Chapter 0:

Year 0 Post Dread

Sons of Dracula

Derick didn't mind the night watch. Sure he was tired, and the bugs were a nuisance, but the peace of a quiet night out on the frontier was worth a few mosquito bites. He leant against the edge of his small guard tower, rifle sitting against the opposite wall. Not much happened out here, Greyvale was a small frontier town far removed from anything important. You'd think they would be an important stop for caravans coming from civilization, being just a few miles from the desert's edge and all. But no, that was Bluewater, a proper city that place had turned into. Greyvale was just some place that had probably been important at some point, long before Derick's time anyway.  He sighed, staring out and admiring the rolling landscape before him. The plains were beautiful beneath the night sky.Bookmark here

The peace was broken by  long, clear horn that sounded to his left. Derick turned in surprise, nothing was out that way but grass and eventually sand. That was the way caravans usually came from. But when he squinted towards where the sound had come from he saw nothing... too much nothing. Derick rubbed the sleep from his eyes and refocused, staring out at the blackness. That way led out to the desert, he should be able to see it, but he couldn't all he could see was a towering wall of black. that, and a lone figure glowing a terrible red and slowly riding towards him. Bookmark here

Derrick quickly grabbed a telescope and focused it on the figure. It was an enormous human looking creature, wearing black plate armor with wisps of red light leaking from within. He sat on a black black horse whose eyes also glowed that same red, and the blackness that blocked out the sky streamed behind him like a cape. Bookmark here

Derick dropped the scope and scrambled to the alarm bell, ringing it with frenzy. The devil had come riding out of the desert, it sounded like a bad fairytale. Other bells began ringing and after a moment he saw lights start to flick on in town. Derick wondered for a moment, if he shouldn't have let them sleep. Whatever had come out of the desert was evil, and they were probably all doomed to be consumed by it. Maybe it was better to be ignorant of the impending doom. Bookmark here

Derick sat himself against the wall of his tower, not wanting to see the thing up close. He heard some shouting, and a few gunshots, probably the other night watch members marshalling to protect the town. Derrick felt shame as he hid, but he did not stand to see what was happening.  Eventually there was a feeling of deep cold, like death washing over him, and the lamp in his tower suddenly went dark. Leaving him shivering in that cold darkness.Bookmark here

Derrick sat there, sure he had just been swallowed by hell. He tried to breathe in but his body had stopped obeying him. He just sat, shaking for what couldn't have been more than a few seconds, something he'd describe later as feeling like a thousand years. After that moment, the darkness passed. Replaced by a ghostly blue green light and the sound of many marching feet. Derrick, with grim resolve, heaved himself up to see over the edge of the wall. Deciding he'd rather face the devil standing, he regretted that.Bookmark here

A scene straight from the book of damnation was laid out before him. Figures in silver armor that glowed as if they were spirits they rode like herders atop ghostly white steeds, marshalling a sea of rotting corpses and hulking monsters made of flesh, each one streaming that ghostly blue green light behind them like mist. It looked to Derrick as though he were staring into the river of souls itself. He didn't scream, just sat there, hanging limp against the wall of his tower, watching the horde of undead pass. Bookmark here

Eventually the trail of monsters ended, the ghostly sea of monsters passed and the blackness passed over him again trailing away into the night until All Derrick saw was a too black wall in the distance. The lamp flickered back on, and Derrick sunk back into his sitting position.Bookmark here

"W-what, the hell was that?" he whispered.Bookmark here

That night would come to be known as the Dread march, the first day undead had been seen since the old stories, the day a grim legend emerged from the desert and founded a city of nightmares. The day calendars were reset and the old world ceased its efforts in trying to conquer the unclaimed lands. The day Dracula emerged and made the entire world shudder at his presence.Bookmark here

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Sons of Dracula

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