It had been one thousand, four hundred eighty-one years since the calamity known as All Sins Fall, or Sinfall for short. And on this day, the vampire and his holy cleric accomplice are awaiting judgment by the Grand Inquisitor. Today is the day of reckoning.
The mighty steel doors of the keep slammed open in unison with the thunder strike outside, as a violent storm raged on. The dusk brought with it a storm so loud it was almost deafening. Two prisoners wrapped in starsilver chains were violently dragged into the keep towards the inner sanctum. The first, a young girl in her early twenties with long, dirty blonde hair, tied back and dripping wet. Loose, wet bangs covered her filthy face, hiding her green eyes. She was head to toe in regalia of the Knights of the Silver Star. Chain mail armor, wrapped in a silver star crested tunic. Her hands were bound behind her, and a chain clamped to her neck. The girl was aggressively dragged forward towards the Inquisitor.
Behind her followed the second prisoner. He was also bound in chains behind his back, with more chains tied to his neck, leading him forward. This prisoner stood out to the guards stationed along the inner sanctum hall. His pale face, white as marble, contrasted underneath his long jet black hair. His bright sapphire blue eyes were empty and limitless at the same time. It was like looking into a void that filled a person with both sadness and fear. The way he moved forward, led by the chain around his neck, still seemed unnatural and unnerving. Every step he took seemed effortless. He was dressed in a dark cloak with the hood down. Each step he took made the guards uneasy. This man was a vampire.
Vampires were not uncommon to the Knights of the Silver Star. The Order were responsible for waging war against such abominations. Dragons, demons, vampires, and other evil creatures were regularly hunted down and cleansed by the knights. What was shocking to the guard was to see one in the grand halls of the Silver Sanctum. Each guard gave the other an uneasy look, as they knew this was different. Something big was happening before them. Not to mention a member of the Order dragged along with him to answer before the Inquisitor.
A small set of stairs led to a sizeable and imposing limestone throne at the end of the hall. The chair's sculpted armrest was in the shape of an angel kneeling with its wings folded downwards to let you rest your hands on the angel's back between the shoulders. There were blindfolds covering the angel’s eyes. Down on all fours, they were clasping a sword stabbed in the ground beside them. The backrest of the mighty chair had two large wings spanning outward. They give the person sitting there an appearance of having majestic wings. The wings appeared inlaid with starsilver and gold. Upon the chair sat the Grand Inquisitor.
He sat on the throne, awaiting his prisoners’ arrival, looming over them as they approached. He was clad in thick starsilver armor. It looked almost decorative, if not for the battle-scarred dents in parts of it. The blemishes didn't detract from the practically holy glow it gave off. His shoulder pauldrons were shaped to look like griffons’ heads pointing outward, with its wings folding down in front and behind him on either shoulder. The Inquisitor’s chest plate was fashioned to look like that of a fierce lion's head. He had a blue and silver-lined cape flowing behind him. He was unarmed. His weapons were not far away, leaning against this throne. A massive silver Warhammer that looked heavier than the Inquisitor himself sat closest to him. Beside the hammer lay a large, two-handed great sword. Its decorations were hidden as a blue and silver cloak was draped over it.
As the prisoners got closer to the throne, the rain intensified outside. Thunder still crackled in the distance, as lightning flashes filled the room with bursts of light. The light glittered off all the silver decorations, armor, and weapons. The guards looked suspiciously at the vampire to see if the light bothered or hurt him. When he didn't react to the reflections of silver light, the guards collectively tightened the grip on their weapons, ready to strike should the moment call for it. The guards leading the prisoners pulled the chain forward and forced them on their knees.
"Alas, we have the infamous vampire, Alaric Caradoc." The Inquisitor smiled. "I expected an atrocity such as you to have put up a fight or resisted. The fact you have made no attempts to fight, kill or break free suggests you are up to something. Know that your words mean little to me, and you will most likely meet your end this night. And if you thought you could compel me with your neat little mesmerize trick... think again. I'm protected by the light of God and immune to such trickery. If you planned to attack from the inside... your plan has failed. Those silver chains will hold you while you die a quick and final death."
Alaric said nothing. He met the Inquisitor's gaze, the entire time without flinching. He appeared cold as stone. His marble-like skin didn't break a sweat or move.
"You can't kill him! We need his help!" interrupted the young female prisoner, as she tried to rise back to her feet. The guard behind her instinctively struck the back of her legs with his spear, knocking her back down.
"Silence, Yasmina! You are a traitor and a sinner. Conspiring with this creature condemns you to hell. I will end your suffering soon so that God himself can judge your sins. The only reason you still breathe is so I can find out the truth of what happened in the fires of Ghalat. Your mentor, Salazar, was a great hero and deserved to be honored. I will know what happened, and I will put you both to death."
"Not a compelling reason for us to give you answers," replied Alaric. "I expected the Grand Inquisitor to be a better negotiator. For fuck's sake, lie to us or something. Please, tell us if we help you, we may suffer less, or live or something. You sure this is your actual job?"
"Ric, let me handle this, please," said Yasmina in a nervous but stern tone.
"So you and this monster are on a nickname basis, eh? Does he call you Yas or perhaps Mina or something cute? You're nothing but a meal to him. I bet he calls you his little snack." replied the Inquisitor, laughing to himself. He expected more reaction to his sarcastic joke but got nothing.
"To answer your question... Ric, I don't need to lie. Lying is a sin, and men of God do not need to lower themselves to your level. You may not answer my questions honestly... but I will enjoy torturing you either way. And since Yasmina here seems to be fond of you, the more truthful she is, the swifter your death."
"I'm not fond of him," Mina interjected. "He is a monster. But he has information that could help us, and he has agreed to do so if we help him. When he has helped us, I will end his suffering myself."
The Inquisitor took a step towards her and firmly backhanded her to the ground.
"Idiot child," he explained, "we do not help or work with the cursed. Your mentor would be ashamed. Alaric is simply using you and attempting to poison your mind. The only way he can help us is to die in the light's fire. His soul is past redemption. And all that remains is to rid the foul curse from the land, so his sickness doesn't spread and corrupt any more lives."
Alaric tried to remain quiet, as Mina suggested. But he couldn't help himself.
"Do you even hear yourself speak? You sound like a brainwashed twit diddler. If your goal is to end corruption, and someone has a way to help you end it better or faster… doesn't it make sense to at least hear them out?" he asked.
"My goal is to kill you before you taint any more minds. Yasmina was Salazar's brightest pupil. You have corrupted her, and now I have to kill her. Now all I want is to learn his fate, then kill you before you pull off your plan to kill us. You don't fool me, cold one. I know you would kill us the second you get the chance."
The vampire finally showed a glimmer of emotion on his face, and he smiled at the Inquisitor's comments. He shook his head ever so slightly to clear the hair from his face so that the Inquisitor could see his face.
"Yes, and no. I could kill you if I wanted to, right here and now. But would I? It doesn't serve me to kill you all. But the vile plans you think I'm up to require your help. And in exchange... I will help you purge more evil than you could ever do on your own. I could teach you more about our weaknesses and lead you to them. I can help you," Alaric insisted.
The Inquisitor just laughed. He watched as Yasmina crawled up back to her knees, eagerly waiting to see his response. He looked back towards Alaric, still smiling in a smug, confident way.
"You should take your advice, cold one. Now, who is the shit negotiator? You have not provided me a compelling reason to hear you out. You are in silver chains and about to die. I hold the cards, and from where I stand, you are in no position to kill us all, as you claim. Frankly... your kind can't be trusted. Once I have my answers from Yasmina...I will put you to death. If she lies, it will be a drawn- out, painful death. If she doesn't lie, your death will be swift and painless... as will hers,"
Alaric's smile slowly faded to reveal his annoyance as the Inquisitor stubbornly refused him. He pulled his bound hands forward, breaking free of the silver manacles that bound his hands to his back, and quickly grabbed and broke the silver ring around his neck.
"Listen, you know fuck all about vampires. If I wanted you dead I'd have killed you and everyone in this tacky room already. Her included." he said as he pointed towards Mina, still shackled beside him.
The guards immediately drew all their weapons and pointed them at Alaric. The Inquisitor stepped back, reaching for his Warhammer behind him. His eyes locked on the vampire in disbelief at what he had just seen. He tried to hide his panic, but he couldn't. Silver was a weakness from all his experience and training with prior vampires. It should have stopped him from being able to use his unholy strength. Or any of his vampire powers. He knew each vampire's powers could differ significantly, but they had all been weak against Starsilver until now.
Alaric raised his arms high to show he wasn't about to attack. "Relax, I do not intend to fight you. Now lower your weapons before I change my mind," Alaric said.
All the guards looked to the Grand Inquisitor for direction. He nodded and raised a hand to indicate they could lower their weapons. He still grabbed his hammer and brought it in front of him, but left the hammer's head firmly on the ground before him.
Alaric thought it was comical that a man so devoted and sure of his God's protection would need to cling to his weapon, as if it were a comforting blanket a babe might need to fall asleep at night. But he decided not to mock the man, as he could see he might be making progress after all.
"Alright, vampire, you have my attention. We still have things to learn of your kind. You could have surprised attacked us at will, or at very least escaped with your life, yet didn't. I wouldn't be doing my job as Inquisitor if I didn't at least try to learn why."
"I know you have no reason to trust me, nor can I give you a compelling reason to. But so long as your knights don't attack me, I will spare them. I will also not attempt to flee till you have heard our proposition. After that, you may do as you wish,"
"And if I still wish to remove your head?" asked the Inquisitor.
"You are welcome to try," said the vampire, as his smile playfully returned, "but first, I suggest you at least listen to Mina's story of how we got here. And then I can explain how I may be able to help you. Besides, you wanted to learn of dear old Salazar's fate, didn't you?"
The Inquisitor looked annoyed, but the vampire was correct. He had questions he needed answers to—both for himself and the church.
"Fine. But we will take you to separate interrogation rooms, and I will uncover your scheme, vampire. And once I've learned all I need, we will sacrifice you to God."
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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Tome of the Vampire, Volume One by Jason Goss @JasonMGoss Dark Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Post -Apocalyptic
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Genre: Dark Fantasy, Gothic Horror,
Date of Publication: Aug 30,2022
Number of pages: 221
Word Count: 67k
Cover Artist: Jason Goss
About the Book:
For over one thousand years after the world was nearly destroyed by the calamity known as Sinfall, the church has helped people recover. The recovery and safety the church gave came at a steep cost. Technology has been lost to the ages and banned by the church.
The land is plagued by a terrible curse that threatens to wipe out all life, and the church has no idea how to stop it. Until a chance encounter with a mentally unstable vampire offers an unlikely solution….
Tome of the Vampire is a dark fantasy story set in a post apocalyptic fantasy world filled with magic, dragons, and mystery surrounding the secrets the church has banned people from knowing, and what caused the calamity.
Jason Goss is an aspiring Canadian author from London Ontario, and a self proclaimed nerd. He enjoys pretty much anything sci fi or fantasy themed, and is a big fan of dark fantasy and grim dark stories.
He would include Anne Rice and Jay Kristoff as his biggest influences for his writing.
In the past, Jason has wrote for various youtube channels, screen plays, songs, and even short stories. He has many stories he wishes to tell, spanning several genres.
When he is not engaged in reading, writing or any of his several nerdy hobbies, he can often be found in the woods hiking with his rescued husky/shepard doggo. Or cuddled up with his two rescued cats binge watching a new show online.