The Book of Mortals

The Brothers Phenril

The Ma'tirin

Te'lin nervously waited in the antechamber, carrying two bundles in her arms. She paced the floor slowly as noise drifted into the waiting room. A long creak rang through the hall as the doors opened. A small human woman with sparkling emerald eyes led Te'lin into the room. The woman bowed and exited, leaving Te'lin in the company of the great wyrm Alritos. Large and powerful, this dragon spent most of his working for the best interest of his race and the children, draconians. His scales were a majestic silver, standing out against his fiery red eyes. Sulphorous fumes filled the room from his breath, his massive stomach lifting and falling several feet with each moment. He smiled at Te'lin as she entered the room, showing rows of worn but still very sharp teeth.

"Hello, Te'lin, what disturbance brings you into my company?" he asked, his voice setting the floor trembling.

"I bring before you, Great Wyrm Alritos, my two sons, Jasper and Haidran, in hopes that you will teach them as you once taught me. They are both bright, Jasper is older and more curious, Haidran is young but mild. He never cries in the night, wishing me and their father rest." As she finished in a bow, she almost collapsed onto the ground.

"Let me see the children," the great wyrm boomed.

Te'lin placed the bundles before Alritos. From within Jasper and Haidran peered up in wonder at this new arrival in their lives, whereas Alritos peered down at them with little more than cool disinterest, measuring and judging them carefully.

"Haidran...he may be a disciple of mine, he has the eyes of a healer, but, Jasper is better off without the gifts of magick. His eyes, so young, are filled with a lust, desire. He is better off."

Te'lin picked up Jasper and left the room in tears.

Rain beat down on the forest in a steady rhythm. The animals were cowering against trees, and the trees were rejoicing in this new water. Silently, animals moved throughout the wood, searching for sheltered. One man watched.

A small deer reached the safety of a large birch tree. After shaking off coat, and lying down against the trunk, it fell to sleep.

A large figure dropped from a branch above, reached the deer, and snapped its neck instantly.

Jasper had begun his own schooling.

Jasper and Haidran did not see one another for several years. Haidran was busy with school, and Jasper was busy learning the ways of hunting. When they did meet again, ten years later, Haidran was a small, thin draconian, well- learned and accomplished in the magick of healing. Jasper was tall, well- built, his movements were smooth, almost serpentine, but quick as well. His eyes still held the same fierceness.

The brothers picked up as friends and began travelling the world, before they would have to settle down, Haidran as a cleric, Jasper as a farmer or perhaps guard. They had a lot of fun flirting with women, meeting new people, getting in drunken brawls, and always winning. If money got low, Jasper would arm-wrestle for money, his moderate frame often underestimated.

Such was the evening when they were walking upon the road eastward. They passed through mountains and several towns in the night, and were a bit weary as they trudged on. Suddenly, a figure swooped out of the sky and landed on Haidran. Jasper took a stance and pounced on the figure. He drew a sword quickly and surely, and ran the figure through. It winced but threw Jasper off it in a tremendous feat of strength and ran. Jasper attempted to chase after it, but was unable to.

They hobbled into a nearby inn and the innkeeper peered at Haidran with fear, "Llet..lemme see your neck, boy." His hand was trembling as he searched Haidran's neck. They told him their story and the innkeeper slowly began to look at Jasper with amazement. Silently he mouthed a word and his eyes glowed with happiness. "My boy, you fought one of the undead...a vampyr, Ta'rishna, and lived, won. You were more powerful than the vampire. You two are the Ma'tirin, the vampire slayers, of ancient lore, you've come to save us from this plague.

Jasper blew a light mist of smoke into the innkeeper's face. "We did not win, it got away! He sighed and led his brother to their room.

The Phenril brothers arrived in Arinock. Haidran had been reading a book on vampyr lore and was chuckling as they checked into a room. Brother, we are indeed vampyr hunters. They even have our descriptions right, the strong one of fiery complexion, the magickal one of lighter scale. He grinned at his brother and put the book away.

"I dun naht care vhat that buuk says, ve dun naht vin." Jasper said in the kine tongue they had been using since entering the area.

"Your accent is atrocious, and do you know how many people fight back a vampire and make it run? Nearly none, brother, that's why its a victory." Haidran tossed the book to Jasper, "Read it."

Jasper spent the night reading and in the morning he replied to his brother, "We shall see."

The following morning they were out seeing the sights. Mermaids of the south sea held them in particular interest. As they were walking about, a man in front of them suddenly began convulsing. His eyes turned scarlet and his teeth grew long and sharp, suddenly a large wolf was jumping on Jasper. Haidran blinded it with spellcraft as Jasper broke its arm and held it pinned.

"Why do you do this?" he asked.

The wolf growled out, "I was sent by themmmm."

"Them?" Jasper asked, twisting the broken arm sharply.

A howl of pain as the wolf answered, "Them, the va..." his voice trailed off and his eyes glazed over.

Haidran stood up and peered around them. "You see, brother, the lore says they will bring our wrath. This is the second time we've been attacked, is it time to show them what the legends say?"

Jasper nodded slowly as he ripped the teeth out of the wolf's skull.

Written by Buffy

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