TKoT Vol. 3: Chains of the Heart

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8: Oliver vs. Victor

Oliver awoke; this was no normal dream. It had the complete clarity of the shared experience he had with Andrea months ago. He got the distinct impression that this was a warning from the dark goddess. He felt he did not have much time; Oliver needed to summon her back from where she was.

All demons of power could be summoned if you knew how. A name, a summoning circle, and a little blood. If the demon wanted to come to the summons, it would. Most spirits and demons would listen to what the summoner had to offer in exchange for the desired services.

Oliver raced downstairs to the workshop. He had had the summoning circle all ready to go, just in case he needed to pull his servent back. He performed his ritual of summoning and waited. Andrea did not come floating up through the magic circle as expected.

He quickly grabbed a large ceramic brown bowl off a nearby table and added some water from the water barrel. Moving frantically from box to box, looking for some ingredients. Tossing the ones he did not need out and scattering them on the workbench. He moved to add the reagents to the bowl, casting another spell. “Show me Ka’Azalin,” he spoke the command. The bowl lit up, with a bright blue light, a scrying spell he used. Looking into the water, all he could see was fog. The area he was trying to view was shielded from scrying eyes. “Damn!” He frustratingly knocked the bowl to the floor, shattering the ceramics into a dozen or so pieces. Grappling the table, he made up his mind, and he was going to have to go to Andrea personally.

The route was fresh in his mind; he could see every turn from his hidden sewer entrance to where this prison was. There was not much time to prepare. Oliver would have to do this without backup; this meant no Clara or Varriss. He ran back up-stairs and equipped his adventuring clothing and gear. Oliver quickly gathered everything needed to stop a vampire, Alchemical Silver Oil, holy water. He knew what he would have to do; he just had to get to Andrea before this vampire hurt her too much. A vampire is as robust, resilient as a demon and has been known to defeat demons as well.

Racing back down to the workshop, Oliver pulled the book, “The Lost Art of Lavatories,” and the bookcase door opened into the hidden passage behind. The waff of sewer gasses entered the room. Oliver’s eyes turn black while casting his spell, ”Infernal: Light.” Pointing his index finger at a nearby hanging metal lantern, Oliver’s magic softly lit a firey green outline that encompasses the lantern. With his red gem iron skull capped staff in one hand and the enchanted lantern in the other, he moved into the stench filled passage. The bookcase door closes behind him, revealing a drainage pipe on this side of the wall. Nothing screams hidden passage as getting to the end of a passageway and nothing but a wall. He added something to the wall that would add to the disguise. Oliver added a drainage pipe, commonly found down the end of a stench filled passageway.

The dream Oliver had, he was now for sure this was a warning; every passage he turned was accurate. During the entire trip, he took the shortest route as he knew where he had to go. Oliver had an urgency to protect Andrea; maybe this was some sort of morbid bond that the dark goddess had created between them. He quietly bypassed Strong Box’s security guards around the railroad tunnel areas. Some adventurers from the local guilds had also been called in to hunt the monsters down in the depths. He would have to slip passed them to if encountered. Oliver was going someplace no one was supposed to go to or know about.

Oliver approached the prison, as in the dream, human bodies lay about dead or dying. All look like they had fought one another to the death. He could see stab wounds and heads bashed in with rocks or anything that could be used to bludgeon one to death. He came to the same door he saw in his dreams. The heavy wooden door reinforced iron bands, the lock is built into the door, so the lock could not be cut easily. He was not a locksmith, but he had a spell for that. First, he would ready himself.

Oliver presented his skull capped staff forward and started by casting his defensive spells, Arcana: Increase Armor, Arcana Infernal: Blood Shield, Infernal: Acidic Blood. Oliver went to one of the burning torches that hung on the wall. Speaking the arcane words, he summoned a Fire Elemental; The wisps of flame spun out trailing from the burning torch to form a vaguely tall humanoid shape.

He was about as ready as he could be. The last spell he cast was to unlock the door.

On Oliver’s command, the elemental pushed the heavy door open, revealing a pale Andrea strapped to a torture rack. Blood dribbled from Andrea’s neck from two piercing holes. The vampire growled at the intrusion.

Victor gasped as the blood of a god, began to course through his veins, “THIS IS NOT JUST A DEMON!” his eyes began to glow with fire all of its own. Drunken on the powerful blood coursing through his veins, he shouted, “THIS ONE IS MINE! I AM A GOD!”

Oliver yelled and pointed, “Attack!” The Fire Elemental lumbered forward with all the grace of a raging inferno. Even with all of his knowledge of demons, undead, and things that go bump in the night, he did not know what would happen if a vampire drank the blood of a god. Oliver knew he was about to find out the hard way.

Victor quickly pulled his saber out, presenting the “Vv” crossguard forward towards his opponent. The blade was given as a gift to him by his former master Varsma. The saber at one time represented his allegiance to Master Varsma. The big “V” was Varsma and the little “v” for Victor. Victor had removed most of his former masters memories from his life, though he saved the magical saber; it held power that he could use. Victor sliced at the walking mountain of flame, and the enchanted blade cut through the firey body. The blade’s magic disrupted some of the elemental forces that held the flames in a physical form. The elemental took his swing, but when the blow was to connect, Victor’s form turned gaseous into a slight white tulley fog only to reappear behind Oliver.

Oliver took a step back, casting another spell, ”Aracana: Stoney Grasp." Several stone hands formed from the floor and grabbed hold of the vampire’s legs. The elemental repositioned behind the vampire and then smashed his heavy flaming fist into Victor’s back. The firey fist caused Victor to yelp, the back of his clothing caught fire. The demon goddess’s blood was healing his scalding flesh quicker than the fire could consume the flesh. The net effect was the fire quickly burned out, the new pink flesh grown was fire resistant.

Oliver stepped back again, reaching inside his side pouch for his vials of Holy Water. He had another chance to hurt Victor with something else that would burn his body. Oliver quickly popped the cork with his thumb and readied to splash the held vampire.

Victor once again turned gaseous and moved out of the grasping hands. He reappeared behind Oliver, bantering, “Not going to try any mind tricks with you mortal! I already know about your mental resistances!” Victor swung and slashed at Oliver landing a blow on the side of his cheek. The blood spilling out of the wound began to circle and crystalize around him. Oliver dropped his vial of Holy Water to the floor; the divine contents broke and spilled out.

Victor himself, being hit by these tiny hard droplets of crystalizing blood, took only minor damage. His blood was now mingling with the shield and crystallizing as well. Victor had seen this spell before; it was a cascading shield. The more damage you took, the more blood loss, the stronger the protection became.

Victor was going to have to end this quick. He lunged again, and his speed was faster than that of a human and a vampire. He had drunk from the veins of a god. The grace running through his body gave him strength, speed, and a significant healing factor. He could take any damage this mortal could offer him. His blade only grazed Oliver’s side; his spell had deflected a majority of the sabers strike, only leaving a small gash. The newly added blood spilling increased the lethal blood shield circling Oliver.

The Fire Elemental swung down hard on the vampires back but missed as the vampire changed to mist again and moved around to the other side of Oliver. Victor’s speed was not normal, even for a vampire. The blood of the god filled his veins, providing him with speeds that Oliver only perceived as a blur of motion.

Victor swung again, this time he missed. Oliver is an infernal, not entirely human. His father, like him, has demon tainted blood of the Trailvor bloodline. The name came from the original devil that found the line but has become clumped with other demons that can do the same dark trick. The Trailvor were the types that could shadow walk between two points within visual range. Oliver stepped into the Shadow Realm for just a moment.

The Shadow Realm was a mirror of our physical realm, a realm of spirits and creatures of darkness. The area is continuously lit in twilight with a constant fog. When seen, the living looked like nothing more than shadows moving in this gray twilight lit area. Oliver ran away to another location and materialized; he could not walk long inside the Shadow Realm only for a few brief moments at a time. Useful for bypassing obstacles that he could see and go around.

Oliver materialized in the cell near Andrea, where she was chained to the rack. Quickly casting his unlocking spell on the traumatized succubus’s shackles. Her eyes were dull and lifeless; he had seen this look before on the eyes of his victims. He should have heard the locks click, and the shackles fall off, but nothing. “Damit!” he pulled on the chains himself, quickly looking for a way to unlock them. The vampire must have a key!

Oliver glared at the grinning vampire while he pointed his staff at him. Oliver’s released the power stored in the staff, “Enchantment: Flaming Arrow!” A bolt of fire darted toward Victor.

Victor’s speed was unparalleled; he had never had so much control of his body. His perceptions were heightened as he could actually see the bolt form from the staff’s tip and move a slow pace towards him. For Victor, he perceived and processed his reality around him with godlike speeds. He easily evaded Oliver’s Flaming Arrow.

Oliver heard victor laughing, “Nice try, summoner! Those locks are extraordinary!”

Victor, with his quickened speed, moved quickly to Oliver and reached for his neck. Victor’s claws wrapped around Oliver’s throat tightly; he lifted Oliver and threw him out of the cell and against another wall with his strength. He heard Oliver’s ribs cracking with the force of the impact. Victor looked at his clawed hand and felt the strength; he basked in the new ecstasy, “With this demon, I am going to rule this world. I will have my kingdom! Cormanworth is mine for the taking! I will create a new vampire realm of unrivaled strength!”

Before Oliver could respond, Victor had taken another set of silver manacles out of his coat jacket. The jacket has a magical pocket sewn into the threads that can hold more on the inside than a regular pocket. He quickly placed the shackles onto Oliver as well. He pulled Oliver’s body onto another wall rack. Andrea had not had time to destroy them all. The shackles canceled out the defensive spells Oliver had in place, the blood shield collapsed to the ground around him.

The Fire Elemental tried it’s best to close the distance to fight with the vampire. Its flaming fists failed to connect as the vampire now took its full concentration on the fiery summons. Thrust swing and dodge, the vampire danced around the flaming mountain, and with each thrust, the elemental lost a piece of fiery flesh. Victor, in a whirlwind like fashion; chipped away at the flaming form, shortly the elemental crumbled to the ground, unable to hold its shape. The battle was over as quickly it the fight started.

Oliver coughed up blood; he had broken a few ribs when he hit the wall, and now his defensive spells had failed.

Victor quickly moving over to his new catch, placing his clawed hand around his throat. Pulling Oliver's chin up and staring into his eyes.“You are lucky, Mr. Morgan wanted me to make sure you have an ‘Accident.’ This way, it still happens. I would have to remove this demon from my plans, but now I will be keeping her. There is nothing you can do. Your servant can not obey your commands while locked in the binding shackles.” Victor slammed Oliver’s head, cracking his skull against the back of the rack.

Oliver’s head hurt; he was beginning to lose consciousness. If Oliver let fear overwhelm him now he would die. His heart raced with each new pain his body received. He knew he had one last thing he could try. Oliver coughed up more blood, and in a raspy voice, “Ka’Azalin, I order you to free yourself and destroy this monster!” Oliver felt a burning sensation on his right hand; a command sigil burned off.

Victor turned to Oliver, laughing, “Your servant is powerless in the shackles, you waist your command sigil!” Victor was unsure why Oliver had a grin on his bloody lips. Something went through his mind; he wondered what final trick the summoner had up his sleeve. Victor was now a vampire god. He would crush what this little human had to challenge him. Victor would soon suck the life out of the Grindhouse Guild’s Master of the Dark Arts. His victory would be complete!

Victor saw the crimson red light radiating from behind him; he turned back to look at his bound prize. “I hear and obey Master.” the voice was not the scared woman he had heard before; the voice was calm and commanding. Her eyes were a solid crimson red, and her chest sigil glowed brightly.

Katalina formed a wirely smile on her lips. She pulled on the restraining chains with her grace empowered strength, and the links ripped apart like pulling a small spider web apart. Katalina reached over to the shackle and tore the restraints apart like the metal was made of paper.

Victor had never before seen a god’s Hand. He failed to understand the actual danger he was in until this point. The goddess had awakened.

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