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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(81979)

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They are both vampires. Or the other is at the moment, and shall doom the other one. ;)
1460... Wallachia?
Ottomans?
:rofl: Exactly! :rofl:

Well, coz1, another fine update! :D
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

coz1: ...“Sebastion!” .. “...Selene..."

and so it begins ! ! :)

splendid updates ! !
:cool:
Indeed it does. I've been waiting a bit to get this part of the story underway. :D

Beautifully written scene, coz1! Possibly one of the best and most original updates I ever read so far in AARland. Of course the original part is mostly due to this being a grand strategy games forum, with emphasis on war and male dominated, so not much love scenes in AARland by default. I am serious about this update being one of the best I ever read. I was drawn into it. You do a great job here, coz.
Well thank you, sir! I truly appreciate the compliment. I dare say I'm not the first to attempt a love scene (and in fact, have done so in my own prior AARs) but this one was special. I'm not so sure you could call it a love scene, really...Sebastion and Selene have an unusual sense of the word love. ;)

A very well written scene coz.
Although I have to admit it left a lot of questions in my mind, the scene was wonderful. I see we are in the land of Vlad and that makes me think that this couple might not be happy for long… there is something more going on here than we know. It shall be very interesting to see what happens next, because all your cliff-hangers and different perspectives leaves a lot of cliff-hangers and makes me want more and more and more ;) I guess that is a sign of a good AAR :)
Hopefully those questions keep you coming back for more. ;) We are indeed in the land of Vlad here and I'll be setting more scenes there as we progress.

AH! And excellent scene indeed, Coz. You have begun to unveil the tapestry of intrigue behind poor Abrahams nasty bite. As love scenes go, though I can't hold to be any expert, it was an great update. Leaves lots of questions to ask in the next updates. I reckon Sebastion is already a Vampire.
Indeed, we begin to see where these players come from. I thought it important in setting their characters. As for Sebastion already a vampire...not saying yet but pay attention to clues in the update. :D

They are both vampires. Or the other is at the moment, and shall doom the other one. ;)
1460... Wallachia?
Ottomans?
Wallachia indeed...and we'll see some Ottoman's soon. :D

:rofl: Exactly! :rofl:

Well, coz1, another fine update! :D
Thanks! Good to see you back, dk. :)


To all - busy weekend but I was able to crank out a decent portion of the next update. If all works, I hope to get it up tonight. If not, then tomorrow. Thanks for following, folks! And as always, thanks for your comments! :)
 

TheExecuter

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Mmm...many different tracks these threads could take us...looking forward to seeing what Sebastian has in mind for his resistant, yet doomed, young lover.

She must know that he has some evil power, yet somehow, she is still attracted...is she, perhaps, a Druish princess? :D

TheExecuter
 

coz1

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* * *

New York City, 1792

“…Mr. Franklin…”

The voice spoke out in the darkness to sleeping ears. The speaker, Abraham Huard, bent over the man’s body and called out to him again, nearly touching his face, “…Mr. Franklin!”

In his slumber, Temple Franklin finally began to hear sounds. The sound of a voice…low and scratchy…tired almost…and haunting. It called out for him and he resisted the urge to answer it but he finally opened his eyes. The barrier between sleep and dream ended…he would not know that for a very long time to come. For when Temple Franklin opened his eyes, the image in front of him was ghostly and frightening. It was Huard…he recognized him instantly. And still somehow this man looked different…aged…dead? His face was the same but so pale as to be nearly translucent. And his voice…it spoke again…

“…Mr. Franklin…”

…it sounded of a great weary fear come from deep inside the man in front of him.

From somewhere deep inside himself, the effort to speak resided and yet he could not bring himself to say a word. His lips began to move in an attempt but out came no sound. The eyes of his friend seemed to follow his lips as if trying to decipher what they were saying. A hand moved down and touched Temple’s face that caused him to pull back in his bed and he hit his head on the wooden headboard.

“Do not pull away…” Abraham Huard called out, pleading with his friend.

Temple Franklin felt at the back of his head as he stared in wonderment. Finally sound returned to him and he was able to ask one simple question, “What has happened?”

It seemed simple and direct enough. His mind was too much in a frenzy to come up with much else. But the figure in front of him, the ghostly Huard did not answer. He simply held out his hand again and felt at Temple Franklin’s neck. The hair stood on end as the cold hands of Abraham touched his skin and Temple shot from the bed. He ran to the fireplace and held out his hands. The warmth of the dying fire seemed to contrast the extreme chill of his friend.


“Do not run from me!” Abraham nearly yelled as he turned to face Temple trying to stand strong. But he was weak. Weaker than he’d ever felt in his entire life. And before Abraham could say another word, he collapsed on the floor. Temple reached out, as if to assist, but he grabbed nothing but air. He moved quickly now, cautiously placing his own hand on Huard’s face. Still cold as ice. But he could hear the labored breathing coming from his mouth. Even a slight moan. He was obviously still conscious.

As he used all his strength to help Abraham Huard to the bed, Temple was finally caused to ask again, “What has the devil done to you, Mr. Huard? Can you not even walk?”

“I…” Huard tried to respond, but he could not. Once in the bed, he closed his eyes and tried to sleep, hoping the night had all been a dream. Like one he’d had many times before, it must be a dream. But he could not sleep. Not even the sense of comfort falling into a bed gives a tired man. To Abraham Huard, the only feeling that existed was hunger. He could not rest…could not sleep…until he’d had more. More blood. And now.

He opened his eyes like a flash and frightened Temple Franklin as he stood over his friend. Franklin jumped back and knocked over a chair. The crash seemed to stop Huard who had begun to rise from the bed.

“I must…” Huard began to say as he caught himself.

“What, sir?” Franklin begged him to answer.

“I must not see you now…”

Franklin was beyond confused and wanted to go to Abraham and help him back into the bed, but he was scared. He was mortified by what he’d seen and could not take a step forward. Abraham saw his reticence and held out a hand, “I will not hurt you.”

“I should hope not, Mr. Huard!” Temple replied with question. But when Huard looked to him, he finally saw the deadness in his eyes. His pupil looked as if a flame nearly snuffed out. Abraham Huard was not well. And finally Temple moved towards his friend.

Huard stopped him, “No! Go from here!” He rose from the bed with surprising speed and pushed Temple towards the door. “You must leave!”

“What is going on here, Mr. Huard?” Temple asked as he tried to gain his balance and move away from Abraham. “You are not a well man and require a Doctor. Allow me to fetch…”

“No, you must not!” Huard answered with urgency. “You must not speak a word of this to anyone. Do you hear, Mr. Franklin? To ANYONE!”

The pleading look on Abraham’s face told Temple everything he needed to know for that very moment. But he could not remain silent about this. He had to speak with someone. He could not allow this…whatever this was…to happen to Huard. But the plea was earnest, he could see that.

“You must leave me for tonight…” he stopped for a moment, trying to think of something and then suddenly had it in mind, “…but make sure to pay the bill and keep this room undisturbed. I cannot be disturbed! Do you hear?”

It sounded as if ravings from a madman, but Temple had already crossed the threshold of what appeared normal or natural. Either Abraham Huard was insane or very much in trouble. Both required help. Franklin finally held out his hands and gestured towards the door.

“I’ll go. You…sleep. Rest, Mr. Huard. I’ll make sure you are left alone.”

Huard seemed satisfied and backed away from Temple, finally collapsing again on the bed. Temple Franklin looked at him a good long while in the darkness. A hissing ember popped in the fireplace, causing him to jump and he started to move from the room but stopped. He looked around the room realizing he was forgetting something…and likely more than that. Finding his bag and a coat, he moved towards the door once again, this time allowing no looks back towards Abraham Huard. Quickly after, he was gone. He would return the next day, but only after informing the only man he thought he could trust. And that was if he was in New York.

Temple Franklin made his way down the hotel stairs and out into the cold. He wrapped the coat tightly around his neck and trudged off down the snow covered street, the early morning light beginning to drift up over the horizon. He was tired, afraid and most of all worried. He was worried about his friend.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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New York is an vampire-friendly city during the nights I'd believe. :D
How about eating the nearest pig?
 

robou

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A chilling chapter. I am worried about Temple, but Huard won't kill him; he seems to show a restraint that the other vampires don't seem to have done, though that doesn't make their kills uncalculated. But that was well written, my friend. I could see those eyes... well described!
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Mmm...many different tracks these threads could take us...looking forward to seeing what Sebastian has in mind for his resistant, yet doomed, young lover.

She must know that he has some evil power, yet somehow, she is still attracted...is she, perhaps, a Druish princess? :D

TheExecuter
Funny...she doesn't look Druish. :p Let's consider that she's not so innocent and pure herself. There's a reason they are drawn together. Of course, who says he's so evil...yet? ;)

New York is an vampire-friendly city during the nights I'd believe. :D
How about eating the nearest pig?
Indeed it is. And a pig may not be a bad idea for Huard. He is hungry and he's going to have to figure something out soon. :D

A chilling chapter. I am worried about Temple, but Huard won't kill him; he seems to show a restraint that the other vampires don't seem to have done, though that doesn't make their kills uncalculated. But that was well written, my friend. I could see those eyes... well described!
I'm glad you liked the eyes. That was precisely how I saw him at that moment. He's struggling right now. He still has his natural brain and emotions...some sense of morality - but he doesn't yet understand his instincts.


To all - it's looking like a busy week and the weekend sees me working on my pop's house. Not sure when I'll be able to update and I have a few choices to make about the next scene. I hope to get the next update up before I head out to Athens, but if not maybe Sunday. Wished I'd written more this past weekend but moving my sister pretty much did me in. The things we do for family. :rolleyes:

Thanks for reading and the extra time just gives more people the chance to do so. :D
 

unmerged(24320)

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coz1: …The pleading look on Abraham’s face told Temple everything he needed to know for that very moment.

well, maybe for that moment, but certainly not everything he needed to know ! ! :eek:

coz1:
…Temple Franklin made his way down the hotel stairs and out into the cold.

hmmm. giving up his bed for a friend is good, but methinks that Mr Franklin won't get much sleep this night ! ! :rolleyes:

excellent updates ! !
:cool:
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Oooh! Another great chapter, and I think listening to Mozart's Requiem helped... :p :rofl:
That's not a bad choice. Whatever the music, it should be dark and a little off kilter. Thanks.

coz1: …The pleading look on Abraham’s face told Temple everything he needed to know for that very moment.

well, maybe for that moment, but certainly not everything he needed to know ! ! :eek:

coz1:
…Temple Franklin made his way down the hotel stairs and out into the cold.

hmmm. giving up his bed for a friend is good, but methinks that Mr Franklin won't get much sleep this night ! ! :rolleyes:

excellent updates ! !
:cool:
Indeed, Temple will have much more of an education ahead of him. In fact, I'm not sure he's ever going to be completely comfortable with it, though I am getting ahead of myself. As for Huard, it's almost morning so sleepy time must come soon. He's just never slept as a vampire before. :eek:


To all - well, it looks like a Friday update is out. I'm gone for the weekend, so I'll see what I can do Sunday. It'll be the first of the week before something is up.
 

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Your work is very chilling, it adds in such an effect that some of us reading your work get chills running down our spines! :p

It is very awe-inspiring at the very least, I can't wait for more! :cool:
 

comagoosie

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Good to see Huard with some restraint, as foretold...but for a second there I was hesitating, there was a moment where I thought it could go anyway, especially with the whole touching of the neck :D
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Your work is very chilling, it adds in such an effect that some of us reading your work get chills running down our spines! :p

It is very awe-inspiring at the very least, I can't wait for more! :cool:
I realy appreciate that, volkmarschall. :) I am trying to make sure the "mood" is present during each scene and it is great to know that it is working hopefully more often than not.

Good to see Huard with some restraint, as foretold...but for a second there I was hesitating, there was a moment where I thought it could go anyway, especially with the whole touching of the neck :D
Same to you, comagoosie. That is entirely the effect I wanted to add. As I was writing it, frankly, I wasn't exactly sure which way he'd go. ;)


To all - back from pop's...sweaty, in need of a cool, frosty beverage and back to the grindstone. The country is really nice, even if it is hot as hell. In the mid 90's today and working on the upstairs level of a soon to be house makes that even hotter. But the sweat is good. And the house is looking even better. The old man may have it ready by Thanksgiving. :D

Thanks for the comments, folks. Look for the next update early in the week.
 

coz1

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Still working on the next update...and still behind schedule. But for those of you itching to catch up...yes, you over there...I have put the first episode into a pdf for ease of reading (and including the lovely pictures I spent so long finding.) :)

The link is in my signature.
 

Stuyvesant

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Still working on the next update...and still behind schedule. But for those of you itching to catch up...yes, you over there...
Guilty as charged... :eek:o

But now I am caught up again. Two interesting updates, two beginnings, of sorts, it seems.

First there is Sebastion meeting with Selene in lovely Tirgoviste. I assume he already is a vampire - mainly due to your revealing description of his teeth as 'perfect'. Not what I would expect from a backwater dump* in late Medieval Wallachia. Plus, Sebastion is out while the sun is setting, hidden behind clouds - kind of a giveaway. :) Now Selene - she is harder to place. She is drawn to Sebastion, but does not give in to him readily. She shows some decidedly hostile emotions. And she toys with Sebastion. None of this seems to fit with a 'normal' romance. Her behavior also strikes me as more independent than would normally be expected from a lady of her station. Definitely more going on with her than meets the eye, but I don't know yet what exactly.

Regardless, something is beginning here - either their love-hate, attract-repulse relationship, or Selene becoming a vampire like Sebastion. Either way, these events are crucial for the further development of the interactions between Selene and Sebastion.

Huard is facing his own new beginning, a new beginning as something both more and infinitely less than a human. He did an admirable job not going for Franklin's jugular immediately, though a bit more exposition might've been useful for poor Temple. :)

Selene and Sebastion provide the templates for how Huard can develop: he can let his human morality atrophy and end up as Sebastion, wielding unfettered power but unable to deal with anyone beyond the point of killing or feeding; or he can clamp down on his instincts and remain in control, much like Selene is. Maybe not as physically powerful, but far more subtle and influential in the long run. I'm hoping for the latter (if only because Huard as a psycho vampire killing machine wouldn't be a very interesting protagonist) and so far he's off to a good start.

The question that remains: are Huard's current moral qualms a sign that he will retain his humanity, able to control his feeding instincts; or are these merely the dying embers of his former self, soon to be swept away as he fully embraces his vampire side?

*I realize this is a crass stereotype, but my post is over-long as it is without a nuanced and balanced look at Medieval Wallachian court cities. ;)
 

coz1

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Guilty as charged... :eek:o

But now I am caught up again. Two interesting updates, two beginnings, of sorts, it seems.

First there is Sebastion meeting with Selene in lovely Tirgoviste. I assume he already is a vampire - mainly due to your revealing description of his teeth as 'perfect'. Not what I would expect from a backwater dump* in late Medieval Wallachia. Plus, Sebastion is out while the sun is setting, hidden behind clouds - kind of a giveaway. :) Now Selene - she is harder to place. She is drawn to Sebastion, but does not give in to him readily. She shows some decidedly hostile emotions. And she toys with Sebastion. None of this seems to fit with a 'normal' romance. Her behavior also strikes me as more independent than would normally be expected from a lady of her station. Definitely more going on with her than meets the eye, but I don't know yet what exactly.

Regardless, something is beginning here - either their love-hate, attract-repulse relationship, or Selene becoming a vampire like Sebastion. Either way, these events are crucial for the further development of the interactions between Selene and Sebastion.

Huard is facing his own new beginning, a new beginning as something both more and infinitely less than a human. He did an admirable job not going for Franklin's jugular immediately, though a bit more exposition might've been useful for poor Temple. :)

Selene and Sebastion provide the templates for how Huard can develop: he can let his human morality atrophy and end up as Sebastion, wielding unfettered power but unable to deal with anyone beyond the point of killing or feeding; or he can clamp down on his instincts and remain in control, much like Selene is. Maybe not as physically powerful, but far more subtle and influential in the long run. I'm hoping for the latter (if only because Huard as a psycho vampire killing machine wouldn't be a very interesting protagonist) and so far he's off to a good start.

The question that remains: are Huard's current moral qualms a sign that he will retain his humanity, able to control his feeding instincts; or are these merely the dying embers of his former self, soon to be swept away as he fully embraces his vampire side?

*I realize this is a crass stereotype, but my post is over-long as it is without a nuanced and balanced look at Medieval Wallachian court cities. ;)
You might have caught me at some poorly planned foreshadowing with the teeth there, Stuyvesant. Can't say which way yet, but I hope the reveal to apparent and I may have placed the hint wrong. :eek:o But you are entirely correct that this early relationship between Sebastion and Selene informs their entire future, and allows me a chance to dig deeper into the history behind the story a bit more. ;)

I hope the next update starts to help unravel Huard's change. It will be a slow process, I'd assume and I don't want to rush too quickly. He must learn his new self and he'll run into some trouble along the way. Some of it, he won't even begin to understand. But I get ahead of myself. :D You last question will certainly be answered though, I assure you.

I'm not quite certain on the second part below, it being too short at first glance, but not perhaps informing enough as I read it. Frankly, I am not quite sure I like the technique. It felt right as I wrote it, but I don't know that it really works.
 

coz1

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* * *

New York City, 1792

Abraham opened his eyes and took in the darkness that greeted him. He could see clearly, as if night were day and the moon his sun. But the sun was soon to rise. He could feel it in his body, the energy of the sun somehow pulling at him, and depriving him of his own. And the hunger…the insatiable appetite he still felt…it pulled in the opposite direction. He had to feed.

He sat up in the bed slowly and pulled his feet to the floor. Standing as if testing his weight the entire way, he finally moved his body in one long swift motion towards the window. Opening the double doors, he seemed to slide out onto the balcony and swiftly over the railing. The need for blood was pulling him along even with the sun soon to crest the horizon.

Abraham Huard ran into the woods and crouched to the ground, his nose seeming to sniff out smells many miles away. He sensed things better, each new breeze or scent something that tingled in his bones and caused him to stop, orient and analyze. He knew what his urges were telling him and soon he was upon it. A meaty scent, rich in iron, and musky as if lying on the ground too often had fouled the creature. It was a meal and one he could no longer resist. With a graceful arc, Abraham seemed to pounce through the air and landed just inches from his prey. The animal had just time enough to begin movement when Abraham grabbed it by its neck and held it tightly with muscles he did not realize he owned.

Then he fed.

The blood poured down his throat and into his stomach, long since shut down to any human function. But somehow the nourishment still sated his body, giving rise to the energy within him – his blood seeming to boil in his otherwise cold form. The beast was drained of every inch of its own force of life giving the energy over to the stronger being before it. Abraham lay back in the wet leaves covering the ground. The cool night air still responded to the dead form of the deer, its body still hot enough to cause steam. But Abraham stared up at the stars, feeling warmth only within. He was for once, full. How long it would last, he could not guess. It was an animal instinct and no human emotion. And even his mind could comprehend that, somehow feeling sharper after being fed. Abraham could not explain it to himself, and began to wonder how he might to anyone else. But he would have to if Temple returned.

The sun’s golden rays would soon be upon him and something deep inside forced him to finally move. He lifted himself from the ground and began to walk calmly back to the hotel, finding the need for sleep coming upon him rapidly. He was tired after a good meal. He did not even notice that the sun had finally moved into position, the piercing glow crawling solidly on to his back...and nothing happened.

* * *

New York City, 1792

Smell

Nothing there. But wait…

Smell again

Yes…something there, but what?

He turns his mind to crawl through the ether and connect with the energy he senses

I know you…I’ve tasted you before…

And then nothing is there…once again

For Hell’s entire mighty wrath, Selene…I shall see your damnation…

A small trail of blood begins to seep from his eye

I will find you…​

 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Btw, why would the sun even affect vampires? :confused:
Surely his pigment can't have mutated that swiftly. :p
 

robou

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Hmm, that last bit was odd. I am not sure what to make of it. No doubt it will be explained in the coming chapters. So does that mean that Huard is not a proper vampire? Or are you dispelling popular myth? :D
 

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Where do you get those pictures, they unnerve me to the core *shakes*.

It's nice to see Abe feed to make sure he is full. The last thing we need is for Abe to look temptingly at Temple when his stomach rumbles :D