Mystic-Scholar writes "
Sir Ivon Story
It was exquisite,
the perfect weapon for . . . destroying the Undead.
I still remember
that long night of vigil and the glorious morning that followed. I do
not believe that Pelor's light had ever shone more brightly. Of
course, I appreciate that such a belief is simply my own point of
view. After my knighting ceremony, his Beatitude Deland, High Priest
of Pelor, had counsel to give. One observation in particular, stands
out in my mind even now. He said to me:
dedicated yourself to a work that has no end. In that regard, your
patience will surely be tried, for as you slay the one, another will
arise in its place."
And so it would
prove to be.
* * *
News reached us in
Leukish in the form of a request for assistance from Brian Gevon, the
Rector in Pontyrel. His Ostiary disappeared while investigating
rumors of vampires. There had been reports of townspeople going
missing, but very few of the reports could be substantiated, as it
was mostly derelicts and prostitutes that had disappeared.
Pontyrel boasted a
population of sixty-five hundred souls; large enough that many of the
city's missing underprivileged would go virtually unnoticed, even
unreported. But Pelor's church looked out for such persons, feeding
and caring for them to the best of the church's ability, especially
at this time of year; Needfest.
So the Ostiary investigated . . . and vanished.
vampires? Do you doubt that I would, myself, investigate?
* * *
My arrival in
Pontyrel went unnoticed, for the most part. My particular calling
allowed me to travel incognito. I had a tabard and shield which were
proudly emblazoned with Pelor's holy symbol, but they were packed
away. I would not don them until I faced my enemy; an event I
fervently looked forward to.
* * *
I am still haunted
by the look in my father's eyes, as I drove the stake home. I
remember what I saw there: recognition, revulsion . . . gratitude. He
had been glad that I was there to end his torment. While both
necessary and proper – Pelor's continued blessings upon me proved
that – the memory of my actions on that day always left a taste of
bile in my mouth, a burning in my throat. Yes, the faces of my family
still haunt me . . . in the dark of night.
* * *
I felt that my
anonymity would serve me well in my hunt. Though I had only the
briefest of glances, I still saw more of my enemy's features than he
could have seen of mine. A vile of holy water to the face will do
that; to the Undead.
I do not doubt that the creature remembers the event, but my face?
sufficiently large enough to offer such creatures' ample hiding
places; abandoned homes, warehouses and cellars. There was a 'seedy'
side of town too, filled with all manner of nighttime revelry;
taverns, brothels and drug dens. All of these establishments would
allow the fiends' nocturnal natures to pass unnoticed and provide an
ample supply of victims for them to prey upon; people whose absence
would go unnoticed. Such persons provided them the perfect food
source. In addition, vampires could enter such places freely, unlike
a private residence.
* * *
After three days of
pretended carousing – vampires do not feed as often as we mortals –
I finally unearthed one of the monsters. Not the one for whom I
quested, unfortunately, but then any of its ilk was prey to me.
I was in one of the
more high priced brothels in the east end of the city. The lighting
was dimmed and the foul fiend's pallid features were less notable. It
reclined upon a couch in a far corner with one of the establishments
'ladies of the night.' I was sitting across the room from it, sipping
a glass of wine and appeared to be giving due consideration as to
which cocotte I would, myself, soon lead upstairs.
As I said, the
creature did not appear noticeably different from any of the others
in the room in the low light, but his pale complexion did not escape
my notice. No doubt the creature wore some thespian maquillage to
cover over the pasty quality of its skin. The woman's expression led
me to believe that she was mesmerized by the creature's gaze; she had
a lost and faraway look in her eyes. This was all simply conjecture,
of course . . . until they arose to leave.
They passed a small,
wall mounted mirror as they departed. The woman's reflection was
clearly seen, but the creature's was not. The villain no doubt felt
that such an insignificant item was no threat. After all, in a place
such at this, who would be paying attention to such a trifle as that?
I arose when they
entered the hallway, but did not follow too closely. As I entered the
hallway, I saw them . . . just as they turned towards the back of the
establishment. He was not taking her upstairs, but towards a rear
I followed them
outside, but only after pausing just inside the doorway, being sure
to keep a safe distance. I wanted to be close enough to intervene at
the right moment – so as to save the woman – but not so close
that the vampire would notice me following. After a block and a half,
the fiend turned into a darkened alleyway. Since I was now hidden
from its sight, I closed the distance quickly, my hatred rapidly
intensifying! I withdrew my holy symbol from beneath my shirt and
muttered a quick prayer to the 'Sun Father' as I turned into the
An unnatural mist
was swiftly rising within the alley and the air was unmistakably
colder than it should have been. I could clearly see their shadowed
forms – a small distance ahead – outlined against the miasma by
the moon's silvery light. I speedily advanced upon them, drawing my
sword as I did so. The vampire looked upon me and smiled, supremely
confident in its considerable abilities, but completely unaware of
what it truly faced . . . its second and final mistake of the night.
It foolishly warned
me away from its intended prey. Instead of stopping however, I
increased my pace and cried out; calling upon Pelor's holy power!
Instantly, both my holy symbol and sword burst into dazzling, white
light! The creature's expression quickly changed from one of glee,
into one of astonishment! It knew that it had erred.
My sword was raised
upon high as I reached my foe! The creature threw up its arm to ward
off the blow, but my hatred lent me strength! With a war cry upon my
lips, I brought the blade swiftly down! It sliced cleanly through the
upraised appendage and bit deeply into the creature's body; cutting
through muscle and sinew, hewing through shoulder bone, burying
itself deep inside the chest cavity. But it did not end with that
I quickly withdrew
my sword from the fiend's body; the creature staggered against the
side of the building. Promptly drawing my sword back again, I swung
it towards the monster's neck with all my power; its head flew from
its shoulders! Time seemed momentarily suspended as I watched the
vampire's body sway in the moonlight, finally falling into a heap at
my feet; black, foul smelling ichor leaking from its ghastly wounds.
Upon the fiend's
expiration, the girl began to come out of her daze. I took hold of my
holy symbol and commanded the girl return to her brothel; she could
not refuse the compulsion. As she left, I quickly knelt and drew two
holy wafers from a pouch at my belt, placing them into the mouth of
the creature. These would suffice to keep the fiend comatose and
thwart its restorative powers. Stuffing the head into a sack, I stood
and looked to see the girl nearing the street from which we had
entered the passage. I conjured a mist to obscure my own departure
and left in the opposite direction.
Should anyone come
upon the scene before sunrise, all they would find was a butchered
and headless corpse. After sunrise, nothing but ashes . . . and
that's how I wanted it. I wanted them doubting and fearful, wondering
what had happened to one of their number. It was their turn to know
what it was to be . . . hunted.
Tomorrow night, the
hunt would start all over again. I slew one of the fell beasts this
night, but it was not the vampire for which I quested. That fact
would not deter me however, nor even slow me down.
How long would it
take, you ask? How long would I continue the hunt for the slayer of
my family? That depends; just how many vampires are there in the
work is never done.