With it being Spring Break and me gearing up for the big release, I’m going with a few simple character introductions. This week has the leader of the Vengeance Hounds getting his bio, so I figure I’ll put up a teaser with him. Sort of. The guy really only fights and shows off his warrior abilities in spoiler heavy scenes.
War of Nytefall: Loyalty
Coming April 7th!
Titus and Decker leap to their feet when the castle doors open, the pair still showing signs of their recent battles. To their dismay and relief, the only person who enters is an elderly vampire and a large dog that helps her walk. Sitting back down, Titus goes back to rubbing salve on the ugly wound that runs down his entire left side. The herbal goo prevents what little blood he has left from escaping by sealing the gash, but he can already tell that it will scar like the ones on his chest and back. Hearing a guttural grunt, the tall vampire turns to find Decker offering him a mug of blood mixed with enough ale to give him a slight buzz. Taking the drink, Titus waits for the one-armed dwarf to pick up his own wooden cup, which is sitting on his neatly wrapped severed limb. Smoke wafts off the package, the acrid stench of holy magic threatening to ruin their appetites. Clinking glasses and chugging the welcomed snack in unison, the pair are happy to do something other than wait in silence. Neither one has wanted to speak since word arrived that their old friend is alive, the message giving both men a sense that they should be prepared for a violent reunion.
“Do you think he’s really going to come in looking for a fight?” Titus finally asks as he sits down. Grabbing a needle and thread, he goes about stitching up his wound, which is hissing in response to the salve. “Can’t say I blame him since we never tried to dig him out. I know I’d be pretty angry. Then again, I’m sure Mab explained the situation, so he has to understand what was going on.”
“It may be some time before Clyde understands. The world went on without him, which has to be disorienting,” Decker replies while unwrapping his arm. Pressing the limb to his bleeding stump, the dwarf closes his eyes and moves his blood to heal the injury. “All we can do is explain ourselves and hope he agrees that we did the right thing. It isn’t like we haven’t regretted our decisions, but what we saw back then was . . . unreal. It was like Windemere itself devoured the man. Who are we to question the world’s desire?”
“My sister did without fail,” the other warrior answers with a wry smile. Grabbing his metallic coat, he carefully slips it on and curses when one of his stitches pops. “We argued about it for all of those years, but I was too deaf to really listen. Unlike everyone else, I’m her flesh and blood from before our turning. If anybody should have believed her, it should have been me. No matter what I tell him, it’ll sound like a hollow excuse. Really boils down to me losing faith in a friend’s ability to survive.”
The dwarf releases his damaged limb and lets it dangle from a few tendons while he runs his fingers through his beard. “All three of us watched the execution and we had no reason to believe that the Great Cataclysm changed his fate. None of us can tell the future and we are not gods, so our perceptions and decisions are flawed. Consider that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if Mab went there and came back alone. Cessia must have blessed Clyde long ago because anyone else would be dead.”
“I hate it when you make good points.”
“If it helps, they don’t rid me of my guilt and shame.”
“Although, you bring up an interesting theory.”
“Why would the gods be interested in a vampire?”
“Not like Lorvis the Rotting One picks chosen.”
“He would choose a Lich over a vampire anyway.”
“Can’t wait for Clyde to get back, so we can talk to him.”
A cough draws their attention to a nearby chair where the large dog is sitting while the elderly woman leans against the wall. A minute of awkward silence passes before Titus and Decker realize who they must be looking at. The instant they have a spark of recognition in their eyes, the fake beast fades away to reveal Clyde. With a snap of his fingers, he destroys the illusion surrounding Mab, except for the facial wrinkles. He is about to stand when the burglar grabs him by the shoulder and glares at him until he removes the last of his spell. Approaching his old friends, the black-clothed vampire cracks his knuckles and grins so wide that his mouth appears to be bigger than his head. Moving in the blink of an eye, Clyde kicks the small table between the two men and sends it crashing through the ceiling. Spinning on his heels, he waits for them to stand with their heads lowered before slumping back into his chair. He is about to speak when Mab giggles and immediately slaps her hands over her mouth.