• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

Of Scholars and Daemons

Status
Not open for further replies.

Knightofni

Varghulf
True Blood
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
758
#1
The principality of Trantio basked in the moonlight as Saul walked amongst its winding streets. Over the past few centuries the city had become one of the most beautiful and cultured in all of Tilea, and its wealth was shown by the vast quantities of marble and the pink-veined stone, trantine used in the construction of its impressive and equally ambitious dwarven architecture. Right now the citizens of the city sleep peacefully, safe in their ignorant bliss, unaware of the Vampire stalking their streets but scant feet from where they sleep. Unconsciously the edges of Saul's lips pulled upwards in a smile as he contemplated the safety of the city’s inhabitants; nobody in this city was truly safe tonight.

He moved swiftly and silently, weaving through the littered confines of the narrow street; stacks of wooden crates and barrels lined the slender pathway and rough wooden signs hung limp over locked doors. The street twisted and began to rise slightly, all the while being lined by similar styled buildings and littered with the discarded debris of everyday life, until it reached a wide, circular plaza. The plaza was paved in flagstones of a much greater quality that those in the street behind him and avenues of cypress trees were dispersed frequently like spokes on a wheel, funnelling towards the magnificent building at the centre of the plaza.

The Grand Library of Trantio was an awe-inspiring edifice of trantine, styled with many spiralled columns that rose high into the night sky and many complex sculptures adorning the circular roof. It stood as a truly wondrous testament to the skilled masonry of the Dwarven traders, to whom the city owed a great thanks for their artistry with stone. Saul had visited the Library on a handful of occasions before but its ambitious design and its magnificent workmanship still made him pause a moment out of respect.. if he still had a need to breathe then this building would take his breath away.

***​

Matthias rushed through the dark corridors, a torch in one hand and a sword in the other. There was an intruder in the building and Matthias would not allow any harm to come to any of his precious charges.. there were texts in this building that were believed to be penned way back when the Elves still inhabited this part of the world.. absolutely priceless pieces. He sincerely hoped that he wouldn’t have to use the sword in his right hand; he had once served in the Princes’ own household guard but that was many decades ago now and his arm shook with old age as well as fear.

He rounded the corner and rushed through an ornate stone archway that embellished the entrance to this room.. the most hallowed of rooms.. where the most precious texts are kept. Normally this room is under twenty-four hour guard and only the most senior of librarians were allowed to even enter; but on this night it seemed that there was an absence of any guards and that the intruder had reached this place. Sure enough, in the centre of the vaulted room stood the intruder with his back to Matthias.

“Who are you brigand? And what are you doing here?” Matthias tried desperately to keep the fear out of his voice and replace it with a tone of authority but he wasn’t altogether successful.

***​

Saul stood silently, staring at the vast bookcases before him. He smiled to himself when he heard the hurried footsteps approaching in the corridor outside.. at last, it’s taken you long enough. The figure hurtled though the doorway and demanded to know who he was, in an tone of faux authority mixed with fright and confusion.

Saul laughed out loud.. it wasn’t a menacing laugh or a particularly loud laugh but it still echoed around the stone room.

“Matthias, you old fool. Put the sword down before I have to hurt you..” His voice was light and jovial, though it carried a hint of sarcasm. He turned to face the stunned scholar and grinned broadly at his confused expression.

“Hello, old friend. It’s been a while..”[hr]


Matthias blinked stupidly. Of all the people he had expected to be here in the middle of the night, Saul Delegardt was not one of them. It was fair to say that Saul wasn’t exactly bookworm material and Matthias could only remember him ever frequenting the library twice. The grin on Saul’s face comforted Matthias slightly.. obviously there was no longer any need for the sword.. for which he was very grateful.

“Saul, my boy. What brings you out here in the middle of the night? You’ll find no children’s stories in this section..” Matthias’ tone was one of warmth and joking.

Matthias had known Saul for forty eight years.. sort of. He had been unfortunate enough to be in grave peril during his time in the Household Guard and Saul, for his own purposes whatever they may be, had saved the young man’s life. On that day Matthias had sworn an oath to promise that he would aid Saul should he ever need his help.. it’s been thirty five years since Matthias had fulfilled that oath and Saul released him from it.

But if ever Saul needed advice or guidance, He would return to Matthias time and time again.. because of Matthias’ connections in the world of scholars and his wealth of knowledge. But over time they had become friends.. or at least Matthias liked to think so.. in fact Matthias had come to regard himself as something of a mentor for the boy. Of course, the term ‘boy’ wasn’t really suitable to describe Saul.. a vampire who was nearly five times his own age but Matthias owed Saul his life and, whilst their debt had been settled many years ago, it had been a very good life in which he had been able to fulfil all of his dreams and he still felt that he owed Saul.

He thought that Saul was the man that he would want his own son to be, should he have been blessed with a son instead of a daughter and his self-appointed position of Saul’s mentor had been an experience that many men of his ilk would never be so lucky to know. Vampire or not.. Saul was a good friend to Matthias and in a city where friends and enemies are hard to tell apart, having a vampire on your side is a blessing not a curse.

***​

“I’m pleased to see that your wit has not diminished with your age, old man. I am here because once again it seems I am in need of your much vaulted wisdom..” Saul’s tone started joking but turned more sober towards the end.[hr]


“Oh.. then please, do enlighten me..” Curiosity crept into Matthias’ voice as he moved over to where his favourite mahogany desk was buried beneath mountains of leather-bound books, and took a seat behind it.

“Things are afoot in the world Matthias; things that make our own schemes and endeavours look like insignificant child’s play. I fear I may have lost myself in the darkness of another man’s war.”

Matthias scrutinised Saul for a minute.. he looked tired, and there was a bitterness behind his eyes. The tone of his voice was grave, like he was worried. The thought that something could trouble a vampire this much scared Matthias more than he would like to admit.

“Tell me.. about this war of which you speak.”

“I cannot Matthias, simply because I do not know.. It seems that someone of our kind used a magic so powerful that they were able to bind an entire bloodline to their will... my bloodline; for the purposes of destroying a council of vampires. It seems also that the bind has been removed somehow.. by force or by design I do not know.. but I find myself suddenly embroiled in a cause which is not my own.”

Saul collapsed into a chair opposite the desk and held his head in his hands.. he felt cold. There was no anger left anymore.. all his rage was spent and in the void left by its departure now sat fear. By nature he was a hunter.. he had spent the last three centuries travelling across the old world afraid of nothing and no-one but this was a league way beyond Saul; he had been conscripted against his will into a war fought between powers he could not hope to match.

“I’m lost, old friend. And I don’t know what to do.. should I stay and fight for this new-found cause? Knowing that this war will probably be the death of me.. or should I run? And keep running from this for the rest of forever.”

“Saul, my boy.. you cannot run from your daemons forever.. you’re still haunted by the past. Could you honestly run from this as well? eventually all our daemons will catch us up and when that day comes we must all make a choice.. do we stand and face them to rid ourselves of them? or do we keep running? letting them grow stronger as they spawn fresh nightmares.”

Matthias spoke softly but his voice carried around the room, he could see the pain in Saul’s eyes at the mention of his past and the also the fear at the mention of his new future. He had never seen Saul look so scared, so broken. If it weren’t for the presence of the vampire in front of him, Matthias might have emptied his bladder at the thought of a war of the magnitude that Saul spoke of, fought by creatures powerful enough to make even the Hunter afraid. But he had to remain resolved for the sake of another.. after all, he reminded himself, this isn’t my war.
 

Knightofni

Varghulf
True Blood
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
758
#2
“So then I have fewer options than I realise.. I must fight this war.. to the bitter end.”

“No Saul. You have choices but you must consider the consequences of those choices. You must ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t go to war.. Not what would become of you, instead think about what would become of others’ lives. If you can live with the consequences of turning your back then by all means walk away from this; but if you cannot then you must do what you must do to face your daemons.”

Saul considered Matthias’ words... could he live with himself if he walked away now?... could he turn his back on his new-found comrades, leaving them to face the darkness alone? Perhaps maybe that Lahmian...

“It really doesn’t seem like the smart choice..” A note of pleading crept into Saul’s voice. He was torn between the desire to run, to save his own skin as he done so many times before; and his conscience telling him that he could not abandon his new allies and, whether he liked it or not, this was his war.

“I never said you must make the smart choice Saul, I said you must make the right choice.”

“You are right.. As always.. I will not run from this, not now, not ever. This is my fortune.. to whatever end, for better or for worse.”

Saul’s voice broke towards the end.. he had never contemplated death for himself.. never had to. He was a vampire, an immortal, an undying creature of power. But those were just meaningless words now; he had to go back to the council, and he had to face what was coming and he had to accept to that this war would probably be the end of Saul Delegardt. He rose from his seat slowly.. the magnitude of what was to come rested upon his shoulders.

“Thank you, old friend, for your time and your understanding. I sincerely hope that this isn’t the last time we ever grace each other’s company.. but if it is then it has been my pleasure to know you Matthias.”

In his heart, Saul feared this would indeed be the last time that he would ever be able to turn to the old man for help.. and the thought scared him.. he didn’t realise just how much he had come to rely on Matthias’ as his moral compass.. and now faced with the prospect of losing that moral compass, Saul’s world was being thrown further into chaos.

“There is one final thing that I wish to ask of you..”[hr]


Matthias watched the vampire leave his Library for the final time.. certain that would he not live to see him again.. He forced himself to smile at Saul’s last request, under other circumstances such a decision would be a joyous one but the mood of the night was one of resignation. He murmured his thoughts to the now empty room.

“May fortune smile upon you both..”

He sighed deeply, before rising from his seat, rearranged the desk and exited the chamber.. no-one would ever know tonights’ meeting took place.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top