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*Please see Author Notes for setting*
Faith to Death
Warning: NSFW gay smut; noncon elements
Sornd had spent much of his youth piecing together information on his mother’s heritage and the Drow’s social structure. Though he was aware of how sadistic and manipulative the matriarchal hierarchy was- and how careful he would need to be during their explorations through the Underdark- he had felt a small thrill at seeing the Drow city with his own eyes.
Operating under Phaere’s whims and wishes had quickly lost its appeal, however. The priestess was as cruel and demeaning as Sornd had imagined, and at times it was all he could do to bite his tongue silent. There was one small relief in noting Solaufein appeared to struggle with his own restraint. So far, Sornd had had his companions at his back when speaking to the various Drow of Ust Natha, with Viconia's vast experience and Hexxat's sharp senses to bolster his confidence. The women of his little adventuring troupe were invaluable on a good day, as much as he might be loathe to admit within their earshot; here in the Underdark, he knew even with his scholarly knowledge he would have been lost without them on the first day.
So, being commanded to speak alone with the Drow Priestess was plenty enough reason for immediate concern. The door clicking shut behind Sornd set off an unfamiliar panic, though his face was smooth and bright with attention as he rounded to catch her stare. A strong hand pushed on his back, forcing him to fall onto the lush blankets before rolling to face Phaere, a shudder crawling down his spine at the hungry gaze.
"I thought I had broken you of your loathsome habit of speaking out of turn," the priestess snapped with a smile as wide and wicked as Sornd's usually was. "It will certainly be enjoyable ensuring you remember your lesson this time."
Sornd knew what would come next, without the benefit of Phaere's barked orders to submit to her for the evening. Throughout his life, he had occasionally sent wordless thanks to any deity listening that he had spent his childhood on the Surface, as he was no lover of received pain in any context.
A sharp tug at his breeches returned his mind to the current problem, his fingers digging into the plush bedding hard enough to rip jagged tears. "Mistress," he repeated urgently, "I- I cannot."
That gave Phaere pause, though her eyes blazed with imminent fury. "You will submit to me, Veldrin, or I will beat you into submission."
"Nothing would please me more than to please you, mistress," Sornd gasped, his desperation, if not his words, wholly honest. "But I have been cursed, and I will be unable to.. to.."
Phaere's violet gaze narrowed, delicate mouth digging into a frown as she forced his trousers down further, exposing his flaccid length. Admittedly talented fingers encircled it, massaging the flesh as she glared and spat demands at him, but his body refused to comply. A whip appeared in his peripheral vision and a hot flash of anger burned in his stomach- how dare she assume he a masochist, a playtoy for her petty politics and whims?! If Sornd wasn't certain the only way out of this vile place was through his bargain with the Silver Dragon, he would've razed this entire city to ash just for offending him with its mere existence. A task for later, perhaps, once Irenicus and Bodhi lay dead at his feet.
Finally satisfied- if annoyed- at the validity of his statement, she released him and straightened with a disgusted stare.
"We will have to tend to this curse of yours after the ritual," she sighed, kicking at his dangling feet, the pointed end of her boot connecting with his shin, forcing him to jerk upright. "For now, I must oversee preparations... Meet me at the temple when you have sorted yourself."
"Yes, mistress," Sornd replied demurely, biting his tongue to keep from adding the sarcasm he so valiantly kept in check. "Thank you, mistress."
Phaere snorted, turning with a dramatic whirl of dark robes before unlocking the door and striding from the room. Once he was certain she had left, he hastily righted his clothes and plucked at the knots in his long hair that had bunched underneath him. He had never thought his 'curse' would spare him in such a manner, but he was overwhelmingly grateful his body had not betrayed him.
Presentable once more, Sornd quickly rifled through the cupboards and dresser beside the bed, snatching what valuables his quick fingers found. It was not remotely enough repayment in kind, but it did lessen the sting of violation. Happy with his heavier gempouch, he squared his shoulders and strode from the room, returning Edwin's curious stare with a smug grin. The mage looked so odd as a Drow, as if he didn't quite fit the illusion in some respect, and it made Sornd want to break into laughter at the most inopportune moment. He inhaled quickly, prepared to cut off Edwin's inevitable comments, when a heavy hand fell on his shoulder.
"What treachery is this, Sornd?" Dorn growled against his ear.
Sornd froze, eyes wide as he carefully tilted his head to catch the Blackguard's gaze. Fury sparked from the dark eyes, the wide nose wrinkled in an aggressively toothy snarl. Dorn's mood swings were commonplace by now, a part of the ebb and flow of Sornd's personally chosen cadre of companions, but this was one time Dorn completely puzzled him. Treachery? Of what sort? As careless as Sornd was in his dealings with others, he was always particularly careful to not cross his companions. Was the illusion negatively affecting the half-orc? Had the Blackguard's latest magic ring 'accidentally' wandered into Sornd's pockets? Were there rumours Sornd was unaware of amongst the group?
Though Dorn was unstable at best, he was always forthright and honest- a strange trait, and one Sornd greatly appreciated. Best to simply ask, rather than assume, as he knew Dorn would answer truthfully. "What are you talking about? What treachery do you speak of?"
The hand on his shoulder tightened, painfully, twisting Sornd to face him. Even with the illusion, Dorn was still easily a head taller than him and half again as wide. Usually that raw strength was enticing, a heady fuel for secret desires in the night, but used against him like this... No. This was unacceptable. It seemed the half-orc had finally snapped.
"I leave you alone for fifteen seconds," Dorn all but roared, "and you take some Drow she-dog into your bed?!"
Sornd blinked rapidly, tension bleeding from his body as he absorbed this accusation. That was far and away the furthest from what he'd expected to fall from Dorn's lips- so incredulous Sornd had to swallow his laughter. But, close on the heels of the amusement came anger, burning hot enough to mirror Dorn's: what business was it of Dorn's to oversee and control his pleasures? They had shared one night together- an amazing, glorious night- but just one. Dorn had proven to be more skilled than any real or imagined lover, but they had not spoken of that night since, and Sorn had sadly assumed that was the end of that. So why the sudden anger over presuming he’d lain with another?
It wasn't just anger in Dorn's eyes, was it? Jealousy, mixed with rage, masking a delicious hint of fear. Oh yes, he could definitely use this later.
Sornd straightened, jutting his chin defiantly, his voice cold and crisp. "I did no such thing.
Wills clashed silently in the returned glare, veins throbbing visibly in Dorn's forehead until he finally half-turned, seceding to the silent challenge. "This one time," Dorn hissed, pushing Sornd away roughly, "I'll permit you this... lapse in judgement. But, if you would see us fulfill our destiny, do not repeat it."
Sornd huffed, offended, rubbing at his sore arm. "But I-,"
Dorn waved him off, turning to his weapons to sheathe them in his armour. Sornd vibrated behind him with silent anger, knowing his protests would be unheard and idly wondering just how far he could sink his dagger into Dorn's back before it became a fatal wound.
"Ah, how quaint, a lover's spat," Edwin snorted as he rose, brushing down his robes for invisible lint. "Could we continue on to what's important, such as removing ourselves from this dank hole?"
"Keep your tongue still, mage," Sornd snapped as he rounded on him, "lest I take it for a trophy."
"As if you could," Edwin taunted, and with that simple exchange, the usual balance of the group was- mostly- restored.
Sornd had always preferred to move amongst the shadows, his natural infravision giving him a great advantage during his thieving training. Yet, as a sun shaft slid across his face when they emerged bruised and bloody on the Surface, Sornd lifted his face to the sky, his closed eyes leaking a few tears as he soaked in the warmth. The serene moment was broken, however, as Hexxat stumbled just behind him, surprised by his halted steps.
"Relish it," she murmured as she passed by, burrowing deeper into her warded cloak as she made quickly for nearby shade. Sornd hummed in reply, rubbing his arms rapidly to warm them as well.
"Must we stand about? Why are you so fascinated with contemplating at such odd times? " Edwin groused, poking Sornd's foot with his staff. "Stupid simian and his lack of concentration, it's no wonder he could do no better than thievery."
Sornd's acute hearing always picked out Edwin's additive mutterings, but kept his opinion on the matter to himself. Though disruptive and immensely offensive, it seemed Edwin kept his temper in check if allowed his little habit.
"I believe you are right," Sornd belatedly replied, breaking into laughter when both Edwin and Viconia rounded on him with twin incredulous stares. "Why Edwin, you do make sense at times- or is my annoying lack of a soul addling my mind?"
"Either is worrisome," Dorn intoned from behind, stepping up to stand beside the Drow. "We cannot be far behind Irenicus now. We will make him suffer thrice what he has dared to inflict upon you."
The venom in the deep voice grounded Sornd's flickering thoughts; he pivoted, a grateful smile curling his mouth. "'We'. Yes, indeed."
Dorn's lopsided grin- his visage finally returned to that of his natural orcish face- spread a new warmth through Sornd's chest as they pressed on. The Blackguard’s mood had drastically improved during their slaughter toward the Surface, and Sorn was pleased to find his earlier resentment had lifted as well. It was easy to tuck his worry aside for the immediate concern of finding this ‘Elhan’, or another authority figure amongst these pale elves and begin tracking their foe in earnest.
"Elhan knows more than he gave," Viconia muttered, wiping the stray hair from her face in irritation.
"He was not overly fond of our presence," Hexxat replied smoothly, her aristocratic nose wrinkled in distaste. "I did not care for how he focused so heavily on your heritage, rather than Sornd's."
"Males are less of a threat," the cleric replied with a shrug, then cut a sly glance at Sornd. "Present company excluded... perhaps."
Sornd grinned wickedly, unperturbed by the comment. At his side, however, Dorn huffed and moved closer, his dark gaze narrowed into a line of warning. Sornd caught his eye, shaking his head subtly, and felt the tension relax. The thief smiled to himself, happy with the return to normalcy. The nightmares were worsening, the all-consuming rage licking at the edge of his consciousness like a relentless ocean, but he could hardly complain at this moment.
Low rolling hills stretched before them, tainted by the sharp glow of the setting sun. They would camp soon, once the moon had fully risen, for the first night of decent rest they’d experienced in some time. Elhan had reluctantly imparted the knowledge they needed to find Bohdi, likely hiding in her Athkatlan graveyard lair, and thus had a familiar route and destination planned. Tonight, they were restocked and would be relatively safe. Except for the gnawing hunger boiling under his skin, Sornd would've marked it as a good evening for all concerned.
And yet, without the immediate pressure of escaping the Underdark and discovering Irenicus’ whereabouts, Sornd could now feel the awkwardness that lay between he and the Blackguard. He had misjudged the return to normalcy, his cognizance likely dulled by the war between his sanity and the mad pull of Bhaal’s essence. Here, without constant distractions, he could nigh taste the stress in the way Dorn moved, the unspoken issue lurking in the silence wrapped with hastily exchanged words.
The perceived jealousy was rather amusing, Sornd had to admit, and something he would have enjoyed playing out to a frustrating end, if not for the dire circumstances he now faced. Dorn was in awe of the raw power that was slowly eroding Sornd's resolve, as Sornd was himself, but that fascination was tainted with fear. If he lost himself within the rage, would he be able to regain control? Would he cease to exist?
...What if they failed to restore his soul?
Sornd was not in the habit of considering defeat, but for now he had to force himself to face down the possibility. There was a unique pull between Dorn and he, and one he would gladly see to its conclusion; if defeat was shuffled into his cards, best to speed this along quickly.
His heart raced, palms sweating as he slipped a throwing dagger unseen into his hand. Why? Why so nervous over what should be a simple affair?
As shallow as he can be, Dorn sees this not so simple. Well then... I shall muddy the waters.
They had just entered a small clearing, surrounded by a broken copse of trees that swayed lightly in the evening wind. A perfect place for an ambush, and perhaps enough privacy to drive the wedge from between Dorn and himself. A frisson crawled down his back, raising goosebumps along his arms as he flicked his wrist. A quick flash of moonlight and Dorn cried out as he grabbed his thigh, clutching the wound. Unerringly, his thunderous glare followed the angle of the pommel back to the source, scowling at Sornd's playful grin. As one, their other companions fell still and silent.
"What is the meaning of this?!" Dorn snarled, ripping the small knife from the seam in his armour.
Sornd was pleased to see a dark stain mar the shining surface. "I wish your sole attention for a time."
"Come," Hexxat murmured, gently threading her arm through Viconia's as she turned them. "Let us make camp, a few hundred paces away."
Sornd lightly danced backwards as the Blackguard advanced, taking care to note the others were beyond earshot before continuing. "I have felt your stare boring holes in the back of my head," he grimaced, pausing long enough for Dorn to draw close. "Your inane assumptions about the Drow priestess are to blame, I suspect."
Realisation passed briefly through Dorn's expression before lowered his head with a snarl. "I assumed nothing. I could smell her arousal on you both."
"And if you had paid attention," Sornd snapped, "you would have noted the absence of mine. I did not lay with her, Dorn, I could not; but I am curious as to why you even care."
Dorn stepped a pace back, brow furrowed over a dark gaze. "What do you mean, you could not?"
A painful twinge twisted in Sornd's chest and he reflexively crossed his arms. "I told Phaere I was cursed and could not pleasure her. She tested my threat and saw for herself she could not move me to respond to her touch."
"An obvious lie," Dorn spat.
Sornd's shoulders hunched, his gaze dropping to the side. Drawing Dorn along this path was more painful than he’d predicted, but he wouldn’t shy away from enlightening him. The conclusion he wanted would be all the sweeter for it. "It is truth- both the curse, and what transpired in her bedchamber."
"I know it to be a lie, and you have proven it in my own bedroll," Dorn seethed, gripping one of Sornd's arms to shake him. "Why repeat yourself when you know I know how false it is?"
The twinge came again, a flicker of shame bolting through him. Instead of retreating, Sornd threw himself forward into the Blackguard's grip to flatten his face to the broad chest. The strength he admired from afar was suddenly wrapped around him, cocooning him in a quiet space comprised of just them. After a long sigh, he began to mumble against the warm metal.
”Dorn, my body does not stir at the touch of a woman, no matter how determined she or I may be. Gorion, when I was old enough to understand, told me I was cursed. For such a learned man, he had his own prejudices he forced upon me in the name of good and decency." Sornd spat the words hatefully, drawing back to stare up at Dorn. "I was cursed thusly, he told me, so that I would not in turn continue my evil heritage- at the time, I thought he spoke of my Drow mother. When I yet again understood exactly what he had meant after his death- and how wrong he was about why I prefer men..." He shrugged, taking a step out of the encircling arms. "The damage had been done."
Sornd jumped as a hand trailed down his front, startled into glancing up.
"You have invisible scars as well," Dorn rumbled.
The thief snorted. "A horrific understatement."
The hand slid back up, nestling under Sornd's chin to cradle it. "And you did not lay with that intolerable Drow witch?"
"I could not, nor would I have wanted to," Sornd replied honestly. "It was amusing to watch her mounting frustration- though I was concerned she would make good on her promise to beat me into pleasuring her." He shivered at the memory, pleased when Dorn's grip gently slid around to his neck to tug him closer. "I am fortunate she did not consider it worth her time. But, Dorn, now you must answer me." He reached up, linking his arms around Dorn's shoulders to draw him down, whispering his next question. "Why do you care so much if I had shared her bed?"
Dorn shifted, walking Sornd back a few paces to press the thief to a tree trunk with his bulk. "You are a powerful man, Sornd. I have sought power all my life, and yet never have I been as strong as by your side. And I have you to thank for it."
Sornd snorted, tangling his fingers in the knotted hair that fell to Dorn's neck. "You made your own choices. Freedom suits you.
"I would still be in the clutches of the glabrezu without you," Dorn argued, grinning wickedly as he nudged a knee between Sornd's legs. "Following your lead has served me well so far. I am glad to continue for as long as it benefits us both."
Dorn ground his knee along the inside of his thigh and Sornd gasped softly, a bolt of heat flashing from his stomach to his groin. The rough bark was scratching at the seams of his armour, making him writhe to escape the sensation and feel more of the half-orc against him. "As- am I."
"As thin and tiny as you are, you hold your own in each battle," Dorn continued, bending to whisper against Sornd's ear. "And, most alluringly, you strike fear into your enemies and allies alike."
"No small feat, c- considering the company I keep," Sornd replied breathlessly, then melted against Dorn's chest when he felt sharp teeth at his throat and oh, those wide hands were already sliding underneath his armour, nails leaving reddened marks across his back. This... Yes, this was what he had always dreamed of since his body and mind had matured. So laughable that Phaere and countless other women had thought they could compete with this strength and heat.
"I have never known another like you," Dorn breathed hotly against his cheek, a serious timbre to his voice. "My blood boils to look at you, god-child, and I can wait no longer. I want you again, now, here." Sornd could feel the smile against his skin. "You know you will not regret it."
Sornd wriggled, freeing enough space in the Blackguard's grip to stare up at him. His chest pounded with that strange nervousness again, making his head swim and his breath quicken. "And what of tomorrow?" he challenged, arching a brow to feign arrogance he did not feel. "The nights are cold, Dorn. I would have a true companion, rather than a distraction."
To his credit, Dorn did not hesitate. "Tomorrow as well, then. And all the nights after, if that is what you wish."
Sornd inhaled sharply, pleased by the easy acceptance. "Yes it is," he replied hastily. "It has been for a long time now."
The smile that crept over Dorn's face was different than his usual; not manic, nor calculating. It looked intimate, a small gesture just for him. "And I as well."
"And that is why you humiliated us both in Phaere's quarters?"
"Yes." Dorn sighed, nuzzling at the thief's neck again. "I wanted you then, but the illusion we were forced to wear, it was... inadequate." He made a disgusted noise and Sornd burst into laughter, relieved and thrilled and so very aroused. “We were forced to cater to the dragon’s whims for a chance at escape and I could not risk taking you as I wished, but I had wanted to claim you solely for myself since I first took you in your tent.”
"Claim me now, then," Sornd demanded happily, scratching at Dorn's neck. "Show me your power. Drown me in it."
With a guttural moan, Dorn pressed close again, trapping Sornd against the tree as thick fingers dug into the small of the Drow's back. Sornd let his focus narrow to his physical senses, blocking his usual worries and considerations for the rest of the evening. The heat of Dorn's eagerness radiated through his armour, the Blackguard's rough touches abrading Sornd's skin as Dorn quickly unlatched the leather chestpiece and tossed it aside. Underneath were thick clothes, but that was the extent of the physical protection Sornd chose to wear; magical amulets and rings were more precious and harder to break.
"Off, get it off," Sornd muttered, tugging futilely at a side brace in the platemail. "Damn you for wearing so much!"
Dorn muttered something vaguely threatening as he pried the Drow's hands from his armour, deftly unclicking the braces on one side. Sornd used this time to reacquaint himself with the Blackguard's jawline, leaving a wet line of nips and licks along the stubbled length. He pressed his lips to each scar he felt, eyes falling closed in pleasure as Dorn suddenly pressed against him again, this time with little to separate them. Now Sornd could not only feel the warmth of Dorn's arousal but feel the evidence as well, the hard length digging into his stomach next to his own.
A hand tangled in the long white hair, using the leverage to yank his head back to meet his lover's gaze, where Dorn's fierce grin ignited another spasm of lust through the Drow's body. "Now," Sornd urged, his hands dropping to frantically pick at the lacing in Dorn's breeches. "But you will lay me on the ground this time. My back still hasn't forgotten the result of your impulsiveness against that cursed rock when we bathed."
Dorn cackled, wrapping the thin elf in his arms before pitching to the side, rolling them into the damp grass. Sornd was now fully caged by the bulk above him, but couldn't be happier; to feel each movement, the bruising press of the strength Dorn naturally possessed... it was addictive, moreso even than the battlelust that was slowly eroding his reason. Lost in these musings, he was brought sharply back to the present when he felt Dorn's cock brush the sensitive skin of his own. Dorn had apparently worked both their trousers open in record time, and yet it still didn't feel quick enough.
Nothing with Dorn was ever enough.
Though trapped, Sornd now had easier access to Dorn's neck and shoulders, which he relentlessly attacked with his teeth. Dorn's breathing quickened, the long sucking bites drawing a series of deep groans from the wide throat, vibrating against Sornd's tongue as he soothed the reddened skin. Dorn tasted of salt and earth, a pungent musk tickling his nose as Sornd clung tighter, freeing one leg to wrap around the Blackguard's waist. They were still mostly clothed, but Sornd could wait no longer.
"Lose your control," Dorn growled against his ear, biting at the lobe for emphasis. "Give it to me."
"No," Sornd choked, breath hitching as he snuck his hand between them to grip their cocks together. "Earn it, or walk away now."
"Never," Dorn hissed, tilting his hips into the thief's with a sharp twist. "I will take you."
"Promises," Sornd muttered, then jerked when the head of his cock was pinched. "Stop that!"
Dorn rumbled a dark laugh, smirking when his hand loosened and wandered further down, eliciting a confused whine from the Drow.
Sornd froze a second later when he realised what path Dorn's hand was on, groaning as he then attempted to shuffle his thighs wider. He pawed at Dorn's neck, arching to present himself as he panted, impatient, but unwilling to beg. Yet. Instead, he slid his hands under Dorn's armour, raking his nails up the Blackguard's back hard enough to draw raised lines.
Dorn shifted his weight to his elbow, lowering to force Sornd fully into the cool ground with his greater mass as their lips finally met. Sharpened teeth clinked, tongues rolling hungrily through the open-mouthed kiss as Dorn began to rock against the smaller body below, each upward thrust dragging their trapped cocks in a frantic counterpoint. Sweat soaked through their undershirts, creating more friction between them as they gasped and gripped the other. Sornd tensed and sighed as Dorn’s free hand scratched down his side, the filed claws leaving a jagged trail of welted lines in the dark skin.
And then the thick wedge of Dorn's forefinger slid against his puckered entrance and Sornd loosed a shout, throwing his head back against the soft grass in submission. His body was shivering with anticipation already, too far gone to worry about Dorn mounting him now. This would be more than enough, with Dorn's teeth at his throat, their slicked lengths sliding together as that blessedly thick finger plunged inside, crooking just so-
Pleasure erupted through Sornd's body, drawing him taut like the string of a bow, becoming a rigid line for Dorn to pound against. The ecstasy had only just begun to ebb when Dorn's finger moved in conjunction with another thrust, and Sornd came with a strangled yell. He shuddered through the pleasurable waves, a distant part of him recognising Dorn's own release by the disjointed thrusts and new warmth spreading across his stomach.
It was the best high Sornd had ever experienced- perhaps even more intense than their first coupling weeks ago. Although his position was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, his skin chilling where it was exposed to the night air, the parts of him Dorn covered were pleasantly warm, if filthy. Sornd found himself rather fond of the idea of stained smallclothes.
Dorn shifted, nipping at the apex of the Drow's chin before pulling back to catch Sornd's hooded gaze. Sornd stared back, taking in the small details he'd missed in his earlier lust; the uneven tilt of the Blackguard's lips, the length of the scar over his right eye, the fetching thickness of the black eyelashes that hid most of the dark pupils. He had the rest of the evening to memorise every feature, map the entire body with tongue and teeth- and Dorn had promised many more nights after this. It was a rare comfort to imagine the future with Dorn’s fate so closely twined with his, sharing this pleasure as well as what power they could wrest from the world.
As the silence stretched, Sornd wondered if he should speak, but Dorn's sudden smile made him pause and wait.
"How fond are you of your name?"
Sornd frowned, lazily wrapping his arms around Dorn's neck to help pull him upwards, pressing a quick kiss to the broken nose. "It is a name, and it is mine," he replied neutrally. "Why?"
"Sorn," Dorn murmured, arching a brow. "Sorn and Dorn. I like the sound of that."
Sornd laughed, falling back to the grass, smiling up at his lover. "I do too. Simple. Memorable."
"Exactly." Dorn rolled off him, fumbling with his breeches. "Gather your things. I am going to finish what we started back at camp."
Sornd chuckled, slowly moving to obey. "And risk Edwin casting Silence over our tent again?"
Dorn's wicked grin matched his own. "Especially that."
I found it interesting that Dorn flips out over the Phaere incident in Ust Natha, considering he and charname had slept together only once and had no discussions of a long-term affair. Why was Dorn so incredibly angry? Why did Dorn refuse to believe that my charname hadn't actually slept with Phaere?
This fic takes place toward the end of the Underdark (Ust Natha), up to running after Bohdi in Athkatla. I have attempted to remain as close to the in-game dialogue as possible, so hopefully this fic could read like an expansion on canon.
Many heartfelt thanks to my beta readers: Jessica, Cass, Kit, and Riley! My sincere gratitude for your critique and encouragement.
Kit in particular helped shape my charname and Dorn's romance into a more rounded experience which has expanded to other short fics and numerous artworks of the two.