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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

comagoosie

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I wonder if the horses know more than the humans, as oftentimes they foresee a storm before we do...
 

Qorten

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I wonder if the horses know more than the humans, as oftentimes they foresee a storm before we do...
Exactly what I thought as well. Animals do have a greater sense of nature after all or rather are more part of it then humans.
 

stnylan

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There are good reasons to be afraid of the dark.
 

robou

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Like has been said, they should be wary of the dark... it holds secrets they cannot understand. The horses do seem to have a vauge idea that something evil is about, though.
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

The update is chilling. Your choice of a picture is particularly apt, as it captures the coldness and crispness conveyed by the text.

The update is chilling. Your choice of a picture is particularly apt, as it captures the coldness and crispness conveyed by the text.
Heh! :wacko: I didn't even realize I'd double posted. Thank you stnylan for moderating me.

I'm glad you found it chilling. That was certainly the vibe I wanted. I lucked into that pic and I agree. It seemed perfect for the feel of the piece.

Either the vampire is insufficiently strong at the moment to try anything, or he is not actually present. Physically, at least, for it seems to me possible that the wind may be supernatually frightening.
Both. How's that? I wanted to hint but not say for sure. Let's consider what powers he might have. ;)

Agreed


Agreed


:rofl: I couldn't resist. Excellent work, sir! :D
Thanks. And yes...I need to catch those little mistakes. :)

Excellent, simply excellent!
Thank you, sir. :D

I wonder if the horses know more than the humans, as oftentimes they foresee a storm before we do...
That's a great idea. Definitely they'll be somewhat more in tune with the surroundings. Sufficiently spooked, at least.

Exactly what I thought as well. Animals do have a greater sense of nature after all or rather are more part of it then humans.
Indeed, they got spooked as much as the men did.

There are good reasons to be afraid of the dark.
Quite. What could be out there? :D

Like has been said, they should be wary of the dark... it holds secrets they cannot understand. The horses do seem to have a vauge idea that something evil is about, though.
Something evil is definitely about. I'll look at that a little bit more in the next section coming up this weekend.


To all - as always, my undying thanks for reading and commenting. You are helping me have a truly fun time writing this. :)
 

Stuyvesant

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You do me too much honour, stnylan. :)

coz1, Since you more or less confirmed that the vampire wasn't physically present at this eerie little hiccup, I wonder if he can send his mind roaming, cast out his senses like a net. If that's the case, I think this is where our protagonists first showed up on the vampire's 'radar', so to speak.

Perhaps the vampire sensed the book, or maybe there's something about Huard himself that attracts the vampire - as it is, we still know very little (nothing, really) about why Huard is so keen on the Eye. At first I thought that the events in the first post were the trigger for Huard's zeal, but since those events might not actually have occured yet, there has to be something else, maybe an encounter earlier in his life, that made Huard into the book-hunting, gem-chasing man he is now.
 
Last edited:

Director

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I'd say stnylan has once again shown he can deliver as much in a sentence as I can in a paragraph. Anyone who wants to know how to make an author glow should read the collected comments of Stuyvesant - the man could teach a class on the subject. And should, dammit. Great commentors are more scarce than good writers.

See? stnylan DID say more in a sentence than I did in a paragraph. :)

That's a fine dark post, coz1. With all our streetlights and headlights we lose track of just how terrifying simple dark, cold and wind can be. Is there anything out there in the dark? All our ancient senses say, 'Yes'.
 

Enewald

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Now after three days I am able to comment again...
So why is it called Eye of the Dragon?
Sounds nice, but there must a story behind it? :confused:
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

No one's perfect... :D
Especially not me, I can assure you. ;)

You do me too much honour, stnylan. :)

coz1, Since you more or less confirmed that the vampire wasn't physically present at this eerie little hiccup, I wonder if he can send his mind roaming, cast out his senses like a net. If that's the case, I think this is where our protagonists first showed up on the vampire's 'radar', so to speak.

Perhaps the vampire sensed the book, or maybe there's something about Huard himself that attracts the vampire - as it is, we still know very little (nothing, really) about why Huard is so keen on the Eye. At first I thought that the events in the first post were the trigger for Huard's zeal, but since those events might not actually have occured yet, there has to be something else, maybe an encounter earlier in his life, that made Huard into the book-hunting, gem-chasing man he is now.
Very good observation. I'm letting a little trickle out here and there in regards to Huard's motivation. This next post gives a bit more of that. And excellent on sensing the vampire's powers. I'm defining them as we go, allowing for some of the more typical ones and using the ones that best seem to fit for what I want to do.

I'd say stnylan has once again shown he can deliver as much in a sentence as I can in a paragraph. Anyone who wants to know how to make an author glow should read the collected comments of Stuyvesant - the man could teach a class on the subject. And should, dammit. Great commentors are more scarce than good writers.

See? stnylan DID say more in a sentence than I did in a paragraph. :)

That's a fine dark post, coz1. With all our streetlights and headlights we lose track of just how terrifying simple dark, cold and wind can be. Is there anything out there in the dark? All our ancient senses say, 'Yes'.
Yes and yes! And quite true about the dark - traveling at night back then must have been spooky anyway, much less when something may be after you.

Now after three days I am able to comment again...
So why is it called Eye of the Dragon?
Sounds nice, but there must a story behind it? :confused:
Good to see you back, Enewald. As for the Eye, I allowed a little of that early on - it has an appearance like an eye when you look at it, or so they say. I'll bring that back if we ever do find the thing. ;)


To all - another update follows after one more typo pass. Thanks for reading and commenting!
 

coz1

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* * *

New York City, 1792


The little shop was unimposing, stowed away on some side street as if trying to hide from potential customers. Inside was a combination of furniture, trinkets and old valuables for which some poor soul left no keeper. It was kept in haphazard fashion, no particular rhyme or reason for the order. And there were no price tags on anything. It was as if each item might be bartered, less for a forgiving face and more for the harder set.

Abraham Huard rapped a knuckle on the front desk when he did not see the owner. “Hullo? Anyone here?” He called out, looking oddly at Temple Franklin who returned the look instantly.

In little time, a curtain separating a back room with the front parted and a little old man, not more than five feet tall entered, a spirit in his wrinkled face not matching the slowness with which he moved his tiny legs. “Greetings,” the man announced, “I am Ebenezer Scott. Welcome to my shop.”

Abraham instantly smiled and gestured towards Franklin, “My friend and I have traveled quite a ways to meet with you sir. I was given your name by none other than Secretary Knox himself. It is quite urgent…”

“Yes…Mr. Knox…good man.” Scott nodded as he lowered himself into a comfortable looking chair.

“And you, sir…” He said pointing to Franklin, “I know you. Are you not the illustrious Temple Franklin, grandson to our patriot?”

Franklin offered a polite bow and nodded in the affirmative. “Indeed I am, sir. I understand you knew my grandfather.”

“I did, sir. Yes I did. He was an extraordinary man, though I imagine you must hear that quite a lot. But ‘tis true nonetheless. I have missed him.” Scott turned his gaze back to Huard and he squinted as he looked him over well.

Abraham took the cue to offer his reasons for coming, “I have some urgent business I wish to conduct, sir, as I said. I wonder if I might have a moment of your time.”

Scott looked to Franklin and then back to Huard, “You may speak plainly, sir. There is no one else here.”

“Well, sir…it concerns…” Huard made notice to look back to the curtain once more before continuing in a quite voice, “…it concerns the Eye of the Dragon.”

“Hmm…” Scott tarried on the words for a moment, looking up at first and then to Franklin. “Not him.”

Franklin looked at him oddly, “Sir?”

“You must wait here while I speak with your friend, Mr. Franklin. All apologies, certainly, sir…but this is indeed an urgent matter and one not taken lightly. I must speak words you should not hear. Benjamin would not care for it, I assure you.”

“Sir, I was privy to many of my grandfather’s most personal secrets. I believe…” Temple attempted to explain but Ebenezer Scott would not listen.

“Not this one.” He answered and gestured for Huard to follow him into the back room.

Abraham leaned over and whispered, “I’ll let you know what he says. Just wait here. I’ll find out all he knows.”

Temple did not answer, but nodded still somewhat confused. He motioned for Huard to go with the man and Abraham did so, curious to see what was in the other room. He was surprised to find it was nothing so much as a bed, a table and a small chair. A candle flickered on the table allowing for some light in the windowless room. The only other curious aspect was a small staircase in the corner leading to what Huard assumed was a small upstairs. It had not looked large enough from the street but he thought it could manage some slight attic.

Ebenezer Scott lowered himself to the bed, sitting on a corner, his right arm draped over the bed frame. “I do not believe I caught your name, sir?” He motioned for Huard to sit down in the small chair.

“Huard, Mr. Scott…Abraham Huard.”

“You do not come from here, your accent is a might thicker.”

“No sir…from London.”

“And what have you to ask of me, Mr. Huard?” The old man smiled as he picked up a coffee pot from the floor and poured himself a small cup.

“I first became fascinated with the Eye after an exhibit in London. It had several artifacts found when the English sent an expeditionary force to aid the Habsburgs battle with the Turk. 17th century…beautiful things, to be sure. But one piece was missing. They explained that it was local legend and the owners decided to include some small piece about it. I did some further research and as I came to understand more and more about this gemstone, sir…I found it carried with it a darker legend.”

“You seem to know much already, Mr. Huard. For what do you need me?”

“On the advice of Secretary Knox, as he states you have some intimate knowledge and were a help to Mr. Franklin, whose notebook I now carry with me.”

“Really?” Scott perked up. “I wonder…may I see it?”

“Certainly,” Huard made no issue of pulling the book from his bag and handing it to the old man.

Ebenezer Scott looked at it intently, flipping the pages slowly as if trying to find something. He noticed the drawing of the Eye Franklin had done and nodded. A decent rendering. He found a page type set and read it for a while before looking up at his guest.

“Here you will find a bit more, I think…I wonder, have you read this passage?” Scott cleared his throat and then began to read, “The Eye is not mythical but very real. It is understood to be somewhere west of Vienna though no one is sure where. Yet I have reason to believe either London or Paris. There I was intrigued to find quite a few in common with my beliefs and they seem to have some further idea on this. One woman I spoke with said she’d seen it herself, but I take that as a means to gain some favor from myself. The legend seems to follow the Eye and as I have heard locals speak of the same here in Pennsylvania, I begin to wonder if it rests now on our shores. I shall endeavor to continue looking into this but time keeps me quite busy.

Huard nodded and smiled, “I had read that, sir. In truth, it is what makes me so keen to speak with you.”

“May I ask you something, Mr. Huard?” Scott closed the book and handed it back.

“Certainly, sir.”

“Do you believe in vampires?”

Abraham did not have to skip a beat before answering, “Indeed I do, sir.”

“Because you are dealing with one right now, I expect.”

Huard’s face began to turn white, “Sir?”

“Have you ever seen one?”

“I have.”

“Would you mind telling me about it?”

“It was a horrifying experience, I don’t mind saying. It is not one I wish to revisit. I was in Paris…some ten years ago. It was late at night and I was out on the street by myself. I admit I had some drink in me and I encountered a strange man. He talked with me but I had little to say in return. He became angered and then flashed…”

Huard stopped and gathered himself, the memory still clear in his mind. Scott did not need for him to finish, “His teeth?”

“Yes.”

“How did you escape?”

“I do not know. I simply ran. I ran until I reached my lodgings and did not leave the room for another two days, such was my fright.”

“And now you see why I asked young Temple to stay in the other room.” Scott nodded and took a drink of his coffee.

“I admit I am still unsure…”

“I could see it in his eyes, Mr. Huard. He is frightened beyond belief by this circumstance. I must speak plainly and have little time to explain what seems clear we both already know. If you believe in vampires, sir, and seem aware of the Eye’s potential, then I will tell you what you must do. But you must be aware of what you face.”

“Sir?”

“Where you must go. There is another you must speak with. As you stated already, time is urgent. It would not surprise me if you already have a follower.”

Huard was becoming more and more confused, “A follower? Who else knows about this?”

Ebenezer Scott’s eyes grew large as he stared at Abraham Huard. “He knows.”

“He?”

“Sebastion. And it would not surprise me if he was already in the city. You have little time.”

“I must tell you,” Abraham was becoming a little irritated, if not spooked, “I do not follow all you say here, Mr. Scott. Are you saying there is a vampire after us? Here, in America?”

“Are you truly surprised, Mr. Huard, or are you like your friend out there, the young Mr. Franklin…disbelieving.”

“I believe, sir…and in truth, the Secretary did mention…” Huard’s mind began to put pieces together and he finally looked up to Ebenezer, “Are you telling me that the Eye is here in New York?”

Scott kept his gaze on Abraham and his eyes seemed to sparkle, “I am, sir. And you must go and find it. Go alone, sir. This is a careful business. But go you must and you will find what it is you seek. When you do, you must guard it with your life!”

Abraham sat back in the chair and brought his hands to his face, rubbing his eyes. He let them drift down his cheeks as if to pull the shock from his system. It seemed as if he was so close but he’d not yet thought of what to do once he’d found the Eye. And he had little idea that something was after him…no, that was untrue. He knew…or rather felt it.

“Where must I go?”

Ebenezer Scott lifted slowly from the bed and walked across the room to the table. He lifted a book and flipped through it to find a scrap of paper. He shuffled to Abraham and handed it to him. “Go there.”

On the piece of paper was an address. Huard looked up to the old man with curiosity, “Why me, sir? You could have sent any number of people to find this. Why me?” he repeated.

Scott’s eyes told him the answer already in their forgiving glow but he answered him still, “Because you understand, Mr. Huard. No one else has come this far.”

“What have you to do with this?” Huard was quick to question.

“Go there, Mr. Huard. You will find all you need know.”

Abraham Huard found himself standing and though he wished to continue questioning Scott, the old man was right. He had the lead on where to find this and if true, little time in which to do it. As he moved from the room, he offered a very sincere, “Thank you, Mr. Scott.”

“No…” Scott replied, “Thank you, Mr. Huard.”

With a smile, Huard exited and he and Temple left the shop. Abraham would need to find a reason that Temple not follow him to the address. Perhaps he would go at night. But go he would, and this very day. If the feeling he had as they traveled to New York was what Scott seemed to be telling him, the urgency was even greater than he first imagined.

In the shop, Ebenezer Scott sat back on his bed, his eyes roaming the floor for some odd mark or another when he heard a soft feminine voice come to him from the stairs, “He’ll do.”
 
Last edited:

robou

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Uho, a mysterious woman... who could it be? So now Abraham knows what is onto him and knows that 'he' is not far behind. He must be quick, but I doubt Temple is going to be happy at all with this turn in events.
 

volksmarschall

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Throughout this great story, I have wonders about the Austro-Turk Wars that keep being mentioned.

Plot, subplot and more... and not to mention Ebenezer Scott and an unknown female voice from below! Excellent update sir!
 

Enewald

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She's a vampire? :eek:
Spooky.
Vampires emigrate over Atlantic pond too? :p
 

Qorten

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This mysterious woman, could she be the vampire from the first chapter? Is Ebenezer Scott in league with the vampires? Or is there another player at work whom we do not yet know?
 

comagoosie

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Not a woman :eek: NOOO!!!

Anyways, I think our Huard has just been set up. It doesn't matter if he just got a lot of information, it will be useless if he is dead.

Poor Temple oblivious, unlike his forefathers. :p
 

Stuyvesant

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If this sets the scene for the very first post, then Huard is in a lot of trouble. Then again, if the woman in Ebenezer's attic is the same as the one who takes in Huard after his assault, maybe it's good. She seemed helpful enough in the second post.

Speculation - if the mystery woman is a vampire herself (not much evidence to support it, but nothing to reject the notion - and she was hiding indoors, away from any natural light), then what are the odds she is the same person who walks into Sam's office some 150 years later?
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Uho, a mysterious woman... who could it be? So now Abraham knows what is onto him and knows that 'he' is not far behind. He must be quick, but I doubt Temple is going to be happy at all with this turn in events.
I wonder. Where else have we seen a mysterious woman? ;) And no, Temple won't be happy. He won't be happy still when he figures out what happened, but we'll get to that soon enough.

Throughout this great story, I have wonders about the Austro-Turk Wars that keep being mentioned.

Plot, subplot and more... and not to mention Ebenezer Scott and an unknown female voice from below! Excellent update sir!
I have something planned to give some meatier details of the Austro-Turk wars. it might not be for a while, but we'll touch on it.

She's a vampire? :eek:
Spooky.
Vampires emigrate over Atlantic pond too? :p
Maybe. And of course they do. I hear tell New Orleans is swarming with them. And Tom Petty sings about them out in LA. Besides, haven't you seen The Lost Boys? ;)

This mysterious woman, could she be the vampire from the first chapter? Is Ebenezer Scott in league with the vampires? Or is there another player at work whom we do not yet know?
Good questions all. I'll clarify who the woman is soon. As for Scott, he could be. I won't tell. ;)

Not a woman :eek: NOOO!!!

Anyways, I think our Huard has just been set up. It doesn't matter if he just got a lot of information, it will be useless if he is dead.

Poor Temple oblivious, unlike his forefathers. :p
Set up, yes. Dead, likely. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's out of the story. :D

A Vampyress, eh? Interesting... Good work, sir! :D
Who doesn't like a good female vampire, eh?

This is mixed news. I hope Huard is up to fighting off a trap.
Well, we know how it goes down, at least a little. I'm still working on the rest of those scenes, interspersing them here and there.

If this sets the scene for the very first post, then Huard is in a lot of trouble. Then again, if the woman in Ebenezer's attic is the same as the one who takes in Huard after his assault, maybe it's good. She seemed helpful enough in the second post.

Speculation - if the mystery woman is a vampire herself (not much evidence to support it, but nothing to reject the notion - and she was hiding indoors, away from any natural light), then what are the odds she is the same person who walks into Sam's office some 150 years later?
Good eye. As for the speculation, I cannot say for now. However, that isn't a bad guess. Not saying it's right, but it is interesting, surely. :D


To all - I may or mat not have another update tonight. I hope to but it might not happen. If not today, then tomorrow. Thanks for reading everyone, and thank you so much for your comments! :)