The Origin of the Vampyre

There are two great evils that plague Rynian.  The most feared is the Orc, whose origin and purpose are mostly unknown to us.  The other great evil is a plague upon humans, and that is the Vampyre.  The origin and history of the Vampyre are known to us, and it is important that we do not forget their threat, not merely for the minor bodily harm that they may inflict upon us, but the way in which they may infect our souls.

In the greatly populated city of Litarun, in the nation of Thidil, a human farmer named Edis spent a great deal of his time in a local inn, and was widely known as a man who enjoyed merriment and ale.  He was well-respected in his community and a personal friend to all that he knew.  It was not known to those around him that privately, he had developed an interest in the Serpents.

At this time, the Serpents were already known among the races of men and elves to be wholly evil and untrustworthy.  Though they have no magical power of their own, they are very skilled with their tongues, and have a supernatural ability of manipulation.  For this reason, any captured serpent will have his mouth sewn shut, but this is uncommon, as humans rarely have cause to take them prisoner.  In most encounters, any human will crush the serpents’ heads without question or hesitation, for fear that the serpent may speak before it is too late.

What most humans did not yet know is that there is a way to take the power that the serpents did possess to augment the power of an already powerful wizard, with many consequences following.  Only one wizard had ever pursued this goal, in the dark recesses of secrecy.  It is this power that Edis desired to unlock for himself.

One night, after spending some time in the inn, Edis returned to his home within the city, and there he removed a key from behind a loose stone in his wall, and unlocked and entered his basement, taking a lit candle with him.  He closed and locked the door behind him, and as he descended the stairs, he could hear the struggling of the serpent that he had captured in his field in the previous season.  The serpent’s mouth had been sewn shut shortly thereafter, and he was put into a cage with several mice that he was unable to consume.  The mice were still alive, terrified by the serpent, and well-fed by Edis, and the serpent was starved.

“What is your name, Worm?” Edis said mockingly.  The serpent squirmed and tried to speak a curse in vain.  Edis laughed, and said “I have no doubt that you are complaining about the injustice of this horror that I am to inflict upon you.  But do not forget that it was you that attempted to kill me when I caught you stealing my crops.  At any rate, we are both fully aware that neither of us is truly interested in justice.  I am more interested in what I have been planning these last few months, and my plans cannot coexist with justice.  And fear not, for I drank little ale tonight and am sound of mind for this ritual.”

Edis then used his candle to light other candles in the room, and took up a box of soil that he had collected from his field.  With this soil, he made several patterns on the stone floor beneath him, an unholy geometry designed four hundred years earlier by a wizard who had later become a demon.  The geometry was circumscribed, and contained within it three empty circles as well as many complex patterns outside of these three circles.  Edis then opened the cage and seized the serpent, who struggled.  Then Edis said, “Ertu, ertu, asch-tak nil,” which was a secret spell devised by the same wizard four hundred years earlier, and the serpent became limp, only able to move its eyes.

Edis placed the serpent in a circle drawn in the geometry on the ground, and lowered himself to his knees in another.  He then spoke aloud.

“Vampyrus, Vampyrus, my great ancestor.  Please come to me now, and I will continue your magical experiments.  Lord Vampyrus, I pray you assist me now.”

Then, from all corners of the room came a fire, which gathered above the remaining circle in the geometry, and a red light from the fire filled the room.  The fire then formed the image of a face.  Not a human, dwarven, or elven face, or even an orcish face, but a face of some unrecognized race.  The room was made to expand so that the size of this new being could be contained within it.  Edis was frightened by the unexpected power of this presence.  And it spoke to Edis in a voice that spoke directly into his mind without the use of typical sound, expelling all thoughts, so that even the deaf might hear it.

“Mortal!  Do you know what it is to summon a powerful demon before you?  How did you obtain my patterns, and how did you learn the spells that I devised as a wizard?”

“Lord Vampyrus, I am your descendant.  I have your writings, your notes on your experiments, and have been studying them for several years.”

“My descendant?  Which of my women is your ancestor?”

“Tairlyn, Lord.”

“Tairlyn!  I have not forgotten her.  She tried to kill me many times when she learned of my magick.  I did not know that she had conceived a child by me.  She opposed me, and tried to prevent me from accomplishing my goals.  Though she did frustrate my plans, she could not stop me from becoming a demon.  My one regret as a human is that I was unable to exterminate her.  Shall I assume that your purpose is to accomplish what she failed to do?  I will take you with me to Hell if that is the case.”

“My purpose is to accomplish your goals.  I wish to take the power of the serpents.”

“Ah, this comes as a wondrous surprise.  Normally I would kill you where you stand, but the irony of the descendant of Tairlyn becoming the very instrument by which I fulfill my desire is too captivating to deny.  I will grant your request, for by doing so I will reach the goal that I set so long ago.”

The flame then dispersed.  The room was entirely dark, for the candles were blown out, and Edis was unable to move his limbs.  Then, slowly at first, the candles began to light again, seemingly on their own, and though each candle had a flame of great size, there was nothing in the room that was illuminated.  Instead, Edis saw only the white, lightless candle flame against the darkness.  The flames grew until there was nothing else.  Edis felt great pain from the heat of the flame, but was unable to move or scream.  The flame then dispersed, and he once again saw only the darkness, but was unable to feel his own body.

He then saw, illuminated before him, the serpent.  Though the serpent was still limp, it could still move its eyes, and Edis could see fear in them.  The serpent was turned over by an unseen hand, and cut open from its head to the end of its tail.  The same unseen hand then took the blood of the serpent and drew on the ground another pattern, one that Edis did not recognize from his ancestor’s notes.  And as he looked at the pattern, he could not help but be intrigued by it, and he studied it carefully, and it imprinted knowledge onto his mind.  He began to know the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of Vampyrus, as if he had experienced it himself.  He knew of his education in magick, of his secret experiments, of his ritualistic sacrifices of both humans and serpents, of his narrow escape of death at the hands of Tairlyn, and of his great hatred for her.  He began to remember becoming a demon, and of his time spent in Hell, both as tormented and as tormentor.  He remembered being summoned by a mortal, and the pleasure of knowing that he would soon retake physical form.  He then knew that he was no longer Edis.

As Edis, now Vampyrus, continued to study the pattern, a newfound power, unfamiliar to either Edis or Vampyrus but welcomed by both, began to surge through his soul.  This power was the soul of the serpent being absorbed through the pattern drawn in front of him.  He began to feel unnatural physical strength and a taste for blood.

Vampyrus then lost consciousness for a brief period, and when he awoke, the candles were no longer lit, and the room was dark.  Yet, he could now see perfectly in the darkness, with a different sort of vision that he never had before.  And he felt weak, for the process of the transfer of soul and the transfer of power was draining.  The blood of the serpent had dried, so he left the basement, and left his house, careful to avoid the city guard.  He picked an arbitrary house, and entered through the back door, without the need for a key for his magic.  He ascended the stairway and entered the bedroom of a sleeping elderly widower, and said, “Ertu, ertu, asch-tak nil,” so that he would not escape.

He then began to realize that he had two long and sharp teeth that would retract when his mouth was closed, as those of a serpent.  And he opened his maw, and he sunk his teeth into the neck of the man in the bed.  And he fed upon the man, taking his fill of blood, mostly satisfied but also aware that a younger person would be far more pleasing to consume.  And there he left the man, paralyzed by the spell and bleeding so that he would certainly be dead before long.

Vampyrus then left the house by the same way that he came, and the sun was beginning to rise.  He feared that he might be seen by the guard with blood on his face and hands, but he was more concerned by his sudden realization that his eyes and skin were now sensitive to the sunlight, an unexpected consequence of the bonding, likely due to the demon blood in his veins rather than the serpent blood.  When he came into the faint light of the sunrise, he began to hiss as a snake would.  And he quickly but stealthily made his way into his home and into his basement, for the sunlight would penetrate his windows in every other room.

There in the basement, he no longer had need for sleep, and taking the notes that Edis had kept hidden, he continued to work on the magical spells that he had left behind four hundred years earlier, and looked forward to continuing his plan that Tairlyn had thwarted.

At sunset, Vampyrus left his basement and house and made way for the inn for the usual end-of-day festivities.  He was given an ale by the innkeeper upon entering, who was already laughing at the stories that people told.  He did not realize until now that the taste of ale was now sickening to him, as it was not blood.

“Edis!” said Leyus, Edis’ cousin, oldest friend, and neighbor next door.  “You were not in the field today.”

Vampyrus then turned towards Leyus, and Leyus’ expression soon turned to a hidden disgust as he saw the whiteness of Vampyrus’ skin.

“Sprites save us!” said Leyus.  “I think I can see why.  What has happened to you?  Have you seen a healer?”

Vampyrus laughed and said, “I am well, old friend.  I have something that I wish to say to everyone.”  He then left his glass on a counter and walked to the center of the room and said so that all would hear, “Everyone!  I beg for your attention for a brief moment.”

The laughter and conversation in the room died down extraordinarily quickly, and everyone turned to look at Vampyrus.  And they were horrified, because he appeared as a corpse.

“I have something that is very important to share with you,” he said.  “A new religion.  A religion of peace, of justice, and of strength.  In this religion, none will feel need, and desire will be fulfilled.  In this religion, your enemies will be no more, and your brothers and sisters will be your closest allies.  I am no longer Edis.  I am Vampyrus.  And in this religion, I will be your god.  And you will be my vampyres.”

Leyus was terrified at the words that he was hearing, but as he looked at the people around him, he was even more terrified to see that much fewer people had the same expression of fear that they had at their first sight of him.  Despite the whiteness of his skin and the serpent’s teeth that could plainly be seen when he spoke, they were bewitched by his words, for such was the power of a serpent.

It was always apparent to Leyus that there was a dark element within Edis, and it was something that terrified him since his youth.  Yet his love for his cousin always brought him to pray for intervention from the Sprites and the Highest Authority whom they serve.

Leyus did not spend any time speaking with Vampyrus in the coming weeks.  He saw that great crowds of people flocked to join his new religion, including many that previously vehemently opposed the religion.  They built for themselves an underground chapel in which they gathered at night.  None of the vampyres ventured into daylight.  During the day, Leyus saw fewer people on the street.  At sunset, he would go to his window and see vampyres leaving their houses and traveling to the chapel, and their numbers were growing each night.

Yet combining the numbers of people that Leyus would see during the day with the number of those seen at night, there still seemed far fewer people in the city.  And Leyus soon learned that there were a number of gruesome murders that the city guard had found, all of which occurred in the victim’s bed without any apparent struggle, and nearly always behind locked doors.  And there were tales of small monsters that resembled birds attacking and killing people within the city, and they were called bats by the townspeople.  Then the daywalkers, as they were soon called, were afraid, and some left the city, and the nightwalkers continued to go to the chapel at night.

Leyus’ wife had died giving birth to their daughter, Mirwyn, but as she grew, Leyus soon came to notice the same strength of mind and integrity in Mirwyn that he admired in his wife.

One night, Leyus returned late from the fields, and came to speak to his daughter in her bedroom.  There, he saw Vampyrus with his teeth in her neck, and her blood was on the bed and his face.

“Edis!” he shouted in anger, and he pulled from his tunic a dagger, and attempted to stab Vampyrus in the side, but the blade shattered instead.  Vampyrus turned to him and hissed, then grinned and began to approach him slowly.  Leyus then held out his hand and used his magical knowledge to create sunlight, and Vampyrus hissed and leaped out of the window, crashing through the glass.

Leyus then went to his daughter and looked at her, and he saw that she was bleeding, but still alive and not moving.  So he ripped off a piece of her bedding and tied it around her neck to slow the bleeding, and he did what healing magic he knew, and it slowed the bleeding so that her life was not in immediate danger, but it did not heal the wound entirely and it did not rouse her from the paralysis.  So he picked her up and took her to the nearest healer.

He kicked the door and began to yell, “Taylyn!  Taylyn, I need your help!  Please help!”

The healer, Taylyn, unlocked the door in haste, and seeing Mirwyn, said, “Sprites have mercy upon us!  What has happened to your daughter?”

Bringing her in and putting her on the table, Leyus said, “We were right.  Our suspicions have been right all this time.  It is the vampyres that are committing the murders.  I caught Edis himself in the act, murdering my daughter in such a horrifying way.  I pray that I stopped him in time.

Taylyn put her hands upon Mirwyn’s wound and said “Asiree lynach, rykoom arq-naght!” The bleeding then stopped and the blood evaporated, and Taylyn looked up to Leyus, and she saw behind him her husband looking in on them.  Her young son came in as well, and, not wanting him to see this sight, she said “Please, Kares, return to your bed.”  And her husband directed their son to his bed, and both stayed out of sight.

“There is venom in her veins,” said Taylyn.  “It is unlike any that I have encountered before.  I do not know what I can do for her, but I may know of one who can help.  I do not believe that she is in danger of death soon.  We must take her to my former master, with haste.”

Leyus nodded and left the house to ready some horses, to find that Taylyn’s husband was already doing so.

“Kares and I are coming with you,” he said to Taylyn as she was readying her alchemy equipment.  “This city is dangerous and I am happy to see you leave it, but I wish for our son to go as well.  And I will help to protect you from the beasts of the wild, for Leyus will be concerned with Mirwyn.”

“Very well,” said Taylyn, and all of them mounted their horses, and Mirwyn was placed on Leyus’ horse, and they left, following Taylyn’s lead.

Within four hours, they found themselves in a foreign city, before a great tower, and Taylyn said to the guard, “I must speak with Kares the Elder, the mage, and it is a matter of great importance.”

Seeing the greatly ill Mirwyn, the guard quickly opened the door and said, “Come in.  I remember you, Taylyn, and I know that you may come to his clinic immediately.  I will fetch him from his study.”

The party ascended the stairs and laid Mirwyn down onto an observation table, and an old and hoary man soon entered.  Without speaking, and without Taylyn speaking to him, he moved to Mirwyn and with great care he felt her pulse in her arm, and he put his hand upon her head and spoke a spell under his breath.

He then turned to Leyus and said to him, “You are her father, I assume.”

“Yes,” said Leyus.

“It pains me to tell you that there is little, if anything that I can do.  I can relieve some of the pain, but this is not merely venom.  She is fighting a battle in her soul.  If she is victorious, she will die of exhaustion, there is no doubt.  If she surrenders, she will become a vampyre, and then she will no longer be human.”

He then smiled a bittersweet smile and said to Leyus, “You have raised a strong and virtuous daughter.  She will not allow herself to be overcome by evil, that I know.  But, that means that she will die.  I am very sorry.”

Leyus wept over his daughter that night and for many days and nights after, and in that time she remained in sleep, struggling with illness, and occasionally speaking unintelligibly.  And ever Leyus remained by her side, holding her hand, tireless.  Taylyn and Kares the Elder continually asked of him that he eat and drink, but it was difficult for him to keep any food down.

One day, Kares the Elder sat in the room and said to Leyus, “I know this is difficult for you to hear anything now, but you must listen to what I have to tell you.”

Leyus then turned to Kares to hear him.

“As painful as this is, it is by providence of the Sprites that you were brought to me at this time.  The vampyres have grown strong, and even now are beginning their revolution.  They will soon take the city, and they have already begun to find their victims outside of Litarun.”

“Why have the Sprites brought me to you?”

“Because you must stop them.  You must kill Vampyrus.”

“Vampyrus is the name of my ancestor, a wizard who is long dead.  Edis is the leader of the cult and he has taken Vampyrus’ name for reasons that I do not know.”

“Edis and Vampyrus are now one.  There is no distinction.”

“I do not understand.”

“There is much that you do not know of Vampyrus.  He did not die, but was condemned to Hell as a demon.  He and my daughter, Tairlyn, spent their childhood together, and he took her as his wife.  Tairlyn was a woman of great beauty and wisdom, and she was enamored by his great knowledge of magic and his affinity for spellwriting.  She cared greatly for him, but she told me in secret that there was something within him that frightened her.  He later confided his evil plans to her, and she attempted to thwart him.  She brought forth the Sprites to take Vampyrus to Hell as a demon, though in his twisted thoughts he believes that it was by his own power.  At this time she had already conceived the child by him that continued the line that led to you and Edis, but Vampyrus did not know.

“She feared that Vampyrus may one day return, and that he may complete his plans.  She spent the remainder of her life, extended by magic, creating spells that may destroy him.  She eventually came to a great friend and ally, Vyralas, an elven mage and blacksmith, and together they created a sword, Faeraril, that can destroy Vampyrus, obliterate his soul and erase his spells from the Book.

“This sword contains within it the very soul of Tairlyn.  We owe a great deal to her, for she was a powerful sorceress, and she is the only one with the strength to defeat Vampyrus.  And you, as the descendent of Vampyrus and Tairlyn, must wield it.  I knew that someone would be brought to me one day, were this to happen, that would be specially suited to wield this sword.  And now I find that that person is you.  You have the blood of both Vampyrus and Tairlyn, and with the sword you can remake the magical connection that Tairlyn created so long ago to destroy the fiend.”

“I am no warrior,” said Leyus.

“You will be,” said Kares.  “You must be!”

Leyus then heard the voice of his daughter, very weakly.

“Father?” she said.  Leyus turned to her and took her hand.  Her eyes were still closed.

“Yes, I am here,” he said.

“He is very powerful,” she said, still weakly.  “One way or another, he must be destroyed.”

Mirwyn stopped speaking, and with his hand on her arm, Leyus felt her pulse cease.

“Where is this sword?” said Leyus.

“It is resting, waiting for its battle with Vampyrus.  It is with Vyralas.  I will take you to her.”

Kares then led Leyus to a hermitage in the elven nation of Lamesthe, in a forest that they knew as Larrian.  They were greeted by an elf-woman dressed in light elven battle raiment.

“Kares,” she said.  “It is good to see an old friend, and I am eager to meet a new one.”

“I wish it could have been by cause of a better fate.  Vampyrus has returned in the form of his descendant through Tairlyn, and he has enacted his devilry in the city of Litarun.  The very same devilry that we prevented before.”

Vyralas’ expression turned to fear.  “In such a densely populated city as that, he will surely gain followers quickly, and slaughter any who refuse him.”

“His followers are already beginning to feed on citizens of surrounding cities.”

“Is this whom you have chosen to defeat him?”

“Yes.  The Sprites have brought me another of his direct descendants, who is also through Tairlyn.”

“That is interesting.  The battle between parents will be continued through their children.  With the blood of both, he has a connection to them both, and may himself be a bridge whereby Tairlyn reaches Vampyrus.”

She then came before Leyus and said, “It is truly an honor to meet a descendant of the great and wise Tairlyn.  She was a powerful sorceress, a clever warrior, and my good friend.”

“He will need training,” said Kares.

“That is something that I can provide,” said Vyralas.

For the next ten months, Leyus stayed with Vyralas, and Vyralas trained him intensely in battle magic, swordsmanship, and quarterstaff combat.  Though it was difficult training, his time in the fields had prevented him from being a weak man, and his inherent strength of mind, his determination to avenge his daughter, and his moral character pushed him ever forward to accomplish his goal.  And Vyralas told him of Vampyrus, of the source of his newfound power, and of his plan.

One day, Vyralas said to Leyus, “You are ready.  I will now show you the sword that you must use against Vampyrus.”

She took him through a hidden door that he had not seen before, and she removed a sword in a scabbard from a table, and removed the sword from the scabbard to reveal a silver longsword with a golden hilt and crossguard.  She replaced the sword in the scabbard and handed it to Leyus and said to him, “This is Faeraril, the sword that houses Tairlyn’s soul.  Treat it well.

“Do not use it on anything other than Vampyrus.  Strike hard, and strike a weakness.  After he is destroyed, the other fiends will be vulnerable to death, though they will still be powerful and difficult to kill.  Use your quarterstaff and dagger against them, or another sword, but use Faeraril only on Vampyrus, and sheath it upon his death.  Then return it to Kares the Elder.

“After Vampyrus is destroyed, the vampyres will still have the ability to spread their evil in the same manner by which Vampyrus himself has done.  Those that are bitten but not consumed will accept the evil in the venom and become vampyres, or they will die resisting the evil.

“May the Sprites guide your path.”

Leyus then left the hermitage and the forest and rode to Litarun.

By this time, almost a year had passed since his departure, and there were no humans left alive in the city.  The roads had been dug so that they delved deep within the earth, so that there was no sunlight that may reach them.  Leyus saw that the castle where the duke had resided was burned down, as were many other buildings, and the city guard was not to be seen.  He knew that the only place he would find Vampyrus was under the ground.  So he descended the road that was dug before him, with his quarterstaff in his hand, and his blades on his back.

He used his magic to light the end of his quarterstaff, so that sunlight would make clear his path.  He saw several corpses along the path as he moved forward, and he saw, hanging upside down from the cavern ceiling, the creatures about which he had heard tales a year earlier, the creatures that had been called bats.  In the long walk down the path, Leyus realized what they were and what there purpose was.  Though they fled from the sunlight, Leyus could plainly see that they were abominable perversions of birds, and that they appeared to be creations of experiments similar to that which created the vampyres.  Leyus assumed that they were probably intended to serve the vampyres, and were likely the cause of the corpses that he was passing.

And he soon encountered a vampyre woman in the tunnel road.  She held her hands to her eyes for the sunlight from Leyus’ quarterstaff, but she seemed to wish to speak to him.

“What is your name, fiend?” Leyus said.

The vampyre woman hissed and showed her serpent’s teeth, and she said, “I do not remember my name, and it is not important.  Look before you, and you will see that many have challenged us.  Yet we are still here.  Not one of us has been slain, and we continue to feed on those who refuse to join us, and we even feed on many that would willingly join us were we not hungry when we found them.  Do you still wish to enter the city?”

“I do,” said Leyus.

“So be it,” the vampyre said, and she showed her teeth once again and lunged at him, ready to devour, but he struck her with his quarterstaff, staggering her, and he continued to fight her and push her back so that he would go deeper into the city.

Many vampyres came to fight him, intending to devour him, even in the light that blinded them and caused them pain.  Leyus could not slay them, but he was able to hold them at bay with his quarterstaff.  And he fought for a great time, enduring with the aid of magic, to get through the vampyre city that had never before seen sunlight.  And the bats also came against him, and they fought against him fiercely, emitting a loud and high-pitched sound that caused pain to his ears.

And he soon found a great castle as he fought his way through the city, and he surmised that Vampyrus would be there.  So he fought his way into the castle.

He soon came to a throne room, where the vampyres dare not follow, for it was holy ground to them.  And in the throne room he saw something sitting on a throne of bones that almost looked human.  It was Vampyrus, still in the form of Edis, but his white skin had tightened around his skull so that he could not entirely close his eyes or his lips.  His hair had fallen out.  Each one of his teeth was unnaturally sharp and crooked, not merely the two that Leyus had seen before.  His tongue was now long, thin, and forked, and it shot out in a loud hiss when Leyus entered the room with his bright quarterstaff.

Above the throne was the body of the duke, still in his royal clothing and wearing his regalia, nailed to the wall.  Also in the throne room were hundreds of bats, and when they saw the sunlight from the quarterstaff, they erupted into chaos and left the room, out another cavern in the ceiling.

“Extinguish your flame!” said Vampyrus.

The sunlight from the quarterstaff then disappeared against the will of Leyus, and it was now dark.

“Ah, beloved cousin!” Leyus heard Vampyrus say in the darkness.  “I was disappointed that you did not accept my religion.  I was going to allow you to sit at my right hand after all that we have been through.  The offer is still yours, if you are willing.”

“What then?  We conquer the world?”

“Precisely.”

“And what happens when there are no more humans?  What will I have to feed upon?”

“You think too small, cousin.  This is but a stage in my plan, a stepping stone.  My goal is not merely to rule as I am now.  Feeding gives me power, and very soon I will gain enough power to overthrow the Sprites themselves, and I and my vampyres will take control of the very essence of the universe.  We will be immortal and almighty.”

“Your words may poison the minds of many, but they are empty to me.  You will never overthrow the Sprites.  Even were I not here to stop you, that could never happen.  But I am here to make certain that your evil is curbed on this day!”

Leyus then stuck the ground with his quarterstaff, lodging it into a space between stones, and again filled the room with sunlight, and Vampyrus hissed and held his hands to his eyes.  Leyus then removed Faeraril from the scabbard on his back with his left hand, and he wielded it with both of his hands.

Vampyrus then said, “I would be interested to see how you believe you will do so!”

Vampyrus then opened his maw wide, revealing many rows of his unnatural teeth, and he leaped towards Leyus.  And Leyus forced Faeraril into Vampyrus’ mouth, and the sword went cleanly through Vampyrus’ head.

Vampyrus staggered, with the sword still through his mouth and Leyus’ hand still on the hilt.  He began to gargle a scream and a hiss, and his eyes moved rapidly, uncontrollably, and independently of each other.  He put his hands on Leyus’, and he sunk his long fingernails into Leyus’ hands until Leyus removed Faeraril.  Then Vampyrus fell to the ground and tried in vain to use healing magic on himself.  The magic was only enough to give him the strength to speak.

“Tairlyn… Damn you!”

But his curse was meaningless, for he had no power over Tairlyn.  Leyus then struck at Vampyrus one last time, taking off his head.  He then used a rag to clean Faeraril of Vampyrus’ black and white blood, and gently placed it back in its scabbard.

As he turned around, he saw vampyres watching, their hands shading their eyes from the bright light, from outside of the throne room through the large door.  He then removed from the scabbard on the right side of his back a steel shortsword, and prepared himself for their attack.  Seeing that he was prepared to slay them, they hissed and at once attacked him.  And he fought back, with his sword in his right hand and with fire, lightning, and wind magic in his left, and he defended himself with a shielding magic.

He was now able to slay them, not as easily as he would a human, elf, or even a dwarf, but they were now vulnerable, and he killed a great many of them.  Others ran away.  After the throne room was cleared, he took his quarterstaff from the ground with his left hand and went out again into the city, where he fought and slew more vampyres with his sword and quarterstaff.  He met much less resistance this time through the city, for this time the vampyres were dying, and many were afraid to fight.

Before Leyus made his way through the primary sector of the city, he used his fire magic to begin to burn down the buildings around him.  And so he left the city in ruins, and he left by the same road by which he came, but he knew not how many vampyres had escaped.

He then mounted his horse and made his way for the tower of Kares the Elder.  There he found Taylyn and Kares, her master, and he said to them, “The deed is done.  Vampyrus is dead.”  He then gave Faeraril to Kares in its scabbard.

And Kares and Leyus went to Tairlyn’s grave, and Kares removed Faeraril from its scabbard and placed it in the ground, and he said, “It is done.  You may move on to be with the Sprites, dear Tairlyn.”

The sword then turned to dust, as did the scabbard in Kares’ hand.  And Kares said “I may now live out my life in peace.  I no longer need to concern myself with the great evil of Vampyrus.”

Leyus then took his leave to tell Vyralas of the news, for she had become a dear friend to him.

The city of Litarun is now known as the City of Darkness, and it has not been repopulated even to this day, though it is suspected that some surviving vampyres may use what is left of their underground city as a hideout.

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