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Heir to the Eternal Throne
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#4
Chapter 3
Unspoken_Uprising
May 16, 2018
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No Plagiarism!kvyXwFcWiavH59klNP8iposted on PENANA

            Aldrin turned his horse towards the enemy, pointing his sword, as the beast trotted forward. "Rally to me! Rally to me!" Aldrin shouted, mustering the full company of vampires around him in a matter of seconds. The woman watched as they formed two lines in front of their prince, facing their enemy who yet lingered atop of the hill. Luthar and Karen followed, taking their own positions on either flank of the formation.copyright protection7PENANAeaIh56eqAb

            Aldrin's horse stopped just before it ran into the back of one of the vampire soldiers. Everyone was still, even the horses the siblings rode waited with ease. Aldrin glanced back at the wagon, his eyes lingering on the woman for a moment, then looking back at the enemy, mentally debating something. Aldrin pointed to a section of the formation. "You four, guard the wagon and keep her unharmed!" he commanded, kicking the side of his horse and riding the length of the formation within a heartbeat. There, the four vampires retreated from the line, taking posts on all four corners of the cart.copyright protection7PENANAZUHySed5aw

            "In the name of the Eternal Throne,"Aldrin's voice roared across the expanse, drowning all other sounds. "Attack!" not even a heartbeat passed before the vampires answered the call with warcries, charging in unison for the enemy upon the hill. The ground thundered beneath the stampede of vampires, shaking as time itself waited for the imminent clash of either side.copyright protection7PENANAgFdlPyHDnP

            The wolves on the hill howled, with excited agitation. The largest of the wolves snapped its jaws with an angry growl towards the vampires, causing the pack to race down the hillside. Aldrin counted each second in his head, then abruptly pulled his horse to a stop. "Hold!" Aldrin ordered, jumping from his horse and running to the front of the ranks. The vampires stopped, leaned back and set themselves in a position to thrust their swords forward.copyright protection7PENANAVC0DT5K8wk

            The charging wolves tried to bring themselves to a stop, only to find themselves tripping over their feet and flying right into the points of the vampires' blades. Aldrin grinned as his blade sunk into the throat of one of the beasts. With a flick of his wrist, he severed half of the head off, letting the body fall beside him. Leaping forward from the line, Aldrin charged for his next opponent. With swift strokes, he took advantage of the confusion. Cutting down three other wolves with ease before they started to even present a challenge.copyright protection7PENANAjvf038ehep

            Coming up upon his fifth opponent, Aldrin attempted to lunge at the hind legs, only to feel a paw hit him in the side half way there. As he hit the ground, Aldrin rolled over, absorbing the impact and immediately got to his feet. The wolf crouched, slowly circling him as it stalked its prey. Aldrin opened his arms as if asking the creature to try and tackle him.copyright protection7PENANANu41QUzyxX

            The wolf snarled, shaking its head for a moment and leaping at Aldrin. Aldrin sidestepped, swinging his sword through the air, aiming for the location the wolf was about to land. Before it reached its mark, however, another wolf tackled him, knocking Aldrin beneath its belly. Rolling to his back, Aldrin dropped his sword and gripped the beast's neck with both his hands, holding back the jaws that threatened to tear his head off.copyright protection7PENANAntAn7utRCZ

            "Ugh, fine, I guess we won't play fair." Aldrin rolled his eyes, as he made an effort to twist the beast's throat. The idea was hopeless from his position, but the effort distracted the wolf long enough for Aldrin to let go, seize his sword and plunge the blade through the bottom of the wolf's jaw and through its skull. Kicking the limp body off of him, Aldrin rolled to his feet, just in time for his other opponent to charge at him with an angry growl.copyright protection7PENANAcVurWyAbQO

            Ducking, Aldrin slid under the beast and between its legs. Pointing the blade up again, he drew the tip across the belly. Yelping, the creature humped away. Aldrin got up to finish the job, only for another vampire to take the opportunity to cut its head off in a single strike. Shrugging, Aldrin looked around. He stopped as his eyes came to linger on the largest of the wolves. The alpha, nearly doubling his height, stalked across the ground, its eyes lingering on Aldrin with a bloodthirsty expression.copyright protection7PENANAAEjFFaAfI7

            "Right..." Aldrin's smile vanished as the word left his lips. Unlike the others, this one had some kind of plated armor. Something he swore he had seen before but he was unsure as to where. Something about the crude quality... Aldrin drew his attention away from the thought, in place of trying to find a weakness. The alpha was covered well. Leaving the most probable weakness to be underneath it. Aldrin dashed forward, dodging two attempts by the alpha to smack him away like a fly, and just barely avoiding the alpha's jaws in an effort to slide under the beast. Aldrin didn't hesitate, slashing at the belly.copyright protection7PENANAd5BNtIhXzT

            There was a momentary clang as his sword met the plated armor, and then the sound of metal shattering. Aldrin's eyes widened as he saw the fragments fall, his blade reduced to a few inches long. For a brief moment, Aldrin's eyes bounced between the remaining fragment of the blade and the plated armor. In that same moment, the alpha took a few steps back.He gave Aldrin a crude smile at the sight of the broken blade.copyright protection7PENANAWLPrdM0NXQ

            "Now, Prince, you will die!" the Alpha hissed between its teeth, a deep voice, much like Aldrin's, rolled across the ground like thunder. Aldrin bared his teeth and got up. As he stood, Luthar and Karen both walked up to either side of their brother. The alpha looked at the other two but showed no hint of retreat.copyright protection7PENANAByuVe95OpN

            "Well, it seems for a change, we have a challenge brother." Luthar grinned in anticipation. Drawing his sword, Luthar tossed the blade aside. Karen followed suit. Together, the three siblings charged the alpha, Aldrin taking the beast head-on while his siblings flanked on the left and right. The alpha ignored Luthar and Karen, choosing to single out and attack Aldrin.copyright protection7PENANAWCTxpnfGkP

            Aldrin again, dodged two attacks, only to take a direct blow from the plated nose. Thrown back, Aldrin heard Luthar try to yell something, but his voice was silenced by a paw striking him across the head. Growling, Aldrin got up and charged again, each attempt made with the same success. A few dodges before he was unable to avoid another attack.copyright protection7PENANAAhBpIObIB9

            For a dog, the alpha was quite agile, fending off all three siblings with near ease. "Aldrin!" Karen shouted, running over to her brother as he got back up for the tenth time. "Aldrin, we have to go!" Karen pulled at her brother's arm, the tone of worry and possibly fear as clear as water.copyright protection7PENANAzdH39WdeKC

            "Sister, what has you worried?" Aldrin looked as Karen pointed at the alpha. The beast turned on Luther, exposing its right side and on it was a marking. A circle drawn in red blood with a line through it. Aldrin didn't need to see it again. "Fall Back! Fall Back!" Aldrin called out across the battlefield, drowning out the noise of the fighting. Whistling, Aldrin called his horse, mounted and rode for the rear of the battle where they had come from. "Retreat!"copyright protection7PENANA2GeVdEjtlE

            Karen and Luthar withdrew to their horses, riding around and echoing the order across the battlefield. Aldrin leads the retreat, calling out towards the vampires at the cart. "Lelia! Let the woman free! Get her out of that cart! Now!" Aldrin looked back, but his gaze was not on the wolves. His eyes now lingered on a figure up on the hill. To a human, it would be impossible to see, but the details were as clear as if he was three feet away. A skeleton, covered in a torn cloak, watched from where it stood. A pale blue light seemingly glowed from within, illuminating the figure from the inside.copyright protection7PENANAiVVTlEHwnj

            Aldrin pushed his horse harder, urging the vampires to make haste. Heartbeats later, Aldrin drew his horse alongside the woman and without warning, lifted her into the saddle behind him. "Grab my waist and cover your face!" Aldrin ordered her. She attempted to object, but Aldrin repeated the command more harshly, adding a level of urgency to the tone. She gave no further objections.copyright protection7PENANAGWxnZGkcV4

            Aldrin turned the horse towards the path. Kicked it in the side and made for a gallop across the open expanse, his siblings and the vampires in tow. Minutes went by as the woman hugged Aldrin tightly, shaking from the sting of the air whipping by. It was over as quickly as it had started. In a matter of minutes, Aldrin eased his horse to a stop. Looking over his shoulder, the woman stared ahead. Before them stood the largest doors she had ever seen.copyright protection7PENANAPXK4SYIcr3

            Towering to be at least eighteen feet high, these two massive iron doors sat indented into an equally stunning wall. The stonework had been reinforced with columns and beams that appeared to be made entirely out of iron. The walls had to be at least double the height of the doors, and that did not include the three to four-story battle towers on top of the wall.copyright protection7PENANAQJYLDjqlQN

            "By the gods..." the woman muttered as she eyed the massive structure. "Who built this?" the woman asked out loud, voicing her thoughts. Just as she finished speaking, the sound of iron gears faintly came from inside. The two doors before them creaked open, revealing a short hall that leads inside. As they rode through the gate, the woman looked at either side. The hall itself had more metal reinforcing it than was used in the gate. Catapults could bombard this all day and not leave a dent!copyright protection7PENANAFwJcUJTeWO

            None of this prepared her for what lay behind this wall. Emerging from the entrance, she found her eyes taking in a sight beyond even the most elegantly crafted temples to the gods. The city before her merged the firm structure of stonework with the elegant craftsmanship similar to elven structures. She had only seen a few sketches of elven buildings in her time, yet the inspiration was clear to her eyes. To top it all off, metal had also been woven into the mix, both reinforcing the structures and adding another layer of beauty to the work.copyright protection7PENANAjLM4PF2yRt

            Aldrin stopped his horse in the courtyard, dismounted and quickly urged her to get off the horse. As he helped her down, his siblings and the other vampires poured into the gate. Aldrin looked over the vampires. "Lelia!" the vampire woman he had spoken to before emerged from the crowd with haste. "Escort this woman to my guest bedchamber. Take two others with you and keep guard at the door. Not a single soul goes in that room except for me!"copyright protection7PENANABHdAtQUTbL

            "Yes my lord!" Lelia took the woman by the arm and quickly ushered her towards the city. As they left, Aldrin and his siblings lead all the warriors into the gatehouse, making their way to the top of the walls. As they reached it, warning bells erupted across the city. The once quiet streets were immediately buzzing with activity, as both men and women rushed from homes and shops with weapons and armor. Aldrin took his place above the gate, observing over the walls and into the vast wasteland. What was once an open field was now covered by a large army.copyright protection7PENANAGQiq3d9Wr6

            Most of the army consisted of wraiths, much like the one that had watched from the top of the hill. Among them was a greater number of wolves, a large host of skeletons and several hundred necromancers. Aldrin pursed his lips, a quiet growl rumbling in his throat. "Damn you, attack us already."copyright protection7PENANALLSyPHdRg4

            The minutes ticked, a tense silence hanging in the air as neither side made a move to start the battle. As it drew to the first hour, movement came from within the wraiths army ranks. They began to fall back, retreating over the hills and vanishing into the wasteland. Aldrin let out a breath he had no idea he was holding. The tension relaxed as the vampires retreated from the wall.copyright protection7PENANAlSMysfon9A

            Aldrin did not move. He remained where he stood, watching over the battlement. Moments later, Karen and Luthar joined their brother. "For the tenth time this week, and no assault. What are they bloody waiting for!" Luthar whined with frustration.copyright protection7PENANA9PqrguEqr6

            "I think there may be more to today's events than meets the eye. Brother, if you recall, they did not attack us on the road. They could have been watching since we got back in the Shadow Plain and they did not attack. We made the first move." Karen explained as she leaned against the battlement. "Any other time and they would take the opportunity to skin us alive."copyright protection7PENANAwcRoLG6Yym

            "The only difference today was the woman," Aldrin noted, closing his eyes and leaning his head back for a moment. "I would say she might be the reason, yet, they never restrained from killing mortals who are brought into these lands."copyright protection7PENANA3TeQrH6Q5f

            "Have either of you considered she is not mortal?" Luthar asked, raising a hand. "Not to be rude, brother, but we are aware there are beings able to take mortal form."copyright protection7PENANAqe5RGllkLM

            "Yes, but Luthar remember that the Dark God ensured us that so long his part in all this is kept secret, they would not bother us." Aldrin opened his eyes again, looking up into the sky. "If they now know the Dark God is here, and that he is aiding us, then we would be met with a mortal army of blessed champions, not the wraiths."copyright protection7PENANAriZjGK0NJy

            "So, then either we have a traitor leaking this information, or the woman you brought back has more to her then we have seen or sensed," Karen said, causing Aldrin to nod a couple of times.copyright protection7PENANAaMroDT6JKb

            "Brother, the soldiers trust you better than anyone herb. Speak to whoever you trust most. Learn what you can. If we have a traitor, I want to know about it. Karen, please go fetch the prisoner. It is time I made an example of the fool. I will go retrieve this woman and perhaps, I may learn something. When all this is done, I will seek the council of the Dark God. Perhaps he can shed some light on this."copyright protection7PENANAYaq326pnra

            Turning back towards the tower, Aldrin left his siblings behind, casting his attention to the citadel that stood towering from the center of the city. His walk was in silence, arms folded behind his back as he navigated the busy streets. He passed craftsman shops, smiths, and homes. All of which were unique in their own way. Yet while he enjoyed admiring the work their builders had put into this city, he could not bring his eyes to do so, nor to even smile at the greetings he received from those he passed.copyright protection7PENANAaTt9caUcXD

            His mind was fixed, focused, and deep in thought, with little attention being paid to where he walked. He knew this city like it was the back of his hand, able to traverse it with his eyes closed. His feet would carry him to where he desired to go and so they did.copyright protection7PENANAK7qcw46DNQ

            Before he knew it he stood still before a closed door. Two vampires kept guard at either side. Aldrin knocked on the wood door, patiently waiting. Not even a moment passed before Lelia opened the door and made way for her prince to enter. "I will be outside," Lelia said as she walked out, closing the door.copyright protection7PENANAOL1fP3merO

            Aldrin looked around the bedchamber. It was a simple room with little decor. Having almost never been used, there was never a reason to decorate the room. Then again, Aldrin himself preferred simple. There was a plain bed, a single simple dresser and a table with two chairs. Nothing more. Sitting at the edge of the bed was the woman, her face slightly red. "Are you okay?" Aldrin asked, not sure how to approach the situation. This was not exactly a normal thing for him to do.copyright protection7PENANApCHSLT2G50

            "Am I okay?" she looked at him like he insulted her. "I lost my home, the few friends I had and my daughter all in one day! Now I am stuck in some alternate plane of existence with a bunch of vampires! Some weird vampires might I add."copyright protection7PENANAkQ8L3EP9hC

            Aldrin froze. Not quite sure what to say. Then again, he was unsure of how she even felt. "I can't restore your village or bring your daughter back to life, but perhaps I can give you justice for what was done to her." the woman looked away, a look of doubt in her eyes.copyright protection7PENANAZ6o1md5Isw

            "I doubt you would be willing to harm one of your own. You vampires are quite notorious for not caring about such things. Brings me to wonder who you took this city from too." she looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time. "Whoever it was had a poor taste for internal decorating."copyright protection7PENANAwR8dKU7NBc

            "We did not take this city, we built it. It's the first true city ever established by vampires. At least in the past few thousand years. As for the room, I apologize for this. I am not really big on internal decorating. Though, if you accept my offer to let you stay here, this room can be yours to do with as you choose. It's the least I can offer." Aldrin held back a defensive tone, keeping control of his emotions. She was still new to all this. He had to remember that.copyright protection7PENANANV3VH6AwfS

            "And I am serious about the vampire. He had no orders to do such a thing and I am not about to let the rat get away with defying my commands. Come, see for yourself." Aldrin offered her a hand. She looked back at him, hesitating before reaching out with her own hand and taking his. Gently pulling her to her feet, Aldrin lead her out of her room and into the pillared halls of the citadel. Together, he walked her back towards the citadel courtyard outside. There, most of the cities inhabitants gathered around the courtyard perimeter. In its center stood the vampire prisoner with Luthar and Karen on either side.copyright protection7PENANA9fYxgkLl3d

            Aldrin let go of the woman and circled the guilty vampire for a moment. His gaze lingering on him as he recalled what he had done to the girl. "You stand here, accused of brutally assaulting a girl, younger than the age of fifteen. Do you deny your actions?" Aldrin raised his voice, allowing all to hear. Whispers flooded the gathered vampires, words of disappointment, shock, or insults towards the warrior's honor.copyright protection7PENANASz51NPVUCx

            "I do not! You call us free vampires yet we have to beckon to your will! I stand by my actions! She was human as much as the rest of the villagers we slaughtered!" The prisoner clenched his fists, defensively shouting at Aldrin directly.copyright protection7PENANA7qtamagWHw

            "Fool! I am your prince! Heir to the Eternal Throne! My word is law here, and not even the likes of you are above it!" Aldrin sneered, coming to a halt. He turned to the gathering. "Have I not been fair in my rule thus far as your prince? Have I not given you freedoms to pursue your heart's content? Have I not protected you and lead you to thrive even in a place such as this?!" Aldrin looked around, holding a hand to his chest. When no objections arose, he turned back to the prisoner.copyright protection7PENANAPQLNo28anb

            "You have forsaken your honor, your oaths, and your loyalty to the Eternal Throne. For what? To enjoy torturing the mother of an innocent child?! No, no I said such things were not allowed and I must defend that law. You are hereby stripped of your ranks, titles, and status among us. Luthar, Karen." Aldrin approached the prisoner as each sibling took an arm and held him in place.copyright protection7PENANAngLthzidtV

            Aldrin forced the vampire's mouth open, took hold of one of his fangs. "If you are going to act like a mortal, then you can be mortal!" Aldrin proclaimed, pulling the fangs out. A screeching scream shattered the silence that hung in the air like it was fragile glass. Everyone could feel the chill right down to their bones. Aldrin continued to yank out the fangs until all four were in his hands. Nodding to his siblings, they let him go.copyright protection7PENANAKBmeLIo2F6

            The vampire's wail slowly muffed to silence as it covered its mouth. Blood poured out from its lips like a waterfall, covering him and the stone courtyard in blood. Once in awhile, he gagged, trying not to choke on his own blood. "Put this filth in the dungeons where it belongs and it can rot to death there." Aldrin sneered. He looked up at the woman, who watched still, frozen in place with a look of awe and terror on her face.copyright protection7PENANAyuWjillqvJ

            Aldrin slowly walked over to her and outstretched his hand that held the fangs. "He will die a worse death than that of your daughter. Of that, I can assure you." Aldrin promised.copyright protection7PENANACTZomhXEvr

            "Tell me how." she demanded, clearing her throat. Her expression faded as her gaze remained fixed on the vampire.copyright protection7PENANAAg2WuOFSQk

            "Vampire fangs don't grow back. If we lose them, or they break, it hinders our ability to properly feed on blood." Aldrin glanced back at the creature balled up into the large pool of blood. "He can no longer feed on what makes him immortal. His abilities will be the first to go. Then he will feel weak. Before he realizes it, his origins will shut down except for his lungs and heart. They would be the last to go. During all this, he will be feeling an unquenchable desire to feed on blood. It will feel like liquid metal being continually poured down his throat.copyright protection7PENANAYpOVI6h4xM

            Being chained to a wall he cannot claw his own neck to pieces to stop it and he will not be strong enough to break free. The pain he will endure will make what your daughter suffered feel like a papercut." Aldrin explained.copyright protection7PENANAOaFOy25wHA

            "You did this, to your own kind?" she looked to Aldrin, horror plastered across her own face. Aldrin did not understand her reaction. He now paid the price for what he did to her daughter. Did she not welcome the vengeance and justice delivered?copyright protection7PENANAYhQ0elPTeG

            "Are you telling me you would rather he had lived? To have gone on and not suffered for his actions?" Aldrin raised an eyebrow at the woman. She opened her mouth to speak, but then closed it. "Children are a sacred treasure among my kin. We swear from the day we join our society that we would never lay harm to a child. Such punishments like this are reserved for thoe who break these laws."copyright protection7PENANAdd528O9qSG

            "I need to rest." the woman replied dryly after a moment of silence. Aldrin looked over to Lelia and nodded at her. At once, she came over to escort the woman back inside. Aldrin turned back to the prisoner just as two other vampires had approached and began to drag him towards the left side of the citadel. There they would find the entrance to the dungeons.copyright protection7PENANAcGQSupUAVB

            "Brother, Sister, please tend to the city in my absence. I must speak with him." Aldrin avoided mentioning the Dark God there, as none of the vampires knew of his involvement. Or so, that was supposed to be the case. They nodded and turned to join the crowd of vampires that retreated from the courtyard. Two others remained to clean up the mess of blood on the ground.copyright protection7PENANAbTT1U7nK0B

            While they dd so, Aldrin made his way to the rear of the citadel, going around the right-hand side. There, a temple stood. From the outside, there was no indication to which god it was dedicated to, but on the inside it was dark. Relics of skulls, weapons, and objects littered the walls and shelves that sat in a circle around a pedestal. On it was a basin of sindering wood.copyright protection7PENANAqeOvgXkqnc

            Aldrin approached and knelt before it a foot away. A black smoke began to pour out from the basin, falling to the floor only to rise again. As the pillar of smoke grew to stop a few feet higher than the pedestal, a dark voice came from within.copyright protection7PENANA6ATXsnnnYj

            "My son, what brings you to my presence?" the voice asked, a curious tone mixed with the dark aroma.copyright protection7PENANAZ9dSb80yS1

            "My master, I am concerned. The wraith patrols did not attack us today until we provoked the attack. They had watched and followed us since our return to the Shadow Plane. This sudden change in behavior concerns me. There remain to be two possibilities. Either that the woman I brought back is more than a mere mortal, or something else holding them back. Is it possible word of your actions here has drawn the eyes of the angels?" Aldrin confessed all he knew.copyright protection7PENANA9jfYPwV9Wi

            "Not to my knowledge." the voice paused. "This woman, tell me about her." The voice replied, but this time without a hint of emotion.copyright protection7PENANAl3Tf1mDoJB

            "She is, different," Aldrin began to describe her. "I have yet to learn her name, but there is something about her that I and my siblings can sense. Something that draws us to her. Though I feel like I have noticed it more than them. I can't describe it in words. It is rather new to me. I do not feel emotion over it, just drawn in." Aldrin admitted.copyright protection7PENANAHJKVCW3CuV

            "Be careful my son. If she is an angel, then she has no desire to kill any of you. Make no mention of me to her. None at all. If she chooses to leave then you will know for sure if she is an agent of my enemies. Let her make that choice. For now, it is good you have come to me. I have grave news and you must act soon. My spies inform me a village has obtained a blessed weapon, possibly capable of killing you. The villagers have yet to discover it, but it is kept by their priest. What you do to the village is of no concern to me." the voice said, remaining as cold and lifeless as before.copyright protection7PENANADEeSC3pxcl

            "I will rally a party at once. Though I fear I must delay direct action for at least a day. To be sure the wraith army is not lingering in wait for us to leave the safety of these walls." Aldrin cautioned. "Three days and this weapon will be safely within our grasp."copyright protection7PENANAQyoJNp5qOP

            "Good. Make haste. Your rivals among the covens will get word soon enough if they have not already heard. I will do what I can to slow the spreading of this knowledge. Now go my son, come to me upon your return. Meet me not here, but in the throne room after the city slumbers. If she has chosen to stay by then, bring this woman to me as well." the voice issued its last command. 11Please respect copyright.PENANApqREjuII2V
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