Confrontation

Confrontation

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Alleania is confronted

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52.

Confrontation


 

 

 

 

It was again just after sunset when Alleania flowed like smoke out of her coffin, to rematerialize in the attic room.   Immediately she realized that she wasn’t alone and spun around to find Aurei sitting on a crate nearby.

 

“Hello.”  She said somewhat bleakly and from her mannerisms, she was not here to destroy her.  

“You have found me.”  Alleania replied with a grin, walking over toward her.   Aurei gestured to a crate across from her and she sat down.

“You gave me your memories back in King’s Reach, and so I was able to recall how you placed your well-concealed coffin here.”

“Ah!   I had forgotten about that!   Does everyone else know?”

“Yes; everyone knows.”

“So you are here to kill me?”

“Well, that depends.”

“Yes?   On what?”

Aurei grabbed up a large jug at her side and held it out to her, “It depends on whether you accept this gift or not.”

The Vampire looked at it suspiciously, “What is it?”

“A gift, from me… to my mother.”   She smiled weakly, but sincerely.

Alleania took the jug, but did not open it, “What is inside?”

“Hopefully, a solution to both of our problems.   Before you open it, I must tell you something.   You can’t stay here.   I understand your loneliness, Alleania; I understand that Chal is gone and that your only family is here.”  

“But you must understand several things.   First, Zeatt is no longer the sister that you knew.   She is a High Priestess of Yesh, highly regarded by her God, who has spoken to her personally.   She has been charged with leading his church for at least a period of time and she is devout in this endeavor.”

Alleania nodded, “I know this, Aurei.   I had hoped I would speak to her.”

“I asked her to come with me, Alleania, and she refused.   You see, she saw you die, and she doesn’t want to see you as you are now.   It pains her.”

The Drow woman seemed somewhat stricken by her daughter’s words, “I understand… it does hurt me to know that.”

“Alleania, in her eyes, you are dead.   She has grieved for you and accepted you as dead, for over 70 years.    Just as you have changed, so has Zeatt.   She has a daughter-“

 

“Sophia.”  Alleania nodded with a slight smile, “I saw her several times in Aeropolis.   A lovely creature that hungers for magical power.”

“She is already powerful, Alleania.   She is one of Yesh’s Watchers.”

“A Watcher?”  The Vampire’s eyes widened in fear.

“Yes; you see, Yesh has selected your family.”

“Even you?”

“Yes, he has spoken personally to me as well.”

Alleania’s shoulders sagged at the news, “I see.”

“Alleania, listen to me; as a Paladin, I am obligated to kill you.   I could have easily done that today while you slept in your coffin.   But I didn’t, because, Thank Yesh, Sophia intervened.”

“Sophia?”

“Well, she intervened, but not on her own behalf.   She was on an assignment from Yesh.”

“Yesh?  But-“ She hesitated, confused.

“Alleania; Yesh sent Sophia to me with a solution to your need of blood.   Not a cure for your vampirism, for you are dead and there is no cure but actual death.   Instead, God has given Zeatt, Sophia and I the gift of your life.   Or unlife.”

Alleania looked down at the jug that Aurei had given to her, “It involves this?   How?”

“It is enchanted, as you may have guessed.   The condition on this gift is that you must leave here and return into the Underdark.”

Alleania thought about this for a moment and then slowly nodded, “Very well; now tell me about this jug.”

 

Aurei sighed, “You are a Vampire and require fresh blood to continue to exist.   I know the blood of animals does not sustain you for long.   I also know that you have strived to not take the lives of anyone other than criminals since you returned to Westmark.    But all criminals deserve a trial, so even that is a problem.   Yet, this is not the point.   The problem is your need for fresh blood.   I am a Paladin and I can’t allow that.   So, thanks to an idea from Sophia, I intend to put an end to that forever.”

 

“How?” Alleania asked as she glanced at the corked jug.

 

“Open the stopper and drink from the jug.”   Aurei commanded, but the Vampire hesitated.   Aurei shook her head, “Alleania, if it was something I planned to use to kill you, why would I go to all this trouble, rather than just killing you during the day hours when you were in the coffin?   It is safe for you to drink from it; I swear before Yesh.”

 

Her mother still seemed skeptical, but pulled the cork from the top of the jug and smelled the contents, her eyes glowing brightly when she smelled fresh blood.

 

“Drink it, and I’ll explain.”   Aurei urged, and finally the Vampire lifted the jug to her lips and soon downed the entire contents.  

 

Aurei explained as she watched her consume the blood.

“It was Sophia’s idea; from your mother’s duplicating cases for the Dart’loxinchu.   She knew of a magic jug in Drake’s collection that would duplicate any fluid placed within it.   Unlike the duplicating cases, it could be cleaned out and then a new fluid placed within it.   When the cork is reinserted, after the contents are drained, and if no other fluid is introduced, the jug will be full of the last fluid placed into it.”

Alleania wiped the bright blood from her lips with a satisfied look, “It’s warm and fresh; so you put hot blood into this jug.”

“Yes; it was placed inside straight from the vein, so it will duplicate as fresh.   It isn’t animal blood either, so you should be satisfied.”

She smiled, “Yes, it will indeed sustain me.   But isn’t it evil to spill blood - even from a willing victim- to give to a Vampire?”

“Yes, it is.   That is why we didn’t ask for any volunteers.”

“Then where did it come from?”   Alleania asked.

Aurei smiled weakly, “It’s my blood, Alleania; it nearly killed me to drain out that much, but thankfully Zeatt was able to heal me.   I didn’t want you hungering for any other person’s blood, in case you ever accidentally broke that jug and decided to return and find the source.   It is my own blood, the same blood that once flowed through your veins.”

The Vampire was shocked and at a loss for anything to say, she simply leaned over and embraced Aurei, who thrilled her by returning the hug.

“Thank you, Aurei.   I don’t know what else to say.”

“Just promise me that you won’t take any more lives, even in the Underdark, unless you are attacked and kill them to defend yourself.   Promise me that no innocent person - not even an Orc or a Goblin- will be bitten by you.”

“I swear this to you.”   Alleania whispered, pulling back from Aurei to look at her in the eyes, “I cannot believe you would do this for me.”

“Well, you are my mother, at least by blood.  So I owe you this at least.”

“Aurei, I so would have liked to have raised you - not in the Underdark, but as Zeatt apparently did with Sophia.   I grieve at never having that joy.   But I must say that the humans that brought you up certainly raised you to care for people.   It is a trait that is rare in the Underdark.”

 

Aurei took her hand, “Then change that, Alleania!   You are going to return to that place; you can build a family down there, made up of lost souls like yourself.   Show them how to care, Alleania.   Build a house that is strengthened by trust and respect.   Yesh had mercy upon you, a Vampire, now extend mercy to those you befriend.”

 

Alleania laughed, “I’m a Vampire, child; do you expect me to follow your god?”

“You are a Vampire who was given a gift by Yesh; I would expect you to feel gratitude toward Him.    I don’t expect you to be a follower of Him, but you know that House Ar’Rilla was different from the other noble houses.   I have your memories of it.    Build on that, and grow powerful, Alleania.   Not on murder, schemes and betrayal, but on trust, loyalty and unity of purpose.”

 

“It would be totally alien to the Underdark, Aurei, but I promise you that I will try.”

Aurei was pleased with her promise and squeezed her hand, “I am very glad.   You have been fed; I want you to use this night to remove your coffins.   I have horses and a cart, and have arranged for a merchant convoy travelling south to escort your cart as far as Celiopolis, and I know that there is an entrance to the Underdark in the mountains near that city.”  

 

“These merchants know who and what you are and I have paid them well to protect you.   They know I have the means by scrying devices to know if they betray my contract with them.  Please complete this tonight; the horse and cart are in the Muddy Boot’s stable.”

 

Alleania took it all in, and then looked at her daughter, “So this would be goodbye, wouldn’t it?”

Aurei nodded, feeling surprisingly sad over the thought.  

 

“I wonder what it would have been like, if things had gone differently?”   Alleania asked sadly, taking in a long last look at her daughter.

“I don’t know, Alleania " no-one knows, but we are here now.   I think this is best for you, and for me.   This is indeed farewell.   Goodbye, Mother.”

She extended her arms and they embraced.   Alleania felt cool to the touch and though Aurei was sad at the whole situation, it felt odd hugging the Vampire that was her mother.   But it also made it easier for her and so after the goodbyes, Aurei turned and left the attic without a backwards glance.

 

 

***

 

Eleazar was waiting for her in the Ducal keep and she went to him immediately and hugged him tightly.

“Are you alright?   Did it go well?”

She related to him the conversation.

“I’m sure that was difficult.”   He commented as they sat together.

“I don’t know, Laz; I feel like it should have been difficult, and in some ways it was hard, but I noticed when I was telling her goodbye - she wasn’t warm.   It occurred to me that she wasn’t really alive.    It was like hugging an animated corpse.”

“Well, she actually is just that, Sweetheart.”

“Yeah… I know it.    But she’s not completely dead either, that is what is so weird.   Dead, but not dead; living, but not alive.   How horrible, yet I banished her from my presence.    Zeatt and I are the only family members she has left… well, there is Sophia too, I guess.   I began to think about how lonely she must feel right now.   Maybe I was wrong, Laz.   With that magic jug of my blood, she could live here without killing anyone.”

 

“Aurei, we went over all of that today at length with your Aunt, Sophia, Khord and the Queen; Alleania is a Vampire, she’s undead, and Yesh does not want them among the living.”

“Yes, but He did allow her to live.”

“True, but the Underdark is not like the surface world at all.   Believe me; a Vampire is not unusual at all down there.   It might give her enough of an edge to survive.”

 

Aurei reclined her head against his shoulder with her eyes closed in weariness, “I hope so, Laz.   I never really knew her, but I do want her to survive.”

“I think she will be fine, Sweetheart.   She is a strong woman; like her daughter.”

Aurei just clung to Eleazar and cried softly until she fell asleep against his shoulder.

 

***

 

The night guard told them the following morning that Alleania had done as Aurei had requested and had personally removed the highly concealed coffin from the attic room as well as the other coffin in the abandoned building, and placed both of them, into the cart in the middle of the night.   The guards said it was a sad, lonely sight to behold and they felt very sympathetic to the beautiful Vampire; alone but determined to take the chance that her daughter had given her.

 

By morning she had retreated into the coffin on the cart and as the sun rose steadily higher into the sky, the merchant caravan took to the road to the south.   Aurei stood along side Eleazar and her friends on the parapet of the Ducal keep, watching the cart disappear along with the caravan to the southlands.

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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"...if things had went differently?” I think it may sound better "...had gone differently?"

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on February 18, 2014
Last Updated on April 23, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, death, undead, adventure, knights, paladins, vampires, fantasy, magic, good versus evil

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis


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A Chapter by Eddie Davis