Chandrakandt has been dead for centuries, but his followers have no given up hope that he will return. Andreas and Raeburn have been waiting for the right moment, for the right person.
Christian is embroiled in a plot to resurrect the first, most evil vampire the land of Uraethan has ever seen. Sired at the age of 18, he will become responsible for the fate of the land.
Will he give into his powers of necromancy? Or, will he be able to stop the evil plot and save the humans of Uraethan?
Deep within a mountain, a defiantly inhuman man sat on a throne of hard, cold, stone. Looking around, he saw the sparse candlelight flicker over the bloodstained walls. Bodies, half supported and half suspended, hung from manacles at the back of the room. He smiled as he looked at them; he could feel their blood pumping feebly through their struggling bodies. He held a fragment of mirror to his face. Black hair cascaded to his elbows, deep red spreading upwards, about five inches from the tips. His eyes – slightly slanted, seeming constantly narrowed – were the brightest red, able to permeate any darkness. The smell of dried blood was sweet to his senses and he breathed deeply, relishing it. When he spoke, a deep, rich voice floated from between lips that were overwhelmed with two pointed canine teeth. His name, Chandrakandt, beloved by the moon, was an insult of the highest order.
As an elf, he had been Fiachra, the Raven, for the way his hair had shone like black wings. Had it not been for that meddling old king, Chandrakandt would not have been cursed into this half-life 255 years before; he would not now need the blood of the worthless humans, who should be his slaves, to survive; he would not be unable to see the face of the beautiful sun again. Chandrakandt could feel his pulse begin to race as he thought of the injustice he was being made to suffer. He reconciled himself to the fact that he was, at least, now able to pursue his more…desired past-times.
Pulling himself from his musing, and setting the mirror fragment aside, Chandrakandt watched his most-trusted men – his Order Masters – enter the room dragging a human girl in chains. He could feel her blood pumping quickly though her veins, as her heart raced. The Order Masters smiled at their lord in greeting. Chandrakandt saw something hesitant in the way they entered and knew they were all carefully guarding their thoughts from him. While he knew he could force his way into their minds, he refrained, anticipating a great surprise.
“My lord, we bring you a gift.” Zeroun, Master of Magic and the first sired, said. He bowed low and held the girl’s chains towards Chandrakandt. His green eyes shone radiantly in the light and his red hair hung in his face.
“Thank you. She is…lovely.” Chandrakandt’s voice was low, expectant. “Where did you find her?”
Gladwinaysu, your favourite.” Aridai of Healing, the fourth to be changed, replied also bowing.
“You have done well, catching her from right under the noses of those troublesome elves! Bring her to me.” He bared his canine teeth at the girl. She stared straight back at him, and he felt that she was daring him to take her. He was more than happy to oblige.
Luther, Master of Roamers and his second sired, and Zeroun brought the girl forward. The two vampyres handed her to their lord and stepped back hurriedly. As Chandrakandt took her face in his hands, she shivered violently, and he barely registered that her pulse had slowed dramatically. He smiled, thinking she shivered for fear of him. With a strength that was beyond any mortal man, he picked her off the floor and laid her across his lap, as a lover. He swept her hair away from her slender neck and bent over her, as a predator. Baring his teeth, he sunk them into her neck, making her cry out slightly. He drained her body of her life-blood, licking his lips once she was empty. Pulling away from her, he let her limp body fall to the ground at his feet. He cleaned the corners of his mouth with a small, black handkerchief.
“Such a pity…” He looked down at her lifeless body. Without her blood, she smelt little different to any other animal. “But, she was delic…” The great leader, the father of this new race, of hundreds of creatures, was racked with pain and doubled over, groaning.
“Hywel, lock the doors!” Luther shouted as Chandrakandt slid from his throne, falling next to the body he had just drained. Luther’s dark hair shone under the candlelight and his hazel eyes blazed with triumph.
“What…have you done to me?” Chandrakandt whispered, looking up at his five most-trusted men, the first five men he created after his own changing.
“We divined you ultimate plan, my lord. “Beaumont, Master of History and the fifth sired, spat out the honorific. “We could not let you go through with it. Too many lives would be lost. And, we just want to live in what peace we – the practically dead – can find.”
“You…you have murdered me…” Chandrakandt reached his hand out to Luther, as if in supplication.
“Yes, Sire, we have.” Zeroun stepped away from his lord.
“I think we will be able to live with our actions.” Hywel, Master of War, also stepped away.
“We have prevented the unnecessary death of millions.” Luther commented dryly.
And so, the five Order Masters watched as their leader, the first vampyre, died a horrible, painful death in retribution for the deaths he would have caused.
At this time, a vampyre who was studying magic under Zeroun had been walking past the Great Hall, in which Chandrakandt’s throne sat. Raeburn was a lank, rotten-looking man. He had leapt at the opportunity to become a vampyre and further his studies in magick. As he walked past the Great Hall, there was a sudden pain behind his eyes and he saw what the Order Masters – including his beloved Zeroun – had done to their Lord as though he were in the room with them. Raeburn drew himself up in anger.
“I avow, here in this place, that I will devote my life to Necromancy and resurrect you, my lord. He whispered roughly. “I will hunt down those treacherous bastards and take their lives from them as they have taken yours!” His grey eyes dulled and his hair turned from a dusky brown to shock-white with the force of his promise.
Raeburn looked around quickly, as though fearing someone would see him. He knew that many of the clan were not as loyal to their Lord’s vision of the world as they should be, and so they would follow the Traitors. He must bide his time and plan carefully. He looked around once more, smiling to himself, and ran off down the corridor to his room.
Far to the south, outside the town of Urthan, a quiet little cottage sat a ways from the cliff top. Inside, sat a young woman and a man, talking in the manner of old friends. The air was warm and the man could feel the soft, steady beats of the young woman’s heart. Suddenly, her bright, silver eyes glazed over and became storm grey, her head fell forward and her dark hair curtained her face from the man’s sight.
“Clarine! The man cried, lunging forward with uncanny speed to catch her. The darker skin of his hands contrasted starkly with her alabaster arms. His brown eyes crinkled in concern, until he heard the sluggish beat of her heart.
Clarine went rigid in his arms and he breathed in relief, knowing that she was having another of her vision. She would be exhausted, but she was fine. There was nothing for him to do now but wait it out and try to remember what she was about to say. And, there was no way he could not.
“One day, the peoples of Uraethan will be united, at least in name. To a young vampiric woman, this feat will be attributed… Nearly two centuries later, a boy will be born to a powerful witch…” The man looked around wildly for something to write down her words. He grabbed the closest thing to him, the small leather-bound book in which he was writing his History of the Chandrakandt Vampyres. He flicked to a random page, found his pencil and hastily scrawled what she had said thus far. He looked to Clarine, who began speaking again after a few ragged breaths. “After he brings the most evil vampyre back to the world of the living, these two vampyre children will either save the vampiric race, or drag it into ruin…”
The man watched Clarine breathe heavily for a few too many heartbeats and then she awoke with a start and sat up in her chair, as she had been before.
“Are you all right?” He asked her, taking her col hands in his.
“Yes, why?” She looked at him and he saw her face change as she realised his meaning. “Mitali…what did I say?”
Mitali showed her the hastily scrawled words he had written down, as near word perfect as he could make them; he knew the importance of a prophecy’s exact wording. As she read it, he thought about where he could hide the book. He was determined that no one could find it unless it was looked for when the time was right. But, he had no idea when that would be. It could be days, years or centuries from then. For now, he just had to find a safe place to hide it…
The next night, Raeburn was fuming. Just moments after he had made his vow, he had begun making plans to leave the mountain. He knew the Traitors would hide the body where they believed no one could find it. He needed to be out of the mountain to better search for it.
His ire had been intensified by the Traitors. He had just returned from a meeting which had been called, under the leadership of Luther, to inform the clan of Chandrakandt’s demise and the reason behind it. Raeburn had looked around the Hall as many vampyres cheered for the Traitors’ actions. However, to his pleasure, he had seen that there were enough who looked on with sneers of disdain. Raeburn smiled to himself, knowing he had some allies among the fray.
He had taken a meandering route but now, back in his room, he considered how best to approach these allies and recruit them to his cause. Amidst his frantic packing, he sensed a commotion in the natural order, which spoke to him of Chandrakandt; he gleaned there was a woman near Urthan who knew something of his future. Raeburn had to find her.
He ran out into the hallway and almost hit Mitali. Something buzzed within Raeburn as Mitali mumbled a distracted apology, and he knew that Mitali had something to do with the woman he was looking. On a deserted stretch of hallway, Raeburn – small though he was compare to Mitali – attacked Mitali and forced the bigger man to take him to the woman. Mitali, thinking he could dispatch Raeburn before Clarine was harmed, complied.
Raeburn was as sweet as his acidic nature allowed, when he arrived at the cliff-top cottage. Clarine, being used to vampyres, was relatively at ease. That was, until Raeburn unleashed his magick and threw Mitali into a wall. Inconveniently, Mitali smashed into a window and went straight through it, without hesitation. He lay on the ground outside, punctured with shards of glass and rose thorns. Inside, Clarine was left facing a magickal, supernatural monster. And, her power was unexceptional.
Raeburn advanced on her.
“Please, what is it you want?” Clarine cried, backing against a table.
“I want to know what you saw last night!” He yelled, his hideous face snarling.
“I…I don’t know what you mean…” She looked for Mitali, but he was still outside, pulling glass shards from his body.
“You know very well what I mean. Tell me what I want to know!” Raeburn threw everything in his magickal arsenal at her.
He whispered words so dark, cuts appeared all over her body. She could feel the cuts burning and the blood dripping all over her body as though she had been caught in a warm rain shower. Clarine could feel blows land on her torso and face, despite Raeburn standing meters from her. Raeburn magickally lifted her off the ground and threw her backwards. Clarine felt the wood splinter against her back as the table shattered. She looked up through bruised eyes, squinting at Raeburn as he advanced. She saw his arms move quickly towards her and, as his arms reached their full extension, she felt a burning in her stomach. Looking down, blood gushed from her midriff and she suspected she would not live much longer.
She heard a commotion at the door and looked over. Mitali was standing in the doorway.
“Raeburn, stop this! She has nothing to tell you!” Clarine watched as Mitali ran towards the ugly, little man. But, as he did, Raeburn conjured a sword, as though it had been hiding up his sleeve, and decapitated Mitali. Clarine whimpered.
“You will tell me what I want to know…” Raeburn whispered, turning on Clarine. He could tell her resolve had crumbled with Mitali’s death.
Barely conscious, she told him what she had read in Mitali’s book. Once she was finished, and lying in a crumpled, bloody heap against a wall, Raeburn smiled in victory and drained what little blood remained in her body. Clarine looked towards the broken window, imaging the salt-laden breeze coming in from the sea-battered cliffs.