I thought to extend this story several times, but I kinda felt it was dragging on for too long.
Daliliah sat at the table sipping a glass of blood, she drank only because of her foul mood. She could feel Nagash’s displeasure through the wind provided by her open balcony. One of them must of wagged their tongue. She grimaced and sipped, Daliliah suspected that since she hasn’t been destroyed yet she must still be in the Great Necromancer’s good graces. She shuddered as she thought the god, her queen bought her before him one time. That was a memory she sought to forget, but no matter how much blood she drank that single memory was sharp in her mind. Nagash’s piercing purple gaze tore through her dead soul, in but a few seconds he knew everything about her.
She then gave a wistful sigh while reflecting on that dreadful memory. Daliliah was happy with being chosen. She hated the politics that surround the soulblighted nobles of Dread Hollow and if she succeeds in Haven perhaps Queen Neferata would offer her the the entire land to rule? Then she could direct the nobles in taking the Kingdom of Crestfall. She snickered to himself “it would be so easy...” She brushed her red dress slightly with her pale fingers. “First I must recover, the White Tyrants are on my trail.” She was about to rise from her seat until her pointed ears shifted due to screeching of bats, a foul stench then began fill her nose. “You dare…” she hissed.
She bore her fangs but the visitor walked around the table. They were bald and wore cobbled armour and their pale skin was replete with great muscle. Daliliah was about to dispatch the intruder until she spotted the broken sword. The signet engraved upon the pommel drew her interest, it was the roaring dragon. The rune of the “count” of Dread Hollow, the count renamed his county to honour the Queen of Mysteries who graced him with her blood.
She relaxed in the chair and gestured to a wine glass. “Would you like a drink?” she asked of her guest. The brute sat on the chair in front of her, gazing into it’s red disgusting eyes she saw hatred but it was controlled. “I take that as a no?” Daliliah said warmly.
The creature opened its mouth and the voice that came out it was a female. “You have some nerve Baroness Daliliah…” Her voice was gravely but it jogged an ancient memory. All were for the bargain of blood but there was one who rejected it. “Countess Alexandra...how long has it been? Three centuries right?” she openly mocked the disgraced countess, she wondered if she submitted to a lesser vampire and was eventually cast aside? It would explain her monstrous state “So what do you want...Countess?” Daliliah made sure to keep derisive tone as she spoke. Alexandra smirked “the Golden God sent me, through the ancient hidden pathways my crusade has come to take this place.”
Daliliah didn’t like the sound of crusade or the fact that some unknown god has sent her. She blinked and just for a moment she didn’t see a beast but a regal warrior wearing a glowing plate. Her sword was whole as well and she even had a full set of flowing brown hair. She shook her head dismissing whatever she saw, she focused on the beast in front of her “tell me who is this Golden god?” Daliliah questioned Alexandra, she wanted to know who she served. The beast nodded “The Golden God is Nagash, after you blighted creatures stole my lands and corrupted my husband a great king came to me...offering aid.”
At the mention of Nagash and Great King she slowly placed her wine glass on the table, she noticed her hand was trembling. She is my replacement! Nagash has replaced me! That thought repeated again and again within her mind. It wouldn’t stop. The only thing preventing her from losing complete composure was the talk of some great king, the disgraced countess could be lying. “I won’t fall for it, you merely seek to take what is mine. If Nagash wanted to replace me his hammer of justice would fall upon me. As you can see...I am completely fine.”
Alexandra gave her a guttural laugh “look at you, Great King Ushoran always has said the children of his sister always try to make themselves more big than they actually are…” That single word passed through her mind. Ushoran, Ushoran, Ushoran. She repeated to herself. Daliliah slowly wiped her mouth gently, she imagined if she was alive she would be sweating at the moment. She couldn’t see a way to harm Alexandra, her forces are in the city. She could have some of them outside at this very moment. She has heard stories of how ghouls can be given wings by their kings and queens.
She had to be careful now, Daliliah could see she was in a poor position. “Very well...I will watch. If Nagash has truly sent you then I will stand at the sidelines.” I will also be there to pick up the pieces when you fail. She inwardly smiled. She watched Alexandra rise from her seat and snarl at her “as always choosing the route of cowards. You underestimate the number of my forces in the city, I am Archreagent of the county of Gastinia. When I succeed...I will have my lands back creature. The Golden God promised me that.”
When she stated the reward she would receive from Nagash Daliliah shouted at her. “He will not give what you want! You should know better! Dread Hollow will be mine!” The disgraced countess ignored her as she strode to the balcony, again she did not see a beast but the same regal woman she remembered from her past. To her utter horror she watched her jump off the ledge of the balcony and sprout white wings. She flew off into the night.
Gerhard yawned, that action caused glances from his unit. Sergeant Agatha looked back and frowned “stop yawning we are on a mission.” “Our lord's have essentially stopped all crime. I mean...look around you Agatha.” Gerhard protested. She didn’t do as he asked nor did the rest of his unit. All of them had grim faces. He sighed and raised his hands “sorry.”
His sergeant didn’t seem impressed with his apology, she looked forward and continued the patrol. He didn’t understand what they were looking for. He recalled that Lord-Relictor Atticus wanted Haven to feel their presence even at night hence the time they were patrolling. At the moment they were working in the poorest district of the city which should be rife with crime but the gangs sought to cause no trouble. They have been cowed by the Knights Excelsior.
Everyone were in their homes, the streets were bare. He sighed and decided to keep his mouth shut, if the Lord-Relictor felt it wasn’t important then he would not have the White Templars patrolling the streets.
They walked for about an hour more until the sounds of a screaming slammed into their ears. Agatha pointed at a nearby alleyway. “There! Quickly!” Gerhard cursed, he hoped the fool was ready to spend time in the Black Fortress. Atticus wants anyone who causes a disturbance. They all rushed down the alleyway, as they arrived there was no one there and the screams have stopped as well. Gerhard drew his blade “I think we should be careful.” His Sergeant nodded in agreement “aye, watc-” A black shadow shot down and scooped Agatha up he barely caught the movement. All that was left of her was an echoing scream.
The disappearance of their sergeant caused the unit to break down. “Forget this!” one called he ran out of the alleyway as he made a corner screams erupted from his departed comrade. Gerhard trembled his eyes shot to ahead of them. The end of the alleyway was boarded up by wooden planks. Whatever was attacking them they were trapped, his gaze drifted to a member of his unit who was holding an axe. “H-Hey, give me your axe.” “W-What? N-” the shadow assaulted them again and the man he was talking to vanished. All that was left was the axe clattering on the ground. Gerhard didn’t waste any time, he grabbed the axe and charged down the alleyway he threw aside his sword and began hacking at the wooden planks.
If he left the alleyway that meant death, if he waited and did nothing the shadow would take him as well. As he worked upon the planks with the weapon screams erupted from behind him, fear tore through his body. I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die! I do- he didn’t get to finish as someone tapped him on the shoulder. He stopped hacking at the planks and slowly turned, a great beast with red eyes was looming over him. He opened his mouth to scream but it died as the beast was replaced by a noblewoman.
Her eyes were red and blood slightly matted her mouth but all he saw was concern in her eyes. The woman before him was regal and beautiful as well. He dropped the axe, the noblewoman began patting him down. “I hope those heretics haven’t hurt you.” Heretics? W-What is she talking about? The confusion vanished as she smiled at him, he caught the hint of fangs but that strangely didn’t bother him nor the words she said.
She exuded an aura of calmness, he was almost lost in that. “The heretics were leading you away in chains, I drew them to this alleyway and took care of them. Are you alright? I tend to get ahead of myself.” Gerhard blinked and instead of a beautiful woman brushing him down it was beast he was about to scream but the monster placed it’s hand on his mouth. It’s foul stench filled his nose, he blinked one more time. The monster was gone, it was the noblewoman covering his mouth and instead of a foul stench a soft perfume brushed against his nose. “Sssh…” she whispered “I know you have be enslaved for some time but if you scream you will draw more heretics towards us.”
Gerhard nodded, she removed her hand from his mouth. He wiped it removing the dirt “s-so what now?” he asked. The noblewoman nodded “I have a camp, going by your build you look to be a knight. I require strong warriors to face the heretics.” she offered him her hand. “I won’t force you but in order to be free you have to fight.” Gerhard gulped, he felt a strange pressure on his mind he didn’t know what it was but the need to fight against the heretics consumed his heart.
He took her hand and as he did so she pulled him close. “W-What are you doing!?” he almost shouted but her smile set him and ease again. “A bonding ritual, you must be adopted to my household.” She opened her mouth and bit into his neck, the pain was horrific despite seeing flashes of a monster tearing into his neck Gerhard smiled. “F-For the Golden G-God…” he stammered out. He fell slack in his Countess’ arms as his eyes slid close he chided himself for calling her a monster for it was no longer there, he could only see his beautiful ruler.
When the darkness finally claimed him he was prepared to fight for her.