Orchard

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Isobel gave up finding a hovel with a root cellar after a week of sneaking into the sewers at daybreak, rising at night to search. She would starve to death this way. One cannot serve two masters, or so the saying goes.

With the rise of the hunger, memories came back to her.

The Orchard! Of course. What ever had she been thinking? There were ready made crypts in those ruined hills just waiting for a thing like her. Sure, it meant she would have to uproot the undead already housing itself in a crypt, but that never stopped her before, to the best of her recollection.

When the hunger became insatiable, Isobel cloaked herself in shadows, and slipped off in the direction of House Philarin with great determination.

She would feed somewhere, anywhere, along the way.

redheadedelf

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“I have a feeling we let a something…maybe a vampyre slink out harm’s way,” Kailifae said. She was aiming for the ear of Dolwyn, but the cleric was still clonking a practice dummy on the head with his dwarven mace.

“Huh?” he said, suddenly aware he missed something important.

“That woman in the graveyard,” Kailifae said, picking up her bow swiftly, knocking an arrow, letting it fly at the practice dummy. “Vampyre.”

The arrow shivered into the bullseye mark.

“Oh, yeah. See, I told you something was funny,” Dolwyn said, running his stubby fingers through his sweaty, close-cropped hair. “I think she was one of the bad folk.”

“I don’t like being lied to,” Kailifae said, knocking a second arrow, this time pulling the bowstring back slowly, gracefully, closing her eyes, seeing the target without sight.

The arrow thawked deep into the dummy, sand spilling out like quicksilver.

“Why’d you go and do that?” Dolwyn asked, rolling his eyes. “I hate it. I hate it when you get mad and destroy a perfectly good practice dummy.”

“I’m not mad, Kailifae said cooly, “I’m focused.”

“I remember what happened the last time you got focused,” Dolwyn said worriedly, remembering the thundering sound of fire giants chasing them in Gianthold. If it weren’t for his divine graces and…he hated to admit it…the monk’s bow, doom would have befallen them for sure.

“We’re going back to Mabar. We have a little hunting to do.” Kailifae said.

“A hunt? A hunt for a vampyre? It’s about time we do something like that. I can’t wait to tell my brethren back at the Silver—”

“–if you want to come along,” Kailifae growled, “save the heroics for after the fight. This isn’t just any two-bit vampyre. This one….she’s savvy. Very savvy.”

Dolwyn nodded thoughtfully.

He hoped his mace could handle such a creature.


Author’s Note:
1. Vampyre: I use this term because it fells right. It feels archaic. It feels old. So I used it.

2. Malabar: Yes, I indeed misspelled the Mabar festival. Nobody noticed, so I’m admitting my fault. Malabar sounds delicious, but it’s Ma-bar. Mabar.

3. Isobel: This character goes all the way back to my Ultima Online days. I brought her to DDO, resurrected her, rebuilt her—a few times. Now she’s back as a necro-monk. She’s loving it!

4. (0) and (+): the 0 denotes the undead section, and the + denotes the portion devoted to the living.

5. The model and the artist in the pics: I have no idea. I wish I did, for I would ask permission to use such fabulous art. If you know them, give me a nudge.

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