Immortality is Relative – Part 1
The Saga of the Vampire-hunting Immortal
My name is Ian-Flannery McKern, and I am 900 years old. We call ourselves immortals, but a drop of the head will bring our death and what we call the Quickening. We all prepare for the Gathering, where the last of our kind will meet in battle by the sword, and the final one will receive the Prize. There can be only one.
However, I am aware of other immortals not of our kind, that feed off the humans of this planet… Earth. I make it my goal to destroy them, for I am more than just a player in the Gathering,… I am a Vampire Hunter.
When I became aware of these beasts of the night, it was the early 12th century, in Romania. I was being pursued by another of my kind, when I took refuge in a castle in the mountains. I had many wounds, and despite my immortality, I still felt their pain and my fatigue.
This immortal, Lucas Kinard, was a worthy opponent, and I was, at the time, sword-less. I had lost it in our last battle, in Prague when it shattered from a fall. I was very lucky to get out of that one with my head still attached.
The castle was dark and damp, like most, and it seemed to have been abandoned for a while. The decor seemed relatively modern, but dust and cobwebs seemed to cover everything. If I was a greedy man, I would have acquired some of the more valuable and portable ornaments that lay about, but my center of attention was on an ornate sword that hung above the fire place. An inscription on the sword read “Alkranon. the Vampire Slayer”. I heard the legends of these creatures called vampires, but did not believe them. But then again, they talk of my kind as if we were also legend. The sword was a large well crafted one, seemingly well kept. I removed it from its stand.
A sudden chill filled the room as I felt the well-balanced weight of the sword in my hands. It had been so long since I held one, it almost seemed alien.That feeling I perceived as stemming from somewhere else,… within the sword, possibly. As I pondered at the craftsmanship of Alkranon, I heard a door creak behind me. Expecting to see Lucas behind me, I turned.
The front door stood open, rain flailing against the stone floor. Lightening flashed, and I could have sworn I saw a four legged figure, like a dog, in the door way, but by the next flash, it was gone. I slowly moved towards the door, brandishing the sword. I felt something as I moved closer. The sense I usually feel when one of my kind is about was causing my spine to shiver; a feeling both foreign and familiar, as if there was a person with a long life line in my presence, but not of my kind. This was very new to me.
A stench seemed to dominate the air suddenly… a stench of death, or possibly undeath. As I closed the door, I finally heard his breathing; his breath smelled like blood.
“I am Ian-Flannery McKern, I demand you identify yourself.”. I had been banished from my clan, and disowned. I could not state my clan, for it was no longer mine.
“Your blood smells different, smells old. Yet you look younger than I look; younger than I am for sure. You are not of my kind, I can tell that, but we seem to have something in common.” The voice was cold and inhuman. I knew I had stumbled onto this beasts lair.
“I am here to get out of the rain. I seek refuge. If I have imposed in anyway, I will leave.” I hoped he did not see the sword.
“And leave with the sword. I think not.” I heard him move.
Sharpening my night perception, I swung the sword in the direction I thought he was coming. I felt the sword mystically vibrate. It almost seemed to emit an iridescent light. The vibration seem to cause the hilt mold to fit my grip, as if it wanted to belong to me.
The thing before me hissed like a rabid animal, “Noooo!… No mortal can wield that sword. It’s power should have engulfed you by now, leaving your blood filled body for me to feed. You can not be the one…”
The light from the sword finally revealed to me the beast or was he. He seemed man-like, but with dark features like death, and the teeth that extended from his upper jaw over his lips, dripping with the saliva of hunger. The legends were true, as they are of my kind.
The beast did not live long after that. The sword seemed to burn him where he stood, the light searing his flesh beneath the black cloak he wore. At that moment, I felt the tense pull of destiny; the warm voice of fate. This sword was not made for mortals, not made for those who saw time as a river rather than a vast ocean.
My life afterwards was spent trying to find the forger, or some sign of his legacy other than his sword. There was none. But I knew why he made it, and I sought out to fulfill that purpose… the Gathering can wait.