Evil and Desire
The Histories of the Women of Darkness
by Jerome Brooke
Available from amazon
The wise women circled the fire. Skyclad, they were chilled by the night air. One of their number, her dark hair turning white, drew close to the young knight. "Welcome, Sir Knight. What do you seek?"
The Empire of the Moon is a collection of the Histories of the Women of Darkness. The Prince of the Isles enters the circle of the Wise Women of the Goddess of the Moon. They promise him power, wealth and renown. They also call the goddess to come to his side.To her his soul is lost.
Thus it was in the days of the sword.
This collection of Histories include Empire of the Moon - Voice of Astarte, Oracle of the Coast - and Recumbent Stone.
“Prince of the Isles, we welcome you. If you ask that we cast a spell gainst an enemy, speak forth,” said the wise woman. The women stood in a circle round the fire. The flames cast shadows among the trees, as the skyclad women circled the flames.
“We offer charms to men who seek love, My Lord,” said a woman with dark hair, her face lined with her years.
“If you seek potions to bring gold, these we can decant.” said a young woman, with red hair.
“You are women wise in the dark arts. You are known in all corners of the realm,” I replied. “Know that I am a Prince, with lands rich in gold.”
“Do you seek victory in war?” asked a woman of the Cannibal Isles, a woman dark of skin.
“I shall make wars and seek glory. However, I shall trust to the valor of my knights to win victory.”
“Do you seek a woman fair of face? We can cast a spell to call any woman to your side,” said the witch with hair the color of flame. The woman boldly placed her hands on her hips, her green eyes flashing a challenge. She was most tempting, with the red hair of her triangle matching that of her head.
“Divers lovers have I. Yet you are fair, and I would go with you to your hut this night. I shall risk your dark powers, as well as the wiles of a woman fair,” I replied.
“Do you come to us this night to discover the future? Do you seek to learn the fate of kings, and the rise of distant realms?” asked a tall woman with hair black as the wing of the raven.
“All of that will duly unfold,” I pronounced. “I will await the years as they come.”
“Do you ask that we call the souls of kings long dead, to visit this world? Do you desire with them to converse?” asked a woman with tawny hair and eyes of violet. She came close to me before the fire, at the center of the circle of these wills. The shameless witch took my hand, and placed it on her heavy breast. The woman laughed to see my hunger and thirst – then returned to the circle.
“Do you desire that we call to this realm the Goddess of the Moon? She might mark you to win great renown, and grant to you long life, victory, and wisdom,” said another of the women. The woman, tall and fair of face, came to me, and touched my cheek.
“You offer great power, and this would be a boon that any prince would seek,” I replied. “Call then the Goddess, that we may presently know her will.”
“We shall call the Goddess of the Sky, as you do entreat. We ask of you that you do restore our circle of stones that lies upon the plain. Raise the stones that have toppled through neglect. You must also come to us each year at the midwinter solstice. Do not heed the pleas of the priests of the new prophet, but come and join our dance. Lie with us, and give us pleasure, as did your fathers long ago,” said the wise woman, with eyes of green.
“Verily, all this I will do.”
“Behold!” said the witch.
The witches each in turn cast into the flames a handful of a blue powder - causing the flames to turn first to blue, then green, and many other mystic hues. The witches round me did gather. They each wantonly embraced me, and gave unto me a kiss. I was warmed by the touch of their naked bodies for an instant, and enflamed by desire.
In the distance I saw a flash of light, followed by a thunderclap. The gale grew strong, and chill. From the dark forest strode a woman, dressed in a robe of white. She wore a glowing tiara of silver. Boldly she came to me, touched my cheek and gave me a kiss. The women of the sisterhood drew back.
“You are fair of face, Prince of the Isles. Verily, even the Immortals know of your wars of conquest. Long have I been alone in my realm among the stars. Come, lie with me this night. I will bear to you a son, a demigod. Come, now,” said the goddess fair.
I boldly took the arm of the Lady. “You are immortal, Lady. Yet even a woman of heaven is only a woman when she lies with her lover. We shall foster a line of divine kings to rule a mighty empire, if that be your will,” I did say unto her.
The goddess led me from the forest, where her chariot did await. She bid me take the reins of the fiery steeds, and we did soar into the upper realms. Thus did begin my many wars of empire and conquest. To distant lands I led my knights. Many lands we did plunder and many were the realms that I came to rule. At my side, in latter years, rode my son, of whom the bards did sing.