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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 47

Late that afternoon, in the forests near Vallaya, while the sun was still above the horizon, Vasile and Anton trained.  Vasile forced Anton to fire shot after shot from his longbow into a tree.  Anton’s skill with the longbow was already quite developed and it showed.  From one hundred paces, he was able to consistently place his arrow into the center of the trunk he aimed for.

When Anton tried his hand at the crossbow, though, he was not nearly as successful, flying wide of his target with most of his shots.  Anton and Vasile were constantly searching behind the tree to fetch the crossbow bolts that he’d thrown off target.

Vasile explained as they searched, “The crossbow isn’t quite as accurate as the longbow, but it is easier to aim and more effective.  I’ve modified the bolts of the crossbow so that they induce more bleeding.”

The shaft of the crossbow was much thinner than the arrow’s.  The head of the bolt consisted of two iron arrowheads, crossing perpendicularly to one another.  The arrowheads were not parallel with the shaft, and in fact curved partly around the shaft, like ribbons curling around a maypole.

“The curved arrowheads do more damage to the flesh when they penetrates the skin,” Vasile explained, “The most important thing is to get vampires to bleed, which weakens and ultimately kills them; unless you can hit them in a vital organ such as the brain or heart, which can kill them immediately in one shot.  The problem with most arrows is that the shaft of it mostly plugs up the hole when it penetrates, so they don’t bleed as much.  This is why I use larger arrowheads and thinner shafts.”

They then practiced by throwing the knife, which Anton greatly struggled with, his knife mostly slapping against the tree with its handle or not being thrown hard enough for the blade to penetrate.  Vasile warned him, “If you use the knife, keeping your distance is important.  The last thing you want to do is get any of their blood on you.  Close combat with vampires is simply not feasible.”

When they went out to hunt that evening, they saw nothing.  The vampires were quiet and Vasile told him, “Our days of vampire hunting are numbered.  There’s a meeting tomorrow, and we’ll have to attend.”

That meeting was convened by Lucian in the early evening after everyone was ready to retire after a long day’s work.  Crowds sat on the long benches that filled the main room of the town hall.  Everyone of importance was there.  Andrei and his wife Ileana sat next to each other, speaking quietly and confidentially.  Cornel, the blacksmith sat in the middle, still wearing his work attire, not speaking to anyone but sitting stiff and confidently in a calm and stoic way, his short black hair combed for the evening.  Beniamin sat in the front in colorful formal dress, anxiously reading a long scroll, which he sporadically interrupted to adjust his wig, or straighten his jacket.   Josif sat in one corner in his dirty work clothes, huddled by himself and with a posture of anger and bitterness.  He stared at his son, Anton, who sat next to Vasile and hadn’t addressed his father.  Josif’s eyes burned into Anton’s back, but the boy wouldn’t turn around to notice them, occasionally trading words with Vasile, but mostly remaining silent.

After some minutes of waiting, Lucian emerged from his office into the room, dressed formally in doublet and hose, and his usual white powdered wig on top.  He formally bowed before the crowd with extra flourish and began his speech, “My fellow villagers, I have called this meeting to apprise you of the latest developments, which I think you will find are eminently fortuitous to our situation.  As you know, the threat of the vampires has been a peril looming over our village since long before any of us here crawled from our mother’s womb.  Yet, nothing has been done about it, except to lock ourselves in at night and pray that the vampires fail to knock down these flimsy doors we hide behind.  That is, nothing has been done about it until now.

“In the interest of all citizens of Vallaya and in fact of all citizens of this great land, and of Transylvania and Romania and our neighboring countries, I have taken it upon myself to negotiate an end to all hostilities between vampires and humans, from hereon and in perpetuity.”

<-- Go to Part 46         Go to Part 48 -->

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

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