Behind the Veil
Gideon glided through the vaulted marble corridors of the Great Hall. A thick hush filled the ancient air, stirred only by the occasional rush of a scurrying servant. It was an unnatural silence. As a rule the spiderweb of corridors were filled with vampires seeking entrance to the vast library or attending the endless debates in one of the antechambers.
There was no greater duty for a vampire than searching for knowledge. It was an insatiable thirst, and the only true desire that had remained since they had left the mortal plane to exist behind the Veil.
It had been nearly two hundred years since the great vampire Nefri had used the Medallion to create the Veil. Two hundred years of serenity and utter peace.
They had left behind the chaos and compulsive passions of the mortal world. They had also left behind the bloodlust that had made vampires as savage and brutal as the humans they preyed upon.
Since then it had been a time of immeasurable greatness for the Immortal Ones. Without the passions and hungers of the flesh they had reached a superior society that transcended any loss of powers they had suffered. Shapeshifting and mist walking that came only from the drinking of human blood were talents needed only for those who hunted.
And vampires no longer hunted.
Or they had not until this morning, Gideon sternly corrected.
A frown marred the fiercely elegant features as he considered the shocking revelations the Great Council had bestowed upon him.
It was near sacrilege to consider the notion that there would be traitors among the vampires. It was simply assumed that they had evolved far beyond petty jealousy and the lust for power. Surely such superior beings would be above the flaws of mere mortals?
Unfortunately there was no means of denying the startling truth that three powerful vampires had recently slipped through the Veil to the world of men. Or that they intended to battle for control of the Medallion.
A chill threatened to pierce the magnificent calm that had shrouded about Gideon for two centuries.
The traitors could not be allowed to gain command of the ancient artifact. With such raw power they could do untold damage. Including ripping the Veil to shreds and challenging the authority of the Great Council itself.
The chaos that would ensue did not bear imagining, Gideon acknowledged with cold determination.
Thank blessed Nefri that she had possessed the sense to realize the impending danger and had managed to separate the Medallion. She had then given the pieces to three maidens who had no notion of the power they held.
The desperate measure had momentarily protected the Medallion from the clutches of the renegades, but it would only be a matter of time before they went in search of the maidens.
Which was precisely why he had been summoned to the Great Hall. Almost reluctantly he glanced down at the dagger he held in his long, pale fingers. In the soft light it appeared nondescript with a smooth ivory handle. Only the trained eye of a vampire could detect the unmistakable shimmer of magic that rippled over the steel blade. His frown deepened.
The mere thought of killing another vampire was utterly repellant. It was perhaps the greatest of sins. He would as soon sacrifice himself. But he had his commands.
He, Lucien and Sebastian were commanded to travel through the Veil and protect the maidens who unwittingly held the Medallion.
By any means necessary.
His fingers clenched about the dagger.