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... THE ROSE OF DRACULA. PROLOGUE<o:p></o:p>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.