This tale previously posted has been added to Stories page
It is the story of a Vampire hunt that goes wrong thanks to ancient magiks going awry.
This is the story of the Gardner from Griff Manor, who went off to war. There to die yet have more adventures and have a war of his own.
As the hour approached midnight, two desiccated cadavers rested atop of a granite plinth, with Di stood at their heads, with a hand rested atop of each of their scalps. Deep beneath the earth, in the ancient cellar, there were also gathered, six other figures in ceremonial regalia. Flames flickered in the darkness, to the left and aback of Di. The image of the fire reflected in a pool of water that swirled on her right flank. Alice, with a golden bowl in her left hand and a blade extended from her right, slow walked the circle of figures. From the feet of Simon’s cadaver, Alice proceed deasil round the circle, at each of the figures, there gathered, she stopped and cut their presented palms, gathering the blood, that was shed, in the bowl. Her ritual changed, after she had cut the fifth figure’s palm, for that person raised her palm, to Alice’s lips, thus enabling her to run her tongue along the line of the cut. With the first five offerings of blood, collected in the bowl, she continued her clockwise progress about the ring of figures until she reached Di for a second time. Upon reaching Di, Alice knelt and cut each of Di’s forearms, once again collecting the blood that was drawn. Careful not to spill the blood, Alice cleansed and sealed each of the wounds with her tongue. Thereafter, Alice continued her circumambulation, of the celebrants, until she reached the feet of the cadavers again. Ceremoniously, Alice placed the bowl between the feet of the two corpses, that done she slit her own forearm, to provide yet more blood for the sacrifice.
The potent cocktail, of the sacrificed blood was used to trace the sigla of the enchantment there were about to perform. Once the final siglum had been drawn, Alice returned deasil to the foot of the plinth, once she was there the celebrants began to chant and she performed the somantic component of the ritual. The ritual had been their last hope, everything else they had tried to separate the three trapped life-forces having failed; defeated by Di’s innate resistance to alien intervention. The ritual was a bastard; composed as it was from elements of diverse rituals, including those that were intended to heal the spirit, perform exorcisms and enable astral projection. It had never been performed before, four of those gathered there having composed it themselves; the inspiration for it being their desperation, as such its outcome was exceptionally unpredictable. Continue reading
The two cheetahs, that were Di and Al, flew towards the house’s front door and the shelter it offered, from the golden death. Upon their arrival, in the entrance hall, of the house, they were meet by Jo and an exceptionally relieved James. Once out of the searing light Di shook off Al’s hand, “Fetch my other body.”
Cautiously, once both Al and Jo had left, Di approached James; Eleanor commented within Di’s mind, «He’s less than a century? Remarkable, I’d have thought that he was nearly my age if…»
The image that Di beheld of James was totally dissimilar, to anyway that she had perceived him before. Even when she had gazed upon him, with perceptions enhanced by, her own, sorcerous abilities and mage sight, she had not seen him as precisely, as she did at that moment, «Is this how you normally perceive the world?»
«No, it normally is less clear than this and requires concentration to be able to do it. Your abilities and ours seem to be combining and enhancing each other. Whoever sired him, is one to be feared, to the core of ones being.»
«No one sired him; he was slain in battle.» Continue reading
Al and Jo sensed that the spell had ended. As did James, who floated over to Al and Jo, on to whose backs he traced confirmation of his safety, with his ghostly fingers. Due to his actions, the two of them were compelled to shiver. As James floated back towards his own body, Al and Jo – having been reassured as to James’s safety – ran into the garage, to aid Di. When they reached her, Di was knelt crying over the body of vampire, so Jo knelt down next to the vampire’s body, on the opposite side of it to Di, and Al knelt next to Di.
“Di? Are you…” Jo fell silent as se caught sight of Di’s face.
Distractedly, Al opened the tool bag and hunted through its contents. At which point, Di’s head slowly rose, from looking at the face of the vampire’s cadaver – whose leathery hand she held – and Di’s eyen locked onto Al’s, “No! You even try it and…” Di fell silent and made a show of licking her teeth, as James was in the habit of doing, when he made threats.
“Why protect it, we came here to put an end to it?” Al’s face showed her surprise, that their most eager hunter had become a defender, of the undead.
“It!” Di slowly rose to her feet, once she was standing, her right hand shot, to her pouch. Fear and confusion raced across her face, as she started to open the pouch. Something was wrong, very wrong, so She turned and ran, towards the small doorway and the security of the natural world. Al went to follow her, but Jo held Al back, then sprinted off, after Di, hirself. Less than a foot from the doorway, Di came to a sudden halt and turned and raised her hand towards Jo, who was approaching her. As she approached, Jo could see anger, fear and confusion struggling, for supremacy, upon
Di’s preternaturally youthful face.
“What is it?” Jo slowed her approach.
“I’m… Not…” Di took several deep breaths before continuing, “Branwen’s Stars tried to burn me. Where am I? Is James alive? Where is he?”
“He’s safe,” Jo reached out a hand towards her; “You did not kill him.” Continue reading
Back in the room, where the four unconscious bodies lay, James’s and Al’s faces showed their concern for their partners’ safety. James grabbed Al’s head, “Take it and go keep Jo safe, do whatever you have t…” Upon felling a rush of power, James fell silent.
Al broke free from James’s grip, “No! John! Look…”
Moments later, red tears formed in the corners of James’s eyen, “Di! Oh God! No!” Action rather than words where what were needed, so James ran at the room’s outer wall. With a terrible force, his body hit the wall and then collapsed, into a lifeless heap, upon the floor. Upon being left alone, in the room, Al made sure that none would awaken, whilst she was gone. That done, she cancelled her wards, grabbed a tool bag and with the pace of a cheetah sprinted from the room, so that she could get to Jo.
The fiery star streaked from Di’s hand, only to, moments later, have its pace slow and then cease all movement. For a spell, it just hung in the air, between Jo and Di.
Apace, Jo exited, through the small side door. Once in the relative safety of daylight, with the adrenaline clearing from his system, Jo sensed Di’s and James’s minds. To confirm his second-hand perceptions, Jo glanced back into the garage, where the blazing pentacle was vibrating, in mid-air, then as Jo watched it darted straight back at Di. As the pentacle flew back, towards Di, it grew. The closer it approached to Di, the larger it became. As it relentlessly stormed its way towards Di, her limbs were drawn out, towards the points of the pentacle, by some arcane force.
Jo shivered, as if the devil had walked over his grave, and glanced around, “Jay?” The answer was traced on Jo’s back, by a spectral finger, and confirmed Jo’s suspicion, of who was there.
After ghosting past Jo, the spectral creature passed into the garage, where Di was immobile, spread-eagled inside the arcane pentacle. That being the case, the spectre incautiously floated, towards Di. When the wraith closed upon Di, so that it was within arm’s reach of her, the pentacle started to vibrate, once again. As soon as the vibrations started, James slowed, his movement, and cautiously continued, to move towards Di. Eventually, he reached a point, where the star started to separate, from her. Once the star was moving, towards him, James began a steady retreat. Di collapsed, in to a heap, on the floor, breathing heavily. The link told Al and Jo, that she had regained consciousness; Di started to sob, then cry.
The arcane star followed, the retreating spectre. As it did so, it steadily hastened its pace of pursuit. In response the spectre’s pace increased and hence the spectre’s lead, over the pentacle, steadily grew. The backwards retreat of the spectre, that was James, ended when it encountered a wall, but the fiery star’s unrelenting advance continued and grew even faster.
When Al rounded the side of the house, her pace slowed, for she saw, with her own eyen, that Jo was alive, unharmed and outside, the garage. Almost at the same moment as she received this reassurance, a scream echoed out, form within the garage and the link informed Jo and Al why Di had screamed.
Relentlessly, the magical pentacle continued its advance, upon the spectral James, whose form rested upon the wall. Eventually, it closed, to within inches of his spectral form. At which point, Di started to rise, until she received, «No! Stay there!»
Upon each vibration of an atom, James’s spectral form expanded, and slowly spread itself over the whole expanse of the wall’s surface. As he expanded, the pentacle too grew in size, until it was almost the full height of the garage, but as the pentacle’s size grew its advance slowed. Finally, when it was about to touch the spectre, the spectral self – of James – passed into the wall. Invisibly, a few instants later, James’s spectral body reformed, outside the garage, as he did so there was a detonation, which happened when the pentacle touched the wall. The pentacle disintegrated and its fragments streaked back, to Di, who cried out when the fragments re-entered her body. Upon recovering from that, Di tore the ring, from her finger and flung it across the room.
A cold motionless thing sensed easy prey, move close to its dark, resting place; the creature’s perception and sense of its prey changed, as the prey closed in, on its resting place. The prey headed for it, as if it knew exactly where its lair was. Its first perceptions of its prey had been food approaches, then that changed to a big meal approaches, eventually its feeling about what approached it became danger comes. After the creature awoke; it remained motionless, not even breathing. Once fully awake, it sensed a near void, where the other’s consciousness, should have been. When the creature heard the heart beat, of the one that approached its resting place, the creature thought, what is wrong with me, what is there to be scared of, it just one puny little human. This new confidence lasted only for a fraction of a second, for the creature heard, in the distance, another heartbeat, that seemed to be racing, despite the exceptional power, of each, of its beats. Silently, the creature prepared to make its attack. Eventually, the slower heart beat closed, to within a couple of yards, of the creatures resting place, at which point, a huge was the aura, of power, washed over the creature. Having begun its attack, the creature had been so surprised, by the wave of power, that flowed over her, that it paused midway into her attack. It was to amazement, that her surprised turned, when she noticed that her prospective prey had shut eyen.
There had been no attempt to avoid Di’s hands, by the creature, that had arisen from the car’s boot. As soon as Di’s hands made contact with the creature, it cried out, at the inhuman chill of Di’s touch and the total wrongness, of what was happening. A desperate need for survival and the impact of Di’s touch finally shocked the vampire, into renewing its attack. Instants after the vampire had cried out, its mouth descended and closed on Di’s throat. As fangs tore at her flesh, Di’s hands grabbed the vampire’s head, only for the vampire to seconds later start sucking Di’s blood. Continue reading
Once all of them were out, of the cellar, their mutual headache started to diminish; despite that Di remained unconscious, even after James lay Di down, next to an occupied body-bag. As soon as Jay released Di, it was with a thoroughly professional haste, that Jo checked Di over, despite which Jo could find no physical cause for Di’s condition, “The only thing I can suggest, by way of a medical cause, of her condition, is exhaustion.”
The link, between their four minds, told them that Di’s mind only functioned on a very primitive level, just doing those things needed, to continue her existence; no dreams. There was just the noise of a brain struggling to control vital functions. Al knelt by her and worked a simple divination;, for, before James and Di had joined the fellowship, Al had been the prime Operative Field Adept. James’s contact with Di, when he had carried her out of the cellar, had given him the impression that, despite her condition, Di had no real need to emit or gain energy; she was still charged with power. Despite Al casting a spell, it detected no hostile enchantments, alien influences or an external cause for Di’s unconsciousness. Frustration showed upon Al’s face, as did her desperation
and concern; “I cannot find out what is wrong, everything detects as being normal or very healthy. Jay, you…”
James’s worried face nodded, “Her body has much more energy than is normal for a mortal, she has about the same energy as when she stopped me… Much less than when she started to feed off me.”
“There might be something else that we can try;” Al searched through Di’s as well as her own pockets, “First though, you try and pass energy to her.”
James shook his head; “I can only do it if she lets me.”
“Do it!” Al guided his hands down onto Di. As soon as they made contact, James tried channelling energy to Di, but he could not overcome her innate resistance to such activities. After the initial failure, James next tried to get her to steal it from him, that failed as well, because she was too deeply unconscious to even do it, subconsciously. Continue reading
Having freed herself from James’s embrace, Di moved, to the rear and leant against a wall. Kneeling James opened his tool bag, as in a distant corner, of the cellar, a shape moved. Before Di knew what had happened, Al was stood, between her and the moving shape and James had pulled a light out, of the bag, and turned it on.
As the light’s strength grew, it slowly spread its circle of illumination out over the vast expanse of the cellar. Its light first illuminated the tool bag and a small circle of the cellar’s earthen floor. Then James, Al and Di were in the pool, of light. Expanding slowly, the circle of light encompassed one, then three and finally — when the light reached all of the cellar — there were five massive wooden chests illuminated, by it. It was at this time, that Di saw, why Al had moved, to shield her, this triggered the raising and aiming of her repeating crossbow, at the feral humanoid shape, that leapt, from the corner, of the cellar. Dropping the shotgun, Al allowed blades to spring forth from her hands, as she jumped, to intercept the creature.
With incomprehensible speed, James moved, to protect Di, “Di? What do you mean, they’re all too young…”
Di thought back to him; «Use the link, you idiot. Not enough power here, an army of these…»
Parrying the creature’s fangs, with her sinister blade, as it went to bite her, Al’s dexter one punched, through the creatures leathery stomach. If leather covered bone, could have, formed expressions, the creature’s face would have shown its surprise. What is this thing, it is too fast to be living and it is certainly not one of us, the unquiet ones, were the general nature of its thoughts, as Al’s hand reached up, through the gash, in its stomach, and tore out its heart.
James sent, «They’re waking.» Continue reading