Witches don’t rely on blood for survival, but neither do mortals wine.
Witches are not dictated by the Blood Lust’s sweet madness, but we are susceptible to the hypnotic allure of fresh blood.
“I only want a taste.” Desire darkened my burnt-gold eyes to a metallic ochre as I trailed a razor-sharp iron claw down my prey’s throat.
The foolish mortal quivered, lust warring with an intuitive warning of peril clamoring to the forefront of his bleary mind. “A taste of me?”
“Oh, no. I don’t crave your rotting blood that festers in your veins and flows through your transient body. Your flesh deteriorates with each breath you take.” Extending my claws of iron death, I trail a metal talon along the thick vein that pulsed in his throat.
“I’ll drink the marrow from your bones.” I held my prey with a lover’s passionate reverence, my voice a fusion of cruelty and seduction. “I’ll drink your agony and savor it.”
And I plunged my claws into his exposed throat with the glacial brutality of a true Ironblood witch.
In a hoarse voice, his throat so ravaged from pure, unadulterated anguish, he screamed, “PLEASE!”
My platinum hair was like spider silk woven into a mesmerizing cataract of locks glowing instead of the moon in the black night.
My smile revealed a row of flesh-shredding iron teeth, a monster incarnate. Grinning with anticipatory delight, I snarled, “You mortals always beg. Why haven’t you realized all it does is encourage us?”
Indeed, begging was a deliciously wicked melody I adored.
Ravenous, I drank every last drop of the scarlet in his veins, draining him until his body turned ashen and pallid.
And I darken.
The coven leader rode atop her winged beast, a devil cloaked in ebony scales, with wild exuberance. The Thirteen, the most vicious and bloodthirsty coven in all the realms, were lovely wraiths from a hell-realm that were currently hunting demons escaped from Tartarus.
They were monsters chasing monsters.
Behind the coven leader, all of her twelve sentinels watched as she urged her beast faster, making her vermillion cloak dyed red by the blood of her enemies tear through the wind.
The coven leader’s dragon, Sadr, who descended from Hephaestus, the God Of Fire’s former legion of beasts, huffed as embers burned from his jaws.
Although mortals could not fathom the Dragonese language, those sounds that flame too hot for their blood, the coven leader understood her beast.
She consoled in a rare soothing tone reserved only for her loyal creature of smoldering flames. “Patience, Sadr. Soon, there shall be a frenzy, but you cannot burn our prey into ashes before we’ve had our fun.”
Sadr turned his head toward his mistress, his eyes the very emerald of every forest made liquid and alive, and he grunted in acquiescence.
Soaring high above the vast sea of Kórinthos, the Thirteen bowed their heads in respect for their sister. A sister of watery depths and beauty who is the soul of the aquatic world, the keeper of all oceanic brethren.
Beneath their aerial brigade of monster astride monster, the mermaids and dolphins, creatures with fins for limbs, dove within their sistren’s salty, formless embrace only to emerge again.
“Witches!” Screamed Chimera, heir of the BlackClaw Witch clan and coven leader of the Thirteen, her ferocity audible over the howling gale they flew through. “Attack!”
The sky became a battleground, no more than an onslaught of the horrific glories of the sword.
With the fury of the three infernal judges and of their own inborn hunger for calamity, the dynastin retaliated with a vengeance.
The dynastin were a beetle-like race of humanoids with a hard, shiny carapace that covered most of their bulky, malformed bodies. Complete with moss-like wings of decay too small for their massive bodies to sustain extended flight periods, these demonic beings that preyed on nearly every living creature were the epitome of nightmares.
They were death’s acolytes.
As the daughter of the High Witch Ivelisse of Kórinthos, who was also the matron of the BlackClaw clan, it was Chimera’s duty to cleanse her home of these diabolical vermin.
Honed by centuries of combat and bloodshed, Chimera and the Thirteen struck with immortal vigor, obliterating a third of their opponents in minutes.
Iron teeth gleaming in a smile of death and darkness, Chimera whispered Sadr’s liberation. “Now, my monster.”
Unleashed by his mistress, the dragon transformed the hideous creatures below them into charcoal with a mere breath, blackening their bodies to corpses. The smoldering fire licked their enemies with animalistic laziness, then flickered, flared, leaping into a shower of sparks emitting plumes of ebony gray smoke. Blazing, the flames wound themselves around the demons like a mighty, gluttonous serpent that devoured everything in its path.
Sadr’s obedient flame flickered in the breeze, and Chimera accelerated the burning with her power, and her own embers seared the air with scorching intensity.
For that fleeting moment in which the flames danced, devouring with fervor, Sadr became tranquil because there was a time before the ice age when the world was brimstone and fire in its entirety.
Reminiscent of his ancient memories, the blackened remains of the dynastin appeased Sadr only momentarily for charred earth, and an everlasting fire was his most profound longing.
Choking clouds of noxious smoke rose above the inferno, and as the fighting ended, all that remained of the dynastin was ash sprinkling to the ground like dirty flakes of snow, a thick coating of nature’s final cycle.
“Sisters, come to rest, for the battle has ended!” Obedient, her twelve sentinels descended from the skies, alighting on the grassy ground alongside a verdant grove of poplar trees.
The coven dismounted their dragons with fatal grace, quenching their thirst from leather canteens of water, all drinking deeply. When their throats were satiated, no longer plagued by dryness, Chimera parted her full red lips to address her sisters when a disturbance sounded.
Through the lush, flourishing copse of trees burst a group of five human men, soldiers, from the coat of arms blazoned across their armor.
The warriors blanched, gawking at the Thirteen with dread in their eyes, fear dousing their scents. Regarding the intruders with hungry scrutiny, their looks of eager delight disguised the death that lurked under their skin.
And to the witless intruders, the Thirteen grinned like hellions.