Welcome to another War of Nytefall: Eulogy excerpt. The opening of the story really required that I establish the mood of the world. Previous events have caused issues for the Dawn Fangs and here we get an idea of how things are going. Enjoy.
“Can you believe it?”
“Keeps me up at night.”
“I heard the blacksmith is one.”
“That’s a shame.”
“She was so nice and friendly.”
“I assume that’s how they catch you.”
“Has anyone actually been taken by the monsters?”
“Not that I’ve heard of, but I’m sure it’s happened.”
“Duke Solomon is vouching for them.”
“Sad that such a great man is under mind control.”
Sitting in a corner of the tavern, Chastity Sullivan cannot stop herself from shivering at the scattered conversations. Her keen ears latch onto words of fear and suspicion, which Clyde has worried about for decades. With the peace talks still a week away, the raven-haired Dawn Fang imagines there will be several incidents. All of the Dawn Fangs have been told not to fight back and to simply run if they have no other choice. She knows many of her kind will refuse to retreat and sacrifice the lives they built over several years. The thought of those with children having to uproot themselves fills her with dread since it would lead to a generation of womb-born growing up hating mortals. A sharp pinch to her side helps rid herself of the spiraling thoughts, but the tension returns when a woman loudly swears that a Dawn Fang was responsible for eating three of her children. The story is swiftly shouted down by a man who tells her it was a Weapon Dragon, but he follows it up by talking about a clawed hand rising out of the shadows to steal his favorite ring.
Chastity adjust her plain dress and orders another ale from a passing waitress who is clearly anxious. Unlike the mortals, the attractive Dawn Fang’s yellow eyes are able to notice the girl’s restrained muscles, which are a subtle sign of her true nature. The tension in the hidden vampire’s body is more than usual out of fear of being discovered, which is why she has been staying by the outer tables and helping in the kitchen. Seeing an opening, Chastity sends out a puff of pink mist, which drifts into the waitress’s nose. The charm vapor and a whispered instruction relaxes her enough to stave off an outburst once the conversations turn towards threats of violence. Leaning back in her chair, the older Dawn Fang continues listening to the mortals discuss the revelation of monsters living among them. The urge to charm everyone and end the terrifying descriptions is enough to make the tips of her fangs peek out of her mouth. A long slurp of her drink is enough to hide the change until she has herself under control.
The front door swings open and everyone turns to look at the sapphire-eyed halfling, who politely waves at all of the mortals. His dusty clothes are those of a simple traveler and his boots are on the verge of falling apart, which stands in contrast to his crystal rose brooch. He polishes the shiny bauble with his thumb before taking a bow as if he has completed a performance. The blond ponytail, which hangs down to his waist, flips over his head and causes a few titters of laughter to ripple through the crowd. No longer wanting to be the center of attention, the chubby halfling makes his way further into the tavern and greets those around him. By the time he reaches the bar, the darker conversations have begun once more and he is no longer a point of curiosity for anyone other than the waitresses. Paying twice the amount for his drink and a leg of lamb, he weaves among the taller patrons and comes to a stop at the chair next to Chastity.
“You seem very happy, young man,” she says with a smirk.