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This is a small part of a larger story set in a larger universe, specifically the backstory of one of the main characters in a high fantasy universe of mine. As a result, it will probably have that “part of a larger story” vibe to it, but I’ve tried to make it stand on its own as much as I can. Additionally, it’s got a bit of violence, blood, and death – but slightly less than you’d expect from the subject matter.

Anyway, let’s go:


Lilith Polidori watched as the windowless throne room of the castle flickered with the dim light of the candles lining the wall. She observed how the light distorted the faces of the stone monstrosities perched higher up, making them more grotesque.

Frankly, she had nothing better to do.

She looked up above the currently-empty thrones of her parents to see the crystal attached to the ceiling glowing faintly- which meant sunrise, and thus bedtime.

She almost got up to retire for the day when she noticed a commotion down the hall.

A gaunt man with blonde hair, gold eyes, and pale gray skin was dragging a ragged-looking young woman with pinker skin and brown hair down the hall via her arm. The girl was adamantly resisting, despite the man’s apparent strength.

The man turned around and snarled, revealing a set of teeth that included two pairs of fangs.

“Quit this little game of yours,” he said, “Unless you’d be more comfortable in the dungeon.”

The girl said nothing, just glaring at the man.

The man leaned in closer. “I could do worse,” he said. “I could easily-“

“Remy!” said Lilith. “Having this much trouble with a child? Be grateful you didn't get an ADULT human!”

Remy’s eyes widened, and he immediately stood at attention.

“Madame Lilith, I am sorry, but this servant needs to be disciplined!”

“Is that so?” Lilith replied, making a beckoning motion with her hand. “Bring her to me.”

Remy snorted and hauled the girl over to Lilith.

“Tell me, girl,” said Lilith. “What’s your name?”

The girl remained silent, looking down at the ground.

“Well, go on,” said Lilith, smiling to reveal her own set of fangs. “I don’t bite.”

The girl was silent for a few more seconds before finally speaking.

“That joke was terrible.”

Remy stiffened. “You can’t backsass a countess-to-be like that, human!”

“She’s fine,” said Lilith. “Anyway, now that we know you can talk, tell me your name.”

“…It’s Emma,” said the girl.

“Emma… You’ve got spunk and no fear. I like that. How about you be my personal servant?”

Remy’s jaw dropped, then he shook his head and pointed an accusatory finger at Lilith.

“This is ridiculous! You can’t just replace me with a human girl all of a sudden!”

“Relax, Remy,” said Lilith. “You’re not being replaced, per se. I’ll find a use for you soon.”

At this Remy snarled and stormed off. Once he had left Lilith dropped her smug countenance and leaned in close to Emma.

“Hey,” she whispered."You're not really my servant. You can just hang around with me to look the part if you want."

Emma quietly nodded.

“Also he needed to be knocked down a few pegs.”

At this Emma, despite herself, almost giggled.


A few days later in the same throne room, a cleaned-up Emma approached Lilith as the latter was writing on various scrolls.

“What are you doing?” said Emma.

“Paperwork,” said Lilith. “Apparently I’ll need to do it a lot once I become countess.”

“Ah, OK.”

Emma shifted a little.

“How do you vampires work anyway?”

“Eh?” said Lilith. “Well, it’s a myth that we’re undead monstrosities that turn other people into vampires. We’re just another species just like elves or satyrs or-“

“No, like… Who’s in charge, aside from the count and countess and all that?”

“Oh. Well, it’s pretty much an aristocracy. The old blood - no pun intended – is always in charge.”

“Is it like that outside of this city?”

Lilith frowned.

“I don’t know. I’ve never been outside it.”

She gazed wistfully at where a window would probably be in any other castle.

“Ultopolis is kinda isolated aside from a few trade routes; I hardly know what’s outside the night forest that surrounds the city. Do you?”

“I… Don’t.” replied Emma. “Lived here all my life… Been on my own ever since my parents…”

She grew silent.

Lillith frowned and placed a hand on Emma’s.

“Hey. As far as I’m concerned you’re safe here.”

Emma gave a small smile.

“Thank you…”


A few weeks later, Lilith was reading a book while Emma looked over her shoulder, moving from playing with Lilith's hair to inspecting her hands.

“…What’s with those gauntlets?”

“Hmm, these?”

Lillith put the book down and clenched her fists, causing blades to emerge from the gauntlets with a distinctive “snict” noise.

“Weapons?” said Emma. “What for?”

“Assassins, of course.”

“Do you get those a lot?”

“Me?” said Lilith before shaking her head. “Not yet. See, one of the oldest laws of Ultopolis is ‘vamp shall not kill vamp.’”

“Then why do you have assassin problems?” asked Emma.

Lilith smirked. “Simple. We get other species to do it.”

“…Oh,” said Emma.

She shifted uncomfortably before continuing.

“Any other tricks to avoid them?”

“Well,” said Lilith, “most vamps, not much. I’ve been doing some research on the side, though, and…”

Suddenly in a split second her form warped and twisted and shrunk until a black-furred, green-eyed vampire bat sat in her place.

Emma blinked. “You vampires can actually do that?”

Lilith quickly shifted back to her normal form.

“All the nobles learn how to do it. It’s a lost art among most vamps, mainly because it’s really, really hard to learn. It took me years.”

Emma smirked. “Considering how long you vampires live, it shouldn’t be too much.”

Lilith smirked back. “Clever girl.”

A couple months later, Lilith was sitting on her throne sipping a glass of blood as Remy stood by.
“I don’t get why I have to be reduced to blood delivery duty now,” said Remy.

“Well I don’t want to have Emma do it,” said Lilith.

“You always request animal blood anyway, so I don’t see why she’d be bothered. Not that I want that brat taking more of my job anyway.”

“She’s less of a brat than you.”

Remy gave Lilith a harsh glare.

“Consulting with that girl is very… Un-vampiric. It could get you in trouble.”

“I wouldn’t bother, Remy. You can’t hurt me.”

With that Lilith stood up and walked out of the throne room, glass of blood in hand.

You have no idea how much I can hurt you, thought Remy.

And with that he left as well.


A few days later Emma and Lilith were cuddled together on Lillith's throne, but while Emma seremed content Lillith stared off into space in thought.

“Hey Emma?”


“You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to… But… How did you lose your parents?”

Emma was silent for a long while before speaking.

“My parents… They served the vam[pires too… They raised me, protected me… Then one day a few years ago they got hauled off and never came back.”

It was Lilith’s turn to be silent before speaking.

“Then I know what I have to do.”


“When I become countess, I’m going to change things. Make things better for the other species that live with us, humans included.”

She sighed and hung her head.

“I don’t know, though. Everyone else will just think I’m backwards.”

“They won’t,” said Emma. “I know you can do it.”

Lillith lifted her head back up and smiled.


The next day Lilith was walking down a hallway towards the throne room when she heard a strange noise.

She stopped and listened, confused.

Then she realized it sounded like muffled screaming.

She ran into the throne room and was greeted with Remy restraining Emma, his fangs sinking into her neck as he gorged himself with her blood.

Instinctively, Lilith unsheathed her wrist blades and ran at Remy with an anguished yell, sinking a blade into his own neck.

Remy detached himself from Emma screaming and gurgling as his own blood poured from the wound. In a few seconds he collapsed, said blood pooling around his body.

Dalv quickly rushed over to the fallen, similarly bleeding Emma and scooped her up in her arms.

“Emma! Please, answer me, Emma!”


“Emma, I’m so sorry, I should have been there, I should have protected you…”

“It’s not your fault…”

“Emma, please, please don’t leave me…”

“Lilith… Thank you… For everything… I... Love you..."

With that Emma closed her eyes and grew still.

At this Lilith broke down into anguished sobs, her tears mingling with the blood on the ground.

Her mourning was interrupted by a clattering and the sound of footsteps running away from the throne room.

Someone saw, thought Lilith. Vamp shall not kill vamp; who knows what they’ll do to me?

I have to run.


She fled.

The darkness of the night forest seemed to stretch on forever, but she flew, staying in bat form to prevent anyone from tracking her.

She only stopped to feed on sleeping forest creatures and to sleep in narrow nooks and crannies, then flew again.

She lost track of time. Had it been days? Weeks? The thick, light-blocking branches and leaves of the forest all looked the same.

Finally, after who know how long, she collapsed in a tree hollow and slept a long while.


Lilith woke up to the smell of smoke.

She initially panicked, thinking someone was trying to smoke her out, but then realized the smell was faint and off a ways.

She cautiously peeked out of her hollow to see a faint light in the distance. Hesitantly, she flew toward it.

She landed on a tree bordering a grassy field. Below her was a campfire, around which were gathered three individuals – a young woman that seemed human except unusually short and with strange gems on her face, a young human of indeterminate gender dressed in simple clothes, and most unusually a red dragon about the size of a small horse.

“We’re right on the border of a night forest,” said the girl as she looked warily over her shoulder. “It’s giving me the creeps.”

“I thought you dwarves weren’t scared of anything,” said the human.

“We’re not!” she snapped back. “It’s just… Mildly unsettling, is all!”

”C’mon, guys,” said the dragon. “This is a great place for scary stories!”

By now Lilith had crept up between the dwarf and the human.

“I’ve got a good one!” the dragon continued. “It’s about… the Ghost Lord!”

“…Ghost Lord? Seriously?” said the human.

“Well,” said the dragon, “It’s less cliché than a dark lord while giving off the same kind of vibe…”

“Bah,” said the dwarf girl. “Tell us something that would be scary now. Like, I dunno, something about vampires?”

Lilith chose this moment to shift back to her true form.

“Someone mention me?”

The dragon yelped and backed up a ways. The dwarf and human grabbed an axe and sword, respectively.

Lilith stiffened for a second. Keep your cool, keep your cool…

“I’m not here to hurt you,” she said with a condescending air. “If I was you’d all already be dead.”

“Then what are you here for?” said the dwarf girl.

“Just passing through,” replied Lilith. “I’m a wanderer at heart.”

“We’re wanderers too,” said the human. “If only because our leader doesn’t know where he’s going.”

“Hey!” said the dragon.

He then gave Lilith a look-over.

“Say… Why don’t you wander with us for a bit?”

Both the human and the dwarf started at this statement.

“We just met her!”

“She’ll suck us dry in our sleep!”

“But guys!” replied the dragon, “I’ve read enough adventure stories to know an angsty, brooding vampire would be the perfect addition to our team!”

Lilith merely blinked at this.

“Anyway,” continued the dragon. “What’s your name, vampire?”

A name. Lilith thought back to her ancestors. Dracula, Nosferatu, Vlad…


“My name is Dalv.”

“Well,” said the dragon. “I’m Iggy. The human is Sam and the dwarf is Hilda. Would you like to join our little adventuring party?”

Dalv thought a good long while before responding.

I’ve just met these people… Yet I’ve lost everything and have nowhere else to go.

It’s rather risky… And I don’t know where we’ll go…

But… Emma would want me to have a new start. So I’ll do it for her.

“Fine. I will.”

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