Shadow Lord PDF
Other books in The Second Species Series:
By Tony-Paul de Vissage
While Humans multiply into Earth's dominant life-form, the Tree of Man sprouts another prolific branch—the aventurieri, winged, nocturnal hunters with a dietary need for blood. As legends evolve about them, Mankind's half-brothers live their twilight lives in the Carpathians' shadowed heights, where they develop their own civilization, laws, and religion--and a prophecy of a savior paradoxically betraying his people.
When one of their kind murders another, his son’s demand for revenge expels him into the outside world of 18th century Europe. Marek Strigoi’s existence, as well as that of his species, will be forever changed as he seeks his father’s killer.
When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, not even Hell can stand in the way.
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy, Horror
Sensuality rating: 3
Cover Art by James Robinson
The Decebral Valley
They felt safer when night fell. Safe from sunlight casting barred shadows upon the dungeon floor, sending them cringing into the protection of remaining darkness, huddling far from the bright and deadly light. Clinging to damp granite, they watched the image of crossed metal moving over stones, becoming fainter and fading as the sun set.
They weren’t certain how much time had passed since Ravagui’s winged soldiers attacked their father’s castel killing gardi and servants alike. The attack was too soon after the sun went down.
Most were still heavy from slumber, even the humans serving them caught so unaware as to be completely helpless. Their parents were killed with a viciousness bespeaking old grudges and long-nursed vengeance. The children saw their father wielding sword and fangs, taking several of Ravagiu’s minions with him as he went down before their onslaught. Their mother barely had time to herd them into a bedchamber, thrusting their little sister into one twin’s arms before locking them in and turning to face the soldat launching himself at her.
Her single scream still echoed in the older children’s ears.
What followed was a confusion of images and sounds drowned in the smell of blood as the door was smashed open. The four were dragged out…Andreas, his twin Vlad hindered by the screaming baby in his arms, and Karoly calling for his mother, his voice rising in a shriek as he saw her bloodied body lying in a twisted heap beside the splintered door.
When their captors launched themselves into the air, all resistance ceased. None of the children as yet had wings. It would be too easy to slip from clutching fingers and be dashed to pieces on the mountain’s jagged slopes, so they clung in fear to their abductors. They were given no explanation as to why they were spared nor did they ever see the one giving the orders. They were simply dropped into the dark hole and left…
…for ten days and eleven nights of unrelieved fear and hunger.
On the fourth day a bloodskin was lowered through the barred ceiling, leaking its life-giving contents onto the shadowy floor. The drops struck the dust with a whispery sound.
Only Andreas, made desperate by thirst and Ruxanda’s wails, tried to reach it. By now the baby was crying constantly, calling for her wet nurse, her sobs more shrill with each passing night. Summoning his courage, he stood at the edge of the sun-brightened floor, rocking back and forth like someone preparing to leap a wide chasm.
If I’m fast enough...
He knew the consequences if he wasn’t, but he didn’t have the speed of an adult. His sudden dart into the light was too slow, grasping at the skin with scrabbling fingers as the sun bit into his bones and his flesh began to blacken and curl.