7 Chapter 7
A small town in the western part of the world, well known for its lack of Vampiric activity, is the most recent chosen hiding place of the mother of the Vampirics with her protector by her at all times. She studies over her spell book, memorizing the most powerful of her spells, including the one spell that could give her a little more time in the upcoming confrontation with her most hated son. The thought of using this particular spell did not sit well with her and she hoped she would not have to use it, as it left her drained of most of magical energy.
The only thing she could hope for short of an act of God was that her son would not find her before the others found him. That would not be the case, as she would soon discover the town she resided in was well known to Nightwing and he was not far behind her. If he had his way about it, he would soon possess the spell book and the one thing he truly wanted. He was determined to get it no matter what the cost.
Nightwing landed just outside of the town where his mother was hiding. He had let his mother think that she was always one step ahead of him but in reality he had been leading her here to this town. He had finally managed to get what he wanted; a final confrontation with his mother and this town was where it was all going to be decided. This was were the fate of the world was going to be determined. He knew only one of two things could happen, now he would kill her and possess the book or she would kill him and the world would be safe. To be sure that he was the victor, he had chosen this town and had been preparing it for years for this battle. He knew every inch of this town and all the people who lived there were either in debt to Nightwing or had been scared into working for him. He left nothing to chance or so he had thought.
Hawk, Savirion, Natalia and Soltaker landed a few miles outside of the town. They had received a letter from Angel a couple of days ago, saying that they were going to make a stand against Nightwing and that they would need their help. The letter also told of some unexpected help from a small village of tree people, one of whom was seeking Nightwing for the destruction of their home, but these were no ordinary warriors. They possessed a sword from a Vampiric, a very special sword of caltamara. They weren't entirely sure of just how they managed to come into the possession of the sword or how they were able to summon it but they could and they were going to be a very big asset in the days to come.
They knew this could be their last chance to stop Nightwing and it was now or never sort of deal. There was no way that they were going to allow Nightwing to come into control of the spell. They knew they had to stop him, they only hoped that they had arrived in time to help.
Nightwing folded his wings around and called forth a spell of shadow to mask his true identity. He strolled into town on foot, disguised as a traveler seeking shelter for the night. He was treated as all travelers were treated, given the same gruff looks, the same poor attitude, that is until the gold started to flow from his pockets into the hands of the people he met. Soon he was treated like royalty around the township. He was offered the finest goods and the best women but none of this interested him. He sought only information about two women, one young and pleasing to the eye and the other with feathery wings and golden skin. It didn't take long to find out they were staying at the only inn the town had and that they were out for the day picking herbs and purchasing goods from the local merchants.
The band of travelers came into town on horseback. They had used magic to disguise their looks in order to keep a low profile and allow them to find out what they needed to know without arousing suspicion. As they soon discovered, that was not going to be easy or cheap. They had to spend half their gold to get the information they needed but that was only the beginning of their troubles. When they arrived at the inn to get a room for the evening, they could smell the sent of their brother. He had been there most recently and with the persuasion of a few gold pieces, they had found out that he had rented a room on the top floor of the Inn. They did the only thing they could do in spite of the situation and rented the last two rooms in the Inn.
"All right, we have two rooms and four people. So how are we going to work this out?" Hawk asked of the group.
"Well, here's an idea. Why don't Savirion and Soltaker take one of the rooms and you and I can take the other room." Natalia responded and Savirion gave a small sly smile at Soltaker and said,
"Hawk and Natalia in the same room together without supervision? Why I'm surprised at you Natalia and here I thought you and Hawk weren't romantically involved. In fact, if I remember right, you just about flipped out when you thought that Hawk was drinking the elixir of life." Natalia became a little red with embarrassment at the comment that Savirion made and quickly responded with a rather snide remark about Savirions father having more in common with Billy goats than with the human race. The others laughed a hearty laugh at the expression on Savirions face. With the problem of the rooms solved for now, they sat down at one of the tables of the common room and began to discuss the Nightwing situation with an air of tension about them.
While they were discussing their plans, Nightwing was beginning preparations for his. He had managed to purchase a very special sword from a lady blacksmith, who had been working on the weapon for some time now and finally managed to craft a sword that could penetrate the flesh of a Vampiric. It was not yet complete though, it needed to be blessed against magic so that the blade could not be damaged or destroyed by magic. Nightwing was in the process of studying the blessing spell that she had given him to make the weapon impervious to magical attack. It also gave the weapon an advantage over a Vampiric using the sword of caltamara, a blade of pure magic. He knew that with this blade, he could do the one thing that would allow him to defeat any Vampiric in battle. He could cut the blade of caltamara in two leaving the Vampiric defenseless.
Nightwing completed his study and set out to gather the necessary components for the spell and after many false starts, he found a shop that carried everything he needed for his spell of blessing. The components cost him the last of his gold but he didn't care. He had everything that he needed and he was ready to cast the spell completing the blades power. There was only one thing that he could not change. He had to wait for nightfall and it was only midday. The spell must be performed under a full moon and there was a full moon on this night according to the local growers. They called it the harvest moon, the brightest moon of the year and the perfect moon to cast the spell by.
The shop owner waited until Nightwing had gone from sight and then slipped out the back, down the alley to the Inn where the others were still debating the best way to go about stopping Nightwing. The discussion had become heated when the shopkeeper walked in and straight over to their table. They all stopped mid-sentence and turned to look at the shopkeeper.
"Yes, is there something we can do for you?" Hawk asked.
"No, but I can help you." He said matter-of-factly.
"OK and just how do you propose to help us when you don't even know what it is we need help with or even if we need help at all."
"Simple, you are Vampirics with the exception of the lady who just so happens to be a Vampiress. You are here to stop Nightwing from killing your mother, taking the spell book she carries and using the spell written in the blood of the demon to take over the world. Now, if I'm wrong, then please forgive me and get back to your arguing. But since I don't think that I am, you might want to hear what I have to say."
"OK, so maybe you might be able to help, so what is it that you can help us with?"
"I know Nightwing plans to defeat you. He bought some supplies from my shop a few minutes ago. I recognized the supplies for a special magic inhibiting spell that would make your caltamara blades useless against him."
"And how do you know this?" The shopkeeper told the group everything he knew about the sword and about the spell. He also told them where they could find their mother and the one they called Angel. He told them everything he could possibly think of about the town and how it had been manipulated and changed over the years. He also told of Nightwing's plan and how he was going to defeat the group and take over the town first and then the surrounding area little by little. He plans to control the world and enslave humanity. He feels humans are good for nothing more than food and slave labor, that all Vampirics should not have to work and that they should be the masters of the earth. He is going to kill everyone who opposes him and there is nothing that we can do. That thought alone scared the hell out of shopkeeper.
Hawk and the others stood in silence for many moments listening to the shopkeeper and realizing that they had been led into the trap that they feared was waiting for them. They felt more or less confident in the fact that they now had an upper hand against Nightwing, they knew what he planned! Natalia was the first to break the deafening silence. "We should try to find a way to lure him out of here so that the fight will be more to our advantage than his."
"And then what? We defeat him and realize that to do so, we had to sink to his level. No thank you. I would rather prove to him that even with all his planning that in the end, he could not win." The group left the little shop in search of their mother. The shopkeeper had been only half-right about where they could find the pair. They found Anecetus but not Angel.
"Mother, I'm so glad to see you after all this time." Hawk said.
"Hawk, my boy, is that you? Where have you been all this time? I have been worried about you. I was afraid that you had been killed by your brother but it is good to see that you have not and that you are well." She replied with joy in her voice and a tear in her eye.
"I may have not been defeated by Nightwing as of yet and I don't plan on being defeated by him. He will never possess the spell in that book so long as there is a God in heaven. There will always be a Vampiric to stop him or die trying." Hawk told his mother of the events that have unfolded over the past few years and of his discovery of the true nature of the spell book. He also told her of the things that had been shown to him in his visions and he knew that the only way to defeat Nightwing was to use the spell book.
He would have to cast the spell in the book but he was afraid to do this, as it would surely mean the end of his way of life. His mother managed to quell his fears and told him if a secret she had been keeping for more that five thousand years, she wanted to die. She needed to die, her life was nothing. She had only realized that eternal life has its limits. After her son began to hunt her, she had not created any new Vampirics in a thousand years and she had not aged in twice as long. She had been forgiven by the lord and her beauty was restored but she must be killed by her own brethren for she was still invincible to the weapons of mortals. Only a Vampiric could give her what she wanted. This bothered Hawk and the others more than they allowed their faces to show but she knew that she had told them something that they did not want to hear. There was only one who could fulfill her wish and she was going to have a hard time keeping Hawk and the others out of the picture.
There weren't to many things left that she could do so she decided to do the one and only thing that she could do. She was going to cast a sleep spell on Hawk and the others. The spell would last only a few minutes but it was all the time she needed to complete her plans. She sat down in front of her spell book and began to read, saying the arcane words under her breath so that the others could not here her. When she finished the group began to feel drowsy and weak.
Soon sleep was upon them and Anecetus began to work quickly. She closed the spell book and placed it in Hawks hands, upon doing so the book began to change. At first it was just a soft faint blue glow that soon turned into the brilliant radiance of a noon day sun. She had to avert her eyes from being blinded by the brilliance of it. The glow faded after a few seconds and the book that had been black and ragged from age and use was now replaced by a book of brilliant gold radiance that had an ancient arcane symbol upon it that glowed with a brilliant blue radiance. She could feel the power emanating from the book and so wished to hold it. So she decided that it would be so.
Anecetus reached out to take the book from Hawk's hands but upon touching the book the blue radiance turned red and the book began to thrum with the power locked inside. She was dead before she realized what had happened. She could see her body lying crumpled on the floor in a burned and charred mass. She knew at that very moment she was dead.
Hawk and the others awoke shortly after Anecetus had touched the book. They saw her charred and crumpled body lying on the floor in front of Hawk with one hand still touching the book. Hawk looked at the book in his hand and knew what had happened. He wanted to yell and scream at his now dead mother but he knew that would do no good. She did what she had to do; the only thing left was to see what secrets the book held.
Angel was the first to notice that the book had changed and after pointing this out, the others couldn't understand why they had not seen this as well but there was no answer to their question. Hawk set the book down on his mothers reading table and opened it. On the inside cover there was an inscription in the ancient language of the Demons of Hell. Hawk did not know how or why he could read this language but he could and so he translated it for the others.
"Let it be known that, he who touches the book of shadows shall so change the book into the book of life, upon which the book will only allow the one who is chosen to touch the book. All others shall be destroyed, for it is ye who has the power to do good or evil. But know that only one may ever possess the book and that one will not be of nature but an unnatural creature of magic, one with power beyond his dreams. He will have the power to choose the destiny of the world."
They stood there in silence at the revelation that lay there on the table before them. Hawk began to flip through the pages of the spell book until he came upon a page that glowed with the same radiance that the cover did. Hawk read the page and re-read the page to be sure that he understood what the casting of this spell meant. When he was sure, he sat back in the chair and stared off into space. He began to tell the others about what he read on the page and about the consequences of casting this spell. "It would mean the end of the world, as we know it. The world would be transformed in the image that I choose, so if I choose a world full of violence and mass destruction, then the world would be destroyed and I would be the cause of it all."
"So why not just leave the world as it is then. There would be no problem, right?" Natalia asked.
"I only wish it was that simple but when I cast the spell, I have to choose a new image for the world to be created in. If I don't then the world will be destroyed, so no matter what I do, I have to change the world in some way if I cast this spell." They all sat there for a minute trying to think of a way to cast the spell and not change the world but they didn't have much time to think on the subject when the book suddenly slammed shut and the front door exploded inward filling the small room with a cloud of dust.
When the dust had settled enough for them to see, they saw Nightwing standing in the doorway of the small cabin. He was holding the sword that he had crafted but it was as yet unblessed. He didn't have the time to cast the necessary spells when he felt the call of the book of life. He flew though town to the cabin and used his powers to blow in the door, catching them all by surprise. He darted forward towards Hawk and the book. Hawk shot out of the chair and towards the back of the room. He knew that if Nightwing attacked, they would all be killed for none of them had the time to call upon their innate weapons with which to defend themselves from his attack.
Nightwing was not interested in them, he was after the book and that was what he went for. But when he touched the book, the arcane symbol once again changed from the brilliant blue to a deep shade of purple. Nightwing's face contorted into a look of shear and absolute pain. He tried, unsuccessfully, to pull his hand away from the book. Small snakes of electricity slinked up his arm and a ghostly form began to take shape above the book.
They all recognized the demon for what he was. He was the one who created the book for his lover before she betrayed him and killed him in his own home. The ghostly figure reached out and touched Nightwing's chest, sending bolts of electricity into his heart cavity. After what felt like an eternity, the ghostly figure faded as did the purple glow of the arcane symbol and Nightwing was gone, finally destroyed by the one thing he sought to possess. The only thing he ever truly desired in his whole miserable life.
The group stood there for many moments staring at the charred remains of Nightwing's body. The acrid smoke rising from his charred corpse assaulted their senses and brought them back to the moment at hand. Nightwing's remains began to crumble and blow away in the breeze that was coming in through the shattered remains of the front door.
"Well, now that the threat of Nightwing is past, what are we going to do with the book? We can't keep it and we can't just leave it here." Hawk pointed out
"Well there is one thing we can do." Angel said
"What are you talking about the book killed two people as it is, what are we going to do bury it?" Natalia asked
The look on Angel's face told them more than they wished to know. "We are not going to bury the book but we are going to return it to its rightful owner."
"And just how the hell do you plan on doing that, the owner of the book blew out the door with our brother, in case you forgot." Savirion noted dryly
"For your information, no I did not forget. There is something that you need to know about the book. The true owner is not your mother, she never was, she was only the keeper of the book. The true owner is, and always has been, the Demon. We must return the book to him so that it can be properly protected from those that would seek to use it for their own gain." Angel replied.
The others took a minute to digest this information and it was Hawk who finally asked the question that was on everybody's mind, "How can we return the book to the Demon when our mother killed him." He asked as much as stated.
"Simple, he's not dead. He has simply been banished from this realm and as long as your mother was alive he could not return here. Now that she is dead, we can return the book back to the rightful owner but we must summon him to this realm." Angel told them of the spell of summoning and how the spell was going to work. She gave them one warning about the Demon and the spell that would summon him. He would be very antagonistic towards the group and given the chance, would kill them. So they must be quick about their duties and send him back to his realm where he can do no harm.
They began their preparations for the summoning and set about their duties as Angel had assigned them. When everything was ready, they began the summoning of the Demon. Angel stayed back from the group, as her presence would only cause more trouble then they needed.
Hawk began to chant and form the archaic symbols as Angel had shown him. He summoned his natural magical ability and enhanced the power flowing from him into the circle. After what seemed like an eternity to the group, the circle began to fill with smoke.
The smoke began to take shape and soon they could make out the form of a giant winged creature and then, he was before them. He wore a look of surprise at first until he realized that he was trapped inside the circle of magic. When the Demon saw who his summoner was, he relaxed a bit.
"What do you want Vampiric?" The Demon asked.
Hawk was surprised to here the Demon speak the common tongue so fluently. "We have something that belongs to you and would like to see it returned." Hawk told him
"What could you have of mine that would be of such importance, that you would risk summoning me from my home?" He asked.
"We have your book of shadows." Hawk replied. The Demons eyes narrowed to slits and glared at Hawk for many long moments. Finally, speaking in low tones, resembling a growl more than a question. "How is it that you have come upon my book that book belongs to your mother. You should have been killed when you touched it."
"Should have but didn't, rather the book changed."
This brought a surprised look to the Demons face "you are the chosen one but you are not right for the spell of making. You are pure of heart and kind of soul. You do not even require human blood, how is it that, you are the chosen one?" The Demon asked of Hawk
"If I knew that I would tell you but I don't, so I wont. Now about the book."
Hawk took the book off of a near by table and held it's edges just barely within the rim of the circle so that the Demon could grasp it. Upon doing so, the magic of the circle was dispersed and the Demon was no longer held by the binding magick. To prove it he grabbed the book and stepped forward across the chalk circle on the floor. The group let out an audible gasp at seeing this but made no move towards him, fearing any retaliation from the Demon.
"I see that you are not surprised by my freedom Hawk."
"Should I be?"
"No, I guess not. After all, you knew this would happen. Angel told you all about it didn't she?"
"You know that she did."
"Of course, but let us return to the situation at hand, shall we?"
"Indeed, we do need to take care of the book as soon as possible."
The Demon and Hawk went over to the writing table and sat the book down. The Demon ran his hand along the cover of the book and then began to trace the symbol on the cover. As he did so, the symbol changed color once again to a soft white light. The Demon was bathed in the light coming from the book.
They were soon blinded by the light coming from the book, all but Hawk. The Demon had to look away. As the light began to fade, so did the demon and the book. The light quickly vanished, as did the Demon and the book, but not before the Demon was able to express his gratitude for freeing him and returning his book.
The others regained their sight a few seconds later and all were stunned to see Hawk smiling and changed. He was not a Vampiric and he was not transformed like the others. He was human and happy to be so.