Charming the Beast Within


(Art by SugarSkully of Imvu)

Locals took notice of the new activity. I trained Ilyana further on necromancy, and how to destroy multiple targets at once with the application of poison. When the sun rose over the dewey-eyed hamlets of the province, the corpses of troll, ogre, orc were discovered. Some called us angels, but ministers called us devils for our work.

Truth was, we were neither.

Of the taking of human life for the purpose of quieting vampire hunger, I taught her who to take and where to take them to. The refined shadows of dungeons like Shame and Deceit were ideal for covering one’s tracks. “Never bite the food,” I told Ilyana, “instead, use your spear. One quick lance to an artery will begin the flow of blood. Catch it in a chalice. Never drink from the body like the vampire of old. You risk infuriating the Beast within, and when that happens, you give yourself away.”

It is true. Awaking the Beast in chosen such as us is begging for multiple sloppy kills and an abuse of one’s prowess. You might begin earnestly enough, but when the change occurs, you might later find yourself slaughtering a whole village of humans, leaving gorgeous bite marks for ministers of light to see and judge.

More than one vampire eradication campaign has begun because of Beast possession.

I pushed Ilyana toward the art of smithing and ore finding. The arts help us forget the bottomless darkness that dwells deep within. I let Ilyana go for a week, bidding only that she spend her nights in the tower studying the fine points of magery and healing. In that week, Ilyana had made her first rudimentary weapons. All were devoted to fencing of course, the art of finesse and puncture. Her first rapier was far too skinny to hold up against the weight of use, and there was not guard at the hilt. Her second and third drafts were far better, and the guard was an interesting design, much like the webbing of some devious spider.

When she grew furious with herself over her smithing limitations, I pushed her to the art of tailoring and the creation of armor pieces made from the hide of the lizardmen of the region. Ilyana wanted dragon skin of course, but I told her if she wanted dragon, she would have to study the art of taming their young.

What will I do when this girl no longer listens to me?

Only the goddess herself can tell.


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