Kailifae looked down upon the blanched face of Adran ir”Karsmore, a silver arrow knocked in her enchanted bow. The arrow was ready to deliver, but Kailifae hesitated, a bit confused, a bit saddened at the wretch before her.

“You have the wrong man,” the vampire repeated, syllables cut by his pointy incisors set oddly in front of his mouth, in front of his mouth like a serpent. “I am not , the man you seek.”

“But you are a vampire, are you not,” Kailifae asked.

“Kill him now,” Artha the cleric said at her side. The cleric’s nose wrinkled in disgust at the very thought of allowing this filth to “live” a second more.

“I am the keeper of this vault,” Karsmore repeated, “no one else in House Phiarlan cares about the dead as mush as myself. I am not a monster.”

“But are you a vampire,” Kailifae repeated sternly, bow lifting.

Instead of answering, Karsmore sneered and clenched his hands into bony fists. His form began to dissipate, shifting to shadow.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Artha said, summoning divine fire from above.

Kailifae let loose the arrow where Karsmore’s corporal form had last been, heard it “thunk” solidly, heard Karsmore howl in pain at the fire…at the silver that now raced through his undead body like poison.

“I curse you both,” Karsmore said, now a flaming mass. He did not run. He did not use his magic. Instead, he approached his final end with a single dramatic statement: “Salasso, my brother in blood, will finish you both.”

And that was the end of Karsmore the vampire.

Kalifae and Artha stood watching the vampire’s frame sink into the floor of the crypt, flakes of what he had been drifting into the air as if caught up by a draft or stealthy wind. And when the wind stopped, there was no evidence of Karsmore’s corpse except for a puddle of silver that had been Kalifae’s arrow.

“Leave it,” Artha said stoically, “that metal is cured by the flesh of the undead. It will contaminate you if you reclaim it now.”

Later, after reemerging from the church’s condemned halls, Kalifae stood staring at the night sky from the vantage of Phiarlan’s walks and arbors. Artha stopped, knowing what was on the monk’s mind.

“Where will we find Salasso?” Kailifae asked.

“Like I said before, our first move was the Necropolis, and had you followed my advice instead of your intuitive, monkish feelings, Salsso would be long dead by now perhaps.”

Kailifae gave the cleric a playful sneer. “I’m beginning to trust you, cleric. If you know where to find this Salasso in the Necropolis, please by all means, lead the way.”


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