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Sunday, 18 May 2008
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War of the Vampires: Parts 9&10
Page 2
  Alice stared from behind barred eyes; her own eyes; Aláis’ eyes. The scene was amazing; the effect mesmerising. Aláis now stood atop a great palanquin, her smooth face facing a greater army than any commanded by the forces of the gods. Row upon row of black soldiers stretched out towards the horizon; an ocean of armour that washed against some far off shore. Banners bearing the mark of Nagash were raised as high as the sky. The heavens were hidden behind walls of cloud; here no light could reach; here only darkness reigned.

The scene was worthy of legend; an armada of soldiers beneath a blackened sky, all facing towards one creature. She stood with her back to her tower. That was the past; before her lay her future. To her left and right stood her fellow vampires, their eyes mesmerised by the force before them. There had not been a gathering like this in this age, or any age before. Aláis’ black heart heaved in her chest; her breathing was short with excitement, the exhilaration of knowing that soon she would walk at the head of this army; soon she would stand over the fallen body of the stone city; soon, this world would be hers. The creatures beneath her howled and roared with eagerness. She knew how they felt; they had been gathered for one purpose: to kill. And where there was killing, there was blood. The skies themselves were eager; rain came down from the blackened clouds and lightening came down in bolts of power. Aláis knew she could wait no longer; she raised her hands and emanated a horrific shriek from her pincered mouth. It sailed across the winds and bought silence to all. Every face now looked to her; obedient to listen, maddened to kill. Aláis voice came from her purple lips; indifferent of the cold, she spoke to her followers “Vampire’s! Too long have we have lain in hiding! To long have we been hunted from the forest that is ours! I stand before you today, to tell you something! Those days are over!” her voice bellowed over the winds and dwarfed the thunder; no one in the world would not be obedient to this voice.

Skayak stepped forward, his eyes filled with malice, his fangs glinting in the rain “Loyal subjects! Long have you followed me under my banner! And now my time is done. Our mistress of old is here! Today! Be not afeared by whatever our foes have planned, we stand in the presence of the divine!”

The resulting shout was immense; Skayak spoke for all those here, they would follow their queen, they would fight! For their queen! What more could Aláis say? The night had come; the moment was Nigh “Vampires! To WAR!!!!!!!!” the sky was split as the horde responded: howls of Vaghulfs and roars of the guard. The shrieks of Banshees pierced the forest, the trees splintered and the woods trembled. Hooves thundered throughout the forest and boots trampled their way from their posts. Aláis smile stretched from her cheeks “So it begins.”

Alice knew she had little time; already fires could be seen in the distance; she would have to act fast if she ever hoped to beat the horde to the gates of Drakenvald. She began to shape her weapon in her mind: a series of pointed darts. She didn’t hesitate; as soon as the final one was finished she began her assault of Aláis mind. She felt the vampire rally her defence. Alice began to strike from different angles, driving through her foes boundaries and smothering her in memories.  She felt her foe lower her barrier, writhing in pain and struggling to keep her hold. She began to bear down on her helpless victim; she could feel her screaming inside her head. She began to cry; she was part of her, her pain was her own pain. She sobbed as she shaped her final strike, a net of happy memories that would entrap Aláis forever. She began to lower the cage over the frightened beast; she closed her eyes and finished the deed. She closed her eyes and opened them. She could see once more the great mass of soldiers marching towards the horizon. She could see Skayak watching her, his eyes narrowed in concern “Aláis is something wrong?”

Alice looked at his shallow eyes and spoke “I’m sorry Skayak, I’m sorry” and with that she flew; she flew high and far, far into the clouds. She looked down to see Skayak staring up at her, his eyes firm in acceptance. She felt a pang of sympathy for the vampire; he was now being forced to ride at the head of a war that he had neither started nor placed any faith in. But it could not be helped. She dragged her eyes away from the figure and up towards the skies. She hurtled against the battering winds, her wings trailing behind her as they fought against the torrents of air. She saw the last of the dark clouds part and sailed into the light. She bathed in the temporary light and sighed at the gentle breeze before hurtling back down to earth. She bolted through the storm clouds and sailed over the countless bodies beneath her. She closed her wings and felt the air rushing past her. She could see the outskirts of Drakwald before her and altered her course.


Daekon shifted slightly and felt pain bolt down both of his arms. He was instantly awake as the pain shot through him. He gazed around the room and saw no other prisoners. His hands lay together; clamped by a pair of spiked iron cuffs that were bolted to the ceiling via a long chain. Blood dripped from his wrists as the barbs tightened around him. He grimaced as the pain travelled throughout his body.  His shoulders were getting worn; he knew he couldn’t stay in this position forever. He looked for anything he could use; anything to either free himself or to hurl as a weapon. There was nothing. He slowly moved his head behind his shoulders, careful not to move his arms. The walls dripped with moisture and the smell was repulsive. Green moss and flies swarmed around the roves and walls, rusting iron bars lay in front of him, scarred by previous escape attempts and years of decay. He could see a body rotting in the corner, foul rodents and maggots seeping through cracks in the man’s broken body. He felt his measly morning meal rise up inside him and turned away; he could not afford to lose what little strength he had. He could hear footsteps approaching and slowly raised his head to the iron bars in front of him. He could hear water dripping and the clanging of keys, his spirits lifted suddenly and an ember of hope flickered in his heart. He looked into the eyes of the vampire Elector and felt hate displace hope. The count opened the rotting doors and raised his hand. The two clamps clicked open and Daekon fell to the floor, the vampire could have saved him the humiliation, but he knew this fiend gained satisfaction in watching him suffer. Everyday now he would come and torture him; shriek down his ears and bathe him in blood. He knew not what rove the vampire’s insane mind, or what made it so loving of such horrific events. It was better not to think of such things, at least not while your spirits are damp already. Daekon stood up with difficulty and wiped the grime from his trousers. His face was covered in dirt and blood, his shirt worn and tattered and his wrists red from where the vice-like clamps had dug into his flesh. He stared into the eyes of the vampire whom answered with a manic laugh. “Come Daekon, I think it’s time you reconsidered our offer”

Shriken once more held the traditional glass of wine to his lips. His face was smooth and young, his mantle of darkness resting upon strong shoulders. He didn’t move as Daekon was dragged into the room; his eyes not leaving the empty mirror in front of him. Only once Daekon was seated upon one of two chairs did he speak. “I trust our hospitality has been adequate?” No answer came I can understand your hate, after all these years of serving me you discover all I have ever been is this, thing.” Elector, whom had bought Daekon, looked hurt by this, he had always been proud of who he was, watching his master speak of his kind like this wasn’t what he had expected. Daekon was looking at Shriken through his blue eyes, narrowed I hatred yet restrained with curiosity. Shriken walked to the other vacant chair and lowered himself into it, taking a cherry from the fruit bowl between them. “Well Daekon, I have to ask, what make’s us the ones who are the things?” he bit into the cherry, the juices flowing down the man’s chin. He spoke as if to an injured child; a lecturing parent who wanted the best. “Daekon, humanity is a disease. You are weak, ignorant, and corrupt. I have walked this world since the very first of your wretched kind set foot upon soil. Nothing has changed. You wage war, you burn forests, you turn to races for aid while in secret you despise them. How can you continue to put faith in the illusion that we are evil? We are the cure Daekon, we make you strong, immortal, and we allow you to see the truth laid bare. All you things pledging faith to a ruler of savages, in gods whom drive you to war amongst one another. What do you get at the end? Nothing. The blood you shed, the oaths of loyalty, all for nothing. How can you still cling to the strands of faith that destroy you? “Shriken waited for a response. He rolled another cherry between his long fingers.

Daekon leaned forward and felt Elector dig his nails into his shoulders like a vice. He didn’t even wince as the pain bolted through him. “You want to know why? Why I keep fighting? Why day after day I awaken to live through another wretched day?” his voice slowly rose and he could see Shriken’s grin growing across is face; he thought he had cracked him, how wrong he was. “Well I shall tell you why vampire. Because unlike your unholy race, we have a soul. We place values on things like trust and loyalty, on valour and honour. We place faith in out friendships and bring truth in our words. We have love. And no matter how you try and change that, no matter what images you plant within my mind I will never join you. Because I would rather die and hold these things close to heart than spend an eternity of life absent from them.”

He was panting by the end; he had spoken his heart and now found his hands shacking. Shriken still sat with his smile across his face.

Shriken stood and beckoned to Daekon. “So you want to die. That is good” he walked slowly towards a balcony, the horizon seen far away from the raised platform.  They reached the edge and Daekon stepped back violently; he had no idea how high he was. Shriken pointed out to the horizon “Well you soon will have your chance. Do you know what lies beyond those hills?” Daekon shook his head “Beyond there lies a horde of your enemies Daekon, a vast army of undead, all of them charging across the plains to devoir this city.” Daekon stepped away from the edge completely, his face white. When Shriken next spoke his voice was filled with an evil malice, the words he spoke would spread like poison throughout Daekon’s mind “Daekon, your wife leads them.”

Daekon stared at Shriken and spoke “No. NO!” Shriken let out a manic laugh as Daekon began to break down, his face begin to fume with hatred while his eyes brimmed with tears. He pointed to the horizon and stuttered “She isn’t she can’t she can’t,” he sobbed “I loved her!” He clenched his fists and smote the ground.

Shriken came to him and spat upon his head “Still believe in love?” he sighed “Wake up to the truth Daekon, there is no love in this world. Your world is at an end now; the question is will you fight with me? I have not harmed your people, and yet you beloved is now riding at the front of an army intent with this cities destruction.” His voice bounced around Daekon’s skull, but he needed not convincing. Shriken spoke just two words now; he knew he had won. “Join me.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 May 2008 )
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