Of Demons and Vampyres

At first twilight on 10 Aut'mo', Rene returned to the cave, and was greeted by Demos. "So, have any interesting conversations last night?" asked the former king with a knowing grin.

"Indeed," replied the Sorreter. "And I expect you did, as well. I hope yours didn't keep you up too late."

Demos shook his head. "I got some sleep, though I plan to get a lot more, now that it's light out. But first, we should compare notes. To begin with, I'm afraid I don't completely trust my demon. He tried to convince me to trick you into making us more powerful- or at least as powerful- as you and your demon."

"Same here. I find it interesting that each of us has something the other wants. Though the more interesting thing is the nature of what it is you have."

"That is to say, what I don't have," said Demos. "My demon wants you to teach me magic, which obviously will be impossible if we can't find a way to circumvent the anti-magic spell Silas included in his... whatever it is... that creates vampyres. You managed to avert it because you knew how to counter it in advance, but once the magic-inhibitor has set in, it may be impossible, or at least very difficult, to implement your own counterspell. So it seems I'm to become a lab rat."

"Right. And if you can learn to use magic, then we can teach it to other vampyres, perhaps even other demons who haven't possessed anyone yet. Mine is terribly upset that Silas has neglected to mention this part of his project to any of the vampyres who work with him. And once they find out, it's too late. They can no longer telepathically communicate with others of their kind, to warn them. But I could. And not only could I inform them that the problem exists, I could provide them with the solution."

"It's interesting, too, that even though both of our demons have the same goal, they don't seem to like or trust each other. Each of them wants to dominate the other, which means each of them wants us to dominate the other. I had, if you'll excuse the pun, a devil of a time convincing mine that that wasn't going to happen. But don't you think it's strange that such close allies would be unable to leave their egos behind and just work together?"

"What are the odds that demons wouldn't be nice guys, like we are?"

Demos laughed at that, then said, "Anyway, mine told me, vaguely, about some complicated spiritual war involving countless worlds. There are different factions even within the ranks of demons, not all of whom ultimately support Lucifer. In fact, I get the impression that even if there may be more than one demon faction either currently operating on the Land, or planning to do so, none of them are on Lucifer's side. At least not necessarily. I couldn't get any clear details about all that out of mine, how about you?"

Rene shook his head. "That's as much as I got, too. I'd love to learn more about it. But I'm not even sure whether our demons are part of the same faction. It seems unlikely that different groups would be taking part in Des'Caina's plan, since apparently there are other Landians with their own plans, with whom the different factions may each align themselves. But you never know. Maybe our demons' animosity toward each other would make sense, if they were from different factions. Or... you did say they have the same goal. Did yours specifically tell you they were on the same side?"

"He did... but as I said before, I don't know how much of what they say we can really trust."

Rene shrugged. "Either way, I think our relationship with them is going to be much like your relationship with Daily was. Each of you using the other for your own purposes, and trying to retain the upper hand... possibly while allowing your opponent to think he had the upper hand. But in the meantime, hopefully our goals won't diverge too much from that of the demons."

"Right. And at least they're willing to provide us with some information. Such as how this whole Diurn'kin and Nocturn'kin thing works. So... you need sunlight, for at least half the day, and can't spend much time in the dark, without swiftly losing your energy reserves."

"True, but at least it doesn't mean we need be separated. As long as I get my daylight, I'll have enough stored energy to survive a night's sleep. It was just a problem last night, because I hadn't had time for my vampire blood to store much solar energy. From now on, that shouldn't be an issue, and everything should work just as we planned. And speaking of plans... I actually got you something." He walked out of the cave, and returned a moment later carrying a bundle, which he handed to Demos.

As Demos unfolded the gift, he began to grin. "A cape! You shouldn't have! ...I mean, really, it's great that you did. Thanks." He swung it over his shoulders, fastened the clasp, and began practicing covering his face with the dark fabric. Then he cautiously stepped out into the sunlight, to see if it worked. He quickly jumped back inside. "Not bad, though I'll be needing some gloves, to go with it."

"Ah, sorry I didn't think of that."

"No worries. We've got all the time in the world for things like that. Meanwhile, we need to make plans for exacting revenge on our enemies."

"I've already got one or two people on my shite list."

Demos grinned again. "Mine's rather longer than that. Now then, given that we may have limited time each day, if we're to work together, it may take awhile to work our way through those lists. But I'm of a mind to start twenty-one days hence. Oh, my friend, I promise you... this year we're going to have the best Samhain ever!

Landian Chronicles index