Meeting of Myth
An idyllic village rested on a rich and fertile plain, a place all respectable and peaceful people wanted to live in, but few ever achieved this dream. The children were well-behaved and polite to their elders, and many took on volunteer work and then grew up to become extremely successful in later life, due to a very good education from the only school located in the town.
The clothes were stylish for middle earth and the low prices meant that each citizen dressed well, and the rich soil gave the most plentiful harvests imaginable. Indeed, this village could not be faulted with, not even at the local tavern, because the wine was of the best variety and the drinkers were given ration tickets they were to use when they wanted to buy a drink.
The beautiful village was just perfect...or so it seemed.
Below the surface, the soil and the crops hid a chamber that had long been deserted and forgotten. It was a tomb for soldier's long dead, and their corpses were left to rot in their elaborate coffins, urns of offerings scattered around them for their afterlife.
Further into this tomb, there was a large empty hall. It could have possibly held gold at one point, or fine jewellery, something of value, but raiders had most likely already found this hall before its current residents moved in, and had taken anything that sparkled and shined.
In this room, the shadows started to move and form into figures. Warped figures became human, claws became fingers, bulky silhouettes grew innocent and soft, and voices began to softly whisper in the hall of silence.
"Ruler Graeme has called a meeting," a concerned voice said and a woman poked her head out from a large pile of rubble. Her face was aged, wrinkled and worn like used leather, and her voice was shrill. She was, certainly, a lady of old age, not quite ageing like fine wine...but more like milk.
"And why could it not be sooner?" The gruff reply came a round-bellied, heavy bearded man whose eyes betrayed many years of abuse and torment, and occasionally sparkles of wisdom. "If it is important enough to have a meeting called, it would be important enough to become our top priority!"
"Be silent, Edgar, you know Ruler Graeme has not been feeling well lately. He may have called the meeting and then needed to rest," the elder scolded, but her warm smile showed she meant no offense in her words to the particularly sensitive warrior. "Besides, you know the vampires would not have been awake to hear the meeting otherwise."
"So that's the real reason," out of thin air, the youngest member of the most fearsome family appeared in his true form, a small Lycan, "the blood-suckers wouldn't be awake, so we had to wait!" The small child was incredibly narrow minded and cunning, with agility that was far beyond normal children of his age.
"Quiet, did I say you could leave your pile?" Edgar growled and rested a heavy hand on the boy's furred head. His hunched back seemed to almost straighten as his eyes narrowed, allowing the warrior to stroke his head gently.
Soon, a blood curdling yowl sounded, and the four families took their places in the hall. The werewolves, as the biggest family in more ways than one, were in the furthest corner with the most shadows and rubble where the elders could be seated.
The vampires sat propped against their make-shift coffins, in the smallest corner, as many of their family were gone now. Some members had grown too much blood-lust and left the sanctuary of the catacombs to go searching for people they could drink. Although for many, this had not worked out in their favour, as it was difficult to tell when it was day time inside the tomb and many had run outside straight into sunlight. All that remained of those vampires were ashes that had long been carried away by the wind.
Wizards of the dark arts sat in the most comfortable corner, with the least amount of rubble and patched with a certain spot where moss had grown to make comfortable cushions. They were the most powerful of the families but, they were old, and as the Lycan family often pointed out, had no offspring to carry on their family.
And the last family was the Rulers own breed, the Reptile family. They were mostly just people with long tongues and a taste for crickets, but their villages had began hunting them for their abnormalities and forced them to live with the much more challenged of creatures.
Graeme stood on the tallest pile of rubble and greeted them all in the language they had invented so that any adventurers that fancied travelling into the catacombs would become confused and frightened at the sound of an unidentifiable language and most likely flee, and those who remained fed the vampires.
"Hello, families of the Tomb," he began, "I have called the meeting today to discuss a matter most...unusual for one of our own to suggest. We have become so used to the silence and peacefulness of the Tomb that we have forgotten the outside world around us, and this family member has mentioned that the village that has settled near us, and has asked that we go to it and attack them."
Each member of each family gasped at this and screamed in protest. Well, all except the young Lycan that was so hostile towards the vampires, who was proudly grooming his scraggly fur and listening to the meeting with intense focus.
"Why would we attack the village? We have no need for human houses!" Juliet, the prettiest of the vampires, reasoned in her desperation not to end up like her mother had, driven by her need for blood to her own cremation.
"Hush, child. I have thought about this for two full moons now, and I have made my decision," Graeme said. Each family leaned in and waited for the most sensible answer.
They were sorely disappointed.
"We shall leave for the village tomorrow night, so the vampires can join us. We shall kill the guards first, and the vampires will eat them. Lycans, I expect you to be running along to walls whilst we deal with the guards to kill off the archers. Try your hardest-"
"We Lycans shall not go and destroy the village!" Edgar interrupted. "Those humans are just that, humans, and they do not fight us. They do not know of our existence, why should we draw their attention to us?" Graeme faltered. His age started to show through the rags he wore, and he stretched out his long tongue, which meant he was considering the warriors reasoning.
The child jumped up beside him and turned into his human form, becoming much less frightening in his transformation.
"And what would happen if they discovered what resided here? You think they'd leave us be, consider the harmony we offer them? Do you think they would not return with contraptions and weapons to harm us?" He growled. Graeme became visibly confused and in his weakened state, very small in comparison to the Lycan child.
"You do not know the outside world any better than us, Blood-Bone; do not try to preach they are war-mongers without knowledge!" One of the Reptilians hissed but his words were not heard.
"Do you not think they'll skin us, the werewolves, for our coats? Or perform rituals on the vampires to try to cure them? Though, that would not be unwelcomed," he added as a casual insult, "or do you think they would not cut out your tongues, Reptilians, and use them as strings for their lutes?"
Now even the Rulers family had begun to consider Blood-Bones speech, and seemed to be convinced, but the eldest Wizard stood up from his seat.
"Blood-Bone, you are a child. No more, no less. Lycan blood or not, you are no more wise than the vampire children, or the Reptilian children. I ask you to stop your speech and lay rest to these ideas," he rasped in a wizened voice before taking his seat beside his wife. The Lycan child laughed.
"You think we shall listen to you, Greater? Your family were not even wise enough to have children; do you think we shall take your opinions into account? When you die, your family will be gone, and a mere memory of your annoyance shall remain!" He growled, and then transformed again.
His blunt teeth sharpened and face elongated to produce a snout, whilst his green eyes changed into black balls that resembled glass eyes. His back became hunched once more, giving him a menacing stance like he was about to attack, and his fingers became claws that looked sharp enough to tear the toughest tree to pieces.
Ruler Graeme, determined to remain in control, piped up, "So be it. We attack at moon-high."
With an air of reluctance, the families agreed, and returned to their affairs. All except the Wizards, who sighed.
"Blood-Bone's prophecy shall become reality then," whispered the elderly woman, "he shall have the largest family, and eventually take over the land. I shall keep an eye on Graeme."
"Do not bother," interrupted his husband, "do not bother. I know we shall lose Graeme; I do not want to lose you too. Watch Blood-Bone. He means to kill us all."