A Grimoire is a textbook of magick passed down from generation to generation....
|A heavy wind echoed through the midnight air like a phantasmal whisper. Dead grass surrounded the nearby plains, and leafless trees appeared as demonic hands grasping at the cloudy moon. The area was tainted with an unholy presence, an evil lied at its heart like a cancer slowly devouring everything around it.
Amidst the abyss of pitch-black darkness, a single light emanated from a secluded mansion. The manor was luxurious in its time, but has since grown old and dilapidated. Inside, sitting on a lush maroon chair, the owner noticed a smattering of light footsteps. It seemed he had an unwanted visitor.
“So, I see you’ve come to take my life,” Count Krueval, slender and sophisticated, sat with his back turned to his would-be assassin. Krueval's gray hair belied his unaged features and casual, all-black attire. His crimson eyes seemed like rubies – beautiful, yet inanimate in their cold, fixated stare. He dusted off his turtleneck sweater and sipped from a glass of blood red wine.
His assailant, Devin Soldado, was a young man well versed in the ways of the occult. He clutched at his spell book – apparently shaken by the Count’s omniscient detection of him. His boyishly smooth face and brown parted hair caused him to appear younger than he actually was. The book he held was pristinely white, with golden lettering.
“Well if you think you’re up for it, boy…” Count Krueval snickered at the uncertain magus as he stood up to face him, “…then be my guest.”
Devin broke open his book, Grimoire of the White Lotus , a powerful relic of arcane magic. “You took everything from me - everything!” Devin shook as he spoke. “Your trespasses against me will be repaid in blood.”
The Count’s snickering turned to hysterical laughter. He then pitched his wine glass against the dingy mansion floor, shattering it.
“You think this is funny?!” Devin’s eyes filled with hatred, as he began to shout out an incantation, “White light of justice heed my cry, let out your roar and part the sky. Destroy this evil and all alike. With God’s hand reach down and strike!” The dark clouds swirled and a bolt of pure white lightning emerged. It careened towards the estate at a frightening speed, piercing the roof of the Count’s mansion, and violently ripping the demonic vampire asunder.
“It’s over,” Devin sighed in relief, and smiled at Count Krueval’s demise. He did not notice an eerie mist subtly creeping towards him. By the time Devin became aware of the distinct odor filling the room, it was far too late. First the Count’s hand materialized around Devin’s neck and then the rest of his unholy body became tangible soon after. Krueval smirked at his prey as he effortlessly lifted him up by the throat.
“You are the weakest one yet, even your younger brother put up a better fight.”
Devin clenched his teeth at the remark, “You monster, don’t even think of mentioning his name!” Devin aimed a kick at the Count’s side. With cat-like reflexes Krueval caught the leg and dug his long, sharp nails into Devin’s flesh. The pain was excruciating as a nail from the Count’s hand broke off inside Devin’s leg, but the boy stayed defiantly silent, refusing to give his enemy the satisfaction of hearing him scream.
“I can say whatever I wish, over whomever I wish, whenever I wish it.” Count Krueval hurled Devin like a rag doll against a book case filled with lost manuscripts and ancient tomes. The overwhelming impact caused Devin to lose his grip on his Grimoire. He could only watch helplessly as the precious text flew out of his hand and into a shadowy corner of the room. Devin scrambled to find it, but it seemed lost within the near-endless mountain of books.
The Count did not intend on allowing his opponent to retrieve his most potent weapon. He lunged at Devin with blurring speed, and delivered a ferocious back-hand across the young mage’s face, launching him into the air in the process. Before Devin could even hit the ground, he was caught by the scruff of his shirt and pressed hard against the wall.
“It’s time to put you in your place, boy.” Krueval raised his hand in preparation for the final blow.
“Wait…” A battered Devin struggled to speak. “I need… to know…why you are doing this.”
“Why?” The Count echoed, intrigued. “You’d like to know why I hunt your kind, and slaughtered the better half of your clan?”
“Yes,” Devin sputtered solemnly as he spat up blood.
“Very well,” Krueval scraped up some of the precious red liquid running along the side of Devin’s mouth with his finger and tasted it. “It is because you humans are cattle, arrogant and proud as you may be; the sad truth is your lives are worth next to nothing in the grand scheme of things.”
Devin’s blood boiled with unmitigated hatred, “What gives you the right?!”
“Power,” Krueval replied nonchalantly, “Power gives me that right, and your lack of it caused your downfall this day.”
Devin squirmed in the Count’s grasp.
“As I suspected, you’re less than nothing without that book,” the vampire sneered.
At that moment, a large grin appeared on Devin’s face as crimson drops of blood trickled down the side of his mouth.
“You’re smiling? Well I hope you can still find this amusing after I crush your skull,” Krueval reared back his claws, readying a killing strike. With a great sense of satisfaction he thrusted his knife-like nails towards young Devin’s face, but a strong force stopped his fingers just inches from their goal. His body was frozen, and all he could do was give Devin a perplexed look.
“Why can’t I move?”
Devin held a large black nail in his hand, slowly wrapping it with a length of silver string. “How would I know? I’m just a worthless cretin without my book, remember?” His grin widened. “Still, I guess that didn’t stop me from helping myself to the souvenir you left in my leg.”
“Macumba Voodoo?” Krueval’s expression turned to shock at the realization. “I thought members of the White Lotus Clan were forbidden from practicing dark magicks such as that.”
“Yes, we are…” Devin stated despondently. “…but I knew I had to cross some kind of line in order to stop you once and for all.”
Krueval’s countenance reverted back to its usual confident demeanor. “And you really think you can accomplish this feat with that cheap parlor trick?” The Count let out a chuckle, “The effectiveness of that magick is determined by the user’s will power.” He twiddled his fingers in a show of his returning movement. “How long do you think you can hold a being such as I? Five, maybe ten seconds more? “
Devin stared into the Count’s eyes with a look of sheer determination. “Long enough to send you back to Hell where you belong,”
“And how will you do that - Hmm? You can barely lift your arms enough to wrap my nail with that accursed string, yet you plan to stake me in the heart?” The Count tried to maintain his calm and collected facade, but there was a clear hint of fear in his voice, “Your body is broken, you can hardly move, and as soon as I’m free of this little spell you will die nice and slow – just like your sweet, darling mother.”
”No…” Devin took out a small needle. “…it ends here.”
Krueval looks on inquisitively. “That needle…”
Devin finished the vampire’s sentence, “…has been blessed by five high priests, with each of them imbuing it with their own divine light,” Devin struggled to maintain consciousness. “As soon as I thrust it into this nail, your wicked heart will feel its flesh pierced with the holiest of steel,"
Count Krueval looked on nervously.
Devin held up the needle, “and you will be no more.”
<> Chapter 2 <>