No Place to Hide

fae-lordThere was no place to hide.  So when you have no place to hide, what do you do? You hide in plain sight.

The Razele twins sought to trick and deceive the best tricksters of the land — the Fae of Ilshenar.  Using illusions or perhaps even the Form Shift Gift, they managed to conceal their true identities and posed for members of the Fae. The Fae of Ilshenar are ruled by the one they call the Fae Lord Oaks and his devious bride, the Forest Queen Silvani.  Surely, it wouldn’t take too much convincing to on their part to have the Fae fight against vampires; not knowing they are aiding and abetting vampire criminals themselves. They would not listen to reason, there would not be any bargain or compromise from Lord Oaks — it was war they wanted.

To long avenge the deaths of their ancestors at the hand of ancient, less hospitable, vampire covens… well the twins knew they’d jump at the chance since the Fae have long been our enemy.  A meeting was called by the commander, to meet at the tavern.  A strategy was once again gone over thoroughly and as much as Cherry hated the fact that Va’lis was in attendance, she had little choice in the matter.  Marius had given strict orders that only Va’lis had the right to the destruction of his progeny, per our laws.  Armand would go on the front lines, securing a fall back position, taking the Centuriate Legion with him — Louis volunteered to go to the front lines with Armand, which only angered Lestat as he’s more apt with ranged attacks. Something tells me that Louis will always feel indebted somehow to Armand, even if he failed to rescue Claudia. At any rate Louis is great with a Scythe and Armand would put him to good use.  He would then push around the camp, securing another closer retreat point with Morgasse and Cel Ra among them.  Cherry and her Prefect and Beast Legions, including yours truly, Marius, Merida, and Va’lis with Harvey, Kei, and Enzo commanding their dragons, would push through the opening Armand created going straight for the central camp, where Lord Oaks resides.  This was her plan, it was a solid plan.  I certainly couldn’t have done better.

Bianca, not being much of a warrior, was off to Earth trying to get a hold of Maharet and Mekare, to see if they would use their Sight Gift to figure out if the Draconians were indeed behind the attack on the Palisades of Paris and the abduction of Pandora.  Only the First Brood would have the power to know such affairs. Isonu had been gravely poisoned, we thought he was not going to make it. It took many of us to drain our wrists to work him over. Marius’ blood being the strongest, as he’s had the most of Akasha infused into him, worked well to counter act the poison, however it would be a long while before he was fully recuperated. He needed rest and the dead sleep, so as much as he wanted to come we forbid him to. Bianca suspected the Order of the Dracons’ involvement as they are the only ones to have ever developed a poison that can affect vampires, harnessing the power of the sun synthetized and then weaponized. Could they be the ancients that have been helping the Razele twins?  This we had to know.  A terrible angst grew in me at the thought of having to once again fight the Draconians, it had been centuries but their scars still sting.

Merida was told at the Brew that Armand was already ahead of us commanding the Centuriate Legion in the front lines. This only made her more anxious than ever. I hoped it was an emotion she could channel and it would help her fight.  She proved to be quite formidable in combat…. her unique “gift” (what else would we call it?) surely came in handy among the forest and trees.  Burning it all down certainly gave the Fae no place to hide.  Excellent tactic on her part.

Va’lis’ strength were his necromantic powers.  He certainly put them to good use. Almost ever Fae that met its end, was immediately animated to fight for Va’lis.  He grew a small army all by himself of animated corpses. At one point his small army was so intimidating that the Centaurs stopped gunning for him and started to just try to avoid him altogether. Of course, avoiding Va’lis never quite works out for anyone.

Marius and I stuck together, as usual, and in our combined powers we managed to clear several waves of fae soldiers which seemed to keep coming and coming.  No soon as we had managed to fight one wave off and gain ground, another would pour into the area.  But the fae were really no match for Marius and I, together we’re pretty ferocious. Any chance Marius gets to flex his Fire Gift muscle, he takes it. Thus from a distance we can set fire to the blood that runs within the fae that would come in range causing them to spontaneously combust from the inside out.  *chuckles*  Quite amusing if you ask me. It was like watching moths to a flame; fairies may be mischievous but they are not very smart after all. I took a moment to observe my husband in action and I have to say that the rare times that Marius goes full out… well they seem to trigger my sexual appetite for him even more. He is never more appealing to me than amidst the heat of battle.

Once I saw Marius had everything under control and the dragons were tearing through the fae at the main hot zone, I took the liberty to mozy around to where Armand had secured our retreat point.  There is something so regal about my sire-brother, his long straight jet black hair swirling around him as he tore through the centaurs and fairies that tried to get through his line.  He was drenched in blood, fairy blood, with speckles of flesh all caught up in his hair upon closer inspection. As I approached him, a centaur was charging up his blind spot.  I leaped right off Ichabod’s shadow and using my Flight Gift landed right thru the centaur’s heart, body exploding all around me. Armand smiled at me.  He always enjoys the beastial side of my nature seeping out into the world.  He thanked me and just then another fairy came at us, with his Blade of Death Armand sliced its head right off without taking his stare off of me. So majestic.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught Lestat yelling at Louis… of course.  Armand and I both turned to see what was going on… it seems Louis wanted to go to the center camp, where all the action was. Of course Lestat was having none of that.  He wasn’t going to let Louis out of his sight, which only annoyed poor Louis.  Louis was my protégo now, so I could technically order him anywhere I wanted and he would have to do it.  I sensed however, if I did, Lestat would probably want to choke me dead. But Louis was holding his own, skilled in the Scythe, he had little problems dispatching even the biggest centaurs that came at him. He was a vision; his time with me has served him well.  And even though they argue, and argue often, its nice to see that they have found peace with each other once again.

Our retreat point was secure when echoes came down the line that the Fae Lord Oaks and his Forest Queen Silvani had finally shown up to do battle.  Immediately, I took to the air… landed right behind Marius who had taken the lead charge sandwiched between Dragula and Alejandro — Cherry and Harvey’s dragons.  A flick of my wrist summoned Ichabod’s shadow to me and Marius held on to my hand tight.  We caught sight of the Winged King, and our dragons went straight for him.  Marius leaped out of his summoned steed and onto Oaks… but where o’ where is his little lady?  Quickly I rushed through to find Va’lis and Merida occupied with a bunch of fairies and unicorns, and in the middle of it all … there she was:  Silvani.  I knew the power at work here, was familiar with fae couplings.  We had to ensure they were taken far apart from each other, as their magic fortifies each of them.

Va’lis yelled, “Kill her first!”  So, all three of us jumped on her tearing her limb from limb.  Fangs extended, I bit right into her shoulder extracting as much flesh as I could.  I would spit it out and let her bleed, soaking up the fae blood — oh so tasty.  Fae blood has intoxicating properties as it is, but the blood of a Queen is far more potent.  I let Va’lis and Merida know not to take too much.  Merida started to glow from the middle of her torso, so I knew what was coming.  I, being the eldest of us three, knew I could survive Merida’s fire attack.  So I mustered up all the strength I could summon, and pinned her fairy ass down.  Va’lis retreated when he realized Merida was firing up — quite literally. He urged me to follow him… bless him, he does love me.  But I stayed.  I caught a glimpse of his eyes, could that be worry? So to put him at ease, I winked at him.  Merida knew to release her fury and the Queen was set on fire.  I with her!  I had to ensure she would stay put.  I felt my skin burn, I smelled the burning flesh but I pressed on.  Va’lis called out to me. I heard his voice.  My lost soul!  When I couldn’t take the fire anymore, I ran out and Va’lis put me out with his cape.  Now instead of worried he was annoyed. It was his favorite cape!

*waves* Bye bye Forest Queen.  ‘Til reincarnation brings you back.  Damn the Fae!

The shriek that emanated from Oaks was deafening at the fall of his beloved. Now he was utterly vulnerable to our attacks. Marius struck first.. driving his hand straight through his chest and pulling his beating heart out.  I took notice. I rather liked Marius being more the vampire than the diplomat. In all his glory, there was nothing that turned me on more than my husband.  The rest of the fairies and centaurs retreated once their leader met his demise. I am sure they will work tirelessly to reincarnate their leaders.

Now came the part that had my dead heart at a jump start… the search for the Razele twins. We knew they couldn’t go with the retreating Fae to their underground lair as whatever magic they were using to cloak their identities would be revealed. They had no choice but to find shelter in the surrounding areas. We split up and searched the entire forest, piece by piece. It was Va’lis who spotted them hiding in the ruins of an old dilapidated building.

Immediately thoughts of my beloved Saralyn raced through my mind.  I swear I could hear my heart bleeding.  Louis watched me carefully, standing by my side until Marius came.  My connection to Marius is so strong, so much of our blood had been intertwined, that he could see the images my mind was projecting.  A solemn look suddenly crossed his face.  It was at that moment that I realized that my pain was just as much his own pain. All this time, I guess I just couldn’t see past my own grief to realize my husband also needed me as much as I had needed him. Sara’s death wasn’t just my loss, it was all of ours. I grabbed onto my husband, and he grabbed onto me.  Which proved to be useful as I could not contain my rage… only Marius would be able to hold me back as there was no other that was stronger than me except Marius.

As Va’lis approached them, they knew their game was up and quickly ran up one floor.  Walking behind Va’lis was Merida, Kei, Cherry, and Armand as they followed them slowly upstairs.  They immediately attacked their sire thinking they’ll take him down with them. Venser shot him with his crossbow while Sarkhan sent his wolves to attack him. Va’lis took the shot and immediately dispatched one of the wolves — the other one was destroyed by Kei — but stood there a moment in what seemed to be hesitation. The use of animals for evil purposes sent Cherry into a rage and seeing that Va’lis was not reacting, she took charge. As Merida jumped on Sarkhan, Cherry flew over to Venser picking him up by his throat and lifting him straight into the air.

Her actions snapped Va’lis out of it.  He realized he was shot,  pulling the bolt out of his upper left shoulder like it was just a mere annoyance. Anger flashed through him at Cherry for interfering in his business. Cherry had thrown Venser to the ground and pinned him down. Cherry is a Germanic warrior princess, tall and athletic, and even as a mortal — extremely strong and fast; but as a vampire she is damn near unstoppable after all she is over 1,100 years old.  Va’lis ran up on her and tried to knock her off Venser, but Cherry had too strong a hold on the bastard.  Armand, seeing Va’lis reaction, jumped into action trying desperately to remove Cherry off of Venser. It would take a miracle for Armand to pull her off.  Armand feared retaliation from his fiancé’s sire on Cherry.  After some coaxing, Armand finally got Cherry to relax her death grip on the guy — he managed to pin Cherry against the wall letting Merida pick Venser up while Va’lis took Sarkhan down a floor.

Va’lis uses his blood magic to ward off a small area so Sarkhan cannot escape.  I could barely be contained, and to be perfectly honest, the rest of this story is only bits and pieces of what I can remember as the rage inside me blinded me.  Marius tells me that I moved at the speed of light to quickly end Venser when Merida let me have him — I apparently stuck my hand through his chest ripping out his dead heart and throwing it on the floor.  But he also tells me that he had to restrain me after that because I moved methodically and irrationally towards Sarkhan employing Merida to move out of my way.  Of course she did not, respecting her sire’s right to his progeny.  Marius tells me that she pleaded with me to remember that if I hurt her that Armand would be heart broken.  My feelings for my sire-brother were apparently strong enough to hesitate for a brief moment, but my intentions were to stop at nothing to wrap my hands around Sarkhan’s own dead heart.  Marius was not going to allow me to break the Laws, that much is certain, but he also would not allow me to hurt my own family either.

All I could do to quiet the rage inside me was evoke my Mind Gift and channel the rage into it.  To those around me it would have felt like a category 8+ earthquake,  although I personally did not feel it.  Merida took Sarhkan out of the warded circle and gated him to a safe location for Va’lis to deal with later.  Marius urged us all to get out, he was still holding me in place.  The building was starting to implode onto itself; my Mind Gift is very powerful at my age so he knew it wouldn’t take long.  Everyone but myself and Marius made it out, and then as the building collapsed around my husband and I — BLACKNESS filled my mind.

Armand tells me that he panicked.  The thought of loosing his sire would have most certainly sent him into a panic — he adores Marius, and me as well.  A very mortal reaction to an immortal occurrence.  Armand does still retain quite a bit of his mortality, and not many people get to see it.  Which is probably why Louis is attached to Armand; they’ve had their moments where Louis was privy to Armand’s mortal feelings.  He also tells me that it was Va’lis, with the use of a few summoned earth elementals, that cleared through the rubble to pull me out while Armand got Marius out.  Armand tells me that Va’lis seemed to be just as concerned for me as he was for Marius, but just isn’t as expressive. Va’lis does love me you know, in his own way.  Marius and I were both unconscious and being that we’re vampires, that would look an awfully lot like a dead corpse, which only sent Armand into more panic.

Just then, Merida returned and Va’lis told her to set the place on fire… and sure enough, the core of her started to glow a blaze… Armand tells me he used to worry about her, but has learned just how well she can control her unique talent.  However, Cherry and Kei … worried quite a bit when they saw her walk into the building and then all the sudden have it be engulfed in flames.  Va’lis had to reassure them that she would be fine.  And she was, she came out looking completely charred in soot and dirt and ashes.  She handed Cherry a bag of ashes and said, “Do with this as you must.”  Cherry tells me that at that moment she felt a pride in Merida that she had never felt before, going as far as congratulating her on a job well done.

At that time, Marius was coming to, which settled Armand’s panic and he was able to breathe again — panic makes him forget to breathe — and Marius slowly started to wake me up as well.  As I came too, I looked for Va’lis — my lost soul that I so loved, so dearly loved — but what I saw was the man he had once been, not the new improved Va’lis that would soon be joining our family. I hope for all our sakes, for the sake of my daughter Brelynn, that this was just a fleeting moment. Va’lis recalled to the location where Sarkhan was being held.  What transpired there, I do not know… but I count on Va’lis retelling me all the gory details for my own satisfaction.


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