The Last: Chapter Seven

  • I was filled with cold anger, colder even than the mountains that we had crossed, as Bjorlam and I made our way through the pinewood forests of eastern High Rock. Ever since our feast on the bandits, I could not take my mind off of the Vigilants. They were the unfortunate souls trapped in the furnace of my anger, burning and writhing in pain, choking on the smoke that was my hatred.

    Bjorlam walked a few steps before me, armor clinking with every step, his eyes glued on the trees. It had been two days since our hunt, and Bjorlam was again hungry. “For a deer, this time,” he said. “I’m still picking bits of bandit out of my teeth. Human meat has the worst kind of aftertaste.” He hadn’t taken his eyes off of the trees once, waiting to spot something that he could kill with his massive axe that he held in his hands.

    I would have helped him look—my eyes are stronger than his, after all—but my attention was monopolized by my fantasies of the Vigilants dead at my feet. I walked with my eyes glazed over, blindly following behind my Nord companion like a child following a mother.

    There was a rustle in the trees, and Bjorlam leapt. I barely saw him move, distracted as I was. There was a loud crack, a cry, and then silence.

    I snapped back into reality, angry at myself. A Vigilant could have killed me in my distracted state. I mentally swore.

    Bjorlam dragged the deer from the brush out onto the path.

    “A small buck,” he said with disappointment in his voice. “Barely big enough for a proper meal. Look how skinny it is.”

    Unfamiliar as I was with High Rock wildlife, I could still tell that there was definitely something amiss with the deer. It was morbidly thin, ribs visible on the sides of what was left of its chest—Bjorlam had been rather brutal with the axe. Very strange, indeed, considering we were surrounded on all sides by green brush and all manner of wild plants.

    “It hasn’t eaten. Strange.”

    Bjorlam made a closer inspection of the deer, and upon opening its mouth found a small, purple crystal wedged between its teeth. He held it up into the sunlight for a closer look, raising an eyebrow. “Strange indeed.”

    My mind raced. I knew I had seen a similar crystal before. But where? I struggled to remember for several seconds, until finally I found the right memory.

    “I’ve seen this before.”

    Bjorlam shot me a quizzical look. “Where? When?”

    “In Hammerfell, near Skaven. Necromancers.” I spat the word. Necromancy, while practiced widely by other vampire clans, was a practice that Khulari despised. No honor lies among the raisers of the dead. “They use the crystals to drain the energy of animals to fuel their vile art.”

    “Vile?” Bjorlam asked. “Don’t all you vampires practice Necromancy?”

    “The Khulari are above such things. There is no honor, no pride in hiding behind dusty bones.”

    “Fair enough. That I can understand. Smashing heads yourself is most of the fun.” He fiddled with the crystal in his hand, pondering the situation.

    “You said Skaven?” he finally asked. “And we find a crystal here, so far north. Just how big is this group of Necromancers?”

    “There weren’t more than a dozen of them, but that was six hundred years ago.” I replied, remembering the cave near Skaven. My brothers and I had entered, killed, feasted. “We thought we had wiped them all out. It seems there was a survivor. We let one escape.”

    “I take it you don’t like leaving loose ends?” Bjorlam goaded me.

    “No. They have to die, for the honor of my family.” I had to kill those necromancers. The Khulari looked weak, not killing them all before. The mistake of a survivor was a scar on my pride. I let fury permeate me, feeling its power flow through my veins. I was ready to slaughter.

    “I don’t know about any vampire honor,” Bjorlam chuckled, pocketing the strange crystal. “But these bastards messed with my dinner. Let’s go smash ‘em to pieces.”


    We found the necromancer den just hours later—once Bjorlam caught the scent of decayed flesh, it was a simple matter. The cave was cut deep into the side of one of the smaller mountains about a day north of Wayrest, relatively close to the border with Hammerfell. Cobwebs and blood decorated the entrance, and the maw reeked of rot.

    “Disgusting,” Bjorlam muttered, readying his axe before him as we entered. The tunnel that we followed, straight and narrow, was splattered with blood. Bones were scattered everywhere, crunching under our boots as we went. It was dark—no torches graced the walls—until the tunnel began to widen, and light shone from some chamber beyond.

    When we arrived, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The chamber was massive, half a kilometer in diameter at least, and just as high, decorated with red banners and grisly depictions of skulls painted on the walls. At the center of the chamber was an ornate throne, and upon it sat a man, flanked by four figures dressed in long black robes. The rest of the room was filled with hundreds of undead—animals, men, even some grotesque forms that seemed to lie somewhere in between.

    I wasn’t at all impressed by any of the morbid splendor. My gaze was fixed on the man on the throne, with his ebony skin and striking red eyes. Eyes that stared right back at me just as fiercely.

    “Kaddah,” I muttered, shocked and angry all at the same time.

    The man on the throne gave a twisted, cruel smile.

    “Talan,” he said. “It’s so good to see you again. How is the family doing?” 


  • Saryn
    Saryn   ·  May 7, 2015
    Yeah... Sorry terranovatn. My life kinda got, well hectic as all hell over the past year. 
  • terranovatn
    terranovatn   ·  December 11, 2014
    Is Chapter 8 on indefinite hold?
  • Saryn
    Saryn   ·  February 7, 2014
    Hopefully soon. I'm having a bit, well a lot of, writer's block. I've written chapter 8 probably 10 times and I haven't liked any of them.
  • Lozhar
    Lozhar   ·  February 6, 2014
    When the next chapter will be posted?