The Gift: Chapter Eighteen: ObligationDrevas didn’t know what to expect as he followed the river near Gnesis downstream.
After hours of searching and through the process of elimination, he had determined that the river was the last place Vicente could have gone, but it was far from a comforting thought.
The murky water was treacherously bipolar. The current would appear smooth and soft for a few yards, then sudden twist into raging rapids capable of pulling even the strongest of men under the tide. Enormous stones peeked from under the water as white froth tore past them and the shallower areas revealed a river bed of jagged razors.
A mortal would certainly be killed, a vampire had only a slightly better chance. Broken branches and splintering logs could easily pierce their unbeating hearts. The violence of the rapids could break a spine or neck with ease.
Even vampires could be paralyzed if their backs where snapped in two.
But as the pale Dunmer scanned the water, he saw no indication that h
The Gift: Chapter Seventeen: SurvivalVicente crawled onto the river bank, regurgitating the water he had inadvertently swallowed. The current had been far stronger than he had anticipated and the river had dragged him mercilessly downstream. It might not have been so bad if the river hadn’t turned into violent rapids.
He had been tossed around like a rag doll, slammed into stones with bone crushing force, and dragged across the jagged river bed.
At some point during the chaos, he had lost his grip on his prized claymore. Vicente was not concerned that the blade would be damaged- treated and polished ebony was nearly impossible to blemish- but he worried that the magnificent weapon would be lost.
But he could not go back for it. His skin- still burning from the garlic water- was alive with a new tingle. It was nearly sunrise. The horizon was already bleeding pink into the lightened sky.
Vicente knew he needed to find shelter fast, but he was completely unfamiliar with
The Gift: Chapter Sixteen: GnesisVicente excelled at sword craft. Within months he had grown proficient with all manner of bladed weaponry, but he remained specially attached to his ebony claymore.
It was quite the odd talent given that he had never before wielded anything more deadly than an alchemist’s knife. The iron dagger he kept under the counter of his shop had never been touched except for the day it was bought. So, where did the innate skill come from?
Drevas speculated that it might have been a trait passed to him by his sire, Quarra vampires being very good with large weapons, as well as years spent mastering the basics of movement.
And master them Vicente had. When practicing alone, Vicente could execute several complicated attacks and parries with the fluidity and effortlessness of a dancer. Sparring with Drevas proved to be far more difficult- the Dunmer’s speed and agility give him the advantage.
But Vicente learned to anticipate Drevas’s moves and strikes and their practice
The Gift: Chapter Fifteen: HoneyThe view from the top of Drevas’s home was a spectacular sight. The Red Mountain could be seen belching its gases and ash despite being miles away and the ashlands themselves teemed with life. Enormous mushroom trees grew and died while packs of guar and kagouti grazed on sparse tufts of grass. The twin moons rippled on the surface of a quiet oasis while cliff racers glided over the tops of pointed hills and thorny trunks.
Vicente came to the roof often to marvel at the beauty of the ashlands- a loveliness he had grown to appreciate as a predator as integral to the ecosystem as any other.
Tonight, however, he was not observing the diverse wildlife nor was he meditating on the intricacies of his life as a vampire.
He was thinking of home.
Of High Rock.
He held his pendent tightly in his pale hand, his thumb caressing the edge habitually. He was so deep in his thoughts he didn’t even notice Drevas sit cross legged next to him, the mi
The Gift: Chapter Fourteen: TrainingDrevas had indeed gotten his point across.
Vicente grieved until he was exhausted. He knew it was selfish to think only of his losses while the body of the dark elf girl lay under him, but he didn’t care. His world had become one nightmare after another.
And he couldn’t even wake up.
He was stuck inside a body with impulses and needs he could not control. He was scared of what he had become, what he could do. One minute he is a man and the next he is a blood sucking beast with no sense of self.
He was lost. And Drevas- who was rapidly becoming the focal point of Vicente’s anger- was the only one willing and able to help him. Did it matter that the Dunmer’s motives were unclear and questionable?
It didn’t matter why Drevas had chosen to help because Vicente had no other choice than to accept the hand that was extended to him.
As he calmed down he realized a simple, but binding truth: he cou
The Gift: Chapter Thirteen: Lesson TwoThe Dunmer pulled the other vampire by his arm through the hallways, ignoring the protests and stumbles. Once free of the stench of the dungeons, the dark elf realized that the odor continued to cling to the other vampire like a second skin. His pet was in desperate need of a bath… Perhaps several. He also needed a haircut and clothing that did more than barely cover his manhood properly before he was presentable and ready for training.
Fortunately, the Dunmer’s home was equipped with a bathing chamber- though it had been quite some time since it had been in use since the dark elf preferred to bathe outside in the small ponds and hot springs that dotted the ashlands. He also had several sets of spare clothes- having salvaged them from his kills. He glanced over his shoulder at the slender vampire he was dragging along like a child. Surely, he had something that would fit the boney frame.
But, first thing was first. That matte
The Gift: Chapter Twelve: BreakthroughsIt was days before the other vampire showed any signs of recovery and even then it was slow.
The nightly feedings were filling the starved figure out, but he remained thin and strangely boney. His collar bones and ribs were obscenely prominent, even though his stomach and hip bones returned to a “normal” state of apparent health. It was almost as if the ribs had grown a size too large for his body- a look emphasized by the fact that some of them had definitely been broken and healed improperly.
The Dunmer assumed that this was probably one of the souvenirs left by the other’s sire. Along with the thick, ropey scar that protruded from in between the ribs on his left side.
The Dunmer was well versed in deathcraft and knew that the wound had been made by a stocky blade- perhaps even Dwemer in make- and that the stab had been angled to kill. How the other had managed to survive long enough for vampirism to take hold was a miracle.