❯ Castlevania: Heir of Darkness – Return of the Dark Lord ( Prologue )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

AUTHOR: Zpan Sven
E-MAIL: Zpan(underscore)Sven(at)hotmail(dot)com
DISCLAIMER: I did not create Castlevania and its characters, the wonderful people of Konami did. All characters introduced that re unknown are of my creation. If you want to use them, e-mail me, ask, and give me my due credit. Or I�ll be forced to hunt you down and steal your soul. *evil cackle*
AUTHOR�S NOTES: I did not become interested in Castlevania until I bought Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, so e-mail me and tell me if there are any inconsistencies in the story. Thanks, I really appreciate it.
SUMMARY: It�s 1856. Castlevania has been resurrected. It will take more than Henry, Reinhardt, and Carrie to stop Dracula this time. Rising from the darkness of the past, Alucard and Cornell rise to join forces with the younger generation of vampire killers � and a pair of new warriors out to aid in the destruction of Dracula. Will this unlikely team survive against the Lord of the Damned?
CHAPTER SUMMARY: Darkness is gathering and Castlevania and the Dark Lord have been resurrected. Reinhardt and Henry find their home of Veros is not safe when Rosa is struck down by Dracula�s curse. A new figure is added to the mix, mysterious and with unknown ties to Dracula.
GENRE: Supernatural/Action & Adventure
WARNINGS: Violence, Language, and Character Death
ARCHIVE: Fanfiction.net, Mediaminer.org, other�s please ask
EDITED: 03.13.2009

100 miles north of Veros, Walachia Province, Transylvania
February 1856

Sitting in the middle of a fog enshrouded lake was a small island covered in the ruins of what appeared to have been a magnificent castle left from the times of the infamous Vlad Dracul, when this now peaceful land was part of a much larger empire at war with the invading Turkish armies. Deep inside the rubble of the fallen tower, stone grated against metal and a skeletal arm burst free. All over the island, undead minions were clawing their way free, brought back to the land of the living from their restless slumber.

The eerie fog surrounding the island silenced the sound of the ruins moving and slowly rebuilding itself into the massive creation of Chaos that was called Castlevania�

On the lake�s shore, in a site specifically laid out to form a massive pentagram when the points were joined, five individual beings smiled; they were not human nor were they benevolent � far from it, for these were the servants of darkness, seeking to resurrect their Lord and Master prematurely from his forced slumber. Behind each being was a sacrificial altar of obsidian marble, where a young virgin girl had been tortured and sacrificed in some of the most gruesome ways possible, their blood and suffering part of the dark rite that had just finished; now all that the five could do was wait.

And wait they did when their dark wishes were answered, a tall tower suddenly bursting up from the rebuilding ruins, dark malevolent laughter ringing with triumph echoing from the island over the water to them. The five, powerful creatures of Darkness in their own right, felt a thrill of terror tempered by dark joy go through them.

Dracula, Lord and Master of the Night and Undead, had returned�

Veros, Walachia Province, Transylvania
March 1856

Veros proper was a small but thriving town, where the farmers and woodsmen would bring their goods from the outskirts of town, supplying the townspeople with much needed food and firewood. In return, the hardworking men and women were provided fair discounts in the town�s shops and pubs.

Lately, however, relationships had been strained. An unexplained rash of ill fortune and brutal murders plagued those living in the outskirts of the town and there were rumors of monsters returning to roam in the forests. A few foolhardy lads, hoping to win the affections of the girl they were smitten with, decided to prove their bravery and ability to protect by entering the forests after the sun had set.

Their screams had gone unheard in the unnaturally silent forest and their brutally mauled corpses found by the morning Watchmen at the Front Gate when the massive doors were opened to greet the dawn.

Fearful for the welfare of their families, the heads of the households sent their loved ones into the town to stay with friends and family. Alone and afraid, the lone farmers and woodsmen found a new set of troubles awaited them. Crops mysteriously rotted while still green on the plant, while the trees would bleed a thick black blood substance and give off unearthly moans and wails when struck by an axe.

Even with these bizarre occurrences occurring just outside, those in the town felt safe � no harm had come to anyone with in the security of its massive mortar and timber walls. Within Veros, all was good.

They were terribly wrong.

A townsman, often a loner and sometime prankster, went mad, killing the daughter of his neighbors, who had come over with a basket of food when she had heard he had been ill, in a brutal, savage manner. His entire form had changed to reflect his madness, making him appear the Devil incarnate. He was halted by the local priest and two men of Veros whom had just returned to find that their dreams of peace and a life free of the Dark Lord�s influence had just been shattered.

And for one of them, things were about to get far worse�

�Oh Merciful Heavens! Herr Schneider, thank the Lord you�re home,� wailed the gentle voice of plump silver-haired widow that the children and adults alike all affectionately called �Nana�.

�Nana, how�s Rosa?� Reinhardt Schneider asked frantically, his sapphire blue eyes dark with worry, his clothing reflecting the hard traveling he and his comrade had undergone to return as swiftly as possible.

�She�s very weak � I don�t understand it, Herr Schneider, she was perfectly normal one second, then she collapsed�� Nana replied as she shrugged her plump shoulders in bafflement.

�Taylor?� The formerly retired Vampire Killer asked hoarsely.

�He�s fine, thank the Lord,� the old woman reassured him. The little boy was the light of his parents� lives, especially with how difficult Rosa�s pregnancy and delivery had been. �Rosa�s in the bedroom � I left the nursery door open so Taylor would go to sleep.�

�Thank you, Nana � you�re a Godsend,� Reinhardt praised her before running up the staircase.

He had built the moderate-sized two-story cottage with his own bare hands. Construction had started two years before his battle with Dracula and that fight had put the building of his home on hiatus. After meeting his wife Rosa, then cursed as a vampire under Dracula�s control, he found a second wind and with the help of his new adopted brother Henry Oldrey and adopted father-figure Cornell, had finished the construction in record time.

With a shaking hand the Vampire Killer pushed open the partially ajar door of the bedroom he shared with his wife of three years. Illuminated by the moonlight filtering through the open wooden shutters, the master bedroom was awash in blood-red light. Jaw clenching, he lit the candle that was waiting on the nightstand at the side of their bed before hurrying over to close and lock the shutters. His eyes lingered on the full moon, hanging in the black sky ominously, bloated and crimson, staining the landscape in the color of blood.

Deep in his heart, as a Vampire Killer, as a Belmont, he knew the appearance of that dreadful moon coupled by the supernatural horrors that had suddenly increased nearly almost a thousand fold�he knew Dracula walked the Earth again, waiting in Castlevania, regaining his strength to strike at the humans he so loathed once more. Turning from the window, he looked at the still form on the bed.

Bundled under the covers, with a damp cloth on her pale brow, Rosa resembled her vampire incarnation so much it made Reinhardt�s heart skip a beat. Forgetting about the shutters, he walked stiffly over to beside the bed and fell soundlessly to his knees.

�Rosa�� he whispered hoarsely.

The pale figure stirred, dark eyelashes fluttering upwards to reveal tired cornflower blue eyes. Rosa Schneider�s eyes focused onto the distraught visage of her husband. �Reinhardt�?� the young woman�s normally vibrant, loving voice was weak and barely audible.

�I�m here. Everything�s going to be alright,� he said reassuringly; who he was trying to convince was unclear.

�I�m dieing.� Before he could protest her conclusion, she weakly lifted a hand, placing her cool, trembling fingertips against his warm lips. �Don�t argue with me, I know I am�and I know why��

Reinhardt saw his wife�s eyes shift towards the wooden shutters to the ominous moon visible through the open slits.

�Castlevania has returned,� Rosa concluded, nearly out of breath. �Stop Dracula, Reinhardt � for me and our son��

�Anything for you�� the grief-stricken Vampire Killer promised.

Rosa coughed violently, with such forced her body began to spasm before suddenly collapsing to lay deathly still on the large feather tick mattress.

�Rosa?!� He gently shook her shoulder, his voice and face tight with worry and fear. Gaining no response, he carefully placed his hand over her heart. A soft sob escaped him; she was dead. Her gentle heart would beat no more�

With infinite tenderness the grieving man brushed his fingertips over her eyelids, closing the blank eyes of his wife�s corpse. Rocking back on his boot heels, he could feel eyes on him; turning his gaze towards the open shutters of the window, Reinhardt spotted a pair of malevolent crimson eyes peering at him, spying on his grief, drinking in his pain and sorrow.

Rage flared through him as he shot to his feet. The sudden movement startled the bat and with a high pitched shriek, it fled, tiny leather wings flapping frantically.

�Damn you, Dracula�� Reinhardt hissed, his fist clenching.

The creaking of leather brought him from his rage and carefully he uncurled his hands from the tight fists they had balled into. Inhaling a calming breath, he turned and looked down at his wife�s lifeless body. Reaching out with trembling fingers, he gently grasped the quit covering the bed, pulling it further up Rosa�s body until it covered her face. With a shaky breath, he released the quilt and exited the master bedroom, heading towards the staircase; his heavy boot falls sounded like death knells to the grief-stricken vampire killer as he descended the stairs.

Waiting for him was Nana and his blood-brother Henry. A single look at the tear-streaked visage of the normally stoic man told the two all they needed to know. Nana sniffled, murmuring a prayer as Henry reflexively crossed himself and muttered in Latin. Nana hurried past Reinhardt, dashing up the stairs as Henry caught the sagging Belmont heir.

Death had once more taken Rosa from him, but the odds of her coming back to him again were not in his favor�

10 miles south-west of Minos Village, Walachia Province, Transylvania
April 1856

Several towns away from the recently widowed Reinhardt Schneider, far off from the trade routes or any form of known pathway, was a small single story cottage. The cottage was heavily fortified, the acre and a half enclosed in a towering wooden fence composed of strong, split log timbers that could withstand tremendous force. Beside the cottage was a neatly tended vegetable garden surrounded by a small wooden fence to keep rabbits and other pests out. Located behind the cottage was a small stable, housing a milk cow and a swift mare; a tiny chicken coop was beside it.

Behind the tightly closed shuttered windows and locked doors was the owner of the cottage, the only person that could successfully lead a person to the heavily fortified homestead, sleeping restlessly in the dark master bedchamber. As secure as it was against most forms of invasion, there was still one flaw � aerial attacks.

Descending from the cloudy sky was a rare sight � a black winged Harpy. The monster�s talons raked over the wooden shingles of the cottage; inside the darkened bedroom, a lean form rolled suddenly, falling from the bed into a defensive crouch and reaching for a sheathed long-sword leaning against the night table. Darting out of the cottage, the owner glared up at the Harpy, sword unsheathed and held at the ready; the crimson moonlight piercing the heavy clouds made the platinum-hued hair of the defender look almost copper.

�No need for that,� the Harpy spoke as she came to roost on the edge of the cottage�s roost, staring down at the moonlit form, awash in that crimson light, her massive black talons digging into the wooden shingles, cracking them under the force of her hold. �Master is returning and it has been requested of me to bring you an invitation. He wants you in his ranks.�

�I�m not interested — I wasn�t then, either if you recall.�

�A pity! Then you, like the mortals you cower among, shall be crushed under Master�s heel,� the Harpy mocked before flapping her wings and taking to the air. �Just remember that you could have ruled with us instead of becoming a slave!�

Watching the black Harpy fly into the clouds, the lean figure waited several moments, waiting for a possible attack. Reassured finally that the Harpy was gone, the sword was sheathed once more; taking a deep calming breath, it was exhaled violently along with a virulent curse. �Dammit!�

Castlevania really was back. And so was Dracula.

�Not if I can help it. Looks like I will have to go to Castlevania after all � but it�ll be to destroy Dracula.�

Castlevania: Heir of Darkness – The Forest of Silence