The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 44

That same morning, Magistrate Lucian covertly exited the town hall and snuck into the forest.  He promptly walked in the direction of the vampire coven, constantly checking his back to make sure that no one had seen him.  He was most worried about his secretary, Beniamin, who he’d sent on an errand to talk with a few of the local farmers, which would hopefully keep him away for a few hours, plenty of time for Lucian to perform his own errand and return.

After some considerable walking, he could see in the distance the dry channel and thick nest of trees, which surrounded the entrance to the coven.  He plowed into the shrubs, through which he had to pass to reach the entrance.  He had tried before to pick up the large rock that furnished the door to their coven, but had been unsuccessful.  When he tried it now, straining with all his might to raise the stone, he again made no progress.

Fortunately there was a small hole in the ground that provided air and light to the interior of the coven.  He tramped off in that direction.  Some thirty paces away from the entrance a large boulder partially jutted out of the ground.  Down the middle it was cracked into two separate large pieces, and between them was a significant gap.  The gap appeared to simply look downward into an empty blackness, but it, in fact, extended down into the cave of the coven.  Lucian put his mouth to this gap and called out loudly, “It’s Lucian.  Open the entrance.  I can’t open it.”

He put his ear to the gap to listen for a sound of response.  A few seconds later he heard a distinct shout, “Open it for Lucian.”

Lucian hustled back to the stone, which now was gradually opening.  It was only opened partially and Lucian had to descend to his knees and crawl through.  On the other side a vampire, wearing his hooded cloak and wearing gloves and a head covering to protect his skin looked down at Lucian and let down the rock once Lucian was inside.  In the darkness, Lucian rose to his feet, and the inner, wooden door was opened.

Lucian passed through, now walking downward through the entry hall, and finally turning the corner to reach the main room of the coven, the Great Hall.  The room was almost empty, except for two vampires performing routine cleaning and maintenance.  During the daylight hours, two small shafts of sunlight lit the room to a dim twilight.  One of the shafts of light, penetrating through the hole that Lucian had spoken through, pointed directly downwards and terminated on an outcropping of rock erected to block the light from slicing directly into the center of the room.  The other light, at the opposite end, angled sideways and terminated in a wall.  The holes provided light and air, but were angled so that no direct light would ever touch a vampire.  The vampires didn’t want to have to move around within their coven with cloaks and black clothes, as they found these stiflingly hot, so any direct daylight had to be redirected so it would not strike the skin of the loosely clothed vampires.

Asha was called into the room, and she walked to her throne, while Lucian stood waiting.  “What is it?” she asked.

Lucian deferentially bowed to Asha and humbly reported, “I’ve visited and spoken with officials from all of the local villages, visited Count Mihai, a local landlord, as well as visited representatives of the Bathorys and Zapolyas, two of the biggest aristocratic families of the region.  None of them have objected to your agreement to end vampire-human killings, and said they are willing to honor it, so long as the vampires are faithful in their part.”

“Then, we shall have to visit Vallaya and make our agreement official,” Asha said.

Lucian bowed his head and tentatively suggested, “It would be better if we did it in Terem.  That’s the biggest village around here.  I know it’s a longer journey for you.  I can provide you with a carriage.”

“What I have to do to please you filthy creatures,” she complained, “The carriage better be dark.  But were you able to persuade them to destroy those infernal vampire medicines?  Are they willing to destroy Andrei’s business and stop the execrable practice of consuming our dead?”

“No,” Lucian admitted, lowering his head, “They benefit from it too much.  They’re unwilling to concede.”

“You really are despicable creatures,” Asha frowned and added through gritted teeth, “This agreement will have to do for now.  But don’t consider it our last.”

<-- Go to Part 43         Go to Part 45 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

No comments:

Post a Comment