#Serialnovel #vampires #vampire #novel #fantasy #gothic #Crusaders #middlege #crusade
Premise: I’ve been wanting to write a vampire story for some time. They are my favorite fantasy creatures. Blame (or merit) of my favorite video game, indeed one of such: Legacy of Kain. Anyone who has played it will understand. Today I publish the first part of the first chapter, a small intro.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday; and several centuries have passed.
We were in Arabia, the wars between Christians and Muslims were involving all that was the known world. We lived only for religion.
At the time I had no idea that human beings used religion as a weapon: or at any rate, deep convictions and beliefs, for ulterior motives.
I was just a crusader, a soldier. My job was to kill those who saw it differently from mine.
I was none other than one of numerous knives in the great hands of the powerful: emperors, popes, kings, nobles and princes of all sorts.
When I was that young I didn’t even care: to be honest, I wasn’t even a great believer. Like many, I was just thirsty for glory and wealth. Nothing more, nothing less.
A divine blessing for poor people like me. Meat for slaughter: fanatics and poor people. After having sworn to God and the Pope, they went to die in their name. In battle he prays and screams.
The commandment said “not to utter it in vain”, as it said “not to kill”. How much hypocrisy.
For me it was normal: I did not scream anything: I prayed before the battles and I always hoped not to die, but I killed.
The cross that I carried on my armor was often covered with another red: that of the blood of our enemies. Thinking about it today, there was no worse life and lesser task; unbelievable that anyone would take pleasure in doing it.
The adrenaline of feeling like a god, taking away the most precious thing from another human being: for them it was exhilarating; for me it was like being a farmer, only instead of a hoe or a scythe, I had a sword. In fact, that too was reaping. I still don’t know what is better or worse … It was certainly evil: for us and for them.
We the Crusades, them the Jihad: two sides of the same coin.
My name is Reemos. I was an Austrian… Yes, “I was”.
It was that time when we had invaded the territories of our great enemy of the time: the great Saladin.
One day there was a furious battle in the desert: one of many: we fought day and night, we were tired and thirsty. However, we continued.
And that day happened what shook my entire existence and ended my human life permanently.
We fought against a group of Arabs who appeared to be younger than us. We thought they were supporters of Saladin, but we didn’t quite understand if they were a direct part of his army, or allied with him.
The fact is that among them, I saw one that had something strange: he was fighting, but it seemed that the sunlight somehow weakened him.
When I met young people who had been ill for some illness or who knows what other illness they had, I spared them. Often it was enough for me to push them, I showed pity.
Sometimes they died anyway, killed by someone else, others remained on the ground in battle, without getting up. I never knew if they would survive. Somehow I still had a clear conscience. At least, that’s what I liked to think.
So I did that time too and continued killing without looking back.
That time, that one damned time, something changed: we won the battle, we rejoiced, but that young man got up and looked at me with the scimitar in his hand.
The commander ordered me to kill him, with a lament I executed, saying to the Arab:
– Stupid! You should have stayed dead.
He fell to the ground bleeding without even a moan. He looked like he didn’t even have the strength to breathe. How much pain he made me.
We camped not far from the place where we had fought: there was an oasis; we rested there.
Most of my comrades in arms were asleep, I woke up in the throes of an enormous thirst. So, I went to the oasis, in order to appease my sudden need for water. As I drank I heard heavy footsteps behind me. Someone was panting.
I turned around and couldn’t believe my eyes: he was the young man I had killed hours before.
He had something strange, demonic.
I didn’t have time to understand that I was brutally killed: he was too strong, and I felt that he was taking away my blood and life.
I woke up the next day – or at least I think it was – completely alone. I was still in the oasis. My body had been dragged and hidden by some bush.
How was it possible that I was still alive? It was all so absurd that I thought I had dreamed of everything, at least at the beginning, or some joke of fatigue, or divine.
So I got up and looked for my group; I had been abandoned, I noticed. My comrades in arms were gone: and I was mysteriously thirsty. I felt completely confused. I could not even understand if the place I was in was the same as that night.
I tried drinking the water from the oasis, it didn’t affect me.
Not knowing what else to do, I walked into the desert, without any destination, hoping to see the others again, or to reach some town or city.
The sun weakened me, I wasn’t hot though. In fact, I didn’t feel many things anymore. I was just wandering around in confusion.
I was not hungry or tired. Only this thirst that I did not understand.
I continued walking straight into the desert: or at least I think. He came the night, without even realizing it, I fell to the ground, collapsed.
I think I slept then; but I’m not so sure of that either.
At a certain point I recovered, someone was calling me: then I opened my eyes and saw both the young man who had killed me, and another Arab, who spoke my language.
– Wake up, wake up!
– What happens? – I asked. – What are you doing here? – I was still confused.
– I’m sorry, boy. – The man told me. – Your life is over. You are no longer a human being.
– What does it mean?
– Forgive him: he did not know that by killing yourself you would become a vampire.
– A vamp… what?
– Let me explain. In fact, I introduce myself first: my name is Amir, he is Omar. He can’t speak your language, but he’s sorry. We vampires are beings who live after death. We are neither in heaven nor in hell: we feed on blood. We are non-living, undead. It is the blood that makes us warm again.
– Thing…? I do not understand.
– You’re confused. Omar, give him a goblet of blood.
I drank what was offered to me. I was confused but one thing was clear: my previous life would never return.