Chapter 6 ~ The Gallant Tree Inn

A white witch and a light elf guide SpaceDog and his companions to The Village at the base of the world tree in the third realm of Alfheim while on a quest to find a stolen necklace. They plan to speak with the village elders and SpaceDog learns that one of the white witches is his sisters daughter. Making him...

A gust of wind blows and both Little Kitty and Panda Kitti watch something with great interest as it fly's by and lands in front of SpaceDog. Another witch appears as her cloak is removed, She bows down and kneels prostrate at SpaceDog's feet.

[Sister Sister] "Star Lord SpaceDog, is your sister, my mother, Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Freyja, expecting you?"

[SpaceDog]  "Get up silly girl. No she is not expecting me and I want to keep it that way for now. So, I'm your uncle? Hmmm... curious."

[Sister Sister] "Shall I call you uncle?"

[SpaceDog whispers] "If we are related as family, then you know what you should call me."

[Sister Sister whispers] "Yes Freyr."

Sister Sister puts on her cloak and says as she vanishes,

[Sister Sister] "Angela, you are relieved and I will keep watch this long night. May the Goddess keep you safe."

Angela bows to the invisible witch and turns to the others already already following Fontana.

Going down the path to the village, they notice the landscape changes a bit. The stream they were following earlier is now a bit larger and flowing stronger with a lack of vegetation apparent. The terrain has become barren and tall rocks line both sides of the ravine. The stream disappears ending in a whirlpool and swallowed by a hole in the ground. Farther along the path in the distance they see snow covered mountains. Fontana walks alongside Lady Robin pointing out some of the features,

[Fontana]    "We used to mine minerals in the rocks up ahead on that side. It's rich with iron, cuprous, magnetite's, lead, tin  and aurum, more commonly called gold."

[Lady Robin] "How far is it to your village from here?"

Fontana snickers.

[Fontana]    "We turn when the mountain in the distance is no longer there."

The group continues along the path just a short way when...

[Lady Robin] "Wait! It's gone! What happened to the mountain?"

[Fontana]   "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain then there is. And we..."

Fontana backs into a large flat rock face and is suddenly gone.

As LeeZee turns around the corner seeing Robin standing alone.

[LeeZee]    "Where did Fontana go?"

Staring at the flat rock face with her eyes looking a bit bewildered she points to the rock.

[Lady Robin] "He was just there!"

[Angela]       "It's a riddle and a clue and a way to conceal the village entrance."

Angela walks into the rock and she too disappears. From the rock wall we hear her voice.

[Angela]       "Don't be afraid. Get your ass and gear and come on."

LeeZee runs, slams her elbow into the rock face at the wrong place then stumbles a bit and falls through the rock. The 4 male hounds howl at the same time, then just the females howl before all run full charge into the rock wall. They too vanish. Robin turns to SpaceDog and Panda Kitti with her mouth wide open trying to say something with her eyes closed just as SpaceDog grabs her hand and Kitti's paw, all three go towards the rock.

When Lady Robin opens her eyes, she sees a large crystal structure similar to the one inside the QETS. Its glowing brightly and illuminating a cavern filled with other glowing jewels along the walls. The dogs have gathered in a circle around the crystal structure and everyone else is holding hands waiting. LeeZee finishes patching the minor scrape on her elbow with a dressing. Fontana, SpaceDog, Trixie and Angela in unison,

[GROUP]    "First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is."

The crystal goes dark and a side of the cavern vanishes revealing a mountain and a tree so large it looks like its touching the clouds. Fontana says to the group.

[Fontana]   "Welcome to Alfheim, home of The World Tree. We still have far to walk before we reach The Village of Elders, so lets get moving."

[Angela]       "I'm sure SpaceDog is anxious to see his sister. Would you like to fly there with me?"

A smiling Angela says. with a twinkle in her eye.

[Angela]       "How about it Star Lord?"

[SpaceDog]  "Nope, nope , nope, not gonna happen... not yet, the timing is all wrong but you go on and don't tell her I'm on my way."

[Lady Robin] "Is there something wrong?"

[SpaceDog]  "I think she will be in shock seeing me for the first time in over 2 centuries. But, could you please give Bonnie Jean Vanadis something for me."

SpaceDog takes the dragon egg off his back.

[SpaceDog]  "Tell her it's Istanna and she will know what to do."

He hands the egg sack to Angela.

[Angela]       "This is Istanna? When? How? Rebirth?"

[SpaceDog]  "Yes, around mid-day, magic and yes. Shadowfax will be joining us later this evening and he is at 300% after the ceremony. He is just resting so no need to be concerned."

[Fontana]   "He was absolutely glowing with the return of his magic. I'll tell you all about it later." 

Angela takes the dragon egg pack and puts it on her back.

[Angela]       "Yes, I saw Shadowfax leave your group earlier. This is as light as a feather. Air spirits are such amazing creatures."

Angela gives everyone a hug and licks one of Fontana's ears during his hug. Then calls to the animals.

[Angela]       "Treats!"

SpaceDog and all the dogs noticed her command word. Instinctively Panda Kitti also falls in with the dogs in a line. Angela watches her familiar float over to Panda Kitti's shoulder and nods her head.

[Angela]       "Okay, okay, I get the picture. You can go with them."

She produces 12 pieces of cured meat sticks, one smoked fish for Little Kitty and some sugar cane for Panda Kitti and says,

[Angela]       "Wait for it... paws!"

Using her magic, she suspends the treats about a hand away from each animals outreached paw. When she slaps the Sugar Cane in Kitti's paw, the treats begin to fall and she says,

[Angela]       "Go for it!" and not one treat hits the ground...  Panda Kitti and Little Kitty purr with delight and in unison sing out

[Kitti & Kitty] "MEOW!"

Angela pulls her cloak over her head and disappears...

The Village of Elder

On the walk to the village, the group pass under long rows of grape arbors that shade the road and supply travelers with fruit. Assorted vegetables climb and cling to the wood and stone structures. They pass many cultivated crops and an intricate irrigation system keeping water flowing in the fields providing runoff from the rain. Beasts of every kind graze the many fields between the crops amid stone walls and fancy iron with brass clad gates. The hounds begin to weave in a pattern like a dance or someone braiding hair as they move down the road. Songbirds can be heard and the smell in the air is very refreshing. White fluffy clouds with an occasional sprinkle of showers produce rainbows in the cool breeze. As they get closer to the village, more fruit and nut producing trees are seen providing a canopy for the road. Soon they come to several homes and eventually many closely packed building where folk are busy with everyday chores; cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc... We hear the hammering of a blacksmith as we come to a congested area filled with market goods.

Someone shouts outs Fontana's name and he waves his hand at his friend. Speaking to SpaceDog,

[Fontana]   "We are almost at the village square. Any idea where you would like to spend the night?"

SpaceDog ponders and looks around the square before answering.

[SpaceDog]  "Is the Water Works still open or The Gallant Tree Inn?"

[Fontana]   "The Water Works burned on the last twin moons after a bar brawl. A black elf somehow got into the village and was killed in a fight with a dark elf who's family was kidnapped. It's been rebuilt, but..."

[SpaceDog]  "Smells like a Vomitorium, right? Never could find anything to get the smell of black blood out of the floor, could they?"

[Lady Robin] "Vomitorium. Is that a place in which, according to popular misconception, the ancient Romans are supposed to have vomited during feasts to make room for more food?"

[Fontana]   "Even after they removed all the timber, the faint smell of death still lingers in that place and is now the 'red light/black star' district. Oh, next to The Gallant Tree they taped into a hot spring and opened a bath house. I highly recommend it and go there often. It has areas for males, females and family or co-habitants."

The big grin SpaceDog tries to hide is not overlooked by Lady Robin, Kanda Kitti or LeeZee.

[Panda Kitti] "Meow, kitties don't like baths, meow. We would purrrfer to get licked clean, meow!"

Kitti looking at Little Kitty who is still on her shoulder. Both Lady Robin and LeeZee take SpaceDog by an arm and Robin whispers,

[Lady Robin] "I wouldn't mind being licked dry after a nice Hot Bath..."

[LeeZee]    "Sounds like a plan to me."

SpaceDog begins to chuckle and turns left at the next street. When the street ends they turn right where two building with a walkway between them is dwarfed by the World Tree behind it. The Gallant Tree Inn looks very small by comparison but is a lot bigger then any of the surrounding buildings.

Inside the stone and wood building, a great staircase leads up to the landing around the upper floor and the 21 bed chambers. On the first floor a dining area with both tables and booths fill the right side of the room warmed by an open fireplace in the center. The kitchen is in back and a lounge is located on the left side along with entrance to the public bath house and spa. When entering the Inn, they are greeted by a short and extremely busty elf maiden with long white hair in a long red and white dress who immediately stands up, bows, and in several different languages bids us welcome. When she raises her head, her eyes grow wide open, a huge grin brightens her smile, and she jumps up from behind the counter and shouts,

[~~Cyn~~]   "DADDY! You're Home!"

She runs up and hugs SpaceDog like he was a long lost father, steps back, does a 360 spin making her long hair and dress fly out, her chest shakes and falls back into place before composing herself, walks back behind the counter, sits on a stool, puts her chin in her hands and smiles.

[~~Cyn~~]   "How've you been Star Lord?"

[Lady Robin] "Daddy?"

Robin questions and steps over to look at the elf, looks her up and down, looks back at SpaceDog and again,

[LeeZee] "Daddy?"

SpaceDog begins to laugh hysterically, looks up, puts his hands together, winks at Robin and LeeZee, motions with his fingers for them to come closer, puts his arm around their necks and whispers loud enough for all to hear,

[SpaceDog]  "She is one of my adopted children. I own this place. She lives and works here with me, so, we have got a place to stay."

[Fontana]   "So you're the owner that nobody is talking about?"

SpaceDog turns his head on its side looks at Fontana and shakes his head yes. He then looks back to the counter where the elf girls big eyes are glued to him and says,

[SpaceDog]  "Get back over here and give your dad a properly sinful hug Cyn."

Again she gets up from behind the counter and shouts,

[~~Cyn~~]   "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!! You're home and Cyn's been so lonely this past 2 twin moons!"

She runs up and hugs SpaceDog again pressing her soft chest hard against his, steps back, does another 360 spin, hugs him again, backs up and bows down waiting to be praised. SpaceDog places his hand on her long white hair and pats her head making Cyn blush and then smile.

[SpaceDog]  "Cyn, my gorgeous child, I love you with all my 3 hearts!"

LeeZee with an air of wonder.

[LeeZee]    "You will never stop surprising me Star Lord. What's next?"

[SpaceDog]  "Relax Captain Lindsey Smith. We've got a lot to discuss before or after meeting the elders, so later we need to talk. I think we could all use a good hot bath, don't you?"

SpaceDog turns back to Cyn.

[SpaceDog]  "Has..."

[~~Cyn~~]   "Yes, Angela came and delivered the package a while ago and told me you were coming and your sister is in the co-ed spa, but I don't think she knows you're here yet. I've reserved the best rooms overlooking the town for you. Will 5 be enough?"

[SpaceDog]  "We only need 3 rooms at the moment, my suite and 2 others. Make that four. Fontana, you are staying the night, my treat. We really have not made sleeping arrangements yet. LeeZee? Kitti? Want to share a room together?"

[Panda Kitti] "Meow Yes!"

Panda Kitti looking at LeeZee who nodes in agreement. Little Kitty sitting on Pandas shoulder bats Pandas ear with her paw and telepathically says "Meee too."

Cyn gets out the keys and a bunch of bed sheets and towels from the supply closet. Cyn looks at the dogs,

[~~Cyn~~]   "Pups? The usual room close to your master?"

All the dogs sit up in agreement except for Marina who rolls over on her back letting Cyn know she will sleep anyplace she can. Cyn hands the key to room 3 to LeeZee, the key to room 2 to Patty Smith and puts the key to room one between Robins breasts.

[~~Cyn~~ whispers]  "Let Daddy fetch that... Oh, and here's your key Fonna. I will tell Angela where you are staying."

She winks at Fontana heading towards the kitchen. Panda Kitti hands over the basket of fruits and vegetables to Cyn who accepts them with a smile.

[~~Cyn~~]   "Take your things to your room, go to the baths and wash, and tea will be served just before the suns set, and Daddy, welcome home. I'll make your favorite curry tonight along with some sweet potato crepes."

On the side of the inn, a covered walkway leads to the the hot springs areas and 3 guest baths on the second floor. On the ground floor, there are 3 larger public baths and all are fed by a hot spring. Before SpaceDog took over the Inn, he used some very sophisticated equipment to survey property and burned several large holes in the rocks all the way down to the hot volcanic underground water chamber. While doing this, he had tapped into one of the roots of the world tree and found it to be an exceptional source of minerals that enhance and rejuvenate almost all living things. A sign detailing the source of the water is posted at the entrance to the bath house. 

When the guests enter a room, they find a small table with 2 chairs, a chest for storing supplies at the foot of a large bed, a wardrobe for clothes, a wash basin and an assortment of dragon glass and ceramic containers. On 2 of the walls, thick tapestries hang baffling any sounds from adjacent rooms. In the wall opposite the door, 2 large clear glass framed windows are surrounded by stained glass. On either side of the windows, shutters can be opened to allow fresh air into the room. The rooms are very comfortable and apparently heat comes from under the flooring. There is also a chamber pot in case of emergencies and the out building is located in the back and contains stalls for male or females waste recycling. From the top of the stairs, turning left takes you to the covered hall that leads to the private hot springs spa open only to the inns guests.  The group soon gathers to explore the luxuries of their new accommodations...

Bathhouse and The Awakening

On the first floor, the Public Bath House has an attendant taking money or bartered goods, providing towels and baskets for holding cloths or other belongings. There are thick opaque glass windows surrounding the bath area for lighting during the day but the bath is closed at sunset. The public bath pools are also lined with tile; blue for men, pink for women and gray and white for families and couples. There are also changing rooms.

Entering the open air spa on the second story across from the Inns guest room, there is no changing room, only 3 baths divided by opaque stone walls about 2 meters high. Behind the walled-off rooms, each huge pool is lined with assorted large smooth black, blue, gray and white tiles. Flowing from holes in the wall, waist deep hot water flows out on the opposite side into wash basins. Underwater benches provide seating along the sides. On one side of each bathing pool is a raised area for towels and other needed cleaning items. A hand rail is provided for easy entrance into the water. Looking up there is no roof, only a clear sky with sunlight in the morning, shade in the afternoon from the World Tree and stars in the night sky. Torches are not allowed for fear of contamination but wax candles provide light near the wash basin areas.

The group of companions finds their respectful rooms. LeeZee unlocks the door and Panda Kitti enters first, pounces on the bed. Little Kitty flies across the room, floats down and perches on a cushioned chair.

[Panda Kitti]   “Meeeow! This feels so nice.”

They purr together. LeeZee drops her heavy pack and sorts out some of her gear before dropping everything including her clothes stripping down to nothing, wraps herself in a towel and heads out the door to the spa.

[LeeZee]     “Lock the door if you go out, ok?”

Panda Kitti rolls over onto her back and paws at the air making purring sounds as she quickly falls asleep.

[SpaceDog]  "I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a good long soak in the Hot Tub."

Walking up the stairs going to his room with a towel in hand, he finds the door to the room locked. SpaceDog hunts for the key and finds Lady Robin bending over showing its hidden location.

[SpaceDog]  “Did Cyn put that in your treasure trove? I bet she wanted me to go fetch it like the dog I am, right?”

SpaceDog produces the key from its hiding place in a flash so quickly that Lady Robin never felt a thing and holds it up like a prized possession.

[Lady Robin] “How did you?”

Robin is puzzled by SpaceDog's tricky fingers. Unlocking the door he tosses the key back into Lady Robin’s treasured chest. On entering the room, SpaceDog sits and removes his boots before walking over to the wardrobe where he removes his wool tuxedo and shirt. Robin enters the room and looks around.

[Lady Robin] "What's that sweet smell?"

SpaceDog points to the large tree sitting between the 2 windows with ornaments and pieces of paper tied with string hanging from the branches,

[SpaceDog]  "That my dear is the smell of a newly grown World Tree. A seed pod landed on my head and I planted it 69 days ago and that is how much its grown. I'm not sure if I should plant it outside or cast a spell on it to stunt it's growth and make it a bonsai. Smells refreshing doesn't it and the hot tub smells the same because I tapped into one of the roots of the World Tree."

Robin sits on the soft bed.

[Lady Robin] “How many children do you have?”

[SpaceDog]  “Biological children only two. I have only seen one once shortly after he was born. His mother, Gerd, left and took him with her and in all my travels throughout the ages; I have never come across her or him again. That day in history is the only time I have been banned from traveling. Please, don’t ask me why. The other is a half elf by the name Rosemary. I lost touch with her and her mother shortly after she matured into an adult.”

[Lady Robin] “Sorry! I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”

[SpaceDog]  “Don’t get your knickers in a twist. Over my lifetime, I have adopted over 500 children like Cyn, Dee, Ruu and…”

[Lady Robin] “Now I’ve met Cyn and I take it she is your latest adopted daughter? She's very sexy if you ask me.”

Lady Robin begins to get undressed and turns away from SpaceDog who's removing his trousers.

[SpaceDog]  “It was a package deal. Cyn, Dee, Ruu and CeFuu run The Gallant Tree as my adopted family. Cyn and Dee are polar opposite twins and are like night and day yet both are geniuses and get along with everyone. Ruu and CeFuu are also twins but son from different mothers. Their now deceased father, Harri, was a good friend of mine for many cycles and also the father of Cyn and Dee. Yes, I know it gets very complicated.”

SpaceDog wearing only a towel, walks over to what looks like an old chest and opens it revealing a cooler with cobalt bottles like those found in the QETS, takes one out and waves it in Robins direction. She declines while looking at all the interesting artifacts surrounding the room. He puts it back and gets out a light blue clear bottle. When she finely turns around he's walking out the door.

[SpaceDog]  "Lock the room and join me in the spa."

The Bath

On entering the bath house, they find LeeZee having her hair washed by a young elf with dark skin and 3 other elves and a woman soaking in the water. SpaceDog removes his towel and steps in.

[SpaceDog]  “Bonnie Jean Vanadis, it’s been far too long sister.”

A gorgeous long haired brunette sits and with a bit of a sarcastic undertone in her voice.

[Jean Vanadis] “Damn Freyr, I thought you dropped into the 8th realm of Hel and lost your way home… Sheesh! What brings you back from the dead anyway? Have you been chasing those Valkyrie wenches again? Who’s the redhead? How’s Shadowfax doing? Where is my son and when will he come to see me?”

[SpaceDog]  “Will you stop calling me by the name Freyr, please. Well it is good to see you too sis. The QETS brought me here and I'm not dead yet. I have not even seen or been with a Valkyrie in at least 2 cycles. Jean, this is Lady Robin and she is from Midgard. Lady Robin, this is my twin sister, Bonnie Jean Vanadis. Shadowfax is doing exceptionally well for a young unicorn and your son should be here after the moon are high. How long have you been the village elder? Did you get the egg? Where are you living these days? Have you seen Gerd or Rosie?”

[Lady Robin] “It’s an Honor to meet you Elder Vanadis. Twins? You don't look like twins.”

Lady Robin says bowing her head. Both SpaceDog and Bonnie Jean burst out laughing and hug one another before splashing each other with water like two children.

[Jean Vanadis] “Been an elder for 179 cycles I think. Yes, Angela surprised me and delivered Istanna and I put her in the hot tub drying room I converted into an incubation chamber. I’m living at Tree Fort with my daughter Sister Sister. I still have not seen or heard anything about Rosemary, your son or Gertrude, sorry luv.“

[SpaceDog]  "Yes we are twins but don't look the same. She kept her appearance but changed her hair color  I changed my appearance with an artifact a while back so Odin does not recognize me."

Robin walks over to the female tub on the other side of the community bath so she can have some privacy.

The dark skinned male elf says,

[~~Ruu~~]      “Hello Dad. Dee should be here as soon as she finishes cleaning the bath down below. Speak of the demon child…”

Dee throws a bar of soap at Ruu who catches it a hand away from his face and sends it back double speed at Dee who catches it with her knife.

[~~Dee~~]     “Love you too Ruu.”

LeeZee looks up while having her hair dried on some hot rocks by Ruu.

[LeeZee]       “Wow, just one big happy family aren’t we.”

[Jean Vanadis] “And you are a friend of my brother?”


[Jean Vanadis] “Wait! I know you… you’re my brothers Goddaughter Lindsey? Gracious you have grown from the child I met last time I saw my brother. Have your talents awaken?”

LeeZee almost in a panic,

[LeeZee]    “Will someone please explain what this awakening is?”

[Jean Vanadis] “You mean he’s still keeping it a secret? How old are you? Now, cycles or years, does not matter. Tell me!

[LeeZee]    “I just turned 33 a month ago. Years…”

Bonnie Jean makes a hand signal.

[SpaceDog]  “Everyone out of the water except LeeZee and sis. I want you Captain Lindsey Smith, sitting in the bath where you will find a round seat in the center! We are about to awaken your gifts. Remember what Istanna did to you, a breath of energy with a kiss?”

Looking at LeeZee and points to the center of the bath.

[Jean Vanadis] “You are about to feel something truly amazing and the lesson will commence now!”

Bonnie Jean Vanadis instructs Captain Smith.

[Jean Vanadis] “Put your hands on top of my brothers head and whatever happens, do not let go, okay?”

Kneeling behind LeeZee in the water, she places one hand on LeeZees' hip and the other on her shoulder. Closing his eyes, SpaceDog does the same thing to her opposite side facing Captain Lindsey Smith.

Slowly, bubbles start to rise in the water surrounding the 3. The two siblings begin to breath as one. On each breath, a yellow  mist comes from both SpaceDog and Bonnie Jean's mouth and surrounds the succubus. Suddenly LeeZee begins to panic and shake her arms when the Star Lord and his sister begin to chant in dragon speak, then elfish, then something totally unknown to translation and when they stop the steam on the bath water suddenly disappears as the water goes cold. LeeZee begins to smile as tears fall in torrents from her eyes....  she then lets out a scream!.

[LeeZee screams]    "CHOCOLATE FUCKING ORGASM!!!"

Lady Robin running back into the room half naked...

[Lady Robin] "What just happened?"

Three World Tree seedpods suddenly fall from above into the spa with an echoing Splash! Splash!! Splash!!!

All Books Chapter 5 Book 1 Chapter 7
All Books Chapter 5 Chapters Chapter 7