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Vampire Wars
The Legend Of Dracula - Book One
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-162-5
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Supernatural/Horror
eBook Length: 200 Pages
Published: March 2014

From inside the flap

For thousands of years, ancient vampire lords ruled the Night. Their queen, the coldly beautiful, immortal, and all-powerful Lilith, ruled them distantly, ignoring their squabbles over territory and victims. Then came Vlad the Impaler, once history’s most bloodthirsty fiend, now reanimated as an undead creature of the Night. Facing the vampire legions of the brutish Vardalekos, the loathsome Viy, the diabolical Jhiang-Shi, the monstrous Mmbyu, the cunning Erlik, and the seductive Nycea, Vlad Dracula seeks out allies, be they undead or lycanthropic or mortal.

You’ve read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Now see how Vlad the Impaler fought and struggled to become Dracula, the King-Vampire. A part of THE LEGEND OF DRACULA trilogy, this book is a collection of twenty short stories about the infamous Count and his undead legions as he strives for the ultimate goal—the throne of the supreme King of the Vampires!

Vampire Wars (Excerpt)


THE HOMECOMING

Swabia, 1545.

His eyes snapped open as the smell of smoke wafted across his nostrils. Though he did not breathe and his heart did not yet beat, the scent was strong enough to awaken his mind. He sought to move but the sun would not set for almost an hour. If there is a fire in the house, he thought, I can not flee. It will trap me. I am doomed.

Beside his box lay two other crates which held his spawn. These two were equally dead and utterly unable to move, but he sensed their panic, equal to his own. They are useless to me, he thought with disgust.

After what seemed an eternity, the sun sank at last and his heart beat once more, pumping through his veins the blood he had stolen the night before. For this man was not as other men. Indeed, he was a man no longer. He was Vlad Draculea, the son of the Devil.

He rose, all but flew from his coffin, running up from the basement. Vlad threw open the shutters and looked out. Down the street, he saw a bucket brigade pouring water on a burning dram house. Those who were his spawn joined him and watched until the flames reduced the building to a blackened ruin-but the fire spread no further. The neighborhood of Dorfen in the town of Staufen-im-Breisgau in Swabia survived.

Still, it brought to Vlad's mind his current situation. He turned and looked at his minions, first Gretchen, the pretty, redheaded wench whom Dr. Faust had loved and whom Vlad had used to turn the tables on him; then the great Faust himself, once the great sorcerer who had reanimated Vlad, and was now the undead slave of a slave.

"I am undead and immortal; I am powerful," said the diabolical Vlad, "In the four years since I freed myself from thy yoke, Faust, I have even gained the ability to transform myself into a giant bat by night. And now I have the two of thee as my servants.

"But by day, I am dead and helpless. I have as my sanctuary a single rough-hewn box containing a substance to me more precious than gold-a hundred pounds of Walachian soil. Without it, I am at the mercy of the burning sun.

"Transylvania and Walachia are my homes, not Swabia," said Vlad, "There, I will have ample soil in which to lie, and not be at the mercy of chance, hoping no one would search this supposedly empty house. In Transylvania, I will be once more the ruler and not the outlander who must scurry away from sight."

He gazed at the others. "Pack thy belongings," said he, "We see fit to return to my castle."

Seventeen years earlier, the famed scholar Doctor Johann Faust, following the instructions of the black goddess of the Night, gathered the final remains of Vlad the Impaler of Walachia and cast upon them the spell of reanimation. Vlad rose once more, but changed. He'd become one of the Undead and fed upon the blood of the innocent.

Faust was no fool and he enslaved Vlad Draculea with an ancient amulet belonging to the dragon worshippers of Dacia. Thus, for fifteen years, Vlad served Faust in all things, bringing him great wealth and power and even youth. During this time, it amused Faust to call his pet Mephistopheles.

But at last Vlad found Faust's weakness-a pretty, red-haired flower seller named Gretchen Stultz. Vlad used his powers to enslave her to Faust's whims, but in time Vlad was able to turn her into his spawn. And with Gretchen as one of the Undead, it was easy to have her turn Faust, thus freeing Vlad.

In the four years since then, Vlad gained the ability to transform himself into a giant bat and fly over great tracts of land. Neither Faust nor Gretchen had leraned to do this. Even if they could, it would avail Vlad nothing to fly twenty miles or more only to find no patch of native soil in which to sleep.

Therefore, Vlad stole a wagon and filled half of it with Swabian soil for Faust and Gretchen, with a board to separate this from the soil Faust had brought from Walachia nineteen years earlier. A trunk held their clothes, Faust's books and the Dragon-Ring of the Dacians. The horses, however, were afraid of them and difficult to control because they feared evil creatures. Only when Vlad mixed his own blood with their water and made them drink this did they obey the Undead. But afterwards they became ferocious to ordinary men.

Soon, they departed Swabia and began the long journey east. They traveled by night, but it was slow going because they needed to feed off the blood of villagers in the early evening. Then, before dawn, they drove as deep into the woods as they could, hoping the wagon was hidden well enough. One time a family discovered the wagon and took it back to their farm and there the Undead awoke at dusk, finding themselves being uncovered with shovels.

After that, they made themselves guests in Halstberg Castle, and glutted themselves on the noble family that dwelt there. Eventually even the village below was bled dry and abandoned. When the populace of neighboring villages gathered to burn Halstberg village to the ground to stop the plague, Vlad and his companions realized it was time to move again.

The trio were forced to climb some rough, trackless mountains at times to avoid various rivers and streams, for the Undead may not cross running water of their own will. Vlad hired a boat to sail them across Lake Constance, but they eventually found themselves full stopped when they came to the ford at Kempten.

The girl ran, as fast as her young legs could carry her, through the dark woods and over the broken rocks along the River Iller. Behind her, two shadowy figures followed.

She was fast, maybe faster, but as she heard them crashing through the brush and laughing she realized they had split up, trying to surround her. And lost in the dark as she was, they succeeded.

She screamed as one of the men grabbed her, bringing her down. She continued to scream as the other man caught up with him and dragged her to the ground. She beat at him with her small fists, which only made him laugh. He tore open her corset and blouse.

Stang was attempting to free the wench from her skirt when his friend shook his shoulder. Puzzled, he looked at the other man.

"What is it? Wait your turn!"

But Burgos was not asking for his turn first, but was instead indicating they had company.

At the crest of a small hillock, only a stone's throw away, a tall man in a gray robe stood watching them. Despite his attire, he did not strike them as a monk.

Stang rose up, with his hand on the hilt of his short sword. "Ye got no business here, beggar" he said, "Be off with ye."

The robed figure only smirked. "I think I do," he said, speaking in an eastern accent, "I had the wench in mind when the two of thee intercepted her."

"What of it? She's ours now. Be off!"

"Dost thou threaten me?"

Both men drew steel. "Aye, we do. Ye dress like an impoverished monk yet speak like a Polish gentleman, but whatever ye be, we've no fear of ye."

The stranger in the robe moved closer. In fact, he stood disturbingly close to the freebooters before either could make a move. He studied them both.

"I know fear when I see it. It is rare to find it absent. But then, thou hast no idea of who I am."

Burgos spat. "We don't care if ye be the Pope or the Devil. We'll cut ye to the quick if ye don't leave us be."

The man smiled. "I am not the Pope."

Stang had enough. He slashed at the robed man, who was unable to dodge the blow. Burgos brought a blow across the stranger's face.

The anger, the bloodlust faded quickly from the faces of the two men. Their weapons had passed through the stranger unhindered by living flesh and bone. There was a livid scar, but that was all. Yet for all the bewilderment they showed, neither man turned or ran.

"Methinks I might have use for men such as thee," said the fiend, licking at the blood from the scar.

It turned out that Stang and Burgos had deserted from the Prussian army and taken to living off the land. Vlad summoned Faust and Gretchen to him and revealed their true nature; and while they were somewhat unnerved at first, they agreed to listen to Vlad's terms. Somehow, during the negotiations, they forgot the village girl and she disappeared.

The Walachian despot offered these men the promise of gold and power if they served as his retainers and bodyguard. They agreed and Vlad enhanced their blood with his own. Their services proved indispensable when it came to crossing running water. The Undead would lie in their boxes and the two men would drive the wagons across whatever bridge or ford was available. Even then, the going was slow but Vlad was in no great hurry.

A dim mist drifted over the pale moon yet failed to obscure the crude cemetery on the hill. A dozen or more wooden crosses marked the more recent graves. A few had their borders marked with unhewn stones. One of them stirred.

The soft dirt moved and a gaunt, ruddy, long-nailed hand rose under the moon's ghastly light. Then the head of a woman emerged, the dirt rolling off her matted hair. She pulled herself out of her shallow grave. She took unsure, stilted steps, walking down to the wooden gate.

She pushed aside the gate, set it back in place, even though no one in the Bavarian village below would come here after dark. Clad in only the remnants of her rotting shroud, she crept along the wooded path to the village she remembered, hoping to feed.