‘Dungeons and Dragons’, the ‘Planescape’ setting, and the City of Sigil are the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. ‘Primeval’ was created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines and was produced by Impossible Pictures for ITV. All rights remain with the copyright holders. The characters Dracaena and Eisheth are mine. All other characters are the property of the creators of the game and the TV show.Author’s Note:
There is NO Buffyverse element to this story. It is purely a Planescape/Primeval crossover and readers who aren't familiar with at least one of those universes read it at their own risk. A small part of the dialogue is in the ‘Cant’ dialect spoken in the City of Sigil. I’ve always found it easy to understand but, if you are baffled, there is a glossary HERE
. As ‘Primeval’ is a British show I’ve used British spellings throughout. Contains spoilers up to the end of ‘Primeval’ Season 2.Chapter One
It started with a kiss. Well, actually it started with a smile; the kiss came later. Here’s the dark of it, cutter, and I tell you true so park your ears.
The Ubiquitous Wayfarer Inn, in Sigil’s Lower Ward, is the City of Doors in microcosm. Celestials and Tanar’ri, Githyanki and Githzerai, Chaosmen and Guvners, all frequent the tavern. Violent confrontation between patrons is surprisingly rare. Nine times out of ten the night passes without a bar-room brawl. Reasoned debate, or at least a somewhat chilly politeness, is more common than knife-fights.
One crowded evening, or what passes for evening in Sigil’s cycle of light and dark, a succubus was sitting alone at a table and sipping at a glass of cherry wine. An erinyes walked in and halted to scan the premises for a vacant seat. The succubus looked up, caught her eye, and smiled.
It had been a mistake, at least in the first place, as the succubus had thought the newcomer was one of her own kind. When she spotted the feathered wings, and realised her error, it was too late to take back the smile. The erinyes, after initially raising her eyebrows in surprise, smiled back and approached the table.
“Hi there, cutter,” the erinyes said. “Is this seat free?”
“It is,” said the succubus. An erinyes might be a deadly foe in the Blood Wars but, here in Sigil, she would probably be more agreeable company than most berks. She had smiled back, after all, and so it appeared that she wasn’t looking for a fight. “Sit down, cutter, and join me.”
“Thanks,” the erinyes said, and sat. “My name is Dracaena.” She kept herself slightly tensed, staying at the front of her seat rather than settling back comfortably, and her right hand hung down near to the hilt of her dagger.
“Eisheth,” the succubus replied. In theory, as members of the opposing sides in the Blood War, they should be trying to garrotte each other. That wouldn’t go down well with the bar staff, however, and it wasn’t how she had planned to spend her evening. “I’m flush with jink right now. Would you like a drink?”
Dracaena’s eyebrows rose slightly. “Thanks. I’ll have what you’re having.”
Eisheth raised a hand to summon a serving wench. “Another cherry wine,” she said. “A bottle, this time.”
“Cherry wine? I was expecting it to be the blood of a virgin elf,” Dracaena remarked.
“Sorry, we don’t serve blood,” said the maid. “It, uh, congeals in the barrels. You could try the Tenth Pit.”
“I think it would be my blood that would be consumed if I went there,” Dracaena said. “Cherry wine will be fine, thanks.” The barmaid smiled and walked away.
“They could keep an elf hanging up from the ceiling with a spigot in his neck,” Eisheth suggested. “That would solve the congealing problem.”
“Is that how they do it at the Tenth Pit?” Dracaena relaxed enough to take her hand away from the vicinity of her dagger and eased herself back in her seat slightly.
“I don’t know,” Eisheth said. “I’ve never asked. There are no dangling elves, or at least none that I’ve seen, but then I haven’t been in the back rooms there. They could have a whole tap room of different races. Of course the Hardheads wouldn’t like it.”
“Unless the sods were Sensate volunteers,” Dracaena suggested.
Eisheth laughed. “A good idea. Not that there’d be any Sensate virgins, of course, but blood is blood.”
“If you gain any jink from suggesting it, toss some of it my way,” Dracaena said.
“I would,” Eisheth said, “but nobody other than the Takers ever got any jink out of the owner there without using hooks, chains, and probably suction pumps.”
Dracaena chuckled. This succubus, although of course an implacable enemy by her very nature, had an appealing wit and thus far seemed to be better company than most baatezu. Actually, make that any
baatezu other than, perhaps, a fellow erinyes. The tavern wench arrived and deposited a bottle of wine and a glass on the table. Eisheth handed over a coin and Dracaena picked up the bottle. She poured a glass for herself and refilled that of the succubus.
“Your health,” Dracaena said, “and may we never meet on the field of battle.”
“Well, I’m more on the recruitment side,” Eisheth said, “so it’s not that likely, but thank you, and,” she lifted her own glass, “good health to you too.”
“By the Powers,” exclaimed a man who had just walked in. He was human, tall and muscular, clad in leather with a breastplate of red steel. A half-elf mage, a teifling rogue, and a second armoured human male followed at his heels. “There’s a sight for sore eyes, cutters. I’d pay good jink to see that pair wrestling naked.”
The whole group gazed with obvious appreciation at the attractive females. Dracaena was tall and slender, with long and shapely legs, and long straight raven-black hair framed a face with perhaps a little too much character to fit the conventional ideal of beauty. Eisheth was more curvaceous, her breasts being her most striking assets, and her softer-featured face was crowned by a mane of blonde. Her eyes were a brilliant blue and her lips were full and redder than the cherry wine.
“Wrestling in mud,” the teifling suggested, “or perhaps oil, but definitely naked. Or, rather, each battling to remove the clothes from the other.”
“In your dreams, berks,” said Dracaena, tossing her head.
“We take our price in souls, mortals,” Eisheth reminded the men, “and I doubt if you would be willing to pay.” She extended her leathery wings.
“It would almost be worth it,” said the human, “but not quite.” He, and his companions, moved on into the bar-room.
“He had a point,” Eisheth said to Dracaena. “It is undeniable that we would look very good together in such a situation.”
“The division of the spoils would be a problem, if we took their souls,” Dracaena said, “and I am not in need enough of jink to consider performing for the entertainment of mortals in exchange for mere coins. Anyway, cleaning the mud or oil from my feathers would be tedious indeed.”
“Still, a thought to bear in mind for if ever poverty lays its claws upon us,” said Eisheth. “Luckily, that time is not yet. I had thought to order food. And you? Shall we dine together?”
“I came here to dine,” Dracaena said, “and you are agreeable company. Let us order and, as you bought the wine, I shall pay for the food. Waitress, we desire service!”- - - - -
A chance encounter. It might have passed without result had Dracaena and Eisheth not crossed paths on several further occasions over the next month. In the Mermaid’s Cups, in the Sword and Buckler, twice more in the Ubiquitous Wayfarer, and shopping for clothes in the Market Ward. Friendly conversation ensued each time, they drank together and shared the recent chant from the city, and the shopping trip became a joint expedition that lasted all day with the two fiendish girls exchanging compliments, laughter, and grooming tips. At the end, for the first time, they made definite arrangements to meet up again.- - - - -
“Well, cutters, if it isn’t the prettiest pair of fiends in the Cage!”
The voice was vaguely familiar. Dracaena turned her head and saw the basher who, on the occasion of her first meeting with Eisheth, had expressed a desire to witness the pair engaged in nude wrestling. His three companions from that encounter, plus another teifling in warrior garb, were some yards away but their heads turned at their leader’s words. At once they hastened towards the girls.
“Pike it, leatherhead, and latch your bone-box,” Dracaena snapped.
“I don’t know,” Eisheth said. “He’s a passable example of a male. If he comes up with the jink, cutter, I’d be willing to let him see what he desires. If you were also willing, that is, friend Dracaena.”
“Friend?” Dracaena’s eyes opened wide.
“Well, yes,” said Eisheth. “Are we not friends?”
Dracaena’s brow furrowed briefly but then cleared. A smile touched her lips. “We are, at least for as long as the Blood War comes not to Sigil,” she agreed. “That does not mean that I am willing to cavort naked for the amusement of these berks. Let them go to the Mermaid’s Cups and leer at the dancers there.”
“The dancers are pretty, true,” the basher said, “but you two are much more than pretty.”
“True, cutter, and I’d cough up a fair whack of jink to see them in action,” the other human member of the group agreed.
“How much?” Eisheth asked.
“You speak only for yourself,” Dracaena told the succubus. “I am not willing...”
“A thousand golders!” the basher in red interrupted.
“...to grapple...” Dracaena’s voice trailed away. “How much?”
“A thousand gold coins,” the human warrior repeated. “Each.” He grinned. “We gained much loot from a planar trip and then had a good spin at the Fortune’s Wheel. I have the jink and I can think of nothing better to spend it on.”
“Now,” said Dracaena, “that is certainly tempting.”
“I was not serious, Dracaena,” Eisheth confessed, “and I spoke more to tease you than because I was in truth considering fulfilling their wish, but a thousand gold is more than enough to make me think again.”
“Then you will do it?” The man’s grin grew wider.
“For a thousand each,” Eisheth agreed, “and in front of you five bloods only, no crowds of slobbering berks and Clueless, I would be willing to strive against Dracaena and to strip her clothes from her before she can do the same to me.”
“To try to do so but fail, you mean,” said Dracaena. “I agree too, under the same conditions. There must, however, be no mud or oil.”- - - - -
Eisheth was at a disadvantage. Dracaena was the stronger and more skilled in combat. In a matter of minutes Eisheth was naked above the waist, displaying her magnificent breasts to the lustful gazes of the men, and in dire danger of losing what little clothing remained. Dracaena had lost only her outer garments.
Really there was no penalty for failure. A succubus felt no shame or embarrassment at revealing her nudity to male eyes. It was, to some extent, an integral part of her very reason for existing. Few like to lose, however, and Eisheth was no exception to that rule. Her struggles were futile, despite her exerting all her strength, and complete exposure seemed inevitable.
Eisheth suddenly ceased to resist. She threw her arms around Dracaena, pressed her breasts against the erinyes’ chest, and sought out the other girl’s lips with her own. She found her target and kissed Dracaena passionately. For a moment Dracaena pulled back but then she relaxed, kissed back, and answered the probing of Eisheth’s tongue with her own. The watching men moaned in delighted unison.
Eisheth’s hands moved, caressed, and stroked. Dracaena responded in kind. Surreptitiously, while continuing the kiss, Eisheth’s fingers found the fastening of Dracaena’s garments. She untied knots and loosened straps. Suddenly she pulled on them, removing the covering from Dracaena’s breasts, and then grasped the erinyes’ nether garments and slid them down her shapely thighs. Dracaena pulled back, broke the kiss, and grabbed for Eisheth’s arms. She saved herself from complete nudity, although too late to prevent the exposure of the parts most interesting to the males, and pinned Eisheth down again. Her upper garments fell away and revealed her pert breasts. Dracaena seized Eisheth’s panties, shuffled backwards, and ripped them away.
“I win,” Dracaena claimed, “for you are naked first.”
“I think that pants around your knees hardly count as coverings,” Eisheth pointed out, “and it was you who were first thus exposed. It is I who win.”
“A tie, then,” Dracaena suggested, “due to your cunning ploy. What say you, cutters?” She stood up. Her panties fell away and left her naked.
“If they wrote me in the Dead-book right now,” the leader of the males said, “I would die well content.”
“The best four hundred gold I’ve ever spent,” one of the teiflings commented. “A tie, indeed.”
“You tricked me, Eisheth,” Dracaena complained, but there was a smile on her lips.
“Had I not done so, I would have lost,” Eisheth said, “and you did not find the kiss unpleasant, did you?” She remained on the floor, lying back on the rugs and cushions that had been laid out to form their arena, with her legs slightly apart.
“Very much the opposite,” Dracaena said, “although I believe that I still prefer the attentions of men.”
“There are five here,” said Eisheth, “and I think they are aroused enough for anything.” She looked at the leader of the males and licked her lips. “Do you scan only, cutters, or can you ride? I am no Fall-From-Grace, sworn to celibacy, and my kiss does not have to be fatal.”
“And mine is fatal not at all,” Dracaena said, as a red breastplate was cast aside and other garments followed at lightning speed. “Hmm. Perhaps we should have made you wrestle too, cutters, but this will serve.” She scanned the muscular body of the warrior, and the wiry body of the teifling to his side, as their clothes hit the floor. “Yes, I think you shall satisfy me well.”- - - - -
“Yes, I know the Desirable Duo,” the guide said, “and I can give you the dark on them. Park your ears, you Clueless, and learn. Inseparable, they are, even though one’s a succubus and the other’s an erinyes, and, as even screwhead Primes like you will know, they’re supposed to be the deadliest of enemies. Instead, those cutters are the fastest of friends, and they’ve each saved the other’s life a dozen times. If you cross one, berks, you cross the both of them. A sure way of finding yourself in the Dead-book, that is, although it’s probably a more pleasant way of getting to be a Deader than most.”
“Will we get to see them on this tour?” one of the tourists asked.
“I can make no promise,” said the guide, “but I’ll do my best. We’ll visit the Ubiquitous Wayfarer and that’s one of their main hang-outs. If they’re not there, well, keep a good scan going in the Grand Bazaar and you might be lucky enough to see them.”
“I didn’t know that we were famous, Etain,” a melodious female voice said from behind the tout.
Exclamations of surprise came from the tour party. The guide turned to face the speaker.
“Well met, Dracaena and Eisheth,” he said. “Aye, the chant about you has spread, cutters, and everyone wants to scan the prettiest pair of girls in the Cage.”
“I’m flattered,” Dracaena said, “but I’m not sure I’m pleased. The Factions might start taking an interest in us and that rarely turns out well. The Heartless will probably find some excuse to tax us, for a start.”
“Can’t be helped,” Etain said. “Any male with eyes would want to scan you.”
“If you’re making jink out of us,” Eisheth said, “maybe you should slip some of it our way.”
“We’d be delighted to buy you a meal, or something, mistress,” offered one of the tourists.
“Could we have your autographs?” another asked.
“Autographs? Our fists on paper, you mean, berk?” Dracaena shook her head. “I think not. Only the Clueless sign things in blank in the Cage.”
Eisheth smiled. “Perhaps we should have our portraits painted, and sell copies,” she suggested.
“Perhaps,” Dracaena said. “This worries me, my friend. If we are the subjects of chant it may get back to our superiors.”
“We cancel each other out,” Eisheth said. “Our friendship has the same effect as if we had fought to mutual destruction. Anyway, we’re not important enough for them to take notice.”
“I hope you are right,” Dracaena said. “I will not part from you, regardless, but we should be wary. Fame comes at a price.”- - - - -
Eisheth looked up and smiled as Dracaena entered the room they shared. “Did you get the...?” Her voice trailed away as she noticed the tense set of her friend’s jaw and the downturn of her lips. “Is something wrong?”
“Something is wrong indeed, Eisheth,” Dracaena said. “I was right to be concerned when we heard Etain talking of us to the Clueless.” A muscle jumped in her jaw. “I have received orders from my superiors in the Ministry of Mortal Relations. They have commanded me to... slay you.”
Eisheth’s eyes widened but she made no move to reach for a weapon or to adopt a defensive pose. “You will not do so,” she said, her voice calmly confident. “I have come to know you as I know myself, Dracaena, and you could no more do such a thing than I could turn stag on you.”
“That is true,” Dracaena agreed. “We were created to be enemies but instead we have become the truest of friends. I will stand by you, even against all the legions of the baatezu, but it is only the start of our problems. If I fail to obey then my own death warrant will be signed within days.”
“It would be hard for us to disappear in the Cage,” said Eisheth. “You were right when you pointed out the drawbacks of our fame. We will have to leave.”
“But where can we go?” Dracaena wondered. “Sigil is a safer place than most. There is nowhere in the Planes we could go where they could not follow.”
“We must flee to the Prime,” Eisheth said.
“We have no portal key,” Dracaena pointed out, “and it would be hard to find one quickly without the dark getting out. The hounds might be on our trail even before we left. Both sides will pursue us, once we flee together, and a Prime world would not be a safe haven for long.”
“Then we must jump at random,” said Eisheth, “through one of the vortices in the Slags. Only if someone saw us enter could they follow. In mere hours it would close and anyone who came after would hit the blinds. We’d give them the laugh and be safe.”
“Safe but marooned,” Dracaena said. “It is not an option that I would willingly take, if there was an alternative, but I see no other way. We must pack, hastily, and be gone.” She grimaced. “We may be in the Slags for days before we locate a vortex. It will not be pleasant.”
“The vargouilles and the dretches are no threat to us,” Eisheth mused, “but I have no liking for cranium rats. And there is Kadyx.”
“There is,” Dracaena said, shuddering. “We will have to take great care.”
“The vortices lead to many worlds,” Eisheth continued, “and even, it is said, to many times. We might have to do without some of the comforts we take for granted.”
“I would say ‘at least we will have each other’, but I cannot bring myself to use so Clueless an expression,” Dracaena said. “No matter how primitive the world, however, it will at least be better than being dead.”