Even many miles from the boudoir, Greir could tell that something was very, very wrong. Despite being the heart of winter, the landscape around her seemed warm and lush. Crops were ripening, birds were singing, and yellow and blue wildflowers covered the grassy embankments on the side of the little-used road.
When she finally got to the Snow Queen’s lair, she found it much changed from the last time she had visited. The ice that had adorned most surfaces was melting quickly, forming pools of water around the chamber. Greir had to step around a particularly large puddle to get to the yeti that sat crying on the snow queen’s bed. It was so lost in its begrieved wailing that it never even noticed her enter.
“What the hell happened here?” Greir asked.
The yeti sniffled and looked up at her, its face covered in wet fur.
“He took her! She’s gone! We couldn’t stop him…”
“Oh for fuck’s sake…” Greir rolled her eyes. “The first time in years I decide to take a vacation. And people wonder why I never have any fun.”
“Fine. Where did they take her?”
The castle wasn’t particularly large, but it was very tall, made of giant stones that were well mortared. The central tower seemed to disappear into the swirling clouds above Greir’s head. As she neared the entrance she saw that the drawbridge was down. Standing in the middle was the largest knight she had ever seen, clad from head to toe in shining black armor. Beneath his horned helm, only his deep black eyes were visible. He rested his arms on a sword that was almost as long as Greir was tall.
“Halt!” the knight said in a low bass rumble as Greir approached the drawbridge, “Be warned, adventurer, in order to cross this bridge you must first defeat me… in mortal combat.”
Greir looked up at the towering giant for a moment, considering.
“How about we just have sex instead?”
“Then draw your sword and… wait, what?”
Greir rolled her eyes.
“It’s simple. I fuck you, you let me pass. Sound fair?”
The knight’s eyes opened wide in surprise.
“Oh… ummm… well… no one’s ever really proposed that before.”
“Ok, look”, Greir said with a shrug, “Forget it. You’re obviously not into it. Let’s just fight.”
Her hand went to the hilt of her sword.
“No! Wait! I mean… yeah, I’m into it.”
“Well then get your pants off, big guy, I don’t have all day.”
The knight quickly sheathed his sword and began unbuckling the straps that held his armored leggings in place.
“Oh, damn… this is gonna be awesome! Wait till I tell the other henchmen about this! No one is ever gonna believe…”
As soon as the knight’s pants had clanged to the ground, Greir’s foot slammed into his groin with a loud crunch. The knight’s eyes opened wide and he let out a high pitched whine as he toppled over into a ball, clutching his testicles.
Greir put one foot on his side and pushed, sending him rolling off the bridge to splash into the murky waters of the moat below.
“Tosser…” she muttered as she strode into the castle courtyard.
Greir swung open the giant wooden door that led into the ground floor of the tower. The door opened onto a cavernous room whose only other exit was a doorway on the far side, through which she could see a staircase leading upward. Between her and it, however, was an enormous red dragon that lay curled in the center of the room. It was nearly a hundred feet from horns to tail, with teeth the size of longswords and scales that shone like rubies. Its eyelids slid open and a deep rumble emerged from its throat that vibrated the floor of the tower.
“Welcome, mortal, to your death.” It flexed its front legs, muscles rippling beneath its scales as it pushed itself to its full height. “I will devour you as a cat does a mouse.”
Greir shrugged, wholly unimpressed by the display.
“Yeah, I guess you will.”
The dragon’s eyes narrowed.
“Look," said Greir, crossing her arms, “You’re enormous. I’m tiny. I don’t stand a chance. I guess just eat me or whatever and get it over with.”
The dragon hesitated. It peered out the open door behind her and then back over its shoulder at the stairs before settling its gaze back on the minuscule woman in front of it.
“Is this a trick?”
“No trick. It’s just simple reality. You’re just gonna win, so I give up. Eat me.”
The dragon snorted. clouds of smoke fumed from its nostrils.
“No. This has to be a trick. It’s never that easy. You… what, are you poisonous or something? Do you have a weapon that will cut me from the inside out?”
Greir shook her head.
“Nope. Just a tasty morsel. Go for it.”
“Fuck you. I’m not falling for whatever trap you’ve got planned.”
“Well, it’s either you eat me or let me pass, because I’m not going anywhere.”
“Fine. Go on, then. You’re not gonna get the best of me.”
Greir shrugged again and walked past the dragon, not even glancing at it as she ambled towards the stairs.
“Yeah, that’s right…” the dragon muttered under its breath as she mounted the stairs, disappearing from his view around the corner. “You go on and get out of here. Think you can fool me… I’ll show you who’s the idiot here.”
A moment later it paused, a look of realization crossing its face.
Halfway up the tower, Greir came to a landing where two identical doors stood side by side. On each one was a carved metal snake head that swayed magically and hissed at her as she approached.
“Ssssssss… welcome, traveler…” the first head said, “Be warned… sssssss… one path leadssss to your goal, but the other to ssssertain death.”
“You may asssssk ussss one question…” The second head continued, “But know that one of usssss will lie, and one of ussssss will sssspeak the truth.”
Greir considered for a moment and then reached out with both hands, each one grabbing the handle of one of the doors. Without hesitation she swung open the door on the left. It crashed against the wall behind it, slamming the leftmost snake into the stone.
“Ow!! My fucking nosssssse!!!” it hissed.
The other snake watched wide-eyed and slack jawed as Greir took a step into the doorway.
“Wait!” it said, “How did you know it wassss that way?”
“I’m looking for the Snow Queen,” she called back as she made her way down the corridor, “The handle was freezing cold. Idiot.”
The door slammed shut behind her and the left-hand snake shook his head, recovering from the blow.
“Goddamnit,” the right-hand snake said.
“Yeah…” his partner replied, “That went really well.”
“Oh fuck off, Carl. You can sssstop lying. We’re out of a job now anyway.”
“Ssssss… fine. I’ll go get the classssssified adsssss.”
Finally, Greir topped the staircase and found a double door leading to the highest chamber of the tower. She kicked it fiercely, sending both doors slamming open. Beyond was a small room with many windows overlooking the landscape far below. The Snow Queen stood against one wall of the chamber, shackled with iron chains to the wall. Swirling clouds of blue magical energy emanating from her were being pulled towards a small white crystal that floated in mid air in the center of the room. Beside it, a tall man with a long blue robe and white beard stood with a magical staff.
The air in the room was freezing, however the cold seemed to be radiating not from the Snow Queen, but instead from the mysterious crystal.
“Greir!” The Snow Queen cried, seeing her rescuer.
“So…” the wizard said, “You’ve bested my guardians. I’m afraid you’re too late, though. The Snow Queen’s power is mine now! I will control winter itself! Not even you can defeat my magic!”
Greir glanced from the Snow Queen to the wizard to the open windows. With one smooth gesture she put two fingers to her lips and whistled loudly. The wizard looked perplexed. A moment later they heard the sound of wings flapping and a small brown falcon alighted on the window sill.
“What’s this?” the wizard said, turning to face the bird, “An animal friend of yours? No matter. I shall…”
The bird’s eyes opened and a red laser shot out, incinerating the wizard where he stood. Instantaneously he was reduced to little more than a pile of ashes. The white crystal clattered to the floor.
Greir moved to the Queen, beginning to unlock the restraints that held her in place.
“Oh thank the gods!” the Snow Queen said with obvious relief, “Wherever did you find that falcon?”
“A couple of stupid guards were giving it away on the side of the road. The thing is a damn flying arsenal.”
With a clack the Snow Queen’s arms came free from her restraints and she immediately threw them around her conquering hero. She pulled her close and kissed her fiercely, her tongue exploring Greir’s mouth.
“Hey…” Greir said breathlessly when the embrace finally broke, “Your lips… your skin… you’re warm!”
“I know!” the Queen replied, “It’s that crystal. It’s captured my cold powers. We’ll have to destroy it…”
Greir’s eyes narrowed and she grinned mischievously. She pulled the Queen closer and her hands snuck around to rest on her ass.
“What say we hold off a few days on that plan?”
A deep red blush rose in the Snow Queen’s cheeks as she smiled.
“My thoughts exactly.”