Teaser Tuesday: Nobody Home? #fantasy #vampires

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Welcome back for more War of Nytefall: Savagery teasers.  Clyde and Mab are on the scene with a mystery.  Seems to be something off with the Dark Mistress as well.  Enjoy!

“This is new,” Clyde says to himself.

Standing in front of the entrance to Gregorio’s lair, the ebony-haired Dawn Fang scratches his chin and stares at the boulder that has been plugged into the cave. Straining wards glisten around the massive rock that he knows came from mountains that are a few hundred miles to the north. Squatting low enough to check the muddy ground, he examines a strange hole that leads to another layer of protection. Reaching into the narrowing shaft, Clyde touches the heated iron until his hand has been burnt to the bone. His flesh heals as he gets closer to the main entrance and checks the sides where suspicious dents can be found in the stone. Being careful not to touch the unstable wards, the Dawn Fang holds his fist towards the markings and casually licks his fangs. Turning to the forest, he cannot see any damage to the trees, but several faint footprints draw his attention. Darting forward, he moves along the tracks faster than a mortal eye can follow and waits to see if there is a reaction from nearby. Not hearing anything, he sighs and goes back to his fruitless investigation. His blue eyes glint with hunger when he looks down to see his own foot is much smaller than the print left by whoever attacked his maker’s home a week ago. The Dawn Fang bends down to sniff at the ground, but cannot find any scent that stands out as suspicious.

Whistling the first song that comes to his mind, Clyde wanders the clearing and does his best to repair the damage. Anything that he cannot cover with dirt is masked by an illusion that he can drop once someone with the right skills is brought to the area. Rubbing his corn-shaped necklace between his fingers, he gently kicks the boulder and is knocked back by the wards. He tries again in another space with the same result, which forces him to give up on finding a weak point that will allow him to send a message to those trapped inside. His annoyance rises to the point where red mist flows from one of his hands, but he cuts off his Lord’s Rage before it gets too far. The last thing the Dawn Fang wants is to destroy the defenses that Gregorio has felt a need to create and maintain for so long.

“Chastity sent me to make sure Lost is in there!” Clyde shouts into the ground. He waits for a response, but the only noise is a solitary bird warbling in the branches. “It’s been a week since we heard from any of you. All of us are worried, especially since it isn’t like Lost to disappear for so long. The war is starting up again, so I thought that Xavier made a preemptive strike on you. I know you claim to be neutral, old fang, but I don’t know if he considers you an ally of Nytefall or not. Besides, he sent out an army around the same time that I did, so why wouldn’t he have another move to make while I’m distracted? Can I get some kind of message to know you’re all safe?”

“They’re alive and getting bored,” a raspy voice says from behind the man.

Dragging herself out of Clyde’s shadow, Mab rolls onto her back and watches plumes of steam rise from her body. Her short, brown hair is singed at the tips and her clothing is drenched as if she has emerged from a lake. She rapidly blinks her green eyes to help them focus, but there is a cloudy layer that prevents her from seeing more than a foot in front of her face. Extending a claw from one finger, she goes about carefully slices off the damaged pieces of her corneas and with the intention of rapidly healing the damage. She is almost done fixing her left eye when her body spasms and she splits the orb in half. Muttering curses, Mab sits up and pulls out a vial of powdered gemstones, which she snorts up her nose without hesitation. She curls into her hydra-skin jacket when she senses that Clyde is staring at her, his concerned expression so clear in her mind that she does not have to confirm that it is there. Rising to her feet, the burglar cocks her head to the side and listens for any voices that may give her a clue as to what happened. All she receives is a silent whine that is more unnerving than the chatty spirits that have become an easily ignored background noise to her existence.

“I couldn’t get inside, but I got a look before I was blasted,” Mab explains as she turns her back on her partner. Taking one step, she frowns at the squishing sound and sits to remove her boots and socks. “Gregorio is holding classes while Lost is hanging around. They’re making the most of the situation, which is a total lockdown. Whoever attacked the lair required enough defenses to stop a large army. Somebody put up a ward against invasive spells and thieves, which is what got me. Hot water combined with a force blast nearly knocked me out. There was a blinding bomb that went off too, which is why my eyes are a mess. Would you stop staring at my nose?”

“There’s sparkling blood coming from it,” Clyde points out before tossing a handkerchief onto her head.

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: Nobody Home? #fantasy #vampires

  1. L. Marie says:

    A great look at the looming threat and Mab’s addiction issues.


  2. Sounds like Gregorio is serious about not being bothered.


  3. Super excerpt, Charles. I liked the description of Mab fixing her eyes although it made mine water.


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