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LightmageSat 20-Nov-10 01:22 PM
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#632, "My favorite- Crulvane-Scion Chancellor"


My name is Crulvane Von Caernslade. I am the last of my namesake. I am also a Dhamphir, Cursed of the Blood Call. My legacy is blood and my world is death. I wish to share my history with you, that you might understand what I have become.

The Blood Call was not always strong in my heart. I was born to human parents and my upbringing was one of nobility and privilege. My family owned the largest plantation near the manor of the Burgomaster. Generations of Von Caernslade�s had run the plantation and our resources were vast. Hundreds of slaves from across Thera worked the fields and afforded us the lifestyle which king�s would be jealous of. My father worked hard and was feared by his enemies.

Thirty years ago a sickness appeared within the ranks of the slaves. They began to grow weaker and disappearances began to become commonplace. Month after month, the slaves numbers dwindled until it came a time that my father�s efforts run the plantation finally failed. Rumors began to swirl about the land regarding our plantation. Some spoke of the curse of demons, and others of some god sent plague which worked feverishly to punish our family. Experts were baffled, and there were no clues to what was taking place. No clues until I stumbled upon the first of the burial sites.

I was with my sisters collecting snakes near the southern swamp when I found the first of the bones. An animal had dragged a human arm from out of a bog and it lay across the path, still partially submerged in the brackish water. We returned to the house and soon afterwards, my father had the bogs dredged. They found seventy five bodies.
Panic soon spread throughout the remaining slaves. They rallied and fled our lands, never to be seen again. Our family was alone.

Soon after the slaves left, my father began acting strange. He disappeared late at night and could be seen wandering the gardens under the moonlight. My mother never left the house but the pain upon her face was evident as my father�s actions became odder by the day. I had never seen my parents fight, but my father began to act darkly towards us all. Locking himself in his chambers during the day, he emerged at night with a terrible rage. Once vented, he resumed his nightly patrols of our properties. My mother was alone in her suffering.

As the violence escalated my mother began to hide us in the cellar each nightfall as my father woke. We could hear his screams up above as he shouted out dark curses. They always passed, and he resumed his nightly walks. My mother was growing weak with stress.

This continued for several agonizing weeks.

We remained locked in the cellar throughout the nights. No longer did my father shout with rage, but we could hear voices in our home. A dry whispering lingered down through the soil undecipherable to our ears. Cruel laughter usually followed. My father�s madness had manifested itself to greater levels.

One evening in particular, my life changed. I awoke in the cellar to find a monster amongst us. A porcelain skinned ghoul with eyes of red flame.

He held my mother to the ground with one cruel hand as he smiled at my siblings and me. We huddled in the corner of the cellar transfixed with fear. My mother gurgled lightly as his claws dug into her throat, drawing a faint ring of blood.

He was naked, and covered in a thin layer of dirt. We could see the hole from which he had crawled from. He must have tunneled down to us, planning this assault for weeks. A malevolent grin was etched on his face. He smelled like a carnal beast, a wet dog odor mingled with rotting meat.

His eyes flashed us a warning and he dipped his head down and began to feed upon my mother. He opened her throat with one slash of his fangs and began to drink deeply. Bright gouts of my mother�s blood began to pump from the sides of his mouth as he struggled to swallow every last bit of her lifeblood. As he continued to drain the life from my mother, his body began to swell and redden as it filled with blood. Tiny blue veins began to form on the surface of his skin, giving him an even more ghoulish appearance. My mother ceased moving.

My siblings scurried further into the corners of the cellar, realizing that he was now turning his attention back to us. I remained crouching in the corner, memorized by the actions of the abomination. He rose his head from his feeding and locked his eyes to mine. A tiny stream of blood dripped from the sides of his mouth as he grinned evilly in my direction.

Chaotic laughter drifted down from the cellar door and I recognized with horror it was my father up above. The creature looked upwards and barked out a strange sound. The lock on the cellar door crumbled and the cellar door exploded open from within. Moments later, my father�s head appeared in the opening. A crazed look of madness etched on his face.

As I turned my attention back to the creature, it began to change. A huge black bat streaked towards the cellar door. Upon silent night wings it disappeared out of the opening.

My father began to descend the cellar steps. A wood axe was clenched in his hands. I knew what was intended and dived into the hole from which the creature had entered. As I crawled through the dirt, I could hear the screams of my siblings and the wet sucking sounds of the axe exploding into their bodies.

(Here ends the first chapter)

Chapter Two: The Seduction of Shadows.

Worming my way through the damp earth I choked on dirt and tendrils of plant root. Clumps of tunnel crumbled down upon me as I dragged myself away from the carnage. My breathing was frantic and a claustrophobic fear filled my senses.

The tunnel narrowed as it arced its way upward. Many hours passed as I inched along using my fingers to pull myself through the ground. Insects and grubs crawled upon my skin, stinging my flesh with their probing bites. Panic overtook me as the lack of clean air began to dull my senses. In a frenzied last fit of energy I pulled myself into the light.

My body was exhausted and I spent a long time panting for breath in the deep brush surrounding the house. There was no noise from the manor and I suspected my father now slept. It was midmorning and despite the presence of the sun. I felt a darkness emanating from my home.

I knew I would not survive the long trek to the nearest settlement without supplies, and I also knew I could outrun my father should he stumble upon me, so I ventured quietly into the rear of the manor. The house was destroyed and dried blood splatter covered the floors and walls. Bits and pieces of flesh were spewed about the house. I recall retching in terror as I recognized this was all that remained of my family.

I am not sure what possessed me to proceed further into the insanity, but I moved in a dazed sense of shock and horror. I vaguely recall gathering supplies into a rucksack and then making my way toward the back door. As I moved to leave, a rasping cry called out from upstairs. It sounded like my mother and I remember running toward her cries, desperate for her protection.

Climbing the darkened staircase heading to my fathers chambers the cries intensified. It was my mother and she was sobbing in anguish.

The chamber door opened slowly as I neared. A chill wave of air drifted outwards from the darkness. My father had boarded up the windows and it took me a long while for my eyes to adjust.

My mother crouched in the middle of the room. She was naked and covered in blood. There was no sign of my father and the roomed reeked like a slaughter house. She rocked back and forth on the heels of her feet as moaned and cried to herself. I could see the wounds on her throat and along her arms where the creature had fed.

I rushed forward and my movement caused my mother to notice my presence. Her head flicked up and her eyes locked on mine in recognition. She gazed at me through blood drenched strands of hair which hung over her face.

She cocked her head slightly and rose to her feet. Without saying a word she opened her arms and smiled. A semblance of relief passed through me as I realized she was going to survive the horrors of the previous evening. I remember embracing her. The feel of sticky blood upon her skin. Her hands on my back and head as she held me in the darkness.

She was cold, however, and continued to tremble as she caressed the top of my head. I looked up at last and noticed the sly grin forming in the corners of her mouth. Her eyes flashed a reddish hue as she held me closer.


(End of Chapter Two)

Chapter Three: ENTER THE NIGHT

I awoke to the smell of smoke and hoarse shouts of anger from outside the house. I felt terribly tired and my throat was tender. A trail of dried blood coated my neck. There was no sign of my mother.

I stumbled down the stairs and the smell of smoke intensified. The manor was burning. I coughed and walked in a feeble manner to the front door. A group of men holding torches shouted at me and motioned me closer. I remember them splashing a vial of water upon my face and then pulling me to safety after several moments. They continued to surround the exits and appeared to be guarding the escape routes from the growing inferno.

I recognized some of the men as former slaves that had worked on the plantation. They seemed more akin to wild beasts as they screamed and danced about my burning home. I sat in the darkness and watched the growing flames consume the manor. Flames leapt fifty feet into the air and the heat felt like the fires of hell.

It may have been my eyes playing tricks on me but for a brief moment I saw my mother writhing and flailing through an upper window.

As the fires began to recede the men dispersed. Some of them brought me to a wagon where I was tended to by an elderly woman. She seemed sad when she inspected my wounds, but she treated me with kindness and respect.

My last vision of my former home came as I looked back to the smoldering ruins. Not a single piece of timber remained. As the wagon began to move from the area, I continued to watch the wisps of smoke drift upwards to the heavens.

I am not certain of the exact nature of what befell me those fateful days. I believe that my mother was in the process of changing into something when she bit me. She had not fully become what was intended. I do know, however, that these events triggered the first symptoms of the bloodcall.

The next part of my story is far more sinister and is riddled with the horrors of my changing. The night was closing in on me and damnation was my soul. Upon silent wings of shadows I began my flight into the abyss.

(End of Chapter Three)

Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.


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