Chapter 3 - The Hunt
Randell knew the thief was down in his hole.
The vampire had waited patiently during the night to hopefully take out the cursed thief and end the danger to himself and his master. Randell had felt he had been very intelligent this evening, by quickly taking care of his feeding earlier in the night. If things went well, he could withstand feeding again for another two days. Two days was the max he would wait, for after that, he tended to make desperate decisions, and would end up making a stupid choice for a victim.
However, the thief had not come out of his home all night. His master had sent him out to take care of this business, but the little man wasn't cooperating. Randell knew he should have killed the thief when he had the chance those many days ago. Yet, he felt that this was more fun. Now he could hunt real prey, not helpless ladies of the night looking to make a coin or two. Now was his time to shine and impress his master. Randell thought that this could be his big chance to show him what a power he had become, and that he could be trusted with more than what the master had shown him already…
The young vampire looked at the horizon and knew his time grew short. He had less than an hour of night left before he had to flee to the castle and get his rest. If only this thief had a regular house, he could have crept in and been done with this already. But no, the rogue had some magical home in another pocket dimension that his master could not scry. So, Randell had to wait until the prey came out of his hole…
Several minutes passed uneventfully until the vampire had to go. He stood up on the roof he had been perched upon and took a deep breath. How he hoped his master would not be angry with him for not bringing him back the body tonight. “Tomorrow,” Randell spat at the invisible house, “ tomorrow you will die thief!” He then turned into a bat and flew off into the night. The bats squeaky chirps soon faded out as the distance became to great to hear them.
* * * * *
Diershonn watched intently in his divining pool at his son leaving the alley where the thief kept his dimensional home. Soon after Randell left, the portal opened and the cleric and elven mage came out and began looking toward the area that Randell had flown off to.
Just as he had figured, the thief had acquired some very intelligent help. There would be no quick mop up project this time, and with the group able the hide in another dimension, it made it almost impossible to strike against them. He was glad he had told Randell to fly off in a different direction than straight for the castle. That piece of forethought might have just saved him from having this group locate and assault his hidden home.
The master vampire stood up and stretched, looking at the cleric pointing and saying something to his elven counterpart. The cleric then sat down as the mage watched over him. He began casting another spell, one that Diershonn knew would spell certain doom for him if it worked. The vampire stood there transfixed on the priest and his casting. Then he saw a smile come upon the priests face and knew his son was being tracked.
“Oh how grand!” The vampire thought excitedly, “A truly powerful foe for a change!”
Diershonn ran quickly through his study to his lab, where he had many scrolls of magic there. He sifted through some and came across the one he needed, a message scroll with a spell of sending on it. The vampire ran back to his study and opened the scroll and laid it upon the table. He began the words of the spell, while concentrating on the image of his son. When the magic took hold, he could sense his sons mind, and he began to speak to him.
“You must go to the old castle. You are being tracked. Stay there the day. Wait for me tomorrow night. Be Careful.”
Diershonn could have said another word or two, but he didn't. The spell of Sending allowed the wizard or priest casting it to speak with someone mind-to-mind for twenty-five words or less. Even the recipient could answer if they wanted to. The master had no doubt his fledgling would obey him. If anything, the boy did follow directions well.
And so the master went back to his chamber, to rest and prepare for the coming evening. Who knew what could happen. He might have to kill some holy men tomorrow. Diershonn chuckled at that thought, for he enjoyed nothing more than overcoming the attacks of so-called holy men. He would send them a few surprises in the next day or two… maybe. It all depended how he felt when he woke up.
Randell got his masters message and immediately turned to go towards the old Wynet Castle . He would have to hurry to beat the sun. So Randell flew with all his might, racing against the dawn and its death rays of light.
Seluus watched the bat take a turn toward the north, changing direction very suddenly. Seluus knew the dawn was close to coming, and the bat had already changed its course twice. Where was the blasted beast headed anyway? It was either very stupid, which Seluus doubted, or it had a plan of some kind that required it to move such. As the sun neared its awakening for the day, Seluus saw the old run down castle it was headed to.
That was the old Wynet castle. Seluus had thought it had been abandoned after the place had been stripped of its treasures by a group of undead hunters. Supposedly, a vampire had been killed there along with its undead family. Seluus watched as the bat barely made it inside the castle and down to the basement where it went through several secret doors to get to its coffin. But wait, there was no coffin, only dirt on the floor in a cleared out circular room. The pedestal in the center of the room told the cleric that perhaps a coffin might have been there at one time, but it was gone now.
Seluus watched the young vampire lie down on the floor and begin his rest. The vampire was very young, barely out of his teen years. Perhaps he was younger than the cleric who was barely twenty-seven years of age. Seluus watched for a moment longer than pulled out of the greater scrying he had cast.
Liseria stood there watching him as he came out of his trance. “Well, what did you see?” She said, while tapping her foot nervously, “Did you find its lair?”
Seluus smiled up at the mage and told her, “I found out where it was sleeping this day, but not its lair. The bat changed directions as the sun was coming up, and headed toward and abandoned castle that used to house a noble family of Cormyr called the Wynets. The castle was abandoned after the owners were found to be vampires, and were destroyed. I know this place is not its real lair, for his coffin was not there. Perhaps it used to be, but it moved to a new residence.”
Seluus was concerned, for the spell he cast was very difficult to sense even by the most powerful of mages. And Seluus was a master at divine spell casting. The spell should have been virtually undetectable. Seluus then came out of his brooding, and finished his thought. “I fear he might have sensed my spell and moved off to a different location to hide its true home.”
Liseria was also becoming more intrigued and concerned about the power of the beast. If it could detect the spells of Seluus, it was powerful indeed. If it could detect his spells, then it knew someone was tracking it and would find out who they were when they woke the next evening.
Liseria told Seluus very earnestly, “we better go and get Stephanis and come back. If we don't, he would be very upset at us for going off and dealing with a foe that he could help defeat.”
Seluus knew she was right, but hated giving a vampire several days to prepare for the coming battle. That was like asking to commit suicide. Seluus gave Liseria a very sympathetic look, and asked, “Could you send Stephanis a message to meet us here tomorrow, unless he has a teleport available for today, with a full range of battle spells that would hamper a Lord of the undead. Tell him to memorize as many of his circles of protection, and fire spells. Also, any scrying spells he has would be helpful as well.”
Liseria stood there agape that Seluus would presume to tell them what spells to memorize. But she had to remember that he had been a leader of a group of adventures that he commanded in every way, spells, tactics, and strategy. As she had learned already in the past six months, he was very perceptive and remembered everything you did in a battle. He would make suggestions at first, and then as he got to know you better, he told you what to do. She had never had anyone tell her what to do before, especially a human, but Seluus's plans always seemed to work out.
They would not have known anything about the lurking vampire had not Seluus put up protective and watching spells over the area of the alley they were in. And Seluus always seemed to be prepared for all circumstances. If he didn't have it memorized, he had a scroll with the spell on it. Well, at least it seemed like he did.
Liseria nodded her head toward the cleric and walked down the portal into the house. She had to memorize her spells today anyway, and she wanted to see Stephanis as soon as she could. So she took the clerics advice and re-allocated her spell selection for the day. She heard Seluus cast his restoration on the thief and his word of thanks as she studied in one of the small side rooms of the house. Perhaps this would be a good time to use her prismatic spray. Yes, a vampire would truly hate that spell…
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