The Untold Story
of the Prince of Darkness.
Based on a true story that has never happened before...
Count Drac lived with his beautiful elf-looking wife, Lady Vivienne, in complete bliss on his enormous estate surrounded by thick lavish forests and snow peaked mountains. For seven years they knew nothing but happiness. They were very secure in their love. Life was their most precious possession. Vivienne came from a long line of Ladies of the Forest—the grand order of women healers whose origin was older then time. Her mother initiated her to the healing arts at the tender age of seven. She taught Vivienne the sacred sciences of healing, magic and the how to communicate with trees and animals. Even though Vivienne was a foreigner to the villagers around the Count’s estate, she was accepted warmly and became their healer, adviser and guide. Count Drac was very proud of her and her craft. Vivienne taught him how to talk to the wild animals and she was not surprised to discover that he possessed a rare gift for communicating with wolves. They seemed to follow him anywhere he went. Loyal and silent, they became his guardians. One particular wolf seemed to have bonded with him more then the others. He was an albino white wolf with a gray spot over his right eye. The wolf revealed his name to him; he was called White Cloud. Just before Vivienne’s mother died, she prophesized that her daughter would fall in love with a man who comes from the dark side of the Moon. She insured her daughter that she would achieve all that she will want but only through suffering.
The Injustice of Ignorance
Alas, there was someone in the nearby town that did not share their happiness. Nor did that individual enjoy the wonderful gifts that Vivienne bestowed on the villagers. He was the priest of the shire, Father Paul—a man who was ignorant of his own jealousy. Father Paul witnessed his flock dwindling as they turned towards Vivienne and her weirdly ways for spiritual guidance and healing. They preferred to walk with Vivienne in the forests of the benevolent Count, searching for roots and other remedies. Vivienne charmed his congregations with festivities and ecstatic dances. The simple folks loved her because she accepted them for who they were and never called them sinners. While Father Paul used the fear of God to lure people to church, Lady Vivienne relied on the love of nature to draw them to the forest. She asked them to call the forest their church and look to the great oaks as their teachers. When father Paul heard that she had begun to teach the villagers to read and write, his fury could no longer be contained. He decided to send a letter to his bishop requesting emissaries of the Holy Inquisition to come and deal with this heretic evil witch. Mindful of the Count’s prestige and close connection to the king, the Bishop stalled, urging Father Paul to be patient. There were rumors of a conflict with the neighboring kingdom, and the king was drafting all his Lords to join his army. Three months later, the king visited Count Drac and asked him to join the royal war efforts. The count was both subject and friend to the High King and therefore promised the king to join the campaign. On the Full Moon in Scorpio, the count gathered his army. It was time to leave. Vivienne placed a blood-red ruby amulet on her lover’s chest and kissed him goodbye. The charm was to keep him safe. A dreadful storm made it hard for them to hear each other as they bid farewell. She could not help feeling worried. It felt like she will not see him for a very long time. Count Drac, then 29 years old, galloped out of sight into the darkness of the night. Just when he rode under the weeping willow at the entrance to the estate, a thunderbolt struck the tree, burning it to the ground. Vivienne knew it was a dark omen; all she could do was to wait for the bad news to arrive. She prayed to the great goddess to protect her lover, unaware that it was she who was in grave danger.
It didn’t take long for Father Paul to orchestrate the arrest, trial and execution of Vivienne. The villagers fear of the Inquisition overshadowed their love to Vivienne. While it is true that some protest arose upon her arrest, the threats from the head Inquisitor quickly suppressed them. The church confiscated the Count’s estate. The law of inquisition mandated that the church was entitled to the assets of those who have fallen off the path of God. Vivienne was sentenced to what was called “The Trial of God.” The inquisitors tied heavy rocks to her feet and prepared to throw her into the river. The Inquisitor explained to the villagers that the almighty God would judge her. If she floats, then it is an unquestionable proof that God loves her and approves of her witchcraft. If, on the other hand, she sinks, it is a sign that God had abandoned her and that she is an evil witch, daughter of Satan himself. Vivienne was placed on the riverbank under her favorite oak trees. The Head Inquisitor began her trial by listing all the accusations. Throughout her trial, Vivienne smiled and looked at the villagers one by one, blessing them with her eyes, bidding goodbye and bestowing one last spell of protection to each and every one. They felt her healing at work and lowered their eyes in a gesture of both shame and gratitude. Finally, she turned her smile to the Inquisitor. How childish he was not to recognize her true essence. His own lack of confidence in his God prevented him from seeing love when it manifested. He stopped reading from his text and looked at her eyes for the first time. He was amazed at how beautiful and innocent they were. But his mind interfered, and an old voice inside assured him that she was a seductive witch, trying to get him off track. Vivienne felt nothing but compassion to all the misled souls. The Inquisitor asked her if she had any final words. She silently whispered “Forgive them Mother, they do not know what they are doing.” As if in an answer to her plea, lightning hit the old oak under which they stood. A storm appeared out of nowhere and a huge branch of the burning oak broke off and plunged into the water. In shock, the inquisitor pushed her violently into the river. She sank into the waters alongside with the broken branch. As she hit the bottom of the river, her leg rubbed against the sharp edge of the broken branch, cutting through the rope that held the rocks to her feet. Released from the grip of the heavy weight, she swam free. Knowing that the Inquisitor waited watching on the bank above, she resisted the urge to surface. She saw an underwater cave and swam towards its entrance. Inside, she found an air pocket. Vivienne was saved. She pulled herself up on a ledge and started walking through the labyrinth of caves, searching for a way up. She walked for forty days until she finally resurfaced and found herself on an island, under a huge Tree of Life, surrounded by a misty lake.
The Tree of Life was a huge tree, like nothing she had ever seen. Taller than any tower she knew, the tree told her that he was over 10,000 years old. And the reason he lived so long was because his roots drank from the water of an underground magical spring that regenerated life. Vivienne started drinking from the spring and lost track of time. Centuries passed and her magical and healing abilities advanced to a point where she was at one with Mother Nature. In fact, there were moments when she was Mother Nature herself.
One summer day, on a new Moon in Leo, a small unconscious body of a boy washed up on the island’s shores. He was about nine years old and Vivienne nursed him to life. She saw that he had two marks similar to the bite of a snake on his neck. When he regained consciousness, he told her that he was the victim of the notorious Vampire Count Dracula’ Altza, which in the local tongue meant “The Predator of Men”. Vivienne realized that this was the call she was waiting for, and she decided to help the people heal from the diseases that were spread by the bites of the Vampire. Her reputation as a healer reached distant lands. She was known to many as “The Lady of the Tree” and to others as “The Lady of the Lake.”
Count Drac Cula’Altza
Drac returned after four years. He was thirty-three years old. What kept him alive in all the battles he fought was his love for Vivienne and the hope that one day he would resume the beautiful life he’d known before. His ruby amulet protected him in many fatal situations, and he intuited that as long as the jewel protected him, his Vivienne remained alive and well. The powers of the Ruby and Vivienne were one. It served as his insurance that she was among the living. When he rode into his estate followed by his friend White Cloud, he found his castle neglected and the gardens filled with weeds. Something was wrong. Vivienne embodied life. Her mere presence watered and fertilized the plants. His face changed from an expression of anticipation to one of worry and anxiety. He asked White Cloud to speak to the wind and ask the creatures of the night what had happened to Vivienne. White Cloud revealed all that he never wanted to hear. A cross with the inscription of the Inquisition on the gate to his castle confirmed the tale the wolf conveyed. Enraged, he rode to town and stormed into the church. He rushed up the stairs to Father Paul’s bedroom and threw him off the bed. “What have you done with her?” His face flushed red with fury and his eyes blazed mad and fiery. “How dare you touch a man of God in the house of the Lord,” the dumbfounded Father demanded. Drac answered with a deep hateful voice “You are not a man, and what you serve is no Lord!” He felt so much anger and hate that he thought his body would explode. Count Drac pulled out his sword and sliced the father’s throat. His mind mingled with that of his wolf and he bit the bleeding neck of the priest. He trembled with so much hate and frustration that he could not contain it. He had to release it, to channel it out of his body. The sensation of the throat of his enemy between his jaws was the only thing that calmed him. The rush in taking someone’s life by tearing it away with his own jaws was overwhelmingly pleasant to him. His instincts took over. He became a predator. His consciousness fused with that of the wolf. He became a hunter and life his game. From that day on, only raw blood could quiet down his tantrums. On the Full Lunar eclipse at midnight on the Winter Solstice of 1234 AD, the poisonous blood of Father Paul converted Count Drac into Count Dracula.
News of the deranged count and his growing number of victims in the vicinity of the estate prompted the Bishop to evacuate the town. Villagers for miles relocated out of fear of the human predator. Centuries passed and legends mixed with real events tinted the whole area in darkness. The forest and the creatures of the night slowly swallowed the fields and villages around the dark estate. The whole region was labeled “damned”, “forbidden” and “forsaken.” Some even claimed that the black plague of the 14th century emerged from Dracula’s estate. The region became a refuge to all the outcasts of society—lepers, madmen, alchemists, criminals and magicians. Count Dracula did not grow old. The blood he drank and the thrill of killing granted him immortality. He grew bored of the minutes, hours and days that turned into centuries. He dived into the dark arts of invocations and spells. What else can one do when one lives forever? He summoned demons from the astral plains and bound them to his will. He became the most powerful man on the planet. He even managed to enslave the King of Demons, who had ruled the dark chambers of the Astral Plain since time began. Many challenged the Dark Count, but not one of them survived. He was locked in a vicious cycle, cursed by his own spell. The more power he accumulated, the more lonesome he became. The lonelier he felt, the more he missed Vivienne. The more he missed his lover, the more anger and hate he emitted towards human beings, those pathetic gullible creatures that betrayed his lover’s love. How miserable he was! And how much more misery he inflicted on others.
Years passed, almost eight centuries. Count Drac changed identities, accents, languages, nationalities, and vocations. Shifting shapes and appearances, he eventually became a musician, a DJ to be more precise. He was still a strikingly handsome man with skin darker than white and lighter then dark. He had green puma-like eyes and the physique of an acrobat. He looked about 33 years old. A strange wolf-like dog followed him everywhere. He was considered one of the most famous DJs in the world, sought by all club owners, record labels and celebrities. He was DJ Drac-Cool. He moved to NYC and bought an old church in Manhattan. No one had wanted to touch this property because of its address: 666 6th St. He hired the famous designer of ‘Studio 54’ to decorate his new castle. The designer did a great job but later committed suicide. At least that is what they say. DJ Drac-Cool transformed the church into a nightclub in which he would perform and also reside.
The club, known as Dark-Light, became a sensation. DJ Drac-Cool wrote and produced his own pieces and in the middle of the night, he would play a special track designed to induce a hypnotic state in the crowd. People would shift into slow motion mode, their thoughts decelerated and their breath deepened. As they danced in this mysterious trance, DJ Drac-Cool would travel the shadows and suck out their life force. He no longer needed to indulge the whole bloody blood thing. No more incriminating marks on the neck. He learned better ways of being a vampire, more efficient means to rob energy. After every show, within 24 hours, someone who had been in the club died. No one knew about this connection between death and party. All the victims simply committed suicide. The reason was that the DJ drained their life force.
Drac-Cool traveled the shadows in the speed of fear. Everything has a shadow. Drac-Cool could venture anywhere and reach anyone he wanted. He traversed the shadows unchallenged for over 180 years. Boredom was his only enemy.
On the spring Equinox Drac-Cool went out through the back door to the alley behind his club. He wanted a smoke, away from his victims. How easy it was to manipulate so many souls. He had gathered 20,000 people in a church, all dancing like puppets, swaying to his will. How pathetic they are, he thought to himself. He could feel the energies of spring approaching. But life and Mother Nature made no impression on him—not since he lost Vivienne. He suddenly craved a special feast; he thirsted for a unique bloody supper. He traveled the shadows in the speed of fear, which is a little faster then the speed of sound and a little slower then the speed of light. He found himself near a dead end, overflowing with a large pile of garbage. A little boy about nine years old scavenged in the garbage for some food. The boy appeared so innocent and pure. Dracula could almost taste his blood. Somehow the purer the victim, the tastier the blood. The poor boy managed to find an old, rotten piece of a sandwich. He smiled, for him it was a great treasure. Dracula grinned as he thought to himself that the poor boy did not realize this was his last supper. He moved to yank the innocent into the shadows just as a pregnant rat emerged walking towards the boy. Drac froze, but he didn’t know why. He expected the boy to behave like he would — dismiss the creature or frighten it away simply because he was stronger. But the boy astonished him. He smiled at the hungry rat, broke a large chunk of the sandwich, and gave it to the rat. The rat gazed at the boy with some sort of recognition and gratitude. It scurried closer to the boy, almost as if it wanted some warmth and affection. The eyes of the boy emanated such bright beams of Light that Dracula was forced to close his eyes. As the rat ate its supper, the boy reached out and with no fear, patted the rat. The rat seemed to have enjoyed the touch of the strange boy and came closer for warmth. Drac-Cool started shaking, his knees buckled, he could not believe what he saw. He had never witnessed such an act of compassion, such a selfless show of grace. The boy’s eyes and gestures reminded him of someone he had not seen for nearly eight hundred years. The boy possessed the benevolence of Vivienne. For centuries, he’d been so preoccupied with revenge that he had forgotten his love for her. For the first time he realized that he had been lost in a crusade to destroy the thing his loved one valued above all—Life. He had inflicted pain on everything that Vivienne cherished. He suddenly grasped the things Vivienne always had said she wanted him to protect, he had destroyed. He fell on his knees and sobbed. For all those he killed, mutilated, traumatized, raped, frightened and tortured. All his victims had been tormented once and then died, but he had tormented himself in every second of the last eight hundred years. The boy turned towards Drac-Cool and stared into his eyes. He could somehow see him, even though Dracula remained in the shadows—the land of the subconscious. The boy had so much light and compassion in his eyes, not only for the rat but also for the Count. Drac-Cool realized at that moment that this poor boy exuded more power in Light then he had ever had in Darkness. He understood that the boy was feeding him now, as he had nourished the rat before. He was feeding his soul. No one, human or demon, had ever managed to knock Dracula to his knees. He experienced a gush of Light, piercing all his layers of hate and vengeance. He no longer needed his armor of fear to protect himself from love. The eyes of the boy transformed his passion for blood into compassion. Pure Light filled him and he could no longer hide in the shadows. The faces of all his victims flashed at him. He suddenly felt the pain of all those he had injured. The pain proved intolerable, and he started running like a mad dog, possessed by his own past, chased by guilt. The recognition of all that he had done was unbearable, even to the great Dracula.
For three days and three nights he wandered aimlessly, overwhelmed by the light he experienced, delirious, shocked and in awe. His experience with the boy had opened his vulnerable side, which had lain dormant and numb from so much pain. After seventy-two hours of continuous wandering, he could not run away from himself any longer. He collapsed on the shores of a misty lake. His body lay lifeless and will-less. For the first time in his long life, he surrendered to a force mightier then himself. It was the 24th of March and the Moon was in Cancer. The tides of the mysterious lake rushed onshore and carried his body deep into the lake. He floated without any resistance from within or from without. Aided by the subtle movement of the water and the secret paths of the goddess Necessity, he drifted in the lake.
Vivienne & Drac
Vivienne strolled the west shores of the Island every sunset for the last few hundred years. It was the only shore on which the branches of the Tree of Life touched the waters of the lake. On one of these walks, Vivienne sensed a disturbance in the Lake. She felt the ripples shift. She stood at the shores of the Lake and used her Vision and Voice to peer into the distance. She sent her frequencies trough the waters of the Lake. They scanned for the source of the disturbance. She felt the presence of a great soul, floating unconscious in the Lake. She could feel the agony and pain of the soul as well as a great deal of power and dignity. She then realized that the vibrations came from f her long lost lover. No one else, she said to herself, contains such colors, such vibration, such a soul. She bowed her head down to the earth and kneeled in front of the lake. She softly whispered, “Thank you. Mother.” She picked a few leaves from a sage plant that grew at her feet and made them into a paste. Then she held both her hands up high and spoke in a deep and yet subtle voice:
“Anail Nathroc Utvas Beth’Hud Desiel Dienve.”
A roaring sound of flapping wings filled all corners of the Island and lake. An enormous dragon appeared from within the roots of the Tree of Life. He hovered above Vivienne and looked at her with his glowing diamond shaped eyes. She placed the green paste she had fashioned on the claws of the left leg of the dragon. She pointed at the lake and the dragon followed her Voice. The dragon spotted Drac’s body within a few minutes. He pierced Drac’s liver with his left claw as he lifted him from the waters. The green paste penetrated his liver. Within a few seconds, a green substance circulated throughout Drac’s blood. Vivienne’s process of healing the ultimate victim of her lover, her lover himself, had begun.
Drac woke up in a bed of green leaves and petals of red roses. A white wolf with a gray mark on his right eyes stood at his side. He looked up and through a mandala of green branches and blue skies, he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. But then he remembered that he had seen that beauty before, maybe in a dream, maybe in a past lifetime, the life he had before he was sent to war.
Vivienne nursed him and healed his physical as well as his emotional and spiritual wounds. For seven moons he basked in happiness and bliss again. He realized that while he sustained his immortality all these years by drinking blood, Vivienne had done the same with the water of life that flowed from beneath the tree. He understood that while he procured power by inflicting pain and suffering, she had gained power through healing and nursing. How it angered him! All these centuries, he had caused suffering not only to his victims but also to their healer, to Vivienne, his love, his partner. They had been partners before, when they lived together, and they had been partners also in separation. He had not known that as he drank the blood from his victims, she kissed and nursed these very same people back to life. He told her again and again about returning from the war after four years only to find his estate confiscated by the church. How he had killed all the priests in the shire and defiled all the churches. How he had turned their beautiful estate into Ghostdamn—the bridge from the hellish realms of the Astral Plain to earth. He told her how the gorgeous forests had changed into a dark and fearsome nightmare. He told her how he had been transformed into a vampire and declared war on existence. Vivienne forgave him and asked him to do the same. Slowly he assimilated his memories and managed to smile, then laugh and eventually even to sing.
The Messenger Brings Bad News
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the ramifications of Drac’s former life came caught up with him. Arotun, his most faithful and trustworthy companion, followed his trail and appeared on the Full Moon in Taurus. It was autumn and the tree shed his coat of leaves. Arotun was the only one besides Vivienne that made Drac feel. Arotun taught Drac the meaning of loyalty and devotion. Aside from Vivienne and White Cloud, he was the sole being that Drac ever trusted. And so the Count was both happy and terrified to see his old friend. He knew his new dream-life has been shattered. Arotun’s arrival meant he would have to face his past. Arotun was the first man Dracula converted into a Vampire and that linked them in a special bond loyalty. Dracula confided in him and taught Arotun everything he knew. He became his son, brother, acolyte, friend and companion, a true brother in arms. Arotun’s love for his friend was stronger then his personal affinity to darkness or power. He looked straight into Drac’s eyes and said, “My Count, I am here to bring you back to the estate.” His voice was humble and yet firm. Drac hugged him. He yearned to introduce Vivienne and share with him his newly found happiness, but Arotun saw nothing beyond his mission. Arotun pushed him back and with his hand on the hilt of his black onyx sword he said, “You must make up your mind now. Whatever you decide, I am with you. If you decide to stay here, in what you call the Light, you will become vulnerable and weak. The demons are rebelling against you, proclaiming that you are dead.” He took step towards Drac. “Those who were under you now believe they are above you. If you decide to go back to Darkness, then you will need to put them back in place.” Drac tried to interrupt, but Arotun persisted. “Whatever you decide, to return to darkness or stay in the light, you have to come back to Ghostdamn. If you are to stay in the Light then you must return to the estate and seal the bridge between the realms of the demons and earth. Xlorash has declared himself ruler of Ghostdamn and he is planning to conquer the entire world. And if you decide that you want to return to darkness, you must reclaim your throne, now! What will it be, Prince of Darkness?”
Touched by the loyalty Arotun showed her husband, Vivienne begged Drac to return to their estate. But her blessing for the journey had one condition. He must take her with him. He tried to protest but she showed him her true might. She demonstrated her power. She appeared to him in all her glory, a wrathful goddess, a huntress riding the moon. She told him she would never part from him ever again. They parted once before and it lead to eight centuries of pain. She refuses to endure that again. And so the three journeyed back to face the might of the King of Demons and his fearsome hosts of Darklings.
When they arrived to the estate they were taken aback by its condition. Vivienne fell to her knees and had to be supported by Arotun. Even Dracula could not recognize his castle. The whole area was surrounded with a thick dark cloud of stinking smog. A black pentagram that looked like a vortex or a portal through which more and more lost souls poured down from the Astral loomed above the highest tower of his estate. The stench of the armies of Xlorash was carried by the strong dry wind. The wolves at Count Drac’s feet growled at the souls as they descended. Count Drac was furious. He had kept the king of the demons at bay for over six hundred years. In the long absence of Drac, the Master of the Lost Ones, Xlorash, had manifested an army of Smoglings –goblins whose flesh and blood was composed of toxic pollutants. Since the Industrial revolution, the King of Demons found it easier to generate these types of soldiers, magical beings made of pollution. They were everywhere, overrunning not only the estate but also the entire world. The rage in Drac began to swell. He had not felt such anger since he’d returned from the War. With every inhale his body grew larger. He appeared like a mighty purple dragon about to attack. Arotun drew his Onyx sword, poised to stand by his master and friend. Vivienne closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She had spent all these years mastering emotions and feelings. She had channeled the pain of the earth and all who suffered from the demons. And like a river that pours into the sea, she funneled that pain to the river that ran through the estate. She was also furious, the master of demons created his underlings by polluting the very nature she vowed to protect. But she have learned the magical powers of patience. She touched Drac’s right shoulder and he felt a stream of grace flow into his heart. He felt her voice. “This kind of reaction has caused us much grief before, my love. Fighting fire with fire does not work.” Her grace melted the surge of power he had gathered from his dark side. He lowered his eyes to the earth.
He had conquered the world using his hate and anger. Could he do the same using love?
“My Love, until now, we have each found our strength in separation. We had to be pulled many valleys and mountains apart to develop our magic. Now we must find the powers of union. We must defeat these demons with love, otherwise, we will be defeated by our own victory.” Drac turned his eyes to her and said with a very tired voice, “What powers does the Lord of Union posses that are strong enough to defeat the host of nightmares that is surrounding us?”
She smiled at him “The Lord of union is Oneness and the power of the One is Love.” Drac looked anxious and disappointed. “Love is great, but it has no real power!” and he asked Arotun to throw him Needle—his magical sword made of pure lightning focused by a diamond. Vivienne closed her eyes and used the magic of the lake to reflect images of his past. “Your Love for me changed you from Drac to Dracula, from a mortal to an immortal being. Your Love for me made you the most powerful creature in the planet and also the most miserable.” There was a pause and then out of nowhere there was another voice speaking in a high pitched voice: “And my love to a hungry rat, made you realize that with all your spells and powers in darkness, you could not spell compassion.” The nine-year-old boy’s voice softly echoed behind him. Drac turned and the boy that initiated his return to the Light stood smiling, surrounded with a glow of light. “I am listening” is all Drac said. “All that you see around you is an illusion, however persistent,” the boy said as he patted the wolf. Drac looked at the wolf that had always attacked anyone who came too close. The wolf lowered his head, as if he was agreeing with the child. “Who are you?” Drac asked. The boy approached him. “I am your innocence, I am the Light that was always within you.” Vivienne held Drac’s hand. “He is your first victim. He is the child we never had. He is the reason I fell in love with you. He is who you will be.” Drac knew the ways of transmigration and the reincarnation of souls. He had witnessed some rare cases of splitting of souls. It usually happened when an evolved soul experienced a strong trauma and the soul responded by dividing two or more fragments. But he had never heard of a soul that split and reincarnated simultaneously. “What is your name?” he asked. The boy laughed, “It’s your name spelled backward. I am called Card.” He extended his small hand and shook Drac’s hand. “Very nice to meet me,” the boy laughed. “You can call me ‘The Card.’ That’s the name I like best.” Vivienne relished the bewildered expressions of her lover. “He is like a wild card, a shift shaper. He is all and none, a blank vinyl.”
Drac gazed once again at his castle and the devastation all around. His old self would have mounted his black Arabian steed and charged into battle. Equipped with his rage and shielded by fear, he would have wiped the intruders out of all planes of existence. But other images intercepted those thoughts. Images of all those smiles, laughs and passionate moments he had enjoyed with Vivienne over the last seven months. The images dissolved the surge of old power. He was new. “What should we do?” For the first time in centuries, Count Drac asked for someone else’s opinion. The boy laughed and dragged him forward towards the entrance of the estate. “We are already doing.”
About the Great Battle
The boy led them to the back entrance of the castle, right next to an old oak tree. Vivienne took Arotun’s hand and placed it on Drac’s. Then she grabbed the boy’s hand and placed it on the other two. She peered at the three, but all she saw was One. At that moment the pentagram floating above the tower rotated. The point of the pentagram now aimed at the group of four. No longer composed of smog, it solidified into iron. Vivienne viewed this show of muscle as nothing more then cheap magic, an induced horrific image imprinted on the fabric of life. Demons breathed, ate and spread fear. It was their only weapon. Demons always materialized as reflections of the worst fears of whomever they confronted. The more the victim was afraid, the deadlier the projected image appeared. Usually the victims of the King of Demons would die from fear alone. The fear would cause heart attack, panic attack and the like. The demons assumed the image most suited to induce the four to doubt their capacity to become one. Vivienne recognized that it was an illusion. The demons, the pentagram, the gateway, the darkness surrounding the estate, the dying forest, were all a projection, a mirror of an inner reality. She also knew that the battlefield had shifted to the realm of imagination. The outcome rested on who would be able to imagine the more lucid image: the Lord of demons and his forces of separation, or her four-fold party and the forces of union. There they stood: the Lady of the Forest, a Fool, A Magician and an apprentice. The odds were against them, but Vivienne suspected that odds too, were an illusion.
A great jolt of lightening flashed, illuminating the whole battlefield for a second. The demons stopped their filthy business and took note for the first time of the Count and his strange companions. They remained afraid to mock Drac. They did not know if the rumors running in the astral plain about Drac were true or not. Hesitation stilled the world until a shriek from the Demon king roused his forces to attack. “All we need to do is stay still and not move,” Vivienne calmly said as she closed her eyes and smiled in serenity. “Whatever happens now is but an illusion.” Drac felt an overwhelming love for Vivienne, a love that transcended doubt and disbelief. Her peace of mind in the face of chaos and danger was enough to persuade him to believe her. He chose not to close his eyes like Vivienne and the boy. The face of Xlorash, the King of the Demons, appeared before them. When Arotun saw that his master’s eyes remained open, he kept them open as well. He insisted on protecting his master if something went wrong with this new tactic of standing still. Drac stared directly at the eyes of the demon lord. He always loved a challenge, and to close his eyes in order to imagine the oneness of existence was not an act of the brave. He heard Vivienne whisper to him in his head. Her voice reverberated in the walls of his consciousness: “My love, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, there is no you, no me, no estate and no Xlorash. Love him and he will become you, love him as if he is you.” Drac sunk into Xlorash eyes. He saw the soul of the Lord of Demons, as it was a million years ago—a gentle young innocent soul from a different dimension that was trapped in the tomb of a great king who had reigned on a different planet. A beautiful soul imprisoned for thousands of years, bound by a burial spell to protect the tomb from raiders and ill will. The poor soul of Xlorash cried out lonely and frightened in the dark chamber. For thousands of years, he had not seen light nor found the means to reincarnate. He was ensnared, fettered to a horrible fate. Then, one day, someone opened the grave to steal its treasures. Xlorash’s soul, consumed with rage, gushed out of the grave. He slew the intruder and sought only revenge. For tens of thousands of years his angry soul refused to reincarnate. He vowed never to be confined again in tomb or in a body. He settled in the astral plain and began to spread terror. No one ever loved him. The only emotion he ever knew was fear. Without a struggle he became what he was now, the Lord of demons, the King of terror. The more Drac examined the wounded side of the demon’s soul, the more his eyes softened. His visage changed from the fierce chiseled mask of a warrior to the sweet face of the compassionate healer. He remembered the boy and his expression as he fed the rat. He now emitted that same radiance; he possessed that same magic of unconditional love. The light that streamed from Drac’s eyes engulfed the demon like a blanket of white feathers. As compassion and love radiated all around, the demon lost his armor of intimidation. Layer after layer of fear was vanquished under the heat of Drac’s compassionate gaze.
At that moment a spate of new cursed entities appeared. Enormous and heavy, this monstrous army surrounded the four in a maneuver designed to break their concentration. Drac had encountered theses creatures before. The Smoglings, half physical, half ethereal, were powerful foes. In the past, he had managed to overcome one of these creatures in hand-to-hand combat. Now ten surrounded them. “Before the One, what do you count?” The remembrance of Vivienne’s voice sounded in his mind. He focused on the stillness, not to move, not to think, to become One with the One, the place of no separations, no duality, and no Smoglings. He closed his eyes and dived deeply.
He found the dimensionless point of being without being. He settled in the axis of the universe, surrounded by a strong radiation and endless constellations and galaxies. He felt the presence of Vivienne and the boy compressed together in the dimensionless point. He knew they were overcoming the demonic attack. He understood the immense power of love and union. Slowly the scenery outside melted one pixel after the other into emptiness and stillness. But then, a moment away from triumph, he remembered Arotun. He could not feel the presence of his old friend near the point of oneness. Conflict disturbed him. Should I leave the dimensionless point of unity to save my friend, or is he a sacrifice for the betterment of the whole human race? The conflict and duality of these thoughts made him drift from the dimensionless point of oneness. Once again he found himself in the land of duality, of good and bad, right or wrong, human and demons, spirit and matter. He followed the instinct of the wolf. He reached out to a member of the pack that was in need.
He found Arotun surrounded by six Smoglings. Arotun was a powerful warrior and managed to overpower four of them. But the remaining six closed in. Drac rushed to his friend’s side under the same Oak the Inquisition had chosen to try Vivienne eight hundred years before. Arotun’s eyes glowed when he saw his brother in arms. But at that moment he took his eye off of one of the Smoglings, who wrapped his spiky tail around Arotun’s neck and choked him in a swift motion. Drac witnessed his companion drift away and die. Rage swelled in him again, the same rage he had felt towards Father Paul. He drew his sword and lunged to kill the Darklings. The magical howl of White Cloud stopped him. Drac turned toward the howling and saw his wolf sit on a cliff overlooking the battlefield. The wolf looked back with penetrating sharp eyes. The wolf did not have to speak; his face carried a reproach mixed with a grave warning. When he confronted Father Paul all those years ago, Drac incurred his powers by imitating the wild beastliness of the wolf. He realized that he was about to do it again. His old pattern had returned. Last time he listened to the wolf. Now he listened to him again. He collected himself and fell to his knees. He found once again the place of oneness and the dimensionless point in the axis of the Universe. He managed to push away his grief for his loyal brother in arms and even the threatening images of six beasts approaching him. He breathed deeply. The six remaining Smoglings surrounded him. Lifting their tails they prepared to strike him in a coordinated fashion. He felt their presence, and disregarded it. He spoke out loud, his roaring voice reverberating through the astral plains, a sound heard by all engaged in dreams or meditation on earth and every other planet. Mother Nature herself froze. No bird sang. No wind blew. Stillness prevailed, permeating every sentient being. Drac spoke directly to Mother Nature, asking her to be his witness. He had wearied of all these temptations to return to his former powerful self. All he wanted was to be with Vivienne and return the demons to their faraway place. He dropped his sword and touched the earth under the canopy of the old oak tree. “Earth be my witness, Wolf be my herald. Please testify for my right to be here, in this point of stillness. Please bear witness to the disarmament of my old patterns. I ask for the right to not react, the right to dissolve all that is around me into emptiness. I beg for my right to love and be loved.” A tear dropped from his eyes to the earth.
After a silence that lasted somewhere between a millisecond and a millennium, the earth opened her mouth and unleashed a mighty testimonial. “This is my beloved son, who through innumerable centuries has so given of himself that he is no longer here. I bear witness that the only thing sitting here is Light.” At that moment Drac completely transformed. He became Light, surrounded with spirals of colors and prisms of even more light. All the demons dissolved into his light and the castle itself reverted to the original glory and magnitude of eight hundred years before. Only Xlorash did not disappear. He bowed down in a humble gesture and said, “Teach me.” He kissed Drac’s hand. A demon no more, he metamorphosed into the beautiful soul he was before his imprisonment. From that day on Drac was called Orya – The Light of God. He became known throughout the universe as the warrior of light, he who transcends conflict. Vivienne and Card regrouped with him and together with White Cloud and Xlorash they returned to his castle in Manhattan. He continued to compose music and perform as a great DJ. But rather than sucking the energy from his crowds, he infused them all with light. He used the trance of the electronic music to induce healing, wholeness and love. He utilized sounds, rhythms and melodies to forge alchemical solutions that nourished the dancers and mended nations. His events became rituals disguised as entertainment. Xlorash served as his apprentice, a new brother in arms in a new kind of battle. Vivienne bought an enormous tract of land and reforested it. She taught people how to reconnect to Mother Nature. After nine month she gave birth to a most amazing girl. They named her Harmonia. The couple realized that their daughter was the reincarnation of Arotun, who had returned to share their happiness.
But life flows in waves, and alas, Necessity conceived a new swell of darkness upon the earth. Orya and Vivienne would hear the call again soon.