Teaser Tuesday: Vampire King on the Run

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Welcome back for another War of Nytefall: Eulogy teaser.  Looks like Clyde isn’t having much luck here.  Enjoy.

Skidding to a stop at where the desert meets the grassy territory of Serab, Clyde relaxes and turns to make sure he is alone. A curse slips from his lips when he realizes the entire army is still in pursuit. Each mortal is glowing thanks to layers of speed and stamina spells emanating from their clothes. An unnaturally cool breeze strikes the Dawn Fang and draws his attention to casters who are riding enchanted chairs, which soar above the soldiers. The spells make him shiver slightly, but the reaction is caused more by anger at having to continue his retreat instead of resting. Clyde stomps into the sand to send a wave at the first line of pursuers, but the moving wall is sliced in half by their leader’s scimitar. The woman’s feathered helmet glows before creating a protective shield around the entire force. A hazy mist rises from the barrier and makes it difficult to see exactly what the mortals are doing or if their numbers remain the same. The Dawn Fang grabs a rock and hurls it at one of the casters hovering above the army, but the projectile is caught by an invisible force and drawn to the dome. It shatters against the solid magic, the blow causing the leader to shudder as if she felt some of the impact. The delay is not enough to give the vampire time to disappear, but he senses his situation will get worse the instant he tries to use an illusion.

Not wanting to kill anyone, Clyde backs further into the cooler region of Serab, which is dotted with hills. Glancing over his shoulder, he spots a road with a group of six travelers heading towards the south. Beyond the armed figures, the vampire sees a thick forest, which can give him the cover needed to either escape completely or split up his pursuers. He sprints away from the distant adventurers to make a wide circle towards the wilderness without drawing more people into the hunt. The idea of facing mysterious adventurers on top of an advancing army threatens to trigger his barely restrained battle lust. Fueled by the wisps of crimson coming out of his pores, the Dawn Fang charge across the grassy landscape. No longer muffled by the sand, the mortals’ stomping feet echo across the area and scare the local fauna out of their path. Coming to a hill, Clyde leaps over it and runs in a direction that keeps him blocked from view. His plan for the army to split and pass the obstacle on both sides are dashed when he looks back to see them moving in unison. He mutters at the sight of the casters who are high in the air and able to track him with ease. Their presence is another reason he becomes desperate to reach the trees where they will be prevented from spotting him beneath the thick canopy.

Veering to his left, the Vampire King heads for the forest, but it becomes clear the army may be fast enough to cut him off. He creates multiple versions of himself to run at different speeds, but all of them are dispelled by a barrage from the casters. A dragon looming out of the clouds meets the same fate as does the giant rushing the mortals from their flank. With a faint smirk, Clyde switches to smaller illusions such as tiny dips in the ground and knee-high bushes, which appear in the army’s path. All of them go unnoticed by those in the sky, who are kept distracted by the occasional large monster or extra Vampire King. Gradually, the mortals are slowed enough for him to get ahead without his pursuers realizing he is the one behind their minor obstacles. Wanting to give the casters some grief, he chooses random targets to inflict with strange tickling sensations. They slap the back of their necks or wriggle in their chairs, which breaks the flimsy illusions. One luckless man freaks out at the idea of there being spiders in his clothes and he nearly tumbles off his flying chair. Dangling from the tapered legs, he needs help from his friends to get back up before he falls into the army below. Even with such an obvious trick, none of them appear to suspect the minor discomforts are being created alongside the demons and dragons emerging from thin air. By the time the Dawn Fang has reached the edge of the forest, all of his pursuers are far enough behind that he is confident he can escape the moment he is within the trees. Rushing between two oaks, Clyde feels the telltale sensation of falling into the darkness and smiles as he sinks into the void.

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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6 Responses to Teaser Tuesday: Vampire King on the Run

  1. The description of the caster thinking he shared his chair with spiders was gold.


  2. L. Marie says:

    Woo! Good action and emotion in Clyde!


  3. I always liked the word “fauna.” No idea why I was drawn to that. Maybe it’s just been a long day.


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