Friday, November 25, 2011

Achievements of a Fallen Vampire: Part One

The first few pages of Achievements of a Fallen Vampire. I decided to realease it in installments.

Achievements of a Fallen Vampire
Xadian stood within the ring of thrones and pedestals, each throne occupied by one of his fellow Lords, save one. His own. The Vampire Council. The rulers of the known lands. The all powerful overseers who ran the day to day lives of so many. His former friends.

The High King, Arcanus Fang-Master spoke.

“Xadian Night-Shade, we are here today to state your sentence. We,as the Vampire High Council, find you guilty of treason against vampires as a race. You are hereby banished from vampire society. You will be stripped of all rank, titles, and powers. You will live out the rest of your days as a Fallen Vampire, with nothing but the clothes on your back and a Fallen Sword. Guards, remove him.”

Many of his former friends on the Council looked uneasy or guilty as the King spoke. One in particular, Azanami of the Blue Fire, his own mentor, looked ready to stand and protest. But the decision was absolute. The guards grabbed Xadian's arms from behind, and led him away, into the shadows he once controlled and called friends.

Three years had passed. He still had the sword he had been given when they took his own away. It was a cheap but sturdy blade, forged in blood as was the custom for all vampire swords. He still kept the mark on his forehead, the mark of a Fallen Vampire, concealed by his pitch black hair. He rubbed the symbol, a circle enclosing an F, and looked around the rundown tavern he'd walked into, glancing at each of the customers wallowing in their drink. He was always on the lookout for full vampires, who would take every chance to make his life harder. Especially his life, more so than others. Every vampire with a mind for politics knew his name.

From the werewolves' wastes of the north to the deserts to the south, he was universally hated. Humans resented him for his endeavors as a vampire, but still might welcome him if in the right mood, while vampires believed him irrevocably guilty of treason. The werewolves hated all vampires, and all races for that matter. The phantoms hated all vampires as well, for the enslavement they had been subjected to centuries ago. The Night-Wings couldn't care less, having long ago foregone all matters concerning the other races, instead choosing to remain high above the earth in their own floating societies. A myriad of other races were less than trusting of vampires as a whole, and some might, in a good mood, allow him to join their gatherings as a result of his decision that led to his conviction of treason against the full vampires. The only ones who truly welcomed his company were his fellow Fallen. Which brought him to this seedy tavern.

The man he was there to meet, a Fallen Vampire by the name of Berith, was sitting in a chair by a table. His head was low but he was obviously rather cheerful at the moment. His brown hair was parted in the middle, proudly displaying his mark. He obviously didn’t mind being a Fallen Vampire. His clothes were plain, simple pants and a shirt. He wore a cape, which was not uncommon. Xadian wore a cape himself. Just then, Berith noticed him.

Xadian was waved over, and told to take a seat. As he did so Berith took a flask from his pocket and poured a red liquid into a glass. It was blood, or at least looked like it.

“Come, drink.”

“I don’t drink anything I didn’t draw myself. The way the council hates me, its safer.”

In response Berith took a swig from the flask, demonstrating its safety. Xadian still waited a second before taking a sip.

“So my friend. What shall we talk of?” Berith asked. “Our mutual friend tells me your quite the fighter. Quite the honorable knight. Tell me of your exploits.”

Xadian, though taken aback, proceeded to recount his latest adventures. As the story neared a close, they became aware of a commotion outside the tavern. They could hear screams and shouts, and the sound of swords clashing. Berith stood.

“Come, my friend. Let us forget the old adventures and have new ones.” He walked to the door as Xadian rose.

Outside, there was fighting in the streets. It seemed a group of bandits had chosen this day to attack this village. There were about twenty, and they each carried an assortment of weapons. The leader was apparent by the gold rings on his fingers. Dead lay on the ground, the bodies of those who had tried to resist. Many of the inhabitants of the village had already taken refuge in their homes, hiding as the rogues went from house to house, pillaging. Xadian and Berith took this in in the seconds before they were noticed. Then the bandits surrounded them, shouting and jeering as they brandished their weapons. Xadian brushed his hair away from his eyes, momentarily revealing the mark on his forehead. For an instant, the bandits looked slightly less sure of themselves. Then Xadian was over their heads, jumping behind them as Berith drew his sword.

In the instant it took the bandits to decide between Xadian and Berith, it was too late. Berith had one of the bandits dead in a flurry of blows, as Xadian wrestled another to the ground and bit his neck. As the bandit's blood drained from his body he stopped fighting. The rest of the bandits quickly attacked, but they were outmatched and split in two. Xadian jumped on a house, blood still dripping from his mouth, flipping in midair. While his half watched his acrobatics they were taken from behind by Berith, who easily sprinted from his group to Xadian's. For a second it seemed Berith was unstoppable but as the the bandit returned to a single group he was wrestled to the ground. No one dared to come close enough to strike him down, and it took three men to hold him to the ground. As Berith struggled, Xadian was sneaking up behind the group of bandits. He pulled one away, pummeling him to death. His fists never seemed to stop moving, and his opponent quickly fell to the ground. The bandits who weren't preoccupied with Berith moved for Xadian. The first one to reach him was dealt with quickly, perishing from a single punch to the nose. The next died in a similar manner, his head hitting the ground bare seconds after the first man's. Then Xadian was surrounded and fell from Berith's view. He was not beaten however, and men still flew back from the fight. One flew through the tavern door as another hit a house and fell to the ground, dead.

It was clear Xadian was a masterful fighter, as barely a single blow connected. And he still had yet to draw his sword. Even the bandits leader was no match, thrown clear through a wall a few seconds into the brawl. Berith still struggled to free himself, finally managing to throw off one of the bandits. His arm was freed and he soon was standing, his sword singing through the air. As one of his opponents heads rolled off his shoulders, another gave up fighting and ran away.

Xadian's foes were no longer fighting, having gone the way of the coward, or more appropriately the way of the genius. There was no hope for mortals against him even as a Fallen. He thought about giving chase but decided against it. Berith, on the other hand, had other ideas. He was still raising his sword. Then.

The air seemed to slow, and a pinprick of light formed in front of Berith's sword. It expanded over the next three seconds, until it was a disc about six inches in diameter. Then, the light flared. A beam of light shot through the air. It glowed bright white, then red. As it hit the escaping bandits, they froze in midair. Then, they turned to dust, disintegrating. In less than a second, they were no more.

It's taken me this long to come up with a suitable reason for Xadian's banishment. At first it was going to be he opposed a new taxation. Plan B was he opposed a proposal to invade the werewolves wastes. It took me a while to realize the full implications of this proposal. Once I did, it got the position. It'll be explained in a later installment, and I hope it makes Xadian as much of a hero as I think it does.
EDIT: Changed the number of bandits from ten to twenty after I realized they killed more than ten in the first two paragraphs of the fight. Should have realized that before I had to count em.

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