Act I - Penumbra
“My name is Lilet Vampyren, the name was given to me by my father, the Demon Hunter Fenix Vampyren. I am a witch, but I’ve never used magic. The name my mother gave me was Hekate. I don’t know much about my mother. All I know was she was a witch as well and hid her magic. Like all witches I have no father, when Fenix met my mother I was already born into this world. What the current date is I have forgotten, but it makes no difference, I’m not long for this world. My respectable father, is dead. I’m innocent but hideous rumors spread and now I have been accused of patricide, the evil witch who betrayed her loving father.”
The crowds in the middle of the town square roar and call for the witch’s death.
“Silence.” said the announcer
“The tribunal shall now conduct the trial of Lilet Vampyren, on the account of killing her father.”
“The trial shall be held by the honorable Lord Warwind, good friend of the victim, Lord Fenix Vampyren, and by honorable members of the church.”
Several important people walk in and sit down at a table.
“Lord Warwind, are you sure about this?” whispered the church representative
“I understand you were good friend with the victim, but we have solid proof the murder was commited with magic, and it is well known his daughter is a witch.”
“Fear not your eminence, I merely wish for a fair trial for my friends daughter.” said Warwind
“But she’s the murdere—” said another representative
“Even if she is, she’s still my friends daughter, he would wish for a fair trial. And this is a trial, guilt must be proven.” said Warwind, cutting off the representative
“I fear a fair trial may not be possible. We are in the town square, this is less a trial and more a execution.” said the head representative
“I don’t know what has gotten the town’s people so worked up over this girl, but right now if we don’t execute her, the mob will.”
From the crowd screams could be heard.
“Kill the witch!”
“Kill the witch who murdered our hero!”
“It seems we are running out of time.” said Warwind, and then tacking off his hat stood up to address the crowd
“May I have your attention.”
“SILENCE you lot, Lord Warwind wishes to speak.” screamed one of the executioners
“As you know, Lord Vampyren was killed recently by witchcraft and this girl was spotted near the location of his death.” said Warwind
“Of course I was, he was killed near my home!” said Lilet
The executioner raised his axe to Lilet’s throat and said, “The accused shall not speak until asked.”
And so Warwind continued, “Lilet Vampyren is known as a witch, but this is only by word of mouth.”
“Has anyone here seen her use witchcraft.”
A short moment of silence then follows and a women screams.
“But there’s a witness to the crime!”
One of the representatives then jumped from his seat and said “NO. The witness testimony does not include the accused actually committing the crime.”
The crowd mumbles in confusion.
“What is Lord Warwind thinking?” whispered one of the representatives to the head
“This line of defense will not change a thing.”
“I do not know, and I fear we are powerless to stop it now.” said the head representative
Warwind thus continues his speech.
“I say, we change this from an execution to a test of witchcraft.”
“Instead of beheading she shall be tied to a pole, near the lake, and fires lit under her.”
“If she is a witch, the fire will not harm her.”
“Am I right your eminence.” said Warwind addressing the head representative
“Uh… N-No, that is correct, to the best of our knowledge.” said the church representative
The crowd mumbles to themselves, and a disbelief falls on the representatives. A few moments later the crowd starts to speak up yelling “Fire! Fire! Fire!” and so Lilet is taken and tied to a pole near the lake side. Lord Warwind asks to go hear her last wish, in the eventuality she die from the test.
“Listen to me girl, just as flames don’t burn, a witch can walk on water if she wants to.”
“If you want to live, seize the opportunity when it presents itself, and run north, then east.”
“If you understand say yes and wave your head as if saying no.”
Lilet pauses for a second and then cold as she was whispers “Y-Yes!” and waves her head. Warwind then approaches the tribunal and tells the representatives, she said she doesn’t have a wish. A fire is lit under her, part of her clothes start to burn but being a gift from her father, not all of them burn. Then Warwind tells the executioners the fire is not enough, the test requires it be made bigger, and so it is done. The fire raised higher and higher and soon it was up to her neck. Soon Lilet could feel the ropes loosening from the flame burning the fibers. Her feet were already loose enough but waited more for her hands. And soon they were and Lilet jumped into the lake and embracing courage started running over the water, to freedom.
As Warwind told her, she ran north and then east. Because most of the town was at the execution the streets were empty, however at her back she could hear the soldiers metal crossing the bridge. As she was running east with what little breath she had left a man whispered at her from the shadows of a alley “Girl I’m with Warwind, over here! Quickly!” and so Lilet was taken outside the town of Oasis though a subterranean passage.
Night of the Execution
The evening of the execution came to pass, and night came. Warwind left the guards to search for Lilet and went to retire for the day, or so the tribunal thought. That night, accompanied by his men, he went outside town and in the forest met with Lilet. He explained how the guards will figure out she had escaped the town and will broaden their search soon. He threw to her his father’s lantern. Warwind then told her how she can use it to pierce the fog of the Sealed Forest and venture into a place known as the Castle of the Silver Moon, where nobody would be able to chase her. He would escort her there to make sure there is nothing with any thread. And so, lacking choice in the matter, Lilet followed with Warwind’s suggestion.
The road towards the castle was rough track though the forest with only the red and white light of the lantern to guide the way. Aside from the trees, grass and the smell of the bog, no living thing stood in front of them. It felt like they had walked for half a day, but when they reached the castle and exited the fog it was still night.
The castle was covered in thorns. Warwind’s party took a short break, then told Lilet they need to grasp the element of surprise, now. She paused, and then just gave a nod in agreement, and so they ventured in. It was not long and they came to a room with a sword implanted in a painting on the wall. At first glance the painting showed a giant dog, beasts of fire, darkness falling from the sky, a sea monster with nine heads, the ground dying, and seas boiling. Warwind approaches the sword and attempted to pull it out of the wall. He tried several times but the sword did not budge. He calls several of his men to pull together, to no avail.
“Lilet, come here and try to pull it out.” said Warwind
“Is it… necessary to pull it out?” said Lilet
“It may be cursed, leaving it is dangerous.” said Warwind, staring at the sword
And so she approaches the sword and grabs it.
“I feel energy coming from the grip.” she says
“Don’t worry I’ve felt it too.” said Warwind
And so she pulls on the sword, with all her might. The sword doesn’t budge but the walls shake.
“Try again Lilet.” says Warwind
And she does. She pulls and she pulls, and the castle shakes. And eventually as she pulls spikes impale her hand from the grip. She wants to let go but the sword compels her to pull harder and the castle shakes more violently. Then the sword edge cracks and the long shaft which was the swords grip breaks off and Lilet rolls on the floor still hanging onto the grip, or rather the grip still holding to her hand. She tries to get up, but her feet won’t hold her, and she sways around until she hits the window on the opposite wall. Her hand is now covered in blood.
Warwind and one of his men heads to the blades remains, their faces perplexed.
“Lord Warwind.” said Lilet
“Is that fog outside magical?”
“Yes. Only the lantern can pierce it.” said the assistant
“Then doesn’t that mean one of us is stranded then.” replies Lilet
“If you take the lantern, I won’t be able to leave, if the lantern stays with me you won’t be able to leave.”
“Don’t worry miss, you just come with us and then come back to the castle on your own.” replied the assistant pointing at the lantern
Warwind pushes him back and yells.
“Your services are no longer required girl.”
“Sorry, but have you any last wish.”
“I knew it. You’re no friend of my father.” said Lilet
“My only wish in life was to become a knight.”
“Your father was a demon hunter. The title is equivalent to that of knight.” said Warwind
“Since the children of knights have the right to become knights themselves, you have it too foolish girl.”
“My father wished for me to become a fair lady, but my desire has always been to become a knight. Thank you.” said Lilet
“You do understand a knight must protect the weak, which would include even those fools whom sentenced you to death.” said Warwind
Lilet smiled, stood up and said “Yes, I shall protect the foolish as well.” and charged towards Warwind with the grip of the weapon still in hand. Warwind aimed for her legs but Lilet blocked by forcing the grip into the floor and countered with a kick to his abdomen, knocking him back and on his knees. She then leaned on the shaft forward to loosen it from the floor and with her right hand grabbed the bottom of it, and swung it from the back, over her head, forward; just like an axe. But the shaft did not connect with Warwind’s head. One of his soldiers parried the blow with his spear, while another lanced her heart from behind. As the soldier jerked the spear out, Lilet fell to her knees while leaning on the shaft.
As her life fled from her lungs, magic runes and smoke appeared on the shaft, and more blood continued to drip from her hand. Everyone took several steps back, weapons ready to strike. Lilet could not see the markings, as her vision had faded to darkness long before her knee touched the ground. She looked up but saw only darkness, she looked down and then a scream chilling as the winter wind yelled “DON’T look down!” As she lifted her head a giant phantom had appeared before her at no more then an arms length.
“W-Who…W-What are thow?” asked Lilet
“I am… no one.”
Lilet was confused for a moment but the chill in the air tour to her very soul and dragged the words out from the bottom of her heart, as if her life depended on it; and who knows, maybe it did.
“What is this… sword?” asked LiletOblivion
“The Reaper’s Grimoire…”
“Tis’ not a weapon mortal… but a tool.”
“A tool?” said Lilet
“And what does this ‘tool’ do?”
“Curse you… and perhaps, strength willing… save you.”
“Don’t tempt me demon. I am the daughter of a demon hunter, I know your tricks and of your temptation.”
“Begone! I shall not sell my soul to you.” replied Lilet
“I am no demon…” said the spirit
“You are a witch. Your sould… a incomplete glass since the day of your birth.”
“Not even the greediest of devils would bother.”
“I am a knight, demon. I shall not yield to your fiendish tongue.” said Lilet
“BEGONE I say!” screamed Lilet
“A knight… you say?” replied the spirit
“And where is your king?”
“Justice… is more then enough for me.” said Lilet shaking
“So you say. Lies to comfort your hopeless self; like the rest of your kind.”
“If I was a demon, you would be half way to hell by now.”
“The blade, is your very soul.”
“Uncorrupted… it shall never dull and never break.”
“A masterpiece in all creation.”
“It’s edge will cut and kill anything, even a ghost… even a god.”
“Do with it as you will… fledgling knight.”
“We’ll see how far your justice takes you.”
As Lilet woke Warwind and his goons stood there in disbelief.
“Lilet, give me the sword.” said Warwind as he slowly moved forward
“Don’t worry dear, it’s me, your father’s friend.”
“My father’s friend?” said Lilet with vision still blurry…
“My father’s friend… WOULDN’T try to kill me!”
She pulled the shaft out of the floor. As she budged it out the shaft pulsed with power and a smoking sword emerged as if carved from diamond. She then swung it at Warwind and as he ducked the sword carved out his right eye. The rest of his goons went crazy and arms in hand charged at her from all sides at once. She blocked one spear, cut another, but all the others pierce all the way though her. As they pulled their spears out Lilet fell to the ground—as it would seem, dead again. After a minute waiting on her to so even blink the men were convinced she was dead and put their arms at ease.
No sooner they took in a sigh of relief that one of them falls to the ground, dead. The others man their spears again and scream “The BITCH is still alive” but as they look towards her Lilet is still down, lifeless, motionless, and silent as a stone. As they all shake in fear Warwind, still recovering from the pain of losing his eye, screams and moans: “Behind you fools! Behind YOU!”, but his words were spoken a moment too late, as before they can even turn around three of them go down to a sword to the neck, much to all the other’s horror.
“Who are you bastard!” one of the man screams while shaking in his boots
“Who cares who he is, just KILL HIM!” yelled Warwind
“Kill me? And how are dead men, to kill me?” the man said
As the soldiers try to move forward their bones start to ache and their muscles hurt. One falls to the ground, shaking, another tries to lean on his broken spear, but his strength gives way and he nearly impales himself in it instead. Warwind runs out the door. As he goes though the halls he can hear the last of his men’s screams and pleads for their lives as the man from before finishes them off. “I’ll get my revenge… someday. They’ll see…” he thinks to himself. But as he approaches the exit the man falls down from the floor above and with sword wrenched in blood walks towards him.
“Wait… don’t kill me! Please! I have money, I can pay you!” pleads Warwind with as his legs give way
“Too late for that old man. You like your men are already dead.” said the man
Warwind starts coughing blood.
“No… Nooo!” he yells as a tremedous pain surges though his entire body
“The pain of losing your right eye has given you some immunity to the paralysing effect of the poison.”
“But you’re all out of time.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll make it quick… just like with the rest of your men.”
A day has passed. The blood of Warwind now adorns the halls like a rug and crows gather outside to the stench of rotting flesh. In the room where Lilet fell, the corpses of Warwind's, former, men are scattered all over, all with a piercing wound to the heart. All corpses lie rotting, all except for one, which is nowhere to be seen.
Several weeks pass, and in a mountain a collector meets with a cloaked man; one of his trusted supliers of exotic artifacts. On one hand the man has a scepter of some kind, or so the collector thought. The sceptor seemed old but the markings on it were very vivid, yet undecipherable. The man asks for the origin of the scepter to which the other man explains how it was once a weapon, a sword. It’s blade was this magnificinet dimond and the markings on it were burning red as if the fires of hell flowed though them, but when I tried to swing it to cut a piece of wood the magnficent blade of dimond shatterd, and in time the dimon melted and the water from it evaporated into nothingness. After a while the markings also started to fade. The collector nodds and petts his bear and asks of the swords origins. The man paused for a moment and then explains that he only knew of the swords last owner, a girl who wilded it, but that girl is dead, and her body was burned in holy fire because it did not rot. Now nothing remains of her, and the secrets of the blade probably died with her; so the man explains.
The collector did not ask any more questions afterwards and before long they had agreed on a fair price in silver and gold coin, and the shaft that had led Lilet to her doom was now just a set piece in a the empty house of some rich bastard in the northern mountain mining town of Six Forks, there it stood silent, and empty.