by Max Barry

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Initiation to the Brotherhood of Malice

A sire-less vampire, a ronin of sorts, I aimlessly traipsed the intermediate planes of evernight, then all of a sudden a sound, no, a manifestation of thought rang out within my very being. A message of guidance from The Overseer. There could be no doubt as I was ushered into the foyer of the Brotherhood of Malice by no other than Valtarre the Vampire King, and a drive, a cause solidified within my essence. The Night Father Venico introduced me to Taskmaster Thorn who was to initiate me into the ways of this brotherhood of assassins alongside my future brothers.

Seated at an iron wrought bench in Melivorica, I could feel the depths of the cooling night culminate in its trough before the low surrounding hills surrendered to the rising flames of discomfort. It was a night-born ritual prepared for advancement of arcane comprehension. Now the fierce scouring rays advanced ever closer and the caustic vaporisation of my essence stripped my will bare. A thousand hungers ravaged my core as both the physical and mental fringes of my person boiled under the pre-dawn glow reflected down from the lightening clouds above. Red, in an aura of refracted light, bathed my eyesight as my stolen blood was forcibly extracted from every pore. Time, the one constant I had grown accustomed to and even comfortable with, took on a new dimension as it sought to punish me for my undeserved decades of degeneracy. And finally the sky fell. Red was washed out by blue as it always would be, the sudden downpour drenched the air and sealed my dwindling essence back inside me.

Having mindlessly retreated back to the nocturnal dimensional folds of my borrowed study, a constant wave of nights thread my tattered edges back together as a temporary thrall drip-fed my magic back to a comprehensible drive via their venous donation. Through the languid return of proper faculties, it was understanding that would take its turn to dawn on me. Mental connections fused under the searing weld of solar aurae bound as one my never-to-be-satiated hunger with the tearing maliciousness of eternal sunlight. A new fathom of magic had opened itself to my intuition, allowing my footsteps into the presence of that same accursed light, though only mastered through another lifetime of bookish study via tomes to be pilfered. I was now an Assassin able to travel all planes within reach with my brothers.