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, April 13, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 60

Nonetheless, Sim explained to Lina: “It must have been nearly forty years ago when Asha took control of the coven.  It’s hard to keep track of time.  After living for more than a century, a year is so small.  For you, forty years is more than your whole life, but when you get as old as I am, time will change.

“Back then, the coven was different: more disorganized, more chaotic.  We had no steady food supply.  When we’d get hungry, we’d organize raiding parties and seek out some village or house and grab whatever humans we could and just gorge on their flesh until we were sated.  And since we were careless, we’d accidental infect people all the time and get picked off by vampire hunters, of which there were many, especially after we returned from these orgies of feasting.  The caves were just a place to hide out during day or until we got hungry again; so no one really took care of this place.   It was a mess.  We lived like animals, always getting into vicious fights.  Even worse, the human populations in the surrounding villages were in decline.  We were predators overgrazing our herd.

“Until Asha seized power.  To do so, she had to kill a very ancient vampire, a man of some five centuries named Jule.  Jule was a fierce, intimidating man, he was hard and intense and more than willing to kill any vampire that offended him.  Asha wasn’t the first to try and kill him, but she was the first to succeed.”

Sim paused to rest, relaxing in his bed and taking a few breaths.  He was clearly short on strength at the moment.  Finally Lina had to ask, “How did she kill him?”

“No one knows for sure but her and Jule,” Sim answered, “The rumor is that she cut his head off.  She seduced one of his guards who let her enter his room when he wasn’t there, and she hid.  Since he was exceptionally paranoid and would check every corner of his room before he went to sleep and always locked the door with a full guard to protect him, the only place she could hide without being discovered was in the toilet, by which I mean down the hole of the toilet.  Then, after he was asleep, she quietly crawled out of the toilet with a massive blade strapped to her back and quietly approached the bed.  Then she decapitated him.  She sliced down so hard on his neck that the blade sliced completely through his mattress down to the stone floor.  Then she ate him.  After that it was considerably easier to kill the five other vampires that stood between her and the leadership.”

“How did she crawl out of the hole of the toilet?” Lina asked, “It’s not that big.”

“She’s a svelte woman,” Sim said, shrugging his shoulders, “And flexible.  That’s what they say.  So, after she takes control, she changes everything.  First of all, she thinks there’re way too many vampires.  We must’ve had as many as a hundred and twenty to a hundred and thirty vampires in here, and slowly she killed them off, either by deliberately sending them in the way of the vampire hunters or just killing them off for crimes or incompetence.  She wanted to bring the coven down to exactly sixty-one vampires.  Sixty-one she saw as the perfect number, and she wanted to keep it permanently at that number.  You were brought in to replace Sol, who’d died recently.  Though you being brought in was unusual.  She also had to stop us from infecting humans and had to try and eliminate all the vampire hunters to keep them from picking us off.

“She also started making us kidnap humans instead of simply killing them when we found them so we could hold them here.  We expanded the caves, and she barred off a huge section of our caves to contain them.  She had grand visions of eventually accumulating enough that we could maintain a stable breeding population of humans.  The humans would breed and produce children, which would replace the ones we killed.  To feed the humans we had to persuade a number of local farmer to give us grains in exchange for protection from becoming our victims.

“She helped craft new ways to process dead humans so that we would eat the whole body, instead of just the blood, inspired by the techniques of the apothecaries.  And she also cleaned up the caves so that they looked much nicer, adding new rooms, and giving us all assigned work, which was essential, since we were now spending more time down here, and were trying to build a self-sustaining community.”

“Has she succeeded?” Lina asked.

“Mostly,” Sim said, “We’re finalizing an agreement that will end vampire hunting.  And as you saw, the number of humans we have is in the hundreds and could sustain us indefinitely, if they were cooperative and bred like we want them to, which they don’t.  There’s always a new problem, but we’re coming close to achieving Asha’s goal.”

<-- Go to Part 59         Go to Part 61 -->

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

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