Authors: JD Ravynsmoon
Copyright © 2012 by J.D. Ravynsmoon
Cover photo by
on Deviant Art
Cover model - Alice Spiegel
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.
Printed in USA
This is a work of fiction created purely for entertainment purposes only. All characters are inventions of the author and are not intended to imitate any real persons living, dead or undead. Any similarities are coincidental.
Heroes of Darkness Saga
At the dawn of time, many races existed on Earth, now long since turned to ash. One of these races, the Hemosapians, or Elders as they call themselves, fed upon the others to keep themselves alive.
Their bodies could not produce the blood cells needed to survive, so they found them in others. The Neanderthal with his diet rich in protein, and body quick to heal was the favored source of this much needed blood. By bloodlust and overhunting, the Neanderthals were completely wiped out forcing the Elders to look elsewhere.
First they turned to the Homo Floresiensis, now called the ‘Hobbits’ due to their stature, but they too were overhunted. Next the Elders turned to the Gigantopithecus, but these brutish hulks were far too dangerous to be a practical solution.
The leaders of the Elders could see the destruction of their race if they could not convince their brothers to change their ways. The only food source left to them was the Humans and so they knew it was time to act. The Humans themselves were quite weak blooded when compared to the Neanderthals or the Hobbits, but they were all that separated the Elders from their own extinction.
Luckily for the Elders, the brothers Zog and Magog had a plan. They would introduce the Humans to the Elder ideas of civilization. Creating a society cut off from the natural world by city walls, protected and domesticated for the ease of the Elders.
So it came to pass, the elders taught the humans music and writing, farming and speech, laws, respect for the gods and a structured society thus creating the first Kingdoms of man, and ruling as Demi-Gods among men.
Anya saw her uncle Magog’s hand twitch first, just moments before his chest heaved. In her innocence she thought at first the Gods had heard her prayers and returned her beloved uncle to her. That was before his eyes opened wide and red burning with the rage of the undead.
That was also before he locked those terrifying eyes on her and launched himself out of his casket at her. She could still feel his weight as he crushed her to the ground and the pain of his fangs as they tore into her neck draining her of her life’s blood.
Countless times since that night Anya’s dreams have returned her to those moments of horror and the blind rage of the dead that returned her to the world she once loved. That hate and hunger, all-consuming that drove her forward to consume the blood of the nearest human, was now all they had. It was this gift of the dark gods that had her blindly follow her beloved uncle, as she and his other creations sacked village after village, draining the blood of all they could find.
Sometimes they would simply overwhelm a settlement with speed and numbers, other times they would pretend to be normal travelers. These were the games they would play, an undead version of cat and mouse to see who’s hunger would break first. Anya still remembers well those nights blood soaked and giggling as they poked fun at one another amongst a pile of empty cooling bodies. She can vividly recall how her belly would ache filling her body with agony, doubling her over in pain if she would wait too long to feed on the blood of the living.
For many years this blood-lust consumed her every waking moment and as she slept, the images of her own death returned to haunt her. It has been said that the dead do not dream, but the un-dead most certainly do. From the very first night Magog awoke and created others like him men have feared the darkness. The legends and stories have been burned into all cultures, the Un-dead, the Risen, the Vampire and countless other names over the centuries that whisper of the corpses that will not rest.
She is one such creature, cursed to walk the Earth in search of the blood of the living. Her father Zog and her uncle Magog have always needed the blood of others to survive being born to the elder race, but the plague changed Magog. It killed his body and brought him back only to serve the bloodlust and the virus within. Now he and all of the others like him don’t just need the blood to repair their bodies, they are addicted to it. The pain of their hunger drives them to the brink of madness only the blood can ease, and in the release it grants, a feeling no experience can replace.
Now as her dreams subside and Anya’s body stirs to be fed does she remember her predicament. The wispy fog of death seeps from her bones only to be replaced by pain. As her senses return once more, she can smell the sweat of horses and men, grass and black rich earth. The salt air of the sea is gone now, replaced by the damp air of thick forest and sturdy farmland. With a light push, the lid of her coffin box rattles against the heavy chains and locks she has been bound by.
“Ah yes, the prison box my dear father had prepared for me.” She thought as she banged at the lid in frustration once more.
Anya felt as if something were holding her legs in place almost pining them together, it was as if some kind of spell had been cast to hold her. So much so that even if she did break through the wooden box holding her she would not be able to get very far.
“Must be part of his damn plan!” she grumbled to herself, again taking her frustrations out on the wood lid in front of her.
Her stirrings had now alerted the men around her that she was awake, drawing a quick warning from the man in charge.
“My lady, please do not struggle, we are within sight of our goal.”
Anya rolled her eyes before shouting back her response. “Your goals perhaps, not mine! My new goal is to kill you all and place the biggest pieces I can find in this little box!” she emphasized with a chain rattling thump.
“My lady I must insist you behave yourself!” came a smug little voice to her left. She could tell by the sound of his voice that this was not the guard captain who had first addressed her; this was a younger man not more than fifteen or sixteen by his sent.
The thought of his young blood made her fangs ache in hunger causing her to slam the lid of her prison box harder than before.
“I must feed!” she growled as hunger pang stabbed at her side.
“Soon enough you’re Grace, your dear father has seen to it that you will not starve before his return. Once we reach the castle and you get settled into your…accommodations.”
“You mean cell!!” she shouted over him.
“A meal will be provided for you, but only if you behave yourself Princess.”
Anya let out a sound half growl and half shout as she slammed her fist against the lid of the box sending splinters of wood into the air.
“Don’t call me that! My father’s kingdom fell centuries ago!” she shouted causing looks of concern to leap from soldier to soldier.
Anya could hear a mumbled prayer being said near her head and could not help herself but laugh.
“Don’t waste your breath priest he can’t hear you.”
The chubby man in simple brown robes and shaved skullcap stopped his prayer surprised at her words. “My lady Anya I would think you of all people would want to pray to the almighty for forgiveness and perhaps a cure for your possession.”
“Fool! I am not possessed, I am dead, I am a Risen!” she laughed once more.
The holy man pulled at his robes and scolded the creature. “My lady there is only one true ‘Risen’ and his name is Jesus Christ.”
“I met your Jesus once in Judea; he had a crowd of hundreds gathered around him begging for miracles. He went around trying to heal the sick and teach them about his philosophy, but most of them were not interested. They wanted him to give them pots of gold coins or weapons to fight the Romans instead of health or ideas of love and peace. And I will have you know he looked almost nothing like the paintings I have seen of him.”
The monk raised his eyebrows in surprise “So, did you ask him to heal you then?”
The Vampire paused in thought “No.” she said at last “No, I didn’t. I… I don’t know why, I… well I was going to kill him right there in front of all of his loyal followers and show them what true power was but I didn’t… I don’t know why but I didn’t.”
The priest smiled and said “Then perhaps he did heal you after all.”
A few moments of silence went by before the box shook from a violent thump once more “Stop smiling at me priest! I hate the sound of smiles!”
Both the annoyed corpse and the brown robbed priest walking behind her remained silent until the cart rumbled across a wooden span leading to the main castle courtyard.
“My lady we have arrived, now I must ask you once more to behave yourself until you are…”
Anya cut the priest off and finished his sentence for him, “Locked away? Oh don’t worry; I won’t trouble you just yet.” The priest frowned at her words but said nothing.
Anya could hear the pleasantries exchanged by the guard captain and one of the administrators of the castle, before she felt her prison box being carried into echoing halls of stone. As the casket changed in pitch and yaw, she counted the steps of the men carrying her to get a picture of the prisons layout. After more turns and stairs along with the squeak of iron bars, she felt the casket come to rest with a jolt.
The Vampire smashed through the wooden lid with her right fist, catching one of the guards in the face and sending him flying back against the stone wall. The others scrambled out of the cell and slammed the door shut behind them, leaving their comrade to his fate. They watched in horror as the box they had believed to be securely holding their prisoner, exploded from within sending wood and chain links flying in all directions.
Anya sat up and could feel the work of some kind of binding spell holding her legs together, with a fang filled hiss she backed the terrified soldiers away from the door before turning back to the one now locked in the cell with her. The pain in her limbs screamed at her for the relief only the blood of the living could bring.
Her victim barely had time to scream before she tore at his throat, releasing his life and allowing the pain in every cell of her body to subside. The brown robed priest watched her feed transfixed by the horror of it all. It was not the goriness of the scene, or even the surreal nature of this seemingly cannibalistic act that shocked him, as much as it was the sheer joy and smile of contentment on her face as she sat back and licked her fingers clean. He crossed himself out of habit but could not turn away.
One of the guards vomited before joining his comrades in a mad dash up the stone steps to be away from the monster, but still the monk could not move.
“Well, did you enjoy the freak show priest?” Anya asked as she let her shoulders slump with a smile.
“I…I am not a priest, I am a monk, a friar, Brother James.” He protested.
The Vampire closed her eyes and stretched her newly fed muscles with a fang filled yawn. “A friar? A friar of what Jimmy? Goose? Chickens? No wait I know, Pork bellies! No doubt that is your favorite, I can still smell it on you friar Tuck!” she said with a giggle.
The monk blinked in confusion, “Tuck? Why did you call me that? What does it mean?”
“It means you need to Tuck in your belly you fat bastard!” she laughed.
“My lady,” Friar James began ignoring the Risen’s insult, “Please pray with me for the Christian soul of the poor man you just murdered and for the forgiveness of your sins.”
Anya opened her eyes again and frowned at him saying, “You really mean it don’t you Tuck? You actually believe you can save me don’t you?”
“Our Lord spent his time on this Earth not with the pure and the holy, but with those who needed his guidance most.” He said and finished by crossing himself in the Christian way.
Anya whistled through her fangs and shook her head, “Wow, that would explain the binding spell on my legs, you cast this on me didn’t you?” she asked as she used the stone wall behind her to get to her feet.
Brother James frowned at her saying, “Prayer my Lady Anya, not spell, I am not a magic user.”
Anya smirked at him, “Is that so? Well whatever you may call it, it is effective magic; I can’t move my legs at all.”
“Magic is evil! The Holy word says ‘thou shall not suffer a witch to live’, all I have done is call upon the powers of the almighty to keep evil in check.” He replied in a huff.
The Vampire smiled at him, “Your holy book was referring to poisoners not practitioners of hedge magic, you really should try reading it in the original Aramaic. And if I understand what you just said you are using an evil power to control… what, another evil power? So it would seem that magic from your God is fine but magic from anywhere else is evil. So you are both a hypocrite and a bigot then.”
The monk’s jaw dropped, “My lady they are not the same thing!” he insisted.
Again the Risen shook her head saying, “You just don’t understand how it works. Isn’t a prayer a kind of spell? Well let’s see…a spell is where a focused intent is repeated to gain a desired outcome, and so is a prayer. You see it is not the God you invoke that creates the power of the spell or prayer to work, but the faith you have behind it. You my dear Tuck are a very dangerous man since you have an overabundance of true faith.” She gestured towards her legs saying, “Do you mind?”
The monk blinked in confusion before realizing what she meant. “Oh, well if I do release you than you must first pray with me for that man and promise not to attack anyone else.”
Anya rolled her eyes, “Oh boy, look if you think I am so evil or possessed by your devil or something, then what makes you think I won't just lie to you to get what I want? What good would my promise be to you?”