The storyteller speaks

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Desaecula, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. First i'd liek to say I do see it fit to have a thred for images, and a thread for stories. why? simply because my stories are vast, and my images would distract from the flow.

    First up, The prologue to a VERY lengthy pproject...


    Many years ago in a most notorious place, a man who was dead…lived. He was driven by a bloodlust most extreme. A king and master of the night he was, but many times he felt that he should simply crawl into a cave and never come out. Tonight was one of those nights, Vladimir Tsepes, the king of all vampires was alone, hungry, tired, and feeling less like a king by the moment. The cool autumn breeze tore through his leather jacket and slicked back hair, cutting him through with a dark chill that reminded him of the old world. As he steps down a back alley he heard sounds that where all too familiar coming from the red brick wall to his right, and as he passed a set of trashcans he noticed he was behind one of his favorite clubs. He could hear the boom of the bass, and the laughter of friends. Suddenly, the soft beat from within came to a halt. The club goes silent, and the wind howls. ‘What now?’ he thinks to himself glumly; the sound of police sirens and wild dogs flooding the alleyway. After a few stagnant moments, the scratching of a disc resumes the beat. Looking up at the night sky, Vlad cannot help but think of a time, not so long ago, when music was the only priority in his life. When he was playing the music, and listening to the beat ringing within his head, vibrating the very core of his dark being.
    “The music sounded so much better when I was within those walls.” His strong accent had vanished with time, but traces of it still lingered, making the ends of his sentences mistakable for an heir of suave intention. He had tried for years to get rid of it, just in case it alerted some wandering slayer of his identity. Time is nothing to a man with no reason to fear it.
    He walks on, going past a loading dock. His senses pick up a presence coming from behind the iron door of the loading dock. Looking around cautiously he takes his hands out of his pockets, and jumps up onto the loading dock with little effort, virtually floating through the air as he lands with a small disturbance of dust. He pauses slightly to straighten out his clothes, and then walks to the door slowly. Not four paces from the door he halts. The music booms and a nail fall off the dock, hitting the puddle on the side-alley stone. The door swings open, creaking slightly, and out of it steps a man with a giant Celtic gold cross hanging from thick chains on a broad neck. There stands a Hercules of a man with gold teeth drawing attention away from a massive jaw, and strong smelly garlic on his breath. The shorter, equally impressively standing vampire king smiles deviously. Vlad recognized him at once… A slayer.
    “Ha-ha, oh come now, Garlic? You know garlic never works!” Vlad chuckles the words out, thus hiding his accent perfectly.
    The big mans smile broadens and a wheeze escapes his lips. His eyes wander about Vlad’s head, and he hears footsteps behind him- he spins around to see who it is. As he does this the big man, now behind him, grabs him under the arm, fists up, catching him by surprise with strength rival to his own. As he struggles to break free, the footsteps cease. And a graying hand grabs hold of his chin.
    A voice so crackling and whispery, that it resembled chipping paint under water came from the dry lips of a man in ceremonial garb as he lifted Vlad’s head towards his,
    “well, it seams that we have made a discovery Marcus,” the tall man holding Vlad gave a node, and tightened his grip as he spoke, “Heh, yeah, I Guess, but this punk was hardly worth the effort of sleeping in to stay up all night,heh,”
    Now on any other occasion these words would not even begin to touch Vlad, but the disrespect that echoed from those lips stung him like a needle… or more like a mosquito biting his cheek. Rage, long forgotten rage burst from within him, only fueled by the next words of the old man.
    “oh well, it seems that a rather weak spell should do to seal away his evil, he looks young, perhaps he has not aged long enough for his soul to be forfeit… hold him tight Marcus, this shall not take long,” He made an extreme emphasis on the word evil, he withdrew a small memo book with aged letters on it from his robes.
    If Vlad had eaten last night ( or if he was feeling more like himself) he would have kept his mouth shut, but…
    “You insolent old fool! If I had just one more ounce of energy in me tonight, I would rip out your right lung an-“ he froze, and if he could clasp his hands to his mouth then he would have, because his strong Transylvanian accent shone when he was mad, and all slayers knew only one vampire still existed that was spawned there, only one son of the knight who spoke so boldly and learned.
    The man holding him whimpered, and the old man stepped back cautiously and stared bug-eyed at the count. The arms holding Vlad back began to quiver, and moments later, let go quite suddenly. Marcus ran over to his elder comrade and shielded him with his left arm. Fear still shone in both their eyes, and mystical powers within Vlad began to feed off of the fear, making him stronger. An odd mist surrounded his feet, and the fear grew within his would-be slayers as the mist slowly slithered benignly towards them.
    “M-Marcus, that, that… is D-d-Dracula!” the old man stumbled backwards, and clambered down off of the loading dock. Marcus looked behind him and then jumped down backwards, still staring at him. Though Vlad was feeling very serious at that moment (and giving increasing thought to mangling the old man in front of Marcus with the intent of driving him crazy) The bluntness of the old man astonished Vlad, so he began to laugh, and as he laughed his sharp canines glistened in the moonlight, and Marcus drew his weapon, a long stake with a cross on the tip that was sharpened on each of it’s three even tips. The handle that he grasped so shakily was wooden, and the tip was gold. Obviously at this time, Vlad had noticed the massive amount of gold on the burly figure, he decided to use this to his advantage, and then the talking began.
    “Well, my would-be assassins. It seems that you have entered into a situation you cannot win, and you Marcus, how long have you had this gold fetish?”
    As soon as Vlad began to speak, the old man grew bold, ‘the old fool probably thinks I am a talker, and he can buy some time’ Vlad thought to himself joyfully, but it still, to this day astonishes the prince. Because the “old Fool” talked very steadily.
    “Vlad Tsepes! By the order of the holy Roman Catholic Church, I have permission to SEND YOU BACK TO HELL!” now that really tickled Vlad and his argument was perfect,
    “Hahahahahaha, you know, contrary to popular belief, I have never been to hell, I have never met Satan… and I did not kill the last pope.”
    Marcus stepped forward a few steps in retaliation to the glare Vlad was giving them, again the old man spoke, this time more defiantly.
    “It matters not! You are an abomination! Your existence is a crime against god, and I must stop you if I can! When I joined the faith I promised I would fight all of Satan’s evils on earth, and you are the vilest of them all!” what the priest did next was one of the few things that ever scared Vlad. From the confines of his robe, the old man pulled a silver object, A Celtic cross with a vile of blood serving as the center emblem.
    The blood sloshed around quietly as the old man slowly, but surely, raised the cross up until it was directly in-between Vlad and himself. The old man locked his elbow and turned slightly, so that his head was facing to Vlad, but his body was facing Marcus. Marcus saw the cross from the corner of his eye. He backed away slowly, and crossed his arms as he leaned against the wall behind him. His wicked grin strung across his countenance again, but he remained twitchy.
    Time seemed to stand still as the priests robes began to flap in an unearthly wind that seemed to emanate from him. He began to speak under his breath, words that Vlad recognized as quotes from the bible, expertly combined to form words of power. This made Vlad back away more than a few steps, magic was forbidden to Christian slayers, yet here he was, making an incantation of massive proportions. He had to stop this before it exceeded his capabilities. He was still weak from lack of blood.
    The shifting black mist that formed an aura about his feet vanished when a brilliant white flash burst forth from the cross. Vlad had to shield his eyes from the light. He felt his blood boiling within his veins, and his heart pound mercilessly within his chest. Fear was visible in his eyes, yet he was determined to live another day, to fight until the end, and not be “purified” as many called it. (Actually it is rather like being singed to a crisp by massive amounts of intense rays of light)
    A bluish glow covered all the surrounding area, like a blue sun had been trapped within the item grasped by the priest, even against the red of the blood sloshing and spiraling in the relic. Vlad dropped his arms from his eyes, and glanced around, seeing that the dawn was upon him. Even if it was artificial, it burned. He looked next at the man who seemed to be doing, so easily, what hoards of priests had not been able to do, just months ago. beating the king of the vampires.
    Indeed he had been faced with over a hundred priests (apparently, he had stumbled into town during the priesthood festival of the holy king) He had been shot with silver bullets, stabbed with pocket sized wooden stakes, and blasted with no less then twenty gallons of holy water from high powered water guns. To this day he does not know how he survived, but all the priests died in the process. Shaking his head, Vlad came out of his daydream. He noticed that he was turning rather reddish, he was getting sunburned.
    Hunter and prey met eyes. The priest tightened his lips, and then spoke for the last time before the final spell was cast.
    “Dracula, you shall no longer haunt the dreams of this world,” he paused momentarily, then turned to Marcus. The giant man looked at his elder, and gave him a knowing look. As the priest faced Vlad again, he felt like shackles had grasped his feet, he looked down, but he could not move from his spot on the loading dock, which was slowly crumbling under the power of the incantation.
    When next Vlad glanced at the priest, he looked much older than he did moments ago, Marcus was gone, and so was the priest’s robe. He was dressed in his Sunday’s best, black pants, shirt, and a white collar ring. It was now apparent that the spell was killing him. The suspense of it all made Vlad all the more fearful. The old man was savoring the moment, immortalizing every detail. He looked him up and down, and after a moment of awkward silence, with the only sound being the shifting murmur of the invisible shackles binding Vlad, the final words where spoken.
    “Farewell, demon…MAGUS ADNEXUS DEO ROSARIUM!”
    Words of power lifted Vlad up off of the ground; green thorned vines broke through the floor nearly three feet below him, he struggles as the shackles disappeared, and the vines took over the job, cutting into his flesh, and letting blood flow. His clothes where in tatters as red rose blossoms flew through the air, stinging him when they touched his skin, leaving great burn marks all over his legs and arms. Crimson lightning shot from the sky down upon him, new strains of pain flew through his body, and he screamed with agony. The old man was on one knee now, holding the cross less surely, but maintaining the stern look in his eyes.
    The lightning continued. A great pillar of green vines, red blossoms, and even redder light surrounded Vlad. Suddenly, primal instincts took over, he began to push on the vines grasping him, and felt old energies long forgotten to him return, and he felt defiant. Rage stemmed from every pore of his body, and the dripping blood heightened the sensation.
    “No! I shall not be slayed this night, or any other!”
    The old man whispered softly to him, as sirens began to blare in the background.
    “Don’t fight it Vlad,” he wheezed for breathe “its over, just…just except it.” Those where his last words, he crumpled to the ground with a silent thud, but the magic was already to powerful, without a master it only let loose even more power, binding itself to Vlad instead. The cross shot from the dead hands of the Priest, and flew through the air, striking Vlad tip first in the chest, piercing his flesh and causing blood to spurt from his lips. It seemed that no matter how deep the cross went though, it could not pierce iron will, with one final act of defiance; he attempted to undo the spell. By speaking it he believed he could re direct control of it. Fate had other plans, the blood in his throat, and the lack of blood in his lips made it difficult.
    “Mackgrus (cough)…Adnecksus- (sputter)…ros-ri-uhm… (Hack)”
    Only one word was spoken clear enough to be useful, adnexus, which in Latin means binding. No sooner had he spoken, then the cross dissolved into thin air, like dust. At the same time, the vines cringed, and let loose their victim. Vlad caught himself in time to land on his feet, but nothing could keep him standing now, he had lost half his blood to the vines, petals, and cross. He landed on his feet, only to slip in the precious liquid the spell seemed designed to take. Now he was covered in crimson stains, and as his vision began to fail him, the vines and petals came crashing down upon him. Spiraling downward the vines drove into his chest, rooting themselves deep within his body. Eyes wide open and body twitching at the sensation, Vlad Tsepes sank out of history with a silent scream of agony, not to be heard from for a millennia.
  3. ^
    Knew that you'd like it...I LOVE IT TOO!!!!
  4. I'm going to eb posting it by chapter i think, once i edit through each chapter that is.
  5. cant wait to see the rest of it.. ^_^
  6. so so s so so so so so so so sooooooooo..... hey Duke!!!! post some more pease!!! =^_^=
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    Chapter 1-The Dignified Sin <o:p></o:p>
    Stormy nights, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> hated stormy nights. Every night he chose to go hunting it seemed to rain as of late. Duncan tried to cough it up to the season, seeing as it was late spring. As he walked down the lonely street, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> had a thought in the back of his head, one that assured him privacy in his ventures tonight. You see, Duncan Holmes is no ordinary hunter. He is a member of a prestigious clan of vampire hunters. The new generation of hunters, however, had given themselves a new title, wicked slayers.
    The rain falling off of his wide brimmed hat dewed upon his black trench coat. His hands where protected from the slight chill in the weather by deep purple gloves adorned with golden studs on each knuckle. Upon his chest seen against the blue background of his shirt, lies a silver cross of Spanish origin. Concealed within his coat where the tools of his profession; several throwing stars made of silver, a sword blessed by the Pope himself, and a canteen of Holy water. Of course all of these items where well concealed within his coat. Every wicked slayer ever to traipse around metropolitan <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">America</st1:country-region></st1:place> fears being discovered, after all, most of them lead normal day lives.
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> turned the corner into a back alley. ‘After a thousand years I cant believe these alleys aren’t light up more’ mumbled <st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City> to himself, but it was not surprising, he was in the oldest part of Evercity, the old <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New York</st1:place></st1:State> district. There was a massive amount of graffiti on the wall to his right, he assumed that the brick was red, but couldn’t tell for the decades of grime and spray paint. An old broken down wood dock lay rotting before him, he had passed this way on his rounds every night for the past year, and had received a feeling of ill omen every time he passed it. he half expected it to burst and a nest of demons spew forth from it infront of his very eyes. From above the encroaching walls the moon slide from behind the storm clouds, and the rain let up a bit. In the moon light, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> caught from the corner of his eye many flashing shadows from the rooftops. He was being surrounded.
    “Ah, give me a break-trucido sanguise!” <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> put the last few word forth like he would a swear word. The shadows fell down upon the cement all around him, and a cloud spread before the moon, giving forth a new torrent of rain that dripped from the fang ridden lips and long hair of his attackers. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> wheeled around, surveying them. They formed a circle about four feet away from him in every direction., and where licking their lips and brandishing dark colored and twisted daggers. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> counted thirteen of them.
    “A bakers dozen,” spoke Duncan after a few nervous seconds “sounds like I get to taste one before I spread the goods all over the cement.” He was cocky… but <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> had the right to be.
    One of the vampires made a whimpering sound, just the signal Duncan was waiting for, he whipped his sword out of his coat and with one movement of his free hand, a silver shuriken was planted deep between the eyes of the vampire directly behind him, with the tip of his swords an inch from the face of the vampire directly in front of him. The crowd took a step back. Blood dripped from the wound of the vampire <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> had so swiftly hit and he fell backwards, dead, dropping his dagger.
    “Uh, oh” muttered the vampire in front of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> going cross eyed to look at the tip of the blade.
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1:City> drove the blade with a ‘Ha’ into the vampire. The others leaped at him with inhuman ability, seeming to fly forward at him. he deflected the daggers of three of them, and ducked from the rest, he drew out the holy water in his pocket, and uncorked it with his teeth, as he dodged the rampant blows he put his thumb over half of the opening, and swept his hand in front of him splattering the precious liquid over the faces of the wicked things around him, even though it was raining hard, smoke and fire erupted from the faces of some vampires, and the hands of others as they blocked the attack, one of the vampires started to run away, as three of his companions burst into embers and where torn to mud by the persistent rain. He leaped onto the loading dock, and began to step towards the door before him, when several silver stars struck him in he back, he fell upon a patch of wood that was already stained. He lay upon his back, and watched the rest of his pal’s fall, the wicked slayer walked towards him slowly. The vampire was gasping for breath, and he crawled backwards a few steps before the wicked slayer was upon him.
    “So you thought you could escape from me did you, you foul wretched thing?” <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> said as he stood over the fallen man and observed his handiwork with a scowl on his face.
    “Heh, yeah,” wheezed the vampire through failing breath, “-I guess I did, pal.”
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1:City> smiled momentarily at the response, and then bent over to draw the shurikens from his victim. Now, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> had slayed more than his fair share of “fangies” as he called them. But this was one of only a hand full that he had had to finish off after his initial attack. That fact alone made him respect the vampire a little. But the smile he held on his face, however mangled with the blood consuming his countenance, burnt the ends of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s emotions.
    “Well slayer,” he chuckled turning his head and exposing his neck “finish the job you seem to enjoy so thoroughly…”
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on"></st1:place></st1:City> would have, except he wanted to know something of the vampire first. He stood upright and ran his eyes about the man at his feet. The clouds unveiled a harvest moon as he spoke.
    “What is your name, vampire”
    The look <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> received in return echoed confusion and ill will; the vampire looked about his feet. He got up slightly, his right leg strait, and his left half bent with his right arm set upon his knee and his shaky left hand holding him up. He sighed, and looked down, and then he muttered.
    “My name is,” he paused slightly then a wide smirk stretched across his face “Jack.”
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> nodded his head and fiddled with his sword. Why could he not bring up his blade and strike him? Something within him would not let him do so.
    “Well, jack on another occasion I would say it’s a pleasure to meet you, but-“
    Jack interrupted him abruptly as he snapped his head up to meet eyes with the slayer,
    “One of the last descendants of the Tsepes line,”
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on"></st1:City></st1:place> gasped, Dracula had not been seen for over a thousand years. How could one of his descendants still be alive? And what where the chances he would be a Vampire too? After all no vampire could have children. Their seed died when their blood became tainted by immortality.
    Jack stood up. He examined his right arm, and painfully pulled a shuriken out of it.
    “I don’t have to ask your name, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>. We where sent here tonight to get rid of you.” Began Jack, and the confused Duncan could only stare back. Once again the feeling of inability to do anything came across <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>. He knew he could not kill Jack, But not because he was not physically able to. Within a seconds time he could have jacks head rolling over the end of the dock.
    “What’s wrong?” smiled Jack putting his hand in his coat pockets and handing the bloody shuriken over to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>, throwing it to the ground at his feet.
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> got back his nerve. He shook his head and sheathed his sword. Clearly this fangy had no will to hurt him any more.
    “Well jack, looks like you’re famous.”
    “What do you mean by that?” said Jack with an extreme air of inquisitiveness… and spite.
    “well, you’re the one that got away jack, and if you know half as much about me as it seems you do, you know how much of an accomplishment that is.” <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> washed off the shuriken Jack had given him, unpocketed the holy water to clean it off. It bubbled like vinegar and baking soda.
    Jack crossed his arms and surveyed <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place>. He himself wondered why he could not bring himself to strike at <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>. He had about eight knives concealed on his person, and could have half of them embedded in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> by the time he knew what had happened. His wounds had healed, but the blood was still dripping off of his clothes and forming a rather large gory puddle at his feet… He WAS dying.
    Now, Think on this for a moment…Because slayers and Vampires have been mortal enemies for centuries. Many slayers have a grudge because a vampire killed one of their family members, and many vampires have the same grudge. Rather stupid when you think about it. Slayers put themselves in the position for family deaths, especially when slaying is passed from father to son, and mother to daughter. So a conversation between a slayer and a vampire has never lasted as long as the one Duncan and Jack where carrying on. Question after question arose from both of their minds, but Jack broke the ice as the storm receded and the night sky was unaltered by even smog. The rain had purged everything.
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>…why do you carry on this killing, you seem like a very religious man?”
    “Well, to other slayers I’d have to say because it’s the right thing to do, to kill what’s to be considered ‘evil’”
    Jack made a ‘pfft’ sound and rolled his eyes, apparently this was the answer he had expected, but didn’t believe it coming from the lips of the young slayer, Duncan.
    “From a slayer that sounds par…but I don’t think you wear that cross, and use that holy water, and had your sword and shurikens blessed because you wanted to kill evil. The pope doesn’t bless items for just any of his slayers. Killing is a sin <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place>, no matter how you, heh, slice them.”
    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> belted the shuriken and began to walk away. Jack grabbed him by the shoulder. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> stopped, then whipped around and met knives with Jack.
    “Oh, looks like Jacky hit a nerve…what’s the matter, your excessive sinning unbearable?” Jack looked amused as he spoke, just then noticing that as he had a knife to <st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City>’s throat as well as to his knife, so did <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> have a shuriken at his throat. <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> spoke with heavy breaths and an angry tone.
    “I am a slayer because my parents, and their parents before them where slayers. But before that I slay because to kill evil is a dignified sin, one that helps god’s people… and what of you Jack?
    Who created you Jack, who made you a Vampire? Where you born into a family that even knew vampires existed? Did you learn of your heritage and then seek to be enthralled? Or did you just look up at the moon one night and feel your ancestor’s blood flow like needles through your veins.”
    Jack looked untouched, but replied with a shaky voice.
    “As long as we are bearing our filthy souls under the full moon light…I transformed when I was in high school. My class went to a museum and there was a room full of portraits of great conquerors, among them Vladimir Tsepes. I turned that night as the sun fell.”
  8. <o:p> </o:p>
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    Chapter 2-Return of the King <o:p></o:p>
    They leapt backwards as Jack finished speaking. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> landed in fighting stance, and so would have Jack if he had not landed in a puddle of his own blood, which shimmered in the moonlight. Jack landed and tripped backwards falling and his back and going dizzy.
    “Excucito sangre!” cursed Jack in Latin as he tried to get back up, once more dripping with blood. His body was giving in to the darkness that had formed him so long ago.
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> was about to say something to Jack, but a brilliant red flash erupted from the blood about their feet. Purple mist poured from about Jack as he stumbled back, blood floating off of his clothes in small globules, and levitated through the air before falling once more over the expanding puddle. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> realized something was wrong, very wrong. He leapt from the rickety dock and stood next to a bereft Jack, and watched as more and more crimson life began to ooze from a seemingly endless well.
    Suddenly to the Horror of Jack and Duncan (who seemed to have forgotten their quarrel momentarily) black smoke, extremely black smoke issued from the epicenter of the ghastly pool.
    “Jack,” muttered <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> in a tone barely a whisper. He received a whispery ‘yeah,’ in reply
    “Never cuss in Latin again; I think you did something bad…”
    The blood began to lose its luster as ripples flew through it. A horrifying scream burst from the mist as the crimson pool ceased to grow, curdling as if aging in an accelerated manner. The Moons glow was obscured by the gloomy rain clouds, and a strike of lightning resounded through the alley. The storm was gathering strength.
    The mist had covered the entire ground with a thick layer, creating a seemingly endless shifting carpet of deep sooty purple. Jack shifted his weight in discomfort as the screaming became louder, grew closer, and then became agonizing. Within seconds the sound became recognizable as the voice of a man. The deep tone became more resonant and rang in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s ears like a timpani endlessly pounding within his head. As if a vast amount of seaweed had just been removed from their ears, the voice became audible as it screamed an eerie message that echoed across the alley. Neither of the persons present there would ever forget what they heard that night.
    “No!” a brilliant pillar of crimson burst from the dock “you cant kill me, you’ll never kill me. Only God will judge me!”
    Vines crept across the ground, followed by a lustrous odor of rose petals. Soon swirling blood red petals began to flow from the pillar of light. One more thunderous growl from the depths of where the vines came from echoed through the alley. Then…silence. The brilliant light still shot straight up and through the cloud cover. Once more the moon peeked from behind the clouds and shone upon the dock. The shine of red upon <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s face deteriorated as the moon seemed to dissolve the pillar. Petals now flew through the air and dropped at Jack and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s feet. They flew above the rooftops and spread like a wave over all of Ever city ina great typhoon of scented rose petals dancing in the breeze and mist.
    Duncan and Jack where enthralled by the petals. Somehow they seemed to calm them, and gave them a sense of peace. But that peace faded away when an earth shattering clunk issued from before them.
    Horror crept through the men as a black blood stained hand jerked out from within a mass of vines upon the dock. Its finger nails where yellowed with age, and it rose from an unseen source, soon rising nearly shoulder length out of the unseen pit. The muscles rippled as if snakes crawled beneath its flesh.
    The hand struck down and clenched a vine. Next the shoulder of relative muscularity issued out. Tattered and blood stained clothing draped off the form of an unsightly man with tangled shoulder length hair clotted in dried blood. As he stepped from the botanical cacophony about his feet, His ribs where obvious from under his ruined clothes. A gapping hole in his shirt made it apparent that he had been stabbed, though no sign of harm showed on his chest. The light faded away and the vines feel limp. The figures heavy breathing made <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> uneasy, but jack was smiling wide and looked ready to fight.
    ‘Typical vampire nature, ready to kill without remorse’ thought <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place>, only taking his eyes from the bloody creature before him for a split second.
    “Hold your tongue slayer!” rasped the figure immediately, and he pointed an extremely bony finger at <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>. Regal leather, though tattered, hung from his ghastly arm.
    Well, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> was dumbfounded completely by that. He knew he did not say anything, yet it seemed that he heard his thoughts as plainly, as if he had shouted them out. The zombie looking creature took another step, then another. He walked slowly and as if every step was arduous and painful, yet he managed to walk to the edge of the dock, where he eased himself down and sat cross-legged on the edge. He looked from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> to Jack and back again a few times before resting his eyes on Jack.
    ‘What is up with this guy?’ thought <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> again, but being more cautious as to his emotions. <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> looked to the left of the bloody man and looked at his hat. ‘hope he doesn’t get any blood on it, that my Christmas present from mom’ Duncan lost control of his thoughts again, and shuddered right after thinking it, he looked sheepishly at the man who crawled out of the vines and saw him smiling…and wearing his hat.
    A gravely laugh issued from under the purple hat, and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> saw immediately that he was a vampire. His fangs where yellow but still shone bright as he threw his head back and laughed again. He jumped down from the dock and stumbled forward, now with a bit more ease and a slight swagger in his step. He closed in on Duncan and Jack. jack had stepped closer to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Duncan</st1:City></st1:place> and now the two where side by side staring down the wicked looking Vampire.
    Under the moons glow they could see every detail of him. He was tall, Maybe a little over six feet tall, and only two and a half or so wide at the shoulders. His depraved figure looked ghoulish in the lunar rays behind him, and his face had deep pits under high cheek bones. He was now only three feet away from them. He put his right hand in his pants pocket and held the brim of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s hat with the other.
    “Nice hat, kid” he stated bluntly, and for the second time in his existence wished he had not spoken. Fore the look of defiance in the young men’s eyes that he had been admiring melted off each of
    their faces. Jack looked paler than before, now literally looking white as a sheet, and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> came close to matching his complexion. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> dropped his sword and backed up against the wall. Jack only stared with saucer eyes and quivering lip. Jack smiled briefly, then stumbled forward and would have landed flat on his face on a beer bottle if the cause of his fainting had not caught him with one arm and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City> with the other. The two warriors fainted dead away in the figures arms. His aura had been too much.
    “I wish the priest would have had this mild a reaction,” he muttered to himself.
    Petals of rose still floated through the air, and the pungent odor penetrated the stormy skies as the newborn King hauled the men onto his shoulders, grabbed <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Duncan</st1:place></st1:City>’s sword, and strolled into the shadows down the alley. Rain again consumed the back alley. Glancing back at the dock he had risen from, and from behind wet shoulder length hair, he saw no vines, and looked up to the skies…rain washing away the signs of his millennia of imprisonment, crimson flowing over his face like tears of joy.

  9. Chapter 3-To Live Again
    Duncan remembered nothing as he came out of the groggy slumber. Fitful dreams had swept his mind and ravaged his thoughts for almost an entire day and a half. His eyes flickered open slowly. Methodically and with a feeling akin to a hangover The wickedslayer sat up in his bed. The sun was shining gently through the white drapes. There were clouds hovering above today. Maybe rain was on the way tonight.
    “pardon me… would yee care to terribly to close that BLODDY drape…NOW?” Jacks said.
    His voice came from under the sheets of a bed adjacent to his in the small room.
    “Heh. Not a morning person… got it.” He laughed, getting up. His hand went emmediately to his hips.
    “Now before you freak, look over by the window…after YOU SHUT IT ALREADY YOU BLOODY SLAYER!” Jack continued hiding under the white linen sheets, growling at Duncan.
    “Alright, alright, shut it.” Duncan stepped to the window and as promised, all his gear was arranged neatly on the end table. He reached to unlatch the drapes and shut them with no real urgency.
    “Better?” he asked.

    “Oh, thanks bunches for your aid.” He replied with make nobility. He cracked several knuckles and bones as he rose, stretching and sitting up on the bed.
    The room was medium sized. There where four beds arranged parallel to each other in the simple, yet elegant bedroom. It appeared that a monk slept in the bed closest to the door just last night, for the sheets were ruffled.
    “It Appears the bedbugs did not get their hands upon you in your sleep.” Came a low baritone drawl. “ I can Only Hope your skills are as worthy as your minds. After witnessing a curse such as mine being broken, most people are comatose for a week.”
    “lucky me.” Duncan said, already strapping on his gear.
    “Oh shut your mou-“ Jack didn’t get to finish.
    “Calm yourself Jack, You as well Duncan. I Thank you both for what you have done.” The Count smiled shortly and stood upright, one arm behind his back elegantly. “And I have a good deal of catching up to do. It appears my channels for information have all but perished. I am going to be short about the matter. I wish to proposition you two to aid me further.” He finished, never moving anything but his head as he dictated his first regal address in a millennium.

    “WHAT?!” the remaining men said almost in unison. Duncan interjected before Jack this time.
    “This is ridiculous! I am a WICKEDSLAYER!” he yelled. His words echoing throughout Notre Dame de la Norte.

  10. Chapter 4-the Drunken Fang
    The day was cool and a summer breeze had permeated the iron and stone walls surrounding and protecting Evercity from the wilds beyond its confines. An odd trio walked down the deserted early morning streets of the old New York district. The dark prince walked first, wearing a cloth trench coat and black dress outfit he had been given by the priest at the cathedral. The clouds where thick and high in the sky today. Jack had stopped complaining about being burnt to a crisp by the sun, but kept his hands deep in his pockets and his collar high on his cheekbones. Duncan walked behind jack, he had left his uniform at the cathedral, but kept on his war belt (which was endowed with shurikens) and had silver knuckles in his pocket. Other than that he was wearing a red cap adorned with the virgin of Guadalupe praying within an aura of roses. He had a red and black short-sleeved shirt and baggy jeans. He looked relatively normal walking down the street.
    They rounded a corner and the layout changed. The street was a dead end strip ending in an electric power unit concealed behind a fence. The fence had pieces of trash in front of it, almost hiding the warning sign mounted on it. The right side of the street was dominated by an old brick warehouse. It reminded Duncan of the events that had occurred the night before. Duncan glanced over to the left side where his new comrades where headed. He glanced over their heads and saw a neon sign of a blue bat cross-eyed in the bottom of a beer mug. He looked down in time to see Jack enter the glass panel door. It slammed with a small jingle. He ran to the entrance and opened the door. Immediately he was met by a stare from a giant of a man with a strong jaw and even stronger sideburns. Duncan put his hands in his pockets and fumbled quietly for his silver knuckles, All the while staring at the mountain of muscle in front of him. “Relax friend, he’s with us.” Said a voice from inside the bar, Jacks hand grasped Duncan on the arm and pulled him into the Smokey confines of the Drunken Fang.
    Duncan was momentarily blind. The dimly light interior of the club was made worse by the peppery incense that hung in the air. Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Duncan could see Jack and the count (Dracula and Duncan had agreed on this name) walking forward through the small gaps between black and crimson couches and tables. At the back of the room was a bar, and to the sides of it where stairs leading up to a second floor where laughter issued every few seconds. Duncan quickly followed them; soon realizing that everyone in the place was either a vampire or lichen.
    He sat down at the bar in between his colleagues. “I will have an o-positive cocktail” said Jack as the waiter-a brawny midget- strode across the bar to them. The count ordered a bloody Mary on the rocks. Jack looked at Duncan out of the corner of his eye, a smile flashed on his face momentarily-“think fast Duncan,” he mouthed silently.
    The small man looked at him. “What about you mate?” He said with an Australian accent. Dracula sat bolt upright, it was clear that he had not foreseen this. Duncan didn’t smile, for he had no fangs and would stand out right away, so he looked drowsily at the bartender and said simply “plasma” Jack laughed as the hairy little man dropped out of sight behind the bar. “Feeling alright bud? You usually get something stronger.” Dracula just nodded his head, but the unmistakable presence of a smile graced his countenance.
    Moments later three glasses slid across the bar to their owners. The count had a tall glass filled with crimson fluid, and a celery stick. Jack got a darker colored thicker drink of the same color-it had an umbrella in it. Duncan caught a large glass of yellowish orange fluid that had about an inch of red adorning the top of it. Jack took a large swig of his and the count bit the top off his celery. Jack took another small drink and looked over towards Duncan again. The little man trotted across the bar in front of jack right then-and received a face full of jacks cocktail. He slipped of the bar and a large crash of metal and glass breaking resounded through the tavern.
    Jack looked at Duncan again in horror. The glass of plasma was more than half gone as it sat on the bar, and jack had seen him sip the blood from the top, that’s what made him spit out his concoction. Jack gave him a look of confusion, horror and wonder. “Long story jack,” he said bluntly, licking his lips.
    They heard the midget groaning, that was the only sound in the tavern the whole place had gone silent as a tomb. This made jack more than nervous. Duncan topped off his plasma and reached over the bar to lift (by the right foot) the midget who was covered in scratches and shards of glass. Duncan brushed off the glass and sprayed him in the face with the contents of a seltzer bottle. He immediately arose to full consciousness. He shook his head and looked down, surveying the broken glass behind the bar. Duncan let him down and he ambled over the bar and out of sight.
    “And get me a Tsepes while your at it,” he added, jack turned rather green in the face and proceeded to the bathroom immediately.
    Now many drinks exist in the normal world, and many more exist in the world of vampires. Most drinks are a mixture of a certain type of blood. Whether or not there are additives is another story, but most vampires do not drink strait blood anymore. A Tsepes is an O positive mug of luke-warm blood with the plasma removed, and a drop of silver-water. It is thick, and knocks most vampires for a loop after a drink.
    After several minutes the bar had regained its usual din. Jack was still gone, and Dracula had moved to sit beside Duncan. Once again Duncan noticed the pungent smell of rose petals around the count.
    “Alright Duncan, here is the lowdown;” he began as Duncan’s Tsepes arrived.” If the owner of this place hasn’t been slain, then where in business.” He stopped and looked around.” Then I have access to the biggest arcane library on the planet, now I hear the way people curse in this time, they do it in Latin. The library has volumes of Latin text and ‘spells’. But I have one under lock and key, one made by a boy in the middle states around the twenty-second century. Its only seventy pages long, but with it, a sorcerer could dominate the world.”
    Duncan listened intently, but still had a question, “what does this have to do with the betrayal within the slayers?” he took a sip of his drink, and immediately cringed. “You’re not drinking that for your health I hope,” muttered the count to him. Swallowed hard and glancing over the crowd laughing and talking to each other.
    “I want to fit in…” there was an uneasy silence between the two of them. “ I get the feeling every second I stay in this place that some wolf will walk by and recognize I'm human.”
    Dracula’s eyes seemed to glaze over as he sat upright and looked Duncan square in the face.
    “We’re all human here Duncan… some less then others, but we’re all human.”
    There was a long staring match between the two of them, some small bit of understanding crossed the gap between slayer and prey, and Duncan vowed from that moment on to fight for his own reasons, not just by the orders of the Vatican.
    Jack walked up and sat back in his stool. He looked more pale than usual; he gave the bartending midget several gold coins. Duncan saw as the coins traded hands that one side had a rose, and the other had a bat on it. “Lets do what we came here to do and get the hell out of here.” He said to the count.
    ‘Very well then’ was his response.
    He turned and surveyed the room, then pointed to the left staircase leading up to the second level. A bouncer was standing at the foot of the steps, his broad shoulders where not in proportion to his thin torso and legs. He shook his head from side to side as the three approached. The count stepped forward.
    “I wish to speak to the Duke please.” Duncan thought He spoke as if addressing the president. The burly man turned around and walked up the steps with heavy feet. Jack began to follow him, but the counts arm prevented him. Jack gave him silent approval, and stepped back. He only disappeared from sight for a moment or two, and then walked back down. No expression showed in his face as he reached the last step.
    “The duke will see you now, Last table on the right.”
    He stepped aside and the three ascended. The top section was far more sophisticated. There where saplings in large pots adorning the back two corners, and velvet crimson drapes where hung about the walls. The tables where round, and covered with white frill trimmed covers. A single red candle light the tables from a center brass stand. They where spread sparingly, allowing much space to walk. It wasn’t hard finding the duke. He was the only person there (other than the traditionally dressed waiter setting a green bubbling wineglass in front of him. The room smelled of flowers and rich aromas drafted from the double doors towards the middle of the room.
    This duke better be worth my time, Thought Duncan to himself as he walked last in line to the table. He sat down opposite him while Dracula sat to Duncan’s left, and jack to his right. Duncan took a moment to look him over.
    He sat rather casually. His face was shadowed by elbow length dark brown hair, but the ends turned blood red about four inches from their tips. He had green piercing eyes and a rather jovial countenance other than the two pronged tribal scar on his right cheek. He wore a black coat-tail with gold frill on the cuffs and adorning his chest was a buttoned silk green vest with a white renaissance shirt spilling out of it. He had numerous rings on his fingers and wore the most expensive looking watch Duncan had ever seen. He settled back into his chair to listen to the ensuing speech the count was about to give. About what he didn’t know, but he was sure the duke probably wouldn’t be up to hours of talk.
    The count opened his mouth to talk, but before he could utter a single syllable, the duke stood up and spread his arms out wide, smiling with his large canines glistening, great…another vampire-though Duncan- “welcome to second floor of the drunken fang,” he swept his left arm across the room, as it reached its previous position, Duncan saw a silver cross dangling among the white frill of his shirt, he noticed at once that the rings on his fingers where silver too. He gasped and fell out of the back of his chair with a thud.
    “Welcome to thrice haven!!”
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