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’s enhanced vision sliced into the bleak iron-grey darkness like twin scimitars, bright blades of purest polished garnet that burned with a ferocious inner fire. The newly born vampire had studied his reflection before, morbidly fascinated by the horrifying changes that had shredded through him inside and out, and so he had an idea of how he must appear to the pathetically drenched femme slouching over yonder . . . downright handsome. Thacks still possessed that same golden blonde coat, warm as melted butter in a bowl of rich cream and ticked with deep bronze; a princeling’s figure, compact yet attractive; a pretty face wearing a soft, kind smile, the sort of expression that invited you to spill your heart out. But he’d been born with all those things. Draven’s insidious venom had not necessarily improved many of the qualities Thackery relied on to make himself a successful predator, although that hideous poison certainly unmasked other interesting perks. Namely: these magnificent lanterns. As beautiful as the rest of him may appear, Thackery knew with utter conviction that his irises literally blazed as his captivating focal point. They glowed red as blood, as summer-ripe strawberries, as a cardinal’s flitting wing. Their light burst from the boundaries of his eye sockets to illuminate the intelligent slope of his brow and pour down the sleek bridge of his muzzle. His cheekbones appeared carved by luscious crimson. In the storm’s heavily imposed shadow, Thackery’s scarlet windows would be the most brilliant thing for miles.

The way this female gazed at him, Thacks believed he might be the sexiest thing for miles as well.

She attempted to veil her thirst with a grand show of appearing pitiful and needy, but anyone would catch the glint of lust in her sulfur-tinged pools. A quick flick of her stare ran up and down Thackery’s body. In all honesty she wasn’t much to look at—her boniness suggested she hadn’t eaten properly in days—but the way she positioned herself as if laying out a fine slab of meat nearly had Thacks sniggering. Keep it together. This bitch is just dying to throw herself at you. He stepped farther out into the small clearing, tilting his head at her childish voice—no doubt a ploy to tug on his unfeeling heartstrings. “I can try to help you, miss. This area is fairly familiar to me, and I’m sure we could find you shelter somewhere. Are you part of a pack?” The midnight beast’s sense of smell had always been keen, even before the sun had become his mortal enemy. The scent of others lifted so faintly from the girl’s hide it might have been Thackery’s imagination . . . yet he dare not make a dangerous mistake. It was bad enough the whore of his maker had claimed a pack of her own—Thacks had zero desire to accidentally piss off the wrong kingdom. He remained a paranoid worm, despite his epic rise to power as an apex predator.

A long, exaggerated sniffle made small clouds of condensation puff from the she-wolf’s muzzle. She shuffled her dainty pallid paws, head drooping sadly so that she could peer up at Thackery through her eyelashes. “My heartless p-pack . . . abandoned m-me.” An overly dramatic sigh followed this admission. Thacks struggled not to scoff aloud. Yeah. I bet I could guess why. But . . . alone? Alone is good. Nobody to search for a body . . . Through some miracle he managed to maintain his concerned façade when the stranger started all-out sobbing, the wretched effect heightened by her soaked and mud-spattered pelt. “P-please help! I’m s-s-so alone, and hungry, and I don’t know where I am! Do you have food? Is your den nearby? Please, mister, I’m scared!” Another heartbroken, unnecessary howl, complete with the biggest puppy-dog eyes Thackery had ever witnessed. Holy shit did this hussy lay it on thick! Had this trick ever worked for anyone else? The vampire trotted over to her side as much to “comfort” her as to shut her ass up, one mire-dipped forepaw reaching out to awkwardly bat at her shoulder. She turned to face him fully, the hellfire gleam of his stars washing her features in a faint haze of ruby.

“There, there, miss, you don’t need to cry—”


“But I haven’t even—OOF.”

The air exploded from Thackery’s lungs as the dumb slut launched herself at him, tackling his unprepared body like an obnoxious pup. Their fur slapped together with a distasteful squelching noise—their musks mixing, water exchanged between hairs, black mud a slimy schmear over flailing limbs—and suddenly Thackery was laid out on his back, the stranger flopped on top of him and bawling loudly into the scruff of his neck while rain continued to pelt them from above. A sky-shattering CRACK of thunder rattled the heavens, and the bitch shuddered against him, hugging him closer. The thin twig of patience Thackery had been carefully balancing on the fulcrum of his hunger threatened to snap. He did not enjoy unsolicited contact. Ever. And here was this ugly breeding machine wiping her snot into his throat . . .

On impulse Thackery pushed Margie away with one forelimb, holding her stunned silhouette suspended above his chest. When he spoke, he could not stop the silky slide of his fangs from unsheathing, their long shimmering whiteness stark compared to the black abyss of his pharynx. The grey wolfess blinked stupidly at them, unsure whether she wanted to focus on the hot coals of Thackery’s eyes or the elegant curves of his altered canines. “I tried to be nice,” he began conversationally, talons digging bit by bit into the dripping locks of Margaurite’s breast bone. “Seriously. I did. About two seconds ago? That was me making a true effort. I thought I could play the hero and give you something to smile about before I killed you. But . . . you’re just so fucking annoying. A breathy, almost embarrassed laugh jumped from Thackery’s jaws. He shrugged as best as he could with his spine slowly sinking into a vat of mire and one arm supporting dead weight, his grin thin and humorless. “I mean—hell! Did your old pack actually fall for your bullshit? How old are you? Wait—don’t answer. I really can’t handle another second of that nasal shriek.”

Margaurite’s veneer of astonishment and fear instantly crumpled into an unpretty grimace of rage. An ugly growl twisted its way from her vocal cords, and her short legs slashed the air in front of Thackery’s smirking snout. “Who the FUCK do you think you are?! What gives YOU the right to talk to ME like that?” The allure of the vampire’s red lanterns had vanished. She snapped at him—and Thacks unceremoniously tossed her to the side so she landed with a wet splash in a viscous puddle. Her open mouth received a healthy gob of dirt—which she spat out as if it were vomit, shaking with anger. Her cranium turned, tongue prepared to lash the once handsome male with every last spear of vitriol she could muster—

But she never got the chance. Thackery lunged at her and had his tooth-lined trap locked around the yielding meat of her throat before Margie could even draw breath. He clenched the muscles of his jaws until fur and flesh and muscle caved under their merciless pressure, tissue catching oddly on the serrated shapes of his daggers, and when Margaurite tried to scream all that escaped was a repulsive gargling noise while she choked on her own blood. Thackery wrenched his skull—and a hunk of the girl’s neck ripped away with the harsh motion, the sound of raw skin tearing from its fibers and elastic veins snapping to tatters, and a spray of warm carmine splattered over Thackery’s front with the gusto of a fountain. Another gush followed this, and another, and another, all of darker scarlet than the last as the liquid cradled by her heart squeezed itself free of flaccid arteries. Margaurite gasped, gurgled, grunted. Her yellow eyes rolled violently back in their sockets, unable to rivet upon Thackery’s stone cold countenance. He spat the fist-sized lump of meat into the filth slurping up his paws and dispassionately observed the female’s last agonizing moments . . . “Silence is golden, sweetheart.”

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

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


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