Tales of Forloa: Fortold Knowledge
When Prince Claude awoke, his body felt somewhat stiff. He was lying on his bed on his back, staring upward at the rich golden lined ceiling above him. His lips felt dry, his eyes fluttered weakly and he felt a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. A hand glided down his chest and rested on his stomach. His eyes widened as he tilted his head up and looked down. His stomach had a slight bulge in it, about the size of his hand and a faint gurgling emitted from it. The Prince yawned slightly as vague memories of the previous night flooded back into his head. That pretty little brown haired servant girl who had served as just a meal for him last night, he remembered that. At first he felt a little bad about his actions, the poor girl had done nothing to deserve her fate after all, especially coming to check on him. But he also recalled the raid on Galtak from the previous evening. The Prince had already killed a fair number of soldiers and a monarch the previous day, one servant girl didn’t seem that bad in comparison.
Any thought of guilt exited his mind once he began to recall how it’d felt the previous day when he’d devoured her. The rush of adrenaline, the sense of fullness and satisfaction and the intense pleasure just from rubbing his own full stomach, even remembering it was pure ecstasy as he felt his tongue hang out of his mouth and even drooling a bit. He eventually broke out of his stupor with a shake of the head, wiping his mouth and getting up. He slid the servant’s shoes under his bed and stepped out into his castle, deciding to think about it once he was on his throne and gotten through the messages his servants would bombard him with that morning.
Breakfast was served and consumed and Claude relaxed into his throne, his mood remaining moderately jovial as he surveyed his courtroom. The Minister, Duke and Baron greeted him with their usual flattery and apologised for the previous night. The Prince simply waived the issue entirely as he had bigger things to think about than their minor transgressions.
Regardless of how he felt about that event last night, how it had happened was something that still puzzled the Prince as he sat upon the throne, his chin resting in one hand as his eyes stared off into nothingness, his mind abuzz with questions and theories. Everything that came up seemed to be more ridiculous than the last and Claude was starting to wonder who he could even consult about something of this nature. Then his mind happened upon something semi reasonable.
“Minister?” The Prince addressed the older gentleman beside him.
“Yes your highness?” The Minister addressed him with a thin smile.
“Summon Doctor Tigris to my chambers at once, I’d like to speak with him privately.” Claude commanded him before he got up and returned to his chambers. The Minister stared at him oddly. The Prince wouldn’t request medical assistance usually. Then again his attitude was increasingly changing ever since he had taken power over the kingdom, so he decided not to pursue it and simply sent out the word to summon Doctor Tigris.
Said doctor was an impressive alchemist whom had moved into the city a few years before he had been born. He’d established his effectiveness in medical practices and alchemy, further chemistry and even helped prepare certain magical concoctions and weapons for the castle. His hair was silver and he had a notably long face with a slight scar on his left cheek, his eyes a burning emerald and his lips thin and small, he rarely cracked anything above a smirk. Tigris’ leather boots made a notably heavy sound on the stones of the castle as he entered, escorted by the castle guard, carrying with him his note book, bounce in withered leather from years of use. Once reaching the Prince’s chamber, he rapped his knuckles on the door a few times. He had met the Prince exactly twice in his life, once during a party at the end of last year and about 10 years ago when he’d brought a herbal remedy to cure a sickness the queen was undergoing, during which Claude had hidden behind a curtain like a timid animal.
“Enter.” Spoke Claude as the good doctor knocked, opening the door and stepping into his chamber, curtly closing the door behind him before he bowed.
“Your highness.” The doctor began. “It is a pleasure to be summoned.” Claude snorted slightly.
“Spare me the rhetoric, doctor.” Claude cut him off as he felt a little nervous about all this. “I have a problem and you were the only person I could think of who may be able to help me.” The doctor cocked an eyebrow.
“I take it you wish for me to be secretive about this, sire?” he asked and Claude answered with a quick nod. “Well then, what is this problem?” The doctor asked again, retaining a neutral expression. Claude sighed a bit, nervous about first admitting this.
“Last night… I devoured someone.” He began to explain. The doctor stared at him blankly. “One of my female servants entered my room and I underwent a strange moment of lust… I jumped on her and somehow was able to swallow her whole. She was gone in less than a minute and it felt amazing.” Claude continued bluntly, trying not to go overboard and give the doctor enough to go on. Tigris was silent for a good few moments, as his brain seemed to process the information.
“I see… is that why your stomach is slightly distended?” The doctor asked, pointing to the Prince’s stomach. The Prince felt a little embarrassed as no-one else in his court had mentioned it. Was it that noticeable?
“Yes, it is. I presume she has been digested…” Claude continued, as Tigris seemed to scoff slightly.
“Obviously.” He mentioned with a slight roll of his eyes. “May I take a listen?” He leaned forward, looking at his stomach. The Prince nodded meekly and decided to look away as Tigris moved an ear to his stomach and listened for a good minute. He eventually moved back and started writing in his book. “We’ll need to go further with this.”
The Prince had the tools the doctor needed brought to his chambers. Doctor Tigris had him bite on some particular herbs and ask about the effects. After a brief apology he let a bit of the Prince’s blood drip from a small cut into a bottle before he began working in other strange substances and potions as the Prince nursed his wounds. He even asked the Prince to remove his shirt so he could check for markings or changes. But time and time again, he seemed increasingly stymied by the Prince’s condition, furiously scratching words onto parchment.
“Sire, might I ask if anything has happened to you prior to this condition?” Tigris asked as his eyes flickered over his words. The Prince cast his mind back to the past few days.
“There was a campaign on Goltak. I fought many soldiers, killed their king and his queen the sorceress…” he explained. Tigris’ eyes flashed at the Prince’s words.
“Did you say sorceress?” He queried as Claude nodded quickly. Tigris seemed to be onto something as his brain worked at 10 thoughts a second. “Did she do anything to you? Did she say anything?” Claude thought about it a moment.
“She shouted a curse at me, claimed I would live without a sense of love…” The doctor seemed interested this as his feverish writing became faster and faster.
“A curse… well it seems we may have found the cause.” Tigris agreed with himself, nodding.
“So… I’m cursed?” Claude asked, a slight feeling of dread creeping into his head.
“I would say so... but I am no expert in curses or magic, my expertise is sciences.” Tigris continued as he snapped his book shut and clutched it to his side. “I’m afraid I must take my leave now, sire.”
“No, you can’t do this.” Claude spoke somewhat frantically. “Surely you must have some form of cure for this, something you can do so I can understand it at least?” Doctor Tigris rested a hand against the door and glanced back at him, the thinnest smile on his lips.
“I’m afraid not. I am a man of logic and liquids, not spells and symbols. Find a magus your highness.” He opened the door and strode out as the Prince felt tempted to chase him and call his guards on the doctor to indict his vengeance for such a snide attitude. But as he watched him go, he eventually sighed and sat upon the bed. The doctor was right. He needed a mage to learn more about this.
Claude retook his seat upon the throne after a hearty luncheon, seeing to matters in the kingdom and choosing to avoid questions regarding doctor Tigris’ visit. He made a few passing remarks to his ministers about magi who were still in the kingdom. Supposedly, all of them were out of the kingdom on other business. He became increasingly frustrated each time he asked until finally he let the topic slide, resting his chin upon his fist. The rest of the day ticked by slowly and stickily until something finally happened to garner his attention.
“Your highness, you have a visitor.” Said one of his guards as the Prince cocked an eyebrow.
“Who?” He inquired quickly.
“The captain of the guards. He has something to show you, sire.” The guard continued the Prince nodded as the captain walked in, his beard a little mottled from actions that day.
“Your highness. There was an issue in the square today.” The captain began as the Prince sighed slightly.
“What issue was this?” Claude asked half heartedly.
“A peasant was revolting in the market.” The captain explained. “They criticised your actions against the kingdom of Goltak and demanded an audience with you.” The captain went on. Claude sighed slightly. Just what he needed right now, debating further politics.
“Very well, send them in.” Claude said dismissively, shaking his hand a bit. The captain saluted and returned to the entrance as the Prince just sat back slightly. The captain returned a few moments later with the peasant following him. The Prince’s eyes lit up as he spotted them and he felt himself gulp dryly.
The peasant had blonde hair, straw like and long, reaching their shoulders. Eyes were brown like mud and fairly dull, a face that was not made for grace but had a strange, uncut diamond like beauty to it. The peasant wore simple cloth clothes, a white shirt under a brown jacket with a skirt and simple shoes. And the most important detail that focused Claude on the peasant, they were female. He felt the familiar stirring of hunger in his stomach, that same feeling he had felt only one night ago when that servant girl had entered his chambers. Now as he sat forward in his throne, his fingers gripping the arm rests tensely, he knew he wouldn’t be able to contain himself. He had to have her. He had to eat her.
“Your highness.” The peasant greeted him, curtseying graciously. “My name is Myra and I live in your custody. Your recent actions in the attack on Goltak… I must speak my mind. I think it’s awful.” She explained, keeping her tone formal but a hint of anger was lingering.
“I see…” Claude nodded dumbly, his grip tightening as he tried to quell the roaring beast in his belly.
“The loss of the king and queen was a terrible thing, but violence is not the answer to the problem. The destruction of Goltak can do serious damage to our kingdom, other kingdoms could fear us for further violent actions, trading could cease to a halt!” she insisted as the Prince felt a mist glaze over his eyes.
“Yes… continue.” He managed to say as his tongue quivered in his jaws like some caged animal.
“We should at least send word to other kingdoms and make it clear this sort of action wasn’t justified… I worry for myself and the others who live in this kingdom… sire, plea-“Myra stopped as Claude finally rose from his seat and suddenly lunged at her, eyes wild and mouth agape. The two tumbled and rolled across the carpet as Claude’s mouth instantly latched onto her head and packed her inward, her straw hair tasting like spun sugar upon his tongue as Claude couldn’t help but moan in contentment at her mere flavour. All control was lost as he gulped strongly, sending Myra head first into his throat. The realization that the Prince was consuming her seemed to finally hit Myra as she began to scream and squirm, grabbing onto his chest and trying to tug her head free from his lips. But she was too far in. She would not escape being his meal.
The Prince’s tongue travelled down her chest as another strong gulp brought her shoulders into his cheeks, bulging them out as the swelling in his neck sunk downward. He lapped over her curves, noticeably lesser than the sweet servant girl but nonetheless a joy to toy with as his food went further into his gullet. Another loud swallow resounded in the court as Myra’s arms were now pinned to her sides, her stomach meeting Claude’s lips. His tongue spread out and moistened her underside as he couldn’t stop himself groaning and panting in enjoyment of devouring the squirming girl, oblivious to the world around him as his efforts were focused on the consumption of his meal. Her hips and thighs slipped into his lips as his teeth pressed into her rear slightly, causing a yelp from within the confines of his expanding stomach as the two bulging cheeks slid past his gnashing teeth and went further on in. Almost instinctively, Claude tilted his head backwards and allowed gravity to assist in this final step, the weight of her legs causing them to sink right into his mouth and leave at her feet, which soon followed her. With one more gulp, the well-mannered and well-meaning peasant girl was fully consumed. Claude panted slightly, saliva dripping from his lips as his hefty ball of a stomach sloshed awkwardly on the ground. He got into a sitting position so his legs could support his stomach and began dragging his fingers across the taut surface. That perfect sensation of fullness washed over him again, feeling her kicking and struggling within like the caged animal she now was, such bliss and perfect tension. He cocked his head back as a hearty and loud belch escaped his lips, the splendid feeling of rich and overwhelming satisfaction rippling out of his mouth. It couldn’t be more wonderful.
He was finally snapped back to reality as if someone had clicked their fingers. The members of his cabinet were standing around the room, none too close to him as they stared in shock and confused bewilderment. The captain of the guard seemed especially disturbed by this turn of events as the Prince took a few moments to remember what was going on. His head turned slowly as he surveyed them, then it seemed to click in his head.
“…Captain, kindly lock the doors.” He said quickly as he got to his feet somewhat shakily, the weight of the kicking meal in his midsection throwing him off.
“S-sire…I…” the captain stuttered as he remained glued to the spot.
“Just do it, man!” Claude snapped as he settled back in his throne, stomach sloshing as he plopped himself down. “And you three, send word to a mage at once.” He snapped to his three advisors as they nodded a few times. None dared to ask about what he’d just done. For they could tell, as the Prince sat on his throne, one hand rubbing his tummy and one holding his forehead, stress building up in his eyes and lines on his forehead, that even he didn’t know.
It was the evening once a mage could finally be called in to see the Prince. During that time he simply sat upon his throne and pondered his situation, his stomach churning and working on the girl inside, or whatever was left of her. He wondered how the people in the village would take it. They’d most likely put two and two together, he’d have to address it at some point…
His thoughts were interrupted when the mage appeared, a male mage, thank goodness, decked in brown and deep blue robes, carrying a black rod with a blue crystal in one hand, two large textbooks could be seen in the pockets of his outfit. He went by the name of Bertrand the scholar, a mage in search of wisdom. Claude cared little.
“Your highness.” Bertrand began, kneeling before the Prince and neatly avoiding asking about his stomach.
“I’m glad you’ve arrived, Bertrand. As you may have noticed, I have an issue.” He pointed at his middle.
“I noticed sire.” Bertrand rose, looking at the mass of flesh.
“I’ve swallowed two women in the past two days, whole and alive… I believe it to be a curse.” He explained as the magus held a hand to his chin and scratched briefly.
“Curse hm?” he took a book out of his pocket and flicked it open. “What occurred during these situations, sire?”
“I feel a compulsion. An uncontrollable urge the moment I see them… then I leap upon them and consume them with no other thought.” The Prince explained as the magus flicked through his book a few more pages.
“Ahh, I think this is it…” He stopped on a particular page. “The curse of Hungerlust, a technique bred long ago by the Maidens of Joy… strange such a curse is still practiced these days.” Bertrand explained. “The Maidens were supposed to be disbanded years ago…”
“The Queen of Goltak…” Claude muttered to himself in memory of the woman who had cursed him.
“Such a curse has unclear details… my tomes say it is based upon sight and possibly even smell…” Bertrand went on, checking through his book.
“How do I get rid of it?” The Prince cut to the point. Bertrand frowned as he scoured the text.
“There is no clear end to the curse… so far as I can tell it does not go away with time… and any form of cure is not written in this book. The Maidens of Joy are an old magic, I doubt anyone living in this day and age would even know…”
Claude felt his hands go cold as he gripped his throne, his mind racing with the coming realization.
“Is there nothing… that can be done?” He asked somewhat timidly. The magus nodded solemnly, returning his book to its pocket.
“I am sorry sire, but there is nothing I can do… and I doubt there is anything that can be done at all.” Bertrand looked somewhat nervous, fearing his head would be taken for these words. Claude took a moment, a hand moving to his brow as his eyes were cast downward at the stomach he bore. His head throbbed as the realization slid down his throat and wracked at his insides. His stomach churned as if he wanted to hurl violently, his hands gripped his head and throne as if he wishes to strangle the mage before him.
Something deep inside of him snapped. Some lingering string of moral fibre was struck and torn apart. His gaze lifted upward, a thin smile played upon his lips. An idea came into his head.
“Thank you, Bertrand. You may leave and will be paid for your assistance.” The mage looked up and looked at him in confusion for a moment, before coming to his senses and fleeing before the Prince changed his mind. “Captain! Accompany me into the town, I must speak with my people.”
“Sire? Is that wise with…” the captain gestured to the Prince’s still large stomach, poking out of his clothes.
“Oh captain… I will be speaking to them on that such matter.” The Prince chuckled somewhat maliciously as he rose to his feet. The captain chose not to argue the issue any further and opened the castle gates. The Prince rose and strode across the carpet, down the steps of his castle toward the town, flanked by his men in metal. His curse was permanent, he could not hide such a thing any longer. But perhaps, he was wondering, he could in fact use such a thing. As he stood before his people, they stared at him and his sloshing middle as the Prince cleared his throat and began to speak.
“People of Daltiar, I have much to speak of…”