The caves are where it all started. They allowed the first wandering wolves access to the land of Blossom Forest, and afterward housed the monster that had threatened the earliest of inhabitants. The heroes had slain it, yes, but in doing so had also closed off one of the pathways in the caverns, magic blocking one of the many exits to Blossom Forest. But over the years, the original spell has weakened and now the way is clear. What will not only crawl out of the caverns, but erupt from it? The caves now thrum with the ever growing magic wellspring as it spreads out into the land. It is from here that the first vampire of Blossom Forest was corrupted, and it is here that any subsequent vampire will be born. To traverse its paths is dangerous - there is an almost impenetrable darkness, and in that abyss lays many secrets - hidden holes one could fall through, weakened floors, and then of course there is the labyrinthe itself. No one knows what the deeper levels hold - no one has traveled them and survived to tell tales. Not even those who call this place home dares to test their luck by going in deep, deep, deeper. The magic exuding from this place has rearranged the lands - moving packs, changing the terrain. Here the cave looks the same but it is not - it is more dangerous than ever. In addition, outside the mouth of the cave the sacred stones that once stood erect in another place now stand guard. They are colored the most beautiful arrangement of jewel tones, and almost appear to be made of gems themselves, no longer the dull grey they once were. It is within them that all official fights must take place - at the Blican Orlege. Welcome to Drylic Cofa...


knives in your back

. . . there is nothing you can do that I have not already done to myself . . .

Thackery had tried to leave the cave system. He truly had. After escaping the psychotic bastard that had nearly killed him—and done worse things he refused to think about—the blonde boy bolted from the place where his hot blood seeped into the cold stone and the smell of his own feverish agony painted the walls. His new enhanced vision allowed him to see the most intricate details carved into the caverns as if everything were washed with moonlight and sharpened to exquisite perfection; turns and twists that had stupefied him before now unwound before him easily, his paws pounding effortlessly toward freedom. A distant part of the tormented varg knew that his heart should have been slamming on the inside of his ribcage to echo the frantic tattoo of his panic, his pulse should have been rushing like white water rapids in his veins, and yet it didn’t, his entire cardiovascular system deadened to the barest trickle of a stream. Lungs that should have been gasping in air to fuel his desperate run inhaled and exhaled with the smooth and predictable rhythm of relaxation. Long after Thacks had erupted from the caverns, dirt spraying up from his claws as they scraped into the earth, his body remained in this impossible state of terrified and controlled, his physique utterly disconnected from the chaos that assaulted his mind.

It sickened him to the point of vomiting several times, the violent heaving of his stomach forcing him to halt and empty his guts before stumbling back into a run. The stain of violation polluted him. Thackery had been turned inside out by the black beast’s cruel venom, his very DNA pulled apart like loose stitches . . . and pieces of himself replaced with that bastard’s touch. He felt his abuser—sire, maker, sweoster—slithering within him. Crouching in his thoughts, a vulture picking through the contents of his brain. Draven was inside him—had been literally inside him—and all Thacks wanted to do was rip off his own skin and yank out the infected pieces of himself with his own fangs.

Yes—fangs. True fangs, like the curved daggers of a cobra that extended and retracted as waves of sudden incomprehensible thirst shackled Thackery’s throat and caught his breath. It was these terrible weapons that brought down the newly born vampire’s first meal—a hunt so swift and brutal he did not even realize what he’d done until he was galloping onward, the steaming stench of fresh entrails clinging thickly to his sunlit fur. He swiped the crimson-saturation of his muzzle . . . and paused midway through a lusty purr, recognizing the iron tang as wolf’s blood. This realization shocked him. Thackery had hurt others of his kind before—had done terrible, awful things to innocent victims—but never had he so thoroughly destroyed another creature as he had this first unfortunate person. Scraps of their innards clung to his fur. Thacks cleaned them off, disturbed, only to resume his mindless pursuit of blood again, and again, and again . . .

Countless times. Animalistic flashes of murderous instinct followed by a bloodbath. Thackery had not control over himself. He could not stop. He did not want to stop. And if the sun had not started to creep above the horizon, its reddish light spilling over the darkness not unlike the life Thackery had spilt, the midnight hunter might have continued his senseless violence until he had gorged himself to the point of immobility, stomach distended and body collapsed like that of a fat, satisfied feline. Yet as strong as his urge to kill felt, this fear of sunlight crushed everything. Thacks had no idea why a sense of dread flooded him when his sensitive irises first caught the telltale glow creeping above the treetops. By the time he had run back to the caves—the only place he knew for certain he’d be safe—it was almost too late. Even the sleepy rays of dawn had brought tears of agony to the brute’s carmine lanterns. And this pain did not cease until long after the vampire found a dark hollow to bed down in, skull pounding as if to split in two.
“Screw this.” The words slipped from his jaws in an ugly groan when Thackery finally awoke in the middle of the next night, brain continuing to throb. It felt like the hangover from hell. He snarled quietly to himself, only to swallow the noise a split second later, not wanting to attract his sweoster to his current bed. The fanged monster could sense his maker somewhere around here . . . and he had no desire to cross paths with Draven twice. Besides, his thirst had returned. Thackery wanted to kill again. He craved the power he experienced while utterly ripping apart someone else—it helped deaden the humiliation that transformed him into a demon in the first place. On graceful paws the golden hessian padded confidently toward one of the many entrances to Drylic Cofa, the lurid glow of his irises bathing the stone walls in ruby. Almost immediately his ears caught the sound of laughter rippling from deeper in the caves.

“Uh . . . The hell?” Thackery crept through a few more hallways, senses straining toward the source of the noise. The presence of a young fae apparently playing by herself struck him frozen with shock. He’d chosen a path that led him right to her, so that he stood about ten yards behind the carefree lass. Surely she would notice that the room’s darkness was now shimmering with bloody color . . . “Are you lost?” the vampire called out in an even voice, lowering himself to his haunches. If the girl turned around, her poor eyesight would only be able to perceive the unholy smolder of his striking portals, their light etching the shape of his face as if he were sculpted from garnet. “This isn’t exactly the best place to be frolicking about, miss.”

. . I never wanted to dance with anybody but you .
. .

⦃ Without a Home – Heartless – No Legacy – Spawn of Draven – xathira ⦄


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