We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.
I change shape and take to the air. It is a clear, cold night, with no clouds to hinder my vision. Below me, the dark canopy of the forest bears an even darker scar; the trail of the old river and its sister road to town and Arcalian.
Despite my near limitless power, I am cautious about openly wandering in a human city on a clear night. I have had run-ins with them before and I have no wish to draw undue notice. I soar in a long gliding circle to free my mind for concentration.
It takes but a moment.
Then the storm begins to build, drawing in clouds from the distant sea. They roil and churn in the darkening night, reaching forth with long writhing tendrils as if to grasp the town with a shadowy hand. A chilling gust of wind sweeps through the forest trees and the mists boil forth from the valley floor. All told, I spend an hour circling the town while the storm gathers its strength. Then, as the first lightnings begin to flash and the rains begin to fall, I descend on shadowy wings into the heart of Drisdak, the city on the Sea of Sorrows.
The mages guild is easy to find; its rancid stench of magic can be smelled from blocks away. It’s a tall building, made of stone, looking more like a miniature keep than a guild house. Five circular towers loom up from a central stone edifice. I have no doubt that Arcalian can be found in the highest tower in the room of the guild master, undoubtedly basking in the luxuries my services provided.
About the Author
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” (http://matthewdryan.com/a-toast-to-dragons-the-blog/) a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels “Drasmyr,” “The Children of Lubrochius,” and “The Sceptre of Morgulan,” as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”
The Children of Lubrochius
The Sceptre of Morgulan
My Mailing List: http://www.matthewdryan.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi
My Website: http://matthewdryan.com
Matthew will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner during the tour.