Valen, part five
Posted 21 January 2007 - 02:37 AM
Bhodi frowned, warningly. "Oh? And what might that be?"
"Would it not be better if, since I can still walk under the sun, that I strike during daylight? Do the Shadow Thieves know of Damphiris?"
Bhodi's expression changed from angry, to thoughtful. "Wise, child. The Shadowmaster may have read of your kind, but I doubt many of his cronies and underlings have ever heard of them. And," Bhodi's voice held rich amusement, "On the two occasions that theatre has speculated about your kind's exsistence, they speculated that you were, in fact, vampire hunters."
The two dark women laughed.
"On reflection," Bhodi continued, "Strike shortly after dawn. As you know, the Shadow Thieves are up all hours, but they do have a shift change of sorts."
"And that is the moment of greatest vulnerability," Valen agreed. "How much damage do you want me to do?"
"A fair amount. I hardly expect you to take out the entire complex on your own. But let them know they were infiltrated. Hurt them. Let them know I struck into the heart of their domain and that they were none the wiser...until it was too late."
This is how it feels to be Valen, right now:
You stalk through the early morning sunlight, the hood pulled up over your head. The sun seems too bright. There is no pain, but there is irriation, like coming out of a tavern after an all night drinking binge.
But you can endure it easily. You stalk through the streets, no longer a creature of the day. The twilight is now your home, and for how long? How long before the final inevitable slide into night?
Not today, you promise yourself. Not today. You will slaughter the thieves, and gladly, but you will not taste their blood.
Ironically, your new black hood makes you a perfect Shadow Thief, in appearance. Humans who would have sneered at you yesterday, or perhaps leered, now scramble to get the Hells out of your way.
Humans. Yes.....you are no longer human. Not entirely. And you never will be again.
Angrily you blink tears away. You knew this was coming the first night you entered your Mistress' lair. You have no moral concerns with what has happened to you, never did. But you did like being human, really. You will miss things. Not the sunlight so much. But food. Yes, food was wonderful.....
You cut off the sentimental line of thought. You have almost reached the Guild. And whatever reservations you may have about your new half-life or unlife or whatever it should be called, you are not about to let it go.
"Morning, Valen," said one of the door guards. "Ye been havin too much fun at the pub?"
"Something like that," Valen smiled thinly. "What, am I in trouble?"
"Nah, ye been a good sneak fer us."
Valen chuckled at the irony and went on in.
She looked around the main room. She considered going down into the main tunnels beneath; but that would be almost impossible to escape from. She also considered going upstairs and taking out the sleeping Renal Bloodscalp, but ultimately decided against it. She wanted to hurt the thieves, yes. She also wanted to win.
So she walked over to the nearest thief. "Hey, Dalrben," she said, smiling thinly, eyes glittering with invitation. "How are things?"
"Looking up," he agreed, appraising her as though seeing her for the first time. She had never flirted with him....and of course, never would again.
She felt her mind reaching out to him; one of her new gifts. But it was raw, and imprecise, and uncontrolled; she couldn't rely on it to lull him effectively, and besides, she did not want to feed.
But it did a fine job of distracting him. His guard was down. There was no need to draw a blade; her weapons were her own hands now. Her fingernails grew into talons and, before he realized what was happening, she slammed them through his plain leather armor and into his chest.
He gaped in surprise and pain. The Darkness within her weakened him; life drain, her Mistress had called it. Between the strike and the drain, he was finished. He slumped over, quite finished.
"What--" began the nearest thief. She whirled at speeds faster than any human could manage, and slashed open his face. He screamed.
Crossbow bolts began to fly. Bolts made of wood. They could not kill her by themselves....but if they struck her heart, she would be paralyzed, and a decapitation would finish her. Newly made as she was, she would not survive to flee back to the crypt if she failed. The magical dark armor helped with that, of course, but there were no gaurantees.
She ducked and rolled, and threw herself at the nearest rogue....
Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:51 PM
I liked the way Valen started to use her talents in the final fight... The present-tense part, a bit less, for some reason.
And I still enjoy your Bhodi, deliciously evil that the Mistress is.
Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:46 PM
First, you don't really have a choice. The longer you exist as a Dhampiris, the stronger the hunger for mortal blood becomes, and once you taste of it, game over.
Secondly, a Damphiris is truly the halfway step between human and vampire. Stronger than the human, but not as strong as the vampire. Faster than the human, but not as fast as the vampire, and so forth. Everything's at half speed so to speak.
At least, that's how I'm writing it.
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