Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
It took Git several long minutes to clean the blinding serpent’s venom from my eyes with the cloth to his satisfaction. Berkhilda was kneeling above the stricken vampire woman that we had rescued. As I watched she pulled a heavy wrought flask from her side, unstoppered it and poured red liquid down the woman’s throat. The scent of blood, magnified by great potence, reached my nose. The woman stirred, and the brutal wounds on her shoulders where she had been pinned to the wall above the tub began to close. A moan escaped her lips and she looked around, more alert now, less terrified.
“Thank Vradule,” she said.
Berkhilda frowned “It would be better to thank the gods of the North, Furis and Skygge. They had more to do with your rescue I wager than the god of blood.”
The woman smiled up at the dour warrior. “Perhaps it was he that brought you here, kinswoman, after all you are one of his chosen people as well, are you not?”
“I do not count myself among them,” said Berkhilda, standing.
“Do not be offended,” said the woman. “You pray to your gods, I will follow mine. Please forgive me. I am Zavra.”
“I am Berkhilda Furisdottir of Clan Bloodaxe.”
“You are Lazar Vintul’s daughter are you not, Berkhilda?”
Git was finished. I saw Murith examining the various devices around the room. It would not do to trigger any of Cinder’s traps. The vampiric cobra had left us battered and bruised, and with daylight breaking outside Berkhilda and Zavra would have trouble moving around outside. I stood up and raised my voice.
“I am Ragnar Skyggeson, called Grimfang,” I said. “We have some questions for you Zavra. Firstly, do you know why Cinder brought you here?”
“Cinder?” said Savra, her face twisting. “Who would name their progeny after that old apostate? I was on my way home from a feeding party in Redsilks when we were ambushed. I lost my guards in the confusion. Some massive oaf dragged me here. I remember going through parts of the undercity. They… they speared me to the wall. It was a big one and a smaller one, both hooded. I passed out. I am not very good with pain. They gathered my blood and fed it to others down here. They planned to turn a bunch of them. When I last woke, everyone was gone, except the snake. It was… it was going to eat me… I know it! Thank Vradule you came.”
“Do you know why they wanted you?”
“I… I have strong blood.”
“Strong blood and a weak will,” said Berkhilda evenly.
“Not everyone is a fighter,” said Zavra, looking away.
“Strong blood?” I asked.
“Don’t you know anything Ragnar?” said Git, looking up from where he was examining the tub full of blood. “Some vampires have more potent blood than others. That trait is passed on by the vampire who creates them. Something about those who have it changes the blood they drink. It is fascinating stuff really.”
I looked at Berkhilda, she shrugged.
“So he wanted you for your blood?” I asked Zavra.
“The big one said that it would look bad on the watch if they killed me,” said Zavra, lips trembling. “I remember that distinctly. The two of them, just sitting there, talking about me like I was already dead. It was horrible.”
“What about–” my question was interrupted as the enormous serpent suddenly began to melt, flesh sloughing of bone, bone loosing shape, and both turning to blood before our very eyes.
“A blood construct,” said Berkhilda, her eyes wide.