The slats on the small door rattled under a banging fist.
"Hold on, I'm coming..." yelled the old farmer from the back part of his home. He shrugged into his tunic that lay on the large wooden table where he and his family ate their meals. His wife had mended his shirt the night before and his many children were beginning to stir with the small sounds of patting feet and giggles. The farmer opened the old door as the fist began to pound on the wood. "What's the hurry," he grumbled.
A man of great stature stood in his doorway, a long sword hung at his belt, and a dark cloak shadowed the features of the strangers face. What little sun did shine this early in the morning would not have been able to show the man's face under all the cloth of the cloaks he wore. Those cloaks billowed around him in the breeze that had been dying from a previous storm that had ravaged the small town. "I've come for the girl," and with that he stepped into the smokey room, knocking passed the old farmer. His wife came into the cluttered room carrying a child, her eyes cast down on the floor.
"Who are you?"
The stranger ignored the blind woman and started to walk to the kitchen were several children had gathered to gawk. His hand lay on the glittering hilt while he eyed each child carefully. He was here to find the girl. "Where is the girl who is not to be yours?"
The farmer had just started to get over the fact that the cloaked stranger had invaded his home. Meanwhile his wife's voice had risen in pitch with her panic. Her voice cut the old mans heart like a dagger, his breath caught in his chest and he thought, surely I will die here today.
Suddenly, a very handsome boy clambered down the stairs that led from the loft. He hadn't nearly seen two decades, if that, but he pulled a dull sword and pointed the blade at the intruder. His dark hair and eyes seemed even darker in the light of the hearth while he studied the strange man standing in his home. "Leave, Stranger. We don't want trouble."
"Then put your sword away,child. I am only seeking a female child who belongs with me. I've searched for her and I know she is here, somewhere." The stranger had a thick accent, but spoke clearly enough. His voice rang through the house and cut through all the chatter. The house now lay in a thick fog of silence. "She would be nearing her nineteenth birthday on the full moon. Her coming here was an accident by an incompetent comrade who was defeated by a horde of draggs in the foothills. So, I ask again, where is she? I truly do not wish to harm, you or your family, Farmer.
The farmer had started shaking, his pride and joy was going to be stripped away from him. His beautiful daughter, taken y this stranger, but yet he could not risk getting the rest of his family injured or killed. In the his heart he knew that this day would eventually come. Children of specialties are not left by coincidence. "She's out in the forest behind the house. There's a path that will lead you right to her." His wife had begun weeping and now let out a wail that made him cringe. She had never seen the girl, but she had brought back the life in the old man's wife that no one else could. He staggered to his wife and held her hand as the stranger turned to leave. The young boy who had pulled his sword now lunged at the cloaked man.
With one smooth movement the stranger caught the blade with his hand and knocked the boy on his rear. The sword clattered to the ground a foot away. The boy looked as if he was going to cry, but the stranger did not hesitate to continue on his way out of the home. He expected much more violence or struggle from the family so his job was made easy. He truly did not want to kill the family. He knew that before the next full moon his men will have to do that job, but the strange man was glad that the debt of life would not be on his hands tonight. Outside the sun had spread some glow on the world, and his horse waited impatiently as the man swiftly climbed onto it's slick back. Tannin, the servant of Lady Morgan, had found the princess, Amilynn, of Wendrenhood and would now be able to go back to his family, his dept repaid.
Tannin quickly found the well worn path that the princess had taken. He knew that the man had not been lying. His gift was reading minds, and his infinity was with the spirit. There was no way that any human man could lie to him and that assurance had never led him astray. He could still hear the cries of the blind woman and her family. Tannin could not help but feel sorry for her, she was losing a child she had never seen, and her husband was not far from the grave if he had to take a guess. The two had many children together so the woman would not be alone and the farm would be tended to. Why was he worried about this family, maybe he needed a break from work. Ya, all he needed was time with his own family. The path was easy enough to follow as the sun filtered through the trees, casting long shadows across the way. He wondered if she would run and hide. He smiled to himself and thought about how that would make for an exciting hunt. His horse grunted and began to move a little faster up a slight hill. The trees began to grow thicker, but that was not what the horse was anxious about. About twenty yeards up the path was a baeutiful mare. Her coat was solid white, her mane was braided with flowers woven in, and her coat was clean and well kept.
Silently, Tannin slid off his pure black stallion and began stalking the trail for any signs of the young lady. He would have to use the element of surprise to catch her, but he could persuade her as well. His mind reading powers doubled and mind controlling, but he was told that his powers may not effect her at all. He would just have to find out for himself. He lowered himself closer to the ground, his footsteps making no sounds on the wet earth. His eyes were straining to catch any movement as he approached a ring of trees. Sure enough, the girl lay across a large stone slab that jutted out of the ground. The birch trees that formed a circular wall around her shielded her vision from him. The girl was beautiful with long sun golden locks that fell well past her slender shoulders. He bare feet swung over the edge of the rock in a innocent manner, her hands folded against her chest where her bosom was hidden under folded layers of a green flowing dress. She was slender and lean, but had a delicate and fragile look. Tannin was not yet close enough to see her facial features, but he was going to have to make his move before she notices his presence.
Amilynn had always been different and now that she was turning nineteen, a woman, she was going to have to go through the the Blood Moon Festival. A festival for all the virgin women to dance around and show off for possible suitors. Men from all the neighboring villages would come and she knew that many would want her. She just did not wish to marry them. She always felt out of place here, even though she could never love her family any more, she somehow wondered if she belonged elsewhere. Her heart always pulled her into the forest where she could be alone with nature. Her sanctuary always provided her shelter and with all the years she had come to the sanctuary not a single one of her brothers or sisters could enter the circle of birch trees. They had all told her that it was magic,but she had always thought them as being scared until a hunter had tried to stalk her like prey. She could still remember his rough hands pulling at her clothes, the awful stench of mead and urine stench coming from his dirtied clothes. She had screamed and lashed out, but what she did had no effect on the savage man. Her strength failed her, but a wolf came to her aid. A she-wolf had jumped the man, biting and clawing. She struggled back away from the gruesome scene and watched the man stagger away just to be attacked repeatedly by her protector.
Ami shut her eyes against the rising sun, feeling its warmth kiss her skin. She always enjoys the simple pleasures of spring such as the beautiful sunrises, gentle breezes, and light rains that touched the land around her. She stretched out on the cold stone, feeling it's frigidness from the storms earlier awakened her senses. Her shoes lay on the ground next to her blue cloak. Her white gown fell around her like a blanket of snow and while her necklace lay between her breasts. Ami lay on the rock daydreaming about what her life will become in the near future when she heard a faint sign behind her. Reaching out with her pale hand she just felt the fur of on her fingertips. Shasta sat grumpily down beside Ami and nuzzled her out stretched hand. "Aren't you up early?" Ami giggled as the Shasta yawed. Her wolf stretched and bounded off to the north, probably going to find a meal. The silence the wolf brought did not proceed to leave as Shasta did, but lingered. Not very many animals stayed around when the she-wolf wandered around, but it is a fact of life. Ami laughed at her companion and rolled on her side. She felt the cool stone against her cheek and was surprised that a single tear had found a way from her eye. Feeling the tear tickle its way down her face and onto the stone's surface caught Ami's attention. When was the last time she had cried? Ami could not remember, but there was the proof that someone around her was upset. She always knew, Ami could feel it inside her and the odd weariness that came with it. Fear, sadness, and desperation made their way into her heart. Blocking out the person's pain was Ami's only source of relaxation, but the nagging feeling settled into her gut. Something was wrong, very wrong indeed. Sighing and closing her eyes to the sound of nature Ami began her search through the different spirits around her. Many of the animals hid in dins while the birds were chattering and spreading their wings for an early morning flight. People in the Village of Lumbridge were just beginning to awaken, but her home, she found, was the source of inner turmoil. Maybe her mother had scolded one of her younger sisters. The young ones cried so often that it made Ami's head hurt just thinking about it. Immediately Ami shut down her empathy skills and relaxed her mind as she would any other day. She was going to sleep for a while in the sanctuary before heading back home to help with the housework. Her mother thinks that the housework is never finished well by her sisters and always ends up cleaning up after them. Her blind mother just could not keep up anymore. Ami felt like she needed to be home and the despair of people began to grow. Excitement? Maybe the calf was finally born, or the merchants were coming early this year. Sensing that someone was watching her she lay still on her perch. Who was this? This spirit was clouded like a coming rainstorm. It thundered with greed, jealousy, and lust. Her heart began to pound hard in her chest and she held her breath for what seemed like hours. Was this person watching her? She could not tell and was frightened to find out. Whoever was out there was a stranger, and that was not a good sign. When she released her breath she froze, hoping that her breath only sounded loud compared to the thundering of her heart.
Ami struggled with herself. She did not know whether she was in danger or not. Her family was not injured or in physical pain, but she knew that whoever this person was had caused the fear. Maybe this man is a vampire.