The Viper's Chase

Prologue:

Astringent wind blew across the sandy horizon, dry, and stale, seeming to tug at his hair, as it raked the black-red sky. Turning on his heel, Aldyr Havrshyk felt the grains of sand grind and crunch beneath his boot, but he couldn't hear its sound in the gale that blew his hair back in front of his face. Looking up at the congealing and shifting currents in the sky, he moved his hair back out of his eyes, and said with a wry smile forming on his ice-chapped lips,

"I don't know what he was thinking locking me in here... But I suppose every 'place' has an exit of some kind."

The wind declined to answer, but in the distance over the rolling dunes of sand, barely visible in the shadowy red light, he caught sight of something at least halfway bright, like the reflection of a single ray of light off a mirror or glacier. Aldyr took a step in the direction of that glimmer, and started down the charcoal-tan sand dune on which he stood, his black coat trailing back from his waist as he stalked down, head-first into the wind.

"When I get out of here, I'll be putting you in my place," he said bitterly, lips curling in a wry smile. "After all, I am the Lichblade, and you... You're not really anyone yet, viper."

His footsteps vanished behind him, seconds after he left, and his face went white as he drained his blood to preserve his form. "Even in this space, I will not be consumed. I'll find your heart, I'll drain your soul."