "center of culture", Eldar had called the Harbor Of The World.


Of course, Lindel knew what Eldar's idea of culture meant.


The barmaid came by with their drinks, Eldar paying for them as she slid them onto the table, bending down just enough for both of the elves to have a quick peek of her tightly-held assets.


Okay, Lindel thought, so he had to agree with him on this one; Nature can come in other forms around here.


As they watched her leave, the tavern began to darken, the lights from all the light-globes to gradually mute and dim simultaneously. A magic unknown to him, but one that he had no doubt Sabu would have a ready explanation for.


"This is it," Eldar slapped his companion on the shoulder, "the show's about to start."


Indeed, the noise in the large tavern seemed to quiet down a bit as everyone else realized this same fact. People stopped grabbing at the passing barmaids as the lights lowered to a dim twilight. Soon, only the occasional clink of drinking mugs disturbed the dimness.


Suddenly, a small circle of blue light appeared on the floor of the stage. More magic, Lindel thought. The light expanded until it was wide enough around to encompass a large man. Then the light moved back along the stage, and then finally up into the air a bit above it. It stopped as a globe of light hovering four feet above the center of the stage. The light then got brighter, a blue beacon sending its wishes across the large room. The light began to pulse, slowly at first, but then more rapidly. As it did so, music seemed to emanate from the globe of light itself. Faint at first, but then stronger and stronger, until its rapid beat reverberated along the walls as the light pulsed brighter and brighter. Feet stomped and hands clapped to the rhythmic beat of the light as the audience joined in as part of the display. Finally, both light and sound reached a crescendo simultaneously.


Light and sound exploded in a spray of pyrotechnics and rapid melody, leaving nothing in its place but silence and a single figure standing in the middle of the stage. The feet stomping and hand clapping stopped as rapidly as the light, as eager eyes strained forward.


A dim blue glow seemed to surround or emanate from the figure, encasing it in an aura of light. It looked to be female, close to six feet tall, standing there head bowed down, arms crossed in front of her. Silence dropped over the room like a rock. Then, she brought up her head, tossing it slowly back as if it were being pulled puppet-like by a string from behind. As she did so, she slowly drew her arms back, as if trying to raise her chest up to the sky.


It was then that Lindel noticed two things. The first was the apparent reason for the eager eyes, for she wore nothing from the waist on up, the blue glow reflecting on odd sheen off of her tender white skin and firm chest. Her skin looked to be as smooth as milk, running like liquid up and down her body in the blue light. She began to swivel her body back and forth in a slow, smooth rhythm.


Then, Lindel noticed the other thing about her. From the waist on down, she wasn't human. Where legs should be, was instead a long, thick, snake-like body, starting as green scales just below her belly-button, thickening around snake-like hips, and down into a snake-body as thick around as her torso, gradually narrowing down towards where feet would have been as it finally coiled around into a small circle beneath her, its final end being like a scaled tail no thicker than one's finger.


She swiveled back and forth on the end of her tail, her entire body moving as a single organ, arms now reaching up over her head, clawed fingers moving with the rhythm. New strains of music now seemed to emanate from around her, expanding throughout the entire building. Stronger and stronger her movements became, her eyes now facing upwards as if in some sort of trance. As she moved, the music seemed to move with her. The stronger her movements became, the stronger and more pronounced the music became. As her rhythm increased, so did that of the music. She and the music were both one, two manifestations of the same entity.


Suddenly she whipped around like a large spinning top, twice around, whirling on the end of her body-tail, the blue light following her as it danced off her skin. She stopped abruptly towards the front of the stage. Rearing up higher on her tail, she faced out towards the audience, stern but seductive look on her face, a pair of fangs now protruding from the corners of her mouth. Pointed ears showed through her deep black hair, as blue eyes looked down like a seductress that wasn't afraid of taking what she wanted, no matter the consequences. She then began to weave back and forth on her tail, blue glow flowing with her, reflecting off the contrast of her deep green scales and smooth white skin, arms reaching invitingly out in front of her.


She danced now like a nymph in heat, spinning around on her tail, rolling and slithering across the stage, performing feats of acrobatics on her tail that most dancers would be hard pressed to do with two feet, yet all the while seeming to keep her eyes focused on each person in the audience, as if only that person were there to watch her dance. Everyone was entranced.


She uncoiled the lower part of her tail now, wrapping it up around her body as it were some other beast come to take her. Around her waist she coiled herself, up towards her bare chest. The thin end of her tail finally found a home between her breasts, wiggling slowly back and forth like some long finger massaging the hills of her chest. She weaved lightly back and forth, eyes rolling back in her head as if in some orgasmic convulsion. The music beat faster, seeming to gain with it the rhythm of all watching, as the beat of their hearts, the pounding of their blood, all seemed to keep pace with the cadence of the music, the movements of her body, the flow of the dance.


This wasn't a dance, it was a seduction.


Her tail slowly uncoiled from around her body, as if caressing snake scales against her own smooth skin, until, with a sharp crack, she whipped the last length of it out in back of her. Forward along the stage she now slithered, up to the steps that led down to the floor below. The music now had a slow seductive sway to it, as she went up to the first step, half-slithering, half-dancing along its length. Down the steps she then came, her every movement a slow dance, while still keeping a seductive gaze on each individual watching her. Slowly she slid down the steps, her blue glow making her seem like a strange eerie ghost, floating down the circular steps in some otherworldly dance.


Wide eyes and drooling jaws watched as she finally caressed the ground floor with her tail, watched as she started to dance up to the nearest table, arms lightly massaging an onlooker's chest as her tail coiled lightly around his thigh, but all the while the rest of her body remaining in constant, weaving, motion. Then, onto the next table, leaving the man at the first table in a pleasurable stupor. From table to table she went, her sprite-like dance suggesting much, but stopping short of actually offering it, whirling around in a frantic dance of seduction. Around the tables nearest the stage she went, the music seeming to come with her, or from her, like unto the blue glow that always kept her in sight.


Finally she danced up to the table at which Eldar and Lindel sat. Both of their eyes were locked into following her every movement, as she slid up between them, first enticing Eldar by drawing an arm slowly across his face, the music coming from her body seeming to match his heart's own rapid rhythm. Then, a tail came coiling around Lindel, massaging him around his waist and chest as if searching for something, tantalizing him with what the answer to her search might be. Lindel watched unmoving, as the closeness of her breasts seemed to reach out towards his face and then, too soon, draw away as she uncoiled from him and danced out away from their table.


She danced back up against the steps of the stage, standing between the bottom-most step and their own table. Her coiling dance then became more intense, as she swayed back and forth, first slow, then more aggressively, as if being tugged back and forth by two monstrous creatures. Into a frenzied whirl she went, spinning around on her tail, the blue glow flickering as she whirled round and round. Faster too went the music, and brighter became the light, as she now started to twirl like a maddened top. The music went round and round with her, faster and faster, the glow now brightening into a bright blue light, her whirling almost a blur.


Finally, all that could be seen was a bright blue swirling light, shaping around the contours of her body, the music now a maddening rush. No portion of her body could now be seen, as bright flecks of light swirled through the maelstrom of rushing blue light that was her form, swirling faster and brighter, expanding now to twice her size. Expanding, brighter, 'til all that could be seen was a storm of blue light near the stage; all that could be heard was the maddening rush of the music as it carried with it the bodily rhythm of all watching. The light and sound both rose to a thunderous crescendo.


And then, nothing. With a flash the blue light was gone, the music with it, and no trace at all of the dancer. A brief moment of silence filled the tavern, with nary a sound made, as everyone's hearts suddenly lurched to a stop.


There was an explosion of applause as the lights came up, cheering, shouting, stomping, and clapping, of an intensity that threatened to almost bring down the stone walls of the building itself. Long lasting applause, finally fading down into the general hubbub of talk and people ordering fresh drinks.


"See," Eldar finally said cheerily, "was I right about these seats being worth the price or not!"


Lindel didn't move; he couldn't move. He sat straight in his chair, eyes fixed forward, drool coming out of his open mouth. Eldar waved a hand in front of his friend's face.


"Lindel?" he asked. "Are you all right?"


Lindel's right hand slowly began to move across the table, the rest of him not moving a muscle, his face frozen in an expression Eldar couldn't decipher. Finally, Lindel's hand found his mug of ale, still mostly full. Straining as if from weakness, his hand slowly wrapped itself around his mug, and then carefully brought it up to his face.


Eldar watched curiously as, still the only part of his body that moved, Lindel raised his mug, holding it with all the care one would of something precious, his arm then tensing as if ready to strike.


He splashed himself full in the face with the contents of his mug. Cold ale dripped down his face, as he slowly put the mug back down on the table and shook his golden-haired head back and forth, spraying ale all around him.


"Definitely worth the price of admission," he finally said.


"Now you know why they charge a gold apiece for these seats," Eldar laughed.


As Eldar laughed at his friend's reaction, Lindel reached into a pocket and drew out a small pouch, jingling with the sound of several coins.


"What's that for?" Eldar asked. "I already paid for the drinks."


Lindel tossed his pouch onto the table with a loud thunk, spilling its dozen gold coins onto the table before answering.


"The tip."


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