Teaser Tuesday: Gregorio’s Favorite Hobby #fantasy #vampires

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

One of my guilty pleasures in War of Nytefall is creating new trapped entrances for Gregorio Roman’s lair.  Ravenous doesn’t disappoint here either.  Every time a character has to go inside, they end up on some crazy ride or having to figure out the secret to getting through.  It’s a lot of fun and I probably spend more time on that than anything that comes afterwards.  Enjoy.

“You’ve been quiet for the whole trip,” Mab points out as they leave the forest. Seeing the cave that acts as the entrance to Gregorio Roman’s lair, she is tempted to catch her partner by the wrist and hold him back. “I know you’re still angry about what I’ve been doing. Probably didn’t help my case by lashing out at someone who wanted to help us. Still, you don’t have to give me the silent treatment like a child. At least tell me who is on this mysterious council and let me know if we’re taking Meltasis seriously. Don’t be a jerk and lock me out.”

“What’s going on?” Clyde asks, his eyes blinking rapidly. With a yawn, he stretches his arms and looks around as if suddenly realizing where they are standing. “Got here faster than I thought we would. Are you angry about something, Mab? I needed a nap, so I had Lost hijack my mind enough to walk me over here while she gathered the gang. Figure calling them a council sounds more regal. That and I didn’t want to give Meltasis too much info. He didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know, except for Nadia. I’m not fully convinced she’s really involved either. It isn’t her style to work with someone who can’t keep a secret. That and mortals would never talk about her or Xavier. Those two stay in the shadows and use proxies at every opportunity. Unless the gossipers are priests, hunters, or are connected to our world in some fashion, nobody is saying their names. Let’s head inside since they’re waiting for us.”

“So, you aren’t angry with me?”

The timid question catches Clyde off-guard and he is unable to hide the telltale flinch from his partner. All he can think to do is softly pat her on the shoulder and lead the way into Gregorio’s lair. The pair stop at the entrance and examine the stone for a clue as to what new adventure will bring them inside. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, they walk into the shadowy opening and slam face-first into an expertly painted wall. Parts of the disguised wood crunch from the solid impact and the entire structure buckles for a second. Mab growls and Clyde curses as they stumble back, the sensation of splinters in their noses causing them to repeatedly sneeze until the slivers are out. A sign telling them to knock unfolds from the rock above the entrance, so they return to do as they are told. Neither vampire jumps when a wall slams into place behind them and the one in front falls inwards to reveal a lattice of iron bars. Approaching the next barrier, they keep an eye out for any traps, but the shadows are too thick for them to see the surrounding walls.

With a smirk, Mab sinks into the nearest patch of darkness and reaches out for Clyde to take her by the hand. Her fingers are about to touch his open palm when a magical wind sucks her into the void and she is spit out of her partner’s shadow. The burglar’s speed is enough to launch both of them into the ceiling where they enter a hidden opening. Once inside the tunnel, they are grabbed by a fierce gale that hurls them ever faster towards their destination. The sudden turns are padded with fungi that release eye-watering spores, which are promptly washed off thanks to strategically placed waterfalls. The cascading streams release wisps of vapor into the air and leave the Dawn Fangs shivering from the intense cold. Their ears pop and they are unable to hear each other talk when they abruptly head up at an alarming speed. A rush of warm air hits them as they are fired out of the tunnel and arch over a hollowed cavern that they can barely catch a glimpse of before they are back in the darkness. Instead of a straight descent, they are trapped in a tight spiral that brings them to the brink of vomiting and constantly bounces them off a thick layer of protective moss.

Passing through a prismatic barrier that dries them off, they are roughly deposited in chairs that sit on opposite sides of a large table. The rest of the gang is already seated and enjoying the feast, but they freeze at the sight of their manhandled friends. Mab rubs the top of her head, which is cracked and bleeding from a deep wound that she is too groggy to heal. Across from her, Clyde shifts in his chair and tries with all of his might to avoid wincing from the lingering pain in his crotch. The only person chuckling at their entrance is Gregorio, who is on a barstool that is placed in the middle of the donut-shaped table. Lifting his goggles from his straining eyes, the old gnome lets them slap into place on his bald head. Without a word, he takes out a notebook and begins crossing out full lines of information. He rubs at his nose as a blanket of golden energy rises from his body and creates a dome around the table. Satisfied that everything has been prepared, the vampiric inventor claps his hands and jumps to his feet.

“Let us get this council started,” Gregorio declares with a grin.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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7 Responses to Teaser Tuesday: Gregorio’s Favorite Hobby #fantasy #vampires

  1. L. Marie says:

    Gregorio certainly gets his laughs! This scene must have been fun to write. For some reaon, as I read this, I’m hearing in my mind the music usually playing in the background of a Harley Quinn/Joker episode of the old Batman Animated series. 😀 I usually think of screwball comedies when I hear that music.


  2. Gregorio knows how to organize a council meeting. It is a wonder anyone survives it. Enjoyed it Charles.


  3. The fun comes through. I can tell you enjoyed it.


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