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.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 94

Lina quietly ate away at meat and vampire wares in the dark of the crypt.  She was interrupted by the sound of a person opening the door to the crypt.  Some faint light was visible down the stairs and Lina automatically recoiled from it, grabbing a cloak to cover herself.

Several pairs of feet came stomping down the stairs.  In the lead was Andrei who bore a bronze candleholder, with single candle, which he shielded with his hand.

“Lina, good to see you.  Hope I’m not interrupting anything,” he said to her.  She nodded back to him.

Behind him, Vasile and Flaviu followed.  They waved their greetings and then proceeded to sit in a circle on the ground amongst the coffins, around the candle that Andrei had set down.

“We’re planning our attack,” Flaviu began, addressing Lina, “We need you to tell us what you can about the layout of the caves.  How many rooms and halls and how are they oriented?  Especially, what’s the entrance like?  How would we get in?”

“The entrance is surrounded by shrubbery and covered by a large rock, which I can lift,” Lina explained, “Behind the rock is a wooden door.  After the wooden door is a down-sloping cave which leads to the Great Hall.  From there, you have another cave leading into a long hall, down which all the bedrooms are located and the pen.”

Flaviu had to interrupt at this point, “Alright, so to invade, we’d have to lift a rock, then we’d have to use a battering ram to pummel open the door?  And we’d face no countermeasures here (no archers raining down on us from the wall or hot oil being poured on us); so it’d be pretty easy.  Then we’d simply be facing some forty odd vampires in hand to hand combat in the caves?”

“There’s nothing simple about that last step,” Andrei said, “In hand to hand combat the vampires would tear you to shreds.  This is nothing like traditional siege warfare.  These vampires are vicious, they’re fast and they’re strong.  It’d be a bloodbath if you tried to enter that way.”

“It’s true.  I am not the strongest among them, but I believe I could kill all three of you right now before you could escape this room,” Lina said, with a certain chilling frankness that brought the three men to a dead silence, “It is out of courtesy that I do not.”

There was a long pause before Vaile continued, “I just wanted to add that I’ve been hunting vampires my whole life.  No hunter ever gets close to them if he wants to live.  We use arrows and crossbows from a distance and we thoroughly disable them before we approach, both because they’re dangerous and we have to worry about infection.”

“But within those confined space, projectiles are almost worthless.  There’s no space for us to put distance between us and the vampires.  We start firing on them, and they storm our archers and kill them in a matter of moments,” Flaviu objected.

“Exactly.  And you’re not even mentioning that this will all be in the dark,” Andrei said, raising his hand to draw their attention to their current surroundings, “These are underground caves.  And the vampires can see vastly better than you and I in the dark.”

“Excuse me,” Lina quietly interjected, “It’s not completely dark.  There’s torches and candles everywhere, and if it’s during the day, there’re some small holes in the ceiling of the Great Hall.”  Lina had been hesitant to speak, and as soon as they all turned to look at her, she shyly lowered her eyes.  She added, “They permit some light in through the ceiling and give us fresh air.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Vasile said, dismissing her comment, “In dim light or complete blackness they have the advantage.”

“Wait a minute, though,” Andrei pointedly interjected, “Did you say there’s light coming in through the ceiling?”  Lina looked at Andrei confused, but she nodded.  “So those light holes presumable extend to the surface, right?” Andrei asked.  Lina again nodded, and Andrei continued, “Do you know how many of these holes there are and where we could find them from the surface?”

“There’s two of them I know of,” Lina said, “I don’t know where they come out on the surface, but I could figure it out.  Nonetheless, I don’t know why you should be interested.  They’re far too small to enter through.  They’re only maybe a hand’s breadth in diameter.”

“No, but maybe we could expand them.  We could dig through the ceiling.  That’s where we should be entering from.  If we can bore an opening through the ceiling, then we can snipe from there,” Andrei suggested.

“But how are we going to open the roof without being detected?  It’d take the hand of God to lift so much earth quickly enough to surprise them.  It’s not like just popping open the lid of a barrel to peak at what’s inside,” Vasile objected.

“Ahh, but we don’t need to lift off the lid of the barrel,” Flaviu said, with a burst of laughter rising in his stomach, “We just need to blow it to splinters.”

<-- Go to Part 93         Go to Part 95 -->

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

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