The dwarf, and the sisters left for a quick resupply. Leomourn stayed for biscuits, who only said: “Get me an ax.”

“Isn’t he an archer?” Delgen asked.

After coming back with full armor and weapons in arms, Myles lead them to a dark large space in the building and lit a gas lamp revealing in the pallid light of the green flame a large manhole covered with an even larger cage Myles opened the cage and waved them in.

“A bit ominous.” Leomourn said.

“This is one of the only buildings with sewer access, it is caged off to prevent being infiltrated.” Myles said. The removed the large metallic disk which had odd glowing glyphs around the edge. The same glyphs were around the edge of the hole in the floor. They descended.

There were two distinct things about this sewer system that they realized almost immediately. Firstly there were two liquids moving in this underground cloaca, on was water and normal sewage and waste though it was odourless and diluted in the watery liquid, very clean. The other liquid looked like blood, they were separate and under a dual walkway on which the adventurers stood staring in confusion.

“Is that—” Leomourn was going to ask right as they realized the second odd characteristic of these sewers, it was an ever-changing, ever-moving system of jointed pipelines. The sewer was a labyrinth of infinite possibilities.

“We’ve been here before!” Leomourn panted, bent over with his hands on his knees. They had been running through the labyrinthine pipes for what seemed a marathon’s length.

“There has been no trace of any vampire activity for ages…and now we’re really lost because I just realized…how are we going to find our way back out?” Amarella said.

“Anything?” Delgen asked, jogging up to the other three. “Why’ve we stopped, I’m on a roll.”

“We’re lost!” Leomourn screamed. “I’m going to starve, did you bring any snacks?”

“The blood always flows in the same direction.” Darella said and started off.

“What?” Leomourn said, tripping as he was putting his boots back on.

“What did you say, thief?” Delgen said as his jog met with Darella.

“The blood always flows in generally the same direction, if we follow it maybe it will lead somewhere.” Darella said waiting for the rotating pipe ahead to aline itself with the one she was in. Delgen jogged in circles around her to keep his pace up.

“Sharp thinking.” Delgen winked and took off down the next pipe.

After following the flow of the blood beneath their feet for an even longer time they came upon the first thing that was out of the ordinary. It was a barrel. They approached it and examined it, it was full and sealed. There was newly engraved words on the top in a language none of them recognized.

“Open it, see what’s inside.” Delgen said from a far.

“No, what if it’s some weird alchemical reagent thingy that will turn us to turtles!” Leomourn screamed.

“Or kill us.” Darella said.

“I’m sure it wouldn’t be down here, and it would have a caution sign on it somewhere…even the badguys have to know which barrels are beer and which are caustic acids.” Leomourn said as he struck the lid with the flat of his ax. He jerked up and the lid came off, in the movement the barrel was tipped violently and the contents came out and covered the adventurers and splashed Delgen.

“Great. We are hunting vampires and now we are covered and smell entirely of blood.” Amarella said with a stoic face, staring off down the dark sewers.

“At least we have a lead.” Leomourn said, dripping.

They continued to follow the blood and found more barrels a few at first and then clusters the further they ventured. Darella ducked behind a blood barrel as she ventured ahead. They rest clumsily mimicked the rogues move, she looked back and put a finger to her lips with a glare. Ahead of her was a group of figures moving barrels out of a large doorway around a corner. She watched and motioned for the others to approach but quietly.

“Vampires.” Darella mouthed, pointing towards the motion.

“If I can hear you, they can hear you.” Darella mouthed to Leomourn, in warning.

“What?” Leomourn asked aloud, unable to read the rogues lips. The figures ahead put the barrel down immediately and moved into shadow.

“Great.” Darella rolled her eyes.

“You ought not be here.” One of the figures said from down the dark corridor.

“What are you doing with all theses barrels of blood?!” Delgen growled, shrugging. He pointed to each one of his companions and directed them to do something with unintelligible hand signals for a drawn out time. Some hand signals being more like a puppet show than tactics. Leomourn made a sound and run head long down around the corner and was out of sight before the others could even register what a stupid move he had just done. They were sure he was dead.

They scrambled up and tried to move to help but they were too late. There was blood everywhere and body parts. The standing figure was covered in blood and flesh…it was Leomourn. He stood in the remnants of a feral battle, and survived two vampires in the dark.

“What? I hunt vampires for a living, remember.” Leomourn said, and walked through the next door. Amarella was impressed, Darella was visibly confused, Delgen lifted one finger and slowly gave up.

They dispatched a score more vampires who were all moving blood barrels or standing guard. Eventually they came upon the hub to which all the blood was flowing. It was a large pooling room were all the blood came and gathered. There were many vampires in this room and they all stood alert when Leomourn walked into the room. Many descended from the second story walkway above and fought with the adventurers. Lemourn walking towards a walkway in the pool that leads to the center of the room and up a set of stairs to the second level. When he walked in he had seen them moving a large object up the stairs from the center of the room.

“I’ll fend them off, you guys need to get whatever they are moving up there…it’s important to them!” Leomourn’s old pack instinct kicked in with the thrill of hunting his old enemy again. He could read these creatures like a hunter knows his prey, he knew they were retreating, they must be relocating their nest. But why, and what was that object they are so protective of.

Leomourn swiftly decapitated countless vampires in a very overly choreographed flourishes and one hit kill charges. He was lovin’ it. The others fought in a daze as they watched their archer kill so many vampires…with an ax. “The thing!” Leomourn reminded them

“Oh yeah…there!” Delgen pointed as his dwarf eyes saw the figures moving the large coffin-like object through the darkness above. Darella charged forward and slid on her knees and shot her gun at the ceiling above and it turned to clay.

The floor below the vampires feet turned to clay as they moved the large stasis block. Their unnatural reflexes allowed them to get away but the weight of the thing was too much and the had to abandon it to the clay. The object fell through the floor and slowly appeared in the clay above Darella, she moved out of the way as it feel to her level.

The vampires all hissed and scattered and it all became quiet.

“They called this Naacal Grey.” Leomourn said.

“What?” Delgen said.

“As they retreated the hissed his name, as if he was their leader.” Leomourn said looking at the thing. It was what looked like a man frozen in glass standing on a marble base with enscribed in glowing runes.

“I guess this is what they were after.” Amarella said.


The Flame of Time gabrielegandrake