Realm of Vampires

The Master is coming! The thought was sent across the night sky with all the urgency and power that could be mustered. You are all summoned. The Master is coming. Shapes now moved in areas that had once been peaceful shadows. Come one and all! The reply came almost in unison. We come!

Mary was so happy. No time in the future, near or distant, would ever compare to tonight. John had proposed; she had dreamt of this day forever! Nothing could ruin the evening. However, as they walked in the moonlight, both failed to notice the blood-red eyes watching them from under the nearby bushes. Blood! Sweet, warm blood! He could hardly stand just watching them stroll by, but he had to be patient. Warm, pulsing, running, blood! Suddenly the eyes moved. One moment they were under the bushes, the next they were peering out from the branches of an elm. The Master is coming, you are summoned! The words came from nowhere. One moment he had been concentrating on breakfast, and in the next those words were the only thing in his mind. How he longed for the sweet taste of blood in his mouth. But he had been summoned! He could not waste time. He had to get to the Sacred Circle. But it was so tempting, especially the woman's long, pale, neck. Besides, he thought, the master has kept us waiting for this long. Having spent so much time in the dark he couldn't possibly do much to me if I were late. Yes, he could do it. He could eat and still get there in plenty of time. If he used the darkest shadows he could do it in half the time. Take away the strength and all that is left is food. The words of his old teacher came into his mind. He would get the man first. Not that he would prove much of a challenge; he appeared to be mostly skin and bones. That's what made the kill all the more pleasant, using energy so that when you first drank the rush was all the greater. Yes! Warm blood. He could already feel it running down his throat! No one heard the sudden movement from the roadside, or the piercing scream that followed, echoing through the dark woods. Blood…Warm, sweet blood!

Stonehenge. Considered by most to be a tool used by ancient astrologers and astronomers to tell the time of the year and make predictions. Thought to be the greatest building of early mankind. But also known to some as the greatest portal to the Second Dimension. The world of lost souls, the place that people only think exists, and those who believe in it, as well they should, dread being sent to. A place that all mages in the world could feel the pulse of dark radiance emanating, wondering what it was produced by and knowing that there was nothing they could do about it. If you were close enough to it you could feel your hair sticking straight up and the goose bumps would feel like eggs under your skin, and yet, if you were to touch your hair or feel your skin they would be perfectly normal. In all the surrounding area the once peaceful night sounds had long ceased. In fact, it seemed that all life had been stopped and time itself no longer had any affect. It was at this point that it appeared that the shadows began to break into shapes and begin to drift words the great ring of stones. However, if one were to study the shadows closely, you would see that the shadows would actually deepen just before a dark, cowled figure would step out into the moonlight with a serpents grace. The first arrivals were a little hesitant on the approach but seemed to grow more confident as they drew nearer. As more arrived the cloaked figures approached with more confidence, knowing that there was strength in numbers. Before long there was a great circle of dark figures just inside the Inner Ring, with all the attention focused on the great stone slab in the center of the ring. Few noticed the small gap in the circle, but those who did wondered why it was. To an observer it was deathly quiet; but in the minds of some of those present, there were entire conversations being spoken. Where was Ja-Deem? Why is he not come? I saw him briefly of the way, although he appeared distracted. This continued for several minutes until all noticed the greenish haze gathering in the middle. At first could be dismissed as a trick of the eye. But as it grew in thickness, it appeared to begin to slowly pulse. Suddenly, a great beam of greenish-gold light shot out from the center crackling as it grew slowly. Then it shrank, condensing into a orb two spans across and three spans high. While this was transpiring, all failed to notice the last cowled figure slip into its place, making the circle complete.

If vampires breathed, Ja-Deem's lungs would have been about to burst. Despite the satisfaction of a fresh meal, he had gotten careless and took his time in feeding. He didn't realize how long he had stopped until he felt the power from the portal growing and the thought of The Punishment he would receive if he were late made him cringe. He had left his meal half finished! All that good blood was getting cold. The thought made him dislike The Masters decision to return now. Well, he could always get more on his way back home, and once The Master returns them to there former power he could eat that annoying woman that lived next to him. All the garlic and Holy Water that she sprayed around her door made it hard for him to enter his own apartment. Yes, it would be satisfying… the thought made him lick his lips in anticipation. Greetings Ja-Deem! Ja-Deem's heart jumped when he heard the words in his head. The Master had come!

The orb had remained for about thirty seconds, then a black dot, about the size of a baseball, began to expand like a pupil until it covered all but a foot thick ring around the outside of the portal. It was then the sinister figure of Melcreth stepped out. A towering figure, eight feet of pure sinewy muscle. One that you would not want to meet in a dark ally. Unlike the others, Melcreth left his hood down exposing a pale, washed out skull like face that had unusual glowing green eyes in black wells for eye sockets. One of the signifying marks of Melcreth was the nose. It had been cut off during the Reckoning War while he had been a post-captain in the main vampiric forces. No one knew how it had happened, no one asked, and no one cared right now because Melcreth was back. Right now he was standing in the center slowly turning to look at each person at a time; and as his eyes passed over each person they gave an involuntary shudder of fear.

"Rise my friends." The words sounded like a simple sentence, but they all knew that it was a command.

"Tonight you selected servants were summoned not only to greet me as I returned, but to be my messengers to all the others in the world." As instructions were given, Ja-Deem listened with all the control that he had learned. Making mental notes of dates and times, places and people.

"Now you all know what you are to do. I shall gather a force to build my castle in the north and you will all be summoned in turn to make your reports. Are there any questions? No? Good. Because I do! Why were you late Ja-Deem? I gave you ample notice on my arrival, and yet you arrived one minuet before me!"

"My lord, I was in the middle of a large prairie many leagues away and did not find any substantial shadows until I was to London. Then I came as fast as I could, my lord."

"A good answer. Short and to the point. Yet, I don't understand why you lied to me. Perhaps it's that "meal" upsetting your stomach… or perhaps it that thought in the back of your mind thinking I would return a weak and pitiful creature that would need to be taken care of! All of you take note, what you are about to see should kill any doubts you have about my powers." All this he had been speaking while he walked around the ring, and at this point ,while he was opposite Ja-Deem, he thrust out his hand and griped the air as if he were holding a ball. As soon as he did this Ja-Deem fell gasping to his knees with his back arched to the sky, then was lifted of the ground as though something had picked him up by his breastbone. The screaming was as though someone was being rip apart. Then the master gave a sharp, sideways snap of his hand and Ja-Deem fell to the ground in a heap with a glowing orb where his chest had been. This floated over to Melcreth's hand where he murmured a few words and it was crushed into nothing. All the others stared in horrified silence, praying that they would not be next.

"You are dismissed."