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Black Knight Dark Lady

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,568
#1
Hello everyone, found some more inspiration for where to take my ideas. Enjoy.

Black Knight Dark Mage

Prologue
Annabella Castellan stared across the room at her sister, Melissende Hauptmann, trying not to let her irritation show as her vampiric eyes observed the self-important creature in the darkness. They weren’t really sisters, it was just that their vampire mother, Queen Neferata the First Vampire, had turned them both.
“Welcome back to the Pinnacle, baby girl,” Melissende said in a tone that was not very welcoming at all. She took a sip from a glass of fresh blood as she leaned against the door to the rear of the pub. Behind Annabella could be heard the sounds of drinking and laughing.
“You brought me all the way from comfortable exile in Marienburg to some two-flea pub on the other side of the Empire just so you could make a terrible pun?” Annabella normally liked jokes, but not ones at her expense.
“Appropriate, don’t you think?”
“You have a terrible sense of humour. And what does Mother think of you naming this after her palace? I’m sure she doesn’t mind.”
“Don’t be rude, I’m your sister.”
“You’re the one being rude.”
Melissende brushed her dark hair back. “Actually, I’m not. Mother told me she doesn’t want to see you until you’ve made yourself less of an embarrassment. She had me summon you instead.”
“You’re making that up.” Surely not? That had been centuries ago, when she had been freshly undead! On the recommendation of Melissende, no less.
Melissende smiled. “Surely yes, baby girl.” Melissende liked calling her that. Probbaly because where Annabella was 800 years old, she was 1500. “She asked me to speak to you, here, because I was the one closest to you. Well, here was my idea. Isn’t it ironic?”
“Your sense of humour is awful, Melissende.” Annabella could sense the Wind of Fire straining within her, begging to be unleashed. She had far too much self-control to let it out, but it was an amusing thought.
Melissende looked disappointed. “I thought you loved me, baby girl. We were sisters. You always laughed at my jokes.”
“That was before you decided pleasing Mother was more important that pleading for me.”
“I could hardly risk myself for such a new silver lady, could I?”
Annabella sighed. “Enough games. What does Mother want?” She just hoped it wouldn’t be some menial job some 5th-generation Lahmian could do.
Melissende smiled. “Ah, the interesting part. Whilst your…indiscretion was highly illegal and highly irritating it did show her your skills and how well you can pass those on. And it showed your skill with children.”
“Are you saying it was worth it in the end?” Annabella asked hopefully. Personally, she’d do it all again whatever Melissende and Queen Neferata said.
“Further, you’ve been desperate for a second chance for 600 years. That means you won’t fail this time.”
“Yes.” The truth of it made it hurt more. By the gods, 600 years was far too long to sit around waiting for forgiveness.
“The Bloodline Games are being held in Sylvania soon. I’m sure you’re aware of them?”
Annabella nodded. “I’m aware that some of our sisters think it’s a good idea to engage in thrill-seeking matches against other vampires in exchange for empty praise.” She’d never been persuaded a few weeks’ bloodletting was a healthy pastime. Yes, she drank blood, but because she had to, not because it was a game she liked to play.
“Oh, but it is. In fact, it’s such a good idea Mother thinks you should join this year’s team.”
Annabella’ black eyes widened. “What?!”
Melissende laughed. “I love it when you react like that. Your expression of horror is just beautiful.”
“Patronise me again and I’ll bite you.”
“I never meant offence,” Melissende said, full of false regret. “She thought it would also be a wonderful idea if I joined you, too.”
Annabella groaned. “Please tell me you’re joking.”
Melissende smiled. “No, baby girl. I’m completely serious.”
“How exactly does this help?”
“We have discovered that the Blood Dragons are entering a new contestant this year. A young woman with…certain traits, shall we say.”
“What traits? And what does a Blood Dragoness have to do with us?” Despite herself, Annabella couldn’t help feeling curious.

One
If she didn’t already know it wasn’t the case, Lucinia Hadris would have thought it was nighttime when she and Sir Luis arrived in Sylvania. The sky was dark, smothering the sun that Luicnia still missed but knew she was yet unable to walk under. Powerful magic made large clouds block everything out. She could ‘see’ it with her arcane senses too, her knight master’s broad prohibition on magic not enough to stop her from passively drinking in – disturbingly appropriate – her surroundings.
She felt a kick on her leg. Beside her, Sir Luis, former knight of Bretonnia, now and forever a son of Abhorash, lord of blood and battle, was looking at her impatiently. His face was stern, clad in scars that his vampiric regeneration should have healed long ago, apparently because he wanted to look as he was, his brown eyes piercing. His form was powerfully built, befitting aman raised a warrior in the land of chivalry (or so it was claimed – Lucinia didn’t think much of their actual behaviour).
“Have you never seen clouds before? Keep moving.” He spoke half in fleunt Bretonnian, half perfect Reikspiel, retaining his native accent throughout. It wasn’t just war that he taught.
Lucinia replied in Bretonnian. “But this is nothing like anything I’ve seen before. I can’t believe how much power…”
“Believe it, or you won’t make it very far.”
“Yes, Master.” Lucinia kicked her horse. “Come on, Mousillon.” She had named her steed after that cursed city in Bretonnia ruled by the undead Red Duke, who apparently had had a very unfortunate encounter during a crusade in Araby. Although sometimes she hadn’t been able to tell the difference beside his realm and others in that ‘chivalrous’ realm. Not that she would ever mention it. Somehow she suspected Sir Luis wouldn’t approve.
Sylvania wasn’t much better. They had passed through many small villages, served by dirt paths barely worth keeping to, and made up of villagers who cringed from their overlords. Lucinia felt bad whenever she saw them hide behind their doors, and worse when she realised she wanted to, well, have her dinner. Sometimes she wondered why Sir Luis had turned her, then she decided he had his reasons.
Unfortunately, Lucinia was not the only terrifying thing in Sylvania. Bats and wolves seemed to have free licence to roam, and occasionally larger things flew overhead. As a Blood Dragoness it was her mission to find and kill big, scary things. That somehow wasn’t entirely reassuring.
And, of course, the former villagers of Sylvania were also to be considered. Such was the power of necromancy here conscious effort as not required to raise the dead. Instead, individual or multiple zombies and skeletons roamed, sometimes ignoring the pair, sometimes giving them something to fight.
Eventually, they reached a more substantial inhabitation, a large town that, by the standards of the dark land, bustled with activity.
The streets thronged with activity. The market was reasonably patronised, and the townspeople seemed not quite as terrified as usual.
Lucinia smiled. “Ah, civilisation, Master.”
“Yes, my squire, Sylvania does have places larger than villages,” Sir Luis replied drily.
“Must you always be so sarcastic, Master?”
“I could be half as sarcastic, if you wish. And is it not those of red hair generally considered the most…temperamental?”
Lucinia of the red hair laughed, sea blue eyes sparkling. She hadn’t expected to in such a place, but sometimes her knight master’s attitude was just comically strait-laced.
“The Games are not for a few more days. We may stop and rest here if you wish.”
‘Thank you, Master.” She patted Mousllion. “Well, Mous, what do you think? A short rest here?”
The stallion made a sound that, for ahuman, would have been quite rude.
Lucinia made no comment, simply baring her fangs in frustration. It turned out to be a rather foolish response, as someone saw it, and instantly gained a look of abject terror. Before Lucinia could do anything, they screamed, and suddenly there was a stampede. Crowds rushed in every direction.
Mousillon reared up in panic, making lucinia have to fight to control him, whispering calming words. She’d assumed being raised by a a vampire would have cured him of being frightened by anything. This was not a good time to find out that assumption was wrong.
“Over here, my squire,” Sir Luis called over the shouting.
Lucinia forced Mousillon around and followed Sir Luis, galloping down a less crowded side street. As she did so, she forced herself to ignore the smell of panicking human that teased her instincts and called to her hunger. She was a noble knight, not some mindless creature.
“Let that be a lesson for…whatever you did back there,” Sir Luis said, clearly frustrated.
“I’m sorry, Master,” Lucinia said contritely. “Sometimes I forget how scary I am.”
“Never mind. Now we need to move before someone breaks out the torches and pitchforks.”
“Do they really do that?” Lucinia had assumed that was invented by adventure stories.
“Once their fear turns to bravery, they will. And you’re too young to deal with it.”
“Master –“ Yes, it had only been about six years since her siring, but Lucinia was also about 25 as a human, so she wasn’t a child.
“And besides, we do not fight the weak,” Sir Luis said in Bretonnian.
“Yes, Master,” Lucinia replied in the same language.
They travelled on, until they found another township where Lucinia managed not to scare anyone.
They found stables in which to place Mousillon and the other horse, which Sir Luis simply called ‘his horse’. Despite his heritage, he seemed to care little for individual horses.
Mousillon and ‘his horse’ attended to, Lucinia and Sir Luis wandered through the streets. The town was as dilapidated as any village in Sylvania, but at least the streets were somewhat full. And unlike previously, no one started a stampede.
Lucinia found she enjoyed walking through the street in darkness. It was clam, refreshing. She took her time, finding scents with her enhanced nose. Then she smelled something strange yet familiar.
“Master, did you ask any of your companions to meet us here?”
Sir Luis shook his head, confused. “No, my squire.” He sniffed. “Ah, yes, that is the scent of a Blood Dragon.” His hand went to his sword.
Lucinia did the same. “Do you think it’s a threat?”
“We’re trained to challenge powerful enemies/ What could be more powerful than a fellow Blood Dragon?”
Lucinia nodded. That made sense.
Then a path cleared in the crowd ahead, and a woman approached, carrying the scent. She was, like Lucinia, averga esized, but looked robust for that, and had brown hair and green eyes.
She grinned when she saw Luicnia and Sir Luis.
“Uncle Luis, it is such a pleasure to see you.”
Sir Luis relaxed, and motioned for Lucinia to do the same. “Georgina Draconia, I should have expected you here. The Bloodline Games?” His tone was that of someone who wanted to be polite, but didn’t have much time for the oen they were addressing.
“What else?”
“Did you know we would be here?”
“No,” Georgina admitted. “But when I arrived and tied up my horse, well, I found your scent on yours. And I knew you’d be at the Games. I’m just happy I got to meet you before. And your new squire.
“Hello, I’m Lucinia Hadris. Master Luis turned me a few years ago, and he’s been teaching m the ways of darkness ever since.” She offered her hand.
Georgina took it and shook gently. “Pleased to meet you. Your mster and I go back a long way.”
“Longer than I would wish.”
“Don’t be like that, Uncle Luis. You’ll make Lucinia here think you don’t like me.”
Sir luis ground his teeth. “Alright, yes, we have a history. Let’s walk.”
As they walked, Sir Luis explained how a certain companion of his had founded a sub-order of Blood Dragons called the Blood Monastery. They were dedicated to worshipping Abhorash, something Sir Luis highly disapproved of. Before then he and the other Blood Dragon had been close, and Sir Luis had welcomed Georgina like a favourite niece, and she had instantly grown attached to him. But after the foundation of the Blood Monastery, which Georgina had wholeheartedly supported, Sir Luis had departed in disgust.
“So basically, you’re my little cousin,” Georgina said after the explanation.
Lucinia smiled. She had instantly decided she was fond of the other Blood Dragoness.
“Father doesn’t get out much. He’s busy running the Monastery. And contemplating.”
“Lord Abhorash would never have wanted his get to sit around praying,” Sir Luis said irritably.
Georgina shrugged. “Each of us honours our lord in our own way.”
“If I may, I assumed everyone joined the Games as a team,” Lucinia said.
“To be honest, my squire, I think that only applies to the others. Even Necrarchs have their links between each other. We Blood Dragons just do our own thing.”
“Which means, when I persuaded Father I was tired of sitting on my ass all night – even I get bored sometimes – I joined up. And how could I miss my dear uncle’s performance?”
Prologue
 
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